Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dusting off the Cobwebs

I love to read everyone's daily 'Im thankful for..' in November on Facebook. A couple of years ago someone suggested that I keep a gratitude list. While I didn't put it on paper I did take that advice to heart. I began to think often about what I was thankful for. Often turned into daily; and pretty soon it was like a toned muscle so when my day took a crappy turn I could flex that strong muscle and (sometimes) snap myself out of pity or anger or frustration and back to thankfulness. Then life happened. Things were coming my way that I did not think I could handle. And in the middle of being overwhelmed and so very sad and more scared than I have ever been I thought, "This could be worse." It really could be worse. I know God has me, He carries me and loves me and is constantly sending people who cover me with love and generosity. November 1st came around and I saw those daily gratitudes posted for the world to see. I'm terrible at long term projects. By day 14 I'm out, for real. So I'm making a list but it will all be posted here. I might not finish it until December or February cuz I'm crazy like that (and by crazy I mean lazy, and a procrastinator).

 Anyway here goes: In absolutely no particular order I'M THANKFUL FOR.....

1. God. My faith in God. It's my foundation.

2. Large. I have always wanted to be a Mom. Always. I changed on the day she was born. A switch flipped and I learned how to completely put someone else's needs ahead of my own. It doesn't happen like that for everyone and that's ok but for me it was automatic, and magical, and weird.

 3. Medium. I (secretly!) prayed and prayed for Large to have a sister. I have a sister, I love her dearly and I cant imagine how much worse my world would be if *gasp* she were a BOY! I wanted that for my Large girl too. Besides, where would we be without this treasure who acts Just. Like. Her. Momma.

4. Small. Oh Boy! He calls me his Fluffy Duffy. No, I have no idea what that means but I'm pretty sure it's good.

 5. My Mom. She is amazing. I'd be locked in a padded room without her.

 6. My Dad. Also amazing! He takes taking care of me very seriously, I'm so thankful for that.

 7. My Sister. Love her so. Miss her everyday. I still (secretly!) pray that we will live closer to one another.

 8. Extended family. I am so blessed with a Step-Family, and Aunts and Uncles and Cousins who are all wonderful, supportive, funny, loving, and just generally fantastic.

 9. Music. I am a music lover. It moves me, sometimes in ways nothing else can.

 10. My Church-PCC. It's Awesome, Amazing and Authentic. It's the place I became real.

 11. The Churches I grew up in, Cosby and New Journey. That's where I learned about love. Unconditional, body of Christ, foundational, no matter what kind of love. There I also learned about acceptance and community and the importance of caring for others.

 12. My Small Group. I've been in a small group (not the same one) for a little over 4 years now. Truth be told Lin kinda made me go. I thought it was going to be dumb. I was pregnant with Small at the time and SUPER cranky. I like to blame my bad attitude on that. Eating and talking are my specialties so I gave it a whirl. It was a game changer for my life and for my walk with Jesus. Can't even express how grateful I am.

 13. My job. It's a good job and I am thankful to have one. The past 10+ years I have been blessed to work with some amazing families. So super thankful.

 14. My health.

 15. MY KIDS HEALTH. My kids are very healthy for the most part and I try to NEVER take that for granted.

 16. Food. I love food, I really do. I don't want to watch cooking shows or read 77 recipes on pinterest but do want to you to tell me about what you had for dinner and how you made it and if you liked it or not. If food was a love language it would be mine. I would love to share a meal with you. I love food so much that I should probably mention it to my therapist. Nevermind, we have bigger fish to fry.

 Ok, it's not done but I'm tired and perhaps if I publish the first half then I won't flake out on finishing the list..... I'll keep you in suspense, Dear Readers!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Happenings at the House

Well my dear Blog, I have decided I'm going to stop apologizing for not writing and stop promising to write more. Hre is the deal--- I write when I write. I wish it was more but it's not. Sooner or later it might be more, but it might not. So there you go. I do love you. So, what are we up to? I'll recap some of our lastest adventures. 1. We registered Large for Kindergarten this week. I am totally traumatized. Note-WE JUST REGISTERED, SHE HAS NOT EVEN GONE YET. I started to ask one of the teachers about volunteer hours for parents and I feel big hot tears welling up in my eyes. I keep talking and tell myself she has seen people sobbing and fainting at this moment before. Then I feel a little better. I pull myself together and save all my tears for later. Y'all check me out on the first day of school, I'm gonna be a HOT MESS. 2. And speaking of a hot mess....let me introduce you to Small. Wow. He is doing something new and exciting and CRAZY everyday. He talks circles around most other two year olds. There are no words, call me, I'll let you see for yourself. The bad news is he repeats everything. And if he thinks it might be a 'bad word' he repeats it over and over at deafening volumes. If you fancy being attacked with a spoon covered in 'appledause' by a little fellow in a dragon cape then come spend some time with Small. Or if you like to be 'Hi-Yahed'. Or if you like to rock out. 3. If you would like to go shoe shopping or talk about boys then Medium would be the animal for you! Hair products or outfits? She is your girl! 4. All the penguins are busy laughing at each other and egging each other on toward trouble....when they are not fighting. 5. Lin and I are thinking about moving the Animal House. Not out of town or anything, probably pretty close to where we live now. It's in the works, we will keep you informed. It means ALOT of time spent doing stuff to the house and not much time for anything else. 6. The penguins are obsessed with inch worms. Yippee. After the third time someone said, "Mommy, I brought FIVE inchworms to ride in the van with us!!" I just gave up and decided to live with them (the worms and the kids). 7. I really am going to learn how to put videos and pictures on here. They are priceless. Just like my sweet babies! ;-) See you soon!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

And You Thought I Forgot About You.....

My very Dearest Small,

You are the third child. You are destined to be either last in line or completely smothered. I have been thinking about this letter for over a week. Let's make a deal....If you will forgive me for being 4 days late on your birthday letter then I will forgive you for your little 'incident' at the birthday party. I know it was YOUR party but that does not give you the right to VOMIT (projectile and pink!) while your friends and family are trying to sing happy birthday to you. Ha ha ha, funny? Not when many or our guests spent 2 days in bed with a totally crappy party 'favor'. (Crappy! That was a little funny, right? Probably too soon). Anyway so you threw up at your party, narrowly missing your cake, giving a bunch of us the stomach bug. I forgive you and will ALWAYS love you...cant say the same for the rest of those guys. Moving on the the sappy love letter.

Everyday you are a blessing to all four of us. While we weren't planning to have more children none of us could imagine life without you. I love how affectionate you are.....perhaps that is because there is constantly someone hugging or kissing you! You have never met a stranger. Never. You love people. You know their names. You ask about them. Your constant talking amazes me! You are incredibly smart my sweet boy. My favorite Small moments are when I am singing you a lullaby and you sing along with me.....oh my heart just bursts when you do that. Or when someone is leaving and you say, "huuug, huug?". Who can resist you? Well none of us. Which is probably why you are so demanding and vocal about what you want. I hope you keep that determination and spirit...I guess it's up to me to make sure you don't grow up to think the world revolves around you. I was never sure I wanted to parent a boy. God knew just what he was doing by placing you last in our birth order. Being older and (a little) more patient I am much better equipped to deal with your complete boyishness.....let's hope I still feel that way by the time I write your 3 year old birthday letter. There is nothing funnier than watching you watch Rio. You dance and sing. It embodies the joy, energy and, entertainment that you bring to this Animal House every day. I love you so much my little Small man. With all my heart, I always will.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gonna be a Revolution

Dear Blog,
I have missed you so much. Please forgive me. I promise there was no one else. Well technically there are 3 'someone elses' but let's not go there. I promise to pay more attention to you. Can we still be together?
Love, Holly

I would try to catch you up on the happenings around here but there is a lot to tell. Here is the short version: Small=crazy, Medium=crazy, and Large=almost crazy. That just about sums it up! Im not sure if it's their ages or this season but they have all been wild animals lately. I would be crazy or eaten by penguins or abusing prescription drugs except for I have this AMAZING network of family and friends who are willing to brave spending time with the crazy penguins so that I can be sane, and reasonably nice, and happy. You know who you are, thank you so much from the bottom of my very sane heart.

I was having a long talk with God and we decided that since I have such loving support that I needed to stop being a yeller. My name is Holly and I am a yeller and screamer. It's probably the thing that I dislike the most about myself. I know it's wrong and that it absolutely Does. Not. Work. It makes me feel bad and unhappy. It was time to make some major changes. So last week (I can't remember if it was Wed or Thur) it became official. We are a scream free household. That's not entirely true, the kids are still yelling. We will work on them later. I know what your thinking, 'good luck Lady!'. Well you're probably right but this is about me, and proper discipline. They do what they know, if I yell less then so will my kids. At first I thought there was no possible way that I could do this. Then hours and hours went by with
no yelling. One day, two days, three and four and five days, no yelling. It feels so amazing to give them boundaries and consequences calmly and without yelling. They end up getting punished more (I am hoping this will improve their behavior) but no more out of anger and frustration. Its been less than a week, we have had a few near misses. I have done some safety related yelling (in a kind tone) and raised my voice when they are out of earshot but so far so good.
So why am I telling you all of this? I'm not looking for pats on the back. I'm not trying to amaze you with my superhuman strength. I need two things from you: pray for me and help to keep me accountable. Ask me how it's going, specificlly. Pray that I remember to rely on God for strength and direction and that I set a tone of calm and kindness in my home. I really believe it takes a village. Having 3 kids so close together was God's way of showing me that I HAD to learn to rely on other people for support and guidance. Walk with me on this journey. You don't have to stick around for the poopy diapers and meltdowns. You don't have to impressed when i resist the urge to yell after someone pees on my bedroom floor or spits applesauce in my face or unrolls an entire roll of toilet paper or 'decorates' my living room with all the laundry I just folded. Just ask me how its going or pray for me or send me tips on scream-free discipline. I'm glad you're in my village!!!style="font-weight:bold;">

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Letter to My Big Girl! (better late than never)

My summer has been a little crazy. Not in a bad way but in the you would expect with a 4yo, a 3yo, and a 1 1/2 yo. When I did have time to blog I chose to hang out with my hubby, or my girls, or (gasp) read. Perhaps I was too tired to even move my fingers, whatever. 11 days late on my birthday letter is a new low...even for me! My Large had a birthday over Labor Day weekend. I CAN NOT believe she is 5!!! Why must she do that to me?? Why oh why?? Without further ado....

My Dearest Large,
Oh my baby is five!! I will never forget the day you were born. That is one of the most extraordinary moments of my life. You are getting so big, you are taller than most of your friends. And speaking of have developed some very close friendships over the past year. It is amazing to watch you be a friend and to love other people so wholly. Your friendships have positioned people much closer to my heart than I expected! Sometimes it is very hard to let you go, but there are folks who love to spend time with you (which I totally get!) and you LOVE being with them. So I do, I let you go and forge some of your own relationships. Yay for your Mom!! People love to be with you because you are amazingly sweet and kind and thoughtful and appreciative. Your smile lights up your face and my heart. I love love love how you are so fiercely protective of Medium and Small. Apparently you believe that you are the only one allowed to torment Medium. You are always ready to help and still (by far!) the best listener (don't tell Meds and Small I said so!) and I really appreciate that my sweet girl. You are still relatively shy with adults but very friendly with other children. I am not sure how many ways I can apologize to you for having to be the only quiet person in a family full of loud mouths. There is nothing I can do about it and it's not too noticeable yet so I'm going to say 'I'm so sorry' now. [Any of you only-quiet-person-in-a-family-full-of-loudies out there please think of my girl!] Because I am pretty sure the day is coming when you will stomp up the stairs wishing the rest of us would go away and give you some space! But until then I will give you all the 'mom blankets' and snuggles that you ask for and I'll carry you 'like a baby' anytime you're too tired to walk. You ARE MY baby and I love you the moon and back. I love your soft nose and your sweet cheeks, your squishy tushy, your corn on the cob and your chicken legs! I love your laugh, your sweet smile, your need for order and to collect things, that you're a great singer, and that you still get excited about everything. I am so proud of you for being more brave than you used to be, for being more flexible than I expected, and for working hard on using your words. I can't imagine loving you more than I do today, but I am pretty sure next year I will!!
Love You Forever and Like You for Always, Mom

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mother of the Year?? Not This Time! (part 1)

Have I already written a post with this title? I really thought I had but I couldn't find one. Aaaanyhoo. Just as I was polishing my MOTY 2008 trophy and dreaming of being crowned the winner again my hopes were dashed by those crafty penguins. Always getting in my way! I am pretty sure the MOTY selection committee uses a point system. You can earn points for good things and lose points for slip-ups. Last week I decided to blow most of my points. Guess I'll have to try again for next year or be REALLY good for the rest of this year.....2012 here I come! Here is how it went down.

We were invited to a pool party on a Sat morning. We were a little rushed getting out the door but not a big deal since we were just in a hurry to have fun. Side note--I have been applying sunscreen to children since before aerosol hit the ozone. Maybe not that long but lets just say after 15 years of being a nanny and 3 kids this ain't my first rodeo! Maybe I was cutting corners or couldn't find some crucial supply or just spent too much time working on my hair; either way we get in the car and Medium start bawling, "My EYES my EYES!!!". Oh that Medium, she is such a wild card, you never know what she has gotten into. And no stranger to the drama...have you ever ridden in the car with her AND a flying bug? Well then you haven't lived. I check on her and decide she has gotten sunscreen in her eyes. I beg her not to rub her eyes and give her a baby wipe to clean off her hands and eyes. Just as Meds is winding down Large gets all teary and needs a baby wipe too. They are still sniffling and crying a little but not too bad. Then we hear this heart stopping scream from Small. While my Honey tries to keep the car on the road I whip around to see who is stabbing my baby. Poor Large reports, "Mom, he's rubbing his eyes!!!". Oh no, I am pretty sure it might have gone better with a stabbing intruder. He screams at the top of his lungs for at least another hour. I try flushing and comforting and washing and distracting once we get to the party but nothing works. One kind Mom at the party says, "Is he about 18 months? That's is such a hard age!". He stops a little while he is in the pool and was quiet while I gave him two donuts (after Lin asked me not to.......BAD Momma! But they were Krispy Kreme!). By the end our nerves were shot and poor poor Small was a hot mess! My friend was very sweet not to act like I ruined her party with my screaming baby and bad Mommy form. The good news is everyone is still alive and has full use of their vision!

That pretty much wipes out my points bank, right? Oh no, friends, that's not all I got! Tune in next time to hear more of my parenting errors and why I am no longer gonna slack off on my rule that the penguins only watch G movies!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What's Happening at the House?

Sorry I have been a little sporadic (or absent) lately. Summer is busy time with less structure than usual (is that even possible??) which leaves little time for writing. So I thought I'd throw out some updates/random thoughts. The truth is I can't decide what to write about. What is important/interesting/funny after being gone for over a month. Writer's block is in no way funny, interesting or important that I do know.

1. Big News---I started a new book. I know that does not seem monumental but it is around here. I have ZERO time to read. I really love to read, but I only have time to read People magazine so that's all I do read. And it usually takes me way longer than a week to finish one. If you are a reader then you know how very sad that is.

Truth be told if I have time to read I should be spending it finishing Millie's thank you notes from her birthday party IN MAY. That might be the saddest thing I have said all day. I really would be working on them but I left them at home and I am out of town. Someday I will tell you about my ongoing inner struggle with thank-you notes. It's gripping, really.

2. And speaking of being out of town....I am living with my Mom this weekend. That's why I have 12 seconds to read a book or write a blog! :)

3. Why did I move to P-town for the holiday, you ask? Better fireworks? More hot dogs? No Way!! Lin (the handyman) Wright is remodeling our kitchen this weekend!!! YAY!! Guess you better come over and check it out or come over and bring your paint brush.

4. In other (REALLY) big news......Small is finally WALKING!!!! I guess it's not so amazing, after all it's not multiplication tables or speaking French. I'm sure some of you are saying, "That kid is not walking yet???". He IS almost 18 months old. He told me walking is for girls. Besides, why would you walk when people keep picking you up? He is absolutely too cute to pass up.

5. Medium is totally potty trained and accident free!! Less poop to clean up in my life is super spectacular!!!!! Fewer diapers to buy is pretty nice for my budget, too. :) She is still just as charming and funny and naughty as ever!

6. Ha! I forgot to tell you the name of the book I started, it's good so far. Minding Ben by Victoria Brown. Pretty light, about a nanny from Trinidad in NYC. Good summer reading. It would be much better if I were sitting on a beach. Then again wouldn't most things?

7. I felt God pulling me toward ministry again this morning. Sometimes I wonder if I am just too easily swayed; I always think pastors are talking to me when they teach about following God's plan. Even as a child, every time I heard any missionary speak about anything I would think THAT'S what I need to be doing. I thought maybe putting my thoughts out there for the world to see I might get some feedback or pushing or face some accountability.

8. I don't think God is unhappy with what I am doing for Him now, but I know he has plans for me after I am finished being up to my elbows in yogurt and dirty diapers.

9. Large developed some friendships over the past year or so that are very important to her. As I make an effort to help her keep up with her peeps it is fascinating to see how she interacts, reacts, grows and relates to her peers. These families have really blessed our lives. Large is an introvert trapped in a(n) (animal) house full of extroverts. That should be enough for a collective 'Aaawwww' for poor Large. She will definitely be on facebook when she is 15 searching for her 'real' family. Sorry, Baby, you are stuck with us (and we are so glad!).

10. Lin and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with a little weekend trip to lovely Washington DC. We learned a few things about ourselves. We are sleek modern hotel-type -people not beautiful historic hotel-type-people. Truly we are B&B type people but that's a different story. We need naps more than we need museum exhibits. (Gasp if you want, our kids are 4, 3, and 18 months....we need like 100 naps to recover from that) We LOVE True Blood! Who Knew?? We really really like each other. I mean really. ;)

Thanks for checking us out today. I am so glad you came by. I must head outside now to marvel at my girls' sidewalk chalk creations and move Small toward the shade before his sweetness melts onto the sidewalk!