Monday, June 23, 2008

Sucker

Alright, I'll be straight up with you:  I'm a total softie with my babies.  I mean, not when it's *REALLY* important of course, but in any average sort of situation, I'm constantly fighting with myself over whether or not it's really worth it to hold my ground.

So, today I realized that Princess #2, at the tender age of 3, has TOTALLY caught on to this and has learned to work the system.  I've been battling a cold/sinus crap for the last week.  Princess #3 started it and of course, I had to catch it from her.  I've been watching the other 2 girls like a hawk, waiting for their noses to start running or for a fever to hit.  So far, so good.  We were eating dinner around the table and catching up on the day.  Princess #2 scarfed down her helping of peas, but was being quite hesitant about actually ingesting any of the main meal - Chicken Fettucine Alfredo.  She started saying she was "so tired" and was laying her head on the table.  Concerned about her, I encouraged hubby to help her eat her food while I started on the dishes.  He coaxed her to take a bite, but just barely.  I finished the dishes and decided it was time I stepped in.

I tried to get Princess #2 to take a few more bites before her strange behavior convinced me to carry her away from the table and hold her on the couch.  She wrapped her arms around me and told me how sleepy she was.  Her head, which was laying on my shoulder, was heavy and her arms were droopy.  I was getting a little concerned.  Perhaps I'm a little bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to her (she had a febrile seizure last October), but I began to panic a little inside.  I lifted her head and tried to get her to look at me.  Her eyes were heavy and she would barely lift her head.  That's when I called hubby into the living room to get his opinion.

He looked at her, then at me and rolled his eyes.  I told him I really didn't think she was faking.  I mean, I know my baby right?  And she's only 3.  It's not like she could be *that* cunning.  Hubby, in his infinite wisdom, decided to test her.  He asked her if she was still hungry.  She lifted her head just a little and nodded.  Then he asked her what she wanted to eat.  Instantly she popped up from my lap and bounced into the kitchen proclaiming "let me show you!" as she headed for the refrigerator.  Hmmmm.... so much for being SO TIRED.   She concluded the evening with no signs of her previous ailment and thoroughly enjoyed her apple for dinner.  Oh yeah, I'm not going to live this one down for a LONG time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Perfect Homemaker

Ugh, why do I just not feel like blogging lately?  I'm in less of a funk these days, but still not 100%.  My parents are visiting right now, which is good and bad at the same time.  I love my mom and dad.  I have a great relationship with them.  But I am very very different from my mother, and in alot of ways I feel very inadequate when I'm around her.  

She's "SUPER housewife".  You know, the kind that has the clean dishes emptied from the dishwasher before they've stopped steaming from the heat.  The kind that only has about a days worth of dirty laundry sitting in the laundry baskets at any given moment.  The kind that plans meals way in advance and always has a pantry full of food.  Seriously, I used to make fun of her because before she could leave the house she had to make sure the cushions on the couch were straight.  Contrast that with me - who's lucky if I remembered to turn the dishwasher on before going to bed.  Who's seriously lucky if I can go a week without the laundry monster taking over my house.  The kind who waits until about 5:30 to worry about what to eat and then opens up the empty pantry and announces it's cereal for dinner night!  And couch cushions?  They make GREAT trampolines on the floor for the Princesses.

Now, on most days, I'm very comfortable with my housekeeping skills.  No, my house is not spotless, there will always be a toy underfoot.  Often there are dirty dishes sitting in the sink.  And there is ALWAYS laundry to be done.  But for the most part, no one complains and I feel like I'm doing my best.  But when my mom comes to visit...  I dunno.  I know she's just trying to help.  But the first thing she does is inspect my refrigerator and pantry and make out a shopping list.  Then she tackles the laundry.  And it's not at all uncommon for her to begin reorganizing my tupperware drawer or my linen closet, just for kicks. 

Why does this make me feel so much like a failure as a homemaker?  I mean, I know my reality.   I have 3 small children.  I work part-time outside the home.   My husband is not a neat-freak and thus I have no pressure to keep a perfect house.  I don't need to hold myself to such high standards.  I am not my mom.  And I really don't think that my mom does these things to make me feel badly.  She's really doing it out of the goodness of her heart and because it's her gift.  I know I need to just get over myself.  Stop feeling sorry for myself.  Let my mom love on me this way and stop taking it so personally.

Monday, June 2, 2008

In a Funk

Hello friends.  Its been awhile I know.  I've been in a funk lately and haven't felt much like blogging.  I get in these moods periodically and I have yet to figure out if it's cyclical or not.  But whatever the case, it sucks.  Just seems like very little is going our way these days.  I refuse to settle for the status quo, I refuse to just suck it up and accept that this is what our life is.  I am bound and determined that we are going to do what we have to do to get to the place where we are happy and fulfilled.  But I'm growing weary in the process.  

Things are just really hard right now.  I hate when I run across someone and they ask how things are going or how I am.  I'm a horrible liar.  What I want to say is "are you just being polite, or do you really want to know?"  Because if you really want to know, let me tell you about my husband who is working SO hard in a job that's not fulfilling his calling in life, just to barely get food on the table and the bills paid.  Let me tell you about all the schooling he's gone through, the certification he's received, to qualify him to do what he really WANTS to do and feels called by God to do - and yet cannot seem to find the right job that's going to pay him what he needs in order to support us.  Let me tell you about the HUGE amount of debt we incurred while hubby was in school, that we're still held captive by, that we can't seem to get out from under, and that's holding us back from pursuing our passions.  Let me tell you about all the other things in our life that need to be tended to but can't because they cost money we don't have.  Let me tell you about how there's just not enough hours in the day for me to feel successful at running a home, working parttime and mothering 3 small children.  And finally, let me tell you about my darling Princess #3 who's suddenly discovered she can have an opinion about things and has decided to declare it by screaming... often.

I'm just spent.  I'm tired of treading water.  I'm tired of being a slave to our debt.  I'm tired of not feeling like I'm doing a good job at much of anything.  Hubby and I keep struggling to take each step forward because we know if we're not moving forward we're moving backwards.  I just wish that the steps right now in front of us weren't so hard to take.  And I wish they "felt" more like steps forward, rather than steps to the side.

I was recently reminded of this song that we sing in church alot, and it's been running through my head over and over.  The words are below:

If You say go, we will go.
If You say wait, we will wait. 
If You say step out on the water, and they say it can't be done,
We'll fix our eyes on You, and we will come.

Your ways are higher than our ways.
And the plans that You have laid are good and true.
If You call us to the fire, You will not withdraw Your hand.
We'll gaze into the flame and look to You.

I feel like we are SO there right now.  Especially the "wait" part.  I have no idea why we are where we are.  It's always easy to look back and see God's hand.  It's the looking forward that requires patience and faith.  Two things I feel like I'm barely holding on to right now.  I'm not even sure what to pray for anymore.  I'm just holding on with the small amount of faith I have left and trusting that at some point I'll look back on these days and see very clearly God's hand in it all.

Edited to add:  I feel like I need to add that there are SO many other things in my life that I'm thankful for.  So many things that I've been blessed with that I don't deserve.  I hate that at times the bad stuff clouds the good stuff.  I try to not hold on to these bad days for very long.  There are times I just need to get it out.  Then I can leave it behind and move on.  
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