Sunday, July 29, 2012

If you really knew me............

Yes, you have probably seen this post floating around blogland lately and yes, I am jumping on the bandwagon again! You can say I am a bit of a follower. Hey, when someone has a great idea why not go with it. :)

If you really knew me you would know that I can be so sensitive. I am not just talking about crying at emotional movies or shows, but 30 second commercials. Sure. The NFL draft.....I bawl, every year.

If you really knew me you would know that I curse way more often than I should. In fact, there really isn't ever a time when I should but I am being honest. Not proud of it, but I am owning it.

If you really knew me you would know that I prefer to drink mochas or other specialty drinks iced but plain coffee I want black and steaming hot.

If you really knew me you would know that I argumentative. Not my best quality and something I am trying to improve on. I do love a good debate, though.

If you really knew me then you would know that I am so passionate about things that I believe in. That's not to say that I don't respect others beliefs or opinions, because I do. I am just saying that please don't go blasting mine and criticizing me  because I WILL have something to say about that! The older I have gotten the more I have realized that differing opinions make the world go round and that we can sometimes agree to disagree (on some things). Just as much as I may support certain things you may not. Simple as that.

If you really knew me then you would know that I have such a deep rooted insecurity and it can be so tough to ignore that inner voice. You know the one that tells you aren't good enough, thin enough, a perfect mom, etc.

If you really knew me you would know that I hardly ever floss my teeth! Bad habit, I know. I have super sensitive gums, partially because I don't floss enough, but they just bleed and hurt like crazy. :(

If you really knew me then you would know that I have dreams of starting up a non profit charity to help children in my community. I have been blessed by so much in this life that I want to give back to those that need it.

If you really knew me you would know that I have trust issues. I really honestly don't where this stems from but I have a hard time letting go and putting my guard down. Even after all these years I can say my hubby doesn't have my full trust even though he has never done anything to make me believe he shouldn't have it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Conflicting emotions...........

It's with a heavy heart and conflicted emotions that I write this.

I have a job interview on Wednesday. Yes, you read that right. A job. While I feel that my most important job and my calling really, is to be a stay at home mom (at this time of my life) it has become clear that I should go back to work.

I am very torn about this. On one hand it is a little exciting to think of entering the work force again and to have something for me that doesn't consist of being a mommy or a wife. When the excitement sets in then the guilt sets in. I feel guilty for being excited. Catch 22, huh?

It's not that I feel that I need to be with my children 24/7 (because, I don't) but it's the fact that if the need arises or an occasion comes up I won't have a wide open schedule. I can't just say , "hey, let's go to the museum today or see a movie". I guess I feel like I will be missing out on things and that makes me sad. I do think, though, that some separation is beneficial for both the momma and children. :)

On the other hand, the financial aspect is what makes me want and need to go back to work. When I say work, I mean part time, not full time. Right now we live a comfortable lifestyle and yes, we make sacrifices, but everyone does. However, as the kids have gotten older and talks of dance, soccer, swim lessons, gymnastics and all that has arisen so have the talks about money. I mean, can you believe how expensive stuff can be?! I want to give my children lots of opportunities and right now I can't.

Not to mention, it would be freeing to pay off some debts and get a little ahead. :) It's not as if we have a lot of debt but we have some and when you are trying to make headway on it and don't have much "extra" money coming in, it can be tough.

Daycare is expensive.... I mean really expensive. I don't know how some of you do it. I simply couldn't afford to pay for both children to go to daycare so I could work full time. That is one of the reasons that I feel part time will work for us. I am also fortunate enough to have a hubby who works three days a week........which leaves me quite a few days that I could work.

It's not that I am against moms working outside the home. I never actually thought I would be a stay at home mom, but after I had my kids that all changed. It was just the right decision at the right time for our family.  I never planned on staying home forever. I though that as soon as they were in school then I would go back to work. However, I think the best thing for all of us would be for me to go back......on a part time basis.

Leaving the issue of the kids completely out of it..........I am still super nervous! I haven't had a job for almost four years, let alone an interview. Talk about nervewracking! This is a company that I really want to work for too. I think it would be a great fit and I am anxious and excited all at once.

5 years! Where does the time go?!

Saturday, Brandon and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. We dropped the kids off at my mom's around ten and headed off for the day. It was a nice carefree feeling knowing we didn't have any time constraints and  had the entire day and night to ourselves. Such a rarity, and  much needed.

We headed to a quaint local seaside town and figured we would just see where the day took us. On our way out there we spotted a local berry farm that had advertised a hedge maze! I love mazes and this one proved to be fun!

The entrance to the maze

Got a little lost...maybe on purpose. :)
So, I was not expecting a giant slide in the middle of the maze....that you had to go down. It was pretty darn steep and I had wedges on and my purse with me. I went first, of course, and oh my! That thing was fast. I went flying out the bottom and had a not so graceful landing. Good thing no one but Brandon got to witness it!

about to go down

After the maze we headed to La Conner and by then the sun had come out and I was not prepared for it. We both got a little warm. We headed to a few local antique shops (something we can never do with the kids) and just wandered through, killing time.

We came upon a little olive shop and they had tastings! I love green olives, so I was in heaven. We ended up purchasing a jar of feta and pepperjack stuffed olives. Yum!

After that we wandered up and down the roads trying to decide on what restaurant to eat at. While I was craving fish tacos from a local place I knew they had no outside seating and we were both dying to sit outside at one of the places overlooking the channel.

Once we finally decided I was a bit disappointed with my entree choice.  I feel like every time I order fish and chips it is hit or miss. This time was a miss. :( Oh well, the drinks were good and so was the atmosphere. Of course our conversation inevitably ended up revolving around the kids. :) We had purchased a new Where's Waldo book for Jaxson at a local shop and I drug it out. This embarrassed Brandon so I had to put it away.

After lunch we took some time to just sit and enjoy the view.

 We decided to head toward home and get some frozen yogurt. Brandon had yet to try the new place and he loved it, of course.

We enjoyed an afternoon nap and time to just watch tv.

Around 5 we decided to head up north and check out a Mexican restaurant we had never been to. It did not dissapoint!

While at dinner we kept remarking on how it felt as though we were on vacation. It was a nice feeling.

By the time we finished dinner it was almost 8 and we couldn't decide what we wanted to do. The options were comedy club, outdoor movie, going to a movie or just renting one. We finally decided to take the scenic drive home and pick up a movie on the way. It was nice to just relax at home on the couch after a long day. I am under no illusion that I can stay out like I used to years ago. Sometimes it's nice to just snuggle up at home.

We are pretty blessed with some of the prettiest views in the Pacific Northwest and it was fun watching the sunset along the water.

Sunday morning we couldn't sleep in since we are so used to getting up early so we decided to head to breakfast, which is something we haven't done in years! It was a great way to end our weekend.

All in all, I would have to say it was my favorite anniversary, thus far. It was nothing extravagant; just filled with little things we love and spending time together.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday,
 Go easy on me, will ya?! I hardly got any sleep, it's pouring, I somehow managed to get shampoo in my eye in the mere space of 30 seconds that I got to shower, and then Kendra burnt her hand on my straightener. Que the mommy guilt. Ugh! Since it's only 10:30, here's hoping the day just gets better from here!

Dear Saturday,
 I am so excited for you! Even the rain can't bring my spirits down! Hubby and I will be celebrating our 5 year anniversary and thanks to my parents we will be childless all day, night, and Sunday morning too!

Dear Sunday,
So excited to celebrate the bridal shower of a new family member! Nothing better than getting to celebrate the love of two people. :) Also, I am pretty excited for the bachelorette finale.  Per usual, "it's going to be the most dramatic season finale EVER". Ha! We will see. I cheated and looked ahead so I already know who she supposedly picks. ;)

Dear Hubby,
Thank you so much for pulling extra shifts so I have some extra fun money when I go to Vegas! I love and appreciate you so much!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's Ok Thursday.......

It's ok..........that I have so much that I want to tell you all but that I can not find the words right now. Hence the link up today. :)

It's ok.......... that I have not put make up on for four days in a row. I am giving my face a break and it feels pretty good!

It's ok........... to NOT feel guilty about leaving the kids with my parents this weekend so the hubby and I can celebrate our 5 year anniversary!

It's ok............ that I forgot to take hamburger out of the freezer AGAIN so we can't make meatloaf tonight. Turkey corn dogs and fries it is!

It's ok........... that I bought Kendra a cakepop yesterday after she got her very first bee sting. She was in between sobs when she told me that "no, a band aid won't make it feel better but a cake pop would!" What a master manipulator. She has learned from the best. ;) Just kidding... kind of

It's ok............ to pretty much have no said plans for this weekend with the hubby. We are going to be spontaneous and I think that is a pretty good plan too.

It's ok............. that I am having a hard time getting rid of the kid's baby things. It's like closing a door that will never be opened again and it's very bittersweet. That's a whole other blog post.

It's ok.......... that I complain when it rains but complains when it's hot!

Its Ok Thursdays

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Potty training post (of sorts)

Well, I am happy to report that after almost nine days the kids only have small coughs now.  Just in time for Brandon to get sick. Fingers crossed that I can keep this sickness at bay!

With the kids having been sick and being in the midst of potty training Jaxson (again!) we haven't gotten out of the house a whole lot, and that is okay by me. It has given me time to focus on some things that have gotten neglected around here.

Back to the potty training...... When Jaxson was about two and half he expressed interest in potty training and we had quite a lot of success. He was almost completely potty trained and was fairly consistent for a good month or so then it just went downhill. Not really sure why he regressed but he did. Needless to say it has been a bit of a battle.

I never wanted to force the issue because I don't believe that that is the best way to teach him. I wanted him to want to do it and not have it become a battle of wills. I knew that if I tried to really push the issue that he would not do it simply to rebel against me. He can be quite stubborn.

 We had finally gotten to the point where I could reason with him and talk about why we do it and he could ask questions.

Yes, my frustration has gotten the better of me but I am so glad that we waited to he really showed me it was time for him. I am happy to report that he is nearly there! We are averaging one accident a day and have gone three or four with none. He is still wearing pull ups at night (he has a very small bladder, like me) but has been managing to keep those dry sometimes too.

I am so proud of him and I can tell he is quite proud of himself.  I am also excited to not have to pay for diapers for two children and not have to change so many!

I hope to be back tomorrow to post about our weekend and I want to get a recipe post up this week too. I have had quite  a few people ask about some of my recipes so I am thinking of creating a tab on the blog with links to all my recipes. What do you think?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

It's been a bit since I have done one of these posts and right now it couldn't come at a better time. I have been struggling with having a thankful heart. Not necessarily because I don't have a lot to be thankful for, because I do, but because I see so many people around me dealing with such hardships.

I feel like everyday I hear of someone else facing some enormous obstacle or tragedy. While I can never understand why these things happen and it is useless to even try, I am finding it so disheartening.

I try to bring myself back down every night and list off what I am thankful for. Sometimes it is harder than others, but I know that I am truly blessed, even if I don't always feel that way.

I think it is good to remind myself that although some things have gotten really tough around here, I still have my health, my kids and a roof over my head.

Today, some of the things I am most thankful for are:

-The sunshine!  We don't get a whole lot of it around here and it does drastically affect my mood. Even though we are hanging out inside today because my kids are still sick, at least I get to see it out the window. :)

- My health. While I may not be the a stellar example of picture perfect health (hello 25 lb weight gain in the last year and a half!) I still am a relatively healthy person.

- Even though things are tough financially and getting even tougher the longer I stay home and choose not to work.....I am thankful that I do have the opportunity to be home with my kids right now.

-I am thankful and so appreciative of the fact that my hubby stopped off on the way home from work last night and picked me up flowers because he knew I was having a rough day.

- Family and friends. Where would I be without them? Seriously, they keep me going.

What are you thankful for?

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Menu Planning (On Wednesday)

I meant to get this out sooner but with two sick little ones it's made doing just about anything kind of tough. The fevers have finally subsided after five days, but now we are left with coughs, swollen glands and tonsils and sore throats. :( There are lots of milkshakes, popsicles and smoothies to be had.

Here is a look at our menu for this week.

Dinner at in laws

Tatertot casserole (double batch so hubby can take some to the station)

Crockpot Italian Chicken with carrots, potatoes and celery

Family BBQ if the kids are up to it...otherwise soup and sandwiches

Paninis and fries

meatloaf, rolls and roasted parmesean potatoes

Crescent roll pizzas

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Little of this and A Little of That

Well, hello! Happy Monday all!

This weekend was busy , fun, chaotic and tough all rolled into one. Saturday morning I got together with a friend to do some shopping for a bridal shower we are hosting this coming Saturday. I can not wait!

My hubby had an all day bachelor party to attend for my brother so he was gone all day. My mom and I decided to have a mother daughter "date" and went out for some yummy tacos and margaritas, frozen yogurt (this is a big deal beings that we finally have a self serve frozen yogurt place within a 30 mile radius!), and then we rented Wanderlust!

When I headed to pick up Jaxson and Kendra I took one look at Jaxson and could tell he didn't feel right. I thought he might be overtired and had a little too much sun but after checking his temp it was 103.5. Now, I know that kids can handle temps higher than we can much better but I was still concerned. After we got home and got Kendra settled into bed I gave Jax some medicine. I waited about an hour to recheck his temp and it had gone up to 104.4! I was pretty concerned at this point so I called our on call Dr. who told me I should alternate tylenol and ibuprofen (which I knew) but the only thing was we had no iburpofen and it was 11 and there were no pharmacies or stores open 24hrs with a half an hour of home. :( 

Since Brandon wasn't home and I wasn't about to load both sleeping kids into the car luckily I had my mom to call upon. Such a lifesaver! I got a full dose of the ibuprofen in him and within a few hours the fever broke and started to go down. He woke up the next morning seeming fine.

Kendra however had gotten sick in the middle of the night and I knew nothing of it. It had to be sometime in the four hours of sleep I actually got. She never cried so I never knew. :( Talk about feeling guilty.

I had planned on making a trip down to see a friend in Seattle and was conflicted about going. This would be the second time I would have to cancel and I knew it would be September before I could make it again. The kids were acting and eating normally and didn't have elevated temps so I decided to go.

I didn't have a lot of time to spend down there but we made the best of it. I got to see her new condo, her new place of employment and then we went to Pike's Place to do some eating and shopping. It was such a gorgeous day!
Here is a picture of the new Ferris wheel they just added on the pier and no, I did not go on it! Too high!

By the time I had to head back Brandon called to tell me that once again the kids had elevated temps. :(

Not sure what is going on exactly with them. They will go almost all day seeming and feeling fine and then have fevers again.

Hoping that by tomorrow they are back to normal so we can really enjoy the summer that we are FINALLY having.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July Recap

Good morning everyone (nearly afternoon already!). Finally the weather cooperated for us and the sun was shining all day long and there is no rain in the forecast for a whole week! Practically unheard of in this neck of the woods!

Tuesday evening we left the kids with my parent's and headed to a nearby lake where they put on a fireworks show. We got together with some friends and just relaxed by a bonfire. Before we knew it, it was 1:00 am!

Needless, to say we were each dragging a bit the next morning but at least we had a chance to sleep in a bit since the kids were at my parent's.

We picked up the kids and headed out to a local island where Brandon's entire extended family get together every year on the 4th for a parade and bbq.

The tide was out quite a ways.... I guess they consider these the flats. By the end of the day it had started to come in.

This year the family decided to actually put a float in the parade instead of just talking about it. :)
The plan was for the four of us to ride, but Jax didn't want to. What a surprise! So, Kendra and I did. I was surprised with how great she did. She tried so hard to throw the candy far enough to reach the kids but she couldn't quite make it. :)

What is so great about this parade is that it such a small community so the parade isn't full of politicians and big businesses trying to advertise. It is just a community coming together and having fun. In years past there have been floats with water cannons and bystanders with water guns. It is just a good time. :)

We spent the majority of the day out at the beach and headed home around 4:00. The kids promptly nodded off and slept about an hour; long enough to pick a few little fireworks and make the drive home. After that we had our parents' over for a late bbq and smores and just spent the evening in the backyard.

 Pretty much my only requirement of Brandon when picking out the fireworks was to get lots of sparklers. They are my favorite part of the 4th and the kids really enjoyed them too.

However, as soon as the bigger, louder things started going off I got an inkling of Jaxson's unease.

He was very unsure and kept wanting to go inside. Kendra on the other hand was completely entranced (just like I thought she would be) . Brandon ended up sitting inside with Jaxson while Kendra and I sat on the back deck curled up in blankets. She was so excited and kept chattering on and on and then pretty soon fell silent. She had fallen asleep. Poor thing was so worn out from such a busy day.

Fireworks are legal in our city limits so people go a little crazy. It was about one when I finally nodded off and didn't get woken up again.

All in all, it was a fantastic day! What did you go?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Friday's Letters On A Sunday

Dear Readers,
You guys are amazing! You left me some of the sweetest and most encouraging comments. I really took what you said to heart and followed your advice! I am happy to say I stepped out of my comfort zone and let my insecurities go (kind of :) ) and invited that mom over the very next day. I am so glad that I did. I know I don't need to be perfect, and that really no one expects that but me.

Dear Weather,
Seriously?! Rain! Still? I am so sick of the rain. We have so many fun festivities going on in our small town and you are putting a damper on it. I mean, we have missed the kiddie parade, chainsaw carving competition and the rodeo (yes, I live in a small logging town). We were supposed to be attending a first birthday today at the park and now it has been moved inside. My kids and I are craving some vitamin D from the sun!

Dear at home iced coffee attempts,
Why do I find it so hard to replicate the goodness that is Starbucks? I have been trying and trying for just the right combo of perfect iced mocha. I have yet to figure it out. Sometimes my experiments result in gagging and not even being able to drink it. Today's isn't so bad. So, if you all have a secret recipe please share it with me!

Dear new chicken salad sandwich recipe,
You blew me away! A little experimenting and "tweaking" to a recipe turned out great! I can not wait to share the super easy recipe with you guys. :)

Dear Magic Mike,
I can not wait to see you! Enough said.