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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More Lessons From Mommy Land

Learning to discipline your child is the most difficult thing sometimes. I'm not really dealing with the "Terrible Twos" because let's be honest for a minute, Harris has had his tantrums since Day 1! Now, I love my baby boy and I've grown accustomed to his "passion" and his "being spirited". Most days I can handle the drama with ease but for some reason oh my Monday...

You ever have one of those days where you're convinced that your child has been possessed? That was my world Monday starting around 10 am. Chandler was sick so we were gearing up for a doctor's visit. I was trying to keep everyone situated while I got us all ready and prepared lunches for the masses. It was like a switch when off. Harris began running laps around the house. At the end of a lap he would turn circles and just yell. He then began backing up to the banister and taking a run and go, sliding into his sister (who was laying on the floor) as though she was home plate. She was laughing which of course, encouraged him to keep going. Now, don't misunderstand, I LOVE for my kids to play together, but I was so afraid his little size 8's were going to smash her head in any minute. I said no a couple of times then I had to take other measures. Spanking #1.

We got home from the doctor's office later in the afternoon and the walls really broke down. Harris spent the better part of the afternoon doing one of three things: 
1. Yelling
2. Screaming
3. Waking the dead with his blood curling howls of dislike of one thing or another. Spanking #2

He also dumped all of the dog's food into her water, colored on the t.v., used the stand up dustpan as a weapon against all things female (Mommy, Sissy and Emmie), threw a ball at Sissy's head (did I mention it was a baseball?) and other various crimes I'll not list. Spankings #s 3, 4 and 5. Let's all keep in mind that I'm also nursing a 6 month old with double ear infections back to health through all of this and Eliot didn't get home until 6:45. I was nearly in tears by the time the kids were ready for bed. 

I got Chandler ready and Eliot took Harris. I was rocking Chandler, enjoying her silence and praying. I was asking God to help me with Harris. Help me survive these long days with more grace. Help me to show him mercy and teach him Godly discipline. Help me to love him unconditionally on those days. Basically, I guess I was praying to love and discipline my child the way God loves and disciplines me. It occurred to me in that moment how God must feel when I'm disobedient. When I deliberately do the opposite of what He's asked me to. When I symbolically throw a fit because I have to do what He wants instead of what my human nature desires. When I hurt myself and others through words or actions. I feel certain that God feels a little of what I, as a mother, feel when Harris does the same. 

Lord, thank you for loving me through my disobedience. Thank you for the discipline that you give because I know it's for my own good. Lord, help me to have your mind and heart while dealing out disciplinary actions. Lord, please grant me patience and wisdom to cope on the hard days the way you are patient with me. Please Father, through all things, allow my love toward my children to never waver. Help me to give Godly discipline and not discipline out of selfish motives. Please help me to remember that discipline is love. YOU love me enough to deal it out so I must also love Harris and Chandler enough to do the same.

Proverbs 19:18
Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.

Hebrews 12:11
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Considering My Field

Proverbs 31:16

"She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard."

Going to work outside the home is not really an option for me and my family at this time. We've considered the possibility for several reasons, but our answer from God is always the same, "not right now". Even though I can't bring in extra money I thought, "why not try to reevaluate where our money is going now and make sure we are getting the most bang for our buck?" Eliot isn't the only one who can work out new savings plans :)

I've started with groceries and honestly, it's as far as I've gotten. I hope to brainstorm in the coming weeks and work out more, but for now...We are a family of four and our grocery budget includes formula for one and diapers for two. Yikes. One can only imagine how that works out... So last week I sat down and made a list of the top ten things I buy every week. Milk, eggs, ground beef, snacks for Harris and bread were on that list along with a few other things. I then decided to go do some price comparisons. We've been going to Publix since we moved here because it's across the street and I honestly didn't know how to get to Wal-Mart. I chose to go to Publix, Wal-Mart and a store called Aldi. I loaded up my kids and my list and away we went.

I was BLOWN AWAY at how much I had been paying for things at Publix. Now before the Publix army attacks, please hear me out: I LOVE shopping at Publix, it is a pleasure. However, at this stage in life, budgets are more important than my kid getting coloring books and a sweet lady chasing us down with cookies.

Aldi outdid Publix AND Wal Mart on our items. Like, big time. Just by purchasing our "Top Ten Items" at Aldi instead of Publix, we will save $40/month. Just on those ten items. That's not including all the other stuff I buy.

Aldi is a discount grocery store so there are a few things they do to make their food cheap. All of their food is off-brand so if you're picky about name-brand stuff you're out of luck. They don't provide any bags and they only have a limited staff working. You have to insert a quarter to a machine to get your shopping cart, but you get it back when you return the cart. This prevents them from having to hire people to gather carts. Their basic goal is to have as little overhead as possible. I'm ok with going without a few things to save money!!

Now, my goal is not to promote a certain grocery store. I would just like to encourage anyone reading this to take some time to find the best deals for your family! I'm not a Coupon Queen, it's just not my thing. I can't find a job making more money, Harris and Chandler pay what they pay and that's not changing. I can only get creative with what I have. I can CONSIDER my own "field" before I buy it!

So where have you found the best deals? How do you save money on groceries? Share your ideas!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Scribbles~Calling All Mommies!!!

It's August 5 and I now have an almost 6 month old and a 25 month old. I've spent the last 6 months adjusting to a new little person needing me non-stop and I have fallen into a routine of meeting every one's needs. I love being a stay at home Mommy to two little loves and a wife to my wonderful husband. I haven't felt this content and at peace in a long time. Do you know what kind of blessing it is to feel happy about life? I can't thank God enough for my beautiful world. 

Now that I've got the kiddos into my routine and I think I've got my man taken care of, I guess it's time for some "self-care". I consider this different from meaningless alone time (which don't get me wrong, that's awesome). I think self-care is more about specific needs. My needs right now are spiritual and physical so those are the things I've got to focus on. I owe it to my family to set the right example for health in all areas. I owe it to my kids to teach them the importance of exercise at a young age. I owe it to my hubby to not look like I'm still pregnant. I owe it to all of them to spend time in prayer and meditation on their behalf. I also owe it to MYSELF to take care of me. Being a mommy takes so much out of your bank that you have to make a deposit every once in a while :) 

Here's my plan:

Physical: I HATE exercise. For real y'all. Hate. However, after two babies, nursing and gravity taking over, something has to happen. Like it or not. I'm starting the Couch25K program. That's thirty minutes a day/three days a week. Tonight I waited until Chandler was in bed then I left. The app is great and was very helpful in keeping me on track. We shall see...

Spirtual: Before Chandler was born, we were on a perfect morning routine. Harris was pretty predictable with his waking time so I could get up an hour early to read and pray. Chandler is just now getting into a waking routine and it just so happens that it's around the time Harris gets up. That means that starting tomorrow morning, this Mommy will be up and at em around 5:30 for some time with God. 

So Mommies: What are YOUR needs and what do you do to meet those needs? I'd really like to hear! We have to get creative with little ones at home so if you have a creative idea for taking care of you physically, mentally, spiritually or otherwise, spill it! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cinderella Found Her Slippers!

It's official. It's started already.

Chandler loves shoes.

We were playing in the shoe store and my mom put some shoes on Sissy. She then took them off when it was time to go and Sissy started CRYING. Mom put the shoes back on her and no more crying. It probably goes without saying, but Mom bought her the shoes ;) Here's the pair of golden slippers Baby Girl HAD to have ;)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Scribbles~ Late Night Love

Chandler and I don't get a lot of alone time. It just isn't in the cards on most days. However, Baby Girl is teething right now so she hasn't been feeling very well. Eliot has been kind enough to move to the guest room so Chandler can sleep with me, making it easier to sooth her during the night. Last night it didn't phase me really, but tonight is different. I've just been laying here staring at her and realizing what an angel she is. She has finally dosed off after some major cuddle time with Mommy. This child owns my heart.

She's so incredibly sweet and as I get to know her little personality more I realize how much like her Daddy she is. She's gentle and quiet, loving and calm. She lowers my blood pressure I'm sure! She loves to lay beside me, hold my hands and stare at me until sleep takes over. She's so silly right now. The strangest things send her into fits of giggles and that is the sweetest sound to my ears. As I type this, she's giggling in her sleep...seriously. She's pure joy.

When I found out I was pregnant with her, I knew she was a girl. I knew it like I knew my name. The idea of a daughter at that time seemed foreign to me, but I figured if God gave me a daughter He had confidence in me to raise her. Even though I was sure she was a girl, I could have never been prepared for the love I feel for her. I pray that we're always close in that special way only a mother and daughter are. I also pray she reads this one day and knows that her Mommy has been head over heals in love with her since Day 1.

Chandler May~ You are too sweet for words!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, America!

We had a lovely time at Centennial Olympic Park last night watching the fireworks or "fifarts" as Harris calls them! Harris had never seen fireworks before and he was mesmerized. He called out all the colors as he saw them... "rad, oange, gree, bwue, sheshow, poopa!" It was so awesome seeing his face light up from the lights and sheer excitement. Poor little Chandler thought we had all lost our minds keeping her awake so late so she just passed out :)

Side note: I highly recommend the fireworks show we went to. There was something so cool about seeing such huge fireworks with a backdrop of the the Atlanta skyline. Beautiful. Not to mention there's obviously a largely diverse population in Atlanta. It was very cool to see so many different cultural groups represented there to celebrate our country. It was a fabulous birthday party! I hope your was just as festive :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Staycation 2012!

Our air conditioner has been MIA for a week and a half now. We toughed it out as long as possible but when Harris and I were not feeling well on Monday, we loaded up and came to the Marriott across the street until it was fixed. Well, it's Wednesday and we're still here. Hopefully all will be up and running tomorrow but in the meantime we're enjoying a lovely staycation.

Life is SO about perspective. It would be easy to complain about the fact we're in this small hotel room with two kids under the age of 2, but I'm totally embracing it. Why not? We've been able to snuggle with our kids all night, get creative with mealtime, play on an elevator (which for a 2 year old is amazing), hit up the swimming pool and have yummy hotel breakfast including Harris' first doughnut! There's a giant American flag outside of our window so Harris got a lesson on the flag and how to salute it in honor of Independence Day. Also, theres no housework in a hotel... Today we'll enjoy the Fourth of July celebrations around town and since we're still new to the area, it will feel like a real vacation. Instead of huffing and puffing about our seemingly inconvenient circumstances, we're making the most of it!

It's all about perspective! Happy Fourth of July!