Wednesday, July 27

Forgiving Our Children

     Today has been a flurry of emotional activity from all women in the Littlewood household…I would say instigated probably 85% by little miss Ava—she presses Ella’s buttons and then my buttons.

     Truly, one minute I’m ready to write a post about how angry I am with her, and then she says or does something that leaves me in complete awe and adoration for her.

     Like today…

     I woke up at 7:00 to have some coffee and quiet time—Ava has typically been sleeping until 7:30/7:45ish…guess what?

     That’s right…the child has an invisible string tied to me that pulls on her finger as soon as I get out of my bed…7:12, pitter patter, pitter patter, pitter patter, all the way down the stairs.

     “Good morning momma,” she says cheerfully.

     “Good morning darling,” I say faking a cheery smile.

     She asked to watch cartoons and from a very selfish, “I need a few quiet moments” space, I readily agreed.

     7:50 Ava is sitting contentedly on the couch with Scott who says he thinks he hears Ella.  Ava says promptly, “Well, there is no room left on the couch for her.”

     She promptly says a LOT of things like that lately and my tolerance for it is down and my irritation radar towards it up.

      Scott warned her that if she kept saying things like that she was going to find herself in her room.

                          Guess what?

     8:10 Ava is sent to her room for 15 minutes to think about how she can be kinder to her sister for the rest of the day.

     9:15 Ava is doing a bit better. I’m having a mommy meltdown moment because I had expectations of getting x,y and z done while the babysitter came over today, but she was non-responsive to my texts and voice messages.


     In the midst of my mommy meltdown I decide I’m going to fold some laundry…Scott is getting ready for work…Ava is in the shower…Ella is quietly playing downstairs…

…or, perhaps I should have said quietly pooping downstairs…yes, that’s right, with nothing but her pj bottoms on (no diaper OR underwear!)

      9:20 “Momma!” Ella hollers. “I pooped.”

     For heavens sakes. Is this really my life? I first say to myself and then aloud so that everyone can hear.
     I head downstairs to find a big round double tennis ball size of s*!$ on the playroom floor.

     I gag and clean it up.

     We put Ella in the bathtub, Ava starts to play, I get over my false hopes for cleaning up my office, or getting my i-phone fixed (it went black yesterday) or doing any more laundry.

     10:15 the girls play quietly for a while…after I separate them of course.

     10:55 Ava for some reason decided to whack Ella on the head with a plastic flashlight. Ella comes crying to me.

     I am SO darned angry I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m not an angry person, but Ava has had a way of pushing my buttons lately. I want to spank her, but I do not agree with punishing her for hitting by spanking her…it seems counterproductive and counterintuitive to me.

     So I tell her she is going to sit in her bedroom for a long time and I take all of her toys out. I shut her door and tell her its going to be at least half an hour.

     I take Ella downstairs and put Mickey Mouse on and give her a freezie pop. The freezie pop was in part to make her feel better and in part to make Ava feel worse when she found out.

     It worked…1/2 an hour later I let Ava come downstairs. She authentically apologized to me and Ella and when she asked what we did I told her we watched t.v. and had freezie pops.

     “Ella had a freezie pop?!”


     “Can I have one?”


     “Why not?”

     Are you serious.

      “Why do you think?”

     “Because I hit my sister?”


     For the next ½ hour she asked about the freezie pop at least four more times. It’s funny, but I knew that the fact Ella had had one and she didn’t would drive her NUTS. It was a much more impactful punishment than even the time spent in her room or any spanking would have been.

     So, as you can see, by noon my patience, stamina and defenses were tapped. Quite frankly, while Ava was in her room I was so angry with her for the way she has been treating Ella lately that I was conjuring up ways to punish her for the rest of the day. No treats. Cold Shoulder. No errand running with mommy.   None of the stuff she likes to do.

     And then I little voice popped into my head and said, “You have to forgive her.”

     Say what?!

     “You have to forgive her.”

     And for the first time ever it dawned on me that this is likely just the beginning of many, many moments when I’m going to need to learn to start forgiving my children. For whining. For instigating. For getting up too early. While I don’t know that I had ever considered it before, I was holding some of this stuff against Ava.

     The thing is, when we look at the Christian model of forgiveness, and our expectations of God’s grace and forgiveness towards us…well…does He hold grudges all day long?

      I think not. At least I sure hope not. (I mean, you'd have to do something really bad and be really non-repentant, right?!)

     Is He conjuring ways to get back at me all day long? Giving me the cold shoulder? Taking things away?

     I mean, I don’t know what God’s punishment methods look like exactly, but I know that if He gets angry and we repent and ask for forgiveness, He forgives us…right there, right then, not 8 hours later when He decides I’ve paid enough.

     My wanting to be angry with Ava all day was not very graceful, merciful, or Christlike at all.

       Fortunately, as soon as she came downstairs and apologized my heart forgave her instantly…she was so sweet about it.

     And then she put on the super sister act. She started hugging Ella extra times, giving her toys, helping her to draw, I mean really going out of the way to sugar coat things, which is o.k. and kind of sweet and funny.

     So here I am…naptime…Ava is actually playing in her room (she’s not napping on most days anymore, which is another reason my patience are wearing a little thin), and I’m about to close my eyes for 20 minutes.

     I have forgiven her. The day is moving forwards. And while the Bible says that our “mercies are renewed every morning”, I like to think that for mothers our mercies are renewed several times a day, as we need it, throughout the day…sometimes I feel like my day is many small days all bundled together in one…there is the pre-nap day and the post-nap day.

     Here is to a better second half.

P.S. For what it's worth, I got up from my little snooze and Ava has been the most compliant child ever! In part because Ella is not awake (it's the two of them together that really gets the sparks flying), but also in part because she's trying to turn over a new least until Ella wakes up...or she gets cranky...but at least she's trying, right?!

Sunday, July 24

Laughter IS The Best Medicine

     I don't laugh as much as I'd like or perhaps as much as I should these days...I'll be honest, being a mom can tend to make me a little stiff, uptight, and more serious than I need to be on more occasions than I probably should be...I'm sure none of you EVER get that way....

     And, even if you don't agree with me I'm betting my husband would...he gets the cranky me more often than he'd probably like...but I suppose that's o.k. 'cause I get the cranky him more than anyone else too, right hun?!!!

     We love each other. It's all good. It's all about being parents.

     Alright, but now for a real, authentic, that's some funny stuff laugh...

     Welcome Ella...she does some stuff that CRACKS us up these deciding to dress herself yesterday...

     ...on two different occasions...

Here's laugh #1:

     It's not the best shot, but just to explain, she decided to dress herself yesterday evening... mind you it was about 87 degrees outside so a long sleeved shirt and knee high socks, well, typically not the best option...

     The other funny thing was that the socks were inside out, but she LOVED them this way because she thought all of those little pink polka dots were flowers (because worn on the wrong side the thread protrudes from the material of the sock and of course they look like flowers!). 

     This was a "Look at me mom. I'm so big and proud because I just got myself dressed" picture!

....alright, here is the even bigger laugh...

     If you can't tell (double click on the picture to view it more closely for a minute!), those would be her sister's underwear she found and put on over her shorts while we were sitting in the backyard catching up with a neighbor. She came out the back door and ever so seriously said, 

     "Look guys" and then walked right on by like there was nothing out of the ordinary... maybe it's just because it's my kid, or perhaps you need to know Ella, but I was busting a gut...I still laugh when I look at the picture! 

     AND, look at that stink' facial expression in the top that not the funniest thing you've ever seen?!

     I'm SO convinced that God makes kids so funny to break up the craziness of life with them! 

Thursday, July 21

Vacationing with Kiddos!

Ah, "vacation" with kids.

Like how I put those quote marks around "vacation".


I laugh because it's really kind of humorous how un-relaxing anything is with kids.

I mean, if I were looking at the situation from the outside, it would be really pretty funny.

Like when my sister-in-law comments on my blog posts and tells me how funny they are...that kind of funny...Lin, I love you. You're one of the reasons I keep writing these remind me that it really is kind of funny after all.

I also find it interesting that with each new experience Scott and I encounter as parents, there is a greater depth of understanding for my own parents, for parents in general, and for just how much energy and effort all things parenting can involve. And how so very, very little you know or can even attempt to comprehend about it all prior to having children. 

I still think back to a conversation I had with an acquaintance while we were living in Massachusetts. I was pregnant with Ava and she asked how I was doing and then said something that I thought was very silly.  She said, "Being a parent is going to change your life." 

Oh lady. Really. That's all you've got for me. Of course it's going to change my life. I mean it is a baby after all. Don't you have something more insightful or profound for me there. 

If I were about to have a conversation with a 29 year old girl who was about to have her first child, know what I'd say to her now...

"Oh honey, it's gonna change your life." 

Realizing, while I'm saying it of course, that she's probably thinking I'm pretty lame and that of course she knows the baby will change her life.

How that's an entirely different question all together. 

Everything. Everything. Everything...she would soon find out. 

Even how you take vacations. 

Which is what brings me to this post. 

We just returned from our first "family" vacation this morning. "Family" meaning just our immediate family  in this case; Scott, myself and the girls. And by vacation I mean a mini, two night, 2 1/2 day trip in which we did not travel very far from the house. 

It was fun. It was tiring. We learned a lot about what we like (as well as what we don't like!) while we're on trips. 

We figured we’d start out short, both in distance (we drove to Erie, PA which is only 1.5 hours from Buffalo) and in time (two nights), which was probably smart in retrospect.

There was the initial plan which was to leave on Monday morning, head to Erie, PA to an indoor water park called Splash Lagoon, stay at the Holiday Inn Express attached to Splash Lagoon for two nights,  spend most of Monday at the water park, Tuesday at a nearby state park with supposedly nice beaches and then head home Wednesday morning.

And then there is what we actually ended up doing...

Which was spend Monday night at one hotel and Tuesday night at another....because Scott's got the heebie jeebies from the hotel...which was part of our learning process....that staying in a hotel, attached to an indoor water park, right smack dab of off Interstate 90 (like so close that you could probably hit Splash Lagoon with an apple core if you decided to throw it out your window while traveling past Peach Street in PA) would not make us feel like we were creating exactly the idyllic family vacation memories that we had set out to create.

Or, more specifically, to use Scott's words...we would feel like we had taken our kids to a truck stop for a two night stay.

Scott has a way of phrasing things in just the right way that you burst out laughing first because it is so funny, and then again because he has so accurately described the situation in a way that you hadn't even considered it that you find yourself forced to laugh at the entire thing all over again.

Staying at a hotel on Peach Street in Erie, PA feels a little like staying at a truck stop. Plain and simple. The view outside of our window was of a concrete parking lot. There was no grass to be seen anywhere, but there were a lot of, well, um, very interesting people in bathing suits roaming the hallways.

Guess what?

Ava LOVED it. Every stinkin' minute of it. By the second night when we were driving to our new hotel she was asking to go back to the water park.

Lesson Learned: It's not about you's about the kids.

We spent many hours on Monday riding down water slides and playing in "family" hot tubs and kiddie pools with Ella. We "splashed" from 12-2:45, and then again from 4:00-6:30 and then again from 8-9. (You should have seen the look on Scott's face when I told him we needed to put our bathing suits back on after dinner at 8 that was funny.)

The girls fell asleep, Ella on her air mattress, Ava in one of the big beds and Scott and I sat on a very uncomfortable couch reading magazines and looking for new hotels.

The up side of this hotel was that we a) were able to book a "suite" (I don't want you to get any fancy ideas here, this is a Holiday Inn Express we're talking about), which meant the bedroom and living area were separated by a door...a BIG plus if you have little kids, who a) take naps and b) go to bed before you.

The other upside was that there was a free "breakfast" like those quotation marks again...there was a free breakfast if you like crusty fake eggs, greasy sausage patties, pancakes that shoot out of a little conveyor belt, fruit loops and cinnamon rolls.

Don't get me wrong. Kids LOVE this kind of food. Me, well I ate a Luna Bar in the car on the way to the beach.

Lesson Learned: It's not about you's about the kids.

After breakfast we made a 45-minute stop a Wal-Mart to buy snacks for the beach, beach toys we forgot to pack, swimming trunks for Scott, and food for the place we were going to be staying that night so that we didn't need to go out for dinner and then spent the day at the beach.

The beach was nice...Scott flew a kite, Ella had fun digging in the sand, I picked up a bunch of little beach stones to make some sort of crafty memento out of (any guesses on when I'll actually get to that?!) and Ava and Scott practiced swimming and sticking their heads in the water.

The girls also fought about who got which snacks, who should sit on which towel, where the best places to enter the water were, and started handing me their own "shells" they had found which I quickly realized were discarded pistachio shells from a former beach guest. Ew.

We stayed for about 2 1/2 hours and then packed up to go find our new hotel.

At which point we almost ran out of gas so Scott said we couldn't turn the air conditioning in the car on even though it was 95 degrees, and then the GPS took us to not one, but two closed down gas stations, and then we drove through what must have been the seediest part of Erie, PA giving me heart palpitations that we were moving from truck stop hotel to ghetto hotel.

It all turned out in the end.

We found our way to a lovely little lakeside hotel/campy motel/ bed and breakfast (without the breakfast) kind of place with trees, a small swing set, a pool, and a very cool wooden staircase built all the way down to the lake.

We napped (well, Ella did). We swam. We ate spaghetti and jarred sauce for dinner.

I think the funniest moment of the entire day was when Ava told me she was going to look for a bowl for her crackers and came in from the porch of the room we were staying in (picture back apartment of a house with a wooden deck porch of the front) and said "Mom, I found the PERFECT bowl" and then confidently and proudly displayed the glass ash tray she had found on the front porch.


Scott and I sat in the gorgeous wooden adirondack chairs overlooking the water for 2.2 minutes until the girls started fighting about who was allowed to sit where, how you should place grass on your head properly, and all sorts of other ridiculous things which Ava wanted to be the boss of and Ella wanted to have nothing to do with.

I rolled my eyes about 72 times. Scott grunted 64 times. And we finally made it to 8:30 p.m. when we could put the girls to bed and were finally able to relax on the small porch in wooden chairs, so darned tired that we had little to say to each other.

Lesson Learned: well, I'm sure you've figured it out by now...It's not about us.

We had bagels the next morning, and canned pears. We walked around the grounds again. We packed up and drove the 1 1/2 back home just in time to get Ava to swimming lessons.

I'm still doing laundry and unpacking, but it was well worth it.

In the future we're thinking beach cottage somewhere for 3 nights where we can stay without packing up, have the girls play and nap at their ease and perhaps not feel so truck stoppish...but we'll see...Ava will probably be asking for the water park again, or some place with rides that make me sick to my stomach, or with life sized animals that walk around all day long.

Lesson Learned: you've got's not about us, it's about the kids at this season.

And, all in all, the funny moments and bonding and memories created totally outweigh any tiredness, or frustration that Scott and I felt. The girls are still thanking God for our "vacation" when they say their prayers. Pretty cute.

And Scott and I are looking forward to our all expenses paid trip to Bermuda next month where...well, it will be about us for a couple of days, and that's a good thing once in a while!

Monday, July 11

Creative Contentment

What comes to mind when you think about 'following your passions', pursing your 'gifts', creatively expressing yourself through art, or music or construction or words?

Do you find the time to do it? Do you make the time to pursue the other parts of your self (besides cooking, cleaning, chasing after kids & grocery shopping) that are jumping up and down inside your soul saying "I'm here! Use me!" 

Or...after all is said and done at the end of the day, are you just too plain tired...

I find myself in both places...often...jumping up and down with enthusiasm, ready to make a plan and make the time...and often even being successful at fitting in some good writing time, or reading something headier and theological than usual, or creating something fun and useless out of craft supplies from Michaels. 

and other times I'm just too darned tired...

and then life happens...

It gets really busy, the laundry piles up, the kids are cranky, the meals are unplanned and everything gets a little fuzzy, and unscheduled, unproductive...and while some of that is good (some unscheduled, unproductive, impromptu time with your family), too much, for too long, leads to frustration and a definite sense of being "out of balance" ( I cringe a bit to use that term...because I wonder if true "balance" is ever actually achievable, or is it just some far off, too high expectation we've set for ourselves. Nonetheless, I'm sure you know what I mean.)

All that to say that my heart started jumping up and down when I recently came to  chapter on pursuing your passions during motherhood in a very good book I've been reading. The book is called "Tender Mercy for a Mother's Soul" by Angela Thomas...I've been reading it on and off during my morning "quiet" time for a couple of months now and it always speaks to my heart.

Thomas says:

"I love being around when people are exercising their gifts, doing those things for which they are created. Watching them do something great wakes me up...I am inspired to be passionate. Energy and skill, practice and perseverance, aspiring, training, becoming-- these traits perk up my spirit and call me toward an intentional life." 

Have you ever felt that way? I remember a winter, several years ago, just before Christmas, Scott and I were still living in Boston and went to see the Holiday Pops (Boston Symphony Orchestra) concert. I don't remember specifically all of the scores that were played, but I do know they did pieces from Handel's Messiah (you too have likely heard the "Hallelujah Chorus" as it is sometimes called) Every note of that beautiful concert was precise, every chord perfect....I closed my eyes for a moment and thought, "THIS is what heaven will be like. This is what the music will sound like."  

The perfection of it, the beauty of it, the passion and preciseness of it sent tingles through my entire body and almost brought me to tears. It was THAT moving.

(For what it's worth, it doesn't matter whether it's beautifully arranged classical music or some other art form. I was working at a Christian High-School  in Lexington, Massachusetts several years ago and a young Christian rap artist came in to do a concert for the kids. He was so passionate about what he was doing, and his ability to draw the students in because of his evident passion was also so contagious that it was clear that this was a guy doing what he was meant to do. I actually bumped into him the hallway after the concert and mentioned that it was obvious that he was really using his passions and gifts to serve God and that to see it was encouraging.) 

I think that is what Angela Thomas is talking about in her passage here. When people are using their gifts, their God inspired, true gifts, to their fullest, it moves moved me to want to be able to do something in my own life as well as I possibly good and to be able to move others in the process. For me it will never be through music, but maybe words or a meal, or a note of encouragement. 

But,  just when I get all excited to venture out and start using my passions passionately...well, something always happens. Life happens. And so I find myself awkwardly on this journey where I sometimes feel like I'm straddling two very different distinct parts of myself. I want to be able to spend more time on the artistic desires, or spiritual growth, or service towards others, but life and motherhood naturally pulls us in the other direction, sometimes more frequently than we'd hoped. 

Should I just give all of these other things up? I wonder to myself sometimes. It would be easier to not try and then I wouldn't be disappointed," I sometimes find myself thinking. 

 Thomas  goes on to say...

"But just about the time I get inspired, thinking that God has put something passionate inside of me, the world marches in and screams, "Wait a cotton-pickin' minute! What is all this aspiring, gifted, intentional stuff? You are a mother. You have four (or in my case just two!) small children, for goodness sake. You do not have the time to be passionate about anything that does not involve a home and kids. If you want to be passionate about homeschooling, fine. If you want to be passionate about soccer, fine, If you want to be passionate about cooking, okay. But you do not have the time energy or resources to purse the passions of your heart. Don't you need to iron something. Now get those crazy ideas out of your head.
    Many days I am tired and it is easier to believe the world. " 

There are 3 dark, black, penned in, penned over stars drawn next to this paragraph in my book...

Did this woman just crawl inside my head and transcendently bring my thoughts onto her page?.

Oh my heavens! I wanted to jump up and down and call Angela on the phone and say, "Sister, we need to talk. NOW! Please tell me how you do it. How you have done it. How you have managed to pursue your passions in the midst of mothering FOUR children."

It's a struggle. It's a balancing act for sure. And truly, only God can help us pull it all together. 

God's been speaking to me a LOT about this lately. He has been telling me to slow down a bit and perhaps start adding things back to my plate very slowly...and through careful prayer and discernment.  I'm just starting to realize that I need to trust him...that He knows how important my role as a mother is and he ALSO created me to be brimming with ideas.  That perhaps he is not actually asking me to do less, but that if I slow down and say no to some things,  he may even be able to do more with what I'm giving because it will be within his plan. Does that make sense?

I'm going to leave you with a few more words from Angela Thomas because I think she put it quite poignantly...

     "I figure I spend about 95 percent of my life providing for my family, caring, loving, and pouring myself into them. For me, the question is not how to get more time away from my family. I want them to have the whole 95 percent. The question I ask myself is, "How can I bring glory to God with the remaining 5 percent? Will I squander that time and energy, or will I use that small portion to pursue my passions?
     "I am choosing my passions. I do not get to choose them often, nor do I get around to that 5 percent of my life every day. But, I belive that God wired me with some gifts that He intended  I sue for His glory. Passions do not have to be separate from our roles as wives and mothers. We do not have to forsake one to pursue the other...In my heart I know that God is calling me to pursue those passions even in my season of motherhood."      

Amen sister...thanks for that big hug via your wise words.

Friday, July 8

Bringing Out the Best and Other Ramblings...

     I know it's only been a little over a week, but it feels like FOREVER since I've written a post...boy, if that didn't sound like the opening sentence in a sixteen year old's diary!

     Well, here is where I'll spare you...I won't share every little detail about my life over the last week, and you definitely won't be hearing about crushes and broken hearts...I gotta tell ya, that's one of the best things about being married-- you no longer have to live out all of that boy related drama...although, I suppose there is new male/female related drama once you are married...but it is WAAAYYY better than the old drama...I swear!

     So, what have we been up to? Well, I've decided to start practicing a better "evil eye" look for all the unsolicited advice that seems to come my way (more about that in a minute!), and my children are just as adorable and just as nutty, making me just as full of love and adoration and ready to pull my hair out at any moment as usual.

     Well, that sums that up, huh?!

     I'll tell you about the girls first...I'll just use today as an example.

     I came home from the class I've been teaching all week at about noon...I put them both down for naps at 2 because I couldn't fathom for one more second having enough energy to chase them around all afternoon.

     I had all of these great plans when I came home today...I had had a great week teaching, really enjoyed my lessons and the kids I got to work with, and had all sorts of great ideas of things to do with the girls after lunch; hang out peacefully in the back yard, take a nice leisurely stroll down the street, just enjoy the beautiful day.

     Apparently there is something about my presence that brings out the worst... qualities in my suddenly falling all over themselves, screaming at the top of their lungs, peeing on floors and smudging red ink all over their hands...

     Caitlin (their aunt who watched them all morning) said, Lis, they've been fine all morning...they always do this when you get home. 

     Why does it feel like this isn't the first time I've heard that line.

     Within 5 minutes of my walking in the door, Ava had slipped and fallen on the patio near her wading pool and started screaming (because EVERY fall in this house deserves a good scream no matter how big or small!), and Ella was streaking through the house naked flinging fishy pretzles all over the floor and then attempting to push them into the slot of a toy I had just picked up from a garage sale.


     We finally get everybody settled down and fed, I start cleaning up the kitchen and tell them in 10 minutes we're going to take a walk. I set them up with some new rubber stamps and paper in the hallway (they've used the stamps before, so this was not a new thing).

     Six minutes later, I hear "Mommy, I peeing!"

     Crap! That only means one thing. That somehow, despite the diaper, pee is making its way onto the floor.


     I don't mean to scream, but I'm so surprised that it just comes out. At which point she gets upset and starts crying and is unable to hold the rest of the pee, so I carry her crying and tinkling pee all over the floor to the bathroom, at which point I pull her pull-up down (which she had put on backwards by herself  1/2 an hour ago, which led to the dripping) and she finishes by peeing ALL over my hand.

     Meanwhile, Ava is already in the bathroom cleaning red ink off of her hands because she decided that smearing the entire front and back of her hand with red ink would be WAY more fun then just using it to make the appropriate stamps on her paper...

     "YOU are not using stamps for the rest of the weekend...GET IN BATHROOM AND CLEAN THAT OFF YOUR HANDS NOW!!" I had just finished saying ever so gently to her.

    Ever so gently. I swear. she is cleaning red ink off her hands I bring tinkling little Ella into the bathroom and we manage to find ourselves standing in a MAJOR puddle of pee...

     "Ava, out of the bathroom. Ella sit there until I can find something to clean you with!" I say as I run to the kitchen to find paper towels, suddenly remembering how much potty training a child can sometimes feel like potty training a dog and why we are SO not ready with Ella yet.

    "But MOOOMMMM! There is PEEE ALLLLL OVER the floor....I AM NOT stepping in PEEEE!!!!" Ava shrieks from the bathroom.

     I get back in the bathroom, carry Ava out and set her in the hallway. I tell her to go upstairs and find something to clean in her bedroom (there is ALWAYS something to clean up in her bedroom).

     I manage to clean up Ella as best as possible and tell her to head up towards the bathtub, or, as Scott likes to say, she was going to small like a Porto John for the rest of the afternoon.

    I look up at the clock...1:30...So much for our walk, but at last nap time is only 1/2 an hour a way.

    You can make it for another 1/2 hour Lis. A 1/2 hour is nothing! 

    These are the kind of pep talks I give myself throughout the day.

     Ava wants to know if she can take the clothes off her new Tangled doll and take her in the tub...I have to tell her she is not going in the tub because it causes too many fights. I send her out to the wading pool in the back and leave Ella in the tub upstairs, and even though I have to run back and forth to check on the two locations, it's way better than refereeing fights.

     We make it till naptime. Hooray!

     I know having Ava take a nap will cost me later (because she won't fall asleep until after 10!), but today it is WELL worth it.

     I bribe her by telling her she'll be able to stay up later and that Daddy will make a fire and we'll make smore's.

     She likes that idea.

     So...that was my day...just a slice of the life. I'm sure all of you mommas have similar stories...

     It's like that quote I referenced a couple of weeks ago from my former pastor..."I got problems. You got problems. ALL God's children got problems."

     Only I think we should revise to say..."My days are nutty. Your days are nutty. All God's mommas got nutty days."

     And that's that.

     I'll tell you about the unsolicited advice in a post on a later day...