Packing a Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

The boys and I spent some time shopping last weekend and this past Sunday we packed up our shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.  This is our first year participating in this event and the boys thought it was fun.  I did something different for this blog entry, I did a Vlog.  This is the first time I have tried this, so I hope you enjoy.

Just click play below.

The boys mentioned Bigbrotherlittlebro in the video, which is their youtube page. 🙂

If you are interested in looking into the organization you can check it out at https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/

Life Goes On (And Seems To Fly By)

Where to start?  It’s been a busy couple of weeks, full of changes.

We have added a new member to our family.

Purrdy GirlHer name is Purrdy Girl!  She’s 6 months old and we adopted her from a nearby humane society.  Cutie, our other cat, has taken fairly easily toPurrdy and fishtank her.  He is still a bit nervous, but he is not aggressive to her at all which is great.  Purrdy, for short, is very curious and keeps us on our toes.  She spends a lot of time trying to figure out if she can catch the wrass in our 60-gallon saltwater tank and watching our parakeet flap around in his cage.

 

Last weekend we celebrated Vincent’s 11th birthday.  How do I have an 11-year-old already?  I can’t believe how fast time has flown by.  He designed his cake this year.  We spent the early part of that week baking his cake.  Friday night and Saturday before his party we decorated his cake.
Vincent's cake

As part of his Some of Vincents Friendsbirthday, he wanted to bring a group to  Feed My Starving Children.  I’m so proud that he’s already thinking about ways to help those less fortunate than us.  We had 15 friends and family join us for packing at our nearby permanent FMSC facility.  Everyone had a lot of fun!  Everyone who participated in the session helped to pack 152 boxes of food, which is 32,832 meals and will feed 89 kids for a year!

When we finished packing, we headed back to our house where we had pizza and cake and a pretty good silly-string fight (even the adults took part). silly-string
Vincent’s new thing is a youtube site he’s had for a couple of months.  He had fun recording various events from the day and put it into a vlog for his site.  If you are interested, you can check it out by clicking here.

I’ve got some changes happening in my professional life too.  Monday, my boss announced she’s leaving.  With what I’m doing at work, I have been working very closely with her.  I’m so sad she’s leaving, but happy for her and the opportunity she found.  She will do great things where ever she goes!  What that means for me is that I have the next 3 weeks to download all her knowledge and make a plan for where our project should be going forward.  This will also be an opportunity for me to challenge myself and it will help me grow.

With everything that’s been going on, as well as Ian having swimming 2 days a week, fitting in carving pumpkins, a school Halloween dance etc it’s been very busy.  I’m happy to have had enough food in the house to make some pretty decent dinners this week because I didn’t get to the store at all.  However, I’ve been suffering on the breakfast smoothie and lunch prep.  So I am thankful that even though we will be busy toting the boys to a school Halloween dance, a church dance and a friends birthday party this weekend still seems to have at least a little free time.  I would like to get my salads prepped and breakfast smoothies ready for the week.

One thing I’m learning is things will never slow down.  We can only do as much as we can do and that’s ok.  It’s taken some time for me to get to a point where I’m ok knowing that I’m not going to get everything done.  I just need to decide what’s important to get done and what’s not.  It’s ok for somethings to wait, it doesn’t all have to be done right now.  It’s hard to let go and not have control over everything, but it is soooo necessary if you don’t want to drive yourself nuts.  I’ve learned this lesson the hard way and it’s with years of trying and failing and trying again that I’m just starting to get to a point where I can do this without major anxiety over the things I’m letting fall by the wayside.

I’m sure all of us moms are looking for new ways to get through busy weeks easier.  Please share below some of the ways you get through your busy week in the comment section below.  Like and share if you know busy moms who can relate. 🙂

 

 

Some life experiences suck to watch your kids go through

Part of being a parent is helping your kids learn, grow and deal with life experiences.  Sometimes the experiences they have to go through suck to watch.  Yesterday, we had to put down our cat it sucked to have to do and it sucked to have to watch the boys go through.

Chip is not the first pet we have had to put down, but he’s the first pet we’ve had to put down that the boys have had a real connection with.

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The last pet we put down was my 15 year old female cat, just over a year ago.  The boys were sad, but she was kind of a one person type cat and that person was me.  Probably because I adopted her before I was married and before I had kids.  She tolerated the boys, but didn’t really connect with them.  So when she she got cancer and had to be put down, they missed her being around, but putting her down didn’t affect them much emotionally.

Chip and the boys had a special connection.  We adopted Chip just last year.  He was our chubby, cuddly, attention mongering, jewelry stealing, food sneaking, crinkling-fish-fetching cat.  He just loved to be around people and the kids loved to cuddle with him.

Chip and me

Chip was only 2 when we adopted him from the shelter, so we thought we had many years with him.  Which is why last week when he got sick we were suddenly hit with having to think about how much we could afford to do to help him.  We made the decision as a family to do everything we could since he was so young.  We thought if we could fix his issue, we’d have many years with him

The past two weeks have been an emotional and very exhausting.  Earlier this week, we thought we had a plan to help him continue on his recoery, but Thursday night he got a urethral blockage for the third time in a week.  With the help of my friend who is a Vet Tech and the doctors she works with, we were able to make a late night plan and get him to a good vet that had emergency after hour care.  The plan we came up with Thursday was to have the urgent care, empty his bladder so his kidney’s wouldn’t be strained all night.  The next morning we’d transfer his records and run any additional tests, then later Friday afternoon he’d have the surgery we though would help to keep him from blocking any more.

Friday morning, when the boys woke up for school, I told them where Chip was and let them know he’d be getting his surgery later it the day, before this they didn’t know if we’d be doing the surgery.  Because up until it became the only option my husband and I weren’t sure if we would be or could get the surgery.  They were so happy to hear that we’d be getting the surgery because they had expressed their desire not to put him down.

Chip and Cutie

Unfortunately, while running his kidney values and some blood work the doctors found out there was much more going on with Chip then we thought.  The worst part was he had kidney disease and it wasn’t looking good.  He was not going to have a good quality of life, even if we were able to happen to be able to solve his current medical puzzle.

So, after school my husband and I picked up the kids and had to inform them we couldn’t so the surgery and in fact he had to be put down.  I had asked the vet to wait until we could bring the boys to say good bye.  The were happy to have the chance to say good-bye, but sad Chip would not be able to recover from his issues.

When we arrived at the Vet we we’re given a room and Chip was brought in to see us.  We all took turns cuddling and petting Chip.  It was very hard to watch the boys.  They each snuggled up to him and said their goodbyes.  They were trying to be so strong, but eventually the tears came.  In the end the boys decided not to be in the room for the final procedure.

Now we deal with the grief of losing a pet/friend.  I don’t think it will really sink in until Monday when they arrive home from their long weekend.  That will be the time they start to notice his absence.  I can only hope to be there for them to talk to and help them grieve in the way they need to.

5 reasons busy moms should increase their water intake

Over half of our body is made up of water and over 75% of our brain is water.  Because of this, water is critical to our body’s function.  Water is literally needed at a cellular level to keep us in tip-top shape.

In my opinion, these are the top 5 reasons busy moms should drink up!

5.  Better skin

Water helps flush toxins from our system.  Some of these toxins can cause inflammation of the skin and clogged pores and lead to acne.  Drinking water will help to keep your pores clear and reduce acne, it will also keep your skin moisturized and hydrated which will keep away some of the smaller wrinkles.

4.  Helps digestion and keeps you regular

Water helps your body break down your food and transports the nutrients where they need to go.  Proper hydration keeps your intestinal tract working properly if you don’t have enough water in your system, your colon will pull it from your stool and you will become constipated.  We all know there’s no time for constipation with everything us busy moms need to do.

3.  Weight loss/management

Water is more filling than soft drinks.  If you drink water instead of soda you’ll not only cut back on your calorie consumption for the day, but you may not get hungry as often. In addition, consuming foods with higher water content can keep you fuller longer.  Your fruits and vegetables are high in water content.  If you don’t drink enough fluids, your body will actually hold onto water and you don’t want that water weight.

2. Keeps you energized and focused

Being tired is a sign of dehydration.  Keep up on your water supply and you might just be able to drop a coffee or two.  Also, since your brain is over 75% water it needs proper hydration to work correctly.  If you’re feeling a bit foggy and having trouble focusing try a nice glass of water.

1.  Boosts your immunity

Water is needed to produce Lymph fluid (think lymph nodes).  This lymph fluid carries all the important stuff, such as water, nutrients, white blood cells and other immune system cells through our bodies, blood.  Even down to our cells.  Without water, we can’t make enough lymph fluid and we may be more susceptible to getting sick.  We all know, there’s no time for mom to be sick.

 

Now that you’ve seen which reasons I think are most important for busy moms to drink lots of water, how much water should you drink?

This has been somewhat debated.  We’ve all heard the suggested 8 glasses a day.  I’ve read several other suggestions, including half your body weight in oz.  But the best determination of this is to look at the color of your urine.  If your urine is dark yellow, you need to up your water intake.  If your urine is clear or pale yellow, you are doing great.

Remember you need to increase your intake of water if you are exercising.  Drink some before, during and after your exercise.

How can you get more water?  You don’t have to drink all your water.  As mentioned in number 3 fruits and vegetables are a great source of water.  Also, you can spice up your regular water by adding fruits to it.  Great way to change boring ole water into something you like to drink.  When you’re done drinking the water you can eat the fruit, you’ll get benefits from the water and the fruit!

You don’t have to do anything fancy.  I take a 16 oz mason jar, and put about 1/2 cup fruit and leave it refrigerated for about an hour before drinking.  Try a google search for “fruit infused water”.  You’ll be surprised how many there are out there!

 

 

Who am I and why blog?

Kids and MeWho am I?  And why am I blogging to you?

I’m a full time working mother and wife.  I’ve been saying for years that I wanted to blog and have thought about starting one a couple different times, but never really did much about it.  However, now feels like the right time.

So, Why do I think I can get this going now and why would anyone want to read it?  I think we have a lot in common. Continue reading

Taking Time to Reset

I received many responses to my last post of people in a similar boat as I am.  So, I thought a good follow up to the post I did last week would be to show how I took action on the items I mentioned I was going to do to help get me back to balanced.

I started by writing up my list of meals and snacks for the week.  I chose easy lunches, for work, that make more than enough so I could use those for several meals.  I also included dinners that were fairly easy with few ingredients.  The exception is one meal that I got from a cookbook that I’ve never made before.  But this will be our Friday meal, since we have nothing going on that evening and I can devote time to making it with out being rushed. Continue reading