The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Some Random Thoughts

People love giving their opinion.  Seriously, if you want to make someones day, ask their opinion on something.

However, people rarely want to hear YOUR opinion.  This is also serious.  If ever in doubt, just say to yourself, "No one cares what I think."  I have to remind myself of this almost daily.

It is incredibly interesting to me how some people are content to stay where they are in life.  I, on the other hand, have no desire to stay where I am in any area.  Spiritually, financially, mentally,  geographically, with my relationships, etc....I want all of these things to grow and improve and change and get better and better, not stay the same.  I don't ever want to find myself content to stand still.  

It is impossible to ever finish laundry.  If you are currently wearing clothes you are already behind.

A close friend is getting ready to move back to the great state of OK and I am pretty excited.  We weren't super close friends in college, but with time and different circumstances we have reconnected and I am looking forward to seeing her and her kiddos.

I wish that Jason only worked a four day work week.  Having him home on Mondays would be awesome.

I am going to be making PW's citrus cookies this week for a friend who is having a baby.  I am secretly overjoyed that I will be able to have one or two before I take them to her.

After learning I am vitamin d deficient and starting to take vitamin d, I have started losing weight.  This is pretty exciting news for someone who has been trying and trying to get rid of this baby weight!  On the other hand, I have no idea how I am not getting enough d when I am outside with the girls daily.

I love the Olympics, but after reading some interesting online articles about how the athletes spend their free time, I love them a little less.

Going to Target, without my kids, even to grocery shop, is pretty exciting stuff.

There are lots of things that I say now that I never thought I would say.  Examples include, "because I said so," "stop licking your sister," "we DON'T touch poop," and, "just sit down and finish watching barney."

This morning when Molly woke up she was crying for her mommy.  When I got her and laid her down with me she said, "NO, my OTHER mommy."  She proceeded to tell Jason she wanted the other mommy that was in the garage.  She did describe the other mommy as looking like me, but NOT me and for sure in the garage.  Not sure what to do with that at 6am.

I love avocados.  Like L.O.V.E. them.

The weather in OK is killing me.  I am totally in favor of moving at this point.  Places I would consider moving include, Seattle, Portland, or anywhere in Wyoming.

Being a vegetarian isn't really that hard for me.  Going vegan would be much, much, much harder, but vegetarian is a breeze. 

I wish that I could erase people's memory about who I was in high school.  Or college for that matter.  I wish people only knew me as I am now, not the mess I was before.

Last random thought of the day..............

I need a good book to read.  If you have a suggestion, let me know. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Embrace the Camera July 26th

Last week we were able to check another item off of the summer list.....Top That Pizza. 

Frankly it was hot, I didn't want to cook dinner or clean up dinner so we loaded up the family and headed out for pizza.  We love Top That because we can all choose our own toppings.  That is really nice considering the wide range of preferences in this family.  The girls like cheese (duh), Jason likes meat, meat and more meat, and I like things like sun dried tomatoes and peppers.

While we were there I snapped a pic of me and Molly Moo while she had her mouth full of Oreos.  (another nice perk, oreos in the kids meal)

Again, I feel it is important to say how much I dislike being in pictures, but I do it anyway.  Why?  Because when my kids are older they will appreciate these pictures of us together.  They will not look back and be as critical of me as I am of myself.  I appreciate Emily and her consistency with getting in pictures with her kiddos.  It helps me remember to be more intentional about capturing some memories that include me!

You should seriously embrace the camera!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Six Months

Lawson turned six months old last week.  Just saying it is a little weird.  Sometimes I feel like the time has gone by so quickly and other times I feel like he has been a part of the family for much longer than six months.  He fits right in around here.  As I am typing this, the girls have their Elmo chairs pulled up by the swing and are both reading him their library books.  It is precious.  I would take a picture except my phone is plugged in to the computer!

this photo is from today when i was trying to get him to take a nap!  he is chillin' in his sister's pink swing, rockin' the paci.  not the best picture in the world, but pretty much sums up his life at six months old.

Some facts about Lawson:

Height: 26 inches.  35th percentile.  He was in like the 60 something percentile at four months...he just hasn't gotten much longer!

Weight:  15lbs 13oz.  22nd percentile.  Again, he was the 25th percentile at four months, so just a little less this time.

Lawson has been the smallest of my babies so far.  I am sure that will change at some point, but for now I like my small little man.

Eating:  This kid is an eater, which is weird considering he stays so small!  We have started rice cereal and bananas.  Sweet potatoes and avocado are right around the corner.  Truthfully, I need to be more consistent about his eating times.  It is just not super easy to remember.  I sometimes feel like all I do all day long is feed kids and wipe their butts.  Oh, and clean up after they eat.  That is a big job too.

Sleeping:  Several naps a day and at night he sleeps 8 or 9 hours, eats and then sleeps a few more hours.  I would prefer a longer stretch, but I will take what I can get.  I am still terrified of letting him CIO for naps or to get to sleep so we are one of "those" families who let him fall asleep in the swing, or rock him to sleep.

Likes:  Rolling all over the living room floor, playing with toys, swinging, and blowing spit bubbles.

Dislikes:  Being hungry, being hot, being ignored.

Lawson is becoming more and more mobile everyday.  He is up on all fours and rocking back and forth, but not crawling yet.  He doesn't like to be in a sitting position, but we are working on that.

He is still an easy baby.  He is almost always happy and quiet.  I think it has more to do with the fact that he is number three and really has no choice but to be easy going, but whatever the cause he is for sure the most laid back and easy going one of the three.

I can't say enough how much I love being his mom.  He is such a great little guy.  Happy six months, Lawson.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Five: How three is easier than two...for real

If someone had told me that three kids would be easier than two, I am pretty sure I would have laughed in their face.  After all, it isn't like my two oldest are way older..they were three and almost two when Mr. Man arrived on the scene.  So the thought that it would be easier than the transition from one to two was pretty unbelievable.  But, you know what, it is easier.  Three kids seems to be easier than two and I think I know why.  Or at least have a few ideas.

1.  I am a different parent.  I think this makes the biggest difference.  With Belle I was very structured.  Like very, very, very structured.  And I don't think that was a bad thing.  Being that structured helped me learn.  We never left the house during a set nap time, and believe me there were set nap times.  We didn't go somewhere if it meant not being home by bedtime and you could set your watch to Isabelle's sleep-eat-play schedule.  I was a firm Babywise mom and nothing was going to get in my way.  I read a lot of books and the ones that I agreed with I pretty much did exactly what they said and made no exceptions or adjustments. 

With Molly I was a little more relaxed.  Probably not by choice, but by necessity.  I had a 16 month old to take care of also, so my time was a little more stretched.  Making the transition to two was very tough for me.  I didn't have a clue what to do if they were both crying at the same time, or both hungry, or both anything.  So there were a lot of days where I was stressed and frazzled and downright exhausted.

Now comes Lawson.  He is an easy baby, yes.  But he also has no choice.  I am not as structured, and don't think I have to be.  I realize flexibility comes in handy.  Sure, I still try to stick to the babywise philosophy of sleep-eat-play, but I don't stress if his nap times aren't at exactly the same time everyday and I am beyond okay with letting the swing get him to sleep.

2.  I am a more confident parent.  I finally feel like I have some idea of what I am doing when it comes to being a mom.  I don't freak out at every cough, or runny nose, or rash, or whatever.  I have seen it before.  I know what to do.  I spend much less time on the phone with the doctor, going to doctor visits and looking on the internet than I did before.  I also know what routine works best for our family.  Our routine has taken some time as well as trial and error to figure out, but now I feel like I know what each kid needs and how best to keep everyone mostly happy.  Along that same line, I don't freak out if they are all crying or all hungry, I just take care of them one at a time.  Learning to be patient and wait happens everyday at this house.

3.  I gave up on the idea of a clean house.  I guess this could fall under #1, but a clean house really has little to do with parenting.  Again, this was a progression with each child I had, but now at number three I am at a point where a little mess isn't the end of the world.  Our house most days isn't necessarily dirty, but almost always is cluttered.  I try to pick up only a few times each day.  At nap time, before Dad gets home, and before bed.  The whole play with one toy then pick it up business didn't work at our house.  There are usually toys of all kinds everywhere and I have learned to be okay with that.

4.  I do a lot of the things I would have NEVER done with Isabelle.  I let Lawson fall asleep in the swing.  I have also been known to nurse him to sleep at night.  I let the girls watch more tv than I should.  My kids sometimes stay in pjs until lunch time (or later).  Sometimes the girls never get dressed and run around with only diaper/underwear on.  I don't keep them to an exact schedule from day to day.  I bribe them with suckers and other sugary treats.  You know, regular mom stuff.  Except that when I was a mom of one, I swore I would never, never, never do most of those things.

5.  I figured out that I can take care of more than one child without having a nervous breakdown.  Seriously.  I remember days that I would call Jason (both when I was a mom of one and when I was a mom of two) and beg and plead and cry for him to, "PLEASE COME HOME NOW."  I am slightly embarrassed to admit it, but I remember feeling like I just could not take it one more minute.  Of course, he couldn't just leave work every time I was having a rough day and after surviving enough of those days I now realize that a bad day isn't the end of the world.  I will survive.  Not only that, but I have figured out how to cope and even how to turn a horrible day or a horrible moment into something better.  Girls having serious meltdowns?  Turn on music and have a dance party.  I don't know why it works, but a dance party cures a lot around here.  Everyone needs their butt wiped at the same time?  Deal with the youngest first, then work my way up.  Isabelle is old enough to wait.  Everyone cranky?  Feed them.  Giving food to my kids almost always cheers them up.   Not having someone to rush to my rescue all the time forced me to figure it out on my own.  It wasn't fun at the time, but I am glad that I now know what to do on the days where I feel like I might explode!

What about you?  Do you feel like things got easier after two?  (E, you don't have twins!!!)  Pretty sure that the fact that it was easier this time around is what is contributing to the strong desire to have one more!  (if you listen closely you can hear my in-laws gasping in horror right now!!!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Embrace the Camera 7/19

It isn't easy for me to get in a picture every week.  In fact, it is near impossible.  I don't know how Emily does it.  This past week the husband and I were out shopping for a mattress (fun, fun) and my mom was home with the kiddos.  Isabelle wanted us to take a picture so we did and texted it to my mom.  It turns out it has been awhile since J and I have been in a picture together!!

So here we are, embracing mattress shopping!

I still have a hard time with being in pictures.  I don't usually like how I look because of what I am wearing, or lack of makeup, or crazy hair or the fact that I still need to lose some weight from this last pregnancy.  But...I know that one day my kids will treasure photos of their parents together.  When I look at photos of my grandparents together I don't think that my grandma looked fat, or that she needed different clothes or that her hair is crazy.  I am just thankful for photos of them together.

SO, grab your camera, get some pictures with you IN THEM! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Fun

Well, after checking in on my goals and progress for the year, I thought it was also time to check in on how the summer bucket list is progressing. 

So far we have:

taken a boat ride

gone swimming at grandma's

had a cookout
picked berries

gone to the zoo

played in the sprinkler
watched fireworks
gone toy shopping

taken Belle to the movies
set up the pool in the backyard

played board games (candyland to be exact)
made our own playdoh
and made our own crayons.

We have also done many fun things that weren't on any list like celebrating our church's 25th anniversary (they had free hamburgers and lots of fun things for kiddos), started homeschool with Belle, played at our neighborhood playground, and we have been going to story time at the library every Monday for a month.  We have had cookie parties, played with finger paints, gotten donuts on the weekend, checked out books from the library with dad, and the girls have had plenty of sugar free popsicles. 

I am pretty happy with how this summer is turning out.  Surprisingly, life with three kids seems to be easier than life with two.  I don't know how that is even possible, but it is.  We get out of the house more, find more time during the day to get things done and have been good about making the weekend more about spending time together than about getting things done around the house. 

I am thankful that I made a list before summer had really started so that I would be intentional about doing certain things with the girls.  Without setting my mind to doing specific things I think we would not have done quite as much.  I am a list person and having a specific goal in mind helps me to stay focused!

What have you been up to this summer?  Any fun projects I should try out?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Friday Five: School Edition

This past week I decided to start working with Isabelle on what we are calling school.  I hesitate to use that term or the term homeschool because to me it seems like we are just doing things that normal parents do with their kids. 

Here are five of the things we have worked on this week!

1.  Calendar Skills.  You know, things like days of the week, months of the year, what day in the month it is, knowing today, tomorrow and yesterday, those kinds of things.  We sing the days of the week song from Signing Time and then I found a months of the year song on youtube here and since my girls love singing, these songs are perfect for them.  I also printed off some blank calendars from and laminated them so that we can write in the numbers as we go along.

2.  Letter sounds.  This week we learned about the letter a.   We also have a song for that, "The a says ah, the a says ah, every letter makes a sound the a says ah."  (I have a video I tried to post of belle singing it, but it never loaded..ugh!)

3.  Motor skills.  Isabelle has been writing her name, letters and numbers and we have been working to learn to use scissors.  The writing is going great, but scissors are harder than I expected.  That said, after four times of using them she was able to cut along lines that I drew on paper for her very well.  I was impressed!

4.  Bible Verse memorization.  We have a verse that goes with the letter of the week.  This week was Romans 3:23.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory.  A pretty somber verse, but one that starts with A.  And I do think it was nice to talk about that everybody makes mistakes and everyone needs Jesus.

5.  Math.  Okay, math might be stretching it, but we are learning to identify numbers (Molly), work with patterns (Isabelle) and other pre-math type skills.

Next week we will start letter e.  I am planning to introduce all vowels first, then consonants so that we can work on blends with each consonant.  As long as the girls stay interested we will do as much as time allows during the day.  I am sure that they will get bored with school eventually, so I am going to take advantage while I can!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Update on my 2012 goals

I mentioned at the beginning of this year that I accomplished a grand total of ZERO of my 2011 goals.  I believe part of that was never checking in on progress and not really taking any of them too seriously.  I resolved to do better this year and I thought touching base mid year (or slightly later than mid year) was in order. 

So, how am I doing?

Goal 1:  Don't get pregnant. 

Check.  I am not pregnant.  Moving on.

Goal 2:  Lose weight. 

Well.....while I have lost weight since having Lawson, I still need to lose about 15lbs to get back to where I was pre-pregnancy.  I am hoping that my semi-vegetarian lifestyle change combined with giving up dessert (except on the weekends..LOL) will help.  We shall see.  Oh, and I am having J move the treadmill indoors.  It will seriously disturb what little decorating success I am having in my bedroom, but whatevs.

Goal 3:  Commit to daily quiet time.

I wouldn't call any of my day quiet, but I have been able to read my Bible more.  I am trying to sit down and be still during Sesame Street which is like the one hour a day that I can mostly count on my kids leaving me alone!

Goal 4:  Be more purposeful and present with the girls.

I think we are headed in the right direction here also.  We have started what I am calling home school,  even though what it should be called is being a normal parent.  Spending time with the girls learning a memory verse, talking about the weather, discussing days of the week and months of the year along with some pre-reading skills and motor skills has been fun for all of us.  I had planned to wait to start, but Isabelle asks everyday to "do school" so I thought I should capitalize on her enthusiasm.

Goal 5:  Establish and stick to a blog schedule.

With the exception of last week I have been considerably more consistent this year than last.  I am pretty happy overall in this area.  I have also decided to no longer worry about followers or comments or page views or any of it.  I am writing for me, for my family, for a record of our lives.  If people are interested, then I am happy, but I am done stressing over it!

Goal 6:  Continue to cook new meals.

Whoa!  I am doing good here also.  Currently vegetarian meals are dominating the menu and have been very successful.

Goal 7:  Get a clear plan for my MK business.

Oh, I knew that there would be something I was missing.  I love Mary Kay.  For reals.  Love, love, love the product, love the girlfriends, love the adult interaction, love the additional income.  However, I am currently not in love with the time away from my family that would be required.  I don't want to spend my evenings making phone calls or holding appointments.  And the thing of it is, it is such a small time commitment for such a big payoff, but I still don't want to do it.  I am enjoying my current customers and taking care of referrals from them, but I am just not actively pursuing new customers.  I know that eventually that will change and that there will come a time where I do want to start building my business again.  But I don't know when.  The thought came to me today that I could start working again to pay for gymnastics lessons for the girls (which I MAJORLY want them to have), so who knows, it may be sooner than later.

How are you doing on your resolutions for the year 2012?  It is never too late to get started.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Back to Blogging

I took a little break last week from the blog.  Not intentional, but it happened.

Here's what I should have been blogging about........

Our Fourth of July.  We didn't do much, so there wasn't much to blog about.  Truthfully, Jason and I spent a majority of the morning/afternoon cleaning all of the grout in our kitchen with scrub brushes.  We are majorly weird.  Jason spilled something and after he cleaned it up we were painfully aware of how dirty our floor was.  We are the kind of people that really can't leave things like that alone.  So on our hands and knees we scrubbed away!  I am happy to report that we did eventually have some real fun watching the girls swim in the backyard, eating burgers and watching fireworks. 

not related to the fourth, but too cute not to share!  taken at our church's 25th annv. celebration.

Every night since the Fourth of July Isabelle has been requesting the National Anthem as her bedtime song.  She asks for the fireworks song.  It is pretty funny.

My new vegetarian recipes.  Seriously delicious.  We have had Healthy Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Stuffed Peppers.  I have not managed to have a single vegan day, but I have done pretty well with no meat.  My favorite thing so far has been the cucumber, avocado, and tomato sandwiches at lunch.  I have switched from real milk to almond milk and since I am not a milk drinker (just have it on cereal) I have not minded the difference.  I am pretty pumped to keep trying new recipes and avoid eating meat as often as possible.  (I did have a burger on the 4th!)

Lawson.  He is going to be six months this month and I have finally started serving him some food.  We have tried rice cereal and bananas.  He doesn't seem very interested.  He does look pretty cute when he is eating though.

cutie patootie even when covered in cereal!

My sister's new blog.  Life in Progress.  I am so excited to see what she posts next!  My sis is new to the blogging world, but I know that she is going to do great!  She is full of good advice and helpful info for parents.  Check it out when you get a chance and leave her some love!

So, it is clear that I should not have taken such a big break, but it did give me some added time to finish up some homeschooling stuff for the girls (so excited to get started), spend some extra time with the hubby, and be in front of the computer less!

I promise to not take such a long break again for a while!