This and That

Archive for January 2012

Yesterday was a bad day for me.

I woke up with no patience. Everything the boys did was driving me crazy.

Have you ever had one of those days?

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My hubby has been out of college and working for nine years. He has sold apartments and construction supplies, he was a purchaser for a home building company, and then he was a technical recruiter for five years. As you can see, he has worked in a lot of different industries but one thing was the same for each job: he hated every one of them. It was very frustrating for both of us. For years he just couldn’t find his groove, he didn’t know what he wanted to do, and so far he hadn’t stumbled  upon it. Then it happened, but not like we would have ever expected. Sometimes God sets us on a path years in advance, a path that seems like a curse but it’s actually a blessing. In order to make big changes God has to send us backwards in order for us to make the leap forward.

In 2008 he lost his job and became a stay-at-home dad. Probably the worst thing we could have thought could happen because a month earlier I had quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom. So now we had no income, a baby, and a huge mortgage. Hubby found and lost three jobs that year, but while he was at home he discovered something. In an effort to connect with more stay-at-home dads and get into a new hobby, he started blogging. He became so successful at it that he soon become one of the feature dad bloggers at OCFamily.com.

In 2009 he finally went back to work but he kept up the blogging and become more involved in the social media world. As time went on, discovered how much he loved social media and he realized he could do it as a full time job. But social media was still a new industry and full time jobs are hard to find, especially when you don’t have much experience and need to make enough money to support a family. For three  years he worked at gaining experience and connections until early 2011 when he was offered a full time job as a social media community manager.

The words joy and thrilled don’t even described how we felt when hubby could quit his currently job and start doing what he loved. It took about three years but he finally could make the move, and here is where I want to land with this post. Sometimes it takes time to figure out what you want to do and sometimes it takes even longer to move into that field, but with patience and determination you can do it. Hubby was patient through that whole three years, knowing if he tried to make the move too soon, before he could enough money, he would have put his family in a bad situation. He took responsibility for his family and his role as the main financial supporter and waited for the perfect time.

So I encourage you to find what you love to do for work and wait for the perfect time to make the move. Trust me, it will be worth the wait!

I believe it’s so important to think about all the things that you love and make you happy. Thinking about what I love reminds me to count my blessings, especially when life is going bad. Of course this is easier said than done but in this vain, today I am remembering the little things.

1. Reading a good book. Not that I have tons of time to read, but when a good book crosses my path it’s truly a thing of joy. In my busy days I always forget how much I love to read…until I find a good book.

2. Making weekend breakfasts for my family. Until recently, I was never a breakfast person. Give me a bowl of cereal and I am good to go. But since I discovered my passion for cooking making fun, weekend breakfasts for my family makes me so happy. I catch myself thinking throughout the week what I am going to make. This weekend will be french toast stuffed with strawberries and oatmeal with peanut butter and bananas (both courtesy of the Eat This, Not That cookbook).

3. Reading a magazine. Talk about a rare occasion, but when both boys are either napping or playing nicely just casually flipping through a magazine is so soothing. I can actually feel the stress leave my shoulders.

4. Exercising. Since my back injury I have discovered how much I love and miss exercising, specifically running. I think it’s all those endorphins. I can’t wait till I can run again!

5. Coffee. I LOVE coffee. It jumps starts my day and I am pretty sure I am an addict, but I don’t care. I carve it and I always feel better after I have had my coffee. Mmmmmmm coffee!

What little things make you happy?

There are two reoccurring things I struggle with as a mom.

1. Do I let the boys watch too much TV?

There is so much talk about TV in parenting magazines, books, and on the TV (interestingly enough) and this question is on my mind constantly. Everyone has an opinion and the politically correct opinion is no TV for kids what-so-ever, but I would dare say that any parent that claims their kids don’t watch TV are lying. No TV is not realistic. Why? Sometimes I need a break, sometimes it’s raining outside and I have run out of indoor activities for my two active boys, sometimes I am not awake enough in the morning and I need the boys distracted while I chug my coffee, or sometimes after being at preschool in the morning and the park in the afternoon the boys are the ones that need to zone out and take a break. Yet, with all these perfectly good and logical reasons I still feel the twinges of mommy guilt when they watch more than one show. To be completely honest some days go by when the boys watch a ton of TV and those days are usually followed by days where I barely let them watch one episode. So there is some balance but I still struggle, question myself as a mother, and let mommy guilt rear it’s ugly head.

2. Do I play with the boys too much? and the flip side of that question is do I let them play by themselves too much?

I am a pretty active part of my boys daily playing life. I am always on the floor playing cars, planes, trains, and blocks. Sometimes I am on the floor so much I feel like I am a crutch for them. Can they play by themselves?  Like most parents, I want my kids to be independent and confident; and one thing they must learn is to entertain themselves. My oldest son struggles with this concept the most. He always wants me to play with him and has only recently been able to entertain himself. My youngest has no problem with this. But as always, the second they are playing alone and I am free to do whatever I feel the mommy guilt. The mommy guilt says “They are only this small once. You are missing out on quality time. You are being a bad mother by not giving them your attention.”

ARGH! I hate mommy guilt and I feel like it plagues me more than most.

These are my struggles, can you relate?

They call my son the worship leader. He sings the loudest, knows all the words, and beams when he is asked to help lead the rest of the class in the songs. Hearing these words from the children’s teacher at our church filled my heart with so much joy and love for my son. To know he is not only growing in his faith at church but is thriving is an amazing feeling as a parent. I love that he is helping to bring joy to his classmates as well.

Maybe he’ll even end up with a talent neither hubby or I have, the ability to carry a tune.

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The past few days I have been both flabbergasted and amazed at my son’s conviction. I knew he was stubborn, I knew he was determined but his conviction to stick to his guns has been quite remarkable.

Hubby and I have been trying a new tactic with my son to get him to eat his dinner. He never eats his dinner…never. Even if it’s burgers or pizza, some kind of fight always ends up happening to get him to eat the whole thing. Hubby figures the fight is just about getting attention and we shouldn’t play into it, so the past three days we have stopped fighting him. We told him if he wants to eat fine and if not that is fine too, but he couldn’t get dessert or extra food later if he didn’t eat. The first night he didn’t eat and though he whined later that night about wanting a graham cracker didn’t seem too bothered with not eating and fortunately for us he didn’t get up any earlier. The second night I tried the dessert tactic. I told him I was making cookies after dinner and he could only help and get a cookie if he ate dinner. Do you know what he did? He stuck to his guns. He wasn’t eating dinner and no amount of cookie making or eating was going to stop him. I was floored. Throughout the night hubby and I talked up how yummy the cookies smelled, how good they tasted, and even asked my other son multiple times how good his cookie was. The result? Nothing. He didn’t flinch. The same thing happened the third night. We all ate cookies and he just sat there wanting to know when we were done so we could start playing.

I am simply amazed. He won’t eat dinner, even when a cookie is waved in his face. This kid has the will of a giant and nerves of steel. Truly, my son is my hero for this and I feel very confident that as he is faced with peer pressure as he grows up he will be able to stand firm to his convictions.

I never thought I would be so proud of my son for not eating dinner.

Last week I wrote about an epiphany I had about God while reading the book of Acts and Paul’s mission trips. To read the post in it’s entirety please go here, but here’s a quick summary. God has a plan, a huge plan, that involves you and me and all of creation. Though we might not see the plan unfolding or understand our part in it, the plan is working itself out everyday with God’s direction. Which means everything that happens is suppose to happen, I am where God wants me to be right now for His purposes. So if bad things happen to me or in my life then I should not get upset or wonder why because it was in God’s plan for this negative thing to happen. I should take it in stride knowing God loves me and will be there with me. Yep, it was a big epiphany and one that I fear will be easier to agree with in theory then to actually follow through with in actions.

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