Thursday, January 17, 2008

What a difference a week makes!


I feel, like, 200 times better than my post last week. In fact, I am going to sound bipolar here. BUT, Audrey is healthy again. Not only is she healthy, her behavior has been absolutely stellar. I am having a great time with her this week! We've gone to the library and read books, made brownies, played a bunch of her new games, cheered on Carter's funny-looking attempts to crawl, and even sat on the couch and watched, yes, Caillou together (last week I thought I would implode if I heard that theme song one more time!!)

The other BIG change is that Carter is sleeping through the night! I don't know how we got this far along without accomplishing this but here we were, coming round on his first birthday, and he was still waking up at night crying. After a few really bad nights, and some crying on his part (and mine too, truth be told), he now goes to sleep and the next morning, voila! A happy baby. It doesn't get any better than this. It's kind of sad that I just typed that last sentence. . .

Oh, and Chad and I finally went out to dinner for our anniversary. We had a luxurious, yummy dinner at the Melting Pot. Fondue for those who don't know. We talked about where we might vacation this year, which is always a fun subject. It was nice to just be away.

I am so thankful that God is helping me to find the joy in mothering again. I knew it was around somewhere! And, I am sure the hard days will return again at different points, but for now, I'm just going to ride the wave of happiness . . .

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Christmas pics

I am finally posting some Christmas season photos! Enjoy!

Audrey & Carter at Mom-Mom's house for cookie baking.

I posted previously about our new small group. Here we are at our
Christmas "white elephant" party.

Carter is happy about his first Christmas. I tried to find him a shirt or something that says "Baby's 1st Christmas", but apparently they don't make them in size 18-24 months!

Carter loves his food! Enjoying a roll from Christmas dinner.

Audrey & Carter's new wagon.

Singing "Jingle Bells" to the new keyboard.

Carter enjoys some special presents from Santa.

Umm, how do I explain? Chad went hunting with our bro's in law (Matt & Josh) and his dad. Chad got the first pheasant!

3 generations of Smith men. It's a good thing we had a boy so that the
Smith name doesn't die out :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Consider it pure joy

Can I say something out loud that is VERY un-"PC" to say, especially in Christian circles?

Here it is - Some days I do not enjoy mothering at all.

Please make no mistake. I LOVE my children. I would do anything for them. And in fact, I spent the day in tears a few days ago because my dear daughter was running a fever for a week straight and lying wilted on the couch. I just kept wishing I was the sick one, not her. I was completely overjoyed when her fever broke and she was talking, laughing, and yes, even up for arguing with me. But sometimes the days are so long, and the nights can be even longer. Some days I am so tired that it is hard to get proper perspective of the situation. I think of all those older ladies at the grocery store who look at me and my little ones longingly and say "Boy, I sure miss those days." So today as I stood over my son's crib (and as he screamed every time I left the room and was refusing to nap despite being tired) I thought to myself - I can't imagine missing this. Especially when all I want to do is go to my room and throw my pillow over my head.

Now, I am certain that my fatigue and stress level are influencing my opinion right now. But the little idealized Christian picture of motherhood sometimes leaves me feeling irate. I feel like it's a bit stuck in the fifties. Reality is -- kids take a lot of work, time, effort, emotion and it isn't always a pretty sight. Sometimes I am not patient. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes my house is a wreck (certainly my bedroom usually seems to be). Sometimes I resent having to make dinner. Sometimes I don't want to play Candyland, or wrestle a wriggly 25 pound baby and diaper bag into Target, or eat lunch at McDonalds, or listen to Bob & Larry in the car, or watch Caillou. Sometimes I just want ten minutes to think.

HMMMM. Can you tell I've been cooped up in the house with sick children for the past week or so?? I know that my perspective will soon change. I know without a doubt that I wouldn't trade this for anything, when all is said and done. But some days of motherhood sure are tough.

You want to know something funny and ironic?? My daughter just came up and stuck a sticker on me. When I finally took the time to look down at it, I had to laugh. It says "JOY". :)

"Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:2-4

Words to live by.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Singin' the Blues

Yes, I know, I have not blogged in quite some time. Allow me to explain.

I do have a real, non-cyber life. It mostly revolves around my husband and 2 little kids, and sometimes the needs of the household supersede the desire I have to blog. Last month, as everyone is well aware, it was Christmastime -- and I had cookies to bake, gingerbread houses to put together, presents to buy and wrap, parties to go to and bring goodies for, family to entertain, traveling to pack and prepare for, etc, etc. Of course every other mother on the planet was facing these same challenges.

Then we went away to visit family in NY. And both kids came back and promptly got ill. Audrey especially has not eaten much of anything for a week and has been running a fever pretty much continually unless there's advil in her system. Oh, and coughing up a lung. Today we made our second trip to the doctor, and it looks like she has a mild case of pneumonia. Yuck. It's supposed to be in the 60's for the next few days, and we may very well continue to be stuck inside. I am pretty much wiped. Every morning around 5 am, when the meds wear off, Audrey is up crying that she is hot (and she is in fact burning up with a fever). SO, I've been spending an hour or two helping her relax and sleep again. Of course, no one sent the "today is a good day to sleep in" memo to Carter however. About the time Audrey is asleep, Carter is waking up. Thankfully, this weekend Chad got up with Carter for a few days so I could catch up on a little sleep. Yesterday was our anniversary, and those plans are postponed till next weekend. And I haven't seen anyone besides the doctor and pharmacist in ages. It's all a little depressing. So please excuse my very long complaining session here.

I will say there is something to learn in all this. And that is - learning to put someone else and their needs before my own. Learning to "deny yourself" as Christ talks about in the gospels. So, I have been denying myself the opportunity and luxury of blogging for now. Other more important people and responsibilities prevail!

PS - I would appreciate prayers for the kids, and for me. It's so hard to watch them be sick.

Also, I will post some Christmas pics later. For now, I somehow managed to get both kids to nap simultaneously (not an easy task!!) so I have things to do while I have a little peace :)