Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Blessings

I love Christmas time.
Tonight I drove my kids around town to look at Christmas lights. Eldest was thrilled with all the pretty houses (CurlyGirl slept the entire time, thankfully). He even called one house a beautiful castle.
We listened to Christmas songs and even sang a few while we drove along. The evening was foggy and the lights seemed to glow with a special radiance.
It was a simple way to spend an evening, but it was joyous. I love Christmas time because the neighborhoods dress in their best, the songs on the radio are all cheery, the smell of cooking and baking fills houses. But most of all, I love Christmas time because it seems as if the entire world is celebrating my Savior's birth. It is a special time, indeed.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Bad Day Blessing

Today has been a bad day that culminated in a horrible evening. My whiny two-year old wouldn't stop crying. My two-month old woke up after a 30 minute nap and wanted to be held.
This evening I yelled at my son when he yelled NO at me and hit me with his fist. I sat him in the corner where he and cried and cried and cried while I tried to feed a crying baby. Finally I had enough. I set her in her crib (fortunately, she was happy at that point) and carried my sobbing son up the stairs, changed him into his pajamas and put him on his bed. Then I told him that I couldn't handle him right now and I shut his door and went to my room and sobbed to the Lord.

I knew that part of his behavior was a reflection of my behavior. I really needed a nap today and wasn't able to take one because the baby was fussy. That just put me on edge for the evening. I opened up the Psalms and tried to find something to calm me down. I can't remember what I read, it was somewhere around Psalm 80, but I did get some calmness out of it.

Then I heard my son sobbing my name. That just melted my heart. I went in to him and picked him up and just hugged him as I rocked in the chair. I told him that I was sorry I yelled at him and I was sorry I got frustrated, and that I love him. He then told me that he was happy. I asked him why he was happy and he told me that he was happy because he had his mommy. I think at that point my heart pooled on the floor.

I sang him a song that I could barely choke out for the tears in my throat, and put him back into bed. I prayed with him and told him I love him and left the room again; only this time, it was with a joyful heart instead of a tearful one.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tackling Mount Washmore

Laundry is something that needs to be done. I have tried many different ways to tackle Mount Washmore, as FlyLady calls it. I haven't yet found my groove.

My hubby likes to do all the laundry on one day. Just crank it out, one load after the other. FlyLady says to do one load every day, that way it's not overwhelming. I tend to do a load every day for a few days, then get really behind and do five loads in one day. Then because I have done five loads, we have clothing to wear and I don't do a load the next day, even though there is probably enough dirty laundry to do one. So a few days pass, then I do a load, and then the next day I do another, but then the next day I have to do three more loads because I'm out of long sleeve shirts. And so it goes.

I just need to figure out something. MAYBE, if I keep busy, I won't have this problem. If I do my JOB and keep my house running smoothly, we won't run out of clothes to do and I won't get frustrated with the huge piles of clothing mounded in the corner of our bedroom. So, to answer my unspoken question on how to do my laundry: I should do one load every day and that will be one of the things that keeps me busy.

In the meantime, I need to do a bunch of loads today to catch up from a week of no laundry. It's difficult to do laundry when you have company . . . not to mention Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Good Days

I was praying this evening, telling God about my day. I told Him that today has been a good day; a busy day, but a good day. Then I realized, and hardly dared to think it aloud, that if I spent all my days as busy as I did today, then maybe I would feel as good about my days as I do today.

I am getting my house ready for a weekend boutique. That means a lot of cleaning and organizing and getting the gifts ready for display. In other words, I have been very busy today. But I wasn't frustrated or stressed out. I had a good day. I played Christmas music, burnt a vanilla candle that has scented the entire house and had a good time while I've been busy. And now I'm tired, but it is a good tired, like an I-have-accomplished-something tired. I had a very busy day and it was a great day.

So, the lightning bolt that hit my thoughts is this: maybe I won't be so bored and restless if I keep myself busy. There are so many things I can do around the house. I probably would have more time to set up for my boutique if I had been busy earlier in the week cleaning up the messy places. I don't like to be stressed and rushed about things. And yet, I procrastinate so that I am rushing around at the last minute being stressed. It's like adrenaline for me, in a sad, twisted sort of way.

But you know, today gave me an adrenaline rush too. And it was a much better rush than the last-minute-freaking-out rush. I should try this more often!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Closet Confessions

Just before my husband left on his business trip, he cleaned out his side of our walk-in closet. (Walk in is about all you can do. If you want to shut the door, you have to lean into the clothes.) There are a few bags waiting for me to take to the thrift shop.

So, since he is due home tonight, I decided to tackle my side of the closet. I have too many clothes and too many shoes. I know this. The problem is that I don't want to get rid of the things that don't fit, but still look good, because I AM going to lose weight.

So I put all the clothes I want to save into space saver bags and got rid of all the clothes that I don't like or that have armpit stains. (No matter what, I can't seem to get rid of those!!) I also got rid of all the shoes that aren't comortable or I don't like, or my husband doesn't like. It wasn't actually that many pairs of shoes. There are a few that I want to wear again to see if I really want to keep them or not.

So, my DH will come home to a clean closet and a fresh bed. Unfortunately, he will also be coming home to a wife with dirty hair. I did shower this morning, but neglected to wash my hair because I didn't want to get up when my alarm went off. And that laziness will have to be another post.

See also You've Made Your Bed...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

You've Made Your Bed . . .

One of the household chores I dislike is making the bed - or to be more specific, washing the linens and THEN making the bed. Oh, our bed does get made (almost) every day. I drag the sheets & comforter up every morning so that there is a smooth surface to dump stuff on. And I straighten out our pillows: the two our heads rest on and the two body pillows. Forget all the decorative pillows, what's the point? You can't use them. Martha Stewart I am not.

As to the actual changing of the bed linens, it happens once every two or three months. I am actually ashamed to write that. I just hate putting the linens back on the bed. I always end up with a crick in my back and all sweaty from wrestling corners down and lifting the mattress up to tuck the sheets under. We're lucky the sheets get changed every other month or so.

Since my husband has been away on a business trip this week, I decided it would be nice for him to come home to a fresh, clean bed. So I stripped the bed and put all the linens into the washing machine. I decided that rather than waiting for all the wash to be done, I'd use some of the bed clothes we have in my hope chest. I figured it would save me a lot of time.

It took me forty-five minutes to make our queen size bed. I was looking at our bare mattress and wondered when it had last been flipped. I could actually see a curve to the mattress, so I knew it had been a while. Have you ever flipped a mattress by yourself? With a toddler trying to help? My son was trying to climb on the box spring while I had the mattress up on end. And I was also trying to keep the dust ruffle from slipping as I slid the mattress back down into place.

Finally, the bed is made and I am sweaty and have a knot in my back, as well as a headache. I think I pulled a muscle in my neck this morning taking my mom's luggage down the stairs. Wrestling with a mattress and bed linens didn't help matters any. By the way, did I mention I also changed the linens on the guest bed? So, I hope my dear hubby appreciates my efforts at giving him a fresh bed. I know he will notice; the sheets are a different color. I'm glad that chore is done with.

See also Closet Confessions

Monday, November 30, 2009


It's raining today. That is not unusual. I like this kind of rain. You barely notice it. In fact, I didn't even know it was raining until I saw drops hit my kitchen window. I can't see the rain fall unless I'm looking at an angle. There are no puddles on our slab, and it's not dripping from our malfunctioning drain. So, while it has been raining for quite a while now, I'm sure that we haven't received much.

It's not even very dark outside. The clouds are letting enough light in that I don't need to turn on the lights inside - just open the blinds.

It's kind of a ho-hum day outside. It is reflecting what I feel like inside today. I woke up with a bad headache, which has since gone away, but I think the headache started my nausea (or it could have been helping my son brush his teeth with toothpaste for the first time . . . eww).

The weather doesn't usually affect my mood. I think today my mood just happens to reflect the weather.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Patience & Frustration

Being a parent requires patience. I always knew this, but it hasn't really manifested itself until lately. There isn't much reason to lose your patience with an infant - they don't purposely take their time with anything.

However, a two year old is much different. My son takes his time doing things. I ask him to put away his cars, and he does, but he has to do it in a very precise way. The cars have to drive over to the toy box, or they have to park in the garage.

There is no reason for me to rush him, I just want him to clean up so he can take his nap. But I still want him to do it as quickly as I would. So, as I was feeling frustration with him the other day, I realized that I had NO REASON to be frustrated with him. He was obeying, but he was doing it in his own way. He wasn't procrastinating either. The toys just had to go into certain places in the toybox, and sometimes the toy fell out, or went somewhere he didn't want it to go, so he had to move it . . . again.

As frustrating as it was to watch him, I refrained from doing his job for him. I also prayed and repented of my sin right away. I had no reason to be impatient or upset with my son. He is two, and he was behaving like a two year old.

I just heaved a big sigh and waited while he finished cleaning up his toys. I need to remember that this time will go by quickly, and to cherish the moments I have with him. I need to remember to be patient with him, as my Heavenly Father is patient with me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pill Popping Problem

I've always had a problem taking my pills. I remember my mom trying to put my vitamins in applesauce. I was too smart for that trick. I also remember her pinning me against the refrigerator, sitting on me, and practically shoving the pills down my throat. I have a...

When I was 15, I was away at camp and got sick. The camp nurse gave me some antibiotics that were the size of my thumb. Needless to say, I didn't take them. Camp ended and I was to spend the week at a friends house. Her mom probably wasn't too happy that she had a sick child on her hands; one that wasn't hers. Most likely, taking those horse pills would have decreased the amount of time I was sick by half. Which means, I would have enjoyed the time I spent at my friend's house.

Today, I have to take medication daily. I am also taking pre-natal vitamins because I am nursing. I should also take a B-complex every day - I feel so much better when I do. And since I'm over 30, I should be taking calcium daily as well.

So that is a total of four varieties of pills, amounting to nine individual pills a day. Doesn't seem like it would be that difficult, right? The only pills I manage to diligently take are the three little pills my doctor prescribes for my Crohn's disease. I usually take my pre-natal vitamins at the same time. Now if I could only remember to take my B at breakfast and my calcium at lunch, I will be all set.

Maybe my mom should come and sit on me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mommy Time

Yesterday I wasn't feeling well. I did manage to do the dishes and a load of laundry, but only because I knew that if I didn't do them, my husband would have to. And being that he works on Saturday, I didn't think it would be nice for him to come home and have to do chores.

However, my little boy was feeling great. He wanted to play. With me. I wanted to sit and read. But I am reminded of how fast he grows up, and what I am called to do as a mom. I knew that he was bored. I knew that he wanted me to get down on the floor and pay attention to him. But I wasn't feeling well, and it seemed that I just couldn't put my book down, so I'd tell him to go play with his cars, again.

So, after he had climbed on my lap for the 3rd time, I finally put down my book and I played with him. We drove cars around the blocks scattered on the floor. We built bridges to crumble. We giggled. We threw the balls. We danced to the music. And we had a great time.

After a while, he was involved in playing with the toys by himself, so I went back to reading. This time it was okay, because he had his Mommy Time, and now wanted to play by himself. Every once in a while, if I will just stop what I am doing (because it really isn't that important in the long run), and give my son the attention he wants, he will be happy, he will know he is loved and be fulfilled.

It is sort of that way with God, too. If I stop and spend time with Him, EVERY DAY, I am the one who will be fulfilled and not be longing for something more.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Overwhelming Mother Love

I'm sitting here trying to breast feed my 9 week old daughter as my 2 1/2 year old son climbs on my legs. He leans forward and does his 2-year-old jabbering/talking thing in my daughters face, and she doesn't like it. Neither do I. I'm having a hard enough time nursing her without my son making things worse.

Everyone says that when your newborn baby is put into your arms, you'll fall in love more than you ever though possible. That didn't happen with me. It was probably during his third month that I really started bonding with my son. He had been fussy and had a difficult time learning how to latch on to nurse.

It seems to be a repeat with my daughter. Of course, we're a little behind in our "bonding time" to begin with. You see, she was born eight weeks early and was in the NICU for three weeks, during which I saw her once a day for her 9:00 p.m. feeding. I felt very detached from her in her isolette - but the story of her birth is another story entirely (see the tab at top of blog).

I know that I love my daughter, but right now, I don't feel much attachment to her. She annoys me. She is very impatient; sound asleep one minute and the next demanding to be fed. She works herself up into such a frenzy that she can't eat. I've practically given up breast feeding. I nurse her, and then I supplement her with formula, and then I have to pump, a process that takes about 90 minutes. I don't have the time or energy to feel love for her while I take care of her.

So, where is that overwhelming love that everyone says I would get when she was born? I hold her because she needs to be held, not because I need to hold her. My love for her is all wrapped up in meeting her needs, not in cuddles and kisses, like I give to my son. I love her unconditionally - I would die for my daughter, but I just don't feel that overwhelming mother love.

Two days old.
It will come, I know it will. Some early morning, while I'm wiping sleep from my eyes, I will look at her and she will make eye contact with me (after she has been fed), and I will finally feel that overwhelming love.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Falling Apart

Three weeks ago from right now, I was overwhelmed, in pain, scared, and alone.

I was overwhelmed with all of the emotions that come with being told that my baby is going to be born two months early. I wasn't ready for her. I was a thousand miles away from home. It was barely two hours since my water had broken. Everything was happening so fast that I couldn't think clearly.

I was scared because none of the precautions we had taken with our son's birth were in place. The doctors didn't know my history. We didn't have a general surgeon ready to take care of any internal problems I may have had from previous surgeries. The anesthesiologist didn't have x-rays of my back: scoliosis twisted my spine in the exact place that the spinal tap needed to go.

I was scared because it was too early for me to have a baby. I was afraid her lungs wouldn't be mature enough to breathe. Since my water had broken, I wasn't given any steroids to boost her lung development. That scared me.

I was in pain with every contraction that was coming on stronger every two or three minutes. How long would it take for the spinal tap to be put in? I didn't know, but it couldn't come soon enough. It was very difficult to bend the way the anesthesiologist wanted when I was in the midst of a contraction.

I was alone because my husband was not allowed in the surgery room yet. I didn't know any of the doctors or nurses in the room. No one had introduced themselves to me, and no one was talking to me except to give me instructions.

All I had was a Lifehouse song running through my head. "I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing . . . but I'm holding on . . . I'm barely holding on to You . . . I'm hanging on to the words You say, You said that I would be okay."

The nurse kept telling me to breathe, and since that was all I could do, I did, as I choked down my sobs. Finally, when the spinal tap was done and my arms were strapped down, my husband came into the room. I lost it at that point. I couldn't hold on any longer, and neither could he.

We were both praying, aloud and silently. I couldn't really see James because of the tears streaming from my eyes, but I could feel him holding my hand and his presence near my head. And, although I knew that God was present, I had a hard time realizing it. Which is why the song kept going through my head, "I'm holding on, I'm barely breathing . . . You said that I would be okay."

Sometimes in the moment, it is hard to believe that everything is in God's hands. I was so relieved when I heard the baby crying, weak as it was. Her lungs seemed to be fine. It was a sign to me that we all would be okay, just as God said.

I still don't know why she was born early, and in California. Maybe I'll never know. I am thankful that she is fine. I am thankful that we weren't in a place where we didn't know anyone. I am thankful for my family who has chipped in so much in helping with my son. I am thankful for my friends who have helped so much with our household in Oregon. I am thankful for friends, some of whom I've never met, who have helped out by letting us borrow baby items while we are in California. I am especially thankful for all the prayers; I've needed and felt them. Thank you.

Now, my daughter is being held in her grandpa's arms in my parents' living room. My son is VERY excited to have his little sister around and he can barely wait to hold her. I am blessed; very blessed indeed.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Amazing Mom Abilities

I love that God has given moms this incredible ability to hold up under stressful situations, like when your child is bleeding profusely all over himself and you. After the situation is under control, then you can fall apart - hopefully into an understanding person's arms.
Photo credit: Kelly Sauer

I have passed the test that every new mom dreads: the emergency room. It was not as bad as I anticipated. The nurses are all very understanding when there is a little child involved, and this particular hospital has special rooms for kids.

The doctor and nurses all said that my two-year old son was incredibly good during the entire two hours of waiting and the 20 minute stitching procedure. Of course he was crying, but he wasn't screaming or struggling.

Something else God has blessed moms with: the ability to comfort. While my son was laying down sobbing with fear and some pain, I started singing Jesus Loves Me. Amazingly, he immediately calmed down - I should have started singing right from the start. Something to note for the next trip to the emergency room.

Thankfully, the cut missed his eye by half an inch. I think I'll have some nightmares for a while about what could have been. I'm thankful that he wasn't hurt worse. However, we might be avoiding that particular play area for a while.

Oh, and the good part about that day? Just hours before the panic, we found out we were having a girl in October!