Thursday, May 17, 2012

Memories and MIilestones

The boys are taking their afternoon nap.

My house is a mess again still.

I have a To Do List as long as a six year old's birthday wish list.

Motherhood continues to teach me so much about God's love for me, selflessness and the Gospel.

There are days when I fear that a blink will cause me to miss a precious moment.  I can get caught up in regrets of not charting growth, not taking enough pictures or not writing down every memory and milestone.

{...and I hear the bedroom door open and little feet approaching...}

There are days when the laundry, cleaning, dirty diapers and constant food preparation threatens to overwhelm my tired mind.  I can get caught up in the things that need to be done.

There are days when the cuteness just threatens to overwhelm me.

Today is one of those days. 

Jeremiah was playing with some toys and found the small Chick-fil-A cow.  He studied it for a brief moment before looking up at me and saying, "Fry.  Fry?"  He knows Chick-fil-A.

Jeremiah loves to greet Joshua after nap time.  I will throw him up on our bed and they will lay together for a few moments while they are waking up.  Jeremiah says the cutest, "Hi, baby.  Hi, baby.  Hi, baby." Over and over.  And over. 

Jeremiah also says, "Hi, baby," anytime when he sees Joshua.  So. Cute.

Joshua has always been the most smiley baby.  He was about four weeks old when he first smiled.

Joshua is starting to reach out for things- like the blender (when it is kneading dough), the flat iron (when he is in the Moby wrap as I am fixing my hair) and everything else he is looking at.  He is starting, too, to reach out towards my face.  He looks at me, gives me the biggest smile and then tries to touch my face.

Joshua has always loved sleeping on his belly.  He arches his back after nursing and I know he is ready to sleep. 

Oh, such precious times these are.

And I look at the soft faces of these boys and try to picture them as men.

As husbands.


I realize that my role is vital and yet, oh, so fleeting. 

What do they see in me?  Facebook?  A clean house?  Or Christ?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Meeting Joshua: Part 4

Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you missed them.

The Junior High students seemed more energetic than usual.  And loud.


We were in the middle of the game for the evening.  I glanced at my phone's clock: 7:35PM.  The next one came at 7:45PM.  The music for youth group was just starting and I sat down to time it.  The contraction lasted about a minute and was, what I considered, about average in strength.  The next contraction came. 7:55PM.  Three contractions at 10 minutes apart.  I told Joel I had a couple contractions just so he knew, but that I would be fine through his lesson.

8:10.  8:17.  8:30.

Ok, they are getting some rhythm to them and are strong contractions, but nothing to write home about just yet.

We finished youth group, I got Jeremiah from the nursery and we chatted with our youth leaders a bit.  The contractions were still coming at a steady and rhythmic pace and I started getting a bit anxious.

It's snowing outside, I thought, and it's supposed to snow a lot all through the night.  We need to get home.

I barely remember the conversation we had with our friend and I knew it was something serious, but I also knew I needed to get home.  We needed to call Joel's sister, my mom and get our bags packed.  I started telling Joel we needed to get going.  Another contraction.  No, seriously, we need to go.  I gave him a pleading look and he knew right away what I meant by it.

We were out of the church a little after 9:00 and the roads were already a slippery snow ridden mess.  We had to drive super slow and it took us twice as long to get home as it usually did.  Joel and I decided to have his sister head over sooner rather than later since the roads were getting worse and she could stay the night with us.  I called her and she said she would be over as soon as she could.  I began to get Jeremiah ready for bed; Joel started packing his bag. 

Contraction after contraction.  They were getting stronger and closer together.  They were not as strong or as close together to warrant going to the hospital, but we knew the snow was a major factor.  Go to the hospital now before the weather gets any worse or wait and go to the hospital who knows when with over a foot of snow on the ground?  We also live near one of the worst interstate combinations and the thought of going with snow and rush hour traffic sounded rather unpleasant.

I knew that going to the hospital in early labor would mean the nurses might get too pushy (no pun intended, ha.) if I was not further along than they wanted.  I knew if I went in they would start pressing me to get labor going at the speed they thought best.  It was best to get to the hospital.  I'd deal with the nurses, I guess.

Joel's sister arrived at 10:30.  Jeremiah was in bed.  We talked for a bit as I finished packing my bag.  The contractions were getting hard and I had to stop with each one to breathe through them.  I gave my sister-in-law the run down on Jeremiah and she said that she hoped to get the next day off because of the snow.

We left home at 11:45PM.  The roads were a slushy, slippery mess and it took us 15 minutes longer to get to the hospital than normal.  The contractions were difficult to manage on the way, but nothing like the pain I had experienced in the car ride with Jeremiah.  We arrived at the hospital, with snow abounding, and I started the check-in process while Joel parked.

I am here, again, already?  The last time I sat in this chair I got it all wet.  Hahaha.  I let the memories flood back through my mind as the receptionist asked me a bunch of questions.  My mom arrived with my sister as I was finishing and we headed up to labor and delivery!  I turned down the wheelchair since I was feeling great- I wanted to keep the contractions coming!

I am here, again, already? The last time I walked these halls we had welcomed our firstborn son into our home. Who will we meet this time?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lessons from the Little Cabin

Over the winter Joel affectionately called our small condo "our little cabin."  We smile at each other every time we talk about living in a small place, trying to live a simple life and wondering how many children we could fit in here.  We like to talk about how to live more simply.

Realizing we need less than we have ever imagined.  Taking walks instead of turning on a movie.  Purging possessions down to necessities.  Storing food under the bed or the outdoor closet.

It's kind of fun.

Last week I found Season 1 of The Little House on the Prairie at a consignment shop for $7! (SCORE!  And, yes, it's not a necessity.)  We have been enjoying an episode or two here and there as we have time.  We love the solid Biblical themes, the wonderful picture of marriage and the overall simplicity of the Ingalls family.

We look at the lifestyle of the Ingalls family and somehow, as funny as it might sound, want to be like them.  They only had what they needed.  When they had excess, like a special toy or dress, it was treasured and treated with honor.  Their home was always tidy because there was not junk everywhere.  They valued people and relationships more than possessions.

I know it sounds silly.  (It sounds even more silly when I think about typing this on my computer.)

So, these are some lessons from our little cabin:

1- Be content with what you have.  1 Timothy 6
2- Be thankful for what you have.  Colossians 3
3- Have less so you can give more.  2 Corinthians 9
What are you doing to simplify your life? 

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Naps

Today I am thankful for naps.

Is it just me or does the whole world seem to improve when you get a nap?

Joel and I have been running on very little sleep due to a teething toddler.

I was trying to study today for the worldview class I am teaching tonight and I could barely focus.  I heard Joshua stirring in my bedroom and so I rushed in there, climbed in bed, got him nursing before he was too awake and drifted off to sleep with him.

I awoke an hour later when Jeremiah started waking up.

I feel so refreshed and ready to face all that I have to do tonight.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Memories and Milestones

Trying to eat lunch (cheddar bunnies, pb&j on a tortilla and an Izze- I thought I was on a health kick?) as quickly as possible so I can finish laundry while Jeremiah is napping.  Joshua is resting on my knee and giving me the cutest coos ever.

These boys are growing up so quickly.  It's crazy.  I want to soak up every moment of their baby and toddlerhood because I know it, out of all the stages, is the one that is over in the blink of an eye.  I'm doing {mostly} well at letting lots of things go undone so I can enjoy my children while they are little

Jeremiah- 18 months
Jeremiah is starting to talk SO MUCH.  He said his first word, "uh-oh," at 9 months and has had a pretty steady vocabulary growth since then, but the last week he tries to repeat everything.  I love the way he says yes.  SO CUTE.

Yesterday he was watching the Donut Man and I heard the sound on the TV go off.  He came to me in the kitchen with his hands stretched out to the side and said, "happen?"  He has learned to turn off the TV with the buttons on the side and when he did it last I had come in the living room saying, "What happened?"

Yesterday we went to a new park that has a two story twisty slide.  He climbed all the way up to the top by himself and wanted to go down alone.  I went down with him the first time and he went alone the second time.  It's a big slide- I cannot believe he wanted to go alone!

I love how he gets in Joel's face and says, "Hi, Dadda.  Hi, Dadda.  Hi, Dadda."

I love how, at bedtime, he says, "hand," after Joel finishes reading the Bible because he knows it is time to pray.

The other day he was watching YouTube videos of football (I know, I know), which he calls "bow" after Tim Tebow and he started running all over the house saying, "football" as he looked for his football.  He finally found it in his bed (since he had napped with it) and came running back out to the TV.  He proceeded to throw the football around a couple of times.  He does this when he watches football and I love it!

Joshua- 3 months
This little boy is ALL smiles, oh my word!  He is a wiggle worm, talker, smiley and can already inch forward when laid on his tummy.  He sleeps great, but has a hard time getting to sleep when he hears Jeremiah playing.  He'll be almost asleep, hear Jeremiah and give me the biggest smile that seems to say, "I want to go play, too, Mom!"

He likes being outside and is very attentive to sounds.

He's only spit up twice.

I can eat everything since nothing seems to bother his little tummy.

He holds his head up like a champ and is mastering turning his head while holding it up.  So cute to see it wobble as he tries to watch Jeremiah run around.

I love the way he looks up at me- like just now- when he is sitting on my lap.  It's like he is saying, "Hi, momma."

He sucks his thumb.  He has since he was born and my guess is he did in the womb.  He also sucks both thumbs- SO CUTE- and I have yet to get a good picture of it!

Last night he almost fell off of my lap because I was not paying attention and forgot he is trying to roll over all the time.

***I wrote this and 10 minutes later Joshua rolled from tummy to back for the first time.***

This was a full week of ministry and the weekend is just as packed.  We had Skate City on Tuesday, regular church on Wednesday and the worldview class (that I teach) on Thursday.   This is all after Jeremiah and Joel being sick last week.  We have been resting when we can.  The house, laundry and carpets are proof. 

Two kids broke their arms at Skate City.  It was fun.  We made almost $800 for the Mexico mission trip.  Jeremiah and Joshua were so good.  Jeremiah hung out with Mrs. Vaz and Emmori.

The worldview class was GREAT!  We discussed philosophy and prayed for the speakers at the recent Reason Rally in D.C.

What have you been doing this week?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Meeting Joshua: Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.

Where are the difficult contractions, I kept thinking as I showered, dressed and ate lunch.  These are nothing like the pain I had with Jeremiah.  I guess I should stop comparing and be thankful!

Joel was studying and I decided to lay down for a nap.  I slept for almost two hours and had maybe two contractions.  I know my water broke.  I know it.  I know I had a couple of strong contractions.  I'm not crazy.  People are going to think I do not know my own body!

I was frustrated with myself and did not want to go through another false alarm especially since we had told so many people that I was in labor, Joel had come home from church and our friend had taken time out of her day.  I battled with pride, wondering what people would think- does she not know when she is in labor?

God quickly reprimanded me, "Does it matter what other people think?  Is that your focus?  If I want to put you through another false alarm to humble you will you fight me on it?"  So thankful for His discipline in my life! 

We decided to have the babysitter bring Jeremiah back home since my contractions were pretty much non-existent at 3PM.  She was sympathetic, understanding, saying that it happens and she would be ready when the time did come.  She encouraged me by saying that since my water broke that I would be having a baby soon!  She also said it would be easier for me next time to part with him since I probably had dealt with all my emotions already!

True.  And, false labor or not, a long hot shower, time with Joel and a nap had been nice.

Be grateful in all things.  God knew I needed rest and had given it to me.

I played with Jeremiah, got him a snack and started feeling more contractions.  I was a little wet, well, down there again.  What is going on?  I sat down to read him some books.  Contractions stopped.  I got up to clean the kitchen.  More contractions.  More fluid.

There was no rhythm to my contractions and they were only happening when I was moving around.  I decided that I was not going to sit around the house all night and that I would go to church.  If the contractions are coming while I am up moving then going to church will continue to encourage labor!

People who had heard my water had broke were shocked that I was at church.  The word quickly spread to those that did not know.  People were asking me questions.  I was thinking differently than I was answering.

"Yes, I think my water broke."  I did not wet my pants five times today.

"Yes, I have been having contractions all day."  I know they are not as strong, but they ARE contractions! 

"Yes, I did decide to come to church."  Duh, I'm here.

It was getting frustrating.  I was having to pray through every conversation that God would give me patience.  People were expressing their care for me.  I needed to receive it.

And God was refining me, as always.

Read Part 4.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Meeting Joshua: Part 2

I continued to cry as I finished packing Jeremiah's bag.  I had a couple of contractions, but kept forgetting to time them.  I was praying while I was packing that Joel would get home before the babysitter arrived.  I needed a good hug and a moment with just the three of us before Jeremiah left.  Only God knew when I would see Jeremiah again and by that time, Lord willing, he would be a big brother!

The last couple of weeks I had struggled with so many emotions when it came to Jeremiah.  He was not going to be my baby anymore.  He was going to be a big brother.  He was still needing so much of my attention.  He was barely out of our bed and still nursing.

How would he adjust?  How would I adjust?  How would I do this with two?

God was faithful to give me peace and remind me that this second child was from Him- and in His perfect timing.  He would give me all I needed to mother ALL the children HE would give us.

I needed to trust Him.

God was gracious to me and Joel arrived just moments before the babysitter.  We hugged and he let me cry a few minutes.  He gently encouraged me to rejoice- we were about to meet our second child {already?}!

Our friend and her daughter arrived a little after 10am.  I got teary again and she gave me a big hug.  She reminded me that everything I was feeling was ok!  She would know, after all, since she has six children!

We hugged Jeremiah and took a last picture of just the three of us!

We had a teary goodbye as she took Jeremiah in her arms.  She prayed over us before she left.

And then she was gone... with my baby boy.

I allowed myself to cry a few minutes.  Jeremiah and I had spent so much time together in the last fifteen months.  It had been so much fun growing as a parent and watching him grow.  It was hard to believe that I was about to meet my second child {already?}.

Joel and I talked about what we should do since my contractions were not coming as quickly as they had with Jeremiah.  I decided to take a long hot shower.

Surely the contractions would pick up soon...

Read Part 3.