Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What I Have Learned

I had intended to post pictures from last Friday when we FINALLY got our first snow. If you could even call it a snow - maybe a 1/4 inch on the grass. Still it was enough for my son to wake me up the the anticipated "MOM! It snowed!" and for my kids to bundle up in their snow pants, coats, hats, boots, mittens, scarves - which honestly took long to put on and take off then they were out playing. All this will have to wait however because I have more pressing matters on my heart at this moment.

In the recent past I have to admit I felt like my life was a house of cards and it was tumbling around me. I felt like each time I was certainly at my breaking point and could not take one more thing, God would hand me something new and usually stressful or negative or even devastating. I have cried out on my knees so many times I have callouses. I have learned to not expect prayers to be answered or for me to be able to see the reason for hardships. Still I am human and I hope God continues to be patient with my temper-tantrums.

So today I had a choice to make. I could sit at home on my couch with my blanket and veg out in my depression and cry the day away I honestly I have done for more hours then I will ever admit to over the past days, weeks, months... you get the picture. Or I could take advantage of the BEAUTIFUL day we had been blessed with and take my kids to the park. Oh what the sunshine and fresh air did for not just my mood but my clarity as well.

So here are things I have learned or am learning:
  1. NEVER say you are at your wits end, cannot take any more, at the end of your rope, give up, or other such fatalistic things. God will always prove you wrong.
  2. I am not a patient person. I loose it quickly and gain it back slowly.
  3. I sigh way too much and way too loud and over very little things.
  4. If I start my day off with prayer and return to it frequently, I am much happier and a WAY better mom.
  5. I speak without thinking way too often. Especially to those closest to me.
  6. I need to stop and pray more often.
  7. I need my "me" time. I need quiet solitude sometimes, and companionship others.
  8. If I do not get my me time my patience is seriously depleted and I already do not have any to spare. See # 2.
  9. Coffee is a very good thing.
  10. I have a lot of love to give.
  11. Once I am deeply hurt it is very hard for me to heal and forgive and trust again. Even if the hurt comes from someone I am very close to.
  12. I cannot heal and forgive without God's help.
  13. For that matter I cannot do anything without God!
  14. Crying is good for the soul. Chances are if you cannot stop it, it shouldn't be stopped.
  15. I am so blessed to have such an amazing family - both traditional and friends.
  16. Just because I cannot feel Him, it does not mean I am alone.
  17. Money cannot buy happiness but a cute bag or pair of shoes does make me happy!
  18. That kind of happiness does not last.
  19. I know where true happiness comes from.
  20. Happiness is a lot of work!
  21. Being your authentic self is hard but so much better than the alternative. This one I am learning as a self-confessed people-pleaser. Luckily I have wonderful examples in my life.
  22. I am a family girl and being separated from them (immediate and extended) is very hard on me.
  23. I struggle with contentment. See #2o
  24. Sometimes raising your voice is acceptable but it should not be the go-to response.. unless there is a fire.
  25. Saying "I'm sorry" is not a sign of weakness but of great strength and can teach a child more than any amount of schooling or yelling ever could.
  26. Saying "no" is sometimes a very good thing.
  27. Do not get into the habit of saying "no" all the time.
  28. Surprise bubble gum is a very good thing!
  29. Parents who succeed and enjoy homeschooling are a great wonder of the world. I am not one of them. Again see #2.
  30. My kids are totally awesome!

There is so much more I have learned and that I am currently learning. Right now though I have to go get my daughter from school and maybe a latte on the way home for me. Coffee makes me happy too!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Birthday Pictures

Another round of cake & ice cream, presents and a big robotic mouse couldn't hold a candle (hah!) to the joy of celebrating 6 years of Happy-ness!









A new scooter!












She told me she filled her basket with dandelion stems because she could not find any beautiful flowers on our street. Well honey, it is November.



I love this expression!






So admittedly I am not the most technologically savvy and apparently not the best videographer because I filmed this sideways. To my defense I did think I would be able to rotate it. Watch it anyways though because it is really cute!

video

I Want Snow!

I may regret this in a month or so but right now, at 10:45 pm on Thursday, November 13th in the foothills of Colorado I am ready for the first snow of the season. It has not happened yet! I heard the latest first snowfall for the Denver Metro area on record is Nov. 22nd so we it will be unlikely to beat the record but I guess it could happen. I can see it in the high country and may have to take the kids out to find some if we do not get our own soon just to get my fix.

I am so thankful for what the unseasonably warm weather has brought to us. We have not had to pack away summer clothes yet, although our closets and drawers are over flowing with two seasons' wourth of clothes in them. Our dog has not been neglected, having plenty of time playing with the kids in the yard and going on long walks. The other day my two fair skinned kids actually got a little pink to their cheeks that was not from cold or wind burn!

Still I am ready for the chill in the air right before it snows. The joy in my children's voices when they wake up to fresh snow outside. Building snowmen and Snow Blobs. The crunch really cold snow makes when you walk on it. Quietly sitting with a hot chocolate watchin the snow fall outside. Watching my dog race through the snow, throwing it in the air with his nose and just being plain hilarious!

Yep, I want snow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pictures

Look who is 4!
Here posing with her birthday cookies she shared with her MOPPETS class.

After opening presents we went to E's shoice for dinner which of course was Chuck E. Cheese.

Here she is trying to kick Barney off of her ride.
I love this kid!

E & Mom riding a rollercoaster ride that was really pretty fun!

E and Dad playing Deal or No Deal.


Had to see the mouse which still sort of freaks E out.
Me too, honey.

I don't know what her father is thinking but I see no resemblance between her and I.

Back home for cake and ice cream!


video

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

I have had a lot of things on my heart and mind lately that I have felt compleled to share, but each time I tried I just sounded like I was venting. No one deserves to hear that! Tonight I was blessed with two blogs I read regularly that said what was on my heart. I am not going to link to them though because then I came across this lovely post from another favorite blog of mine. This put everything into perspective for me so I am just going to put it down for I may have to pick it up again tomorrow. God bless you, bloggy friends. Sweet dreams.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Happy!

Today I celebrated the 6th birthday of my darling daughter. My sweet second born baby and first born daughter. She is the answer to my prayer to have a sibling for our son, and a child that looked like me. She is also the answer to the curse of my mother that I should have a child just like me one day! She is a caring, dramatic, excitable, intense, and a very happy girl who is full of surprises and more than I ever hoped for in a daughter. It is such an honor to watch her grow!

Being who I am I have to share her birth story. I will try to keep it shorter than her sister's was.

We tried for 6 months to get pregnant. We had just decided to stop trying and were getting used to and even a little excited about the fact that we might have only one child when I found out I was pregnant. That was her first of many surprises! My pregnancy was miserable. I had hyper-mobile joints and a bulging disk in my lower back on top of the typical pregnancy related aches and pains like sciatica (both sides). I was never happier to go into labor as I was when I woke up the day after her due date.

I woke up early in the morning, just as the sun was rising. My parents were visiting and I could hear them in the living room so I joined them. We hung out for a couple of hours while we got ready and I sat on my birth ball making sure I was in true labor. Then we called our doula and headed to the hospital.

The drive was terrible. Every bump hurt like mad and I kept telling Steve to stop it. Sadly he could not magically flatten the road or something. What's up with that? Luckily is was Saturday morning so traffic was not a problem as we swerved across town to the hospital. It was a glorious morning. Bright, sunny, cool and crisp - just as I envisioned it every time I visualized her birth.

I had a cesarean with Z 2 1/2 years earlier so I was already considered "high risk." I did a ton of research and became a doula in that time so I was prepared to fight for my VBAC. Fortunately my nurse was awesome and quickly put my mind at ease. My room was HUGE! Wall to wall windows lined the wall and I had a beautiful view of the trees and old homes that surround the hospital. Again it was just as I had visualized. We cranked up the music as I walked and danced around. I wanted to stay as far away from the bed as possible! For the first time in about 6 months my hip, back and other body parts were not in pain. I felt great! My mom showed up and a little while later my brother, his wife and my son arrived. For about 2 hours it was a party! Around noon my brother and his wife took Z out to lunch and I tried relaxing in the tub. Honestly I hated sitting still and being by myself so I got out pretty quick. That is when things changed.

I got very chilled getting out of the tub and it took me a while to dry my hair and get warm. I hate being cold and having wet hair. At the same time my contractions suddenly became a lot more intense. At some point my doctor came in and said I was complete but she did not urge me to start pushing and allowed my baby to descend naturally. I spent the next hour trying different chairs and positions, trying to get comfortable. Everyone was so supportive and loving. Eventually I chose to try the bed. All the dancing earlier wore me out!

Lots of pushing, lots of pain - pain I had never fathomed. My baby was not moving down. I thought something was wrong and started to get scared. I felt tears stinging my eyes but also felt if I began crying I would not stop and that would waste my energy. "Suck it up, Deann!" I scolded myself and pulled myself together. The doctor began to seem a little worried. At one point when I had been pushing for about 2 hours my doctor said if things did not start progressing I would have to have another cesarean. My mom said it looked like something inside me snapped. A few more huge pushes and my baby had moved a lot. "She has hair!" someone said. Before long her head was born - oh how glorious that felt! (Turns out her hand was up on her cheek while I was pushing which is why it was so slow and painful.) One more push and her tiny body was born.

Now I always thought that at this moment I would be flooded with love and something priceless and poetic would flood from my lips filled with a mother's undying love. In reality my first thought was that her head looked like a woman's softball - it was perfectly and totally round!. That and she looked nothing like my son - like she wasn't even mine. I laughed out loud and grabbed her, pulling her to my chest where we were covered with blankets and left alone for 2 priceless hours. She made a small cry when first born but then was so quiet and still. Her eyes took everything in. It was amazing.

Minutes after she was born my son was brought in. He quietly came up beside me in bed. At first he whispered so quietly you couldn't hear him but then he gently said "Hi Baby." She lifted and turned her head to look at him with a look of recognition. It blew me away.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy Hollow-weeny!

I forget which child I heard say this but it still makes me giggle to this day.


Halloween is not my favorite holiday, if you can even call it a holiday, but that is a different discussion for a different day. It does, however, fall in my favorite time of year so I do love it. I love talking with my kids as they try to decide what to be and then trying to hunt down the perfect costume.


Z wanted to be a Storm Trooper or Clone Trooper. I forget which but that is OK because I found out they are the same thing. Who knew? That was a simple purchase at Target but not at all creative or fun for me. Steve had fun finding him a blaster to go with the costume though. It must be a boy thing ... but at least he accessorises!


K wanted to be Sandy from Grease. We have watched this movie about 3 times a week if not more for the last month or so. When it is not on the TV my kids are singing and reenacting scenes. It was cute for the first few weeks. Now I am so over it.



I loved the idea of my little beauty dressed in a cute poodle skirt so I was very excited about this. I remember when my mom made me a poodle skirt one year and I loved it! Unfortunately my little angel did not want to be the Sandy Cheerleader, or Sandy at the Dance, or even just plain cute Sandy in a poodle skirt. No, she wanted to be Sandy from the end of the movie. You know, the one in the leather jacket, skin tight pants, red high heels and way too much make-up. Sexy Sandy. *wimper*



I figured there was no way I would find all the pieces but did the Mommy thing and tried. I was amazed to find a like-new almost-leather jacket at the thrift store for just a few bucks that I actually think she will wear again. I tried to poof her hair up a little more and let her wear some lipstick (which was the same color as her lips naturally) and plain black pants. It wasn't perfect or what she had in mind but she liked it and it was age appropriate!


E was my most creative this year. She wanted to be the blue fairy from Veggie Tales An Easter Carol. I figured I would have no problem finding a blue dress at the thrift store and then some simple angel wings. No luck. I did find a decent fairy costume that E agreed would work.

They still turned out pretty cute though, doncha think?




And even better - for the first time in our children's lives their costumes did not have to be covered up by their snow pants, coats, boots, gloves, hats, etc.

It was a busy week with all the Halloween festivities and E's birthday, which I will share pictures from soon.

Monday, November 3, 2008

30 Hours and Counting...

Signs the presidential race has gone on too long.

Hearing the following from your young children:
"I am Z. S. and I approve this message. GET OUT OF MY ROOM!"
Sigh. "John McCain - I just don't care."

Walking through the book store the other day my 5 year old was able to recognize both candidates and recognized Sarah Palin as "that lady who works for John McCain."

Our new car game is counting Obama vs. McCain stickers or signs on people's yards.

If you have not already done so, please get out and vote! If you live near me I will watch your children so you can get out to the polls. If you do not live near me get together with your neighbor, friend, classroom parent, spouse, parent, whoever, and arrange some way to get out and vote. If you do not vote then you forfeit your right to complain about any choices the elected officials make... but you still have to live with them.