Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Sun at the end of the tunnel...

Thank Goodness for the Sun today! Its very encouraging to have a beautiful day after several stormy, rainy ones.
To celebrate The Sun, I decided to jump start my day with a couple cups of coffee, Barney for my 2 yr old and couponing for me! I have been searching for ways to cut down our spending and Groceries seem to be the big one... So I have been online finding coupons.
Another way I have tried to improve my Homemaker status is to do a better job keeping house. I'm not sure why I am so lazy when it comes to keeping my house clean. I was raised to clean, and clean a lot! Neither of my parents were ever lazy and they would probably be very shocked if they saw my house on a regular basis. My excuse, I'm rebelling from all the years I had to clean back
I am a huge advocate of playing with my children more than I care about the housework. They aren't going to remember if the dishes were done or not. I want them to remember all the fun we had not how much time I spent cleaning our home.
But that's just it, it is our Home, and I feel we would all be happier if our Home was cleaner on a daily basis. Now I'm not saying that my house is a disaster or filthy all the time, but I do the usual stressed out cleaning frenzy whenever someone calls to say they are stopping by. And that's if they call! You can imagine how stressed I am when someone just stops by! I don't want or need that extra stress in my life. So I am determined to keep it under control, everyday.
 I am super excited about this EBook a friend of mine posted on FB today and if you haven't heard of it already you must check it out!
31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way
Starting on the 1st I am going to join in on the 31 day challenge!
I am feeling pretty accomplished today, looking forward to working out tonight at Fit Club. We are doing Turbo Fire... thinking about it wears me out already but I really need to get back onto workout mode! I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful day as much as I am!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What it means to be a MOM

This is a question that has had a lot of meaning for me my whole life and with Mother's Day coming up I thought I would rexamine the meaning of Mother.

Webster defines Mother:
a : a female parent b (1) : a woman in authority; specifically : the superior of a religious community of women (2) : an old or elderly woman  
: maternal tenderness or affection
Becoming a mother was a very scary thing for me. It was something I wasn't sure I could do. My Birth-Mother didn't make the requirements of the definition above and it often made me worry that there was something in my genes that would make me make the same bad choices she did. I always knew that she loved me, but even at a very young (too young) age, I knew that love wasn't enough. Being a Mom means changing your lifestyle in order to take care of your child. It means always puting your child first. It means sacrafice. I was very fortunate to have a new mom at the tender age of 2, one who did sacrafice everything to be with me. To raise me. I grew up with an amazing father, a great mother but still there was always the nagging question of why my actual birthmother didn't fight for me. How could she put me in those bad situations? Why didn't she change for me? 
The mom who raised me was wonderful but strict. Growing up I thought it was horrible, but looking back now I can see that I turned out ok becuase of it. Although she was great to talk to about everyday stuff, I wish we had been closer. Today I am closer to her than I ever was then, I guess I have more respect for her now.
It took us 3 years of really trying to get pregnant with our first child. 3 years of wondering what was wrong with me, was I meant to be a mother, could I really do it? It got to the point that every try was a chore, just one more let down. I think all of my anxiety over my past issues with my birthmother was the problem. Once I faced it all, we were able to get pregnant...
It had been 20 years since I had seen my birthmother and I had decided it was time to confront this fear of mine. I had to know if I was Her or not. With my husband holding my hand, I met her for the first time since I was 5 yrs old. I was determined to put the past behind me and forgive everything. What an amazing feeling, Forgiveness. If you have someone you need to Forgive, Do it. It will enrich your life!
I still dont have much of a relationship with her, not the mother daughter type, just friends. The mom that raised me is who I go to for that realtionship.
Seeing my Birthmother didn't give me all of the answers I was looking for but I did learn that I am not her, that I am strong enough to sacrafice anything for my children. That my love for them can and will overcome any obstacle in my life. Thats what being a mom really is.
 I want to build a household of fun and wonderful memories, of game nights and good life lessons. I am an amazing mother, a fun mom and will work harder and harder everyday to be the best mom for my family. I aspire to be the kind of mom that my daughter will want to be one day, one that my son looks for in a wife someday.
So this mother's day, celebrate what being a mom really means, not just the giving birth part.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Naptime = Blogtime!

Where to start? I have sooo much to say!

First of all I have made a major decision about my future. I have been going back and forth about whether it was the right time to go to school or not and decided to wait. I have been doing so much soul searching lately, trying to figure out what I want from life and the answer is always to be the best mom that my children can have. I want to focus on them, to shape their lives, to learn and grow with them. I don't want to be stressed over school work or trying to manage my time around them. I want every moment to be for them. I want more than anything to be that perfect "soccer mom".

D and I have had a really hard time with the whole college issue. We had both decided to go back to school, me to get my basics, him to pursue a career in Engineering. Well the local college doesn't offer anything for either of us besides the Basics. We have talked and talked about it and have come to the conclusion that neither of us wants to move away, to transfer to a 4 yr school. I have always been interested in Psychology and Sociology, Mental health, what makes people tick... here I can become a nurse or something along those lines. Why settle if it really isn't what I want?  We have both been in a kind of Funk about the Future but after a wonderful talk yesterday have realized that we want to live for our children now. Shape and teach them to pursue their careers early on if that's what they choose. There really isn't anything here for young people, but it is a great place to live. So we are staying and are going to enjoy making memories with our family.

Also because of our Funk, I had made the desicion to get a part time job in the evenings, to bring in a little money and to get out of the house. Well after our long talk I changed my mind, wanting to just spend as much time together as possible. There have been so many losing loved ones all around us lately, it really shows you how short life can be. Lets embrace every moment!

Oh, and in case you live somewhere very far from here, it has been raining nonstop for several days and going to continue for many more. And did I mention the storms? We have had Severe Thunderstorms and Tornado Warnings for the last few days. Ever since the Tornado that hit our town in 2008, I get really anxious if it gets windy outside or if there is a chance of a Tornado Watch. I feel so much better when my whole family is home together in weather like this...More to come tonight, thank goodness I am stocked up on wine. ;)

Luckily we got out of our Funk early, this not having any sun might have done us in! I decided instead to focus on how to be an amazing mom this morning and started it out by making heart shaped pancakes (not that turned out that way) and building a Fort with Grant. We had so much fun playing, even Lela (who will 6months old on Thurs) *wipe tear, sniff* figured out that she could reach anything in their room by pulling and scooting herself around! Oh man do they grow up fast. Both my children are at points in their lives that milestones are just coming one after the other. I have been just a little emotional about it as of late!

Starting today I am looking in the mirror at a Brand New Woman: A better Mom, A better Wife, A better friend, A better person.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Power of Positive Thinking

What's good about a really bad day? It makes you determined to make the next better. Today has been wonderful so far. Thanks to a push from a friend, I have decided to participate in a 3 day Shake cleanse. Im hoping its the boost I need to get back on track and lose this stubborb belly fat! Ha! Grant appoligized for his crankiness last night by sleeping in this morning and both kiddos have been fun. I even got some cleaning done in between playing. Now we are resting waiting for Daddy to come home for lunch.
The Cleanse involves drinking a shake for breakfast, another one for lunch and eating a salad for dinner. I'm doing my best to remember to drink lots of water in between. I have a great support system of girls doing the same, so I am positive there will be good results. I decided to skip out on my coffee this morning, just to prove to myself I can, and so just a little headache. And maybe a little tired too ;) Silver lining: No coffee cup to wash!
As far as money issues, as always, these things tend to work themselves out. I think it's Magic and God...God's Magic?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wine helps the Whining...

This day started out wonderful...
  Grant (my 2 yr old) goes to daycare twice a week to get acclimated with other children, while I spend much needed time with Lela (my almost 6 month old). So today I was able to sleep in til 9 am because my daughter knows what beauty rest means. Started my day with baby smiles and 2 cups of coffee. Had a great time Skyping with my sister, and had big afternoon plans to Easter dress shop with my Lil girl. I'm not big into frilly dresses, but something about a baby girl in an Easter dress just makes me want to shop! Well before all the fun shopping I had to go and get our minivan legalized. Insurance, Accessor's office and Revenue Office. Fun Fun. This is where my wonderful morning turns into a crap day.
  By the time I left the DMV I was ready to cry. Somehow we had thought that we wouldn't have to pay sales tax on our trade in. Turns out you have to pay it on the difference of the trade in. So an unexpected $100.00 later I am on my way home instead of dress shopping with my daughter as planned. It's hard enough being a stay at home mom, with no income coming in. I feel guilty anytime I want to spend money on something for myself or something we don't need. Not that my husband makes me feel that way, I have just always worked for what I spent. So knowing that The Budget was going to be set back that much I knew the first thing I had to do when I got home was to figure it out. Well after a lot of figuring I figured it out... yep I figured out that we are short. Short on money that is. That figures... As I tell my husband I see his face fall. He works so hard as it is, no wife likes to see her husband like that.
  At least dinner was a success, I have a knack for throwing stuff together and making it edible.
  By the time dinner was over I had accepted that somehow money problems always work out and was ready to tackled the rest of my evening. D went out to work on a Job in the shop, and I continued my Job as Supermom :)
 hmmm how to describe what happened then... well to shorten it: time-out, tantrum, spanking, and meltdown. Those are just a few words that come to mind. Grant came home from daycare yet again without taking a nap, he has an issue with sleeping anywhere but in his bed, and made sure I knew it! Lela decided she needed every once of my attention because all day wasn't enough for her, and I am going to be brutally honest: I am PMSing. Yep I just wrote that out loud. So the combination turned lethal and bedtime did not come soon enough. Not that bedtime is any easier these days. Grant being 2, has decided he doesn't love bedtime like he used to. He fights it to the point he actually asks for time-out and spankings, anything but having to sleep. While hurrying through Grant's nighttime routine, Lela was screaming in the other room waiting for her night time routine. I am only one person, supermom or not. By the time I got both kids down, I was chugging the last half of Wine left in the fridge. So, to sum things up, If any of this is readable, you can thank the Wine. My night ends slightly intoxicated and pondering looking for work... Tomorrow will be a new day, a new beginning and hopefully a better day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Mommys Dream Job

Most Moms I know wish they could stay home with their children, something I have been lucky enough to accomplish. I want to help other moms do the same, and like most I learn best by example. Don't get me wrong it wasn't and still isn't easy but here is how it went for us:

The first step for us was taking the Financial Peace University course with Dave Ramsey. It was the best thing we ever did for our financial future. Some of the things we learned : pay off our debt, secure an emergency fund and learn how to cut back our spending.

We didn't have big debt to start with, only little cards here and there besides our house and car. So I took on a second job, working in the evenings at a fast food restaurant to pay off each one at a time. After that we started paying extra on our car payment each month. We had it paid off before our first baby was born. That was the easy part. Then came saving money. I don't have to tell you, that its a challenge. We started out saving  up $500 for an Emergency fund. Then we started having fun trying to see just how much money we could save. It is amazing how different your outlook on life gets when you stop spending. We realized what was really important. I'm not going to go into all of it, but I definitely recommend checking out Dave Ramsey, he will change your life!

Well having a baby changed things, added a little more debt and bills to our budget, so for a year I worked on figuring out how to cut our monthly spending. I still have the notebooks of charts I made showing what was coming in and what was going out. I never got it to equal out. I missed out on the fun of staying home with my son for a whole year. So my husband and I sat down and decided to take the plunge. We had recently built a shop (more debt) in the backyard that he could do some side work out of in the evenings, he was willing to be the one to take on the extra job in order for me to stay home with our children...yes by then I was pregnant with our second baby. It's all about sacrifice, and jumping in. We knew we could make it, we just had to cut back some.

OK, now that I have laid out the fairy tale of how to stay home, let me throw some reality at you. IT IS HARD! It is a complete lifestyle change, it doesn't happen over night, and you will always struggle. In fact we are struggling right now. Somehow money makes you make bad decisions, if you have it you spend it. So we are living one paycheck to the next and still wondering where it all goes. My husband feels like all the burden is on him to bring home the proverbial Bacon, and I feel like I never have any fun money. I get lonely most days with only a 2yr old to talk to a 5 month old to take care of. I rely on FB and Netflix to provide any needed drama in my life, and my daily routine includes laundry and snack time. We don't have health ins (but we do have an emergency fund), I don't go anywhere if I don't have enough gas for the week, and some days I feel I deserve an award for not flushing my children down the toilet. I'm telling you this not to discourage you, but to show you that if we can do it, so can you. Somehow we do it and I would never change any of it. I get to spend my days watching every moment of their lives, the changes, the milestones and soak up there love. I get to be the Mom they will remember making cookies and finger painting with. If you are stubborn enough (and most of you are) then you can pull this off. Sit down and make a list of all (don't leave anything out) your monthly expenses. Add it all up and compare it to how much money would come in that month if you weren't working. Then go through and take out or cut down the going out expenses until they equal the coming in. it is do-able. Start thinking like you only have one income, start living like the biggest obstacle standing in your way is your job and find a way to eliminate it. When you want something bad enough, life finds a way of working itself out.

I have been struggling on the budgeting lately, not staying as organized as I once was, not saving like we used to. But today is a new day, Today I Stop Spending and Start Saving!

Backwards and inside out...

My Cool Dude on his way to Backwards Day at Daycare today.
 It's crazy how fast he's growing up. Before I know it he will be Kindegarten...
    I'm starting a new weightloss goal today, Lose 10lbs in 10 weeks... Its completly do-able, as long as I can get out of this slump that i am in. I have been on a junk food binge as of late. Which is really sad because I had finally gotten down to my pre-baby weight and was feeling great about myself. i have no idea how things turned around so fast. So I have decided to get back on the horse and win a little sisterly competition! I will be visiting my sister at the end of June and plan on being in the best shape of my life, we are eachothers motivation. I really need to start excersising again, I have an eliptical that is standing alone in front of my tv, not like I never see it. Im also going to start going to my Thursday night Fitness class. I loved getting out and I always left feeling great. So here's to becoming "One Hot Mama" in the next 10 weeks!

I'm also working on getting more organized with our budget. As Dave Ramsey puts it, I'm the Free Spirit while Dusty is the Nerd. We are making it day to day but are failing puting anything to savings. So here goes project Saving!

Before you know it I will be one Hot Money Savy Mama!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Let's Talk about Love Baby"

I'm talking friend love... You know, relationships...
This has been on my mind a lot lately. The different types of love and friendships you go through in life. The ones you keep and the ones you lose. How growing up affects them.
I've always been the type to "fall in love with people", if I like someone, it has always been easy for me to want to be fast friends. In the past this has been good and bad, because you see, this also leaves me wide open to get hurt. When I was little I remember my Favorite best friends, the ones I looked forward to seeing after summer break, the ones I played with during the summer. I was always the "social butterfly" as all of my progress reports say. I was always the type to have one best friend or one group of close friends and talked to everyone. Relationships were easy then. (although the drama of H.S made them all seem so hard) Looking back you realize those were the "loving is easy" days.
Well then the growing up starts, Life takes over and you change. Getting Married, having babies, moving away: all that changes the relationships you have.
Your husband becomes the most important person in your life instead of even your Best Girlfriend. The saying " we will never let a guy come between us" doesn't apply anymore. We had a hard time finding other couples to hang out with because we were always on a different page in life. We got married young. And of course having kids changes Everything!
I learned over the years to not fall so hard for friends, to just enjoy the fun times. I have been hurt a lot but it was because I tried too hard. I am content with the friendships I have, the Bestie, the fun ones, the new ones, the talk or texting ones, the catch up with once a month ones, and the see eachother once a year ones. I love them all and have figured out that even the friendships lost were a lesson in life. A lesson on enjoying every moment and that what once was lost can always be found.

I've missed you!

I have had so much to talk about, I'm hoping I have it all stashed in my head so I can get it all on here! It's amazing how dependent we are on technology these days. My daily routine was so messed up for more than a week and I was completely lost. I wont bore you with the computer problems and the tech support issues... I am just happy to have it back and hope that it is now fixed.
The newest addition to our family fun : A veggie garden! We are so excited to finally have a garden. We have talked for years about puting one in but have always made excuses not to start it: too expensive, no room, blah blah blah! So this year we just jumped right in. We decided that if we put a raised bed in, we could always move it later if needed, or expand it next year. We went and prised all the material on it and were a little discouraged at just how much it would cost to get one started. So my super handy husband came up with a brilliant idea (as always) and used some scrap sheet medal leftover from the shop, and some 2X4 he had laying around to build an 8X8 box. We had to go out and get some fencing to keep our dogs out of it and put in a few tomato plants, jalapeno and bell peppers, lettuce, peas, squash and strawberries. Just enough for our little family the first year. We cant wait to watch it grow!
The best part of the day was spending so much time with the family! We all went and bought plants, took naps and planted together! here are a few pics to document the fun:

Grant played in the dirt for awhile

Puting the first Tomato Plants in...

Grant planted his own Strawberry plant, he's such a big boy!

Lela just hung out in here Bouncer watching the whole time!

What a wonderful Family fulled day! Even the Dogs enjoyed hanging out with us!

We had a really great weekend together. We were worn out and Dusty and I got a little sunburned ;) but overall an excellent weekend.

Next Blog: Something Serious...