To All My Friends without Children

I read a very telling blog/post the other day and I say telling because I too have wanted to always take the time to do just as Jason Good did in his “Day 166” blog post to all his friends without children. I feel there are two different types of people out in the world – those who have children and those who don’t. Neither is better than the other – Trust me. I love my children, love my family and love what we have created.

I som20140311-163334.jpgetimes wonder what life would be like at age 33 with no kids, but then I think about my boys, what I would be missing out on each and every day. They are my world….I live through them and love every moment of it. They show me how to enjoy just the small, tiny little things in life that we adults, 33 year olds, sometimes take for granted.

Don’t get me wrong, mommy likes her time to herself at times (when I get them, which tend to be very few with young ones, school meeting, work, etc) but I love my life and where I am today. Once you have a family of your own and a baby/child that loves you unconditionally you’ll know what I mean! There is a reason I am where I am and God has a plan for us all. So friends with and without kid – here is my letter to you through Jason’s words to understand I do still love you, I miss you and gosh darn it – I am here for you – tired and exhausted at times but still alive and ME.20140311-163342.jpg

Day 166: To all my friends without children.

I know our friendship has changed since I had a family. I never answer the phone; I don’t return texts as quickly; I almost never “hang out” anymore. That’s because my priorities have changed. I would have warned you, but I didn’t know it was going to be so severe. I still love you as much as I always have, but I’m really tired at night. I really want to see you, but can you please come to my place? I know it’s far, but I needed a house and yard or I was going to lose my mind. It might be hard to have a conversation because my kids will be angry that I’m not giving then all my attention. I wish I could just tell them to be quiet and go play, but that’s not really how it works.

I hang out more now with families who have kids the same age as mine. That’s because when they’re playing, the adults have a little time to talk. If there are no other kids around, I’m responsible for all the entertainment and it’s exhausting. People with kids understand that I might have to leave in the middle of their sentence to get a juice box. They understand because they did the same thing to me five minutes ago. It’s not that I like them more than you, it’s because they understand the situation and that makes everything easy. I need things to be easy a lot these days, especially when it comes to “entertaining.”

I know you want us to just get a babysitter and drive out to your place and drink wine until 1am. I want to do that too, but I can’t. Not for a few more years. My kids are too young and they still wake up at night for various reasons. I want to be there when that happens as much as possible. So for now, you kind of have to come to my house. Understand that when you do, most of the afternoon will be about the kids and not about us. I’ll have to put the hotdogs on the grill before the steaks because if I don’t, someone will freak out and throw themselves on the ground. You’ll also probably have to spend some time by yourself while I take one of my sons inside to talk to them, read them a book, or put on a TV show. To me, it’s all worth it for that 15 to 20 minutes I get to spend with you totally uninterrupted.

I remember when we used to spend hours talking, drinking and playing pool. We’ll do that again; just hang in there with me during these few years when I need to focus on raising my kids to be interesting and happy. I’m terrified I’m gonna screw it up. My life is like finals week in college, and I spent all semester smoking weed and listening to ZZ Top. I used to be a child-free person who had friends with kids. It’s weird, I get it. It’s also really fun to play with someone else’s kids, and almost all of you do that really well. I encourage you to do it more, even if it feels awkward sometimes. They might diss you, but don’t take it personally; humans aren’t born with manners. Have them run little errands for you. It’s great that they can go in the fridge and get you a beer. They like doing it, and it will make them think you’re cool. Trust me, there’s no better feeling.

I miss you all and want to see you just as much as I ever did. I also understand that I’m a bit of a pain in the ass to hang out with. I take full responsibility for that. I yawn a lot and don’t remember stuff. Let’s just acknowledge that I am a distracted Alzheimer’s patient and try to see each other more anyway.

-Jason Good

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The 18 Month Sleep Regression

We have hit it… You know the time when your baby is technically a toddler and they are making their way through a transition, another transition,…and not just any transition but the sleeping transition.

C has finally gotten feeling better and back to sleeping through the night when all of a sudden he’s starting to wake at night and won’t go back to sleep with just a simple reassurance as he has in the past few weeks. I’m confused, tired, perplexed on what is going on….. I’ve been reading and hoping that I would come across the magical solution or wand per say that I could use to make this trying time simply go away and allow everyone in our home get back to their nightly ritual of getting a good night’s sleep with no interruptions. And they lived happily ever after. The End. Hey now, this isn’t a fairy tale or make believe – its real life and therefore life sometimes give us some struggles to push through. This being one of them…

20140226-112507.jpgOur night time ritual for C is simple. Bath by 6:45, Read a few books with lullaby music in the back ground, drink if needed and then cuddle while rocking in rocker until just asleep at 7:30 if not sooner. Now this works for most nights – and he’s out until about 1030-11pm. Then the waking begins. Some nights more than others. I’ve contemplated with “has he had enough to eat at dinner, did he eat something that made his tummy hurt, is it his 2 year old molars, is he wet, lost the pacifier, “ I mean my list could go on and on.

Today 20140226-112514.jpghowever, I have decided (solely because of the research I have done the past few days that has lead me to decide this) he has met with the 18 MONTH SLEEP REGRESSION!!! Agggghhhhh

My research has lead me to the following information on sleep regression. Most people use sleep regression to mean that a baby or toddler, who’s been sleeping well, suddenly (often without any warning) begins waking frequently at night and/or refusing to nap during the day. C will nap with no problem however the length is always of question. These regressions usually last for a period of time (anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks), and then the baby’s sleep returns to its normal patterns. And I so hope so!!

Interesting to note too is that babies and toddlers have this sleep regression not just at 18 months! It can occur around 4 months, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 18 and then again at 24 months. I’m happy to note that we have just now had to deal with the regression at 18 months and no sooner as some parents might have had to. I hope that after we make it through this one that the 24 month will keep away! I’m happy to say The Baby Sleep Site has been very helpful for me and C as he continues to grow. I used their site a few times in the transition from bassinet to crib and the slight bumps along the way up until today.

20140226-112526.jpgHere are some other helpful websites I have found good useful information in regards to sleep regression and sleep in general for toddlers. My plan to make it through is to stick to our guns and what has worked for us and hope that after the 2-6 weeks that we are back to being sleeping beauties!

The Sleep Lady – Toddler Sleep Problems
The Baby Sleep Site
Sleep Tight Consultants
National Sleep Foundation – Children & Sleep

Nighty, Night, Sleep Tight….

So this weekend starts our sleep training for C. He’s been a great sleeper since he was born. He slept through the night the first night he came home! Awesome right?!? Nothing like his older brother JD, who didn’t sleep through the night until he was 2 years old. Talk about a tired mommy and daddy. When C doesn’t sleep or eat well I know something has to be wrong – maybe ear infection or new tooth.

When we went to Utah and stayed in our condo is where I think started us on the journey to creating a problem. While there C would wake in the night, probably due to not knowing where he was or even better a strange room and not in his crib. When he would wake I would immediately (I know- bad mom) go and get him. He and JD on vacation shared a room and therefore I did not want him to wake his brother. For the entire week when he woke he would lay with mommy on the couch until at least 5-5:30 each morning.

This has continued until now, partly because 1- he has been sick 2- I HATE having him cry when I know he’s not feeling well. Bad mommy I know, but who can have their little one who is coughing, snotty nose, and mild fever, cry it out…..not this sucker (momma). Now that he has been on medicine for his ear infection, got past most of the viral pneumonia couch, and got his final tooth until he’s two, it’s time for mommy to work on getting him back on track.

We have a good bed time schedule set for the boys – after dinner and homework we have play time which allows the boys to run around and get out the last little bit of energy before its time for their baths, quite book time and then bed. C likes to be read to while rocking and listening to soothing classical music or lullabies. C goes down with no problem for us but it’s in 2-3 hours of his falling asleep that he wakes. My nights have consisted of multiple waking to changing diapers, getting drinks and laying with him in our guest bed as I too have been sick and overly tired due to our nightly waking schedule.

When I think about how we will attempt this – I start to cringe, only because I know it will be a few days of roughness. However in the end it will be better for us all in our home! Right?!20140207-145343.jpg

Say a prayer for our home this weekend as we might have a few tired ones on Monday but I know in the end we will be able to do this and get everyone some much needed sleep!

Are you going through the same – here are a few resources I found to be useful. Enjoy!

Sleep Training – Parenting.com
Age-by-Age Sleep Training Guide – Parenting.com
7 Books explaining the most common sleep training methods – Family Education

New Year, New You but New Me?!?

After a few weeks of not blogging I thought what better time to start back up again – than to get myself rolling with the new year vastly approaching us. With 2013 coming to an end, its time for me to come up with my list of resolutions….which I hope that i can try to be able to check off and complete this year. I’m hoping that it won’t be to hard with our active family! Image

1) OrganizationFirst things first – Organizing!!! This year I want to be more proactive and be more organized at home. I feel a little purging is in our near future. As much as I love to be able to hold on to things that I “might” use again down the road and have yet to do so, its time to do just that! It will take some will power to do but I’ll keep reminding myself its for the best!

2) Take time for myself to enjoy the things I love to do.
Read more – a book a month – that shouldn’t be to hard right!?! Paint more, craft more…..
3) Family Wellness / Fitness
A great gift from my husband to the family this Christmas was a new membership to the Y here in Springfield. I’m looking forward to the classes and know the kids will enjoy their classes and the pool too. Hopefully together 2014 can turn into the family back into a fit one together!

4) Try new recipes/Cook more together as a family
We tend to get in ruts throughout the year/seasons on the meals we like to have and those that are easy to make to get the job done. I’m hopeful with my pinterest boards that we can jazz up our meals and try more enticing entrees as we go!

5) New Business
I’ve been kicking around the idea of my own business (graphic design, analytics, web, etc) and think this year will be the year to start taking bigger steps to making that dream a reality!

To help me complete these goals I will keep blogging each month on the progress making each month its own special project per say. Will you join me and take the new year and make a new “you” too!

Resolution 2014 Pinterest Board of Ideas!

Toys, Toys and More Toys

If you’re lijoyofgivingtopke us, we have a million, ca-zillion toys that seem to continue to either show up at our house or can’t leave our house. “Mommy I can’t get rid of that toy, I love it!” – to a toy that hasn’t been played with for at least 6 months to a year.  Or I have heard – “Mommy, why are you trying to get rid of this! I love it!”.

The ToyOur toy collection as we will call it here, started when we had our first little one, J. He was the first grandchild for my side of the family and the first boy grandson on my husbands side. Hence, boy toys were bought ALL the time. Our basement has become the “Toy Chest” with a full large room filled with toys. You might remember the movie from 1982,  “The Toy”.  Do you remember his toy room – well imagine it in my basement!  Now I am partly to blame for the enormous amount of toys since I tend to hold on to items, for that “just in case” opportunity to a rise that we might want to play with that lone Lego set or why get rid of the baby toys when at the time we hadn’t decided if we were done having children or not.

I have became the one who “stored” all of the toys until that very special day came that we would need or want to play with it again. My husband would suggest I have been “hoarding” the toys per say. But – things are going to be changing.  Ever since our second child C came around, we knew that we would indeed use them again. Both being boys should like pretty much the same stuff, right?  Interesting enough C would rather play with JD’s big boy toys instead of his own toys for his age and size. Who would of thought!

Something J and I had talked about a little while ago was finally making the point to go through the toys with JD and have him tell us what toys we could get rid of.  A chore I am a little nervous about.  When JD was 2 or maybe even 3 we had talked to him about “Playing Santa” and giving away some of his toys he doesn’t play with and give them to those in need.  I’m hoping that in the coming up weekends we can work with him to pull together toyjoyofgivings and do just that- let JD play “Santa” and donate his toys to those children who are less fortunate.  I’m hopeful that JD will help us donate to a local charity, daycare, or a place in need of gently used toys for those who are in need. I now ask you, my readers, do you know of a location looking for gently used toys for children?  Please contact me if you have suggestions for us.  We are open to helping those in need for this giving season upon us.

“Every child loves gifts, both giving and receiving them.  This Christmas let your children bring blessings to others.  Gather names – friends, relatives, classmates – and let them pick a name and make a gift, or a card to give out.  It’s difficult to say who will enjoy it more.  The child who loves to give.  The friend whose heart is touched with love.  Or me (or you), the parent, who sees your children learn to give and receive love. ” God’s blessings to you and yours as we enter into the Thanksgiving season and the birth of our savior Jesus Chris who is the reason for the season.  He gave us the best gift anyone could every give and receive!

Thankful

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Happy November! In the spirit of Thanksgiving I am asking you to join me in saying “thank you” and what you’re thankful for. This time of the year gets so hectic that we stop focusing on us and what we truly are thankful for. So I ask you that everyday for the next month together we focus our energies on the positive.

Stop and comment on what you are greatful for. Will you join me? I will update my post daily to reflect my daily thoughts of thankfulness…and I hope you too will join me.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34 Happy Thanking to you!

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November 1- I’m thankful for the lovable, smart, energetic, keeps me on my toes two little boys who I love and adore unconditionally. You have shown me to take time to love the little things in life each day. Even in the world we live in today, where its constantly changing and a roller coaster…mommy knows she has 2 little boys who adore me as much as I them. Love you JD and C!

November 2- I’m thankful for the one person in my life who can honestly love me for me and all my ups and downs. I’m not perfect and you could careless. You push me to be great and are my best friend. With you I know we can do anything we want no matter what obstacles come of way. I love you J! I’m thankful each day for you!

November 3- I’m thankful for our families who are always able to help us out day or night. You are our saving grace when we least know it. God has given us two very great, understanding, devoted, caring families – mothers, fathers and siblings who are truly a blessing to us. Thank you for being you!

November 4- Friends, you make me thankful to know I always have someone who has my back through anything. We may not talk each day or get together a lot but when we do its like we’ve haven’t been apart.

November 5 – My Health, I’m thankful God gave me the health. I’m healthy and hope to continue to be so as God see’s fit. I know as I age time will have its toll on me however my health today and hopefully tomorrow is good. God is Good!

November 6 – My job. I’m very thankful for the job I have and the flexibility it has given me to be the mom I want to be and also succeed in the areas I love! I love numbers but also like being creative. My job allows me to do both.

November 7 – Technology, and not just any old technology – being able to take video of my kids having fun, everyday living – I love being able to go back through the times we’ve been able to capture and relive it as if it was the same day.

November 8 – Fridays! What a great day Friday’s are.

November 9- Relaxation and Rest – Time for reflection

November 10 – Our Church – without our faith I know most we would be lost.

November 11- Our veterans of the past, present, and future.  You are the one’s who help keep us safe day in and out.  Thank you for your service, veterans! You are appreciated!

November 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24…….My bad – I have left it with no thankfulness since the 11th.  Well to finalize my list of being thankful I want to just reiterate – I am very thankful for my family (immediate to distant, in-laws included).  Without these individuals in my life, my families life we wouldn’t be who we are today.  The last week and half has been so emotional and they have been there to carry us, to make us better, to help us out when we were down and when we were out of town.  Without them we, I couldn’t be who we are /I am.  I might not say it enough but THANK YOU!  Thank you for being you.  Thank you for taking the time out of your daily life to care for us and to be there for us!  You make life worth living for!

Thanks to God for giving us such a wonderful family to belong to!  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!