Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Facebook Status Updates LOL

It's so fun to see them all listed like this!!

I'm inspired to update more this year! It's kind of like a year in review! :)


is amazed at my sweet time with a friend on facebook chat! Wow Lord!!

+ X is refreshed from a happy homeschooling day! Now it's nap time and I'm going to watch my 1st Netflix movie! Yes!!

+ X The kids are finally in the bed. Ahhh!!!

+ X I had such a great great day at the skating rink with my kiddoes!! It was so wonderful. Adult conversation, fun for kids. Yippee!!!

+ X My glasses were peed on twice today as they fell off my face while I was trying to help my my child pee.

+ X He said, "Alaiyah, Alaiyah, Mommy's glasses fell off AGAIN!" Wow!

+ X Such a busy day, but O so refreshing! Thank you Lord!!

+ X Those who know your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you! Psalm 91:10

+ X is sitting with my little one that has a slight fever. She looks so pitiful! Aw!

+ X is listening to Ayden who decided she wanted to start talking, YESTERDAY!! Her fav's "I don won tat" "aw man" "I wan see"

+ X Ayden just PP's in the potty!!! Yeah!!!!

+ X Ayden just PP'd in the potty!!! Yeah!!!!

+ X is praying for the safety of Obama tomorrow! Join me.

+ X is trying to keep kids quiet so that I can hear. lol

+ X Jooooooooe Biden! I always like ol' Joe!

+ X Hey Harmony!! Everyone said heeeeeeeeey!

+ X Congrats!! President Obama! and those precious little brown girls in the white house!!

+ X Everytime Alonzo sees Michelle he says "Carissa". He says you two look alike.

+ X Tuskegee Airmen baby!!

+ X less than 60 years ago...dang!

+ X interesting!

+ X oops! need to + that to my homeschool lesson...the national anthem

+ X look at Jill with the knee boots on!

+ X stop playing with my emotions!!

+ X RU really coming?

+ X is still watching CNN. lol

+ X is still watching CNN and waving! lol

+ X O my! I think I just figured out how to update from my phone. I hope this is not charging me. LOL

+ X Rejoices in the RESULTS of my trials and the love of my God!

+ X is waiting for my DVR so that I can watch something I actually want to watch when I'm able to watch T.V.

+ X Laughing at my husbands status and even harder at his friends comments. Lol.

Your February statuses are below the ad

February
+ X is glad to be able to spend the super bowl with my friend!

+ X is in tears that my baby is at his first karate lesson and doing so well!!

+ X is now in tears because Ayden just hit me in the head with a wooden brush. Ouch! Cometology is probably not in her future.

+ X Amazed that The Little House on the Prairie actually has some drama in it. Lol

+ X is just sitting here.

+ X would post 25 random things , but I can't figure out how to tag anyone. That better Nikki. lol

+ X Playing outside with kids.

+ X is updating my blog!!

+ X on my way home for a nap. I don`t feel the greatest.

+ X is watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the kids! It's really cute!

+ X Ok cute might not be the best way to describe it. Let's just say we're enjoying it! It's actually a little wierd!

+ X is trusting HIM!

March
+ X is so excited about the snow!!!

+ X is headed to primed today...again!!!

+ X is grateful for doctor friends! I was able to skip primed and still get my meds!

+ X sitting here talking to Harmony and Nicole and lovin' it!!!

+ X is so excited about my weekend on Westcott! I think I could get used to that!

+ X Pray for my Alaiyah. She has a stomach bug, fever and all!!

+ X Rejoicing in the grace and miracle of God with my sister Zinnada!! Praise Him!! Congratulations Girl!!

+ X is 2 old to b hanging out with college students until 1 AM, but it sure was fun!! lol

+ X is sitting on the couch with my 2 sick girls!

+ X I...have...no other choice but to trust you! That's all I can do! I...Have...no other choice but to Believe! I Believe!!!! Thanks Eu!!

+ X I...Have...no other choice, but to trust YOU! That's all I can do! I...Have...no other choice, but to Believe! I Believe! I Believe! I Believe! I Believe! thanksEu!

April
+ X U know U are facebook parents when your child says, "Mommy I took a good profile pic of Zo." I said, "What's a profile pic." She said (smiling), "A good pic!" Atleast she doesn't actually know what a profile pic is! LOL.

May
+ X I'm really moving! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! There are filled boxes in my house! Wow! Life changes sooooo fast!

+ X There are MORE boxes in my house!!!! I'm really moving yall! Right now I'm about to go on a date with my hubby! Gotta love it!!

+ X If you haven't guessed already...we're moving SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!!!!!

+ X Ok so I'm truly learning how to take thoughts captive as I try not to be overwhelmed by all that "seems" to be left to be done! I'm praying for wisdom and the Lord is faithful to give it and peace along with it! Praise Him!!

+ X I'm leaving my house for my new temporary home! Thank you Lord for all You've done and all You will do! :-) antoinette

+ X The kids are running around the Missions House like it's huge. O the eyes of a child!

+ X We are on our way to our last Campus Outreach function! ... tear. Thank you Lord for a GREAT ten years.

August
+ X In MD with the inlaws!! I told the kids we may go to Pres. Obama's house. Zo asked if he was going to put up the dog because he's scared of dogs! LOL

+ X Alaiyah was in her room today pretending to be Michael Jackson's wife. The tell tell sign...her one pink glove! HAAAAAA!!! Hey it was the only color she had!!!

+ X MY IPOD CAME TODAY!!!!!!! Yes!!!! and I had my first 5 hour enery! It works so well it's scary! Somebody tell me this is good for me...EVERYDAY!!!

September
+ X Check out video of my Daddy and Alaiyah singing!!

October
+ X just hopped up out her beeed and turned her swag oooonnnnn!!! took a looked da mirror said wassup!!!!... I love my husband Alonzo Brown JR so much!!!!!!! He is the bestest!!!

+ X "Lord in everything we do. Don't wanna ever take our eyes off you. Need your Spirit like we need to breath. Just wanna serve you only!!" Joann Rosario

November
+ X Wow!! Thanks for all the birthday wishes!! I loved it!! Even though I"m just now getting them, it makes the celebration just keep going and going!!! :)

+ X The Last Supper!!! Waaahhhhhh!! This was Ayden's last meal, before the Salvation Army pick up, in the high chair that ALL of my babies have used!!! O, will I ever have another little one! (tear)

+ X O the difference, JOY, of cooking with a 10 year old (my niece Amorri) and a 6 year old!!!!! There is hope for the future!! :)

+ X Why did my 2 year old just tell me, "I no wan to wear dat." AAAAAAA! I can already see who I'm going to have the wardrobe battles with! LOL!

+ X The Blind side was WONDERFUL!!!! We can truly make a HUGE difference in other's lives by simply caring and taking the risk to get involved!! Loved it!!! :)

December
+ X It's the new me!!!! YEAH!!!!!

+ X Sitting next to my Christmas tree in a quiet house with the lights low! I love it!!!

+ X "God doesn't love some future version of you...He loves you right now!!!!" Matt Chandler O Thank you Lord!!!!

+ X Ok, so... I think I'm getting sick from wetting my hair everyday? Is this just a coincidence?

+ X Happy Birthday to my sweet baby girl! She's 7 years old today!!!

+ X Ahhh, Celebrating the birth of my Savior!!! I love this season!! Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Alaiyah Speaks

I'm teaching Alaiyah to read street names because I am so terrible at it. I never know what the street names are, so it's always hard for me to give directions!!! I don't want that to be a generational thing. LOL.

She's doing a great job and reading not only the street we are on,but EVERY one we pass. We passed Union street and she said, "there is Onion Street!!" I giggle just thinking about it. It was so cute.

The next day we turned on Whitman and she said (singing), "We're on Whiteman St. We're on Whiteman St. " I was rolling!!! It was hilarious!!! You just never know how things seem to those little ones who take everything literally. LOL.

She's really been on a roll this week! We were listening to "O Christmas Tree." She said, "OOOOOU they are loving the world." I said, "why do you say that." She said, "because they are praising the Christmas tree!!"

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! I was on the floor!!! It was so funny! but encouraging @ the same time. She's obviously listening!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Building

(I figured I'd better keep rolling while I have a minute! LOL )

We have a ministy building! I love being there!!! Everyday they have tutoring from 3:30-5:30 p.m. There are about 90 kids that come everyday!! It is alive a popping everyday!

They have bible study with ALL of the kids on Wednesdays after tutoring! The kids and I went this week and it's so great just to be there! I still can't believe that God has called us to this ministry. I can't believe He has a plan for us here...and we still have no idea what that will actually look like.

But being at the building, around the kids makes me excited.

Wednesday was Alonzo's birthday. Thurday I bought some cakes from Sam's to surprise him at tutoring! It was really sweet! The kids were so excited to sing Happy Birthday to Zo and also very excited about the cake :)

That was also REPORT CARD DAY!!! It's been a long time since I've had a report card day. :) I was so excited to celebrate with kids (some of them I didn't know) who had good grades! I loved being able to congratulate them on their hard work and to encourage them to keep up the good work! I was really proud of them.

One of the girls that I have a relationship with didn't get a great grade in reading. I was able to sit down and talk to her about the importance of doing well in reading and loving to read. We talked about ways to work on bringing up her reading grade and I told her to I would look up some things on the computer to bring her.

This...tutoring...is right up my alley!!!!! I was trying to figure out today how I could participate on a regular basis! As I was trying to make a schedule to see how that would work, I seemed to be able to find time for it! I was thinking, "Lord is this something you want me to do. YOu seem to be making it so easy,"

I have a hard time trying to figure out how to plan my days normally! How in the world could I find time to add 2 hours of tutoring! We'll see. I'm excited about trying it out.

The kids love being at the building...(surely we are going to come up with a name for this place. We can't keep calling it "the building" :). They just love running around with all of the kids! Much of the time I don't know where they are (sometimes I'm not exactly comfortable with that, but we'll work it out).

Alaiyah went to the little girls Bible study Wednesday and Nicole teaches. She loved it and she is serious about the scripture memory verses that Nicole gave them. I heard her telling Zo today, "Don't tear up my papers. I HAVE to learn my verses. TT said! and I'll get a treat if I do." She is such a student...I wonder where she gets that from! LOL

Everyone has fun at the building, except Ayden that is! She screams whenever anyone comes close to her. All of the kids want to hold her and pick her up and she just screams. In a building full of 100 kids all I hear is Ayden, SCREAMING!!! She has started to warm up a little. She still doesn't want anyone to pick her up, but sometimes when they come close she'll just run away! That's a little bit better than screaming! LOL

I'm not sure how the Lord is going to use our family here, but I see Him sowing the seeds of excitement in my heart just being at the building and around the kids! I feel like I'm on a journey to a place that I don't know! I am so grateful that my sovereign Lord, who loves me so, is leading the way. As long as I follow Him, I know that everything will be a-ok!!

An Attempt @ Consistency! :)

Ok so I figure I should be able to write at least 1 blog a week. I'm going to stop shy of making an actual commitment...let's just say I'll try! LOL

I really want to take a moment to record all of the things that are happening in our lives...I just don't seem to have the time! I would much rather read something from someone else than write something of my own. Someday I'll regret that, so I have to do better!!!!

This is Alonzo's birthday weekend. His birthday was the 14th and we spent the day together. We went to eat at IHOP (our yearly tradition) and to buy Daddy clothes (also a yearly tradition). It was a lot of fun. A sweet old lady in IHOP told me that I had well behaved kids, she wouldn't have known there were three over there.

Praise the Lord!!! It's amazing what other people see while I juggle Ayden getting up and down out of her seat, Zo talking at the only volume he knows...LOUD, and Alaiyah asking a question about something on the ceiling that she must know all of the details about! LOL!! I enjoyed them that day!!!

I've been reading a book called Everyday Talk (thanks Tay) and it has really helped me with my parenting and the gospel perspective!!!! It talks about pleasantness of speech (Prov 16) and how it increases the likelihood that our children will listen to what we say.

Sweetness of speech...not exactly my strong suit! :)

It encouraged me to be much more controlled in how I talk to my children. It also gave me motivation b/c of the reason. James 1:19-20 talks about the anger of men NOT producing the righteousness of God. What more do I want in my children's life than God's righteousness?

Nothing!!!! Absolutely Nothing!!!

My frustration and anger will not prepare there hearts for the Lord. The book also encouraged me to remember that my children cannot obey without the Lord. My discipline is not to make them obey. It is really to help them see that God must be obeyed but that we CANNOT do it on our own. It's a continual opportunity to teach them (and myself) to go to Jesus for help in obeying God's commands and everything else! I'm really very excited about this. What a great habit to have! I'm still trying to learn to do this!!!

(RAndom: Ayden just said, "We gone watch a mooby" LOL! Sweet 2 year old!)

(This is live...as I type! LOL! The kids are watching Prince of Egypt and Alaiyah is explaining to Zo that if there is no blood on the door they will die! Zo said, "We're gonna die because there is no blood on our door! LOL!! Alaiyah said it's ok. Zo said it again! He was not convinced. She explained that if we were in the Bible we would die!! Zo is quietly watching with intent interest!! Hilarious!)

I know that only Christ's work in their hearts will save them, but I'm encouraged that I can see in the scriptures ways that God has given for me to raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord! I've prayed a looong time for some conviction and clarity in this area! Praise the Lord! He really does answer when we continue to call on him!!!

Thank you Lord!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Books Galore

I went to the library today and as I was leaving I saw the sale of a lifetime!!

Books 3/25cents! That's right people, 3 children's books for only 25 cents. So, ofcourse, I wanted to just roll the entire cart out to my car and give them that ten dollars :)

Alas, I didn't have my checkbook so I scrownged (is that a word) around for every penny I could find. I looked for every book with a brown person on it and anything that looked remotely interesting. I walked away with 27 books for $2.50.

These were great books that my children will love for years. They are going to grow up thinking that the African-American culture is the norm. I love it!

When I walked in the door. I said (in the most excited voice that I could muster) Guess What I Found!!!!! Everybody, ofcourse, said WHAT!!! I pointed to all of the books on the table and said that I'd gotten ALLLL of these books for only $2.50...even YOU could afford these, I said!!

They were so excited. We looked through every book. I pulled out all of the little ones with little brown boys on them and gave them to Zo (it was about 8 Wow!) and all of the little brown girls and gave them to Alaiyah and 3 little brown baby books for Ayden.

(In case you're wondering! Their is a limited supply of books with little brown children on them at the library. We love all cultures and want to expose our children to them. I want them to grow up reading and learning about all different kinds of people. To be able to purchase so many books with people of color on them was a rare treat!!!)

I was surprised at how much everyone loved having their OWN books. I'd never really given anyone their own books. I just bought books. Ayden kept saying, That's my book! Read MY book! It was precious.

I thought of Beth Moore's "Feather's from My Nest" and how she said when you love God you don't have to work Him into every conversation. Your love for Him will just spill out.

My love for books and reading gives me a perfect example of how that looks. I don't have to work up a love and excitement for books. I LOVE THEM!!! and my babies are naturally catching that same love.

Lord help me to love you in a way that's obvious to all! Let my love for you just ooze out of me, so that I can't help but share with others my love and excitement for you!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow Day

We heard that there might be snow, but generally that means NO SNOW!! Not this time...



Alaiyah could not have been more excited!!





There was even enough to make a snow man.





We had so much fun that we almost didn't make it to church!

Such great memories!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just Lunch

Today all of my kids are sick with the snifflies. Ayden more than the others. I'm pretty sure she has the pink eye, so we'll be going back to see doctor Morrisson tomorrow. Twice in a week. Yippee!! :(

Yesterday the kids made lunch...pb&j, of course.










It was even more fun with cousin Amorri here!!











Ayden discovered that what looked like so much fun, was actually hard work!



...so she decided to just eat it off of the knife. lol.



Aren't Saturdays fun!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

O What a Day!!

Today was scheduled to be a pretty uneventful day. Ayden and I were taking a trip to Montgomery to stop quickly by a consignment shop with my friend Nyema before going to her doctors appointment at 10:30.

I was going to the consignment sale to find storage units. In my new quest to get organized, I need storage!!! Well I found some great storage stuff and, of course, a little more. Some of the items were larger than would fit in my car at the time, so I had them hold them and I went to search for my keys to put the stuff that would fit into my car!

Well...here's where the day gets looooong! My keys were on the front seat of my locked car. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! I could've been so upset, but considering that this is far from the first time I've done this and because this time I wouldn't have to spend $40 for the locksmith, I was a little less stressed!

I called Alonzo (in Tuskegee) and broke the news. He said he'd be on his way. (Thanks honey!!!)

I'm so glad Nyema was there. She was able to take me to the doctor's office and we got some good hang time on the way! As I was walking in I got another o so pleasant surpise. My friend Ella was there with her oldest, Hudson, and her precious little new born! I was so glad to see her and get to chat for a minute.

We were at the docs for a recheck of Ayden's ear. All was well with Ayden. Obviously she wasn't so sure about Doctor Morrison.









After her thorough examination, she determined that he was also well :)

I wasn't sure what I would do after we finished with the doctor's visit. I assumed that Shaunta, my friend who has 2 month old twins, would surely be home! Well...surpise, surprise...she wasn't home. She's always home !!! She texted me and said she was in a meeting! I hate I missed seeing her today!

Guess who else was just leaving the doctor's office...Delta!!! God is so good! Of course she had nothing better to do but go and eat lunch with me. lol. No, she was actually going to the grocery store, but was hungry (she's good and pregnant :) so lunch sounded much better!!

After lunch my hubby and kiddoes picked me up from Eastwood! Then we headed back to open my car and get my goodies from the consignment sale. All of it actually fit in the car! The kids were so excited!! Here they are with pics of there new toys!!







You would think that at this point I would be so ready to get home that I'd head straight there! Well...I couldn't pass Willie's Flea World without atleast stopping to see if there was more storage to be found there! Well...today was my day!! I found this beautiful wood chest, that matches the kids bunk beds so perfectly. Thank you Lord!!




As if that were not enough for one day...

I went home cleaning and throwing away things like a mad women when I heard, of all things, the tornado siren!!! I didn't think Tuskegee had a tornado alarm. I was very glad to know that we do. Most of you know, I don't play around with sirens. I gathered all of the children into the hallway, grabbed there bowls of taco soup and buckled down for the next 30 minutes. Alonzo and our friend Porscha came and joined us in the hallway!!

30 minutes was waaaaaaaaaay to long for ALL of us to be in the hallway! I should've taken pictures of that, but I was too stressed out to even think of it!

Whew! Now the day is through and I am beat! Night Night!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Karate Boy

Little Zo is taking Karate!!

It is the cutest thing. I wanted Alonzo to go with him. I thought it would be something good for them to do together. I didn't really think that he would do it. He can be a little shy around new things. When I drop him off at the nursery he will almost never go in without me talking him into it. He hides behind my leg and holds on. I was convinced he'd never do karate but I thought atleast we'd try. Alonzo took him and a few minutes later this was one of the videos I got on my phone!






I was so excited!!! I couldn't believe he had jumped right in there and did it!! He looked like such a big boy. It was also so great that I could see him and have the videos on facebook before he even got home from the lesson. lol. We soon progressed!!








He does so great in the class from what I see on video. Everyday when it is time to get ready to go (he goes on Monday and Wednesday) he says he doesn't want to go and that he doesn't like karate.?. I can't figure it out! He seems to enjoy it so much but he never wants to go. This week Alonzo was running late so I had to take him. When we got there he would not go and do the lesson. He stood there and cried! I was so shocked!! When his daddy walked in, I quickly walked out!! I couldn't believe it. When I asked him why he didn't practice while I was there. He said he didn't know and that he doesn't like karate. I'm surely cherishing my videos because I don't know how long this is going to last!!!

video
video


Ayden decided she would not be out done! She has talent too!!



She did this over and over again for about 5 minutes. This is what she did when I first pulled out the video camera.



She wasn't quit ready to go public!

Don't Wanna Grow Up



I've decided that Ayden Michelle can never grow up!!!

I don't know if I've been a parent long enough to relax and enjoy it a little bit more (it was slow going there at first) or if she really is just that darn sweet!! I almost can't stand it sometimes. I want to pull out the video camera and catch her every little move.

The way she runs down the hall chasing after her brother and sister.



The way she sruntches up her little face when she is not pleased.

The way she pouts and slaps her hands on her knees as if she just can't take anymore.

Aw!! I feel like she's someones else's child I enjoy her so much (most of the time :)

Today I said "Ayden you cannot grow up. Say ok mommy!" She scruntched her face up because she's two and of course she doesn't want to do anything mommy says without a fight. I said, "say ok mommy". With her face still scruntched up she said (in her whiny voice) "o-tay mommy." How will I ever remember that!!! I won't and it makes me sad!!!

Or the way she puts her face against one side of your face and then the other before she gives her good night kiss!!

or the way she says, "cuse me mommy, cuse me mommy, cuse me mommy, cuse me mommy" until the attempt at saying excuse me not to interrupt is pointless :)



She has so much personality in her little bitty body! It is just hilarious and I love her so!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Motherhood Joys




There are moments like these that make motherhood a pure joy!

I was laying Ayden down for her nap today and she kept looking at me like she wanted something. (I can't explain exactly what that look was, but I'm her momma and I knew she wanted something. lol) I kept giving her kisses because I thought that was what she wanted. She kept looking.

Finally I just laid her in the bed, and when I did she said "Pway." Ahhhgghhh!!! My sweet little pumpkin wanted me to pray before she took a nap. It was so sweet! (my face is as we speak turned up in the "Aw! that's so sweet" face :)



I normally pray before she goes to bed at night but not before naps. I guess it was all the same to her. I prayed for her and she giggled like she always does. It's amazing how they love things that they don't really understand yet. I pray that the Lord will use these planted seeds to grow into the fruit of salvation!!

Speaking of planted seeds. Yesterday, partly as a joke and partly out of pure need. I started laying hands on my children. I put my hand on their forheads and prayed. Amorri (my ten year old neice) quickly informed me that I was not a bishop.?. I couldn't even begin to get into what little she actually knows and how much she thinks she know about that.



Anyway, I decided that that was a very practicle way to bring Jesus into our daily situations and to literally pray for my children. So, today whenever they would come to me with one of the miriad issues that come up during the day. I would stop and put my hand on their forheads and pray for them.

Alaiyah took it very seriously and I believe it really helped her. Zo on the other hand...



He would let out this sigh of exasperation and ask "why you keep praying for me" LOL That boy is a whole different child than Alaiyah and I certainly need all of the prayers I can get. Like Ayden, though, I can tell that he really does like it. He's a true boy, after all, and even at 3 he couldn't stand the thought of letting on that he actually likes something that his mother does. Gotta love'em!!



Oh and by the way, when I was laying hands on the children yesterday you know who had to go around and do it to. Yes, little Miss Ayden. She also did her daddy and pushed his head back a little to hard. Makes you wonder if she's seen that somewher else. ha!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This is a copy of a post from My Charming Kids

http://www.mycharmingkids.net/2009/01/down-with-mothers-guilt.html

it was a post that I resonated with deeply and I'm sure lots of mothers will too!

The Lord has been so good to show me over the last month or so a lot of my own insecurities. It's been so freeing to know that I am accepted and loved by the ONE who matters despite my contined failings and weaknesses. I don't have to get it all together in order for Him to be ok with me.

I love it! It's so freeing! I am free to be me in Christ. I'm still trying to figure out who that me is. One thing I learned that brings me comfort in it all is that God accepts me!! I don't have to be perfect. Jesus was and His counts for me! I am free in the grace of God to be all that God wants me to be. Free to discover who God has made me to be and confident in the reality that that "me" will be different from others...which is as it should be.

I've learned that I tend to be a rule follower. When there God's rules that's great when there not that's bondage. I am also free from that!

I'm excited to see what God's plans are for me and very trusting that they will be the best plan I could ever imagine. God is just good like that.

Enjoy!!


What's up with mother guilt!?

See, I was struck with some kind of small epiphany late this afternoon as I drove our MSC to an outing. MckNugget's face was dirty. And I'm talking really dirty. Like, there were probably still 14 calories on there dirty.

And when faced with the strong impulse to wipe his face clean of the honey/almond butter/marker/bread crumbs/goodness-knows-what-else mess before we entered our public destination, I stopped short and asked myself a few questions.

Does how my child looks in public really matter? Do I sometimes try to find my self-worth in how my children behave/look/smell? Do I unnecessarily impose mother's guilt upon myself? Is this just another way of trying to control things in my life? Am I afraid of having that child?

You know that child, don't you? That one with shoes on the wrong feet, snarly hair and ketchup on his shirt who's not quite potty trained but really should be? The one who embarrasses us in the grocery store? The one who we think makes us look like bad parents because of their misbehavior? The one who isn't perfect? That child who is just average?

I decided once and for all today that I do want that child. That I accept average. Down with mother's guilt! Unlike opinions that I held strongly before having children, there actually is nothing wrong with allowing my children to enter a public establishment with a drool-stained onesie, an outfit that doesn't match, or behavior that is less than adorable. That it doesn't display bad things about me as a mother when my children act like children.

And so I left MckNugget's face dirty, and we entered the establishment with our heads held high.

And then, after I realized that I do want that child, I realized that, accept it or not, anyone with children already has that child. No child is perfect, just like none of us are perfect. All children are messy, all children disobey, all children have accidents in their pants and all children are born without the ridiculous notion that how they look in public matters at all.

Because it doesn't matter. And people aren't looking at or paying attention to us or our children even half as much as we think they are, anyway.

What if, instead of trying to play the comparison game just to make sure our kids have a leg up on others, we just let it go?

Besides, where did all this mother's guilt come from, anyway? In the Garden of Eden at the fall, of course. Although I had my fair share to do with the promotion of mother's guilt. Especially before I had children. You know, when I was the perfect mother. I used to silently judge mothers who had to drag their tantruming sons out of Target by their belt loops, cringe at mothers who let their daughters walk around with food stains all over the fronts of their shirts and swear that when I had children, I'd never have that child.

And then, when I became a mother, I let a lot of that go. I realized that having children is hard. And dirty. And messy. And imperfect. And that that child was my child! But in turn, when I let that go, I picked up a new unhealthy habit: I found myself clinging to what I did do well, and propagated mother's guilt oh so subtly upon others that way.

My children always potty train really early. I use cloth diapers. We eat organic food. Look how nicely my children sit while we lunch at the Community Center. Blah, blah, blah, blah. As if any of that proved that I was a fabulous mother.

And that brings me back to my epiphany from earlier. I realized today how I long to reject mother's guilt.

Early potty training works for our family. But I am not a better mother for it. There are scads of 2 year olds who can produce much clearer words that the toddler babbles that still come out of the mouth of our 2 year old. But there is nothing wrong with our parenting because of it. Health and wellness are valuable to me and I love natural parenting. But I am not a better mother for making those choices. I didn't make enough breastmilk for Small Fry and I had to stop nursing her much earlier than I would have liked to. But I accept no guilt for that.

See, mothering is hard enough work without allowing ourselves to be burdened by others' guidelines for our own children. It's hard enough without giving mother's guilt to ourselves. It's hard enough when we do fail and have to face legitimate guilt, so it seems silly to add false guilt over silly, meaningless things to the mix. Mothering is hard enough!

So, here's to letting go of potty training stigmas, to allowing ourselves to be okay with being imperfect mothers, to dirty faces in public being socially acceptable and to feeding our children whatever we think is best for them. And to, instead, focusing only on what really matters.

Down with mother's guilt!!