The gift of children

It’s quiet on Leger Lane. Only adult things are filling up the space. Parenthood marathon on the tv and laundry in the washing machine. The lights are turned down and the Christmas tree is letting off a colorful array of twinkling. I spent almost two hours picking up, switching out decorations, and putting lights on the tree tonight. {Biggest mom accomplishment this week: waiting until the boys were asleep to tackle the Christmas light situation.} The house feels put together. It makes me feel content. It gives my mind time to recharge. Gear up for another day. The days don’t always go as anyone would like. Maximus spends 10% of each day whining that we didn’t do anything fun. Even right after we do something really fun. Quinten doesn’t always get along with anyone. And sometimes I raise my voice too much in an attempt to get someone to listen or everyone to stop fighting. Days can be hard and nights can be worse. The witching hour. A clean house and clear mind can erase the worst days. Tomorrow is another day and another set of challenges. It’s also another day of happy moments. There are always lots of those. Snuggles, kisses, hugs, kind words, funny toddler talk, and mind-blowing preschooler learning.

Quinten talks non-stop now. It started about two weeks ago and only stops when he’s sleeping. He’s a little parrot, know-it-all, and play-by-play commentator. He is definitely a toddler now with only a week-and-a-half to go before his 2nd birthday. It’s funny to see what he likes and doesn’t like. He wants to talk through every step involved in going to the bathroom but refuses to try it himself. He doesn’t like confined spaces, but hides in the pantry and yells, “Daddy! I hiding!” When I tell him a snack is all gone {because he doesn’t know how to say no to food}, he’ll tell Maximus 10 minutes later. Even when Maximus wasn’t talking about a snack or food. It’s a challenge to convince him that I can change his diaper and then an even bigger deal to get him to hold still while I do it. He loves to say, “No, mommy!” and run away when he doesn’t want to do something. When he doesn’t like what we tell him, he takes his frustration out on anything close – toys, people, dogs, water bottles. Quinten loves to dance, sing, and play music.

Maximus also talks non-stop. He is a little sponge. Constantly bringing things up that he learns in preschool. When we pick him up he can’t remember what he did in school. He mostly remembers gym time and story time. Yet, he says things to me like, “Mommy! I see the moon. The newest moon that our favorite man made. Do you know who that man is? You do mommy! It’s our favorite man way up high in heaven! It’s God!!” The other day he recognized a remix of a song before I did. Bryan plays it a lot and Maximus sings along. He walks around the house making up songs and singing really high. It’s hilarious! If he wants, he can be super sweet and helpful with Quinten. He loves drawing and coloring and talking about what sounds a letter makes. He likes to know what our plans are. He does better with life when he knows what to expect. His current obsession is watching toy reviews on YouTube. Seriously?! He loves playing music with Bryan but has strict rules on when Bryan can sign. Mostly it’s just “music bands and not singing bands.”

Tomorrow is another day. A big day. Thanksgiving is full of food, family, and a screwed up routine. I’m hopeful for well-behaved children! And an easy bedtime after the chaos of the day. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! 

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Giving Thanks

On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so much.

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            1. My husband. Without him I wouldn’t be the person, wife, or mother that I am today. He has un-waivering faith in my career, my goals, and who I am today as well as who I want to be tomorrow. He’s my biggest cheerleader in and out of our home. He knows when I need space, when I need a break, or when I need a good laugh. He knows me better than I know myself. He knows me so much that I spend a decent amount of time rolling my eyes at his snide comments because we both know they are 100% true. I take advantage of who he is and what he is for me, but we complete each other. Without him, I would be half the woman I am today.
            2. My baby. He made me a mommy. He made my heart complete. He made me feel things I didn’t know I could feel. Every day he makes me grow as a person and a mommy. I look back on these past 16 months and I can’t imagine a life without him. I can’t see what the future looks like, but I’m excited to watch him grow into a little person. I’m excited to watch him accomplish big things! He is so inquisitive and interested in how things work. I can’t wait to see how that works into his future.
            3. My family. I wouldn’t change one single thing about them or who they are. I love each and every one of them and their individual personalities. We all bring something different to the family and our family is whole. We welcome new additions, whether by birth, marriage, or a relationship, and love them like our own.
            4. My friends. I feel especially blessed to have so many close friends who feel like family. Friends who are there for me when I need them. Friends who drop anything to hang out. People who know when I need to forget about everything or talk it out. As I’ve gotten older, distance has had a great impact on my relationships. But those friends who live far away are always near in my heart. We make the best of what we can and love each other despite the states that separate us.

 On this Thanksgiving, I look back at the past year and what it has done to me as a person, my family, and the people around me. There have been hard times and really fun times and ok times. But on this day, I can’t help but reflect on the really amazing things that are in my life. I won’t let the bad or the sad pull me down. I won’t dwell on the unhappy things or things I wish I could change. Instead, I will love and appreciate what my life has become. I will rock this life like I was intended to do!

 And as much as this little guy may be plotting, I won’t be going shopping tomorrow. I won’t be going because we don’t need anything. Everything we have is right here, in our hearts. Instead of spending our hard-earned money on “things,” we’ll save it. We’ll save it for very important things that we will eventually need {be it out of necessity or want}. We’ll save it so we can buy things with that hard-earned CASH. We’ll save it so we don’t spend recklessly. We’ll save it because we want to give Maximus the best life we can give him!

Picking out Christmas toys

Thankful for my many blessings

I have so much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for all the regular things: a job that I love, a house with heat, food on the table, and a car with four-wheel drive. But there’s so much more than just the regular things. Note: please don’t assume that I take any of the above for granted. I truly appreciate and am thankful for all of that, but that’s not where my post is going.

I’m thankful for friends that really ‘get me.’

Much like finding your soul mate, finding best friends can be like finding a needle in a haystack. I’m blessed with many friends who I call my best friends. They are the ones who really understand me. They are the ones who are always there for me, mentally or physically. They push me to be a better person. They can tell me I’m wrong. They know just what to say when I’m down. They know when I just need someone to listen. They know how to have fun. They love me unconditionally. No matter what. So many things go into a friendship and not everyone is a fit. I know good friends are hard to find. And I know that I am blessed to have many that I call my true friends.

I am thankful for a wonderful family.

I’m so happy with my life and more specifically, my family. I love my family. I get along with my family. I have fun with my family. My family does not judge me. My family is always there for me. And I’m always there for them. Not everyone loves their family. Or maybe better put, not everyone gets along with their family. I am happy/proud/thankful to say that I not only get along with my family but I LOVE them too!

Now that I have a baby, I am even more thankful to be close to my family. Last week my daycare provider was on vacation. I knew I had enough family members who would love to spend the day with Maximus. So, Bryan and I each took a day but we left the rest of the week for those other favorite ladies that Maximus has in his life. Bryan’s mom came over one day, my mom came over one day, and Maximus went out to my sister’s house one day. Everyone had great days with him. No one had any meltdowns. And only my sister had to deal with an outfit-changing-wet-diaper, two hours after his arrival. And, she was blessed with a blowout ten minutes before she dropped him off at my house.  Maximus shares the love. He picks no favorites when it comes to outfit changes and blowouts. For instance, on Saturday he went through THREE outfits. THREE. And peed on Bryan once. So, sister of mine, at least he didn’t pee ON you. 🙂

We’re back to our regular schedules this week, but I’m so glad that Maximus got to spend quality time with his grandma’s and aunt. I’m glad they got to have quality one-on-one time with him without sharing him with the many other family members. I’m glad they had a chance to bond with him and create memories with him. I’m so blessed to have family here who will watch Maximus whenever we need it.

While I am thankful for a job that I love, a house with heat, food on the table, and a car with four-wheel drive, I thank God for the important things in life. I thank Him for the things and people who get me through each day: my friends and family.