Cleaning out the (social networking) Clutter

There are a lot of social networking sites out there today.

Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Reddit. Linkedin. Tumblr. Snapchat. Google+. I am sure I am missing some…

It gives me a headache just thinking about it all. These can be an amazing tool. I use mine to keep in touch with loved ones who are states away. I also think these can become a crutch. They become a tool Satan uses to make us fall into the comparison game, gossip, anxiety, depression, and stay “friended” with people we may not really “like”, who are unhealthy for us, or who just plum annoy us (no offense haha) for fear of them knowing we un-friended them or whatnot.

Social media conceptI do have Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is very limited, mainly so family and friends who live elsewhere can see pictures. I have Instagram because I love photography, travel, and nature, and it calms me to follow pages with beautiful photos. Also. Less drama. LOL. Many people are on BOTH Facebook and Instagram. Do I really NEED everyone on BOTH accounts?

I have decided to clean out the clutter. I have decided that I should not let my fear of doing so make me have to delete the account I WANT to keep. About twice a year, I go through my newsfeed, pages, and friends list. It is so easy to change my newsfeed or unlike pages. But people? That is scary for me. I often have unfriending anxiety.

What will they think!?
Will they notice!?
Will they hate me?
I don’t want to be mean
I don’t want them to think I hate them
I don’t want them to take it personally

I mean come on, Em. Reall? Most WON’T care. If they do, they will ask about it

I have come up with some guidelines to help me decide who stays and who goes:

1) Facebook needs to be more personal. Instagram is more open. This means I need to clean out my friends list on FB and make it minimal. Keep it personal.

2) Do I know them in person? Did I go to school with them? If I only know them through online groups, have I kept in contact with them for a long period of time? These are all good questions to ask yourself when going through your social networking site feeds/lists

3) Would I tell them Happy Birthday? There are people who when FB tells me it is their birthday, and I am kinda like ehh so? That may sound rude, but if I don’t care enough to tell someone Happy Birthday, do I REALLY consider them a “friend?”

4) Have I considered letting them go before? Does things they say or post frustrate, annoy, or bother me? Even unfollowing someone, my mind knows they are still there, and it can wear on me.

5) Do they share any of the passions and values I share? Do they treat others with love and respect, even if views differ?

6) How do they talk about their children? This is a BIG one for me lately. I cannot stand the things I see some mothers say about their children. Name calling. Constantly complaining about them. Negative talk about them. Calling them things such as little shits or nasty or whatnot. Yes, children frustrate us sometimes. They are draining. They are still a blessing. I cannot see Christ calling the children who came to Him that, or constantly complaining about them. Can you?

7) The Bible says to guard our hearts. Part of doing that is making sure all we do brings glory to Him. Sometimes, in order to do this, we need to clean out the clutter in our lives. That means letting certain relationships, or things, go.

8) We are to please God, NOT man. If we are worrying what someone will think of us if we unfriend them, that’s worrying what they think over God. Pray and listen. God will direct us in the way you should go, and this includes relationships.

9) Real love doesn’t act out of insecurity. If you are worrying too much about what someone would think of you for letting them go (when you know it really IS the best thing to do), that isn’t love. If it isn’t love, it isn’t true friendship.

10) Clearing out social networking will make me focus more on the here and now. Enjoy the little moments. The people around me in my community. My children. My husband. My neighbors. My family.

My God.

Do you need to do some social network de-cluttering?

❤ XOXO
~Emily

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Things I am tired of as a mother

Motherhood is awesome. We can all pretty much agree there. Well, most of us anyway. We love our babies with a fierce passion and if anyone tries to mess with our little boogers we will pounce on them faster than you can say Kim Kardashian has a big booty.

However, there are a FEW things I could do without. There are a few things that if given oodles of money for the rest of my life, I may very well pay someone else to do, because frankly? After 3 kids I am growing a wee bit, little bit a lot tired of them.

1) Teething: Yup. Over it. I honestly don’t know how Michelle Duggar stands it. I mean seriously. She has probably dealt with straight teething for like 500 years by know. Yeesh. I am grateful that my children overall have not been (TOO) terrible. But frankly? I am tired of the crud that comes with it, and the sleep issues. And the early waking. Yup. I admit it. Teething sucks

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2) Grunting and pointing like a crazed caveman: My children all have done this. My current “baby” is almost 18 months, and nothing frustrates me more than the frantic pointing and grunting toward something he wants, when I know he knows words. They point and flail, scream in frustration that we don’t speak grunt, point and flail, scream even louder in frustration. This continues until either a) the child gives up and finally uses their words or b) you have now spent over 2 hours picking up everything within finger pointing sight saying “this?” — Just to let you know, option b is far more common.

*warning: If they do not want said item you pick up and hand them, prepare to be a target for flying missiles that will hit you on some sensitive part of your body. It is probably best to wear armor daily until your child is over this “phase”.

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3) Poop: enough said

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4) Wiping butts: Their little baby cheeks may be adorably squishy… but the stuff that comes out of it? Not so much, especially when you have a poop machine child like I do. See #3.

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5) Cleaning up after a toddler that decided to be Picasso with their food, rather than eating it, which, let’s be honest. Happens A LOT.

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6) Picky Eating: So your toddler is an amazing eater and ate sauteed mushrooms wrapped in asparagus wrapped in lettuce wrapped covered with greek yogurt? Don’t get too cocky. In 5 minutes you will be wearing that food and getting a free yogurt facial.

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I love my little babes though. Even with all the things I get tired of, being a mama is still worth it. But I will be honest, I would totally pay for a diaper changer…

❤ XOXO
~Emily

#tbt and my hashtag idea for Friday

Today is Thursday. If you get onto any social networking site, you are apt to see a lot of hashtags that looks like this:

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ok ok minus good ole’ Abe. Wonder if he would participate in #tbt if he were around now. Probably not, seeing as he was called Honest Abe, and most of Facebook can be anything but…

I don’t often participate in the shenanigans of throw back Thursday. I have a few times. Like when I came across a picture of my now 4 year old when she was a preemie in the NICU. I got super teary. I remember there being a time when we thought she wouldn’t make it. God proved His awesomeness. That kind of “throw back Thursday” is important I think. We should reflect on all we have in Christ, and focus on all He has done for us.

But in doing that… don’t get stuck in the past. God doesn’t want you living in the past. No regret. No shame. No guilt. He sent His son to set us free from that. He also doesn’t want us living in the future. Worrying about tomorrow.

Facebook-Addiction1I think sometimes social networking sites suck time away that could be better applied elsewhere. Come on, you know it’s true. Facebook can become an addiction. Just like drugs. Just like alcohol. Just like many other things, and I think it can be as damaging, if not more so, than these things.

It causes self doubt. It cause us to fall prey to the dangerous comparison game. It causes us to only see people’s highlight reels, when we KNOW that everyone has struggles, yet it makes us feel like we are failures. It can feed arrogance, pride, and self-righteousness. It can be a festering pool of hate, judgement, and condemnation, because we think we can spew out viciousness and evil since we are hiding behind our screens.

So that is why I am hoping to get a NEW hashtag on the horizon. Friday mornings, I will be posting #FBFF. Anyone wanna guess what that means?

FaceBook Free Friday

I am going to really strive to have facebook free fridays. Whenever I feel the urge to check my newsfeed, drama on pages I follow on how terrible parents are who don’t feed their children kale and liver for breakfast, post a cute pic of my babes…

I will read a scripture instead. I will say a prayer. I will cuddle and squeeze my babies (for we know they grow up way to quick and I don’t want to waste that precious time staring at my phone screen). I will tickle little tootsies so I hear those intoxicating giggles. I will do SOMETHING else besides stare at a screen.

Who’s with me!?

#FBFF. Let’s DO this!

❤ XOXO
~Emily

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Emily Who?

I have been thinking alot lately. I have been crying alot lately. In fact, just tonight I totally overreacted to a messed up baby nap which resulted in a not happy, screaming baby. It is frustrating? Sure. Was it worth me getting so emotional over? Nope. Now, there is the truth that Simon is generally kinda fussy, doesn’t always eat the greatest and has colic… so that, I am sure, increased the chances of my reaction being a tad bit out of hand. If I took a breath I would remember that the nap issues and fussy times at eating occasionally all probably are due to the fact he is colicky. And when I say colic, I am not joking. LOL.

tardisHowever, still. He won’t always be this way, and I can always choose my reactions. I don’t need to have a crying fight with my husband over the fact my baby won’t nap. Sigh. Definitely not a good example for the children. Double sigh.

Sometimes I think I need “The Doctor” (Yes, I am obsessed with Dr. Who. It is my happy place. LOL) to take me in the T.A.R.D.I.S., take me back in time so I can see how I am actually acting. That may make me cry even more though, and I am sure there would be lots (and lots… and lots) of sighing. HAHA. And probably some shame and embarrassment too.

I am currently sitting here in my bedroom, watching Dr. Who, having a glass of wine, while Andrew has the kids out. He took them after my temper tantrum. He took a bottle too (for Simon, not for himself, thought after my insane hissy fit, I wouldn’t blame him for taking one for himself either. Perhaps I can be his beer wench later 😛 LOL) so I wouldn’t have to see Simon’s insane reaction to the bottle. LOL. To verify, no, I don’t think he has terrible reflux (its a mom gut feeling I have) and yes, he is on the right food. No, I am not breastfeeding, don’t ask, and I don’t care if you judge me. I think it is a phase thing, and all due to colic and the fact the poor bub isn’t sleeping enough….

Anyhoo, before this post gets too long… as I am sitting here hearing the deep theological discussions from “the doctor”, lol, I am contemplating some things…

Sometimes, I feel unhappy. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, I feel like I will drown. No, I am 99.9% sure I do NOT have PPD. I have always been this way. I have always struggled off and on with stuff like this. I am not depressed, just to make it clear. It is more of a “who am I and what am I supposed to be doing” kind of thing. Tonight, I cried out to God, and I realized something.

I am not being myself. I am not being honest with myself. I do not always tell people what I really feel, really think, or really believe about a situation. If I am honest, I am not always doing the greatest and telling people THE TRUTH about a situation either, and by TRUTH, I mean THE truth, ya know, the Bible? WWJD? God type stuff.

I mean really. It is exhausting trying to be someone you are not. It is exhausting trying to please people rather than God. EX.HAUS.TING. I need to stop this crap. I am not saying I never tell people the truth or stand for truth. I am not saying I never speak my mind. Andrew will tell you I do pretty fine at it, haha! Sorry honey!

What I mean, is sometimes, I am just TOO. DANG. WORRIED. about what others think that I clam up. I keep quiet. Keeping quiet can be just as deadly… to my mood, my soul, my personality, and to Emily as a person, the person Christ made her to be.

I am sure that in being myself, some of what I say/write will make some people ticked off. It will make some people “unfriend” me. It may even make some people think I am a meanie poo poo head, but ya know what?

I. Don’t. Care.

dalekIn the words of the Daleks, I need to say EXTERMINATE to my people pleasing “skills.” This may also mean saying, in my most awesome Dalek voice, of course, “Exterminate” to some friendships/acquaintances/etc etc etc… I also think I need to say exterminate to this current set of contacts in my eyeballs, but that is another post for another day…

The first step I need to accomplish is… less tantrums over tantruming children 😉

Enjoying the baby stage

How many of you go goo goo over the gaa gaa’s of babyhood?

I will be honest with you. I am NOT good with babies. Well, I should clarify. NEWBORNS. It isn’t that I don’t love my babies, or enjoyed parts of their babyhood. I did. I just know that the way I am wired, it takes A LOT of self control, prayer, and leaning on the Lord to make it through the first few months. I love my children with a passion. I am SO SO SO thrilled to have a baby in the house again, especially a sweet little boy, that his sisters are already spoiling and loving the crud out of 😉 BUT, I will admit, I am much better, and more relaxed, when they are around 4 months or so. I love 4 months and up, and ALL the milestones they learn! ❤

I just get stressed with babies! Less sleep, doing the same schedule over and over and over (wake, eat, change diaper, awake time, swaddle, nap… then rinse and repeat haha) I love helping people. I know the Lord has given me a gift in this. I love helping my girls when they are upset or whatnot. BUT, too often, when a baby cries or is fussy, we don’t always know WHAT is wrong with them… at least I hope other moms have periods like this, otherwise I really WILL think I am a crappy mom! HA! When I cannot figure out why Simon is crying, I tend to let Satan get to me. I hear HIS voice in my head, telling me I am failing, or a bad mother, because my child is crying. Shoot Emily, I know better. I know babies just cry sometimes! LOL.

It doesn’t help that NONE of our babies would be considered “easy” – Simon, so far, is the most laid back of them all, but he still has a “colic” period that starts right after we put the girls to bed and stops when we go to bed. Sigh. He was also sent home with a monitor, since he was having those brady’s. I think that stresses me out. You have to have the things on JUST the right way, or it won’t pick up his heart or breath and it will just constantly go off. Then, you are left with the choice of turning it off and checking on him all the time, or unswaddling and undressing him in order to get them on right, then hope once you redress and reswaddle he will go back to sleep.

Holly was just a hard baby. She barely slept the first 6 months, and we did good to get 2 hours of sleep a night. She had horrible reflux, refused to eat, projectile vomited after EVERY bottle, and liked to grunt and fuss seemingly constantly. Then we switched to soy… she got a little better.

Katie, our first, cried ALL THE TIME. She didn’t gain weight and was almost labeled failure to thrive. I wasn’t producing breastmilk :/ We went to formula and she started gaining, but still cried alot, had awful reflux, and also projectile vomited after every bottle, and most times feeding her left me in tears. It would sometimes take one hour to get her to take a 3-4 oz bottle. We now realize she probably should have been on soy too.

So, Simon, pretty much started on soy. He eats well! HAHA! A PIG!!! 😉 So, I am praying it stays that way. The extreme feeding issues, vomiting, and refusal to eat was the most stressful part of the baby phase for me.

Then, of course we have had 2 babies in the NICU, and were there for the first 2 weeks of their life. Having a preemie is a whole other level of issues. Their digestive areas and such are not as formed, so preemies tend to suffer from reflux, gas issues, and such more, therefore they can be fussy and grunt more. HA, hence why we could never have our babies in our room. They are SUPER noisy sleepers. It sounds like I gave birth to pigs! HAHA!

So far, Simon is doing great at home (other than his colicky hours haha). I am looking forward to the day I don’t have to worry about dressing him with his monitor wires, making sure they are right, etc etc. I know I stress myself out MORE than I should at times though…

He is actually doing pretty well sleeping too! At least so far haha. WE ALL know how babies like to change things unexpectedly 😉 He makes the sweetest facial expressions, is starting to make cooing noises, which makes me giggle and my heart melt all at the same time, and is holding his head up. He LOVES his sisters and smiles at them ALL the time 🙂 He loves looking around and being sung to.

I did not write this blog to whine, or vent, or expect sympathy. I wrote it to be open and honest. I did it because there are phases in life that are not always the “most fun” or the “easiest” but that does not mean they are not worth it. As mothers, we all have strengths. We all have weaknesses. We all have phases we love. We all have phases we don’t love quite so much. We are all different.

God is never changing though. The same God who created a baby to need his mommy so much, is the same God who created the toddler who desires independence but cannot quite get there, so they throw fit. after fit. after fit. He is the same God who created the preschooler that is bossy at times. He is the same God who created the school aged child who struggles with self esteem. He is the same child who created the pre teen that slams the door in your face. He is the same God who created the teen that says “I hate you!”

None of the above phases are necessarily pleasant, but we live in a fallen world. These phases help us recognize our need for our Savior. They help us realize we cannot do it on our own. They help us realize that while the Lord gives us amazing blessings in our life through our children, there will be hard times that come with it. It helps us realize the positives more. It helps us see God in ALL things.

The same God who may allow hardships in each phase though, is the same God who created the baby to nuzzle their mothers chest…. the same God who created the toddler to say their first “I love you mommy” and make our heart feel like it burst in a tiny million pieces… the same God who created the preschoolers sense of awe and wonder in all things… the same God who created the school aged child who is a friend to everyone and helps stop a bully… the same God who created the pre teen to be a helper to younger siblings, or help cook dinner, or overcome a struggle themselves and you can share in the joy with them, giving thank to God together… the same God who created the teenager who graduates from high school and will leave us ALL. TOO. SOON.

So, I need to hear GOD’S voice. Cherish the moments, for they are gone all too soon.

Reasons I get tired of Facebook, and reasons I have a hard time saying a total goodbye

So, I have written a couple of blogs about Facebook. READ HERE and then READ HERE

Today, I am just going to share some things that really aggravate me about Facebook. So, I apologize in advance for this rant of a blog, though I DO think they are things to think on (myself included) and to think about before we post things.

My hormones are a raging today, so you may wanna stand back. LOL. So, I am sure my raging pregnancy hormones have something to do with how emotional I get over some things, that, and I am super sensitive like my daughter Katie. Hmm. I wonder where she got it from. SORRY MOM! I realize how challenging it can be raising a highly sensitive child now! LOL.

However, I also have reservations totally shutting down the whole operation. Why throw the baby out with the bath water right? Maybe I should just drain some of the nasty water out? Maybe add some pretty pink bubble, or foaming bath soap instead? Or how about some lavender bath salts!? OHHH that sounds nice… Too bad our water pressure SUCKS and I can’t take a bath, unless I want to wait 10 years for the tub to fill up, and by that point the hot water has run out. HAHA. Yes. we WILL replumb the house. Eventually. For now, a shower works ok…

Reasons I get tired of Facebook:

1) It is not a competition — I get so tired of the posts I see that are CLEARLY made to puff up people’s egos. I am sure the way I have posted at times, it may seem I am doing the same. I am sorry if I have ever made anyone feel this way. I do try and be careful though. Life is not a competition bro. We all have our own unique abilities. Let’s embrace those, rather than making others feel bad cause they can’t do the same “kick butt thing” that you posted about on Facebook.

2) Grumpy Cat — ok Shoot me. I guess I am grumpy, but really. They are STUPID and I hate them. If that makes me grumpy like grumpy cat, so be it, but you won’t see me post the same picture of myself with a different tagline multiple times a day.

3) Selling this product or that product — OMG. I could care less about your product, to be honest. Now, I am not talking about the people who do an occasional post here and there about what they are selling, or friends who have a facebook page for their product and will post a link saying, hey check out my page. THAT is totally cool! Also, things the person HAND MAKES is different to post about, imo. I am talking about the ones I see that pretty much their entire timeline is splattered with product information, why you should buy this, or that, or use this or eat that. My product will make you fly like superman kind of thing. You know, those pyramid type companies. People, PLEASE, if you have that much to post get a Facebook page for your product and stop clogging my newsfeed. I have many friends who sell things and they HAVE made a separate page for it. GOD. BLESS. YOU. ALL.  To be honest, I have opted to take some people off my newsfeed for this reason. No offense, I just don’t think it appropriate to use your timeline as a way to make money.

4) Getting random messages from people who have not talked to me in YEARS. Seriously, YEARS… saying things like “oh I know you are as stay at home mom and probably need money. Join my team and sell my product to make money.” Please. You don’t care about me, or the people that you do that to. Think about it. How would you feel if someone who has taken no interest in anything else in your life, randomly, out of the blue, wrote you asking them to join their team selling such and such? You would probably feel used and like that person just wanted to use you to get ahead and make more money for themselves. It appears selfish. Sorry. That is harsh, but it is the truth. That is exactly how those types of  messages make me feel.

5) TOO MUCH POLITICAL CRAP — enough said.

6) Food battles — I am not talking about a Facebook edition of Food Network. I mean the whole foods vs convenience foods battle. I have mentioned before we are doing what we can to eat healthier, more REAL foods, less processed junk. However, I will not go off the deep end. We will do what we can, and do the best we can. THAT is the bottom line. I am tired of all the articles and findings and research about how everything will kill you or make your hands and feet fall off one phalanges at a time. I have seen rude comments, things like “people who feed their families processed foods are lazy and don’t care about their children” — WOAH. TIME OUT. Enough with the cut downs and judgmental assumptions. You don’t know those people, you don’t know what they are dealing with, how much money they have, or ANY of their circumstances in life. People have said comments of the like to people who use formula, how is has all this bad crap, GMO, stuff that makes your child die, etc. HMM what if they CANNOT breastfeed? I have tried twice. and failed. twice. My first daughter was failure to thrive. My second daughter threw up. CONSTANTLY. Being a parents is hard enough without posting all this fear mongering stuff. If you have a LEGIT study? post it. But you have to remember that OF COURSE some studies are going to be biased. A Study from someone who hates steak will be biased toward steak and how bad it is for you. So, just give it a rest and stop judging. I have 2 words for you. GLASS. HOUSES.

7) Fake — I have said this in a previous post, but come on. People post highlights of their day, which again, can lead to mothers and other people just feeling like a giant ball of horse poop. Facebook, as much as people SAY they are “real” let’s be honest. It isn’t.

8) Meanness — People think because they are hidden behind a computer screen they can type whatever they want, say whatever they want, however they want, with no regards to peoples feelings or struggles. Newsflash. Typing is still using the tongue for evil. Proverbs it. Yes I said “proverbs it.” you know, we say google it, well I say go to proverbs. It has quite a bit to say about the tongue and just because your mouth may be silent, your fingers are still doing the talking. So, think before you type. Read it and think again before you hit enter.

And now, why I cannot completely say goodbye to Facebook, though I am close.

1) I enjoy seeing pictures of old friends and their children

2) It has gotten me back in contact with old friends

3) It is a great way for my family, who are ALL in different states to see pictures and read about the girls

Hmm. My list of pros is definitely A LOT shorter than my list of cons. Something to think about…

Blessed are those who mourn…

There was unspeakable tragedy that hit our nation yesterday. To be honest, I CANNOT wrap my head around this. I cannot fathom, no matter WHAT someone felt, taking it out on tiny, lovely, helpless little children. WHY Lord. WHY do these things happen?

I know the answer. I don’t like it. I know many want to blame God, but the truth is we are sinful. We are a fallen World. That is not God’s fault. That doesn’t make when things like this happen ANY easier. I still question. I still get angry. I still cry out. I still yell. I still mourn. I still feel physically ill. I still wonder what in the world is wrong with people!?

mournThere is a verse that says “blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) This is my prayer for all those families affected by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. I cannot imagine the pain and agony and ANGER you must be feeling right now. CRY out. CRY out to God. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. My heart hurts for you. My heart is angry for you. My heart is angry at the man who killed small children for NO reason then selfishly took his own life as an “easy way out.” That is how I feel about that… I am so sorry for the pain you have to endure. No one should have to lose children so young. Especially before Christmas. My heart hurts so bad.

I lost my Father to suicide on December 16th when I was only 12 years old. I know the torment and the pain one feels losing a loved on during a time that should be full of joy, peace, love and happiness. It shouldn’t happen. I am sorry this happened. At least I know my father CHOSE (albeit selfishy) to die. I cannot imagine how you must feel. Your children shouldn’t have had to die. They didn’t  choose to die. My heart is burdened for you. My prayers are being lifted up for you.

The only thing that helps me through tragedies such as this is knowing even when bad things happen, God really is still in control. He is still on the throne. He looks around and is burdened and saddened (and I think He may even have righteous anger by things such as this) by what happened to His creation, yet He still loves us. For those who are children of God, we have hope. We have hope of life after this one. Thank the Lord. Praise the Lord for this Hope! We have hope that this world is not our true home. I said it HELPS. It is still hard, and I wish, oh how I wish, these kinds of things didn’t have to happen.

“I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16: end of 32-33 (ESV)

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Hebrews 13:14 (NLT)

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,and God himself will be with them as their God.He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4

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Love/Hate with Toys:

toysSince it is the holiday season, and Christmas is fast approaching, I thought it would be the PERFECT time to do a love hate post. So what better to do it on than toys!?

I think I can safely assume that as parents, we sometimes wish there were LESS toys in the house. Lately, I have been getting rid of a TON. I have been donating them, passing them onto other friends for their little ones, or tosssing the random assortment of crap toys the girls inherited from Burger King or McDonalds…

I mean really parents, HOW many types of cars, trucks or dollhouses does one kid need? We only have so much room in this townhouse!? Even if we had more room, I do not want to spend the time cleaning things up58392849 times a day, OR stepping on the random piece of teeny tiny toy pieces and cursing under your breath. SO, I figure since Christmas is coming up soon, the girls will get more toys, so I better make room 😉

So alas… I have some love hate issues with toys. Let’s do the love first:

1) I DO love some of the toys because they remind me of my childhood. I mean who wouldn’t wanta Lite Bright or Care Bear!?? I will admit, if Katie gets a light bright, I will most definitely be “helping” her create some awesome artwork, and by helping, I guess I really mean playing myself. HEHE.
2) I love that some of the toys can keep the girls occupied for the few minutes I need to use the bathroom
3) I love how certain toys bring the girls together. I love seeing them play princess together, or decorating Katie’s princess castle for christmas 🙂
4) Some toys are just cool
5) Some toys are just THAT cute, I pretty much buy them for myself, and then get irritated when the girls don’t like them 😉 HAHA

Ok, so there are a few reasonable loves on that list, let’s move onto the hates

argue toys1) I HATE teeny tiny pieces everywhere, but as the children get older, that’s gonna happen. SO, I do my best to limit how many teeny tiny parts can be out at once time. I would prefer if the dog didn’t ingest a toys size piece of  candy that goes with twist e twirl lalaloopsy, then have it get stuck in her bowls, and, well you know… I don’t think I need to continue
2) I HATE when I step on a piece, and it ALWAYS has to be on the more sensitive part of your foot! Why can’t I have my big toe land on the piece? Why does it have to be RIGHT there in the arch!? really!? ugh I hate that!
3) I HATE HATE HATE hearing, did I mention I HATE, “NO THAT’S MINE! ” “NO I WONT SHARE! ” “NO NO NO NO NO… GIVE IT TO MEEEEEE”  “MOOOOOMYYYYYY so and so took my favorite speck of dirt and they won’t give it back! make her give it back!!!!” yup. The arguing over the toys is enough to make me want to throw everything in the garbage and give them 2 wooden spoons to play with. Look kids, they are wooden puppets!
4) I HATE when it seems they play with the loudest toy possible when I have a headache or any other type of illness. HEHE this is why most of the noisy toys are gone 😉
5) I HATE the clean up haha. The girls really do a pretty good job, but my OCD gets in the way…. BUT that is mostly my fault… ha

I hope everyone has fun making their Christmas lists this year 😉 Remember to get quiet, calm toys, and always, always get 2 of things that could cause potential wars between the siblings 😀

Lessons from a child

Children know alot more than we give them credit for. They have an amazing way of looking at things. They see things through untainted eyes. Yes, we are all born into sin, but there are certain things that are “learned” sadly. Racism is taught. Being a no good dad  is taught. Being disrpectful to women is taught. Being disrspectful to your husband is taught. Being too focused on what the WORLD says women can and should do rather than see her biblical calling to womehood as truly amazing, is taught.

Children have an amazing ability to love all, appreciate all, see good in all, and be a friend to all. I hope as parents, we continue to instill these ever so important qualities into our children. Children say what they mean. Children say what they mean WHEN it pops into their head. LOL. WE sometimes need to teach them NOT to, but the point is they are REAL. They are HONEST. They do not hide. They are not fake. We could stand to be a little more real at times. If we are, I think many issues could be resolved. If we are honest with ourselves and others and struggles we face, it would make a difference. It would make a difference for the new mom who is so overwhelemed and depressed she thinks she made a mistake becomming a mother. It would make a difference for the teenage girl waiting in the waiting room at the abortion clinic who found out she was pregnant and is scared to tell her mother and sees no way out. It would make a difference for the struggling marriage. It would make a difference for the woman struggling with enjoying intimacy with her husband. Being transparent and real and authenic should be part of our Christian nature. Jesus was never fake. Jesus was always ready to help and share in struggles. We could learn something from children here.

Sadly, we raise children to think that you must be fake to make it. SHHHH you don’t talk about this, or that, or the other. We quiet them. We quiet their spirit. We crush that innate desire in us to be real and authentic. We grow up thinking we don’t NEED it, yet we cannot help but feel alone and wonder why no one understands. We wonder why we have a desire for people TO “get us” and to be real with people. We were wired to live in community with others. Part of living in community is being REAL. HONEST. AUTHENTIC. TRANSPARENT.

The bible talks of iron sharpening iron. Proverbs 27:17. How can we DO that if we are not authentic? You can’t.

I am not saying to run around broadcasting your problems, sins, and issues over a loudspeaker through the neighborhood (though heck who knows, maybe it would help bring people to Christ). If we were honest with others, I think it would help people see Christians are NOT perfect. This fake it till you make it isn’t biblical. That is still a form of lying. You are lying to yourself, therefore you are not able to help others. They think they are alone. They think you have it all together. You don’t though, do you? WE don’t. NONE of us do. If we were more open with struggles, I think it would make a world of difference.

What if as a group of believers, we stood on a road with signs that say “I am a Christian. I am a sinner. I struggle with such and such. Need a friend?” Or something similar, rather than this turn or burn, or God’s wrath, or you must repent stuff. Yes, we need to repent. Yes, we need to trust Jesus, but we cannot expect people to if we do not first show them love first, or compassion, or understanding. If we have groups of people do this, how powerful do you think that would be? I think it may just be amazing.

Christians are sinners too. We are just covered by God’s amazing grace. Cleansed by His blood. We sin. We struggle. We screw up. We need to make sure the world knows this. Christians are not perfect. We do not have it all together. We just have Christ alongside us. When we fake it we give the appearance we are better than others. We aren’t. I saw a picture that said “Christians aren’t perfect. They just expect you to be.” YIKES :/ We need to change this. I believe we can.

Take it from a child… Don’t fake it till you make it. Be honest. Be real. Be transparent. BE AUTHENTIC. I believe its the first step in making a world of difference.

God’s Tattoo

It’s not a secret what having babies does to a stomach. Stretch marks (ok so thankfully I dont have any of these… at least not yet). Saggy skin. Loose Skin. Stretched out skin. No matter HOW small you are, you can have this after a baby. That is  unless you are anorexic or some super model who gets paid to look good, so therefore they have enough money to hire a trainer to make her stomach look good, a plastic surgeon to cut away the extra skin, and a nanny who will watch the kid while the lady is going through this tummy reconstruction.  Those magazines also like to fool you. I love how the so called “moms” in those parenting mags articles show themselves sighing in the mirror at their post baby bod, when their ummm “post baby” bod still looks better than my pre baby bod ever did. What a crock! LOL if you want my opinion!

Now, look, I know, my stomach is probably not as bad as some. I mean poor Kate Gosslin after birthing SIX kids. AT.ONCE. WOW. I would have totally wanted tummy tuck after that also. I mean I can “learn to love” my post mom bod, but there comes a point that I dont think my self esteem could handle always having to wear a girdle daily just to look halfway sucked in and keep the flappy floppy skin from hitting my toes. I mean, if little old me, after only 2 babies, wouldn’t mind a tummy tuck, then I dont blame Kate. AT. ALL. One may think that a small person has a better luck of the draw. I may still be “small” but my stomach isn’t pretty haha. My daughter told my friend “mommy can make her tummy talk!” talk about embarassing. Yes. I can. I can squish it together, make it look like booty cheeks and make it “talk.” I have that flab too. trust me. In fact, being shorter makes it MORE so. I show sooner than a taller person. I have less room for the baby to grow before it starts making my belly portrude, poking every person within a 5 feet radius. LOL. My belly gets HUUUUUGE people. I am talking at 20 weeks people ask me if I am “due anyday.” I say, actually no I am only half way, which makes them ask, are you having twins? in which I say, NO, just one baby, to which they say, are you sure? You may be surprised, sometimes one twin can hide. I say, no I am sure, we have heard the heartbeat many times, to which they reply, well you better prepare just in case, I mean, cause you are really big. DO you have stretch marks? Does it hurt? I MEAN REALLY PEOPLE!? One even told me, after I had experienced some spotting and was already worried, when I told her I was 20 weeks, she said “I dont think your gonna make it” I started BAWLING. LOL.and we were in an elevator. My hubs wasn’t too happy about that comment. SHEESH. So, yes, I get really huge, which leads to overstretching my already small frame, which leads to extra sags in places I never knew I had. LOL.

BUT… I will say, you really can grow to love your post mom bod. It is a mark of something nothing short of a miracle. It is a soft spot for an over weary child to rest their head, snuggle upand cuddle, and fall asleep. The same child that once found comfort inside that tummy, is now finding comfort outside this world ON that same tummy. Kinda makes me teary thinking about it. I have learned to be OK with my extra soft pillow I now have down there.  We are not on a first name basis yet, but we are getting there 😉 I am learning to appreciate it more and more each day, and understand how incredible the whole process really is. Can you imagine if our stomachs were SUPER hard?? that would Huuuuurt to get stretched so thin. God knew what He was doing when he provided women with built in cushion.

I just saw a quote, I cant put it on here, cause it has a foul word, lol, but it said “Your body is NOT ruined. You are a tiger and you have EARED your stripes” It is referring to stretch marks. It is SO true. Our bodies went through something remarkable. Cherish it the way it is NOW. Soon, our children will be grown, and gone, then married and having kids of their own. Think of them as God’s special tattoo. People get tattoos everyday for many reasons. They are permanant too, yet people think they are beatiful… Well these tattoos are even more beautiful than the most intricate tattoo. They represent LIFE. LOVE. LAUGHTER. They stand for a gift and a blessing worth FAR more than “ink” – My children, and any future children are worth every sag of extra skin, every stretch mark, every fold over the pant when I sit down wrinkles… and trust me, there are some of those 😉

I may “HATE” the saggy skin, stretched out skin, or what not, and I won’t lie, some days, I get down on myself about it…but then I remember I LOVE what they represent, I love what I got out of it 😉 At the end of the day, it’s all worth it. My children think I am beautiful, just the way I am. They don’t care about extra squish, fluff, skin, stretch marks, no stretch marks. They dont care I can that I can make my stomach look like a butt. If anything, it makes the laugh, and laughter, in return, quiets my anxieities, quiets my self esteem issues. Laughter is good medicine… ESPECIALLY for mental issues haha 😉

I am not saying it is wrong to want to BETTER your body, but first, lets learn to appreciate our body the way it is right now. Some things are worth working on, some things we only want to work on because society tells us to. Society tells us what is beautiful. Society tells us that stretch marks, and saggy skin and all that goes with birthing babies is ugly. Every parenting mag talks about how to get your pre mom bod back. While there is nothing wrong with it and nothing wrong with wanting to tighten and tone….society is wrong. It isn’t ugly. It is beautiful, and it represents the most beautiful, miraculous and amazing processes. MOTHERHOOD is beautiful… and SO are you. Stretch marks and all. GOD says you are beautiful and HE is the one that matters. This body is temporary. We are but grass that will wither away. TREASURE your beautiful, amazing, and miraculous body. NOW. Whether you have 1 kid, 5 kids or 10 kids, or NO kids. LOVE your body. LOVE your skin. LOVE who you are in Christ. ❤