Friday, March 29, 2013

The Storm.

We stayed at my parents' house last night to spend some time with my brother and his family, who were in town for the week. After everyone was settled in bed, Lydia suddenly started to cry. No, wait, she started to scream. Knowing my brother's family was in the room next to ours, I swooped her up quickly and tried frantically to calm her down. After lots of useless shushing, I rushed downstairs to the dark family room and settled in the glider. Liddy put her thumb in her mouth and nestled her head under my chin, and drifted back to sleep.

She finally fell asleep and we sat there in the dark together. I could feel myself beginning to doze, so I gently stood up and swiftly moved to the love seat and laid down, with Lydia on my chest. We stayed there the remainder of the night, and when I felt myself beginning to fall asleep again, I shifted her next to me, in the crook of my arm.

I woke up to a blinding flash of light coming through the window next to us, followed by a huge clap of thunder. It shook the house, but Lydia stayed asleep next to me. I pulled her closely to me as the storm continued to rage outside. I then remembered that it was the early, early morning hours of Good Friday, and my heart began to ache at the thought of the storm that raged when Christ, my Savior, was crucified.

As I snuggled with my baby girl, safe and warm in my arms, and looked out the window at the storm, I thought of the unspeakable suffering and horrific torment He bore ... for me. And for the precious little one next to me. I felt tears hot on my cheeks, overwhelmed with guilt for my sin, and overwhelmed with the love I know He feels for me, despite it.

How God the Father gave His own little one, for me.

And the subsequent storm ... His heart breaking.

I rubbed Lydia's little head until I fell asleep again, my mind still thinking towards the cross and what He did for me on this day.

Happy Good Friday, friends. May you think of His sacrifice today, and every day.


Thank you for the questions--I look forward to answering them.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What Tiny Fraction Of Your Brain Do You Have Left?

Hey friends!

I realize my blogging has been a bit spotty since Lydia was born (a year, yeesh!). I'm getting back into the swing of it, as she gets older and is easily entertained by crawling into the lazy susan in our corner cupboard and singing songs to George the Cat while rummaging through the sippy cups.

Gives me a good ten minutes to do something productive.

So! I've done these kinds of posts for years, and I'm not even sure if I have any readership left, but, are there any questions that you have for me? Anything to get the juices going again? I know I posted something very similar to this right before Lydia was born and I can BET I didn't answer every question. Doesn't speak much to my credibility, does it? But, I promise, I will answer these.

Mothers can do an immeasurable amount of things when given ten minutes.


You can ask me pretty much anything. Pretty much. Mostly.

Like ... my favorite color? Why I had a pet rat when I was twelve? My favorite coffee? Parenting? Hair-coloring? Really bad recipe-following? Why in the world I think anyone would ever want to ask me questions and know anything about me?

You know, those kinds of things.

Ask away, or don't. I will only sob quietly for a few minutes if I get a total of zero comments. ;)

Have a lovely day, friends!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

the EGGS!

EDIT: A very precious teacher from my childhood politely informed me that I had misspelled "vial" for perfume. I promise, my perfume is not "VILE". :) Thank you for the heads-up, Mrs. Woods. My brain is on auto-pilot today.

Yesterday afternoon was crazy. I'm hosting Easter this year, which meant lots of running around to ensure I have everything I will need. I did this yesterday, because my week is crazy. We're busy every day. Crazy crazy crazy.

So, as I was zooming through the aisles of my beloved Target, chucking plastic Easter eggs into my cart, I couldn't help but get that "THIS ISN'T WHAT THIS HOLIDAY IS ABOUT" feeling, the one that typically gnaws at my soul during Christmas and Easter. We don't do the bunny thing, so the eggs don't even make sense in that way! But, I kept a few eggs, put a few away, grabbed some small pieces of paper (to write "privileges" on, like staying up or having dessert, to put in the eggs, so it isn't ALL candy), tossed those in the cart, and came home.

And, of course, at 10:30 that night, I received an email from my best friend, which had a link to this blog.

And, really, I agree. This holiday is the crux of Christianity. Without the Resurrection, we just believe Jesus was a good guy who died and that's that. But, He became our Savior on Easter morning. The catalyst that changed it all.

And, so, laying in bed, I stared at the ceiling. Then I turned my head to look at the Target bag filled with eggs, wedged against the wall. And then I looked back up at the ceiling. And at the eggs. I prayed. I looked at the ceiling. I prayed some more. Eggs, ceiling, eggs, ceiling.

I then decided to consult my husband, the guy who makes things make sense to me, to hear his opinion. I explained my plight to him--the EGGS! the EGGS! is not what this is about! And he listened, he nodded, he put his hand on his chin. And he explained that the eggs are just a family tradition. He grew up doing them, I mostly grew up doing them. The grandparents will be here, Easter baskets in hand. Just do a few eggs for the kids. They're so little. It's just eggs.

(the EGGS!)

"But," he said, "It's up to us to teach them the Truth. We did eggs, but we knew the Truth, too."

How do we say one thing while doing another? How do I talk to my kids about the hugeness of this Event whilst dolling out cheap plastic eggs?

I mean, I get it. I can separate the two in my mind: The Family Tradition and the Holiday. The tradition is just that--something fun. The Holiday is what it's all about. But will my kids be able to distinguish between the two? It's easy to blow things off and say it isn't that big of a deal, but, it kind of is. In my opinion, anyway.

So, this year, for the first time, we're observing Holy Week. In our own little way. Not observing Holy Week so we can do eggs, but observing it to help the kids understand the steps that led up to the Resurrection. We kind of wave branches around on Palm Sunday and skip right to Easter. But taking those days in between to study the events leading up to Christ's death ... we need the context. I'm sure many of you do this anyway, but I didn't grow up in a tradition that ever observed Holy Week. It's new to me, and wonderful.


This morning, I grabbed our Storybook Bible (LOVE IT) and read Caleb the story of Mary Magdelene pouring her perfume on Jesus' feet. This is technically tomorrow's story, so ... forgive me. I jumped ahead. Anyway. I read it, complete with my own vial of perfume. And Cub was totally into it. He smelled the perfume.  Nodded when I used words like "expensive" and "sinner" and "alabaster". And when I read that Mary knew she needed a Savior, Cub's eyes widened and said, "MOM! I get it!!" I paused, excitedly.


Oh geez.

"You know, Yo-Gabba Gabba when there's that big green cloud that comes out of that car? It's yucky and bad, and poisons the ENTIRE EARTH."

I stared blankly at Cub's excited face, blinking a few times to register.

"Um, okay..? It's bad like, uh, sin?"

He tapped his finger on his chin and nodded. Yes. The green cloud on Yo Gabba-Gabba is just like sin.

We finished the story and I couldn't help but giggle. I mean, he was kind of right.

I freak out with things like this, I do. I worry. It's such a huge responsibility to teach our kids the Truth. And Cub's little mind was processing it as best he could. Like any four year old. I needed that reminder, that we do the best we can. We plant the seed. We teach the Truth. And sometimes our kids get it ... and sometimes they don't! Or, they kind of do, and relate it to a cartoon that we RARELY WATCH, AHEM.


I'm still stumped with the eggs. And now I have to abruptly end this post, because Lydia pooped. Thank you for reading my random processing post. Now that I re-read it, this post is kind of a hot mess. All over the place.

Thank you for reading, anyway.

Have a lovely day.

P.S.--Her diaper is changed! Now. What are your thoughts?? I would love to know your family's Easter traditions!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Liddy Number Three.

Lydia is EVERYWHERE. ALL THE TIME. The girl is brave and, bless her heart, clumsy. She goes into everything full-force, whether it's taking a bite of food or lunging for a toy or jumping in for a hug. Her little forehead is always bruised, thanks to her head-first collisions with the floor, a table, a toy, one of our heads, etc. But nothing stops her. She just keeps toddling on. We practice holding hands as much as possible (like when we pick big brother up from school) and she's learning the good ol' "Come to Mama" command that has already come in handy in public places. But, already, I can see Lydia's personality differing slightly from her older siblings. Both of her older sibs vary on the compliance list, but would be considered compliant, in my opinion. Lydia is learning obedience and all that jazz, but there's something about her that makes us realize that, well, she's the third. The baby. And in her life, her primary goal will be to keep up with her big brother and her big sister. Oh, bless her heart, she thinks she's BIG. And therefore tries to do what the others do, and doesn't exactly love taking "no" for an answer.

Baby's a pistol.

Her spunk and sunshine make her delightfully refreshing. Seriously, this girl is radiant when she smiles. But, at the drop of a hat, she'll plunk on the ground with a full-force wail, with me staring at her, quietly wringing my hands in worry, wondering what in the world to do. I'll just say this now:

Neither of my older kids have been full-blown fit-throwers.

They just aren't. I don't know why. Don't get me wrong--they pout and they'll fuss if something in particular doesn't go their way, but it's typically resolved quickly with a stern word from me. This means nothing except that my children just have two distinct personalities: The obedient firstborn son and the pleaser firstborn daughter.

And then ... Baby Lydia.

The pistol.

She's very, well, LOUD. She hollers when she's happy. She hollers when she's upset. And while Naomi was our spunky baby, she mellowed out as a toddler, but Lyds, well, hollers. Like I said, she goes into everything full-force (and without much grace, like ME) and that includes her volume level. Her speaking voice is sweet and raspy and low, but man, you get that girl happy and the hollering commences. She loves just as intensely as she gets upset. Wild and free, is our Liddy B.

All that to say, it will be interesting to navigate the toddler waters with this one. I'm trying to nip things in the bud as I see them happen, but, let's be honest--I have two others who require attention, too, and I know there are things Lydia does that fly under the radar. I've heard before that third-borns (especially if they are last-borns) are easygoing ... and spoiled. And now, I get it. Easygoing because they just have to go with the flow. I mean, seriously--when she's a happy camper, which is honestly most of the time, she's a breeze. But spoiled because, well, she's the BABY! BAAAABBBYY!! And, I know, it's too early to really judge what these next few years will look like. But, from our experience already, with Lydia there is a lot of laughter and joy ... and a lot of stern reproof. Baby keeps us on our toes.

Sugar and spice. Our Liddy.

My musings for this rainy Thursday.

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Puke-fest Redemption.

I'm hunkered down at my computer, shoveling a completely unhealthy and ridiculous lunch of veggie straws into my mouth with one hand while typing a quick post with the other. The dryer is going, the dishwasher is running, the kids are napping ... thus, a brief reprieve.

This morning has been awesome. Wait, rewind. Last night was decidedly unawesome. Mostly. Cub threw up in the car (in a cup! Miracle of miracles!) and thusly the greater part of the night was spent rubbing his back while he puked ("Will you please rub my back, Mommy, and help the throw-up come out??) and snuggling with him in our bed. Poor buddy was a wreck last night.

And was, of course, the spitting image of health and vitality this morning. Go figure.

Needless to say, that puke-fest resulted in the cancellation of our plans this morning. Even though Cub is acting fine, let's not kid ourselves: Sickness lurks. ALWAYS. And, no need to spread our germs to friends.

Anyway. So, this morning? It's been awesome. Our forced quarantine has manifested itself into a day of playing "school". Cub picked a whistle out of the treasure box at his (real) school yesterday, so today I tied it to a ribbon and made a lanyard for him to wear around his neck. Y'ALL. GENIUS. The child is overjoyed that he now looks like a "coach", and we have spent our morning under his direction. We firstly did P.E. Then we read books. Then they watched 20 minutes of Super Why while I did laundry and started the broth for dinner. Then we colored, together. Then we built blocks, together. Then they had "pretend" nap time, so I snuck into the kitchen and made them sack lunches, to continue with the theme. So cute. Cub loved making up different "stations" for us to do, one of which included a water bead bath for he and Naomi, while Lydia took a real nap. And I've had so much fun slowing down and playing with the kids, not just finding things for them to do.

I remember seeing something floating around Pinterest that compared a "good" mom to a "godly" mom. One of the qualities of a "good" mom was that she finds activities for her kids to do, while a "godly" mom focuses on building relationships with her kids. Oy. Y'all, I am so guilty of being the activity Mom. Crafts, coloring, what have you ... all things that are fine and even good for kids to do, but I very often find myself using that time to get other things done around the house, while the kids are occupied. That isn't always a bad thing--I mean, the laundry has to get done at some point. Really. But, could I slow down and spend just a few minutes engaging the kids and joining them in their fun? Absolutely.

Because, as my friend and I often remind each other, once our children were birthed and we launched into motherhood, we did not choose to stay at home so we could do laundry. We did not choose to stay at home so we could have vacuumed carpets or clean sinks.

We are stay-at-home Moms.

And, I am totally guilty of allowing the other things in life to crowd out the one thing I truly stayed home to do: To be a Mom.

(And, really, even if I was working, I could still see myself stressing over the "other" things that need to get done, instead of hanging out with the kids when I was home. I mean, really stressing. Working Moms are my heros.)

I'm not glad Cub puked his guts out last night. I would have perhaps preferred another reason to slow down. And I'm sad that our plans were canceled. But, I am very thankful that God used this morning to remind me of the joy my kids bring into my life ... and the joy that I bring into theirs.

And, lo and behold, the other stuff is getting done, too. Just maybe in slower increments than what is convenient. But, meh, it will get done.

As in now, during nap time. Gotta run. :)

Have a lovely day!