Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December Magic

Time to bundle up for parade FUN!

This year "Jingle Bells" (Nathaniel named him) finally made his way to our home.  He is a magical elf that Santa sends down from the North Pole after Thanksgiving to watch over the house.  He reports back to Santa EVERY night on how good the little boys and girls are who are in the house (Even the mommys!)  Each night he usually finds a new place to hide out.  "Jingle Bells" can NOT be touched.  If he is touched by ANY human hands, his magic disappears and he will most likely return to Santa that night and not return until the following year.  The boys and I are having SO much fun every morning waking up and trying to locate him.  Sometimes Nathaniel predicts where he will be the next day, and HE'S THERE the next day (he has REALLY good ears!) 

Christmas Parade, 12/1/12.

Breakfast with Santa at Eagles Club, 12/2/12

Boomer showing his Christmas Spirit

St. Nick came to visit us on the night of 12/5/12.
Carson was SO excited with his new cars and coloring book.
Nathaniel shows off his new toothbrush.  He got the Cartoon Avengers Movie and a Superman Cape! ! !


A little quiet time at the library with Momma.  Carson loves to color and Nathaniel ran right to the computer to show me he knows how to use the mouse.


My snow angels in the first fallen snow of the season.
Carson was fascinated as he most likely doesn't remember last years.
I came home to a little gift from Santa for the boys--two little shovels for the boys. Thanks, Santa!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Effective People

People say I'm organized.   People say I'm efficient.  People say I'm a positive person.   People ask "How do you do it?"  Well people, I have the same amount of hours in a week that you do--- 168 VERY busy hours.   Do you have a hard time managing a messy-house?  What about grocery lists and the financing of those groceries?  Do you miss deadlines/appointments/events because you don't remember when they are?  And most importantly, do you take on too much?

From the moment I wake up in the morning with the boys, to evenings with Boomer curling up next to me and stealing all my covers.   I have compiled a list (in my spare time) of the tips that I know that help me become an effective multi-tasker, organized, planned-out momma.  Enjoy!

  • Create a to-do list.  Think on paper.  I have at least 3 to-do lists going--but just starting with one when you have never done it, will be sufficient for you.  I have a to-do list for 'today,' 'long term' and 'house projects.'  Purge ALL your thoughts on paper about what needs to get accomplished for you to feel at peace.    Once you have done the list, next to each item right the day of the week you will do that task and commit to doing it.  
  • Think in Energy -- not time.    This is about knowing yourself and when your peak hours for functioning are.   My peak hours are around 8p.m. until midnight.  I have always operated that way -- even when I was in middle school... it carried through my life with me.  That is when I get most of my work/projects/chores done.   If you know that on a daily basis you are too mentally exhausted after work to do things-- do them right away in the morning!  Yes, this may take some sacrifices like not playing on your phone for 20 minutes or watching mindless television for an hour, but if you want to be less stressed out, make a MOVE!
  • Print off a monthly 'box' calendar and fill it up.  Every detail.  Use different colored pens for different members of your family or categories.  Print off more than one and plaster it in the places you will see it every day.  Next to your nightstand, in your car, at your desk at work.  keep it UP TO DATE!
  • Visualize the day.  When you wake up in the morning-mentally walk through your day and what you want to be accomplished and proud of when your head hits the pillow again.  (This is highly effective for me). If this is too difficult for you to carry through on; set up 3 MIT's (Most important to-do's for the day). Accomplish them.
  • Learn to say "No!"  That simple.   
  • Complete what you start!   When you begin a task don't go on to another one until it's complete.
  • Maintain a clutter free work environment.   A lot of this skill is learned.  You have to train your brain to think like a filing cabinet/tackle box.   If you can do that, your work environment slowly becomes simple and organized.
  • Close your mouth and LISTEN MORE!   When you get the urge to interject, be quiet and listen! It's amazing the things you learn about people through just listening observing. 
  • TURN OFF THE TV!    This is huge.  I hear some people complain, "I don't have time for that?  When would I be able to manage that? etc.. etc.."  Then in the next breath (of their useless chatter) I hear, "On____ (television show)___and  (television show)___ last night, I saw this person act this way to the other person and they made jokes and drama and I watched it mindlessly for 3 hours!"    Really?!   Get off your duff and be productive --don't whine about how time you don't have.
  • Decide a task.  Execute it.  
  • Prioritize your work.   Example:   Phone is ringing, dryer machine dings that it's done with laundry, a book needs to be read by tomorrow morning and your child has a bleeding finger tip.  What do you deal with first?  Apply this mentality to tasks-they will disappear painlessly much quicker than you expected.
  • Print off a grocery list template.   I have a 2 page Word Document that I print off on a bi-weekly basis.  I highlight the items I need.   I estimate costs and set aside that amount of money in cash-- leave my check card in the vehicle.   Most importantly; I STICK TO THE LIST- do NOT deviate!   That simple.   I use as many coupons as I can to cut back on costs.   I am becoming well-versed in this. 
That's not everything but that's just a few of my tricks that get me through each day.   I hope you can utilize some/all of these as you can to make your life more simple and organized. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Would You Like Some Cheese With That Whine?

Sorry about that last post.  Believe it or not there are 'weak' days and I believe that was one of them... and today may have been one too.  I missed my boys today.  Normally when they are gone I keep myself extremely occupied with people or an event that I don't recognize they are gone until about Monday morning.

I woke up Saturday morning; and realized they were gone.  It was to be a LOOOOOOOOOOONG weekend.

I did get a lot accomplished today and even found 30 minutes to wander aimlessly around Target (My Happy Place) and not buy anything other than a $30 DVD player (because Carson stepped on our other one this past week).

Nathaniel has been into super heros (The Avengers Movie especially) right now and he has to tell me all about them every day on the tv.  I am not a huge fan of occupying their time in front of the TV, but as single parenting goes-- when I have to fold a load (or 6) of laundry, sometimes the TV is my best friend to distract them.  

 I want to say thank you to all of my friends and family who have been praying for Holly, Ella and Gary over the past few days.  Gary was in a terrible tractor accident earlier in the week and is one lucky guy.  He will be coming home tomorrow and the road to recovery could be hard.  He is SUCH a task-oriented guy, it will be hard for him to sit still.   Please pray that he gives his body time to heal and that Holly rests when she is able-- she is the mother to a 3 month old angel and is just learning the ropes of motherhood as well as caring for Gary! 

Halloween decor is put away and the Turkey Day stuff has made it's way to the top of the basement stairs.  Is it wrong that I want to bypass Thanksgiving and just put up my Christmas Stuff?  I kinda want to put up the outside Christmas lights tomorrow.  I hope it's nice out-- and I will.   I wasn't really in a super Christmas-y mood last year so WATCH OUT, it could get insane around here.  

Next weekend the boys and I are having our Fall Pictures taken by my good friend-- who is A-MAZ-ING with a camera.  She scouted out a location just for us today-- super pumped to see how things go!

That's it for now.

Friday, November 2, 2012

No answers to all the questions

Some days, I just don't know.  I have so many questions running through my mind.   Random stuff.  If someone could pop the top of my head off and drain out all the useless worry and concern I would greatly appreciate it.   I want someone to talk at during my evenings.  It's hard not having another adult in my presence every day as a close confidant and encourager.  I hate this part of being divorced.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Draggin' Dragons

I had a really fun afternoon planned for the boys and I....Downtown trick or treating!   I won't be able to go trick or treating with them on Halloween as I will be in class that night, so I left work on Friday to suit up some cuties in costume.  Some things you just have to recognize are priority compared to work--and THIS was one of them!   :-)  

Little did I expect that the boys would be super dooper exhausted--I had been 'pumping them up' all week (I think I was more excited to see them in their costumes than anything).   So we get home, have a snack and layer up the clothes.  It was close to 'booger-freezing' weather out there and both boys REFUSED to wear their mittens.  Regardless.... we had a good time.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Look Who's Two!

A very special little boy turned two recently and I thought I would post pictures of his important day!

Carson William Turns TWO!

He was gifted with a Cars Themed Party (as he is currently OBSESSED with "Queen" -Lightening McQueen).  I will never forget his face when he came home from daycare the day I had decorated the house.... I'm sure glad he had a diaper- fairly certain he DID pee his pants. 

Each year I try to give my boys the best birthday --better than the year before.  I do this as 1) Birthdays are a great way to celebrate the life you are living. 2) I want my boys to feel incredibly important and honored around their birthday-- as they are the greatest gifts I have ever received!  3) When I was a little girl, my mom took it upon herself to make sure I had a great party EVERY year and that my birthday was special for me.  I look back and realize how many wonderful memories I made at all of those parties.  Friends, games, food, cakes, laughs, music and happiness!  Gifts given in more ways than the physical sense. 

Carson had a lot of friends at his party and was blessed to play for about a good 45 minutes with each of them before the tots got a little restless.   Nathaniel was adamant about 'helping' Carson unwrap his gifts-- and during some of the gift opening we had to settle him down as he wanted it to be "My Pwez-ant."  Carson is a pretty laid back little man so thankfully he didn't mind the assistance.

We (mom and dad) both created a couple cardboard cars for the kids to play with and race with.  The original goal was to have his birthday party in the garage and race the cars in the yard with the kids--but a full day of steady rain prevented that from occurring on party day.  Regardless, kids are incredibly adaptable and they thought the props to be quite fun. 

I had a lot of satisfaction when the cake I made turned out as well as it did.   I always plan a few days in advance and bake the cake a couple days ahead.  Then when time permits and I get an hour of 'free' time (HA!  What's that?) I will make the frosting.  And THEN once I have all that prepped and I'm able to squeeze in a couple hours I get busy on frosting and decorating.  Cake making is one of the small pleasures in my life.  They aren't gorgeous cakes but I get relaxation from the concentration of focusing on one thing for more than 2 seconds at a time and I get enjoyment in seeing the reactions for the people I make them for and the yumminess inside the cake.    M & M's were bordering the edge of this "2" cake and some of the Cars from the movie, made it on-bringing extra smiles for My Boy.   This was a fun one to make!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Little Pumpkins

This past weekend the boys and I made our way to visit their cousins for E's Birthday! The boys were extremely excited to pick out the gift at the store and Nathaniel could not WAIT to give it to her!

I was so thankful to have some time with our family as it has been quite a few months since we have been able to all see each other together.  Nathaniel and Carson LOVE playing with their cousins and are always super tuckered out when we get home on Sunday afternoon.  The Packers were playing during the ride home and it was quite the WIN for them and came down to the last few minutes before the outcome was determined.   Glad the boys were sleeping through that.... there MAY have been a few choice words slipping out of Papa Bill's/my mouth near the end. 

Fall is here and it is MARVELOUS!    Call me crazy, but I am thinking that the colors of the leaves are much more bright and vibrant and beautiful this year!   I can't get enough of the beauty each day when traveling about. I am beginning to switch my favorite season from Summer to Fall.  However, I love every single season and in about 14 weeks I will be saying the same thing about Winter.  But in the meantime, I am going to cherish the last few weeks of NOT raking.  HA!

Papa and Nana have become SUPER HEROS to N and C!  Almost each night Nathaniel will ask questions about papa and when he can go fishing with him again and when we can go to the cabin.  Once Nathaniel gets a little older he will be totally in heaven when Papa asks him to go on bass tournaments with him all the time.  Carson's been rather rambunctious at daycare (and at home lately).   Over the past two weeks we have had a couple injury reports needing to be signed when we pick him up.  We both have had him in time-out many times at home because he was hitting or shoving his brother.   It is starting to become embarrassing getting talked to by the teacher each night for him being rough with his friends.   I hope this stage soon passes.   I don't like that he is behaving this way.  He has always been a HUGE snuggler his whole life; this is hard to accept.

Life is good.   I am anticipating a busy few weeks coming up as two classes are starting.  One course I have to do book work and clinicals for and then I am also enrolled in an online psychology course which is something new for me--online coursework.  We shall see.    Have to start it up.  

Less than a week and my baby boy Carson will be two years old.   Unbelievable!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Harvest Happenings

It's harvest time here in Wisconsin. I've never been a country girl, but when this season rolls through I love nothing more than to be quiet at the cabin listening to the birch tree leaves shake free of their branches. I love the sound of the grasses blowing long in the fields and the first bite of air that catches your breath when opening the door to go outside in the mornings. Autumn has arrived and another year on the old ticker gone by. I have fallen into a new routine as of recent. Let me quickly update you on the bullet points of life for the past month. --My home now has eavestroughs. (YAY!) --My kitchen is in the process of being painted burgundy red. --Boomer has a few more white hairs on his face. --I started a new job in Dermatology (Wait, WHAT?!) --Carson learned the word "No!" He uses it at every juncture possible. --Nursing Assistant Coursework is underway for me and the first skills lab is 10/8. --The cabin's north wall has been completely remodelled and I plan to see it soon. --The basement in my home is ALMOST organized....almost. --I've made a LOT of cookies. My new position and my course work has been the primary focus for me. I am officially focused on becoming a Registered Nurse within in the next 4 years. I hope to graduate in either the Spring of 2016 or Fall 2016 Semester!! ! Here's Hoping! ! ! ! ! ! !

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Curb Appeal: Before & After

My Before and After

Within the last few weeks my goal has been to make my house have a little more curb appeal than when I moved in.   When I moved in there was a HUGE (and beautiful) Oak Tree overshadowing my front yard and house. (it made me very nervous from the second I stepped out of the car at the showing of the house).   The shutters and storm door green, the steps UN-kept with chipped paint and no handrails.   Needless to say, the pruning had not been done on any of the bushes in years and I didn't have a working doorbell!    Well MOVE over "Yard Crashers,"  Jacki is in the 'Hood!'



What a GREAT feeling to get my hands working towards a goal!   I had a few days of working in the hot sun, a LOT of late evenings watering the new sod (in place of the worrisome Oak), painting, unscrewing hardware and painting it, applying new shutters and figuring out what I want to do as the next step.  There has been a lot of time to process my thoughts about the divorce and how amazing and a blessing my babies are!   What a gift to have them in my life!   I would say a total of about  80 hours or so has been spent in my front yard within the last 2 months.  With the help from a couple friends and my "Mighty Mouse" this place is bringing me super-pride when I pull into the driveway.   I love making my house a home!



--Green shutters gone.
--Maroon Shutters on living AND Kitchen window now.
--Bilateral Railing on front steps leading to door
--Tan steps
--Oak Tree GONE
--Black mailbox
--Black light fixtures
--New storm door- Maroon with larger viewing screen
--Trimmed the 'yew' shrubs and put flowers in pots between them
--Put plants/flower in front of living room window
--Updated/painted address signage
--Lilac pushes on north end of the house brought down to trimmed lilac bush size.

I will most likely be starting a project in the fall months to beautify the transition area to the back yard. It involves not only demolition but true handiwork.  I will tell ya what else I am thinking about!!!  I want to hack the stinking apple tree down in the backyard-however, I know I LOVE the blooms that it brings in the spring time.   So tired of raking up the 8,000 apples that fall each week from the tree!  I don't like to grind them up in the mower as it can dull the blades and also I don't want to attract wasps with the sweet smell of fresh apple juice.  The Ex  (Who I will sparingly refer to as Mr. J) has a severe allergy to honey bees---I don't want to find out if the boys have an allergy yet so I am avoiding any unnecessary encounters.

What's nice is getting my social life back after the crazy year I have had.  My friends and family have been SO amazing through this whole thing and it's great to have them over for grill outs and play dates more regularly.  I have ventured out quite a bit with the boys into the neighborhood with the double stroller.  We visit the parks and they get to pick the directions we go when we come to a corner . They love it.   I'm able to get my exercise in, teach them how to take care of their bodies, spend time with them and jam out to my favorite tunes with my ear buds in.  Lately I have been really fired up about starting up jogging again.  I used to be able to run 4 miles (amazing for an activity-induced asthmatic) with no problem . I want to get back to that and shoot for a 5K (3.1 miles) next Spring.  It will take some training through the slow Wisconsin Winter, but Hey!   What the heck else am I going to do?!  I can't WAIT to go downhill skiing this winter as well.   I am falling in love with the idea of being healthy and taking care of ME for a change.  I'm motivated and ready to go!

SO?   What do ya think???

Boomer is much happier, I think.