Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Paint therapy

I woke up super early this morning and got a huge head start on a ton of things. Mid-morning, Cate sat up her acrylics as she had found two blank thin canvases to color-up. I felt the itch to sit down and paint a little something, just for fun because I have two landscapes that I have been working on, off and on, for weeks and they've been making me angry. They are both mostly black and grey and white. No wonder they aren't putting me in a good mood. I decided I needed some color in my day and painted some orange poppies. I had mixed up a small batch of blue because I had originally intended to do more blue other than just splatters. I sketched out a very pitiful looking TARDIS but I figured I would use the blue paint anyway and I ended up continuing to work on it and eventually ended up with this(below). Not finished with it yet but I have to let all the other paint dry before I can paint the words on the box. It totally looks like something that an 8 year old could have done, but the colors made me happy :-) If I can't get it to look a little better, I'll toss it and do another one later when I have gotten a little better!

Not sure if I am finished with the orange flowers yet. I realize that they don't really look like poppies, but that was original idea. I don't what they are. Orange? I like orange…I can go with just little orange flowers. Anyway, here they are! Don't laugh, I'm still very new at water color!

I also wanted to say, for those who did not read my comments on yesterday's post: My statement at the beginning of that was not a rant. It was a sincere apology to anyone who has ever felt like I was over sharing or boasting and just my way of saying that if I didn't post about my personal life, I wouldn't have anything to photograph or write. I just want to make sure that in the process of apologizing for offending anyone that I am not offending anyone. Oiy, I have got to learn to word things more elegantly. If I am fussing about anything on here, and you are one of my regular readers, it's pretty safe to assume that I am not directing anything towards you.

Okey dokey, back to work now for me! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tell me that I am pretty

*It's been over a week since my last blog entry and I left on a very positive note. It was a quiet evening at home and my hubby was playing guitar for me while we dumped a few bottles of wine down our throats. I told myself when I started writing again that I would only write positive posts. No "venting" and no complaining. Just my positive thoughts and feelings that might inspire others to find the good things in their own lives to think about. However, it has been brought to my attention that often times my desire to share the positive aspects of my life can have a negative affect on those who read or listen to what I say. There is nothing that brings out our jealous and bitter human nature more than seeing someone else who has what we desire to have be it an extravagant vacation, a new baby, or surprise "just because" flowers from our sweetheart, or even just a "normal" life. It seems from every angle I am hearing people talk about how Facebook is so toxic to ones own happiness because people are either too negative or, surprisingly, too positive. Apparently, now it's offensive to be happy, you know, because other people might be unhappy and you, by being happy, are hurting their feelings. I am not writing to bring anyone down with negativity and it is never my intention to brag when I write about being happy. I apologize if any of my entries or photo's, here or elsewhere, have ever offended or hurt anyone or made anyone feel sad in any sense. That has never been my intention. However, if I refrain from posting or photographing and sharing those photo's about my life then I am losing my inspiration to write or shoot at all. I will say this and nothing more on that topic before I move on: I am neither venting nor boasting. This is my life, and I really like it. Please don't make me feel guilty about having a nice life. My life and marriage are not perfect, but it's good and I don't believe that I should have to hide that because someone might misinterpret my intentions. With that being said, I'm actually opening up today in a very raw and very "girly" way today. And I am not walking on eggshells. I apologize if I offend you. It's not my intention. I love each and every one of you amazing women, and I appreciate the fact that despite my horrible grammar and my frustrating method of writing you still read and take the time to comment. It really inspires me to keep jotting down my silly thoughts and observations and that helps me to be a better person, wife, mom, and friend. So thank you and please don't misunderstand my meaning within my crazy blog entries!" 

I have been a little emotional over the past week. Little things make me cry, even smaller things make me angry, and pretty much anything hurts my feelings. Call it hormones, call it being a woman, or call it PMS, but the fact that I am less capable of rationalizing things does not mean that those things are just in my head. I am not "imagining" that someone never thanked me for serving them breakfast. I am not lying about the fact that someone took a very unnecessarily harsh tone with me. And I am not hallucinating when I saw someone roll their eyes at me. How I process these things may vary from day to day, or week to week, but the actions that set the emotions in place are still there and are very real. It's easy to feel completely and totally happy and in love on a carefree Friday evening when the kids are in bed and we are alone with some good music and good wine. It's less easy to have those same feelings on a Monday evening when you are discussing how little money you have and whose fault it is that those darn kids are so lazy and disobedient today. Any idiot who has been married for more than 3 weeks knows that marriage is a ton of work and it's not always going to be great. We all have daily proof that it is not always great, or even good at times.

I started off my weekend on a pretty good note and ended it on a bad one. A friend's young daughter, who is just a smidgen younger than Cate, asked if I was pregnant. My knee-jerk reaction was typical me "No honey, I'm just fat". I wish I had not responded in that way, but it's my nature to do that. I felt bad about my response. How immature of me!  I cried all the way home because I am now being mistaken for being pregnant because I am so fat and promptly put my fat self to bed within 10 minutes of being home. I have gained a lot of weight over the past two years. I'm now a big girl. It's taking some getting used to. The hardest part about getting "fat" is still wanting my husband to see me as the size 0 girl that he married, or at least, just as pretty. But that is not possible. We've both grown in different ways, grown away from each other, and grown back together again…over and over and over again and I suspect that will be the case for the rest of our lives together. Hopefully, I will learn to deal with it in a more graceful way than I am currently able to do.

I struggle with feeling pretty. Beauty is all relative, and I don't believe that our physical appearances are a fair representation of real beauty, so we're going to leave the word "beauty" out of the equation for the time being. I'm talking about feeling pretty. There are a lot of things that make a woman feel pretty; a good fitting pair of jeans, a nice new bottle of nail polish, and a flattering photo to use as our Facebook profile picture, just to name a few. When you feel fat, however, there is very little that you can do to feel pretty. You might have a new, super cute sundress but you'll still continually tug at it and do your best to suck in your tummy. You'll have your picture taken at a party beside your beautiful friends and just pray that ONE turned out flattering and pray that your friend(s) will only post the flattering one online. Later, you see them and think "Huh. Yep. Still fat. At least I'm smiling and both of my eyes are open!" Still, at the end of the day you lay down beside the same dude who has been there with you through thick and thin, pun intended.

It's because I get to lay down beside that dude that his opinion matters the most, even more than my own. I don't like fishing for compliments but because I am married to an Ingram, sometimes in order to get one, I have to go fishing. He hates it and after all this time, I have still not managed to learn my lesson. I guess that's just how us ladies do it, isn't it? We need to know that we are adored by our men. At least, I do. I try to not over do it though. There is nothing sadder to me than seeing all of the annoying cries for attention so very often put out there by women in a futile effort to receive compliments. You know what I am talking about, the selfie chicks who post a picture a day of themselves and put it on Facebook with some silly caption like "Just another day" or "Good morning, Facebook!" Ahem, I think what you meant to say was "Tell me I'm PREEETTTTYYY!!! LOOK AT ALL MY SELFIES! Here is some cleavage! I got my huur did!" I say that this is a "futile" effort because it's never good enough, they have to do it again in a few days, or maybe even daily.  If you are feeling inadequate or ugly, there is nothing empowering about posting a selfie 3 times a week of yourself in your car headed to work. You don't need empowerment, you need a reality check…..and you need to pay attention to the road, too. And some of you need Jesus. Thanks for reminding us all that you look exactly the same as you did 2 days ago. We were all very worried that you'd gotten ugly in the past 48 hours.

I think the point that I am trying to make is that there is a clear difference in wanting the attention and affections of our husbands and being an attention whore who needs to hear 20 people call us "hot mama", "Gorgeous girl!", and "Pretty lady!" and have 47 people "like" our newest selfie. Despite the fact that I do fish for compliments, especially from my hubs, I am otherwise a confident, somewhat well adjusted woman. It's undeniable that the reason I became this kind of woman is because of my husband. Although he has never been, and will never be, one to shower me with compliments and affection, I know he loves me because he's kept me around, and me only, for the past 15 years. Sometimes actions speak much louder than words.

On my tearful ride home last night, my 10 year old precious daughter was sitting behind me with her hand on my shoulder and kept telling me that I wasn't fat, and that I was pretty. My husband stayed very silent. I don't give him enough credit sometimes but he has learned a lot about me over the years and I suppose he felt his best way to calm me was to pat my hand a few times and not say a word. In my emotional and hormonal state, I tried to not focus on what he wasn't saying but rather on what he wasn't saying. That wasn't a typo, I meant to say exactly that. (that's a first, huh? ha!) He knows he only has a gift of words in a comical sense, and it was neither the time nor the place for comedy.  He's not perfect, and neither am I. We both have our baggage and we both suck at lots of things when it comes to caring emotionally for one another. I guess that's why God gives us girl friends and sisters, biological or married in. I had a very therapeutic message exchange with one of my best friends today. Together we purged our feelings on being women, wives, and mothers and I feel a lot better this afternoon. Thank Heaven for my friends. I would be lost without them, without ANY of them. Y'all keep me kind of sane.

I do love my husband and I know that he loves me. But I am an insecure, emotional, fragile little person very often and I need a steady balance of brutal honesty and gentle encouragement from my husband. More often than not, the scale is unbalanced, weighing heavier on his brutal honesty than his gentle encouragement. That drives me crazy. He drives me crazy in a hundred different ways. I am sure the feeling is mutual. It's a non-stop, crazy roller coaster ride of ups and downs, positives and negatives that keep us going, just like every other couple in the world. With so many of my loved ones going through separations and divorces, I have to step back many times and remember that for everything that I find wrong, we're still doing pretty good. I wish I were smaller and I wish that I could actually lose weight without giving up everything thing that I love to eat and without working out for an hour every day. I wish I were prettier for him. I hope that he does still think that I am beautiful, and pretty, too. But we're ok, and for every hill we climb, there is a beautiful view to enjoy at the top.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Romancing the wife

Sometimes I let the boss listen to a "new favorite" song and sometimes he starts learning that song so that he can play and sing it for me. I don't get flowers and typical romance. But what I get is about 10 times more romantic, in my book. He writes me poetry and he plays music for me. Lovely. I like it.

This is the song he is learning to play for me :-)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday mornin'

Yesterday was an interesting day. I started my day with 5 kids ages 14-5months. By lunch time, I only had the 5 month old(babysitting for my friend, Jada) and he takes a 3 hour afternoon nap. It was pretty awesome. This morning as the boss was packing a bag for Atlanta, he asked me what my "plan" was for the day. He asks me this every morning, not because he is really interested but just to be polite. My response is usually the same and this morning was no different. After he left however, I got a little side tracked. I began a little painting last week and had the best intentions of finishing it that following day. With all three kids home for summer break, I have found it very difficult to finish even the most important and expected tasks of the day, let alone find time to spread my paint and brushes out and immerse myself in a world of water color. However, I was inspired this morning after browsing through the daily Explore on flickr and remembered my poor neglected, half finished painting that I was pretty excited about last week. When I say I was excited about it, I mean that it didn't end up in the garbage can like most of my paintings. Knowing that once I brought all of my materials out, I would likely get very little real work done, I resigned myself to taking the day off. The boss is in Atlanta for the day and possibly the night and I have worked my ass off this week on pictures and getting things ready for back to school. I can take a day for myself. I do that now and again to recharge. Sometimes an artists soul gets stifled and stuffy and even when your art is your work, you have to step back and find another outlet, even if it is only for a day. It's why I started painting in the first place.

In other news, the cat now has a name(brace yourself): Meet…….*drumroll*…….Scratch and Sniff. Yep. That's OUR cat's name. Or Sniffles for short. The poor little thing has horrible allergies. She sneezes and sniffles constantly and her eyes water so much that she always looks like she is crying :-( I'll talk to the vet about it when I take her to get spayed. She is a happy and lively little bundle of sweetness 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time, she is asleep. And she adores Seth(and he loves her, too). She pouts when he leaves for work:

and sleeps in his chair. Only in his chair.

I like to think that the reason she loves Seth so much is because he was the one who found her. We have several stray cats in our neighborhood and we assume that she was part of one their litters since none of the neighbors claimed her. She was probably recently abandoned by her mother. She was so skinny and scared. I think that Seth was probably the first human that she had encountered and he immediately showed her kindness, brought her in from the rain, and wrapped her in a towel, and found her a can of tuna and some water. So, likely, that was the first time she felt comfort and security. I think that is why she gravitates to towards him and is sleeping in his chair when he is gone, because it smells like him and he is comfort to her. However, we are all very taken with her and love her very much. We even have a litter box now, which is gross beyond all words to me but if it keeps her safe and flea-free, I'm happy to scoop cat poop every other day. She has brought new life into the house. I sincerely hope that we have many happy, snuggle-filled years with Scratch and Sniff.

I'm really ready for the kids to get home today. So far I have drank an entire pot of coffee, painting, worked on some pictures, and took a nice long shower, all while listening to awesome music of my own choosing. God is giving me too much freedom today, better get those kids back before I get used to this wonderful and relaxing laziness.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This one is for the Hobbits, Time Lords, Jedi's, and Superhero's

I wrote the previous blog while I was at my moms house on Sunday night and I decided to post it today after a brief run through to fix grammatical errors. I eventually added a bunch of other stuff to make the giant post that you read. To even things out, I wanted to keep today's original post short and sweet. We'll see how that works out ;-)

I love my geeky kids! I have always been a big geek at heart. I love Star Wars and Superhero's and reading and watching science fiction and fantasy works by writer geniuses such as Tolkien and Lewis. I grew up on Star Trek because my parents were "trekies". I remember being kind of sad as a child to realize that Han Solo(or Harrison Ford, rather) was so much older than me because I fell in love with him while watching the entire Star Wars trilogy at the age of 9. Although I am now happily married to the hottest man on earth, if I ever met Harrison Ford I would kiss the hell out of him on the mouth just to say that I had snogged Han Solo/Indiana Jones, and if you are my REAL friend, you'll be there to have photographic proof, or preferably a video, but a photo would work, too. Recently, I have added more to my geekness. The kids and I are big Doctor Who fans(whovians) and I love Sherlock(Sherlockian), BBC Sherlock, not that other piece of garbage parading itself around as Sherlock with a female Dr. Watson. I also love Supernatural, which makes me part of the SuperWhoLock "fandom". And although the movie vary a great deal from the books, I own the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy as well as the first two Hobbit films. Shame me all you want, I like them and we watch them all regularly. Martin Freeman as bilbo and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug do not influence my affection for the Hobbit movies, though I will admit that they don't hinder it.

I get strange looks, particularly from women for my love of Marvel characters. Although I have never been a comic book reader, I always love a good superhero movie and my loyalty for Marvel characters vs DC characters is strictly because they are better. I always though Superman was lame, and Batman/Bruce Wayne is just a "not as cool and suave as Iron Man/Tony Stark". I wasn't exactly raised to be a geek, but I have always gravitated towards it. Some of my favorite childhood memories are being 7-10 years old, watching Transformers with my cousin Joey on Saturday morning and playing Mario Brothers on his Super Nintendo(because we only an original nintendo system at home). Needless to say at this point, I absolutely LOVE having 2 little boys who are at present enthralled with superhero's, Transformers, and Star Wars. I can get behind that. I will still never be geek enough to appreciate Pokemon. Sorry kids, I have to draw the line somewhere. Avatar: The Last Airbender, however….now we're talking.

In an effort to keep this short, as I can see myself typing this out for quite some time, I will sum it all up now and tell you why I am even writing about this at all.

Fantasy and science fiction is pure imagination and imaginative minds build a better world. For all the things I want for my children, the one thing that would make me the saddest is to know that my kids grew up, went to college, and in the process had all of the imagination and impossible dreams beat out of them.

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time we are given" -Gandalf the Grey

"Not all those who wander are lost" - Biblo Baggins

"Never tell me the odds" - Han Solo

"You will find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view" - Obi Won Kenobi

"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering" - Yoda

"Do you know, in nine hundred years of time and space I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important before.”
The Eleventh Doctor

“I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.”
The Eleventh Doctor

"This is why you were chosen. Because a strong man, who has known power all his life, may lose respect for that power. But a weak man knows the value of strength, and knows compassion." Dr. Abraham Erskine-Captain America/The First Avenger

"I don't like bullies. No matter where they come from" -Steve Rogers/Captain America

"Whatever happens tomorrow, stay who you are. Not just a soldier, but a good man." Dr. Abraham Erskine- Captain America: The First Avenger

"Why are we fighting to save the humans? They are a primitive and violent race"-IronHide
"Were we so different? They're a young species. They have much to learn. But I have seen goodness in them. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings"- Optimus Prime

Well, I could go on for days. What  children learn from superhero's, from fantasy shows and books are things that they will never learn in a text book, most of the time not even from their own parents, and certainly not from our current leaders. They learn the value of courage; that evil should be opposed and the good protected. They learn that people from the most humble backgrounds can grow up to be hero's and do great things. That with great power, comes great responsibility(thank you, Uncle Ben, for giving that advice to Peter Parker). They learn that life is an adventure! From the moment Bilbo Baggins walks out his front door to follow Gandalf and Thorin, to the day that Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are crowned at Cair Paravel. These books, these movies…they take them away from this terrible, violent, hate-filled world that they are living in and show them that you can fight back, you trample evil, you can live your dreams, you can experience everything that this beautiful world that our God has made for us has to offer. I want my kids to know that they can do anything that they want to do in life and that their folks are right there, backing them up. So scoff if you must at my geekery. Run down our movies and our shows, but we love them and we will watch them and our children will continue to flourish and feed their imagination with visions of Asgard, and Narnia, and Middle Earth at their finest.

My most beloved quote by CS Lewis is the one that inspires me daily to give such dreams to my children:

"Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage"- C.S. Lewis

**Edited to Add: Upon review of this post, I have determined that I am most definitely incapable of posting a "short and sweet" blog post. Sorry!**

What I mean when I tell you "It gets easier"

I love to tell my friends who have kids younger than mine that things get easier, especially the ones who've only recently had their second or third child. I like to give them that little glimmer of hope that they will make it to the easy years with most of their hair intact(a large portion of it will be turning grey, but it's still there!). Having 3 little bitty's so close together was very challenging for me, and I sympathize with my friends 110%. I don't pity them, but I remember the days of endless crying and whining and mess making….the kids were pretty hard to deal with as well.

Having little bitty kids is incredibly frustrating. The most frustrating thing that I can say about little kids and babies is that they are messy. The crap in their pants, they create beautiful works of art on your walls, furniture, appliances, and occasionally on themselves, often times with permanent markers or non-washable paint. They can't eat a meal or a snack without spilling half of it on the floor and themselves. They cry a lot, usually about something completely ridiculous. They don't care if their is snot all over their face, or grape jelly on their shirt. They're really quite gross, very demanding, and very loud. As they get older, you notice a big change in their behavior. They get a little less high maintenance, or so you think. You sit around and think to yourself "Boy, it sure is nice to not have them coming up to me every 10 minutes asking for a snack." Then you walk into your kitchen and realize that now they are making the snacks themselves, which requires twice as many dishes and utensils as you would use and generates 3 times the mess. You sit around, able to read a chapter or two of a book or get some work done if you work from home and think "Wow, it's so nice that they go and find something to entertain themselves now" and then later you find an empty can of shaving cream, 3 empty bottles of food coloring, and 2 empty bottles of nail polish in your bathroom trash can and realize that they were entertaining themselves with a "magic potion". Later, upon further investigation you find 2 ruined sets of clothes laundry room floor and kids with blue and green stained hands and faces. You want to get angry about it, but your just glad they cleaned it up when they were finished and that the food coloring was contained to just clothes and kids.

It's not just the every day things that change though. My kids are now fully able to dress themselves for church, which is a much smoother operation than it was 3 years ago when your daughter broke out into tears at the very sight of a pair of stockings or panty hose. Now she just beep bops to the van at go time wearing a dress that is at least one size too big or too small, and patten leather shoes with no socks, or stockings and hair that looks like something straight out of a Tim Burton film. There is no way to keep 7 & 6 year old boys in nice saddle oxford dress shoes so crocs and cargo shorts become completely acceptable church attire as long as they wear a button up shirt or a polo with them, comb their hair, and wipe the grape jelly off their faces. You'll find out during Mass that at least one of them isn't wearing underwear, and the other has grass stains on the ass of his shorts…but there is not since worrying about at that point, is there? After all, they are all in Mass and so are you AND your husband. You just sit on the side and duck out quickly so no one see's your rag-a-muffin kids or the big hole in your panty hose that the youngest one made while trying to climb you like a tree during the Gospel reading.

On weekends nights, you will go visit your friends and their kids. This event is much more relaxing than it was 3 years ago. Everyone is potty trained now and no one really has a strict bedtime, if they have one at all. No one has to stop and fix bottles or nurse a baby. In fact, you rarely even notice the kids after you hand them their paper plate with one hot dog and a hand full of chips. The most you really have to do is to make sure you find a black sharpie to label each of the kids red solo cups of water. No one hovers over them. Of course, at some point you have to do a head count. Someone is always missing and they are usually in a boys room with every bucket of lego's scattered around the floor. Shoes are scattered throughout the home and yard, and surrounding wooded area's, in the chicken coop, on the playlet, and sometimes in the driveway as well. At least you know for each child, there is always at least 1 pair of extra shoes hidden somewhere in the abyss of the back of your minivan. This also comes in handy when you usher everyone out the door in a hurry and arrive at your destination to discover that the youngest one forgot to put on shoes before you left. Is he wearing water shoes while walking through the grocery store? Yes, he is. And you just smile and tell everyone that looks at them "he dressed himself" And then they tell you that you are a great mommy for being so laid back and cool :-) Everyone also has extra clothes and a toothbrush in there in case you need to crash at your friends house because their overnight bags were left in there from three weeks ago when they stayed at Grandma's. You were going to get them out when you got groceries that next Monday, but by the time you got the groceries unloaded, they were already devouring the weekly supply of goodies and you got distracted trying to hide the good stuff. And the same thing happened the next Monday. This is also very handy for when someone says "I don't mind if they stay the night, but we don't have any extra clothes or a tooth brush" No worries, we have them. Y'all have fun!

Having a daughter growing up is pretty fun to watch. There are so many years that you just look at them and want to pull your hair out thinking "WHY CAN'T SHE BE GIRLY!?!?!" Why can't she just learn that when I say matching colors, I don't mean a neon green long sleeve shirt and an old faded pair of olive green cargo capri's? Why must she INSIST on wearing that nasty, ugly old pair of tennis shoes with her cute sundress to town? And you point out that she might not look "town" worthy, so she goes to grab that old sequin snap purse with the chain strap that your mom gave to her for "dress-up". You want to say more, but you are afraid she'll add a red feather boa so you keep your stupid mouth shut. You can only make things worse.  You spend so long wanting her to care about her appearance and understanding what the word "cute" and "pretty" really mean as far as how you dress and when she does…she takes 1 hour to get dressed to go to the dollar store, she steals your good razors(she's shaving her legs now, yea!), she uses twice as much of your great smelling Herbal Essence conditioner than she needs to use, and she steals your lip gloss. And your cute scarves. And your OPI nail polish. And all of your hair ties. And now, instead of shrugging her shoulders and saying "so what?" when you ask if she is planning to leave the house in THAT outfit, she runs to her room and dramatically throws herself on her bed and sobs because you said she was ugly and she will NEVER be pretty enough for you. You have learned by now to never, under any circumstances, regardless of where you are planning to go, make any comment at all about her curly hair unless that comment consist precisely of the words "You're hair looks great!" Those words, in that order…said enthusiastically. Or you say NOTHING.AT.ALL. It's not the caring about their appearance that you had hoped for, but it's a start and you are learning very quickly that even miniature women don't want to be told that they are anything but beautiful.

When you are at home 24/7 with your young children, it seems as though time is passing so slowly for you. Things keep happening to people around you, big changes and you feel like you are sitting still watching everyone else's lives happen while you are wiping poop, sterilizing bottles, sweeping up cheerios, and checking your account balance every day to see how little money you have this week to provide food and essential things for your family. It's strange to me to look back and realize that the only changes to that daily routine for me are that now I am wiping pee off the toilet bowl, sterilizing lego's in the dishwasher(did you know there are bags made for that?), and sweeping up glitter, plastic beads, and nerf darts. I am still checking our account each day to see how little money we have to provide food and other essential items for our family.

However, for everything that just got upgraded to a different set of frustrations, there is a lot that DOES get better. Eventually, all the baby gear that clutters your home will be sent to a new home. You will be able to have nice furniture again. You will carry a cute purse again rather than a diaper bag. You'll even be able to take a shower while they are awake and not have to rush through it.

So when I say to my sweet mommy friend "It get's easier" here is what I really want to say: Being a mom is super hard, always. It's about 7 years per kid of worrying and watching to make sure that they really can handle themselves without you hovering over them. It's learning that you don't need to rush them to the ER for every fever or unexplained rash. It's learning that kids are dirty and gross and you should probably never put them in clothes that mean anything at all to you if they are not going to church or a wedding or to have their picture made. It's learning that kids need a variety of foods, and sometimes that food will accidentally consist of bugs, leaves, coins, marbles, dog/cat hair, maybe a lithium ion battery, and at least once in their life…their own feces, their siblings feces, or the feces of your inside cat or dog if you have one, and that you probably want to get them to the ER for the battery and cat poop, but the other stuff…ehh, they'll be fine.

They'll cut their own hair a time or two and the hair of their dolls and maybe even a younger sibling. You'll experience hundreds of sleepless nights and high fevers and a lot of vomit and even more snot and buggers,  those big buggers that you think are little and you keep pulling and soon the bugger is the size of your thumb and your think "How was he even breathing?". They are going to make HUGE messes and destroy a lot of cute clothes and at least a few pieces of furniture. You will need to always get an extra half gallon of paint for each room that you ever paint in your house because touch up work will be required every 3 months for the first 8 years of their life. Don't get super attached to electronic devices, they will wreck those, too. Whatever vehicle you have now, keep it as long as your family fits in it and it runs. Because toddlers and preschoolers who are just learning to write their name…will write it, or carve it, somewhere in the back of that vehicle when you are not looking. Drive it until it dies. Better yet, drive it and keep it running well until they are 16 and need a car. Buy yourself a new car, give them the one that they branded 14 years ago. When people talk about the terrible twos, they always forget to mention how much of a nightmare ages 3 & 4 are, and just when you think you have it made around age 5, you will need to reevaluate your ability to think, but your thought of having it made was oh so wrong! Age 5 is when the attitude is fully developed enough for them to become a class A smart-ass. HOWEVER, if you stick to your guns, discipline them consistently, teach them to not take things for granted, and raise them to love people, love God, and love themselves…they will still be turds and will still make you crazy…they'll just be less turd-like than other kids and you'll be less crazy than other moms. When you feel like giving up, don't. When you need to cry, go cry. When you need to vent, call a friend(as one who may or may not have lied to you by saying "it gets easier", you can always call me)

Basically, your life with kids is never getting any easier. You will just learn to roll with it a little more smoothly. You exchange one set of problems for another set, and you thank the Lord above that each phase involves less bodily fluids(or solids). The best lesson that you will learn as a mom is that, although being a parent never really get's easier, day by day, it gets easier to remember to savor each moment and to never lay your head down at night without thanking God for entrusting these precious and wonderful little grubby, nasty, sticky, dramatic, whiny, forever-bored, beautiful and amazing little stinkers to you and praying for guidance and patience in bringing them up to serve him.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cat update

She found a new place to sleep. The boss is talking about litter boxes. I think we've become "those" kinds of people. You know, the ones with "pets". I have a cat perched on my shoulder like a parrot right now and I should go to bed…but if I move, I will wake her up…