Monday, August 25, 2014

A whirlwind of change

I know it has been awhile since I last blogged! Things have been so busy this summer and of course, we had to save the most excitement and busyness for the end. We are moving! A couple of months ago we decided that the housing market was excellent and decided just to browse houses and see what we could find. Eventually, we found one that we loved and made an offer and less than 3 days later, they accepted the offer, my house was show ready and people were walking in and out of my home from 9am-9pm!

Lets start there...have you ever tried to sell your home and have it staged and then live in it on top of that? We did for a brief period when we lived in Georgetown. But we ended up moving to Dallas about 2 weeks after we had staged our home and so the home was "empty" for the most part with the exception of furniture and so on. We had and still do have our two dogs, so we vacuumed a lot but that was about it. Now? 2 kids, 2 dogs and one tired mommy later, we sold our home. This is after we lived in our car for like 3 days. It was too hot to go outside and we had periods where we could be home even if they were small. We did a lot of park time and went to the grandparents house a lot too while people browsed our house. Our kids went to bed late, their schedules completely out of whack and me, exhausted from keeping the house close to spotless while still living in it with a 3 1/2 yr old and a 21 month old!

After only 3 days on the market our house was sold and that drama ended. Our kids though, I have to brag...were excellent. They embraced the chaos and the changes with us. I decided that if we were going to do this and they were going to have to accept it, that we better include them early on. So, we talked daily about how we were moving into a bigger house with 2 playrooms and how we were going to paint their rooms different colors and they could choose (our son chose blue and to decorate with superheros and our daughter chose a turquoise), and we even let them pick out there own duck tape so that we could mark their boxes with them (he chose batman tape and she chose rainbow tape). They haven't complained or argued. They helped me pack boxes (and still are) and are excited about the changes.

Now, we are 3 days out from having to be out. About 7 days out from being in the new house and almost packed. We are so excited about the new house. We are looking forward to more room and space for everyone. My husband will have his office and a media room now the "man cave", I will have the spare room to make it into whatever I want to (guest room, craft room, a room for me and my drums...hey, maybe I'll put my computer and a bean bag up there and retreat at night and on weekends to stream netflix...kid free!!! LOL), and the kids get a downstairs play room (that is not our living room which is our current issue) and an upstairs landing/gameroom/playroom.

My husband always says that our kids do so well because I do well with them. Maybe this is true, so lets explore it for a second. It could be that my kids are just champions and good sports, but they really have been great these last few weeks. I have included them like I said earlier in everything I am doing such as holding the box while I tape it, picking out the tape and making sure I tape it well, and being so understanding when I am packing up their toys knowing that "we can play with these in the big house, right, Mommy?!" Right, you are X man. I have been patient with them in the midst of all this too. I am not saying that there were not days when they were both tired because of the 3 nights in a row they went to bed late or wanted mommy to just sit down and play and stop for a few minutes. In each scenario, I did just that. I held them when they needed cuddles and were tired, I stopped packing despite the work that needed to be done and I played on the floor with them. I listened to them when they needed me to listen and pay attention. As a result, I got these great children, who knew that when mommy had her tape and marker in hand, that I needed some time to "work", and they let me have it.

I cannot stress enough to new parents or veteran parents, how much of a difference it makes during chaotic times, to listen and to react to what our kids are saying. I know there are things to do around the house that NEED to be done and I know that I still have more boxes to pack, but when your kids have been so understanding and flexible with all the change, its nice and only fitting to listen to them too. I also started packing the day after we got an offer. I wanted to pack every day some or a lot so that when push came to shove (which will be in about a day and a half) and there is a meltdown from one or both of my kids, I can stop (and afford to stop) and pay attention, listen and solve the problem. I planned time for my kids in the midst of the chaos and I am so glad I did. In short, I am not saying I am super mom can do everything...but we can do a little of everything daily or weekly or whatever the time frame allows. Honestly, I think I just have the best "lets go with the flow" kind of kids. Anyway, until next time....when I will have pictures of the house and let you know how everyone is dealing with the changes of sleeping in new rooms and living in a new house. Oh and did I mention in the middle of all this, my son starts preschool? more on that next time. Until then...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Intro to geek world

Today, more than ever, geeks and nerds are becoming the cool kids! They are becoming the ones that everyone wants to be like and more importantly, the geeks and nerds who had to hide parts of who they were are now expressing themselves more due to the fact that its becoming mainstream. Geeks are now allowed to be geeks and they are actually cool for it! Magic is amazing, super heroes are the thing and owning your Harry Potter world or SyFy world is now considered to be pretty awesome. So with all the geeky things around us, I thought I would share my geek side, how I became more of a geek and how I married a geek who has taught me so much that I actually own the fact that I have a little geekyness to me.

Growing up I had a gameboy. I liked it and had three games I played...yes, only three. Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers and Tetris. I beat Tetris and loved it, I got to like level 5 of Donkey Kong and quit because I couldn't get past it and I never fully beat Super Mario Bros. This was the extent of my geek side and gaming. But then years later, I met this really cool, geeky guy who would later become my husband. I have to admit, that I wasn't sure about everything he loved at first, but I came around to some of it. Lets start with D&D. I had to ask what that meant. He had a couple friends that he would play with periodically when we met. I had to ask and get some explanation about this game. I didn't get it. But....I would try it. So we got together, me and him and a couple friends and I gave my whirl at it. That wasn't really for me. I guess I figured I was more of a visual person and imagining in my head was not fun. But he appreciated me trying and I had fun the one time.

Then a few months later, I realized that he really did love playing video games. I thought, he really loves this and if I am going to get to spend as much time as I want with him, it might be a good idea for me to learn how to play and then maybe I could play with him. I wasn't even sure that he would like this idea. I kind of thought, that he either wouldn't want a teammate or that girls weren't allowed to play. Thats what I thought at that time...that girls weren't really supposed to be super into the shooting games, so I didn't even know how to approach this subject. Then one day we were at lunch and I just asked. "Hey, so I was thinking, could you teach me how to play video games?" At first, there was silence. I thought, this was a bad idea...RETREAT! RETREAT! But before I back peddled out of it, his silence became an enthusiastic hell yeah! And I all of the sudden became super cool. His silence was from shock. He never thought that would be my thing. So began our love for co op games. I started on Halo and I was bad! I was terrible. I couldn't walk and turn at the same time. I never shot anything and I died a lot! I mean A LOT! I started by hiding while he shot everything and then when there was one guy left, I would go out and kill. That was fun!

Then, we started Halo 2. I got better. Halo 3 was much of an improvement and then came Halo ODST. And I had kind of figured out my mojo at that point. I didn't like doing missions. I didn't like finding the object or doing the objective, I just liked to shoot things. By the end of Halo ODST, I had unexpectedly and not intentionally, out ranked my husband (we were married at this point). Another side note, his grooms cake was an xbox with the game Gears of War on top. That was the game that I truly loved. In the middle of playing through the Halo series, we started Gears of War. I was Dom, he was Marcus. I loved it. I still do. We played Gears of War 2 and then Gears of War 3. Just in case this post inspires any of you to go play these games, I won't spill the beans on why I quit after Gears of War 3...but needless to say, that game has run its course with me. We've played Rainbow Six Vegas which I love and also out ranked him at one point. And then we began Borderlands and Borderlands 2. By far, these are my favorite! And the best part is, I was able to be a girl character!! Gaming has become a part of us and something that we do now for fun. Its a great stress reliever and I love that it really bonds us. We have to play as a team and coordinate and have each others backs. I love that the most about playing with him. He even bought me my very own controller. Its the Gears of War Xbox controller. I love it!!

Moving on to movies. I'll only go into Harry Potter. "Harry Potter? Never seen it"....that was my response in the beginning. He was like, "You have to watch it!" Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix was about to come out and I hadn't seen any of them. He of course had read all the books up to this point. The seventh book had not been released yet. So on my time off from work I watched the first four. They were ok, but I really didn't get the hype. I went and saw the fifth movie and then the sixth and then the seventh. But then he asked me to read the books. I remember when the last book came out. He got it at midnight and stayed up all night and the next day reading it. I didn't understand that craziness. After I had my first kid and he started taking some long naps, and I started having more down time, I finally picked up book one. And loved it! So I read the rest one after another and I loved them! After each book, I watched the movie that went with that book and thus began my love affair for the series. I have now reread the books several times and any time Harry Potter is on TV, we stop and let it play. My kids at 3 and 1 1/2 actually can tell you who Harry Potter is if he's on TV.

And since we are talking about TV, lets talk about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Another show, I didn't watch and wasn't all that into. You mean vampires? Really? Thats not really my thing. Oh how wrong I was. Spike is so my thing! I watched every season with my husband and loved it! I have even watched them over and over again. I have not seen Angel...but its on the list. I did watch Firefly, not really my thing, but I get its cool. We've watched Freaks and Geeks and love the awesomeness of it. We are huge Big Bang Theory fans (which who isn't these days) and I love Grimm which is a kind of fantasy show.

All in all, I found a part of me that I didn't know existed. A part of me that is totally geeky but that I am proud to know. I love that I met a man who wasn't afraid to be a nerd and now owns more nerdy t-shirts than anyone I know. I am thankful for someone who said, "I'll teach you to play video games! This is awesome!" Who had patience with me when he had to save me in the games more than he actually got to play and for someone who encouraged me to read more and find different genres that might be fun. I am outing myself as a semi, self-proclaimed nerd. I pride myself on the fact that I can call myself a gamer chick. I love that I have my own controller and I have gotten a flawless, up strum only performance on the bass guitar on Rock Band. (another side note, we have also done the 50 song consecutive set....yes we totally stayed up all night long to do it. This was before we had kids....ahh the days back then). Anywho...I love that I am a Harry Potter fan and that I was able to fall in love with the series. I am also having fun with my son these days and his super heroes. I like that I know the characters now (after getting a crash course from husband one night after my son went to bed because I couldn't name half of the heroes in the coloring book...but thats beside the point). I am proud to be married to a geek and I am proud to be one myself. And more importantly, I am proud, that I get to raise my kids to know that whomever they want to, geeky, nerdy, athletic, the jock, the cheerleader, dancer, princess....whatever, that they can be a combination of everything or only one thing and still be true to who they are. They can own it and we will support it and make sure that they are proud to be who they are. 

Own your geek side, because its a pretty cool thing! 

And here's the grooms cake at our wedding:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Blessed by friends

When we moved into our neighborhood three years ago, I would have never thought that I would have found a bond and a strength in the friends that I have made around me. I am blessed to live in a neighborhood and surrounding 'hoods' that are full of stay at home moms, and I am even more blessed to have gotten to know them in the ways that I have. They mean everything to me for many reasons, but mainly because we all share similar lives and can walk through the hard times, the fun times and laugh as we raise kids and go through marriage together.

It started out with some of us expressing that we were interested in play groups through our neighborhood Facebook page. This got a few of us together and we seemed to hit it off. Slowly, but surely, by meeting new moms that moved in next door or across the street, we all started pulling in more moms. Right now, we have a pretty steady group of 5 and sometimes more of us with 1-2 kids (ages 4 months to 5 years) each that try to meet up once a week for a play group. Our children have bonded and have become friends that they even ask when they get to see each other again and for us moms, we have found that its nice to be able to talk during those times about anything and everything.

Its been healthy for me. I love knowing that there are girls going through the same things I am. Lets face it, we all worry about our kids...from the silly minor things, like they won't eat anything but the big things like health issues and so on. And its been great to talk about each of our stresses from money to finding ourselves through being a mom and wife now.

We then decided that we all needed a girls night. So periodically, we try to get together just us kids and no husbands and just talk...and talk and talk. Sometimes, its nice to talk about things that isn't kid related! This has led us to getting together for dinners and letting our husbands meet. We've all met at parks on the weekends with our husbands and had them have a chance to get to know each other too! All around, our families are bonding in such ways that I feel very fortunate to know so many wonderful people!

And recently, some of us girls decided we wanted to start a bible study together. We felt like, we have become friends, we have stressed together, we have laughed together and we have made some pretty fun memories..but now its time to grow in God and see how He can bond us in a different way. Not through our kids or our husbands, but through Him. Our first trial run went great this week and next week, we are bringing in, yet more moms (some even from different neighborhoods) and sharing the blessing of being able to do this with more. I love it and I am so excited to be able to know such amazing, Godly, generous women.

We have become more than neighbors. We have become each others saviors, when one of us feels sick and needs someone to watch our kids while we rest, or one of us has somewhere to be and we need a babysitter for an hour or so, we all offer and are happy to help. I have even done the, "I need butter. Can I borrow a stick?" when my kids have been napping and I started baking only to find I was out of butter. We have become each others life lines, when one of us needs time out of the house, we schedule an impromptu play date and meet up. We have become each others companions when a husband is out of town and we want some company in the evening, we all oblige and bring wine!

If you are a stay at home mom, or even a working mom, I would encourage you to find people around you or in church or somewhere that you can experience life together with. It makes us all feel normal that we are going through the same struggles and think the same things. Its been fun having game nights and getting to know each other for who we are and not just seeing who the mom part of us are. Find some friends, get together, share things and you will be surprised how much more enriched your life will be by the people you connect with around you.

Who knows whats next for us...maybe someday soon, when our kids are all in school full time, we can have a weekend away!

Until next time...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter came, now go away...

I haven't written in awhile because we have been very busy. How I managed to have time on Valentines night to write is a fluke. My oldest kid is currently passed out on our bed asleep since he isn't feeling well and didn't nap, my daughter is in bed early because she isn't feeling well and I sent my husband off to get a massage as a Valentines day present. So here I am, with a somewhat clean house, and time to write.

Winter is coming was the theme of last year if you are a Game of Thrones fan. (I am not a super fan, but my husband likes the show and since I subject him to celebrity wife swap and cooking shows, I owe him some boy tv time too.) And winter came…with a vengeance! My daughter got croup on halloween night and if you read my previous posts, theres a story in there somewhere. I think since she got a cold that week, someone in this house has been sick every other week since then! We somehow cannot kick this bug. Someone wakes up with a runny nose or sore throat almost so consistently that its normal these days. The down side is, it is wearing me out!

Not in the sense where I am sick too…but my kids need me a lot more when they are sick and that can wear you down after awhile. Don't get me wrong, I love the snuggles and the cuddles and the kisses (which is helping spread this germ), and I am thankful that I have two beautiful kids that WANT to still cuddle with me. I know someday that won't be the case and so I count my blessings as they come. But there are times, that both kids need my lap. And I have a small lap. I am a string bean and petite thing, so I don't have much room and I am boney…so I don't think I am that comfortable. If one is in my lap, the other cries, if the other is in my lap, the other cries and so goes our days this winter. We get spurts of energy and go play and 30 min later we are down for the count. I have done a lot of sitting lately that involved rocking, patting backs, comforting, singing and everything else. I have wiped more noses than I can count. I have gone through more kleenix boxes than I can count and I can honestly say, cold bug….I AM DONE!

Please go away and let my family be healthy. There is no amount of lysol in this house that can rid our family. We have gone through an entire family size bottle of anti bacterial, an entire can of lysol, and like 3 things of soap in the last 2 months! And we are still getting sick! My poor daughter had croup on her birthday! And now my poor son has a cold and his party is tomorrow.

So, this mommy is tired. The cold fronts have kept us all in doors and way too close. And I am ready for my children to be healthy and to go and play outside and have fun and not feel like they are stuck inside and sick all the time. I am ready to be able to take walks and go to the park (which the last couple days we have been doing some), we're just not quite well enough to enjoy it fully. I am not complaining as much as I am just letting out my frustrations about the cold season. I love winter. Its my favorite season. Normally, I love staying in by the fire and watching movies or reading a good book, but this one has just been brutal.

I hope everyone is staying well and soon we will all be well too. And soon the weather will change and it will be warm and we can go on with our lives as normal, healthy people! I wish everyone a happy Valentines day and as soon as my husband gets home, we will celebrate too!

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Girl first Birthday!

I know this post is coming out quite a bit late, but I needed to get through all the craziness and chaos of the holidays before I had some down time to just sit and write. I hope that everyone's holidays were filled with joy and family filled fun!

So my daughter turned one in November and I couldn't have dreamed up a better party than what actually played out! We decided to do a donut party. We had it in the morning around 10, which was perfect. She was able to eat an early lunch around 11 and then have her cake. The invitations, my sister made and they turned out so cute! The caption was, "Donut miss out!" My mom came in town and few days prior and we had so much fun setting up for the party! First off, we made her a pink tutu, because of course, any little girl turning one needs a tutu! We have never made one, but I think it turned out ok. 

Along with the donut theme, we set up a coffee bar for the adults, which I think turned out pretty cute!

For her birthday table, we set up cake stands and put donuts out. I also made muffins and set up her monthly pictures that I took so that people could see how much she had changed! My sister in law made her sweet little smash cake and of course, the table was decorated with pearls! She had to have pearls. 

My mom and I made the letters. It was so much fun and I love making things. The blocks on the table were made by my best friend when she was born. I have lots of crafty people in my life and I am so thankful for that. 

Overall, it was a huge success! And this past year flew by. She went from a little baby to an active, mischievous, sweet, funny little girl. I can not wait to see what the next year holds for her! 

Happy birthday sweet girl! Until next time...