Wednesday, July 31, 2013

just some thoughts

1. I get mad at Target when they put the school supplies out at the beginning of July because they make me think about the school year and GIMMEABREAK I still have almost two months left of my summer!  (Okay, I know it's almost August, but I've been stewing about this for three weeks now.)  I will never understand the retail industry's need to rush us through the seasons.  I was in Michael's today and they had Halloween crap out already.  It's STILL JULY, PEOPLE.  (Counting on my fingers) July, August, September, October.  That's FOUR MONTHS.  There is NO NEED to have the HALLOWEEN STUFF OUT ALREADY!  CAPITAL LETTERS! EXCLAMATION POINT!

2. I took Faith to the doctor last week because I was worried she couldn't hear as well as she should.  I was right.  She failed the hearing test in both ears and we were referred to Children's Mercy.  I can't explain it, but I was caught off guard by how upset I was.  I mean, I took her in because I thought she couldn't hear.  I don't know why I was so surprised when they told me she can't.*  I think part of me was hoping they'd find a bunch of wax in there and clean her out and she'd be good as new.  And now I have two weeks to fret and stew and panic and allow my mind to wander to the worst case scenario - and I'm not even sure what the worst case scenario might be!  I think part of the reason I am upset is that I know that she will likely have a hard time communicating anyway.  To think about adding another element that will hinder her language acquisition and communication skills is really sad.  I'm trying to just keep my mind in neutral territory until we know more.  It's not really working, but that's what I'm trying!
*She can hear.  She responds to some sounds, just not as sensitively as I think she should be responding.  And she's pretty behind verbally which can go hand-in-hand with hearing problems.  I clarify this because I've expressed my worries to people and they'll say "See? She can hear!" when they see her respond to a certain sound.  Yes, she can hear, but not as well as she should.
Sisters.  This is a daily scene.  Lila wants to hold Faith which turns into Faith attempting to eat Lila's face.  As you can see, Lila hates it.
3. Lila. Oh, Lila, Lila, Lila.  We've had a rough week, that girl and I.  It's mostly my fault.  I started doing some scientific experiments with her naps.  Oh yes.  The naps are back.  We tried the quiet time thing for a bit, but that didn't last long.  She wasn't ready to call it quits on the napping yet.  Or maybe I wasn't ready.  Might be one in the same.  But the problem is that when she gets a nap, she's up until 10pm which was really fun at the beginning of the summer when we were enjoying the cooler weather and the sun setting later.  But that is no longer working for this mama who needs some introvert time at the end of the day.  So I decided to pull the nap and put her to bed early which has directly resulted in my child losing her ever-lovin' mind around 6:30pm each night.  The Husband and I were often exchanging covert looks that alternated between bewildered, amused and a little scared as we watched our child fall apart over the smallest things (the wrong cup, a mis-placed toy, a minor injury, etc).  So then I panicked and started making her nap again.  I'm sure this wishy-washy parenting isn't doing her any favors, but for the life of me I can't figure out what the best option is.  Nap or no nap?  She just needs both.  Transitions are the worst.  The one bet that seems completely unaffected by all these experiments is the likelihood that she will end up in bed with us in the middle of the night.  That one seems to have 100:1 odds.  Nap or no nap - we'll still end up with an extra pair of elbows in our bed.  And bonus! Sometimes I awaken to Lila saying accusingly, "Mommy!  Your bed's all wet!"  Despite the fact that the culprit is always her leaky Pull-Up, she seems to think I bear some responsibility to her waking up wet.  Oh well, it forces us to change the sheets with regularity.
I stumbled upon this little scene when I went to put the sheets back on after laundering them.  I texted it to my family with the caption "Lila was here."

4. In the midst of this latest sleep saga, I've been trying to remain focused on the positive things Lila is doing - for both of our sakes.  I find myself being especially congratulatory over the smallest accomplishments and reminding myself that her good behavior is achieved with great effort since she is overcoming the two handicaps of sleep deprivation and well, being three-and-a-half.  So, when she does things like make my bed for me I ooh and ahh and gush over what a great job she did and what a big help she is and how glad I am to be her Mommy.  The intended result is that she doesn't only hear me griping at her and I remember that she's awesome.  It's working.
So proud of herself.  Don't tell her she left a good chunk of the bed naked.  We'll give her an A for effort.
5. Also working: emergency runs to Chick-fil-a with good friends.  The kids played, we bribed them with ice cream, I cried about all the aforementioned stress (Lila's sleep battles, Faith's hearing problems, etc), my friends listened and offered their support, and Faith tried to eat the placemat when I didn't give her blueberries fast enough.
Forgive the blurry picture.  This is the only one in which all four kids are looking at the camera.  Oh wait.  Only two are.  Well, it's still the best one out of the several I took! 
6. Faith continues to be the most passive baby ever.  She just goes with the flow.  Case in point:
"Oh, don't mind me.  I'll just fall asleep right here."
7. I need a haircut.

That's all, folks.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

you might be a mom of a preschooler if...

...the world threatens to come apart at the seams because you have the nerve to suggest that your child wear a different dress than she wanted to wear
Actual preschooler quote: "I never wanted to wear that dreeeeesssssssssss! Sob, sob, wail, wail, flop, dramatic flop, even more dramatic flop.
The offending dress.  I know.  It's hideous.  How could I even consider asking her to wear such an atrocity? discover the Noah's Ark animals paired up in different locales around your house - under the dishwasher, at the end of the hallway, tucked under the couch, inside the closet, at the foot of the bed.
Actual preschooler quote: "They're in their habitats.  A habitat is where animals live."  Thank you Sesame Street. buy the giant Costco package of Raisin Bran because there was a coupon and because your child excitedly indicated that she wanted that cereal.  And then you catch her picking only the raisins out and rejecting the bran flakes.  And when you ask her why she didn't just ask for raisins she looks contemplative and then says, 
Actual preschooler quote: "Can I have some raisins, please?" have to stifle a giggle/smirk/guffaw/snicker at the raw honesty of your child's conversation.
Actual preschooler quote: "I don't want to say please right now because I'm feeling grumpy." find yourself absent-mindedly singing things like, "If you have to go potty - stop! - and go right away!  Flush and wash and be on your way!"
Actual preschooler quote: "No, Mommy.  You're not allowed to sing that because you aren't on Daniel Tiger." find yourself dreaming (pun intended) of a night's sleep during which there are only four legs in your bed, because you've learned that any extra legs make it near impossible to avoid being kicked in the face.
Actual preschooler quote (in the middle of the night while she is horizontal in my bed with her head on the Husband's chest and her feet on my head): "Mommy, stop pushing my feet!"

...your sense of decorating style gets trumped by practicality and you find yourself stretching a fitted crib sheet around the mirror above your daughter's dresser.
Actual preschooler quote: "I saw me in the mirror and it surprised me and I don't like being surprised!"
You can pin it if you want to.  I know you want to. remind yourself on a daily basis who the grown up is and who the child is in an effort to not sink to her level.
Actual preschooler quote: "Are you a mean mommy today?" (because the fifth time I asked her to put her milk in the fridge, my voice sounded mildly stern) find yourself simultaneously the most exhausted and the most fulfilled you have ever felt in your entire life.
Actual preschooler quote: "Mommy, you look BEAUTIFUL."  Greasy hair, dark circles from lack of sleep due to aforementioned extra legs in my bed, no makeup, and stinky armpits, but I'm wearing a skirt which negates everything else and I am dubbed: beautiful.  Bless her.

So.  Are you a mom of a preschooler? Do you have any to add?

Friday, July 19, 2013

when I lost my favorite thing

We couldn't find Lila.

We were getting ready to leave for a family dinner at my parents' house.  The front door was open.  We were both occupied with packing up the last of the essentials - diapers, baby food, etc.  I was in our room when I heard the Husband call for her.  She didn't answer.  He called for her again.  No answer.  I heard him open the screen door and call outside.  I came out of our room, "Is she not answering?"

He shook his head and stepped outside to check her usual spots - the swing set, the back patio, her bike.   I walked through the house calling for her, too.  I heard my voice go from casual to frustrated to angry to nervous to frantic with each shout of her name.

"Lila!  Lila!  Lila answer Mommy!  Lila, Mommy is scared because I don't know where you are - answer me!"

I saw the Husband cross in front of the house and called to him from the door, "She's not in the back?"

He shook his head again.  His gait told me he was starting to get nervous, too.  I tried to keep it together.  She must be hiding somewhere.  "Lila, don't hide.  Come out!"

Faith was buckled into her carseat watching me run back and forth through the house.  I wondered vaguely if she could sense my panic.

The Husband had gone to check with the neighbors in case Lila had decided to visit her buddy, Neveah, who lives next door.  I couldn't imagine her doing that, though.  Their yard backs to the side of our house and we never go around to their front door.  Lila's taken to yelling for Neveah from our side of the fence until Neveah comes to her back door.  The pit in my stomach was starting to get bigger as I realized we were out of usual places to look and we were moving on to the unusual.  I tried to think.  When did I last see her?  She was standing by the front door.  Could someone have taken her?  What if she wandered out into the street and got hit by a car?  Could she have left our yard?  She wouldn't do that.  She wouldn't do that.  

It couldn't have been more than three or four minutes, but it felt longer - just like they always say it does.  I started to wonder at what point we should call the police when I had a thought, Check the car.

I ran out to the car parked in the driveway and as I rounded the front of it I thought I saw movement inside.  When I reached her window I could see on her face that she was scared.  She must have seen us panicking, heard us calling for her.  I tore the door open yelling, "Eric!  Eric I found her!" Fumbling with the seatbelt the tears of relief started to come.  She was completely silent as she gripped my shoulders and climbed into my arms.  The Husband came around from the neighbor's house, followed by the neighbor with a relieved look on his face.

"She was in the car - she had buckled herself into her car seat."

Back inside, I collapsed into the chair by the door, holding her tight to me and trying to assure my brain and heart that everything was okay.  I didn't say anything for several minutes, just held her close to me and tried to stop crying.  I knew I was scaring her and I weighed how much of my fear I wanted her to feel.

A small voice said, "I was ready to go."

"You were ready to go?"
"So you went outside and got in the car and buckled yourself?"

In my mind, I could hear her whining, "I'm ready to goooooo," as we distractedly packed up Faith's bottles and diapers.  She must have decided to take matters into her own hands when we didn't respond fast enough.  I didn't even know she could open the car door by herself.

"Lila, you do NOT go outside without asking Mommy or Daddy first, do you understand?  Mommy was scared because I didn't know where you were."
"Because.  You're my favorite thing and I thought I had lost you.  I thought I had lost my favorite thing."

Her big brown eyes studied me solemnly.  I could tell she was scared.  I could tell she knew I was scared.

"Could you hear Mommy and Daddy yelling for you?  Could you see us?"
"Did you answer?"
"Yeah, but you couldn't hear me."

I put myself in her three-year-old shoes.  She could hear us and see us, but we couldn't hear her.  And she can't work the bottom part of her car seat's buckle so she couldn't get back out.  Not to mention that her door has child locks on it so it won't open from the inside.  I switched into reassuring mode.

"It's okay, Peanut.  You're safe.  We just didn't know where you were.  It's okay.  Next time, you ask Mommy or Daddy before you go outside okay?"

She nodded and wrapped herself around me again.  I held her for a good five minutes - willing those moments of relief to cancel out the moments I thought I'd lost her.  But it was hours before my heart rate returned to normal.  I just kept thinking of all the things that could have happened.  I just kept thinking, What if we hadn't found her?

Sometimes I catch myself reading news stories about horrible things that have happened to children.  I don't know what it is - it's like my brain wants to know all the possible scenarios so that I can be ready to combat them if they occur.  But really, it just makes me feel sick for the moms of those children who are living their own worst nightmares.  It makes me fear even the smallest calamities.  I start to live in the "what ifs" and they threaten to become more real than the true story.

I don't want to live a life of fear and it is a daily battle to say no to fear and trust our Good Lord with my family.  But when fear comes knocking hard on the door, reminding me that those three minutes when we couldn't find our girl could have stretched into ten minutes, then thirty, then an hour, then's hard to remember to trust.  It's hard to just shoosh that fear away.

The thing is, we aren't immune from tragedy - I know that too well.  But I want to find the balance of being proactive and wise, and being paranoid and fearful.  I don't want my kids to live a life of fear - and they will if that's what I model to them.  I don't want them to miss out on life's adventures just because things were are little dangerous.  I want them to be strong and courageous and trust the Lord with all their hearts.  So I need to figure out how to be strong and courageous and to model a life of trust, not fear - even as I go to every length necessary to keep my kids safe.

Lord, help me to be wise, but not fearful.  Help me to trust your goodness and mercies.  Thank you that you knew where Lila was even when we didn't.  Please protect my children.   They're my favorite things.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

desperation inspires creativity

Why is despair spelled with an "a" and desperation spelled with an "e"?  English is a weird language.

I got to meet my college roommate during freshmen orientation.  I had a cold and my voice was hoarse.  She later told me that she thought my voice was "just like that" and was surprised when I showed up to move into our dorm room with my regular voice.  To this day, every time I lose my voice I think of my freshman roommate and laugh to myself.  She was such a fun roommate.  I mean roommmmate.  (That's for you, Linds - if you read this.)

Anyway, I lost my voice.  My kids and the Husband all had a cold a few weeks ago and I thought I was miraculously spared.  I was kind of in denial when my throat started to feel itchy last Tuesday.  But then I woke up the next day with a cough and a fever.  I had a fever for four days, two migraines, a sore throat and cough.  And then I lost my voice.  Yesterday was the worst - I could barely get above a whisper and it was rough going parenting my - ahem - precocious, three year old.  At first she thought I was whispering because I wanted her to be quiet, so she would whisper back to me.  Which I found wonderful.  Then, in the middle of a whispered conversation she looked over at her sister and said loudly, "Mommy, Faith is awake!  Why are we whispering?"  Rats.  Time to get creative.

I got down in her face at a distance from which she could hear me clearly and said, "Listen.  Look at Mommy.  I lost my voice."
"Where is it?" she said.
"Sometimes when you get a cold, your voice goes away.  Mommy's voice went away."
I kid you not, a sly grin slid across her face as she said, "Really?"
I gave her a look that I hope communicated, Voice or no voice, I still have a hand with which to spank any disobedient children, and then whispered, "Here's what we're going to do.  When I need you, I will clap three times, and then you will come to me so I can talk to you.  Let's practice."

I walked into the kitchen, leaving her in her room.  I clapped three times and she came running.  Good start.  "Let's practice again," I said.  She went back in her room and I went into my room and clapped again.  She came running again with a grin on her face.  "This is fun!" she said.  I gave her a smile and a thumbs up and told her she could go play and I would clap if I needed her.  This worked yesterday.  Mostly.

Today my voice is slightly better, although still very hoarse.  I met the Husband for lunch in the middle of lots of errands (being sick for nearly a week got me so behind!  Don't tell me stay at home moms don't do anything!).  He was running late so I ordered for him and Lila saw her moment in my moment of distraction and took off on a few laps around the restaurant.  I called to her, but it was a rather pathetic attempt.  You guys, my kid is smart.  She knew I was distracted.  She knew I couldn't yell for her.  She knew I was trying to keep that "I've got it under control" parenting facade.  She was intentionally ignoring me, feigning an "I can't hear you" look of innocence.  So I set down my purse and Faith's carseat and clapped three times.  I was aware of lots of stares and a few furrowed brows, but guess what?  My girl stopped in her tracks and came running to me.

I think Captain Von Trapp was on to something.

P.S. Look who scooted her little self across the bed in pursuit of a brush!  She started out right by my leg and made it a good two feet!  So proud of my girl!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

We had a long, fun, full weekend

The kind of weekend that makes you feel like you need a weekend to recover from it.  Here's what we did:

Thursday was, of course, the 4th of July.  Faith did great.  I was kind of afraid she'd freak out with all the people and loud noises, but she mostly just stared wide-eyed around and then fell asleep.
Lila refuses to take a normal picture. 
Lila was hilarious, once again.  My parents were both sick so they stayed home and I entertained them by texting them everything Lila said.  It was a continuous commentary and there were times I could not text fast enough.

If you had been sitting next to us, this is what you would have overheard:

"They're not getting us, they're just scooting a little."
"That's a very rainbow one!"
"I can't believe it!"
"Where's my bracelet? Oh here it is!  I thought the fireworks took my bracelet!"
"Tell me if you see a fishy!" (The Husband had been saying, "Tell me if you see a red/blue/white/green one" to keep her engaged and not freaked out)
"That's very high!  I wish I was a firework like that!"
"That's my favorite!  The pink one.  And the sparkle one.  And the rainbow one."
"Whoa that's very big!  It's more like a giant!"
"Christmas ones!" (red and green ones)
"See those sparkles?  That's from the rainbow one."
"I wonder if they're happy."
"They like to be loud!"
"That one makes reeeeeeeerrrrrrrr!"
"Those are lots of lots!  There's very lots of fireworks making that noise!"
"That's my favorite sparkle one!  And that's my other favorite!"
"Nana!  These are just loud fireworks!" Then, to us, "I'm talking to Nana."  (Nana was back at the house with my youngest nephew who was asleep.)
"They're very boomy!"
"Are the fireworks over?" (The very second the last one sizzled away, she asked that)
"That was fun!"

I was - by far - more entertained by Lila's commentary than any of the fireworks.  That kid is a riot.

Friday night, the Husband and Lila camped out in the backyard.  I totally expected them to end up back in the house halfway through the night, but they made it all night!  Lila had her first s'mores experience using the chiminea we had borrowed from my parents' house to stage our patio when our house was on the market.

I was certain that the house was going to catch on fire.  I'm not kidding.  I honestly was looking around the house thinking, "I'd save that and that and that" and making a game plan of how to get Faith out safely and quickly.

Admittedly, I do have a bit of a fire phobia.  It stems from seeing a made for TV movie that a babysitter was watching when I was little in which a dad lights his son on fire (just googled it, I'm pretty sure it's this movie) and maybe also seeing the fire safety video they showed us in 4th grade where an entire house burns to the ground in a few minutes.  And then the irrational fear escalated into a full-blown phobia when our dryer caught on fire when we were sleeping one night.  I had recurring nightmares in which I was trapped in a burning building and couldn't get out or my family was trapped and they couldn't get out.  So, Future Therapist, that is the origin of my irrational fear of fire.  Anyway, when I looked out the window and saw this:

I was all, "Hey, Husband.  Don't burn the house down, okay?"
And he was all, "It's a chiminea.  They're designed to keep the heat and flames in the belly."
And I was all, "It doesn't seem to be doing a great job and that one is really, really old.  I think you're going to burn our house down."
And he was all, "I'm an Eagle Scout, honey." (He didn't actually say that, but that was the look he gave me.)
And I was all, "I reserve the right to say 'I told you so' when you burn the house down.  I'm going inside to take pictures for insurance purposes."

And then I went inside and prayed that our house would still be standing in the morning because I think it would look a little suspicious if, after having it on the market and not being able to sell, our house mysteriously burned down.  I mean, if I was an insurance adjuster I think I'd look into the validity of that claim.

Turns out, my Eagle Scout knew what he was doing.  But that didn't stop me from texting him one last time before I went to sleep, "Did you double check that the fire was out?"

He didn't respond to me.  Because he was already asleep.  And I didn't sleep very well.

At 6:30 they were both up and at 'em and when I asked Lila what she did all morning when I got up a few hours later she said, "Eat donuts."  And when I asked the Husband what she had eaten that day he said, "Donuts."  So I said, "So she stayed up until 11:00pm, woke up at 6:30am and all she's eaten today is donuts?"  He nodded.  I gave him a meaningful look that said, "We are going to have a sugar crash in about ten minutes and it ain't gonna be pretty and I'm going to blame you."

But really, I am so grateful that Lila has a Daddy who will do fun things with her like camp out in the backyard.  And I'm so grateful that the Husband has a daughter who is game for that kind of thing because, if you hadn't guessed already, I don't really like nature and the idea of sleeping on the ground with nothing but thin sheet of nylon separating you from the bugs and animals and elements sounds like another version of my childhood nightmares.  Only this time instead of being trapped in a burning building, I'm trapped in a tiny tent with a mosquito buzzing around my head and a bear rummaging through the trashcans ten feet away.  Yes, in my nightmares there are bears in the Kansas suburbs.

Just say no to camping.

Say yes to cute babies.

Hi, Faith.  You're the best.
Saturday morning, our besties from Manhattan came in town so we got to play with them for a bit and then Saturday night we brought dinner to our friends who had just had a baby.

Sunday we took the girls to their first Royals game.  My dad's friend had awesome company seats that he let us use and it ruined me for all other baseball experiences.  We rotated through sitting four rows behind home plate, a table in the air conditioned lounge and the kids' play area.

Pay no attention to my hat hair in the next photo.  Just look at Lila's silly face.  What did I tell ya?  Cannot take a normal picture.  I'm really ready for her to get bored with that new trick.

The Royal's stadium has a bunch of activities for kids to do.  Lila got to hit a few balls and run the bases at the "Little K" and she was the CUTEST.

The Husband got Lila a (pink) baseball and glove and Lila and Pop practiced playing catch while we cooled off in the air conditioned lounge.  I mean, the CUTEST.
She made this face every time my dad tossed her the ball.
While we took Lila to the kids' stuff for the second round, Faith and my dad had some bonding time:
I think Pop is enjoying himself.
It's a good thing there were a lot of other things to entertain us because the Royals lost miserably.  As is the tradition of Kansas City professional sports teams.

I totally didn't expect to make it through the whole game, but we did!  And then we all came home and took naps.  Because we were pooped.  And now my introverted self wants to just stay inside for about two weeks and pretend like we aren't home.  My extroverted daughter, however, woke up yesterday morning and said, "Who's coming over today?"

Daniel Tiger.  That's who.  Mommy's going back to bed.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

randomness. that's how I roll

Aww, thanks Husband.  I can't believe we've been together for a decade.  What a gift.  I was enjoying reminiscing about that night when you took me up to the tower at the park and said something to the effect of, "I like you, what do you think?" And then I spent 30 minutes thinking about it - wondering if you had actually asked me out - because I still don't think you actually did get those words out.  I got the gist anyhow and I'm so glad I said, "okay."

First off, a house update:

We decided to take it off the market officially.  We processed a bit with our realtors and I just felt like we were trying too hard to sell our house.  That may not make sense to you reading this, but I have learned that a lot of times when I find myself striving too hard to make something happen, it means that the thing I'm striving for is not the right thing for me/us.  We take it off the market with the understanding that this is not the right time, but the hope that the right time will come soon.  We still want to sell this house, but what I do not want is to sell in a way that will stretch and stress us in an unhealthy way.  I don't want to look back at this summer and realize that all I did was scurry out of the house for daily showings.  I don't want to realize that we could have played and we didn't.  That said, if you know anyone looking to buy a darling starter home in a great neighborhood that has been loved and cared for well, send them our way.

And now, for a Lila update:
This picture is from July 2nd, 2011.  Look how little!!
Lila has had just a stellar week.  She is the sweetest to Faith and she is learning - slowly, but learning still - how to interact safely with her baby sister.  The other night Lila was in the other room with my dad and she heard Faith fussing.  My dad reported that she stopped what she was doing and said, "Oh! Hang on.  I need to bring Faith a toy."  She has ears for that baby's fussing and she has a magical effect on Faith, too.  Faith was losing it last night when I was changing her diaper before bed.  She was so tired that she could simply not take my dawdling anymore.  Her screams were clearly communicating to me that "THIS IS NO TIME TO BE CHANGING MY DIAPER, WOMAN!  GET ME IN BED, P-R-O-N-T-O!"  Lila got down on the floor (where Faith was laying for her diaper change cruel and unusual punishment) and started stroking Faith's cheek and saying, "It's okay, Sister.  It's okay."  Faith turned her angry face toward Lila, her eyes widened and she stopped screeching almost immediately.  She just lay there placidly staring at her Big Sis.

And the other day I got on Lila for doing something unsafe around Faith (I can't remember what it was) and she got a hurt look on her face and said, "I was just trying to help her."  I got down on her level and said, "You are such a good big sister.  You are the best big sister for Faith.  God chose you to be her sister because he knew you were the perfect sister for her.  Thank you for trying to help."  She cheered right up and said, "Yeah!" in agreement.

My heart can not take the beauty and tenderness of this sister relationship that is developing.  I just want to sit here and cry about it for a minute.

Speaking of crying.  I've been a little emotional the last week (hello PMS!) and this has led to me crying at
1. the video of the professional surfer who started a foundation teaching kids with autism how to surf
2. the kindness of the lady in front of us at Costco who bought us sodas for no particular reason
3. the dream come true that is watching the Sound of Music with my daughter

4. the video of the baby gorilla who was adopted by another gorilla after being rejected by her biological mother
5. disappointment in not being able to sell our house
6. pretty much any touching/emotional/frustrating/sad/happy/exciting thing I encounter

And speaking of PMS, somehow I accidentally bought a bag of those dark chocolate covered pretzels they were sampling at Costco.  I should know better than to hang around the sample tables when I'm hormonal.  Buying them isn't really the problem so much as the reality that they are now here.  In my house.  Beckoning me with their salty-sweet goodness.  Cannot resist.  Also, raspberries.  Oh how I love thee.  I could eat raspberries until I puke and then I'd still want some more.  Maybe I stole some of Lila's raspberries from her dinner when she wasn't looking.  Maybe.

Keeping with the randomness of this post, I have been making good on number 9 of my Hopes for the New Year and have gotten into a rhythm of exercising again.  I was starting to feel out of control and stressed and negative about myself so I said, "Self?  What can you take back control of that would be healthy and positive in your life?" And an annoying little voice said, "Exercise." And I said, "I don't wanna."  But then, check me out! I did it anyway!  Never mind the fact that every night I mumble "Idon'twannaIdon'twannaIdon'twannaIdon'twanna" as I'm changing into my exercise clothes.  It's okay to have a stinky attitude as long as you still do it, right?

Anyway, a lot of the time, the only time I get to exercise is late at night after the kids go to bed, but occasionally I manage to get them both napping at once and I eek out a 30 Day Shred session before one of them wakes up.  The other day, Faith woke up right as I was tying my shoelaces, but I opted to go for it anyway.  So I put her down on a blanket with some toys and she laughed at me doing push-ups and jumping jacks.  I think she thought I was losing my mind with the ungraceful way I must have been flailing about.  At least she was entertained.

Cute blurriness:

Okay, so I think that's enough for now.  Oh, except that we are getting re-fingerprinted tomorrow so that we can update our USCIS paperwork for our Ethiopian adoption.  Last time I checked we were number 50 on the list, but I think we may even be lower than that!  It's strange to be doing paperwork for that adoption again.  I often marvel at the way the Lord has chosen to build our family.  I never would have guessed it would look the way it does and will.  I'm trying to remember that as I pout about not selling our house right now.  God always has a good plan for his kids.  I'm just trying to figure out how to make his plan my plan.

Alrighty.  Signing off.  (This has been a weird post.)

Monday, July 1, 2013


Lila. Faith. I just want to take a minute to make sure you know that of all the mommies you could have, you were blessed with the greatest. I can't even imagine someone who could love you more, want to know each of you better than she does, or give more of herself to see you two at your best. One of the first things I ever saw in your mommy that made me want to be with her was the great mommy she was sure to be. And I was so right. Today is a sort of unofficial anniversary; ten years ago today I asked your mommy out for the first time, and to my delight she said okay. And if she hadn't, I wouldn't have the joy today that I have in her, and in the two of you. My hope is that you grow up learning from her how to love, how to be caring, how to be wise. She's a great teacher, so I don't think you'll have any trouble.