Saturday, September 29, 2012

Losing Pregnancy Weight

I know, who the heck blogs on a Saturday night? If I were actually cool I would be doing something... well, cool.

I guess I just wanted to write down some thoughts.

I just finished picking out and trying on what I am going to wear for church tomorrow. It's going to be an early morning and I'd rather not be trying to decide with the clock ticking behind me and me panicking because I'm late and nothing fits right.

I think I'm plateauing... I'm not sure how much I weigh, but I don't really think that matters. What matters is whether or not things fit. I guess I'm frustrated that it's starting to become fall weather and I still can't fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans. These are the jeans Ben bought me for my birthday two years ago. Levi was one year old then and I had been nursing at the time. I think I weighed around 150 pounds, and they were a nice fitting size ten. There. I put that out there. But I figured I might as well talk in specifics. Last I weighed myself I was 152 (this surprised me because I thought I was more). The only problem is that my size ten pants are not quite fitting. I mean, I could wear them if I wanted to, but it wouldn't be comfortable and I'm seriously just over wearing stuff that won't allow me to breathe. I'm over it.

It's in these moments when I'm like, why haven't I done more sit ups? Why did I have that piece of birthday cake and the three slices of pizza as well as those chips and some other odds and ends today? Why haven't I drank more water, why have I decided to eat a couple (yes, a couple) of spoonfuls of peanut butter in the afternoons? Just all kinds of little whys add up to one big... you can't fit into your jeans yet!

Now I'm not going to be too hard on myself because Aria will only be 9 months next month and I didn't get those jeans until Levi was a full year. So, I'm not going to beat myself up too badly.

BUT I have been hovering at this weight for a while and I think it's just plain frustrating.

It's good that I'm blogging about this because as I am writing I am coming to the realization that it's okay. It's gonna be okay. Plateaus are fine, they are probably good... good for your body to be adjusting gradually and sometimes it just needs to catch up to itself. I don't need to be constantly losing weight, it's going to be okay. Whew....

I think this is more motivation for me to be more careful next time as I am putting on the weight. That I don't need to use the excuse, "oh I'll just lose it all later!" and use that as my get out of jail free card. I need to just walk by faith and be obedient to the body that God has given me and eat what I need to eat.

I don't need to be looking around me at what a friend can eat and get away with, I don't need to be digging into the ice cream because my husband can (which he often does) I need to be faithful with what God has called me to be faithful with: my own body.

Lord, help me as I try to figure out this muddled, messed-up process. Help me to lay aside the ways and thoughts of the world. Help me not to get caught up in looks and clothes. Help me to be pre-occupied with what You want me to do and not with food. Help me to run to You with my cares, worries and fears. You are my portion, I have put my hope in You.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


A friend of mine recently was talking about how she is always in conversation with God. That He directs her, she talks to him out loud while she is washing the dishes, doing the laundry, He tells her to do things that might seem random but she sees why she did them later on and can see how God was working through the situation. She said it's not always like this. She said it's kind of like a muscle that the more she prays and spends time with God the more He speaks to her. The less and less she meets with Him the less she hears from Him. She says she's far from perfect in keeping an ear to Him, but when she does He is so close.

I have been thinking about that this morning. Listening to God and praying, as though He is just walking through the day with you. I was thinking about the book The Practice of the Presence of God which is a book of letters from Brother Lawrence who made it his goal to pray without ceasing. He wondered if that was truly possible, so he tried it. He was a dishwasher, I think in a monastery.

As my friend was speaking about this the other day a thought struck me (probably it was God speaking): is my schedule open enough to just hear from the Lord? Do I have the time, do I take the time to stop and listen? I definitely read the Word every morning, that's a no-questions-asked, I-will-do-this-no-matter-what thing. But after that time of focused time in His Word, how much time do I think about asking Him what He wants me to do?

Lord, teach me to listen to You and Your Holy Spirit that You have put inside of me. Help me to know how to follow You with and without a schedule. I pray that my busyness would not get in the way of Your voice. Tune my heart to Your ear.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The easy way or the hard way?

Do I really even want to blog right now? I really just want to sleep. But I am staying awake so I can teach Levi.

See, a while back when Ben left we started some bad habits. I'm terrible at starting bad habits because basically bad habits are the easy way out. Bad habits like not making Levi eat all of his dinner and then giving him yogurt or cheese instead later on because he is hungry. Those kinds of bad habits.

One bad habit I have started is lying in bed with him until he falls asleep. Now that he is in a big boy bed and can get out it is much easier if I just lay in there with him until he's asleep and then I don't have to struggle with putting him back in his bed and back in his bed and spanking him and putting him back in his bed and then talking to him and putting him back in his bed... Some nights when Ben was gone we would spend two hours doing this. It can make you feel like a crazy person. So, should I spend 15 mins in bed with him while he falls asleep or should I spend two hours teaching him to stay in his bed? One has short term results that at least get him to sleep but in the long term he is not learning to put himself to sleep on his own.

If it weren't for my husband I think I would be the worst parent. He is the one who reminds me that this is not a sustainable thing. "Jody, you can't do this for the rest of his childhood." When he reminds me of these things I just want to snap back at him, "You have no idea what it's like to be shut up in a house with a two year old all day!" But I restrain myself and admit that he is right. I hate it when he's right. I'm thankful that he's right but at the same time it kind of infuriates me sometimes.

I guess I could call it "Easy way out parenting" parenting in the moment instead of with the end goal in mind. I have to constantly be asking myself, is this going to blow up in my face someday? Am I going to regret this decision further down the road? Sometimes Ben sees something that I am doing and lets me know that we are not going to do that as parents. We are not going to go lay in Levi's bed when he wakes up in the middle of the night and comes and gets us. We are not going to let him stand up in his chair during dinner time. I don't need to nurse Aria every time she cries. I don't need to nurse her to sleep every night (we are trying to wean off of that one right now). If they wake up too early they are going to have to go back and sit in their bed until it's time to get up in the morning. I know. we are mean parents.

But I think the best ways are often the hard ways.

Lord, teach me what it is to have grace for my child. Help me to raise them to be healthy and obedient. Help me Lord, I am so weak in this. Thank You for a good husband. Thank You for good friends and family who support us and love us. I am so often bad at this and I lose my brain so often. Please help me Lord. Thank You for being patient with me, help me to be patient with our children.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thoughts on Motherhood... and a start of a song.

I haven't written a serious post in a while.

I have been realizing lately that I haven't been playing as much piano and guitar as I should and I haven't been singing as much as I should. The sad part is that I often blame my kids. This should not be so.

Yesterday I got out my piano. (We moved it again, from the dining room into our bedroom. I hope this encourages me to play more). I just started playing it and Aria and Levi just sat on the floor and danced and played together. It was amazing to me to see them enjoying the gift that God has given me. Why have I not played for them to enjoy? My heart broke for all the times I passed the piano up saying I had no time or little kids would get in the way or that I was too tired.

Being a mom who stays at home sounds all happy and touchy-feely and well, maybe kind of June Cleaver-ish. Maybe it sounds like I have the life or something like that. There's all these debates out there as to whether or not to stay home or go to work. For the first little while it's pretty romantic but after about the 20th load of laundry, countless spills on the floor, dozens of toys, and just the feeling that you can't lose the house without it taking at least an hour to just get your kids ready only to find that you left your list for the grocery store on the kitchen counter, it loses it's shine.

Staying at home often feels like a monotonous existence. Especially when your child is very young. As your child grows it is more challenging, you have to start disciplining and teaching, you have less time to yourself.

I haven't written a song in a very long time. I have tried a couple of times and the well just seems dry. I think I could have written a song yesterday afternoon though. As my children played on the floor at my feet. Maybe I just could have. Songs start out as very broken fragments of thought for me. Sometimes they come all at once and then other times they are this long, drawn out process, sometimes taking months to complete. They have to come out of this place, this place of feeling and thinking or a place of struggle. What the heck am I trying to say? It has to be a place I have walked through I guess. I can't write about something I haven't experienced.

I'm going to just put some of my lyrics on here in hopes that I will be inspired. I think my problem is that I can't get anything to rhyme. Or I feel like it sounds stupid when it does rhyme. But I almost always rhyme in my songs ... whatever.

Jesus, please help me.

This is to my children:
You gave me something I never thought I wanted
I would have laughed and said maybe someday, but that's not my goal
You were a weight to bear, a weight of glory, a weight of joy
I remember the day you came into this world, the day you breathed your first
It was painful, but it was a day of great worth
I have watched you grow in amazement and wonder
The more you do the more challenges are new
There are moments and minutes and hours and days
I wonder if my times would be better spent in other ways
Many are the tasks which at times are so simple
Yet I am often overwhelmed by the sheer amount

You make life harder
You make life better
You bring me to my knees

Each day is beautiful
Each day is difficult
Frustrations and joys all wrapped up together in one tangled mess
From elation to depression and back again
This thing called motherhood I'll never understand

You make life harder
You make life better
I'll never be the same
because I knew your name

Maybe it feels weird to put this stuff out there, but I feel like I need some kind of accountability or something. Maybe this will do it.

Lord, you have given me the gift of writing music. Help me to be faithful in that gift. I am done with excuses. I am far from perfect, so I pray for Your strength and your courage in this.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Levi Stories

I don't have time for a real blog post but I thought I would post a few cute things Levi has said lately.

On the way to my parent's house tonight I hear YELLED from the backseat: "I saw was a doooooog!" (pronounced: I sawwazadog) or "I saw was a pwane!' (plane) He will continue to repeat this phrase with the same caliber until I answer him. "Wow Levi! Good job, you are good at finding things."

Guacamole is "muacamowee"
Bacon is "binking"
Painting is "pinking"

A sad story: Levi not getting a sucker for good behavior at Whole Foods. I had to carry him out screaming. He kept yelling "I OBEY! I OBEY!" Sorry buddy, you are too late.

He was playing with Aria's toes today and did this version of the little piggies:
'An dis widdle piggy went wee, an dis widdle piggy went wee, an dis widdle piggy went WEEEEE!
Then he would reach up and tickle her neck and she would just laugh. Watching this was probably my favorite part of the whole day.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

When Daddy's Away...

I am in the process of putting Levi down for a nap. It's involving me putting him in his bed, telling him to stay there and leaving the room. Then I hear his little voice, I go back in and he is out of his bed, probably playing in his curtains (which is a 'no no' anyways) me administering punishment and putting him back in his bed. Sometimes this process only takes 10 minutes, the other day it took 2 hours.

I was walking into the hallway as I was leaving his room and thought, I need to just write down what has happened this week with Ben being gone. Not that stuff like this doesn't happen every day, but it seems that we are more... well, life has had more hiccups in it this week.

Here's just a list of what has happened when Daddy was away. I'll just list the good, the bad, and the ugly.

- We went to a friends house and had a good time of fellowship with her and her kids. I ended up painting the fruit of the spirit on her kitchen wall. It was cool to bless her like that.
- Levi spilled yogurt on my computer.
- Went to a friend's house for dinner that night. Levi peed on their floor. (He has a tendency to forget about that stuff when he's in a new, fun environment.
- Figured out how to make it through the grocery store with fewer tantrums. I simply told Levi that if he got out of the car on the front of the cart that he would ride up in the basket with Aria. For the first time I didn't have to reprimand him, just remind him.
::edit::  I also forgot to mention that Levi broke Aria's blinds. He immediately came and confessed, "I broke Aria's blinds! Dey fell down!" I thought he meant that they had just gone down, but I came in and they were on the floor. So, she has no blinds now. At least she has a curtain.
- Went to a mom small group at noon and an adult small group that night. It's always good to have some adult fellowship even though I was late to both.
- Successfully exchanged a mattress pad at Bed Bath and Beyond. Freak out moment: I thought I put the cart securely next to the van and while I was getting Levi into his carseat Aria and the cart started to roll away. I basically threw Levi into his seat and tore after her. She maybe rolled 5 feet or so, but i definitely just stood their and cried after I brought her back to Levi to make sure he wasn't hurt in my throwing him. Thankfully, everyone was fine.
- Taught a piano lesson to three eager children, got lost on the way. I get so turned around in Alexander. Also pulled a u-turn on a one way access road. Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Can we say near death experiences?? Also, Levi peed in his pants again, but I didn't have extra pants for him this time, forgot to refill the bag, so he had to wear one of Aria's cloth diapers. Very sad.
- Picked up Aria's shot record for the plane trip tomorrow. I was in a hurry and didn't notice that Levi didn't have shoes on. We walked across the parking lot and into the office. Good thing his tetanus shot is up to date.
- Took my computer to the Apple Store since my keyboard isn't working very well. I was late for my genius appointment so I was practically dragging Levi. I'm sure they loved to see me with my two year old and 8 month old come in.  We probably looked like a disaster waiting to happen. Makes me nervous with all those beautiful iPads sitting there. Found out it would be 112 bucks to fix my keyboard... crud.
- Went to in-laws for dinner last night. It was good to visit with them, we hadn't had a chance to see each other in a bit. Then my mother in law came over to help me get the kids into bed since they weren't going down until 9:30 and 10 at night.

We also had:
- Two skipped naps
- One poop on the floor (Aria)
- Two decent walks
- One birthday party
- Lots of pink pancakes and green smoothies (sneaking in veggies)

This is the time when we really miss Ben. I realize that he is sort of the anchor to our schedule. We see him off in the mornings and we look forward to when he comes home and when he doesn't the day feels like it's missing something major, which, it is.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weak Parenting Moments. And A Levi Story.

I think I could probably blog every day, a couple of times a day if I could. If I had the time. But I think that would be too excessive, ya know?

I think this post might be a little difficult. If you follow me on Instagram then you may know that Levi spilled yogurt on my computer. Yes, yogurt. So I did what you are supposed to do, I powered it down and took off almost every key and cleaned it with alcohol and q-tips. I put it back yesterday and I'm not sure I got everything quite in place. Sometimes when I hit the space bar there is no space, or if I shift it doesn't always capitalize... If I catch it I will try to correct it. 

I guess that's a Levi story. It's also a stupid-parent-moment. I have lots of those moments. 

It had been a hard day. The morning was awesome hanging out with friends, but when we got home Levi was just not acting tired. He had slept late that morning (this is a crazy freak of nature thing but he has been sleeping until 8 and 9 o clock this week, usually it's more like 6:30). So I thought maybe he needs to skip his nap. I wanted him to go in and have "rest time" and just stay in his bed with the lights out. That lasted for about 10 minutes. I could have forced it to be longer and kept putting him back in his room and explaining it was "rest time" for the next hour but it was a lazy parenting moment. I just didn't feel like enforcing this one. (mistake number one).

So for the rest of the afternoon I was trying to do stuff on the computer and I wanted him to sit quietly and play with his cars. He wanted to throw toys across the room. 

I was trying to order some pictures from Walgreens but our internet filter kept blocking it. Very strange because initially I could go to the site and make out an order form. But then I would try to upload some more pictures and it would block it. Then slowly as I kept trying to go back and then order and then try to get this deal that I saw on the front page, little by little the site would be more and more blocked. Totally frustrating. Turns out that I didn't order the pictures. 

Levi kept coming up to and staying "I'm tirsty, I wan some miiiiilk."  
or "I'm huuungry, I wan some gole-fish."

Not right now Levi, we are going to a friend's house for dinner tonight (I don't even look up from the computer I am concentrating on, in my frustration of course I am checking Facebook and different blogs because OF COURSE they will help... psh).

Then I remember that I have to practice piano because I will be leading worship at small group that night. Levi wants to play too. He doesn't want me to sit on the stool, he wants to sit on the stool. He wants to bang on the keys. Okay fine, I'll just go put on my makeup. So that's what I did. He eventually wandered away and I sat down to play. My computer was open on the kitchen counter and I had given him some yogurt earlier. I don't think he was actually hungry, looking back in retrospect I think that all of this just stemmed from him wanting my attention. Even as I write this I am starting to see clearly what I may not have seen in the heat of the moment. 

Anyways, I started playing and I heard from the other room some strange sounds. In the back of my mind I thought, I should check on him but the other part of my brain was saying, at least you can actually play the piano now! Use this opportunity!

More noises and I come into the kitchen where he is and he has a 7 foot long pole (we recently used as a roller extender for painting) and he is knocking over the GLASS jars above cabinets. Praise the Lord that they did not fall on the floor and shatter into a million tiny pieces. 

I should have checked on him when I first thought of it.

I look over and in the chaos of waving this huge pole around he has knocked his yogurt onto my computer. 

At this moment I hear Aria starting to wake up, I look at the clock and we need to leave in about 15 minutes. 

Lord, help me to listen to my children. Help me to listen for their needs. I can be so selfish. I don't want my son's image of me to be one of always looking at a computer or a phone, just trying to get away from them. Yes, this is a trying time and sometimes I feel like I'm seriously going to lose my mind, but help me to not let these years and months and days to slip by. 

I am weak, but he is strong. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

More Levi Stories

I have to remember to blog about Levi stories more and more. He is saying all these cute things and I need to write them down before they slip by. Here are a few.

We have a backseat driver. We will be just driving along and all of the sudden we hear from the back seat,"Go dis way!" Mostly, he is pointing for us to go in the direction of Mimi or Deedee's house. I'm pretty sure he could direct anyone to their houses. This led me start to explain left and right to him. I realized how difficult that is because as soon as you turn left, it's no longer left anymore, it's straight ahead. I think slowly but surely he's getting it though. For a two and a half year old I think that's pretty good. I still get my left and right mixed up.

Whenever Levi has something on his face, a bug bite, scratch or some leftover food I told him to wipe off, he always has a desire to see it in the mirror. Exclaims, "I show da mirror!" and runs into our bathroom where there is a full length mirror (low enough for him to see himself without help) and looks intently.

I wish I could explain just how his mannerisms are. We are finding he can be very serious. My favorite serious look is when he furrows his brow so that his eyebrows form a straight line. His big brown eyes look so intent as though they are  forming a straight line as well. He looks as though he is telling you the most important thing in the world and often raises a finger to help him with his point. There is something very adult about the intensity with which he talks. You can almost see his little mind working as he is trying his hardest to form sentences.

A few weeks ago Ben was riding his bike to work. He was trying to stop at a stop sign, not paying attention, and messing with his phone. Note to self: do not text and ride. Of course, he fell off his bike. Nothing was broken, all was in tact but he got some pretty nasty wounds all over his back, elbow and legs. He continued on to work but called me to tell me about it when he got there. When I hung up the phone I told Levi that Daddy had had an accident. Levi immediately looked at me with his serious face and said, "Daddy needs a take da purple car!" (our car isn't exactly purple, but that's about the closest color we can think to call it, another close color might be brown... it's more fun to call it the purple car though). I was kind of amazed at Levi's reasoning skills. Daddy wrecked his bike, therefore he needs to take the car.

Also, for the next week Ben would be doing something and Levi would come up next to him, see his wounds and asked, "Wa happened to yer knee?" (sometimes pointing to his ankle, note to self: work on the names of body parts with Levi). Ben would have to explain to Levi once more that he fell off his bike and he hurt himself.
Levi: "Oh ... you okay?"
Ben: "Yes, I'm okay."
Levi: "You need ta take da purple car."

Ben was much better this week so he took his bike to work again. As he was pedaling off and we were waving Levi called to him, "Don't faw woff yer bike!"

So helpful.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cloth Diapering

You know how when you think of cloth diapering you think of super cool, hippie, earthy mommas who make their own baby food, breastfeed for years and are impossibly healthy? It's like it's this super awesome mom club that is impossible to get into, much less, to keep up with.

I have a confession to make: I am not super cool. I want to be cool, I try to be cool, I watch what cool people are doing and try to mimic them... but I'm just not cool. What makes me a cloth diaper-er is the fact that I'm super thrifty. I hate spending money.

I am also kind of an environmentalist. I believe that God has given us this earth to rule over it and to take care of it. So, I will recycle as much as I can, I will try to cut down on waste as much as possible, but I'm probably not going to bend over backwards to save the environment. I have a friend who does not use air conditioning and does not drive a car. My hat is off to her and her husband's determination.

So, those are my two reasons why I cloth diaper.

I realized as I was changing Aria this morning that cloth diapering is not that big of a deal to me any more. With Levi it was really a struggle and I think that was because we were always fighting really bad diaper rash. It was the kind with the little red spots that was really painful. I would strip my diapers, we would do diaper free time (he was very much diaper free with our EC'ing) but none of it worked. We would always have to go to the Doctor's and get that strong prescription for our rashes. We might have gone to the Doctor about 3 extra times for this problem. (I wait a looong time before I go see a Doctor).

This is what I have learned with Aria. The beauty of Lavender Essential Oil.

This ugly horrible rash showed up around 4-6 weeks with Aria and I knew it. I recognized it's ugly little face... and I wanted to cry.

I had just gotten into essential oils as a natural remedy and had been reading in a book about how lavender was anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. I read a combination for a diaper cream with lavender in it, but it didn't work. It might have worked to prevent, but to fight it, that was another thing. So, I broke a rule. You're maybe not supposed to put it straight onto the skin with little babies. But I took a deep breath, said a prayer and took a dab and put it on each one of those little spots. The next time I changed her they were down. She was still alive, so I did some more. Just turned the bottle onto my finger and dabbed it on her spots. Within a few days they were gone. Since then if it shows up (which doesn't happen because I use a preventive cream with lavender and tea tree mixed with shea butter and coconut oil) that's all I have to do. We have had almost no rashes.

Cloth diapering just got that much easier.

Maybe I'm just over the grossness of swishing your child's poopy diaper in the toilet. Also, sometimes her poops are so solid that I can just drop them in without having to swish the diaper. We use all-in-one diapers that are pretty much like using a paper diaper only they have velcro or snaps in place of tape. They leak a little more and don't hold as much but usually I can just change her after she wakes up from her nap. The brands I use are Bum Genius and KaWaii (KaWaii is much cheaper and one of them the buttons don't work as well, but overall I have really loved them. I like paying $6 for a diaper instead of $18) We are also still using Levi's old diapers. They are a bit ratty, but I'm really proud of the fact that we have spent much less money on Aria because we have re-used Levi's old ones.

Okay, that's my bit on cloth diapering. Again, just wanted to re-emphasize that I am not cool. Just in case that wasn't clear.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Levi Stories

I need to take a nap. I'm kind of waiting for Levi to make sure he has fallen asleep. I have laid him down for a nap before (right after I lay Aria down) and he has gotten up 5 minutes later to plea bargain staying awake. It's really bad when I am just drifting off into sleep. So I make sure not to attempt a nap until I'm sure he's down.

Thought I would take a few minutes and write down some of the funny things he's said or done.

The other day I was cutting up some cooked carrots for Aria. Levi said, "Mommy, can I tell Aria someping?"
"Sure Levi."
(In a very low, serious voice) "Don't touch dat knife Aria, he will cut you!"
I had to step into the laundry room I wanted to burst out laughing so bad. It just reminded me of some gang member saying, "If you don't give me your wallet I'm gonna cut you!"

Today I was sitting and nursing Aria. Levi came in with a serious look on his face and one finger in the air. He held it right up to me and whispered. "I gotta booger."
"Wow, Levi! Did you get that yourself?"
"Yeah, can you take it?"
"Um, sure Levi. Next time maybe you should just throw it in the trash."

Since crawling, Aria has started to go over and mess with her trash can. It's gross because it usually has wet diapers and things like that in it. You will find that babies have this fascination with things you DON'T want them to have a fascination with and every time you put them on the floor they will go for it. So one day she was going for the trash can Levi shouted, "No Aria!" and took the trash can away. I later found it in her closet. I have a feeling I might start finding strange things in strange places.

I need to start posting this stuff more. The biggest thing he is teaching me is how to suppress my laughter, I'm not good at this.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Thoughts on having a family. Maybe even a large family...

Tonight as I was rocking Aria I thought of how I used to view children and how I view them now... I think I used to think that they were life-stoppers. If you have kids, then your life will be over. But now I am starting to believe that children are not life-stoppers, they are more like life-slower-downers... they make things harder for a while, maybe more like speed bumps than stop signs (weird example I know) but then they have brought so much enrichment to my life, I'm really okay with it.

We change and adapt and learn new things.  Even with Levi and him going through this difficult, trying two year old age, my life is still so much more beautiful with him. I couldn't imagine what it would be like without him.

I have also heard people say, "I want to give my kids enough one-on-one time with me." You know, like it's going to hurt their self-esteem or something. But honestly, I'm going to go with this saying, "Love doesn't divide, it multiplies." As I was on the floor trying to get Aria to crawl to me today Levi came and sat with me. Together we cheered her on, coaxing her to crawl to us. To see Levi entertain her this afternoon with toys and hear her belly laugh and squeal with delight... I couldn't imagine why you wouldn't want more children.

Yes, there will be fights and disagreements among them and they will get on each other's nerves and push each other's buttons. But I want it to be the goal of our family to love each other, protect each other and help one another. I want what is mine to be yours, to share, to be selfless... I know I can't force them to be this way and there will be struggles, but the adventure seems to outweigh the risk in this present moment.

Lead us Lord. Show us what You want us to do.

Losing Pregnancy Weight

Aria is struggling with nap time today. Deep sigh. I laid her down right before Levi at 1 then she woke up around 1:30 so I tried to go in and nurse her back to sleep. I think she might have been hungry because she nursed well. I laid her down again and she started really crying about 5 minutes into it. I took my time in checking on her and found her with her leg stuck in the crib. (I feel like a total jerk-mom when this happens, it's like I could have come in sooner, but I didn't and now my poor little baby has to pay). So this made me grab the bumper out of her closet and quickly put it in her crib. (You're not supposed to use them once they can move around, but Levi loved his bumper and slept much better with it and well, he never suffocated... that sounds terrible).

So the next time I went in when she was crying she was now sitting up and chewing on the bumper. It was like she didn't really want to be chewing on it but she didn't know what else to do since she's not so good at laying back down and going to sleep after she starts sitting up. I'm finding with each new phase of a child's life it creates new problems to overcome. The first year can be a real roller coast. I'm so dramatic.

So now she's sitting here, happily playing so I might as well blog.

I need to be washing the dishes in the sink, sweeping the floor from lunch, folding the laundry and putting it away, but I think I'll blog instead.

I'm pumping as I write this because I find it impossible to keep from multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is the goal of the stay at home mom. Maybe the goal of every woman. We can do twelve things at once so we do twelve things at once. I've found that with each new thing I'm usually less productive on the original thing though.

I hate pumping. I love the freedom that it can give you, I love that it can bring relief when your baby is full but you're not done. But really, maybe it's just the act of being hooked up to a machine...

I weighed myself at my parents house the other day. Since we don't have a scale I am sometimes curious so see "how I'm doing" in the weight department. I feel really dumb that is the scale I use, but it is what it is. The number was better than I thought. It might be that I only have about 7-8 more pounds to lose until I'm pre-Aria weight. :) Which is weird because I don't feel small. I feel big.

I have been thinking a lot about this whole dieting and weight loss thing lately and my conclusion has been that I devote too much time and thought to it. The more I'm thinking about what I shouldn't eat the more I want to eat what I shouldn't eat. Kind of like right now I really wanted to take a nap while the kids napped. I don't think that will happen while Aria is awake and so I don't need to focus and dwell on the fact that I won't get the sleep I wanted to get, I need to just accept it and move on.

Maybe in some ways I need to ignore food and weight loss. I need to be thinking of the Lord. I need to be thinking about music and children and discipline. I need to think about healthy meals I can prepare and good food to eat for our health but not obsessed on some extreme weight loss program.

Speaking of extreme weight loss, I'm thinking that's not the way to lose pregnancy weight. I think it's just this slow, graceful pace down to your former weight. Especially with breastfeeding. Sometimes I want to stop breastfeeding so I could do some kind of extreme diet or cleanse or something, but my body needs that fat in order for it to keep producing milk for my baby, I need to be okay with that.

Lord, You know my body. You know what I need and don't need. You created cravings, You created good things to eat and there is nothing new under the sun. Help me to learn to feed myself properly. Help me to be patient with this whole process. Help me to be humble.

I am Yours.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My Home Management Schedule

This post is an effort to keep from eating the ice cream in the fridge. Why am I always so tempted to eat that stuff in the afternoon when Ben is gone? I hate my life.

Okay, so I'm going to write about my Home Management Schedule ... at least what I think it will be and what it has been for the past ... um, week. If you are a new mom and are struggling with juggling children, housework and feeling like you are a complete failure I would highly recommend this book it was such an encouragement to me and gave me some useful tools to help me organize my housewifery. (I kind of like that word).

I am an ADD housecleaner. Let's just call it that. Either my whole house is clean or it's a wreck. Or Ben will come home to about a dozen half-done chores. He would kind of poke fun at me for it for the first few years of marriage. I like to give the excuse that I'm a creative person and if there is a box I WILL automatically paint outside of it. The only problem is that if I stay in this mode I am being completely inefficient. I will be in the middle of folding the laundry and look over and see that I need to put the dishes in the sink into the dishwasher. In my ADD state of mind I will walk over and finish the dishes, then probably wipe the counter and then go back to doing the laundry. Am I crazy or what?!

So I am learning to focus.

This is not always possible when sometimes you have to drop everything in order to go get a baby who has just awoken or when a two year old is doing something he shouldn't. These interruptions make me want to give up all together and say, why try? But that is dramatic. And childish. Things might take me longer but it doesn't mean I can't at least try.

So the goal is focused intensity.

This is my Home Management Schedule ... I am currently trying. This week worked pretty well.

Monday: Office Day (do grocery lists, clip coupons, plan meals, work on emails, set up the week's schedule)
Tuesday: Town Day (run errands, go to the grocery store, coupons are already clipped and list is already made so I just have to review the list and walk out the door with two small children)
Wednesday: Kitchen Day (do big kitchen chores like clean out the fridge, wipe the cabinets, also do food prep such as cooking chicken for freezer or prepping veggie burgers, or making pesto for a later dinner)
Thursday: Laundry Day (do laundry. all. stinking. day). ::sidebar here:: I don't really like saving the laundry, so I will do a load or two on Office Day and another load or two on Kitchen Day just so I don't feel like I'm drowning in laundry.
Friday: Cleaning Day (vacuum, sweep, clean windows, etc)
Saturday: Rest Day (have fun with family!)
Sunday: Serve At Church Day/Worship Day (Sunday as a day of rest is often a joke to me, so I like to think that it is just a day to intensely worship God, gather with other believers and serve).

Other things we will be doing this fall:
Tuesdays we will meet with a mom group at church from11-1. I'm planning on doing grocery shopping as soon as Aria and Levi are up maybe about 7:30 or 8, she will go down for a nap around 9 or 9:30 and then when she wakes up (fingers crossed) at 10:30 we will head out the door for the group.
Wednesdays I'm going to teach a piano lesson around noon.
Thursday mornings I will go to a friend's house for breakfast with some other moms.

I'm praying this all works out. It works in my head but I wonder if we will burn out from exhaustion or if it will be too much or not enough. I would really like to bring in a little extra income for the family with a few more lessons, but I think if I were to try to fit them in it would have to be Monday or Friday.

I feel like I am always trying to find the line between too busy and not doing enough.

Holy Spirit, please show me the way. Help me to see what is healthy for my family.