Thursday, August 29, 2013

This Happened Today

Sometimes I feel like life is just putting one foot in front of the other.

Today we did not do school. Yes, I posted on instagram with Levi doing some school, but that was from earlier this week. Pretty much everything I do is a latergram. I can't instagram with kids pulling at my clothes, it just doesn't work.

I woke up with grandiose ideas that we would get ready for the day, go for a walk, do a bit of school, and then my mother in law would come pick up the kids by 9:30 and I would head off to the Crisis Pregnancy Center for my weekly few hours of volunteering. Let me just say that we only really just got ready for the day.

What happened? Aria did spill her milk and cereal all over the floor. Thankfully Ben wiped it up since I was still in the shower. I have a very gracious husband.
Levi helped me sweep up our bathtub that had a potted plant fall and break in it (a few days ago).
We all got dressed after negotiating outfits (Levi wanted to wear the shirt he wore yesterday, but it was dirty), running from mommy while she's trying to take off your clothes (thank you Aria), and crying about having our hair combed (yes, there were also spankings involved for running away).

I had to put Aria in her crib several times for disobeying. She has recently discovered how to climb up on the corner of our bathtub and turn on the sink. If I ever can't find her, she will be there, with her chubby little hand feeling the water run through her little fingers. I wish I could let her do this, but it's a terrible waste and I want to teach my children to conserve. She always throws a fit as I take her down. I usually give her a little spank on the bottom and tell her no. We look at the sink and point and say, "No, no!" but immediately when I put her down she goes for it again. This is usually when I opt for her crib.

I keep asking myself, "Why am I so tired?"

The kids really are the most fun people in the world though. As long as we don't have to be anywhere and don't have to get dressed or keep anything clean. My favorite thing is to stop and read to them in our big green arm chair. Levi usually sits on the right armrest (he refuses the left side and I have no idea why) and Aria varies between the left armrest and my lap. We read Mother Goose and I do little hand motions with the poems that I remember learning when I grew up. They especially love the last page with the Three Little Pigs. I start with Levi's feet and then Aria holds up her little foot to be "piggy-ed"I feel like it's good for them to hear rhymes and silly little stories because it gives them a familiarity with sounds and rhythms. Levi's main book these past few weeks has been "Make Way For Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey. I've probably read it no less than 40 times. He corrects me if I get a word wrong. It's such a sweet story and the pictures are so good, I don't even mind that I almost have it memorized.

Lord, help me to look for the positives. Help my goals not to be too big or too small. Help me not to expect too much or too little from my kids. Thank You for their amazing personalities, for Aria and her determination. I pray that it would be used for You, that she would be determined to seek You. Give us wisdom in loving our kids and allowing them to become who they need to be. Give me strength to overcome my anger. Give me strength to put one foot in front of the other. Help me not to run to food or technology for comfort. I feel myself being tempted in those areas. Help me to run to You. Thank You that You are my sustainer.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Thoughts on Motherhood

My days are filled with little feet and little hands.

Little feet pattering into my room in the morning, running up and down the hallway all day. Hands that get into everything, make spills, make messes, get out toys and other things they are not supposed to be touching.

Little hands always reaching up to be held. Little arms wanting to hug me when I'm sitting on the floor and overwhelmed.

Dozens of little outfits needing to be laundered. Little cups and dishes waiting to be washed. There isn't enough time in the day.

Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to move through molasses. Some days it feels like nothing really gets done.

Life as a stay at home mom is hard. I don't mean to complain, I don't want to complain, I'm doing  what I believe is a valuable thing that the Lord has called me to do. I don't want to sit and rant about how every day is the same and how I'm always cleaning up something or wiping someone's bottom or fixing someone's breakfast, lunch or dinner, or snack. I don't want to complain.

But it is hard. It's demanding and it doesn't really stop. Except when they blessedly fall asleep.

Getting the child to sleep is another story though. It takes all I have to get them to bed some days. It also takes all I have to keep them in bed. Aria is easy, I put a new diaper on her, put on her jammies, we say good night to daddy and she is in bed. Levi is another story completely. He requires help with his pull up, his pajamas, brushing his teeth, coaxing and eventually threatening punishment if he doesn't at least try to go to the bathroom. We read books, there's always an argument on how many. I say two he says five, we usually end up with three. Then there are songs and scratching his back and then I pray and then he always needs and kiss and a hug or two or three. It's like I feel like I'm conditioning him into sleep. If we skip any of these long, detailed steps we have to go back or there is major whining or crying and eventually spanking because we are not going to stand for that. I have to say it is so hard though. And then when he gets out of his bed, it's hard not to get angry and say, "I did all these things and all these steps, you have to stay in bed now!"

I really did this to myself though. Somewhere along the line we started to do more than one song, then we started to read more than one book. I kept giving and he kept taking. That's probably why Aria's bedtime is so simple, because that's all I gave her. We don't read books at night, just during the day. I sing one song and she usually doesn't care whether or not I finish either. When she was younger I would often walk out in the middle of it, just start the song and lay her down and walk away. Oh, if only I could go back. But I also have to keep in mind that she is a different child than Levi and we wouldn't be guaranteed the same thing anyways.

I struggle with anger. I struggle with depression. I struggle with significance, maybe that's why the internet and social media are so appealing at times... it's a way to feel significant (not that it's always the case).

What I must say, is that it's also a great joy. To get to see my kids grow and change every day, to get to know the intricacies of their personalities and desires. I get to know them better than anyone else on the planet. I get to be the one to kiss their ouchies, I get to celebrate their victories and encourage them. I get to sit in our big green chair and read them story after story, I get to watch them play and jump on the couch. I get to see them run up and down the hall as they eat their snacks. They make me laugh if I stop taking life so seriously.

Lord, help me to treasure these moments. Help me not to waste this.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pregnancy Update. 20 weeks.

Ah, the computer is so dangerous to pick up sometimes. I feel I could get lost in blogs, social media, food websites... forever. This is why I try not to pick it up too early in the day. I felt like I was needing to blog this morning though. I felt a few little flutters from Baby Boy inside and just thought, I need to blog about this for a minute.

Confession: I ate a lot of sugar yesterday afternoon. I think my blood sugar drops pretty low sometimes and then I try to spike it up again. Let's just say it's never a good idea to have marshmallows and chocolate chips as a snack. Never. I just didn't want to stop. I was about to say "couldn't" but I feel like it was more of a decision of my will and not caring. I usually care a few hours or a few days later.

Lord, help me to eat right and to glorify You. I want to be healthy for this baby. Sometimes I feel like I could eat a horse. Sometimes I'm exhausted or depressed and it just feels like food will fill it. It never fills that void, it only ever fills my stomach. Teach me to eat Father, You created my body, You invented pregnancy and all of it's intricacies and miracles, so Lord, Holy Spirit, please lead me. I need You. I'm helpless on my own.

Whew. It's good to just confess sometimes.

So I have been feeling tiny kicks and wiggles for the past few weeks. I have no idea when this started, I know some women keep track of all that stuff, and really, I have no idea. I also don't really care. I know that he is in there. I know he is a HE. That always makes a big difference in my mind. Now we can begin to think of names, now I can begin to dream of what kind of a place this baby will have in our family. In my mind it just helps. Kudos to the women who can wait nine long months to find that out, I don't think I can right now.

A friend recently was talking to me about how she's been learning that competition and comparison kill community. The thing about pregnancy is that people compare and contrast you all the time. "Oh wow, you're really skinny in comparison to my sister in law, she's huge." Or someone might say, "Are you sure there's just one in there?" It's like a whole new level of comparison. I have several friends right now who are about a month ahead of me. Of course they are bigger. Of course they make me look small. You wouldn't think that four weeks would make that much of a difference, but it does sometimes. We all grow at different rates and honestly, it doesn't matter who gains how much or who is tiny or huge or any of that stuff. When we compare it keeps us from rejoicing with each other over just being pregnant at all. There is always a winner or a loser when it comes to comparison. We look at the units instead of the person.

Lord, I want to just rejoice with my friends. I want to love them and be excited for them. I know soon we will all have our babies in our arms and then we will compare them. Lord, I want to just rejoice with those who rejoice and be glad and thankful for what You are doing in their lives and in mine. Help me to love. Help me to always seek the good. I pray that I would not judge, I would just leave that stuff up to You.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Pregnancy Update

I had a friend ask for an update... and of course I love to oblige.

Why not start out with a video?

Yes, we are so excited about this next little one. 

Honestly, this has been the best pregnancy yet. Yes, it was a difficult first trimester with Ben being incapacitated with his ruptured achilles, but in some ways that turned out to be a good thing. It kept me from being lazy and just sitting on the couch or moping around the house. I HAD to get up, I HAD to just tough it out and that was good for me.

I feel like I've grown a lot. My capacity for getting things done has grown. When we first moved into our house four years ago I didn't want to do anything to it, now I can't stop thinking about painting rooms and sprucing it up. We are slowly but surely working on our kitchen right now. Painting cabinets, doors, trim, ripping off wallpaper, sanding everything... it's a big job, but I feel really proud of how we've been able to do it. We are working hard and accomplishing much. Ben definitely works harder when he has someone working with him, and I just keep thinking, I can't put this off because before I know it, I won't be able to move and then I'll have a newborn... It's like I've realized that NOW is the time.

I have tons of energy. Yes, I do drink a small afternoon coffee to help me power through. I figure if I space it out enough, the baby will be okay. I also have one in the morning. It's so tempting to find the biggest stinkin' mug in the cabinet and fill that up, but I've found it's much better to find a medium/smaller one and just pace myself.

My last appointment I had gained about 4 pounds, that was pretty good considering I hadn't gained any the last visit and so it was a total of 4 pounds for those first 18 weeks. I can't all of the sudden think that I can just eat anything I want though. I tend to do that if I'm "doing good" I think, "well, of course I can have this ice cream bar, I haven't hardly gained any weight hardly at all." I remember thinking with Aria that I hadn't even gotten to my starting weight that I had been at with Levi and somehow thinking that was some kind of allowance and I could eat anything I wanted. I need to keep reminding myself: it will be easier to keep from putting it on, than it will be taking it off.

So, there is my pregnancy update. I can't believe I will be twenty weeks on Thursday. I'm so thankful this pregnancy has gone by so much quicker. I can't wait to meet our precious new little boy. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Aria Stories

I just wanted to do a quick update on here. Who blogs on a Friday night when all the cool kids are out having a good time? I do. Earlier this evening I was working on our kitchen cabinets and before that I was dominating Dominion (it's a strategy card game) with my husband and father-in-law. Yes, I'm part of the dorky club. I'm totally fine with that.

We get to find out the gender of baby #3 tomorrow! I'm hoping to post a video, although I'm fasting from social media right now... maybe I'll have Ben post it. I don't know.

Obviously, I'm not fasting from blogging.

Our evening entertainment usually consists of watching the kids jump from the coffee table to the couch. I know this will eventually ruin the couches, but I'm kind of okay with that. So far, they haven't hurt themselves too badly. Another thing they like to do is stand on the armrest of the couch and fall onto the cushions. Aria is training early for the olympic gymnastics division. She loves it.

She really just loves anything physical. If you are laying on the ground, you are fair game as far as she's concerned. She will come up and tackle you and crawl across you. She will then grab your face and squeeze as hard as she can. She may punch you in the throat or hit you in the face, but it's all in love. Punching is her love language. I'm hoping she will grow out of that one.

She also loves to kiss and hug though. She's definitely the one who will sit in your lap and contentedly suck her thumb. The only time Levi cuddled was when he was sick. We were at the dentists office and while I was getting my teeth cleaned, she sat on my lap and just sucked her thumb, or she would lay on my chest and just cuddle. I love it. Also, a good way to distract her when she's upset is to ask her to give you as kiss. She goes from crying to puckering up in about 2 seconds. It's nice how easily kids at this age get distracted. I love to think of her mind as a little white board that just gets erased as soon as she sees something else of interest.

It's amazing to see her little personality come out more and more. She is determined. And independent. She doesn't care what others think, she will go about her business and you can join her if you want. Today I watched her go down the slide at the playground at least twenty times. I love seeing her little blond head twirl down the slide, and then around she goes again to climb the steps to slide again.

She's a 19 month old bundle of joy and love. Always changing, always growing. I'm so thankful for this precious little girl.