Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Blog is Moving!

No I have not disappeared, I am slowly moving my blog to my new domain name www.momssmallvictories.com. Please link up there where I have posted some new pages for recipe reviews, book reviews and updated page for RA resources. Thanks for following me to my new location. You can also find me on Facebook...www.facebook.com/MomsSmallVictories And on twitter...@momsvictories Hope to hear from you soon! Tanya

Thursday, April 5, 2012

GoodReads Review: ScreamFree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool

ScreamFree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your CoolScreamFree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Hal Edward Runkel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great resource for new or "veteran" parents. The author describes how a parent needs to focus on taking care of ourselves and "growing yourself up." I thought I was a grown up with the 3 kids and gray hairs to prove it, but Hal made me realize that by overreacting to the challenges that the kids present, I am acting just like them. I am allowing them to push my buttons like a remote control and control MY behavior.

The author uses very effective stories to show how the parents calmness resulted in a better relationship between the parent and child, even in the toughest of situations. We have all heard why we need to take better care of ourselves to be better parents and this book drives that point home.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our Sweet Superstar

Out of the gazillion pictures I take of our boys, once in a while I get a gem like this and just had to share in Click It Up a Notch's March Photography Contest. 

We were playing one afternoon inside and Superstar loves to lie on the couch near the window.  Remembering the tips I learned on window lighting, I positioned myself in front of the window at an angle to Superstar and clicked away.

This is our sweet Superstar.  He melts our hearts with his gentle, loving eyes and as you can see...he knows it, and he's working it.  He did this pose on his own, I just asked him to look at me.  Boy is Mommy in trouble!

Click the button to get to Click it up a Notch's website and great info on improving your photography. 

Click It Up A Notch

Friday, March 16, 2012

Goodreads Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

BossypantsBossypants by Tina Fey

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had high expectations for this book since Tina Fey is such a great comedic actress and I read all these great reviews this book received. I couldn't wait to pick it up from the library when it was finally my turn. Tina has the tell it is like it is style which i normally love and I could just picture her doing stand-up as I read the book. However, after 30 pages about her getting her period and her gawky tweenhood, I just couldn't bring myself to read anymore. It was funny at first, but the book just didn't progress or snag my interest, a little too much detail on that one event in her life. So I gave up on it and moved on to something else. I was forcing myself to continue reading and that didn't make it enjoyable for me anymore.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Joy and Light in Their Eyes

I had my remicade infusion yesterday for my Rheumatoid Arthritis. The treatment wears me out but normally after some good rest, I am back in full swing the next day. However, today was very difficult for me, I could hardly walk at work, I wrote slowly, I even drove slowly! All my joints were stiff and painful, they would just not move. It gave me flashbacks to my low point before my diagnosis when I cried from the pain walking down the halls at work and an elderly coworker asked me if I was ok as she passed me.

I am usually attuned to what causes my RA to flare, but today I couldn't pinpoint the reason. I came home from work and lied in bed for almot an hour until it was time to pick up the kids. I was feeling quite depressed and having a grand 'ole pity party for one.

That is, until I drove up, parked in my handicapped spot outside Superstar's classroom and saw this....

It may be a dark picture but you can see his bright white smile as he sees my car which is reflected in the window. Superstar's genuine excitement to see me after a long, hard, painful day erased my sadness instantly.

As if that wasn't heartwarming enough, we walked to Daredevil's classroom. Since he was 1, I have diligently been trying to teach him animal sounds. As the kids' bathroom is a jungle theme, after their bath we (well, really just I) make monkey noises and Daredevil laughs at me, not making a sound himself. Low and behold, Daredevil walks up to me in his class today, stuffed monkey in hand, and does the best monkey impression! It was music to my ears. Really, I do just cherish these small precious moments that make me happy and proud to be a mom, RA and all. We call these kids our mood boosters, when they are happy, it is simply contagious.

I was inspired today by a post at Click it up a Notch today that talked about lighting and capturing the catchlights in the subjects eyes. I love taking pictures of my kids and since I wanted to capture the memory of Daredevil's first monkey sounds, I wanted to take a picture for this post. Of course, the child who normally says "cheese" when a camera is pointed in his direction, suddenly got feisty and didn't want me to take his picture. He also would not do the adorable "ooo ooo" face that accompanied the monkey sounds.  With the car door open and phone ready, him looking into the light behind me, I captured the naughty little devil with catchlights in his eyes. I love that!I couldn't decide which to post, so I hope you let me know which one you like best....

The brooding look....

or the "what do you think you are doing, Mommy?" look

Small victories all over the place for me this evening, just from focusing on the joy and light in my little guys' eyes! Let's hope tomorrow is a brighter day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Goodreads Review: The Shadow Wife by Diane Chamberlain

The Shadow WifeThe Shadow Wife by Diane Chamberlain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a big fan of Diane Chamberlain's books and the Shadow Wife is no exception. Diane has a knack for challenging my thoughts on what may appear on the surface to be a clear cut ethical issue. Would I ever root for two people to commit adultery? Well no, but she develops the characters predicaments in such a way that I am as torn as the characters are when a loving husband has to choose between two women he loves, his brain damaged wife or his wife's best friend and colleague. Again, I couldn't put this book down and Diane has such an easy to read style and expertly sets up cliff hangers at the end of each chapter, that I am just compelled to keep reading into the wee hours of the night.

This story is about a love triangle between Joelle, her best friend Mara and Mara's husband Liam. Mara suffers brain damage giving birth to her son and Liam is left to care for his young son. Liam endures the pain of watching his once vibrant wife crumble into the shell of the woman she once was. Joelle and Liam grow closer as they both work together and care for Mara to make her comfortable. Joelle calls upon a well known healer, who once saved her life, to see if she can perform a miracle for Mara. The healer has her own story, a twin sister in an interracial relationship in a time when it was not accepted. Of course, the healer has a life filled with secrets of her own.

Another book full of twists and turns, love, healing, friendship, and sisterhood. I highly recommend this book.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Goodreads Review: Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with MorrieTuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an exceptional story that really makes you think about priorities in life. In case I am not the last person on the planet to read this book, it's a story about well...Tuesdays with Morrie. Morrie is a professor of sociology and learns he has a cruel terminal illness. The author, Mitch, was one of Morrie's favorite students. When Morrie learns about his fate, he asks Mitch to write his "final thesis." Mitch travels out of state to visit Morrie on Tuesdays and picks the important life questions to discuss with his amazingly simple and profound professor. What culminates are chapters on life, love, marriage, death and the finer, more important things in life.

I am a fan of the library, I don't have a lot of space to store books but this will be one I buy anyway. There are so many wonderful lessons and memorable quotes, I think it'd be a great addition to our book collection. One I can share with family, friends and highly recommend to others. One I will reread when I need to de-stress from the juggling act of a full-time job, dealing with a chronic illness (not terminal, thank heavens), and motherhood. One that will stick with me when I need to gain perspective.