Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Countdown to 2014

As this year comes to a close, I have thought about everything that has happened over this past year.  While there have been some not so good times, there have been so many great times.  Some of these times include learning what forgiveness truly means, meeting so many new faces or having to say "I'll see you later" to familiar ones, health issues with my kids, and just how interesting it can be raising five boys.  (Interesting may not be the correct word for that. ;))

This morning, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I noticed a friend had shared a picture that had a list of things to write down for the 2013 year.  I figured it would be fun to look back on this at the end of 2014, so here is my list. (I'm not going to do the entire list, because this post could go on for days. :P)

New Year's Challenge: 2013

10 things I did this year: 
~Learned that no matter how much you want someone to change their life for the better, you cannot force them to do so.  They have to take the steps themselves.
~Watched D power through non-stop sickness, two surgeries, and a diagnosis of asthma, all while coming out like a champ.  I love that little boy tremendously.
~Moved from one house to another, on the same base, just a street over.  This may not be big for some, but we came out of hermit status and have been surrounded with incredible neighbors.  Oh yeah... we also got out of a house full of mold.  Enough said. 
~Sent Carter to his last year of elementary school (heartbreak!), sent Aiden to 2nd grade (he's growing too fast) and sent Channing to his first day of Kindergarten (yes, I cried).  Still can't believe I have three in school. 
~Learned the true difference between a speech delay and a speech disorder.  Jaxon has had a year of struggle, but every day comes out stronger.  Pretty soon we start the IEP process for him and he may be the next in school.  What am I going to do with only one kid at home!?
~I've met some pretty amazing people this year.  That's one of the perks about military life.  New people always come into your life, and with any luck, you'll be able to be lifelong friends.  To the new people I've met this year... you know who you are.  I think you're all pretty darn fantastic. :)
~Watched my husband promote.  He worked his butt off for it, so it was well deserved.
~Found out who I am, spiritually.  For years, I knew what I believed in, but was afraid to come forward  for fear of ridicule.  This year changed that.  
~Went to my first Comic Con.  I absolutely loved it and it was worth the 2 1/2 hour wait. 
~I graduated from college!!! What felt like an eternity was finished in July.  Double BA in Psychology and Early Childhood Education.  3.99 GPA.  TOTALLY proud of myself.

My resolutions for this year:

~To help as many people as I can, whether it's through volunteering or simply through random acts of kindness.  
~Start my MSW in Military Studies.  My overall goal is to work with service members who have dealt with trauma or crisis and to help military families, spouses and children.

~To count every single one of my blessings, every day of the year.

What about you?  What are your plans for this year?  Do you have a hard time sticking to resolutions?

I hope you all have a fantastic New Year! Stay safe!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

WAT-AAH Boo Giveaway!

WHOA!  It's been quite a long time since I last blogged.  There has been so much going on that I want to catch you all up with, but first, I was lucky to be selected to do a giveaway first!  This is my second time receiving a bunch of goodies from WAT-AAH! and I absolutely love their products.  This time, they have a wonderful new product, for a limited time, called WAT-AAH Boo!  The minute my kids saw the package, they freaked out!  They are so excited for Halloween and all three of the "bigs" asked if they could take one to school tomorrow!  Who could say no!?  The images on the bottles are sooo cute and so perfect for the Halloween season! 

Here is a little information from WAT-AAH themselves about their new limited edition treat:

WAT-AAH!, a brand of functional water for kids and teens, unveils "WAT-AAH! BOO", a limited edition bottle to celebrate Halloween and to promote healthy hydration in support of the Partnership For A Healthier America's (PHA) initiative, whose honorary chair is the First Lady Michelle Obama. On the label, the brand's familiar character, the WAT-AAH! Boy, is portrayed mysteriously in silhouette and screaming, "BOO!" to surprise its audience. He is surrounded by familiar Halloween imagery such as a witch, ghost, haunted house, pumpkin and full moon, each drawn using simple graphic lines. In the spirit of the holiday, a fun and unexpected treatment of PHA's "Drink Up" logo is also featured; it defines the body of a black spider crawling up the web, which serves as a background for the entire scene. For more information visit: http://wat-aah.blogspot.com/2013/10/wat-aah-celebrates-halloween-with.html.
Also, check out this SPOOOKKKKKYYYY video!!!!
Rose Cameron, CEO of WAT-AAH, also has a new blog that you all can check out! For more information about the blog, please visit  http://wat-aah.blogspot.com/2013/10/rose-cameron-launches-blog-health-is.html.
Now, for one lucky reader, you will win a prize pack of your own!  Just let me know what your most favorite thing about Halloween is!!!!  Good luck!
*I received this product for free to review.  Winner will be chosen at random using random.org by October 29.

Friday, December 21, 2012

No answers....

First off, I apologize because I have been absent for a bit.  My littlest guy has been sick for over two months and we have not been able to get answers as to why.  He's currently on a regimen of augmentin and zantac, but I'm only seeing a minor improvement.  This is our last step before surgery and every single day that passes I'm hoping for a miracle.  I don't want my little guy to go in for any type of surgery, no matter how minor it may be.  We also don't know if he is starting to show signs of asthma or if this is an infection that just doesn't want to leave.  I apologize ahead of time if I'm not on here as much until we get this figured out.

I don't even know how to approach this next topic.  We all know about the tragedy that just happened a week ago today at Sandy Hook Elementary.  As a human, I have just about lost all of my faith in humanity.  As a parent, I am sickened, saddened but mostly heartbroken.  Heartbroken for the moms and dad, grandmas and grandpas, brothers and sisters who lost their loved one.  Heartbroken for the future these children will never have.  Heartbroken for the loss of innocence in the survivors.

My husband and I had sent our 8 and 6 year old sons to school on December 14, 2012, just like any other day.  We got in the car with our 4, 21 month old, and 8 month old sons to head to the mall to finish Christmas shopping.  Around 9:15, I said to my husband "You know what I was just thinking?  How happy I am that you have had active shooter training and would know what to do in a situation like that."  This comment came out of the blue and I had no idea what was occurring or about to occur. Around 1:30, we were coming back to the military base and the gate guards mentioned something about the shootings.  I immediately pulled up the internet on my phone and stared through tear-filled eyes in disbelief.  My heart sank as I started reading what was going on.  I felt sick and angry and immediately told my husband, "I want to get our boys."

I paced back and forth from 2:00 until 3:30 until I saw my children's smiling faces get off the bus.  I hugged both of them so tight that they probably stopped breathing for a minute.  I looked at them and started tearing up, knowing that there would be families not able to hug their babies that night.  I explained to them what happened and both had wonderful questions and concerns about why this occurred.  As a parent, you don't have all the answers.  I wish so badly that I could have the correct answers for everything, but I don't.  I simply explained that there are bad people in this world.

In the last week, I have cried numerous times.  I have lost sleep over this.  I wasn't even directly affected by this.  But... I have a first grader.  I cannot even imagine him going through something like that.  I heard stories about first graders sitting in a bathroom with their teacher, with her telling them that she loved them because she wanted to make sure that was the last thing they heard, should they die.  That those same children were crying for their moms and that they wanted to make it to Christmas.  I also have a third grader.  I heard a story about a third grade girl saying she felt like she was going to throw up.  Why?  Why did this have to happen to such innocence babies?

My heart continues to break each passing day.  I have hugged and kissed my children over and over again, telling them just how much I love them.  Today, the flood gates were opened again when I bought the newest People magazine, with the stories of the individuals who lost their lives.  Something has to be done. Whether it be tougher gun laws or better mental health services, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Teen trends and 11 years

While living in Colorado Springs, I followed my719moms .  I haven't stopped following them because they have some good information that they post about.  :)  Anyway, they just shared this article on Facebook about Teen trends.  I do not have teenage kids yet, but I know I will someday, a day I don't think I'll ever be prepared for. 

My husband and I read this article together and could not believe what teens are doing today for activities.  Two of those activities include vodka eyeballing and car surfing.  Vodka eyeballing involves pouring vodka into your eyeball and car surfing is just that... surfing on a car.  I am always telling myself that I was just a teenager and I remember not believing others when they told me that was I was doing was dumb, stupid, dangerous, or reckless.  Hell, I thought I was invincible.  Now that I look back, I realize that everyone else was right and I was sooo wrong. 

Reading stuff like this reminds me of the scary world that I am raising my children in.  From kidnappers, to child predators, to random shootings in public places... it makes me wish I could just put them back in and keep them safe from all of this.  Of course, that would probably be super painful, but hey, at least I know where they are! ;)

On a different note, we are coming up to the 11th year that I have been with my husband.  9/14/2001.  Technically, I have known him since first grade.  He moved away after first grade, my family stayed, and when my family moved my senior year of high school, I met him on my first day of school and the rest is history.

SOOOO.... It started like this:

First Grade!

High School

Basic Training


 And ended up like this:

I still can't believe they are all mine.
Here's to 11 years... the ups, downs and all arounds... and many more to come. <3  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Motherhood... not for the faint of heart.

Everyone always tells you that motherhood is awesome. "Just wait and see." they say. "Best years of your life." they say. I agree 100%. No, I agree 1000%. It has been, by far, the BEST experience during my 28 years of life. However, there are the days that make me question just how awesome it really is.

For example. Here I am sitting at the computer, writing a message, and along comes my sweet stinker little one year old.


"Yes, Jack-ah?"


When I look down, he's wiping his HUGE booger on my legs, trying to get it off his fingers. Yuck.is.right.

How about the time when I walked into his room to get him up from nap and he's snacking away on poop. Yes. I said POOP. His poop. And I stuck my finger in his mouth, not knowing that was what was in there. GROSS.

How about the time he comes strolling down the hallway, chewing an ant? Usually he likes to smoosh the ones that he finds in the house (luckily, they haven't been too bad this year) and this time he wanted to eat one. Protein anyone?

Lately, when he knows he shouldn't be doing something (or even to just get our attention), he'll make this face...

...and of course, if he gets in trouble while making that face, I can only turn around, get my giggles out, and then go into mommy-mode. What.a.stink.

Oh, and by Murphy's Law, if you put on nice, clean clothes, the baby will always spit up on them. Yes. This happened just two days ago. Tried to look all hot for my husband. Fail. The baby puked all down the front of me and the back of me. This is why, most of the time, you will find me in sweats and a t-shirt. :)

Even with the nasty things my boys do, I wouldn't trade this journey for anything. It is the best journey of my life so far.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bzzagent Nerf toys!

I don't know how many of you are aware of the company Bzzagent, but I absolutely love them. I have been able to receive products to review (for free) and in turn, I get to keep the items sent to me!

I was given the chance to review Nerf FireVision Sports. My boys were SOOOO excited to get this product because hey! What boy doesn't want light up toys and footballs? Well, when the product came, this was my oldest son's face:

Of course, his Aunt Missy (my sister) was here visiting so they both got in on the action:

A few minutes later:

the 1 year old wanted in. :) (Sorry, my camera is on the fritz)

The coolest thing about this toy is it can be played with in the light or the dark. The player with the red headset will only see red, while the player with the green headset will only see green. Anyone on the outside just sees a plain colored black ball.

According to Nerf FireVision Sports:

When wearing the FireVision Frames in dim or low light, light can be seen from over 100 feet!

The Nerf Firevision Hyperbounce Ball sells for $9.99 plus one pair of frames, the Nerf FireVision Nerfoop sells for $14.99 and includes 1 pair of frames, and each additional Nerf FireVision Frames sell for $5.99 each and are available in red or green, so you can get tons of people in on the fun!

There is also a basketball that you can get for a different sport to play!

This is one toy my kids will not give up for anything. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wait... What?

What is with boys and their fascination with death? Almost every day I hear one of the big kids (that's what I call the three oldest) say something like "I'm gonna shoot you and you'll be dead!" or "Look at this gun I just built!" At 14 months, Channing would carry a pretend gun around the house saying "Phew, phew". Now, as I'm sitting here, going through my email, I hear Carter through the open window, telling his brothers "Pretend there is a girl named Hannah and she died and we are all sad." Wait... WHAT? Did I just hear him correctly?

I remember when Carter was about two, an older lady told me that I shouldn't let him play with pretend guns. Her reasoning was because "he would grow up and be violent". I looked at her with a serious face and said "Well, we might as well live in a box. Even then, the box would become some sort of weapon. I don't think she was too pleased with that remark. No lie, EVERY.LITTLE.THING is a weapon. Carter makes these huge gun looking things of legos and always has some crazy name for them. Jaxon will take a pretend phone and shoot up the house. Even little figurines are guns. Go figure.

The one thing that my husband and I agree on is telling the kids they have to point whatever object they are using as a weapon towards the wall, ground, or pictures. Not people. They think it's hilarious to shoot the ceiling with the Nerf darts and my ceiling is usually full of them. Sometimes though all hell breaks loose and they start an all out war with each other. Someone always ends up crying and everyone usually ends up in their room. I used to beg the fertility gods for a girl, but now I've come to the realization that even if I had one, she'd be right in on the action.