Sunday, August 26, 2012

Baby Fight Club

August 26, 2012

Earlier this week, I saw this article. It told of some day care workers, encouraging some toddlers in their care to fight, and egging them on. I was horrified, and I was horrified by the making light of it by calling it toddler fight club. It is really nothing to joke about, and I feel badly for the families involved.

Later that day, I mentioned it to my husband and said the phrase, 'toddler fight club' out loud. My almost 4 year old, Zed, overheard this and ran with it. For 3 days, the kids have been screeching, "Baby Fight Club!" and pretending to fight each other, like babies. They call Sunshine, 'The Milkman,' because he keeps spitting milk at them. Zed was pretending to shoot blueberries at his brothers. And the 2 of them have been pretending to box each other and wrestle each other, as they do anyway and see all of their siblings do. In a house of 5 boys, there is often wrestling and pretend battles! The baby fights inevitably turn into all 4 littles attacking daddy in a 4 on 1 melee, that ends when they all finally run out of steam and daddy is left whimpering on the bed...
The kids all agree that the Baby Fight Club champion would be Sunshine. He has a wicked left hook (which I have unfortunately experienced while trying to cuddle him!), is as tough as shoe leather and never, ever gives up.

I hesitate to share this story, because I don't want to make light of the daycare horror story. But my kids knew nothing of that and were just making a game for their amusement. In fact, at this moment, the middle 2 are pushing each other with pillows and pretending to knock one another into a mud pit. This is my life. Loud and active. And full of laughs.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Life.

My heart is filled with gratitude and joy today. Not for a specific reason, I think mostly because I have been choosing to do rather than to endure.
I had been rather down and mopey the last week or two. Circumstances and worry were weighing on my heart, and instead of giving all to God and resting in him, I was churning it all over and over again.
On Saturday, I pulled myself out of the mire a bit. My husband's school was having a street party for the employee's families, and even though my husband was out doing field work, I took the kids to the party.
Now this sort of thing is not my scene. I would happily stay home while my husband took the kids. I do not enjoy crowds, I get very anxious, and the noise overwhelms my senses. I am in continual fear of losing sight of the kids. I do not do well. So I surprised myself by taking them. And I surprised even my husband by having a fantastic time. I was gushing about it to him later. It was so very well executed. There was lots of space and lots to do and eat. We never had to wait in line, and we all had a complete blast. So weird!
Sunday morning we went to church and the worship service was full of exactly what I needed to hear. I raised my prayer of trust and worship and casting my cares upon him who is big enough to care for them all. When we got home, I actually picked up the phone and called a dear friend. I spent a few hours with her sipping tea and sharing and laughing. By the time I got back in my car, I felt like a brand new being. Oh the joy that comes of the twining of two woman-souls.
I was so refreshed, as well as bolstered by my experience on Saturday, that I decided that I should take the kids to the spray park and then have a wiener roast afterwards. So we did. Now the spray park was torture for me. I kept losing sight of my 3 year old and Sunshine kept falling and hurting himself. But the kids enjoyed it and we kept it short so that we could meet Daddy for our cookout.
We so enjoyed each other's company and a long, restful evening.
Monday was even better. Brent's first day back at NAIT! I drove him to work in the morning and we got to spend some time together, sipping our coffee and just being together. His NAIT job is so incredible for our family, because he gets to spend so much time with us. His hours are perfect. After I picked him up in the afternoon, we went to get our second born from his first high school football practice. The kids played in the park while we watched Superboy with his peers.
I will admit to being a bit choked up after I dropped him off in the morning. Our boy has been home educated since kindergarten, so full time school will be a huge adjustment. But one that we are all embracing with anticipation.
Yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary, and even though we couldn't afford to give lavish gifts and go out to dinner, we had a beautiful evening with our family, barbecuing and just being together. Appreciating the life that we have been blessed with and grateful that God has been the glue that has kept our family whole. I love my life. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Win/Loss Parenting

This is a post I wrote early this spring, but never published. I think it still fits my life!

Sometimes I feel like my life as a parent is like a win/fail balance sheet

Successfully bribed toddler with gum to pee on the potty again - win

Picked 15 pieces of gum off of my floors yesterday and one out of said toddler's hair today - fail

Fed the kids healthy, well-balanced meals and snacks today - win

Got started on school by 8:30 am and was mostly done by 10:30 am - win

Continually nagged and got impatient with middles who could not seem to settle into their bookwork - fail

Started making lapbooks with timelines for our Ancient Rome studies - win

Ignored baby's chatting with me while he ate so that I could finish making timeline - fail

Took out my frustration with some grown-up troubles by being angry when one of my middles broke a little mirror - major fail
(my views on spills and accidental broken items is usually pretty philosophical. "Let's clean that up together...")

Possibly having to disappoint my kids and myself by not being able to afford to do something this week that we have been looking forward to for a month - fail

Watching my lovely son reading while doing the dishes and being able to appreciate his beauty, his love of reading and learning, and his multi-tasking abilities, rather than nagging him - win

Not being able to take the kids to the gym as planned - fail

Made sure that I sang lullabies to my sweethearts at the end of the day rather than hiding in my room - win

Sometimes my mind is filled with my failures and my heart is heavy, and then I have to remind myself that I am human and I fail, but God is greater than all my shortcomings. He loves me and my children more than I could fathom. And he covers over my mistakes with his love. I am blessed beyond measure.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Weekend Vacay

EEE! I am so excited! Today we get to pick up our 17 year old, aka The Boy, at the airport. He has been in Mexico for the past week or so, volunteering with some of his youth group at a mission.
I was more than a little emotional as I said goodbye to him last week, not so much because of his trip, (he had gone to the same mission last year) but because I wasn't going to be here to say goodbye to him and take him to the airport. But he made it away safely, with the help of some wonderful friends and now, thank God, is on his way back to us.
We weren't home last weekend because we were on a mini vacay to Lethbridge for the Alberta Summer Games. Our 14 year old earned a spot on the Edmonton Elite to play football for our city at the games. It was so thrilling to watch him go through the whole process and even more so to watch him play!
They won their first 2 games easily, then went up against their rivals in Calgary and lost 13 - zip. That was a hard loss, it meant that weren't going to go to the gold medal game. And, come on, it was to Calgary!
They came back strong on Sunday morning and came away with the bronze against zone 5, which is the cities surrounding ours. He will be going to high school in one of those communities, so we were really hoping that Edmonton would pull off the win!

We had a wonderful weekend, hanging out with our littler 4, watching Superboy and some of his friends compete in the games, cheering on one of them as he ran track and screaming ourselves hoarse at football. We stopped at a lake on the way home and splashed with the kids and just enjoyed their company. So thankful that we got to go and experience that with our boy.