Family Photo

Family Photo

Thursday, December 31, 2009

You Need Your Coffee Mommy

Yesterday, I lost my temper. It was my least proud mom moment ever.

It had been a good day up until that point but a long one. It was about 6:30 at night and I had been by myself with the kids all day. I was in the middle of cooking dinner and Noah was running wild through the house and screaming at the top of his lungs, Maia was on the floor in the kitchen throwing her 7th tantrum in the last 10 minutes, and Ricky had just called to inform me that he'd be home even later than he thought. I was about to go insane. I finished cooking and got Noah in his high chair and then dragged Maia to her high chair while she flailed and arched her back. While attempting to get her settled in her chair she threw her head back and hit it really hard on the back of the chair which caused her to scream even louder. I prayed with the kids for their food while Maia continued to scream. Then I handed them their chicken tacos. Bad idea. Maia picked hers up and all of the insides fell out over her. I ran over to try to cleanup the mess and she screamed and started into another tantrum, throwing her water cup across the table and taking a swing at me. At that point I lost it. I could not take anymore of her screaming and demanding her way. I completely lost my cool. I got right in her face and yelled at the top of my lungs, "MAIA, STOP IT RIGHT NOW! YOU ARE BEING A BAD GIRL! STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT!" I yanked her out of her seat, cleaned her up as much as I could, and went on the hunt for the spanking spoon. Good thing it was hard to find, because by the time I found it I had calmed down. I administered her spanking and marched her back to her high chair and ordered her to stop crying.
When I looked over at Noah, I saw his mouth slowly turn into a frown and his bottom lip began to quiver. Then, big tears rolled down his face and he broke down crying, "It's hurting my ears mama. Maia's hurting my ears. My ears hurt, mama." My heart broke. Lord, what have I done? My poor little boy just witnessed 3 minutes of straight loud chaos and watching his mommy turn into a monster. Why didn't I just keep my cool? How do I fix this?
I picked my little boy up, held him and told him it was all going to be okay. He looked up at me with his big brown watery eyes and matter-of-factly stated, "Mommy, you need your coffee." I started laughing and crying all at the same time. He knows that coffee makes me happy and so at that moment all we needed was a little coffee to make everything okay.
I hugged my little boy and prayed for wisdom. I sat both the kids down and explained to them that mommy was naughty. I was wrong for yelling like that and I asked them for forgiveness. Then we prayed together and I asked God to forgive me for losing my temper as well. I apologized to Noah for hurting his ears and thanked him for suggesting some coffee to calm me.
I was so disappointed in myself and had a hard time shaking off my guilt. As I prayed and asked God for forgiveness, I felt that He really spoke to me. He said that this is not the last time I am going to make a mistake as a parent and as much as that seems daunting, He will love me no matter what and will be there there to help me pick up the pieces. I need to learn from this situation. I need to know when I am getting to my boiling point and figure out another way to deal with it other than yelling at the top of my lungs in my kid's face! I also need to never be afraid to admit to my kids that I was wrong and ask their forgiveness.
Oh and I learned that Maia and I are a lot alike. If I don't figure out soon how to break her strong will, her teen years are going to be very unpleasant for Ricky and I.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Apparently I'm No Rachael Ray



I'm getting a little discouraged here people. It turns out that cooking like Rachael Ray is not as easy as it looks. I made my second attempt at one of her recipes and it turned out bland as blah. It could have been that I was missing two of the ingredients but I thought I could make it work without them. Well, I've learned my lesson and from now on I will make sure to include all of the ingredients. Poor Ricky was left starving. He couldn't even pretend to like it. Maia shared his sentiments. But, I can always count on my little man to make me feel better. He ate it his whole bowl without gagging once!
Pray for me as I make attempt Number 3 tonight. I don't think I can take another failure. I may go into depression from my lack of cooking abilities and Ricky may find another wife if this one is not successful.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snow Trip

Like I said in my previous post our trip to the snow was lots of fun! The kids had such a great time and so did we. We played in the snow by the cabin, took a trip to the Alpine Slides, and sat by the fire and drank hot chocolate. The only negative part of the trip was the drive there and back. As soon as we arrived at the cabin, Maia vomited all over the place from car sickness. At least on this occasion we actually pulled her out of the car before she purged. However, on the way home, the child threw up all over her car seat. And, after we cleaned up, changed her clothes, and put a towel over her car seat, she threw up again as we were continuing our drive down the mountain. The second time I could see it was coming so I put my hand under her mouth thinking my hand could contain the vomit and keep it from ruining another outfit and getting all over the towel. As the nastiness was spilling through my fingers Noah was yelling, "PULL OVER DADDY! PULL OVER! I don't like throw up!" My hand did not do the job, obviously. We again, pulled over, changed Maia, gave the car seat and everything in the vicinity a wipey bath and continued our hour long drive home. Let me tell you, the smell of puke in a confined space gets old real fast. It took everything within me to keep myself from throwing up as well. But, besides the car sickness, the trip was a blast. Here are some pictures!

She looks pretty even in a boy hand-me-down jacket, boy gloves, and boy shoes!
Look at these cool gloves!

Coming back up the hill after sledding down and running into a tree

On our way up to the Alpine Slide

Maia wanted to drive the sled
Playing with the snow on the back deck

Noah was freezing in his jeans so I decided to look through the storage bins in the cabin and I found this groovy snow suit! He will hate me when he is older for putting this picture up. Ricky and I could not stop laughing at him!
Checking out the Blue Jays and the squirrels


I really wanted a decent picture of me and the kids in the snow. That was asking wayyyy too much as you can tell from this picture.
Maia and I were all smiles prior to my poor sledding attempt. Noah looks a little worried!
Maia is a little upset about her sledding experience and does NOT want to pose for a picture. She is showing her obvious displeasure by taking a swing at daddy...

Coordination Eludes Me

We decided to take a trip up to the mountains at the spur of the moment the other day. It worked out great because some friends of ours who own a cabin said that it was available for the night. We packed the kids up and headed out. The cabin was beautiful and there was a ton of snow to play in. The kids had a great time. Ricky brought a sled and I wasn't too sure about it so I just let him go on it with the kids the first day. But, by the next day, I felt that it looked easy enough for me to give it a try...bad idea. I am so un-coordinated. I ended up with my pants full of snow as I could not get the thing to go straight. Poor Maia practically face planted in the snow and was so traumatized that she refused to go on it ever again. Ricky got my graceful attempt on video but was laughing way too hard to keep the camera on me. I thought you might get a laugh out of it too!




Monday, December 28, 2009

Split Personality

Look how precious she is...that sweet smile is irresistible...but if you look closer, you'll see that there is mischief lurking behind that sweet face. One wrong move from you and you'll see the this sweet angel turn demon in a split second!

I present Exhibit A: Christmas morning, daddy did not get the princess her milk fast enough. Not even the excitement of presents waiting to be opened could get this child off the floor. The kitty just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (in Maia's hands when daddy ticked her off). Poor kitty.

Exhibit B: Well there really is no exhibit because I was too embarrassed to get a picture. Sunday morning at church, while up front talking with some friends and Chuck and Pam, Maia decided to assume the position of Exhibit A on the floor of the Worship Center upon being denied her lunch. I giggled nervously and prayed that when I picked her up she would not flail wildly...God chose to say no. I picked her up and she smacked me in the face while everyone looked on.

That sweet little face has diva written all over it. All I have to say is, the battle is on...Oh, and please pray for me...I need it!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Burnt Hopes

I was so excited on Christmas day to end up with a Rachel Ray cookbook after our family gift exchange game. My cooking has become non-existent and before it became non-existent it became really boring. I was making the same two things every week and I am sure my hubby and kids were thankful when I decided to get really lazy and not cook at all. But, Rachel Ray brought hope. She was going to reinvigorate my kitchen and put my stove back to work. I did not want to over-promise and under deliver so I made it my goal to cook one item in the cook book per week and continue with the other monotonous menu items for the rest of the week until I felt comfortable enough to incorporate the new items.
I found this great recipe for noodle bowls and headed to the store. I could not wait to get home and impress my husband and kids with this new dish! I got home, unloaded the groceries, opened the cook book and realized that I'd purchased the wrong type of noodles and not enough chicken broth.
Plan B: find another recipe in the book which contained only ingredients that I could find in my cupboards. I found one for Honey-lime chicken. I proceeded to make the marinade, place the chicken in the marinade, and then cook...scratch that, I mean burn the chicken. Yup, my first attempt at a simple Rachel Ray recipe ended in disaster. As I sit here typing 24 hours later, the smell of burnt chicken lingers in my house rudely reminding me of my failed attempt to expand my cooking talents. Being the wonderful mom that I am, I still made my children choke down the burnt chicken. I could not bear to see that $6.00 worth of chicken go to waste. They are still alive so there really is no need to waste CPS's time with your phone call.

Tomorrow is another day. I will put my cooking skills to the test once again. I have also tweaked my goal a bit. It has been changed to: Cook one successful Rachel Ray recipe per week.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Survivor Toddlers

Yesterday, I was not feeling well. I woke up and my entire body was in pain and I was extremely nauseous. Immediately I panicked, I'd be home with the kids all day by myself while feeling like death. I asked Ricky to feed them before he left to work and put in a movie for the kids. Then I settled in on the couch and asked Noah to watch his sister while mommy slept...
Don't get all crazy on me people, I didn't actually fall asleep! But, over the next 4 hours I let my kids stay in their pajamas, ransack my house, stay in a poop diaper for an hour (Maia finally brought me a diaper and and wipes and asked to be changed), watch 3 movies, run up and down the stairs, resolve their own battles, and eat spaghetti that they found in their diaper bag (I think it had been in there for two days. I prayed that they wouldn't get sick from it...God answered). It's good to know that my toddlers are survivors and can fend for themselves...a least until nap time.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Humble Pie

A few weeks ago I got served a piece of Humble Pie. It was definitely a blow to my ego but one that I believe was much needed. I got called out on complaining about my blessings all the time rather than counting them. This was specifically referring to my kids. My first reaction was to be defensive, fight back, and tell that person that they have no idea what my life is like on a daily basis having to listen to non-stop whining, fighting a battle every 2 seconds with a toddler, and having to give out spankings and time-outs like candy on Halloween. But, once I calmed myself, prayed for wisdom, and searched my heart for offensive ways, I realized that this serving of Humble Pie was one I was unknowingly starving for.
Yes, being a mom is hard work and there are going to be quite a few bad days being that I am a mom of two toddlers, but sometimes I need to be reminded to stop and smell the roses. I need to focus on the positive aspects of my wild toddlers and appreciate the fact that God has even blessed me with them. There are way too many women out there who are aching, begging, pleading with God to be in my shoes; it would be the biggest blessing to them to sit in traffic for two hours with a whiny toddler in the backseat. In that moment they would thank God for blessing them with that precious healthy baby after years of being unable to conceive.
I got the message loud and clear and I have looked at my babies through different eyes for the past few weeks. It has not changed the fact that I still have to deal with whining, punishing, and changing smelly poop diapers but now along with noticing those things, I notice how often Noah asks to pray for people, how Maia just likes to cuddle with me and give me kisses, and how the two of them like to make each other laugh.
So it turns out that a big serving of Humble Pie was just what I needed even though I didn't know I needed it. It's funny how that seems to be a theme in my life right now: God giving me things that I really need even though I am oblivious to my need.

P.S. I really would like to thank the server of the pie as well. You have no idea how much this changed me! Love ya!

Mid-Blog Crisis

So, I am going through a mid-blog crisis right now. I've noticed on many blogs that I read that this is a common phenomenon. One where the writer feels the need to evaluate their blog and its direction. Well, I am not really questioning the direction of my blog but rather contemplating starting a new blog, one where I can express my thoughts on leadership, spirituality, and other such issues. The problem is that I have very strong opinions and as you can see from this blog I am not very guarded (I am overly- transparent).
However, being the assistant to the most amazing pastor ever, I am learning so much about leadership, Christianity, parenting, and just life in general. Sometimes I feel like I could just burst with all the new information I have swimming in my head but the Confession Mama Blog is just not the right place to write about it. So, anyways, that is my confession for the day. I'm praying, thinking, and throwing round the idea of adding a new blog to my life. We shall see...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Conversations From Today

Conversation #1
Noah: "Can I take my balloon to bed with me mommy?"
Me: "No, because it could pop and you could choke on it."
Maia: (From the other side of the hallway) *Cough cough* "Like that. Choke."
Me: (Laughing) Yup Maia, he'll choke just like that! Thanks for clarifying.

Conversation #2
Me: We can't go to Luke's house because he is sick.
Noah: But, I wanna go!
Me: You want him to throw up on you?
Noah: I wanna go to Luke's hoooouuuse.
Me: Noah, what did mommy just tell you? Why can't we go to Luke's house?
Noah: "Cuz, he'll throw up on me and dat's yucky! I don't Luke to throw up on me."

Conversation #3
Me: "Noah! Do you want a spanking? You better come over here right now!"
Noah: (Contemplating whether or not to obey) "You have the spanking spoon mama?"
Me: Shoot! Stinking smart kid! Do I lie and tell him that I brought the spanking spoon? Lord, forgive me for lying, it's for his own good! "Yes, I have the spanking spoon. It's in the diaper bag."
Noah: Okay. (He obediently makes his way over to me)

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Few Thoughts I've Had Today

Looks like everyone will be wearing dirty clothes tomorrow since we are out of laundry detergent. Hmmmm...I wonder how long we've been out, it's been awhile since I've done laundry.

How can I turn this situation that is clearly my fault back on Ricky to make it look like it's all his fault?

My daughter is one smart cookie. I am so proud and yet scared all at the same time.
(Today, as I was sternly reprimanding Maia and sending her to time-out for hitting her brother, she leaned into me and said "hug mama." Then she proceeded to give me a hug and a kiss and I completely forgot that I was in the midst of punishing her.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Story of My Life

Here is a recount of our visit to the doctor's office:

9:30 a.m. - After much bribing, threatening, and chaos the kids and I are headed to Maia's 10:15 doctor's appointment

10:00 a.m. - We have checked in and are in the waiting room

10:01 a.m. - The kids are fighting over the same toy and Maia is hitting Noah.

10:07 a.m. - Noah has half way wet his pants and I am running with both kids to the bathroom.

10:08 a.m. - I have lost sight of Maia. I am sure she is probably licking the toilet in the adjacent stall but I can't see her nor get to her as I am helping Noah so I just tell myself that ignorance is bliss.

10:10 a.m. - Back in the waiting room and I smell a nasty smell.

10:11 a.m. - Again, I gather both kids and their jackets and my purse and we head out to the parking lot to change Maia's poop diaper (I left the diaper bag in the car because I figured Maia was done pooping for the day. I was wrong.)

10:13 a.m. - I am sternly warning Noah to "GET OVER HERE NOW" before he gets smashed by a car in the parking lot all while changing Maia's diaper on the front seat of the car.

10:17 a.m. - We are back in the waiting room and Noah is loudly telling me that he wants the baby that just entered the waiting room to "go home." Why? Oh no reason at all...just to embarrass me I guess. That poor baby's mama must think my kid is so mean.

10:20 a.m. - Maia is crying hysterically because the nurse has called us back and she is having memories of her last doctor's visit when she got 4 shots.

10:30 a.m. - The doctor diagnosis her with a sinus infection and mentions she is going to prescribe her antibiotics. Noah begins to cough dramatically and complain that he "doesn't feel good." (He is jealous that Maia is getting medicine. He wants medicine too.)

10:40 a.m. - Maia is on the floor of the pharmacy in the midst of a full on tantrum because I won't buy the Winnie the Pooh gummy vitamins for her. I am wondering if anyone saw me walk in with her and if I could get away with walking away from her and pretending like I don't know her.

10:42 a.m. - Noah informs me very indiscreetly that he has to "go poop really really bad!"

10:48 a.m. - The three of us are in the stall, Noah is sitting on the toilet whining because he doesn't want the automatic toilet to flush by itself, he wants to push the button but I am in the midst of wiping him and so this is a problem. The whining is getting to me, I am freaking out about Maia opening and closing the little trash can door next to the toilet paper and I am about to pass out from the smell in the stall.

10:55 a.m. - Everyone makes it out alive and disinfected although I am a bit frazzled.

10:57 a.m. - Maia is on the floor of the pharmacy again throwing a tantrum over the gummy vitamins and Noah has disappeared.

10:58 a.m. - Our prescription is ready, I have distracted Maia from her tantrum by getting her to give the lady the money and I spot Noah crawling into one of the bottom shelves which is filled with magazines.

11:00 a.m. - My kids are running through the halls of Kaiser as we make our exit while all the people they pass are shooting me dirty looks. I am sure I heard loud cheers as we left the building.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How Taleah Got Her Groove Back

I used to sing. In fact I grew up singing. I was the lead in musicals at my church and school, was a regular part of the Worship team, I even got paid to sing at weddings. Yup, I used to sing. I really enjoyed it too. However, I slowly began to lose my confidence over the years and then developed severe stage fright and just stopped singing altogether...(well besides to my own babies). I decided to hang up my singing shoes as I felt I really wasn't that good at it after all. Maybe I was like one of those American Idol auditioners who think they are amazing and in reality are horrible, maybe this just wasn't my gift. So, for the past three years I've let that part of my life fizzle even though it brought me so much joy.
A couple of weeks ago, as I was planning my work Christmas Party, a few of the staff members came up with this great idea to surprise everyone at the party by doing an impromptu version of "I Say A Little Prayer For You"...you know "My Best Friend's Wedding" style? We wanted to incorporate people who don't normally sing on stage (I work at a church which is why people normally sing on stage!) to keep the element of surprise and to make it funny. Before I knew what was happening, I semi-suggested that I would sing a part of the song. As the plan began to unfold, I was surprised at how not nervous I was. I knew this was not a performance, it was all just for fun, so there really was nothing to be scared about. However, on the night of the party, I could not eat, I felt nauseous, my hands were frozen, and I could not sit still. This was the first time I'd be singing in front of people in over 3 years! I was a mess and I was only going to be singing 3 lines of the song. My husband had no idea that I would be singing because it was a surprise but I think he thought I was crazy because of how fidgety I was!
Then it came, my cue to sing, I remember feeling like if I was a character on a movie or something and this was the climactic moment, the moment where I needed to prove to myself that I could do this. I stood up, hammed up my part (completely shocking my husband) and sang like if I had nothing to lose.I actually had a lot of fun and decided that if nothing else, at least I had fun and I didn't choke.
However, God brought me more than that. He brought me validation! I don't think I realized how much I missed singing. I forgot how much joy it brought me. I had just resigned myself to the fact that I would never sing again because it really wasn't my gifting. Since that party, I've been on cloud 9. I feel like a part of me that was missing is back and it feels good. It's amazing to me how well God knows each one of us and how He knows what we need even though we don't know we need it.
I've still got insecurity and stage fright to conquer, but I am on my way!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Only One Got Run Over"


I absolutely love my brother Kelsey. He is a gem, one in a million. Every time I need help with my kids, I can always count on him to come through for me, in fact he watches them every Tuesday night so that Ricky and I can go to our Bible study group. I don't know of many 23 year old guys that who choose to spend their evenings watching a 2 1/2 and a 1 1/2 year old. **Side Note: Girls, he is a catch!
Today, he actually watched my babies all day and again at night so that I could go to my Staff Christmas Party. Here was our conversation as he was leaving this evening...

Me: Thanks Kels, soooo much for watching my kids all day!
Kelsey: Yup! No problem. All day and only one of them got run over.
Me: (Speechless)

Turns out that Noah ran over Maia with his power wheels Jeep... Oh well. She lived... and Kelsey is still wonderful! Thanks Kels!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

You Can't Hurry a 2 Year Old

I recently discovered that you can't hurry a 2 year old when he is trying to "take care of business." Recently while eating at "The Fire Restaurant" (Wabi Sabis), Noah informed me that he had to go poop right as our food was being served. Knowing that this is usually a long process, I decided to try to encourage a speedy delivery of the deposit while in the bathroom with him...

Me: Buddy, I need you to hurry up because mommy doesn't want her food to get cold.
Noah: Okay, it's coming.
waiting waiting waiting
Noah: It's not coming.
Me: (Knowing that I'll end up in the bathroom again in two minutes if I let him get up) Well, just relax and sit for a minute.
waiting waiting waiting
Noah: This one flushes by itself mommy?
Me: No, this toilet does not flush by itself. (Getting really impatient) Do you still have to poop? Noah: Yeah.
Me: Well hurry up buddy. Everyone's going to be done eating by the time you go poop!
Noah: Kay.
Noah: The fire is not scary mommy?
Me: No the fire is not scary Noah.
waiting waiting waiting
Noah: Something is bah-dering me back here.
Me: It's just the seat cover. You're fine. Daddy and Maia are going to be done eating and leave without us if you don't hurry! Concentrate on going poop so we can go eat.
He begins to pee
Noah: (Matter of factly) First the pee pee comes then the poop.
He grunts and tries to push
Noah: The poop doesn't want to come out. I don't have to go. We try again later. Your food's cold mommy?

Our food was cold, my husband thought we'd fallen in the toilet and were lost forever, and the server gave us weird looks and rightly so, we'd been in the bathroom for about 15 minutes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Worst Santa Picture Ever

I believe that this picture has to go down in history as one of the worst pictures with Santa ever taken! Noah looks like he is high from the smell of reindeer poop and Maia looks like I've just placed her in the lap of a murderer. Good thing this picture was free. Poor Santa!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Black Hole of Black Friday

Hello my name is Taleah and I am a shopaholic... and I totally blame Black Friday. Last week I did some research online to see what kind of deals really happened on Black Friday. I wanted to know if all the chaos and lack of sleep was really worth it. I soon discovered that the price cuts were quite substantial. However, upon more research, I discovered the deals were available online starting at 12 midnight. So, I stayed awake and then attempted to get all my coveted items online to avoid the crowds and mayhem of Friday morning. However, the Kohls internet site was so jammed that it kept kicking me off and I almost punched my computer. So, I got a couple hours of sleep and then joined the crowds at 4 a.m. I waited in the check out line for an hour and almost passed out but it was totally worth it. As I moved up in the line I kept seeing all these items at incredibly low prices all around the store. If I had gone with a shopping partner I definitely would have bought all of those unnecessary items only because they were on sale! I was too scared that the vicious shoppers would not save my spot in line though so I let those great deals pass me up on my way up to the check out stand. Since I am still a rookie, I only had the energy to hit up one store before I headed home to get back to sleep. But, I did send my husband back out later to take advantage of the deals.
My shopping did not stop there. I had gotten a taste of the thrill of a deal and I just wanted more. As I continued to look online,I found that there were 2 or 3 day sales that continued into Saturday, which I happily took advantage of. Then, I heard about a thing called Cyber Monday! From Friday to Monday of last week all I kept saying was, "Wow, babe. Look at THIS deal! These boots were normally $100.00 on sale for $39.99! I have to get them. That is just too good a deal to pass up!" Ricky thinks I now have a problem but I disagree. I mean helloooooo it's on sale! I know that I spent $25.00 but I saved $15! I try to tell him that if we can't afford gas this month, we will just ride our bikes which has two benefits: we'll be "green" and in shape. And if we cannot afford food because of my excessive sale shopping, then we will just ride our bikes to my parent's house everyday and beg for food. See, I've got it all figured out!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Caption Please!

This picture cracks me up and I thought it would be fun to see if you could all come up with a perfect caption for it. Leave your caption in the comment section...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Instant Remedy

This morning Noah had a really bad cough. Since, Ricky was not working today, I told Noah that he would be staying home with daddy since he did not feel well instead of going to Bup's house. All of a sudden he looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I feel all better now! I go to Bup's house now?"
My kids love their Bup so much!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Family Pictures

We are so blessed to have Pam in our lives. I know I've said it before but I must say it again! She took our family pictures this year and I was just so in love with them. I tried to post a lot more than you see here but it kept saying that there was an error so I will post more of my favorites later.
My handsome older brother




My parents, my brothers, and my crazy kids!


Noah and his Papi!



Friday, November 20, 2009

Day at the Museum

I took my kids to the Chino Youth Museum this past Friday thinking that getting them out of the house would improve their demonic behavior. Well, it didn't work. They of course did not want to do the same activities at the same time so I was constantly yelling at one of them to "COME PLAY OVER HERE, PLEASE; WHERE MOMMY CAN SEE YOU!" Then, I'd have to chase them down as they ran away from me and hope that the other one would not get kidnapped in the 10 seconds that they were out of my sight. As you can imagine, I was ready to leave after being there for only 15 minutes. However, I continued chasing, yelling, and threatening for another 40 minutes, when Maia informed me that she had pooped. Me, being the world's best mom, forgot to bring diapers. Thus, we needed to leave immediately so that the diaper rash she was sure to contract would not be severe. I picked her up and informed Noah that it was time to leave. He was playing in the "jail" and was adamant about not wanting to leave. I tried everything I could to get him out of there without causing a scene. He refused to cooperate. I put Maia down, physically removed Noah from the "jail," placed him onto my hip, and began moving with purpose toward the exit as he screamed, "I WANNA STAY IN JAIL! I WANNA STAY IN JAIL!" As if one child screaming wasn't enough, Maia repeatedly stated, "Poop, Mama, poop," while we made our very disruptive escape. By the time we met Ricky for lunch, I looked like I had just gone 12 rounds in a boxing ring. I looked so ragged, that I don't think Ricky would have recognized me if the kids were not with me. Here are some pics.








Monday, November 16, 2009

Teaching Them Young



** Warning: This post started in my head as a cute story about my kids but ended up "on paper" as a preachy sermon type blog post...I think working for a pastor has gone to my head, all of a sudden I feel I can preach!

I pray a lot about parenting. I just want to do the best possible job with the kids God has blessed me with. Lately, God has been showing me what it means to truly be a servant; to serve Him and serve others. As I examined my life, I realize that I have lived a pretty selfish life. In the past I have been greedy with my time and talents and have either been blind to people's needs or just plain lazy. There are so many places to serve in the church and yet many people who attend feel that their time is too precious to "waste" on other people.
I don't want to live like that anymore but even more, I don't want my kids to live like that. Life is so much more meaningful and fulfilling when I live it selflessly instead of selfishly. I find that when I use my time serving others, I am much happier. I am in awe of a certain family at my church who has raised all of their children with this selfless spirit. Their first instinct is to always help others. Their kids have all been raised in the church and although not all are adults yet, they all are in love with Jesus. My biggest prayer right now is that my children will fall deeply in love with Jesus and will walk with Him their entire lives. So, this particular family inspires me and gives me hope in the midst of a dark world. But, I think a big part of why these parents have been so successful with their kids is because they taught their kids the value of serving others. At church, they are the first to volunteer for everything and are the most reliable people. They are so committed to each of their ministries and just desire to use their gifts to serve the Lord.
I want my kids to experience the joy of serving the Lord like those kids have. I want them to see that it truly is better to give than receive. I want them to understand the value of using their time to serve others. This starts with me and my husband. We have to step up and be the example. Now, I constantly look for opportunities to teach my kids this lesson. This weekend, Crossroads (my church) provided a great opportunity to do this. They needed help screwing light bulbs on and fluffing the branches of our 50 ft. Christmas tree! It was a BIG job which required lots of people. My husband and I and the kids jumped in on the assembly line and explained to the kids that we all needed to "help!" We all had a wonderful time "helping," meeting new people, building community with those around us, and just laughing together. I was so blessed by one young girl, whose job it was to transfer the finished branches. She was so sweet, allowing Noah and Maia "help" her carry the finished branches to their correct spot. They really felt like they were helping and did not want to leave.

If you're a mom, I encourage you to look for ways to serve others with your kids this week. It is such a bonding experience but it is also a valuable lesson to teach our kids. Let's be people who go against the grain; instead of making our children into selfish people who think the world revolves around them, let's make them into selfless fulfilled adults who regard others as more important than themselves.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others." Phillippians 2:3

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Dirty Bath

I've neglected my blog the past couple of weeks, not for lack of material but rather for lack of time. I feel the need to commit to being a more faithful blogger at least for this week. Okay now on to the dirty bath story.
Yesterday morning I had to get myself and my two kids ready for family pictures by 9:00. This was a daunting task...one that I was not looking forward to. I made out my minute by minute schedule and also prepared a Plan B. However, it turns out I should have had a Plan C; a plan of action in the case of a "floater."
I woke up, got myself half ready...you know, half dressed, partial make-uped, and semi-blow dried when the kids called for me to come get them out of bed. I got them out of bed, fed them breakfast, and coaxed them into the bath tub. I was proud of how efficient I was in getting them soaped and rinsed. Just as I was patting myself on the back for my efficiency, Maia gave me a pained look, and grunted "poooop." "NOOOO," I scream! I had just put shampoo on my hands and I felt paralyzed for a second. For some reason my first instinct was to put the shampoo in her hair to get it off my hands before grabbing her out of the bath. In hindsight I should have just picked her up as fast as I could and put her on the toilet. Well, I didn't do that and in the time it took to rid my hands of the shampoo, Maia had made a nice, solid, green deposit into the bath tub. Noah, reacted as though the Boogie Man had just jumped into the bath tub with him. He screamed and scooted as far away from the green deposit crying and yelling, "I DON'T LIKE POOP MOMMY! I DON'T LIKE POOP! GET IT OUT!" I quickly swooped my daughter out of the tub onto the toilet to no avail. In the midst of the lift she made more deposits onto the bathroom floor. None of the "stuff" made it into the toilet. I quickly fished out the floater and cleaned up the floor all the while willing my gag reflex to go away and thanking God that the deposit in the tub was indeed solid and in one piece. I had Noah drain the tub and I did a quick disinfectant wipe up of the tub while my kids stood wet, and freezing with soapy hair waiting to finish their bath.
My Plan A and Plan B did not make time for cleaning up poop, soothing my son from the traumatization of the "floater," and having to re-do my make-up, and re-dry my semi-dried hair due to the excessive sweating that had taken place during the whole ordeal. However, we did make it on time to our family photo shoot, but I am sure in all the pictures my face plainly says, "I had a very stressful morning."

Monday, November 9, 2009

What Am I In For?


I constantly pray for God to reveal to me the unique personalities of each of my children and to give me wisdom in raising them accordingly. I believe that He answered my prayer yesterday and gave me a glimpse into my future with my daughter. I have always known that Maia Belle is a bit feisty but after this particular experience I now know that she is independent, stubborn, strong willed, and determined.
We were at the park when Maia decided that she wanted to try and put the stroller buckle together all be herself. She got on her knees on the cement sidewalk in front of the stroller grabbed the buckle and began her attempt to put it together. She could not get it and so I asked if I could help her, "NO! I do it self." I sat there and watched her attempt this for 5 minutes. Her knees were getting tired so she tried to sit down but that didn't give her the right angle to work on the buckle, so she got back on her little red knees and continued her attempt. This time, I asked if I could show her how to hold the buckles to put them together. She screamed when I put my hands on the clasps and said, "I DO IT!" I left her alone, knowing that if I helped, she would have a fit. I watched for another 15 minutes while she kept saying, "Almooost!" Her poor little knees must have been in so much pain, but she was focused and determined. It killed me to not be able to help her. I know that my future will hold many moments like that for me; feelings of helplessness when it comes to my kids. I sat there talking to God in that moment asking him to prepare me for these those times and to give me wisdom to steer my baby girl's determination, focus, and strong will into the right direction.

She never did get figure it out. I finally had to forcefully remove her from the situation. She screamed, tried to bite me, writhed and cried in the stroller for the entire half mile walk home because she wanted to do the buckle herself. It was the longest 1/2 mile of my life...