Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mama's have birthday's too!

 It's official...I'm 27. Twenty seven. Wow.
 I don't have any bad feelings towards getting older. (eek) I am just NOW feeling like wow, I actually AM getting older.
 I look back at when I first met Nick when I was 18 years old. It feels like that was just a few short month's ago. But no. It was almost 10 YEARS ago. HOW?! I don't feel old. I don't feel like I'm a "spring chicken" (thanks hunny!) anymore either though.
 Everyone says "time flies". It's true. We all knew that as parents anyway, but I am really beginning to see it more now, since I am getting older along with my children. Imagine that! ;) I feel the same as I did two weeks ago, and 5 years ago. Maybe some more knowledge and opinions, and experience. Ok, I guess I am a lot different than I used to be. Hmm.
 When I was a kid, all of my birthdays were a childs dream! My mom threw the best bday parties for us. I always felt so special and had a blast. Now in my late twenties (ok.....that will be the LAST time I say "late twenties") birthdays are definitely different. I don't get a pinata, or goody bags, and birthday hats. It would be pretty silly to buy all that stuff for myself and at this age. All I'm trying to say is that, you look back at how BIG birthday's were back then, and you kinda miss it. You being me. ;)
Don't get me husband and everyone in my family worked hard to make me feel special, and boy did I! It's just different now. You all must know what I'm saying. Right???

 This year, on my 27th birthday, I spent the day shopping and relaxing and getting gifts from lots of people. My kids were so wonderful and my husband was all about making me the queen of the day (not like I'm not ALREADY the queen in this house hehe!). I just felt different. Maybe it's that I wasn't with my mom? Probably. I have spent every single birthday with my mom except for 2. Both of those I was here in Redding. It felt different to miss our mexican lunch and shopping spree together. I shopped alone. And while having 'kid free' time, is ALWAYS fantastic.....I still felt bummed. I missed having my best friend, my shopping mom.

 I guess as we get older, we really do change, and begin to lead different lives than we did 10 years ago. Sometimes that's just a hard pill to swallow.

 Since I have bummed you all out now (lol sorry!) I will add all the wonderful things that I did on my big day! I slept in, which if you have kids you know that is a wonderful RARE gift! I woke up to coffee and doughnuts, that my husband ran out to get for me. He had beautiful flowers waiting for me which was a wonderful surprise. They are still smelling wonderful in my kitchen! I did a workout and then Nick kicked me out of the house for some shopping :) I spent many hours walking the mall, and just thinking. It was nice....but like I said. It made me really miss my mom. So, I got home and Nick took all the kids out of the house so I could have some quiet time to read a new book I bought. He came home with dinner from apple bees and some AMAZING perfume from Victorias Secret. I love that perfume, he did a great job picking it out! AND....he did all that with 4 kids in tow. THAT is amazing! My kids were so excited to see me open the perfume since they were part of picking it out. They all made me cards and I got so many hugs and kisses :) We had cake and hearing them all sing happy birthday to me (except William haha!) was just wonderful. It really made my heart light up looking around my kitchen table seeing all this love in every ones eyes.

 I spend so much....ok almost ALL of my time doing things for my family. My life feels like its all about the kids, so seeing them all work together to make me feel special, was so sweet.

 On the night of my birthday my brother set up a skype date with my whole family in Az. Boy was it hard to hold back those tears! It was so nice to talk and SEE my family on my birthday.

 I got flowers sent to me from my grandparents on my moms side. They are gorgeous and I think they might live for a long time! YAY! Nick's parents had a dinner for me, with cake and gifts. It was so sweet!! I enjoyed everything, especially when they all sang to me :)

 So, yes....I'm getting older, but I really feel like my life is just beginning!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

And then there were two...

 Nick and I rarely get to go out on dates. I mean RARELY. The only time we get alone together is when the kids are in bed. By that time we are both exhausted or want to just sit and play on the computer or watch tv. I know you are all nodding your go through this too!
 We had a chance to on a date this past Friday. We took the kids to Nick's parents house at 4:30, and pretty much ran to our truck to start our date. First we drove around....crap....we haven't had a chance to actually PLAN the date. So, we went to Red Lobster where we have always had wonderful service and the food....I don't need to mention the food. DELISH! Nick got the endless shrimp...which was a TON of food, and I ordered the peppercorn steak and shrimp. Wow.....I waited all week for that meal! I'm on a diet trying to lose this baby weight and it was HEAVEN to be able to eat that meal with no guilt.
 We sat and talked, and just enjoyed each others company....and the FOOD! To sit and be able to actually pay attention without hushing one kid, helping another eat their food, grabbing a napkin for another and reminding one of their manners.....priceless.
 We don't get to experience that often!
 Nick spoke...a lot. ;) He always does. This time however, I was so happy to actually hear him. He loves telling me about everything he has done during the day, or new things going on in the video game or movie world. Sometimes he confuses me....but most of the time I am a good wife, and listen to his stories. I love to watch him when he is telling me stuff.....he gets so into his story. :)
 Anyways, after our amazing meal, and even more amazing service, we decided to grab some coffee from our favorite coffee shop, and go to the Sundial Bridge. We walked around together, hand in hand....again another rare occasion with so many kids! Lots of couples were walking the bridge as well....enjoying the sunset and peaceful evening.
 We sat at a cute bench and watched the river and all the people walking around. We wished our time would stop going so fast. Why does that always happen? Soon we realized we needed to get back to reality. We walked back to our truck....slowly. I wonder if we both purposely were walking slow to make the date last longer. Hmm :)
 On our way to get our little ones, we both told each other how nice it was to be with each other and to spend time for our marriage.
 At the doorstep of Nick's parents house we were greeted by our little princess's. They of course were excited to see us, and we were excited to see them as well. Absence really does make the heart grow stronger. :) We got our kiddos home and into bed, and were able to sit with each other to end our date.
 I think we both realized how important it is to focus on our marriage. We are an amazing parenting team....but we can't forget that we are also a couple. We are married and in love and we need to be able to concentrate on that sometimes......more than sometimes.
 So, we had a great evening as a couple, and not parents. We have promised each other to make sure we can do that more often.
 Funny we sat at the sundial bridge, we decided to bring the kids there the very next day. ;) We get to be without kids, and there we are....making plans for our kids. LOL!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Being selfless isn't always easy...

 Being a mother has made me feel so many different emotions. In one single day I can feel 5 different emotions....just from staying at home with children.
 Being a mother means you are selfless. This is difficult at times.
 I knew coming into this that my children would come first, and there would be little time for what I want to do. Some days though, seem to feel like I forgot all about this. It can begin to feel like every moment is about the kids. What they need and want.
 I sat here tonight thinking to myself......being a mother....shoot....being a PARENT is HARD. I am so exhausted by dinner time that it's hard for me to think "oh wow, we still need to clean dinner up, give three kids baths, dress them and pick out school clothes, read and get them in bed." Usually Nick can see this on my face....I'm just tired. He can say one thing to me to give me that boost of energy to finish the night. I really appreciate that.
 Being selfless feels wonderful. It makes me happy to know our kids are always our priority. Though I'd love to wake up when I want to, not make one meal or clean for an entire day, and sit for as long as I'd like without having to help anyone or fix anything. That's not what moms do though....and to be honest, there are times that I struggle with being completely selfless.
 It's hard to be the fixer and the referee, the cook and the taxi. All the things that moms (and dads) do for our children become really tiring at times. I know everyone feels it. If you say you haven't you are lying to yourself.
 Be isn't ALWAYS easy and wonderful to give of yourself completely ALL the time. Every day. It's hard!
 I love it. I wouldn't have had 4 kids if I didn't. I'm just dealing with one of those days that I feel like I need a break.
 Just a break to THINK. How many of you have an audience when going to the restroom? TOO!
 How many of you have to run out of the kitchen while cooking to help 3 kids at once? Me...too.
 It just gets hard some days. The days that you are tired and just want some quiet.
 My kids are such blessings to me. I recognize that. I show that to them daily.
 As a mother, I also recognize how selfless I have to be, and that can be hard once in a while.
 I'm thankful that I have my husband that knows how to make me laugh and remember why I do love being a stay at home mom. And my children that can sit and read for a while giving me that 15 minutes of silence that I needed, the random hug or kiss and the I love yous make all my selflessness completely worth it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy 12th Birthday Nicholas!!

Oh my goodness!!!! 12 YEARS?!?!! HOW?
 Nicholas we have come so far. So many years, so many hugs, I love yous, milestones and challenges. It's amazing to see how much you have grown up over the last 9 years.
 I was blessed to become your mom when you were only three, and I was only 18. I didn't know where life would take us as mother and son. All I knew was that I would always be here for you. That I had gained a son. A little boy that only wanted love and guidance. I tried my best at 18 to provide you with those things. I hope you feel that I have succeeded at this.
 I was blessed to see every milestone that is so important to a mother. Your first sentence, the first time you rode a bike, every first day of school, when you learned to spell your name. Wow I remember that like it was yesterday. You were in kindergarten and as I drove you home you said "I can spell my name now....n-i-c-h-o-l-a-s." I started to cry. I was so proud of you Nicholas. I know you still remember what we did. We went straight home and made a cake to celebrate. Dad and I were so proud that you learned to spell your name! You were proud of yourself.
 I remember the first time you rode a bike without training wheels, and the first time you went to the park without me. I worried like crazy until you came back home.
 I remember the first time you rode the bus. I walked you to the bus stop every morning and waited for you at the bus stop when you came home. Your little face was so excited to see me there waiting day after day.
 I remember when you dealt with bullies in third grade. You came through the front door in tears. I had never seen you that way. I was folding laundry on the couch and I immediately ran to you. I knew who the boys were, so I took off.....bare foot, running down the sidewalk to give them a piece of my mind. I had so much anger, knowing you were being teased. I wanted to protect you. I still do.
 I remember all our trips to the zoo, the movies, the mall, the park. Just us two, when dad was at work. We had so much fun staying busy. So many crafts and lots and lots of swimming. Do you remember when we taught you to swim? I do. It took you a while to grasp it. You were afraid, but you stuck with it. I stuck by your side and you got it. :) We knew you would.
 I remember the first time (and every time) that you flew alone. It killed me every time. You know that. I tried not to let it show, but it was hard for me.
 Recently you went to your first school dance. That was so wonderful to see. You talked about it for many days following.
 Dad and I gave you 3 little siblings and you have always been so gentle and loving. It's hard now that Laura is growing up....she wants to be your shadow and you want your space, you are just so far apart in age. You are doing well though.
 All these memories bring such smiles to my face son. We have shared so many wonderful times together as mom and son. You are changing a lot. Growing into a teenager and that's hard. I know that. You are showing your opinions more, and trying to figure out the world around you. Trying to find your place.
 You are such a funny boy. You have always had a great sense of humor. Always embrace that Nicholas. Stay true to who you are. I know all teens want to be like their friends, but you are special Nicholas. Be a leader and follow only your heart.
 Me, dad, Laura, Katie and William love you dearly. You are our oldest child and very special to all of us. You are a very important puzzle piece in our family, and I want you to always remember that.
 I love you hunny, and thank you for letting me be your mom from day one. I've been truly blessed to have you. Through the good and bad, I will always be here for you.
 Have a wonderful, laugh and just enjoy every minute of your special day!

 Love forever,

Monday, October 3, 2011

This whirl-wind called life.

 Are any of you mom's out there feeling like life is so repetitive and going by so quickly? I swear some days I feel like I'm standing in the middle of a tornado. I have 4 kids constantly circling me with all their millions of wants and needs, 3 animals that somehow have the same number of needs some days, and a husband that I don't get to spend much time with, even though he only goes to school 3 days a week.
 I have never in my life been so busy. I have a dry erase calendar in my kitchen that is completely full for the month of October. I have ANOTHER calendar hanging in the kitchen to schedule thing's out past the month we are currently on. Appointments, school fundraisers, birthdays, holidays, play dates, early dismissal days, school projects, field trips, and so many other random things that pop up. I look at this calendar and think.....when did this happen? Wasn't I just pregnant with Laura and going to the pool every day with Nicholas having the time of our life......with no calendar to be seen.
 Life certainly has taken a turn. For the better. We are so busy as a family of 6 (some days I still can't believe we have a 6 person family!), that it truly makes me smile to see my calendar so full. I feel like this shows me just how involved as parents we are.
 We try our hardest to be active in our children's school's and lives. If you have a baby or more than 2 children you know how hard this can be. I remember how hard it was when I just had Laura and Nicholas. It seemed like we couldn't get out of the house to do anything most of the time because of all the things you had to bring, the scheduling of naps.....thing's are still the same yet different these days. I won't budge on naps. As an experienced mother, I know just how important nap times are. I'm sure all you mama's know too!! I still bring a diaper bag full over everyone else's crap (lol) but I know that I don't NEED the entire house with me just to go to the park. It took me a few kids to figure it all out but I'm there now :)
 I remember being a mom of 2 and feeling very bored. I would wake up, get Nicholas off to school and have the day to play with Laura, and clean what needed to be cleaned. That didn't take too long. A 6 year old and a baby didn't make too much of a mess. I found myself feeling like I wasn't contributing much. I look back now and know that a stay at home mother contributes just as much as a parent that works outside of the home, no matter how many children you have. It took me a few years to learn this.
 Now days, I don't have time to be bored. I wake up at 6am, get the girls and Nicholas up. Get the girls dressed and hair done. Get all the kids breakfast, send them to brush their teeth, make their lunches, get shoes on, clean up breakfast, kiss them goodbye as Nick takes them to the bus stop. Change William and feed him. Start laundry, come back in to unload and load dishwasher, stop to play with William and Katie for a bit......deep breath.......get Katie's shoes on for third time, drive her to school, drive home, go from room to room cleaning what needs to be cleaned, feed the animals, stop to play with my little man, get William down for a nap, work out, drink my coffee in silence :)    and back to cleaning, make phone calls that need to be made, fill out any school papers, get William from his nap, take out the laundry from the dryer and fold and put away. Another bottle and snacks for Mr. Man, and play time, pick up Katie, make lunch, clean up lunch, go through Katie's school papers, more phone calls, another load of laundry of course, bathroom cleanup, sanitize door handles and light switches, vacuum, take William and Katie to the bus stop to wait for Laura's bus, get home to do snack time and Laura's homework. Another nap for William, Katie needs to lay down but will most likely lay in her bed for an hour then come out excitedly yelling "I took a nap, now I'm awake!!"....can't resist and let her lay on the couch while I fold that last load of laundry, Nicholas comes home, homework time with him, time to start dinner.....deeeeeeep breath......set table as I break up fights, put a kid or two in timeout, grade homework and feed the animals again. Spend time with my kids while we wait for dinner to finish, and eat as a family. Dinner cleanup and family time for a while. Bath time, story time, brush teeth, pick out school clothes, and bed. Hugs a gazillion times for each child (that's ok I love that), and finally.....yes finally sneak out of their rooms.....for the last clean up of the night. Sigh.......... I'm tired just typing that all out. I'm sure I even left a few things out by accident.
 The life of a parent is just truly insanely CRAZY! I'm nonstop all day and night. Nick does all this with me while going to school three days a week. I'm blessed to have him to do all of this by my side. We have really become a great team. We know exactly what to do when, and what comes next. It took some years to find a flow....especially while adding children to our crew. We have come to a place where we both know what needs to be done and we just get it done. I love that.
 So while my calendar intimidates me at times, I'm happy to see it full. Each and every month I am doing thing's with my family. With my children. These things take up places on my calendar....but most importantly these things take up places in my heart.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Birthday party galore!

 Oh my goodness!!! Every year we get hit pretty hard from the months of September to February. Here is how our birthday's and anniversary's play out.....

September 30th-Katie's birthday.
October 6th-Nicholas' birthday.
October 19th-My birthday.
November 19th-Our wedding anniversary.
December 9th Williams' birthday.
December 15th-Laura's birthday.
February 18th-Nick's birthday.

 This isn't even including ANY of our familie's birthday's and anniversary's and other holidays. How insane! So....I try really hard to be good with money and to buy thing's throughout the year for each holiday and birthday. should see my closet, there is always a gift for SOMEONE in there.
 We just had Katie's third birthday and oh my!!! It was a blast! I try to do our kid's birthday's big, and last year I was very pregnant for Katie and Nicholas' bday and William was a newborn during Laura's bday. I will admit, the kids (except Katie) kind of got jipped last year. I decorated and we got gifts and cake and all that, but I didn't allow friends. I wasn't into it. Inside of me there was so much panic setting in, knowing I was about to have a baby and there were still tons of holidays to plan out. I was overwhelmed. So I did what I thought was best and had smaller bdays for Nicholas and Laura. They aren't I think it was ok. I feel like I'm making it up to them this year though.
 Now that Katie's birthday is over, I am on to Nicholas's. How on earth did all my kids end up being born only 6 days away from a sibling?? I will never know. I can only guess that God was giggling as he watched me realize this.
 Nicholas is getting older (crap, that means I am too!!!!). He will be 12 this year, which I swear feels like a total sucker punch to me. WHERE THE HELL ARE THE PAST 9 YEARS STORED AWAY?! Who came and took those 9 years as a joke? I want them back....they went too fast, and I KNOW life can't fly by so quickly.......right? :(
 So, Nicholas has requested....ok begged me to let his friends sleep over to have a campout in a tent in the back yard. At first I thought "NO!!!!!!!!, anything but a sleepover!!" but I've come around to it. I haven't allowed any of the kids' friends to sleep over. I've ALWAYS had a baby at home, and my baby needs sleep.....I NEED SLEEP! So, I guess I'm the mean mommy that doesn't like sleepovers. Which leads me to a question.....Do any of you REALLY like kid sleepovers? There is no way! I need those few hours at night where I can relax without kids! If I have someone else's kid here, I feel like I need to be on full alert, and lets be honest....thats not always fun!
 On to what I was saying.....Nicholas wants a campout, with the campfire....really just a friend pow wow. So he is getting that :) We will of course invite family for cake and gifts, and then we will have food for his friends and I'm trying to come up with *cool* activites that 12 year old boys like. Yea...totally not as fun as planning a 3 year olds birthday! Every idea I have, I get a look from Nicholas like *you CAN'T be serious* grrrr help me out kid!
 So I think I will get some board games that we can all play together, we will do smores, glow sticks, and all sorts of random things. I am having a cake made for him....which seems to be the hardest part right now....oh and the fact that he doesn't want me to decorate! What the heck?! I'm decorating the hell out of this house ;)
 I just can't believe all these birthday's fall so close together. I go for more planning. I totally love the party planning for my kids, to see that they LOVE what I do for them. I just hope they look back and remember all the fun birthday's we plan for them, just like I have looked back at all my great birthdays. All 21 of them ;) ;) ;) hehe!!