Sunday, May 30, 2010

Freedom is not Free

I must admit that I take my freedom for granted most days. I go on about my business, making decisions about my children's education and health and my lifestyle. I pray and talk to my children about Jesus and my family goes to church three times a week. We do all these things without even giving a moment of thought to the fact that there are people out there who would die for the freedoms I enjoy. Without giving thought to the fact that people DID die for the freedoms I enjoy.

Today I am remembering... remembering that people died so I could be free... remembering that there are people fighting right now so that I can continue to be free... knowing that the people who are fighting right now are sacrificing time with their spouses and their children... knowing that some of the people who are fighting right now may not ever see their families again. Remembering... knowing.... hard stuff. It's stuff that should be appreciated and remembered.

So, thank you. Thank you to every person who has served our country. Thank you to every person who has sacrificed time with their loved ones so that we can be free. Thank you to every child that kissed their daddy goodbye and cried for him to come home. Thank you to every wife who loved and cried for and waited for your husband to come home. Thank you to every parent who hugged your child goodbye in an airport telling them how proud you are all the while scared to death. Thank you.

It is because of you that I am free to write this. Today I will not take that for granted.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's here!!!!!!!!!!!!

Summertime is here!! I am SO happy that school is out and summer is here! I love, love, love having my kids home with me all day! Call me crazy... but I do :)

We have lots of fun stuff planned. Getting together with friends, VBS, church camp, beach trip (if the oil doesn't stop us)... tons of fun!!

I'm working on a daily schedule for our summer days. My oldest son NEEDS a schedule or he gets annoying. He wants to know every minute of every day what is coming next. He will bug and bug until he is "in the know" about our plans. So, the best solution is to have a daily schedule he can refer to rather than constantly be asking. It's actually more of a written routine than a schedule because it is a flexible plan.

A big part of my problem in developing our schedule is electronics time. My children are not allowed any electronics time (tv, video games, computer time, dvd's, etc) on Monday - Thursday during the school week. But during the summer I want them to be able to enjoy some... it's just hard to work out logistically. I am unwilling to let my kids stare at electronics all day, so we must have limits. The main difficulty I have is that they each enjoy watching different things...

The two year old likes Clifford and Curious George, except that he normally doesn't actually sit down and watch it. He's in and out of the room.

The girls (4 and 6) have similar taste, so I can let them have their tv time at the same time.

The oldest (9 yr old boy) likes very different things than the girls do.

But, it's hard to let them all have their preferences without letting the tv be on all day long especially since they don't have tv's in their rooms.

I've tried to come up with a schedule where one gets to be on the computer while the other watches a movie, but then they have to switch and when it's the girls turn on the computer they both want to play..... grrr....

But I think I've come up with a plan. I won't bore you with details, but you are welcome to ask if you want to know for some reason :)

Hopefully the plan will work and we'll be set up for a summer full of fun days!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Insomnia Stinks!

Two or three times a year I will come down with a bout of insomnia. It usually lasts a week or two and then goes away on its own.

It's so annoying!!!

It's been about two nights now that I haven't been able to sleep for no apparent reason and the effects are starting to hit me. I am tired and have no motivation. If this continues the way it normally does, a couple days from now I will become grumpy and be irritated by little things and be short with my husband and the kids. Then a few days after that, I will just be numb... I won't care if the kids are fighting or if the house needs to be cleaned up... I will just exist and do the bare minimum of what is needed to take care of my family.

Then... a few days after that... I will, for no apparent reason, sleep... all night long... with no trouble. And the next day I will feel like a new person and it will be over. Until next time, anyway...

Why is it that even though I know what's coming (the grumpiness and numbness), I can't stop it? You'd think I'd be able to rationalize through what is happening and talk myself out of snapping at my children. But... no... I know it's coming... and I have every intention of being "better" this time... but to no avail. Grumpiness abounds... yikes!

The crazy thing is that I go through periods of not sleeping when I have babies and I don't get this way. I'm tired, of course, but I don't go to my grumpy place. I suppose that's because I have a sweet little baby to show for it :-) During these bouts of insomnia there is nothing good to show for it... just annoying sleeplessness... lying in bed for hours unable to fall asleep no matter how tired I am.

I've tried all sorts of solutions... changing my schedule and my bedtime, limiting tv, changing my diet, eating certain sleep inducing foods, exercising different times of day, and I could go on and on... I've tried lots of things... but this just seems to be something that has to play out. It never lasts more than two weeks, but always lasts more than a week no matter what I do.

I've also tried medications, but even if they help me sleep they don't help the way I feel the next day. Most of them don't help me sleep and then I feel even worse the next day (not fun!). The ones that do make me sleep... I have a medicated feeling all day the next day and I'm still in my grumpy place. So, it's just not worth it. Not to mention that I am nursing a baby and won't take very many medications while I'm nursing. The only thing that seems to help is an occasional Tylenol PM. But I will only do that every third night if I'm pregnant or nursing. And then there are times that doesn't even work... *sigh*.

So... since this seems to be something that is an inevitable part of my life, I'm trying to learn to make the best of it. If I'm not sleeping I will pray, or get up and go into the other room and read. It seems a waste of time to just lay there.

So... pray for me... I'm two nights in... that means there are somewhere between 6 and 13 nights to go...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Of course I think my choices are best....

....otherwise I'd make a different choice.

But that doesn't mean I'm judging people who make different choices than I do.

Why is this so hard for people to understand? If I say that I feel like I have made the best choices for my family, then (some of) the people around me get defensive and act like I am critical of their choices. Most of the time I am not. Occasionally I get in a critical mood and have critical thoughts... I'd be lying if I said I don't... but later I'll come to my senses and realize that I shouldn't criticize that person. And rarely... like almost never... do I tell other people that they are wrong for their choices. But even still... it seems that people (I'm generally talking women here mostly because I'm around women all the time) get defensive toward others who make different choices than they do.

And I'm not talking about just myself here.... I watch this play out in conversations all the time. I'm going to give an example of how I see conversations play out... these are made up names :)

Sarah: I can't figure out why my baby has reflux... maybe I should change formula?

Becky: I don't know... I've breastfed my babies and they didn't have reflux.

Sarah: I tried to breastfeed but it didn't work so now I'm trying to figure out this formula thing.

Becky: The first several weeks of breastfeeding is so hard! I hope you get the reflux figured out.

So... normal conversation, right? No big deal. Except that after Becky leaves, Sarah turns to me and says "I know she thinks it's my fault that my baby has reflux since I'm not nursing."

Huh? Why do people go there? Becky didn't say that. Why does Sarah assume that? Why do we think the worst of each other?

I do realize there are some overly-critical people out there.... and those people are wrong to be that way.

But there are a lot of us out there that feel we make the best choices for our own families... and at the same time trust that you are making the best choices for your family. Even if those choices are different. What works for one home doesn't necessarily work in another home... and we usually have no idea why people have made certain choices, so why judge them?

And for those people who are the overly-critical, judgmental type... some food for thought... the people in your life that you think are so "wrong" may be avoiding doing what you want them to do simply because they have no desire to be like you. And why would they? If you are mean and critical all the time... why would they take your advice? Just a thought.

A lot of the time, though, we read criticism into the things people say.... when, in reality, we are not being criticized. Maybe we get defensive because we are insecure about our choices? Maybe we have trust issues? Maybe we are just paranoid? But, in the end, if we know we are making the right choices for our family... then we shouldn't feel the need to apologize for thinking those choices are best. We should be confident in what we know is best for our homes. And we should stop assuming that people who make different choices are out to get us. If we avoid everyone who is different from us, then we miss out on a lot of great people.

My experience anyway :-)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait...

Little known fact about me: I spent 5 years in the Marine Corps Reserve... went to boot camp at Parris Island and everything. It was an interesting time in my life, to say the least.

One very common phrase we heard was "Hurry up and wait!". It was fitting, for sure... my whole platoon would be hurried through the shower... hurried to get dressed... hurried to eat... hurry, hurry, hurry... then we'd get where we were trying to go... and we'd wait. And wait some more, usually.

It seems that's a common theme in life outside the military too :-) I mean, my daughter's 5th birthday party is later this afternoon, and all week I've been preparing things, making lists, hurrying to be "ready".... and now I wait. The things that are left to be done I can't do till right before the party... so I wait.

I tend to be early everywhere I go... ha! Seriously... I'm at Sunday School fifteen minutes early and usually end up having to wait on my children's teachers to get there before I can go to my class... and so the cycle continues... I hurry my kids through getting ready... we get to church... and we wait :-)

The worst... labor!! When I'm having my babies, my labor tends to go quickly... and the nurses are funny. They never believe me when I tell them it's time to deliver. They always tell me to give them one good push to see where we are... and every time (I've had five babies!)... half way through that push they say "Don't push!" and then hit the call button and have the doctor called in and the nursery nurses called in... and once again... I've been in a hurry to have this baby... and I wait.

And here I am... I've hurried up... and once again I'm waiting :-)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why My Playgroup is Impressive...

I go to a playgroup once a week with my two that aren't in school yet. I LOVE it!! It's nothing fancy, but it's such a wonderful time to talk to other moms while our kids play together.

Thinking back it was definitely meant to be that I go to this group. My husband and I lived in Butler, AL for two years before we moved to Meridian (he works there) and I would come to Meridian periodically for doc appointments and to shop. One day I was at McDonald's playland eating lunch before making the drive back home and I got to talking to another mom there. She invited me to a playgroup that met at her church and gave me her phone number... she was so sweet and welcoming! A lot of time passed because we were moving to Meridian and I was about to have baby #3 at any moment. Since so much time had passed, I didn't call...

We started going to the church my sister-in-law and her family went to (we are still members there!) and I met another dear friend of mine there... and she invited me to a playgroup that she went to... you guessed it... same one! :-)

The group has changed a LOT over the 5 years (WOW! I cannot believe it's been that long!) that I've been going... there have been times there were only a few of us and times that there were a lot of us. Some of the moms have outgrown playgroup because their kids are older now and some have moved away.

But there is one thing that has always been true for me.... I LOVE those moms! We are a very diverse group of ladies.... we go to different churches, some are military and some aren't, some have more money that others, some have one child some have more, some homeschool and some public or private school, some are democrats and some are republicans... and I could go on and on. But we are all moms! And we have fun together and we laugh together and we are there for each other when one of us needs something. It's pretty awesome :-)

Part of the reason I am so impressed by this is because of how MEAN I've seen moms be to each other. I mean... seriously? Why is that? Why are moms so mean to other moms who don't make the same parenting choices they do? It is possible to have strong opinions about something... and even discuss those opinions... without being mean. But some moms are still mean. It makes no sense to me.

But not at the playgroup I go to! :-)

So, if you are interested in coming to playgroup, leave your email address in a comment and I'll be happy to give you more info... but if you're mean... don't ;-)