Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How to Survive the "Mommy Wars"

#1: Don't participate in them. Don't read the infuriating articles, don't get angry at someone else's post, just pass right on by them. When someone starts a conversation about how bad another Mom is, start talking about cupcakes, The Declaration of Independence, or how you had a bad haircut in 7th grade.

#2. Understand that just because another Mom thinks what you're doing makes you a bad mom, doesn't actually make you a bad mom, or turn you into a bad mom. My 3 year old will be all upset at her sisters and come up to me crying, "She called me a baby, but I'm not a baby!"
I'll ask her, "Are you a baby?"
I'll ask again, "Does her calling you a baby turn you into a baby?"
"Then what are you so upset about?"
Roll your eyes and move on.

#3. Realize that when you think you are being judged, it might be all in your head. Let me give you an example.
You and I go to the park with our 3 year olds. After an hour of playing, my daughter comes up and asks me for a drink. I pull out a box of good old Mott's apple juice. Your child looks thirsty, too, so I ask you, "does he want one, too?" You say "no, thank you." Then I say, "Oh, really, I brought extra, it's not problem." You then very nicely say, "He's actually not allowed." Or maybe you say, "Sorry, we only drink organic." I most likely will automatically feel judged, or think that you think you're a better mom than me, but you don't actually feel this way. Just because another Mom does something differently than you, doesn't mean she thinks the way you are doing it is wrong. It's just different.

You will enjoy Motherhood, being around other Moms, and just have less anger and stress if you follow these tips, promise!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Shoeless Feet

The song Kings and Queens (by Audio Adrenaline) details the lives of the orphans in Haiti. The lyrics start out “Little hands, shoeless feet, lonely eyes looking back at me.” I was immediately gripped. I love shoes. I worked two different jobs for the shoe industry. I went on a missions trip to Mexico in high school where we built and painted a house for a family. While doing the work, I got paint on my sneakers, and for months after I got home, whenever I saw the paint on the sneakers, I was reminded of the family in Mexico, and specifically how the mom and the daughter shared 1 pair of shoes. I focused on the part of the song describing “shoeless feet.” The song lyrics go on to say “These are the lives that the world has forgotten, waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open” and “If not us, who will be like Jesus to the least of these?” Matthew 25:40 tells us, “The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Danny and I have the opportunity to serve the very children depicted in “Kings and Queens.” We are going on a missions trip to the children’s villages in Grand Goave, Haiti on July 14th, 2014, with the organization The Hands and Feet Project. We will be working with the older orphans, ages 9 and up. We will be doing a construction project, a VBS, and be able to interact with the children and the community.

Will you help us out by committing this trip to prayer? We ask that you pray for the children, the people on the missions team (including Danny and I), and the work we will be doing there. I’d also like to ask that you pray for my Girls who will remain at home.

Would you also consider supporting us financially? The trip costs $1500 a person, so $3000 for both of us to go. A donation in any amount would be very helpful and much appreciated. If you would like to learn a little bit more about the trip, or make a donation online, please click here .

Now, do yourself a favor and go watch the video for Kings and Queens: .

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Saige is 3!!!

Happy 3rd Birthday Miss Saige Girl! She was very happy to receive a Sheriff Callie Costume, a 15 pack of gum, and a Frozen Book with a wand!

100 things about 3 Year Old Saige:

1. She thinks her real name is “Saige Girl”
2. She calls Lemonade “Lemon Juice”
3. For most of the year she lived in her Belle costume.
4. The other part of the year, she lived in the Cleopatra costume calling it her “Elsa” costume.
5. As soon as she puts on her “Elsa” costume, she starts singing a Frozen song.
6. She calls her forehead a “horf-ed”
7. She wants to wear her Elsa nightgown every day.
8. She calls pigtails “2 sides.”
9. She loves to brush her hair, your hair, her toys’ hair, etc.
10. Her favorite color is green.
11. If you come downstairs wearing something green, she’ll get excited and say “That’s my favorite color!”
12. She puts on her dress up apron and says, “I’m a bakery.”
13. She calls the oven a “baker.”
14. For awhile, all she would watch was “Sophia the Mermaid One.”
15. She got into Team Umizoomi, Peter Rabbit, and Sheriff Callie.
16. It is adorable to hear her sing the Sheriff Callie theme song. “Got a badge here on my Best (vest)” while doing the motion of spinning the badge.
17. She can sing every word to every Frozen song, and can pretty much recite the movie.
18. She has made up motions to the Frozen songs.
19. When you’re in the way of the tv, she’ll yell “please I can’t see please!”
20. She likes to play that she’s the Mom.
21. She likes to grab my face and kiss it.
22. She gets really sad if you leave without giving her a kiss
23. She knows she’s funny.
24. She likes to change outfits a few times a day.
25. She’s scared of dogs.
26. If the wind is blowing on her, she’ll say she’s cold.
27. She wants to wear a winter hat even if it’s warm out.
28. She knows her letters and numbers by sight.
29. She likes to spell her name.
30. She likes to sing her Address song.
31. If she sees something with any letters of her name in it, she’ll say it spells her name.
32. She can count to about 40, but misses some numbers here and there (mostly in the teens).
33. She buckles herself into her carseat.
34. She likes Look and Find books.
35. If you tell her to re-say something nicely, she will instead just yell, “Nicely!”
36. She likes to hang upside down from the seat of the couch, then flip over.
37. She loves babies.
38. She likes to jump off things.
39. You can instantly change her grumpy mood by tickling her.
40. She loves to play “Monster Game.” Which is basically tag, but you have to chase the other person continuously saying “monster game.”
41. She is obsessed with gum and mints.
42. One of the first things she may ask you is “you have a phone?”
43. She is not afraid to try new foods, and is not picky.
44. She loves apple juice.
45. She loves Dance Class.
46. She calls her little Dora doll that she sleeps with “Pum Pum.”
47. When you put her to bed you have to give her several kisses, hugs, and clap claps (high fives).
48. When she wants a bath, she’ll say she’s “stinky dirty.” Then she may go into further detail and tell you “my face is dirty, and my arms are stinky.”
49. After she washes herself in the bath, she likes to wash her Dora bath doll.
50. If you dry her off with the yellow duck towel, she will quack.
51. If she wants chap stick, she’ll cry “my lips are hurting” so you give her the chapstick.
52. If you do give her the chapstick, she will put on 100 coats of it.
53. If you give one of the other girls medicine, she’ll come up to me and say “I need medicine, I’m coughing” and then she’ll fake cough.
54. After she brushes her teeth, she wants you to smell her teeth.
55. She loves to shout “bye” to Caura as she gets on the bus, but often will call her “Cauri.”
56. She loves when Caura’s bus driver waves to her, she’ll very excitedly say, “She waved at me!”
57. If it’s warm out and she doesn’t want to wear a coat, she’ll ask me if she can be OK.
58. If I tell her she's cute, she'll then say, "no you're cute."
59. She is full of compliments.
60. She loves to wear stockings, but only mildy likes to wear dresses.
61. She’ll tell you her Birthday’s “Name” is April 8th. Then she’ll ask you what your Birthday’s “Name” is.
62. She likes to be the one to unlock the door to get in house.
63. She falls asleep easily in the car, and is a heavy sleeper.
64. She’s scared of the train at night.
65. She likes to play Doctor and Hair Salon.
66. One toy stethoscope we have actually works a little, and she likes to put it in her ears and sing into it.
67. She likes to play songs on the Barbie guitar.
68. She’s pretty good at Memory.
69. She’s close to swinging on the swing by herself.
70. She likes to take the sand from the sandbox and make “cakes” with it in the play house.
71. She loves the trampoline.
72. If she wants to cuddle she’ll whine, “I want you.”
73. For her Birthday, she wanted a real helicopter, and a real horsey.
74. Earlier in the year, you would ask her “why are you so cute?” Her response was “because Mommy turned me into cute.”
75. She likes to hold my arm prisoner.
76. She is good at folding washcloths.
77. She likes to do chores.
78. I’ll ask her “What’s Daddy’s real name?” and she answers, “Hey Babe!”
79. When I ask her what my real name is, she’ll say “Aunt Denise.”
80. She loves strawberries.
81. She likes to smell candles, lip gloss, anything smelly.
82. She likes to attack me with kisses, and will kiss my eyelids, nose, ears, cheeks, etc.
83. She still would rather be carried.
84. Some days she will live in sunglasses.
85. She likes to sleep with her Sophia book by her bed.
86. She likes to do “excercises,” which is basically just her version of yoga poses.
87. She likes to wear “sparkle” shoes.
88. She likes to dance and spin.
89. When you ask her if she finished her food, instead of answering, she will open her mouth to show you.
90. She loved playing in the snow, but didn’t like going down the hill on the sled.
91. She likes to make funny faces.
92. She thinks one of the seats on the couch is her spot forever.
93. She loves going to Church because she gets candy from Pastor Randy.
94. She likes to use mouthwash, and she calls it “the bubblegum.”
95. If you ask her to draw a picture, the first thing she’ll do is trace her hand.
96. She can sing all the songs to the “Teen Beach Movie” soundtrack.
97. She’s still somewhat scared to go down slides.
98. She likes to wear clip earrings or sticker earrings.
99. She always wants to watch “her show” and after “her show” is over, she tells you “you can watch your show now.”
100. When you ask her how old she’s going to be, she uses her other hand to hold down two fingers, and says “Three!”

Happy Birthday, Saige!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Family Tree

The Family Tree is up! My goal was to have generations of wedding pictures. I am so thrilled to have pictures of my Parents and Danny's Parents, four sets of GrandParents, three sets of Great-GrandParents, and one and a half sets of Great-Great-GrandParents!

Danny and Me, Married August 4, 2001

My Parents - David and Doreen Mellor, Married March 25, 1978

Grandparents - Frank and Rhoda Mellor, Married December 23, 1945, pictured with Rhoda's Parents (My Great-GrandParents) Lester and Lillian Lobenstein (middle), Lillian's Brother, Phillip Marcus (right), and Lester's Sister, Sadie Tannenholtz (left).

Grandparents - Doris and Bob Hansen, Married September 1, 1956, along with Doris' Sister, Selma (left) and Doris' best friend (right)

Great-GrandParents - Louis and Mary Hansen (pictured at my Great Aunt Mary Lou and Great Uncle Doug's wedding)

Danny's Parents - Bob and Terry Castagna, Married June 27, 1976

GrandParents - Anna and Louis Castagna

GrandParents - Richard and Rose Stecker, Married July 1, 1957

Great GrandParents - Joseph and Minerva Orbanus, Married May 31, 1941

Great-Great GrandParents - Catherine and Anthony Orbanus, this is not their wedding picture, but they were married on January 23, 1916

Great-Great GrandMother - Roseanna and Husband Ben Shumacher on their wedding day, September 24, 1966

I am so happy with the tree, grateful to Linda Schoonover for painting it, and for all the family members who helped me gather pictures. It is such a pretty and meaningful addition to my living room.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday, Aubree!

Aubree is 5!!! To celebrate, we had a Cinderella themed birthday party. Here are the highlights:

The decorations included several carved pumpkins, including Cinderella's carriage, glittery pumpkin centerpieces made by Danielle, and magic wands.

My friend Shannon, who usually makes the beautiful yummy cakes decided to run a marathon instead of partying with us, so I was left to my own devices when it came to the cake. I have to say, I was pretty pleased.

We decorated pumpkins, and Cinderella herself came to party with us!

I tried to convince Aubree to turn 4 again, but she would not agree. She said next year she'll turn 5 again, so we'll see!

Happy Birthday, Aubree!!!!!

Here are 100 things to know about 5 year old Aubree:

1. After a lot of negotiation, Aubree got her ears pierced.
2. She cried when she got them pierced, but as soon as she saw the earrings, she stopped.
3. She loves all things girly, especially lip gloss.
4. She loves her high heels and gets many compliments on them.
5. She would wear a dress everyday, and especially loves long dresses. There is one specific orange dress she wore all summer. I had to hide it from her once it was washed so she didn’t wear it every other day.
6. She is a fantastic sharer, almost to a fault.
7. When I thank her for cleaning something up without being asked to, she will continue to clean up more things.
8. When she’s telling you something that happened in the past she will say it happened, “the other day.” If she’s talking about today, she will say “on this day?”
9. She wants to learn to read. Until then, she makes up her own words.
10. She likes to ask me how to spell things so she can write it down, then she’ll read the word back to me and say “I read it!”
11. She likes to wear my jewelry.
12. She likes to wear my shoes.
13. She is full of compliments. She is constantly telling me that my clothes, shoes, lipgloss, etc are all very pretty.
14. She gets shy when other people give her a compliment.
15. If something’s in her drawer, it’s automatically hers. Usually it’s something of Caura’s that was accidently put there.
16. She rarely matches her clothes when she picks them out herself. Usually it’s not stripes and polka dot combination, but a pink shirt with different color pink pants.
17. She is so happy and excited whenever anyone gives her a gift, she will say “I always wanted this!”
18. She is not very good at eating dinner.
19. She is not a dainty eater.
20. She cuddles her baby doll when she sleeps.
21. Her favorite thing to do outside is play in the playhouse.
22. She also loves to play in the sandbox, and she’s not afraid to get dirty.
23. She has the prettiest dark brown eyes I’ve ever seen.
24. She likes to give our cat, Ranger, a scoop of food.
25. She likes to very gently pet Ranger, and will pet him on his feet and then tell me that Ranger didn’t even scratch her.
26. She likes me to take pictures of her.
27. She loves to paint.
28. She is shy in a big group of girls, but has no problem playing with one or two boys.
29. She’s cautious.
30. She’d rather eat tuna or egg salad sandwiches without the bread.
31. She was so happy that Uncle Ben and Aunt Lindsay got her a fishing pole.
32. She likes to sit in Caura’s car seat when Caura’s not there.
33. She is often living in her own dream world. Where many kids will pretend that they are playing at the beach, I believe she transports herself to the beach and think she’s really there.
34. She has a hard time with abrupt change. For instance, being told to brush her teeth while she’s still reading a book.
35. She likes to change words in songs just to be funny. Then she looks at you with her eyebrows raised and waits for you to laugh.
36. She likes being a helper in Saige’s dance class.
37. She’s proud of Saige when Saige learns something new.
38. She really knows how to push Caura’s buttons.
39. She loves to give hugs and kisses.
40. She’s polite.
41. She’s patient.
42. She takes her time.
43. She likes to drink from re-useable water bottles.
44. She’s very proud that she learned how to fold clothes.
45. She’s happy when I tell her she can wipe down the cabinets or baseboards.
46. She likes to wind up the vacuum cord when I’m finished with it.
47. She loves to play in sand ,dirt, rocks, mulch, etc, everywhere we go.
48. She wears her Easter dress any chance she gets.
49. She sings all the time.
50. She likes to sing “Via DeLaRosa” , especially during the Spanish part (but has no clue what the words actually are).
51. For her birthday, she wanted “everything that Caura got for her birthday.”
52. She likes to dance, and really likes dance class.
53. She is cuddly.
54. She swims under water pretty well, but has a hard time swimming over water.
55. She recently asked me to call her “Pud” again, the name I called her when she was 1-2 years old.
56. She loves to over-accessorize.
57. She would live in a costume if I let her.
58. She likes to wear her hair in a bun.
59. She loves to play with imagination toys, such as pretend restaurant or doctor’s office.
60. If she’s playing with the shopping cart, she’ll say she’s playing “Shop Rite.”
61. She likes to look at the wild animals outside, and likes to tell me what they’re doing.
62. Her favorite color is Hot Pink.
63. She doesn’t stick to favorites very much, you could ask her what her favorite show, food, etc. is and every day she’d give you a different answer.
64. She likes to eat on a big plate and drink from a big cup (meaning not the plastic children’s plates and cups).
65. If you give her and Caura cups, she will want to compare them to see which is bigger or wider.
66. She gets very excited when she finds out a show she likes has a new episode.
67. She does not like water to drip in her face in the bath, she will yell for a towel.
68. She is often a loner.
69. She likes me to skip with her when we’re out in public.
70. She likes to swing “superman” style on the swings.
71. She will often seek negative attention if she’s not getting positive attention.
72. Out of all my Girls, she is the most “free spirited.”
73. She doesn’t like when Danny watches sports, especially football.
74. She likes to brush her hair with my comb or my “soft”brush.
75. She is growing up and likes older kid shows like Good Luck Charlie, but still likes shows like Dora and will answer the questions.
76. She calls obstacle courses “apple” courses.
77. She likes “dippy”eggs.
78. Her favorite treat is ice cream, she likes to turn it into ice cream soup.
79. She likes to make Uncle Danny’s Grumpy Face.
80. She’s a little actress. I love when she plays the Big Bad Wolf, and the Lumberjack from Little Red Riding Hood.
81. She can sing several Keith Urban and Audio Adrenaline songs.
82. She likes to take selfies.
83. She likes to watch Caura play computer games.
84. She likes to know the order of who woke up first.
85. She played the “Dead Girl” in the passion play.
86. She likes to make up songs and play her pink guitar.
87. She made up a song about Stompeez (Slippers) where she sang “I love them…I love them…Mommy’s not letting me have them, but I have them already. I love Stompeez.”
88. She likes to wear a blanket while eating breakfast at the little table.
89. She cut a chunk of her own bangs this year.
90. She loves to look at past year’s photo books.
91. She doesn’t mind when Saige crawls into bed with her. She says, “If I’m scared, I just hug Saige.”
92. She likes to do yoga.
93. She likes to play hide and seek with Saige.
94. She got her first bee sting, and got very swollen.
95. She likes to play in the sink.
96. She likes to try to blow up balloons.
97. She likes to give people pretend food to eat.
98. She wants her blanket spread out completely.
99. She likes to spin in her dresses.
100. She’s really cool, but doesn’t care if other people think so or not.