Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Couple Time?? What is that?????

I agree with Nikki . . . .couple time is important.  But HOW????  I am still learning how to balance my wife/mother/work/house responsibilities.  As much as I hate to admit it . . . My Husband seems to have been pushed off to the side for the moment.  Work. . . I go everyday.  Can't say much more than that.  I love the people I work with . . . but I hate my job.   I want to be home taking care of my family.  I know that and I also know there is nothing I can do about it.  Thankfully, my husband helps with the house responsibilities and does a great job at it!  The mother responsibility is fabulous, but I don't get enough time with her.

My day consists of getting up at 4:50.  I leave for work at 6 am.  Work from 6:30 - 3:30.  Get home around 4:15.  Get some loving from my beautiful daughter if she is awake.  We play for an hour and then I start dinner and she goes in her seat.  Bath time is after dinner and then bed around 7:30.  THEN it's time for laundry and cleaning until my bedtime around 10.  Then up a few times to get Gabrielle . . .and back at it again.  How do I manage this better????  It's not working.  I don't get enough time with Gabrielle and I DEFINITELY don't get enough time with my husband.  I'm not sure when we actually had a conversation about something other than our daughter.  If only we lived in a perfect world . . . .

How do you balance your duties???

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How the smallest things can remind you of your kids

The post that I just recently blogged about in regards to husband and wife alone time, leads me to this posting.  Like I said before, we all need our alone time with our spouses, but it just surprises me how the most annoying thing to some people can be the one thing that makes us miss our child/children when we're away from them.

When my husband and I were out to dinner after the football game, we were having a nice dinner and talking more than we had talked about nonsense in such a long while.  Everything was going great and I wasn't wanting the night to end until....I heard a kicking and screaming kid!  Yes, that can be annoying to someone or most people, but it saddened me.  It reminded me of one of the best things I am in my life besides a wife, A Mother.  When I heard that child scream, I told my husband, that reminds me of our kids.  I was then ready to go home and give my kids the biggest hug and kiss and never let go.  Now I'm not saying that my kids are out of control, but we all have those screamers and kickers at times.

God put me on earth for a number of reasons and I know two of them are being a wife and mother.  I love being both, but coming home everyday and seeing my kids smiles and getting there hugs and kisses is the greatest reward in life. 

Everyone needs husband and wife alone time

My husband and I, like most parents, don't get too much alone/date nights.  He owns a business, so his hours are usually long and most of the time you never know how to plan your evening or even weekends.  Therefore, when we do make plans, it's always at the last minute.  But he is the greatest husband and dad that I could ever ask for. 

So since we don't get alot of alone time, usually once a year, he usually plans something wonderful.  We're huge Colt's fans, even though the season is awful this year, but we stick with them through the bad times.  For my birthday, he bought us Colt's football tickets on Sunday.  I had a hunch, but he didn't officially tell me until Saturday evening and I didn't even know where our seats were until we sat down.  Needless to say, he hit the jackpot with our seats and I was speechless. 

Even though it was just a football game and a dinner, we needed that alone time.  I believe every couple needs that, because sometimes we all get caught up in our crazy busy lives and forgot what is mostly important...the love you and your spouse share. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

I will definitely have to try this at Thanksgiving!!
Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip
Time: 15 minutes prep + 4 hours refrigeration
Yield: 15 servings

1  12 oz package fresh cranberries
1/4 C green onion, chopped
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper
1 1/4 C sugar
1/4 t cumin
2 T lemon juice
dash salt
2  8 oz packages cream cheese

1. Put your cranberries in a food processor. I used my mini chopper. You could also, just chop them up.

2. Chop up your green onion, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper into small pieces. Careful of the seeds now. Throw on a pair of rubber gloves or something, please. The seeds are the hot part of the pepper. If you don't like a lot of heat on the old pallet, just leave the jalapeno out.

3. Add all ingredients (but the cream cheese and the wheat thins) into a bowl. Mix them all together, cover and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours. The sugar needs some time to soak in to the cranberries and break up their bitter taste.  

4. When you are ready to serve, place your cream cheese bricks on a plate.

5. Spread the cream cheese out as evenly as you can.

6. Pour your cranberry mixture over the cream cheese.

7. Spread it all around.
8. Serve immediately with Wheat Thins, Ritz Crackers or Tortilla Chips.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Encouraging, Don't Criticize . . . .

My husband and I love going to the bookstore.  On our latest trip, I picked up Starting Your Day Right . . . Devotions for Each Morning of the Year by Joyce Meyer.  Here is the devotional for today:

Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

We can improve our relationships with other by leaps and bounds if we become encourages instead of critics.  It is the greater person who does the right thing;  Christ's righteousness dwells in you to help you do what is right.  You are great in God's eyes when you choose to do right and bless others.

No matter how rough your day is today, speak words that up lift and encourage those around ou.  Encourage others if you notice them doing a good job -- not just those who work with you, but people wherever you go, such as store clerks, auto mechanics, and waiters.  Say something like, "I appreciate the extra effort you are making to do your job well."  You can change your life and someone else's by choosing to speak positive words. 

 This one really made me think about the way I talk to the people I love.  I'm a pretty happy person.  I try to find the positive in most things.  However, there are times when I want to be honest and say how I feel.  Let's say I don't like someone's new hairstyle.  Instead of voicing my negative comments, I need to focus on something besides the hair.  It's not on my head, so I shouldn't worry about it!!  Then there is my husband . . . he's not the most talkative guy; However . . . . sometimes things fly out of his mouth before he has a chance to think about them.  I guess I'll have to force him to read this devotion.  We don't realize how the smallest comment can sit in someone's head and fester . . . until eventually there is an explosion!!  Make sure you take the time to say something nice to someone today . . . . 

More happy thoughts later . . . . xoxo Monica

I love this pitcher I found on It can be yours for $6.45 SHIPPED!!  It would be a great Christmas present.  The scripture on the pitcher reads "I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10 NIV"  Go to  Search for "pitcher".  Click on Life Collection -- Large pitcher and Add to Cart.  Enter promo code LIFEFREE and all you have to pay for is shipping!! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's amazing how different, but in good ways, that your children are.

My husband and I have Madisyn (7 years old), Sofie (2 years old), Luke (we lost him at 22 weeks and miss him dearly everday) and now we have one more on the way! 
1.  Madisyn is the most soft spoken, caring child that I have ever met (I may be partial :)).  She would give her last piece of food to a starving person, she comforts people when they are sad and wouldn't hurt a fly.
2.  Sofie...oh where do I start.  She is the least shy and her own boss (well she thinks that at least...hehe).  I just think, oh boy, when she really starts talking and creating sentences, I cringe when I think about how opinionated she will be. 
3.  So this leads me to the baby that we have on the way.  Maybe she (we'll find out next month) will be a beautiful mixture of both of them :).  But my head is telling me that she is going to follow in Sofie's footsteps.

I love my children no matter how shy, outgoing or opinionated they are.  They are special in their own special way and most of all, my children are the greatest blessing that God could've gave me.  They teach me each and everyday, but most of all, I think they teach myself and others unconditional love.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What I learned in the first month of being a new Mommy . . . . .

I finally found my list of what I learned . . . .

  1. It's not how I thought it would be.  It's better!!!!
  2. Men think they have all the answers -- and I'm not talking about my husband.  I receive more advice from men on sleeping and taking care of the baby.  They think every child is just like their child.
  3. Time flies!!
  4. I have much more patience with my own child that I have with others.
  5. I fall more in love with my husband every day.
  6. I don't mind changing every diaper, feeding, and bathing my daughter every day.
  7. I love breastfeeding.  I miss her when Daddy feeds her.
  8. I can spend the entire day just looking at her.
  9. There is no such thing as a schedule.
  10. A pacifier is not the devil!!!
  11. Don't worry if you don't have a pediatrician picked out . . . you might like the one on call.
  12. The nurses do all the work -- Treat them nice!!
  13. Just because her eyes are closed does not mean she is asleep!!!
  14. Somehow they know when you sit down . . . 
  15. They really do know their Mommy!!

     Gabrielle's first Halloween was way more exciting for Mommy than it was for her . . . .  :-)  She was a little lion . . . and hated the head piece, but she looked soooooo adorable!!!  We didn't go trick or treating but I did take her to a few friends homes.  

     When are you too young or too old for trick or treating?  We had a few young adults come last night.  I think you are too old when #1 . . . you drive to my house.  Isn't trick or treating about walking around and talking to your neighbors?  That's how it was when I was growing up.  We didn't drive to other neighborhoods just to get candy!!  We didn't drive anywhere!!!!  We walked around our neighborhood.  And #2 . . . you're too old when you come to the door and say "Hi!  How are you?"  Sure, that is polite . . . but I asked him "Where is my Trick or Treat?"  Of course he laughed and said "Trick or Treat" . . . . but come on!!  I want all the kids and young adults to have fun . . . .. but keep up the traditions!!!
     Now that I think about it . . . I don't think I spent much time Trick or Treating when I was in high school.  We were too busy TPing our friends houses.  :-)

More happy thoughts this afternoon . . . xoxo Monica

Monday, October 31, 2011

I cannot believe my precious angel is already 20 weeks old!!  Where has the time gone???  Here are a few things I've learned in the past 4 1/2 months . . . . 

1.  It is so much better than I ever imagined!!!  Her eyes, nose, ears . . . everything is perfect!  The way she smiles when she sees just melts my heart.

2.  It's not how I imagined it . . . . I expected to be showered with love from my family . . . . that didn't happen!!  I expected my mom to spend time with just me and my daughter . . . that didn't happen.  I expected my family to come visit us . . . that didn't happen (with the exception of my wonderful cousin Nikki!!)  Long story short, my Mom and Husband had an argument the night Gabrielle was born and my Mom headed back to Indiana the next day.  

3.  Sleep is overrated!!  I don't even mind getting up three times a night to feed or soothe my beautiful baby.  However . . . .offer up any advice you have on how to get her to sleep all night!!  :-)

4.  I love my husband even more than I thought I did.  It is so heartwarming to see him play with his daughter.  I love watching them sleep.  I am so thankful to him for the fabulous gift he has given me.

5.  Two months of shots was definitely worth the first smile.  We were able to get pregnant by IVF.  Thankfully, we were successful on our first try!!!

More happy thoughts to come later . . . . . . . . . xoxo  Monica

Welcome to Parenting Puzzle . . . Putting together the pieces of being a parent!!  Monica (35) and Nikki (29) are cousins.  Monica currently lives in Tennessee and Nikki is in Indiana.  Monica is a new mom to 4 month old Gabrielle.  Nikki is the proud mom of Madisyn (7), Sofie (2), Luke, and one more on the way.  We want to discuss issues that we've faced as parents. . . . from heartwarming stories to tear jerkers.  We hope you enjoy our blog and would love any suggestions!