Having been there…

Today, my little sister went into the hospital to have her baby. It’s 10:00pm and she’s still got a few hours to go, but she’s there. Even though it’s not me having the kid, I’m super anxious for her! Like, can’t sleep, jumpy, excited, and afraid. I know it’s a sister thing, but I feel almost protective over her. I feel like I should be there coaching her, but I have my own sweet children, who are passed out at this very moment, to watch. I just wish there was a way that I could spare her the agony now, but there’s not…

     Having just had a baby 6 months ago, I am still very much aware of what she’s going to go through. I was there…. 6 very short months ago. I remember exactly how each gut wrenching (literally) contraction felt. I remember how it felt to want it all to be over with and how I wish I could do something to speed it up. I remember how I felt when I was breaking apart and I asked how much longer, and they told me to get comfortable because it would be a few more hours. I remember crying, but only because I was so tired but couldn’t give up. It didn’t exactly hurt like most pain hurts, it felt like someone had ahold of my pelvis and was pulling me down to the floor with everything they had, and I was trying to stay standing. Yes it hurt, but not in a sharp, painful type of way really… I also remember how it felt to have my nurses so interactive with me and so helpful. I remember the wonderful sense of relief when the nurse helped me get baby girls head through my cervix, then telling me I had gone from 7cm to 10 in a matter of seconds. I remember my doctor coming in and telling me to push, and that was the best news I had heard all day. I pushed about 8 times, and my sweet, crying little (or not so little) squishy baby was plopped onto my chest. She lay crying as I softly spoke to her and told her she was ok. She immediately went for the boob, and lay nursing for 45 minutes. She knew the good stuff from the start. I also remember, as I held my baby and looked at her sweet, fat little cheeks, how I completely forgot all of the 8-9 hours of agony and pain, and could only see her. I remember laying in bed getting stitched up, and watching my husband stare down at her in amazement. It made my heart melt. I was even more in love than ever.

     So, I pray that her labor is quick and painless, and that she gets to feel all of the wonderful feelings that I did.

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Mommy loves you

I lay here at 12:11am thinking. I just finished feeding your baby sister, her warm round cheeks and wet puckered lips kissed a hundred times, but I still think about you. 

     Lately, I’ve gotten angry with you. I get upset at you for getting upset, when I should be holding you letting you know it’s alright. I do that, just not near enough. You probably wonder why I put my head down and hold back tears when you’re yelling and throwing toys out of frustration. At first, I’m angry because you’re throwing a fit, but after I take that deep breath, my heart hurts because I don’t like seeing you unhappy. I’m torn between letting you cry, and making you stop because you shouldn’t throw fits. It’s hard, but someone has to do it.

    I’m sorry. I’m just a person, and I don’t have a clue what to do, so I’m doing the best I know how. You’re so sweet and wonderful and amazing! So it kills me when you turn into an angry little girl. You’re better than that, but I have to remember that you’re just a little girl who still gets mad. You get mad because you can’t get your shoes on by yourself, or can’t get that toy into your silly shopping cart. You’ve failed a hundred times, yet you still try. I stand there watching, knowing that it’s not going to ever fit, yet, when I say something, you insist. So, I let you be mad and throw things for a minute. Then I bend down, offer a new solution, dry your tears and kiss your sweet little sad face, and it once again is all okay.

     As I lay here, I hear you cough in your room, and I wonder if you will climb into my bed again in the early hours. You’ll climb in, push me over, demand to have my entire pillow, and I’ll be too exhausted to fight it. After all, it is just a pillow. You’ll kick the blanket off because you don’t like being covered, and I’ll try in a desperate attempt to get warm again. But how can I be mad when you wake up and kiss my face and tell me that it’s time to wake up? How can I not love the little girl sitting there begging for apple juice and breakfast? 

I don’t know what else to say, my dearest. I love you to the moon and back, and though I may get angry, it’s only because I feel as though I can’t do it right. Yet, I look at you, and I know that somewhere, somehow, I’m getting it right.

Goodnight my dear sweet girl, mommy loves you.

  

Why you should teach your children to bake/cook.

I grew up in a household with 4 boys and 5 girls. Us girls shared a room and the boys shared a room. We had one shower, two bathrooms, and a very tiny kitchen. To get an idea of just how tiny, imagine an apartment kitchen, and I don’t mean a luxury apartment. It was small. Some may say that a lifestyle of that sort would be awful, but honestly, it was awesome. We all were very close, and because of that, we still, to this day, are all extremely close. We were all home-schooled, so there were things that we didn’t experience like other kids. We didn’t know what it was like to have to get up at 6:00am every morning and be out the door for school by 6:45am. We didn’t know what it was like to have school dances, fundraisers, or junior high boyfriends. What we DID learn, was how to live practically, and one of those practical life lessons we learned was how to cook.

From the time we were about 5, we were in the kitchen helping mom prepare meals. We learned how to make anything from a basic egg and bacon breakfast, to a full lasagna dinner with salad and garlic bread. We weren’t exactly TAUGHT to cook, we learned from doing. But learning how to make the food is not the important part. Yes, it is really great that I know what a rue is and how to make soup thicker or thinner, and it’s good to know the difference between baking powder and baking soda and know what each thing does, but that’s not my point here. The important things we learned from cooking are far greater than simply how to make food.

From cooking, my siblings and I learned patience. A good baker knows that in order to get really soft bread, you have to knead it, then let it rest for many hours. Then, once it’s done, it has to bake. It’s a process that can’t be rushed whether you like it or not. We learned that good things are worth waiting for. When you make chili, it’s best if you let it sit and simmer for a while. That’s when it gets it’s heartiness and deep, rich flavors. We learned not to be afraid to try something new. My parents would bring something home, or make something, new for us to try about once a week. We didn’t have to like it, but we had to at least try it. It opened the door for us to have a broadened pallet as adults. Another thing we learned was to be experimental and not to be afraid to try. We would make changes to recipes, not knowing how they would turn out, and if it messed up, we weren’t afraid to try again. The last thing I will mention that we took away from the cooking experience was how to make the best of what we had. There were days where we weren’t sure what we were going to eat for dinner, or if we were even going to have dinner, but we never went without. We learned how to put a bunch of random things together, that you would never put together normally, and make it taste great! We can all thank my momma for that 🙂

So, there you have it. Here is a very short list of a few of the many reasons that you should start now and involve your children in your kitchen experience. If they don’t learn any valuable life lessons, at least they will know how to cook for themselves (and hopefully others).

Happy cooking y’all 🙂

Why I don’t (and won’t) apologize about my children.

Kids can be loud, crazy, obnoxious, bratty, misbehaved, and more. But they can also be sweet, smiley, happy, joyful, beautiful, amazing little humans. It’s not easy being a parent to such emotional roller coasters, but in the end, it’s so worth it.

     I never really grasped the concept of the “terrible twos”, which I even wrote a blog about that topic, until my oldest turned two. Someone flipped on a switch, and the emotions, good and bad, came flooding in with rage. My always sweet little bug turned very unpredictable and mostly frustrated over night. My instinct was to be upset and get onto her, but after a while, I tried to understand that she was only trying to learn how to handle all of these new emotions. She now was frustrated because she wanted to be so independent, but didn’t quite have the physical skills to do things such as getting herself dressed. It wasn’t/ isn’t because she was trying to be bad or was acting out, she was simply frustrated and confused. So, instead of getting mad at her for lashing out, I started trying to give her ways to grasp control of these emotions. I ask her why she’s upset before getting onto her, I talk her through how to fix what is making her mad, I show her how to do it, then let her do it, and most of all, I show her that she can be mad and upset without acting out. 

     It’s unfair to tell a child to not be angry and upset. We tell them to not be, because we don’t like the attitude. So instead of addressing the actions, we tell them to hide the feelings. We as adults are allowed to be upset, but we know how to handle our emotions, so why should we force our children not to feel? Yes, that’s a little exaggerated, but that’s essentially what is coming across. Instead of punishing them for being mad, address the actions that come out when they feel that way. 

     My children are just that, children. Like adults, they have mood swings, good days and bad, and roller coaster emotions. Its asking a lot of my children for me to expect them to be perfect all the time, so pardon me if my child is a little “bratty” in the grocery store. I’m not sorry for my children’s behavior. I’m not sorry for them being “bad”, if that’s what you want to call it. My kids have crazy emotions that’s they’re still learning to control, so yeah, they’re not going to be quiet and “good” all the time. I’m not sorry for my children crying all the way home in the car because they’re hungry and tired. I will never, ever apologize for my child’s unruly behavior. I have good, sweet, kind, amazing kids who have bad days. It’s as simple as that. I will never apologize because I know that I am doing what I can to show them that life is basically good and that it will all be ok. So if you want to be mad when my kids are crying and throwing fits, wait until they are 5+. If they are still acting like a 2 year old then, you can be annoyed at me. Because at that point, it’s not my kids fault, it’s mine. So until I have actual brats who are old enough to be brats, don’t be annoyed, don’t be mad. 

   
 

Think about your thoughts

I know how easy it is to get caught up in the fast pace of our lives. There’s kids, work, school, family, holidays, and we all have at least one of these. Because of the business of our day to day life, we forget to just sit and ask ourselves “why?”. Why do we do, and think, the things we do? 

     My brother asked a question today, and it pulled my heart strings to answer it. He asked “what makes you cry? And “what makes you sing (happy, joyful…)?” At first, I wanted to quickly answer that my family is what makes me sing and that being hurt makes me cry, but then I thought more on it, and it was mug deeper than that. What made me hurt? Why did that make me hurt? What about my family made me sing? What specifics? There was so much more in my answer all of a sudden simply because I took it a little deeper.

     If we look at how many times a day we answer questions with practiced answers, we would be amazed. When asked “how are you?” Do you answer truthfully? Or do answer with the usual “I’m good, and you?”? I think the reason we give that vague, general answer is because we don’t like to allow ourselves to become vulnerable by answering truthfully, and we have come to believe that people don’t really care. Also, that little answer is quick and closed, meaning it leaves no door open for a relating question. We like quick so that we can go about our business. But what if we answered truthfully about everything we were asked? What if we thought about our answers before we gave them?…

     I have been working on giving more detailed answers and not being so distant. You’d be amazed at how open people can be when you answer with “eh I’ve been ok, today, such and such happened, and blah blah blah”, instead of, “im good.”. When you seem engaged and open with someone, they automatically feel more comfortable with you and feel like they can be more open. This is how friendships start!

     So in closing, I urge you to give your thoughts, words, and actions more thought. Slow down and enjoy conversation with someone you don’t know. You might actually learn something.

I joined that moms group by going out on a limb and doing something I was uncomfortable with, and now look where I am!  Having birthday parties with new friends 🙂

       

The texas tornado and baby shamu

My kids are great. They keep me on my toes, make me happier than I could ever be, but they also make me more exhausted than I have ever been in my life. I’m not even kidding, I wake up in the morning exhausted, AND I JUST WOKE UP! I’m not up all night with the baby like I used to be, but maybe getting up once is throwing me off or something. Whatever it is, it’s ridiculous. Today, I was remembering my stay in the hospital with Kimberly, and for a brief second (a VERY brief second), I thought how nice it would be to have another baby JUST so I could have that kind of rest again. I go anything I wanted brought to me, I could sleep with no interruptions, my baby ate and slept and that was IT, and I didn’t have to ever get dressed if I didn’t want to! Yes, I know, it’s crazy to want another kid just for that reason because after those few days of heaven, you get a lifetime of insanity. Okay, so maybe not another kid… but I would love that kind of opportunity again lol

Lately, I don’t know if it’s something she’s been eating or what but, Chloe has been SOOOOOOOOOOOOO crazy! Like, run around the house flailing her arms and head about, screaming and laughing at the top of her lungs, crazy. I’d like to blame it on sugar, tea, anything, but it begins as soon as she opens those wild little eyes. She is like Hammy off of “Over the Hedge”. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! It keeps my days from being boring for sure, but the energy that goes into her being happy also goes into her being upset. She doesn’t really throw tantrums, it’s mostly when she gets frustrated at something. For example, she was trying to fit a little toy into her toy car, and it wouldn’t sit the way she wanted it to, so she threw the toy and the car across the room! lol I know it’s not funny, but it was. I’ve been teaching her ways to curb her outbursts when she’s mad, like taking a deep breath and thinking about what she needs to do, and it’s been doing her some good. She’s a good girl, but we definitely need to work on her attitude. But then again, she’s 2, and what 2 year old doesn’t have some adjustments that need doing? Exactly.

My now almost 6 month old (wow time flies) is getting her own little personality. The top of the lungs screaming has begun to fade I’m thrilled to say, but it has been replaced with this low grunting/whining noise. I’m not going to complain because anything is better than that shrill shriek she used to do. She is the complete opposite of Chloe. She loves to just sit around and play with her toys now. She just mastered the sitting thing though, and gets really upset if you lay her down instead of sitting her up lol She has also started on solids. I wasn’t going to full on get her going on them, but after a few tastes, she would get so mad if I didn’t feed her when we ate.So, now she eats when we eat lol.

My girls couldn’t be any more opposite, but I wouldn’t know what to do if they had the same personality. I’d probably be insane… I know this post didn’t have much “juice”, but I like to write about what’s on my heart, and today, my girls were the main topic 🙂

…But if I do not have love, I am nothing.

I want to share something that’s been on my heart for a while. It’s been tearing at me because several people close to me are struggling and not sure what to do. Well, here’s my answer for you, and I hope you listen with an open heart.

When we think of love, we immediately imagine hearts, fireworks, and being “in love” with someone and this is exactly why there are so many broken couples today. People get into a relationship looking for that warm fuzzy feeling, but when that feeling goes away, they mistake it for the idea that they must not love that person anymore. This then leads to separation and brokenness. But what people don’t understand, and don’t teach younger generations, is that those warm feelings don’t determine your level of love. They also don’t demonstrate what real love actually is. The Bible clearly spells it out starting in 1 Corinthians 13:4. Now, before I break it down, I want you to really think about each piece. Because it’s been in so many weddings and there has been so many sermons on it, people have grown accustom to hearing the usual “love is patient” blah blah blah. But even I never let it really sink in until someone close to me challenged me to take it to another level.

1 Corinthians 13: –

4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It seems like a pretty simple thing to do. Be patient: check. Be kind: check. But he’s talking about doing this in EVERY situation and with EVERY person. In another verse in the bible, he says to love your neighbor as yourself. He didn’t mean just your physical neighbor who lives in the house next to you. He was talking about any and everyone around you. Yes, that means even the crook who took your wallet, the guy you cut you off in traffic, the person who yelled at you for getting their order wrong. So, with knowing that these “love commandments” apply to everyone, let’s continue.

Love is patient. Patience does not come easily, and to apply it with someone you simply don’t like is an even harder feat. You mean we have to be patient when the woman at the store counter snaps at you for not having correct change? yes. What about when your neighbor backs into your car? yes, even then. It’s not easy to keep yourself from getting aggravated when the law office is taking forever to find who stole your purse, but you know what, it applies here too.

Love is kind. This means you have to put on a happy face and help out that elderly man who just insulted you for not being “from back in his day”. Kindness can go a long way, and even when you don’t know it, a simple act of kindness, like helping someone load groceries, can make a huge difference in the way that persons life plays out from that moment on.

Love does not envy. Now, this one gets easier as we get older, simply because we can afford more. But it does not only apply to money, even though that’s usually the context that it is brought up in. Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting something that someone else has. What we’re talking about here is being jealous and getting angry that they got it instead of you. We should be happy that they were able to posses that good thing, whether it be a new car, or a promotion that we were shooting for as well.

Love does not boast. Don’t go around talking about all the good things that are happening to you. Even though you may be talking about it in the sense of “Oh I’m so blessed because…”. There’s a fine line between giving God credit for something, and using that as an excuse to gloat about how you have all these good things happening to you. It’s not a bad thing for you to have blessings and opportunities, just be careful about how you talk about them.

Love is not proud. This is a hard one for me to deal with, and it always has been. It’s not talking about how you shouldn’t be proud of your children or of an accomplishment. It’s talking about pride as in the lack of humility. We should not be so proud that we can’t own up to our downfalls and mistakes. We need to humble ourselves and admit when we are wrong.

5. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not dishonor others. This means talking about how “silly” your husband is when he doesn’t take out the trash when he’s “supposed” to. It means not talking about the downfalls of others. None of us are perfect, and we just look foolish going around talking about the ignorance of others. This even means the current President. I know, you all hate the guy, but God still loves him, and we should too. Even if we don’t agree with what he’s doing, we still need to recognize that he is a person and deserves to be respected and honored just like the rest of us.

Love is not self – seeking. This one is tricky to understand if it’s not explained. Self – seeking means doing and saying things to make yourself seem better than someone else. I have seen a lot of this lately, and unfortunately, the person doing it doesn’t realize that’s what is coming out. For example; making jokes about a friend, or even just an acquaintance, to make others around you laugh. What you’re doing is making yourself “look” better at the expense of someone else.

Love is not easily angered. This is probably one of the most overlooked and overused parts of this verse. I say overused because we tend to do it a lot. Sometimes, we get angry without even knowing that we’re angry. Like yelling at the guy in front of you when he cuts you off. Think about this for a second. You were in your car, singing along to your tunes, and in a split second, someone cuts in front of you. Without even thinking, you start yelling about how crazy he is and asking if he was even paying attention. You didn’t even think twice about getting mad, heck you probably didn’t even KNOW you were getting mad! That’s how easy it is to get angry! Yet, it clearly says we should not let ourselves get easily angered. But notice, it does not say to never get angry… Just food for thought.

Love keeps no record of wrongs. Now we’re getting into the part I was waiting for. This is such an important lesson to practice, yet we still do it. This means that when your spouse cheats on you, you forget it right then and there. Yeah sure, they committed the unforgivable “relationship sin”. But God is telling you to let it go and act as if it never happened! That’s right, you are supposed to COMPLETELY let it go! Now, I know you want to start justifying it and making up excuses for why you should be mad about it. You want to talk about how you should be more respected and how he should have treated you better. But guess what, you don’t get to. You are told to forgive and forget. “keep no record of wrongs”, which means any bad thing that anyone ever did to you, you are supposed to let it go and continue to love them. No, it’s not easy at ALL, but God never said loving someone was going to be easy. This also means that you aren’t allowed to bring up crap from the past when you get in an argument with someone.

6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Here, it’s not talking about evil as in witchcraft and sorcery, it’s talking about anything negative that happens. Don’t be happy that your mean, angry boss lost his job, even if it means that you will be in a better situation. Sometimes, good situations for you mean bad situations for someone else. Now, that’s not always in your control, but just keep that in mind. It says “does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.”. I think that what it’s referring to is that we should not be happy when something bad happens to someone, but be glad that no stone is left unturned. For example, your boss gets fired for stealing money. You shouldn’t be glad that he’s fired, but instead be glad that you now know who was stealing the money and you can now fix the problem.

There’s more to the chapter, but I want to stop here and go back to verse 5. Love keeps no record of wrongs. I want you all to take this and really work on applying it to your lives. I know too many people who are going through divorces and hardships with their spouse right now, and most of it is because there is a lack of forgiveness. I want to say that you do not get to choose which act is worthy of forgiveness. We are supposed to forgive every time and forget about any wrongdoing that has been done to us. Yes it is hard to do and I’m not saying that it will happen right away, but you need to deal with yourselves instead of trying to get that other person to “treat you better”. You are no better than them and they deserve to be loved. I’m not saying that you have to stay with a cheating, abusive, manipulating person, but I am saying that you have to forgive them for anything they have ever done to you.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone by this post. I just see a lot of hurt in people close to me, and through their hurt, they are doing more damage to their own situation.