Sunday, October 28, 2012

Moving Day!

We're moving! All of the stuff in the corner, the large desk, and children are all being moved today!  The movers will be here shortly to load up all the stuff minus the kids, but if they wanted to take them too, I wouldn't complain. (haha, kidding).

As some of you may or may not know, we recently moved to New York. We tend to move a lot. I've always been used to moving. In fact, I've moved over twenty times into a new place. I've lived in five different states (Missouri, Utah, California, North Carolina, and now New York). Whew.

I've been giving a lot of thought about change lately. It is not easy, and I don't enjoy moving. However, I enjoy being able to "start over", learn new things about myself, and above all meet new people. I've met some amazing people from all the times I have moved, and I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I would have stayed in just one place. One question I always get asked is "how do you do it"? It is hard for others to imagine moving away from family, friends, and what they know as norm. Yet, this is what I've been used to. I feel like my friendships mean more to me, because I understand that sometimes we can't be in the place as those we love. I feel as if I talk to people more when I'm away from them,because I don't want to lose contact with them. I also feel as if I can honestly say I know the meaning of "distance makes the heart grow fonder". I think my ability to endure long distance relations is what makes Daniel and I so close. When he was deployed, I was still able to feel close with him. Likewise, I'm able to maintain friendships and closeness with my family members.

I wanted to write this post to clarify a few things. First, yes, I miss everyone at home. Second, I'm starting to enjoy New York a little more every day, and third, I'm (as well as everyone else) stronger than I thought. I will survive this move, just like I survived moving to a new place before. Don't worry, I will miss all of you just as much as I did before. I also want to encourage others to step out of their comfort zone. Sometimes, we learn the most about ourselves we aren't stuck in the same routine. Life is an adventure; go explore! Oh, and home is where we make it. I love that no matter where I go, as long as I have my little family, my life is complete.

I'd love to hear about your experiences moving or visiting a new place! If you have any, please comment or send me a private message on Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Five Important Lessons I've Learned as a Mom.

Why is it  every time I go somewhere in public, get an important phone call, or have something particularly important I need to accomplish, my kids act...well, like kids.

I used to find myself overwhelmingly embarrassed when they would throw a fit about something small. I think I do a fairly good job when it comes to keeping my composure when they have these fits. However, I've found that if I'm able to just laugh at the situation, it lightens not only my mood but their mood too.

Since we've moved to NY, there have been several times where I've just had to laugh at my screaming children or  resign myself to certain arguments. Mind you, I'm not giving in, but I'm picking my battles. I wish I would have learned to "pick my battles" earlier, because I find not only do I look at situations and feel as if I can conquer them (oh, walk a mile to Target and back with two small children? Sure! Why not?), but I also feel as if I'm starting to enjoy my kids more.

Here are some important lessons I've learned about picking my battles, getting my kids to behave, and lessons I've learned as a mom in general:

1. Seeing Santa, going to the Pumpkin Patch, or any other cheesy childhood tradition is not worth it...until your child is at least five*.
*Each child is different, maybe your child has always loved seeing Santa. Mine, not so much.

When I was pregnant with our second son, I decided that I would drag Allen to the pumpkin patch, and to see Santa. I didn't go the year before, because I felt he was too young. I thought that he would enjoy it more, and so would I. WRONG. Not only was he terrified of Santa, but it ruined his entire day as well as mine. Afterwards we attempted lunch, where he would not stay seated, fussed about everything, and refused to eat his food. Here is a little glimpse of our Santa experience:

Plugging his ears and not listening.

2. Have a Plan, but Prepare for ANYTHING.
I don't know why I insisted on seeing Santa. A couple of months prior to this, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to take Allen to a pumpkin patch. Where we lived, the pumpkin patch was an hour and a half away. It took my friend Jenn (also pregnant and had a toddler too) and I almost three hours to get there. Between the stops to get gas, changing diapers, and eating lunch, by the time we arrived to the pumpkin patch we were exhausted. We parked, walked to what we thought was the field for pumpkins. We then found out that in order to get to the pumpkins we would have to wait in a thirty minute line, catch a 15 minute hayride, pick a pumpkin, ride the hayride back, and stand in another ridiculously long line to pay for the pumpkins. Since we didn't have six arms, we decided that this would be a bad idea to attempt with two,now fussy toddlers, while seven months pregnant. Instead, we opted to take pictures (did I mention we discovered we forgot our cameras too, and we had to use our phones?):
Please, take note Allen is mad.

Allen steals Lyla's squash.

STILL not looking at the camera, but at least a war didn't break out between him and Lyla.
While our pumpkin patch experience didn't go as planned, we made the best out of our situation. It is a memory that we both still laugh at. Every time I attempt to go somewhere planned like this, I prepare for anything. If things don't turn out as I envisioned, it is not the end of my world. At the time this happened, I will admit I was disappointed, but there have been many other times since this experience where things don't go as planned, and it is okay.

3. Don't change your plans, because you are scared of how they will act in public.

I don't know how many times I've avoided going to dinner, because I'm scared of how my kids will act in public. Our recent move to New York has forced me to take my kids out in public more. For instance, I have to walk to the grocery store and pretty much everywhere. For about three weeks I refused to take them shopping with me. I would always wait until my husband was off work or on the weekends. I then asked myself "why"? Do I really want to be stuck inside my house all day? I didn't really know how I was going to carry everything, and I was nervous about making Allen walk back instead of ride in his stroller. It then dawned on me that I was only making myself stir-crazy at home. I would never know what type of experience it would be if I didn't experience it. Not only that, but they wouldn't be able to learn  what I expected of them, if I didn't have an opportunity to teach them. I will now make a point to take them with me to dinners where our family is invited, I will take them to the store with me, or I will take them with me to run errands, because they need to learn how to act. Otherwise, they will never learn and will constantly misbehave.

We survived!

4. Bribe them.

Yes, bribe them. That way they learn their good behavior will be rewarded. Here is an example in pictures:

NO picture.
Me: "Allen, if I give you candy, will you smile?"

Letting him have  a piece...

I held up my end, and he held up his end of the bargain. Win. 

5. Laugh.

I have fun with my kids, but I always felt like other people were able to have more fun with them. I couldn't figure out why. Then, I realized it is because they know how to laugh and have fun with my kids. Instead of always worrying about if my kids are behaving or if they need to be disciplined for something, they just enjoy my kids. I'm not saying to neglect your parental duties, but lighten up. Since I've been able to laugh at every situation more, the little things my kids used to do that would irritate me don't seem to phase me. For instance,taking off their shoes in public, getting mad when we couldn't buy a toy, or talking extra loud in a store to name a few. I now laugh when Mason pulls off his shoes. He doesn't want to wear them while in the stroller? Fine. Allen throwing a fake fit? I laugh. He then sees he looks ridiculous while faking his tantrum and laughs too. The toy? Forgotten about.  Loud talking in a store? Whisper in Allen ear in a funny voice to make him laugh and he will whisper back. And sometimes, it is important to go out of your way to laugh and be silly. Here is a perfect example:

Thanks, Emily for helping me learn the importance of always being goofy no matter what.

Because sometimes you have to be goofy.
Silly faces are important.
It's okay, spit happens.

Closing thoughts...
I'm not perfect. I'm still learning things everyday about it what it means to be a parent. It's not easy. Some days are easier than others. One thing, however, remains constant: no matter how difficult I think it might be, I couldn't imagine my life without these two precious boys. They inspire me to a better person, they encourage me to laugh more, and they show me each day the important role I play in their lives as their mom.  I'm sure I will need to revisit this post to remind myself of these things that they have taught me, but that is okay. I still have a lot to learn, and I'm excited for our ongoing adventure together.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I'm still new to blogging. I've decided that I want to add "pages", but I'm having a hard time adding multiple posts to them. It is so frustrating because each page is meant to be a stand-alone page. Yeah, gives me a headache trying to figure it all out. However, I feel like I have made some progress. I really like my new layout. I also figured out how to add a Facebook button under the "contact me" me tab! Woo hoo!

 Let me tell you a little bit about each section of my blog and what I hope to achieve. The "About Me" section you will find some information about myself. A really short bio, but I'm assuming everyone already knows everything they need to know about me for now. If not, read my blog entries! :) In the "Recipes" section I plan on posting some of my favorite recipes. I plan on trying some new things out I find on Pinterest too, so it should be a lot of fun posting out them! In the "picture perfect" section I plan on uploading some of my favorite photos. I love pictures. I hope you enjoy the new look as much as I do! I plan on posting recipes tomorrow! Make sure to check back!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Allen is FOUR!

ALLEN IS FOUR! Please, watch the video above. When Allen was two, this was his favorite song. He is now so excited that he is FOUR! Yes, we've listened to it about five times already this morning. :)

Thinking about his birthday, I can't believe it has been four years ago that I first met him. Without being too mushy, I'm going to share with you the day he was born. First, let me back-up and share that through out the entire pregnancy, Daniel was on his first deployment in Afghanistan, We found out three days before he left that would we be expecting a baby. It felt like the longest nine months of my life. Not only was Daniel gone, but I will admit I'm the worst pregnant person you would ever hope to be around. I'm sure there are a lot of stories that my family and friends could share about the entire experience. Some might include my cravings, carrying plastic bags with me everywhere, tons of doctors visits, and excessive amounts of complaining. Everyone was happy when the news that I would be induced on October 22nd. Daniel came back to Kansas City from his deployment on the 19th. The next two days we did some last minute preparations before Allen came. We were staying with Daniel's grandparents, and I think they were just as excited as we were. I don't know if they got much sleep the night before, but I know I didn't. We got up at 4am, decided to get ready, and arrived at the hospital almost forty minutes early. By 6am, I was in a room, and ready for the long day ahead. Since I was induced, the nurse said I would probably get really hot, so she turned the air down really low. Daniel, my mom, and Fifi, all sat in the room with me in their coats.Each one of them took turns sitting next to me and rubbing my arm. I pretty much slept through my contractions. I have a high tolerance for pain, which I'm thankful for. I didn't even need an epidural  Thank goodness, because I HATE needles. By 4pm, I was dilated to a 10. My mom and Fifi left the room, and at 5:20pm Allen was born. Daniel cut the cord, and I instructed him to make sure to take pictures. He made sure to get a few, and then the doctor took one of us together. Not long after that, the room was full with family and Jill came too! Lots of pictures and doting over Allen took place. Fifi went and got Daniel and I McDonald's. we were starving! By 9pm, everyone finally left. By almost midnight, we were taken to the room we would spending the night with. Allen was taken for a bath and brought back to us. One of my fondest memories is sitting in the hospital bed with Daniel and just staring at Allen. We both didn't sleep for the longest time, because all we wanted to do was just look at him. The three of us finally fell asleep in the hospital bed together. 

Now it's been four years since that special day. Each day, my love for Allen grows more and more. I didn't know it was possible to love so much, but it is. I can't believe how fast he growing. Each day he learns something new. Each day he brings me more happiness. Daniel and I couldn't be more in love with our little "Daniel clone". From the stories I've heard, he lives up to his namesake, his Uncle Allen, by being a "tease", having "cool" hair, and his infectious personality that makes him so lovable no matter what he does. Daniel's Grandpa even pointed out to me that Allen was born on the 22nd--his Uncle Allen's football number growing-up. I've always thought that was neat.

I look forward to watching Allen grow. Happy Birthday, Allen! 

Allen's 20-Questions on his birthday! 

1. What is your favorite color? "Purple"

2. What is your favorite toy? "My Spiderman toy! all of my toys!"

3. What is your favorite fruit? "Apple!"
4. What is your favorite tv show? "Superhero show!" The Avengers cartoon
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? "pizza roll"
6. What is your favorite outfit? "This one!" His green gap shirt with blue stripes. He happens to be wearing it now.
7. What is your favorite game? "It goes around, and swish!" He is trying to describe the game to me. It is a game on his tablet. It is a motorcycle racing game.
8. What is your favorite snack? "vampire cereal!" Count Chocula!
9. What is your favorite animal? "cats"
10. What is your favorite song? "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" Yes, we sing it!
11. What is your favorite book? "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" Yes, we read it too!
12. Who is your best friend? "My momma!" This melts my hearts. I was for sure he was going to say "Daddy!"
13. What is your favorite cereal? "Strawberry!" Frankenberry 
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? "Water flowers"
15. What is your favorite drink? "chocolate milk"
16. What is your favorite holiday? "Christmas!"
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? "My blanket and kitty"
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? "pizza roll"
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?"French Fries" Looks like it's a McDonald's night! 
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? "Like my daddy!" 

Waiting. I'm not happy about getting my picture my picture taken. Take note, Daniel is in his coat, because the room is FREEZING.

YOU are my mother?!

Talking to baby Allen :)

Little toes.

Little fingers.

In Great Grandpa Cherry's baby bonnet. 


Allen was supposed to be due on my Great Grandma's birthday. I'm so happy that she got to meet him. Allen was her fist great-great-grandbaby!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New look!

I think I've FINALLY figured out this blog template thing. I really like the new look. 

Today at our house we are currently searching for Daniel's phone. We haven't been able to find it anywhere. I decided to ask Allen. Here is our conversation:

Me: Allen, where is Daddy's phone?

Allen: My baby hid it.

Me: Oh, really? Where did he hide it? If you find it, you can have a piece of candy!

Allen: Well, my baby hid it. I don't know where it is. He put it in the diaper box, then it went away. Can I have candy now?

Me: ((looking in the closet in the diaper box)) Um, no. No candy until we find Daddy's phone. 

Just so everyone knows, I still have the candy. We are still phoneless. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's been awhile...

Hello, Bloggers!

Wow, it's been awhile.

So much has changed. I have no idea where to begin on my life "update".

* We moved from North Carolina! Daniel got a job in Kansas City. Thanks to all those who helped me move! :) ((You know who you are!...and each one of you are simply amazing!)) Ohhh, and my mom and I won on scratchers! Woot!

I miss these ladies! I miss their sweet kids too! 
The last group photo. :(
Emily came to NC to help me move too! She also took me out for Mother's Day. :) 

*We lived with my mother-in-law. It was a full house: mother-in-law, father-in-law, twin sister-in-laws, and us. Not to mention all the extra little visitors every Friday. As you can see, life has been overwhelmingly busy. I just didn't have time to blog, and I let my blog get away from me for over a year now!
The boys! 
Being silly!

My "kids" modeling their Easter outfits! 

* Allen started pre-school at New Trails! He LOVED it! He had Ms. Nancy. She was amazing. We miss her very much. We've made up for not going to school every day by doing the "Bear Hunt" every time we think about it. :) And yes, I cried when I put him on the for the first time. In fact, I teared up every time I sent him off to school for about two weeks!

* I fell in love with Vampire Diaries. (Thank-you Stacey!)

* We enjoyed Los Corrales Fridays! ...or Salty Iguana. Oh, and Gates! How can I forget Gates? Or LC's?! Okay, I'm really missing home now!

*Allen attended occupational therapy for his sensory dysfunction. He is doing a lot better speaking and using his fine motor skills. :) Thanks to his therapist Nancy!

*I've been obsessed with cake making. It has been so much fun! I think my favorite cake was the one Britt and I made for Allen's "birthday". Britt, if you read this, I still think we need to go into business together. We would have so much fun!
AJ's Yo Gabba Cake!
Stacey and I experimented with fondant. This is Faye's Birthday cake!
Easter/ Jen's Birthday/ Montana's Birthday Cake!
Bella's Puppy Birthday Cake!

Nana's Birthday Cake! Yes, I know in this picture the "t" is not crossed. I couldn't find the picture where it was. Oops. 
Allen's Green Lantern Birthday Cake! This is the one Britt and I made. It is by far my favorite! 
Bud's Angry Bird Cake!

Dakota's Cat-Cat Cake! Montana and I made this! This is also another favorite!

*We became close to our extended family members. We attended church with Uncle "Papa" Jay and Aunt Tamey. We also had breakfast or lunch every Sunday with Grandma and Grandpa Cherry. As well as, seeing my mom, Skip, Nana, Papa, "Kota", and "Tana".  Not to mention, Uncle James, Aunt Tracy, Maria, Emily, Jen. We enjoyed many get-togethers with them as well!

*Thanks to Kristin and Stacey for getting me obsessed with books!

*Texas trip with Grandpa Cherry and Papa Jay!

*I'm obsessed with gel nails! :) And I miss Fifi's nail dryer and nail colors.  Thanks to Lauren for her awesome tip on how to remove the colors. :)

*Rachel got nominated for Homecoming princess! And we were a minute late to the crowning thanks to Daniel's slow driving.

*I became close with my sister-in-law Jackie. We had a few lunch dates with kids. It was fun. :)

* Most of all, I learned a lot about myself when I was home. I learned about the importance  of my family. It doesn't matter where you live, but who you have with you. I would have to say that my love for my husband has grown so much this past year. We have  proved to each other that we can conquer anything. My "babies" are growing so much! Allen will be 4 on the 22nd of this month! And little Mason is almost 2! Where did the time go?!

*Daniel got a job with Microsoft about a month ago...which brings me to my biggest update yet....WE MOVED TO NEW YORK! I'm so proud of my husband. He does all he can to work hard, and to make sure we have a comfortable life. I appreciate all his long hours of studying and sacrifices he makes. I used to complain about the long hours he would request for studying, but they've paid off. He teaches me patience every day.

The view from our temporary apartment!
Driving to NY. They were so good on the trip.

Going on a walk!

Whew. I know there is so much more I could write about, but if you've been following me on Facebook, chatting with me via text or phone, then everything in between you know about. Chances are you probably wouldn't want to read every last little detail I have to write about. To be honest, I think I've probably written too much already. If I forgot anything, my apologies. I can't tell you how many times I've been pulled away from typing this.  Let's move forward, shall we?

Going forward, I'm going to try to update this every other day. Not only do I want to include what is going on my life, but I also want to post recipes too. If there is anything you'd like to see on here or any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment! Oh, and expect lots of pictures. I love pictures.