Excuse Me

My kids DO have manners :o). video

The Division


I know I've been on hiatus, but I'm back. I'm not going to hold myself to any sort of frequency because I think it's obvious how bad I am about that... This is what's been going on in my life lately:

I learned recently (through a great Bible study and awesome facilitator) that the best way to tell a story is to leave out the details and focus on the meat of the story, then to make sure that I do not play any significant role in the heroic characterization that is applied. I'm going to try my best to sort of follow that model now.

I've been sick. Mentally, physically, spiritually. You name it, and I've been unhappy with my status regarding that portion of my life. Recently, I've been having some medical issues, and having tests done. It's causing me to miss fellowship opportunities (which is oddly a big part of my concern, because it's something I look forward to every week to keep me grounded spiritually).

So along with these medical tests, has come my mental and spiritual discontentedness. Without my weekly/biweekly meetings, I feel like I'm floating, and I have an anchor, but the rope is slowly coming untied as I drift further and further away. I find my words short, and my temper flaring at every opportunity, even though I've given God the opportunity to heal that in me in the past, and I feel like He came through for me. Mentally, I've been struggling the worst. I question God so much. "Why would you let me be sick? You know I have 3 children. How is this going to affect them? How is this going to affect my marriage? I don't understand what You want me to learn. It's absolutely cruel to let me face something like this, and suffer when You have the power to heal me." I know, I can be a completely defiant, angry child, can't I?

So in my weakest moment (and it was very ugly, take my word for it), I feel like the answer came to me, and this may be completely confusing, but I'm going to attempt to explain this the best that I can. God reminded me that "I" am not sick, but my "body" is sick. What is ailing me has nothing to do with "me" as in, who I am, in the world and in God's kingdom, but is completely restricted to my physical being, and to be perfectly honest, no illness can infiltrate me, or hurt me, because "I" am God's, not my body, no matter how much we are convinced to worship our bodies in this world.

It's a lesson I think I've been struggling with forever, even if I didn't realize it. My weight loss has gone way too slow (15 pounds in 3 months is not what I'm looking for, so I get upset, etc.). I also felt like God was telling me that I don't need to rely on fellowship to be close to him. I've sort of fallen back into this rut of intellectualizing my spirituality, and I think others who have been studying much longer than me must have more valid opinions. But God reminded me that my conversation with him, on an individual level will always be way more helpful, accurate and moving than any opinion I hear, or message that I internalize. I'm not belittling the purpose of fellowship or saying that God doesn't speak to us through others, because I certainly believe He does. My stance is more that individual relationships with God have to be more important than fellowship with others, or we won't grow, and we'll have to be drawn to our knees (again? again...) in order to find Him again.

My Son, My Teacher


When I get impatient, I fuss... a lot. Our mornings can be pretty crazy and chaotic around here. Usually we start off okay, but if anything puts us behind schedule, I get so stressed out. I hate to be late anywhere. So generally if we are running late, you'll hear me fussing at the kids:

"Grace! Get your brush and get over here so I can fix your hair! Riley, eat faster and get some socks on! Asher, sit down and quit messing with stuff until I get your clothes on! Stop! Don't! Hush! Come On!"

It's not pretty. It's very fussy.

Riley is also very interested in planting seeds right now (Bear with me, this will all make sense very soon). He loves planting seeds, watering them, and waiting for them to grow so that he can see them pop up out of the soil. I'm very glad he's interested in seeds because I have a feeling the next one in line will be asking to take care of hamsters or other small animals. Riley asked me to plant some seeds left over from his fruit the other day (orange, apple, and plum). He saved them in a ziplock and everything. I was sort of sad to tell him that we aren't allowed to plant fruit trees, or gardens in general without permits.

Anyway, the other morning I was going about my general fuss. "Why don't you have socks on?? Are you kidding me right now? You've only had like 2 bites of your breakfast Grace!" Riley stops me mid-sentence, and says, "Mom, I planted my plum seed. I know we're not supposed to, but I just wanted to see if it would grow real quick. I put it in the ground, and gave it some water, but it wasn't growing yet, and I really wanted it to grow. Then I got really close to the ground, and I yelled at my plum seed, but it still wouldn't grow. Yelling at a seed doesn't make it grow."

When did my six year old become smarter than me? Point well taken, Riley. Yelling doesn't make my seeds grow either.

I'm not happy, and that makes me happy


So I just had a major epiphany... I know. Keep your sarcasm to yourself, because this is probably pretty standard issue to many.

This Saturday (the day after tomorrow) my brother is getting married. My brother, the one person in my life who has truly been an example of unconditional love throughout my life, is getting married. I can't go. The reasons are hefty and that's not what this is about, but I'm devastated that I can't go.

So as I sit here, surfing my endless sites of wonder: postsecret, craigslist, ebay, facebook, I wallow in my self-pity. My internal monologue goes a little something like this:
It's not fair that I can't go to his wedding. This is the biggest day of his life this far, and I know that I've made the choice to live this far away, but it really just doesn't feel fair. Sometimes I put myself in a situation that makes me suffer too much, sacrifice too much. I'm tired of sacrificing. My whole life, starting before I was born has been a sacrifice, and I'm tired of it.....

You get the picture right? It just gets heavier and uglier from there. Then finally after about five minutes of this negative conversation with myself, I say, I AM JUST NOT HAPPY.

Okay, so rewind a few hours, and I'm working out at the gym. I'm that crazy lady on the elliptical reading her bible while working out. Don't judge me. God is preparing my heart for an epiphany, through my elliptical. I can draw parallels to the elliptical and circular motion, etc, but I'll spare you.

Anyway, I'm reading the book of John, from the beginning. I generally avoid John. Without being sacrilegious, I kind of think John is trite, over quoted and overdone. I like to come to my own conclusions. But today, I was compelled to spend some time in John. In John, Jesus talks a lot about eternal life, and having our life in the afterlife, through his body and flesh (and probably sounded a lot like a cannibal to those who didn't get what he was saying).

Okay, so fast forward back to me, and my internal monologue. I began to question God (I'm not proud of it, and know better, but sometimes I do it anyway. Today I'm glad I did):
I have prayed and prayed about this situation. I don't feel any better, and you haven't created a way for me to go. I don't understand why you won't let me find comfort, yet I can't go either. And that's when it became clear to me.

My entire life I have been searching for happiness. Life is about being happy isn't it? NO. Life is NOT about being happy, or finding happiness. Life is about glorifying God. My life isn't even about me. It's about how many times I point to him. Period. Happiness is a fleeting feeling that sometimes we will have and sometimes we won't. But it's not what life is about, and shouldn't be my life's pursuit.

And in that revelation, God provided comfort. When will I learn to be patient and wait for it? That's another blog.

A little overdue!


So I know it's been forever.. I constantly think, "oooh, I should blog this!" but then totally fail on the follow through. And today, o crazy child antics will be shared, but rather just a "me" update.

On October 1, our whole family switched to a gluten-free diet to benefit Riley. He doesn't have Celiac's or anything like that, but there is some theory behind gluten-intolerance affecting behavior. At first, I secretly wished it would fail. Being the baker that I am, flour and other gluten products are my life! Not to mention, I'm from Texas and we learn to fry right around the time we learn to walk... I was hard-pressed to think of a meal for my family that didn't include some sort of gluten product- in just about every portion! Now I sit lazily on my couch before you, posting that WE ARE SUCCEEDING (and even better) It's not that bad. We eat so much more fresh fruit and veggies, and I pack Riley's lunch everyday, plus send him some special snacks for kids birthday parties, etc. Our next step is to cut out any red dye number 40 starting November 1. That shouldn't be hard, because other than Jello, which comes in so many other colors that red won't be missed, I can't think of a single thing we eat that's colored anymore. So, huge success there.

On the weight loss front, I have been losing, very slowly- 15 pounds in 3 months is in no way motivational. It's just downright frustrating. In a moment of weakness at the end of September (maybe on my birthday when I realized that 27 years of my life are gone-- and THIS, this life, this body, THIS-- is all I have to show for it) I went to the doctor for some help: a miracle drug- straight crack, whatever. Luckily my doctor wasn't feeling my frustration. He insisted that I see a nutritionist and physiologist before I can even think about a drug.
On Thursday I kept my appointments, thinking, "I'm eating the right ways, exercising regularly... My body is just destined to look like this." But the nutritionist totally changed my mind. He took my numbers based on this magic scale, and I'm carrying around 75 pounds of non-muscle weight! HOLY CRAP RIGHT?!! He says 35 of that needs to go. I also had my workouts tweaked. Weight lifting was removed completely, and now I'm only doing cardio for 1 hour a day. Yesterday I did 45 minutes of cardio, but today I surprised even myself and was able to work out for an hour and a half.


But better than any of that, I've realized my problem. I've always seen the workout as something I have to do. Now I know that it's not what I should do, but rather who I should be. I should be the woman who is as dedicated and faithful to herself and her body as she is her marriage. So, with that, a paradigm shift, and a whole new outlook :o). I weigh in again on the Thursday after next. We'll see how it goes!

Hey Pumpkin!




We took a trip to the pumpkin patch with or church group this weekend. A few people were nice enough to snap some pictures of us since I didn't take my camera :o).

I even heart old postsecret.

Going Stir Crazy, Stir Stir Stir Crazy

With all four of us under the weather (understatement of the year alert) for the past couple of weeks, I have only left the house for mandatory reasons, so as not to expose others to my contagious children. Tonight it's taken it's toll on me. So what's a girl to do when she's feeling totally stir crazy, but can't leave because Strep Throat Princess and Pink Eye Sinus Face are all sleeping? Well stir of course... Stir up some delish little pumpkin chocolate chip muffins! mmmmm....



And these little gems are pretty healthy, with no oil (except to grease the pan, or you can use paper liners), and only egg whites. Not only is pumpkin loaded with vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids, particularly alpha and beta-carotenes, it’s a good source of vitamins C, K, and E, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron.



Riley asked if I would make these for his birthday! YES! But just don't tell you're friends that they're good for you!

It's All About You, Riley



I'm sorry son, for the things I've made it.
But it's all about you, Riley.

Yes, those are adapted song lyrics. Sometimes random thoughts come to me when I'm singing along to a song, and it turns into a whole blog worth of emotion. Today I was cleaning Riley's room- covered in Legos, listening to some music that keeps me motivated, mostly Christian, with some Sugarland, Texas Country and older country mixed in. And while I was picking up these legos, I was so very careful to keep intact the little built airplanes, submarines, and space cruisers that he had so tediously built. My son is a complex child. He will spend hours getting his little ships just right, then complain about the wasted time. It always puzzles me that he complains over spending time doing something he loves: building. Then I realized that I do the same thing. I complain about all the time it takes to clean up after the three little ones who run around here, when I love being with my kids. And while I would much rather spend time playing or talking with my kids, it's important that they see I will serve them too. I have a heart of service... After all, I'm going to be a social worker. I need to take the time to appreciate the opportunity to serve my children.

After I finished with the legos (and wiped away my tears of realization), I looked across his graveyard of toys in his toy box. Thousands of dollars worth of toys, literally. I could probably pick ten that he actually likes. Among the dust collectors, his football, soccer shin guards, race cars, car tracks, and everything that boys like. Yes, Riley is a boy, but he's not THAT kind of boy. He's a video game, legos, telescope, multiplication table, globe, pokemon card loving kind of boy. Why do always ask him to participate in activities that I think he will enjoy, rather than allow him to spend his time enjoying the things he so obviously loves? It's so obvious that my son is not the next linebacker for the NFL. He's the next computer software engineer for Apple, or the next AIDS researcher to build on a cure for Africa. I promise Riley, I'm going to see you for who you are from this moment forward. And we will create a childhood experience for you that is reflective of all of the beautiful gifts and powers that you, individually possess, because you are not every other boy. You are my son, and it's all about you.

Happy Happy Fives, Happy Fives



1. I just jumped on the trampoline with Asher, like I did when I was a kid. My neighbors probably think I'm nuts, but it was SO much fun! Sometimes you just have to step out of the box, you know?
2. I bought a new washer this week (by default, I had to), and was able to give my old (18 month old) one to a family with 4 kids that should be able to fix it.
3. Asher is finally feeling better, and slept all night last night. YAY!
4. Riley and Grace started school, and they both LOVE it... so far.
5. I thought my power was going to be off at noon tomorrow for six to eight hours, but it turns out I was wrong, and only a small section of housing will be affected, which is NOT my section! Thankful for little blessings.

You know you live in a weird place when...



- Every time you drive home (on base) you pass a huge white sign, hand painted in red, large, mixed capital and lower case letters, "ThE WhiTe hOrsE iS oLd NOt dEaD lEt heR NaP."

-Twice in one day, you see two different people in public with a urinary catheter, and their collection bag (full) visible.

-It's not uncommon to see an old man with a metal detector in the middle of a torn up road/construction area looking for buried treasures.

I mean really, who wouldn't want to be stationed here??

What's Wrong With Me??

I listened to this song today (not for the first time) and cried like a baby.

HAPPY FRIDAY FIVES!


So I missed last week, but I wasn't any less thankful, just busy :o).

This week I am thankful for:

1. My season of daycare has ended! If blogs had sound, you would have just heard me say, "HALLELUJAH!"
2. I had creative time in the kitchen this week for a baby shower, and I get more for a church social on Sunday.
3. My mom's flight has been booked for her visit, beginning the 15th. We're all super excited!
4. Tomorrow is Give Parents A Break again! WOOOHOOO!
5. After six months of waiting (and waiting and waiting), our fence application was approved, and we were able to have a fence erected for the back yard- next come the trampoline and swing set!


The picture is the top tier of the cake I made for the baby shower. The bottom was basically the same but with bigger dots, and I wrote on the cake.

Greener Grass


My Sweet Riley,

Today was a tough day for you. You learned a very difficult lesson, and I wish it was a lesson you would never have had to learn. Children can be so cruel, and your little life has not been easy. Sometimes I forget that you've only been on this earth six little years because you are such a wise, wise little boy.

You spent this morning playing with your friend down the road, then came back early together, and played with him at home. After lunch, you both went back outside to play, and another friend joined you. Your friend decided he only wanted to play with the other friend, and not you. Riley, you walked your little self in the door, and immediately began to sob. Oh honey, you were devastated. You just couldn't understand why your friend would betray you, or why you weren't chosen. You immediately began to question everything about yourself, and doubt your worth, or your ability to contribute to the friendship. You sobbed that your friend didn't like you, or want to play with you anymore because you're a stupid kid, and you can't run fast, and you can't ride your bike. You said you don't give him enough stuff, and you're not nice enough.

Oh Riley, I wanted so badly to take away your pain, and ban that boy from our house forever. But I know the truth. I know your friend likes you. I know that he's your best friend right now, and I know that you have a heart of service, kindness, and loyalty, so this cut you so deeply. But your friend make a classic mistake, my love. He failed to see the amazing connection that he has with you because another friend caught his attention. Right now, Riley, it's toys and bikes, but someday it will be so much more. And there will be times that you find you will be in your friends shoes, and you'll want to leave behind what is comfortable for something shiny and new.

I hope you remember, sweet boy, how it felt to walk all the way home with such a heavy heart. I hope that you carry that memory, and that you always consider it before you hurt someone else. As I held you, and wiped away your tears, I explained to you all of your wonderful qualities, and let you know what an amazing little boy I think you are. I also prayed that you would be comforted by my love, and that your friend would understand just how badly he hurt you.

The chances are, Riley, he will knock on our door early in the morning, and will want you to play with him. I know you, my kind and loving child. You will instantly forgive his indiscretion in exchange for his friendship. I am so proud of you, my little love. I know you have so much to offer the world, and I know it's times like these that mold you into the amazing man you are destined to be. I love you, Riley.

Love,
Mommy

Mental Note: Feather Blankets and Sleepovers DON'T Mix



Riley had a friend sleep over last night. The night was rough, because they were both really tired and cranky, but neither wanted to be the first to fall asleep. SO, I separated them, and out they went. Good times- Riley likes to sleep TOUCHING me... I hope his future wife is "physical touch" in terms of love language... I am NOT. I'm a "Gifts and Acts of Service," so the TOUCHING is not so appealing to me, but I digress.

Before Riley came into my bed last night, he decided he wanted to snuggle with the cute little crib sized feather comforter that my aunt gave me a couple of years ago. No problem... Go watch cartoons in your room, snuggle and FOR THE LOVE OF PETE fall asleep! The feather blanket became a distant memory over the course of the night, and apparently ended up UNDER The bed (Riley's bed has rollers on it). When I asked the boys to clean the room this morning- Riley comes running upstairs in a huge cloud of white snow, with a soft white flowing cape. "Mom!!! Look what happened!!!" The bed rolled on top of the blanket, and the kids pulled too hard (instead of asking for help, right?) and ripped, spewing white down feathers EVERYWHERE... And since he brought it upstairs to show me, I now have a snowy down covered floor- everywhere.

The upside: Saturday is floor cleaning day, and the feathers stick to any sort of grime, so at least I know where to focus my cleaning the most...

I'm not convinced that I'm going to miss this someday....

FRIDAY MEANS HAPPY FIVES!


And I have OH SO MUCH to be thankful for these days!

1. I'm going to group all of the transformation and searching I've been doing into one of my happy fives this week... I'm so thankful that I have the opportunity and support to change my life!

2. This week, we had TWO, count 'em 2!! days that didn't make triple digits! WOOHOO!

3. I turned a something that really bothered me into something good this week. A few weeks ago, an adult called Grace a "mexican monkey," which really upset me. He didn't directly say it to her, but his daughter let me know that her dad thought that- which was enough for me to go over the edge. Grace is half hispanic, but not monkey resembling in any fashion. Anyway, this week, Grace and I made monkey bread, and I let my anger and borderline hatred burn in the oven. The kids devoured the whole ring of bread in one day!

4. I talked to Carl today, after a couple of days of silence... Just reassuring to know that he's okay.

5. After a birthday party at Pump It Up this past weekend, I think I found the venue for Grace's birthday party in November. The kids can have fun without making my house a complete mess! Word.

So this is the plan...

And I'm sticking to it!

To tackle the physical side of my discontent, I'm going to follow the Body for Life program as closely as humanly possible. While I did find the first chapter of the book kinda cheesy, and I think the website seems like one big fat infomercial, I think that may be because I've taken every class but one that Texas Tech University offers in the art of persuasion, so most of the tactics don't appeal to me (no clue where Riley gets his elitism...). Anyway, Body for Life is not a diet- in the usual terms. While most people say that "eating right and exercising" are the keys to being healthy and losing weight, no one really explains how to do that. Sure, it seems easy right? We all learned the food pyramid in grade school (btw, it's been updated), so we should know these things right? Well I pride myself in knowing some of what I should... but when it comes down to whether peanut butter is "eating right," really, I'm confused... It's a protein... yes? But what about the fat and oils? Could it be considered my lipid too?? SO Body for Life (herein referred to as BfL) teaches the reader HOW to eat right and exercise in an effective manner. It's meant to be a 12 week jump-start program, but you can stay on it forever, because it's just feeding your body the right way, and working out as necessary.

This is what really sold me on the program (besides Carl, who's been successful in the past with BfL): You have to make a tangible list of your goals, and behaviors to read every morning and every evening. It's like a little shoulder angel on the refrigerator for me!

Step 1: Make the decision to change.

And I make the decision to change.

Step 2: Identify individuals reasons for change, and write them down.

1. My kids deserve a mom with more energy, who enjoys them and life more.
2. My husband deserves a wife who is more active than just handing over the kids when he gets home.
3. I'm not satisfied with where I am, physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually, so thing HAVE to change.

Step 3: Focus on your future vision.

Focused. It includes being happier, healthier, more enjoyable to be around, having no debt a BS in Social Work, and most importantly, being spiritually sound.

Step 4: Dream of what you would like to achieve within 12 weeks, and transform that into five goals.

1. I would like to lose 30 pounds.
2. I would like to close my daycare by August 18th.
3. I would like to begin my spiritual journey no later than September 1.
4. I would like to volunteer in my children's classes once every two weeks, beginning when school starts August 19th.
5. I would like to put a specific amount of money every month towards debt. That amount is TBD with the husband.

Step 5: Identify 3 unautorized patterns of action that may hold you back from reaching these goals.

1. Cheating on my plan of diet and exercise.
2. Feeling guilty over not watching other's children when they need me.
3. Buying material objects for my children and myself that are unnecessary.

Step 6: Identify 3 new patterns of action that will help you reach your goals.

1. Stick to the plan!
2. Use the amount of money set aside every month towards debt, instead of finding new "necessities."
3. Let adults fend for themselves, and realize that I'm not the world's keeper!

And the final step (because all good things come in 7's) 7: Read what you've written first thing in the morning and again at night each and every day of the twelve week program.

OK... So that's what I have come up with! I am SUPER excited! I'll update with my plan of physical action once I formulate it. That will probably be tomorrow. Three posts in one day seems desperate, yes??

And it's not even noon yet...


So far today, I've bribed Grace into doing things she doesn't want to at least 5 times with the phrase, "If you don't, then you must not be old enough for preschool..." or some variation of it.

I've told Riley that jack should never be used as a verb, as in "I'm going to jack you up." OR "I'm going to jack your eyes." Video games much??

I've used the "oldie but goodie" phrase, "I'm not your maid, I'm your mother."

I've explained why Cinnamon toast can't be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I've pulled a barbie brush out of Asher's diaper.

I've had about seven cups of "Stirbricks" (invisible drinks from Grace) but not one REAL cup of coffee....

I've explained the difference between "family kisses" and regular kisses.

I've told a four year old that she's too young to consider marriage.

And I've told Riley to quit being an elitist. That part requires explanation.

Madilynn is a sweet girl. A sweet daycare girl, who has a big heart, and is very socially advanced for her age. However, she's just begun to learn her ABC's, makes several grammatical mistakes, probably on the level of a 2.5 year old, in that capacity. There's nothing mentally wrong with her, but we are all given gifts, and academics seem like they won't be her strong suit- but I could be wrong. Some children just take a lot longer to blossom than others.

Anyway,this is what transpired:
Maddy to Riley: I think you're cute. I want to kiss you, and I want to marry you.

Riley to Maddy: Me and my dad don't like stupid girls, so I will never marry or kiss you.

Me to Riley: It's "My dad and I," but that's an awful thing to say. Stop being an elitist. Maddy is a smart girl, but you're right about not kissing or thinking about marrying at this point.

Me to Maddy: Maddy the only boy you should give kisses is your dad (she has no brothers), and you're too young to consider marriage. That's what grown ups think about after college, and you have a long way to go until then.

Oh the joys....

Who AM I??

Disclaimer: This will be a serious post, that has nothing to do with my children. Brace yourself.

Over the past few weeks, I've been struggling. You wouldn't have known it, and I wouldn't have told you, even if you had asked... And some of you have. The root of my struggle, surprisingly is not Carl leaving for Iraq, (although that has prompted my inward examination), but the realization that I AM an adult. I should have known this.... I have three children, car payments, bills, buy my own groceries, make my own schedule, and carry all the burdens associated with the aforementioned facts. But as I swiftly approach 30, I keep catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and thinking, "Who is this older, fatter, unattractive version of who I used to be??" Not only that, but I find myself fussing at the kids over actions beyond their control, and I think, "Who is this woman fussing at my kids? Who gave her the right?? They're just kids." It's becoming more and more evident in my daily life, that I don't like the adult that I find myself becoming. I am overwhelmed, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. So, Carl and I have discussed it, and I'm doing what I do best. I'm organizing, starting with the basics: my life.

A. My body: I will no longer feed my emotions, and carry excess baggage in the form of pounds. I don't believe I was given this body to treat it like a landfill. I'm ashamed that I've done so. Because Carl is gone, and I feel like I would be most successful with regular accountability, I will be using my blog as such. I think I will be much more successful if I have to record my journey for someone else to read. I promise, that I will be honest and transparent, otherwise this will fail. Readers, please keep me encouraged, and hold me accountable. I will be posting my goals soon.

B. My spirit: It's so easy to get down on myself. I know that all things are possible, but I want all things to be possible right now with as little effort as possible, and that isn't working for me or my family. I'm going to follow a set Christian path of self examination, although I haven't found it yet, and I'm completely open to suggestion if you have used one personally. I am guilty of becoming complacent and disgruntled, and I refuse to do that anymore.

C. My Emotional Well Being: This area is probably going to be the easiest for me- or at least it appears that way now. I have too many irons in the fire. Between the 60-75 hours a week I put into work, the 25-30 hours a week I put into school (obviously my hours overlap), my kids, my home, staying involved in my community (which has been regrettably poor), there is barely enough sleep or shower time left, let alone time for me. With Carl here, the burden was heavy but manageable. Now, I have come to the realization that I just cannot do everything I have committed myself to doing. While I feel like this is a huge failure on my part, after talking with Carl, I am going to forfeit my daycare license until he comes home, for sure, and maybe permanently. I have enough kids- I don't want to raise everyone else's kids too.

So that's my spiel. I hope that those of you reading this can be open and honest with me, and keep me encouraged, yet accountable, because I need it!

And as a little treat, for being so patient and making it through the text, this is going to be my "before" picture:



It's okay to laugh at the fatty pictured above. She won't exist for too long. I hope to be posting a great "After" picture in about six months.

You Can't Always Get What You Want

And if you try, sometimes you find you get what you need. Thank you Rolling Stones. I will now totally trivialize your song/poetry by applying it to my bedspread.
A few posts ago, I mentioned that I bought a new duvet cover from Overstock. This is what I was expecting, in honey:


When I pulled it out of the packaging, it was not exactly what I expected. In fact, it looks a little like someone threw up henna tattoos all over my queen size bed. However, the quality is better than I expected, so I will keep it. The end product, on my bed (yes, I have turquoise walls):


Still, a little disappointed, in a weird, hotel room sorta way...

My Fave Postsecret In A LONG time!

I heart this:

Will you love me when I piss on the seat, dear? I already love you bald...

Happy Fives, Love


Has it been a week already?? Friday is here, and so it's time for Happy Fives! After a week like this one, I would LOVE the opportunity to release five bright balloons into a grey sky!

1. I haven't had a daycare kid since Tuesday, which has given me a TON of time to spend (and enjoy) my own kids.

2. Grace had gymnastics camp this week, and for the first time ever, I've seen her keep a smile on her face for an hour straight. She was born to be around other people.

3. Asher has known how to shake his head no for a long time, but this week, he learned how to nod his head yes this week. He still gets confused and will start to shake when he means to nod, or nod when he means to shake, but he catches himself... His head is so big that his little nods are overly exaggerated. It melts my heart.

4. Riley is having a sleepover at his friend Jared's house tonight. I'm very glad that he has a friend that he connects well with on many levels.

5. A very wonderful woman that goes to the church we've found in Roseville is organizing a school supply collection to ship to Carl in Iraq for needy Iraqi children. If I get the okay from the hubby, I may post the information on my blog for anyone else who wants to support the cause. This woman has gone so far out of her way and above and beyond all expectation to make me and my family feel welcome in a new place. I am SO thankful for her :o).

And that's my HAPPY HAPPY FIVES! HAPPY FIVES!

I got an award!


Thanks to trishiekoh for the lemonade award! Now I get to pass it on, and that makes me excited. I actually learned how to place tags in text (not difficult, but I overcomplicate things), so now I can participate! I will pass this on to The Pray Family Blog, because it's super cute, and fits the theme with two kiddos under the age of 5!

Grace's Homonyms

Gracie, in classic three year old fashion, gets words twisted, and I thought I'd share a couple that I love:

Pineapple to most, Apple Pie to Grace



Forehead to most, Whore fed to Grace

The Times I Savor...


I've noticed there are a few times a day that I really, really (really, really, really) appreciate:

1. Naptime
2. Bedtime
3. "Play at the neighbor's house" time
4. "Totally enveloped in a Disney movie" time
5. School time
6. Quiet coloring time
7. Mealtime at separate tables
8. "Let's Play Library" time
9. "Play in your room" time
10. Bath time, sometimes

I'm beginning to detect a theme... Oh sweet, boring silence, why must you always play hard to get?

When you don't have anything nice to say,

blog blog another day. Today I'm in a mood... Sorry, no blog. I just wanted to let those of you who read my blog know that Carl started one.

Postsecret Mental Note:


Be mean in line for ice cream for the kids.... Or be nice, depending on whether they really need the bigger scoop! I think it goes without saying that I'm a huge Postsecret fan!

Happy Fives

This is a selfish blog. I have a bad case of the blahs, so today I am writing my happy fives to make myself feel better...



Five awesome things from this week:

1. I danced with my kids to worship music. I love being thankful for them while they're having fun.
2. I snuggled with Riley on the couch for an hour last night. He makes my heart happy.
3. Tomorrow is Give Parents a Break day, so the kids are going to the CDC (that's Child Development Center, not Center for Disease Control) from 9am to 3pm. The plan is to clean out closets and bake all day.
4. Grace got the sweetest card in the mail from Trishiekoh. Thank you so much! It is DARLING! Will frame it and add pictures next month when I buy a new camera. Carl took ours to Iraq.
5. I bought this new duvet cover in honey for our bed since Riley ruined our other (expensive) one with puke...

Top 10 for a Top 10

OK, so these are the top ten reasons I LOVE being a Mom:




10. Who doesn't want a mini-me? Exhibit A. Grace.
9. Baking is WAY more fun with an assistant!
8. Kids clothes are way cheaper than driving to the strip in Lubbock for booze.
7. Halloween candy: There's no way on earth a kid can eat all that candy... Mom to the rescue!
6. Birthday parties: Late night binge drinking parties have nothing on one of my themed birthday parties... Yes, I am that woman.
5. I love when my kids learn something new, and across their face, comes an, "OH! I get it!" look.
4. Christmas morning: Giving is WAY better than receiving!
3. Kids say the darnedest things! Like today, Riley was trying to convince me to give him cereal for dinner tonight, and he says, "Come on Mom, the blue Trix swirls have mouthwatering flavor!"
2. I'm in charge! Amusement parks are way more fun when you're an adult deciding where to go and what to do. Also, I choose the hair, the clothes the home decor... I get to play house all day long, and dress my dollies!
1. HUGS AND KISSES! How could the love of a child NOT be number 1??

And these are the top ten reasons I have to make a list to remind myself of why I love being a mom:



10. Feet dragging in the stroller! Come on- it ruins your shoes, hurts your feet, and slows us down.. Seriously? Seriously...
9. Little ears are always listening, so my language must be clean and sober. It's not always easy to do!
8. Clabbered milk sippy cups... Anyone who has ever forgotten one when it slid under the front seat of the car knows what I mean... And the price of sippy cups has steadily climbed over the past 6 years, so throwing them away isn't an option anymore.
7. Dirty hand grime is everywhere! Remote controls, Xbox 360 controllers, Doorknobs, brush handles, my macbook... You name it, I've found hand grime on it.
6. Poopy diapers. Enough said.
5. Filling our forms for EVERYTHING. I'm considering making a stamp with my address on it. Every silly form that the kids are involved in has to have a TON of repeat information. I would guess I spend about 2 hours a week on forms.
4. Dora, Dora, Dora, Diego, Kai-lan, or whoever else they come up with... Hannah Montana, and all of the other kid idols. I like iCarly though. She's cool.
3. The "Can I have" and "OOOH I want" in the grocery store... Can we just get out please??
2. "Mom can I have this (imagine random food item)" just to find it discarded half eaten ten minutes later.
1. Cleaning up messes and rooms that I didn't make dirty.

This post's gone to the toilet, since nothing else did


Yesterday I became a brand new person. I have heard other military wives talk about how they change when their husband leaves, about how they go from scared of daddy longlegs, to wrestling tarantulas. I always took it with a grain of salt until now. I'm going to go a bit further, though. I'm going to include all single moms in the post, because they don't get a break when their husbands come home.
So most people know that Carl left for Iraq. It's not a secret that being the only ringleader of my circus is not one of my favorite things to do, but nevertheless, I find reasons to look forward to it, and make it exciting and positive for the kids. Since Carl has been gone, I've been praying for things to keep me busy, so I don't stop and get sad in front of my kids- keeping up my best poker face.
Yesterday was a busy day. I cleaned all day, while watching 6 children, cooking, finishing up some work for class, completing paperwork for my business, and washing all the dirty clothes. I neatly stacked all of the clothes in my room on my bed to put them away after my daycare kids left, and my kids got up from their naps. Instead, during my kids naps, I sat down to do some homework, and realized my computer was dead, and the dog had chewed through the cord to my charger. Not only could I not finish my homework or access the internet, but I couldn't communicate with Carl, since he's beyond phone reception at this point, and relying solely on email.
So I did what any mom of 3 would do: throw all three of my kids into the car, and run to the Apple store 45 minutes away. Spending 75 dollars on a charger is a scary thing to do when you aren't sure how much money your husband may need on his journey around the world. But I managed to run through Burger King for the kids, and make it to the mall (where the Apple store is located) by 6. After finding the store, I walked in, and began to search for my device. I couldn't find it anywhere. Then a little Asian girl approached me (18ish, cute as can be), and helped me out. The employees at the Apple store check you out right then and there with little scanner things, and email you the receipt. I did not have the time to marvel over their innovation, but being the knowledgeable retail consumer and former manager that I am, I would have otherwise. It was pretty awesome. I vaguely remember Riley mentioning that he had to pee inside the store, but let's be honest, I was thinking about getting in and out, and not stopping anywhere else, especially this cute little children's boutique called Janie and Jack- too cute. SO we get to the car, and everyone piles in, except Riley, who I notice is still standing by the car with his hand on his crotch- pinching it to hold in the pee. OH MY GOSH! I totally forgot that he had to go pee! This is why we have to LISTEN to our kids, and not just "uh huh, uh huh" our way through life! Ok, so I just loaded all three kids, and I'm in way too much of a hurry to unload them all again and fight an unusually crowded mall on a Tuesday evening, but he says he can't hold it until the grocery store... I immediately begin looking around for a tree or something- but the mall is new construction, so no such luck. Suddenly I remember my mom joking with my brother about making him pee in a bottle when were kids... Hmmm...... Can I really get away with that? Do I even have a bottle in my car? Wait, yes. I got Riley a cream soda yesterday, and he finished it. Surely this isn't the first time he's removed his own trash from the car... And through the back of my Pacifica, I see the clear bottle, label removed, lid intact, sitting in the cup holder. I think it had a beam of light shining down on it, and a few musical notes filled the air, but I'm not sure that anyone else experience that but me. I looked at Riley with the straightest face I could muster, and told him that sometimes we have to do things that are unconventional in desperate situations, then shared my plan- fill that bottle with urine. He looked at me like I had lost it for a moment, and most likely, he was right... Then the look of mischievousness flooded his face, and he got too it. One trucker bomb later, we were on our way. I think it's the only time in his life that Riley thought, "My mom is cool."
Anyway, back to praying for busy work... I guess God took my request literally, because Asher woke up in the middle of the night at about 1:15. Then at 1:30, I heard that distinct coughing-puking combo sound coming from Riley's room. To my shock hand horror, he's puked all over his bed, sheets, floor, and remote control. Let's just all take a minute to savor and remember the smell of 2 am puke. Yummo. Oh, I forgot to mention that by the time we got home, I bathed the kids and dog, I was too tired to put up all of that clean laundry so I stacked it up on the floor on Carl's side of the bed, since he's not going to need that walkway clear tonight, or for the next six months for that matter. Anyhow, I let Riley climb into bed and snuggle up while I cleaned up his room enough to go back to bed. An hour later, he leaned over Carl's side of the bed, and puked again- all over that whole pile of clean clothes. I cleaned up all of that mess, took the laundry back in the laundry room to be rewashed, and climbed into bed just in time to hear Asher cry again. So I got him a bottle, and went back to bed. Another hour later, Riley pukes again, this time only into the bowl that I've place on the floor, so I clean up the puke, and him, and go back to sleep. Five o'clock came really early this morning. Poor Riley is still puking, but God gave me plenty to do didn't He? I was thinking more along the lines of new recipes, or random emails from old friends, but I guess I should have been more specific! So today I have a TON of laundry to wash, a sick kid to tend to, and I'm sitting her blogging! I better get started!

Postsecret, Love

I'm a huge fan of Postsecret.com and I occasionally post one that really appeals to me, but this week, to my delight, there were 2 that I LOVED!



This reminds me of my mom, only not so old! I'm proud of you too Mom!



And this one is just inspirational. Thanks Postsecret, for brightening up my food-poisoned Sunday morning!

Summertime Fun, In the Key of Pink and Messy

This week has been a trying one, to say the least, but I've got something to share for each kid:



Riley: He LOVES watermelon. I mean, like every time we go to the grocery store, he asks if watermelon is in season, and if I will buy some. Usually he eats it until he can't eat anymore, then the rest gets thrown away. Carl and Grace don't eat watermelon, and Asher and I like it, but don't eat a ton like Riley. Anyway, for a couple of days, every time Riley ate watermelon, he covered his hair in the juice. I tried everything I could to make him stop the dirtiness. I even told him sugar ants would attack him if he didn't stop putting the juice in his hair. Then finally it dawned on me that he was, "styling his hair with water(melon)." Oh my goodness... I had to explain that while watermelon has a high water content, the liquid is sugary juice, not actually H2O. I'm hoping he doesn't do it again now...




Grace: She got a new book called "Pinkalicious" from Aunt Rhiannon when we were in Oregon. Grace LOVES pink- anything pink. The little girl in the book eats so much pink that she turns pink all over. While the book is ADORABLE, using such words as "Pinkerella" and "Pinkerbell" I didn't think she would take to it so much. The story goes on to say the little girl has to go to the doctor, and eat nothing but green stuff to get rid of her pinkititis. Grace is now convinced (by no fault of mine) that she MUST eat her green vegetables to avoid turning pink. Last dinner time, she ate her green beans, and Riley's green beans too! Even better than the fact that she's eating green beans, she is such a delightful little girl :o).


Asher: He is growing into his own. Every day he surprised me with new accomplishments. Yesterday he threw trash away, picking up the trash can lid and everything. He also helps me load the washer and dryer, can climb up and down the stairs pretty well (with close supervision), closes doors that are open, and holds his own against the big kids. However, he regressed in one respect: Asher has never been a pacifier baby, but lately, he picked up the pacifier! I have to admit, it's incredibly cute- I just hope he doesn't get too attached!

Happy Happy Fives, Happy Fives


So I haven't done happy fives in forever, but I'm making a comeback! There were a few pink tulips in my black and white field :o).

This week, five wonderful things that occurred in daily life:

1. I helped with a garage sale for Women's Bible Study at Creekside (the church we now attend, when Asher doens't have the chicken pox). It was nice to build community and raise money at the same time.
2. I made chocolate amish friendship bread! Yummy!
3. I realized my children won't get to see Texas fireflies in June regularly, and the happy part is, I'm okay with that.
4. We managed to make it home from vacation in Oregon in only 14 hours, even with the 2 hour traffic delay in Portland.
5. Riley and I had a long conversation about being a good influence vs. letting another child be a bad influence on him. I think he understands.

Oregon Trip


Carl walking with Asher in Carl's parent's backyard.


Gracie cheesin' for the camera


Carl with his parents, Mistie and Wally, and sisters, Sharon and Rhiannon


Carl and Asher again


The WHOLE family


Our family, who is that fatty?


Celia, and cousin Maya, playing with the squirrel


Grace, rockin' the one bow. We couldn't find the other one...


Riley, with cousin William, playing Lego Batman on the DS


Asher, because his future's so bright he has to wear shades :o)
Here you'll find the everyday musings of life, as I see them, which is probably not the same as you see them... Mother, baker, student, wife and woman, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes in conflict. Enjoy!
 
Copyright 2009 Where Else But Here? All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates
Wordpress Theme by EZwpthemes