Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Think Like Nordstrom?

I came across a post on Facebook that a friend of mine liked from Nordstrom. It read:
"We believe Thanksgiving should have it's own day so we will not be putting up any Christmas decorations (or selling any) until the Friday AFTER Thanksgiving (BLACK FRIDAY)."
All of my life my family has waited until AFTER Thanksgiving to put up our Christmas tree and we kept it up until after New Years so my sister, whose birthday is on December 29th, could have a "Birthday Tree". We used to always take down all the Red and Green decorations and exchange them out for Hot Pink Birthday Streamers. This was really special to Allison and looking back I think it is a really neat tradition!
As an adult I have only had a Christmas tree about half of the time and I have usually put it up after Thanksgiving if at all. When I was single and living in an apartment, I did not bother in getting an artificial tree or real tree and usually just put up a wreath or garland in the Kitchen. Real festive, right? I wasn't really in the Christmas spirit! Now that I am married I have purchased an artificial tree and decorated it with ornaments Chris and I have received as gifts. Unfortunately, my beagle, Oxford, chewed through the branches of this tree while we still lived in Shawnee so this year I get to purchase a brand new tree.
However, I have yet to decide when to actually put up my tree and all my other Christmas decorations. Now that I have such a large house with multiple options and locations to decorate, I want to go "All Out" and make my home a "Winter Wonderland"! With all this decorating I want to have these decorations up for as long as possible since so much work will go into it. Yet, I still feel like I should not just over-look Thanksgiving... especially since it is one of my favorite Holidays!
A part of me really wants to get my tree up and decorated and start to transform my home now, especially since I am already listening to Christmas music at work and with my classes. But I just cant bring myself to do it! I want Thanksgiving to be about Thanksgiving!
What are you thoughts?
God is Good... All the Time!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Back to the old "GRIND"

Friday, November 2, 2012
This week has been so very long and tiring and i will go ahead and say it has been the week from well... you know where! I went back to work on Monday and since then, I have slept maybe 20 hours and have been physically and emotionally exhausted.
My nearly 5 month only who has been sleeping through the night for quite some time is deciding he needs to wake up on and off in the middle of the night and as soon as I am ready to walk out the door. I think it is going to take Luke a little while to get used to both Mommy and Daddy working and him spending the day with Gigi Jackie. Fortunately he has had great days while with Jackie but I can just tell his routine is messed up and it is going to take him a little while to adjust. On Monday and Tuesday he barely napped at all. Luckily yesterday, Thursday, he was able to nap for about an 1.5 hours. This helped alot and I know his sleeping schedule will continue to improve as he adjusts to his new daily routine.
Natalie has been acting and behaving fine but she is still dealing with "Clowns"  It all started at the AWANA back to school party where a clown was making balloon animals. One of the balloons popped and due to Natalie's sensitive ears she got really frightened and now associates that loud scary noise with clowns. Every night she says "No clowns", in fact she says this multiple times a day! When we say our nightly prayers she asks God to protect her from the clowns and says a memory verse that helps her remember God protects us! I am glad she is praying and turning to God for help and protection. I just don't know how to help her get over this fear. In fact, we did not even go to our church's Fall Festival because we knew there would be a clown there and it was going to be the exact same clown that scared her in the first place so we did not take any chances.
On Monday when I finally got back to work after 11 weeks off, SO MUCH had changed that the day itself was OVERWHELMING! In fact there were NUMEROUS times during the day that I just wanted to pack up my things and NEVER COME BACK! I was so very discouraged and upset. Now keep in mind that my emotions were running SKY HIGH due to having to leave the baby and a laundry list of other things but I was so very upset and discouraged at the end of the day!
I remember when I returned from Maternity leave with Natalie my band classes were a TOTAL mess and the kids were out of control and had BARELY learned ANYTHING! It practically took me the rest of the semester to clean up the mess that was made. This time around, my kids were great and under control. In fact, since there was a substitute, my classes were reading music and learning from a music textbook which I usually do not use since it is so basic and boring. A lot of my kids came to me this week and told me they actually LIKED the textbook. I am going to use these books more often now that I know they like them.
It wasn't my kids that had me discouraged but all the "Behind the scenes" and "Paperwork" stuff. I now know that we have faculty meetings EVERY Monday for 1.5 to 2 hours after school. Alot of this has to do with the TEA score we received last year as a campus. This is so frustrating because I got into this level of music teaching to avoid after school duties and hours. I just got so upset thinking to myself "If I am going to be at work til 5... I might as well be doing what I LOVE... TEACHING BAND". All day on Monday this was my attitude. I kept thinking "I have a Master's degree and I am teaching word for word out of the book. They seriously DO NOT NEED ME! The average Joe could do this job! In fact, the AVERAGE JOE did do this job while I was gone! I just want to go home and hold my baby!" I feel so under-used and under-appreciated! This makes me so sad!
The week got better with each passing day but even today I feel like I should be doing so much more with my career. I know I have to hold on and endure this "TEST OF FAITH" for another 7-8 months until June 1! I am very grateful to God for giving me this job and opportunity!
I have a passion for teaching and a passion for music... but right now all I can think about it my beautiful kiddos and how much I miss them! I know over the next few weeks, I will get back into the "Grind" and "Routine" and my feelings will change... Patience!
God is good... ALL THE TIME!

Hats Off

Friday, October 26, 2012

It has been FOUR months and my how the time has flown by. It seems only yesterday that I was laying on a hospital bed waiting to see my new baby boy! I had dreamed of having a baby boy all my life and the day had come to cut me open and get him out. It was a beautiful sunny HOT day in Houston/ Conroe and David Luke was about to make his grand entrance. At 1:30pm, baby Luke graced us all with hi presence and my life has never been the same since.

Since that sunny and hot day, it has continued to be HOT and humid but my how my boy and my life have changed. I spent practically the entire summer months taking care of my newborn and that in an of itself was a full-time job. Too many sleepless and restless nights waking up 4 and 5 times and nurse him, Changing 10-12 diapers a day and rocking that precious bundle of joy. Whew... By the time August came around I was exhausted. I felt like I needed a vacation! Hahaha... Little did I know at the time but a mother of 2 DOESN'T GET A VACATION!

The month of August was spent taking care of Luke ad then as soon as he was done eating and burping, I would go and get Natalie up and feed her breakfast and whatever else she needed. Before I knew it, the time was 11am and NOTHING had got done. I still had not showered or finished any chores or housework. Then within what seemed like seconds or minutes it was lunch time and one for Luke to eat again. Soon after lunch was nap time. I was never lucky enough to get nth of them I nap at the same time. Several times they overlapped by 20-30 minutes and I usually took that time clean or pack boxes. Of course at the end of the month, Chris started back teaching and I was on my own.
September came around and our move into our new house was getting closer and closer. I had NO TIME to pack boxes or get Dan and Jackie's house cleaned up from us living there. I was constantly trying to get both kids fed, cleaned and taken care of. I remember on September 3rd, the day BEFORE my 30th birthday, my mom and sister took me to get a pedicure and I felt like I literally won a MILLION DOLLARS. In fact, that is what I would have paid for that pedicure at the time. It was GLORIOUS! Thank you Mom and Allison for taking me! I loved it!
The rest of September kinda dragged because we were supposed to close Mid-September on the 14th but ended up closing a week later on the 21st. So between trying to pack boxes and clean and then actually MOVE into our new house... My poor kiddos were exhausted and so was I. When we finally did get moved into the new house and we were able to sleep there, all I wanted to do was just rest... BUT WAIT, I still had to take care of my little angels. There were bottles and feedings and baths and play times (in the new "Kitchen" of Natalie's... which is AWESOME by the way). Wow... Thank goodness I was not working at the time... I don't think I would have made it!
October came and went so fast. I was able to get most of the boxes unpacked and even hang a few pictures on the walls. Much to the disliking of both of my kids. I guess they don't like the sound of a hammer to a drywall! Several times I would have to just put Luke in the swing and I would go and clean the kitchen or vacuum or decorate because if I didn't get it done before i went back to work, I knew it would not get done til January since the Holidays are just around the corner. Several times I would put him in the swing crying and eventually (Like 10 minutes) he would just fall asleep or give up on crying. I hated doing that to a 4 month old but Mama HAD TO GET STUFF DONE!
Bottom line... I DON'T KNOW HOW STAY AT HOME MOMS DO IT! This is HARD WORK. And I only have 2 kids.... How do moms of 3 and 4 even survive? I barely have a moment to myself... TO SHOWER, let alone do anything else like clean the house or go grocery shopping (in fact i usually take BOTH kids to get groceries, my LEAST favorite part of a week). I have so many friends who are "Stay at home moms" and they have such well behaved kids, a clean house and a beautiful demeanor about them. I, on the other hand, after only 4 months of being a stay at home mom, am ready to pull my hair out and my house is NOWHERE near close to as clean as I would like!
I just don't know how y'all do it! Anyone out there that has a suggestion, I AM ALL EARS! Hats off to you wonderful STAY AT HOME MOMS! You are AMAZING! Please send some of your energy my way!
I love my kiddos SO MUCH and i am so VERY GRATEFUL for being able to spend this time with them! I will never get this time back and they grow up WAY TOO FAST so I am so glad I got to be home with them when I did! God blessed me with this time and for that I am FOREVER GRATEFUL!
Even for this Non-So- Good Stay at home mom...