Let The Transitioning Begin!

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There is a lot of “getting ready” happening at our house in my head… we are getting ready to add a baby boy to our family and I can only imagine how this will affect his sisters. Ryan doesn’t typically feel like any of this needs to be happening in such a hurry and we have plenty of time… but since I’m the gestating one, he is graciously trying to understand my shenanigans, as seen here on page 1 of my current “to-do” list.

First of all, I need the crib for the baby, so Clara will be moving into a twin bed within the month! Here’s the kicker, that bed will be in Ruby’s room! I can only hope that the novelty of sharing a room will wear off before baby brother arrives. When Ruby moved into her big girl bed, she slept behind the door on the floor for what seemed like months! Hopefully Clara’s transition will be a tad smoother.

It also means I need to buy a twin mattress for Clara. Since we’re really fancy over here our children don’t have beds… just mattresses on the floor. I figure they won’t have as far to fall when they slip out of bed and it saves some cash. dolla’ billz y’all

I’ve had my eye on this lovely bedding from Pottery Barn – but didn’t like the price or the fact that I’d be dealing with duvet covers. This weekend while bargain shopping with my sister I found super cute paisley quilts at T.J.Maxx for $29 each so Ruby and Clara will have matchy matchy beds.IMG_0406

Another big thing we’re looking for is a dresser for the girls room. I’ve been looking on CraigsList but since inhaling paint while pregnant isn’t on top of my “to-do” list I’ll probably end up going for something cheap from Wal-Mart or Target that I can build and be done with. I’ve also read enough nightmarish stories that we will be securing all furniture to the walls from now on.

Today I removed the rail from Ruby’s bed so I can use it on Clara’s bed in a few weeks. When I took off the rail, Ruby cried at first and told me, “I’m not ready for this! I’m going to fall down and break my crown Mommy!” but her tears stopped immediately when I told her she could pick a prize from the prize box if she tried sleeping without the rail during her nap. When she woke up, she yelled under the door, “I DID IT! I’M GOING TO BE SUCH A BIG GIRL!!”

I’ll keep you updated on how our transition is going.

Love God, love your husband, love your kids. Keep it simple and chill out.

Some of my mom friends and I have been conversing about our calling as mothers – and whether we should feel bad about not really “doing” enough “christian type-stuff” in addition to our duties as wives and mothers. Should we feel bad that we haven’t been taking our kids to volunteer at the food pantry each week? Should we feel guilty that we turned down that offer to help more regularly in that ministry at church? Is it bad that the daily task of mothering is pushing us to capacity and all we want to do is go to bed at 8pm when our kids do? Most importantly, as a mom, am I really making a difference for Christ? How do I know I am fulfilling the mission that God has given to me? I have gifts and talents that I used before I had kids… how can I use my gifts now? Is there more I could be doing to further the Kingdom? Am I doing enough? What does the bible have to say about motherhood?

Maybe you’re a mom and you’ve had some of the same questions run though your mind. Maybe we all need to help one other step back, take a deep breath, and regain biblical perspective in our lives.

For me, to regain perspective (which is so easily lost amidst the piles of laundry, dirty diapers, whining, messes, etc.) these are my thoughts:

This is a season of years, months, days, hours, minutes filled to the brim with raising the children that God has gifted me with. Right here, within the walls of this humble house I have the incredible responsibility to train up my daughters into the women God created them to be. Right here, in a city that doesn’t feel quite like home, I am called to be a light for Christ to my little family on a daily basis, in hopes that they will be little lights for Christ wherever they go, for the rest of their lives as well. I believe their lights will shine farther than mine ever could alone – so I feel peace in this season… and I’ve been told that little people grow up way too fast, so I know this truly is a short season.

Do I wish I could hop on a flight to India to spend a few weeks serving with Raj and his team reaching hundreds and thousands for Christ? Yes! I would love that so much – but in this season, my calling is right here. My job description is to love God, love Ryan, love my kids. Keep it simple and chill out… knowing that maybe in another season, later in my life Lord willing I’ll be on that plane to India, or serving in some great ministry, or helping more in my church. All of those good things do not outweigh the GREAT thing that is my current job description as a mother to young children. This whole article is SO ENCOURAGING! I’m going to share an excerpt below. It’s based on Titus 2:3-5. If you are a mom, know a mom, have a mom or are someday going to be a mom this is for you.

Moms, Jesus wants you to chill out about being a mom. You don’t have to make homemade bread to be a faithful mom. You don’t have to sew you children’s clothing to be a faithful mom. You don’t have to coupon, buy all organic produce, keep a journal, scrapbook, plant a garden, or make your own babyfood to be a faithful mom. There’s nothing wrong with these things, but they’re also not in your biblical job description.

Your job description is as follows:

  • Love God. This simply means finding some time during the day to meet with the Lord. It doesn’t have to be before all the kids are awake. It doesn’t have to be in the pre-dawn stillness. Your job is to love God. How you make that happen can look a million different ways.
  • Love your husband (unless you’re a single mom, of course). Your second job is to love and serve your husband. Husbands are to do the same for their wives, but that’s for a different post. If your husband really likes homemade bread, maybe you could make it for him. But don’t make homemade bread simply because you see other moms posting pictures of their homemade bread on Facebook.
  • Love your kids. Your calling as mom is to love your kids and teach them to follow the Lord. They don’t need to know Latin by age six. If they do, more power to you. But that’s a bonus, not part of the job description. Your job is simply to love your kids with all your exhausted heart, and to teach them to love Jesus. That’s a high calling. Don’t go throwing in other, extraneous things to make your life more difficult. If you want to teach your kids to sew, great. But don’t be crushed by guilt if your kids aren’t making stylish blazers by the age of 10.

Moms, Jesus wants you to rest in him. He wants you to chill out. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. Don’t compare yourself to other moms. Don’t try to be something God hasn’t called you to be. If the mom blogs are making you feel guilty, stop reading them. Be faithful to what he has truly called you to do, and know that he is pleased with you. When your kids are resting, don’t feel guilty about watching an episode of “Lost”, or whatever your favorite show may happen to be.

Love God, love your husband, love your kids. Keep it simple and chill out.

Rubyisms

“I’m pushing my cheeks down so I can see my necklace”

I couldn’t make this stuff up. If ONE child can say this many hilarious things I can only imagine what most preschool teachers hear on a daily basis from the kids in their classrooms!

  • “I’m going to say ‘SURPRISE’ soon.” (…thanks for letting me know.)
  • Every morning from under the crack of her bedroom door I hear, “I’m awake! I’m awake! I’m awaaaaaaaaaake!!!”
  • When she wants to watch TV she always asks, “Can you put on a show for me?” then she gets all frustrated when I start singing and dancing and act like I didn’t realize she meant a TV show. “Oooohhhh, you mean you want to watch Dora? Oh, okay!”
  • “I love my new ball so much! It’s SOOO purple and I love it SOOO much!”
  • “Are you punishing me? Am I getting punished?”
  • We were coming out of a public restroom the other day right as a woman was coming in. Ruby said, “Oh, that old lady is going potty too, mommy!”
  • Everything in the past happened “Last week.” Her birthday was last week, “Last week at the zoo the brown bears were hibernating,” last week she went to school, last week was christmas, everything happened last week.

Here she is on her first day of school. She LOVES preschool. Loves loves loves it.

  • Everyday that she’s not at school she talks about how she can’t wait to tell her teacher…, “I can’t wait to tell my teacher about Fall!” “I can’t wait to tell my teacher all about my backpack, she loves my backpack!” “I can’t wait to tell Mrs. Mills about my acorns!” I’m sure Mrs. Mills gets an earful from Ruby every Tuesday and Thursday.
  • On her first day home from school I asked her what she learned about and she said, “We learned about being healthy!” so I asked her what that meant and she said, “Like eating graham crackers and water.” (…ok.)
  • “I’m SOOO excited that bursting is quite a possibility, in fact, I’d put it in the ‘quite probably’ category.” This is a line from one of her books – but she says it often. hearing it from a 3-year old kinda takes people by surprise.
  • She begins by saying, “Here’s the deal…” which is the same thing Ryan says a lot.

I’ve had a few moms ask how I keep track of this stuff. I just jot these sayings down on the notes app on my phone as they happen, then when I’m ready to post another Rubyisms post I have a bunch saved. Otherwise I’d never remember.

Clara’s 15-month update

Our Clara girl had her 15-month appointment with her pediatrician this morning. She’s doing just great and growing really fast. She is 20 pounds… catching up with Ruby who is not quite 30 lbs. ha! She is pulling up on everything, constantly on the move and would much rather walk than crawl, which would be perfect except that she cannot walk by herself yet so I am breaking my back bending down to hold her little hands while she tries to walk. I know she’ll be taking her first steps soon… crazy!

In the meantime, her little knees and tops of her feet are all scraped up from all the crawling she does, so I discovered that if she wears my socks it gives her an extra layer of protection from the sidewalk!

Clara loves her sister Ruby. As soon as she wakes up in the morning she points at Ruby’s door – her favorite mornings are the ones when Ruby wakes up first and comes in to get her. She squeals and laughs and can’t wait to be wherever Ruby is.

She says Mama, Dada, Nana, Papa, Bye Bye, Hi, and is super determined. She knows what she wants and is more than furious if anything or anyone prevents her from getting it! She is super excited about all things hazardous, including toilets, trash cans, stairways, electrical outlets and Ryan’s shoes that have been walking around the GI division of the hospital. Talk about child proofing! This girl is keeping me busy!

We’re working on helping her learn not to chuck her food on the floor… it’s a hard lesson to learn… and a messy one! Some of her favorite foods are cottage cheese, black beans, any and every kind of fruit, macaroni, ritz crackers, graham crackers, raisins and string cheese. Hardened remnants of most of these foods can be found on the windows, wall, floor and blinds behind her chair. Its awesome.

Clara is a sweetie. A mischievous, messy, determined, danger-seeking sweetie pie. I love that I get to be Clara’s mama and I pray everyday that God will help me do it well.