Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Day Thus Far

God has granted me an extreme amount of patience today. After waking much too early with way too little sleep (due to work and an unexpected toddler in my bed), I rolled out of bed wondering what was in store for me today. Well, it is not even 3pm and this is what I've encountered....

(3) glasses of milk spilled over
(3) different people (myself, Paloma, and Mattea)
(1) glass of Sprite spilled over
(2) different people (myself & Mattea)
(1) unhappy toddler
(585) requests for snacks despite an unhappy tummy by an unhappy toddler
(1) child laying on the floor at the gym this morning
(1) unhappy toddler being disciplined at the gym this morning
(1001) things on my to-do list
(1) item crossed off my to-do list
(3) bills to be paid
(0) minutes so far today to pay those (3) bills
(2) happy meals purchased with fries that were supposed to be apples
(2) unhappy children who ordered apples and received fries
(1) missed Schwann man
(1) slightly increasing headache
(1) large garden that needs tending to
(1) missed shower
(0) minutes so far to take that (1) missed shower
(5000) little leg hair stubbles that badly need shaving
(2) large eyes staring down from heaven watching me scramble like a chicken with my head cut off
(1) tender mouth saying "slow down child, enjoy the blessings I have given you."

Now that my latte is gone, it is 2:58 pm, one child is asleep, one is engrossed in a serious conversation with 5 different barbies, and a rant session now complete - I'm feeling like I could conquer the world (or maybe just the (2) piles of laundry that need folding).

Paloma's Plug

Paloma: Whining in my arms as we are leaving the gym this morning. "Mama, its just so hard."

Me: What is hard Paloma?

Paloma: Its just so hard being a free(three) year old.

Me: Inside voice - just wait sister, it only gets better....

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Few Thoughts On Mothering

So, since switching up my workout routine and moving from the treadmill to the stair stepper, I have now managed to read 3 new parenting books with the start of a fourth today. I love it. I'm working up a sweat while reading, worshipping God on my IPOD, and learning all I need to know about raising good kids - ha! Talk about multi-tasking. Anyway, the new book I started today is one that I already have read. It is called The Mommy Manual by Barbara Curtis.
I read this book back when I first started the parenting journey and thought it was about time to dig it out for a refresher. I knew there was a reason too. The first few chapters did wonders for my psyche this morning. I would love to pass along a few tidbits.

(All quotes are taken from the book by Barbara Curtis)

"God is smiling at us, you know. He appreciates the job mommies do."
What a sigh of relief. When the day approaches and it feels as if nobody around us appreciates the job we do (ie children, husband, coworkers, boss, friends, neighbors) we can take comfort in knowing that God appreciates what we do!

"God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called."
This is a relief since on most days I feel most inadequate in raising these two beautiful little girls. Heck, who gave me permission to do this. I feel like I should be saving for future counseling sessions. It is good to know that on days of trial we can turn to Christ for guidance. No parenting book will quite do what my Creator can do.

"Open your eyes and try to see your imperfect children the way God sees them - each as a remarkable bundle of possibilities, with many of those possibilities dependent on you for release."
Amen to this one. For the longest time, my children's annoying habits seem to bother me and almost make me cringe - like nails on a chalkboard. But through some insight and a change in spirit I have come to appreciate who my children are and who they are going to become. For instance ~ Mattea. We were told during her first year of preschool that she was messy. And you know what, she is. She has food on her face, on the floor, on her clothes, and even in her hair. It drives Dave and I nuts. We have been working and working with her and finally I said STOP. She is her own person. She does not pay attention to detail. She is wild and flamboyant and eventually she will learn that pancake syrup in her hair is not a good choice. But I kind of believe she will always be that person in the group that you go out with who leaves the restaurant with a stain on her shirt. Come on, you know what I'm talking about it. There is always one in the group that ends up spilling. That is my Mattea.

So here are just a couple of interesting ideas I've found from my new book. I can't wait to hit the gym Monday and see what else Barbara has to share with me. I'll definitely be sure to pass it along......

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Move Over Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson may be singing about Banana Pancakes, but they have nothing on momma's homemade
Buttermilk/Wheat Germ/Strawberry Pancakes with Lite Whip Creme and Extra Strawberries to top.

This is the kind of cooking that happens when daddy is away. Looks yummy huh?

Toss in a ridiculously fattening cinnamon roll from Costco and turkey sausage links and you have a dinner fit for a king ~ or maybe just two princesses!!

Oh Happy Day!

What We've Been Up To

Due to our recent mono exposure, poor little Mattea has been doing a whole lot of this lately....
I've noticed my sweet baby has been tiring easily, moping around the house, donning dark circles under her eyes for about 2 months now. I passed it off as a growth spurt or possibly overload with the school year ending and a lot of activities going on.

Once school ended and life slowed down, her energy did not increase. After much contemplation I took her in for some blood work that revealed a mono exposure 1-2 months ago. Bingo! So for the next month, we have strict orders to drink plenty of fluids and rest. Rest. Right, this is after her mother has been dragging her off to swimming, gymnastics, forcing her to play with friends at the park even after begging me to come home and nap. Rest. We are now working on it. Wish us luck.

Let There Be Lettuce

and carrots, and potatoes,

and squash, and tomatoes, and onions

and peas, and cucumbers.....

Monday, June 21, 2010

Paloma's Plug

After learning that Mattea is feeling a little under the weather, we had to break the news to her that she was not going to be running in the Main Street Mile (or more than likely wouldn't be running). Mattea then asked me if the "milk race" (or Dairy Days race) was over. I informed her that we had already missed that one. She began crying - hopes crushed because she had her hopes set on running in these races.

As tears streamed down, I told her I was sorry but that I needed her to feel better and concentrate on running it next year. She was especially upset about the Main Street Mile because she learned from her pediatrician that that race involves chasing an ice cream truck for the course of the race and receiving a nice cool treat at the end.

Paloma pipes in and says, "its OK sissy, I will wun (run) for you. I'll get some ice cweam (cream) for myself and for you. I'll run two laps and get you some ice cweam." I then replied, "you'd do that for your sister." Paloma - "yeaaaaah, and then I'd pack some cwackers (crackers) because she isn't feeling well."

I was so impressed. I loved the way Paloma piped in and offered to help her 'sissy.' Made my heart melt. I ran downstairs to tell Dave. He smiled and said, "see H, there is a heart deep down in there." Yes. I guess there is. Some days, I guess it doesn't surface.

What Did You Do For Fathers Day?

This Father's Day, our family decided to break tradition and celebrate in a very unique way.

Although Dave does travel quite frequently, we spend a lot of time with our girls. Many days and hours are spent at the park, splash pad, doing crafts, reading, playing sports, swimming, riding bikes, playing games, etc. I decided that instead of spending Sunday together as a family, I would get a babysitter and hang out together as a couple - something we rarely get to do. Plus, I kind of felt like Dave just needed a break. A chance to simply get away and not have to worry about anything.

It is a good thing I preplanned this because when I asked him what he wanted to do for Father's Day, his reply was "clean the garage." And he was serious. So like I mentioned, I hired a babysitter, jumped in the car and headed out of town to the mountains to do a little zip lining.

Feeling a bit nervous at first, I quickly got into it and had a really good time. I think Dave did as well. It was nice to be out in nature, together, doing and saying nothing that had anything to do with children. Although we love our children dearly, we love each other as well.

It was great experience and I would highly recommend the adventure to everyone. If you get a chance to run away to the mountains for an afternoon, zip lining is where its at.

Thank you David for all you do and all you provide for our family. We love you very much and hopefully you were able to enjoy a very short afternoon of leisure and relaxation - something you deserve more of!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Remaining Selfless In A Selfish World

Selfish is defined as "the act of placing one's own needs or desires above the needs or desires of others" according to Wikipedia. Think of the number of times the word selfish runs through your head. Can you count? If you are like me it would be 0. Now that doesn't mean I'm not selfish or act selfishly. It simply means I don't think about being selfish on a daily basis. I simply act without thinking. Granted, there are plenty of times that I act selflessly as well. Times in which the needs of my children and husband are placed above my own. But.....if I am honest as Abe Lincoln, I will tell you that I can be a rather selfish person.

When I met David, there were a number of qualities that drew me to him. His eyes being the first. His heart was right up there as well. David's heart is amazingly large - not just for people in his family or his circle of friends, but for strangers as well. He has to be one of the most giving and selfless people I know. He will put the needs of others above his own without hesitation. He doesn't contemplate placing his own agenda aside to assist and serve another. He once told me that one of the qualities that bothers him the most in others is selfishness. He doesn't become annoyed often but when he sees people around him acting in a selfish way, especially now around his children, he becomes irritated. Imagine my surprise the first time that I chose my needs over his.

Through the course of our relationship, he has helped me to realize that it is not just an option but a command to place aside our own needs and desires for the better or others. After all, isn't that exactly what Jesus did?

So with all of that being said, I have taken his words to heart and tried to instill in my children the same way of thinking. Here are a few examples:
1) you do not have to butt in line to be the first little girl to go down the slide
2) we do not have to push or hit others to get the very best seat at the movie theater
3) we will offer our sister the last piece of candy even if we want it really bad (and hope that sister is gracious enough to split it with us)
4) we do not have to drive fast into the parking lot simply to get the very best parking space
5) we do not have to complain or become upset when a particular book is read and it happened to be not the exact one we were hoping for

These are a few examples. How many times have we seen pushy kids on the playground or pushy adults at church. More than I'd like to count. We think that we need the closest parking spot despite the fact that God gave us two perfectly functioning legs and the older gentleman behind us may not be able to ambulate as well as we can. Or perhaps we forged ahead to get the very best seat in the movie theater despite the fact that God gave us two perfectly functioning eyes and the little girl behind us who hasn't quite figured out she needs glasses yet can't see as well.
Is this all making sense.

Selfishness - it is all around us. It is hard living much less raising our children to live selflessly when those around us are indulging in selfishness. Stop for one moment and think about you can actively put aside your own needs tomorrow for the sake of others.

With that being said, I will end this post with a story. As hard as I try and drive this concept home with my children, selfishness rears its ugly head. About a month or two ago, I drove through Starbucks and picked myself up a yummy latte. I hardly can escape the drive thru these days without hearing from the backseat "can I get a coffee too (hot cocoa)? That day I was feeling generous. And so I purchased the girls their hot cocoa. I bought one and instructed them to pass back and forth nicely. They were to take even amount of drinks and pass it off to each other when asked. Usually this isn't a problem although sometimes I hear "I don't like her slobbers." That day things were going good. Mattea had taken a few drinks and passed to Paloma. Well, Paloma took a drink, then another, then another, then another until the entire drink was gone. I began to hear complaints from the backseat and demanded Paloma hand over the cup - which I then realized was empty. I was appalled and asked her why she was selfish and drank all the cocoa without leaving any for her sister. Her response "I was firsty (thirsty)". How simple. She was thirsty.

She didn't even stop to think about whether or not her sister was thirsty. She just new that in that moment, she was thirsty and her desire must be met. How many times do we make it that easy? I'm thirsty, I'm hungry, I'm tired and can't walk that far, I'm broke, I'm this I'm that. Excuses, excuses. But what it boils down to is that we were placed on this earth to serve others, to love others. Service to ourselves doesn't count. Think about that the next time your selfish drive kicks in.

A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor's.
Richard Whately

Thought for the Day

It's hard bringing out the best in children when they seem committed to bringing out the worst in us ~ Dr. Tim Kimmel.

Taken from a great book I'm reading called Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This Is The Last Thing We Need....

Meet Ernie & Bert or is it Ariel & Jasmine? Maybe it was Ella & Gracy. Depending on the day of the week, these great new additions to our family are named accordingly. To be quite honest, they change minute by minute and is dependent on what TV show the girls are watching at that time. But since fish don't have to respond when they are called, I let the girls call them whatever they choose.
The girls took part in their local reading program through the library and successfully made it through level 1. One of the prizes for level 1 was a free goldfish. Well, as the guy at the pet store reminded me - they aren't really free are they? Since I didn't have a bowl, fish food, water puration "stuff", decorations, a fish net, etc. These free fish ended up racking up quite the bill when all was said and done, but oh well. The girls loved picking them out and love watching them swim around and make funny faces. I admit - I kind of like them too. Each morning I run downstairs and see if they have survived another night ~ because truthfully, I didn't think they'd make it 24 hours. But they have.
In the unlikely circumstance that they don't the girls are well aware that Ernie and Bert, Jasmine or Ariel may at one point get flushed down the toilet. Circle of life ~ lesson learned early.

Prayer Request

Hi blog readers,
I'm going to take a second while I'm updating my blog and urgently ask you to say a prayer for a little boy tonight who is lying in the hospital as his body is recovering from an unfortunate accident.
It was on Monday night that I learned that an old friend from Albuquerque was on her way with her son to the hospital via helicopter due to some injuries he sustained from a lawnmower accident. From the details we have learned so far, his prognosis looks good but that does not mean that neither he or his family is without pain this evening. There will need to be some physical and emotional healing in the next days/weeks/months. Please take a moment now to pray for little Joseph who is less than 3 years old. His mom's name is Kristina and dad's name is Philip. They are a wonderful couple who could use all of the prayers and encouragement they can get.
Thank you so much.

Wordless Wednesday (If Looks Could Kill)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Paloma's Plug

The other morning, Mattea came prancing down the stairs in her glorious "Cinderella shoes." You know the ones - plastic, high heeled, leg breaking ones. All of a sudden I hear a thud and quickly turn around only to witness my eldest daughter diving down the stairs headfirst and land at the bottom - still conscious. Of course, I jump up and immediately ask her if she was OK - to which she was (I think her pride was bruised though.
All of a sudden, Paloma starts uncontrollably giggling.

Me: Paloma, it is not OK to laugh right now, your sister just fell down the stairs and could have hurt herself.

Paloma: But it's funny mom.

Me: It is not funny Paloma. We don't laugh at people when they hurt themselves.

Paloma: But it is funny when I fall mom.