Thursday, October 25, 2012

New digs.

I am blogging at Come on over, it will be fun.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Being Known

I, like many of you, have made a long and valiant list of new year resolutions. Usually, I am gung-ho for about ten days and then slowly taper off until the beginning of February when I can no longer remember exactly what I resolved to do because I didn't ever actually write them down. This year, however, it is January 12th and I am still compiling my list. I know I know, but better late than never. My list reads something like this:
Lose seven pounds
Stop eating sweets, okay maybe just on the weekends, or how about just homemade sweets Exercise more
Read more, more non-fiction, excluding fashion magazines
Learn to be a better cook, maybe just a healthier cook, how about just cook MORE
Blog more
But, my number one, the one that keeps haunting me is to know my children more, or better, really know them.

I completely failed my daughter this Christmas with my choice of presents for her. Okay maybe that is a little dramatic. I waited until the last minute to shop, like Christmas Eve last minute, and I felt rushed and unprepared. My husband and I decided on a moderate amount of money to spend (in case you were about to set off on a "commercialism of Christmas" rant:)) but, I let myself get caught up in the "toy of the year award" and big plastic toys with lights because it looked "Christmasy". Toys that merited the hard work of Santa's elves and his trip down our tight chimney. Although I listened to my daughter's list for Santa, I'm not sure I paid attention to the types of play she loves or to the characters she pretends to be or how she spends her idle time. I know it is just a gift and she is only three-years-old and there will be many more Christmases but, her lack of joy or surprise or wonder was lacking this year and it made me thoughtful. It's not that I felt guilty or disappointed its that I know what it feels like to be known. To receive a gift or item that I never even realized I wanted or needed and it be a perfect compliment to who I am, who I want to be. I want to give her that. To know her.

I said something out loud in small group a while back that has resonated with me - "It's good to be known." Isn't it? I sometimes ache for my college friends even though we have grown apart and have busy lives filled with children and careers. We grew up together. We lived together. They know me. They love me. That is why it is so hard to make new friends, right? I struggle with having to wait for the day, the moment when I can make fun of a fellow mom for wearing goggles to the swim play date and she laugh because she knows me, knows I am kidding - sort of. The goggles were ridiculous. (Love you Keisha!) I want new friends and new experiences but I ache to be known.

Psalm 46:10 was in my devotional reading the other morning and I wanted to roll my eyes but I read it even though I know it by heart. I read it out loud, listening to the words. Be still and know that I am God. Know that I am God. Know. Know that I am God. Know God. Know God. I heard my words, it's good to be known.

I want to know my children. To hear them. To listen to them. To know how to love them individually. To recognize the gifts God has given them, who he is molding them into and to, by his grace, compliment those things as their mother. I want to be known by them. I want them to see what God has done for me, what he has given me. I ache to know God. To understand that I am known by him. To be able to recognize his gifts, the ones I never asked for, did not know I wanted or needed, to recognize them as the perfect compliment to who I am and the woman I long to be. It's good to be known.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I like big...

What is the connection between boys and butts? I mean seriously. Grown men slap each other on the behind during professional sports, my husband is mesmerized by Beyonce when she does the butt shake thing and honestly, I can't blame him. I definitely do not think he is ready for that jelly. Old men in my yoga class pass gas audibly and offer no apology. My five-year-old son is no exception, he is obsessed with butts (except we don't say "butt" so it's booty). He loves to talk about tooting and poop and tooting and saying butt. The reality I'm facing is that he is only five and it is all uphill in this department from here. I've never met a middle school boy that wasn't obsessed with farting, have you?

Miles, my son, has recently discovered mooning. Who taught him that you ask? Oh yeah, it was me. Mom of the year has already been inscribed with my name, no worries. Of course, he thinks this practice is hilarious. In fact, a few weeks ago, he pulled down his pants in Fuzzy's Taco in Weatherford, TX to impress the coolest 10-year-old we know. Yes, pulled down his pants, underwear and all (thankfully no skid marks!) in the middle of the restaurant during the crowded lunch hour. What did I do? Oh, I was nursing my baby in the middle of the crowded restaurant and could physically do NOTHING! I narrowed my eyes into daggers, made him sit next to me with his head on the table. I wanted to laugh and kill him all at the same time.

A few days later, we were standing in line at Target and Miles asks why the lady checking our items has such a big booty. Nope, I'm not kidding. She was polite and kind and I was red-faced and choking on words as I swiped my debit card as fast as I could, refused a receipt, sprinted for the door. What is it with butts?!

On Thanksgiving day, Miles and I were in the bathroom together washing our hands and he splashed water on me. I leaned in close to his face and lowered my voice and explained why that was not a good idea. He is looking above my eyes to my forehead and he says, "Mom. Uh Mom. MOM!" I say, "What Miles, you're interrupting me?" He says, "Um..Um..that space between your eyes, um it looks like a butt crack when you talk like that. Sorry I said butt mom. It looks like a booty crack!" Then he runs out the door laughing.

I look in the mirror, trying not to laugh or cry and I realize, he is right. It looks just like a butt crack.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mother Guilt

This post is inspired by my sister-in-law's recent post on breastfeeding. She is a new mom and the post is very well written about her experience and lack of joy in breastfeeding. She decided to give it up and be a happy mom and therefore have a happy baby. Good decision!! Do what is best for you child, right? But the post is dripping with guilt. The very thing she is trying to talk herself out of, find justification for. I am not judging, I get it. I have guilt all the time, the guilt that only mothers can have.

She writes, "I understand that breastfeeding is the absolute best nutrition you can offer your child. It is a miracle really. That my body can create life juice for another human being is just amazing and obviously something that is natural and how God intended for things to be. So I understand that breastfeeding is best. But what if you were like me....what if you hated every minute of it????"

After my first child, I was confident I would breastfeed. I took the class, watched the video, yada yada. Well, it was hard. Really really hard. And painful (don't get me started on the correct latch business). After about one week, I wanted to quit. I was tired and stressed about knowing if he was getting enough. BUT, the alternative was formula and we couldn't afford it. We were already at a two hundred dollar deficit every month and I knew if I wanted to use formula I would have to apply for WIC to get it. I just could not bring myself to fill out the paper work. I was too prideful. So, I made myself breastfeed. I worked everyday to figure it out and most days I cried. By the time Miles (my son) was three months old, I had the hang of it. Yes, it was still hard, still awkward, still binding, but I was committed. By the time Miles was five months old, I was skinny. Like twenty pounds smaller than when I found out I was pregnant. My doctor told me it was the breastfeeding, it can often do that to women. I was hooked. I loved being skinny. So, I breastfed my son until he was 11 months old. Was I sad the day he weaned? Sort of, I also felt free. Pride made me breastfeed and vanity kept me going. Is that what "God intended"? Probably not.

My point is that every mom has mother guilt, of some kind. Just this morning, my children were standing up in the cart at Wal-Mart, eating a nasty donut, I think Lucy had taken her shoes off, Miles had a snotty nose that he was wiping on the cart, one of them started crying, and I started yelling and threatening to spank with the kitchen spoon. Does the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend any of these things? No, but I have to get groceries!

Last week, I found Lucy (my middle child) asleep on the kitchen floor next to her glass of milk. I had not had time to put her down for a nap yet. Looking at the milk reminded me that she probably had not had enough for the day and oh, fruits and vegetables, how can I fit it all in? If I let it, the guilt will eat me up. I will be paralyzed by standards that are told to me by "experts." Is breastfeeding best, sure. Is it natural or easy? No. Is giving your kids 9 fruits and vegetables a day best? Yes. Is there any way I can realistically make that happen?(Juice Plus people, I've tried it!) No. I do my best, continually strive to do better, beg for grace.

These are small issues, but let's not kid ourselves, it is the big ones that keep us up at night blogging. These are the seeds that sprout the life sucking mother guilt that we may never escape. Questions such as, do my children know I love them? Will they remember the time I left them in their bed crying because I couldn't handle it? Will they know that God loves them and choose to love him back? Will they learn to love people or only learn how to yell at them while driving? Am I teaching them to love their neighbor? Are they learning to make good decisions on their own or are they just afraid of my kitchen spoon? Do my fits of yelling or my spankings create deep seeded anxiety that will one day shape or alter their personality? Will they evolve into fine men and women someday? I could go on...

I know a mom who just buried her 30-year-old son. He died of a drug over dose, alone in his Ft. Worth apartment. He had money, a loving family, two sisters. He was given a good education, the best rehab experiences in the country, but couldn't kick his habit. He was thirty, a man, responsible for his own life decisions, but I can not imagine the guilt that haunts his mother.

Being a mother is anything but easy. It is often lonely (a person only has one mother after all) and I would wager it is the most challenging thing a woman ever does. But the rewards, both earthly and heavenly are intense. Tough, scary football linemen cry on national television when saying hi to their mom (not typically their dad). As mothers we have the opportunity to instill values, create traditions, pray fervently, offer encouragement, and introduce our children to the one true creator. This is big stuff and naturally creates big doubt about ourselves and the job we are doing with our little people.

So don't judge yourself. You are a good mom for caring so much and striving for the "best" to offer your child. You are unique and beautiful and exactly what your child needs because God knit him or her in YOUR womb. Yes, I am talking to myself.

Remember that people when you see me in Target with my hair tangled, eyes crazy, and my kitchen spoon hanging out of my purse so my crazy kids can fear it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

*Warning: this is an OLD summer post and mostly for my benefit to have recorded.*

Okay, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

May = a CRAZY month for the Hunt household! Lucy turned 2 on May 5th, Miles's Spring program at "school" was on the 6th, I turned 31 on the 7th, John graduated on the 8th and Mother's Day was on the 9th. Whew. I forgot how busy that week was! John won the Hemphill Award (the top graduate in the whole damn school award):) I am so proud! He has taken the long road for his Master's BUT, in his defense, during those 7 years he has had a more than a full-time job, two children, a crazy wife :), presented a paper at a bible association conference (I don't really know but its a good thing) and maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA. Wow, I am impressed more and more with him.

Lucy turned 2 and I didn't think she could get much sassier, but I was wrong. In her words, "I twooooooo". She is the funniest child I have come in contact with yet. She hides food in her pockets (so gross and often surprising), she is potty training herself, she loves her babies with passion, she is addicted to her paci and I even caught her climbing into her crib to get one last lick off the thing before breakfast. She kills me. Don't worry, we moved her to a big girl bed and she "wuv's her big girl bed!" She also has started saying, "Sank you so much mommy." Funny girl. She has a natural sense of humor that is really challenging to me when it is time to get in trouble. She will put her napkin over her face and reach out her arms and growl and say, "you scared mommy?" Her favorite outfit: a diaper, Fancy Nancy heels, head lamp around her neck on the "flashing" setting and her purple sunglasses - wow, it's a sight! :)

Miles is 3 (I often can't believe I have a 2 year old and a 3 year old!) and is becoming more and more mature. The horrible 3's are fading and I love how much he has grown up this summer. He is obsessed with numbers lately and uses them as adjectives and nouns and it is cracking me up.
A typical conversation for us:
"Mom, I think this truck is like 38."
"Like 38 dollars?"
"No mom, it's like got 42 and stuff around the side, you know?"
"Yeah, that's what it is, like 38 with 42 around side."
"Oh, well that sounds neat."

Yeah, I'm usually confused too.:)

In June my dear, sweet, slightly crazy mother hosted "Nana's Camp" for ten of her grandchildren. My sister's and I got to help out and it was FUN! Miles got to participate this year and even spend the night with his cousins. It was part of his reward for potty training completely. That's right, he just completely potty trained in May - a year in the making!!! He simply decided one day that the potty was cool and that was that. He doesn't sleep in a pull-up and he has only had one accident since the day he decided. Why oh why did I spend all that energy and prayer over it? Live and learn. :) Anyways, during Nana's Camp, my mom took all of the kids to see Karate Kid and Miles has been karate chopping everything ever since. That movie was definitely not age appropriate for him, but a little cousin peer pressure and I was sunk.:) He will bow, then pull out his blade hands and then you are toast! :) Ha! I caught him bowing to a poor, innocent, slightly weaker child in the Chick-fil-A play area and went running because I knew that kid had no idea what was about to come his way! Luckily, I caught Miles's karate chop mid-air and no harm was done. We now only play Karate Kid at home and only if the other person is willing to defend themselves. :)

The rest of the summer had been busy and full of play dates and flimsy back yard pools and hours running through the octopus sprinkler and popsicles and dollar movies at the theatre and story time at the library and birthday parties and weddings and too many sonic drinks to count. This has been one of my favorite summers because the kids are a little older and at a really fun age. I love all the stages, but it has just been a little easier this summer than last summer.

We only have about a month left and then school begins and life gets really busy. But, new things are on the horizon for us and that is always exciting. More details to come.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

At our house, we are learning (always learning!) about things we can say and things we can not say. This has been interesting and funny to say the least.

Miles came up to me after I got off the phone with my dear sister Sara and said,
"Do we say shut-up?"
"No, we don't say that. Where did you hear that?"
"Oh, when you were talking on the phone to Sara."

I thought to myself, did I say shut-up? Who knows, maybe I did. Sara and I talk about a lot of things and you just never know. :)

"Miles I'm sorry I said that on the phone to aunt Sara and I will try to be more careful."
"Okay, try not to do it."
(Love that kid!)

Hours later, we were sitting at a stop light and I was also texting while the light was red (go ahead and judge me, I should not do it). Apparently, in the mean time the light turned green and people were waiting on me. The man behind me honked and I looked up and started to go. I guess I was not going fast enough and the light was turning yellow and the man behind me starts honking without ceasing.
So I yell, "Shut-up, I'm going!"
"Um, mommy. Do we say shut-up?"
"Yes Miles, we do! I mean, no! I mean, sometimes mommy does! But, no she shouldn't. I'm sorry Miles."
"Mommy. Do you need to go to time-out this time?"
"No Miles, I will try not to do it again."
"Mommy. You need a time-out to 'member not to do it."

Maybe he is right.

So, I pulled over in the parking lot of a gas station and sat for three minutes. Miles was totally laughing and telling me what a good job I was doing and Lucy immediately started bawling. Okay. Time-out over, point made. No more shut-ups for anybody.

Four hours later, I went to the Kids Zone at the health club to drop off my crazy kids while I taught my class. One of the sweet workers, Ashlee, told me she is having her baby Thursday. I didn't realize it was so soon and I say,
"This Thursday! Shut-up! That is awesome! How exciting!"

I knew it.

I closed my eyes and waited...

"Mommy. Do we say shut-up?"
"Well Miles, I didn't mean it in a bad or unkind way. I was excited for Ashlee because she is having her baby soon."
"Mommy. We don't say shut-up. You need a time-out."
"Miles, I did not mean it in a bad way."
"Can I say shut-up?"
"Well, no..."

So, what else could a mom do but take her place on the naughty mat in the middle of the Kids Zone at her place of employment for saying shut-up three times in one day?


Monday, September 28, 2009

For the past year, I have been trying to keep hours at the health club as a Pilates trainer and teach group exercise classes and, somehow, not put my children in any type of formal daycare. As the days and weeks wore on, I caved. I could not live up to the goals of the health club and my expectations at home, not to mention scrambling for free child care when my allowed hours at the kids zone at the club were expired. Thus brought the crossroad - put the kids in daycare and work a little more full-time so the money exchange was worth it - or - quit Pilates and enjoy every single minute with my crazy kids until they go to school. Pilates claimed time, sweat, tears of frustration and precious moments away from my family beginning when my daughter was only 5 weeks old. For what? To quit when the going got tough? I have invested over a year of training, practicing, studying, and being away from home to find this outlet in my life that might help our family financially and serve as a way to challenge my mind.

Truth is, I love to work. I love to make money. I always have. I enjoy the challenge and the camaraderie of the workplace and I love to see the money get deposited into my account. I can't help it.

Then, there are my clients. My sweet ladies who trust me with their insecurities. Who show up and I know they are worried that they don't have on the right garment or that they are too heavy or too out of shape to merit hiring a Pilates trainer, of all things. I took that seriously and personally. I was once like them, vulnerable, yet determined to change the status quo of my body and health. I love seeing the struggle and sheer surprise when something is hard, yet they are able to succeed. When my 54-year-old client can pull her overweight torso in to a teaser on the Cadillac, I clap, I can't help myself. I remember the first day I ran for twenty minutes on the treadmill without stopping. I thought I was an athlete. Somebody give me a uniform and put me in the game - I was so confident! With in a year, my fitness trainer talked me into running a full marathon. 5 hours and 26.2 miles later, I laid down and wept at what my body could do, what strength God had revealed to me. My trainer was right, one more squat never killed me, it made me stronger. Not my body, one more squat did little for my legs, but for my mind. Pushing through made me confident. It made me unstoppable and unafraid to push myself beyond my perceived limits.

I have, however, decided to put Pilates on hold until my children are older. I do not want to regret missing this time and experience in their lives that will be gone before I can blink. I want to try my hand at this crazy and impossible job because it has always been a life dream. So here I am, in the throws of "stay-at-home" mom world and I am overwhelmed at the task at hand. My kids are spirited and dynamic and high maintenance and I love every single cell of their bodies, BUT - this is HARD. I am tired. And (like all moms) I need a break. I often look longingly at the list of daycare facilities that lies next to my computer so, I am pretending that I am in training again. Although it is hard, frustrating, seemingly impossible with few results thus far, I must push on. I must break free from my perceived limits and find my unstoppable attitude. One more more diaper change, one more disastrous trip to Target, one more load of laundry, one more time-out, one more Lego tower, one more pillow fort... I have to trust the pay off will be greater than I can imagine. I am praying for the day when I can lay down and weep at what I was able to do.