Henry the Toy

I gave up a long time ago at trying to understand the thinking of a three year old’s brain. It was more exhausting than trying to understand why Kanye West chooses to be such a racist! Actually, Kanye is more frustrating to me than my three year old, but they seem to think alike. Hmmm…does that mean my three year old is an extremely intelligent individual, or that Kanye West has the brain of a three year old. I don’t know that I want to give Kanye a bigger head nor insult my own child’s intelligence. Anyways, I’ve diverged from the original reason for this post…Henry the Toy!

That’s correct, you did read that. I often wonder if Davey truly sees his brother as a human being, another living, breathing gift from God, or if he just sees him as a toy placed here for Davey’s entertainment or at times, misery.

Not a day goes by when I’m not saying one of the following phrases:
“Don’t pull your brother by his shirt.”
“Don’t put your brother in a choke hold.”
“Don’t head butt your brother.”
“Don’t push him over.”
“Get off of him.”
“That’s an illegal move…there is no horse collaring in this household.”
“Stop treating your brother like he’s a rag doll.”

Well, actually there doesn’t seem to be five minutes which go by in this house when one of those phrases isn’t said. The only true peace my husband and I get is when one or both of the boys are down for naps. I didn’t do this much refeering between “children” when I was negotiating huge advertising or distribution contracts in the corporate world, and trust me some grown men can behave worse than children. People who tell you or seem to think that being a SAHM is a walk in the park, clearly have been sniffing the glue much too long.

What I’m seeing more and more of lately, in addition to above said phrases, is that Davey truly thinks that Henry’s sole purpose on this earth is to do exactly what Davey says when Davey says. It’s becoming more and more clear every day, but really didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks until today. My three year old thinks that his one year old brother should do nothing more than serve him.

OK, Ok, for all of us out there who had siblings, we all have done this to our younger siblings or were subjected to it by being the younger children. Perhaps it’s a rite of passage, but truthfully I’ve had enough! I’m sick of Davey forcing, yes forcing, his brother to stop what he’s doing in order to play with him. I’m annoyed with hearing, “mommy, make Henry play with me. It’s his job. He must do what I say. I didn’t say he could play dinosaurs. I didn’t give him permission to leave. I am the boss.”

Excuse me? You’re just a little peon in the kingdom of mommy and daddy, who are the supreme rulers. This is not a democracy, this is a dictatorship where you have no rights, least of which is the ability to boss around your brother! These usually start out as my thoughts, but seem to quickly become part of my verbal lexicon, forever thrusted out into the sayings from mommy, never to be removed. Only, I get to boss anyone around, including daddy! Just kidding, honey! You know you’re my equal. :)

Seriously, I watched today as Henry picked his brother up out of his chair, and carried his 22 pounds across the room because it was imperative for Henry to play with Davey, only Davey. I know my child is smart, both of my children are, but it’s tearing at the foundation of my patience (what little of it I have) when Davey treats his brother this way. I’m told he’ll grow out of this, but when? Until then, I suppose I must resign myself to the fact that I’ll be spending the better portions of my day protecting Henry at least until he’s old enough to pay it back to Davey. By the way, I’m hoping Henry does end up bigger than Davey and I genuinely hope he dishes it back out to Davey twofold. At that point, I’m just going to toss them both out into the backyard and let them duke it out.

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Keep It Shut

Last week I started my first ever Bible Study. I’ve always wanted to participate in one, but trying to coordinate my schedule around everyone else’s was just quite impossible. My cousin turned me on to a ministry who does online Bible Studies, Proverbs 31, and I am officially hooked. So, why am I blogging about participating in a Bible Study? I’m glad you asked because it’s almost as if my cousin knew that right now, at this point in my life, I really needed something like this. She knew because God told her, and He waited until at this point to tell her knowing that I have a huge problem with keeping it shut, my mouth that is.

I’m two weeks into this Bible Study and I wish I had started it sooner. It’s put a whole new perspective on things in my life. It’s made me realize what I was doing, things I was either completely oblivious to or things I was telling myself to forget about. And it’s helped me with my most important role to date…being a mother.

The title of the Bible Study is “Keep it Shut”. It basically helps you to realize what to say, how to say it, and perhaps when it’s best to say nothing at all. All of which I have a severe problem with accomplishing. I just wish I’d had the book a week sooner because it is now opening my eyes to a lot of behavior of which I could use assistance.

You see, two weeks ago, my husband and I got into an argument. It wasn’t just simply a disagreement. No, this was a “yelling at the top of our lungs, stomping off, saying things we regret” kind of argument. What made it worse is that the argument occurred in front of Davey.

I grew up in a house with parents who had disagreements at times. There was the occasional raising of the voice, but there was no hitting below the belt or name calling. Having arguments is a part of human nature and I by no means am interested in candy coating things for either of our boys. I never want to put forth a fa├žade of having the happiest marriage in the world. Am I happy? Absolutely. Do I love my husband? You better believe it, but like most marriages it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies with angels singing in the background. So, having an argument in front of my children isn’t what bothers me, it’s how low my husband and I got in said argument in front of Davey.

Henry was napping and Davey was eating his lunch. I don’t recall how the argument started, but looking back on things I should have “kept it shut”. Instead I chose to ignore that voice deep inside of me who kept saying, “it’s not worth it. think of what you’re doing to your son. think of what you’re doing to your husband. think of what you’re doing to yourself. think of what you’re doing to your God” Nope, I didn’t take a deep breath, reflect for a moment, or pray to God for guidance. I lashed back out at my husband.

Here’s what made things so horrible, though, and what I can’t get out of my head. I caught Davey out of the corner of my eye watching my husband and I volley back and forth. He listened to one insult after another (there were no swear words, my husband and I don’t do that). What could he possibly have been thinking as he saw this vicious attack? Our voices were so loud that I’m surprised Henry was able to nap at all! Then the scenario got worse. As my husband sat down in the recliner, getting in his few last words, I followed him and threw in a few of my own while our three year old stood between the two of us, arms out and said, “no, stop.” And only then did I stop.

A few days later, I brought this up with my husband. I asked if he had paid attention to Davey while we were arguing and he said, “No”. He recalls how Davey jumped between the two of us as if to put the fighters into their own separate corners. We both agreed something like that can’t happen again.

Over the past week and a half, as I’ve started working on my Bible Study, I’ve found myself quick at times to let my temper flare up. It’s hard to have patience with a three year old especially one who is just as hard-headed and strong-willed as myself, but I have to find a way.

Since I’ve begun this Bible Study, things that I once found important have now become trivial. What’s the point in being upset with Davey for spilling paint on the floor? I can clean it up and it’s not wasted any of my time. What’s the point in losing my patience with him when I’m trying to work or read and he just won’t be quiet? The day may come when I beg him to talk to him and he just won’t. Then what? And of course, I’ve learned to take a minute and truly reflect upon my word before it spills out of my mouth, forever a part of the world and the memory of the intended recipient.

I’m not a huge fan of self help books, but I am a huge fan of the Words of our Lord. Perhaps instead of saying that hideous thing to make someone else hurt as bad as me, I should remember this passage from Ecclesiastes 10:12
Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.

Best way to enjoy a good book...fire and a cup of tea.

Best way to enjoy a good book…fire and a cup of tea.

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Once Upon a Time…

When I was Davey’s age, I had very few stuffed animals in my bedroom. I did have toys, but a good portion of them were gender neutral, with the exception of a doll or two here and there. At night, I slept with a night light and was allowed to have a flashlight, but I never slept with any stuffed animals or dolls. I was always allowed to take a one item with me to bed. That item was a book, which is what the majority of my room consisted of as a child.

Just a couple of our bookshelves.

Just a couple of our bookshelves.

When I became a mother, it was a goal and intention to read as much as possible to my children. I started out reading to Davey when he was still in utero. I would sit in his bedroom, cradle my belly, and read one of the many children’s books I had. There were even times when, while taking a lunch break from work as I was working when pregnant with Davey, I would jet over to the local Barnes and Noble, purchase a couple of books and then sit in my car and read to my baby.

Reading was instilled within me at an early age. I blame that in part on my dad, who does not have a college education, but is one of the two smartest men I know (my husband is the other). My dad reads like crazy. He built bookshelves for my parent’s house, bought bookshelves for other rooms, and lately just keeps a pile alongside his recliner. When he finishes reading one, he immediately picks up another. As a child, we lived in the country. We didn’t have a local library, but instead had a bookmobile. On the days the bookmobile would come to the local Winn Dixie (a grocery store chain nearly obsolete), my dad would make a point of leaving work early so he could get me there in the small window of time available. My very first “big person” book I read was at the age of 7 and it was a biography on Helen Keller. It was considered an adult book and while I didn’t know all the words, my dad sat with me every night and helped me read.

These days I don’t have as much time as I used to when it comes to reading books. We are; however, trying to fix that by getting rid of our Directv. Davey is now at the age where we read chapter books to him. We started him out at Christmas with the “How to Train your Dragon” series. We’re currently on book two of that one, but we’ve decided to go a step further.

Reading with Daddy when he was 6 months old.

Reading with Daddy when he was 6 months old.

Quite a few years ago, my sister-in-law bought my husband a copy of the Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Harry Potter companion book written by J.K. Rowling. At that point in his life, he’d read all of the Harry Potter books, but this one just didn’t appeal to him, so it sat on our bookshelf. A few days ago, I decided to pull it down and my husband has started “killing two birds with one stone” or so to say. We’re now using the opportunity to read some of the books to Davey that we’ve always wanted to read. The past couple of nights have consisted of ole Beetle the Bard, and once my husband is finished reading a chapter, he says to me, “I’m enjoying this book.”

Almost 2.

Almost 2.

Well, naturally I wanted to hop on board with this. Much like my husband, I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books and I can’t wait for Davey to read those, but the books I haven’t read is the Percy Jackson series. My husband began reading those years ago and even encouraged me to read them, but I had to prioritize. There were, and still are, just too many books I want to read. So, I’ve decided that I can read Percy Jackson to Davey and it’s like I’m reading a book myself. I usually have at least 3 books going at one time (a Bible Study, a non fiction, and a fiction, with at least one of the books being on my Kindle), so this hasn’t been a big deal.

A little over one.

A little over one.

Last night, I read Beedle the Bard to Davey (his daddy was out of town) and the put him to bed. I came back downstairs to relax and read a little by the fire when I heard movement upstairs. I climbed the stairs, quietly seething that Davey was not sleeping as he should have been. When I opened the door to his room, he wasn’t in his bed. Instead he was in his tent with Beedle the Bard, a flashlight, and about 8 stuffed animals which he had placed in descending order, tallest to shortest. I listened quietly as he sat in his tent. I could hear the crisp turning of a page and Davey exclaiming, “You see Flepper (his spotted Leopard), on this page it says this and on this page the witches are walking with the knight.”

2 & 1/2 years old.

2 & 1/2 years old.

He’s only three, so of course he wasn’t actually “reading” the words, but it brought a smile to my face that something of me was being passed on to this child, considering everything else about him is all his daddy.

Enjoying a good book at 2 & 1/2

Enjoying a good book at 2 & 1/2

This morning, we sat on the couch as Henry napped, and took one of his age appropriate books. I’ll give my child this…he is learning words. He knows a decent amount of phonics and he has an awesome memory. So, he would read the words “the”, “is”, “and”, “or”, and would attempt to sound out other words. It truly made my heart burst with pride. Now I just have to find the same amount of time to devote to Henry so he can develop my same love.

One of many bookshelves in our house.

One of many bookshelves in our house.

Now I’m off to order a few more books and continue with Percy Jackson.

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I Want You To Know Him

If I close my eyes, I can still hear the sound. It’s the sound of his last breaths, the minutes that seemed like eternity as I watched him die and listened to the raspy sound of his lungs desperate to take in any air they could get. By that point, he’d had enough morphine in his body to not feel the agonizing pain of his body shutting down on him. Too bad my mom and dad and I couldn’t have something to ease our hurt as we watched the greatest thing to ever enter our lives, slowly drift back out of it, much too soon.

I can still see the look on his face as he struggled to breathe. His face was pale, gray almost. His beautifully blue, eyes which could have melted the heart of any girl who looked at him, had darkened as well and his body became limp as he stared at the ceiling. He was my best friend, the one I confided everything to, the one to know it all first. He was my soul mate.

Today has been 8 years since he left us and I find myself eager to pull up every memory I can of him. I sit and show my boys pictures of him and tell them stories about him. And I want to tell you those stories. I want you to know him, just like I want my boys to know him.

He was one week old.

He was one week old.

My brother was easily the most amazingly annoying thing to enter this earth. Our birthdays were 6 years and 2 weeks to the day apart, which meant that we shared a birthday party on the week between our birthdays, mostly for convenience for our mom. One guess as to how much I loved that! (sarcasm).

One of our many shared birthday parties.

One of our many shared birthday parties.

He cried all the time. He was always attached to our mom, never leaving her side, even when I just needed 5 private moments with her. He was a mom monopolizer. Not cool!

Enjoying a few laughs.

Enjoying a few laughs.

He hated to sleep and when our dad banished him from their bedroom at night, I would awake to find he had crawled in bed with me.

Brian 13

He loved wrestling, or as we call it down south, wrasslin’. 80s music was his cup of tea. Pauly Shore movies made him laugh, .38 Special was his favorite band, Arnold Schwartzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were the movie stars he idolized.

Brian 14

He was constantly watching movies, a die hard Star Wars fan, but hated reading books. His food of choice was a 2 liter Mountain Dew and a large bag of Doritos. He was easily annoyed with laziness and incompetence. He didn’t have the patience for those who wouldn’t help themselves, but if you needed him he dropped everything.

Brian 4

He worked hard, hoarding money (we joked he was a miser). He treated his body like a temple, never drinking, smoking, or doing drugs. He was a work out fanatic and he longed to be a dad one day. He loved children way more than I ever did.

Brian 12

He loved to hunt and would come home with some of the greatest stories of spending a weekend in a cabin with 8 other men, who farted and snored all through the night. He bagged a couple of deer with the help of our dad.

Brian 2

He entered this world the purest of souls and I know for a fact left this world the same way. He was a realist, a lover and a fighter. He had two nicknames for me…fat legs (which I do now have thanks to my two darling boys) and Al, which was short for my first and middle name, Amy Lynn. No one else ever called me “Al”. I miss that.

Brian 10

He had something wrong with his ankles in that every time he took a step, his ankles would make a popping sound. Sometimes when I’m at my parent’s house, I hear that sound and I know he’s around. I just wish I could hug him one more time, to feel the strength of his arms around me.

I struggle with each passing day to not forget the sound of his voice or the way he looked. I want to remember his blue eyes and chuckle when I think back to a couple of nurses discussing how he looked like Ben Affleck. When I told him that, he suggested I hook him up. I told him to hook himself up since he was going to be around them 24/7.

With our dad before the church Christmas program.

With our dad before the church Christmas program.

We were each other’s strongest protectors. He was always there to save me and if someone screwed with him, you risked getting screwed over by me. I remember when he was first diagnosed with leukemia, he cried (one of the few times in the 3 years he fought it) and asked me what we were going to do. I said we’re going to keep living. When the leukemia came out of remission three years later and he was given 3-6 months to live, I cried and asked him what are we going to do. And he said, “You’re going to keep living.” Me. That’s who he was thinking about in that moment, not himself or what he would have to endure, but what my parents and I would have to endure. He was the most selfless human being I’ve ever met. He was my hero and everyone who knew him was a better person just for knowing him.

Brian 5

He was a Christian, a strong believer in God. On one of the final weeks when he was in the hospital I asked him if he was scared. He said, “no. I know where I’m going and it’s the most wonderful place to ever be. I’m just a little nervous about what I’ll have to endure before I get there.”

After one his radiation treatments.  After one his radiation treatments. [/caption]

The day before he died, it had snowed and he begged our mother to put him in his wheelchair and push him around the driveway so he could enjoy it. Hours later she called to tell me they were at the hospital and the doctor had told her, “his little heart won’t survive much longer.” His little heart. Boy, was the doctor mistaken. He had the biggest heart of all! I told my mother I wasn’t ready to let him go. I went to bed, thinking that we still had plenty of time left with him, only to be urged by God to go to the hospital. I’m glad I listened to Him, because had I not I wouldn’t have been able to cuddle up with Brian one last time as we laid in the hospital bed talking about our childhood while our parents tried to nap. We shared our last laughs together that night and to this day I’m forever thankful to God for encouraging me to go.

The week before he died.

The week before he died.

Today, I look at my boys and think what their lives would be like if Brian were in them. Davey has his name, but Henry has everything else. Henry looks like Brian, acts like Brian, he is Brian. My mother and I sometimes confuse him. They both have a piece of Brian in them. I just wish they could have actually experienced the magnitude of Brian.

Brian 10

So, on this day, the 8 year anniversary of his death, I wanted all of you to know one of the most wonderful lives I was ever a part of. It was easily the greatest 25 years I’ve ever experienced.

Brian 1

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What American Sniper Taught Me

A few years ago, my husband and I read a wonderful book, American Sniper. It was co-written and about the U.S.’s deadliest sniper, Chris Kyle. The book was an emotional read and it truly gave me a newfound respect for the men and women who serve this country, their sacrifices and those of their families.

This past weekend was the box office debut for the movie. My parents came to watch the kids, so that my husband and I could have a date night and enjoy the movie.

First off, I must give two thumbs up to Bradley Cooper. His portrayal of Chris Kyle was spot on. As a matter of fact, I didn’t see Bradley Cooper while watching the movie. I saw Chris Kyle. Every interview I’d ever seen Chris Kyle in, Bradley Cooper was able to flawlessly imitate this man. It was eerie.

Second, I’m so excited and pleased to hear that the movie smashed box office records for a weekend in January, beating out Avatar, which I also saw opening weekend in the theaters. It’s nice to see that a story which can seem somewhat controversial in this day and age, was able to receive such astounding support from the general public. It’s nice that a true story can trump fiction.

All weekend I’ve relived scenes from the movie in my mind. I’ve thought about what he endured, what his family endured and how tragically life can be cut short. It’s made me appreciate what I have more and focus on not taking it for granted quite so much.

The movie ends with Chris telling his family “goodbye” as he goes to help another veteran suffering from PTSD. He tries to entice his wife into a quick 4 minute lovemaking session, but she playfully pushes him away. Little did she know that she would no longer be able to feel his arms around her again. His son wants him to play video games with him, but Chris tells him he doesn’t have the time, but maybe later when he returns. He never got the opportunity to play another game with his son, or cuddle his little girl. He never thought that once he left the house that would be the last time he saw his family again.

How often do we all just assume that our family and loved ones will be home when we get back? How often do we put off doing things with our children because we assume that we have tomorrow? How often do we women feign a headache when our husbands want some intimate time with us because we always have tomorrow? Yeah, these questions have crossed my mind and it saddens me that I’m guilty of all of these.

Yesterday I made the effort to hug my husband more, to kiss him more, to be more affectionate with him. I made a point of telling him how blessed I am that he’s my husband, that he comes home to me, and that I get to share this life with him. When our oldest wanted daddy to go play outside with him yesterday, I reminded my husband that he can’t put it off to tomorrow just because he wants to watch football. Tomorrow isn’t a guarantee.

It’s highly unlikely that I won’t have days where I “put it off” until tomorrow anymore. I know the boys will get under my skin or that I’ll really just want to take a bubble bath in peace and quiet instead of enjoying family time. I’m aware that today I’ve already told Davey that I can’t color with him because I have to work, but I can promise to do better.

So many people took away from this movie a story about a man killing insurgents. So many people didn’t see the movie for what it really was. It taught me a lesson we all know so well…life is short, it’s not guaranteed, and that some things in life are “trivial” and shouldn’t be considered.

I’m two years older than Chris Kyle was when his life was tragically cut short. I may live until 90 and experience a house full of grandchildren one day. I may also walk out the door, climb into my car, and be involved in a tragic car accident. Live life to it’s fullest. Appreciate every second of every day that the Lord has given you on this earth. Love like it’s your last day to love. Hug those who need a hug and even those who don’t.

Appreciate your life and those who are in it. That’s what Chris Kyle and American Sniper taught me.

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Creating Healthy Friendships

Being a mom is tough stuff. We keep crazy schedules, maintain households, and serve as the nurturing bond for our family (most of us do, anyways). Some of us work outside of the homes, which can only add more “crazy” to an already crazy existence. Trying to squeeze everything into the small 24 hours a day allotted to us can be a bit overwhelming and some days just impossible. I don’t need to describe a possible schedule, you’re all living it. So, what, you ask, is the purpose of this blog? Some of you may not even have the time to squeeze in for reading this blog. Time, time, time…it’s all subjective. One thing that we should have time for is friendships. When some of us hardly have time to spare for our significant other, how are we to create healthy friendships? It’s not impossible, but it is hard.

First, let me start with a blog I read the other day. It was titled, “The 3 Second Pause That Can Save a Morning & Spare Some Time.” I shared it on my Facebook page, Dreaming of Mommyhood, but if you haven’t read it, please take a moment to indulge yourself. Here is the link: http://www.handsfreemama.com/2015/01/12/the-3-second-pause-that-can-save-a-morning-spare-some-pain/

After reading that blog, I found that I too have the same problem at times as Hands Free Mama. There are days and instances when I feel that I don’t have the time to do a 3 second pause, but I need to find that time. I need to find that time if for no other reason than the sheer fact that it will make ME feel better.

Sure, sure we all cast away ourselves when we become mothers. Suddenly things that seemed so important, instantly seem trivial and not worth our efforts. We find ourselves forced into trying to be a vision of this “perfect mother”, perhaps the June Cleavers of the world. These days it’s virtually impossible, but what is possible is that 3 seconds. In that 3 seconds we have the opportunity to become our nurturing selves again. In those 3 seconds, we have the ability to feel good about ourselves which leads me to creating healthy friendships.

In this day and age, it’s hard to maintain friendships. I have some friends, who’ve maintained close friendships with people with whom they were friends for over 20 years! 20 years! That’s crazy! I don’t have friends from 20 years ago. In most cases, these friendships are healthy and are conducive to their lifestyles, especially when they all have kids together. They can create weekend outings with each other and their families. I know one group who have a “mountain weekend” together every year. It’s a wonderful time for all of them, spouses and children, included. It’s a healthy friendship.

Thanks to the era of social media, we can all be “friends”. It’s my way of keeping in contact with my friends from high school and college. It’s great and easy, because I can see what they’re up to without actually investing the time into a conversation that would tear me away from something else. Is that healthy? NO! Truthfully, some of them I no longer want to invest the time with and I’m actually thankful that we have other ways than the telephone call, but maybe that’s what we need.

I can remember my mother sitting in the kitchen talking to her sister-in-law, her best friend, in the evenings after dinner. It was just the two of them. They were able to hear the inflections in each other’s voices. They were able to convey their true feelings, and they were able to have a friendship, one that was healthy especially when asking for advice was broached. Social media doesn’t allow for this type of interaction anymore.

Social media is great at allowing us to be a bit nastier to each other, to take away some humanity at times. Hey, I’m not bashing social media. It is my livelihood and allows me an outlet, this blog. Social media; however, has allowed “friends” and strangers to become your worst enemy, your greatest nagger, your grandest criticizer.

The thought for this blog originally stemmed from a post on Facebook from Parents Magazine. On it, there was a picture of Kelly Clarkson’s daughter with a set of head phones over her ears with the caption of her “dancing” to mommy’s music. It was an absolutely adorable picture, but it was met with harsh comments on Clarkson’s mothering abilities. Most were upset that a child was wearing headphones, and the remarks were just mean.

What a world we’ve become when we, as mothers, instead of bonding together for the betterment of our children and society, choose to tear each other apart and sit in judgment of each other. Hey, I’ve been guilty of it, and on extreme cases i.e. a mother leaving a child in a locked car with over 100 degree weather, I’m still guilty of it…that passing judgment. Why do we do this to each other and more over, why do we allow others to do it to us?

I asked my mother about criticism, healthy and unhealthy, she received while as a mom. She said it was rare. The occasional family member would pipe in from time to time, but it’s nothing like today. The world knows your every move today and feels that it’s their job to chime in with some advice, warranted or not. She brought up my blog. Instead of wearing my emotions on my sleeve, I wear them on the world wide web. I open myself up for the criticism. And she’s right, but it shouldn’t be this way.

This all leads me to what further pushed me to write this blog, and that was Tuesday night’s Bible Study which was titled “Healthy Friendships”. The study opened with this passage, “A friends loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17. It went on to discuss the unhealthy friendships we create. There are times when I consider cutting off all friends and going at motherhood alone (not without my husband, though). There are times when I think I don’t want to invest in friendships. They’re tiresome, judgmental, gossipy, and all around unhealthy. Perhaps that just some of the friends I choose and I should purge them from my life.

In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, the teacher states: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.”

The Lord never intended for us to be alone, otherwise he’d never created Eve for Adam. Of course, I don’t believe the Lord ever intended for us to be as condescending and nasty to each other as we’ve become. The Lord created people to serve Him, and while in serving Him to create a fellowship with each other. Today’s “fellowship” is so skewed that there’s hardly a true definition which we’re all living up to.

Who are your friends and are they healthy for you? If you only count the ones on Facebook, then you’re not having a true, healthy friendship. We all need to find the time to be friends to each other. We all need to find a way to help each other when we fall down. We all need to find a way to go back to the days of our parents and investing time with a friend.

I encourage you all to take that time to make friendships. A strong, healthy friendship can encourage you in your 3 seconds. Get outside, be adventurous and open-minded. Be loving and compassionate. Find that friend who complements you and build each other up. Be a friend and find a friend. It could save your life and your sanity.

“There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. ‘For whom am I toiling,’ he asked, ‘and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?’ This too is meaningless – a miserable business.” Ecclesiastes 4:8.

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Has It Really Been 13 Months?

Yesterday marked the 13 month birthday of my youngest, Henry. 13 months?!?!?!? It doesn’t seem like 13 months have gone by. Why last year, I was getting used to operating on 4 hours or less of sleep.

This time last year, my oldest wasn’t impressed with his new little brother. After a month of being on this earth, Davey felt that Henry should have more substance to him other than being 10 pounds of screaming and pooping flesh. It was this time last year, when Henry was turning a month old that Davey exclaimed, “Mommy, I’m going to need you to put Henry back.”

His new chair from Santa.

His new chair from Santa.

Put him back? Surely he was joking, hence the reason I laughed, which then elicited this from Davey, “Mommy, why are you laughing? I didn’t make a funny.”

In 13 months, we’ve grown as a family, melded into a unit that for the most part operates as it should, each cog of the wheel turning and hopefully encouraging the other to turn. Of course, we have our meltdowns, and by “we”, I mean Davey. Perhaps we all (grandparents included) spoiled him too much. He WAS the only grandchild for a little over 2 years and what a grand title to have and then to relinquish in such a short time.

Enjoying a breakfast of cheerios.

Enjoying a breakfast of cheerios.

As for Henry, about whom is the true reason I write this post, well he’s a chubby little man, teetering along in happy contentment. He loves to hug our dog. He can even say “Dix”, short for Dixie. As a matter of fact, EVERY dog is Dix. He has an affinity for blowing kisses even to the strangest and often most repugnant of people. His brother is his idol, although Davey seems to be oblivious to this. He loves cars and books, dinosaurs and FOOD! The child eats, and he eats, and he eats. He is my little porker.

So, 13 months, where have you gone? What have we done with the time you’ve laid at our feet? Some days I feel we’ve trampled over the time with disdain, or maybe I’VE trampled over it with disdain, with my impatience at wanting to have two perfect little boys living in happy harmony. For the most part, I’d like to think we’ve not taken you for granted, 13 months, and that we’ve found at least one moment in every day to relish the time.

Celebrating his actual 1st birthday eating breakfast at Harry Caray's at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

Celebrating his actual 1st birthday eating breakfast at Harry Caray’s at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

Happy 13 months to the sweet little boy!

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