Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Friday, June 15, 2007

"Did I just threaten the pizza delivery boy's life?!!"

One evening this past week we had a major storm in my area and our power was out for a few hours, making it impossible to cook dinner. We had originally planned to go to the store and get some food to make but since the power was out, we opted to spring for pizza. Joe called his friend that lives nearby and asked him what pizza places were good around here. We don't have regular chain pizza joints like Dominos or Pizza Hut but the small specialty shops are even better anyway. His friend suggested this place about 10 min. down the road and we called to order 2 medium pizzas.

The guy taking our order told us it would be about 1/2 hour to forty five minutes. At this point, it was about 5:30 and I was a little hungry but not too bad and it was earlier than we usually eat dinner so I wasn't so worried about the kids needing to eat right away. But then 6:25 came and we realized we hadn't gotten our pizza in the time that was given to us. So Joe called and the manager was a little evasive and said "Oh, he's leaving right now. Bare with us, we're a little busy." Joe told him to hurry up and asked him how much longer because he has a pregnant wife and two young children that need to eat and we can not make dinner for ourselves because the power is out. The guy informed him it would be maybe another 10 minutes at the most. So, 10 minutes came and went and before we knew it, it was almost 7. By this time, I was shaking because I was so hungry and the kids were crying because they were hungry and we didn't even have any snacks to tide us over! (We really needed to go to the store!)

So Joe called back. The guy said he didn't know where the pizza delivery guy was and he'd call us back when he found him. He didn't call back. Joe called again after another 15 minutes passed. He informed the manager that we would not be paying for the pizzas and that he needed to take the pizzas off our bank card that we had given him over the phone when we ordered. The manager said he was too busy to do this. Finally the pizza boy showed up and the pizzas of course were cold. I was so upset and out of my mind from not just regular hunger but pregnancy hunger, that wonderful feeling that you're about to pass out and your mind is a big blurry mess and you can't think straight and I don't know about anyone else but I get irate over everything!!!!!

Joe argued with the boy about taking the bill off our bank card and the boy said he would have to come in to the shop and do it, that they couldn't do it right then. He also told Joe he could come in and get two free pizzas instead but wouldn't give him anything to prove he could do this. I told him to tell the boy to leave the cold pizzas but to go and get us 2 new hot ones and bring them back as well and that would be our free pizza. I don't think that agreement was exchanged and finally the cold pizzas were brought in and the boy left.

I immediately started cutting up a piece for our son Aidan and was trying (not very well) to stay calm as I bantered on about how stupid I thought Pennsylvanians are and how no body around here ever seems to know what they're doing and how I wanted to move "home." Five minutes later, the boy showed back up and informed Joe he hadn't signed the credit slip. I told Joe not to sign it and he got into an argument with the boy about it. The boy then asked him why he had to make things difficult and at that, I lost it!! I was so hungry and so angry at this point that I stormed into the living room and told the boy shriekingly that if he didn't leave right now, I'd kill him!! And I slammed the door in his face. I don't even really remember doing it so much as that it was me that was doing it, rather I felt like I was watching it happen. I was so crazy!!!

After I got pizza in me, which was really cold and kind of gross but would've probably been good if it had been hot, I realized what I did and felt bad. "Did I just threaten the pizza delivery boy's life?" I asked my husband in shock. I didn't feel bad just for having threatened the boy but also because I totally went crazy in front of my kids and while they might not have noticed being the age they are now, if they were older, they definitely would have noticed. I don't like feeling like I set this horrible example of how to deal with a problematic situation such as what happened that evening. But at the same time, I wonder why does hunger and especially pregnancy hunger, make me so crazy? And how do I make sure that if I ever am that hungry again, I don't snap like I did over that pizza being so late? It doesn't just happen to me, either. I've witnessed many other hungry women, a lot of them pregnant, going nuts over stressful situations. Or maybe not even stressful situations but a happening that could've been pretty innocent but in the hazy mania of a hungry person's mind, it was not innocent at all.

I know that this is not how God wants us to set examples for our children and that we need to learn to be patient with people that upset us. And I know there are always going to be situations that don't pan out in the exact way we might like them to and that there is a proper way to deal with our disappointment or anger over this. But in a situation like mine where hunger was a major factor and I have always been susceptible to being cranky when I don't eat every few hours anyway, how do I avoid acting on the crazy hysteria I feel when things are even the slightest bit irritating? Is it just that I have to be responsible enough to make sure my blood sugar is always at the norm and I am eating every few hours as I need to?

I am wondering if this isn't right along the same lines as avoiding temptation, as we are called to do. Avoiding temptation all together, not allowing ourselves to be in a tempting situation and then trying to battle our way out. I think that it is kind of the same with this hunger thing. I know that if I get put- or put myself- in a tempting situation, there is a really good chance I will not make it out, that I will give in. Just like everyone. No body is totally immune to temptation, no matter how strong they think they are or how strong their faith is. But here, in the hunger situation, I think that I have to make sure to avoid the beginnings of hunger all together because I know there is a good chance that the end result, which is usually getting crazy upset with the closest person (usually my hubby or children), will not be avoided.

I think back to that evening when we ordered pizza and I know I should've probably scrounged for something, anything, to put in my stomach while we waited for the pizza. And yes, it still would've been annoying that the pizza was so late but I probably wouldn't have threatened that poor delivery boy who stood open-mouthed as I slammed the door in his face. I was so nauseated, I just didn't want to eat anything but I should've made myself find something and eat anyway. It is a funny story in actuality but at the same time, it's not. I scared some poor teen-aged boy and I set a really bad example for my children. I hope I can remember this the next time we order out if it ends up being a little late.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Potty Training Continued

The past few days with a diaperless 2 1/2 year old have been pretty good. Only a few peeing accidents here and there, mainly happening when I allowed her to put panties on and she got back into the mode of feeling like she had something to go in. However, other times she did make trips to the bathroom when I did have a diaper or panties on her and she took them off herself and went potty. The other day, she did #2 3 times in the potty. Two of them, she went in on her own decision and did it. I am determined to have her potty trained completely in the next few months. Lets hope she doesn't revert back to diapers when the new baby comes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Potty Training

We started potty training our 2 1/2 year old around the time she turned 2, probably at about 18 months, actually. But we weren't very gung-ho about it. We bought her a potty (one that sings and does all that crazy stuff but we didn't put the batteries in it) and started teaching her that poo poo and pee pee belong in the potty. In the beginning, she was very excited about trying this new way of "doing her business." Like a lot of parents, we rewarded her with M & M's (or as she calls them, "Lemmys") when she went. She had one accidental #2 in the potty but for 8 or so months, that was it for that aspect of it. She went #1 more easily. It was never a matter of not knowing she had to go or not being able to control herself. Most days, she would do a few #1's in the potty but no #2's. She just wasn't ready for that. Then she lost interest in using the potty, I think about the time her brother started being more active and had more of our attention, as is usually the case when a new baby comes. She was 19 months when he was born and wasn't really aware of his place in the family so I think at first, she wasn't too threatened by his presence. But as he got bigger and more pronounced as an addition to our family that was vying for our attention, mine especially, she started to feel a little competitive. I only am guessing at this by her actions, of course, I'm not sure how she really felt.

So, here we are, a year later. She will be 3 in November. And I keep thinking that I am not going to be able to stand changing 3 butts a day! Hers will undoubtedly seem enormous to me once the new baby comes and I am determined to have her potty-trained completely by then. She is Miss Independent for the most part and I feel like she is completely ready. She knows when she has to go. She tells me "Mommy, I poopy, change my diaper" as she hands me a diaper and the wipes box.

We always make a big deal out of the times when she does go on the potty. And she loves that attention. And I KNOW she loves those lemmys!

The other day, I decided to take my sister's advice and let her go with out a diaper. Yes, this means bare-butt all day! (Unless of course we go out.) It's a little frightening at first, especially for someone like me that usually has to have things 'just so' and can't stand the thought of my area rug getting messed up. But at the same time, I am really determined to have her potty trained and if this is what works the best, I have to sacrifice my little OCD tendencies and let her do what she's going to do. Besides, most of our floor is hard wood surface so it's not a huge deal if she has an accident!

So off came the diaper and the real potty training began.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

You Have Something On Your Sleeve....Oh Wait, That's Just Your Heart

Being pregnant allows for many things. It allows for a reason to sleep during the day with a good excuse. It allows for the chance to eat more food. ( I say more, not bad!) And I agree with my sister that it also allows for being able to wear certain articles of clothing that you couldn't get away with if you weren't pregnant. It also allows for the not so nice things such as extra skin and aching muscles and those fantastically crazy hormones that tend to go rampant at any given moment.

Today, I woke up in a bad mood. I have been very short with my children for doing things little children do that really aren't anything to get upset about....but there I was, yelling at them both. And, earlier, I was sitting with my daughter in the living room while she watched a cartoon before she took a nap and I was just suddenly overcome with the need to cry. I hadn't even really started crying yet when she looked at me and said "What's wrong, mommy? Don't cry." And then came and gave me a kiss on my cheek.

At that moment, I just wanted to squeeze her just shy of too-tight and tell her how much I love her and that I always will, no matter what. I wanted to try to make her understand somewhere in that 2 1/2 year old brain of hers that her mommy isn't perfect and that even aside from crazy pregnancy hormones, there is this sadness I can't get rid of and I don't want her to ever feel like it's her fault and I don't want her to be stunted in her emotional or mental growth in any way just because I can't seem to get a hold of myself sometimes. I have found that even though crazy hormones are a norm. when you're pregnant, I can't seem to shake feeling just as crazy and out of whack when I'm not pregnant.

How do I explain to my children that emotions are a normal part of life and some people have a harder time dealing with them than others? I worry constantly that I am unable to figure out why I'm so sensitive and that there's nothing I can ever do about it and that somehow, in some way, it will affect them negatively. Will my bouts of anxiety or sadness scar them in some terrible way? Will they take on a constant worry about me every time they see me cry? How much am I supposed to not allow them to see?

I remember someone telling me that they never allowed their children to see them cry. I can't even remember who that was now, I just remember that statement and I remember that at the time, I didn't understand why, having not had children yet. And I remember someone else telling me it was okay to allow your children to see you cry. But what if you're crying for a reason you can't explain? And as quizzical as children are, you know they're going to ask. I'm sure it's a scary thing to see your parents cry so where is the line that we should draw between what's appropriate show of emotion and what's not? I worry about this constantly, especially now because my daughter, even though only 2 1/2 seems to notice these things and has some sort of understanding that crying often means something is wrong.

It's hard to wrap my brain around the intricate details of a human being, the way God made us, how He planned it all out and why. It's an ever-evasive concept to grasp, God's work, and I can't seem to even glimpse the smallest idea of why emotions are so profound and how we are to understand these things, especially within ourselves. And then, how are we to teach our children about the natural part of it all and the proper way to interact with each other, despite how we are feeling at any given moment?

I used to be really good at hiding how I felt but then my life threw up all over itself and I was left wearing everything I ever feel right there on my sleeve. I haven't figured out what to put away to hide and what is okay to be seen, so everything is right out there in plain sight, in view of everyone, waiting to be slapped off or cleaned up or lovingly wiped away.....or just accepted as somewhat of a beautiful mess. But I have found that my inability to "put away" or hide my feelings about things has gotten me into some trouble of sorts. And then there's that whole parenting thing as well, trying to figure out what is okay for my children to see and what really needs to be hidden.......

Even though Angelina has a pretty good grasp on things and understands a lot for only being 2 1/2, which answer is better for her question of the morning?

"Angel, I'm fine. Mommy just has a baby (maybe two) in her belly right now and they make her feel like throwing up every day and we have several family members that feel the need to make us feel bad for allowing God to work in this area of our lives however He wants. Oh and my back hurts and you and your brother are driving me nuts and the house is a mess and I don't want to get off this couch, even to eat. You woke me up at 4 this morning and your brother woke me up to get up at 7. I miss your daddy and the fact that he has to get a second job to support us is really wearing on me because then we will be seeing him even less. I want us to go on vacation this July but it seems like we might not be able to, even though we already sunk some money into a condo at the beach that we can't get back and who knows how long it will be until we get another chance to have a vacation...maybe never? Not to mention that the hot water heater is leaking and I don't think the dishwasher is in good working condition either."


"Mommy just doesn't feel well, baby. I'm okay."