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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Today Chores Are My Enemy

Sometimes, it is all I can do, to get out of my bed in the morning and make it. Then the rest of the day, I drift through, doing the bare minimum to keep me and my children alive. My husband then comes home and in his eyes, nothing has been done.

'But I made the bed' is my reply to his insistence that I did nothing all day.

Before I continue, in case I haven't made it clear in anything I've posted so far, I do have some sort of clinical depression or something that makes it a little harder for me to always be normal or happy or to not allow life's normal routine of ups and downs completely throw me off balance at times. I am slightly crazy most days. Ask my husband, you'll find he'll nod furiously before you even finish your question.

OK, so that sounds kind of funny. I'm crazy.. Ha ha. But really, often times, it's the furthest thing from funny and as I said before, it often keeps me from doing the things I need to be doing..past the small task of making my bed in the mornings....which incidentally, I just began to get into a routine of doing only about 6 months ago. Yes, Kate, I would like a cookie for this. It was a big deal to me at the time I realized I had done it more than 1 or 2 days in a row!

Household chores are my job but on the days when I'm feeling slightly less than 100% and especially on the days when I've allowed myself to be only at say 30%, household chores have become my enemy. Even the smallest of them. There are only two things I pretty much accomplish every single day.. Making my bed and doing the dishes. The second of the two has been known to not get done until the last 4 minutes before my husband pulls into the driveway. Again, cookie please... At least it gets done!

I've started to get my 3 1/2 year old to help me with things. She is pretty good at helping me sweep up stuff, she picks up the toys in the playroom on occasion. She's pretty motivated to do just about anything when I tell her there will be a "treat" if she does what I ask. But, like me, she often gets side-tracked by something shiny off in the corner.. Shiny doesn't always mean gleaming, especially when it comes to my distractions, but for her, it usually just means that it's different and more exciting than the task at hand.

Anyway, back to my issue....the reason household chores are often viewed as enemies. It's the sense that I know they should get done but that I can't seem to manage to pull myself out of the darkness behind my eyes to see the pile of folded laundry I have yet to put away or to see the mess under the table the kids left from lunch. It's the suffocating effect taking care of three needy children has on me sometimes. Or the chaos in my head that rings like a thousand church bells because I forgot to turn down the volume of the previous weeks' events that play in my mind over and over.

I feel like this is not a normal feeling of being overwhelmed like most stay-at-home mommies feel at times. There's something more to it and I think to add figuring that out to my list of chores might be a good idea. This could possibly be my biggest enemy of them all, however. There are times when I want to go to bed at 6 o'clock just so I can end the day, having just barely made it. These days a steady stream of chaos has hit my brain, through my children fighting, the baby crying, an unresolved fight with my husband spinning around up there..

So, yeah, sometimes, it's all I can do to get out of bed in the morning and make it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cloth Diapering

I am crazy, this I know. We have started our adventures in the wonderful world of cloth diapering. Before this endeavor started, I thought that the cloth diaperers of the family were crazy. I used to get links from my oldest sister that would take me to pictures of diaper covers and along with the links would come descriptive words for these diaper covers like cute, adorable, amazing, wonderful...blah blah blah. I never really could imagine why anyone would be so excited about diapers and their covers. My younger sister would talk about breathing in the clean diapers right out of the dryer and how great it was....

Um....what??

Diaper covers with duckies on them? "Yummy" smelling diapers right from the dryer? Hello...what planet are you living on?

Then I started cloth diapering.

This was just a week ago and already, I'm a fanatic. I LOVE cloth diapers!!!!!!!!!! Too many exclamation marks, you say? WELL, if you cloth diapered you wouldn't think so. It's a totally different world and it is LOVELY!

First, there is the cost aspect. I just can't imagine why anyone would want to spend like $60 or more a month on disposable diapers when they could buy cloth ones for much cheaper. Cheaper in the long run, I mean... Not right at first when you're initially getting your feet wet.. We spent $160 (this included shipping) on diapers, covers, diaper lotion potion and all the little accessories we would need just to initially start.. BUT, the diapers we bought will last probably at least until she is 5 or 6 months, maybe longer if she doesn't get too fat and 2 of the diapers will go into the toddler stage with her. We are thinking about investing in more of these kind, as they are the ones with which you get more bang for your buck! The covers will also last a long time. And, even when she outgrows the other diapers, we can use them as 'doublers' for night-time or long car rides, etc..

Second, there is the waste aspect. I figured even if we put her in 1 diaper a day for a year, that is 365 diapers just for her...Doesn't sound like a lot, does it? Well, who only puts 1 diaper a day on their baby? We probably put 6-10 diapers on her a day, depending. So, we'll take the middle # and say 8 diapers a day for a year is 2,920 diapers from 1 baby for 1 year! I heard somewhere that something like 50 million diapers go into the landfill A DAY. First of all, that's disgusting..all that poop sitting in plastic diapers that won't biodegrade for another 200 years, getting bull-dozed into the ground and probably seeping into our water systems.... YUCK! Not to mention the toll it takes on our environment in general with just the material of the diapers.

Third, my baby is soooo cute with her big old puffy butt!

Now, I'm NOT saying that you're a bad person if you use disposables. I am just saying we didn't want to continue to contribute to that sort of waste. My husband is more in it for the cost-effectiveness but he does agree that it is such a waste and a huge harm to the environment. I'm more of the activist in general but I too am loving the cost-effectiveness of the cloth diapers.

Oh, and did I mention my 3 month old has now used the potty about 10 times or so since we started cloth diapering? We are sort of infant potty training her and we take her in and hold her over the potty every time we change her diaper. My 2 year old son has only gone maybe once on the potty! Granted, I don't know if the baby can actually understand yet what she's doing but I believe it's just like house-training a puppy...they get it after a little bit.

So, I bought this really cute cover that has froggies on it and I have a lavender one and a baby blue one..oh and this other really cute one that is blue and has multi-colored dots that line up to make circles. And, oh my gosh, I have never smelled a better scent than the clean smell of a diaper right out of the dryer!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Prayer

It seems I don't have much time to keep my blog up these days. Being a mommy and a housewife really takes some time!

Lately, I've been doing a lot of praying. I pray for myself, to be patient with my children and my husband, to continue to try to see people how God sees them, to be less judgemental and to give as much of myself as I am capable of with out letting the important things fall to the wayside. All of this is hard for me. I fail a lot.

I've also been praying for my husband. He has been stressed out over a number of different things and he has almost no patience these days. He is depressed and sometimes, I have no clue what to do for him. He has been trying to reach out to his family but they don't seem to want to take his hand. Maybe more and more he will let go of them and "cling" to our little family that he and I have made together, as it says to in the bible (Matthew 19:5). I want so badly for him to be happy and I know that when he lets go of some things that are pulling him down, he will be.

I've been praying for his family, as well. I don't even know what to say about them. I just don't understand. But I ask God to help them and I ask God to help me see them for their good. I do love them, because they're His children and they are Joe's family. And I care about them. But I've been learning more and more that I can't expect much from them in the way of reciprocating any sort of love that resembles a normal family relationship.

I've also been praying for my family, the myriad of things that has hit each of my siblings and my parents...We are a strong family and have come together over and over to help each other in different ways, even if it was just by praying for each other. God has always helped us through everything we've faced and we always know that part of His aid involves the strength and support of our family.

I have to say that prayer is very powerful. I know that when I start each day out with some sort of prayer things go a little better than they do if I don't ask Him to help me and guide me in my daily routines. Especially when it comes to my little babies. My 3 1/2 year old is very crazy these days and she takes up most of my patience and energy. The baby is still very needy, of course, being only 3 months old. And my middle child is...well, most of the time, he's very affectionate. He has a few occasional outbursts of "brattiness" but that's to be expected. He'll be 2 next month.

Yes, I do pray a lot!

I've been realizing more and more that as their mom, I am supposed to pray for them each and every day. It should be my number one duty as their mother, above all the obvious things like making sure they're fed and clean, etc. As they grow older, I will have more and more reasons to pray for them and getting into a routine of that now will make it easier to remember in the midst of all the other things I'm praying for and all the other things I am doing. As a mother entrusted with these precious gifts from God, praying for them is probably the most important thing I will ever do for them in their lives. It allows me to come to a place where I am okay with the idea that they aren't really mine to keep and it allows God to work in our lives to strengthen our faith in Him.