Monday, January 31, 2011

To Be Beautifully Me

I am not, nor will I ever be my mom.  That my friends, is a sad thing.

Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be like my mom.  Strong, hardworking, dedicated, loving, kind, nurturing, selfless.  I wanted to be just like her.  Staying home taking care of my own kiddos, loving on them, caring for them, being there for them. 

Well here I am.  My mom had four kids, I have two.  How she did it I will never know because really I feel like I am going through the motions with nothing being brought to completion. Never ahead. Never finishing all the tasks I desire to complete. Often jealous of the correspondence between friends that I simply do not understand because I am too busy keeping things going in my home. Often feeling guilty when I desire to be away. 


My mom was selfless.  I am striving to be that way, but fail all too often.  But I ask, what about my sense of self?  Is it selfish to want a sense of self?  To maintain who I am, who I was, who I want to be? To have my own friendships? I will never be like my mom because she was fully selfless giving all of herself to her kids.  I honor her, respect and admire her.  But I must remind myself.  I am not her.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mama's Opinion: An Ode to Our Honda Pilot

It was time.
Time for a new car.
A bigger car.
One that could fit the helping hand of a Grandma or Auntie, or both.
One that could fit friendly bodies for fun group adventures.

But our old car!

A wonderful car.
Perfect for two adults and two car-seated kiddos.
A car that was well thought out by it's engineers. Those engineers must have been mothers I tell you! All those storage compartments!
With a trunk that didn't seem over crowded with three strollers, a diaper bag, five bags of groceries and countless odds and ends all mommies need.

A safe, strong car.
An easy driver.
A fast stopper.
A solid machine.

A car that brought both my babies home.
A car that saved our lives when mommy was distracted.
A car that drove us to church on Sundays.

A wonderful car.

We will miss you Mr. Pilot. We will miss you.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Need to Push On

Sometimes it is just so hard. These past two months have been relentless and I feel completely overwhelmed. We have had sickness coupled with nursing strikes. I was put Medication that requires no nursing which seems to lead to more sickness. Little Guy is 10 months old and I was so ready to call nursing quits.  

Photo courtesy of www.awhush.com
Nursing has never ever come easy to me but I push through because I know that it is so good for my kiddos. My convictions were confirmed this past week. I was struggling with a health issue which required me to go on an unexpected dose of medication that I was not interested in giving to Little Guy through my breast milk. My plan was to give him formula and the little breast milk reserves I had. It was a three day dose but I wanted to wait five days to be certain. Within a couple of days he had a full blown cold. Snot everywhere, coughing, night-waking, restlessness, ear infections, high fevers...the list goes on. My heart broke.  

Little Girl did not get sick until her actual first birthday, she nursed to 15 months. I was hoping for the same for Little Guy. He got close. We are back to breastfeeding again, and I pray we are on the mend. I don't think I can handle much  more.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Party is A-Coming!!

I am a planner. HA! Not really, but when it comes to party planning you better believe I have my T's crossed and my I's dotted!!

Little Guy's birthday is in two short months and I am all into planning mode.

Celebrating the Birth Day of my little's is so important to me! I just love planning a fun party to celebrate such a special day!

To see what we did for Little Girl's Third Birthday click HERE. And stay tuned to see how Little Guy's party turn's out. You can bet I will be posting links and giving my hidden tips on how I put together his special day!

Okay I just realized how many "!" I used in this post...can you tell I am excited!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Get the Veggies in! Try this...


Do you have a hard time getting your Little's to eat their veggies?  If your answer is no, I am sooo jealous!  I try so so so very hard to start my kiddos off on the right foot when it comes to eating healthy, whole foods.  But alas, I have a three year old who will. not. eat. green.  If it is green, she hates it.  She will however, eat green oatmeal but that is for another post.  Sometimes she will eat veggies in soup...sometimes.

In an effort to make a soup that would put veggies easily into my child, I stumbled upon a variation of this recipe on foodgeeks.com. I tried it and we loved it, especially Little Girl! I highly recommend this recipe to anyone that is in need of a quick dinner. It's very filling and a great comfort food that won't leaving you feeling like your putting junk on the table.

Creamy Zucchini Soup (without cream!)

3 Tbs  Olive Oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 lb. zucchini, thinly sliced

5 cups chicken stock

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 - 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (the fresher the better)

1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbs chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan for garnish

Crostini (toasted bread slices)

Directions:
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add zucchini and saute, stirring frequently, for 5-10 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree in a blender (or use a hand blender). Return to the saucepan and bring back to a boil. Combine beaten eggs, cheese and herbs in a bowl. Slowly stir into the boiling soup (**I highly recommend you temper your eggs first, otherwise it will be more like egg drop soup**). Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with fresh Parmesan and Crostini.

Enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mama's Opinion: The Wonder Weeks

It seems that overnight Little Guy is crawling all over the place (still army style, but he is fast!), signing to me when he wants something or when he is all done, sitting up on his own, and understanding a lot more.  Last week I would have told you that I was concerned because I thought he was "behind" (whatever that means), this week is a whole different story. Last week was hard. 


I am so thankful that while I was literally ready to pull my hair out last week I knew why things were going the way they were.  Enter The Wonder WeeksThis amazing book is not a parenting book, but rather a book of research based answers.  In short, the book provides the reader with answers as to why their little one is a cranky mess.  They say that "...surprisingly, all normal, healthy babies are more tearful, troublesome, demanding, and fussy at the same ages."  They go on to say "From our research, we are now able to predict, almost to the week, when parents can expect their babies to go through one of these 'fussy phases'"  Seriously?  Seriously.

Awesome!


I wish, wish, wish, I had this book when Little Girl was a baby.  Even though I had "been through it before" having Little Guy still brought back those old frustrations of, "Why is he crying?"and "What is wrong with him?" This time I was able to turn to The Wonder Weeks for answers.


I do find however that this book is quite wordy.  I generally turn to their website for more information or look to the book as a reference. Had I had this book when Little Girl was an infant I would have been able to read it from cover to cover while she was napping.  Now-a-days I do not get any sort of break, so sitting down to read a lengthy chapter is out of the question. 

This book is my go-to-shower-gift essential for every new parent. I am so thankful to Anne-Marie for sharing it with her readers and friends. I believe by reading this book mothers can have more patience, confidence and a stronger sense of themselves as parents.

Have a new little one in the house?  Pick up this book, you will not be disappointed you did.
*I was not compensated for this opinion in any way.  I just love this product so much I wanted to tell you about it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shake, Rattle and Roll...

Photo courtesy of www.awhush.com
Earthquakes. I hate them. Well, I don't hate them. Maybe I do. I didn't before kids. I think I do now.

We have had multiple earthquakes in the past 24 hours. Enough to get my blood boiling remembering back to the quake of '89 like it was yesterday.

I think of all the "what ifs" and I make myself crazy.

So I go back to the reoccurring theme in my head, which has been needed since becoming a parent...

"The end of fear is the beginning of trust. 
The end of fear is the beginning of faith."
(Repeat, repeat, repeat...)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mama's Opinion: Kelty TC 2.0 Carrier

This past month or so has been hard on our little guy. He has been going through some separation anxiety and really, it's hard on all of us. Things around the house must get done, and doing them with an unhappy baby is challenging. While generally my hip is a great resting spot for his little batooty, my back generally starts to ache and most household chores are quite difficult with one hand. I am so thankful that when Little Girl was small we purchased the Kelty TC 2.0 Carrier.

We originally bought this carrier for hiking and long walks and its great for that, but it is also perfect for around the house. The Kelty 2.0 sits the child up higher on the back than other daily-use carriers allowing Little Guy to look out and be part of the action. It is not bulky and allows for smoothly moving around the house. I love this carrier. I am so glad we bought it and really, at this point, it would be hard to live without it.

When we were looking to buy a backpack carrier, we wanted one that was an actual backpack with a "hidden" carrier in it. That way, our kids could run as they pleased and we would not feel like we were carrying an empty carrier around.  When they were ready for a ride we could just loosen the straps and pop them in.  The backpack feature also allowed us to carry all the goodies needed for the trip.


There are many great features to this carrier. I am a big fan of the feature that allows the adult to adjust the waist belt to their height so that the straps are comfortable on your body. I had a few suggestions for Kelty, but after reviewing their new 2.0, I am happy to see that they have made all the changes that I would have recommended!  Way to go Kelty!


*I was not compensated for this opinion in any way.  I just love this product so much I wanted to tell you about it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fist, Fist, Pull (repeat, repeat, repeat...)

The time has arrived.
Little Guy is moving.
My mommy alerts need to come out.
I am aware of small objects and hazards in his play area, but now the house needs a good clean sweep to check for caution areas...and fast.
I learned my lesson tonight, it was a hard one but everyone involved is happy now.

I can feel it in my bones.
We said it from the start, he is going to be into everything and constantly moving.
He was and is such an easy baby, but those toddler years are a-comin...oh dear.
I continually look up and ask for strength and wisdom.
I am thankful that I can ask and receive
...so thankful! 

Friday, January 7, 2011

To Be Aware

There are many places I want to be when I am not.

Many things I want to be and I am not.

Many changes I want to see, yet I do not.

Many ways I want to live, yet I do not.


For this year I choose to be Aware.


Aware of the perfect, wonderful things around me.

Aware of the ways I want to live and striving for them.

Aware of what is right next to me and enjoying it.

Aware of the changing times and living fully in them.

Aware of the beauty given to me.


Aware.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday Date Day




It was muddy, so we couldn't have the actual picnic we were hoping for. But a bench worked just perfectly.

The conversation was priceless.











Today, she wants to be a Professional Doctor. One that gives shots and helps people stay healthy. 

We talked about respect and obedience. Love and patience.




We kicked the soccer ball and chased the birds.
(She loves to run at birds making this loud shriek. I think it's adorable, not quite sure others feel the same way.)











We watched the waves and the surfers doing their thing.






 






It was just what we both needed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bouncing Back

With the holidays and an abundance of extended family doting on our kids we find that obedience falls by the wayside. Temper's come out, disobedience occurs and backtalk is rampant. It is hard to be consistent away from home. When the kids are tired, when we are exhausted and when laziness creeps in, discipline takes a back seat.

 But I feel conviction. This is my job, a main priority, my focus.  I cannot allow myself to become lazy. While it is so easy to get distracted, it is so hard to get the kids back on track. And I need to be an example. One of consistency, love, patience and peace. Harmony in this house is priceless and discord, well discord sucks.


So I will start again, anew, afresh.  Things will bounce back, become more regular and peaceful once again.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I Say Yes

All too often I agree.
Agree to do something someone wants me to do
...
or more often something I want to do.

Then there is...
sicknesses
crafts
presents
playing
events
two new teeth
decorating
baking
parties

put on top of what I agreed to do and it leaves me...
exhausted.

I love it.