Wednesday, March 17, 2010

motherhood

I think when it comes to our children, it's safe to say that we always want the absolute best for them. We're also probably hardest on ourselves when we lose our patience or get overwhelmed. It's easy to concentrate on all the things I have done "wrong" rather than focus on the good that I have accomplished.

I think some people consider me a "tough" mom. I have expectations for my children, and they have to face consequences (good or bad). I make them clean their rooms everyday, they have to help out with dishes and laundry, they don't receive an allowance, and they don't get to choose to not help. I try to teach them that we are a family, through thick or thin, and that includes things like dishes and feeding the dog and taking the trash out. Of course, they are children and don't particularly like doing chores (unless it's scrubbing the toilets or Windex-ing the mirrors and windows, and then they all are volunteering and fighting over who gets to do it) and so we do have occasional tantrums or attitudes of not wanting to do the job, but I think on the whole, my kids do a GREAT job of helping where they're needed. And I try to make sure I am pointing out those jobs well done, though I am sure I could do better in that regard.

Also having children as close together as we do brings challenges. I think I say "Please stop fighting" about 27 times a day, and inevitably, someone hits or pushes their brother or sister, and tears ensue. Some days I reach my boiling point and my patience runs low. I have to remind myself that this too shall pass, and it's really normal for siblings to fight. (And I'm not talking about like fist fights, but fighting over toys, or "she took my doll", or "he's looking at me", or "she's making a noise that's anoooooying"...) However, some days I DO feel like all my kids do is fight all day long. And those are the days that I'm hardest perhaps on myself, wondering how I've failed my children, that they can't get through 5 minutes without SOMEONE fighting. But after I've had a chance to calm down, I can see the "real" problem (most likely, they're bored!) and can help make a difference.

This week, I've been trying to take more note on the GOOD things. And I haven't been disappointed! As crazy and busy as my kids can be, they can also be so incredibly loving and kind. And these tender moments remind me that these are precious spirits whom I have been SO incredibly blessed to be entrusted with. I feel my Heavenly Father's love for me through these wonderful kids.

Yesterday for lunch, I took David and Lindsey to Chick-fil-A. We ate our lunch, and then I got ice cream for them as a treat. David wanted a cone, and I got Linds a cup because I knew she wouldn't eat it fast enough and it would be a big mess. But of course, once we got to the table, she was sad that she didn't have a cone. Now, it seems silly, but not only is ice cream a pretty big deal because we don't have it often, but having a cone is a big deal too, as we usually just get them cups. So when David offered his cone to Lindsey, I was shocked! And it wasn't one of the cases where he offers something up and then 2 minutes later, decides he wants it back. He handed over his cone to her, and happily ate her cup of ice cream, not complaining once about it.

Then last night, as we were celebrating my birthday, we were getting ready for the cake and blowing out candles. Alexis wanted to sit by me, but of course it was Haley's seat and she wanted to sit there herself. At first, I thought to myself "Oh great, here comes another round of fighting". But, it turned out not to be. When Haley saw Alexis being sad about it, she offered her chair up, and then of course David wanted to sit by me, and Alexis said, "no he wants to sit there", and then David decided he wanted to share, and offered to let her sit by him, but then when that didn't work, he moved and went and sat on the other side, and then each kid is trying to solve the problem so that somehow they ALL could sit by me. And it touched me that my kids were all trying to find a way for everyone to be happy with the outcome. That was a nice birthday present right there!

There are numerous examples like these, and I need to recognize them more, rather than concentrating on the arguing and fighting. I have great kids. What has surprised me most about Motherhood is not how much I could possibly love these rascals, but how much I learn from them. While I think we always have room for improvement, I think I'm doing a pretty good job with them. They are my world, and I love them so much.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Linds

(Warning, I sing "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" on this video....watch out world, American Idol, here I come! Or not....)
video

Lindsey has me totally wrapped around her little finger (and her dad's finger, and her siblings finger....pretty much everyone she meets). Some days I worry that she's spoiled, but I am not so sure. Sure she has some of the typical 5th child syndrome... She's the baby...she gets away with some stuff that the other kids didn't... I get that (being the baby of my family afterall!). But I also see how sweet and loving she is. And it makes me worry a little less (for now....we'll talk again when she hits puberty...)

I hate for this to sound like favortism, because it's not. But I really could not have asked for a better little caboose to our family. I love my little Pookie (a nickname she has had since she was a teenie tiny peanut).

video

Thursday, March 11, 2010

did I mention???

MY BABY IS POTTY TRAINED!!!!!!!!!!!

After 8 1/2 years of diapering, we are done! (well, we still have to tackle the night time training, but that's small potatoes.) What ever will I do with the $ saved on buying diapers!?! Hmmmm....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The sweet sights of Spring

The weather around here has perked up and we've had a few glorious days where we left the windows open and played as long as we could outside. I absolutely love spring. I wish it was a little longer of a season here in Georgia, but I will enjoy what I can. (Before we know it, it'll be muggy and hot!)

I am really looking forward to camping and the late evenings when it is still light outside at 8pm, and when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. I love bbqing on the deck with friends, and trips to the park, and the smell of a freshly cut lawn. Oh, I love spring! I feel rejuvinated and have tons of projects that I want to take on. Hopefully I can FINISH them all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I heart books

I haven't always loved reading. In fact, I don't think I really gained a LOVE for reading until sometime within in the last couple years. I've often heard people talk about different seasons of life. There are some things that you just can't do (or don't want to do) at some stages of your life, that you might want to do later. The last 8 1/2 years I've been in the thick of babies. What a joyful and FULL time of life it has been for me. Between the daily hub-bub of diapers, toys, bottles and sippy cups, play time and naptime, meal times and trying to keep up with the mess, I was lucky to find any time to read. And if I did, I was more likely to fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion.

But within the last year or two, as my kids are getting older, and more independent, my day to day hub-bub is changing and I've discovered the joy of a good book! I can't get enough! My list of books to read is growing rapidly. What a fun hobby this is!

I got an early birthday present from Rob last week. Since I was having surgery and would be down for a while, he wanted me to have it early. He got me a Sony e-reader! What a fun gadget this is! I've already got several books loaded on it, just waiting for me to dive in! I have a great husband!! :)

What's on YOUR to-read list?