Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Lent: Part 2

Getting Rid of Negative Thinking:

It's painful to live in a world, in a country, where watching the news means seeing stories about parents killing or molesting or abusing their children. It's tough to live in a society where sex really doe sell just about anything. It's a battle to live in a world where demonic activity is glorified and exciting. Where violence is captivating, affairs are normal and foul language is so acceptable that hearing it doesn't even register any more.

I've heard a saying that goes something like, "What goes in must come out." But how does it come out? When does it come out? Does it even come out at all? Fully? Or are the words and the images and ideas burned into our mind's eye. Our soul.

Thinking about this made me wonder if I'm setting myself up for failure. If I, as a Christian woman trying to give up negative thinking as a way to draw closer to God, am filling my head with constant negativity with out thinking twice about it. What am I doing? It's all the little things. The shows and movies I watch. My work out playlist for the gym. The stupid "news" articles I read. None of it really promotes righteousness or positive thinking.

I've got a serious track record with depression. It is so easy for me to hold onto some little teeny tiny negative thing that happened to me or others close to me and let it eat me away. I still have a bad habit of doing that, it's just not as bad as before. I don't have time to be depressed with three kids. Plus, they fill me with a joy that is unlike any earthly joy I've ever experienced.

I read Ecclesiastes to see what it said about negativity and purpose and joy. For the most part, if you're just skimming, it seems like Debbie Downer wrote it. "Everything is meaningless..." over and over. However, several times in the book, King Solomon states that the best thing for man to do is to enjoy his labor. To work hard and enjoy productivity. It says, "For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight..." (2:26 a) In this, I gathered that good things are given by God to those who are good in His eyes. Righteous people. People who love and serve God with everything they are and do. The book of Proverbs affirms this over and over. The entire Bible confirms this over and over.

In order for me to honor God, I must first rid myself of that which will corrupt my mind, the negative, the worldly, the evil. Think only on things of beauty and purity. It's so much easier said than done. I've been trying to do it and I find myself being negative without even realizing it until I'm knee deep in judgementalism and frustration.

Ways that I plan to continue to push out the negativity from my mind is to pray constantly. Eyes closed, eyes open. Between chores. During chores. While driving and before bed. When I wake in the morning and while I'm making breakfast. As much as I possibly can. Being in constant communication with God is never a bad thing.

Another way is to stop filling my head with certain things. I'm honestly going to have to stop reading the news for a little while. I get really upset and down after I read the news. I'm going to have to be much more selective about the shows I watch as well as the music I listen to. Instead of my usual playlist at the gym this morning, I listened to praise and worship music. I thought it would be a weird genre to work out to but in all honesty, it wasn't odd at all. And my workout didn't seem as tedious as it usually does.

Reading my Bible more regularly.

Being more sincere in my proclamations about my faith.

Keeping busy. Not that I'm ever NOT busy as a mom but even in my down time, being productive in some way is going to be key, I think. Look at the Proverbs 31 woman. I'm sure she enjoyed some r&r every once in a while but the Bible says that her lamp does not go out. She's always doing something, keeping busy, being productive and taking care of her family.

Tune in next week (or any other day for that matter as I may bring this up periodically in between the Wednesdays) for more on my journey to give up negative thinking for Lent... and hopefully for the rest of my life.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Frumpy Franny: Just Another Stereotype About SAHMs

I hear a lot of random, but sometimes merited, stereotypes in regards to stay at home moms (SAHMs). The most common one that I hear is that we don't do anything all day. I'm not even going to attempt to defend that one because any stay at home mom reading this knows just as well as I do that we never stop working and our days are FILLED with work. Another stereotype that I often hear about is how frumpy stay at home moms are or become. We wear our husbands clothes (which we never change out of). We almost never shower. Our hair constantly looks like we climbed out of a cave thousands of years ago. Make up? What's that? Truth is, stereotypes don't just happen. Someone or something acted or presented themselves in a fashion to start the stereotype. So, truth also is, some SAHM DO fit this stereotype. I am not (always) one of them.

Yeah, there are days that I don't shower. Prebaby, I showered every day and NEVER left the house dirty or with out my hair and make up done. NEVER. Used to drive my husband nuts. Even after I had my first baby. I hated not being able to take a shower or look cute when going out in public. However, after the second child, I realized, that's not always practical or it just downright isn't going to happen. I'm now a mother of three and I still manage to look presentable outside AND inside the home. Just because I stay at home with my children and sometimes don't leave the house for days, doesn't mean that I look like a bum. I've found that looking good helps me feel good and when I feel good, I produce better. I get more work done. My children see me put together and it promotes a healthy image.

I put together a few suggestions and tips to help beat the stereotypes and keep Frumpy Franny at bay:

NYC In a New York Minute Color

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Color
Nails: Probably the EASIEST thing to take care of. Through the grapevine of other SAHMs, I discovered some of the most wonderful "drug store" nail polish out there. There's two kinds that I like best and they're also great for painting my three year old daughters nails with since kids rarely sit still long enough to let the polish dry. These two brands are quick dry and come in every color you can imagine. I can't remember how much the Sally Hansen ones are but the NYC ones are about $1.89 at the Walmart down the street from me. After the kids go to bed, while you're watching TV or settling down to read a book, quickly put this on, let it dry and go about your merry way. Super easy. Not only does having your nails painted make you feel "prettier" but when people see it, if it isn't all chipped, you look more put together.

Skin: If you're out in public and you haven't showered, or if you know that you've gotta go out the next day and you don't have time to take a quick shower, put one of these masks on while you're running around getting every one ready. The peel off ones are great for busy mornings. It'll help dry up the oils on your skin and take away some of that "yucky" feeling. They're also less than $2 at Walmart. I love putting them on at night while I'm reading or something.

Hair: I've had a lot of people ask me how I'm able to get up and get my hair done (it's long and curly but I am able to blow dry and straighten it) with three little kids. Seriously, I get up about an hour and a half before them, shower, put on my make up, put product in my damp hair, get the kids up, feed them and then while they're sitting at the table eating, I'm in the bathroom right there, blow drying my nearly completely air dried hair. I've found different styling products that help the process along though. I've found though that even if I REALLY am rushed and absolutely do NOT have the time to dry and straighten, a side bun or a braid looks cuter and cleaner than a fuzzy pony tail. Both are quick and easy. Even if you know you're going to be home all day but don't want to fall into the Frumpy Franny stereotype, put your hair in a bun. It's not hard. It doesn't take a long time to do. It keeps your hair out of your face and looks cute. Also, I haven't tried them yet, but I've heard WONDERFUL things about those dry shampoos, the sprays, that help your hair look like you didn't not wash it. Also helps it not be so limp and greasy.

Make up: Even if I know I'm going to be home all day, I still try to put on a little make up. You NEVER
know who may knock on the door. If you don't have a ton of time, I suggest a little blush and a couple swipes of mascara. Quick, easy and gives an "awake" look. If you have a little more time, put some eye shadow on or even a translucent powder. I tend to stick with natural colors anyway but it's the best suggestion. Nothing difficult or over the top. Many women say it takes a long time to put on make up so they just skip it. Perhaps I've been wearing it so long that it doesn't take me a long time. It never takes me more than 10 minutes (if even close to that) to put my make up on. Really.

Always Get Dressed: Like I said, you never know who or when some one will knock on the door. You never know when you'll need to go out in public. Also, being dressed suggests that you're not too lazy to put some clean clothes on. How you carry yourself will speak volumes to your children. How you present yourself will set a standard for them. Personally, I'd prefer it to be a good standard for my kids instead of a negative one. Getting dressed really isn't that tough either. Should take less than 2 minutes.

Coffee: If you're like me, it's hard to jump start your day with out a cup or two of Joe. I find though that when it's ready for me to pour when I first come downstairs, I'm happier and ready to get to work. Setting the "delay brew" setting (if you have one) helps big time. Just prep it the night before while you're getting lunch ready or cleaning up or turning the lights out for the night.

Vitamins: Seriously, your mood and health will be a huge factor in determining your actions. As a woman and as a mom, it's our responsibility to take care of our bodies. I'm not downplaying how great of a husband and dad my man is but when I'm down and out, everything is more difficult. Set your morning vitamins next to your coffee pot in the morning. My dad used to set the table the night before and lay out every ones vitamins in their spot on the table. I KNOW when I've forgotten to take my vitamins. I can feel it in my body.

Grow: I know that SAHMs are busy. Constantly. But so are working mothers. And they still find the time for hobbies or books or clubs. Why can't SAHMs? I love to read. I started a vegetable garden. I blog. I "craft". As weird as it may sound, since "frumpy" is usually a visual word, part of beating the frumpiness is allowing yourself to grow as an individual. "Mom" is not the only thing we're meant to do. It's a huge thing. probably the most important roll we'll ever have. But it's not the only one.

Many women say it takes too long to do certain things like make up or hair but really, the little things don't take that much time at all. Set a schedule, make the time, take the time, feel better, produce better. Don't let a stereotype determine who you are or how you do what you do. Stay At Home Mom does NOT mean you have to be a Frumpy Franny. Shoot. If anything, it could mean you get to be the Hot Momma!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Mommy Moments

I came across this poem today and thought it was appropriate for how I've been feeling about my own children recently. As a mother, I'm constantly fighting battles. Battles with myself, battles of will with my children, battles against what danger the world is and will attack my children with. Sometimes silent, sometimes boistrously, I war with opposition to protect and build up my babies. I think that sometimes, the strength a mother has to employ while raising children is underestimated or even ignored. Only by the grace of God do I survive...


    The bravest battle that ever was fought! Shall I tell you where and when? On the maps of the world you will find it not; 'Twas fought by the mothers of men.    
    Nay not with the cannon of battle-shot, With a sword or noble pen; Nay, not with eloquent words or thought From mouth of wonderful men!    
    But deep in a walled-up woman's heart - Of a woman that would not yield, But bravely, silently bore her part - Lo, there is the battlefield!    
     No marshalling troops, no bivouac song, No banner to gleam and wave; But oh! those battles, they last so long - From babyhood to the grave.    
    Yet, faithful still as a bridge of stars, She fights in her walled-up town - Fights on and on in her endless wars, Then silent, unseen, goes down.    
     Oh, ye with banners and battle-shot, And soldiers to shout and paise! I tell you the kingliest victories fought Were fought in those silent ways.    
    O spotless woman in a world of shame, With splendid and silent scorn, Go back to God as white as you came - The Kingliest warrior born!
    - Joaquin Miller (1839-1913)
    Join me for a Monday Mommy Moments blog hop!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"

Man oh man. I don't know how my parents survived having me for a daughter... or how they survived having two daughters. And I don't know how I'm going to survive having two daughters of my own.

When I was little, I was a bit of an airhead, a ditz, a klutz and a constant rattler. I pushed my sister's buttons (still do) and just straight up talked too much.

When I was still in elementary school, I began doing things that if I did them today, would land me in jail.

Middle school... Ugh. I don't even want to think about having to "go through" middle school again with my daughters. I wasn't the greatest kid then either. I did some really stupid, really bad things that hurt a lot of people.

Then came high school and the dating. I didn't do too terrible as far as grades go, and I was the editor of the school paper for years, National Honor Society President for two years, played varsity basketball, and somehow (and I'm still a bit thrown about this one) was senior class president. But the boys... My parents should have never let me out of the house. I mean, I can't say that it was a whole lot different from most people but still...

And then came college. I wasn't terrible here either. I mean, I didn't study the way I should but at first, when I broke school rules, it was all kinda passive aggressive. Most people would laugh at my "rule breaking" but I went to a fairly strict Christian college. Lots of rules. Lots of broken rules. Anyway, my rebellious streak just kept going and I eventually dropped out.

After that, I went crazy. Just did what I wanted when I wanted. And none of it was productive.

I'm bringing this up because my three year old daughter very recently said to me, "I don't like quiet music, Mommy. I'm Rock and Roll." She likes "daddy's car because it's faster than mommy's." She likes heels and pretty dresses and thinks Jake from Disney's Never Land Pirates is handsome. I mean, she'll tell me that boys are yucky but how long till she stops thinking that? I'm in so much trouble if she's even a little bit like me. Actually, it downright scares me.

I'm all about enjoying your youth and having fun but I know that in spite of sound Christian parenting, a child has the will to take whatever path they choose. My parents were/are good Christian, God-loving people. I still chose to live like a... well, I was out of control. It makes me nervous to think that my own daughters could very well choose the same lifestyle, or worse, than I did.

While it's kinda cute that my daughter said she likes loud music and that she likes rock and roll, it still is something that I'm going to have to be on high alert about. Lots and LOTS of praying. And strong suggestions about Christian rock and roll. And chains on all the doors, a chastity belt and guard dogs. And NO BOYS! And then some more prayer.

Friday, February 24, 2012

"I'll Just Pour Some Salt On It..."

I love my children. I really do. One of the things that I love about them, which sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out, is that they're not boring. They keep me on my toes and wide awake.

On Wednesday night, I took the older two kids to AWANA's. I was in AWANA's as a kid and I love that my kids are too. I also love that it's grown since I was a member. They're now have a 2 year old program (and I really have no idea how 'new' it is but it's new to me so...) called Puggles. My son gets a kick out of it. My daughter is in Cubbies and she proudly wears her vest and says her Bible verses every Wednesday. This week went a little differently than normal though...

While the kids are downstairs in their groups, I'm upstairs attending the Wednesday night service. This particular week's message was moving and brought me to tears more than once. Crying that late at night makes me even sleepier. So needless to say, my mind was preoccupied and unprepared for the "event" of picking up the kids.

As I approached my son's room to pick him up, I could see him running around laughing. Because the door is a "half" door, I only saw the top half of him. As I walked up to the door and looked down, I see that he's running around in nothing but his t shirt and diaper and sneakers. No pants. The kid's got some pretty skinny little legs. It makes me laugh picturing him even now. When I looked at him and he ran to me and the teacher let him out, I asked, "Um... his pants?" The man turns to his wife and says, "Hey. What's the story with the kid's pants?" The wife explained that his diaper had leaked pretty bad... hence the chicken legs showing. No biggie. It was pretty warm out that night and my kid is impervious to most elements anyway.

Then, we went next door to pick up my daughter. The teacher at the door asked who I was picking up and when I gave my daughter's name, she just opened the door. Being tired and out of it, it took me a few moments to realize that there was no child exiting the room. When I looked in and didn't see my daughter, I looked up at the teachers. As I did, I realized that they were all staring at me, silently beckoning me in with their hands. It was almost odd. Then, one of them gently took my arm and led me to the bathroom at the back of the class. She said, "We had a little accident." My mind immediately thought, "Both my kids peed their pants? That's weird!" But as I looked into the bathroom, I realized I was wrong. Actually, that too was weird. It took me a moment to realize that anything had happened at all. I saw my daughter standing there licking a lollipop like it was her job. Then I saw the blood on her pants. One of the teachers explained that the kids were all running and my daughter smacked heads with another child and got a bloody nose that seemed to bleed and bleed and bleed. I think my response surprised them a little.

They apologized and said that it was their fault. While I appreciate the apology, I don't see how it's their fault. I'm pretty sure it's mine. She's a klutz and she got that gene from me. Also, kids get bloody noses all the time. I can't tell you how many bloody noses I got as a kid. I ran into stuff. I fell asleep in time out one time, standing in the corner, and fell into the wall face first. Smashed my nose and it bled. I caught a basketball with my face one time. And it bled. No big deal.

I asked my daughter if she was ok. She stopped licking the lollipop long enough to say, "Yeah, Mom." The teacher explained that her vest and coat were soaked because she'd tried washing all the blood out. I said, "No problem. I'll just pour some salt on it." All the teachers stopped and looked at me funny. Hey, like I said. I got a ton of bloody noses as a kid. I learned from one of my own teachers, who cleaned me up more than once, that salt gets blood out of clothes. Seriously. Just wet the blood, pour some salt on it, scrub it for a sec and then rinse. You'll never know anything happened.

Leave it to my kids though, to keep things interesting. Walking out of the building, we had to look funny. I had one kid with a shirt and full coat on and skinny little chicken legs sticking out. My other child had blood down the front of her, which she seemed oblivious to because she was so focused on her candy. I was trying to juggle the half naked kid and all the bags and wet clothing.

No biggie.

For all of you who have kids and didn't know how to get blood out of clothes (it'll happen... if it hasn't already...), just pour some salt on it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Lent

Today is the first day of Lent for the year of 2012.

Up until a few years ago, I had no idea what Lent was. Honestly, the only way I found out was by working at a Longhorn Steak house. My training began right around Lent and my trainer had mentioned that it might be slow on Friday nights for a while because of Lent. When I looked at him funny, he said, "You do know what Lent is, right?" My response was (and really, I'm embarrassed about it to this day), "That Jewish holiday?" Um... Yeah... Super stupid. Anyway... Lent is usually a Catholic practice where they give up something as a form of penitence. Most Catholics will do various means of "sacrifice" including not eating red meat on Fridays. Hence the slow Friday dinner shift at a steakhouse.

I'm not a Catholic but I like the "idea" of Lent. I like the idea of giving up something that will help me focus more on God and Christ and the sacrifice that HE made on the cross. I think I've said in the past that I was going to give certain things up for the duration of Lent but never stuck to it. This year, however, I was thinking about something that I could realistically give up in order to focus my attention more on Christ and less on self. Coffee? Heck no! Facebook? I probably wouldn't stick to it. Candy? I don't eat enough of it for it to be a sacrifice. I thought and thought and thought. And then I realized what it was that I needed to give up.

For years and years, I've let negative thinking control my actions and my life. I've allowed it to ruin relationships, my self esteem and ultimately lead me to destructive, sometimes suicidal, behavior. It's a real problem I have. More often than not, my negative thinking has put distance between me and God. I hold on to negative ideas and emotions and fears so tightly, many times being very aware of what I'm doing. Even earlier this week, while texting my mom, I was allowing a negative situation eat me up and control my words and thoughts. My mom's response (so thankful that I can depend on her for wisdom and to put me in my place) was that I was letting Satan get hold of me. So very true. So very painfully true.

I decided to give up negativity for Lent in hopes to bring me closer to God and ultimately, allow God to work in me in ways that change my life forever. It may seem like an odd thing since Lent is usually meant for a vice or for fasting in some way. But I've decided to make it a real thing for my own life. I've also decided that as a way to hold me accountable, that I would share my "lenting journey" here. Where people could either support or judge (since I know that some will) but where I will find guidance and assistance through some of the godly women who so graciously read my blog.

Me giving up negativity is huge. It is something horrid in my life that so often determines my actions and my words and my attitude. Not only is it bad for ME but it's bad for my family as well. Proverbs 14:1 says, "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her own hands." For starters, I'm tired of being a fool. Second, I am so acutely aware that my attitude many times drives the attitude of my family members. Every one in the house could be in a great mood but if I'm not, and I make it known through my demeanor, it spreads like wild fire and soon, the whole house is in angry chaos. When I'm negative, my husband tends to be more negative. When I am impatient and snappy, my children tend to be as well. When I'm depressed, the whole house is in a funk. Me giving up (or doing my very best to) negative thinking is going to be a long process but it's one that I'm determined to attempt.

I'll be turning this into a "mini series". From now until Easter, during Lent, on Wednesdays at least (probably more frequently since this is something I feel that God is really working in me), I will be sharing what I'm learning in an attempt to leave behind my negative thinking and pursue a positive life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"When I was a kid, we had to..."

"When I was a kid, we WALKED to school... in the SNOW!"

Ugh. I am one of THOSE moms. Actually, looking at it now, it's a little funny but just as ineffective on my own kids as it was with me. The other day, I started a sentence with, "When I was a kid..." and I've found that I've said it more than once.

A few nights ago, my kids didn't want to finish their dinner. They've been doing this for a while now but we've realized the problems with it and have been cracking down big time. Ironicaly, we (my husband and I) both ended up telling the kids the same thing that night, just at different moments, without realizing what the other had said. We both told the children that when we were kids, we would have either been forced to sit there and eat it until it was gone, no matter how long it took or we'd have to finish it for breakfast the next morning. I'm pretty sure my dad told me the same thing when I was a kid. Both kids just sat there and stared at me like I was an idiot. Funny how they're only 3 and 2 but have that look down perfectly already...

My son was throwing a fit one day and I said to him, "Shoot, if I'd acted like that as a kid, I'd have gotten my butt kicked."

A few other things we explained to the kids about "When we were younger..." are:

-There was NO desert if we didn't finish our dinner.
-We had to use our imaginations for entertainment.
-We didn't get treats for good behavior. It was just expected of us.
-If I kicked the back of OGPOG's (my dad) seat while he was driving, I'd have gotten chewed out.
-We had to work for our food, we had chores. (Which is kinda true... My parents didn't not feed me if I didn't do my chores. I got punished but not by being "starved"... I also don't think I really had chores at 3 years old but still... I said it to my kids...).
-We didn't tattle as much as you (our kids). We duked it out with our siblings to solve a problem.

Yeah. My kids are 3 1/2, 2 and 8 months. And we've said all that already. I can only imagine what else I'll be saying as they get older. Things like, "When I was a teenager, I had to buy my own car... My parents didn't give me one." or "When I liked a boy, he had to call my dad for permission to take me out on a date... and that was AFTER he'd already come over to the house several times to get acquainted with the family." or "When I was a teen, I had to get a job if I wanted spending money." Things like that. I KNOW I'm going to say them. My parents did. And I'm sure their parents did too. It's just how life goes.

I get a kick out of it though because I know that as soon as my kids learn how to roll their eyes (please, dear God, give me patience and lots of it when they start!), they'll be rolling away as soon as I say, "Well, when I was a kid, we had to..."

Maybe I should make things interesting and give my kids some topics for discussion with their OWN children one day.You know, give them something they'll be able to use on their kids. Something like, "When I was a kid, my mom used to make me wash and fold all my own laundry... starting at age 3..." or "You're lucky. When I was a kid, we had to clean up all the dog poop in the yard if we wanted a treat." (We have three dogs.) Yeah, that sounds good to me.

"Oh, KIIIIIDDDDSSSSS! Come here, please!" :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Mommy Moments: Messy Joy

Some days are harder than others. Today was an especially tough day for me. It didn't go as I'd hoped it would. It was full of frustration and disappointment. I honestly wish that today had never happened.

However... Here I am, once again, fighting the fight to be a Supermom.

Because I help "co-host" the Monday Mommy Moments blog hop over at VoiceBoks, I felt obligated to write something even though I wasn't in the mood to write. Or more like my mood was preventing me from coming up with anything creative. I sat and sat trying to come up with a "BEST mommy moment" to share. As I sat, I looked around me and stared at the house my husband had managed to clean while taking care of the kids by himself. Something I am not able to do, most of the time. Somehow, while thinking about what a good job he'd done and in turn, what a terrible job I usually do, it got me thinking about chores. Which led me to a memory. A memory that made me smile and lifted my spirits a little. I thought I'd share it with any one that takes the time to read this.

Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle to get the chores done, feed the kids, let the dogs out and not burn dinner so badly that it's inedible (hey, come on, a little bit burnt means it's still salvageable and therefore, edible), that we (I) forget to slow down and smile and have fun. I forget that I'm a mom and that I have children that need to know how much I absolutely adore and love them. Sometimes though, they remind me in a way that only makes me love them more...

I remember one evening a few months ago, when I was washing dishes, I'd put way too much dish soap in the sink. As the sink filled with water, the soapy bubbles formed a huge mound that kept growing and growing. I had no idea how much water was actually in the sink until I stuck my arm (yeah, my arm, not my hand... it was up above my shoulder). My children noticed the climbing tower of bubbles and began to squeal with excitement. I guess I should explain that my 2 year old son LOVES bubbles. It was seriously one of his first words. Blow some bubbles around that kid and he starts squeaking and laughing and running around with complete, absurd joy. His enjoyment is contagious. My 3 year old daughter also started laughing and pointing.

I had to move the pile of bubbles off the water in order to be able to even stand at the sink (please don't ask how in the world I ended up putting that much soap in... I must have been REALLY out of it that night). Instead of moving the bubbles to the other sink where they'd eventually just get washed down the drain, I got an idea. I decided to do to my children the exact same thing my parents (my dad especially) used to do to me when I was a kid. I flung the bubbles at them. Put some on their faces, their hair, up their shirts... I even had them hold out their hands, scooped a pile of bubbles onto their open palms and urged them to attack their grinning sibling. There were bubbles every where. The floor was wet, the kids were soaked and the cabinets got those weird dry bubble "stains" on them. The laughter that filled the kitchen though was priceless and totally worth all the extra cleanup.

Sometimes, as parents, as mothers, we have to remember that part of making sure that our kids grow up to be good, happy, well rounded adults is to make sure that they're happy as children. I'm not talking about giving in to everything they want. I'm just talking about things like impromptu bubble wars. It's a messy kinda joy, sure, but it's so healthy. Laughter is good medicine. It's good for your soul. It's good for your kid's soul. What kind of home is a home if there's no joy?

Memories like these are sometimes what helps me make it through days like today. I don't have bad days like this very often but they stink. Having all those great days with the kids help keep me grounded on these rougher days. Having any kind of day with my kids brings me joy... no matter how messy that joy is.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Keepin the Flame Burning: Tips for Maintaining the Spark

I'm not super big on Valentine's Day. It's not that I'm bitter about anything. I'm not a "love hater" or even a Hallmark hater. It just comes and goes so fast and now that I've got three kids, its more about making sure they have something cute to open than it is about decorating and going out for dinners and whatnot. Shoot, I'm so tired from taking care of the kids all day long and my hubby is tired from work that neither of us really have the energy to even go out at night. I end up chugging coffee to stay awake on the date and then I'm so wired for the rest of the night that I can't sleep. Ahh... to go back to those days of dating...

My husband and I have been married for over 4 years now. To some reading this, that's going to seem like nothing. To others, it may seem like a lifetime. I'm not going to compare our marriage to any one elses but I will say that in the time we've been married, we've gone through SO MANY things that I think most people would be shocked and amazed. Shocked that it's possible to have actually gone through the physical number of things that we went through and amazed that we've survived it all.

There was a  Valentine's Day a few years ago that was different because my husband and I were overcoming a lot of obstacles as a couple. I look back on that time and I thank God that we're not that same couple. I love where we're at now. But it's taken a lot of work to get from that point to now. I am more in love with my husband today than when I first fell in love with him. We not only had to work through our own issues and our issues as a couple but we had to do it while dealing with children. It wasn't easy.

I thought I'd share five tips that we have for keeping the flame alive, for maintaining that spark and connection as friends/lovers/parents/spouses while dealing with children and life and all the rest that comes along with it. Things that we've learned over the years that really help. It's easy to fall into a routine in your relationship and that routine is dangerous. Keeping things upbeat and interesting and fun is so crucial.

1) Have hobbies together. Find something that the two of you can do together that you both enjoy and look forward to. Try to make it something that only you two can do. With out the kids. My parents, for example, ride motorcycles. They each have their own bikes and pick out their own parts and accessories for their motorcycles. They also take some pretty awesome trips together. I love that they use these trips as "dates".

2) Everyone loves surprises. It lets them know they're being thought about and that you think they're worth your time. I like to make cookies or other little treats specifically for my husband. Tonight, I had candles lit when he got home. He's gone to the gas station to get a soda or gas or something and came back with a rose for me. Or one of those delicious Arizona Teas for me. Getting little gifts. Or setting up something special that they'll enjoy. Taking them for a surprise date. Or setting up a romantic bubble bath. Or anything else that they had no idea you were planning but that lets them know that they're important enough to you for you to spend your thoughts and time on.  

3) Try to work on your physical appearance. I'm not saying looks are everything. But it helps. It is my opinion that if I am not what my husband wants physically, then he is more likely to fall into the temptation of looking at someone who is what he wants. Not that he will, but it will be harder for him not to. I have also learned that most men are willing to pay whatever the cost to help their woman look good. My husband was eager to support me going to the gym. He used to set up my hair appointments for me. I'd complain about being too busy to do it and so he'd schedule the appointment and make sure he was home to take care of the kids for me. The same with my nails. Most of my nice clothes and purses were things that my husband bought for me. Men LOVE to have a hot wife. Ask any of them. No man will tell you that he wants a frumpy wife. It wont usually stop him from loving you but still... it helps. It makes a difference. Often, when they see you trying, it boosts their ego and pride and it makes them feel worth it too.

4) Sometimes, the best way to say "I love you" is to just keep your mouth shut. I'm STILL learning this one. And I mess it up almost every time. But when I DO get it right, its amazing how much power is behind not saying anything. My husband is so much better at it than I am. There are SO many times when he could have said, "I told you so" but didn't. He has had more than one opportunity to put his two cents in when I'm ranting about a family member that has hurt me but instead of agreeing with me and just fueling my angry fire, he lovingly sits there and listens. When I'm PMSing and just start moaning and groaning, he doesn't tell me to be quiet or ask me if I need a midol. He either ignores me or uses quiet, short sentences with me. I'm not as good at it yet as he is... but really. You don't always have to say anything at all and sometimes it's safer and healthier not to.


5) Little things make a big difference so pay attention to the details. Most people would have said something about the love languages here. While I'm a huge advocate of knowing and understanding love languages, if you're married to a man like mine, it's like trying to use an emotional version of hooked on phonics. Doesn't apply to everything. Or it can be confusing. My husband loves to GIVE gifts. And here's a small detail I had to pay attention to: although he likes to give them, he hates getting them. He feels awkward more often than not and it just makes him feel uncomfortable. I know exactly what kind of cookies he likes. And how he likes his socks folded. And that me sitting next to him while he's doing something makes him happy. I know that certain rooms being open drive him nuts or that he needs the driver's seat pushed back so he can get in the car to drive it. I know that he likes his milk in his cereal a few minutes before he actually eats it and that he likes his coffee tasting more like coffee flavored sugar syrup. He has a particular brand of hot dog he likes. He steals the blankets during the night... every time. And he has no idea he's doing it. I buy the brands he likes. I fold his socks the way he likes, make his coffee with extra creamer and keep an extra blanket on the bed for myself now. Knowing what to do to make the other person happy or even to not bring up something like the blanket thing and to just fix it instead of making it an issue is huge. The little things can ALWAYS turn into big things if you don't handle them properly. Always. Paying attention to the small things in life that bring happiness to your spouse will go SO far. The little things will be there forever. Big things tend to come and go. The little things stick.

Love is tricky but at the same time it isn't. It boils down to this: Put the other person and their joy before your own all day every day and you'll be amazed how much stronger it makes you as a couple.

My hubby and I have been through a lot. More than a lot of people go through in their first 5 years. Some awesome and some not so awesome. But if we hadn't and weren't learning from our mistakes, how foolish would we be? We've come so far and I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mommy Moments with a Mommy Brain

Before I had kids, I had a pretty good memory. I would remember faces, names, silly details, appointments, anything and everything. I wrote things down just for the sake of writing them down. Now, I write things down but can't remember where I put the paper that I wrote on.

I have "mommy brain" all the time these days. Here are just a few of the "mommy brain moments" that I've had since having kids:

I forget to put my deodorant on all the time. I mean ALL the time. I may not being going through puberty any more but whoa, can I work up a random sweat and stink pretty bad. The last time it happened, I was at church. I was wearing my favorite dress and had gotten my hair perfect and I was satisfied with how well the morning went with the kids. As soon as I sat down and took my coat off, I realized how terrible I smelled. It figures that that would be the Sunday that people sat next to me in church. I did my best to give those weird little half hugs during the "meet and greet" part of the service. As soon as service was over, I put my coat back on and buttoned it up and tied it tight. I still had to sit through Sunday school and I was praying the whole time that no one noticed my B.O.

Another Sunday, I was packing the diaper bag for the baby and some how managed to put the diapers in my purse and the maxi pads in the diaper bag. Thank goodness I realized that one only about 2 minutes after dropping the baby off in the nursery... and before she needed her diaper changed. THAT'D have been awkward!

You know those wonderful grocery store cards that you get to swipe at the counter and then find out how much you saved using it? I have one that's the same color as one of my debit cards. Well, it's not the same color but for some reason, I kept seeing the yellow and red on it and was determined in my mind that it was orange. I went to use it at a drive through ATM at my bank and for the longest time, sitting through rejection after rejection, couldn't figure out what was wrong. I was frustrated to the point of tears. Then I sat and looked at the card for a second only to discover that I was in fact trying to shove my grocery card into the ATM.

Years ago, my car needed some work done on it and the dealership gave me a "loaner" until they were able to fix my car. The car was already started for me when I hopped in, having gotten the baby's car seat all hooked up. I had to run some errands before heading home so off I went. After coming out of the first store, I realized that the car didn't have a normal key. Unlocking it was simple enough. There was a symbol on the key for that one. Starting the car was a whole new thing though. I couldn't figure out for the life of me how to turn it on. I panicked. I called my husband crying (yeah, I do that a lot) and he lovingly and patiently explained that all I had to do was put the "key" in the little box above the large button that said "Engine On". Sometimes, my "mommy brain" prevents me from seeing the obvious.

I have worn different socks, walked around out in public with oatmeal on my butt and food in my hair. I have put make up on only one eye and have, for several days, forgotten that I'd thrown a load in the wash but never put it in the dryer. I have set food and drinks on the roof of my car before loading the kids in just to realize by the time I got home that I never put them into the car. This afternoon, while making lunch for the kids, I drained the water out of the tuna can into the bowl and walked over to the sink to dump the actual tuna into the sink. Thankfully, I caught myself right before I actually did it. On more than one occasion, I'll be in the middle of doing something, not even thinking about what I'm doing and I'll look up to see my husband standing there staring at me funny right before he asks, "What in the world are you doing?" I'll look down to find myself doing something really strange and be amazed that my hands seem to have minds of their own.

Hopefully, this will get better with age... or maybe when my kids are all finally out of the house and not consuming every free brain cell I have. Perhaps, I am subject to "mommy brain" for the rest of my life. I don't mind that idea so much... as long as I eventually remember to wear deodorant. Yes, I DID just check to see if I was actually wearing any right now.

I LOVE comments so please, feel free to share some of your own "Mommy Moments" and if you're a fellow blogger, join the "Monday Mommy Moments" blog hop!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dads Disciplining Their Daughters

I'm sure that by now, you've seen the YouTube video of Tommy Jordan responding to the letter his daughter wrote to her parents on facebook. If you haven't, watch the video below. There ARE curse words in the video so if your kids are around, wait till they're gone or kick them out of the room.

I would gladly shake this man's hand. And tell him that he's doing the right thing. Even though he originally meant for this to be a means of punishing his daughter for the horrid, disrespectful things she said about him and her mom and step mom, it's been getting HUGE nationwide media responses. I have even more respect for him now because he's choosing not to speak to the media about this because he doesn't want his daughter to think that she can gain a spotlight for the wrong that she did. What an incredible man he is for showing GOOD character. I know that this poor man is getting a lot of crap about what he did and how he chose to respond and discipline his daughter for her laziness and disrespect but a long time ago, I was that girl and I know that a girl with that kind of father and an attitude like she has, will not go into a nut house for it. Young women raised by good men rarely fall off the deep end for their entire life.

There are many ways to handle rebellious daughters. I can say this because I was one. And like this young woman, I came from a good home with a dad who loved me and took care of me and made me work for certain things because he wanted to teach me character and motivation. Really. My dad made a ton of sacrifices for me and actually, to this day, still does. He worked hard at work and at home to make sure that my mom and my sister and I needed or wanted nothing. He taught us biblical principles and made us work to teach us value. I had chores. In fact, I had chores that made the "facebook daughter's" chores look like cake. I got paid an allowance but still... I can't believe she complained about sweeping the floors, making her bed or putting dishes away. Well, I kinda can because I used to do the same thing. My dad was tough on us. He hated laziness. He hated lying. And he hated excuses. He knew what we were capable of as individuals and pushed us to reach our potential. He did it all out of love though. However, my small minded, ignorant ways and thinking made me feel otherwise. I became resistant and rebellious.

I think that there are different ways to handle different things and although I would pat the 'facebook dad' on the back for how he chose to discipline his own daughter (I love the whole shooting the laptop part), my own dad reacted very differently to something very similar that I did and it has impacted me for the rest of my life. And it makes me love him even more because of it.

Years ago, I had written a note to a guy that I was dating that was soon going to be meeting my parents. In the note, I basically said my dad was a jerk and that if the guy wanted to date me, he was going to have to "put up with" my dad's pushy attitude. I don't remember exactly what the note said but I do remember that it was hurtful and disrespectful to my dad. I never gave it to the guy though. For some reason, I put it in my glove compartment and totally forgot about it. One weekend, my dad lovingly decided to change the oil in my car for me without telling me. While getting my car log out of my glove compartment, he found and read the letter. Here's the part that I'll NEVER forget though. He didn't say anything to me about finding the letter for days. And I clearly remember how he treated me that day after he changed my oil. He had me help him with some outdoor chores and talked to me the entire time like we were good friends. He even told me that he loved me very much. Several times. I'll never forget how gently and lovingly he spoke to me while we worked. I believe that it was a few days later that he and my mom sat me down and told me that they'd found and read the letter and how they'd been praying and seeking council on how to respond to my hurtful behavior. I was punished but that was to be expected. That they, especially my dad, did it all out of love though, in a manner that reflected God and His forgiveness is something that has never left me.

I went through some bizarre emotional times. And my parents were effected the most by it. I was hurtful and shameful and disrespectful over and over. They did the best they could and to this day, I am amazed that no one ever tried punching me in the face. I sure deserved it. All these years later, I'm not perfect. But I'm older and wiser (I'm not tooting my own horn, I'm simply stating a fact). And I owe it all to my parents who stuck by me and disciplined me when I was wrong. Had I not had parents that punished my destructive behavior, I may be dead. I might now be living a life of pain and sorrow and more destruction. Instead, I have a happy, healthy relationship with my parents and a healthy happy relationship with my husband and children.

It is my opinion, and I obviously don't know the "facebook daughter" or her father, but I would be amazed if she grew up to resent her father for disciplining her. She will most likely grow up to one day be a successful, happy, father adoring woman. Seriously, it is rare that a woman will grow up to hate her father if he has disciplined her with love. The women that grow up hating their dads are, most of the time, women who's fathers DIDN'T play a roll in positively shaping their character. This man may have pulled out a gun and shot her laptop but she probably got the message. She's probably mortified that almost the entire country and parts of the rest of the world, know what a brat she was and how unpredictably her father reacted. Hopefully, she's learned her lesson. Sometimes, love is "tough", sweetie!

My advice to the daughter is this: Do not continue to disrespect a father and mother who love you. Pain and heartache will happen if you continue to rebel. I promise.

To my own Daddy, I'd like to say, Thank you for not letting me get away with acting out. Thank you for all those times you made me look through Proverbs and write those verses about laziness. Thank you for not giving up on me. And thank you for loving me through all of it. You were and are a great Daddy!

Thank you, Tommy Jordan, for also being a good dad! Your daughter is lucky, even though she may not realize it now. Keep up the good work!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Son the Ladies Man

I was in no way prepared to have a son. I'm not so sure that I'll ever be.

I have a younger sister. No brothers. Growing up, my friends had little brothers but the most I knew about them was that they stood to pee and had cooties. Until I met my husband, most of my boyfriends were just that... boys. I was only a girl then though so it's not like I'm making fun of them. Well... not making fun of ALL of them. Anyway...

It all started with finding out that he was a boy. I was happy that I was giving my husband a son. But as far as the rest of it... I had to pick out boys clothes. I had to set up a boys nursery. I had to buy boy toys. I was SO out of my element. Two years later and I'm still having a hard time with all that still. Maybe it's because my husband is standing behind me saying things like, "Come on, Mom. That's just not cool enough!" Ok. Cut me some slack. I didn't know that there were "fake" GI Joes.

Then came the circumcisions. Don't even get me started on that. That's probably the ONLY good thing about him having been at Children's Hospital the weeks after his birth. THEY took care of it. Not me. I still feel funny dealing with all that stuff down there if he's got diaper rash or something. Last week, he slipped and fell climbing into the tub, landing (somehow) right on his crotch. I had to call my husband in to look at it because I had no idea if what I was looking at was normal or not. I'm not stupid. I just haven't studied what it's supposed to look like and not supposed to look like. Whatever.

After all that came the outrageous "I'm a leader in training" attitude I got from him. My oldest daughter has a ton of energy but my son and his dominant behavior is a while other ball game. His dad is all "alpha male" and I'm borderline psycho so combine that with his own semi self awareness of what or who he has to be someday and you've got a super strong willed demanding hyper child. He's a delight.

Finally, something that I figured was going to happen but that I'm still not prepared to deal with is his love of the ladies. He's the "sexy silent type" that his daddy was. He doesn't run up to the girls and hug them. He doesn't try to talk to them. But at the same time, he's not beating them over the head cave man style either. He likes to look and he likes to show off.

We first noticed it a while ago but it's only getting worse (which makes me REALLY nervous). He'd stare at the waitresses or if we were at the mall and a pretty young woman walked by, he'd stop everything he was doing and stare at her walking past. Totally checking her out. Last week we were at the park. There were about 4 girls around the ages of 4 to 6. He made sure to stay in their general area on the playground. When they were climbing up to the highest point to go down the slides, he made sure he was up there. And he (seriously, I'm not joking) made sure they were watching him as he chose the highest, scariest slide to go down. Later, we watched him run past them over and over, almost running into them. Just kinda making sure they knew he was there.

Earlier this week, he was upstairs playing in the play room. Since he was quiet, I got nervous and asked my husband to check on him. When my husband came back downstairs, he said, "You don't EVEN want to know what he was doing." Well, of course that makes me wonder but I was thinking something along the lines of running around naked or flushing toys down the toilet. I said , "Just tell me." The answer I got was this:
"He's got a few Barbies sitting in the Barbie pool. But he took their tops off and he's giving them drinks."

Now, this was a joke. I mean, that IS what he was doing but my husband was just being funny about it. But it made me wonder when Little Man is going to be a Ladies Man. I understand that I need to teach him how to treat and respect women. That it's something that his father and I are and need to continue to instill in him. That doesn't stop him from being a boy though.

What age do little boys really start being interested in girls and all that other stuff? I know he's only two but he's still a boy. He's still got guy DNA. When do I need to start worrying about all the other little girls out there?

Obviously, we've got a while before he "has a girlfriend". And I wont be one of those mom's who drives her kids around on their "dates". When he wants to take a girl out on a date, he has to be old enough to drive her himself. Same with my daughters. They can't go out on a date with a guy if she isn't or if her boyfriend isn't old enough to drive.

Still... I may understand how a man's mind works but I don't have the slightest idea how a boy's mind works. Or WHEN it works. And asking men hasn't helped. They can't really tell me. Which makes me think that boys are BORN thinking about girls.

My son the ladies man.

This Wannabe Supermom better suit up. This battle may last a while! What out, girlies! It's gonna take a REAL special girl to be "good enough" for my son. And I'm not afraid to tell you that (kindly of course... unless you need a wake up call...).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Recipe Updates

I think Wednesdays will be the days I spend updating my food blog. But don't hold me to that.

I have three new ones tonight though. Super easy. All big hits with my entire family (my husband and my two oldest young children).

To get the recipe for the pictured food, just click on the name below the meal. If you want to visit my food blog at any time, it's Eat Your Heart Out: A Culinary Exploration (


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Breastfeeding: All Natural or Peep Show?

The other day, a friend of mine posted a picture on facebook of a woman breastfeeding while her baby wore a hat that looked like a boob. I thought the picture was pretty funny. I googled the hats and this is the first link I got and it actually showed the hats and picture that my friend posted: Baby Center Momformation Blog. I really get a kick out of the fact that hats come in different skin tones and different nipple colors. Quite honestly made me laugh out loud.

I also found adult sized ones to help raise awareness for breast cancer on etsy. Again. Funny and witty in my opinion. Not at all offensive to me. Not saying that I'd ever use/wear one... but it doesn't bother me.

I have to say though that what amused me the most was people's responses. I don't often get fanatical about things... I don't think. Do I? Anyway, some women get REALLY defensive and oppressive about their views of breastfeeding. Let me share a little about my own breastfeeding history before I continue.

Really, the longest I tried to breastfeed any of my children was 3 weeks. I didn't cop out or not try. I actually tried really hard. It just didn't work. I don't even know how my daughter survived those first three weeks. My milk came in just fine. In fact, one time, while trying to unstrap everything so I could try to feed her, I thought that there was a string that was attached to my boob or shirt and I kept trying to grab at it. I looked up and saw the baby wiggling around trying to get something off her face. It took me a second to realize I was shooting out a tiny (yet strong) stream of milk and that it was hitting her in the face. I laughed so hard I cried. I used nipple shields of every shape and size and just couldn't successfully feed. It was a physical...problem... I'm not going to go into a lot of detail. Let's just say that if I were to run around outside in the cold with no shirt on, you wouldn't know that it was cold. I don't... physically respond... to certain things the way most women do... get what I'm saying? If you don't, just move on. My breast pump broke soon after I stopped trying to breast feed and so I just switched to formula. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with my daughter because of it.

I tried again to breastfeed with my son. I fought through the pain and the tears and the bloody nipples. However, when he was a week old, he got very sick and ended up in the ICU for over a week. Since he was on a breathing machine and unconscious most of the time, I wasn't able to feed him. I was given the opportunity to pump (did you know hospitals have industrial sized breast pumps? took me like 30 seconds to empty my "supply"!). I did for the first few days but the longer he was in, the more stressed and depressed I got and the less I ate and I dried up pretty quickly. Then, after he got out, he had to be put on a special (and outrageously expensive) formula. No more boobie milk for my boy.

With my third baby, I tried one more time. I even thought that if I bought a new pump and cute cover ups that maybe my nipples would cooperate this time but nothing changed. I DID get to pump more but like the nurses warned me, with three little ones and feeding a baby, I would have almost NO time to pump. It's true. Try as I did, it's really hard to pump and juggle three kids, the oldest of which had JUST turned 3. No bueno.

I never breastfed out in public though. Honestly, part of it was because I felt a little awkward about it but I was never out in public long enough to need to. For the first  three weeks, babies sleep a LOT and if you time things properly, if you're out in public, you can keep them asleep almost the entire time. But I'm pretty weird about being "naked" in public in any way shape or form. I don't even like getting undressed in the women's locker room at the gym. Whatever. I'm shy.

However, many women think that you shouldn't question them pullin out their boobs and hookin the kid up to it. This amuses me just a little bit. And I just had a friend (who says that she means no disrespect whatsoever, that it's just for argument's sake) ask what makes it a "right". Even though I'm a woman who agrees that "breast IS best", I have to honestly ask the same thing. What gives us the right to breastfeed in public? The only way it's a "right" is that it's the baby's right to eat in public just as we all do. If the baby eats from the breast, then it needs to eat from the breast. So, by the baby's right, the breast needs to be unveiled.

I asked a group of friends, both men and women, how they felt about breastfeeding in public. The general response I got was that it's natural and good. One friend said it was the best thing she could have ever done for her daughter. Another said that no one really gave it any thought back when she was breastfeeding her babies. The most common response I got was that it's a normal, healthy thing to do. HOWEVER, almost everyone said that discretion is appreciated.

I'm not gonna lie, I think boobs are pretty funny looking "appendages". I have two myself and laugh at them quite often. But I don't really feel the need to have them in my line of sight while I'm eating or shopping or whatever. IF I had breastfed in public (the most public I ever got was in the hospital room when I first had my daughter with all my family in the room), I would have used a cover up. And that funny beanie pictured at the top of this post doesn't count. One of the guys I asked called it a free peep show. Another man said that since men are programed to look at boobs, it makes it really awkward when a woman pulls it out. He did also say though that it is a good, healthy, natural thing to do. My husband said he doesn't have a problem with women breastfeeding in public. When I asked how he felt about a woman doing it with out using a blanket or something to shield herself with, he gave me a funny look and said, "Yeah, that's different."

Most people feel this way, myself included. But there are some women out there that get angry when some one suggests that it's kinder to put on a shawl so that the rest of the world doesn't have to see her naked breast. Maybe it's a society thing. For me, it's just a decency thing. There are only a handful of people who get to see my boobs. My husband, my breastfeeding children, my doctors and my poor family who watched me whip it out that first day in the hospital. Not the rest of the world.

I am a firm believer that BREAST IS BEST but for crying out loud, have a little respect for the rest of the room and wear a bib. Your boobs are NOT meant to be seen by every one. Also, you can stop getting defensive. Isn't it easier to just wear a cute cover up and to waste your emotions and time trying to defend the fact that you've alienated the people around you? Just my opinion.

This Wannabe Supermom is going to go have another laugh at those boobie beanies...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Second Chances at First Experiences (Monday Mommy Moments)

One of my favorite parts of being a mom is getting to see the world through a child's eyes all over again. I get to experience everything all over again.

This weekend, something small happened that I will probably never forget for the rest of my life but that my children have most likely already forgotten.

Down here in the south, things are staying, on average, in the low 60s right now. Sunday afternoon, it was probably closer to 70 and we had a ton of bugs crawling out of... actually, I have no idea where bugs go in the winter. Maybe I should look into that... Anyway, there were a bunch of lady bugs all over our back patio.

My daughter's hands holding her precious new friend.
My daughter, who will be 4 in June, has decided that ladybugs are "nice bugs". I don't know where or when she decided this but that's of no matter. When I noticed them all over the place on Sunday, I pointed them out to her. I then let one crawl on my finger and then transferred it to her open, shaking hand. "Oooo" and "Ahhh" from a 3 year old is fantastic. The wonder and the excitement of a red spotted bug crawling on her skin. My 2 year old son realized what was happening and wanted a ladybug of his own. So I found one for him and transferred it to his hand just like I had done for my daughter. You know those deep, happy laughs that seem to come from the depth of your child's being? That's how these two were laughing. Then, when both of their ladybugs took off in flight, the delighted squeals and open mouthed grins they produced set me to giggling.

It is honestly one of the most beautiful things I've ever witnessed. Two kids getting so much enjoyment and excitement out of holding a cute little bug and feel it tickle them while it crawls on their skin. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

I remember similar things like the first time we took them to the beach. Or the first time they swung on a swing (which was a first for my 7 month old only a few days ago). My sons bizarre love of bubbles. The way my oldest gets impatient while waiting 7 whole days to pass so she can go back to AWANAs. The baby's reaction to tasting new foods. Taking them to the zoo for the first time. All of it.

It's a second chance and I love it. Experiencing things all over again, things I have taken for granted for YEARS, decades even (eww... did I just say that?). The world through the eyes of my babies.

Link up if you're interested in joining the Monday Mommy Moments blog hop! It's fun, I promise :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Whole Point Of Being A Mom

Rosann Cunningham, from Christian Supermom, asked me to write a guest post for her blog. I was more than thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to do so. I respect her as a fellow blogger, as a fellow mother and as a fellow Christian woman. Please check out her blog today (and from now on) to read my guest post about the whole point of being a mom.

Here is a snippet of the post:

Every once in a while, as I’m finding missing socks in the couch, fishing the brand new role of toilet paper out of the toilet or trying to grab the coin out of the baby’s mouth (that one of her older siblings put in there because she “needed some money”), I ask myself, “Why?”
Not “Why did my kid just stick a penny in the baby’s mouth,” but “Why am I doing THIS and not something else?  What is the point of me being a stay at home mom?

What’s the point of me being a mom at all?”

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