Tag Archives: parenthood

When your littles share a bedroom…

There are so many upsides to having the boys share a room. They play with all the same toys anyway. It feels like they are practically in the same size clothes. “Kid stuff” is mostly contained in one room of the house, rather than stashed in every nook and cranny. I believe it helps promote learning to share and respect and play and work together. Bonding. Yup, lots of reasons.

But there are also a couple of downsides.

Today at lunch Judah was yawning and ready for bed. Soon after he finished I changed him, read the boys stories, and put them in bed.

Several minutes later I heard giggling and slapping. I peeked in the door to see Judah on his knees, rocking side to side, slapping his thighs, grinning and “singing” loudly. (My kiwi friends will be pleased to know that I’m almost positive he was doing the “haka”.)

He was happy as a clam and hyper as a… a… I don’t know. A kid who ate fruit loops for lunch? (He didn’t, by the way.)

Of course Levi finds this hilarious so he is in his bed copying and laughing, until I open the door when he dives for cover and pretends to be sleeping.

Most days I’d work really hard to get the boys both sleeping at the same time (they really do need it, and so do I) but every once-and-a-while I just don’t bother. I figure – they’re happy and they will have days where they wind each other up too much. As long as they stay in there and give me some space, I can deal with a few shrieks of laughter and harmless “naughtiness” during nap time. They’ll go to bed early tonight and I’ll cross my fingers that there won’t be too many melt-downs in between.

And I must admit, it’s kind of fun to snoop through a cracked door and watch the boys bonding and having so much fun… even if it is during nap time.

 

Q for you: Did you share a room growing up? If so, do you have fond memories of it? If you have kids, do they share?

 

Love,
A

 

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Celebrate, we will

We spent $8 and one hour decorating a wagon in red, white, and blue for tomorrow’s old fashioned pet parade.

Although the kids are still pretty little we know they’ll love it. And since we have no idea when we’ll get to celebrate another 4th of July we’re doing it, well, biggish.

It feels like an eternity ago that I was a kid riding my bike in the parade. Dressing in silly outfits and having my own children in the parade was a million miles from my mind.

But here I am, so excited about some old fashioned small town parade and festivities.

We’ll hit up the free pancake breakfast, enjoy the parade, and roam around the park filled with three-legged races, hoola hooping, and other “old fashioned” games.

And though the boys are far too young to understand what it is to be American, they will understand that it’s something worth celebrating.

Celebrate, we will.

Happy 4th my friends.

STOP.

 

Q for you: If you are American, what are you doing for the 4th?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


A fifteen hour work day. Again.

At 10:00pm tonight I had finally finished with unpacking the groceries, putting away the clean dishes, loading the dirty ones in the dishwasher, finishing the laundry, and giving a quick wipe of the kitchen sink and counters.

That’s a fifteen hour work day right there. And that’s not including checking or responding to emails or anything ‘admin’ related. (Or personal stuff – like writing here on my wee blog!)

I’m not saying that to complain (though sometimes I desperately want to complain about it).

I’m saying it because I used to think it really sucked when I had to work late – until 6:00 or 7:00pm.

And now here I am at 10:00pm and I’m just now sitting down alone for the first time today. (When your job is like mine you work through your “lunch break” on a daily basis.)

The thought of sitting down in the evenings and zoning out in front of the telly is very appealing, but even that seems hard to come by these days.

I’m not sure why it’s taken me almost 2.5 years, but I think I’m just now figuring out how different my life really is since having kids.

I’m just now figuring out that I actually can’t compare it to “life before” when it comes to work hours and down time or else I just get depressed!

I wouldn’t trade my job if I could. Really.

But it is hard, and tiring, and consuming.

I have days (like yesterday) when I’m ready to call up a day care centre and see how much it costs to send the kids there. Seriously.

While at the same time I know what an absolute privilege it is that I’m able to stay home with my kids. (Something not every mom who desires to is able to do.)

I’m blessed. Tired, and blessed.

(And for the record, I know that everyone has days they want to quit their job. Being a SAHM isn’t any different – I realize that.)

Anyway.

Tomorrow morning I will get up and start all over again.

Rejoice!

STOP.

 

Q for you: Are you a SAHM? If so, are you deliberate about “clocking off” at a certain hour? Or do you find yourself pulling lots of late nights like me? How do you build in margin??

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


We play our songs

Our son has been smitten over music since the moment he was born.

I can’t even remember exactly when we first noticed his love of music because it was always there.

He’s obsessed with the guitar. He loves the xylophone. Drums? Of course. Harmonica? Yup.

And this kid has moves – he looooves to dance. He feels it too – his dancing changes very much with different types of music. (We adore putting on slow music and watching him attempt a two-year-old interpretation of ballet. Love.)

Today we were playing guitar together – me on my guitar, him on his.

Judah sat a few feet away playing with toys and I sat across from Levi with the guitar on my lap and a kids song book out before me (expanding my song bank – ha!). Levi climbed all over me, clawing at the guitar, smashing into my case, stepping on my book. It was a total circus. And I wasn’t very much enjoying it.

I wanted to play a few songs together and sing “Puff the Magic Dragon” and see my boy pick up his own guitar and dance around the room like he usually does.

He wanted to play a few songs together too. It’s just that his definition of “play” looked very different to my own.

I finally gave up, put the song book away, and just let him have at the strings while I played some chords on the neck.

It was pretty terrible sounding, but of course he loved it.

Made me wonder how God feels when we’re “helping” him. We get in there and try to do it our way. We “play our songs” which often sound nothing like his.

And yet he loves it all anyway. He loves that we have a go. He loves that we want to participate.

He loves that we want to play a song with him.

I’ll try to remember that when Levi wants to “play” again.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What kind of songs have you been playing lately?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Writing behind the scenes

There are so many reasons I write.

I love the creative aspect of writing. I love the way my brain works when I’m on the keyboard.

I love words. And rhythm. And piecing ideas together.

I love trying to make something–art or instruction–that is beautiful or enjoyable or sometiemes just plain useful to someone.

What many people don’t know is that I probably write offline far more than I write online. And between my six–yes six–blogs, I write a lot. (Only three of those blogs are public, mind you.)

BUt actually, much of my writing happens in emails. Just good old fashioned one-on-one, person-to-person emails. (“Old fashioned” – heh heh.)

Almost daily I get an email from someone who is asking for advice or prayer or encouragement, or who simply wants to share (and be affirmed in) an experience. Many of them are old students of mine. Some are friends, or friends of friends. Some I’ve met through blogging. And some seem to appear out of nowhere.

it’s an incredible opportunity to use what I love (writing) to be a blessing.

I don’t get paid for it. I don’t get famous from it. I don’t have anything to show for it.

But I love it.

Why? Because it’s tangible. I know I can help people… and I want to.

Yes, I can share my (at times limited) life and experiences… but more importantly I can point them to God, the One who gives life.

it’s a very private ministry, and extremely hard to quantify, but it’s a very valid one too.

The only problem comes when people ask me “what do I do?” (as in my work). I sometimes stumble over this question and usually just say I’m a stay-at-home-mom (plenty of work right there, folks!) and a part-time teacher. (Which is true.)

“Oh, and I write” I sometimes throw in there.

But mostly? Mostly I’m just me. Without a title. Trying my best to use what God’s given me to help out the next girl.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Is your “work” easily quantifiable?

 

Love,
A

p.s. I’m not always able to do it straight away, but I always try to make time to respond to emails and private messages.

p.s.s. I just realized that I was talking about emails as if they’re not online. Haha, oops. I suppose I should’ve talked about “public and private” instead of just on/off-line writing. I guess that’s what I get for writing without much forethought and with no editing! 🙂

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Little space, big dream

Later this year my family and I will be flying to Papua New Guinea where we’ll board the YWAM Medical ship, hole up in a small cabin, and spend a few weeks serving in villages where access to health care is limited.

Along with us will be teams of medical professionals – nurses, dentists, optomotrists, and more.

On board the ship we’ll run dental and optometry and basic health care clinics.

I haven’t been on an outreach like this in years now. Years.

To a YWAMer, that’s like slow death.

Ok, I’m being completely dramatic here. Nobody’s dying. (I’m not dying.)

But I am longing.

Longing to do what I joined this mission to do. Longing to be in the nations, helping people, helping people help themselves. Helping people to know God.

(To be fair, I’ve been doing all those things – in Australia. Just not “out there” in the developing world, which I love so dearly.)

Today we visited the Ship to look at hte rooms and decide where the best place for our little family to stay will be.

We chose a small room, where we’ll put a matress on the floor for Levi and Judah will share the bed with us. During the day, the bed folds up into the wall, leaving a small space for benches and a tiny floor area to play. (Most likely we won’t spend much non-sleeping time in there anyway.)

That little space created a lot of excitement in my heart.

Even though we’ve been planning this outreach for a long time now, today’s short visit to the Ship just made it all seem real.

This is happening.

Can’t wait.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you taken your family on an outreach before? Would you like to?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


A very magical, very normal moment of clarity

It was 8:30am and I still sat in bed with just my undies and a tank top on.

The curtains were drawn wide, the windows open – floor to ceiling luvers – tons of light pouring in. Slight breeze.

Chris Chabot played on the little stereo on our bedhead just next to a cup of fresh coffee.

Judah was next to me, giggling and chatting. Levi was climbing on and off the bed – playing with Judah, saying “watch mommy” as he showed me whatever impressive feat he was trying out next and intermittently giving spontaneous hugs and kisses to little brother.

I was still sleepy but I was so, so happy.

There wasn’t anything magical about those moments… not magical in the “wow” sense of the word at least. But magical in the it’s-beautiful-just-as-it-is-in-this-very-normal-moment sort of way.

“I’m so glad to be a stay-at-home-mom,” I thought to myself.

Lately I’ve been having lots of moments that are very much, um, how shall I say…? opposite to that.

But as babies have been getting healthier and I have been getting a little more sleep… the demands of my “job” haven’t seemed as draining as tehy sometimes do.

And this morning I was remembering what an incredible privilege I have to be home wiht my boys instead of in an office somewhere. As hard as 24/7 childcare can sometimes feel (and it’s so much more than “childcare” – yes, I know that), it’s also so wonderfully rich and rewarding… and fun.

As long as we can stop for little moments and remember to breathe deeply and appreciate it for what it is.

Which was Exactly what I was doing htis morning.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When is the last time you took a moment to be grateful for your job?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Shhh… don’t tell the boys I think trains are boring

We play trains most days around here.

I have to admit, I love building the train track configurations. No two ever the same.

I get to be engineer, designer, problem solver all at once. I like the challenge of trying to make them all fit together and do fancy stuff.

When we first got the train set, Ryan proposed making a table where we could permanently set up the tracks.

I opposed the idea, mostly because of space.

But the other reason is that I think having the same old track set up (like the design the set comes with) is just boring. Don’t get me wrong, the design that the set came with is amazing. But I love the challenge of forging something new.

As much as I enjoy building the tracks, I actually do’t love playing trains as much. I mean, around and around we go. Woops, crash. Start over. I find it boring once the “creative” part is over. (Apart from the fact Levi loves it. That’s nice of course.)

I know I “should” enjoy playing trains with my boys, but really, I’d much rather build legos or read stories or do coloring or playdough.

Thankfully, every train session frist starts with designing and building the tracks. Fun times.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you steer your kids toward play that you enjoy or do you let them take the lead?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


Potty mouth mom

I always thought it was weird when parents talked about things like potty training on facebook.

Really? Is it that exciting? Does the whole world have to know?

Now that I’m a mom, I’m afraid to say… I get it. Totally.

The first time Levi did a poo on the potty, I really did want to click over to facebook and write:

Levi did his first poo on the potty! or something along those lines.

I resisted, but only out of principle. The desire was all there. In full force.

Now that I’m definitely approaching the big PT (potty training) I know with certainty that I will probably be posting about it – asking questions or for advice form other moms.

As much as I know a lot of my “friends” will roll their eyes and wonder “really? does the whole world have to know?” just as I used to.

But I do’t even care any more.

They can scroll right over my status update and leave room for 10 moms to chime in with their advice. (Cuz you know plenty of moms will.)

So yeah, I’ve moved into the ranks of potty-mouthed mothers everywhere. Although I will not post something like “Levi did a poo in the potty!” I will absolutely post about the process and woes and victories of potty training so that we can all commiserate and congratulate ourselves together. (heh!)

After all, the moms of facebook need something to chime in their two cents about. Right?

STOP.

 

Q for you: What do you think? Is posting about potty training “over sharing”? If so, do you care?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


Rejected, again.

I love my son so much.

The cliche rings true – I’d give anything, do anything for him.

I spend my days considering him, caring for him, providing for him, nurturing him, teaching him. Basically giving him everything I can so that he will know he’s loved and valued and respected and know that life is good.

So days like today, when I go into his room after a nap and he immediately melts into a raging fit becuase I’m not daddy? That’s kind of a kick in teh gut.

Because son, don’t you know how much I love you? How much I give you? How much of my very being is wrapped up in being your parent? Don’t you know I give almost 24/7 of time and energy for you???

It’s tough. Giving so much only to be met with rejection.

And it makes me think of Father God.

How much does he love? Give? Sacrifice? Provide? Teach? Guide? Care? Invest?

Over and over again he gives himself to us.

And yet over and over again he is rejected, or ignored, or simply counted as second priority (or third or fourth or…).

How much of my actions and choices must sadden him? The one who loves me so completely and yet demands nothing in response.

And today I choose to think about him and acknowledge his love for me, of which I’m still learning so much about.

Thanks Levi, for helping me to remember how amazing Jesus is. (And maybe you could htink about being a little nicer toward your mama tomorrow?)

*sigh* Toddlers.

STOP.

 

Q for you: We all know how much it hurts to be rejected. Are you wallowing in rejection right now? Or are you choosing to not let it dictate your life or rob you of your joy?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos