Catching my breath.

FINALLY, in a groove…a routine of a sort, I am catching my breath and sincerely enjoying every moment as it comes. I do have those brief intervals of frustration when both kids are screaming the whole car ride home, but they are brief. And we all survive and appreciate arriving home more.
It has been a long while since i posted, I dont really have a commitment to it anymore. I apologize.
Girls are big, if you know me check facebook for pictures. They are almost 1 and a surefire 2 1/2. CUTE CUTE CUTE and rotten. Love them so much. Anyone ever read Max Lucado? I have a hard time reading his books because he writes like I am now. Short. Sometimes one-word. Sentences. lol. I really struggle with that.
I have been reading a lot of books lately- Got a NOOK in february for valentines day (thx honey bunny) and have sufficiently used it 🙂 . I went from reading 1-3 books a year to already since february 2011 having completed 10. WHEW! Thats quite an increase. Most have indeed been on the NOOK, however, I have read a few from the library and friends to keep costs reasonable. Its funny, Reading whether its on the NOOK or the old fashioned book, still is a great habit to form. I am waiting on my next book to arrive in the mail. I thought I would take longer to finish the one I had before…but i breezed through it in just 2 days (thought it would take a week). SOOO. as I am waiting I find myself cleaning more (ugh, probably good though), blogging, scrapbooking, watching missed shows, and twiddling my thumbs impatiently. I am so ready to keep this going- this reading thing!

anywhoos…as an update on everything else besides my reading and the girls’ ages, i want to say- that we just LOVE where we are right now. In every realm: spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, professionally, community, family….EVERYTHING. I feel so blessed sometimes i sit back and just take a moment in hoping it wont pass. I guess i am finally realizing that we are getting older, and time keeps going faster.

I heard in bible study this morning (the newest addition to my life), that we are called here to this time, this generation for a specific purpose: to be relevant for the Lord here, NOW. I pray that we are as individuals and as a family. I pray the Holy Spirit would help me to teach my girls about Jesus, and what He has done and what we should do in response to that. I pray that they see urgency in serving Him and not wasting another ounce of the life they have been given. They are a bit young right now to grasp most of that, but you better believe I pray they watch jason and I….and that our example teaches them something of the Lord.
As life keeps going, Ill keep praying. Probably reading too 🙂

I am so thankful that God has blessed us so much….unmerited grace, AMEN.

If my book comes tomorrow, I may not blog for a while. If it doesnt, you may see another entry 🙂

Every parent

Even I remember my parents having moments….moments when they kind of “reach their maximum” of tolerating a behavior out of a child. Today I felt like for most of the morning I was at a maximum and blew my lid several times. A harsh tone, impatience, and or yelling- I HATED who I was in those moments. I found myself being very generous and patient after naptime (and no, I didnt take a nap). I asked myself why I was acting that way and quickly realized I was trying to “make up” for my behavior earlier. Knowing that Ana doesnt have that understanding yet, I thought it necessary to apologize to her for being so angry. I did, but it just wasnt enough. Tonight I could barely keep my knees from buckling out of remorse for the way I had been. I cried and prayed by their bedsides, especially Ana’s- as she gets the brunt of my daily frustration since she is old enough to understand when mommy’s mad. Sure, she does cause some of it, but not nearly enough to merit the reaction I am dishing out. It isnt that anything awful happened outside of the things I listed above- but it has been a few days of this behavior out of me and I just cannot stand it. Today it peaked out- reached its max- and I am not having it anymore.

Like I said, I remember times when even my mom and dad reacted the same way I have been. And I know we are only human, and most every parent has been pushed to the brink of reacting in a way that was uncharacteristic of them. Every parent has had to ask for forgiveness from their child(ren) and God.  So I am not different in that respect.

So why make my struggle this evening so public as in my blog and on facebook? Because tonight, while I was begging God to make me different than I am- to change me in this area of my life, I believed He could. And that it could be as simple as a light switch turning from “off” to “on”. I believe He is able to complete me enough to keep my tongue from reacting harshly, and stop my hands when I want to slam a door; to bring me patience when I take that deep breath to raise my voice, and to bring me fulfillment when I apologize because I KNOW HE will change me from that point forward.

Tonight I became dissatisfied with my apologies and my abilities to try and make things right, because I know doing it myself I will most likely fail and fail and fail. BUT believing God can actually do what His word says He can do (oh so many times), I can be made new and the old cannot haunt me.

Every parent has a bad day, a rough day- and “maxed out” of patience sort of day. Every parent also has the power to never be “maxed out” again at their fingertips if only we believe its there enough to take hold of it. Thats why I share such a personal blog this evening. Zeph. 3:17

Cat’s out of the bag

today Ana got her first haircut! YAY! she was sooooo good. I have been trimming her bangs up until this point, but now we have made it a routine to do with Jason when he gets his hair cut. Today, she wanted to do it and was persistent so we did it. Multiple times before she has gotten ready to do it and cried at the last second saying NO NO NO but today was different. she wore the little drape and even watched mrs tracy cut away! We trimmed off some yucky ends too- it was a great first haircut experience! ANA LOVED IT! she was flaunting her hair all the way home. I told mrs. tracy at smartstyles that she has earned our business for LIFE!

Cat’s out of the bag- we are moving. about a month from now…maybe 5 weeks….we are headed toward WEAVERVILLE aka WEAVER-VEGAS ha ha. Its 2 miles north of asheville, basically only 22 minutes from us now. We landed a sweet house that has all the things we wanted. I thought for sure we wouldnt find anything that had ALL our requests, but it seems the Lord paved the way for us to find this here house. Its super cute, big, has privacy fenced yard and great sized rooms for everyone. Even a finished basement for an office/guest room that is big, and an oversized double garage. YAY. So excited to move- we werent going to because we really like this place. BUT Jason and the kids maybe me a little too….were itching for a yard and Otter definitely was itching for one (lol pun intended). Plus our lovely neighbors helped us really start to look for alternative living. It works out great- mom and dad sold their house and are going to a townhome where they will have little to NO outdoor maintenance, so we are inheriting all the necessities plus some. They are also downsizing as we are upsizing so our need for a few furniture pieces has been solved. They were going to be moving a week after us but it seems their house closing is moving rapidly- now its Apr 27th~! They will probably not move until May 10th or so, but still- that is only 3 weeks! AAAHHHH! We are not going anywhere until May 23rd.  SOOOO EXCITED!

Mom and dads new place to our new place is only 2 minutes of driving time different from their current place to our current place. However it is twice the miles (all hwy). So I am looking forward to it all. I think being on the outskirts of asheville will keep me from shopping so much too. 🙂

Took Ana too the zoo when we went to Nashville to visit family. SO NICE TO SEE EVERYONE! I really enjoyed it and I know Jason, the girls did too. Even Otter did= he was at GA GAs house the whole time. SPOILED. ANYWHOO we took the girls to the nashville zoo for anas birthday, she LOVED it. We got to see a ton of animals up close and had great weather. We will probably be having a party for her as we have a housewarming in the new house. With our yard and basement plus open kitchen/dining room/ living room it will be a swell pad for a get together.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CHASE PERKINS and SARAH ATTEBERRY! AND CONGRATS TO THE NEW MR and MRS DELALLIO! (melanie galliers)

That is all for now….oh thanks Auntie Rachael for the cute popsicle skirt and tank top that Ana was wearing today. She HAD to have one as soon as she put it on. ha ha ha.  AND thx to Auntie Kat and Uncle J- the color wonder markers are saving us a ton in furniture cost. 🙂

Socialism in a children’s book? Really?

Yes, that’s right folks. The Rainbow Fish by Marc Pfister. We got it from the library the other day because I remember seeing it all over Barnes and Noble. I figured it was popular for a reason, many kids must like it- so I checked it out for Ana.

I learned after only a few pages that I needed to change the words because I was not liking where this was going. It wasnt that it was saying awful things, it was just teaching an awful message through the parable of the rainbow fish. If I could rewrite it I would have the Rainbow Fish tell all those moochers to SCRAM and get their own pretty fins. Or tell them to look closer at themselves and they will see that God made them special too. Instead the book teaches kids that coveting someone else’s gifts/things etc., will most likely get you whatever they have because they will want to be your friend and eventually fall into line. Oh and it also says indirectly that being unique is lonely. BOLOGNA!

Below are some reviews from Amazon. Check them out and google it to see even more. AMAZING that this book was so advertised at Barnes and Noble and all over America. I think I know why though…..you know what I am hinting at if you watch ANY of Glenn Beck!

What do you think?

Here are some reviews of the book from Amazon.com.:

38 of 49 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Lessons for children, June 14, 2005
ByArt (Detroit, Michigan) – See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

This book sets horrible examples and lessons for children. The Rainbow fish is ostracized by the other bratty fishes, until it finally gives up parts of its scaly self to these mean fishes just to be able to get along. I didn’t like it at all.

Reading the positive reviews and their “carping” (pun intended) about those who have left the serious reviews that point out these glaring problem, I think this book must have been made some kind of showcase item for people who think that the collective is superior to individuals.

I really think this book is bad for children’s self esteem. It doesn’t give a positive message such as we should respect people’s differences. It says to a kid that you should merge with all the others. There is no good reason for the Rainbow fish to rip off parts of his body to give to those other fishes who are mean to him. I mean they were the maladjusted ones, not the Rainbow Fish. Leave the Rainbow Fish alone!


40 of 52 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars At best, a missed opportunity. At worst, despicable., December 19, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

Rainbow Fish has beautiful scales and others don’t. This simple premise is ripe for many wonderful stories and valuable lessons (e.g., individuality, acceptance of others who are different, sharing, etc).Unfortunately, this book not only fails to produce such a story or lesson, but rather teaches us several undesirable lessons. And make no mistake — this book is not about sharing.

First, we are taught that we should simply ask others, who have more than we do, to give us something for nothing. And not just ask for “something” but ask for the very thing that makes the other person feel special about themselves and that which they value most in the world. Apparently, we have a right to what others have.

Second, we are taught that if someone asks you to give him something free of charge, we shouldn’t ask why but rather should just give it away — even if it is the very thing we prize most in this world.

Third, we should be appalled if someone scoffs at or refuses such a request to give us something free for no apparent reason. And we also learn that it is appropriate to ostracize such an individual. Indeed, we are taught that ostracism based on envy is perfectly appropriate.

Fourth, we should understand that others, who don’t have what we have, will ostracize us. If we want their friendship, we should give them what we have — even if it requires that we give away our most prized possession in the world. Only then can we have friends.

Fifth, we learn that we can indeed befriend someone if they give us what we want and ask for. Indeed, buying friends is perfectly appropriate.

Finally, we learn that being unique is wrong. We should all be the same — only then can we be happy.

This is the worst book I’m aware of (and I’m aware of many) that you could ever read to your child. Truly despicable. And parents take note: this is mandatory reading in some public schools.

40 of 52 people found the following review helpful:
3.0 out of 5 stars This book fell below my expectations….., October 12, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

I had heard alot about the famous rainbow fish books and when I saw the 10th anniversary book out, I decided to buy it for my 2 year old. I happily sat down with her at bedtime to read her the story and I finished the book feeling not so happy about the book.
The rainbow fish is aesthetically, a very pleasing book, with it’s beautiful many hued fish and the shimmery shiny scales, but all the visual effects do not make for the rather unpleasant story line. Sharing is one thing, but when you have to give away the one thing that makes you unique in order to cultivate friends suggests that the only way friendship can be had is through purchase. The little fish asks a second time for a scale, even though he was refused the first time after which he alienated all the other fish from rainbow fish. What does the story say about small (minded, greedy) people who want what another has and when they don’t get it they go around poisoning everyones’ minds against the person? This story left a bad taste and I returned the book the very next day.


23 of 29 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars There are much better fish books in the sea!, June 4, 2001
By“bedtimestoryteller” (Milford, OH United States) – See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

After receiving this book as a shower gift I read it and pitched it! It is a story about a fish that is beautiful (but vain) and lonely…so he buys some friends by giving away his beautiful, shining scales. Yes, there is the lesson about not thinking yourself so grand that you do not want to play with others, however that concept is quickly lost in the prose as the fish gives away all of his scales until he looks like the other fish. WHAT NEXT??? Are we going to have a book about a wise owl that acts stupid to gain friends? This book really reeks of assimilation at all costs, and that looking like others is the road to happiness!It is frightening to think that someone that creates television programming for children thought that this is a morality tale.

Beware!

34 of 44 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Mediocrity for the young reader, August 25, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

This is by far the worst book in my children’s home library. It is replete with destructive, anti-individuality themes centering around the story of a beautiful fish which is coerced by mobs of begging, greedy, mediocre fish and an ominous octopus into tearing off its body parts (scales) to appease its peers. It is absolutely disgusting. While many reviewers like the theme of “sharing” in this story, the reality is that for an extremely young audience, the analogy is completely inappropriate. Even a very small child knows that scales are necessary for a fish and part of its body. How many adulating reviews would there be if the protagonist were a child asked to mutilate himself by giving up his skin to win “friends”? Even putting aside this disturbing analogy in this story, the “lesson” of this story really is twofold: first, “friends” are friendly if they are bought, and second, one must never have more than anyone else or by extension, try to work harder or excell beyond one’s peers. Blend in, be part of the crowd, another sheep. I would encourage parents to avoid this garbage. The true nature of this book’s philosophy is accurately portrayed in Vonnegut’s short story, “Harrison Bergeron” which I highly reccomend.

203 of 275 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Celebration of Appeasement and Mediocrity, May 18, 2004
ByMichael Newman (Long Beach, CA USA) – See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

We own this book only because my wife ordered it from a book club. Had we looked at the book, we never would have bought it. My two-year old has not seen it, nor will he. He has enough good books. And this book is bad. The book is so bad, destructive, immoral, and wrong that I have trouble figuring out where to start. Well, let’s start with the “moral(s)” of the book, which can be summed up as follows: (1) being special is evil, and worthy of hatred; (2) if you do not give your possessions away to others on their demand and pursuant to their coercion, you will be rightfully hated; (3) you will be happy only if you are mediocre; (4) you need to bribe people to be your friends. And the message here is not about sharing. Notice, the Rainbow Fish does not “share” his scales (sharing would imply that his friends were going to give the scales back when they are done.) No, the Rainbow Fish is compelled (by emotional coercion) to give away that which makes him special. What part of this story is supposed to be edifying? It is garbage.

Baby doll that does WHAT?!?

Did anyone else see GMA this morning?
Interesting story on the newest baby doll, the breast milk baby

I am going to weigh on the side of the fence that says it would do positive things for the “negative” opinion about breastfeeding thats out there and not say anything of the sort that it would be “a bad thing” for any child. Its funny to me how the report said that this baby encourages young girls to get pregnant and be sexually active…WHAT!?!?!? that is the biggest piece of BOLOGNA I have EVER heard.  If you want to go that route, then what ARE little girls exposed to in our culture that teaches them that their body is NOT just for sexual purposes? THANK YOU. At least this doll is giving these young gals something to have in common with their mommies who are taking care of their siblings. I belive that this doll would in fact promote breastfeeding into being a less “shamed” part of parenting.

So many people (who have not breastfed or had breastfeeding in their children’s lives) think its gross, improper, has no dignity, etc. To that I say- parenting is gross, parenting is improper at times, parenting has no dignity (espeically in labor) at times. Breastfeeding is something God made and is the most dignified thing we can do for our kids. Oh- and if you think its gross, you better not have kids cause A LOT MORE GROSS things happen when they are your own. Feeding them is certainly not something I would call “gross”.

Both of my girls have been breastfed- no bottle whatsoever, no not at all (even if i wanted…which i have tried…). And I am tired of getting looks from friends and family when I have to leave the room to feed Alexis, or when she spits up and they yell, “yuck its breastmilk” or even when they make comments like, “she has teeth. arent you done breastfeeding her” and “are you going to breastfeed until she goes to school?” Or even better- I make a bottle of breastmilk and they refuse to touch it because its breastmilk inside. SO SILLY AND RIDICULOUS! Motherhood is not for the weak- parenthood is not for those who wish to stay comfortable. AND breastfeeding if it can be accomplished, is something to be very proud of and applauded. It takes A LOT of sacrifice.

I will reinforce in my kids as they grow up that breastfeeding is what I did for them because I was able and felt passionate that it was the best option for them, regardless of the time, “dignity”, “grossness”, etc. that it took. Its one of the ways God gave me to love them, and I did it.

All this rise up within me as I watched the report. It revealed the truth about what america really thinks of breastfeeding (even though when you have a baby docs and hospitals pound it into your skull that its important). All of this to say……..
…..the breast milk baby may or may not be a doll that my children have, but I do not see it as any different as the baby dolls that come with bottles. And Hey, maybe it will teach a growing generation that breastfeeding is not something that people should GAWK at but rejoice in seeing a mom believe in.

Whew…..Hallelujah.

Hallelujah is right! For those who do not know, Alexis has been dreadfully ill over the past week. Today however, she is showing dramatic change in the positive direction. I made sure to take her in the sunshine today since it was so warm and sunny (unseasonably). She is smiling, laughing, playing, eating, sleeping almost normal amounts. Although these seem small they are huge accomplishments from where shew was.
She has RSV, a severe case of it that caused extreme dehydration. Poor lil Lexi was on fluids for 3 days before she perked up! We must give a shout out here the grandma in montana, Grama Honey- I sent her a picture of Lexi after we were discharged from the ER the first time and she immediately called me and told me to take her back. Believe it or not, they were ready to discharge us again and Daddy (Jason) refused to allow them to, along with our regular pediatrician who demanded we be kept overnight. 2 days later we were finally seeing a somewhat well baby. She probably wouldnt have been so well so quickly if it werent for the keen eye of the Honey.  🙂

All in all- a very trying event in our lives…in the wake of it I am realizing just how much it has affected me.  Having gone through all that with her has made me a different mother. When no one else was there in the wee hours of the morning and she was crying…and I had no help. Just me in a dark ICU room on the peds wing. That first night I had an awful nurse, and all they seemed to do to her was interrupt her times of calmness to get her wound up again. Bedside manner- she had none that was genuine.  Anyway, when we were finally moved into a more comfortable situation I had 2-3 hours of sleep (in 36 hours maybe more) in a crib. Yes, a crib- because they didnt have anything else for me, so I climbed into the hospital grade crib with Lexi to comfort her. Brings tears to my eyes… that night was the most miserable and guilt-laden night of my life. She was so sick. An experience like this cannot leave you without changing you. It made me a stronger mom, more patient mom, more outspoken mom, and more trusting mom.  The holy spirit infused me with endurance and breathed life back into Lexi’s frail body. Above all it made me a grateful mom and really shook up my priorities list.

Outside of all of this I missed Ana and Jason terribly, as we only saw them as much as we could. Jason was very busy trying to balance caring for all of his girls and not getting too far behind with work. He was amazing and strong for all of us too. Ana was super good for all who watched her. Bless her heart, she is still on a prescription for her ear infections that we discovered just a few days before Lexi was diagnosed! She’s a trooper though….and she’s two. Not much can stop a 2 year old. Ha ha, you would never know she was ever sick. That silly girl is 100% back to normal!

Today is Ana’s birthday! So crazy to think that she is already 2, but still crazy to think that it was only 2 years ago she was born. Feels like so much of life has gone by in that short span of time.  We made her feel special today with a trip to the farm at Biltmore Estate (thx mom for the season passes love you), smiley face whipped cream pancakes, and cupcakes decorated by her later on. She had a great time playing with some new toys and petting all the animals today.

Whew. After going through it all, whew. After recanting it here, whew. God knew what he was doing through the timing of all the events in the past week: we had a bright light at the end, Ana Claire’s life celebration of being 2. YAY.

Thank you to everyone and all that prayed for us. Jason and I both could tell you the exact moment when those prayers started to work. Lets just say it wasnt long after we got to the ER saturday night!

“Oooda-lolly oooda-lolly golly whata day(s)…”

thanks for the song, dear rooster of robin hood. Anyone remember his name?

It certainly has been more than “a day” though. Seems a respiratory bug from the cruise liner mom and dad rode at the end of February bit them and then came after my kiddos. Ana was first with a slight cough…then boogies….then two ear infections. Thought Lexi was teething…then the vomiting came…RSV. Couple this with a husband who got food poisoning (ouch) and a dog who started itching again just 10 weeks after ending his (very expensive) medicine that was supposed to take care of the problem. Ugh. Not complaining, but just taking a look back to remind myself I have made it this far. To keep going is not nearly as difficult as it feels! I believe tomorrow will begin the day where there is a noticeable difference in everyone. I could tell definite in all those sick in the house today, but tomorrow…tomorrow is going to be even better. Hallelujah.

In my sleep deprived state (currently) I am noticing a lack of brain functioning. ha ha. No seriously though- on the way home I felt myself not really paying attention to what I was doing (driving)…not safe. SO not safe, I swerved off the road and got some of the shoulder. IF it were just me in our Ford Focus I wouldnt care much, but it was the cadillac with the girlies snoozing in the back seat. Talk about making your heart leap into your chest. I cant imagine what I would do if i ever wrecked with them in the car. Grace is given as needed though I know.

The last thing I want to do at this moment is go up stairs and ask the neighbors to quit running up and down and jumping….and wrestling….but I just may have to go pay them an unfriendly visit. I have done all I know how to do, even praying for them. I want to be able to just ignore it but it often wakes up either Ana or Lexi so it prompts my “momma bear claws”. Good news though- Jason and I prayed and decided that at the end of March we would make a final decision about whether or not we are moving…its the end of March in just a few days! Although we do not want to move, (and if we had decent upstairs neighbors we probably wouldnt) we feel that it is the best option for us for the long term. Soon and very soon we will KNOW! YAY. Lets just say I went over our lease today and pulled out the 60-day notice form.  🙂

Has anyone else noticed the CRAZY amount of talent on this season’s American Idol?!?!? I actually thought there were more talented people they cut out too! Who do you say is the winner? or at least in the top 3?

 

Until next time (must go get neighbors….)-

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