Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Piper grows up, 2 years

Piper girl,

When your sister turned two, I could barely believe it. You? I believe it. I thought your sister was stubborn and independent but you have taught me a thing or two about what that really means. You are everything I want you to be and a few things I don't want. You are strong, smart, affectionate and happy. You are also headstrong, moody, and independent to a fault. I love everything about you, but certainly get frustrated with your insistence that you do something yourself that you are completely incapable of doing.

Moving on. I remember being pregnant with you and being scared… scared that you would feel that you weren't loved like Jade was or scared that Jade would feel like her baby/toddlerhood was cut short by your arrival. And certainly, y'all being 18-months apart makes giving you each undivided attention hard. But ya know what? I think you're both gonna be the better for it. My fears have been completely squelched because not only did my heart grow so much when you were born, but you have your sister to love you too. So you get mama love AND big sister love and that's pretty awesome.

Speaking of your sister… I'm not sure how much you're gonna want to read this when you're older, but at this current age, you look up to her so much. Everything she does, you want to do. She jumps on one leg? You jump (and fall) on one leg. She pretends to sneeze and then giggles? You pretend to sneeze and then giggle. She runs and says she's gonna get her blanky from her bedroom? You follow and grab your own. Truly, you could not be more different and I certainly see myself shuttling to many different activities in my future because y'all are not gonna be doing the same ones, but you are also so similar.

You are still relatively fearless. I say relatively because I have certainly seen more daring kids, but compared to your sister you might as well be jumping off buildings. You climb up all the scary stuff at the playground, go down the huge slides and then do it all over again. You try to climb up our bookcases (don't worry folks, they're strapped to the wall!), get on the kitchen table, try to jump over the back of the couch, and frequently try to jump off of whatever you're on even though you can't quite do that yet so you kind of just fall. I swore you would be my first ER visit but I was proven wrong just 2 days after your birthday when I was sitting there with Jade. I won't say it was your fault… but um, I don't think the incident would have occurred without your presence.

You love your daddy and get super excited when he gets home from work. You love going to Mothers' Day Out and know all of your classmates names which really impressed me. You are started to be able to count, as opposed to saying "1, 3, 1, 3" when you pretend to count. You love to eat… you're picky, but not nearly as much as your sister so I'll take it. You're not quite talking in complete sentences, but you talk all.the.time and I can understand most of what you say. You're taking an interest in the potty but that's about it. You give great hugs and kisses as long as they're on your terms :) You love having tea parties and pushing your dolls in your stroller. You sing constantly… mostly in the car. "Jesus Loves Me," "You Are My Sunshine," and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" are your favorites. You also made up a song that goes "donut donut donut donut" on your birthday after your special breakfast that you really enjoyed.

Every now and then, you still let mama wear you. You're still nursing about 4 times a day and mama is starting to work on weaning now. You are far more attached to nursing than Jade ever was and I'm trying to make sure I do this gently. You're sleeping in a toddler bed and do well with it, for the most part.

I love you more than words can say and am so excited to watch you grow up.

Hugs and kisses,
Mama

and the pictures of Piper girl from our family photos a few weeks ago







Thursday, August 15, 2013

All the things

this post is all over the place. i would apologize, but really i'm just proud of myself for posting, so i won't.

The past two weeks, I have felt like a glorified cattle prodder and taxicab. We have rushed from one thing to another to another, and I can't remember the last time we were at home that my kids were awake that we weren't eating (this might be slightly exaggerated, because my memory is horrible- but suffice it to say, we've been busy). The sad thing is, I don't even know exactly what we've been doing. But somehow swim lessons 3x a week and the normal grocery shopping and Target trips have been combined with errands and attempts to socialize to become 3 very burnt out and grumpy girls in this house.

It's taking more and more work to get the girls out of the house. "But mama, I'm playing." And then when we come home and I need to cook dinner and need them to play "mama, I want you to hug me." Hugs are good, but at the end of a day where I barely sat down, I need my body to belong to me so that I can cook something.

So today? We're not going anywhere. We're not getting out of pajamas. We're cleaning the playroom so that we can walk in there again and we're going to play. And chill. And probably watch too much TV. I struggle with days like this. I try to pick one day a week that we don't go anywhere and while that sounds relaxing and wonderful, it actually stresses me out. Jade and Piper don't play very well together if they're not supervised. My days spent at home are spent breaking up fights, kissing boo boos from being pushed and bit, trying to find activities to keep them both busy and wanting to curl up into a ball and hide from my children. But I'm actually excited for today. We all need this. The girls are tired. I'm tired. And sometimes you just need to wear PJs.

Being excited for a day at home has me praying and searching and asking God if I'm doing too much. I feel like I shouldn't be this burnt out. There are constantly 5,000 things running through my mind. If I sit on the couch during nap time, I think about all the things I should be doing and feel incredibly guilty, making my supposed relaxing time anything but.

The floors need to be mopped.
The bathroom has dirty clothes all over the floor.
There's a load of clothes in the dryer that need to be folded.
The couch is covered in dog hair.
I need to move the highchair to the attic.
I really should walk the dogs more.
I need to clean the window on the back door.
Do we have enough money to buy flowers? We need flowers. Ours died.
Clutter is piling in the kitchen again.
Why haven't I hung curtains? This looks like a frat house.
I need to get rid of some toys. Too many toys.
I need to take Jade to the dentist.
Where is Piper's birthday party going to be?

Ok I'm done. But I could go on all day. My brain never stops. At some point, I make a point to turn it off, but generally I just go to bed then. So am I striving for too much? Do I need to lower my housecleaning standards, again? Do I need to give up on ever owning a home that's nicely decorated since my talents seem to lie elsewhere (don't ask me where my talents are, I just know they don't involve decorating). Or do I just need to rely on Him more fully. Let things slide sometimes and reign them in at other times.

So I stop. And breathe. And tell myself this is only a season. And play another round of Candy Land on my floor covered in dog hair and remind myself Candy Land is more important. One day at a time. I pray for guidance with the little things. The day to day. God cares about everything, but He doesn't want me to do everything. So I set boundaries. I protect our "stay at home day" fiercely. I remind myself that I am only one person.

Monday, July 15, 2013

When I need to write the most


One day last week, this was my facebook status:

I really do try not to complain much on here. I am blessed and I know it. But this morning, friends, I could use some prayers. I feel overwhelmed, ill-equipped and exhausted.

Honestly? Lately, that's how I've felt most days. Short on patience. Feeling like a failure. Guilty. Overwhelmed. The list goes on.

I really don't know when it all started. What I do know is that when I started to recognize it, instead of hitting it head on like I needed to, I hid. Hid from myself. Hid my problems from my friends.

When I needed to write the most, I went quiet. Avoided my quiet time. Started dealing with jealousy. And pride. And just went downhill.

I'm not "better" right now. But I'm done avoiding. Done acting like I'm ok when I'm not. Done feeling guilty for parts of myself I have no control over. Done thinking that my kids would be better off with someone else. Done acting defeated instead of fighting back. 

I'm not an idiot, I know this isn't the last time I'll deal with this. It seems to be something I'm gonna be dealing with for a long time. But I can make more of an effort to take care of myself and not curl into a ball the second I start to feel depressed again. I can stop relying on myself for things I was never intended to do, and instead rely on the One who loves to carry me through these times. 

And this is simply me putting this out there so I can't go back on my word immediately...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The top 10 signs you move too much (in no particular order)

1. You can never remember your zip code.

2. You find yourself driving to stores that are not in the city you currently reside in.

3. You never know what to say when people ask where you're from.

4. Your phone number isn't the right area code.

5. Your driver's license and license plate are the wrong state. And are a different state than your phone number...

6. When something about your current state of residence bothers you (hypothetically speaking {cough cough} tornadoes), you say "well I'm not from here" like you could control it if you were.

7. You own two homes that you do not live in, one that you have not seen in 5 years.

8. You think a 6-hour drive is a short road trip.

9. You have an attic full of clothes and recreational equipment for the wrong climate.

10. You can't remember if you saw that cookie sheet (drill, set of sheets, extra shower curtain...) in this house or your last one.

(and I wouldn't have it any other way)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gymnastics

Tuesday, Piper girl started gymnastics. Seriously guys, I never would've been one of those moms that signed up my 18-month old. But keeping her entertained for 50 minutes while watching Jade is nearly impossible and Jade no longer has to be in a mommy and me class so we can go during the day and I can go in with Piper.

With that said, Piper LOVED it. Loved. She did things Tuesday that in 4 sessions we never got Jade to do. And Jade started a dance/gym combo class and was SO excited. Since I'm busy with Piper, I didn't get to see her dance at all, but her teacher said she did really well and followed all the instructions and Jade told me that she had "lots of fun" so I'll call it successful. I think she'll like dance a whole lot more than gymnastics so this might be the last round of gymnastics- or maybe we'll stick with the combo? Not sure, but I'm not paying for two separate classes, that's for sure.

This post is mainly about pictures though. The lighting in my house is horrible, so just bear with me.

Wouldn't stand up...

Wouldn't look at me...

Looked at me. But Jade didn't!

Hugs

Yes, she held onto this all by herself. And signed "again" the second she hit the mat.



Staring at the people on the trapeze-jealous.


"Ok, fine, I'll climb"

I have a feeling this place will continue to get my money for some time to come.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

What needs to change?

saying that my thoughts are jumbled tonight is an understatement, so i apologize ahead of time 

Tonight I find myself asking this question. Realizing that something has to change because I'm headed down the wrong path again.

This month, I was reading through Nehemiah with SheReadsTruth. And just like a lot of other places in the Old Testament, we see the Israelites fail and recommit and then fail again. It would be so easy to point fingers. To act like I don't understand. To pretend like that is an Old Testament problem and not something I'm very much struggling with today in the here and now.

But that's not true. Although I'm not breaking covenant law with God and I have the grace of Jesus, there are certain things God has revealed to me about myself throughout the course of my life that I am downright ignoring. Because of that, I am finding myself burnt out, snippy and tired. I always try to just sleep more when I get like this, but the fact is the physical tiredness isn't the problem. I feel another kind of tiredness from the busyness and pressure I put on myself to do all the things.

I've never tried to make it a secret that I struggle with depression. It's hard to even type that without feeling like a failure, but if I don't face it and name it and speak power over it, it begins to take over. And if I ignore the things God has taught me, it doesn't matter how hard I think I'm fighting the depression, I lose.

So sometimes I have to take a step back. Re-examine things and see where my choices are taking me. Ask myself what someone looking at me from the outside thinks about my priorities. Ask myself what my kids think about the choices I'm making. Ask myself if I make my husband feel important or like an afterthought.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

This place I call home

Last year, when Chuck (very) abruptly announced that we were moving to Oklahoma, I had a few thoughts:
1. What? Moving? Huh?
2. I'm gonna miss our church.
3. Oklahoma? Really? Can't go somewhere else? I'll have to pray for a good attitude.

After the initial shock wore off, I did a pretty good job with number 3. This is not a place I would have chosen to move, but God revealed a lot of the good to me and I knew He had a purpose in sending us here and I have been both pleasantly surprised and genuinely pleased with this location. I will not say that I "love" it, but I never said that about Virginia either and now I miss it like crazy so apparently that doesn't matter.

I have made friends, I have found a great place for my kids to go to "school", etc. And really? A place is all about who you know and what you make of it.

But right now? I wouldn't be sad if the Air Force said "hey guys, wanna PCS after just a year?" Because oh my goodness this weather.

Storms have never really scared me. I remember watching the sky turn green from my front porch when I was a kid and my mom yelling at me to get inside. I love watching them form and I love thunder and really I think it's just amazing. I knew (obviously) that they could destroy, but in my mind, people in bathtubs and closets were safe. I didn't insist on a storm shelter in a property when we moved here because I really didn't think they were necessary (a lot of people/houses here do not have them). Hindsight.

With the kiddos, I feel responsible. There are two little people looking at me to, ya know, keep them alive. And while so far we have been beyond lucky in that all the big storms have been south of us, I feel like my guard has been up for two weeks and I'm exhausted.

So I'm back to praying for a good attitude. To realizing that moving away for a couple months probably isn't sensible. To seeking out the reasons God sent us here. But I'm gonna continue to butter up the friend that has a shelter, just in case :)