Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Little Man

Can you believe he is almost one? Me either.... I might cry on his birthday... well not actually on his birthday because we will be at Magic Kingodm and I just can't cry when I am in my happy place. Now when we get home from our trip and I realize he is one, I may cry.

He is a very active little guy.... very active!

He is always on the move! Nearly all the pictures of him turn out blurry.

Oh, and he is going to be the next Iron Chef... just so you know.
'Cause this boy loves the kitchen!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I love adore my son and love him with all of my heart. He is wonderful and I just can't imagine life without him. As much as I love him, I love his first nap too. When he takes his morning nap I get two precious hours to be with just Lula Mae. I feel guilty for looking forward to it so much sometimes.

Two hours to....
*Do school together
*Read the Bible
*Build a strong relationship
*Listen to her talk and sing
*Tickle and play
* Read books over and over
*Go over her Catechism questions
*Go over her Bible verses

They are the two fastest hours of my day. I love to just sit with her and study her little features that won't be little much longer. I love to hear her laugh and say silly things. I love to see the expressions on her face when she concentrates really hard. I love to soak up every ounce of her in those two hours. She is growing so fast and I don't want to miss anything.

There are days when I put her to bed and wonder if I spent enough time with her. I wonder if she feels loved. I wonder if she feels safe. I am no super woman, so I know there are days when I am busy and don't give her enough of myself. Parenting is a delicate balance. If I spend all my time with my kids we would live in filth and have nothing to eat but crackers and water. So part of loving my kids is doing my housework. It is hard for me, having OCD, to find this balance. I am trying harder these days. I don't want my kids to look back on their lives and not remember me being in them. I don't want them to just remember that I was always cleaning and was always too busy to play. I want them to remember me.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Money Making March

Money Making March

3M Challenge

Well March is creeping its way to a close. In a matter of days I will be able to crunch my numbers, look at the budget and see just how well March went. I am excited and nervous. So far, our miscellaneous spending is going incredibly well. That was the goal of this challenge so I am feeling good about that. Although, my necessities budget and my grocery budget have gone over, and I am just hoping I didn't move the spending problem to another category. I guess I will just have to be patient and see what the numbers say.

So what is coming in April? I want to do something big each month to help our budget. Now I will say I am keeping some of my 3M Challenge in place because they really helped, but I still want more!

April is going to be a month of sacrifice for our house. We are not going to turn on our air conditioner until May 1st. Which, now that I think about it means that we won't really turn it on until the 8th since we will be leaving for vacation on the 2nd. So that will be an extra week that the air won't be running. People all over the world (in much hotter climates) live just fine with no ac, we can last a mild month. I hope that it will help us to keep it set higher through the rest of the summer as well. I am excited about April and how it can save us money. Plus, it is good for the environment!

What can you give up in April to help your budget or the environment? What can you and your family sacrifice?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Here You Go... Even Though You Didn't Ask For It

So my doctors appointment went well. Luckily, there are no signs of disc problems or skeletal issues. All I have is a bit of a muscle tear. day by day I am feeling less pain. The limited mobility is the most irritating part right now. I want to be able to move like normal again.

The doctor ordered me to give my back good rest for about a week and gave me a list of stretches to do everyday. Oh darn.... a week of rest. Whatever shall I do? (enter sarcasm here)

It is easier said than done for a stay at home mom though. Some things are necessary and just can't be avoided. I am staying out of the yard. Have I mentioned I am not an outside person? Well I am not. But, I like to have a yard I can be proud of. When I hurt my back we were in the middle of tackling our horrendous yard. So even though I am not a huge fan of yard work, I desperately want to get out there and finish what we started. In time we will finish.

Something else came up while I was at the doctor. For a week or so I had this weird feeling, a feeling I only get while ovulating or if I am pregnant. Apparently I also have that same feeling when I have a kidney infection. So no, I'm not pregnant... I just have yet another kidney infection. I am a bit flustered by this. I have kept a bladder infection for nearly 2 years now. During Jayce's pregnancy I had chronic bladder infections. After having him, my bladder infections turned into kidney stones, which then turned into kidney infections.

So why is this not going away? What in the world is wrong with me? I am worried that by the time I hit 30 I will need a kidney transplant or something! Pregnancy can kind of "crimp" your tube, so to speak, which can cause you to not be able to empty your bladder completely. This leaves yucky urine in your tube that then gets infected. So how do I know if that is the problem? If that is the problem, how do we fix it?When I go back for my follow up visit in 3 weeks I will be ready to ask some hard questions. I want to know how to fix this, not just stop it for a month or so.

In the midst of this, Lula Mae ran a fever of 102 for about 24 hours. She was so pitiful looking. She was slurring her words and wasn't making any since. Her little body was so hot, but she was covered in chills. I was one worried Mommy. So we have been giving her Tylenol and watching her closely. The day that I had my appointment, she had one as well. The doctor said all looked fine. No ear infections, no stomach bug, lungs sounded fine. I am pretty certain that the crazy pollen count got to her. Her body is giving us some signs of allergies today, but the fever has been controlled. Or at least it was until after her nap, at what point it shot up to 103.5. Yeah, she looked scary. So I hope that she is feeling better tomorrow :-(

So folk, there you go. There is my TMI post, and it is just for you! Aren't you lucky?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Letters Of Intent

Dear Gas Prices,

Really... up and down... up and down.... up and down.... are you on a pogo stick? Just go down and STAY down. I don't want to spend half of my vacation budget on gas. By May you better be back to reasonable!


Going Broker By The Fill Up


Dear Weather,

You have been so wonderful. How can we ensure you stay this lovely for, oh lets just say.... always? Any possibility? How about half the year?


Enjoying Your Beauty


Dear Lula Mae,

Salad? Did you really eat a salad for dinner? Not just a salad.... but okra too? Little missy you need to stop complaining and protesting your fruits and other bland veggies if you are going to eat things like salad and okra. How is corn so bad? You never cease to amaze me child. Thanks for eating better... lets keep this up, okay? I need you to grow before your 3 year check up so you don't have to have all kinds of crazy tests done like I did as a kid. Trust me, they are no fun. Please grow!


Scratching My Head


Dear Disney World,

May is getting closer. Soon we will be together again. Are you as excited as I am? I just can't wait. Lula Mae talks about you every single day. Quick question... she is expecting Jesus to be there... can you make that happen? It would make her day! She assumes everything she loves with be at Disney World so Jesus is a must. Before you know it we will be on our way.... I JUST CAN'T WAIT!!!!


So Ready For Vacation!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh, Well That Explains It...

My back hurts...

Yes, that is a pile of limbs, bushes, dead plants, etc.... in our front yard (sorry neighbors!). Yep.... it is bigger than our car. (Did I mention that our yard needs lots of work? Oh just wait until you see the before and after pictures!) Yep, my back is KILLING me! It was actually feeling better about 2 days ago.... then Lula Mae had one of her "you can't control me because I may or may not be possessed at this moment in time" spells. While fighting to get her pull up on her for nap (which took roughly 20 minuets, by the way) I felt a horrible pull and snap. Shock waves shot down my legs and up my back. Since then, everything hurts... well except standing. Sitting is horrible, laying is pretty rough and even stepping with my right foot is painful. I made an appointment to see the doctor tomorrow. So fun! I am ready to not hurt anymore.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Hair Cut

Lula Mae was in desperate need of her first haircut. I hated to cut it, but just look at how it looked in the back....

So scraggly. The longer her curls get, the worse her hair stared to look. So I went a head and booked her first hair cut.

Doesn't it look great when it is brushed??? Love it ;-)

There was some hesitation on her part to get in the chair, but once she was settled, she did fine. Daddy did a great job of distracting her so that she would look down.

She didn't cut much, just trimmed up the ends. It looks so much better!

Deanna did a great job. I must mention that Deanna also gave me my first hair cut. She has cut my hair ever since. Don't they look precious together?!?! Not sure why I didn't get a picture of the back of her hair.... opps.... just trust me, it looks great!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Letters Of Intent

Friday.... where have you been???? I am so glad it is the weekend! Last weekend seemed to fly, which never makes me happy. I hope you all have a great relaxing weekend planned! Oh and don't forget to check out Julie's blog for more great letters!

Dear Children,

We need to work on this schedule. I am going to need you to both be happy on the same day... at least once or twice a week! Please! This whole "one is in a good mood... the other is not... the other one is in a good mood today.... the other is not.... etc." is making me a little crazy! So talk amongst yourselves and get this whole thing organized. You are both my children so organizing should come easy. No excuses for you! Get moving!


Your Mother Who Isn't Too Good To Bribe


Dear Self,

It's totally okay that you are "that" mom. What matters is that your daughter is eating vegetables better these days. Sprinkling a little Parmesan cheese on everything isn't really that bad. Relax! Enjoy that she is eating vegetable.... it may not last long!


The Better Half Of You


Dear Girl In The Store,

I have to say, your little grown up fit was pretty amusing. The fact that you were upset that you got a little wet from walking in the rain is funny. Do me a favor, how about go watch the news for a few minuets though. Do you think Japan feels like throwing a little fit right now? Grow up... you will dry. Your "problems" are nothing compared to 80% of the worlds.


Rolling My Eyes


Dear God,

No words can describe how happy I am! THANKS times a million!


Amazed At Your Grace

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Money Making March

Money Making March
3M Challenge

We are half way through March... can you believe that! This year is going way too fast! I am actually kind of excited for this month to finish though, just to see how I did on my budget. So far I think it is going well. I need to do the grocery shopping and a baby trip within the next couple of days though. Hopefully I will stick to my list and stay on target with my budget. Gas is actually going way better that I thought it would seeing that the prices are crazy. Our miscellaneous cash is holding up okay. It is showing me just how much I was spending frivolously before. I am liking this cash thing! By the end of the month I hope to have $20.00 left. If we can do that every month, we can save up and have a nice date night :-) Who doesn't love that? I hope you are all trying something new this month to help you save money!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Don't Get Too Excited....Okay, DO GET EXCITED!!!

My friend Rachel is hosting an AMAZING giveaway!!! But, don't get too excited 'cause I plan on being the winner. Oh yeah, I said it! Don't worry... I never win things so you still have a pretty good shot. Just so you have to actually go to her blog and check it out, I am not going to tell you about the prize (hahahaha). Now your interest is peeked, right? You want to win a prize and that's all that counts! By the way, the prize is amazing so you really really really want to win this one!

Click Here To Find Out More!!!!!!

So readers/followers/lurkers head on over to her blog and enter! You know you want to! Lets do better on this one than we did on the whole linking-up-to-my-very-first-challenge thing.... okay?

Friday, March 11, 2011

More Than Spring Cleaning

My best friend Heather just returned home from a mission trip to Honduras. Without having to tell you the whole background on Heather and why this mission trip was such a huge deal I am going to tell you one way that her trip affected me.

I know what you are thinking... "Wow how.... self absorbed of you."... just hear me out.

Heather just endured more emotionally and spiritually than I will ever understand. I say that because I am not sure I will ever get the chance to serve the way she does. Hearing about her trip made me question a lot of things in my life. First thing I questioned: do I appreciate what I have.

If you are feeling totally lost on this go here and read her story, then go here and read what the first day of her mission trip was like.

Looking around my house I realized we have so much more than probably 85% of the world. So much stuff that isn't even being used. So much stuff that others could be using. So much stuff! My house makes me feel so selfish all of a sudden. As I begin to think about my spring cleaning, Honduras comes to mind.

I love spring cleaning and this year it is going to be cranked up a notch! I want to really get rid of things. I want try to live minimally. I want to take time to appreciate what has been provided for us. I want to be grateful for all things. To do this, changes must be made. Closest must be gone through. Drawers must be emptied. Toys must be sorted. Donations must be made.

I may never be able to experience firsthand what Heather did, but I hope that I can continue to be affected. Heather's trip has affected me (which I can only imagine how deeply is really is affecting her).... this is only the beginning.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Just For You Rachel!

My buddy Rachel posted about some interesting things her sweet Itty Bitty had said, so to make her feel better I feel the need to share a quick story with you.

Would you like to know the first words Lula Mae said to me the other morning? Here is how
our conversation went....

Mommy, you're fat.

No I'm not Lula Mae. That isn't very nice to say!

Oh, but you do look kinda fat though.

Okay, you can leave now.

Later, while I was gone, she had another encouraging conversation with her Daddy.

(Charlie was getting dressed)

Daddy you're fat.

No I'm not.... YOU'RE FAT!!!

No Daddy, I'm not fat. But you are fat!

So who is in need of a little bit of diet motivation? Just come to our house! Lula Mae is handing out "You're Fat" ' s like they are going out of style! She is just the sweetest, isn't she?

Little rascal!

So don't worry Rachel... kids will just say some of the most horrible things! Girls too... not just boys! And please let me clarify that we have never told Lula Mae she was fat, nor do we tell each other that we are fat so I have no idea where she got that from! No clue!

Spring Is In The Air

These delicious, horribly bad for you treats are on the shelf. Alas, spring is near!

Every year I tell myself...

.... that I shouldn't buy them.

I tell myself I really don't need them...

... and that they are so incredibly horrible for me.

Yet, every year I buy one box and watch it disappear one by one....

Hello spring! I welcome you with open arms and an open mouth!

Excuse the extra 2 pounds but those stupid treats are just irresistible!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Money Making March

Money Making March
3M Challenge

Well, I am so sorry that I did not do a Friday post for my 3M Challenge. I just got busy with real life and my blog is always the first thing to go. Better late than never, right?

So far, March is going well. I have done the grocery shopping for the first half of the month, we have used a portion of our out to eat money, our miscellaneous cash is doing well, the bills are all set and organized for the month and our gas tanks are full for the moment. I must say, these 'no spend days' are making a big difference. Also, having cash to spend instead of swiping my debit card has really helped too. I think if we keep it up March will be a good money making month for us!

I am not going to put my linky tool up this time.... are you sad? No? I didn't think so. It's okay that you all left me hanging on my very first challenge. I still love you ;-)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Home

This Happy Home is going to be plain and simple.


I am a big fan of gathering. When you have a few minuets to spare, grab a laundry basket, tote basket, bag of some sort and start gathering. Look around in each room and see what needs to be gathered and moved out of that room. I will go through the house and focus on gathering items of the same relevance. I will gather trash from each room. I will gather things from around the house that need to be taken to the kitchen. I will gather toys that belong in the playroom and return them to their home. No one has hours to spend reorganizing their entire home each day, so gather as the day goes. Gathering helps me keep a Happy Home in just a few minuets! I would encourage all you house wives and stay at home moms to try this technique before your husband gets home from work. Your husband will appreciate coming home to a tidy home.... he doesn't have to know it only took a few moments of your time!

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Notes From My Reading

The example Dr. Dobson uses to describe the difference between compliant children and strong willed children is phenomenal. Compliant children are like grocery carts with well oiled, straight wheels. Strong willed children are like grocery carts with crooked, bent wheels that refuse to yield.

We might as well face it; some kids have crooked wheels! They do not want to go where they are led, because their own inclinations take them in the other directions. Furthermore, the parent who is pushing the cart must expand seven times more energy to make it move, compared with a parent of a child with straight wheels. (Only mothers and fathers of strong-willed children will fully comprehend the meaning of this illustration.)

Oh how true Dr. Dobson! How INCREDIBLY true!

This is the kicker of chapter one that made me want to KISS Dr. Dobson: is very common for these moms and dads to feel great guilt and self-condemnation. They are trying so hard to be good parents, but the struggle for control that goes on at home day after day leaves them frustrated and fatigues. No one told them that parenthood would be this difficult, and they blame themselves for the tension that arises.

Could not have said it better myself. One more thing really stood out to me in the first chapter:

....I have found that the parents of compliant children don't understand their friends with defiant youngsters. They intensify guilt and embarrassment by implying, "If you would just raise your kids the way I do mine, you wouldn't be having those awful problems." May I say to both groups that willful children can be difficult to manage even when parents handle their responsibilities with great skill and dedication. It may take several years to bring such a youngster to a point of relative obedience and cooperation within the family unit, and indeed a strong-willed child will be a strong-willed individual all her life. While she can and must be taught to respect authority and live harmoniously with her neighbors, she will always have and assertive temperament. That is not a bad thing. It simply "is".

Music to my ears. Really, it is. All those staring people in public don't see the work Charlie and I are putting into our kids. God knows how hard we are working on their little hearts, and that is what matters. This last section makes me feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, but also makes me a little nervous. I know we can never let our guard down. We have to be truly committed to raising Lula Mae (and all of our children for that matter) to have a fire for God. Lula Mae will always be strong-willed. We just have to work on using it to her advantage instead of letting it be a disadvantage.

Did I mention I love this book???

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Finally A Video!

I am so proud of my little guy! When I got pregnant with him I did not assume the Your Baby Can Read system would would work with him the way it did with Lula Mae. Obviously, I was wrong. He started reading his first word at 8 months old, just like his big sister. It is great system that I would recommend to ANYONE!!! I can't wait to watch him learn and grow!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Helpful Tool

After venting to you lovely people the other day, I came across a book. A book that coincidentally Rachel suggested in her comment on my venting. I didn't think much of it when I picked up the book. I just thought "Well maybe it will have one of two useful sentences in it. If not, I need a new book anyway so I might as well get it.". Then a day or two later I read through the first chapter. Honestly I have never read a better chapter in my life! Every single thought I have been having, it described in mirror image detail. Every question I had, it mentioned. The example it gave made me go "ah-ha!". Every ounce of this chapter was amazing, and it was only one chapter!!!! So what am I reading?

Image from Amazon

Best.Book.EVER. And I am only on chapter three. If you have a strong willed child you are raising, you must get this book. Even if you have kids who aren't strong willed I suggest this book to you. I think it gives parents a good look at what some parents are going through. If everyone in the world would read this book there would be no more "If they just knew how to raise their kids they would know how to act", no more dirty looks, no more judging.

As I read this book, I am going to give you key components that I feel are of importance. Not so that you won't go get the book and read it yourself, but so that you can see why you should go get this book and read it! Plus, writing things helps me learn. So all of this is more for me really. Plus, this blog is my journal and I want to have some notes from this book in it.

If you are looking for a good read you should absolutely consider this read!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

3M Challenge

Money Making March
3M Challenge

Today begins the month of March which, in turn, begins my budget challenge! I am so ready! I hope some of you will join me (so I don't feel like a big old loser having no one link up!) and so that we can encourage each other through this. The purpose of this challenge is to help me get my budget on track. I want my budget I have laid out so nicely on paper to be what I figure up at the end of the month. Plain and simple. First things first! I need to show you the breakdown of my month. Days that are left blank are days where miscellaneous trips my be made.

1st No Spending
2nd Necessities trip
4th No spending
6th No Spending (check budget)
7th Grocery Trip/ Baby Trip
9th No Spending
11th (check budget)
12th No Spending
14th No Spending
16th (Check budget)
17th No Spending
19th Grocery trip
20th No Spending
21st Necessities trip (check budget)
22nd No Spending
24th No Spending
26th No Spending (check budget)
28th No Spending
30th No Spending
31st No Spending (check budget)

The next step for me is to go by the ATM and take out our miscellaneous spending cash out. Then, I have to run to Wal-Mart and get my gas card for the month. There's a quick tip for you. I buy Wal-Mart gift cards to get my gas with because it gives me .03 off per gallon. Seems like it may not be worth it.... but in this house, every little bit helps! I am hopeful that this month makes a big difference in how I budget for my family. I want to do a better job. I will be back in a week to give you an update! Be sure to blog about how you are going to save money this month and link up! You know you want to! (Please somebody do it so I feel just a little bit of bloggy love.... just a little bitty bit..... just one person is all I'm asking.... talk amongst yourselves and decide who it's gonna be..... flip a coin or something!)