Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How we survived 2012

First off, as my husband would put it, congratulations on surviving the end of the world!  I wasn't really all that worried, but find it humerus to congratulate people.

Anyway, that's my lame attempt at humor and now onto how our year went.

As a family we have had a fantastic year!  We turned a huge milestone with all the kids going to school, giving me a small break twice a week.  We accomplished something I wasn't sure was possible and took our 4 kids aged 2-6 on a week long vacation to Disney, thanks to very generous in-laws.  We also made the biggest and (for me) scariest decision of our lives together...  We decided this will be our last year living in Holland and will move this summer back to the Ludington area to be closer to our families.  This means Jesse is going to leave a very secure job even if he ends up having to work 2 jobs to make up the difference.  Our reasoning?  So our kids can grow up in the environment we want them to be in.  A beautiful area close to their family.  Family is the most important part of this.  Jesse grew up away from his entire family (most of them located in Chicago or the Philippians .  He didn't realize what he missed out on until he met me and my incredibly dysfunctional, yet close family.  It has become a very important part of his life, has always been a very important part of my life and we want it to be the most important part of our childrens' lives.

With this move, I will also be returning to work, but on a more sporadic basis.  I will be substitute teaching for the first year.  After that I will look into a more permanent job within the schools.  I would be extremely happy as just an assistant or working in an office.  Jesse will continue his bachelor's degree and once that is complete I will look into taking classes so I can renew my teaching licence.

Most would think it was the jobs that make me the most nervous about moving, but it is actually trying to find a place to live.  We have a rather large family and we have pets.  Pets seem to be the breaking point for most landlords in Mason county.  In the research I have done, I come up with next to no housing that allows pets that is not an apartment complex.  Which is not where we should live...  I'm okay with small quarters, but 4 kids less than 4 years apart does not work well in an apartment. *sigh*

We do have another 6-8 months to figure this out.  Jesse always tells me things will be okay and he is usually right.  I just wish I could let things go and not worry like he does.  I think my quality of life would greatly improve if I could just relax a little.  This goes along with my last blog and is definitely something I will be working on in the future.

Anywho, back to our year.  The kids have grown so much in the last year.  They all officially potty trained during the day.  I'm okay with diapers at bedtime instead of all day long.  Though I am excited at the thought of no diapers at all.  Mostly for convenience purposes and because I know it bothers my 7 year old that he cannot stay dry at night.

Other kid things, our youngest can ride a two-wheeled bike without training wheels.  Our twins are like little fish with arm floats in a pool and are not afraid to try anything...  And I mean anything.  The things they come up with and try, amaze me.  It also worries me for when they are older.

We have also officially reached the not able to spell things to keep them a secret phase.  Our oldest can read and spell and this has become a learning experience for all of us.  There are so many things he can see now that he can read that we would rather he didn't.  Like post-it notes to each other.  Or just different ads on the side of the road or commercials.  The hardest part is convincing him that what he thinks it means is not what it really means.  For example the Disney commercials advertising "cheap" or "affordable" vacations for families.  What Dominic knows is we are a family and we don't do something unless it is cheap or affordable.  SO,  he thinks it should be no problem to go back to Disney for another vacation.  Try explaining that to a 7 year old.

All of the kids have started religious education classes as well, allowing for Jesse and I to have a short "date night" each week.  We thought this would be a blessing, but has turned into a struggle instead.  We have found that Saviera has greatly taken to her religion, which is a great thing.  However, the questions she comes up with or what she thinks she is learning are very difficult for us to answer.  Her answer for everything now is "because God wants it that way" or "because God made me like that."  How do you argue with that coming from an almost 5 year old.

Wow, almost 5 years old!  I also cannot believe we have survived 5 years with twins, girls at that.  It seems like just yesterday I was complaining of no sleep because at least one of them was awake all night long.  Or complaining about them taking diapers off and playing with the contents.  Yeah, that was gross and horrid.  Now I look at 2 beautiful faces of little girls who are growing up to become the most independent little ladies I have ever met.

Then there are my boys who look so much alike but are completely different.  I have Dominic, a very sensitive, car loving mini Jesse who can argue just like his mamma.  He's only 7 and already I have a hard time remembering him as a baby, it seems so long ago.  Finally there is Keldan, my 3 year old who is the same size as my 4 year old twins.  If it weren't for his platinum blond hair versus their dark/golden blond I think most people would think they were triplets.  Yes, we have been asked that on more than one occasion.    My little guy is truly a mamma's boy who loves sports, especially baseball.  He sleeps with his glove, ball and bat like most kids do their favorite teddy bear.  He is the sweetest little kid I have ever met and is every one of of his siblings' favorite sibling to be with.  He will share everything he has with anyone, no questions asked.  I hope he keeps this through out his life, if he does he will be very lucky.

Okay, I've gotten a bit off track bragging about my kids instead of telling you about my year.  But that's okay, because they are my life, so I guess they were my year too.

Hugs, B.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New year = new trials and tribulations

We welcomed another new year even though I am not really sure where the last one went.  I know I didn't accomplish most of the things I wanted to, which makes me sad and upset with myself.  I am hoping this year will be a bit different.  I am thinking of a new way to approach it.  There are tons of things I want to change about myself and my life in general.  And when I say lots, I mean I am pretty sure I could name at least 100.  So...  I think the challenge I am going to present myself with is changing one thing a week.  Some of these things will be so simple like brushing my teeth twice a day instead of once or not at all.  Or going to bed at a more decent hour even if I read for awhile before lights out.  Or replacing at least one glass of pop with a glass of water each day.  I have bigger challenges for myself like exercising 5 days a week or following a more strict schedule with the kids.

I am very aware this seems like a lot of change, but if I focus my attention on one thing a week and slowly add to it every week, I am hoping it will become permanent.  I think I will focus on three small things per month and one big thing.  A key part of this is I will not be able to move onto the next thing on my list until I was successful at the first thing for the entire week.  I know most people do much better with smaller goals, but I am more of the big picture kind of person.  I'm an all or nothing.  I either have to do it all or do nothing, because small goals just don't work for me.

I want this to be a lifestyle change, so I am not setting goals as far as weight or deadlines for myself.  I know what my ultimate goal is and what my healthy weight range is, so those are my final goals.  However, I do not have a time limit on those as long as I know I am working each day to obtain them.

Okay, I just wanted to get those thoughts down.  I plan to post another blog soon about the happenings in our family.  Until then.

Hugs ~ B.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hop along mommy

I've repeatedly heard the saying, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  If that were the case I should be able to bench press a Buick by now!  The latest hardship to hit my life happened about 10 days ago when I was running and landed too hard and off balance on my left foot and stress fractured it.  I sought out medical treatment because being a stay at home mom I am on my feet what seems like 24/7.  It was determined I had a probable stress fracture with definite swelling of some small bones in my left foot around my second to last toe.  The treatment for both are the same, so my doctor opted to not order a MRI (which is the only thing that will pick up a stress fracture).  He put me in a soft cast with a walking boot, told me to leave that on for 3-4 days and then remove the soft cast but continue wearing the boot for the remainder of 2 weeks.  FUN!  Or not really.

I did as I was told.  I was also instructed to limit mobility on my foot and keep it elevated.  Like that is entirely possible with 4 kids and a husband who works 3rd shift.  Not to mention our pets.  I did relax and let some house work go and tried to stay off my foot as much as possible.  However, the day after I removed the soft cast the pain in my foot came right back and got worse each day.  So after 3 days of that I called the doctor back to figure out what to do.  His solution?  A hard cast for 2 weeks, which also meant crutches for 2 weeks.  Grrrr...

To say the least, after only a day of this adventure and having my husband around the entire time, I can tell you it will be a VERY LONG 2 weeks.  When I go back in, it is not guaranteed that the hard cast will come off.  Great to know. 

I am already incredibly sore in my arms and right leg.  It makes me wonder how many extra calories I burn getting around this way.  And if it does any good to my arm muscles and loose skin?  Maybe I should research that...  I've been on crutches before and it didn't seem to help me much.  I would also like to think it will help stomach muscles and tighten skin there too because I use my stomach to hop along.  Odd as that may sound.  Those muscles are also tender.

I guess I will have to make the best of this situation.  I used to think a broken leg and a cast would be one of the hardest things to deal with as far as my health and taking care of my kids were concerned.  I suppose I will see.

Hugs ~B.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Train, Plane & Automobile!

Tomorrow I set off on a big adventure all by myself!  I am traveling to Utah to see some college friends, one of which I have not seen in 8 years.  This will be my first ever experience vacationing without my family.  I am beyond ready for the much needed break, rest and relaxation.  I love the fact that we don't really have much of a schedule to follow.  AND I am consulting a Thirty-One party while I am there, so the mileage is a tax deduction (as though I were driving anyways). 

My Thirty-One is going really well.  I have a couple of amazing things lined up in the next couple of months, but am wishing I had more parties booked.  I really enjoy getting out and meeting new people, so consulting parties is amazing for me.  Which is also my sole reason for being a consultant.

Things around our house have settled down a bit now that everyone is in school.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays I am free of kids from 8:15-11:15.  It's only 3 hours twice a week, but it's a very nice break.  Soon I am looking into volunteering at a school to help with my resume.  I would like to return to work next fall and want to help out my lacking education resume.  I also want to get back to doing what I love and that is watching children learn.

We are still in search of job opportunities for m husband so we can move back towards our home of Ludington and closer to our family.  I pray every day it is in the plans for us.  We miss being "home" terribly, but there are not an abundance of jobs for Jesse there.  I know I need to be patient and life will work out when it is supposed to.

I know I have lots more that I would like to write about, but for now I am going to call it quits as I have lots to do before I leave tomorrow morning! 

Until then,

Hugs ~B.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Climbing a mountain.

I've been working on doing things more for myself, such as daily showers and exercise.  However, I think it would be easier to climb a mountain.  One would think something like a daily shower would be an easy accomplishment.  I, however, seem to struggle to fit it in.

Lately I have become harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning.  The effects from my insomnia have really started to take their toll on me.  After 3 years of struggling with this disease, once I fall asleep, I rarely want to wake up.  For me the issue is falling asleep, not staying asleep.  However, being that my husband works 3rd shift, I am the only one here to deal with a sleep walking toddler, bad dreams and night time sickness.  I am usually awoken at least once if not up to three times by one of my four kids, each and every night.  It takes me a good 2 hours to fall asleep once I'm ready for bed.  So, having sleep interrupted is very hard on me. 
The issue of lack of sleep is a constant battle in my household.  My husband has to switch his sleep schedule every week and ends up with a total of 6 nights of sleep a week instead of 7 if you add up the hours he gets and divide by 7.  I however, usually end up with 5 nights doing the same equation.  So my question remains, who has it worse?  The one who averages less sleep per night with 1-3 interruptions during or the one who averages more sleep per day in less days?  I've been told sleeping during the day is not as good as sleeping at night.  However, interrupted sleep is not as good as uninterrupted sleep during the day.

I wish this issue could be solved for us.  Unfortunately, I think it will forever be a stand off, agreeing to disagree over sleep between my husband and I.  Which is really too bad.  It's the only thing we struggle with.  I guess I'm glad it's not finances that drive us to arguing though. :o)

However, we each have an uphill battle everyday or night for that matter while we have to be awake.  I struggle to stay awake to take care of my kids and usually run out of energy before I run out of what I should do in a day.  He struggles at times to stay awake all night operating and fixing huge deep draw stamping presses that can potentially kill him if he's not careful.  As well as running out of patients with everyone around him before he is able to go back to bed.

For his safety I give up on my sleep.  But for my sanity and the kids' well being he will also give up on his sleep.  Neither is a good solution.  So what is??  I wish I knew the answer.  Until then we will have to continue to climb the mountain of tiredness.

Hugs, ~B.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mission: Making a better Becca

Alright, alright, alright already!  I know it's September and I have hardly even thought of this blog.  To say that I have been busy just doesn't do myself justice.  I know everyone feels busy, but I am pretty sure I top the list of busy.  Here's a quick recap of the last month in my life.

I spend every weekend an hour and a half from my current home in Holland.  I go back to my home town area to play softball with my family on a co-ed slow pitch league.  My husband generally stays here while I take my 4 kids so he can work the overtime we need to survive.  My weeks have been spent unpacking, doing laundry and regular chores done in 7 days condensed down to 5 days, and repacking for the weekend away.  On top of this our only vehicle was vandalized and had to go away for a week for repairs.  We got a 5 seater rental from our insurance company and if you follow my blog, you will know that was 1 seat short for our family.  To say the least it was an interesting week.  We have also added a puppy to our family and I have started working from home.  Both are taking more of my time than I ever imagined.  Now, my youngest and oldest have returned to school as well as my husband.  I am preparing to be gone for a long weekend in October to visit college friends I haven't seen in about 8 years!  There is also the return of preschool for my twins in October as well as religious education classes for all 4 kids at the end of September.  My oldest will be joining a bowling league soon, which will occupy my Saturday mornings.  Then there is the fact that my husband is still job searching so we can live closer to our family and raise our kids in the area we want them to grow up in.  Phew!  No wonder I'm so dead tired every night.  And I am still battling that ridiculous insomnia.

Now that everyone is updated, I want to get to the point of my blog.  ME.  I always put everything else in my life first.  My kids, family, pets, job, house, everything!  That has to stop.  I mean I don't even get time to shower every day.  As gross as that may sound to most people it is a very real part of my life with 4 kids.  So if you are considering a big family, maybe consider what you will be giving up. 

Anyways, I want to work on me.  Just me.  Nothing that doesn't involve me, myself and I.  Part of my goals always used to contain my family, job or house.  But I need to step back and work on me.  I have a few things in mind...  1. shower, daily no excuses  2. workout 5 times weekly  3. give myself time for me to do the things I enjoy daily (even 20 minutes is enough)  4. make decisions based on me instead of everyone else  This last one is gonna be very hard, but I need to make that change.  I do understand that my kids will almost always influence my decisions in one way or another.  However, they should not be my only deciding factor.  I need to make sure I'm doing things that will be good for me as well.  I need not be sorry for taking time to myself or feel guilty when I want some alone time.

I know I sound very selfish.  I've never said these types of things so boldly before.  I personally don't care what others will think because I know myself and I know it's time for this change to happen.  I've been working all summer on making myself better.  And I've done so in every other aspect except for me personally.  I'm sure this is confusing, so let me explain.

I've done lots to be more motivated, more patient with my kids, keeping my house cleaner, and lots of other things that involve not only myself but others in my life.  Now I want to work on things that will only benefit myself.  No one around me cares if I shower every 2-3 days or daily.  Nor do they care if I workout or get a quiet minute to myself.  I have also not made a decision solely for me since before I met my husband.  So little over 13 years ago.  For me to feel better as a person, about myself, I need to do these things.

So, here's to starting the next chapter!

~Hugs, B.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mid August already??

I cannot believe our summer is almost over!!  The kids go back to school in just under 3 weeks...  Well, 2 of mine do.  The girls school program for 4 year old preschoolers doesn't start until the beginning of October.  Once that comes along, I will have 2 half days off!!  To put into words how excited I am is not possible.  For the first week or 2 I plan to just relax and do whatever I feel like doing.  However, after that I plan to volunteer in the schools to hopefully build my resume back up.  I plan to return to the work force next year when the twins enter kindergarten.  I know I want to utilize my degree and work in the schools, however I'm not sure what I will find.  At the very least I will substitute teach. 

Besides school starting back up, so does religious education classes.  I'm very happy that all of our kids will be attending this year.  This means they get more social time in a very positive way and Jesse and I get a date night every week!  We will probably just do our grocery shopping together, but at least it is something.

However, back to school also means back to night classes for Jesse.  Back to single parenthood for me.  I am not looking forward to that at all.  At least this semester it is only one night a week.  However, this is looking to be his last semester at the community college and he will start his bachelor's program at Ferris.  I am praying he will be able to utilize their Grand Rapids campus instead of having to drive to Big Rapids for classes.  With us only having one car, that will suck to say the least.

So, the remainder of my summer is going to be full of back to school preparation.  I'm pleased to say school clothes are out of the way.  However, there are still supplies, books for Jesse and tons of paperwork for the preschools and church. 

Other than being especially busy this time of year, life is going good.  I'm more and more excited about starting my Thirty-one adventure.  I already have at least 3 prospective parties, so that is a good thing.  Let's just keep praying this works out for me.

Hugs ~ B.