Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Year, New Goal

My goal for 2010 is to be more organized. This means my house, of course, but it extends beyond that, too. I definitely want my home organized to cut down on time lost spent looking for things, money lost by wasting food/resources, and energy lost thinking about all of the above.

At the end of 2009, we were audited for our FSA and I had to come up with documentation for about 20 transactions (that were all payments made to doctors' offices so it wouldn't it seem that it's for medical reasons anyway? That's a whole 'nother post...). When I was searching through random piles of papers, I grew increasingly frustrated that I hadn't thought ahead to organize that stuff before. So I lost many hours calling various doctors' offices and insurance companies as well as hunting through bills, EOBs, and receipts. This whole process made me frustrated and short-tempered which is never good. So I vowed that this year would be different.

Too many times, I stand in the kitchen at 4:15pm and wonder, "What am I going to make for dinner?" One would imagine that part of being a stay-at-home mom is having a dinner plan for every night of the week (although it's my dream to do a whole month at a time--I'm working on that). Sometimes, I have a week planned ahead of time but I'm normally planning a night's dinner about an hour before serving time. And sometimes that lack of planning means that Domino's Pizza gets our money. That's always fun and tastes good but it's not always in the budget. So I vowed this year would be different.

Sometimes I find it hard to fall asleep. During the times I lie awake at night, I think about all sorts of things. Among these is how I need to be more organized and what has kept me from reaching that goal. That will lead to thoughts of how I could get more organized and before I know it, the clock shows 2:30am and I haven't even finished a single plan. So I vowed this year would be different.

I say that organization is my "goal" for 2010 because I always associate the word "resolution" with failure and by year's end, my home and life WILL be more organized. I've started with the office. So far, I've gone through tons of papers and receipts, organized medical papers and shredded tons of stuff. My coupons are now organized in a portable hanging file folder box and I've created an area in this box for 2010 medical papers to avoid the audit disaster we had this past year. I reorganized the pantry in the kitchen, too, because when Sarah was sick, we had a lot of wonderful people her helping and they graciously stocked our pantry--but it was a disheveled mess. So that makes the day-to-day kitchen activities slightly more fun and definitely easier.

I need to clean the basement. It's a total wreck and there's a chance my sister will be coming to live with us soon and we intend to make her living space down there. So that certainly needs to be done. The laundry room looks like a clothing store exploded in there--I need to purge a lot of things.

I've budgeted to stock the freezer with meals so that I won't be tempted to dial-a-pizza on busy nights.

Obviously, I won't reach my goal in the next couple of weeks but I think if I can keep making small amounts of progress, I'll be satisfied by the end of the year that I reached my goal.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


This year, Thanksgiving has arrived with a renewed joy and gratefulness. In 2006 and 2007, Thanksgiving brought losses, sadness, and grief. In 2008, we were nervously expecting Alex but Thanksgiving brought new fear about his chances for survival and threats to my health. But this year is totally different.

Alex is a growing (and I mean really GROWING) boy with bright blue eyes and a smile that melts my heart. Charlotte is nearing 5 years old and has recently learned to read. I love her dark brown eyes and skinny, little legs. She's so silly and keeps our family laughing. And after a very close call and an extended stay at Dayton Children's, Sarah is returning to her normal self. While she is still down in weight and fatigues very easily, she is getting more energetic every day and her appetite is returning. Her giant brown eyes are bright once again and her infectious laugh is back to its full gusto. She has been drawing lots of turkey pictures and fretting about tornadoes again so we know she's back. Andy has been keeping busy with work and house projects. Today he is running the Turkey Trot and I'm so proud of his commitment to running. He turned to running last fall when it was too dark in the mornings to play basketball and somehow, the running has stuck. I admire his dedication.

This year, I'm thankful for so many things:

  • A wonderfully supportive husband who leads our family with careful thought and sets an amazing example for our children
  • A nervous 6-year-old who worries about the seemingly strangest of things but is creative, energetic, and full of curiosity
  • A silly 4-year-old who talks incessantly and enjoys playing alone, even if she does still suck her thumb
  • A bright-eyed, bouncing baby boy who loves to pound on his bee toy and giggles when I tickle his roly-poly thighs
  • Long-time friends with whom I don't need to be in constant contact but when we do see each other, it's like we've been talking all along
  • New friends who make me feel like a fun person again and who remind me of the things I cherish most in friendships
  • Supportive family who showers us with love and generous encouragement
  • An encouraging church family who provided so much more than just meals during our time of need
  • A warm home that shelters our family
  • A pantry full of food to nourish our bodies
  • Knowledgeable doctors who help us keep ourselves and our children healthy and strong
  • A strong, proud, BRAVE military devoted to keeping our nation safe.
  • And most importantly, I'm thankful for a loving God who guides my life and to whom I turn in good times and times of struggle for guidance and wisdom. Without Him in my life, I cannot imagine living.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shingles -- Not just for roofs

Last week, I noticed a couple of "bug bites" on my side. I showed DH and he was stumped--how could I get mosquito bites in that area? As the week wore on, I started to get pain in that area and the affected area started growing. For the next few days, I noticed that I couldn't sleep on that side of my body, lean on that side of my body, and I had a couple more "bites" more toward my back. So I sucked it up and went to the doctor on Monday. She immediately said, "You're not going to like what I have to say. It's shingles." BUMMER!!

So I'm taking an antiviral medication and she gave me some lidocaine patches to wear at night to help with the pain. She said I'm not contagious so I'm glad for that because Alex hasn't had his chicken pox vaccine yet. She told me to keep an eye on it and if anything got worse or didn't improve in 7 days, I should come back. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's a mild case because I've heard shingles can get pretty bad.

Shingles...they're not just for the elderly. Anyone can join in the fun.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Alex got his first tooth last night! I checked his mouth in the morning and there was a little bump but no tooth so I figured it would be another day or two before anything concrete made an appearance. We went out to dinner last night and when we got home, I checked again and VOILA!! There was a teeny tooth sticking out!

We have tried getting a good look at his newest gem but he guards it pretty well with his tongue. I can tell that he recognizes that something is new because he keeps running his tongue over that part of his mouth and making funny faces.

Once it gets big enough to see, I'll post a pic of his new pearl.

Congrats on your first tooth little man!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Locks of Love

When Sarah turned five last year, she donated 13" of her hair to Locks of Love. She was excited to do it and we were proud of her for giving a gift on her birthday.

Now as we're getting ready to start school again, it was time for hair cuts. Charlotte has been waiting for her hair to be long enough to donate but her hair just doesn't grow as quickly as Sarah's. However, we measured her hair and she had just enough to donate but it would leave her hair pretty short. For a while she's been telling us that she wants short hair so we figured that if she was confident in that decision, who were we to stand in her way?

So we did it. We allowed her to cut 10" of her hair to donate to Locks of Love. She was very excited and when Grandma asked her tonight what she was going to do with her ponytail, she responded, "Sell it to the sick children!" (We're still working on explaining the difference between sell and give.)

Here are some photos of Char's new 'do!!




Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dough Baby is 6 months old

Alex turned 6 months old last week and had his well baby check on Monday. He weighed 18 pounds, 11 ounces and was 27.5" long. At their 6-month checks, Sarah was 16 pounds and Charlotte was 13 pounds; Charlotte didn't hit 18 pounds until her 12-month check! So he's definitely the biggest of our babies. He's getting so big and learning new things each day.

Recently, he's started rolling onto his belly in his sleep and I think this is what has helped him to FINALLY sleep 5-6 hours at a time. This is a major improvement over the 3-4 hours he'd previously been sleeping. And just this week, he has started sucking his thumb. While I think it's adorably cute and it does help him soothe himself, I am not looking forward to breaking that habit, as we haven't been able to get Charlotte to stop sucking her thumb--and she's 4 years old. He's blowing raspberries now, too, and putting everything in his mouth. He's growing up fast!

We are scheduled with two specialists to help us determine if some issues he's having are in need of further examination. Those appointments aren't until the fall so we have some time before those.

All in all, these last 6 months have flown by. It's hard to believe he's halfway to his first birthday already!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

On two wheels

Sarah is a very cautious girl and when it comes to taking risks, she's typically very apprehensive. So that explains why, at age 6, she's just now learning to ride a bike without training wheels. We live in a former parsonage and the church (and its parking lot) is in our backyard. Just this past week, we've been taking Sarah to the parking lot in the evenings to give her some practice riding her bike. She was doing well without training wheels in the driveway but we could tell she needed a longer path to find success.

Over the course of only a few days, she has become quite proficient at balancing and riding. She's even learning how to start and stop without a great deal of unsteadiness. She still has moments of nervousness and anxiety but overall, we're proud of how far she's come in such a short time. This is a task that would usually take her months to accomplish so to nearly master it in just a few days is a record breaker!

We're so proud of you, Sarah! Keep working hard and you'll be great in no time!!