The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Monday, March 28, 2011

Facts about Molly

Molly is turning one this week.  I am in a mild amount of denial.  But...since she is going to turn one whether I am ready or not, I thought I would list some facts about Molly at (almost) one year old.

1.  Molly has four teeth.  She just started getting teeth and it seems that they are all coming at once.  She has two more that are almost in.

2.  She is walking and has been for about a month.

3.  Molly only wants to eat food that she can feed herself.  Forget purees, yogurt, oatmeal or soups.  If Molly can't pick it up and put it in her own mouth, she isn't interested.  Her favorite foods are carrots, peas, bananas, spaghetti and puffs.

4.  Molly is the most laid back child ever.  She does things at her own pace and never seems to be in a hurry to do anything.  She is content to play by herself or with her sister, inside or outside, whatever.

5.  Sleeping is well....not awesome.  For the last two or three months, Molly has been waking up once every night.  This is a MAJOR change.  She was the child who was sleeping through the night from the day we brought her home.  I am mostly to blame for this as I have yet to do what I know I need to do and let her cry it out for a few nights. 

6.  On the other hand, she still takes two naps a day, both for about two hours!

7.  Clothes are 12 months, no idea on the shoe size.  A trip to Stride Rite is in our future.

8.  Molly's favorite activity is to play with her sister.   

9.  Unlike Belle, Molly could care less about television. 

10.  Molly is a momma's girl.  Totally.  That is also the opposite of Belle, who is a complete daddy's girl.

11.  To discipline Molly you don't have to raise your voice or thump her hand or anything except say the word, "No."  Molly will be the child who grows up to say, "My dad never spanked me, he just had to look at me."  Molly is obviously less headstrong than Isabelle.

12.  And lastly, at one year old Molly is still a constant reminder of God's faithfulness.  While her first few days were kind of rough, they have proved to be one of the greatest faith building experiences in my life.   I am so thankful for a God who hears my prayers and is a healing God.  Molly is a testament to His love.

Now off to try and figure out her birthday cake.  Belle was easy.  She loved Yo Gabba Gabba so she got a Brobee cake.  Molly isn't really into anything so I am having a harder time coming up with ideas!  Any suggestions?

Friday, March 25, 2011

What do you do all day? Part 2

Before Molly was born I answered the question, "What do you do all day?"  Several well meaning friends asked me that shortly after I made the decision to stay home.  I think they thought boredom would sink in and I would come back to reality and go back to work!  My decision to stay home was the best decision ever.  Most women without kids can't understand.  That was over two years ago and I have yet to get bored.  Here is an update now that I have two little ones!

7:00-8:00  Wake up, change diapers, watch Yo Gabba, get the girls their milk. 

8:00-9:00  Fix a breakfast for Molly, feed Molly, clean up Molly.  Fix breakfast for Belle, let Belle eat, clean up Belle.  I take the time while Belle is eating to also eat and drink my coffee.

9:00-11:00  Molly takes her first nap of the day, usually for about two hours, but sometimes only for an hour.  Belle plays independently for a little bit and I do a little of everything.  I drink another cup of coffee, read my blogs, check email and usually clean up the kitchen.  I also take time to clean something in the house (today it was the master bathroom and starting laundry).  I also spend time playing with Isabelle so that she gets some one on one time during the day.  I am getting ready to make our play time more learning time because that girl is SMART and I am pretty sure I am not giving her enough to learn!

11:00-12:00  Molly wakes up, both girls get new diapers and get dressed for the day.  Molly is ready to eat again (though I am trying to make her wait until lunch time for more milk) and Belle usually gets a little pre-lunch snack.  It is also during this time that we run errands.  I make Mary Kay deliveries twice during the week usually during this time.

12-12:30ish until 1 or 1:30ish  Lunch time.  Remember breakfast???  Yep, it's that all over again.  Two lunches, feeding Molly while Belle eats, cleaning them both up and at some point taking time for my lunch.

1 or 1:30ish  Nap time for both girls!  Whoo Hoo.  Belle will sleep three hours (usually) and Molly for two.  This is my time to do a mad dash to accomplish what I need to for the entire day.  Three days a week I make booking phone calls for Mary Kay, on Tuesdays I take a nap!!!, and the other day of the week I might clean, exercise, shower, scrapbook, read or just watch TV.  Whatever I do I am recharging for the rest of the day.  It is great to have both girls nap at the same time so I can have some alone time.

3-3:30 until about 4  Molly wakes up and we play until Isabelle wakes up

4-5  Playtime.  If it is nice we go outside, otherwise we play 'kitchen stuff' as Belle calls it.  If we are having a big dinner I also will start to do some of the prep work during this time.

5:00-6:30  Dinner time.  During this time I am fixing dinner, eating dinner, and cleaning up dinner.   I have an amazing hubs who helps out a TON so none of it is too overwhelming.

6:30-7  Molly's last bottle and perhaps a bath and then at 7 she goes to sleep.

7-8:30  Belle gets a bath, watches 'the wheel' with dad and then we have her help us clean up the toys in the living room and her bedroom before bed.  She goes down somewhere between 8 and 8:30, but usually doesn't wind up asleep until 9ish.

8:30-10  Party time!  I wish!!!  Jason and I try to squeeze in a little alone time, but there are occasions where I am working, working out or trying to get ready for the next day.  If I have had a Mary Kay appointment the whole evening looks different and this time is usually spent cleaning up the house and reorganizing my MK bags.  We try to get into bed every night by 10.

So there it is, my boring day as a stay at home mom.  There is so much that I didn't even mention, things that get done, but not everyday, like Mary Kay appointments, grocery shopping, meal planning, bill paying, etc.  I wouldn't trade my life for the world.  Being a mom is harder than any job I have ever had and I am so thankful to be able to be home to enjoy every minute of it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

embracing my sista

It's that time of week.  I missed it last week and truthfully am sort of cheating this week.  If you don't know much about embracing the camera, check it out here.

This week I am posting one of my favorite pics of my sister and me.  It is from October of last year right before she did a run.  She is a great runner and I am not, so I go and watch and cheer and she runs. 

My sister is amazing.  She is my best friend, my role model for parenting, and pretty much my most favorite person next to my hubs.  I love her a ton and am so lucky to have such a great older sister. 

Want to embrace?  Link up here!

Monday, March 21, 2011

It can wait

Lately, I have found myself with an abundance of things to do.  I am in the process of getting ready to run (or jog, whatever) a 5k, working to increase my Mary Kay business, wrapping up a bible study at church, preparing for Molly's birthday, and so on and so on.  Life just keeps moving and things at our house seem to be piling up.  Yard work, house work, work in general.  Things seem crazy. 

It is about the time when I think I am going to go crazy that I have to remind myself that things can wait.  The dishes can wait, paying bills can wait (somewhat), cleaning the bathroom can wait, this blog can wait.  It can all wait so that I can do my most important job, be a mom. 

I read something the other day that reminded moms that everything they do from changing diapers to wiping snotty noses to loving on their babies has eternal significance.  Our first jobs as moms is to raise godly children.  When they are young it is hard to look at the day in and day out work as having eternal significance, but it does.  Choosing to discipline your child, choosing to show love, choosing to spend time with your kids, all of it is paving the way.  Children do not magically turn out to be productive, godly adults without work and time invested from the start.

So, remember, it can wait.  It can all wait.  Try not to go crazy worrying about how you will get the house clean or find time to do all the laundry and enjoy the moment you are in with your kiddos!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Money Saving Wednesday-Dropping Directv

Our church is currently in the middle of a series called, Broke.  It is a great series that has really challenged me to look at my finances and make some changes.  One thing our pastor mentioned when discussing wants and needs is that cable/satellite is not a need.  WHAT?!?!  But I need to watch the Today Show, Survivor, Real Housewives and Biggest Loser (just to name a few).  And I am pretty sure I need to watch them in HD.  Right?  Ummmm...turns out, nope, not a need. 

Since Directv recently raised my rates and cut the discounts I mentioned here, I have re-evaluated my need for satellite tv.  What I have decided is that I actually need the extra $1000+ per year I am going to save by pulling the plug on Directv.  And considering their less than stellar customer service recently, they have made my decision even easier.

But before you think I have gone all crazy and abandoned my favorite shows, let me reassure you I haven't.  I have found a better, less expensive way to watch my shows and even most of them in HD. 

First, we are buying an HD antenna.  This way I can still enjoy all of my favorite network tv shows.  I will still be able to enjoy 30 Rock, Survivor, The Office, Community, Parks and Rec, Biggest Loser, and Parenthood (which is the greatest show EVER). 

Second, I am going to upgrade our internet.  I am not sure on the price yet, but my guess is to upgrade to faster internet is only like $10 or $20.  Getting a faster internet connection will let me get movies and tv shows that aren't on the local stations via my next step.

HULU Plus.  This. Is. Amazing.  You subscribe for $8 a month and get access to all your favorite shows.  This will allow me to not worry about missing a show and not having a DVR, because I will be able to pull it up on Hulu and watch it anytime I want!

I have read multiple articles online and it seems everyone is dumping their cable these days.  With Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and the ability to watch almost ANYTHING on your computer (which we hook up to the tv) I don't know why anyone keeps their cable.

If we spend an extra $10 on internet and $8 on HuluPlus, we will save a total of $720 a year, and I will still get to watch most of my favorite shows!

Do you still have cable?  Ever consider dumping it?  I would love to hear if you have and how you did it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not OCD, just routine oriented

Isabelle has a funny bedtime routine.  I am calling it a routine instead of suggesting that she has OCD.  Though her recent addition of counting while she performs her bedtime routine has me a little concerned.  (KIDDING!)

Here are the steps in order:

Box fan on

Humidifier on

Ceiling fan on

Light off

Lay down

Make sure she has all the correct blankets (pink on bear-bear, yellow and white on her)

Prayer and kisses with mom

Prayer, kisses and singing with Dad.  (she specifically asks for "Mockingbird song" every night).

If any of the lights or fans gets turned off or on out of order or by someone other than Isabelle, the entire process starts again.  It is a little silly.  Jason and I have been attempting to break the cycle of craziness, but so far no luck.  I really am not worried about OCD, but I do find it interesting how stubbornly she sticks to doing the same things over and over.  Right now I think it is mostly due to wanting to do everything on her own, which hopefully two year olds outgrow quickly.

Do your kiddos have any funny routines?  Do they always want to do things themselves?  Would love to have some confirmation that my kid isn't the only weirdo!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Molly is WALKING!

That's right, my baby girl is walking.  Not well, but still walking.  She started taking a few steps on Thursday morning and by Thursday evening was walking across the living room.  She still falls down and can't stand up without first pulling up on something, but at this point she prefers walking to crawling!  Crazy. 

What happened to this baby girl?

She has grown up so fast.  At the end of this month, she will be one.  I love watching my girls grow up and seeing all of the new things they do, but I miss the baby stage also! 

Hopefully I can get a video of her walking up sometime this week!

Have a great Monday.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Embrace (even when embarrased)

I have been posting pics of the kiddos on Thursdays, either with myself or with Jason, and I thought today I would post a pic of  Jason and I together.  A little change of pace from the kids (though they are much cuter than Jason and me).  The following picture is the most recent photo of Jason and I together.

This was taken about five minutes before my C-Section last year.  LAST YEAR.  Jason and I have not been in a photo just the two of us in a whole YEAR.  Family photo, yes, but alone, no.  PATHETIC.

In my attempt to get more pictures of us with the kids, I have neglected getting any of just the two of us.  I loved looking at pictures of my grandparents together, seeing how much they loved each other coming through so clearly and I feel I have done my kids a disservice by forgetting to document such an important part of their lives. 

Lucky for us we have some things coming up like Molly's B-day and our 10 year anniversary where I think we could manage to get a picture or two of us together.  When we finally take one, I will post it right away, because let's face it, we both look about a million times better out of scrubs and hairnets and me about 35lbs. lighter! 

Now it's your turn to Embrace the Camera.  Visit Emily's site and link up!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

My cooking adventures continue.  Last week was Mexican Lasagna.  It was SO good. 

Here is the recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  (Sorry no picture!)

I did a few things differently, like reduce the amount of ground beef.  I used 1 lb, not 1.5 lb.  I also added more cheese and an additional layer.  Just like with traditional lasagna, I made the last layer using noodles, sauce and cheese.   I omitted the olives also (my family does not like olives).

This recipe was yummy.  Not super easy to make just due to the number of ingredients you have to get out and use, but for sure not a hard recipe either.  However, my husband loved it.  Isabelle ate the black beans and nothing else!!!

I am loving how many new options I have for dinners.  I have made a list of all the dinners we eat and use it to plan out my menus.  It is so nice to have new and delicious options. 

Try this one out.  Or better yet, join me in making one new recipe a week and see how it changes your perspective on cooking and gives you more options for your weekly menu!  Leave me a comment if you make something yummy that I need to try out!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Advice for new moms-Part 1

I mentioned last week (I think) that I was considering writing about my advice for new moms.  I have an abundance of things I could write about, so I am breaking it into separate posts.  I hope that in reading this (if you are a new mom or about to be a mom) you get some good information, and I hope to get my point across that what works for some moms will not work for every mom and that is okay!  Do what works for your family.  Today will be mainly focused on the first few weeks after having a baby!

1.  Sleep.

When I came home after my first baby was born everyone told me to sleep when she slept.  That is great advice in theory, but sometimes hard to do.  So my advice, sleep as much as possible when the baby is sleeping.  Don't worry about cleaning your house, or doing the dishes or making dinner or getting out of your pajamas.  At least for the first few days (or in my case weeks) you are home.  If you are worried about people coming over and seeing your house messy or seeing you still in your pj's, don't be.  No one will care.  In fact, most will be willing to help out in some way (like letting you take a shower while they watch the baby). 

2.  Accept all offers for free food.

Seriously.  People will offer to help.  They will want to bring you dinner.  Say yes.  As many times as you are asked, say yes.  If your fridge gets full, put it in the freezer.  There is nothing better than two weeks after you are home and your baby has had a fussy day and you are tired, than to pull something out of the freezer for dinner.  It is great.  And if someone asks if there is anything they can do to help, tell them to bring dinner!

3.  Take time to shower and pee!

I know that sounds crazy, but the first time I ever had to use the bathroom and Isabelle was crying, I had no idea what to do.  I couldn't possibly put her down.  So I just held it until she quit crying.  I was miserable and she was miserable.  I should have put her down and used the restroom.  Crying doesn't kill a baby.  It doesn't scar them for life and they will not grow up and say, "But you abandoned me when I was crying."  It will not happen.  You can also shower.  We bought Isabelle a vibrating bouncy seat and we named it the magic chair and I loved that thing more than words can say.  I would put Belle in the chair, turn on the vibrations and hop in the shower.  She was content to hang out and I was able to shower during a time when she was awake.  Beautiful.

4.  Babies can sense how you are feeling. 

If you are freaking out while your baby is freaking out, things are not going to improve.  You must remain calm and in control.  Take some deep breaths or put the baby down (see above, crying does not kill a baby), regain your composure and then pick her/him back up.  If you are calm, your baby will calm down much faster.

5.  DO NOT, DO NOT check the internet when you have a question. 

If your baby is crying or sick or has a weird bump or rash or whatever, DO NOT go to the internet for information.  It is so tempting to google 'rash on infant', but you will regret it.  Worst case scenarios is all you are going to find with hundreds if not thousands of horrific pictures and stories.  The first time I looked on the internet for information was the same day I came home with Isabelle.  I had a fever and was prescribed antibiotics.  I wanted to find out if there were any side effects for the baby (since I was breastfeeding) despite my doctor telling me it was safe.  Of course there were TONS of posts about possible, though not likely, side effects and I was worried sick and since I was so emotional, I was also crying my head off.  Add that to a fever and having a three day old baby, it was a disaster.  Of course it was fine, Isabelle suffered no side effects, and you would think I had learned my lesson.  NOPE.  It took about a dozen more times of google to learn I was just scaring myself.  Talk to your doctor.  Call him or her whenever you have a question.  Even in the middle of the night.  You will pay lots of money to your pediatrician over the next few years, you might as well take advantage of the service they provide.  Call your doctor and for the most part, trust their advice.

That is it for today.  Let me know if you find this post helpful or not, or if you have other great advice for new moms!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Better Late than Never

Thursdays seem to get here faster and faster every week, but I remain committed to embracing the camera.

Isabelle is a very routine oriented child.  Everyday after naptime she wants to watch Yo Gabba Gabba and she wants to sit on my lap.  There are some days when a half hour of uninterrupted mom time isn't possible.  Molly usually needs to eat right at the same time as Belle's nap time is over so I can't always sit with Belle, but today I could.  I love when she sits on my lap.  I love cuddling with her.  She is such a sweet girl.

And I love her new face that she makes when she knows her picture is being taken.

I know I am not really in this picture, but it is of her on my lap, today, watching Gabba and I like it!

Now, it's your turn...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lessons from Mary

Last Friday my next door neighbor, Mary, died.  She was not in the greatest of health and was (I think) in her nineties, so her death came as no surprise.
Mary was the only neighbor in my whole neighborhood that I even knew.  Odd considering other neighbors have children, and are closer to my age.  Truth be told, she was the only neighbor that ever took the time to say hello and introduce herself.  Most of the time I tried to ignore Mary.  She was old and odd and spoke too loudly and was always trying to give me stuff.  She reminded me too much of my own grandma who was old and passed away not long after meeting Mary.  Mary was an inconvenience in my day.  When you did stop to talk she would keep you FOREVER.  I never felt I had the time to talk to Mary.

Somewhere during the last four years I made a decision to love Mary.  I read Joyce Meyer's Love Revolution and made the decision to really LOVE Mary.  It wasn't easy.  It required me to step out of my comfort zone.  I started off slowly.  I would get Mary's paper and put it on her doorstep in the mornings.  I would not ring the bell, I would toss it on her porch and practically run back to my house.  I wasn't ready for an hour long conversation every morning.  Eventually though, I started taking time to talk to Mary.  Now and then I would see her outside and rather than drive my car into the garage and shut the door before getting out of the car, I would stop and say hi.  Occasionally I went over to her house to check on her.  While I was there I would ask her questions about her life, her family, her interests.  I got to know Mary.  Slowly, but surely I liked her.

I started feeling more and more guilty the more I got to know her.  She was a pretty great lady.  Not unlike my grandma who I cherished.  Independent, business owner, devoted wife, loyal sister, and trusted friend.  Mary never had a shortage of visitors.  People came to visit Mary all the time.  I met her brothers, nieces and nephews, friends and in recent days her caretakers.  Everyone seemed to love Mary.  I realized I missed a chance to spend time with someone I had really grown to like.

Mary's death has given me a little perspective.  Helped me to realize a few things about myself and hopefully taught me not to make the same mistakes again.

Love your neighbor.  We are commanded by God to love our neighbors.  Not love the neighbors who are lovable, but love your neighbor whoever that might be.  Love is an action and we need to be showing our neighbors we LOVE them.

Don't wait to tell someone about the love of Jesus Christ.  I always thought it would be better to have a relationship with Mary before talking to her about Jesus.  I never got around to asking her the most important question.  And now I won't know until I get to heaven.  I had the chance and I didn't take it. 

Growth always requires you step outside of your comfort zone.  If you are going to learn anything, grow in any way, move past your current state whatever that may be, you are going to have to get uncomfortable.  It will be worth it in the end.

I miss Mary.  I miss her telling me to come over and look in her garage because as she put it, "I have a lot of great stuff."  I miss her stories of when she lived in Chicago with her husband and ran her barbecue restaurant.  I miss it all. 

I realize this might be a little bit of a downer post, but truly, Mary lived a long, great life and I am blessed to have known her.  I am happy for the time I did spend with her and thankful for the lessons I learned in the short amount of time I lived next door to her!