October 30, 2010

Accepting the Challenge

I read several blogs.  Funny ones, sincere ones...a lot of awesome blogs written by amazing men and women (most of whom I have never met and don't actually know their real names).  I look forward to the kids' bedtime each night because that's when I can finally sit down and read the hilarity with which these (mostly) women describe their days.  I love feeling like there is someone out there who understands the daily struggle and intense JOY of being a mommy.  Anyway, one of the blogs I read is written by an amazing Christian woman known as Much More Than Mommy.  She is a fantastic writer and I love her take on things.  Plus, I know her sister, and her sister is cool, so why wouldn't she be awesome as well?  Anyway, she shared a challenge she is taking on and, though she wasn't necessarily sharing this in order to persuade her readers to do the same, I have decided to participate.  You can read more about the challenge here.

So, here goes.  For the next 30 days...

* You (I) can't say anything negative
about your (my) husband ...
to your (my) husband...or to anyone else, 
about your (my) husband.
* Say something that you (I) admire or appreciate 
about your (my) husband...
to your (my) husband...
and to someone else, about your (my) husband.
This is gonna be interesting!  See, I have a lot of love for my husband.  I try to share how awesome I think he is and all the great things he does for me and the kids here on the blog whenever I write.  Why don't I do this to his face???  If anyone has ever read or heard of "The Five Love Languages," then you might know that encouraging words is one of those languages.  Chris' dominant love language is encouraging words.  I know this, and have known this for YEARS.  Do I do anything about it?  Do I express my love to him through words?  Not a lot.  WHY????  
Am I, like others, afraid it'll go to his head and he'll get some kind of major ego?  And if so, why is that a problem?  Why shouldn't he feel good about himself and feel proud of the job he's doing as a husband and father?

Is it that I'm afraid he'll think I'm lying?  Could happen...after all, I don't praise him to his face a lot of times.  I tell other people how awesome he is and I'll tell them about how he lets me sleep in on Saturdays and lets me take long, luxurious naps on Sundays while he handles the kids.  I love this and revel in every minute this pampering...but if/when I start telling him how much I appreciate him, he might just freak out a little bit.  He might think I'm being "fake" or maybe just trying to get something out of him.  I'll deal with it, though, because he is worth it.  And he desperately needs to know how much I love and respect him.  I tend to think he should "just know" how I feel about him, but the truth is, so many times that assumption is totally wrong and the people we love the most NEED to hear it from us.  
So here we go.  I know its not officially November 1 or anything, but I'm starting now.  Two more days isn't gonna hurt. :)  Wish us luck!

October 27, 2010


Andrew still amazes me every day.  A couple of weeks ago it was his reciting the pledge of allegiance while we drove around town.  Last night it was his matter-of-fact attitude about the fact that he's never seen a real live capybara.  I'm all...huh?  Yeah, we have the books about animal babies.  Its a set of four. We were reading the one about animal babies in ponds & rivers.  We were finished reading and he looks at me and says, "Mommy, I've seen ducks.  I've seen frogs.  I've seen otters.  But I've never seen a real live capybara.  Or a manatee.  Where do they live?  They're not at the zoo, because I've been there and never seen them.  Are they at the aquarium?"

Uh...When did he get so smart?  I love the way he thinks, and especially the way he verbalizes what he thinks. He's so awesome.

Of course then there are those "other" moments, when he says stuff like, "I wanna be Duff Man when I grow up!  He's tough!"  Yeah...not a shining moment for mommyhood.  Maybe we need to limit the number of Simpsons episodes we allow him to watch...Yeah, that might be a good idea. 

Oh, and in case anyone's wondering...Daddy's comment:  "That's my boy!"

I need a time out.

**ETA:  If you are wondering what the heck a capybara is...you are not alone.  There's a picture of one in the book, but other than that, I know nothing.   Here is a picture, though!

October 17, 2010


Well, hello there, blog.  Its been a while.  Sheesh.  Could life just slow down for a minute or two?  I'm still running-running-running from one place to another.  School, tutoring, ZUMBA!, home...repeat (except its not every day, just enough days to make me feel exhausted).  I'm afraid I'm either going to burn out, or be so tired that, in trying to do too much, nothing is actually going to get done WELL.  Then there's the fear that, as has happened in the past, my body will revolt against all this running around and shut itself down, making me so sick I *can't* do anything, even if I wanted to.


So anyway, obviously I am still tutoring my homebound student and waiting word on whether I got the other tutoring job at a local middle school (its a federally funded after school tutoring program that would REALLY help financially!).  The eight furlough days the county is forcing upon us because of budget deficits has really got us in a tight spot.  I am the sole provider, and Chris stays home with the kids.  We don't have the added cost of daycare or anything, and in the past, my teacher's salary has been more than enough to get us through, but with no pay increases (like before, when your years of teaching experience would earn you an increase in your pay grade) and now furlough days (which is costing me personally @ $2K off of my check!), things are tight.  Chris has started going through our books, DVD's, video games, etc and selling online.  He made @ $100 in the first week!  Not bad!!  So, between this thing he's got going on, my tutoring, and my regular salary, we're getting by...but I worry about the kids.  I worry that I'm sacrificing too much time with them in these early years...days I will never get back.  I'm exhausted, too, running from here to there, and when I get home, the hours I do get with my kids are mostly spent with me on the couch trying to be involved but really just wishing I could crash.  Ugh.  Not a good way to feel/be when your kids miss you all day long and you just need to be the mommy.  Yippee...more mommy guilt.  (As if I didn't have enough already.)

Blah.  I know its just for a short time, so I need to "man up" and just deal with it.  It won't be like this forever.  The economy sucks and EVERYONE is suffering...some SO much more than myself.  I need to get off my rear end and stop feeling sorry for myself.  It'll pass...it always does.  So there.  Enough of that.

My family is fantastic.  Have I mentioned that lately? 

Chris is the best husband.  He is so good to me and to the kids.  I am so lucky to have a husband who feels just as strongly (or stronger!) about having one of us home with the kids...and even luckier that HE is the one willing to do it!!  He takes such good care of them and understands my need for a break when I come home, even though he's been doing all the childcare every day and he definitely needs a break, too.  He's amazing.

I love the way Hannah adores me, follows me, says "mama" all day long.  Since I'm not here all day every day it doesn't get old or anything...I mean, yeah, sometimes I would love to cook in peace or just sit and watch TV or something, but really...she is so much more important than any of that stuff.  That little girl has a love tank that only mommy can fill, so its up to me to fill it daily and let her know how very, very special she is to me. 

Andrew is so smart...The other night as I was rocking him to sleep (yep, I still rock him every night), he recited the months of the year (in order!) and the days of the week.  I was shocked.  Then, one day last week he recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  Whoa.  Even though I am SO tired by the time the kids get in bed, I still can't resist when he asks me to read to him.  I love how he is so fascinated with books and is so eager to know just what each word says.  He still tells me he loves me and is not embarrassed to throw his arms around me and squeeze me tight no matter who's around. 

So yeah...ignore my whining and complaining.  Life is good.  I really don't deserve all this goodness...but I thank God for it every day.

October 9, 2010


I'm taking a minute here while the kids are occupied and Chris is frantically yelling at his football team through the TV (Seriously?  Is that something ingrained into the Y chromosome?) to...

Sorry about that.  I was interrupted by Cupcake.*
Ooh, I have an idea...Let's play a game.  Every time I get interrupted by Chris, Motormouth, or Cupcake, let's eat a cookie!  Sound good?  OK!

So...where was I?  Oh yes, I was explaining how I was attempting to blog after an incredibly hectic week.  This week was CRAZY.  Several teachers at school were asking if it was a full moon or something.  I knew the answer to that, since I drive to work while it is still dark. I saw the moon every morning this week.  It was a crescent moon (I used to call them "toenail moons.")  So...nope.  No blaming the kids' craziness on a full moon or anything like that.  They were just crazy.

After school, I was busy-busy-busy.  I have picked up a tutoring position for a child receiving hospital/homebound services.  She is actually one of my students, and is very sweet.  She hasn't been to school at all this year (we are 9 weeks in, y'all!) so we have a lot to do to get her caught up.  Its good money, and will help a lot, especially since the furlough days hit us hard this year...

Sorry, Cupcake again!  Hey, another cookie!

So, anyway, as I was saying...I am tutoring one student, and have applied to tutor at a new federally-funded after school program being started at the end of this month here in our county.  I had an interview on Tuesday afternoon and am hoping I get the job because the money is needed.  The drawback is that Chris will have the kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays from dawn 'til dusk so his mood may not be the best.  Hmmm.

But, enough about school.

My kids at home are crazy, silly, and in desperate need of their mommy.  Motormouth is 4 yrs old and still obsessed with Star Wars.  He is a peanut, like me, and today asked me if he could ride in a booster seat instead of his huge 5-point harnessed car seat.  I tried to explain that he is still little and needs to be buckled in "just right" so he's as safe as he can be...but I feel bad for him.  He's the only one in his class at school who is still in a big car seat.  He's at least a head shorter than everyone.  Doesn't seem to bother him, though...His personality is big enough to compensate for his stature.  Everyone (teachers, kids, parents) loves him to death and tells us how smart he is and how sweet.  Makes a momma proud!!

Cupcake is velcro'ed to me yet again.  How many phases of separation anxiety are there?  Whew!  Her newest thing is to climb on my back and ride piggy-back through the house.  This is now the only way I can convince her to go upstairs for a bath, go to her room for night-night, or basically do ANYTHING she wouldn't normally choose to do.  My back is starting to ache, but am I gonna stop?  HECK, NO.  Whatever works...As Chris would say, "There is no pain, there is only the Force."  (Yep, both of my guys are Star Wars fans!)

...And another interruption by Cupcake!  I'm gonna gain 10 lbs if this keeps up...

So anyway, that's what's going on this week.  Motormouth has surprised me by singing songs I didn't know he knew, reciting the months of the year, and just overall being a fantastic kiddo.  He whines and cries when he doesn't get his way, but doesn't everybody?  Cupcake is funny and adorable and just overall a delight.  Life is good.  :)

*I call my sweet baby girl Cupcake after Lydia's daughter (Rants From Mommyland) who tells a fantastic story about her youngest child who, in her words, is "a cupcake...baked by the devil."

October 2, 2010


Not me. Not my house.  But close.
I'll admit...I am a paradox.  Some may use the term "bipolar," but whatever...I often go on tangents about how I'd like to throw out/sell/burn about 80% of what we own, but then I have days like today, when we go to the Locust Grove city-wide yard sale and I can't resist buying more, more, more!  Ugh.  I mean, heck yes, its a great deal and the kids LOVE getting new (to them) toys to play with, and we love saving money by avoiding retail prices.  HOWEVER...we have way too much crap.  The kids' toys are taking over the house.  Again.  Every few months I go to Wal-Mart and buy a few more of the XL storage tubs.  Then I wait until the kids are out of the house, and I go through each room packing up the toys that are getting no attention and taking up space.  We have a storage shed in the backyard and I promise you, I think there are about 10-12 huge bins full of toys that never got played with so they got stuck in the shed.  Chris actually went out there and went "Christmas shopping."  Yep, we are gonna wrap 'em up and give them to them for Christmas.  Parents of the Year!!  But you know what??  They haven't missed these toys or even noticed they were gone ONCE, so they will be excited about them, as if they are brand new.  So whatever.  Judge all you want, but that's how its gonna be.

I'd love to spend a day or two in a "clean room." 
So anyway...I'm sure I will heading to Wal-Mart sometime this week to buy yet another 3-4 storage tubs to prepare for my next cleaning/organizing tangent.  For now, though, my kids can rest easy, knowing that no toys will disappear too soon, and play happily in the miniature Toys-R-Us that is our home.
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