The Kids

The Kids

Monday, April 26, 2010

Comments About The New Baby

I just found a little piece of paper in which I had scribbled down a few things the kids have recently said. It was from back in the beginning of this pregnancy, in which they knew about the baby, but many of my readers did not. I did not want to forget some of the funny things they said regarding this new addition.

-When Abby was allowed to tell her teacher about the baby, I said to her, "Abby, don't you have something to tell Mrs. G?" She said, "Oh yeah. Caleb went to the bathroom." Given that my son consistently feels the urge to use the school bathroom every morning at drop-off, my response was, "Uh, yes, that was important to tell her, but is there anything else?" She finally remembered and burst out with the news of her new little brother or sister.

-Within the first couple weeks of finding out the news, both of the kids kept touching my belly to "pet" the baby. I had to remind them that the baby was not that big, yet-they were touching my flab that was leftover from carrying them. That was not fun to admit.

-The first names they came up with for the baby? Abby wanted, "Abby" and Caleb wanted "Caleb." My children are very creative.

-After sharing the news of the baby with my parents on Skype (which is when the children found out as well) Caleb kept saying, "I'm so excited!" Thinking it was because of the baby, I asked him why he was so excited and he said, "Because we're going to Grammy and Grandpa's house and then going to Kraynaks!" Well, at least something made him happy that day.

As I sit here watching my kids make a tent in the living room (why that is more fun than the princess pop-up tent that Abby owns is beyond me), I am sure the next few months will be full of many more hilarious comments regarding the baby on the way. The fun never ends.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Smells

With both of my kids, I had a few random things that made me sick during the first trimester, but all of them were considered a normal reaction. For example, with Abby, I got sick on a Wendy's chicken sandwich and never ate them again.

(I now find it ironic that her favorite thing to eat is fast food chicken fingers, particularly from Wendy's.)

Caleb ruined pork chops for me. I was making a great recipe in the crockpot, but the smell of it lingering all day made me completely sick and I can barely choke them down these days.

Now, this child, on the other hand, has caused completely senseless reactions to every day things. Here is my absurd list of what smells caused me to get sick to my stomach during the first trimester.

1. Fabric softener. The same kind I have used for years, but with this kid, doing laundry has been agony.

2. Abby's shampoo. What is wrong with Johnson and Johnson's tangle free shampoo? Absolutely nothing to the normal person. Yet, I cannot comb her wet hair or even sit near her after she wakes up a little sweaty without wanting to throw up. My poor daughter just wants to cuddle and I just want to puke.

3. My in-law's house. I do not know what it is-the perfectly clean smell of the house? But, when I was there during those months, I felt extra sick. Then, I would smell the house on my clothes at home and would immediately have to wash them (with the added bonus of that fabric softener again).

So far, this list suggests one thing-this baby does not like cleanliness. It must be a boy.

4. Any meat at dinner time. If I could have eaten pasta for the last three months, that would have been fine with me. Unfortunately, I had three other people to cook for and apparently they needed their protein-whatever. I would make dinner, then plug my nose and look the other way while they enjoyed their meals. At one point, I remember shredding chicken and having to chew spearmint gum at the same time to help take away the repulsion.

Now that I am into the second trimester and finally enjoying meat (seriously, cannot get enough of it), I still have a little bit of a negative reaction to Abby's shampoo, but thankfully it seems the worst is behind me. I know Nick is relieved. I am pretty sure he thinks he has been living with an alien these past few months.

Pregnancy is just so much fun.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Failures

I am a complete failure as a parent.

Within the last couple of days, I have broken up fights between my kids, disciplined them for talking back, complaining and simply not listening, and basically just tried to keep my sanity together with whatever strain of control I could find.

Again, I am a complete failure.

Try as I may, I will never be the perfect parent. My kids will never follow every rule, listen to every suggestion, or be ideally loving to each other. I start each day with a vow to be better-I say that I am going to practice patience, teach them obedience and show them the love of God.

And each day I inevitably end in failure.

After talking with other moms tonight during my small group, I was comforted by the fact that I am not alone. Is it wrong to be comforted by their failure? I suppose that I take comfort because these moms look like they have it all together so that when I find out that they have the same struggles, it lets me feel like I must not be so bad.

We reminisced about our pre-motherhood days and how we knew we used to be fun. We have not always been these nagging, exhausted moms who are constantly longing for just a moment of peace. Our sentences did not always start with, "Stop fighting, Do your homework" and "Why can't you listen to me?"

There is hope for the exhausted mom who is desperately trying to install godly values into her children while keeping balance in the midst of chaos...grace.

It is by God's grace that I am even blessed with the title of "mom." It is by grace that He daily gives me a renewed heart for my children. It is by grace that my kids can see Jesus' love in me even at my lowest points. It is completely by grace that He takes this complaining, unappreciating, selfish woman and not only loves her, but renews His mercies day after day after day.

I never really appreciated the meaning of His strength being made perfect in my weakness until I became a parent. As soon as I sit back, admit failure and give it all up to Him, the grace pours out. To quote from Caedmon's Call, "Your cup runneth over, while I worry about the spill. Teach me to run to You, like they run to me for every little thing."

I am running to You and falling down in defeat. And I am loving every bit of Your renewing mercies.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wrong Side Of The Bed

I have had days where I believed the expression, "woke up on the wrong side of the bed." Many of those happened during the infant stages of my children in which every night I woke up to a crying baby every few hours.

Fun times.

This afternoon, Caleb woke up in such a way. I heard him crying and thought that was strange, since he was finally taking a good nap. When I went to check on him, I was confused because he was not in his bed. I finally found him behind the glider, lying on his stomach (which was digging into the leg of the glider), next to a few books.

Apparently, he was reading behind the chair (why he was not in the chair is beyond me) and fell asleep. I suppose if I woke up with my belly digging into the bottom of a chair, I would be slightly grumpy as well.

I wanted to take a picture of him in that position for this post, but I thought it might be cruel. Let's see-child crying in pain and I a) run to comfort him or b) snap a picture.

As you can see with the absence of the picture, I was a good mom today.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hard-Knocked Life

After I had just finished cleaning the kitchen and dining room, the kids came running into the house from the backyard, dropping their goods on the table as they continued on into the living room with their destruction. By goods, I mean a few dandelions (that they continually pick in love for me), the tea cups from their tea party, and Caleb's ever favorite lady bugs.

When I asked them to clear off the table for lunch, Abby sighed and said, "It really is a hard-knocked life."

Excuse me? You, the princess of the house whose room is overflowing with toys, stuffed animals, a Barbie house, a comfortable bed and clothes? You, who have a swing set, a sand box and a playhouse in the backyard? You, who has food provided for you, a house to live in, and parents who love you? You have a hard-knocked life?

Apparently, her obession with watching Annie has not taught her the difference between the orphans and her own life. Abby has decided that whenever she is told to do something that she does not want to do, she has every right to proclaim it a hard-knocked life and complain.

Of course, as I am writing this, I am again reminded that I do the exact same thing. I complain about such trivial things when I know there are people hurting much more than me in this world. Not that my pain is not important, but when I complain about the weather, traffic or my lack of more things-I have no justification for this.

Abby and I should be dancing around like the last scene of Annie, when the orphan realizes she is loved by her daddy. In both earthly and heavenly fathers, we are both blessed beyond words.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Life Is Sacred

The sight of blood during pregnancy is enough to throw a normally rational woman into a frenzy. I am one of those women.

A day after reaching the magical twelve week point of pregnancy, I suddenly had a lot of bleeding right before I went to bed (why do such things always happen at night when the doctor's office is closed?). I freaked out, cried with Nick, read through my trusty pregnancy books for any other explanation than a miscarriage, and (I hate to admit it) questioned God.

After a sleepless night, I put on my best, fake-positive face for the kids, and continued on with my day before I made my plan of attack to be a walk-in at the doctor's office (seriously, what office sees patients at 9:00, but does not answer their phones until 9:30?). Apparently, I was not good enough at covering up my baggy eyes. Abby's teacher took one look at me and said, "Wow, you look tired!"

Thank you. Thank you very much. We women all know that "you look tired" means "you look like crap."

I met Nick at the doctor's office and they got us back to the ultrasound tech pretty quickly. To our relief, the heartbeat was going strong and our little one was having a grand old time swinging his or her arms around and playing with the cord. Considering my heart rate would go up every time I had a contraction while in labor with Abby because she kept grabbing onto the cord, this seemed about typical for one of our kids.

The doctor called me later to explain that I have a subchorionic bleed. Basically, there is some bruising near the uterus for no explained reason and it is a normal thing in pregnancies. My doctor comforted me by saying she had the same thing with her second pregnancy and everything worked out fine. I was instructed to take it easy for the next couple of weeks while the bleeding might continue on and off and not to worry. My favorite line was "avoid heavy lifting, strenuous activity, etc."

Do I need to remind her that I have a three-year old who loves to be carried downstairs to breakfast and I clean houses for income?

Okay, fine. Caleb can walk and we can magically find money somewhere else for a short time. God has always provided-why should I worry now?

To fully show my relief during that ultrasound, you must understand my lines of thought...

"How can this be a miscarriage after reaching twelve weeks...why would God do this again...did I do something on earth can I explain this to the kids without Abby questioning her every day prayers to God to protect the baby...if something happens, I do not want to be around anyone...I want to run can I enjoy the kids' birthdays knowing this one would have been born then..."

The biggest fear I had was that Caleb would feel responsible. Earlier that evening, he had reacted to me in anger and yelled, "No, no, no!" while punching me in the stomach. First of all, he never punches me, so something else was clearly going on. Secondly, his punches were like tickles to my stomach-not enough to do any damage. Still, I stopped him quickly and explained the baby is in there and he did not want to hurt the baby.

All I could think during my sleepless night was if something happens, I truly hope my little boy does not remember what I said. That could have ruined him for life.

Thankfully, all is well. However, this has reminded me that life is sacred and not to be taken for granted. There is no magical age, whether in or out of the womb, where life is perfectly safe. I trust my God through it all, but it is amazing how difficult that can be when my idea of what life should be like changes. It is fun to trust Him when life is going to my plans. It becomes a whole other issue when I have to listen to His plans.