Monday, March 26, 2012

Work, Babies and Puppies

Hi, everyone! It's been such a long time and I know last time I said I would start writing more in this blog but goodness, we've been so busy! We moved into a bigger apartment and finally have most of everything put away. Also, we've been going through some personal stuff lately (everything and everyone's fine! :) but we really want to start making some changes in our lives, all for the better.

Current changes in progress: spending more time with these crazy people.
Jarod's work hours have taken such a hold on our lives and our family that we really want to stop concentrating so heavily on paying things off AS. SOON. AS. POSSIBLE. It's been such an unnecessary stress in our lives. We have more than enough to pay our monthly bills and we live comfortably. That's not to say that we no longer hold paying off our debt as a priority. Because it is. But the incessant need (and stress) of doing so in such an unremarkably quick period needs to stop. Aka it's stressing us the hell out and it's has been the source of our arguments these last few weeks, which is no good.

Our goals are to pay ALL of our debt off and have a 20% down payment for a house in three to four years. That's still our goal and priority. But neither one of us wants to be a complete stress-case anymore. More on our debt journey later.

Also, a very big decision about the size of our family has changed (once-again :) so we are completely and utterly (I promise and I've, also, pinky-promise, cross-your-heart, very-big-deal-kind-of-promise, promised Jarod) that we are DONE. I'll elaborate more on this in a later post just because this sort of thing deserves it's own post :)

But we did decide to add one more little bundle of love just recently. She's perfect. I love her and call her my fourth baby. Bonus: she will never talk (bark) back and/or purposefully defy me, just cause. Did I mention that I really, really like her? :) Her name is Mila. She's a 9-week-old black lab; the first bigger breed dog that Jarod and I have ever had so it's quite remarkably to see how much she grows every day. Also, since she's the first bigger dog we've ever had we're, also, quite paranoid about training her and she's going to puppy-training classes asap!

We did go to a local animal shelter for a five-year-old Lab mix that seemed possibly perfect for our family but he was no longer there. Also, I think he may have been on the larger side for labs and we'd prefer a medium-sized one. I've been scouring petfinder (dot) com for the last few weeks trying to find a Lab that's good with young kids, gets along with cats and is well-mannered. Nearly impossible. Jarod suggested a puppy because he wants a very attached pup and who can resist puppies?! To which I replied, "Absolutely not. That's waaay too much work."

And now here I am writing this blog next to a lounging two-month-old little lady who farts approximately every ten minutes. What can I say? Love gets the best of me <3

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Aiden's 4th birthday - 20 questions

Aiden, I still can't believe it's been 4 years since you forever changed our lives by simply existing. You have brought so much joy and love into our lives.

You are silly.
You're full of happiness and joy and you laugh with every ounce of your being.
Your laughter has never failed to make me smile.
You're sweet, kind and sensitive.
You're growing and changing almost hourly, it seems.
And I. Am. So. Proud to be your mom.
No matter what you do, say and be, I will always, always, no matter what, love you, Aidy-Aids.

20 Birthday Questions

1) What is your favorite color? Red
2) What is your favorite toy? Lucky (a stuffed animal dog) and truck
3) What is your favorite tv show or movie: Mighty Machines
4) What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Cookies, chips and mac & cheese
5) What is your favorite outfit? Shooting cars (Cars 2) shirt
6) What is your favorite game? Cards game (educational cards: numbers, letters, shapes, etc.)
7) What is your favorite creative activity? Playing with play-doh
8) What is your favorite animal? Dog and a cat
9) What is your favorite song? Itsy-bitsy spider
10) Who is your best friend? Kuya Jayden, Ate Abby, Ate Seda, LaLa and Boo-Boo
Me: What about Tristen?
Aiden: Tristen is a baby! Tristen is a cool friend. We are the coolest friends in the whole world.
11) What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play in the playground
12) What is your favorite drink? Apple juice
13) What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
14) What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Dog and bear
15) What do you want to be when you grow up? A tiger
16) What is your favorite thing about Trissy? Playing games
17) What is your favorite thing about Ali? Playing with Ali
18) What do you love about yourself? Being silly, silly, silly, silly alllll the time
19) What's your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Being silly and playing monster. Peek-a-boo.
20) What's your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Eating and cracking
Me: What's cracking?
Aiden: Cracking eggs! I the greatest cooker ever!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Fourth Little One

Let's start this post with: I will be the absolute first person to tell ya'll that I'm insane and crazy. If you feel the need to say it to me, I will reply with, "duhh!" :)
Second of all, I want to say that even though there are so many moments where I have fallen to the floor with tears streaming down my face at how hard having three young children so close together is; the truth remains that being a mother, being their mother, has brought me absolutely joy and such extraordinary, unconditional love. I cannot imagine a life without them - truly.

Thus, after a recent discussion with my husband (who essentially said, "I love you too much to disappoint you" [seriously, how the in the world did I get so lucky to have a guy love me this much?!?], we have decided that we would love to have a fourth little one in this crazy, loving family of ours.

Seriously, pretty much what all our family pictures look like haha

Aiden: what the F is he doing to that train??
Tristen: this train is delicious.
Ali: what's going on?? what's going on??
Mom & Dad: forget it, this picture's going to suck. just take the pic!
Third and lastly, can I just say: I AMMM SOOOO EXXXCITED!! :D

Friday, March 9, 2012

Aiden Update

(Note: Written on February 27, 2012)
We just stopped making Aiden go to basketball for the last few weeks. We figured this isn’t a battle we need to be fighting - drugs, sex, obscene behavior, yes, those are battles we will fight but this, nah. Instead, we placed him into a very informal preschool in which playtime is the focus and academics and strict structure are loosely exemplified. Also, he started art class today, which he really enjoyed. Thus, he’s getting the socialization with children his age (and children that aren’t people he’s known his whole life, I.e. his siblings and cousins), being placed into a more structured environment to prep him for school and above all, he really loves these new activities.

This my friends is what I call "Art" :)
We’re planning on signing him up for swim lessons and gymnastics, which I think are better suited for his personality. Also, Jarod and I both believe knowing how to swim is a basic skill that we, as people who can’t swim for the life of us, feel is essential that our own children know. Who else will save us when we’re drowning in the kiddo pool??

On top of that, these last two weeks I’ve been spending a lot of time with him prepping him for Kindergarten (thanks to my cousin who‘s an elementary teacher and who‘s given a completely clueless I-have-no-idea-what-I‘m-doing-idiot some direction on what I should be doing with my preschooler). We’ve been working on recognizing letters (one each week) and the sounds they make, writing his name (tracing his name with a highlighter) and counting up to 20. My goal is for him to recognize each letter and their sounds, write his name proficiently, count up to 50, know simple addition and subtraction and know a host of other preschool/ kindergarten things (such as the tying his shoes, reading the clock, recognizing patterns, know the days of the week and each months, what each coin is and how much their worth is, know his phone number, etc., etc., etc.) before he starts kindergarten. P.S. I had no idea how much I should be teaching him!! Yikes! Mommy fail. But we’re slowing getting there and he’s progressing really well - even much better than I would have ever thought.

The biggest struggle I have and have had with Aiden is he hates when he doesn’t get something on the very first try and when I say hate, I mean HAAATES, as in he will shut down like nobody’s business. He’ll proceed to tell me that I should do it for him as if independence and growing up bores and pisses him off at the same time. I’ve resorted to threatening him that I’ll take away TV time or toys in order to get him to learn things. It’s frustrating but it’s working. He doesn’t like writing his name because he doesn’t know how to control a pen yet. He doesn’t like counting because fifteen sounds like it should be five-teen.

He doesn’t like it because he’s not good at it yet but the more and more I force him to do these activities that are essential to his education, he’s beginning to really grasp what we’ve been working on and he’s even started asking if we can do more “homework.” The progress we’re making is astonishing to me. I’m one proud mama :D



Dear Aiden: Happy 4th Birthday!!

March 7, 2012

Dear Aiden,

Happy Birthday, baby boy! I can’t believe that you’re turning four. Quite literally, it feels like only just months have passed since we brought you home from the hospital, drunk with delirious love and amazement of how wonderful and how dang cute you were. The minute you were born you brought a new found joy and love unmatched by anything your father and I had ever felt before. We loved you so intensely in those early days and that love has grown larger and stronger through each passing day.

You are at the point in your life where independence is at the forefront of your thoughts and actions. You push aside our attempts to help you and demand that you do whatever task you fancy at that particular moment “all by yourself.” It’s so strange for me, as your mother, to have grown so accustomed to doing essentially every single thing for you from the very start of your life to step aside and let you grow and develop as a person and as a young boy. It’s a funny thing being a mother because it warms and swells my heart with such pride to see you grow and accomplish even the smallest of task and yet, it also saddens my heart to see you grow up, bigger, stronger and smarter, but also, more importantly, separate from myself and your father.

You have brought such joy in my life, Aiden. I don’t think it’s possible for me to truly extend in words how much you have changed my life for the better, how much your simple existence has forced me to grow into a better person, a better woman, and how much you truly mean to me. You will always and forever have my heart and without even the slightest of hesitation, I would easily give my life in order to protect yours. Your very happiness means the world to me.

Your smile is what I strive for as your mother and though this seemly simple task should be simple enough, it’s not. Your emotions are heavily-sided to each extreme at any given moment. Your happiness exudes out of your soul, proudly-stretched throughout your body and smile and in these many moments, I feel content and happy satisfaction that I’m doing something right. However, you will barrel onto the very opposite of happiness in a moment’s notice because your soul is extremely sensitive and each pain, imagined or otherwise, inflicts your very being. The truth is when you cry and coward in your pain, I want absolutely nothing, nothing, more than to hold you and soothe each and every last tear but yet, I’m torn with the responsibility that one day I can’t protect you and I can’t shield you from other’s inconsiderate inflictions.

The truth is I think the outside world is cruel and dumb and I think you’re amazing. I think you should be nothing more or less than who you want to be but I love you and I want you to be happy, healthy, well-balanced and successful in anything your little heart pleases. Thus, I’m trying my best to help you find a balance because that’s what I think is best and I want nothing more than the best for you, Mr. Aiden.

I love you so much, Aidy. Watching you grow has been a joy and a challenge but I would do it all over again in a moment’s notice if given the chance. Happy Birthday, sweet boy!! I’m so happy that I’ve known you for the last four years. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you do with the next 100! I love you to the moon and back!

With the Sincerest of Loves,

Your Mommy