This page is about a Mom who likes to think she is closer to the Hot side than the alternative. Here is my story of the daily journey of a less than rich, less than skinny and more than happy lady :D

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Least, Most Favorite Four Letter Word

Since my wedding day there is a word that plagues me. It is a word so many use probably too often every day. Its the type of 4 letter word you can pop into a conversation and not make your grandmother blush. Still, its a 4 letter word.


First off a little disclaimer: I love a good plan just as much as the next slightly OCD person out there. I think plans are thoughtful and they help everyone to know what to expect. My issue is with the plan being the focus instead of the actual event. I'm also not saying don't try to have plans, just be ready to improvise. I have three calendars in my kitchen- trust me, I like plans. 

Let me give you a little history on this word over the course of my grown up life. 

On our wedding day we had a "plan". To get married in the park by the river under a gazebo with all our friends and family sitting in nice white chairs around us. So we rented the chairs, reserved the park and starting to implement our plan. Let's just say that the chairs never made it out of the rental truck. The ferns were never set out, and no one would be sitting on anything. It rained. And I mean like puddles that would drown your feet rain. In a frantic rush to save the day my dad sent my friends to Walgreen's to buy every umbrella they had. The bottom of my dress was soaking wet after I walked down the aisle. Everyone around us that decided to brave the downpours stood under their umbrellas with smiles and cold feet. But you know what- we still got married. 

For our first kiss as husband and wife we stepped out into the rain and made it our moment. We embraced what was given to us and made a new "plan". My aunts always tell me that our wedding day was magical- and I agree :D

When I was pregnant with my oldest son I had a "plan". My mom, my brother and his girlfriend were down for spring break which happened to coincide with my due date. So we came up with our plan: we were going to spend the day Sunday at the beach, Monday at the zoo and Tuesday when I went for my doctor's appointment we would go have the baby. Wrong. Sunday morning I woke up thinking that I was having Braxton Hicks when it was actual labor. That afternoon we all celebrated Cooper's birthday and never looked back. 

There are many more tales I could tell about how I made a plan and it didn't work out the way I had planned. MANY. In all actuality I think that its been better for me to have my "plan" fall by the wayside. I am the type of person that gets so caught up in what the plan is that I lose sight of what we were actually going to do. I worry about the details, am I going to be late? if that doesn't work out, what's the next course of action? will I need a change of clothes for that? will there be food? do I need to bring food? blah, blah, blah.

These huge life moments have taught me to let go. Let go of what I thought should happen. Be in the moment. Focus on what you're doing now, not what's next on your list. Live. Capture. Embrace what life is offering you. I heard this quote growing up and it rings so true: "If you get what you want then you'll be happy- but who knows how great things could be if you get something else?!"

So planners, OCDers, moms, dad, families- let life happen. Don't get so bogged down by your plans. Have an idea of what you want but be open to all the possibilities. I have so many friends that say "If you asked me 10 years ago what I'd be doing, I don't think I could have imagined it would be this." Be part of your story, not just the person who puts the story on the calendar. And when things don't go as "planned" find comfort in this: 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 
- Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blurred Lines

I know, I know... Maybe its too soon?

I can guarantee this post has nothing to do with the recent display of insecurity & the loudest cry for help this boob tube generation has witnessed. But, it was just too easy...

I have been battling lately with my Mommy-ness. What kind of Mom am I trying to be? Where do I fit in the stereotypes of mothers? Would I be pleased with the answer to that question?

One of the main lessons I am learning as a mother is to draw my lines with pencil or make them dotted lines.

I constantly find myself in a battle with- you guessed it- myself.

I want to be the best Mom I can be for my sons. I want to give them all the things they need, teach them to work for the things they want & show them how to appreciate all the blessings they have. I want to raise confident but humble sons- boys with a sweet spirit & the quiet strength that makes for a handsome fella both inside & out. 

Where in the WORLD do I start?!?!

Here is an example of the inner battle I found just yesterday at the park:
- Man, there are a lot of big kids here today. Maybe I should keep close to him on the playground.
- Don't be a helicopter, lady. He needs to learn the rules for childhood survival. Give him a chance.
- What if he gets hurt? These other parents are really not watching their children at all.
- See, that Dad is watching his children. Wait, they are at least 6 yrs old. Is he hovering?
- Him getting hurt could help him learn a lesson about playing with other children.
- If any of those rug-rats hurt my kid, man, they are going to hear it from me.
- How awkward would it be if one of those kids knocks him down & I have to confront the parents?
- I will tell those moms what I think of them, sitting on their phones, not paying any attention to their babies!
- But if I keep on his heels will everyone think he is a baby?
- Am I holding him back? protecting him? 
- Blah, blah, blah- worry, concern- blah!

Needless to say, in my opinion, these lines are the lines that are truly blurred:

When is it okay to let them play alone vs. not giving them enough attention?

How many times do I say no before I have to use a more harsh form of discipline? Will time out work? Do we spank him? Is something else wrong yet I am punishing him when really he is just hungry/over-tired/sleepy/needs his mom?

What if we do sensory play & he doesn't want to play the right way? Is it because I'm not doing it right?

Will my boys be friends? Will they fight all the time? How do I prepare for that?!

Why do I have to teach him to share? He had the toy first, right?

Are my children going to suffer because we had McDonald's too often?

Is it a travesty that my sheets haven't been changed in two weeks? and that I just realized it now?

Where is the line between challenging other mothers & judging them? Am I doing my duty as a friend to encourage other mothers? Should I even bring these things up?

AM I THE ONLY ONE?! My oldest is not even 3 yet I am struggling. I can't even imagine how it will be when he has a personality of his own, his own will. 

I feel like I am on the right track. Each day I try to focus on what is in front of me & not get too caught up in all these what ifs. I have my Faith to guide me & give me peace and confidence that if I give these concerns to the Lord He will give me strength, patience & comfort. 

I wanted to put this out there so that other moms know- you're not alone. I am here, with my questions, just standing there, watching my son run off to the playground, hoping for the best!

I love this verse and quote it so often. The focus for me is to train the child in the way HE/SHE should go...

Train up a child in the way HE should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Mother's Love is a Battlefield

After a day full of dirty diapers, McDonald's meltdowns and 10 minute naps it is often hard to sit down and convince yourself that this is the start of something amazing. You look at the little tear stained cheeks, check your agenda at the door and start thanking the Lord for His Grace. Any Mother can relate... and if you can't I'm gonna need you to write a book ASAP- the rest of us need your secrets! 

A Mother's love is a battlefield... Constantly dodging the mines-perfect Pinterest-worthy birthday parties, families all in matching, clean outfits, and how did that lady potty train her twins at 15 months!? The enemy's firing at you left and right- breastfeeding is the only way, vaccinate, don't vaccinate, no TV until their 2. Not to mention you have your own baggage- am I ever going to wear non-yoga pants again, did I brush my teeth today, have I turned into my mother... And somewhere in there you are trying to do the best you can with what you have and praying every day that if nothing else your children will remember how much you loved them so they will put you in a decent "retirement" home.

Being a Mom is by far the most challenging experience I have had yet. And not only are you a Mom, you are a spouse, a friend/sister/daughter, the housekeeper, the doctor on call, the personal decorator, personal shopper, chef, mechanic and the entertainment. Don't forget to add the things you would like to do- photographer, cake maker, supermodel (we all have dreams right?), painter, author. And somewhere in that resume you're supposed to fit getting a pedicure, haircut and going to the gym as well as volunteering for story time and hosting play dates, cheering on your husband's flag football team and teaching your in-laws how to use their new iPhone (even though you don't even own an iPhone).

On top of that to-do list that seems 4 pages long you also have the emotions of being a Mom. What's the line between letting them explore and watching them fail? Why every time they are disciplined do you feel like you might have just broken their spirit? Can you protect them from the effects of middle school? Will they pick good friends? Do you think they'll remember to wear sunscreen? go to the dentist? Am I a nag? 

After the McDonald's/no nap/poopy day, and a few tears, I believe I have come up with the salve my aching Mommy's heart needs... having all these feelings means I am working to be the best Mommy I can be. If I didn't have concerns, if I didn't invest all of myself, and if I didn't cherish the moments that make up life with my boys (good or not so good) I would just be a caretaker. A Mother's Love is consuming, exhausting, fulfilling, heavy and the best blessing the world has to offer. 

As much as I love my sons, I can't imagine what God felt like giving up his only Son for a bunch of sinners... and that is what keeps the days and nights flowing- even if I can't keep a plan, I know He has one for me.  

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. 
- Matthew 6:34 (The Message)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dinosaurs- the Ice Age

Here is our latest fun activity- dinosaurs and ice :D

I put 6 of our plastic dinos from Target in one side of the ice tray. On the other side I put dyed ice- put one drop of food coloring in the ice tray and fill with water.

We used this at bath time and the following day we played with them on the water table. He loved it!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Happy 4th Anniversary!

The hubs and I just celebrated our 4th anniversary.
According to tradition the gift should be flowers or fruit.
List of Anniversary Gifts

Here's my attempt to bring tradition full circle on a budget of $20.

I purchased:
- $2.50 Strawberries
- $1.99 Grapes
- $4.99 A bottle of Riesling
- $1.98 2 Granny Smith apples
- $.70 1 can sweetened condensed milk- which will be cooked into caramel
- $2.59 1 package of white chocolate bark
- $4 4 balloons
- $.76 4 printed pictures: wedding, 1st anniversary, 2nd anniversary and 3rd anniversary

I put the sweetened condensed milk in the crock pot to make the caramel sauce for our apples:
Crock Pot Caramel

Then I heated the white chocolate bark on the stove on  LOW. Make sure its low or the chocolate will burn. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate and allow to cool on wax paper.
White Chocolate Strawberries

Finally I took the pictures I printed and on the back of each I put at least 10 memories from that year.
I punched a hole in the picture and tied each one to a balloon that I put over our bed.
Anniversary Balloons

I packed the fruit and the wine in a picnic basket and we went back to the park we were married in and had a dessert picnic.

Other than having our park time during a tropical storm it was perfect! Since my friend babysat for us to enjoy the night free of charge I was able to complete this for $19.51!

Dinosaur Dig!

My Inspiration:

Here are a few pictures from our dinosaur dig! 
This fun craft was less than $5 and so much fun!!!

I purchased the dinosuars from Target for $1
Next, 2 boxes of lime jello at 60 cents each
Toothbrush in a pack from the dollar store- so about 25 cents

Put the dinosaurs in the jello and let sit overnight. This is how it looked the next morning:

So we took it outside and plopped them down in one bin, and put water in the other side.

Then you let them loose! Coop loved it- all the squishy and then the water.

He wanted to clean the dinosaurs off so I took a toothbrush and let him at it. He loved the brush and scrubbing them clean.

And that's how we hunt dinosaurs in this house :D

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

They call it LABOR for a reason!

It is hard to believe that I am now the Mom of two very handsome little fellas... I am not sure if that is because it feels so wonderful or if I am so sleep deprived that the lines of reality are blurred. I wouldn't trade the bags under my eyes for anything in the world. So maybe I would have traded it for an epidural, but who's to say really?

Fletcher Lee Grice was born on April 27, 2013 at a very dark 4:25 am. We arrived at the hospital around 7:00 on Friday night- concerned that my labor was going to come quickly and we wouldn't make it in time, I would have to deliver the baby in the car, etc... Needless to say that wasn't Mr. Fletcher's plan. He took his time, let us savor a few more sweet moments as a family of 3, squeeze Cooper's neck and start the caravan to deliver. 

This time I decided I was going to go at this like a hero Mom... One who watched The Business of Being Born twice and felt like I knew nothing the first time around. I was determined that I was going to have the ultimate experience, feel like more of a Mother than I ever had, and take this like a champion. I came, I saw, I conquered... and I did a little bit of yelling, crying, and a lot of doubting myself. But we went to the hospital with the intentions of having a baby. And by George, we did.

I was SO worried I would not make it in time I had myself convinced that we should have been at the hospital hours before we arrived. "The second one comes so much faster"... "If you don't have an epidural your labor will go so quickly"... At 10:00 pm they broke my water, and each CM of labor seemed to come and go with little troubles- contractions, yes they were there though. I worked up to 8 CM and felt like a champion. I was breathing it out, walking around, laboring if you will :D In true Lee-Grice fashion we had a huge party there awaiting the arrival of our sweet baby who, at this point, we still didn't know if it was a fella or a gal. My parents, my sister, my in-laws- which included my BIL and SIL, were all there laughing, talking, falling asleep, and supporting me through this process.

Then it started to become more labor less laboring. Wow, it sure did hurt. It didn't help that my cervix was not sitting properly and the nurse had to "help it" along during my contractions. I know at one point I said very loudly "You are HURTING me!"- and she was... From 8 to 10 CM to pushing felt like the shortest-longest time in my life. I was in pain, it was a blur, then I was pushing, trying to catch a breath, pushing again, then there was a baby! My baby was here! I had done it... and I was EXHAUSTED!!! They let me hold him right away and I felt that huge rush that can't be compared to anything in life. WE DID IT! 

I am so thankful my hubby was able to be there with me (not that there was ever a reason he wouldn't, unless we go back to my fear of hardly making it to the hospital- in which he would be at work/the store/playing basketball and would not make it before the baby did :D), crying more than I did, holding my hand, and thank goodness keeping pretty quiet but super supportive. He cut the cord, cried a little more, then went to check on our new little guy. And I was left to finish the job, the labor. I just wanted to take a second and compose myself- I wasn't crying- I was sweating, and I was so out of breath! There were a few loose ends to tie up, a few things to get us to the actual finish line- and those were not pleasant either... and I felt every bit of them.

Finally I was clean, he was clean, and he was alllll mine to kiss, snuggle and fall in love with. But it was still a little hazy. I was there, but if felt like I was watching the whole thing. I could feel my heart overflowing but I could also feel my eyes getting heavy. It was a rush like no other. The pain is something you can't even remember that same day though. I know it was the worst pain ever, but the negative feelings pass so quickly. 

Comparing it to Cooper's delivery- I arrived at the hospital at 6 CM, received my epidural, pushed for a little while, had the baby, loved the baby right away, and felt nothing. I felt no different after having my epi-baby than I did with my natural birthed baby as far as love for him or that overwhelming Mommy urge. I did in fact feel like I could enjoy the moments after birth more with the epidural- you don't notice so much the follow-up tasks that are going on while you are loving on that sweet bundle. I feel like just as much of a Mom now as I did then, and it makes me feel wonderful that I didn't short change myself on the experience the first go round. I love them both with an overflowing heart and drugs or not they were my whole world from the first moment we met.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Canvas Quotes

The Inspiration:
Canvas Quotes Inspiration
DIY Quotes on Canvas
Thrift store picture quotes

The Ingredients:
  • Any size canvas
  • Vinyl letters- I used 3" and 4" to change up the word sizing
  • Scrapbook paper or magazines or an old framed picture
  • Sponge paint brushes
  • Mod Podge

The Directions:
  • Pick a quote that you love- song lyric, quote, verse, etc.
  • Tear scrapbook or magazine pages up so that they cover the canvas but have no distinct pattern
  • Apply Mod Podge to the canvas and adhere the scrapbook paper or magazine paper
  • Allow to dry for a few minutes- you can make sure you have all your letters ready for the next step

  • Once dry place your vinyl letters on the canvas
  • I used a straight edge but I was not super diligent in making my letters straight since I was going for the vintage look

  • Start painting over the canvas- use a light coat if you want the paper to show through all over the canvas; thicker coat if you want to cover the paper
  • Make sure to paint all around the edge of the canvas unless you covered it with paper also

  • Once the paint is dry ( I left mine to sit overnight), start peeling off the letters
  • If while you are pulling up the letters they tear the paper underneath or do not give a clean line, don't worry! It give your creation character! 
  • A few people suggested using sand paper on the canvas- lightly of course- to give it an even more worn look. 
  • Last, cover the entire canvas with Mod Podge to seal down any edges that may have pulled up

Here's how mine turned out:

Pretzel Buttons

The Inspiration:

The Ingredients:
  • Square pretzels
  • Hershey's Hugs- you can use Kisses but the Hugs are, to me, far better
  • Plain M&M's in the color(s) of your choice

The Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees (if your oven runs hot place it more like 150-170)
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Place pretzels on parchment paper
  • Place a Kiss on each pretzel
  • Bake for 4-5 minutes or until the chocolate is shiny and soft but not melting- they should still hold a little shape*
  • Carefully place an M&M in the center of the Hug and lightly press down
  • Allow to cool completely*

The Verdict:
*I will sometimes just place 1 M&M on top to see how soft the chocolate is at the 3 minute mark
*I usually place mine directly in the fridge or freezer so the Hugs don't have a chance to run once the M&M's are placed

Here's how mine turned out: YUMMY!!!