Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What do you expect?

These two are teaching me a lot right now.

God keeps bringing back to mind the theme of expectations and how they often guide my attitudes and behaviors.

I want to expect a lot out of our kids and set high standards for behavior, academics, their spiritual lives, the relationships they have, the way they interact with others, and our home life.

But I have to remember how old they are now, and adjust my expectations according to their abilities and age. When I forget to do that, I drive myself crazy. I get frustrated, begin to compare, start wishing away certain phases, and lose sight of how beautiful these two little ones are and the blessings that come with having a 2 year old and a 1 year old.

Honestly... it is hectic in our house at times, and my energy wears thin quickly between the two of them and the babe that is sucking the life out of me in my womb. :) It's a physically demanding phase, and so many nights I fall asleep regretting my sharp words, lack of patience, or how little I did to meaningfully teach them or engage with them throughout the day.

Three things give me fresh energy and strength to get up each morning and try again:
the unconditional love my children show to me, the encouragement my husband offers on my worst days, and the unending forgiveness of my Heavenly Father. So thankful for those things.

This is what the cherubs typically look like on a given day:

All smiles...

...and clutching her 'la-la' (lovey) while sucking her thumb.

I know, you want to reach through the computer and give them a squeeze or nibble those cheeks while simultaneously reprimanding me for ever feeling anything but love and affection for them. I don't blame you. Ha!


We attempted to take a picture for Christmas cards while at my mom's house for Thanksgiving.
This begins the portion of the blog post I like to call "A Series Of Unfortunate Events"...

1. Failed attempts at a family picture.

("A Series Of Unfortunate Events", cont'd:)

2. Robbie has an insatiable desire to remove his clothing or pj's and diaper every chance he gets. This morning he even managed to get naked while buckled into his car seat. That's determination.

3. Ellie is teething her molars. As in, little chunks of her gums are red and being pushed up by her new teeth. It's gross and it's painful, and I wish I had taken out stock in children's Motrin at the beginning of November.

4. I am trapped indoors with a LOT of toddler energy that more than outmatches my own.

5. A certain 2 year old has been experimenting with his milk and juice while I'm not looking. I have found beverages that he's sipped an then spit carefully back out along the windowsill in the living room, inside his train tracks, on the fireplace and on my bible study notebook. He does it secretly, and not at all in anger. It's mostly experimental, I think, but disgusting and frustrating just the same.

6. New phrases that are being tested out on mommy include "Don't say 'No', mommy, say 'YES!'...", "Stop touching me...", "Stop lookin' at me...", "Don't grab me...", "I want orange juice without the 'plump' (pulp)...", "May I be excused (from the table)?", "May I please watch {insert kids show or movie title here}...", and "My neck hurts - I need Tylenol".


And now the things we are Celebrating!

1. Ellie is taking a few cautious steps here and there on her own. She can totally walk, it's a confidence issue.

2. Robbie enjoys telling us when he needs to use the potty (for either reason) and has been successful on many occasions!

3. I can feel our little one kicking inside of me every day and so far it's been a very healthy pregnancy.

4. We got our Christmas tree and decorations up before December even began.

5. On Demand, for my weaker moments.

6. Robbie is starting to get the hang of staying in his big boy bed for naps and bedtime. The positive reinforcement sticker chart is filling up and has served us well.

7. The first (double) batch of Mexican Wedding Cakes for the season have been made and I'm glad I have a baby bump to help hide what would otherwise be a MWC bump.

8. We have been able to make travel plans to visit our family in NJ for Christmas after all! (We initially weren't planning to go and are thrilled that it's worked out.)


A few pictures from Thanksgiving that I forgot about on my camera...

One that makes me smile:

And one that makes me groan and laugh at the same time (because Robbie is apparently winding up to hit Ellie on the head with a wooden train track and she's bracing for what she knows is coming... the look on her face!):


kelly said...

cute post, ashley! your kids get cuter by the day i think. and you're right - there is a lot to be thankful for, and moments that go by too fast (even the bad moments). i'm glad your pregnancy has been healthy. are you finding out what you're having?? do you have a feeling about it now that you've had one of each? i feel like mine are so different, it HAS to be a girl. ;)

Parker said...

the failed attempt at a picture is still adorable!! so classic, and so real!! And, BTW, I sometimes just leave your blog up and listen to your music throughout the day. I sometimes cry because I love the songs. Cheesy I know. I am an emotional mess sometimes and I am not even pregnant! ::):)