Saturday, November 3, 2012

Baby Talk

Conversation with Caleb at 7 months:

Me:  Dada??
Caleb:  Dadadadadadada

Me:  Thhhhhwwwwwppppppttttt  (blowing raspberries)
Caleb:  Thhhhhwwwwwppppppptttttt  (pause)  ttttttthhhhhhhhwwwwwwwppppppttttttt

Me:  Nananana?
Caleb:  Nanananananananana

Me:  MAMA????

*sigh*  :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just Breathe...

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Galations 5:22

This was the crux of our moms Bible study this week.  We talked about how to cultivate these qualities into our homes - things that we can do to build our little people up to have these characteristics.  

The discussion should have empowered me.  I should have left on cloud nine, ready to take over my home and mold my children.  But in reality, I felt even more defeated.

Because I very rarely feel like this.  

Let me go into detail.

We have had issues with Elizabeth getting up around 5 a.m. and coming downstairs to spend an hour by herself doing whatever she wants until we get up.  She turns on every light in the house and loves to get into the pantry to snack on things she knows she's not allowed to have.  Yesterday, I found her with a pack of the real expensive organic baby yogurt bites and almost had a coronary.  

So we got her one of those alarm clocks that changes colors when she's allowed to get up and it has worked really well.  So at 6 o'clock on the nose, she walks in our room and announces, "The clock is green, Mom!!"  Now, I would be tempted to drift back to sleep except for the sound of a dining room chair being scooted across my kitchen floor in order to assist her to get crayons, Play-doh, or scissors (ha!). 

Caleb gets up five minutes later; Rachel 10 minutes. My day starts lecturing, correcting, disciplining.  

Don't lay on your brother.
Please go back to bed if you're going to cry.
I swear, I will start breakfast in a minute.
No, you cannot go outside.  It's cold and you have pj's on. 

Breakfast is a blur of demands and whines and a baby banging on his high chair for attention.  I make Elizabeth's lunch for preschool, Scott's snacks for work and chug my shake and a second cup of coffee.  In the background, I crank the praise and worship Pandora station because I tend to be more patient when I can at least hear positive music.  

Which proved a challenge this morning when the girls ran downstairs waving the LaLaLoopsy dolls they had a my closet...which had been intended for Christmas.  *breathe*

The dolls went on the dining room table and the process of begging/bribing/threatening to get ready for the day got underway.  Rachel has two outfits she is willing to wear without a fit.  Elizabeth has to run around naked at least 20 minutes before getting dressed and Caleb enjoys pulling out and chewing on the girls' nastiest shoes.  

Need the Reader's Digest of the rest of the morning?

Rachel picked up all the toys in the den (the first time I asked!) and got her doll unwrapped and was thrilled.
Elizabeth refused to make her bed and did not get her doll.
Rachel enjoyed teasing her big sister with her doll and Elizabeth threw a tantrum to try to get hers.
Caleb came crawling up to me chewing on something.  It was dog hair.
My friend called as I was pulling out of the driveway and I was so excited to talk to another adult that I drove right past the entrance to preschool.
Another Elizabeth tantrum.
Finally got her dropped off and made it to BodyPump class in time to get an awesome workout.
In the middle of shoulders, I realized I had left the dogs outside with no water...and had fed them leftover, salty pork for breakfast.
Picking up the kids, did I know that Caleb only had one sock on when I dropped them off?  Oh, and Rachel's hungry.  Check that:  starving.
Loading up the little two, I saw Elizabeth's drink still in my bag.  I had forgotten to leave it.
Back to preschool.  Unload two kids.  Drop off drink.  Reload two kids.
Rachel crying, "But I thought you said we were going to Taaaaarrrrgeeettttt."


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Galations 5:22

You know the best part of this verse for me?  These are the fruit of the SPIRIT.  Not ANNIE.  It is through HIM, by HIM, that these things are revealed.  Although, during the times that my voice is raised and the house is a blur of chaos around me, I wonder...  

And just when I feel like I am going to lose it completely, He gives me glimpses of hope.

Today, when I dropped off Elizabeth, I clued her teacher in on our morning a bit and warned her of the mood.  "Oh, I would never believe that of your little girl," she said.  "She is just the most respectful and precious thing with the sweetest heart.  She always does everything I ask and is kind to others."

Funny how just a slight word of encouragement can reset you and make you feel like maybe you're doing something right after all and revealing the fruit of the Spirit, even if you don't think you are.  One day, I will laugh at all this...heck, I'll laugh about it tonight when they're in bed.  But today, I just work to make it through.

And finally today, after thinking all week on this verse, I accepted the grace that I don't have to be perfect...because HE is.  I was putting some sort of (definitely) unrealistic expectation on myself to achieve these things when I actually have to achieve nothing...I just have to live through Him.

Thank God.

And now, Rachel is calling from the potty and Caleb is yelling for me to get him from his crib.  Thanks for letting me vent, my friends.