Our Family Believes.............




In:

-Breastfeeding
-Co-Sleeping
-Baby Wearing
-Makes our babies food (when we have time)
-Has never left our kids with anyone except their grandmother for more than 3 hours (yes I may need to let go a *tiny* bit)
-Only feeds them organic dairy and meat
-Uses disposable diapers and wipes (Boo for me)
-Doesn't force them to eat anything (trust me when I say,  kids will eventually get hungry and they will eat, there is no need to traumatize them and force food down their throats)
-Bribes with M&M's to potty train
-Has never set foot in a McDonald's or Taco Bell with them but will give them organic, tofu corn dogs and organic chicken nuggets at the drop of a hat when I need to.


Parent's Who Believe in:

-good manners
no violence discipline
-no violence play (no toy guns allowed in this house)
-baby carriers
-NEVER using UGLY words
- Letting them have hot cocoa and graham crackers on random Wednesday nights, just because! 
- playing outside 
-no video games
-reading lots of books
-home cooked meals
-no cell phones (age permitting of course)
-no ear piercing, mid-drifts, makeup or bikini's (age permitting)



As A Family:

-We only have one car and it's a whooptie
-None of us have cell phones; one land line only
-no cable TV
-Try to eat family dinner together as much as possible which only ends up being 3 times a week (boo again)
-musical instruments are EVERYWHERE
-We build lots of forts, take lots of baths
-Our favorite family restaurant is African food
-Daddy does horse play A LOT
-Love the farmer's Market
-Always have to open and eat something in the grocery before we make it to the checkout line
-Like 3 or 4 course meals, yes, my 2 and 3 year old too, not just my husband and I



Some of Our Views on Parenting:
We think children should be children! They should play outside, in the dirt and mud and water. Let them get dirty and eat stuff off the floor, it's good for them! 

We think everything in moderation is GREAT! Give them some sweet treats once and a while just not everyday. Teach them it's okay to have a little, that way they don't feel the need to binge when presented with it. We always let our kids have the cardinal lollipop from the bank, they really look forward to it:)

Be the kind of person you want your kid to be. Eat the kind of foods you want them to eat, model the type of behavior you want them to emulate. 

IT WORKS!

They should use their imaginations. They don't need to be burdened with the destructive messages that live TV provides. We don't like seeing little kids glued to iPad screens. 
It makes our hearts sad. 

Don't get me wrong, We let our kids watch DVD's and netflix and  probably way too much but I try to pretty much never let them watch "real" television. 
We read to them before every afternoon nap and every evening bedtime and anytime they want in between those. 

We are by no means perfect parents............SOOOOOOOOO far from it but we try really hard to maintain a strong, healthy, consistent environment for them, even if we're pulling our hair out  half the time.  We think the importance is that we try really hard everyday even if we feel like we're loosing the battle most of  the time. At least we are aware and we are trying our best.

We try to NEVER curse in front of the children, we also try hard to not use "ugly" words like, kill, liar, stupid, skinny, dumb, fat or any other semi degrading term. We say Gosh not God.  Words are very powerful! Teach your kids to use them wisely. This is something I had no respect for growing up and I really wish I had. I am changing that now with my own children.

I wish I could do the cloth diapering thing but I just don't have the energy with 2 toddlers and a newborn on the way so we use disposable. We wish we could afford to feed them only organic food all the time and shop only at local farmer supported markets but we cannot. I wish I had the energy to do a great art project with them every single day but I simply don't.
 
We wish we could afford to send them for a couple hours twice a week  to a lovely little quality school like Waldorf but we cannot.
Our goal is to teach them to read and write before they start school. My mother did that for me and I always felt ahead of the game. I was always in honors programs. School was always easy for me academically. I think a strong foundation is extremely important!!! 

We teach our kids to sneeze into their elbows, cover their mouths when they cough and always say "excuse me". They also will always say "bless you" in return. If they pass gas or belch you better bet they say "excuse me".

"Please", "thank you" and "May I" are also absolute musts!! "Yes ma'am" and "no sir" we are working on, but since we are not in the South, these come a little harder out West. It's not in the water out here. 

Manners are important to us and our family and in my opinion good manners will take you very far in life. If you want to be taken seriously, you had better mind your manners.

We teach our children to communicate very openly with us. If they are acting out we will often ask,  "what is frustrating you? How can we help you?" instead of just jumping instantly to discipline.  
We teach them that we are here to guide them and help them, not to judge them. 


LOVE!!!!
Hug, kiss, be affectionate, tell them a million times a day how much you love them and how beautiful and smart they are. You could never tell them enough!!!! 

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*snipits* New Years


I am A-G-A-S-T that I stayed up until past midnight!!! 

Seriously, hasn't happened in years! 

Now that I have been trying to scoop up all the little pieces of my beloved  blog  and put them back together, I find night time is the pretty much the ONLY time I have to blog, connect, comment, email and network so I guess I have been keeping myself busy! 


Now that I pulled my antique waffle iron out of storage, the kids are begging for homemade waffles A LOT! Can you blame them?


It's been snowing on and off since Christmas......Isn't that wonderful? 
I love it when that happens around the holidays!!!!!



Since it was a holiday and it was all snowy outside and cozy inside............New Year's and all................I let the kids have hot cocoa and popcorn for a snack when they woke up from their naps.

*extra* cozy *surprise*

I've never seen such glowing, happy little cherubs! 

We had fun! 


Yup, I even let them eat it as a couch picnic!!! 

Lucky little ducks!!!! 

And the best part...........I got to spend an hour talking to my husband about non stressful related topics all prior to the clock striking midnight! 

YAY!!!! I had a great night. I even met some new wonderful bloggers!!!! 

Now I better jump into bed quick before I get nothing of any kind of sleep! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you beautiful people!!! I hope you had a very safe and happy evening! 

I've got a good post coming up tomorrow! It's all about how my husband and I parent our kids and why. 
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*Ringing* in the New Year




*30* WEEKS

The New Year has changed so much for me since the birth of my children.

 All through my twenties I could be found on any given New Years Eve out on the town, in a party dress, in the highest of heels,  flaunting way too much makeup, with my besties, drink in hand,   really livin' it up!!! 

Then I had kids and realized it wasn't really just another excuse to have a good time! 



Nowadays I can't stay up till midnight to save my life but the whole idea of a new year is an actual concept to me now.

This past year was one filled with challenges but then again  I suppose when is it not? 

I wrote up a month by month play of my year in 2012. You can read that post {HERE} including the good, the bad, and the ugly! 


 I felt very torn this year. 

As I read back on some of my posts I can't help but see a reoccurring pattern of "something needs to change" in my life in order for me to be fully happy!

Posts like {THIS} or {THIS} or {THIS} or {THIS}.

Something was not quiet right. I was unhappy in my job, unhappy away from my children, needed and wanted a stronger foundation with my husband. 

I think these are all attainable things but I need to work on them. I can see they will not just come organically. 


So as 2013 rings in this year I have high hopes of accomplishing F*O*U*R simple things. 

#1.
I want to incorporate faith more into my life on a daily basis. I want to become more disciplined about it; not just dropping to my knees and praying out of sheer desperation. I really want to become more educated about faith and how it can fit into my life in a positive way.

#2. 
I want to accept this new baby into our family with grace and strength. Being a mother is hard, the hardest thing I've ever done. I don't  want to be just another mom yelling at her kids, pulling her hair out, trying to make sure they are all alive at the end of the day. I really, truly would like to be their guide, their teacher. I want to be able to go through my day calm knowing I can do this with grace!!!! 

#3.
 I really want to work on my relationship with my husband. I love that man so much and yet I don't show it enough. I feel like I am falling short in this department. I think the kids take everything I have out of me and there is just nothing left to give at the end of it all but it doesn't have to be that way, something needs to change. My husband needs to become more of a priority in my life. 


#4.
I have had a brand new sewing machine (gold mine) sitting in my den for a year and I haven't touched it. I want to learn to use it and I want to put my skills to good use. I am DYING to open my own shop!!!! I mean really, I am so creative and I have so many ideas. I know the hardest part is just the learning of the machine and I know I could build a successful business for myself. 
I KNOW I CAN!!!! 

*30* WEEKS


Okay, now for a few R-E-A-L-L-Y supperficial things I want to accomplish just for the fun of it in 2013!!!! 

#1. 
Dye my hair back blonde!!! I was white blonde as a kid and always had blonde highlights till I had kids and what can I say. I MISS IT LIKE CRAZY!!!! Yes, a pain to get done but I must admit, I had more fun as a blonde:) 

#2. 
Loose the 70-80 pounds that I'll need to after Baby #3 pops out to get back to my size 4, but ya'all if there is one thing I'm good it it's loosing post baby weight. No worries, I got his one IN.THE.BAG.

#3. 
Run one 1/2 marathon and one full, time totally doesn't matter, just finish. Once I get that weight off start in on some serious speed workouts and strength training. I'm planning to qualify for The Boston Marathon in 2014!!! 

#4. 
Try some eyelash extensions!!

#5.
I'm really trying to get this blog up and kicking!!!! With my new shop coming I want to really get things going with some great group giveaways and some great sponsors so this week only take $5.00 OFF ANY AD SPOT with code "TAKE5" You may purchase all ad space through my {ADVERTISING PAGE}


There you have it!!!! 

My R*E*A*L resolutions and my F*U*N resolutions!!! 

CHEERS!!!! 

And look I don't even have THAT many wrinkles  
for having almost 3 kids in 3 years!! HA!!! 
Dress: LA Posh Style
Leggings: Wet Seal
Glitter Flats: Target
Headband: Handmade by Scarlett
Bangles: direct from India (wonderful gifts)


Here's to a happy and healthy New Year Lovelies!!

What are some of your Hopes and Dreams for 2013??? 

I'd love to hear some more inspiration! 

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A Good Night *Snipit*


I can't believe it's almost the new year. 
I am excited to share my hopes, dreams and goals with you Monday morning!!! I have a few really good ones this year! 

I had the absolute pleasure of staying up late tonight chatting with one of my *soul* sisters. Her and her husband live in New Orleans., Our husbands grew up together and then both married woman named *Hannah*

Coincidence? I THINK NOT!!!! 

Anyhow, She has 2 boys 18 months apart and it is just sooooooo refreshing, healing, and cleansing for me to be able to pour my heart out to another mom who T-O-T-A-L-L-Y understands me as a mother. She understands my needs, my frustrations, my heartache, my joy. 

After a lovely conversation with my southern soul sister I decided to post a few snipits from today! 


Today, I did three loads of new born bay clothes laundry. I got the boxes out of storage a few weeks back and finally got around to washing, sorting and putting them away today.

The memories that came flooding back were amazing. I've said it a few times now that I am a tiny bit scared of this third baby's arrival. I'm not sure how I will manage 2 toddlers and a newborn baby but as I was sorting and folding these tiny little clothes, all which belonged to Milton and Ginger at one point, I just felt pure joy. I could remember just how tiny they are when they are newborns, just how Innocent, pure and beautiful. 
With all my added worry, it was a really nice way for me to get excited about the new baby.



I'm not going to lye and tell you all I had a hot date on New Years eve cause I don't, except with my bed but these new sparkle loafers I got from Target for Christmas are S*C*R*E*A*M*I*N*G New Years to me so I guess I'll just have to do a little outfit post in them!!!! 


Aren't these little owl tooth brush holders the cutest? I got them in the bargain bin at Target for $1 for the kiddoes!! They suction onto the mirror and are so cute!!!!


I am SOOOOOOO, so, so E*X*C*I*T*E*D about this book, "A Beautiful Offering" by Angela Thomas. 

I have been longing to expand my journey into faith with a deeper understanding and a stronger foundation.

I asked some of my rock solid faith rooted ladies for some help and advice and this is the book that Casey Wiegand recommended to me. I snapped it up on Amazon for $3 and am going to dive in tomorrow. 
Can;t wait!!! 


Ohhhh..........My little snuggle bugs...............all curled up in their bean bag chairs watching a new Disney flick!! 

Good Night beautiful Friends.



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Looking Back on 2012



As I look back on 2012, all I can say is 

"WOW, It's been a heck of a ride" and we're still going!!!!! 

Here's a month by month play of just how our year went! 

There was a lot of change, a lot of joy, a lot of HUGE accomplishments, HUGE disappointments and everything in between! 

I'm working on a post for my hopes and dreams for a beautiful 2013!!!! 

January 2012:

My husband has just lost his job and I had just dove into 60 hours of work a week on the graveyard shift! 

EEEKkkk...................gives me the heeby jeebies just thinking about it.

Ginger turns ONE!~ 


February 2012:

This month I got REALLY into running!!! I started training 6 days a week and L*O*V*E*D it. It was my release from all the stress at work and home.

My husband and I get our second date in 2 1/2 years:)


 March 2012:

We went on our first family vacation to New Orleans to visit friends and family and I ran my first ever half marathon

It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I want to do it over and over again! This is what began my obsession with running! 


April 2012:

As I said above, my full on obsession with running continues. This was me at 4am before a 20 mile run! 

LOVED.EVERY.SECOND.

I run another {HALF MARATHON}


May 2012:
My birthday month! I turned 34 this past year!!!! 

Mothers Day:)


June 2012:

June was a  big month!!!! Hubby and I got preggers with baby #3 after one month of trying luckily and after getting a stress fracture in my right tibia the month before from over training, I signed up for {JUNEATHON}. Yes, I worked out every single day it the month of June and blogged about it, pregnant. It was awesome!! 


July 2012: 

July rolls around I am starting to feel pretty sick, morning sick that is:( But I was till running 20-30 miles a week. Me above on a 6 mile run! 

{Father's Day}

August 2012:

By the time August rolls around I am in full swing morning sickness nightmare!!! nausea and vomiting daily and still working full time.
 Here I am still running too but you can see by the look on my face I'm not too happy!


September 2012:

Still sick as a dog. This was the end of my pregnancy running career right here. This was the Heart's for Honduras  10K I ran in September at 16 weeks pregnant. I stopped running after this. 


October 2012:

S*T*I*L*L sick as a dog........In fact things start to get worse ans I have to drop to part time at my job and my emotional status starts to get a little sketchy.

{HALLOWEEN}

 Little Milton Turns 3! 


November 2012:

I finally go out on maternity leave due to multiple emotional and physical problems! I start decorating and baking for the holidays!!! YAY!

SO GRATEFUL!


December 2012:

And finally beautiful, magical Christmas. I cannot express how grateful I am this year for all the amazing gifts our family was given. I really, truly experiences some pretty profound Christmas miracles this year! 



I'm linking up with Rags to Stitches



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"KNOWING" *me* Answer Edition



#1. 
 What would you consider your #1 greatest achievement in life?

EASY. The birth of my children! I can honestly say that I was a bit of a lost soul before I had children. Throughout my entire teens and twenties I was always "searching" for something to fulfill me and I never did find it until the moment my son was born.; suddenly I was instantly gratified. I felt like my path was laid, my goals were set, anything else was trivial at best.



#2.
 What is your hands down most amazingly favorite memory of your relationship with your husband??
Oh....Oh......Oh......this is SOOOOO hard. I have known the man for 17 years, dated for 10 and married for 5 so we have been through it all together!!!
My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Italy traveling the country for 16 days. I believe it was our second night in Italy, we had arrived in Genova, which is GORGEOUS by the way. I highly recommend spending a good amount of time there if you get the chance to go.
We had dinner at this little restaurant tucked behind houses and alleyways and winding streets. It was in fact, a house. A family home. The mother and father were in the kitchen cooking, the sons and daughters were our servers. There was NO menu. You ate what they were cooing that night. PERIOD. It was glorious. We sat down at a table outside on their family patio and were served a 7 course meal. We must have sat there for 4 hours eating and drinking and TRULY, TRULY for the first time enjoying our time as husband and wife together. 
I would say it was the most romantic night of my life easily! 



#3.
 If you didn't have/weren't able to have children, how would your life be different?
ABSOLUTELY!!!!
I wouldn't even be the same person I don't think. Having children had fulfilled me in a way that nothing else ever has. I am beyond grateful and blessed to have those tiny angels in my life.

#4.
Do you see a therapist for your depression? Do you feel like it has helped you?
Yes, I have a Psychiatrist and a psychotherapist in fact. I like therapy A LOT and I find it very helpful. I strongly suggest seeking the professional help of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist if you feel you are depressed or just have some things you need to work out. Honestly, It has saved my life.


#5.
 If you had to live on three foods/dishes for the rest of your life what would they be?
Oh Lordie..................this one is HARD!!!!! Okay let me think, I'm going to say,  PASTA (I'm Italian through and through) A GREAT salad, and fresh berries served in yogurt. 
There you have it! 



#6.
Do you take meds for your depression now or only when you're not pregnant?
I only take meds for depression when I am not pregnant or breastfeeding.  I have been taking them on and off for about 8 years. I have tried several times to get off of them when I'm NOT pregnant but always end up relapsing so for now it is what it is.  
 However, this is totally a personal choice and many, many woman prefer to stay on their anti depressants during their pregnancies and that is a decision that is up to you and your doctor to make. 

#7.
I don't exactly have a question but I'm wondering if you can try and explain depression/what you go through to those of us who have never dealt with it. I try REALLY hard to be compassionate and understanding but--as someone who is happy by default--I just don't get it. I feel awfully ignorant.

This is a very broad question and many people who suffer with depression suffer with different types. I have what they call "Major Depressive Disorder" and also "Seasonal or cyclical" depression.  SO what does that mean?
 Basically is means that there is a chemical imbalance in my brain and it also means that it gets better or worse depending on the time of year (worse in the winter, better in the summer). It means that typically my dopamine and serotonin is out of balance which can cause all kinds of problems like, depression, anxiety, inability to cope, insomnia..........the list could go on forever an differs in everyone.
The kind of depression that I happen to struggle with puts me into a very reclusive, self destructive place. Whenever I have had a major breakdown, I end up not being able to physically  get out of bed for 2-6 days at a time, meaning, I cannot even make it to a phone to call for help. I have had to drop out of school on two separate occasions due to episodes of this nature.  Usually a few months prior to this "breakdown" I will end up gaining 20-40 pounds and generally just starting to go downhill, not being able to manage my life.. I stop paying the pills, I stop returning important calls, I can barely make it to work. 
Typically if  I stay on my medication I will not have any episodes of this nature. Each time one has occurred it has been because I have stopped taking my meds. Anti depressants aren't like "happy pills". There is A HUGE misconception that when you take anti depressants your going to get some kind o f 'high". Let me assure you, you will NOT!!!!! You don't even feel it. It doesn't make you into a different person with a different personality. It literally just restores a balance in your brain that needs to be corrected. Many, many people who struggle with depression will result to using drugs or alcohol to try to self medicate for the imbalance, obviously, this just make things worse but the point is,  as a person suffering with depression and anxiety, I just want to feel normal, not happy all the time or crazy energetic. I just want to feel like I can function and when I am depressed I cannot. 
I hope this has shed a little light on this subject. I just want you all to know that have ever experienced depression that it is not an excuse, a cop out, or a way to get something easier. TRUST ME!!!!! Everything comes much harder in fact. It is a medical diagnosis that needs to be treated like a disease process just like Diabetes or pneumonia. 
It's serious and I mean it!




#8. 
This is kinda an odd question, but what are some ways your family has been able to help you with your depression? And what are some things that have helped them?
I think my kids probably help me on a daily basis, just seeing their faces, knowing they need me.  My husband is an angel when it comes to my depression, he has always been very, very understanding of it so whatever I need from him,  he has always provided for me.  I don't know if my depression or me in a depressed state has helped them at all. Maybe my children will  grow up with a greater sense of understanding and compassion for people who suffer with depression and anxiety but that is the best I can hope for.

#9.
 Any plans to do a "words of wisdom from a mom's viewpoint" type of post/series?
This is a great idea and I have actually asked a couple mom bloggers to do guest posts that include this type of subject matter so maybe it can become a series:)



#10
 Your thoughts on going back to work after baby #3 comes?
Ummmmm................pretty much the thought of it makes me want to break down in  tears right here and now. It always does and always have. I DO NOT want to work. I DO NOT want to leave my children!! If and when I go back to work it will be because i have to.


#11.
 What is your favorite holiday(s) and why?
usually Christmas, especially since having children; all that matters is seeing their little faces light up with all the Christmas Magic that abounds! 





WHAT I'M WEARING at almost 30 weeks:
Dress: Mod Cloth
Jacket: Target
Leggings: Wet Seal
Boots: My new Minnatonka Moccasin Boots
Sunnnies: Loran Conrad for Kohls


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It's Important to Love




Obviously I'm pregnant, very pregnant, 8 months to be exact.
Very hormonal, slightly crazy anyway and have 2 toddlers 13 months apart. 

Recipe for disaster? 
Probably! 


My biggest problem right now?
I don't even know where to begin but I know I AM FILLED WITH FEAR and I know
I MISS MY HUSBAND!!!! 


FEAR? WHAT FEAR?

Well, it's more like, what's not to fear? 
There are so many HUGE things in my life at the moment to fear that those aren't even the things I fear the most. 

I fear that I am not a good enough mother. I fear that I won't be able to handle two toddlers and a new born. I fear I will loose my patience. I fear I will crumble in the face of chaos. 

I fear most of all, I WILL LET MY CHILDREN DOWN; probably every mother's greatest fear.


Fear is an awful feeling, it's just sitting there waiting to pounce on my vulnerable state of mind at any moment. I feel like I have no weapons against it sometimes. It sneaks into my mind and I can't get it out. It come at night when I'm lying there unable to sleep and invades my mind.

Every time I am pregnant I am so moody that it's hard to be around me. I don't have  much of a filter and the one I do have doesn't work very well. 
I try so hard to be nice and loving and patient and all those good things that I know I need to be for my family but sometimes I just can't. I feel like I'm going to explode inside.


We are just about finished potty training little Milton which has been another added stress. The other day the two toddlers were going at it for hours on end and I raised my voice which I try really hard not to do and my son just put his hand on my thigh and said, 

"It's Important to Love Mommy."

Well, of course this made me instantly cry my eyes out. What is wrong with me? What kind of mother am I?


A 3 year old with the wisdom of a 100 year old and knew just what to say to his poor mama obviously struggling to maintain any kind of grip at all. 

None of us are perfect and I know I certainly am not but I think it's important to talk about it too.
Sometimes, I feel like maybe I'm the only mom in the entire world who struggles daily with patience; surely I am not but still, some days it feels that way! 


And that brings me back to my husband. I know how important it is to show him love. Of course I love him. I love him with every single thing I am made of but I can't always show it. I'm not good at it when I'm pregnant, I try so hard every single day and sometimes I feel like a monster who should just hide in my cave until the baby comes out and I can feel normal again. 

I can remember as a teenager this same scenario would happen with my mother and I. I would say something really nasty and hurtful to her and then immediately feel HORRIBLE about it. I'd go to my room ans cry and think, "what is wrong with me?" But still couldn't bring myself to tell her I was sorry and that I didn't mean it.


I have written countless posts about just how much I love that man.
You can read them {HERE}
Right now I am going to take my son's advice and just try to remember, EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. even when I feel like I can't take it anymore, 

"It's Important to Love"

Thank you my son for being one of my greatest teachers!!!!



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