Thursday, February 24, 2011

Coexisting with your kids

Are you soaking in your kids or just coexisting with them?

I have three kids under three. No doubt, this is a hard and busy season of my life. I constantly wonder how some women do it know, work outside the home, go to the gym 4-5 days a week, eat healthy meals, spend time with their husbands, feed their minds with good literature, clean, etc. They seem to have time to go out on the weekends, etc. In my house, I define a productive day as every getting dressed, fed well, and quality/hands on time spent with all my little tykes and my sweet love, Andrew. A good weekend is having all the laundry done and lots of outdoor playing. 

I don't know their secrets. But, perhaps it isn't a secret at all. 

Something in that picture is being sacrificed. I call them the know, they see their kids for one hour a day. Literally. (And this has nothing to do with working moms. I know plenty of working moms who spend good, quality time with their kids) They pawn them off on anyone they can, so that they can take care of number one: themselves. They love the idea of having a child, but not the hard work that comes with it. They are all about the pretty pictures on the walls. 

I say this so that mommies will stop being so hard on themselves...mommies who get so mad at themselves because they can't do all these things that they THINK others are able to.

When you choose to be a hands on mom and truly soak in your little ones, you can't have it all. You just can't. You have to choose what kind of mom you want to be. Do you want to soak in every moment or just coexist?

Let me tell you something. Let me describe for you the mom that admire...and it isn't the one who goes to the gym 5 days a week and out on dates every weekend. I admire the mom who rather than tries to have her house dust free, she is laying on the playmat next to her babies cooing and snuggling with them. I admire the mom, who rather than hurrying her child to bed so she can watch her 8pm shows, reads just one more book to her child. I admire the mom who is ok with her exercise being playing outside for her kids that day...kicking balls, running in the yard, and pulling them in the wagon. 

So, if you feel like you struggle to "get anything done" during the are not alone. And chances are, I admire you...because you probably didn't "get anything done" because you were so busy shaping little hearts and minds. You were probably wiping tears and giving hugs. 

And that is way better than having 6 pack abs.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I haven't been in hiding on purpose. We've been a little occupied with vomit over here. Blech. That was definitely my first mommy experience with a child with a stomach bug. Ella has vomited before from coughing really hard, but not this stomach stuff. Yuck. Ok, enough about that.

In other news, I quit my job. Resigned, got a "are you coming back or not phone call", whatever you want to call it. I know it is the right decision for my family right now, but it was really hard for me to do. Even though I haven't been there since I went on bed rest last June, it was still very heartbreaking for me say goodbye to my job. The truth? I feel very lost in this stay at home mom role, even though I have been doing it for awhile now. I know it is an honor to be able to stay at home with my children while they are small...and I definitely LOVE being with them and do NOT want to leave them for one single day. But, it is different and something I am going to have to get used to.

The thing is, in being a nurse, I did something that made a difference. I got a lot of self worth out of what I did outside the home. I have plenty of friends and people to get my "adult interaction" from...but, it doesn't satisfy my need to give of myself to people. I am praying God will open my heart and a door to a cause that could bring glory to Him as well as fill that void I have.

I've also thought about quitting my photography business...or at least quitting it in a paying sense. I still feel like God has a great plan for that in my life, but I am not sure having a "paying gig" is what it is...nor is it really what I am after.

I don't know. God definitely has the greater picture already picked out for me. I'm just waiting. In the meantime, I am feeling a little lost as to what I am supposed to be doing. Although I know I am preparing little warriors for Christ, I still feel like I'm not doing anything to...well...contribute to the status quo if you will.

Thoughts? Anyone else gone through this?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All that matters in the end is that you loved...

Even thought I clutch my blanket and growl when my alarm (babies) rings...thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

And though I close my eyes against the morning light...thank you, Lord, that I can see. There are many who are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising...thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic...when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud...THANK YOU, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in magazine and the menu is at times unbalanced...thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many children who are hungry.

Even though my life/job is often monotonous...thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who are unemployed.

And even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from time to time...thank you, Lord, for my life.

Our days are long, but the weeks fly by. But at the end of the day, I have loved and I am loved. And that makes these days so incredibly sweet.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Music to my ears

There are many stories I have not shared about things that have transpired since the twins were born. Some things I chose not to share because instead of falling into a state of panic, I fell to my knees and prayed.

Today, while Audrey slept and Ella was at preschool, I spent some time snuggling with my little wide-awake man. We put on some music and he just laid on my chest and kneaded his chubby fingers on my arm. I sang to him and he would smile...showing off his little dimple on his right cheek. And I shed a few tears of happiness.

You see, when Jacob was born he failed his hearing test. A couple weeks later, it was repeated, and he failed again. The audiologist told me not to worry, that it could strictly be anatomical, and as he grew, the canal would open.

And although I held onto that hope, I still couldn't stop thinking about the fact that he had been on two very strong antibiotics that can cause hearing loss. Although, I doubted this as the cause since he was not on them very long, I still felt this overwhelming concern.

As time went by, I thought about how this would effect his life. I don't care if my children are less than perfect, but I cried at thought that this would profoundly effect everything in his life.

I grew up surrounded by music. Myself a novice piano player, I wondered whether he would ever be able to experience the joy that music brought to our lives. I wondered if it would effect his balance, if kids would make fun of him, if he would be able to go to regular school.

I would regularly whisper into his ear when he was in the NICU those 2 months. I would tell him that no matter what, I would help him...that Andrew and I would always love him and do whatever we needed to help him feel normal...that in God's eyes, we were all the same. And that to me...he was perfection in the highest sense.

There are many things that happened during last years pregnancy and during our time in the NICU that have forever changed our lives. I will never be the same woman I was before all this happened. And while others may worry whether their child will make the football team or cheerleading squad...

I can't help but feel so covered by God's love and mercy. When I sing to my son and he smiles, I am reminded that God has been so good to us.

Because, Jacob, can in fact hear (...very, very well actually!!!) And that, is music to my ears.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Preguntas Part Tres-A mother of 4?

So, I saved the following question/answer for a post all on it's own:

Amy asked:  Do you still desire to be a mother of 4 like it says in your sidebar?

Amy, you didn't know you'd get your own post when you asked this, huh? Ha!

Let me preface this by saying if you are infertile and still waiting on God to bless you with just one perfect baby, you might not want to read the rest of this post. I say that, because I have struggled immensely with infertility and I know if I read the following I would probably get mad at me. I would think this person was totally selfish and ungrateful for what she has been given. If you so chose to continue reading, you are not allowed to hold this against me because I did warn you.

This is such a loaded question without a simple answer. This is a question that I think about all of the time. The reason I think about it is because every time my babies outgrow something, I think "is this the last time someone will wear this outfit? Should I really save this or give it away to someone who could use it?" And then I cry...and I will cry off and on all day. But, I put in a box that says "newborn clothes" because the thought that this is it just makes me so sick. Because, in my heart, I will ALWAYS want one more. My heart still feels like there is someone missing from it. Now before you judge, please know, I am VERY happy with the three kids God has given us to raise. 

I know that this sounds crazy. For those of you who always pictured yourself with two kids or three kids tops, it would be how you would feel if you had only one. It doesn't mean I'm not grateful for what I have. You will never meet a more grateful person for her children. I endured a lot of heartache before this blog was ever started and before Ella ever came into our lives. 

Now...all that said...I think you may have desires and dreams for yourself, but that doesn't mean you should have them. So, I have the desire for a 4th child, but I don't know that that means I'm supposed to have it. I mean, I desire to eat chocolate brownies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...but, that doesn't mean it is good for me. Being on bedrest for 10 weeks, being away from Ella, being hooked up to monitors and a turbuteline pump...I cannot imagine doing that with THREE kids at home. I literally missed out on about 5 months of Ella's life between the pregnancy and then the babies being in the NICU.

So, I guess you could say that the future is very unclear. I will say that find myself constantly breathing in every ounce of my babies and loving them at every little stage they are at. I don't want to rush it. I find myself sometimes picking them up and smelling their hair and trying to put into my memory the feeling I get when they nestle their little heads into my neck. I could not care less about getting the laundry or dishes done. I am fine with the mess and just want to soak in every little piece of goodness about these babies. I just love them so much. I know when I get to heaven that God is going to have me take care of all the little children up there because I just love them.

So, I don't know what God has in store for us. But, I know that God has given me way more than I ever had dreamed for myself. If I died tomorrow, I would have lived the greatest life imaginable...

because I am a mother.