Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday, la la

 Luke has a runny nose a close to death bed cold (are all boys/men like this?) which excites Emma to no end.  No people, she does not delight in her brother's illness, but my four year old wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up (which I'm totally ok of our kids needs to make some money!) and when one of her siblings is sick, she turns into Dr. Emma and tends to their every need.  And yes, I'm absolutely fine with this as Luke requests Emma to serve him hand and foot instead of me...and she does so gladly. 

For all you inquisitive minds out there - yes, I've been trying to cook.  This weekend I failed miserably at eating right, but today is a new day.  And I didn't gain any weight with my little eating excursions, so it's all good.  And how do I get dinner cooked with 3 children at foot?  I put them all on the counter, and give each of them a task to do in the process.  And, they tend to eat dinner and enjoy it if they "made" it.  Win.

Today I am going to be signing Emma up for soccer.  Luke doesn't really want to play (since the only time he actually ran during t-ball was when it was snack time.  But since I will NOT be coach again, I can't risk him deciding he wants to be a soccer star the first practice and have no authority to just throw him on the team.  So I will be signing both of them up.  Yeehaw.  And Lily as you see here fell in love with baseball and really wants to play sports...right now.  She's as tall as most 4 year olds even though she is 2, who would know?  Well, darn honesty and setting a good example for my children.  She will just have to wait.

Oh ya, notice the easel in the hallway.  This is NOT where it belongs.  They like to use it as a ladder which is horribly unsafe, but I figure it's a lost cause for now until someone breaks an arm.  Also, notice what Lily is using as a baseball...she's a resourceful little girl.

Talking about Lily.  She is only 2.5.  When she turned 2, she was in the 97th percentile for a THREE year old.  She is a tall girl.  However, Lily does not talk.  Wait - she did not talk.  But now we have a speech therapist (whom we love) who comes to work with Lily once a week.  Lily now talks (more) and no wonder she has spent the last 2.5 years screaming.  She may quite possibly be the most demanding little child I have ever known, and the only way to get across her demands until now was screaming.  I treasure the demands with words right now as opposed to the screams - but talk to me in a couple of weeks.  I'm sure I will be singing a different tune.

A LITTLE HELP PLEASE:  During Lily's last speech appointment she thought it would be a grand idea to stick a dime in the slider door.  Everyone praised her for it because as she did it, she said, "I get it!"  Well, as awesome as her new found speech is - my slider door lock is now broken and I cannot get the dime out.  Any suggestions?

My precious baby Will, who everyone adores, is no longer a baby I fear.  I can continue giving him bottles, talking to him like he is a newborn, and pretending that he is incapable of anything a normal toddler would be doing - but I must face the reality, that my son is growing up.

Today he decided to start walking.  Ya, ya, you first time mothers who are anxiously awaiting the day when your child takes their first steps of independence and freedom - by number 4, you dread the moment when now you will be running after yet another child who constantly does dangerous things because they know they can (example above: climbing into Tonka truck and then proceeding to stand in said Tonka Truck to reach something on the computer desk.)  I am not happy about this moment.  Yes, in case you are wondering I smiled and clapped for him as he started walking around in the kitchen - but I was only humoring him.  Darn growing overrated.  Apparently, he did not get the memo.  See, Luke and Emma didn't walk until they were 14 months old.  Lily didn't walk until she was 16 months old.  With Will, I was definitely shooting for 18 months - not 13 months.  We are 5 months ahead of schedule.  Whatever Will, whatever.

Now I must go power clean since our friends from out of state are coming to visit and their son happens to be the boy that Emma has decided she will marry.  I can't have Kellan (my future son in law) thinking we live in squalor. 

Hope your week is starting out fabulously!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I am God and you are not

Do you journal?

I used to.  Well, I never "journaled" per say but I did have a book that I wrote prayers to God in.  Completely honest, transparent, vulnerable.

I don't anymore. 

For various reasons - but mainly, because I don't find time.  I suppose that this blog, on occasion is like my journal replacement...except it's not ever completely transparent and vulnerable. 

Today, well ok, this week has been a rough one.  I just feel like I'm in a fog, haven't lost any weight this week (which then lends itself to overindulging in crap that I shouldn't even have in my house), been incredibly impatient and just really short-tempered.  Yes folks, it's been pretty here at the Sharon homestead.

The other night though I went on a long power walk (to the grocery store to buy Dave a Hershey's chocolate wrong on so many levels) and decided to use that time to pray. 

And as I was pouring out my heart to God and telling Him all the reasons that I'm a failure, I felt like God whispered to my heart, "I am God and you are not.  I am in control and you are not.  I have called you to this, don't question me."

Awesome.  So if you have been reading this for awhile, then you probably no I'm a bit of a control freak.  I like to have things planned out, I show up early and like things to be easily successful.  Any less than that, and I have failed (ok, I sound like a total dread to be around, but I promise it's not that bad.)  So, sitting back and letting God be God and just reconciling that I will NEVER be in control and no matter how many excuses I have for not being good at what I do, God will continue reminding me that it was His choice to have me do it is anything but easy, or enjoyable for me.  But I must.

Then I realized that this is meant to be a purposeful blog.  Not just a recounting of my chaotic days, but one that will encourage and inspire other moms in this journey.  So, I do need to be vulnerable (yuck!) and transparent (gross!) and put it out there.

1.  We transferred the embryos.  We have to pay 450 dollars to have them stored for a year.  Who knows what will happen at the end of the year, so don't ask because the whole thing still makes me want to puke.  But regardless, 450 bucks.  May I remind you, Dave just transferred jobs (which means a pretty nice break in pay for awhile), we just had to buy a not-so-ghetto mobile that has a nice little payment (I know Dave Ramsey people, I have sinned) and my camera was broken by a cute and perfect little boy and had to be replaced promptly since he decided to start trying to walk and I have to have it captured forever on film.  So 450 is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but right now?  450 is completely out of the question.  "So what happens if you don't pay them," you ask.  They throw them away.  They have extended the time period for me to pay them (thank you Lord) but are anxiously awaiting payment to, let's just say "babysit" them for a year. 

Ok God, you are in control - you gotta provide the money.

2.  I can't stop getting angry and frustrated and screaming like a crazy person raising my voice.  Ok, "I can't" are not the right words...I don't know how is probably the better way to put it.  Phillipians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."  Well, obviously I'm not looking to Him for strength through this, because I keep failing.  Miserably.  And I don't want my kids to remember me screaming and always being on edge, yet I fear that will be the imprint on their memories of their mommy. 

Ok God, you called me to this and I'm not a failure, and you will help me conquer this.

3.  I can't lose weight.  Ok, shut up Melissa.  I have lost 4 pounds already in a little over a week.  Why am I sulking?  Because if there is one day or week that goes by and I don't lose weight, I have failed and might as well give up.  How do I do this people?  Seriously, how do I do this?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  I have to lose weight for myself, for my husband, for my kids, for my future grandkids.  And I know the longer I put it off and keep failing at it, the harder it will be to get it off.  WHY CAN'T THIS BE EASY!!!!!

Ok God, once again, you are God and you have called me to this and I'm not a failure and you will help me conquer this. 

But how?  I want to see the plan right now.  I want to know what's in store right now.  I want to know if I'm ever going to fit into those pants ever again, or if I will ever have a day where I don't raise my voice to ungodly decibels.  Can't I just know right now that I will succeed?  Wait, let me put that honestly.  Can't I just succeed right now?

And then I am reminded that one of the fruits of the spirit is patience.

And once again:  Ok God, you are God and you have called me to this and I'm not a failure and you will help me conquer this.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ode to t-ball

Last night we finished our season with a parents versus kids game and a barbecue.

It is finished.

Not that is was bad or anything, but coaching when you have four children who like to be held constantly and still, in most regards, are babies is not the best idea.  But all in all it was a great season...and I must say, we had the best team.  Really, we did - ok, well, at least in my opinion.

We played against some really competitive teams, which is quite laughable considering our teams consisted of 4 and 5 year olds who have non existent attention spans.  We played some teams with coaches who screamed things at their teams like, "drive the line" (whatever that means) and other coaches who refused to let their kids do anything other than hit off the tee.  But our team, probably because we had two coaches (Dave and me) who are completely not competitive or athletic - we just had fun.

Our kids would wrestle over the ball and jump up victoriously if they retrieved it from the dog pile.

Our kids would make dirt angels in the outfield.

Our kids regularly left their base to ask when snack was.

Our kids played and danced while in the outfield.

Our kids, ok my kid, would scream "SPIDERMAN!" every time he was up to bat and had to always have color coordinating helmet and bat so that he too could be red like Spiderman.  Whatever works little buddy, whatever works.

Our parents helped and didn't just sit on the sidelines (thank the good Lord for that)

And our kids learned how to be on a team.  How to work together.  How to get over tiffs and indifferences to get a job done.  And they learned which way to run when they hit a ball.  

I would like to say, this season was a success.

And I will never coach again.

Now, I have to go sign Emma up for soccer.  Not coaching, not coaching, not coaching - and please don't hold me to this if in two weeks I inform all of you that insanity overtook me once again and I volunteered again to coach.  Oh boy.  Not coaching, not coaching, not coaching...

Monday, August 16, 2010

7 years later, 4 pounds lighter - pizza and chocolate for everyone!

First week in the books of trying to lose weight.  And I'm writing this 4 pounds lighter.  So yeah me!  How did we celebrate today?  Well with pizza and chocolate of course.  I know, I'm horrible - stop shaking your heads in disappointment people!

However, I have an excuse...a real, really people hear me out:

Today is Dave and my 7th anniversary.  And my wonderful hubby of seven years came home with flowers today as a sweet surprise.  My kids went from screaming to completely silent as they saw Daddy bring in a huge bouquet for me.  Pretty cool.

I by no means am a marriage counselor or someone who claims to know ANYTHING about marriage beyond my own experience but today on this here seventh anniversary of mine, I feel compelled to share a tad of advice.

When Dave and I had first gotten married I hosted a woman's small group at my house.  One night all the women were over and I began to criticize Dave.  I was newly married and was struggling with reality versus my expectations - and I thought that women nagged on their husbands, so I felt it was ok.  I wasn't saying anything too bad or to naggy, but I was criticizing.

As I was getting some drinks for the ladies, a woman who I really looked up to took me to the side and said, "Melissa, you should really not criticize Dave.  You need to honor him, praise him, encourage him.  Your words should not take away from him, but add value to him."

Her words have stuck with me.

Now, I have caught myself engaging in nitpicking sessions and I stop myself (most of the times) but I realize the power in what she said to me that night.

I was reminded of that truth this week as I was reading some blogs where women were (understandably) frustrated with their husbands.  They shared their frustrations on their blogs.  Some have shared their frustrations and irritations on facebook.  And as easy as these outlets are to dispense all of our pent up anger, we need to be careful.  We need to be careful that our words, even if we feel justified, are not tearing our husband down.  We need to be cautious that our words, our actions, our blogs, our walls, our conversations are speaking life into our marriages and not tearing them down.

Also, our children are watching and listening.  They are listening to how you speak of each other, how you speak regarding their dad - how you portray "family life" to people who aren't a part of it.  If you are disrespectful in your tone regarding your spouse, they will be disrespectful in their behavior towards your spouse.

Words can kill, but words can also bring life.

Are your words breathing life into your marriage?

Friday, August 13, 2010


I sat in the church, listening to the pastor explain forgiveness.  I was on the other side of the country from where I call home, and at 18 was quite surprised that even people in New England struggled with forgiveness. 

As he explained forgiveness, he touched his pulpit.  He explained that his pulpit was like the person who had offended us.  When we don't forgive, it's like we attach ourselves to them and we are the ones who get stuck.  When we don't forgive, we imprison ourselves with that unforgiveness.  And until we forgive, we will never be free from that offense or that person ultimately.

I remember that Sunday so vividly.

In my life, there have been a few people who I have really struggled to forgive.  Quite honestly, there are a couple people who when they come to mind even after years and years of praying to forgive them - I have to forgive them all over again, because resentment and bitterness keep creeping up.

Anyone understand?

So, with that said - I have been recently confronted with a situation, well two for that matter.  Forgiveness is never an option - that much I am sure of.  God forgave us, all of humanity who would receive Him, for our grossness - we can forgive those who have offended us in some way.  But, does forgiveness equate to a "stay in my life and keep hurting me" card? 

I would venture to say no, it does not.

But as Christians, I think often times we think it means that in order to forgive you must forget and let down boundaries. 

I can forgive someone who abused me, but I will NEVER allow them the opportunity to do that again.  I have forgiven, but I'm not stupid.  God tells us that we must forgive, but He says He forgets our sins - He doesn't command us to forget.

In our family, with four little ones, someone is always wronging another one.  I'm sure as they grow, it won't change - for at least a while.  We encourage our kids that when we say "sorry" we must also ask for forgiveness.  There are times that they don't want to forgive, they want to stay mad.  But I explain to them that if they choose to stay mad, they are only ruining their day while the rest of us continue on with having fun.  I also have to encourage them to not bring things back up.  Once it's been forgiven, it's done.  We don't need to rehash it every few minutes.

I'm a list keeper.  I keep lists...I say I forgive, but boy do I keep lists.  Poor Dave.  I forgive him for little things, but when he does it again three years down the road my initial instinct is to say, "You said three years ago that you would never do it again.  Guess you can't keep a promise!"  But in the Bible we are told that love does not keep a record of wrongs.  So, a lot of times (not every time) I bite my tongue, take a deep breath, and try to erase my mental list.

But chronic abusers?  People who are dangerous to a family's emotional and physical safety?  Those people should be forgiven as well...but I don't think we are commanded anywhere in the Bible to allow them back into our world to continue to violate our boundaries.

I want my children to be people who forgive.  I don't want them to be eaten alive by bitterness and anger, unforgiveness and contempt.  But I also want them to be people with strong boundaries, not allowing themselves to be manipulated or taken advantage of.  And they are learning how to be that person from Dave and me.  Are we those people?

Are you that person?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A little help please...

So, I decided to lose weight.  Then I lost 10 pounds.

Oh, as for my previous post?  Ya, the kids are sleeping, the house is moderately clean and I have ten minutes left of quiet...hence, I'm blogging.

Ok, so I lost 10 pounds.  Yeah me, right?  Well, totally awesome until I decided to just have a relaxed weekend and then ate the whole carton of ice cream, all the cookies and basically binged which then caused me to throw the "healthy eating" out the window, and here we are now.

So, I gained 6 pounds back.  But let's be positive, I have lost 4!  Woohoo.

So, I have to feed my family and now that Dave works a normal job where he won't be home in time to do the dinners, I actually have to cook.  And macaroni and cheese is just not cutting it - for the kids, the hubby, or me. 


Really, I do.  I have a multitude of reasons as to why I hate cooking and I won't share them right now, but seriously "loathe" is not a strong enough statement for how I feel regarding cooking.

But I need help. 

I need some recipes.  I need recipes that are QUICK and EASY and QUICK and EASY - please notice the emphasis on QUICK and EASY.

Please do not give me recipes that involve stuffing something or two hours of chopping.  My family likes veggies and we aren't picky AT ALL, so that should make it easier for you who love to cook and find great value and satisfaction from the whole process...totally don't understand you people.

Ok, please leave your recipes in the comment field, and please please help...don't just think about waist size thanks you.

P.S.  I would have posted cute pictures to illustrate my point, however I have no pictures relating to food except for my pizza picture which is not healthy nor at all recent.  But praise God, my camera is fixed.  So pictures that pertain will be posted soon (especially if you share some of your recipes!)


Sometimes being a mommy and a wife take precedent over other things...such as this blog.

Well, they take precedent ALL the time over other things, but lately - quite a bit.

Sometimes, exercising instead of blogging happens.  Other times, finishing the t-ball season or going on a spontaneous hike trumps anything to do with the computer.

Hence, this last week - everything has trumped the blog. 

But hopefully soon, I shall return and have lots to write about...

Hope you are all having a great week!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Just do the dishes already, ok?

I'm selfish.

I don't think I would regularly admit to that - and generally speaking, I don't think I am...wait, no, I am.

But lately, I feel like God has me going through the Refiner's fire, where I am being purified and refined.  And I don't like it.  Not one bit.  It's hard to be refined, and chiseled away at, and be put through the fire.  But in the last couple of days, I have realized that I am selfish.

I have mentioned love languages in an earlier post.  There is a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman that is great.  As a quick recap, it says we experience love and tend to give love the same ways.  And those ways are:
1. Physical Touch
2.  Quality/Quantity Time
3.  Service
4. Gifts
5.  Affirmation

Before I had kids, I was a touch person for sure.  My close second was quality time.

After kids, I'm so over people hanging on me all day that touch is definitely not high up there anymore.  Quality time is still in second place, definitely.  But my number one love language is...

SERVICE!  Come on moms, don't you understand?  I mean, if my husband was to do the dishes and some laundry - I would be like putty in his hands at this point in our marriage.  Service is the language that I speak.

Dave, used to be a Quality Time person.  He still is, but even he has changed since we have become parents to a Service guy.

Funny how kids change you.

So, Dave and I are speaking the same language.  Which makes things easy enough between us.  I do his laundry and make him dinner, he loads the dishwasher - everything in Sharonville is happy as can be, right?

Not so much.

Because I am selfish...dare I say it, we are selfish.

Here's why - because I know you are wondering what could possibly make me so selfish that I am writing an entirely too long post all about it.  Well, here you go...

Because my kids don't understand service.  Well, they do.  But not in ways that I consider service.  I do not consider pouring water all over my kitchen floor to help "clean" it service.  I do not consider cracked eggs all over my kitchen floor, counters and fridge in effort to make me "breakfast" service.  I do not, yes I know it's hard to imagine why not, but I do not consider taking all the sheets out of the linen closet to cover our furniture to make it more comfy for us to sit on service.  I actually consider it anti-service.

My kids are touch kids.  My kids are time kids.  And my kids are affirmation kids.

Lily, is a gift kid but none of the others are.  She gets one gift and she will sit there for hours hugging it because it is her's. 

But Emma, she is a touch and affirmation kid by far...and a time.  Ok, everything except for service.

And here I am, because I'm so self-absorbed, that I am trying to show her love by acts of service - because that's how I receive love.  Like cooking a fantastic meal for them.  (But you are supposed to feed us Mom)  Like cleaning her room (But you are supposed to clean our house Mom)  Like organizing her closet and picking out great outfits for her (But you are supposed to dress us Mom)

And she's not grateful, darn that four year old.

And she doesn't feel overwhelmingly loved and appreciated when I slave over a hot stove or spend hours on my knees cleaning.  She sees it like I'm doing my job.  Awesome.  And yes Emma, I suppose I am.

But here is where the selfishness lies.  She is communicating her love to me the best way she knows how - which is the way she understands love (touch, time, affirmation) - yet I'm so busy doing my service thing, that I don't even stop long enough to receive her love or acknowledge that I'm thankful she is giving it to me.  I'm so over being touched, I push her away.  My time is constantly divided, I tend to not even get through a book without having to put it on hold.  And affirmation usually gets lost somewhere amidst, "Can't you pick up your toys?  Don't you love me?"

Ok, I never actually say that, but I sure think it.  And that's totally mature, since a 4 year old is mature enough to process how we receive love.  Cool Melissa, really cool.

So, today I decided to focus on trying to love them the way they best understand - and appreciate when they serve me, even though most of the time, it feels like creation of more work.  I need to translate it as love, instead of getting angry.

I'm tired.  I'm going to bed.  Tomorrow my hubby starts a new job, and I need to love him by having a dinner on the table for him when he gets home tomorrow at a decent, normal time so we can eat dinner as a family together.  So weird.  And I must have energy for tomorrow to lovingly volunteer to be hung on and touched all day...because I love my kids - with all my heart...and I guess that's not so selfish, right? 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's just stuff, right?

I just had a wonderful visit with two girls that I consider sisters.  It was wonderful.  My kids had a great time with their aunts and memories were made.

But I don't have pictures.

Tonight is the last t-ball game for Luke and Emma.  They are getting quite good which is quite the shock since their coaches (Dave and I) are completely not athletic and have no clue what we are doing.

But I don't have pictures.

Will just turned one and ate cake that made a horrible green mess all over the place - and then reincarnated itself the next morning in his diaper...I know gross, but seriously - green frosting in, green frosting out...for future reference.

But I don't have pictures (not that I would have taken them of the diaper people, I'm talking about the party!)

The kids have done very cute things lately...but alas - I don't have pictures.

I know that I have mentioned this in previous posts, and you are probably saying to yourself, "get over it already," but I can't friends, I just can't.

Perfect Baby Will broke my camera.

My camera is the only gift I have actually shed tears over when I received it at Christmas.  My camera, with the built in video camera was like an extra limb to me - Over the last 4 years, I have taken roughly 10,000 pictures.  And now it sits on my counter waiting a new lens that will cost roughly 300 dollars.  I know 300 dollars doesn't sound like a ton, but in the midst of job changes and pay schedule lapses - 300.00 might as well be a million right now.  Darn money.

I should have known - we should have stayed true to our theory:  If it's in our house it will get broken.  If it's expensive don't buy it, it will get broken.  Don't be attached to stuff, it will get broken.

Oh lovely Nikon D90 how I love you, how I hoped that you would be resistant to the theory.

When the twins were first born we bought a gorgeous table.  Why?  I don't know.  We envisioned tons of kids needing to sit somewhere to eat we have tons of food and a table that was once beautiful, that is now covered in scratch marks from children learning to use forks and kids who color too hard with pens.  Darn forks.  Darn pens.

Even our lawn mower - it's broken now.

I'm a little over stuff breaking.  I'm a little over MY stuff breaking.  Ok, I'm way over my stuff breaking.

But it's just stuff, right? 

And I suppose that even if there are no pictures taken, memories will still be made, and since I'm a memory hoarder I'm ok on that end.  But I would really like pictures to go along with my memories...and the blog would sure be more exciting.

Ok, I'm done griping.

And, I still think he is perfect - even breaking my camera and all.