Bye Bye Pacifier

Eila’s third birthday was last week and she started ballet last Saturday since she is three years old now and a big girl. Part of the requirement of turning three and taking ballet was to give her pacifiers to a little baby who needed them, and so she did. I won’t say it has been easy, but it has been done. She is going to sleep mostly on her own and only wakes up a few times with a little moaning and crying. The only real change that came with this was that she is now sleeping in the pack and play (in the middle of their already very small and crowded room) because she just isn’t quite ready to fully be a big girl, yet.

It was our intention to get rid of Josiah’s pacifiers at the same time, but as they were waking each other up at different times, we decided that we’d let Eila adjust to breaking the habit before we force it on Josiah, who should take it pretty easily after a few nights. Seeing as he has pneumonia now, though, I want to wait until he isn’t sleep deprived from coughing and difficulty breathing before throwing another wrench in there.


Best of Times

There are some parts of my life that I wouldn’t trade with anyone – no matter what. Several moments like that occur everyday and I want to treasure and remember them! Here are few examples of precious events over the past two weeks… being the apple of my husband’s eye, vacuuming the rug with Eila and Josiah each using a toy vacuum to help, reading books in Eila’s bed while nursing Josiah, Brian taking care of everything so I could sleep for two days, waving to Josiah and that being the funniest thing he has ever seen, sharing zerberts with the kids and them spitting on me in return, ribbing Brian for wanting another computer, saying to Brian “what can I do to keep Josiah from falling out of the stroller?” as Joe slams his head into the cement at Zoo Boo, and hearing Eila say “I love you, Mommy!” and Josiah shake his head furiously and laugh “Nnno!”


Potty Training

So, this has been a part of my life for over 15 months now and I think that at least during awake times, it is pretty much done! Do you hear me singing and rejoicing and see me dancing all around with relief and sheer wonder that God could finally get my stubborn little girl to just decide to be done!?! About 10 days ago, Eila just decided that she wanted to wear her panties and not pull-ups anymore and that she would tell me when she needed to go (and that she would also get a treat every time she volunteered to go potty.) She has only had two accidents since then, and one was my fault, since she told me and I forgot to take her… oops. I am really hoping and praying that the pacifier habit will be broken in much the same way – she’ll just decide to be done! It’s not looking promising since, earlier this week she told me that she would want and need her “succette” to go to sleep “forever and ever.”

Alas, I am starting with Josiah’s potty training for no other reason than that he loves the toilet and often seems to want to go. He definitely urinates each time I put him on the potty, and has now officially pooped several times on the potty. If I pay attention, he’ll let me know when he needs to go and I can take him, but I am not consistent, which, of course, is the key. So, I’ve returned to cloth diapers (after a haiatus of 2-3 months) and am thus a little more motivated to pay attention to Joe’s cues. Maybe, in 18 months, he’ll be ready to be done with diapers too…

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Late Nights

I find myself often up alone at night. This is when I’m able to get all my computer work and emailing and also computer fun done. I am also finding that hours can slip away without my even realizing it.

I enjoy this time to myself and generally feel a little more calm and able to rest better if I get all my ducks in a row before I go to bed. Although, sometimes I check email or read blogs or whatever I do on the computer and I find myself more wound up and stressed about all the other things that I need to or should do. As a perfectionist and introvert this is always the problem – I desire time to myself to regroup, but I want to be as productive and efficient with that time as possible – especially since that time alone is so precious and rare right now.

On the flip side, I love to spend late nights with my husband chatting and reconnecting, and am frustrated or disappointed when the computer gets in the way – even if by my choice. It must be getting late, since I don’t think I’m making sense anymore…


Being Home

Sometimes I wonder what I do as a stay at home mom… I’m at home very little, so the title in itself is a bit off, but maybe I should be home more. I’ve been thinking lately that having kids so young is really fun when I take the time to enjoy them and play with them – doing what they want, which is to play with me, while we are at home. Often when we’re at home, I need to cook, clean, or they need to eat or sleep. There could be a lot more time for playing if I looked for it rather than trying to move ahead with my plan for the day.

For instance, this past week was VBS, which was amazing in so many ways, but we were out of the house by 8:45am and gone until 12noon every morning. When we got back, it was lunch, then naps, snacks, and then whatever I had planned – shopping, errands, meeting with various people, but no playtime. As soon as we got back again, it was dinner time and then time to sleep. I know that this week was an exceptionally busy week, but I still can’t help but wonder if I’m just letting good opportunities to have fun and enjoy this time with my kids pass me by.

This fall we’ll have something almost every morning, every week and several afternoon commitments too. I don’t want to miss out on the next year, so I think I need to start really evaluating what fits in with our family priorities and then cutting out things that don’t matter as much or where the timing isn’t right. A few years ago, I made a list of 5 life goals/priorities and they still hold true. The test is if I can really be honest about the opportunities and their value to the goals that I believe God has for my life. One of those goals is to be a loving wife and mother, which for me, can only be done by being at home – really being at home.


Planning Vacation

I don’t know why this is so difficult, but planning a vacation is something that stresses me out to the max. I am starting to believe that it might have to do with a deeper issue (don’t stressors always have a trigger?), like wanting to please those I love the most and who will be in close quarters with me during this vacation. But, then again, I think it could just be my OCD/perfectionist craziness. I want my vacations to be perfect – to see all there is to see, to eat well all the time, to sleep well and most of all to have a fabulous time doing whatever I want to do. In order for the vacation to be perfect there is a lot of planning involved. I need to research every possible thing to see or do and find the best possible place to stay and dining options while considering the budget and what will work for our family. I think this is also complicated by the fact that my beloved mate doesn’t have much to say usually, but for vacations offers his opinion and so I want to take that into consideration and make his trip perfect too. I have usually have lots of opinions, so this is no exception. But, when visiting a new place, I fear making a wrong choice and screwing it up for everyone. Failure: my biggest fear! Mixing fear of failing and fear of letting others down – I’m afraid that I might be believing a lie – this is recipe for disaster. The truth is that my self-worth is not based on my performance and other’s opinions of me, but on Christ and His work on the cross. Thank God that He is God and I am NOT!


My Sweet Babies

Eila and Josiah in the jogging stroller


Seen Today

On this mostly typical day in Michigan, what I have seen includes:

Sunshine. Rain.

Firefox freeze up twice. Part of dinner burn once.

Thirty-five Arabic women trying to read the question: What did May get for her birthday? Three of them succeeding.

Thirty-five Arabic women trying to answer the question: What did May get for her birthday? Eighteen of them succeeding.

Eila sucking on her toes. Josiah sucking on Eila’s shoes.

Josiah licking a gate. Eila licking Josiah.

Josiah asleep in a shopping cart, falling over. Eila asleep on Josiah in the stroller.

Eila eating yogurt that she previously ate and spit back into her bowl. Josiah spitting out all of his rice cereal and not eating anything.

Eila sucking on a sprinkler that has been in the garden since last spring. Josiah sucking on my chin.

Josiah sleeping peacefully in his crib. Eila saying “stuck!” & laying next to Josiah who was screaming in his crib.

A knife falling on my finger and leaving only a papercut.

Fifteen emails. One instant message. Over twenty websites.


Admitting Mistakes

Hard, but necessary. I always like to be right and fight hard to prove that I am even when I really know that I’m not. I tend to believe the lie that if I’m wrong, I’m a failure and deserve to be punished or at the very least not to be loved.

I recently made one of my more obnoxious attempts to be right despite all evidence to the contrary. Eila, however, is just as determined as I am and proved me wrong. She was NOT ready to be done with her pacifier, despite my frustration with her having it. She simply could not adjust to all the changes that have occurred in the past few weeks – moving out of her crib, then into a twin bed and then no pacifier. Losing her pacifier was the straw that broke the camels back. Eila just went right over the edge into crazy, crazy toddler. She couldn’t cope and couldn’t or wouldn’t sleep without her pacifier, so instead she’d just cry. This constant screaming made me crazy as well and this is not a good combination. In the end, I had to apologize to Eila for trying to make her grow up too fast and depriving her of sleep and getting angry at her for not meeting my expectations and demands. Fortunately, she was all too glad to have her pacifier back that she quickly forgave me and said a heartfelt “Thank you” as she climbed under the covers and went straight to sleep.

Just think, if I weren’t so stupid and stubborn, we all could’ve slept lots more in the past two weeks and saved ourselves a lot of irritation! All in the name of being right…


Peace & Quiet

I have been trying for some time to get my children on the same or at least somewhat overlapping nap schedule and today I have succeeded! It is wonderful to have a little time to myself during the day and do a few things on my ever-growing list. But, first I procrastinate by chattering on and on about how I have a few minutes of time while both of my beloved children nap… I suppose that having quiet might be something that others would try to escape or fill. I am not like those people. I enjoy not hearing anything at all – except right now the click-clack of the keys on the keyboard and the final spin of the washer with an occasional bang from the overalls in the dryer. However, when I’ve said my bit here, I’m going to go read a chapter or two and curl up with in the easy chair with no noise (I’m not even going to change the laundry!) Peacefulness is, of course, a gift from our great God and He has blessed my heart with peace even while Eila spent a good portion of the morning crying because she was hungry, but didn’t want to eat and Josiah fussed because he has a cold and is generally uncomfortable. So, I’m off to relish the peace and quiet in the house while it lasts.


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