Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Girl's Weekend

Tony went away last weekend and Dakota and I had girl time. She was a bit cranky on Friday night and Saturday, so we stuck fairly close to home. But Sunday we went to the zoo and had a lot of fun! We had lots of little toy surprises to pull out here and there to keep things interesting. She's definitely a Momma's girl....which is ok with me right now. Here's some pics of the fun!

We watched a lot of Elmo and snuggled on the couch.......

And colored with new crayons and coloring books...............

And played outside with bubbles......................

And had lots of fun at the zoo! We had a lot of firsts: first carousel ride, first hand painting, first time nose to nose with a monkey (with glass inbetween). We even did one of those little photo booth pictures that make you look horrible, but they're so much fun!

Yep, we had lots of fun. The more time I spend with Dakota, the more I fall in love with her. Even though she can be quite the stinker, she is a very sweet girl and has a smile that melts your heart.

Friday, November 7, 2008

No More "Ring Ring" Bling

I did something this evening that was very easy to do, but had more significance to me than anyone would understand. And it may sound funny, but I took the "bling" off my phone. I have a pink cell phone and about a year ago had found pink and white "jewels" to adorn it. Maybe it was my attempt to fit in or feel younger. Maybe it was an attempt to be trendy and fun. But for whatever reason, they've been there.

Many people have commented on them. They were very flashy! And the other day as I was thinking about what was important.....I suddenly didn't want them anymore. With or without the sparkles, my phone was still my phone. It functioned just fine all on it's own without any need to play dress up.

So while my daughter took her bath tonight, I picked them off, one at a time. The phone needs to be cleaned up a little, it was still kind of shiny under all that glitz. But it's not a fashion statement, it's not going to make my life easier when I could use 4 more hours in a day. I don't want the extras anymore. I don't want the "stuff" that's just "stuff" for the purpose of being "stuff".

Maybe I can take some of my own "sparkles" off too. Maybe I can get my haircut as short as I want without worrying what others might think. Maybe I can get rid of knick knacks that just collect dust. Maybe I can make some house/yard decisions on my own instead of trying to be the "nice" wife who waits patiently. I might find more of me under the glitter as it comes off piece by piece.

I'm so thankful God knows whats underneath the fake glitter. I'm so glad He's willing to clean us off after we peel it off, piece by piece. It can be scary taking off the shiny pieces of "expectations", "status builders", and "ego boosters". But underneath it all, we're still just who we are. God loves us for that and we should be able to love ourselves for that too.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

And the Hugs Continue

The Free Hugs continue! The sign that I saw last week was put there to help me open my eyes to the hugs that God gives me everyday. Since then, I have been much more aware of God hugging me in many different ways. Sometimes it in the kind words of a co-worker, sometimes it's in the actual hug from my child, sometimes it's in helping me be patient, and sometimes it's even in seeing a beautiful picture or design.

Dakota was sick this weekend with tummy flu (read urp!) and allergies (read random hives). But through it all, she gave me lots of hugs. And it's even better when she says "Momma hugs" when she does it. Today we thanked God together (ok, so I did most of the talking) for His giving us to each other.

Yes, the hugs continue............

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Free Hugs"

Everything fell together the way it was supposed to so I could see this one sign. Dakota and I were going for a nap drive on Sunday. I pulled in the shopping center to get a soda for the drive. I didn't turn one way to get to Jack in the Box because a car was blocking the way, so I had to go straight. And there she sat. A sweet looking woman, probably in her 50's, sitting in a lawn chair on the corner holding a sign. "Free Hugs"

The sign made my day. It gave me hope. It reminded me that people do care. Here was this woman spending time on a Sunday offering hope to complete strangers. I went through the drive thru, got my soda, and purposely drove by her again. I rolled down my window and thanked her for making me smile. "You're very welcome" she said with a warm smile.

As I drove for the next hour my thoughts kept returning to the woman and her sign. I know God used her to reach me and wonder how many others He touched through her. He is always there ready to offer free hugs. Anytime of day, any situation, as much as we need. I need to remember this when I'm feeling lonely or struggling to cope.

God is always there ready to give hugs. And if drive the right way on Sundays, there might be a nice woman who is willing too.

**Update** -- Update to my last post: Dakota is still struggling at night time, but I'm not sure it's just the milk. We went to a birthday party that weekend and apparently the entire family who's house we were at ended up with the flu. And the little one that's Dakota's age had the exact same symptoms for two weeks. I think her tummy is getting better.....but getting her to stay in her bed is still our biggest challenge!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What Am I Doing?

I'm starting to think my child doesn't like me. Or my husband. Or our home. Every time we're home, she cries and screams. It's not fun anymore. Everyone is on edge because you can only take a screaming child who is screaming for no reason for so long. Well, I'm sure there's a reason, but she's not sharing.

Is it because she's two? Are her molars coming in? Does she have tummy problems? I think it's yes to all of the above. She gets up 1-2 hours in the middle of the night every night now. She sleeps in her bed half the night and won't go back in. We had to move to a toddler bed, because she figured out how to climb out of the crib. So we bought Elmo sheets and bedding today in an attempt to make bed more "fun" and "likeable".

During the middle of the day she seems to be fairly ok. Four or five o'clock rolls around and it's duck and cover. I want to run away. My husband deals with it worse than I do and ends up behaving just as bad as the two year old. She wants something, you get it, and then she doesn't want it. Either option results in tears and shouts.

We're going through a half gallon of milk every two days because that's the only way I can get her to calm down at night. And at 2 a.m. I'm in survival mode at this point. I know almost all of the Elmo "Potty" video by heart now because it's another cure all.

My husband's convinced that something is wrong because this can't be just from being two or having molars come in. I don't know what to think at this point. All I know is I end up in tears alot. My daughter can be the most precious gift in one moment and ten seconds later I'm ready to UPS her to Michigan to live with her Gram.

Now I'm suspicious of a food allergy. Can a food allergy make a baby go off the deep end? She had a hive on her face tonight. I wondered if it was from her being worked up or a reaction to something. So I frantically put together a tracking sheet to monitor food, sleep, meds and behavior to see if I could notice any patterns.

Ha! She literally just spend a half hour rolling around the floor screaming, not letting us touch her. The way she moved I could tell it was her tummy. I'm definitely thinking milk may be in the running as the cause. Looks like I'll be calling the doctor's office Monday morning. After getting her calmed down, we drank some apple juice and off she went again. So she's back in bed....for now. Which is where I should head since it might be another hour when I get a wake up call.

Any and all comments are welcome.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Loud, Noisy Trucks

Dakota has started this new daily ritual that we have to walk to the mailbox. It's become kind of fun watching her run down the sidewalk, and try and balance on the curb. Yesterday I think it took us 15 minutes to walk 10 houses, each house had something different to stop and look at or try and do (like banging on a for sale sign with a rock). This morning there were more trucks and buses out than there are in the evenings when we usually take our walks. And God used the moment as a lesson.

Everytime Dakota hear a loud truck or one drove past, she would immediately turn to me and grab my hand. If she was ahead of me, she would run back. She needed reassurance that the loud noise wasn't going to get her and she would be all right. And I was there. Everytime.

I've got lots of "loud, noisy trucks" in my life right now. What a great opportunity He used to remind me that He is there for me too. Everytime. And He will reassure me that all will be well. He's there for me to turn to all the time, no matter when a "truck" drives by. I might be scared by the noise....but He will hold my hand and walk with me.

Thank you Lord, for reminding me that as I watch over Dakota, you watch over me. I am never alone and you faithfully will be by my side. Please continue to hold my hand as our family works toward a new life together. Keep us together in Your arms as we search for understanding on how to move forward with so many new changes. Thank you for the support You give us and for that which you give us through friends. Amen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hitting the Wall

I've got so much running around in my brain....I'm not sure I can come up with coherent thoughts. Excuse my ramblings......I just need to get a few things out.

Like many people, we've been having a hard time financially. We've finally hit the wall and don't have too many options. Big changes are going to have to be made - credit cards are being shredded and the poop guy is outta here. But it's a lot more than that. The way we're used to living, the way we've made decisions, the way we've thought about and spent money....all has to drastically change.

I'm thankful that we're all healthy and our house and cars are staying in place. I know it could be much much worse. But my reality is being forced to be changed and I'm scared. In the end, I know this will result in a positive. Tony and I are being forced to work together. We're having to be open and honest with each other. And we're having to re-examine our priorities. (Is it really important to have the shampoo you've been using for 20 years, or can you use one of the 5 bottles that is already purchased?) I have faith that everything will end up ok and God will get us through.....and maybe there will be an opportunity for Tony to find more faith.

I try to keep a smile on my face, but my patience is not there right now. Especially at home. I'm quick to get frustrated and easily irritated. I know this is taxing on everyone.....but life still moves on. There's still babies to feed, trash to take out, things to do. I'd love nothing more than to have a few hours to do nothing but hide in bed.....but I don't see that happening for another 15 years.

Please pray for us. That finances get resolved, that we work together and support each other, that Dakota's "two-ish-ness" doesn't push me over the mommy edge, that God takes us where we are supposed to be.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's a Love Fest!

My dear friend Karen over at Surviving Motherhood gave me the nicest blog award this week. I'm displaying it proudly. Thanks friend!

Karen is also getting ready to release her new book "Finding Joy: More Confessions of an Irritable Mother." Click here to find out how you can win your own copy. Karen and her words have been an inspiration to me daily. Anyone who reads her blogs and/or books has an extra angel on their side.

Ok, so back to the award.....I'm supposed to pass it here goes.

Emily at According to Em - A wonderful preschool teacher who has become a dear friend. I know God brought us together so we would have each other to lean on and encourage.

Nana Reese at House of Whimsy - Ok, so she happens to be Emily's mom. But she's one of the best Nana's in the world! And her blog is so fun to look at if you like to be creative.

Now, for you recipients of this award, here's the deal:

  • Display your award.
  • Link back to the person who gave you the award.
  • Nominate other blogs.
  • Put links to those blogs on yours.
  • Leave a message on the blogs of the people you've nominated.
  • Enjoy your award!

Have a good day girls. God will get us through day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Witnessing to Frito

Considering where my brain has been at lately, this holiday weekend was fun. I got to go out with my friend. I got to play with my baby. And we went out to the park for an outing as a family.

One of the moments that brought a smile to my face today was when Dakota started witnessing to the dog. Frito never knew what hit him. Dakota found one of those little Bibles that only has the New Testament and some Psalms in it. She brought it to me and I told her it was a special book and she had to be very soft with it. After flipping through the pages carefully she decided to share the good book with Frito.

Frito is right at eye level for Dakota when he lies on the couch. She walked up to him, book in hand and started reading to him. I was smiling on the outside and rolling with laughter on the inside. She would read to Frito, turn a page and read some more, all with the book touching Frito's nose.

Something distracted her and the Book was put aside for a while. Later in the evening she brought it to me, sat in my lap and said "read". Where was I to start? Something short that might keep her attention for 30 seconds. They had the Lord's Prayer on one page, so we said that. That seemed to satisfy her.

The Book now lives in the book bucket with the rest. I'm sure it will get pulled out again. Watch out Frito, she's not done with you yet!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

God is Bigger than the Boogeyman

Dakota found my Junior Asparagus Veggie Tales stuffed toy this week. When you squeeze it, his eyes light up and he sings the chorus from "God is Bigger than the Boogeyman". She thinks it's fun....I think it's a reminder that has good timing.

There's been a few "boogeys" lurking out there this week. Mostly in my head. But they had planted themselves firmly in my brain to change my outlook on reality for a few days. First it starts with me and how I go about dealing with "boogeys"....then it spreads to being able to deal with a whiney two year old and a not-so-motivated husband. The standard snowball effect.

When it was its worst, God used a friend to hug me. I felt it. And from that point it started getting better a little at a time. This whole two year old behavior is new and challenging. Especially when I get home exhausted after working. Many nights I fall asleep sitting or standing while I'm trying to put Dakota to sleep. So my patience isn't always top of the line.

Oddly enough, Tony actually showed me, without knowing it, some ways to handle her today. I tried to ignore it and just have fun. We painted toe nails. We made a fort out of a card table and blanket. She's getting bigger and I'm anxious to play with her.

I need to get my own brain back on track on taking care of myself. It doesn't feel like I have the time for that luxury these days. Food has become the enemy again which means I'm eating more of it and not the good stuff. I don't want to give up, but I don't know how to keep going, if that makes any sense.

I'm so thankful God doesn't give up on me, even when I've given up on myself. That even after I've made bad choices, He's there to help me make it through the next crossroads. I try and look for the moments of light that he provides to remind me that all will be ok. Gracie was telling Dakota goodbye this week in the car while I was talking to Emily.....she yells out, "Penny, your car is messy just like mine!" Emily and I looked at each other and just burst out laughing. Gracie is always ready to provide a moment of light, even when it feels really dark.

I pray for time, space, peace of mind and wisdom to take care of myself. If I can get to that point, I think some of the rest will become easier. I guess it's not supposed to be easy.....but it can still be meaningful.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Do Over

Tomorrow starts a whole new week. I'm looking at it that way for many reasons. Apparently I had to fall hard last week to be able to get back up again. I guess in a way God showed me how much I really need Him. Well, I listened. And listened, and listened. I found new means of help. I want to listen to music all the time. It's so uplifting....I'd listen to it at work if they let me. It was a real saving grace last week when all felt wrong.

And then there was my friend, Emily. Who even though we didn't see each other when it was the worst, her being there made it better. She told me she cared. She understood what I was going through, even at times when I didn't think I did. Good things come to those who wait. Emily and her entire family were worth the wait.

So on to the new week. A time to start over. A time to try again. A time to not give up. Remembering that I'm never alone. Remembering that what I do is important. Remembering that God is all around me every moment.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mushy Brain Bedtime

My brain is mush. It's like that alot these days. I just spent two hours getting a soon to be two year old to bed. The other part that keeps my brain mushy is that I spend much time trying to figure things out. "Things" meaning "everything". Parenthood, marriage, motivation, husbands, faith.....just a few minor details in life. : )

I started a new book last night. It's in the other room and I'm too tired to get the name of it right now, but it's something about finding God's purpose for yourself in life. They're short "lessons" each day that end with things to think about the next day. The first day focused on remembering that our lifes' purpose is up to God. It's in His master plan. So why the heck do I spend all this brain power and energy spinning my wheels? Maybe I'll find that out in the next few weeks too.

I do feel better when I focus on Him. I didn't turn the tv on while I worked this morning. I'm not sure I was more productive, but definitely more focused and peaceful listening to music. The last few nights I've read my Bible too. Nothing specific, just flipping pages here and there, taking in the Words. It's amazing how every page has so much meaning. So much comfort in every piece of scripture.

There's got to be a bridge someplace that allows mushy brains a rest. Someplace quiet where there are no worries....just life.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Battle

I think the clouds outside have found their way into my brain. One day I feel like I have a handle on things and am headed in the right direction. The next day everything feels fuzzy and it's difficult to keep a positive outlook. I keep going back to God, praying, and trying to do what He would have me do. But the inbetween times are filled with headaches and food.

I've been on Weight Watchers for over 3 months now. Don't get me wrong, 13 pounds gone is better than 13 pounds gained. But I struggle....oh, how I struggle. Sometimes it feels like the battle between good and evil goes on in my head and it's all about what I'm trying to eat. I'm an emotional eater, I've always known that. I've learned alot the last 3 months about my patterns, why I eat, when I eat, etc.. But it's still so hard. I literally had to pray and talk to myself as I drove to work this week so I didn't stop and get fast food for breakfast.

I feel bad about myself that I have such a hard time controlling something as routine as eating. Why is it so hard to just say no, and do what I know I should? I feel better about myself when I make better choices. (And that's more than just eating choices) But sadly, sometimes it feels like I just don't care. A cheeseburger or breakfast burrito here and there won't make that much of a difference. But it does. Once the avalanche starts, it's hard to stop. And then emotions get involved and there's a downward spiral from there.

So what is my motivating factor in all this? Well, I need to lose 5 more pounds before insurance will even consider covering me again. Yeah, sure, I want to fit into a size 12 and be prettier. But that's all superficial. I need to work on being healthy to stay off high cholesterol mediciation and not go into diabetes. More than that, I need to be healthy to be there for my daughter.

But it's still so hard. Even knowing the reasons, having the right food available, and wanting to succeed......I battle it every day. I had one good week where everything clicked. It was easier. I'm not sure why it was different, but it was. Now I'm back to minute by minute fighting the grease and chocolate cravings.

God, please fill the space that feels void. The space which I try and fill with food. Give me the strength to make the right choices. Help me win this battle.

Friday, June 27, 2008

If I Paid You What You're Worth

We are very blessed with an in-home daycare provider who has become a close friend. She's a big part of why Dakota is doing so well with letters, numbers and colors, not to mention socially. I thought this week about how grateful I am that Emily is a part of our lives. I thought if I paid her what she was worth, what she deserves every week, I wouldn't be able to afford her. And it's so true......I can't put a pricetag on my daughter being in a loving home being taught values and skills when I can't be with her. Where when she's there, she becomes one of her own.

God must have had a specific lesson in mind this week, because I've been thinking about this concept for a few days now. How does Emily's value to Dakota and I translate to a bigger picture? Well, it hit me.....the way I feel about Emily - not being able to pay her what she's worth - is how God feels about me. When I try and grasp the enormity of it all, it's overwhelming. God knows my value, every day, and it's beyond measure.

The real lesson part comes when I take it one step further. He feels this way about everyone. So that means the person who drives me nuts at work, or the jerk who cut me off in traffic, has the same value as an individual to God. Even though I may not be able to see the good, He can see it perfectly clear. He knows what we're all worth.

It's beyond our comprehension and imagination that someone could value us this much. It gives me hope, pride, and peace knowing that I'm worth that much to Him. To be able to see that value in another, the way God sees them, begins to connect us all. We are all His. We are all a part of Him. We are all priceless.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Driving Time

I still drive Dakota around on the weekends so she can take a nap. Granted, it's once a day instead of twice a day with the gas prices, but we still do it. Today I realized those drives are not just for her, they're for me too. I talked to God for an hour. I prayed, I cried, I hoped. I prayed for family and friends. I prayed for my husband. I prayed for strength for myself.

I set myself on a new path today. It's somewhat still to be determined, but I could tell God was with me in the car. I have a good friend (Em) who is going through similar things right now. I felt God tell me that we have each other and we both have Him. Together, we would all get through.

The biggest feeling I got was that I needed to live. Not by other people's expectations or standards, but to do what I want. To do what Dakota needs. I want to become the best person I can so that I can be the best Mom I can be for her. If that means going places and doing things just the two of us, then so be it.

As I drove through the empty space of Stanfield to Casa Grande I teared up at the thought of living in the slower paced country. At first I couldn't tell if it was actually appealing to me or if I was just trying to escape. But what appealed to me, to the point of tears, was the simplicity of it all. A simple house, minimal "things", and a yard to play in. Sounds like heaven.

But heaven is wherever my little girl is. And I can work on making my existing life more simple. I finished the drive feeling hopeful and peaceful and connected to something. I was surprised at how fast reality slapped me in the face when I got home. But I need to learn to keep my own reality around me and not let others' get in the way.

My post may seem rather cryptic, but I'm sure there's a few that understand. The knowledge that I can create something with God's support is an amazing feeling. Keeping this at the forefront, making choices based on this, spending time with friends who understand, raising my daughter to appreciate it.....these are things worth the drive.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Baby Mine

I dropped off a baby at the sitter's yesterday and picked up a little girl. I'm not sure when it happened, but the change felt like it just took a few hours. Maybe it was the pigtails that she looked oh so adorable in. She walked out to the car with me jabbering and telling me stories. Then she sang to me on the way home. After dinner, she played all by herself for a while with the Little People farm. The bottle I gave her to get to sleep reminded me there's still a little baby-ness left yet. It's definitely a different feeling though. I remember the day when I didn't think I would ever get out of colic, or teething (still working on that one). And here we are starting to fight big girl battles of temper tantrums and kicking the door after I've said "no" 20 times. The Lord has carried us this far...and thankfully without too many battle scars. I'm reminded that everything is a phase and He will carry us through the next stage as well. How wonderful to know in advance that He will get us through!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The 201st Time

I feel like I'm finally making some progress in little tiny baby steps. After having weeds in the back yard over four feet tall, I called a landscape service. Within 3 hours they were working and finished after 3 hours. (Gee Honey, that only took a 2 minute phone call!) I made it through Wednesday, always a challenge for some reason, without going off program (I'm doing Weight Watchers). Thursday was a different story, but at least I made it through Wednesday this week. We're starting to get the dinner thing down. Penny makes the menu for the week, Tony cooks it. :) Dakota's finally in a routine of bath every other night barring any nasty emergencies. Which sadly is something for me to be excited about because there were many weeks when I just didn't feel like it and her bath nights were farther and fewer inbetween. I'm trying to do something to relax every night for just a few minutes. Usually computer time or reading. Of course I fall asleep halfway through a magazine....but it's a start. I've started taking showers in the morning -- woo hooo! For so long I told myself I HAD to take them at night because Dakota might get up too early. Well, she's been sleeping later...AND daddy's home this summer and just helps out (with a little arm twisting) if needed.

Sure, there's still more things that need work. The kitchen light that's been out for over 8 months. The files that need to be shredded from the last 3 years. Exercising....ewwww....the E-word. And I think I'll get there. As long as I give myself time. That seems to be the key. Allowing myself time to get there. Dare I say "allowing myself not to be perfect?" Eeekkk! Don't tell anyone. I might not get it right the first 200 times, but 201 might just be it.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Redefining Family

The word "family" was redefined for me yesterday by my co-workers. I have worked at an optomitrists office for a year now. The birthday celebration that these dear people gave me made me feel like the most special person in the world. Gifts and cards. Then sweet Spencer, who is 19 and will make someone an excellent husband someday, came in on his day off to play "Happy Birthday" on his violin. They went together and got me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. They took me to lunch.

Remember the oscar acceptance speech by Sally Field? "You like me, you really like me!" That's exactly how I felt. These people "get" me. They appreciate, love, and care for me. They are mormon, catholic, and christian. They are people I spend more time with during the week than I do with my husband and child. They range in age from 19-62.

I am so blessed and thankful to be a part of this family. I feel closer to some of them than I do my own relatives and friends my age. I know God put me in the middle of these people for a reason. I am able to completely be me with I am with them. Right now I can never imagine leaving them. But if I do, for whatever reason, I know that I will always be a part of that family. For now, I focus on being thankful and enjoying every minute.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What Matters

I look at her and nothing else in the world matters. It doesn't matter that my backyard has weeds over three feet tall. It doesn't matter that the dog desperately needs to be groomed. It doesn't matter that the vaccum cleaner broke. It doesn't matter than my windshield has a crack in it two feet long.

All that matters is that smile. And the hugs and kisses. My energy and focus is right where it should be. She's not even two and she can count to ten. She gets excited about macaroni and cheese to the point of squeals. She kisses her daddy goodnight five times before she goes to bed. She hugs the dog like he's her best friend.

It's hard to not have enough time or energy to keep "things" up around the house. Looking at the house, I could feel like a complete failure. Looking at what's important, looking at her, I know I am doing something right.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Taking Control Means Giving It Up?

I feel like I'm getting ready to take back control of my life. There's many areas - physically and mentally - that I've recognized as needing work. And I've come to the conclusion that I just have to do it! Whatever "it" is at the moment. So amongst my thoughts on my 45 minute drive home today.....I start thinking how I can take control again. How God might be a part of that.

Then it hit I have to take back control, or GIVE UP control to Him? I think there's probably a happy medium in there where God will walk with me hand in hand. But I have to go to Him with open arms, like His are always open. And I have to listen for His wisdom as I figure out what to do day to day. And I have to be thankful and use the skills that He has given only me. So I guess there's a few things I need to do too.

All I know is it's time to do something. And with Him it will never be alone.

Monday, April 14, 2008

God Hugged Me Tonight

God hugged me tonight. I physically felt his presence through Dakota while I was rocking her to sleep. She put her arms around my neck and her head on my shoulder and I knew. I knew God was using this beautiful little girl to hug me. It felt amazing. Uplifting, hopeful, peaceful. All things I haven't felt in a long time due to some life events.

But God and my baby just told me we would get through. Everything will be ok because they love me. Tomorrow we can start over again. And they will be there for me. And there will be more hugs. More hope. More peace.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's a Numbers Game

I've been sick for 5 weeks now. I've been to urgent care once, my doctor twice and am on my fourth round of antibiotics. Dakota's been sick for two weeks. She's been to the doctor three times in one month. Tony's been sick for one week and been to the doctor once. (I'm still wondering how he got out so good) Number of times in the last two weeks I've slept without a baby in amy arms all night....ZERO! :)

I have to focus on one thing at a time now, even though it's going to take a hundred times longer to get where I want to be. I've got to get Dakota better first. She slept the most part of 24 hours straight and woke up a new baby. Well, not THAT new....she's back to being cranky, which means she's on her way back to normal. I've prayed so hard that that little body just get stronger. Once I can get her back on a regular schedule and back in daycare full time, I can focus on the next step.

Getting me better. I'm not sure how that's going to happen or how long it's going to take. Every time I stop taking medicine my cold comes back and gets worse. So next week should be interesting. But only after I get my strength back can I really move forward. There's so much I want to do and I just don't have the energy.

I pray that God continues to carry us forward. Everytime I don't think I can go any further, something else happens or someone gets sick again and my limits are stretched. Through God I have been able to go further than I thought possible. It might include a quick trip to the looney bin at this rate, but I know He'll be there with me. The days are feeling like weeks and the weeks like months. It's frustrating when my brain is at one point and my body can't be there to act on it.

So here's to rest, and regaining strength, and God getting me to the downhill portion of this month, which might take a month to get to......but we'll be there eventually.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Whining Time

I'm going to preface this post by saying that I need to vent. And knowing that I need to vent means I know in reality everything isn't as bad as it feels this moment. That's probably part of the reason why I haven't written in over three because my intention with this blog was to stay upbeat and positive. And the weather has been stormy for the last few months around the Dolata household. I'm not sure why I feel like I have to apologize....we all feel things, right?

Dakota is 18 months old going on two. Yes, the temper tantrums and crying have started. If she doesn't get what she wants, she'll stand there and cry for five minutes. She screams and fusses every time you try to buckle her in a carseat or highchair. And I think she just cries for no reason at all. Did I mention she also has three teeth coming in at the same time? She won't let me do anything to/for her. I started questioning why God gave me this beautiful little girl if I can't take care of her. She has good moments too....don't get me wrong. There just weren't a lot of them this weekend.

So all of this puts me on edge....and I think I've fallen off a few times too. I've yelled, I've cried, I've tossed a toothbrush on the floor. Tony tries to help, he really does, but he has no clue. He has no idea of what I go through emotionally or what I feel responsible for. But of course he has his own opinion on those! I get very little done on the weekends because Tony doesn't like to do anything on the weekends. Which means I usually spend most of weekend taking care of her and driving around for two hours so she'll take a nap.

He keeps telling me there's really not that much to be done. He does the laundry on the weekends (I am thankful!) and some of the cleaning. What he means is there's not that much to do that matters to him. Let me give you an idea..........Dakota's room needs to be reorganized, the clothes sorted through and donated or sold or something. And then there's the letters that we've had for a year that still aren't painted. The guest bath needs to have the counters cleared out and the bathtub cleaned so Dakota can use the tub instead of the baby tub that she's really too big for. The hall closet needs to be reorganized and things thrown away. The guest room/office needs to have all the Christmas presents that are for next year put away, desk cleared off, closet with scrapbooking supplies organized, and my files are a disaster. Let's just say there's more piles than files. And that's only half the house!

Does ANYONE get this?

I understand that Dakota and Tony come first. I understand that a clean house really isn't that important. I understand that somewhere in this mess God has a plan for us. But I still have to make it all work. And I haven't the faintest clue how to do it. So I feel lost and confused and frustrated. And when I have a toddler who cries and whines most of the day, I feel really frustrated. We took rides today just so I didn't have to hear her cry anymore.

So now that I'm frustrated, I'm disappointed in myself because I can't handle it all. I can hand over the worries of the unknowns to God, but I'm not sure He can help me make dinner. :) And did I mention what a horrible mother I am because I don't know how to deal with my own child in my own home?

I'm going to start talking in circles soon. I'm thankful tomorrow is Monday and I get to go to work. My job and the people there are the biggest blessing. Dakota is off to daycare, which she doesn't want to leave at the end of the day anyway....yep, she likes the sitter better.

So I guess since Dakota whined and cried all day, I figure I deserve some whining time too. Lord, please help me pull myself and my family back together. Help me figure out how to manage it all. And find time for myself too. Please don't leave my side while I stuggle to make sense of it all. Only You can get me through.