"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, 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! 

Slide1

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.