Sunday, March 30, 2008
Oh, thanks for asking. Actually it's kinda a lazy, rainy day with sick kids. I think I'm going to lounge around all day, with my 2 sports bras on that are stuffed with cabbage, and maybe watch some Lifetime. Kinda a boring day... what are you up to?
Saturday, March 29, 2008
That was not the case with me. I never really thought about having kids and definitely had no plans on marrying. I wanted to be a missionary and travel the world. Kids & marriage were not in the plans. Full time ministry was.
But, isn't it funny how God's plan for our life can be so different from the ones that we have? Never in a million years would I have believed that I would have 4 gorgeous kids and an awesome, loving husband in the military. This amazing life that I lead now is more surprising than anything I could have dreamed! More surprising and so much more incredible.
And while I love my life and feel so blessed to be able to stay at home with my babies, I still have dreams of ministry. Today I finished my training at a local crisis pregnancy center and am now qualified to be a volunteer counselor. Teen pregnancy is something that is very close to my heart and being a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center is something that I have been wanting to do for years.
I'm not really sure how this is going to fit into my life right now. While Lovey is graduating from med. school in less than 2 months, his hours are not going to be getting any better. In fact, his first year of residency will be the worst hours yet. With that said, I feel like God was calling me to this training and I stepped out in faith and did it. And now I have no idea what will come of it.
Last week, at our church's Easter egg hunt, my Pastor approached me about starting up a MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) group at our church. Again, MOPS is another ministry that is super close to my heart and one that I have been involved with for the past 5 years. I would love to see more MOPS groups in our area, but once again I have no idea how I would fit that in my life. But, I'm willing to step out in faith if God calls me.
Many moms believe that while our children are young they are our main ministry. And while I agree with that, for me personally, I also feel called to other ministry outside of my family. But I'm also very aware that I need to be realistic in how much I can do without stressing us all out and without missing these sweet moments in my babies lives.
Joseph is incredible supportive of all of this. I left for my training this morning at 9am and didn't get home until after 5pm. When I got home he had the house looking immaculate, the kids were all happy, the table was set and dinner was in the oven. He always says that he feels like one of the ways that he serves God is by helping me with all my different ministries. We have a ladies bible study at our house every other week and the night before our study Joseph helps me get ready, straightens up the house and has even been known to clean the bathroom for the ladies coming over. He's excited for the opportunities I have to love on others and is willing to support me in whatever way he can.
There are lots of good things, but what I need to figure out is what is God's best for my life? Our Pastor recently encouraged us to pray Exodus 33:18 for our lives. I did. And I can't wait to see what happens!
"Then Moses said, 'Now show me your glory.'"
L: Mama, what does 'what' mean?
M: It means, 'what, I didn't hear you?'
L: Um, Mama, what does 'what' mean?
M: It's like, 'what did you say?'
L: What does 'what' mean?
M: Luke, it's like 'what did you say?'
L: What does 'what' mean?
M: Luke, what means, 'huh?'
L: Oh. (and proceeds to give me a big kiss, then walks away)
I was under the assumption that by now my nursing drama would be a thing of the past by now. How wrong was I! While I am over the worst part, I am still very tender and somewhat engorged and (drum roll please) still leaking! What the heck?! It has been over a week and a half! I didn't nurse on demand, I nursed on a pretty strict schedule, so it's not like I was producing mass amounts 24/7. The worst part is that I still can't sleep on my stomach - my position of preference.
The girls are doing great with the whole thing. They have their last bottle at 6:30pm, go down for bed at 6:45 and sleep until 7:45am. They haven't seemed to really care about the bottle.
And, I have to admit that the whole bottle thing is WAY easier (aside from making sure that there are enough clean bottles) When I am short on time, I can put them in their little chairs and run all over the house like a tornado getting things done. It really has opened up my time significantly.
Now I just wish that I could go back to my old bra's without the muffin top...
Thursday, March 27, 2008
1. Joseph thinks that Oprah is the Antichrist. He has said it time and time again, and I'm pretty sure that there have been many times that he has said it and not been in jest.
2. Oprah is a show that I occasionally watch. With that said, I am not faithful about watching every show. I am actually quite picky about which shows I watch. But, I have to admit - she is on my DVR.
Alrighty, now that we have that out of the way, I am quite perturbed about her newest...endeavor. She is hosting a live webinar on Monday nights for the latest book in her book club entitled, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. Here is the Reader's Digest version: Written by Eckhart Tolle, a New Age, spiritual teacher, who writes about a need for heightened awareness of the present and asserts that we must abandon ego as a means to that awakened state of living. A New Earth, unapologetically, gets its title from the verse in Revelation referring to the coming of “a new heaven and a new earth.” But (the plot thickens!), according to Tolle, there is a twist. For Tolle, “heaven” is merely the awakened state that will bring about “a new earth” in the outer world, which he calls, the world of form. Get it? Me either.
Oprah is known for her New Age-y, spiritual, all-roads-lead-to-heaven, we-are-all-good-people, there-are-many-ways-but-the-same-God, rhetoric. So why does this bother you, you ask? Because now she is not just endorsing, she is discipling. That, makes me nervous. Very nervous.
I think there are so many...good Christians. They love God, they're good people, they try to live by the Golden Rule and treat people how they would want to be treated. I don't say this mockingly, but sadly. I am sad that they don't know the Truth. And because they haven't encountered Him, they blindly follow and drink Kool Aid. Yep, that makes me sad.
So, what do I do? Boycott? That seems to be the course of action for Christians when they don't like something - Starbucks, The Golden Compass, Disney...the list goes on. Or whine about it on my blog (check) or... I don't know. What I do know is that the report on Oprah’s website was that 500,000 people were logged in simultaneously, making it the largest single event in the history of the Internet. Oprah has reported on her show that people from 139 countries had registered for the course. I know that's a lot of people drinking Kool Aid. And I know that I need to be educated and know why I believe what I believe.
What do you know?
ps. I found this website...interesting.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Above is a picture of Caleb, thrilled with all his Lego's and a picture that Caleb took of the spaceship he built.
Love and I have both been quite surprised at how much Luke loves Lego's. For some reason it doesn't seem like a wild enough activity to entertain that wild child. But he really likes them. A lot. And he's driving me crazy with them. He is still too little, so can't maneuver them as well as he would like and gets so frustrated that he throws the Lego's against the wall. At 6:45 am. UGH! He really is driving me crazy with the Lego's. Very, very crazy. If this continues, I may have to ban him from them...I'm already crazy and don't need to be driven further into the abyss!
Monday, March 24, 2008
See from his head, his hands, his feet
O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
Were the whole realm of nature mine
All the kids eating. This was an odd event for our group. Normally the kids outnumber the adults, but this time there were only 6 kids. 5 of them are 3 or under.
The Daddy's hid the eggs while the Mama's kept the kids inside. Lovey got a little creative for Caleb!
Luke showing off all his eggs.
Nate and Lauren!
The "best buddies" eating their loot!! All the kids with their loot This is what the girls did during the easter egg dying!
Ella is ever-so-lady-like!
I love the flirty eyes that Lily Kate is making Nate!
LILY: I'm not putting it back in until you say, 'Lily Kate is the best sister ever.'
ELLA: Forget it! I don't care about no stinkin' bow! I have better things to do anyway. I'm outta' here!
LILY: What?! I was getting ready to put it in your hair! Come back here...I was just kidding!
Caleb and the Easter bunny. He's so cute! After he got his picture taken with her I said, "Wasn't that a cute Easter Bunny?" Caleb's response was an enthusiastic, "Uhhh-HUH!"
And this was the pose that Luke did with the Easter Bunny...Oh yeah, he refused to have his picture taken with that cute bunny girl. This was the little fit he threw! So dramatic!
Friday, March 21, 2008
So my friend Kellie thinks I'm nuts-o (for many reasons) but I went cold turkey with the nursing drama. I mean, I had cut down to 2 nursings a day, for a couple of days, and then just quit. So I am very engorged and uncomfortable. This is the way that I did it with both the boys and don't remember it feeling this bad, but then again my memory is foggy on many things (by the way, I think that is God's grace on us as mamas so that we have more than 1 kid). Anyway, I am so uncomfortable. And I forget, how long will this last?
I'm just not sure that this was the best week to stop nursing. Luke got a fever yesterday. I didn't know that he was sick, but I had a feeling that something was up. What really tipped me off was when he got into a fight with his best buddy, Luke LaMar, at the park yesterday. Luke Mad loves his "best buddy" and they normally get along so great and almost never fight. Yeah, so when Luke Mad pushed his best buddy, I knew something was up with that kid. He was up at 3am and Daddy went to the guest bedroom while Luke got in bed with me. Poor thing, he was so uncomfortable, and burning up with fever, that he just tossed and turned until it was time to get up. If I was nursing I would feel much better about the girl's chances of not getting this, but now I am more concerned.
Anyway, I will be thrilled to report when this whole nursing drama is over... and I am sure you will be thrilled when you don't have to hear it anymore!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Yesterday, I awoke with the intent of not nursing the girls. Then I had a meltdown. In the closet at 7:15am. I had to call my bff to talk me through my drama.
I am overwhelmed by how fast my kids are growing up. And it's funny because for the past 5 years I have been hurrying them along. I couldn't wait for them to get older to get out of some phase that they were going through. And now that they are getting older, I want time to stop. And therein lies my drama.
The thought of weaning the girls has been a difficult one for me. Listen people, I'm not a le leche league spokesperson and to be honest have never loved nursing children. But, there is something different about knowing that this is the last time that you will ever nurse a baby. It seems so final. And brings a reality that this, also, is the last time that I will ever have 10 month old babies. And that's the thought that makes me want to make the clock stand still for a while.
So yesterday morning, I decided to nurse for the last time. And I listened, with a heart full of love and adoration, to those adorable grunting and gulping noises that they make when nursing. I talked to them, watched them and enjoyed every last minute of my time with them.
And now it is over. Well, the nursing part is over. The engorged, painful boobies have just begun. But I will spare you having to hear all that drama!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Oh, but how I was wrong on all accounts. Now that I have done some freezer cooking, I'm not sure I could ever go back. I'm addicted. And how it has changed my afternoons!
For those of you that have never done it before, I have a few pieces of advice. There are a couple of ways to freezer cook; you can cook with a friend (or friends) or you can cook by yourself. There are pros and cons to both.
- Cooking with a friend. PROS: It's a fun way to spend the morning/day/afternoon. Time goes by faster. You are able to cook larger quantities, faster. Cheaper up front. Someone to divide and conquer with. CONS: You have to work around each other's schedules. If you both have kids at home, you have to figure out what to do with the kids. You also have to get together a lot to get a variety.
- Cooking on your own. PROS: You can cook at your own pace. You can make whatever you want. CONS: It's more expensive and not as fun.
I have done both. Cooking with a friend has been documented here and here. I have been cooking on my own and find it to be pretty easy. Here's what I have been doing: I buy a ton of chicken (since, aside from fish, that is really the only meat we eat) and then when I get home divide it into meals that require uncooked chicken breasts and meals that require cooked chicken. Over the next couple of days I make the chicken breast meals. And then over the next 2 weeks I make 2 meals from my freezer cookbooks and quadruple the recipe, then freeze it. Easy-peasy and lots of variety.
Two books that I have been using and LOVE! are Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer and Holly Klegg's Trim and Tasty Freezer meals. They both have ton of variety and I don't know that I have made a casserole yet! And Holly Klegg's book has all the nutritional facts, so that I can figure out the points.
I wish that I could say that this was going to be a permanent change but I know, from experience, that it's not. He will at some point and for some length of time go back to being more challenging, but for now I will bask in this cool shower of God's grace. This weary mom needs it. And I love how Father knows that.
I have been reading this book about the Spirited Child and so far have really liked it. It's a new perspective on my sweet boy's personality. It's funny, I have lots of friends who have these young children who are under three and they have already labeled them "strong-willed". I always find that humorous because they are 2 or 3...that is there job. To figure out their boundaries, test the rules and learn who's boss. Those things don't define strong-will, they define the trying-two's and teachable-three's. Labels at that age bother me. I like how this book labels my boy as "spirited". And now that he's about to be six, I feel like it's safe to give him a label. I'm just not planning on telling him he has one!
I have been thinking about how the exhausting part of the "spirited" child isn't behavior, but attitude. It's not that he's "bad" or even "naughty". Those things can be trained out of a child. It's that he's defiant and challenges my authority on everything. He's intense, intelligent, and perceptive. It is our job to channel these things and teach sweet boy how to handle them. And once we have - the sky is the limit on what this child will be able to accomplish. He's an amazing little boy.
And that is why I believe that during these exhausting times, in this journey called motherhood, that God is faithful and knows that there are moments when I could use a shower of grace to give me hope and push me forward. As mother's, we don't always get to see the fruit of our labor. In fact, very little we do ever feels complete or finished. Especially as the mother of young children, we don't often get to feel the satisfaction of a finished product...a job well done. We have to rely on faith and prayer. And what a great place to be.
I read this quote today and thought it amazing...
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Here is a little update on their little lives:
- Neither are crawling...yet. Ella is super close, but Lily Kate has no desire. Although Ella can't crawl yet, she finds a way to get into naughtiness! I have been quite blessed to be able to put them down with their toys and then go off to work on something else. When I came back, they would be sitting there playing quietly. Now I have to come back and check more often to make sure that Ella hasn't gotten into any trouble!
- We haven't had the girls weighed yet (they go at the end of the month) but I think they are getting bigger.
- When I kiss them I make loud smacking noises. Well, now they click their tongues when I make the smacking noise. It sounds just like my smacking. And they both do it. Isn't that strange? (Gi-Gi thinks that's how they talk to each other..)
- Ella is particular about the bottle she drinks from, but Lily will drink from any bottle.
- Lily is still weary of strangers (especially men).
- Ella makes the cutest growling noise. I started calling her "grrr-ella" which kinda sounds like "gorilla"! Gi-Gi thinks that is a terrible nickname!
- The weaning is going good. They don't really care at all, I am really taking it slow for my sake!
- The boys are quite definitive about which baby belongs to which boy. Luke claims Ella and Caleb claims Lily. Always. They never switch. The odd part about it, is that Ella is more like Luke and Lily more like Caleb.
- They both have their 2 bottom teeth. They aren't all the way in and I think that's when they are the cutest!
- There have been many tiffs over toys lately. I have a feeling there will be many, many, many more to come in their future. Today it's toys, tomorrow it's...boys!
- They love to be outside. Yep, they are Mad kids!
- They really are good, delightful babies.
Monday, March 17, 2008
In other exciting news...I am weaning the girlfriends this week!!!! The time has finally come. It really is so bittersweet. I was reminiscing with my bff today about the first couple of months of nursing the twinkies. I honestly wasn't sure how long I would last after mastitis, thrush and then there was the 45 min. nursing drama! I am so thankful that I stuck with it and pushed through the pain. And now that it is almost over, there is a tiny part of me that will miss it! Just a tiny part of me! The rest of me is thrilled that it is over. They are getting harder to nurse - crawling off, playing with each other's hair and face, being easily distracted by anything (especially Daddy and Caleb's voices) and then the final straw...Ella has been biting me with her razor sharp teeth. Last night I yelped in pain and scared her. I made her cry and scared her so much, that she wouldn't nurse anymore. I felt bad, but it REALLY hurt! Really bad!
I went to the gym for the first time in a while today and am currently sitting in a very quiet house. The girls are napping and Gi-Gi has the boys at Chuck E Cheese. She and Aunt Amy spent the morning doing crafts with the kids. Last night Gi-Gi made dinner and helped me make freezer meals. And read to the kids and ran to the store for me and...I wish she could move in! It is a great treat for me this week since the kids are out of school and Joseph's hours are terrible this week! God's timing is fab!!
Well, I guess that is all for today. Tomorrow is the big 10 month birthday and I, as usual, will have my update on their little lives.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
The girls did great and looked a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e! Our church made it a short, meaningful ceremony where we acknowledged our desire to raise our girls in a family of faith and the church professed their desire to do their part in teaching our girls that Jesus died on the cross so that they can spend eternity in the presence of the one who loves them and created them.
The day was also made special because the girls aunt, grandma and some of our special friends came to church for their meaningful day!
The not-so-special-part was in the car after church where the kids and I had a melt down. Luckily Gi-Gi (grandma) came to the rescue and kept the kids at home while Joseph and I got to go to lunch with our friends. The girls were more excited about being home, then they were about going to California Pizza Kitchen, anyway!
My friend, Kellie, got these pictures for us. And because of the meltdown, we don't have any of the 6 of us. We really need to get some family pictures taken. If only the thought of doing so didn't leave me full of anxiety...
Friday, March 14, 2008
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
Six non-important things about me:
1. I am so confused about freezer burn. And because of that if anything in my freezer has frost on it - I throw it out! I don't know that I have actually tasted food that has been subject to freezer burn, but I'm convinced that it will somehow harm me. Convinced!
2. Almost every single night for the past 6 1/2 years, I have asked Lovey the same question: "Did you lock the doors?"
3. I believe that I am an introvert stuck in an extroverts body. I really do consider myself shy.
4. There are 3 things that I have no idea how to do, but want desperately to learn...play tennis, understand HTML and have a veggie garden that I don't kill in the first week.
5. I draw the line at listening to kiddie music in the car. And because of that my kids have some odd favorite songs! Right now the boys are in to Burlap to Cashmere.
6. I love, love, love, love, love 80's music! It takes me back to my roller rink days. *big sigh* Now I must go off to daydream about my glory days...
THIS IS NOW...
Our little girlies are in their own cribs! (We did this a couple of weeks ago, but I am just now getting around to blogging about it.) I wasn't sure how they would handle being seperated, but they did great! Sometimes I still find them trying to reach one another through the slats of the crib...it is so precious! Now that they are in their own cribs, Ella has started moving around wildly in her crib. Lily Kate can be found in the same position that she was put down in. My sweet little girls!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
When Caleb was a baby, I always said that I would never allow my boys to have guns. Real, fake or pretend, I was not interested in my boys having guns. They hurt people, kill and have no place in the Mad house.
And then Caleb turned 18mo. old and was saying, "bang" and shooting me with french fries. I ignored and admonished, but that didn't stop him. By the time he was 2 1/2 he was turning everything into guns...broom handles, wooden horse sticks, green beans... all became weapons. Now he has every pretend gun known to man. Obviously I gave up. But not without rules! Clear rules. There will be no shooting mama, no pointing guns at friends who aren't playing the game or don't want to be shot, and no guns at the dinner table.
Well, now the day has come where joseph asked me if I was okay with him getting Caleb a BB gun. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. pause. silence. Hmmmmmmmmm. pause. silence. (BIG SIGH.) And then I had questions. What does that mean? What kind of BB gun? What would the rules be? How would this work? Do you really think this is a good idea? And he had some really good answers.
Joseph grew up in Alaska. Born and raised. He shot his first rabbit at like 5 or something like that. He was taught gun safety from day one. He grew up understanding the power of guns and proper use of guns. And he wants to teach that to our boys and someday go back home to Alaska and hunt with our boys. And while I don't understand that (afterall I am a city slicker!!) I completely respect it and respect him for wanting to teach our boys.
When Caleb got the news he was THRILLED!!! And that is an understatement. Here are some picture of my handsome boys.
This is what Caleb does even when he doesn't have a gun in his hands.
Of course, now Daddy wants a turn! There are some things that make men digress...playing with guns in one of those things.
Pure joy on my baby boys face!
And the sniper pose...Caleb's favorite!