Sunday, January 30, 2011

Coming in September!

It was any other winter day in January. I ran some errands with the kids, got everyone home and fed, then put the kids to bed a little later. Daniel and I snuggled on the couch watching Stargate Universe on Netflix with only a strand of Christmas lights gently lighting the cavern of a room.

One episode ended and I decided it was time for a potty break. I ran upstairs, hesitating, thinking. Should I test? Should I wait? I had bought a 3-pack of First Response, the best pregnancy tests, from the store earlier. Even then I debated whether or not to buy them. I thought for certain I'd be tossing away those precious dollars with negative tests staring back at me and Aunt Flo following not long after.

Eh, what's the harm? It's a 3-pack. I can use one and save the rest for another cycle. Even though my period wasn't due for two more days I felt I'd get an accurate result.




Estimated date of arrival- September 23, 2011!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Score!!!

Tonight I was really craving some Japanese Pan Noodles from Noodles and Company: caramelized udon noodles in a sweet soy sauce with broccoli, carrots and shiitake mushrooms. Asian sprouts, black sesame and cilantro garnish. Made-to-order just the way you like it and a healthy 350 calories for a small bowl that truly fills you up (and I think it costs under $5).


I got on their website just to stare at a picture of it. I know, I'm weird! Anyway I randomly started clicking on their web links and stumbled upon "Locations". Of course the first thing you want to do there is to type in your zip and find the one closest to you, the one that you visit, just to feel all prideful and gleeful that there's one nearby.

But ours didn't come up. Perplexed I sent them an email saying there was a new Noodles and Company location near me that wasn't yet put up on the site and I wanted people in my area to know that there was one there. They'd be searching and not even know! They might drive 30 minutes out of their way when they could get to one just 10 minutes down the road.

Several minutes after I sent my little blurp I received an email and it said they were treating my family and me to a complimentary lunch as a thanks for pointing out the website error!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Japanese Pan Noodles here I come!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Coffee

I think the only time in my life I was a coffee drinker was when I was a child and they had free coffee at church. My little brother and I would sneak some in a Styrofoam cup and top it off with loads of sugar and water from the fountain. As I grew and stopped attending church with my mom I stopped my little Sunday binge of watered-down sugar coffee.

And then entered Mommyhood. I've had the occasional Starbucks as a young adult and woman but the steep prices mean it's a rare treat for me. And I usually get the frappucinos anyway. My husband usually just drinks coffee at work and thus concludes that we never have coffee in our house...

Except every Christmas someone gives my husband coffee.

The past years I enjoyed smelling the grounds (seriously they smell SO good) but left the drinking to my hubby. And then several weeks ago he made a pot... and I made a cup... and I realized how wired it made me feel.................... and I realized WHY parents need this stuff.

It's addictive. Seriously. And it tastes so good. I like mine with two spoons of sugar and 1/4 of my cup is creamer so it is more of a milky, sweet drink. I hate the bitter taste of the grounds but add a little creamer and it is delicious.

This is probably no news to you but to a young mom who is an insomniac and gets up before dawn it is huge news! It all makes so much sense now. And if I ever ridiculed, teased or made fun of you for drinking coffee like your very life depended on it to make it through the day I humbly bow before you in forgiveness!

Now someone just needs to explain to Daniel he can't make the coffee in the evening but in the morning!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mamarazzi has special news!

The wonderful lady over at Dandelion Wishes has some big news about bringing email back to life! In this bloggy world we've become a little... shall we put it............... Facebooked! Instead of replying to a commenter for a personal conversation we have turned our comment thread into a Facebook status. The problem with that? If I leave a comment or important question on someone's blog post I never go back to that comment thread to see if I got a note back from the blogger. I don't get a notice if they reply on their own comment thread either. We're losing a little bit of personal touch... blogging isn't meant to be this way and is a more personal and intimate relationship between blogger and readers.

The true problem behind all of this is that many of us are No Reply Bloggers, meaning that somewhere along the way our email became hidden. By simply going to your Dashboard you can click on Edit Profile and enable your email (if you want you can always use a different email to hide your personal one). Easy as apple pie! And you'll hopefully be flooded with bloggy love from bloggers who take the time to get back with you.


Photobucket

I just can't tell you how GOOD it feels when I leave a comment or question on a blog post and the blogger themselves takes 2 minutes of their day to reply back to me.

Join the revolution! I'm off to check and make sure I'm not a No-Reply Blogger myself. Do the same!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jesus made the pies!

I always try to engage my girls in conversation and let them use their imaginations. Elaina is very much by-the-rulebook and doesn't really think outside the box when it comes to storytelling but she has an amazing mind for remembering details. She told me today about her "dream" but it was really a retelling of the movie Beauty and the Beast almost scene-for-scene and word-for-word. It was so cute and endearing and she picked up the most minute details!


The other day Abigail and I were eating lunch.We started talking about God and Jesus. I asked her an open-ended question. I asked her, "What did Jesus make"? figuring she'd tell me he made the trees and the sky and the animals, etc.

With Thanksgiving fresh on her mind she thought for a moment and then said, "Jesus made the pies! And......... the turkey!" Gobble, gobble!

 Happy 1st Birthday Zoë (10/23/2010)

Zoë is also still breastfeeding. We're down to three feedings a day; morning, afternoon and before bed. I've been giving her Lactaid throughout the day at her meals but not because she is lactose intolerant. Cow's milk is hard for our stomachs to digest so it was recommended to me that Lactaid would be easier on Zoë's stomach and once she is able to have lower fat milk (we drink 1% at our house) she won't need Lactaid.

Miss Zoë is so so so smart. She is almost 15-months-old now. If I give her a command she instantly knows what I am talking about but she still isn't talking much. She'll say the words: baby, uh-oh, Jesus, Bah-Bah (for Abby), Laina, this, what, mama and dada. She can also sign: eat, more, all done and milk.

Just today I told Zoë we needed to put her cup of milk back in the fridge because she was about to go upstairs to play and then to take a nap and I didn't want it to spoil. She immediately turned and toddle-ran to the kitchen. The gate stopped her but I knew she was heading right for the fridge to bang on it until I opened it.

She's also started climbing the stairs (we keep a gate up and I only let her climb when I'm walking behind her). She knows what, "It's time to brush your teeth" means and RUNS to the bathroom and holds out her hand babbling earnestly until we place her brush in her hand. Then she'll back her little self up until the back of her knees meet the little step stool and she'll sit and happily suckle on her toothbrush.

And she's a little stinker! We say, "NO!" and she giggles and keeps doing it. This one is going to keep us busy because my other girls never did that. We said "No" and they knew we meant it and immediately obeyed (at least when they were Z's age; they're not as compliant now, ha ha). She is constantly flitting from one thing to get into to the next thing to get into. Her toys sit ignored for the most part; it's OUR stuff she wants to get into like important papers, my photos, the kitchen drawers she loves to empty (hence the gate!).


Miss Elaina is reading and writing. Seriously! My little 5-year-old can read and it just blows my mind and makes both Daniel and I puff up with pride. She is doing so well in school. She got "A's" for first and second quarter of school. She is also reading above her grade level. This is the first year she wrote all her own thank-you's after Christmas (complete with cute pictures) and everyone was so touched by that.

Elaina is also my crafter. She'd be content to draw and color and paint and craft all the day long if I let her. I'm thinking about getting her an art easel for her 6th birthday or a couple of those fun craft kits for her age that you find at hobby stores. She's made her own purses, potholders and has even begun her Valentine's which are definitely not store-bought!

So just had to do a little bragging on them since it's been awhile!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's only been... how many months?!

Hi!

How ARE you?!

Do you remember me?!

Ahhh... I have a computer again. But in the absence of my computer I got a whole new perspective on motherhood and the kind of mom I want to be. The reason, of course, being that I had a whole lot of time on my hands! No computer meant no online business (had to temporarily close the shop!) which meant no jewelry to make. It also meant no full-time review and giveaway blog to run. One car meant I couldn't even escape the house until the weekends. My full schedule flat-lined! Which meant more time to devote to my kids. I had been spending my daytime blogging and working instead of waiting until the kids went to bed and with my own business and being a reviewer it just ate up my entire day.

After the computer crashed I started noticing little things about discipline and our communication with the kids that really added up and bothered me. I realized in these past weeks that my family was starting to fall apart right under my nose and I didn't even realize it!

You know I thought I would be a natural at being a mom. That I would be that soft-voice and patient woman who could handle any boo-boo or tantrum that came my way. When I was a young girl I was the perfect babysitter. I mean come on! I had The Babysitter Club books as my guide. My dream since I was old enough to remember dreaming was to become a mom. I dreamed about my babies, about our home and how I'd be Little Miss Susie Homemaker. Everyone gushed that I would just be the best mom in the world!

I'm disappointed to say that I am not the picture of my dream. I don't wear pearls, heels and an apron. Heck most of the time I am still in my pajamas from the night before by the time bedtime hits. I don't have a sheet of fresh-basked cookies and a pitcher full of ice cold milk waiting for Elaina when she gets home from school. Homework is this rushed affair where I have to bite my tongue and remind myself, "Let HER do the work, let HER figure it out" even if it takes 30 minutes longer than I would want.

In fact by dinner I'm so ready to pull my hair out from everyone bickering, fighting and just from general sensory overload that I just want to hide!!!

So what I began to change while I was offline was my family dynamic starting with myself. It's a work in progress. Discipline has become so shaky. Our girls began acting out because Daniel's discipline is kind of yelling at them from the other room and mine is just an exasperated, "STOP fighting, please!" instead of stopping the dish washing and providing a consequence to behavior. 

There is more going on than I want to fill this page with but that is what is on my mind today. What kind of mother am I? Am I the mother I want to be? I don't need to wear the heels and pearls or bake cookies as an afternoon treat. That isn't what makes a mother. But am I patient? Am I kind? Am I getting eye-level with the girls? Am I demanding too much or too little? I've really been focusing on how to balance myself as a mother. That, after all, is my first and most important job so I better being doing it well!

I don't think I'm a bad mom. But I do think there's room for much improvement. And I'm excited to see myself bloom into a more mature and contented woman who dotes and disciplines with integrity and respect. Because I know that when I begin to take care of me, to take care of the hormonal problems creeping up again, to fight the fatigue of boredom and monotony and really delve into becoming a nurturer, a protector and a teacher my kids are going to grow up with a mom they can rely on and trust.

It has all started with having family meetings where we tell the girls about the behavior we expect and the consequences if we see behavior we don't accept. We also let everyone talk about their feelings, their REAL feelings, without judgment. As parents we also share how we want to be better. Right now we have a No Tolerance policy where it is one warning and then it is time-out. We're going to try to refrain from spanking (which I feel, when done properly, is a good tool for some children) and really focus on other forms of discipline that are character-building and not fear-based or threatening. It's so easy to get mad and say, "If you do not listen I am going to spank you!" but it can easily spiral out of control and every little infraction garners a swat. Kids become immune to it.

So now I'm super excited to get caught back up with everyone. I've missed my blog SO SO SO much while gone! I leave you with a couple pictures of the girls at Christmas!

 My big girls! They may fight at times but at the end of the day they're sisters, best friends to the end!

My Zoë girl!