Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Simple Kids

I just found this website, Simple Kids, and I love it! Just thought I would share...

I love the post on Simple Chores for kids. Annabel loves to "help" around the house :) Here are some of her "chores:"

*put the cloth napkins in the basket on the table after they are washed and folded
*"folding" her little washcloths
*picking up her toys when she's done playing with them
*putting her shoes away in the hanging organizer
*Putting dirty clothes in her hamper
*carrying her dirty plate to the sink after a meal
*feeding Bailey

Some of these things require more assistance than others, such as feeding the dog. But she loves the responsibility, and asks throughout the day, "is it time to feed Bailey??" Other chores, such as picking up her toys, she does not look forward to as much ;)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Best Yard Sale FInds

I've definitely hit up the community rummages this summer. I did find some cute clothes for the kids, especially boy stuff for Asher! I've kind of found that once kids get a little older, they tend to be harder on their clothes, so I didn't find as much for Annabel. I guess that makes sense, since Annabel
is super-hard on her clothes!

Anyway, what I did find, which I was super excited about, was BOOKS! I found several teachers that were clearing out their book stashes! We got tons of Scholastic and Usborne books, Berenstain Bears, Dr. Seuss,
Little Critter, etc. All for $0.25 apiece! *sigh* I love books.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

She Still Loves Me

If there is one thing about parenthood that never ceases to amaze me it is the love that my children have for me.

Everyday with Annabel is challenging for me. She is not a difficult child, but she is in a difficult stage, and I don't often feel that I have the tools necessary for dealing with the job. She is an ordinary 2-year-old... I don't think she's any different than most 2-year-olds. But being patient, gentle, kind and nurturing don't seem to come naturally to me. I struggle a lot with meeting the high expectations I have for myself as a mother. I certainly know what kind of mother I want to be, but it doesn't always play out that way. And I'm not easy on myself when it comes to my many shortcomings (and I guess I don't really feel like I should be, either).

By the end of the day, I find myself looking over the events of the day and weighing whether I feel like it was a success or not, kind of like weighing the good interactions with the bad. As long as there are more good, I sleep easy that night... but when the bad outweigh, well, that's when I'm the most critical of myself.

"Took Annabel to the park this morning and played tag with her. Check. Giggled about something nonsensical, check. Snuggled up and read lots of books while nursing the baby instead of making her play on her own. Check. Sat her in front of the tv so I could catch up on internet time. Fail. Didn't let her help with making supper because she was getting on my nerves. Fail. Said hurtful things in a harsh voice. Fail. Wasn't as gentle as I could (should) have been when making her stay away from her brother. Fail. Took her to the pool and continued teaching her to swim. Check. Punished her for something that didn't deserve punishment. Fail. Made her feel bad about trying to "help"- fail, fail, FAIL."

And yet at the end of the day, when we're all exhausted and at our most raw, it's me she's begging for. "I want mommy to put me to bed. I WANT MOMMMMMYYYYY!" For some reason unknown to me, I still satisfy a place in her and meet a need that no one else can, regardless of the way I've treated her that day. It is a very humbling knowledge. I don't deserve to be loved so unconditionally, and yet there it is. In her little 2-year-old eyes, I am her whole world. She sees herself through the lens of mommy and how mommy treats her. Eventually she will view God by the way she is treated by her parents.

I can not take this for granted. I know there will come a time when she will stop loving me unconditionally, and her love will be based on our relationship and how I make her feel about herself. And truly, that's the way it should be- it's not the job of the child to love the parent unconditionally. But it scares me to think that if I don't get myself together and do better at this, that one day we may not have the relationship I want.

One verse keeps coming back to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor 12:9). And grace is for us mama's, too. But it is so hard.