Friday, April 29, 2011

Expressing Gratitude

Lately I've been struggling some -- for a variety reasons, about a variety of things.  I'm working on finding peace, and living there.  I know I am blessed, and I hesitate to complain about anything.  Still, though, sometimes I feel dispirited.  In response to this, I've decided to put more focus on the things for which I am thankful.  So... I hereby declare Fridays as the days when I express my gratitude.  I would love to hear from you, too, if you'd like to share your own gratitude list!

1. Sunday was Easter, so above all else this week, I have to say that I'm truly thankful that God sent his Son to earth to live among us and die for us!  That sacrifice is one for which I will never be deserving, but will always be grateful!

2. Also regarding Easter, I'm very thankful for a day spent with family and dear friends.  My brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Ann, are amazingly generous hosts, and continually show love to my family and me! Spending time with the Schmidts and the Valentins is a blessing all its own!

3. Monday, Gary took me to lunch!  Mary was at the sitter, so we enjoyed some time to talk in the middle of the day.  I sure like him a lot!! :)

3. This week I was so thankful to see the sun on Thursday, after so many days in a row of rain.  Thursday evening we saw a rainbow, and Gregory said, "That rainbow is a promise from God."

5. Mary and I had a tea party this morning and watched the Royal Wedding!  The significance was lost on her, but she enjoyed the scones I made and the water she drank from her Cinderella tea set.  I dressed her in a dress for the occasion, and when I put it on her, she said, "I think I'm a princess."  She's so smart! :)

And, of course, I'll always be grateful for these cutie-patooties (but please don't tell Gregory I called him that!!):

Ruthie, Mary and Gregory

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Put down the candy!!

There's just too much Easter candy around here!

Here's the deal.  Mary is really revving up the tantrums!  She's throwing fits multiple times a day, and she is not very discriminatory as to the place (home, church, Whole Foods... all today!!).  My plantar fasciitis is flaring up big time!!  Running hurts, walking hurts, sitting here hurts!  Ugh! The laundry is piling up, the house is definitely not cleaning itself, my brain is turning to mush, and guess what I'm doing?  Yep! Eating Easter candy.  That's what I'm saying:

There's just too much Easter candy around here!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Potty Training *UGH*

Isn't the third child supposed to potty train herself? Or can't the big kids just do it?  I'm too old for this! Mary will be 3 in June.  She's not even close to losing those diapers!  In fact I don't think she's ever done anything remotely close to peeing or pooping in the potty.  She enjoys playing with the cute little potty I gave her for Christmas, she just doesn't like to use it for its intended purpose.  In fact, yesterday she wanted to watch Ruthie go, and afterwards I said, "Do you want to sit on the potty, Mary?" She responded with, "No thanks." Then after a short pause, she said, "Marys don't sit on potties." See what I'm dealing with?

About a month ago, I realized that Mary was not going to potty train herself and that no one else in the family was at all interested in the job.  So, I ordered a book from Amazon called, "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" with the byline: "A Tested Method for Teaching Your Child Quickly and Happily".  That sounded perfect for me.  Quick and Easy.  Imagine my disappointment when the book came in the mail and I realized that it was 179 pages of very small print and very few pictures.  Shouldn't a book about toilet training in LESS THAN A DAY take no more than one hour to read?  I guess I envisioned reading the book and then potty training Mary all in the same day!

Needless to say, I haven't read a single chapter of the book, and Mary is no closer to being a regular potty user.  In fact, as of yesterday, she still thought anyone named Mary had no need to do anything except wait for a loving adult to change her diaper, because we all know (don't we?) that "Marys don't sit on potties"!

Any sage words of advice out there?  I know I've potty trained two kids, but for this one, I'd just like a quick fix!

Good thing she's so cute!!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Great Ambitions v Small Success

I recently got a fortune cookie that said, "Do not let great ambitions overshadow small success."  This one made me think.  I thought about both halves.  What are my great ambitions?  What are the small successes?  There are definitely days when I feel neither ambitious nor successful.  I'm not sure which one makes me feel worse.

In thinking about it, though, I realize that I do have some long term goals.  I want to run a marathon.  I would like to have a strong marriage and a good relationship with my kids for the rest of my life.   And I hope to make a significant difference in this world.  These seem like good lifetime goals, that are not easy, but are attainable.  Not really ambitious, though, right?

I've been thinking about the small successes too.  While I don't always feel successful in my roles of wife and mother,  I realize that if I'm paying attention, I can see the successes.  The things that I do each day for my husband and kids are immeasurable in their impact.  When I see and hear about the way my kids interact with each other and with the world around them, I know my work is not in vain.  There are days that feel like just getting to the end of them, without any major problems, is a minor success all its own.  When I think about the relationship that I have with Gary, and I know all the work that we've put into it, I can see the fruits of my labor (and his!).

So, do all the small successes add up to the realization of my great ambitions? Can I settle into the daily grind, celebrating the small things, and knowing that through them,  I'm making a significant difference?  Is it ok to just have attainable ambitions without being particularly ambitious?  Will the recognition of the daily success stories make me feel more successful in general?

When it is all said and done, I hope that what I do each day, will bring me closer to my long term goals -- especially as I strive not to let the worry over my great ambitions overshadow all the small success in my life!