The "Committed" Mom?

I am blessed to be the mom of three wonderfully amazing children I call Brent, Lottie and Kenzie. But honestly, there are days when I am committed and days when I need to be committed! So here's where this little blog comes refuge- my opportunity to share with all who care, the joys of being a "Committed" Mom!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Amy Grant - Overnight (Slideshow With Lyrics)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Becoming Real

I wanted to take a quick minute to inform those who read why I blog. I don't blog because I want the attention (although I do like it) or because I want sympathy (but I do appreciate the compassion from others), I don't blog because I try to create drama (although sometimes it feels I am surrounded by it), I don't blog to nag and complain (well, I try not and I most definitely am not out to hurt someone's feelings.
My reason for blogging is to share my experiences, good, bad, pretty or ugly, I want people to see the real me. God has been teaching me that we live in a society where people (including me at times) wear pretty masks and hide behind fake smiles and use statements like "things are fine", when in fact their worlds are crumbling all around them. But unless you speak up, no one notices your struggle and pain, because they too are living their lives maybe they are happy and content or maybe, just maybe they are struggling and suffering too. So we isolate parts of our souls and keep them hidden in darkness, when we should be crying out to others, bringing pain into light and asking for help, prayer and strength!
God wants us to be real with one another, He wants us to encourage one another and share the journey...He wants you to know that you are not in this alone- I am not alone. I blog to share not only the joys and trials of motherhood, but the struggles of being a Godly woman, a teacher, a wife, a minister of the gospel, a social worker, a taxi driver, etc. The list is extensive- right ladies? How many hats do you wear? How many mask do you own?
The bible says to laugh when others laugh and cry when they cry. I do not believe for one second that my life is the only busy and chaotic life out there, and it's very easy to get wrapped up in ME and MY LIFE. But I know in my heart, that it is not about me. God has a bigger purpose and a plan for my life- these bumps in the road, these joys, these heart aches, all of it...they are just single strings in the tapestry design God is weaving, the tapestry that is my life.
I pray that when I arrive in heaven God will show me what He did with all those strings, because honestly like the back of the tapestry now- it looks like a big mess...
I don't blog because I am self-absorbed (although I own it at times), I blog because I want others to know that there is an amazing and loving God who desires the hearts of His created ones. He loves you no matter what you are doing, what you are feeling or not feeling. He doesn't expect you to be perfect (although we expect it of ourselves at times), He just ask for you, for your heart, for you to believe and receive that Jesus died for you. He loved you so much that Jesus died so that you might live! God not only gave his life up for you, but He took the time and love to fashion and form you in your mother's womb. God knows the plans He has for you and your life (and mine), He plans to prosper us, He plans to give us hope and a future! He is why I blog...He is my legacy.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Before the Morning (music video)

The Lunatic Has Left the Asylum

I know it's been a long time since I have last blogged and I have struggled with it because in actuality I have had a lot to blog about- the problem is my brain is overloaded and it won't let me.
August brought with it;
Holden's traumatic event,
My dad flipping his semi over collapsing a lung and breaking 8 ribs,
Starting back to school and getting my class room situated and ready,
My son starting 2nd grade and me wondering and worrying if we will survive it and how many phone calls and parent teacher meetings we will have this year,
Me wondering and worrying if my son has a serious issue with his self-esteem and questioning if we should get him a psychologist to help him,
My daughter practicing being 2...and being very good at
My daughter breaking my heart with her tears as I go back to work and her punishment to me by not continuing her potty training,
Watching 2 extra little ones for my friend Steph during third shift (who amazes me with her strength) while her husband is putting in his 2 weeks a year serving our country in the reserves (my thought- it's the least I could do for them),
Still mourning the loss of a 20 year friendship that ended with no closure...
All the while trying to possibly prepare for a father-in-law who was planning on coming the week school started for me, but failed to show (but I digress!)and never really said anything about it,
Maintaining the cleanliness of my home,
Preparing for Labor Day Camping,
Lesson planning,
Balancing Church responsibilities, family and friends
No date night with my hubby!
Dealing with double the kids in my class this year as opposed to last year (which is a blessing) Struggling with some real behavioral issues at school and then trying to deal with my own kids after being a building that bakes at 1000000000000000000000 degrees with no air all day...
Trying to get Emotionally Healthy and letting God help me deal and confront my emotions and feelings- rather than hide or ignore them...
That was August
During Labor Day...I rested....I cherished my vacation camping with my family...
September has been quiet...shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh errr...quieter and that's when the door creaked open and the lunatic began to peek out at me- when know one was looking, when it was quiet
She reared her head last night and attacked me...I never saw her coming- but boy August warning signs showed me she was close by...maybe next time I will heed the warnings!
It started Sunday night, my husband and I making sweet comments to each other about "Going to bed early!" I feel asleep in front of the tv and my snoring made him wake me at! I simply was not mad, we always say one thing- but life and kids can make "Going to Bed early" a real challenge. I kissed my husband and said "No love for mom tonight...guess we didn't make it to be early" it was a statement, not an accusation or dig...I was half asleep. My husband apologized and I was like "For what? how many times had I done the same thing to you" I said it, I was ok and went upstairs, thinking I would fall right back to sleep...
But the lunatic woke me up- she started whispering irrational and illogical thoughts and I started to believe them. I tried rebuking them and blocking her lies like;"He doesn't find you attractive anymore. Look at yourself, he might just go out and get himself a little honey on the side. When was the last time you too really connected intimately? Why do you think that is? When is the last time he romanced you? When was the last time it was just about you? I literally laid there for a half an hour getting all worked up- it was only until the good Lord lulled me back to sleep did I lose her!
I even sat Tuesday night with my mom, discussing this lunatic (she had met her own lunatic earlier as well) so it made for great conversation! I look forward to sharing lunatic stories with Bug when she is older!
Anyway my point...she's been lurking...whispering and last night she came out and went crazy all over me!!!!!
It started with a challenging day at work- let's just say there was pooh involved and an art was a euphimisim for the day! 6 of my little darlings challenged me inside and out, up and down and I literally felt I got nothing accomplished as a teacher, I felt like a total failure. She began there "A good teacher could control her room..." "A good teacher would be able to reach the kids who have needs that go way beyond the classroom" "A good teacher doesn't yell and shows patience and kindness and today you did none of that..." (See how she worked) Then I came home to find out my son has been embellishing the truth a lot ...amongst other things... and so after grounding him to his room for two days for lying- he went to bed, my husband and I sent text's discussing it. He read that kids lie sometimes because they are being to harshly punished or punished too much. My husband said in the nicest way possible," Maybe we need to look at how we deal with him" And the lunatic yelled ...."He means you have done a horrible job at parenting this boy and you have messed him up more than his biological mother and the woman who abused him did" "You are mean and horrible to him, how will he ever see God- you don't look like him- if anything you will push him away from God" There was more...but I choose to forget what was said because it was to hateful.
Then to end my night after I got out of the shower there was a wonderful puddle at the bottom of my steps on the carpet- left as a gift from my dog. Pooh to start...urine to end- how appropriate! It was at that precise moment when the lunatic left the asylum and had held me captive for at least a half hour, saying the worst possible things to me...I shrunk and curled into a ball and I cried....not sobbed...not just tears... but cried from my gut- the anguished cry, the kind that feels like you are going to die because it hurts so bad. The pain was too much for me- she was out of control and she had to be stopped, and so I did the only thing I know to do...I cried out "Lord, I can't take this. I know I am a bad mother. I know I am a horrible teacher and a bad example of who you are. Lord, I am not adequate to be a parent or a teacher. I have no control and no idea what I am doing. I can't lead or guide...I am weak and I am lost" and as quickly as it came out of my mouth I heard Him say " You are not a horrible mom, or a horrible teacher. "You are exactly who I created you to be and you are doing what I have equipped you with the power of doing. You're right, you aren't adequate- you are human- you are not perfect. But I AM adequate and my grace will be sufficient for you. I will guide you and I will lead you, You are my lost sheep and I Am your Shepard. I know where you are in darkness and now it's time to let me be the one in control. I will lead you beside still waters and I will comfort you. All you need to do is love them. But you need to Eat more of my word and drink deeper from my fountain...I don't need you to be super mom or super teacher, whether you fail or succeed will not make me love you more or less. You are my beloved creation and all I need is your submitted heart"....and just like that she was gone. Amen

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Room at the Inn

Once upon a time, not so long ago God asked us "Do you have room in your inn- for my child?" This wasn't Christ He was asking us about, but it was one of His favorites! I don't know why I feel so sentimental about my son today, maybe it's because he is growing up so fast and it kind of caught me off guard. Maybe it's the way I see him changing, good and bad and the way I wish I could hold up signs and show him which way to go to avoid damage control. Maybe it's because I think he is totally amazing, depsite the fact that I want to tear my hair out of my head and I pretty much ground him every other day. Maybe it's because it breaks my heart to hear him call himself names and wish that I could destroy those thoughts that tear him down! Maybe it's because I weep that he doesn't believe he is that incredible. Maybe it because I get so angry that his little self-esteem is so jaded by what was done to him, prior to him coming to live with us.
However I cling to the fact that my son knows God and loves God with all his heart. I know that it was only God who got him through the things he has seen and believe me, he has told me some stories that will blow your mind! He is the most resiliant little guy I know- and no matter how bleak it gets for him- he always tries to have a positive attitude. Let me give you an example of this positive outlook that drives me to madness: Brent gets grounded and sent to his room. He will ask if he can play- if I say yes, then he says "Well at least I got to play today". If I say no, and tell him he can only read books, my half-full kid says "Well at least I can read books today". If I say you can't play or read books, just lay in your bed" My ray of sunshine says "Well at least it's only for one day!" Do you see the geniousness of it all? It makes me crazy but I love it about him!
Lately he and I have been making it a point to read out of his God's Warrior Devotional Bible, and it is teaching both of us sooooooooo much! We take turns reading out of it and discussing what it says, and we enjoy talking about God and how he did these really cool things. I also believe that our hugs have improved because of this intimate time as Mom and son. Don't get me wrong his hugs were always great before, but now they are a little different. They are the kind of hugs that wrap around your neck and holds on tight. It's the kind that fills your whole heart with an overwhelming love and makes you hug back a little tighter and never want to let that moment go. They have taken on a new meaning and I am soaking it up!
My kid, he challenges me, he breaks my heart and makes me cry, I really want to be committed 360 days out of the year...But underneath the whining and the pouting and the back talk is a guy who loves deep...he is kind and caring. He is a terrific big brother and cousin. He is a big silly goofball and he loves attention! He is loving and sweet and tenderhearted, he is sooooooooooooo smart and such a BOY! And he may not have come out of my body but he was definitely born in and continues to grow in my heart!
I am so glad there was room in our inn the night God asked me to be Brent's mommy! I love you B...You are the Best!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just Wanted To Say....

I love my kids! They are pretty amazing little people and I am so blessed to be their mommy! Lord, please help me to be better for them!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

How Soon We (I) Forget

Today was one of those out of control days. I believe the chaos of my feeling out of control began this morning with my daughter, who has reverted back to peeing and now pooping in her pull-ups. I realized that as unhappy as I was going to the bathroom 100 times a day with her, it really was a step forward and now it all comes to a crashing hault and I realize it wasn't that bad! I am pretty sure this reverting behavior has to do with my daughter's displeasure in her change of schedule and her mommy taking her back to the sitter's twice this week. However, in my selfish pity party moments today, I was not able to see what I see now. I was angry and frustrated with her, we have the same talk every day "Remember Lottie, tell mommy when you have to go potty" (Yes, I even tried the fruit snack bribe again- which was successfully being weaned away) She would look at me with her beautiful brown smizing eyes (Smizing-smiling with eyes) and say "Ok mommy" And I would breath saying to myself "Good she gets me, we are good, it's gonna be a great day" (Do I hear laughter from you?) So maybe I am dramatizing just a little- very little! In my head and perfect controlled world- it was just like that. And then it started...and it continued...and it continued and pretty soon I found myself really angry and frustrated.
One of the things I am trying to do, as the Lord works on my heart is understand where the rush of emotion (in this case anger and frustration) is coming from, you would think it would be as simple as my daughter- after all she is the one I am directly dealing with, but if you thought that you'd be wrong. This anger and frustration, this out of control feeling stemed from someplace else and I wanted it gone. So while I was doing dishes tonight and my darling daughter was running around bottomless and freestyling it, I decided to have a chat with God. I am inviting you to see what I said...
"Umm God, about this girl- you know Lord up until this moment- things have been pretty good. But uh- she's sorta ticking me off right now and I was wondering if you could handle it for me"
(Enter your own version of God's voice here)
"My daughter, what can I do for you?"
"Well you see Lord, I am really frustrated with her because she isn't doing what I know she can do."
"I understand Nina, I can relate"
"I mean, Lord she knows how to go to the bathroom- she took the inititive in the first place and now she's just given up, and I feel like a bad mom."
"I understand completely" (Now, I don't know if your God speaks in the King James version, mine however speaks to me in a normal-sometimes with some sarcastic tones)"Why do you feel like a bad mom?"
"Because I can't control it, I can't stop her from going back and doing what she used to do! Know matter if I put her in a time out or share my displeasure with her, she is the only one who can decide to move forward and be a big girl"
"umm hmmm...."
"And Lord, can't you just make her do what I want? It's for her own good- I mean it can't be comfortable sitting in your own mess, there's freedom from releasing it" (I'm trying to be gentle with my words)
"Letting children have control to make choices is very difficult, and it can be especially painful when you know what's best and they choose to do otherwise. And part of that pain in the freedom to choose, may mean watching them sit in their own mess until until they are really uncomfortable and want to change. Believe me, there will always come a time when they are ready to be changed!"
"But I want her to change now!"
"I understand"
"Lord, I feel like a failure by letting her."
"Her bathroom issue is your failure? How so?"
"Because I should be able to stop it? I should be able to control it."
"Really? How is that working out for you? Remember last weekend, who is in control?"
"Last weekend........(An eternity of silence as I reflect on what really matters)....You are in control Lord, thank you for reminding me"
"I love you Nina, that's what I am here for"

Maybe this out of control feeling wasn't really about Lottie. So when tomorrow comes will I remember that potty training is not something to be stressed about? Yes, but after that I may need some gentle reminders.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Father's love letter

Natalie grant held

What Really Matters

I know I blog about my kids and the craziness of being their mom. I know that I frequently want to pull my hair out and complain to whoever will listen, but today's blog entry is a little different. A little life altering excitement happened today and I know that it has forever changed me. Granted what I am about to blog about didn't happen to my child, and I can not even imagine what it would have been like to be in my future sister in laws shoes, but it could have easily happened to me- and as I quickly learned today it could happen to anyone! Today my God rocked my world, He shook my foundation, He challenged my faith...and today I feel like I passed a pretty big test!
It was a gorgeous summer day-84 degrees and sunny, the perfect day for a baby shower outside. I rode with my mom, my awesome sister-in-law to be Julee, my adorable 1 year old nephew Holden(Bear)and my Bug! (I don't know what my family has for the letter B when nicknaming our children, but Bug, Bear and The Boy work for us!) I will admit I was slightly irritated with my daughter, because 20 minutes before leaving the house she decides she is going to get on my last nerve by doing anything and everything she knows she is not supposed to do, while mommy attempts to get ready. I had debated putting her down for an early nap- but nixed it (smart Nina...real smart!) Holden was also a little tired, and so both Julee and I were geared up for lots of fun! 2 Toddlers+ Little or No Nap= Good times!
Both kids explored Karen's backyard and seemed to be enjoying their time outside. Bug wanted Julee to color and so I volunteered to chase my nephew around for a little bit to give both of us, special Auntie time. Bear was in a good mood and loved running his little feet up and down the slope of the driveway. His good mood lasted a little longer than an hour, before he began to show his displeasure with being awake. Figuring I would give Julee some time to eat, and loving any moment of cuddle time with babies that I can get- I stole him and attempted to lull him to sleep with my magic bosom. I cradled Holden in my arms, as he whimpered every so slightly, as most kids do when fighting sleep. It's was hard to believe how in just a short time, I won't be able to do this with him anymore- he is growing so fast!
As I held him, I walked around to find shade from the sun and allowed the heavenly breeze to blow over both of us- I was hot- he was sweaty and it's summer! He jerked a few times as I imagined he was having that lovely falling dream we all have, and fluttered his eyes open a couple times to show he had not given in to the sweet slumber. As much as I loved staring at that little guy in my arms, I did praise God when Jules arrived after a short time to steal him back because my arms were about to give out on me (Which reminded me, I really needed to do some arm exercises!) She tried to take him in the house and put him in front of the fan to cool him, but after the pass off Bear was wide awake! Both of them made their appearance and Momma Bear decided to feed the baby- he seemed groggy but he ate and then went and sat with Grandma. Grandma's lap is good for rocking and good for putting babies to sleep too, only this time Grandma's lap was used very differently.
I can't even begin to describe the process of what transpired started with Julee screaming, "Oh my God what's wrong with him?" On Grandma's lap little Bear began to have a seizure, his little body was ghostly white and looked helplessly trapped in his body nestled next to Grandma. The horrible cries of a mother never wants to say "Please someone call 911" and it was as if everyone around us was frozen and Jules, Grandma and Myself were the only ones moving. Julee's pleads continued, but it was already done- someone was on it. "Call Pat" - on it. The Angels were moving fast!
It was surreal to be apart of, as my aunt Sharon and her neice (OUR BEST GOD SENT ANGEL) Laurie, who was a nurse, came over to assist my mom with Holden. At this point all I heard was someone say he was turning blue and to turn him to his side. Julee fell to the ground crying out for her baby. My cousin Sammi was on the other side of Julee and was holding her with me, when we were instructed to get her away from the scene. I can honestly say at the moment I could not move- take her away- how could I? How do you get a mother away from her baby who is not moving or breathing? I caught a small glimpse of my nephew, whose body was lifeless on the ground and heard Julee screaming and in that moment, it was only God who helped Sammi and I to stand her up and move her out of the way. It was only God who held Julee with His mighty arms and carried her off, because as his aunt and a mom- I wanted to crumble with her.
We got her to the fence as they gave Holden CPR....and all that I could do was pray. Pray over Julee, pray for Holden, pray for God to send his angels to hold that baby close. Prayers to be with him and her. Prayers to revive him and give Holden back to us. When that first little cry came out, Julee was rushed to her baby. Sadly he still did not look good and his cry was weak, all that poor baby wanted to do was go to sleep, and that could not happen yet! Through all the madness I had no idea where my own baby was. God had placed another angel to look after her so that I could be there for Julee. I held tightly to my daughter, as I watched another mom's desperate pleas and cries for her baby went up to God. God guided those angels hands and they worked their love on him, as a healthy cry returned to the his body. Bug just looked on, she didn't understand what was going on, she just said "Oden,(which is her British way of saying Holden)sad mommy?" and she pointed to him on the ground. At that moment I said "Yes baby Holden is sad, will you pray to God with me for Holden?" She enthusiastically said yes! I tell you there is nothing sweeter than the sound of a prayer out of a baby's mouth to the heavenly father! "Dear God, please help Holden and keep him safe" and when we were done, the ambulance had arrived. To me it felt like hours had passed in waiting for them to get there, I can't imagine what it felt like to Julee.
My baby brother arrived just in time to get into the ambulance to take his son to the hospital and I got on the phone to call my husband to let him know what had happened. At this point I am beginning to realize I am not crying, but when I heard my husband's voice say "Hello..." the tears fell. I could barely cohesively speak to him. My mind was flooded-What just happened? How did this happen? And God please, please, please don't let there be anything more than this....My nephew...this gift of life to our family...this blessing He is your baby Lord- but I beg of you please don't take my nephew! I managed to fight back the tears enough so that I could calmly and safely drive.
On the way to the hospital I picked up my son from a birthday party and we shared a brief talk about what had happened (I used kid details- nothing more, nothing less) and asked him if he wanted to pray for his cousin- to which he did. "Lord, help Holden to get better and I ask that you let him have a really good time when he gets out!" My son plays the comedic role for Holden, always trying to make him laugh by being silly and so he knew the importance of a good time in prayer!
I am pleased to report that my nephew went home, hours after arriving. It appears he suffered a heat seizure, which can come on very quick and just sort of happens! He had been fighting being sick for over a week and was actually running a 101.8 temperature that day, but we never knew it because we were outside in the summer heat! The doctor seemed convinced that he would be ok and that's all it was....give him Motrin and wait it out- pray the fever breaks. Still praying, because it hasn't broken yet....
I write this all to say it's funny how what really matters comes into perspective when you experience things like this and those little annoyances- like what your daughter does right before you leave the house or the argument you had with your son that morning over taking care of his toys, even doing arm exercises- seem to lose their importance. And all that really matters is now, this time, this moment you have while they are here, while God has shared them with you. Cherish them, cuddle them, play with them, pray with them, love them to the depth, width and height that you possibly can, because after all isn't that what really matters?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bob Marley -Three Little Birds

Bad Mood

Today I woke up in a grumpy, angry mood and that means it's going to be a fabulous day for the whole family. You know the kind of day where no one better say anything with any sort of tone or look or else you might go psychotically mental! The question I want to know is how do these days originate, I mean really?
When my children went to bed last night, things were good- there were no middle of the night wake ups or late night vomit sessions. Both slept through the night peacefully and there was no pooh art to come down to in the morning! I watched my two vice shows The Bachlorette (I really think Chris should be the next Bachelor!) and The Real Housewives of New Jersey uninterrupted, and then to top it off had wonderful couple time with my hubby before bed. I didn't even have one of those dreams where your spouse does something that feels so real, you wake up mad at them! So what made me wake up in such a funk?
How can one go to bed in a good mood and wake up in a bad mood? I really hate days like this and normally it would continue throughout the entire day but what's incredible to me is how God uses my kids to mold me and remind me that"Every Little T'ing is gonna be alright" (Love, love, love Noggin's version of 3 Little Birds- by Bob Marley)
Waking up in a bad mood is one thing, but when there are kids whining and fighting behind it- it fuels it and intensifies it, makes you want to pull your hair out and scream! Now I, being the mom who would rather not kill one of her children and go to jail, send one boy to his room to play alone and the girl to sit down with her books quietly- while mommy counts to 10 and breathes in and out.
It was like a well orchestrated plan between them and God, the littlest one goes and gets "I Know God Loves Me" book followed by the by the book that actually plays the song "Jesus Loves Me" (Thanks Aunt Teresa!)and begins to look at it quietly on the couch and ask me what the words say. REMINDER #1, then the oldest is in his room, decides he wants to listen to a CD and begins playing his Shout Praises Kids Worship CD, REMINDER #2. It is then that I catch the message- I have a choice to make, I can choose to give into my foul mood and ruin my day and the day of my loved ones OR I can choose to hear God's reminder that my focus is off and I can change my attitude. And so I picked my choice and that has made all the difference!

Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bathroom Rituals

When Kevin and I got married and began discovering each other's little habits, the one area that still remains a secret is bathroom rituals. We all have them, our process of how and what we do when we enter that sacred room. Being that I have always been a woman and grown up with a brother who was 7 years my junior, I never witnessed a boy/man's ritual. I never understood why men complained about why women can take so long in the bathroom and how they are finished so fast. Rituals are a mystery to well I think they should be- Janeane Garafolo said in Reality Bites "My parents have been married for 26 years. Theyre like brother and sister at this point. She goes to the bathroom with the door open. That would be “A”. And “B” that’s disgusting." I guess I never want the romance to leave my marriage because I pee with the door open in front of my family...something just doesn't seem right there. However, having that brother and sister-I am finding out some secrets behind the rituals and have developed some theories. I find it fascinating how know one teaches us rituals, it's all a part of how we were created, it's a part of our wiring- and a part of God's sense of humor.
Lottie for example is my 'girly' girl, I didn't have to teach her to love clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry, make-up- God just created her to be that way. Lottie loves to spend time in the bathroom, as I have learned through her potty training. Granted it could be because it is all new, but somehow I think this is more deep rooted than that. Lottie goes in and wants to find every possible reason imaginable to stay in there. First we go in, to of course "Go Potty", as she sits on the toilet her little mind is racing looking around for what she wants to do next. In fact, she is so excited to do something else she almost jumps off the potty before she is finished! "Mommy, I take a bath?" Lottie loves bubble baths and splashing and playing for hours if she could. "Mommy, I wash my hands?" My very hygienic daughter loves to play in the water and sing "Happy Birthday" to the Itsy Bitsy Spider or whoever else she picks that day and she could go in and wash anytime, she loves it! "Mommy, muck up?" She knows mommy puts on her make-up and of course loves to do the same. "Mommy, comb my hair?" If I left her alone with the pick and comb I am sure she could do something fabulous with it-but dang mommy always gets in the way- especially when it comes to putting lotions and conditioner in my hair! "Mommy, I brush my teeth?" She literally ask me 900 times a day to brush her teeth and she even ask me at other's people's houses. She wants to try out their toothbrushes and their toothpaste. To Lottie it's actually about sucking the toothpaste off the toothbrush, but the point is she enjoys it. She brings her books and babies into the bathroom, she inquires what everyone else is doing in the bathroom and has no problems shoving the door wide open while you are doing your ritual, so next time you're over make sure the door is closed all the way, because Lottie wants to know! Lottie's total bathroom time over the entire day, if given the chance would be 22 hours and 56 seconds.
Now Brent, my "boy's' boy is her polar opposite! Brent will wait until the last possible second to even enter the bathroom. He can often be seen doing the "potty dance" and everyone in the room can comment and inquire about whether he has to go, but he will say no until he is absolutely ready to wet himself. These are often how the conversations go...
"Brent, please go take a quick shower (or bath)"
"But it will take to long and I will miss all the excitement of watching you and dad sit in the living room and do nothing or I might miss out on fighting with my sister"
Upon leaving the bathroom my husband will ask "Brent, did you wash your hands?" Not wanting to lie but not wanting to admit he did not, he often ask "Can I go check?"
Brent does not enjoy singing "Happy Birthday" to anyone and if he does it- he literally can break the speed barrier of the quickest rendition humanly possible.
Brent, praise God, does not inquire about make-up!
"Brent, did you comb your hair today?" again the famous response is given, "Can I go check?" Brent doesn't care who is in the bathroom, he never desires to be in the bathroom- in fact I question if he is allergic to the bathroom and he is only 6. Brent's total bathroom time the entire day if given the chance 10 seconds.
Now based on these two observations, we can see 2 things: 1. You can easily see why women take so long in the bathroom- it all starts when they are little girls! Now men know that we do the same things we used to do, only now we add a little more grown up stuff to it. AND 2. Why men are always waiting for women in the first place!
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Sunday, July 18, 2010


As every parent knows sometimes you have to make a concerted effort to get up way before the children if you want to get things done. This was my master plan Saturday morning, get up early and bake 2 breakfast braids for my women's bible study before my little sous chefs wake up and want to help! However, the 2nd goal was to be as quiet as possible because Bug is a very light sleeper! Never have I ever failed so miserably at such simple task! In order to help moms (or dads) everywhere here is my list of things that you think are quiet, but aren't!
1. Opening the refrigerator door and taking out the crescent rolls. Especially if they are in a plastic grocery bag that happens to fall off the shelf causing all 4 packages to crash loudly onto the kitchen floor.
2. Reaching for the recipe book on the shelf. Remember to make sure the glass lid to the candle, which is stored on the same shelf, is firmly locked into place or else it might fall off and land on your metal stove top making a wonderfully loud clanging noise!
3. Taking out a gallon of milk in the fridge. When reaching in quickly, try not to push it back first, knocking over a bottle of beer on the glass shelf located inside.
4. Opening a plastic bag of shredded cheese (or a package of deli ham!)
5. Placing the shredded cheese bags (or deli ham wrappers) into a garbage bag that is clearly full, multiple times because it is so full! Which then causes the garbage bag to fall and spill on your clean kitchen floor.
6. Stopping the microwave before it beeps. This is actually as loud as when the beeping goes off at the end.
7. Taking eggs out of a foam egg carton (Surprisingly cracking eggs is very quiet!)
8. Putting a glass mixing bowl in the sink on top of a plate that is unbalanced.
9. Opening the oven door and placing two pampered chef stones inside.
10. Your kids waking up because you were unsuccessfully quiet!
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Saturday, July 17, 2010


So I am completely exhausted and haven't had a moment to blog, wondering where the time and weekend went....I signed onto my facebook page to discover my future Sister-In-Law had posted the most amazing article ever written about parents....Now I know why I am so tired...please to enjoy!!/photo.php?pid=5660475&id=756700230&ref=mf

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mary Poppins....HELP!!

Today is a day I need to be committed, I don't know how it is in your home but clean up time is a major battle from start to finish.  I admit I suffer from OCD when it comes to maintaining certain parts of my house, I am not a neat freak by any means but I couldn't go to bed as a teenager until my room was clean- I have tried to pass that on to my son. But my son does not adhere to my craziness, he lives in a world of chaos and is very content to stay that way- this is where our two world's collide.  I have learned from my wonderful friend Amy (Who is one of my expert parents) that it is o.k. to only make your child clean their room once a week and close the door the rest of the time. (Unless of course I can't see the floor at which time it's acceptable to begin a small clean-up)  What a concept, close the door? Brilliant! So my son was tickled pink when he learned he didn't have to pick up everyday.
Now, my husband and I tried very hard to communicate to him that he may not want to leave everything out to be picked up at once, because it could be very hard to clean up a room after a week.  But being 6, he only heard clean up once.  And so the time arrived and for the first cleaning, our rule: You can come out of your room when it is clean. He battled with us, pleaded with us, tried to negotiate, earn time out for good behavior- but to no avail he was unsuccessful and spent a day and a half in his room.  We encouraged him to put music on and have fun while he does it, but instead he chooses the sound of his own whining and passing the time with playing and creating more messes, he is a kid none the less............
To try to make things smoother for the second weeks cleaning, we have tried to prepare him letting him know that Wednesday was going to be room cleaning day, we have encouraged him to keep his clothes picked up off the floor, we have reminded him about his last experience and in return he has been trying to keep things from being totally out of control in his room.  Last night, when he was getting ready for bed I said to him "Remember tomorrow is room cleaning day." He said "I know mom and tomorrow is gonna be better than last time!"
Today is Wednesday, we woke up negotiating, followed by a breakfast of pleading and by 10 am the battle had begun....where is Mary Poppins when you need her?

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Next Great Artist!

When Lottie first came to live with us we discovered she was going to be an amazing artist one day- her choice of medium- pooh. Her talent was first discovered by my husband when he called me at work to tell me that nap time had turned into a disaster beyond cleaning proportions! He went into Bug's room to find that she had literally coated herself, her bed and the wall with her fingerprint art. Yes, I know I'm disgusting but I didn't do it- I am just writing about it- 2 year olds are gross! I have to admit because it did not happen to me I laughed...I laughed a lot...and came up with cute little puns to drive my hubby insane. I couldn't help myself, "Sorry you're having a crappy day honey!" just felt so natural to say. He hated me for a few hours, but he got over it. It appeared that our daughter only liked to do her art work for my husband, I figured it was something special she wanted to share with him- their bonding ritual. She would create and he would spend the next few hours scrubbing her and the entire room down.
Because Lottie became so good at her art, we had to come up with something to slow her down. We tried duct taping her onesy, but she found a way our through the top arm sleeves (Maybe she'll be an escape artist). We tried safety pins but I freaked she might hurt herself. So the only conclusion I came to was, duct taping her pants around her waist. However, duct tape leaves residue and is not so easy to take off. So in our lack of wisdom we sought the experts and we shared our news with others, seeking out ways to help control this medium so that her art did not get out of control. I know some would probably label us crappy parents (See how easy it was....) for stifling her creativity, but we were willing to take on the title!
Imagine our surprise when we discovered that our child was not the only artist out there. Why had we never heard these stories before? I don't recall hearing them...ever..I know I would have laughed at them. Why did they hold these stories in, what was the secret? I'll tell you what the secret is... if you knew that your baby was going to turn into a pooh artist you may reconsider having children and so they keep these horror stories a secret to get you to join the parenting club and then they laugh at you when it happens and say "Oh yes, that happened when Matilda was a year old" It's almost like a hazing ritual for parents!
The best and most effective advice we got was for straight-jacket jammies! Straight-jacket Jammies or SJJ's are feet pajamas with the feet cut out and put on backwards. I fondly call them that because if you are an adult who created pooh art they would put you in a straight jacket and you would be committed, but as a child it's more socially acceptable so you just get the straight-jacket jammies. The SJJ's worked wonders and the art work came to a screeching halt. Which was convenient because summer was here and all our SJJ's were winter ones! That is until yesterday's nap time and this morning's lovely arrival...I guess Lottie wanted to share her art work with mommy this time! Daddy is so proud!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Promises, promises

The boy comes up to me today and says "Mom can I please go outside and ask Kayla if I can swim in her pool with her?"
"No Brent, it's not nice manner's to invite yourself over to someone else's pool" (Reminding me of all the million times I did it as a kid, but hey I am a mom now...I have to say this right?)
"Mom, I promise I won't go ask her."
"Brent you can go outside but you can't go over to Kayla's" (Notice here how I said he could go out...but pay close attention to what is to follow)
"But mom, I promise" (Did you catch it?)
At this point, I said nothing for the next 10 minutes, why would I? I already gave him permission to go outside, however he then proceeded to use his imagination to try to convince me he wouldn't go over to Kayla's.
*Mom why can't you trust me for once in your life
*Mom I promise to fix everything in your life
*Mom I know I frustrate you but I promise
*Mom this will fix all that is wrong in your life, if you just trust me
*I won't break my promise to you mom
*This time will different

I have still said nothing...

*It's not like the last time mom, I promise
*Mom I won't let you down I promise
*I promise I won't break it...I promise
*I don't want to ever let you down again mom
*I keep promising because I don't ever want to let you down mom
*I won't break the promise this time mom, it will be different watch and see
*If you let me do it mom, I promise I will never disappoint you
*I promise even if I got into a car accident Iwon't ever let you down

I am still quiet...when he bust out with his best line yet...
*Mom, I am telling a promise to God and that means I promise to you!
"Ok Brent you can go outside but not to Kayla's"
"Thanks Mom!" and out he went to play....keeping his promise!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Potty Training Survival 2 Electric Boogaloo

We started our morning with the two year old saying "I go potty?" Why not right? This is what we wanted, I mean really, who likes paying for diapers and pull-ups? The sooner the better! I figure that if I purchase the paint, I can start the bathroom remodeling to fill the hours and hours that I am spending in there- hey I am a mom, I am a multi-tasker! I have come to the conclusion that I have already made two mistakes in this potty training adventure. The first parent error is I realize now that maybe my tactic and strategy may not have been the best choice, but what do I know about potty training? Brent came to us already potty trained and I have heard of people using this method- however nobody warned me of the brilliant mind of a 2 year old. The reward- one sweet tart heart candy every time we go potty- and thus we spent 52 hours in the bathroom yesterday! After a half of box of candy hearts (sugar buzzing my child up) I decided that maybe candy wasn't the answer, so we switched to fruit snacks. Did I mention Lottie loves fruit snacks more than sweet tart candy? So I am thinking my friend Steph had it right- stickers on a Tinkerbell chart, thank God Lottie loves stickers too! Otherwise I would be supporting Huggies and Disney Fruit Snacks!'
Parent Error number 2: Never trust a two year old to sit on their little potty when it is located next to the big potty for more than 3 seconds. Lottie has discovered a few amazing new things: She can pull the toilet paper to her before she sits down and keep pulling...causing lots of fun white paper to surround her, she can lean her head over the side of the big potty and either spit into it or sing Itsy Bitsy Spider or for lots of fun she can play with the water! And sadly yes she even tried to eat the toilet paper- did I mention Lottie likes to eat bizarre things? I'll save that for another blog posting!
I saw a picture on my friend Kerry's Facebook page the other day and I laughed at the silliness of the picture, her daughter's potty training seat was located next to her desk and it was facing her computer screen- apparently her daughter Amy learned how to use the computer to put a movie in while she is potty training- but after 2 days of potty training I am ready to take Lottie over there and have her observe Amy......I think she might be on to something!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Potty Training Survival

Today my daughter went to the bathroom 497 times...that's an average of about once ever 69 seconds in a twelve hour period. Out of those 497 times, she actually made it to the potty about 75% of the time, we went through 163 big girl pull ups and the rest were diapers. I think maybe I can keep Huggies in business no matter what!

Dawn Wells Potato Peeling Video

The Secret

I have found the secret to parenting relies heavily on understanding and accepting these three truths:
1. There is no such thing as perfect parenting, no matter how much you read in books or on the internet. It doesn't matter how many classes you attend or how many professionals you speak with it can not be done. The most perfect parent that ever exsisted- God-had two screwed up kids. God gave his children free will because he didn't want robots, and that includes our children. Although, Stepford children may sound appealing when we want to rip our hair out, we all know that movie didn't end well.
2. You are going to screw your kids up. It's inevitable and unpreventable- at one point or another in your child's life you will say something or do something intentional or not and it will mess up your child's thought process and view points.
3. When they grow up and are old enough to understand- give them permission to seek therapy!