Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Meeting Her Teacher

We met her teach tonight right before dance class. I got to see her classroom and imagine her being in there, learning and playing.
She sits in the very back middle seat, which I'm hoping they'll change since she's so tiny and since I keep procrastinating that dang eye doctor appointment I was supposed to make her.
When I told her it was time to leave the school, she said she didn't want to go. When I asked her why, she said, "Because I like my very own desk." I hope she feels the same way on Thursday.
It's almost time to check another thing off of the no-longer-a-baby list. Even though she'll only be gone 3 hours a day, that is a total of 15 hours a week she is out of my care. For years, I've been talking about this day. I would say, "I can't believe it's only two years, a year, 6 months til she goes to kindergarten." Now, I can't believe it's only 1 DAY until she starts kindergarten. When did she get so big?
I'm excited for the new things she'll learn. I'm excited for her to be brave and make new friends. I'm hoping it isn't too long before she breaks out of her painfully shy shell that usually covers her up around people she's just met. School is going to be really good for her.
It's just hard to think that come Thursday, she'll be a student for the next 13+ years. I don't get those baby years back. She's just going to keep growing up.

I hope you're excited to see the pictures from her first day. She has already picked out the specific uniform she will wear and everything is packed in her backpack. We are ready for this next adventure.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friends Without Judgment

 Dear Mahala,
I've been thinking about you a lot lately. I like to replay the memories I have of growing up with you. I remember playing on the treadmill at your house for hours on end because we thought it was a toy. I remember the dark turquoise slide in your backyard. I remember helping out in your class at school. Most of all, I remember how much you loved everyone.

Those memories became more vivid this week when my son met a new friend at Petey's dance class. You see, Spidey is drawn to anyone playing on an electronic device. He quickly saw that Jordan had an iPad and he ran over to him. At first, Jordan wasn't happy. His sensory issues make it so he gets agitated when people touch him. Spidey snuggled up close to him and Jordan tried to make him go away. When Jordan's mom told him that Spidey looked up to him {Jordan is going into 9th grade this year and Spidey likes playing with big kids}, he looked up with a huge smile and said, "Mom, now I have two best friends!" He seemed so delighted that Spidey was his friend. For 2 hours, they played games together on the iPad. Since Spidey is overly touchy, Jordan decided it was ok for Spidey to touch his shirt, just not his skin. I could see Spidey trying to refrain from touching Jordan too much. They laughed together, talked about their likes, and played Memory over and over and over. Any time Spidey would cheat and take 2 turns in Memory, Jordan would start a new game because you can't cheat!

I watched them sit side by side, playing and laughing together and I realized how soft Spidey's heart is. He has no idea that Jordan is any different than other kids. He has no idea that Jordan might have a hard time making friends. All he knows is that Jordan is his new best friend.
He left the dance studio with a huge smile on his face. Spidey loves making new friends. I don't think he could ever have too many friends. I hope to see more of him and Jordan together because it made me happy to see him with a role model like Jordan. I want my son to grow up loving others without judgment. I want him to know what it's like to be friends with someone like you. I wouldn't trade the 12 years we were friends for anything. I think about the day I'll get to see you up in Heaven and I know it will be a happy reunion.

Thank you for everything you taught me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hayley's Bowtique

 When Petey was born, I wanted her to be dolled up every day. I was kind of a psycho about it and would get frustrated if Boss didn't put a headband on her. She got her ears pierced at 2 months old and I loved them so much. I learned how to make bows when she was about 9 months old and tried to start a little business with it but I was working full time and it just stressed me out.
When she got a little bit older, I started looking around for those adorable chunky bead necklaces. The ones that I found were super expensive so I decided to make some myself for her.
Then recently I had some friends ask about those necklaces and I decided to hold a craft party at my house teaching them how to make the necklaces. One thing led to another and I decided to start back up Hayley's Bowtique. It's only been 2 months but I'm loving it so far.
Petey has a wide range of necklaces that hang on her wall. Some are older and not as fancy, the newer ones have cuter pendants and better clasps. I've gotten better over the years at perfecting the necklaces. I've used ribbon and tied bows, which is cheaper but then Petey started accidentally tying double knots in them and they would get stuck so now I'm back to clasps.
 The most recent necklace I sold was this purple one. How adorable, right? Petey was so excited that I ordered sparkly beads for this necklace. :)
 The rainbow necklace is my other favorite. She wears this one a lot because it matches almost everything!
 My wonderful friend, Leyla, offered to take some pictures of my products to help with my business. She is amazingly talented and I could not pass up an offer like that.
 She took some super adorable pictures of Petey and we have another photo shoot coming up soon. Go visit her website if you need pictures. She's amazing at what she does.

The only downside to all of this?
My poor kitchen table. That picture is from this morning. I did clean it up before dinner but I'm sure it'll look that way again tomorrow. I can't wait to get my desk put in our room so I have a place to work that isn't the same place we eat our meals.

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's All Worth It

I have been so busy and productive lately. I've been making necklaces and bows like crazy, the kids have had things going on, school starts for Petey in a little over a week, and my days have been full of children and cleaning.
I was driving the other day and I didn't even know why I was smiling. I just couldn't stop. I'm just really happy right now. The bad days fizzle and the good days are what I remember. Life is far from perfect and yet it feels pretty perfect.
If you would have told me that happiness was possible with the current struggles in my life, I would have laughed in your face and yet, here I am achieving happiness amidst trials. It's possible, people.

The kids have been challenging me daily. The pictures usually show them getting along but there is a lot of fighting going on. There are a lot of bad words being used and fists being thrown. There are a lot of tantrums for silly reasons and time outs. But I'm still happy. I've been reading Petey books at night and I can see her little eyes brighten when I lay down next to her. I snuggle Spidey in the mornings since he's been waking up before his sister.
 Dance days usually look like this. If we have Baby D, we often sit in the car because he fusses during dance class so Spidey ends up playing on the Kindle. He loves it. I love the quiet. But sometimes, I just want him to hang out with his momma.
And sometimes, he does. I love those moments.

I've been steadily writing back and forth with Boss' cousin my adopted little sister, Kaitlyn. She's serving a mission for our church and I'm just so proud of her. It's hard to see someone you love struggling. It's hard to see them have ups and downs because you just want to make their days full of ups. I'm sure that's how my own mother feels sometimes. I can't imagine having to watch my children go through huge trials and not being able to take it away from them. As I was pondering that the other day, I realized that must be how our Heavenly Father feels as well. I'm sure it's hard for Him to watch us struggle but he wouldn't let us struggle in vain. He knows those struggles are what make us stronger, better people.

I'm grateful for my life. I'm so lucky to have so many wonderful things. I don't doubt that my life is exactly where it is meant to be right now. The kids will only be young for so long and someday, I'm going to miss the 3 yr old tantrums and the 5 yr old talking back. So for now, I'm just trying my darndest to embrace it all.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hello Kitty and The Avengers {Room Redo}

My kids have been with their Nana and Papa since Wednesday night. I have gotten so many things done these past 3 days and as glad as I am to have my kids back, I wasn't worried about them at all and I'm so grateful for the time I got to have to myself.

So here's the first project I finished:

For Christmas this past year, Santa brought my kids new bedding. I used to not be into character bedrooms but my kids both wanted specific bed sets and it was fun to see them so happy on Christmas.

Fast forward 7 months later and their rooms hadn't really been updated to match the bedspreads.
I made one set of letters and my friend had made the other set back when my kids were really little. The kids used to share a room and their colors were brown/blue and brown/pink. I loved the letters but unfortunately, they didn't match their rooms anymore!
 Also, my little stinker son had ripped the paper off of a couple of his sister's letters.

So while my kids were gone this week, I decided one of my projects was going to be redecorating their rooms. The only new things I bought were frames for the posters they already had, fabric for Spidey's decorations, paper for their letters, and some wall decals for Petey's room that happened to be on sale.
 Welcom to PINK and HELLO KITTY. :) That is all Petey has wanted forever. She keeps asking for pink walls but I think she has enough pink for now. Petey was flipping out when she got home. She was so excited to see her new room and her reaction was awesome. She definitely loves it!
 {I did take the hammer out before she got home, I promise}
 Her letters are now light/dark pink and baby blue, which are the colors of her Hello Kitty bedspread.
 Spidey walked into his room and looked super disappointed because he was just staring at his bed and he didn't think I'd changed anything. When I told him to look at the other wall, he started jumping around and screaming with excitement. He is a huge Avengers fan and he loves his poster and the fabric wall decorations.
 Unfortunately for my boy, the amount of damage he's done to his room was enough for us to not make it too nice. He has colored in red permanent marker on the walls and poop painted more times than I can count so even though his room needs to be repainted to match, I refuse to do it until I think he's old enough to treat his room a little better. He still loves it a ton.
I had a really hard time figuring out how to redo his letters to have them match the Avengers colors so I ended up doing mostly solid colors. He was so happy to see his name on the wall and as you can see, it's way too high for him to touch them and rip the paper. :) Smart momma.

It was a great 3 days and I am so thankful my in laws were willing to put up with our kids so that I could have a break. I feel so rejuvenated as a mother and am so happy my kids are back with me now.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Dollhouse

I wanted to blog today but I had no idea what to blog about.

So I decided to look in my picture albums from the photos I took a year ago today. Here is my favorite one:
My kids haven't changed as much in the past year as they have in other years. Their looks aren't as different and their smiles are similiar to how they smile now. That must mean they are growing up. They aren't babies that change every time you take a new picture of them.

I love their scrunched up noses.
I love the setting of the precious dollhouse.
That dollhouse was once played with by some of my kids' favorite role models. It had years and years of use from 3 little girls and then when my kids were born, they spent their toddler years playing with it at their Great Aunt and Uncle's house. I always wished we could keep those memories alive for them and we can. That dollhouse is now ours and my kids love it so much. Petey loves to set the people up. Spidey loves to climb on it and jump off. It's special because I can remember my 18 month old Petey playing with it with her then 10 year old cousin. I can remember Spidey throwing everything out of the dollhouse. I can remember the thousands of times Petey would ask me to tuck one of the mommies into the bed.
I love toys that are filled with memories.
I love family.
I especially love scrunched up noses on happy little children.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Attitude of Gratitude

 Sometimes, things just fall into place and you can't NOT stop and be grateful. {Please forgive my double negative. Yes, it was necessary.}

Our car should be getting fixed on Monday and I'm so excited to have it back. In the meantime, one of the most giving and caring people I know, my mother, let me borrow her car for the entire week. I am so grateful for her help when I need her. Not only did she let me borrow her car, she took us out for frozen yogurt and drove my hot hot HOT van back to her house where it will sit until Monday, when she'll drive it all the way to the car shop for me. She's kind of a whopping heap of amazing like that.

Also, I decided to check my student center account at Chandler-Gilbert to remind myself when my tuition is due and what'd'ya know, my financial aid was approved! That is one less worry for this momma. I'm still nervous about the workload of school and babysitting and motherhood but I'm also just ready to dive in so I can get this over with and start my dream career.
After the car situation, I was so nervous about having to buy Petey everything she'll need for school but my mom took her out shopping on Wednesday (and for an icee, and for lunch, and for ice cream after) and got her some uniforms. Check that worry off my list! Petey is the cutest little school girl I've ever seen! And seriously, I wish I could tan like she does! I know she got my skin tone but my legs do NOT look like that.
I was in such a good mood by Thursday that we went to the pool with my sister and her kiddos. Poor Spidey got a huge glob of sunscreen in his eye and it was pretty irritated. He also insists on making Lunchable sandwiches with 2 crackers and all 6 pieces of cheese. He's kinda weird...but aren't those freckles just irresistable? And those bright green/brownish red eyes. Ahh, that boy melts my heart.
The boys finished up the second Lunchable but Petey insisted on going back over to her favorite place at the pool...
...the lazy river. She would ride that thing the entire time we are at the pool if I let her.
It just makes her so happy!
I mean, seriously, that poor eye. It just kept getting worse. Luckily, sleep helped and he woke up with 2 normal eyes again.

So back to my gratitude, I was on a high. I just couldn't be grumpy when so many things seemed to be looking up.
Then Spidey got in a fight with Petey's bed post and I thought maybe my high was over. I was so worried for a while there. He had hit his head and his head and I actually worried about his thumb bring broken because he wouldn't move it for a while. Luckily, he just has a super awesome goose egg to show for his battle.
And even a huge purple forehead can't get this boy down! He thought it was so cool that his head was purple. What a way to look on the bright side, buddy. He is such a boy.

So today is still looking up. I have so much to be thankful for. There are so many people that make my life what it is and I'm lucky to be surrounded by so much good.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


 Tonight, I am going to attempt to write the same blog post as yesterday but with different wording.

Just kidding.

But really...

Today was another craptastic day. I found out the ac compressor needs to be replaced in my van so a cheap fix is not even an option if I want to survive the Arizona summer in my car. I was so stressed out and running around all day that it wasn't until 7pm when I started feeling sick and weak that I realized I had not eaten a single thing all day. That's especially weird since I'm usually a stress-eater.

But today was also really great because a friend of mine who happens to be a great photographer took pictures of Petey modeling some of my bows and necklaces I'm going to be selling. Oh yeah, did I not mention I'm starting up my bow business again and adding necklaces? Cause that's what mothers who are also full time babysitters who plan to go to school full time starting in August do. They just jam more stuff into their lives. Or is that just me?
I feel like I hardly saw this boy today, even though he was literally by my side all day. I'm so thankful that he forgives me and still loves me when I fall short at being a good mother to him. He must know I'm going to make up for it and do better tomorrow.
I'm getting more nervous and excited for all of the life changes happening in August. Petey and I are both starting school. Honestly, I am equally nervous as I am excited for this next chapter in her life. She is going to be in 5th grade when I graduate from college and that scares the heck outta me. I keep telling myself it'll be worth it, even though it feels so far out of my reach. I know I can get there and succeed if I believe in myself. It wouldn't hurt if you wanted to believe in me too. The more, the merrier.

I ate a corn dog a little while ago {the first thing I ate today} and now I don't feel very good. Maybe someday I'll start making healthier decisions but for tonight, I'm thinking I'll just go lay down and try not to think about the fact that I want to throw up.

I think that is just about enough details of my life tonight.

PS: The entire time I was writing this blog post, I thought it was Monday. There is seriously something wrong with me today. I need a do-over.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Find the Positives

 Some days are just hard. Today happens to be one of those days.
I'm confused and frustrated as to why Petey can stay dry for a week or two at a time and then wet her bed for over a week every single night.
I'm angry that the ac in my van broke and that it isn't going to be an easy, cheap fix like I was hoping.
I'm sick of organizing my house when it looks like a dump a week {or less} after I'm done.
I'm extremely tired and I'm sure it's just due to being overweight because I've changed nothing about my life and I'm always tired!

So since I'm grumpy today, I need to list out the things I'm grateful for because that is the only way to turn this frown upsidedown.

Sometimes, babysitting is hard. It's hard having 4 kids most days instead of my 2. But this kid has me falling for him with that smile. I'm so grateful I took a leap of faith and said yes to watching him when I wasn't sure I could do it. I'm so glad that Petey LOVES him and plays with him so well.
 It's incredible to have watched him since he was 5 months old and now he's taking steps all over my house. It's been a long time since I've experienced a baby walking for the first time and it's honestly just as exciting as when my own children learned to walk. I'm so proud of him!
 I'm so grateful for a sensitive son who knows how to make his mom feel good about herself. The daily "You're one dynamite gal" or "You're my queen momma" or "You are the most beautifullest momma in the world" never get old.

 I'm extremely grateful for the friendship my kids have. I'm so happy that they are best friends. I love it when I hear Spidey call Petey his "best sister in the world" or his "dynamite gal". You get the point. They love each other and they are so close.
This isn't a picture of my husband but I am beyond grateful for him. He took both kids are their own little date on Saturday. Spidey got to go grocery shopping with him and Petey got to go to Home Depot. Spidey picked out a huge donut cake as his treat, Petey picked out a cactus. Seriously. That thing is her baby! She is always worried whether it's still alive and what she can do to make it comfortable. It's been in our home for 2 days...She's so silly.

One thing I'm grateful for that cannot be shown in pictures is my testimony of the love God has for me. I'm so thankful that I know I am His child and that He is always rooting for me to find happiness. I talk to Him daily and trust that He knows the plan better than I ever could. So even though I'm worried about paying for my car and frustrated with parenting, I know He sends angels to guide me through my life. There is nothing I have more gratitude for than that.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Truth: I'm Not Worthless

 I struggled a lot with self-worth in high school. I always thought I was so fat...
This is me a couple of months after graduating high school and that isn't even a picture of me at my smallest high school weight.
 This is the face I would give if the girl in the above picture told me she was fat. Because she wasn't. And even moreso than that, she's gorgeous.

After getting married, I thought all of that was over. Someone picked me out of every other girl. Someone chose to love me forever and ever. I realized shortly after getting married that marriage doesn't fix everything. In fact, I'd even say marriage makes lots of things harder. I got pregnant and started eating whatever I wanted. I was put on bedrest. I had a c-section. I got pregnant when my baby was 7 months old. I had another c-section. There were so many excuses as to why I wasn't happy with myself.

Then I got diagnosed with infertility. My self worth went completely down the drain for a while. I was so hard on myself. I started thinking that because I had made mistakes in my life, God was punishing me. I told myself I was worthless and often times, thoughts of unworthiness would creep into my mind, telling me I wasn't even a good person anymore. Everything kind of spiraled downward for a while when my husband stopped attending church with our family. I felt completely alone. In counseling, I couldn't pinpoint why I had anxiety and why little things were hard to deal with. It wasn't until recently that I realized I haven't stopped to pat myself on the back in a very long time. I haven't cut myself a break or told myself what a good job I'm doing at living this life I was given.

Throughout these past couple of weeks, I've started to give myself little pep talks and really, truly see all of the good I am doing. I didn't realize how far I had let Satan in. He had convinced me I'm nothing but that isn't true. When it comes to my worth, my size doesn't matter and my faults don't matter. I will always be worth something in God's eyes.

The hardest part of all of this is teaching myself how to love myself more but once I started realizing how much I am worth, I knew that loving every part of myself was the next step. It's a continuation, it isn't just there. I have to continually remind myself to just be nice. When I look in the mirror, don't tear that girl down. When I spend too much time on the computer, don't tell that girl she's a horrible mother. When I forget to cook dinner, don't tell that girl she is a failure as a homemaker. That girl isn't perfect but she's worth something.
In order to teach this little girl how to love herself, I need to set a good example of what that looks like. I need to teach her to see how precious she is in God's eyes by remembering how precious I am in His eyes.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Flexibility and a Hairstyle

First of all, I had to show off this new hairstyle I did with Petey's hair today. It's hard to get her short hair all up and I found a way to do it today. I think it's absolutely adorable!

Second, if you are my Facebook friend, I apologize. I'm sure you're sick of the pictures I've been posting today. I am just so proud of Petey. You see, she was not born flexible like her mama. She has had to work really hard to get her flexibility for dance. Most days, she doesn't want to stretch because it hurts {I tried to explain that is the only way to get more flexible.} but ever since her dance teacher bribed them with an ice cream party, she is all about the stretching!
 Here is her needle.
 She was watching the dance recital dvd and wanted to bring her leg up behind her like the big girls do. Maybe someday, baby girl.
 Surprisingly, her right leg is a lot less flexible than her left.
 This is called "buns up". They sit in their middle splits to stretch them down all the way. She's pretty darn close to the ground.
 Her right splits are tons farther than they've ever been.
 Her left splits are almost perfect! She is so close and she knows it!
This is my favorite picture. That left leg is super flexible now! She has worked so hard and her face shows just how proud of herself she is.

She is loving her team classes. Her favorite is the one class she was afraid of on the first day. She has a boy teacher for her acro/stretch/tumbling class and she cried when I made her go in the room but she came out all smiles and loves going to that class now. She loves Miss Mimi and Miss Taylor and talks about them at home often. I didn't think anyone could replace Miss JaNae but she seems to already love these new teachers just as much! I'm so excited for her performances to start but I have to wait until October. Right now, they are working hard on getting these little girls flexible and starting to teach them their routine.