Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good Mommy/Bad Mommy

The other day Lilla was reciting a list to me of all the things she wanted to be when she grows up. It went something like this, "A ballerina, a doctor, someone who tells people about God, a rockstar (because, you know, she totally knows what THAT means) and a mommy."

This is what ensued next:

I asked, "You want to be a mommy?"

Lilla, "I do. I want to be a mommy when I grow up."

Me, "Why do you want to be a mommy?"

Lilla, "Because you are a mommy."

Me, "Oh, do you think I am a good mommy?"

Lilla, "Sometimes. Sometimes you are a bad mommy."

Me, (crushed, mind you), "Why am I a bad mommy?"

Lilla, pausing, "Weeeeeelllll...sometimes you yell at me."

And with that, she went back to her play kitchen and started cooking up something for me.

I, of course, had the wind knocked out of me. How much more in perspective could life be than when your four year old tells you you are a bad mommy when you yell at her?

I grew up with a mom who yelled at me. ALL.THE.TIME. It was the main method of communication in our home. Or miscommunication, if you want to get all technical. Lots of fun memories with that, as you can imagine. Now, I want to follow that up with saying, I love my mom, I think she did the best with what she could. She has many stressors and never learned to parent well. But, I also believe she would even tell you this. She was a yeller. It was a coping mechanism, I suppose.

Growing up I swore I would not do that, and I will admit it is not nearly the extent of my own formative years. However, my heart hurts to think this is the way my own daughter thinks of me. I want her to look back with fond memories of cuddles and laughs and songs, not fear or anger or tears. It breaks me that she sees me as harsh.

So, after asking my sweet baby for forgiveness, I am on my knees. That is all I can do. Beg a Saviour who sees and knows, who created me to be mommy to Lilla and Anna, who loves them and loves me. And He...He is capable of change.

Lamentations: 22It is because of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A boost

My youngest daughter, Anna, is now 16 months old. She is very mobile and one of her favorite things to do is climb the stairs. She races over to them as fast as possible and then flies up them in a flash. Of course we are still concerned she will fall, so we try hard to have someone behind her as she goes up. We want her to learn how to climb stairs, so in case we aren’t there and she finds her way up someday, she will be able to do it safely. However, we also want to protect her from falling down.

Our four year old, Lilla, is particularly vigilant about staying with Anna on the stairs. She hovers over her as she slowly makes her way to the top. She is only slow at these times because Lilla is so close to her that she is practically holding Anna’s body down, just giving her enough room to get to the next step. Sometimes Anna tires along the way and you can see Lilla giving her a bit of boost on the bottom to make sure she makes it. Lovingly, Lilla painstakingly follows behind Anna to make sure that “my baby” (as she refers to her) makes it to the top ok.

As I watch this interaction, I can’t help but think how God sees his “babies” (us). He wants so much for us to reach the top of the stairs, the mountaintops in our lives, to fully receive all that He has for us. There are dangers, we sometimes miss a step, or slip down a stair or two, but God is always there protecting us and giving us a little push when we may need it. And don’t we all need it sometimes?

In Jeremiah 29:11, God said, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” I believe that is still true for us today. God has a plan for each of us, and each step in our lives is all a part of it.

I hope you feel His boost today.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Hey...wait for me!!

To participate or see more WW posts, go to http://www.5minutesformom.com or http://www.wordlesswednesday.com

10 Smile Tuesday - Chicago Edition

This past weekend we attended a wedding for my cousin, Jay, and his new bride, Lisa. A lot of extended family was there. A lot of family we have not seen in a long time. Except on facebook, which in our day and age kinda counts. :) Anyway, we had lots of fun and so lots of smiles to share.

1. Seeing Anna in the exact same dress I took a picture of Lilla in so long ago!

2. Getting a picture of the four cousins all dressed up. I love pretty dress pictures, but it is rare to get four little girls like this all at once! And, the very first time they are all STANDING. Yahoo!

3. And speaking of standing, the biggest smile is that Anna has taken off walking. That is all she wants to do lately. She is spreading her wings!

4. Seeing my very favorite Marine after nearly 2 years! My brother, Chris, is back from Japan and got to come to the wedding before heading off now to California.

5. Seeing Chris dance with the girls at the reception. He's such a great Uncle!

6. The wedding, which was lovely and sweet.

7. The food at the reception was so yummy! Seriously, I will remember the food. Which, I never do. They had the best bruschetta and crabcakes...oh, I could have ate them forever. And this yummy dessert!

8. And we went to the zoo on Saturday.

9. Where we got to spend some time up close and personal with the animals.

10. Oh, and last but not least, because I grew up in Chicago there is always a place I need to stop and devour...Portillo's. They have THE most amazing Italian Beef sandwhiches that I could just eat and eat and eat. I don't know what they put in that gravy but it is fantastic!!

I must admit I also ate like 4 lbs of rice pudding from Jewel. I'm so not kidding. I think that equals about 3200 calories! Just from the pudding. I'm on a diet today. It's like water and carrots. That's it. No peanut butter eggs that my husband so cruelly put in my freezer, no twinkies stashed in the cabinet, and no more sweet sugary drinks. Oh, it's gonna be hard...but I'll smile at the result, for sure!

What are you smiling about this week?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A true blessing

Yesterday, on my way into Wal-Mart, I was carrying Anna in one arm and pulling Lilla through the parking lot with the other, my big old purse dangling all the while. A kind gentleman walking beside me hurried in front of me to open the door.

He then said, "Wow, you've got quite the load there!"

I replied, "I sure DO!"

He shot back, "It's not a bad thing though."

Thoughtfully I said, "No, it's a blessing."

I could hear he and his companion behind me making Awe noises, to which I smiled. We then went our separate ways.

But as I placed the girls in their seats and started walking the massive aisles, the girls started arguing about this, whimpering about that and, of course, I became frustrated. My blood pressure is rising as I'm trying to cajole them into behaving, which, of course, is not working, which is making me even more upset. (Shhhh...don't tell anyone but the only thing that works for us is Pringles. Another story altogether!)

Anyway, as I was rushing through the store, my voice raising and with my two little ones in tow, I suddenly remembered that simple exchange with the man at the door. These babies are blessings I said, but was I really treating them that way? Was I loving them with all my heart? Was I showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control with these gifts I had been given?

No, I sure wasn't. I was thinking selfishly of what I needed to get done, my own agenda, my own wants. I think back to the verse, "Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

I'm going to be asking the Lord to write that verse on my heart and never let me forget what my babies are.

Nothing short of a blessing.

And so, my prayer today is, Thank you Lord for these blessings you have put in my life. Please help me not to take them for granted. Help me to love as you love, to show kindness, gentleness, peace, patience and self control, just as you would want me to. Thank you for loving me and showing me how to love others. Help me to love well. Amen.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Party Post!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the net. I've been blogging for nearly five years now, but am not the most regular of bloggers. When I only had one child I blogged just about every day for awhile there, but life gets in the way and...well, I'm sure many of you know how that goes.

So, let me tell you a little about myself. I'm sure you will never guess my name, from my blog title, but I am Amy. I am a recovering social worker, I stay at home with my girls these days, and probably the only conservative one you will ever meet. I've never met another, that's for sure! I like to do creative things, like draw and paint and scrapbook, but I'm not particularly good at any of them. I wish I had more time to learn, but maybe someday I will. I also enjoy baking, I think it's so fun to have people enjoy the yummy morsels you make. I can cook on my own, but baking I use recipes, like this one I found on I Am Baker's website:
And let me just say it was delicious!! Very time consuming, but yuuuuummm!!

I also really love photography. Part of that artist in me too. I'm always looking at things thinking of how I would take a picture of them to make it look the best. I think my family thinks I'm the paparazzi I take so many pictures. Always looking for that best shot!
Here's me with my husband, Michael. He looks very goofy in this picture. Unless you take a picture when he's not suspecting it, he always looks goofy. Something about camera anxiety maybe. He needs a diagnosis for sure!

Michael is a great guy. Very smart, hardworker (he manages a team of stockbrokers), loves his family, loves his God even more, is a great provider for all of us and best of all, agrees that it is in the best interest of our kids for me to stay home with them and hopefully homeschool them in grade school. He also loves Star Wars, Colts football and video games, but, we won't hold it against him. He also works with the kids in kids church and you can tell why they love him! Also living in my house is my 4 year old firstborn, Lilla. Lilla means beauty, innocence and purity, and she is all of the above and so much more. She is a very smart, thoughtful girl with a hilarious sense of whimsy about her. You just never know what this child is going to say next. The other day on the way to Awana she asked me why we were put on Earth!
Try answering that so a four year old can understand it. Wow! I homeschool Lilla for preschool, although not regularly enough. As she is starting to learn to read though I think we will probably start kindergarten in the fall.
Lilla enjoys writing letters, designing art projects, dressing up,

dancing and sings

saying "I love you", playing with her best friend, Gracie, baking with mommy, jumping on the trampoline and making her sister bounce up and down, have books read to her, eat pepperoni and drink apple juice, ponder deep thoughts and scream at the top of her lungs. That last part is not my favorite. No, really. :)

My second daughter is now 15 months. Her name is Anna and she is an absolute ball of fire. She is so spirited in all she does and doesn't do anything half way. She laughs with her whole heart, hugs with her whole heart and screams with her whole heart too. She is even louder than my older one!
Anna is a daddy's girl, and she looks and acts like him too! She is very mechanically inclined and can put things together, and pull them apart, quicker than anyone we know!
She also puts everything in her mouth. And I mean EVERYTHING!

Anna loves to wear jewelry, particularly necklaces, as seen in the above picture. She is also, finally, learning to walk. She crawls so fast you can hardly keep track of her so we can only imagine what she'll do once she begins walking. I spend most of my days doing this:
She took 8 steps in a row today, so we are making progress!

We affectionately refer to her as King Kong, and this is why:

We also have a four legged friend living with us, her name is Ellie Mae. She is a 6 1/2 year old beagle that just loves us to death, but who drives me batty with her fur and her licking. Still, we do love her and can really not see our home without Ms. Ellie.
Thanks for stopping in to meet us today! I hope that you will tell me you stopped by, leave a note and I will drop by to meet and greet you too!

To visit more blogs and join in the Ultimate Blog Party, go to www.fiveminutesformom.com

Oh, and part of the blog party is the prizes...I must not forget those! These are the ones I'd love to win!
The Grand Prize: Toshiba Satellite L505D-ES5025
US39 -Be My Guest certificate ($250 value) for one lucky winner, (2 night stay for a family of four) at any Hilton Garden Inn.
US1 – Win a $150 shopping spree at Pedal Cars and Retro Collectibles.
US6 – Hand Stamped Personalized Necklace valued at $48 The Double Stacked A Lot Of Love.
US7, US8 , USC 60 , US11 , US95 , USC 35 , USC 39, USC 3 , USC 15, USC 8 , USC 37 , US112, US71, US73 , US74 , US87 , US113, USC 25 , US84, US49 , US107 , US32, US70, USC 36, US40,US52 , USC 32 – USC55 ,US31,USC 40 , USC 41 , US37 , US38

What are you hoping to win?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, go visit http://www.5minutesformom.com/19567/wordless-wednesday-easter-egg-hunt/

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

10 Smile Tuesday

Apparently photoshop elements 5 does not work with Windows 7, so right now I don't have an editing software. Until I can go get it, you will have to forgive how raw these photos are. Not even able to crop....ugh! Even so, we had a great holy week, full of smiles and laughter. And here's what made us smile...

1. Matzoh covers. We shared a Seder meal with our good friends to celebrate the Passover. All week long we talked to the children about what the passover meant to the Israelites and to us today. So, we had them make Matzoh covers and Seder decorations to symbolize getting rid of all the yeast in the house.

2. Summer dresses!

3. The grass turning green, daffodils all about and the trees budding.

4. Anna starting to walk...it's coming!

5. Lots and lots and lots of trampoline bouncing. Even Anna loves to do it. Lilla will bounce and Anna will sit on it and laugh and laugh as she's tossed to and fro. She thinks it is the bees knees I tell you!

6. First smore of the year!

7. Sharing a Seder with our friends. It was crazy with all five kids, but hey, kids are supposed to be a big part of the Seder so they can understand the Passover story. Lots of funny memories for that one! I have no pictures but at the end we all sang the kid praise and worship songs and ran around the living room having a spontaneous puff ball fight that was just fun. Exactly the memory I want for these wonderful children of their parents having a great time with them!

8. Easter dresses. Need I say more?

9. Celebrating my very good friend, Carrie's, birthday!

10. Making Easter eggs to hand out to the homeless downtown. Have I told you lately I just love my church?
Some bonus smiles...

11. Spending lots of time with our friends since they were on Spring Break!

12. This picture. Just because I real smile in a picture is rare these days.
13. Decorating eggs the day after Easter just because we ran out of time and she really wanted to do it herself! Sorry, it's sideways, I'm too lazy to change it. :)

14. Starting a new class to become a nouthetic counselor. I haven't done anything adult related, like taking an actual class, in so long, I forgot what it was like. This class became available through our church though so we thought, why not? I'm excited to see where it takes me!

15. And this picture. Just because I love this moment. :)

What are you smiling about this week?