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Katie B's Parenting Journal

Entry 2
One Thing at a Time!

DinnerThe past two weeks have just flown by! Lilly finally recovered from croup and the steroids. She is back to herself, only a little more clingy to me than usual. I'm not really surprised as all the kids have gone through this phase. I actually kind of like being her "one and only." Ella had her spring music concert for school and did a great job. They held the program in the civic center theater. Ella had never been there or even in such a large theater. She was definitely distracted by everything but still performed with her usual great confidence. We then celebrated Passover at our house with some good friends. We are not Jewish, but find the Passover feast to be a wonderful picture of Jesus and a great way to teach the kids our beliefs. Also, I just love getting out our fancy china and lace tablecloth to serve the meal!

Saturday was Owen and Ella's first soccer game. It was so fun to see the differences in them. Ella has gotten pretty competitive with each season she has played. She's actually pretty good! This is Owen's first season, and it is so fun to watch him play with pure joy. He could really care less about scoring or even getting to the ball. He just loves running with the crowd!

Saturday night our next door neighbors came over to help the kids decorate eggs. Their children are grown and living in other states, so we are fortunate enough to have them spread their immense love to our family. We truly have the greatest neighbors in the world! Finally Sunday was Easter. We went to church in the morning and then to my family's house for the day. It was drizzly out so the egg hunt was held in the basement. It was really just a nice day to visit with family, but by the end of the afternoon my thoughts were turning to Monday morning and the busy week ahead of us.

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Sometimes when I take a step back and look at my life, I wonder why in the world I have four kids! Don't get me wrong, I love each of them and they were each very much wanted. What I mean is that I'm a terrible multi-tasker. When there is more than one child in need at any given moment, I begin to feel overwhelmed and incapable. When I am trying to get the dishes done, I often shoo the kids away until I finish instead of interacting with them while I work. I think each kid has taken a huge chunk of my short term memory away. I just know that one of these days I'm going to get a call from school wondering why I haven't picked up my child yet! I have a suspicion that other moms feel this way too, but we are bombarded with images of moms that can keep their house sparkling clean and still have time and energy to bake a snack and play a high energy game of hide-and-go-seek. That really isn't me. I am mostly trying to just fake my way through this stuff. I can keep the house picked up and the doors to some of the rooms shut--please don't try to open any of my closets!! I constantly have to look at the calendar. I'm sure that when someone mentions doing something at a future date, a blank stare comes over my face until I remember to say, "I'll check my calendar and get back to you." Unfortunately I usually forget to ever get back to them!

God definitely gave me the right kids, though. Every night at bedtime, Ella asks what the schedule for the next day is. It is often the same, but it has become a ritual that we all count on. It is a reminder to me to look at the calendar, to remember if I am the drop off mom or the pick up mom for carpool. So far we have avoided any major scheduling catastrophes. The people who know us best are very forgiving of whatever state of "clean" (or dirty) our house is in. And I have learned to just lower my standards of what I think my life should look like and I'm accepting what it actually does look like!

My true heart is for more adventure and fun with my kids. I don't want to look back years from now and wonder why we never went anywhere or did anything fun. Yes, I am satisfied when my bathrooms are all clean and sparkly, but I'm even more filled with joy when we ditch the cleaning for the day and head outside for some spontaneous adventure. And along the way we might miss a soccer practice or I might flake out on a parent meeting, but my hope is that my kids look back at their childhoods with happy memories--even if it includes not remembering what color the carpet was because it was always covered with books, toys, and clothes!

It's a beautiful day outside today and even though I desperately need to clean the bathrooms (potty-training boys sure do make a big mess!), I think we will head out and find some sort of adventure to have instead. But I'd better check the calendar first--just in case!!

~ Katie

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