"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."

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!