Tears, Tantrums, and Breakdowns

Today started out pretty well. Unless you consider the 5:30am wake up by Hudson the start of the day, then it didn’t actually start that well, but after I got another couple hours of sleep, thanks to my husband, I was feeling pretty good. I got up, put on a cute sundress, determined to hit up some garage sales before the heat of the day was too overwhelming. I walked into the living room and my Ezra gasped when he saw me, “Oh my! You look so pretty AND cool, mommy!”

See I knew it. Great day ahead.

However as I headed to the kitchen, I realized that perhaps not everyone in my family shared the same opinion about the day. The baby was crawling around on the floor, alternating between quiet whimpers and loud screeches that caused Ezra to cover his ears. I glanced at my husband and realized that the whimpering/screeching must have been going on for some time because he had clearly moved past the stage of trying to entertain or console the baby, and was neck deep in the stage where you try desperately to ignore the cries, and maintain some level of sanity so you don’t run from the house, screaming and drive away as fast as possible.

Uh oh.

Somehow we got the kids dressed and ready and into the car. There wasn’t much talking and the only way I could convince Ezra to leave the house was to tell him we were  going out to look for treasure (he is in a serious pirate phase). He was ecstatic and I knew that I had only delayed the meltdown until the point when he realized that there was actually no buried treasure to be found today, but sometimes you do what you have to. As we loaded the car, I crossed my fingers that the baby would fall asleep like I thought he would and that he wouldn’t have a full blown scream fest instead.

All went well as we headed out, the baby did fall asleep and took a nice long nap and Ezra stayed mostly entertained with the idea of the treasure that awaited him. Unfortunately there were hardly any garage sales today, apparently people don’t like to sell things in 100 degree heat, and the garage sales that were happening consisted mostly of elderly women’s clothing, a lamp, and toys that you wouldn’t let your dog play with. And of course, no treasure. We did find one marble maze game that looked promising so we used that to distract Ezra from the idea of treasure and promised him he would have more fun than he could ever imagine with that toy.

As the baby started to wake up we headed for home, at which point Ezra had to pee… “RIGHT NOW MOMMY! IT’S AN EMERGENCY!” We sped to Starbucks to be the inconsiderate person who uses their bathroom but doesn’t buy anything, and then headed for home finally. About a mile from home Johnny started pumping our clutch and muttering to himself. “Our car is broken,” is the only thing I really remember him saying. Unable to put our car into gear, we somehow managed to coast to our apartment complex entrance and then we argued for a couple minutes about how to get the car to my mom’s parking spot (getting it all the way around the complex to our spot was not going to happen) and finally I steered and Johnny pushed and we rolled into mom’s spot.

Fantastic.

The rest of the afternoon was a conglomeration of a makeshift lunch since we didn’t get to the store like we had planned (who doesn’t eat rice a roni with their turkey sandwiches?), marble games that are too complicated to figure out, a cranky, teething, baby biting me (HARD) while nursing causing me to scream causing him to cry hysterically, and more moments that were not our brightest.

Things eventually calmed down, as they always do, and now Hudson is napping, Johnny is hiding in the bedroom watching the Olympics, and Ezra and I are cuddling on the couch watching The Cat In The Hat. As I sat here literally able to feel the stress of a day that was supposed to be relaxing and fun and summery, I had to laugh (quietly of course because I don’t think Johnny is ready to laugh about it yet.)

The reality is that today was really not as bad as we think it was. Yes, an inconsolable baby can drive even the strongest of men to tears. Yes, our car breaking down is an inconvenience, and we might have to have a garage sale of our own to pay for the repairs. Yes, life can feel overwhelming sometimes. Especially the past few months which have included a huge cross country move, starting over in a new state, and my health issues that have caused my husband to have to carry more of the load for our family than I would like to admit, he really is amazing and never complains, yet I know that the burden is heavy on his shoulders.

But…

Oh my word are we ridiculously, disgustingly, incredibly blessed.

We have two gorgeous, silly, healthy boys who quite literally are the best in the world.

I have an incredible husband who has selflessly served me and our boys for the last four years, life has not exactly been what we expected it to be but he has never once wavered in his love and devotion to us. He is an incredible example of a godly husband and father, and he is also very silly, which I appreciate. I also appreciate the picture below because Hudson’s face is truly incredible.

We have said for years that we wish we had grandparents near us, we want for our boys to grow up knowing their grandparents and lets be honest, people who WANT to babysit your kids can be a huge help in a pinch! 🙂 Johnny’s parents go out of their way to travel to wherever we are living in the world and visit us and the boys and they regularly Skype with us and make sure we know we are loved and thought about. And now that we’re living in Florida, my mom AND my sister are living a 30 second walk away. It’s been almost ten years since I have lived near my family and it brings more joy to my heart than I can express when my boys literally race each other to the door when Grandma or Auntie Bam walks in. Ezra usually wins for now, but once Hudson is walking I think it will be a close race. I mean let’s be honest, who has a cooler Grandma or Auntie that these two?

We have (in my opinion) the most wonderful friends and family that anyone could ever ask for. We get to spend our life working in ministry and seeing Jesus do amazing things. And even more importantly than the incredible things I have already talked about, we are the children of a beautiful God who loves us even more than I love my own children. Unfathomable. But true.

Today was a little rough, but it was a lot more wonderful than it was rough. I just needed to write it all down to remind myself how true that is. And I get to hang out with this handsome face everyday, life could be WAY worse!

Besides, who needs a car? Ezra would think riding a horse around town was way cooler anyway.

Reminding myself today to…

Cherish the moment.

❤ Kelsey

From Ugly to Giggly.

I know that as parents we all have those days where we feel like we cannot do anything right, in fact any random person off the street could probably parent our children better.

Yesterday was one of those days for me.

I was exhausted, and my anxiety was winning, I felt weak and irritable and every little thing was frustrating me. Ezra just wanted to be a little boy and play but I was impatient and talked to him in a tone of  voice that I swore I would never use with my kids. After one particularly ugly moment when I was telling him not to push his little brother over (which was a legitimate thing to ask him not to do, but I could have said it differently), he looked at me surprised and then his face broke and he dissolved into sobs.

Through his tears he said, “I’m stupid, Mommy.”

What? No!

Enter my ashamed and broken heart.

I scooped up my not so little boy and I held him and I whispered over and over again how much I love him and how good of a boy he is and I told him all of the wonderful things about him. How silly he is, how smart he is, how creative he is, how kind he is, how much I adore him.

Chances are that Ezra has pretty much forgotten that horrible moment, but I can safely say that I never will. And as embarrassing as it is to even put that memory into writing, I want to remember it because I know that I will never be perfect. I will have more ugly parenting moments, but I want to learn from each of them and I want to teach my kids that even their parents will mess up, but we will always apologize, we will always learn from our mistakes, and we will always do better next time.

When Ezra woke up this morning he looked at me and said, “You’re the best girl I’ve ever seen in my whole life, Mommy.” Then we sat in bed together and giggled while Lola licked us.

It seems that he has forgiven me. I guess I should forgive myself.

I hope that someday Ezra reads this blog, and reads about this moment and can look at me and say that I truly have kept my promise to always love, always cherish, always apologize, always learn, and always grow in this journey of parenting. It is not an easy journey, and every family’s road looks different, but be encouraged that your kids see the best in you and you should see the best in yourself as well. It will make you a better parent.

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Carol Buchner

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Cherish the moment,
Kelsey