Day after day coming into my own as a mother…

I have found the path of motherhood to be bumpy and overwhelming at times. While some days I feel like I need to spend a week away from my kids (and by kids I also mean my husband) (LOL), I find that when I do leave even if it is for a few hours to run errands alone, I am always greeted by my three year old with a “I missed you mommy” that makes every minute of being a mom worth while. I never knew the kind of love that I would feel for this little person coming into his own after three years and to think I have another I will be able to share this experience with again. My kids are my life and have made my life that much better – difficult yes – but so worth living. This is an all over blog post, but one I felt I needed to get out there before my thoughts were on something else:).

I never dreamed I would be a mother, let alone a mother at 21. I left home at 17 to join the military, married my husband at 18, had heart surgery at 20, and had my bundle of joy after turning 21. Not to mention I deployed to Iraq at the age of 19 with a few of my closest friends whom I still stay in contact with. Sometimes we realize too late that people who are meant to be in our lives are the least likely but end up being the best of friends!

Anywho back to the topic of the story, I am a young mother but I feel like I am 30 sometimes! I feel like life is so short and that I have to get the hard stuff over with sooner so I am able to enjoy the small moments like coming home to an “I miss you mommy” moment after being gone for just a few short minutes. I think the greatest struggle with being a parent is knowing what is the best thing to do for your child. With so many nutritional studies out there and information about vaccinations – this world seems almost impossible to raise a child the right way. I have found that three things really work in our home. The first is a strict bed time – unless nap time has befallen us early:). Ensuring that we wash our hands and make sure we brush our teeth – we want those adult teeth to have the best chance possible – and we need to keep away the nasty germs:/. The final tip is to constantly change the way you adapt to your childs behaviors and needs. Not all kids are the same and not all children listen to their parents, but this does not mean that they are a “bad egg” it just means they need a different set of guidance. My child constantly challenges my husband and I. Between the I have to go potty’s after bed time has gone and passed by an hour to the I don’t like Ravioli – which by the way was his favorite food last week….Good grief, I have spent so much money on food for this child the past three years LOL!

I feel that there is never enough to know about raising children, and there isn’t one way to bring up a child the right way. As long as you show love, respect, and set good examples your children will be good citizens when it counts most. That isn’t until they are adults, so we have a long ways to go! Always adapting to the changing ways of our children is the only way to survive – afterall we want to be part of our grandchildren’s lives someday so we need to ensure our relationships with our children remain strong and healthy.

I have not been fortunate to share the wonderful times with my parents mainly because all my life the relationship has been nothing short of inconsistent. I pride myself in knowing both parents are home at bed time to put my kids to bed so they feel safe and that my kids will never know how hard it is to raise them in this economy. I grew up with the constant stressors of abuse, emotional abuse, and a lack of guidance – it is no wonder I fled my family in search of something more. While on my adventure of searching for more I found someone with the same issues – my husband. Both of us broken and in need of something stable; we found a common bond in eachother. I was so thankful to stumble upon my love of 6 years – while it has been challenging we have made it through the other side. So, I guess the moral of this story is that becoming a good parent has not been easy, I have had to find my own way because I was never shown a healthy way to love or interact with other people. If anything has changed my life for the better it is my children. I found that life is too short to dwell on the past, things that could have been, and the wrong people may or may have not done to me. I want to be a better person for my kids – therefore I am. So, thank you Aiden and Emmett for making mommy a better version of herself.

End of thought.

Have a wonderful day!

Mel-

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What’s with all the sickness floating around??

It seems that since this last December and through this year there have been so many bugs going around, has anyone else noticed? From the new H7H9 flu strain in China to the Sydney norovirus that causes severe bowel issues – I am nervous to even hit up the local supermarket….! About three years ago I realized how scared I became for my children because of all the nasty bugs in the world.

Reluctantly, I became a germ-phobe and yes I am the mother who constantly makes my children wash their hands and I always carry a bottle of sanitizer with me even if it doesn’t really kill all the super-bugs lingering on surfaces. However, back to the question at hand. What is up with all the bugs lately??!

I figure it is due to the change in climate – longer winter this year and many people forced to stay couped up inside where germs can proliferate a hundred-fold. I am embarrassed to say that I have stayed away from friends and their children due to how often they are ill – I do not want my family or my unborn child getting sick…YIKES! My best friend from Michigan actually texted me today that she and her three week old newborn have strep throat…all I could think about was that I hope our little trip to the zoo today won’t end up with an unhappy ending in a few days. We have been ill three times in the past three months. This is just unheard of in my household because I work very hard to ensure the health of my loved ones.

How is it that so many people are ill – but you still see them dragging their poor sick children through the grocery store or at places where normal healthy people take their families. It’s no big deal to them because they are already sick so why not share it with the vulnerable populations of the world. I actually had a co-worker (before I quit my job) tell me that if I wasn’t prego she wouldn’t care about getting me sick but she didn’t want to get the baby sick. In my head I was thinking…Um I have small children at home you crazy five-letter word. Ugh…Germs and people can be disgusting.

Does anyone else have issues with sick people sharing their germs to the world?

Learning how to cut spending during tough economic times!

While searching for ways to make ends meet after finding out we were expecting our second child unexpectedly, I decided it was time to re-buckle down on the pre-baby saving!

A little background about me: hubs and I used to be in the military in 2010 when our first child was born. We both agreed that having a parent at home for the first years was the right decision for our family – and once both of our contracts were up we decided to separate from the service. We cut down on everything we could possibly imagine expense-wise and found that we saved nearly 20K dollars before we got out. Even though this was the best decision emotionally for our family we took a 65% cut in our income…(YIKES!) which we realized we really didn’t need; but however had missed. Hubs got a job working for the government – making less than 35K a year and I pursued my degree which I have now finished. Today we are in the same position but I have found some creative and no brainer ways to cut down on unnecessary spending.

1.) Make a list of all expenses for the year. You will find that some things can be eliminated and others not so much. One of my most interesting finds for the year was our AAA coverage which we pay $160.00 per year for – when I already have the same exact coverage from my car insurance company – FOR FREE! Also, don’t forget to include expenses for clothing, shopping, trips, dinners out, and even that date night that you pay the sitter for. You will thank me later.

2.) Examine your grocery bill and how often your family eats out. You would be surprised at how much food is thrown away by your own household that is nutritionally better for you and yes, much much cheaper! I have successfully cut our grocery bill to a wonderful $150.00 give or take $20.00 here and there based upon holidays or family visiting. Buy foods that you can use for more than one meal. Examples being potatoes, rice, beans, celery, carrots…you get the point.

3.) Organic food is better don’t get me wrong – but at the end of the day food is food and especially in the case of vegetables you can scrub them and peel those veggies that can be peeled. Health foodies like myself do prefer the organic version of foods but I would rather feed my family in this economy! Just be mindful of the price and you will be fine.

4.) Examine your cell phone bill. Can you really live without the expensive data plan your carrier provides? The answer is yes. If you absolutely cannot live without the data think about reducing the MB per month and you will love the average savings of at least $300.00 a year. Hubby and I recently went back to basic phones with an unlimited messaging plan and mobile-to-mobile calls and shaved off a major $40.00 from our monthly bill. Instead of paying for a data plan in which we use Wi-fi for anyway we take our iPads and other Wi-fi capable devices where ever we go so it’s absolutely FREE.

5.) We love love our furry pets but there are major costs to be cut here. Consider the vet bills, grooming fees, and food it costs to keep these loves of our lives happy. You will quickly realize like we did that commercial Vet’s are way more expensive than a local practice. We also switched our dog’s food to a better brand that actually costs us less and he doesn’t need as much because it is better quality.

6.) Be frugal. Who really cares if your friend’s think you are crazy for eating out one time a month or not having cable services. Find things to do with your family that cost next to nothing or even free – you will find that some of the best things in life don’t cost a dime. My family and I have managed to live with the less is more attitude and at the age of 24 and 27 have a savings account – that I take a lot of pride in – a home, two reliable cars, and enough money left over for extra things that we may like to do. Life is not about having the most expensive car or the biggest television screen. Life is about making memories with loved ones and learning new skills to make the most out of this short life we are given.

So, my best advice until you win the lottery – hehe – is to be frugal and learn how to cut costs in a logical way. You will be more happy that you saved an extra $500 a year rather than catching up on bills from the previous year.

Happy Saving!!