Thursday, October 31, 2013

No-Cell-Vember 2013

Ok, to say "no-cell-vember" is a bit drastic. 
The real goal for the month of November is to get my face out of the cell phone all the time, which means taking a break from and saying no to social networking.
I KNOW that I'm not the only person who spends a significant portion of their day scrolling up and down the screen of their smart phone.  The average person checks their smart phone 150 times a day. ( SOURCE )
If that person is awake for 16 hours a day, that's 9.5 times every hour.  That's once about every 6 minutes.  Are you that person?  Some days, I'm that person.
That embarrasses me.  I mean, it's 2013 and technology is awesome.  But life still goes on around us.  How many times have we missed a funny joke, or had to ask someone to repeat what they said because we were reading an article, or scrolling our new feeds?
How often have we (parents) missed something adorable or funny - or noble/respectable??? - that our kids did because we were writing a post on someone's wall?
I'm going to give up Facebook and Instagram during the month of November, since those are the social networks that suck away the majority of my time.  It's going to be challenging.  But I don't want to miss out on life as it passes right by me.
(The one and only exception is that I will be sharing a blog post on facebook this Saturday.  It's a personal post that's very close to my heart, and I want it out there.)
Jameson marks a milestone this month. Hendrix turns four.  We get the boys on their very first airplane ride.  We visit with family and friends in Indiana. We decorate for Christmas.  Oh, if ever there was a month to get my face out of the cyber world and really engage in life - this is the month!
I'll still be posting on the blog.  Please feel free to share the link to this blog with anyone you choose. 
I'll still be taking pictures with my phone, because I much prefer taking and editing pictures right from the phone, rather than carrying around a separate camera.
But I won't be on Facebook.  I won't be on Instagram.  My phone will be in my purse or pocket when I'm not taking photos.
Instead, I'll be watching my boys play and grow up.  I'll be conversing with my husband.  I'll be laughing with my friends and family.  I'll be baking cookies with the kids.  I'll be bowling with my niece at her birthday party. I'll be helping my mom prepare meals for us to enjoy while we are at her house.  I'll be living, and it's going to be fantastic.

October #photoaday Days 21-31

I did it!  I fell way behind, but managed to catch up, and I finally completed a month worth of photo prompts. :)

Before we begin, I'd just like to say one thing:  Let's hurry up and get Halloween over with and move on to the Thanksgiving and Christmas season!

Ok, without further adieu...

Day 21: Then and Now
Pregnant with Hendrix in 2009.  No-mo-babies in 2013.
Day 22: Change
...and a button.
Day 23: Mood today
Day 24: Dark
and gloomy day.
Day 25: Welcome
To November.  Stay tuned. More on this coming in a few hours.
I think this should be edited to say "Life is what happens around you while you're looking at your smartphone."
Day 26: Depth of Field
Yeah, wasn't sure about this prompt, so I winged it. 
Day 27: Peaceful
 I sneakily snuck my phone through the door frame and covertly took this picture.  They had no clue.  Hehehehe. :)
Day 28: Just for me
This was dessert, and I wasn't sharing!  (Apples sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with honey.)
Day 29: Hair
Day 30: Wet
Day 31: Treat
Happy last day of October!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Potty Training Regression

As a health and fitness addict lover, I don't like that word.  As a mom, I don't like that word.  Heck, as a human being, I don't like that word!  But I suppose it's inevitable at some point, right?
I did the three-day potty training method back in August, and Jameson took to it wonderfully!  He's been doing fantastic ever since.
Monday night though, he wet the bed twice.  Yesterday afternoon, daycare called me and said that he'd wet his pants four times.  FOUR TIMES!

The picture I snapped of him at daycare, in TinkerBell pants, since he had no other clean clothes!
When a type 1 diabetic child starts peeing frequently and has the blood sugar numbers that he had yesterday,  type 1 diabetic moms WORRY.  I called the endocrinologist to request a new prescription of ketostix to check ketones, and checked as soon as we got home.  Ketones were trace, which did not allow them to be any kind of excuse for wetting himself six times in a 24-hour period.  Grr.

So no ketones was very good news, obviously.  But just left me frustrated.  I told him that if he makes it home in the same pants and undies that he wore to school today, I'll give him a treat.  Yep, I'm bribing him.  Sue me. :)
I spoke briefly to his teacher this morning and she said that yesterday, he looked her right in the eye, then proceeded to wet himself.  What a stubborn and defiant little person.
We'll see what today brings.  Hopefully it won't involve washing pee-soaked articles of clothing.  Gross.
At what age was your child potty-trained, if you have children?
Did you experience regression?
What potty-training method did you use?
Have a great hump day!



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Last Night was Epic

Hendrix had a headache.  I told him that maybe a warm bath or laying down would help him feel better, and we continued with our evening. 
He tried to play, then ended up laying down on the kitchen floor, with his arm draped over his eyes, moaning and groaning quietly every few minutes.
Obviously this isn't the normal Hendrix, so I gave him some Motrin, but told him he had to cuddle with me in order to get it.  Muahahaha. (He NEVER snuggles.  Too busy!)
So he climbed up into my lap, which threw Jameson into a fit of jealousy.  Matt dealt with Jamers, and after a stint on timeout due to a poor attitude, he decided that he would join us on the couch. 
So with Jameson nestled in the crook of my left arm, and Hendrix - having fallen asleep - in my right arm with Matt next to me on the couch, we watched Monday night football and had a giant cuddle fest.

It kinda made my heart feel like this:

It was pretty epic. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Recipe: Hummus and Crunchy Bread Sticks

Whew - a big ginormous hugemongous thanks to everyone that shared my previous post.  Over 14k views - that's crazy!  You guys rock.
Hope everyone had a great weekend.  We headed downtown for some trick-or-treating on Saturday afternoon, went to church Saturday evening, then watched one of those knock-off Disney Pixar movies on Netflix about zombies while we had homemade burgers and fries.  Not too shabby!
Sunday morning, we went through our garage, sorted things, threw lots of stuff away, and listed several things for sale.  The garage is now empty, which will save us $50 a month in rental fees, and hopefully we can make a few bucks off the things we have for sale.  I think I want to research this "minimalist living" thing.  Anyone out there do it? 
After we busted our booties with the garage for about 5 hours, it was time to relax and watch football!  (Let's NOT talk about how that Cowboys game ended, mmmmkay?)
One of my husband and I's favorite snacks is hummus.  It's just so darn tasty.  It can get caloric, but it's actually pretty good for long as you can control the amount you eat.  That's where I get myself into trouble!  Haha. 
Where we lived in Ohio, there was a middle-east market where I would buy my tahini and pita bread.  There's no such thing out here in western South Dakota, so I purchased the tahini off of Amazon, and I bought some french bread, cut it into strips, and baked it until it was hard.  It worked out wonderfully, though next time I think I'll season it with some butter and spices.
My recipe for hummus is pretty simple.
1-15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 c. tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. water
salt to taste
Optional: paprika and olive oil to drizzle on top
Measure out your tahini.
Then you want to turn your garlic from this:

into this.

Then, forget to take the pictures of your process.  But really, it's ok because it consists of putting all of the ingredients in your food processor, turning that mighty machine on high and standing back while it does all the work for a few minutes, until you get a creamy consistency.
Once I scoop it into the bowl, I like to drizzle olive oil on top, then sprinkle it with paprika.

You can eat it right away, but I prefer to refrigerate mine for a couple of hours and eat it cold.  Either way - YUM!

Pair it with a good beer of your choice and you've got a mighty fine football snack.  The beer may take away the healthy element a bit, but hey - it's the weekend, and you probably deserve it.

What did you do this weekend?
Do you like to watch football?  What team do you root for?
Are you a minimalist?  What advice do you have to offer someone who's interested in learning about it?
What are your plans and/or goals for the upcoming week?




Friday, October 25, 2013

Why My Kids Are NOT the Center of My World

Wait, what did she say?  Yeah, you read that right. 
This blog post is a bit of a rant and it's a bit all over the place.  My kids are NOT the center of my world, and that's quite simply because they aren't the center of any world, anywhere.
If you're feeling adventurous today, feel free to read on.  I'll forewarn you though, this post contains subject matter about which I feel very strongly.  As are most emotionally heated issues - I suppose it's controversial.  But hey, I feel how I feel and that's not going to be changed.
The emotions that sparked this blog post were given a little bit of a supercharge last evening.  Hendrix was picking out what he wanted to take to school for Show & Tell.  He chose a little Imaginext action figure - one that he's had for about two years now.  With the action figure comes a little yellow object.  For the two years that he's had this toy, that yellow object has always been a drill to him.  He gathered the action figure, the mask that goes with him, and the yellow drill and proudly told me he'd chosen that for Show & Tell.  Then, you could see him thinking.  And he promptly changed his mind and said to me, "You know what, I better not take this.  My teacher will probably think it's a gun, and then I'll get in trouble," put the action figure back, and chose something else.
I often think about the world my boys will grow up in.  I often get angry when I think about it.  This particular situation just furthered those emotions for me.
In completely selfish terms, bringing my boys into this world was such a great decision - for me.  They bring me so much joy, they fill my heart, they make me happy.  But I often question whether or not it was the right decision for them.  My boys are typical little boys.  They love to play guns.  They love to play good guy versus bad guy.  They love to wrestle and be rowdy.  That's the nature of little boys, as it has been since the beginning of time.
How long will it be before their typical boy-ish behavior gets them suspended from school?  How long before they get suspended from daycare???  How long will it be before one of them gets upset with a friend, tells that friend to go away and leave them alone, and subsequently gets labeled as a bully?
The mentality of our society in 2013 is nauseating to me, friends. 
Many years ago, there was a time where young boys could run around with their toy guns, killing the bad guys.  You could take the toy guns away from the little boys, and they'd find something else around them - a stick, their fingers, etc -  and pretend it was a gun.  Today, those little boys - if caught doing that - are labeled as threats, and immediate action is taken to remove that threat from the group.
There was a time - not too long ago - when bullying was defined as slamming someone up against a locker and stealing their lunch money.  There was a time when kids got called names and got picked on, and they brushed it off and worked through it (ask me how I know this).  Now, if Sally calls Susie a bitch (please excuse my language if that offends you), Susie's whole world crumbles around her, she contemplates suicide, and this society encourages her to feel like her world truly has ended, and she should feel entitled to a world-wide pity party.  And Sally - phew!  She should be jailed!  She should be thrown in juvenile detention for acting like - gasp - a teenage girl acts.
Modern parenting and thinking makes me crazy.  The young generations of today (yes, I sound old.  I realize I'm only 29 years old.) are being taught that they shouldn't have to ever put up with anything doesn't make their hearts feel like rainbow colored unicorns are running around pooping skittles onto piles of marshmallows.
Modern parenting is creating a generation that's not going to be able to function in society.
  Your child, who you cater to every need, who you shelter from all things "evil."  How will this child react when he or she grows into adulthood?  "Debbie" graduates from high school and goes to college.  She writes her first paper and meets with her professor about that paper and the professor tells her that it's junk and it will get a failing grade.  How will Debbie cope with that if she's always been made to feel that no one should ever make her feel sad, or criticize anything she does?
"Donna" graduates from college and gets a job - you know, in the real world.  She has to work on a committee to come up with a marketing plan.  She shoots out an idea, and it gets immediately turned down.  What is she to do?  Go home and cry because no one liked her idea?  Quit her job because she can't handle rejection?
Modern parents, who drop everything all the time to sit and play with the child, who "needs attention," or drop what they're doing to help the child the second he or she gets frustrated?  How is Joey going to deal with the fact that there won't be anyone in his adult life who's willing to stop what they're doing, stop living their busy lives, to cater to his every whim?
How do you think Billy is going to cope in the real world, when his boss gives him a vague task to complete, and offers no helpful information as to how to complete this task?  Mr. Boss is certainly not going to hold Billy's hand and help him through the task.  Mr. Boss expects it to be completed by Monday.  How has Billy been prepared to use his critical thinking and problem solving skills to be able to complete that task?  He hasn't.
I certainly hope that the title of this blog post is starting to make sense.  Parents who make their children the center of their universe are not doing anyone any favors.  Obviously, as parents, we love our children more than anything.  But dropping everything to cater to their every need is only going to lead to a very rude awakening once they enter the real world.
I'm not telling anyone how to parent, and I'm far from perfect myself.  But when my kids can't find something, I refuse to help them until they've at least made a concerted effort to find it themselves.  This isn't being mean, it's teaching them to at least attempt to solve a problem themselves before just giving up and asking for help. 
When the TV gets turned off after the allotted time on the weekends, my kids are instructed to go play together in their room.  I love and miss them during the work week, but I am not just a mom, I'm also Matt's wife, I'm also Stephanie, and I also run our household.  There are things I have to get done, and my boys understand that.  My children - while Matt and I  both spend time playing with them - understand that the world doesn't begin and end with them.  This allows them to find ways to entertain themselves, it builds imagination, and it teaches them to get along with each other without constant intervention.
We follow the rules and don't take toy guns or weapons to daycare.  But I'll be darned if my boys aren't allowed to be little boys when they're at home.  They have several toy guns and it's constantly a good guy vs. bad guy battle in my house.  I feel like this teaches them to do the things they want to do, while respecting other's rules and regulations.  It also teaches them that there are differing opinions about things in this world and that's ok.  We can like and believe in the things we want, while respecting that others may not agree with us.
My children are all but ignored when they ask for something without using manners.  They understand that when someone addresses or speaks to them, they are to speak back.  When we go out to eat, we don't take 5 electronic devices to keep them "entertained" for the 15 minutes we have to wait for our food.  If Hendrix is "bored" (and I use that term loosely), then he can put on his jacket and go play outside.
Everyone parents differently, and I respect that. The current generation may be one that expects nothing less than everything from this world.  But I know of two gentlemen that are going to be able to accept failure and move on having learned something from it. 

I know of two gentleman who will be hurt emotionally, but who will be able to work through the hurt and carry on with life.  I will cushion the emotional fall as much as a mom can, but I will not completely prevent it from happening. They will not expect whoever hurt them to be punished.  Heck, I might even teach my children the power of forgiveness. 

These two gentlemen will understand the value of hard work, and know that hard work is required to get where one wants to be in life. 

They will, while understanding the need for caution, appreciate that not everyone out there is out to get them.  Not everyone is out to do evil things. 

These gentlemen will understand that there are about a gazillion people in this world.  While they are incredibly special to me and my family, they are not special to the world.  That probably sounds terrible, but people!  It's the harsh truth, and it needs embraced!

I know that I can't change the mindset of modern parents.  That's never been and never will be my goal.  I just want to make sure that I raise my sons to grow into respectable men who can thrive and succeed, due to having been prepared to do so.

My kids are not the center of my world because I love them enough not to allow them to be.

Have a great weekend, friends.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October #photoaday: Oct 8-20

I'm playing catch-up a bit, sorry if these pictures are lame!  Hehehe.

Day 8: Corner
Day 9: Pink
I finally broke out a scarf for the first time this season!
I really love the "sketch" effect on my photo-editing app.

Day 10: Hands
That bathroom didn't know what hit it!

Day 11: M is for...
Machines! Muscles!

Day 12: Below
My super organized and genius fabric storage solution.
*red face*

Day 13: Watching
This little man play legos.  I just love his imagination.

Day 14: Favorite Space
My little corner of the world where I can relax, read, and close my eyes for some - usually - much needed rest! (No, we don't have a box spring or bed frame, don't ask, don't judge.  kthanks.)

Day 15: Secret
Yeah, I don't know.

Day 16: Leafy
I do love the views of the Black Hills that I drive through every day!

Day 17: 1st World Problems
Only 3 buns for 4 people, and the loaf of bread was frozen. Darn the luck!
Day 18: Still
Still feeling the last effects of my pre-workout as I sip a cup of coffee.  :)
Day 19: A Good Day
Date night!
Day 20: Open
Playing in the open space between apartment buildings!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Date Night Weekend Recap

I started out the weekend with a workout on Saturday morning, not unusual.  But there's a new kiosk at my gym where you can pick a video workout class and do it on a projector screen - all on demand.  I went along with one for about 5 minutes, but kind of felt like an idiot so I moved on quickly.  But such a cool idea!
Those are my legs under that screen!  Hehehe.
After the gym, I popped this pumpkin French toast bake into the oven and enjoyed it with Matt.  It was good, but not fantastic.
Matt worked for a few hours Saturday morning, then we rested, then got ready and had our first date night in over six months.  Long overdue!
I made this clutch on Saturday afternoon to take on our date!
We decided to go to Fuji - it's a sushi bar and hibachi steakhouse.  It was so delicious, and I'm already having cravings for it again!

Check out that knife holster thingy!

After dinner, we'd planned to stop by karaoke.  Some people that Matt works with were going.  But once we found the bar, it seemed really shady, so we decided to keep right on rolling. Haha.  We tried Buffalo Wild Wings for a drink, but the wait was 30 minutes due to fights being on TV so we passed on that as well. 
We ended up getting a turtle sundae at Sonic, then stopping by Target on our way home.  We're just so darn exciting.
Matt worked again on Sunday morning.  After my cup of coffee, I bundled up the boys and we ran to Sam's club.  It was so darn cold and windy outside!

After nap time, the boys insisted on playing outside.  We bundled up.  I struggled to live through the cold and wind.  It amazes me how un-phased these kids are by cold temps. Bleck.
He's growing too fast, his pants are highwaters on him!
After dinner, Hendrix and I played Mario Party together while Matt watched the start of the Colts game in the bedroom.  It was so fun - my Hendrix is really growing up.

This picture is terribly grainy, but we were making mean faces at each other.  Haha.
All in all, it was a pretty good weekend.  The weekend coming up starts Halloween festivities, so hopefully I'll have more fun pictures to share with you next Monday!  Until then, have a great week!