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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Moving and all that entails.

FINALLY both my children are sleeping... I am exhausted, but also hate to go to bed before my hubby gets home. Also, he has no keys.

Aaron is at our old place getting some of the last stuff together to make the rest of the move easier tomorrow (considering he has to do it in between work). Not to mention when loading the truck with the "essentials", we forgot to add our clothes to the lot. It's quite incredible how many things can slip your mind when you have so many things to do, and so little time and ability to do them. I need more arms. Or multiple me's so I can be in more places at once. Although I am not convinced we would have survived multiple me-break-downs, and there have been many me-break-downs the last few days.

I got a few things wrong in my last blog post.
1) Moving is never something to be excited about. Even if it's good in the long run. Don't waste your energy being excited about it. It's all about conserving every ounce of energy in order to come out the other side alive, sanity intact. (Although that last part is a little iffy regardless.)
2) I actually had ONE week to pack both houses. Not two.
3) Aaron was not available to help me pack. At all. I guess we had to keep the family tradition going and make sure I packed the whole house again. Keeps me sharp. Yes, apparently leaf season decided to drag my husband away just in time for this whole moving ordeal. He has done all the loading and moving though. I have not had to lift even a pillow. But due to his schedule, the move is taking three days, instead of the highly hoped for (and quite unrealistic) one.

This has by far been the worst move. Ever. And that is coming from someone who has moved so many times in her life she hasn't bothered to even count. Turns out, moving two houses in one week, with two kids (while watching an extra), and an overworked husband, are all terrible combinations. Who would of guessed?

It was beyond stressful, and to top it off, Aiden was having a really hard time adjusting. Can we blame him? He had lived in that house for over 2 of his 3 years of life. I knew he would have a little difficulty adjusting. What really tipped me off was the fact that anytime I packed something, if I left the room it would "magically" unpack itself. I left Aiden's room for last because of how much it was bothering him. I wanted him to feel secure in at least one room in the house. One of the last nights I was packing up all our paintings and instinctively grabbed the ones his Nana had painted for him that hung over his bed. Well, he didn't appreciate that and before I even realized he had left his bed, he had unpacked his paintings and hung them right back exactly as they had been. It was both cute and heart breaking.

Tonight is our second night at the new house, and much, much better than the first. Yesterday was chaos. Stressful. Filled with many messy melt downs--the kids even had a few. I felt like a monster. Then to top it off, Gabriel refused to fall asleep (for only the second time in his life), and Aiden threw a fit, demanding to return to our "real" house. Here I had been looking forward to this since what feels like forever, and our family was falling apart. All of us, adult and child alike, each throwing our own tantrum. Yelling, crying, being anything but happy. We tried to take a drive and cool down, but that only made things worse. When Gabriel finally fell asleep around 10, and Aiden remained awake and upset, I lay with him in his bed, just as frustrated and confused. I told him I was sorry I had been yelling so much. Moving is hard. Did it make him sad? He said yes. It made me a little sad too. But we had been focusing on the sad and hard parts of moving all day, let's think about what we love about this new house. We named a few. We loved that we could walk to the park tomorrow. We loved our yard. We loved how close our rooms were, we loved that Gabriel and Aiden would be roommates (as soon as we moved the crib...),  and that a lot of our friends lived close by too. We named everything we loved and ended up quite happy, snuggled up on his little twin bed, giggling and wondering what we had been so upset about. I woke up around 2 and made my way back to my bed. Gabriel woke up about every hour after that. But today was a better day. Tomorrow should be too.

Friday, October 21, 2011


For those of you who haven't heard, we are officially moving! And once again, I should be packing. But then both my boys are sleeping soundly at the SAME TIME, and I think, pack? I have two weeks, that's plenty of time! For me, two weeks would normally be plenty of time. I am used to this rushed, got to get it done, mentality. I can not start things ahead of time because once I start something I do not want to stop until it is finished. An unfinished task for me is a task that will never be finished, and I really hate the feeling of an unfinished anything (even though it happens a lot in my life). However, I really should be getting on it because I actually have two houses to pack. Reason being, the lady we will be renting from has been renting furnished, and we do not want it furnished, and she lives in Florida, so we have to pack up her house too. I said I was up for the challenge, now I just need to prove it. Here's where my life time experience of packing ought to come in handy. I should hope so anyway.

I am really excited about this new house, and many of you have asked for details. I would love to put up pictures, but I want to put up "before" and "after" pictures so you just have to wait on those and for now be satisfied with my written description. From the amount of excitement on my end you might think we're moving into a spacious, modern home, with a hot tub and lake front views... Not quite, but close enough for me. The house is pretty itty-bitty in terms of houses (750 sqft). It's an older ranch style home with red brick and pink stucco. Oh yes, did I mention our landlord is from Florida? 

The kitchen is the size of the average American's walk-in closet, the living room is the size of the average American bedroom, and the bedrooms, as you might have guessed, are much smaller. But with hard wood floors, a fire place, and an awesome screened in back porch, this place is so cozy and it has more than enough cuteness potential. The boys will be sharing a room right across from ours--which I love. The lay out in our current home is our room is on the complete opposite side of the house from the boys' rooms, and that's always made me kind of uneasy. Even though we're moving down in number of rooms, I kind of like that too. I want my boys to share a bedroom. Sharing a bedroom with my siblings growing up taught me a lot about sharing (sharing everything), and I want them to grow up learning that too. That and we're renting the house at a ridiculously good price...

The yard is awesome. She has an extra lot, so though the house is small, the yard is really big for this neighborhood. Although it will still be smaller than our current yard, it's flat, and there is no dangerous equipment around! Did I mention this will be the first time in over 3 years (of our only almost 4 year marriage) that we will live separate from Aaron's work? I'm pretty excited to see what that's like. And did I mention we'll be only 1/4 of a mile from a lake/park? That might be my favorite part. We could even walk to several friends' homes, the library, coffee shop, and another park from this house. I love walking. :) 

Ah I'm so excited! I will probably wait to write more till after I am done with the move and can post pictures. We'll see...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!

It's a Wednesday morning, but it feels more like a Saturday. There is a heavy, non-stop drizzle outside. It would be gray and depressing if not for all the colors still present on the trees. The kids who I have been watching are home because their mom is on vacation this week (wonderful surprise for me!). Aaron is down at the shop (aka easily accessible if I should need him), Gabriel is down for his morning nap, and Aiden is sitting next to me contentedly (um, yeah, probably because Sesame street is on). What a wonderful opportunity to get some much needed packing done!

Yes, you read that right, PACKING! I have never been so excited to pack! Notice all the exclamation points already? Yeah, I'm excited! It's kind of a leap of faith, starting the packing process already, because there is one little detail that still needs to happen. Finding a place. Ok, not that big. We basically have a place to move into, it just needs to be set in stone, which will hopefully happen today or tomorrow. The thing is, after cleaning out my entire closet, washing every piece of clothing we own (because of mouse droppings), scrubbing and cleaning EVERYTHING with a surface in my entire house, and then finding a huge mouse nest in my STOVE (fire hazard + trailer = disaster, not to mention really gross to have mice where you've been cooking, there was so much mouse poop and pee under there I'm surprised we're all still alive), I decided it was time to take action. Pack. Be ready. Because the second we're given a green flag, we're out of here! Also we're expecting snow on Thursday. Weird right? Snow in October... I am not looking forward to this winter, and don't want to be in this house when it comes.

My landlord is bringing an exterminator in on Thursday, we can afford to get slightly better heating this winter, and this house is in much better condition now than it was when we first moved in. So should we really move now? YES. No hesitation here. No doubt here. I have been praying for this for a year now (or whining about it anyway). I am ready to have some distance from Aaron's work. Have a yard I can let my kids play in unsupervised (or supervised, but not hovered over). A place in town where we can walk to the park. I am ready.

Now I have packed when leaving home for the first time, moving from one country to another. I have packed for college and for leaving college. I have packed as a couple. As a pregnant woman. As a mother of one child. I've have packed whole houses on my own multiple times (tends to happen when your husband works ungodly hours). Yet it feels like a completely different experience with two kids. Plus we've been in this house longer than any other (in my entire life actually). BUT lucky for me this is happening right between the busyness of summer and leaf season, so Aaron will be able to help me this time--which is so nice it feels like a miracle. Honestly, I'm so excited to be moving, I'd pack it all and even load it on the truck myself while taking care of the kids if I had to. I'm so ready for this!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Nights

Remember those friday nights you'd look forward to each week? Get all gussied up, meet up with friends for a night on the town? Now perhaps it's more like looking forward to sweatpants and any meal you don't have to cook? Or how about those awesome relaxed friday nights when you and your sweetie would just cozy up on the couch for a movie? Now its more of a "bad habit" you're trying to break? Can you relate? Or is it just me?

Maybe you're single and you can still go out on friday nights without the need of a babysitter (which these days is more expensive than the actual date). Maybe you are newly married and those nights on the sofa are still new and exciting enough that you don't feel bad for spending them in from the the TV. Or maybe you're married with kids and somehow you still manage the energy to get out and live up your friday nights.

Don't get me wrong. We still go out when we can, and we would a whole lot more often if we still had unlimited free babysitting (one major upside to having people live with you). I still love movie nights on the couch with my man (they just happen a lot more often now and with a lot more interruptions from little boys who should be sleeping). And I still like staying up late on friday nights because of the beautiful prospect of sleeping in the next day. Ha! Sleeping in... sometimes I'm so funny!

The best friday nights though, are the ones you spend facebook stalking people you don't really know anymore, blogging about nothing, and listening to the soft hum of your husband's snore next to you. Go ahead. Be jealous.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

When Dreams Wake You.

Last night I had a dream:

I was living in an international neighborhood. There were a bunch of town home style houses, and we had just moved into one of them. Although all the houses were connected at their sides, our house was much larger and nicer than any one else's. Large glass windows, a huge library stocked with books, so much space I wondered how I would fill it. People were flocking to our home, staring through our large windows. In their faces I saw many different things. In some I saw awe, others curiosity, others resentment, and others a confused mixture of the three. I held my children close. I wanted to be polite, but I was a little scared of some of them. I wanted them to go away, to let me finish unpacking and setting up my house. Why can't they just leave and come back when I'm ready? I thought to myself.

As I walked down the street to get our car, I felt really out of place. Out side of my home I did not feel very welcome or at all comfortable, especially while an old lady who sat on the curb stared me down. We got in the car and headed some place (I can't recall where we were going). As we were driving I saw a body in the road ahead of us. I screamed for Aaron to stop the car. It looked like a boy, perhaps from Africa, had been hit by a car and left to die. I was scared. My first thought was, We didn't do that did we? And relief when I realized we didn't. Then we sat there awhile. We talked about how awful it was. The boy lifted his head revealing a mutated face, then laid back down. Was he going to get up? Get out of the way? These questions were asked, pondered. Suddenly panic hit me. Why weren't we doing anything? "Call 911!" I screamed at Aaron and whoever else was in the car. I suddenly realized I was waiting for Aaron to get out of the car and do something, and once I realized he had no intention of doing so, I was mad. I was also scared. I didn't want to see the boy's injured body up close, it was terrifying enough from a distance. So I started screaming at everyone, enraged that no one was doing anything for this poor boy. I can't remember anything after that.

It didn't hit me until I woke up from the dream that I didn't think to do anything about it myself. In the dream I had justified not calling 911 because I couldn't find my phone, but I don't remember even looking for it. I justified not getting out of the car because I was scared and I felt the other people in the car were more qualified. I was outraged by how little they seemed to care. Yet I did nothing myself.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Jordan is my fourth oldest brother. Number 4 out of 8 (we like numbers in large families). As a young child I was often tormented by Jordan. If I was the brunt of a joke or being teased, Jordan was the one who would laugh the hardest and try to keep the joke going as long as possible. He liked to make things up and share them as facts. He was so convincing that to this day I feel like I am still finding things out that were never true. As kids we looked alike. He knew I hated that fact because I thought it meant I looked like a boy. He would often say things like, "Wow Faith, we look so much alike. When I look at you I feel like I am looking in a mirror!" See what I am saying? Tormented.

Jordan has always been really cool. Handsome. Popular. Just plain cool. He was (and still is) the kind of guy you couldn't help but admire. Easy going. Hard working. Funny. You'd have to try to not like him. It's true, he is my older brother, I have always looked up to him, but everybody likes Jordan. He has a quality you can't fake or copy. Besides all that, Jordan had the gift of always looking cool. He knew how to take a style that was popular, and make it his own. Therefore always looking cool, and yet always standing apart. He tried to advise me in my wardrobe. I didn't realize at the time that wearing his hand-me-down pants and stretched out tees was just not cool and therefore didn't realize that he was simply trying to help me. All I have to do is look at old pictures to see he had all the best intentions.

A little over a year ago I got a phone call that Jordan was in the hospital. No one knew what was wrong, but they knew it was serious. Each day I anxiously waited for the daily call I would get from one of my brothers or my parents giving me the little information they had on what was going on. I remember I was sitting in Chemistry lecture one evening when my phone started to ring. It was my dad. I rushed into the hall, my stomach in my throat. I didn't know what he was going to say, but I knew it wasn't good. "They think it's Aplastic Anemia," he said.

You know those movies where when the character gets bad news and everything stops? Everything else fades, the camera zooms in, the person slumps to the floor, the music gets louder, everything is focused on the confusion and fear that the person is feeling in that moment. That's pretty much exactly what it was like. Except in real life instead of dramatic music, there is nothing but the ringing in your ears and the sound of your own breath. I thought this disease was supposed to be rare! There must be a mistake! No, yeah... he said "think", they don't know for sure... I had to think that. Just months earlier a friend had died from the very same disease. It couldn't be the same.

As the days passed and they confirmed that it was in fact Aplastic Anemia, my sister and I had to keep the fear that a friend had died from the same disease our brother was just diagnosed with to ourselves. We didn't want to alarm anyone. We had to be hopeful too. Not saying it out loud, made it a little less real. We put our focus on prayer and getting our blood tested to see who was a match for the inevitable bone marrow transplant. I actually can't remember how long this process took. It felt like months. Out of seven siblings, my oldest brother was announced as Jordan's match. Hearing that news felt like taking a deep breath before a plunge. There was a long way to go, but there was hope.

It wasn't long after that Aiden and I were stepping on a plane headed for California. My younger sister Jenteal was already out there helping Jordan and his wife Corie with their one year old daughter Gabbie. When I got there they asked me if I would like to go see Jordan. I did, but I was scared. This was early in my pregnancy with Gabriel, so I stalled with the need of food. I wanted to see him, but I didn't know if I could handle seeing him. I wanted to be strong, to encourage him. I was afraid I would break down and cry instead.  I looked at Corie and Jenteal. They had already been there dealing with all this face-to-face for a month. How were they so strong still? I wanted their strength to rub off on me. So I stalled. I forced myself to eat some food. I prayed. Then I went to see Jordan.

I didn't know what to expect. I was given hand sanitizer and a face mask and ushered into his small hospital room. My usually tall, strong, tan, charismatic brother was laying on the bed. He was pale from weeks of being indoors, thin from not being able to eat, weak from little sleep, never ending tests, and pain. I didn't know what to say, whether to hug him like I wanted to do, or stay back for the sake of germs (he was extremely susceptible, hence the face masks). Before this moment I hadn't seen my brother in 3 years. Yet as he saw me, he smiled, and I couldn't help but do the same. His body was frail and weak, but I could see God's strength still present in his eyes, and this above anything else gave me hope. I left feeling encouraged.

I only got to see him one more time in the ten days that I was there, but still I felt closer to him than I had since he left for college. It's weird how the threat of losing someone does that to you. The thing that stuck out the most to me during that time was how strong every one was. A time when they had most reason to be weak, to break down, to give up, they were strong. It was supernatural. Because Jordan has lived on the other side of the country, I had only really talked to Corie once or twice before this time. In those ten days I spent with her, I could see every reason he fell so madly in love with her. She was so patient, strong, and willing to give of herself even when she felt she had nothing else to give.

I don't think any of us could breath normally until Jordan was officially in remission. I don't think any of us officially relaxed until he had been home and recovering for 3 months. I don't think I thought it was possible for things to ever go back to normal after that time. Yet if you looked at Jordan now, you never would know all that he had gone through this whole last year if he didn't tell you. Of course, things have changed. Both subtly and obviously. Things internally and externally. None of us will ever really be the same.

When I think about Jordan, I think thankful. Thankful for Jordan. Thankful for family. Thankful for God. God is good. Faithful. Strong. I will forever praise Him for saving my brother's life.

I love you Jordan!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween and Fair Trade Options

So what are we left with for Halloween now that we know most of the chocolate we know and love is fueled by child slave labor? I know it stinks. I hate this more than anyone I am sure. I kind of lived for cheap, easy chocolate. The kind that sits there in the check out aisle and calls to me sweetly... Lord it's hard to say no! That is, until I picture a child with a machete, far from home, lonely, and hungry. Or a village of people too poor to afford electricity, water, or enough food for their families. I don't know if you watched the documentary but actually the image that comes to my mind the most is when they give one of the boys and his friend each a kitkat bar and the look on their faces as they ate it. They had such a sweet and innocent delight in it. It made me feel guilty to witness such a vulnerable moment of strange irony. I can't really explain it.

Anyway, other options. Here are a few:
By the way, Nestle came out with a "fair trade" kitkat bar. Although apparently only 1% of their chocolate is fair trade, and I've read that they cut down on prices of the non fair trade farmers to make up for it. Not sure of the whole of it, but it's sketchy enough for me to not trust it.

Let me know what you find!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Waking up is so much harder than it seems.

I've been thinking a lot lately about all the stuff I own. All the stuff I want to own. Basically if it is anything cheap (or often even expensive) and trendy, it's probably made by a company who makes money by taking advantage of and contributing to the oppression of the poor. Meaning, I am doing that too. I've read articles that were written yesterday, I've read articles that were written years ago. This information has been here. How is it that I have not cared enough to know until now? No. How is it that I have not cared enough to know more and act?

The more I research, the more overwhelmed I get. The more I just want to stay inside, not buy anything, and hope it all disappears and none of the blame falls on me. I know many of you feel the same. So we play the guilt game, and once the shame wears off, we move on and continue living as we always have. I know this because I've heard these conversations for years, and yet I don't see any change. If people like you and me don't do anything to change this, it's not going to happen. There are only so many brilliant humanitarians on this earth, and only so much they can do. It's easy to look at the wealthy and the famous and think, do something with your money! Instead of giving hand outs,why not create a better system? But really, couldn't we demand the same of ourselves? Shouldn't we?

This is where I get overwhelmed. I am not a pioneer. I don't want to be. Pioneers have to work really hard with little to no pay back. They have to use their minds and hearts consistently and continually. They are often considered foolish and their work is often labeled as a lost cause. Worst yet, they are ordinary people, so none of it comes easy! I'd rather be told what to do. Float along doing what I am told, and feel good about it. As strong-willed as I'd like to see myself, I don't really want to have to use my mind that much. Perhaps feel like I am, or when I want to. But not have to. I sound a little dense, don't I? Well, I am. This is what has gotten our world into this mess in the first place. Purposeful denial. Laziness. Greed. The love of ourselves before all others. We all suffer from it. It's called sin.

God is bigger. That's what we sing right? I'd like to live that. Instead of letting limitations create the way I live, I want to live the way it really is. GOD is BIGGER! We are overwhelmed. He is not. I believe He loves it when we stand up and say, use me! You are bigger! Reveal Your strength in my weakness! You created me, lead me! I want my life to honor you! What does it mean to honor God? Think about it and then look at your life and see if things match up. I know in mine they most often don't. I want that to change.

Now of course, I am not a complete crazy person. I know that we can't change everything in an instant. The truth is, we can't change a single thing. Do you ever find yourself wishing for Christ's return, just so you don't have to worry about all this crap. Because you know when He returns, everything will change and it won't be up to you? But the same is true for right here and now. God is the one doing the work. Making things happen. When we are willing to admit that, I think we'll find our limitations diminish.

So let's take baby steps. I for one have been on this cycle for a long time and I know I am going to struggle greatly to allow or even want God to use me (even though I claim I do all the time, it's simply not true when I actually look at myself).

Prayer. This should be the starting point for all things. I do not pray as much as I used to, or with as much faith or fervor as I'd like to. Most of the time I don't feel like praying. Honestly, the only way I see changing that is just... praying. Let's pray before we research. During. After. Pray for open eyes. For protection against the enemy. For guidane. Then see where God leads us from there.

Please don't be limited to what I share here. Make this your journey.

Watch this.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Take a Stand.

Be warned. If you do not already know the following information, be prepared to have your world rocked and forever changed (it better be anyway).

Just yesterday I found out that most large chocolate-selling corporations are buying their cocoa beans from farmers that use child labor.

What, you mean that chocolate bar I just bought the other day was probably made from cocoa beans harvested by a 10 year old, machete-carrying child from Ghana who was kidnapped from his family to work for nothing? You mean I've been supporting that my whole life?

It makes you a little sick doesn't it?

And yet, why should this surprise us? I mean, I buy fair trade coffee for the same and similar reasons, to treat people fairly and give them an equal chance at living life. Why would it be different for chocolate? Or the clothes we wear? Those fancy shoes that sit in our closets? Those toys our children play with?

Have I overwhelmed you yet?

I really don't want to, even as I sit here overwhelmed myself, I don't want to drag you down and make you heavy with the miseries of the world. But we need to know this, don't we? We need to change this, don't we?

This is a big deal, and fighting it will not be easy. Research, sacrifice (a piddly sacrifice in the grand scheme of things), and spreading the word are absolutely necessary. As much as my sweet tooth tells me otherwise, chocolate is not a necessity. If I am not willing to buy fair trade, I don't deserve the luxury of eating it at all. What if that were my child? Stolen in the night, sold by a relative, now working long hours with dangerous equipment, no school, no family, no hope. It breaks my heart and makes me want to punch some faces. But that wouldn't solve anything. Boycotting might. Educating might. Standing up, speaking out, and acting might. Can we do this? Can you do this? The answer is yes. So be willing.

Please read the following blog post on this topic and watch the documentary. You will not regret it in the long run, even if it's hard to face at first.


For starters, how about we only hand out fair trade chocolate for Halloween? Spread the word people. Don't hesitate to do what's right.

Learn more about Fair Trade and what brands sell ethical chocolate here:


and here:


I will end with a quote from one of my favorite bloggers:

I hope and pray that my desire to worship Him is more than lip-service. I hope and pray that we are never too overwhelmed, or worse yet, too indifferent to act.  I hope we all find a way to actively and consistently  "Do justice - love mercy - walk humbly with you God". 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thankful For Two

Four kids 4 and under. How do people do it? In my opinion it should not even be possible. I've always wanted four kids. I've always wanted them to be close in age. But then I had one kid. And then another. Now I pray that God will bless me only with as many kids as I am capable of having while still maintaining my sanity (the little I have left). It can still be four... let's just space it out, ok?

This week I took on watching two more kids. A 4 year old girl and a 2 year old boy, four days a week from 8-5. It's almost sad how fast I realized I was in over my head and had made a horrible mistake. By day two I had to let their parents know that I could not watch both of them. Thankfully for me they were already debating on whether they wanted to put their daughter in school instead. I guess I kind of made that decision a little easier on them. Oops.

So how did it go? Well lets see. A needy 4 month old (so needy those little babies!), a whiny (too often overlooked) 2 year old, a rebellious 3 year old (sometimes I feel like after this year I will be completely prepped for teen years), and a very talkative 4 year old (who although has no issues with talking, hasn't quite gotten the hang of listening). And then me. A not very creative, patience-lacking, attempted over-achiever, who just can't seem to say no. The word "disaster" pretty much sums it up. Honestly, the only thing that kept me going today was knowing tomorrow is my day off. Only two kids! It's gonna feel like vacation.

And this is only after 3 days. Seriously, what would I do if they were all mine? I'm guessing it would be easier in the sense that they would in fact be mine. They would know my rules, I could discipline, and I wouldn't be going straight from two kids to four. BUT, they wouldn't leave at the end of the day. They would be with me all the time. There would be no getting around owning a minivan (and driving it too). I would constantly be torn. The ones who acted out would get the most attention, leaving me with four kids who constantly acted out!

Aaron was gone all day until 8 p.m. After watching 4 kids today, while sick and feeling awful, I then managed dinner, bath time, and bed time by myself (this can be hard when they both go to bed around the same time and one likes to nurse and the other likes his back rubbed and then one starts crying and the other starts playing). And though I painstakingly made sure Aiden did not sleep more than 15 minutes today so that he would be ready to sleep at bed time tonight (the kid is near impossible to keep awake and even harder to wake up once he falls asleep--in the day that is), he was still awake at 9p.m. (even though put him to bed at 7:45). I think he fell asleep sometime around 9:30. On his bedroom floor. What I am saying is, a night that normally would have been considered hellish for me, was instead considered not so bad. With out a 4 year old talking to me non-stop, and a 2 year old saying "Whyyyyy?" every few minutes, it really wasn't bad at all. Perspective people. This is what I've needed.

I love my kids. Thank you God for two. Please don't bless me with anymore anytime too soon!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Living. Loving.

I decided long ago that I did not want any biological daughters because I was afraid they would be just like me. I was kind of a terror-child. My siblings used to joke that I was demon-possessed. Sometimes I think they really believed I was. Sometimes I believed I was. Anyway, my plan had some holes. Apparently my genes can pass on to my boys as well. I guess I should have seen that coming. I knew there would be pay back one day.

It's been a really tough few weeks with Aiden. Feels like months. A lot of meltdowns, tantrums, and not a lot of sleep. Between that and fighting with my own crap and doubts and the cold, I'm officially worn out. However, for those of you who've asked, Aiden had a much better time at soccer this last weekend. And though it's true, he was the only kid who threw a fit and refused to join the team picture, after several efforts to keep his fingers out of his nose, he did get a couple really cute individual pictures. He even kicked the ball a few times. And hey it turns out when he actually kicks the ball, instead of tackling it or running in the opposite direction, he's got pretty good aim.

The older Aiden gets, the more he reminds me of me in so many ways. Of course he has mostly his own unique characteristics and personality, but I see me in there. Sometimes this is cool. It's edifying. I think, How cool that maybe I wasn't an all bad kid, because this kid is awesome and he reminds me of me. Other times it's kind of scary and I wonder what I got myself into.

Sometimes when it's been a really long day, and he's yelling no at me instead of obeying and all I want to do is yell back, I instead slump down in surrender and open my arms. So far, this never fails. He always comes running. He has yet to say no to being held in my arms. And never when I say "I love you" does he not immediately respond with "I love you, mommy." This makes the long days a little shorter. It makes the times when I think that if quitting were an option I might consider it, vanish instantly.

The funny thing is, even 6 months ago, I could not have imagined ever thinking some of the things I now think a lot more often than I'd like to admit. I couldn't imagine saying, "He's driving me crazy! Get me out of here!" Or saying no when he asked for me at bed time.

It's kind of like marriage. The first couple of years, even when things are bad, you know beyond a doubt that you are blessed to have that person in your life, and that thought surpasses all others. You have no idea that things can get so much worse before they get better. Then one day you wake up and you see your spouse for who they really are. Someone imperfect and sometimes down right infuriating. You can admit their faults without guilt. You can do all that and still fall in to their arms and know you want to be with them forever. That their faults are not deal breakers. Because though they see yours too, their arms are still open wide for you. That's how I know I can keep going no matter how hard this may get.

By the way, I know I have a flair for the dramatic, but if you could have seen my last few weeks, you would understand completely! I don't think it's so much Aiden's behavior as much as how different he is than he has ever been. It's hard to get used to, and I can't help but hope it's only temporary.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good bye summer. Missing you already.

I feel bad admitting it, but I've hardly even noticed the leaves beginning to change. I don't know what it is about cold weather, but no matter how beautiful the day, it tends to make me feel kind of anxious and down. I don't know if it's because of the struggles we've had the last few winters, the sun setting so early, that it's harder to go out and about with little ones in the cold, or that I just don't like winter, but it never fails that at the first signs of cold, I get a little depressed.

One thing that has kept me slightly optimistic is that we are hopefully moving soon. There are a few things that need to fall into place, but I am trusting they will. Luckily, thanks to borax (and perhaps the cold as well) the ants are nearly gone. The mice on the other hand have multiplied since the temperatures dropped. Despite the fact that we have filled the holes (again) and placed mouse traps every night (have caught 4 so far), they don't seem all that intimidated. Yesterday I found a nest in my winter clothes that I was taking out of storage (luckily no mice present when I found it), another place behind the hamper where they seemed to be collecting dog food, and mouse droppings on our clothes that were hanging in our closet! I have no idea how they got up there, but I am now in the process of washing everything I own. I immediately called my landlord and expressed my serious concern. I think I can officially call this a health hazard (as if the fact that they were already on every other surface was not enough to count!). She told me all terminix would do is set out traps since we have a dog and children, so she brought me mouse repellant, moth balls, and these mint packs that are supposed to irritate mouse noses and keep them away and told me to keep setting traps. Still found fresh droppings today, but she says it will take time. I guess there is not much else to do to keep mice out of a house that is so easily nibbled through.

If you could join me in prayer that moving works out sooner than later, I'd greatly appreciate it!