Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Mother's Strength

I've often wished I would have been warned about motherhood. I had no idea what I was in for.I wish there was a book that told you everything you needed to know about being a mom. Some of the things I would have liked to have known before I had kids include how to survive on two hours of sleep, how to comfort a sick child, how to heal a child's broken heart, and how to not throw up when your child pukes on you.

I've been thinking about this all afternoon because I took Lizyz in for shots today. She needed three shots, which, in the grand scheme of immunizations, is not really a lot. But, for Lizzy any trip to the doctor's office is traumatic. She hates the doctor (I blame her numerous ear infections and countless trips there before age one). Today I tried my best to prepare her for the trip. I explained where we were going and why and even told her we'd get ice cream and go to the park after her shots. She assured me she's three now and no longer afraid of the doctor. But, the second they called us back, she changed her mind. As always, I had to hold her down while the nurses gave her the shots in her legs. She wouldn't even let them put Band-Aids on. I comforted her while she cried. She cried so hard she puked on me. It was all over my arm.

The amazing thing is, I didn't even think about what had happened until an hour later, when I smelled puke, and remembered I still hadn't scrubbed my arm! Thinking back, I was surprisingly calm during the whole ordeal. Lizzy screamed, I held on tighter. Lizzy puked, I wiped it off my arm with a paper towel, then carried her (kicking, screaming and crying), the diaper bag, and Morgan (who was in her heavy carseat) to the van. I bet that was a sight... thank goodness for handicapped doors! Somehow I managed to get them both buckled in and while they were both crying themselves to sleep, I calmy took the long way home so they would fall fast asleep in the van.

Now, both girls are sleeping on my lap, and I am somehow still managing to type. Amazing how as moms we become such great multi-taskers. I am pretty proud of myself for not freaking out during any of this. I'm not just talking about the puke. I'm talking about the whole stressful experience. I'm not sure how I held it all together. Maybe it's just my strength as a mother that helped me through it. I know this is not the worst thing I will go through with my kids, but I hope I'm strong enough to handle every situation just as well.

Back to the book, the instructions for motherhood, maybe someday I'll write that book. Then again, maybe I won't. Some things are best learned first hand. And, if all women knew what I know about being a mom, they might not ever have babies. But of course, my book would also mention the unconditional love, the snuggles, the smiles, and the giggles. Those are the things that make being a mom, and dealing with poop and puke, so worth it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Awesome Imaginations

I did a story last week with award winning author Denise Brennan-Nelson. She's written eleven children's books, and says each one is a product of her imagination. She travels the country talking to kids about the importance of reading, writing, and keeping their imaginations turned on. I left her presentation totally inspired, and ready to write a book. She was truly amazing. Here's a link to the story I did:

Author Encourages Kids to Use Imagination

I haven't written that book yet, but I have realized that my kids always have their imaginations turned on. When Lexi was little, she would turn everything into a toy.. I remember her making hangers talk to each other. One was the mom, another was the daughter. Jake's imagination allows him to create the most awesome lego creations I've ever seen. And Lizzy reminds me a lot of Lexi.. in the van the other day she turned her fingers into people, one was the mom, the other was the daughter. Lizzy is always talking on the phone, usually having imaginary conversations with Emma. Lately, she's been pretending to nurse her baby. And just this week, she's discovered dress-up. Lexi babysat her on Monday and they found a tub of Emma's old dress-up clothes. Lizzy wore the same princess dress from that tub for four days in a row (as soon as I washed it, she lost interest). Lizzy doesn't stop with the dresses though. She also loves to wear my shoes (the higher the heel, the better... she tried on three inch heels at Kohl's the other night.. and could actually walk in them better than I could) I think she likes the high heels because of the noise they make on the floor... she moved the rug from the entry way so she could clomp around on the floor yesterday. Last night, Lizzy's imagination was working overtime. After her bath, she put on mismatched pajamas, Morgan's hat, a backpack, my heels, and turned her doctor kit into a lunch box. She was off to the grocery store, and had packed a lunch just in case she became a hungry, hungry hippo while she was there. I love this kid!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What's For Supper?

It's no secret that I'm a list maker. I make lists for everything....groceries, things to do, gift ideas. The biggest problem with my lists, is finding them when I need them. But when it comes to supper plans, my list never gets misplaced. That's because it's a chalkboard on the side of the fridge (from Uppercase Living, of course... jodykerzman.uppercaseliving.net)
The menu board has been on the fridge for a few months, and once a week, we plan the week's menu. I think Lexi and Jake actually look forward to it. They like writing on the board (the fancy letters you see are Lexi's handiwork). They also like having a say in what we eat, and they like making sure their favorites are on the list. But here it is Tuesday night, and I just realized the menu is left over from last week!

So, we've been eating leftovers and sandwiches. I suppose eventually I'll have to rewrite the menu, but I think I'll leave this one until someone notices, or complains about "what's for supper"! 

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Good Decision

Nearly a year ago, I made the difficult decision to cut back to part time at work. It probably wasn't the smartest decision I've ever made professionally or financially, but personally, it's the best decision I've ever made. I was reminded of that today.

It finally feels like spring weatherwise, and that means the kids want to be outside. There was no school today, so I got to spend the afternoon with the little girls and Lexi (Jake was playing at a friend's house). We decided to walk to the park. Lizzy rode her bike, I pushed Morgan in the stroller, and Lexi helped Lizzy. We were only at the park for about an hour, but it was the best hour of my day. Lexi sat on the bench with me while I fed Morgan. We watched Lizzy run from the slides, to the swings, to the giant sandbox. She was having a blast. And I had a blast bonding with my oldest. When Lizzy needed help, Lexi and I took turns helping her and holding Morgan.

That hour at the park gave me a glimpse into what lies ahead this summer. I can't wait to spend every afternoon with my kids. Forget the laundry and the housework...we will spend our afternoons at the park, the pool, the river, the zoo....the sky is the limit! Jake has been working on his summer "to do" list for a few weeks now. The other day he asked me how much money I make. I explained that I don't make that much now that I work just 20 hours a week. He was a little sad about that, so I told him I could go back to working full time if he wanted. He immediately responded "no...I like having you around more Mom".

So while our checkbook balance is a little smaller than we'd like, the kids and I agree.... these afternoons we get to spend together are better than anything money can buy.