Monday, January 30, 2012

Adding to the Family

This weekend, we made the decision to add to our family. Two children just aren't enough for us so after much thought and me being very patient (as I was ready weeks ago), we chose to adopt. She's a beautiful 10 month old girl and we are all in love with her. She's very sweet and gentle, but has a little separation anxiety. I think as she gets used to our house to our house and our routines, that will ease up. I really think that she's the perfect fit with our family and will be a great little companion for all of us and particularly the boys.

Meet Sabre :)

I know growing up, having a dog was so perfect for me. I loved having a dog to play with, take for walks, sit with and just to have close by. For me, I wanted the boys to have this as well. After Buffy was hit in September, it was obvious that something was missing from our family. Even though she wasn't playful with the boys and kept to herself, it just wasn't the same. I have missed her terribly and I know the boys have as well. I was ready back in the Fall to adopt, but Jay reminded me that around the holidays was not the best time so I agreed to wait. I have been keeping tabs on the local animal shelter's website to see if there were any dogs that would be good for us and finally went out Friday to look. The first dog I chose to see was very sweet but I found out she was not good with other dogs. I was upset because we go to my sister's and she has 2 dogs so that would have never worked. I was so thankful they were honest with me about that. Then I asked to see a lab/pit bull mix and let's just say, she chose me ♥ She immediately ran over and sat down and put her head in my lap. She was so affectionate and gentle and just so sweet. Jay agreed to go the next day and see if she met his approval and also how she was around the boys. As you can imagine, she was amazing. Troy was a little afraid at first because she immediately ran over to say hello, but he warmed up quickly. Will loved her immediately so we did the paperwork, they gave her a bath and home she came. Troy said later, "Mommy, I love her already" and later I gave Will a kiss and told him I loved him. His reply? "Mommy, I love the dog" so I think this was the perfect time with the perfect dog ♥

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Can I Get a Do Over?

This AM started simply enough. Up at 5:45, got in a great circuit training workout, went to shower to find a certain child in my bathroom. Had to wait patiently to be able to move on with my AM routine. Finally get through a shower and off to make breakfast and the phone rings. Nothing major, but my sister is sick and taking off work so I no longer have to get my nephew to and from preschool. You would think that would make my life easier, yet, for some reason I was so thrown off by it. Since we didn't have to rush, I let the boys play longer before leaving for school only to have Will and Troy both resist going at all. Odd,since last night Troy was moaning and groaning saying he wanted to live at school and didn't want to be home.....and then today, he doesn't want to leave home and hates getting ready for school?? Weird, but whatever. I can be a *tad* moody too (just a tad, really). Will decides he would rather stay at home and play guitar so after much pushing, I get them in the car. Finally get Troy to school and use my "free" time to go to Walmart for some groceries and stuff. Drive the 20 minutes there listening to Will moan about how boring Walmart is and how he doesn't want to go and is going to be bad (this after he says he is not going to talk to me anymore???). I get out and realize, in all the chaos of the AM, guess what I don't have? Yep, dealing with the boy's resistance, I left my purse at home. I guess it could have been worse because one time in a sleepy state, I finished shopping and went through the entire line and realized my wallet wasn't in my purse. Gotta look on the positive side, right? So now Will is moaning because he actually DID want to go to Walmart (he's a tad moody too).We head back home and just decide that we'll hang there for a bit and go back later. Fine with me--one of the benefits of staying at home---flexibility! Now, before we left for school, I figured I would get started on the laundry and put the boys clothes in the washer. I go to change them to the dryer and found that Will was soooooo helpful and put his nighttime pull up in the laundry basket instead of the trash can. Have YOU ever washed a diaper--and not a cloth one? This happened once before and it's a MESS. Note to self: don't just dump the clothes in, do it piece by piece. Now Will is groaning because I promised him a snack and I won't stop the clean up to get him one. But again, let's look on the positive side: Will was trying to help and we did used to wash his cloth diapers so it has to be confusing for a 3 year old. So now, I have given up and letting things go to hang out with Will and watch some classic Scooby Doo. It's the cure for what ails ya! Laundry, cleaning the kitchen and Walmart will just have to wait!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's Official. I am Cheap

Before I met Jay, I was pretty much a spend thrift. If I wanted it, I bought it. If I wanted to give it to someone, I bought it. I really didn't think much about the future (shame on me, I know) and didn't save. If I paid my bills and had money left over, I spent it. Looking back at it, I am so ashamed at my ignorance. Luckily, Jay was very good with money and showed me the error in my ways. Unfortunately, it was too late to create a good savings account, but I became so much better about saving and watching where I was spending my money. Once I became a stay at home mom, an even larger overhaul of my spending habits took place and we have made lots of sacrifices. I still have issues and Jay can get very frustrated with me. Mainly because I tend to want to go out to eat a lot. I mean, I am home and cooking and cleaning for every meal so if a girl wants to take the easy route......Okay, so I am making excuses, but I have gotten better. Still have a long way to go to make Jay happy, but baby steps....
Because of my overhaul of my spending habits, I have noticed that I have become very "cheap". I have found myself going to Target, Walmart, or even the Dollar General and balking at prices and that's about as inexpensive as you can get (minus yard sales, and such). Today, I found myself moaning and groaning at toy companies and realized I have reached a new level of cheap. The boys received gift cards and cash as Christmas/Birthday gifts and were able to spend it before our trip last week. Will chose to buy the VTech Innotab. Troy wanted one for himself as they spent much time fighting over it, but every store was sold out. Mom found a Leap Pad at Walmart and figured it would be perfect. So here's what is happening. The VTech was $80 and the Leap Pad, $100. Although each has games/apps you can download, it's minimal sooooooooo you have to buy an App Card or pay to download games, buy cartridges and such to give them more options. Let's see, with the $20 App card for the Leap Pad, I was able to get Troy 3 things--2 stories and a really boring music game (that he isn't really into). The other games for it are $24.99. Each. Really?? Will had one more gift card to use today and it didn't even cover the a game for the Innotab because those too were $24.99. Each. Really? So we pay a fortune for the games, then the batteries have already been changed. Twice. In one week. And yes, they were the special batteries for electronics--lasted 2 days. So now you have the cost of batteries (and even if you use rechargeables--still expensive as all can be to have 4 sets so one set is always charged up....), you have to buy games or apps tacked on to an already expensive toy. Personally, I am ready to throw the toys out the window because we are going to go broke with just these 2 toys and we have 100 others that need batteries. However, then I would cringe at the amount of money we already wasted. They may go missing next time the batteries die though (which will be today, I am sure) and someone else can pay for those things. I was cursing the electronics companies (and understanding why people buy their young children IPads or Ipod Touches since you can at least get FREE apps that are actually FUN!) all morning. So I am admitting it, I am cheap. I think from here on out I am buying crayons (store brand ones), paper, maybe a coloring book and that's it. They can draw or go outside and run around. So what did Will get with his $20? Two Scooby Doo movies and a fun CD AND had money left over. I started to wonder if it was the same feeling Mom and Dad got with that Atari we had as kids. Whoa!!! Did I just date myself or what?
But anyway, I have decided that I cannot afford to be a parent--between the cost of technology, favor bags for parties, treats for classes, and the amount of food my children eat, I am either going to have to work nights or they are going to get jobs at a very early age. Is 8 too young? Kidding--don't sick Child Labor people on me

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why I Do What I Do

I have taken on a lot of volunteer work lately. So much that my husband says that I am a "Professional Volunteer" and he's probably right. I get a lot of slack for my meetings, phone calls, emails and such that go along with this, but the truth is I enjoy it. I have posted a lot about being a stay at home mom and the challenges, the good things, the bad things.....and honestly, I wouldn't change it. Are there times when I think maybe I should get a job? Of course. But then I know if I was working, I would wish I was staying at home again so I know that for me, this is the best case scenario. I stay at home with the boys and I work on projects that I feel strongly about as well. Do these projects take me away from the boys and the things I need to do at home? Yes. Does it get frustrating and overwhelming at times? YES! Am I going to stop? No way Jose. I get a lot of people that ask why I take on so much and so here's my answer.
I know I have mentioned it before, but honestly I am too lazy to go back and link and already putting things off by posting (hello procrastination.....) so I will just repeat. I quit working 2 weeks before I had Troy. I wanted to get everything in order and also didn't want to just not show for work one day and that be it. Closure was needed if that's what you want to call it. I tried to keep up with my athletic training certification, personal training certification and teaching licensure but knew it would be YEARS before I went back to work. It is very expensive to keep up with continuing education, licensure dues, membership dues and such so we decided that I was done and when the time came to go back, I would figure it all out. So, basically I gave up everything to be a SAHM. For months I felt very lost. I loved being at home and not having to deal with working and raising a child, but I really was struggling. I was lonely because no one else I knew was a SAHM. I joined a Mommy group but it was a 45 min drive and just got to be too much. My attempts at starting up a group in my area failed, minus the fact that I made really good friends out of it. The group fizzled and now we just get together when we have time. I could go through all the ways staying at home was and is amazing for me, but there was still something that I was always missing so when I started volunteering with certain groups and had things in my life that were not child related, it all came together. I just needed it for me and so I began taking on lots of volunteer work and finally felt fulfilled. I volunteer with church, Relay for Life, a local Breast Cancer fundraising event, and now the PTO and raising money for a new playground. Is it too much? Probably, but I really enjoy each component. Cancer has affected my life in a profound way and by working with the two programs I feel like I am doing something. I am passionate about health and fitness and our community is lacking in this area (I won't get started......) and so working on the playground is very important to me.  Being a part of the PTO is showing the boys that I support their education (plus there's a part of me that really misses teaching so this is a small way to be involved in the school), And I enjoy giving back to our church. I will admit it--I need to feel needed and responsible for things. Yes, I am responsible for enough with the boys and at home, but I needed something for ME.
And there's another component to all this and it's called ENVY. Yep, I am very jealous of the way the boys put Jay up on a pedestal because he goes to work and does all sorts of cool things (in their eyes) and I am just plain old boring Mommy. Yes, one day they will appreciate what I have done for them, but for now, I don't want to be plain old boring mommy. I want to show them that I work hard, that I can do something good, that I can plan events and help get that awesome playground that is in the works and that I care about causes and maybe one day, I will know what it is to be up there on that pedestal.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, we had this--perfect day for a hike

And the next day? This

Monday, January 9, 2012

My public apology

I have a confession. I have judged. I know it's not up to me to judge and I shouldn't do it, but I cannot help it. Sometimes I hear something and I form an opinion. I think (or say, but I usually keep my judgements to myself) that I would never do that or let me child do that. That being whatever it is that I don't necessarily agree with of course. Sometimes, it's something that most sane people would never agree with either, but sometimes, it's not quite as obvious to others. What I need to apologize for--mainly to my sister--is something I have heard people doing (or in the case of my sister, had to do for her when I babysat my niece) that I just thought was ridiculous. It's piddly, but I do feel horrible for having judged. In this case, That is waking a child early from napping or not allowing them to nap so that nighttime would be easier. I always thought it was so silly and selfish. I had always heard and thought that the more well rested a young child was during the day, the better they would sleep at night because they didn't get overtired (that dreaded overtired every parent worries about). And I also thought that if your child fought you going to bed, you just had to be consistent and they would eventually figure out that you "meant business". Now of course, I know there are children that take fighting bedtime to an extreme and a parent had to take drastic measures, but in most circumstances, I just felt that consistency was key. So why am I apologizing for my judgement now? Three guesses and the first 2 don't count. Will. Now, I am in the same situation. Troy rarely fought going to bed. On occassion, he would, but for the most part, he has always gone to bed and right to sleep (he'll get up before the sun, but that's a different problem). Will? Well, let's just say that I have considered getting rid of his nap--just so bedtime would be easier (can you see my hanging my head in shame at my judgement?) We limit him now and do the exact same thing my sister made me do with my niece--WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T LET HIM SLEEP PAST 2:30......and if you do....AAAUUUGGHHHH!!! When it's 10pm and he's still reading and doing puzzles, it's easy to realize that there ARE some children that just don't need long naps or any at all (as much as we like/need/want that time during the day). What used to be putting them to bed and me vegging in front of the TV/computer or reading has turned into an all out frustration. So now I am taking those measures to ensure that when it's bedtime, Will is ready.
So here's my apology. To all those who have done the waking them up or not allowing them to nap at all......I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I will never judge again. Okay, that's a lie. I will (and will keep it to myself unless it's something really dangerous) but for most things I will understand that there are certain children (AHEM...Will) that keep you on your toes and don't follow all those typical parenting books with the lovely advice most moms have read. So my promise is that until I have been there and done that, I will be more understanding.