Friday, August 28

For Better or For Worse - Stickles Style!

Well, today on Kelly’s Korner, she has a posting titled “For Better or For Worse”. It basically lists all the things about motherhood that she thought have been easier or harder than she anticipated. Well.. I have LOTS of things on both sides!! So, I thought I would do my own little list.. things that have been easier or harder since becoming a mother and wife… this should be interesting!!

Things that have been easier than I imagined

{1} childbirth – I’ll be honest… my labors were super quick! This isn’t the case for everyone, so I realize just how lucky I am. I’m sure karma will kick my butt with my next child.. I’ll be the woman with the 36hr labor! Ha!

{2} going to a store or restaurant with my kids – the Lord blessed with me with behaved children. (well, at least they seem semi-behaved in public.. home is a WAY different story!) I see children who have meltdowns somewhere and it makes me that much more thankful for my sweet babies. I can probably count on one hand the number of times my children have acted out in public. I am so thankful for this b/c I probably wouldn’t be able to handle it! (God knew what he was doing!! Trust me!)

{3} losing the baby weight – again.. I am overly fortunate. It immediately came off with Lilly (stress might have helped!) but it took some time with Ethan. I felt a little “puffy” for about 4 months after E. For the most part though.. it was relatively quick and easy. (no stretch marks either!! Horray!)

{4} adjusting to married life.. in some ways easier than I expected and in others WAY harder.. you’ll see this on both lists!

{5} getting used to being covered in a number of different messes.. food, throw up, poop, pee, snot.. you name it, it’s been on me.. and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! The true badge of motherhood!

{6} sleep deprivation – I think you just eventually get used to it and learn to function on 4hrs of sleep!

{7} learning which battles to fight and which ones to just “go with the flow” on – for instance.. let me set the scene.. Target, 9am.. grumpy 2yr old who refuses to wear anything but a pull-up and a pj shirt.. I could either fight him kicking and screaming to get him dressed or I could just let him be.. let me just tell you that it was the highlight of my day to see my half-dressed little boy standing up in the grocery cart yelling “WHEEEEE!” down every aisle!! Oh, it’s always in the little things! Now, when he tries to throw a football into our tv on the wall.. THAT is a battle to fight! (and I will win little boy.. watch out!)

Things that have been harder than I imagined

{1} being a good mother – I feel as though I am constantly striving to give my children the best and to be the best mother I can be. This is always an ongoing inner struggle with me. I take things very personally, so I feel like I’m always doing half the job I should be doing. (although, I’m doing a pretty dang good job, if I must say so myself! Ha!)

{2} being a good wife – I don’t think I was mentally prepared to be a “wife” at 25. Don’t get me wrong.. I was completely in love with my husband and knew I wanted to marry him. But it’s one thing to make that decision and have the wedding… and then live the married life! It’s taken some adjusting (as I was SUPER spoiled and used to always getting my way!!) but he’s an amazing man for putting up with me and letting me finally “get it”!!

{3} paying bills… WHAT?! Who in their right mind thought of “BILLS” !!! Whoever you are.. I do not like you! And whoever thought I should have to pay a ridiculous amount for my children’s tuition each month.. I do not like you even more! Bills stress me out.. writing tuition checks stresses me out.. shopping on the other hand, puts me in my peaceful “happy place”! (much to my husband’s dismay!)

{4} Keeping a clean house and learning to cook! My mother is OCD when it comes to cleanliness.. and guess what, the child who never picked a broom up in her life inherited that trait! Seriously.. want to know how long “chores” lasted with this girl growing up.. about a week! I pitched a fit and my mother gave in. I never cleaned a car (until about a month ago.. so proud!) and didn’t even pump gas till I went away to college. Want to know who taught me how to wash clothes.. my college roommate!!! So… I didn’t learn how to clean or be remotely domestic for that matter!! So, go figure that this helpless young girl would grow up to be JUST LIKE HER MOM!! (woah.. no one tell my mother I just admitted that! Ha!) Seriously though.. I am ridiculous about my house. I feel as though I’m channeling David Kessler every time I get a wash rag in my hand! Now cooking.. there’s no hope there! I truly wish I could be Betty Crocker and be the mom who bakes cookies with her kids, but I just can’t do it! I don’t have the time.. I get frustrated when there’s too many things going on at once, like cooking a meal! It’s just a big ole mess! Thank goodness for the Stickles’ Chefs!!

{5} Being a 26 yr old mother of a Kindergartener! Where does the time go???

{6} Being ME! This is a tough one! As a mother of two, you get about 0 time for yourself. You get to a point when you just start to forget who you are and what makes you happy. You just lose a little of yourself. I think every mother goes through this! I have a hard time with it. I feel as though I’m still young and I want to enjoy my youth.. but WHEN!? I have say though, that when I start to get a little “down” about not being “me”, my incredible husband gives me the breathing room I need!!! Even if it’s just a 20 min break to let me go to the store, or a whole day w/o the kiddos to do whatever my little heart desires… he just gets me and knows exactly what I need!

{7} Time management! There are just not enough hours in the day!! EVER!! My days go on forever and I.AM.EXHAUSTED!!

{8} Growing up and finding the right people to have in your life. I feel like I’ve grown up A LOT since I became a mom and even more since I’ve become a wife. It’s hard when you’re at a certain stage in your life and you feel like no one you know is at that same stage. Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve needed a change and need to let certain things go so that I’m able to find things that are better for me. I think I need more people who encourage me, rather than constantly bring me down and make me feel bad for one reason or another. I like my life, I am a happy girl.. please be happy for me, don’t judge me!

Wednesday, August 26

little boys & dirt . . . pure bliss!

As soon as Chris got home from work this afternoon, I left to go get a facial that was most definitely needed! I had been looking forward to my hour of complete relaxation ALL WEEK! (and it was well worth the wait!) As I was pulling back into the drive way, afterwards, I noticed that the lawn equipment was out and the back gate was open. So, I went towards the backyard and discovered that Chris was mowing, which is what i expected to find. What I didn't expect to find was this... Ethan.. literally covered head to toe in dirt!! What is it about dirt that attracts boys?! Ethan is about as attracted to dirt as I am to a Kate Spade... lethal combination!

So... explain to me... how does this...

(quick.. which one is Dixie and which one is Ethan??)

(yes, that's a twig hanging from his pull-up)

turn back into this....

and, then back to normal with this sweet smile... ?!
Boys... you just gotta love them! :)

But don't worry.. that mischief NEVER leaves!

jumping on his bed...

And what did the bathtub look like after his bath, you ask???

ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING!!!! It required the comet spray... TWICE!

And to make matters worse... do you want to know what caused him finally being pulled from the dirt and put into the bath??? Apparently he decided that Mommy's car interior needed a little color b/c he showered DOWNPOURED it with dirt! And all of THIS was after he poured an entire bottled water in his lap while sitting in his car seat and then proceeded to smush goldfish in the wet mess! Needless to say, my car ended up being vacummed out twice and Ethan was exhausted at bed time!

Monday, August 24

Let's Celebrate!

Well, we had a great weekend around the Stickles’ house!! Friday night we went to Johnny Brusco’s for dinner. The kids LOVE pizza!! (and it’s really cheap… $24 for all 4 of us.. DEAL!) After dinner we went to Blockbuster so the kid’s could pick out some movies. We’ve started a new “chore” chart at home, and if they do all their chores for the week, then they get to pick out a movie at blockbuster. Now, when I say chore, it’s more like.. brush your teeth and feed animals. BUT.. it’s helping with the whole “teaching them responsibility” thing!! We decided to use Blockbuster movies as a reward b/c they’re too young to really understand the concept of getting money and I didn’t want candy/treats to be a reward since they don’t eat things like that… so, movies it is! (and the kid’s movies are $1 at Blockbuster!!) So, they picked their movies out.. LK got a Zac Efron flick and Ethan, of course, immediately grabbed Bob The Builder.. and we snuggled into bed at home to watch them!

Saturday morning came bright and early, as we all got up to get ready for Lilly’s soccer practice. She’s still a little slow moving, but is getting better. She did GREAT during a scrimmage game, b/c she got to play goalie! LK still likes to pick up the ball and seeing as how the goalie actually is allowed to do that.. she LOVED it!! They still have a few more weeks of practice before they have an actual game. I can’t wait! Although I have to admit, I don’t think she’s liking the whole “practice” thing very much. Saturday she told Chris, “Daddy, I just don’t think I was ready for soccer this morning!” OH NO!! haha! I have a feeling my prediction may be coming true.. One game and she’s DONE! Ha! After practice we went shopping and ran a few errands. Daddy took us to Abner’s for lunch and it was yummy!! (I’m getting LK ready for all the Abner’s she’ll consume as she’s attending Ole Miss… haha!) ;) After naps, we took the kiddos to Noni and Papa’s house so they could spend the night.

Saturday night we headed downtown to celebrate my sister’s birthday! We met up with everyone at Blue Fin for dinner and then headed to Beale. Now, I can’t even tell you the last night I was on Beale for a night out on the town!! Wow.. I have gotten SO old!! It was a lot of fun though. First we went to Red Rooster, where it was apparently 80’s night b/c we were surrounded by 40+ year old women swooning over the “Poison-wannabe” band! It was entertainment for sure! We then headed to Silky’s and ran into some old friends (great to see you Allison, Dalton and Rachel!) After Silky’s I got a phone call from Lyns to meet her at Raifords. Goodness me.. I don’t think I’m cut out for the excitement of Raiford’s like I used to be!! Haha! It was a lot of fun though! (and proved to me that I am super OLD!) We finally made it out around 3am and headed home! That drive back to Lakeland sure is a long one! I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow! Hope you had a great night celebrating, Lyns!!

Sunday wasn’t too exciting. Chris and I enjoyed a 3 mile walk/run at Shelby Farms and then went to go pick the kiddos up. We spent the rest of the day just getting ready for another fun-filled week!

Lyns and some of her friends at dinner!

The only picture i managed to get at Raiford's... Lyns dancing! haha!!

Post Raiford's... My eyes are glossy from being so tired! haha!

Thursday, August 20

Mid-Week Update!

This week is the first week of school for both kiddos! Last week Lilly Kate only went one day, but this week she starts her full time schedule. It has been quite the adjustment! Our mornings are hectic, to say the least!! We leave home at 8:30, get to LK's school at 8:40, and walk her to the front door. Now, b/c I've chosen to walk her.. this means that I have to unload Lilly AND Ethan from the car! By the time we get everything out of the car and walk up to the front doors, drop LK off and walk back.. it's 9:00! (and usually i'm hot and gross by this point! yuck!) As soon as we leave Lilly's school we head to East Memphis to take Ethan to his school!

This year, with LK starting Kindergarten, we decided to put Ethan into two Mother's Day Out programs. I was afraid he'd get bored just being at home alone all day! (and drive me crazy!!) So, on Tuesday and Thursday he goes to 2nd Baptist on Walnut Grove, and on Wednesday and Friday he goes to Christ Methodist! We are so excited about BOTH of his schools!! They both have such great programs. This is our first year with Christ Methodist, so we're anticipating a lot of good things to come. I can definitely say that we love 2nd though!!! My kids have learned SO much from all the sweet teachers there!

I go to work from 10-2, while the kids are in school. I LOVE this!! It's such a nice break from the craziness of "home" stuff! And I love the extra money that 20hrs a week gives me! I leave work at 2 and head straight over to get Ethan b/c he gets out of school at 2:30. We usually get about an hour to run errands or do whatever we need to do before we have to go get Lilly Kate. At about 3:30, I have to go get in the "Car Rider" line at her school. Now, school lets out at 4, which means that we have to sit in line for THIRTY minutes. It's a long time, but luckily as soon as they start letting the kids out, it moves VERY quickly. We're usually back home by 4:20 or so. What an exhausting day though!!! I feel like I can barely catch my breathe sometimes! I dont know how women with children work full time!! (and for those of you that do.. you are my hero!!!) I'm stressed out enough with the tight schedule that we have, I can't imagine it being even tighter!

Ethan is so excited about his new school year!! He LOVES both of his schools. I was worried how he would be, since he is very attached to Mommy! :) But he's done great! No fussiness at all! He's gone right in and started playing/coloring/whatever they're doing that morning. I even get an excited "Bye, Mommy" when I leave! It's been such a relief!! He's not the social butterfly like Miss Lilly, so I tend to coddle him a little. He's a bit bashful, so this is so nice when he immediately feels comfortable in a new surrounding! :)
My baby is way too big!! :(

Lilly Kate is LOVING Kindergarten!! (and especially Mrs. Jeffrey!) We are so fortunate to have her for LK's teacher. She has had the best time this week! I know she is going to learn so much from Mrs. Jeffrey and we are so thankful for her. For the first two weeks of school, each day is assigned a color for the kids to wear. Lilly has loved picking out her colored clothing every night for the next day! Monday was "red" day.. so.. here's her red...

Tuesday was blue day... wearing her favorite princess dress! :)

And of course, princess clip to match!

Yesterday was yellow day. LK doesn't have much yellow, only a t-shirt, so we didn't get a picture. Sorrry!! Today is green day though and she looks super cute! I'll be sure to snap one tonight, as well, as the rest of the "color" days!

Also.. this morning it was storming, so we had a new adventure going to school! I knew it would be a mess trying to get Ethan out and into the rain so I parked across the street and let LK walk up to the school by herself! She walked to the crossing guard and crossed the street, then walked up the sidewalk to the front doors!! It was just about the cutest thing I've ever seen!! I was SOOO proud of her for being such a big girl! She was loaded down with her backpack and lunch box, but her rain coat and Princess umbrella were adorable! Gosh.. my baby is so big and independent! Luckily, the rain was only a light sprinkle while she was walking! I was worried about her getting wet and then being in a bad mood all day! LK gets her attitude from me.. so I knew what I was in for! ha!

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and can manage to stay dry!!! I hope this rain lets up a little so I can run tonight! We'll see?! ;)


Monday, August 17

off to a great start . . .

Well, after all the excitment of Friday, we really tried to make the weekend as relaxing as possible. When we left the pediatrician's office, Saturday morning, we drove through the campus at Christ Methodist so I could become familiar with it. Afterwards, since we were in East Memphis, I convinced Chris to take me to the PB Outlet! Found some great deals.. including these cafe curtains for the kitchen!! As well as some hand towels and a rug for the door to the garage! Love me some good deals at PBO!! :)

Saturday night, Memaw and Grandpa G came over to watch the kids while my sweet husband indulged me in some Baskin Robbins and a date to see The Time Traveler's Wife (which was GREAT!!). We never get "date nights" anymore, so it was quite the treat! The kid's seemed to have a great night with Memaw and G!
E showing me his "phythons" (muscles)!

I thought this was too cute... Usually, they're at each others throats screaming about something... this was a sweet surprise!

Me and my hubby!! (he got major brownie points for letting ME pick the movie!!) :)

Love them . . .
On Sunday.. I decided to make LK a nap blanket for school. She has a nap mat from preschool (the flowered one below) that is great! However, for Kindergarten, they need something that can fit into their backpacks. The teacher said most kids bring a beach towel or something of that nature.. well, a beach towel just won't work for Miss Lilly Stickles! So.. I had to come up with something non-bulky, small enough to fit into her pak but yet cute and comfy. Well, I decided to use a pink fleece blanket that Lilly has had for a while. I cut it down to the size of her old mat, pinned.. stiched.. and added ribbons to tie! I think I'm pretty happy with the end result! It rolls right up and fits perfectly in her bag! She seems to like it! :)

Just a few of E...

Pure happiness . . .

Isn't this great!! This is what Ethan does ALL.DAY.LONG!!! Throwing some sort of ball!!

Sunday evening, we took our walk (preparing Mommy for her 5K!) and when we got back, I got us all organized for our new school routine!! Of course regular post it's just wouldn't do.. so I got my trusty photoshop and went to work!! I hope this helps! (chore chart coming soon!) So far so good, this morning we were right on time!! Our morning went smoothly! (and LK had NO temp what-so-ever!! horray!)