Tuesday’s Tribute to my Treasures

As a mom we are always telling our children to, share, respect one another, communicate “work it out”, in hopes of cementing that sibling bond that will last a lifetime.  I also think as mothers we pray that we have given our children the necessary social skills, morals, and values and beliefs, which will last the tests of time. So that one day when we are no longer on this planet they can look after each other.

My amazing siblings, our bond is strong. I hope I can do at least half as well as my mom did instilling the importance of family and faith.

Little did I know at the beginning of last week that I would have the opportunity to experience both the cemented sibling bond, as well as the overwhelming feeling that takes over a mother when they remember they are mortal?

Long story short…..

It all started three weeks ago when my daughter was diagnosed with strep throat. She took her meds and was back to herself in no time!  A week later my throat started to hurt, so like any mom I figured I would save some time and try over-the-counter meds first but nothing helped.  So I contacted my doctor last week and explained the situation.  She called in a script, I picked, it up, and I was looking forward to some relief. By Wednesday my throat was worse, the side of my neck was so swollen it looked like I had a goiter, I was practically choking on the uvula in the back of my throat, I could not open my mouth all the way, and I thought I was experiencing hot flashes between my fever and chills.  I knew this was not normal, I have had strep before, and it usually subsided within 5-8 days, and even faster once you take the meds. There was no relief and my body was slowing down which wasn’t good since mom is the machine that keeps this family running.   So the Doctor made an exception and got me by means of triple booking appointments for Wednesday.

My poor brother walked into my home in shambles, hurricane Toddler hit!

I went in to see her and she basically said what I was experiencing was “normal” for strep throat”.  My gut told me this wasn’t normal and I inquired if there was any other possible prognosis she could think of but, again, she reassured me this was normal.  So, I went home and figured I just needed to suck it up for a few more days.  My husband also reassured me that what I was experiencing sounded like normal strep throat symptoms. Well, come Friday I could not swallow, I was drooling, my voice sounded muffled (when I could talk), there was so much swelling in my mouth that my tongue started to ache, and it felt like my body was shutting down.  I could not do a thing Friday, the house was in shambles, my toddler had pulled things out of drawers, dumped toys everywhere, dirty clothes were piled up, and it was a sad picture.   That evening my mom called and as soon as she heard my muffled, underwater like voice she told me to get to the hospital. At that point I had endured so much, and even though I hate hospitals the visit sounded like relief.

Kind of short…….

This is when that cemented sibling bond that moms so desperate hope to instill in their children really comes in handy.  God bless my little brother.  On a Friday night he put his own personal plans to go out on a date and hang with friends’ aside, without a second thought, and came over to my messy home and watched all three of my children.  I gave him no instructions, no ideas what to do with the kiddos and he did not ask.  He said they would be fine and we left.

Diagnosis…..

Once at the urgent care the nurse did a throat culture and I no longer had Strep. The doctor came in and within a minute explained that I had Peritonsillar abscess. Peritonsillar abscess is a complication of tonsillitis and is most often caused by a type of bacteria called group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. She explained that this is serious and a medical emergency.  The abscess could rupture into my throat and block my airway and/or spread infection further. So she gave me a steroid shot, right then and there, and prescribed a heavy antibiotic and four more days of steroid pills.  I left that room with a huge smile on my face or at least a goofy sideways grin, relief was in my future!

I never took my eyes off of them

My Treasures…..

It wasn’t until the next day that the severity of the event truly hit me. It was during family movie night.  We watched Inspector Gadget and ate pizza.  I could not tell you one thing about that movie but I can describe each of my children’s expressions while they watched the movie.  I never took my eyes off of them; I realized how close to not being here I was.  The thoughts of who would take care of my babies, who would kiss their boo-boos, who would say their prayers at night, etc. consumed my mind.  I am the mommy.  I want to always be their mommy. I want to always be HERE for them.  I prayed long and hard that night.  I thanked God for entrusting those three little souls into my care, for giving me the opportunity to give life and for my life, I LOVE my life and I want to keep it. And most of all I thanked God for my treasures….the people…my husband, mother father, sister, brother, chidlren, in-laws, friends, etc. because when all is said and done it will be the memories we take with us.

They make my heart skip a beat….
The air I breathe....
My life....

One day I will be gone but I can sleep easier
knowing they have each other.

Momup! Monday…Pregnant mom steals sandwich

Mama’s to do List:

  • Morning drop off
  • Hunt down my cell phone (toddler put it somewhere, she probably called a few friends in the process, darn she is sneaky)
  • Go shopping for eldest daughter’s b-day party -Enchanted Princesses and Knight Party
  • Make Rice Crispy Balls on a stick for the Bake Sale (I realize that doesn’t sound appropriate for children but they are easy to make and kiddos love them)
  • Momup! Moment
  • Get gas
  • Laundry
  • Book Club can’t wait!!!

This week’s Momup! Topic:  Pregnant mother accused of stealing

Please view the clip.

I was shocked when I heard about this story.  I know I personally can’t take a single trip to the grocery store without opening one, if not three, different types of snack foods to occupy my toddler (she likes to play with the teddy bear, fish, and a various shaped snacks).  And yes, as moms we do sometimes become distracted while at the store but who could blame us.  Half the time one child is constantly inquiring about placing some item in the cart (and often lucks out and sneaks one in unbeknownst to mom), the other has to go to the bathroom (my son always has to have a BM at the grocery store, I don’t understand it), the toddler will not sit still, we are trying to mentally tally the total as each item is placed in the cart in hopes of staying under the budget, and keeping track of the items we still need to place in the cart all at the same time.  What mother wouldn’t forget about the coffee or sandwich she had 3 meltdowns, one BM, and 100 “mommy can we get this?” ago when she entered the store?

Also, when I was pregnant, especially towards the end of my pregnancies I would begin to feel faint and almost ill if I did not eat something soon. I am just shocked that the store could not have been more understanding.  The woman even offered to pay for the sandwich when they were escorted back into the store.  It was obvious they were not trying to steal. My heart goes out to this little girl. Can you even imagine how scared she was? One minute she is safe in the comforts of mom and dad’s care and the next she is with strangers, in a strange place, not knowing what was going on all because of a sandwich!

What are you thoughts? Have you ever opened food in the store and forgotten about it? Do you suffer from the distracted mom syndrome when you enter the grocery store with your kiddos in tow? Please share.

Clipping for causes from the confines of my couch

Since I still have this darn sore throat and no energy (I don’t remember it being this annoying as a child, it was all missing school and eating popsicles) I am kicking it on the couch. I know that I will have a lot of laundry and other household chores to catch-up on once I feel better. So I have been trying to get as much accomplished from the confines of the couch as possible.  Today I am clipping coupons and preparing our trip to the grocery store which should have been yesterday but I am praying I feel better tomorrow.  My dear husband has offered to go to the grocery store for me but I know that is not the best idea.  Last time he went he lost the list and came home with tons of sugary cereals and a tub, yes, I said tub, of Superman Ice cream.  I would probably have better luck letting my 4 year-old son do the shopping.  Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow and the task of grocery shopping will not fall on the dynamic duo (my hubby and son), I do not want frosted flakes with a side of Superman ice cream for the next 14 days.

So, on with the show…..before each shopping trip I review my coupon binder.  I remove all expired coupons and send those to, overseas military members. They can use expired coupons up to six months past their expiration date. Since most military families
stationed overseas often live on one income coupons help stretch their funds further.

Eligible Coupons:

  • ONLY Manufacturer Coupons
  • Coupons must be Clipped and Sorted into Food and Non-food (see website for more info).
  • Do NOT send coupons that are over 30 days expired.

Click on the link to read more…http://www.ocpnet.org/

After all the expired coupons have been removed I then reference the weekly ad, as well as the local charities and shelters we donate goods to. Sound like a lot of work? It doesn’t have to be.

 

Donating done easy

I realize most moms always have the best intentions of donating to a charity on a regular basis but it can be difficult, life gets in the way. Also with the current state of the economy most families are on a strict budget leaving little room for charities but it can be done.  After some trial and error we have adopted a foolproof method for collecting items for our local charities at a fraction of the price and you can too with these simple steps.

  1. Purchase a bin; you can decide what size works best based on how many items you will be donating and how frequently you will donate. (I have a small one I keep in my pantry and a larger one in the basement to place the items when the smaller bin is full).
  2. Print off the charities wish list
  3. Tape that wish list on the inside lid of bin.
  4. Before a trip to the grocery store reference the list with the weekly ad, note if any items are on sale, then take it a step further, clip for the cause, check your coupons to see if you have any for the items that are listed. Write those items down, grab the coupons, and hit the road.
  5. When you get home place those items in the bin.  I like to have my conveniently placed in the pantry but you can decide what location works best for you.
  6. Then, determine a day that you will designate as donation day and drive to the charity and drop off your donation.  I often wait till I have a large bin to donate, usually every other month.

Once you are in the habit of referencing the charity’s list prior to a grocery trip donating can become second nature and thanks to the weekly deals and coupons the items cost mere pennies.

Learning Opportunity

Whenever possible be certain to share what you are doing with your children.  Have your children help clip the coupons, kiddos can be the best clippers. Take them to the grocery store with you and when possible, have your children go with you to donate the
goods.

If you are not a coupon clipper, and not interested in keeping a wish list and bins, you can still give back.  Checkout your local grocery store’s shopping card options, most have options on their websites where you can select a charity and they will donate a
% to that selected charity each time your shop at no cost to you. For full details and instructions on the Kroger’s chopping card, click on the link. http://www.kroger.com/mykroger/Pages/community_rewards.aspx

Do you have a tip to share that has helped your grocery shopping experience? Do tell.

Thankful Thursday….30 days of Gratitude Update

Blogging from Bed today, it feels like my tonsil has taken over half of my head, crazy swollen gland.  But I am still living a Thankful Thursday and in honor of Thankful Thursday I will update you on our families 30 days of gratitude. Granted, it is only day 3 of the month so I do not have much to update you on but we have illustrated acts of kindness through the following activities;

The children each donated half of their Halloween candy to Make a Wish foundation.  There is a teacher at my daughter’s school who collected the candy for Make a Wish Foundation.

The kiddos made thank you cards for their grandparents, thanking them for the fun Halloween treats.  While the kiddos made their thank you cards I made good egg awards for them.  Our house is on the market and we recently had a showing for our house and the kiddos were amazing.  They helped by cleaning their rooms, watching their little sister, and being all around great listeners.  So, in their good egg awards I have included a coupon for each of them.

One of the coupons is for a video of your choice, or in this house, a Netflix movie of your choice (this is kind of a big deal come family movie night). The other coupon, for my eldest, is good for staying up an extra hour past her bedtime (which I might be looking more forward to then she is, it will be nice to have time with her while the others are in bed, like old times).

Love Coupons for Kids

Coupons for Kids

 

 

 

 

 

I have a booklet of coupons in mommy’s secret hiding place (top shelf of the pantry) and I like to hand out a coupon at least twice a
month to the children.  It is important that we reward our children and acknowledge good behavior.  It seems like far too often parents focus on the bad behavior and spurt out unnecessary names such as “Brat”.  It is just as important to focus on the good.

This evening we plan on calling family that lives long distance but given the current state of my throat I have a feeling I will not
be doing much talking.  God is helping me become a better listener (life, forever a learning experience).

Under the Weather Wednesday……but moms can’t call in sick to motherhood!

Well today started off like the past three mornings, mama’s throat was aching. So, I went to the doctor and the doctor said, “No more monkeys jumping on the bed”. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.  The diagnosis was strep throat. So I had my prescription filled, took my antibiotic, and headed home to my preschooler and toddler for rest, as the doctor prescribed, right! Doesn’t she know moms don’t get sick days?

Thanks to some creative measures mommy was able to lie down for a little while.  I played scavenger hunt with my preschooler. I hid a few of his play cars in various locations around the house and then gave him clues via walkie-talkie to locate them, he had a
blast and I stayed on the couch.

Meanwhile my toddler thought it was fun throwing Legos around the room.  She would throw them all over the room and I would make exciting faces as she did it, then she would go pick them up, and start all over again. I am sure most moms might have
encouraged their child to stop throwing items around the house, especially near daddy’s prized possession, his way to large for the room television.  But, one must remember that this mom was having a sick day.

 

 

 

I survived the morning and before I knew it was time for afternoon pick-up. So I grabbed the kiddos and we headed to the school where I have finally figured out how to avoid the stress inducing afternoon pick-up fiasco. The secret, get there really early.  I pack things for the kiddos to do while we wait and I have an afternoon pick-up book that I keep in the car strictly for pick-up.  So I grabbed my book and began reading and somehow entered the twilight zone.  The author was referencing Lisa Lobe in the book; she went to a party and saw a woman that resembled Lisa Loeb. Long story short, it was actually Lisa Loeb. Then, at that exact moment, as if it was planned, guess what song came on the radio while I was reading this, “Stay” by Lisa Loeb.  No joke, maybe it was the meds but I had a real twilight zone moment.


Naptime Is the New Happy Hour: And Other Ways Toddlers Turn Your Life Upside Down

Once home my mother called and expressed that I need to go outside and get vitamin D in order to get healthy.  I figured I will try anything.  So, we are off to play that ever popular, fun for all ages backyard game, I Spy Poop.  Seriously, it is so difficult to find poop with all the leaves on the ground I need the kiddos help.  You try it; can you spy the poop in the following picture?

Well, I am off to settle a dispute between the kiddos, one claims mud and the other claims poop.  I guess I am the referee; I have to make a call.  So, until next time, stay healthy moms because remember, moms can’t call in sick to motherhood.

30 Days of Gratitude….a way for family to stay grounded

I was disappointed this morning. I was watching the news and noticed that there was a commercial for Christmas, Christmas! It is only one day after Halloween and already the attention has turned to Christmas. What Happened to Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving seems to be one of those Holidays where retailers can’t make much of a profit so why not skip it all together? I did hear that Nordstrom has taken a stand and they will not be putting up their Christmas decorations or marketing Christmas until
after Thanksgiving, way to take an initiative Nordstrom’s (we don’t have one around here but this might call for a special trip, that is an initiative I can support!).

So, thanks to Nordstrom’s inspiration and my own passion for thanksgiving our family will be living 30 days of gratitude and we invite your family to do the same.  I realize as mothers we already give so much of ourselves to our family which is why this
needs to be a practical endeavor.  30 days of gratitude is not meant to be overwhelming or add stress to your life, in fact it should hopefully have quite the opposite effect on you and your family. Living gratitude can be quite fulfilling.

Gratitude is more than an attitude. Recent studies show that grateful people are happier, more resilient, and less depressed. They also have higher self-esteem and better relationships. These results prove that gratitude is more than polite manners and positive thinking. It is a way of life, and a wonderful legacy to leave our children. http://www.more4kids.info/184/teaching-gratitude/

So, when thinking about different ways to express gratitude think of simple acts of kindness, and make sure you get your children involved.  Sure mommy can grab the Halloween candy, throw it in a box, and mail it but without expressing the purpose behind the act the act goes unnoticed by your little ones.  So remember to share these acts and when possible contribute and express gratitude as a family.

To get your family started I am providing a few ideas for ways in which your family can demonstrate gratitude.

Turkey of Gratitude

The first week of November or, two weeks prior to Thanksgiving have your children begin writing down something they are grateful for each day. Then have them stick the feather in the Turkey. On Thanksgiving Day your family will have a lovely center piece of thanks.

How to make it: Cut a 1-inch sliver off the bottom of a 9-inch polystyrene ball. Wrap sphere neatly in thick dark-brown yarn, covering surface completely; knot on bottom. Make a 4-inch ball from light-brown yarn and attach to body with a wooden craft stick. Create simple facial features using felt: white circles (approximately the size of a quarter, with 1/8-inch pom-poms for pupils) for eyes, yellow triangles for the beak, and long red felt teardrops as the wattle. Cut feather shapes from colored craft paper and bend in half lengthwise to create seam. Glue wooden craft stick to the bottom third of the feather and insert in a fan shape on turkey body. (Parents Magazine)

Donate Halloween Candy

If you don’t know what to do with all that left over Halloween Candy, send it to Operation Shoebox and they will get it over to our troops! Every year they go through tons of candy that they send to our troops and would be happy to have your leftovers!

Our mailing address is:

Operation Shoebox

8360 Highway 25

Belleview, FL 34420

Help a neighbor, family member, or elderly rake leaves.

Donate Food to a Food Bank

Donate Food- What they Can Use

  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned Goods: Meats,
    Stews, Tuna Fish,
  • Pork & Beans, Navy
    Beans, Spam, Soup
  • Apple Sauce, Peaches,
    Pears, Fruit Cocktail
  • Green Beans, Corn, Peas and other vegetables
  • Dry Pasta and Ramen
    noodles
  • Dried Beans
  • Powdered Milk
  • Spaghetti Sauce,
    Tomato Sauce, Ravioli, Beefaroni
  • Macaroni & Cheese
    and other packaged dinners
  • Cereal
  • 100% Juice
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Toiletries: Toilet Paper, Soap, Shampoo, Deodorant, Feminine Napkins

The Food Bank accepts contributions of both food and non-food items. They accept donations from individuals and companies. To get more information on making a product donation please call 419-242-5000 or email the Outreach Coordinator, Jennifer Mirelez: jmirelez@toledofoodbank.org

Donate Toys to Charity-Nationwide Donation Pick Up

Donating toys to charity has never been easier thanks to the free toy donation pick up service offered by charities nationwide. Schedule a toy donation pick up today and donate toys to the local charity you choose. While the holiday season is a favorite time to donate toys to charity, toy donations are needed year-round. Budget-strapped families often don’t have enough money left at the end of the month for these extras that can brighten the day of a little one in need. Schedule a pick up today… http://www.donationtown.org/donation-pick-up.html

Love Letters: Random Cards of Kindness Inc.

Mission Statement:

Our goal is to create positive and inspirational homemade
cards for children with life-threatening illnesses. We also want our “Love
Letters Pen Pals” to inspire others in their community to commit to making
a difference through our organization.

Be sure to checkout the guidelines and suggestions for holiday & birthday cards, and share the idea with others. http://loveletterscares.org/

Please Send Your Cards To:

Kaitlyn Chana

Love Letters: Random Cards of Kindness, Inc.

P.O. Box 161058

Altamonte Springs, FL 32716-1058

While you are filling your freezer make an additional meal for a neighbor or loved one

Drive-thru random act of Kindness

The next time you go through a drive-thru pay for the person’s order behind you, or a fraction of the person’s order behind you.  They will be delightfully surprised to hear that the complete stranger in front of them just paid for their drink and/or meal.

Volunteer at the Local Ronald McDonald House

Volunteer at the Local Ronald McDonald House

You could……

  • Bring homemade cookies or cupcakes for families. Or help children bake and decorate them.
  • Organize a craft project for children
  • Host a pizza party, ice cream social, or popcorn & movie night
  • Make welcome goodie bags and care packages for families
  • Make quilts, afghans or knitted hats and mittens for families

Give thanks for each other around the dinner table (we do this on
Sundays)

Each family member takes a turn and express why they are thankful for each of the other family members, specifically something they did that day.

Send a Letter to a Soldier

http://www.letterstosoldiers.org/write-letter

Call a friend who doesn’t live in town and ask them how their day is going.

Mobile Meals of Toledo

Home Delivered Meal Programs: Volunteer 1 -1/2 hours a day, two days per month or offer to substitute on an on-call basis.

Have kiddos send a Thank you for being a great friend Card.

http://www.kidprintables.com/thankyounotes/

I will be sharing updates on my families 30 days of gratitude every Thankful Thursday. There are so many ways to express gratitude everyday. Maybe your family has a special Thanksgiving ritual that illustrates gratitude, if so, please share.