Category Archives: Mommy Musings

Weekly Wishes #1

A few weeks ago, I came up with a fairly lofty list of goals for 2014. I figured the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, so coming up with some smaller weekly goals should really help me achieve my bigger goals for the year, right?

And, it just so happens that there is an awesome link-up called “Weekly Wishes” hosted by The Nectar Collective for people to talk about what they want to accomplish each week. Lots of great blogs with great weekly goals – you should check it out!

My goals for this week

1) Drink at least twice as much water as pop each day. That means if I’m drink 20 oz of pop throughout the day, I need to also drink 40 oz of water as well. I want to cut down on my pop consumption, but I know going cold turkey doesn’t work for me, so hopefully this will help.

2) Pick back up my 365 Days of Greyhounds photo project. I fell off the bandwagon and am
kicking myself.

3) Comment on an average of at least five blogs a day.

4) Spend quality time with at least one, if not two friends this week. Reach out to at least one friend daily via text message. (AKA – don’t get so sucked into blogging/trip planning/message boards that you’re ignoring everyone else.)

5) Strive to eat a healthier breakfast every morning (I’m currently eating three granola bars for breakfast. Don’t look at me like that, I KNOW!)

6) Reasonable bedtime this week. I’ve scrambled into bed near midnight way too often lately.

What are your goals for the week?

The Nectar Collective

Five Fingers of Thanks Thursday

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some things that I’m thankful for around here, so today would be a good day to do so, right?!

fft

1) We won our insurance appeal!! Our insurance company ruled in our favor and will be retroactively covering Mason’s helmet that they denied in 2011. This means we will be getting the $$$$ we paid out of pocket back. SO incredibly happy and blessed.

2) Not only do I have two great jobs that I love with people I enjoy working with, I’m so thankful that they are both flexible. I was sick with a stomach bug on Tuesday and it wasn’t the end of the world to text my boss at 6 am and say I couldn’t come in – instead of giving me grief, I got a “Stay home!” reply. Then at my other job (where I only work 8 hours a month) I unexpectedly needed the day off next week to go to a late invite baby shower. My coworkers were great about trading shifts with me so I would be able to go!

3) I get to start Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University in less than two weeks! I’ve wanted to take this course since 2007 and up until fairly recently, it hadn’t come to our area yet. Then when I wanted to last year, I didn’t’ have child care. This time, the kit is in my car and the date is circled on the calendar!

4) In the past week, my husband and I have celebrated being home owners for 10 years, being together for a lot longer than ten years, and his 36th birthday. What wonderful milestones ūüôā

5) I’m so thankful for Charly. He helps Joe be calm and anxiety-free so we can easily leave the house for 6-7 hours at a time without worrying about him at all. Joe is my first child and my heart and while I’ve been more than willing to bend over backwards for his issues for the last ten years, it’s so nice to be able to leave for the day (or simply be at work) without having to wonder how he’s coping. Thanks Charly!

What are you thankful for this week?

PS – My giveaway ends tonight! If you follow me in any way (Twitter, Instagram, on the blog, etc) be sure to go get the EASY entries for a $15 Pizza Hut gift card or a $20 Bath & Body Works card!

Making Time to Read

I read. A lot. In fact, according to my librarian, I read more than any person she’s ever met. How is THAT for a compliment!?!? In actuality, I probably check out more books than anyone she’s ever met, but I don’t always get to read them all. Either way, compared to most people, I do read a lot.

I question I get asked ALL the time is “When do you find time to read?!” I work full time plus some. I have a husband, pets, and a nearly four year old son. Just reading those sentences, I too can see how it’s hard to believe I find time to read!

But, I want to let you in on a little secret….

I find time to read because I make it a priority. It’s important to me, so I make time for it.

Make Reading a Priority

Just like some people make time to knit or write or paint, I make time to read.

Here’s is how I managed to read 90+ books last year (plus blogs and Mason books)

#1 I don’t watch (much) TV. In fact, I watch very very little TV. Right now, the only shows I’m watching are Parenthood and Raising Hope. That’s about 75 minutes of TV a week when you factoring fast forwarding through the commercials (we have a Tivo) Studies show the average person watches 3-4 hours of TV a day. I’m betting this is where most people’s “reading time” goes.

#2 I read while others ARE watching TV. I read while Mason is watching his two TV shows every night. I read if SuperDad is watching a show that doesn’t interest me. This way, I’m in arms reach for a cuddle or a hug, but I’m not sucked into some show I have no interest in.

#3 I make reading accessible. I always have several books checked out from the library. I have several books waiting on my kindle. I have books I want to read on a shelf by my bed. I even keep a book in my car in case something comes up! I never have the excuse of “I’d like to read but I don’t have anything TO read!”

#4 Along the same lines, I recognize that I’m not always in the mood to read certain things. Sometimes I like light fluffy chick lit, sometimes I want to read a good biography. Having different books around gives me the option to read according to what I’m in the mood for.

BookPile

#5 I read while Mason is engrossed in activities nearby. If he’s playing with his monster trucks or engrossed in ABC Mouse, I’m often reading. I also read when it’s not my turn to put Mason to bed. We take turns and I’m often in his room “hanging out” when it’s not my turn, but I’m also reading my book.

#6 I read in waiting rooms. If I’m going to the doctor or am getting my hair dyed or doing something else where I know I’ll be sitting and waiting for a while, a book or my Kindle comes with.

#7 Before my favorite little cafe closed down, I would read on my lunch break once a week. Me, a savory crepe, and a good book were often the highlight of my week. “Taking myself on a date” is what I would call it – pure bliss.

#8 I read after Mason goes to sleep / before I go to sleep. Sometimes I blog or fart around on the computer, sometimes I read. If I’m reading a particularly good book, I often take it to bed with me and read for another 10-30 minutes before falling asleep. And sometimes I only make it 5 minutes.

#9 I pay attention to how I feel about the book I’m reading. If I’m “into” a book, I pick it up every chance I get. If I’m feeling meh about a book, I let it sit there and sit there and find lots of other things to do instead. Hence why if I read several good books in a row, I can read three books in one week, but if I’m reading a book I’m not really into, it might take me three weeks to get through just that one.

Life is Too Short to Read a Bad Book

#10 I give myself permission to quit a book. I use to slog through a book FOREVER if that’s what it took, but now, if I’m not enjoying it by page 50, I can quit. Usually by then, you can just TELL if the book is going to be one for you or not. This really helps my reading numbers go up because I’d much rather read several books I enjoy than spend the entire month reading just one out of guilt/obligation/hope it will get better.

#11 I only read what interests me. I don’t necessarily read something just because it’s popular or on the best seller list. For example, I’ve never read The Harry Potter Series or the Twilight books. They just don’t sound appealing to me and THAT’S OKAY! I have friends who read only anime or only sci-fi or paranormal or history. Those genres just aren’t my thing and I won’t enjoy the same books they do. I resist the urge to read something that’s popular (or, at times, recommended) unless it’s something that interests me. Because let’s face it, if I’m reading something I don’t like, I might as well be doing something else I don’t enjoy, like scrubbing the shower or vacuuming the stairs. Reading should be pleasurable!

So, as you can see, all of these things are pretty basic, but when put together, they all add up. Ten minutes here, forty minutes there, and pretty soon, you’ve got a book read!

How do you find time to read? Or, if reading isn’t your thing, how do you find time to partake in your hobbies?

Insurance Appeal

For those of you who are new around here, when Mason was a baby, he had plagiocephaly and issues with a tight neck muscle (torticollus)

We spent six months doing¬†stretches, physical therapy, and all sorts of repositioning, only to have him end up in a cranial¬†orthotic (aka a helmet) to help correct his very asymmetric headshape. Our insurance refused to cover the helmet, saying that yes, his head wasn’t correctly shaped, but by their definition, it had¬†to be¬†a liiittttle bit worse for¬†them to cover a helmet.

We ended up paying for his helmet out of our pocket with¬†plans to appeal their¬†decision down the road. You know, when we had more time, when I could do more¬†research, when I collected one more doctor’s letter,¬†etc etc.

Well, now it’s¬†three years later and our window for appealing is coming to a close.

Right before Christmas, I discovered that our insurance policy had updated their requirements for cranial orthotics and by their current definition, Mason’s helmet should have been more than covered.

Tomorrow (Thursday) morning, I have a hearing with our insurance’s board of¬†appeals. It’s our¬†last chance¬†at possibly getting back thousands of¬†dollars that, if you ask me, should have been covered in the first place.

Wish us luck please. #fingerscrossed

2014 Goals

I realize it’s nearly February, but it took me basically all month to figure out what I wanted my year to look like – if I wanted to focus on a single concept, if I wanted to make a bucket list, or if I wanted to do nothing at all. I decided on a few goals:

1) Pay off all of my credit card debt. After becoming debt free in 2008 and staying that way for several years, I’m mad that I’ve let (non-mortgage) debt back into my life. That’s going to change this year.

2) Plan and save for our January 2015 trip to Disney. I’ve only been there once (as a 19 year old) and SuperDad and Mason never have. I want it to be epic. You’ll definitely be hearing more about this over the next year.

3) Continue my 365 Projects – I’m trying to take a photo a day for Capture the Moment, a greyhound photo a day because the years go by too quickly, Mason’s “Favorite Things” journal, my gratitude journal, and if that’s not enough, I’m also doing Joyce Meyer’s “Promises for Your Everyday Life” 365 days of scripture.

4) Do what I need to do to get into size 8 pants and improve my strength. I lost 18 pounds and 1 1/2 pants sizes last year only to gain nearly ten pounds back between Thanksgiving and New Years. Ugh. And those of you who know me, I know I don’t need to lose a bunch of weight, but this body definitely needs some toning!

5) Grow in my relationship with God, whether that be through church, SheReadsTruth, YouVersion, all of the above, or something else. “Testing out” a church last May with only the intention of finding a Sunday School program for Mason was one of the best things that happened to me last year.

6) Spend more time outside than inside once the temps are above 60¬ļ.

7) Read Mason ~520 books to stay on track for the 1000 Books before Kindergarten” project. Read 90 books for me. I vow to be a book lover who raises a book lover.

8) Do lots and lots of things together as a family – make lots of memories and take a lot of pictures along the way

9) Continue blogging at least twice a week and work harder at supporting my blog friends.

10) Enrich my relationship with my husband, parents, and friends by spending quality time with them in person every month and having open regular communication.

I realize this sounds like a lot, but many of them are so inner-connected, such as paying off debt and planning the Disney Trip, spending time outside and taking photos and making memories, etc. I think the biggest struggle for me is going to be finding the motivation to get back on track with my fitness goals and finding the time to spend time with my parents and friends – something I want to make a priority!

What are your goals for 2014?

2013… the Year that Was

I keep trying to come up with some great 2013 recap, reflecting back on the good and bad and the large and small that happened this year and I’m not coming up with much. Sure, we had fun – we went to Day Out With Thomas, Monster Trucks, celebrated holidays and birthdays with family and friends, played at the park, laughed and cried, and made dozens of great memories and took hundreds of pictures. But I didn’t capture most of it here and looking back, I can’t think of anything like “2013 was defined by X, Y, and Z” It just seems like the year passed us by in a flash and here it is, 2014.

That bothers me. Yes, I could tell you a dozen Mason stories, cute things he said, adventures he had, how much he’s grown over the past year, but still, that doesn’t seem like enough. It makes me sad that 2013 passed me by while I was sitting on my couch reading a book.

This next year, I want to capture the small moments in writing. Obviously, I haven’t been doing great about blogging and while I’m hoping to do that more frequently, I know myself better than to even dream of daily updates. Best of intentions doesn’t float my boat anymore.

So, I bought two planners. You know how we go around the table every night and say what the favorite part of our day was? Well, I’m recording Mason’s every day, as well as a few of his antics. Whether it be a cute thing he said or that he spent alll afternoon pretending his 4wheeler was stuck in the snow in the basement (aka caught on a cat bed) Because, 2013 proved to me that once these moments are gone, they’re replaced by more and as much as I SWEAR I’ll remember each and every one of them, I don’t.

The second planner is for me. Every day, I’m writing a few short things about my day (not even using real sentences) and listing five things I’m grateful for that day. Because life is pretty fantastic and I take that for granted. I don’t want to do that anymore.

I hope when I’m sitting on this same chair a year from now, I can say more than “2014? Yep, that flew by. Amazing.” Instead, I will say “Look at all these memories and fun times we had. Remember on June 4th when Mason said…. Or how X made me so happy that June? I’m so very glad I wrote this all down.”

“Mommy, when we get home can you help me draw a heart? Because I looove you” – Mason, in the car a few weeks ago

Making it easy guarantees that precious moments like that won’t be tossed in the wind and forgotten a few months down the road. This is the one childhood Mason has and the one chance I get at enjoying it. And I’m taking it.

Black Friday Fun

I’m one of “those” people who absolutely love Black Friday. I start looking at the ads online as soon as they’re released (which generally starts early November) and start planning what I want. I have zero problem waiting in line for an hour if I’m getting good deals and quite frankly, Black Friday is some of the BEST people watching ever, so I’m game.

This year, we went to Wal-mart Thanksgiving night (our family does Thanksgiving as lunch, so no, we didn’t wreck any family traditions to go shopping) and the main aisles were standing room only with slow moving progress. We managed to buy some sheets for $25 that were normally $130, some puzzles for $3 instead of $18, some $4 pajamas, and I helped some friends grab some camera memory cards and TV accessories they were looking for. We had low hopes of scoring a $170 laptop but the lady told us they were first come, first serve and when we came back and got in line, we’d found out they’d actually given out wristbands. Grrr. We went through the line twice here and the longest wait was under 10 minutes.

Next we hit Office Max because we didn’t get an ad and we wanted to see what they had on sale. We bought a memory card here even though it was $2 less expensive on Amazon in an effort to shop semi-local. There were no lines and no crowds here.

Next we hit JCPenney where there were no lines. I was hoping to get a snow globe but I misread the ad and although the store opened at 8 pm, snow globes weren’t coming out until 4 am. I bought some gloves I can text while wearing for $2.

We hit up Bath and Body Works next because we love their soaps and I was disappointed to see that their deal (on soap anyway) was better earlier than the week than it was for Black Friday. Either way, it was still on sale and we needed it, so soap was purchased. Some nice person in front of us gave us her coupon for $10 off, but we didn’t meet the $30 minimum, so we passed it on to some very grateful person behind us.

After that, we hit Kohls. They were pretty crowded and we might not have stuck it out had I not had two coupons for $10 off. We ended up getting a $46 toy for Mason for $7 and a Melissa and Doug food set for $3, so that seemed worth the 40 minute wait in line.

By then it was midnight and we went home and went to bed. I spent all day Friday shopping online (literally, all day….) and finished up probably 60% of my Christmas shopping. Had way too much fun trying to score some of Amazon’s lightening deals, but it was incredibly frustrating when I’d be watching the screen when the item would go on sale (there was a countdown counting hours then minutes and then seconds) and by the time I hit buy, the item would be sold out and the waitlist full. Two of the items I missed out on were headphones for my coworker ($13, normally $50) and a carseat for Mason ($119, normal $180). But, I did score some other good deals (like Leapfrog games for $12 instead of $25), so it was not all for waste. And Mason had a great sleepover at Grandmas while we had our fun.

So, I’m living proof that not everyone’s Black Friday experience involves rude shoppers and violence. Heck, I’m counting the days until next year. So. much. fun.

Did you shop this Black Friday online or off? What was your favorite deal?

Five on Friday 11/1/13

I’m linking up today to share five good things this Friday.

1) Trick or Treating last night was super-duper fun despite the awful rain/mist combo. We unintentionally met up with Mason’s 2nd cousin and spent 3/4 of the night with them, which helped distract Mason from his “aching feet” (He was complaining by the SECOND house, btw) It was fun to see the boys have a blast together talking about “creepers and freakers” (their play on the Grim Reeper LOL) and Mason got us lots and lots of candy.

2) I got an awesome haircut on Wednesday. Totally love it and also like the dye job that went with it. I also survived my second eyebrow waxing as well and am pretty sure I discovered my new official salon. Totally loved the easy going chatter between all the hairdressers and clients and the girl who cut my hair and I had so much in common. Will definitely be going back!

3) I received notice that my “Backer” package had shipped for the Veronica Mars Kickstarter project. Veronica Mars is my FAVORITE show of all time and I was more than happy to kick in a few bucks to help fund a movie and get some swag in return. A Veronica Mars t-shirt and first dibs on seeing the actual movie? Yes, please!

4) Last Saturday, my bff and I had the ultimate girls night. We went and got “spa manicures” (and had the most hysterically bad customer service), went out for dinner and drinks, and then went to a haunted house/haunted trail. The haunted trail was pretty awesome, unfortunately the haunted house was a 2+ hour wait in line in 40 degree temps, but hey, I had great company!

5) Mason got invited to his first non-relative birthday party this weekend. Birthday parties for little kids (ages 1-4) in this area are pretty much usually family and friends of the family, so this will be his first opportunity at a party with a lot of other little kids that he isn’t related to. I’m probably just as excited about the party as he is (nah, I doubt it) because it just seems like such a fun milestone. For those of you who’s kids have been going to “friend” parties since your kids were babies, ya’ll probably think I’m nuts but oh well!

All in all, this was a wonderful week with more fun yet to come. Hope your week was just as great and your weekend is even better! Thanks for stopping by today!

 

Spinning My Wheels

Have you ever had so many random things that you needed to do that it becomes so overwhelming that instead, you get nothing done at all? I’m feeling like that these days.

I have over 4000 e-mails in my inbox, over 450 of them unread.

I have a review that I should have posted two weeks ago that I REALLY need to get moving on

The 5k project that I’ve been working on all summer has paperwork due on Friday. The only thing left is the trip to the mailbox

I need to research new dental insurance as ours ends on Halloween.

I really want to re-design my blog but beyond saying that, I haven’t started. For two months.

Mason has three weeks of laundry sitting in baskets in his room waiting to be folded.

I have a huge queue of blog posts I’ve favorited to comment on. There are now too many to ever keep up.

It took me 3 weeks to prepare a bill for a project that I worked on, even though I couldn’t wait to be done with it all.

I’m kind of suppose to actually RUN a 5k in three weeks. Hahahahahahah.

My bff from high school has been waiting for a return e-mail for nearly a month now.

I swear that any day now, I’m going to start blogging at LEAST three times a week.

Mason has two wall hangings that have been waiting to be hung up since Christmas.

My computer desk looks like something exploded.

I need to give the foster coordinator an update on how our foster dog is doing. She e-mailed me last week.

We had family photos enlarged several months ago and have yet to buy frames to put them in.

My garden needs to be “wintered” so it’s not such a nightmare in the spring.

I have three library books that are due tomorrow.

And yet, it’s easier to write this list than it is to accomplish anything on it. Ugh. Do any of you ever get “stuck” in a mode like this? Where the “to do” list is so long it’s easier to just escape in a book and an early bedtime than actually do anything about it?

I’m hoping to give myself a public kick in the pants here. The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, right?

Top Ten Reasons Mason’s Not Asleep – Top Ten Tuesday

Mason blessed us the first two years of his life by being a wonderful sleeper. Sleeping through the night by 6 weeks and basically sleeping 8 pm to 8 am like clockwork for a very long time. Then, he turned two and things went downhill. These days, bedtime procrastination is at an all time high and most nights I’m begging him to go to sleep because it’s past MY bedtime too!

This kid, he’s the pro at stalling and excuses. So, I bring you, the top ten reasons (in no particular order) that Mason cannot fall asleep

1) His feet are too cold (if he’s not wearing socks) or his feet or too hot (if he is)

2) He forgot how to cover himself up

3) He needs his Elmo slippers on (or off, if they’re already on)

4) He has an owie and wants a band-aid

5) We forgot to sing a bedtime song (Thank you, Daniel Tiger!)

6) He has to pee.

7) He forgot to tell us something (Tonight was all about his desire to buy a large grill to cook a pig??)

8) He wants his Grandmas (yes, plural)

9) He forgot to get a sticker for his pajama shirt

10) He wants a specific stuffed animal to sleep with Mommy instead (and then twenty minutes late wants it back)

So, how about your kids? What are their favorite bedtime stall tactics? What’s the most common one? What’s the most ridiculous one? Please tell me we’re not alone with never ending bedtimes!

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings