Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ramble: Advent Conspiracy


I came across the above video while blog hopping and was very excited.

You see, I've been a bit down lately when thinking of the upcoming holiday. Usually the coming of Christmas fills me with joy and delight but this year has been a little different. This past summer we started the Dave Ramsey plan to get out of debt and it has drastically changed our lives in the process. It may not appear so from the outside but we now budget EVERYTHING with all extra money going to pay off debt. The cool thing is we've paid off close to $5,000.00 of debt in the past 4 months! But I digress.

We decided when we had our first child that we'd try to keep Christmas more about Christ and less about consumerism. We continued a tradition my parents started in my family, each child got three presents from Mom and Dad and then one from Santa. I wanted to go a step further away from too many toys, especially since we knew that's what most of the family would be giving, so we agreed one gift would be a toy, one would be something educational and the third would be clothing; the gift from Santa would be something asked for (within reason).

This year we applied the budget to Christmas shopping as well. I have been so stressed trying to figure out how I was going to give the girls the Christmas I felt they deserve on about $40 per child. I've been having so many internal struggles with this. I know they don't "need" any of this stuff but I want to give them things. Some how, I've finished shopping for both girls on less then budgeted and since Josh and I have decided not to get each other anything all we have left is to MAKE our gifts for family and friends.

Tomorrow is the first day of Advent and we've already started taking steps to (hopefully) ensure Brenna understands Christmas is about Jesus' birthday and not about opening presents. Tonight we read a poem and a bible verse as part of a series my church doing during Advent and on December 1st we'll start reading The Advent Book, the true story of Christmas. *Side note, this is an amazing book!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Letters of Intent Friday: Oh Early Birds

A little background.

Three years ago, shorty after Brenna was born, I was watching NBC5 News. Back in the day, Anchor Bob Sirott had a little bit at the end of the 4:30 news where he gave his opinion in a light-hearted fashion. On this particular day he made light of the fact that Christmas decorations were popping up before Halloween and one of the local radio stations was going to start Christmas music on November 1st. He chuckled and said in a year or two decorations would be up in September and the radio station would start their Christmas music Columbus Day weekend. He was dead on!

Letters of Intent

A letter to all early Christmas shoppers.

First let me say I am excited you've not only finished your Christmas shopping back in October but you've already started on next year's. That is kinda cool.

But seriously, what's up with all the pressure, aren't the retail outlets doing enough of that?! It's bad enough that a couple days before Halloween I can no longer get Halloween candy and the day after there is NO sign of it because everything has been replaced by holiday decor. Our local Walmart seemed to have skipped Thanksgiving completely.

Please don't rush me. I used to enjoy Christmas shopping, now I'm feeling behind the power curve! I was going to wait until Black Friday, take advantage of the deals then spend a couple weeks getting what I hadn't. Now you're telling me if the sales over the past couple weeks are better than what is planned for Black Friday. I'm so confused! Last year was my first Black Friday experience and I was looking forward to this year but now you're saying my I'm too late.

If you have the time, could you please put together a shopping calendar for next year for us wayward shoppers, this would help immensely! You could add suggested start dates, or which sales to look forward to.

Thank you,
Your tired and frazzled shopping friend.

Ramble: Chores!

Chores! Chores! Chores!

I just cant seem to get on top of them. I thought it would be simple, to keep my house clean I simply split up the basic cleaning needs into one or two daily chores. The problem occurs when I don't get Monday's done, on Tuesday I'm trying to do two days worth, then if I don't get them both finished Wednesday is even worse. By the time Thursday rolls around I'm overwhelmed.

You're wondering why the lack of cleaning can make me feel overwhelmed... Well, just don't look at my house right now.

I created this cleaning routine when I was pregnant with Paige and it worked well. I spent a few months actually feeling like I had it together. I didn't cringe if a friend showed up unannounced, although I did still apologize for the mess.

I'm wondering if my lack of success may be due to the change in dynamic. Before, I could clean while Brenna played, I wasn't having to worry about what she may be getting into or if she would find something to choke on, current worries with Paige. I don't like to be upstairs cleaning with her downstairs and to take her up with me puts her at my feet. I also suffer from a lack of motivation, when the girls are resting I want to rest as well, when they're happy playing, I want to play with them. One thing can be said, my house may look like poo but my girls sure know I love them. :0)

I guess I'm off to configure a new game plan!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ramble/Rant: I'm tired!

Do you ever feel you're falling apart?! I sure do... Physically, mentally, emotionally...

I did something to my knee a couple weeks ago and I have a tendency to only remember it's injured when I go trotting up the stairs in the evenings. (I don't do much trotting during the day for some reason.) Earlier today I injured my left index finger and now it just feels odd, it's strange. I can't quite bend it all the way and it's a little swollen, as long as it doesn't fall off during the night I'll be fine, I'm sure.

Mentally, I'm just exhausted so everything is slowing down! Between Paige's teething and B's UTI (Oh, by the way, B has a UTI) I haven't a full nights sleep in weeks. What I would give for just 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep... **I'm imagining what it would be like to wake rested, ahhhh** And I'm back.

Lately, I've been so tired and unmotivated I have completely neglected my house. Luckily today we rearranged the living room so it's been dusted and vacuumed. Now if I could just get on top of the rest of it. To have energy I need rest, to get rest I need the girls to sleep, to get the girls to sleep I have to figure something out, LOL. Ugh!

Emotionally, well, I refer back to the lack of sleep.

Heavenly Father, help me to find rest and motivation. Help me to feel a sense of accomplishment and to enjoy even the most tired of days.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Letters of Intent Friday: Dear Dog

Letters of Intent

Dearest Zafir,

Please understand we love you and it is with that love that we chose to find you a new home. You deserve more than we could give you. You deserve to be walked, played with, snuggled with, and enjoyed.

I truly hope this new home brings you more joy than you've ever known.

Thank you for being a part of our family. We love you Bubba!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ramble: Do you hear me?!

Oh the trials we'll face. I'm learning as much about myself as I'm learning about Brenna lately. I'm learning being ignored is worse than arguing! I've learned I have little tolerance for a fitting 3yo when the baby is hungry. I'm learning prayer is needed more now than ever!

Tonight I found myself at a loss for words and even actions when B was in full meltdown refusing to pick up her toys then refusing to go upstairs. It's like she didn't even hear me! (I ended up carrying her upstairs and putting her on her bed.)

A while back, a Facebook friend asked why parents raise their voices at their children in non-emergency situations? She suggested it just adds to the chaos. So I challenged myself to not raise my voice at my B. For about a week I was very aware of my tone and it really changed my behavior and the way I dealt with the crazy 3yo. Lately, I've found myself raising my voice at her everyday! And I find it tiring, having to repeat myself.

So, I'm going to challenge myself, again. My attempt will be to not raise my voice at her, unless she is some kind of danger or she is placing her sister in danger. Please wish me luck and prayers are always welcome!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ramble: Tired or teething

Dare we say it?! Not the truth please!
I don't want to admit it but yes, my sweet darling daughters can sometimes be brats, although I do prefer not to use the "b" word and opt instead for saying "sassy."

Just recently, on two separate occasions, I found myself defending and making excuses for both my girls. Yesterday when I was asked if Little Bit's crankiness was due to teething, I found it was easier to say yes than try to explain that we're dealing with separation anxiety. A couple weeks ago Big Bit was in a full meltdown mode at the mall, I know it was aggravated by hunger but that is no excuse for the way she was acting.

How often I find myself blaming fits and crankiness on teething, tiredness, hunger, everything under the sun because deep down inside I don't want to believe my kids are really "that way." And I know they're not. I have great kids that sometimes misbehave.

Thank you Lord for making my children just how you want them, please help me to remember that raising them is a process and one to be enjoyed!