Thursday, March 31, 2011

Being Mama Ain't Always Easy

Sometimes being a mom is anything but fun and fabulous.  There are just those days where you are exhausted and have so much to do, but all your kids want to do is scream, cry and be little pains in the butt all day.  That's what being a kid is all about though.  You can't blame them.  It's just tough being a stay-at-home mom sometimes because as much as you absolutely love being a mom, this is the toughest, most difficult, time consuming job around and you don't get paid a penny.  Anyone who wants to argue with me on that one... go ahead and try... because I will prove you wrong. 

As a stay-at-home mom, we play the roles of so many other professionals.  We aren't merely just mom, we are a nurse, a teacher, a maid, a cook, a chauffeur and a wife as well.  We are expected to have the house tidy, the kids cleaned and fed, dinner on the table when the husband gets home and clean laundry, perfectly folded and put away in it's place.  Not to mention, if we don't take the kids out to the park or let them play outside everyday, we are suddenly considered lazy.  

There's really nothing that can prepare you in becoming a mom.  Maybe you remember certain things that your own mom did while growing up, or you have seen your friend deal with their kids, but then when you're up to bat and have to step up to the plate... that's when you realize what motherhood is all about.  It's about putting someone else's needs before your own.  It's about loving someone unconditionally with all of your heart and being willing to sacrifice your own life if necessary, for these little miniature humans that you've brought into the world.  

I absolutely love being a mom, but it's definitely not easy.  I can't tell you the last time I slept a whole night without being woken up by one of my little munchkins.  I have lost so much weight between breastfeeding and not having time to feed myself and when my poor babies get sick, I feel completely helpless and would give anything to be able to trade places with them and take away their pain.  It's a whirlwind of emotions, but as any mommy will tell you, it's totally worth it to see the smiles on their faces and to watch them grow into such beautiful individuals.

Something that I've seemed to figure out the hard way, is that every mom needs an outlet.  You need something that you do for yourself every once and a while to keep your sanity.  Whether it's time at the gym, a mani/pedi sesh or a night out with the husband every so often... you have to make time for yourself!  It's not only good for you and your own well-being, but it's also good for your relationship with your children and your spouse as well.  "When mama's happy, everyone's happy."  Isn't that the truth!

So what do you moms out there do to keep your own sanity?  Do you have a scheduled date night with your husband, or an occasional girls night?  And what are your toughest mom roles?  Please feel free to share some of your own experiences as a mommy because I'm sure many of us would be relieved to relate to other moms out there.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not Your Average Bridesmaids
I feel like it's been too long since I posted on here, so here we go!  This is what I've been up to and I promise it is in fact fun and fabulous!  For those of you who keep up with me, you know that I am in the process of planning my dream wedding (finally!!! ...only 2 kids, a bachelor's degree and a 3 1/2 year engagement later...)  A couple weeks ago, I found the dress of my dreams and this past weekend, I got all my bridesmaids together and we decided on what these gorgeous gals will be rockin' on my big day.
I decided that I didn't want to go with the traditional scheme, with each bridesmaid wearing the identical dress.  Each of these girls is completely different, with their own unique personality, body type and style and I want that to show on my wedding day.  While my wedding day is more about me and what I want (obviously), these are my girls and I chose them to share this day with me for a reason!  I want them to be comfortable and love the dress that they have to wear all day (and pose in pictures that they will have to look back on one day also).  The dress that each girl chose, definitely resembles their individual style and looks amazing on.

Now the only problem we need to solve is whether each girl needs to wear the same shoes or not.  I personally think that since each girl has their own style dress, then they need the same exact shoe, just to tie everything together.  I found a really cute pair at DSW that I think would look great with the dresses.  Not only are they fabulous, but they're affordable as well.  Now I just have to decide whether I'm going to do ivory shoes or colored shoes with my wedding gown.

I always thought I was more of a traditional kind of girl, but as I get further into this whole wedding planning process, I am realizing that I like to be unique and different from the typical bride.  I have a zest for style, as my mom put it.  I'm also trying to think of a fun DIY project for my favors now, so if anyone has a fun, affordable project, please send it my way!  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven

It's very rare that I find a book that I get so drawn into that I can sit and read it from start to finish in just one sitting.  I was checking out Busy Mommy's blog, when the title of her post "Heaven is for Real" jumped out at me.  She explained this book that she had just finished, Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back.  I just knew that I had to read it!

While I do consider myself religious and a true believer in God and heaven, I am not an avid church-goer.  I don't know all of the stories in the Bible and I sometimes wonder what really happens when you die.  Are there really angels with wings and loved ones who have passed before us?  Are there animals?  Is everyone the age that they were when they died here on Earth, or do you even have a human figure at all in heaven?  There are so many unanswered questions and so much curiosity when it comes to life after death.  But in this book, all of these questions and more are answered... by a 4-year-old boy who saw it all first hand.

When Colton Burpo was 3, he lied in the hospital, in what seemed to be his death-bed. His fragile, little body had endured five days of internal poisoning from a ruptured appendix.  Doctors didn't give the family any words of encouragement before his surgeries, for they were almost positive that it was too late to save him. It would take a miracle... which is exactly what happened.

I don't want to give away too many details of the book, but it is such an easy read and it's amazing to hear about this boys visit to heaven.  And one of his stories that touched me on a very personal level, actually bringing me to tears at one point when I was reading it, was the part where Colton tells his parents that he met his sister in heaven.  This confused them at first, since his older sister was very much alive and well and definitely not in heaven.  But then they realized that the sister he was referring to, was the baby that they had miscarried before Colton was born.  They had never told him of this loss and they never did find out the sex of their departed baby since she had only been two months along.  I myself lost a baby during a pregnancy and have wondered if I would ever see him again in heaven one day.  This was such an inspirational story and made me that much more of a believer.

"A beautifully written glimpse into heaven that will encourage those who doubt and thrill those who believe."  -Ron Hall (coauthor, Same Kind of Different as Me)

If you choose to read this book, which I definitely recommend, feel free to share with me your thoughts on it and your reaction to Colton's story.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Watch out Betty Crocker...

I am happy to inform you all that the spiderman cake came out even better than I imagined it would.  And it's safe to say that I took my new baking addiction to a whole new level. With our crazy, hectic schedule, I didn't get it done in time for his actual birthday like I had mentioned before, but I made sure to have it finished for the next day so we could enjoy it with the family after our trip to the bowling alley (which is where the little guy decided he wanted to celebrate). 

I must say, it wasn't an easy task.  I did end up making my own fondant recipe from scratch, with a recipe that I found from The Duke, which turned out perfectly!  Follow her recipe and instructions and you should have no problem.  The one thing that I did differently, was that I added my food coloring to the water in the beginning and it seemed to worked out fine for me.  I started the whole process around 9 o' clock at night, when I got the boys to bed and I didn't finish it until after midnight.  So I definitely put a lot of time and effort into it, but my little guy is so worth it!  And the look on his face when he took his first glance at it this morning was priceless!  His jaw literally dropped... it made me so happy to see the excitement on his face.  My husband was even surprised at how well it turned out.  He told me I should consider going into business, which is the ultimate compliment coming from him.  My sister actually loved the cake so much that she has already offered to be my first client and wants me to do the cake for her son's birthday in July!  Hopefully I will have more practice under my belt by then too!  

Make a WISH!
I encourage all of you creative parents out there to give it a try... especially if you're up for a challenge.  They have a pretty large selection of different cake pans on amazon that you can choose from as well.  Anything from Dora, Elmo, spongebob, cars... you name it!  If any of you take up the challenge, be sure to post a comment here to your blog so we can take a look!  

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Spiderman!

So I was planning on cleaning all night to prepare for my little Pookie's 3rd Birthday tomorrow! But things never seem to work out the way that I plan them out in my head.  The little guy refused to go to bed tonight (probably because I've been pumping him up all day about his birthday tomorrow). So needless to say, I spent most of the night chasing his little butt around the house.  

That kid is smart.  He's learned that all he has to do is pull the "I have to go pee-pee" card and I can't say no.  But then somehow a trip to the potty turned into him putting on his spiderman costume and playing rock band with daddy downstairs? Oh well, I cut him some slack since it is his birthday tomorrow.  But now it's midnight and all I got done was the dishes.  By the time both kids are in bed and actually sleeping, I'm too exhausted to get anything done.  So I just sink into the couch, guzzle down a few glasses of wine turn on a good show and maybe throw out a few tweets for my followers.  [baby woke up... but luckily he just needed a little mom love and is back off to dreamland so I can finish this post]

So now I know I'm going to be stressing myself out tomorrow because all I'm going to want to do is play with my little birthday boy all day, but I know that my OCD tendencies are going to kick in and I'm going to have to have the house straightened up for when the grandparents come by since I think we are going to host dinner here tomorrow evening.  And I still need to run to Party City to pick up all of the spiderman decorations and of course, the spiderman cake pan.  Yes people, I am actually going to attempt to take this new baking addiction of mine to another level and try to make a spiderman cake for my sweet lil birthday boy.  I think I may even attempt to make my own fondant icing and everything!  I'll be sure to post pictures for you guys to see how this kitchen catastrophe turns out.  It should be interesting to say the least.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The unspoken truth about those obnoxious blog ads

So this is kind of a random post, but I started thinking today... What initially led me to start a blog, was actually searching the web for ways to make money from home since I am a stay-at-home mom.  I ran across several articles on blogging and how to get started for free and voila!  Although I didn't expect to make tons of money, I figured... "hey, what the heck do I have to lose?"  

I have always loved writing and just recently finished college, so I no longer have assignments and papers to write, so this is a perfect outlet for me to do something for me and to have fun writing about absolutely anything I want to write about and I don't have to stress about what grade I'll get on it once it's submitted.  (well, I won't lie, I do sort of get a little bit nervous when I push 'publish post', because I don't know how people who read it will react)  Will they like it?  Will they like me?  If they don't comment, does that mean they stopped reading halfway through and went on to something more entertaining?  Well, in the end I guess that really doesn't matter since I am doing it for myself.  But I guess I just hope that in the meantime, I can find a way to help someone else also.  Whether it's giving helpful advice for new momsrelating to other moms out there who struggle with guilt, or just sharing fun DIY projects that I get myself into.  
Photo Credit: Mouse Arena

But now I'm going to get back to the main point of my writing this article in the first place.  Since many of us who blog probably got started hoping to make a little extra pocket change along the way, why not help each other out a little bit?  (I know you didn't just put those obnoxious ads on there for decoration) I'm not asking you to go crazy and click on all my ads, I'm not offering any incentives for doing so, but I'm saying... if every time we visited someone else's blog, we clicked on an ad that we found interesting, then we'd be helping them out a few cents at a time.  And who knows... one of those obnoxious ads may actually lead us to something that we truly are interested in.  

So why not go ahead and post your own article on how we should get clicking in the blog world.  Then maybe it will become common courtesy and all those views that you get per day, will become clicks and therefore become money in your pocket!  Sounds like an easy plan to me... or is this more of an unspoken rule... that you can't talk about this in the blog world, because we all genuinely just do this for fun and think those ads on our page add personality?  Okay... whatever you say! But I know the next time I go looking at someone's blog, I'm going to help them out and take that extra second to click that ad! 

And I'm curious to see what kind of ad pops up under this article! hehe

101 in 1001

My cousin posted this fabulous concept from Day Zero Project on his blog and I was instantly intrigued with the idea.  Since I am one who loves to make to-do lists and feels a huge sense of accomplishment when I get to cross something off that list, I figured that doing this will be very satisfying... not to mention productive.  A lot of the things on the list are things that I may think about doing on occasion, but with my busy life, I never actually get around to it.  Just by finishing this list, I already have a feeling of accomplishment.  And I'm excited to wake up tomorrow and start my day 1 of 1001.  And if I can convince just one of you to start your own list, then I've crossed off a task.  Here goes nothing... (make sure you check out my list of 101 things below)

About The Project

Welcome to Day Zero, the home of the 1001 Day Project. A unique challenge that inspires you to set and achieve your personal goals in life.

The Challenge: 

Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days. 

The Criteria: 
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part). 

Why 1001 Days? 
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple challenges such as New Year's resolutions or a 'Bucket List'. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities. 

My List:  Bold = in the process,  Strikethrough = completed!

Pay for the person behind me in line (fast-food, toll, etc) June 2013

Donate blood

Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years

Read at least 15 good books! (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay...)
Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find
Kiss in the rain (July 2011)

Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day

Get a job (August 2011, Level 6 Gymnastics Coach)

Go camping

Go to a concert

Make a new friend (Katie at the gym)

Get a massage (with T in summer 2012)

Complete a 365 day photo challenge

Go on a road trip (Florida: May 9-14 2011)
No fast food for a month
Dance in the rain (May 2011)

Buy a lottery ticket (April 2012, no luck)
Write a book

Get a passport

Send a message in a bottle

Not log into facebook for a whole week!

Go to 5 different museums

Go skinny dipping

Go to Las Vegas

Sing karaoke at a bar

Take a dance class

Get a facial

Read the entire bible

Start my own business (Beachbody Coach--Aug 2013)

Learn to sew (November 2011, made the boys PJs)

Try out for the Reskinettes

Go to a wine tasting (November, 2011: 26th Bday weekend with the girls)

Have breakfast in bed

Be a tourist in DC for a day

Visit my old high school

Go to the top of the Empire State Building with Hubby

Make a recipe book

Find a four leaf clover

Go to a Redskins football game

Get married (June 18, 2011)

Go barefoot for a day

Invent something that at least ten people buy

Expand my vocabulary by 100 words

Go to California.

Get published.

Give a 100% tip

Influence a person to make a day zero list

Volunteer somewhere.

Get my substitute teaching license.

Have dinner by candlelight

Complete a 5K Walk/ Run (Susan G Komen May 2011 & 2012)

Host a party. (NYE 2012  Bday parties for kids)

Plant a vegetable garden

Get these damn invisalign things off my teeth (April 2013)

Make my mom get a pedicure

Write a children's book for my kids

Buy a pair of designer jeans for myself (3/14/11)

Get a picture taken with someone famous

Spend a whole weekend at my dad's house

Go to church at least twice a month

Answer the "50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind" (May 15, 2011)

Pay off my credit cards

Remodel the kitchen (June 2013)

Complete a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle

See a play on Broadway

Adopt a dog from an animal shelter (April 2012, okay didn't adopt, but bought a puppy: Simon)

Walk 5 miles/day for a month

Put together baby books for the boys

Have a baby (Due August 15, 2012) Caitlin was born Aug 7 2012

No TV/Internet for 50+ days out of the 1001

Teach lil man to write his name (first and last name... so smart)

Host a Slumber Party/Girls Night

Watch a meteor shower

Drink the required 8 glasses of water a day for an entire month

Have a picnic in the park (Spring 2012 at Frying Pan Park with my boys)

Shoot a gun at the shooting range

Go to bed by 10pm and wake up by 7am for a month

Collect all the Disney classics on DVD

Give someone a handmade gift (March 2011)

Eat at 10 new restaurants

Learn to tie a man’s tie. (July 2011)

Go to the movies with mom.(May, 2012) The Hunger Games with mom and sisters)

Own a pair of Louboutins

Get my eyebrows waxed (3/16/11)

Get a spray tan

Save $1000

 Fly a kite (Spring 2013)

see a comedian live

Ride on a ferris wheel

Take a train somewhere (From Manassas to Clifton on Clifton Day with little guy and great-gma L)

Compliment a stranger everyday for a month

Send a card or small gift just because

Find a reliable babysitter (summer 2013 Lindsey from

Schedule a date night at least once a month with Hubby (Summer 2013)

Go to a professional baseball game

Visit my Aunt SheShe in Minnesota

Research my family history

Take the kids roller skating

Dye my hair another color

Go Wakeboarding

Make another list of 101 things to do in 1001 days


Please leave a comment with a link to your list of 101 things in 1001 days if you decide to take the challenge! I would love to see you guys' lists! Good luck and have fun with it!