Saturday, June 30, 2007

this crazy world of blogging

Blogging for me has been therapeutic. It is a time for me to dig into my mind for a moment and examine the thoughts that are there. It is a time for me to debrief, focus, and write down those things I want to remember or think about more.

I logged on tonight not thinking about writing but exploring. I found myself winding through this crazy world of bloggers to lead me to several different women's blogs. All of them Christian women focusing on how to 1). love the Lord 2). Love their husbands, and 3). love their children. Amidst these different missions there is a need to be an example who the Lord is in their life.

This week I have struggled with how to bring the Lord into Eloise's life. Such a weird question for me to ask. I heard someone say, and i love it, that "your job isn't to raise a godly child, it's to be a godly parent". So true and I have said it over and over to myself many days. But i don't think it clicked until "puking day" (see post below).

I was in the middle of a conversation with a wonderful friend who is one of my many mommy mentors. I asked her this question of how to bring up the subject of God. Some of you many be wondering why I haven't done it yet. Well, I'm afraid of Jesus becoming habitual and non-personal. Of Him becoming something that is mundane. I'm afraid of her becoming me. Not me now, but me as an adolescent. I don't want for her to go through the pain I did. I want her to choose Jesus and submit to him forever. Never straying and never testing the waters on the other side. (side note: I want all this for Lily too, but Eloise is the one in the forefront of my mind)

I am afraid of praying at dinner, that it will become something that is just a process we go through before eating and not a time of thanks for all the Lord has given. I am afraid of praying before bed for fear that it will become just part of a routine before laying our head on the pillow not seeing that this could be a great opportunity to ask the Lord for rest and rejuvenation.

Right before Eloise threw up my friend made a statement that has been grinding away in my mind ever since. When I asked her how she presented Jesus to her kids, she didn't even have to think about it. She said I talk to them all the time about God. It was as if I had asked her a foreign question..."I just do". She said that if we are as parents are spending time with the Lord and making it an active part of our life, it should just flow out of us. Smack....I'm hit with a ton of bricks.

I am NOT spending the time I need to with the Lord. I communicate with Him alot but I'm not studying him. I am a spiritual person but I lack the the discipline of spending time in the Word.

I need to make this a priority. Not only for myself but for the spiritual sake of my family. I need to find a great book to help me on my way. Something to kick start this whole study thing. Any suggestions are always appreciated.

So I will update you on how this journey progresses. I can't say it will be perfect, but it will be me struggling to learn more about who the Lord is in hopes of living it and passing it onto my children.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

puking toddler or pooping baby

All moms know that newborns or babies within the first 6 months have blowouts. They often happen at the worst time - at the mall, in the car, or on you! All happen when you do NOT have a change of clothes in your diaper bag, or better yet, a spare diaper.

But the #1 worst situation a mother can find herself in is a puking the car! Yep, Eloise threw up today in the car. (the second time, last time I was pregnant). She was carsick after driving a few twists and turns. That doesn't speak well of her mama's driving.

I scrambled to turn the car around and had small anxiety attacks while trying to figure out which crying baby to bring in the house first. Lily won out.

I arrived home to strip Eloise down in the front yard and unlatch a car seat full of puke. (I grabbed my rubber gloves first). I threw her in the bath and hoped and prayed that this wasn't the flu. Thankfully an hour later she was bouncing off the walls and having a nutritious dinner of 3 banana muffins, popcorn and cheese. I'm nominated for supermom for that dinner.

I survived without crying. But I did have many conversations with the Lord about why I feel this is trial by fire. He hasn't responded yet. I'm hoping to get some time on Saturday to discuss it further with him.....without children in tow.

any tips for getting puke smell out of car seats will be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

counting to 10...with a few missed in between

so here is a video of eloise counting. She misses a few numbers but she sure is cute.

watch here!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

update on the sleep front

even with all the chaos of people in the house, lily slept until 2:30 and then until 6:30. So only 1 feed the whole night. Tomorrow is needles (I heard someone else call it that, I thought I would adopt it) for sad. We will see how much our chunker weighs.

thanks for all the prayers for's working!

pool fun

okay, so I've videotaped Eloise sliding down the slide with her cousins. she is loving life. no need for mama.

I can do this whole technology thing...I'm so proud! Here's the video!

hope it works

Sunday, June 24, 2007

phew...that was close!

Eloise is always coming up with funny sayings. She doesn't know how funny she is yet, so that makes it all the more hilarious.

Today while playing in her room with daddy she stepped up on her stool, leaned against the wall and said "phew, that was close!" What made this even better was that she put her hand on her head.

Daily she amazes me with her communication. This is why we felt is okay to move her to the toddler room at church.

We have been having a bit of tears when going to nursery. She has started to cry once we drive into the parking lot. So today when we arrived at nursery, no one was there. Those of you familiar with Montavilla know that there is an influx of baby girls. There were 5 born the same year as Eloise, she is the youngest.

They all had moved downstairs to the toddlers without our knowledge. To avoid further tears, and b/c Dave was not about to leave her in a crying mess, we marched her downstairs and away she went into the room. She was back with her cronies. There was a little bit of ruffled feathers because she wasn't quite 2, but we are going to continue to bring her to the toddler room. They need a little humor down there.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

we may be getting somewhere

Lily woke again last night at 11:30 and I fed her. Then she woke at 2:30 and we battled until 3:20. She then slept until 5. The time she was awake seemed to be getting shorter.

I feel a little more rested and I'm hoping that tonight Dave will feed the 11:30 and then I can sleep until 2 or so. That would be so fabulous to get at least 5 hours of sleep....ahh, bliss.

Moving away from the sleep world, I think we will venture out today to the farmer's market. I love the idea of buying the veggies from someone local. We also loved to get Eloise the flavored honey stick's. She loves them.

My mom is coming down tomorrow with my niece and nephew. I'm pretty excited to have the help and for my mom to clean my floors. Eloise loves my niece and is attached to her from the moment she arrives.

Another happening of note, my grandma just found out she has lung cancer. A bit shocking, but not really. This is her fourth cancer. She has had breast, colon and throat. She has survived them all so we are hopeful for this one. It is stage 1 which is positive, but she will still have to do chemo. She is in good spirits and knows where she is going if the Lord does happen to take her home. She is 79 and very busy so she is looking forward to "slowing" down. I don't really think she will, but she has high hopes. She is amazing women who is very blessed to have 12 Great-grandchildren. Lily is #12. I just can't believe that. I will never be able to see that unless Eloise has children when she is 18 and then her child does too....but let's hope not!

off to have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sleepless night #2

So last night was awful for several reasons.

1. lily woke at 11:30 and then again at 2:30 and stayed awake until 5:30 when I finally fed her. Then didn't fall back asleep until 6:15. That equals about 2 hrs for me. Feeling a little off kilter this morning.

2. I had dinner club, which is always, but when I spend time with alot of people I get wired and have a difficult time coming down.

3. a parenting issue with Eloise that had my mind racing ALL night long.

4. I am the world's worst sleeper. it takes me forever to go to sleep w/o all these other things going on.

So what is this teaching me? Well, this morning, one thing in particular strikes me. As I am trying to soothe this child into a place of rest, I feel the Lord trying to do the same thing for me. To settle me and allow me to rest. It is interesting to me how much more I learn about my relationship with God through my children and especially their sleep.

It gets me thinking about Yoga again and possibly teaching a class. I haven't done yoga for about 8 months, but I love it. It was the one thing in my week that allowed me to take a deep breath and spend some rest time with the Lord. So I think I may look for a studio around here and see how it inspires me to get back into it and possibly teach it to other women to rest too.

I really need a facial at Dosha.......laying on a table with soft soothing music and sitting in their steam room....ahhh bliss. Maybe someday soon.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

sleep training night #1

So the little stinker surprised me yet again. I had plans set to feed at 10:30 and 4. Lily had other plans.

My wonderful friend Jenny came over last night and we spent time talking until 10:30. Perfect! Lily would wake up at 10:35 and I would go to sleep until the next waking at 1:00. She didn't wake up at 10:30. She woke at 1 a.m. okay, so I had to feed and then figure out when I would feed next. 5 a.m. So she woke again at 3:30 and we battled it out until 4:15 and then she slept until 5. I figured I would feed her and get some sleep. It's amazing how it never works out that way. She slept until 6:30 and was up for the day.

The good thing in this is that i watched her morning feed and she wasn't even hungry. So it gives me hope that this will all work out in the next couple of days.

It's amazing to me how much this is about a battle I feel I have to win. But in reality, it's about teaching my child to sleep and helping her to get what she needs. There are benefits in it for me but the benefits for her are far greater...she gets a mommy that is well rested and therefore able to give more smiles. And Eloise needs a mommy that is able to be creative and patient, especially when she throws her tantrums.

So I will report back tomorrow as to how tonight goes, but I think by next week we may get back on track. And then, Wednesday................vaccinations. Let the fun begin all over again!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

sleep training camp

As some of you may know, Lily has been a challenging sleeper the past week. Today, I am done. We have decided that tonight is the night to begin sleep training camp.

So the plan is to feed her at 10:30 and 4:30 a.m. Wish us luck and pray for us as we begin. I have a difficult time hearing my children cry, so I will have to be hands on with her most of the time. I know that after a week it will all be worked out, it's just enduring that week.

I will sleep again.

Monday, June 18, 2007

this was hilarious

eloise decided to take a "drink" out of her pale. She got a little more than she bargained for.

My first public trantrum

Yep, that's right, my first public tantrum.

So Dave is sick with strep throat. I'm praying every minute that I don't get it because I can't imagine where I would find time to rest. That's another subject...anyway.

He went to the doctor this morning and I had my weigh in at WW. I figured I would bring the girls and not stay for the meeting. In and out - 10 minutes.

Upon arriving to WW the store next door had about 1000 balloons around. Those who know Eloise know that she is a balloon freak. She can spot one 100 yards away in a store and yell balloon until she is able to get one. When her quest for one has ended with no balloon she has handled it quite well. NOT TODAY!

So on our way out she ran towards the balloons and I told her we couldn't have one. She threw herself onto the ground and proceeded to scream and cry. I choose this time to relax and hope that she would walk towards the car. Thankfully she did....screaming! And she screamed the entire trip home.

I am at loss. What do you do for public tantrums?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Will I ever shower alone again?

It's rare that I shower by myself these days. Two things usually happen. Lily is on the counter in the bouncy seat, staring in the mirror or Eloise is standing in the shower with me yelling "rain" as she tries to catch the water. Some days it's a combination of the two. With Eloise, it often involves a slip in the shower from the soap, which always results in crying or her pointing out parts of my body, "boobies mama" or "Lily's milk". I prefer Lily on the counter, it's more peaceful.

However, there are days when I wait until Dave is up and I purposely lock the door to have 5 minutes of peace. The peace is quickly disturbed when I hear Eloise yelling through the door "mama, open the door". This begins to happen just after I step into the shower.

So I ask, will I ever shower alone again?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

it's difficult, but I'm up to the challenge

A good friend of mine affirmed for me the other day that my stage of life with these two young ones is difficult. I needed to hear that because I had been downplaying the chaos of it. I kept telling myself to "step up to the plate" and "grin and bear it". That I needed to be one of those moms who never lets on to the difficulty she is really experiencing. I think, for me, it would be unhealthy to continue this way.

I don't believe that complaining about your children will reap goodness. But I do believe that there has to be a place where you can tell it like it is. To say that this is tough.

As moms we are in this crazy world where 15 minutes of good rest will carry us thru the rest of the evening. We listen to incessant crying and whining, sometimes for hours on end. We battle naps, mealtimes, diaper changes, tantrums, etc...any mom could make lists that would go on forever.

After dealing with all of this, it's okay for me to say that this is difficult. It's extremely difficult but I'm up to the challenge. I'm up the challenge of raising two respectful, genuine, faithful, loving, and beautiful daughters.

BTW - my friend reminded me that I need to rest. That is my challenge. To rest with God, to rest with Dave and to rest in general.

the bumpo seat (a.k.a. the roaming noam)

We discovered this fabulous invention, the bumpo seat. I knew about it when Eloise was born, but didn't want to spend the money. Fortunately, we have a friend who was able to let us borrow hers.

I can't tell if Lily likes it or is just humoring us by tolerating it. But it's this funny little pod that can be moved around from place to place. It reminds me of the roaming Noam. I just never knew where she, it, are going to end up.

We'll have to see how many places we can take her picture in it. Maybe we can start a map on our wall to document the places she has been.

We love this seat and Eloise does too.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

pray for jody

My dear friend and mentor, Jody, is heading out tomorrow for the Middle East. She is traveling there to do ministry in Syria, Beirut, and Egypt with a few women who live in the region. Jody will be gone 6 weeks and is going to be missed by so many, including her 3 children, 4 grandchildren, and her husband Dan.

Dan and Jody hold a special place in our hearts as they ministered to us during our difficult time of transition out of ministry. Jody has met with me on a regular basis to talk about the Lord, life with children, and to challenge me spiritually.

I feel emotional about her leaving as this region is pretty volatile toward Christians, Americans, and sometimes women.
I will be praying:

  • that the Lord protects her and those she is working with
  • that her time apart from her family would be bearable
  • that Jody would feel the Lord hand upon her constantly
  • that she would yield the Lord and his lead at all times
If you think of her, please send up a prayer. If you would like to follow her journey you can click on the link on the side.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

to sleep or not to sleep

my day started out rather early and with a swift pace.

2:15 a.m. - lily, nurse (she had been asleep for 7 hours)
3:35 a.m. - lily fussing. binki
3:45 a.m. - lily still fussing - uggh, prayer "please go to sleep, please go to sleep..."
3:50 a.m. - go in, she is soaked. Yep, diaper leaked...lovely. Change, nurse, sleep
4:05 a.m - I'm back in my bed, Dave is sleeping in the middle...snoring of course...bitter
4:35 a.m - lily again. Seriously child....she somehow falls asleep
7:00 a.m. - lily, nurse, asleep
7:20 a.m. - "mama" - Eloise wakes, Soaked! diaper leaks yet again. I unzip jammies and the diaper has exploded. Diaper crystals everywhere. Into the bath she goes.
7:40 a.m. - lily up, eloise still in bath. I feel like I'm in a pinball machine boucing from each room trying to get everyone ready.
8:00 a.m. - Little Einstein's. My favorite song of the day. Finally, breakfast.
8:20 a.m. - time for Lily's first 45 minute nap of the day. The battle begins. I'm just praying while she is crying for the Lord to provide some amount of rest and relief for me today so I don't lose patience with my children.
8:30 a.m. - Lily asleep and I'm on the couch to sleep through Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Unfortunately Eloise used that time this morning to slide down the pillow my head was on.
9:15 a.m. - lily up and the day begins

the blessing and rest the Lord provided....1 p.m. Eloise napping, nurse lily and put her to sleep. I go to take my nap (Dave is home) and hope that we get at least 45 minutes. 2 hours later we are all still sleeping!!! I was blessed with a small two hour window peace and rest. The Lord provided above and beyond all comprehension and I am thankful.


So here I to this world of blogging.

Not quite sure what this will become, but, I'm figuring this to be a great outlet for me to debrief about my day and to let friends and family at a distance, in on some of the daily musings of the Ahl girls and their parents.

Things to note. I am not a great writer, have horrible grammer, and use elipses alot....Of course always at the wrong time. But that's just me.

choosing a title was so hard for me. first is was life with two, then and unorganized life, and others titles that had to do with life. finally, I settled here. Life with two girls.

So..the two girls. Eloise Caroline, 20 months & Lily Grace, 3 months. As most of you know, Lily was an unexpected suprise. They are 17 months apart and very much different. I am eagerly awaiting the day when they can play together and Lily's personality will be revealed.

So this will be the daily accounts of us. Hope you find them interesting, funny, thought provoking, and an interesting view into the life with two girls.