"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."

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Back to My Successes!

I love Small Successes!  Sometimes they are enough to keep me blogging when I feel like I have nothing to report.  Sometimes (when I have a ton to report) they hold me back.  Sometimes I skipped them for months because I just don’t blog the way I dreamed I would when this blog started. 

That having been said – I’m back to the original point – I love Small Successes! It reminds me of what I’ve accomplished each week.  There’s simply nothing like celebrating the little things because those are the things most often overlooked.  So behold…here are my successes this week:

1.  I dug the “to-do” notebook out of the pile of “to-deal-with-later.” So I now have a list (albeit long) of things that need to get done.  Blogging was on this list.  I’ve written 4 (this is 5) posts today.  Check all five of those off the list.  Look! It’s getting shorter by the minute!  Now to tackle some of the more pressing issues like faxing papers to doctors’ offices, completing some sewing projects that have been looming forever, and knocking some gift-buying out. 

2.  We took John for allergy testing.  I was originally pretty apprehensive of doing it, but it has been recommended by John’s pediatrician, his speech therapist, his teacher and most recently an ER doctor following a 4AM ambulance ride to the hospital.  The results show he’s basically allergic to the great outdoors during the spring, summer and fall.  (Oh, and cats)  So we’re trying some meds first. In 8 weeks we’ll re-evaluate to see how he is responding.  Right now we’re trying to avoid allergy shots – although they may very well be in his future.

3.  (This is really Nathan’s success!)  Nathan peed in the potty!  Just once and after leaking on the floor….but it looks like we may be on the way to potty training.  I’m cautiously optimistic.  While I love the idea of not buying diapers, I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to potty train him while driving John all over town for different appointments, preschool, and practices.  I know other families do it so I’m sure I’ll figure it out.  But with John I just committed a week at home and we did it.  I’m thinking it may be a different story this time around.

4.  (And it should be noted that this is really John’s success!)  We had John’s parent/teacher conference early this morning.  He got an absolutely glowing review from his teacher.  Apparently he’s a great listener, rule follower, super smart, has excellent fine motor skills and is generally a hard worker (at least for 2 1/2 hours, 5 days a week).  On his writing skills tests he needs a little work on drawing a person and he called a ‘crescent’ a ‘moon’ on his shapes test.    Not bad if you ask me!  Top that off with a conference with his school speech therapist who claims he has met or surpassed all but one of his speech goals for the school year (and it’s only October!).

Yay for Small Successes!  Smile  I’m excited to get back on the bandwagon with them again.  Not to mention that I now have the aforementioned “to-do” notebook back in my arsenal…I’ll be getting so much more done!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Weddings, Weddings, Everywhere!

It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the blog!  I hate that.  But I always seem to lose track of the blog during the summer months.  What can I say – we get so busy playing, traveling, swimming, and generally spending time outside, that I just can’t find the time to sit in front of a computer.  Even in the evening – would you rather sit at the computer or enjoy a cold beer poolside with the neighbors?  Yeah, I’m gonna drink that beer!

So what did the summer look like for us?  Well, we’ve been in full on wedding mode around our house for the last few months.  My baby (ok – I acknowledge that she is 23 years old) sister got married to a great man who I’m happy to call my brother.  I had the privilege of being the Matron of Honor so with that came the work of bridal shower, bachelorette party, errand running and activity planning.  Despite the priest missing the rehearsal and dinner – everything worked out and in the end she had a great day and a wonderful wedding.  A big thanks to my in-laws who helped man-handle our boys while I was busy tending to wedding day obligations!

Rekowski Family

That was wedding #1 this year!  A few weeks ago we dressed up the whole family for Matt’s little sister’s wedding.  We packed the whole family up and spent a week in San Antonio.  It was a great day for the everyone.  Both boys managed to walk down the aisle without tears, Matt and I loved being part of the wedding party, and despite a missing mariachi band, the reception was a blast!  This time the thanks go to my family for taking time off to travel to TX for the purpose of babysitting children!  We are so blessed to have great family supporting us!!!!

Family at Megan's Wedding

Well, that completes the wedding post for this summer.  I’m going to try to back-date a few posts with important events like birthday parties, family vacations, John’s first soccer season, medical updates and more.  Hang in there – I’ll get everyone caught back up as quickly as I can!

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Official Family Vacation

Yay!  We had our first, official, family vacation!  No extra grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, or the like….just our little family of four.  And it was a huge success!

First we spent a few days in Louisville.  I know it’s not necessarily a sought-after vacation destination….but it worked for us.  It was drivable, had stuff for kids to do, was reasonably priced, and most importantly, was close enough to Santa Claus, IN to justify spending the end of the vacation there!  Not that I think Santa Claus, IN is any more of a destination, but we wanted to take the boys to Holiday World for a few days.

Louisville’s first stop was the Churchill Downs.  We took a quick tour of the track, moseyed through the museum, (pretend) bet on old races without knowing the outcomes, and saw a retired racehorse. 

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While in Louisville we also managed to fit in a horse and carriage ride around downtown and a trip to the Louisville Zoo.  Thanks to our STL Zoo membership we got into the Louisville Zoo for free courtesy of a reciprocal agreement.  The boys loved the zoo and their super cool zoo key that told the kids about each animal as they wandered the grounds (seriously – it was $4 well spent!).

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Now – for Holiday World!  It’s a great amusement park complete with water park inside.  Admission prices are based on height (because that’s what determines how many of the rides you can ride!) and soft drinks, sunscreen and shows are all free once you’re inside the park.  Everything has a holiday theme – so you wander from Christmas to Halloween to Fourth of July to Thanksgiving as you enjoy the day.

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Nathan just barely made the 36in mark (we’re talking cm to spare here!) so he could even ride a few of the big kid rides.  We got the boys on the log flume, two of the big water rides, and enough kiddie rides to last a lifetime.  The first day we arrived at opening and left 30 minutes before they closed.  Nathan actually fell asleep while cruising one of two lazy rivers – so we just carried him to a shady spot and made a bed out of beach towels for a few hours!

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If you buy your “next day” ticket before you leave the park – it’s half price!  So back we went for day 2.  Although our second trip was much shorter – we had to drive home that evening – we did manage to fit in a visit with Santa Claus during one of his daily story times. 

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We had a great time celebrating our little family!  No work had to be done, no speech therapy sessions to attend, no doctor appointments or the like.  Just some fun and relaxation for the four of us!  Priceless!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Oh Two-dles!

I can’t believe that I have a 2 year old!  And a 3 year old!?!?!  When did that happen?  Nathan opted for a Mickey Mouse birthday party this year.  Not a big surprise since he pretty much wants to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse all day, every day.  337

We managed to squeeze his second birthday party in between Lizzy’s rehearsal dinner on Thursday and her wedding on Saturday.  I mean, it’s not like we had anything else going on….right?  Convenience was the key so we grilled hot dogs (hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog) to serve with picnic staples like chips and salad.  We had lots of neighbors, all the family (thanks to everyone being in town for the wedding!) and a handful of MOMS Club friends over for the BBQ. 

Nathan, of course, was spoiled rotten by friends and family when it came to gifts.  We have enough toys and books to open our own toy store!  And in keeping with tradition, my 2 year-old got upgraded to a big kid bed courtesy of his maternal grandparents.  There were some questions about the ability to fit two twin size car beds into the boys’ little  bedroom, but sure enough they fit and both boys are ecstatic.

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I know the picture is small….but trust me – they are both grinning from ear to ear!  And naturally, being boys, it took them about 30 seconds to realize they could jump from one bed to the other.  *sigh*

 

Happy Birthday Little Man! 

Mommy and Daddy LOVE you more than you’ll ever know!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Better Late Than Never

Another week has passed.  My how time just flies by once the weather warms up! We’ve had the pleasure of hosting Matt’s younger cousin, Stephanie, this past week.  So aside from having a little extra laundry and a few more dishes, we’ve also been busy playing tour guide.

It’s been a great week so let me share some of those successes with you!

1.  Despite the fact that Stephanie’s unexpected arrival conflicted with naptime, I managed to get to the airport on time to pick her up.  She was flying stand-by (thanks to Air-Tran’s awesome college student program) so we were kind of at a whim for when she would arrive. 

2.  We spent Saturday at the zoo enjoying the beautiful weather, animals and, of course, the choo-choo train.  The boys had a blast.  Stephanie spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how it was possible that our zoo is free to the public, and we enjoyed a picnic lunch right by the 1904 flight cage in the zoo.  A good day had by all!

3. I worked out a deal with John’s speech therapist to enroll John in speech camp this summer.  There is no way we could possibly afford the speech camp without blowing our current budget.  Luckily, our speech therapist LOVES John and despises anything related to food (i.e. cooking, shopping).  So – I’ll provide the snacks/drinks for camp each day (4 kids, 3 days a week, 4 weeks) and in return John gets to attend speech camp. Smile  I’m certain God had his hand in this!

4.  Managed to use up most of the produce from the co-op again this time around.  I love all the fresh fruits and veggies of summer.  In fact, we just made carrot/apple/orange juice for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.  Yay!

5. When I was ready to sit down and type up this post early this morning…I didn’t.  Now wait!  This really is a success!  I sat down in my chair outside on the front drive, turned on the computer, opened the program, and heard, “Maaa-meee, we’re ready!”  Upon peering over the screen I saw two little boys, buckled into the wagon, smiling contently.  So I closed up the computer and tossed it back inside the garage door….and we went for a stroll through the neighborhood.  See?!?!?  Wasn’t that a much better use of my time?

Make sure to surf on over to CatholicMom for a chance to read up on other Small Successes.  It’s a great way to remind yourself that the small things in life can really add up to great victories. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Busy Week

We’ve been on the go this past week.  Bustling around town doing different things seems to make the warm weather season fly by!  But who can resist spending the days out carousing around town when the sun is shining and the skies are bright blue?

*On Friday last week Matt took a (rare) random day off or as we like to call them in our family – a mental health day.  We took the boys to the Museum of Transportation.  They enjoyed two train rides around the grounds, spent lots of time in the Discovery Zone (which is basically a little boys dream playroom with every “transportation” toy known to man), and loved crawling on and wandering through all the train cars.

*We have been spending a ton of time outside playing.  John is still in love with his Power Wheels tractor and Nathan runs from one activity to another.  Both boys are enjoying their swing set and love playing on the slide together.  As a bonus – I’ve gotten some work done in the yard and garden.

*Spent the early part of this week cleaning and organizing the art/craft closet.  I didn’t feel like trekking out on the one rainy morning of the week so I tackled the closet instead.  I’m happy with the results!  And just as soon as my hubby gets home from his business trip I’ll be even happier (he’s been assigned the duty of moving the wall mounted fire extinguisher that hangs in the closet).

*Wednesday was John’s last day of Early Childhood!  Next year he’ll be attending Pre-K so he’ll be at a different school with a different teacher.  We’re thrilled he’s progressing enough to move to Pre-K but it will bring with it some new challenges.  The school bus won’t pick him up next year (something he’ll be extremely disappointed by once he figures it out) so I’ll have to drop him off and pick him up 5 days a week at a school across town. Luckily, he’s in the morning program so drop off is at 8am and pick up is at 10:30am (no naptime interference).  It will be a transition for everyone!

*Made tentative plans to take a Friday Field Trip this week.  Assuming one of our buddies are free we’ll be headed to the Butterfly House tomorrow.  I’m excited as I haven’t been there since I was a kiddo and we have had free carousal tickets for a little over a year now!  We’re going to try to make Friday Field Trips a regular thing this summer.  Mommy is excited even if the toddlers have no clue…

*Just to share a joyful moment – as I sit here in the bathroom typing up my post while the little boys bathe…..I just want to ask….is there anything better than little boys giggling in a bathtub and the echoes that bounce off the walls from such delight?  I think not!

Sherry is hosting Small Successes over at CatholicMom nowadays.  Make sure to surf on over and celebrate the successes of other great moms!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Be Grateful

Kelly Dolin wrote a great piece over at Faith and Family Live! this week.  Make sure to check out her article titled Every Child Should Be Heard

Her honesty and humility in the article make it raw, but real.  How we each make judgments every day.  Often without the whole (or any?) story behind a situation.  I know that I’ve been guilty of it on far more than one occasion.  Yet, it’s reassuring to know that some people are looking for the story, looking for the rest of the details, trying to understand a situation.

I’m grateful for he speech that John has acquired to date.  I’m grateful (and thoroughly blessed!) for therapists that have worked with him to get him where he is today.  And I’m grateful that there is a world of opportunity out there for him and a bright (and noisy!) future waiting!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Plans Are Underway

The first weekend of June is going to be a busy one! 

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My little sister is getting married, my in-laws will be in town for the wedding, and we’re wedging Nathan’s second birthday party into the mix.  Why add more hoopla to an already crazy-busy week you may ask?  Frankly, because family will already be in town for the wedding and Matt will be in Austria over Nathan’s actual birthday.

So put your party pants on! 
We’ve got some celebrating to do!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Starting to Prep

As I mentioned in a previous post – our house is clean enough to be safe and dirty enough to be lived in.  I like this philosophy.  I have two little boys and the idea of having a sterile and completely organized home seems completely impossible.  I’m not by nature a huge lover of housework, but I don’t mind an afternoon or two of cleaning and organizing when the rooms start having “round corners” from all the stuff I’ve wedged in them to clear a path through the middle of the space.

So I’m starting to prep….and by prep I mean I’m cleaning because over the next month or so our house will be inundated with visitors.  In the upcoming weeks (months?) we’ll be playing host to a soon to be 21 year old, my in-laws, and a 10 year old.  Not to mention that somewhere in the mix of all that we’ll host a 2 year old birthday party and a number of friends/family visits during a wedding (which happen to be occurring the same weekend).  Oh yeah – factor in there a road trip to Wisconsin and my husband heading to Austria for 10 days.  It’s gonna get busy really quickly!

Successes for the week then? Well, I’ve….

…organized the coat closet in the front entry way.  Nothing exciting, but it’s done.  Coats that don’t fit (or won’t fit by the next appropriate season) have been donated or stored.  The items that were piling up on the floor have been purged and organized.  We might actually be able to put some additional items in the closet now that it’s cleaned out.

…trimmed the hedges.  We have several shrubs that require periodic trimming throughout the warm months.  This is one of my few ‘official’ outdoor chores (Matt does most the lawn care, garage cleaning, planting, etc).  This task fell to me a few months after we moved to this house when Matt inadvertently trimmed the extension cord that was powering the electric hedge trimmer.  (It should probably be noted that as of typing this I’ve got 5 more hedges/bushes to punch out…but that’s down from 13 and I promise to have them done before this posts on Thursday morning)

…after a small pity party (and some tears) on Tuesday following a phone call informing me that John’s speech therapy was being denied by the insurance company, I’ve started the appeals process.  By started I mean I’m gathering the appropriate paperwork before I can officially start the appeals process.  I am mommy…hear me ROAR!

…enjoyed a family dinner out with Matt’s national sales manager.  Yes, I said enjoyed!  The boys were well-behaved, the food was good and plentiful, and the conversation actually flowed easily.  Since I much prefer speaking to large groups (I’ve never really enjoyed or excelled at 1-1 small talk) this experience certainly qualifies as a success.  And the sales manager commented on how beautiful and well-behaved our boys were!  (Proud mommy moment!)

…spent a lot more time playing with the boys despite my desire to clean the house from top to bottom.  Nathan is loving to do art projects right now and John’s imagination is taking off, so it’s been a lot of fun around here recently.  I’m trying to remember to embrace those moments. We’ll get the house cleaned before company arrives….but these little daily moments will disappear long before the first person knocks on our door.

“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow…for babies grow up…I’ve learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs… dust go to sleep I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.” – Author unknown

…been diligently cleaning out our fridge.  Sounds silly, right?  But we’re not a huge leftovers family.  So we tend to pack up the leftovers after a meal then leave them in the fridge until I can no longer remember when we originally consumed the item and I throw it away.  This is not budget friendly!  Instead, I’ve been trying to repurpose items into other meals and working hard at eating those leftovers out of the fridge.

…utilizing our produce co-op again.  Yay!  I love our produce co-op, but often we don’t consume all the produce before it goes bad.  Again, a waste of money.  I hate that.  Since the fridge has been relatively cleaned out recently I’ve had room for all the produce.  Added bonus is that with the extra space in the fridge I can see all the produce and we’re consuming it in a more timely manner.  You just can beat the taste of fresh fruits and veggies compared to canned and/or frozen. 

Well, I’m feeling like a pretty big success this week!  Lots done, lots still to do…  Bring it on!

Make sure to swing over to Chocolate for Your Brain and encourage other moms on their journey to success!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Routine and Bucket Lists

I function best with routine.  It makes me feel in control, orderly, organized.  My little boys function best with routine.  (Their new bedtime routine is working swimmingly.) Even-my husband works best when plans are well-laid.  Basically, what I’m saying here is – we’re a bunch of Type A personalities here in the Garcia house.

However, I’m trying to teach myself to allow our routine to fall by the side occasionally.  Let’s be honest – a missed nap won’t kill anyone and if the house isn’t spotless upon falling into bed the walls won’t tell anyone that I’m a failure as a housewife.  I still crave the structure, but I also know that the unexpected brings my family such joy when it arrives on our doorstep.

Recently many of our mornings have been spent at the local YMCA.  I have been getting in a workout and the boys have been playing in the daycare room.  More importantly though, is that I’ve allowed the kiddos to enjoy time at the climbing wall and the skate rink too. Their eyes light up when they see me load toys in the car for Tot Skate or when I check them out of the daycare with climbing passes in my hand for Tot Climb. 
Yes – these things make John rush a little to eat lunch before getting on the bus for school.  And our little extras always mean that Nathan will fall asleep in the car before we get home to eat lunch, thus resulting in some funky dining consisting of lunch(?) at 2:30 and dinner at 6. But the boys are loving them and I can handle a day or two a week without lunch right at 11 and nap at 11:30. 

All this got me thinking about the upcoming spring and summer.  We always have such big dreams about the activities we’ll do as a family, the places we’ll go, the things we’ll see.  Yet, at the end of each summer I lament that we “didn’t do anything we wanted to do this summer.”  Part of this is because my Type A personality family functions with such routine that we forget to enjoy those warm months.  I mean…Saturday mornings are for running errands and Saturday afternoons are naps and yard work and Sunday morning we go to mass and by the time we have breakfast it’s too close to nap time to go do anything fun and….  Well – you get the drift! 

So we’ve worked on a bucket list for the summer.  Some of the items are simple activities we can do at home and some are day trips that we’ve always wanted to take.

I’m excited to see what this summer brings. It will be great to have a visual way of tracking what we’ve accomplished and what our summer has entailed.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rockin’ My Roles

Every mother wears multiple hats every day.  I know that by noon I’ve often played the role of wife, mother, cook, housekeeper, nurse, mediator, and taxi driver.  And that seems to be a slow day!  So this week I’m going to highlight my successes in the many different hats that I’ve been wearing.

1.  While wearing my Matron of Honor hat, I hosted (with a lot of support and help from my mother!) a very successful “Breakfast with the Bride” this past weekend.  We showered Elizabeth with gifts, enjoyed some delicious food, and had a very pleasant morning.  The hall looked great, the favors and decorations were complete at a reasonable hour on Friday night and everything went off with seemingly no hitches.

2.  My Housekeeper hat has been hanging by the wayside (mostly because of my need to wear the Matron of Honor hat).  So Sunday morning, even though we woke up a little later than normal for mass, I ran downstairs and started a load of laundry.  I also managed to get the kitchen cleaned and the supplies from the shower put away on Sunday.  The beginning of this week has been cleaning other rooms, additional laundry, and organizing closets.  I’m feeling better about the state of my house, but also know that I have people coming over on Friday so I have a long way to go before they arrive at 10AM.

3.  While I haven’t done a whole lot with my Bridesmaid hat on (yes, that’s right – I’m a Matron of Honor in 5 weeks and a Bridesmaid in 5 months), I did manage to get measured for my dress this week.  It’s ordered, so I now I just need to find some shoes for this occasion.  I’m significantly less “frilly and fashion-y” than the remaining bridesmaids, so I’m thinking I may have to buck up and wear heels for this gig.  *sigh*  Maybe I can find something that won’t kill my feet?

4. My Mommy hat never really comes off, but I have tried to be a little more diligent about embracing it in it’s entirety recently.  The last few days I’ve been trying to save computer time for when Nathan is napping and John is at school.  We’ve watched a little less TV and spent a little more time in the playroom and outside (weather permitting).  And I’ve tried to be more proactive about encouraging the toddlers underfoot to be helpers in projects even though I know it will result in said project taking 12x longer and being 100x messier. Case in point: Tuesday morning’s spilled milk all over the kitchen floor (and Nathan) when the boys got to put their own lids on their sippy cups. 

Yay for a super successful week!  As a bonus – I even got to the gym this week.  I’m hanging in there.  How are you doing?  Check out Sherry’s blog, Chocolate for Your Brain, for great musings and a chance to link up your successes too!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hold My Hand, Brother!

Everyone told me that having kids close together allows for the children to be great friends.  Growing up together, possibly playing on the same sports teams, attending the same schools, and so on and so forth.  I truly believe this!  My boys play side-by-side all the time (occasionally playing together).  I enjoy watching them be playmates.

Perhaps the best part of mommy-hood is when those little “melt your heart” moments pop up throughout a given day or week.  Let me share some that are currently popping up on a regular basis in our house.

Hold My Hand, Brother!

When my boys are forced to do something they find unpleasant they yell, “hold my hand, brother!”  For John, these unpleasant moments currently include trimming his toenails and cleaning of wounds.  Nathan, on the other hand, finds dirty diaper changes and chiropractic visits cause for calling for his brother.  Bottom line – what mommy would melt when they hear their little one call out through sobs, “hold my hand, brother!”

I Need Kisses!

When the school bus pulls into the neighborhood four days a week, Nathan shouts to John, “I need kisses!”  And four days a week, John gleefully fulfills his little brother’s request.  With his backpack on, John runs over and plants two or three kisses on Nathan’s cheek or forehead.  Then as John turns to head down the driveway Nathan inevitably requests “more kisses, brother!”  *sigh*  John always turns around a provides one last smothering of love before offering mommy his kisses and hopping on the bus. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Springtime Fun!

We’ll I missed a Happy Easter post so this one will have to suffice….

We had a wonderful and Blessed Easter weekend.  A low key celebration with friends on Saturday led into a great Easter Sunday with family.  The weather was perfect, the yard was in (decent) shape, and the boys were relatively well-behaved considering the amount of sugar that was consumed in 24 hours!

So what successes did we fit in around this fabulous Easter celebration?  Let me tell you….

1.  I made a much needed trip to some stores in order to buy supplies for Lizzy’s wedding shower.  We’ll be doing a “Breakfast with the Bride” in a few weeks and I finally realized that the decorations and favors weren’t going to buy themselves.  Now – do you think the decorations and favor will construct themselves?  If not you can assume that will be a success for next week….

2.  We’ve started the process for securing John private speech therapy for the summer months.  It’s a tedious process of navigating insurance, completing speech evaluations and figuring our schedules.  Not easy, but ultimately worth it.  I’m excited for John.  He’s making loads of progress at school right now and since the ball is rolling we don’t want to slow it down over the summer. 

3.  Our summer seems to be filling up pretty quickly.  It amazes me how fast summer flies by every year, but I’m sure it’s because the weather is great and everyone wants to get out and do something.  So we have several weekends filled already complete with weddings, friends in town, vacations and trips.  Let’s hope we have a few weekends to lounge around the house and enjoy just our small family too!

4.  We’re working at not yelling so much in our house.  We’ve realized that when John was smaller we rarely yelled or used the word “no”.  Instead we tried to redirect and talk in hushed tones unless there was serious danger.  As a result, John knows that “no means no”.  He has only had a few full-blown tantrums in his life.  Nathan on the other hand has not had such diligent parents.  We use “no” regularly, often cave after having said it, and tend to shout our orders instead of redirecting to more appropriate behavior.  Nathan is much better at tantrums and yells WAY more than his older brother.  It’s a work in progress….but work is progress in this case!

Head to Sherry’s blog, Chocolate for Your Brain, and share your successes too!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It’s Baseball Season!

Yay!  I love baseball season!  With it comes warmer weather, an excuse to dine on appetizers and snacks in place of dinner and a reason(?) to drink ice cold beer.  Smile 

For the record – the above mentioned season has nothing to do with my small successes this week.  I’m just excited that I can now spend the majority of my evenings cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals in the upcoming months.

Successes for the week include:

1.  Deep cleaning the van.  That means I threw away all the random trash, took all the miscellaneous toys back in the house, vacuumed the floorboards and mats, and wiped down the consoles.  Seriously – it amazes me how dirty a van can get so quickly!  And I like to think I’m pretty good about doing a weekly quick clean in there….

2.  After thinking about (and partially dreading) sending an email to 40 women for nearly 4 days.  I did it.  I knew that the email would elicit some heated comments and was sure to stoke a few fires.  I wasn’t looking forward to the aftermath so I was avoiding sending the email.  But the time came when it was necessary to bit the bullet and suprisingly, most of the comments were pretty gentle.  I still had a few people who were wound tight, but in less that 24 hours the chaos seemed to subside.  (Unfortunately, I know that the next month will result in some additional chaos – but I’m ready to embrace it.)

3.  We’ve had people over on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  Success here:  the house has been presentable enough to have people over on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Now I’m not saying it’s perfect.  But as my friend says, “It’s clean enough to be safe and dirty enough to be lived in”  That works for me!

4.  When we thought John broke his elbow earlier this week I didn’t entirely lose my cool.  Yes, I was freaked out.  Yes, hubby and I argued over what the appropriate course of action was on several occasions.  Yes, I was stressed out and starting taking my ulcer medicine again.  But, in the end, there was no noticeable fracture.  So John ended up in a sling for 4 days with a diagnosis of soft tissue damage and a sprained elbow.

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Head over to Chocolate for Your Brain to share your successes with the blogger world. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Keep Going and Going and…

Success (noun): a degree or measure of attaining a favorable or desired outcome
Definition adapted from Merriam-Webster.com

1.  On Tuesday we had the whole family up, fed, dressed and loaded in the car by 7:45AM heading to our polling place.  All this resulted in us being home by 8:15AM for Matt to start work on time at 8:30AM!  Yay Us!  And a second Yay Us! for exercising our privilege and civic responsibility.  Smile

2.  I mopped the kitchen floor.  I know, I know.  This probably shouldn’t warrant its own success.  But since I’ve been skipping it the last few weeks (followed by complaining because the kitchen floor needs!to!be!mopped!) I feel like it’s a success.  Granted, it took friends coming over for lunch to motivate me to do it.  Nonetheless – consider it done!

3.  I’ve continued to get into the gym at least periodically over the past few weeks.  I find that warm weather completely eliminates my motivation to work out.  One side says I’m not a runner or biker – so outdoor workouts aren’t really my thing.  On the flip side – who wants to be in the gym when the weather is so B.E.A.UTIFUL?  *sigh*  So getting to the gym when warm temperatures arrive is always a success for me.

4.  We’re working on our budget in an attempt to tuck a little extra money away between now and June.  If we manage to do it successfully (I think we can, I think we can) we’ll be enjoying a childless vacation mid-June.  Smile  And since we all know God works in mysterious ways – it looks like Matt’s company will be paying for his plane ticket!  (Which is really the only thing that makes this trip affordable)  More details once we are more certain things are going to work themselves out…

On the list of goals for next week include mailing shower invitations for my baby sister and trying to finalize the menu for said shower.  I’m a month out – so it’s a priority now!

Sherry from Chocolate for Your Brain hosts this weekly meme so make sure to head over and read about other (often more) successful moms!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Work In Progress

I’m LOVING this weather!  Really?!?! 75-80 degrees the first week of March? Can you really beat that (short of living in the Tropicana).

So our successes are outdoors this week. 

1.  The windows are washed on the front of the house.  Indoors and out.  No more smudgy finger prints, no more nose marks from children staring out the front door.  It’s quite glorious!  The sun is shining in and I love it!

2.  Despite my desperate desire to continue cleaning and purging all corners of my house – I’ve spent the last two days outside with my boys.  We’ve played on our bikes, gone on walks, kicked balls and pushed toy lawn mowers.  Granted, my art supply closet, bedroom closet, kitchen cabinets and van still need cleaning out and organizing, but this weather is too good to pass up.  So, I’ll tackle those places on the next rainy day or during a strategically coordinated two child naptime.

3. For the time being all the gumballs are picked up out of the front yard.  I don’t expect this to last for long and I’m not even willing to tackle the side yard or backyard at this point.  The front yard though? It’s done!  (And seriously – a sweet gum tree could be a deal breaker if we ever buy another house!)

4.  On an indoor note: Hubby and I deep cleaned three rooms this weekend (yay for spring cleaning).  The two bedrooms are swept, dusted, vacuumed, and more.  And the dreaded and overwhelming toy room has been purged, cleaned, swept, vacuumed, organized and dusted.  I don’t expect these to last for long either…but the fact that they’ve been done make me feel better!

Make sure to share your successes over at Chocolate for Your Brain!  We love to see everyone’s successes – no matter how big or how small.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Doin’ It On My Own

This entry’s title is misleading.  I’ve only been ‘on my own’ since Sunday morning.  However, with all honesty, it seems much longer.  Not sure why it seems so long but it does this week.

Being that I feel like there is barely light at the end of the tunnel right now – it is super important for me to take a few minutes to find the successes of the week.  No matter how small they may be.

1.  After over a week out of the gym due to schedule conflicts and sick babies I spent Monday morning at the YMCA.  Surprisingly, my run(?) on the elliptical wasn’t all that bad.  I’m thinking that was God’s way of reminding me that getting derailed from my workout routine does not warrant giving up all together (which tends to be my philosophy).

2. Nathan woke up Wednesday morning with a fever.  (Derailed from the gym again!)  So we spent the vast majority of the day cuddled up on the couch watching movies.  Right before his fever would spike – he would crawl into my lap and say “I love you too mommy.” Which I think really translated into ‘mommy, please make me feel better.’  Poor little boy had practically no voice most the day and looked like he had been hit by a truck. 

3.  On Friday last week I had a great day!  Successes all around!  In the morning my MOMS Club hosted an open house to recruit new members.  I’m VERY  PROUD to say that we had 20+ potential members at the event.  That’s waaaay more than any other year I’ve been a member.  My efforts in advertising paid off! 

4.  Friday PM brought our fourth IEP meeting in four months. (Dear Lord!) The meeting went surprisingly well.  We’re finally getting John 60 minutes of 1-1 speech each week and he’s still going to get 1 hour of group speech therapy as well.  We compromised in that I have to take him to a special speech session once a week on Thursday mornings, but at least he’s getting the services. 

5.  I’ve enjoyed the time praying for my Lenten prayer buddy.  Having the commitment to another person really forces me to find the quiet in my day (or night).  It’s been great for me and hopefully will be fruitful for her as well.  I’m certain she doesn’t think anyone is praying for her at 3:30 AM when I’m laying in bed awake, but I’ve found that it brings a peace to my heart and head that helps me to drift back to sleep.  And since I’m a notorious “once I’m awake, I’m awake” person – this has been a blessing for me too!

Hope everyone had an equally successful week!  Make sure you share your successes over at Chocolate For Your Brain.  We love to watch our group grow!

I leave you with a picture that should melt any mommy’s heart…

John and Nathan on couch

Sometimes when you don’t feel well only your big brother can make it better.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Since Last Thursday

What’s been going on in your house since last Thursday?  Have you had any successes (big or small) that are brag worthy?  I’m sure everyone has – so head over to Sherry’s blog, Chocolate For Your Brain, and share them with the world!

The Garcia household successes include:

1.  Got signed up for a Lenten prayer buddy.  It’s the first year I’ve done this, but I’m really excited to participate in the program.  I believe powerful things can happen with prayer and having a someone extra praying for you can NEVER hurt.  Plus – I’ve found some time to pray for my buddy and read some part of her blog (so I know her story a little better while I pray for her).

2. Survived 24 hours with a 3 year old running 104 fever.  Turns out he has his first round of strep.  *sigh*  But the plus side to this is that our wonderful pediatrician gave me antibiotics for both boys (Nathan has had a snotty nose for over a week anyway) so I know no other kids will get strep.  Although I suppose Mom and Dad are still susceptible. However, Ash Wednesday mass was a wash – so we just took time at the dinner table to talk about the start of Lent, sacrifices, and penances. 

3.  Enjoyed President’s Day with the family doing a store/food tour of STL.  In one morning we hit up World Market (candy and soda), Trader Joes (frozen appetizers, specialty cheese, and vitamins), Whole Foods (whole grains, vitamins, and cheese), Lions choice (lunch), The Container Store (Lenten bean containers with lids so Nathan is less likely to spill them), Mexican Mercado (drinks, fajita meat and chorizo) and REI (cause it’s fun to walk around).

4.  Prepared as much as possible for Lent. Got our Lenten beans set up on the table.  Signed up for Holy Heroes Lenten Adventures – I hope this works out for us this year! Filled our Blockbuster at Home queue with some Easter/Bible stories for the upcoming month.  I also reserved some books at the library on the lives of saints.  I just finished reading My Life with the Saints by James Martin SJ and it really sparked my interest in a couple saints’ biographies….no time like Lent to dive in!

5. Have started my commitment to get the house more organized during Lent. (This is a continuation of my New Year’s Resolution.)  My goal for Lent is to organize one area of the house every.single.day.  Now keep in mind that one area might be a cabinet, drawer, or closet.  It might be a table top or an overflowing laundry basket.  So yesterday’s task was the tupperware cabinet.  I’m tired of items falling out of the cabinet, trying to wedge different size/shape containers into the small space, and not having containers of appropriate size for our needs.  On my trip to the grocery last night – I bought a new load of Gladware.  Then I emptied the shelves of the old, put them in the donate box, and restocked with new, properly sized, and organized containers.  Not all the projects will require such an investment – but the $$$ was well-worth my sanity. Hmm….what should I tackle today?

Yay!  I’m feeling particularly successful this week!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Using Bath Time To Blog

As the boys play and splash happily in the bathtub, I’ve finally sat down for the first time today to log on to the blog.  My intention is always to have Small Successes up first thing in the morning, but this week has been a period of adjustment for me and frankly, I’m still trying to find my groove. 

1.  I got a couple big checks deposited in the checking account….which freed up some cash flow…which allowed me to pay off ALL the bills sitting on the table….IN FULL…even two of our medical bills.  WOW!  That feels good!

2.  On Monday when I was feeling under the weather (not dying or anything, just sinus pressure and congestion) I took a step back and gave myself time to heal.  I canceled a playgroup that was supposed to be at our house, fed the boys a simple breakfast of yogurt and milk, let the boys drag waaaaay too many toys into my bedroom, and then rested in bed while they played on my floor and bed.  The result: by Monday night I was feeling better and by Tuesday morning (aside from a runny nose) I was doing just fine.  I know that if I take the time early on to rest and give my body time to heal itself these things take far less time to recover from…but I’m not always the best at slowing down (until I feel like I’m on my death bed with borderline pneumonia and a cabinet full of antibiotics and steroids). 

3.  I took the boys to McDonald’s (don’t judge) for dinner tonight by myself.  They both sat quietly in the booth and ate their dinners.  Then they played nicely in the play land and were genuinely great little boys for mama.  Another mom even noted that she’d never seen boys sit so quietly, eat their entire dinner, never complaining about wanting to go play, and being so well-behaved (especially in McDonald’s play land).  Yay! 

OK – so #3 probably is more of my boys’ success, but I’m taking credit for stellar parenting skills Winking smile on that one!

What are your successes? Please head over to Sherry’s blog, Chocolate for Your Brain, and share them with the world!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Something New

I’ve never been much of one for change.  My mother enjoys telling the story of the time she rearranged my bedroom while I was at school and I cried from 3:30 when I got home until I collapsed in a heap on my bed.  My father laughs that my first 2 cars looked almost identical despite one being a Geo and one being a Ford.  So this week my successes will mostly focus on embracing change…

1.  I’ve weathered Matthew starting a new job with relatively little drama.  Yes, I’ve been stressed by the process, but for the most part I’ve talked with him about my concerns, reached out to friends for some support, and have kept my worrywart self under control. 

2.  While I’m still working on this one – I’m embracing the fact that on school days John will not be napping.  If I would pick him up from school I think I could get him to nap, but he LOVES riding the bus.  So I defer to his desire for independence and allow him to ride the bus.  Even though it means he falls asleep on the bus for 20-30 on the bus and then doesn’t nap once he gets home.  (Keep in mind when he doesn’t have school he naps for 2.5-3 hours with no problem so 30 minutes is nothing for him)

3.  I feel like every summer we have big hopes and dreams of what all we’ll accomplish.  By the end of the summer I’m tired of spending every weekend discussing the need to cut the grass and run errands.  Yes, those things need to get done, but it’s also important to embrace the fun of summer and good weather!  With that in mind I’m working at creating a summer bucket list with all kinds of activities we can do as a family.  Some are great for a quick afternoon romp outside in the sun and others are day trips that we always talk about taking but never do.  I’m excited!  (I’ll try to post our final list and our actual ‘bucket’ once it’s completed)

What are your successes?  Head over to Sherry’s blog, Chocolate for Your Brain, to share those successes with the world!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Only Thing That Stays The Same

The only thing that stays the same is that change is constant.  I’m always amazed when I stop to look at my boys and see how much they’ve changed in such short periods of time. Each day brings new struggles, new growth, and new opportunities. 

Sometimes these little changes bring such joy to my life. When I suddenly realize that after almost 6 months of hard work John can finally crab walk or when Nathan figures out that he can call “mommy” from his crib rather than cry.  Such joyous occasions!  And my heart leapt when John’s teacher emailed me to tell me that John identified 24/26 capital letters at the ripe age of 39 months old. 

I’m watching my boys grow leaps and bounds right now.  And frankly, there is no denying that at the current moment they are growing wider (kids seem to grow tall then wide the tall again and wide again).  John and Nathan seem to have round chubby faces right now and little milk bellies hanging over their waistbands.  And talking about growth – Nathan officially transitioned to a toddler bed this week.  No more crib rail protecting him from falling on the floor (which he did twice the first night).

But sometimes these changes bring with them new struggles.  Struggles that are little and struggles that are big.  Finding pants that will fit over Nathan’s chunky thighs, but also don’t hang 3 inches past his heels is a challenge right now.  Encouraging the boys to play together while not pushing, shoving, hitting, or stealing toys from each other is a definite struggle at the moment.  For that matter, convincing each boy to sleep in their respective beds is difficult (Nathan wants to sleep in John’s bed and John in Nathan’s – until about 2:30 in the morning when someone wakes up and insists on evicting their brother from “his” bed).

Nonetheless, the challenges are good.  I continue to grow as a mother and person through these little tribulations.  Certainly it’s clear that God has a plan for us even when we’re unsure of the course that is charted.  Opportunities for Grace abound.  Although I’m not always great at seeing these opportunities as they present themselves, I can reflect at the end of the day knowing that they were there (and at least on occasion, I embraced that opportunity)..

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wahoo!

I’m loving the fact that this year’s reusable to-do list actually reminds me to blog on certain days of the week.  While I don’t always get to it. It has increased my frequency on the blog and has helped remind me to document the little things in life.  Now – to celebrate those successes!

1.  Again, in an effort to remember how important it is to take care of myself (so that I can better serve others) – I went to the doctor this week to resolve a minor issue that has been bugging me for months.  Good news is that all is well.  Bad news is that the resolution has kept me out of the gym the last two days.  Have no fear.  Later this morning I’m off to get in a workout.  Smile

2.  With B.E.A.UTIFUL weather this week, I’ve enjoyed letting the boys burn some energy outside.  Most days they have to enjoy the outdoors at different times (naps and school funk up their together time) but the fresh air is good even if it is breathed in without your brother next to you.  And to add to this success…I’ve gotten most of the sweet gumballs picked up out of the yard. (Seriously, in the event of a nuclear attack the only two things that will survive will be cockroaches and sweet gumballs…)

3.  Meal planning has been going well.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still had to scramble a few nights because I didn’t start dinner early enough. Nonetheless, having a battle plan works for me and encourages me to try new recipes instead of my immediate “go-to’s” when dinner rolls around.  And just for the record – hubby did have to make a run to the grocery store on Tuesday, but not for dinner supplies.  We needed to switch Nathan to soy milk this week because his gut is a little questionable right now and his tummy wasn’t handling regular milk.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Figuring It Out

Let’s just focus on this week’s successes….

1.  I’ve been to the gym 3 times in the last 3 days.  I’m sore in all kinds of places.  To me that means I’m either doing something right or doing something very wrong.  I’m thinking it’s the first.  So I’m going to keep on plugging away at it.  It helps that I found another mom who is super dedicated to the gym and doesn’t mind serving as my encouragement (or at least flat out calling me on it) when I whine with a new excuse on why I can’t do something.

2.  I took the time and headed to the doctor on Wednesday morning, even though by the time I got there I had self-diagnosed and self-medicated myself.  Good (?) news is that my self-diagnosis was correct and now I have a stronger medicine that will really help.  Turns out that I have an ulcer most likely stress related.  (Side note: I’m hopeful the time in the gym will help with this as well.)

3.  Why when we have so much food in our house do I feel the need to go to the store? I’m on a mission to cook from the pantry and freezer stockpiles for a few weeks to help lower our food bills. So I’ve been planning out meals and digging through the back of the cabinets to use up our surplus.  With the freezer stocked from last week’s trip to the store, I’ve made it all week without a run to the grocery store.

Make sure you support other small successes by heading over to Chocolate for Your Brain!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Teaching My Children

I’m awe inspired by those that homeschool.  How do they do it?!?!  How do they find time?  How do they find the balance between “mom” and “teacher”?  Is their house even remotely clean?  Really – all homeschooling mothers are SUPERMOMS!

That being said – I know I teach my children things every day.  We spend countless hours counting blocks we are stacking, finding different colored crayons during an art project, and identifying letters in signs we drive past.  Maybe not your definition of homeschooling – but mine. 

And more important than that – I know that I’m teaching my children other things that will serve them later in life.  Although it still requires constant reminders, my boys say please and thank you regularly.  We say hello to people we meet and say goodbye when we leave our friends.  My children pick up their toys before going to bed (we should probably work on doing that more often throughout the day) and they clear the table after they finish eating (without being told!).  At the ripe age of 2, John could say “Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Amen” – very impressive for a little boy with apraxia.  And now at 18 months, Nathan is half way there with “Father, Ho-weeeee Spirit, Amen!”.  I’m trying to teach them manner, teach them home management, and teach them about our faith.  These are not little things.  These are monumental.  These things take time.  They take reinforcement.  They take more consistency that I can muster most days!  But I keep plugging away.  We’ll get there some day! 

Here’s a great example of my attempt to encourage these things:

A few weeks ago as we were departing McDonald’s after an evening of burning energy in the playland, I spotted a uniformed airman.  (This is not totally uncommon in our area as we live close to an Air Force base.)  As we walked by, I squatted down and encouraged my boys to tell the man “Thank You for serving.”  The airman then got down off his stool, knelt down next to the boys and exchanged niceties (although it should probably be noted that I’m not 100% sure either of my boys mustered even so much as a “thanks”).  As we meandered off, I mouth “thank you” one last time.  Then, to my surprise, as Matt and I were buckling the boys into car seats, the airman came jogging over to the car!  He handed each of my boys a real USAF patch from his posting with the DCS.  Talk about little boys’ dreams being brought to reality!  But the disappointing thing in all this – as he handed the boys the patch he confessed, “No one ever stops to thank me.  That meant a lot!” 

I’m not a homeschooler.  I truly don’t believe I’m meant to be a homeschooler.  But I know that I teach my children.  That night I taught my children the value of saying thank you.  Hopefully that airman went home that night knowing that his service does not go unnoticed and my boys know that it’s important to recognize peoples’ work (added bonus that they got a present for doing so!). 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day By Day

It’s time to celebrate our small successes once again!  I love this meme.  What a great reminder that it’s the little things that add up to one big triumph when you spend the majority of your day with little ones who are (for the most part) non-conversational….

So what all did I accomplish this week?  Well – let’s see!

1.  Last night I hosted 11 wonderful, fun, entertaining, hysterical women at my house for Bunco.  This is our 4th month playing as a group and I think we’re all loving it. In my opinion it’s a good way to spend $5 (our ante for the pot) as these women help me keep my sanity.  Some are stay-at-home moms, some work part time, others work full time.  Their families range in size from 6 kids to 1 child.  There are set a set of twins, children with special needs, husbands who travel extensively, and husbands who work from home.  It’s a good mix – and the 2 hours a month spent with these women is simply wonderful for my state of mind!

2.  Went to the grocery store this week and re-stocked the freezer with meats.  One of our local grocery stores has a wonderful sale a few times a year where they sell most of their meats for $5 a package.  I always try to make it to the store the sale, but often I go on the last day when most of the meat has been picked over.  This week I went on the second day of the sale – and got some great deals.  I bought some whole chickens, pork chops, chicken thighs, and more.  Total savings of over $40!

3.  I wrote an email to my child’s school PT when we got a report saying he didn’t meet any of his benchmarks.  Her response came back within an hour.  It was aggressive, dismissive, and, frankly, pretty rude.  I was mad.  I was heated.  I immediately wrote a response – then I closed my email and didn’t send it.  For many years BC (Before Children) I would remind the students that I worked with that “the first thing you think, isn’t necessarily the first thing you should say.”  I took my own sage advice, waited for the long weekend to pass and yesterday I wrote a direct and pointed response, but one that wasn’t born out of anger.  Now the ball is back in her court…

 

Check out other successes over at Chocolate For Your Brain!  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baby Steps Get You There Too

This week I’m going to celebrate the little things – and by little, I mean little.  We’ve all go to start somewhere, right?

1.  John slammed Nathan’s finger in a door.  Nathan removed said finger prior to the door being opened.  Result: Nathan “skinned” his finger from the first knuckle to the tip – completely!  (Although he did manage to keep his fingernail somehow?)  My success here is that a) I didn’t maim John for slamming the door on his brother despite my numerous reminders to quit playing with the doors and b) after I called my husband hysterically crying about the condition of Nathan’s finger, I did manage to get Nathan cleaned up and bandaged up in such a way to contain the blood and keep the germs out.

(Please remember – I said these were the little things. Yes, I do realize that I typed “after I called my husband hysterically crying”.  I’m hopeful that in the event of a real crisis I’ll have better clarity of mind.)

2.  I got quite a few errands and a good deal of cleaning done on Tuesday. I felt quite good about it.  Wednesday got derailed by 8:30am with the above mentioned finger incident – so I decided to take a (2 hour) nap while John was at preschool and Nathan was napping.  Nothing on my Wednesday to-do list really got done.  I handle stress by sleeping – what can I say?  Success here: I embraced the fact that nothing was getting done and took care of my mental health first.

3.  I’ve realized that I’m at my wits end with the boys this week.  Little things are bugging me.  I’m finding myself ready to explode.  Therefore, today I’m planning on calling the spa and cashing in that gift card that my hubby got me for my 30th birthday back in August.  Hopefully they can fit me in for a day of pampering this weekend. I know I’ll be a better mama if I get some time just for myself to unwind, relax, pray and be in peace and quiet.

Head over to Sherry’s blog, Chocolate for Your Brain, to check out other successes by other wonderful women!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back at Small Successes

Time to jump back on the bandwagon with Small Successes.  I really do enjoy participating in this meme as it gives me a chance to reflect on my accomplishments (even when they seem minute) each week. Begs the question of why I miss posting the meme so often???

Kicking off 2012 Small Successes….

1.  I got a sewing machine for Christmas!  Yay!  However, those family members living close by are not sewing-inclined.  So I’m learning on my own.  So far I’ve threaded my machine, wound a few bobbins, stitched more bright pink lines into one of Matt’s t-shirts than I’d like to admit, reattached a decal to Nathan’s shirt and repaired the toy stroller seat when John broke it.  I’m calling this a BIG success.

2. I’ve created a bedtime routine chart for each boy.  We’re only on day 4 of using it, but so far it’s going well.  I like that it gives the boys directions (both visually and with words) for what comes next.  And as a result – Mom and Dad have missed steps less often (meaning that we’re not stuck cleaning up after the kiddos are tucked in bed or suddenly running into the bedroom to give medicines before someone falls asleep).Boys Bedtime Routine

3.  I’m working at purging the *stuff* from our house.  Christmas brought in plenty of new, exciting things and several “upgrades” so I’ve been diligently throwing away, putting in donate piles and recycling. 

Bonus #4.  I’ve come to terms with re-gifting and returning items.  We got a couple duplicates this Christmas that we’re returning to stores and a few items that I’ve stashed away to be used as birthday gifts for friends’ kiddos or upcoming gift-required occasions.  It’s a slow process for the returns (since from 10:30-5 everyday at least one person 3 or younger is napping) and right now I have a Tupperware container in my dining room filled with things that still need to make it back to different stores – but I’m trudging along in the process and we’re getting things we actually NEED in exchange.

Make sure to head over to Chocolate for Your Brain to check out more Small Success by wonderful women!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Not a Baby Any More

Nathan has been growing like a weed.  He’s now wearing 2T shirts and 18-24 month pants.  At his 18 month well-child appointment Dr. Herman assured me that he was “proportionately large” so “there’s nothing to worry about.”  Not that I was worried – he’s been my BIG boy since birth.  He’s now in the 98th percentile for height and the 92nd percentile for weight.  Wowzers!  And I can’t even estimate the number of people who ask me if the boys are twins…  I’d really like to take pictures of their faces when I explain that they are 20 months apart.  It’s funny – when Nathan was first born everyone had a “wow – kids 20 months apart – that’s so close” look on their face when I told them.  Now when I tell people I get the “20 months apart? – I would have sworn they were twins” look.  He he he…how things change!

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While Nathan has almost caught up with his brother in size and stature although his coordination is still lacking.  (Maybe because there is so much of him to move around for only being 18 months old?)  He spends the vast majority of his day tripping over his feet and face planting.  That means we’ve got lots of pictures with various cuts and scrapes on his face.  This includes New Years Eve photos where just 24 hours prior he fell out of the door to the garage resulting in a huge bump on his head, tripped on a sweet gum ball in the yard - landing face first on another sweet gum ball  that several bloody indentions in the already swollen bump, and then fell over his own feet in the driveway giving himself road rash down the side of his face.  For the record – my husband has since repaired the latch on the door so that pushing on it won’t make it pop open, cleaned up all the gum balls (although more have fallen), and following the road rash episode – relegated Nathan to “driving” the car so that he couldn’t fall over anything else since he refused to stay inside.

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Our youngest is also trying to prove that he does not have a speech delay.  He’s constantly talking (although not necessarily intelligible) and his most recent favorite words are “NO!” and “Mc-Non-nos” (McDonalds).  He now calls for mommy from his crib in the morning and after naps instead of crying.  It would be impossible to list all the words he uses on a regular basis, but suffice it to say Nathan is my chatty one.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year, A New Start

Blogging has taken a back seat to the day-to-day life in our house over the past few months.  The first half of 2011 I was diligently blogging every week.  Then as the summer months hit things just on the blogosphere just seemed to fall by the wayside. 

One would think that with John starting school four days a week, I’d find a little more time in my days.  Instead I found myself strategically coordinating naptimes, serving lunch 3 times a day (once for John before the bus arrives at 11:30, one for me at about 12:30 when my belly button starting eating my spine, and one for Nathan at 2:15 when he finally woke up from his nap!), and trying to not be late picking John up from school. 

On top of that I’ve spent a great deal of time fighting with the school district over the amount of speech therapy John receives, making arrangements for John’s neurodevelopmental evaluation, coordinating John’s PE tube placement and adenoidectomy, and dealing with Nathan who can’t quite seem to stay healthy this fall/winter.

However, we seem to be more in a groove now with the schedule.  John’s surgery is complete, his neurodevelopmental evaluation is finished, and we’ve temporarily settled our differences with the school district.  (I say temporarily because once we get the final neurodevelopmental report from the pediatrician we’ll need to approach the school district once again.)  And because Mr. Independent loves the school bus soooo much, he’ll be riding both to and from school starting tomorrow.

Nonetheless, the intention of this blog is to keep our family and friend abreast of the occurrences in our lives.  Milestones and photos, ups and down, successes and failures…..it’s all supposed to be here and it’s been missing for the last few months. 

That being said, be on the lookout for updates and posts to arrive more frequently in 2012.  I’m committed to getting back in the blogging game!