Thursday, April 17, 2014

All Grown Up

Yesterday evening I got really sick. I spent a good bit of my night sitting on the hard footstool by the toilet while my body got an intense and unwanted workout. It. was. awful. I spent today laying in bed too nauseous to do anything other than sleep off and on. It's been a long boring day.

As soon as I realized how sick I was last night I started getting things in order. I let the kids know that they would have to get themselves in bed since Mike was working. They were on their own for Bible story and tuck in.

I then sent out emails...
to a friend letting her know not to send her son here before school in the morning.
to another friend letting her know I couldn't take her son to daycare for her after school.
and to another friend letting her know I would not be exercising with her in the morning and could she please walk Jason home from school for me.

Then, since Mike would be working today I had to have him run to the store for all my sick needs last night when he was done working. He's a good husband.

It's hard being mom AND being sick but in this house this mama sure does get taken care of well.

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Liza and Jason were so grown up getting themselves ready for bed, watching the time, doing their Bible story, praying for me and tucking each other in bed. And can I just say that kid prayers are the sweetest prayers of all. Liza prayed "God, makes the germs go where they are supposed to go and not on my mommy!" AMEN!

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This morning was another thing to navigate. Thankfully Mike got Liza's lunch together and was home long enough to get them started with getting ready. I laid in bed while they watched a movie until it was time to go to school. I have to say that it was sooo hard to lay in bed as they walked out the door instead of walking with them and giving them hugs and kisses at the school steps before they ran in the door for the day. I didn't even get to watch them walk from the window... too sick to get up. But while it was hard to not be able to have our regular send off, it was so easy to trust them. I'm certain that they were more mature in their walk to school today than any other day.

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I gave Jason instructions to come upstairs and wake me up as soon as he got home. He came in the door and straight up the stairs.

ME: Hi Jason. How was school?
JASON: Good.
ME: Are you going to get your lunch?
JASON: I guess.
ME: You can watch a movie.
JASON: Ok... I've got it all under control mom.
ME: Oh... all right buddy.

They don't need me.
It's bittersweet... because my goal is to raise them up to be independent. And today I am sooo glad that they were able to be independent... but they are only 6 and 7!! Aren't they still supposed to need me for everything?

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Jason took such good care of me this afternoon while the others were still out for the day. He would randomly stop what he was doing and come in my room and ask "how ya doing mom?" And then he would offer sweet little boy words of comfort.

Once, in a grand gesture, he noticed that a small amount of light was coming through the curtains and decided to take care of that. Jason is such a sweety!  

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Even though I haven't got out of bed today and I have felt miserable for most of it, my heart is full. I am loved and cared for. I can count on my family to take care of themselves when I am not able to take care of them.

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Mike is off on a soup run for me, stocking up for tomorrow since he'll be gone most of the day. Liza and Jason are relaxing while watching a movie... and I'm still laying in bed sipping on some flat ginger-ale while thinking about how grown up my babies are.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Presque Isle

A week ago I looked at the forecast and saw that the weather was supposed to be amazing... so Mike asked someone to switch him at work and we took a family trip to Erie, PA on Saturday and Sunday. We did a ton of stuff in those two days and completely wore ourselves out but in honor of the cold weather rolling in again I decided I'll share about the cold part of our trip first.

On Saturday afternoon we went to the Bicentennial Tower and rode the elevator to the top.

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Liza and Jason were bummed because they really wanted to take the steps... we weren't allowed. But it's always fun to see how far we can see when we get up in a high building or tower. As we looked out we saw white and were a bit confused to what it could be. You can see it just behind the tree line.

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I thought about it all day and then finally it hit me... it must be ice! Being that it was 70 degrees and sunny it took my mind a while to realize there could still be ice on the water.

But ice it was and it was actually a really neat thing to see!

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We spent Saturday evening at Presque Isle exploring the beaches, looking for cool stones and freezing our butts off! We stayed for the sunset and then called it a day.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Girls Are Good

I want to start this by saying that I do not believe that there is a right or wrong number of how many children and what gender combination makes a family complete. I also don't think that everyone needs to have a boy AND a girl in order to experience the fullness of raising children. After all, it's not like we get to choose the gender of the babies we have unless we adopt or abort. (Not a fan of abortion.)

With that said, there is a phrase that makes my heart sad. I've heard it often over the past few years and I wish it would go away. What I am hearing is this...

I'm glad I got all boys. I wouldn't know what to do with a girl!

Sometimes it is even said "I'm glad I didn't have any girls." 

There is nothing at all wrong with having all boys.
All boys is a GREAT thing.
I know several families that are all boys and I love them.
And I don't think every parent needs to have a girl AND a boy to have a full experience. That's just silly thinking.

But to be glad that girls weren't had... that's what causes me to pause and think.

Let's rewind a few years... like 30...

This is me... the girl who was always dirty. My mom tells me she doesn't know how it happened but the stomachs of my shirts were always filthy.

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I was strong willed and apparently had no shame as I saw nothing wrong with throwing tantrums in the street.

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My dad always jokes that he had to read a book because of me... The Strong Willed Child. Yep... I drove my dad to read! He must have been desperate.

As I grew older I further developed my tom-boy ways. I remember thinking it unfair that girls had to wear shirts when boys didn't and I despised wearing dresses. I didn't understand the girliness that other girls were developing. I spent my time in the woods, playing sports, and hanging out with the guys in the neighborhood proving I could do whatever stunts they could. I even got a skateboard for Christmas one year.

I continued these ways straight into college. I couldn't pass up a good rainstorm and a chance to play in the mud!

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Eventually I met a guy who liked me just the way I was and asked me to marry him. Then we began talking about kids and you know what... I was one of those women who dreaded having a girl. I always said "I would like two boys. That's it. No girls. Girls scare me." I probably even said that I wouldn't know what to do with a girl. You know... pink and frilly and MAKEUP! Oh my gosh... what would I do if I had a girl and she wanted to wear makeup? I've never worn it myself.

And then I had a girl.

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A sweet, precious, amazing, unique, girly as they come GIRL.
(She insists on wearing a dress to school every single Wednesday because they have music class... and when there is singing there might be dancing so she needs to be prepared.)

And I found out it wasn't so difficult. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. (So far anyways! She's only 7 1/2.) I found out that all I needed to do when raising a girl was LET HER BE.

I need to let Liza be Liza.
If she wants to wear dresses and dance and sing and twirl all day (which she does) then I need to just let her be. I need to encourage her heart and her dreams... just like I do with my son. I don't need to know what to do with a girl... because she knows what to do with herself.

The most interesting bit in all of this though is how having a girl has changed ME. I say it all the time... My Liza has made me a better person. (And so has my son and so will yours.) I found that my fears were unfounded... even silly. I feared having a girl because I didn't know how to be girly and I thought that would affect my daughter. It hasn't. She has affected me in that way far more than I have affected her.

Girls are not something to be feared.
They are wonderful and exciting and powerful.
They are sweet and giggly.
They are something to be desired... just as so many desire boys.

Girls are a blessing.
Girls are needed.

It's ok to be glad that you got all boys.
But please don't be glad that you didn't get a girl.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Living Treasures

This winter was insane with our work schedules. Mike was delivering pizza and working at the church. He was scheduled almost every evening and lots of weekends. I was doing scarf parties and that had me out on evenings and weekends as well. Life was a bit crazy and the only dates we could fit in was going out for breakfast. And family stuff? When were we supposed to fit that in!?

But things are finally slowing down and getting back to normal. Roofing is picking back up and Mike is no longer delivering pizza. He still works at the church a few days during the month but mostly he is home again for evenings and weekends and we are taking advantage of that!

At the beginning of April one of our favorite places opened up again and we couldn't wait to get there! Living Treasures is such a fun place. The kids love it. I love it. It's always a good time!

I love when we get to meet animals as babies and then watch them grow. Levi is getting so big!

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Squirrel monkies
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This girl likes to sit right at the window and entertain her guests. 
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I am in love with the colors! So sunny and vibrant!
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Does anyone have any idea what this thing is? It's so colorful and strange.
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After we walked through once we made a bathroom stop and let the kids spend their money in the gift shop. They bought binoculars and used them as we walked around the second time. It was pretty much adorable.

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We'll once again be going back there several times between now and when it closes in November. We are so lucky to have such a cool thing so near to us!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I'm Getting Old

I don't know what's up lately but my left eyebrow is going bald, my face is breaking out like a 13 year old and I have old lady legs.

Yeah.
It's true.
All of it.

I was looking in the mirror one day and saw that my left eyebrow was practically bald in a spot near the end of it. Just a little spot... but enough that I could notice it! Do eyebrows go bald? I'm paranoid. Although I have a feeling that I probably just rubbed a bunch of hairs out of that eyebrow while tossing and turning a few nights in a row during my restless, dream-filled sleep.

Either way... the eyebrow is looking a little low on thickness.

As if that wasn't enough... my face decided it hates me and it has good reason. I ran out of my face wash. I just use the generic Walmart brand of pro-active. Well I went to the store to get more and there wasn't any. I couldn't even find a place on the shelf where it belonged. So after looking around FOREVER I grabbed a different face wash figuring no big deal because I've never really had acne problems. Ha! I look like a clown! I must find my old face wash!

Oh... and let's talk about my legs.
When the heck did they get so cottage-cheesy!?!?! I was at the store trying on a pair of shorts and when I looked in the mirror I almost passed out from the shock. I am 34 and I have old lady legs. No shorts for me this year. Pants and long skirts for these legs!

And there you have it... an update as to what has been running through my brain. Deep stuff.

I'll leave you with a pretty picture in case you need something to get the old lady legs image out of your head...

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