Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I just had to say something

Recently on a website for moms in my area, there was an article discussing how many to children to have. I actually just deleted here what I was going to write and instead if you like I encourage you to read the original post/article and my response below and make your own opinion. I wrote the website's editors to ask them to post my response as an article instead of a comment, but they declined, so I just posted it as a comment.

This is in response also to "To Three or Not to Three"....
As a mother three young children (4, 2 and 1) and dreams of more children in the future, I am often told, “You sure have your hands full.” My response to them with a joyful and grateful smile is, “you should see my heart.”
I believe all children are a blessing from God, whether a single child or one of ten, whether the first born son, the baby girl, or the middle of the pack, each child is a gift.
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord…
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them”
– Psalm 127
And with each gift which God has given us to open and treasure every day, is a gift that brings joy and sorrow, excitement and frustration, and happiness and anger. But such is life (and a good one) to have all these various emotions in a single lifetime, even a single day. But can you imagine if life was so perfect and orderly that all we had was time to think about what more we wanted from life. One of the blessings in having children is that you have less time to shop for more things to fill up our homes but not our hearts, less time sit around and be idle, less time to think of what more we could do or what more we could have to make our life more "complete." The only thing that truly makes life complete is Life itself.
Being a parent is no easy job with great perks; it is a hard and often unappreciated labor, but it is mportant to remember that such a task is not assigned lightly by God.
"The most important person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral-a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby's body...Even the angels have not been given such a grace! What is more glorious than this-to be a mother."
- Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty
When I am walking to meet Saint Peter and review the deeds of my life, I will not be measured by how much I acquired but instead by how much I gave. One way God asks us to give is to give of ourselves as mothers. This is often hard as we have to give up so much, especially in those early years of motherhood. But like all things, this too shall pass and there will be a day when we wish we could turn back time. I see it in the eyes of elderly women, in their sweet voices as they see the true gift of joy I have in my children. They would give anything to still be nursing boo-boos with sweet kisses and guiding an unsure hand as it tries to write its first letters.
When thinking of how many children to have in our family, I believe this decision is best left to God, as I have heard there is no better way to make God laugh than to tell him your plans. I have been blessed with more than I need in house, food, and clothing (and really everyone in America is wealthy compared to the world at large), and what better way to use this surplus than to give it to a child. I would rather have more children at my feet than dollars in my pocket, as children have a value that can not be measured in any currency. A woman regarded by many to have one of the truest and biggest hearts of our time said it best…
"How can there be too many children? That's like saying there are too many flowers."
- Mother Teresa
We never question anything that is too beautiful, only things that seem to lack something. If you are even having the internal debate of how many children to have, maybe that thought is weighing heavily on your heart because there is something lacking in your life. You may not have that thought and that is fine. However, if you do, please consider that no dream vacation, dream car or all the luxuries one could imagine will be worth more when you look back on your life than the dream of a child.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Valentine's Day...

The children got to wake up to these little surprises waiting for them. I went a little crazy with the felt crafts last night.
I love these Valentine's Gnomes. I was inspired by these.
I made this little stuffed felt heart sugar cookie after seeing something similar here.
For my sweetheart and one true love, I made these little felt fortune cookies with sweet messages stuffed inside.
We made some sweet treats yesterday including...
Valentine's Dots and pink chocolate hearts
Sweet pea had her first taste of donuts with chocolate icing and was loving it.
Licking the icing beater, what a special treat for Valentine's Day.
Hope you have LOVEly Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To Celebrate The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

From the archives...
Our Lady of Lourdes, please pray for us.

Monday, February 7, 2011

When I Grow Up...

Peaches: "Mommy, when I grow up again I want to be a mommy deer."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

To Celebrate The Feast of Saint Valentine

From the archives...
I have a couple new ideas planned that hopefully we will get to do. But we will definitely be making and eating our now traditional family Valentines Heart Donuts, Valentines dots and Candy Cane Hearts of Love.
Hope you have a LOVEly Valentine's Day!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bravo, Bravo

This is long, but it may provide some comic relief enough to make the read worthwhile. Or at least feel good that you're not the only mom with these moments (at least that's what I am telling myself). Before we left to go on an errand yesterday, it seemed very important. Yes, I had to get this done today, this afternoon, NOW. Never mind taking three young children in a torrential downpour. It's okay that the middle child who must have sleep (a lot) to function didn't take her nap today. I can handle this. We arrive at our local hardware store and some nice employee has made sure all the shopping carts are returned to the front of the store. So here I am with a 4, 2 and 1 year old and 3 big brown paper bags of returns with no cart. In the pouring rain. How am I going to make it 30 yards into this store? I brilliantly decide it is a moment for my 4 year old son to learn chivalry. I ask him to please carry one bag for mommy. I think I can manage the baby, the diaper bag and the 2 other shopping bags on my own. He kindly wants to help, but he tries and they are too heavy. I know since we are already out of the car and rain falling on us, that these bags have a very short half life. I start having visions off these bags getting a bit wetter and basically disintegrating causing all my returns to just fall out into a puddle on the wet pavement. I super-mom handle all the bags, the big clunky diaper bag (I swear now I will get some cute, smaller, fashionable diaper bag, no matter the cost from one of those cute baby boutique stores), and the baby and we run to the front of the store. Well, in my rush I hear and try to distract my 2 year old daughter's (the one who skipped her usual 3 hour nap today) desperate pleas to help mommy and carry a bag. She's running behind me through the parking lot in the pouring rain saying, "I can do it mommy, I can carry the bag." She only wanted to be big like her big brother. I knew she couldn't do it across the parking lot though, and I figured I would let her waddle the bag up to the cash register. Once inside the automatic doors (thank you God for these), I just let all the bags drop. Before me in the return line which is always empty, there are 4 people in front of me. It's pouring rain outside, there are probably only four people in this entire mega-store and of course they are all in the return line IN FRONT of me. It's okay, I have enough (I hope) energy and motivation to keep the kids occupied while we wait. No please don't pull out all the cart sanitary wipes. No you can't put our disintegrating brown bags in the plastic bag recycle can. No you can't open that Bob the Builder activity book on display and play with it. Almost, almost, finally our turn. Return accomplished, all is well with the world. Now I just need a few light bulbs. This is when I should count my blessings and leave. But I really NEED to get these light bulbs and I don't want to waste precious family time this weekend running this simple errand since I am already here. This begins my daughter's downward spiral. She starts wandering off and what should take a minute to get to the light bulb aisle takes five. I decide she is better off sitting in the back of the cart. This starts the screaming fit of a lifetime. I take her out of the cart and she is still screaming, so I put her back in, at least I can move faster then. Then a light bulb goes off in my head (no pun intended, seriously I ddin't catch this until I was proofing this), we had just gone to the bank drive through and I have green lollipops for them. I tell her I will give her the green lollipop in the car if she will sit in the cart and be quiet. It works - for about 30 seconds. Screaming fit ensues. This is when I start to lose my patience, so I tell her that I am going to take her green lollipop and step on it and smash it up if she doesn't stop screaming. Well, just the thought of such an atrocity is more than she can stand. She is overtaken by the need to scream and cry like her life depends on it. I start the countdown, this always works with my children, until now. 1...2....................................(giving her lots of time to calm down)............3. Still screaming. I even try hugging and holding her, now kicking and screaming. I have to follow through, right? My son is watching and doubting me. So I take the green lollipop and right in the middle of the light bulb aisle drop it on the floor and step on it, smashing it. If I didn't think she could scream louder, if I didn't think people's stares could be more disapproving, I do now. I grab the last set of light bulbs and rush to the check out desk. I always use a coupon, but it is not worth the time today. She is full on screaming and kicking and crying in the cart now, so loud that everyone in the entire mega-store can hear her. The nice check out lady tries to talk to her, not happening. I quickly try to say that she is not herself because she missed her nap today. The check out lady's eyes reveal compassionate understanding. This is not the case for the other five employees at the front of the store. They have no one to check out, so they watch the circus that is my life and nod their heads in disgust. Finally we are checked out and I dash to the front door. As we leave, three of the employees start clapping. This is no BRAVO, BRAVO...wonderful performance. This is get out of our store and don't come back. As I try to get the children into the car in the torrential rain, every time I put my daughter in the car she runs out into the parking lot to try to get back in the cart. WHAT!?!? You were just screaming bloody murder to get out of the cart. I am trying to balance keeping her safe and not running lose in the parking lot with trying to get the baby's coat off and buckled in the seat safely. At one point she jumps on the cart and it starts coasting down the sloped parking lot powered by the inertia of her flailing and wailing. I run to grab her and then now is laying on the floor of the car kicking me as I block her exit while buckling the baby in her car seat. I can only imagine this scene through her eyes. Finally I manage to have them all in the car safely. After a STERN talking to, she is buckled in and manages to calm down. Suddenly, she is all apologies. She looks so sweet and pathetic, I can't help but kiss her and tell her its okay. I'm shaking, still shaking hours after the incident. I managed to make it through the rest of the day okay. She and the baby got an early dinner, then everyone got a warm bath. Then she was off to bed, she was out like a light. I actually managed to finally make Candlemas Crepes for dinner that night (only two days after the feast). They were delicious and we enjoyed a nice dinner with my son. That night as I was lying in bed with my son as he fell asleep, he said to me out of nowhere, "Mommy, why did you smash her lollipop?" My reply was, "Because I had to teach her a lesson that she could not behave the way she did." Now, really who needs to be taught a lesson here. Hint, it's not any of the children.

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