Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What Can You Do to Help?

As of today, Christmas is over and a lot of the excitement ends. All the hoopla is over and the news has changed to the crazy winter weather that is on it's way to the Appalachia region. This means that snow, wind, ice and severe weather is headed for areas where people are suffering from no heat. The Monkey Do Project wants to help those in need. They are working every single day to help families, the elderly and anyone who needs it to survive this winter. Here is a video about the Appalachia area and ways that you can help. There are people in these areas that need us, that need our help. Even if you think that what you can give is small and isn't helpful, believe me, anything is helpful when some people have nothing. Each year, there are thousands of house fires caused by people using their stoves or ovens to heat their homes or dangerous space heaters. Help those in need by making a donation so that people can make it through this treacherous weather.

Monday, December 17, 2012

MAMAVATION MONDAY: Signing up for 5K's, Sickness and Health

After last week, I feel better about myself and I am now trying to come up with some attainable goals for myself as the new year is coming up quickly. However, these are goals, not resolutions. A lot of times, resolutions set us up to fail. We go at it hard for a week or two and it all starts to fade quickly. My goals are to: *sign up for 13 different 5K's. I would love to try a 10K or even a half marathon by the end of 2013 but if I don't get up to that point, I will stick with the 5K's and be proud of myself for making it to 13 of them. *lose 14 pounds by July 15th. I will be a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding on July 19th and I would love to reach my goal for the wedding. That would allow me 7 months for me to lose those 14 pounds and would make an average of losing 2lbs. each month. That is not a huge number to lose but along with that comes toning up and firming all muscles. I think the running will help out a great deal with this goal. *I will strive to work out at least 3-5 days a week by doing circuit training, weight training and running/walking. *I would also love to help my entire family to become healthier. I want my kids to make the life changes I am making as well and live healthier lives. It is important to start young with healthy habits. I am sick right now so my workouts will have to wait until I am back to 100% because with my sore throat and cough, I am struggling a bit to breathe, even when just sitting. There is no way I can do anything remotely close to working out in this condition. What are your health goals for the new year? Will you wait until January 1 to start or are you starting now?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

MAMAVATION MONDAY: Getting back on Track, Struggles for Motivation

I've been doing horribly. I desparately get back on track with my healthier eating and exercise. I have a slight case of depression because things have been declining in my personal life and I am scratching, digging and hoping to find my way back to where I need to be. Unfortunately, my motivation has gone somewhere far away with this newfound blue state that I am in. However, I am encouraged by the new challenges that I am applying for, joining and going to do. I have joined a challenge called 13 in 2013. I will be running 13 5K's in the year 2013!! This is a huge undertaking but I feel confident that I can do it. Well, I know that I can do this and I will be feeling so much better about myself. My first race or run is on January 5th so I have some training to do and I want to be ready for this challenge as best I can. I think it will be good for me to focus on this and get back to feeling good! I am debating on whether or not to apply for the Mamavation Challenge. I know I can do it but I always fear letting others down, which in turn, could be just what I need! I might just do that. I may just push myself by applying for the Mamavation challenge to be a part of the next campaign! I would just need to figure out how to take a video and upload it! lol.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Still losing, trying with the foods and exhaustion

The Bob Harper Live challenge, for me, seemed like a starting point. I got back into the routine of working out and watching what I was eating. I did well with the challenge and by the time the two weeks was up, I felt a lot better than I had in a very long time. I still feel pretty good. I noticed that I sort of slacked off with the workouts, the weather got colder and I wasn't running outside anymore, I didn't have the Bob Harper Live site to go to for workouts but I did remember a lot of the exercises that I loved. I slacked off a bit. Then, I realized that I missed how good I was feeling and I needed to get back to it. I worked out the other day and I am sore today! I love when I am sore because then I know I got a workout so I'm feeling good. I also have lost another half pound so that is a plus!! I am hoping to lose another 11 pounds overall to get to where I would love to be. I haven't really set a goal date though so I need to do that. I plan on continuing to eat healthy and make healthier choices overall in life. I want to remain active and feeling good so I am going to do what I need to in order to keep it up. I have some 5Ks coming up that I need to prepare for, the first one being in January so I need to get on with it!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Help Out If You Can

There are many families out there this holiday season that need our help. There are several toy drives going to make sure that children get gifts on Christmas morning. I love to see those drives be successful in fulfilling kids' wishes and dreams during the holidays. It really warms my heart. The Monkey Do Project also needs your help this holiday season. Here is a post about one way that we can all help their efforts. Many times the emphasis is put on toys and gifts for others during the holidays because a lot of times, that's what our minds and hearts first go ot. However, more than toys and gifts, a lot of times, people just want a nice, warm meal for their families. We talk about the Christmas cookies and all the fancy meals that we are having for our families. There are families who are wishing for a meal. That is sad to think about so I want to try to help get the word out that the Monkey Do Project is rasiing funds to give families in Appalachia just that, a warm meal to celebrate the holidays. Open your hearts to maybe provide one family a meal this Christmas by stopping over at the Monkey Do Project, here is the link to that post again. Thank you.

30 days, 30 posts

Well, I accomplished my goal of participating in Nablopomo! It seems like such an easy task but there ends up being days when I am frantically trying to remember to post. It also became harder when I was forced to rely on my phone to post. It is not easy to do. My phone is a smartphone but it is not quite up to speed to what I am used to. I am definitely thankful for my smartphone though so I was able to make it to the end with this challenge. So, for anyone else out there, how did you do? Did you make it the entire month?!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Fun

Today was Lincoln's holiday shop in school. The PTO sets up a small store in the school gym so the kids can shop for their families. The kids get so excited and they have a great time. It is one of my favorite events to volunteer for because the kids make it so magical. The items range from bad to really nice and some of the parents are shocked when they get to the register and it ends up being over $50! I really love that they make sure that the kids that can't afford to really spend a ton of money on gifts are still able to participate. One little boy had only $5.00 to spend on his entire family and he was able to do it. He felt so proud to be buying gifts for everyone and it warmed my heart. I really enjoyed being there today to see all the excitement and joy on all those little faces. I allowed Lincoln to shop because it is exciting for him but last year, I took the kids to Five Below to shop for each other so that they could get some nicer things and it was still less expensive. They enjoyed that and I am planning on taking the older kids there again this year to pick out something for each other. Jada is also doing a secret Santa thing with her friends and they put the limit at $10 so she is planning on making up a gift basket or going to Five Below for that as well.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I got our local small magazine that is sent out quarterly to our community. Inside I found the article about my husband and I! I am wondering how many people will see it and ask me about it. It is kind of strange to see our picture inside and our story featured about how we met. I really love our story and I will keep telling it to whomever will listen because in my heart, I know that God brought us together and He knew all those years ago what He was doing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Moving Forward

I turned in a job application today at the local grocery store. I realized that the hours I am able to work are considered abnormal because I am able to work late at night rather than daylight hours. It really doesn't matter to me what I do, if I am earning money, I am happy. That is the point of a job, right?! So hopefully I will be hearing back from them. If not, I am assuming it is because of my availability. O did put on the application that I am available all weekend so maybe that will Help.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Five More Years

Today I went to the doctor to renew my birth control.  For me, this means five more years of stress free living and not worrying about getting pregnant.

Part of me is sad that there will be no more babies for us because I would love to have one more but it just isn't going to happen.

So, I'm good for five years and no baby worries here

Sunday, November 25, 2012

When Friends are Family

We have a network of friends that we call Family which is probably pretty common for many people. We go on vacations together and see each other pretty frequently. I love this core group of good people that we surround ourselves with. We all have a great time together and our kids are all good friends as well. I love that we can go to each others houses and feel comfortable . I think we are also teaching our kids that it is important to have good friends that you can rely on and spend quality time with. We try to get together each week and during football season we do. Lately we have been going over to our one frieands house, he is probably our closest friend. We enjoy just having a few drinks and watching movies while the kids play.  these easy gatherings are becoming my favorite part of being a grownup!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lazy Days

When the kids don't have school anwd we have along weekend, I think I tend to slack off of housework and I tend to lounge a lot more. I enjoy just hanging out and watching watching TV or just relaxing. That is whatbwebhave done all day today.

Friday, November 23, 2012

To Open Myself Up Or Not

I notice that a lot of people now have blog fan pages on Facebook.  I know a ton of people that do and it opens a lot of readership but I don't know if I am quite ready for that.  My blog is not private and I do Google+ it a lot but I am not sure if I want to open myself up to that many people yet. 

I have thought about it and I have even started the process a few times but then I don't finish.  I'm not sure what exactly is holding me back.  It's not that I have anything to hide or that I don't want people to read my blog.  For some strange reason, it is a huge leap for me and I don't really know why. 

Maybe it is because my husband is not thrilled about my blogging.  He doesn't really understand nor enjoy the fact that I am sharing our life with other people. Nobody needs to know our business. 

I understand his point, he even hates Facebook and can't stand when someone goes up to him and talks about something I've posted.  It drives him crazy.  I'm sure he would feel differently if I were making money from my blog or Facebook page though.  

I am still considering opening up and creating that page but for now, I think I will just keep it all here and enjoy the readership I have now. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I am wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you are able to spend some time with those you love and are thankful for.  I will be spending the day with my family, running a virtual 5K with my Mamavation ladies, going to my sister's house to eat, laugh and eat some more.  Yes, I am running a 5K then going to eat.  It's not counter productive.  I am running and burning calories so I can use more for all my eating. ;)

One thing that I think is important is that we shouldn't necessarily save all our thankful moments for one day.  Tell someone each day that you are thankful to have them in your life.  Be thankful daily for all your blessings.  Share blessings with others every single day and recognize that we take things for granted far too much. 

I am thankful for so many things.  I am healthy, I have 3 great kids and a wonderful husband who all love me unconditionally.  Even on the days when I am less than deserving.  They are my life, my rock and my inspiration.  We are lucky to have a roof over our heads, warmth in our home and food on the table. 

I often think of those that are less fortunate than we are and how they handle this time of year.  Those that are alone and don't have warmth in their homes, clean clothes on their backs and food to eat.  We need to keep those people in our hearts and help them when we can.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Thank you for your friendship, your love and your kindness.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wish Lists

One of my requirements for the holidays is probably much like any other parents'  I'm sure.  I make my kids write out their wish lists.  I love to not only see what they are hoping for because isn't it sort of magical.  That is where the first sign of the magic of the season is for me, to see them think about what they are wishing and hoping for.  I love to see their gears turning and thinking about all the things that would make them happy. 

My kids have always been pretty good about not asking for very expensive things.  Yes, they are kids so they put one big ticket item on their list and some years we are able to get them those items.  Last year, the older kids got pretty much every single thing on their lists, that included iPod Touches.  They were thrilled but not only with that gift but about all of them. 

This year the older two have written a list and they are pretty simple.  Jada has asked for nail polish, makeup, art supplies and she would love to get some baking supplies to start baking.  Chuckie has asked for football cards and Legos.  That is it, folks.  They know that we can't give them the moon and so they decided that they don't need the big, expensive, gotta-have-it items that most kids are asking for.  I love these kids so much.  Although it is a tough lesson to learn, it is a lifelong lesson.  I feel both guilty and okay about them learning that life won't always be sunshine and roses. 

They did both want laptops and believe me, if it wer possible, I would totally get them those. However, there are other holidays where that can be possible.  Christmas isn't the only holiday in a year's time. 

Lincoln wants a few things but he hasn't written out his list yet.  He wrote one out for my mom but not for me. I have some idea of what to get him but he is very easy, he would be happy with anything, especially cars, action figures, superheroes, usual boy things. 

Chuck and I are not going to exchange gifts this year, which is totally fine with me, I really don't need anything and there hasn't been anything that I've said, "Oh, I really want that!!" I can't think of one thing that I would ask for. I really just enjoy seeing the smiles on my kids' face as they open their gifts and take part in the magic of the holiday. 

What is on your wishlist this year?  I love hearing what people want and what they get.  It's all so exciting!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

MAMAVATION MONDAY: (a day late) Workouts, the scale and goals

I have been keeping up with my workouts and really enjoying all that Bob Harper offers, I haven't found a workout yet that I haven't liked.  They are all such a good calorie burning, muscle tiring, sweat inducing workout!

I haven't really enjoyed the scale.  While I don't see the scale number going down, I feel a change in my body.  I feel I am getting stronger and my waistline on my jeans are a little looser.  I was starting to get really discouraged about the lack of changes in the numbers on the scale but I just have to keep moving and knowing that eventually, I will see a change. 

My goals for this week:  Keep moving!  I want to work out every single day.  I may be taking advantage of the warmer weather again and go running everyday after I drop Lincoln off at school.  I can stop at the track and get in at least 3 miles everyday.  I want to get my time down on a 5K so this should help me do just that.  I am going to try to continue to eat healthy.  I know that I will be eating more on Thanksgiving day so I am vowing not to feel guilty about that.  If I work hard all week, it will be okay.  I will just work harder after I eat.  I will have plenty of time to get in a good, hard workout on Thursday morning to help offset some of the calories and we may be having a dance-off when we get together on Thanskgiving day!

This post is sponsored by Dole and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

Monday, November 19, 2012

Whirlwind Ahead

This week always seems like the first week of the holiday season for me.  The week where I start paying a little more attention to the sales ads, when I am finalizing my shopping lists and really thinking about the things I want to get done fore the holiday season.

The weeks seem to rush by even faster and we all try to keep up.  There are only 5 weeks left before Christmas so the next few weeks will be a whirlwind of shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating, stressing and delighting in the season. 

While this year is less than cheerful for me, I'm trying to remail positive and not let on to the kids that I am miserable and not really knowing how I'm going to buy them gifts but I do know that somehow things work out in the end, they always do. 

I am still going to get a job and I found one that doesn't work for me but I would love for my husband to do, even though he already has a job.  This one would be so perfect for him but he is really liking his current job and he likes his coworkers. 

So, I have been applying for jobs and hoping that maybe I will get a call this week and I can begin my holiday shopping. 

So, to get back to my original point, (I'm so good at getting off topic :P) I love Thanksgiving and getting together with my family.....we are loud, we are fun and we laugh a ton.  I know it is going to be a stress reliever for me to just relax and enjoy the time together.  At the core of my life, is my family and it always has been and always will be.   I think we are planning a dance off using Just Dance for Wii.  We did this at our family Easter gathering and we had a blast.  If we are doing this, I'm wearing comfy pants instead of jeans and I'm stretching! We have a few good dancers in our family so it's on, like Donkey Kong!!!

Besides the food, Thanksgiving is a mix of family, football and fun.  Who doesn't love all that?! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekends are for Family

During the week, our days are go, go, go.  We are hardly ever just sitting around talking or having any fun with each other.  Although the days seem to fly by, I really look forward to the weekends when the pace slows and we get to sit around and talk and laugh and be silly together. 

We don't do much on the weekends now that football season is over and Chuckie won't be playing basketball this year.  We have been lounging in bed or hanging out in the living room watching movies as a family. 

I love the simplicity that the weekend brings.  We can enjoy each other and do things together that we can't during our hectic weekdays.  We can eat a big breakfast together or stay up late and all sleep in the living room. 

I try to make our weekends more about family so that we can keep that strong sense of foundation for the kids growing up.  I had that when I was growing up and we had fun, we learned a lot and we still have the sense of closeness.

What is your favorite thing about weekends?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Making it Work

I am so upset to say that all the at home jobs that I have been trying to make work, haven't been.  I mean, the one is good when calls are coming in but a lot of times when I am able to work, the calls aren't coming in.  I need those calls in order to get paid, it's not hourly. 

I have been thinking about when/how I can go to work during the day but honestly, that doesn't work.  My days are split with kindergarten drop off and different things I have going on. 

The only solution would be for me to work at night.  I mean, like in the middle of the night.  It won't go over well with my husband because he worries about my safety and wouldn't be able to sleep but I think he could get used to it.  I can do the overnight shift until Lincoln is in school full time and then I can either switch to daylight shifts or completely change jobs to a daylight job.  This will all be a balance for us.  See, I knew I was naming this blog what I did for a reason! ;)

I talked to someone on Facebook who does this and it works for her family and she is still able to be home for her kids during the day.  She goes to work while they are sleeping.  In my head, that could work for us. 

I am going to apply for this job this weekend and hopefully I can get in as soon as possible because we really need the money to come in or we won't be having a Christmas at all. At this point, we have no money for any gifts for the kids.  I know they would understand if we didn't get them anything but they shouldn't have to.  The weight shouldn't be on their shoulders, they are kids. 

So....wish me luck!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Monkey Do Project


I came across this organization through a group I am in on Facebook.  It is called the Monkey Do Project.  This is from their site:
The mission of The Monkey Do Project is simple:

The Monkey Do Project works to assist the most distressed areas of the Appalachian region by feeding the entire being: physical, spiritual and emotional. We are a nonprofit project that will donate the time and items needed to meet those basic physical, emotional and spiritual needs. We strive to be an ongoing “outreach” for the Appalachian community, and help plant seeds of growth and change within the community—homes, schools, churches and businesses. 
This organization relies on donations from all over the country to help those that need it.  What a great thing they are doing to change lives!
I am always trying to teach my kids about helping others when we can.  That there are people with less than what we have and if we can help them, we will.  We make donations to several organizations and I am happy to add Monkey Do Project to that list. 
You can see their ongoing donation needs list here.
This holiday season, as we all struggle to get our shopping lists done and the gifts wrapped, stop for a minute to think about those that are struggling to keep warm or struggling to have basic necessities for their families. Please help, if you can. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Can You Hear Me Now?

We all have cell phones these days and every company is a lot alike.  Each company has their plans, the special offers, their best phones ever, etc. 

We have been with Verizon Wireless for quite some time, I think at least ten years or so. It has been a long time.  We have had our issues with the company but lately, they have gotten so much worse.  Our rates have gone up without having any changes to our plan, our usage or our phones.  It is really frustrating. There is no explanation for the changes. 

We have decided to leave Verizon and we have been doing research on several different companies.  Can I just say how confused, frustrated and crazy I have gotten from doing this?  I have compared the plans, the usage, the data, the phones, the minutes and I have had to take several breaks from it because so many of these companies are so alike that I really have been at a loss as to who to go with. 

I am switching our carrier today and I am really hoping that this new company will be a better experience than what I have had lately with Verizon. 

I know that Verizon is pretty much at the top when it comes to wireless carriers but it just isn't for us anymore.  I have enjoyed their service and I have dealt with some amazing customer service people over the years.  I guess I was just getting attached and blowing off the charges going through the roof.  We should not have to pay over $200 a month for wireless services though! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Have a Happy Holiday Season with a Great Company!

Sexy Christmas gifts from EdenFantasys - the sex toys shop you can trust!

WARNING: Some content may be considered Adult Content, please use precaution when around small children or at work!

If you are looking for a gift for someone that has everything, why not get them something that they will really enjoy?!  If you have never visited Eden Fantasys, you need to. They have something for everyone.  They offer a wide variety of intimate products from lingerie and lotions, to sex toys and naughty things. 

The holidays are a great time to add a little spice to your life, why not start the new year off right with a rejuvenating experience for you and your significant other or spouse.  If you have hard limits when it comes to sex toys or personal pleasure items, then you have a lot of other choices such as massage oils, candles and lotions. 

If you have a bachelorette party coming up or a bridal shower, consider visiting Eden Fantasys for some lingerie for the bride.  There are plenty of choices when looking for a special gift.  If you want to wrap yourself up for that sexy holiday gift, you will have a hard time choosing just one piece because the options are many.  Here are some of my own favorites:

This set is sweet and sassy and isn't too revealing, which means your man or woman will enjoy unwrapping you.

Who doesn't love some red?  It's sexy and festive this holiday season and well, any season!  This set is sure to drive any man crazy!

This set is just beautiful.  It is classy, sexy and flattering.  I love the lace and bow on this along with the deep green color.

Eden Fantasys also has gift sets available if you want to have a variety of things in one package. Here are a few that would make a great gift:

In the reviews, this gift set is said to be great for beginners, it comes with a body mist, shave creme, lip balm, massage candle and gel.  These items are sure to help anyone get in the mood! The scent is pink cupcake, talk about dessert! ;)

This is the weekend kit.  It includes lubricant, body dust, massage oil, oil of love and a feather duster/tickler.  If you are going away for a weekend getaway, do just that, get away, to another place in your relationship!  With a label that says Kama Sutra on it, you cannot go wrong!

I understand that some people may be saying, why in the world would I need that, my significant other and I am perfectly happy without those things! Honestly, why wouldn't you want to try some of these things?  Add spice and a whole new level to your intimacy with the one you love. Explore things that drive you both wild or play out that fantasy that you have always had.  We all need to keep ourselves happy in every way.

I encourage everyone to explore and consider Eden Fantasys for all your needs, whether it's in the bedroom or not!

Disclaimer:  The opinions on this blog are my own.  I am receiving compensation for my honest opinion, however, I have not been prompted or scripted. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Passion

I worked in the local gym nursery this morning and I loved it. I have been subbing for the regular workers in there on an as needed basis and today I had a lot of fun. 

I had a total of nine kids in with me but not all at the same time, they came and went over a 3.5 hour period.  There was a good mix of kids but definitely more boys than girls. 

I got on the floor with some of them to play and went around picking up after some others.

I came to the realization that I do miss having a little toddler around.  They are so fun, so full of wonder and amazement.  They are so proud of themselves for the simplest of things and full of smiles. 

I don't miss that stage enough to have another baby though.  I will maintain my little kid fix by occasionally working at the nursery! Being around children is a passion of mine and I do want to work with kids more in the future when I have the time to do so. Right now, life is very hectic but if the opportunity arises for me, I will take it.

Our school district is looking for paraprofessionals to help out at the elementary schools but I am unable due to kindergarten being half day and my needing to drive Lincoln to school.  I would love to apply for the position though.  I think that if that flier goes out again next year, I am going to jump on the chance to do it.  I would love to go in to the schools and help the kids that need help.  To work one on one or in a small group with them, using compassion and patience. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Always Up for More Income

When you need to stay home and you don't have the professional training to do a full time job as your own boss, you always look for more ways to bring in an income. 

I came across Kitsy Lane recently and, of course, was intrigued.  Here was a company that you can sign up for, for free and earn a commission and all sales are based online.  Is it too good to be true?!

I am doing some research to see what I can find on this company to find out if it is legit and if it is, I will be shouting it from the rooftop because couldn't we all use some extra income for very little work?  I know it definitely sounds too good to be true!   I will dig up the scoop and get it for you guys and let you know what I find!

I found this article online and it seems like it may be legit but it is very new.  I signed up and I will see what happens.  The only personal information I gave them was my name, address, email address. No truly personal information went out to them.  If you end up with over $600/year in income they do need to get your social security information to issue you a 1099. 

So, who wants to join me in this new venture?!  You can click my link here to sign up!  I have nothing to lose at this point, only income to gain!

MAMAVATION MONDAY: 2 Week Challenge Ends, Thoughts and Wrap Up

So, I survived the Bob Harper Live 2 week challenge with Mamavation!  I have found that I really enjoy working out and it was so nice to get back into a routine of working out and living a healthier lifestyle. 
My stats are the same as last week so in the second week, there was no final change.  My numbers went up and down over the course of the week but I ended at the same stats. 
I feel like the second week was easier, the workouts were still very tough and I was always sweating and breathing heavy but I think I was getting stronger, which is always the goal.  I feel like I am on my way to a better body, a better self image and a better health evaluation. 
I know which exercises I love to do so I will be continuing to do them.  I find that I love when I am sore a day or two after working out because then I know that I worked hard and I am changing my muscles. 
I liked the two week challenge because it was like I was restarting my exercise routine and doing a 2 week challenge was manageable and it wasn't overwhelming to start off.  Had it been a six week challenge or so, I probably would have gotten bored with it.  I had fun and so now I know that I can continue to workout and enjoy the exercises I am doing. 

.“This post is sponsored by Hoopnotica and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway”

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beautiful Day

Here in western Pennsylvania, you really never know what kind of weather you will have.  We have had snow in October, 70+ degrees in February, it is just a mixed bag around here. 

Today, our temps will be 70+ so we are going to spend our day outside enjoying the sunshine and warmth while it lasts! 

What a beautiful way to spend our day of rest!  With family and sunshine!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Prepping for the Holidays

With a limited income, I am looking at ways to make extra money and so I do vendor shows and craft shows with my Scentsy business. Today, I will be at a local craft/vendor show hoping to sell some of my inventory and take orders.  It is a great way for me to get my business out there and to bring in sales. 

I am using my Scentsy money for holiday shopping this year so I hope I can bring in a good amount this year!

If you haven't checked out my Scentsy business yet, head on over and check out what we have to offer, there are gifts available for everyone, even the kids!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Four Days of Fun or Frustration

My kids are home for four days because of in service days at school.  They have a four day weekend.  This will either mean we will have fun or I will be frustrated.  I just never know how these days will go.  Will they fight all day, will they complain about being bored, will they find enough things to keep them occupied? 

I have a parent/teacher conference today and some errands to run so that will break up the day a bit for them.  I'm sure they are just itching to run to Staples with me....or not.  At least it will be a chance to get out of the house, right? 

This weekend is supposed to be beautiful, weatherwise, so they can spend some time outside getting rid of some energy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Holiday Gift Guide, of sorts

I am an independent consultant for Scentsy and I have a few things that I want to share with you all to help you if you are looking for gifts for some people and have run out of ideas.  Scentsy warmers make a great gift for teachers, paper boys, mail carriers, bus drivers, garbage men, hairstylists or anyone else that you might buy for. 

Scentsy offers so many different products that there are gifts in every price range.  I love the Scentsy Fragrance products because the available scents are so many and there are an abundance of wonderful scents for the fall/winter seasons. 

Here are a few of the great products you might want to think about getting for all those people on your list.

The fragrance foams, or antibacterial foams are Buy One, Get One Free!  That's right, you can stock up on stocking stuffers or make little gift baskets for those that you have to shop for!  There are a bunch of scents to choose from so they aren't just for women! Stock up on yours today for all the people in your life!

How cute is this warmer?!  It has a chalkboard area on it so that you and your kids can countdown the days until Christmas!  I love this because I always had a little chalkboard that I would hang up and use and it broke so this is on my own list this holiday season!
Our Scentsy Buddies are Buy One, Get One Free as well!  The buddies are stuffed animals with a zipper pouch in the back so that you can put in a Scent Pak to make the animal smell wonderfel when the kids are carrying them around!  You can choose the scent for the first buddy and Scentsy will choose the second scent for you (to help control inventory levels)!  If you have kids on your list, this is a great addition to their stuffed animal collection. These are also great for a baby shower, baby's first birthday, christening and any other excuse to give a stuffed animal! 
This is the warmer of the month for November which means that throughout the month of November, you can order this at 10% off!  Get yours today and add it to your holiday decor and enjoy the colorful lights when you turn it on!  They glow with the light inside the warmer to add a festive look to your home!

If you would like to order any of these products, host a party of your own so that you can earn these items for free or have any questions, feel free to visit my site at and take a look around!  I am always here for any questions or inquiries.  If you are looking for a source of extra money or would like to join my team, feel free to contact me also!  I would love to share the experience with you!

Monday, November 5, 2012

MAMAVATION MONDAY: Finished Week 1, Working Out, Weigh-In and Moving Forward

Okay, I finished Week one of the 2 week Bob Harper Live challenge through Mamavation!  I feel great and I think I am learning some things as far as workouts go. 
I have pushed myself every single day to get in a workout and really put forth the effort to get as much out of each workout as possible.  I have sweat everyday and been sore everyday and that is how I know that I am doing well.  If I wasn't sore, I would know that I wasn't working hard enough.
I will post my stats at the end to show my progress, I am really pleased so far with my progress!
Bob Harper really has great workouts and I am enjoying them.  On the days when a new circuit is not released, I love going in and checking out the Team Bob workouts and finding one that I want to try.  I have found some that I plan on doing and some that I want to do again.  I also really love the recipes.  I tried one lunch on Saturday and it was good.  I hope to try several more through the next month. 
Moving forward, my goal is to continue on with the workouts, continue to eat healthy and just be mindful of what I am doing or not doing so that I can benefit the most from this opportunity.
Starting Weight: 143.7lbs.                                  After Week 1:  141.9lbs.
Arms: L 11.5" R 11.5"                                        Arms: L 11"  R 11"
Waist:  34in.                                                        Waist:  33in.
Hips: 37.5in.                                                        Hips: 37.5in.
Thighs: L 22, R 22                                               Thighs: L22, R 22
I am happy with the results so far, I am actually surprised, quite frankly, I didn't think I would notice such a difference so soon.  I thought that maybe after the two weeks, maybe I would lose a pound or two but to lost almost 2 pounds after only one week.  I'm excited and I can't wait to see what the results are after the challenge is over and then again after a month!  I am motivated and ready to really kick some butt!!

 “This post is sponsored by Bengay Zero Degrees and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway” 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trick or Treat Hangover

Last night was trick or treating in our area because it was delayed due to Hurricane Sandy. We always go to a friend's house because they live in a great neighborhood for trick or treating. The kids got a lot of candy, we all got a lot of exercise walking all over the neighborhood (at least 100 houses) and we all had fun. Today, I feel like I have a trick or treating hangover. I am tired, a bit sore from carrying heavy bags of candy and I have a headache. The positive to today is that we got our extra hour of daytime and we are getting together with good friends for the Steeler game! We get time with them and I don't have to cook dinner. I am going to try to eat as healthy as possible while I am there but I can't make any promises because it will be gameday food which we all know is not always the best!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It Seems Strange

Chuckie's football team lost their playoff game last Saturday. It was the game that determined who would be going to the Superbowl and they lost. It was tough to watch and the boys were very upset. We watched as several 11, 12 and 13 year old boys cried as they walked off the field. It seems strange now to not have a football game to go to on Saturday. I am sort of thankful though since it is so cold outside! I will be missing watching Chuckie play though and I already look forward to next season.

Friday, November 2, 2012

I Made It

Well, it is Friday and I woke up and worked out this morning. That means that I worked out with Bob Harper every single morning since Monday and that was a goal of mine for this week. I feel great, I still have a lot of work to do and I plan on working out again tomorrow morning. I had to take my Lincoln to the doctor this morning because of a pesky cough that just will not go away. I was relieved to hear that it is not pneumonia or an ear infection but it is a sinus infection. He gets to have a few weeks of amoxicillin to clear out the infection and make his way back to better. I am so excited for this weekend. I can't wait to relax and do fun things all weekend like Trick or Treating, getting together with friends and then the Steeler game on Sunday with friends. Oh and not to mention the extra hour of sleep we will get when we turn the clocks back an hour!! Woo hoo! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's That Time of Year.

I've been at this blogging game for quite some time and so I have done this a few times and I think I only succeeded once!  It's NaBloPoMo!  What the heck is that, you ask?!  It is National Blog Posting Month. 

Throughout the month of November, you aim to publish a post every single day of the month of November and you are entered to win prizes and you will be added to a blogroll of hundreds of blogs.  It is just something fun that I like to try to do.  As I said, I have only been able to hold up to my end of the bargain once!

It is a lot tougher than it seems.  I usually get caught up on the weekends with whatever we are doing and forget to post.  Are you gonna try it?!

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

MAMAVATION MONDAY: Week 1, Day 1 Thoughts

Today marks Week 1, Day 1 of the 2 week challenge and I just finished my first workout provided by Bob Harper, trainer on The Biggest Loser.  I really didn't know what to expect.  I looked at the circuit outline and watched the demo videos to make sure that I would do the exercises correctly. I made it through the entire workout but it was tough!!
When you look at the exercise, they arent' anything complex or not crazy enough to confuse you, they start off pretty simple...looking.  By the third set of the Part B workout, I was exhausted and not sure if I could pull it off.  I did and I feel great.  I know, for a fact, that I will be sore later or tomorrow but it is well worth it.  I am worth it. 
I am doing this challenge for me.  I want to change my body, my life, my health.  I don't have any health problems right now but I am not getting younger.  I want to work hard now to live a lifestyle that leads to problem free health. I want to show my kids that it is important to take care of ourselves and do what we can to stay healthy and fit. 
I took my starting weight and measurements and I'm hoping to see improvements at the end of the next two weeks.  I know I will feel better.
We aren't required to announce our starting measurements but I am:
Weight: 143.9lbs.
Arms: L 11.5, R 11.5
Waist: 34
Hips: 37.5
Thighs: L 22, R 22
I can't believe I just did that!!  Ack for accountability! ;)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nervous and Excited

Monday begins the 2 week health and fitness challenge that I am doing through Mamavation!  I am nervous and excited at the same time. 

On one hand, here is a great opportunity to work with the Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser using his site with daily workouts, food suggestions and recipes, healthy living advice and so much more.  I am so lucky, it is like having my very own dietician and personal trainer!!  Something that I really need and have wanted for a long time.  I am so thankful to Mamavation for the opportunity!

On the other hand, I am so nervous that I am going to struggle to keep up.  I have a very busy schedule but I always try to take time out for myself using the mantra, "you are worth it." I will be doing the daily workouts in the mornings and using his advice for my eating.  I hope I am strong enough to do the things he wants me to!  I think most times it is mind over matter with exercise.  You can be totally exhausted and your mental encouragement allows you to finish big, or you can be mentaly defeated and the struggle is far worse. 

I'm going in totally pumped for this chance to change a lot of things about myself and learn more about myself at the same time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I've made no secret about my concerns with Lincoln and his struggles at school.  I am still hearing from his teacher that "he is struggling, he needs a lot of work, he will fall behind", etc.  It has been driving me crazy and I keep working with him.  That is not going to change.

I am seeing progress so we are really wondering why I keep hearing that he doesn't know too much.  That he really needs a lot of work with his letter recognition, letter sounds, etc. 

His first letter recognition test at school, he knew none.  At that time, I panicked and couldn't believe that he knew none of the letters at all.  That is when we went on a mission to improve this situation.  We work every single day on his letters and sounds, numbers, patterns, rhyming, etc.  Anything the teacher says he needs to practice, we work on. 

I have no problem with sitting down with him and teaching him, practicing with him and watching him as he learns and masters new letters.  I see improvement. 

The next assessment they did in school, he knew 5 of his letters.  Thank goodness because I knew that he knew some of his letters. However, I also knew that he knew more than those five letters because I work with him everyday.  I told him that he needs to really try hard and think about the letters and make sure he tells the lady the letters that he knows because it is a very important test. 

I have been using letter flashcards and he is learning more and more of them. I lay them out on the floor in random order and he gets to go through one by one and say the letter name and if he knows it, he gets to keep it.  When we are all through, he counts how many he knew and it is so very exciting.  He is up to 13 that he knows and that is amazing. I have to say that it is just as satisfying to me as it is to him because we both work hard to get there.  The ones that he does not know, we go through and I try to teach him the letters in a way that he will remember.  For example, Z is zig zag Z because it looks like a zig zag line.  J is hook your sister, because it looks like a hook and his sister's name is Jada or Jay for short.  It seems to be working. I don't have clues like that for all the letters but some of them. 

His last assessment, he knew 9 letters and I know he knows more but I am happy to see progress in school as well.  I am probably going to email the reading specialist that he works with and just check in with her on her opinion of his progress and what she sees. 

I honestly do not know if I can trust his teacher's opinion or assessment because I have learned a few things that are unfavorable to the situation.  I think she may be biased and she is struggling herself on teaching this classroom.  There are children in the classroom with special needs and I don't think she is handling it very well.

I am going to wait until after a parent/teacher conference to raise any concerns to the principal or administration. I don't have any problem with raising a concern higher up than her because it is for the children in that class that need more support rather than discouragement when they are in the prime learning stages of their lives.  Having a bad kindergarten experience can affect their entire school career.  I don't want that to happen to my child or anyone elses.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Getting the Hang of Things, Goals, Workouts

When I first heard about Mamavation, I really wasn't quite sure what the heck it was.  I just saw that my friend was posting the hashtag on Twitter and posting about health and fitness and challenges.  I was intrigued and wanted to know more. I read a little about it on their website and that was it. I was so busy and really didn't have time to commit to all the stuff that it entailed. 
Then, I got serious.  I wanted to see my former self again, I wanted to get myself into better shape and health.  I took a second look at Mamavation and I decided that, yes, I am worth the time to pledge.  I am worth the dedication it takes to get back to where I want to me.  I am worth it.
So here I am.  I am now a part of this inspiring, supportive, wonderful community.  I was asked to be a Sista of the Mamavation. I couldn't be any happier or honored to accept the invitation. 
I am still getting the hang of things with Mamavation, there is a lot of information and ways to connect that I need to just keep learning and getting it better. 
I am starting with a few goals this week. 
I hope to continue with my arm workouts each morning and evening.  I have done very well with these with exception to this weekend.  We were on the go all weekend and I didn't get them in but today is a new day.  That is an important lesson...don't look back, look forward with your eyes on the prize. 
I plan to do a cardio workout each day this week.  I will be rotating different workouts found on Pinterest so that I stay engaged and don't get bored. 
I would love to go running one or two days this week as the weather here is going to be beautiful!  We are going to be in the 70's here all week.  If I do run, it will be interval training through the Couch to 5K program, I use the app on my phone for that so it is convenient. 
If I don't run, I may get in a bike ride.  I haven't gotten on my bike in quite awhile but I do love the breeze and sunshine so what better way to enjoy that than on a bike?
As far as eating, I am learning the art of calorie counting.  I have never used this method before so it is new to me and I am also using an app for that.  My friend uses MyFitnessPal and so I loaded that onto my phone and I used it on Thursday as a test run and it was easy and is such a great way to do it.  I will use this week as a sort of baseline to see what I need to change, what my bad habits are, where I get most of my calories from, etc. A science experiment of sorts. lol.
So those are my goals for this week.  I really hope to get all that in this week.  I have so much going on in my life right now but as I said before, I am worth it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Small Steps to Big Leaps

 I posted my fitness/weight goals and I have gotten started. 

I have really been utilitizing Pinterest for my home workouts.  It is amazing how you can find so many different workouts to do and you could do a different one every single day if you wanted to.  I haven't been doing anything crazy like the Insanity workouts but I've been doing small, short workouts that really target certain areas or get my heart going.

I did find an arm workout that I really like and I've been doing that every single morning for almost a week.  I haven't been keeping track of measurements so I have no idea if there is a difference in my arms yet but I like the workout so I will continue that for awhile until I feel that I can add more weight on to it. I am doing it now with 2lb. weights to start out.  I don't want to start out by doing too much because then I will be more likely to give it up. 

This is my arm workout that I do daily:

I usually start out with this then I find a total body, thigh, lower body, core or any workout that I feel like doing.  This morning I did a good workout that got my heart rate up.  I would say it was a total body workout as it worked my arms, abs, legs, and core. 

Here is the workout I did this morning after my arm workout

It was tough and I was sweating and breathing hard but that is a good thing.  That is what I want.  I want a workout that I know is making me push myself. 

I feel great after this workout and I know that I can go through the rest of the day knowing that I accomplished this tough one.  I look forward to working out again tomorrow.  I may start doing the arm workout again before bed at night.  Just for something a little extra.

So far, my weight has remained the same.  I am okay with that because I know this is not an overnight process.  This will take time.  I have a long range goal and I know the road is long and winding, but I can do this!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stepping It Up

When I quit working full time back in June, I had an online job lined up and it was going to be awesome, I was going to work and make great money and well, I was excited. 

It didn't work out.  Ever since then, I have been looking for a part time or full time job that I could do from home so that I would still be able to take Lincoln to school everyday and also be there for my older kids.  That was my number one job, mom.

I finally found something that is going to work well for me, at least I hope.  It sounds promising and I didn't have to pay anything to start this job, like many of the other proposed work-at-home jobs I found.  I will be working from home as a call center agent for a company that helps with higher education. 

I start training today and will start my actual job tomorrow....on the first day of the new pay cycle so it works out well.

This new job will be 25 or more hours a week so nothing too overwhelming.  It does mean that I will be staying home more in the evenings and Chuck gets to do more of the kids taxiing! Which is totally fine with me! 

I really hope this works well for me.  I have to split my work day up into two separate sections since Lincoln is in half day school but I think to next year when I can be working during the day, uninterrupted and actually add hours to my days.  Yet, I will still have the flexibility to be there for the kids and go on field trips or help at holiday shops, etc.  Living my dream.

Aside from all of that, my Scentsy business seems to be picking up.  I have had more shows, more events and parties lately and I am happy about that.  I joined Scentsy 2 years ago and I haven't worked it the way I wanted to until lately so it is nice to see it taking off a bit!  Anyone need anything Scentsy, let me know, I got you!

Life is looking up....slowly but surely, it's looking up!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Reclaiming Me

If you are a mom, you know how easy it is to lose yourself.  We are so busy taking care of everyone else that we get lost in the bottles, diapers, preschool, projects, sports, activities, running errands and 4372980432 other things that somehow we forget who we are. 

I am no different.  I have been a mom for 12, almost 13 years and the sense of myself has ebbed and flowed a few times.  I have lost myself, found myself and lost myself again.  I have been lost for a few years.  I was busy working full time outside of the home and being a taxi driver, nurse, teacher, cook, therapist, etc.  You get the point. 

I have been watching my friend, Kat, for awhile now through Facebook and Twitter.  She has found herself in a huge way.  She has been working so hard and so diligently to lost a lot of weight and live a healthier lifestyle.  She is a true inspiration to me and I want to follow in her footsteps. 

Four years ago, I started going to a gym and working out.  I was dedicated and my husband joined me in working out and with his help and guidance, along with some great classes at the gym, I lost 22lbs in six months.  I was so happy, I was so proud and I was in the best shape I had been in since high school....maybe even better shape than high school!  I felt amazing. 

Then, I started working full time and was going to the gym less and less.  I was eating more and more and working out maybe one day a week.  A drastic drop from the 5 days a week I was going. 

My husband just started a new job and in six weeks, he has lost a total of 27lbs. and he looks good.  He hasn't been working out but apparently, the job itself is enough of a workout to help him lose that much.  Another factor is his drinking.  He wasn't an alcoholic by any means but he drinks waaayy less now that he needs to be up extra early and works long hours.  There just isnt' enough downtime.  Anyway, he has lost this weight and he is going to start working out soon so that he can tone up his muscles and maybe even bulk up a bit.  He is going to look amazing. 

I need to get there too.  I need to get some weight off and tone up.  I need to feel good again and be healthy and show my kids what it means to life a healthy lifestyle and remain active so that I can keep up with them! 

I have some goals already, nothing too extreme or unrealistic.  In fact, they are very atainable. 

My goals:

* Lose 11 pounds to a goal weight of 130lbs. 
* Tone my arms and legs
* Strengthen my core and feel those abs again

Nothing too crazy, right?! 

I can do this.  I have done it before and I know I can do it again.  One thing I have this time around and I didn't last time was Pinterest.  Yes, I said Pinterest. I have found some really great workouts on there that I can do at home and that only take out a half hour of my day!  I will have a membership to my gym again so that will also help.  I will be able to workout and run at the gym when the weather is bad.  I can go there while Lincoln is in school in the afternoons. 

So, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, please excuse all the workout or fitness posts you will be seeing.  I know it can be annoying but honestly, for me, it is a way for me to stay accountable and posting about it helps me. 

I'm on my way back to being me, the me that I can be proud of and show the world.  The me that is important and confident.  The me that can walk around with my head held high and maybe even inspire others.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Taste of Yesterday

Well, my husband did it!  He played his heart out at the alumni game and he lasted the entire game! 

He had to be there early to get all the equipment and get ready.  When we got there, there were several of the younger guys there and when they saw Chuck walking toward them, there were whispers but I could hear them.  It was all I could do to not bust out laughing. 

"Oh my gosh, that's Chuck!"  "Hey guys, Chuck is here, oh my gosh!"

You see, to them, Chuck is like a legend.  I know that sounds weird but for years the coaches mentioned his name, they told stories about him and these kids were a lot younger and have never met him, only heard of him.  It really is strange but really funny to me. 

I was nervous about this game.  He was playing with kids that are a lot younger than him and he hasn't practiced or worked out for this game.  He was going in and winging it.  It's not that he's overweight or anything, In fact, he's only 20lbs. heavier than he was in high school.  I wish I could say the same!

When the game started, I got really nervous and anxious to see him out there.  They put him in for the first defensive play and he went in as a linebacker.  The play starts, he goes up against a big kid and he ended up on his butt!  We all laughed in the stands and I watched to make sure that he wasn't hurt. 

He played a lot during the entire game, he played all four quarters!  He survived!  I am so proud of him.  He helped with a few of the tackles and he ran his butt off. 

The kids thought it was really strange to see their dad out on the field playing but I know that they loved it.  When the announcer called his name after he helped make a tackle, we all went crazy cheering but I heard the kids yelling, "Yeah Dad!!!" Best cheers of the night, by far. 

He plans on playing again next year but he plans on working out up until that game so he can be in better shape and maybe even run the ball a bit next year!  He had a lot of fun and will be sore today but in the end, he did it and I really couldn't be prouder.  I really enjoyed watching him out there, I have missed seeing him play and it brought back so many memories of what was years ago but only seems like yesterday. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Just One More Time

My husband played high school football years, sixteen years ago to be exact. Wow, there's nothing like putting it in writing to make you feel old!  Yikes!

Chuck was good at football, he broke a few school records, held a few titles in the football league in the state. He was what you could call a local high school football star.  When you mentioned his name, people knew who you were talking about.  He was being recruited by many, many colleges to go play for them.  He didn't.  I can't quite say why he didn't pursue it all.  It was all so exciting and fun but he didn't go after it.  (I was there through this whole time period because we've been together since I was 15.)

My parents often said that he should have gone on as a walk on with an NFL team (obviously the Steelers, is there any other team?!) to see what would happen.  I swear I think my mom still thinks he can do it, not realizing that he is considered old

So, fast forward to the present.  He is a family man, with a wife and three kids.  He works full time to provide for his family.  Some days I'm not sure if he thinks about what could have been had he gone after a football career.  If he could have made it.  I really don't know.  His high school rival played in the NFL and Chuck actually beat him out as Offensive Player of the Year for the Allegheny Conference.  That guy's name is LaVarr Arrington.  Yes, him.  If you don't know who he is, look him up.  Of course, I believe that he had the skill and talent and determination to make it in the NFL but then again, I am his wife so why wouldn't I?

This weekend is our alma mater's alumni football game.  The kid that has organized it has asked Chuck to play in the past and he was just never able to because of work.  He decided to play this year.  So, on Sunday, Chuck is going to get dressed in full equipment as this is a full contact game and see what he can do.  He is in fairly good shape, he stays active, can just go out and run 5 miles and play backyard ball with the guys.  This is sort of different though.  This game, he is going to be playing with much younger guys and against our high school rival.  I would hope that they are not out for blood or anything.  I'm hoping that Chuck doesn't get injured but I think he will know when he needs to stop.  He is taking Monday off of work just in case haha. 

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a huge football fan.  Especially when I am watching my son play.  He has his dad's talent and skill and often times, Chuck tells him that he is actually better than he was.  I am beyond excited to watch my husband play football again.  He may not be the star he once was on the field but he will always be that star to me.  I think he is excited to just go out on the field one more time and have some fun. 

There are a lot of people going to watch the game and I hope they can show our local rivals what they are made of.   The kids and I will be there cheering Chuck on for what may be his last football game he will ever suit up for......until he decides to play again next year! Ha!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Keeping Busy

I wasn't making it up when I said that I am enjoying being home with the kids and making sure the household is being run and everything is going smoothly.  However, I do get a little bored once the big kids are in school and Lincoln and I are here by ourselves.  He is perfectly happy to sit quietly and play by himself or watch a show or two...after we do his practice lessons.  I end up on the computer just browsing around between loads of laundry or sweeping or whatever else needs done. 

My friend runs a local gym (the one I used to go to) and she sent me a message last week about the gym needing someone on an as needed basis to work in the nursery.  I told her that I am available because they need someone in the mornings during the week and it just happens that the hours are before I need to take Lincoln to school. She said she would give my name to the girl that runs the nursery scheduling.  So, basically, I will be filling in for the nursery workers when someone can't make it.  It's only a few hours a day, when they need me so it's certainly not anything that is regular and I'm not going to make a huge amount of money or anything but it's something I can do for a few extra bucks occasionally. 

The one perk is that I will have a free gym membership!  That is awesome and I will get a lot of use out of it when the colder weather comes.  That means I can do all the classes that I love or go on the Precor machine that is my best friend. 

I'm pretty excited about it.  The nursery scheduler called me today and I have to go in sometime this week so she can show me what needs done when I am working, which is only a few things and I have been in there tons of times when the kids were younger and I was at the gym 4-5 days a week working out.  So, just one more exciting thing that is going for me. 

I'm so thankful my friend thought of me. She had asked me several years ago if I was interested in a nursery position and back then, the timing just wasn't right so I'm happy to be available now!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Pain of Comparison

Every parent does it. There really is no way of getting around it, when we are parents, we tend to compare our kids to others' kids.  It's natural, we are curious about whether or not our kids are developing and learning on pace with everyone else.

I try not to do it too much because, honestly, it will tear you apart. You will start to wonder if you went wrong somewhere or why others aren't doing what yours is doing.

We had to make a huge decision when it came time for kindergarten registration this year.  Should we or should we not sign Lincoln up for kindergarten? Is he ready for kindergarten? Can he keep up with the other kids and learn everything that all the other kids are? It weighed on my heart a lot.  I didn't want to make the wrong decision, I didn't want to be the cause of either his struggling to keep up or his boredom with it not being enough. There is a fine line when you have an end of summer birthday.  I hear it is even more of a fine line with boys because of the maturity. 

We decided to send him to kindergarten.  He hasn't been excelling but he hasn't been lost yet.  His teacher sends home practice pages every Friday for reinforcement (for all the students, not just Lincoln) and he is enjoying doing those, not realizing that it is helping him in the process.  He is working hard and although he hasn't mastered letter recognition and number recognition, he is learning.  I have been working with him daily for at least 45 minutes to an hour with practice pages, flash cards and online programs.  I am breaking down the letters into smaller groups instead of doing the entire alphabet.  It seems to be working.  He is excited to learn and he wants to do well. 

We received a letter this past Friday to say that he qualifies for extra help in the Title I reading program where he will receive extra help in the classroom.  There is already a paraprofessional in his classroom that helps him sometimes but this group will be even more help.  Lincoln has not be diagnosed with a learning disability nor has he had to be set up with an IEP but he is receiving the help he needs while in school to keep up. 

So while I am on Twitter or Facebook and I read about all these other kids that are doing amazingly well and are advanced, I can't help but wonder why Lincoln isn't like that.  I know that all kids are different and learn at different paces but it's tough sometimes to remember that.  I know several people who have 2-3 year olds who seem to know more than Lincoln does as far as letters and numbers.

It may seem ridiculous, but I can't help but feel guilt over the fact that my older  two kids had me at home when they were little and this was never an issue.  They learned all their letters and numbers in preschool and they were fine going into kindergarten.  They also were older though when they did that.  I can't help but wonder if it is because I wasn't at home to teach him or take him to preschool.  Is there a direct correlation between my not being home and Lincoln not knowing these things?  My Mother-in-Law has mentioned a few times that she thinks so.  (This is not a reason to bash her or say anything mean about her, she is just offering an opinion and one that I was already thinking.) But that breaks my heart.  I mean, it crushes my heart to think that I am not the only one who thinks this way.  She says that the older two had the best of me when I was at home with them and doing more with them when they were little and Lincoln hasn't gotten that.  He didn't have the best of me.  It hurts.big.time.  How do I let go of that?  I don't know if I will ever be able to.  I have cried to Chuck about this and he tells me that it is not my fault and he's sure that isn't why, that I have always been a great mom whether I was working or not.

Whether he struggles in the future or is able to breeze along in his education, I don't know if I can let go of the thought that it was because of me.  Yes, I had to work in order for my family to have the things we have and we needed me to work to pay our bills. We were lucky I could work to do all that we did.  I understand that but it doesn't lessen the hurt.

My advice to new moms is always that they should listen to advice and criticism, but to still do what they feel is right.  They are the parent and no matter what everyone else is doing or saying, they will know what is right for their family.  I should add on to that to say not to compare your children with others because it will tear you apart. 

My kids are smart, all of them.  We are blessed with well-rounded kids that have their own talents, strengths and weaknesses that make them individuals.  I wouldn't change my kids for anything or anyone else.  I just hope that we made the right decision with Lincoln and that I can quit comparing him to others.  He is young for his class...possibly and most likely the youngest one in his class, but he is having fun and he is learning. 

Parenthood is tough....definitely tougher than any job I have ever had.  I couldn't imagine a better job though.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Finding My Groove

It seems like I am just now getting back to the "old me" that I was years ago.  I have been at home with the kids since the end of June but I think that the school year has gotten me back to a familiar spot.  I am back to being organized, having a routine, wanting to do things at the schools, etc. 

I think that the best me is the one that runs a tight ship at home, is there at school for the kids, sees them off to school and is there when they get home.  I enjoy this life. I enjoy being mom before anything else.  I was always mom when I was working full time outside of the house but I am a better mom here at home.  I am not overly stressed, I am not exhausted every single day and I just have more patience.  I think it is because I have the time to enjoy the little moments. 

The kids definitely enjoy having me home as well.  Lincoln and I are back to being buddies again.  When I was working, he was home with Daddy and they were two peas in a pod and there was no time for Mommy.  Now, we have our moments when we lie in bed and tickle each other or when we take walks to the horse stables down the road and he tells me crazy stories. 

I am finding that I am getting involved in the schools and it feels good.  This is where I am supposed to be.  I was happy when I was first back home with the family but I am even more so now that I am involved and things are running smoothly.  I am finding my groove again.

Chuck is working long hours and I miss him terribly while he's gone but our family dynamic is back.  It feels so good. 

We've had some rough few months with so many downfalls but we are on the upswing now.  We are crawling out stronger than we were before which is a positive side effect from struggles in life, right? 

I still feel a lot of guilt for not being at home with the kids for the three years that I was working full time and more guilt about not being here for Lincoln, in particular, but I'm here now and they say it's never too late so I'm hoping that that is the case.  I hope he knows that even though I wasn't here during the day, everyday, I still love him just the same.  That I had to do what I had to do for our family. 

I can't even say how happy I am that I got my groove back.  It feels so good.  Just call me Stella! ;) 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Release and Relax

For years I blogged about myself, my family, what we were doing, what was happening in our know, normal blogging stuff.

As with everyone else on this planet, I got busy. Busy with work, kids, family stuff, house stuff and all the other stuff that holds us back from doing some thing that we love.

I stopped blogging because of being busy and also because there are people in my life that have made me overly cautious about my writing. I don't want to offend people and sometimes when I would write I would spew words that hurt people. Honestly, I didn't really care when I was writing because like many other people, my blog was a place where I could vent my frustrations and feelings and let it all out. However, that isn't really the way to go about things when you hurt people in the process. Basically, I was a bitch and I was found out and there was a lot of talking about me behind my know, the same thing I had been doing online. I'm not proud of my behavior by any means but I will say that writing can be therapeutic and sometimes I would write things just to get it off my chest.
After all that happened, I was really put off by writing and honestly feared hurting people with my big,fat, writing. Well, you know what I mean!

We have had a lot of crazy life stuff happening in the past few months and I found myself having anxiety issues and I feel that is, in large part, due to my not releasing my feelings and thoughts. Because I didn't have a blog, I took to typing Word documents so that I could release my feelings and get all the frustrations and anxiety out on the table. You know what? It helped more than any other tactic I have ever tried. Writing is my release, my therapy. It just is.

I hate to censor myself but I guess in a way, I need to. I need to avoid any hurt feelings or grudges due to my opinions or feelings which kind of sucks but not writing sucks even more.
So here I am, this is me. I'm back and ready to share my life again. I'm ready to rebuild relationships, share my family's news and all that I am with the world!