greener pastures

sometimes i forget that the grass isn’t so green on the other side.

today is one of those days again.

last night as i thought about the rainy day ahead, i made the plan to get us up, dressed, and out by 10AM for a panera blueberry bagel breakfast (coffee for mama) and pbk story time. this little adventure would put us back at home for lunch and naps, and i would have been successful at doing at least one out-of-the-house activity with my bored-to-the-brim kiddos. (sounds great in theory, right?)

but despite my efforts for a lovely start to a lovely plan, my kids went crazy in isla’s room yet again this morning, while i took a desperately quick shower. this time they slathered the crib, the play table, another book, and THE CARPET with neon blue shampoo and lime green body wash. i couldn’t believe it. it was like, “really? is this what we’re going to do again today? destroy the house, my plans, and my joy?”

(thankfully, my sister-in-law is letting me borrow the carpet cleaning vacuum, and i found out, from my mom and dear google, that a little vinegar/warm water solution over the spots should do the trick. luckily, i only have three carpet spots to deal with – the rest was plastered on a hard surface of some kind, which brings our total of expensive-books-thrown-away-b/c-of-your-mess to three, and it’s only tuesday. :/ )

we barely made it to “story time” on time. they were reading “madeline” (one of the girls’ absolute favorites – we have the entire thing memorized, complete with french accents), yet my children did not want to listen. they were the only children ignoring story time. bagels came afterwards, b/c of our mad dash to pbk; ava nearly fell in a fountain; she forget her sippy cup in a store (didn’t realize until we were on our way home); lunch was pb sandwiches and strawberries (2nd time this week); isla clogged the toilet, and ava nearly overflowed it by trying to flush 16 times afterwards; nap time didn’t begin until 3:30PM (bad news for bedtime); finally, the thunder rolled in, so guess who’s not napping – ava.

being a mom is hard. most of the time it’s messy. it’s thankless. it’s frustrating. it’s sweaty. it’s smelly. it’s rewards aren’t material.

on days like last thursday, yesterday, and today (on so many days), it can really be difficult to remember what’s important, to keep my cool, and to not wish i were somewhere else all together.

i’m thankful that i’m not alone, and neither are you. i think that’s why i appreciate blogs so much. there are so many parents out there sharing their experiences – sometimes with humor or sarcasm, sometimes with sadness or desperation, and sometimes with wisdom and grace.

this post i read just now definitely falls under the latter. thank you, whitney for your wisdom and grace, and thank you for the gentle reminder. i needed one today.

find the post here:
beauty in the mess: taking captive our thoughts

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“i love you”

earlier this morning while i was unloading the dishwasher, my little one, isla rae brought me her bowl of half-eaten dry cereal (they love the target version of cinnamon toast crunch – just like their daddy), and asked for more. i stopped unloading, refilled her bowl, and as i handed it back to her, i said, “i love you, isla.” she, in her little way that does sooo well, (if you knew her, you’d know exactly what i’m talking about), nodded her little head, mumbling in her high-pitched little voice, “um hmm,” and walked away.

i went back to my chores thinking about how i want my kids to grow up knowing that everything i do for them is out of love. nothing, and i mean nothing, is done out of obligation. when you truly love someone, you do everything out of your love for them. even the hard things. when i feed them, it’s not b/c i know it’s my duty as a parent to keep them healthy, b/c authorities would come knocking on my door if i didn’t, it’s b/c i desire nothing but total health and satisfaction for them. i change their diapers and wipe their bums out of my love for them and desire to take care of their every need. i know you’re probably thinking, “duh” to those statements, but it’s been my habit for as long as i can remember to tell them i love them at the most random moments. not just when they’re showing me affection, or when we are parting at nana’s, or as i tuck them in at night. i tell them i love them when they’re making a mess, when they’re asking for more food, when they’re sitting on the potty, while they’re watching a tv show, when i’m giving them a bath…anytime.

i recall ava dancing around just yesterday in the kitchen in her pink princess dress, and three times in a row, as she paused, i said, “ava, look at mommy’s eyes.” she would, and i said each time, “i love you, ava.” by the third time, she thought it was so funny and she gave me a look that a 16 year old would give their mom, even though she’s only three, and it was great. i love that interaction with my girls, and i love knowing that they are growing up with the understanding that i love them at all times. my love will never be conditional. never based on circumstances, moods, behaviors, surroundings… my love is always, at all times, forever.

you know who loves us like that? i bet you do, but if you don’t – God. God loves me like that. He loves you like that. as an adult, i have had a really hard time grasping that. taking something so true and amazing and getting it from your head to your heart when you have been thinking for so long that love is mostly conditional, earned, easily taken away…it can be hard embracing the truth about God’s love. being a wife has done a great deal in regards to teaching me about grace, forgiveness, selflessness, making healthy choices that will encourage and not tear down, etc., but being a mother has done wonders in the area of teaching me about love.

have you ever found yourself holding your infant in your arms and suddenly overwhelmed with the emotion of love? and it hits you like a ton of bricks, “oh my goodness, God loves me this way.” how about when your child throws a terrible fit and you are so frustrated, but your love never diminishes one bit – you could still bend down and smooch their little faces like crazy, and you think, “wow, God loves me when i’m acting ugly too.” i have, and wow, it’s good stuff. the moments can be fleeting, but i will often remind myself of those times when i’m feeling less-than-lovable.

anyway, so i was thinking about all of that this morning, and then came across this picture shared by proverbs 31 ministries, originally posted by being mommy, and i couldn’t help but smile, knowing that other moms are thinking the same things today and loving on their babies without reservation. hope it blesses you too.

mothers of daughters…

so i have a few friends that are mothers of just sons. i have thought from time to time, “it’s a good thing that i have daughters, b/c i don’t think i could handle…be good with…play with…x,y,z.”

let me tell you…being a mother of daughters has not in fact spared me from playing with trucks, cleaning up mud, holding toads, smelling almost constant “toots,” excusing forced burping, screaming “don’t you dare put that booger in your mouth!,” being peed on during diaper changes, handling worms/bugs, and most recently, as in this very afternoon, picking up turds with my bare hands.

yep.

folks, girls are just as gross. haha

so mothers of sons…you are not alone! the fruit of our loins may be covered in pink, wearing “cha-chas,” playing in our make-up…

but, under it all…they’re just as capable and willing to get dirty, stink up the joint, and eat you out of house and home.

oh yeah, and they like football.

join the klover house family on facebook, pinterest, and twitter!
  

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“long term benefit”

how appropriate after what i just shared with you that i check my e-mail to find this awaiting me…

an article from passionate purposeful parenting: “long term benefit”

can i get an AMEN?!

looks like obedience is the word of the day.

happy to be inspired when i’ve a week that started out more than rough.

thanks for your encouragement, openness, advice, and empathy! haha

the mean act…

23 weeks pregnant, trying to get our current home ready to sell, cooking, cleaning, taking care of kiddos…stress is on the rise for all of the obvious reasons, but you know what’s stressing me out more than anything else lately?

the mean act.

why, oh why don’t kids just stay these sweet, innocent, little, pudgy balls of obedience?

they hit the terrible twos, the tempestuous threes…and all of a sudden every other word out of your mouth is, “TIME OUT!” “NOOOOOO!” “STOP!!!!” “I’M GOING TO SPANK YOUR BUM!” “DON”T YOU DARE HIT YOUR SISTER!” “SHHAAAAARRRRRRRE!!!!!!”

i feel as though i may go mad.

i act the other definition of mad like 84% of my day anymore.
boy is it taxing.

having an elementary ed degree has given me lots of great ideas as far as implementing behavior charts, plans, incentives, etc., and of course there’s pinterest these days…but this mama can’t even find time to just get to the dollar store for crying out loud to buy some stickers & poster board.
alas, as a trapped-in-the, er, stay-at-home-mom of two with one on the way, watching two extra kiddos daily, having a hubby who works a stressful, full-time job, allowing church/other activities to occupy nearly every evening/weekend…

i have fallen into the trap of using the mean act…

yelling, threatening, scolding, spanking, giving the look.

more than half of the time, i’m not even really mad or upset, but i know what they’re doing in those moments need to be addressed, and they need to be corrected, redirected…all that good stuff. unfortunately, i’m usually also doing 56 other things at the moment when the craziness strikes. in the midst of busyness and craziness…i often fail to take the time to do things “the right way,” and i put on my mean mask, shoot stern looks, threaten, yell, spank, or tote my three year old off to time out (which is probably the most effective, but used least b/c of being pregnant), and then disappointment sets in, i beat myself up, feel like a lousy mom…all that bad stuff.

so anyway, i’m going to really put my thinking cap on here and get myself out to buy behavior chart supplies even if it means going to the dreaded walmart at 10pm…and i’m going to bring peace back into discipline-land around here.

good-bye mean mask.

any of you in the same boat?

have you tried anything & it worked?!

oh btw…as i have taken 10 minutes to hammer this out…my 18 month old has popped out from behind our sofa chair butt-naked flapping wipes. looks like she tried to change her own diaper.

Lord have mercy on this mom…