“See it how I see it.”

Do you ever get messed up in how you see things? You work, and you work, and you work, but you are never done, and after awhile the sky seems to be falling, you’ve forgotten to take time for fun, and suddenly all of the joy that should be in your heart is snuffed out like a candle on a birthday cake.

Well, that’s been me for…well, since we moved, I guess. I just keep telling myself that if I just make it through this year, things will get better.

I love my children. I enjoy teaching them. I don’t even mind cooking dinner, but there is one part of this whole stay-at-home, home-schooling, blogger-mom gig that causes me very great stress.

Housework.

Where the school day ends, the house work begins, and with a house of 6 people, that “career” is enough to keep me busy all by itself. Then there’s the whole question of dinner. I’m out of the habit of making realistic dinner plans, so I’ve been pulling that together at the last minute.

Plus, every where I turn, we have another ant invasion. That’s right, our whole neighborhood has the most insane ant problem I have ever seen in my life. There are lines of them, eating-I can’t-figure out what in all of our bathrooms. With the rain, they have come into our home in record numbers.

Basically, around 3 or 4 everyday, I feel so completely burned out and defeated, that what I truly wish to do is get in my car and just drive until I find a restful place to stop.

The other day, in the depths of feeling as melancholy and hopeless as ever…

(I get that some of you have no idea why I would feel that way. Well, I’d take pictures of my house to explain it, but I’m afraid that would cause me to be judged by others of you, so I will be sharing no such pictures at this time.)

My messy house makes me want to cry. It sucks the energy out of me. People think of me as laid back, but I’m totally not. I’m actually a polite, high pressure, control freak that smiles a lot. There I said it.

Today I had 20 or so things on my mind, I was desperate to get out of the kitchen and escape somehow for a minute, and just as I thought I might go sit on the love seat and pout for just a second…Daniel spilled juice all over himself and the kitchen floor. At that EXACT SAME moment, JD knocked over a BOX of vanilla wafers, which at the bottom of the box, was more crumbs than wafers.

Did I mention that I had JUST swept and mopped the floor, not 30 minutes prior to this incident?

Did you also know that JD is so tall–almost freakishly so–that he can reach the kitchen countertops?

Somehow I didn’t manage to find all the crumbs to sweep up, so the floor is wet and crunchy. Daniel, Caleb, and JD are all taking a bath. That sounds nice, except I’m going to have to summon energy from SOMEWHERE to get them all dressed again.

When I say that I want to cry every single day, that is a gross understatement. I actually do cry most days. I have no idea how to catch up on all of the housekeeping, so I’ve taken to keeping one room of my house completely immaculate. I just started this a week ago.

It makes me feel like I have some sort of control over SOMETHING in my life. What room did I choose? The smallest room in the house: the laundry room. I’ve been working so hard on that room this week. It’s all I have time for! The washer and dryer are crud and dust free. The floor is spotless. The shelves are dusted. Nothing is in that room that doesn’t belong there–well, except for those photos that I haven’t hung yet.  But seriously, when?? When will I hang pictures?

So if you can’t find me……that may be where you will find me. NO, not hanging pictures, but cleaning my laundry room, so that I can feel like I’ve got something under control.

Do you think this is an awful lot of whining about house cleaning? It is! The cleanliness level of my house directly affects my mood–even if that should not be so.

Wednesday, as I was laying flat on my face, crying and whining to God in my prayers about how hard it is to teach these boys, never leave the house, and whoa whoa whoa whoa wheaaa wheaaaa wheaaa wheaaa wheaaaa….. I said, “I should just go get those boys right now, and put them back to work. Lord, what in the world should I do?”

“See them how I see them.”

No, don’t worry, friends, I do not hear the audible voice of God, never have, but I promise that he speaks to my heart.

I went to the boys’ window, and looked down at my three biggest boys, on the trampoline. JD toddled along beside me.

There they were. They each sat on a different side of the trampoline, Indian style. They appeared to be having some sort of meeting.

“Oh, right,” I thought, “They are just darling little children. I’m so thankful they have each other.This time on the trampoline together is good for them.”

I need not destroy the magic of their childhood with my own anxiety problems. Yes, I put too many demands upon myself. That’s not their fault. They are just children. 

So I have a goal, a very important goal. I am going to ENJOY the trip to Alabama this year. I’m not pregnant or breastfeeding, so I have that going for me. Yes, I have to fly with four children, but at least this time Alan gets to go with us.

I’m going to try to enjoy the plane ride and visiting the way that the children do, because normally I don’t, and that makes the trip less fun for everyone else.

Is this phase of homeschooling while also taking care of a toddler and a preschooler the hardest thing I have ever done?  YES. Aboslutely YES. I did home school Joshua in K4 and part of Kindergarten. That is  not the same at all as home schooling three different ages. Joshua and Caleb are so big now, that I don’t want to mess this up.

The really sad thing is that I’m letting all of these  pressures that I put on myself steal my joy. Why? I want everything to be perfect, and that is not an achievable goal.

Who likes perfect people anyway?

I’d better go take the boys out of the bathtub, remind myself to see them how God sees them, and try not to rain on everyone’s Christmas. 🙂

I feel like I’m giving my Eeyore-self a pep talk!!

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”            James 4:6

 

 

My Clean and Organized House

  Nonna and Aunt Janet have been here all week, and it has been sort of amazing.  You wouldn’t believe the amount of work that has gone into tidying up this place, cycling laundry, and juggling children.  
  So…if you would like to see my house looking as though only one or two kids live here…..neat and tidy kids…..COME NOW.  It may never look this organized again.  I’m saying:  even the basement is tidy.  
  How many women does it take to keep this house in ship-shape order???  Apparently THREE!!!
  …Of course, we’re talking about a high level of functioning here, which I promise you is not a goal I normally shoot for.  What we do normally is just fine too.  No, I usually don’t smile when I see my basement floor, but it’s just a play room.  Yes, projects in the works are always covering the dining room table. No, the laundry is never quite caught up on, and the meals I make these days really aren’t much to brag about.  I figure I’m doing good just to have everyone fed and such!  This year, while the baby is truly a baby and the oldest has just turned eight, standards are a little bit lower, and that’s okay.  It’s just a phase.
  It sure was nice to have the house looking this great and get to run errands alone this week, though!
  I really should have taken photos.
  But at least I took photos of Nonna and JD together:

Nonna is looking so small now.  I took her to my favorite store and introduced her to New York and Company pants.  
  If you don’t own a pair, you should!  They come in all lengths and sizes from XS up to XL.  They are dress pants with an elastic waist, but it doesn’t look elastic.  I have three pairs of them in two different sizes.  Having 4 babies in 7 years, I tend to go up and down and up and down and up and down in what size I need!
  I should have also taken photos of Nonna, Janet, and all of the boys, but we have been so ridiculously busy work, work, working around here.  Plus JD has had a few colic spells.  I’ve also used the opportunity of having round-the-clock babysitters to run an insane amount of errands.
  A head cold has worked it’s way completely through the family but has somehow missed me entirely.  (Thank you, Jesus).  Phew!!!  We finally took the kids to the doctor yesterday, an urgent care clinic, and he gave them a decongestant/cough syrup.  It makes them sleepy.  Caleb came home from school today just so upset because he got in trouble for taking a nap during centers.  He said, “I just took my jacket and balled it up like a pillow and went to sleep.”
….Maybe tomorrow we’ll skip that medicine!
  You know what else Caleb recently told me?  “I hate gravity.  I just want to be able to fly and jump around and do flips in the air, but gravity just keeps me on the ground.”  : )
  Speaking of Caleb, I had his conference too.  No big red flags or great exciting news there, but guess what.  He has a little trouble paying attention and managing his time.  
  Geesh.  
  Wouldn’t it be so super great to go to a conference and be told, “I just love your child.  He is so sweet and thoughtful.  He never bothers others or talks in class.  He always listens, reads three grades above grade level, and always finishes his work in a timely manner.”
  Well, I can dream, can’t I???
  No, really, I’m so delighted with my little boys.  I see them through rose-colored glasses as all parents do.  Now I just need to get glasses like mine for the rest of the world to see them through.  : )
   
  I want to say a big thank you to Nonna and Janet for the visit.  The best part was just getting to visit with you.  All of that “cleaning fairy” and babysitting stuff was a great bonus.  THANK YOU!!!!
  

Finally! A Better Day!

Look at this cute picture I got in the mail from the marriage retreat!  This was Alan and me, 3 months ago.  I was 5 months pregnant in this picture.  Looking at it now, I can’t believe how big I thought I was.  How ridiculous.  I was tiny.  You can’t even tell I was pregnant.  …..Now, at 8 months, things are much different.  When I am 8 months pregnant, it always feels as though I will never ever be small again!
I just have this feeling that one day I will be looking at this photo and saying, “Look at how young we were!”  
    I am happy to report that many of my “sky is falling” problems from yesterday have been put to rest. I do need to re-Pine Sol the basement and do about a gazillion chores, BUT the good news is our plumbing problem has been repaired.  
Culprit:  Daniel again.  We think he had flushed a hand towel.  All hand towels have been removed from the bathrooms.
   We call Daniel the $7,000 baby b/c his escapades have cost us so much money!  We love him just the same.  Look at how innocent he looks:
Playdoh.  God’s gift to moms of toddlers.
 Lingering problem:  Return of pregnancy nausea in the 3rd trimester.  Now what is the deal with that!!!???

  ******
   At 34 weeks pregnant, carrying a low riding baby, my ability to live life normally diminishes hourly.  The baby likes to dig his hands around in my pelvic area and push (literally) on my pelvic bones.  He has settled into a position that makes me feel my right SI joint again at times, and I’m not too crazy about that.
   It’s not all that bad though.  I’m still wearing my maternity support band, and it helps a lot.  Amazingly enough, I haven’t even gained any weight in the last few weeks.   Of course, that might have something to do with being so sick.  I’m feeling better all the time though–sinus and nausea wise, at least.
   I’ve decided that since all my energy is now spent by 12pm, all suppers must be cooked first thing in the morning.  I have a roast in the crockpot as we speak.  It’s a good thing too b/c as it turns out, Alan’s cousin Alyson, in town on business, will be joining us for dinner tonight.
   
   Can any of you please give me some suggestions for crock pot meals that taste really great, besides roast?  Please contribute any good recipe that you have!!
   I hope Alyson knows I’m in desperate need of a housekeeper and haven’t given in and hired one yet….
  Seriously.  Do you know how many people recently (and separately from each other) have suggested that I hire someone to help with the cleaning during this ……busy….phase?  And it’s not people that have been inside my house, so it’s not at all insulting.  It has me thinking seriously about it though.  Four kids is a LOT to handle, with a newborn and a toddler, especially.  This is all happening right as J & C are getting out for the summer too.  This is going to be one seriously full house!  Plus I’m growing more and more handicapped by the day.   I’d actually like to hire some help asap…
  Now if I can only get my husband to approve this plan….I haven’t actually even mentioned it to him yet!
   
Where’s the referee?  The boys will also need some sort of fight moderator…..
; )
Only 5 more weeks, tops!!!!

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