Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Look who's back at it...

I realized when I first started this little foresight into my personal thoughts and notable occurrences, that I would never keep up with it like all other good "bloggers" do. It's just not an easy task for me to sit and type on a computer for long periods if time. I have several other practical excuses like my lack of a computer due to it being dropped on the floor and cracked and my lack of any personal time due to me taking a job---yes, that's right, I've entered into the job world, which is a post in and of itself. Any how, my life has since become a manic juggling act that finds itself torn in twenty-five thousand different directions. Unfortunately, I feel that some areas are lacking, and that I am unable to devote myself 100% to anything, but as long as I am able to maintain some sort of constant flow and a tiny peice of sanity, then I'm doing what needs to be done. I have a ton on my mind lately and hope to get it all typed out on this lovely little public journal.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Turns out school work makes for good blog posts!!

Monicah Brumfield​​​​​​​​    April 3, 2011
Silent Treatment Daily Routine​​​​           ​        Sign 2- T/Th 4:00
Can the use of ear plugs allow me to sympathize with a deaf person?  Truth is that I, being of complete and total hearing capabilities, will never be able to fully understand or internalize what a deaf individual experiences in his or her daily life.  I can hear.  I have been able to my whole life.  My baby’s laughs, the church bells at 3:00 every afternoon from my front porch, and even Sara Remirez’s rendition of “Running on Sunshine” on last week’s Grey’s Anatomy are all things that I enjoy hearing.  I have no way of fully encompassing the loss of this miraculous ability to hear.  Saying that I now have an understanding after participating in an experiment would be completely false.  I can say, however, that what I do understand from the experience is that this notion of feeling sorry for people who what we consider to be “disabled” simply because they are deaf is complete and total crap(can I even say “crap” in a college paper).  Deaf people are not to be felt sorry for.  They live.  They communicate.  They are strong individuals who do not want or need our sympathy.  Hearing is an amazing blessing that I am thankful for every day; however, being deaf does not mean that one’s life is any less blessed.
​My experience began when I arrived at drop-off at my children’s preschool.  I inserted the ear plugs and began to carry on with my normal rituals.  Lunch boxes, backpacks, and children in hand, I entered the building as normal.  Something that was on my mind throughout the walk inside, was the fact that I was not able to weigh the level of my own voice.  Since I never, ever want to cause attention to myself and whispering or shouting would most definitely do so, I chose to speak very little.  I could at this point see why a deaf person would choose not to speak that often.  A deaf person cannot hear himself speak, and he cannot judge the strength of his own voice.  To keep from shouting at everyone inappropriately, I would just prefer not to speak at all.  
 I continued on to my next stop, only to be smiled at once, which I assumed was reaction to noticing the ear plugs in my ears and that person thinking it was silly.  My next thought, as it related to the deaf community, was, “how do deaf people feel about being smiled at or stared at?”  I have to be honest, when I see people signing with one another, I do stare.  Mostly I stare to see if I am able to notice what they are saying, but I do stare nonetheless.  I mentioned before that I do not like bringing attention to myself, so being stared at is something I would never get used to.  
​My last and probably most memorable thought was in regards to everyone apologizing for having to repeat themselves.  These people have done no wrong, why are they constantly telling me they are sorry?  This made me think of the world’s desire to be “sorry” for things they know nothing about.  This is something I have witnessed from professionals diagnosing a deaf child by telling the parents, “I am so sorry, but your child is deaf,” or from friends telling other friends after hearing of their child being diagnosed with a hearing impairment, “I am so sorry.  Is there anything I can do?”  Why are we all sorry for deafness?  If nothing else, this experience has opened my eyes to how one simple phrase can forever change the perception of what it means to be deaf.  As a future professional in the speech and hearing sciences field, I vow to never tell the parents of a deaf child that I am sorry but to encourage them to embrace the diagnosis and grow in knowledge in every way possible.  

Monday, March 28, 2011

I will "Rock" the minivan!

I began the search for a new vehicle almost two months ago when I decided that my current vehicle is just too big for someone of my tiny stature.  This has taken longer than usual for two very distinctive reasons, one being the fact that we NEVER buy brand new vehicles because of the immediate loss in value the very second it is moved off the lot--I will let someone else take that hit and proudly drive a practically new, one-year-old vehicle, and the other reason being my expensive, precise, and never-satisfied taste---I know that there is something out there that I will love, and when I find it, I will know!  Which leads me to my latest finds.  After tedious and time consuming research, I found a few vehicles that I really love, that are within budget, and meet all of my requirements of satisfaction.  So being merely satisfied with the narrowing down of my choices, imagine my surprise that when I was driving down the highway and spotted a very interesting vehicle for sale, I pulled over to check it out.  Now, I don't know whether it was the extremely shiny veneer, or the sporty body shape that lured me in, but wow, was I ever shocked that I was actually taking sweet, precious time to stop and look at a--yes folks---a minivan!!  Now, no offense to anyone who drives one, it is just one of those things that I swore, "I would never do," which, since motherhood has consumed me, is slowly becoming a smaller and smaller list!  So as I step out of my obnoxiously high vehicle, I begin walking towards this incredibly shiny, black minivan and immediately see that it is not too old and definitely within the price range.  I cup my hands around my eyes and push my head to the window and check out the inside---sunroof, beautiful leather, rear entertainment, and a whole variety of features that are a "must" on my list.  I step back and thoroughly examine the outside, all the while thinking, "can I really see myself in this?"  And that's when I notice the most incredible feature of all, this is so completely easy to get in and out of with my kiddies...they can easily step right into it, as can I.  This minivan is awesome and I will totally "rock it out!"  I haven't made my decision yet, but there is something to be said when designer shoes and sports cars are replaced with designer strollers and minivans:)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Can I please just shave my legs?

There are few luxuries in life when you are mom to two little ones and in school full time fighting for a spot in graduate school, and by luxuries of course I mean instances such enough time to actually get your hair washed in a three day period or when you finally find the time to go and pee because, like a four-year-old that is too busy playing, you haven't taken the time to go relieve yourself of excess bodily fluids, and you would actually find toilet paper on the perfectly coordinated rubbed bronze paper holder and not across the room on the floor and you wouldn't have to to yell, "can someone please get me the toilet paper?"  Ah, yes, luxuries.  Today it seemed that I would get to experience the luxury of having shaved legs so that I may wear my cute little shorts as apposed to jogging pants, again. So,  I go into the bathroom and prop my leg onto the sink and begin the simple yet tedious act that every fourteen year old girl partakes in on a daily basis.  Just as I began to think that maybe I would make it through the entire process, there it comes, that pitter-patter of tiny running feet that starts off as a distant rumble but quickly turns into an obnoxious roar and then bursts through the bathroom door.  Doing everything I can to keep from falling and trying to maintain my sanity while being consumed with running, chasing, shouting, pulling, and "mommy whatcha doing," I finally exclaimed, "can I please just shave my legs!?"  Finally, Matt makes it in to take the kids into the other room so that I may finish, and it hits me--shaving legs is something else to add to shelf of "has to wait to kids are asleep." Truth is I would have rather been chasing and running around with the kids than trying to rush through shaving my legs.  Just another metaphoric look into the frazzledness of our lives...no time for simple luxuries, just time for living!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

HCG, P90X, and the countdown to the beach season!

Once January rolls around, we all start sweating those added pounds the holidays brings us, and begin looking to the future of sunshine, coconut oil, and poolside margaritas, well at least I do anyways! I love winter season, don't get me wrong, but once the holidays are over, I am ready to break out the shorts and strapless bra.  This is around the time that I start off my tanning and introduce some sort of exercise routine.  Last year I was especially proud of my "abs" that I worked so vigorously on, and this year I can only hope to get back to that point.  I am also hoping to do something with my legs and tone up my arms a bit, which leads me to P90X.  I think I may be able to squeeze in a night time routine at home, and I know that if I can just stick to it for a few days I will be hooked.  Of course I have been planning all of this out for weeks now, as I do with everything.  I had everything figured out--when I needed to start to be finished in time, what time of day I would do each activity, and, not surprisingly, I researched the heck out of it to make sure it was worth my time!  All of this talk of exercise and "hot bathing suit bodies" made Matt start thinking of how he was going to look standing next to me and sparked a fire under him as well.  He decided that he wanted to lose a few pounds before we started the P90X, thus leading him to the HCG diet.  He had a great experience with this diet last year and knew that he could drop twenty or more pounds in a mere six weeks if he followed the protocol correctly.  If you have not heard of this diet, I am here to enlighten you.  I first heard of this diet several years ago, but I simply did not pay it much attention.  Then my friend Kelly started speaking of the diet that her husband tried and had success with, and it didn't take me long to begin my own research of it.  It was invented, or discovered rather, by a doctor by the name of Dr. A. Simeons in 1954, and then later discussed by Kevin Trudeau in one of his books.  I read both books before Matt began this diet last year, and honestly the reasoning is just plain brilliant!  To sum it up, our bodies need calories for survival, right?  If our bodies are deprived of sufficient amounts of calories, we go into "starvation mode," which tells our bodies to turn to our stored fat supply.  Our bodies ultimately absorb the excess fat that our body has stored up, thus making us lose weight.  It is honestly like instant lipo!  The HCG, a potent hormone produced during pregnancy, is the extra little shot to the metabolism that allows one to maintain sanity while on a very low calorie diet plan, 500 calories a day to be exact.  Now before you say, "well of course you lose weight by only consuming 500 cal a day, anyone will do that, you are starving yourself," I will tell you this, with the help of the HCG, you are not starving yourself, you are actually living off close to 2000 or more cal a day, you just are not eating them.  Every time your body absorbs the fat you have stored, you are receiving all of those calories, vitamins, and minerals, just as if you had eaten them!!!  Genius, right!  I mean Dr. Simeons seriously believed it to be the "cure" for obesity, as do I.  After the third week of the diet, your body's metabolic function readjusts and you are set for life, assuming that you followed his protocol exactly.  It is a pretty tedious diet; you have to weigh your food exactly and only have about ten options to choose from, but it seriously is only six weeks and you are done!  I mean who can't stick with something for six weeks, seriously?  Matt has been doing it for three weeks and has almost reached his goal of thirty pounds.  Once he is there, he can finish up the last phase early, and then it's on to P90X!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baby boys will melt your hearts

Everyone knows that I love everything about having a little girl, I love huge hair bows, smocked bishops, ballet lessons, cheerleading, princess movies, and the list can seriously go on forever!  I love that my first baby was a little girl and honestly, I hope that my next baby is a little girl as well.  When I found out that I was pregnant for the second time, I knew that I wanted to wait and hear those exciting little words, "It's a boy(or girl)!"  There are so few surprises in life and why not enjoy one of the greatest surprises ever!  What an amazing ending-- to deliver my baby and pull him up to discover that he was in fact a little boy.  It is now, that my little Shep-man is approaching two years old that I know how heart-warming it is to be the mother of a little boy.  There is just something so meaningful behind every little moment with this little guy.  He is rougher and tougher than Chrimson ever was.  He runs, jumps, climbs, shouts, throws anything that remotely looks like a ball, and is--pardon the cliche--"all boy!"  But, when I am holding this wonderfully smushy little angel-puff, and he reaches up and puckers those little, tiny, baby lips up and plants a sweetly moistened baby smooch on me, I just melt!  He and I have invented this little game that only we can play:  I say, "give me a kiss," and he says as he swats his hand, "unhhh(which is kind of like a grunted no sound)." We repeat this process several times until sporadically he grabs my cheeks and finally gives me a kiss and huge hug.  It is a surprise for me every time!!  I LOVE this game.  I have big plans for this little guy, and I hope to teach him everything that he needs to know to grow into a wonderful young man. 

A holiday at "home"

Again I am stepping back to write about our 2010 holiday season.  I feel it is especially noteworthy because it was our first holiday season in our new home.  It was sometime around March of 2010 that Matt and I began the home buying process.  We looked around at several homes and, for me, nothing really jumped out as special.  The day that we were to go put a formal offer in on a home in an Oak Grove subdivision, I began to have a slight panic attack, as I sometimes will when I have seconds thoughts about a big decision.  This led me to the internet to the multi-listing service that all home-seekers should be familiar with.  As I scrolled down the list, I spotted an adorable little pink Colonial-Revolution style home in the historic district of downtown Hattiesburg.  The moment I stepped foot in this house, I fell in love.  It is exactly what I imagined for us as a first house.  It is 2000 square feet of history, charm, and character, and I am slowly, and I do mean slowly, turning it into the decorator's dream home that I know it one day will become!  But that's enough on the house, I am going to do many blog posts about all of the updating we have done, but for now, back to the holidays.  So a mere five weeks into living in our new home, it was time to have Shep-man a birthday party.  This was the first occasion for everyone to come over and check out our new house.  At this point, there wasn't a whole lot to check out.  We had seriously just gotten our furniture delivered the day before his party!  But this meant less cleaning for me to do and more concentration on the party, which I believe was a huge hit!  Now, after this I had a whole lot of time to concentrate on getting the house ready for my first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner.  This was a huge deal, as I am sure it is with everyone.  I planned menus, decorations, crafts, activities, and everything else I possibly could.  The decorations inside were relatively simple because my normal home decorations are in deep oranges, browns, and yellows, so the colors go perfectly!   My biggest accomplishment was my front porch.  I was eventually pleased with the way it looked.  Anyone that drives by our house will probably recognize that the front porch decor was rearranged a hundred times before I finally left it alone.

Pretty simple...I printed out and bound together little coloring books for the kiddos and just covered the table with brown packing paper
This was a little "snack bar"
This was by no means all of the desserts, we had many more.  This is just all I had out at this time.
I was so relieved to finally be done and placing the food out on the table
This is what our fireplace looks like all the time, with the exception of Christmas, so I didn't have to change anything

 It is also around this time every year that we partake in a lovely holiday ritual, the Pumpkin Patch.  I am huge on tradition because, let's face it, I get very conformed to certain things and do not like change at all, so traditions really stick with me.  If I do something one time and like it, you can almost guarantee that it will become a tradition.

We also had an eventful Halloween...the neighborhood really goes all out to make it extra exciting for the kids in the surrounding areas...we dressed up and hopped in our wagon early to stroll around and trick-or-treat, and then rushed back to our house to hand out candy as well, which was especially fun for Chrimson!  Once the sun went down, we headed over to our amazing neighbor's home where she hosted an outdoor movie night...it was so incredibly cute!  We sat out on the lawn and watched movies and enjoyed snacks and fellowship with the other neighbors!!  The kids' costumes were very simple, but we still got several compliments.  I love, love, love homemade costumes as apposed to store bought ones, and since I cannot sew, I turned to the next best thing--Etsy!  I was browsing around through all of the costumes when Chrim spotted the super hero costumes...she is obsessed with Spiderman and Batman because of Matt's comic books and so she insisted on the super hero costumes!  I ordered them their own personalized capes and masks, which they play with all of the time by the way, and just accesorized them....I think they turned out super cute!

These are our adorable neighbors who have inspired me to really go "all out" next year when it comes to handing out candy!

Christmas seriously sneaked (yes, "sneaked!" It might surprise you that "snuck" is not the past tense of "sneak," it just is so overly used by Americans that it has overtaken the proper form and is somewhat acceptable which makes me cringe because I know that there should be no such word as "snuck," just like there is no such word as "bust" or "busted!") up on me, and I had very little time to decorate, shop, wrap, and everything else that goes along with the season.  I did what I could and even managed to do a birthday party for Chrimson in the middle of everything.  I LOVE everything about Christmas; the decorations, the music, the movie marathons, the events, the shopping, the food--I mean seriously, everything!!  I think that I really would have fit in perfectly in Norman Rockwell paintings--that is what I envision when I think of Christmas!  I was super excited to be involved the the downtown "candle-lighting" events that take place every year.  In the end we had a great time, and the best part of the whole Christmas season was that my whole family was able to stay over night on Christmas Eve, just like the old days---my twenty-three year old brother even ran in and jumped on the bed to wake me up just like when we were kids:)

I had a great time decorating this massive tree...I plan on adding more decorations each year until it is completely full!

Shep went straight for that book and hardly put it down.  It was honestly his favorite.

Friday, February 25, 2011

It could be worse...

When preparing all of the kid's last year's spring and summer clothes for the up-coming consignment sale, I stood back for a second and looked at the neatly organized piles and thought, "wow, this is really a lot!"  When everything was entered into the computer, my total was around four hundred items---that's four hundred individual boy and girl outfits, shoes, and a few accessories! Really, Monicah, do two children need four hundred items of clothing for one season?  Most of which were still brand new with tags!  This is when I rightfully admitted to myself that I am a children's clothing "junkie."  There is just something about a perfectly matched smocked brother-sister set that gets me going! I love the way the clothes look on the hanger and even better is the way they look on my kiddos! I get overly excited and even nervous when heading out to the well plotted sales that I attend each season.  That thrill, that rush, the joy of grabbing that gorgeous Castles and Crowns bishop marked nearly half price right before the lady next to you grabs it, I can barely contain myself just thinking about it!!  I'm also big on having the perfect outfits on certain occasions, any occasion for that matter, even something as simple as a trip to the park.  And let's not even begin to talk about vacations or weekend trips, I start listing and planning the outfits weeks in advance!  Now, it should be mentioned that I am in no way walking into boutiques and maxing out credit cards to buy four outfits and two pairs of shoes...I carefully plan, shop for, trade, consign, and finally purchase each season of clothing for my children, and though probably more than an average person would spend, it's definitely not ridiculous!  And why not, anyways?  I don't mind spending the extra money on fine, good quality clothing for my children, and because I in NO way get emotionally attached to clothing, I have no problem turning around and selling them in a consignment sale to add more spending money to my pile.  It actually excites me when I see people holding my items.  I do on occasion and pure fits of emotion walk into a boutique and pay full price for a dress or jon jon.  It is usually when they are needed for a special occasion.  Easter always means big bucks for clothes, but I shouldn't feel guilty, everyone gets new Easter clothes.  Chrimson has worn Strasburg every Easter since she has been born and Shepard joined her last year.  I am sure it will be the same this year, although I am considering something different if I can talk myself into it!  Once I get comfortable with something it is terribly hard for me to change.  My point to this post is that I don't care if I spend too much on clothes or map out for weeks all of the sales and events for children's clothing, because it could be something far worse.  I am proud of myself as a mommy for not only taking pride in what my children wear on a daily basis, but also that I take time to find the best deals for our family so as to not overwhelm my penny pinching husband with the bill in the end!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Even More Frazzled...

It would seem senior-level courses, never ceasing dropping off and picking up, cleaning, cooking, playing, bathing, studying, and a thousand other time-gripping events has frazzled-up my life even more thus letting my blog become seriously neglected, as I expected it eventually would.  Luckily, I have been able to get help in some areas, such as the cleaning aspect.  I have brought back my cleaning lady and couldn't be happier, because let's face it, I hate with a passion putting up laundry, and well, she is just so darn good at it!!  The dropping off and picking up is slowly giving me insight into what my future as a mom beholds.  I can only imagine the gas it will cost once we add soccer, karate, cheerleading, gymnastics, etc. into our weekly schedules.  I often joke with Matt that I now understand the reasoning behind multi-wife marriages, and we might need to pick up a few ourselves to help out around here.  There can be one for cooking, one for laundry, one for running the kids around, one for doing my hair, one for grocery shopping, one for cleaning out the car, and one for getting Shepard back to sleep at night when he wakes up, oh yeah, and one on stand-by just in case I need to run to the tanning bed or take a shower.  Then I would have time for studying and blogs and organizing and all of the other things that usually get shelved until I can find a minute to myself.  I hope you see the sarcasm in my previous statements--it was merely a metaphor to explain how we moms just do way too much in our very little time and usually get little recognition for it, especially from our husbands.  I could seriously go the rest of my life without hearing from Matt, "I've been at work all day," or "I have to go to work tomorrow."  So my sleep is less important because you get to go sit in an office at a computer all day?  I believe that there should be one day a year that roles are reversed and the men do what we women do all day and see just how well it is handled.  I just don't think that their brains work the same way ours do.  Even though I have to run back in the house at least three times before leaving the driveway and I will probably at some point during the day forget the diaper bag, I can still manage to hold a screaming child, make breakfast, talk on the phone, pack a lunch, put on a pair of jogging pants, and tie a shoe all at the same time!  The more frazzled this little life gets, the more fabulous it becomes---so bring it!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A look back--

Because of my "lack of a blog," I will be stepping back in time to write about certain noteworthy events in my life.  Up first, Shepard's Birth-day!  From the moment I became pregnant with Shep, I began mapping out exactly what I wanted out of the whole experience.  I knew that I wanted a natural birth with a doula, I wanted to be surprised as to the sex of the baby, and I wanted to become extremely educated with the entire birthing process.  I pulled every ounce of research on natural birthing that I could find, and oddly enough, was terribly confident and not at all worried about anything!  After walking around for a mere three weeks dilated 3-4 centimeters, I opted for induction, and it makes sense that I did because I love knowing exactly what to expect and having everything mapped out and in place.  So, suitcases, matching outfits, and birthplan in hand; Matt, Chrimson, and I headed to the hospital on June 18, 2009 to meet our new baby.  I walked into my enormous room and was greeted by my mom, amazing nurse Julie, and friend and doula-extraordinaire Kelly.  Soon after, the best doctor ever, Dr. Drake, joined us to break my water to get things started.  Several hours later, I still was having no contractions, so I went ahead and allowed a low dose of pitocin.  I should also add that I was never in the bed, I was walking around, sitting in the rocker, and just plain goofing off!  Probably thirty mins after pitocin was introduced, I began to feel contractions.  We set my bed way, way up like a chair, and I climbed in.  Seconds later, I was ready to push.  I honestly had no real pain.  I had myself so built up and ready for this experience that I actually ENJOYED it!  I left there looking forward to doing it again.  It's amazing that God designed us with our own pain medicine--endorphins.  It is our job to learn how to channel that pain into endorphins thus blocking out the discomfort and experiencing the euphoria of the birthing process!  It was the most exhilarating experience of my life!

Baby party at our house--one week before the "BIG DAY"

Chrimson anxiously waiting, wearing her "big sister" shirt

Helping mommy with contractions
And there he is!! 6 pounds 8 oz, 21.5 in long---4:18 pm