31 December 2011

See ya 2011, Hello 2012

So time to reflect on the past year & look ahead to what may lie ahead in the future year!

2011- It really was a great year. God has truly blessed us! Even in trials he has drawn us closer to Him & that makes it so worth it! We are at a pretty awesome time in our lives. There are always bumps, but this year (from what I remember) they have all been relatively small. Or more likely, my view from here makes them appear small. Here are some highlights. If I forgot one that you can think of, comment it!

* Had many good dates with my honey
* iPad for Valentines Day, we love our iPad
* Will turned 2 with an AWESOME Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme!
* We spent Corey's Birthday in Myrtle Beach with the wonderful Boeckhs! In a really nice condo, btw!
* Will's first real-ish Easter Egg Hunt! (he knew what he was doing & got a bunch of loot!)
* Will & Sophie experienced their first ever fireworks! They LOVED it!
* Meeting the Steinkopfs! I am so glad God crossed our paths!
* Being a DGL for the Silver Sparklettes at MOPS!
* We survived Corey's month long TDY to Alaska (even managed to have some fun & learn somethings!)
* Will started preschool!!! 3 hours, 3 days a week.
* Sophia's 1st Birthday! (that was the beginning of the month of sickness, but my Lil Ladybug had a great day!)
* Fun dressing up for Halloween
* Thanksgiving with my family (the best part was ordering the main parts)
* Christmas-time with Corey's family & some of my family up in Maryland

2012- I'm excited to see where God takes us this year. I feel like we are pretty open. Here are some things that I am looking forward to.

* Corey coming home!!! This is so much on my mind & my heart! I hope it's soon!
* My baby boy turning 3!! He is such a fun little guy!
* Speaking of little boy... Will being fully potty trained! (the week we have no misses will be a glorious one & I will throw a party! Seriously, I think I will! lol)
* Ocean City trip! We always look forward to this! Hopefully Corey will come home early enough to join us for this!
* Both kids will be in preschool! Which is so weird to me! I think I might not like it, but I can learn to ;) I'll be able to get SO much done in those 9 hours a week!
* Sophia will be turning 2!!
* Starting to plan Corey's 30th Birthday Week at Disney World!!! what what!! I have to go to ITT after I get the tax return haha.
* Start fantasizing about my 30th Birthday in Paris (okay okay, a little too early, but whatever! haha)

So, I don't really do resolutions, but I guess I kind of do... Last Year I wanted to lose 30lbs. (I lost 15!), I can't remember what else (I should have looked at past blogs to see if I blogged it, oh well).

For 2012,
* Daily giving up my plans & wants & ideas to God. Daily Dependence.
* Focus on my calling from God. I am called to show God's love to my children, to teach them who he is. I have a purpose!
* I want to spend 15 minutes outside everyday with the kids (even if the weather is extreme), we've already started doing this, but I'll throw it out here.
* Take more pictures. Too general right? Well, I signed up for a 365/52 project, I'm not sure if I'll stick with it, but I just got a kick-ass new PS which I'm able to carry around with me all the time. So that's a step in the right direction
* Workout more often & more consistently. There is always something coming up, but I love working out & it's good for me & my kids! My ultimate goal would be jogging 4 days a week with 3 days of strength training.

Thanks for your encouragement & support! What are some of your highlights? What are you looking forward to? Have any resolutions?

10 December 2011

Potty Learning Saga

Wow. Really with the potty learning?! We started with Will in September. He did GREAT, at first. Slowly he has progressed to not pooping in the toilet at all. He will pee & is perfect with pee, but poop has not touched his potty in a long time.
I've been through a wide range of emotions over this. I knew the whole time I should stay calm & not make a big deal about misses, but I failed several times along the way! I decided a couple weeks ago to back off (with the stress in it) & see if that improved things. Maybe I need to just work on it longer, but so far it hasn't improved anything.
I know it's really not something you can push. They'll get it when the choose to. I guess I'm just stressed that I'm messing things up on my part. Either from my stressed out moments or from not giving him the thing he needs to encourage him to do it!
We started out with the bare bottom approach & that worked for awhile, but then it didn't. I've tried rewards, that worked for awhile, but now it only does sometimes & not for poop. I think I just need to get back to my original plan. The Montessori way. I am going to help him to be as independent in this process as I can. No pushing, inviting him to use the toilet at regular times. Maybe keep record of when he poops. I think I may even start having Sophie sit on the potty after meals & before nap/bed.
I know this is silly. I know he will eventually get it. I'm not really stressed about the cleaning up anymore, I've resigned myself to it. I really don't want him to feel bad, because i huff & puff about misses. He is a great, strong, competent boy & I know he'll get it soon. Just know if you are doing this, or about to, I'm here with you. I feel ya. I smell what you're steppin' in!

01 December 2011

Our Advent Activities

Instead of a chocolate advent calendar (because we'll get enough of that anyway), I decided to make the advent a little more special & do activities with the kids! So here's our countdown list

1. Hot chocolate with candy cane stirrers
2. Decorate house
3. Open & hang special Christmas ornament for the year
4. Decorate the little Christmas tree
5. Make & hang snowflakes in the window
6. Visit Santa
7. Christmas art (trying to decide which one I want to do)
8. Cotton ball Snowmen
9. Gingerbread house
10. Make grandparent's ornaments
11. Hot Cocoa & Cookies Party (a small party)
12. Christmas Movie Night: Elf
13. Make a gift for the Moppettes (childcare providers at Mom's group)
14. Holiday Treats
15. Go out with Uncle Mike
16. Swan Lake Lights
17. Snowmen Ornament craft
18. Take the neighbors their gifts (muddy buddies)
19. Christmas Movie Night w/Steinkopf's: (not sure which one yet)
20. Visit Janet & "Papa" (btw Janet, lol, I was thinking what if I stayed with you to break my trip up to Maryland up. Im not 100% on this, but tell me your thoughts since here it is, lol)
21. Leave for Maryland
22. ICE @ Gaylord Nationals (Indoor thing with tons of ice sculptures with the Merry Madagascar theme)
23. Make cookies for Santa & family
24. Tutu's Christmas Eve dinner

What do you all think? What are your plans for the holidays? What are you doing for your advent calendars?

30 November 2011

I want... a Girl's Nite

I want a few things... okay, technically, I want a lot of things all the time. But as for now, I want 2 things.

1) My husband home. Obviously, this one is always on my mind. I could not say I want anything without acknowledging the fact, that really I want this one.


2) I want to get together with some of my best girl friends for a weekend retreat. I imagine Starbucks would be there & of course Happy Hour(s) would be involved. Here are some of the girls I would love to hang out with:

There are of course more. I just want you to know, if I was a millionaire I would fly all these girls to some awesome spa in the Maldives for a week. Not only that, I would go as far to make sure their husbands/boyfriends & kids were shacked up somewhere super fun, so there would be no worries. HAHA!

That is all.

21 October 2011

S talks!

Well... she is starting to say words. Today she said "bubble" (holding up a bubble wand), it came out more "buba" but you get the idea.
I can't really think of the other words she has said, but you know the norms: "momma", "daddy", "byebye", "hi". Some that are used a lot in our family "aw dn" (all done), "more", etc.
I can see her putting thoughts & ideas together more. She shares well, is curious, is going through a whiny phase, is learning face parts, likes pointing & learning what we call things.

ahh, as hard as the whiny phase is, i still manage to be completely amazed by her & in love with her!

that's it.
p.s. i really want to tell you all about the fabulous things W is doing too, but I'll make a W blog next. haha

17 October 2011

Ohhh, that's why...

Ohhhhh, that's why I've been a hot mess!!! I'm about to start my period! Wow. I really hate, hate, HATE to admit it, but my monthly hormones have been having a real effect on me.

I just pieced it together. I have been feeling way more emotional the last couple days & overwhelmed & wound up. Nothing I was doing was really helping, even praying and the such. Then as I talk to Corey it dawns on me, I'm about to start my period! Totally dramatic feelings, check. Hard time with self-control (with food & kids), check. Outbursts, check! Wanting to quit my "hard" volunteer commitment, check. Then I realized about once a month I get a little fed up with this volunteer commitment! bahaha. It could also be because I don't know if I had really asked God if this was something I was supposed to do, or jumped into it because it sounded fun. Because I do have other volunteer commitments I LOVE & really help me through these hard times. That's another story.

So, there you have it... I am lame! I am one of those women. ;) I will blame it on the Mirena. ha! I'll also put off any big decisions until after my visit from "aunt rose".
Sorry all those affected by my craziness. But now that I see what's causing it, I can not listen to my feelings so much & trust God. Blessed!

10 October 2011

253 more days

God, Do you know I hate that number?! I hate it!

I'm doing good, seriously, things are alright, but it sucks. I hate that he's gone. Today when I think of how long it's going to be it's hard to breathe. It's not always like that.

I'm used to crying when everything in my world is chaotic. When the kids are running amok & God knows what else on my plate. I'm not really used to having this long aching that I know will be here for what seems like such a long time.

I want to say that I shouldn't be complaining & that I'm not even complaining. But none of that seems true. I love God & I praise him & pray to him all day, & I will forever. But this hurts. I miss him & I don't want to do this.

That is all

05 October 2011

God's Love vs. butt kicking

So, today the kids slept in again! I surely am blessed for this new development. I was pretty groggy (stayed up late) & semi-dragged my feet through the morning routine (rushed because of said sleeping in). I started to get little bits of frustration at my children running from me as I tried to dress them, whining as I was trying to feed them, whining & wiggling as I tried to fix their hair. All pretty normal stuff that yesterday didn't faze me at all. Follow that by S a little whiny from extended car seat time, lunch falling all over the car, carrying both W & S to the car because I was late & didn't get out the stroller & lots more fussing.

I put them down for nap & was determined to read my bible study (which I'm behind in). With a cup of coffee, I sat down to the dinning room table. I was sure I was going to find some answer to my attitude issues. Ready for God to hand me the lashing I deserved. Kick my butt into gear, if you will. I read 3 pages or a bible study & the bible. I felt the same. Frustrated, I stopped. Taking note from the new sermon series from church, i thought to ask God to speak to me.

Me: "God, this is not working. Can you hear me? I'm so frustrated, I can't seem to get anything done, & I don't like this attitude in my heart so tell me how to be better. Speak to me."
God: "I love you"
Me: "Right, I know that, now how do I fix myself?"
God: "Theresa... I love you"
Me: "Ok... (wondering where he was going with this one)"
God: "I love you when you don't do the chores.... I love you when haven't made Corey's cookies... I love you when you have yelled at the kids... I love you."
Me: "Ohh... (enter crying) but why God?! Why do you love me? I'm so messed up"
God: "I love you because you are so valuable to me! You are precious, my daughter. You are strong & bold. You are mine."
Me: "But I mess up"
God: "Every one does, but I. love. you. I love you"

He kept telling me that he loved me until I was able to stop my tears, pick up my head & hear him tell me how to move on with the day.

I totally asked God for an ass-kicking & he poured out his love. & it was just what I needed. Amazing or what?!
I'm a type-A person & even though I've grown leaps & bounds in my type-A issues, I still have a tendency to measure my worth by the things I do & don't do. While I should do good things, even when I fail (even epically) God still loves me. The great news is, when I stopped & accepted Gods love in my imperfectness today, I felt revived & ready to love on my babies & get done what I can & let the other stuff slide.
So, if you are having a hard day, or maybe the next time you are (because we ALL have those days), stop & ask God to speak to you. You may hear something different than I did today, but trust me, it'll be just what you need!

Praise be to God!

29 September 2011

It is all in His hands

One of the toughest parts about military life has hit us. Deployment.

I was waiting to write this post until I was on an up part of the deployment roller coaster. He's been gone for a little over a week & I feel like we are beginning our new normal. Although, I imagine that, like I said, it's a roller coaster. Times when you feel good, things are truckin' along & times where it feels like the day couldn't get worse & it lasts forever.

I pour my heart out to God daily & he shows me the many ways I am blessed. How vast is His love! I am so thankful for the man my husband is. I am thankful I have two healthy babies that keep me on my toes. I am thankful for miss. molly who cuddles me at night. I am thankful for family who checks on me. I am thankful for friends who love on me & encourage me & inspire me. I am thankful for sisters in Christ!
Someone said to me today that I am a godly woman. a godly woman... I am so thankful that God has chosen me, changes me, refines me. My heart overflows with God's love.

I miss C so much & wish he was right here with me (maybe rubbing my shoulders, ha!), it kills me when W cries for his daddy, & my life is NOT perfect, hunky-dori, but I KNOW who is in charge! I know my God is not a chaotic god. Everything we are given has gone through his hands. There might not be some glorious, big, obvious reason for C to be deployed, but God has this for us, we will bring Him glory in it! I have learned (mostly) how to trust God with my life & surrender it to His will, now I am learning to trust him with my children. How much more he loves them than even I do, he will surely help W & S through their pain.

I pray for my family, for my kids, for all the military families that have been or are separated from loved ones. I pray that you can have hope in God & that you can reunite your family soon.

03 September 2011

Unit Ideas

So during the summer I may have slacked off a little with teaching W. We don't sit down & do rote learning or anything like that, but just things I would've done in my 2-year-old classroom back in the day. W is going to school 3 days a week now (for 3 hours each day), so I have less time to teach him, but now it's more exciting to teach him, because I miss him. Plus, S is getting to the age where I can start teaching her more intentionally. She loves the one-on-one mommy time & so do I!

I've decided to come up with some ideas for themed units (especially for the time C is deployed, it'll help things go faster). I am planning for each unit to be a week in length, but am fine with them overlapping because we will inevitably end up missing things. So here is what I've got so far.

  • Apple
  • Autumn
  • Pumpkin
  • Thanksgiving
  • Mommy (my birth month), but will NOT be the whole week
  • Advent
  • Family
  • Maryland
  • Jesus birth & Christmas
  • Winter
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Love
  • W (his birthday is this month & this week will be ALL about him)
  • Spring
  • Garden
  • St. Patrick
  • Cleaning
  • Easter
  • Rain
  • Daddy (his birth month), again not the whole week
  • Mother's Day
  • Beach (we'll be preparing for a beach vacay)
  • Travel (we'll be in MD)
  • Maryland
  • California
  • Father's Day
I don't want to fill up every week, because I want to leave room to create units/themes based on their interests as well. Like right now W is into hoarding collecting rocks, so Earth might be a unit. S is really into climbing & standing, so Climbing or something might be a unit. However, I still need some more theme ideas, so if you have any please feel free to send 'em my way by leaving a comment, FBing, emailing, or texting me! haha Thanks & I hope I've given you some ideas!

Look for posts about our units!

Sensory Table Fillers

I have missed using the sensory table/sand & water table. So I'm going out to buy another one. (Ours broke this summer. It had been left out in the sun & apparently cracked easily when Corey stepped on it?) All I use is a clear Rubbermaid container. I think this time I will get the kind that roll under the bed (ie shallow) & maybe I can make some sort of stand so it W/S height!

So I've come up with a list (with the help of the web) of sensory table fillers! Hope you use 'em!

1) Rice
2) Fish tank gravel (clean first)
3) cornmeal
4) bubble solution (with things to make bubbles of course)
5) cotton balls (good one for S)
6) Clean mud (wet, soapy, toilet paper)
7) gelatin (you can buy packets in the baking aisle)
8) dirt/soil
9) shredded paper
10) hay
11) lids (different sizes, another good one for S)
12) poker chips (? where would i get these?!)
13) cut up sponges/sponge shapes
14) colored sand
15) ice cubes
16) leaves
17) shells (although I like the idea of this one in sand)
18) various size beads & buttons (large ones for S)
19) pebbles & rocks (W is LOVING rocks lately, so this is a MUST)
20) grass clippings
21) shaving cream
22) cut up yarn (I have a bunch leftover from my crocheting days)
23) fabric scraps (YES!!, don't have to throw away bits of my favorite fabric anymore!)
24) gel (not for me)
25) ooblek (cornstarch & water)
26) Styrofoam peanuts
27) bubble wrap
28) flour
29) flower petals
30) dried corn on the cob (not for S)
31) different colors of play dough
32) pompoms
33) strips of newspaper (have wipes handy for cleaning hands)
34) bird seed
35) macaroni (although I personally try to stay away from food items as much as I can. People can eat that!)
36) cocoa & flour together (mmm just got an idea for hot chocolate themed week)

28 July 2011

On a side note...

I'm sensitive right now. haha. Not sensitive "I'm going to cry any moment", more like heightened feelings. Does that make sense.

Someone who has always lived in the same populous region (ie there are plenty of things to do withing 15 mins), with lots of family nearby (ie to help with kids & emotional well-being), just said to me Corey is going to be deployed for "only 6 months". Now, obviously, after thinking about it I realize she just was re-checking that that was the deployment length... or so I am giving the benefit of the doubt. BUT when I first ready it I felt like she was saying "only 6 months, that's not anything", which IS true in the sense that people are deployed/remote for longer periods of time. BUT I felt hurt, because she has no idea what it would be like & even if she did, I don't think anyone should talk about their friends spouse being gone in terms of "only". It's hard to have a spouse gone! especially if they will be in a more dangerous area! & you have 2 little ones! & he's already gone & you likely wont have much time with him before he goes!

haha, SEE sensitive! Totally illogical right? But at least I'm taking the time to wait before I say things that will let everyone in on my illogical craziness! (well besides you blog readers!) Don't worry you don't have to walk on eggshells around me, I just have to 2nd guess any strong feelings I have, HA! It may be that C's been gone. It may be the looming deployment. It may be that it's that time of the month soon. It may be I'm just crazy! haha

That's it. O, except I have a tv guilty pleasure... Love In the Wild. It's on NBC Wednesday nights. I'm totally addicted! Now, that is it!

06 July 2011

Our first TDY

This morning Corey left for TDY for about a month to Alaska. I'm a little jealous, because I'd like to see Alaska, especially this time of year.
So, this will be the longest Corey and I have ever been apart since before we were dating. Weird right? We have been blessed to never had to go through a deployment or a remote tour.
This is also his first TDY since we've had Will.
I know one month is nothing for most military wives, but it is something for me. I know I will be fine, especially if I lean on the Lord during the trying times! It's just something different for us. I imagine the hardest part will be when I can sense the kids missing him. That or the monotony of doing the same basic things day in & day out.
Well, he's my best friend & I love him. Please remember us in your prayers if you don't mind (it never hurts to have extra prayers). Today was a great day, I felt God with me the whole day (even though we just started), I have a feeling he will be here with me the whole time. He's awesome like that!

30 June 2011

Obsessions & Over it

Hey Everybody!

It's been a really long time since I've updated you, right?! That's Wills & Sophie up there. Just hanging out one day. We had a music fest & then I started taking pictures. Well, Will found his camera (from a happy meal from JBX) & started taking pictures too! CUTE!

I'm going to mix things up this time & talk about our new obsessions & thing we like to call "over it"s.
obsessed with- Minecraft, an internet game with basic BASIC graphics where he is focused on building his island (as in a game with NO ending!!!) I will get back at Iosif & Brett for introducing him to this...
over it- XBOX (until he resolves his minecraft obsession), cloth diapering, his Celica (it needs to be fixed, but he's so not on the ball about it).
ME (aka Theresa),
obsessed with- Sewing, Hulu+, running! (right? how could that EVER happen?!!) if only things didn't always get in the way! (i.e. Corey stealing my car for work, childcare being closed at the gym, volunteer commitments)
over it- cable TV, cooking & laundry (well sometimes), trying to do it all (kinda), Sumter, SC.
obsessed with- hugging & other ways of unknowingly torturing his sister (in a cute, sweet way), water, his Little Einsteins rocket ship (from the cartoon), toy story, hitting & throwing (yeah, that's fun)
over it- unknowingly torturing Molly, TV, juice (not that he needs it), his diaper! (do I smell potty learning coming our way?), making a big stink when going to bed (he was out of whack from vacay).
obsessed with- EVERYTHING in her mouth! EVERYTHING (will was not this mouthy), growing up (?! geez!), scrunching her nose, pulling up on mommy to stand!
over it- being left alone (we are working on that with "alone time" in the pack-n-play, she's up to 15mins.), getting her nose wiped (she must have allergies, hopefully not to Molly), baby food (LOVES our food).
obsessed with- toys! (she's actually playing with toys!), going outside & coming right back in after chasing the squirrels, scratching at the baby gates when we accidentally leave her up or downstairs.
over it- nothing... she's a pretty resilient doggy, maybe over it being so stinkin' hot that she only gets a short walk?

Well, now you know! HA! I'm off to shop online for cute fabric, I have a big long list of projects I want to do, starting with fixing the cloth diapers!
Have a fun day!

23 April 2011

How Fast Do You Eat?

How fast do you eat your meals? Are you slow, everyone is finished before you're half way through? Are you fast, always waiting for someone to finish?
Studies link the speed of your eating back to childhood & the way your family ate.
I was reading another blog that had this topic & asked people to comment which they were, if it was linked to their childhood & what not. I was somewhat surprised by the majority of fast eaters. I guess I shouldn't be. People gave such crazy reasons why they are either way.
One person blamed their fast eating on their kids. I have kids too, but that doesn't change how I eat. I like to take my time, taste my food, talk, talk, & talk some more, I still somehow manage to take care of my kids issues & even feed Sophie. Mealtime just takes longer now, because there are more things in between my bites.
One person said they eat fast so food stays the right temperature. I feel ya girl! I really do. I like my food to be served piping hot. It does suck when I get to the last few bites & it's starting to get cool. BUT whenever that happens it is because I'm having a wonderful conversation & enjoying life.
I don't think there is anything wrong with being a fast eater. I just am not one & I don't think I ever will be. Corey sped me up a little & I've slowed him down a bit. In his defense when I met him he still was under Basic Training's you-better-eat-fast-or-you-wont-fini... HA!
Breakfast: I usually have Will eat his breakfast while I feed Sophie, sometimes I eat with them too, but most of the time I wait until I put Sophie down for her 1st nap & I have a little "me time" with my breakfast & bible.
Lunch: I have Will eat his while I feed Sophie. When they are both down for their naps I eat my lunch (usually in front of the TV, but I portion control)
Dinner: We all eat dinner at the table together. Usually Corey feeds Sophie right before our dinner & she eats finger foods in the highchair while we eat (Sometimes he eats & feeds her). I take my time, we talk, watch Will (who usually gets down rather quickly & plays outside), & help whoever needs help. We linger. I usually linger longer.
In my ideal life each meal would be long, social, & good. I never really pay attention to how others are eating when we eat with others. Is that rude? I feel pressured when I realize I'm the last one eating, but I can't help but talk & take small bites & really enjoy my food.
Oh yea, & if we are out & the kids are out of control, I would rather pack up my food & eat it later, than try to shove it in.
My family ate some meals together (more in the earlier years of my life), some in front of the TV. I've always been a talker & a foodie so I think those things together make me slow. I'm the slowest one in all of my family (maybe except my aunt Mardee), but I wouldn't really say they eat fast, just not as slow as me. haha
How about you?

20 April 2011

Will waking up his Deydee & a little more

First I should clarify that Will does not call Corey "daddy" but instead it's "deydee". I don't know.
Corey works the 11pm to 7am shift, so we at the Shipe household have giddy anticipation for the 4pm hour! Time to wake up Deydee! I've been trying new ways to wake him up, because Corey doesn't wake well.

Today we tried the Kiss Attack method. Apparently Corey is not a fan of that, as his first utterances were sharp "too much, too much". So, the quick thinking clever wife/mom I am, I tried the Let's All Sleep method. Cute, little, adorable, bull-in-a-china-cabinet Will did this...

Crawl over Deydee, stretch to turn off lamp, crawl back over to Deydee, push Deydee, push feet under covers, pull covers up, wiggle to get comfy, leans head back knocking Deydee in the mouth (yes, he was THAT close), makes a snorting snoring sound, lifts head up, says "scoose me", leans head back, wiggles, sits up, crawls over to lamp, stretches to turn light on, sits back, looks at parental units, & the whole process starts again!

Now imagine that no less than 15 times!! Seriously, I'm not exaggerating!! I could help but laugh every single time! He had this whole little process & what was with him repeating it so many times! haha

A little bit more about my little man...
We keep flirting with the idea of potty learning, but man does he know how to fight! For now we are changing him in the bathroom (a teeny, tiny bathroom btw) & offering him the option of sitting on the toilet. He has recently started throwing a tantrum every time I changed his diaper. It is starting to calm down & he even sits on the toilet after I get the diaper off. It's just getting him there! Oh well, everyone pees & poops in the potty eventually right?!

He seems like such a big boy now! He knows so much & does so much for himself. He is using mostly real cups, pours his own milk or water (from a small plastic pitcher), can make some simple snacks, helps me with almost all my cooking, serves himself, sets the table (-ish, he takes the stuff to the table), he can put on his outside boots all by himself! There is so much more, but you get the idea. It's so great to see him turning into himself! I really like him.
He is pretty considerate for his age & shares pretty well for his age. As you all probably know 2 is an emotional time in a kids life. They have all these really strong emotions they just don't know how to handle. They know so much, but can communicate so little. They have all these ideas of how they want things, but in general so little power. Sometimes I literally see Will a little scared of how intense his emotions are. Something that is SO strange to me, Will will do something not acceptable (like throw a toy) & I have to deliver the consequence (put it away for the day), he'll get mad at me, I try to help him through those feelings, he'll push me away, and not even a second later is asking me for comfort. It's getting more normal, but I remember thinking how ridiculous it is when it first began. haha. I am the enforcer, the helper, the teacher, & the comforter! What is great is that parenting is opening my eyes more to who God is! If only we were like children, so quick to turn to God for our comfort.

Will, you are such a sweet boy. You are growing so fast. I know that there are times when life seems very hard & your emotions are so strong, but I want you to know that I am here in those times. I will comfort you. I LOVE hearing your laugh, it brings so much happiness to my heart! I love your little expressions. I love how much you love your deydee. You are so caring! I feel so very blessed to be your mom, that you want to share your toys, day, world with me. Thank you for letting me teach you, thank you for making me Mom. I can't wait to hug you. You're my lovey!

19 April 2011

Sophia's Best Friend/ 7 month update

Sophie has a best friend, her thumb! I remove it during the day, unless she is in a stressful situation (like a big ol' brother accidentally bopped her upside the head). But she is so cute with it. She was laying in bed under her blanket when I went to wake her from her nap. Her arms were spread out. As I pulled the blanket off she jostled awake & her thumb reflexively went into her mouth super quick! lol. When she was coherent enough to see me she popped it out & gave me her big, beautiful, dimpled smile, along with some "I'm happy" kicky action! LOVE IT! LOVE HER!!

She's doing great! She is a very happy baby. She is also pretty content to play by herself. She is officially mobile! She gets around in the weirdest ways! She arches her back so her weight is on her feet & head & pushes herself around like that. She also has started rolling EVERYWHERE! Her newest thing is going into plank position (toes & arms, with body off the ground), which she sometimes transitions into downward dog. Yes my little girl has MAD abs, great strength, & is already into yoga! haha. I could take tips from her. She is also sitting up really well now! Not completely independent, but mostly.

Like I mentioned before she is happy. She is always smiling & I love it! There is nothing greater than entering a room (or someones eyesight) & seeing them light up with happiness!

She is on solids for 3 meals a day now. I make her baby food, except the oatmeal & whole wheat baby cereals. I am also substituting fruit in the jar with the stuff I make, because fruit is a lot more time consuming that veggies! We have introduced the straw cup & she took right to it, so we offer it once a day. She has started finger foods, but can only do the big things for now. Honestly, I love when they are off the bottle & when they can feed themselves, but I wont rush... too much.

She is still a heavenly sleeper. Sleeps from 7:30/8pm to 7:30/8am with 3-4 naps totaling about 5 hours during the day! She is getting over a virus so maybe she'll change her napping habits soon.

She and Will have started "playing" together. They really are playing next to each other & sometimes talk at each other. It's really nice to see. Will always looks for her. The other day just he & I went to the store & when we got in the car he freaked out that Sophie wasn't in her seat. Also a couple weeks ago, they held hands while we were driving! (I was so bummed that I packed my camera in the back!) But they keep doing it, so one day I will catch it! Sophie lights up when she sees Will. Will loves to hold her & is constantly trying to carry her around with him! haha

*thumb sucking
*mommy's jewelry (no joke she plays with my jewelry longer than ANY toy)
*daddy's tickles
*sitting up
*the wind

*loud, sudden noises

yeah, see I can't even come up with dislikes!!

well, Sophia, You are 7 months this week. I am so glad you are a part of our family. You bring such happiness & fun into our lives. You are so strong & pretty coordinated for your age! You impress me that way. I love cuddling with you. I love nuzzling your cheeks. Everyone compliments your cheeks! Thank you for lighting up when you see me. Thank you for playing with my hair, it makes me feel loved. I am so glad your brother has you & know that you have a good, strong, protective brother. Your daddy loves you so much, you are already his lil princess! You are so special. We love you,

24 March 2011

Dear Sophia, 6 months


I love you.
I don't really know who you are yet. You have been here for only six months, but oh how I love you.
You are beautiful.
You are laid back.
You enjoy spending time on your own.
You have the weirdest way of getting around, but I love it. Maybe it means you'll be creative. Even if you don't end up being creative, I'll still love it.
You are my daughter.
I love that you play with my hair.
That you always reach for any piece of jewelry I have on.
I don't want to say you're going to be a girly-girl, because really it doesn't matter.
Being a mom of a daughter is so special.
You make me more feminine. I don't really know how, or why, but you do.
I was taking off a necklace your father gave me when I thought that I would pass this down to you. It's not really what most would consider an heirloom quality necklace. I don't think I will ever own anything like that. But your dad loves me, I love him, & I would love to give that to you. I am so thankful I have you to give that to.
I look forward to all the ways that I will get to teach you (about love, God, the world, yourself).
I look forward to all the ways that I can encourage and support you.
I'm sure there will be bumps in the road (most notably in the teen years, right?), but I look forward to us.
I look forward to YOU.

I will try to always cherish the moment you are in. Live in the present. But my golly, sometimes I look onto your face & my heart does this thing & I am filled with love. Thank you for bringing that to me.

Love You,

18 March 2011

The Splinter

I have a secret... splinters scare me. Not getting them, but getting them out. I've never been able to get splinters out. I think maybe once I got my own splinter out, maybe. Corey has come to me numerous times to get a splinter out, but he always has to do it. I actually get nervous when someone asks me to help them with their splinter, because I know I can't do it! Ha! (is the perfectionist in me coming out?). While this isn't something most people think about ever, I have to admit to on occasion wondering what the heck am I going to do when my kids get a splinter?! In my eyes getting the splinters out is totally a mom-job, filed under article 3 section 4: To fix "owies" and make everything better. Right? But I can't, I'll fail. Worse, I'll push it in further & make it really hard for Corey to get it out & make the child cry more!

This morning, it happened! Will was washing his hands & points to a splinter in his palm. No lie, a little panic goes off in me. If I'm honest with you & myself, I saw this yesterday, but I guess I was hoping that 1a) it was just a scab, or b) that is would go away on its own. Does that make me a bad mom?

Well, today it hit me in the face with my little expectant boy looking to me for help! I rubbed it with my nail hopping to figure out how to approach this sucker. I couldn't feel the opening at all **panic**. I gulp, I bust out the tweezers, praying that I don't make him cry, telling myself "you can do this". I feel the opening, I prod a little, I push a little, a little wiggle here, a little wiggle there & VOILA half of it is out! a little relief, a little confidence. A little more prodding & a little more pushing, mixed in with some poking (no crying on either of our parts).And VOILA! It's completely out!!
I did it?
I did it!
Will looks at me, points to the hole in his skin, smiles, & says "dank ooo". SMILES! Says "dank ooo"!

I AM his mommy! I did my job! I am the splinter killer! Victory! Mommy 1, Splinter 0!

He skips away happily, oblivious to our victory. I do a little happy dance (inside of course) knowing that I can do all of my job as a mommy, even the mundane tasks of splinter-get-er-out-er. I will be there for my little injury prone boy. Love it!

09 February 2011

Really?! Seriously?!

I am so frustrated with myself for being so easily frustrated!
How does that work?!
Some days I have all the patience in the world.
Some days I struggle to have patience & somewhat do.
Some seemingly good days quickly dissolve into a day without patience in the matter of an hour.
I hope I'm not alone in this. I don't think I am, or I probably wouldn't write it. Haha.

Want to know what most easily sets me down the road to "where is my patience!?"
Here's a scenario: Playing with toddler, while baby naps happily upstairs. Toddler becomes increasingly whiny (he still isn't talking very much) and loud. Time for baby to wake up. Baby cries as bottle is made. Toddler is jumping too close to baby. Feed baby. Baby dribbles formula bc baby is too interested in the world (aka toddler). Rotate so baby is facing wall (it does have art for her to look at!). Burp Baby, Baby spits up copious amounts of formula+spit, which goes everywhere (pants, shirt, feet, baby's clothes, & floor). Place Baby in bouncer. Toddler whining starts pushing Mommy. Correct behavior. Clean up spit up. Baby screams. Clean snot from Toddler & Baby. Baby screams. Toddler sneezes on Mommy. Toddler smells poopy. Change Toddler, put away spit up clothes, change mommy. Take Toddler's poopy diap to pail. Decide to spray with sprayer. Poop water EVERYWHERE! (this is where blood pressure starts to go up). Clean up. Bring poop-watered toys downstairs to be bleached. Carry Toddler downstairs. Toddler wipes nose on new shirt. Whatever. Move baby to tummy time. Go into kitchen to make lunch. Toddler whining at feet. Gently push away with crackers in hands. Toddler screams "OH NO", run into living area, Baby spit up all over play mat. Clean up. Good thing baby is naked. Heat up leftovers with Toddler playing at feet. Set it at kid table, bc why would anyone try to force toddler to sit at big table. Toddler doesn't want to eat. Toddler drinks his lunch. Baby spits up AGAIN! Sitting on the floor near kid table, encouraging toddler to eat, spot something out of the corner of eye... Dog poop stain from a few days ago. Think: well i guess we didn't clean it all up... NEED steam vaccum desperately. Try to clean up. Toddler finishes, whines to be put to bed. Check on Baby, little bit of spit up. Roll Baby over. Baby cries. Reassure Baby then put Toddler to bed. WHEW! Go to baby change diapers, dress, & tickle. Pray to spit up gods that it's over, pick up Baby. Upstairs cuddle baby to sleepy, place gently in crib. Come into computer room to blog about how inpatient you are because you yelled at Toddler, when it wasn't his fault. Then feel remarkably better from venting. Thank Blogger & blogging. FUTURE: Go downstairs to eat lots of chocolate. Remember there is no chocolate, pout, nap. OVER. lol

07 February 2011

Sickness is blah

I'm sick! Corey gave it to me AND the kids! My kids tend to sleep fine while sick, most of the time, so it's not too bad. We don't have the flu or anything god-awful like that. Pretty yucky colds though. With a bad cough. Corey was up all night with a cough. I hope that we (me, Soph, & Wills) get through it faster than Corey. He's had it about a week! I keep downing the water & pushing it on Will (tehehe I chase after him, "Here's some water honey") I've been working hard at keeping the house & myself sanitized. I have to wipe Will's nose every few minutes. The scary thought is what does he do at night with the snot? MEMO TO ME: change & wash Will's sheets more often!!
I am already starting to feel better, so I think the water is helping. I guess we aren't really that sick though, because we are still doing things around the house. I remember before we had kids it seemed the slightest cold would be reason enough to lie in bed all day watching the boob-tube or surfing the web. I guess once you have kids, and can't lie around all day, you figure might as well get something done!
That is all for now. I'm going to go curl up on the couch with a big mug of Sleepytime Tea & a book... or TV show... what?! Don't judge me!

Blue & Yellow Easel Painting

We got the easel! I've been setting it up for markers, chalk, and crayon art, but haven't had the time/energy to do paint. I LOVE the easel. I especially love that it was $15 and I had a great friend who picked it up for me, so I didn't have to drive the 2 hours to the closest Ikea (my Ikea Kristin friend). There is only one thing I would change about the easel, that the cup tray is on the chalkboard side & I would prefer it to be on the whiteboard side.
Anyways, Corey had the day off, so we went for it. I am so glad to mention that the Ikea paper held up to the vigorous movements of a toddler! Wills had so much fun he nicely asked for another "peesh" (piece) of paper "peese" (please). 
He started off with the brush, got some paint on his finger (& was bothered by it), then started finger painting. When I suggested using the brush he picked up the brush & painted his hand. I thought that was clever. 
 Then we had a bit of leftover paint (I always put too much in), so I put it in a zippy bag & now Sophia has a Squishy Bag*. I'll let her use it at dinner time when she has highchair time.
*Squishy Bag- it is somewhat a sensory activity and in this case a science/color activity. I keep the bag closed & she can squish the paint around, somewhat feel its contents, and see what happens when you mix blue & yellow.

05 February 2011

Colored Waterplay

I decided to do this project when I noticed how much fun Will was having squeezing the color out of the sponges from a sponge painting day. Will LOVES water play with a passion. Every time I am in the kitchen he gets his step stool from the bathroom & brings it in & asks demands to play in the sink. I set this up in the morning and he played with it all day, until I couldn't take the dish clutter on the counter.

I wasn't sure if it was going to work, but I added a squirt of Crayola paint to each tub & whisked it. I LOVED the results. As you can see I added the sponges from a previous activity here. I also put in measure cups & spoons, cups, bowls, a ball, an old formula scooper, & a whisk.

Like I said, he LOVES water play & played for a very long time, I'm remembering an hour. I believe it was time for lunch & as soon as his nap was over, he was back at it! The red water became purple, which he didn't seem to notice until after nap, but that is when I learned he knew the color "url" purple and "boo" blue.

note: Will does have a hard time with keeping the water in the sink, not because he's being defiant, but because it is still hard for him to pour down in the sink, so he tries to use the ledge. I try to only encourage him to pour inside the sink, but this time I also laid a thick towel on the side of the sink & I was very happy that no water spilled all over the floor & the towel wasn't too wet. The rule in our home is that if he is purposely pouring water on the floor, he gets a warning. I try to find a way to replace whatever he was doing with something I'm okay with that still helps him to learn the same concept. If he keeps doing it, then he is done with that activity for awhile. By awhile I mean he has to get involved in another activity and finish that before he can try the sink again. 

Sponge Art

Here's an idea I came up with when I found a large sponge I hadn't used. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. We are working on shapes. So I busted out the large kitchen shears & cut shapes. I tried to make them the right size to fit in his hands, not too big or too small. I'm actually a little suprised how many shapes I got out of it.

I chose to use only 2 colors of paint, because at this stage he still mostly ends up rubbing all the paint together; which if I had added blue we would've ended up with brown art.
I put the paint in one of those cheap paint palates. I already had it from college. You could use a plate, next time I will.

I used a heavy cardboard on the floor. I used to pin them up, but if Will was too fast it could knock the pins out. So the floor worked fine. It was easier to clean up too.

Here is the masterpiece! You can't really tell it's shape sponges, but that's to be expected at his stage. We did, however, get to talk a LOT about shapes. Even things I didn't expect to happen. When you hold the triangle on it's side, it now makes a rectangle shape. You can roll the circle & make a track.
The greatest part was Will helped with the clean up & it was a learning experience! I put him in front of the bathroom sink with warm water & asked him to squeeze the sponges under the water. I went to make lunch & I had to pry him away from the sink to eat lunch.
I already have more ideas for how to use these sponges.

29 January 2011

Really Ikea?!

So, I'm reading this lady's blog & she mentions she got an easel from Ikea for cheap. I've been searching for a cheap easel. I log on to their Ikea.com & now I hate them. I love them and I hate them. Reasons why I love them: they had that cheap easel ($20), it was made of wood, they had other stuff that I wanted, it's all created/decorated to inspire kids imagination, the adult furniture is pretty! Reasons I hate them: I want everything!
I am trying really hard to lessen my desire for things. Really trying. I know that things don't bring happiness. I really truely know that & believe it whole-heartedly. But I guess I don't. I want to provide my kids with the things one would fine in a good preschool (not all of them, but the gist of each center). I want my home to be organized & look clean. I want art. I know there are other ways to go about this & I do try to make things at home & with what I've already got. Im sad with myself. Im sad that I keep wanting. I am happy, I love my life, so whats up with this desire for things...? Do you think it's within reason? Do you think I'm just bored? lol.
I think it would be okay for me to eventually buy the easel, but it sucks that there is always something else i will want. When is enough enough?!

28 January 2011

Our Schedule (2 y.o. & 4 m.o.)

Something that has been driving me a little nuts is our lack of a schedule! I am definitely more laid back than ever before (God does work miracles), but I am still happiest organized & structured! HA. We've always had feeding/nap schedules set up. Sophie's schedule is starting to change because she can stay awake longer. So why have I been craving a schedule, because I want to get things done, I don't want Will to watch too much TV, & I want to help Sophie get the best sleep, & therefore the best awake time, she can.
So, without further ado, this is our schedule until Sophie moves to a 4-hour schedule.

6:45am- I wake up & get ready
7:00am- Kids wake, Will has TV time & his rice milk, Sophie gets a bottle & solids (although we just decided last night to suspend the solids, she's not ready)
8:00am- Will & I eat Breakfast, Sophie sits in the highchair & plays with a toy
8:30am- Sophie is down for nap#1 by this point, Will gets ready
9:00am- Will has Structured* play, I do chores
9:30am- Will has Freeplay*, I continue chores
10:00am- Will has Roomtime*, Sophie wakes, gets a bottle & one-on-one time with Mommy
11:00am- Lunch, Sophie has highchair time or Blanket Time*
11:30am- Sophie is down for nap #2 by this time, Will goes down for his nap, Mommy naps, rests, or very rarely does a little non-stressful work
1:30pm- Sophie gets a bottle, if Will wakes up he has TV time & some rice milk
2:00pm- Snack
2:30pm- Sibling Playtime*
3:00pm- Sophie gets nap #3, Will has Learning Time*
3:30pm- Freeplay or Outdoor play during good-enough weather
4:30pm- Sophie wakes, gets a bottle & solids (again, suspended for now), I start making dinner
5:30pm- Dinner, Sophie has highchair time or Blanket time (whichever she's in the mood for)
6:00pm- Sophie gets nap #4 (I know right!?), Family Time
6:45pm- Sophie wakes
7:30pm- Baths/Bedtime routines- we alternate who gets a bath every other night, unless both are dirty; Sophie gets a bottle
8:00pm- BEDTIME!!!

If Corey is home for dinner, he & I have 15-20 minutes of Mommy-Daddy time after dinner, while Will plays freely.
*Structured Time is when I choose an activity/ies for Will to play with. Today it was waterplay (i made one side of the sink red & one side blue & gave him various tools to manipulate). I stay with him & interact, but also give him some space & get some housework done ;-)
*Freeplay is when he chooses what to play. Again, I am with him some of this time, but sometimes sneak in some housework.
*Roomtime is when he spends 30-60 minutes in his room playing with toys I've set out, or ones that are on his shelves. Today it was books, Legos, cars with his race track, & he also used his music instruments. This is when I get some one-on-one time with Sophie & get some housework done
*Learning Time has different focuses each day (they usually overlap). I work on these things throughout the day, but its a special time to really focus in on an area. I'll use next week as an example:
M- Language Development- Read 3 books related to trains & cars
T- Creative Art- Car Track Painting (letting him roll the cars in paint & then on the paper)
W- Gross Motor Skills- ChooChoo Dancing, like a train
Th- Math/Science- Line up & Count the cars & trains (not very imaginative, i know)
F- Fine Motor Skills- Train & Car Lacing Cards (made from card stock)
Wednesday is going to be when he takes gymnastics starting next month!
*Blanket Time is stared only because this is time she spends alone, in a nearby room.
*Sibling Playtime is not fully developed for obvious reasons. This is a special time I help Will & Sophie play with something(s) together. Usually its a ball or Music Table (on the floor).

And that is it. We let our schedule serve us, we don't serve our schedule. There are days we run errands instead of Outdoor play, Thursday mornings we have MOPS instead of all that stuff, and so forth. I had been scheduling too much things to keep myself from being bored at home, but I started to see the negative effects it was having on the kids (well, honestly, more on Sophie than Will, because he only takes one nap & is okay with breaking that one into 2). It's hard sometimes because some of my friends go out all the time during the day, but they are either at a different stage in life (has only 1 older kid) or they don't have the same philosophy I do when it comes to naps & bedtimes. I get over the hard by talking to other similar mommies & knowing that this is only for a season of my life & I get to enjoy/absorb all of my kids!

26 January 2011

What is your Sweet Spot?

One of my good friends is a life coach and she recently sent out an email asking some questions, trying to entice people into using her services. Well, I dont have money for that sort of thing, but one of her questions really hit me.

What is your Sweet Spot?

This question encourages me so much during the hard times of my day. Having 2 kids under 2 can get pretty hectic or overwhelming at times. I wouldn't trade my life of course, but this one visualization can change my heart. Are you ready for it?

I close my eyes & I see... a big mug of the perfect coffee in front of me (starbucks' house blend with 3 spoons of sugar & 3 spoons of milk), a little table in front of me with a little whatever pastry on a little plate. I look up and I see the familiar sight of Barnes and Noble all around me. I look around and see no children. Corey could be there, but he's not needed in this scenario (sorry babe, its true). The fact hits me that I have the whole day to stay here if I want to, no obligations, no kids needing to be rocked or bounced or changed. No husband asking if I'm done. Just me, my coffee, my pastry, and endless book options. *sigh*

There are a lot of different Sweet Spots I have, but this one is always there. Its so peaceful, I would go there anytime. ANYTIME!

Now reality is that the nearest bookstore is an hour away & that it will likely be a LONG time before I could do this again, but just closing my eyes & thinking of this (maybe smelling my favorite coffee made by me) brings me calm... well, at least in my heart.

So one more time I close my eyes & now I dash off to rescue the crying Will from the torture that is life without his paci. What is your Sweet Spot?

09 January 2011

Review & Goals

I can't believe it's been such a long time since I've blogged. I've started several blog posts, but always have to stop them in the middle to rescue the kids. I'm not usually one to make New Year Resolutions & to look back over the previous year, but for some reason I am this time around. I have a lot on my plate & although I love it, I need to set priorities because with two kids I seem to miss the mark more than I'd like.

A lot of great things happened in 2010. The best & most obvious was the pregnancy & birth of our little girl, Sophia. We love her so much & I am loving getting to know her. Will turned 1, Corey turned 27 & I turned 26. We went to Maryland on vacation, which was a blast. We spent time with Corey's family & my grandma. We went to the beach. We had Korinne & Reese come stay with us for a little bit. We spent the summer at the pool. We went to Maryland for Kelly's wedding. We built family traditions throughout the year. Will went from a baby to a full-fledge toddler! It was a good year. Life is starting to go by really fast; its a little scary!

For this year
*I want to have a special activity for our family each month. I have written one activity for each month. (ex: July is Waterpark Day, May is Strawberry Picking Day, etc.)
*I want to spend more time scrapbooking memories & on that note, taking more pictures. I am starting by giving up a night of TV to spend scrapping instead. I am also taking advantage of my church's wonderful Scraps Of Faith ministry, which is a scrapbooking get-together one friday a month with free childcare!
*I want to spend more time with my family & the Boeckh's. We will make a monthly trip to visit either my dad in NC or the Boeckh's in GA.
*I want to reconnect with good friends & family. I am going to call loved ones at least once a month. On this list: Janet, the Hoh's, my brother, my grandma Joyce, my grandma tutu, my mom, the Shipe's, & the Warren's. I am going to email friends once a month.
*I want to be more pro-active in teaching Will. I am going to plan activities for each month. I am going to get us out of the house more often.
*I want to lose 30 lbs. (don't be dismissive please). I am going to do strength training & cardio every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I am going to be more active througout the day. I am going to reduce my caloric intake, but not deprive myself of what I want.

Please, check up on me to see how Im doing & encourage me to keep marching towards those goals. I'll try to remember to keep you all updated on how my goals are going too!