"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, 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.