- I’ve spent a large part of my day packing up winter clothes, to make room for summer duds. It’s been quite a chore, when you factor in doing that for three girls. And, it’s not like I can start and just work till I’m finished. Like my sleep, my housework is fractured as well. Bailey takes her big nap around lunch, and now that I’ve started proceeding this nap with a little rice cereal, she usually takes a good one. The thing is, betting on that is like playing roulette. You might end up losing out. She can always surprise you and wake up after 30 minutes. Today, though, would have been a good day for throwing the dice. She slept four hours straight. That only left the toddler to contend with. After meals, a bath, getting dressed, and plenty of cuddles, I was able to get to business. It’s always hard for me to put away Chloe’s little dresses, knowing she won’t wear them again. Glad I got another girl.
- Ben and I have been presented with a decision for our future that requires some heavy duty praying. I want to make a sound decision and not act on emotion. I also want to operate within God’s plan. I know God gave us a brain and free will, but I firmly believe in open and closed doors. I believe God is in control of all things and by handing over all aspects, it allows Him to move freely. I prayed that if it was His will for us to move forward, He would make it clear. Ben also said if He did, we should be ready to step out in faith. Please keep us in your prayers as we seek God for answers. Pray that we hear Him crystal clear. If you have a word for me, I’m open.
- Earlier, I placed Bailey on the floor. As I stood up and towered over her, I thought how small she looked. This afternoon, when Ben carried her into the kitchen after her nap, I thought she looked so big. I told her, “sometimes you look big, and sometimes you look small.” I chuckled immediately as it occurred to me that that is a perfect description of my Christian walk. I would probably never refer to myself as a big Christian. What I mean is I can look back to where I used to be, when I was so scared and lonely in life, consumed by worry and depression. I was so small in my relationship with Christ. Then I see how He brought me out of it all, and it makes me feel like a giant, tall and proud for what we overcame. Then I look into the future, to where I would desire to be in Christ and I feel kinda small again compared to the expanse I have to travel. Philippians 3:12-14. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
That is all 🙂
- I started my Monday as I do most. I slept 12 hours last night. Yes it was fractured, but even if it’s broken up, 12 hours sleep is amazing. The rest of the day followed suit as being pretty darn wonderful. I decided to try Bailey on some rice cereal this morning. I remember Chloe wasn’t in any hurry to eat solids, and pushed them out of her mouth until at least 6 months of age. Bailey, living up to being her own little Gowen, ate every bite like she’d been doing this the whole time. I was proud of her, but once again amazed at how quickly she’s growing up. We did some spring cleaning outside, tidying up the back deck and yard. Chloe surprised me saying, “I need me a princess gun so I can shoot me some wasps.” I can only blame her Father. He did buy three water guns, and we all enjoyed a water fight outside. We took a walk around the block a few times, rode bikes, and went for ice cream. The entire day was made more enjoyable by constant commentary by Chloe. She has an explanation for everything, and if you don’t acknowledge her comment, she’ll be glad to repeat it over and over until you do. I know the day was an enjoyable one for her too, as she ended it by falling asleep in her dinner plate.
- I also got to enjoy a favorite bi-annual past-time of mine. Tonight was the kid’s exchange. As usual, I spent more than I planned on spending. I try to narrow down my selections, but still end up with a laundry basket full. I rather enjoy the rule about not bringing your kids. I see that some people do, but don’t tell my husband that! It’s the only time ever that I get to shop without looking around to make sure Chloe hasn’t broken something or disappeared. That in itself is like a mini vacation. The plan is always to spend what I plan on making off my sales. That’s like planning to just eat half that brownie last night! Good intentions, but not realistic when I see something I want. Chloe was pleased with her clothes, but was especially excited for the Little Mermaid swimsuit and pink poodle dress (as I knew she would be, and the only reason I got either one). Bless Ben. He endured my show and tell of my purchases, and never said a word when I told him the total spent. Good man.
- As I thought of how wonderful my day was, I couldn’t help but think of the tragedy today in Boston. I’ll be honest. I sometimes want to be like an ostrich and bury my head in the sand when it comes to things like that. I think that if I can forget the ugly world exists, and surround and submerge myself in my beautiful, little world, all the rest will fade away and be unable to touch us. I felt so guilty for that today. I was reminded of a song by Matthew West called My Own Little World. I asked God “to break my heart for what breaks yours”. I thought of how grieved He must be when He sees us harm one another. I prayed for forgiveness for myself and my complacency, but also for humankind and what we do to ourselves every day. I’ve attempted to share a link for that song, so hopefully it works. The lyrics say it all.
That is all 🙂
- I think eventually a woman stops having children because she can’t go without sleep any longer. I get sleep. It’s just fractured sleep. This morning Ben woke me at around 2 am, before he went to bed, to give me the baby to feed. I knew that when he woke me, I startled and looked like a wide-eyed deer in headlights, but I couldn’t help myself. As I pulled myself out of the sandman’s grip, I attempted to perform actions that showed some logical thinking. I looked at the clock and counted on my fingers the hour since her last feeding. I grabbed my breasts to see if they felt full. I’m sure, to his alert eyes, I looked like a half-deranged maniac, touching myself, looking all around, and wiggling my fingers in front of my face. I fell asleep with the baby cradled in my arm after I fed her, but that’s only half correct. I actually dozed off. It seems my infant daughter either suffers from restless leg syndrome or just likes to kick me all night. So from feeding time till my alarm went off, I drifted in and out. What amazes me the most, though, is how the sound of my alarm magically puts the baby fast asleep and completely motionless. Once I’m up, she is so still I have to check to make sure she’s breathing. So if you see me out and notice the bags under my eyes, you’ll understand.
- Mommy and Daddy aren’t the only tired ones though. The kiddos need more naps than their curious little minds will allow them to succumb to. Point in case, when I arrived home from work last night, Chloe was bouncing off the walls. She was sans nap, and the only thing she knew to do to keep from falling over in a heap on the floor was to keep moving, keep talking, and swing on me like I was a jungle gym. Nothing says welcome home after a hard day on your feet than someone using your leg as a horsey. This could only be sustained for so long, so before I knew what happened her mood changed from hyper happy to bereaved bawling. Bailey can also turn on a dime, and decided to make Chloe’s sad solo a depressed duet. They were both exhausted. Nothing says welcome home like screaming, crying children. Thankfully they both passed out in record time.
- I used to be a waitress in my younger years, before nursing became my career. I was thinking today that the two occupations are similar in many ways. In the restaurant, you can be so slow, not a customer in sight. You’re almost bored. Then suddenly the dinner rush hits and it’s pure insanity. In nursing, you’re joking with your co-workers, caught up on all your tasks, patients sleeping, then suddenly it hits the fan. Everyone has pain, gets nauseated, has to use the bathroom, or crashes at the same time. In both occupations, you’ll feel overwhelmed and often short staffed. In each you’ll often feel under appreciated and under paid. You’ll feel like you’re running your legs off, and pray for a break. You will feed others, but skip your own lunch. You’ll say yes Ma’am and yes Sir, even if they’re rude, always exemplifying customer service. My advice to you: when you see a waitress or nurse, say thank you. You may just make their day.
That is all 🙂
- I woke up drenched in sweat. That’s always lovely. It looked like I’d been doing cardio in my sleep, but no, it was just the heat from my skin. It was blazing hot and resembled the color of a tomato. I used to never get a sunburn, but I suppose that’s just another joy of hormonal changes and how they turn your entire life upside down. Yesterday when we were outside at the festival, I did as any mother would. I brought 50 SPF sunscreen for my kiddos since it was their first time out in the sun this season. Not that it ever had a chance to hit them with the canopies and shade I kept them under. So naturally, my children are pale as ever, and I’m roasted. I can’t help but be amused at that. I can finally relate to how my Mom put us above herself. My amusement at the situation does nothing, though, for the nagging pain on my shoulders and chest.
- It’s a wonder to me that I get to work some mornings. Being off 5 days in a row is just enough to knock me out of the routine of it all. My routine that feels comfortable now is mothering. As I ran out the door this morning, I started grabbing my purse and nurse’s bag. I also grabbed the diaper bag and almost took it with me. It’s so accustomed to being on my shoulder that I have a permanent indention to keep it in place. As I drove to the hospital, I turned down the street that went to Ben’s work. We always go visit him before running errands or going to the park. I suppose that’s where my internal GPS wanted to take me instead of straight ahead to the hospital. Once I’m on my unit, I fall into the swing of things. It’s just the task of getting there and separating myself from my kids that’s the problem.
- I think anytime you’ve personally experienced sickness and/or loss in your family, it’s difficult to not be reminded of that when you work as a nurse. You will see so many situations that bring back the memories of your own strife. Frequently I think of my Mom when I encounter some of my patients. For those not close to me, my Mom became a very sick lady. She was in a horrific car wreck and suffered traumatic brain injury. In the years following her injury, we saw Mom go through many stages of illness, where she couldn’t care for herself, all the way to being like her old self, and back again. Eventually, her illness was more than her body could handle on this earth. Today I saw a family gripped by grief and worry for their parent. They were extremely attentive and required a lot of my support. I only hope that they could see my empathy, as I felt their pain, and understood their sorrow. If only we could always view things from someone’s perspective, imagining walking in their shoes. I pray I can always look through their eyes and see their view, though painful it may be.
That is all 🙂
- While sitting in O’Charley’s enjoying dinner, I looked across the table and saw my 2 year old enjoying a buttery, yeast roll. She had her eyes closed, with a big, closed mouth grin, savoring the delicious warm bread. It reminded me how much my children teach me on a daily basis. Chloe’s enjoyment of a good roll isn’t her only notable appreciation. Today we went to the Railroad Festival in Amory. Watching her take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the day was tremendously enjoyable for me. Her excitement over the Ferris wheel, the joy on her face as she slid down an inflatable slide, her appreciation of freshly squeezed lemonade, the way she danced to the live bands, soaked up the sun, and proudly sat still for her face painting; all her reactions were taken in by me. The way she embraces life is inspiring, and encourages me to take hold of each day with the same zeal and wonder as she does.
- My second child has taught me not to take life so seriously and to relax. I sometimes step outside myself mentally and observe me with her. I’m surprised, usually, by my ease over situations that I treated differently with my first baby. Today, as we sat under a crowded tent at a picnic table, I was ready to eat. Well, so was Bailey. So I breastfed her. I used a privacy sling I’ve got, so no one was flashed while trying to eat, but this was something I wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing with Chloe. Nursing in public crowds used to be off limits. In the restaurant, I noticed I had poop on my jeans. Bailey had a poopy blow-out prior to our dinner. I just laughed. Poop on my clothes, spit-up in my hair; it’s no matter. A girl’s gotta eat. Chloe sat across from me eating straight butter from the bread basket. I just shook my head, instead of fearing for her nutritional well-being. Life’s a lot easier when you can relax and enjoy it.
- As we started our day, driving along a back, country road, Chloe rattled off question after question. She has become even more inquisitive lately, and is constantly asking what or why? Why did you go that way? What is that Momma? When I told her something would make me “pretty upset”, she looked at me confused and asked, “Why Momma? Pretty is good.” As we drove along and she asked questions, I looked in the rear view and felt compelled to say “I love you Chloe.” As I said it, I felt a lump in my throat, and almost cried. The most important lesson my children have taught me is how to love someone, pure and true, more than myself, and unconditionally. I’ve never been a fan of school, but this current crash course is the best.
That is all 🙂
- It’s been a rainy day, as anyone in the Corinth area is aware. I thought about blogging on all the things I got accomplished today. Since the weather’s been nice, we’ve spent so much time outside, that I was falling behind on my household chores. Rain afforded me the excuse to get laundry done. I thought about blogging about the funny things my two year old has done today. Those are always plentiful. I could talk about her wanting to fry chicken for breakfast, or how cute she is when she’s compelled to jump on the bed after I strip the sheets. I thought about blogging about the baby and how I still stand in awe and disbelief over how good she is. I knew I could talk all about how well she behaved yesterday on our long grocery shopping expedition. For some reason, today, none of that gave me the spark that compelled me to put my thoughts down for you to read. In the end, it was the worm. That dried up earthworm that found its final resting place on the floor of my laundry room; he demanded to be the subject for today.
- I’ve been writing, other than this blog, late at night, after the children go to sleep. It’s giving me the opportunity to see things that have happened in my life from a different perspective. You’ve always heard hindsight is 20/20. Well, writing can often be like that. It allows you to put a spotlight, or perhaps a microscope on a situation and see angles and depths you never noticed while in the midst of it all. By putting my own life under the lens, I am seeing where God has brought me, and what He had brought me out of as well. That worm had come out of the ground today when the storm came. Unplanned by him, he was tracked inside on my husband’s shoe. After falling from the sole of Ben’s Nike, I’m sure the little worm was relieved. But then he realized he was far from home and without the protection of the cool earth from which he came. I’m sure he struggled and strove, searching for some soft dirt. He likely had also been injured in the entire transfer from the wet grass outside, to the groove on the bottom of the sneaker, and finally to the warm, dry wooden floor. Eventually pain, fatigue, maybe some internal bleeding, but perhaps just a loss of hope, caused little Mr worm to give up.
- If you put your life under the microscope, what would you see? Would you recall a time where you left the safety of your cool, moist earth when storms came and threatened to wash you away? Would you recall a time like Job, where a whale swallowed you, or a giant shoe picked you up like our little worm friend? What did you do when you were in the belly of the whale, or on a stark wooden floor far from your home or comfort zone? Was it painful? Were you frightened? Did you want to give up? Matthew 6:28 & 30 would ask you “Why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more cloth you, O you of little faith?” When we look at our lives, right now, are we trusting Him to deliver us? Are we pressing on in faith towards the goal He’s placed in our hearts, or are we giving up and risking that we’ll become hardened, brittle, and dried up like the little worm? As I see myself under my own microscope, I pray not. I pray never to dry up.
That is all 🙂
- Parenting can often be divided into a 50/50 ratio. You can look at many things from this 50/50. It’s kind of like a pros and cons thing, or perhaps a love/hate relationship. You love to see your baby laugh, you hate to hear them scream. It even starts before they’re born. You hate the annoying symptoms of pregnancy like nausea and acne, but you love feeling your baby move or hearing their heartbeat. You love telling people your pregnant or showing off your baby bump, but cringe at hemorrhoids and the thought of your vagina opening to the size of a mayonnaise jar to allow passage of a small human. You love it when your kid finally says Momma, but want to pull your hair out when they won’t stop. So it is also with milestones and growth and development. You can’t wait for them to walk, but then you need them to be still.
- When Chloe was a baby, it seemed like the newborn part lasted forever. Either she was a fussy baby, or I was an insecure Mommy. Probably both. Either way, she spent the first 3-4 months of her life crying, a lot. I didn’t think she’d ever get past that. After that it started to get fun. She would laugh and try to talk. I couldn’t wait for her to roll over. I would put her down for tummy time and encourage her to roll. Then I couldn’t wait for her to crawl. After that, I wanted her to walk. Last night, she wanted to take a bath “all by herself.” She washed her own hair and body, and just needed a little help from me rinsing. She’s taken to picking her own clothes out, and putting them on herself. Today she sat with a book of her older sisters’ and was reading it aloud (or so she thought). She brushes her teeth. Today when she put on her socks and shoes, I observed that they were on the right foot. I’m 50/50, see. My heart swells with pride over her accomplishments, the many new things she learns on a daily basis. But see, I’m also sad. I’m stunned and saddened over the fact that my little colicky, pooping all the time (when she wasn’t eating), butterball of a baby, now says, “It’s ok Momma. I can do it myself.”
- Bailey is 4 months old. I find this an extremely cruel joke, for I am absolutely certain that I just brought her home from the hospital last week. Unlike Chloe, Bailey sped through the newborn stage. I woke up and I had an infant capable of holding her head up, laughing, and cooing. She’s discovered her feet without my permission. Today I watched as she grabbed at toys hanging from her activity gym and played with them. She shouldn’t be ready to play with toys yet! When I put her on the floor on her back while I got groceries out of the jeep, I returned to find her on her stomach, raised up on her arms looking around like she was considering crawling. I’m 50/50 guys. My first thought was one of pride for her milestone accomplishment. My other thought was “Stop! This is going too fast!” I recall learning in Human Growth & Development about stages of development. I probably couldn’t name the stages for you now. One thing I always remembered from that study was that Erickson said you never went through a stage until you were ready. You couldn’t skip a stage. You had to go through each one, to be ready for the next. That being said, I can’t fathom Chloe dating. Thankfully, I don’t have to yet. I can handle each moment as it comes and grow with them.
That is all 🙂
- When my two year old woke up, right off the bat, she had a clear idea of what she wanted to do today. While we were still in pajamas, before I had ingested even 1/4 of my cup of coffee, she was requesting a list of things she felt made for a perfect day. She wanted to go to the park, eat a popsicle there, and blow Mickey Mouse bubbles. Pretty specific was her request, and in her mind, completely within reason. As a 35 year old woman, I had a completely different idea for what I wanted out of today. I had errands to run, such as needing to go to the bank. I also wanted to clean the house up a bit, nothing crazy, just enough straightening so I didn’t want to jump off a cliff every time I walked in the living room. As we sat there this morning, amidst the avalanche of clutter, Chloe dreamed of a bubbly play day while I tried to search the Internet for how long postpartum hormonal imbalances last. I needed any shred of text to tell me I wasn’t crazy for just crying while I read cute facts about Mr Rogers.
- There was rain sticking around at the start of the day, which made a park excursion quite difficult. We made plans for a play date instead with some others Moms and littles. Chloe didn’t hit any of the other children that I’m aware of, and that to me made it a success. My plan was to make my bank run prior to play date. I found myself running around like my favorite fowl friend who has suffered decapitation, and in doing so, lost my sanity temporarily. I had the children in the jeep and ran out with the last of the bags, pulling the locked door behind me, yet leaving the keys on the hook. Thankfully my play date was across the street, and required no vehicle or anything in the house. After Chloe played with kids her age and I actually got to have a conversation with adults for a couple of hours, Ben was home on break and let us back in the house. I convinced Chloe to take a power nap. She brought up the park, popsicle, and bubbles again. I promised we could, if she took a nap. So she did.
- I could have come up with some excuse easy enough that a two year old would believe, some reason why we could not go to the park. I had a hamper full of laundry, a sink full of dishes, and tons of tiny things I consistently put off. (I had been able to save my sanity by straightening the living room while they napped). You know me well enough by now,I’m sure, to know that after nap-time we loaded up and went to the park. Sometimes it seems like you spend so much time and energy entertaining your child, and it’s hard to see the pay-off, especially in the midst of it. When you’re searching the aisles for Mickey Mouse bubbles (which I found), cleaning up melted Popsicle off a little face, bouncing a fussy baby who didn’t get enough quiet time for naps, rushing to make dinner in time, cleaning the stink of the day off two kids, and trying to pin-point if you got accomplished anything you wanted to do; you can wonder if it was really worth it. Then a freshly scrubbed, naked toddler walks up to you, grabs your leg while smiling at you with a gap toothed grin, and says “I love you Mommy!” Then you know you got more accomplished today than you could of ever hoped for.
That is all 🙂
- For those of you new to my blog, you may be unaware that I love Mondays. No insertion of sarcasm. I truly love Mondays. I work a nontraditional schedule, where I just work Saturday and Sunday. This makes my Monday what may be most of society’s Saturday. It’s also my only day off with my hubby. It’s typically a day we spend sleeping in, eating a leisurely brunch, then just playing around the rest of the day. I enjoy having the day with him. We will enjoy the children together, but also enjoy the night together after kiddos are asleep. After the day off we’re not as exhausted as we would be on a work day, so we stay up a little bit later watching a movie together and talking. Quality time with a spouse is difficult to pin down when you have children, but I think it’s super important. Any relationship takes work, but especially a marriage. As time goes by and you see the veil lifted from secrets, the make up comes off, and all the quirky habits come to light, it could be easy to loose the magical romance experienced when you just dated or were newlyweds without the stress of rocking crying babies and halting temper tantrums in their tracks. I think a man is like a garden, if you spend time and calloused hard work cultivating and watering your crop, wonderfully sweet fruit will come. You may even have to weed extra hard. I’ve said it before, but feel it’s worth repeating. I think the harder I work to be a good wife, the better husband my man becomes. It’s a 50/50 relationship that requires two to tango, so to speak, but if I never wanted to dance my husband would stop asking. Read that sentence again if you need to. I just came up with that, and I like it very much.
- As much as we wanted to just play today, some Mondays end up filled with errands that we must complete together. Today happened to be a day of doctor visits. When you have children, the doctor’s office will be like your best friend’s house was to you as a kid. You’ll spend more time there than your own house, you’ll call them whenever you don’t know what to do about something, and you’ll feel like you owe them your life (or in the instance of co-pays, your entire pay check). Today happened to be a scheduled visit for Bailey, a 4 month well baby visit. The other appt was an unexpected accident that happened to Ben’s daughter. She stepped on a nail. The wound wasn’t deep and looked great but she was having unusual pain that we thought warranted a visit. Of course the only available time for her appt happened to be the same time as the baby’s. This required two vehicles, separate trips, and swapping around of carseats. It also left me on my own for a baby to get shots. This is something I hate. I’ve done the research and decided immunizations were the right thing for our girls, but that doesn’t mean I like seeing a needle inserted in my baby’s fat thigh. It always makes me want to cry. I did cry with Chloe the first time. Afterwards Bailey would settle down for a bit, but then would remember her distress and cry to me in indignation. After a brief nap, she awoke and was all smiles and giggles as usual. Bless her heart, she is such a sweet little baby. Marlie got an X-ray and we’re waiting to see results, but otherwise I think it’s fine.
- Despite the dr visits, bank runs, and small shopping excursions, we still made it home with enough daylight to enjoy some time outside in the beautiful weather. Us girls walked around the neighborhood, but Ben insisted on mowing the yard. Aside from it being our one day to spend time together and achieve errands together, it is also the only day Ben can do his “man stuff” outside. I know the yard work is a bummer chore for him, but I also think he loves it deep down. It’s an opportunity for him to have quiet time. Sure there’s the roar of the mower, but I think any Dad finds that sound more peaceful than crying or whining. He also got himself a new mower when we got the new house, and I think they’re in love. If I wasn’t so secure with myself, I might be a little jealous of that fast little, orange harlot. He finished his mowing and the girls are exhausted from playing, so we’ll still get some quality time. He’s taking a shower, so who knows, he may just ask me to dance later.
That is all 😉
- I’m surprised, pleasantly so, by the things that a person can be amused at rather than annoyed by. For example, at 2:30 this morning my husband brought me the baby. He had changed her diaper and she was wide awake. She was hungry, but instead of crying about it, she was giggling and squiggling with joy over seeing me and the prospect of a meal. You pick any other reason or person to wake me up at 2 am and I’d probably knock your lights out. But with that little fat bundle of sweetness, I smiled. It’s absolutely amazing how they change your life and you’re never the same. (Can’t think why else I’ve been singing Doc Mcstuffins all day). But seriously, I truly think God gave me children so I could learn to love like He loves, learn to sacrifice like He wants me to, and learn to fill my life with things of joy so that I am similar to a cornucopia running over with good fruit.
- Sunday can be a tough day to work sometimes. Especially as I lay out the girls’ dresses for church before heading out, it can make me homesick for God’s house. Imagine my pleasure when God blessed me through song as I drove along. Listening to the radio, a favorite praise song came on. I felt it in my very soul. I know His spirit rested on me as I sang along, for I could feel it. It made me feel so happy that I actually teared up with joy. So thankful for moments of praise and worship, especially when I’m unable to attend a worship service in person. So glad His dwelling place is within me.
- As I walk into the door, Chloe runs up to me yelling “I want chicken nuggets!” I’m not sure why, but she always does this. Apparently food tastes best when Mommy cooks it. The next thing on her agenda was “milk bags!” Last night I let her help me transfer the pumped milk I brought home from bottles to bags. It seems she finds this extra cool, and now wants to do it all the time. My angel baby, on the other hand, was beyond excited to see me. Screaming, laughing, practically jumping out of her bassinet. I am obsessed with how her fat cheeks crinkle up when she laughs. After many giggles and kisses, she was ready to sleep. I’m pretty exhausted and luckily for me, so are the girls. So goodnight blogosphere.
That is all 🙂