Library Chaos

I love the library. It has always been one on my favorite places in the world. You walk in and the smell of books immediately hits your nose. Your eyes are filled with images of rows upon rows of books. There are comfy chairs, it is quiet, and no one is going to bother you. Aww…a happy place.

I could not wait to experience this with my children. I imagined them sitting in the isles with me, we are surrounded by books, and we are reading and enjoying new books together. It would look a little bit like a cheesy sitcom with us smiling, pointing and quietly giggling. Aww…the perfect outing…

I wish I could say that this is just what happened on our first trip to the library together. Continue reading

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Super Mom? Maybe Not!

All, you have all the time in the world…said no mother ever!

Recently I feel like I have been drowning under all my responsibilities as a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). How is this possible? Where does my day go? Well let me tell you:

At approximately 6:30 my girls usually start to roll out of bed. We are busy and nonstop until 8:30 when it is bedtime.

Our day consists of laundry, cleaning, playing, eating, cleaning up meals, preparing dinner, changing diapers, searching for cups, fighting over toys, coloring and crafts, and play dough cleanup. In order to keep my sanity I created a cleaning schedule so I did not feel like I have to clean the whole house every day. Since we are mostly at home during the day the house never stays clean for long anyway. I drown in chores and cleaning up food off of the floor. Some days I feel like all I do is clean!

Monday I clean up from the weekend and get back into routine. Tuesdays we go to gymnastics. Wednesdays my husband gets home early.  My goal is to make this library day and lesson planning day. Meal planning for the next week happens on Thursdays. Friday is errand and grocery shopping day. Saturday mommy relaxes in the morning and gets to sleep in while daddy and the girls make breakfast. Then we do any other shopping that needs to be done and we do some type of family activity with the kids. We go to church on Sunday. Church requires dresses (because the girls want to wear them), ironing, separate diaper bags, bibles, and fixed hair.

Now, on top of my daily routine I have added a Bible Study, gymnastics, play dates, story times, training for a half marathon and homeschooling into the mix. The bible study requires daily bible reading and answering questions. Gymnastics class requires a shower, make-up, and dry hair. Play dates require preplanning, packing of snacks and trying to look half way presentable. Homeschooling requires preparation of lessons, getting materials ready, and more patience that I can muster in any given day. Story times requires princess dresses and leaving the house. Leaving the house is something I have to make myself do these days. It is not easy to get everything ready and be out the door at a certain time.  I “train” for my marathon after the kids go to bed. I go running in the dark around my neighborhood and usually get scared by local wildlife that jumps out in front of me.

My carpets need cleaned, my windows need cleaned, my couch needs shampooed, my flowers need to be weeded, and my closets need reorganized.

Also, there is this man that comes home every day and gives me a kiss on the cheek. I feed him dinner, wash his clothes, and pick up after him…what is his name again? How do I know him? I think maybe I am married to him.

Am I a crazy mess?

I will answer that question for you…yes! I have two toddlers and this unorganized, crazy mom is about to have a panic attack. If I have this much trouble when they are toddlers, how will I handle life when they get older? How do moms do it all?

This does not even count holidays, birthdays, having family come to visit, going to doctor’s visits, or caring for a sick child. Oh goodness, even getting ready for a vacation is an Olympic event. There is the planning, packing, laundry, car entrainment to plan, and driving with crying/unhappy kids.

No wonder everyone says that time flies when your kids are at home. Moms never stop! We definitely need more than one day a year to celebrate not going into a loony bin and being able to be to function when we have all of this stuff to do.   

But let’s be honest. We would not trade these days for anything in the world. The smiles, the hugs, the cuddles, the spontaneous “I love you,” the joy on their faces, and being loved in return is worth it all! I cherish these days and do not want to ever think of the day when things start to slow down!

Becoming a “Waiting Family”

I think that one of the biggest questions we asked ourselves while doing IVF was: When do we stop?

My husband and I are not one to throw in the towel and give up. We both have lived a life where we have strived to be the best we can be and to succeed. Success means something different to everyone. Some value their success on material possessions, how much money they make, and what kind of house they live in. This would be my father-in-law. As long as he looks wealthy and happy on the outside his real life (his home life) can fall apart and he would still consider himself successful. However, I view success as something entirely different. For me success is loving those around me and being loved, being happy, having a family, and being able to take care of those around me. My biggest success in life will hopefully be raising children who love the Lord and serve him faithfully. So, this is what I strive for. Family was and is very important to me. So, stopping IVF was a hard and scary decision. Stopping IVF however, did not mean that we would stop trying to have a family.

My husband was ready to adopt before I was. He would have started the process months before we did. For me, the desire to carry a child was so great that I struggled more with stopping IVF. It is not that I did not want to adopt. I just saw adoption as the end to trying to carry a child and that thought broke my heart. There is something about growing a baby, feeling that baby move, and being able to do something for that child that no one else can do that was meaningful to me. However, after the third miscarriage I decided that maybe it was just not going to happen and I needed to move on. So, we did… Continue reading

They call her “The Streak”

“Here she comes, boogity boogity
There she goes, boogity boogity
And she ain’t wearin’ no clothes

Oh, yes, they call her the Streak
boogity boogity
Fastest thing on two feet
boogity boogity”
I know that you have heard this song, The Streak by Ray Stevens. If you have not heard this song then you need to Google it and have yourself a good laugh. Yes, I changed the pronouns from male to female. Why you ask? Well, because I am a female. Oh, so you thought this was about one of my children…if only that were true.

A few months ago I was at a party at my next door neighbor’s house. My neighbor was turning sixty.  I walk in and I notice that I know no one but my next door neighbor. Luckily, she is a good cook, so I was too busy stuffy my face with homemade Chinese food to have the time to worry about meeting people and small talk. My husband and I just were just standing there checking out the place and commenting on the delicious food when my neighbor walked up to us. Behind her was a couple. They looked so familiar. Then it dawned on me that they were the people who lived behind us. The woman was dressed in a black shirt with large multi-color flowers and jeans so tight that she had camel toe. Yes, I said it. I went there. She had camel toe. Now that you have pictured that it in your head I will give you time to recover….

Ok, now that, that is done we can move on.

Her husband was wearing an equally as colorful shirt with Hawaiian print. As expected we have the typical getting to know you small talk. Then she asks about the windows in our house. She wanted to know who had replaced them. We discussed this and then she says, “I wish I could leave my blinds up all the time like you do. You must have a great view. We sure do!”  Mr. Hawaiian shirt stood there with a huge smile on his face. He looked down and kind of blushed.

Wait…what did she mean? She must be talking about the view from her house. Right? Why was he blushing?

“I am going to go get a refill. Do you want one?” I asked my husband with a little nudge.

“Sure,” he replied and we excused ourselves. “That guy was strange. Did you think so?” my husband asked.

“They both were!” I remarked as I walked over to the Crab Rangoon and took a huge bite.

A couple of weeks later my husband and I were sitting by a fire in the backyard of our house. We had just put the kids to bed and were listening to the baby monitor. My husband ran into the house to grab himself a beer as I sat outside watching the glow of the fire. I happened to look up and I could see him walking through the house so clearly. He opened the refrigerator, got himself a beer, walked to the counter, picked up our bird shaped bottle opener, and opened the bottle. This would have been very insignificant, however I could see him so clearly.  All of a sudden I had a flash back to the party, to what flower shirt said…

If I can see him so clearly…then so can the neighbors…then they must be able to see us all of the time…then they have seen me walk through the house….NAKED!!!!!! OH MY GOSH!

A million flashbacks went through my mind. All the times I have walked downstairs naked to get clothes out of the dryer. All the times I have changed clothes in the kitchen (it is right next to my laundry room). All the midnight feedings where I walked downstairs half-dressed to make a bottle and then sat in the living room and fed my daughter.

OH NO! WHAT ABOUT THE FRONT OF MY HOUSE? WHAT ABOUT THE LARGE WINDOW BY THE STAIRS!

I ran to the front of my house. Yes, I can see the entire staircase just as clearly. Yep! I cannot believe it. My entire neighborhood has probably seen me naked. I have walked around this house naked more times than I can count. Suddenly, I felt a little sick to my stomach. My poor neighbors! What a way to introduce myself to the neighborhood.

Then I start to wonder if the neighbors have a code word for me.  I can picture a family driving past my house, the parents yell “The Streak,” and kids know to look down and not towards our house. I am so embarrassed. I never thought about the blinds. I grew up in the country. The only thing that could see my house were cows and chickens. We did not worry about blinds.

Shamefully enough, this song fits my life more than I want to admit. I think I will stick to wearing my oversized, fluffy, grandma robe around the house for now on and I will skip neighbor parties and bar-be-ques until people start to forget, if that is even possible.

IVF and Me

When something like infertility comes in your life it makes a huge impact. I have written a lot of posts on this topic and this will be my last for a while. When I write about this I am forced to go back in time and think of the memories that I have for such a trying time in my life. I wish that I could tell you that I handled the three years of trying to conceive with grace. I wish I could tell you that it did not have a powerful and sometimes negative impact on my life…but that would be a lie.

Continue reading

You Scream, I Scream, Ice Cream

When you have two toddlers that are a year and nine days apart, life is just fun. They have so much fun wherever we go and they always draw the attention of those around them. Some of this attention occurs during cute moments, during fits, or while they look out of control. However, what people do not understand is that chaos is our life. We love it, we are used to it, and it no longer stresses us out. To others however, any given situation may look like a train wreck. This is exactly the scene that happened when my husband and I took the girls for ice cream in a trendy part of town. Continue reading

Mothers and Daughters

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Steel Magnolias, Georgia Rule, Terms of Endearment

What do all of these movies have in common?

  1. They are all girl movies or “chick flicks”
  2. They may make you cry at some point
  3. They all have a strong storyline about mothers and daughters

Let’s face it, the mother and daughter relationship can be very complicated. We all wish for the storybook relationship, however, even Hollywood knows that this is rare. We wish for a conflict/tension free, always happy, and best friend relationship. Knowing that we live in the real world we know that this is impossible. But why? Why can it be so hard?

When my oldest daughter was born she was perfect in my eyes. She had the perfect bald head, perfect little smile, perfect chubby legs, and perfect little dimpled hands. It was love at first and an instant bond. As all new mothers, I was tired, but I did not mind. Now she did cry…a lot. After she turned a month old she learned how to cry and she cried for three months straight. This also meant that I did a lot of crying myself. This was a trying time for both of us, but also allowed for more bonding and cuddles. I learned a lot about patience and love during those three months.

As she turned one, she started to mock a lot of my actions and mannerisms. She wanted to clean like mommy and she carried around her little coffee cup and blew on it. This, of course, melted my heart. My little girl wanted to be like mommy. This need of hers only grew. She wanted to wear make-up, put on lotion, blow dry her hair, wear dresses, paint her fingernails, and wear her hair in a bun just like mommy. We enjoyed getting ready together and this became a little routine of ours. She is my little mini me in many ways. She has even picked up by bad and/or less desirable traits. She likes things to be a certain way and she loves routine. When she gets angry with something she growls under her breath, she will roll her eyes, and she is very sensitive. My husband says that her drama comes from me. He calls me a “little dramatic.” I have no idea what he is talking about! Wink Wink!

What worries me the most is her desire to please me. She will randomly ask if she has made me happy or if she has made me mad. She wants to do things to please me. This is hard for me to see. I want her to know that she does not have to earn my love. I do and always will love her unconditionally.

One thing that also bothers me is that I have felt that I might be too hard her. She is the oldest, her sister is only a year younger, but I expect more from her. She is a smart girl and I know that she understands me when I ask her to do something. She knows when she has misbehaved and she knows my expectations…to a point.  When it comes to my younger daughter, I tend to have more patience and I am calmer. I think it is because she is the baby of the family and possibly the last baby. This is not a good thing and it is something I am trying to stop.

My husband is less hard on my oldest. I hear her whine for a new spoon because she does not like hers and he goes to get her a new one. My response is, “She is fine. She is just being whiney. Leave it be.” I notice these feelings a lot when my husband is home. She knows how to work him and he never says no. So, I feel the need to point out that she will be okay and to not baby her. I wonder, is this the proper response or am I too hard on her. Deep down inside I know the truth. I am just too afraid to admit it.

I often wonder, will our entire relationship be like this. Will I always expect her to do more than she can and will she be watching out for my reaction?  Will she be looking for my displeasure or my happiness when she does something? I hope and pray that this is not the case. I never want this to be our relationship.

I pray for my relationship with my daughters. In my eyes they will always be those perfect little babies that I held for the first time and cried. They will always be those babies that I rocked in the middle of the night and soothed when they were ill. They will always be the most precious things on this earth. I pray that our relationship is one of love, acceptance, understanding, and adaptable throughout the years during different stages our lives.

My final thoughts/questions are:

Are all mother and daughter relationships like this? Was my mom the same way? Was my grandmother’s mom the same way to her? Do we just expect more out of our daughters? Are we harder on them because we are so similar and we understand each other? Also, does it change with time? When our moms are older do we expect more out of them then we do when they are younger? Does the role reverse? Do we ever stop second guessing ourselves as parents?