Friday, December 18, 2009

A Thing of Beauty

What joy Miss Ava has brought into our lives. Here's how I know that's true. In the midst of not getting enough sleep, being spit up on regularly, finding it hard to go pretty much anywhere, and having little mental breakdowns every other day, I also smile and laugh more than I ever have. She's almost 10 weeks old, and we fall more and more in love with her every day.

Motherhood isn't pretty sometimes, at least in the traditional sense of the word. It's hard and it's messy and it can make you feel like the most inept person on the face of the earth. But inside, where it counts, it's a thing of beauty. Hearts expand, compassion grows, generosity blooms. All this and then, when you least expect it, you get a smile from that sweet baby. It sends a jolt of sheer delight all the way to your toes and, if your me, brings tears to your eyes.

I may not always look the prettiest doing it (my preferred daily outfit of sweats, no make-up, and messy hair leaves a little to be desired), but inside, where it counts, motherhood is making me more beautiful. I'm sure of it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Conversations with Hope

I can almost see the wheels turning in my little girl's mind. And she's thinking some pretty big changing kind of stuff. Last week...

H: Why does Jesus live in our hearts?

A: Does Jesus live in your heart, Hope?

H: Yeah

A: Why?

H: (nonchalantly) Cause I believe and I want to follow him. Can I have some juice?

A: ??????

Okay, so apparently Hope became a Christian without telling me. :) Well, maybe that was her telling me. At any rate, at the risk of sounding too legalistic about it, I'm gonna go ahead and mark that date down for future reference.

And then, tonight...

Hope: Mom, can you describe a being?

M: Huh?

Hope: A being. Like, Satan is a being, not a person, so can you describe him?

M: I guess. Well…Satan is a spirit and that means he can be just about anywhere at any time. He hates God and he will do almost anything to get people to not love God.

Hope: (indignant) Well, he could never stop me from loving God cause I know that God is way bigger and more powerful than Satan.

M: That's right, Hopie. Satan has no power over God and he can’t do anything to us that God doesn’t know about.

Hope: (laughing) I can’t believe Satan thinks he is better than God. (still laughing) I mean, God is just so much more powerful.

So precious...and such a good reminder. How in the world did I get the privilege of parenting this child?

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Little Post I Like to Call...I May Not Always Feed My Kids Enough Vegetables, But I Know When It's Time For a Dance Party

Loren has Young Life camp this weekend and so he left at around 4:30 this afternoon. At 4:45, I proceeded to have a teensy weensy tiny little panic attack. At least, that’s what I assume it was. Shortness of breath, rapid heart beat, immobilizing fear, and a million things running through my mind. Most of those things consisted of,
“How will I handle it all by myself?”

“My kids need to eat vegetables for dinner. We have had way too much pizza lately.”

“I need to go to the store and get more vegetable or we need to go out to eat.”

“I don’t want to load everyone up to go anywhere.”

“If I don’t get vegetables in my kids tonight, I'm gonna feel like a bad mom.”

Etc, etc, etc.

I had my moment and then, I loaded the kids up and we went out for chef salad. Yum! And we rented movies. (Shout out to the new Redbox in town at Walgreens where I can just park right next to it and not have to unload anyone!) And we made it home without incident. Success.

Then, the following transpired.

When we got home, the girls got in the tub and were having a great time. Ava was kind of fussy, though, and didn’t want to be put down and that makes it kind of hard to wash all the places on my girls that they can't get to. But, we managed. I was heading to the kitchen to make Ava’s bottle when I heard a blood curdling scream, the Hope version, which is high pitched and ear piercing. I ran to the bathroom, baby in hand, to see what the matter was. She had been fooling around (as usual) and had fallen in the tub and hit her head. Ouch! She had a pretty good little bump. So, I put Ava in her bed, making her cry immediately, got Hope out of the tub, who was also crying, and dried her off, lotioned her up, put on her p.j,’s (everyone still crying) and assessed the bump. She was fine. So, I left her in her room while I went to get Ava on my way to get Bella out of the tub, lest another disaster strike.

Just as I was headed down the hall, baby in hand, I heard a blood curdling scream, the Bella version. Not as high pitched, but just as piercing, and the sheer volume is enough to make me lose my mind. (Seriously, how my usually quiet little sweetheart can crank her vocals up that loud remains a mystery to me.) It turns out she has apparently applied my body wash directly to her left eyeball. Ouch! Then Hope came into the bathroom, crying again, and said, “I’m sad now cause Bella is hurt! Waaaaaa!” Oh brother! So, I rinsed, rinsed, rinsed, blotted, blotted, blotted, while she cried, cried, cried (which actually was quite helpful given the situation) and she was finally able to open her eye and see again.

Ava was now terribly upset and quite vocal about the fact that she hadn’t been fed yet. So, I sat a teary Hope in a chair and gave her Ava and the bottle (yeah, she’s that good). I got Bella out of the tub, dried her off, lotioned her up, and put her p.j.’s on. Then, I headed to the living room to finish feeding the baby, at which point, I started laughing, a little hysterically…probably a borderline, crazy person kind of laugh. And I thought…that…was…CRAZY! But, at the end of it all, everyone smelled clean, was ready for bed, and had their various ailments under control. Success.

And it dawned on me. Well…I guess I can handle it after all. So, I cranked up “I Will Survive” on the IPod and we had ourselves a little dance party in the living room before tucking ourselves in for the night.