Monday, September 9, 2013

Worry not...

I worry about a lot of things in life that are unnecessary. I worry more about the little things than the big things and sometimes it gets the better of me. This weekend is a great example of how I worry and how things always work out. Let me explain.

My husband was a co best man in a friends wedding this past weekend in Austin. My husband wanted me and the kids to go and from the get and go, I worried. I worried about the kids being able to stay in the same hotel room, I worried about how I would get around if he had the car, I worried about having the two kids and no help all weekend and how that was not going to be much fun. I worried too much. I was concerned about the logistics and how everything was going to work out. It turns out that since his parents were going to be going to the wedding as well, that they would be willing to let one of our kids sleep in their hotel room with them. This was a solution to my kids sleeping separately, but then it brought on a whole new set of worries. What if whatever kid is in their room wakes them up? They will have to be up early too and I felt bad about that. But, aside from all my concerns, we packed up and headed to Austin.

My husband was super sweet as always and reassured me that I am an excellent mom who uses my resources and problem solves to keep the kids going and happy often and that it would all be ok. We also had my sister who has recently moved to Austin volunteer to come to the hotel and watch the kids for us, so I could go to the rehearsal dinner Friday night kid free and go to the wedding Saturday kid free! What a huge help! Here is what ended up happening:

Friday: We woke the kids up at 6:30am to get an early start. My worry was that this would mess up their schedule, it didn't. They were excellent along the way. We stopped for breakfast along the way and the kids ate and were very happy and content the rest of the way.  I was unable to check into the hotel until 3, so one of our other friends who lives there volunteered his house for the day. My husband was to be at the grooms house around 11. He dropped himself off and then gave me and the kids the car. We stopped off to have lunch and both kids behaved and did very well and then we set off to my friends house. The kids played there. We all had a good time. I set up two pack and plays in two separate rooms where both kids napped successfully! Our friend ended up coming to the house to work a little bit, so I was able to go to the grocery store and get some items for the kids to eat for dinner since we were staying downtown and there wasn't alot of kid friendly stuff in the area. The kids woke up, we loaded up, headed to the hotel and arrived at the same time my in-laws did. They, plus a nice bell hop, got us to our room with all our luggage and baby gear. The rest of the afternoon was great! The kids played and enjoyed the view, our daughter went to sleep in my brother in laws room which was next door to ours (since he wasn't coming in until Saturday) and my sister and X had a great night together. I enjoyed a lovely rehearsal dinner and didn't have to worry. Our son and daughter slept through the night and our son, who was in the room with us, was put on the other side of the queen bed (since we had 2) and didn't even know he was in the room with us.

Saturday: Our son woke up around 7:15, but he didn't stand up (bc if he had, he would have seen us and wanted out.) He just laid in his bed and talked to himself and our daughter (who was on the monitor), played quietly in her bed as well. We got up and ate breakfast and my husband was off to do his best man duties. I was easily able to keep the kids busy. We went from our room to a couple hours playing in grandma and grandpa's room (X enjoyed going back and forth and knocking), our daughter was able to nap in one room while we all hung out in the other. We just kept our son up instead of letting him nap which was fine. We went for a walk before lunch. Had lunch in our room, we played a lot with different toys mommy had stashed away and only brought out when they were bored with the other and they went down easily again that night under my sisters supervision. Our son slept in grandma and grandpas room this night since he is the harder sleeper and O went in our room and didn't know the difference. They both slept in until 8!

Sunday: I finally got my husband back! And the kids went home with grandma and grandpa so that we could spend some time in Austin with our friends. I picked them up this morning (Monday).

The point to the story is this: life is too short to worry all the time. I know this and I constantly tell myself this though I still struggle with it. One of my favorite versus that I quoted the whole way down there is "Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7 I did and everything worked out. If I had just let everything go and put it all aside as my husband had said, then I could have saved myself a lot of time and trouble! And to say this, my husband is amazing! He knows I am worry wart and each and every time, he holds my hand, solves my concerns as best he can and then encourages me to be amazing. He was an excellent co best man and looked great in his suit at the front too! And he was right. I was able to go with the flow this weekend, enjoy the time I had with my kids and their grandparents, enjoy time away from them as well for a much deserved mommy break and handle everything with ease and success!! I had help. My sister was awesome and so generous to give us her time two nights in a row! My in-laws were great and had fun with the kids and helped out a lot. And my sister in law was great keeping the kids entertained on the drive home. And I did great. I am not bragging and I am not being boastful, I am simply stating something that God and my husband see in me that I need to acknowledge more and that is this: I can handle things better than I think, I am an awesome mom, I am a great, loving, and supporting wife, and I have God on my side who allows me to handle things without fear, anxiety or stress. This weekend was excellent! We had no tantrums, no crying, no complaining and I am so glad that my husband was my rock and encouraged us to go.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dinner Time

I overheard a friend the other day telling someone else that it was nearly impossible to get dinner on the table with little kids running around. This isn't the first time I've heard this either. I have read many facebook posts and so forth of moms having a hard time cooking when there are little ones who need their attention too. I have also seen the ecards going around saying "where's the cooking show that shows two kids nagging them while they're trying to get dinner ready?" I agree. It is hard to want to cook something good and healthy for your family that takes a little time to prepare and at the same time have two little ones (or however many you have) that need your immediate attention. I have days where X and O are playing quietly on the floor together and I get up to go do something and thats when they both realize I was in the room and they both need me to hold them right then. This usually happens when I am trying to do laundry thinking "now would be a great time", just to prove myself wrong. Usually I do laundry while the kids are napping. Hurray for High Efficiency washer and dryers that are fast and allow me to get all the laundry done during a morning and afternoon nap time. (My toddler watches me fold laundry in the morning, the afternoon, they are both napping.)

Anyway, so as much trouble as I have had with trying to get things done while my kids need me is certainly an occasional problem around here, getting dinner on the table is not for me. I have found some little tips that have made getting a healthy, home made dinner on the table easy and a no hassle job. I love watching the Food Network. Maybe I didn't make myself clear..I LOVE watching the Food Network. Its almost an obsession for me. It is usually on in the background during the day so that I can catch a tip or a recipe here and there. My son has just started to stop and watch every now and again....maybe he'll be a chef? I absolutely love to cook! I also love to bake though I would much prefer cooking. I don't really like measuring stuff, so cooking is a passion where I can throw things in here and there and create something that is all mine. But, I also love a lot of chefs. I have cookbooks ranging from Rachael Ray to Bobby Flay to Bobby Deen and Paula Deen to Pioneer Woman. And I love to cook from their books as well. Once I had kids, I didn't want to sacrifice my love for cooking for easy kids and processed meals. So I had to find something that would work and make everyone happy and still have a good meal at the end of the day. Here are my tips on how to accomplish this.

First off, I plan. I usually have two weeks worth of meals planned and written on a dry erase board and I shop in two week spurts for ingredients I need. We don't always follow the plan, but at least if I want to make burgers tonight instead of meatloaf, I know the ingredients are there. We often swap days and eat something we didn't have on that day. We also sometimes have more leftovers than we planned, so a meal or two can get pushed into the next two weeks. Its a good system.

Then each morning, I decide what we are having for dinner. This gives me time to defrost whatever meat I need and marinate it if it calls for it. I try to avoid recipes that call to have something marinated overnight, because lets face it, with a 2 year old and a 9 month old I can't always think THAT far ahead.

Then the biggest thing I do that helps the most is during nap time (usually the afternoon nap because thats when they are BOTH down) which is, I prep. I cut every vegetable that needs it and put it in tupperware or a plastic bag and stick it back in the fridge. This accomplishes two things for me. It helps me be able to throw it in the pot or pan later on with no additional work AND it helps me not have to deal with a knife with two kids running around. I don't ever want to be chopping and have one of them pull on my leg and I accidentally drop the knife or whatever. My 2 1/2 year old can now reach on the counter. So I don't want to bend over to pick up a 9 month old and have X reach for something and get the knife instead. So try to chop during nap time. If it is a meal I can go ahead and put together, then I do. Like meatloaf, burger patties, casseroles, etc...I just prepare them and cover them up and place them in the fridge. While I'm chopping and I'm making a casserole or something that calls for cooked meat, this is when I cook meat too. Once again, this eliminates if I can, a hot stove later on. There is nothing worse than having someone pull on your leg next to a hot stove thats simmering and spattering. Too many variables there that I like to avoid when possible. If we are having fajitas or something I don't want to precook then, then I just make sure the chicken is seasoned or marinated and ready for later.

Stick to 30 minute meals if you can. Look, I am all about making something thats really good and takes a little time, but monday through Friday is not the time for it. I think that unless you have help on your hands, finding meals that take little to no time to make are your best friend when you are trying to cook for a husband or wife who will be home soon and two kids wide awake. Just a thought...

By this point, dinner is half way ready. Then, the rest is about efficiency. If we are having something that goes in the oven (I make my fajitas in the oven...super easy, maybe I'll share that recipe another day, meatloaf or a casserole) then I turn the oven on to preheat while the kids are taking a bath or winding down for bed (usually this is happening around 6). Then the food goes in, timer set and I'm done. I can easily go and get things in and out of the over while they play in the living room. 1 minute away is nothing to them compared to me walking away to prepare the whole dinner right then. If its something I need to manage on the stove top then I make it while my kid is in the high chair eating dinner. If they are busy with their own foods and eating dinner then they don't really care what I am doing. (Sometimes, I will hold them off to eat a little later and make dinner a little earlier for this scenario so I can stand at the stove while they eat. A little compromise goes a long way here) As long as I keep the food coming, they are content. So I stir and then get them some more food. Stir, give my toddler a bite or two (since he's usually at his little table), stir, put more carrots on her tray and so forth. Once dinner is finished, the stove goes off and it sits there hot while I get everyone cleaned up or we play. Once my husband calls to tell me he is on his way home (usually between 6-7), I will turn the stove on low and keep an eye on it until he gets home. Because my husband gets home later then its usually easier because the kids are winding down. Our daughter goes to bed around 6pm and our son around 7-8. So its easy for us to turn Mickey on and let X watch while I finish dinner and let O settle down in her bed.

Keep in mind that this works for us because of the timing in our household. My husband gets home around the time my oldest is going to bed, and my youngest is already in bed. So this schedule and timing may not work for you. But let me give a few more tips that might.

Have something in your kitchen for the kids to play with. We have a magnetic barn on our dishwasher that has animal halves that you have to put together to make animal sounds. It sings to you and its a fun matching game. We leave it in the kitchen so thats a special toy that they play with if I need to be in the kitchen cooking.

Let your child have a kitchen cabinet. If you're children aren't eating while you are cooking, and they need to feel close to you, then let them have a cabinet to play in. I am not saying move their toys to the kitchen, but rather put tupperware and maybe their plastic plates and cups in a low cabinet that they can get into and utterly destroy. I also have a recipe box that I don't really use that I put in a low cabinet. My son loves to open and close it and take all the cards out and put them back in. It can entertain him for hours. By giving them a cabinet, then they feel special getting to be in there with you in a drawer of their own and they are near you.

Teach them where to stand when you need to open a hot oven. I taught X that he had to stand on the carpet, which is on the edge of the kitchen when I need to open our oven. I'll say "back up" and he runs to his spot. It makes our kitchen that much safer.

Let them help cook. Depending on their age and how comfortable you are, let your child help. X helps me sprinkle salt and pepper on veggies and meats. He will also help stir sauce (thats not on the stove) or I let him put the chopped veggies in the salad or bowl and so forth. After a few minutes of that, he usually feels content and goes off to play.

Right now we all 4 don't eat together. We really can't make it work with our schedules during the week. Our daughter is in bed usually around 6, our son is getting ready for bed around 7 and my husband is usually walking in the door by 7. Some day when bed times get pushed out a little bit more, we will be able to eat together and this system will change some. On the weekends we do get to do a lot of eating together. The main thing is, do as much as possible when the kids are down. You can even plan more ahead than me and prep everything the night before after the kids go to bed. I am also a fan of crock pot meals. We have those once a month and I always have some stored in my freezer for a rainy day or for dinner when I haven't been to the store yet.

With a little bit of planning, some efficiency, and patience as you figure out a system that works best for your family, then getting a good, home cooked, healthy meal on the table with little kids can be easy and even fun! Cooking shouldn't be a stress in your day. You already have too many of those, so do yourself a favor moms and dads and plan a little and pre prep so you can enjoy cooking and your kids (tears or tantrums free) at the same time!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Know This

I have a lot to say. I always have. I talk all day, every day...a lot. When I explain something I probably babble on longer than the listener really wants me to. When I tell a story, its pretty detailed and when I'm on a soap box or mad, man, then you better just be ready to listen. And truth is, I don't have a lot of important things to say. I mean, when I was working, I sometimes had interesting things to say and here at home, I keep my husband updated on whats going on, but for the most part, the majority of what I want to say is pointless and full of useless facts and information from that day.

The problem with all this random information that I collect throughout the day is that there isn't enough time to get it all out when my husband comes home. Note that my husband is not only my husband, but also my best friend. So he really is the one who can appreciate all my randomness at its fullest. I had to find something or someway to get all my bits of information out in a way that I could get it to him and cut down on how much I was jabbering. So, I created Know This.

Know This is an email that I would create every morning for my husband. Side note: I used to work 4-10's which meant I worked 4 days a week for 10 hours. I had every Friday off, but it meant I worked from 7am-6pm. I am not a morning person, so I would get to work around 7, not schedule anyone to come in until 8 and spend that hour trying to wake up and reading the things I found interesting. END side note. My Know This would consist of the following:

my husband and I's word of the day from We would read the word and then write a sentence to each other using it.

My gossip news that I felt was noteworthy. (I love my gossip. I love knowing which celebrity is dating who and who is having a baby with who and so forth. My husband, not so much. BUT every now and again he does find it interesting if its given to him in short updates. He's not going to go seek it out himself.)

The news I found interesting. I am a criminal justice major, so I am drawn to the news about criminals. I like knowing who killed who, who was found innocent and I love the crazy crime stories ("Man steals 1,000 twinkies"). I won't lie, I followed the Casey Anthony story all the way through. Along with the news, I like to give my own opinion about it...because I find myself funny and witty.

Lastly, it would consist of anything else that I thought of that morning or that was going to be going on that day at my office.

I did this every Mon-Thurs morning for like 2-3 years. My husband would comment back every now and again and if he was really interested in something, he would wait until dinner that night and ask me about it.

This was an awesome way for me to get to tell him the things that I found interesting. It helped him get to know me fully and it helped cut down the amount of time I talked at night so we had time to do other things like watch our tv shows, play a game or watch a movie. Once I quit to become a stay at home mom and housewife, I ran out of time. It seemed that between getting my husband out the door, getting a baby fed, dressed and fed again and again, playing and so forth that I didn't have the time to sit and read my gossip and news. If you know me at all or have read my blogs previously, I clean or do something for me during nap time (its the only way to stay sane!) I admit that I am totally disconnected from the real world. I do not watch the news, I do not keep up with whats happening and I rarely have time to read gossip. Personally, I feel like watching the news every day is depressing. But, my kids are older now and I am not nearly as tired these days, so starting a Know This 2.0 is about to begin. After I recorded and watched all my shark shows, I was bursting with all this great, random facts about sharks, so I wrote my husband a Know This: Shark edition. Side note: I often had special editions of Know This, such as Know This: The Oscar winners and Know This: Buffy the Vampire edition (yes, I wrote an entire Know This to my husband about the random facts and backstage trivia about Buffy). END side note.

The point is, sometimes us girls have a lot to say. And lets face it, guys REALLY hear about 50% of what we say if its not super important or relevant to anything they are remotely interested in. And sometimes we like knowing the latest on fashion, movies, celebrities or whatever and we want to share that with our best friend. If you're like me and your best friend is your husband, then finding ways to get it all out in a brief synopsis that still conveys your message can be hard. Face it, we need to say what we want to say quickly and in a short amount of time before they start thinking about something else and we lose them. My husband and I thrive on random information. We're the 2 in a crowd that when every one has had a couple of drinks and every one is talking, break out the "did you know that...". This is what works for us. And my husband actually said yesterday that he missed Know This. So Know This 2.0 is about to resurface stay at home mom style and include new categories such as: What your children did yesterday (Your 2 1/2 yr old climbed in his sisters jumper and got stuck), New phrases your son has learned to say ("its boken" meaning its broken), New things your daughter has learned to do (spit her food out for fun and then put it back in her mouth), Misty's random thoughts while entertaining the kids (I wonder how they get this ball popper to work), and Oops's of the day (be sure to supervise your son when you tell him he can taste the chocolate sauce. His whole hand ended up in the bowl) as well as my news and gossip of the day. This is what a great and long lasting marriage is all about...randomness and fun!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Shark Week

I don't know why I love shark week on the discovery channel every year, but I do. Truth is, I am terrified of sharks and yet I want to know everything about them. I guess I figure that if I know everything about them, then I won't be as afraid. I still don't want to get in the ocean...anywhere...ever. Extreme? Yes. Absurd? Yes. But I don't want to even have the possibility of becoming shark bait. I learned that its out in the ocean and off shore that people get bitten more often, which takes scuba diving and snorkeling off the to do list. But I also learned that sharks can go in as a little as 3ft of water to get its prey, so that eliminates the shallow area too. See why getting in the water is a bad idea? :)

Here's what I do love. I love watching how to survive a shark attack. And truth is, once I am in the Caribbean and I have a few Jamaican Smiles (strawberry daiquiri and a Pina colada mixed together with some rum cream! If you haven't had this, try it! AMAZING!) in me, I will probably end up in the water anyway. So I want to know how to NOT get bitten. I also love the show How Not to be Shark Bait too. Those two shows are right up my alley because this helps me deal with my fear in a more rational, logical way. I love learning about the tiger shark, bull shark and the great white (the three most dangerous sharks) and knowing their weaknesses and hell, their strengths too! You got to know your enemy if you're going to defeat it!

Ever since I was a little girl I have been terrified of sharks and I am not sure where this stems from. I have never been bitten by a shark, I have never been up close with a shark except in an aquarium and I loved the movie Jaws! I am also terrified of spiders and tornadoes for very logical reasons, but those are stories and reasons for another blog another day. :) I used to think that if I ever encountered a shark in the ocean I would just give him my head and call it quits. I don't want to deal with a shark biting me and losing my leg or arm. But these days, I am much more practical. The Discovery Channel has helped me with that. I will fight! I will punch that shark in the gills and eyes so hard, he better let me go! And if he gets my leg, well, I'll probably be in shock and won't remember much after that, so it'll all work out.

But heres what made me very angry about shark week this year. The stupid Megaladon documentary. If you haven't seen it, here's the scoop. Some boat full of people gets attacked in the middle of the ocean and all 4 on board die. People research the accident and take a look at the boat thats under water and see that theres a big bite in it. They call in a marine biologist expert who studies strange things and he is convinced this is megaladon (a giant prehistoric shark) and goes on a search for it. I am not going to lie; I sat on the edge of my seat the whole time anticipating what would happen next and planning out my future of never, EVER stepping foot or going near an ocean again in my lifetime as long as this thing is out there. I was fascinated, intrigued, excited, scared and in awe the entire time until....the very end when disclaimers came across the screen stating that this was all fake! FAKE?!?!

Let me explain my outrage. I don't like to learn really. I like to just keep what little I really need to know in my head about history, math, science, etc. and enjoy learning about only the things that I really like (like cooking and crafts). I don't watch the discovery channel (with the exception of one week out of the year every year), the history channel or any other channel thats informative. I like my sitcoms. So for me, to WANT to watch the discovery channel to learn about creatures that scare me and fascinate me at the same time is a really good thing! And thats just it, I wanted to learn. I wanted Megaladon to be real because its scary, and an interesting possibility I had never thought about. It was a creature that up until last week, I didn't even know existed (now or back then)! The only thing the mockumentary did for me was teach me about a really old, freaky gigantic shark. The discovery channel is what it is....something you watch to discover. I didn't want to watch shark week so I could get a big ole heap of crap fed to me. I wanted to watch it to discover things. If this documentary had been on ABC or CBS, I would not have been offended. It would have been a fun, FICTIONAL story. But opening up shark week with something thats a scare and hype thing rather than what people gravitate towards Discovery channel once a year for, is a load of poo. I wanted to learn and for a whole two hours, I thought I was a part of a huge mysterious discovery that would change the way I viewed our oceans forever! Instead, I wasted two hours that I could have been watching Jaws and getting the same result and effect out of. For this...I am mad at discovery channel.

This year, I found myself having a love/hate relationship with the discovery channel. I didn't watch as much as I could have. I recorded a few shows that I wanted to see, but I was just too mad to keep watching. I know this may seem a little over dramatic, but imagine wanting nothing more than to discover, learn and soak in everything and anything about your biggest fear or most curious obsession to find out that all you were being given was not accurate. Not facts, but story telling and fiction. It just got under my skin. So...I say goodbye to shark week of 2013. You pissed me off thoroughly. I will see you next year and hopefully you can deliver some facts and good tips for me on how I can slowly but surely learn how to stop being terrified of sharks and learn to grow to respect them (and maybe learn how to beat the crap out of them if they try to eat me).

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Life with two

Currently our household is busier than ever. Our 2 1/2 year old is learning and exploring every day and our 8 1/2 month old learned how to scoot around last week. We are constantly on the go now. I have learned some things in the last 8 months that have helped our household run relatively smoothly. We rarely have break downs, we rarely have temper tantrums thrown and we maybe have to do time out once every few weeks. How does our house run so smoothly? This is how...

From day one, I made sure they take naps at the same time. We are still doing this. She naps in the morning for about 30 minutes to an hour and they both go down around 1. Now, my son does not always nap. He's getting older and there are days where he is just less tired. But mommy still needs a break. So he still has to go to his room and we call these "taking a break". He knows that he doesn't have to nap but he does have to stay in his room and play quietly on his bed with his books or his one puzzle until I come and get him. This ensures that he is still getting rest even if its not sleep and it gives me time to regroup for the second half of our day.

We play together..a lot. I spend a good part of my day on the floor with both kids. I let them play individually, I let them play together and I let them play with me. They take turns being in my lap or on me. This has done a few things for us. It has let them get to know each other and play together, its letting them be independent and it allows them both to have equal play time with me. We have never had a jealousy issue in this house. And as they get older, I want that to remain the same. I want them both to know that I have all the time in the world for both of them if they need me.

Along with playing together, we also do everything else together. And I mean everything! We eat together (she is in a high chair and he stands on a step stool so he can see the island countertop and eats from there). We go grocery shopping together (he rides in the cart and she rides in the moby wrap with me). They bathe together. We change diapers together. EVERYTHING! Because we do this, my kids have bonded early on in ways that I didn't think would happen until later. And they have learned how to "deal" with each other. By this I mean, when my son does throw a tantrum, my daughter rarely reacts, when she's upset, he has concern for her, but he doesn't lose it too. I think for us, by doing everything together, my kids know that each of them will not always have good and happy moments. So they aren't affected by the tantrum. This helps us tremendously have a quiet and happy home where two children aren't throwing temper tantrums together.

And in saying that, I still give each child enough time with me. I cuddle my daughter a lot in the mornings because that is when my son is the most active and playing on his own. Then after my daughter goes to bed (which is about an hour to an hour and a half before my son), I cuddle with him. We do have some days where X needs more attention or O needs more attention. On those days, we just cuddle as much as we can and stagger it as best we can to make them both feel happy and content.

I have said this before and I will say it again...SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE! We stick to a schedule around here. They eat, nap and go to bed around the same times every day. We give ourselves 30-40 minutes give because one or both my sleep late, or take a longer nap. Because my kids know that their needs and wants will be met for the day (food, sleep, rest, play time, cuddle time), then I can pretty much go anywhere and run any errand in my windows that I need to or want to and they go, happily.

Everything doesn't always go as planned around here and there are days where we are planning to go to the park and then one or both kid gets needy and we can't go. We can go to the park and mall and so forth if both kids are having a good day, but if they're clingy, then we have to skip because I don't have enough strength to hold them both. But those days are few and far between. My advice, is to use the first 6-8 weeks with kids number two to see how everyone adapts, then you plan your life and schedule around them both. O didn't take a morning nap for the longest time. She only took one long afternoon nap a day. So up until she was 5 months old, we did a lot of our playing outside, errands and so forth in the morning. But then, she started getting too tired and needed that nap. So things changed again. Our schedule often changes, but once we know how it needs to change, we change it and stick to it for as long as it works. In the fall, X will start a mothers day out two days a week, so our schedule will change again. Changing a schedule isn't a big deal around here because my kids have learned to go with the flow because I have learned to read them and meet what they need for the day. So for now, we have a peaceful and happy home with two very fun and active, growing kids!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Still here...

I know it has been forever since I last blogged. Keeping two children, 20 months apart, fed, healthy and going keeps me busy. Overall, it has been super rewarding though. My daughter is now 6 months old! Yeah for her. She is growing so fast and I am so proud of her. She is giggling, rolling over, eating well and growing like a weed. My son, is just as rambunctious as ever. He is talking more and more and his jibber, jabber is becoming more and more understandable. My husband is working hard and still spending time with us which is so precious.

I have started a new adventure and am loving it! I started selling Mary Kay. I am in love with the products! The skin care is amazing and I feel like, even though I am aging, my skin is not. That makes me happy. I am totally on board and embracing being 28 and am looking forward to my 30's, but I want my skin to stay as young and vibrant as I can allow it. :) If you are interested in checking out the amazing products that I love so much and are interested in buying anything, you can always check out my website! I am happy to help answer any questions!! is your one stop shop! The best part about it, is busy moms don't have to leave their home. We ship right to you and its fast and easy! It makes my life on the go so much easier to know that I can order my makeup, thats high quality, without even leaving home! Seriously, try it! Its worth it!

Life here is amazing. I have the kids napping at the same time, which helps a bunch! I started that right off the bat. She naps for about an hour in the mornings and then they both go down around 1:30 or 2 and are asleep for at least a couple hours. I have them going to bed at the same time too. So even, if they tag team me on naps some days...since my 2 year old isn't always in a napping mood...I still get mommy time once they head off to bed around 7-7:30. I am hoping to get back on track with my blogging! I will endeavor to do better. Until then, I hope everyone is having a wonderful spring and I look forward to blogging more!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lego Birthday Party

My little boy turned 2 on Valentines day. Its amazing to see how fast he's growing and how he is learning new things daily. For his 2nd birthday party we decided to do a lego theme. He loves his legos, so what better way to celebrate! My sister in law is an amazing baker and can do some amazing things. She made our wedding cake, which was fabulous and she has pretty much done a cake for every event we have had since. 

This was our wedding cake. Each layer was a different flavor and I had each layer twisted so it wasn't symmetrical. I like to do things a little different. 

Anyway, she also does cake balls and let me tell you, I have had some cake balls from bakers all over, and hers are still the best. She is a stay at home mom with my adorable niece and bakes on the side. She has done so well, a few years ago she made it into a full on business that she does from home still. She is fantastic. Her website is at the bottom of this blog for anyone interested. So here are the pics from the party.

We had her do a lego cake that looked like legos on the inside with lego molds on the outside of the cake. She also made a little lego man to go on top. So cute!! We decorated the table with his lego animals. And I got blue and red plates for the table and yellow napkins. Over all, the party was a hit.

Perfectly cute little lego man!

She made these cute lego cake pops for the favors for the little kids. And I got vases and put some of my son's mega blocks in them. You can see some of the lego cookies in the back.

Happy birthday baby!!

His lips were blue from the cookies that I made. He kept eating the little m & m's off them and leaving the cookie part. Silly kiddo.

He helped me sort out the green, blue and yellow mini m & m's for the cookies. He was such a big helper. He ate all the other colors first, then sorted the one's I needed. :) I got a small rectangle cookie cutter for the cookies, iced them and put the mini m & m's on them. My lego cookies were a success. Not perfect, but still good!

Happy birthday, dude! You are the sweetest, most handsome little guy and we couldn't be more proud of you!!

For anyone interested in using my sister in law for cakes, her website is Like I said she does awesome work. If you are in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, check her out. I know she has shipped her cake balls before but I am not sure if she still does that, for those of you who are out of town.

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How to survive the night

I can honestly say that my 14 week old is now sleeping through the night and I am so thankful for that. I am slowly regaining my sanity and sleeping through the night. However, I discovered early on some things that really helped me get through the night and not lose my head completely. If you have been in this spot, are currently in it or are expecting to be here at some point, you know or will know that being up in the middle of the night can be maddening. I think its because everyone else is asleep and you're not. When the baby needs you during the day, its easier and part of your job, but at night, it just seems cruel. BUT, it doesn't last forever and some of those moments can be precious. I did love cuddling with her in the dark, in the quiet. With an almost 2 year old running around during the day, quiet is hard to come by. But at night....silence. And it can be so sweet. Anyway, here are my tips to survive the night and make it easier.

Don't count the hours. Go to bed at a decent time, prepared to get up at any moment, and just sleep. Don't count how many hours you may get until your wee one wakes up. When the baby does cry and you get up, don't count how many hours you may get once you get back to bed. Just be present. It really does help. Go feed the baby, cuddle and put the baby down and go back to bed. Let that be it. By not counting, you're not allowing yourself to dread it or be frustrated that you may only get 3 more hours before you have to be up. Just go to bed and do your best to get what you can while you can.

Don't use electronics. I know its 4 in the morning and you are so tired and maybe you can't sleep while the baby is eating, so you want to distract yourself with facebook or twitter. Don't. All it does, is brighten the room, awaken your brain and make it harder for you to wind down again when you finally go back to bed.

Don't talk. This is more for the baby than me, but it works. I have a strict policy, we don't talk to our babies at night. I shhhh her if she needs it, but other than that, I stay quiet. This helps separate the night and day for baby. During the day, before nap time and bed time, we may sing, I'll tell her a story, but in the middle of the night, she needs to know that we are just going to eat and then go straight back to bed. I think this helped her know what was expected and as a result, she would eat and go straight back down into her cradle next to our bed or her crib without a peep.

Keep the lights off as best you can. Try to turn a hall light on and crack the door if you need light. The dark is another thing that would help baby know its quiet time, eating time and back to bed time. The dark also helps you be able to close your eyes.

Close your eyes. Even if you don't go to sleep. I was always in a rocking chair and so its not like I could go to sleep. Some moms feed the baby in bed on their side and are able to sleep while baby eats. I am not that talented and we don't co-sleep, so I was always sitting up. But closing your eyes helps your brain and body relax and stay in a very serene state while feeding. Then when you go back to bed, your body has an easier time going back to sleep because its not having to wind down.

Know that you are not alone. You are NOT alone. There are thousands of mom around you that are up right now when you are. So when you are awake and tired and frustrated, its always nice to know that there are other people out there doing the same thing you are. I live in a neighborhood where there are a ton of stay at home moms with babies my kids age. We get together and talk about how we were up last night at what times and its fun to know, they were up too. So find some new moms or dads and let them be your support when you're tired, because they are tired too and get it.

Be flexible. My last tip is to be flexible. If your kid is sleeping in the crib and there is a night where they just won't settle back down, then maybe for one night, take them to the couch and let them cuddle with you. I did that a couple times. It seemed she would only sleep on me and when I would put her in her crib, no matter how many times, she would wake up. So I just took her to the couch and slept with her on me. It let me get rest and sleep and it let her sleep. Then the next night we went back to normal and she went back into her crib.

Here's the bottom line, being up with the baby can be extremely rewarding. You're the only one who gets that precious time with them at that hour, you get extra cuddles and it can be so sweet and full of memories. But it can also be nerve wrecking. You're tired, you're baby won't settle down, all sorts of things can go wrong at night. But just know that here are ways to make it easier on yourself. These tips might not work for everyone. And every baby is different, but what can be constant is to be flexible and know you really are not alone.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How to clean your Keurig

We have a Keurig and use it often! Its fast and efficient and we love it. But it does get dirty. I noticed after we made hot chocolate one day that there was some powder that got in the cup holder and as other cups were made, the steam was causing that powder to turn into hot chocolate in the cup! Gross. So I looked in the manual and discovered how to clean it. Here are pictures and step by step instructions. It really is easy!

First, open up the lid and pop out the cup. You do this by holding onto the top and pushing up from the bottom. Ours was gross.

 I then got a damp paper towel and cleaned the inside of the Keurig.

The tray got pretty gross too from drips. So be sure to clean that too. Nasty!

The cup that comes out breaks apart into two pieces. I cleaned both of those.

The long part that extends from the cup is where the coffee comes out. I got a toothpick and cleaned it out. You can use anything thats small enough to fit in there. If your Keurig ever gets clogged, thats where you go first. 

After I reassembled the Keurig, I dumped the water tank, refilled it and ran it for a couple times without anything in it (coffee, hot chocolate, tea). A lot of dirt came out. 

Thats it! Pretty simple, pretty quick too. But if you're like me and weren't sure where to start, then here you go.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A perfect new years day

New Years eve I woke up in a baking mood, so I made breakfast for the family! We had pumpkin waffles! Super easy, super fast and super yummy! Here is the recipe:

Pumpkin waffles:

1 c. all purpose flour
1 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. milk
1 large egg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
1 can pumpkin puree

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together. Combine with the dry ingredients and then stir in pumpkin. Top with whip cream and/ or syrup! 

This is a great way to get your kids to eat something good for them without them even knowing it.

Having something this delicious sure was a great start to a great day. My husband and I are fortunate enough to have his parents live close, so they were able to watch our kids while we went off and had a dinner just the two of us!! Then we went and got our kids and went to a kid friendly party in our neighborhood!! Our almost 2 year old made it to 10 pm! Whoo! We stayed out later than we thought. LOL! its funny how much things change when you have kids. We never would have thought that we would say we stayed out late at 10pm. 

But we rung in the new year with two kids in bed and asleep by 10:30. A perfect day. 

This was taken on our way to dinner!

Enjoy the recipe everyone. More to come...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Women's choice to have choices

I was on pinterest the other day and I came across this pin that was titled, "Are you a wife that is easy to love?" I liked the sound of that and I am always looking for ways to better myself as a person and a wife, so I clicked on the blog. It's a good article. It has some decent advice and I took it for what it was meant for and nothing more. However, some of the comments that followed made me very angry. For those of you interested, here is the blog:

The main point to the blog was this: respect your husband and in turn he will love you which is what we want. I agree with her point of view. Men want respect. That's how they feel loved the most. We want love shown to us or given to us whether it's through flowers, the husband doing the dishes, or simply the husband saying "you look beautiful today". It differs from women to women, but if we show our husbands respect, they feel important, meaningful and well, respected and then they want to show us how much they love us and appreciate us for helping him feel that way. Simple. I truly believe,  this is how God meant it to be.

But woman started commenting on this blog about how disgusted they were and how disturbing this concept is. One lady stated that she needed to get respect in order to give it. Seriously? When did our world become you have to get something before you can give? As I was taught and raised and as the bible states, you do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It didn't say, you get from others then you give to them what you got from them. I am not going to get into religion with this post, because it is also pretty simple in the fact that if you do not believe in the bible, then this whole conversation about wives submitting and respecting their husbands and husbands cherishing their wives and loving them as Christ loves the church, is just moot. But I will say this about women who choose to treat their husbands differently than the norm and that is: we are more fulfilled.

I don't always enjoy getting up and doing chores, but I do know that my husband goes off to work and is stressed and weary by the time he gets home. He doesn't want to come home to a cluttered home or a home thats a wreck. I think I have stated this before in my previous posts, but I will state it again. Your home should be one that when your husband walks in, he walks into peace and not chaos. Its not always going to be perfect. He may walk in and two kids are crying and dinner went too long in the crock pot and is burned, but the way I greet him is the difference. If I shove a baby into his arms and say you need to go get dinner while I get this kid a bath, then he is going to think, really? I came home to this, maybe I should have worked late and waited until the kids were in bed. Instead, I smile, I laugh and I say we're having a moment. I kiss him. I let him change out of his work clothes. I get the kids to calm down and then I explain dinner. He's happy to help once he's changed clothes. He can sit and hold the baby while I get the toddler to bed and then we can calmly discuss dinner and make a plan together. This is respect. It's respecting the fact that he has a job too and I don't want him telling me what to do, so why would I do that to him. Because I choose to make a difference and respect my husband, he cherishes me and loves me in ways I never thought possible. He will fetch dinner at any hour in any weather condition, he will give me a Saturday off where I can do whatever I want while he watches the kids, he rubs my feet, he even runs off to get me some dessert from wherever just because. He brings me flowers just because and he is often surprising me with little gifts here and there.  And he gets that my job is harder than his.

We did not get here by demanding that our needs come first. We got here because we put the other person ahead of ourselves. I completely understand not wanting to give respect if you are being disrespected. And in some extreme cases, this is true. Always know who you are and what you are worth. Stand up for yourself and don't let someone walk all over you. But this is not what this blogger was talking about, yet some woman took it this way. Life is too short and frankly, there are some pretty easy things one can do in a marriage to make a marriage run more smoothly, why take things to the extreme and complain about not getting yours. These ladies were making comments about how this is from another century and this blogger is living in the 1950's. I know that not every woman back then was happy and I know the divorce rate was very low because it was frowned upon, but look at the divorce rates now! I don't know about you, but if giving respect in turn means I am loved the way I need and want, and that saves my marriage, then I plan on respecting my husband always and putting him first.

I will say, however, that there have been one or two occasions when we have had fights and I stand up for myself and remind my husband of my worth. He stops, calms down, and we go back to discussing whatever calmly. There are times, when women need to stand up for themselves, even to their husbands. But we don't have to make a huge case about the women who choose to live their life by submitting. If you disagree, fine, disagree, live your life the way you choose, have a marriage the way you want and be happy, but don't lash out at those who choose to live differently.

I chose to stay home. I wanted to stay home and I do not get to stay home because I married a wealthy man as one woman stated, and he certainly DID NOT tell me I HAD to stay home. I make my own choices and truthfully, we will always make sacrifices so I can be here. Day care costs so much anyway, it would take my whole paycheck nearly, so I stay home because WE (my husband and I) believe that is what is best for our kids. I may go back to work someday when they are in school. I may go back to school and get my masters or my law degree. I may never do either and make a life out of being a homemaker, but know that whatever I choose, I choose.

Women's rights were designed and made a big deal because women wanted the right to choose, the right to vote, the right to work and earn what a man earns. Women wanted to be treated equal. So lets treat each other and all women as equals regardless of what lives we choose to live. Women wanted rights, now we have them all, so respect your fellow women's right to live. Don't bash it because it is not what you want. Truthfully, there is no right or wrong. There is not any two people on this planet that are exactly alike. There is not any situation or circumstance out there that is identical to the next, so how can one person say what someone should do or shouldn't do? How can someone else think they know better? Lets love more, support more, respect more, be more considerate, compassionate and tolerant and then maybe the violence will go down, divorce will go down and hatred will subside.

I was infuriated by what these women were saying to this one woman, who is bold enough to write and announce to the world that this is how she lives and how her marriage works. I agree with almost everything she said, but I am not going to be mean to the girl next to me who disagrees all the way. I want people to know that marriages work when people stop caring about themselves first and put their spouse ahead of them. Put their needs and wants ahead of ours and in turn the joy you receive from loving them like that is worth more than anything I could have asked for. Seeing my husband happy and excited to come home after a long day is what brightens my day. So I write this and I intend on posting this onto this blog I read in response to all those comments, to say that we need to love and let go a lot more. Live more Christ like if thats what you believe and if not, then just live to be more tolerant.