Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Kids Are So Creative...

My sister came last week for a visit, which was spectacular. But I haven't got all the pictures organized yet, so I can't blog that. For now I just wanted to share the special art project my kids collaborated on while I was in the bathtub yesterday morning. Behold their masterpiece:

I know you are all extremely impressed and jealous of the talented little artists I am raising.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Blog Stealing

I've been thinking about this post for a while, every day really, when I start to get frustrated with something at home. But then I was blog hopping and read a post from my sister's friend from high school who has four kids and her son is autistic. I felt pathetic for wanting to post about this. However, I've still been thinking about it so I'm posting it anyway.

I've found myself getting increasingly frustrated with how cluttered and dirty my house gets now and how quickly it happens. I don't consider myself a neat freak in the least, but my when my kids' empty every dresser drawer onto their floor every day (literally) and I trip or get stabbed in the foot by small toys and train tracks wherever I walk, it gets to me. And when I am frustrated I am not the nicest mommy or very fun for my kids to be around. I was reading a friend's sister-in-law's blog (who has four young kids, two are twins and her husband is a doctor and gone a lot....again, I feel like a wimp but oh well) and found this that she posted on her blog by someone named April Perry. I stole it.

"How we feel about our lives depends on the relationship between our expectations and our realities. One way we can understand our potential and the nature of family life is to accept the fact that the world is made up of opposites. If it seems like the world is against us some days, and that we’ll never “reach our potential” or create the “perfect” family life, that’s okay. In order to enjoy the good, we need to experience the bad.

We wouldn’t know how beautiful an entire eight hours of undisturbed sleep is if we hadn’t had nights where we saw the clock change every single hour. When we become mothers, we need to expect opposites and realize that we have the capacity to grow and nurture our families—even when times are tough.

If you wake up in the morning saying, “Well, I know I’ve got my work cut out for me today. Hard things are definitely going to come my way, but with the help of Providence, I am ready for them,” then when hard times DO come, you think, “This is what I expected. And look what a great job I am doing!”

On the other hand, if you wake up thinking, “Today better be less crazy than yesterday. This is my itinerary, this is what I need to get done, this is what I want to happen, and if anyone gets in my way, there’s going to be heck to pay!”, then when the challenges come, we scream, “I've been cheated! Today turned out horribly! This wasn’t supposed to happen!”

I'm really working on trying to change my expectations after reading that, because it's so true. The days I get most frustrated are the days when I have a list of things I want to get done and a timeline of when I want it done. So from now on I'm going to expect my house to look like this by 9 am every day:

And I'm going to expect that my kids will be in cahoots when I have a phone call to make and two emails to respond to and start "cooking" with all my silverware and many of the bowls in the cupboard....

And I will not be surprised if I return to my room from putting away the kids laundry (which now resides in their closet on a shelf that they cannot reach, I'm not ready to expect the empty dresser daily yet) to find that a certain little boy has done this in my bathroom.

When I first started thinking about changing my expectations I felt kind of like I was just giving up, but the more I've though about it I've changed my mind. I will expect my children to be normal, curious, mess-making machines. I will also expect my children to help me clean up the messes they make (and probably not willingly either.) I will expect to hear whining every day and "mommy, get me (fill in the blank)" 50,000 times a day. But I will also expect them to say rephrase their request in a normal voice and with the word "please" inserted into the sentence before I will comply. You get the idea.

One day last week we just sat around all morning listening to acoustic music, dancing, and reading books together. The kids trashed the house. I didn't do any laundry or sweep my floor which was littered with dried-up macaroni and smashed pretzels. And it was okay. I didn't feel stressed out. I just enjoyed being with my babies and tried to remember what they said and how they felt in my arms as I held them, because I know it won't be long before they grow up. I wish I could say every day I had hours or even moments like that but I'd be lying. I'm learning to let go of some of my expectations and adopting new ones that will allow me to enjoy my kids and motherhood more...at least that's my goal. Wish me luck.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ian at Two Months

I can't believe my sweet Baby E is already two months old! However, it does seems like forever ago that I was pregnant and weirdly enough, I kind of miss it. It seems like with the other two kids I wished away the newborn stage; I was excited for them to start smiling, and rolling over, and laughing, etc, etc. This time I don't want him to grow up at all. I guess I just realize how fast kids grow up now and I want time to just stop!

He had an appointment with the doctor this morning and got two shots, which he was not happy about in the least. He's packed on three pounds in the last six weeks (now 11.8 lbs) and has grown almost three inches too (24.25 inches now)! He's still a lightweight compared to the babies on Tyler's side of the family but about on par with our kids.

When I was home last week I had some pictures taken by the same person who took the family shots at Christmas. He was tired and not happy to be having pictures taken, would not go to sleep so we could get cute sleeping baby shots, and was not having being naked at all! Nevertheless, I think we still got some good pictures. I sure love this little man of mine!