- First off, I’ll say that this is a 2nd draft. I had written 2 other facts and when I got to # 3, I realized it was such an in-depth and important subject, that it deserved its own post. I learned today that someone I know received a diagnosis of cancer with a poor prognosis. Bad, right? Well, the other side of this story is that this person is guilty of doing terrible things to someone I love. When I say terrible things, I mean things that would cause you to either hate a person or sweep the events into the back of your mind so you can escape the fact that you can’t possibly fathom forgiving them. This is my guilt. This is my dilemma.
- When I first became a Christian I learned all the awesome stuff, like Jesus loves me and died for me. Then I learned the hard stuff, like taking on characteristics that favored Christ. Forgiveness. No problem. Lord, I forgive that man who just cut me off in traffic! I’m a super Christian! Yeah, right. Then you realize that true forgiveness is hard,and that’s when you can truly appreciate how wonderful God’s gift of forgiveness of our sins is. When I first learned that forgiveness could further my relationship with God, I had the perfect test case. My biological father had left me. He had taken off, taken all the $, and actually left me to play alone on the streets of L.A. when he jetted to the bank. He stole from my piggy bank. He lied to me repeatedly. He hurt my Mom. But I think what hurt most was that he had no problem signing over his parental rights when my Dad adopted me. It was for the best and I love my Daddy, but I felt rejected that my biological father could give me up so easily. It took a year from the time I decided to forgive him, until the time I felt like I actually had and could contact him and tell him so. Forgiveness is hard. But after it was done, I felt free. I felt a weight lifted.
- With the incident I mentioned in # 1, I’ve purposely ignored my obligation to forgive. I’ve swept it under a rug of anger. Today, addressed with this person’s mortality, I felt the issue brought to the forefront of my mind. I made a difficult decision. I decided to pray for this person. I prayed that God would use this illness to draw the person into a relationship with Him. I prayed for healing that could cultivate that relationship. I reflected on God’s character and remembered that despite the horrible actions, this person was a child of God. God loves that person and is saddened, but never stops loving them. I realized that as I prayed for this person and reflected on how God saw them; God brought that forgiveness to my heart. It wasn’t something that I did, but something God did in me. And there’s peace in that. I encourage you to seek forgiveness, even when it’s hard. Perhaps someone needs to forgive you. When we can’t, God can.
That is all 🙂
- Chloe was playing with my phone earlier. I have an app on there that I got when she was just a baby. They touch a picture of an animal and then it says the animal’s name and makes the animal sound. She chose to play that game today instead of something else. As I watched her play, I recalled a video I took of her playing it before. She was holding onto a table to keep herself standing, and every time an animal made a sound, she would bust out laughing with that bubbly, baby laugh. Today as she played, she would say “Watch Mom. I like the cat. I don’t like the bison. It scares me.” Quite different reaction. This is just another reminder that my baby is growing too fast. She’s over there eating Doritos for goodness sake! I never imagined, not long ago, giving her Doritos (too much of a choking hazard). Even as she wipes her Doritos hands all over her shirt and the sofa, I see Bailey wearing a sleeper Chloe used to wear and it’s almost incomprehensible. I can’t believe how big my 1st baby is getting. And this comes to me on a day of such hormonal stability that I found myself crying over 5 different things I saw on Facebook this morning, in the space of 20 minutes or so.
- On the other side of the coin, I gotta remember that Chloe is still only two, and therefore demands/requires my utmost attention. Around 1:00 today, I realized that all three tv’s in the house were playing Dora. I took a stand, and despite Chloe’s objections, I put the TV on my DVR of American Idol to watch as I nursed the baby. Chloe went to my room to watch TV. After a few minutes, my Mommy sense whispered in my ear “she is very quiet back there.” I took Bailey balanced on the Boppy, still nursing, into my room and found Chloe on the bed with a pile of nicotine gum beside her. She had found this forgotten treasure in Ben’s nightstand. She showed me where she got it. It was right next to three different pocket knives. She didn’t get any of the double wrapped gum packets or difficult to operate knives open, but it was a nice enough reminder to me that I must still remain diligent over my toddler despite being busy with a 6 week old infant. As I was writing this, I smelled something poignantly wafting from her room. She had her older sister’s perfume she got for Christmas. It had been pushed to the back of the dresser so I curiously wondered aloud how she got a hold of it. She quickly said “watch” and proceeded to pull out the dresser drawer and use it like a step stool. I got some busy months ahead of me people.
- Aside from being super emotional today, I am also really tired. Since Sunday I’ve noticed some mild, nagging congestion in my chest. It reminds me of what I had while Chloe and Ben had the flu. I’m not really surprised that I keep getting sick. I’m not getting adequate rest and my infant sucks the immunity out of me every two hours. I’m not complaining though. I know it will get better soon enough. This morning when Bailey started stirring at 7:30, I will admit I was not ready to get up. Bailey is a different baby than Chloe was. If Chloe was upset or crying, whether it was boredom or whatever, I would nurse her. She would eat and fall asleep. I ended up with a fat baby who only wanted her Momma’s boobie. It was my solution to everything that ailed her. Well Bailey only nurses if she’s hungry. If she’s sleepy more than she’s hungry, she will cry if I try to nurse her. This requires me to use other means of comfort and entertainment. As a result, when she’s ready to wake up, I can’t nurse her back to sleep like I could Chloe. We gotta get up and go play till she’s ready to go back to sleep. It’s not bad or anything. She smiles the whole time. My point right now is that I was not feeling it this morning. Enter the amazing spouse. He took her before he had to go to work and I got another hour of sleep! I let him sleep in yesterday, but I’m glad that he’s the kind of guy to repay the favor. I’ll have him a nice dinner when he comes home. Teamwork.
That is all 🙂
- My poor husband is outside trying to play with his dog. It’s cold out there and it’s almost dark. It’s only 5:30, but dusk is in full swing. I am ready for Summer. If we weren’t both so close to our families, I would definitely suggest to Ben that we move even further down South, to the beach. The warm sun just makes me feel good. I love how the days seem longer. I love how Chloe gets to play outside and look so healthy with some color on her face. I feel like I’m getting some chest congestion again too, and am ready for this season of sickness to pass on by. Ben has Monday only, to get his “man stuff” done outside and we usually end up going somewhere together during the day. By the time we get home, daylight is gone. The dog needs to play. Chloe wants to play. My boxes of Christmas decorations want to be put up in the shed. There’s still 24 hours in a day, but the lack of sunshine makes everyone a little sleepier and you somehow get less done that you can on a day in June.
- Where did we go during our daylight outing? Where else do you go in a small Southern town? Walmart of course! It is Chloe’s favorite destination. She rode the tiny carousel as always. She also thinks that the McDonalds in Walmart is better tasting than the full size McDonalds across town. She is such a joy to take on a shopping excursion. She thinks she is too big to sit in the cart and insists on riding on the back. Since I can’t see over the infant carrier on the front of the cart, it’s a constant battle to watch and not run her over when she jumps off. She’s started constantly saying “Watch Momma!” So she’s always doing some stunt she believes to be truly fascinating to see. “Watch Momma!” So I watch as she skips blindly into the main aisle barely missing a run-in with another shopper’s cart. Then Bailey wakes and is ready for a feeding. I found myself wondering why so many men were walking past me while I was on a bench nursing the baby. Then I looked up and realized I was sitting in front of men’s work boots. Next time I’ll take position across from the fuzzy house shoes instead. Bailey took it all in stride. She is getting very fun now, having grown out of the newborn stage. She smiles all the time! She can mostly hold up her head on her own. Ben and I got the two items we needed and also a cart full of things we didn’t go there for (like new crayons, a coloring book, and hair bows).
- We also went by the movie store. After the girls go to bed, we’ll have our date night in the bedroom. I’m gonna make a cake from scratch I saw on Pinterest today. Popcorn, cake, movie, my sweetie; sounds good to me. I noticed that the young fella in the movie store has been working there since Ben and I got married. He has seen us come in there as a dating couple, then newly weds, me pregnant with Chloe, and us carrying Chloe in the infant carrier. Now he sees Chloe running around and a new baby in the same carrier. My main thought about the whole thing though was how impressed I was at a young guy keeping the same job for so long. I guess I was a job hopper as a kid. In high school and college I worked at several places: Sonic, Kmart, JCPenney, Shoney’s, Chuck E Cheese, Lowes, Renasant Tower, 2 different hospitals, Waffle House, a furniture factory (for four hours!), a pipe factory (liked that one actually). The Navy finally took the jumping bean out of my pants. Maybe I was looking for my place in this world. Maybe God was trying to get me to where He wanted me to be, but I wasn’t listening yet. I still think He’s got plans beyond what I could imagine. But what’s different now from then, is that I try to be still and allow Him to open and close doors in my life rather than running and searching. Even when a storm comes in your life, it may just be God’s wind blowing you somewhere new.
That is all 🙂
- My baby just gave me a huge, toothless grin! I was so happy to see her when I got home. Of course, I missed her because I love her, but I admit I also had ulterior motives. I’ve discovered the most difficult thing about working a 12 hour shift right now. I know what you’re thinking. How can anything about my glamorous job be difficult, right? I mean where else will a co-worker say to you, “I’m gonna go get something to eat. Can you listen for Mr. Smith and help him back to bed and look at his poop?” True story. It happened today. Anyway, back to the difficult thing. It’s breastfeeding. I pump at work, but a machine can only do so much. It can’t truly remove all the milk, so by the end of the day, I’m hurting. When I got home, she showed that pump who was boss. And, I got rewarded with that smile.
- When I came through the door, I was greeted by a happy little toddler. There is nothing better than having someone run to you, full of excitement to see you. She stood there looking up at me as I took my coat off and impatiently said, “Hug me Momma!” Bailey was still napping when I first came in, so I sat on the couch with Chloe. She asked “You gonna wake the baby, Mommy?” I replied, “No. I wanna play with you.” I could see the delight on her face and it made me feel good. We were able to play Barbie for quite a while before Bailey woke up. I been missing my Chloe time.
- Before I did any of the above mentioned things, I made a point to greet my groom properly. While no longer newlyweds, and often busy with children; we always make time to share a kiss. It’s not just a brush of the cheek, but rather a true moment where our eyes meet when we say love you, and even the briefest, chaste kiss is full of emotion. Today was Ben’s first day alone with both girls. They were all three awake when I left this morning. I know it’s been a long day for him. I’m proud of the wonderful father he is and I plan to tell him so. Never forget to thank your spouse, for even what may seem the smallest of things. Grateful words go a long way.
That is all 🙂
- These facts will likely be shorter than usual, for I am bone tired. Today was my first day back to work. I got up quite early, earlier than usual, even for a work day. I have to fall back into, not just getting myself ready, but giving the time to nurse the baby and pump the rest for a bottle. She was fast asleep when my alarm went off, so cute swaddled up tight. As soon as I got out of the shower, I could hear her crying. Poor Ben. I went to her with my wet hair in a towel. My plan was to fill her little tummy and send her to snoozeville. Nope. She was wide eyed and I had to pass the torch so I could finish getting ready. I felt bad for Ben. As I was getting ready to leave, I peeked in on everyone and prayed for them all. Ben and Chloe were cuddled up together in bed. Bailey was asleep in her bassinet and had a huge grin on her face; a big open mouthed, gummy grin. It tugged at my heart. So hard to leave! As I gathered my coffee and bags and pulled the back door shut, I heard the baby start crying. So hard to leave!
- Well, it wasn’t too bad of a day! I prayed myself up and heard a good song on the way to work. My passwords were all expired right off the bat. I had forgotten to buy some of the breakfast bars I like to eat on work days. Too bad I did, since I didn’t eat the first time until 4:30 this afternoon. That is typical lunch time for a nurse; if you get lunch at all. I will not for privacy reasons go into details about my patients, but they were definitely worthy of a stay in a critical care unit! One patient was very sick and kept me on my toes and very busy. I tried to keep an optimistic attitude though. After all, he did stabilize in time for me to get my charting done. It could have been much worse. I actually thought it was good for me to have such a critically ill patient on my first day back, for it boosted my confidence in my abilities to handle such a situation. But I am truly thankful for the helping hands of my co-workers through it all! Several times through the day, I would feel my chest tingle and know that it was time for Bailey to eat. Made me kinda sad. I did make time to pump, for Bailey’s sake and mine. Once right before a pumping session, I was pushing an empty wheelchair with an IV pole on it and ran into the door frame, knocking the pole into my full breasts. Ouch! Wouldn’t recommend that one. Overall, though, my first day back was not near as bad as I had feared. God answers even the simplest of prayers.
- Once you have kids, going home after work is never the same. I left the hospital in the small car and made my first stop at Ben’s work to switch vehicles. He had the SUV with carseats. I next went to pick up Bailey. I was relieved that she did so well today. Chloe had never been a fan of the bottle and I always feared she’d starve rather than take a bottle. No worries there with Bailey. My little chubby likes milk however she can get it; and all day according to my Mother-in-Law. We packed up and headed home where my Aunt was watching Chloe. Those two had played all day and Chloe was full of stories about her day. She talks so fast and is so hyper after I’ve been away at work. But I didn’t mind a bit. Ben is home now and we have a little time together. You wanna know the best thing. I only have one day left, then I’m back to Mommy duty for a week.
That is all 🙂
- I really think I could write an entire blog daily just on Chloeisms (the amusing thinks my toddler says/does). It’s never a dull moment with a toddler. Sometimes it laughable, while other times you want to scream in frustration. Since the arrival of the new baby, I think I tend to savor Chloe’s idiosyncrasies a little bit more than I did. This morning while I was rocking the baby to sleep, she decided she didn’t want to wait any longer for a bath. So she stripped down naked and joyfully ran around the room yelling “I love being necked!” Then she fell onto the floor shrieking, “Look Momma!” She was throwing her legs up above her head like some kind of yoga pose. I said “Wow, I wish I could do that.” She replied, “You can’t do it cause you’re a Momma. Only big girls can do it.” She leaves me speechless quite often. I put her in the bath. As I started to wash her hair she screamed, “No Momma. Don’t wash my hair. I wanna be the stinky kid!” Yes, she’s really only two and no, I have no idea where she gets this stuff. I washed it anyway and she started screaming “Hola!” Not sure why she thought screaming hello in Spanish would make me waver. After the bath, she wanted to eat again. First, I have no idea how she stays so darn skinny. Secondly, am I the only Mom who feels like I’m constantly making food? It’s like my day is divided into meal and snack times, especially with feeding the sweet little vampire every two hours. Chloe now things she can read and will tell me what the directions on the food packages say. The little princess also insists on eating her chicken nuggets with a fork. Yep. Never a dull moment.
- I spent a little while balancing the checkbook earlier and paying a few bills. I haven’t had time to keep up with it as much as I would like, so I had some catching up to do. (Like it’s not already my least favorite thing to do). It’s hard to balance and thing ahead very well. I’ll start getting a check again in the next couple of weeks, but my back payments of insurance will be garnished from my pay, so I’m not sure it will be much of a check at all. As I balanced, I noticed all the deposits from Ben’s check and felt proud to have such a hard working partner. I have always been so self reliant financially in the past. Disability was certainly not as good as I hoped it would be. So I found myself really depending on my spouse to be able to provide for the family. I’ve always depended on me! Haha. Laughable. I’ve enjoyed this growing experience for me. I’ve learned to put more trust in God to provide. I’ve learned to allow my husband to take the wheel and provide for me. It’s been wonderful to relinquish that control. I’ve seen God mold us both, lift us up where needed, and put us (me really) in our place as needed too. I think that as I’ve learned to rely on my spouse, it has in turn given him joy and a much needed sense of pride in being the leader of our family. I love watching God work in our relationship and strengthen our bond, while helping us to grow together in Him.
- I think we all have dreams or desires for certain things in our life. Some are big, some are small. We often call out to God about these things. We pray about it, without ceasing, right? Just last night, Ben was talking to me about the Father Heart of God. He said that God loved us like we loved our girls, and that He would do anything for us like we would our girls. But sometimes Chloe may ask us for something that we know she’s not quite ready for yet. That easy bake oven may burn her. I have been praying to God about a desire I have. I asked Him this morning, as I dedicated my day to Him, that He speak to me about it. The first verse I read was in my Bible app as the verse for today; Psalms 46:10. Be still and know that I am God. First you should know that this is a very personal verse to me that God has used in the past to speak to me. When Chloe was around 7 months old, I was struggling with a personal/professional issue. I had been praying about it a lot. As I put Chloe down for a nap at that time, I felt like He spoke to me saying “See how that baby squirms about, fighting sleep. That is you. You’re just like that baby. You need to be still and know that I am God.” He brought that verse back to me several times over the next few months. I remember being in a meeting at work. I was getting frustrated at how things were proceeding. A co-worker passed me a note under the table. It said, Be still and know that He is God. I had not told her about this at all. God answered my prayer then, in His perfect timing, after I learned to be still and trust Him. I was comforted this morning when He reminded me of the power of this verse in my life and how He can move. The next devotional I read featured Hebrews 10:36. Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised you. Wow. Isn’t God amazing?! I certainly think so. This comfort and peace comes to me just when I need it. I will be still. I will trust. I will continue to seek Him first, and watch His blessings pour into my life.
That is all 🙂
- I can’t believe it’s already 6:30 pm. Time is such a crazy thing. Why does it seem to fly by the older you get. I never remember it going so fast when I was a child. Even when I was in my twenties, it didn’t seem like the months flew by like they do now. Looking at my recently printed pictures, I see a fat baby Chloe in the images from when we bought the house. It doesn’t seem like we’ve lived here long enough for Chloe to go from chubby, bald baby to a skinny, tall, long-haired little girl. But apparently we have! It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since I got my hair cut and highlighted, but my roots tell a different story! I said to Ben yesterday, “I hate my hair when it gets like this! Look at these dark roots!” He replied, “I don’t understand why you don’t dye that part too.” Y’all, he was serious! I said, “Are you serious?!” And he just looked confused. I explained that was where my hair had grown. It also doesn’t seem like 6 weeks has gone by since Bailey was born. But guess what; it has! Today I had had 6 week appt. with my OB-GYN. The past 6 weeks have flown by and I’m kinda mad about it. During the majority of the time we were dealing with a lot of sickness. Now that both children are feeling better and Bailey is starting to smile and interact with me, it’s time for maternity leave to end. My Dr. asked me “Are you ready to go back to work?” That’s like when the card processor at the store flashes up the question “amount ok?” When my bill at Walmart is so much higher than expected; I always want to press No to see what would happen. It was the same with the Dr’s question. I said no to wanting to return to work, but yes to needing to return to work.
- I took my return to work slip by my job. I had left Chloe with my Mother-in-Law, but took Bailey with me. She was very good. She’s an excellent baby overall. During my appt. she napped in her carrier. I have a white noise app on my phone that I played as we waited. During the appt. she simply stared up at the Nurse as the Dr spoke to me. When I took her into the hospital, I wore her in the sling. It’s always kinda fun to see the reaction of people seeing a little baby strapped to my chest. I really enjoyed showing her off. She was a little star that shined so bright. She smiled, cooed, and slept sweetly with her cute little baby booty sticking out. It was nice to see familiar adult faces of work friends and speaking with them, laughing together, made the thought of my return seem a little better.
- My little sister came by to see me after we got back home. Today is her 22nd Birthday. That is just an astronomical example of how time can fly by. It’s insane that a baby girl I held is now 35 weeks pregnant with her own little baby. I’ve enjoyed sharing a pregnancy with her and even though I know the time will fly by way too fast; I look forward to seeing our children grow up together. I talked with her about her impending new baby and joked about constant crying in infants. In all seriousness, I know she will do well. I know she will soon be able to experience the joy that comes with the work of having a child. I’ve tried to explain to her how your heart changes with a child and you develop a love feeling like you never knew possible. I also explained how you will daily say things you never thought would come out of your mouth. Today I said, “Get the horse off your sister’s head.” Yesterday it was, “Get out of the bath and get that spoon out of your poonie.” I am daily experiencing new, deeper, more challenging, and more rewarding aspects of being a Mommy. Some aspects you want to go fast. Others you want to slow down. I’m just thankful that God gave me this special gift and entrusted me with the job of loving these girls and showing them His character.
That is all 🙂
- Heading home in rush hour Memphis traffic. Thankfully, I’m not driving. My Mom thrived in Memphis traffic, but I’ve never been a fan of risking my life. I used to drive in the DC, Metro area traffic and I didn’t like that either. I still recall my first day in rush hour there on the Beltway. I began to cry and beat my hands against the windshield. Then I noticed the poor guy next to me. I really had him worried for my sanity. Anyway, I keep peeking over at the baby in her seat, who currently remains awake and I keep saying little prayers under my breath that she’ll fall asleep before she decides she’s done with not being held. She’s starting to make inpatient little grunts, so it will really be a miracle for her to fall peacefully asleep in this stop and go. Chloe is also without nap. I can see her rubbing at her eyes and bouncing around as best she can in her carseat to fight off the evil hands of the sandman trying to drag her under. She amazes me. She could give James Bond a run for his money, if fighting sleep is anything like resisting torture tactics to elicit information. But, alas, even a warrior can only fight so long. She has given up the fight and gone the way of the nap. Bailey, on the other hand, went full on shrieking eels from Princess Bride. I had to employ the pacifier. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes she acts like I’m sticking a baseball bat down her throat and gags and sputters. Other times she suckles it like the sweet, purple, rubber nipple it is. Thankfully, today it worked and she is suckling her way to drowsy town.
- Why Memphis rush hour you ask. We are coming back from a fun filled day at a place called Incredible Pizza. It was a lot of fun. I’m glad we went. When invited, I almost said no. You never know how a young baby will react to a long car ride and a day out away from familiar routine, but I really wanted Chloe to go. They offered to just take Chloe, but the thing is, I really enjoy seeing her have a good time. The excitement on her face makes any struggles worth while to me. She did have a good time. The trip was different with two, instead of one. But I recall it being different before one, as well. I love playing games. When I used to go to kid’s parties at places like this, I would run around with tokens, getting tons of tickets, just like one of the kids. I even worked at Chuck E Cheese in my early twenties as a game room attendant. All I had to do was go around playing the games and winning lots of tickets to inspire little patrons to spend more tokens. After you have a child, you still get to play, but you spend more time playing games that are fun for them and they get all the tickets! Sorry basketball game and skee-ball. A majority of your tokens will now go to a pink car that jostles it’s tiny rider up and down, but not too fast thankfully. Today was even more of a transition. Bailey couldn’t play at all. Can you imagine?! All she could do was lay in her 800 lb infant carrier and nap intermittently. In between brief naps, she insisted on eating quite frequently. And since she’s so darn cute, I couldn’t just sit her down and take off. I had to keep an ever present eye on her. I joke. She actually did really well. She never got fussy. She ate and napped. And don’t be fooled. I got to play too. Others watched her while I rocked out at laser tag. Talk about fun!
- At one point, my Mother-in-Law watched Bailey while I took off after Chloe. We were out of $ on our play card, but she was happy to just run around from game to game, testing out each one. At one point, she sat in every seat of each race car game, turning the steering wheel and changing gears. There were like 20 of them in a row. It’s amazing what you’ll put up with when you see your kid is having fun. After the extensive test drive session, I suggested we go get something to drink. We took off for the dining area and got some fountain drinks. I also got us each a slice of pizza from the buffet. As we sat down together to enjoy our snack, it hit me what a nice moment it was. It was just the two of us, and I had really missed that. I love the baby, but Chloe will always be my first little baby. I hated for the moment to end, but as I saw her chomp on the last bite, I knew we better head back. It made me realize that I’ll have to make time for more moments like that in the future. The only thing missing from the day was my best friend’s presence. I know Ben would have had a blast. I love how he’s such a kid at heart. We love to play and I will definitely be returning there with him, if only to kick his butt at laser tag!
That is all 🙂
- I’ve been busy as a bee the past hour or so doing my absolute favorite thing: cleaning house. You may insert sarcasm here. It’s not like I want to do it. I feel like I have to! The house is kinda like how you’ve heard me describe the kitchen. One meal causes a mound of dishes that spills out of the tiny sink and litters every single space of counter. Well, the rest of the house is the same. It doesn’t take long with 4-5 people living here for small messes to multiple into an episode of Hoarders. Every single area of unoccupied space begins to vomit up piles of baby stuff: bassinet, blankets, burp clothes. They multiply. Toddler items underfoot: toys, tiny shoes, half eaten pieces of string cheese, and a collection of sippy cups. My discarded shirts that are covered in spit up and snot trail out of the overflowing laundry basket. Ben’s massive collection of shoes (all covered in flour) and competing collection of toboggans cover the sofa and open floor spaces beneath. It all begins to pile up together and close in on you as you walk by. You begin to fear for your safety and sanity. You could swear the pile of laundry grew arms, shook an angered fist, and growled at you as you threw another pair of undies on top. Did that talking Dora doll really just say “Brie, are you ever gonna wash your hair?”
- The impending storm brought me a wonderful, unexpected present: a night off for my husband. Then the baby decided to nap for 2 hours outside of the comfort of my arms! These grand surprises allowed me to clean up the above mentioned mayhem. Ben did the kitchen which helped me tremendously and gave him “man bragging rights” for completing housework. Chloe helped by continuing to bring toys into the living room as I picked them up and put them away. She didn’t want me to not feel challenged enough. I discovered that a swiffer sweeper is great for homes without kids only. It does not work well on picking up play do, chicken nuggets, fruit snacks, or small plastic beads. Now where did those come from?! I discovered I need a new vacuum. I discovered that Ben fusses just as much as I do when cleaning the kitchen. That made me feel better. I discovered the pile of clean clothes didn’t take near as long to fold as I thought. I discovered I forgot to pre-treat the stains from the recent mud puddle incident and fear the stain is now set in. Dang. I discovered that after we finished, Ben and I could joyfully laugh about how in a day, the mess would return.
- I’m about to make tacos and sufficiently mess up the kitchen. Haha. For what has turned out to be such a nice day; it didn’t start that way. I found myself feeling extremely stressed out this morning. My day started with simultaneous visits from the pest control man and the cable guy. The joys of maintaining a happy home continue with keeping bugs out and Internet and Dora in. Then I discovered that my step-daughters siblings had been diagnosed with RSV. She had just spent the weekend with us, so I immediately feared re-infection of the girls. I thought, no way I can handle any more sickness. Then I noticed the air vents were blowing out bone cold air while the heat was on. I wondered why my heat would decide to go out on such a cold day as this. Bailey wouldn’t stay down for a nap on her own. She of course woke right when I was getting a wet Chloe out of the tub. The mounds of growing mess were closing in on me and starting to threaten my sanity. I questioned how I could tackle such a mess. I felt myself being grumpy and short tempered. Thankfully, before I let it get the best of me and yell too much at Chloe, I prayed for God to help me. I said “help me!” That simple. I prayed for Him to settle my nerves and calm my fears. I recalled verses that speak against fear and proclaimed them out loud. I don’t think a full five minutes even went by before I realized that a weight had been lifted. No fear. No anxiety. No anger. Only joy remained. My day could truly start. And I must say, it’s been a great one. On a side note to those concerned: my house is staying warm, so not sure what the vent thing was about.
That is all 🙂
- It is so quiet right now. I’m at home with the baby and she’s asleep. Ben took Chloe and Marlie with him to the store. He said he was gonna take them so I could get some quiet time. Yes, my husband is amazing. Marlie got out of school early due to freezing rain. Chloe had no nap today. Put those two together and it’s full on shenanigans! They love each other to pieces, but they fuss like cats and dogs. They share a room and it is right next to the living room. You don’t want them closing the door because there’s no telling what terrors would occur if left unsupervised. But the noise from the room is unprecedented. There’s a constant “nooooo Marlie!!!” Or “stop it!!” Both of these are punctuated with a whine. While Chloe is constantly whining no, even if Marlie is not in the wrong; Marlie, in turn, is instigating Chloe’s tantrum. Anyone who had a sibling remembers the old “don’t touch me” followed by your sibling pointing a finger inches from your face and taunting “I’m not touching you.” That’s how it is here. Chloe screams “don’t touch my cheese.” I see Marlie continuing to touch the cheese with a sneaky smirk. Don’t think Chloe is innocent though. She bugs the “you know what” out of Marlie. And now Chloe has learned potty humor and the laugh it elicits from sis. I heard her from the room singing “doodoo, doodoo, doodoo balls!” I’m savoring the quiet while it lasts. Thank you dear husband. I owe you one.
- The above fact reminded me of a story. I never had an older sibling. I was the eldest. But growing up I had a first cousin who was like my brother. Before I had siblings, he and I were it. My Mom and Aunt use to trade us back and forth, each watching the others’ child. Even when we lived far apart we still made time for visits. We would make a trip and stay at the others’ house for a couple of weeks. He sadly wasn’t always the best influence. He was 5 years older than me, and therefore more experienced in stuff. He taught me my first cuss word. He told me to say it. I did. Then he went and told my Aunt and she washed my mouth out with soap. He taught me how to stuff my toys under the bed and in the closet when my Mom told us to clean my room. He taught me how to ride a bike. He had to after crashing my bike and tearing up my training wheels. I still recall being pushed down that steep asphalt hill with a major highway at the bottom. Yep, I learned to pedal and brake. He taught me interesting games. One I remember vividly was called “Heaven and Hell.” It went like this. He was God. I was dead. He told me I had been bad and couldn’t stay in Heaven. He would put me in the closet which served as the elevator to Heaven and Hell. I would go down to Hell where he was the devil. He would then put me in a corner and tell me I couldn’t leave the corner as I was surrounded by a ring of invisible fire. I was five. Then he would open the window of our third floor apartment and throw my dolls out to his buddies down below to toss back and forth. And my poor little brother wonders why I was so mean to him growing up. I’ll have to warn Bailey that it often rolls down hill.
- Speaking of Bailey; we took her to a follow up appt. today. The Dr. gave her a clean bill of health. I’m so happy. I haven’t heard her cough all day. Since I had Ben with me, I suggested a grocery shopping trip. He didn’t seem super excited. I can’t imagine why. But he agreed. So picture this. We have one of those car buggies with Marlie and Chloe in the drivers seat and Ben pushing. I’m following him with a regular basket with Bailey’s infant car seat in it. Of course she’s not in it. I’m holding her since she started crying right when we got inside. She’s quiet and happy in my arms, but that doesn’t stop a stranger from noticing her and making a comment that I couldn’t help but take as a stab at my parenting. She snidely commented, “that’s a little bittie baby you have out in this weather.” I smoothly replied, “yeah, we almost left her at home by herself, but thought better of it.” Anyway, back to the caravan. I held Bailey in one hand and pushed my cart with the other. You really need two carts anyway. Those car carts are awesome at keeping young kids occupied, but they don’t have as much room. Also, they are a hassle to push through the store, but so worth the distraction they provide. I always meet up with some other parent pushing their own car cart with a toddler driving, and as we barely get past each other in the aisle, we comment on how the pros outweigh the cons of this cumbersome buggy. I had to chuckle to myself as I would stop and point to Ben what item to pick up and place in the basket. I usually do the shopping by myself, so I almost felt like I had my own personal assistant. When he gets back with the girls, he’s gonna make pancakes and sausage for dinner. Yes. I think I’ll keep him.
That is all 🙂