Sunday, April 27, 2014

Slice of Heaven

There are many days I post about my rough "mom days," but today I just want to talk about how full my heart is.  Today was not extraordinary, but for some reason while I watched my little family I sat back and enjoyed this tough stage of life.  This stage can be exhausting, but there are so many pieces of it I want to bottle up and take with me into the next stage so I don't forget.

Today I watched my oldest master the skill of riding a bike without training wheels.  I was inside nursing Sam watching out the window as Paul worked with Belle.  I am certain the smile on her face as she zoomed by the house on those two wheels will forever remain in my memory.  

Today we laughed at Evie (shocking, right?)  We sat eating dinner and as Paul talked she looked at him, pointed at his plate, and said "keep eating!"  Think she has heard that a time or two?!?!

Today I snuggled on Sam as he fought his first cold.  There is something so sad hearing a baby cry with such a raspy voice.  He surprisingly has handled feeling sick rather well!  It might be harder on me that it has been on him.

Today I played a game of "Go Fish" with Paul and Belle.  We laughed at Belle who still had to be told how to play the game with every turn and had to comment on the picture on each card.   

Today I watched Evie figure out how to FINALLY get those pedals moving on her bike.  The girl worked so hard that by 6:30 she was exhausted and more than ready for bed.  When we brought her in she just kept, "I want to go outside!  I want to ride bike!"

Today I laughed as Sam would go back and forth from a cry to a smile within seconds.  It's as if he couldn't decide if he wanted to be happy or sad.  One thing is certain--he has a pouty lip that pulls on this mama's heart strings!

Today we celebrated as Belle worked hard to avoid an accident.  We are STILL struggling with her, and there are days it seems like a lost cause, but today we celebrated.

Today I cracked up as Evie and I had a "dance off."  I would do a dance move, and then she would mimic it.  Surprisingly, she is pretty good at the Shopping Cart--although, not so good at the Macarena.

Today I grinned each time I saw Sam put his thumb in his mouth.  I just can't get over how stinking cute it is to watch him suck on his thumb.  We are so used to pacifiers over her, so this is a fun change!

Today as I headed out to Meijer I had to pry Belle off of me who so badly wanted me to stay. I had hung out with the girl ALL morning, but for some reason she just didn't want me to leave.  I was annoyed at the time, but think I should take in every moment she wants to spend with me NOW, because eventually hanging with her mom might not be so cool to her.

Today I told myself I that I have to record Evie some nap time. Without fail her routine is to pray, to kiss me, to hug me, and then she says "Goodbye Mommy, I love you, muah!"

Today I got excited about the clothes Sam is starting to fit into as he gets bigger, but lamented a bit the clothes he has grown out of.  Getting so big, so fast.

Today I helped Belle write a story about Barbie, Stacy, and Chelsea.  It was all about some race where the medals were lost and they had to go on a mission to find them.  In the meantime, Barbie broke her leg, and then two of them got sick.  Perfect sense, right?!?

Today I watched Evie trying to lay on her sister while watching a movie.  Belle wasn't so into it, but my Evie tried her hardest. That girl LOVES to snuggle, or as she says "sungle."

Today I gave Sam's dimples hundreds of kisses.  I cannot get enough of that sweet smile of his.

Today was a day to take joy in the small things and to not let the day in and day out of this stage get me down.  There are so many sweet moments that I don't want to miss because I am too busy worrying about the not-so-sweet moments.  This little family of mine is the only one I have and I want to enjoy this slice of Heaven God has given me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Samuel John -- 3 Months

Oh, Sam, how much things can change in a month!  I feel like you are FINALLY getting your nights figured out.  We have had many more nights where you nurse and go right back to sleep.  In fact, we have had many nights where you only wake up once!!! Your mother is feeling much more refreshed, and less like a zombie!

You still aren't a fan of your car seat or stroller, but you love to lay on the floor or hang out in your bouncy seat.  You also love to lay on my legs and smile at me.  

Right now you still aren't real into your pacifier.  This kind of petrifies me, but I'm hoping you find your thumb.  I have notice you sucking on your hand a lot, so maybe I'll get lucky!

We just started to sleep train you.  I was hoping to wait a bit longer to do this, but you have proven to be a kid who needs this.  You don't just fall asleep wherever anymore, and you seem to be over your swing.  The last few times I have put you in your swing you arched your back so much that you almost pushed yourself right out!  You are a kid who knows what he wants and what he doesn't want!  Thankfully, you are really into your crib.  You have transitioned into your crib easier and quicker than your sisters did. 

Your dimples and hair are still your trademark.  Your hair is thinning a bit, but I am holding on to hope that you won't lose it all like your sister, Belle, did!  

You are starting to outgrow your 3 months clothing already!  I still feel like I should be able to consider you a newborn, but you're getting too big too fast!  Slow down! My heart can't keep up, sweet boy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stolen Motherhood

Today I let Satan steal my motherhood.  All seemed to start out well, but by the time it hit 4:30 it was clear that I had pretty much handed it over to him.  I obviously hadn't planned on this happening, but slowly and surely my self-talk, my patience, and my entire ability to do this "mom-thing" began to quickly spiral downward.

Motherhood is such a tough gig, because within one day you can feel completely in control and minutes later things turn to complete chaos.  This was my day.  This morning was filled with the normal day-to-day.  The kids were fed, Evie and Sam had baths, we watched a movie, we colored, and we did a craft.  Sure, there was the occasional Evie tantrum or Belle meltdown, but things were under control.

I really began to question myself when Sam's napping just wouldn't happen.  I'd work so hard to finally get him to fall asleep and within 30 minutes he was awake.  I tried to keep a positive attitude telling myself that it was fine and eventually he'd take a long nap, but I was struggling.

Here's how things went for me...
"Okay, Sam needs to sleep.  The girls are watching a movie on the couch.  As long as Evie sits there she won't hurt herself.  Lord, please don't let her try to go up and down any stairs.  Come on, Sam, give in already..."

"I should check on the girls.  Ugh.  I feel so bad that I am giving so much time to Sam and they are stuck in front of the TV.  Maybe I should let him cry longer.  Although, he is only 12 weeks, and I don't want him crying TOO long.  How long is too long?  Maybe I should stop the swing and try him back in his crib.  I could nurse him, but that would take more time from the girls and he might not transfer well.  I could try a bottle, but I should really be trying to keep up my milk supply..."

"Ugh, Sam JUST fell asleep 15 minutes ago.  Why is he awake.  I'll get him up.  Why are the girls fighting AGAIN?  How many times are they going to hit each other?  I need to be more consistent with putting them in time out.  I can't focus on keeping Evie in time out while Sam is screaming.  I need to keep rocking him, but she clearly needs some attention..."

The culmination of the entire night came when I snapped at Belle when she asked for a drink before bed.  And if I am to be honest, my snapping at Belle including some cussing.  At that point I began to cry knowing I was taking my personal frustration out on Belle, and I sat down to ask my sweet girl for forgiveness.  She poured on me hugs upon hugs and kisses to make my heart melt.  She squeezed me tight and told me that tomorrow she wanted to help me even MORE.  She knew her mama was tired.

After a text to two of my closest friends about my downfalls, they reminded my that I was doing a good job because I had a kid who showed empathy to her mother.  I was allowing myself to miss the good I was doing within all the not so good.  Amidst all of my negative internal dialogue I forgot to thank the Lord for Evie who wanted to snuggle all day, for Belle who offered (all on her own) to dust my TV stand, for Sam who gave me one good stretch of happy smiles today.  I forgot to treasure my Evie who cleared her own breakfast plate without me asking.  I missed that Belle cleaned up the chalk she got out the very first time I asked.  I ignored that Sam sat for 20 minutes watching a Praise Baby today while I was able to actually get some laundry put away.  I disregarded that I made my kids whole wheat WITH flax seed pancakes and they devoured them.  I had allowed Satan to steal my motherhood.

Today, I write this as one tired and worn mother.  I write this as a mom who has spent the past 12 weeks with a sweet boy who isn't much of a sleeper and has given me little down time. I have allowed my exhaustion to make me feel bad for myself and snap at my family.  I have allowed myself to beat myself up for what I wasn't getting done, rather than proud of the things I have been accomplishing.  Satan has been real good at stealing my motherhood and making me feel inadequate.  To be honest, I have been making it easy on him.  Things in this home are good.  I am really doing a good job, but I'm not giving myself enough credit considering the stage of life I am at.

So, tonight I vow to try better at listening to the life-giver who has called me to raise the three precious lives he has blessed me with.  He knows I am adequate and he knows I am the best person to raise Belle, Evie, and Sam.  I am going to have tough days like today, but I am going to hold on tight to my motherhood so Satan cannot steal it away.  Today it was okay, and tomorrow it's going to be okay too.

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