"I love you and want for you all things that make you happiest; and I guess you, not I, are the one who knows best what those things are."

Monday, January 31, 2011

Hunkering Down

The weather is coming.  I'm not sure what that means, but from the looks of it...it's not good.  Weathermen seem to be conflicted on the topic as well.  I've heard reports ranging from a small amount of sleet and snow to 3/4 in of ice covering everything with up to 15 inches of the powdery white stuff complicated by excessive power outages.  So by tomorrow we'll either be completely trapped in our house without heat/power or we'll be spending 45 minutes bundling up for 5 minutes of playing in the snow.  Either way, the National Weather Service has issued a "blizzard warning" for the St. Louis metroplex....so we're in for something!

Being the good midwesterner that I am - I did make a last minute run to the store today.  I was amazed that the grocery store wasn't crazier.  There were many empty shelves in the store mostly around what most people would consider staples (bread, milk, eggs) and the entire staff was stocking shelves as quickly as humanly possible.  We bought fireplace starter logs, a pot and clementines.  Why clementines you may ask?  Because that is John's favorite snack right now and we only had two tiny ones left.  We wouldn't want to run out of clementines while we're snowed in!  Why a pot?  Because if we lose power and I have to heat up formula - I don't want to have to stick my nice Calphalon cookware in the fireplace....

So anyway, we're hunkering down.  Praying for the best, preparing for the worst.  Let's hope we're just snowed in for a few days - two kids, two and under with no power/heat doesn't sound like fun to me....

Stay warm!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rock On Mom!

Wow!  It's Thursday again which means that I'm posting a list of this week's successes.  Lord knows, "it's the small successes that add up to one big triumph!"  Thanks for reminding me Danielle!

1.  On Tuesday, when a friend had convinced me to go to our Cooking Club for lunch, I realized that Nathan had an ear infection.  So, I called the doctor, made an appointment for 1 hour from then, cooked something for the Cooking Club, packed the diaper bag, loaded the car, and found John standing in the bathroom with lotion all over his hands and hair!  Apparently, he thought it was shampoo... *sigh*  But the success here is that I managed to toss him in the bathtub, wash his hair, changed his clothes and made it to the doctor's office on time.  I'm really  not sure how this happened!  I think God was on my side and slowed time down just a little for me...

2.  I've been without a computer since Sunday night.  (I'm typing this on my mother's laptop because she is nice enough to loan it to me for a few days.)  It's been a weird challenge for me.  I'm soooo used to hopping on the computer to look things up or check my email.  Instead, I've spent a lot more time doing the little things with my boys.  For example, we washed dishes by hand yesterday so that John could play with the suds/bubbles.  Too often I just toss it all in the dishwasher for speed's sake - without a computer to suck up my time, I'm able to give to my children more.
*However, this doesn't change my desire (or actual need) to get my computer back sooner rather than later!*

3.  The house remains in semi-decent shape.  Cleaning continues.  Beds get made.  Floors get swept.  Dishes get done.  Not perfect.  But good enough for me!

Share your successes over at Faith and Family Live!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Success Celebration

Danielle Bean from Faith and Family Live! encourages to us to look at our successes each week.  She reminds us that when you are busy being a mom sometimes it has to be a few small things that add up to the big triumphs.  So here goes nothing....

1.  I've stayed on top of the chores this week.  Things are getting done around here.  No, the house isn't spotless, but it's livable and it's making me happy.  And the best part of it - with my new routine - it isn't taking up my entire evening or the entire day.  I'm getting it all done in 15-20 minutes during the boys nap (then taking my own nap!) and 15-20 minutes in the evening after the boys go to bed.  YAY!

2.  With the house in decent condition this week - I was able to invite a friend over at the last minute for dinner one night.  Her husband was working late and Matt is out of town - so we let the kids play and I enjoyed some adult company.

3.  I've been back in the kitchen this week making more baby food for Nathan.  I've really enjoyed making most of his food and I love that I have more control over what Nathan is eating.  Additionally, the variety is soooo much better when you make your own food.  Face it - Gerber/Beechnut only comes in about 10 flavors....NOT homemade food!  Nathan has enjoyed broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers and parsnips, rutabaga, peach applesauce, mushroom risotto, spinach, and much more! 

Bonus #4 - After having a day where I really questioned my parenting skills - I've come up with a battle plan for fixing where I fell short.  With support from the right people we're going to reverse some poor decisions made by myself and others.  Just wait and see!  Parenting is not for the faint of heart!
Share your successes!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Parenting is Not for the Faint of Heart

Parenting is not for the faint of heart.  A friend reminded me of this today.  Yesterday I had a rough day.  I met with John's IFSP team and things didn't go as planned.  To start with, John's speech therapist wasn't able to make it.  His occupational therapist was there and so was a developmental therapist.  We were also joined by two representatives from the Early Intervention program. 

As the meeting progressed I allowed the Early Intervention representatives to talk me into decreasing John's speech services to once a week even though I knew in my gut that we wanted to keep John at twice a week.  No one had the speech therapist recommendations or goals - so we were working blind and I didn't speak up enough.  I felt as though I didn't have the "magic words" that the other therapists and coordinators had.  As soon as the meeting ended I immediately had reservations about the decision.

I stewed on it for a few hours, called John's speech therapist in the afternoon, and called the Early Intervention office to talk with John's service coordinator.  John's speech therapist was very upset that they would decrease his services after the report she sent to them and was equally upset that they didn't have her paperwork with them for the meeting.  The service coordinator ended up having to come back to the house to pick up some papers so I talked to her in person.  I cried.  I told her that I feared we weren't doing what was best for John...

Bottom line is that we can't do anything about it right now.  That sucks!  But we'll be having another meeting in about a month following John's behavioral assessment and we can revisit his speech therapy needs then.  I know John's therapist is gearing up for a battle and I'm in it to win it too.  With both of us committed to getting John the services he needs - I know we'll be fine.  And, luckily, children are amazingly resilient...so I know John will continue to flourish and grow!

The reality is setting in though - as we continue to see issues with John's speech and we broach the topic of speech disorders - this is not the last one of these meetings I'm going to face.  I may not have the magic words...I probably never will.  And frankly, it's not my job to know the magic words anyway.  But I will have one word - NO.  No, I'm not okay with this.  No, I don't understand why we're doing this.  No, I want to talk to someone else first. 

Parenting isn't for the faint of heart.  You have to be strong for your child - especially when they (literally) don't have a voice at the table.  YES - I'm okay with that!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When A Bribe Is Worth It

In my life BC (Before Children) I always told people that "Student affairs is NEVER above bribing."  I learned a lot of things about college students in graduate school, but I had that lesson down waaaay before I earned my masters degree.  Let's face it...the fastest way to get college students out of their dorm rooms and to an event is to mention free pizza and soda.  You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out!

That having been said, BC I always thought that I wouldn't "bribe" my children for good behavior.  I wouldn't "bribe" them to eat their dinner.  I wouldn't "bribe" them for anything.  It's one thing to bribe someone else's teenager - it's another thing to bribe your own child.  As a parent you ought to be able to reason with your child, teach them that good manners are the only manners accepted, and gently remind them that tantrums don't get you anything.  So how does this philosophy stack up now that I'm a parent...?  Philosophies change!

While I still lean on the side of ignoring tantrums, using good manners, and attempting to reason with my children - the reality is that sometimes, just sometimes, a bribe is worth it.  As far as I can tell the sometimes seems to be directly related to the need for mom to keep her sanity and proportional to the amount of time said sanity is necessary.  Let me provide today's example:

We walk into Dierberg's for a quick (30 mins) grocery stop.  John spots the race car carts and points.  I suggest that we use a regular cart so that Nathan has somewhere to sit comfortably.  John whines.  With only 30 minutes to get through the store - it's not worth it. 
Bribe #1:  If we drive the race car cart you have to sit quietly and let mommy get the shopping done. 
-I need to get through the store quickly and not miss anything on the list.  Race car cart is big, bulky and hard to steer.  My sanity will remain in tact while maneuvering the cart but a crying toddler for 30 minutes might push me over the edge.
Shopping commences with Nathan seated on the ledge between the car and the handle (you know, right where the picture on the cart says not to put your child).  We make it through produce, deli, canned goods, dairy and snack aisles.  Then we venture down the personal care aisle looking for hair supplies for Dad.  As I stop to search the shelves for the most elusive hair gel I've ever encountered, John spots a L'Oreal children's shampoo with Buzz Lightyear/Woody/Rex/Jessie on it.  "Buzz" "Buzz" "Buzz" with pointing and tugging on my sleeve.  I decide that the hair gel isn't available at Dierbergs and start down the aisle.  Whining - no wailing - ensues.  I only need to check-out and get to the car.  We have 15 minutes until a meeting that is 5 minutes away.
Bribe #2:  If we get the Toy Story shampoo we can't open it until we get home and you can't whine when mommy washes your hair.
-10 minutes to get out of the store and load groceries and boys in the car with sanity in tact so that I can function cohesively at my meeting...the $6.58 was worth it.  Yes, $6.58 because we bought a bottle with Buzz and a bottle with Woody.
So we get to the checkout, pay, load groceries, and drive to our meeting.  I arrive on time, sane (for the most part) and with relatively happy boys. 

New philosophy - SOMETIMES parents are NEVER above bribing...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Late, But Finally Here

As promised...pictures from our San Antonio trip including Nathan's baptism, Grandpa Warren's birthday, Chris & Stephanie's engagement party and Thanksgiving....

Happy Birthday Great Grandpa!

The Future Mr. & Mrs. Garcia

Garcia Sisters

Newly Baptized Nathan!
Godparents & Grandparents

and finally....

Hangin' Around Grandma's Kitchen

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Year - New Successes

The past year has brought tons of changes to our family.  We moved, we had another baby, we (almost) sold our house in NC.  It was rocky, but good.  BUT we're into a new year.  That brings with it a sense of hope and change.  More excitement and more changes.  So let's start the year off right with a list of this weeks successes and hope that the successes keep on comin' in the months ahead.

1.  We've found a renter for our house in NC.  No, it's not a buyer, but it will help us pay the bills and take some of the financial pressure off my hard-working husband.  Hopefully, in the next few weeks my successes will include a statement along the lines of "our renter moved in and we got our first rent check in the mail"

2.  The house has stayed in (relatively) clean condition since we got the holidays put away.  Yes, we're still looking for places to stash all the new toys, but we're staying on top of the big stuff.  What's the big stuff...well, right now it seems to be vacuuming up Cheerios that Nathan is dropping on the floor in his attempt to find his mouth and doing a thorough wipe down of the tables/counters after every meal since John has decided that he likes spices and sauces and tends to miss his plate when he dumps them out to taste them.

3.  I've gotten back in the kitchen this week and I love it.  We're eating at home more (better for our pocketbook and waistline) and really enjoying our cooking.  So far this week we've had tilapia and yellow rice, pork chops and roasted potatoes, Chinese coleslaw, homemade salad, sausage and fried cabbage and I found time to make homemade salty snack mix.  I really do enjoy cooking and I forget that when I get caught up in the day-to-day feeding of two tiny boys.  :)

So what are your successes? 
What are your goals for this year? 
Let us know over at Faith and Family Live!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday Again?!?!

Successes this week!  Yes - we had several! 

1.  We survived the bug that attacked our family.  I was out of commission for the 24 hours of New Year's Day and Matt fell victim all day Monday and most of Tuesday morning.  Despite it giving both of us a swift kick in the...we're both still moving, eating food again, and generally don't feel like we're dying.  Additionally, I've Lysol-ed most everything in the house in hopes that the boys don't have to start waging war with this stomach bug!  Trust me - all of this is a HUGE success!

2.  We had some friends over for a playdate and lunch this week.  A fellow mom confided that she was feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed since her husband has been traveling more and more for work.  Boy can I relate!  It was great to have her and her boys over to the house for some play time, make your own pizzas and great (real and honest) conversation about being a stay-at-home-mom with a traveling husband.  A must do again soon!

3.  I'm (almost) caught up on laundry!  It's been a lot of washing, folding and putting away, but I'm happy to report that the boys have pants to wear again and the "sick" sheets/blankets from all the beds/couches having been washed in the hottest water my water heater can produce.

Got successes you care to share? 
We'd love to hear about them over at Faith and Family Live! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Man I Married...

...is loving, caring, gentle, friendly, faithful and fun.
...is a wonderful father who gives himself fully to his family.
...is hardworking, dedicated and invested in his job.
...is missed when he's gone.
...is an extra set of hands when he's home.
...is adventurous, exciting, intriguing, and thrilling everyday.
...is thoughtful, considerate, kind and attentive even when I don't deserve it.
...is amazing, astonishing, and sublime in ways I never imagined.
...is attractive, appealing and charming even more now than when we met.
...is my best friend, partner, better half and cohort through thick and thin.
...is the best decision I ever made...period!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Starting 2011

Well, it's been a rocky start to 2011!  Let's hope this isn't a sign of the year to come...

We enjoyed ourselves at the annual New Year's Eve Casino Party at the Homes' house on Friday night.  It's always nice to gather with friends and family to ring in the new year.  We gambled away our mock money playing craps, blackjack and poker.  We ate plenty of greasy, fattening food.  We toasted with champagne at midnight as we kissed our families.  Then I ran to the bathroom and got sick.  :(  Before you think it...no I hadn't had that much to drink (actually only 1 drink and a couple sips for a second). 

The rest of the night I spent in the bathroom and I spent all of Saturday in bed or on the couch with severe nausea and didn't manage to keep any food or drink down the whole day.  However, Sunday proved better and we made it to church, out to breakfast as a family, and made steaks for dinner.  The about 1:30AM on Monday morning - it hit Matt.  He was up all night and hasn't made it out of bed yet this morning.  I did offer him some Ramen about an hour ago which he promptly took two sips of and then asked me to get it out of the room as even the smell was getting to him.  (He did confess that he wished he had been much more sympathetic when I told him I didn't feel good and wanted to go home at midnight on New Year's Eve - at the time he thought I was just being a party pooper)

Both boys have managed to avoid it thus far.  We'll give you another update later this week.  Let's pray that we keep it in our bedroom since it's pretty nasty (whatever it is...)!