Trying to keep things in perspective!

So, today, I’m struggling as a Mom.  I’m tired.  We had a great weekend away.  Traveling with the kids went so smoothly and I couldn’t have been more proud of their behavior on the flights.  Now, how they acted at certain times during our trip is a different story, but for this blog, I’m focusing on today.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned today, it’s that nothing is as bad as it seems.  However, in the moment, it can seem awful!  Let’s start with an example of how extreme things are around here and why I can’t feel like I have a grasp on anything.  While getting my son ready for school this morning, I asked him to go to the bathroom, put on his clothes, and get ready to brush his teeth, all of which I received an “ok, mom, no problem.”  Immediately following those steps, he says “Mom, I’ll go get my shoes on for you.”  My husband chimes in “Who is this kid?” After the last few power struggles with him, I was beginning to think we were losing control of his behavior.  Parker then tells me “I’m going to have good behavior for you today.”  Phew!  I get a chance to have a normal day!  Wrong!  I pick him up from school and head to the grocery store with all 3 kids, which usually goes okay for me. Well, without all the details, we had LOTS of crying, and ‘a talking to’ in the bathroom, and more crying…we couldn’t get things together.  I say “we” because I’m referring to me too…when a Mom is tried, it is really hard to handle these public situations the best way you’d like to…but for that moment, it was my best.  About half way through the grocery store, my kids start talking again, laughing at their silliness as if nothing just happened back there in isles 1-5.  Really, kids?  Just like that, it’s no big deal?  Well, not for me…I’m still mad and disappointed in everyone, including myself.

I get in my nice warm van, kids are happy with the DVD player on and as I head out of the parking lot I see a car smashed into the metal gate of the lot, which was knocked over onto about 3 more cars and people in shock all around.  I have no idea what happened, but I started to put things into perspective…I am very thankful for the disruption my kids caused while shopping, it slowed us down about 10 minutes and kept us from being involved in that accident.  I always have K-Love on in the car, and they were talking about disaster relief…wow, another slap in the face…keep things in perspective, Tracy!  It was time to stop wallowing in my self pity and remember those who are really suffering.  I prayed all the way home for those dealing with the storms in the east, families who struggle with making ends meet, people who are dealing with health issues and for God to forgive me for my lack of patience with my children.

Then, I get home, put groceries away, make lunch, get my two oldest kids down for a nap and attempt to get my 3rd down and the nightmare begins again…he cries, and cries…I remember how this all started today…I’m tired!  I haven’t had much sleep lately due to my 4 month old’s lack of sleep schedule.  I thought maybe, just maybe, if all 3 could sleep at once, I could catch up a bit…you know that saying “sleep when your baby sleeps?”, my baby needs to sleep first in order for that to happen. The crying stops, I check on him and he is full of smiles…another look at perspective–I have a happy healthy baby boy who just doesn’t want to sleep!

So, today, I’m still struggling, but I’m keeping it all into perspective.  Nothing ever goes as planned and it may be total chaos at times, but I’m grateful for all the blessings we have in our lives.

But to keep it all in perspective…I’m still tired!  and we are carving pumpkins tonight…

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Here is a blog from a friend of mine…she has made a Winter Fun List for kids and I love all the ideas…thought you might like them as well.

To Be A Mom...

We had our first really cold day here last week. My kids begged to go outside so we got wrapped up in winter gear and did just that.  After about 5 minutes my son chimed in and said “Yeah, I think it’s TOO COLD right now, maybe we can go in and come out later.”

So, I didn’t have anything planned and nothing much was coming to mind.  Inspired by a few other people’s planning over the summer we sat down and made a Winter List of fun ideas:

Here they are categorized for you:

Christmas Specific

  • Decorate the Christmas Tree
  • Design Our Own Wrapping Paper
  • Have an Advent Calendar
  • Listen to Christmas Music
  • Make Christmas Cookies
  • Read the Christmas Story
  • Send Christmas Cards
  • Sing Christmas Carols
  • Take A Family Christmas Photo

Get Crafty

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A glimpse into my future…and I kind of like it!

I have two boys and a girl…all under the age of four.  I’m so consumed with planning and organizing to make sure each day runs as smoothly as possible, as few tantrums as I can prevent, and praying to get through the unexpected which always happens with little ones, that I forget to stop and smell the roses…or for this scenario, to look into the future!

Pulling into the parking lot of my favorite store, my beautiful 2-year old daughter, rips off her head phones from watching Dora on the DVD in the van to say “Mommy, r we goin’ shoppin?” Why, yes, sweetheart we are…Target, here we come!  Now, this was just supposed to be a quick trip but my little girl had lots she wanted to look at.  For the very first time, I heard her sweet voice say “I gotta have that!”  Excuse me?  You are TWO!  Now, you may think we were in the toy isle, but nope, she was referring to a hooded towel.  Ha!

We did browse through the toy section as we needed to get a birthday present for a friend, but all she asked was to push buttons and name everything she could think of that she saw and recognized.  Not one tantrum, not once did she beg for anything, just a fun shopping trip with Mommy.  I can only hope that when she gets older and is surrounded by the all the “wants” around her, that she will still enjoy just shopping with Mommy for the things we need. However, I am excited for the day we get to shop for her first prom dress!

Pumpkin muffin ingredients–4 year old’s version!

So I must begin with a confession…I told Parker before school that this afternoon we would make muffins together…he loves to help me bake (which isn’t very often anymore)! I was feeling good about the day and thought this would be a great idea. Well, after school drop off, two errands w/2 kids, pause for a feeding in the van, school pick up, unloading and putting away groceries, while feeding 2 kids lunch, making my lunch and then eating simultaneously while nursing, I decided I didn’t want to make muffins. You can understand this, right? For some reason, my 4 year old didn’t understand why…SO, I gave in and thought fine, let’s just get this done.

While I was getting all the ingredients out and lined up on the counter, my mood began to change. Parker was asking ALL kinds of questions and then he started describing things to me in his own words. Here is what I learned during our wonderful 30 minutes together:

Quaker Oats: Parker referring to the oatmeal container…“Mom, who’s this guy” Me: “The Quaker Oats guy” Parker: “That’s not a guy, he has long hair and looks like a girl.”–this began a discussion of how people look different (my example is that he has his head shaved in a mohawk! He said “good point, Mom”)

Sugar: I use Stevia which is a natural sugar. “Oooooo, this is so soft. I wish we lived in powderland.”

Cinnamon: “That looks like dirt.”

Ginger: “Hey, Mom, if this is ginger, then this is what Gingerbreadmen are made from.” Well, done, son!

Nutmeg: “Ugh, that smells like cleaning supplies.”

Pumpkin: “GROSS!” After just now realizing that the pumpkin in the can, comes from the pumpkins we pick at the patch!

Vegetable Oil: “Mom, what is this?” Me: “Oil” Parker: “Oh, this is what you use for cars.” Me: “You are right that we use oil in cars, but this is different, this is just for baking and we can eat it.” Parker: “Well that’s good because this smells like apple juice.” (Really?)

AND, my all time favorite quote:

Kitchen aid Mixer: “Whoa that’s a smart machine…it actually looks like a pet.”

I’m so glad Parker convinced me to make muffins today. It was just one of those moments I realized (even though most of Parker’s observations didn’t make complete sense) that I have a very smart and inquisitive son who enjoys spending time with his Momma in the kitchen…something I will never take for granted again!

Recipe: Dairy-Free Pumpkin Muffins http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/muffinsbiscuits/r/pumpkinmuffins.htm

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Prayers and scriptures before bed!

Ever since Parker was little, we have been praying with him before bed. It is a ritual we never miss and one that Ryann now loves as well. We found that Parker had a rough time praying about whatever he was thinking…it just became monotonous for him…thanking God for the same things and saying he was sorry for being bad. Although those are great things, I felt he could learn more of what God wanted for us if we started saying prayers that he could memorize and actual begin to think about what they mean.

Here are two of our favorites:

“Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
Bless this bed I sleep upon,
Four corners to my bed,
Four angels surround my head,
One to watch, one to pray and
Two to keep all harm away.”

“I love you God with all my might,
Keep me safe all through the night.”

Well, after about a week, he had them memorized and it was time for more. This time I decided to use scripture that related to children…about love, discipline, character, etc. And it’s starting to payoff. During a tantrum and an argument this morning, Parker apologized “Mom, I didn’t remember my prayer ‘be quick to listen’.”

This is when I feel I’m doing MY job right…I can only hope and pray that my children stay interested in learning the word of the Lord and applying it to their daily lives.

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These are the notecards we use. We let each child pick one or two cards and either read the scripture or say the prayer. It’s a great way for them to learn to take turns, each one going first one night then alternating and they also hear the other one praying too!

Happy 4 months to Garrett!

Our baby boy turned 4 months old yesterday! Can’t believe he is already rolling over both ways and is now enjoying sleeping on his tummy. That’s a bit frightening for his mommy considering I think he’s a little young to be doing that, but then again I think our parents were told to put us on our tummies to sleep. He is also Mr. Squawker…hilarious to hear him squawk like a bird, but this is his way of being heard in our crazy family. As you can tell by the pictures, he has found his feet! He’s such a happy boy!

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Why does my 4 year always think he needs the last word?

I’ve always loved the cute comments Parker says. They make so much sense to him, and sure do make me smile. For example, this morning while eating breakfast he seems rather tired and just says. “Mom, I think I left my brain in my bed when I woke up”…how many times have I felt like that? Sure hope Parker’s waffles and strawberries will kickstart his brain like coffee does for me!

Then the morning goes on and it usually goes rather smoothly because Parker loves routine and knows what to expect every morning before school. However, the occasional argument sets us back a few minutes. I say argument because my 4-yr old tends to argue EVERYTHING. Maybe he’s going to be a politician the way he can debate. All I asked of him was to put on his new stocking hat bc it was 48 degrees out this morning and here’s how it went down:

“Mom, why do you always get me new hats”
“Well, I thought you’d like this one in particular bc it matches Dad’s but also bc your head grew since last year and you needed a new hat.”
“Yeah, but I look weird in hats.”
“Parker that’s silly bc you wear hats everyday”
“Yeah, but I can’t wear them in school.”
“You are right, but it’s cold outside and you need to wear it until you get in school.”
“I don’t care if my head gets cold.”
“You need it so you don’t get a cold and start coughing again.”
With a huge sigh–“Mom, the hat doesn’t cover my mouth, it’s not going to help me from coughing”

This is when in realized I should have just said “Because I said so!”

Parker’s quote from last week holds true everyday even though it may be in argument form the majority of the time…”God has connected smart wires into my brain!”