- I rather enjoy how a daily dependence on God can change your entire perspective on life’s little circumstances. I was just speaking with Ben about this the other day. I told him of recalling an event where it really hit me that God had changed my personality. Back in the summer, our vehicle broke down outside of Decatur, AL. The old me would have cussed a blue streak, then begun to worry about what we were gonna do, expenses of a tow truck, etc. Then I probably would have felt real sorry for myself and my circumstance. “Why does this always happen to me?” mentality would have taken over. Instead, I got a blanket and cooler of water, and some toys for Chloe from the back and we had a little pit stop. We thought logically and calmly. We praised God it wasn’t worse. He realized that all things work for His good, so there was a reason this happened. We trusted Him. I know I still have a long way to go with that, but I’m amazed at how far He’s brought me.
- I found it really hard to leave for work this morning. When I woke and looked into my precious baby’s face, I didn’t want to put her down. As I went to leave, I kept going back and looking at her, praying for her. At work, I found myself thinking of her frequently. I looked at photos of her and smiled. When I picked her up, I could tell she had missed me too. We played, smiled, and laughed for some time until exhaustion won over. Then she talked to me, making sounds similar to a Tom cat (her way of fussing at me that something’s bothering her). I currently have rocked my sweetie to sleep after much patting of her dimply little bootie.
- Chloe, on the other hand, seems to have not missed me a bit. She was too busy getting spoiled today by her Great Aunt. I had to beg for a hug when I got home. But she did take the time to show me her painted finger and toe nails, her new purse (filled with $), a new magic wand, new hair bows, a new book, a Dora cup, Dora toothpaste, and a garden decoration (since Daddy ran over the last one). Then she had a new Dora book from her Nonnie. How could I compete with all that? She also does not want to sleep with us tonight and is currently in her bedroom with her big sister. I felt a bit better when Ben just told me he had to beg a hug too! Well, I still got one of my babies in my arms. (For now!)
That is all 🙂
- I find myself in an interesting part of my journey with Christ. I feel like God is trying to tell me something, or perhaps prepare me for something. I can’t explain it really. I’ve noticed different devotionals, songs, and scriptures all seem to be pointing me towards something that I think will be quite profound when I figure it out. What I said there made me smile. There I go trying to figure things out for myself again. I pray, and ask for prayer, that I will hear God’s voice and His will for our life’s as He is ready to reveal it. Rather, may my eyes and ears be open. It gives me great joy to know God is alive and speaks. I feel that joy most days, thankfully. I suppose it’s that joy that causes me to react to life like I do. What else could explain how when I glimpsed myself in the rear view mirror and I was squinting, causing crow’s feet to multiply around my eyes, I smiled in spite of myself, seeing it as a sign of the experience God has granted me these 35 years. Whatever crossroads He may have in mind, I find myself excited at the prospect.
- It’s no secret that I am daily amazed, amused, and more in love with my two year old. Right now I’m sitting in the driveway, almost afraid to get out of the jeep. Chloe is asleep back there. I want her to at least have a 20 minute power nap in if she’s gonna wake up when I move her. I’ve been trying to decide what’s worse; no nap or a late nap. Either you have a toddler up at 11 pm or one so whiny by 6 pm that you want to pull your hair out. I used to force her into an early nap, but that’s proved too difficult since the baby came. At least Chloe does sleep in. And she has the cutest bed head I’ve ever seen. Potty training is going great. There’s rarely a peepee accident, but she’s still afraid to poop in the toilet. It does have it’s own fun challenges, especially since I’m allowing her to wear panties away from home. For example, she’s afraid of toilets that flushgvbbbbh loudly and doesn’t like using it there. That vghjjfd
makes it a problem for our Walmart excursions. Then there’s when you make them pee before you leave and they say they don’t have to go. Then you get everyone in the car and as you put it in reverse you hear “I gotta pee!” I now regret any smirking I did when my single self watched my sister-in-law go through that one. On a side note; there was an intermission up there. She did wake up when I got her out of the car!
- I’m so happy for my growing relationship with my baby Bailey. I’ve loved her since I saw her, but for me, the bond doesn’t happen overnight. It wasn’t like the baby books for me. When they place the wrinkly baby on my chest, I’m not at a full level yet. I love them and would jump in front of traffic for them from the get go, but as time elapses, I certainly like them a lot more. Maybe, somewhere, there’s a Mom who will read that and understand what I mean. Bailey will be 11 weeks old tomorrow. She is developing her own personality. She laughs out loud a lot now and tries to communicate. I love when she furrows her brow and looks at me questionably. I believe she will end up looking more like Ben. When I look at her, I just want to cover her with kisses. She is so sweet and cuddly. I love being her Mommy. Looking at her, renews my feeling that I was called to this, that I was made for it, and would rather do this than anything else in this world.
On another side note; I just found Chloe standing in the bathroom, beside the toilet, pooping in her panties. It’s a work in progress.
That is all 🙂
- It seems to me that parenting is often times like going shopping. You’re gonna see stuff you love, stuff you hate, stuff you can’t live without, and some stuff you wouldn’t be caught dead in. But, to be fair, it’s much more complex. I suppose you could compare it to a novel by your favorite author, or perhaps your favorite show on TV. Both will have parts that make you laugh and make you cry too, but overall you love it and would read it over and over or watch it again and again.
- I once worked at a pvc pipe factory as a young woman. I was required to remove pipe from the line and stack it on a rolling cart to be binded. Factory work is difficult often in the fact of its monotony. I respect factory workers to this day. Parenting can seem a lot like a factory assembly line, with you doing the same task over and over. Am I cleaning the floor under the kitchen table again?! Days as a parent can be filled with exhausting and exasperating moments. These moments will test your limits, make you scream, make you cry. Sometimes they’ll just make you throw your hands up in the air, wanting to give up. I do believe God secretly likes that. He loves when we admit we can’t do something alone and need His strength.
- Every good book or every show you can’t live without has those frustrating moments. You want to put that book back on the shelf or change the channel! Why did the hero have to cheat on his wife?! I can’t believe they killed off the leading man! But then they redeem themselves with those precious moments that melt your heart and let you know that all is right with the world and any little nuisance can be forgiven. (Yes. I’ve also been watching Downton Abbey). Such is parenting. As I’m cleaning up a gallon of spilt water from the bathroom floor, I peak in on Chloe watching TV. She sits there on the bed, wrapped in a towel, wet hair spiking every which way. The smile of wonder and amusement on her face while she watches the adventures of Calliou is completely precious to me. The baby can cry a hole in my head, but when she smiles and giggles out loud, the frustration I felt during the crying spell is forgotten. I love every precious morsel of it! My shopping spree is an adventure I never tire of. It’s a book I’ll never put down. It’s a show I will stay up all night to watch. One day they’ll grow up. One day the last season will play its final episode. My cherished memories will play them over and over like a favorite box set or coveted DVR recording. Each page will be dog-eared after reading it a hundred times over.
That is all 🙂
- The battle of the boss continues. My adversary is a mighty one. Yep. Go ahead, laugh. My battle for “who’s the boss” is with a two year old. Sad really. An example, on the way to Walmart:
Me: Mommy’s hungry. We’ll stop somewhere to eat before we go to Walmart.
Chloe: No! I wanna go ride the horsey at Walmart first.
Me: Well. We’re going to eat first.
Chloe: No. Horsey first! I’m the boss and I say horsey first!
Then she continues to repeat “horsey first” over and over as I drive.
- I’ll be completely honest. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never done this terrible two thing before. Before the above conversation, she raised her voice at me about something else. I said back to her “Don’t you raise your voice and yell at me!” At that moment, I realized I was yelling at her. She’s getting it from me. Raising children is such a humbling experience. Earlier as I rocked the baby, I looked down at her beautiful face and told her I loved her. I prayed at that moment that I was doing right by her. What I mean is, sometimes I feel like I don’t give this baby near as much attention as I did Chloe. I let her cry unattended a lot more. So on one hand, I got a baby I feel like I’m neglecting, and on the other a toddler I feel like I’m making so many mistakes with!
- I drive to Walmart with my kiddos in the back, and my feelings of inadequacy riding shotgun. Once in Walmart, we head to Chloe’s favorite restaurant. We go once a week to McDonalds and it’s typically the one in Walmart. It’s at that moment that Chloe starts bawling because I got her an apple juice box instead of the talking cup featured on the high chair tray table (it doesn’t even exist!!) and the baby starts screaming at the top of her lungs (it is time for her to eat again already!!). I first grab Bailey from her carrier because her cry is a lot louder and easier to stop. She has liquid poop saturating the left side of her sleeper. I wrap her in a recieving blanket and go to exchange that darn juice box for a kid’s cup. I bring the cup back filled with orange soda and Chloe continues to cry since its not an animated talking cup like on the tray picture. I place a passy in Bailey’s mouth and retrieve the Happy Meal (which took 3 min and 30 precious seconds to cook). I prepare Chloe’s meal. Then I give my infant a baby wipe bath in our shopping cart, complete with a change of clothes. I don’t want to offend other patrons with my naked, poop stained kid, but the thought of dragging our entire set up with Chloe in a high chair eating nuggets to the diaper change station is too daunting. Once finished, I sit down to breastfeed Bailey in our little corner. As I watch Chloe, I remember I haven’t eaten yet. I’ll also add that my Dad called in the middle of it all. As I watched Chloe smile at me through French fries (like not a tear had fallen), I wondered how completely unprepared and ridiculous I sounded to my Dad or looked to the girls at the restaurant counter who were staring at me. It was also at that moment that I realized it didn’t really matter. I’ll just keep going, keep trying, keep growing. I’ll love my kids and do the best I can. Will I mess up? Yes. Will I give up? No. Will I still smile at the end of the day? Yeah. I’m smiling now. Despite it all, I am.
That is all 🙂
- Children can certainly help you gain a new perspective on life. That’s a mighty vast subject, so let me narrow it down a bit. Children help you realize you can’t take anything for granted. Something as simple as eating a snack can become unobtainable. Usually, you’re hungry. You eat. That’s not always so with kids. Enter fussy baby. You can’t even put them down to fix a sandwich. You put them down long enough to fix a microwave Mac & Cheese for the other one, and the loud, screaming cry pierces your brain just enough to make you consider jumping through the kitchen window. So you do what you can and grab a box of reduced fat cheddar cheese bits (Kroger’s lovely version of the Cheezit). Reduced fat or not, it sounds awesome to your grumbly tummy. Alas, it sits beside you, but might as well be in Texas. One hand plugs the passy in baby’s mouth, while the other succumbs to carpal tunnel causing pats on the back. Where’s my third hand your brain screams. Just a taste of cheesy goodness would quell your appetite. Not for now Mommy. The babe’s eyes are closing, and you know any false move could disrupt the gravitational pull of the ensuing nap. Sadly, the snack must wait.
- A question plagues me. How can a laundry basket fill so quickly? I know this isn’t just my home. I’ve heard other women comment on the same thing. It’s almost like Garfield’s lasagna pan. It never empties. So I know I have a baby and that’s multiple poop and spit up stained sleepers per day. Check. Chloe goes through 1-2 outfits, pajama, and currently a couple of pairs of panties per day. Check. Even if I just sit around the house, my clothes are gonna be stained by little people body fluids too. Check. We got Ben’s flour saturated work clothes. Check. But, still, it doesn’t add up. I do multiple loads throughout the day, and eventually get them folded and put away before bedtime. (Ok. Sometimes a few days lapses between wash and fold. And sometimes they just get worn right out of the clean pile). Yet when I wake up the next day, it seems that darn basket is full again. I’m beginning to think there’s an evil gnome who plays dress up in everyone’s clothes overnight, and then pees and rolls in food with them on before discarding them in my laundry basket at dawn. Anyway. I’ll write more later. I got laundry to do right now…
- This fact is titled “what’s up with that?” I know. That’s a question. But it’s a fact that I ask myself that question daily. Chloe can pee in the potty, but refuses to poop in it. I’ve heard this is common, but it doesn’t make me feel any better when I clean poop out of her panties. What’s up with that? Chloe has been showing a renewed jealousy of the baby. When Bailey cries she tells me “Put her in the swing Momma. Let her cry.” When the baby cries, she chooses that moment to ask me questions, ask me to hold her, or ask me to get her something. She actually just hit the boppy pillow as I was feeding the baby and yelled “she’s not hungry!” Thought we were past the worst of that. What’s up with that? She’s even pulling the old bad kid routine again. She sassed me this morning, saying “Chloe’s the boss!” She’s telling me “no” way too much. She blew my mind today by telling me “I’m tired of you!” What’s up with that? Ben tells me I should spank her more. But I’m afraid if I spanked her every time, we wouldn’t do anything all day except give/get spankings. I suppose a better title would be “what’s up with my 2 year old?” And then as I wrote that question; I got my answer. She’s 2. I’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing. I’ll love her, discipline her, love her again, and repeat.
That is all 🙂
- Men cannot, nor will they ever understand, the dilemma that is trying on women’s clothing. I grab two pair of jeans in Old Navy. First off, they’re both skinny jeans. That is apparently the only type of jean sold anymore. Old Navy had 15 different names for them, but they were all skinny jeans. Sadly, skinny jeans look best on the body type that matches the jeans name. Ok. Fine. I surrender to the skinny jean fad. I grab two pair. They’re the same size, just different trendy names. One is called “Diva”; the other “Rockstar”! Wow. The names just make you feel sassy. I strut to the dressing room already feeling like a Rockstar Diva.
- I enter the dressing room with my pants and a few cute shirts to try as well. I’m immediately shocked that there’s a strange, pale woman with fried hair already in the stall. I almost cry out in terror, recalling all the murder mystery shows I’ve seen on Investigation Discovery. Will I be the next victim?! No. It’s not a mad woman. It’s my flattering reflection courtesy of those fabulous fluorescent lights they put in there. You mean I have to undress under these?! I feel like I’m on stage and the play is a re-enactment of one of those naked dreams you have. Just as I’m ready to take the plunge and disrobe, I hear Chloe knocking on the door to let her in. Her Father is out there, but apparently Moms are not meant to have private moments, ever. Now I can have a witness to the debacle that is trying on clothes.
- I get past the fact of how I think I look in that circus mirror. I even get past the fact that my breasts are so full of milk at this point, that I look like some bad porno. I put on the first pair. I’m delighted that they fit perfectly, if you overlook the excess skin still around my tummy that’s pouring over the edge. I tell myself that the right shirt could make it work. But they’re white. I remind myself of cookie hands and sitting on discarded fruit snacks. So I move on to the next pair. They’re a beautiful blue and the same size as the other pair. As soon as they go over my feet, I realize something is terribly wrong. I look at the tag thinking I grabbed the wrong size. Nope. Now I’m determined! So I insist on putting what feels like a pair of Chloe’s pants over my generous hips. I give up when I can’t even close the buttons. To be honest they weren’t even in the same zip code. Dang. Now I gotta pull them off. Glad Chloe was there. I held myself up by resting my hand on her head and leaned against the wall while I ripped the second skin off. If I had scissors, I probably would have used them. Skinny jeans I loathe you. Yes, men will never understand what we put ourselves through.
That is all 🙂
- It was an exhausting day at work. Some days are like that. Some days the patients are all a little bit sicker. Some days, the things that can go wrong, just do. Some days, the patients seem younger and younger, making you feel older and older. Some days, the family’s grief brings you down more than others. Some days, you just wanna question every decision you make, to insure it was the right one. Some days, you wonder if you’re cut out for this kind of work. And that makes you sad. Some days, you just want to cry. Simply put, some days, taking care of sick people is really hard! And some days, it’s harder than others.
- I’ll throw a random fact at you. I shave my legs every day. I don’t care if I’m running late for work. It makes no difference when I’m working at home as a Mommy. I will find the time. I’ve had two instances in life where I wasn’t able to shave my legs. So I suppose the trauma changed me for life. The first was when I was a missionary in the interior of Guyana. There sometimes was no where to bathe, much less shave. I went 3 months straight without shaving. The second was in bootcamp. It’s hard to shave when you only have 60 seconds to shower in cold water with someone screaming at you the whole time. In both instances, when I finally could shave, I was already hearing little monkeys swinging on my hair trees, and as the razor cut, I could hear a tiny voice in the distance yell “timber”. So naturally, I now own stock in Gillette.
- Isn’t it funny how you can be dead tired after a long day at work, but when you get home and realize you’re off the next day; you’re hit with a surge of excited energy. Sure it only lasts about 45 minutes at the most, but it’s just long enough to have a disco dance party with a two year old. The goal is always to keep the momentum going long enough to love on the kids for an adequate amount of time, but then put them to bed. The hope is that there’s still enough gas in your tank to keep you up long enough to converse with the hubby. (And anything else that may entail). Ben is currently winding Chloe down, while I work the sandman magic on Bailey. So, wish me luck.
That is all 🙂
- I adore the fact that my hubbie sends me little messages throughout the day. Sometimes they are funny. Sometimes encouraging. Sometime loving. Sometimes provocative. The wonderful thing is that even if they’re a simple statement, it’s the thought that let’s me know he cares. We often can all get caught up and busy in every day details of life. With young children, it’s even harder to have quiet time together as a couple. For us, keeping the lines open, even if it’s just little text notes, makes all the difference.
- To be perfectly honest, the best thing about going to work, is coming home to hugs. It started when I went to exchange vehicles with Ben. He enveloped me in the warmest cuddle for such a cold night. It lasted a long time, and I didn’t want to let him go. When I got to Nonnie’s to pick up Chloe, she gave me her signature hug. She ran to me and jumped into my lap, wrapping her legs around me, and squeezing me with the sweetest love bug hug ever. I got home and got the gift of yet another cuddly, cuddle by my sweet love, Bailey. Being missed makes being away a little easier.
- I wanted to share something I read today. 1 Samuel 10:6-7. “The Spirit of The Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” When I read that, it just jumped out at me. It just rang so true. I often think of the person I used to be before, and am so happy to be a different person now. I used to fear how drawing close to God would make me change. Once I did, though, I discovered I could do so much more in this life. He made me a different person. He made me new. And now I can do anything, for He is with me. Love it.
That is all 🙂
- I have a lot of different emotions for a Friday. There’s no doubt that my hormones are still out of whack, but putting them aside, I think it really has more to do with what happens around me. I almost feel like I’m in the vortex of a tornado, and the forces surrounding me are moving much faster than myself. I often feel like my life is a race right now. If it were a NASCAR race, it would probably be the track in Richmond. It definitely feels like a short track, for I’ve been speeding all week and I’m back at Friday already. I have 5 days off every week, but they go by so quick. I can’t help but feel a little melancholy over going to work in the morning. I pray not to feel that way, but I can’t help feeling a bit sad about leaving my babies. Or sometimes I feel like my life is a circus. I’m certain it looked that way to the crowd of eyes watching the fiasco that was me bringing my kids and bags into Kroger and trying to secure a suitable cart. I certainly felt center ring as Chloe screamed shrilly that she didn’t want to sit in the basket and I muscled the infant carrier into another buggy. A teenage girl actually looked at me with disgust and said “Do you need help or something?” Glad I could prevent another episode of 16 and Pregnant. So there’s one emotion for you; melancholy, dipped in self pity.
- Don’t worry. I never let that one hang around for long. How could I? I’m usually so steeped in joyful amusement, I don’t have a chance. Bailey had her 2 month appt. yesterday. She had grown a lot. The chubby cheeks, pot belly, and Michelin Man legs had given me a clue. When you have to move fold after fold to clean the poopie, you’re doing good. 90th percentile in weight. Chloe is on her 2nd day of wearing panties with zero accidents. Ben and I are exhausted, but pleasantly so. Chloe kicks Ben all night. Bailey keeps the whole house awake with her grunting in her sleep. Ok, actually, she just keeps Ben and I awake. Chloe sleeps on, kicking away in her dreams. Ben said Bailey sounds like she’s climbing Mt. Everest. I suppose Chloe is running the Boston Marathon. Glad someone has the energy and physical stamina. So there’s another; joy intertwined with amusement and a side of exhaustion.
- I always feel pride for my girls and my selfless man, but today I got an extra measure of pride to add to my emotional pocketbook. I went to visit my baby sister. She is home now with a baby of her own. I really enjoyed watching her hold her son, so gentle, yet so natural. He seemed so comfortable with her, as only a child can feel in their Mother’s arms. She knew how to soothe him. We exchanged conversation on breastfeeding and I offered any meager tips I’ve picked up along the way. I brought her a quick meal I fixed. It felt nice to pay forward the generosity others had given me in the way of advice and food. I didn’t want to leave, but knew well enough that my children needed naps. As I drove away, I prayed for her and her son. There’s another; pride swaddled in love, with a cushion of nostalgia. As our day winds down here, Chloe watching cartoons, and Bailey napping in my lap; I feel one of the best emotions of all: peace, saturated with blessed contentment.
That is all 🙂
- Valentine’s Day is actually a special holiday for me. It’s not so much the actual day, but rather the memory it stirs in me. I returned back home to Mississippi in late 2007. It was a difficult time for me. I was suffering reverse culture shock after having been away from home so long. I was also going through an unexpected divorce. I won’t go into details about this past relationship other than to say, I didn’t seek God in the beginning or throughout the relationship. That in itself should not make its failure seem so unexpected after all. Either way, I was suffering from depression and found it difficult to reach for anything that brought true happiness. Within a short year of my return, my Mother passed away. This event only added to my already gloomy approach to life. I think a part of me felt like I thrived in this darkness. I would often jot down morbid poetry that Ben admits now frightened him at the time. 2. My dearest Ben was there with me through it all. Like the poetry, there were things I did he didn’t approve of and vice versa. The February after my Mom died I went card shopping for Valentine’s Day. It was only natural that he would be my Valentine, even though our relationship status was questionable. I had been pushing him away. I knew he still loved me, but was allowing me my space, perhaps because he wasn’t sure what else to do. I had cocooned myself into my living room, smothering in my own solidarity. As I stood in the store aisle reading through cards, I found one I rather liked. It had a silver heart attached to it that read “love always.” It hit me then, or rather God hit me. His voice in my head said, “Brie, if you’re gonna give him this card, you owe it to him to really mean it.” I stood there thinking it over and realized, I really did. I always had.
- I thought of a song this morning as I thought of my forever Valentine. Its lyrics go “Who will love me for me? Not for what I have done or what I will become?” My husband truly exemplifies Ephesians 5, loving his wife as Christ loves the church. After you’ve been rejected in life, you can often be afraid of love, especially a love that is non biased and unconditional. We love each other this way. Every Valentine’s Day I remember when I chose to not be afraid, but rather to love and be loved. Happy Valentine’s Day to my sweetheart of all times, my rock, my companion, my help mate, my lover, my best friend, my husband. I love you more each day.
That is all 🙂