Purpose for the Imperfect

home alone

Read this post before you think this! :)

I was obsessed with Home Alone when I was little. Watching it is probably one of my most vivid memories of Christmas growing up.

Funny thing is, back then I identified with Kevin – now, watching it again after all these years, I of course feel for the mom.

Can you imagine the trauma of making such a mistake? Forgetting your child behind as you fly out of the country? In a time when there were no cellphones?? I’d never forgive myself. Probably spoil him rotten so much afterwards that he’d be the 40-year-old living in my basement.

Guilt is pretty much part of the package in being a mom. There always seems to be something we could’ve done better if we only were better. Thing is, we’re all imperfect people, much like our kid.

In the Bible, when we read Luke’s version of how Christmas came about (and some really interesting stories after that), we realize the most flawless mother in the world probably wasn’t imune to it either.

Imagine that. Mary gets the angel visit saying God decided she’s about to be a single mother (which, if it would get people talking today, imagine back then) – that is, until Joseph finally got an angel visit himself. Instead of kicking and screaming, she graciously sings a song of praise. How’s that for perfect?

Time passes, she has the baby, and then another 12 years go by. Anyone has had an AMAZING experience with God, only to forget about it once life gets in the way? The story from Luke 2:41-51 hints that maybe parenting a holy child wasn’t necessarily a walk in the park. Actually what happens resembles a lot the Home Alone movie!

Mary and Joseph are traveling with a large group of family and friends – and since they have a well-liked 12-year-old boy, they’re expecting him to be socializing. They’re expecting one of the people they trusted to be watching him.

So this goes on for an entire day (can’t you see it parallel to the McAllister family flying to Paris??), until they realize, wait a minute – where’s Jesus? (cue to Mrs. McAllister screaming “Kevin!”on the plane.)

They go back and look for him for THREE MORE DAYS until finally finding him with the teachers of the temple.

As a mom, I imagine how desperate Mary must’ve been at this point. I mean, God gives her, oh, just the Savior of the whole world, and then she loses him?? What kind of a mom am I? , she might have thought. Maybe God chose the wrong person.

It makes me chuckle how, when she finds him, Mary scolds her son (as we all would have if our kid disappeared on us, no matter how wonderful they are). While she’s there busy scolding GOD, Jesus very calmly reminds her that she should’ve known He would’ve been in his Father’s house.

Another thing that intrigues me is that  Jesus’ parents couldn’t understand what he meant right away. I wonder if maybe they’d already gotten used to seeing Him as more their boy than really God’s son. I’m sure deep down they hadn’t forgotten what He was, but in the heat of the moment, maybe the grandiosity of it slipped their minds.

How often does this happens to us too? In life’s everyday’s inconveniences or mistakes we make, we forget we’ve actually been called to do what we’re doing. That if you’re a mom, God has appointed that child to you just as He did Jesus to Mary – and no, He does not make any mistakes.

This Christmas, my prayer for myself and all the moms I know is that we won’t live in fear as if it all depends on us being perfect. That the fact that we’re human does not take away any of the glory – or, as the world likes to call it, magic :) – of what God’s given us. And just as Mary did once she found her boy, that we’ll treasure all these things in our hearts.

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What to Do While You Wait

Hi! I feel like I’ve been making YOU guys wait for a new post for awhile :). Sorry about that. I had to take a little break to focus on other projects.

One of them was preparing for the ACFW conference! This time I didn’t have to travel, but that also meant I could only be there for a day (since there were still kids waiting for me at home). But still, I had a TON of fun catching up with people I usually only interact with online.

Among the many perks of going to an acfw conference: new friends and new shoes!

Among the many perks of going to an acfw conference: new friends and new shoes!

It’s hard to go back to the “real world” after conference. You go from a high of being surrounded by people who inspire you, to back at having to inspire/push yourself.

No one will be there to check whether you’re investing in your writing or not. Only YOU will know – well, you and God.

I’ve discovered that it is actually more important to maintain a Bible-reading/praying routine than a writing routine. Because after you take care of that essencial, everything else you need will come naturally.

Case in point: yesterday, with a big sleep-deprived headache, I braved through my next Bible chapter while drinking coffee and trying to keep 2 of my kids from killing each other.

I wanted nothing more than to close biblegateway.com and go watch a silly video on youtube. Ear phones sounded like a dream. I wasn’t in the mood for reading about how Paul was stranded at sea – not that it wasn’t a good story, but it just seemed too heavy of a subject for my drowsy morning.

Chapter 27 of Acts describes how the boat that took him as a prisoner to Rome got caught in such a bad storm they gave up all hope of being saved. Paul encouraged them, saying he had a vision that God would allow all of them to survive. He did say, though, that “unless these man stay with the ship, you cannot be saved” (verse 31) – so they went as far as cutting off the lifeboat and let it drift away.

He also told them to eat, instead of being afraid of running out of food. Not only they ate all they wanted, but they even lightened the boat by throwing grain into the sea. Soon after that they reached land.

When I read this story, I didn’t have the presence of mind to see any connection to my life. What did that have to with ME? I just needed caffeine. And a nap.

But today, as I woke up more rested, the meaning of it just came to me. This chapter is the perfect manual guide on what to do when we are waiting.

When we feel stranded – not knowing when or how we’ll reach any destination, let alone the one we want. And mind you, the people in the boat were far from perfect: only prisoners and people hired to kill the prisoners if necessary.

Still, God saved them all – if only they would believe He could.

This shows us the 3 basic steps we need to take while we wait (which is an ACTIVE thing to do, not passive!):

  1. Stay on The Boat – fix your eyes on the Place where salvation will come from;
  2. Cut out Temptation to Get Out of the Boat – even if it looks as necessary as a lifeboat in a storm;
  3. Lighten up, and enjoy the ride! – Am I the only one who loves it that eating was part of the plan? :) And just like they threw the grains into the sea to lighten up the ship, we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow either – because we WILL reach our destination.

What about you? What do YOU do while you wait?

Work Out-Motivation Killers

blog postIf you read my last post, then you’re aware of my trying-to-get-fit journey. If not, well, not much to tell lol. I’ve only been at it for a month, BUT as I’m working out every single day (missed only one), I’d like to share what’s kept me motivated.

I’ve tried to do this many times before. And I always thought that the reason why I didn’t stick with it was because I wasn’t a naturally fit person (whatever that means). But now I’m so excited ’cause I think I really found my groove.

Speaking of which, one thing I discovered is that EVERYONE has a “groove” – meaning, we were all made to MOVE. Now, we don’t all move the same way (or have the same preferences/abilities), but contrary to my previous belief, no, none of us is called be a couch potato :).

Turns out I was getting distracted by these workout-motivation killers:

Guilt – When you go “I’d better work out ’cause I’m fat,” instead of “I want to work out ’cause I know I can look better.” See the difference? Movement isn’t punishment, but a reward. Every time you set out to exercise, think that you’re giving a me-time gift to yourself, instead of a bitter beat-myself-up session. No one wants to go back to that!

Comparison – When you start obsessing over keeping up with your super fit friend who’s been at it for years. First of all, what got them there might not necessarily be what will get you there. For them jogging might be what makes them stronger, but for you might be sports, or dancing or whatever. Just try stuff out to find your thing! And don’t even think of comparing your body to theirs. Like that cheesy but true saying goes, “don’t compare your behind the scenes with someone’s highlight reel” (or your fat after a month of working out with someone’s years-long developed muscles).

*little update: on my last post, I said I’d gotten into running, but now I’m much more into strength training instead. I go light though – just 15-20 minutes every morning – but afterwards I feel ready to take on the world. I also try to go on a self-defense class once a week (another thing I had NO idea I was going to like – which is why it’s so important to experiment out of your comfort zone!).

Anxiety – When you obsess over results. I bought a scale and became frustrated whenever I worked extra hard and saw I’d gained a pound that day, or felt as bloated as ever. I started to feel down until I prayed and God reminded me of why I was doing this. The reason I decided to have a healthier living was, first and foremost, to FEEL healthier. Instead of rushing to weight myself every chance I could, I needed to stop and smell the endorphins lol. Just to be able to enjoy the day with my kids or spend days without feeling a debilitating sugar high is a reward in itself. Once I stopped letting the number on the scale dictate my mood, THAT’s when I started noticing changes (probably like that concept that if you watch the water on the stove it will never boil lol).

 

No More Couch-Potato Mom

wpid-2015-04-06-10.47.38.jpg.jpeg

The day before I started (just over 2 weeks ago) X today

This blog has been ignored for a noble cause.

Okay, right, I probably should’ve been writing no matter what (which is sort of the point of having a blog). But a couple weeks ago, I felt like I needed to add more actions than words to my days (or at least even out the number).

You see, being a couch potato comes very naturally to me. As a stay-at-home mom who only works on her computer, I had couch-sitting down to science. With the perfect squishy pillow for back support and throw blanket behind me for neck support. Add chocolate, and I’d be golden.

But then I started noticing something. While staying in this position gave me an illusion of well-being, it actually made me feel worse overall. I felt overwhelmed easily if more than one child-related need happened at the same time (and with 3 kids 5 and under, that’s pretty much a given). I’d get snappy at them if they interrupted me during a chore (or especially writing). More often than I cared to admit I was apologizing to them for being too harsh, having trouble multitasking and already wishing it was bedtime when I’d just woken up.

Something had to be done. This became more than just wanting to look better. I wanted to FEEL better. The day came when I got sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

It started innocently enough. One evening as David arrived from work, I rushed out the door with the excitement of a prisoner escaping jail lol. I was out of the house. On my own. That alone was cause for celebration.

But not only that, this time instead of just taking care of an errand, I’d take care of myself. This outing was all about ME. About increasing my stamina and decreasing my muffin top.

To my surprise, it felt AWESOME. Why hadn’t I done this before? I started the automatic workout time on the treadmill in our apartment’s fitness center, which turned out to be 20 min, so I was like, “okay, I can survive this.” Nothing crazy, just a brisk walk. I had no high expectations of myself. If I could make it there every single day for a 20 min stroll, I knew at the very least I’d feel more alive.

See – this was why I’ve kept it up no problem. The focus was on how I FELT, not how I looked. I wasn’t trying to impress/please anybody with my exercising skills. Not even with how much difference it could make in my body. What other people thought didn’t cross my mind. This was all about improving my health, first and foremost; I did this for ME, not for others.

I’ve hesitated whether to write this blog post ’cause I didn’t want to jinx it lol. But the happy news is that it’s been just a little over 2 weeks and I’ve already made progress in these areas:

– I lost about FIVE pounds & counting (I’m finally within the healthy weight range for my age/height!!).

– My workout grew to around 30 min (with crunches and bridge after treadmill plus weights every other day, then stretching);

– I run! Those who know me must realize what a miracle this is. I’m still very much a beginner though – what I do is “wog” (loved this term when I heard it: you jog for a minute, walk for a few minutes, then jog again for another minute. I’ve been trying to increase my jogging time though, and 2 min is so far my max).

– I also eat veggies! I mean, just 2, but hey, that’s MAJOR progress for the veggie-phobic person I’ve been all my life. My husband is a real foodie, and since he likes to experiment cooking different things, I’ve noticed that I don’t mind vegetables that are well incorporated into something I really like. So now I’ve been mixing minced spinach into my egg&cheese omelette in the morning and minced lettuce into my brown rice at lunch. And voila! I’m a vegetable-eating person. That simple! Makes me feel so silly for not doing this before. I’ve only just started it, and already feel a HUGE difference in how I feel afterwards and throughout the day.

– My body wants less of the yucky stuff. Now, don’t be fooled – I still get my chocolate. But now my portion has been much much reduced. I used to inhale an entire bar easily, and feel like I needed it all for nourishing. Well, maybe I did, since I didn’t have much else for nourishing. But now that my body already feels good, just 2 squares once a day (after a good protein meal) feels SO indulgent. I really have no motivation to keep eating because I don’t want to stop feeling as good as I do in that moment.

<3

<3

–  I choose supplements carefully. When I started thinking of improving my metabolism, I spent a good amount of time in the energy-pills aisle at Target, but none of them impressed me. Who wants to take 2 pills 3 times a day?? That’s an awful lot of pills. I didn’t want to get hooked on drugs and then unable to get out of them or else I’d gain back the weight. So I’ve chosen a simpler, more maintainable rout. Everyday I take the RAW One for Women multivitamin after breakfast (which actually gives you the feeling of having eaten something good for you, and not just taken a pill).

Aside from that, whenever I eat a bigger/more greasy or carb-filled meal, I take this supplement I discovered: Fat Fighter by It Works.What I love about it is its blood-sugar reducing powers. I had gestational diabetes on my last 2 pregnancies, and now I’m pretty sure I’m still borderline diabetic. So to say that this thing has helped me feel better is an understatement. Since I’m learning to eat better, I don’t even need it everyday, but when I do feel a just-ate-a-lot sort of crash, this raises my energy right back up. It’s awesome!

– Another miracle: I’m now an early riser. I’ve never, EVER been a morning person. Always liked my sleep. As soon as I realized that working out when David came home was getting in the way of good sleep, I’d just found my motivation to start earlier. After pumping myself up in the evening, I had a really hard time winding down to go to bed. Add that to trying to avoid devouring an entire chocolate bar (what I used to do every single night), then I had a full blown headache. So I decided to give starting at 6 in the morning just ONE try. To my utterly, complete and astonished surprise, I loved it!! It’s my me-time BEFORE tending to the kids, which despite the early time, still feels luxurious.

– I’m spending more time with God. I never planned for it to happen, but it did. Awhile ago, I read in a magazine that drinking just coffee before a morning workout, and only after that having your breakfast helps with your energy, so that’s what I’ve been doing. The few minutes I spend with my cup reading biblegateway.com on my phone are great not only to wake me up, but also to focus my mind on the right things. I literally feel like I’m having coffee with a friend who’s opening up to me and giving me advice for my day. It’s been very refreshing and natural.

-The kids are more fun. All of sudden they’ve gotten funnier lol. I just have more mental and physical disposition to keep up with them. I also feel like a more present/better mom. I’m even getting them to eat my brown rice+lettuce mix and they loved it! I tell them they’re magic leaves that give them super powers. Not even a lie :)

– I’m happier. I’ve realized that these 3 things aren’t once-in-awhile treats, but daily needs: to laugh, to be relaxed and to be content. At some point in the day, we OUGHT to experience these 3 feelings, or else we’ll get physically, emotionally and even spiritually sick. It’s all so connected that it blows my mind. I never thought I could be happy every single day just because I’m taking better care of my body every single day.

My kids deserve a happier mom. This is so much more than just improving the way I look. This isn’t about achieving an elusive model-esque look of a photoshopped woman in a magazine. It’s about making me the way I’m supposed to be. From inside out.

I Don’t Talk Loud Enough to Be a Mom

Hi! Long time no see. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Yep. That video sums it up. Granted, my kids are a little bit younger, but they’re already ignoring me. I go from cuddly/kissy mommy to angry “CAN’T YOU HEAR ME” monster in 3.2 seconds.

It’s just really frustrating. Super Nanny (the ever judging voice inside my head) says we’re supposed to have a authority voice, no yelling. Well, I try the authority voice. I try the sweet one. I try the funny one. Then I try the near-tears one. And then, as a last resort, I go to my signature going-out-of-my-mind/look-what-you’ve-done-to-me one.

I’m not saying my kids are like that ALL of the time. They can be wonderful. I think we’ve trained them on hugs and kisses pretty well. They’re very close, but that means that when they’re feeling naughty, they turn into a gang. As in I scold them, and they’ll look at each other and burst out laughing.

How can I win?? I mean, I’m glad for this camaraderie, but really, I’m outnumbered. Melissa and Andrew are growing more and more creative on ways to drive me crazy. This morning, after they woke me up with hugs (how sweet), they proceeded to throw play-doh into Holly’s crib AND pour sugar on the kitchen floor (they were trying to fill up a drinking cup – which doesn’t make it any better).

So, see. I had to go from nice mommy to sergeant before I’d even finished brushing my teeth. I literally ran around the house (apt) with foam in my mouth, trying to be fast enough so Holly wouldn’t eat the play-doh – and of course, VERY sternly put them in time outs (without being able to see each other, or else they’d still play at a distance). I nearly cried cleaning the sugary mess from the kitchen, then turned around to give them cereal for breakfast. Just another morning in my life.

Now gotta go, Holly just dumped the dirty clothes hamper over her head. Breathe in, breathe out.

Christmas Wishes for My Kids

A very fair representation of our personalities lol

A very fair representation of our personalities lol

Is it shallow that I’m already praying for their social life? :) But I don’t mean in a popularity sense – more like in a well-adapted, good head on their shoulders sense.

Growing up, I have many more memories of feeling awkward and out of place than settled. I was the kid who would rather blend in the background then risk rejection. Whenever someone did notice me, a countdown started in my head, as if waiting for a bomb explode. No doubt I’d do something ridiculous/dumb/socially unacceptable, and then back to the background I’d go. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, it never seemed to fail.

So I want something better for my kids. As they grow older, and come to think of it, even now, my wish is for them to be…

Socially Aware – What’s so dangerous about focusing on your own feelings is that it can make you oblivious to others’. I’m sure that, as a kid, at times I came off as standoffish or cold. Instead of wondering if somebody was going to come talk to me, I should’ve just reached out to someone in the same position. Today, I totally do – I cannot stand to see anyone feeling as insecure as I did because I KNOW how hard it is. It’s one of those things that, once you know, you can’t un-know. Like having starved once and then seeing someone starving when you do have food – you just have to share.

I hope my kids learn to channel their insecurities into becoming more sensitive to others – which is the reason why I believe God made us all imperfect (a.k.a. needing each other) in the first place. That said, I also wish for them to be…

Socially Relaxed – There’s something about me that I’d never known until recently. I have minor social anxiety. My

Not worried about this one - she's a social prodigy

Not worried about this one – she’s a social prodigy

breathing accelerates whenever I know I’m about to enter ANY sort of social interaction (aside from immediate family/close friends), and I have a slight tendency for high blood pressure (had that issue when pregnant/during labor as well).

Now, of course, I’m not a doctor, so I’m talking about what I’ve been noticing. Keeping that in mind helps me realize that it’s just the way my body reacts to new things, and it does NOT mean that I’m in real danger. It allows me to carry on smiling, successfully pretending that everything’s normal – not in a fake way, but more like in a socially-aware (see point above) “my panic has nothing to do with you” sort of way.

So whenever I see my kids hesitating, I worry that they might be going through this. I’ve already started coaching them to take deep breaths on the seconds before a tantrum (hasn’t worked much lol). I just hope that they learn how to calm themselves down in any situation, and handle themselves in a way that feels natural to them. Which, in turn, would make them…

Socially Secure –  I know this sounds like the synonymous of the previous point, but what I mean here is to have that sense of belonging that we all crave. Everyone, deep down, wonders where the heck do we fit in. Are we in the good moms’ category? Or the careless’ one? Are we in the smart, fun or pretty bunch? When people look at us, what do they see?

Instead of spending so much time trying to “become” something, my wish for my kids and for myself is that we all KNOW where we belong. That God’s got us in His master plan, and He’s not obligated to abide by our lists of “categories.” That we can live life and be free just as we are because we’re connected to Him. And there’s no better place to belong.

What about you? What do you wish for your kids this Christmas?

 

Cozy Winter Read

I love winter. One of things I enjoy most about it is curling up with a good book and a nice warm drink. And that’s exactly what I did today at Barnes & Noble (despite my very noble intentions on writing :).

This is my very first video for the blog! I’m nervous but at the same time relieved that I finally had the guts to do it. Nowadays I watch much more stuff online than on TV (if you don’t count Dr. Who marathons), so I might have caught the youtube bug (maybe)…

Let me know on the comments what you plan on reading this season!

 

 

Have Yourself a Simplified Christmas

Christmas card in the making (if I can get to it)

Christmas card in the making (if I can get to it)

Simplicity.

That’s all I want for Christmas.  But with three kids 5 and under, that’s pretty much reaching for the moon.

Well, doesn’t that saying go, “shoot for the moon, and if you miss it, you will land among the stars”?

Like when I set out to buy ONE Christmas decoration item with the kids. Sometimes shopping with them works out beautifully, but not today. I ended up the flustered, messy-haired, grumpy mother in the checkout line that childless people want to stay away from, so they won’t catch it lol.

In those moments, I always imagine the person behind me posting on facebook: “Just saw a mom that…” Fill in the blank with the worst description ever. Why do people do that? Posts like this make me cringe because I’m sure I’ve been caught in a “moment” as well. And really, who’s never had a “moment”? Why do we have to immortalize it on facebook?

Anyway, today I had a good reminder that not everyone judges. While I took more than a minute to exit the checkout line, a nice lady helped me put the bags into my cart (you know, for the millions of groceries along with that one item). But then a strange thing happened. I was much more embarrassed than relieved.

I think moms can feel so much pressure to look like we know what we’re doing (and not like a flustered mother) that when someone helps, we fear that our cover is blown. That’s how I felt. Instead of enjoying the help, I wondered how much of a mess I looked like. Isn’t it silly? If I helped someone, the last thing I’d want is for them to be self-conscious. Maybe I (and we) should just accept that we’re all just a big ol’ mess. That no one really knows what they’re doing and life is too unpredictable (much like kids).

What about you? Anyone else, besides me, dreaming of a simplified Christmas? I know the most relaxing thing you can do – tell me about it in a comment!

Writing: From Hobby to Work

Living the life!

Living the life

It’s been pretty crazy lately. Since my last post, I have:

– entered “the school years” phase of motherhood (which I so love-hate);

– moved to a new place (BIG love-hate);

– worked more as a freelance writer (LOVE the writing, HATE that there’s no internet yet at the new place).

Needless to say, I’m dizzy. For awhile, I didn’t have any writing obligations, which felt both freeing and exasperating. I could work on my own stuff, but it’s not the same with someone expecting it from you. It’s tough, as a creative worker, to force yourself to stop creating and just. do. it.

I’ve missed blogging too! Funny how when I had all the time (and all the internet) available to blog, no idea seemed to come. Now that I have to escape to Starbucks for a few precious minutes (such as now), I’m itching with millions of thoughts for posts. I want to write about:

– my impressions of the new area, the new apartment, the new school (for the kids), the new hazelnut machiatto addiction (I’ve crossed over to the dark side and now order a grande, no more a tall!);

– my slooooow (VERY slow, but sure) deliverance from an out-of-control Cadbury bars addiction;

– updates on the kids, because everyday they do something post-worthy.

But first of all, I wanted to talk about the differences between writing for fun and writing for work. Since (as you can tell above) I’m a sucker for bullet points (not lists, just bullet points – I’m not organized enough to be a list maker on everyday life), here’s what stands out to me:

– When you write just for yourself, things can take much much longer, especially with so many other urgent things happening around you (see “Little Interrupters” link above);

– Being hired to write first feels amazing (somebody’s PAYING me to do what I love! Wooo hooo!!), then inevitably will feel like a chore. Because, you know, you can’t rush the muse. But if there’s a deadline, the muse must not only be rushed but brought back to life with shots of caffeine lol. One must write with a headache. One must write with 3 kids screaming. One must write not just because they’re being paid, but because they NEED to have such a wonderful duty and would probably die of depression if there were no more deadlines ever.

All that said, I’m grateful for both. Grateful for the obligation to go to a Barnes & Noble (oh, the horror), even if the computer screen does seem daunting, specially if I hadn’t had much sleep the night before. But I’m definitely also grateful for the little breaks in between deadlines, when I be even more present with the kids, and am able to daydream about whatever I want to daydream about. Don’t leave me in this daydream for too long, though – after a few days, somebody please MAKE me sit down on a chair and write.

What We’ve Been Up To

*Warning: this post is randomness at its finest. Please do not expect it to have a point :)*

We’ve been busy settling in to the new city/new apartment/new church/new life and even new kids, since they’re now these crazy little wannabe-grown ups.

As I’ve said before, I absolutely love this area. We have so much available that we used to have to drive an hour (or catch a plane) to find. For example, I literally teared up when I saw we have an In-N-Out. That’s where David and I ate all the time when we dated/started married life in California. But then we moved to South Texas and I thought it’d be several years until I’d see one again (and pretty often my cravings were for exactly it).

Just a wee bit excited

Andrew's holding the excitement in (I think he was cranky-tired)

Andrew’s holding the excitement in (I think he was cranky-tired)

Holly preferred to eat her hat

Another thing I love about where we live are all the things we have to entertain the kids AND ourselves. I think this picture says it all.

What you don’t see: shops shops shops, restaurants and a movie theater. I honestly think this is what heaven will look like.

Speaking of the kids – of my Lord, they’ve been crazy. I’m so ready for them to start school (next week!!) Melissa’s growing so smart, and I can’t wait to see how much she’ll learn. Now about Andrew, I’m honestly just praying he won’t become the bully of the class…seriously, that boy’s got some strength. And mischief! I turned around for 30 seconds the other day and this was the result:

Whyyyyy????

Whyyyyy???? (thank God for nail polish removers)

That’s not even the worst of it. I’m afraid to go grocery shopping with him now, because he’s strong enough to pull an entire shelf down, making all the glass jars crash on the floor!! Oh my goodness, just talking about it makes me worked up. I’m so glad the folks at Kroger felt sorry for me enough not to charge us. But yeah, won’t be showing face there again anytime soon.

But before this becomes an Andrew-bashing post lol, just for the record, he is too the sweetest boy ever. LOVES to cuddle, hug and kiss. Says he loves his little sister often (even though he tries to press her head between his small-giant hands also often). He picks on Melissa a lot, loves to drive her crazy, but worships her (repeats all she says, laughs at all her jokes).

I fear him but can’t stop squeezing him at the same time

Needless to say, nap time is very cherished around here. My favorite things to do (besides eating chocolate) are reading and watching Youtube videos (preferably those where people have an accent).

This book has medicinal powers (much like sugar)

This book (by Betsy St. Amant) has medicinal powers – much like sugar

Torturing myself by taking a selfie while watching a beauty youtube channel (big earphones to block out kids going crazy at “quiet” time)

Melissa just started crying her head off, so I gotta go see what Andrew’s done to her this time…pray for me :) (and leave a comment!)