These are the days

I have so many fun things that I haven't taken the time to blog lately...Amelia started purposefully smiling yesterday. Previous to that, I think that she smiled due to gas or as she was learning to use those facial muscles to produce a smile. She has dimples on each side of her big smile. I think her eyes will stay blue. I love to hold her while she's sleeping, and sleep with her in my arms. Today is the second day that she has gone to sleep in her cradle after being laid down there awake.

Benjamin spent a week with Cowboy Grandma and Grandpa. We met in Brady to pick him up on Mother's day. He is always good for them and they enjoyed him so much. He is a different child when he is not fighting to get his way, or being made to wait for something. He is quite demanding at home...the image of a spoiled little brat comes to mind if you were to see him scowl and stomp around when he doesn't get exactly what he wants immediately. He helped Grandma plant lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers in the garden. When Grandpa asked him what they planted, he said "Salad!"

There is usually not a day that goes by that I don't feel blessed to be a mom of seven beautifl children. There are days though that I have to remind myself...actually tell myself into remembering that I am not alone. I am not the only mom who faces parenting challenges and that I must continue to be persistant, not give up. Well, today is one of those days that I feel trapped in my own house. I have a fussy infant, a two year old that has learned to say "go away dummy" and says it to me, and a four year old who threatens and scowls and throws a temper tantrum by lying on the floor kicking repetitively and screaming as if someone has just broken his leg. He hasn't thrown anything into the wall today yet, but there are new holes in each of the four walls in his room since the fresh coat of dry wall patches and paint have been applied as the result of books and toys being thrown at them.

It is 1:33 and I have spent the last hour and 15 minutes literally chasing two boys around and putting them back in their beds for naps in between tending to Amelia who finally gave up and closed her eyes for a while. I want to spank each of them each time they open the door, but I think God's grace helps me to just pick them up and take them back to the bedroom and shut the door again. Besides, they've each had a spanking already and it didn't seem to mean anything beyond I'm a mean mom. Lucky for them Jakob came to their rescue and offered to lay down with them. I am not ready for either of them to give up their naps. They've not napped well or at all in the last three weeks or so, and combined with early mornings and late nights (they are put to bed at 8:00 and that battle goes on for 2-3 hours too), I know they're not getting enough sleep. They're little growing bodies need the sleep and I need them to have a rest during the day because my mind just needs a break from the constant fighting, in-and-out of the house, in-and-out of the cupboards, tracking in mud, wiping jelly on the couch, spilling something on the floor, pinching the baby while she's asleep, etc...

I have so many things that need to be done and it is difficult to get to them because there isn't a moment of quiet or opportunity to start and complete anything. The older kids still need help to get started with much of what needs to be done...mowing, planting, watering, scrubbing, etc.

I'm not having a pitty party for myself, just finding myself needing to vent a little. Needing to as I said, remind myself that this is a parenting struggle, not a Janel struggle, and to remind myself to count my blessings, even if they're crying, fighting, whining, complaining...hopefully soon, they'll be sleeping at which point it is always easier to feel blessed because they look like sweet little children. It's easier to forget how much hair I was pulling out earlier. It is not an easy job. I want to give in often and just say, "Go ahead, watch whatever you want, don't take a nap, eat as much candy as you can, don't do any chores, stay up as late as you'd like", but I don't think that's going to go very far in the way of producing healthy, well-adjusted children.

Oh, these are the days...when I feel both blessed and cursed! Here comes another tattle tale...I think they hate each other most hours of the day...maybe I'm the one who should go take a nap!!