Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Always trying something new . . .

Yes, that's me . . . always trying something new! I'm always trying to figure out the "easier" way to do things, or I should say "more efficient" way to do things. I don't mind hard work and in fact LOVE a challenge. My only problem is that I don't usually "stick" with anything too long. Once a new idea comes along, I usually jump on that bandwagon to give it a try. But lately, being at my half way mark in my pregnancy, I've been really thinking more and more about establishing better routines for the family, scheduling all of the important stuff better (date nights, social activities for the kids, ME time, etc.) and it's had me reevaluating the different things I've tried in the past to see if it'll work again for us.

Here are things for ME that work and I'm keeping: (Things I'm actually consistent on,LOL)

~Weekly Menu Planning (posted on fridge along with the week's to-do's)
~Waking up 30 minutes before the kids for some "ME TIME"
~Monthly Date Nights (going to weekly and getting creative)
~Biweekly Playdates with Mom's Group for Christopher
~ Social Activity for Adrianna (Taekwondo right now)
~ Laundry Schedule (Monday mornings and Fridays)
~ Monthly lunch date at Gattiland w/ Christopher
~ Baking day once a week ( freeze bread, pancakes, etc)

Here are some things I've done in the past:

The Grocery Game
Menus 4 Moms
~ Weekly Playdates
~ Running
~ Ridiculously strict cleaning schedules, broken down to the day and hour by hour (didn't last long at all! I hate rules!)
~Breaking the kids' schedules down every day to morning/noon/night . . . too much for me!
~ Followed a TON of blogs from crafts to gossip to money saving to health and on and on!
~ Making extra money selling stuff on CList, Ebay and Surveys
~ Spending hours on the phone everyday!
~ Watching tv during the daytime - no more! Thank God for DVR!
~ Going out and about every day to just kill time. (waste gas, more like it!)

And here are some things I'm going to take and try again or add to what I'm doing now:

~ Set Bedtime Routine for BOTH kids, not just Adrianna
~ CVSing (saved a TON on the grocery budget and I started back up again last week!)
~ Biweekly Library Trip with Christopher (rotating off weeks from playdates)
~ Crockpotting twice a week to save time.
~ Cut my blog reading down to close friends' blogs, money saving, cooking blogs, maybe 1-3 craft ones too. :o)
~ Taking a nice walk 3-4 times a week
~ Having a weekly date night (Wednesdays) and getting more creative with it!
~ Do the Grocery Game each Sat. night and match up coupons for Sunday shopping. (I used to shop on my own during the week but carrying all the groceries is getting too much so I'll shop solo on Sundays and have the help at home to carry it in!)
~ Try blogging back over at my ThrifteeMomee blog.
~ Making extra money by listing my magnets weekly again and stick with doing my daily surveys in the morning along with online offers from MSM. (working towards my $500 gas card right now!)
~Starting up a Bible Reading small group with a friend of mine. (Thursday nights)

I'll see how it goes and if it works over the next couple of weeks. One thing I've learned about myself is I can't overschedule. I need social time on a weekly basis, with friends, with my husband, with and for the kids, and when I don't have that I swear I am MISERABLE! I also really need to get back into reading my Bible, it usually helps keep me better focused and have a positive attitude. Now how I go about saving time, money, and headaches will hopefully come from some of the ideas/resources I've listed above. One of the great things about my personality (I usually find more negative about it than positive,LOL) is that I'm always up for trying something new and usually don't come down too hard on myself if it doesn't work. I figure it probably just sucked anyway so it's better to move onto something different. :o)

I hope some of the sites I've listed can help some of my readers.

Here's to giving it all a try, once again! Ha!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Tuesday: Crock Pot PotRoast
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Chicken and Rice Casserole with Broccoli
Friday: Crock Pot Chicken Adobo

We are painting this weekend so we'll be doing leftovers and/or hot sandwiches with salads!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Marriage Weekend

We have a marriage conference this weekend sponsored by our church and I'm so excited to be going! We've been through this already but it's always fun to invest a weekend talking about one of the most important things in our life, our marriage. Chris and I are quite opposite in some ways but also share an important personality trait that should make us bump heads a little but with the other part of his personality, he just doesn't have the "heart" to do it. :o)

Our weekend is pretty much going to be spent, 3-6 at the conference today followed by a mandatory date night tonight asking each other questions and then tomorrow from 10-3. It's really cool because our pastor uses the disc profiling to give us worksheets telling us about our personality types and it's really neat to think about our relationship on a "logical, statistical" level rather than just emotional, which is how I usually thing about it as and react to it in as well. It brings a whole new level of respect to the relationship when you understand why you each do the things you do and react in the ways that you do.

I was thinking this morning about when we first started this personality stuff and had our friends Amanda and Jeremy in our group. It was fun because she and Jeremy have VERY similiar personality types so it was so easy to look over at her and nod my head, knowing where we're coming from. Her husband is an "S" personality just like Chris and she and I both have "D" and "I" types, hers is a little stronger on the I and mine is a little stronger on the D. Then there are our very good friends both with C personalities and she is more "S" so she ALWAYS gets where Chris comes from and usually agrees with him, it's quite hilarious and I think that's why she is one of my very best friends....I love the "S"! :o)

There are quite a few new families in our church now, so I'm really looking forward to getting to know some of them more and see how we match up with them. This weekend is going to be lots of fun!! I can't wait!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Leftovers from yesterday's post church lunch with baked chicken!
Tuesday: Pizza Night with Bible Study group
Wednesday: Broiled Parmesan Tilapia, spinach and orzo
Thursday: Fajitas
Friday: Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings
Saturday: Marriage Weekend! DateNight tonight!
Sunday: Marriage Weekend! Breakfast for dinner!

I'm still here....

It's ridiculous how much I have to blog about and I truly don't know where to start!!! I am feeling great, had a terrific weekend and finally feel like things are starting to come together. I even started CVSing again, focusing on coupons, started a little Bible Reading group with a new friend, AND BOUGHT PAINT for the downstairs today!!!!! Those who know me well, know how HUGE this stuff is for me. :o)

I guess I can start by saying this Valentine's Day was the BEST I ever had and we didn't even do the restaurant thing like we always have done. Saturday was all about me, we did some shopping at Kirklands (YES!) and a few other places, lunch at Souper Salad (which Chris HATES!) and then came home and hung out. We put the kids upstairs to watch a movie after baths while Chris cooked the two of us dinner. We weren't sure how it was going to work eating "uninterrupted" but it DID! He made a delicious steak dinner (NY Strip, my FAVE!) and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert (was just missing the bottle of wine,LOL). Before he was done cooking, I went up to check on the kids and they were OUT! (Thanks to a late dinner date the night before with good friends of ours, they were beat on Saturday from playing over there so late!). So I went ahead and put a nice tablecloth on the table, put candles on the table, with nice napkins and a pretty table setting too. We had a date WAY BETTER than a restaurant. We sat in peace, enjoying our dinner and talking about US, our almost 10 year adventure together, our previous VDays and other romantic weekend getaways we've done and our honeymoon of course! It was an evening COMPLETELY about him and I, absolutely PERFECT! I could not ask for more than what I had.

The thing about the two of us is we have an awesome and very intimate connection. I was joking with him telling him how I don't want people to think we are perfect, because marriage is far from that! But together we are perfect, much better off than we were single before we met each other. The secret to our marriage is communication. We talk through everything. He shares the burdens of his heart and mind just as much as I do. He is able to do that because he knows I accept him flaws and all, just like he does me, which I still don't know how on earth he is able to do that! LOL We talk through it all, the good and bad, the embarassing and worrysome stuff, and what I think is the most awesome is we communicate about sex. I know talking about sex can be SO TABOO and I've even learned through relationships with friends that there is a line that you draw with saying too much so I'm not going to go there, especially in a blog post, but will say that opening up and talking about "likes" , "dislikes" (that's not always the comfortable stuff to talk about, for sure, but a must!), "desires" , "fantasies" , ALL OF IT! I mean seriously, you KNOW sex is a HUGE part of your marriage and is totally an area you NEED to nurture, concentrate on and find ways to make it the best it can be. Okay, I already probably went too far. :o)

But, I will say when we kiss, I STILL feel like I did when we shared out first kiss. I still smell the sweetness of his breath and skin and get a chill down my spine. When he pulls me close to hug him, I feel like I melt and have NEVER felt as safe as I do when his arms are around me. When he smiles at me in his cute way I get butterflies no matter what the situation or kind of day I'm having. I focus on him as MY MAN and always think back to how I felt when he asked me to be his wife. This weekend made me realize how easy it can be to have a romantic night right at home. I'm not talking about plopping on the couch and watching a movie, although that's fun. What I'm talking about is making an appetizer, lighting a candle and investing in each other, focusing on one another 1 day a week just like we do for exercise, church, friends, bible studies, playdates, kids' activities, etc. Your marriage needs to be at the top of your "To Do" list for the week, always!

Every Sunday I write out the menu for the week and stick it on the fridge along with school stuff, Bible Study stuff, playdates and other important things that must get done and felt bad that I don't make the time on that weekly calendar for "US TIME", we do a monthly date night but that just simply isn't enough and is nerve racking half the time just between getting a sitter, getting kids fed, getting ready, etc. I know I'm usually frazzled by the time I get into the car to leave the house, LOL!

So I dont' know how I just got wayyyyy sidetracked, sorry for that. I'm just on a Lover's High I guess from the weekend and had to share it. The past two weeks have been busy as heck and I have pics from Adrianna's birthday which was awesome, my little man's haircut, valentine breakfast pics (SO CUTE) and lots of other stuff, but I need to get my butt in the kitchen and get dinner started! LOL

Happy Monday Everyone!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Doing Life While Pregnant

First I want to thank ALL my friends for their comments, emails, phone calls and wonderful chats yesterday. You have all helped me in ways I can't put into words. And not that my husband reads my blog, but I thank him to for just knowing what to do last night without me having to open my mouth once. I mean, the man didn't even call me into the other room while my 21/2 year old was throwing up, I had no idea what was going on and he took care of it ALL. I came out when I heard the crying in the bathroom and it was all under control, no need for mommy in that situation, wow! He's a great daddy!

I wanted to share this blog I read here. I found it through another blogpost and it was just what I needed to read. This is the first pregnancy I've gone through without my sister in law just a few steps ahead of me (our girls are 10mths apart and our boys are 7 mths apart) and it has been tough for me. Reading about another expecting mommy helps a ton. It makes me feel less alone. :o)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

digging my way out...

that's what it feels like I've spent the last three days doing, I swear! We had a great service on Sunday but it left me SERIOUSLY struggling. I have been feeling overwhelmed the past week and a half and swear I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. So, I've sort of pulled in a little, not really blogging or messing around on facebook, just trying to prioritize stuff and pull it together a little. How easily I get off track and I just don't understand how! Am I that unbalanced? Why can't everything just seem to flow for me like it does for other women? I sometimes feel like I'm in a circus act juggling to keep everything in balance.

I want to scrapbook again.
I want to get the kids pictures printed and in albums, or at least printed off the computer before #3 comes along!
I want to paint the downstairs to pull it together some.
I want to have organization in the kids' rooms.
I want to organize my laundry room.
I want to have a weekly schedule for my home and for Christopher.
I want my kids to SLEEP IN THEIR OWN BEDS!!!!!
I want to stop feeling like I'm ALWAYS behind on stuff.

These are just a few thoughts floating around in my head DAILY and it drives me nuts!

Add all that into planning a bday party for Adrianna's 6th birthday. That has been a MESS! I've finally decided to keep it WAY SIMPLE! I'm even ORDERING a cake! I just need to give myself some slack. I know that, but it's SO hard to do for me.

I am a ball of tension.
I am anxious.
I'm in need of a release, just don't know what that looks like...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I swear, I plan my menus but sometimes, things come up! Saturday night we decided to take the family out to dinner and had the leftovers on Sunday so I'm bumping the beef stew to Monday night! :o) Here is what I've set up for this week:

Monday: Beef Stew
Tuesday: Meatballs Florentine over wild rice
Wednesday: Santa Fe Chicken Soup, homemade herb bread
Thursday: Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Calzones
Friday: Leftover Soup and salad
Saturday: Chili
Sunday: Adrianna's 6th Bday party, so we are winging it that day! Whatever she wants.