Showing posts with label Honor A Mom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Honor A Mom. Show all posts

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Honor A Mom: Weekend Special

Honor A Mom: Weekend Special
Our Mom's
Bree's Mom Carlene Haley Graham
My mom is an energetic woman whom has grown ALOT in the last year. We all go through difficult times and though it may be hard to see to the end of the tunnel there's always a reason for everything. She has really come into her own and blossomed into a different type of woman who is strong, beautiful, happy and independent. She is a wonderful mom and a great grandma to our beautiful babies. She is truly loving life and it shows on every smile on her face! So happy for her and love her so much!

Here are some pictures of my MOM
 My mom and her mom...my grandma!
 One of her personal accomplishments...walking the Susan G. Komen 3 Day. Just finished walking 60 miles in 3 days! This will be her 3rd year walking in September.
 Her other 2 daughters, my sweet and beautiful sister Sarah and my beautiful and "spirited" sister Anna.
My mom helping me into my dress on my wedding day.

Love you always Mom~
Bree

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Honor A Mom: Friday

Honor A Mom: Friday
Shay Ramos

Wife, friend, volunteer, woman, extraordinaire......a MOM. Does this sound familiar? Every mom is a teacher, doctor, super hero, nurse, child herder, chef, chauffeur, referee, entertainer, maid, event coordinator, councilor, snot rag, etc but very rarely do they need the thanks or get the thanks for all they do. 
ABC.com released their take on how much a stay at home mom SHOULD make...any guesses???
$138, 646.00 Annually!!!!!!!
There are ALOT of amazing moms out there, with different tricks and tools to SURVIVE out there with our cave children.....and we sure love doing it! I would have to say and know all those "SAHM's" out there would agree...BEST JOB EVER!

One stay at home mom that I look up to and would like to shine alittle recognition on is a local mom. She has an older son, twin boys AND then a baby girl.....YES she IS busy! 

Let me introduce you to Shay Ramos (an interview):
Shay: I met my husband, Casey, through his younger brother when I was a freshman in high school. We remained friends for a few years, mainly because he was too old for me at the time. We got engaged when Rylan was 6 months old, the day we moved into our brand new house in Orting and then we had our wedding at the Pickering Barn in Issaquah, June 2nd, 2007. We are about to celebrate our 5 year anniversary! Our kiddos are Rylan (6 1/2), Colton and Easton (2 1/2), and Avalyn (9 months today!). I am definitely a perfectionist and a go-go-go type. I love to be busy, which is a good thing, considering the amount of children I have! I love cooking and crafts and gardening, although I find myself with less and less time for these activities these days. :)

DAILY LIFE


Whats your morning routine?
Shay: I get up at about 5:40 and make lunches for my oldest and Husband. Then I try to tackle a few chores and jump in the shower before the little kids wake up. Then we have breakfast and get everyone ready to head out the door!
So what's your daily routine like? 
Shay: We get up and get my oldest out the door first and foremost. The twins go to a co-op preschool two days a week, which means I am helping in the classroom a lot of the time and not just dropping them off so that fills up several of our mornings. On the other days, we are usually doing chores or appointments in the morning. We have lunch around 12:00 and nap after. Then we pick up Rylan from school at 3:30, come home and make dinner. In the evenings we usually have sports and then we start the bedtime routine. It happens in the blink of an eye!
How do you handle getting off schedule or "running late"?
Shay: These days, it seems like we are always running late when it comes to getting where we need to go. It is just so time consuming strapping three into car seats and making sure all three diapers are clean. As far as getting of schedule, I am not super strict about the particular time naps and such happen. I plan each day differently according to what is going on. I know it's unrealistic for everyone to get to nap by 12:30 on preschool days, but on days when we are home, I might put them down earlier. I make a little game plan in my head each morning.
How in the world do you find time for chores and what would be your best advise for doing household chores with kiddos running around? 
Shay: I am pretty particular about the house. As much as I would like to let it go a little, I just can't! I am constantly doing chores. While the kids are eating, while they are napping, before they wake up and after they go to bed. I have to utilize every possible second in order to keep everything up! As for advise, I usually do things like dusting, vacuuming, and organizing when they are awake, because they can sort of help but things like cleaning with any chemicals or laundry I save for when they are sleeping. Without a good sleep schedule, you can get behind very quickly!
And what's your laundry routine? 
Shay: Routine? It's constant! You must do at least one load of laundry every single day in this house. I prioritize washing over folding, because it is rare to have every bit of it completely done. Especially because I tend to do it at naptime and I can't wake the little ones to put their items away so it tends to pile up, honestly!
Do you cook dinner before your husband gets home? If yes, how to you juggle all the kids while cooking dinner? 
Shay: This has really varied depending on what activities are going on, what my husband's work schedule has been. Normally I have it started and am just putting the finishing touches on everything as he shows up. The key to keeping the kids busy is to allow about twice as much time as you THINK you need, because there will always be interruptions! Lately, the twins have been wanting to use the potty which takes a lot of time. The baby is at the age where she can snack in her high chair while I cook, which makes it much easier! On rough days, I may resort to some Umizoomi to entertain the twins!
So now it's bedtime what is your bed time routine? 
ShayThankfully, Rylan is becoming quite self sufficient and can shower in the morning before school and brush his teeth at night all on his own. For bedtime with the little ones, my Husband is key. It is much faster if we team up. We normally throw the twins into the shower one at a time. I will dry and dress one while he washes the second one. If things are going smoothly, I will bathe the baby in the bathtub while they are in the shower(in the same room) but if the twins are really tired, I wait until we have them down. Then we brush teeth, read a story and tuck them in. That is the easy part. It is AFTER they are in bed that the chaos ensues! Two tired two year olds in the same room is a recipe for disaster! 
What usually happens? 
Shay:The twins just love to play around. They look out the curtains, they giggle, they get out of their beds, they play silly pretend together and they would get into things if there were anything left in their room for them to get into! Also, Easton loves to be naked, which has resulted in many, many pee and/or poop incidents. I actually have to use a clothing tagging gun and "tag" his footie jammies shut before bed. We normally give them a warning once (or twice) and then end up moving the "offender" into a pack and play for the night.

CHALLENGES, FINANCES & GROCERY SHOPPING


What has been the biggest challenge raising your kids? 
Shay: Probably finances. It is so hard to give your kids everything you want to on only one income, yet I imagine leaving them each day and juggling a career would be twice as hard!
Any suggestions for other families or what works best to "make 1 income work" for your large family?
Shay: Geez, I wish there was an answer. You really have to sacrifice the extras for yourself. My husband and I put the kids' wants and needs before our own. Not eating out is a big one. I think it helps to look into every option and make sure you aren't wasting money paying more for ANYTHING. I've switched car insurance, internet, where we buy diapers, anything possible to save a bit on the big bills and then I am very careful with our spending on everything else. You have to be realistic and realize that you can't have it all. Luckily, with four kids, trips to make purchases are difficult.
SO.. grocery shopping...do you have lots of help or do you tackle grocery shopping with the kids
How often and where do you do most of your grocery shopping? 
Shay: Ugh, grocery shopping. :) I actually take my kids with me when I shop. I don't get any extra help for things like that. The little ones and I will do a Costco run every 2-3 weeks for the big items and then 1-2 times a week we go to Safeway, Fred Meyer or Winco for all of the filler items. I always try to make sure the kids aren't hungry or bring them granola bars or snacks to eat while we go through the store to keep them occupied. Like me, they get grumpy when they're hungry. We try to plan what we are going to eat for the week so that we eliminate the extra trips. If I do forget something, Casey will often pick it up on his way home.
So if you grocery shop with the twins and your daughter where do you put everyone? As far as the cart goes?
Shay: If we go to Costco, I put Avalyn in the top seat with Easton and Colton walks. In the normal grocery stores, I will put Avalyn in the seat and then the twins will ride in the basket part if we are just picking up a few things. Or they will walk. They also love to hang onto the side of the cart when we're moving. I always hear, "my goodness, you have your hands full".
Any money saving advice for shopping for a family of 6? Or a large family? 
Shay: Hmm, I wish I had the answer to that! Couponing for food is too time consuming for me, although I always use coupons for restaurants and any large purchases or clothing. I have a little organizer I use for those. No matter what you do, it is EXPENSIVE! :) 
If you could, what would be your most "drool worthy" thing your waiting to get (jewelry, clothes, appliance, new gadget, etc)?
Shay: I'd love a new vacuum or washer and dryer! :) Jewelry is always nice too!
Dream family vacation?
Shay: I love the beach, but I am dying to get my kids to Disneyland. My husband and I haven't been, so when we go as a family it's going to be awesome!

CHILDREN & DISCIPLINE


What are your childrens personalities? 
Shay: My oldest, Rylan, is very mature, incredibly smart and creative, but also smart enough to know he can get away with things. Colton is very sweet and affectionate and excitable, but can also be mischievous and when he does lose his temper, he really snaps. Easton has a mind of his own. He likes to hold his ground and doesn't like to be told what to do. He's probably the whiniest but is a little comedian and can be sweet when he has decided to do so. He has a soft spot for animals. And Avalyn is a total sweetie. She is always patient and happy, but she hates to miss a thing and doesn't sleep as much as most babies!
I always hear this question "which is worse, the terrible 2's or 3's?"
Shay: I really think it depends on the child! My oldest was hard at 3, and the twins are hard now (at 2). We will have to see how they are at 3!
When your twins are crying, your oldest is needing attention and the baby is fussing/crying how do you prioritize handling it all or who do you help first? 
Shay: You really just have to assess the situation and see what is most important. If the twins are crying, it is normally because they need help or are fighting, so it usually helps to settle them before changing diapers, helping Rylan, etc. My oldest is a great help and understands that we have to calm everyone before we can attempt to do anything. I always explain to them why I can't tend to them at the moment so they understand.
How do you discipline
Shay: We use the time out method, like most folks. With the oldest, we make him stand in the corner. Time outs can be a challenge when you have a lot of other kids in the room, so that's why we implemented the corner facing technique with him. am very strict and when I see that the kids are testing me on something, I make sure to catch it before it gets out of hand. 
Here's a scenario: Your in the other room, something happens how do you figure out what happened or who's at fault?  
Shay: Most of the time the twins are pretty honest. They communicate well, and can usually tell me what happened. I've worked with them to tell me what happened as opposed to just screaming. When the 6 year old is involved, I sometimes work out a punishment for everyone if I can't determine what actually happened. I pretty much just have to go with my gut.
When my kids throw a fit its difficult but when my older one does its...well its bad. What do you do when your oldest child throws a fit? 
Shay: I am very firm with him. He will be sent to time out, or even for a nap and will lose a privilege. He is expected to set a good example, but of course has his moments as well.
Do your kids get sibling jealousy? How do you handle it? 
Shay: Oh yes! The twins are even saying, "no fair!" now! It's adorable. Teaching them fairness and kindness is the best way to deal with jealousy. Just explaining to them why things are different for them than their siblings helps a lot.
How do you entertain your kids while on the road? 
Shay: Like many kids these days, mine have discovered that movies are available during long trips! :) During short trips, they are pretty content just looking out the window. I allow them to pick one (or two, depending on where we are going) small toys to bring along, which helps. And if we are going longer distances, I always bring snacks!
Do you have picky eaters? How do you handle it?
ShayAll of my kids seem to go through picky phases, although none of them are terrible. I honestly end up resorting to the bribery method most of the time - not giving them more of one thing until they eat some of their less favorite foods. It's really funny, because I despise wasting food. Normally one of the twins will like one thing and the other will like what the first one didn't care for, so I will often swap their food around so that they eat more and less goes to waste. Sometimes they will eat it just so someone else doesn't. That works too!
It's so difficult when your child stay's the night somewhere, especially the first time. Have your kids gone to stay over night? What ages and how did you handle it? 
Shay: Rylan has stayed with all of his Grandmas since he was about a year old. Being the first, everyone was dying to have him! The twins have only stayed one time, just recently, with their Grandma and it went great! I will try to do it again soon because it is good for everyone to learn to spend a night apart occasionally.
Was there an instance, a situation or anytime where you could have just crawled into the closet and cried? LOL. 
Shay: Oh, most definitely! There have been several instances where my husband and I have just laughed together as I recap the events I have endured during the day. Sometimes things go so badly it's just humorous! 


ON MORE CHILDREN


Was it worse going from 1 kid to...well 3 or 3 to 4? 
Shay: Definitely 1 to 3! The twins really threw everyone for a loop!
Was it a shock to find out you were carrying twins? Do they run in the family?
Shay: It was definitely a shock! A moment that I will never forget for sure! I have a twin brother, so yes, they do, although I never expected to have them.
What made you decide to have more children, after the 1st?  
Shay: After Rylan, we were so content. We really couldn't imagine anything better and didn't feel we needed any more. But we were sitting on the patio watching him play one day and my Husband said, "This almost makes me want another one." So we ended up with the twins. :)
And after the twins? 
Shay: Then after the twins, I really wanted to be able to have just one baby individually. I didn't feel ready to be done with babies (I love infants) and I still hoped to have a daughter so eventually I talked my husband into it. I couldn't imagine life without any of them.
Here's a big question...are you done having children? What made you decide? (either way) 
Shay: We ARE done now. We both knew after the last one that our family was complete. We are very content with how it is now. Plus, I mentioned that kids are EXPENSIVE! :) We want to be able to give our kids everything that they need.


MARRIAGE & HERSELF


Was their a moment you knew your husband was "the one"? 
Shay: Not a moment, necessarily, but when I realized that I couldn't imagine NOT having him. And watching him as a father to our son was the icing on the cake!
How do you keep up your marriage/relationship with your husband still thriving while raising all your kids, him working, school activities and extra activities? 

Shay: We are always sure to keep an open line of communication. The second something is bugging us, we immediately discuss it instead of letting things bottle up. We also try to spend time together on the weekends, after the kids are in bed. We don't get a lot of time out of the house together, but we do try to watch a movie or cook dinner together or little things like that.
How do you fit in ME time? 
Shay: Haha! :) Once in a while, I will try to sneak out with a friend after the kids are in bed or run to the store alone on the weekends when my Husband is home.
Do you work out regularly? How do you fit that in?
Shay: I think life IS my workout! :) I try to get to yoga on Sunday mornings, but sometimes I don't even get that in. I try to go on walks with the kids or  during the summer, we ride bikes with the kids too. I would like to work on getting a more consistent workout routine!
Whats your favorite thing to do for yourself? 
Shay: Hmm, that's a hard one. Pretty much anything I do for myself is enjoyed! Getting my hair done is always a perk. :)
Favorite coffee drink? 
Shay: Anything with caffeine! lol I like blended vanilla coffees for a treat, or pumpkin spice lattes during the fall and winter months.
Most useful mother's day gift received? 
Shay: Definitely my camera! Gift cards to the Windmill Gardens are a close second!

MUST HAVE'S & ADVICE


What is your must have kid gear? Feel free to elaborate on different ages and must have for that age. Shay: High chairs are a must for babies when you have older siblings. I have always entertained the babies/toddlers with food while I tend to the other kiddos or cook meals. Bouncers, ERGO carriers, and exersaucers are great for keeping babies occupied, too! And pacifiers! :) Video monitors save trips to check on and possibly wake up kids. For sleep, my last three all loved swaddlers, especially the Woombie swaddler. I'm also a fan of the Boppy for breastfeeding and the EZ-2-Nurse Twins Pillow for tandem nursing twins!
What would your best advice be to a mom with one child? 
Shay: Really enjoy that one on one time! The time with your first born is such a special time. Get out and do as much together as you can! 
Best advice with a couple children (not multiples)? 
Shay: Everyone says this, but it is important to try to spend time with the children individually. If you can't get away, make sure to tell the children how special they are to you and praise them individually for something positive they have done.
And whats your best advice for a mom with multiples? 
Shay: Don't be afraid to admit that it's hard. Ask for help if you have to! It IS hard and you won't be able to do it all perfectly!
Ohh Potty Training (sigh)...Whats your most useful potty training trick? 
Shay: Wait until they are ready! You cannot force a child to potty train. They will do it when they make up their mind to do it!

LAST QUESTION


When your children are older and are asked "what their favorite thing/memory about their mom was", what do you want them to say?
Shay: I just hope they remember laughing together.

Happy Mother's Day Shay Hope it's a GREAT one~
Bree and J
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Honor a Mom: Thursday

Honor A Mom: Thursday
Mary Olsen
I just wanted to share a special mom with you today.  My dear friend and mentor, Mary Olsen!  She has spent the last 25 years with Camp Fire and is retiring this June, *sob* but I know she'll continues to inspire me to be the best person I can be.  She has practically held my hand through all the events I've planned and volunteer for during the last 5 years that I've been involved with Camp Fire.  Her voice is in my head when I see good deeds that need doing!  She's the best at resolving issues and keeping with tradition all the while keeping everyone's feeling safe.  Her camp name is M.O.M., for Mother of Many and has been mine for the better part of my adult childhood.  There is always room in her heart, even though she is a mom herself and a very busy woman, she still has time to help less privilaged children enjoy Camp Fire, helping more than 100 people become involved where normally they could not afford to!  She shares the best stories and has the largest of hearts.  You'd think I would have pictures of her but of course like most mothers, she's behing the camera!  So instead I'll include pictures of Camp Sealth!
Color Guard retiring the flag.
From the beach looking south-ish.
From the beach looking north-ish.
Making S'mores!
Inside Rounds Hall
Close up look at the shields.
  For more information on our Council, Click Here!
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Honor A Mom: Wednesday

Honor A Mom: Wednesday
Bella Cullen
 Today Farm House Sisters honor Bella Swan, yes you may say "shes a fictional character", but for those of your in love with the Twilight Series you would agree with me that she is real. LOL.
Even though Bella is a young mother with hardly any experience under her vampire belt she is still a mom...who choose to and did die for her child. Now THAT is a committed mother!
From the moment she found out she was pregnant on their honeymoon (probably about 4 months along) she was in love with that baby. Carrying her child that was starving her to death and growing at a super natural rate all while having to fight her husband, best friend and Cullen family to even keep her baby had to be the hardest thing she had yet to go through. Don't mention she was unable to see her family and friends as well. The only friend and backer she had most of her pregnancy was a woman and new sister-in-law that happened to not think very kindly of Bella...well her choices up until her pregnancy anyway. 
Thank goodness Edward was able to start hearing the baby and he FINALLY joined Bella's side to keep the baby and they were able to enjoy in a few "normal" pregnancy moments before drastic measures had to be made to keep Bella and baby alive.
 Now very late in the pregnancy the baby had drained Bella of basically all nourishment and Bella was close to death. It was her best friend, Jacob's, snide thought/comment that lead to Bella, willing to try anything for her child, to start drinking blood in hopes that that was what the baby wanted.And in fact it was! Now happy and healthier everything seemed fine and almost ready to go for delivery. Of course a series of events would occur leading up to having to deliver the baby all while half the family, including the Doctor, were gone on a very much needed trip for blood for Bella and to feed. 
Edward, a true husband and soon to be father, did everything he could think to try to save his child, Bella's one and only wish, and his true soul mate and wife. In the end a beautiful baby girl, Renesmee Cullen, was born...via Edwards teeth tearing apart Bella's uterus to do so (LOL). 
Though what was to become of her mother that risked everything she had even her life? Like any true husband, Edward, worked tirelessly and without hesitation to do everything he could to save her. Did venom injected straight into her heart and bite after bite save his wife....? At the end of Breaking Dawn Part 1 we are lead to believe by the second of Bella opening her blood red eyes that she survived.....but only book readers will really knows what lies ahead for Bella Cullen. Will she get to hold her child she died for? Will her family live "Happily Ever After"? Only times will tell for this wonderful, amazing, very young mother whom has yet to even hold her new daughter.


Twihard~
Bree and J

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Honor A Mom: Tuesday

Honor A Mom: Tuesday

Michelle Obama

Besides being the wife of the United States of America's 44th President and having 2 daughters of her own, Michelle Obama is a huge advocate...especially on Childhood Obesity. 
And political views aside I think we can all agree that her "Let's Move" campaign is a long time coming and a top priority for all families.....as well as a good ol'.....FANTASTIC idea!
Her efforts in the fight against childhood obesity is why we honor Mrs. Michelle Obama this week for Mother's Day.

What is "Let's Move"?


Let's Move! 
"is a campaign to end childhood obesity in the United States. The campaign was started by First Lady Michelle Obama. The initiative has the initially stated goal of "solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight." Wikipedia "Let's Move"

The Let's Move initiative is focused towards the health of children. It helps provided schools, communities and families the tools they need to help kids be more active, eat better and get healthy.
Let's Move's Four Key Components:
  1. Making Healthy Choices
  2. Healthier Food in School
  3. Access to Healthy Affordable Food
  4. Increasing Physical Activity and Education
Michelle and "Let's Move" have been working in communities to create healthy kid friendly recipes, show families and children how to plant, grow and harvest their own garden and the importance of why.
How to portion control in a kid friendly way with "MyPlate"
She also made a very special appearance on The Biggest Loser, worked out with the biggest loser and their families and issued a challenge to all Americans. 

Why is all this important? Here's the facts...
"Obesity by the numbers
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. If we don't solve this problem, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma."~Let's Move

Do we really want that for our CHILDREN?? I sure don't! If you want to do something to help this epidemic, learn more, or get some great ideas for your family please follow this link to Let's Move.Gov for more info!

Michelle even teamed up with Beyonce Knowles and Swizz Beatz to create a song to help promote the "Lets Move Flash Workout" in hopes to get kids dancing and moving. There was even a music video released:

~Love a mom whos trying to keep ALL our kiddos healthy~
Bree and J Pin It

Monday, May 7, 2012

Honor A Mom: Monday

Honor A Mom: Leading up to Mother's Day we will honor some very special and extraordinary mom's out there. All mom's are wonderful and I sure hope everyone honors their own mom this coming Mother's Day.

We start off our week of Mom's with a very special one. 
Jessi has followed her blog longer than I have but I am a HUGE fan of her blog now. And I'm just a HUGE fan of her...Jessi will agree with me. LOL.
Here is a brief overview of her story. 
Her name is Ashley, she is a wonderful wife...has a wonderful family...she is a mom. 
She has cancer.

She blogs daily about it. She calls it The Cancer Chronicles.
October 2011 she found out she had cancer. Starting in her uterus spreading to her liver, lungs and then regrowing in her pelvis after she had an emergency hysterectomy. Due to extreme chemotherapy and severe hair loss she decided to cut off her hair in January 2012. Her journey has been amazing, sad, cheerful, funny, moving and inspiring.  Please feel free to follow her blog, Lil Blue Boo, it is not only about her journey but about crafting, sewing, tutorials, family, kids, and life, LOVE her....she is wonderful!!!
Here is her video of her cutting her hair....the week before she was to shave her head her mom got her hair cut (Mom's Hair Cut) so her daughter wouldn't have to "go first". We should also be counting her in today's Honoring a Mom post.
"A Rite of Passage" video. (grab some tissues!)

To read the whole blog post of that day follow here to "A Rite of Passage (a video)"

Through everything she has gone through her motto is to "Choose Joy"
We love you mom's~
Bree and J

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