Posted in acceptance

I am Second

I was driving home from work today thinking about the past few weeks events. If you have read this post, then you know it has been a stressful and challenging week.  While sitting at a red light, I read the bumper sticker on the car in front of me. Three simple yet powerful  words that caught my eye. I am second.

It’s incredible how something so random and simple can sucker punch in the gut as if to rock you to your core. I am second. I have spent the past few weeks complaining about how hard my life is, how tired I am, and how alone I feel at times.  Now I realize how many times I say “I” in a week, day or hour even.

The truth is, I am not first. I am second. Without knowing where these words were coming from, I somehow knew. We are second to God.  I am second to God. So I should stop complaining about life right now and just spend more time talking to him.  So, now instead of listing my complaints about life, I am going to list my blessings from the week.

  1. Spending the day at the beach and seeing Mini – Me smile with that contagious sun shiny smile of hers
  2. Watching 9yo play soccer
  3. 4yo’s cute little bed head when he wakes up in the morning
  4. A job that allows me to be home normal work week hours
  5. our new church home
  6. The wonderful teachers God has put in our path
  7. Quiet time for reflection
  8. Coworkers who make me laugh despite the horrid week we have had
  9. Potential job opportunities ( I am praying hard to make the right decision on that one)
  10. Teaching our children to pray
  11. Fairy Garden’s ( we haven’t killed the flowers yet)

What are your blessings this week?

 

Posted in acceptance

Choosing to love

It was March 15, 2004 on a cloudy yet, sunshiny day when I became the Mrs to my Mr.  I was 22 years old then, and full of love, hope and images of a picture perfect happily ever after. It’s hard to believe it has been thirteen years since we have said ” I do.”

Fast forward to that thirteen years on March 15, 2017 . I received an edible arrangement at work from the hubby and can honestly say that I was completely surprised. How does he still manage to surprise me after all these years?  We had a survey happening at the hospital so my day was long and exhausting, so the nice fruit basket kept me going throughout.

When I came home from work, our anniversary was anything but picture perfect. The house was a complete mess, kids had to be fed; homework need to be done and baths were started. The fancy anniversary dinner consisted of pizza that was eaten roughly around 7pm that night. Then, the hubby fell asleep in Buddy’s room  while putting him to bed. It wasn’t romantic.. it wasn’t ideal. It was just a normal night like any other. It just simply was.

>>>>>>

Apparently when you have been married longer than ten years people start asking what your secret is. Isn’t that funny? Ten years hardly seems like it has been long enough to know the key to keeping a lasting marriage. Yet somehow, seems like a lifetime in this day and age.

Once  you add social media to the mix, anyone can seem like they have this picture perfect marriage and then boom suddenly they are getting divorces leaving others wondering what could have gone wrong. I am sure if you looked at my social media pages then you would think that our marriage is perfect too. We only show people what we want them to see, which is usually  the good stuff. The flowers, the nice gestures, you know.. all that stuff. It hardly seems right to say hey, my husband sucked today..

The truth is, these past thirteen years have not been perfect. We have had some amazing times as well as come incredibly rocky times. It has been hard and a lot of work to continue to stay married for this long! I can’t tell you the magic secret to staying married, because well, we are still a work in progress and I think if anyone tells you different, they are living in a fairytale.

The only thing I can say, is that I am still married because once all the newness and honeymoon phase has worn off , we have to make a choice. A choice to love one another no matter what. I am still married because I choose to love this man even when every when I don’t like him very much. I choose to love the man who put over 200 valentines cards in a bag with different messages he had hand written on the day he asked me to marry him. I choose to love the man who communicates with very little words. I choose to love the man who once drove over an hour away to pick up a tablet that he ordered for me to celebrate a promotion. I choose to love this man who once again drove an hour away to buy soccer cleats for our oldest daughter because she doesn’t like the color pink and the green ones, were only an hour drive away. I choose to love the man who is sleeping right now, while I am sipping a glass of wine and cleaning our house ( I am a little mad about this one, but I still choose to love him.. Wine helps!)

Love is  choice. It is not easy, it is not picture perfect. It simply is the act of showing kindness, gratitude, compassion, and affection for one another. Love is a choice. Who do you choose to love today?

 

 

Posted in mommyhood

Time for Preschool

It that time again. Time to sign up for Preschool. The beginning of sending my child to school and this time it will be the last first day of preschool! Oh boy, I need to let that one sink in a little. Pretty soon, I will have three school aged children and then what? I’m just getting old that’s what, Ha!

Now, you would think that I would be a pro at this by now, but seriously! Why didn’t someone tell me this was going to be so hard! I mean, since when did getting into a preschool become as competitive as getting into college?

The truth is, with the older two we did not attend the typical voluntary preschool program. With the oldest we chose a facility that provided the curriculum and had an excellent teacher! I mean the child had homework every night. But then, when it was time for the middle child to attend, we noticed a decline in the quality of the program. The same teacher that was amazing had left and we were left with some teachers who were not as structured as the previous one and well, it really became just daycare. So now, here we are scrambling to find a place for 4yo so he can get a good quality education and be ready for Kindergarten!

There is a place near my work that has a good reputation, but when I called the day before open registration they had already filled their spots! How does that even happen? A lot of places around here only do the VPK from 8-12 and do not offer extended care. This is obviously not an ideal situation for a working mom!

Thankfully, my sister-in-law is willing to help be my extended care if he attends the same preschool as her daughter. This is also a really good preschool and open registration is Monday. Now, I have anxiety that when I show up on Monday they will be a line out the door and I will be still not  have a preschool lined up! UGGH!!! It was easier for me to get in college than it is to get my little man in preschool! So for now, all I can do is hope and pray that this situation works out..or I will just cry..

Posted in mommyhood

Not that kind of girl

WE woke up last Sunday morning to the 9yo ( Holy shit she is nine!)telling me that her ear hurt. Minutes later she acted as if everything was fine, so we continued to get dressed and ready for church. The Hubby had to do some work before church so he had left the house earlier that morning.

Once we arrived to church, we checked 4yo in preschool and then quickly sat down. At this point it was just me and the girls as the hubby had yet to arrive. Quickly the service began with its glorious music filled auditorium. Less than five minutes into the music and I looked over at 9yo who had tears streaming down her face! She kept wiping them as if to hide her emotions while in church. Immediately going to her, I said let’s go outside and asked my sister-in-law to keep an eye on 7yo who was sitting with us as well.

What’s wrong I asked as we got outside, and she explained that her ears began hurting again with all the music. This is  a church that plays contemporary Christian so percussion is definitely on the list of instruments playing, so I can see how that bothered her little ears. I had to call the husband and explain the situation, which was that we were going to urgent care and thankfully he was almost at the church, so me and 9yo whizzed through the parking lot in order to get out of dodge. I texted my sister-in-law on the way, but the poor thing didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. She simply thought 9yo wanted to go to children’s church and I stayed to watch.

Once we got to urgent care, things kind of go south. “She has so much ear wax that it’s covering the ear drum.” The physician said. We are going to need to clean those out. All I could think was good luck, this kid freaks out if you even think about looking in her mouth or ears. But committed to the team that we would try our hardest.

Now, if you have never had this done before and can be quite alarming. They place ear drops in your ears, let that sit and then proceed to flush out your ears with water in attempts to get the wax out. Well, the screaming soon began. She screamed bloody murders as they flushed her ears and I wiped her face telling her it was going to be okay. You lied to me!! She shouted while the nurse  desperately tried. to get the wax out of ears.  “We got the left one clear!” the nurse shouted, but then determined the need for more drops in the right ear because it wasn’t going to budge.

At some point, while waiting for the drops to sit for a bit, the nurse came in and handed 9yo a bunch of stickers. AS I went through them I shake my  head. They were all princesses. I am talking Cinderella, sleeping beauty, you know all of those frilly princesses. Considering my daughter walked into that urgent care sporting a Pokémon hat, I just kept those stickers to my self.

Once we were finished and realized the right ear was a lost cause, the doctor decided to prescribe some antibiotics just in case. While waiting at our local target for her prescription, I took out the stickers and handed them to 9yo and asked if she wanted any of them. She looks down at those stickers and says “Nah! I’m not that kind of Girl!” HMM.. Maybe someone should tell those urgent care folks that not all girls are princesses, Some are Pokémon and dragon trainer warriors!

 

Posted in mommyhood

Because sometimes kids are embarrassing

You know us parenting bloggers like to share funny things our kids do or say. Sometimes we share a weekly things my kid said post. You wanna know a secret? Sometimes my kids do stuff that embarrass the crap out of me! I know.. I know.. I should be the one embarrassing them! So without further ado, I give you the things my kids did to embarrass me this week!

Setting: Physician waiting room full of people

4yo grabs hold of my boob and continues to sit there and hold it. Seriously, this kid was never even breast-fed, He has no claim to that body part! the more i tried to move his hand away without making a scene, the more he laughed and kept trying to hold my boob! Naturally i blame his father for his boob obsession.

Setting: Michaels craft store

9yo- EEWWW! What is that smell?

7yo-oh right! I had gas! ( stating this as loud as she can)

9yo- Gross! Mama! she farted!!! ( again yelling at the top of her lungs as I could not hear or smell the situation at hand!)

Sigh, I guess  i will just have to take pleasure in the knowledge that i will get to pay them back for all these embarrassing moments one day! What has your child done to embarrass you lately?

 

 

Posted in acceptance

2017 Words to live by

It’s 2017 folks! Which of course means we will be writing the year 2016 for the next six weeks before we get it right, It also means some of us will pick goals for the upcoming year. I hate the term resolution so I choose words to live by instead of your standard resolution if weight loss  or get our of debt by the end of the year.

It always amazes me how far we come in just a little year’s time. Last year I wanted purity, value and faithfulness. I can honestly say we reached the goal for the year 2016. I feel more faithful and strive to see value in everything I do. Even when I am tired and just want to complain. I also do not feel like I am in the same negative place I was in a year ago. It’s amazing what getting rid of any negative thoughts can do for a person.

With such amazing words to live by in the year 2016, I have found it hard to choose words for this year. After writing down several words, I keep coming back to a couple that just seem to speak to me right now.  They are to be more  loving and seek continuous spiritual fulfillment.

Loving towards my husband.

I think loving and kindness go hand in hand. Couldn’t we all use a little more kindness and love in our lives?

I am not always the most affectionate person, and sometimes that pushes over to my husband as well. I know, how did we manage to make three babies? My husband’s love language is most definitely touch so this year my goal is to be more loving and kind and renew the relationship with my husband that has worn a little after the kids were born. I think this is true of most marriages, but its time to get priorities back in order here.

Loving towards my family.

We get so busy that with our schedules that there are times we go months without seeing my parents. I want to be a more loving daughter and strengthen the relationship with my parents. Even, if it is a phone call once a week, it will be a start.

Spiritual fulfillment

I have spent the past year becoming more faithful and while I still have ways to go, it has been a good start not only for me but our family. We started attending a church and make it on most Sundays. My hope is that we can more involved as the kids become more comfortable there. Faith is only one part of developing a spiritual relationship. In other words, just having faith isn’t enough. Spiritual fulfillment is the things we do to feed our soul. Much like our bodies need food, our souls need to be fed with the things that will truly make us happy. This year my goal is to continue to feed my soul with daily devotions and bible study. I am slowly making time for this on a daily basis. I can tell you, I notice the difference when I do not take time to feed my soul. I become inpatient and testy.

This year I hope you find happiness like no other and when the challenges arise ( and there will always be challenges) they are short and make you stronger than you were before they arisen. May you find love and hope for the new year to come. Happy New Year from April at  Diapers and tutus to Meetings and Boardrooms!

Posted in acceptance

50 things I am thankful for in 2016

If  you have been on social media lately then you have been sure to see posts that say good-bye 2016, and oh I cannot wait to see this year-end! These posts by people who are clearly having a challenging time and probably more recently than at the beginning of the year. Catherine over at Thousand hour mama created a list of what she is grateful for in 2016 and I decided to follow suit. WE have all had our challenges this year, but isn’t it more productive  reflect on what was good about the year? So without further ado I give  you my 50 things of thankful for 2016!

April’s 50 things of thankful for 2016

  1. Books-any books really, I just love the feel of them and diving into someone else’s story.
  2. My Children – I want to strangle the little suckers sometimes but they give me absolute joy
  3. completing my degree
  4. COFFEE– there are no other words necessary here
  5. My coworkers – It’s amazing how working with people who make you laugh constantly just brightens your day
  6. My canon camera – since I can’t get my children to take a decent picture I might as well take them myself and not have to pay someone else.
  7. Not so perfect photos –  see above.. I have some absolute great candid shots of the kiddos ( I am sure I will blackmail them one day with said shots )
  8. Disney world – what a wonderful and magical time
  9. Soccer – I was so sad when the girls dropped ballet, but to my surprise I love watching the kids play soccer
  10. Good friends
  11. My kid’s teachers – we have been blessed with some pretty special ones
  12. Therapist – the oldest has come along way and I know its due to her sessions
  13. vitamins
  14. Art– my fridge is covered with some pretty priceless art
  15. The show This is Us
  16. Cuddles
  17. Reading to my kids – as long as they will let me, I will read to them
  18. Red wine
  19. Date nights – we do not get many of those, but they are always appreciated
  20. Movies
  21. Paying it forward
  22. Spiderman – my son’s absolute hero and alter ego on most days
  23. Pandora music on my phone
  24. Netlfix– Fuller house, Gilmore girls ..Love!!!
  25. Erin Condren Life planner – Its expensive for a planner but brings my joy 🙂
  26. Travel agents – loved that my friend and travel agent planned out our entire vacation, all i had to do was show up!
  27. Daily devotions and bible study – I have recently began a bible study that just gives me a sense of peace every time i read it.
  28. Birthdays – because it’s always a blessing to have one more birthday
  29. Hairdressers – this is a little shallow I know, but for years I went to fantastic sams with so-so results, so now that I have an awesome hairdresser at a nice salon, my hair is awesome and healthier.
  30. Progress– even when small , I am always thankful for progress
  31. Playing board games
  32. Quiet mornings
  33. Saturdays
  34. Genuine laughter
  35. The palm trees in my front yard
  36. chiropractor and massage therapist
  37. My best friend– we don’t always get to hang out, but its like we pick up where we left off every time
  38. My sister-in-law – We are beyond blessed to have her car for our kids when school is on break
  39. Conquering my fear of public speaking – yes, I did a presentation for a national conference and rocked it!
  40. Visiting Washington – oh the history there, I am glad at 35 years old, I was finally able to see it!
  41. Bedtime conversations – it’s the one time of the night we slow down and the kids tell me about their day ( what did you think I was talking about?)
  42. Pretty sunsets
  43. Online shopping – Hello Amazon!
  44. 4yo’s tonsillectomy – so far no more signs of sleep apnea 🙂
  45. Farms– there is just something special about visiting the farm
  46. Grace– because we all need to give ourselves a little grace
  47. My husband – I don’t tell him how much I appreciate him nearly enough
  48. Facebook memories – I just love that it shows you where you were years prior
  49. Cooking – it’s a sense of therapy
  50. Blogging – it’s no secret I have been absent this past year, but am glad to get back in the game

What are you thankful for in 2016?

 

Posted in mommyhood

The magic of Disney

We have had our share of Disney  world experiences both with kids and without. The last time we went was three years ago with just the girls. We wanted to have a vacation with just the two of them before little brother would be joining in on the fun. The little guy just turned one years old when we went, so he stayed with out sister-in-law.

This time we were unsure if the husband would ever get vacation time, so it wasn’t until four months before the trip that we were able to plan. We also decided to keep the trip a secret from the kids and surprise them the day we leave for the vacation.

This was not a secret that we could easily keep, but I am happy to say we pulled off the surprise of the century!  We told the kids that morning and were on the road in no time!

The first day was spent at Hollywood studios and while we tried, the Jedi training was full so we had to watch the enjoyment from the sidelines. Each experience at Disney ( which this is the third, one without kids and second with kids) is completely different and this day was not the happiest place on earth. The kids were cranky, no one seemed to have any fun and there were fights over who was going to sit where. I am not sure if it was because I was so tuned in to my own family’s crankiness but as I looked around there were angry parents, rebellious kids and lots of tears! I repeat.. Not the happiest place on earth!

The second day, it rained! this also happened to be our Magic Kingdom day so it was kind of a bummer, but we managed to have fun in the end. Thankfully, I read some blogs that suggested buying ponchos before hand, so we had those to help a little. While trying to avoid the rain we casually slipped into line for the Peter pan ride, and well… we got stuck on the ride. It was only a few minutes but the kids were freaking out! Thankfully we recovered by enjoying the it’s a small world ride after that. It’s just such a lovely ride. Eventually the rain cleared late in the afternoon so we could enjoy the evening shower free. Moments of awesomeness in between the chaos. Isn’t that what parenting is all about?

And then there was Epcot! Oh how we love Epcot! We even had fastpass to the new Frozen ride! Ya’ll do not know how excited I was to ride this ride. It was being built the last time we went. My advice is to get a fast pass ya’ll! The wait without it was two hours and we were in line and off the ride in less than fifteen minutes thanks to our fast pass! The ride is awesome! But do know that there is a small dip so splashing could occur. Something that upset my oldest but hey, water dries. When I asked the 7yo how she liked it and she said ” I didn’t like it.. I loved it!” out of the mouth of babes…..

The last day was spent at the Animal Kingdom and oh how we love the animal kingdom. The safari is just amazing and the tour guides make sure you get to see all of the animals. Since, it is the closest I will ever get to a real Safari, I loved it! We also enjoyed Dinoland  which has an awesome playground and Dino dig for the kids.  Oh and the Lion King show is simply amazing! You really must see it!

To end our vacation we treated the kids to a character dining experience at the Tuskers house. This restaurant features African and some American cuisine and is just spectactular.was  awesome! Even, my husband thought so and he is strictly a meat and potatoes kind of guy! We were able to dine with Daisy, Donald, Goofy and Mickey Mouse. The staffs were impressive and very accommodating and we even were able to see each character twice! They really took the time with each table and I think we will go there again if we are lucky  enough to ever go back!

There was lots of tears, crankiness and even a few tantrums. The truth is nothing is perfect, but in between all those moments where it rained, the kids were cranky and we inadvertently took the kids on  a ride that they describes as desperately terrifying ( the great movie ride btw) there were moments of magic! We will remember the chaos but the magic will stay forever 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

Posted in mommyhood, Uncategorized

Pass me the Holy Water please

wpid-46a7d80e4043132cc1b8931cce3a1d62.jpg

Today was a day like any other. We went to church and then had several errands to run afterwards. We needed to buy a pair of shoes for someone we have sponsored for Christmas this year, and then get some gifts for 7yo’s class Christmas party.

After much exhaustion from attempting to keep the kids occupied and quiet during the service ( a blog post for another day) I decided to let the hubby run inside to pick out the shoes while the kids and I stay in the car. During this errand, 4yo decides he needs to potty. Refusing to go into the mall, I call the husband and tell him that we are running into the closest fast food place to potty. This event goes without incident, thankfully.

I was pretty certain that the hubby would take us home prior to going to target for the 7yo’s class present, however he did not. Deciding to take only the 7yo with him.. well, this set the 4yo off! Silly me thought we just grazed by that whole tantrum phase, but I tell you I have seen a side of my 4yo that I never want to see again!

His loud shrill, of ” I want to go with DADDY!!!” Were loud enough for a deaf person to hear. At one point, I swear I seen his head spin around as he was kicking my seat and screaming like a little asshole.  Silently thinking to myself, where is the damn holy water because my son has obviously been possessed by a demon.

It was a scene that would make anyone lose their shit, and I wanted to lose mine. It was at the point that I thought, this kid is acting like an asshole and he needs a spanking, that I stopped for a second. Again, while thinking in my head ” Are  there  not   times when I am an asshole?” The answer is yes.

I recalled a moment when I was in a boardroom and told a senior VP that he was talking out of both sides. I thankfully caught myself before I took that comment too far, and he could have easily sent me out of the room and disciplined me. Instead, being the good country boy that he is, listened and explained his point of view in a calm and collected manner. You see, in that moment I was the asshole. I am not proud of myself and felt quite embarrassed, but you know what he gave me? He gave me the moment to be  imperfect, to have passion and feel comfortable voicing my passion, disappointment and frustrations. He let me be human.

I can’t tell you why this moment popped in my head at this particular time, but it did. So instead of yanking that child up, and making things worse, I did nothing. I sat there and let him scream and kick and have a meltdown that belonged in the movie the exorcist. I let him be human.

Now, before you go thinking that he got his way, well he didn’t. He stayed safely strapped into his car seat the entire time, and was never allowed to go inside the store. When the screaming and kicking  stopped and I heard nothing but the pitiful sobs of uncontrollable tears rolling down his face, that’s when I unbuckled myself and went to him. I rubbed his cheeks and wiped his tears, all while I was telling him ” I love you.”  Within a minute’s time, he stopped sobbing and I could see the face of my sweet little boy again who was happy and ready to play with his Spider-Man toys patiently waiting for his daddy to return.

He may never remember this moment, but I will for the rest of my life. As I reflect on today’s events, I realize that I want my children to know more than anything, that no matter how they act or what they do, I will always love them. It doesn’t mean that I will agree with their choices or behavior, but I will love them anyways. I hope, that when I feel discouraged or difficult to like my children , that I remember this moment.

I remember my mom doing the same for my brother when he was younger and alive. His choices were not the best and his behavior sometimes worse, but she always defended him. I didn’t get it then, and while I think as a mom, I still would not have defended the behavior, I get it  now. She was not defending it because she agreed with it, she was simply doing what she thought she needed to do in order for her to show her son that no matter what he was loved. I guess what they say is true, When you have children of your own one day, then you will understand. I understand mom,  I understand.. Now.. I just need to keep a little holy water in my purse in case we have another episode….

 

Posted in mommyhood, Uncategorized

Quality time with the kids… A Christmas Eve Tradition

img_55982-2

I love Christmas time! It is my absolute favorite holiday. The house gets decorated and looks so cozy. I often wish I could just leave the decorations up year round. The other night we decorated our Christmas tree and as I was putting the girls to bed, the oldest looks at me and says she has two favorite things about Christmas!

I began to brace myself for the expected answer of receiving gifts and material items, but what she said warmed my heart beyond belief. She said, ” my favorite part of Christmas is decorating the tree and making cookies on Christmas eve.” Just warm my heart why don’t you kiddo!

You see, I mad a pact a long time ago with my children that Christmas Eve was out time. We spend every Christmas day traveling to the in-laws and then to my parents house. It is a day of constant running, much like every other day in our lives. So Christmas eve, is where we carry out our traditions. One of them being, you guessed it… Making Sugar cookies for Santa. I think even when the kids stop believing, we will still make cookies for Santa. We begin this process together from start to finish. We also make reindeer food, stay in our pajamas all day and the hubby reads The Night before Christmas to the kids right before bedtime.

These are our traditions. This is the one day of the  year we say no to everyone else in the world and we stick to it. My parents and I were discussing Christmas plans when they mentioned possible getting together  on Christmas Eve. I stuck to my guns and politely said no thank you, and hearing this from our oldest reconfirmed why this tradition is so important.

My mom even went as far as to say, “But April you will still be with them at our house.” Not the same. It’s not about being in the same room as the kids but about spending quality time with them. You see, we can all be in the same room together and never talk or spend any real-time together.  This year i look forward to spending Christmas Eve in my PJ’s making cookies, crafting and watching movies with my kiddos! What are some of your families traditions?