Love Story

Sunday, January 31, 2010

They were ISN'T fair!!

The older I get and the more children I have, the more I realize that my parents were right. About most everything! If only I would have really listened to them then. It seems like when you are at the age to absorb and make use of the words of wisdom older people impart on you, you are completely incapable of doing it. I already think of all the things I am going to tell my children to make their lives easier, knowing all the while that they won't listen until they have learned it for themselves. So goes the circle of life!

I was thinking today about how once you become a mom life changes in so many more ways then anyone tells you. Well, had I listened to my mom while growing up I would know, but as previously mentioned I was incapable with my stupid teenage mind. So it all feels like brand new to me. Like, I knew I wouldn't get much sleep, my time wouldn't be my own, my priorities would change. This I knew going into it. I didn't fully get it, but I knew. What I didn't really realize is that as a mom, and a wife actually, you lose the ability to give in to whatever you are feeling. Sure some moms do, but I'm talking about if you actually want things to go smoothly.

For example: lately I have not been able to sleep through an entire night. I would say in the last 6 weeks I slept completely through the night once. A big contributing factor is that I am now 22 weeks pregnant and having to pee several times. But another factor is my children. My 2 year old has taken to waking up crying once or twice in the middle of the night and requiring my attention. Then my 3 year old is up by 5:45 like clockwork each day. Now he gets brother up too and they cause all kinds of nonsense so I can't really sleep too soundly once they are up. Anyone who has gone for periods of time with low quality sleep knows that it begins to wear on you. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I am at the point where I get up in the morning and want to cry because I am so tired. Then I am faced with whatever mess my children have already made at that early hour. The day continues with two little people demanding constant attention usually communicating this by whining and flailing themselves around like a fish out of water (what is that about anyway?). Not only that but this tired cranky combination makes it hard to find any motivation to get the stuff around the house done like I should. So guilt starts to creep in. I feel like a crazy mess!

This brings me to the part of not being able to give into your feelings if you want the household to go smoothly. See my brain tells me "these children are the reason you are so tired and cranky, of course you are going to be a little more short with them then usual, of course housework can wait when you feel like a walking zombie." In my mind I know I am justified. My kids act in whatever manner suits their current emotional state. For that matter, so does my husband. But if I do, if I give in to that urge to act in the way I feel like I should, things would fall apart. As these last few days have gotten the best of me I see my children start to fall apart too. My crankiness has warn off on them and they are beginning to whine and fight on a nearly constant basis. And neglecting housework only means there is more for me to face tomorrow, which makes me even crankier. So the only real solution is to suck it up. To dig down deep and find that patience with my children that makes the day go smoothly and allows me to be around them without wanting to strangle them. To trudge through the housework, even if at a slower pace, so that it doesn't become unbearable at the end of the week. This way of thinking, this is not me. Not the me I grew up being. This is the mom in me. Because you see as soon as those little people entered the world they took a piece of me with them. The piece that is allowed to act on whatever I am feeling. That was replaced with a never ending quest to make life peaceful at all costs.  It may not be fair, but it's life. My life anyway. And as I have come to realize now that I am actually capable of listening, this is the life my mom and many other moms know too.

In a way it makes me proud. I have joined the club...that club that most women become a part of. I guess the true triumph will be when I learn to do it happily and not out of obligation. The ultimate goal is to not let it make me bitter but to let it make me stronger. I also hold onto the hope that one day it will all be worth it and I will hear my children say, "you were so right!" and "now I get it!".  I have a feeling that with all boys this day may not come as soon as it would with girls. Men always take longer to get it. But still I will pray that it comes!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My favorite mom sites

 I decided to go on the search for some great mom sites. Here are some that I found that I hope you can enjoy as well. Feel free to add any that you love in the comment box!

The Mom Blogs - This is a site full of blogs written by moms. You can search for fellow mom bloggers who live in your state or search by category. I love reading new blogs, especially by other moms, and this site is full of them!

Mommie 911 - I just stumbled on this site today and it looks like it is full of everything you could want, all in one place. From craft ideas for the kids, to giveaways, tips for frugal living, book lists for kids and so much more.

Baby Center - This is a social community for moms (and dads). You can join birth clubs, stay at home mom groups, faith based groups, the debate team, etc. Good place to go for advice but mostly pretty entertaining.

Stay a stay at home mom  - This site is full of helpful hints for staying a stay at home mom. Everything from reducing your expenses, to stretching your dollar and even making extra income from home.

Menus for Moms - This site is all about frugal living, gives lots of tips on cutting your grocery bills and has links to other frugal living sites. I especially like their "local grocery deals" section. You put in your zip code and they give you all the grocery stores in your area and the sales they have going. You can even generate your shopping list and it will add up the cost/savings for you.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

What I'm Reading

Cage of Stars

This was my first read by author Jacquelyn Mitchard. This book is centered around a Mormon family whose two youngest daughters are brutally murdered. The oldest girl, Veronica, is there when it happens and the story follows her life over the next few years. The grief that covers the family even as they welcome a new baby two weeks later is heartbreaking. The journey continues as each member grudges through their grief with the parents eventually being able to find peace in forgiving the murder. Veronica however can not find such peace and later sets out to avenge her sisters' deaths.

I could really relate with this characters struggle in letting her faith ease the unimaginable pain she was feeling. Not that I have been through such pain but I have always wondered if my faith would hold up to it. I know that we are told to forgive, just as Jesus forgives us, but if faced with what seems the unforgivable I always wonder if I could do what I know is right. The author does an amazing job of portraying grief through the eyes of a young girl but also her parents grief as she experiences it.

I was pleasantly surprised that the book ended on such a positive feel good note since most of it focused on anger, sorrow, grief and revenge. It was like the rainbow at the end of a long storm. I thought this was a great read even while leading you places you would never want to go in real life.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Still recovering

I think I am suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder! Okay, maybe more like a slight case of drama queen but nonetheless I am still recovering from yesterday (see yesterday's entry if confused about what I am referring to). The incident itself was really no big deal. The bathroom was back to normal after sopping up all the water and Jordan was no worse for the wear despite getting up close and personal with the Lysol bottle. All in all, it was mild compared to what it could have been. So what's the big hang up? This lingering sense of pain is caused by the place I have allowed my brain to go. Like even though I have always been aware of what my kids could do, I was able to push that out of my mind because it wasn't in the here and now. Then they are kind enough to show me a taste of what they are capable of and I realize all the things I have worried about or never even thought to worry about are possible. They are going to do crazy, god awful things no matter what I do. This was not the part of parenting I was signing up for! I know, I know, it comes with the territory. But that certainly doesn't make me like it.

And to top it off people LOVE to use these kinds of things to remind me, as if I could ever possibly forget, that in a few short months we will be adding a third boy to the mix. Do you not think that as soon as we saw that little penis on the screen we didn't start thinking about all the extra craziness we were in for? But I guess I was mostly envisioning down the road. Teenage stuff. The fact of the matter is that toddler and child stuff is scary too, in a totally different way. And while I fully realize that any combination of children, girls or boys or both, can get into any range of trouble, I think it is a well agreed upon fact that boys come prepackaged with their own unique brand of trouble. The more boys you add to the equation, the greater the possibility that they will give you gray hair, cause you to have a heart attack, or plain land you in the insane asylum.

I guess it is good that I can recognize this now. That my life is going to be one crazy roller coaster ride full of messes, bumps and bruises, close calls and anything and everything in between. Truth be told, I wouldn't change it for the world. I may come out a little worse for wear on the other end of it all, but I am sure I will have some amazing memories and a lifetime of stories that will make it all worth while. I long ago realized that God has a sense of humor and that he has to find ways to entertain himself too...guess he's just gearing up for a real good laugh at my expense!

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Things I learned from my kids today

#1. Something as simple as removing the sink plug from the kids bathroom could have prevented something as major as waking up to a flooded bathroom, hall and linen closet.
#2. Installing child locks on cabinets is not enough, you must make sure said locks are TIGHTLY installed. The slightest wiggle room and they can in fact let little people into places you don't want them.
#3. It is not enough to buy non-chemical cleaners, you also need to make sure you have gotten rid of any stray chemical cleaning bottles.
#4. Leaving the cleaning nozzle on spray may make it convenient for quick future use but it also makes it convenient for curious toddlers to taste said cleaning supplies.

Fortunately, this all sounds much worse than it ended up being. Although in the moment I was dealing with it all it felt pretty massive. I woke up this morning to quiet in my house. Of course to the untrained ear that seems like the perfect way to wake up. But to the mom of 2 and 3 year old boys whom you know have been awake for awhile, this lack of sound is immediately disturbing. I came out of my bedroom to find that my kids were no where in sight, but to hear the bathroom faucet running. Upon approaching the bathroom I see the door is closed. In those next few seconds I became a crazy lady. I open the door to take in the sight of the sink plugged up, full, and flowing onto the floor. I notice that not only is the entire floor covered but water is running down the vent. I see both my boys wading in the water completely soaked and then my eyes land specifically on Jordan. My 2 year old is holding a Lysol bathroom cleaner bottle. I was panicking and yelling and the boys most of known it was serious because they both broke down crying. I started sniffing their mouths and sure enough Jordan smelled like Lysol.

I then quickly called my husband, who had our only working car at work. Luckily he only works 5 minutes away and was home before I knew it. By that time I had the boys in dry clothes. Jeremy acted quickly calling the number on the back of the Lysol bottle only to get the response, "I don't know if it will hurt him, I am not a doctor" from the obviously untrained person on the other line. Hubby then decided it was best to just take him to the urgent care so he packed up Jordan and the cleaning bottle and took off. 12 towels later I had the entire bathroom dried and upon realizing it had gotten into the linen closet and the carpet in the hall, had that taken care of too. Fortunately Jeremy and Jordan were back home within 45 minutes. The nurse practitioner was quite kind and was pretty sure he hadn't ingested much and would be fine. She even called the company herself to complain since they didn't have the information on hand when we called.

Now that it is all said and done I am able to just shake my head about it. But I know we are lucky that there wasn't more damage done, specifically to Jordan. It is crazy because I really thought we had all precautions in place but even that could not deter my kids from finding their way into trouble. I have a feeling this is the beginning of a long road of craziness brought on by my children. Especially since we are expecting our 3rd son in late May/early June. Start praying for this momma now, I have a feeling I am going to need it!

What I'm Reading

Dear John

I have to start by saying that when I bought this book, I picked it up partly because it was on a discount shelf. I did not consciously remember ever hearing of Nicholas Sparks before and certainly did not know the long list of Best Seller's he had written.  I just recently saw a movie trailer that previewed this very title. I was surprised because I rarely ever chose a book to read that later becomes a movie. It was then that I took a closer look at the book, who it was by and what he had written prior to this. I decided to make this my next pick because I wanted to read it before the movie came out.

I have to say the first third of this book held my interest as it was this amazingly descriptive story of electric first love. I remember reading it and being able to put myself in those moments, reliving the moments when I too was truly in love for the first time. I actually enjoy the fact that Sparks made it romantically perfect and let you truly enjoy what these two characters shared. As I started the second third of the book I lost interest. Unlike the first section, he wrote about large periods of time with little detail and I found myself missing the slowness and intimacy that he wrote with in the beginning. But as the book wrapped up, it moved back into that more intimate writing and I realized it was meant to parallel what the main character was going through. Life stood still when he was with her. Every moment lingered. The time in between meant nothing and that is why the author chose not to dwell on it. 

As predictable as parts of this book are, it touches on several unexpected topics that kept me on my toes. There is more then one relationship to follow in this book and they are all touching in their own ways. This book has definitely peaked my interest in reading more of Nicholas Sparks' works. 

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What we are having for dinner

This is a recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs that I got out of the Deceptively Delicious cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld.  Not only do my kids absolutely love these meatballs, but I can actually get my dad to eat them and he hates ground turkey and anything resembling a vegetable or anything else healthy.  This recipe calls for pureed butternut squash which when in season I like to roast and puree myself, freezing the leftovers in usable portions. But it also works just as well to buy it from the frozen section.


*1/2 lb lean ground turkey
*1 cup of breadcrumbs
*1/2 cup butternut squash puree
*1 clove garlic, minced
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/4 tsp black pepper
*olive oil
*2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce or equivalent (I make my own with diced tomatoes and seasonings)
*1 lb spaghetti (I prefer whole wheat)

1. In a large bowl, mix the turkey, breadcrumbs, butternut squash puree, garlic, salt and pepper until well combined. Shape the mixture into 1-inch meatballs and place on a sheet of waxed paper or aluminum foil.
2. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the olive oil (she calls for 2 tsp but I always need more) and then the meatballs and brown for 4 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally.
3. Add the spaghetti sauce, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center.
4. While this is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and serve with sauce and meatballs.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Our weekend in pictures

I have recently started a picture blog (Project 365) that has me posting a picture a day, in hopes that we will have something special to look back on when the year is over. This has been an enjoyable project so far and I find myself carrying my camera more than ever before in hopes of catching something fun for the day. Since I only post one picture a day on my other blog, I thought I would put up some of the other pictures from this weekend.

Jordan being his goofy self and rockin' some Slink Dog head wear:)
 "Look mom, ketchup!"

Nathan on the slide at the crazy because normally in January the park would be covered in snow.

2 of my handsome guys chillin' at the park.

The pose itself looks so loving, but Nathan's face says it all! Jordan was forced to share the seat so he decided to make it as uncomfortable for brother as possible.
Our little incredible Hulk

Not feeling so well today, relaxing with Buddy.
He had to sleep with Buddy too since brother was:)
Brother got harmonicas at Kindermusik so they were serenading us the whole way home.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

52 week Bible Reading Plan - Week 2

I have to be honest in saying that week 2 was a lot harder than week 1 was for me. Maybe it was the fact that the initial enthusiasm over starting something new had already worn off or because of what I was reading this week. Either way I found myself having to act like it was one of the other daily chores I don't always feel like doing but must get done. Not exactly the right attitude, I know. I also found myself missing 2 days. Now here is were I would normally just give up because once I am behind the stress of catching up gets to me. But instead I just told myself it was okay to move on and read what I missed when I can. I have actually already made up all that reading. So my major accomplishment for the week was not allowing a stumbling block to be the breaking point like it may have in the past. I think if I can continue with this mindset, I will achieve what I have set out to do. My goal for next week is to adjust my attitude and get back into positive thinking in regards to daily reading. I think I will get so much more out of it when my heart is in the right place.

Week 1
Making the commitment

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What I'm Reading

My Sister's Keeper


What I like about the way this book is written is that it comes from several different characters point of view. I sometimes wish that life was like that. That I could switch into someone's else head for awhile to see where they are coming from and what life looks like to them. Seems like it would make things so much simpler. This adds a depth to this story that makes it much more compelling than if it was based from one character's point of view. The other thing that stood out to me was that a big piece of the main characters was not revealed until the very end. You go through the book realizing you don't quite know everything but thinking you have a firm grasp on who these people are. It turns out that these missing pieces are key to fully understanding what is going on. This parallels real life to me. So many times you think you know people but until you find out that key piece of information, you may be completely off base.

One of the lines in the book that really spoke to me was this: "I realize then that we never have children, we receive them. And sometimes it's not for quite as long as we would have expected or hoped. But it is still far batter than never having had those children at all."  As a mother I like to think that these children belong to me and are completely under my control. But the truth is they were given to me as a gift and are just under my care for the time being. I don't know how long I will have them which is why I need to make each day count. Give them the tools they need to grow into their own people and love them unconditionally. I can only hope that I never have to know what it is like to give them back.

I have to say that I went into reading this thinking I knew what it was about. Not only did I see the movie previews but I  have been told about a dozen times how sad it was. But I found myself 10 pages away from finishing the book and thinking, sure it's sad but in a way that is totally predictable from the beginning. Then BAM, Jodi Picoult hits you with a major twist that changes everything. I was originally able to look past the sadness because the outcome seemed inevitable. It was in the surprise that I truly felt hit emotionally for the first time in the book. Overall I think this was a great read. Not only extremely thought provoking but it also touches on a topic that forces you to look at your own life and realize just how good you have it.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

About gave myself a heart attack!

This morning as I was getting ready I about had a heart attack. For those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, I talked about a mouse that we were dealing with about a month ago. After much sneakiness on the mouse's part we did manage to catch it, although he was difficult until the very end. We found him still alive running with the trap attached to one shoulder. Anyway, after that icky ordeal we had hoped we were done dealing with the situation. To be on the cautious side my husband reset traps just in case he had friends we were unaware of. Well, about a week ago I decided we were probably in the clear and asked Jeremy to put the traps away. For whatever reason he hadn't gotten around to it and this Sunday as I was getting ready for church I happened to look in the corner of our bathroom and see a trap flipped over with little mouse limbs sticking out from underneath. I of course deferred to my husband and let him deal with the mess. But I was back to feeling like our house was being invaded by unwelcome guests.

So we come to this morning. As I said, I was getting ready and was in my closet trying to find something to wear when all of a sudden I hear a "SNAP, THUD" from the bathroom and just freeze. I literally felt my heart pounding out of my chest. "Oh no," I thought, "it's another mouse! What if it's still alive? What if it's dead? Jeremy's not home for another 10 hours and I do NOT want to deal with this." So I force myself to walk around the corner and slowly peak my head around the bathroom door. What do I see? The toilet paper roll on the floor. About 5 minutes prior to that I had put a new roll on and must not have got it in all the way. So when it sprung off and hit the floor it sounded much like I had imagined the mousetrap sounding. I literally sighed a breath of relief and then laughed at myself for being such a baby! My husband also got quite a kick out of the story when I talked to him on his lunch break. You would think I was dealing with post-mouse trap stress disorder or something!

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Monday, January 18, 2010

What we had for dinner

I am so excited to share this recipe with all of you!! I absolutely LOVE avocado and was excited to find this Pita Pizza recipe in Everyday with Rachel Ray. I made a few adjustments so the recipe isn't all exact measurements but making it your own is part of the fun.

Bacon-Avocado Pita Pizzas

* 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
* 1 shallot of red onion thinly sliced
* 1/4 c EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) + extra for drizzling on the pitas
* 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
* Pepper
* 2 avocados
* 8 slices bacon
* mixed greens, torn-up
* shredded mozzarella
* whole pitas (I prefer whole wheat)

1. Brush pitas with EVOO and dust with garlic salt. Place on cookie sheets and cook at 450 degrees for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, shallots, 1/4 c EVOO, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature.

In a medium bowl, mash the avocados, pressing plastic wrap directly on the surface to cover.

3. Cook bacon and drain on paper towels.

4. Spread the avocado evenly on each crust. Top with mixed greens and then scatter tomato mixture over pizza. Crumble bacon on top and then add cheese.
5. Put in oven for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Enjoy!! I usually make 4 of these and have leftover of the tomato mixture which is good in a salad or on top of chicken or fish the next day.

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