Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Terrible/Terrific Twos

BK turned two in January. Things rocked along just fine until about a month ago...then she began to change. It was like she grew up right before my eyes. She has always been a "little big girl"...acting grown way before she should have. But this newest transformation is different, it's like she has gone to a new level.

On the positive side:
She is even more of a delight...she makes jokes and laughs at ours...she helps with simple chores...she is learning to "go potty"...she is more outgoing with other people...she makes up and sings her own songs...and her level of learning (already pretty high) has been kicked up a notch.

On the negative side:
Oh my gosh...can we say DRAMA PRINCESS! Anything that doesn't go her way sets into motion a series of events that I cringe just thinking about. There are shrieks of protest, throwing anything that is in her hands at the time, and then falling to the floor dramatically, accompanied by more loud crying. It doesn't matter where we are or who we are with, it is going to happen eventually.

Welcome to the world of two-year-olds. They are on top of the world one minute and screaming about something...anything...everything...the next.

We talk. We try to find out what is wrong. We tell her that is not acceptable behavior. We put her in time out. We swat her backside (yes we do). It takes time, commitment, and most of all energy to train children, but train them we must. What might be semi-cute at two (believe it or not, sometimes I'm tempted to laugh at her when she flings herself to the floor), is definitely not cute at five.

Do I wish that she had not gone to this new level? Not for a minute. The positive far outweighs the negative. Terrible or terrific? Depends on which minute of a particular day you ask the question. But I'll take the good with the bad and I'm determined to enjoy each day, because tomorrow is a new day, with a new level, and it will have enough challenges of it's own.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fighting BMS

In an effort to combat cerebral atrophy, otherwise known as BMS (Brain-Mush Syndrome), last night I challenged myself to make a list of all 50 states. I only came up with 45...but I actually felt pretty good about that. It's not as easy as it sounds...grab a pen and paper, or pull up an Excel worksheet, and give it a shot. Let me know how you did. Do your part to stop BMS!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Family Member

My great-niece gave birth to a baby girl this afternoon. Mother and daughter are doing well. New life is such a gift. My family is rejoicing tonight!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Energizer Bunny Needed

Ever feel like your batteries need to be recharged? I’m there now. I am tired…not just physically, but with the tiredness that comes from the monotony of everyday living.

It is my own fault. I knew when I quit my job last year to stay home with BK, it was imperative that I stay involved with people and activities that would keep my mind active and my resolve to be a stay-at-home mom strengthened. I have done neither of these things on a consistent basis. There are days when I feel like my brain is turning to mush…days when I think I’ll scream if I have to hear Barney sing how much he loves me one more time. There are also days when I feel very unappreciated (actually, those are most days). I realize that the sacrifices I am making now are an investment in my daughter's future...but in this world of instant gratification, sometimes it's tough to stay focused when I do not reap the benefits immediately.

I have come to believe that being a full-time mother and wife is one of the most challenging lifestyles a woman can chose. Not only is it hard work, but for me it is a constant battle to overcome feelings of inadequacy and to face the disapproval and disrespect from those who do not understand the importance of a my commitment to my family…even in the Christian community.

What a shame that our society has tricked us into believing that in order to be fulfilled in life, women need careers. I run into women all the time who tell me there is no way they could stay home…work gives them purpose in life. Right after I left my job, I really struggled with my identity. My job and my identity were so firmly entwined that it was hard to separate the two…to be honest, I am not sure that I have completely mastered it yet.

I shared some of these thoughts with a friend who is a homeschooling mother of seven. She sent me a wonderful list of things that she has done over the years to keep herself in the right place mentally as she lives out her convictions to be the best mother and wife she can be. What an inspiration she is to me! I am so thankful for her friendship.

I know that my thoughts and beliefs lead directly to my feelings…and ultimately to my actions. I have a choice of what to think and believe. The responsibility of staying content in this season of my life rests firmly on my shoulders. So here is my plan of revitalization:

*Take a break from the ordinary. I will plan a mini-vacation with hubby and the princess…maybe for the weekend…just to get away for a few days and enjoy ourselves.
*Be purposeful about cultivating friendships with like-minded women. I am not sure exactly how to go about doing this, but I know it is very important. Church is a good place to start. There are also online groups for stay-at-home moms.
*Be careful about what I read, watch and hear. It makes no sense to work hard to renew my mind, only to let some television show or magazine sabotage the progress I’m making.
*Work on a task that I love to do. My new blog is an excellent way to utilize my love of writing.
*Challenge myself to do a task that I don’t love to do. Oh my gosh, I guess this means that I have to tackle that junk room that has been calling my name for the longest time.
*Laugh, laugh and then laugh some more. Nuff said.

Hmm…sounds like a good plan. I will keep you updated.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Open Our Eyes

Today I was reading over a devotional piece that I wrote several years ago and I realized how much I needed to read these words. Perhaps you do too...

I do not think that asking God “why?” is wrong, as long as this questioning of His actions does not turn into questioning His character. The danger comes when we start blaming God for not stopping all the bad things from happening. I think that the main reason we would be tempted to do that would be if we really do not know the heart of God, for if we did, then we would understand that He is kind, merciful and loving, and when His children hurt, He hurts as well.

The perception that many of us have about God is faulty, and that can lead to a suspicion of His motives. The first thing that we have to remember is that God is Holy and He is…well…GOD. This gives Him the right to do whatever, whenever, and however He sees fit. Sometimes we think that we are so smart, and if we were God, we would sure do things different. However, I have a feeling that if we held the reins to the universe, even for a very short period of time, we all would be in a whole heap of trouble. Only God knows the beginning from the end. He is Alpha and Omega. He was here before it all started and He will be here when it all ends.

We do not have to understand it all to live our lives in faith. We don’t even have to like it. But what we do have to do in order to go on with Him is to learn to trust Him to know what is best for us.

If you are going through a hard time yourself, just love Him right where you are, and know that He will see you through…making a way where there seems to be no way. He loves us with an everlasting love and, as Beth Moore says, “God will never let you go through a fire that He cannot bring beauty from the ashes.” (Read Isaiah 61:1-3)

My prayer for us all is that we will be made aware of the schemes of the enemy, both subtle and outright, and we will stand firm in the Truth of God’s Word. May we learn to relax in our Father’s love even when we do not understand, and come to Him with the simple trust of a child who believes that his Daddy can do anything. Open our eyes, Lord, to the wonder of You.

The Art Project

When is the last time you colored? No, I don't mean your hair...I mean sitting down with a crayon and creating a masterpiece.

Okay, so here is my deep dark least one of them...I like to color! I cannot think of a time that I did not have at least one box of crayons in my house...even when there were no kids around to use them (it's getting harder and harder to remember a time that there were no kids around). There is just something about a fresh box of Crayolas...but not just any box...the big box with the sharpener in the back (that I never use, but I like knowing it's there) and the wonderful array of hues that beckon me.

I took the girls to story time at the library today. After a few songs and two books, it was time to work on coloring ice cream cone and a bee, to be exact. I watched both of them on the floor with their crayons racing...tongues sticking out in concentration. Purple cones and green ice cream emerged from the little hands. Two-year-old art is the medium for which refrigerator magnets are made. When BK was finished, I asked her to bring me her sheets so I could write her name on them. Hmm...the cone could use a little something. Picking up the brown, I outlined the diamond shapes, then filled them in...smiling as I concentrated hard to NOT stick my tongue out. About that time, BK turned around to see what I was doing. With an indignant "MOMMY!", she grabbed the page dare I mess up her picture?

Alas, there is a time and a place for everything. The girls are now down for their naps. I tip-toed down the hall to check on them. Yes, they are fast asleep. Now....where are those crayons......

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Journey Begins..... I have wanted to create a blog for a long time....and now I'm finally here! I have no delusions of grandeur that the masses are waiting with bated breath to read my literary prose. More likely, this will be a therapeutic outlet for my rants, passions and random thoughts....with a generous sprinkling of the mundane. Nevertheless, I am excited to be here at this place and time....let the games begin.....