Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Thoughts on Motherhood

Can I be real and say that sometimes it kinda stinks? And by kinda I mean really. And by stinks I mean sucks. Let me just be honest. Some days, some times being a mom really just sucks. Yea, yea, I know we don't say sucks.

Yesterday I heard " I wish you weren't my mom." I might not have acted in complete grace and empathy. I might have thought something along the lines of, "Fine. Go pack your stuff and I'll drop you off at an orphanage." I mean maybe I thought that.

The trouble all started because I said no to painting and play-doh. First of all I hate both of those activities. One time many years ago when paint ended up all over the wall at our rental I might have screamed said 'I'm not anointed for painting!!!' and then put them away for 5 or so years. I want to be the care-free mom. I really do. But I'm not. I'm the sometimes frantic, please stop jumping off the furniture, or deck, or stairs, or walls type. Whatever.

When I started to declutter to list and show the house I packed up a lot of things, among the first things to get stored were activities such as paint, play-doh, kenetic sand... etc. Everything that has a lengthy and involved clean up process. And I also might have neglected to label the boxes. A woman such as myself, so familiar with moving, might have thought this through, but I didn't. So when each one of the four children started to parade before me and ask the same question, "Can we paint?" and "Can we play play-doh?" Their requests were met with a simple 'no'.

Then the screaming began. The 'I wish you weren't my mom anymore...' Yea kid I get it. And the day was kind of shot at like 10am. The kid and I had a talk about words and they squeezed out a tube of toothpaste - cause there's some kind of lesson in that? I tried but we ended up talking about how life and death are in the power of the tongue. Our words either tear down or build up and how can we honor God and one another with our words? We hugged it out and moved on.

We recovered for a few hours and went to the park, which ended with a pretty fun nature walk, considering there were 4 kids and no stroller, wagon or snacks (an unfortunate oversight). We played in the river, picked lots of flowers, held bugs, threw rocks, all the things and it was good.

We came home and had lunch then naps or school depending on age. At some point attitudes took a turn for the worse and there was an episode which involved fighting and then a kid missing out on TV. You would have thought the world was ending because Max and Ruby was on and they were missing it. There was a show down on the staircase, and a little screaming. I just picked them up and carried them to their bed and held them while they cried about their unfair punishment. I wasn't mad, just drained. Do you know that feeling? Like you are just done being the enforcer and you might feel a little broken? That's where I was. Done and broken.

I wish there was a magical formula for times like this but there just aren't. There's love, which is hard to find when someone is screaming at you. There is grace but it seems to evaporate when all your buttons are pushed. There is empathy but I don't feel bad that this kid is missing TV because they punched their sibling unprovoked. Above all though there is peace from Holy Spirit. In the face of trouble I don't have to be out of control in my emotions when my little one (who is big enough to know better) is acting out.

As I think back over this child's life, I remember my swollen belly, labor, delivery (still so clearly), sleepless nights, many sleepless nights and I love this baby. Even when they scream at me, and say they don't want me to be their mom anymore. I still want to be their mom. I wouldn't change a single thing about this child. I wouldn't change a single day, even yesterday. Sometimes our hardest days teach us the best lessons.

There was a long talk with Daddy about love and Jesus. Wrongs were made right, and forgiveness, there is always room for more forgiveness. We worked through it though. Together. I know there will be many more hard mom days to come but today has enough worries of it's own, so today I will enjoy the snuggles and try to enjoy every MOMent even if it is chaotic and loud.

Friday, May 4, 2018

I don't write as much as I want. I think that's just the stage of life I'm in. I think about writing all the time. I even start to compose what I want to say as I lay in bed waiting for sleep but somehow the busyness of the next day has me putting it off, and then another day passes, and then 5 months...

I think during this season I need to stick to some updating... so let me try that for a bit...

1. We're moving. Did you know that? I can't remember. But yep, it's true. The movers will be here at the end of this month and sometime in June we will be moving to Columbia, SC. I say some time because, military. And yes that's a perfectly descriptive answer. We are hoping to live on base, I say hoping because you have to be 30 days from moving in before they put you on a list. Monday our name can go on that list. It's the whole hurry up and wait.

2. We're selling our house. There is just too much to say about this. I'm sad. And it's stressful. We're living in a home we cannot live in because we never know if we're going to have a showing, or when we will need to leave. I refuse to deep clean every day so we have been spending a lot of time out, at the Y, or parks, or just driving around. Plus I don't cook in the clean kitchen. Needless to say life is just everywhere right now, the house is clean but please do not even think about looking in our van. Today a friend's son said 'Wow! That's a mess!' I know kid. I know.

3. School. We are getting through, slowly, but surely. It's been hard with the previous mentioned showings, but we're making it. I think we will be finished with 2nd grade and kindergarten by August. We year round school anyways so that's a non issue. I just wish we would be finishing before moving and then start a new year after we get settled in but oh well. Flexibility, right? Right.

4. I haven't been doing much cooking. I made Coq Au Vin with Parsley Potatoes and Steamed Garlic Green Beans at my mom's house last week. It was delicious. We sopped up the gravy with crusty buttered bread. My mouth is watering just remembering. And I made Black Berry Cobbler for dessert. I'm planning on overhauling my menu planning system during the moving transition. But even more so I am praying we get a contract on the house so we can go back to some kind of normal life again.

5. I'm the only line of defense this weekend as Frank drill so sleep is a priority. I'm hoping to post tomorrow about my last teaching from Sunday. I'd really love to start writing more frequently but don't hold your breath and I won't hold mine.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Mom Shame

It's real, man. The mom shame. Because mom guilt wasn't enough.

Today I had to claim a child that is going through the stage. You know the one, when they don't quite understand how to control their frustration, or anger and instead of letting another child push or take toys away they lash out and pinch. Yes, I am the pincher's mom. Yup. Hey guess what? I was also the biter's mom for a long while. And I am also the mom of the kid who screamed the entire way through church. And since there are 4 of them... I'm also the mom of the kid who was always well behaved.

Here's a shocker. I can't control my kid. I can't make my 2 year old stop pinching. I can't. Do I want to? Desperately. I'm tired of it too. We always have sweet talks about how we are nice and we use our hands for good things like picking up and helping but not being mean like pinching. We snuggle up and the child says 'I'm nice'. And I say, 'yes. you sure are.'

I dread picking my kids up from any form of child watch. The Y, church, bible study. It's like the walk of shame has followed me into motherhood. Hung head, profuse apologies, tears and lots of them by me. 

Where's the grace in this season? And why are the other moms not the ones giving it? Aren't we in this together?

I watched my baby hug a kid from behind. The friend of the mom said she has attacked like 3 other kids like this. Relax lady. It's a hug. Sure it looks like a tackle. From behind. Maybe more like a choke hold. But really it's just one 2 year old trying to hug another 2 year old. No kids were screaming. Ok. ok unwanted attention, I get it.

The pincher got bit on the face last week. I didn't feel indignant. I felt bad for the parent of the biter. I knew the child worker would heap on the shame. They had to sign an incident report for goodness sakes. I know they wouldn't tell me what kid it was, or who the parent was, but I just asked a message be passed along, It's ok. It's really ok. They are small. And they will out grow it.

If you are dealing with a biter, puncher, pincher, scratcher, kicker, spitter or whatever. That message is for you too. It's ok. It's really ok. They will out grow it. Probably not tomorrow. Or next week. But eventually. Some day. They will. Give grace to your baby. And grace to yourself. And the next time someone says, "Oh, You're that kid's mom?!" Own it. That lovely baby is yours.

But if you are the shame police maybe you should consider becoming a vessel of grace instead. God knows the rest of us could sure use some of that.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Enjoying Every MOMent

Enjoying every MOMent... that's the new(ish) thing in my life.

Last year when my husband started talking about his 5 year plan, work goals, education goals and the like I started thinking I have no goals. Seriously none. I think that puts me on bum status. Um Yea. I'm struggling with the 5 day meal plan, the 5 hour day-to-day school plan, the 5 minute a day happiness plan. Forget the 5 year plan.

Work goals are easier for me. I don't work, so I don't really need goals for that.

Education goals are similar. I have a BA so I'm good. I'm teaching kids how to read, say the ABC's, count and recognize colors so things aren't all that hard. My goal is to do something educational every day with them. Watching Wild Kratt's counts for 2. So I'm killing this one.

But really. It bugged me. I have no real goals. I felt like I was navigating life without direction, without purpose. I mean other than keep kids alive. (4 kids = 4 points)

I know Romans 8:28 'And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.' Great God! Now if you could just AirDrop a few of those purposes for my life I'll be all set... And go.....

I jest but really. It's kind of hard, at least for me, to figure out what all that looks like. I'm called to be a mom. Can't really get out of that one, now. I'm called to be a wife. I'm a half-prepared Bible Study teacher... I won't lie, I'm stuck on my notes for tomorrow and this is me trying to figure how to finish this 6 week study.

Anyways. I wrote a list. A list of goals for each day. Want to hear 'em?


1. Pursue Jesus. Seriously run hard after Him.
2. Build a sanctuary that Holy Spirit wants to dwell among us. (Ex. 25:8)
3. Build a relationship with my husband that will flourish in love.
4. Point my children to Jesus and His inexhaustible grace.
5. Love my people well.
6. Nourish souls.
7. Build others up.
8. Give grace

and now for the realllllly serious ones....

9. Read at least 1 (kid picked) book a day.
10. Let the kids make a mess and don't stress AT. ALL. (I still can't do this.)
11. Find the blessing in all circumstances.
12. Laugh. Hard. To the point of snorting.
13. Give more grace.
14. Hug and kiss the kids so much they BEG me to stop!
15. Enjoy every, every, every MOMent.

My note cards are all water stained and some of the ink has been washed out by either dishwater or the sun. I look at them most days. But some days I rush too much to read the carefully scripted words.
Do I do all these well? No. Not really. Not well enough. But that's why I'm telling you. I'm hoping you will hold me accountable. Will you?
I'm gonna pretend you said "Yea girl, I got you."
To which I say "You're awesome." And we fist bump and hug it out.
Thanks friend.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Who are you?

I have forgotten who I am. Does that ever happen to you? You read an old journal. Or an old blog and realize somewhere between then and now you have lost yourself? You stopped being the fun mom you once were... You stopped running after Jesus and started running after kids. Not intentionally, but one day things just changed. I'm there. I'm that. I'm lost. I'm drowning. I praise God that I there is no where that I can go and escape Him (Ps. 139). When I have lost myself, He knows just where to find me. A lot has changed since the last, oh, four years. So. Without further adieu...
Who am I, now? 

I am no one.

And I don't mean that in a negative self image kind of way. I am just me. No one special. I'm not famous nor have any desire to be.

I am not a writer. I do not have a way with words. But I do enjoy typing so there's always that.

I am a Daughter of The King. So I guess technically that makes me a Princess. Yes, yes. One of those.

I'm just a wife. Albeit a military wife. And yes there is a difference.

I am a mom to four. But where the last 2 came from, I'm not entirely sure. I just kind of blinked and then there were 4 little people calling me "Mommy." I keep answering so they keep calling, and I keep feeding them so they stick around.

I am a scratch cook, if there is such a term and if not, then I am an innovator too.

I am a homeschool teacher. Because being a mom wasn't hard enough.

I am not a true Southerner. There I said it. And I do hate saying that. The truth is, I was born a Yankee. But butter flows through my veins like any true Southern woman so I'll keep working on my accent and Southern graces, ok?

I wear leggings as pants. Yes I do and here's why.... I'm a stay at home mom and if my leggings are clean enough to run to Kroger then I'm doing it. I refuse to even take a chance on getting my jeans dirty and making more laundry for myself. And if you see me wearing a sweatshirt, there's like a 98% chance I'm not wearing an actual shirt under it for the same reason. If I'm putting on jeans then I will probably need to shower first, and if I take a shower then some sort of hair brushing and bun making are going to follow and maybe, just maybe a dab of makeup and if I'm going to all that effort I might as well head to church or somewhere that people will actually know me. Right? Right. But I digress.

I am a runner. A new runner. Like past the "I hate this, why am I doing this to myself? Let me just go eat some butter..." phase. And in the "I'm just gonna walk today... this is boring... I should just run" Then do. This is a new thing. It didn't happen over night. Or over a week. It's something new to me and right now I'm all about the new.

I am a book eater. I love, love, love to read. I would read all day long if I didn't have a bunch of other stuff to do... And even then if I can't put a book down I blow off all my responsibilities and just read. I can even cook dinner and read at the same time. I'm obviously talented. And modest.

So who I am? Only God really knows. I'm (obviously) still working on this one. I'm just another woman in the crowd. Lost in her own thoughts, searching for the peanut butter in the fridge. Wondering if the day in and the day out of wife-ing, mom-ing and all the in between-ing really, truly matters and how to navigate this wild life of enjoying every MOMent.

Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm a blogging failure. There, I said it. I promise to post and then I disappear right off the face of the Internet for literally months. A lot has happened since I posted last, obviously. Probably the biggest is, we welcomed Samuel Peter into this world on November 11 and it's been a whirlwind adventure ever since.

I'm a Facebook-updater, at least until last month, but I'm taking a cool 2 months off from the 'book' and I've had little outlet for my random thoughts, updates and rants.

The latest around here is Frank reenlisted last week for 6 more years. That's right, count it, SIX more years. That puts us at a cool 14 years. Lots of new opportunities are opening up and we are still waiting to share what the future holds for us. We hope to know more by early fall but the military is a 'hurry up and wait' kind of place, and we are painfully patiently waiting.

The kids and I have had a busy summer. We spent 2 planned weeks, and 1 unplanned week in North Carolina visiting family and friends. Then the family came to Colorado a week after I got home and we've been entertaining here for about 3 weeks. Yesterday I whipped up a birthday cake for a very sweet little girl and today was Day 1 of VBS. Guess whose a crew leader?! Yep. This girl.

After this week, I'm looking forward to a low key month before Kaylee goes back to 'part day enrichment' or pde, which is essentially military half-day preschool. It's a great program, we love the teacher and the 'school' is walking distance from our house, on base.

The kids are kids, for lack of a better description. They are all napping now, Praise Jesus!
Kaylee is tall, sassy, imaginative and creative. She is smart and talks nonstop. She loves Jesus and is our prayer warrior, always willing to pray and talk to God, it touches my heart. She is my helper. We started reading Little House in the Big Woods before bed and her comprehension and memory amazes me.
Joel is a firecracker. He has blazing orange hair and a temper to match. He is stubborn but sweet. Quick to hug and say sorry. He is our little Italian lover, he always wants to kiss and hug. He is all boy, enthralled with bugs, cars, trains, planes and dirt. He runs every where he goes. He makes me laugh. He loves animals and knows all their sounds, and all the colors.
Sam is growing up too fast. He's 19.5 pounds (50%) and just over 30 inches (99%). He has been crawling since we were at my moms, so about 3 weeks, and is pulling himself up on all the furniture and has started to cruise easily. He jabbers a lot and is cutting teeth. He smiles and laughs. He loves playing with the big kids and crawls after them. He's easy going and happy.

Frank and I are doing well. We keep busy between all the kids and our grown up duties. We recently made the decision to change churches. We do everything at the base chapel, Kaylee goes to AWANA and VBS, and I attend two Bible studies a week there, most of the friends we have made attend the chapel so we fellowship with them on a regular basis, so now we church with them too. To be honest it was the right move for our family. Its walking distance to our home, Frank can meet us there on Sundays when he has to work and everyone there knows what its like to unload a car full of kids by themselves so they are eager to help me when I need it. Something I am very grateful for.

I have gotten more serious about cooking, Frank bought me some incredible cookbooks, including Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And we are considering the possibility of me attending culinary school, more specifically pastry school. It makes me giddy to even 'say' that out loud.

I think that as much of an update as I have in me for today. Maybe I will remember to post next week about our adventure at VBS ;) otherwise in 6-9 months you can expect a random update.

My latest wreath
Kaylee 4 1/2
Joel 2
Sammy 8 months

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What did the mommy tomato say to the baby tomato when he fell behind?

Ketchup! Ha.Ha. Here's the latest. 

I'm currently 31 weeks pregnant. The crib is not put together, the bedding has not arrived and we haven't decided on a name. Stressed? Yes. 

We moved a quarter mile up the street a month ago today. We are now in a 4 bedroom house and have a massive garage! Yay! It's a good thing too, since that's where all of our unpacked boxes are hiding. I only have a slight to moderate heart attack when I go into the garage now. 

In other news, last month we also bought a van!! Yes, that's an exclamation mark. Yes, I really am excited :) I absolutely love my van. Seriously. It has automatic doors, a dvd player, stow and go seating and extended trunk space! I'm in my glory, people! 

School is in full swing here. Well, at least for Frank and Kaylee. Frank is taking a few online courses and should have his associates degree in March. Kay has been begging me to start school, and as soon as we found her home school book, that's exactly what we did. She also started Awana about a month go, so far she has memorize 1 John 4:10, the Cubbies motto (Jesus loves me), Romans 3:23 and this week she is learning Romans 5:8. The verses are shortened but she has excelled so far and on Sunday she will earn her first patch! 

Joel has gotten busier and more wild by the hour. He climbs on everything. The window sills, the rocking chair, the train table, into the van, onto Kay's new big girl bed, and now onto the dining room table. Yes, you read that right. The dining room table. Anybody want a cute and wild 16 month old? Free. Overall he's transitioned well. He went cold turkey from crib to toddler bed the day we moved all our furniture to the new house. This week sleep has been difficult for him, he's waking up at least once during his nap, and twice at the night. Joel is obsessed with the toilet. There are 2 times when I can count on Joel being quiet. One when he's sleeping, usually. The second being when he's playing in the toilet. He's put cars, little people, necklaces, really all kinds of things down the toilet. 

Baby Boy, like I said, remains nameless. He's measuring 2 weeks early, which is fantastic news for my Thanksgiving Day plans, but not so much for anything else. I'm afraid Joel will not adjust well to having to share his momma, but Kaylee is excited. She wants to name the baby Peter Pan. Needless to say, her naming privileges have been revoked. 

In my world, there is little sleep. With Joel's nightly crying sessions, well, he really just whines Mooooommmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaa for 30 minutes, plus Kay's nightly potty trip, and my personal trips, sleep has become an afterthought. Of course, it takes like 20 minutes to adjust myself or roll over, and then I usually have to get up again before I can fall asleep. I'd say it's almost comical. Almost, if I wasn't so sleep deprived. Alas, this too shall pass. In a year, or so. I feel sorry for new baby. He will be sleeping in his own room immediately. 

I'm in love with the new Swagbucks app and their tv app. It's so easy to earn swagbucks now, before I might earn a $5 Amazon card over a month or two span but now I am earning one a week! I play the tv all night, sometimes it times out, but since I'm up at least once an hour or so, I can check it and restart the videos. So I wake up in the morning already having earned 50 swag bucks. Plus I downloaded the apps to the iPad for Frank's account and earn double bucks when I search on his. I also discovered Mpoints. I can earn $3-$6 a week in about 10 minutes a day. You earn points for opening apps, watching videos, taking short (1 question) surveys, etc. It's a really easy way to earn free money. 

My craft supplies are s.l.o.w.l.y getting unpacked. I have a November wreath to finish, and at this pace, I'll be able to hang it on my door by Thanksgiving Day. It's finally time for me to make a new batch of laundry detergent. I made my first batch last July, it cost me $20 to make and I washed over 400 loads. I'm becoming quite efficient at menu planning, something I never tried to do in the past. But I love only grocery shopping once a week and it's really helping me manage my food budget. I've completely taken over the budgeting, which is both good and scary, only because I'm afraid to mess something up. But since we have started to seriously budget and budget for every.single.thing it's become almost a game. Almost. 

Well. These children are begging for attention. And by that, I mean nap time is over and I should get them a snack. Plus I can't think of anything else I could possibly update you on. I probably passed that interesting/annoying line paragraphs ago. Until next time, friends.