Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oct 17 of 31 Days

I'm making a Friday out of this Wednesday...

...because it's my princess's birthday. Her ninth birthday.

Soon I will have 2 princesses.

There was still school. Can't change that. (However, if Daddy had been able to get the day off from work, I would probably have considered changing that.) But she took little ice cream cups for her class, and her teacher saved her a Happy Birthday pencil and bookmark and a Hershey bar, even though she's in Virginia to help bury her daughter's husband. (Crazy real.)

But then I took a deep breath, and took the extra time after school (that I'd been avoiding) and walked the kids back to their old school across the street to visit their old friends, like they'd been asking since they started at their new school. MEF and her little friend Quinn walked all over the front lawn talking, and then began a sudden game of tag. EB played/ran/tackled/giggled with his friend Jacob. (MG chased EB and Jacob.)

We stayed maybe 45 minutes. They loved it.

There will be a brief amount of studying for the birthday princess (God blessed her with a very light homework load today, but we do just need to go over the vocab list). And there was the call from Grandma and Grandma singing Happy Birthday.

And then back to the Friday-ness of it. Right now they're resting with snacks on the couch, watching Gigi on dvd. Then there will be more craziness, or playing on the Wii, or the computer. (I will not make them clean the living room.) And in an hour and a half or so, we will meet Daddy at Chuck E. Cheezits, as my littles call it. And we will eat pizza and Swiss cake rolls (because my girl doesn't care for birthday cake) and play games. (And I will be exhausted. Crazy real.)

Tomorrow will be Thursday.

But today it's my girl's birthday (and my 9th anniversary of God waking me up to live for real),

so it's Friday.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oct. 15 of 31 Days

I'm not "crunchy." I'm not hard-core "green." I don't make everything we eat, 'though I do try to make some. (Like peanut butter and spaghetti sauce and bread.) I love Humpty Dumpty All-Dressed potato chips. And Hershey's chocolate syrup tastes better in my coffee than homemade.

But I don't like fake food. Fake ingredients, fake colors, fake flavors. I don't like what it does to my kids attitudes, or to my body shape.

I don't like buying orange cheese (it's not naturally orange, you know). And did you know store-bought applesauce has high-fructose corn syrup in it? Applesauce!!

But. Sometimes you buy the G.I.A.N.T. bag of neon orange cheese balls as a special snack for your kids because you think, "sure, it's fake, but it's just for today and it's two bucks."

Even when you look at the receipt later and realize the shelf was labeled wrong. It was five bucks.

Crazy real. honor of my Baby Blueberry, and all the angel babies that left our arms too soon, but somehow in the perfect timing of Jesus, hugs to all the mamas.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Oct. 12 of 31 Days

Okay, here's my Crazy Real post for the day. Warning: Mama Bear has been disturbed from her slumber.

I got a call this afternoon saying EB (the 6yo) had had another accident at school and needed new clothes brought down. (Bear in mind, this is around 2pm. If I'd thought about it, I probably would've just signed him out and taken him home. Better I guess that he stays a bit. Grr.) This call is the 3rd we've gotten this year.

For the average 6yo, this might seem like a lot. But for a boy who had chronic constipation for 3 years because his doctor kept suggesting meds and routines rather than asking about his diet, and then outgrew his bladder because his daddy is naturally 6'4"/350lbs+, it's nothing short of a miracle. I can't tell you how often I've felt like I live in the Land of Pee. The fact that he's only had 3 accidents in a month and a half, never having done full-day school before? They should be making him a freakin' CAKE.

No. I walk down to his room because the secretary says his teacher wants to "talk" to me. There sits my little EB at his desk, doing nothing. It happened during gym, so he had to come back to the class from gym, and sit out the rest.

Okay, truth: I guess he lied about peeing himself. (Or so they think.) So that's probably why he was sitting at his desk. But if you've ever had a child who's had to deal with urinary issues, you understand what this does to them. Even when it doesn't seem to phase them.

Then she goes on to explain that even their pre-K kids aren't having accidents, and basically threatening that if it continues, he can't keep going to school there. They're supposed to be potty trained.

I know his teacher. I went to school with his teacher. She's the cousin of one of my best friends. But I confess to you that in these moments standing there next to her desk -- and I crossed my arms on purpose to make myself feel better -- I wanted to take. her. down.

He IS potty trained, thank you. I explained all of it. His three-year fight with constipation (he didn't poop for weeks on end), his size, his bladder's size, how freaking AWESOME it is that he's only had this many accidents, how sometimes he really does have to go pee every 5 minutes, the fact that we know some of it is obstinance but most of it is still growth.

Nope, no grace for big boys who just grow faster than their parts. I have to get a doctor's note saying it's a medical condition. (Trust me. I will.)

She said it surprises her that it doesn't seem to bother him when he has an accident. I told her we'd treated his previous accidents that way so that he didn't feel awful about himself when it wasn't (entirely) his fault.

So now tell him he can't go to school there, to a class/school/structure that was a HUGE adjustment for him but that he has come to love, because he's a big boy who's actually doing very well at going to the bathroom. See if he's embarrassed then.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oct. 11 of 31 Days

Incidentally, today is 10-11-12. I know that's all over Facebook, but some things still manage to slip by. In case you were interested. :)

Today, I'm posting some prayers. If you read a previous post, you read my struggles with my stepdaughter. (Or some of them.) My heart wants to pray for her when I'm frustrated or discouraged, but most of the time what would probably come out is "pleeeeeease don't let her come back here . . ." and I don't think that's  what God would have me pray. (Crazy real.)

But I struggle with what to pray. I want her to be closer to Jesus. I want her to remember the truth she knows. I want her to stay away from bad influences.

Oh, lookie there, that could be my prayer.

But when I'm frustrated, I can't usually think of such clear words.

My Bible is Stormie Omartian's The Power of a Praying Woman Bible. (Or you can find it here. I'd rather tag CBD for it, but they don't seem to have an English version. Odd . . .) I think I always knew they were there, but until recently I didn't pay attention to the ready-made prayers she has in the front, prayers for stuff about us, our hubbies, our kids, our friends, etc. Suddenly I thought, hey, I bet she has something I could pray. I want to quote for you the ones that I wrote down to use for my stepdaughter.

Note: I realized as I was copying these down -- and fyi, if you write it right, they each fit on one post-it, for easy accessibility -- that I most certainly should be praying each of these for my other kids, too. In most places, she already has "him/her" written in. But of course make sure you insert your own child's gender, and I've taken the liberty of highlighting where you could say their name.

These prayers should be as personal as we can make them.


Eternal Future
Lord, may my child call You his/her Savior, be filled with Your Holy Spirit, acknowledge You in every area of his/her life, and choose always to follow You and Your ways. Help him/her to walk closely with You today.

Lord, I pray that You would take the faith You have planted in my child and multiply it. May the truth of Your Word be firmly established in his/her heart so that faith will grow daily and guide his/her life and decisions. Help him/her to trust You at all times.

Sense of Love and Acceptance
Lord, I pray that my child will feel loved and accepted. Penetrate his/her heart with Your love and help him/her to fully understand how far-reaching and complete it is. Help me to model Your love and acceptance to my child today.

Obedience to the Truth
Lord, I pray that You will fill my child with Your Spirit of truth  Give him/her a heart that loves truth and follows after it. I pray that he/she will not be blinded or deceived but will always be able to clearly understand Your truth.

Lord, I lift my child up to You and ask that You would put a hedge of protection around him/her. Protect his/her spirit, body, mind, and emotions from any kind of evil or harm.

Purity and Holiness
Lord, I pray that my child will run from evil, from impurity, and from unholy thoughts, words, and deeds. Help him/her to be drawn toward whatever is pure and holy and choose to be a part of only those things that are pleasing to You.


Please remember, if you mean these prayers, every word, it doesn't matter who wrote them. If they come from your heart, they're as much your prayer as anyone's.

I hope they help you.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oct. 9 of 31 Days

October 9th, In Which I Get Crazy Real About Being A Stepmom

I'm a stepmom. She'll be 15 next month, and as of the end of August, she now lives in CA with her mom and is going to high school out there.

She's one lost little girl, with no idea of who she is or where she wants to go, except that she knows she wants people to love her. But she wants them to love the GOOD her...not the real her. Not the her that needs healing. I think she'd like to forget about that her. But she can't. So she invents stories about what she's going through to tell her friends to garner pity. Her dad and I know The Real Her. She doesn't. I don't know who else does. I'm betting a lot of people in our church do. She's a pretty good stunt woman, but she's not that great an actress.

Before she left, we finally consented to letting her have a Facebook account. You have email, we said. You'll have your mom's phone to text, we said. You can get people's addresses and write them letters, we said. But we let her have an account anyway. (It was funny, actually -- we led her to believe we were saying no, but then, under the cloud of all those warnings why we didn't want her to have one, we said yes. She was ecstatic. And very shortly thereafter, I think she forgot all those reasons.)

Now she's . . . "enjoying her freedom," I call it. Her mom isn't as strict conservative as we are with rules. Her mom has said she's a Christian, but if you know Christians by their actions . . . well, I'm not judging, I'm just saying I wouldn't guess she is. And when we asked her mom to make sure she gets SL to church, she said, "well, I don't want to force her to go . . . " Thanks for nothing.

SL is in God's hands, we know that. And we know He has a big huge GIANT plan for her life. It's gonna be amazing. Fireworks and stuff. But we know it's going to be hard to watch her go through the junk she's gonna have to go through to get to the awesomeness.

For instance . . .
. . . I can't comment too much on her Facebook page because she gets mad at what I say, no matter how happy I make it.
. . . the only times she calls me specifically is if she needs something (her dog was biting at her, she wanted to get a spot out of her shirt, etc.).
When you think about these things, they sound marvelously like "mom stuff" . . . but I'm not the mom. She's made that clear. So I stand back, and take it.

And for instance, I think, "hey . . . her Facebook wall has been pleasantly calm the last several weeks; I'll peek into her messages and make sure everything's going okay with her."

**This is not snooping, FYI. This was a known-to-all-parties-involved part of the Having a Facebook Deal. So me signing in to check things out is no breach of trust or confidence or privacy.**

And I read things like "bulimic." And I read various and sundry swears and inappropriateness that I won't re-print.

Sigh. And ALL I WANT TO DO is complain to another stepmom about it. I want a stepmom Bible study. I want a stepmom book. A stepmom website.

And I know that community is a God-given gift, but what I KNOW is that God can be and needs to be all. I. need.

I want Jesus in human form. I don't believe He's going to grant my request.

So I will continue yelling at Him, and trying to pray for her, and trying to be honest with Him, and trying to convince myself that all this is not futile. And trying really hard NOT to flat out say she can't come back if this is how she's going to act. And I will try to figure out the best time to tell her dad these things. Because even if I do tell him these words that I've seen, he will call her, and she will probably deny it with some odd reason or excuse or some new story.

And I don't want to think about it. Anymore. At all. Ever.
My reality = sometimes I want to sign off.
Stepmoms know.
Don't judge.

I'm just being crazy real.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Oct. 6 of 31 Days

Day something of 31 Days. (It's Oct. 6. That's all I know.)

Thank you, Jesus, for 6yo boys who can pour Kix for their little brothers, so that when I'm about to get MG dressed and Daddy calls from his men's breakfast asking what Bible study he can sign up for, I can send him off to eat breakfast and talk in (relative) peace. (Even if your #momfail moment is realizing one of them had to eat their cereal out of a measuring cup because there were no other bowls clean.)

Thank you, Jesus, for Legos, so that when a conversation with hubby about signing up for Bible studies dissolves into a hormonally-charged tailspin of frustration, and then further (after the phone call) into a blubbery, snotty mess behind my bedroom door (so as not to worry the children), they can finish breakfast and go right back to their architecturally-charged frenzy.

And thank you, Jesus, for other moms in the trenches who understand that an assignment of writing for 31 straight days in a row might. just. not. happen.

See you tomorrow. Or whenever.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Oct. 4 of 31 Days

Okay, moms, here I am right in the thick of Mom Fail Central.

But then again . . . is it a mom fail? I don't know.

I hate (hate) starting the day yelling at the kids. It wasn't a tirade or anything, but they started arguing in the kitchen so I stomped marched in there and (loudly) told them to stop. I had already told them to stop from here in the living room, so I told them (loudly) that if they had STOPPED when I asked them to STOP, they wouldn't be having this problem right now. (I think they were arguing because MG wanted to know what kind of yogurt EB was having.)

I don't like yelling. I do it a lot. I don't like it. And we duplex with my parents so I know they have to listen to it. I have three kids currently; ours is not a quiet house. Theirs is.

. . . . . .

Do you ever do this? Do you ever start writing a blog about something icky, and then in. the. middle. of writing it, something good happens that turns the atmosphere around?

Last week, I saw these two button-up Wrangler shirts at Walmart for EB (he needs shirts with collars for school). He's 6, and the shirts are 14/16, but I like to shop a little ahead, and he looks wicked-handsomely-cute in slightly oversized stuff. And truth be told, it's not all that big on him.

Side note: I'm biased, but I think just about every 6 year old girl should have a crush on my son. I will, of course, have to beat them off with a stick later. I accept this fate.

They were on the clearance rack for $5 a piece, but even at that, I didn't have the money right then to get them. So I took a deep breath and put them back, knowing full-well the Walmart Rule : buy it now or kiss it good-bye, even when it's not on clearance.

A couple days ago - post-paycheck - I checked to see if they were still there, and there they were - $3 a piece! Thank you, Jesus, for rewarding my good money stewardship! (At least that's how I'm choosing to look at it.)

I was avoiding forgot to tell EB that I had gotten them until this morning. (I'm such a coward when it comes to buying something for one kid without having something ready for the others.) He picked one (red plaid vs. orange plaid; he chose red) and put it on. I told him it looked good, and then like a firework going off I clapped my hands and remembered that today is picture day!!

"I'd like to thank everyone for this Mom of the Year Award . . ."

God is so good! Brand new shirt, without having had the chance to get stained or wrinkled, for picture day.

God is so good - my visit to Mom Fail Central and my Mom of the Year Award, all wrapped up in one.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oct. 3 of 31 Days

Did you miss Oct. 2? No, you did not. I didn't write it. Just being real.

So since I missed a day, today's reality check is going to be somewhat bullet-pointed, with all sorts of "random" (MG's new favorite word) reality. Here goes.

- Yesterday, I was peeling yucky carrots. Although I did cut off any brown parts, the outsides were still kinda slimy. But I peeled them anyway, cut them up, and bagged them for snacks. You can do that with carrots, right?

- All 3 of my children share the same bedroom. My daughter has her own room, but prefers to sleep in the boys' room. (I heart that they get along so well.) However, she does not have her own bed. She sleeps on the floor, and has no problem with it. But since I had to go upstairs to MG's crying twice during the night last night, and he fell over her both times, I think it's time to move some stuff around.

- I have a policy about dinner. I make it. You eat it. Or don't. Your choice. But I don't short-order cook. Tonight, I made something I know my kids don't like. But I made it anyway. On other days, I've toughed through it and said they can eat it anyway. Or not. Tonight, I threw chicken nuggets in the oven, too. Weak?'s a twist. In the middle of writing this blog (which isn't hard, since I'm leaving it open on my computer to write it as today happens), I read this blog entry that was recommended by Threadbare Mommas.

I'm writing about reality here. And in truth, all these mom-fails are, truly, reality. We all do them. We all screw up. BUT. We do good things, too. We're just so good at thinking we're failing that we forget them.

So. As my Mom Of The Year trophy, I will be writing half of each post about the true mom-fails, things we all do but hate to admit, and half about the GOOD things I've done that day. Because they're just as real as any screw-up I've done during the day. Yeah. That's a good idea.

So here are a couple of good things from today.

- I did not yell at my kids before school. (This is an accomplishment. I was stern - my older two are getting used to a new schedule and both want to stay home when we hit Wednesday, but they can't, so I have to be serious in order to get them to keep moving. But I didn't yell.)

- I f.i.n.a.l.l.y started working on the kids' room. It's needed it for a while, but today MG and I went up to do it. I managed to get all the little clothes bagged by size and brought down to the 2nd floor to give away. And I moved EB's dresser into the closet to make room for an actual bed for Sister (no more floor). (And I promise, if it'd been too heavy for this 21-weeker, I wouldn't have moved it. It was fine.)

- By making chicken nuggets tonight, we had a peaceful dinner with no arguing. They love chicken nuggets. So I ask you: giving in on not making them eat dinner - mom pass or fail?

See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oct. 1 (31 Days)

I feel like I should be starting with a classic Joan Rivers' "can we talk?"

But really, it's more like "okay, here's the truth . . ."

In a very odd way, I think God is blessing me in this venture of 31 Days, because OH-MY-DO-I have some material - just from today - to start sharing real-ity.

First off, any and all personal real-ity right now is at least in part because I am 5 months pregnant. That's some reality for ya.

For instance, I practically woke up this morning crying. My brain had gone psycho, and was changing any normal thing into something horrible. Some dream I had must've included skydiving (why? because I'm pregnant, clearly) . . . and then suddenly I'm thinking, "what if EB and MG [my 6 and 3 year old sons] fell from an airplane without a parachute?!?!"

What?!?!?! Where did that come from? Pregnant, I tell you.

One of my very next thoughts was something along the lines of ". . . surely my husband would prefer any one of his old girlfriends to me."

Oh, dear. Clearly it's time to open my eyes and pull the emergency brake cord on this train of thought.

But here's my actual crazy real moment for the day:

We all know what it's like when one of our kids forgets something at home, and we have to take it to them at school.

Problem: I've had to do that several times already, and it's only October 1st. I feel like the secretary is starting to catch on that, more often than not, it's MY fault that I'm having to bring things into the office for them.

This morning, however, it was a conscious choice. I did not pack their lunches. I sent them with one snack each, and told them I'd bring their lunches later.

Why? Because I didn't have anything to give them for lunch. It wasn't just forgetting to pack their lunches. It wasn't just forgetting to get their lunches into their backpacks. [Fyi, before you start wondering, sometimes it's my responsibility to get their stuff in their bags, but mostly it's theirs. I'm no maid.]

It was - in fact - that there was no food in the house to PUT in their lunchboxes. Sigh.

Who's with me - three cheers for Lunchables?

See you tomorrow.