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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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!

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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?

 

 

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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.

 

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Photo Credit: Shelly Griffin Photography

Bedtime: A Drama In 48 Parts

 

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This just in: Bedtime is taking over my life.  Not my bedtime because that would actually be pleasureful.  My kid’s bed time is out to destroy my every nightly desire for peace.  You think the small acts of brushing teeth, giving a bedtime snack, and reading a book would take a mere 20 minutes.  Shut up, right now.  It takes the three longest hours of my life, every night.

It sounds so easy.  It does.  Really though, it’s like getting Vaseline covered water balloons into a tiny basketball goal in 90 mile an hour winds.

“Just put the water balloon in the basket!”, they yell.

“You forgot about the winds!” Arrogant fools.

Oh, and my 4 year old, 2 year old, and boobie monster 8 month old can add some “winds” to bed time. Mission complicate: complete.  Every night it’s like they take turns making requests on rotation for an hour.

“Mom, I need: water, to pee, my favorite princess, to change clothes, the hall light on, the hall light off, my foot itches, ponies can do whatever the want, Dad-Mom isn’t listening, Mom is being rude, can I watch a show, I’m hungry, I don’t like my pajamas, I want to look like royalty, sissy is being too loud, can I come in there and talk to you, can I stand in the hall and talk to you, can I just stand on the floor by my bed and talk to you from there, the cat is in my bed, I want the sun out-not the moon (I’ll be sure to get right on that), my bottom stinks, and angels are like flying people…Mom…Mom, did you hear me?  Angels are like flying people.”

Meanwhile, I’m slowing dying on the couch and if my husband and I have to pause Shark Tank one more time, I might need to bring in the police to arrest my kids for loitering.

You think you are always patient?  Try bedtime on for size.  It’s not a good week if my husband and I don’t go through the full gammot of human emotion throughout a couple of bedtimes. Hopeful, despairing, fits of anger, excited, loss of all joy, and so on. Sometimes, we laugh like hopeless lunatics. Pure delirium.  It’s so crazy that we have succumbed to it and surrender to the insanity.  We were at that point a few weeks ago and sure enough, right on cue, our 4 and 2 year old daughters came around the corner, butt naked, hand in hand, wearing pink cowboy hats singing some sort of grand entrance song.  It was seriously like they thought, “What? We thought you sent us to bed an hour ago to work on this number for you guys?'”  It was really confusing to them how we weren’t utterly delighted to see their naked butts in song.

Some nights, all I want is for my nocturnal children to get in bed, have no desire for anything but sleep, and me not to hear from them until the morning.  Can’t I watch 48 Hour Mystery in peace so that I can at least go to bed terrified? Inconsiderate…….

At our house, bedtime routine starts at 8 and ends never.  As I write this, it’s 9:18 p.m., so you know where I am….in the middle of eternity.

Bedtime:  where you kids have the time that dreams are made of and you live your sleepless nightmare of whispering naked princess girls plotting against you like little nighttime assassins.  On repeat.  And sometimes, if you’re lucky, they come in and throw panties on your head…like just now.

Literally.

Panties on my head.

Go to sleep.

 

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