Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter 2013

We have had a wonderful holiday weekend.  I took off from work Friday and went to the mall as soon as it opened to attempt to see the Easter bunny.  We were 4th in line and all went well until it was time to sit in his lap.  Nicholas walked up, said "Hi Easter Bunny!", let him pick him up then the meltdown began.  He was not a fan.  I wanted a picture, even if he was crying but my mom didn't make him stay up on his lap for a picture.  Oh well, maybe next year.

Today we spent the day celebrating our RISEN savior!  It was a cool, rainy morning so I ended up buying a pants suit this year instead of a dress for me.  I freeze in church in the Summer, so I knew I would be too cold in a dress this morning.  We coordinated in our yellow and off to church we went!  We usually go to early church and on Easter, early church starts even earlier, so there wasn't much time for pictures.  I did manage to get this one of my boys as we got out of the car.  I LOVE their coordinating Easter outfits!
We had an awesome Easter service.  The Lord was definitely present there this morning!  We do the Easter bunny, but we do not make any emphasis on the bunny or what he brings, but that the day is about Jesus.  To keep the priority that way, the Easter bunny doesn't visit our house until we have left for church (I know this will have to change when he gets a little older and the kids start talking about it).  When Nicholas came home he found his basket and a few fun goodies!
 The bunny brought Nicholas a book, Jake tervis, a Pixar CD, a puzzle, and little bit of candy.

 Here is my sweet boy and I in our matching Easter clothes.  He couldn't wait to read his new Easter book!
As soon as we had time to go through the basket my family was here for lunch.  We all go to the same church, so everyone came over for lunch.  I used my Nana's dishes and glasses and I loved how Springy it looked!  Even if it was 59 degrees and rainy!
My mom and I cooked a ham, green beans, strawberry salad, pineapple casserole, twice baked potatoes, deviled eggs, carrots, and I made a carrot cake.  It was super good!  I forgot to take a picture before we ate, so no buffet pictures this time!  A certain toddler I know was worn out!  Sunday school wears him out on a day that there is nothing else going on, but today was super hard on him.  He is in bed already and it's only slightly after 6:30!

I hope everyone had a great Easter and remembered the real reason for the day.  It isn't all about Easter bunny, eggs, or candy, but about the fact we serve a LIVING SAVIOR!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Loving A Spirited Toddler

When I was in college I worked as a preschool teacher in the afternoons and loved it. I love children (which is why I am not a pediatric nurse. I couldn't deal with the sadness of sick children.) and I LOVED the high energy and love that surrounded me every afternoon. There were a few children that were a challenge for me. They were always full of energy, had vivid imaginations, always running at a high speed, and seemed one step ahead of us all the time. We always referred to those children as "spirited" children. I always said that I couldn't imagine what it would be like to raise a child that was so spirited. Well, 14 years later I am a mom to one of those children and now I know!

I've been blessed with a wonderful little boy. He is a sweet and loving, but loves life and wants to experience all life has to offer, he is SPIRITED! He can go 100mph for 12 hours never stopping for a nap. He can climb, run, and play all day long never missing a beat. He tests me all day every day. He asks "what's dat?" 500,000 times a day usually while trying to take the item apart. Would I trade him for a child that follows the rules to a tee, doesn't have a zest for knowledge and never acts out, not a chance!
I HAD to include a full blown meltdown picture and a fun loving boy picture!

When we go out in public and he says "helllllllllloooooo!" to every one we pass while he is climbing on the buggy after I have asked him to stop and he wants to touch anything and everything, I am thankful for his adventurous spirit and his strong will...even while strangers look at us with disapproving stares. God made him that way and I love that he speaks his mind and isn't afraid to do so. Then there was the night we had 20 of my parents closest friend at our house for my dad's birthday and he proceeded to disassemble the laptop to "make it a puzzer". He just wanted to take the keys off and put them back together like a puzzle. He has a desire for knowledge and to know how everything works. It is how he approaches life...full speed ahead and full of spirit!

I love that he is spirited. I want him to face the world head on and aggressive. I want him to voice his thoughts and not be afraid of what other think. I love that he is outgoing and friendly. I love that he wants to learn about everything he sees. I love that he is full of energy! I see all of this as a gift. I pray that God has blessed him with the courage to be himself. I pray that he uses his energy to be productive and to be successful. I am thankful for his spirit and I hope I always am.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Springtime Fail, Mommy Fail and Prayer Updates

Y'all, it has been COLD out there this week!!! Where is Spring?! We have had more snow in the past 3 days than we had all "winter"...and that means a very slight dusting! Ha!  This was the radar on my phone Monday morning. Where was this weather when we wanted it...IN JANUARY?!
I'm hoping for at least a sunny, mid-60s kind of day for Easter, but doesn't look like we will get it this year.  Looks like we are looking at rain and 50s.  :-( I may be putting a long sleeved shirt under Nicholas' sweater vest!

Speaking of Easter, guess who has had a major mommy!  I have totally forgotten to take Nicholas to see the Easter bunny.  I had planned to do it Saturday, but it completely slipped my mind.  Between work, my sick uncle, and trying to get everything done at home last weekend it just didn't get done and I thought about it around 5:00 Sunday.  IF we can squeeze it in this weekend great, but if not, at least we had his baby chicken pictures made.  :-(

I have a couple of prayer requests tonight:
  • Keep praying for my uncle.  He will be leaving the hospital within the next day or so and hopefully continue to get stronger so that he can possibly get on the transplant list at Vanderbilt.  He has a lot going against him, but we are still hopeful. 
  • Those of you who follow me on Twitter and FB probably saw my updates that a 16 year old who goes to our church and is a student at my dad's school was stabbed in a random act of violence while shopping at a Target in Pittsburgh Monday.  She is doing really well considering her injuries and she updated on Twitter today that she is hoping to go home soon.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to be 16 years old, far from home (her family is there visiting for spring break), go to Target for a normal shopping trip then to be held as a human shield and stabbed in the back.  I am continuing to pray that she continues to heal both physically and especially emotionally. Also pray for Allison and her family as they come home to Chattanooga and try to return to normal.  I worry that "normal" will be difficult for her for a long time.
  • Our neighbors had a freak childhood accident at their house last night and could really use your prayers also.  Their 8 year old son was carrying their 10 month old daughter and tripped causing her to fall and break her femur.  I have been praying all day for this sweet baby and her parents, and her older brother who is devastated over the accident.  This family not only has an almost 8 year old and 10 month old, but also a 2 year old.  My friend Brittney definitely needs your prayers for strength and patience as she cares for a baby in a huge cast and a toddler. 
All 3 of these have helped me keep my life in prospective this week.  I came home Monday afternoon tired and frustrated after a long day, a long meeting at the end of the day that put me at daycare at 5:59 with 1 minute to spare, traffic, and then a burnt dinner in the crockpot.  I was ready to sit down and have a long cry over how "horrible" my day was when I heard about Allison being stabbed.  I then wanted to cry because I was so ashamed that I thought I was having a bad day, but nothing in comparison to what this sweet girl and her family were going through.  Suddenly all of my "problems" seemed so petty.  I had planned to post my meal plan that night, but it just didn't seem right.  All I could do is watch for updates on twitter and FB and pray.  Just another one of those times where God puts things in prospective for you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

I was so glad to see the weekend.  I had been at the hospital as a nurse or a family member most of the week and I needed a break.

Update on my uncle: he is doing as well as he can be.  He did have a cardiac cath which showed about a 10-15% cardiac function due to a weak muscle, not blockage.  With this diagnosis the only thing they can do is treat it medically with medication, cardiac rehab, and hope it strengthens his heart enough to consider him for the heart transplant list in 3 months.  He will be in the hospital another week at least and hopefully some inpatient cardiac rehab after that.  Keep praying for him, it's working!

Yesterday Nicholas and I had the day to ourselves as Michael worked.  I cleaned the house and did a ton of laundry while Nicholas played pirates and puzzles.  Seriously, this kid could play pirates and puzzles 24/7 and never get bored!  In the afternoon my mom and I went to a shower for my cousin's fiancee (my uncle's son, Richard is getting married).  Nicholas got to spend a couple of hours playing pirates with Pawpaw and it gave Pawpaw a much needed break from the reality of a sick brother.  

Last night we took Nicholas to eat his favorite meal...hibachi!  It cracks me up how much he loves watching and eating hibachi. His expressions and excitement there is just pure joy!  Too bad last night he wasn't much into it.  He had not had a nap and was more into watching Jake on my phone.  It was also that awkward moment when you are sitting at a hibachi table with your husband and tired toddler and they sit you with your ex boyfriend from 1999 and his entire family!  As in his parents, 2 brothers, wife, and daughter!  Yes, it was awkward, but good to see him and catch up! Haha!  It figures it would be the week I am worn out, have unbelievable under-eye circles, and my toddler was exhausted and acting a fool. Nicholas did act halfway decent and seem to like the fish in the lobby during our 45 minute wait. :-)

Today he woke up with a nasty draining eye again.  It isn't red, but hopefully with drops we can keep it from becoming full blown pink eye.  I'm so sad it is draining again.  I'm suspicious his ear tube has come out on that side, because it was working it's way out a few weeks ago and his eye used to drain before he got tubes.  Guess we will be headed to the doctor if this doesn't improve soon.  :-(  Since we were afraid to take him to church and expose anyone to pink eye (just in case that is what it is) I spent the morning getting caught up on my couponing.  I have taken about a year off and now that we are planning on spending a small fortune on Disney, I guess I better get back on it.  I got my notebook out and put a bunch of coupons in there.  Too bad I forgot to buy a paper today to get the latest coupons!  Haha!

I made our meals for the week this afternoon, then it was rest and DVR catch up for me. After Nicholas woke up he wanted to watch Cinderella.  He loves the mice in the movie and knows we are going to see her castle soon!  I thought this was such a sweet moment when he first woke up from his nap and I just had to share it.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!  I'll be back tomorrow with meal planning Monday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Pictures

As I mentioned on Saturday, we had Nicholas' pictures taken with the baby chickens again.  He did better this year, but was still a little scared.  However, our photographer rocks and did a FABULOUS job yet again!  Here are my favorites.  I want one for my bedroom, but no clue how to chose one!

 I think I need this one on my wall in my bedroom beside his newborn picture.

And one from last to see how much he has grown.  Hold me!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Prayer Request, Another Disney Question, and Consignment Update

I have a fairly urgent prayer request this morning.  My dad's younger brother is in the ICU not doing very well.  He has been there since early Monday morning and will be there a minimum of another week.  He and my dad are close and my dad is having a hard time with him being so sick.  Please keep my uncle, his doctors, nurses, and our family in your prayers over the next several days.

As you know, we are going to Disney later this year.  We are considering two hotels and leaning more towards one than the other.  Has anyone stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort in a pirate room?  I'm seeing so many mixed reviews that I just can't make a decision.  We are also considering All Star Movies, but I don't like how far it is from everything, but on a positive note, the Toy Story room we would get is close to everything.  The drawback to the pirate rooms is that they are a looooooooong way from everything at that resort.  Nicholas would LOVE a pirate room, but he would also think the Toy Story room is awesome and doesn't know there is another option.  What would you do?  Anyone that has been to either feel free to give me some feedback!

For those of you who read my consignment updates, I did awesome at JBF this year!  I took 97 items and only had 2 left at the end!!!!  I've never done that well before and I made enough pay our room at Disney!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Brain Dump

1.  Not that it is a little warmer weather outside and I've had to put my boots up, I'm struggling to find just the right wardrobe for myself.  I've been wearing tennis shoes or my Chacos a lot because of my bad back and because it seems all I do these days is chase a wild almost 3 year old!  I love wearing skinny jeans when I dress up, but they aren't practical for me on a daily basis unless I'm dressing up with heels or ballet flats.  I'm needing to find some new jeans because my favorites have always been Gap long and lean, but they've quit making them.  What are a good, affordable pair of bootcut or flare jeans that fit well on people with small waists, but big hips?  This a pair of Old Navy jeans I found in my closet from a few years ago.  Not bad, but not as good as my favorite long and leans.
(ok, so I was informed on Twitter last night that they are still available??? I guess I'll have to check out my local Gap soon!)

2.  I will be making our Disney dining reservations soon.  So far I am planning to make them at Chef Mickey, Hollywood and Vine (Disney Jr breakfast!), and Crystal Palace.  I'm leaning towards Tony's Town Square instead of Be Our Guest because I think it would be more for me than Nicholas. :-)  Any other fun Hollywood Studios or Magic Kingdom area restaurants we should try?

3.  I noticed this weekend at the grocery store that I am spending a small fortune buying fresh produce for Nicholas.  That kid can eat some serious fruits and veggies!  I have to buy twice what I normally buy because he eats so much of it.  I love that he gets his sugar fix from fruits and that he would rather eat veggies than anything else!  We've definitely been blessed by his eating habits!

4.  I've had this book sitting in my closet for a few years and finally got around to really reading it this week.  I like it but not as much as I liked Jen's other book, Pretty In Plaid.  If you are looking for a funny, chick-lit type book, I highly recommend her work.

5.  We need to do some serious spring cleaning at our house and some major closet clean outs, but who has that kind of time?  One of these days I'll get around to it, or maybe our closets will just be stuffed full and impossible to walk into until we move in a few years.

6.  I'm working on adding a lot of color to my patio this Spring.  Trying to decide exactly what colors, but I know I want new cushions and outdoor curtains (which I've been lusting over for years).  I'm thinking fun, bright colors like turquoise, orange, lime green, and pops of pink.  Now, just got to find those in cushions and curtains!

7.  I had a pretty good week on my diet.  I lost about 3 pounds including a bad case of food poisoning, so maybe that helped.  :-)  I ate a small salad for lunch most days, drank a lot of water (for me), and tried to eat sensible at night without much dairy or cheese.  This lunch was actually pretty tasty!  I bought salad stuff to make at home this week for lunches and some dinners while my boys eat off the nightly menu.

8.  What is everyone watching on TV these days?  We are watching the usual: Dallas, The Middle, Modern Family, Nashville, and Scandal, but we've started watching Celebrity Apprentice again and Property Brothers on HGTV.  We love Celebrity Apprentice, but do good to make it until it is over at 11.  Michael got me hooked on Property Brothers and it cracks me up because he wants us to do something like that when we move in a few years.  Um, no thanks!  I like to watch it, but I don't want the stress of a remodel on top of moving.

Meal Planning Monday

Nothing too exciting on our menu this week.  Sorry friends!  Maybe I'll be inspired again next week. :-)
Sunday (St. Patrick's Day) - Crockpot Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, and Carrots
Monday - Leftovers (Mommy will have a salad on her diet plan)
Tuesday - Stir-fried Cashew Chicken with Broccoli, Carrots, and Mushrooms
Wednesday - Spaghetti, Salad
Thursday - Crockpot Pork Chops (never had them last week), Macaroni, Green Beans
Friday - Pizza! 
Saturday - Chicken Pot Pie, Cooked Apples

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!  Even though we are Baptist and not Catholic, we still love some St. Patrick's Day around here.  I am part Irish, so why not?!  We wear our green, eat our corned beef, cabbage and potatoes, and drink our beer!  It's a fun day!

Last Sunday I discovered this yummy treat!  Why have I never had a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's until now??? 

We went out for some lunch and ate at Mellow Mushroom.  Nicholas was excited to eat some "pizzzzzzzza!"  
We got an awesome pesto and tomato pizza that was super tasty!

After we played outside some more this afternoon, we ate our traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner.  I made a crockpot corned beef with veggies and it was pretty good (even if I am not a huge corned beef kind of girl!).  

I had planned to make a special green dessert, but forgot to buy marshmallows, so it didn't work out.  Maybe next year!  Now it's time for bath, getting clothes ready for the week, and cuddling up to watch Celebrity Apprentice after Nicholas goes to bed.  It's going to be another long week!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sunny Saturday

We have enjoyed a fun, warm, Spring day today. Yesterday was not such a fun day. Michael and I spent the day in bed with food poisoning from our salmon on Wednesday night. It didn't have any characteristics of a virus and Nicholas hasn't been sick or anyone else we know, so we are pretty sure that's what it is. After about 18 hours of sleep, we are like new people today. Thank goodness!

I started my day at the 50% off day at JBF where I scored a bunch of puzzles and books for $1.00 or less each! However my find of the day was this set of Mickey ears for Michael to wear at Disney for $2.00! Haha!  (I'll be wearing a pair of sequined ears and I'm going to order some for Nicholas with his name on them to have when he gets to the room)

I was back home by 9:30 and got Nicholas ready for his Easter/baby chicken pictures.  He was still a little afraid again this year, but he did great after we put the chickens up.  He was such a little poser and kept saying "CHEESE!".  He probably did the best he ever has for his pictures.  I cannot say enough good things about our photographer Lindsey.  She manages to get good pictures on his bad days, so I cannot wait to see what she got on a good day!

We've just been outside enjoying this awesome Spring day and it has been a wonderful day.  Nicholas has been practicing his tee-ball and playing on his swing set.  He has decided that his fort is actually a pirate ship and tells us he can see Captain Hook through the telescope.  :-)

Michael grilled out tonight and we had chicken, peppers, onion, and mushrooms from the grill.  YUM! Even Nicholas ate a little bit of it!  I just love warm, sunny days with my boys and looking forward to many more weekends like this over the next few months!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Raising Little Boys To Have A Christ Like Heart in 2013

This is a heavy, wordy post that has been on my heart for months and well, really years now. As a mom, and I think especially as a boy mom, I feel a need to raise my son as a Godly young man who has a heart for God. I'll be honest, since I found out he was a boy I was worried that I wouldn't know what to do to build his character into a Christ-like heart. Yes, he has wonderful examples in our family, but I worried about the influences outside of home and church. I struggled with how I would show him that it is cool to be a teenage boy that praises God, prays in public, and isn't afraid to be a Christian when others around him may not be. I worry about what he sees as role models in sports and pop culture. Is this the kind of person I want my kid to look up to???

Last Fall, God put some Godly teenage boys in our lives and gave me a peace that yes, you can raise a Godly child in this day and age. It may be a strange place to find a peace in my Mommy heart, but every week I watched the team my dad coaches at a small private Baptist school praise God for everything. They gave Him the glory in good times and continued to praise Him in the lowest times. I watched as multiple sets of 3 or 4 of high school football players huddle on one knee and prayed together before each and every game without the prompting of coaches or parents. I watched them praise God after injuries that could've been worse, a season ending loss by thanking Him for taking them so far, and praise during the happy times. I've read pieces of the testimonies of a few of them and it was hard to believe the words came from a teenager. They Facebook scripture and some deep thoughts that at 32 years old, make me think deep. Opposing coaches and fans have complimented their individual sportsmanship on the field. I pray daily for Nicholas to have a heart like those boys when he is a teenager.

***This is probably a good time to mention that these are observations based solely upon their actions I've witnessed on the football field and at church. Actions I have witnessed firsthand and not a biased opinion as a coach's daughter. I would be impressed with their character if I watched them from the stands as an opposing fan. I also want to say this: they have a normal, teenage, passionate feud with a rival school that has fueled some heated moments; I do not doubt for one minute that they have disagreements with their parents, get into normal teenage mischief, and I in no way think they are perfect, I know that no one is. I just admire their public proclamation of being a Christian teenager.***

Nicholas goes to Sunday school, he says his prayers at night, we read Bible stories, and we sing praise music with the Veggie Tales in the car and while we do chores a home. I worry about the temptations a teenage boy faces and how he will respond. I pray that he never hides the fact he has a heart that believes. I hope within the next few years as he watches these fine young men compete against schools who refuse to pray with them at midfield and mock their Christlike hearts, that he sees that they never lose their focus of having a Christ-like heart.

In the meantime I will continue to pray for my sweet son. I will pray on a daily basis that he has a heart that loves God and that he isn't afraid to show it. I pray that I am able to teach him how to grow as a Christian and that he grows to be an example of a Christ-like heart. I pray he is able to withstand temptations that will come his way. With prayer and by seeing the examples set by these young men, I find peace in raising a son in this day and age.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

I don't think I have any pictures to show, but I wanted to get back to at least posting my meal plans for the week.  I am going on a diet, so we are going to be eating a little healthier this week.  Nicholas will be eating most of what we eat, but not everything.
Sunday - Grilled Chicken, vegetables, and baked potatoes (N had macaroni instead of potatoes)
Monday - Bow-tie pasta in lemon garlic sauce with shrimp and broccoli, bread
Tuesday - N will be eating at Gigi's and Michael and I will have takeout because Momma is having her hair cut and colored! Yay!
Wednesday - Thai chili salmon, rice, broccoli  (N will have fish sticks instead of salmon)
Thursday - Crockpot pork chops, green beans, carrots
Friday - Pizza night!
Saturday - Grilled steak and veggie kabobs, baked potatoes (N will have grilled chicken)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

What a fun weekend for everyone at our house!  Friday night we ate Mexican and had a dance party in our living room.  Nicholas has gotten to where he LOVES to listen to music and dance.  We turn on the  Disney Kids Pandora station and dance.  He is such a fun age right now!

Saturday morning I went to the JBF sale.  I woke up, got ready, and got there around 8:10 for the 9:00 sale and was 11th in line.  I had found an Imaginext bat cave and Pirate set when I worked drop off and I  literally ran to the toy table and grabbed both immediately.  I also found another Imaginext bat cave and a friend with boys who was also there told me I needed both.  If she says so! Haha!  Needless to say, birthday shopping is done for this year and it's only March!  Yes!

I also found a ton of good clothes and a few other things he needed.  This was my car by the time my mom and I were done.  Two 31 totes full and 3 Imaginext pieces.  All 3 Imaginext pieces are like brand new with all the pieces for $65! Not bad!

This was all of the clothes piled up ready to have the tags removed and be washed.  

I also found these Polo shirts for $14 for all 3.  I am particularly excited about the blue and yellow stripe one that he can wear to UTC games this fall!

This was too cute to pass up and it still had tags on it.  Pretty sure it is Nicholas' Easter outfit!

While I was standing in line and shopping, the boys went on their first hike.  They both love being outside and nature.  I think they had a lot of fun!  They hiked to a waterfall and Nicholas kept saying it was pirate island!  Haha!

Last night my parents kept Nicholas while we went out for my cousin Lindsey's birthday.  It was good to spend some time with Michael and with my cousins.

The highlight today was going to Home Depot and buying a screen door for our patio.  Nicholas LOVES to play outside and last year we had a house full of flies.  Now we can just use our new screen door and save ourselves from the flies!

We also spent a lot of time playing outside.  My little buddy sure does love playing on his swing set.  Still one of the best investments we've made was buying that last year!  Tonight we grilled out and it was the perfect ending to a fun Springtime weekend!  I have a few posts scheduled to go this week!  (I know, who am I?! I am actually keeping up again!)  Come back tomorrow morning for Meal Planning Monday!