The Modern Mama

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Whatcha doing mama? November 10, 2011

Filed under: Moms,My mini me's,Uncategorized — bethanyjcrocker @ 10:59 pm
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I have an inquisitive 3 year old. The words that leave her mouth most often are ‘Whatcha doing mama’. This is always a great question because it helps to think… really what am I doing? Sometimes its the dish’s, laundry, cooking, cleaning, or I find myself wasting time. I never answer her with ‘nothing’ because well I am never just doing nothing. I think it is really important to answer your children with an educated and honest answer, obviously some answers are more educated than others but you catch my drift.

I am often pleasantly surprised with Kelsey’s answer when I ask her what she is doing.

 

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!

 

nearing 1 year of life December 8, 2010

Filed under: Moms,My mini me's,stay at home moms,Uncategorized — bethanyjcrocker @ 12:58 am
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The first year of life brings forth so many changes in just 12 short months

As I watch my little Neely playing while I write this she is 11 months old { December 30th she will turn 1} and she is pulling herself up on to toys and walking along them as she is turning off and on the toy switches laughing with the deepest belly laugh. Last December she was still cooking in my oven!!

I enjoy reflecting on the past year plus the 9 months of growing her inside of me. While I was black Friday shopping a few weeks ago I thought about last year. My mom and I went out shopping at 5am for the first time ever and there we are laughing in the store because people are going bonkers after the hottest toy… except they couldn’t make it past my belly in the isle to get to the toy! Then they would say “excuse me”  but it didn’t matter what way I turned because I was so perfectly round at that point they weren’t getting by me and you know its pointless to even try and suck that belly in, it’s not going anywhere! This year I saw a bunch of beautiful pregnant mamas shopping and chuckled to myself because thats exactly what I looked like last year,and it was fun.

Josh and I watched a few videos the other day of the girls right after Neely was born. Man, Neely was so tiny and scrunchy, then there was Kelsey as bald as a baseball dancing to Mily Cyrus – Party in the USA. What the past year has brought to my family… hair for Kelsey and a sweet little personality and ambition for Neely.

I love, love, love that Josh and I have witnessed all of Neely’s fun milestones in the last 11 months. She has gone from that scrunchy and squeaky newborn to rolling over, sitting up, crawling, pulling herself up on things, walking along furniture and people and soon walking completely on her own. We started out with newborn diapers, baths in the sink, breastfeeding and swaddling and now have size 3 diapers, bath time with her big sister playing and splashing each other and mama, table food and crawling with her blanket in tow! These months have gone by so quickly but you know what they say…

TIME FLIES WHEN YOU’RE HAVING FUN 🙂

 

The home birth call… October 7, 2010

“The Call”

Last Monday evening I received a somewhat urgent call. Our friend was in labor and needed our help! This is one of my Bradley girlfriends I’ve talked about before in my post Girlfriends needed, she had a home birth planned for her second babies arrival. This was so exciting and a little unexpected as all of her back up {our girlfriends} weren’t as prepared for her birth as we were for everyone else’s. Thinking we had another week or so till D-day we were all caught off guard by” the call”. So when I got the call I knew something must of been up, this couple was planning to be just the 2 of them with their midwife and doula during the delivery. If things got out of hand or dad needed back up we were all there on the double. So, this was the DOUBLE!

I quickly shipped the my little girls off to my parents house and jetting into the city where they live. On my way there I was planning all of my motivating Ina May quotes, inspirations words, and preparing my calm and relaxed spirit to bring into the birthing atmosphere. After I drove around in circles looking for a stinkin parking spot I finally decided I didn’t care if I got a parking ticket and parked kind of close to a fire hydrant. Then I ran a block in the rain with a bag backed of water, pita bread and hummus in case it was a long night.

A delivery for the ages!

As I leaped up the steps to their house I took a deep breath and calmed my excited spirit down and was ready to help in anyway possible. I cautiously opened the door trying to be quiet. Just as I stepped into the house I looked around and there stood an empty birthing tub with no water in it what so ever. huh!?! Everything was so quiet, no one was in serious labor here. Just then my girlfriend, Leandra came down the stairs and said “she’s up stairs!”  “Gali?” I asked and she responded “well yes, and the baby they had a girl. No one was here to help and they delivered her in the bath tub upstairs!” WHAT?! As I walked upstairs there she laid in her comfy bed, Gali and her beautiful baby girl with dad laying right next to them. I have never seen a father so shocked with joy before, and for a few reasons. One they didn’t know what they were having but they were pretty sure it was a boy, and two he just delivered his child all by himself!! What a rush!! Then I looked in the corner and there was my dear girlfriend Michelle bursting with excitement but trying so hard to contain it. She is such a nut and gets hysterically wacky in fun situations like this.

Their doula arrived very shortly after they delivered their littler girl in their bath tub, and helped them move comfortably to their bedroom. Then came Gali’s mom, Michelle and Leandra and me. Our friend Kelly was missing, what the heck she is rarely late and wouldn’t miss something like this for the world. Go figure it was yoga night with her daughter! Kelly arrived shortly after I did all ready for a long night of laboring and was just as surprised as we were when she walked through the door to find out the baby already arrived and she came with no help.

We all hung out and took some great photos and videos of the sweet little arrival and the proud parents. It was truly an experience even though we missed the real eventful stuff. It was fun to be together at such an important part of our friends life!

 

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?

 

Another great product! September 7, 2010

Filed under: Moms,shopping — bethanyjcrocker @ 4:17 pm
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Snack Taxi?!

I have never heard of this brilliant invention until recently when a friend brought them to my attention. I have not used them YET but trust the source as she is a full time nanny to three kiddos that are on the go. I’d like to introduce to you the SnackTaxi’s .

This is better than zip lock and better than glade wear. These reusable bags not only look great and come in a huge variety of colors and patterns but they are washing machine safe! So if you are like me and not blessed with a dish washer you can just plot them in your washer machine with your laundry {I know every mama has an endless amount of laundry}.

The Snack Taxi comes in a few different sizes for sandwiches and smaller snacks like crackers, grapes, raisins whatever you like {or your kids like}. I am so excited about how unique this product is. I can’t wait to try them out! Hope you guys enjoy.