Monday, December 29, 2008

Thoughtfulness Thought Provoking

I am not sure what it is about this year, that has made me desire thoughtfulness so much. It may be the years I see flying past me, my babies growing way too fast, my loved ones aging, the dividing of my grandmother's belongings, or the state of our economy.

I do know that this holiday season, I wanted to truly take the time and effort to genuinely think about those I loved. To give them a gift of my thoughts, so to speak--not written out, but a token to represent my love and thoughtfulness about them. I did not want to give them something necessarily useful, or valuable in the essence of money--but something to cherish and something much more valuable to that person.

Some people think that is a way to get out of "spending money"-- but, in all honesty I spent just as much, if not more money in developing the thoughtful gifts.

I wanted to give gifts to pass on thru generations, gifts w/ a story behind them, gifts that will want to be kept when the loved one has passed and their items will be divided up among the living. Something that brings a smile, a tear, a story to mind--something worth sharing and something worth giving.

For instance, my little brother, freshly home from Iraq/Germany brought my mom a beautiful cuckoo clock from Germany--b/c she had always expressed she would love one--this is something one passes on for generations--her mother had always had them, and now she could have one to pass on to Adam and his family one day. The gift was not about how much it cost, although it was not cheap by any means--but, it was about the thought behind the gift.

I gave various things, but among them, my favorite gift, was the cheapest, I gave him a book to write his recipes in--b/c I know and support his desire to share his wonderful recipes w/ others one day.

Kyle also received a set of small bowls from my parents, that were not on a list of any sort--but, communicated to him--"I listened to you, I remembered, and I thought of you when I saw these."

There are other examples of course--but, my concern is: has the rest of the world lost this spirit of giving--the kind of giving that takes more than a wallet filled with money-- the kind of giving that takes heart.

Has it really come down to just checking off what is on someones list?

I look at the "things" I have acquired over the years--and the things I will pass down for generations--will be the things that cost little, but have so much meaning. I can't tell you how many times I looked at the stockings hung on our fireplace this year, and thought about how many years they will be w/me...and how many years they will be w/ my kids--

They were handmade by my mom and I, last year--they are small, a little crooked, and I would never, EVER use a store bought one--for the rest of my years.

I hope that others received or gave something of this magnitude this Christmas--
If you did--please comment below

Friday, December 19, 2008

Joy to the World--means to THE WORLD, not just OUR world

I make many mistakes as a mother--but, there are traits that I really try to emphasize with Alexis and Jaxen that will hopefully make them, loving individuals that will change this world for the better.

One of these traits, is a giving spirit. Each year, I have helped Alexis go through her toys and clothes and give them to someone in need, at Christmas time. We don't take them to goodwill, we find a family that is in need and Alexis takes part in the "gifting." This giving spirit of hers is developing and changing all the time. Last year, she did not want to give away her toys at first--but then after she did, and she realized that someone "thankful" was getting them--she was ready to give everything she had away....including her little brother. Her exact words were, "Mommy, I want to give Jaxen away, to someone who doesn't have a brother." Because, if you didn't have a brother, you must be in need of one ;).

This year, she is not trying to give away Jaxen--but, is excited to give things away that she doesn't need and even purchased a gift to give to a special child her age. She is truly in the giving spirit, that Christmas is all about. I am grateful that God has given me a daughter with a soft and loving heart. I know Jaxen, will be just as giving and thoughtful as he gets older. And, I fully expect him to want to give away his sister at one point in his little life...

So this Christmas--with the economy in a recession--it is important to realize that there are many without. Without presents under the tree, without food on the table, without a home, without friends and family, without hope, without love, without Jesus.

Sure, it is human, to begin a list of what you "could use," or what you are doing, "without." But, is it really that much, when you think of all that is missing from the lives around us? These thoughts have really hit me hard this year. My friends and family have all asked me, "what do you need, what do you want...for Christmas?" Sure, if I thought about it long enough, I could come up w/ a list of things that would make life more pleasurable for awhile--but I don't NEED anything. What I want most this year, is for someone to CARE about me, enough to ask me what would make my Christmas, merry and bright.

And...I HAVE that..I have friends and family who care--and would NEVER in 100 years allow me to go without-- without presents under the tree, without food on the table, without a home, without hope, without love, without Jesus. And, even more importantly, I have friends and family that would NEVER let my 2 beautiful babies, go without.

I cannot for the life of me, comprehend a life, where one did not have friends and family like this in their life. But, I am indeed a lucky girl--to have people who love me--

So, this Christmas, remember your friends and family, of course. But let us also remember those who are truly going without. You may not have a lot of money, but you do have a lot to give. You have things you don't use any longer, you have food in your cupboards, you have love to give, and you have a Story to Share.

Keep Christ in Christmas this year--and Give from the Heart--and make a Difference this Christmas to someone who is without.

Christmas Time is Here

As Christmas time surrounds us, I realize there are events and memories I want to share with my kids--that I experienced as a child. I have been blessed to live close enough to my parents, that my children are getting to participate in making those same memories with their grandparents. Some of these memorable events include: making and frosting cookies, making some other project of the year, shopping the day after Thanksgiving, shopping for matching jammies, and so on.

I love that Alexis and Jaxen will get to carry these memories of Christmas w/ their grandparents for as long as live. They will look back fondly and cherish these important times. They will not remember if the cookies burned or broke. They will not remember mommy getting frustrated with starting so many projects. But, they will remember papaw frosting his one cookie, and then one for them to eat. They will remember Grandma making each Christmas special, w/ fresh new jammies. They will remember laughter and love. What more could a mother ask for when it comes to choosing her children's memories?

I can only hope and pray that Alexis and Jaxen will look back fondly on all of their childhood memories, and remember laughter and love. That the mistakes will fade away, and the love I have for them and we have for each other as a family, will come shining through.

As Kyle and I start creating our own "family traditions, " it is hard to differentiate what I want to do as a child of my parents and as a mom of my children. So, I will continue to share the traditions w/ my parents for as long as I am able, and I will duplicate some of these traditions at our own home-- Which means--double sugar cookies!!

I hope you are able to spend Christmas with those who mean the most to you, because it is the people you share Christmas with, that make it so special--not the gift under the tree.

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 8, 2008


We recently moved into a old, Victorian house---and needless to say--It is HUGE.  So, I spend my days running up and down 4 sets of stairs to chase after my favorite son, Jaxen.  I feel like I am going in circles, but on different levels.

If there is a ruckus of some sort, I must go see what is causing the ruckus--
If there is an odd silence, I must go see why there is a silence, because that can only mean one thing--TROUBLE.
Not to mention, the daily chores of laundry, picking up toys, cooking, picking up more toys, doing more laundry...

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being in this old house, and having the opportunity to raise my kids, even for a short while, in this old home filled with character and history.  And, I am sure my butt and legs could use the workout!  I just find myself, thoroughly exhausted-- and with a long to-do list, that never quite seems to get checked off.

So, with all this running around and up and down--how do I stay centered?  It is in those fleeting moments, that I will call mommy-bonding moments.  All mothers know what these are, because they come when you really need them, and you always wish they would last a little longer.  They are the moments that I would never trade for a million Victorian homes.  

One of my favorite examples of this experience is when Jaxen, crawls into my lap, and snuggles in, his warm and chubby fingers and hand resting on mine.  His breathing slows and becomes more relaxed.  You can actually see his eyelids becoming heavy, as he struggles to keep them open.  He must be tired from all the running too, because his eyelids win in a matter of seconds.  His little body radiates warmth and love like you could never imagine.  And, it is at this  moment that everything in the world becomes crystal clear.  My mind begins to slide back into perspective and not one single thing could ruin it.  (except for his sister, waking him up). 

It is at this moment, that I know exactly why I became a mother, and why I could never be as happy as I am, without my two children.  This moment brings me happiness, peace and new sight in one swift wave, and I am blessed to be swept up within it.  I consider myself one of the luckiest mothers around to be able to experience my children day in and day out--selfishly keeping these wondrous moments to myself. 

So, yes I am exhausted at the end of every day.  But, there is no other way, I would rather have it-- Afterall, that is what coffee is for. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Potty Training

Jaxen is potty training--

With Alexis, this was a fairly simple process-because she hid when she had to go potty--under the kitchen table to be specific.  So, we'd whisk her to the potty--and there you have it--

Jaxen on the other hand, is very good at multi-tasking.  He can take a "load" off, so-to-speak, doing absolutely ANYthing...he can be playing, and singing and you could never even tell he was also doing the, "deed."  Unless, for some reason you caught sight of his watery eyes, that is.  

However, if you do happen to see those watery eyes--and ask, "Jaxen do you have to poop?" --you can always tell if he does by his answer.  If he non-chalantly says, "no."  Then he means it, he doesn't have to.  But, if he yells, "NOOO," and puts his hand up at you--then he is in the process of, "it."   

This is rather humorous, because he will not bother hiding, and will even sit himself right in the middle of the room--like he's proud of his, "creation." but doesn't want you throwing off his groove, by asking him, "if he has to poop."   

My secret pleasure is to ask him--when I know its time--because I LOVE his response...and then if I say, "Let's go to the potty,"--he gets even more riled up.  You can imagine how crazy he gets when I pull down his pants and sit him on that cold toilet seat-- talk about throwing off his groove!

I can honestly say on more than 1 occassion I have scared the "poop" back into him :), by placing him on the potty. 

If I do miss the eyes watering, and he does make FULL use of his diaper--it never fails--that he wants to snuggle afterwards-- I know he is trying to show off his essence--but, it is this that makes me want him potty trained even more!!

eek--someone's eyes are watering--

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jammies at 11am

It was 11 am, and there was a knock on the door-- pretty ordinary, until I mention the fact that I answered the door in my jammies.  Yes, it was 11am, lunch time for some--and I and my 2 kids were still in our jammies.  

Were we sick--not really. Jaxen was a little under the weather, but there really was no GOOD excuse why we were all still in our jammies.  

The wonderful thing about all of this is, that I did not feel an ounce of guilt--okay maybe, just an ounce.  But, that is not very much, considering how guilty I make myself feel about other things. 

Why didn't I feel guilty?

I think it is because we as mothers, like to look at each other and feel either really good about our ability to mother, or look at each other and feel awful about our mothering ability.  When in actuality, we are all good at some things and awful at others when it comes to being a mommy.

For instance, there is a mother out there who consistently and quickly dresses her children in cute outfits, matching socks and shoes every single morning.  And there is a mother out there that always cooks home-cooked, from-scratch, only-organic meals each and every single meal.  There is also a mother out there that takes her kids to McDonalds every Wed night, and never feels guilty.  And a mother who allows her children to make their own lunch, of PB&J every day. 

I am none of those mothers--but, I know they are out there.  That does not make any of them better than the others.  I feel like it is difficult in the "mommy-community" to be real and honest with your mommy behaviors.  Everyone feels like they are the only ones struggling, and feeling guilty--but, in reality we have all just painted pictures of what we think mommyhood should look like. 

I am tearing up that painting, and stating that somedays my kids are in their jammies at 11, somedays my kids get homecooked, from scratch meals, and somedays they get Chef Boyardee.  Somedays I feel like super-mom and get all the laundry and cleaning done while cooking dinner and playing with the kids---and somedays I get none of those things done.  Somedays I love on my kids and show them as much patience as anyone possibly could, and somedays I raise my voice at them.  (It is unfair that I should feel judged just by writing this)  

So, to all the mothers out there--know that you are doing a fantastic job, because you are doing the best you can.  Know that every mother has her own struggles and secrets she hasn't confessed about her mommy-ing.   

And, for those of you who are not mothers--keep this locked away in theh back of your mind, and when you are hiding in the laundry room, hoping for 2 more minutes of silence, may this come back to you--and either haunt you for judging mothers or...give you that pat on the shoulder that you need.

Thrifty--to be or not to be?

In the spirit of being thrifty, this holiday season--I decided to take our own Christmas Portraits.  I thought, that my almost 2 year old son, would cooperate better at home, in a familar environment.  Afterall, he wouldn't have a strange teenager trying to get him to laugh or smile while swinging a BIG, BLACK, flashing device around him.  

Boy, was I wrong!!  I think if I could choose 100 careers I would want to dabble in, a children's photographer wouldn't even come close to getting in.  

I have to mention, that Alexis, 3, is a ham in front of the camera.  I think most of my time is spent trying to get her NOT to ham it up TOO much.  Please, dont tilt your head THAT much, please don't make a ballerina pose, etc.  But, overall, she has really got the whole, "smile," thing down.  It only took 3 years :).

With Jaxen, the most irritating part, is that he has the CUTEST smile ever--with dimples and everything (seriously, ask anyone--)  But, could his own mother get him to sit still long enough to smile--nope.  Not in 1 of the 200 pictures I took.  Thank goodness for digital cameras.  

In my desperation, I convinced him to say "mommy," because the sound of the "ee" at the end formed a half of a smile.  I was frustrated enough, to take 1/4 of a smile at this point in the photo shoot.  

Camera is ready. 
Jaxen say, "mommy." 
Look at the picture.
1/2 a smile. YES!!
Eyes Shut!

Are you kidding me??
This was how I spent a good hour and half of my evening, so that when Kyle got home for our "family photo shoot"--I was more than a tad grouchy.

The family shoot did not go any better-no smiles, moving, eyes shut, dress up, snotty nose, drool--( I told Kyle to quit drooling) you name it. 

It was 8 o'clock and time to get the kids ready for bed--thank goodness!!  I handed the camera to Kyle and asked him to fix it.  I don't care what it takes, he can photoshop a whole new family in for all I care--:)

So, next Christmas, I may still enjoy being thrifty---but NOT when it comes to photography!


Why its been decided that I should start Blogging

So, I was Christmas shopping, and bought this cute talking doll, called, "Little Mommy."  When she began to coo and talk to me, she said, "start a blog..."  I thought I was just hearing things, but then I turned on the news.  This doll was all over the news--upset parents, swearing up and down that this cute doll was saying something to them too!  

Unlike my doll, these dolls were saying, "Islam is the light".  I was shocked!  Should I take the doll I bought my daughter back to Target??  Well at the very worst when she played with the doll, she would beg me to start a blog--just like millions of kids in the US will be BEGGING their parents to skip Disney World this year, and please take them to the Middle East.  I could see the problem--I took the doll back to target the next day!!

On a more serious note, I have been encouraged by the few that love me to start a blog--they think it will be therapeutic, relaxing, and "good for me."  I do not doubt their love for me, but--it seems like a lot of time and effort when a simple pill can do the same job for me?  Zoloft, anyone?

In this blog, I will share the stories of my desperate attempt to find myself in the 2 minutes I have before the kids find me!!!