Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Little R&R

Here's a followup on my brother in law's surprise homecoming. He's home from Iraq for just a couple weeks and then heads back :( Hopefully for not much longer as he is very missed by so many people around here. His brother, Bobby of Cold Steel Photography, has allowed me to share this video and pictures from the homecoming. The video is short but I think you'll get the idea of how excited Anaka was to see him. Luckily 2 and 5 year olds don't understand airport security and were thinking they were just there to waste time before a meeting. Their grandmother thought it would be fun to wave flags at those arriving and of course they just went with it.

And just a little note to Anthony:
I just want to say that we are all very proud of you Anthony and the sacrifices you are making for our country. We can see how hard it is for my sister on a daily basis so it's easy to forget how much you must miss them and how challenging things are for you and your unit. We are so glad you are getting this time, even if it's just temporary and we look forward to your permanent homecoming whenever that may be. Until then, God Bless you and know that we are praying for your safe return! Many thanks to Bobby for allowing me to share the video and pictures!

Monday, March 28, 2011

In Honor of My Brother in Law

My Brother in Law is coming home today for a short R&R. He's been deployed now for about 8 months and still has a few months left (hopefully, just a few). He called my sister this morning to let her know to pick him up at the airport. How she has made it through a day of teaching, I will never know, but she's leaving soon to meet him. However, there's just a little twist--she's not telling her children what they are doing. Anaka is 5 1/2 and Antonio is 2 1/2 so this will be something so wonderful for them and I am so excited for all of them, I can barely stand it! So in honor of all the tears of joy that will be shed, here's a video to watch. Yes, you will cry. I dare you to watch it and NOT get at least a little teary! Hopefully, I will be able to post a video of my niece and nephew soon (if someone can actually stay still to take one)!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A 2 Year old's Fashion

We never went through this with Troy. He could have cared less and just wore what was laid out for him. He is now a tad pickier since he only wants to wear jeans, but that's as challenging as it gets. Will is complete opposite. He wants full say in what he puts on for the day, including shoes and jacket and which jammers he gets at night. I let him have a lot of say, but will veto if it's not good for the weather or if it's just absolute ridiculousness by my standards--which may not be saying a lot. Here's todays pick:
Do you like the boots with the red pants and that lovely rain coat? (By the way, not raining at ALL)
I had to pick the shirt--I just couldn't let him do his brown striped one with the red pants :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

An Update on My Weightloss Journey

I started this journey back in the end of September and I must admit, I really had very little faith in myself. I had tried many times to lose weight and be healthier and I always gave up. Well, I must admit that I have kept up with it. Not that it has been easy and not that I haven't wanted to just say Screw It! and go back to old habits, but I have stuck with it. I am at a major standstill with weight loss right now--I have been stuck at 134 for over a month. Yes, I will have a day that it's down to 132 and even saw a 131 once, but it's consistently hovering at 134. I was getting very frustrated and was going to complain to the JM Weight Loss Board, but I realized that if someone else complained, I would simply tell them to mix up their workout a bit and keep on trucking so that's what I am going to do. I am a few weeks out from finishing my Biggest Loser Wii programs and I am going to mix up my workouts and do some Billy Blanks Cardio Inferno, 30 Day Shred, Zumba and Golds' Gym Dance Coach just to keep my body on it's toes ;)
As frustrated as I am, I do have major successes to share! 1) I am now wearing a size 8! Yep, no more double digits for me! 2) I have lost 3 in. in my hips, 3 in. in my waist and 2 in. in my chest! and 3) I ran an 8K a week ago and averaged a 9:17 mile when I had been running at a 10 min mile pace. I am very pleased, but as awesome as that is, there is one thing that has happened this weekend that made this all worth it. Jay used to hide food/drinks from me. It always infuriated me that he did this mainly because he had no faith in me, but also because he was right for doing it. If I had known where his stash of Coke (the drink, not the drug lol) was, they would have been gone in no time. If I had known where that tube of icing was, I would have eaten that--yes, plain old icing would have been history. It was humiliating! Well, this weekend, Jay brought his stash of Coke and just put it right there in the refrigerator for me to see because he has faith that I will have the willpower to resist it and you know what, I will! It's so embarrassing for me to admit that he even had to do this, but it makes me prouder than anything that my husband has faith in my willpower!

All About Will

I have noticed that many of my blogs center around Troy and I was trying to figure out why. Well, I know that it's mainly due to the fact that Troy's just older and has done more with saying funny things, being in school and such and he's simply able to do more--period. But another reason is that a lot of what Will does just isn't something that's easy to write about. Yes, it's hysterical or cute, but it's more of how he does something so you truly have to see it to really appreciate it. Jay gets the biggest kick out of playing with Will because he can be so much fun, and he says the most hysterical things, but if I were to just write about it, it wouldn't be as interesting, but if you could see him as he says it or hear how he says it, you would crack up laughing at him. He's just at that age. He's full of himself these days and is really into that copying phase which can be a lot of fun or really challenging depending on what he's copying.....Like for instance, I am finding that boys are just gross. They make weird noises just to make them and in interesting places--the middle of the store, library, church, or when company is around. So as cute as it is to hear Will copy something Troy, Jay or I say, it's not so cute to hear him fake burp or pretend to pee while saying PSSSSSSSSS. And of course, Troy just eggs him on while this is going on.
The one thing that everyone says about Will though is that he sure does love attention--any kind of attention. So, if you laugh at him, he will keep doing it over and over. Example? In church a few weeks ago, the Pastor said "Good Morning" and everyone said it back, except Will said it about 2 sec. later so everyone laughed. He then went on to say it over and over and over and over.....until we finally had to just walk him out of the church for a minute. He definitely thrives on being the center of attention, which from a mom who prefers to stay on the sidelines, is certainly difficult to handle. Basically, right now, the thing we most often say to Will is "Good thing you are soooooo cute...."

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Sweet Sweet Boy

Sometimes I hesitate to brag. Other times, I just can't help myself. Today is the latter! I have actually thought about writing about this for a bit, but I just haven't. Mainly because I don't want to me THAT mom constantly bragging about her children. But honestly, what's wrong with it? It's good to be proud of your children and share that with the world, so whoever doesn't want to "hear" it, then just stop reading ;)
Anyway, I just am amazed daily at how sweet and kind Troy is. I can only hope that this continues. I am told almost daily what a wonderful, sweet boy he is and I often hear what a wonderful big brother he is and it's all true. Yes, I have moments where I get angry and frustrated with him, but they are truly far and few between. As many issues as we have had with shyness, there is one area that this has never been a problem and that is with babies. He has ALWAYS loved babies and they have always loved him. I can't think of a baby that we have been around that hasn't enjoyed being around Troy and it's just the sweetest thing to watch. He's so kind and gentle and patient. It's hard to believe that he's only 5 years old! As to being the best big brother? Here's an example. Today we were at a moonbounce place that had a candy machine (you know, the claw ones) and he won a few pieces of candy, including a big Tootsie Roll (his absolute favorite thing). I told him he had to share so he broke it in half and gave Will the bigger piece! Without being told. Sometimes he acts more like a parent to Will and that drives me batty, but for the most part, he is very conscious of Will and including him in everything he does. He helps him open things, gets things out of Will's reach, gets him ice when he's upset....all without being told. It's just amazing and I am so very proud of what a wonderful child he is ♥♥ Okay, brag over!
Troy and my nephew
Driving Will around

Loving on Will
He was ALWAYS asking to hold him♥
He loves pushing Will in the swing
With our newest cousin!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Show and Tell!

Troy and Will found their new favorite thing. We won't be getting one anytime soon, but it sure made visiting the cousins a lot of fun! I was a nervous wreck with Will because he didn't pay attention to the boundaries, but luckily, his cousins were awesome about keeping an eye on him!
It took him a bit but he finally got comfortable actually bouncing on it
I think he was on this thing for like 3 hours!
He finally had to take a break :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Best Invention. EVER

If someone were to ask you what the best invention of all time, I am sure there are many things that would pop into your head. Television sure is up there for most of us and I can guarantee the computer/internet would be tops on many people's list. And of course, most can't live without that treasured cell phone (Crackberry as we like to call it around here). And what about the microwave. How convenient is that?!?! I live in a very small town and can't imagine life with my van, but of course with gas prices the way they are, I think maybe we'll all go back to horse and buggy days soon. However, as wonderful as all of these are, there is one thing that tops my list. If you are not a mother, you probably could care less, but anyone with young children, you have to admit that I am right.
What is it, you ask? Washable paints. Yep, that's right. The. Best. Invention. Ever.
Why you ask? Let the pictures speak for themselves:

Friday, March 4, 2011

We were "THAT" family tonight....

We go out to dinner every Friday night to a local Mexican place. It's a favorite time for all of us--our family, Mom and my sister and her kids. We enjoy it and luckily, the staff knows us well. Tonight, we invited my Great Aunt, cousins, uncle and aunt to join us. I am not so sure that we will be welcome back after tonight though. My boys were WOUND UP and by wound up, I mean, super loud and insanely crazy. In their defense, they were getting all sorts of attention and goading from the family, but it was nuts. I swear that every table in the place was giving us the evil eye and I know that they were thinking I have no control over the boys. Why do I know this? Because it's exactly what I was thinking. My cousin tried to convince me that no one cared and that it was just me that was appalled, but I am not so sure I believe her. It was nice to see everyone, but I am thinking that next time......we may invite them to the house instead! So I guess my question is, if you go to a family restaurant and a family gets a little (okay, A LOT) loud, does it bother you or do you just enjoy the "enthusiasm" (my cousin's very polite word for my boys) of the children?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Vacation Lessons

I think I learn something new every time we take our boys on a trip. Some good things, some not so good, but I have to say, this past weekend was probably the best I could have asked for. Sure we had a major dilemma when I couldn't get the DVD player to work and it caused an almost panic, but we made it through by actually......wait for it........looking at books, talking, singing, coloring....GASP. It's amazing, isn't it! We made it 4 1/2 hours with no movies, with NO crying. Nope Jay and I handled it just fine ;) Seriously though, I couldn't have been prouder of my boys. They really traveled well and were so well behaved, even at meal time DOUBLE GASP! I have to admit, that's what I was most nervous about because let's just say that meal time has been a wee bit of a challenge here lately. Yes, Will was his typically messy self, but I can handle that over the throwing food, banging utensils.....
So what did I learn?
1) Troy needs very little sleep. Period. Sleep has been a common topic for me and I have been stressing about it forEVER. However, I realized just how little Troy needs to function. We didn't get him in bed until midnight Friday and he was up at 5:45AM. Yes, you read that right. We tried to get him back to sleep, but nope. And no, no nap, no falling asleep in the car, no bad moods, no grumpiness...nothing. We all went to bed the next night by 9:00 and he slept until 7, but the next day, another short short night. That was my fault though. "Let's wake him up to pee so he'll sleep later" HAHAHAHAHAHA good one. It worked the night before, but Monday, he was up at 3:30AM and never went back to sleep. See, lesson learned.
2) I have the absolute best family in the world. My cousins we stayed with and visited are the nicest people and the most comfortable to be around. We see them rarely, but yet, when we visit, it's like we talk all the time. My boys were even comfortable in seconds (which is rare). And Jay's family is just the same. We saw his sister and nieces and the boys just made themselves at home (again, a rarity). Now, if only they were all closer.....
3) My boys are a lot more flexible then I give them credit for. Not that I have a strict schedule I follow, but we are on a schedule of sorts. When you go on vacation, that goes right out the window and it used to cause me so much stress. This time, we just went with it and everyone survived and had a blast. No meltdowns when naptime approached and went by while the boys were still playing. Yep, they just went with it and fell right back into routine today. Nice.
4) I am seriously addicted to my morning coffee.
5) I have become seriously addicted to exercise. I needed the break from my routine, but I was so jealous of all the people I saw running and taking walks. Let's just say, I was back up at 5:45 this AM ready for Bob and Jillian to kick my tail
6) You can eat healthier at fast food restaurants (not that I chose to everytime, but there are decent options)
7) Back to the kids for a second. I should've learned my lesson on our last trip in November, but I didn't. When Mom picks up a book or something to do in the car, the boys always want or need something. When Mom is driving and Dad is in the passenger seat, they need nothing. Why is that (see Why Do They Do This :) )
8) Lastly, I always need a vacation after my vacation. I am exhausted.