Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2013 is Flying

I can't believe it is already March.  Time is really flying by.  Just 2 1/2 months left of school.  This will complete my fifth year teaching at Mother's Day Out.  Christian and I have both survived being in each other's class.  We are still waiting to hear whether he is getting into Pre-K  for the Fall.

We had to put a new engine in our van last December.  It was quite a blow to us financially.  Two weeks ago we had to put in a new alternator, tension rod, and various other things I have no clue about.  The van has never run better.  David's car is still going.  It's funny to think that it's been the dependable car at it's age (13 years) and it's appearance.  We are thankful to not have any car notes.

I am looking forward to seeing my friend, Stephanie, later this month.  She will be flying out for a quick weekend visit.  It's been a year since I have last seen her.  We talk lots on the phone to get us by in between visits.  She has three boys just like me.

David is down to 198 pounds!  We are still going strong.  I hit 77 pounds lost today.  We are good to encourage each other and it has become a lifestyle for us.  David commented the other day that we've both surpassed the goal we set for ourselves.  What a great feeling that is!  We will both be in need of summer clothing when the weather turns warm.

My parents booked a beach house for them, us, and my sister's family for late July.  This will be our fourth year to go together.  We are all looking forward to it.  Last year was a lot of fun.  I wonder if Katie will be riding the ferris wheel again this year?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I had been dreading my trip to California for my grandmother's 80th birthday party for months.  In large part due to David not being able to go.  I was terrified of traveling with three kids by myself.  The upcoming trip weighed me down from October to January.

I am happy to report that the trip went much smoother than I had anticipated.  We survived going through airport security without a hitch.  In fact, most airport employees I came in contact with were very nice.  I am sure they went out of their way to be friendly since they saw I was traveling alone with the boys.

Ethan would have stayed in California for much longer if we could have arranged it.  The trip was a day longer than Ross would have preferred.  Christian stole the hearts of his California relatives.  He was a trooper walking Disneyland for eight hours and partying until midnight for his great grandma's birthday both on the same day.

We had a few hiccups.  A woman passed out on our flight from DFW to Orange County.  This caused quite a bit of excitement.  In the early morning hours before our return flights home, Ross suffered an asthma attack.  He had been clear of his asthma for three years.  I had no medicine to give him and didn't know if I should put him on an airplane or get him to a hospital.  It cleared enough after he sat in the bathroom with hot steam and we got him to the doctor when we got home.  Ethan and Ross had a hard few days trying to catch up on school work even though I tried my best to work with their teachers to allow them to do some of their work before our trip.  Their work load is back to normal now.  Thank goodness!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Hodgepodge Dinner

This has been a crazy week.  The boys had school on Monday and then a ferocious (not really) ice storm came and school was cancelled due to inclement weather on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The boys returned to school yesterday. They have today off due to teacher inservice and also have Monday off for Martin Luther King day.  Tough week for a stay at home mom of three boys.

It's funny how hungry the boys are on days when they aren't at school.  I'm talking about being hungry an hour after breakfast.  Then again an hour before lunch!  It's hard to keep these boys fed on a budget with grocery prices as high as they are.  I do the best I can.  I try to stretch food.  We really don't eat out to speak of.  Money is just too tight.  School days help because they eat lunch at school and I only have to provide breakfast, snack, dinner, and they insist on some sort of dessert after dinner.

This past Wednesday Ross was yearning for some "restaurant food".  He even had everyone write down the restaurant of everyone's choice.  David and I played along even though we knew the Newberrys would be eating in for dinner.  Later that night I remembered that Ethan had a free meal coming from Raising Cane's for making good grades.  I had also responded to a guest customer service survey recently from another chain and had a free chicken sandwich waiting for me.  I had received a subway gift card from my mom for Christmas and still had money left on it.  Voila!  Ross got his "restaurant food" dinner last night!

After dropping Ross off at Art, I then picked up meals for Ethan and Ross at two different restaurants and spent no money. David picked up Subway for the two of us and we split a $5 sandwich using the gift card.  Christian hadn't eaten all of his lunch so he dined on his leftovers.  It was a great dinner and a nice reprieve from my monotonous menu!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Escape from Parenthood

My husband and I are very lucky.  My mom and dad like to have our three boys spend the night a lot!  The truth is my dad enjoys it more than my mom does.  My dad, or Pawpaw, goes through withdrawals if he hasn't seen the three boys in a few days.  I often get texts from him asking when the next STN (spend the night) will be.  Consequently, the boys are out of the house several weekend nights out of the month.

The last few years we've gotten to where we meet just about halfway between our houses at a gas station right off the highway.  The boys are always excited when they are on their way to spend the night with Mawmaw and Pawpaw.  They love them and all but a big reason is because they have satellite at their house and can catch up on their Disney teeny bopper shows and anything else that my mom might've recorded for them.  We disconnected our satellite a few years ago.  We've got a few locals and pbs over here, plus netflix.

Yes, they are excited to go spend time with their grandparents and their favorite television shows but it doesn't match the excitement that I feel as I pull away from the gas station ALONE.  Nobody calling shotgun, no arguments, but not silence either because I blast the radio in a celebration of sweet freedom from parenthood.  I am on cloud 9 during the fifteen minute drive home.  I walk in the door and realize I don't have to give baths, oversee homework, debate over why teeth should be brushed now, etc.

 David and I usually stay in since we've been eating healthier.  Going out to eat isn't all that when you are counting calories.    We have a quiet evening in.  So nice.  It feels just like when we were dating.  We reconnect.  Most importantly, we rejuvenate because everytime the boys depart, there is always an impending arrival!

Friday, January 4, 2013

And the 2012 Family Game Night Winner is......

Towards the end of 2011, I decided to institute a family game night.  I thought doing it once a month would be achievable.  Family game night is typically held the first Friday night of the month.  We take turns choosing the game.  A lot of the time Christian and I play as a team because the game is too hard for him.

I usually cook something the boys really like for dinner, have a cute/fun dessert, and we end game night with a movie.  My boys love it.  They really look forward to it.  David and I do too.

For 2012 I decided to keep a record of who chose the game, what game was chosen, and who won.  I thought it would be fun to see which family member won the most Family Game Nights and then award them at the end of the year.  Much to Ethan and Ross' dismay, I was the 2012 Newberry Family Game Night winner!  I bought myself a trophy at the Dollar Store and it sits proudly above my kitchen sink.  I will be passing that on in twelve months.  It will be fun to see who wins the second year.  The boys and David decided that we should also put a gift card on the table for the next winner and Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt was the majority vote.  Nothing is unanimous in this family.  We have one kid who will go against the flow just to go against the flow......

I am really happy that the family digs our game night as much as they do.  I did good!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

Today is the first day of 2013.  January 1st.  I am feeling especially optimistic as we begin the new year.  My family has a lot of special events happening in the first half of 2013.

January marks the return of David's "normal" retail schedule.  It will be very nice for us to get back to normal.  I always breathe a sigh of relief as the holiday season leaves us.  We got through another one!  This last one was our 16th.  It was a little easier on us because David's store had more employees than in the past.  Ross also starts art classes on Thursday afternoons.  We look forward to seeing his talent flourish.

The first weekend of February, the boys and I will be travelling to Southern California to attend my grandmother's 80th birthday party at the Grand Californian Hotel in Downtown Disneyland.  This will be quite an adventure for me doing it without David.  We will stay two nights at the hotel and another two nights at my grandmother's house in San Juan Capistrano.  We'll hit Disneyland on Saturday, attend her party that night, eat at a character breakfast on Sunday morning and then travel down to San Juan.  We will be visiting with my mom's sister, my Aunt Nancy,  and her husband Bob, and also with my cousin, Annie and family on Sunday evening.  Annie has three boys as well.  We will be having dinner at my Aunt's house.  This could potentially be one loud house!  I look forward to taking a picture of the six boys so my grandfather can have one.  It isn't often our spread out family gets together.  The next day I hope to get the boys to the Pacific Ocean and rest some before our return flight back to Monroe on Tuesday.  I am already tired from this upcoming weekend!

In March, David and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary with a vow renewal/anniversary party.  We will be having it in my parent's backyard.  And if it will be just like our wedding day 15 years ago.  We hope to share that day with family and friends.

I will be turning 40 (!) in April.  I pray that I meet this milestone with grace and dignity.  

May will mark the end of a very successful school year for the boys.  Ethan and Ross are such great students.  Ethan transitioned well into middle school.  In fact, this month he is one of three sixth grade students of the month.  Ross is dedicated to school work.  He is harder on himself than we are on him.  David and I are fortunate to have boys who have self-discipline when it comes to school.  We hope Christian follows suit!  In the Spring we will try to enroll Christian into pre-k for the Fall.  The pre-k his brothers attended is now using a lottery system.  We sure hope he gets in.  Next August could mean a big change for us if he does.  All three boys in school M-F???  What would that be like?

I plan to blog on a "regular" basis .... I look forward to your comments and especially encouragement for this mom of three boys!

Happy New Year to you!  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Today marks a year since Christian was admitted into the hospital  for dehydration following his adenoidectomy and tube surgery and then a bout of strep.  It was a very stressful time.  He wouldn't eat or drink and was very listless.  It isn't often one of my boys refuses food!!!

Ross was hospitalized a few years ago following a severe asthma attack.  He even arrived at the hospital via ambulance from the doctor's office.  I had been giving him breathing treatments and puffs of his inhaler but those weren't making his breathing any easier.  That was a very scary time.

Every time one of my children has been sick or physically hurt, I couldn't help but think of countless families who live with a terminally ill child.  I can't imagine the emotional, physical, and financial toll it takes on parents and siblings.  I am so thankful that my boys are healthy.  Even though the hospital stays were painful to go through, I praise God for them because it helps me realize how good we have it.  It made me count my blessings!