Thursday, October 29, 2009

Will You Please Forgive Me?

Have you ever had one of those days where, as a mother, you feel like you can't do anything right? Well, today is one of those days. I was feeling overwhelmed the minute I got out of bed. We have all had the flu for the past couple weeks, so there are mountains of laundry, sticky tile where my kids spilled juice and Cole decided to throw a cup of applesauce, and I'm exhausted. Not just tired, I'm extremely exhausted. I still don't feel back to 100% since I got the flu 10 days ago.
The minute I got out of bed, I felt like everyone was barking at me. This always sets my day up for failure-when I don't get up with right mindset and I haven't asked God to be in control of my day. Sometimes I feel like I have to put myself in the mood for my day-in preparation for the battle. And IT IS A BATTLE! Mothers are warriors and I'm not always ready to go in and win. The funny thing children sense my fear. The days I'm struggling, it's like they are sharks smelling blood in the water and they gang up and go in for the kill. Those are the days they seem to disobey more, listen less, and make me lose my mind.

It starts as I stumble to the coffee pot, desperate for some caffeine therapy. I start to make the boys breakfast for which Jackson strongly voices his disgust, "cereal again, Mom! We had cereal two days in a row-I want pancakes." I immediately snap at him and let him know he just better be thankful he gets to eat. I'm starting laundry as Cole dumps his cereal milk everywhere and shortly after my husband comes in to tell me he forgot he has to deliver some tools today around the same time of my hair appointment, so could i "reschedule for tomorrow?" Are you kidding me? My hair has 1/2 and inch of gray roots showing and I haven't washed it in three days due to the fact that after I wash it I would have to fix it, and I just don't have time for that right now. The phone is ringing off the wall, and when I answer it for the third time in eight minutes, the telemarketer decides to give me lip. It's obvious he hates his job and I now must pay for asking him to please remove our number from his list. Again, I let him know, he messed with the wrong woman in a way that still has me feeling terrible an hour later. I dwelled on that the rest of the day.

Jackson keeps begging to watch TV and looking back, I should've just given in and let him. Cole is into everything and if I don't get him down for his morning nap, I'm going lose it. I finally put him down and he never falls asleep in the whole hour and a half. In that hour and a half, I make a phone call and switch the laundry over, but don't get it folded. I set out hamburger to thaw for the lasagna and later realize when I went to the grocery store, I forgot lasagna noodles. I ask Jackson for the 17Th time to pick up the trains in the kitchen.

Here's the thing-I feel like the kitchen is my domain, my work space, my "desk." How come everyone's things end up in my "office?" Jon walks in and throws his keys and wallet on the counter, Jackson likes to push his trains on the counter, and Cole's refrigerator alphabet letters end up on the floor instead of the refrigerator. Is it too much to ask? There are a million other places in this house for everyone to put their stuff. My kitchen is small as it is. You can't open the dishwasher and the oven door at the same time. I feel like I can't breathe in there and as I turn around to get the boys lunch, I step with a barefoot onto a metal train.

Well, that was it-I came unglued. I scream at Jackson for him to pick up his "damn trains!" Yes-I really used that word. I'm so ashamed as I see the terror on his face. Why did I do that? Why did I react in a way that scared a four-year old? Was it really that big of a deal to tell him again, calmly, to pick them up? I walk out of the room feeling so sorry for what I've done. I head to my room and pray "Father God...change me. Make me like you. Help me to see life's little annoyances as just that. I don't want to scare my children into obeying me. I don't want them to see the wrong way to react in anger."

It's a humbling experience to have to ask your child to forgive you. It really is...and I feel like I have to do it often. I tell him I'm sorry that I yelled at him. Thankfully, Jackson is always so forgiving. He's amazing. He says "Mom, what you did was wrong, but did you know that sometimes mommies sin too?" Yes, Jackson, I do know that. More than you will ever know...I know that. He tells me he forgives me and that "next time, I will pick up my damn trains the first time!" Geez! I'm not finished-now, I have to go have another conversation and tell him how mommy also sinned by saying a naughty word! Motherhood is so humbling. Help me Lord!

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Day and Night"

I just downloaded almost 300 pictures from my camera to my computer. I'm a little behind, okay?! As I was looking through them, I thought they summed up pretty well our house-never a dull moment. While I was looking, it just further confirmed to me what I've known for almost two years. We have two children who could not be any MORE different. I'm always amazed by this. I don't know why. I mean, I know God creates each person to have their own different personalities, mannerisms, etc. But, I guess I just thought that two children from the same two parents would be, well...the same. My grandma calls Jack and Cole "day and night", for a reason.

Jack-very emotional, and affectionate. He's my brain-child. I'm already planning my retirement in whatever he does for a living. He likes to be alone, read, think. He has an engineers' mind. He loves trains, and builds the most intricate train tracks I've ever seen. He's the kind of kid that reads encyclopedias. He tells you exactly what is on his mind and uses the most words possible to describe the details. If he can't think of a big enough word, he will make one up and many times, he uses it correctly. He loves all creatures-great and small. Last weekend he had a collection of worms in the garage and would hold up one at a time and tell me about each little "googy cutie." He loves passionately-for which I am terrified and thankful at the same time. By the time Jackson was 12 months, I enjoyed him so much, I couldn't wait to have another then comes Cole.

Cole-life of the party. Don't leave him alone in a room for one second. He alone can do the damage of what the average three children can do together. He is almost two and still can't speak half the words Jackson could at 12 months-simply because...he doesn't need to. If you don't understand what he's trying to say, he will hit you in the head til it comes to you. He would eat ketchup by the bottle if I let him. Every picture I take of him winds up being hilarious and can't hide his true hornery nature. He loves passionately, but also hates passionately. He had his first ER trip by 6 months (don't ask why), a scar above his eyebrow, his fingernail was torn off with no tears, he has nearly caught my house on fire twice. Any activity that involves a ball, he loves and excels in-even at 22 months. By the time this child was 12 months, I wondered if I would be able to handle another baby...EVER.

So, this all got me thinking-what a perfect pair! Jackson is just like me and Cole is just like Jon. They are a perfect pair of brothers and I know their friendship will be strong forever. God knew exactly what I needed and wanted even before I did. What a wonderful maker.

"E" is for Elmo

So, I woke up at 6:45 this morning to the sounds of Cole screaming, "EEEEEEEEE!", over and over and over again. Cole has been learning his letters...well, let me be totally honest. Cole learned ONE letter-E. He loves Elmo and he learned that Elmo starts with "E". So, now whenever he sees an "E", he says "E, moe-mmy!" He calls me "Moe-mmy" now. I don't know how else to spell it. It used to be "Meme", which I really thought was extra cute, but I guess he got tired of that and now it's on to "Moe-mmy."
Anyway, fast forward the morning, Cole and I took Jackson to school and headed to Target. I had to pick up a few things. In the middle of my shopping, what does Cole spot, but a pair of Elmo houseshoes. Anybody who knows me well, knows that I absolutely will not dress my kids in character clothes. I think they're cheesey. However, when Jackson was two, he was also enamored with Elmo and I gave in and bought him an Elmo t-shirt to wear to Sesame Street Live. Over the years, I have slowly let my children have a couple of character clothing items but usually they can only wear them to bed, unless I'm too tired and I don't want to put up a fight.
So, Cole saw these houseshoes and the twinkle in his eye couldn't keep me from buying them. I wish I could've taken a picture of his face...he was so in love. When we got home from Target, he immediately wanted to put them on and watch...Elmo, of course!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just for Me

Have you ever wanted something of your own? I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I've thought how as a wife and mom, I don't feel like I have a whole lot that just belongs to me anymore. My time? Gone. My energy? Nope. My brain, my body, my thoughts-all consumed by or for other people. I want something that solely is mine alone.

I feel selfish for thinking that I want something like this. Shouldn't it be enough that I am Jackson and Cole's mother, or Jon's wife? That I serve have a roof over my head, a reliable car to drive, a great church? Well... it's not. I think as mothers we sometimes lose ourselves, and although I can't really remember who I was before I became a wife and mother, I would like to find that woman again. One who isn't covered in vomit, poop, snot, food, etc. One who has showered today or brushed her teeth for that matter. One, who never walked out the door without shaved legs, makeup, fixed hair, or a cute outfit. Yep, those days are gone.

And although on the inside I feel like a much better person than I used to be, it's hard to tell from the "mom-pants" I wear almost every day. My days are filled with laundry, cleaning, cooking, comforting, breaking-up fights, feeding the dog, paying bills, teaching, phone calls, yard-work, more laundry, grocery shopping, more cooking, etc. The list goes on. And sometimes at the end of the day, I lie in bed and think "not one of those things I did today was for me."

So, this is it. My motives for this blog are: 1} to talk about the funnies of motherhood-because you have to laugh to keep from crying. I've told funny stories about my kids to my friends and a couple have said, "You should write a book!" While, that's flattering and a great idea...I don't have time to read a book, much less write a book, so this is the second best thing.

2} to hear feedback from you! Some people hate advice, but I happen to love it! I love to hear women talk about what they did to get their kid to stop sucking his thumb, or how I can manage my time better, whatever. I think when you hear other people's stories, you can and take bits and pieces of what you've learned and make your life better.

3} for therapy-I'm not gonna lie. I'm not the best communicator. I have gotten a lot better through the years. I think being a wife and mother has forced me to do that, but when it comes to venting and getting things off my chest, if I do, it usually comes in the form of yelling. I hit my word limit at about noon. Most of you who have small children understand this. So, at the end of the day, the last thing I really want to do is talk. But with blogging, this way, I can relieve some pressure and be quiet all at the same time-perfect.

4}to inform you about what's going on at the Elliott household. It's just fun to share pictures and stories and hopefully someday my children will really appreciate this. Plus, it's quicker and easier than scrapbooking!

I plan on posting about every other day, but you know how that, maybe a couple times a week??? Maybe that's still too ambitious-I don't know. I'm new at this!