Saturday, March 27, 2010

One of those days....

You ever had one of "those days"?

I feel like the Queen of "those days"!

Seriously, no one will answer their phone or call me back, not even my husband!
I'm trying to make plans people!
To add insult, Joey won't even let me watch Mickey Mouse with him.
I swear I put deodorant on this morning. He should know, he made me take a shower.
Really, he did. He said, "Go take a shower Mommy!" and pushed me into my room. I swear I was going to take a shower anyways, but really thanks for the confidence Joey.

I hate these kind of days. The cashier at the grocery store wasn't even nice to me. And then when I got into the car to drive off I realized I never grabbed my groceries after I paid for them. Really? How can you forget that?

OK, so I am probably self loathing a bit. But it's hard when you wake up with a "you against the world" mentality.

I suppose I should go make dinner though. The dinner menu says 'mashed potato bowls' but I am thinking cereal.

Sue me!

*Edit to Add:

I feel like a dummy now. Turns out no one was answering their phones b/c unbeknownst to me my sister made a surprise plan to visit from Tennessee for my birthday. Josh didn't answer his phone b/c he was busy coordinating the pick up, Holly wasn't answering her phone b/c she was at the airport and my BFF, Kara wasn't answering her phone b/c she had to lie and say she was coming up here this weekend for a Test so I wouldn't go down to Albany to see her like we originally planned. I had been waiting for her to call me ALL DAY so we could hang out after she did the test and she did a very convincing job at getting me to believe that. Love you Kara!

In hindsight, something fishy was up but I didn't think about it. Now it all makes sense! I'm glad to have my sister back in town!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Motherhood is tricky and is full of so many dynamics.
As a Mom and moreover, a stay-at-home-mom, I feel that I am constantly doing something. Whether it be catching up on laundry or my blog, clipping coupons or cooking dinner or getting some 'me' time, Joey is always front and center in my mind.
I do not watch much TV, but I do cop to being on the computer more then I would like to admit. The other morning Joey and I were doing our regular morning routine: he eats breakfast and watches an episode or two of Mickey Mouse and I sip my coffee and check all my daily visited websites and emails (I know Mom of the Year right here...yikes!), when he said, "Mommy come sit right here" as he patted the couch.

At first I said No. I hate admitting that and saying it out loud. I was in the middle of writing and apparently did not recognize what my son just asked of me.
He never wants me to sit and cuddle with him and I just told him No?

In what all took a second from start to finish, I snapped out of it and broke our morning routine; because sitting with my son and snuggling is a way better option. He even shared his cereal with me. =)

In lieu of that event I started thinking about balance and I came to this conclusion. Motherhood is a delicate balance.

Even though being a great Mom means having your own personal time it also means putting your family above all other things. My husband and I have been discussing this a lot lately.
I love volleyball and play on one rec. team on Wednesday nights and a club team one weekend out of the month. Both are competitive and a whole lot of fun. I am usually able to find a babysitter or it works out well with Josh's schedule, but lately I have been asked a lot to play on other teams.
So my question is when is it too much volleyball? My husbands question is, "You are leaving us to go play volleyball again?"
We are kind of at a standstill on this topic, but I do honor and respect his opinions and I do understand where he is coming from. He works long and hard hours and so when it's his day off the last thing he wants me to do is leave to go play. I don't expect people to understand this dilemma, especially if they don't have kids, but it poses a really good question...
How can I balance it all?

This is something I want to explore because right now I don't have the answer. All I do know is that my most important commitments are my family.

I read a lot of blogs about Mom's who seem to have it all together and I wish I was one of those people but I also see the Mom's who do everything for their family and not enough for themselves and I fear that that is a really good way to lose yourself and who you are. Everyone needs time for themselves emotionally and physically.

So I guess what I am asking is, is it possible to balance it all?
I would love input!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mystery solved

I was starting to wonder why Joey's shirts were oddly stretched out!

Let me tell you, this one was a doozie to get off of him!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Organizing your digital photos

Growing up as a child my Mom took TONS of pictures! Those where the days when digital camera's didn't exist and you never took more then one photo of the same thing in hopes of getting the perfect shot b/c you had to develop every single picture on the film. Well, with all that developing my Mom collected quite the assortment of photos. Even with having the best of intentions, my Mom never got them all into photo albums and through the years made their way into a brown paper sack that stayed in the back of the closet.

Guess who organized them and put them into corresponding photo boxes labeled by year a couple of years ago? ME!

So when I gave birth to my son I resolved to never have my pictures unorganized.

Lucky me, we are in the digital age so keeping photos in order is a cinch, but still a little work.

I own one photo-card that holds about 500 pictures on it.
Guess who sometimes takes 500 pictures a month?

Needless to say I am always loading them onto my computer and then backing up the files. To make it easy and to keep everything in chronological order I neatly put the photos in corresponding files. That way when its time for me to scrapbook Joey's annual scrapbook I have the files in order. That way when I upload them to a photo printing site they come to me in order and ready to be put into a scrapbook.

Here is my digital file organization system.

My main page of "My Pictures" folder looks like this.
It's hard to tell but the files are labeled 2005-2010 and there is also some photo book files in with it along with digital scrapbooking files.

Then each picture (I typically organize photos into each folder on a weekly basis) goes into it's corresponding year and month.
Again the picture it too small to see the words, but in my 2009 file I have 12 folders, one for each month of the year and 2 extra folders with some misc. picture files.

I know this sounds kind of like a no brainer, but it is What Works For Me! I have seen other people's computers who have file names for pictures but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. By using this system it keeps me from having to individually label every single picture with the date, b/c we all know that the time stamp on our digital camera's don't work half the time!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

To compare is not fair

Apparently I am a poet. =)

I have always been notorious for comparing myself to others. I compare looks, talent, ability, sincerity, etc. While I think that this is normal human function I do not think 'comparing' is always fair or a good assessment tool.

My case in point, while its normal to compare parenting styles, I do not think it is fair to compare children. And here is why...

If you have hung around me enough you know that Joey and I come as a package. Unless it is a situation where Joey is not allowed or able to be taken care of properly he is cared for otherwise, any other time he's my plus one. Bringing Joey along undeniably means sporadic tantrums, sloppy kisses, high energy outburst, and a lot of bribing coaxing. It may not always be fun to deal with the not so pretty side of two year olds, but it's life. When those tantrums strike it makes me feel vulnerable to others judgments and critiques which inevitably turns into the normal comparison statements, "my son never did that when he was Joey's age" or "my son never had problems with that."


I know people mean well when they make these statements, but it in no way helps me.
I admit, Joey is a handful. He is strong willed and equally opinionated. It's his way or the high way. (He gets that from his Mom and Dad). But it doesn't give others the right to compare. It does nothing for me.

Lately, in a mad attempt to shape him up I have questioned every parenting move I've done in the past three years. What have I done to make such a wild and crazy kid? How can a kid be so strong willed? How can I get others to understand that all kids are different? I have scoured the internet, researched behavioral disciplines, and come to many conclusions. But today when I was called back to play land to pick up a non compliant Joey, who hit two kids, I felt defeated and embarrassed. Have I failed my kid?

It was then I realized the mistake I had made. I let others compare my child to theirs and in some way or another I was made to feel that Joey was not normal or ill-behaved. I was attempting to mold my kid into the ideal picture of someone else's kid. That is the injustice that I have done to Joey. I do not deny that Joey has more frequent tantrums or timeouts then the average two year old, but the average two year old either has a sibling or other children to model their behavior after. Joey has neither.

As an only child, Joey has the luxury of being tended to first. He does not wait behind anyone else, therefore his patience is not tested. He gets my full attention, that way he never lacks company and never has to entertain himself. I cannot help the fact that Joey is an only child, but I have come to realize that the comparisons I have been dealing with all have been done with children who have grown up with a way different childhood.

Today I began to research a lot about Only children. It is a very real possibility that Joey will have no siblings. I've decided to change the ways I do some things with Joey. From this day forward I will only take comparisons at face value, but will also keep in mind that others mean well. I've also realized that with the lack of a sibling or other children I will need to introduce that even more into Joey's life. I have a feeling that the more socialization I expose Joey to the more he will understand and the better behaved he will be.

But I do want to say that the point to my story is to remember that comparing your kids to others is what you want to do least. Instead, revel in the fact that you have been entrusted in caring for the less then 'normal' child...the one who walks to their own beat...the one that carries your heart on the outside of your body...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rewards Charts

My husband and I have been pretty diligent in correcting Joey's occasionally, not so awesome behavior. Part of the process has been creating rewards charts and him earning stickers when he meets our expectations of a desired behavior.

I wasn't exactly sure how to make a rewards chart or what to put on it. I brainstormed for awhile trying to make the expectations both helpful and a learning moment for Joey. I searched around Google and found a great website that offered free pdf documents of rewards charts. Find the website for the rewards chart here.

I started off by printing two rewards charts in different colors. I printed them onto white card stock to make them more durable.

I opted to make two different charts. One for Behavior and one for Chores.
I used scrapbooking stickers to decorate mine and it is completely up to you on how you want to design it.

For Behavior I chose 5 different task for Joey to achieve: Manners, Listening, Walking, Inside Voice, and Sharing.

For Chores I chose: Set the Table, Put away his Laundry, Pick up Toys, Brush Teeth, and Potty Time. I wanted to think of a better name besides chores, b/c obviously some of these task are not chore like, but oh well.

Once the chart has all the desired task labeled I put them in sheet protectors. I used sheet protectors because I have so many of them and that way I can reuse the paper once the charts are full. Just toss the sheet protector and put the chart in a new one.

I added some ribbon to it and called it good.

*It doesn't have manner stickers on it b/c we just started it the other day.

Joey loves the idea and we love that he is willing to modify his behavior to earn stickers. We hung the chart low on the wall so Joey can see his progress. We also award with tiny star stickers he can put on his hand for each task he perfoms. Once the entire chart is filled out Joey can choose one prize from the prize box. I haven't made the box yet but it most likely will be full of toy cars, stickers, a piece of candy, etc.; everything that Joey likes.

With the Rewards Charts I found it easier to make task that fit Joey's needs and personality. Joey loves setting the table, so he feels like he is being a big boy and helping out "Mommy". I try to incorporate the Rewards Chart through out the day and always give Joey chances to earn stickers. Occasionally he does task without me asking. I also reward him even when he is not doing the desired behavior just for the stickers, that way its unpredictable and he will strive more and more to have good behavior and responsibility. For example, this morning I handed him his sippy cup and he said "Thank You" without me reminding him too. For that he earned a sticker. And you can bet his manners were very good the rest of the day.

The end result of Rewards Charts use should be that Joey will complete the desired task and behaviors without being asked too.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Scene and Heard Sunday

Another weeks has passed by, it seems like this year is going by so quick!

-This week really showcased how fast Joey is growing. From telling me NO, to being a little ladies man, to learning to help me with certain household chores. It amazes me that in three short years my baby has grown to be a child.

-I'm loving how American Idol is going. The competition, at least for the ladies, is fierce. There are so many good singers that its going to be close when it comes to narrowing down to the top 12. My absolute favorite performance this week was Katelyn Epperly's version of Coldplay's The Scientist. It was beautiful and she sung so well.
Watch the performance yourself!

-I have been getting a lot of stuff done lately and I feel good about being so productive. I want to tackle our bedroom sometime soon to decorate. Josh and I talked about painting our dresser to match our bed and nightstands and he gave me the go ahead. I plan to decorate our bedroom so that all the elements our removable. We aren't staying in this apartment for too long and I would hate to leave behind my creations.
-I made two fun projects this week. Check it out the tutorial here if you want to give it a try as well.

I plan to do more decor like this and will take the "live laugh love" project and incorporate it into a collage of picture frames.
I am also itching for a buffet or long/skinny utility table to paint black/brown. I have the perfect spot for it in our apartment and the picture collage would look great above it. I hope garage sales start soon so I can find the perfect table.

-I finally made Joey's rewards chart and will feature the how to's in this Wednesday "Works for Me" post. Joey seems to really like the idea and he loves getting another sticker when he does something listed on the chart. My favorite so far is his responsibility to set the table for dinner at night. Check out his napkin presentation. He was so proud of his task and insist every night to set the table. Last night he made a setting for his firetruck. Silly boy!

-My hubsters and I have been watching a lot of movies on Netflix lately. We've been watching some older movies and have really enjoyed the early career movies of John Travolta and Kevin Spacey. Netflix is awesome. It's cheap entertainment and you don't even have to leave your couch. I did rent "The Time Traveler's Wife" from Redbox the other day though and let me tell you, I am super confused about time travel and even layed awake last night trying to make sense of the time travel taking place in the movie! Apparently I have a lot of time on my hands!

-And last, but certainly not least Joey has a new game he loves to play with Mommy and Daddy. It's called, "tumble mountain" (his words, not mine) and it involves us stacking his blocks up so he can knock them down. Fun for him, not so fun for me when I concentrated pretty hard to make the tower in the first place. I do have to say though that it is pretty fun to make cool stacks of blocks and toys. Joey was pretty proud of me for this creation....

Of course he knocked it over like Godzilla right after I took the picture.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Motherhood is Scary

I think every mother knows THE ever real fears that are associated with having children. Will my child be healthy? Will he develop normally? How can I keep him the most safe?

I remember when Joey was first born, I had the huge fear of SIDS. I don't think anything worse then that could happen to your own child. I used a baby monitor all the way up until 2.5 years and constantly checked on Joey at night. When he turned one I was more relieved, when he turned 2 the fear subsided.

But one thousand more fears take its place and continue to add up from the day he took his first breath.

I fear most the things I have no control of, but I obsess over the things I do have control of. I am a safety freak when it comes to windows, plugs, streets, and heights. I have an overly active imagination that scares the heck out of me at times. I know that when Joey is with me he is safe. So naturally I have trust issues with others.

Don't get me wrong I love that my family babysits Joey and I trust them too but normally I leave without a verbally demanding list of do's and don'ts. Like I said, its a control thing. I reason that everything should and will be OK as long as I verbally remind others.

As Joey starts to grow from a toddler to a child I start to feel that I don't have control over the things I wish I could. I know I can't protect him from everything but I would lay out my life for his own. I pray every night that he has a wonderful, long life and grows to be an old man.

I am able to grasp tangible reasoning's to understand certain things, but unfortunately Joey does not fully realize the "cause and effect" theory quite yet.
Just today my friend, Marie and I took Joey swimming. We have discovered that by using a life jacket Joey has more freedom in the pool and in turn, I don't kicked all the time. We all got out of the pool to put our feet in the hot tub when Joey stood up and just jumped into the pool. With no regard to anyone around him Joey made the decision to get in water (life jacket on) without an adult and that SCARES ME!

We have a rule for swimming. Joey is not allowed to enter the water until an adult is in and gives him permission to do so. So for Joey to completely disregard that rule doesn't surprise me but more in so, worries me. I began to question his reasoning and then my mind went wild!

"What happens if he escapes the apartment at night when we are sleeping and knows what elevators to take to which floor to get to the pool and jumps in?"

Of course most of this question is absurd and ridiculous. We have a hotel lock on our door which he cannot reach, he would have to enter a code to get into the other building where the pool is and the doors to the pool are so heavy that they are difficult for me to open. But of course there is always the slight possibility.

All of this ran through my head in a matter of seconds so I did the best thing I knew to do. I went into the pool, set him on the deck and took his life jacket off. I then let him jump back in and let him go just enough for him to realize that he had to really kick and struggle to keep his head above water and that he can't go without the life jacket. I then sat him down and lectured him that he cannot swim alone.

I am not sure how much got through to him, but I hope enough.

Like I said motherhood is scary. But I also believe those fears are what make us good mothers.

So next on my to do list?
Research how to teach a child to flip over on their back and float in the water.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Crafty Time

I have been eager to get my hands on a couple of different craft projects so today I took full advantage and got down to business.

My first one was a word/frame object. I have included a tutorial for your pleasure.

I started out with one of my silver wedding frames that have 3 5x7 inserts.
Any good mom knows that once children come along all the wedding pictures get taken down, only to be replaced by beautiful pictures of smiling children.
So instead of wasting a perfectly good frame that had served its purpose I decided to remix it.

1. I took the glass out, I tend to not like shiny everything.
I gathered all my materials: frame, paint, brush, fabric, wooden words, and hot glue gun.

2. I painted both the words and the frame black. Acrylic paint does not work well for this kind of project (to dull and the wood grain shows up) so I went with a gloss enamel paint in black. The words took two coats and for the frame I did three coats for good measure. There was no sanding needed.

3. While the paint was drying I took out the frames mat and pictures. I chose three different fabrics that I have fallen absolutely in love with! I am thinking about using the same material for more house decor, perhaps in our bedroom.
I cut the fabric a little larger then 5x7 and glued to the back of the mat with my hot glue gun.

*The fabric itself lays pretty flat so there is no real need to pull it super tight, but I would recommend ironing the fabric. I did not and mine is a bit wrinkled.

4. After all the paint is dry glue the words on to the fabric. Hot glue holds well and even seeped through the fabric a little to the backing which gave it a little extra security.
Put the frame back on and voila! You have yourself a neat remixed frame.


because I had a little time to spare between the coats of paint I undertook a small craft project.

I took a frame with a verse from the bible (which will be used with something else) and changed it into a monogrammed art frame.


I loved the color of the frame itself and found this awesome piece of scrapbook paper at Joann's. I wasn't sure what color to make the 'C' and boring me would have gone with a blue or brown but my friend, Marie, suggested red. I loved the idea so I took the wooden 'C' painted it with red enamel paint. I always suggest enamel paint on wood projects, especially if the wood is untreated or unfinished.

I don't love love this project. I think a bigger 'C' would have been better so I may redo it. But I also need to figure out a place to put it now. I am thinking on a wall collage of picture frames but I am not sure.


Today something happened to me that has never happened before.

Joey told me "no"!

It wasn't just a whiny "no", it was defiant.

Before his nap I asked him to pick up all the toys he took out of his toy box. He looked at me, squinted his eyes, frowned his tiny lips, and said a rough, "no"!

OH HECK NO! I don't think so.

I got down on my hands and knees and said "you will not say NO to me! You will pick up your blocks!"

I left it at that. Joey seems to thrive off of my reactions to his bad behavior, so now I act as nonchalant as I can and immediately redirect. We opted to count the toys together and because I was keen on having him be driven towards good behavior we celebrated with high fives and I gave him a special treat for picking up his toys. I explained to him that the treat was for picking up toys and that it made me happy.

He was happy too.

I suppose as a Mom to a toddler our battles have always been with discipline and tantrums. I knew that the day would come when Joey would become downright defiant, but I never knew how I would feel about it. Well today was a good indicator of that heart sinking feeling that my toddler is beginning to understand and reason like a smart child. He will push the boundaries and push me, but I am determined to raise him right and be smart all at the same time.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I have a sturdy disdain in my heart for facebook groups. Don't get me wrong, I am a member of some of them myself, but only ones that are actually necessary.
Me <---runs to go and make sure that is true!

Anyways, you know what groups I am talking about. A few of my favorite or not so favorite are
I bet my school can get more fans then your school
I bet this pecan can get more fans then Nickleback
I am cooler than you
I hate the new Facebook layout

I mean seriously, why even join a pointless group? I guess that is social media for you.

Anyways, in honor of silly facebook groups here is a list of facebook groups I would join if they were real....

-I let my Costco membership expire, but I kept my card so I can get in to eat at their food court.
-I take over 200 pictures of my kid each month
-Great coupon deals give me natural highs
-Yah, my kid wears a harness, aka leash....GET OVER IT!
-I get upset when other people are passive aggressive, but I am the Queen of the planet Passive Aggressiva
-If everyone drove like me the world would be a better place
-My kid only likes to go to Target with me b/c he gets popcorn
-I have to hide vegetables in meals I cook so my son and husband will eat them.
-I take my kid to the McDonald's Playland as a way for him to interact with other kids.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Is my son turning into....


Joey Tribiani? You know...the funny guy from Friends?
Just today I was walking over to Play Land at Fred Meyers to pick Joey up and I watched him put his arms around two older girls (ok they were probably like 4 and 5)while they were coloring. I then saw him attempt to kiss and hug one of them, all the while having the hugest smile on his face!

It made me laugh so hard, it was the highlight of my day. Joey is like a spitting image Joey Tribiani!
I have been working on teaching him "How you Doin'?" But he hasn't quite gotten it yet.

Oh how he makes this mama proud!