Monday, July 16, 2012

My NEW Daily Grind!

I thought about my new "schedule" a lot yesterday, and I made a few decisions that I think are going to be awesome!  If you have EVER met me or spent so much as a minute with me, you have probably learned that I am a "little" ADD!  Well, ADD doesn't mix well with reading or studying!  I think that since I am, in general, on the go all the time, and always trying to plan for what is next... I have a really hard time sitting still!
Another small issue I have, is that I LOVE and I mean LOOOOOOOVE my sleep!  Waking up super early to fit in Quiet Time just isn't going to happen!  I don't get a lot of sleep, and disturbing what little I get, will make me a mean person!

SO, I have decided that every morning I will get up at 7am.  I have an alarm set and I have to physically get out of the bed to turn it off!  That is a MUST for me!  Once I am up... I am up!  Brady generally wakes up between 6-7 for his first bottle of the day.  Today he got up at 6:15, and he was back asleep at 6:45.  I laid in the bed for 15 minutes and got in the shower at 7am!  The idea of getting a shower EVERYDAY will definitely get my butt out of bed every morning!!!  Any mom can tell you, a shower is a treat!
By 7:30, I was downstairs... Brady in toe!  He decided things were too exciting this morning, and didn't want to go back to sleep!  I put Brady in the swing, and he was entertained!  I made a cup of delicious coffee (my new daily indulgence... Folgers Vanilla Biscotti K-Cups, YUM!!!  I still can't believe what happened next... I sat down in the glider, and read!  That is right, I read for 15 mins, and it was wonderful!  One of my other decisions when it came to my new schedule, is that I will give myself 2 30min Quiet Times a day!  30 minutes in the morning and 30 more in the evening.  I will spend one of those Quiet Times reading books to better myself, and the other with God.  Personally, God & I enjoy an evening get together!  Which works out great, because he is a pretty busy guy in the morning!  Seems that most people choose to do Quiet Time in the AM, so he is free for me in the evening!  I like to use that time to reflect on the day, and prepare for tomorrow! 
Since Derik is home, sick, we did devotion together last night.  We actually read 2 devotions by Dr. Charles Stanley, and they couldn't have been more perfect!  Crosswalk is the website I came across, and I really like it!  We also, came up with a Prayer Request list and Derik prayed.  It was a wonderful time together.  Most evenings, Derik is at work... so I will use the opportunity to meet with God privately! 

So, essentially, I have a new schedule!

7am - Wake and shower
7:30am - Coffee and Book
8am - Start my morning work!
1pm - Nap time, since nap time seems to fluctuate, I decided that this time is for me!  If I want to watch trash tv, this is the time to do it! 
3pm - Preschool Lesson with Abbie
8pm - Both kids should be in the bed, Get the house tidy and myself ready for bed!
9pm - Quiet Time... just me and Jesus!
10pm... time to go to bed!

I am not hoping this works, I plan to make it work!  2 small Quiet Times seem to me to be an easier task to tackle than one big time...  I CAN DO THIS!

 - Jessica

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Prayer...

Since I have spent my evening desperately trying to find anything to take my attention off of the swirling mess of issues going on in our household, I decided to read through blog posts I have written over the last few months.  What I stumbled on, really made me stop and think.  You would think that when you put your foot in your mouth as deep as I have done... that wiggling your toes would tickle your tummy!

The post I found that made me regroup was entitled, A Better Me.
Maybe you read it when I posted it.  I had a lot of messages about that post.  I didn't realize I had so many people keeping up with my blog before that post!  However, I realized tonight that I wrote that blog, and never practiced what I was preaching. I hate that feeling.  The moment, when you realize you are a complete hypocrite!
In this post, I talked about how I wanted to work on changing 4 key elements about myself, and I called this PROJECT ME!  The key elements were pretty basic!

My relationship with God
My attitude
Being a better (happier) mom
& working on a severe shopping issue.

I will say that I have been hard at work on my attitude, and some days I feel like I should get a medal!  However those days are few, and completely shadowed by the days where I fear if the neighbors hear me yelling they may call Child Services on me...

I had a revelation before I wrote that blog, when I realized that all of my problems were stemming from a lack of a personal relationship with God.  After writing this blog I began reading a book that I was loaned called "My First 30 Quiet Times".  I got to the 3rd Quiet Time reading, and then never seemed to find time for Quiet Time.  I was hard at work on my attitude.  Being gracious, grateful, and humble, and then I just sort of fell back into the same routine.  While I sometimes manage to stop myself from "blowing", I still have many moments that I am 100% embarrassed of.  The shopping addiction was really under control when I was in charge of the bills and check book!  When you are aware of everything financial, you tend to spend a lot less!  However, the stress of the finances became too much for me, and I asked Derik to take it back over.  The first paycheck we worked off of the Envelope System.  The system worked, but I used all of the money in the envelopes and I didn't like that feeling!  So, I found a loop hole!  I suggested that we use an App on my phone that simulated envelopes, and it is a LOT easier to spend more money than allotted when you don't have cold hard cash!

When all of these foundation blocks started to crumble, my system kind of broke down.  Everything was "just fine" though!  We were all healthy, we weren't broke, and we didn't NEED God!  We were just fine with him being there!  

ENTER July 7th...
When we took the NIGHTMARE of a road trip which you can read about here, our "perfect" little scenario began to fall apart.  Sadly, I didn't realize until tonight, that what was playing out before me... wasn't a horror movie brought onto me and my family.  We hadn't done anything that we were being punished for.  God doesn't hate us, and it isn't that he won't save us from this misery.  He is in fact simply trying to remind me that I do NEED God.  He doesn't appreciate it when I neglect him, and he doesn't like it when I only call on him in a time of need.  Prayer for him to "fix" this horrible situation isn't going to be answered.  He wants ME, all of me.  He doesn't want me to pray for things this week... and move on when they get better.  He wants me to worship him always.  
As a stay-at-home mom... I should be able to find an hour every day to spend with him.  The hour is there... buried amongst all of the time I choose to call "me time"!  Instead of sitting on the couch VEGGING while the kids are napping... I could be spending the time with him.  I could be cleaning the house and glorifying God through what he has called me to do.  However, I don't.  I wish that my family wasn't suffering for my lack of responsibility, but I fear they are.  Maybe that was part of the plan.  It has broken me in a way I would never wish for anyone to see my children hurting, and I can do nothing for them.  Perhaps, he chose this method to make me realize that I need to be accountable, and live for him.  After all, I am ultimately setting an example for my kids.  If I am not spending time with God now, when will they learn to do the same?  

I have decided that from this point further, if I am to adhere to ANYTHING... I need an organized schedule!  If you know me AT ALL... you know that organization, and schedules are 2 of my favorite things!  So, even though I am a Stay-At-Home mom, I will schedule my day as if I have a job!  I will get up at the same time every day, so that I can find time to spend with God.  I will be consistent with my house work, and with the preschool lessons that I love teaching Abbie.  I will be more involved with my children and be the mom that they need me to be.  I will be more conscious about the finances and less concerned about buying what we don't have.  Above all... I will love God, my husband, and my kids.  

I hate that this epiphany came so late in the day!  It is now midnight, and since I will likely be awake with a sweet little boy who has a horrible ear infection most of the night, ALONE, because my husband was Hand Foot & Mouth (that he contracted from our daughter), therefore can't touch Brady... I am off to bed!
If you know me well, and love me at all... I am hoping that you will hold me accountable to this!  Ask me how my day is going, and if I have been adhering to my schedule.  I will create the schedule tomorrow... AFTER I spend time with God!

"God, please heal my family.  I have made a lot of mistakes, and I hate that they have suffered because of them.  I need you.  I can't do this alone.  Heal their little bodies.  Give me the strength and patience I need to take care of them.  Be with Derik, and heal him too.  His job allows me to stay home, and taking time off is hard for him.  Thank you for him, thank you for his job.  Thank you for today, and thank you for helping me see what you have been working so hard to show me this week.  Forgive me for my sins...
In your Name... Amen. "

 - Jessica

Rainy Day Fun!

The Target Pharmacy is loving us this week!
Since we have been cooped up and in quarantine all week... I have been running thin on ideas to entertain Abbie.  I also haven't been feeling 100% myself, and I have had enough of being a lazy couch potato!

I decided that I was going to find 3 fun ideas to do with Abbie today, and we had a blast!  As I walked into her room, to build ANOTHER fort, I decided that we needed something different! 

Derik made lunch, and packed it into our picnic basket, and we headed to Abbie's room to have lunch!  I spread out a few quilts on the floor, and we unpacked & enjoyed our lunch!  Abbie seemed to enjoy it, and it was pretty easy to convince her that naptime was next!

After nap, I had set up a fun finger painting activity!  I found a "Finger Paint Pad" of paper, finger paint, and a large bag of kitchen sponges at the Dollar Store!  So, this activity cost about $3!  I have PLENTY left over for many more rainy days! 

I put her smock on her, and painted each sponge with paint!  I used plastic knives to spread paint on like mayo on a sandwich!  I set the sponges on the plate, and she had a blast! 
She decided that the finished product would go to "Pa Wayne"!!! 

Finally... it was time for a bath, and I had been excited about this one all day!  I picked up a pack of 15 Glow Bracelets from Target for $1!!  I cracked them, threw them into the tub, and turned the lights out!  Abbie absolutely loved her Cosmic Bath!!  I have another tube of them, so next time we have a rainy day... we will do it again!!!

I love doing fun things with her!  I like to say we are "Making Memories".  She may not remember doing all of these things when she is this small, but the fun wont stop at 2!

 - Jessica


She was so excited about the glow sticks!

"Mommy, you awesome"... I know, right?!?!

She loved it!

Another awesome idea!

Hey!  There is food in there!

Really??  We get to eat lunch up here??

"How your pinic, daddy"??  So sweet!

Enjoying our picnic!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Roadtrip turned Nightmare...


The bags were packed, the car was loaded, and we were all happily headed to Raleigh for a July 4th Cookout with our family!  Little did we know, this would be the roadtrip from hell, and that our smiles would soon vanish!
We stopped about 30 minutes out in Petersburg for gas, and when Derik got back into the car, he said "the AC feels like it is warmer than it was before." I told him that I thought he was crazy and that it was just fine!  It only took 30 more minutes for me to eat my own words!  When the AC started blowing hot air, we knew we were in trouble, but didnt realize that this was the beginning of a LONG series of events that would be extremely stressful!
As a mom, I am always worried about my kids.  I was more stressed about the kids than I was about the AC in the car!  We tried to push through the heat and make it to Raleigh, but Derik felt dizzy, and almost passed out.  So, we ventured to the closest Advanced Auto Parts to get freon.  We thought it would be a simple fix and that the $40 worth of freon
would be worth every penny!  Then we saw the freon under the car.  That was not a good sign.  We didnt bring a stroller, because we didnt think we needed one! 
So, to paint a little picture... I was sitting in a chair at the door of Advanced Auto Parts with a 6 month old (who is VERY unhappy because he was awaken from a nap, and is now getting hungry) and a shoeless 2 year old who has decided that the store is her own personal playroom!  She is running up and down aisles, bringing me whatever she thinks is interesting from various shelves!  Derik is outside in the 105 degree heat with 3 other people trying to figure out the problem.  We decide it needs to be looked at by a pro, so we go 50 yards down the road to Firestone.  After unloading, changing a poopy diaper in their customer area, and waiting for 10 mins... they informed us that it would take about 4 hours to get it fixed IF they can find the part.  They told us to call Honda, so we did.  Honda closed at 1, and it is now 12:30.  The only local rental car facility closed at noon, and we are and hour and half away from any family! 
I lost it, and began crying to the guy on the phone at Honda.  I told him that every door was being shut in my face, and with 2 young kids... I didnt know what to do next!
He offered to look at it for us since we had kids.  We were there in less than 5 minutes.  He put the car on the lift, and we waited.  The news was bad... AC compressor is split, and needs to be replaced.  However, they didnt charge us anything, and we now knew what the problem was!
We went to the McDonalds which was right around the corner (and packed by now!!) and waited for my sister and her boyfriend.  They arrived not too long after we did, and we loaded the kids into the car with AC, and I squeezed into the backseat between their car seats!  Brady ate a bottle, and Abbie nibbled on chicken nuggets, and then there was finally some silence!  Derik drove my car with NO AC in the heat the rest of the way to Raleigh.  He arrived about 15 mins after we did, and we unloaded everything.  We were finally there, and they day could only get better... right????
NOT!  Brady took a nap, but Abbie did not.  I thought it would be ok though since she was in the pool!  The sun and water would make her tired at bed time!  I was right, she hoped right into bed, but she thought it was nap time!  She woke up a couple hours later and was ready to go!  When she woke up... Brady woke up, and it was all down hill from there!  Brady didn't sleep very much the rest of the night.  In fact, he spent most of it screaming in pain from the terrible gas that he developed somehow. 
After a LONG night of no sleep, we packed up... and headed to the airport (RDU) which is the only place that has rental cars 24/7!  Another hitch, we do not have ANY Credit Cards.  We have bank cards, but no credit cards.  In order to rent a car from an airport, you MUST have a CREDIT card!  Fortunately, my dad was there, and he helped us there.  We switched everything from the ACless car into the AWESOME rental!  We really don't want to give it back... but we will just buy one eventually!!  It is a 2012 Ford Explorer Limited and the AC works great!  My dad drove my car to my cousin's husband's workshop!  He is replacing the compressor for us at only the cost of the part.  HUGE BLESSING.  Derik will be driving our rental back to RDU tomorrow and picking up our car to bring back home.  This trip has changed our minds about going to the beach on vacation in a few weeks!  Vacation with young kids really feels more like WORK!  We did have fun with the family, but we are glad to be back home.  Abbie regressed with her potty training from this trip as well, which SUCKS... but what do you do?!?!  Brady developed pink eye at some point, and Abbie has a sinus infection... so we spent the morning at the pediatrician, but I guess things could be worse! 
It is funny how tired vacation can make you!!!

 - Jessica