Exactly What I Needed Today….

Today has been “one of those days”. Granted I have had much worse days, but I just really wasn’t up for dealing with the obstacle I have today. I had my pity party with loads of tears this morning before the kids got up and decided to just suck it up.

Understanding (through my experience both past and present) every single word of this song, I sat listening to it with tears in my eyes. It was exactly what I needed to hear today. Exactly….

“…..steady my heart….”

I’ve never heard of Kari Jobe before but I thank Anna for sharing this song on her FB.

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Staying At Home

I was out running errands today with Wyatt and ran into someone I know. I was a bit surprised to see her running errands in the middle of the morning as I know she works full time during the week. We chatted a bit about the weather, the holiday reprieve, etc when the subject turned to my ever present protruding belly.

“How many more weeks?” she asks.
“Oh, too many……8 or 9.”
“I don’t know how you do it.”
“What?” – I kind of knew where this was heading as we’ve almost had this conversation before.
“Stay at home. Have all those kids. Keep your sanity. I mean, how do you live? (her way of asking if John makes enough money to support us) Do you think you guys are done after this one?”

Whoa. Completely loaded comment there. I was somewhat expecting it as I get comments a lot now when I take the kids out. We’ve become ‘that family’ that people stare at whenever we all go shopping together…..2 parents, mom uber pregnant, 3 kids under the age of 7 all walking in a group. We’ve become accustomed to comments and strange looks.

My response.
John does very well in his job and it is pretty secure. He doesn’t make loads of money and we are lucky if extra funds actually stay in our savings account. But whenever something comes up, God usually provides an opportunity to cover whatever expense it is. We’ve learned to live with what we have, save what we can, and appreciate the simple luxuries that may come our way on occasion.

“I thought about staying home with Kate. But after 8 weeks of no sleep and constant feeding, I couldn’t take it anymore. I NEEDED to get back to work. Plus, I didn’t go to school for 4 years and get a great job only to stay home all the time. And Kate has really flourished in daycare. She is such a socialite and loves being around all the kids.”

Oh geez. God help me keep my composure.
“So you think you guys will have any more kids?”

“Oh man, I don’t know. Jack wants another one but I’m just not sure I can take it. Maybe after Kate is in school full time. She’s such a handful at home at the end of the day and we are constantly trying to keep up with her.”

I’m thinking: Of course she is! She misses you!!!!! And I don’t know what child under the age of 6 or 7 needs/craves socialization MORE than being with his or her parents.

“Well, I knew that when we started having kids that it was important for me to be home with them if it was possible. John kind of fought me on it at first but then decided that having me home all the time was what was best for the family. Yeah, it’s hard and stressful and threatens my sanity on an almost daily basis. But I look at the kids and I hear the millions of “I love you Mom” all day long and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And believe it or not, as they get older it seems to get easier – for now. I’m sure once they hit preteen years we’ll be dealing with a whole new phase of parenting. But for now we are completely happy with having “all these kids”.

“But you cook and garden and have all those animals. Don’t you wish you had more freedom? I mean, I NEED to have an evening with my girlfriends every Thursday or I’d go nuts! And Jack takes Kate sometimes on the weekends so I can get some shopping done in Fargo. That ‘me time’ is crucial for me.”

Eeek.
“The winter is hard. And being pregnant takes some time away from “me time”. But John hung a swing for me at the edge of the property so I have a place of solitude to run to every once in a while. In the non-winter months John makes sure that I get some time everyday to go for a 2 mile run or a short trip into the gym whenever I can. I get up early and enjoy before sunrise with a coffee and silence.”

This is when she really started staring at me funny. And thankfully Wyatt was getting a bit squirmy.

“I don’t know. I’ve just always knew I’d be a mom. Even when I was in college. And I always knew I wanted to be the one to raise my kid, NOT some daycare worker. So we made it a priority. And we’ll probably have a couple more kids after this one.”

She kind of smirked a pity filled smirk and bid me good day. I walked away a bit pissed off.

We didn’t have kids only to send them off to have someone else to raise them so we can have a double income and all the extra toys we want. I’m not going to trade my children’s childhood for that. And as far as not using my education, well……..whatever job there might be out in the working world for me, there is always someone else who can do it. Believe it or not, employees ARE replaceable. Parents ARE NOT.

I grew up having my mother home. She sent us off to school in the morning and welcomed us home in the afternoon. She made us breakfast, lunch, snack, and supper. She was there if we were sick. She came to all the middle of the day activities that elementary school’s sometimes hold. She was there. And looking back, that was perhaps one of the greatest gifts my parent’s could have ever given us.

I get that some people can’t do that. I understand the need for dual incomes sometimes. I understand that there are single parents out there just trying to stay afloat. I get that. I just also believe that if there is any way possible for a mom to be home with her children at least until they are school aged, it ought to be done. Children NEED their parents.

Anybody else have confrontations like this? ….. or perhaps a different perspective?…..or whatever?

I could write a whole lot more on this and get into a REAL rant. But I’m pretty sure that most of you who read this are probably of similar mind.

Too Early To Rise…

I need some help. My kids are waking up WAY TOO early in the morning. They are all usually up and ready for the day between 6-6:30am. Granted I am usually up by 5-5:30ish…or on John’s work days I’m up with him by 4:15am and stay up. I could count on my kids sleeping until 7-7:30 and sometimes 8:00 in the summertime. But this is getting ridiculous. I count on that time in the morning to get things going and prepare for my day. John and I sit and have coffee together, get the fire started, do morning prayers, and sit in the quiet before the day begins. We LOVE this time together. We’ve trained ourselves to be in bed before 10 and up early. It suits us well considering John’s work schedule, the animals, and the morning round of “chores” that need to be done first thing. But the kids are gradually “stealing” that time. They don’t go to bed until 8-8:30pm which leaves us with maybe an hour before we hit the pillow. I used to count on naptime as a scheduled reprieve, but Yvette doesn’t nap every day anymore (though she needs it, she doesn’t usually comply) and Wyatt’s naps are getting shorter and shorter. I’ve tried keeping them up during naptime and then going to bed at the usual hour hoping that maybe they’d sleep in. Not so. Like clockwork they are up at the same time each morning.

Please, does anyone have any advice? Anything? 7:00am is reasonable. 6:30am, not so much.

PLEASE…..HELP…..

Hmmm

So my husband is sitting at the computer this evening, looks over his shoulder and says, “I think I found us a new song.” And the smile on his face was the kind that makes me melt because…well…he’s got dimples when he really smiles. And he was really smiling. I came over to listen and this is what I heard…

Yeah, he THINKS he’s funny.

Those of you who know my husband may understand his extraordinarily dry and sometimes sarcastic humor so this type of “joke” can just roll. But seriously, the humor I found in it wasn’t so much the song itself but that he had the nerve to play it for me and laugh! I can’t even get pissy about it because I know how innocent it is, but seriously!!!!!

How many of you would slug your husbands?….especially if you were 8 months pregnant, overtired, and seriously NOT feeling like yourself?….

….just sayin’……

Baby Balooga

A few weeks ago I graduated from the “oh cute, she’s obviously pregnant” stage to getting that look from women that says, “oh gosh…she’s probably due pretty soon look how uncomfortable she must be” stage. You know, that look of pity and understanding wrapping into one. It’s humbling, but I’m getting used to it. Truth is, aside from the fact that I don’t sleep much, I feel pretty decent. Fatter. Slower. Exhausted. But for the most part pretty good.

I’ve noticed a trend in my pregnancies and I’m wondering if other women experience it also. For most women, the first trimester is plagued with some level of sickness. Mine, not so much. For most women, the second trimester is blessed with some level of energy and nesting. Mine, not so much. Now what I am wondering is the prego trend for the third trimester. It’s been a while since I’ve read the What To Expect When Your Expecting books. You’d think I’d have some idea. But really, all I know is what seems to be the norm for me. And that is NO SLEEP. And it isn’t just that I can’t get comfortable at this point. Because really, I CAN…..sometimes. And it isn’t so much that I have to get up to pee every 30 minutes because really I only get up to use the bathroom about once MAYBE twice at night at this point. What happens with me is I wake up every 1 1/2 – 2 hours and I go downstairs and sit by the fire for about 20 minutes and then go back to bed. And then during the day I snooze for a little while on the couch in the morning or afternoon. Sound familiar? Like my body is instinctively conditioning itself (a bit early) for those feedings/changings during the night. It has happened with each one of my pregnancies. Anyone else experience that? Maybe that’s a stupid question, but I never really hear people talk about it.

Anyway, I suppose I don’t really have a point with this post. Oh well.

9 weeks to go…

not that i’m counting or anything…..

Dry and Connected

This week has been great. My new dryer came on Monday. Tuesday we FINALLY had the internet installed. And today it is finally snowing. I had a fantastic appointment with my midwife yesterday and all is well. I’ve also been seeing a chiropractor a couple times a week to help with sciatic nerve stuff and boy does that make a difference! A Christmas present that has been backordered twice made a surprising arrival today! YAY. Now we just have to get it to our nephew before the kids take it over.

Hurray for the simple things, right?

Just a thought…
I was all excited about catching up on the many blogs I was following and the FB gossip, but for whatever reason it hasn’t been all that alluring to sit and surf. Sure there are still a handful of blogs (written by friends) that I’ve read up on but the FB thing has totally lost it’s addictive hold on me. Thank goodness.

Now on to better things like…..more laundry, baking banana bread, vacuuming, and planning that “party” that Yvette keeps talking about. Both she and I have no idea what the party will be for, but she wants to have one. So maybe we’ll surprise John tomorrow with a “welcome home from work / thanks for taking such good care of us” party for him. We’ll take pictures, don’t worry.

The 12 Days of Christmas

John and I have had numerous conversations about the traditions we’d like to pass on to our children and/or start new with our family. As the kids get older and are able to appreciate the specific holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc that pass each year, we’ve decided to give a few news ones a try. Of course, our own immediate families had their traditions to which we both tend to prefer. But at the same time, our little family kind of has a way of adopting “new” ways of doing things. Believe me when I say we don’t set out to “go against the grain” or seek out different ways of doing things simply because not many are doing them. It just sort of happens that way sometimes.

When I was growing up I had a friend whose family celebrated the 12 days of Christmas. I didn’t completely understand what they did or why, but the idea of having 12 days of presents and fun sounded wonderful to me as a child. And since we couldn’t really agree on which traditions to pass on from our own immediate families or when to celebrate Christmas (open presents on the Eve of or the day of?) or whom to celebrate Christmas with (his family or mine or stay home?) or when is too early to celebrate or too late to celebrate, etc…..well….we decided that perhaps we’d try something “new” for both him and I AND the kids. A tradition that is neither familiar to his family nor mine. The 12 Days of Christmas.

It sounded like a good idea but we didn’t really know what it would all entail. We kind of “winged it”. Our understanding of the celebration of the 12 Days of Christmas is – in a very very simple definition – giving the birth of Christ the celebration it is due (MORE than one day), celebrating what it means to have that bridge between the human and Divine, being reminded of what is to come, and bringing it to a close at the celebration of Epiphany (the arrival and celebration of the Three Wise Men). Of course all of that is not necessarily easy for little minds and hearts to absorb, but we do our best to translate in a way they may – or may not – understand. So with each day comes a new way of celebrating or acknowledging these days.

Day 1: Santa leaves gifts
Day 2: sharing a meal with friends and/or family
Day 3: family outing
Day 4: baking of cookies and homemade yumminess
Day 5: the giving of homemade yumminess to neighbors and friends
Day 6: travel day
Day 7: exchange of gifts with Nana and Bumpa and cousins
Day 8: exchange of gifts with Granny and Gramps and cousin
Day 9: family game day – day spent playing board games, video games, puzzles
Day 10: gifts from Mom and Dad
Day 11: chosing of “old” toys to give to kids who don’t have any
Day 12: family gift

So technically today ends our celebration of the 12 Days of Christmas, though the Church’s celebration of Epiphany will be this coming Sunday.

Our days were celebrated with joy. The kids were able to appreciate and enjoy each round of gift giving and each activity we did together. We will most definitely be doing this again next year with the hopes that a little bit more of the meaning of it all will sink in a little bit deeper for each child.

Sure, it was definitely more work for John and I but it was so worth it. And seeing the faces of the kids with each new day was priceless.

And so on this final day of the celebration of the Birth of Our Lord…….

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!