Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Potty training, schmotty training

Now, I'm the girl who cries at every pivotal (and if we are being totally honest, not so pivotal) moment in Moose's life. He's growing up way to fast for me and every milestone means we are one day closer to adolescence, where I will know nothing and he will know everything and not need me anymore. This current milestone, though, is one that I am ready to be done with... Potty Training.

Boo... That's all I have to say. Boo to potty training.

Moose will be 3 in September and we have been potty training for a few months now. Initially we did the naked method. I have to say, it worked really well to get him recognizing the act of potty-ing.

Most days he does great (nights are a different story, even with cutting off drinks at 7 and putting a diaper on him, there are mornings where it's like he got up and went swimming in his p-jammers and then climbed back into bed). I'll hear, "Mommy, I think I have to go potty."

But, then there are those days (which seem to be the days where I am already at my wits end) that he just doesn't think he needs to use the big boy potty. "Mommy, do I have a diaper on?" "No dear, you never have a diaper on during the day anymore. Did you potty?" "Yeah..." (insert frowny face here). "I poopied mommy." (insert major frowny face here).

Then there's me asking "Moose, do you have to potty?" "Mmm, nope!" again, "Moose, let's try to go potty" "But I don't have to go." Then two minutes later, "Mommy, my feet are cold." Really? Could that be because you are standing in a puddle of pee?

Naps are the same. Some days he will take his normal 3 to 4 hour nap (he's an anomaly, I know) and wake up bone dry, but other days, he's soaked after an hour.

Then, two weeks will go by with no accidents (cue the "Hallelujah" music) and just when I think, "By Jove, I think he's got it!" we have another day filled with accidents.

Don't get me wrong, he's only 2 (I tend to forget that because he is a very big kid as well as very mature and well behaved for his age, no one believes us when we say he's not even 3) and I know that accidents happen, but there are days that I would so much rather clean up a dirty diaper than a dirty pair of underwear. Especially when we are out and about.

The part that gets me is the in-between. He's not fully potty trained, but definitely not in a diaper anymore.

This too shall pass...

to the moon and back...
Don't forget to check out Florida Coupon Savers.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I'm in awe...

I have to say, I am completely in awe. I wrote last week about a loss my very dear friend had suffered (read it here). When Sarah found out about the babies diagnosis, her plans for the birth changed drastically, from a home birth to a hospital birth, 4 hours from home. Long story short, she didn't have health insurance and now was going to be strapped with tons of medical bills as well as travel expenses.

That was when another dear friend and I decided we needed to do something. Our idea when from a holding a long distance "baby shower" to raise a little bit of money to help with gas and such, to the possibility of hosting a 5K (way out of our scope of planning) to finally a dance-a-thon. Rebecca had been to several Zumba-thons and Sh'Bam classes and thought it would be a great way to raise money. The idea quickly grew legs and the next thing you know we had a website, facebook page, bank account, paypal account and we were ready to promote.

We started this to help lighten their load. We had no idea what to expect, what we got was amazing. Donations starting coming in through the website, people were sharing the facebook page, sponsors started coming in and donations for giveaways and auction items were overwhelming. We held the event yesterday (the 16th of June), and it went so well. Everyone who came out had a great time and we are so appreciative of the ones who came early to help set up and stayed late to help clean up.

The amount of love and prayers that has been poured out for this amazing family has blown my mind. The majority of donations that have come in have been from people who never even met this family. Praise God, we were able to raise a little over $4,000 to help with medical and funeral costs. There is no way that we (Rebecca, the Jackson Family and I) could ever thank you all enough.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who prayed, donated, volunteered, danced, sponsored and everything in-between.

To the moon and back...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I wandered

I kinda feel like this is my testimony. I've had times in my walk when I've fallen away, felt empty, betrayed, but I have realized that with out Jesus, there's really no comfort, no forgiveness and no healing.

A few years ago, I lost my cousin to cancer. She was a year older than me and at the time left behind a 6 year old daughter. Nothing made sense. I was angry at God. I realize now that everything happens for a reason. Good, bad or indifferent, it's not for us to know why. If we didn't have the lows, how would we recognize the highs?

i wandered the street
empty and broken
a shell of love song
better left unspoken
angry and bitter
a soul full of blame
no light to the world
just a snuffed out flame
seeking some guidance
some comfort, some peace
but the resentment's still clutching
no sign of release
when a stranger reached out
offering a hand
promising life
if i just take a stand
but what good is a life
if it's just full of pain
He said to be washed
with His blood comes gain
forgiveness and mercy
flow from His scars
release from this temporary
life behind bars
bars of pain
of sickness and death
i turned to His face
to be filled with His breath
i reached at His robe
for just a touch of healing
begging for love
engulfed with a feeling
i wandered the street
empty and broken
found peace in my savior
and the love He has spoken

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Of love and loss and grieving....

Ok, I stole that title from my bosses blog, but it's fitting.

I could start this blog off with "Wow, it's, like totally, been a really long time since I last blogged. I've been sooo super busy with my crazy important life but I totally promise to be better about posting!" (please feel free to read that in your best Valley Girl voice circa 1983), but I won't. Truth is, life happens and while I love writing, and emptying my head of random thoughts (yes, thoughts, plural, I do manage to have more than one, however, trains of thought quickly derail), I also have family, friends, 2.5 jobs, running and the like that fill my days.

I have had a blog brewing in my little brain about the "Are You Mom Enough" article, but my luke warm opinions about most things coupled with the fact that I haven't actually read past the title of the article, have hindered me from diving into that topic further. I am fairly certain, though, that I am not mom enough when you take into account that my almost 3 year old watches TV, has had his vaccinations as well as tylenol & motrin, was only breastfed (and not exclusively, there was formula in the mix) until 14 months, has had (on occasion) a PB&J for breakfast and navigates my iPhone better than me. But that's beside the point, on to the task at hand.

Tonight, I write of love, loss and grieving...

Love... The love of a gracious God, the love of a remarkable mother, the love of humbled friends. First, there is the love of gracious God who gives peace to a family who needs all of the comfort they can get. He has laid out the plans for them and gives them strength though the pain. Then there is the love of a mother, a love that has no rivals. I don't think you can truly understand it until you become one. I'm not taking away from the love a father has for his child, but I am saying that it is a bit different when you have carried, nurtured and felt the child moving from inside you. We give them our bodies for 9 months and in turn they take a piece of our heart with them on the way out. Finally, the love of humbled friends, who no matter how much they do for their friends, no matter how much they give, they are humbled to have the friend who is in need trying to comfort them through her loss.

Loss... One of my dearest friends and her family is having to go through what no one should ever have to experience, the loss of a child. Just a few days ago, after giving birth, she lost her son (you can read about it here). Throughout the pregnancy and birth, she gave her worries to God and above all asked for His will to be done. God's will was done, and part of His plan for Emmett was unveiled as he was able to be an organ donor and has the opportunity to help save the lives of two babies. 

Grieving... I can never claim to know what she is feeling, but I know that since Thursday night, I have been wandering around in a fog with an emptiness in my chest. My heart aches for them and I hate that we (her friends) can't be closer to help her through this and to keep her mind occupied. It's a very helpless feeling to have so much distance between us and to not be able to be with her.

It's amazing how someone so little can fill your heart so much and how you can be filled with so much love so someone that you never got to meet, hold, talk to or cuddle with.

My prayers continue to go out to the Jackson family, I hope you will do the same.

to the moon and back,

Monday, March 19, 2012


I've mentioned that a friend and I have started our own couponing website. It's a totally free site that is dedicated to helping real people save real money. We take most of the work out of it for you!

We aren't those crazy "extreme" couponers. We teach real world couponing (free classes available in central Florida).

I don't have a crazy stockpile that is taking over Moose's bedroom, my husband isn't having to sleep on boxes of cereal. I buy what I need and what I'll use (and if I get something for free or super cheap that I don't need, I can pass it to someone else who may need it). I have found that I am saving about $80 a week and with me only working part time, that is a HUGE help. My mom is saving about $100 a week. That's $400 a month! Crazy!
$31.98 paid for $109.10 in groceries!
That's an example of a trip I made last week, 71% saved! Not too shabby!

Anyway, just wanted to share. Check it out if you get a chance!

To the Moon and Back,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reflection of a day well spent...

It's late, and I'm sitting on my couch, typing and enjoying a delicious cup of choffy lightly sweetened and with a hint of hazelnut creamer, ahhh words can't describe. (Yes, you heard me right, choffy, it is an amazing chocolate drink that is brewed like coffee, only it's ground cocoa beans instead of coffee beans) Choffy is a new obsession of mine. I tend to get new obsessions often, but generally they are short lived. (There was that whole Crystal Pepsi obsession in the early 90's.) Anyway, bottom line it that choffy is amazing, it is however, expensive and the only reason I actually have some in the house is because my mom couldn't drink it (heartburn) so I won the choffy lottery!

As I sit here, basking in choffy goodness (ok, I'll stop raving about the wonderfulness that is choffy, now), I'm reflecting on the day I had.

This is not what my pancakes look like...
My niece stayed with us last night, so when we woke up I had to (yes, had to, she's a feisty one, I'm afraid to tell her no) fix oatmeal pancakes (her very favorite breakfast). Inevitably, when I make pancakes, the first two turn out great, the middle two or three are burnt around the edges and the last two are perfect. I don't know why it happens that way and no matter what I do, I can't change it. so, burnt pancakes for me and perfect ones for the kiddos.

Then I had a much needed conversation with one of my very best friends, Sarah (I feel like I am lucky enough to say that I have several friends that are amazing and are all the best in their own ways). As weird as it sounds, she is one of the main reasons that I have Moose. She changed how I felt about having kids and we were lucky enough to have each other to lean on throughout our whole pregnancies (her son was born a month after Moose). The crazy thing is that even though we are separated by many states and about 18 hours, we still talk like there is no distance. The last few weeks have been ridiculously hectic and I haven't be able to talk to her as much so it was so nice to catch up and unload to each other.

Picnic time
After that, I had the bright idea of taking Moose and Oowa (my niece) to the park for a picnic. The best part of my idea was for us to walk. "It's not that far, it's basically the route I run, so it's not bad." Two miles later we arrived at the park and my 34lb toddler now felt like a 50lb sack of potatoes in the stroller (did I mention that the tires needed air?). We ate our crackers and our PBJ's and re-hydrated from our walk and off they went to play. I sat in the cool shade and just relished the quite time with my legs touched by the warmth of the sun. After about an hour and a half, they were ready to go (and by they, I mean Oowa, I told you, I can't tell her no).

We pack up the stroller and get ready to head out. Oowa (a 53lb, 11 year old) climbs into the stroller and has Moose (a 34lb toddler) climb up on her lap. Hmmm.... ok, so now I have a 87lb sack of potatoes in a stroller with flat tires, "who's idea was this?" Did I mention that this is a jogging stroller with a non-swivel wheel?

40 minutes later we made it home, exhausted, all of us. Moose napped, Oowa rested on the couch and I did some work on our couponing website.

We had pizza and wings for dinner (not the healthiest of choices, but I was tired, get off my back...)

Overall, it was a great day and the weather was perfect!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Be Still and Know I am God"

While motherhood has been the most rewarding, stressful, beautiful, disgusting, hilarious, and bittersweet, it has also left me wondering, "How do I fit it all in?"

How do I fit in time for Moose?
How do I fit in time for hubby?
How do I fit in time to cook, clean and coupon (my new obsession)?
How do I fit in time to work?
How do I fit in time with the extended family?
How do I fit in time to exercise?
How do I fit in time for friends?
How do I fit in "me" time?
And most importantly...
How do I fit in time for God?

What? Scheduling time for God? You mean Sunday morning isn't enough? Oh, yea, Sunday morning... I remember doing something called "Church" on Sunday... prior to having Moose. Where can I find the time to be still and know that He is God?

Since I had Moose, on Sunday's you can find me in the nursery at church. I can't remember the last time I sat through a full service. Moose has decided that if I'm not in the nursery with him, then he must cry like he is being tortured, which leads to other kids crying and stressed out nursery workers and then no one is having fun. So to save the sanity of the poor parent who has volunteered their time, I either sit in the nursery with him, or I take him in the service and leave halfway through because he is wiggling.

Because of this, I have felt spiritually starved. Craving to get lost in His word, but never making it a priority. Tonight, I had the utmost pleasure of meeting with some other moms of little ones (without the little ones) who were also in need of a bible study. I have to say, it was so needed and I am so looking forward to more of these. I left study feeling blessed, comforted, reassured, supported and closer to these women than ever.

I'll leave you with a passage of scripture that was in our study tonight and ask you this, are you Martha or Mary?

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
   41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

To the Moon and Back,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Disney Fun Run

Yes, they put "fun" and "run" together. I know it seems like an oxymoron (because no one thinks that running is fun), but besides the fact, that I have come to have fun running, Disney did a great job making it a fun time.

Well... besides the fact that we had to be there at 6:15am which meant that I had to be up at 4 to leave by 4:30am. I know, I'm crazy.

When we got there, the music was blasting and we were surrounded by 5,000 runners. A great majority of which were dressed as a Disney character. There were tons of Tinkerbells and Minnies, we saw a Perry the Platapus and Peter Pan. It really was cute.

The race started and Lacey and I kept a comfortable pace and finished at about a 12 and 1/2 min mile pace. It wasn't our best time, but we had so much fun and afterwards, we re-hydrated with coffee...

Lacey is already talking about training for a Half-Marathon (and you thought I was crazy!).

I'm looking forward to more races and I'll keep you guys posted.

By the way, you should check out my new couponing site, We are all about helping real people save real money in the real world.

To the Moon and Back,

Friday, February 24, 2012

Running Update

Since I'm blogging, I thought I'd give you an update on my running progress. Yes, I have stuck with it. I know, hard to believe. I still can't believe that I have stuck with it this long. But you know what? I love it and I hate it all at the same time. It's hard, it hurts, sometimes it's disappointing, but I ALWAYS feel better after I run and that make it all worth while!

I started running at the end on December and 6 1/2 short weeks later, I ran 3.1 miles with out stopping! I never thought I would be able to say that! Granted since then I have only run that distance 2 more times with out stopping, but I did it. I'm elated.

There is no way I could have done it with out my hubby who "babysits" while I run, my friend Lacey who twists my arm and pushed me to go just a little further, my little boy who (when he sees me running) cheers me along "Come on mommy, you can do it!", my family who is always supportive with all of my crazy ideas and my God who renews my strength everyday. There have been many times, while running, that I'm asking God for strength and endurance and to heal my sore body.

I now that to some, 3.1 miles isn't that big of a deal (I mean, really, my hubby just ran a 10K last weekend with out stopping and averaged a 7:55 min/mile) but to me, it's a goal reached. I'm hoping for a 10K  by summer, but we will see.

I ran my first official 5K last weekend, the Palmer Healthy Heart Run Walk, I came in 27th out of 34 in my age group. It's not that great, but I am proud that I ran the majority of it and didn't die at the end! Overall, I came in 328th out of 519 people.The Hubby finished 4th in his age group and 65th out of 269. Lacey was a trooper and sacrificed her time to turn around an come get me so we could cross the finish line together so thanks to me, here numbers aren't accurate.

I do have to say that for my first race, it was much different than I thought and it was very intimidating. To have everyone start at the same time, and everyone start passing you at the same time and not really having any idea as to how you are actually doing. I'll admit it, that all got in my head and I didn't run anywhere near as good as I should have, but there is always the next race... I'll be running the Disney Tangled Royal 5k this Saturday.