Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mom of the Month: December

Mom of the Month: December
Yesenia Jamison

Who is in your family? 
My husband is Vincent Jamison and he is an Estate Planning attorney here in Modesto. We have been married 8 1/2 years and have two beautiful daughters Gisselle Rihanna, 4, and Stella Rose, 2.

What is your favorite childhood holiday memory?
I am full Mexican and was raised in a Catholic home. Our tradition was to stay up until past midnight and welcome Christmas Day as a family. We were able to open our gifts at midnight, which my parents did only things we needed as gifts, so yes underwear and socks were a signature gift, except we did get a bike one year. We then hurried off to mass at 12:30am. I loved this, as Christmas Day was not about the gifts but about Jesus' birth.

How will you be spending your Christmas holiday this year?
For the first time since my mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, she was feeling well enough to travel to Mexico to see family, so our Christmas will be spent at our new place on Christmas Eve with my brother and his family, as we stay up until midnight to welcome Christmas Day. On the actual Christmas Day we will be making memories with our little ladies in the morning and then heading up the road to my in-law's house to celebrate with my husband's side of the family.

What is your favorite "me" time activity?
My favorite "me" time is going to Starbucks or lunch by myself...I can check my Facebook, Pinterest, etc. without a little one asking me to play a game on my phone, feed them, or have to stop a melt down. It is amazing how much food I can eat when I can actually sit down and do it! I am also a big thrift store person, so I try to sneak that in every time I get my alone time.

What bit of advice or encouragement can you offer the other Mommies in our group?
I am so new at this mom thing that I am not sure if I can give sound advice. I can tell you what has worked for me...

I make sure I make my kids belly laugh every day, there is something about them laughing that energizes me and them as well.

I have seen in my personal life how things can change dramatically from one day to another, so I try to live today as best as I can, as tomorrow is not promised.

Lastly, I try to be as real with my children as possible. My husband and I don't try to show our kids a perfect marriage because one does not exist, we are honest about our mistakes and when needed I go and apologize to my kids when I loose my temper. I love their daddy in front of them, as well as show them at times sin can enter our home and turmoil will arise. It is important to me that my kids see our "perfect" mess, that way they will know as adults how to deal with the good times and bad times.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pit Stops: Finding our Rest

Pit Stops: not to be confused with "pit stains" or "potty stops" -- more familiar terms perhaps to a speeding mommy.

Pastor Rick Countryman spoke at this weeks MOPS meeting, and though I know he talked about a few great topics, what I focused on was this verse he shared, Psalm 127:2 (LB)

"It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants His loved ones to get their proper rest."

Resting is good. Resting is not something to be ashamed of or something to apologize for. God wants us to rest. He wants us to be healthy and happy, and let's face it ladies, without a "mommy time-out" we often find ourselves very UN-happy and UN-healthy.

As I write this, I feel like this busy week of driving kids back and forth from school, preschool and multiple activities has all caught up with me, and I'm fighting a sore throat and a cough. My typical "rest" time has been cut short, and naps are so foreign to me at this point, I'm not even sure how to do that sleeping in the day thing that other people talk about.

Our time at MOPS was just what I needed, and I felt giddy being with friends and eating yummy food, and seeing everyone with their "ugly" get-ups was just good Christmas-y fun, wasn't it?

It almost made me forget about the family pressures, gift-buying, and baking that I "need" to get done, as well as the parental responsibility of making Christmas magical and special for my little ones.

That last task is the most weighty it seems to me. But how do I make Christmas sweet and special for my kids, when I'm going so fast and so hard that I don't have time for it?

I think resting during this season often means taking a break from the "should" and "have to" -- and instead doing the "want" and "it would be fun to."

When my 6 year old asks for a day off of school, or my 5 year old asks to watch Charlie Brown's Christmas for the 17th time, or my 3 year old wants to make cookies with me, I often say:

"We can't."

"Sorry, we don't have time."

"Maybe later."

But it's time to see Christmas like I'm a kid again. I'd like to do fun things because I want to, with my kids, enjoying them and their oooh-ing and awe-ing, and how they see Christmas decorations as magical, and appreciating their love for the Christmas tree, and the smells and the sounds.

I'm tired of being tired. So today is a day off. Today (after school) we watch Christmas movies and maybe bake cookies if we feel like it. But definitely mommy will be curled up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of tea.

The vacuuming and the dusting and the laundry can wait. Today we rest, and we enjoy, and we cuddle.

It won't always be like this. And life isn't a guarantee. So be in the moment this season. And, of course, take a nap if you can.

Monday, December 2, 2013

It Works For Me - Megan Barr's Table - November

It Works For Me

Megan - Uses magnetic picture calendar to avoid the continuous question "What are we doing today/tomorrow mom?" Here is the link that Megan provided on our MOPS Facebook page for a great example.
Heather - uses Lysol spray to take care of any pests that are keeping her girls awake or scaring them...including spiders or monsters that may be under the bed or in the closet.
Melissa - Uses plastic placemats that can be trimmed to customize size to line shelves in her fridge
Jodie - Doesn't iron, but uses Downy wrinkle releaser to take the place of ironing.
Sophia - Created a scavenger hunt game for her kids to play with objects that are located in the house to give her a few minutes of free time. Puts pictures of items in the house on cards & then places the cards under those certain objects in the house for the kids to follow the trail & find the next item. Give them a small prize at the end of the hunt.
Connie - In order to keep feet nice & moisturized and not dry & scratchy, put lotion on your feet at night, wrap a plastic bag around each foot & then pull on socks over bags. Do this one night a week for amazingly soft feet.

Thank you girls for all of your great tips!