Wednesday, June 2

"You Tire Me Out, But I Love You Anyway"

The title of this blog post is a line from one of Ava's favorite picture books, Olivia.

Sara (one of my favorite people!) and her almost 4 year old daughter Emelyn gave it to Ava as a gift. Emelyn is actually one of Ava's favorite people in the whole world-- they were little buddies when we lived back in Massachusetts.

Emelyn and Ava are both very energetic little girls who tire their mommies out, so it was quite fitting when they passed along the book as one of their favorites. For a while it was the ONLY book Ava wanted to read everyday.

If you don't know the story, it's about a little girl pig named Olivia who has LOTS of kid energy and does things like taunt her brother, try all of her clothes on, refuse to take naps and even paint on the wall after being inspired by a museum visit-- she ends up in time-out for this of course (which Ava loves!). At the end of the day she negotiates her mother into reading more than one book at bedtime and then her mother says, "You tire me out, but I love you anyway," to which Olivia retorts, "I love you anyway too."

That pretty much describes my life these days.

Ava and I actual say that to each other regularly. Some days I say,

"Ava, you drive me crazy, but I love you anyway."

She says,

"Mommy, you drive me crazy but I love you anyway too!"

It's all in good fun.

I was thinking of this line when I came home from a brunch earlier today. Quite tired I might add.

One of the girls from my bible study just had a baby (Congrats Katie!!! You're a wonderful momma already!) so one of the other girls hosted a lunch so that we could go over to see the baby and chit chat.

Well...nothing new here, but I'm not sure if I had one solid conversation that included more than two or three lines of dialogue on my part.

I drove home thinking, "My girls make me tired!!!"

I was actually feeling bad for the other ladies because I felt like I had brought these two whirling dervishes to lunch-- they were like little crazy cyclones bouncing me back and forth like a ping pong ball between them.

First Ava wanted to eat inside (the other kids ate outside), then she wanted to come outside, then Ella needed to be strapped into her chair, then the drinks and the food and Ella throwing hotdogs on the ground and flinging her sippy cup onto another little girls tray. I managed to eat a few bites before Ava begged me to come to the swing set with her and I needed to assure her she was o.k. to go alone, then Ella wanted to get down, then Ella was up and down the concrete stairs,at the edge of the deck and then climbing up the ladder to the big kid slide...

...Ava fell off a swing and screamed, then she wanted a freezie pop with the other kids-- until she saw my ice cream cake-- I told her one or the other and she chose cake, but then she finished her cake and started crying because she wanted her freezie pop back (which I refused to give her and promptly threw out)...

...then I left them both on the kitchen floor playing quietly with the cat for two minutes while I talked with the other moms outside and lo and behold I came back in and Ella was eating cat food and it was spilled ALLL over the kitchen floor!

Ahhhhh....I think I feel better having gotten that all out!

I came home and called my husband and told him it was a bad idea to have two girls 20 months apart- that they seem to run circles around other children in the chaos department.

He agreed.

I'm still trying to assess the situation. My conclusions are as follows- let me know what you think!

a. Having a child 1 year and 3 years old is nutty no matter how you cut it.
b. Ava is extra emotional, even for girls her age, which makes her more needy and therefore a bit more challenging
c. Ella is extra energetic and daring and climbs things that some 2 year olds would not even think to climb and therefore a bit more challenging
d. I need to WAY lower my expectations and start to enjoy the ride a little bit a state of acceptance that these years really are good, even though they feel VERY nutty.
e. all of the above

So, despite all the craziness it's been a good day overall.

Scott woke up this morning and said, "Hmmm, I think it's going to be a good day."

And I thought, "Hmmm, I need to say that to myself once in a while."

Truly, how often do you say, "today is going to be a good day."

So, throughout the day, I've been saying it to myself. Because, truly, despite the nuttiness of the girls, there is nothing not making this a good day. I ran some errands this morning, I didn't have to make lunch (thanks Jackie!), I picked up some birthday presents for Ava, am planning to go running later and will start packing for our trip to Massachusetts this weekend.

All in all, it's been a good day!

Hope yours is going well. too.

P.S. It might feel a little silly, but I was actually saying this aloud to myself in the car earlier, "I'm having a good day. I'm having a great day!". Give it a try.  At the very least it makes you smile because it feels a little silly to talk aloud to yourself!


  1. Lisa,

    Be glad they are not Mark and Scott. When they moved in next to us, the first week they broke, the garage door opener, the dishwasher and it goes on and on.

    Living next door was a daily adventure. They were out on the roof more than once and in and out of my house all the time. I wouldn't trade any of it ever. Just think of Nancy. I have picture memories and just plain memories. You don't have twins but they are close together. At the time you are raising them, it is ongoing craziness. I am sure you fall into bed and want to sleep until you wake up. Just think, the twins never slept through the night until they were 4. Cy and I can attest to that since they welcomed us home on the nights we were out late.
    Then, along came Linds. How she survived, I have no idea except we helped spoil her to pieces at our house and enjoyed each minute. God has blessed you and will continue. I know it is exhausing and frustrating but just know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I know the tunnel is far but time goes way too quickly. I am so proud of you two as parents.

  2. First, huge congrats on finishing your race -- what a big accomplishment! Did I already come over this week and say that? Man it's been a crazy week, um maybe month, okay year, can I just say it's been a crazy life and explain away everything with that?! Anyway, I do want to make sure I said it because you deserve many pats on the back. I have not even attempted a long race since having kids!

    And as far as this post's topic, I always marvel at the irony of parenting and just how seemingly polar opposite emotions come together. "Parenting is the hardest job you'll ever love," I tell my newly pregnant 1st time mom friends. I love the time of day when my kids wake up in the morning, seeing their little faces at the breakfast table, but oh how I love putting them to bed at night and the moment that quiet finally settles over the house again. I love those 3 little people more than I ever imagined I could love anybody yet they have the capacity to be what I perceive as the most annoying people on earth sometimes. God designed it and there is just no understanding it, sometimes.


Sharing thoughts is a valuable part of the motherhood community. Please share your thoughts, suggestions and ideas based on posts.