Wednesday, May 31, 2006
We have had so much fun preparing for sweet #3. Above is a picture of all the clothes that have been given as "hand-me-downs" from friends and family. We have bought 3 dresses, but the rest has been given out of love and excitement. Can you believe that? I am overwhelmed by how much she is loved and prayed for already. I am enamored by the way her brothers think of her and protect her, even now. I absolutely can not wait to meet her.
Here is what the boys had to say about her at dinner last night:
#1:Mom, I can't wait for the fall (autumn) for you. Then you won't be so uncomfortable or get so hot! And you'll feel so good when we meet our baby.
#2:And Mama. My baby's coming out of my po-po soon, guys! Did you hear me? It's gonna be comin' soon!
Leave it to #2, right? I can't imagine having two older brothers. I had one that I completely adored...but two? She is a prized possession already to them. They already have their opinions of how to "parent" her. #1 insists that we "not feed her breastmilk, but formula" because "there are hearts on the can and she will love that!" He also has opinions about what she can and can not wear...blue and green are out for her because, afterall, she is a girl! I think about how blessed she will be to enter into a family where we all want and love her so incredibly much. She is truly our sweet joy!
Well, we've put our new summer schedule into play. Basically, it begins at 7:00 when the kids get an hour of cartoons in the morning while I take a shower, make my bed, put a load of clothes in, etc. My little #2 is no longer entertained very often by the tube. So this is the second time he has resorted to trying to make his own breakfast. I adore his engineer-like abilities, but he could have potentially caught the house on fire this time! Above is the picture of the instant oatmeal packet that he tried to toast in the toaster. As I was gathering library books from around the house I smelled a burnt smell. I immediately knew he was involved! When I went into the kitchen he said, "Look, I made oat-neal!" He had gotten his cup ready, a bowl out and the packet had just popped up from the toaster. I am so glad that there were no flames! I'm not sure how a paper package did not erupt in the toaster...but praise God for small miracles!
#2 is one of a kind. We have really hit a new independent stage with him. He rebels at being told when and how to run his life. It's kindof funny because I am quite sure that I was the same way at his age. He can make steam come out of my ears...I get so frustrated at him! But I also have to bite my lip to keep from laughing at his little antics. What in the world would I do without the joy and mischief he brings to our family? He reminds me to parent, not out of obligation or for my own good, but out of love for him and for God. He keeps my humble. He keeps the mood light! I love him so much!
Monday, May 29, 2006
So he had pulled out a flyer for "Cracking the DaVinci Code". We had a great discussion about the truth of the gospel, that Jesus was clearly never married, the inerrancy of Scripture, etc. I tried to explain to him that the author of this book was pretending, and in my opinion it is creepy and unnecessary to pretend such things about the Savior of the world. And then he innocently asked, "Will God forgive that man for pretending lies about Jesus?" And that lead to a whole other conversation about forgiveness and how the man would be forgiven if he asked to be, etc. The conversation ended with #1 telling me randomly that there is this one picture of Mary in the woods and that he sees that picture everywhere and he is tired of seeing that one. I have no idea what he is referring to, but that is how the conversation ended and he moved on to the topic of the summer reading club at the library.
I love teachable moments like these! Isn't it funny what theological ground you can cover with a five year old in the 5 miles between Burger King and the library. And how do they go from playing spy detectives on the BK playground to asking such questions 1 minute later in the car? I am so grateful and amazed at how the Spirit is softening his heart to such big truths and how he is learning compassion and finding a heart for the lost. I am kindof in a panic, though, about what kinds of questions he will have at 10, 15, 18. Yikes! Lord, give me wisdom and patience.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Here is what we have going on:
1.Baby due in September. Not to have a bad attitude, but I am so enormous right now that I can't help but predict a rough summer.
2.Our house is on the market and we are moving across town this summer. Moving is never fun or easy. I have moved ump-teen times, but never when I was pregnant. Should be a big challenge.
3.I am giving up homeschooling and the boys are enrolled in school for the fall. #1 will go to school where we go to church, there is an awesome K-8 program. #2 will go to Pre-K down the street. His best friend is in his class. I feel a peace about them being in school for next year, but a sadness too. Thankfully they go only 8:30-12:30, #1 is off on Friday and #2 is off on Monday and Friday.
4.My husband is MISERABLE at his job. There are no words to express how bad that situation is for him.
5.This is a little embarassing to admit, but I am really depressed about this weight gain! I feel so ungrateful for saying it because we are so thrilled to be pregnant after all that we have gone through. But I am gaining all over and quickly and I dread the post-partum days. I am going to have to work really hard to get back in shape! Incidentally, I have 16 weeks to go and I now weigh what I did when I gave birth to my first child. Yikes!
6.Okay, even harder to admit, but here goes...my kids are out of control! Every time #2 plays independently he gets into something. He tore pages yesterday out of this antique music book that sits on our piano. The music book contains melodies that my man's grandmother wrote when she attended Juliard. My kids are just running amuck since we finished school and there is no routine in the morning. I guess I need a summer routine. The pool opens on Saturday so we will be there mostly every morning. But I can't help but dread that due to having to wear a bathing suit! I would rather have a tooth pulled any day that waddle around in a bathing suit right now!
So I am now reminded of some advice I gave another blogging friend earlier this week that God does not give imaginary grace for imaginary circumstances. Many of my stresses are due to imagining how bad things are going to be that I haven't even experienced. I need to take my own advice, I know. Does anyone else have any words of wisdom?
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Cute #2 saying: We travelled to the "big city" to go to a museum yesterday. #2 loves the big buildings, cranes, fast cars, etc. He sighed really loudly and said, "Wow, Mommy. Dis sure is a big, wonderful world!" And then he ended with, "When I gwow up, I want to be an en-gwin-eer. Dey get to say WOO-WOO!" I guess he meant a train engineer. His love for speed and mechanical things is scaring me a little!
Friday, May 19, 2006
So, anyway, I am so so so excited! You women who have hubbies in the military, I have absolutely no idea how you do it. I admire and applaud you. I am physically and emotionally worn out! Okay, so I'm going to go watch the time tick away...one more hour! I'm feeling that Song of Solomon love, ladies!
Thursday, May 18, 2006
*Who invented the food tray, anyway? It is a marvelous idea for picky eaters like mine who don't want their food to touch! I got these at Wal-Mart for 97 cents!
*#2 prayed his newest prayer that makes me laugh and I quote, "Dea-uh Jesus, Tank you for dis day. Tank you for someting. In Jesus name, Amen." It's so heartfelt, too.
*I had to pull an enormous tick off of #1 today in an oh-so-sensitive area. He asked after screaming for ten minutes over the approach of the tweezers in such a private area, "Did it suck the life out of "it"?"
*Saw turkeys in the library parking lot. That was interesting.
*For those of you who REALLY put off cleaning your oven, like me, I found the cure. Easy Off Oven Cleaner...Fume Free! You spray it on and in 2 hours wipe everything away easily with a warm rag. I had been smelling the burned food from the bottom of the oven for weeks. This little chore took no longer than 10 minutes once the spray had settled for a few hours!
*On a more disgusting note, my man scaled a few fish and put them in the back of the bottom shelf of the frig, unbeknowst to me. I found them when I returned Tuesday from being out of town for 4 days. Then I remembered that he said he was going to "throw away the fish that he caught because they had been left in the cooler over night". I should have known that he wouldn't throw away a prized catch. So I came home to week old fish that were spoiled to begin with. There is no way to express the smell in my frig. I used soap and water, clorox, baking soda. I still smell it a little. Thankfully, the other food does not taste like the smell. But I did go through the produce and zyplock everything. This task of de-funking the frig has been the smelliest chore that I can remember around here since #1 had chronic toddler diarrhea! I think this may be the first time in the history of our marriage that I have had a clean oven and a clean frig simultaneously. There's always a silver lining, I guess.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The main events of the day:
17 weeks to go until we meet our daughter...what will her name be??? I wish we knew!
Those of you who read my blog about housework and how I am determined to do it myself will laugh at this...the house cleaners came today. I know, after all that great advice I still called for back up! But the house sure does smell and look great, and sometimes by golly that is worth $80...but not usually!
My cousin sent baby clothes...oh my gosh, I have never seen so many pink things! Wow!
#1 smushed his finger in the door at gym class. I felt awful for him! I hope the nail doesn't turn a funky color! The picture is blurry...my camera is acting up again! Ugg...
Today I finished all the menial, yucky paperwork and phone calls that I have put off for the last month. (the insurance bill that I didn't understand, the reservation for Memorial day cookout at a park which I almost didn't get due to procrastination, cleaning out the car, organizing the pantry, faxing a few documents, calling ump-teen people about little things, etc., etc.)
My laundry room has less than 10 items in it that are dirty...praise the Lord...and my pantry is full!
AND...my mom is in town and took me out to dinner! Yah-hoo!
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Back to reality, I read the most thought-provoking entry on another blog today. It could not have come at a better time for me. I will plainly admit, motherhood has been somewhat drudgery for me lately. I have been LONGING to be alone. I have had an especially deep need to paint and listen to QUIET music and read. The dirty floors, dishes and clothes have not been met with a happy, content attitude from me. So here is what I read today that refreshed my heart and soul and pointed me back to Christ. It is an excerpt taken from Elisabeth Elliot. Don't you just love her?
"Motherhood and Profanity"
But what have buying groceries, changing diapers and peeling vegetables got to do with creativity? Aren’t those the very things that keep us from it? Isn’t it that kind of drudgery that keeps us in bondage? It’s insipid and confining, it’s what one conspicuous feminist called “a life of idiotic ritual, full of forebodings and failure.” To her I would answer ritual, yes. Idiotic, no, not to the Christian–for although we do the same things anybody else does, and we do them over and over in the same way, the ordinary transactions of everyday life are the very means of transfiguration. It is the common stuff of this world which, because of the Word’s having been “made flesh,” is shot through with meaning, with charity, with the glory of God.
But this is what we so easily forget. Men as well as women have listened to those quasi-rational claims, have failed to see the fatal fallacy, and have capitulated. Words like personhood, liberation, fulfillment and equality have had a convincing ring and we have not questioned their popular definitions or turned on them the searchlight of Scripture or even of our common sense. We have meekly agreed that the kitchen sink is an obstacle instead of an altar, and we have obediently carried on our shoulders the chips these reductionists have told us to carry.
This is what I mean by profanity. We have forgotten the mystery, the dimension of glory. It was Mary herself who showed it to us so plainly. By the offering up of her physical body to become the God-bearer, she transfigured for all mothers, for all time, the meaning of motherhood. She cradled, fed and bathed her baby–who was very God of very God–so that when we cradle, feed and bathe ours we may see beyond that simple task to the God who in love and humility “dwelt among us and we beheld his glory.”
Those who focus only on the drabness of the supermarket, or on the onions or the diapers themselves, haven’t an inkling of the mystery that is at stake here, the mystery revealed in the birth of that Baby and consummated on the Cross: my life for yours.
The routines of housework and of mothering may be seen as a kind of death, and it is appropriate that they should be, for they offer the chance, day after day, to lay down one’s life for others. Then they are no longer routines. By being done with love and offered up to God with praise, they are thereby hallowed as the vessels of the tabernacle were hallowed–not because they were different from other vessels in quality or function, but because they were offered to God. A mother’s part in sustaining the life of her children and making it pleasant and comfortable is no triviality. It calls for self-sacrifice and humility, but it is the route, as was the humiliation of Jesus, to glory.
To modern mothers I would say “Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be. For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his prerogatives as God’s equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as a mortal man. And, having become man, he humbled himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dying, and the death he died was the death of a common criminal. That is why God has now lifted him so high. . .” (Phil. 2:5-11 Phillips).
It is a spiritual principle as far removed from what the world tells us as heaven is removed from hell: If you are willing to lose your life, you’ll find it. It is the principle expressed by John Keble in 1822:
If on our daily course our mindBe set to hallow all we find,New treasures still, of countless price,God will provide for sacrifice.
Thank you, sweet Jesus, for showing me once again the beauty and honor in the calling of motherhood. Keep reminding me, I pray, as often as my vain heart forgets!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Here's an example of the mood around here. I just went to put #2 down for rest time. I started to sing him his favorite lullably, "The Lord Bless You and Keep You", and he said, "Be quiet, Mommy!" I kissed his forehead, said sleep well and bolted for the door. What a little grump! I wasn't sure whether to cry or scream. Then I go into my room where #1 has been given the opportunity to read for a while, which I thought was a gracious treat considering he went to bed at 11 and could use a nap. He is pouting under a pillow because I made him put his toy away. Again, I chose to get out of there fast. I said, "Enjoy your books!" and closed the door.
It has been 5 minutes and #2 is asleep. I can hear #1 reading away. I am thankful that I won't be further frustrated by one of them rebelling against rest time. I pray God will give us grace to deal well with one another the rest of the day. Where's all the testosterone? I am used to two easy-going, some what less emotional boys. Yikes! Bedtime has just moved up an hour!
Monday, May 08, 2006
I have been reading this WONDERFUL book! It is called For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women. Okay, so it is not addressed to females. But I read For Women Only last year and devoured it! So I had to see what the author and her husband had to say about the inner lives of women. I can't speak for all women, but they have me pegged! I have actually found myself crying at how well this book articulates the feelings that I have and find so hard to explain. My husband and I have really made an unusually deep effort to be "real" with one another. I feel like he is closer to me now and knows me better than ever before. And yet sometimes it is still hard for us to understand "what lies beneath". These two books have really helped us both.
Here is one quote from For Men Only, but it doesn't even begin to do the book justice at all.
"The top 5 things that make a woman feel secure:
1.She feels that the two of you are close;
2.She sees that you make time together a priority;
3.She sees your commitment to her;
4.She sees that you are active in the life of the home;
5.She sees you making an effort to provide (AS LONG AS THAT DOESN'T CROWD OUT 1-4)"
If you want a quick read that can transform your marriage I highly recommend this book!
Thursday, May 04, 2006
My little one, #2 is so sweet and loving as well. I adore him. But he is not "getting it" like big brother right now. He does NOT appreciate boundaries. He has more of a free, independent spirit. He is NOT motivated to please people, i.e. Mommy. Yesterday he had a day marked with rebellion. Here's the scenario...I am not a mommy that let's my kids run around when I am shopping. I don't judge those who do, but I am too worried about all the potential dangers. They stay in a cart. They really don't know any differently so it has never really been a big deal. Well yesterday we "ran in" to just get "one thing". It took me close to an hour to pick out the one thing. **Okay, I confess, I was looking at baby dresses!** Any way, #2 wanders off and climbs onto a shelf with exersaucer boxes. He made a tunnel and crawled through the boxes. I could not find him. I called his name for several minutes and began to get frantic. Finally, I heard him quietly confess where he was. He was whispering, "I just in my clubhouse, Mama!" I had to spank his hand, HARD, right there in front of everyone, i.e. all the other mommies who were already looking at me like I was the bad mom who lost her kid! Ugg! Then we come home and every time I ask him to do something he would reply, "I don't weally want to do dat." Ugg!
So now I am left to pray for little #2. He is so endearing that I can't feel defeated or discouraged. I am feeling like the Lord is saying, "Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries!". So I will keep drawing a line in the sand, he will probably have a few days of crossing that line and being disciplined. But I have faith that God will soften his little heart. When I find myself in situations like this where I am exasperated with one of my children's willful disobedience, I am reminded of how Jesus must feel with me some days! Thank you Jesus for your grace and steadfast love for me, a little rebel as well!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
We had our ultrasound today. The baby looks healthy and..."IT'S A GIRL!" I'm going to have a daughter after all. Praise God! I went to an art boutique and bought the cross and butterfly for her nursery. We are thrilled, to say the least!!
Monday, May 01, 2006
I don't know what to say except that even during the midst of celebrating the baby inside of me, I still miss this little life. Here is my blog entry from the day after we found out that she had died...
I am amazed at how empty I feel already. It's like I have been deflated, emotionally and physically. Today I am thinking of all the dreams that we are having to let go of. Unfortunately, in this case at least, I am a planner. From the moment we saw the positive pregnancy test on our anniversary in August, I began dreaming of our future. Sometimes this personality trait does more harm than good, such as now, but I am what I am!
I had dreamed of how the boys would be with their little baby. I could see the big brother begin to emerge in little #2. I already began bubbling over with excitement for the new smells that would come into our house. The baby smells, the lotions, sweet baby breath, etc. I could not wait to see what these new little blue eyes would look like as they stared at me. Would her hair be curly or straight? Would she crave physical touch like #1, or be fiercely independent like #2. I wondered... Nine months sure would be a long time, I thought. Next week, I would make a paper chain to help #1 count down the weeks. Now that we were down to twenty something and he was wondering when the baby would "come out", he needed help seeing how long we would have to wait. Foolishly, I even had a beautiful nursery planned in my head. Light yellow and green with bumble bees. A little wicker hive would hang from the ceiling with sheer fabric hanging down and around the crib. I would recover the rocker in black and white gingham fabric and I had seen the sweetest white curtains with a green bumble bee pattern. If she was a girl, lots of flower pots. My mom and I had picked out a green and white toile pattern for her infant seat and playpen. I was ready to have some new things for this little one. Maybe deep down, I thought she was a girl and the navy and tan patterns on everything would not be as feminine as she or I would prefer! I thought I would take black and white photos of her feet and hands and hang them above the dresser.
Isn't it amazing how much we can fit into our imaginations when we are excited? I think of how painful it is to realize that God has a different plan for our family and all of these dreams will not come true right now. I think of all the events that would happen over the next months leading to early May and how each one revolved around nourishing and preparing for our third child. This would have been the most exciting Christmas, as we would have our "big" ultrasound the week before the holiday break and we would show everyone the video and reveal the gender before opening presents. The list could go on and on. I am so deeply sad.
This morning I read Psalm 30, which said, "...Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning." First of all, again the dreamer in me decided right away that if God gives us a little girl some day, we should name her Joy. We have always loved that name and there it is in the verse He gave me. I again feel overcome with the love God has given me through His Son. I trust Him with my life and my soul, dreams and all. Thank you Father that you will never leave me. Thank you that you have shared your love with me in such a way that I can still rejoice in you even when life is so hard and sad. I love you and draw near to you, and I know you will heal my broken heart. Your grace is sufficient for me, today and tomorrow and always.
"Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7
Make this verse rich and alive in my heart, dear Lord.
One more thing...tonight when #1 prayed he said, "Dear God, Please help the baby to come back to life again... and I thougt, "Oh, boy! I'll have to break it to him gently!"...then he continued, "Please help the baby to come back to life again...in heaven." That's right my little sweetheart. Alive again in heaven!
Tomorrow we go to the doctor to find out if our fourth child is a girl or a boy. If she is a girl, we will name her Joy and post Psalm 30 in her room. Oh, and I am proud to say that my brother has since had a baby girl and he named her Greyce Elizabeth.