Family Photo

Family Photo

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Little Challenge

Look at that sweet, beautiful face. How could anything bad come from that precious little being? Well...let me just say it's a good thing she's cute. Let me give you some insights on this little one that God has seen fit to torture me with have me raise.

This one never stops talking and she always makes sure that someone is listening. This is weekend, my brain was tired from all of her talking so when she said, "Mommy" for the 5,037th time in 30 minutes, I answered with a very frustrated and tired, "What now, Maia." Maia very quickly let me know that I am not to "talk to her that way. It is not very nice."

My "little challenge" is prone to violence but always feels the need to confess. This weekend she bit her cousin when I was not present. She felt the need to confess, but in her own timing. About 12 hours after the fact, out of the blue, Miss Maia informed me, "I bite Hay-wee." We talked about why that is never an appropriate response and about how she is to respond to those situations in the future.

If she can't get her way then someone has to pay, but she will quickly maneuver a way not to get in trouble for making someone pay. This morning, she and Noah were playing with their trains and train tracks. She wanted the trains Noah was playing with but had already been told to play with her own trains. Since she was not happy, she played Godzilla and stomped on the tracks, making them all come apart. Noah started to cry loudly. Maia, knowing a spanking would soon be landing on her little bottom, tried to get him to calm down saying, "It's okay Noah, daddy can fix them." She ran to our room and sweetly looked up at her daddy and said, "Uh oh daddy, the tracks came apart. Can you fix them please? It was an accident."

This sweet little face seems to wish she was God so she could determine the sex of the baby in my belly. This morning, out of the blue, she begins to throw a tantrum because she wants the baby in my belly to be a girl. When I tried to convince her that she is so lucky because she gets to have 2 brothers, she hits my belly (remember the violence part?) and says, "NO, Malakai is a GIRL!"

So, as you can see, I have my work cut out for me with this big personality! Any words of encouragement or advice from someone who has successfully raised one of these types without killing them or yourself will be very much appreciated.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fun with the Camera

Ricky and I were blessed by his parents with a beautiful new camera for Christmas. I am so excited to have a nice camera to take pictures of my kids with. The greatest part of it all is that Ricky is turning out to be an awesome photographer with a hunger to learn all about how the camera works. So, he suggested we take the kids out to a fun setting so he could practice taking pictures. He got some awesome shots and my kids had a blast!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Murray Family Photo Shoot

Shooting our annual Murray Family Photos are always quite an adventure! Trying to get 5 kids to cooperate and all at the same time is definitely a trying task. But all the adults always end up getting a good laugh out of this event. Here are a few pics...

Yes, there are better pictures than this but this one illustrates our family photo shoots perfectly!

Silly Murray kids!

Handsome Murray boys
My beautiful sisters-in-law (The Murray boys are lucky!)
My cuties!

Yup! This is as good as it gets. My munchkins refused to cooperate at the same time for a nice family portrait.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Highs and Lows

I am sitting here eating my milk chocolate molasses chips from See's Candy and reminiscing on the highs and lows of this past week. I seem to be extra emotional this pregnancy which means I go from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other in a matter of seconds. This week has been a doozy.


Slicing my finger really badly while being home alone with the kids. I was trying to avoid having to wash another cutting board by holding a carrot in my hand while cutting it. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Maia's continuous determination to do things her own way and call the shots in this household led to many many tantrums this week. I was at a loss as to what to do with this child about one hundred times this week.

Being in a deep conversation and pouring my heart out only to realize by the person's response that they had not listened to a word I'd said. (Maybe I just talk too much...who knows!)

Feeling like the Goodyear Blimp and knowing that there is nothing I can do about it. I am only going to get bigger.

Tuesday. Tuesday was chalk full of miscommunication, plan changes, anger, no naps, tantrums by both me and my kids, a quick painful jab to my hubby with my mean words, a burst of anger, and going to sleep at 8:30 because I was such a mess.

Wednesday morning I was wracked with guilt for two reasons: 1) I felt horrible about my behavior the night before and 2) I was dreading having to deal with my defiant two-year-old for another day.

Discovering that my pedicure is about 6 weeks old and my toe nails are so long that they get sore if I wear close toed shoes.

My hubby bringing me some Molasses Chips!

Building a Ginger Bread House with the kids. I have never built one before in my life! So fun

Watching Noah sing in his first pre-school Christmas Program. Putting hundreds of 3 and 4 year olds on stage is bound to be entertaining. This event did not disappoint. From watching Noah get annoyed with the little boy next to him who insisted on holding his hand to only seeing the back of Noah's head most of the time because he wanted to watch himself on "t.v" was awesome. (Noah is the little boy in the green shirt with his hands high in the a side note: the cute little girl next to him was in "time-out" that morning, for kicking the teacher. This actually gave me comfort because I can picture Maia doing that when she gets to pre-school next year)

God reminding me of His sweet limitless amount of grace.

Going to dinner at my good friend Kathy's house and laughing together at the hilarious things that our kids do.

Going to FUSE which is our church's couples' Bible Study. I laughed until I almost peed my pants. I love those people so much!
Hearing Noah pray for his daddy, "Lord, thank you for my daddy. He is the best daddy in the whole world. Help him not to burnt today at work or to get sweaty or to get freezing. Help his pools not to be too yucky. In Jesus Name Amen."

Hearing Maia sing "Blessed Be Your Name" while "cleaning" the sliding glass door and the floor with a wipee.

Having lunch with my dad

Seeing my cleaning lady on my front door step this morning.

Buying cute cheap maternity shirts from Ross!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Color Me Mine

I've always wanted to take my kids to Color Me Mine so that they could paint a dish. I figured they would have fun doing it and I would have fun watching. Here are some pictures of our first Color Me Mine experience...

Noah chose a mug and wanted green, blue, and yellow for his colors

Maia wanted a plate and of course only pinks and purples

There was no specific design in mind, just mix all the colors together and paint!

After we were done the lady asked if I wanted her to out the kids' names on the dishes with the year. I thought it was a great idea! They turned out so cute!

We didn't even make it through the front door with our finished products before one got broken. Noah was devastated but insisted on still drinking from his prized creation. If you see him with a cut on his lip, it's not my fault!

Channeling My Inner Michelle Duggar

I have a confession to make: I have been a terrible mom this past week, losing my temper, yelling a lot, and running out of patience very quickly. I keep getting so frustrated that my kids are not responding to me, that they whine for everything, and that we have a daily overdose of tantrums in my household. I feel like I am at my wits end everyday. What am I doing wrong?!
Well, right when I was thinking that there was no way I could add another child to this horrendous situation, a friend of mine reminded me of the ultimate super mom: Michelle Duggar. Now, I know that many people may have a much different opinion of this woman than I do, but I seem to think that this woman is amazing! She's got 19 (or 20 I lost count) kids and she is always so cool, calm, and collected. Even when disciplining her kids, her voice remains sweet as can be and HER KIDS RESPOND TO HER! I am baffled and inspired by this woman. So, I decided that from now on, when things get dicey around the Murray household with misbehaving children, I will try my best to channel my inner Michelle Duggar. That sweet, cool, calm, collected demeanor has got to be in me somewhere...right?
Today, I tried it out and it totally worked! We were in the car and Maia decided that she was going to throw the tantrum of all tantrums. I am talking about the kind where you have to stop and question whether your child may be possessed. She was so angry at me for not giving into her demands that she wrote all over her hand with a pen, then threw her water cup, then she proceeded to take off her socks and shoes and throw them, and then took her arms out of her car seat straps and began to writhe around trying to make an escape all the while screaming at the top of her lungs (I told you it was bad)! Now, normally, I would be yelling and threatening spankings and letting her get me all riled up. Instead, I tried my new tactic, What would Michelle Duggar do in this situation? I remained calm and took a deep breath and ignored her until I could get my thoughts together. Then, I politely but firmly let her know that I would not be giving into her demands and that if she continued her behavior, when we arrived at our destination, I would have to give her a spanking. To my utter surprise, the girl, put her arms back through her car seat straps and stopped writhing. She did continue to cry for a little while, but she was not out of control and neither was I and by the time we reached our destination, I did not feel like I wanted to just leave her there and run away!
I have a whole new outlook now. Michelle Duggar definitely knows what she is doing and from now on, whenever my kids decide to be devilish, I am going to ask myself, what would Michelle Duggar do?! I am confident that this will help me get through this phase of excessive toddler tantrums and whining without going least for now!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I've Got Plans and then I've Got My Kids

"We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God, who will thwart our plans and frustrates our ways time and again, even daily, by sending people across our path with their demands and requests." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I read this today on a friend of mine's Facebook page and it kind of slapped me across the face! I am a planner. So, I seem to think that my children's demands and requests such as tantrums, needing to go potty at inopportune times, and waking up at the crack of dawn are a thorn in my side; a hitch in my plans. However, according to Bonhoeffer (some wise person who I've never heard of before) these demands and requests could be God-sent and I need a change of perspective. God may be giving me an opportunity to be patient and loving and show His character to my children. Enlightening mommy moment for me today, one that I just had to share!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pictures from Halloween

I just realized that I never posted Halloween pictures. We went to the Trunk N' Treasure event at church and had a blast! The kids always love going because there is so much to do. This was the first year that they understood the concept of Trick or Treating and getting candy. But, I have taught them well, so about the time they received 5 pieces of candy, Noah said "Mommy, I think that's enough because candy has too much sugar and I don't wanna get sick." That's my boy! Nana came with us and the kids thought it was awesome that she dressed up like a police woman despite asking "Why she did that" a million times (They didn't understand why she would want to be a police woman when mommy threatens them with police men all the time. She's a mean mommy who tells them that the police man will come and take them to jail if they whine or don't obey). Anyways, here are some pics...

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Princess Performs

The Performing Princess from Taleah Murray on Vimeo.

What can I say? She is a natural! She's got the looks, the fashion sense, and an astounding vocal range. I know, I know, I should get her an agent, right?

For White People Marrying Into Latin Families

Okay, so this is going to be totally politically incorrect, but it's my blog and I am okay with that! The other day, we had some friends over and we were discussing the learning curve that our spouses had to overcome when marrying into our Latin families. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it would have been extremely helpful for my husband to have had a list of written warnings before he asked me to marry him. This way there would have been no surprises and a lot less awkward moments. If you are Latin, you will totally understand what I am talking about. If I could go back in time here, is the warning list I would have given to Ricky before he bought my ring.

1. When I say, "We are having a family gathering at 5:00p.m." it means there will be at least 50 people there including people I do not know, but who are somehow "my cousins" and everyone will not get there until 7:00p.m. Punctuality is relative.

2. At some point my grandmother will call you, me, or someone in the room fat at every family function or will let us/them know that our/their hair is ugly or that they just do not look good. This is normal, don't get offended.

3. When you enter the room at these family gatherings, you must greet everyone in the room individually with a hug or you will be thought of as rude, inconsiderate, and anti-social. This goes for when you leave the gathering as well. So, start leaving 30 minutes before you want to get out the door.

4. Any time we go to one of my Latin family member's houses you will be offered food. Eat it! And always ask for seconds. It's a compliment.

5. If you are not a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, my grandfather will insult you and ask you why you are not one of these professions. He will also ask you for the exact amount of your yearly wages, and there is no way to get out of answering this one.

6. My grandfather will take about 7 years to learn your name, until then, he will just refer to you as "Michael." Just answer to it.

7. If you want to get on my grandfather's good side but do not fall into one of the approved professional categories, do not fear, there is hope. Become a fan of "los Doyers" and all is well.

8. There is always some type of family drama happening and everything is a BIG deal! Every family gathering is almost guaranteed to end with someone being upset about something. If you want all the details, just call grandma. She will give you all the scoop in the most entertaining and dramatic fashion.

This about covers it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Ultrasound

We went in for our 20 week ultrasound yesterday and I so wish I would have had a video camera in the room to capture Maia's reaction. I had prepped them for what was going to happen and had given them the speech, "God decides whether it's a boy or girl and we will be happy either way." Noah had grasped this concept well. That morning he told Maia, "I hope it's a girl for you Maia." So sweet, because I know that he really wanted a boy but he was willing to sacrifice to make his sister happy.
After all the measurements had been done, the tech invited Ricky and the kids into the room. They were a little nervous walking into the dark room and seeing mommy lying down in a hospital gown. They stared at the screen wide-eyed, trying to make sense of the black and white blob on the monitor. The tech explained what they were looking at and Noah asked, "Is it a boy or a girl?" The tech said, " see that there? It looks like you will have a little brother." Noah's face lit up. He jumped up, clapped his hands, and let out a joyous yelp! I simultaneously watched Maia's face slowly drop into a frown. She was devastated. As the news sunk in she could not help but break down and cry a heartfelt-hopes-of-a-little-sister-dashed cry. I tried to console her from the position I was in telling her she was still going to get to be a big sister and help mommy with the baby. It didn't work. She stood there staring at the screen sobbing. Ricky picked her up and she laid her head on his shoulder and continued to weep. I could tell the tech was a little uncomfortable and I could not help but laugh at the whole situation.

Poor Maia. She is doing better now, but every once in awhile I can tell that she is still holding onto a glimmer of hope that it may be a girl in there.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Some Thoughts On This Pregnancy

I love that I don't have to suck in my stomach after a big meal. I can just let it all hang out and blame it on the baby rather than on my gluttony.

I am extra forgetful this time around. I forgot picture day, I forget to take my vitamins daily, I forgot to pick up my kid from school today, I forget to brush my kid's teeth all the time, I even almost forgot to pay my mortgage...

I find myself overwhelmed all the time. Ricky says I am going to give myself a heart attack because I seem to get stressed out at the littlest things. The thought of adding another child into my already chaotic life just seems so daunting. At the rate I am going, I sure to forget a child somewhere at some point in the next year.

I can't seem to find a shampoo and conditioner that I like. Everything I've tried smells way too strong and grosses me out. I think I may just go with the dread lock look .

Why do I have these red blotchy streaks on my face? Really? What does that have to do with being pregnant? Between the hormonal break outs and blotchy streaks, my face is seriously going to break the bank with all the concealer it is requiring.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Heart of a 3 Year Old

Noah is not a good eater. In fact, I spend most meal times begging and threatening him while he complains and takes forever. It is exhausting. When I finally get him to take a bite, the food stays in his cheek for a good 5 minutes. So, you can imagine how unpleasant and long meal times are with this kid. The other day, I decided to try the "kids- are- starving- all -around- the -world tactic" to speed up meal time. Here is how it went.

Noah: (for the 40th time in his whiniest of voices) But, I don't wanna eat, I'm not hungry.
Me: You know what? There are little kids all around the world who are starving. They are so hungry and their tummies hurt really bad because they want some food but their mommies and daddies don't have enough money to feed them. So, you should be thankful that your tummy doesn't hurt and that your mommy and daddy can feed you and you should eat your food.
Noah: Do they say, "I'm hungry. I'm hungry." all the time?
Me: Yup.
Noah: Well, I have an idea! Why don't I take some of my food and take it to those kids who are hungry!
Me: (Stumped)Uh...well we can't really take the food that is on the table right now because it would get rotten, but we do help one of those kids. The little girl on our refrigerator. That is why we send her money so that her mommy can buy her food and her tummy won't hurt.
Noah: Oh! Okay. Let's pray for those other kids right now. (Folding his hands) Dear Jesus, thank you for the kids who are hungry. Please help their tummies not to hurt anymore and help their mommies and daddies have money to buy them food. In Jesus name, Amen.
Me: Noah, you have such an amazing heart. I am so proud of you...Now, can you please eat your food?

You Know You're A Bad Example When...

You pull out the cleaning spray and start cleaning the counters and your daughter says, "Mommy why are you doing dat? You don't oo-sually do dat. Teresa does."

Teresa is the cleaning lady who comes once a month. Ay yaiy yaiy! My daughter is going to be a slob.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Latest and Greatest Fashion Discovery

Let's face it, my budget cannot handle a pair of designer maternity jeans. It just does not make sense to me to spend upwards of $150.00 on a pair of jeans that I will only wear for a few months. However, the type of maternity jeans that my wallet can afford can only be described as saggy crotch/butt jeans. You know, the kind that make your butt look saggy and make you walk like a penguin because the crotch sags down to your knees? But, I NEED jeans. I mean jeans are so versatile and I wear them at least 4 days out of the week. Do you see my dilemma?

Well, the other day, I went shopping, but I decided to skip the maternity stores and see if I could find fashionable clothing that would accommodate my growing belly in the regular stores. There I was looking for baby doll dresses, loose fitting shirts, and leggings when lo and behold, I discovered my new wardrobe staple: JEGGINGS! Jean leggings! These are even less expensive than the affordable maternity jeans and much more comfortable plus I do not have to worry about looking like I have a saggy butt or walking like a penguin! They even have some that have pockets on the butt so you don't always have to wear long shirts with them. They are absolutely AMAZING and a perfect solution to my maternity jean dilemma. I am so excited that I just had to share. Maybe one day I'll post a picture of me in my new favorite discovery!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

And the Worst Mom of the Year Award Goes To...

TALEAH MURRAY! (Applause here)

First of all I'd like to thank the snooze button that forced me to push it 3 too many times this morning which resulted in me not having enough time to wash my hair for the third day in a row. Next I'd like to thank the curb that jumped out at me right in front of Noah's school this morning as I was dropping him off. Because of you, curb, all the moms will now run for cover and hold their kids very close when they see me driving up to the school. I also don't want to leave out my sincere thanks to Noah's very first school picture day which slipped my mind this morning as I threw Noah's dirty gross hat over his wild bed head hair. I am so thankful for the panic you caused me as I walked into Noah's classroom this morning and noticed the room was full of groomed and well dressed kids. Without you, I may have been able to walk out of the school with my head held high (until I got to the parking lot of course). Instead, I could not get myself to make eye contact with Noah's teachers or anyone else for that matter out of sheer embarrassment for dressing my kid like a bum.
Well, they've turned the music on, so I better wrap up this acceptance speech. Real quick, I don't want to forget to thank my son for repeatedly asking, "Why'd you hit the curb mommy? Why did you drive like that?" and "Why are you making me duck and run so no one sees us?"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Just Google It...Or Not

My favorite thing about technology today is Google. I LOVE Google. When I need to do research for my job, I Google it. When I need to know how to cook Basmati rice, I Google it. When my stomach pain gets so bad, and I need some suggestions for home remedies, I Google it. So far Google has been extremely helpful, but today...well, I figured out that Google is not always on the up and up.

All of a sudden, at lunch yesterday Noah said started not to feel well. He became really lethargic and developed a fever. I figured he was coming down with the Flu. He went down for his nap and woke up feeling just fine. I thought it must have been a fluke. But, at 2:00 a.m. he woke up with a fever and said he was not feeling well again. Then, he threw up and asked to watch a movie. I took his temperature about 68 times and then decided to Google "Headache and fever in toddlers." The words that showed up, sent me into a panic. "Spinal Meningitis." I read everything I could on it. Then, I went into the living room turned on every light and asked Noah if it bothered him. Duh! Of course turning every light in the house on after being in complete darkness would bother him. But, I was certain that he was experiencing "sensitivity to light" another one of the symptoms. Then, I began to squeeze his neck and ask if it hurt. After poking and prodding and asking him a million questions, he was annoyed and I was convinced that he was getting brain damage as we spoke. I began to cry and woke Ricky (my voice of reason ). He told me to just give him some Motrin and chill out. I gave him the Motrin and just sat and stared at my son, thinking through all the worst case scenarios. The fever died down and he went back to sleep.
When I woke up this morning, I called my Mother-in-law and my mom and dad to ask opinions. All the while, My Voice of Reason, sat looking at me with an amused smirk on his face. Every once in a while making fun of my craziness. I, very distraught that he was not taking this seriously, would say, "Go Google it and see for yourself!" To which he would respond, "Babe, if I Google it, I would think he was dying too. I 'm not going to Google it!" My mom and dad agreed that it is probably just a harmless virus that he picked up from school and that I just need to wait it out.
Sheesh! What a mess. I wonder how different my state of mind would have been without Google. I mean my mom had 4 kids and no Google. I am sure there were countless nights of inexplicable fevers and rashes and sicknesses. I bet she just prayed a lot and believed the best or she would have definitely been in the nut house! We all made it out relatively healthy and alive. Imagine that!

From now on, I'm gonna skip Google when I am tempted to self-diagnose my kids.

My verse for the day: "...The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:5b-7

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Dog

Look Mom! I drew a doggy!

Apple Farm 2010

When I was little, my best friend used to always tell me about her annual trip to Glen Oak to pick apples. The following day, she would come to school with the most delicious homemade applesauce. I was always a little jealous of her yearly trips. So, I made the decision that I when I had kids, we would make a tradition out of going to Oak Glen yearly. I have kept my promise and we are now going on three years of going to Riley's Farms to pick apples. My kids absolutely love it! This year we invited Bramma (Grandma) to come with us and we had a wonderful time. It was a gorgeous day and the kids had a blast!

Maia felt as though it was free snacks all day long.

Looking for a good tree with the best apples. (We were not so good about following the rules)!

Bramma found this tool and got the apples from way up high...

Everyone eat an apple!
Reach for it Maia...
Uh fell...
Look what I found
Dandelions, our favorite!
Run, Noah, Run! (My favorite picture)!

Okay, mom enough pictures already. How many times do we have to say cheeeeeeese?
My precious family. I am a lucky girl!