Sunday, May 12, 2013

Being a MOM!

   Today, on this Mother's Day, I can't help but reflect on what it means to me to be a mother.  The word that comes into my mind is sacrifice.   To be a mother is to sacrifice    We sacrifice our bodies, our time, our sleep, our education, our freedom to do as we please, and our sanity.  One must ask the question, is it really worth it?  
  Any mother can tell you that 9 months of pregnancy is not easy on the body.  For the first few months we get to feel like we've driven in a race car on Highway 1 for way too long.  Puking morning, afternoon, and night, and feeling so tired and exhausted that it's hard to even get off the couch.  Then our bellies begin to grow and our skin starts to itch because it's never been stretched like this before.  As a kicking baby starts to  take over our mid drift  we feel like every vital organ is becoming this child's soccer ball.  And finally, toward the end, we know this body can't stretch any more, these ankles can't get any more swollen, and this back is about to give in from all the pressure and pain.  Not to mention headaches, hemroids, and all those other fun things that come with pregnancy.  Once the baby is delivered, our bodies still suffer.  We spend the first six weeks sitting on a doughnut and trying not to cough or laugh, and our breasts become so large and engorged they feel like they are coming out our throat.  Once those things begin to recover and even years after the baby has been born, we still don't get that beautiful skinny body we once had back.  We get to deal with stretch marks, those pesky hemorrhoids that didn't seem to go away, and that pooch in front that no matter what amount of diet and exercise we do, doesn't  want to leave.  I call it "the mom pooch".  If this isn't sacrificing your body, I don't know what is.
  Along with our bodies we get to sacrifice our time.  Once that newborn arrives, we are on their schedule.  And it doesn't get better as they get older.  Our time becomes dedicated to getting them to eat, trying to teach them the essential things they need to learn, milestones if you will, washing their laundry, cleaning up their messes, picking up their toys, and trying to figure out how we can calm the 2 year old throwing the temper tantrum.  We spend our time running them to baseball games, piano lessons, dance classes, and to friends houses. We spend it breaking up brotherly wrestling matches or holding a crying child who has fallen and scraped their knee.  Even when we have a free minute, it's really not ours because at any second that child could call from school saying they are sick and need you to come get them or they forgot thier lunch or homework and need you to bring it to them.   Or like I had to just the other day, take them new clothes because they accidently peed their pants.  Our time is no longer "ours"  it is dedicated to those little ones that we have chosen to bring into this world, who might need us at any given minute, and we must drop everything we are doing and run to their aid.  
   Everyone knows that mothers sacrifice their sleep.  It's impossible to sleep while pregnant, because you can't get comfortable in between trips to the bathroom.  Once those sweet little ones arrive, we spend our nights feeding, rocking, and watching just to make sure they are breathing.  Even when they do sleep through the night, we don't because we feel like something is wrong because they are not waking up to eat.  We lay awake at night listening to make sure we can hear our 3 year old snoring, or just listening to the noises outside making sure no one is breaking in to take them away.  Although I haven't experienced it yet.  I know we don't get to sleep when our children are teenagers and we lay awake waiting for them to get home at night.  Even once they are home, I'm sure we lay awake wondering what they were doing and if they were making good choices.  Then we spend our sleep time praying and worrying for their sake.  Will we as mothers ever get a good night's rest???
   Mothers also at times sacrifice their education.  Some moms work because they choose to, and others work because they have to, and some moms get the opportunity to stay home with their children.  That is the case for me.  Although I LOVE staying home with my children, at times it makes me sad that I don't get to use what education I have out in the world.  I also feel like I would love to go back to school but can't right now because I need to be at home with my children.  It's hard to feel validated in this world when the only people relying on us are under the age of 18 (or 8 in my case).  We feel like we have so much to offer, but don't get that opportunity because we are "just stay at home moms".  Like that term means that we are uneducated baby making machines that can only communicate at a 3 year old level and only want to talk about the cute things our kids do.  At times I do feel like my education has gone to waste.
   We as moms also sacrifice any freedom to do as we please.  As a mom, you can't take a quick road trip, you don't get to have a girls night out every time you feel like it, you don't get to run to the movie, shopping, not even to the grocery store without planning it out days, even weeks in advance.  To be able to go do something fun, it requires finding babysitters, making it quick so you can get back home to your kids, or dealing with taking them along with you to everything you do.  Life can no longer have any spontaneity   And if you do try to do something spontaneous, it usually confuses the kids and turns out to be a complete and utter disaster.  Freedom is something we give up at delivery.  
   Finally, the last thing we sacrifice is our sanity.  Maybe not all moms sacrifice this, but I know I have.  Being a mom is mentally exhausting.  We are constantly having to plan not only our own life, but the lives of our children.  We stress about whether we are doing a good job or not, whether we are teaching them the right things, and if we are spending enough quality time with them.  We drive ourselves crazy wondering how they will turn out in life and if they will love us or hate us when they get older.  Not only is all of that mentally exhausting  but the day by day stuff is too.  We go crazy when our kids don't listen to a thing we tell them, when they do something we have told them a million times not to do, or deliberately disobey just to prove a point.  We lose our brains when they sass us, ignore us, and worst of all tell us they don't like us.  I think it's common knowledge that mom's are crazy and our kids made us that way.  
   So, am I complaining just to complain, do I not enjoy motherhood?  The fact is, I really am not complaining at all.  Becoming a mother is the best decision I ever made.  I would sacrifice all this and more to experience the joy that comes with being a mama.  There is truly nothing greater!!!!  The smiles, the hugs, funny things they say, they all make it worth it.  When you see the values you have so diligently been trying to instill in them shine through, it makes it worth it.  I just want to share a few experiences I have had lately that make it soooo worth it for me.  Nothing makes me happier than when I see my 7 year old helping his little brother out.  Like today, he made his bed for him.  How sweet is that?  Maybe he is learning kindness.  When he knows that the best present he can give me is a coupon for a "foot musoosh", that makes my day.    
I don't mind the sacrifice when I see him treating his friends kindly and being a good friend to everyone he meets. I find sooo much joy when my sassy little 3 year old who tells me daily that he doesn't like me, gave me a hug a few days ago and said,"your the greatest mom ever."  And today, how he was so willing to help out and give me many kisses and hugs just because it was mom's day.  Maybe, just maybe, he is learning that  love and family are all we have and are so important.  And last, nothing touches my heart more than a kiss and a snuggle from my little 7 month old at midnight when she should have been asleep but just wanted her mom to rock and hold her.  I think every mom feels a sense of peace when she goes in each night to see her sleeping darlings and realizes, they will only be ours for a short time.  As hard as each day is, each day is worth more than gold.  Would we trade motherhood for anything?  I know I wouldn't.  The sacrifice is worth every second I get to spend with my babies.  
"I'll love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."    

Year In Review

2012 is over and we are already 5 months into 2013.  Here's a quick little update on what has been going on in our neck of the woods.  In January of 2012, we received the greatest news ever!  We were pregnant with baby #3.  We had been trying for months and months before, so it was a huge blessing and we were very excited.  Around April we found out that we were going to have a baby girl!  The boys (and if we are being honest, I)  could not have been happier!  Although they would have been fine with a baby brother, they truly had their hearts set on a little sister.  In June, our little Sweet and Sour (aka Seth) turned 3 years old.  In July, Trevor hit the big 3-0.  Yes, my husband officially turned old this year!  We had a very fun surprise birthday party for him which took some trickery to actually get him to, but I did pull it off, and he was very surprised.  Then in September, the 18th to be exact, we welcomed our sweet baby girl into this world and into our family.  Her name is Finley Renee Reddish and oh what a blessing this baby has been!  She has been the most mellow, content, happy little thing from day 1.  We couldn't have asked for a better baby.  The boys adore her!  And she truly adores the boys.  What else????  Well for me, I was asked to help coach a high school JV softball team, and it was so fun to get to feel like I had a purpose outside of my home.  I really enjoyed it, and look forward to doing it again.  Trevor:  well he has been searching and searching for a new job since he got his degree, but still hasn't come up with one yet.  We have hope that it will work out the way it is supposed to. He also got to spend a few weeks on South Korea training with the military, and he really enjoyed his time over there.
   The year 2012 has been what I would call our "roller coaster year".  Without going into too much detail, we have been told 3 or 4 different times that Trevor would be deployed, so we did our best to prepare for that. (As of right now, he is not going anywhere).  The job hunt has been up and down and all over the place.  And many other roller coaster rides that come with life in general.  We are still not off yet, but hopefully this ride is coming to a close.  If i have learned anything from 2012, it's that nothing is certain til its in the past.  All we can do is hold on, stick it out, and try to find joy in the good things.  Because no matter how hard life gets, there is always something good, even if we have to look a little deeper to find it.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Keyton turns 6!

On January 12th, 2012, our little Keyton turned 6 years old. However, this is probably the last year I will be allowed to call him "little Keyton". He is getting so big and I truly can't believe ANOTHER year has gone by. Keyton had a fabulous year of being 5, but was so excited to turn 6. He thought that the day he turned 6 he was going to get to go to 1st grade, and was disappointed when he found out he had to finish out Kindergarten. Some of his highlights over the last year have been: our experience in Oklahoma, going to Seaworld, winning "the farthest hit" on his tee ball team, taking swim lessons and doing great in them, of course starting Kindergarten, getting to ride the bus to school, getting a new 4 wheeler for Christmas, reading with mom and dad the first 3 Harry Potter books, and playing a ton with friends. Keyton is all around a super star. He does very well in school and pretty much taught himself how to read a while ago, he does so good with anything athletic and loves it all, he is also a computer and video game genius, and as much as he would be embarrassed if I tell, he is a really good break dancer (but he will only show me). Anyway, he decided this year he wanted to have a Batman birthday party and we had lots of family and friends here to celebrate with us. It was a very fun night!
The Birthday Boy!
The Birthday Guests!
The Party Decorations!
After Keyton turned 6 I asked him a few questions. Here they are with his answers:
If you could have picked your own name, what would it be? CONNER
What animal would you be? A PENGUIN SO I COULD SWIM REALLY GOOD
Which is your favorite cartoon character? SPONGEBOB
If you could cook for me, what would it be? CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH VANILLA FROSTING
Do you dance crazy when on one is looking? YES
Tell me the five best things about you. FUN, SPORTS, GOOD @ BOWLING, GOOD BROTHER, LOVE MY FAMILY
What does the word "success" mean to you? DO IT GOOD
Would you rather be: an NBA ball player, the mayor, a famous explorer, or a movie star? Why? FAMOUS EXPLORER SO I CAN GO TO ATTACKTICA (ANTARCTICA)
What are the qualities that make a good friend? LIKE TO PLAY WITH ME, NICE, TAKE TURNS CHOOSING
What is your favorite toy to play with? ARMY GUYS AND SUPERHERO GUYS
What do you think of my driving? GOOD (WITH HIS THUMBS UP)
What is the most enjoyable thing our family has done together in the last 3 years? GO TO DISNEYLAND
If you were going to have a weird unusual pet what would it be? LEMUR
How do you describe me to your friends? COOL
What would you do if you were invisible for a day? GO TO SCHOOL AND TRY TO SCARE PEOPLE
What is your favorite candy bar? KIT KAT
What is your favorite food? WHITE MAC & CHEESE (ALFREDO) OR CHEESE PIZZA FROM PIER 49.
What is your favorite color? RED, BLACK, GOLD, SILVER, WHITE, AND PINK
What do you want to be when you grow up? CREATE RIDES FOR AMUSEMENT PARKS

Thursday, February 2, 2012


January is already gone and it seemed to fly by. This has been a CRAZY winter. We have hardly had any snow and honestly, it's kinda depressing. I do like the winter months if there is snow, but just the cold plus mud is not very fun. January is an insane month for our family. We have 5 birthdays to celebrate in the first 2 weeks so we run around and get to see family alot, which we love! Also, our sweet Keyton has one of those birthdays and this year he turned 6. He is getting so big. I will do a separate birthday post for him. Other than that, here is what happened in our January.

We have only had a couple decent snowstorms,

so we have taken advantage of each one of them.

Trevor helped the boys build this amazing snowman

late one night.

Seth is getting so big! He is still my shy mama's boy

which I enjoy most of the time. He thinks potty training

is for the birds and may be 7 before he decides to try it (GRRRR)

But I just can't resist those eyes! Can't you see what I mean???

His favorite things to say right now are:

I can't like you

I can't like my bed

I can't like my dinner

(are you getting the idea?)

and still his ultimate favorite: NOOOOO!

He loves horses and always wants to go to grandpa's to ride.

They love that he is a little cowboy!

We finally got to meet our sweet little niece who

was 6 weeks preemie. And she is such a doll. I couldn't

put her down. I love that cuddly newborn phase!

And doing what are kids do the very best and at least

3 times a day: drinking hot chocolate. I should buy stock in Nesquick

because I'm sure they are making a killing off of our household!

But with those 2 faces how could you say no????

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Year, New Goals

Now that the madness of Christmas is gone, and our pockets our empty, it's time to start thinking about "resolutions". I use that term loosely because honestly, I kinda cringe every time I hear it. We have to resolve to do all these things we know we are never going to accomplish. Top on my list (just like every other year and has yet to be resolved) losing some weight. The pounds seem to creep on, but why don't they ever creep back off? But that is another word i cringe at "DIET" just saying it makes me hungry! So let's say instead of dieting, I'm trying to be more cautious of what I eat and trying to work out. Another goal I have this year is to be better about my blog. I'm horrible at journal keeping and keeping up with scrap booking, so maybe if I can just throw a few pictures on here throughout the year and write about them I won't feel so guilty about failing at those other two things. Those are the only resolutions I will share on here, because they are the only ones that will be noticeable if I accomplish them (I'm hoping it will be motivation if others are watching to see if I actually do these things) The rest of my goals for this year are on a more personal level.
I can't believe how fast 2011 went by. It was truly the year that was "the best of times and the worst of times" I was terrified to move my family to Oklahoma for 5 months, but it ended up being so fun! We made some lifelong friends and some amazing lifelong memories. Keyton wants to move back there. It taught us that we don't need a big nice house and a gazillion toys (or even an oven) to keep us happy. We can have fun anywhere! It also taught me personally that I can actually survive without my family (i.e. sisters, parents, sister-in-laws, and best friends). Which I honestly didn't think I could do. I am stronger than I thought. There were definitely days that I struggled, but I did it! Now I just treasure living close to them that much more. So, coming home for us was very bittersweet. One of my fondest memories of 2011 was taking the kids to Seaworld in San Antonio. Seeing their precious faces the entire day was such a joy for me. I love to watch them discovering new things. And of course I can't forget our trip to Cancun. It was so fun to get to spend a week with Trevor without our kids. We had forgotten what that felt like. We got to do some amazing things and had so much fun with the group of friends that we went with. I will NEVER forget the color of the water, the view from my balcony, swimming with a dolphin, and of course Trevor nosediving into the pool! Good times. I can't wait to see what 2012 brings us!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Family Pictures

I've been wanting to get family pictures done all summer, but it was just always too crazy and busy. So then I said as soon as we got home from Mexico, we were going to get them done. Then we would be all tan and looking good! But then Trevor had a little accident in Mexico and had scabs and scars all down his face. So we have been waiting for that to heal up and for it to not be quite so pink. Finally they are done, and I don't have to worry about that for another year! Yeah!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Towboy hat and boots on

This is how we have found Seth sleeping a couple of nights in a row. In his "boots on" (that is what he calls his snow boots) and of course his towboy hat! I softly take them off and then first thing in the morning he asks, "where my boots on?" He loves this get up and wears if EVERYWHERE. I hid the snow boots the other day to see if he would forget about them and what did he go for? The complete opposite of snow boots, FLIP FLOPS. I don't know which is worse???? This boy cracks me up?