Friday, December 20, 2013

Well, Hello!

Hi. How are you? (smile)

We've had a little bit going on around here…you know…having a baby and stuff. And the ol' blog has obviously taken a backseat. But hey - we're finished with school until January and the children and I have spent the day in pajamas. We ate cookies for breakfast and are having a laid back kind of day in the very best of ways. There are legos EVERYWHERE. And ponies.

My precious baby girl is napping and wonder of wonders…I have a few minutes. And I want to spend them here. And my thoughts are so random and so streams of consciousness...

The first few days home from the hospital were pure bliss…and then I had a little complication fall into my lap (ha ha) that knocked me flat on my back for several days. And I did something I'd never, ever done before. I held our new baby nearly every second. She slept on my chest. I breathed her in. And she brought healing to a place in my heart I didn't know needed healing.

I was frustrated by the prospect of not being able to be up on my feet, caring for house and home (and was SO THANKFUL for my MIL!!). I complained to my mama and she kind of made me mad when she told me this complication was a gift from God and to enjoy the gift of being forced off my feet for a period of time. I didn't see it then. But I do now. I wouldn't trade those days of holding baby girl 24/7 for anything.

And those late night and early morning feedings…this go 'round, they were sweet. Priceless. Just…preciousness. I have treasured this season of motherhood like no other. I cannot believe it's taken me four births and a whole lotta heartache to come to a place of enjoying this phase and having a thankful heart.

Don't get me wrong…I totally have my days of tears and "I can't do this!" and "What have we done? We are crazy! I need to put the children in school - NOW!" And God is merciful and His grace, sufficient.

Four is keeping me on my knees. Daily I feel my temper about to spill over and I have to preach the Gospel…I cannot be patient. I cannot be gentle. I cannot answer this question for the umpteenth time without losing it. But Christ in me can be patient. And gentle. And can answer tenderly. 

And of course there are a lot of days (multiple times a day) when I do just lose it. And it's so ugly. And sometimes my heart's so hard it takes a while for the Holy Spirit to break through. 

I hope and pray that in these days of crazy…amidst my failures and shortness…that somehow God is glorified and my children see Jesus.

November was a sweet month…we made a trip home to say goodbye to my precious grandmother. (My dad's mom.) She'd been sick with dementia and then alzheimers for a number of years. It was precious to get to see her one last time. She wasn't aware of our presence, but it was good to hold her hand and lean in close and to whisper to her that I was holding her eleventh great-grandchild, who is also, in part, her namesake. And it was amazing to grieve with hope. 

I spent Monday nights with my grandparents during my freshman and sophomore years of high school…I will always treasure that time with them. That's when my grandmother and I had some deep conversations and that is when my love for her was cemented. And so it was an honor and joy to hold our baby girl close to Bongoo and to whisper those things in her ear…and again, to grieve with hope. 

My children blessed me incredibly during that time. They, too, held her hand and talked to her and were very comfortable. We spent a few minutes praying for her and they asked if when she died, would she see our babies in heaven. And that about undid me.

I've been humbled and amazed by how much our children adore our new baby. Like…they just LOVE her.

I've never, in all his six years, heard Little Man speak with such gentleness and affection.

Little Bit loves her…well…roughly. Thank goodness babies are resilient!

The pictures above and below are pretty accurate representations of what happens when the youngest two hang together. The thing is, Little Bit really loves her new sister…she's just rough. Really. Rough. 

With number four, I am doing everything I said I'd never do…she sleeps in a cradle in our bedroom! I haven't left her in the nursery during church or Sunday school...

I haven't wanted to move her up to her crib…because I feel pretty sure this will be the last season of having a baby and getting to spend this kind of snuggle time with a baby…at least until my girls have babies, Lord willing. 

And there was this little issue, about moving her up, that made me a tad nervous. We have, ahem, had, this pet spider…named Charlotte. She lived in the window in our guest room. Every night she would creep out from the opening where the rope and pulley are fastened. She kept a tiny web in the corner of the window and well, over the course of the last year and a half, we'd become quite fond of her. We think she was a southern house spider. So anyway…something about putting my helpless baby to bed in a room with a big ol' black spider - regardless of how fond we'd become of her and how non-threatening she's supposed to be, was unnerving. 

So we poisoned the spider. And I'm a little bit sad. I keep peeking in to see if just maybe she's been hiding. Alas, I haven't seen her and her web hasn't returned. 

And my MIL started peeling wallpaper…and what do you know!? Three months later and we have two rooms and one ceiling stripped of wallpaper, almost all the plaster repaired, and a good bit of the two rooms painted. 

One can barely navigate the hall upstairs. It's a total wreck and is currently housing a bed and lots of furniture! There are bits of wallpaper clinging to the steps. It's a mess. And the beat goes on.

Ok…now let's talk about Amazon Prime. Um. Hello. Do you know about this? 

Let's rewind about six or so months. I was grossly nauseated and pregnant. I dropped Sister at art and took the younger two with me to Lowes. All I needed was a filter for our fridge water dispenser. There were three employees in the appliance section…all helping one customer. I stood at the rack of filters, puzzled, trying to decipher their code while one child danced and cried about needing to potty. I couldn't figure out which filter I needed. We beelined for the bathroom…too late. The clock was ticking. I could't get any help. Art lessons were almost over. Still, I couldn't figure out which filter I needed. Finally two employees tried to help. They weren't sure either. I was done and called The Engineer - because he knows everything and can figure out whatever he doesn't know because he's a total genius. So while the Lowes employees kept looking, The Engineer figured it out and called me back with the right info. In the meantime, I arranged for someone else to pick up Sister from art. Finally I found the correct filter, sped to the front to pay, and rushed out the door to grab Sister…late. And I sweat when I'm under pressure like that. I was sweating. Put out. Annoyed. And the car smelled like urine. I was NOT a happy camper.

So when I learned water filters and a million other things, can be ordered on Amazon and for $70/year every prime item ships "free" and is at my door in two days…I was sold. It takes two days to pack up four kids anyway. And so we joined. I'm never leaving the house again. 

Now let's talk about hair loss. Because (insert sarcasm) I know it's important to share things like this on the www. This is the fifth pregnancy after which I have had significant hair loss. Each time it's gotten worse. I have lost pretty much all the long hair on one section of my head and have only short, one inch strands in its place. I'm now parting my hair on the opposite side. This is taking a LOT of getting used to. And my hair…it hurts. Seriously. The dermatologist says the follicles are swollen and the discomfort will go away eventually. 

I really, really miss my hair. 

Mama turned SIXTY in October! We surprised her with the best ever weekend get-away at a friend's lake house. 

My sweet Aunt made the fourteen hour trek to join us in celebrating Mama!

We returned to their old stomping grounds…saw the house they grew up in - their last name was STILL on the mailbox! It's been a mere fifty years! Not even kidding.

And then we escaped to the lake and lazed about and stayed up way too late and ate super well. I brought our newest and my baby sister brought her baby…it was a precious weekend celebrating Mama! (Love you, Mom!!!)

This little one rolled over a few nights ago!!! Say what!!!??? Stop it! This is happening too fast.

Let's touch on school. I've given up starting any earlier than nine. And so nine it is. Baby is four months old today. I seriously feel like I am just now getting my groove back. 

Yesterday morning, after The Engineer left, I sat on the floor and did some painting. Alone. In the quiet. It was dark outside. The children were all asleep. I listened to James White (check him out!) preach. And it was completely rejuvenating. 

During Thanksgiving week we spent time with those who'd not yet met our newest.

This included time with The Engineer's grands…our newest is also, in part, his paternal grandmother's namesake.

We are so blessed in that our children know both sets of his grandparents. 

Our time there was fun and quiet and relaxing.

And then we spent time with his maternal grandparents…and for whatever reason (I guess the distraction of four children during a much shorter visit?) I didn't pull out my big camera and don't have pictures of our time with them to share. (sad!)

Thanksgiving day was spent at Mama's…Little Man took out a turkey leg.

And bam, it's Christmas time!  I'm not sure when I'll be back on the ol' blog...

If not before Christmas, Merry Christmas to you and yours!!! xoxo

Monday, September 30, 2013

Twelve Words

Once again, The Engineer is rocking my world. He has a gentleness about him that unravels me. And He is wise.

I'd told the children for the umpteenth time to, "clean up." Specifically, I told one child to put their shoes away. Said child's shoes ended up in the general direction of "put away," but they were certainly not "put away."

The Engineer and I walked in the room and I sighed audibly and began complaining. First about the shoes and then the general messes these kids make and "why won't they just obey and clean up?" I was quickly running down the "woe is me" path. Rather than join or affirm my martyr syndrome, he lovingly looked at me and said, "We have children. There are going to be shoes on the floor."

Of course, there was an obedience issue to be dealt with, but those two sentences, those twelve words, have hugely challenged me. He is right. We have children and they live here and there will be shoes on the floor. And books on the sofa. And piles of dirty clothes. Cabinet doors will be left open. Water dripping. Toilets unflushed. Concoctions will be made. Balls will get stuck in bushes and footballs will land on the roof. Furniture and blankets will become makeshift tents and dolls will be left else do you play, "orphanage?" Diapers will stink and dishes will be dirtied. Wet towels will be left on the floor. All faster than I can keep up. And they are young. And this is where they learn and begin to shape their life habits. And my attitude has a tremendous impact on the direction and temperament of these little people in our home. They are still children. "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child." 

Why oh why oh why do I often expect them to act differently? These years are but a season. Sister is at the nine year mark. That's half of eighteen. It is flying by! These years in our home are a time to train and direct in establishing habits of both heart and body. And so I am taking a deep breath and reminding myself that training takes time and no habit is made overnight. It is good and right to walk with them and encourage them as we teach them. It's sowing and reaping. We always reap later and greater.

And so I am asking God to change my heart and attitude in this regard. I don't want to sow seeds of frustration and discontentment. Again, The Engineer humbles me in the most precious of ways. I am so thankful for that man. 

And because of Christ's work on the cross and because He is faithful to finish that which He began, I have hope. Change in my hard heart is possible. {smile}

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Awesome. I am awesome.

I am an awesome wife (wink, wink). This morning, upon walking into the bathroom, I saw what you see above. This hand towel is what my 6'1" husband dried off with this morning. Because there wasn't a single bath towel in the bathroom closet. 

Did he call for me to bring him a towel? No. 

Did he say ANYTHING to me about it? No. 

This man is patient and his love humbles me. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Labor...Sort Of

So...guess what we did this morning?? 

We left WAY before dawn and made the trek to the USCIS office to be fingerprinted...

And then we stopped by FedEx and overnighted our Dossier (a HUGE packet of paperwork we've labored over for quite sometime). 

We are that much closer to bringing our son home!!! And that puts a lump in my throat. And makes me choke up while standing at the Fedex counter. 

Little China Brother-we are coming!!! We can't wait to find out who you are! And we love you already. 

mama and daddy