Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Levi at one month. Posted by Picasa

Must write

Must blog, must blog. Writing is the form I can use to express a lot of thoughts that hang on me all day, though finding the time to sit and write is nigh impossible. Either sleep or write, take your choice. Forget eating, I gave that up weeks ago.

I guess I'll just be newsy. Levi is a month. He's much less fussy, and has stopped screaming bloody murder during his baths. He actually looks over at his reflection in the mirror, very calm, perhaps it's just resignation. But my policy is that all men that I sleep with need to smell good.

Speaking of which - Matt and I celebrated our 11-year anniversary this weekend. It was amazing to recall the places we'd lived and the jobs we'd had. We love to talk all day about our wedding day, remembering the moments. I'm afraid that there wasn't as much pizzaz this year as we'd hoped, since I totally wiped out around 8 p.m.. Sorry, Lover! Next year, and each year will continue to be better! We will see Vermont again!!

Libby is recovering from an emergency operation on her hand almost two weeks ago. We ended up in the ER, and then need the OR for repair. Gosh, she's a spirited little thing! I love it. We met one of the most fantastic surgeons I've even known, Dr. Frank. A short, more narrow version of Mr. Rogers. He adored Lib, and she thought he was pretty cool too, being an expert peek-a-boo player and all.

Izak is growing more and more observant. Yesterday we were making a U-turn in an Applebee's parking lot and he said, "Come on everybody. Let's go inside for nuggets and colored balloons!" Not bad for a kid of few words.

There's a lot that I can't tell you in the blog. A lot of confidential issues, some things that I may be able to reflect about in time. Can I just say that this last month has been one of the most difficult times that I can recall? If we were using battle terminology - "heavy shelling" is a pretty good word picture. But I was so encouraged when I was stumbling through Isaiah and it said repeatedly, "Do not fear; I will help you." The pastoral families have prayer every other Tuesday night here at our house. We prayed that God would make us desperate for Him... now we're praying for relief! Okay, okay we're desperate already! But God promised help.. and to a mom and wife of a family under the purifying fire, help is exactly, exactly what I need right now.

Jesus, thank you for being with me. Your presence is something I sense in the deepest parts of who I am. Thank you for being my strong, right hand. Thank you for enfolding my home with your arms. Thank you for being in the future, and for your protection in moments of crisis. I am so blessed.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Eleven years ago today. You're still my hero. Matthew. I love you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My Trench

Being a SAHM (stay at home mom) with three three and under lends itself to several words pictures. For example, most days I say that getting the kids in order feels like I'm herding cats. Certain times of the day feel like I'm being pecked to death by ducks. But most days I just refer to it as my life in the trench. In the morning I get up and put on my work clothes, grab my pick ax and jump in the ditch. On a normal day I just dig. If I'm digging at the right pace then I usually just keep my trench dug out. Some days I dig like crazy because the pressure is causing the sides to cave in. Other days I dig and bail water because of the storms. I don't mind my trench, it's familiar, it's busy , but it's mine.

Basic trench issues: Keeping the house in relative order, accommodating new changes to the schedule and taking into account the impact on each individual family member. Remembering the things that make each one sad, or happy, or content, and knowing when to employ the right one. Knowing when to lean on my husband, and when to draw up the bootstraps in order be leaned upon. Always remembering that only one adult at a time is allowed to be having a terrible day in his or her particular trench. Knowing where pretty much everything is located in the trench including the 9 bottles, 7 sippy cups, 4 pacifiers, and two blankies. Remembering when to pay the bills and balance the checkbook... Ah, home sweet trench.

Lately there have been special people who have come along and worked tirelessly alongside me. At this point in my life, when the workload is so intense and constant, I don't have a lot of time for folks who just want to stand up on the edge, look down in my trench and talk. Nor do I have time for people who want to sit around and tell me all about their trench. If you're going to take up time and space in my life, then for God's sake, grab that ax, get down here next to me and dig! DIG!!

A loving shout out to my fellow trench companions: Mom, Aunt Lo, Aud, Jenny, Bonnie, Anjee, Carrie P., Liz, Charlotte, Linda, Wanda, Rache, Jennifer G.. Your presence has made my time mothering and managing a heavy load much less lonely and much more joyful. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Levi 2.5 weeks

Looking more stretched out! My sitter, Rache, would say, "Next thing he needs is to grow a neck!"

Bad Mom

Today I had the thought, Perhaps this was a mistake... three children when I only have two arms, two hands, two adults... . Common thought, I know. I've found that it actually occurs earlier and earlier with subsequent babies. I didn't question my soundness of my decision until after Izak was born. I remember wondering what I'd done when I had a wailing newborn daughter and sobbing son locked in their car seats in the minivan... and I clearly remember panicky moment early on during Levi's pregnancy that centered around the lack of good judgment I'd used in bringing a third upon myself and the family! But each time I rest in the fact that these are God's children, not mine, and order eventually comes.

When Izak was a newborn, I remember the parents who rolled their eyes at me and said, "You ain't seen nothin' until you have ___ (insert numbers greater than one) kids to deal with!" Though insensitive and invalidating, they had a point. Two is nothing like one, and three is two on an exponential graph! I'm busy every second, though breastfeeding every two hours may not look like busy-ness. There were a few times today when everyone was crying, and at least two of the three were hanging on my pants simultaneously, while I held the baby. (Which baby? you might ask.) There have been times I've played too many videos and not read enough books. There have been times when I haven't changed the dirty diaper quickly enough and someone's gotten diaper rash. I think the easy (and extremely unhealthy) thing to think is, I must be a bad mom. Good moms wouldn't have these problems. The reality is that there are hard moments. Even when there's only one child, and especially when there's more than one. But that kind of thinking does nothing for either Mom or family. So you cowboy up, suffer through; you cry a little, you pray a lot. And things get better.
Bad moms don't do that.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

We regarded one another... Posted by Picasa

F5 update

The transition continues to go well. Levi is a relatively calm baby, Libby and Izak have grown accustomed to his presence. Matt is back at work, and I haven't flown the coop, or flown over the coop as the case may be. The kids and I ventured to a park down by the church and had a lovely time. Levi slept in his seat, which I hauled from site to site. The weather was balmy and sunny. I'm still surprised from time to time how strong and agile I feel. I can squeeze in small places, fit on the slides, and eat brownies for lunch if I want... it's great not being pregnant!

I'm figuring out how to make life fun on the fly as we adjust to spreading things between three kids. Izak has been relegated to the back seat of the minivan. This was not a welcomed adjustment since he's always seemed to need my help in being settled. "Mommy, here's my water, Here's my napkin. Here's my half-eaten french fry." Now he has to manage his own space, so to speak. He has cup holders and places to put things... but how do you get food to him if you're driving down the road? Well, if you see me driving down the road and turning around to chuck a chicken nugget at my toddler, don't laugh too hard. It works. He thinks it's a fantastic game. It's also useful with chocolate munchkins. And I'm a pretty good shot - so far it's mostly right between the numbers. Hope he doesn't lose an eye...

Libby is a beautiful fireball. My little mini-me, according to my mother. She'd watch Libby's antics while she was here and shake her head. "It takes me back thirty-some years in a flash." And what was it like to have me after having Stef, a handicapped child? Mom: "I was no more ready for you than I was for Stef." Great. But Libby is extremely fun and crazy. She's discovered the girl in the mirror - she spends long stretches of time working on her expressions: the smile, the head-tilt, the flirt, the uh-oh, the kiss, etc. Boy and girls... way different!

The church is pounding us with meals. We've enjoyed some fabulous cooking over the past week and a half. I can't imagine what we'd be eating if the meals were up to me... cereal, toast and crackers, maybe.

That's a quick update.