The Modern Mama

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I’m Back!! What have I been up to?! November 9, 2011

Hi! I’m Bethany, nice to meet you… again!

Yes, it has been a while {a long while} since I have posted a blog. The Crocker family has been busy to say the least. I believe my last blog was around February, well what have we been up to during my 8 month hiatus? Let me share with you.

First I will back up to December of 2010 when I was in a car accident for the first time ever. It was awful, our car was totaled 2 weeks before Christmas leaving us car less. Due to the accident I started seeing a chiropractor multiple times a week. To this day I am still dealing with repercussions of the accident as far as doctors visits, and insurance paper work. What an ugly mess.
A few days after my accident my mom was also in a sever accident causing her serious injury’s that eventually required major back surgery. This was the first winter that New York State snow has gotten the best of us.

In January my father in law who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease also known as ALS fell and was in the hospital with several sever injuries. Back and forth to the hospital we went for about 2 weeks. I am so thankful for wonderful friends and church family who helped us out during this.

In March my mom had her back surgery and was in the hospital for about a week. Back and forth to the hospital we went again. During this time we were super busy helping my family and Josh’s family in any way we could. 

After my Father-in-Law re cooperated as much as he could from his fall in January he decided we should go on family cruise… so we went, Crocker’s take the Bahamas 🙂 On the second day of our cruise my Father-in-Law fell again. This fall caused him to need immediate brain surgery upon us docking. Half of our family stayed with my Father-in-Law while the other half was ordered to stay on the ship and enjoy the rest of our trip. How are we suppose to do that? But we did manage as best as we could.
Upon our return to the NYC port as soon as our phone’s got service again I had multiple text messages, voice mails and email. My Nana who was 95 years old passed away the night before. Later on that week we attended her memorial service and celebrated her life. Again I can’t say enough how thankful we are for wonderful friends and church family. This all happened late March and early April. From this point on at least once sometimes twice a week Josh would stay over night with his dad while his mom worked the evening shift at the hospital. At the time this was hard because Josh was gone a lot between helping to take care of his dad, drilling for the Army and schooling for weeks/months at a time for the Army. We were apart quite a bit.

The month of June Josh spent serving in California with the Army while the girls and I traveled around visiting family and friends to keep ourselves busy. I also started my Etsy shop www.busybboutique.etsy.com .

In August my Father-in-Law got very sick and was hospitalized for about 3 weeks, eventually moving from the hospital to a nursing home/ living center for better care for his needs. During this month I was also organizing a wedding with 2 other friends. We had organized and planned this wedding in less that 2 months… I know it was crazy! However we are just that good 🙂 Josh was also hired on to the Sales Team and the gym we have been working out at for the last 2 years. This was a huge change for us as he had been working from home for about a year and half. To be honest I think I am still adjusting to this change.

September was moving month! We moved into our new home, this was a great move for us. We have more room, more land and couldn’t be happier!

In October my Father-in-Law was given the prognosis of 1-2 more weeks to live. On October 22nd his pain and suffering was over and he was walking the streets of gold! We had an earthly loss but Heaven had quite the gain!! We are once again thankful for our friends and family that have helped us through not only this time but all the time through the past year. Our hearts are full of love and encouragement from them.
Josh was able to spend a lot of time in the woods the past few weeks hunting, thinking, and praying and God blessed us with Josh’s first deer! This was really exciting for Josh, something he has wanted to do for a while and has finally been able to.

Now we are in November and what better time to look back on the past 10 months and see how God has stretched and grown us. Most people would say “What a crappy year!” and several people have said that but we are reminded that God has never given us something we can’t handle. We really do serve a great God!

Here are some pictures throughout our adventures this year!


Hanging out with my father-in-law on a beautiful summer night!


Josh giving his girls the love wink


A hilarious family photo on the cruise while at sea

Josh and I while at sea {note the sunkissed faces!}

Josh and the girls enjoying the water slide on the ship

 Our new home 🙂


In September celebrating Kelsey’s 3 birthday!

 

 

 

Hide & Go Seek January 30, 2011

Filed under: Family,Friends,Moms,stay at home moms — bethanyjcrocker @ 12:46 am
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I apologize for my long absents from blogging, the last few months have been crazy in our household {many blogs will come from it in due time}. But for now there is a topic that is so current it was perfect to kick start my blogging frenzy again!

Hide and Go Seek!

Its a classic game that all children love to play no matter what the age and parents love to play with their children until… it’s your stuff they’re hiding and you are seeking it in a panic! Apparently my daughter has taken up a new version of the game.

I have a list of wonderful examples 🙂

Hidden: My actual wallet and keys {as we are getting ready to walk out the door of course}
Gone Seeking & Found: ooh I found it in my daughters Vera Bradley play purse shoved in a corner behind a door.

Hidden: Camera lens cover
Gone Seeking & Found: Inside a pair of my youngest daughters boots…

Hidden: Plastic cookie cutters
Gone Seeking & Found: Inside the toaster oven

Hidden: THE PACI!!!
Gone Seeking & Found: Inside the pots and pans cupboard inside one of the pans.

Hidden: Individually wrapped cough drops
Gone Seeking & Found:  Shoved inside a container of Vaseline. {this was really gross}

I have plenty more examples of my daughters version of hide and go seek it would keep you entertained for hours. Thankfully we can laugh about our “lost” items and so far it hasn’t been anything we’ve lost sleep over!

 

Not too late for 2011 Rezzies January 2, 2011

Filed under: Family,Friends,Moms,stay at home moms,Uncategorized — bethanyjcrocker @ 10:18 pm
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Goals Goals Goals

Whats the point of setting a goal? To achieve them right!? Achieving is the reason for setting them but also to grow and stretch yourself to becoming better at whatever it is you desire. Careless resolutions or goal made and never kept cause one year to blend into the next with little change. When making goals really think about where you want to be at the end of 2011, what do you want for your family? What are you willing to do about it so you can accomplish this goal?

I prefer to break my goals down into 4 categories Physical, Social, Mental, and Family. Here is an example of categorizing your goals, these are some of my 2010 goals.

Physical – Don’t get pregnant & run a 5k
Social – Host a family for dinner at least once a month & Keep in better contact with out of town friends {call monthly}
Mental – Read 10 books & 10 quiet uninterrupted minutes a day
Family – Potty train Kelsey, Monthly dates with Josh & Become more frugal when shopping for our family {food & clothes}

I find it easiest if you break your goals down like this and also decided what the best way to achieve them is. I can not just say I am going to run a 5k and show up the day of the race and expect to be pleased with my performance… well maybe if I was a natural born runner but I’m not. So in order to achieve my goal I knew I was going to have to spend some time in the gym cross training and getting back in shape after just having a baby. I then set another goal to workout consistently 4 days a week.

I encourage you to set goals for 2011. Post them where you will see them often so you will be reminded to take action on them. You won’t be disappointed. And just because its already January 2nd doesn’t mean its too late to get started. I have a good friend that never decides what his goals are until February or March… So what are you waiting for?!

 

Cheers to 2011 🙂

 

Birth Story #2 Happy Birthday Neely!! December 30, 2010

‘Twas a few day after Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even the baby who is 4 days late inside of me now!

Tuesday afternoon December 29, 2009 I went to a scheduled Dr. appointment to have a non stress test because my baby bump was not removing itself on time. As I sat there hooked up to the machines listening and feeling my little gremlin wiggle and move inside of me I watched the monitors telling me I was having consistent contractions ever 10 minutes. The nurse re-enter the room to tell me the same observation of the results “wow! you’re not feeling this? it says you are having contractions every 10 minutes on the dot.” “no, not really I just have a little back pain but its bearable.” I said to her. This poor nurse insisted on having the Dr. come talk to me one last time before leaving the office, as she thought I may want to think about heading to the hospital soon. {HA!} And just as every Dr. I had seen for the last 2 weeks told me “you should go into labor at any time now!” and I thought to myself riiiiiight! So I hopped off the table and headed home to pass the time playing with my crazy 15 month old.

Hours have gone by

and nothing was happening. Josh had come home from work and we had eaten dinner… nothing. My mom {who is pretty much my unofficial doula} decided she wanted to spend the night JUST incase anything were to happen. We put Kelsey to bed one last time hoping that when she woke in the morning she would be a big sister. And the three of us proceeded to watch hilarious Youtube videos while I tried to bounce this baby out of me by  gently bouncing and rocking on a yoga ball. I was so tired and knew I should get a good nights rest incase anything did go down the following day. So about 11:30 I hopped into bed with my 75 pillows between my legs and snoozed of delivering this baby.

3am

I’m up not only to pee for the 15th time but I’m having some serious rumbles in my tumbles. Real contractions had begun. You moms know the ones where you can’t sit still through them, and they are more than just a period cramp. I tried to stay in bed and just flip flop back and forth through them because I wasn’t ready to get up yet… not happening so I crept out to the living {where my mom was sleeping} to snatch the yoga ball and rock on that. Of course my mom spotted the staggering pregnant women attempting to be graceful at 3 am. I sat on the ball and talked to her for a few minutes and finally when another contraction struck she jumped off the sofa and whispered with glee “I’M GETTING READY!!!”.  I slowly got Josh up but wasn’t really in a rush. I continued laboring for hours and finally gave in to call our friend to come watch Kelsey for us and my Bradley girls to get their camera and video cams ready to go… We’re having a baby 🙂

7:30ish

We arrive at the hospital. On our way there Josh asked for my prediction of when the baby would be out by. Of course I was super optimistic and said he/she will be out by 8am! okay okay how about 10am I  agreed. When I got to the hospital I was only 6cm dilated, totally bummed and a little discouraged because I really felt I was farther than that. But that didn’t matter anymore now I was wrestling with the nurse between contractions that it wasn’t necessary for me to have an IV – I was very well hydrated!! I insisted that it wasn’t necessary, I had a baby a year ago with out one and was fine… come on people. After that ordeal I wobbled to our room {which happened to be the same room I delivered Kelsey in – so cool and motivating!} and began super-duper labor. This was way more intense than last stage labor with Kelsey. Thankful we had an excellent nurse who only did what we asked and after Josh explained very clearly to her that drugs were not an option we were good to go! My Bradley girls had arrived with cameras in hand and lots of positive energy I was all set. For the next almost 2 hours I labored off and on the yoga ball with the best birthing partner by my side helping me breath through every contraction {Joshy poo!} We can laugh about it now but while I was in the midst of several contractions back to back and I was forcefully throwing my entire body onto Josh as he knelt down in front of me massaging my back and coaching me he stands up at the end of a contraction to stretch out and says “man!, this is killing my knees.” I could feel the eyeballs rolling from the 3 moms behind me with a few snickers who have all had natural births and put their husbands through the same thing, it was so classic 🙂

I had hit that point where I was involuntarily pushing

I was so focused through all of my laboring I could hardly keep my eyes open. I had hit that final point and knew it was time to move so I could push. It was so uncomfortable moving at all but it had to be done, and still my water had not broken {this happened with Kelsey}. As I am getting on the bed I faintly hear the nurses say that the Dr. that was supposed to deliver {the same Dr. I saw the day before} had just gone into a surgery and was no longer available… here we go again I thought {I had some random Dr. with Kelsey also}. A few minutes went by which is like an eternity when you are in labor and the nurses are getting everything ready for delivery and all of a sudden a women comes running into the room. Have no fear it was a Dr. who ran from another building down the road because no one else was available to deliver. At this point I was so focused I hardly remember this but she introduced herself to me {I couldn’t tell you her name if my life depended on it} and congratulated Josh and I  then proceeded to ask me if we took hypnobirthing classes because I was so focused it was hard to believe there were no drugs involved and how rare it is to see a women labor so calmly and focused. I remember answering her “HA! no” and that was that 🙂 My water finally broke {on its own this time} and within minutes {3 pushes} we had another little GIRL 🙂
Neely Edyn was born 7lbs 9oz 21inches born at 10:02 am

Party of 4

A year later and Neely has grown so much and is sweeter than ever. Kelsey and Neely are like 2 peas in a pod, they are truly BFF’s and the Crocker clan couldn’t be happier 🙂

 

November 23, 2010

Filed under: Family,Friends,Moms,stay at home moms,Travel — bethanyjcrocker @ 9:30 pm
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Give THANKS!

The holidays are upon us, I love planning all the fun holiday meals and get togethers with our families and friends. There are lots of fun crafts to do with the kids to help decorate the house as a family too. We as a family have much to be thankful for and not only because of this time of year, all year round we are blessed. Here is a little acrostic for THANKFUL and a few things that I am specifically thankful for! I hope you enjoy it. Share a few things you are thankful for!!

Traveling with my daughters and husband
Health
A lot of lessons learn {good and bad}
New Friends
Kind hearts {those that put up with my shenanigans}
Family
Ultimate gift {salvation}
Love

 

Traveling child November 16, 2010

Filed under: Family,Friends,Moms,Travel — bethanyjcrocker @ 4:40 pm
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Our family loves to travel!

As I type this I am in the car driving to North Carolina. We just came back from PA last night and left for NC at 6 am.

However just because my husband and I like to travel doesn’t mean our children always enjoy it. Really what energetic toddler or baby wants to be in a car seat for 3-12 hours?! I don’t see any munchkins jumping in line!

How we keep our kids happy in the car…

On every trip we take I always bring a snack bag of easily accessible snacks to eat in the car. We pack things like carrots, grapes, fruit leathers, gold fish, pretzel, sometimes even hummus. The Second thing I bring on every trip is a basket of goodies that sits on the floor in front of Kelsey. Inside the basket I put toys like finger puppets, baby dolls, coloring books and crayons, magnadoodle, play cell phones, books, trains and cars.

We also try to time the departure of our trips so that the girls will be ready for a nap shortly after we start driving. Sometimes that works out but not always. This last trip that we just took to PA didn’t turn out that way. We had been driving for about 2 and half hours and Kelsey had not fallen asleep. She wasn’t being grumpy but she wasn’t sleeping either. After a few hours of laughing, singing songs, messing around with her basket of toys she started to get restless. So desperate for peace and quiet we finally resorted to an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on our ipod touch. It did not bring instance silence as Kelsey was then excited to see Mickey and started singing and dancing in her car seat. Eventually she sat back and relaxed ultimately falling asleep… just as we arrived to our destination of course. Doesn’t it almost always happen like that 🙂

On our current trip the kids are in the backseat passed out while Snow White plays on the DVD player… Sometimes Technology is a wonderful thing!!

 

Pro’s of being a stay at home Mama October 5, 2010

My fun family at the beach!

I recently saw this quote

A friend had posted this on facebook and I thought it was so perfect for this post

“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only, to support the ultimate career” – C S Lewis

For all stay at home mamas this better put a smile on your face, its a little pat on the back for all the hard work you do that seems to go unnoticed.

As a stay at home mama you are irreplaceable to your child{ren}

There is nothing better than the personal investment into your own child that will someday outlive you! You are the number one example for them as you live your life in front of them day by day.  It is wonderful to be able to teach your children what you want them to learn and at the rate you know they can learn it.

Now depending on how much money your income brings in most of the time it saves a family money to stay at home and raise the children instead of paying for a daycare or a nanny. Also paying for the commute to work, work clothes etc. If after paying for a daycare, commute and work clothes you are still bringing in a worth while income it comes down to priority. What are your priorities? Did you bring children into the world to have other people raise them for you? Although sometimes that sounds nice but that’s not how parenting and raising children was intended.

When there is a parent home to take care of the family and home the stress level in the house is reduced {there are always ‘those’ days though}. I know from a little bit of experience. After delivering Kelsey I took my six weeks off then returned back to my part-time job as the Deputy Town Clerk in our town to finish out the 2008 year {it was roughly 6 weeks I went back to work for}. Now our town hall is… we live next door so my commute was literally 5 seconds away. Even with that short of a commute it was still stressful to get out of the house on time, have Kelsey ready for an entire day away from home and hoping she had enough milk to last the day {for my fellow breastfeeding mamas that can be a challenge in and of itself}. Then having to pump while at work and hoping you are on the same feeding schedule as your baby. Not to mention having an idea of what dinner will be when you get home and keeping the house clean all on a few hours sleep… no thanks! That was seriously the most stressful and exhausting 6 weeks of my life!!

I am not saying that being a stay at home mama will solve all these issues immediately

And that they will never occur again because that’s just not realistic. But a flexible schedule makes things much easier for you, your child and the overall atmosphere of your home. Did you have a rough night with the baby? If you have a job to go to in the morning that baby needs to be up and ready to go by 7am no matter how much rest they got. {that sucks for you and your baby!}

What mom doesn’t want to witness all the firsts in their child’s life? Staying at home with your kids is more than just witnessing these milestones its about growing your children into the adults you want them to become. Building their character and preparing them for life. It would be great if you as the parent were the one to do that since you brought them into the world. The first few years of life are so crucial it is  important to have consistent and strong relationship with them.. Josh and I discussed the topic of to stay home or not to stay home before we ever had children. There really wasn’t much of a discussion the decision was that simple to make. We want to be the ones to raise our children not some random employee at a daycare that may not even be there in 3 weeks.

It makes me sad when I hear working moms say I’d never be a stay at home mom, my kids would drive me nuts and all stay at home moms do is spend their husbands money, never contributing to it. I know a women who has said that before! The jokes on her because she is missing out on a lot with her kids because of that attitude.

By the time she gets home at 5 or 6pm her kids are exhausted and cranky. The best part of their day was spent with someone else. As far as kids driving her nuts, yeah it happens but tomorrow is a new day and what better opportunity to grow as a loving parent. Kelsey gave Josh and I one of those opportunities today, she is great at it! And as far as spending all her husbands money… not always. Maybe the women she knows do that but most of the stay at home mamas I know are the most frugal people around! I guess its all about priority.

Here are a few wonderful milestones & memories I may have missed out on if I went to a job everyday.

* Teaching my children how to sit up, crawl, walk, run and skip
* Giggling with them in their cribs before nap time {Yes I did say in  their cribs, they are quit sturdy!!}
* Teaching Kelsey how to feed and be a great mommy to her babies by watching how I am with Neely
* Afternoon picnics at the park with our friends on a Tuesday because we can
* Reading and singing with my girls for however long they want and then they’ll singing back to me and read me stories
* I get to hear them giggle at one another in their cribs when they should be napping {but their laughs are totally worth it!}
* Teach them the importance of chores around the house {Kelsey assists with dishes, making beds, and picking up toys}

I am the one that gets to teach them all of these fun things! I am not saying that staying at home with your children is the only way to go, I have many friends who work full-time and part-time some because that’s what they want and others because their family needs that extra money. BUT if you have a choice in staying home with your kids or working what is your priority?