Friday, May 22, 2009

The Sacrifices We Make

This weekend my husband will take our 3 small children to a cabin, in the woods. He will be joining most of his immediate family members; His mom, his sister and her 2 children, his brother in law and other sister, and their 2 children, and his brother, and his 2 children. It will be a fun weekend! The adults will probably stay up late, play games, talk for hours about random topics, and genuinely enjoy their time together. Me? Why am I not going? Sigh! What a great question.

As chaotic as I know this weekend will be, you know..... having 9 children in a cabin is chaos in itself, I really do want to go along. I love Joshua's family. Well. Wait a minute. They're my family, too! Don't get me wrong, though. Family is family, so whether it be 'blood' or 'law' related, we do still have our frustrations, annoyances, and disputes. Even still...... they are my family, and I feel bummed that I'm staying behind. This will be the first time that I can recall that everyone will be getting together 'just because'. The weather will be great, there will be lots of yummy food, plenty of hands to help take care of the children, and absolutely NOTHING that has to be done. It will be a chill out, hang out, relaxed weekend.

Oh. Right! Why am I staying behind......?

Ok, so here's the deal. I'm swamped. Overloaded. Consumed! My 'to do' list isn't going to get 'all done' unless I have an empty house for atleast 24 hours. In and of itself, parenting my 3 young daugthers fills my day. Add homeschool, cleaning, laundry, yard work, (ok, blogging and email, and facebook), and all of the other things that seem to stay on the 'mommy list', and you'll understand that staying caught up is hard enough, much less getting caught up!

I can't seem to relax in my home. For weeks I have been so extremely stressed! I'm beyond leaving the house for an afternoon of 'alone time' to get a break. I'm too far gone. It's a terrible admission, but honestly, every single mistake, act of disobedience, scream/stomp/slammed door , every tattle, pout, whine, and poopie diaper..... ok- you get the point- every thing makes my heart race, and my blood boil.

It's like a teapot that has been on the stove for too long. It's boiling and steaming and that little whistle is going off..... and if you TAKE it off the heat, that whistle will stop blowing, right? But, if you put it right back on to the hot eye, the whistle starts up again.

That's me!!! The 'eye', is my responsibilies, having too much to do is the heat and the water is all of my stress that just keeps 'boiling'. I need cool down the eye, and add some ice to the water. THEN! When I'm placed back on the hot eye... I won't start steaming and whistling. Does this make sense? Well. It makes sense to me, and this is why I am staying home for the weekend.

My family is important to me. So important in fact, that I will pass up a weekend trip so that I can cool myself down enough to be a productive, patient, loving mommy. And an enjoyable, less-stressed, not-so -freaked- out- all -the- time wife.

Literally, all I need to do is wash a 100 loads of laundry, dry/fold/hang/ and then put it all away. I need to clean up floors and toilets and tables that have been ignored, and wipe down cabinets and sticky walls. (This might take me a day to complete if I can stay focused on ONE thing at a time).

Once I've finished the cleaning, I'll take on the tedious task of updating our budget, and then I'll probably start looking for stuff to give away and throw away in order to remove a bit more clutter. Can you say 'ahhhhhhh.......'? I will! (as soon as all that stuff is done).

Talking Asses and Red Birds

Speaking of talking donkeys....

Do you know how many times I just expected this red cardinal that keeps bopping around my yard to fly over to my shoulder and say

"What are you looking at me for? I'm just a stinkin bird. I don't have any answers for you. Where's your bible? You idiot.... geez? Sitting around wondering what the relevenace of a red bird hanging out in your yard is, and how that would pertain to you in your walk with the Lord!! I mean, seriously!? I'm just looking for bugs, lady! I ain't got no revelation for you. But that book with with RED letters in it... it can HOOk.You.UP with the answers! Now stop staring at me. I'm trying to eat."

I know. It's random, right?. But somebody mentioned the talking donkey. Oh? You don't know what talking ass I'm referring to? Grab your Bible. Got it? Ok... now READ it. It's in there somewhere. Look it up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Bridge is...... Where?

No matter how hard I try to maintain a consistent flow of routine, the randomness of life seems to build a big o' dam, creating a stagnent pool of chaos. -aka

I guess I'll be needing a bridge, then? Cool. Where is it? Huh?! I have to build it? Riiight.... I'll just pull out my engineer degree and stick it over here beside my architect of the year award, and then get right to work!

I know that's sarcastic and probably a little rude. I'm actually not mad or frustrated as I write this, so it's really more of a matter of getting the point across to myself. I am aware that my hands are tied down, double knotted, and that much (not all) of life's craziness is completely out of my control. There have been too many times that I put myself into a pit of self-condemnation; "Why can't you do that? What's wrong with you? Just make it happen!". So, creating a 'you ain't got no bridge' pep talk seems to work well for traveling back to reality.

God is an all knowing God, so when I vent my 'what if's', it's just smoke. The junk that creates that smoke will burn out soon enough, and I'll be back to my old self. For now? It's burning, so I'm venting. Stop reading now if you like.

And now the vent:
Why did somebody not tell me that getting married at (barely) 19 was a bad, bad BAD idea?
Don't get me wrong- I married the right man (right, God?) but I ask myself over and over what would have happened had I said "You know- let's just wait until I go to school before we make this kind of commitment. Let's just wait until we each have a career."

You know why we didn't think about these practical, reasonable things prior to jumping in the car and driving to TN to elope (having our ceremony months later)? HORMONES! Truthfully (uh, oh- we're getting PG-13 here) we couldn't keep our hands off of each other, and we couldn't STAND the guilt of going too far before we were married. And, who cares if I get judged, that's just the truth. My husband and I never dated. We were friends. And when we weren't 'just friends' anymore, it was dangerous for us to be alone together! We had way too many opportunities to be alone!

See? I know the truth. But I still wonder why we had to fall in love so young? Geesh. We couldn't stand each other when we were younger heathens.... God could have waited to allow that spark to catch fire a little longer, couldn't He?

And on to my next vent. WHY!?! did we have babies before we knew what we were doing with our life? I mean- a mom at 22? Then a second baby at 24? And number 3 at age 26? I guess the answer to that is "HORMONES", too. Dang it.

I am a stay at home mom- my career is consuming. There is no day care, there is no babysitter, and I don't even have a grandparent to take my children to if I have an appointment or if I just need a break. It's all me, baby! I get no sick days, I get no paid vacation!

I can't force a bridge to pop up into my life that will get me over the chaos of being a busy mom with out help. As much as I desire a formal education in medicine, it's not happening. As much as I desire a schedule, the rule of mommy-hood laughs in my face, "Ha! Schedule! Routine?! Not for you Miss Mommy."

And even when I have a place to escape, a place with child-care, a place I love and find myself totally attached to; Even then I have to give myself the "You ain't got no bridge, honey!" talk. Because snotty noses and red eyes, and The Common Crud prevent the use of that child-care. And where does that leave me? Inside the dammed pool.

*side note: I am in love with my children, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to raise them in our home, and to educate them under our roof. I am thankful, and wouldn't want anything different for their life! Well? Maybe a maid.... and an occassional babysitter? :0)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Get out of here!!

It was a long day for sure. We were at the gym by 9:45 am, at my mom's house for a long visit until around 4:00 pm, and then home, outside play time, dinner, and bedtime at a perfect 8:00 pm. It was a long day, but a great day! Just me and my girls.

I stayed up late (again) to write, and to bury myself into the loud silence of yet another long playlist. Just as I was winding down, and feeling myself relax enough to enjoy sleepy-town, I heard this noise coming from Leah's room. Surely that wasn't a cough? And it came again. And again. And when I heard it again, I literally ran upstairs, all but tossing my laptop onto the floor, fearful that Leah had something sort of lodged into her throat. It was a terrible cough- something I'd never heard in my 6 years as a professional mommy.

When I picked her up, my heart started racing. It wasn't that there was something lodged into her throat, she was wheezing, and raspy. Her breathing was labored. "Oh, Jesus. Help me think. What do I do? What's going on?"

A backstory might be needed right now. My girls have been blessed with a supernatural health. Have I said this before? It's worth repeating. They are so wonderfully healthy. I am the 'nutty' mom that refuses vaccines, and second guesses medical 'professionals' that think an antibiotic and decongestent is the best thing for a common allergy or a slight ear infection. I am the mom that feels certain that God created our bodies to take care of itself, with something called an Immune System. I am the mom that refuses her children the pleasure of sugary juice boxes and gummy bears for a mid day snack, because I know that sugar makes said Immune System weak. I'm the mom that refuses her children a second glass of organic milk because I know our bodies were designed to drink water. I am super cautious about what my daughters put in and on their body, allowing treats, but only in moderation!

So when I say that Leah had a round of antibiotics around the middle of April due to an (uncultured) diagnosis of H. Flu, you'll understand that it was an absolute necessity that she be treated. Double ear infection- One ear drum on the verge of rupture, a hacking cough, and tonsils that were swollen to an extreme. I'm no idiot. It was classic allergy symptoms, but the DAY she started showing signs of something more, we called our doctor. I am thankful, and will use when necessesary, something that was invented to heal our body when our system has fought hard and long enough.

Leah fully recovered. We gave her loads of organic yogurt and Kefir to ensure she get the good stuff back into her body after the meds stripped her of them. I juiced strawberry, spinache, carrot and apples to fill her up with productive vitamins and antioxidents. I gave that same juice to my other girls and myself, because H.Flu is highly contagious. And we were all fine! Nothing more than a stuffy nose and slight cough.

So last night I was lost. What. Do. I. Do? My baby is wheezing! Her breathing is labored. But she's smiling at me?? Joshua was groggy and didn't offer any advice. I fought the urge to call 911 and have an ambulance rush to my house, and opted for the closest ER. Chestatee.

It was 1 AM. Chestatee made sense. I mean? An ER doctor is an ER doctor, right? What hospital would staff an incompetent person to work in the Emergency Room?

The (male) nurse checked her oxygen; 100%. He asked the basic questions. Allergies? Nope. Currently taking any medication? I explained the recent H.Flu treatment. Up to date on Vaccines? Then the 'you're an idiot' look was directed at my swollen tired face when I said "No. We don't vaccinate."

Off to the 'wait on the doctor' to see you 6x6 room. And Leah, as usual, is just hanging out. Looking around, perfectly content, happy to have me holding her, just chillin'. She had her paci and her mommy. Life is good. She was fine. Well, except for that wheezing and that cough, of course. I'm starting to think about what it could be that caused this sudden reaction. It was so weird and random. And then.....OH! MY! GOSH! Bam. It hit me. I felt stupid and reckless. We were at my mom's house for hours! My mom who has 3 dogs living inside her home, and 4 smokers. They didn't smoke in the house around Leah, but the house is constantly smoked in, so it was IN the air and on the furntiure. Oh, Geesh.

Upon my revelation, the doctor walks in. He doesn't ask me any questions, just confirms that Leah has a 'croupy' cough and is wheezing. Listens to her chest. (Clear). Looks in her ears. (Fine.) And then..... THEN!!! this doctor stuck his NAKED finger inside my daughters mouth in an effort to look down her throat. This doctor did not wash his hands upon entering our room, and he didn't put on any gloves before he put his germ infested hands on my daugher, or stuck his finger in her mouth! I didn't even have the opportunity to protest; I certainly would not have hesitated to insist he either allow me to convince her to open her mouth, or that he wash his hands AND put gloves on. It's the ER, people! The E. freakin R. It's like a synonym for Germ City.

He said "She has the croup", and left before I could even think of something polite to say. Something to the effect of "Excuse me, sir. Where did you go to school? Do you think you're hands are too good to carry around all the germs that are lingering on the door handles? Did you know that basic hand washing is the key to prevent the passing of virus' You didn't even LOOK inside her mouth before she clamped down on you. Are you going to check to see if it's anything else? Do you not want to ask any questions about new foods she may have eaten?"

In walks the nurse. He has 2 syringes of medicine to be taken orally. An antibiotic to get rid of whatever crap that nasty doctor passed on to Leah, um, I mean to get rid of the Croup. And a steroid to relax her throat and help her breathe. My brain wasn't processing what was going on. I was still in shock, and couldn't think of the questions I knew I needed to ask. Ok. Down goes the antibiotic. Leah? She's good. "Whatever.... you just stuffed some nasty crap down my throat. Cool. Water? Thanks. Yum." (if she could talk, that'd be what she was saying).

Next the steroid. Ok? Steroid? My brain was swimming for a light bulb. Where are you information? I need you. I need to ask this guy a question first, I know I do, but the mommy in me is thinking about the relief of having my baby breathing normally. This is going to ensure she breathes better? Ok. I've never EVER taken what a doctor has suggested and actually submitted to it with out a gazillion questions first. By it's 2 something a.m. and my brain is on auto-pilot. I just give her the liquid and watch her face turn to me as if asking "What did you just do?!?" She shuddered and quaked, and her eyes watered, and she gagged and coughed and gave me a 'you're crazy!' look when I offered her some water.

Brace yourself..... after! giving her the medicine the nurse turned to me and asked, "Ok, has she had this kind of medicine before?" I'm startled. "No??! The antibiotic she had taken a few weeks ago was the only time she has ever taken any kind of medicine." (this was information I volunteered during our initial check-in)

"Oh? Hmmm. Ok..... Well, we're going to need to keep you here a while longer and keep an eye on her just to be sure she's not going to have a reaction," and he walks out of the room.

This is a joke! You give an 18 month old a steroid and an antibiotic at 2:30 AM and you didn't feel the need to check BEFORE hand what her medicinal history was? Oh- my brain is back on again. THIS is why I question the medical field the way that I do!

These people need to go back to school! I have never had formal medical training outside of obtaining a C.N.A, but who wouldn't know proper hand washing technique? Who wouldn't know to think carefully about whether or not to safely give a specific medicine so late, er, early early in the morning? What happened to the 'better safe than sorry' ideals?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Comfortably Numb

I had to Youtube this song. I wasn't intentionally going to blog about something so depressing, but the term "Comfortably Numb" continued to play over and over in my head. I had to hear what Pink Floyd had to say, and the lyrics lead me here; the place I put my rapid thoughts into perspective - The Blog.

After deeply listening to the song a few times, (and fighting the urge to run to the nearest liquor store for a shot of tequilia) I am reminded that it was written about the author's experience with drug abuse. Why was this phrase haunting me, then? Well, to be frank (shock surprise), I sappose that recently I've been feeling kind of numb. But it sucks! Not even close to comfortable. I'm numb in a run down, exhausted, tired of trying, ready to throw in the towel, screw it all- kind of way.

It was late. Everyone was sleeping, and Casting Crowns was the only artist on my playlist last night. (I have to listen to music when I can't get quiet in my spirit. I have to listen to loud, relevant music to drown out my thoughts!) And as Mark Hall sang about "The Voice of Truth", and as he cried out to the Father "Set me Free", and asked "Who am I?" and reminded me of the recent "Slow Fade" I was in........The Holy Spirit began to minister to me; working toward breaking through the cold, numb, hopelessness that consumed me.

I had this constant flow of tears pouring from my face during that playlist. Uncontrollable, surprising, heart breaking, deep sorrow filled tears. I wasn't even sad, I was cold. I was numb! It was as though it wasn't even ME that was doing all the sobbing.

How glad I was to be alone, in the dark, where nobody could hear me. I couldn't even tell you how long I cried, I can only say that after many many songs, "Here I go again" began to play, and the flood gates opened wider and I fell on my face. This agony washed over me so severely that I wanted to literally throw up.

(if you've not heard the song- go to

"Father hear my prayer.
I need the perfect words.
Words that he will hear
and know they're straight from you.
I don' know what to say, I only know it hurts,
to see my only friend, slowly fade away.
So maybe this time
I'll speak the words of life,
with your fire in my eyes
but that old familiar fear is tearing at my words
what am i so afraid of?

The Holy Spirit seemed to have taken control of me last night, because when I shut myself up, and put a whole lot of TRUTH in my ears via relevant Christ-Centered music, my heart was made available for reconditioning. I didn't have the strength to peel myself off the floor, and even if I did, the circumstances that had built the wall of numb inside of me are completely out of my control. I can't change it. I can't make it better. I can't do anything to fix it. I can just stick my face on the floor, reach out my hands, and allow the Holy Spirit to work on me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Convenient Store Goodies

Tonight, on my way home, I stopped by the local Chevron for a fill up. I had to prepay because I was using cash; and while I was waiting in line, I noticed a man and his 3 boys. The man was maybe mid 30's? His sons were around 5, 7, and 10? Just a guess. And these boys were quiet, and well mannered as they scoured the aisles in search of the treat that their Daddy had apparently promised them. The Dad was just hanging out, casually looking around like he didn't have anywhere to be at 9:30 pm on a Thursday night. He was waiting patiently, lovingly, tenderly; he was allowing his children to take their time. And when they had each picked out their prize, he calmly paid $9 for their treats, and walked them out to his older model van.

It reminded me of the times I spent with my Dad on the weekends. My dad was like this man. My dad's thermostat was always set on 'chill'. He could have cared less that my sister and I spent so long trying to figure out what treat we wanted. Would it be candy? A coke? Oh! Chips!?!?! It took us forever.... because we never got treats when we were with our mom. Our mom woudn't even let us out of the car to so much as look at all the treats inside the store. I have to admit I resented her for it. She wasn't patient like my Daddy. She wasn't tender like the man at the store tonight. Grace wasn't really a word she understood, giving wasn't really an act she was accustom to.

The most heart breaking part of this journal is that I realized tonight, inside that gas station, that I suck at being a mom! I have not yet learned the err of my mother's ways, because I was being just like her! If I needed to pay for gas, it was absolutely out of the question to bring all 3 girls inside that store with me just so I could hand the cashier a $20 bill and grab my receipt. And I most certainly did not have the time, and oh! not even the least bit of energy to wait around while a 3 and a 5 year old spend minute after minute making a decision about a junk food choice that would cost way more than our budget to afford. No.... uh-uh... this Mommy has places to be, children to feed, laundry to wash, dishes to clean, floors to sweep..... oh (SIGH). I understand now why my mom handled us in such a harsh manner. I get it now. But I didn't get it then! And back then is when it mattered the most to me.

I know I'm busy, and sure!, I know that 'one day when they are older and have kids of their own' my girls will understand why I was so tense, and impatient, and unwilling to let them pick out a treat from the gas station, or even the grocery store. But NOW is when it matters to them. Now is when they need me to be so sweet, and tender, and loving, and patient. Now is when they need to think that they are special enough to walk into a convenient store and pick out an insanely over priced item as their prize. Not because they were good enough or obedient, but because it just happened to be a Friday afternoon, and I happened to need gas, and they happened to be in the car with me when I filled up.

Because that's what I really wanted my mom to do... and she didn't take the time to show me how much she loved me, whether it was a special treat, or a bit of quality 'mommy daughter' time, or even a snuggle beside her while we watched a movie. There wasn't a whole lot of love being shown, though I understand that she did truly love me. I want my girls to know, with out any part of their minds doubting it, that I adore them, and cherish them! And I would gladly give up a measly 10 minutes of my stressed out, overwhelmed life to make them feel important, even if it's something as simple as a walk down the candy aisle at Chevron.

YMCA.... take me away!!!

I am oh so very thankful for The YMCA. It is my escape and my haven!! You're asking me why?! Well, it's certainly not because I'm some excercise freak in search of the next adrenaline rush. The YMCA has this beautiful thing called "Child Watch". I get 2 hours of peace per day (if I can break away from the chaos to get there). 2 hours! Do you know that 2 hours in 'mommy time' is equivalent to like an entire afternoon for those that don't answer to the name "Mommy" in their day to day?

And in the evening, on Tuesday and Thursday, I get to enjoy my time at the Y with out even having to WORRY about signing my children in, because my understanding husband allows me to leave our home and escape to the serenity of a grown up world. I interact with real live, coherent, entertaining GROWN UPS! I work out, I chit chat if I happen to see a friend, I grab a cup of coffee, swim..... whatever.

And tonight I am going to participate in what I will call my "Calgon". My swimsuit is ready, I have my towel packed and my legs are shaved. Tonight I am going to get swept into the world of 'Chill' as I soak my aching muscles in the Hot Tub. I am going to read a book, NO.... I am going to read a MAGAZINE! Something stupid and pointless; like People or US Weekly. THEN... ohhhhhhh.... I am going to grab my Mp3 player (the one that will be updated with newly downloaded favorites) and I will lay down in the Sauna and I will close my eyes and I will rest. REST!!!!!!!!

As I type this, I have an 18 month old wandering around the kitchen emptying cereal boxes and pulling out tupperware, periodically screaming in a bit of a tantrum because she is teething and discontent. Previously, my 3 year old climbed onto the counters and spilled an almost full cup of coffee, the same cup that I was too busy to drink this morning, and that I desperately need right now. This curly headed 3 year old of mine, as cute and funny, and sweet as she is, has also refused to clean up said coffee mess, and has been on an 'I'll disobey my mommy every chance I get' streak for several days. These 'days' of disobedience are the equivalent of WEEKS for those in this world that do not make up cute titles, like "Home Maintenance Technician", when asked what they do for a living.

This will be the first time I go with out the intent of working out. It will also be the first time I am determined to take advantage of the Hot Tub despite how many soakers are in it, and sitting in the Sauna, even if there is an akwardness because some guy is sitting in there half naked showing off his steroid-made muscles.

I have it all figured out; And to top it off.... to make it an even more RELAXED evening, I'm also going to visit the local "fake-n-bake salon" for some sun-shine therapy.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I'm so Rich

As I'm tightening Kyla's adjustable waist band on her pants, I say "Oh, Kyla! You're just so skinny- these pants are falling off your body." And she says in a sort of discouraged voice as she shakes her head, "I know, I know. I just wish that one day I could be rich like you."

This is random, right in line with how she communicates, so it wasn't a surprise. So, I continued the conversation, and here's the rest of it:

aka: "Hmmm. Why do you think I'm rich?"
Kyla: "Well, you know, you're just rich! If I was rich like you, my pants wouldn't be falling off."
aka: "Being rich won't make your pants stay up. Your pants are falling down because your body is so small."
Kyla: "Well, if being rich meant that you were fat it would. If I was rich like you, my pants would stay up."
aka: "Ohhhhhh!!!! Well, you don't actually want to be fat, you want to be sure that you're healthy. And baby girl, even though you're skinny, you are a really healthy skinny, so that's ok! "

I love how clever she is! I love that she chose the word "rich", because "rich" to her means that somebody has a lot of something.... or maybe it means that they have more of that something than her? Either way, it was amusing. What's more amusing??? That she also chose to use "rich" instead of "fat" because "fat" is the "F" word in our house. (more on that later)

Monday, May 4, 2009

My 3 Personal Trainers

We were having a typical chaotic morning;

*Breakfast.... always messy and time consuming.
*Home School.... "pay attention" is a phrase Kyla hears 20 times a session
*Leah's morning routine, which is nutty for me in itself
*Getting all of us dressed, "Zoe! I see your hiney... all pink and shiney...... put your clothes on!!!"

We were late getting out the door. Surprise. Surprise. It would be 12:30 before we actually get to the gym! Childwatch closes at 1:00, so this means I only get 30 minutes to work out. Typically, we would have just skipped it. BUT! I am determined to keep my routine this week, so off we went!

I decided that after my 30 minutes on the 'floor', I'd take the girls into the gymnasium (which is like HUGE) and we'd throw around some basketballs, play a little soccer, and just goof off. There was a chance that Leah would not be happy running around a massive floor plan chasing a ball; but I didn't count on it.

First, we started off 'learning' how to dribble. Kyla didn't believe me when I told her to dribble with her finger tips instead of the palm of her hand until I showed her that I could "dribble with just one finger". She thought that was COOL! So we tossed the ball back and forth and got a little comfortable with catching it and bouncing it. I impressed her when I actually got the ball into the net (ahem... after about 3 or 4 failed attempts). And Zoe just rolled around on her basketball and the floor in her happy little Zoe world.

Leah had the soccer ball, and her fun consisted of throwing the ball and following it as it rolled away from her, and then picking it up, throwing it again, and following it as it rolled away. It was like 18 month old heaven! Nobody bothered her. It was just Leah, a ball, and a gazillion square feet of toddling room.

After Kyla's basketball "session", it was Zoe's turn and she just totally didn't get it. However, she thought it was awesome that we were tossing and bouncing the ball together, so we called it basketball anyway. Kyla traded her basketball for the soccer ball, and Leah was happy to share! Her facial expression said "Oh! A new kind of ball. Whoo-Hoo, thanks!!"

Kyla and I played soccer around the gym (THIS is where the Cardio came in.... ). One wall was her net, and the other wall was my net. She is a natural athlete, and will be an amazing soccer player! She held her own, and did a great job keeping the ball in her space, and STEALING it from me! Kyla ended up sticking with soccer, Zoe kept her basketball, and Leah... throw, follow, pick up... repeat! So I went back and forth between Kyla and Zoe's "ball game" for a pretty long time.

I enjoyed playing basketball again, even if a 5 year old and a 3 year old were my "competitors". I never played for a team, but recreationally have always enjoyed it! (But I'm no good!). Kyla chased me around the gym trying to steal the basketball away as I dribbled around her and the court. She couldn't get the ball away from me, so she thought she'd be slick and toss the soccer ball into my b-ball, and knock it out of my dribble. It worked and she was like "Ha! Ha!!!".

After a few attempts at volleyball (a net was set up on the other side of the gym), we decided to move onto something new. SO! We went to the aerobics room and layed out a few mats. Together (while Leah tried to find something to get in to) we did a few abdominal excercises, and Kyla and Zoe did a few pushups (pilates style off of one of the big balls) and we stretched, and practiced balance on the Bosu. When we were finishing up Kyla said, "Ok! Now it's time for Yoga, Mommy. Yoga is soooo easy, and it's really fun!!!". I'm not sure why she is interested in Yoga, because she's never participated in it, but she loves the idea of it.

Our day was awesome! I had a blast playing with my girls, and got in an amazing cardio session! Now, that's what I call multi-tasking!!! We are absolutely doing it again this week!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I feel the hate....

I've never cared much about popularity, or the lack there of, where I am socially concerend. Part of me use to feel a slight need to "people please", but only a very slight need and only for very few people. I have, most definitely, caused my share of uncomfortable moments among those in my authority, in my family, with in my group of friends, and among my peers over the course of my long 28 years here on Earth. A friend of mine likes to explain it to me this way; "I like the fact that I never have to wonder what you're thinking, I pretty much always know where I stand with you, Amber."

But- really truly, I do realize that there are times that I don't need to say what I'm thinking, or share my opinion. I have matured into a somewhat reasonable person, and I am actually learning to bite my tongue, which is pretty amazing in and of itself. Me? Bite my tongue?! Oh Ya! Score!!!! Acomplishment. Whoo Hoo.

But!!!! Read back to the second sentence of that last paragraph. Learning. .... ing. It's still in process.

And then there are times that biting my tongue is ALL I want to do. (oh! to have a happy medium. it would be lovely) Sometimes God ask me to speak up, and speak loud, and hold nothing back, and this is when I cringe. That is when I want nothing more than to be allowed to stay quiet, hide out in the back, and sort of blend in with the rest of the world. Because when God is the one asking me to speak up and I follow through with it, a whole lot of hell breaks loose. OH! I just said h-e-l-l. I'm not phrasing it as a slang term.

God uses me to speak up and say what needs to be said, because He knows I'm bold and flippant about losing some popularity contest. I mean- for goodness sakes! God is the one that made me this way! He just has to sort of work hard to keep me from getting all CRAZY with the running of my mouth, but He's got it. It's like the song says "He's still workin' on me.... to make me what I ought to be.." Ya. God is soooo totally still working on me!

I feel encouraged to have listened to a brief message that this guy named Francis Chan posted on Youtube. It's referencing Luke 6:22-26. (below is the passage copied from The Message)

Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!—for even though they don't like it, I do . . . and all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this.

But it's trouble ahead if you think you have it made. What you have is all you'll ever get.
And it's trouble ahead if you're satisfied with yourself. Your self will not satisfy you for long.
And it's trouble ahead if you think life's all fun and games. There's suffering to be met, and you're going to meet it.

"There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.

Good stuff!!! I am totally feeling the hate right now, too, so this message is right on time for me!
I am so aware that God is the coolest, bestest, most PERFECT part of me and my life, and He is so worth it. Bring on the hate. I ain't skeered!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Melting, wasting away..... malnourished and starving. Alright! Not really. But that's what my brain is screaming at me!!!

My meals today were:
A Luna Bar and Coffee (milk, no sugar) for breakfast.

1/2 a Turkey/Baby Spinache sandwich. (dry- on organic whole wheat) for lunch.

A gallon of water. Celery Sticks (plain). A kid sized handful of almonds. (these were the snacks)

Some more water.

And to finish it off for dinner... a kids sized bowl of honey nut cheerios..... no refills.

I'm soooooooooooo HUNGRY. I don't have TIME to eat the small 6 meals a day, so I end up feeling like I've been hit by a train by the end of the night... Because I've only consumed like 600 calories!!!!

Right now I'm trying to convince myself that if I can just go to bed and take a tylenol, and I won't have to eat anything to make myself feel better. It's midnight! Eating would be stupid!!!!

But I'm soooooooooo HUNGRY!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Strong-Will. Bright Future.

I first need to confess that today has been long. I've not had a great deal of sleep, and my 3 amazingly wonderfully beautifully sweet girls had a not so amazing day.

Kyla is learning how to be 5 instead of 20. Zoe is learning how to follow directions and pay attention. Leah is learning how tough it is to have big white bones stick through tender aching gums. Oh my goodness.... I'm wishing for a nice hot cup of Sleepy Time Tea with honey right this very second. It has been a day!!

We'll begin with Kyla, because quite frankly, she's where this whole "mommy" life started. This (45 days away from being a 6 year old) kid has a true compassion for people..... and animals and bugs, and everything on this planet! Seriously... rolly-poleys and caterpillars; they die, she cries!

She loves her sisters, and her cousins, and every friend she's ever known from the time she was born. Her little heart gets crushed if she feels like somebody doesn't like her, or if she's left out of a conversation, and so on, and so on. She truly wants people to love her as much as she loves them!

And here's where it gets tough for my first born;
Kyla has a natural need to teach and to lead. Oh! Not just her sisters, or her peers.... but people that are in her authority, people she doesn't know.... she even tells me what a t.v. character "should have" done instead of what they already did do.

I have tried to explain to her the role she has as an individual on this planet. "Right now, you are a daughter that has to obey her parents, and you are a big sister that needs to be a good example. You are a 5 year old that needs to be a sweet friend, and you are a kid that needs to play, and learn, and have fun, and not worry about what everyone else is doing or why they are doing it. You are not a mommy, and you are not a boss; Please quit telling everyone what to do."

She's so sweet about it!!! Truly, she says, "I'm sorry, Mommy. I forgot." Her expression says that she did forget, too. Most of the time she'll put her hand over her mouth and raise her eyebrows in the "I just said something really bad" kind of face. Poor baby girl. She really wants to control the urge to speak up! (I know how she feels.)

And I want to capture everything amazing about her strong personality and help her to become the person God designed her to be. That's huge, because God created Kyla for something beautiful and perfect, and He gave her this strong will that is currently making her parents nutty! But I'm so in love with the fact that God did give Kyla her will; because it makes it so much easier to live in a world of lies and deception when you question everything that anyone has ever said! Ever!