November 29, 2010

Zumba Fever

Oh my dear Lord.  I have found my perfect "mommy's time out."  It takes place at my church (in the kids building) on Monday and Wednesday nights from 7-8 pm EST.  It is exhausting and exhilarating all at once.  It is SO MUCH FUN.  It is ZUMBA!  An amazing lady from my church (who I didn't know at all before, but now consider a friend) got trained to become an official Zumba instructor and our pastor gave the OK to hold classes in the church building.  I love it because its closeby (8 minutes away), its FUN, and its making a difference.  I have lost 8 lbs so far and have no plans to look for it to get it back. :)  Zumba helps me lost that annoying little monster stressball between my shoulder blades and lets me get fit through dance.  Now, I am definitely no dancer (no SYTYCD audition planned...yet), but I've picked up the steps enough to keep up and enjoy myself immensely.  Zumba is the PERFECT release.  When I need a time-out, I like to ZUMBA!!! 
What about you other mommies?  What do you do when you need a time-out?

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November 27, 2010

I need a vacation...from my vacation.

Ugh.  I am all touched out after this week.  Our local school system plans an entire week's vacation for Thanksgiving, which (as a teacher) is awesome, but OH MY GOSH my kiddos are having a hard time with it. Hannah can't stand for me to be out of arm's reach and cries/screams when I walk out of the room.  At the same time, Andrew wants me to play Lego Star Wars with him ALL THE TIME so he gets upset about having to share time with Hannah.  I was sick on Monday and Tuesday (sore throat, tummy issues) but actually got out of the house with them on Wednesday.  We went to Wal-Mart and then had lunch with my BFF and her daughter at IHOP.  Yummy!  Anyway, after time alone with mommy, they were much better Wednesday night.
Thursday was Thanksgiving, of course, so we hit the road and headed up to visit Chris' dad and stepmom for the day.  They live @ an hour and a half away...not a big deal.  It was a great day.  Both of Chris' brothers were there, my sister-in-law, two nephews and two nieces.  Andrew and Hannah had SO much fun playing with their cousins.  It was fabulous.  Chris played football with his brothers and oldest nephew and has, I think, discovered that he is either too old to play football OR needs to do it more often so his body doesn't rebel so severely next time.  Heh.  Neither of them napped, of course, so as soon as they got in the car they passed out.  It made for a peaceful ride home, but screwed up their bedtime routine a bit.  Eh, we survived.
My very own Coupon Chris!
Yesterday (Black Friday) we went to get flu shots (party!!) and did a bit of grocery shopping.  Chris has become quite the coupon guru.  I read a HILARIOUS blog where one of the writers calls her hubby "Cap'n Coupon."  I'm thinking its a title quite suitable for Chris. :)  Hannah was all out of sorts and throwing a fit, so instead of more shopping, we headed home.  Everyone (meaning Chris and the kids) had a great nap and felt much better afterwards.  After watching the very disappointing Alabama/Auburn game (I hate those Tigers/Eagles/whatever they are) we ate dinner and put Hannah to bed.  About this time, Andrew finally woke up from his nap, so he and Chris stayed downstairs playing games on the XBOX 360 while I enjoyed some time alone upstairs until Andrew finally got tired enough to get a bath and go to bed.
Today I took Hannah on a "mommy date" to Target for shopping and Wendy's for lunch  (hey, I had a coupon!)  -- hoping to satisfy her intense need for mommy -- and when they both went down for naps, I went to get a haircut.  I've been trying to grow my hair out and needed to get a trim so it wouldn't look quite so out-of-control.  Tomorrow is Sunday.  I actually don't have that "Sunday feeling" of dread because of a new school week coming.  This weekend I am actually looking forward to getting back in our routine.  The kids and I THRIVE on routine.  I love being home with them so much but man, do I love that routine.  Fortunately, things will return to normal soon.

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November 26, 2010

Kickin' off the Holiday Season!

With Glee Christmas
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November 24, 2010

Hannah's Vernacular (AKA Hann-acular)

I spend a lot of time talking about the cute things Andrew says and marveling over the insight he shows or the humor he shares.  The reason there's not a lot about Hannah's cute sayings is that there's just not a lot she says that is completely anyone other than me, Chris, or Andrew, at least.  This is why I have decided to develop a kind of Hannah "dictionary" so anyone who knows her can attempt to decode her unique babbling. :)

moMEEEEEE - that's me, the mommy.  If in the house, not allowed to be further away than arm's reach.

seat! - that means she wants you to sit down with her  if not sooner.

crax - crackers.  (usually means she wants them.)  any kind, but especially club crackers.

snack - fruit snacks...she loves the generic kind from Target, but is also fond of "Smiles" from Wal-Mart.  These should ALWAYS be carried in the diaper bag, one's purse, or jeans pockets.  They are the key to a peaceful outing.

Bu-eee - our black cat, Buddy, that is scared to death of her.

Ro-reee - our dog, Rosie, who is always afraid she is going to hurt her...has been kicked out of the house too many times to count for growling at Hannah.

Ki-eeee - our oldest, fat cat, Kitty B, who Hannah just ADORES.  Hannah hugs her and kisses her and simply MUST kiss her good night every night before bed as well as before naptime.  The only pet who somewhat tolerates her affection.

joos - juice!  She loves it so much but it gives her BAD tummy issues if she drinks more than one cup a day.

eat-eat-EAT!! - this means you should feed her NOW.  no wiggle room.  once this comes out of her mouth she's on the fast track to meltdown city.

babeeees - could mean her two precious loveys that she carries everywhere...could also refer to her 50+ Fisher Price Little People or plastic horseys...whatever is lying around that she probably wants you to get for her.

dip - usually refers to ketchup.  This girl LOVES to dip food in whatever there is...but mostly ketchup.  She also enjoys honey mustard and thousand island dressing.  Usually I can open the fridge and she will grab the "dip" she is wanting at the moment.

More to come, but for now...this is a good start. :)

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November 21, 2010


Andrew says the CUTEST things....most of the time without even meaning to.  Since its my blog (and I can do what I want with it), I'm going to share them here. :)
One night this week (I believe it was maybe Wednesday night), he asked me how I can possibly use the potty, being that I have no wee-wee.  (Yes, we use "kid words" for body parts.  Having my child say the word "pe.nis" just kinda freaks me out.)  Anyway, I explained that I can use the potty and reminded him that we have had this know, the "boys have outside parts, girls have inside parts" talk.  So he says he remembers but tells me that daddy told him that I *do* have a wee-wee. Ummmm...what???  I must have a talk with that man.
Friday morning, Andrew's preschool had a Thanksgiving program and lunch for the kids and their families.  Of course I went. :)  Afterwards, he went home with his daddy, Mamaw & Papaw (they were in town for the weekend).  He was a pilgrim in the program and apparently was hoping to stay in that role because he kept asking his Mamaw to be an "idiot" (Indian) and play with him.  We all thought it was too funny and didn't have the heart to correct him.
On Friday night, after reading books with his Mamaw at bedtime, I went in to rock and sing with him, as is our nightly routine.  When I entered his room, he told me he loved me thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much, and stretched his little arms as far as they would go.  I told him I loved him thiiiiiiiiiiiis much, too, and stretched mine out as far as mine would go.  This conversation followed:
Andrew:  But what if I cry, mommy?  Do you still love me a lot, or just a little?
Me:  Oh, Andrew, I still love you thiiiiiiiiiis much! (stretching my arms as far as they would go)
Andrew:  But mommy...what about when I'm bad?
Me:  Andrew, I love you so very much.  Even when you act crazy and don't listen, or do things that make me sad...I still love you more than I can say.
Andrew:  Oh.  That's good mommy!

Then he proceeded to act a fool, just to test the theory.  Hmmmph.
This morning, as I dropped him off at Sunday School, he told me he loved me so much and wanted to hug and kiss me FOREVER.

Man, I love that kid.

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November 16, 2010

Tide Pride

So this weekend Chris and I took the kids to Alabama to visit the grandparents (Chris' mom and stepdad...AKA Mamaw & Papaw).  The kids both L-O-V-E their Mamaw & Papaw, so every trip to see them is special, but this trip was extra-special because this time we had free tickets to the Alabama football game on Saturday night!  We got in @ 5:30 central time, had a great dinner with the family, and got the kids to bed...eventually.  Saturday we left the kids in good hands (hooray for Mamaw & Papaw) and headed to Tuscaloosa at around noon.  We were told to arrive in Tuscaloosa @ 4 hrs before the game in order to avoid the most traffic and get the best parking spot.  Whoever told us that was right, because the only time we stopped was at red lights.  It was so smooth.  We had a blast.  We drove around a bit, checking out the campus and stopping for lunch on the strip.  Then we went and parked in the Boy Scout parking lot ($20...expensive, yes, but all the parking spots were $20!) and walked toward the stadium.
This was my first experience at an SEC football game (or ANY college football game bigger than my own college's football games) so it was all new to me and I was like a kid at Christmas.  The tailgaters with their satellites and plasma TV's set up, the booths with folks selling anything and everything that could possibly take an Alabama logo on it...I was completely taken in.  Its a miracle, but we got out only with a $5 t-shirt for me, a $5 cheerleader's outfit for Hannah, a $5 game day program, and a $4 drink.  WOW, those concessions were expensive!

The game was close through the first half, but then things took off and Alabama rolled right over Mississippi State.  We stayed through the first five minutes of the 4th quarter and felt confident enough to head on out at that point.  It was a good decision, because we got out with no problem and, again, we only stopped for red lights.  We stopped at IHOP to eat (dude, we were starving--no way were we spending $6 for a hot dog at the game!) and got home @ 11:30 pm.  Seriously, the best weekend I've had in a looooong time.  I am so grateful to my hubby & in-laws for the chance to have such fun.

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November 6, 2010

5 days finally hit the fan!

So here we are on day 6 of the 30-day challenge.  Its a new day and things are good this morning, but last night was bad.  Five day into the challenge, I thought things were going well!  Maybe a little too well.  Should have known something was gonna happen soon if I didn't watch it.
Day 3's challenge was to acknowledge my husband's ability to meet my needs.  Chris does a fantastic job of this.  He is a stay-at-home dad, which is a tireless, thankless job but he is so good at it.  The kids love him and know him, and I can't say that for a lot of families.  Too many times the dad has to work so hard, such long hours, that he doesn't get to spend as much time with his kids as he might like.  Sad, but true.  Chris definitely meets their needs by being here with them, but he meets my needs by being their dad all day long.  No one else in this world loves them as much as we do, so leaving them with him is an easy choice considering other less desirable daycare options.  Chris meets my needs daily just by being here, being my partner and helper and supporter.  I may be the one meeting the family's financial needs, but he is the one meeting so many other needs.  Nancy Leigh DeMoss says in this day's challenge that, "ultimately, you can't expect your husband to make you feel more secure, loved, etc. Remember that only God can meet the deepest needs of your heart."  This is so true.  So many times I expect Chris to meet every need I have, and when he can't (because he's human and not God), I get disappointed or hurt, and that's when the breakdown begins.  More on this later.
Day 4's challenge was gratitude for his job!  Chris' job is not one that demands him to get up, get out the door and stay gone all day.  He stays here and cares for our kiddos all day.  But do I tell him often enough that I appreciate his willingness to do this?  I believe I do.  If anyone out there thinks I'm wrong, let me know!  I try to say it, write it, and express it every day to him.  I know how hard it is and I can't do it, so for him to do it...WOW.  If I haven't said it yet today, Chris, I LOVE YOU and THANK YOU for staying home and being a full-time daddy!!
Day 5's challenge was to encourage or praise him to other people.  I am probably guilty of falling into the trap of whining about husbands when I get together with a bunch of girlfriends.  This is bad, bad, bad.  Why do we do this??  Probably just a way to vent frustrations and get it all out without having to confront or address little issues with the guys.  What we should do, however, is get together and talk about all the ways our husbands rock!  Yeah, they are imperfect (aren't we all?) but they do so much more RIGHT than they do wrong.  I know this is one major area I need to improve.  I blog about how great he is, but for some reason telling him to his face is hard for me.  Not sure why this is.  I have been more vocal about his awesomeness at school, with the ladies I teach with...I plan on being more appreciative when with family, especially when he is with me.
Now for the tough part...Last night was bad.  We went to dinner with the family (all 9 of us) and they suggested that, after the kids go to bed, Chris and I should go out alone and have a date night!  I was tired, but Chris seemed excited so of course I said okay.  It was 8:00 before we got out the door, which was late for lots of stuff except for maybe going to a movie, which we couldn't afford.  Anyway, after being frustrated and exhausted too many things were said and misunderstood (or understood just fine but very hurtful) the night did NOT end well.  We both went to bed mad and did not sleep well.  We're fine now, but good grief...I shouldn't be surprised that every attempt to strengthen my marriage would cause some major testing and stretching, and of course I will fail now and then.  Hopefully I have learned my lesson, though, and come out stronger on the other end!

If anyone is wondering what this is all about, click here for the scoop.

November 2, 2010

Days 1-2 of the Challenge

OK, so if you didn't see my last post, I have decided to start this 30-day Challenge for wives.  (To read more about it, check this out.)  So day 1's challenge was to thank my husband for choosing me.  I am trying to remember if I've ever done this.  I'm sure I have, at some point, told him how lucky I am to be his wife, how happy I am to be with him...but I don't know that I've ever specifically thanked him for choosing me.  I mean, choosing me was a hard thing, I'm sure.  When we met I was still pretty much an emotional wreck with lots of baggage.  I had been through a long healing process and had actually not dated anyone for at least four years, so for me to jump back into a relationship was no small thing.  He was pretty special for me to even dare risking my emotional well-being with anyone after what I'd been through.  But the fact that he chose to stay with me, put up with all my insecurities, and stick it out with me...that's pretty amazing.
He chose me above all other women.  Our wedding vows were not taken lightly when we spoke them and they are not taken lightly even today.  We've been through some really tough stuff...miscarriages, post-partum depression (extreme at times), even hostile times when the last thing we wanted was to be together.  In the midst of it all, though, his commitment to me and to the kids has remained steadfast.  I know there have been times he probably wanted to run away, but he has chosen (and continues to choose) to stay stay with me.  Wow. 
Day 2 tells me to thank my husband for his servant's heart toward me.  WOW, does this man ever have a servant's heart!  He is a stay-at-home dad (which is enough right there!) but he also does all the grocery shopping (with both kids in tow), works hard in the yard, and still manages to have plenty of time to run around with the kids in the backyard, taking hikes in the woods, or just watch them play so I can have a few minutes of quiet when I get home from teaching middle schoolers all day.  WOW.  Honey, if I haven't said lately...THANK YOU for all you do.  You are amazing.
Now, some of you might think that our marriage must be the best its ever been because of this challenge.  I am here to tell you that its not easy!  Satan hates that I am trying to strengthen my marriage by encouraging my husband.  He is making us want to bicker about the tiniest, most insignificant little things.  Chris and I have been irritable and touchy, and there have been moments when it has taken every bit of strength I can muster just to keep my mouth shut or just say "sorry" instead of blowing up out of defensiveness.  God has given me the self-control to do it, though, and I'm already seeing some good results.  I can't wait to see what happens in the days ahead!
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