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Archives for January 2012

There is no right answer..

I sit at the table and try to have a quiet lunch while scrolling, scrolling, scrolling through Pinterest. We’re having a conversation about a girl in his church “class” and how much he likes her and if I can call her mom right now so she can come over and slide on his slide. He’s standing on his cooler at the kitchen counter, shaking (what I can only assume will end up to be) and entire salt shaker into a bowl.

Just moments ago he was sitting at the table with me. My phone was put away and he was painting a section of concrete that he took out of the driveway. We talked about how beautiful he was making it and he asked for more purple paint. His paper plate is an inch thick with paint he’s swirled all together but I open the purple and squirt another dollop on top of the huge mess.

Later he’ll walk into my room and want to see the new humidifier. A word he can actually say clearly that reminds me he’s not a baby anymore. He’ll drag a chair over to my dresser, stand on it to turn the humidifier on full speed and dance under the fog of wet air. But when that gets old he’ll take the water reservoir off, set it on my dresser, spilling water everywhere and watch the water dance. As it splashes EVERYTHING in sight. I’ll calmly go get him a towel and he’ll get down to get a box of tissues.  One by one he’ll put the tissues into the water (at which point I will turn off and unplug the humidifier) he’ll empty almost a whole box of tissues into the water then take some out to “clean” the dresser. I’ll sit on the bed and we’ll keep talking about the fun things he did this week. Then when he is bored with that, I’ll throw away the tissues and wipe up the water with the towel before tossing it into the laundry hamper.

He asked for spaghetti and hotdogs for breakfast. It was the first thing he said to me that morning. So after a little cuddle time in bed I got up, got the leftover spaghetti, warmed it up. Along with a hotdog  at 8am. He ate every bite and thanked me as he ran off to his next adventure.

I’m getting impatient wanting him to get dressed so we can leave the house. He asks if he can please wear his jammies, Justin Beiber coat and ladybug boots today. It isn’t exactly what I had picked out but we aren’t going to a beauty pageant today.

Tonight as I go to bed I’ll set out a piece of bread in a baggie. His honey and a plastic knife neatly on a paper towel. When he wakes up in the morning he’ll go make himself a honey sandwich then climb into bed next to me as I bleary eyed turn the tv on.  It’ll already be on PBS because that’ll be the last thing I do before going to sleep. One last thing I have to think about. His cup of milk is on the bottom shelf of the fridge, if he gets thirsty, he’ll go get it. And while I’ll this is going on, I’ll steal a few more moments of sleep.  Whatever mess happens because of those two things can be cleaned up later, I remind myself.

But then it’ll get too quiet so I’ll walk into the kitchen. See the sugar, butter, cinnamon and bread out on the counter. Riddick (the dog) sitting eagerly at his feet. I sneak around the corner and hear him explaining to the dog how to make cinnamon toast. I smile and walk to the linen closet where I get out a  dish cloth. Wet it in the sink then help him clean up all the spilled sugar. We laugh about how silly it is.

I’ve learned a lot about myself as a parent lately. It seems like all my peers with kids the same age are in a constant battle of how to do this parenting thing better. Constantly struggling and most importantly, fighting a lot. It seems it’s the topic of every mom gathering lately. Whether at play groups or just a bunch of us standing in the hall at church.

My conclusion: I don’t fight.

Unless something is life threatening, I don’t make a big deal about it. I pick my battles with him. I don’t have the energy, or patience or attitude to be able to correct him all day. He’s learning. I let him learn then take a few extra moments to clean up WITH him.

Isn’t he spoiled because he “gets away with anything he want too?” I would say no. He is polite. He says excuse me as he walks through a crowd. He says please and thank you when even I forget. I would say he’s BETTER behaved because he doesn’t have to try to get away with things.  He doesn’t try to push boundaries, because there aren’t many boundaries he can push.  He’s smart. He’s experienced a lot and had the best memory of anyone I’ve ever met. He follows instructions when he’s asked to pick something up or let the dogs out. He eats better than ANY toddler I know. He’ll choose broccoli over chocolate cake everyday. He rarely eats “junk” food. But can drink an entire bottle of pickle juice



He’s a 3 year old. A BRAND new 3 year old, who was just 2 a month ago.  He’ll still grab a toy out of another child hand and take of running  the other direction. He’ll still scream that something is “MINE” if he wants to play with it. And he’ll demand that someone buy him a toy when we’re at the store. I have nights (and days) I am so frustrated with him. Days when everything seems like a battle  and we both end up in tears. It isn’t always perfect. Nothing is.

What works for me, and for us may not work for anyone else.

Parenting is HARD. Finding something that works is HARD. It takes matching the personality of your child (or children) with yours and finding something that works. Some parents have time and energy to fight, some children NEED boundaries.  I GET THAT.

But TO ME, I dont care if he throws food to the dogs, becasue he eats well. If he didn’t, my perspective may change.
I don’t care if he stands on chairs, sits on the kitchen table, or climbs up on the counter. He knows how to handle himself in those situations. If he didn’t, my perspective may change.
I don’t care if he empties the entire bin of wooden track all of the floor. We’ll just pick it up later.

We’re learning and growing together. And having a whole lot of fun at the same time.

We’re all doing the best we can with what we have. We all deserve pats on the back, and to be a little gentler with ourselves.


DIY Canvas Pictures!

My  house. It lacks decorations. In a MAJOR way. So much so that I left up a few Christmas items just so there was something.

I’ve been dying to get our last family pictures (of our new family) up somewhere. I dreamed of canvas prints hung above my couch and adorning the wall above my headboard.

I pinched my pennies and prepared to make the ..gulp.. leap into buying canvas prints. (Have you SEEN the price for those things?)

But then, Pinterest wandered into my life.

There were tutorials GALORE of how to make your on canvas prints. I knew it wouldn’t be the same thing as a stretched canvas picture, but the cost savings was enough to convince me that those things didn’t really matter anymore.

A friend of mine suggested ordering prints in ‘linen’ texture and it was such a fantastic idea. I LOVE the extra texture on them. To be honest, I didn’t research prices as much as I should have. Nations Lab had a sale going on and I just BOUGHT! The quality (and shipping) was FANTASTIC!

I had the perfect day when it was stormy and SNOWY outside and Miles was at his dad’s so I dug in!

I chose 2 – 12×12’, 2 – 16×20’s and 1 big 24×30

First I had to trim just a littttle bit of the edges of all of the pictures, so they would fit just on the front of all of the canvases.

I painted all of the edges, a little bit of the back and a little bit on the front with a black gloss acrylic paint. Then waited for it to dry. (waiting is the WORST part!)ry.

When it was dry I painted a layer of Mod Podge onto the canvas, making sure to get all the way to the edges. I also painted the back of the prints. (I tried to skip putting the Mod Podge on the back, it doesn’t work. You HAVE to do that part)

I let them dry just a little (until tacky) then put the print on the front of the canvas.  Making sure to rub all the bubbles out. I would put the print on, then flip the canvas over so it was flat on the table and rub all the bubbles out that way. Repeat with all of the pictures and canvases.

I then painted a layer of Mod Podge over all the canvases and the edges.

This part is always so scary. When your beautiful picture is all milky, you start to panic. Don’t worry, it’ll dry perfectly clear. I made sure to keep all my brush strokes in the same direction.  At this point I wondered if the extra price for the linen texture was worth it.

While I very UNpatiently waited for them to dry and clear up.

After they were dry I used a circle sponge brush to put a little black glossy paint on the edges just to tie it all in.

What do you think???

Cost: (if I were to buy the canvas prints and not make them)
I compiled the LEAST expensive canvas prints from various websites. (this DOES NOT include shipping..)

12×12 $31.99 x 2 = $63.98
16×20 $44.99 x2= $89.98
24×30 72.99
TOTAL (i didnt spend..): $226.95

Cost to make all the canvases:
All Canvases: (purchased at Hobby Lobby on sale or with 40% off coupon) $30.99
Prints: (purchased 40% off at Nations Lab in LINEN texture) $52.88
Supplies: Mod Podge: $4.99, black paint $2.99, sponge brush set $2.99
MY TOTAL: $94.84

Now, $100 is still a helfy bit of change, but my canvases are BIG. If you were to stick with all 16×20’s your price would be less than half. I found a 2 pack of 16×20’s at Hobby Lobby for $7.99 on sale. The prints (even in linen texture) were $8.92 each. That would mean a 16×20 canvas would cost $13.00 to make. ($44.99 to buy!) SO AFFORDABLE!

**I swear I get NOTHING from Nations Lab but their sale is extended to the end of February. Go buy your prints now!!! I’m going to go buy more. They were fantastic quality and fast shipping!*

Navigating without direction..

Being an adult is a crazy ride.

You get married and realize there isn’t a handbook on the way to have a successful happy marriage.  So you fumble, you succeed, you fall, you get back up. And some how you figure it all out.

Until a baby comes along. Then you’re completely lost again, wondering where in the world your book is on how to do this right. Suddenly “doing it right” is A LOT riskier. But again, you figure it out. (sorta.) And you keep doing your best to figure it out.

And then, when the worst happens and you’re faced with divorce and shared custody, you find yourself PLEADING for a handbook. There are no answers for you on how to handle things. How to make sure your child suffers as little as possible. (you’re just kidding yourself if you think your child won’t suffer at all. No matter how young or how old. This is realized quickly.)

So here I am.

Stumbling. Picking myself back up. Crying just as hard as Miles is as I hug him. Having great days. Having the lowest of low days. It comes and goes. And I still don’t have a clear direction of which way I shouldn’t or shouldn’t go.

Right now, I would say that Aaron and I have a pretty good relationship. Since the initial separation we haven’t had very many FIGHTS. (the screaming yelling crying kind) There is very little drama.

There was a time when I only reached out to my close friends, most of who don’t know me in real life. And asked for advice.

The greatest and most inspiring came from a friend that I had NO clue had been through divorce. She confided in me and helped me more than she’ll probably ever know.

“…every day I told myself I wanted to be proud of how I acted when I was 80 and looked back on it. I wanted to be able to go to God and say “I did your will”. It was the hardest thing I ever did.”

I have CLUNG to those words every day since that day.

I do what I can to make sure I can look back on this time and be proud. Not only in my own eyes but in God’s eyes also.

I don’t always succeed. I have bad days where my mouth gets the best of me, or my emotions take over, but I try.

Miles is a strong boy. He understands and communicates so much better than other {barely} 3 year olds than I know.

So for now. He decides. He decides when he comes, when he goes and who he is with at any time.

I think it’s the right things to do.

But is it?

This isn’t a fun road.

I’ve struggled with wanting to just get it all out. Should I start an anonymous blog? Or twitter? Just get things out.

But then I remember, I want to look back on this time and be PROUD.

Those things I WANT to say, don’t NEED to be said.

So I just keep driving, PRAYING I’m making the right choices. PRAYING I’m doing what’s best for Miles. PRAYING this road has an end.


27 weeks!

How far along? 27 weeks. Officially the 3rd Trimester!!!

Maternity clothes? After some very nice poking an prodding a friend convinced me to try the Motherhood full panel maternity jeans. (I didn’t wear a SINGLE pair of maternity pants last pregnancy.) While I enjoy not having to constantly pull up real waist band jeans, the panel top does bug me a little. But overall, I’m pretty happy with their fit and glad I got them!
Other than that, my wardrobe consist 100% of Old Navy Maternity tops. I just love them SO much. ESPECIALLY the stripes.

Weight Gain? According to my scale I am up 6 lbs from my first doctors appt.

Stretch Marks? Baby Chuck likes to keep his head right under my belly button which has lead to some kind blueish areas around my belly button, but other than that, Miles already made enough to share with this baby!

Sleep? I am sleeping SO well. Probably better than I should. I have some restless times. I wake up a few times a night but I have NEVER yet woken up in the middle of the night because I had to pee. Weird right??? I remember waking up 3 times by this point last time.

I am SOOO thankful for the good sleep. Baby Chuck has his hour before I fall asleep that he gets all comfy and cozy and moves around, then sometimes around 7am I feel him moving just a little bit, but he’ll let me sleep till after 10am (if Miles does!)

Movement? Baby Chuck has been such a calm baby. Even know at 27 weeks when he has his “wild” moments they are FAR less wild than I remember in the past. He HATES tight clothing around my stomach (so do I), and often wakes up for a bit when I get in bed but quickly calms down. I have a routine of waking up in the morning then catching up on my phone and waiting for him to wake up. I say good morning, tell him is mommy and daddy love him and then start my day.

Gender? Hopefully he’s still a boy!

What I Miss? Hmmm.. I kinda love my new clothes and my pregnancy pillows, and being able to eat anything I want. I don’t know if there is too much I miss right now. I get a little winded when I walk up stairs but other than that, it’s been easy peasy.

Symptoms? My heartburn is finally under control. I haven’t had a killer headache in a while. And I don’t feel nauseous at all anymore. Other than the occasional Braxton Hicks I’m feeling pretty good.

Food cravings? Oh goodness, this one could go on and on and on! Lately I have been on a sandwich kick. Any kind of sandwich but specifically this DELICIOUS cheesesteak from a local place. Mexican food is ALWAYS #1 in my book. And I’ve started eating cereal like it’s going out of style.

Food aversion? Thankfully these have calmed down a TON! For the longest time I couldn’t stand monochromatic food. If there was no color on a plate I couldn’t even look at it without gagging.

Labor signs? Thank goodness, nothing yet.

Belly button in or out?  It never popped out last time, so I’m not expecting it to this time.

What I’m Looking Forward to? Getting a nice round belly. It’s still not very big, but he sure is.

Weekly Wisdom?  Eat smaller portions. Gosh I don’t know why I cant get the hang of this concept. I think I’m STARVING so I eat a ton of food then I am sooo full the rest of the day.

Milestones? I’ve been able to actually watch him move in my tummy lately. Every time I get camera out he STOPS! Hopefully I’ll be able to record it soon to send to his parents.


26 weeks in picture form

I’m not going to lie.

The evolution of the bump cracks me up. I felt HUGE at 9 weeks and tiny now. It sure gets bigger and smaller and bigger and smaller.

I CAN’T WAIT until it’s big and round and Chuck’s mom can feel him kicking from the outside. I’ve tried a couple times to get his big movements recorded for them, but the second I get my phone turned on he stops. Silly kid.

I cant wait to add (at least) 14 more pictures to this!
(maybe then I’ll just pick one for each month)