Thursday, October 27, 2011

Walking Zombie

As the saying goes, "When it rains, it pours." On top of all of the bugs and ear infections and sicknesses going through my little family, things only got worse. Bailey got RSV which resulted in her running a fever, wheezing, coughing, and the worst part, not sleeping. She's still not feeling 100 percent better so she's been grumpy and she certainly hasn't been sleeping through the night. It's been quite a challenging 10 days or so. I feel like I could sleep for two days straight if I had the opportunity!

I'm also having a pretty difficult time adjusting to Brooke's school schedule. Before she started, I had this romantic view of how things would work out... I figured that Bailey would take a morning nap, I'd spend quality time with Adrienne, and then we'd just go pick Brooke up. It all sounded so perfect. Well, as it turns out, for me, school means this.. Getting up at 7 (when I'm used to my children sleeping past 8), rushing out the door to drop Brooke off, not having enough time for Bailey to nap because we have to wake her to go pick up Brooke,  and not having time to really have a social life. The new wake up time is contributing to my exhaustion and my lack of interaction with people is kind of depressing. I NEED people. Oh my word, do I need people. I used to do things with other moms in the morning but now I'm tied to picking Brooke up at 10:45 each day. To top it off, I really, really miss Brooke being home. She's thriving, though, and she loves school so very much. I love hearing about her day and her new found friendships... They make it all worth it!

I know that I'm not good at change. I always mourn the past whenever a new chapter of my life starts. Everything has just been crazy between the flood (that pushed off school for several weeks) and the girls being sick. I know that our "new normal" is not far away... I just need to find and it and darn it, I just need some SLEEP!!! Lol

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bogged Down

There are so many things on my mind tonight.  I'm sure that it's in part due to the sick children... Adrienne now has an ear infection, Brooke's cough is horrible and Bailey's is even worse. I know that exhaustion is never a good thing for my thought process but somehow I can't seem to shut my mind off.

John just left for work and I'm sitting here in bed thinking that I should be folding the laundry. I should be clipping and organizing today's coupons. I should be mopping the floor. However, it's nearly 11 o'clock and sometimes a break is well deserved! It's extremely hard for me to go to bed with a whole list of tasks to complete but I've been "on the clock" for well over 15 hours now.

I'm also exhausted just thinking about the fact that I desperately need to get some groceries in this house. I despise grocery shopping... It's by far my least favorite duty as a housewife. I feel bad that I usually let our refrigerator run nearly empty before being motivated to go to the store again. I'm also the worst planner in this area because I "fly by the seat of my pants" in the kitchen and I make whatever I feel like eating on any given night. I feel so defeated when I think about my inability to successfully plan a week's menu. Granted, we always have healthy and tasty dinners and I even consider myself to be a good cook... But most of my dinners are thrown together by me defrosting meat in the microwave and then cooking it accordingly. I'm sick of the rush and strain that puts on everyone. Why can't I just plan ahead and take the meat out the night before????  I want to improve in this area but it's so hard to break old habits.

If I really wanted to wear myself down I could think about the applesauce that I haven't jarred yet this year, the elderly neighbor who I haven't brought fresh baked goods to in several weeks, or the linen closet I haven't organized. What I guess I'm saying is that I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Again, I know it's because we've been sick and I've gotten behind but it's still so hard to not let it get to me. I put so much pressure on myself to run a tight ship around here that when things are out of place at the end of the day it's hard to not feel like I'm doing a sub par job.

For now, though, I think I'll turn off the noise around me (minus the coughing children I'm hearing through the monitor) and "Be still and know that He is God." His grace is what got me through today and I can rest assured that He'll refill my cup overflowing with more to face tomorrow! I'm so thankful for that because I can do absolutely nothing on my own strength... Especially not lately! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Long Winter Ahead??

Well, the weather hasn't been cold for all that long and already, we're battling sickness in this house. It's ridiculous! I feel like we always get hard in the cold months but this year it's starting way too early.

Brooke started running a fever last Saturday night and unfortunately, Bailey was also up screaming. She sleeps through the night usually so I knew something was up. I took those two to the doctor on Monday and Brooke turned out to have a virus and her fever was gone the next day. Bailey, on the other hand, had an ear infection. Poor baby! I put her on the antibiotic and that turned out to be a whole other ordeal. She had a really bad reaction to it and she was throwing up, screaming, and having constant diarrhea. She also got a HORRIBLE diaper rash. It was really, really pitiful because she was having a very hard time so the doctor took her off of the medicine. She's been off of it for a few days now and is just finally starting to act like herself again. That was rough!

Now all the girls have a cold. I'm pretty sure Brooke brought it home from school... Which I expect to happen a lot this year. Adrienne just has the sniffles but Brooke and Bailey have horrible, awful coughs and Brooke's is so bad that I've been in her room checking on her a million times a night. Her coughing wakes me up but if she stops coughing I wonder if she's alive. I'm crazy, I know. lol

Now it's my turn... I have bronchitis and an ear infection. Because of my asthma I'm pretty used to not breathing all that great so I don't feel too awful. I would love to take a day and curl up in bed watching movies but we all know that's not going to happen! The worst part is that I'm steroids and they make me SO hungry. It's all I can do to not eat everything in sight, which is not such a good feeling when you're on a diet!

Thankfully the girls have all had their flu shots. I should probably think about getting mine here soon! I'm not really sure why we catch all the bugs in this family... We're healthy, we eat lots of fruits and veggies, we wash our hands, I clean like crazy, etc...Who knows? I think the best bet will be to put us all in a bubble until next Spring!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spoiled Rotten

Last night was incredible! My parents wanted to be a blessing to all of my siblings and me so they gave each of us very generous gift cards to the Outback and volunteered to sit with all of our children. That left them with 7 kids aged 5, 4, 2 (almost 3), 2, 1, 10-months and 6 months. Now I love those children so much but somehow, that night doesn't really sound all that fun for me! However, my parents had such joy and excitement over doing this good deed.

Everyone dropped their kids off at my house and we all rode out to dinner together. The conversations were hilarious and I can't even remember laughing that hard in so long! It's just a lot different than the rushed time we're accustomed to spending together with all the kiddos running around. Words cannot express how freeing and refreshing it was to be out with everyone for a few hours. When we got to the restaurant the hostess asked if there were any kids and we all exclaimed, "NO!" Lol. It was almost weird saying no to that question!

Dinner was awesome and even though the time got away from us, we got back to my house and not one child was fussing or crying. It was incredible! To top it off, every single one of them had been bathed and the house looked immaculate. I was fully prepared to have a night of cleaning ahead of me but my parents spared me of even lifting a finger. It was just incredible.

The best part is that my parents say that they want to do this for all of us every couple of months. The fact that they love us so much that they are willing to do this means the world to me! Two hours out alone when you have three kids is a HUGE deal. I just hope that when my girls are older that I can be an equal blessing and investment into their lives as my parents have been in mine. This is one spoiled girl right here!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I affectionately refer to Adrienne as Oscar, as in Oscar the Grouch, because she's got the be the most grumpy human being I've ever been around. I love her and she lights up my life but for some reason, this is the way she's wired. I find myself asking John if this is just an age related phase for her or if she's going to be a grump for the next 16 years. It's exhausting to even think about her teenage years at this rate! Lol

It's kind of hard to handle such a grump when you're trying to remain upbeat and happy for the family's sake. The other morning Adrienne woke up, came downstairs, looked at Brooke and rudely said, "You're not going to school. " She was mean about it, too. It wasn't like she was joking! She didn't say "Good morning" or anything else... She just automatically started her day with negativity.This is one incident out of about a million that we go through each day and it's hard to not let it wear on me.

I was kind of hitting my head against a wall each day... Sick of feeling defeated by a 23-pound child. Frustrated that she was controlling my mood. Despite endless efforts and spilling out my heart and soul into that child, I started wondering if I wasn't doing such a good job of loving her or making her feel secure in who she is to our family. I then realized that those are lies from Satan who wants me to feel defeated and inadequate as a mother, but I'm not allowing those feelings to get through my brain anymore!

Instead of arguing or getting frustrated with Adrienne, I've started a funny new game with her... Whenever she's in one of her moods I pick her up, squeeze her super tight and joke with her that I won't let her go until she smiles and gives me a kiss. This almost always results in her laughing hysterically and snapping out of her mood. If she's getting grumpy or being mean I say, "Am I going to have to squeeze you super tight and not let you go?" She laughs and for a moment, at least, the world is at peace.

I'm not trying to make it seem like I'm unhappy or like I don't enjoy my daughter. Trust me, there are many wonderful sides to her that make all of these hard times and mood swings worth while. She's witty and silly and she is the type of kid who will just come up and say, "Give me a pish!" ("Kiss" in Adrienne-ese!) I see a lot of myself in her, too.. She kind of marches to her own beat and doesn't much appreciate being told what to do. My goal is to direct those attributes into something positive as opposed to the rebellious side of that spectrum. I smile when I think of her future and who she will become because I know she will have the drive to do about anything she wants to do. Lord, just grant me an extra measure of patience in the mean time!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beating the Rush

In case you're unaware of the fact that Christmas is right around the corner, feel free to stand outside my daughters' door and listen to their current CD. Then again, Brooke insists on listening to her Christmas music year-round so it's not really that much of an indicator of the impending season, after all!

I'm super excited about the holiday this year because I'm won't be bogged down with the rushing around and gift buying. We decided to plan much better this year and because of that, I've got a bunch of my shopping done! The best part is that I have an envelope full of cash (that we've strategically put away throughout the past six months or so) so I can randomly pick up gifts for people on my list without having to factor its cost into the family budget. Brilliant! Why didn't we start this years ago????

Every single year I get frustrated by how the true meaning of Christmas seems to get lost in the shuffle. It's the day where we remember the birth of our Savior and His birthday should not be secondary to all of the materialism of the holiday. I'm just thankful that I'm not going to have to be pressed for time this year and that's going to allow me to enjoy the holiday so much more. All I know is that I'm not going to be worrying about money, shopping, or gifts. That is a wonderful feeling!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

If You Have Nothing Nice to Say....

Then don't say anything at all!!!!!!!! Do you know that somebody called my baby a "pork chop??" REALLY? Is that necessary or edifying in any way? I don't just walk around calling people like I see them so why in the world do people seem to think they can say whatever they want to me? I just don't get it!

My sweet Bailey girl is chubby, there's no doubt about it. But ya know what? All of my babies are chubby and then they slim down when they start walking. It doesn't matter, though. They are beautiful, precious girls- skinny or fat, short or tall, blond hair or brown, blue eyes or green, etc.. I shouldn't feel the need to qualify her precious little cheeks or her healthy, pudgy belly with anything. I should just say, "Thank you!" After all, it's MY milk that makes her this way!

I guess I'm just sick of people talking about my baby's weight because she's really not that big. Yes, I know that your baby doesn't weigh as much. That's fine. I know my baby has belly rolls and chunky legs, thanks, I'm not blind. I just hate that people always have to compare or automatically comment on her weight. One stranger at the grocery store said, "She sure must be a good eater." I honestly bit my tongue SO hard to prevent myself from saying, "From the looks of things, so are you." Thank God that I'm working on having a quiet and gentle spirit because the old Jillian would have had to say that!

I think realize one of the reasons that I'm so sensitive about weight comments regarding my baby... When I was a kid I was overweight and I still, to this day, remember mean comments that were said to me and it's taken me a long time to ever feel different than what I was labeled way back then. I know that Bailey's just a baby but I never want my children to ever have any of those feelings that I had as a kid. Ever.

Whether people mean well or not, I still don't think it's anyone's place to make derogatory comments on MY baby. Granted, the majority of comments I get while we're out and about are about how gorgeous my girls are and what a beautiful family I have. It's just those few, big-mouthed people that rub me the wrong way.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Just the Two of Us

Every couple needs a date night now and then... But when you're breastfeeding an infant it makes it a little bit difficult. Bailey's never taken a bottle so prior to last Saturday, we had only gone out to dinner alone once since her birth. So, since we finally nailed her bedtime down and got her to stay sleeping, we were able to get out after the girls were in bed and it was amazing!

I put Bailey to bed aroudn 7:30 and then John's sister came and spent some time with the older girl before putting them to bed. John and I left around 8 and it felt so weird to be out! I looked over at him as we left and said, "I don't remember the last time I was out this late!" He said, "Babe, it's 8." I said, "I know!" Lol.

As if dolling myself up and getting out wasn't enough of a treat, John also took me to the store and let me pick out a new outfit. After losing weight and having few things that fit me right anymore, it was such a luxury! He patiently let me scan the racks and helped me pick out my outfit, and then he took me to the movies. It was so sweet because I really wanted popcorn but am always way too cheap to spend $6 on it at the theaters. I told him I didn't want any but then he ordered it for me and told me "When we go out, we get what we want!" Ah, I just love him:-) I didn't feel quite as guilty, seeing as how I wasn't the one who ordered it!

We didn't get home until after 1, which felt like 5 A.M. to me! I had to be up for worship practice at 7 the next morning so I was dragging all day Sunday but it was SO worth it.

I love raising babies with John and having a family together but sometimes being alone and taking a time out for us is absolutely wonderful. I felt so refreshed (minus the exhaustion from little sleep) and it was amazing to get out and reconnect with my husband. I feel so lucky to have a husband who I love spending time with so much and also, for having a sister-in-law who was willing to give up her Saturday night to help us for free. I'm one spoiled girl here!