Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Little Perspective in the Bread Isle

Yesterday was a long day.
I didn't have much sleep and I had one heck of a To-Do List!

At the end of the list - and the thing I dreaded the most was grocery shopping.
Right before dinner.  With three tired boys.

It went about as well as you can expect.
Fighting, begging, whining, touching things, touching each other, more fighting.
Towards the end of the shopping list, all three of my guys were sentenced to different corners of the cart -
with one hand on the cart, and one hand in a pocket.
I'm mean, right?

I was struggling to waddle through the isles, only buy off of my list, keep control of the boys and fight some strong braxton hicks contractions.

I saw a kind face in a stranger coming towards me.
She asked if they were all mine.
"Yep," I said.  "And a 4th boy coming soon," patting my belly.
She got a little tear in her eye and smiled big.
She told me, "You are so incredibly blessed.  You have some amazing, cute boys there.  So blessed.  What a big heart you must have.  God bless you."

I thanked her and as she walked away I cried.
Right there in the bread isle at the grocery store.

I'm trying my very best every day to be the mom I need to be.
I feel like I fail.  A lot.
Especially yesterday.
But then a sweet stranger put it all in perspective for me and turned my day around.
Yes, I am blessed.  I am blessed beyond measure.
I love my boys and they are more of a gift to me than I could ever deserve.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall, Football, and... Fractures?? Oh My!

My favorite things about fall:
Cooler temperatures (especially since we moved to Texas!)
Recipes with apples and pumpkins
Fun decor

We are a football family, for sure.  We watch college (Boomer Sooner!) and NFL (Go Texans!).  
But most of all, we love to watch our kids play!  

This is The Chief's 3rd season to play and he's really pretty good!  He's quarterback, kicker and defensive end.  Basically, he's in every play - which is how he likes it.  Cause, you know - he's The Chief - and he likes to be in control.  he he
(I asked for a game face.  He refused.)

Con-Man has been looking forward to playing football for a couple of years now.  He *just* missed the birthday cutoff for tackle - thank God!  He's too little to be tackled!  So he's playing flagger and loves being their quarterback!
Con-Man's cute little game face.
Actually, he thought it was dumb that Mom wanted a picture of him before his 1st game!

I know a big worry with parents of football players, especially is injuries!
We've had our share - especially this year, even though we are only three games in.
The Chief injured both heals.  The ortho dr said that he came as close as you can come to fracturing both heel bones as possible without and actual crack. OUCH.
Then he pulled his hamstring.  Another ouch!
But in three seasons, that's it for football injuries!

Know what's more dangerous than football?
Seriously - I have LOTS of medical bills to prove it!

Con-Man and Monkey-Man were wrestling around on the trampoline a couple of days ago.
Con-Man told lil bro to run towards him, then he ducked down like a ball.  Monkey-Man's knee went right into the back of his neck.  He cried just a little, but said he was ok.
For the next few days, he'd complain of pain here and there, but we assumed it was just bruised.
Until the school nurse called yesterday to tell me that he was in the office crying.
I immediately picked him up and took him to urgent care.
The dr assured me that it was probably just bruised, that can be a tender area.  She wanted one x-ray just to rule out something more serious.
The tech took one x-ray, then decided on 5 more.  I knew then they found something.
This is the x-ray I saw.  And freaked out over.

I hope you can see it - I added the arrow to point at the bone that's BROKEN.
In my 6 year old's neck!!!
Yes, I tried to hold it together in the office, and waited until I called my hubby to cry.
But seriously!
The doctor assured me that it's not a serious injury, that he'll heal just fine.
He's out of PE and football for 6 weeks.  Which just happens to be the rest of his season. 
He's very upset about that.  
She did say that if he heals quicker, which is common in kids, then he could possibly play.
Maybe he'll only miss a few games.  
But he has to be completely pain free - which we are praying for constantly!

I hate that my boy is in pain right now.
I hate that we can't just put them in bubbles to keep them safe.
I do love, though, that my boys are active, healthy kids who love to play - even if it is a little too rough!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mama & Me Journal

In case you don't know, over at Fabulously Domestic, I'm working on my Pinterest Project.  I complete something - anything - that I've pinned on Pinterest every day for the month of September.  It's been fun so far.  

I wanted to share this little idea with you because it's been pretty great for me this week. 
I made the "Mama & Me" Journal I originally pinned from Mama Jenn!
You can find it in my Stuff To Make board.

I love this journal because it will give me some special time to focus on communicating with my older boys in a fun way.  I think The Chief, especially will be more open with me on paper than he is face-to-face.  We will write little notes back and forth to each other - about anything at all!  For Con-Man, who is only 6, I told him that he can write letters to me or even draw pictures sometimes.  Little does he know this will help him focus on reading and writing skills.

I hope to fill these journals up and make many, many more.  Imagine the memories we'll have to look back on!

How to do it:

Jenn has created great labels you can use for the front of your journals.
Head over there and print them off - you can even use sticker/label paper to make the process more simple!
I used tiny (4.5 x 3.25 in) Composition Notebook
I printed off her labels in the size I wanted, glued to scrapbook paper and then glued it to the notebooks!
Easy, right?

Then on the first page of the notebook, I just wrote a little note to get us started.
Actually, I just used the same letter that Jenn posted!

UPDATE:  This little journal has been REALLY great so far.  The Chief and I have been going head to head lately.  8 year olds are really just starting to get those bad attitudes where they roll their eyes and think their parents are idiots.  So it's been a struggle.  He was very excited to see the finished journal and wrote back to me right away.  When he's finished writing to me or drawing me a picture, he gets this super cute look on his face - grins ear to ear and runs to put it on my bed.  I {love} this.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The King of All Mondays

I know it's Tuesday - at least on the calendar.
But it sure feels like a Monday.
Like the king of all Mondays!

Here's a little run down so far - keep in mind it's only 8:30am.
Wake up every hour at least once to pee or recover from a bad dream.
Get up at 2:20 with such horrible heartburn and leg cramps that I can't go back to sleep.
Catch up with DVRed shows, early news, and laundry.
Kids up at 6:15 for showers - and fighting.
Wrangle kids to get ready for school and do basic morning chores.
Get kids out the door, pick up friend's kids for carpool.
While fighting the horrible drop off line at school, I turn around to notice Con-Man was wearing flip flops.
FLIP FLOPS.  Are you freaking kidding me?!
Honestly, I sorta flipped out on him.
Drop 3 kids off and head home to get Con-Man's shoes.
Lecture him the whole way home.
Break down crying from guilt.
Help him find his lost socks.
Remind him that he's putting his shoes on the wrong feet.
And he didn't tie his shoes.
And he forgot his back pack.
And lunch box.
More angry-mom-voice lecturing.
Back to the van to head up to the school.
Seatbelt reminder.  Again.
Walk in to sign Con-Man in 20 minutes late for school.
Cry the whole way home from guilt of starting his day off bad.
Come here to confess to you guys that while most days are good, some days just kinda suck.
Like today.
The rest of the day is super busy, mostly with things I DON'T want to do - like 10 billion phone calls, paying bills, running errands I've been putting off forever.

Anyone else with me today in wanting to just go back to bed and hide under the covers?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Boys to Help - Chore Chart!

Lately my hubby has been commenting that the boys are not doing their share around the house.
I am so thankful that he understands that keeping house isn't just MY job.
This morning we decided it was time for a chore chart.
Then I got overwhelmed.

Here's what I've tried in the past that didn't work for us:
Printed weekly charts to put stickers on
Printed, laminated daily charts to use dry erase marker on
A printed list of chores that each boy can choose from each day
No list or chart - just yelling when the house got nasty

So here's what I knew I needed:
A perpetual list/chart that can change daily
Something reusable - not printing over and over
Customizable for my kids
Easy to understand
Visually attractive so it can be displayed

The chore chart below is what I've come up with!  

I'm not doing a tutorial, because it's really just too simple.  
But, here is what you'll need:

Colored Pens
Push Pins
Mod Podge

I cut my fabric to fit over the cork-board and then applied Mod Podge.  Smooth out and trim if needed.
Print out kids' names, etc
Write out chores - one per tag.  Some chores needed a list, (ex bathrooms) so I wrote those on the back of the tag.
Insert push pins and hang tags for each kid, each day!
So easy, right?

So here's how the system works:
I decide each evening what the next day's chores will be and hang them on the push pins.
Each morning the boys will do the morning chores and can also choose to start evening chores if time allows.
When a chore is completed, they will move that tag to the "Finished" area below their name.
I will double check to make sure they completed the task like I expect.
Each kid will have some standard tags that go up every day - brushing teeth, etc. 
Others will vary by day - the bathroom won't be cleaned every day for example.
The chores written in black can be done by anybody and will be rotated.
I may also choose to add chores during the day as warranted by bad behavior.

Linking up here:

Boerman Ramblings

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How NOT to Pull a Tooth - a Bad Tutorial

This is another tutorial for men.  (See Teaching what my Mother In Law didn't)
I say this is for men, because I really doubt any women - especially mothers would try this on a little kid.

Step 1: Start with an impatient 6 yr old and a tooth that Mom says isn't ready:

Step 2: Tie floss to said tooth:

Lots of floss:

Step 3: Tie other end of floss to very fast, powerful (& beat up) remote control truck:

Step 4: Set 6 yr old and truck up with plenty of space to run.  Pull trigger on remote:

Step 5: Examine 6 yr old to find he looked down at moment of pull, causing floss to lodge up under gum line, above the not-loose-enough-tooth.

Step 6: Listen to your wife say, "I told you so," repeatedly while your 6 yr old looks a little like Nanny McPhee for the next 5 + days:

*Note - poor Con-Man's tooth is more than ready to come out now, but he's terrified to let anyone near it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

4th of July T-shirts!

Anybody else getting excited about the 4th of July?!
Normally, our family will bbq, eat TONS of watermelon and red, white and blue desserts, light off fireworks at home and go watch a big display, too!

We weren't in Texas yet for The 4th last year, so we aren't completely sure where to go.
I'm sure the better part of the day will be spent just having fun around the house, though - 
and now we'll be wearing our Red, White & Blue pride!

Our version of 4th of July T-shirts:

My boys like tie-dye shirts.  I don't like the mess.  
Or the time they take.  
So when we found the spray fabric dye, I knew it'd be perfect for us!
These shirts are soooo easy and fast to make - we even did a birthday party once where everyone got to make their own shirt to take home.
There is no wrong way to do this - just let the kids (and yourself!) have fun!

You'll need:
white shirts
spray fabric dye (available at Hobby Lobby)
rubber bands

Decide on the technique you want to use.  I used rubber bands to bunch up my tank - I wanted to focus on my growing baby bump.

You can also just gently twist the shirt, spray, untwist, retwist different direction and spray with another color.  That's what The Chief did:

Con-Man just sprayed in a random design until he was happy with the way it looked:

Here are the finished shirts - nothing fancy, absolutely not perfect. 
But we sure had LOTS of fun making them and will wear them with pride on the 4th of July!


The Chief's


Monkey Man's

Helpful tips:
Cover work surfaces - there will be over-spray.
Wear old clothes in case spray gets on them - it will not wash out.
Follow all directions on bottle - each brand is different.
Stencils are fun to use to make specific shapes.
Let go of your perfectionism - just have FUN!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Will be MIA

We've got some sad family issues to deal with this week, so my boys and I are leaving town.  That means no posting from me, and probably not much reading from my favorite bloggers, either.  I'll get back into the swing of things as soon as we get back - I've got some great summer fun posts in the works.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

{New} Blog Buddies Page

I just added a new page to the blog - go check it out!

It's the Blog Buddies page - this will be a running list of my blogging buddies.
Anybody and everybody are encouraged to link up your blog, though please make sure that your blog/site is family friendly.
I'm doing this with the hope of increasing traffic to some of my very favorite blogs!
I'll make a habit of promoting random Blog Buddies each month.
So link up, spread the word and have fun visiting each other!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fun at the Children's Museum

You guys remember our Summer Bucket List, right?
We drew a trip to a museum last week - the kids were super excited!
Actually, so was I! 
Houston has one of the top rated children's museums in the country 
and we'd never been.
If you are in the area, I HIGHLY recommend a visit - 
the cost is low, there are TONS of activities and it's FUN!

Here are just a few highlights from our trip:

There is a little city within the building.  Kids are given a debit card with pretend money - they can buy things until money runs out, then they must get a job in the city to earn more money!  Love this!  Here are Con-Man and Monkey Man grocery shopping - dinner will be good tonight!

Outside there is a water play area.  Kids can build boats and race them, learn about dams and water flow and use sprayers to fill a big bucket that later dumps.  They can also learn how waves are formed!  This was perfect in the 100 degree heat the day we went - they didn't get soaked, but a little water cooled them off.

 Inside, there are TONS of physical challenges for the kids to try.  
They loved the rock climbing wall, the dance games, and could even check their heart rates between activities!

This was another physical challenge - the boys had to pull their own body weight up using pulleys.  I really just included this pic because Con Man looks so silly!

There was a little Mexican village where the kids learned a little about the culture.  They loved this cool little car - and even posed for a picture for me!

Next we went to the face painting station.  Clearly, Monkey Man is NOT impressed with my artistic abilities. 

 So I let him do his own thing, along with Con-Man and The Chief.

This is what Con-Man came up with. ??

 Monkey Man - he looks soooo much better, right?  

 The Chief.  Wow.  He was soooo embarrassed after he did this that he went STRAIGHT to the restroom to wash it off.  No way was he going to walk around with his face looking like that.  
The other two, oh yes - they LOVED the way they look and I let them keep it till we got home.

 Probably our favorite part of the museum was in a little building outside.  We got to see two baby chicks that had just hatched try to hobble around and dry off.  Two more eggs started to hatch while we watched.  Simply amazing.  The boys were just glued to this little table.  Another table had about 10 chicks that were already all fluffy and cute.  They'd come to your finger if you tapped on the glass.  CUTE!!!


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