Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Finally Linked

So I finally linked my blog to Facebook. I don't know why I waited so long to do it. Maybe I didn't want to be judged by people I knew? I'd rather strangers read the blog because hey, I'll never have to come face to face with them, right?

Well I'm holding myself accountable. Now I MUST keep up with it because you know, can't keep my fans waiting. ;)

Anyway, hope you like it! P.S. - Don't be too critical and harsh... This is only for fun, stress relief, and a way to clear my head. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not Just a Stay at Home Mom

I think when you meet a stranger, one of the first questions asked is, "So what do you do?". And my response is always, "I'm a stay at home mom.". And that's when I get "the look". If you're a SAHM you know what it is. The head tilt and nod with an "Ohh, OK.". Almost a look of pity but with a hint of "Thank God I'm not you.".

Let me just say first and foremost, I CHOSE to be a SAHM. Being a SAHM is no joke. It's hard work, but oh so rewarding.
Who wouldn't want to wake up and stay home with these faces?  

And don't think for one second that because you work and bring home money to pay the bills, that you are better than me and my job is not as important.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not super woman. I probably do less housework than some SAHMs that I know.  I let the laundry and dishes sit for an extra day, sometimes two and the floors aren't always clean. But one thing is for sure, my kids always have what they need and I am there for them 100%. As parents, we have the hard job of raising the future of America and if we don't instill good manners and teach them the things they will need to be productive and healthy adults, who will?! You can't rely on the school system and its teachers to do that for you.

As a SAHM, I am able to teach them; and to me, being able to watch what you have taught them, watch all their "firsts" milestones, and just be there as they grow is so important to me.

For instance, every other morning when we drop Alena off at school, we always see grasshoppers sitting along the sidewalk or on the walls of the school. The kids LOVE seeing them and their faces light up as if it's Christmas morning. I take that as an opportunity to teach them. They learned what grasshoppers are and what they do. I now allow an extra five minutes just so they can stop and admire the grasshoppers. I proudly stand there as other parents walk by with their kids giving us funny looks because my kids are on the ground gawking over a bug.
Ok, we're not at school but it's still a moment with grasshoppers. You can't see it, but his face is all smiles.

Things like that are what being "just" a Stay at Home Mom are all about.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Let's Try This Again

Wow. I'm bad at this whole blog thing. Every time I try to sit down and think of something great to write about, my mind draws a blank. So I thought that maybe if I wrote about nothing then I wouldn't feel all this pressure to come up with something witty and profound. hah... We'll see how this goes.

Gabe came home May 25th (YAY) and it's pretty much been go go go since then. We have NO time to sit at home and do nothing. Seriously. The last time we even sat down at the end of the night to watch TV or relax was months ago. And don't get me started on when our last date was. Gabe's job doesn't help either. He takes two trips a month, minimum. He travels around the country training deploying troops how to do the job he was doing in Iraq. He loves it and it pays the bills so I can't complain too much. Unfortunately, he has had three trips this month. I flew home in between two of his trips for my best friend's wedding. I came home on a Monday night and Gabe left the very next morning. To top it off, we're trying to get pregnant so all this traveling and busy-ness is making it really difficult.

I thought it would happen right away, no problem. Well, I was wrong and it SUCKS! We didn't want more than a two year gap between kids and as it's looking now, there will be almost four. :( It's breaking our hearts and causing major stress. People keep telling us to relax, try this, do that, don't do this, blah blah blah!! GRR It doesn't do anything for me when the ones saying it are all PREGNANT, have just had a baby, or even both! They succeed in getting me upset is all that does.

I mean really. Is it too much to ask to be pregnant!?!?

Rant over... I feel better now. (not really)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Do it While You Can

My only self indulgence is a tumbling class that I take every Tuesday evening for one hour. Other than that, I don't do much else for myself.

What is tumbling you ask? Back handsprings, flips, and so on. Kind of like gymnastics, but without the equipment. My sister and I started watching gymnastics since the first time we got TV and always wanted to take a class. But Amish girls (and even after we weren't Amish) were not allowed to do that sort of stuff. The closest we could get to gymnastics was cheerleading. In high school, the two of us tried out for cheerleading without my mom's permission and without letting her know. We both made it and only then did we tell her.

Our squad decided to take a six week tumbling class. From the first class, I was hooked. We had always done flips and whatnot in our backyard as kids but to do this in a gym was amazing.

Since then, I've taken tumbling classes on and off but have always had to stop. Life has a tendency to "get in the way". There were three big reasons I had to stop. 1, I joined the Air Force. 2, Got preggo with Alena. and 3, preggo with Christian. Well I started back up when Christian was about 18 months old and haven't looked back since. I feel so great when I'm there. And knowing that I can still do it AND keep up with all the youngins' in the class is a big motivator. I am the oldest in the class by 10 years. HAH yeah, ten! What a way to make me feel old. I may be sore the day after and even the day after that, but I'm not letting that stop me. I look a lot younger than I am so I've had some people ask me why I'm taking the class. "Are you doing it for cheerleading or to learn something?"

Video of my tumbling here

"Uhh not quite. I'm just doing it for fun while I still can." And that's the whole point I'm trying to make. I'm sure there are things that you used to do that you've always wanted to keep up with but just haven't had the chance. What's holding you back? Get out there and DO IT WHILE YOU CAN!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How Many Reasons

I was talking to my husband today and was saying a few reasons of why I wanted him home. So a great idea popped into my head! Why not write down all the reasons?

So here goes...

1. I can go shopping ALONE. -No more dragging two squirmy kids with me everywhere I go.
2. No more leftovers. -This is a big one since I'm not too good at eating leftovers and I always seem to make what would be enough for all four of us.
3. No more bedtime battles. -Wrestling both kids into pj's and bed in two different bedrooms and try to get them to STAY there and SLEEP is on average a 2 hour process.
4. A certain non mentionable act between the two of us. -You can figure it out. ;)
5. Having another child. -See #4. We would love a few more kids to add to the pack.
6. Showers. -I take them at nap time but with a four year old who is trying to convince me she doesn't need them anymore, showers are harder to come by.
7. CLEANING! -Daddy would be able to occupy them while I can actually get something done. Have you ever cleaned while the kids play? It's like shoveling the driveway while there's a blizzard.
8. Sleep. -It would be so nice to be able to sleep in once in a while.
9. I can actually have a face to face adult conversation with him. -Just having an adult conversation would be great!
10. Having someone to cuddle with. -My kids are NOT ones to cuddle.
11. No more sleeping alone. -I don't totally mind having the bed to myself, but on the nights where I have fears of someone breaking in, I can be more at ease knowing my husband would be there.
12. DATE NIGHT! -This doesn't even need an explanation.
13. I'll have my handyman back! -I can't even count how many times I've had to do a husband/man's job of building and fixing.
14. I won't have to answer these same questions nearly every day... "How do you do it? Are you sure daddy's safe? When's your husband get home?" and so on...
15. Confidence boost. -I never realized how much better I feel when I'm in public with my husband.
16. Getting out of the house will go faster. -Well, at least when he's home from work, but still.
17. Discipline. -I will not be the only bad guy anymore.
18. I'll have something to look forward to during the day. -Right now, I look forward to bedtime. I (and the kids)would be able to look forward to daddy's arrival home from work.
19. Bath time. -Gabe is so much better at giving them baths. I freak out over every splash that flings water out of the tub.
20. Dining out! -I can finally go to real restaurants again! Sorry, I don't exactly count McDonald's and such.
21. I'll have a reason to look pretty. -Some days, I have zero motivation to even look decent.
22. I can stop the constant worry. -I won't have to worry if he's dead just because he didn't call.
23. Driving duties. -Sometimes it's nice to sit back and enjoy the ride.
24. Finally being just mom again. -Being mom AND dad's not much fun.
25. I won't have to dread birthday parties and invitations to dinner so much. -I honestly HATE going to these without Gabe there to "back me up". If I don't know anyone, at least I would have him.
26. Weekends. -Without Gabe here, weekends just don't feel like weekends.
27. Happy kids, happy mom. -All around, everyone will be happier.
28. We can finally put the Army and deployments behind us.
29. No more 50/50. -So far we've spent half of our 5+ years of marriage apart.
30. Obviously the best reason would be that he'd be HOME! -Need I say more?

30 reasons...I'm sure I'll come up with more. But these are the biggest ones that I can think of right now. Got any more reasons?... Leave me a comment!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Playroom Disaster

I feel like I can't ever keep up with the housework. I'll get into a period where I'm doing a good job and the house is nice and clean. But after a week or so, I start slacking and the house slowly deteriorates.

I don't know what to do to keep myself motivated to keep up with it. When I get it to how I want it, I think about how easy it will be to maintain. Obviously, like most families, it's the kids who makes the majority of the messes. That is certainly the case in this house. Toys and all the other kids' doodads are literally in every room of the house.

My kids have not been taught enough yet to pick up after themselves. That would be my fault. Most of the time, I do the clean up because I'd rather do it and get it over with than have to coax and bribe the kids to do it. Sometimes, when I have the energy, I have them help or pick up what they got out. But man, is that time and energy consuming!

I'm going to go out on a limb here and put up a picture of the playroom. This was taken at 8pm last night and shows just what our playroom looks like at the end of any typical day.

Is there any wonder I'm tired of cleaning? Or why it would be easier just to do it myself? It would take hours to clean with the kids!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I feel like I am in a CONSTANT power struggle with the kids and that they are in a constant power struggle between the two of them.

I have a very opinionated and strong-willed four year old girl and a two year old boy who's quickly learning to toughen up and give his sister a piece of her own medicine. Most days, I'm breaking up some sort of fight or argument between the two of them just about every fifteen minutes. I can't seem to get them to understand that when one hits the other, they will hit back. And then it just tailspins into more hitting and someone always ends up crying.

I was using spankings and time outs as punishments, but I'm trying to put an end to spanking. Sort of a "live by example" type of thing. If I'm constantly telling the two of them to stop hitting, well I need to stop too. And so far, it doesn't seem to be making a difference. I try talking to Alena about being nicer to Christian but she blatantly tries to ignore me. Talking to Christian is like talking to a wall.

I don't know what to do anymore. If they're fighting over a toy, I try to be fair about who ends up with it. But when that doesn't work, I take the toy away. Toys create a lot of fights in our house. Especially with one girl and one boy. Alena doesn't think Christian should be playing with her toys b/c he's a boy. But when she wants to play with one of his toys, it's a whole different story.

And then there's picking on each other. Alena loves to do things on purpose just to upset Christian. Well he's learning fast and picking up on it. Now they both do it to each other. Part of it could be boredom... I just don't know why they fight so much but I'd really love for it to stop. I realize it'll never completely stop (I remember fights with my siblings)... but I want some more peace in this house. I'm around them nearly 24/7 and I'm about to go crazy.

Of course, they're not ALWAYS fighting. There are moments when they play so nice and they're giggling and I love it. I just wish there was more getting along and less fighting. *sigh* This too shall pass... right?

Just Another Morning

So this morning was certainly nothing out the ordinary for us but it definitely got my heart racing.

I don't set an alarm clock to wake me up. My son is usually the first one up and he'll come join me in bed. Then when my daughter gets up not long after, she'll come in too. Well I went to bed too late and must have been sleeping hard b/c I vaguely remember them waking up.

I was woken to the sound of running water. I assumed the kids were playing in the bathroom sink and hopped out of bed and sleepily walked to the bathroom. I was greeted by Christian sitting on the bathroom counter and Alena on the stool by the sink trying to wash her hands.

Why was she washing her hands...? WELLLLL, she had taken it upon herself to paint her own nails. I had done them the day before and apparently they needed "fixing". She had gotten out the darkest purple I have and literally painted her nails.... and toes. It was not pretty and I was scared to see what her room looked like. I was expecting to see paint everywhere but surprisingly there were just a few small spots on her pillow and comforter. Whew!

It took me a half hour of scrubbing and soaking her nails in polish remover and it still didn't all come off! Luckily, I saw SOME humor in it and managed to get some pics.

Can you tell which hand was holding the brush?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What's in a Name?

As I'm trying to figure out this whole blogging thing, I'm giving you fair warning that the name will be changing. Probably multiple times. I'm already on my second blog name and I'm just trying to find one that fits. It might also change if I get bored of the one I have.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How do you do it?

This is probably the most asked question that I get. Or the "I don't know how you do it." statement.

With Gabe in Iraq and my nearest relatives over 2000 miles away, I don't really know how. The best way to answer the question is that I just take it one day at a time. I have no other choice. With a house to take care of and two kids who are counting on me, giving up is not an option.

The same question and statements have been said about my marriage. We've been married for five years and have spent over half of it apart. We were married in 2005 and have spent (outside of 2008) all or part of every year since then apart. Believe me, it hasn't been easy and we have had a few close calls with calling it quits. But we've never given up and have worked hard at staying close and connected. Being a military wife and a vet myself, I have seen all too many marriages end in divorce due to too much time apart. Just yesterday, I heard the news of a friend (who's husband is currently deployed) getting divorced.

Sometimes, I just want to shout "What is going on here!?!" Marriage and divorce are not something to be taken lightly. They are serious matters. And except for extreme cases, divorce should not be an option. I believe you can work through any problem with hard work and determination. Marriage problems will NEVER solve themselves.

And with that, I would like to say that despite all our separations and problems that we've encountered, our marriage right now is the best it's ever been. And yes, I am bragging. If you've got a great marriage, why would you not want to brag? I'm not ashamed. But I'm not going out and flaunting my marriage in any divorced person's face either.

I have also gotten this question a LOT when it comes to my kids. And frankly, I don't really have an answer for them. We planned both kids and were super stoked when we got pregnant. There are many days where I just want to scream and crawl back into bed. But then there are days where the kids get along and not much goes wrong, and I think about how lucky I am.

So how do I do it? I JUST DO! There's no simpler way of saying it.