Monday, March 17, 2014

Newest Obsession

It's been awhile since I've blogged yet again.  I have been bad this past school year! You would think that only having one child at home would make it easier to blog... But that one child at home is like a little leech when Missy isn't home! 

So, I'm breaking nearly all of my previous promises to blog about Missy's birthday party and other such happenings over the summer. If you are DYING to see snippets, hop on over to my Instagram feed and check it out... Though you'll have to scroll back a ways. :/ Sorry about that!

My grandmother was very generous at Christmas and sent some money for us to buy "wants" for ourselves. The kids received re-decorated rooms, Hubby received a Nook, and I purchased my very first sewing machine! 

For YEARS I have been terrified to sew. I figured that if there was a way to sew your finger to a blanket, I would do it. This coming from the girl whom almost chopped off her thumb with a massive paper cutter... And there WAS a guard!! But I collected the courage, pushed back my fears, and ordered one!! I then ran out and bought fabric for a few projects and waited. Then the ice storm hit the day it was scheduled to arrive and I waited a few more days. 

It FINALLY came in and rather than busting it out immediately and sewing something, I was smart about it and took it to my "professional" friends to teach me how to use it. (They are not actual professional seamstresses... But one knows how to sew the cutest little dresses for her daughter and the other knows her stuff as well. So in my book... "professionals.") 

One of them took the lead since our machines are similar. It's like she KNEW me! She threaded the bobbin... And then UNthreaded the bobbin and said, "Now YOU do it!" Then she showed me how to thread the needle, and then again UNthreaded the needle and had me do it!  Visual Kinesthetic learning at it's finest!  

Missy has been growing inches in her legs recently and pants that we just bought were too short and rather buy her new jeans when these fit everywhere else, I wanted to sew on ruffles to the bottom! So this became my first project! My second project was to simply sew up the back of smocked fabric to make a dress and then to sew button holes into ribbon so that I could add removable straps to the dress.  She is in love with her "new" pants and new dress and I am in love with my sewing machine!  




I even managed to sew a coordinating dress/top for Masha!




The sewing machine rekindled my Pinterest obsession and I found more easy projects that I could do! Baby gifts! Easter gifts! I am so excited and Missy is just as excited to watch me sew as I am to sew! The Hubs is taking the dining room turned sewing room "renovation" rather well too!! Just kidding... I set it up and take it all down when I'm done... most of the time.  I'm thinking the next home may need a sewing/craft room. ;) 

Do you sew? What do you like to sew?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Patience

Patience is something I have always struggled with and there is nothing like having two children close in age to remind me of that struggle every day. 

It seems as though my kids are bent on beating my alarm. No matter how early I set it, they wander in just before it goes off. This does NOT bode well for my patience for the rest of the day. Momma needs to wake up SLOWLY!  The mornings are usually frantic trying to dress two kids whom only want to cuddle and watch cartoons. Well, Missy would also like to write and read and draw... But that's life with her, all day everyday.  We normally do good to get out the door to "beat the bus" (the elementary school bus picks up the neighborhood kids next door at 7:50) but that is rarely done smoothly nor without me nagging the kids to hurry up and move. 

There have been more than a few mornings when we did not beat the bus. :/ 

On a particular morning recently, it wasn't because we were moving slowly. We were actually doing great on time! 

Then Bub had to go to the bathroom. 




Whenever he has to go, he climbs up onto the toilet facing the tank and walks around in a circle to sit frontwards. He uses his hands on the seat or tank for balance. He has never fallen so this isn't much of a worry for me... Anymore. believe me, in the beginning it was very nerve wracking. My nephew climbed onto the toilet the same exact way. Is this normal? Or a genetic thing?

Anyway, this one morning... He REALLY had to go. He climbed up facing the tank (let's call this "12 o'clock") and began turning his circle. At 3 o'clock the sprinkler began. In his panicked state, he didn't think to just aim downwards. No... He thought it would be best to shriek and continue turning to 6 o'clock while continuing to "water" the bathroom cabinets... And Missy... And the step stool... And the floor... And the rug. 

I'd like to say I laughed it off right there. I didn't. I shouted his name trying to get him to sit while Missy yelled and whined "HE PEED ON ME!! HE PEED ON ME!!" 

He finally got to 6 o'clock and sat. And found that he had emptied his bladder... Everywhere EXCEPT the toilet. 

I removed him from the toilet and cleaned the bathroom and started the rug in the wash and changed two kids. And THEN we were able to head out the door. The bus had long gone and yet somehow, we weren't late!! 

As much as I think we NEED to be out the door before the bus everyday, we don't.  I needed that wake-up call. We still strive to beat the bus every morning. When we do, we do a little dance and celebrate. When we don't, we say, "Oh man!!" And shrug it off. No biggie! 

How are your patience levels lately?

Until next time!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Life as I Knew It

A year ago today, there was a knock at my door and policemen told me about an accident that had happened earlier that day claiming the lives of my sister, her husband, and three sons. From that moment on, my life as I knew it changed. If you haven't been with me long enough to have read my first post on what is now known as "The Accident", you can read that here.

Being only a year apart, I do not remember life without Diana. I’ve heard stories of when she was a baby and I was a… well, a baby myself.  I know I was excited to have a baby sister from day 1.  Even though she was my BABY sister, it never felt like she was younger than me.  It always felt more like we were twins.  We loved matching our clothes, putting on dance and theatrical and musical productions, playing Batman and Robin, and pretending that our own room was actually an apartment our parents were other tenants and the van was actually a bus we caught to get around town.  We have one memory that is very fond.  We had guests staying at our house, and during the day, the air mattress was stored upright against our closet.  We had a bunk bed and had the amazing idea to lean the mattress at an angle against the bed with one of us standing underneath as support, and then we could take turns sliding down the mattress as a slide!  I’m guessing we were probably a little loud in our excitement because my dad came in as I was underneath and Diana was sitting on the top.  He asked what we were doing… and without hesitation, we both answered in unison, “We had to move the mattress to get into the closet.”  He stared at us for awhile… we stared back.  Then he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Oh ok!” as he walked out of the room.  We BURST into a fit of giggles.  As we grew older we continued to do a lot together and slowly our separate groups of friends became one group of friends.  When it came to competition and dividing into teams we always did our best to get on the same team because, as our friends can attest, it was almost an unfair advantage.  Sometimes we even split into teams: the B girls vs. everyone else.  




Chris was a part of our joint group of close friends.  He has been apart of my life for nearly half of it!  We started out as close friends: talking on the phone a few times and exchanging letters while he was in Korea, and then speaking on the phone weekly while he was in Iraq.  Though we did have a rough patch, I can say that we had forgiven and moved on and we were family at the end.  I am so glad that whatever it was we were at odds about was resolved before "The Accident"... I can't imagine having that anger towards him and not being able to talk to him and make amends.  He was my brother.  My favorite memories are watching him interact with Missy.  If she wanted him to take her potty, he took her.  If she wanted him to tie her shoes, he tied them.  I can still see them hand in hand, walking through the National Air and Space Museum.  She loved her Uncle Chris and he loved and doted on her too.  The last text conversation we had was right after they found out they were pregnant with Ethan.  I asked him how he was doing and if he was excited.  From the family provider’s perspective, he was nervous but knew it would all work itself out.  But he also said that he was excited for Diana because she was SO excited.  He loved her so much and just wanted her to be happy!  He soon became just as excited as she was to welcome a new son into their family.  




Diana and I were close in age and we loved it growing up, so we decided that we, too, would have children close in age.  Being that we reached child-bearing age at the same time, we were pregnant together, having babies together, and raising our families… together.




Sam was like Diana.  He was sweet and quiet and nurturing.  He even wanted to be an animal doctor “just like Mommy.”  The first time he saw Missy, he was so excited and loved her.  They were best friends.  When Missy saw something she knew he likes, like the iron man mask in Target or the life sized Power Ranger at Hollywood Studios, she would ask to take a picture and show Sam.  And he always did the same thing for her.  When she filled her pee-pee and poo-poo sticker charts, he sent her a video congratulating her.  Whenever they would FaceTime or Skype, they would spend much of the time just sitting with huge silly grins on their faces, just staring at each other.  




Connor was vivacious and goofy and loud.  The dynamic and noise level in their home definitely changed when Connor came along.  He and Bub were closer in age than Sam and Missy, and it seemed like their goal in life was to make the other cry first.  They never tried to hurt each other, but they sure knew how to push each other’s buttons.  Those two would have been trouble together as they got older, scheming against the rest of us.  I’m sad that Bub will never get the chance to be as close to Connor as Missy was with Sam.  




None of us got the immense pleasure of meeting Ethan in person.  All I know is that Squishy liked to bounce.  




Psalm 139:13-16 now sounds to me as if Ethan spoke it himself, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous and how well I know it.  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”  I can’t wait to meet him one day.  I also can’t wait to see Diana again.  We have this connection… our own language… we just get each other.  I will forever miss her.  A part of me went with her.



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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Legacy

Over the past year, the word "legacy" has been on my mind a lot.  Earlier this summer, I was at a farewell luncheon for a family that was moving on to a new state and job. We were guests at the church for VBS Sunday and although we had only just met the family, it was obvious that they were leaving behind an amazing legacy at the church as well as in the community in which we live. The couple had begun a preschool and the county's mom's club, as well as many programs within the church. They have a huge passion for family and community and it's contagious!





My sister has also left behind a huge legacy around the country with her kind, gentle-hearted spirit and her carseat advocacy. I am still meeting people online that knew of her and were touched by her.  One of her friends recently wrote an amazing blog post about child passenger safety.  If you have children or transport children, you should definitely check out this post.  Diana's friend, Bree, is very knowledgeable and communicated wonderfully the ins and outs and importance of following more than just the law (which is extremely outdated) but also the recommendations made by the people and organizations who know their stuff.  Diana's passion about safety of all children was contagious!  You couldn't listen to her talk about it and walk away and not wonder if you were doing everything in your power to make sure your children are as safe as they can be.  If there is one thing we can learn about "The Accident" it is that no matter how safe YOU are as a driver, you can't predict how OTHERS are going to drive, so we need to take any necessary precaution we can.




One thing that has come across my mind time and time again is 'What kind of legacy am I leaving?'  If I am taken from this world tomorrow, would people even notice?  If you were to leave this world, what kind of legacy would you leave behind?  Would you be remembered as a kind, caring, loving individual? Or would you be remembered as a selfish individual who couldn't be troubled to take the time to help someone else?  What are you doing for the greater good? What are you passionate about and are you sharing that passion? 

What kind of legacy are you creating? 

Until next time,

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Been Awhile

The last few months have been crazy over here at our abode.  We've had birthday parties, doctor appointments, first day of school, lots of family and friend visits, and potty training!

Part of the "getting back into routine" of a new school year means back into the blogging routine for me. :) In the upcoming weeks I hope to detail some of the happenings that have occurred over the summer.  

This is the first real school year for us.  I have done homeschool preschool with Missy for the last year and a half, but not as structured as I had hoped.  Well... not as often as I had hoped... I didn't want to be TOO structured for preschool.  And I don't want that to sound like homeschool is not real school.  It is!!  *I* just didn't commit as fully.  

I can't believe that Missy is old enough to be in Pre-Kindergarten!! I still kinda remember like it was yesterday when she was thrusted into my arms and my dad was yelling "WHAT IS IT?! WHAT IS IT?!" and the doctor yelling excitedly, "IT'S A GIRL!!!"  Now she is four!  I realize that it isn't college or anything, but it is still full day!!  She is still out of the house from 8am until 3pm, Monday through Friday!  Being a stay-at-home mom has given me the luxury of being with my children all the time.  Seeing them through everything!  I admit... I'm kind of a helicopter parent.  Sure, I let them fall and get bumps and bruises.  And I'd let them get dirty if they were into that sort of thing (they totally are NOT into that sort of thing and are CONSTANTLY asking me for a baby wipe to clean their hands, faces, arms, feet, etc).  But I am not that parent who can sit on a bench and watch them play from afar.  THEY don't LET me sit on a bench and watch from afar.  Believe me, I sometimes wish I could.  So having her gone all day is... well... weird! 





She is LOVING it!!  She loves her teachers.  She loves her classroom.  She loves that she can do art everyday because she can pick her own center during center time.  She loves that she gets Ms. M to herself during rest time because she is just about the only student who does not sleep.  She loves that her future husband is in her class (her words - not mine).  She was even ecstatic that she got a homework assignment!  She has even decided that she will hang out with a different classmate everyday so that she can get to know all of them!  My little includer! :)





Her teacher is awesome!  She saw us at church after the first week of school and came over to say hello.  If it was possible to love her teacher even more, she does now that we all go to the same church.  Missy is often afraid to go to sleep because of bad dreams... so she asked Ms. M to pray with her before rest time.  Ms. M, being the awesome person that she is, did not hesitate.  She told me that she is more than okay especially knowing that we have the same faith to do that with Missy if she requested it.  I understand that she can not initiate it and that it can't be on a whole classroom level, but I'm very pleased that she is allowing and helping Missy to practice her faith in the classroom.  Ms. M is enjoying Missy's desires to have "deep conversations on pickles", her sweet way of keeping all her classmates accountable to their actions, her attention to detail, and the fact that she WILL call her out if she doesn't see her at church.  :)




Thank you for sticking by me through this long hiatus! I'm looking forward to spending time with you all again soon!


Until next time,

-Monica