Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Breaking Point

Today I took my boys to a mall where there was an indoor playground, and Micah had the meltdown of ALL meltdowns. First he got kicked in the face by another kid's shoe, hard enough so that I figured out what happened by the shoe print on his face, without having actually seen it. He sobbed for awhile while I held him on the floor in the midst of 20 kids running around me and jumping over me. After he seemed okay, I told him he could play a little longer, and proceded to give him a 5 minute warning, a 2 minute warning, a 1 minute warning, and then another 5 minute warning after he asked "5 more minutes?"

When it was time to go, he flatly refused, saying "No!" right to my face. I put on my fake smile since all the other parents were watching me, and said, "Micah, you don't tell mommy 'No.' We are going to go right now." "NO!" he replied even louder. I calmly repeated myself again, to which he loudly replied, "No, No, NO!!" so I grabbed his arm and preceded to drag him away from the area while holding Jaden in my left arm (not easy to do, I might add). Micah proceeded to scream at the top of his lungs as if I was a kidnapper stealing him away, while the rest of the world watched. I managed to buckle Jaden in the stroller and had to physically wrestle Micah into it as well, all while he kicked me and was trying to hit me. The whole way out to the car, he screamed, kicked and tried to get out of the stroller by sliding out under the front tray. He managed to succeed right when we were in the middle of the parking lot with cars coming from both directions.

When we got to the car, with all of my body weight, I had to hold him down to buckle him in his car seat. He wanted to get in the car seat himself, buckle himself in, put his shoes on himself, and shut the door (all of which he was screaming to me as well as "Playground!!") Make no mistake about it, this boy wants to be in CONTROL. He screamed the whole way home, with me becoming one of those mothers who says "Just WAIT until we get home, boy! You are going to GET IT!"

We got home and he kicked and screamed the whole way into the house, so I brought him into my bedroom and spanked him. Now, I don't know how you feel about spanking, but if there ever was a time to use it, it was right then. I explained to him why he got spanked, told him I loved him, and then asked him, "Why did you get spanked?" "Kicking you" was his reply, with tears streaming down his face.

I brought him onto my lap and held him as he sobbed, and my tears began to flow, falling onto his head. I thought to myself, "He did it. I reached my breaking point." I was so exhausted from dealing with that tantrum, one of the worst I have ever had to deal with, dealing with a 2 year old's anger and frustration in the worst way. It's amazing how much it got to me. I held him for a really long time, and he listened as I just whispered "I love you" over and over. I'm really tired now.

I pray that God gives me wisdom in raising him, because he is so strong-willed, stubborn, and wants to be in control. Hmmmm... sounds like someone else I know (a.k.a. ME).

Friday, May 23, 2008

Holding Them Close

On Wednesday a friend called me and told me the tragic news of Steven Curtis Chapman's youngest adopted daughter, who had been accidentally killed on Wednesday when her brother was driving the family car and hit her. The news stuck with me all that day and the next, and we have been praying for their family. It reminds me of how fragile children's lives are, and makes me want to hold my own just a little bit closer.

Last night Jaden was eating dinner and choked on his food really badly. I was home alone with the boys, and picked him up and tried my best to dislodge the food while holding him and pounding his back. He had trouble breathing for a good minute or two, and although he was crying and trying to catch his breath, I could tell he didn't have his whole breathing capacity. He had tears streaming down his face, like he was scared and hurting. Finally he was okay, and I just held him.

After these two things happened, I had trouble sleeping when we went to bed last night. At about 11:30pm, I was just laying there thinking about what had happened earlier, and I told my husband, "I just want to hold Jaden." I got up, picked him up sleeping out of his crib, and brought him to our bed. I held him on my chest in the dark just listening to his breathing and feeling his heartbeat next to mine. I thought about how precious he is to us, and couldn't even imagine if something ever happened to him. I can't imagine was Steven CC is going through right now. Jaden & I layed there together for awhile, with Martin and I just kissing his forehead, and then I finally got up and put him back in his crib.

I want to remember every day to hold my boys just a little bit closer. I want them to know they are loved, and I hope they never doubt that. I realize that every day that I want to hold them closer, I also have to let them go a little bit more. This is hard.

This is a picture of me and Jaden I took a few months ago while he was sleeping next to me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Earlier this week I was tagged by my friend Amy. A round of 'like to get to know you better.' So here goes!

The Rules:

~The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

~Each player answers the questions about themselves.

~At the end of the post, the player tags other people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
In 1998, I graduated from Vanguard University. I had just started dating my (future) husband (in April of 98) and knew that we were going to get married right away :) The last two years of college were some of the best years of my life!

In a perfect, non weight-gaining world. . .
~See's Candy
~Sprinkles Cupcakes
~Acapulco Chips & Salsa
~Cherry Coke

In the real world. . .
~(All of the above, in moderation) :)
~Hummus with pita bread
~Iced Tea
~A good salad
~A Subway sandwich

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
~Pay off our school loans
~Buy a house
~Give, give, give
~Buy all my friends presents since my love language is "Gift Giving"

Five jobs that I have had:
~JoAnne's Fabrics (Christmas break job - horrible!)
~Christian bookstore
~Youth Pastor
~Jr. High Bible Teacher
~Recruiter for a Temp. Agency

Three of my habits:
~Internet Addict (I have cut way back though) :)
~Biting my nails
~Washing my hands all day long

Five places I have lived:
~Riverside, CA
~Hemet, CA
~Fortuna, CA
~Temecula, CA
~Costa Mesa, CA

Five People I Want to Get to Know Better:
~Amy (can I send this back to you?) :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Moments of Grace

I have been realizing lately how important it is to have daily "Moments of Grace" as mothers. A "Moment of Grace" to me is a time during my day that is special, uninterrupted, and something I enjoy. It can be as short as 2 minutes long, or on a good day, even longer. During these moments, I have begun to stop and give thanks to God, and cherish every second that I have of that moment. This week, my moments of grace have included:

-Eating a bowl of cereal by myself and getting to read the paper for 10 minutes while Jaden was napping and Micah was watching a cartoon
-Putting my makeup on!
-Getting a cool shower before going to bed while the boys were sleeping
-Having a long phone conversation with a good friend while waiting for an appointment
-Spending some quality time with God early in the morning
-Praying in the car while driving somewhere in complete silence
-Sleeping in until 8am while Martin gave the boys breakfast

In talking with some good friends, I've heard some of them say that they don't really have these moments during the day. It is so important that we make time to create these moments. I know for some people it is almost impossible - with husbands working long hours, many children to take care of, working from home, etc... But it is SO worth it. These make us better mothers, better wives, better friends. Yes, our families must come first, but I believe that God gives us these little special moments throughout the day, if we just look for them and appreciate them! What are your "Moments of Grace"?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Perfect Mother's Day!

We decided to kill 3 birds with one stone and celebrate Mother's Day, Jaden's baby dedication, and his 1st birthday (on May 16th) all in one day - TODAY! We invited our families up and dedicated Jaden on Mother's Day - it was a beautiful dedication and so perfect. Afterwards, everyone came to the house, including some friends from church, and we had Mexican food and cupcakes. Everything went perfect, and I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day.

Last night I was up until about 1:30am making cupcakes for today. It all paid off when 3 people asked me "Are those from Sprinkles?!" Woo-Hoo! My effort paid off and they looked great!! :) (They tasted pretty darn good too with that homemade buttercream and chocolate frosting!) Jaden had his first taste of sugar and cautiously ate his cupcake. He kept looking at me like, "Are you really letting me eat this?" He did great today and loved all of his gifts, too.

Martin and I sat down last month and wrote down our "vision" for our family and our lives. One of the things we wrote down was that we want our home to be a welcoming place, a "hub" where people can come and hang out and be themselves, as well as a healing place for people to come and relax and be ministered to and encouraged. Part of that vision involved deciding to entertain people more. This was our first major effort on that front. We knew that around 20 people would be coming over, so we worked really hard to prep the house and get everything ready. It was a lot of work - more than we had imagined!! We realized that we really needed to invest in some tables and chairs, for one, and I found a brand new Easy-Up at a garage sale for $40. Awesome! We also worked on the garden area, and I was really ambitious and decided to weed a 15' patch of dirt all by myself. I was so sore the next day I could hardly move - oh, and did I mention, I only got about 3 feet done! :) Martin had to finish it up for me. (There were a LOT of weeds, okay???!!) :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

What is Normal?

I have been wondering lately, "What is normal toddler behavior?" Is it normal for my toddler to scream because he doesn't want to paint, then decide he does, then scream because he doesn't want the paints I give him, but his OTHER paints, then change his mind, then scream because I am using a wet washcloth to clean him, then he throws it across the room, then he picks it up and says "Mine!" and wants to take it to his room. When I try to take it from him, he screams! Seriously - this kid is moody. There are good days, and there are bad days. He is especially moody when he is tired, which I think he is today, because he has wanted to sit with his blanket all morning. Yesterday he took a bad fall in the morning - at breakfast he tried to push his chair out from the table but ended up pushing the WHOLE chair backwards, so he fell and hit his head on the chair and the floor, hard. So yesterday was a hard day too.

I keep wondering "when does this end?!" When will he be my easy child again like he used to be? I could take him anywhere, totally content, and he would just look around and smile. Now he wants to be in control of everything, everywhere we go, and how we get there (yesterday on a walk, he got mad because I went down one street and he wanted to go down the other).

It is always nice to talk to other moms and hear their stories, no matter how bad they are, because it helps me feel like I'm not alone. Today I need to hear some of those stories! :)

Who would ever guess this face could have bad days?!