Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Well, hello, Miss Know-it-all

I've come to the conclusion that- after 11 years and 3 kids- I know absolutely NOTHING about parenting.

I console myself about this sad, pathetic little fact with the knowledge- yes, KNOWLEDGE, as in, I KNOW- that no one else really knows anything either.

Sure, some people will have claimed to finally have "figured it out"- that they cracked the code at last on how to deal with Baby Betsy or Little Johnny in any given situation, but- well, lean in close, will ya?


That's close enough-

Kids are smarter. They know how to change up their game! They're continually holding onto that wild card with their grubby little hands. They hide their Ace so far up their sleeve that you couldn't find it even if you shook out their shirt; and then, they'll pull it out when you're at your wits end- when your spirit has been crushed and your will has been broken- as a final nail in the coffin of your parental control.

What it comes down to is that kids ALWAYS have a game plan and its this: practice multiple plays, never use the same play twice, show no mercy and always wear your game face.

Maybe the old bribery trick worked last time. You were able to get through the shopping trip with no issues and all you spent (besides money for groceries) was the cost of a Snickers. You might be patting yourself on the back- $1 is well worth your sanity.

Next time, you won't be so lucky. Next time, Little Johnny will have you screaming,"Fine! You can have the remote control car! I'll even throw in rechargeable batteries! Just PLEASE stop whining for ONE minute!"

Maybe blackmail is more your thing. Its an admirable route, to be sure:"Be good or no sweets after dinner." The problem is, you can only use that threat once. After that you have to get creative, and if kids know one thing, its that if they exasperate you enough, you'll break down and start bribing them instead.(see above)

Or, maybe you're the more MATURE parent. You're reading this and you're thinking,"I just put my foot down. No means no. My way or the highway. No ands, if or buts." To that, I stand in awe of your parental utopia...

Also known as 'Never, Never(gonna happen)Land'.

Nope. Just when you think you have it all figured out...

...you have kids.

Then you realize,"I know nothing."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sturday Shout-out: Always Just a Mom

I wanted to use my Saturday posts to highlight some great bloggers out there. This week's feature blogger is wonderful and I hope you love her as much as I do. If you'd like me to highlight you, just send me an email at asoto0703@gmail.com.

Saturday Shout-Out!


~Your name: Stephanie Greiner

~Your blog's name w/ link: Always Just A Mom (www.alwaysjustamom.blogspot.com)

~Type of blog it is: a little Life in general but a lot of Mommy Blog!? That's the best way to describe it I think!

~Tell us a little something about yourself: I met and married my crazy husband in under a month (we met Memorial Day weekend and were married June 30th...which happened to be the start of the Fourth of July weekend), we have to little guys (String Bean 3 and Biscuit 2) that are 13 1/2 months apart and keep us both on our toes. I am a stay at home mom that just decided to open an Etsy store with some fun crafts and handmade gifts (Goodies By Greiner) because I needed a creative outlet and a little extra money would never hurt anyone. We live in St. Louis and love living in a city that has so much family-friendly stuff to do!!! Our only complaint is we're beach/ocean loving people and well...St. Louis is landlocked...so we'll save that for our retirement! I am a follower of Christ, I'm active in my church and I love learning, doing and keeping busy...you know what they say about having idle hands!!!

~If you had only 1 wish, what would it be and why? Gosh I feel like I should say something like "world Peace" but I'm going to go ahead and be a little more selfish. If I had only one wish I would wish that we owned our home, I mean OWNED our home...no more house payments. I think if we could get our house paid off quickly we could use that money to start saving for our beach house (we're really committed to this idea) or I could just wish for the beach house...but I'm not ready to leave the city just yet!?

~What's your favorite thing about where you live and why? I love, love, love, our FREE ZOO! The STL Zoo is amazing! We typically spend 1 day a week there and seeing all the animals is completely free...if you get there in the first hour you can get into the Children's Zoo, the Carousel and the Stingray exhibit for free too! We do purchase a pass but then I'm guaranteed free unlimited parking (you can park on the "road" all around the zoo for free but with two little ones, by myself, that's a little difficult so I totally think the pass is worth the money), I get like 60 tickets for the stuff we would have to use money for (including the TRAIN) and we get 10% off food, beverages and gifts in the gift shop...so it is really a great deal for me! I'm all about the zoo (we also get invited to some special events throughout the year...so that's really fun!) the boys love it and it's a great way to spend a few hours in the morning (we live so close we can just go spend 2 hours...and not feel bad because we didn't see ALL of the zoo)!!!

~3 words to describe yourself would be...? Outgoing, FUN, Organized

~1 little known fact about you is...? I have been playing the violin since I was 3...I actually wouldn't say I'm actively playing right now...but I get it out every once in awhile.

~1 vice of yours is...? A good glass of merlot!

~Why did you start blogging? I wanted to share the end of my pregnancy and the beginnings of our life as a family with all my friends and family that didn't live near us (most live on the East Coast)...so the blog was a great way to get started...now it's a whole different beast!

~What's your favorite thing about blogging? I think it's the online community that you end up forming. I love building these new relationships with other parents and learning fun tricks of the trade from some seasoned parents. I also LOVE the giveaways (I've won like 5 in the last week...it was good week for me!)!!

~What do you think makes for a successful blog? For me I like it to be visually appealing, organized and provide solid information. I really like to read stories but have them mixed in with posts about organization, crafting, recipes, giveaways...I think it's great to have a mix and learn about the individual writers of the blogs.

~3 words to describe your blog would be...? FUN, MOMMY, Educational

~What's 1 blog (besides yours) that you think everyone should check out? I think everyone should check out: Young House Love...I love this blog and read it DAILY! http://www.younghouselove.com/

I'm hoping this will be a success, so let me know if you like me doing this.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thankful Thursday Blog Hop #1


With 45 minutes left in the day, here is my 'Thankful Thursday' post.

I find that people spend far too much time complaining about what they don't have and far too little time contemplating what they do- which is sad, since most people aren't satisfied when they finally get hold of what they've been craving.

I guess its appropriate, then, that we only celebrate Thanksgiving once a year. The other 364 days are ones we set aside for working and praying for the things we want to be thankful FOR on that one Thursday in November.

But what would happen if we all decided to give thanks EVERY day? After all, even if you have nothing more than your life and the clothes on your back, those are 2 more things than some people in other parts of the world have, and isn't THAT something to be thankful for?

So, its not a huge step, but I thought that I would dedicate Thursdays to being thankful. On a site I'm a part of- The Motherhood- they do a daily '3 things I'm thankful for', so while I know what I'm doing isn't much, its a start; and maybe- just maybe- if everyone else took the time to focus on their 'haves' instead of their 'have nots' once a week, this world might start to change.

Like Ozzy Osborne said in one of his songs, "I'm just a dreamer", but every great thing in life started off as someone's dream, right?

So, what am I thankful for today?

I'm thankful for my boys. Ever since becoming a mom, I appreciate peace and quiet so much more. The person who wrote the song 'Silence is Golden'? A mom, I'd bet. My boys have opened my eyes to the finer things in life: a clean bowl for cereal, a full jug of milk, a toilet seat without pee on it, a living room floor you can see...

...my boys make me so much more grateful for these things.

And while this post might come off as condescending and sarcastic, its really anything but. Even if the rest of my days were filled with dirty bowls and living rooms filled with toys, I'd take that over stuffy old silence any day.

I mean, really- I never said I was thankful for SANITY.

Thankful Thursdays Blog Hop


Watch me, getting all creative and stuff.

I thought that I would start my own Blog Hop (thanks for the idea, Tenetia!). It might turn out to be a blog FLOP, but you never know.

And what better thing to have posted ALL over the internet than a bunch of entries on what people are thankful for?

So, here's my idea- Thankful Thursdays Blog Hop. Before you write, though, here are the rules:

1. Don't follow me unless you really want to. I don't want this to be purely about getting new followers- I'd really like to see people flooding the internet with "Thankful" posts. If you'd like me to follow YOU, though, let me know.

2. Please post the button somewhere in your entry- beginning, end- doesn't matter. Not only will it help to grow the hop, but I'll be keeping a running PUBLIC list of those that are participating. Also, I'm planning on using new co-hosts for the hop in the future, and to be considered, you must have the button up. If you post the button and would like to be considered for co-host duty, send me an email @ asoto0703@gmail.com

3. You can link up blogs, facebook and twitter accounts - just be sure to specify what each link is.

4. Hop around and find blogs that you enjoy. Be sure to tell them you are following them from Thankful Thursdays Blog Hop so they can follow you back!

And #5 and most importantly, HAVE FUN.

I'm posting my actual 'Thankful Thursdays' entry next, so be on the lookout!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Worrying is for the birds

Like I said in a previous post, I was thinking of ways to "spice up my blog" a bit, if you will.  I'm not someone who will normally 'force' a post- I feel like it makes for a very boring piece to read, and -as I've said before- I won't write something that I wouldn't want to read, so there have been times where I won't come up with a post for days. 

This is all well and good, and I'm not ashamed or anything, but I'm also the type of person who feels most comfortable with a pen and paper in front of me, or -as it is in this day and age- a computer screen and keyboard in front of me.  I sometimes just want to sit in front of the computer even if I have nothing to say.

So, what to do about this predicament?  I've decided to designate certain days to certain subjects.  Today, for example, is Sunday.  Being a Christian, I thought I would designate Sundays to my devotionals.  I'll have something for the other days, too, with one day being specifically for a normal "Boystown" post.

I just thought I would let you all know because I'm considerate like that.

*Cue audience laughing hysterically*

Anyways, here's today's devotional:

Matthew 6:25-34

New International Version (NIV)
Do Not Worry
    25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?   

Every time we have a tough time money-wise, or I miss Corey because of how much he works, I can't help but think,"If God would just make them see the light and promote him, things would be better."  And then my mind wanders into 'What if' territory: What if next month we don't have enough money for all our bills?  What if our only car has another issue and we don't have the money to fix it?

Sometimes its hard to see past the 'what ifs' and focus on who's in charge and what I mean to Him.

We have this cat- he' a great cat.  His name is Stever.  Camo is in charge of feeding him, but since we know that Camo is 10 and doesn't always remember, Corey and I always check to see that Stever is taken care of.  Why?  Because he's family.

The funny thing, though, is he's a cat.  Sure, he IS a great cat and he IS part of our family, but he's a cat nonetheless.  My kids, though- they're part of ME.  While I'm ok with my 10 year old heading up cat care duty, my kids will always be first on MY list.

God created birds that pretty much take care of themselves, and yet, as the Bible says:
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

He even provides for the BIRDS.  So why the 'what ifs' on my end?

Every single month we've made it.  Sometimes we have more money and we can splurge; sometimes we have less.  In the end, though, God has always provided- whether its through a bill that is lower than we expected or family that is always there to help.

And, a side note to anyone who says that 'family that is always there to help' isn't something God provided, well, you must have never been in a situation where you literally found yourself thanking God for their help.  I have been, and each family member that has helped us deserves a special commendation from God in my book.

Anyways, somehow, someway, God always provides.

Corey has an interview for a promotion tomorrow, and while I want him to get it (because I want the proof that THEY appreciate him as much as I do), I'm going to try and remember that -no matter what- we'll be taken care of.  Why?  Because we've got top rank in God's eyes.

Take that, birds.

If you liked the post, please post the button!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award, Take 2!

Gotta love this...

I'm trying really hard not to get a big head or huge ego, but its getting kind of difficult.  Thanks to Katie S. @ My New Heartbeat, I now have another Versatile Blogger Award to add to my resume...

You know- if I had a resume.  I'm PRETTY sure my husband doesn't require one from me.  If he did, though- this would be on it!

So, per usual, I'm supposed to share 7 things about me and then nominate some other well deserved bloggers.  I'm feeling kind of photo happy today, though, so here are 7 things about me in picture form.

A tidbit here, a tidbit there....
1.I'm actually REALLY good at keeping up on my boys' baby books.  I've even gone through Camo's baby book recently to see if I had pictures for everything.  You could call it obsessive, but...  No, you'd be right.  Its obsessive.

2.So far today I've had over a pot of coffee.  Yes, its a lot.  No, I don't think its too much- there's another pot brewing right now.  THAT might be too much, but I believe its the quality, not the quantity, that matters.  I'm searching for that cup of coffee that will complete me.  So far, none of them have spoken to me.

However, if any of them DO start talking to me, you'll know coffee is probably no longer the only thing in my cup.

3.I'm am exceptional at killing things.  Its a wonder why I'm trusted to grow human beings.  This plant was alive and well less than a week ago.  Somewhere along the way, it decide to off itself.  I'm loath to throw it away though- as though tossing it out will be a testament to my inability to do something as simple as water a plant.  If I keep it, its saying there's still hope... or it says that I'm a little on the loony side.  Yeah, that too.

4.I've decided to foray into bread making.  Before you 'Ooo' and 'Ahh', just understand that I'm taking the less adventurous road and using a bread maker.  I still deserve applause, though, now that I think about it.  After all, I can kill a decorative shrub (see #3)- there are even more ways to ruin a loaf of bread- as you can see, its a little lopsided.

5.In addition to bread making, I thought it would be fun- and make for entertaining blog posts, at the very least- to make my own baby food.  Yesterday was my first time, and after some blood, sweat and tears (don't worry, none of that went into the food), I made rice cereal.  I imagine those that have scaled Mt. Everest have felt a similar pride.

6.After making that rice cereal, I came to find out that my wonderful, "choosy" (its a nicer word than "picky") boy wasn't thrilled with it.  I tasted it- I can't blame him in the least.  Tonight I decided to let him try mashed potatoes with gravy.  Can anyone say 'Home Run'?  His pediatrician is going to LOVE me at the next visit.

7.Today my "baby" officially said good bye to elementary school.  Beginning in August, I will have a Jr. Higher and a Kindergartener.  Oh, and a baby.  I can practically FEEL my hair turning gray.

And now- because I listened in Kindergarten and learned how to share- here are some fabulous blogs you should check out:

...Shar's Daily Ramblings♥
A Muddled Mother
Memoirs of a Mormon Mommy
Rise Above Your Limits
Whimsy and Whirl by Tenetia

I hope you'll check them out- they're great blogs and great people.

Aaaaaaaaannnnnnnd... if I get ANOTHER award, I'll be more than happy to share more AMAZING blogs with you!

Thanks again, Katie!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I've got my kid on a string...

In 2 days, my oldest will no longer be in elementary school.


For some reason, some twit thought it would be funny to have Jr. High start (in our district) in 6th grade.

As if kids don't grow up fast enough, let's throw an 11 year old into Jr. High.  I know its just a label, but I look at it this way: in elementary school, they're learning the basics to proceed.  In Jr. High, they're getting them ready for high school and higher education. 

My son thinks its hilarious to listen to someone spell 'icup'- you're telling me HE is ready to be prepped for higher learning??

I'm already having a hard time explaining to him that he's too young for girlfriends- whats going to happen when he's trying to fit in with older kids at this new school?  Everyone worries about their daughters and them growing up too fast; no one stops to think about how fast boys grow up. A girl can only carry so many babies at once- boys can impregnate multiple girls.

I try to remind myself that all we've taught them will stick and they'll emerge unscathed, but I've tried repeatedly to teach them that poop jokes aren't to be told at the dinner table, and all I ever hear is "I forgot."  How much of what we teach will stick in the times we need it to?  How much of what we teach will be "forgotten" when faced with the opportunity to be "cool"?

As a parent, we want our kids to grow wings- to grow up, experience new things, and -God willing- move out before our sanity completely dissolves.  Its just kind of scary to watch it happen.

I'm not suggesting lead shoes to keep him grounded... maybe just a kite string for if he flies to far out of reach, ya know?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My baby's better than YOUR baby....

"Where 2 or more babies are gathered, there, comparisons will be in the midst of them."

Its not a Bible quote, but maybe it should be.

I have 3 kids- I'm a pro, if you will- and even I have found myself doing the comparison dance from time to time.  Its interesting to note, by the way, that boxing has also been compared to a dance.

Coincidence?  I think not.

You can find this dance occurring anywhere moms are found- parks, grocery stores, even the library:

The dance begins:

"Your baby is SO cute- how old is he?"
"5 months."
"Mine too!"
"Aw, she's gorgeous."
"Thanks.  What a cutie- he's so big!  Is he crawling yet?"
"No- yours?"
"Just yesterday.  Its like she's been saving her energy, though, because she crawled across the entire kitchen floor first time out!"
"That's incredible!  You're going to have your hands full with her."
"I know!"
"I'm a little thankful that mine is still a sweet lump- we haven't had to really baby proof.  Now if only he'd stay a sweet SILENT lump- he just said 'Mama' yesterday.  He'll be talking up a storm in no time."
"They grow up so fast, don't they?  Mine was reaching out toward the 'Modern Science' magazine in the bookstore earlier.  My husband and I are already deciding which Ivy League to send her to.  I guess we'll just wait a month til she can tell us her choice."
"That's really impressive.  You must be proud.  I don't think there's an Ivy League in our little guy's future, though,"

...Wait for it...

"all he wants to do is read cookbooks, so we're looking into early enrollment for the Culinary Institute of America instead of kindergarten.  A parent should always encourage their child's strengths and he makes the BEST bolognese- just think what training could do!"

Every time a mom asks another mom her baby's age, the first step in the dance is taken.  Even if each others babies are no where near in age, its a crucial step in determining how their own baby is doing; however, no mom wants anyone to look at their baby as the weakest link, so they throw out their own baby's recent milestone... and if necessary, they embellish:

"Little Johnny just took his first steps!  How 'bout yours?"
"Oh, mine is content to keep his seat on Terra Firma... chewing on books... well, reading books... A book, actually- he's reading 'Hamlet'."

Its not our fault.  Like the bell that starts the boxing match or that first note of a tango, asking a baby's age will always be perceived as:
"Betcha my baby is better than yours."
"Nuh uh."
"Uh huh."

Soooo.... how old is YOUR baby?


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