Thursday, April 24, 2014

Girl's Got Skills

15 months old and becoming very talented.

Eats Magnum Doubles like a seasoned pro.  

Figured out how to climb up onto chairs all by herself.

This is my favorite.  Ms. Houdini here learned how to break free of the straps in her high chair and figures the tray is a much better place to eat her pizza.

and the Grand Finale. . . .Started walking on April 1st (14 1/2 months old).  For some reason Blogger won't let me upload the video so you will have to click on the link.

I'm not ready for toddlerhood.  I'm not sure why but I find I am thoroughly enjoying this baby more than my other two and want nothing more than her to stay the baby.  Maybe it is because I am a more seasoned mommy but I just relish each moment with her.   I am not one to rush my children to grow up.  I strive to keep them as sweet and innocent as long as I can.  

 I'm not sure there could be a more perfect little baby girl.  (Which means I need to remember this when she is 14.)  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Thankful for the Ride

I wrote this post in November 2013.  I thought it was well worth posting months later!


Christmas 2013.  Love the girls in their matching dresses and Carsten with his bloody nose.  
When ever anyone asks how life is with three I almost always instantly reply that having Laura Jane was the "Game Changer" in my life.  Though she is a practically perfect baby, the transition has been and still is a bit rocky. Three kids has been a really, really hard adjustment.

I find it hard to describe in words the drastic change that has occurred in my life.  Every moment is now consumed with the rearing of my children.  Even more than with two.  With two I felt confident in my mothering skills much of the time.  I could work part time.  I volunteered outside of home and church.  Going shopping was possible (not always easy or episode-free but still possible).  I ran races and lost a lot of weight with little effort.  I was able to swap babysitting with the best of them.  With two I felt like an accomplished, capable woman.

With three my confidence has dissipated rapidly.  Going to the store to buy groceries?  Absolutely impossible. Volunteering?  Only at the minimum.  Working?  Can't even fathom doing that right now.  Watching other people's children?  Gives me an anxiety attack just to think about adding another kid to the mix.  And beyond the loss of easiness of the day-to-day tasks I used to take for granted before Laura Jane arrived, I realize my opinions about rearing children have changed.  For example I used to swear I would NEVER carry around my baby in a carseat everywhere.  Babywearing is what is best for the baby.   Or give my baby sugar before her first birthday.  The car seat was my best friend - it kept the baby safe and was so much easier to juggle everything.  And sugar?  I'm sure she had a taste of chocolate cake as soon as she was eating solids.

I won't even delve into how I wonder how I am going to survive the terrible threes with a baby and a kindergartener in the mix.

These challenges have lead me to two stark realizations.

1. My sole purpose in this season of my life is my children.  Most days I am in complete survival mode.  The goal of everything I do is simplification. The every-day phrase my children hear the most is "It's so-and-so's turn.  Your turn is next."  Laundry is the bane of my existence.   Somedays I am not the best mom, friend, or wife in the world.   My dog doesn't always get walked everyday.  My mini-van is so messy I always hope I never park by anyone I know.  But every decision I make and everything I do is to provide them a loving home in which to grow up with parents who not only love them but do all they can to teach them to follow the Savior.  They are my life.

2.  This is just a phase in my life.  Soon my kids will be more independent and need me less.  I will have time to scrapbook, pick up groceries like I don't have a care in the world, and walk my dog after I just spent hours at the gym.  I can devote a lot of my time again to serving others.  The isolation will end and I hope I will look back on these formidable years with fond memories of the tender moments I had with my children and be able to laugh about the even more difficult moments.

The best way to describe how I am feeling is in the words of Gordon B. Hinckley, one of our modern day prophets.

“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”
This crazy baby loves any thing she can ride on!

What a crazy, hard, yet rewarding ride it is.