Friday, February 26, 2010

My Little Monkey

Can you see the spirit in his eyes?  It has been such a joy watching Elijah as he explores and learns new things!  Yesterday at daycare he had pieces of hamburger and cheese and bread! He wants to be a "big boy" so bad - you can see it in his eyes!  He is such a blessing!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Household Facts and Dirty Laundry

I have been really bad this month and haven’t posted much so I am going to try and share a little about what has been going on and air out some “dirty laundry” too! I apologize for the length of this post in advance!

Household Fact: Elijah turned 9 months old last week! I can hardly believe we are here already. At his 9 mo check-up he weighed 22.5lbs and was 28 ¾ in long! He got and recovered from RSV and we are grateful that he didn’t end up in the hospital like Gabriel did 6 years ago! His 2nd tooth just pushed through yesterday. He is crawling like a mad man and we have started slowly feeding him more “real” food. So far he loves cooked carrots, bananas, eggs (just the yolks!) and pears. I think he so much wants to be a “big boy” and is enjoying that he is discovering so many new things at this time.

Dirty Laundry: Alright – I need to be honest with you all about something that I have struggled with. When Elijah was first born and I was nursing around the clock I spent a large majority of my time in the recliner in our living room. I am one of those people that can basically fall asleep within minutes of laying/reclining. So when I would go and get Elijah to nurse him I would fall asleep before he finished and basically only wake up when he was ready to nurse again. I know… So what has developed is this dependency on me holding Elijah for him to sleep. When I have tried in the past to put him in his crib he freaks out. I tried a few nights ago and he seriously cried for 2 hours. No joke! I was so exhausted by that point that I went and picked him up and sat in the recliner and I kid you not he looked at me, smiled and fell instantly asleep!

So here I am 9 months after having this beautiful, miracle baby and I am sleeping in a recliner. I have slept probably a sum total of 10 hours in my bed since he was born. And the worst part? I am afraid to take that next step and venture into the realm of letting him “cry it out”. Some nights he wakes up and does need a diaper change, not most nights..but some. I am almost done nursing him and really only do it during the overnights, and some nights he doesn’t need it….but some he does. So how do you incorporate letting him “cry it out” with knowing when he actually does need something? It is something that I struggle with and I keep delaying the inevitable. Does this make me a terrible mom?! Please, please pray about this for me!

Household Fact: Gabriel is doing so well in school. We had conferences a few weeks ago and are so pleased with how much he is learning. It is school in our home all the time and he is always asking us how to spell different words. I am so grateful that he enjoys school!

Isaac is also doing well in school and continues to be such a support to us with Elijah and Gabriel. He recently has had a sinus infection, ear infection and now has a terrible cough. Please pray that he starts to feel better soon. We are all a little tired of this winter! :)

Dirty Laundry: I would like to ask for prayer from you in a specific way. One of the areas that I struggle in my life is with my short temper. I find that it takes little to make me irritated or upset and once irritated or upset I react with either a certain tone of voice or the dreaded “look”. Gabriel calls me on it often and will tell me that I need to apologize for “being mad at him”. I don’t want to be this way anymore but I am convinced that I cannot do this alone. I really want this area of sin in my life to be redeemed and so I am putting this out there and asking that you pray for this area of my life. I know that if anyone can “fix” this in my life it is God so I covet your prayers.

Household Fact: Dominic and I are working together to better manage our finances and pay off a large portion of our existing debt. We have put some things into place, gotten rid of some credit card payments and have a plan to be in a much better position financially within the next year. This is the first time we have sat down, looked at a budget and worked together like this and I am excited at the prospect of freedom in this area of our lives. Again I would ask for prayer that God would bless this for us so that in the future we are better equipped to help others as He sees fit.

Dirty Laundry: As I am wrapping up this post I realize that I am asking over and over again for your prayers and again I need to share an area of sin in my life that I am struggling with. I have said it before and have been confronted with it again today. I am a jealous person. Specifically in the area of pregnancy. I recently found out that a person I know is pregnant. I truly want to feel happy for them but inside I feel jealous. Jealous that they can say they got pregnant right away when they tried and jealous that it probably won't happen that way for me. I shouldn’t be jealous. Just by the numbers I already have 3 kids. It seems ridiculous when I write it out. But it is the truth and an area of my life that I am ashamed of. I want to be genuinely happy for people that don’t have to struggle with infertility issues. I want to be contented with the amazing children we do have. But when I hear how easy it is for some and I know that in my heart I want to be pregnant again..sometime in the future…I feel jealous. Yuck - what a character defect right?!

I know there are those that can’t even have children that must deal with this feeling even more than I. I know that I must seem ungrateful that I am “lucky” enough to have the 3 boys that I do. I don’t mean to come off that way and I hope that I don’t offend anyone here – that isn’t my intent. So in this too I covet your prayers.

Well there you have it guys….some good, some bad and some ugly. I am grateful that I can share and air my life and my laundry. Thank you in advance for your prayers! Blessings dear friends!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A New Family

This morning I was getting ready to head to Sioux Falls for a "girls lunch" with some ladies from my church. Gabriel came upstairs and wanted a banana. I told him that we didn't have any and offered him the left over Trix cereal he had on the counter in a container.

He got very upset with my idea and started saying that I should not offer him Trix when he wants fruit. I should give him fruit. The he says "and mom we are watching "your show" all day long". Now today this was the farthest thing from the truth. We had in fact watched Gabriel do a little Wii bowling and then had cartoons on. So I tell him that he wasn't telling the truth and that he shouldn't be dishonest.

The next thing I know Gabriel is getting on his coat and boots. I asked him what he was doing and he proceeded to tell me that he was going to find a new family! "Mom if you can't be respect to me then I am going to find a new family to live with!"

This made me laugh but I wanted to see where this would go next. I told him that I was sorry that he felt that way and that I loved him but I understood that he was upset. I was pretty sure that he wasn't going to really "run away" so I told him that he probably better get his hat and gloves too. That it was cold outside and he needed to stay warm.

He told me that he was going to bring his valentines with and he was going to ride his bike to the airport and get on a plane and fly to an island. He said there would be lots of games on the island...and candy too.

I said it sounded like a lovely place and said that I would really miss him, but it was his choice. He said that he was going to Paradise Falls (from the movie UP if you wondered). He then went into the kitchen to a drawing on our refridgerator and drew a stick picture of himself with a circle and a line through it. He came back to me and said "Mom you know what that means? I drew a picture of me with a line through it and that means that I am not in this house anymore!"

I asked if he was going to take his blanket with him - he didn't look amused that I wasn't begging him to stay. He stood there for a few minutes and just looked at me. I could tell that he didn't want to leave. I could tell that he really wanted to stay. But I just looked at him.

And then he says "Oh wait mom! I forgot....Paradise Falls is closed until Thursday! I will stay here until it is open again. How does that sound mom, does that make you happy?"

I told him that I was very glad to hear that he had chosen to stay. That I would have missed him very much and was so happy that he didn't want to leave. He gave me a big hug and ran downstairs.

And I started thinking about this situation and thought isn't this like my relationship with God has often been? When I think that things aren't going my way, or easily I often want to run from His family. I want to find my own "Paradise Falls" because there will be games and candy and fun there and not the pressures of this life, my life.

I am sure that I know what is best for me and I get on my "bike" and do the driving - take control of things and often make bad choices and big mistakes. I forget that it is "cold outside" and that I need someone to show me the right way to go - to protect me.

And often I am frustrated that He isn't begging me to stop making the wrong choices. But instead what He does do is let me make choices on my own. God gave me free will and He allows me to decide what my next move is.

But He is always there ready to lead me if I am willing to ask for the direction. If I am willing to start seeing the beauty that is right in front of me instead of always seeking out the next "Paradise Falls". God has given me more than I need and more than I deserve right here in His family.

So as you are faced with situations that make you question if the grass is greener on the other side....remember that God's perfect family is always there, waiting for us to see that "Paradise Falls" is closed, hoping that we will take our coat off and sit awhile in His presence. May He bless you with His grace tonight!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Newness Abounds

I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder....well I wanted to share a couple of things that are "new" in our home that are beautiful to me! We have slowly been trying to update our home and recently spent some time in our basement bathroom.

A few new fixtures, some fresh paint and some more of that flooring we used upstairs and the bathroom has been transformed. This will now become Isaac and Gabriel's primary bathroom and we are pleased with how it turned out. Only bummer is we didn't take pictures of the "before" to compare to the "after". But trust me when I say this is a HUGE improvement. The prior space was white walls, white floor etc. It is amazing what a little paint and some peel and stick tiles can do to a space!

And then I have to share with you the newest beautiful addition to the Smith family. It was my birthday on Saturday - 35 years old...YIKES I know - anyways, my parents bought me a new mixer. I was totally surprised because I never expected that. The next day we went to celebrate with my husband's parents/family and they said they had chosen my gift but I needed to help with picking it out...what did they want to get me? You guessed it....a mixer!!

So I took the one my parents got me back to Kohl's and used some of the birthday money Bob and Becky gave me and left the store the proud new owner of the most beautiful mixer that I have ever seen.

Not only is it pretty on the outside, but it chauk full of POWER and space! It has a 575 watt motor and a 6 qt bowl. I tell you I will never need another mixer again! I cannot wait to try out my dad's bread recipe in this - it has a 14 cup capacity! I mean seriously - how can you NOT be excited over something like that?

Ok - maybe it is a little weird to be this excited about a mixer but I feel like every day is my birthday when I look at it! So a BIG BIG thank you to everyone who made getting this a possibility!
And on another note - yesterday I was filling out an entry form for a drawing and had to choose my age category. I am no longer in the 30-34 range...I have "graduated" to the 35-39 range. :( I was less than pleased - but then I remembered all of the things that I had to be thankful for and I couldn't help but thank God for allowing me the opportunity for growth over the last 35 years. I am blessed much more than I deserve!

The Smith Family Journey

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