Monday, August 24, 2015

The Truth

Because Facebook is really good at showing our best moments rather than showing day to day reality, I just want to share some truth. 

I am tired. 

I am grateful for three healthy children, but I am exhausted and occasionally wish to resign. I am a working mom, working 9 months a year with 50+ hours a week, with about 8 hours a week tutoring in the summer. This means I should be basking in the sun with my children the rest of the time, loving every minute. 

I don't. 

Of course there are highlights and a lot of love, but many times it can feel like a chore. 

I wash their bottles and sippy cups three times by nap time. They seriously multiply! I seem to be prepping or cleaning up a meal/snack constantly, and not because it actually takes that much time to prep the food alone. But entertaining and removing danger from three small children who want to be held or play with the waffle iron WHILE prepping food does take an extraordinary amount of time. 

The art of distraction has been nearly perfected this summer. Two 18 month olds presented a challenge but I think I fared well! Whether I distract one with a different toy when they fought over the same item, or I got them all busy so I could pee or change laundry without tears, it has become an art form for me. 

Baths happen frequently. Experiences I want to give my children end up meaning extra cleaning of the house/yard, and them. And that means I'm tired. I actually didn't plan a day trip to an activity in the metro area (1.5 hrs away) worried I would fall asleep driving. See they fall asleep on the way home, but I have to stay awake. Keeping three children alive and safe away from home is taxing! And back seat drivers are not helpful in these instances. 

Therefore the mom guilt steps in. Am I just an exhausted mess? Shouldn't I be loving this more? They say time flies, but this hour before bedtime is inching by. "Enjoy it while it lasts," they say. The little two fight over the same item, and as soon as I have distracted one with something new, that's exactly what the oldest wanted to play with! Can't win some days! 

I wish there was an easier way. Maybe there is. I know there are healthy things to improve my energy, but we restricted the budget for a short time, and that is not a need for now. My solution right now  is praying to God to help me each day share in the joy of my children. Thankfully those moments get me through the chore like moments. I was chosen to be these three kids' mom, and I am so blessed. But having a blessing doesn't mean it isn't work. We are blessed with a home, doesn't mean there isn't maintenance and chores. We have a happy marriage, doesn't mean we don't have miscommunication and frustration over who gets up with the kids this time. We are blessed with jobs, doesn't mean we aren't frustrated by it at times and wish we were paid more or had some more vacation time. We are blessed with children, doesn't mean it doesn't take every ounce of my energy and self control to keep everyone well and growing. 

I am blessed.
I love my children, but I'm also tired. 

That's my reality.

Sand everywhere:

Yogurt - feeding self, I mean facial

Water colors: 
Water colors on the face:

Saving grace: Daddy doing bedtime stories! 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Summer time!

June was a month of adjustment.
Adjustment to life as a Stay At Home Mom. This is of course a career change. Not a flip of a switch. I knew there would be adjustment, so I gave myself low expectations and eased in to daily activities, outings, and my overall proficiency as mother of 3 littles. In the past I have gotten frustrated because I didn't seem to just transition in to summer life easily, with or without kids. After my ninth year teaching, I have finally realized that it is a career change, and with such a major change, grace and understanding should come with it. I started tutoring three students in July, so June really was a time we got to be home together with the kids going to daycare about 2 days a week. This was when I got cleaning and shopping done. Somehow it wasn't the rest I thought it would be. The time filled quickly with To Do items. The greatest joy was just seeing my children, day in and day out, and having the time to notice the little things about their development and personalities. I loved the summer buzz haircut Caleb got to really signify summer! And the after nap snuggles were absorbed and treasured! I could go on and on about the laughs, the art of distraction and redirection, and moments I will recall with love for years to come. But, my time is limited, so here are the summer highlights by calendar:

June 9: Splash Pad in Eden Prairie with some other Moms of Multiples.
June 11: Mollie and Will held hands in the car.
June 12: Attempt at PlayDough. Mollie can play with PlayDough and not eat it. William can not resist the green soft stuff!
June 12: Caleb caught his first fish with Daddy. Small mouth bass
June 14: Date night and cards with Josh
June 15: Finally planted the garden
June 21: Father's day and supper at Sibley Park
June 23: Caleb went to the dentist. Did much better with the cleaning; got 1/2 done. But sadly found 2 cavities.
June 26: Leaving at bedtime for South Dakota.
June 27: Met Fishers in Hill City, SD.
June 29: Mount Rushmore
June 30: Storybook Island & Bear Country USA
July 2: Children's Museum in Brookings, SD
July 2-5: Harjes Family Celebration, celebrating Ur Oma's 80th Birthday
July 8: Twins Play Date at Children's Museum
July 9-10: Oma Camp - Caleb slept over at my mom's
July 9: Blueberry picking at Greta's
July 11: North Mankato Fun Days parade
July 13: Ice Cream Cones for Mollie & Will
July 14: Library with Nana
July 15: Blueberry picking with Meghan in Northfield.
July 17: MoonDogs date night with Multiple Blessings group
July 18: 3 different jam recipes
July 19: Tourtelotte Pool with Johnson Family
July 22: Day with our favorite nurse, Lisa Taylor.
July 24: St Peter Kiddie Pool with Scholl family
July 25: Family Barn Dance in Green Isle; Mollie & Will's first
July 27: Caleb has a chore bingo card to earn iPod time and $1 when it is blackout.
July 28: Negotiations, I am a member of the team, ended with a tentative agreement between MTA and ISD 77
July 28: Caleb had two cavities filled and was a champ! Laughing gas works like a charm!
July 29: Owatonna Water Park with my Littles, Eli and Sophia, and Mukamuri family
July 31: Target run with all 3 and left the van door open

August 2: Anniversary day date in Minneapolis area
August 5: Josh has ACL reconstructive surgery
August 5: Caleb started garden class
August 8: Mom, Gene, Greta, and Krista return from 12 days in Guatamala on a Mission Trip. Krista stops by for a quick visit and the next day Mom and Gene stop by. 
August 12: Caleb and Mommy went to garden class, followed by the Children's Museum with the Tapescape exhibit.
August 13-14: Renew, Reflect, Re-Charge: A Courage to Teach retreat for me


Saturday, August 1, 2015

7 years

Feeling an itch can actually be low-grade pain. So the phrase "7 Year Itch" could be referring to quite some pain! Luckily for me, Josh and I are not feeling any itch. 

Each year our relationship grows, we overcome another hurdle, we love on our children together, and we enjoy the blessings in our lives! Looking over our first seven years, our marriage has been the harbor, not the storm. We've lost family members and grieved together; we added family members and rejoiced together. There was a job change, a basement flood, an upstairs bathroom geyser, and upstairs remodel. We've had hikes in Alaska, Colorado and California. A few weeks and weekends apart, but always anticipating a wonderful homecoming. Our biggest curveballs have been two pregnancies with a nauseous Bri, resulting in three children. But children we prayed for, anticipated, and rejoiced in their arrivals. There have been some highs and lows, but we've had a safe harbor, and truly a happy 7 years! I am so grateful to have been joined in love and purpose with Josh. He is the man and teammate I need and want in life and beyond!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

12 months!

12 months has come and gone and it has been like no other time in our lives. I wish it had gone a little slower, allowing for a few more snuggles. That's probably the hardest thing about infant multiples. You get one fed, the other needs fed. You get one changed and freshly washed, and there is one waiting to do the same. The action seems like a revolving door, rather than basking in the sweetness of one baby. However, when there are still moments and you have two peaceful infants in your It takes my breath away! And there were many moments that took my breath away this year.

This last month, Mollie and Will continue to grow and learn. They are babbling and getting their senses of humor.They have gotten great at picking up food and feeding themselves. This makes Mommy and Daddy's lives much easier.

No walking yet, but standing and cruising along things is more and more frequent. I don't know if I hope they walk sooner or not. Right now I can run to the bathroom, and by the time I'm done they have crawled to the door. I imagine when they are walking I won't have those 25 seconds of peace. 

I write each child a letter for their birthday each year. I can't believe the joy and time of writing two letters, but more than any thing, I acknowledge the privilege it is to do so. Being a mom of twins puts me in a circle of moms that I have loved being a part of this last year. The moms around the country and works, but especially our local Moms of Multiples, Multiple Blessings, Club. The moms I met this year and call my friends have a great support system and a truly nonjudgmental. We give each other so much grace and support because we know what 2+ babies/toddlers/school age, etc are truly like. Not Irish twins or 14 months apart, but truly a multiples pregnancy, delivery, and newborns. Because while it has been more work than I ever imagined, I feel so much joy and pride in doing it, or most of it:) 

Mollie and Will, thank you for making me a mom of multiples! You are a double blessing! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

11 months

Double Trouble but 2x the fun - from the Fishers
11 month stuffed animals from the Doerings

So cliche, but truly, where has the time gone?

My premies are not so small! They are about 20lbs each,...and are true hand/arm-fulls! 

William is our even keeled little man. He is a snuggler, a smiler, and has great tickle spots! He army crawls surprisingly quickly and is crawling on all 4s more and more. He is picking up food to eat with his fist and thumb, sometimes using his pincers. He gets excited when he sees the yellow Kix box! 

Mollie is a our little diva. She'll shriek out upset and when we look at her to see why she is mad, she'll wrinkle up her nose and grin. She'll laugh and laugh, talk as loud as she can, and crawl all over. She loves playing with Woody's bell by the door that he rings to go outside. Mollie can use her pincers to pick up food, but prefers to be fed....diva:) She's lucky we couldn't be mad if we wanted to. She is just too lovable! Oh, and she stiff boards her body when she doesn't want to be set down on the floor or put in her car seat. 

Both have the greatest laugh when we polka. Those giggles make my day! 

The two of them are so fun to watch. Sometimes they are fully in parallel play, unaware of the other. Then the next minute, one wants whatever the other has. They can each have a pacifier in their mouth and reach out to pull the other's out. They do it simultaneously at times. It's hilarious!

Biggest thing is we started bathing them together. I was nervous because Will doesn't have much fear and they both like to move. So far so good. They love the water and practically swim around in the two inches of water. Mollie likes to splash and Will likes to crawl through the water on his belly at least one. 

Oh Mollie and Will, we are so glad you are in this family! Caleb and the two of you are our greatest joy each day!

Mom & Dad

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Years

I could have many resolutions including personal and family health, financial goals, my faith walk, my daily habits, my mental health and self worth, my relationships with friends and family, the time I spent unplugged and with my children, and many more. Which do I choose? If I choose all of them I know I will quickly become overwhelmed and not keep up. So I am going to choose my faith walk. My relationship with God will lead to the rest of those goals anyway. But I have to be right with God and listening to His cues to be successful. 

As a mother, working or otherwise, many times we feel behind. I don't know how to keep up on the dishes, the meals, the laundry, the kids' baths, the general clutter/mail/cleaning, dusting, disinfecting, the bathroom!, the vehicle, and routine house maintence of filters changing, etc. I seem to have long nails all the time...not by choice, but because I am not in the same room as a nail clipper when I have a moment to think about it! Heaven for bid I just make time and walk to the room that has the clipper and do it. Ha! 

So instead of working on my list, I will work on God's list for me. The only thing I have to do is listen, and that I can make a priority every day! That can and will happen. 

This last year was amazing. I am in awe of the struggles and triumphs our family experienced this year. As I put out babes to sleep last night and snuggled into our bed, I truly felt blessed. At this time a year ago I was sleeping poorly due to a twins pregnancy that was becoming increasingly more difficult, and soon to turn to 6 weeks of bed rest! Our upstairs master bedroom was about to be gutted completely, and to become a long and trying project for my husband while I was on bed rest and in the hospital for 3 weeks with our 35 week old babies, and he was home with our 3 year old and continuing the remodel. Things were all about to change with an uncertainty. This year I went to bed with the man I love completely and three beautiful children sleeping peacefully. God gave me a lot of grace this year. He was patient as I pleaded for our babies health, my stamina as they ate continuously, and sanity as our organized home has been turned upside down by double baby gear. I am learning a lot and learning what to say yes and no to; what to treasure and what to throw away. 

My little loves are my treasure that I know is mine on loan. At times I wish for a day to read, sleep, and watch movies, but those days will come again. For now I will capture the moments I share with my littles and treasure them. God will need to continue to shape me to be the mother they need. I will do my best to yield to Him and parent according to His will and word.

And just so you know who I'll be treasuring this year: 
April 2014
Christmas Day 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Parenting problems

Being a parent of littles can be a lonely job at times. Josh was out for a few hours and it was just the kids and me at home. I didn't think taking the kids out in the germs would be a great idea. But I was getting antsy. I thought about inviting someone over, but by the time I went through my list, there wasn't anyone to call. Her was my list:

Someone I know and not busy

Someone with few or no kids that could fit in my house

Someone who I would not need to clean for...piles of presents and toys to be sorted, out grown clothes that need to be sorted and packed up, dishes, laundry, etc.

Someone in town or near

Someone not sick or family sick so my kids have a chance to keep fighting off the influenza

Someone who likes kids and would enjoy our company

Someone who would "help"/play with my kids to keep us all happy while hanging out

Now the reason I didn't call someone was my decision, based on my perceptions. I know they could easily be wrong, and were. But it is very easy to go through my list and feel alone. And I don't think I'm the only one who feels this I?