Finding Out 4 And Other Things That Sound Like Jokes

 

If the fact that I’m pregnant with my 4th ever crosses your mind, and you find yourself shocked, so do I.  I find myself shocked when I say things like:

“I’m pregnant.”

“I’m 8 weeks.”

“I have a doctor’s appointment for an ultrasound.”

or

“I am going to have 4 kids in 6 years.”

I find myself thinking, “What is happening?  Is this real life?  Do my kids who apparently have a direct line to God who prayed this into my stomach every morning on the way to school have special powers?  Do they need a t.v. show?  Long Island Toddlers/Kindergartners?  I’m scared of my kids.”

I just thought I would let you guys know how the virgin conception of 2016 came to be since many have asked.  They might have asked because I told them I was done for sure, even wrote about it on here.  They might have asked what changed when they saw me selling off all of my baby stuff on Facebook which, by the way, I was doing in a Kroger parking lot 2 hours before I found out I was pregnant.  I have eaten many a crow since taking that test.  God is a miracle makin’ laugh factory sometimes.

Soooooooo, anyways.  Let me take you back to a cool December 15th night.  I was at Barnes and Noble with my friend and started to get a migraine so I had to split pretty fast.  On the way out I told her, “I’ve been having acid refulx for 2 days and peeing more…..”

“Maybe you are pregnant,” said the foreshadowing friend!

“That’s impossible.  I haven’t had any unprotected maritals.”

Dum Dum DUMMMMMMM….  Somewhere far off in heaven, an angel played that sound byte.

I ran to Kroger on my way home to grab a few baby food pouches (irony) and a few other things.  Even though I knew there was probably no chance I was pregnant, I stood in front of the tests and thought, “This is a total waste of 8.99 and it will be negative like a billion other times, but just to get even the slightest possibility out of the dark cobwebbed corner of my mind….”, I settle on a 2 pack of Kroger brand tests.

I come home to my house with my husband on the phone while my 5, 3, and 1 year old are running around.  I didn’t even tell my husband I had a test or that I even had the slightest inclination to take one so guess how surprised he was 2 minutes later?

I go straight to the toilet and take the test.  I look at the box to see what lines were supposed to be where and gasped as color shot across the screen.  “Whew,” I thought to myself, “that was just the color the pee made on the test as it went across the screen.

Two seconds later.

“Oh my gosh…”

“Oh MY gosh…”

“Heavens, angels and Justin Bieber!!!”

As clear as anything those 2 lines popped straight up.  I called clueless Lance in the bathroom to give him the shock of his lifetime.  He came in still on the phone so I hid my test while I still sat on the toilet. He thought I was hurling because of the migraine and that’s why I needed him.

I held up the test in the air like a white flag of surrender of a crazy uterus, “I’m pregnant!!!”

Lance’s face dropped in shock.  His eyes as big as ovaries, “That’s impossible!”

“I know!!!!,” I said.  How did this happen?!”

Literally we had been arguing after a bit of dry spell that we needed to practice marriage relations more and then here I stood, pregnant as a Duggar.  And I was starting to feel like a Duggar.  The girl who had infertility was now having 4 kids in 6 years and conceived this one ON CONTRACEPTION used with the accuracy of an FBI forensic investigator.  I literally took a screen shot of the test and Facebooked my ob’s nurse that night and said, “I have no idea how this happened.  This is basically another virgin birth experience.”  It was perfect.  Just in time for Christmas.

Lance legit asked me if I had a pregnant friend pee on the test as a joke. It was if we didn’t know where babies came from after all.  We were shocked.  Super style.

Within 5 minutes I called my mom, followed by Lance’s mom with the news heard round the world.  There were a few tears (on my end) and lots of laughing.  Many people have said, “I knew you would have another one.”  Uhhhh, did no one believe me?  Did everyone think I was a liar because I promise, those 10 different baby things I sold on Facebook were to actual people with actual items sold in real parking lots across America.  I was floored floored bo bored and I never thought I would have a surprise baby.

Even though I plan on seasons of delirium and crying, I am going to embrace this little person and the reality that, in fact, as I had once thought, I really WILL have four kids.  God is perfect and He has better ideas than me, anyways.

God either thinks I’m tougher than I think I am or He is planning on teaching me some REAL big lessons hashtag real life style.  He might just want to break me like a wild horse.

What can I say, my uterus loves a baby and God has some big plans for this one….just like He had for me when my mom conceived me, her 4th on birth control 34 years ago.  Yes, in just 30 something years, you too, little baby can be sitting on a couch with mascara on your face in your daughter’s hair tie, typing on a blog.  Something big is going on here….

 

 

Mom Truths

 

 

The number one killer of a clean house is busyness…time to make a mess, no time to clean it.

 

Ironing, baseboard cleaning, and dusting are things people do in commercials.

 

You only feel as good as your last nights sleep.

 

The best your children play together is at bedtime or right when you need to get out the door.

 

Nursing bras are like pajamas for your boobs.

 

If you have children under the age of 5, the 4th of July is the biggest jerk of a holiday, every sleepless night for three nights.

 

A kitchen with a dirty island, never looks clean.

 

The day you get a nap, is the day your child won’t.

 

You aren’t going to eat the leftovers, but you feel better if you put them in the fridge and you dare anyone to try to throw dinner away. “I will eat that 5 pound bowl of beans!! Ungrateful lunatics….”

 

The best way to ensure someone pees in the bed, is to wash the sheets the night before.  It’s against nature for this not to happen.  If I clean the sheets and no one pees in them, I’m tempted to just crawl in bed and let it go just to get to the point already.  Now that we have that out of way, someone put a cup or bottle of milk under the van seat because I hear it is gonna be 90 degrees tomorrow.

 

The biggest threat to dinner is realizing you didn’t thaw the meat.

 

Your children will only want to share cups, toys, embrace, and kiss on the mouth within 24 hours of one of them throwing up.

 

The yummiest dinner is whichever one you didn’t have to make.

 

It is as mandatory as a junk to drawer to have a spot in your house that is always covered in laundry.  In our home, it’s on the couch in the first room you step into through our front door.  Nothing says, “Come in, we might be naked” like every item of clothing you own folded into 5 foot towers all over your living room.

 

If your child that sleeps through the night the least, finally is sleeping through the night, your child that never gets up, will on that very night.   If by chance all children are sleeping, there will be a thunderstorm.  If all else fails, a tiny mouse will tap you on the shoulder and say, “I’m scared.”  Someone has to.

 

950x350-arylide-yellow-ash-grey-two-color-background

 

 

 

Part 2: Up Springs Hope

Guest Post by: Cristen Powers

Part 2:

I wish I could tell you that the story gets so much better. I wish I could tell you that within this, there lies a super duper, beautiful, healthy baby or babies growing inside my womb…. But that just isn’t the case.

After prayer and consulting with physicians, Jared and I chose to go ahead and begin the journey of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Let me tell you something. If you have never experienced firsthand or had a loved one go through IVF, it really is nothing short of an emotional roller coaster ride that is far more intense than any month or months of trying on our own for a sweet bundle of joy. I’m just keepin’ it real.

We began our first round in May, and I was so proud of myself…giving myself my first injection alone and on the first try. Everything went perfectly really. Every injection, every pill, every ultra sound came back great. With IVF, you pump yourself full of drugs to produce a ton of eggs in one month vs. one egg like a normal woman in real life would. They told us in class to expect 10-12. We prayed for more. I prayed for beautiful healthy embryos from the very beginning. I prayed for the perfect number that God ordained. I asked so many loved ones to pray as well because I believe in the power of prayer from a mighty God. I am an open book with my life, and sometimes people enjoy that and sometimes people don’t. But I will NEVER go through something this intense without asking the ones I love to cover me and my family with prayer. Period.

My body responded beautifully to the medicine with hardly any side effects. Egg retrieval came, and they got 18 gorgeous eggs❤️❤️❤️. The nurse on the floor told me that was the most that day. To God be the glory. Then, out of those 18 eggs, 15 fertilized! We were told to expect to lose half. We lost 3. Out of those 15, we had 9 beautiful, amazing embryos that made it all the way! We did a transfer of two embryos and froze 7. They told us to hope for 3 total. We had 3 times that. And God gets every single ounce of that credit. We were able to do a fresh embryo transfer because my body recovered well from the retrieval and we transferred 2. The moment the embryologist came in the room and showed me a photo of those two embryos, my heart fell in love.

Now…I don’t want to start a political debate or in any way make someone who chose or viewed this situation differently than me think I’m judging them for one second because I’m not. But in my heart, those embryos that have fertilized and have grown for 5 days are life. They are my babies. God knows them. And God has a perfect plan for all of them. The moment my eyes laid on their picture, I was mush. I prayed over them. I loved them. The transfer went great, and I felt great about every single step of our entire process for about 2 days.

I started to get an uneasy feeling about day 3. It’s such a hard place to be in…hoping but not hoping so great that pure devastation could lie ahead. All the shots, drugs, pills, appointments, blood work etc… That stuff didn’t hold a candle to the waiting. The waiting with IVF was by far the worst two weeks of my life. It was the longest and the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. Nothing can prepare you for it. You just have to go through it. Two days before my blood work, I took an at-home test and it was negative. It was awful. I can’t really even describe in words the way I felt. I told my mom and a couple very close friends, and, of course, they were trying to be encouraging and positive and said it could be wrong, but in my heart I knew. I got the phone call two days later that my heart was right.

It’s hard to think about our future right now because we’re in the midst of the pain. But I know we will try again. I know that this is not the end of our story. I’m not writing all of this to get sympathy. I’m not writing it to make my pain in this period of my life appear worse than someone else’s. In fact, this story actually isn’t about me at all. This story is about Jesus. It’s about redemption. It’s about sanctification. Let me tell you. I have been on my knees a lot in the last month begging. I BEGGED. I cried out to the God who parted the Red Sea and got Daniel out of the lions’ den. I cried out for a baby. I surrounded myself with praise music and prayer and read Scripture to survive those two weeks. I prayed more than I have prayed in my whole life for the life that was placed inside me. And you know what, God heard those cries. He heard the first cry and He heard the last. And after hearing those cries, He simply said no.

There is one and only one who ordains ALL life. And it ain’t me. And it ain’t a doctor at a fertility clinic. But you know what else? I was on my knees for the first time in my life. I was reading daily Scripture for the first time in a long time. This last month has been so hard and so long and at times downright awful. Emotionally exhausting. But Jesus drew me in. I found Him in the midst of this struggle. I found Him on my knees.

I really do not believe our struggle with infertility is the end of the story that Christ has written for me. I believe it’s just the beginning. Or maybe the middle somewhere. But it’s not the end. I don’t have such a strong desire for children for no reason. I refuse to believe that God places desires in our hearts for things that are of Him…. And then tells us never mind….it was all a joke. I do not believe that my God does that. I do believe that He says no sometimes. And sometimes He says not yet. But regardless of when He says no and how He says it, it is making me more like Christ.

I’m gonna tell you what. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. But I never had to send a son to die on a cross. I never had to give up my ONE and ONLY son to be crucified by people who hated him. That is LOVE. That is heartache. THAT is SALVATION, my friends. I am a dirty, filthy rag that deserves nothing shy of hell. I don’t deserve my husband. I don’t deserve my job. I don’t deserve children. But I serve a risen savior who washed away my sins and made me white as snow. There isn’t anything better in this world. No kids, no money, no house, no spouse, no job, no NOTHING can satisfy you like Jesus.

God calls us all to different mission fields…we all have a purpose while on earth. My purpose hopefully one day will be to be a mother…to raise children to love Jesus and to go out among their neighbors and share the Gospel of the one who died for us. But until that day comes…my purpose is right now. Right here in this spot of hard… in this place of heart break and redemption that is keeping me on my knees. I pray Jesus fills me up with the joy of the Lord and with peace that passes all understanding. I pray He allows me to share His good news with other women in this hard spot, in this moment that can feel so unbearable at times. And I pray He uses me to bring glory to Him out of this heartache.

I’m gonna be real honest and tell you…my relationship with Jesus is so much stronger today than It was 3 years ago. My marriage is stronger today than it was 3 years ago. God has transformed my cold, stubborn, selfish heart to be more like Him in these last 3 years. Has it been hard? Oh, yes, it sure has. Has it been good for me? For my marriage? For us? Absolutely. That’s hard to say in the midst of this trial because I’m saying it through tears of pain. But God is constant. He hasn’t left us during any of it, and He will see us through ‘til the end. And if I die with no kids or with 10, it will be the purpose of the Lord.

If you are in the middle of this struggle, it is so hard. But it so much harder without leaning on the everlasting love of Jesus. He has filled my heart and soul with grace to drive away bitterness and resentment of all the pregnant people swarming around me constantly. He is the reason I have joy. He is my strength. The saying that God never gives us anything we can’t handle is the farthest thing from the truth. Cristen can NOT handle this road of infertility. I can NOT handle losing two sweet embryos and possibly more. But salvation allows me to lay what I can’t handle down at the feet of Jesus. And when I trust it to Him, He handles it for me. He really is all you need. Really. He is ALL. I. NEED.

Thank you Kim Ellis for that reminder. And thank you for the reminder that it’s okay to go through the drive-thru of Krispy Kreme when the hot and ready light is flashing to get some glazed donuts on the day you found out it didn’t work out the way you had hoped. I praise God in the midst of this struggle, and I praise God for hot Krispy Kremes.

Romans 5:2-5 “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

P.S. I wrote this entry the night we found out our first round of IVF was unsuccessful. Since then, I have had another surgery and lots of hard days. I am struggling with a lot of pain from jealousy, bitterness, and anger. I feel like I used to be able to handle going to a baby shower with a smile on my face. I could handle walking past the diaper and bottles at Target, and I could sit in a room filled with mamas-to-be and listen to their stories about pregnancy and motherhood. Right now, I don’t want to handle it. I don’t want to walk in an empty third bedroom of my home that we have been saving for a nursery. What I want to do is shake the next pregnant woman who complains about her pregnancy. What I want to do, is grab those Huggies off the shelf and launch them at the first baby belly I see. I did choose diapers here and not glass bottles. 😀 I want to avoid all conversations about babies and nursing and sleep deprivation. Instead, I want to lie on my couch eating chocolate and watching “Friends” episodes on Netflix.

To be really real…. I’ve tried to even avoid talking to God. I’m not proud of this person. I know this is sin and that Jesus is the answer. He always is. But I’m a human. I’m a sinner. This “mood” I’ve been in or this place I’m in right now just shows me again how much I need Jesus. I need Him. I need Him to survive this world. I need Him to make it through these hard days and possibly more hard ones to come. He’s still trying to teach me to let Him handle all this “stuff” for me.

I still believe God is going to work this together for the good. He promises us that. He also tells us we need the faith of a mustard seed. Right now, I don’t know if I even have that. But here’s the good news. Jesus is bigger. He is bigger than these last few weeks of mourning and depression. He is bigger than my doubt and lack of trust. He is bigger than my prideful heart and bitter soul. There isn’t any sin His grace cannot reach.

Right now, I need your prayer. Right now, I need to be covered by the grace of Jesus. I know He will see us through. And I know our story isn’t finished.

 

20130627washburn-18

The Slow Ache: Moving On In Motherhood

 

Being a stay-at-home mom, I sometimes catch myself seeing other couples my age with nice cars and big houses and thinking, “How in a mother’s uterus can they afford that?!  Oh yeah, two incomes.”  I forget that some households have double the take in when the paychecks come.  Nevertheless, I love our one income life and family and consider myself insanely blessed.  Nice home, cute kids, good clothes, food, two cars….all of what we “think” we need to be “taken care of”.  Still, having one income makes me REALLY hardcore love some extra money on the side.  Because of that, in the past year or so, I’ve taken a liking to selling off stuff from our home in groups on Facebook.  It’s sort of addictive, really. My life is sort of like a virtual yard sale.   It’s easy money and no matter what amount it comes in…money is money is money and cha cha cha ching!

As of late, I have been selling off baby items since we are done having kids.  A co-sleeper here, bath tub there and money all around, y’all  Even better?  Sweet SPACE!  One thing they don’t tell you when you have kids is that half of your house will be overtaken with large plastic, multi-colored baby gear.

It wasn’t until two months ago that I sold my first tote of baby clothes….the clothes all of my precious daughters have worn season by season.  Again tonight, eager to get things sorted, cleared out, and some more money on hand for the next thing, I began going through another season of clothes.  And just like the first time, a feeling of vunerability swept over me.  It’s the reoccuring feeling of a mother letting go…moving on.   My mother once said that motherhood is a long act of letting go.  She is right.  And while it is such a joy to see your kids grow and a blessing to have them grow older, letting go is a slow ache.  It hits you in moments, not in long drawn out weeks or months…in subtle moments standing over small clothes, thumbing down collars and pressing worn ruffles.

I pulled some shirts out of the tote and felt tears sting my eyes as they welled behind the surface.

“Aw, my firstborn worn this dress the first time I heard her laugh.  I was having such a hard time then that that laugh was like rescue to my tired heart.”

“THIS oufit!!!! I remember each of my little ones wore this on Christmas and that stain on the collar was surely from my last born.  She spit up as if she was getting paid to do so.”

I moved on to the next piece and just like the outfit before, I contemplated whether or not I should sell them.  Should I keep them for my grandchildren?  Should I save some things just in case?  Sometimes it’s not even letting go of the children that gets you.  It’s letting go of the symbols of when they were your babies.  I know I’m only a season or so away of clothes where the feet of footed pajamas, no longer fit in the palm of my hand.

I continue to fold each piece, recall the little people who wore them and the pictures in my mind of them all in that certain dress or those cozy fleece pajamas worn on late night runs to the grocery store.  I smooth the sleeves, fluff out cotton flowers and press down crinkled ribbons and I do so thinking of the mom who bought the clothes from me. I imagine that when she pulls them out, she will picture another little girl, her own, who will wear this outfit to her first Sunday at church and that outfit when summer hits and she smiles seeing her baby’s chubby white thighs.  For me, there was a lot of love held in those clothes and as I pass them on, I’m happy knowing that another mother will find her daughters just as sweet in them.

It’s hard for me to believe that I’m passing these precious tokens of my memory on already.  I’m moving on to a stage that another mother is just beginning. “It can’t be that this has come and gone so quickly,” I think to myself as my almost five year old runs through the nursery.

“Eden,” I call out.

“Yes, mom?”

“My heart is sad folding up all of these clothes.”

“Why, momma?”

“Because we are done having babies and all of my sweet girls wore these tiny clothes and I have a lot of memories of you guys in them.  I’m really going to miss them. I’m going to miss having babies.”

“I’m going to miss you being a mommy,too, ” she says.

“Well, I’m still your mommy.  All of my children’s mommy.  I always will be.”

“I mean, ” and she paused.  “I’m going to miss watching you being a mommy.  I’m going to miss watching you help someone grow.”

With tears in my eyes and a baby shirt in my hands I say, “Aw, baby thank you.  Me, too.  Me, too.” It was priceless validation that she thinks I’m a good mother and not only that, she has enjoyed watching me parent.

It’s a beautiful thing having a gift so precious that handfuls of Gymboree and Old Navy clothes in a hot pink tote can drudge up a slew full of memories and joy with bittersweet fierceness. Even though I still have a 10 month old as we speak, the baby years, the babiest of babies is on her way to growing up.  Trust me, in the middle of the night I still pray that happens sooner rather than later but when you get a minute to stop, which milestones always cause you to do, it comes earlier than you thought it would, faster than you imagined, and pulls at even the heart that on most days, knows shes had her last.

As I went through the last few shirts, skirts, and tiny shoes, I went back to look at the closet one last time.  Tucked in the back on a hanger, I see a dated, color faded and stained romper.  “Huh,” I said thoughtfully to myself as pulled it off the hanger.  It was one of my baby outfits, my mother’s last baby, that she had saved standing in a nursery some 31 years ago.  It was a full circle moment when I found myself doing and feeling the same things my own mother did in 1980-something packing up things for the last time and keeping one thing that she just couldn’t part with. Motherhood, it’s moments, and emotions are all very timeless.  I’m reminded of that all of the time.

Today my precious middle child turned three.  Next week, my firstborn turns 5 and in 8 weeks, my baby turns 1.  As a mom, I’m forever in the middle of moving forward with excitement and tenderly looking over my shoulder as I see the phase we left behind.  I’m stuck somewhere in between ready to move forward and holding on tightly, both literally and figuratively, to a well-loved Onesie.  I know in my heart that my next babies will be my children’s children and that all too soon, they will be sorting through baby clothes remembering what it is was like to live through the chaotic bliss of having babies.

Having all three of my children in 4 years has been and continues to be a wild and exhausting joy.  One of my children will start kindergarten in the fall and another pre-school.  During those days, my baby and I will have those precious one-on-one times that my older two both had.  I will laugh on field trips, smile at the new art projects of my pre-schooler, be in awe as they learn, and watch my baby unfold into that toddler that is sassy and spirited like her sisters.

I will savor it.

I will wallow in it.

I will live in it and I will breath them in.

And when that time comes so unexpectedly like it always does where I realize we are on the precipice of another phase, I will let go.  I’ll look back.  I’ll feel the slow ache.  And just like every stage, as my 4 year old said tonight, I’ll think of how I will really miss being their mommy just as it was in that moment…in that season.  As my role changes and slips in to new seasons, I too, sweet child, will really miss helping my children grow in that specific way….just like every mother before me.  I will look forward with hope, glance behind me and long earnestly, and in quite moments like tonight, cling to a small shirt in silence in dim lamp light and honor those tugging feelings that this thing called motherhood, was more than I ever hoped it could be.

960283_529904033711947_153830556_n1-001

 

Photo Credit:  Joel Ham Photography

15 Signs You Aren’t A Morning Person Mom

 

1.  If you’ve ever gotten up and turned on the t.v. so that it would be on when they woke up…  Surely if they see Doc McStuffins, they won’t come into your room for a good 30 minutes.

2.  If you have to be somewhere to be at 9 a.m. and while looking at the alarm rationalize  that you can get all three kids fed, dressed and out the door in under thirty minutes.  “Well, I’m convinced,” you say as you roll back over at 8:15.

3.  When it’s 8 in the morning and you are already planning for a nap.  Yours…not theirs.

4.  If you have ever let your kids go to bed in the clothes you plan on them wearing the next day.  Don’t judge me. The girl likes sleeping in dresses and dresses are clothes and you can wear clothes in public.  I win.

5.  If the first person up in your house gets death threats if they wake the others, you are not a morning person.

6.  You might not be a morning person mom if you call to make a last minute appointment at the doctor and they say, “We can see you at 8.” And you think, “Heck no, you can’t!”

7.  If the first word you say in the morning is crap when you hear a kid wake up.

8.  When you read someone’s Facebook status and see that they have “watched a show, made breakfast, and done laundry” all before 8 o’clock and instead of feeling impressed, you are really glad you aren’t them.

9.  When you know if you don’t get up, you won’t have enough time to eat breakfast but starving sounds more delicious.

10.  If you feel put out by having to put on sweatpants and consider that “having to get ready”, you might not be a morning person mom.

11.   If someone calls you from a doctor’s office, family member, or friend before 9 in the morning and your first thought is, “It’s early!  Why are they calling me?”  Oh…because most moms have been up for two hours by then.

www.imgur.com

12.  When you spend the night at your in-laws and send your kids to their room in the morning, you might not be a morning person….or your in-laws favorite.  This is real life.  Except my in-laws love me anyways.  That’s good because I hadn’t planned on stopping the whole send my kids upstairs thing.

13.  Every morning you lay in bed and have a moment where you consider cancelling all appointments and educational experiences for your kids for the day.  Let’s just lay around and not have to be anywhere and give ourselves sweet time to wake up gently.  In all seriousness, I don’t have a kid in school yet but thought while doing my make-up yesterday that one day a year I think I will just keep them home for fun.  Don’t push me on this because I already went through all the imaginary conversations I’m going to have to have with staff for why they weren’t at school that day.  I’m ready.

14.  When you hear your first child wake up and pray with all seriousness that they will go back to sleep.  It’s a real prayer and you pray it daily and you have no shame to pray it over and over again.  “Dear God, I’m still serious today like yesterday at 7:30.  Please, if there is anyway they can go back to sleep….”

15.   If your face lights up when you find a morning show for them on On Demand that is a double or triple episode.  Oh, thank you sweet, sweet Disney for combining too many shows continuously.

 

skyCloudsSunRays

 

Pin, Share & Enjoy!

Image Source:  www.geekphiloshper.com Free stock images for personal and commercial use.

 

Things To Do With Your Kids When There Is NOTHING To Do

 

If you have a small airport in town that flies in small planes, call and get the schedules, pack a lunch, park, and watch the planes zoom down overhead as they land.  I had this idea last summer and can’t wait to do it this year!

Take a trip to a local bakery, look around, and grab a simple treat

Feed ducks, fish, birds at a park

Take a trip to the public library.  Most people forget this little gem that is full of activities, events, play groups, movies to rent, educational computer games, and all things free!

Go to a friend’s house with chalk and decorate their driveway.  I came up with this idea in 7th grade and we would go at night with a parent driving and bomb someone’s driveway with art and messages.  I called it chalking.  You’re welcome.  You couldn’t be friends with me in 7th grade but yet, you will reap the benefits. It’s an innocent, fun “don’t get caught” thing like toilet papering but with zero clean up for anyone involved.

Do things at the mall other than shop:  ride the escalators, the carousel, visit the candy shop or kiosk , play on the quarter ride-a-longs, or for five dollars, get 10-15 tokens at Chuckie Cheese.

Rent free kids movies at rental chains like Family Video.  Always make sure they clean them for you there first to ensure it will play for you later.

In warmer months, go blueberry/strawberry/apple picking with your kids and family.  Blueberry picking is my most favorite thing to do every summer.

WP_20140617_18_45_37_Pro-001

Dollar store trips are the cheapest of the cheap and your kids will like exploring and finding little cheap thrills.  Give each child one or two dollars and let them grab something to take home with them. It’s entertainment to get them out of the house and entertainment for when they get back.

Go to a place in town that you know is there but just never seem to go to like a local painting place for kids, a new playground on another side of town, museum, putt putt, planetarium, etc.

Go look around a pet store.  Sometimes you can watch them wash and groom the dogs at places like Pet Smart.  The little ones think it’s fun/funny/who cares, it’s free.  One of our local places has a big pond in the back where you can feed the Koi fish.  If you start digging around your hometown, little things like that to do will always pop up.

Visit your local humane society.  They always take volunteers and one job is walking the dogs on the grounds.  They will match the size of dog to the child.  I know because they wouldn’t let me walk a Great Dane when I was 19 because I only weighed 100 pounds, haha.

Make a list of things for kids to find outside: a rock, a bird, a dandelion, an ant, something pink, etc. You can make it a scavenger hunt, a race, or just something to give them a goal to meet to see if they can find everything.  This is also fun to do on a long drive.

A personal favorite that I do with my kids is go to a Pet Co/Pet Smart type of store and let your kids fill up doggie treat bags.  WE DON’T EVEN HAVE A DOG and do this on a monthly basis.  We make treat bags for when we visit our friends and families with pets.  It’s so cheap and they feel like they are at a candy store, but you can pass on the cavity and junk and do something out of the box.  Both of my girls can get a bag of dog “Oreos”, animal cracker looking cookies, toothbrush dog bones, and so on and I can get BOTH bags for 2-4 dollars.  They love doing this!

WP_20140811_12_16_48_Pro

 

WP_20140811_12_27_54_Pro

Fill up the kitchen sink with bubbles and toys…after you have sanitized the mess out of it.

Go bowling and check out http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/.  This site tells you which bowling lanes in your city offer daily to weekly free bowling for kids.  (If you are local to me, sorry to disappoint that there are no participating lanes here.)

Fly a kite

Go to the grocery and pick out a recipe and cook together

Go to grocery and have your kids each pick three new or exotic foods they haven’t tried and go home and have a taste test.  It’s cheap, easy and they may just find something they like.  Have you ever tried a starfruit?  This “activity” is how we did.

Visit a story hour at Barnes and Noble or your public library

Search Pinterest for DIY things to do with kids at home.  It won’t disappoint.

Walk around a toy store and look at all their goodies.  Mine like to go to Toys R Us and “play” in the power wheels they have out.  They don’t move but those kids can fake drive for a good thirty minutes.

Check out your local gymnastics facilities and see if they offer open gym play time during the weeks.

Make cards for friends and family far away and mail them

Go to a restaurant where kids eat free

Check in to your local Home Depot/Lowes etc. and see when the offer the days where kids can come and build things/plant something etc., all for free!

Make something to eat at home and deliver it to your neighbors

Call a mom friend and do a toy swap.  You each gather up three or four toys from your house, meet up with them, and swap a few toys for a few days.  Free and sure to keep your kids busy for a while.

Build a fort

Go to Sam’s Club on a Saturday and go taste all the free foods they offer.  It’s fun not knowing what will be there and it sure beats staring at the walls.

Let your kids tear into your make-up and do your make-up or their own

Buy a 2 dollar bag of birdseed and let them loose in the yard

Doughnut shop runs will get you out of the house and everyone can get something to eat for typically 5 dollars or less.

Go to a park with a ball, book, blanket, kite, toys, etc. and enjoy the outdoors together playing, but not on the playground.  Have a change of scenery from your own backyard.

Check out books on Cd and cuddle together in a bed or in the living room and listen to stories. I love doing this because it involves NO screen time.  It really gets their minds working and encourages good listening skills.

 

 

 

 

 

The Straws That Break Momma’s Back

 

Poop in the bathtub.  Most of the time, it’s very likely you put your children in the bathtub for entertainment or confinement rather than cleanliness.  Thus, when they have the nerve to poop in it, you think of running away.  It’s one of the grossest mom clean-ups you do, next only to barf.  That is why I clean up by leaving it for my husband.

When you are about to walk out the door and you notice, your child had the nerve to undress themselves.

Walking through the house ticked off and then stepping on a painful toy like a lego, tiny figure, etc. or having food crush under your feet while you walk on your dirty kitchen floor.  It’s the bravest Cheerio I’ve ever seen to be there in that moment.

Making it through the whole grocery store, getting finished at the checkout and realizing in slow motion, you left your wallet in the car.  It’s painful even typing that.

Getting everyone ready after what felt like experiencing a natural disaster and having one of your kids spill something all over themselves seconds before leaving.

Any moment you think of how any pictures you need to have printed.  When a mother realizes she is three years behind of pictures on two children, it’s cause for despair and hopelessness.

When you have had a long and exhausting day at 5 p.m. and remember you forgot to put the food in the Crock Pot or even worse, remembered to put it in but didn’t to turn it on.

Going to get your kids out of the car and realizing they took off their shoes and socks. Convenient.

The pace at which you watch your kids get out of the van while you are standing in the rain/wind/cold/heat in the parking lot.  Sloths would evacuate faster.

When you have heard whining all day and that one last bold confrontation between siblings that pushes you into the spirits of a prison warden.  You tell them they are never allowed to speak to each other again.  For a moment, it sounds logical.

Needing desperately to get your hair done, doctor’s appointment, etc. and forgetting your appointment.  Oh well, I guess I’ll grow out this matted mane for 4 more weeks until you can actually get into your stylist again.

After three days quarantined at home because your child is sick and then another one of your kids comes up to you and says the dreaded words, “I don’t feel good.” Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

On day when you are really exhausted and short on patience and your children are whiny about major issues such as:

My socks itch.

I don’t like pb&j. (All of the sudden).

Sissy is looking at me.

I don’t want this cup.

She has my toy!  (Oh, you mean the one you don’t want to play with EVER.)

Finally making it to getting yourself ready for church, party, wedding, etc with little time to spare and standing in front of the closet with NOTHING to wear.  I hope that rhyme didn’t distract you from how frustrating that really is.  It makes you feel crummy and stinks so hard.  Everyone else in the family will look like a model and you will look like a low end consignment store commercial.

Scrambling to get dinner together, mixing everything up and going to get the last ingredient…you don’t have.

When anything in the animal kingdom or human world wakes up the baby you desperately need to sleep.

Your children attacking you like a verbal paparazzi when you are talking on the phone.

Unsolicited parenting advice.

Your child going noodle body in a store when you try to pick them up.

Having a bad or hard day and walking back into your house that is an utter disaster.

Leaving any store without the one thing you needed…which hits you ONLY once you have loaded the kids back in the car.  We will use napkins for toilet paper.  It’s fine.

 

What drives you batty?

 

 

1024x1024-robin-egg-blue-solid-color-background-003

 

What?  What did you say?  This animal in this image isn’t a camel to play off of the straw that broke the camel’s back?  Did you ever stop to think that you aren’t a camel?  (Shakes her head…)

Reasons To Be A Parent

 

Parenthood is available to everyone either via your body or adoption.  Here are some of the greatest reasons to choose parenthood.

 

Smells

For the price of one small baby, you can have a bathroom in your house smell like pee for the next 15 years.

Life Goes Beyond Yourself

Life, for the first time, goes way beyond you and your plans.  Your perspectives and priorities change in the best of ways and you have the ultimate thing to invest in:  your children.  You get to give your life, self, and time to something much greater.

Experiencing The World Through Child’s Eyes Again

Never again did you think you could be so excited to buy a brand new lunchbox, celebrate Christmas, or spot a school bus while driving down the street.  When I had my first child who went through a “school buses are awesome phase”, I would catch myself gasping in jubilee when I spotted one out….even when I was alone.  The world simply becomes fresh.

Truth Machines

With kids, they will call you out on being impatient or on singing the wrong words to a song.  They will spare you no truth.  You don’t even have to wonder if you look pregnant in that shirt you just bought, said my real life.

Being in Awe Of Life

Watching a child grow and hit milestones is an amazing thrill.  Seeing a child learn how to walk, write, or read is something you never knew could be so fascinating and such a thrill.  Humans are amazing creations.

Grandparents

Children are a gift you give your children so that they have each other for life and a gift you give your own parents. I love seeing my parents and my husband’s parents with my children.  It’s a glimpse into what your childhood was like, a look at all the wonderful strengths of your parents, and sheer joy to share the deep love you have for your kids with your own parents.  Not to mention, grandparents, the good ones who are close by at least, help carry the load and save your tail a few billions times while you fumble through your own parenting journey.  Also, rumor has it that being a grandparent is better than being a parent but sorry, you have to have the kids first to test that theory.

Growing As A Person

If you want to be challenged to grow, change, and become better in your own right, parenting will push you to your limits and give you a chance to take a good hard look at yourself, who you want to be, who you want your kids to see, and what kind of parent you want to be.  The journey of parenting will work out the kinks in your spirit if you are willing to be honest, do the work, and take a good hard look at yourself.

Children Are Reminders

Children remind us the same thing we are trying to teach them:  The world isn’t all about you.

Call Your Beliefs To The Carpet

Little ones ground you in your beliefs because you can say what you want and tell people what you believe about this and that, but when you have children and have to start teaching them the rights and wrongs, you are forced to put your money where you mouth is.  What do you really believe?  What are you going to teach your children about God and the world?  All of the sudden those questions mean even more when you realize you are in charge of instilling truth into your child.

The Awesome Unfolding

Watching them develop into who they are becoming and seeing that they inherited your love of singing, your husband’s love of books and traits all their own that you never imagined they would have.  A child that excels at math?  What?  From me? Yeah right and 5 times 10 is 50.

They’re Are Caring

Children care big time about the romance between you and your spouse, your free time, if you are sick, and what you want to eat, listen to on the radio, or when you want to sleep. Children really care about your needs and how easy your life is.  Tons.

Parenting Comes With Simple Rich Blessings

True laughter, innocent questions about birds and where babies come from, an unsolicited “I love you”, cuddles in the middle of the night, a scribbled picture for your birthday, and the sound of their little voices and feet running and playing in the halls.  In simplest of ways, being a parent is the grandest of things.

Teacher of Trust

With such a great love comes more concern and worry then you ever imagined and with that, the chance to learn how to trust God with your children.  It ain’t always easy, folks.

Commonalities

When you become a mom, you can suddenly relate to most any mother on any corner of planet earth.  You all know what it’s like to be up all night, feel like your kids will never learn what you are teaching them, share a family stomach virus, hold your baby’s tiny hands and have the world stop, and intimately understand the joys and struggles.  You suddenly find yourself in Target when a woman’s kid bumps into your leg that when she apologizes, you just smile and say, “It’s okay.  I have three kids.”  That is all you had to say.  Moms are universally and internationally bonded and on the same wave length.

Questions

Why did the bird fall over when the cat played with him?  What does 7-A-Y-4 spell? Where do babies come from?  What are those dark lines on your legs?  Will I be older than you someday?  Will I have fun yesterday?  You get to answer some of the best questions as a parent.

Knowing A One-of-A Kind-Love

There is no love like the one a parent has for a child and experiencing something so powerful is wonderful, irreplaceable, un-explainable thing. You will never love anyone else in the same way you love a child.

It’s Worth It

We all give our lives to doing something and if you become a parent, there isn’t a more important or worthwhile thing you will do.

Fun

For all the jabbering parenting gets about being hard, and yes, it really really is, it is also a blast!  There are so many fun things to celebrate and enjoy as you go through life with your children.  Kids are ridiculous, spontaneous, adventurous, curious, and hilarious.  Being a mom or dad to such creatures is SO much fun.

They Are A Blessing

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.”  Psalms 127:3   See, it says so.

Affordability

Sometimes I just lay around at home and roll in piles of dollar bills.

Gives You Perspective

If being a parent does anything, it gives you grace and understanding for the mistakes your parents made and what all it took to get you from newborn to 18.  It wasn’t as easy as you thought and they start to look human, just like you.  I think this is big blessing of becoming a parent yourself:  seeing your parents as people and more like yourself then you ever knew.

Greatest Adventure

When I hear people say, “We want to wait to have kids because we want to (insert activity etc.).” While I know what they mean and many people do what they wish first and then have children, already being a mom myself I think, “You would never regret having them now.  Your children will be your wildest and hands down, most fascinating adventure.”  Having children will always be the best thing you and your spouse did together.

Humblers

Your kids will embarrass you publicly.  With kids, you can never get too big for your britches because they will yell “I’m tooting” in the store one day.  It’s good for the soul.

 

10291154_523209137789558_8530739780700899956_n

Photo Credit: Shelly Griffin Photography

WP Like Button Plugin by Free WordPress Templates