I Can Do Shots

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Whew! I had to take all of my munchkins to the doctors office for shots the other day. It was not fun to say the least. I had tried to time it to where my husband would be in town so I would have some back up and he could go with me but it unfortunately didn’t go as planned.

It took an hour and a half to shower quickly, get dressed, and to change four diapers, four sets of clothes, and find one pair of shoes, and load the kids into the suburban. Yes I said one pair of shoes. I knew the twins would be in their stroller and there was no point in shoes for the baby, so I basically said screw it when I couldn’t find that last pair of shoes in time.

We managed to make it to the office about four minutes late-that’s a victory in my book! Usually we’re twenty to thirty minutes late and I have the joy of being forced to wait another hour or two as punishment for my crime.  Oops.

As soon as we got checked in and seated in the waiting room my toddler started her battle of wills with me. She tried to run all over the place and go outside and sqweel randomly at me and at strangers. So I made her sit next to me. That went over so well. You would have thought the world was coming to an end. It was at that precise moment her twin brothers started whining because they wanted to get out of their stroller and run around-and the baby started whimpering because my attention wasn’t solely on him.  All of this escalated quickly into crying/screaming. You can imagine how popular this made us in the waiting room.

I tried to soothe them, distract them, bribe them-not one thing worked. Not one. The nurse came out with a chuckle to say we could come on back. They were weighed, they cried. They were measured, they cried. We went into our room, they cried. More measuring, they cried. We had to wait for the doctor, they cried. You get the picture.

When it was finally time for their shots, they had me take them one by one into another room while the nurse sat with the other three. As usual I had to hold their arms while the shots were administered. Never pleasant. Of course, they cried. In fact they cried all of the way to check out and all of the way out the front door to the truck.

Once they got into their car seats and we were headed home they finally quieted down. Still slightly traumatized from the shot experience. They did all run low grade fevers afterwards but were better the next day.

Even though the entire errand was extremely stressful and crazy- we made it. I have shied away from getting the kids out too much since my husband went back over the road but this was an important milestone for us. Yea, it sucked, but it was something that we had to get done and it showed me that I am capable of getting the important stuff accomplished with the hubby away. I can do it. Not all trips out will be bad either, some will even be fun-but if I can make it through shots for four young children on the same day I think I can definitely make it through trips to the park or grocery store.

I’ve got this. 😎

De-clutter in 5 Steps!

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Keeping a totally organized home is nearly impossible with small children running about.  You can still help yourself out though, by taming the mess so to speak. Simply getting rid of the excess stuff has really helped me a lot.

I have been finding myself completely overwhelmed with the mess around our house lately, and I just have not been able to keep up with it. So I decided to purge some things.

1. The kids toys

This is really better to do when they are not around or at least occupied with something else.  I went through the entire house with two trash bags (one for the dumpster and one for donation). Anything my kids never really showed interest in anymore and every single broken/puppy chewed up mangled toy got the axe. There is absolutely zero room for emotion during this purge. It doesn’t matter who gave it to them or anything like that-if the kids don’t play with it anymore or its just a broken/messed up piece of junk anyway it needs to go.  All it is doing  is contributing to the mess in your home-which only creates stress for you.

2. Papers (loose papers/mail/magazines/newspapers/etc.)

This one requires a small box and a trash bag-and possibly a shredder.  First, go through your entire home and scoop up all of the paper lying about including magazines and newspapers.  If it’s something you know you aren’t going to read or something unimportant than put it in the trashbag.  If it may be something important put it in the box to look at after you are finished with this purge.  Any papers with sensitive information on them that you decide can be tossed, I recommend shredding instead of just putting them in the garbage.

3. Clothing and other linens.

Most of us have a never ending pile of laundry, whether it’s waiting to be washed, dried, folded, or dried again.;) Take everyone’s clothes and dump them in separate piles on the floor/bed-whatever. Grab a few boxes or space saver bags, and of course a trash bag or two. Start working your way through it all.  All winter clothes put in storage, check.  Anything with rips, tears, holes, or permanent stains, must go. Don’t get sentimental about it. They’ve had a good run after all. Now, anything that no longer fits or you know you (or they) will never wear, donate-unless you’re planning on more kids, then put it in storage. Now, for those of you who are big on DIY and repurposing materials then by all means craft away. But put those things in a designated box that you can easily put away but get to when need be.  I cannot stress the importance of being real with yourself about holding on to certain items for crafts-if you know you’re never going to follow through with it, do yourself a favor and chunk it or give it to someone who can really use it.  I have been guilty of hoarding in the past, but all it really does is add to the clutter and make it harder to organize.

4. The kitchen.

The kitchen can get pretty overwhelming to. First things first, grab that trash bag! Start with the food-check expiration dates on everything from cans, boxes, jars, and bags. Expired? Chunk it. Go through your cookware-anything that has the nonstick coating peeling or rusting needs to go-it can be hazardous. Put things away in a manner that makes sense to you, that’ll make it easier to get to when you need it. For me-snack foods go in the cupboard on the other side of the kitchen whereas the cooking utensils and supplies are housed in the cabinets around the stove, and the dinnerware stays in the cabinets around the sink. Easy peasy!

5. Make a home for every item.

Basically after you rid yourself of the excess, try to keep in mind a specific place for certain items to belong. Try to make it a habit to put it right back where you found it. Not always easy when you are busy with kids or work but if you make the effort it can really cut out some stress.

I hope these simple steps can help some of you-they’ve really helped me so far. I’m not saying my house is always spotless or anything-in fact it usually looks like a tornado went through at least at certain times of the day but just getting rid of the excess junk has helped soooo much! The kids have gotten to an age where they are capable of putting their toys away so that too has become part of the evening routine, and has definitely helped a lot. I have to say limiting the clutter has made me so much calmer and I don’t feel as stressed during the day trying to figure out how I’m going to get this and that done.

Loving Myself

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Over the past year or so I have slowly but surely lost my confidence and sense of pride in myself.  I recognize that it isn’t to be blamed on some occurrence in my life but on my change in perception of myself.

It really hit me how much I’ve changed while in an argument with my husband the other day. He was upset, basically, because he feels I don’t think he and the things he does are good enough. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and honestly it caught me so of guard I got really upset.

Where is this coming from all of a sudden?

After we said our “good night’s” and “I love yous”, I stayed up for a while writing in order to organize my thoughts.  I wrote about the past couple of years being difficult and stressful, between lay offs, family dramas, and going from one to four kids in such a short amount of time, it has been rough to say the least.  I wrote how in the beginning all was well and we were so lovey dovey and at ease, and how that felt different from the way we are now.

That’s how I realized it wasn’t just all of a sudden.  I had been nagging my husband for weeks with things like, “You could be doing this..or you should say this..so and so does this..etc.”  My husband is not the best at showing his emotions and it has been difficult with him on the road and all of the crazyness of the past couple years, but he has always and continues to make a great effort for me. 

Yet lately, when he finds a moment to do something nice for me I have come back with something along the lines of, “that was so nice baby,” followed by a list of what else he should be doing.  No wonder he has been upset, and feeling like he can’t make me happy. Essentially, without saying so, my actions have been telling him he isn’t good enough.  I am so upset with myself! How could I make him feel like that?

Why am I acting like a lunatic?

I kept writing.  Looking back to a couple years ago compared to now.  What’s the difference? Forget the outside stressors.  What has changed with me

I realized back then I was confident, I had pride in myself and who I was and what I did.  Three kids ago I was fairly happy with my body image.  I used to work and had become accustomed to being self reliant and independant-giving me a fair boost of pride and self-confidence.  I always was in control, was able to handle my business, and make things happen.

That’s just not my world anymore.  I stay at home with the kids because with four kids under three, my income would only just barely cover the cost of decent childcare.  And, truthfully, after three pregnancies my body isn’t the same.  Have I done anything about it? No, but I shouldn’t have to change myself just to feel good about myself.  I should be healthy, yes-that I need to change, but my self-esteem shouldn’t be dependant on anything I do, or any external source. It should simply be based on how I perceive myself through positive thinking- I mean that’s how I lost my confidence, right? I started viewing myself in a negative way.

I looked back at my blog posts from this past year-most of them have this underlying lack of confidence and pride just hinting from beneath the service of my writing.  Not good, not good at all.  This started slowly a couple years ago and has turned into this toxic situation where I am constantly picking apart myself-

I’m not being a good enough mom.

I’m not being a good enough wife.

I should be thinner.

I should…I could…I’m not…

To top it all off, unbeknownst to me, it has gotten so bad that I now am projecting all of this onto my husband, my best friend, my partner. Demanding attention constantly from a man that works 70+ hours a week, in a desperate attempt to fix my insecurities I have single handedly alienated him and made him feel inadequate and unhappy.

Not cool.  Things cannot continue as they are.  My unhappiness is spreading to the ones I love.  So how do I go about fixing it?

I have to change how I view myself and here is my plan:

-Think positively about myself in every way.
-Stop worrying about how others view me.
-Write out my positive traits/accomplishments every day.
-Stop comparing myself to others.
-Choose to simply be happy.

I recognize this will take me a little while but I will get there.  I will because I want to.

I am beautiful.
I am a good wife and mother.
I don’t have to be perfect.
I am talented and creative.
I am proud of who I am.
I love myself.

Mud Puddles

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The past few weeks my 18 month old twin boys have been napping poorly and climbing out of their beds when they’re supposed to be sleeping!  The terrible twos have begun haha.

I lay them down, they get back out as soon as I close the bedroom door.  This goes on and on and on for at least an hour before they finally give in to their nap. Meanwhile their older sister (32 months) and little brother (4 months) are all napping peacefully-well, not really, their sister has been pretending to nap lately. I think she is growing out of her naps.  But the twins can’t handle not napping-they get up around six and are usually falling asleep at breakfast and are ready to lay down around nine-and if they skip a nap they are extremely cranky and absolutely nothing will please them for the rest of the day. It is not pretty.

I’ve tried making them nap later in the day but it’s the same thing-and they get so tired and unhappy it’s ridiculous. So my strategy has been to increase their morning activity levels-taking them to the park if the weather is nice, which had helped some, but unfortunately the weather has been off and on storms for weeks. We’ve only managed a couple successful trips to the park. However, I found myself looking at a massive mud puddle behind our house yesterday as I listened to my munchkins fuss and fight-and I thought to myself, why not?

Now don’t get me wrong-I was not looking forward to the mess this was sure to create at all. But I knew my kids needed an outlet for their energy and I knew they were tired of being cooped up inside. So I braced myself, got everyone finished with their snacks, and out we went!

The oldest lept at the puddle without hesitation. The youngest of the twins cautiously tested the waters before diving right in after his sister.  The oldest twin watched the other two with interest, glancing at me every so often like, I don’t know about this Mommy-he eventually decided to give the puddle a shot and before long they were all running back and forth through the muddy water happily! Meanwhile the littlest munchkin observed their shenanigans from the comfort of his chair in the shade. 

When it was time to go back inside they all huddled at the door as I stripped their muddy clothes and shoes off and gingerly laid them in the washroom.  They were unhappy at having to wait to go in but thrilled to run through the house naked for a moment.

I have to say I did not enjoy the mess that this little adventure created but I absolutely loved the happy time with the kids, and I especially loved the end result-they went to bed easily and slept soundly!

I think mud puddles may be this mommy’s new best friend;)

{{{Don’t forget to like my Facebook page here, and give me a follow on Twitter here. Happy Monday everybody! :)}}}

Tomorrow vs. Today

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Everyone has certain ideals they set for themselves-different achievements they’d like to reach.  I myself have battled with self-esteem since adolescence.  I want so badly to have confidence in myself-in who I am and what I do and, yes, how I look.

I’ve decided to make a conciencious decision to take active steps to love and be proud of myself.  If I don’t make the effort nothing will ever change.  It is past time to do something about how I feel.

I’ve already made steps to better my organization and productivity to improve other aspects of my life.  Now I look to my health.  No, I am not pleased with my body. Three pregnancies and four kids later I am mushy and jiggly all over.  That honestly doesn’t bother me that much.  I am so proud and blessed to have born four healthy children. I am, however, not proud that I haven’t been taking care of myself at all.  I’m not in shape by any means but I don’t eat right either. I’m not being hard on myself-some days I’ll eat a box of little debbies. Half of a family size bag of cheetos.  I don’t know why. It’s just there-I don’t even particularly like the foods I’ve been pigging out on.

I haven’t always been like this-but since my fourth child was born I’ve kind of been eating constantly-whether I’m hungry or not.  After I’ve eaten like that I feel terrible.  I recognize what I’ve been doing isn’t good for me and I want to change it.  That’s why I’m writing this. To maybe hold myself accountable. I’m officially on a journey to a happier healthier me-for me, but for my family too.

No more I’ll eat better tomorrow, I’ll take the kids to the park tomorrow.

Tomorrow isn’t acceptable. Today is the answer.

Blogging Awards!

Hello all! This week has been very interesting. I’ve been getting behind a bit in my writing since my husband has gone back to truck driving, but now that I’m getting the hang of things it seems I am getting back on track! 

Recently I was nominated for two blogging awards-Sisterhood of the World Blogging Award and the Liebster Award.  You’ve know idea how much that means to me! I am so very very grateful to Irion from Diapers to Potty and Brittany from And I Quote Blog for the Sisterhood of the World Blogging Award nominations, and to Thomasina from Three Lives of Me for the Liebster Award nomination. I am really very touched ladies, thank you!

Both awards are presented to bloggers from their peers in order to bring some well deserved attention to up and coming blogs.

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For the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award you must follow these rules:

1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their site.
2.  Answer the 10 questions sent to you.
3.  Make up 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.
4.  Nominate 8 other bloggers, link them in your post and notify them of their nomination

My Questions:

1.  How long have you been blogging?

I have made attempts to start various blogs of and on over the years, but up until a few months ago this is my first time semi-successfully sticking with it.

2.  What are your long term goals for your blog?

Honestly, I really want to gather more of a following, monetize my blog, and use the it as motivation to finish and publish my book(s).

3.  What do you love about blogging?

I love having the freedom to write about anything I like and the ability it affords me to connect with so many like-minded individuals.

4.  And what do you hate, or at least just dislike?

About blogging?  Not really anything, except maybe the cost of some premium services lol and spammers of course.

5.  Do you have children and do they influence your blog?

Oh yes, I definitely have children-four children all under three years of age and all 14 months apart. A girl, twin boys, and a baby boy. They are a large part of my inspiration for blogging-I love chronicling my life with them but I enjoy writing about other things as well.

6.  What is one thing you have learned about blogging that you never would have thought of before hand?

I never imagined the importance of networking and social media when it comes to the land of blogs!

7.  What are your hobbies outside of your blog?

Reading and writing are biggies, I’m a Tolkien fanatic, I love cooking for my family, and I definitely have a great love of all things nature!

8.  Are there any bloggers that you aspire to be like?

So far I would love to be like Kim Seghers from This Ole Mom or Amy Nielson from Planning Playtime-they both seem to have a pretty solid following and have this networking thing figured out.

9.  How do you juggle being a mom along with all of your other roles?

Oh it isn’t easy-being a mom is full time and tends to consume every adjective of your life. It’s a constant struggle to maintain your identity as a wife, a mother, a writer, and a woman individually. I have to make myself make time for the other parts of me. It really all boils down to scheduling and organization.

10.  Tell me one thing about yourself that most of your readers do not know.

I was adopted at age two by the most amazing couple in the world. I couldn’t be more blessed, nor could I ask for better parents.  They helped me become the woman I am today, and I will forever be grateful for their love, guidance, and support.

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The

Nominees Are:

Bridget Lund from The Recipe Wench

Amy Nielson from Planning Playtime

Andrea from Three Little Apples

Irene from Working Mom Dish

Crafty Frugal Mom

Poppies and Pinot

Chronicles of a Lumpy Person

Holly Bertone at  The Coconut Heads Survival Guide

Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:

1. Recognize the blogger who nominated you

2. Post the Liebster Award badge

3. Write 11 facts about yourself

4. Nominate 11 bloggers (with fewer than 1,000 followers) who you feel deserve the award

5. Answer the 11 questions posted by the previous Liebster Award nominee

6. Write 11 questions for the bloggers that you nominate! (again sticking with a few)

11 Facts:

1.  I was born in Southern Maryland and raised there until I was thirteen, when my father changed jobs and moved us to the deep South-first to Florida for two years and then the remainder was spent in Mississippi.

2. I am a nerd- I absolutely love all things Tolkien and Rowling-and that love has been instilled in my daughter. lol at two and a half years old she already begs me to watch the Lord of the Rings or Hobbit! I am so proud!

3. If I had the money I would have a house with a library in it just like the one in the castle in Beauty and the Beast.

4.  I am of Irish decent and in my free time (which is unfortunately nit often enough) pour over ancient Irish history and the Gaelic languages.

5.  I am in favor of breastfeeding 100%, though I know it isn’t possible for everyone because circumstances vary greatly.  I was able to breastfeed my first child for several months before supplementing with formula, with the twins I tried to breastfeed but was unable to establish a supply, and with my youngest son I have been happily breastfeeding from the start quite successfully!

6.  I have had one natural birth and two unplanned c-sections-my twins and youngest son both came about five weeks early.

7. I aspire to be a successful published author.

8.  I am on a journey to reach a happier, healthier me, in all aspects of my life-not just the baby weight.

9. I struggle with organization and procrastination-two things I am desperately working on.

10.  I love a cup of tea and a good book on a rainy day.

11.  I try to be the best I can be in every role I have-Mom, Wife, Writer, and Woman.

11 questions:

1.  What motivates you more than anything else?

My family. Creating a safe, stable, loving environment for them motivates me always.

2.  Would you consider yourself a mamma’s girl/boy or a daddy’s girl/boy?

I am definitely a daddy’s girl.  I have always been one. Through good times and bad my dad and I have always been super close-he means the world to me.

3.  If you could wake up tomorrow morning and have one thing different, what would it be?

A paid off home with at least 5 bedrooms and at least six figures in the savings account-oh wait, just one thing? Then add some more figures to the bank account lol.

4.  Do you have siblings? Tell us about them.

I have 3 biological sisters and 1 stepbrother via adoption.  I have known my eldest sister all of my life and try to maintain a close relationship though we were adopted by different families. My other two younger sisters I didn’t even know existed until I was nearly 20.  And my brother is twice my age with a family of his own, though we’ve never been that close.

5.  Who is your favorite person to be with?

I would have to say my husband.  I married my best friend and I really prefer his company to anyone else.

6.  What type of music makes you the happiest?

Hmm.  I think country love songs and upbeat pop/hip-hop.  Anything really with a good beat and positive lyrics!

7.  Do you prefer to be inside or outside?

I love both actually-a rainy day spent cuddled inside or a crisp autumn day hiking through the park makes me equally has happy.

8.  If someone really important was coming over to your house and you had just enough time to either (a) clean your very messy house, or (b) get ready after a very sweaty workout; which would you choose?

Well that’s cruel…I suppose I would do the stash and hide cleaning method and try to attempt a quickie shower-just enough to get the sweat off lol. I refuse to accept I can’t accomplish both lol.

9.  What is your bedtime routine?

I get the kids finished with dinner, get them bathed, lay them down with kisses and hugs, then I stay up to talk to Daddy-attempt to get some blogging done and tidy up the kitchen, fold laundry, watch TV half-heartedly, then nurse the youngest and lay him down then I lay down. Lol.

10.  What is your comfort food? Who makes it the best?

This is a toughy-I would have to say shrimp fried rice. My husband makes it better than the restaurant! It is definitely the bomb dot com lol.

11.  As a child, what did you always dream about? {location, occupation, lifestyle…}

I always dreamt of being a successful author, having a house in Ireland, where I would live with my handsome husband and beautiful children-so far the last bit has come true so I am remaining positive about the rest!

The nominees are

Yanique Chambers from Kiddie Matters

JcCee Watkins Barney

Jodi Tendler Vitali from Easy Peasy Mom

Ashleigh Wright Haslinger from Simply Wright

Kathy Herbig from Herbs and Spice and Other Things Nice

Mary la Fornara Gutierrez from It’s All About the Yummy

Jillian McClenahan from Jillianastasia

Jessica McQuillian from House of J Chronicles

Sara Kaufer from Shabby Grace Blog

Mary Gilbert from My Life in Progress

Jenny Farmer from Chocolate and Children