30 May 2013

Super mom

I can remember thinking... How will I be able to handle three kids? How will I be able to do it all and get everything done and meet everyone's needs?

And now two months into life with a 5 year old, 4 year old and newborn I see that you just do it.

No, not everything's done, no I can't do it all, and no, I can't meet everyone's needs (that is Gods job).

But you survive and as long as the kids are clean and fed (thank goodness Julia takes showers now and mark can bathe himself) and you remember to tell them you love them. It's all good.

No, my house is no longer immaculate. But we make our beds each morning and we make sure the dishes are out of the sink before we head out the door.

No, our outfits are not always matching. But I have two big kids who can help mommy and dress themselves and believe me it saves so much time in the morning.

No, my meals are not always planned a month ahead of time (who does that?!?) but my kids tummies are full and we thank God for always being kind and generous and providing for us.

Super mom? No

Real mom--yes!


The Boys Are Growing Fast

Mark and Micah had their well visits back to back this week.

On Tuesday, Mark went to his Big Boy 4 year old visit!

On Wednesday, Micah, my chunker, went to his 2 mos. old well visit (and got vaccines...boo!)

We found out that Mark can totally pee in a cup!  In fact he asked if he could ALWAYS pee in a cup from now on..."NO!" was mommy's quick reply.  "Oh man." said Mark dejectedly.

We found out that Micah is 15.15lbs already (basically he's 16lbs which is 97%!)  He was born at 9.2 and its hard to believe he gained about 3 pounds a month!  Yay, for breast milk! (I promise that's all I feed him!)

Mark is now 34lbs...he gained 5lbs in a year and is still my pip-squeak at 25%...but Dr. Shih said that's totally normally and totally fine.

My favorite part of Mark's visit was when he took his eye test...he sounded so grown up and so smart!  I loved hearing him read off the objects so quickly.  I kept thinking, "That's my boy!"

My favorite part of Micah's visit was hearing Dr. Shih (the best doctor around...he's a daddy with 3 sons) talk to him the entire visit and seeing Micah smile and coo as if Dr. Shih was his buddy.

The visit went so well.  He checked his legs, his belly, his back, his head.  He picked up by his hands to see if he can sit up (we practiced that one a lot lately)...the normal newborn check up.  "Kristi, he looks PERFECT!  He is so GREAT!"  (of course he is perfect...do you see that smile, those dimples, those cheeks).

AND THEN we had to take the walk down the hall......

Into the SHOT room......

This nurse who looked about 17 was going to stick my baby's legs with this long long long sharp sharp sharp needle.

It was just wrong.

She told me to put him down.  I hugged him one last time.  I rocked him ever so gently.  Little did he know what was about to happen to him.

She rubbed each thigh with some rubbing alcohol...and he was looking up at her with a smile, like, "Hey mom, who's this chick?"

Smile, smile, smile...WAILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL...and his look said it all..."Mommy HOW COULD you DO THAT to me!"  "I didn't do it buddy...the mean, old, ugly (ok that's harsh she was pretty) nurse did it my sweet baby."

And I picked him up and cradled him and all was well.  No big deal...but really it was.

Welcome Micah...to the world of needles!  Sorry buddy, mommy will always be there to at least hold your hand.

My boys are growing up fast...too fast!


29 May 2013

Father's Day is Coming Up

This summer we already got John some power tools for all our landscaping and yard work, and this past weekend we got him some much needed new ties for work.  But with Father's Day quickly upon us I am wondering just how to bless John, and my two dads this year.

Last year we did favorite gift cards.  John's Dad loves East Mountain Sports store and my dad loves Home Depot...but this year I want to get more personal gifts.


Any ideas?


28 May 2013

Enjoy Your Life

Ecclesiastes 9:7-10
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
At church our pastor is going through a whole series on The Family called The Home Team!  I am loving it.  I love looking back at my own upbringing and seeing how I can make life wonderful for my family today.  It's always good to see where you came from and how it has shaped you into the person you are today.

Pastor Reid used this passage of scripture to basically say we should be finding joy in our family life...we should be able to laugh with our families.  God wants us to enjoy the people he has given us as family members.

Growing up if I were to describe the culture of my family in three words it would be: moody, melancholy, and strict.  And looking to the future if I could hear what my kids would say about the culture or flow of our family household I HOPE they would be: loving, full of laughter, and lots of grace!

I want my children to grow up feeling safe, loved, and that we went above and beyond to make life enjoyable for them.  Of course we need to have rules and boundaries, work as a team to get family chores done, and use discipline when necessary, but above all I want them to look back on their childhood with fondness!  I want them to say, "Oh, I know my parents loved me, they always had time for me, and they always made me feel special and took the time to listen."  I want them to enjoy being home because the atmosphere is stress free, safe to speak their mind without judgment, and full of grace so that they know if they make a mistake they are still loved.

I like how this verse in Ecclesiastes starts out with talking about food!  I think family life is always linked to meals at the dining room table, and I know there is a statistic that states the more family time you have at the dinner table or at a meal with all the family members the more likely you are developing well rounded and happy children.  Growing up we never had meals together.  My parents were always working during meal times.  It was just the kids at the dinner table and so it was rather boring and I hated eating dinner.

It's been important for me and John to have as many meals with the kids as possible!  John will even go into work later than normal some days (he doesn't have set hours) just so he can have breakfast with the kids.  During the week dinner time can't always be with Daddy, but I am always eating meals with the kids.  We set the table together, and clean up afterwards to.

Right now my kids are young so it's hard to have deep discussions at the dinner table but as they get older I hope we can make meal time a time when we can share our day, and what's on our mind.  Right now we do things like ask: What was your favorite part of the day today?  Or what are you looking forward to doing tomorrow?  Even asking what the kids are thankful for is important.

Pastor Reid was telling us ways that he enjoys life with his wife...going on vacations with just the two of them, having date nights...these are ways we can obey the command "enjoy the wife, whom you love".  I love spending quality time with my John also...finding date nights out of the home or after the kids are put to bed is so important to keeping that loving feeling alive in your marriage.  Reid was saying sometimes you have to stay more than a night away from home because the first night is usually spent talking about how tired you are, issues with the kids etc...sometimes you need a few nights away to really just enjoy each other.

I love verse 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Whatever we have to do in the home, with our kids, with our spouse, at our jobs...we should be doing with excellence!  The teacher in me says, "Preach it!"  To me that means cleaning my home with excellence, taking care of my kids needs with excellence (and having a good attitude about it), raking the leaves, planting in the garden, folding laundry, whatever I do, do it with all my might to the best of my ability because that brings honor and glory to God.  I love how it validates our purposefulness.  I love that God commands us to do our best, to enjoy life, and to enjoy our family.

This week that is my goal...to do my best in all things, to enjoy my life, and to eat my food with gladness, to find joy in my family, and to be thankful always.

27 May 2013

My Birthday Boy

This is my 1,000 post on May 27, 2013

Mark Ciro is 4 today!

He's the sweetest, cutest, funniest, creative, serious, most charming little boy I know.

I'm so proud of the little man he is becoming.  He's a great big brother to Micah, and he still looks up to his big sister Julia.

Today we spent the day at the park with our friends Alison and Brendon (4 year old twins we met at the library).  Grandma Donna met us there and we all played on the jungle gym, and the swings and grandma brought gifts and ice cream.

Mark even got quality boy time with daddy because John had to visit Uncle Tio to get some landscaping advice.  Julia and I were able to clean the house and make Mark's birthday cake.  It is a gorgeous day out today...we are enjoying our kids and the beautiful weather! (And planting all our veggies and herbs in our big garden)

Happy Memorial Day!

22 May 2013

A Change of Plans

Mark's birthday always falls during the heart of Memorial Day weekend. So, when he turned 1 I started a Turtle Back Zoo tradition and always took the kids to the zoo the Friday before his birthday and we always had good weather. This year it's going to rain. So John and I decided to take the kids to NYC to meet everyone in his office and to go to the Museum of Natural History. Tomorrow I'm going to bring the kids to the library to research elephants and dinosaurs because they are going to love seeing the cool elephants and dinosaurs on Friday! Sometimes a change of plans is a good thing!  And we are hoping the weather will be fantastic the next week because we still owe our red head a fun trip to the zoo!  (I can't believe my baby boy is turning 4!)

I'm so thankful for Julia...Mark...and Micah.


21 May 2013

So proud

Dear John,

I am so proud of the man you've become.
In 2009 you decided to switch gears and start a new career. We had a two year old and a 6 month old at the time. It was risky and it was right at the start of our economy's decline. But you hung in there and trusted God. Through much prayer we are seeing the fruit of all your labor. Not only have you succeeding in passing the three year program at Morgan Stanley, but you have been doing amazing with your clients, traveling, doing seminars, and now going for your CFP.  Words cannot express how proud I am of you and how thankful I am for all your provision. God has really blessed us to allow me to be home these past 6 years raising our little ones. That is no easy feat in this poor economy, but you have gone above and beyond to keep me home like we planned.

Congratulations on being awesome! Congratulations on passing all those financial series tests. You did it!!! I'm your biggest fan!!!

I Have a Mother Who Prays

I Have a Mother Who Prays
Some have had kings in their lineage, some to whom honor was paid. Not blest of my ancestors, - but I have a mother who prays.
I have a mother who prays for me, and pleads everyday with The Lord for me. Oh what a difference it makes for me! I have a mother who prays.
Some have worldly success and trust in the riches they've made. This is my surest asset, I have a mother who prays.
My mother's prayers cannot save me, only mine can avail; But my mother introduced me to Someone - Someone who never could fail.
Oh yes, I have a mother who prays for me. And pleads everyday with The Lord for me. Oh what a difference it makes for me - I have a mother who prays.
-Author Unknown

To all the Mommies out there who try their best and ask God for help in raising their children!!!


20 May 2013

Lastborns: Social, Outgoing, Easy Going!!!

Dedicated: To My MJ...our lastborn...for now :)

Tips come from Thriving Family Magazine which is a Christian magazine written by the creators of Focus on the Family.

Since I'm not sure if Micah will be our lastborn, and since Micah is only 2 months old, I won't be able to say if this fits his personality...but I do have a younger sister who fits the criteria perfectly!  If you know Sara, she is the most social, outgoing, easy going person you will ever meet.  She's so fun to be around and definitely the life of the party!  Last borns are also known to get away with just about anything (ummm, true! just ask sara how strict my parents were with me and see how different they were with her!  I wasn't allowed to wear make up EVER...she was allowed when she entered middle school.  I wasn't allowed to get my ears pierced til I was 14...she got them much younger and was allowed to get her nose pierced!  I wasn't allowed to date until 16...she went out with her friends all the time in high school even on school nights!)  Last borns are the least likely to be punished and they often retain their pet name.

Tips for Lastborns:

1. Be sure your lastborn has his or her share of responsibilities around the house.

2. Don't let your lastborn get off the hook in regard to family rules and regulations.

3. While you're making sure you don't coddle your youngest child, don't let him or her get clobbered or lost in the shuffle, either.

4. Introduce your youngest to reading very early.  Six months is not too young to start reading to your child with brightly colored illustrated books.

5. Whenever necessary, call the baby's bluff.

6. Try to get your last born's baby book completed before he or she is 21!


I really liked all of these tips and looking back to my own childhood home of 3 girls, I can see where my parents tried really hard to be super strict with the first two and then really loosen up a lot with the last daughter.  I am hoping to have a good balance  between all the kids and still have rules that are consistent with everyone.  I  understand that some rules will be different depending on each child's personality and maturity.

We have already started reading books to Micah since week 1.  It's easy with him because we allow the big kids to help at bed time, and since I'm nursing I can read while he eats.

Something I want to be really intentional on is making sure Micah has chores the way the big kids do.  I don't want him to grow up thinking that everything will be done for him.  John's mother used to make his bed for him and do his laundry for him all through high school, where as in my home growing up we learned very early on (by age 5) how to sort our laundry and make our own beds.

I'm really looking forward to having a big family.  I consider 3 or more kids a big family.  I think all the different dynamics of birth order are so interesting!  I'm so glad this months article featured birth order.  What did you all think?

19 May 2013

Middleborns: March to the Beat of Their Own Drum

Today's post is dedicated to Marky boy.  Any information italicized is from Thriving Family (Focus on the Family) Christian magazine.

I thought for sure Mark would be our final baby (although something always told me our family wasn't finished growing yet!) With practically four years between he and Micah...I bet Mark thought he was too!  But then came the baby.

Thank goodness for all the prep we did beforehand reminding the children that Micah was going to be "their" baby and that we would really need their help and especially good behavior.  They have doted on Micah since day 1...however...Mark has started to change.  His personality has changed so much so in the last 2 months that John and I have looked at him and then each other and whispered, "Who is this boy?"  He takes longer to get dressed now.  He changes his outfit at least 3 times a day.  He plays pretend more in his room.  He still loves to wear his super hero costume.  And he is always whining about Julia hurting his feelings.  When playing a game with Julia he ALWAYS has to win or tears will break out.  He's always comparing himself to Julia and everything has turned into a race: who can get out of the car fastest, who can brush their teeth fastest, who can tie their shoes fastest, who can put their seat belt on first.  It drives me nuts!!! I am constantly saying, "Mark, it's not a race!"

Middleborns-The hardest to pin down of all the birth orders but they are the OPPOSITE of the child above them in the family. (SO TRUE) If the first born is very conventional, the second will be unconventional.  Middle children walk to the beat of a different drummer.  They are competitive, loyal, and big on friendships.  The middle child of the family is often the negotiator who tries to keep the peace.

6 Tips For Parenting the Middle Child

1. Recognize that your middle child may avoid sharing how they really feel about things.  Set aside times for just the two of you to talk. (I'm so thankful for John because he has done this a lot on Fridays and Saturdays with Marky...just "man" time where they can talk and enjoy a smoothie together and/or play together...Mark has really needed this a lot lately).

2. Take extra care to make your middle child feel special.  (This week is Marky week because his birthday is May 27 on Memorial Day...we are going to the zoo, going to Wonder wing museum, we are going to bake a cake together...and do all the things HE enjoys!  We will let him choose where we go to dinner as well on Friday and Monday!  This all comes down to TIME...we have to take the TIME to do this and show each of our kids how much we LOVE them)

3. Set up some regular privileges he or she can count on having or doing every day or every  week--this is the middle child's exclusive territory.  (I'm thinking about this one...it may involve the IPAD or the garage which is covered with work out/taekwondo mats)

4. Make a special effort to give your child a new item of clothing rather than a hand-me-down. (No problem...he's our first boy and gets tons of clothes! But I can remember wishing I had my own clothes growing up, I never felt like I had clothes that I liked.)

5. Listen carefully to your middle child's answers or explanations for what is going on or what he or she thinks of situations.  The desire to avoid conflict and not make waves may get in the way of real facts.  (Yes, I have learned this the hard way.  I have scolded a child before really knowing the full story.  I'm learning to be a better listener, especially to Mark since Julia is so verbal and likes to speak for Mark.  I'm giving him a chance to use his voice.  Growing up I never felt I had a voice as the middle child.  My parents were often too busy to listen so I gave up trying.  I pray I can do better to really listen and take the extra time.  My parents had good intentions but both worked so time was few and far between.)

6. Be sure the family photo album has its share of pictures of your middle child.  And be sure to take photos of your middleborn alone.  (No problem!!! We love taking pictures in this house!)

Dear, Marky

I hope you know how loved you are!  You are so special to us!!! We love you buddy!

Love, Mom and Dad

Tomorrow's Post: Lastborn Child!!!

17 May 2013

The Firstborn Child

The information I share today comes from Thriving Family (Focus on the Family) magazine.

Do you believe in the impact of birth order in families?  Oh my word, I do!  And once you have three children you really start to see the impact that each child plays on the family.

Firstborns and only children are known to be, "reliable, conscientious, they tend to be list makers and black and white thinkers.  They have a keen sense of right and wrong and believe there is a right way to do things.  They are natural leaders and achievement-oriented."  If you were to poll who the leaders of our country are many of them if not most of them are first-borns!

I have blogged again and again about my confident, smart, independent, creative, and nurturing daughter Julia.  And after reading the book Birth Order by Dr. Kevin Leman (recommended by my mentor Christy Weaver)...I have seen exactly the traits that they say a first born child usually has...and now that my son is a middle child it is amazing how he fits the middle child qualities...but my question has always been, HOW do I parent my firstborn, middle child, and youngest differently?

Thriving Family Magazine in this years Summer issue gives 
8 Tips...and they are awesome!

1. When disciplining the firstborn child, beware of reinforcing his ingrained perfectionism by "should-ing" him all the time.

2. Don't be an "improver" on everything your firstborn or only child says or does.

3. Realize the firstborn has a particular need to know exactly what the rules are.

4. Recognize the firstborns first place in the family.  Firstborns should get some special privileges to go along with the additional responsibilities.

5. Take two-on-one time--BOTH parents out with the oldest child alone.  A firstborn responds better to adult company than children of any other birth order.

6. Stay away from making your firstborn your instant baby sitter.

7. As your firstborn grows older, be sure you don't pile on more responsibilities.  Give some of the responsibilities to the younger children as soon as they are capable.

8. When your firstborn is reading to you and has trouble with a word, don't be so quick to jump in with a correction.  A first born is extremely sensitive to criticism and being corrected.

If you are a parent, and you have children you must be having an Ah-ha! moment right now like I did after reading this!

I am constantly correcting and improving my Julia...to a fault.  I don't mean to but now I am really going to be more aware of how I parent her and be more sensitive.  I don't want her to be hung up on being perfect.  I constantly remind her to just do her best, because she gets so upset if (her homework, her room, the play room, her doll house) it is not PERFECT.

I also want to take her out on more mommy/daddy dates without the other kids.  I didn't realize how beneficial this was, but I do remember these moments going so well and really enjoying her more when we are one on one.  She is so smart and talkative and it's easy to enjoy her one on one.

I'm also really excited this summer she will be traveling with her dad to Arkansas for 5 days.  They will be able to have one on one time and she will get Daddy all to herself.  I know this trip will also boost her self esteem, confidence and fill her love tank since she loves quality time, like I do.

I can't wait to show John this article and get more ideas on how we can better raise our awesome firstborn!  Firstborns are great and sometimes they get more responsibilities and get in trouble more because they are the older one and should know better, but that isn't always fair.

I will be posting next week on Middle Child tips and Last born tips!!!

Have a great weekend and enjoy your families!


16 May 2013

Things Hoped For

Hebrews 11: 1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

When I was 15 years old I was diagnosed with having a giant cell tumor in the bone of my foot.  I had to go to Sloan Kettering in NYC for surgery.  I basically was in all the medical books because it was such a rare case for such a young person and such an aggressive benign tumor.

During that time I felt God was testing my faith.  I had accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 5, baptized at age 11, but it was at this time in my life that I think God wanted to see what I was really made of.  Would I wallow in my loneliness (I couldn't go to HS that Sophomore year I had to finish my studies at home privately), would I yell at God and demand answers, would I just give up on my faith, or was I made of stronger stuff?

Well, one thing is for sure, I read the Bible every day and wrote in my journal and prayed.  This verse in Hebrews became my favorite verse.  I wanted so badly to be able to walk again, but I couldn't picture it.  Even the doctors couldn't tell me if I would be able to walk, run, or work out the way I used to.  It was something that I would just have to trust God for.

One of my biggest fears was that nobody would love me (thinking back to that now I see how silly that was) but at 15 I felt if I wasn't whole on the outside, if I wasn't perfect, without crutches or an air cast, I wouldn't have friends, and nobody would like me.  I pictured my life without a husband or children.

Junior Year I was allowed to go back to school with a single crutch.  My foot continued to heal, but I needed assistance.  I even got out of gym time and began helping in the guidance office during gym time.  (that was fun!)  I also was in the same homeroom as John McInerney (God you have such a sense of humor and great timing!)  And wouldn't you know it, John to this day says the fact that I had that crutch gave him the courage to actually talk to me (he says, I couldn't run away from him!!! LOL).

God gave me so many great verses of encouragement while I was home alone that sophomore year, and He gave me even more help when I was so nervous to face all my friends Junior year with a crutch.

I learned that the one thing I couldn't see up ahead...a husband, a family, children...God has blessed me with over and above.  Today I just wanted to say thank you Lord, for my family.  Thank you for the husband that loves me and loves YOU, thank you for 3 beautiful and healthy children, and thank you that I can walk, run, and chase after my children.  Yes, I do get a sore foot at the end of most days, but it reminds me of YOUR faithfulness.  I'm so thankful for my faith in God.  He never lets me down.  His timing is always perfect.  He is always good.

The very things I hoped for and couldn't see up ahead was a spouse, and children, and now thanks to God I have both!


15 May 2013

What Floats Micah's Boat

Micah loves baths.  He can sit in the warm water for hours.  He loves when I pour the water over his belly.  He doesn't say a peep.  He just takes it all in and moves around in his little tub Aunt Christy bought him.  He loves his little ducky towel cover too, which keeps him warm.

Micah loves story time. It's usually after a feeding and he drifts off to sleep as I read a short story to him.  I love cuddling him close and feeling his body get heavier as he falls asleep.  I think my voice and the words soothe him.

Micah loves hearing Julia and Marky's voices.  He smiles right away as if he knows they are being sweet to him and enjoying his very presence.  I can't walk into a room without being followed now because everyone has to talk to him and kiss him and see how his milk was, his nap was, etc.

Micah is a laid back little fella.  And we are loving him!!!

P.S. Micah is almost 8 weeks old and is already wearing a size 6 months!  I think he is 14-15lbs...I can't wait for his 2 months visit which is coming up to see what his current stats are!

13 May 2013

Mother's Day

This Mother's Day weekend was AWESOME.

Saturday John took both big kids to Chinese School so I had Micah all to myself and was able to clean the house in complete silence...except when bubbs got hungry or talkative.

Then when I got home John kept the big kids busy with making Mother's Day cards and then took all 3 kids out to buy flowers for all the Moms (I was amazed that he took all three and Micah slept the whole time for him).

I was able to get some Mother's Day pampering at the salon, and also joined the gym nearby which took a 30 hour to sign the papers, take my photo, and show me around the place.

Then we went out to a Greek restaurant for dinner, and again Micah slept the whole time, and the big kids got a compliment from the people sitting next to us about their excellent behavior!

At the Greek restaurant both kids gave me a little extra love on the cheek!

On Sunday we went to breakfast at Turning Point which has the best breakfasty brunch food EVER and the best coffee...I think I had a total of 3 cups of coffee on Mother's day!  During breakfast...Micah slept the whole hour and a half!

We then went to church and our Pastor is going through a series called the Home Team...all about the family.  I'm really loving it.  Micah slept through the sermon so I could hear most of it!!!

After church we headed straight to north jersey to be with Grandma Sue and all the McInerneys since Gram has been sick in the hospital lately.

Grandma Sue had 5 kids (she's my hero) Two daughters, Aunt Patti, Aunt Kat, and three sons, Jack, Michael and Dennis.  Aunt Patti and Aunt Kat live in Florida we saw them this November when we visited.  And all the sons and the wives live in Jersey.

John's dad...Jack is the oldest son.  Grandma sue was in love with micah she called him her little butterball!

Cousin Michele was in love too!  Micah was so good with Michele and Aunt Rose.  Aunt Rose put him right to sleep.

Julia and Mark had a blast with all the cousins and the aunts and uncles, and of course grandma sue took her teeth out for entertainment.  The kids love when she does that.  They still don't understand why everyone can't just take their teeth out!

Ultimately the thanks goes to John, as always, he was the one who made the weekend so special.  Even if sometimes I didn't appreciate it, he was really trying his best to make the whole weekend a treat for me and honestly just being with my little people and John is all I wanted.

Happy Mother's Day to all!


08 May 2013

Motherhood: Long Days...Short Years

"The days are LONG, but the years are SHORT."  

In my opinion this is the best parenthood quote ever spoken.   And as a stay at home mom especially sometimes I find myself saying...how much longer til nap time or bed time?  Sometimes it feels like the day stretches on and on with no breaks for mom or dad...and actually I know this changes.  But life with a newborn or any infant the day can seem very monotonous between feeding, changing, and rocking, feeding, changing and rocking, and feeding, changing and rocking, and bathing.

Each minute, every hour, every day, we are allowed to invest in their lives.  How we speak to them, encourage them, love on them will shape them into the teenagers and adults they will be some day.  And that is scary, because nobody is perfect.  We all fail.  And I wonder...will they turn out okay?

I am so convicted when I say, "Go play in the playroom."  Instead of stooping down to really listen to mark's current dream, really pay attention to one of Julia's questions, really give eye contact while nursing the baby.  I constantly feel like, "God, there is not enough time in the day for me to do all that you require of me AND be a good wife and mom."  Some times I just want silence.  I just want to crawl into bed and put the covers over my face and hide.

I can't be the only one who thinks about who their child will become.  I wonder who am I shaping Julia to be one day?  Will she be confident, kind, loving, and patient?  What about Mark, will he be brave, tender, smart, and generous?  And Micah...will he be the spoiled baby in the family who always gets his way?

The days are long...

Being a Mom means that I have the opportunity to be real in front of my kids each day.  I get a brand new day, another chance, another opportunity to boost her self esteem, encourage his creativity, and kiss the chubby cheeks on Micah.  During these long days I get to bring them to the park and have a picnic, ride a carousel at the mall, sing a silly song in the car, or blow bubbles in the bath tub.

Each day won't be perfect....some days are filled with dirty diapers, dirty dishes, and loads of dirty laundry.

Some nights might have a melt down or two, or three (from mommy), a cranky baby, a pokey puppy, or a bossy big sister.

I find myself wishing the baby would let me put him down (all 14lbs of him!) instead of remembering that this might be my last chance to kiss those adorable chubby thighs.

I also find myself saying to Julia "I'm too tired to read a story." because I am just so tired...but what about the night she doesn't ask me to read to her?  So I climb into her bed and read the book, with lots of yawns, but I love the smile she gives me.

And poor John walks in the door some nights to see such a frazzled wife who used to have it all together.  Now he's like, "How can I help you the most?"  And I'm like, "Where do I begin???"

But the years are short...

It's hard to believe my Mark will be 4 years old in 2 weeks, Julia is almost 6 and Micah...he's nearly 2 months old.

Time is a funny thing.  We never get it back.  It keeps ticking away.  And a part of me is always sad at every birthday because I think, my baby is growing up.  And John and I look at ourselves and wonder, how did the time go so fast???

Time takes it's toll.  But I'm still so incredibly thankful to be a stay at home mom for as long as God allows!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who work for , play with , and love on the children God has given them.


01 May 2013

Push Present

Have you ever heard of a new mom getting a push present in the hospital?  It's a term I never heard of either until recently.  It's when the husband brings his wife a gift after having a baby..."push present" meaning a present for all the labor pushing she had to endure!

John bought me diamond earrings after I had Julia.  I remember him giving them to me the day we had her after we were moved to the maternity ward. I had lost one of my diamond earrings that year and so it was a perfect gift because I got a new pair!

Since we had Mark so soon after Julia I don't think I got a push present so to speak, but I did get an early birthday present of Mark Ciro since he was born only 4 days before my birthday!  Marky was due on June 13th so having him 2 1/2 weeks early in the month of May was awesome!  I was home from the hospital just in time for cake and gifts!

This time around when we had Micah, I kept teasing John about what my push present would be...seriously not thinking I would get one, and certainly not needing one.  The day after I had Micah John leaned over the hospital bed while I was holding the baby and said, "You want your push present now?"  Hahahaha I thought.  But he was serious.  "You know how you are always saying you want me to plan ahead our vacation for the summer?"  Yes.....I thought..... "Well I did that...and booked a week's vacation in the Adirondacks of New York, at Camp of the Woods with the Hech's, Lambertsons, and Wurth's!"

I was so happy!  He booked the vacation the week of our 10th anniversary too!  It is an awesome family vacation and our cabins are right by a lake!  There are christian speakers and chapel everyday, crafts and fun programs for the kids, and Alice and I will have Audrey and Micah to play with! (They are 4 mos. apart).  The Lamberstons and Hechs have been inviting us for years to vacation with them, they keep telling us how much fun the kids will have, and now we are finally going for a whole week! I can't wait.  And the planner in me loves the fact that he planned and paid for this ahead of time!  It is a great gift.  I'm trying to think of fun ways we can renew our vows...maybe at sunset by the lake!  I can picture it now...the Lambertsons singing...Julia and Mark and Micah dressed up, and me with a bouquet of flowers walking in the tall grass toward my love...ok I'm a romantic...but one can dream.

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