Thursday, June 29, 2006

Advice - the good, the mean and the messed-up

I know a lot of women. Some of them I know in person, some I've only met online, some I've known my whole life, some I haven't. But I know a lot of women and, of those women, there are quite a few that I am exceedingly fond of. Many I would cry over should we be separated. But none of them are me. None of them are my children's mother or my hubby's wife - that's just me. I can hear some of you saying "duh" but bear with me - I think if I type long enough this will make sense (you might want to grab a snack...).
Lately I've been struggling. I don't know if it's hormones or what (although I do seem to go through this about 5-6 months after a baby is born), but it has just seemed like being me is sooo hard. There's the hard working, sleep in the day time, super-busy hubby who needs me to be a good wife. There are the three precious blessings who I would gladly throw down my life for, but who are actually requiring me to throw down MY life - every day. There's the family, the church, the prayers, the questions, the real needs. In light of all this, those women seem to have fallen into two camps. In one camp are the women who are doing what I want to do, being the kinds of wives and mothers I want to be, believing what I believe. Not perfectly, mind you. I'm not putting anyone on a pedestal here - I love these women and don't want to see them break a hip in the fall:) But they're the ones holding out a hand, being transparent, showing me how they do what they do and why. For these women I am eternally (and I mean ETERNALLY) thankful. There are some I won't see face to face this side of Glory, but I do thank God for them. Then there are the other women. I love some of these women. Really love. And I know they love me. But we don't always agree. Which is fine. I'm not one to argue. Even when I think I know better. Even when I *know* I know better. (I'm a big sister, too, Dawn) But, lately I'm getting a lot of those comments. "Are y'all really going to have any more kids?" "Now, those teething tablets you're giving him- are they safe?" "Brenna sure is shy - maybe she'd do better if she got to be around other kids more often." "Levi sure is aggressive...(see last quote)." Jack doesn't look comfortable in that thing (my new mei tai) - take him out so his legs can move around." "He's getting so fussy - don't you have a pacifier with you?" "what do you do when they're all crying at once?" And on and on and on. From friends, from family, from total strangers in the grocery store. From people who would not intentionally hurt my feelings for anything and from people who are so hung up on proving that they're right and I'm wrong that hurting me is not even an issue to consider. It's gotten to the point that one friend suggested I plan some snappy comebacks to fire off when I get one of these comments. That might be fun. But I don't want to be snappy. Well, actually I do. But I don't think my Father wants me to be snappy. I think He wants me to give a gentle answer. And I try to. Did I mention that being me is kind of hard right now? :)
So, here is what I need from all of you gracious women out there who are trying to be Titus 2 women for me and for others. I need your grace - when it's been a long day, I need to know you've been there, I need to know that you think I'm doing okay. I need your wisdom - when you see me doing something that caused you a problem, that might cause me a problem, speak up. Do it nicely please, but do it. I'm a big girl (despite the whining you just sat through) and I don't want to reinvent the wheel. It's just that I don't always (often?) know what I'm doing. And when I ASK for advice, by all means pour it on! I need you excitement and encouragement! If you think I'm trying to do a great thing here - let me know. If you see something I'm doing that is working, please don't think I already know it's working. I may be too close to even see the difference.
There's more to say, but I'm surrounded by hungry little people. And you know, I like being surrounded by hungry little people. So I'm off to save the day!
BTW, my precious children are neither overly shy or overly aggressive - but they do have their moments:)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Great post you must go read

I just have to point you over to Wisdom Has Two Parts. This post just really did it for me today. The steady dripping of "shoulds" and the raised eyebrows (some imagined by me, some not) and the subtle pressure to affirm someone else's mothering by heeding her advice has really been getting to me lately. It helped to read that I'm not the only mommy who doesn't measure up:)

WFMW: Church Bags

In an effort to get our Sundays running a little more smoothly, I've designated a separate bag to take to church. It holds the Bible I take to church (not the same one I use at home so it doesn't have to leave the bag), the usual baby stuff, interesting stuff to keep the kids quiet in an emergency and anything I might need to take with me that Sunday (the recipe someone asked for or an alabaster box - stuff like that). Nothing spectacular. The usefulness of this is that the bag is only for church, has everything we need for church, and is repacked right after church and not touched again until we're on our way back to church. When you go to church three (or more) times a week and need the same things everytime, it is a big help to know that they're all ready to go. I also usually keep the kids' Sunday School offering in this bag (their little church Bibles are in there too)and hand it all out in the parking lot, but Brenna got the cutest little dressy straw pocketbook for her birthday the other day and it is just the right size for her Bible and offering so now her purse stays packed and ready inside my bigger bag until we get there.
It might not be a necessity for everyone, but it sure WORKS FOR ME! Make sure you check out all the other fabulous ideas at the other Shannon's site!

Monday, June 26, 2006

My Girl Turns Two!

I can not believe my baby girl is already two. She's grown up so much in the last few months!

We moved to this house just before Brenna was born, when Levi was just two, and we hope to be here for a good long while. I was so excited to have our own house and think that my kids might be raised in one spot that I couldn't wait to start some traditions. So every year we take a birthday picture on the front steps. I plan on starting a home-from-the-hospital picture on the front steps, too, but so far no luck on that one:( Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Works for me Wednesday

Reading all the entries for Works For Me Wednesday has become my favorite "chore" for the week. I'm learning tons! Thanks so much to the other Shannon!
My idea for this week is pretty simple. We took all the kids' books off the shelf and put them facing forward in bins. The bins sit on top of a low shelf so that they can flip through and pick a book. It's also much easier for little ones to put books back! We eventually want to make rain gutter bookshelves, but for now, this Works For Me!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The pouch

Here's me and Jack in his pouch - he fell asleep right after we took this picture. We love this pouch! But it's about time for something a little more summery - I'm thinking we might try a mei tai next. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 16, 2006

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday

I just love Wednesday now:) I think this idea of the other Shannon's :) is fabulous! Be sure to check out all the great links over here.

As for my contribution, it's not a big deal thing, but it's something we could NOT live without. DH and I have matching dry erase boards (the kinds with a marker attached!) on the front of our fridge. I use mine to keep a small chart of vitamins & meds for everyone so I can see at a glance who's had what. It also holds my running "needs from town" list. Casey usually uses his to keep track of his detailing business. But the most important use is for writing notes to each other. Sometimes it's "please call so-and-so" and sometimes a little I love you:) But it's the only way I've found that I can consistently remember to do the little things Casey needs me to do. I just literally can not remember anything - must be mommy brain:) - that's not written down!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A Fabulous New Recipe

I tried this new recipe for Pasta Primavera last night and it is GOOOOOD! I did tweak it a little to make it a little more up our alley. I added two shredded chicken breasts (just roasted them alongside the vegetables and then shredded them up - rotisserie from the grocery store would work too) and left out the cherry tomatoes cause Casey's not so found of them. It was great - even the kids liked it! Some of our eaters are not very adventurous so you can imagine how excited I am to find a meal with lots of veggies, not much fat, protein - lots of good for you stuff - that they will eat! It would be great with whole grain pasta, too. I'm trying that next time:)

BTW, I totally missed Works For Me Wednesday this week. The week just got away from me:) Be back next Wednesday, though. Same bat time, same bat channel!