Archives for May 2008

Heart Melting

Here are a few pictures from yesterday. I’m biased, but isn’t Landon the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? Oh, and he slept all night last night! Go figure. Just when I was ready to give it all up, he sleeps all night. I’m hopefully optimistic that this is the beginning of a new pattern, but also a little skeptical. We’ll see what happens tonight. Anyway, enjoy these photos!


Thanks for the comments and emails regarding the last post. I know this phase won’t last forever, it just feels eternal right now. Someday, soon I hope, life will feel normal again. Tomorrow is Sloan’s last day of school so maybe once we have a little less going on things will settle down. Or maybe not. Who knows? Oh, and as a disclaimer to those of you preparing to have your third, or hoping to have three children: everything I wrote in that last post is a lie. Three kids is a breeze. You should all do it!

Truly, I obviously would not trade my children for the world. They are each so special and so unique and so very precious to me. This is a season, I know, and it is short and one day they will be grown and I will long for these days again…at least that’s what I’ve heard. I just don’t want to miss it, you know? And I feel like I am a little because it’s so difficult. So that’s part of my struggle. It’s a battle between longing for this season to end and hoping it doesn’t go too fast. Whew. That makes my head hurt. I’m going to take a bath and go to bed!

*update: Last night was another rough night. Landon screamed for over an hour. We finally moved him into the pack n play in our room to let him cry it out. But let me tell you what God did. After an hour of listening to him scream, I couldn’t take it anymore so I got up and picked him up and held him tight against my chest, taking deep breaths to calm my own spirit as well. As he slowly began to calm down he pulled his head back and looked in my eyes. In the darkness I could see the tears glinting on his little cheeks. The look he gave me was so sweet and so precious and in that moment I was reminded that he almost didn’t make it to life on this earth. I remembered the doctor’s words that miscarriage was a very good possibility and I was suddenly so grateful for that moment. Then my mind drifted to the story of Audrey Caroline and I realized that all over the world there are mothers whose arms ache to hold their children. Mothers who would gladly get up in the middle of the night because it would mean that their children were alive. And I was grateful. Isn’t God good to remind us of these things when we’ve reached the point of desperation? I’m tired today, utterly exhausted, but I’m grateful for this fatigue as it serves as a reminder that I hold in my hands great blessings. Blessings which were no guarantee. So I am grateful today.

No title for this

I’m too tired to think of a creative or even non-creative title tonight. It’s been one of those days. Sometimes I feel like I am not cut out for this mom thing. The transition from no kids to one kid was difficult, but difficult in a what-on-earth-do-I-do-with-this-squawking-little-creature way. For me, the transition from 1-2 kids was a breeze. There were, of course, moments when I felt completely overwhelmed, but mostly I felt like it was a pretty seamless time in our lives. The transition from 2-3 kids, however, has thrown me for a loop. I knew it would be tough. I prepared myself for tough. I didn’t know it would last this long, though. I still don’t feel like we’ve competely settled in. The sleeping thing is killing me softly. I have three kids who all have completely different sleep patterns and only two rooms to put them in and it just doesn’t seem to be working. I am finally ready to try Tia and Sloan together. I have hesitated on this for a variety of reasons. First, they are sooooooooo different! Sloan wants the door open, Tia does better with it closed (an open door represents a lot more freedom than she can handle). Sloan wakes up screaming because his toe hurts, Tia vomits then goes right back to sleep in her vomit (not exaggerating). Sloan scares easily, Tia does not. Tia wakes up earlier than Sloan. Sloan goes to bed later than Tia. So, you can see that moving them in the same room has been hard for me to do. But, putting Landon in the room with Tia is just not working well. At least not right now. He won’t sleep through the night. We need to let him cry it out a little, but then he wakes her up. He wakes up at a different time every night. She wakes him up when she gets up in the morning. Blah, blah, blah… So, I just don’t know what to do. We tried putting Landon in a pack n play in our bathroom, but he doesn’t sleep great in that thing and who can blame him? I don’t sleep well on a board either! Plus, Lee has to get up and leave early a lot of mornings, so that makes things sticky. Anyway, these are my dilemmas, my stresses, these days. I’m really struggling with frustration and discouragement, a lot of which is compounded by my complete lack of sleep. But we will likely give Tia and Sloan a try together and see what happens. If it’s awful, then I don’t know what we do. Buy a bigger house? Hmmmm…tempting, but probably not wise. We’ll see.
On a brighter note, happy mother’s day a day late to all the mommies in my life. Since I never do anything on time, it seems fitting to post this now. Particularly to my own mother and mother-in-law. I love you both dearly and appreciate both of you so much. I’m one of those rare and blessed individuals who truly has a great relationship with both mom and MIL. Not many people can say that and I’m so grateful that I can.
Now it’s off to bed. My mom actually has the two older kids tonight, so I may get a decent night’s sleep!

Bloggers Guild meeting

In case you hadn’t noticed, I recently joined the St. Louis Bloggers Guild. You can click on the icon on my side bar and link to the bloggers guild site to read more about them if you’re interested. I did this for a couple of reasons. First, I love writing and am always looking for contacts in the writing field. Second, I wanted to branch out and meet some new folks – something that is not always comfortable for me. I get very awkward and uncomfortable around people I don’t know, especially if Lee, my nevermetastranger husband isn’t with me. I needed to challenge myself and this seemed like a good opportunity. The good news is no one at the meeting today had two heads or breathed fire so it wasn’t as intimidating as I thought! Third, I just want to learn more about blogging. I had no idea what a powerful form of communication it is! We talked about some cool stuff today and I’m just so excited to learn more and get more involved with projects. There’s a really neat opportunity coming up that I would love to write about but don’t fully have a handle on how to explain it yet, so I’ll write about it later. Anyhoo, just wanted to share! Happy Saturday.

We got a Wii…

…which means my husband has been like a kid in a candy store since Sunday when we brought it home. Since that time I’ve heard these phrases uttered in our home: “D’Oh!” “Oh, I was robbed,” “Booyah,” “Oh, come on, Lee” (talking to himself, of course) and “Son of a BEEP.” In Lee’s defense, that last phrase was muttered jokingly because he could hear me giggling at him – he doesn’t usually sit around and cuss at the TV. What is it about video games that turn grown men into adolescents again? Don’t get me wrong – I love the Wii. It’s good fun and I can get into it too. But my attention span is limited when it comes to such activities, whereas Lee could do it for hours on end. The best is the WWII game he got where he gets to fly around and kill the Germans. That’s when his true colors come out. Kill and destroy! Hah! I can see the satisfactory gleam in his eye every time he takes out another bad guy – redeeming the world from the confines of his couch! What a guy…

It’s quiet around here…

My mom and dad took Sloan with them to their condo in Florida for the week so I’ve had an extremely leisurely two days. Two kids is a breeze man! Back when I just had two kids I remember thinking how hard it was. Now I realize that that was a walk in the park. In the last two days I’ve actually managed to get laundry done, get the house relatively clean, and almost potty train Tia! WaaHooo! We made our second attempt at potty training yesterday – it went alright, but today has been spectacular! We’re on our way. While I miss Sloan a lot, I know that he’s having a blast and I’m enjoying the 5 day “break.” Life is good.

Since Sloan is away, we have been trying to really pour into Tia this week. She doesn’t get our undivided attention very often so we’ve tried to really concentrate on loving on her. Because we’re potty training, it’s been hard to leave the house, so I decided to bring a “fun” activity to us. I bought finger paints. I’ve never bought finger paints before. In general, I prefer to leave messy crafts to the preschool teachers who are actually being paid to deal with the mess. So, and this makes me sound terrible, I rarely bring out crafts. Even markers are a pain because my kids can only keep them on paper for about 10 seconds, then I end up scrubbing marker off of everything else. But today, I decided to go for it. I put Tia in an old t-shirt and let her have at it and she pretty much had a ball. Here are a few shots – evidence of why I rarely allow them to do this!

Read with Kleenex

I linked to this blog off another friend’s blog. I recently told you how much I love the group Selah. I am just always uplifted by their music and have followed them for many years. A month ago, lead singer Todd and his wife had a special little girl. Read this post to be uplifted, but have Kleenex handy!

You WILL Love each other!

I’ve posted about this before, but honest to God, my kids fight so terribly that it wears me out and breaks my heart. I so want them to love one another and deep down I know that they do. Despite the fact that at any given moment, one of them is hitting or kicking or pushing the other and someone is crying, they both constantly want the other around to play with. It’s a strange dynamic. This morning, however, was a horrible morning. Both of them were being horrible to one another. Tia was annoying Sloan (sometimes legitimately, sometimes just by her very presence) and Sloan, the king of overreaction, spent the morning yelling at her. After telling them 800 times to keep their hands to themselves and quit screaming, I lost it. I don’t like being mean mommy and I work really, really hard at patience because I know it’s not a virtue that would best describe me. So, it’s not for lack of trying. But, when they woke Landon up from his nap, that was the straw that broke this mommy’s back! I sat them both down and in my semi-calm voice (I was borderline yelling, trying hard to hold back) explained to them that they will be brother and sister for life and they needed to start being more kind and loving toward one another. I could see that that was not working at all, so I moved to plan B. I made them sit on the ottomans facing each other and smile at one another for ten minutes. They were not allowed to get up, touch one another, or talk unless they had a nice thing to say to one another. If they broke any of those rules, I added time to the clock. I think they ended up sitting there for 13 minutes due to their apparent unruly feet that kept “accidentally” kicking the other person. Here is what they looked like in their time out:

I made them each say five nice things about the other. Sloan told Tia she had cute hair, pretty eyes, a cute nose, cool clothes and nice fingers. Because Tia still hardly talks she just kept saying “dis-ee-dow” over and over, which can mean a whole host of things. When their time was up, I made them hug and saying I love you (or dis-ee-dow one more time).I wish I could say this helped. They were nicer to each other for a few minutes after that, but it didn’t last long. Although this afternoon, Sloan was very sweet to Tia when she fell and scraped her knee, telling her over and over how sorry he was that she got hurt. That warmed my heart briefly. If only it would last! If anyone has any suggestions on how to handle incessent sibling fighting, I’m all ears!

True Confessions of a Minivan Mom

I had an interesting conversation with a friend last week. Actually, this is someone I don’t know that well, but we are on our way to developing a friendship. We were talking about motherhood and the joys, and annoyances, that come with it. The topic of our conversation is not one that is unfamiliar to me. I’ve probably had this same talk with a dozen other moms. It all centered around the fact that while we desperately love being mothers, there is still a part of us that screams for an identity outside our children. We long for purpose beyond poopy diapers and snotty noses. We want to make a difference in the world and fear that somehow we’re not living up to that desire.

This was a very big struggle for me after I had Sloan. Those first few months when the entire focus of my life shifted off of one path and slid down another were hard and confusing – actually, I think this lasted a couple of years. Once Sloan got a little older and I finally felt like I was impacting his life, rather than just sustaining it, it seemed I saw a little more purpose in my role as mommy. But there is still a longing to have an impact on the world, while also raising lovely, God-honoring children. I sometimes miss “me” time. Parenthood really is the largest act of unselfishness in the world (at least it should be anyway!). But so often, there is this stigma that surrounds motherhood. We are all so afraid of becoming soccer moms. At least I was. I still get a little panicky when I realize that I am driving, gulp, a minivan! Weird.

Of course, there is also no place I would rather be…most days anyway. I adore being a mom. I gave up a large part of myself because that’s what I wanted to do. That’s what all of us do as mother’s – whether we stay home or work, we all sacrifice in order to provide as much time, attention, love and grace for our children. And the truth is, our identity should not be wrapped up in our kids. That’s not good for them, or for us! As a child of God, I believe that my identity should be placed in Him, as His daughter, allowing Him to mold me and use me as He sees fit. I want to be available to do whatever He calls me to do. I also understand that I have been blessed with certain talents and gifts and I want to use those and not waste them. It’s a balance between pursuing those dreams and keeping my primary purpose as mother to three in focus. That sometimes feels like an overwhelming task!