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!

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.