This and That

:: I'm lacking motivation recently. I lack the motivation to keep up with the blog, with healthy eating, with taking photos of the kids, and exercising. I've never been terribly keen on New Year's Resolutions. I did, however, set a goal to take a family photo once every week this year. I think it will be fun to see how the kids grow and change throughout the year. I'm sure I'll see some aging in B and me as well.

:: I've been watching some of our friends' children recently too. Perhaps that's where my lack of motivation is coming from. I love all of these little people in my house, but they certainly take all of my energy. Every day, A asks me which of the kids are coming over. I may need a new calendar to color code the day as it corresponds the proper child or children.

:: Today after school, A is having her very first playdate at a friend's house without me there. Her friend's mom is picking them both up. I'm so excited because I know she is going to have so much fun. This girl is in dance class with her as well and they will be going to the same private school next year. It's another sign my baby is growing up. Just the other day at lunch after dance class, the girls were asking if they could do a sleepover. Both of us mothers declared it too early in their lives and said, "Maybe when you are in 1st grade." At least my little girl likes other kids.

:: The husband and I moved around our house. We switched the playroom from the basement to the master upstairs and are turning the downstairs into a master suite. I have a ton of fun ideas for the playroom, but I need to paint it first. That is sure to be a task in and of itself. For instance, whenever will I find the time?

:: It's over 50 degrees here today. I love it. Normally our winters are so cold. Just last week they delayed school starting because of the low temperatures. It is supposed to hang around the 50's all week. I've got the heat off and the windows open.

:: Perhaps my lack of motivation comes from all of the goodness being added to Netflix. First it was Gilmore Girls. Now that they have added Friends, it's a wonder I even leave my sofa. If they ever add NCIS, I'll be in trouble.

:: Before Christmas, the kids and I packed up and headed South to Savannah with our friend, S. I'm dreaming about going back, maybe without the kids. It would be perfect for an anniversary vacation. There is so much to do and see, plus you are close to the coast. If you want a really good workout, try carrying a toddler to the top of the Tybee Island Lighthouse and back down. Pain for days, I tell you. Leopold's Ice Cream back in Savannah makes you forget the pain and gives you back all the calories you burned, though.

:: B and I rang in the New Year without attending any parties or watching the ball drop. We stayed at home drinking hot chocolate and watching Mel Brooks movies. It was perfect.

:: The comic con we go to is in 2 months. I have yet to decide if I will cosplay or not. I'm running out of time to make anything. Perhaps I'll buy a wig and go as Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction. I'm certainly open to suggestions, though.


Herschel's Story

Today, I want to talk about our beloved dog Herschel. Herschel is many things. He is smelly, slobbery (when he sees food), loud, and attention seeking. Above all else, Herschel is loving and caring to all he meets.

Almost two years ago, a skinny black pit bull mix showed up along with a shepherd mix on a property about 30 minutes from us. Luckily, there is a fantastic animal rescue located there. The dogs were taken to the shelter and put into foster homes. The pit bull was super skinny and his skin was in bad condition. He was wearing a collar and was very friendly, so it was obvious that he had been someone's pet. Alas, no one ever came looking for him.

The people who took the pit bull in loved and cared for him. They spent time investigating what was wrong with him and learned that his skin condition was due to food allergies. He was put him special food and his skin cleared up. They cleaned him, put some weight on him, and got him ready for adoption. Unfortunately, the poor guy had a lot of strikes against him. He was black, male, a pit mix, and had an unexplained urinary issue. A year went by and Herschel was not adopted.

Last December, our family decided to adopt another dog. We wanted to adopt a dog that I could go running with and who was good with kids and Dante. At first, we were interested in another dog, but she had already been adopted. I went with the kids to the adoption center where we met this goofy boy. He was so sweet and lovable, I thought he would be a great fit. Not wanting to rush into anything, we met Herschel and his foster family several times. We introduced him to Dante on neutral ground to make sure they would get along. Finally, we decided to do a two week trial period. From that point on, Herschel has been a member of our family.

Not once has Herschel shown any disposition other than that of a loving and faithful dog. Whereas Dante grumbles at P and A if they try to play with him, Herschel sits contently while they climb on top of him. Once, P grabbed Herschel's tail and the big guy didn't even seem fazed. He loves to give big kisses and snuggle up with his family. Other than his penchant for adventure (i.e. he loves to escape if the possibility presents itself), he's one of the best dogs we could have hoped for.


The Story of Life

Dear Readers (if any of you still exist),
My last post was so very long ago. I've missed being here. I've missed writing. All of this time, I needed to be here to write my thoughts and record things for my memories. Life got in the way. Allow me to explain.

Back in March, it was obvious that law enforcement and B just weren't clicking the way they used to. There were some issues that arose. He was stressed and tired. He would not quit, though, because he felt the responsibility of providing for his family. B started applying for some jobs, but few were fruitful endeavors. In April, I knew that my husband needed to feel like it was okay to quit his job, so I applied for a job. Miraculously, I was hired two days after I applied to a particular job. It was part-time and seemed like a great opportunity. This allowed B to end his time in law enforcement and focus on what he wanted to do. Two weeks after that, he was hired at a fantastic company.

Having just started a job, I wasn't going to quit although I missed the kids. Let me tell you, leaving my children was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I never wanted to work once I had children. My dream growing up was to be a mom. Not that working lessens motherhood. I just felt like I wasn't being true to myself. The first week of my employment, I came home every day and cried once I put the kids to bed. I felt like I missed out on so much.

My job became full time and B was working full time as well. Luckily, we had family watching the children - until a very close family member was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Childcare suddenly disappeared and I was constantly worried about someone I love very dearly. I hated that I could not be there to help her. Even more, I hated that she felt guilty because she could no longer provide care for our children. I consulted a nanny website and interviewed someone who seemed perfect. She was a fabulous person and A just adored her. So, for the summer, our children spent time with a nanny. That's when my entire salary disappeared. With someone so ill in the family and making no money since I had to pay for childcare, I had to terminate my employment. I felt terrible. It was a great job, but my family needed me.

Now I'm back at home. I can't say I'm not enjoying it. I've been asked if I will try to find work again. The answer is a resounding no. To me, the expense of childcare plus missing out on so much of my children is not something I care to repeat. Plus, B is really enjoying having clean laundry and homemade food again. The truth is, I love being home. I love that I get to be involved in A's school and schedule things when they work for our family. In summation, I'm where I need and want to be.

So that is where I leave off for this post. I plan to be back posting up a storm. I have a lot to catch up on. Until next time.


Happy 1st Birthday, P!

My dear sweet baby boy,

I truly cannot believe it has already been one full year. You have grown so fast and have brought so much joy to our lives. It seems like just yesterday we were heading to the hospital. I remember waking your sister up and telling her we were going to the hospital to have baby brother. She was so excited to meet you. I remember when you were born and you came out wailing. You let everyone know that you had arrived and you were not happy about it.

You have one of the most amazing smiles I have ever seen. It is infectious. You smile and it instantly makes anything better. Your laugh is just as sweet. You squeal and giggle with pure mirth. You are one of the happiest little guys I have ever met. Sometimes, something makes you upset and you cry. Oh, how you cry. You get the saddest little frown. You don't let that ruin your day, though. You are happy again soon enough and bestowing that cute smile.

You love equally (well, mostly). You love playing with your sister and all of her toys. You stretch out your arms for your daddy and grin when he picks you up. My favorite thing is when you reach for me and hold on. You grab onto me like your life depends on it and then rest your little head against my chest. Sometimes, you even make cooing sounds. That absolutely melts my heart.

Determined and adventurous are some of the best words I can use to describe you. You get an idea in your head and you latch on to it. I can tell you are going to be my trouble maker. You already have a mischievous little smile when you are up to something you know you shouldn't be. When I pick you up or remove you from something you should not be touching or doing, you go right back to it. We try to keep you out of the kitchen because we don't want you playing in the dogs' water or food. Again and again, you try to crawl in there. I'll call out to you and you will stop, look at me, grin, and then go right back to your mission. It's hard to get frustrated when you smile so charmingly.

Speaking of crawling, you are a speed crawler. It's strange having a non-walking baby at your age simply because your sister was already walking by now. You love to move. You are super mobile even though you aren't walking. You disappear in a matter of seconds.

Oh my darling boy, there are so many things I love about you. I am so excited to see how this next year changes you. Happy birthday, baby boy!


A Letter To My Children

My sweet babies,

The past few weeks have been rough where we live. A few hours away, a little girl was killed. Then, this past week, a baby girl just three months younger than P was killed in the same neighborhood your grandparents live in. With all of these terrible things happening, I am reminded just how special you both are.

Life as a parent is rough. There are many times when I am exhausted. I just want time to myself. There are so many things I feel that I need to get accomplished and the day seems short of hours. By the time the evening arrives, my temper is running short and I want to rush through our nightly routine. I want to read a short book instead of a full story. I don't feel like arguing about dinner consumption or baths. At the end of the day, I don't want to snuggle, I just want my time alone. I want to be able to sleep in. I want to do things on my schedule. I wish I could just take a weekend away, but I would miss you too much even for such a short amount of time.

But the past few days have reminded me how truly precious you are. You, my darlings, are the lights of my life. Everything I do is for you. It may not seem like it, but I always have your best interests at heart. I may not always seem like the fairest mom or the best mom, but I'm okay with that. It stings when you call me a mean mommy or say you don't like me. It's okay, though, you are children and to you, a time out or toy being taken away is like the end of the world. I will do whatever I can to ensure that you are provided for in education, material needs, and emotional support. Never doubt how much love I have for you. I will be happy in any sacrifice I make to give you better lives. In the same way, I will discipline you and give you rules and structure. I do this because you are the world to me, but to the world, you are just people. I do not want you to feel that you should be handed everything in life. I want you to know the value of hard work and the importance of building and maintaining relationships. My rules and my discipline are just another form of the love I have for you.

As your mother, I promise to always love you. I may not always view your decisions as the right ones, but I promise to be supportive. I will always put you first in my life. It is hard to effectively communicate just how I feel about you. Every triumph, from your first steps to the first time you wrote your name, makes my heart soar. When you hurt, I hurt. Every tear, every disappointment cuts me to the core. I want nothing more than for you both to have happy and full lives. I hope you always feel that you can come to me with your troubles without fear of judgment. No matter what mistakes you make, my love for you will not diminish. 

A and P, you are blessings to me. You bring me so much joy and fulfillment. I never knew how much I could love until you came into my life. From the first moment I knew of your existence, knowing you were growing inside me, you became my first priority. No matter how old you get, even when you are out on your own, you will always be my children. I am forever grateful of the gift of you. So when you feel down, when you experience heartache or doubt, when the world judges you, remember you are loved. I love you with ever fiber of my being. To me, you are special. To me, you are everything good in this world. You give me hope. You inspire me. 


I'm Still Here

I've neglected the blog again. Sorry! I have so many things I want to write about, but something always seems to come up. The constant laundry and dish piles keep calling my name. Of course there are the two kiddos who like to cry for my attention as well. Rest assured, I'll be back to posting soon and as much as my schedule allows!


A: 3 Years

My sweet baby girl is three. She's starting school this fall. She's taking dance class and gymnastics. This little girl is growing up so fast and I want time to slow down.

A's three year stats were 37 1/2 inches tall and 27 pounds, 8 ounces. She is still a tall, skinny little thing. In pants and skirts, 3T is a pretty good fit in the length, but much too big in the waist. I try to stick to bottoms that have the elastic that can be tightened in the band. Most 3T tops fit fairly well, but 4T tops are good in length too. As for dresses, 3T are kind of short and 4T are baggy. I've just been sticking with the 3T and putting shorts under them.

At three years old, A is constantly singing. She walks around the house singing her made up song. Songs have topics such as "Daddy building a tower and I knocked it over" and "I want to eat that." Anything that is on her mind goes into a song. I love listening to her melodies and hearing her stories through song. Another big favorite is reading. Little Miss loves her books so much. She recently acquired another dinosaur book entitled "How Do Dinosaurs Go To School" in preparation for her preschool debut.

A's personality is something else. Sometimes, she is so sweet and loving it would melt your heart. Other times, she is downright aggravating. She makes demands, as toddlers do, and loves to test boundaries. We've had quite the issue with her attitude and talking back to us. We'll ask her to do something and she'll cross her arms or put her hands on her hips and say "No, I not going to." She'll also threaten to put us in time out or tells us that if we do something, we're going to get in trouble. There are days when this drives me absolutely batty and I want to rip my hair out. At the same time, there is that sweet little girl who walks around with a song and dances without a care. She loves cooking me dinner with her play food and is almost always willing to help. While the toddler attitude can get me down, I really could not ask for a better daughter.

Dance and gymnastics are all the rage around here. A has one class of each every week. She's still pretty wary of the balance beam, but I'm hoping she'll get up the courage soon. Of the two, I think gymnastics is her favorite at the moment because they do more and she loves showing us what she's learned. Her dance class is one hour long and consists of basic ballet, tap, and tumbling. She had her first dance recital this past May after attending only one semester. I see her improving every dance class and she really seems to enjoy it.

Little Miss is becoming quite the independent thing. She can brush her teeth all by herself and doesn't swallow toothpaste. She does her own routine of turning on the water, wetting her toothbrush, filling up her cup, brushing, and rinsing all by herself. Her dentist (aka GaGa) gave the go ahead for her to stop using toddler toothpaste and switch to children's. A is also able to use the toilet completely by herself. She has a stool in the bathroom that she uses to get to the toilet and also the counter and the light switch. She puts her toilet seat on the toilet by herself and then does the rest of her business. I'm so extremely proud of her for being able to do that.

Some of A's favorite things are coloring, painting, and bubbles. She is such a clean freak, she really hates to finger paint so she was thrilled to get a watercolor paint set for her birthday. Bubbles are always requested when we play outside