Our weekend in pictures and thoughts.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I probably should have been sweeping up the kitchen floor - it looks like a pretzel/veggie straw/craisin bomb went off.  And I needed to get the laundry folded, so the load that's done in the washing machine doesn't start to smell all mildew-y.  But it's been a long, rough weekend, and this mama needed a cup of coffee and some blogging time during naptime.  

What the pictures don't show are the many all-out tantrums that occurred, or the screaming that ensued when 3-year olds didn't get their way, or the fussy baby, or the 2-year old throwing a fit because he didn't get to shut the dishwasher himself.  Oy.  It's been a weekend demanding much patience and grace.  Sometimes, life just feels messy, you know?  I do not pretend to be a super-mama, or to have it all together - and this weekend was such a real reminder of that.  There are plenty of happy, joyful times around here - times that joy and peace just naturally happen.  And there are other times when I have to constantly seek and choose joy, when I have to stop and take that deep breath before responding, because man alive, I just want to react.  And not in a pleasant way, mind you.

I turned to Max this morning, after buckling Evie into her seat, and commented that she seems easy after dealing with two toddlers who are attempting to demand their way and push all the boundaries they can.  I know they are just figuring out the way the world works, and pushing to see what they can get away with, and I know that we as their parents need to stand firm and teach them that the boundaries are not theirs to decide - but that can be challenging after tantrum #42, or after telling them "no" for the 18th time.  

In spite of a weekend chock full of testing toddlers, we've had a good few days - lots of lounging around, reading books, playing with toys, making meals together, playing outside, and laughing.  Max has been hard at work, trying to tear down and sell his big fish tank, and set up a smaller one that can more easily move with us in the near future.  He's put in a lot of hours in the garage, doing what he calls "manly things".  We started working on re-caning our kitchen chairs last night, and quickly realized that while it's not terribly hard work, it's time intensive and slightly tedious - it'll take us a few more days to get those done.  

The other day, Eliana woke up from her nap before Ezzy.  She came downstairs with me, and I got her a snack.  I was then working on getting dinner prep started, when she came over to me and said, "Hey Mom?  Can I take the car out, please?".  I had this weird moment, because all of a sudden, I saw time flashing by, and she was standing there, a few feet taller, same beautiful girl, same question, as a 16-year old, and I about wet my pants at the thought of time going so quickly and my little baby being big enough to drive a car by herself.  

It was a good reminder that although we are knee deep in tantrums and boundary pushing and precious toddler teaching moments, time keeps moving on.  Tomorrow is a new day, and it'll be here before I know it.  It can be hard some days, but I really do need to strive to embrace the little moments - the spilled snacks on the floor, the rocking of the babies at night, the chubby 2-year old hands tickling me with glee, the night feedings, the spontaneous hugs, the sweet 3-year old learning and singing songs - and not rush through them, not lose sight of these little, beautiful moments.  

I don't want to all of a sudden have a 16-year old daughter, asking me to take the car out, and realize I missed out, or didn't make the time to notice the seemingly small things.  I want more.  I want joy and memories and moments that might be hard, but are so good.  Being a mama is hard work, and some days I get discouraged and easily frustrated.  I am not always patient or kind.  And in hindsight, that is so convicting.  I am so thankful for grace upon grace upon grace.  And new beginnings each and every morning.  

So, here's to the little moments and the constant struggle to embrace each small wonder, in spite of how hard it can sometimes appear to be.  I will choose joy, even if sometimes I just want to sell my toddlers or lock myself in the bathroom for ten minutes.  

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  1. Kaylee-Boo, Oh dear daughter, you're a great mama, an excellent writer & a Godly woman. Keep the faith. And please forgive me for laughing, VERY LOUDLY, as I read some of your blog post. :) I've been captivated lately by the common greeting that appears in the first chapters of many of the NT epistles (starting with Romans). I especially like 1 Thessalonians: 1b-3 and will share this with you as an encouragement -- "Grace and peace to you. We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."
    - papa d

  2. I love L's surprised/silly face and that Z is wearing his slippers while reading like and old man! So cute! You may not pretend but you really are a super mom!

  3. What a well-written post Kaylee! I love the way you put it into words. I want to remember this too as I start on this journey called motherhood. Thanks for inspiring me :)

  4. Kaylee, I can totally relate to everything you said. We are up to our necks in tantrums and arguments and pushing the boundaries and flat out disobeying. It is so wearying to a mama. I too do not have the patience and grace to always respond kindly. I'm so thankful for God's grace and for little ones who quickly and freely forgive their mama.

    PS - your dad's comment totally moved me to tears. Precious words!

  5. Ahhh Kaylee, I love this, and I love you!! We had such a similar weekend, that we described as horrible, rough, and such a waste of a weekend. Toddler tantrums up the wazoo, I was so ready to throw in the towel. So thankful for your honesty today. You are such a gem!! Your kiddos are gorgeous, and it's so refreshing to know that you're a 'real' family with issues and tantrums and meltdowns. It's mamas like you that I love about this blog land, I feel such a kindred spirit in you. I will go to sleep with a bit of a lighter heart today after reading this. Much love to you, sweet friend! xo

  6. This time will pass so swiftly just like you said and before we realize it they'll be driving away to their own doings. I know it's a tough battle...those relentless tantrums over nonsense and the never ending battles that seem to arise at the most impromptu times. But we will get through them all.

    "I've got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart!!!" That's my secret when these things happen. I sing it. Loud. Silly. Obnoxiously. It's a site, trust me, but it works. :)
    BIG hug sister. BIIIIIG hug!!

  7. Thank you! Thank you thank you thank! For being so honest. So many times I read mom-blogs that paint a picture like their life at home is so perfect. Their kids behave like golden children. Nothing is ever out of place. And they are super mom. But that isnt the reality for many of us moms ... and like you, I had one HECK of a weekend here alone with the kids. My husband worked 7 12-hour shifts in a row, and by Sunday, the kids were DONE. It was trying on my nerves, and I didnt handle every situation the best way that I could. Saturday, my daughter curled up on the couch with Nick Jr and was content to spend a lot of her day watching cartoons. And I was content to let her -- because at least I wasnt dealing with massive fights and attitudes. We all were just burnt out.

    So its so refreshing to see another mom be honest and open and REAL about life at home with little ones. We got through our weekend, weathered but in one piece, just as you. And I am just so glad to have stumbled upon this post!!

  8. True words! Sometimes you have to get hit by that reality.

  9. Those days come for all of us, and they can be almost maddening, but you're right! I have to remind myself of that often...and sometimes, several times a day. :)



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