Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lessons I'm Learning From My Kids: If you don't laugh about it, you'll cry :-)

Today in the parking lot of Target was an absolute blow-out diaper moment, one of those that if you don't laugh about it and its comical nature, you might break down about instead.  Dakota was sick exactly a week ago on Sunday morning and it started with vomiting which ended soon thereafter.  But, the recurring diarrhea persisted the entire week.  I thought we were about done with it until we swung by Target to buy diapers, of all things (the irony!).  My hubby ran in with the older girls who needed to stop by the restroom and then shop for just a few items.  I immediately began to smell a strong, terrible odor after they left and got #5 out of her carseat to check out the situation.  Little D was wearing a cute light pink Anne Geddes T-shirt and a pair of jean overalls with pink rose buds all over them - quite cute, at least until I looked inside and saw what a disgusting sight it was to behold.  Needless to say, she was a mess; in fact, I had to take the diaper off by undoing it while still in the pants and using the pants to pull off the diaper and overalls as one unit because they were both so covered in poop.  I proceeded to drop them on the blacktop parking lot and then use about 5 more baby wipes to clean her up, dropping those on the blacktop as well.  Thankfully, I had the foresight to bring an extra outfit for the just-in-case bad poopy situation (learned from many a situation in the past in which I had not been quite so prepared and the baby rode home in just a diaper covered in a blanket in her carseat until she got home).  I managed to get #5 as clean as possible under the circumstances, re-dressed, and back in her carseat, and then found one spare plastic bag in the van in which to wrap up the offending diaper for the ride home.  The overalls and shirt are presently in the washing machine soaking up a liberal dose of Shout stain spray before receiving a good wash.  I'm sure I was a sight to behold while cleaning up the baby and people were wondering what in the world I was doing.  These are some of those situations that I will remember for a long time to come and laugh about how funny it really was (even if it didn't seem so at the time). 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Finding Inspiration during a Less-than-inspiring Week

This week has been one of sick kids, rainy & chilly days, multiple loads of laundry each day, and house cleaning.  It hasn't been a bad week, but not extremely inspirational either.  So, when I saw this quote on a friend's facebook status, it helped me to re-focus and was a source of inspiration especially in the area of what others may or may not think about me.  This quote has been attributed to Mother Teresa although it actually seems to be her modified version of a similiar composition by Keith Kent.  Either way, I think it is good.  

  People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
            If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
            If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.
           If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
            What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
            If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
            The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.
         Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
         In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.
-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

Another quote by Mother Teresa that I saw just yesterday as I was looking at the website was this:
      - "[Jesus] will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His  love than in your weakness." -Mother Teresa  (

This week I have certainly had my share of weakness, exhaustion, and feeling like what I had was not enough and I know that He is the one that has gotten me through.

Monday, March 21, 2011

'Tis the Season . . .

 . . . for one last bout of the flu.  At one point in the day, I'm pretty sure I had a lot more to say about this topic, but after 5 loads of laundry, multiple children vomiting and with diarrhea, girls arriving home from school with plenty of energy, and a husband arriving home sick, too, I've pretty much lost most of my words in regards to being home with sick kids.  Despite everything, though, I might add that I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to be home with my kids and be their Mommy, even when they are struggling through the flu.  And, I also realize that compared to the troubles of many in the world, this is a very easy burden to bear.  There isn't much that a good night's sleep won't fix, so it's off to bed early for me tonight.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Already 11 Months! Where has the time gone?

It seems like just yesterday that #5 was born, but then again it seems not that long ago that #1 was born and now she is 7 1/2.  And yet, here we are with less than a month until Little D's 1st birthday and I feel mentally and emotionally unprepared for the baby of the family to be reaching this big milestone, one of many that will feel a little too soon for Mommy.  The days go by so quickly and as often as I can I put my cheeks up to hers, breath in her sweet baby smells, kiss her, tickle her, and listen to her giggles because there is such a je ne sais quois quality about babies that captures my heart and emotions.  This is a good reminder to me to live in the present, be present with those that I love, and to not let thinking about the future get in the way of living each day to the fullest. 
Doing her silly squinty eyes.
Happy Dakota girl!
Mommy's littlest princess.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

2011, the year for Handmade Gifts

At the beginning of January, I started to see a few people on facebook posting a status post that said this, "Pay it Forward 2011: I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here. They must in turn post this and send something they make to the first 5 people who comment on their status. *The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011."  I thought the idea was pretty cool, but didn't really want to commit to sending my own 5 items out during the year.  What if I didn't get them done by the end of 2011 or if the recipient didn't like the item that I made for them?  Then, I read a friend's blog post on the subject and changed my mind.  

I like to be crafty and make things for others, so why not take the challenge and go for it!  I posted the status on my facebook account and no one responded, so I made up my own list instead starting with my daughter #2 (a belated birthday gift) and "exchanging" pay if forwards with a couple of facebook friends that didn't get very many responses either (the friend above included).  I also plan on doing at least one handmade item that I can donate (hopefully a baby blanket to a local NICU since #2 received one on her stay as a newborn and I know how much it meant to us).  

Here are the results of my first pay-it-forward, handmade gift for 2011.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Almost Lent . . .

. . . and this year, I feel it is coming not a moment too soon!  The liturgical calendar of the year is so good as it divides up our year, not just by months, but in relation to the life of Christ and the life of the Church.  Easter is so joyful, Advent is a time of much anticipation, Christmas is a time of much excitement, ordinary times remind us that much of life is ordinary and that is good, too.  Lent, on the other hand is a time for reflection on repentance (although we should be repenting all year long) and the sacrifice of our Lord on the cross.

The last few weeks have been a bit frustrating for me as a mom.  I've always noticed with my kids that attitudes, emotions, and growth seem to go in cycles, and at the moment we seem to be in a cycle of struggles.  Of course, struggle brings growth and increased maturity which is positive in the end, but this doesn't take away from the fact that I've been up to my ears in arguing, complaining, back-talking, fighting between siblings, ungrateful attitudes, and a general expectation that one is entitled to all sorts of things in life.

So, it is with a grateful heart that I anticipate Ash Wednesday this week and the beginning of Lent.  I am talking to the girls about it and am taking it as an opportunity for us all to hit the "restart" button on ourselves.  I pray we can have repentance, increased humility, love for one another, and a general attitude of gratefulness (and not just the girls, but me included right at the top of the list).

In the Orthodox tradition, the Jesus prayer is said by many as a means to concentrate on one's inner life and this seems especially relevant for Lent.  "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."