Wednesday, October 7, 2015

From the "Bully's" Mom

If you have ever felt alienated, felt like your child was cast to the side, or judged due to your child's behavior or your own behavior with your children, this is for you.  This post in intended to show love, support, and encouragement to those who have felt this way.  It is mainly intended to let you know that you are not alone.

The Fault of the Child

The doctor walked into the hospital room after examining my first son for an hour, and pronounced, "This is the most vigorous baby I have ever seen!"

Yes, that is still my Levi to this day, four years later.  Did I make him this way?  Well, if you consider me eating chocolate and cookies during his entire pregnancy the cause, then's all my fault.  Don't we like to blame the parents fully for children's negative behavior?  

I have two sons who are by nature quite opposite (although my younger, adoring son copies everything his awesome big brother does).  They both come from my husband and I, and entered into very similar circumstances.  I am absolutely not complaining or downing my older, strong-willed child's personality.  The contrary is true.  I adore his tenacity, his endurance, and intelligence.  He is, and always will be, my precious baby.

The hard part comes when other parents don't quite see it that way.  My mom always says, "ask to see a brat, and I'll show you the neighbor's kid," meaning we all tend to look at our own children with different eyes than the rest of the world. We watch out for (like angry mama bears sometimes!) the best interest of our sweet, dear spawn. We see the best in them when others can't. We know the depth of their innocent souls. We forgive them, and ceaselessly, earnestly protect their hearts no matter the cost on some occasions.

Of course, I want my children to know right from wrong.  Of course it is difficult to see them upset another child.  Of course I want them to learn from their mistakes and to apologize.

Every kid is different.  Please be glad if you got dealt a cherub of a sweet-natured child that never gets uninvited to special events or play dates or shamed or removed from a preschool class or gossiped about due to his/her behavior, or even that you have never been the center of conversation for it "being all her fault that he turned out this way" or "maybe if she was tougher on him or did xyz".

If we are all to cast the weak aside, the weak will eventually be isolated.  I believe it is important for us as adults and Christ followers to remember to view children as just that: children.  It is also important to guide them after they have fallen, to give them chances to redeem themselves, and to not resent them.  That's right.  I said, "As adults, we should not resent children, including our own."  They need God's grace, but they could use a little of ours, too.

Confession:  My child is not perfect.  He is growing, learning, making mistakes, trying again, and enjoying his one and only childhood.

The Fault of the Parent

Sometimes I ache as I watch the manner in which some kids around my son's age act, how calm, how sweet, attentive, and obedient they are.  I ache, because (although this is my first go-round as a parent) I wonder could I be failing at this?

But let's face the facts:
-All parents are all new at everything once.
-We all have good days and bad.
-We all fail.
-We all feel guilt at one point or another.
-We all likely compare our lives to other's here and there.
-We rarely do it right the first time.
-We are sinners.
-We need God's grace.

I feel the stares, see the open gasps, hear the whispers, and wonder what I could have done differently in the moments after my son has said something rude, hurt someone's feelings, or done something mean to another child.  I wonder if I am being judged as I timidly deal with the situation at hand with an audience.  Parenting in public is not for the faint of heart (especially not for the introverted).  We just don't do it with the exact same confidence we do at home sometimes.

If you don't always know what the heck you are doing in this parenting thing, you're not alone.  Know that there are those who will love, support, and encourage you, and surround yourselves with those who can forgive both you and your children when you mess up.

Confession:  I am not a perfect parent.  (If you are, by all means, please coach me!) I am growing, learning, making mistakes, trying again, and enjoying my one and only time to parent little children.

The Fault of No One

In summary, no one is to blame.

We are all flawed and do not deserve the judgment of others, yet we do deserve forgiveness and grace.  We all screw up.  Things change.  People change.  Our kids grow up.  They become doctors, teachers, artists, friends, spouses, and maybe even parents themselves.  The "bully" can grow to become an inspiring, thoughtful, wonderful person.

When you feel down about the way current circumstances in parenting your strong-willed child are, remember that it won't be like this forever!  He won't be openly telling other adults they aren't his best friend, yanking things from their hands, or calling them anything with the word poop attached to it.

Your child will impress you.  He will do great things!  Believe in him! He has the type of spirit and will to persevere and succeed in life. And most of all, love him even when others don't.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

A Mom Poem

When you title your blog "The Creative Bubble", you can basically write about whatever you darn well please, so a poem it is!  I was inspired by the first five pages Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Big Magic.  When a pinch of creativity knocks at the door, it is best to answer.

The light doesn't shine through my window just yet, 
but I hear four feet clumsily making their way to my bed.
Fighting for my limbs and full embrace, they smother me.
I relish in the moment, hoping they never, ever let me free.
My exhausting, precious boys, I love you.
When I'm tired and annoyed, I love you.
So, come visit me each morning until by it you're bored.
I'll cuddle you until you're big, for you'll always be adored. 

Okay, I am out of practice.  :)  
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Thursday, April 2, 2015


Ramblings of the Day

My sink is full.  Clean laundry is piled up like a mountain in my room.  The floors are dirty.  My mom wouldn't be proud.

I came home from an Easter egg hunt with the kids today, but really didn't want to step foot in the door.  I wanted an excuse to stay out until my husband could come home and rescue me from trying to juggle the kids and straightening out the horrendous mess that wasn't there yesterday morning.

So, I played outside with the kids for a while to avoid entering.  We did sidewalk chalk, and I day dreamed.  I so crave peace, and enjoyed the time where I could slip away by finally using the right side of my brain.  When I stood up, the dishes started silently pounding at my peace again, so I finally gave in and did them.  There is almost nothing more satisfying at this stage of life than having a clean house, a clear slate!  Even more satisfying than that, is being able to spend quality time as a family within that space, messy or clean (better if clean!).  That said, there are still so many things I'd love to invest time in.  There are new, in-depth recipes to be made, gardens to be planted, and art supplies to be used.

I'm so often distracting myself to avoid the fact that I can't fully invest and focus on the things that I day dream about.  When I can't paint a picture, I get on Facebook.  When I can't dive into a book, I eat chocolate.  When I want to really focus on God (alone), I mindlessly clean the house.  Distract, distract, distract.  The things that fulfill me, besides my family, usually take time, and with kids, most everything is rushed.  I'm trying to find a balance between being a loving mom and teacher and being a great keeper of the home (with hobbies!) who also has time for God and occasional exercise!  I've silenced my creativity for so long now, and am hoping to try to embrace it again without guilt.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Before and After Home Tour

We bought our first house in May of 2012 after a quick and rushed home search.  We had to move to Chattanooga by the Summer, so that Michael could start his college classes.

The house has great bones, but needed quite a bit of work.  Here are some before and after pictures of the interior.  Enjoy!

Welcome to our home!!  

Here is the picture we were given of the house after it was just built in 1958 being held in front of the house in 2012 on the day we bought it.  

Before and After Tour
1.Family Room

Before:  Family Room

After: We added a fan, shelves, and scraped the ceilings in the family room.

Before: Family Room

After: Family Room

 Before: Family Room

 Before:  popcorn ceilings with glitter!  This type of ceiling is still in the kids' room.

I'm not a big owl decor fan, but I could not resist this little guy.

2. The Kitchen

Before: Kitchen

We stripped the wallpaper, painted the walls, changed the vinyl flooring, got new appliances (fridge and dishwasher), new lighting, new back splash, a new fan, new faucet, garbage disposal, painted the cabinets, added outlets, and scraped the ceilings.

We removed these heaters, then filled in the wall.  

This is how the counter looked when we moved in.  It was taped together.

Formica everywhere!

The popcorn ceilings were literally coming down.  This is after we repaired that rough spot.

Sunflowers everywhere!

We removed this awning to add more sunlight into the kitchen, and also added new lighting above the sink..

Thanks to Michael while I was out of town with the kids one weekend, for doing this back splash.  It looked like a terrible job to have to do!

After: The Kitchen

My dad had that black sign above the door made online.  It's actually just a sticker.

3. The Playroom

Before:  The Playroom
The carpet smelled terrible from pets living here before.  The walls were gray paneling, and the trim was blue. 

Michael and my "baby"!  He is now 3 and 1/2.

painting the paneling
Don't be fooled.  It is a job!!

This was under the pet stained carpet.  Gross.  Gross.  Gross!  It was a good day when we got rid of it.

Old fixture in the play room.  This was intended to be a dining room.

After:  The Playroom
We have since changed this room a bit (added more toys...birthdays and Christmas to blame!).

4. The Master Bedroom

Before:  The Master Bedroom
This room is attached to the playroom, so it had the same icky carpet and gray paneling. Oh, and the curtains... :/

After: The Master Bedroom

5. The Sunroom

Before: The Sunroom
I re-stained the floor, cleaned the walls, and pulled the curtains down.

After: The Sunroom

6. The Bathroom

Before: The Bathroom
We changed the vinyl flooring, the vanity, the mirror, paint, lighting, and shelving.

After:  The Bathroom

 This is the newest art I found for the bathroom. I'd been wanting something with the fruit of the Spirit on it, and this was perfect.  

7. The Office

Before: The Office
The office was already in decent shape when we moved in.  They had "flipped" this side of the house, including the family room and the kids' room.

After: The Office

8. The Kids' Room

Before: The Kids' Room
We didn't really have much to do to change this room thank goodness :)

After:  The Kids' Room

And, there it is, our whole, tiny, cozy, well-loved house in one post!  I have to admit, I feel a little exposed!  Now you all know how cluttered/crowded my house is.  If you don't think it was cluttered, well then, come visit on a day when I wasn't taking pictures of it for this post when my little wild men have been running around sprinkling toys everywhere.

We truly love it here.  It is our first house, and it will ALWAYS hold a special place in our hearts even when we are years beyond living here.

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