Friday, November 26, 2010

It's 7:20pm and All Three Girls are in Bed

We have those days sometimes. You know when:
*The oldest child cops and attitude and throws a rare tantrum,
*The middle child flaunts her independence like it's nobody's business, and
*The there is no remedy to calm the screaming baby.

Yup, one of those days.

Three females with emotional flare-ups at the same time, on the same day, and probably in the same room (and probably when my husband is at work).

Mariah just keeps saying, "no, no, no, no" just to be obnoxious.
And I ask Ambria why she is crying and she responds between broken tears, "I don't know. I just can't stop crying."
And Ashlyn just cries even though is she has been fed, burped, changed, and is being held.

How do I get through these days?
Call it a weakness or a stress reliever or smart, but I look forward to the quiet evenings AFTER all the girls are in bed. I love my girls dearly, but some days I need some quiet relaxation.
*I think about watching what I want to watch on television (that doesn't consist of Dora or Caillou or any other favorite cartoon of the day)
*I think about laying on the couch by myself (or with my husband) without any kids climbing all over me, kneeing my ribs, and accidentally pulling my hair.
*I think about what snack (healthy or unhealthy) to eat without having to share with anyone else and no one elses drool on it.
*I think about staring at the computer researching/looking at absolutely nothing of importance without interruption of kids saying they need/want a snack every two seconds.
*I think about sitting in absolute silence IF I WANT TO, BECAUSE I CAN.

So, call it "me time" or what have you, but this how I get through the rough days.

The picture below is just classic, it doesn't even need explaining.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Way She Sees It

Every parent (including me) dreams of a happy and healthy child, perfect. It is difficult to admit when your child is not "perfect" or there is some sort of "defect." But, you see, this is how God made you/me/them and HE loves you/me/them unconditionally.

Well, Jerry and I have been noticing something going on with Little Miss Ashlyn's eyes and our doctor also noticed that something wasn't "perfect" with her eyes. At this point, we aren't totally sure what is wrong with her little, beautiful, peepers, (we don't think it is too serious but it is noticeable) but our prayer is that whatever it is, the doctors will be able to fix her eyes and make them "perfect." She will be going to a specialist in a few weeks so we will know more then. You see, God also made doctors.

Our hearts break a little and I feel like more and more people are staring at Ashlyn when she is out in public (this might be true or it might just be my sensitive mother's heart). Our biggest fear is that others would make fun of Ashlyn's eyes. We desire for Ashlyn to see clearly the world as God made it, in its true beauty, a thousand colors.

To my fault, I have only shared pictures of Ashlyn when her eyes look "normal." This brings tears to my eyes, because this is not true. I only want others to see the "best" in my children. My children are not perfect, and surprise, they never will be. My first instinct is to delete "imperfect" pictures.

I wonder if God does that? Probably not.

So, (deep breath, Jamie) here is a picture of OUR BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER ASHLYN and we love her unconditionally (ok, I am crying a little)...

(pictures taken by Kirsten of KQConcepts)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What's In a Name

I often get comments about how unique or unusual our girls' names are, especially from the older generation (if that matters, but the older folk are the people that comment most and the people our age, just take it in stride). This past week, while at the doctor's office with Ambria, the doctor (yes, he was older) commented on her name and asked how we came up with it and if the name has a special meaning.

Special meaning?! Why, yes. It is OUR daughter. To tell you the truth, I really don't think it has a "so-called" meaning like 'the one who loves much' or 'child with big heart' or 'I like cookies' or 'my parents are awesome.'

This is how we came up with the name Ambria: My husband has a cousin who has a daughter named Ambree. We liked that name but we wanted a name that ended with an 'ia' or 'a' so we added that to Ambree, and ta-da, AMBRIA!

We love the name, but more importantly, we love our daughter WITH that name. She is unique. She is one of kind. And that name has countless 'meanings.'

(Side Note: After we came up with the name Ambria, my husband called his cousin to get his approval. We didn't want to 'steal' their name. It is interesting when the families get together and there is an Ambree and an Ambria).

(Another Side Note: Spellcheck does not like the name Ambria).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Fat

My husband and I have started to foster a positive self-esteem, and we see the extreme importance of this at a young age. We want to accentuate positive qualities in our three girls on not only the outside, but inside characteristics as well: everything from how beautiful they are, their intelligence, their sense of humor, their pretty hair, when they are kind, when they share, etc... We want this kind of affirmation to start in the home so the girls are less likely to seek it out from others (aka boys) or at least this is our prayer.

This can actually be a challenge because we want the girls to feel/see how genuine we are when we give them a compliment, so we don't want to over exaggerate and praise them up and down every minute of the day. If there were constant praise, our fear would be that they would become numb to it and start to ignore the affirmation.

Ok yada yada, you get the picture.

So, yesterday I overheard a conversation Mariah was having with her cousin over the telephone. They were talking about eating lunch at school and Mariah mentioned how she gets breakfast at school too but she hasn't been eating it because she wants to be skinny like one of her classmates!! NO! Please no! Not my daughter. Not at such a young age. Please!

As my eyes start to fill with tears, I am a little beside myself because I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say. I pray that it isn't true. Mariah is a very slender child and you can see all of her ribs already. I was speechless.

I hate that Mariah compares herself to other girls. Ok, insert here all the societal crap about being skinny and beautiful, five million different types of diets and workout programs, etc etc. I am all for a healthy lifestyle, but Mariah IS SIX.

It is times like these that I want to keep Mariah and the other girls in a bubble.

(Side note: a year ago Mariah cut her own hair because she wanted to look just like one of her classmates...thus began my eye opening experience of having a positive self-esteem at a young age.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Daddy's Girls

Not only did I have to adjust to having girls, my poor husband is right in the middle of estrogen central.

His days of watching football with the guys is now interrupted with girls dancing in front of the televsion with princess dresses. His nails get painted pink, and he learns the names of all the baby dolls. He is an amazing father and would/will do anything for his three/four girls. He has a fierce desire to protect.

What a good daddy!

It's A Girl

"It's a girl" was exclaimed on March 18, 2004, and Mariah Grace entered the world.

"It's a girl" was again said on March 21, 2007, and Ambria Faith came quickly booming into the world.

"It's a girl" was once again shouted on June 19, 2010, as Ashlyn Hope miraculously joined us as a family.

(Well, we did not find out the gender of the first two during the pregnancy, we chose to find out during the third pregnancy the gender of our, I guess "It's a Girl" was exclaimed actually four times if we want to get technical).

So, in come the loads and loads of pink and purple clothes. Pink blankets, pink bibs, pink everything. In come dozens of dolls, various hair do-dads, My Little Ponies, and even BARBIES!

Whoa! It took me a while to get used to, and even enjoy, all this feminine stuff in my own life, and now we have it times THREE. (Ok, ok, you can go on and on about gender roles and gender traditions, but I am not going to go there, my girls like pink more than blue and dolls more than GI Joe, although we do own 'such known boy toys' as cars and trains).

So, what does all this mean? Well, it means I have to learn how to put hair up, it means I have to play Barbies with my girls, it means I have to play 'beauty shop', it means the emotions are going to start flying---and FAST. It means we have four emotional females in the house. RUN!!

It didn't take me long for my motherly instincts to kick in, and having a girl was beyond joyous!

I am still amazed, humbled, blessed, and privileged to be the mother of three girls. I am so in love with my girls. I wouldn't have it any other way. At this point, I don't know anything about raising boys. I don't know how to relate to boys. I don't know how to play trucks with boys. I am grateful for Mariah, Ambria, and Ashlyn, and I am scared out of my mind to raise them. Parenting is beyond me. It is hard. This is where prayer comes in!!

I'm A Girl

Ok, let's state the obvious, that I am a female. Although this is factual, I have not always been comfortable in this skin. Growing up, I was more into dirt, climbing trees, and sports, than playing with Barbies, the color pink, and makeup. It took me almost 20 years to ditch the baggie sweatshirts and trade them in for more feminine styles. It took me almost 20 years to start wearing makeup (even though I owned my first makeup bag with 'real' makeup when I was 13).

So, there sat my makeup bag for 7 years. I would rather be playing sports.

I did own a few Barbies and I did play with dolls here and there, but it didn't take my older brother very long before he started setting my Barbies on fire and and cutting their hair, and I watched and laughed. (We didn't find this act gruesome, more entertaining that we were playing with fire and my parents were not aware of it). I also have an older sister, but she is five years older than me, so while she was out with her friends, I was digging for worms.

I hated pink and anything to do with pink.

So, that is why having not only one, not two, but THREE girls is a bit humorous in itself.

This blog is about attempting to raise these three, wonderful, glorious, blessings in this ever changing world. I do not have all the answers. These are just my experiences, my mistakes, my hopes, my struggles, and my joys of RAISING THREE GIRLS.

Here is a picture of my older sister, my older brother, and me as a baby.