Thursday, July 13, 2017

Time is like sand. It's all over my car. Wait, that's not right...

Chloe cut another tooth today. And suddenly it feels like my children are slipping through my fingers. I've been told 68 million times to cherish this time because it goes by too quickly. And every time I respond "I know!" 

Because I do know. I look at Allie and she's a kid. Not a toddler anymore, that phase is long gone. She's a kid with thoughts and ideas and imagination and rebellion. She is beginning to slip away. What do I mean by that? Maddie is a toddler. She depends on me. She needs me to help her with so much (no matter how independent she insists she is). She still wants to cuddle and sit on my lap. She still needs me to get her food, open her granola bars, wash her hair. 

But Allie? She stands on her own two feet, so to speak. She gets her own food from the fridge, bathes herself, changes Chloe's diapers, dresses herself, does her own hair, the list could go on and on. She doesn't need me as much anymore and the more I see it, the more I grasp for it but the more it slips through my fingers like sand. 

Of course I want her to be independent and be able to take care of herself. But I don't want it. I already miss her dependence on me. 

And Chloe. The more desperately I want time to slow down so I can savor her baby-ness, the more it seems to flash before my eyes. She insists on pulling herself up to stand and is even starting to take steps while holding onto the coffee table and I'm just like "Who is this grown baby and where has my infant gone???" I miss those newborn snuggles and even though I know I held her as much as I could, it doesn't feel like enough. 

But what's a mom to do? Curl up into a ball and cry about it, that's what.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Breather

The girls are a few feet away entertaining Chloe while she sits in her Bumbo. I've just finished gathering receipts for the kitchen remodel and checking on our budget. I *hate* budgets. But such is life of a married woman/couple who wants to remain free of credit card debt. I've come a long way.

I don't have anything in particular to write about. Occasionally, I'll be thinking about something and then the thought will cross my mind "That would make a good blog post." and then just as quickly as the thought enters, it exits.

Because... life. With 3 kids. Who are growing at an alarmingly fast rate. Allie starts kindergarten this year. KINDERGARTEN. Maddie is learning ABC's and 123's. Chloe is sitting up and starting solids. Yep, I'm just a giant mess of emotions lately.

So, I took an unofficial break from my company. The spring is the slow season anyway as the weather warms up so it seemed like a good time to step away for a breather. That doesn't mean I stopped crocheting. I currently have 3 unfinished projects I'm working on (not including 2 others that I'm not working on and 1 more that I have yet to start). Such is life of anyone who knits/crochets.

We're slowly plugging away at the kitchen remodel. I learned how to drywall mud last week and it was strangely soothing to cover the grimy, greasy, multi-colored walls with fresh, clean drywall mud. We still have a few more coats of drywall to do, with sanding in between each, then prime, then paint. Then the cabinets can be built and installed and we will be a little closer to having a normal home again.

I'm pretty sure the girls have only ever known what it's like to live in an "in-between" stage. At our last house, we were remodeling for 2 years right up until we drove away in the moving truck. Literally. Brian had finished the last coat of paint on the door trim and then we loaded everyone up and drove away. Then for 6 months we lived in a teeny, tiny apartment with only half of our belongings and it. was. crammed. Now we're in a space twice the size (which isn't saying much) but everything is still chaotic.

There's holes in the ceiling (not like tiny little holes, like giant, gaping, I-can-fit-my-head-through-there-and-then-some holes), cardboard temporary flooring, the walls are patchy from where we removed termite damage and 70's mirrored squares. Our bathroom upstairs is the most done but still has a mint green, dented door which makes the white paint look a tinge green which drives me crazy. The girls' room has exposed screws from drywall that was screwed in the day before we moved in. Everything needs to be mudded, sanded, primed, then painted. We need to install lights in the bedrooms, close all the giant gaping holes in the walls and ceilings, install cabinets in the laundry room, and then there's a whole long boring list of little things that need to be done.

I'm thankful that we have a house. I'm excited for when it's a home. Moving to Oceanside was the scariest thing we have ever done but we have been so incredibly blessed here. But living in the midst of the chaos can be challenging. People keep commending me for tiling, drywalling, etc. The truth is, I push Brian to let me help because I want to have my home. I want to cook in my kitchen. I want to do dishes without a toilet blocking my way. I want to walk through my kitchen and not track concrete dust through the rest of the house. I want to enjoy a weekend at the beach instead of checking things off our to-do list. I want the girls to be able to play without worrying they'll pick up a driver and drill a screw into someone's head or throw their toys in the many gaping holes in our walls.

This is the hard part. This is the part where we have to persevere through the remodel. I know there will be a good part. Where we'll look back at this and marvel at how terrible the house used to look. That's what's keeping me going. That and okay fine there's a little part of me that secretly really enjoys this. Except the painting.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sleep and other idols

Let's start with motherhood, shall we? Because it is my life. It is every waking minute of my day. It is what consumes my entire being, not just my physical body, but my emotions and mentality. Yesterday, Brian got home and we both laid on our bed and I told him about my day. I told him how I was exhausted mentally from parenting and disciplining rowdy toddlers who could just not. Get. Along.
We've been struggling with sleep lately and oddly enough, the 2 month old is not to blame. With the girls waking earlier and earlier (think Maddie running into our room at 4:45 am), I decided to implement a tip from several moms to keep the girls in bed until 7 am. Get a special clock, let them have books, tell them they need to stay in bed until 7. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it wasn't.

After 2 weeks of it, this is what we had: me groggily stumbling from bed at 5 am, breaking up the fights, spending the next 2 hours refereeing and eventually being so frustrated and angry, I would let them out and the crankiness would just trickle through the rest of the day. I wasn't getting anything done except creating extra opportunities for my own anger to boil over. The rest of the day was spent with me constantly trying to control my anger and desperately failing.


Chloe has been sleeping 7-8 hour stretches the last few days so today I decided that instead of trying to keep the girls in their room and not at each other's throats, I would let them join me. I was able to sneak in a shower before they woke up at 6 and then they both came downstairs and read books quietly next to me while I read Jeremiah.

Now normally, I'm straining to keep my anger under control but today, I was able to correct and discipline without raising my voice or huffing and sighing with impatience seeping through every pore. It was exactly the kind of day I needed. Full of grace from the Lord. But it made me think.

I was so desperately trying to have my alone time (or to be honest, my sleep) which just wasn't working for us. Instead, the Lord showed me that my time with Him or whatever I'm doing will include little ones sitting at my feet or in my arms. This is my full time job. 24/7. No breaks. No vacations.

And isn't that part of my job as a mother? To show them that no matter the circumstances, I place a high priority on my relationship with God. Not a high priority on sleep or a clean house or being able to have "me" time.

I still think it's good to have time for myself, for my own sanity and even just to rejuvenate myself mentally and physically. But I don't think I'll look back on this 30 years from now and wish I had made more "me" time. I need just enough to be able to come back to creating a happy home for the people I love. I still have the dirty dishes and piles of clean laundry and bottoms to be wiped and babies to be fed. But there's joy knowing that this is the best thing I can do with my time and the most important job anyone could have. And I couldn't be more thankful that God has in His goodness entrusted me with these little ones.