30 July 2011

Of Wonder Woman

I tried to be Wonder Woman today and it definitely caught up with me.

After an early morning errand run (ok, so it was 10am, but for a Saturday, it feels early, and, besides, it was still at a time when the majority of those I'm running into at the grocery store are nearing the end of a century), I unloaded my goods and went to work.  Now, I'll have to admit, I wasn't really aiming too terribly high.  Compared to many moms out there, I was really heading more toward Wonder Woman's sidekick than the main star herself.  I definitely wasn't going for a months' worth of meals in one day (people do it!), but I felt ambitious nonetheless.

I stuck a full chicken in my Deep Covered Baker (from the Pampered Chef - I know a lady, wink, wink), popped it in the microwave for 45 minutes and started on my next task, boiling eggs for coming breakfasts.

With our new endeavor of eating right, I want to be prepared with good foods that have a lot of the work done already.  Kind of home-processed foods.  Between looking up recipes and realizing I was not quite prepared for the homemade chicken broth I was hoping for, keeping up with a whiny Emmett who was a half hour past the point of no-morning-nap, and dealing with the eggs, I found myself wiped at the precise moment when the family was ready for lunch.  Weariness caught up with this pregnant momma and I almost couldn't see straight.  Trouble.

This is why I keep my trusty man around.  Without him, I would be headed for disaster on days like today when I demand too much of myself.  With him by my side, we got the kids fed, down for naps, the first chicken carved, bagged and frozen (with the yucky remainders frozen for another day of chicken broth-making) and the next in the microwave just in time for us to lay down for a little bit, as well (the kids aren't the only ones who need their rest).  And with him by my side, we had another chicken carved, bagged and frozen just in time to prepare biscuits (with a quick jaunt to the store for much-needed flour), stuffed tomatoes and a salad to accompany some of the previously-prepared bird for dinner.  Now that's team work.

That's why I like that guy.  He loves me even when I'm not Wonder Woman (which, for the record, is all the time).

29 July 2011

Of First Words (Again)

Our son's first "concrete" word was a surprise to me.  Obviously he has the basics: "bye-bye" is pretty solid, "hi," "ma-ma," and "da-da" (or sometimes "ba-ba") tend to be a little more hit-and-miss.

But what really caught me unaware occurred at his evaluation the other day, to test how well he was developing, other than his laziness issue.  Right there, in the middle of a circle formed by myself, his sister and the three health department employees, Emmett held a yellow smiley-faced mug toward one of the women and distinctly said, "Lyellow!"  We all softly gasped and giggled in shock - perhaps this declaration is what earned him a high rating in his communication - but I still wasn't convinced it was not a fluke (though I clearly kept my doubts to myself at the time - I wanted these women to believe that my brilliant son was a savant - of course my thirteen-month-old knows his colors; you mean that's not normal?!).

And then there was this evening.  As I sat under the dining room table with my daughter, in her favorite hang-out, we sifted through her newly-appointed dress-up tin (I re-organized today!) with jewelry of all kinds, mostly plastic, and she doled out pieces for everyone.  Emmett got the green-jeweled necklace and the rubber yellow bracelet.  When I handed him his loot, he proudly held up the armband and, once again, declared, "Lyellow!"  I encouraged him to repeat his performance when Daddy returned under the table by asking, "What color is it, Emmett?" and Little Man wowed us again.

Trying to trick him, Daddy held up the green necklace and asked, "What color is this?" to which he received no response.  Our guy knows his stuff.  Or, rather, he may not know it all, but he sure knows what's not yellow.  We're so proud.

28 July 2011

Of Appointments

We had our first official mid-wife appointment today.  The bulk of the time was spent receiving a rundown of the types of foods I need to be eating to build a healthy baby. 

While my couponing brain cramped up and my budgetary neurons screamed to my panic button that "healthy" foods are way more expensive than their less healthy counterparts (Greek yogurt is four times as expensive on sale than I can find your run-of-the-mill Yoplait with a coupon.  Sigh.) and ALL of our extra dollars are currently going straight to these same women who are detailing the pricey vitamins I should also be adding to my arsenal, I tried to relax. 

Because I know they're right. 

And I know, in the long run, the price of good food is much less than the cost of treatment for a number of preventable issues, such as heart disease, or even hypertension or pre-eclampsia.  Not to mention how incredibly cheap it is, overall, to keep our family happy and healthy for years to come. 

My logic tells me this is all true.  My budget still strains and whines, but I can be pretty good at whipping that puppy into shape.  Or, rather, God can be pretty amazing at filling in the gaps when they arise. 

The latter part of our time in the cozy little "examining room" was spent listening to the baby's heartbeat.  At this point, Micaiah, who had been happily and quietly playing with Emmett and Daddy during the health-food speech, climbed up next to me on the full-sized bed they reserve for the patients, brushed aside the My Little Pony's with which she had been entertaining herself, and observed the process closely.  Giggling that they were tickling Mommy's belly with the listening wand, her face grew in amazement at the swish swish of the monitor.

"That's my sister!"

"Well, now we have her prediction.  We'll see if she's prophetic," announced the midwife.

"That's my sister penguin!"

Somehow I doubt a fortune-telling future for this little one.

26 July 2011

Of Revolt

Please don't get me wrong, it is not horrible by any means, so, really I'm just whiny, but it seems my pregnant body felt the need to remind me that this life isn't always so cut and dry.  First or second trimester is not significant.  If my belly wants to be nauseated (though I'm not sure why it would, it's just as miserable as the rest of me right now), it will be.  If it wants to demand more rest than the 9+ hours I get every night, it will do as it darn well pleases.

Take that, pregnancy calendar.

25 July 2011

Of Developmental Delays

As previously referenced, Emmett's doctor has been somewhat concerned about his lack of interest in refining his gross motor skills.  Who needs standing and walking when one can zoom around the house on hands and knees like no one's business?  Certainly not him.

Thus, she referred us to the County Health Department and their Early Intervention Program for evaluation.

After an hour this afternoon of Emmett's playing with blocks, cups, spoons and board books under the watchful eye of three county health employees (all while his big sister whined about not being offered any of these new and intriguing toys herself), we received an assessment similar to what we already knew: he is a great communicator and quite intelligent, but he's also "laid back" (this is what we, in this house, refer to as "lazy") and, thereby, doesn't care to stand if it's just not necessary.  And to him, it's not. 

So we'll just keep waiting and hoping someday he'll care enough about that toy we place just out of reach to actually go for it.  And someday, I'm sure, he will.

24 July 2011

Of Cleanie Number Two

At least I know my utter failures as a hopelessly unreformed Messie (if you drop by unexpectedly, which I'm praying you won't, you would witness Exhibit A) have done little to hinder the Cleanie progress of my children.

Emmett's latest favorite game, other than anything involving the balloon he acquired at a birthday party this weekend, is picking up. 

This morning in the nursery, I set him next to the bright green, and quite empty, toy basket, handed him a teething ring and asked him politely to put it away.  And so he did.  And he proceeded to find every toy in proximity (ie, close enough for him to not have to actually put effort into the process) and place it in the basket, as well.  He got a kick out of it. 

Until he saw his Daddy, who had been out of town all weekend, approaching the door, at which point he lost all interest in the new game, dropped his current toy, cried, "Baba!" and crawled with all his might to the entrance of the classroom.  He has priorities.

But, still, this evening, the newness of Daddy's recent arrival having worn off, he sat next to his sissy, who was attempting to play with their train set.  I say attempting because it can be hard when your brother insists on putting all the toys back in their basket almost as soon as you can pull them out.

But at least it's cute.  And, hey, who is she to fuss - a fellow Cleanie at heart, she can only sympathize with her brother's needs.  Aren't they adorable?

22 July 2011

Of Passing It On

It would appear I am not the only one in this house with a renewed sense of gratitude

Micaiah's newest thing is graciousness.  It feels as though every time I am turning around I'm hearing the words, "Thank you, Mommy" coming out of her mouth.

And it's kind of a nice change.

"Thank you, Mommy, my animal crackers."

"Thank you, Mommy, say my chicken."  (This was after I was corrected because I said she liked her green beans and her mashed potatoes, when really it was the chicken and potatoes she loved.  But she, clearly, appreciated my retraction.)

"Thank you, Mommy, my blanket."

And the other day, I heard both of the following, "Thank you, Mommy, yelling me." and "Thank you, Mommy, my time-out."  Now, I'm really not sure how to take those, so I'll pretend that she understands the greater good of the discipline which is bestowed upon her and the great difficulty I bear in doling it out.  And she clearly appreciates the pain I endure to raise her up in the way she should go.

Let me just have my moment, won't you?

21 July 2011

Of Cravings

One thing that has been different about this pregnancy has been the cravings.  Sure, there were the odd days when Skittles or Gummy Worms sounded like the best option in the world, but more often, I find myself desiring fruits and vegetables.  I am sure this is my body telling me it needs nutrients for this new little person it's trying to build, but, frankly, I'm glad.  I love being in a place where I actually crave food items that are good for my body, so I don't have to feel guilty giving in.

Lately, thus, my afternoon snacks have involved bananas or strawberries, sliced, frozen for an hour or so and then drizzled lightly with chocolate (ok, sue me).  Absolutely amazing!

Here's hoping these cravings stick around.

20 July 2011

Of Overwhelming Gratitude

Today was a day of overwhelming thankfulness. 

I could not even pinpoint any particular aspect of life lately that had prompted the feeling of gratitude which overtook me even from the moment I awoke.  It just seemed with every turn, I was giving thanks to my God for the children that someday drive me crazy but whose hair is incredibly soft and whose flesh is enjoyably squeezable and who, more than anything, know how to make me smile, even while bringing me to the verge of frustrated tears. 

I poured out grateful praise for a husband who works all day so that I can be home with my precious little ones and, sometimes, when I justify it to myself, spend the afternoon watching Netflix or reading Christian suspense novels while the children slumber.

Again, I cannot say this was any conscious effort to which I dedicated myself today, but a true outpouring of the overflow of my heart.  Gratitude.

On top of it all, I am grateful that this peace which overwhelmed me a mere week and a half ago has already taken root and has begun to strangle the weeds of bitterness and doubt which once so easily entangled.  I am thankful for this new normal.

19 July 2011

Of Marveling

Lately I've begun to notice the fact our daughter apparently revels in the sound of her own voice.  It has seemed that her entire day is filled with chatter, whether to an audience or not.  Even bed-time typically begins with her either reading aloud to herself (to which we often put a stop and which, also, has prompted me to insist she never have a flashlight in her room when she is old enough to read under the covers - which she actually does in the mornings while she waits for us to retrieve her from her room).  When the books are taken away and she is firmly instructed to go to bed, we can still hear her mumbling to herself for another half hour or so.

That girl loves to talk.

I don't know where she gets it from. (Insert sarcasm alert here.)

Unfortunately, to this pregnant momma who has found herself with increasing headaches in the evenings, the lovely sound of my two-year-old's voice can get a bit wearing.  Especially when it's the voice that continually repeats, "Mommy, mommy, mommy . . ." until she receives her desired response.

Just such a time occurred this evening as we headed for a family outing to the local library.  After a few complaints of something or other her brother was doing in the backseat, and some talking over her father and I who were having a discussion in the front seat, I finally answered the repeated summons with a frustrated, "What, Micaiah?!"

To which she replied, "I like the clouds."

Not used to this kind of innocent proclamation in one of these oft-aggravating strings of nonsense, I was prompted to stop, glance out my own window at the beautiful puffs of white contrasted against the soft blue and note, "Yes, they are very pretty.  Do you see the sun shining through them?"

"[Gasp!] Yeah!  I do!" 

Thus, she began to enumerate for us all the clouds out her window, including the dragon she saw.  But this time, I didn't mind.

I'm not sure I will ever tire of listening to our children marvel at God's creation.  And neither, I'm sure, will He.

18 July 2011

Of Energy

With the entrance into my eleventh week, it would appear my body has opted for an early ascent into the second trimester, at least as far as "morning" sickness goes (insert knocking on wood here).  While I understand every woman (and pregnancy for that matter) is different, I tend to follow the general rule of enduring baby-induced nausea for only the first portion of the pregnancy.  For this fact I give many thanks.

And, so far, this little one has been much gentler on my body than its predecessors - let's pray this bodes well for the end-game, as well.

In any case, I awoke this morning with a renewed sense of energy, ready to face the day.  As such, it was not quite noon, yet, while I had the dishwasher running (with an impromptu batch of never-before-made-in-this-house homemade dishwasher detergent as I discovered at the last moment a glaring lack of powder under our sink), a load of clothes folded and our sheets and towels spinning in the dryer.  Meanwhile, I was dressed and the kids and I were fed and on their way to being ready to head out the door to take Daddy's car to the mechanic when he arrived home for lunch (which was waiting for him on the counter).

Thank you, Lord, for my body and my energy back (thank you, also, that I still fit in my pre-pregnancy pants - that always makes a girl a little happy).

17 July 2011

Of Resting

Our little man was so tuckered out this afternoon, this is how we found him when my husband and I turned from enjoying our lunch of pizza from the couch:

Needless to say, a nap was the next thing on his schedule.  Micaiah, too, was ready to rest after her tough battle with gravity which she lost on our driveway this morning.  I did not witness the scuffle as she dashed to retrieve our Sunday paper, but I do know the lesson she learned was, "I no run.  I be careful."  Regardless, she bears the battle wounds:

Thus, after such a rough and tiring morning, both of our babies settled in for a solid four hour nap this afternoon.  At least we know they were well-rested.

16 July 2011

Of a Real Mom

A couple of days ago, A Cheerio fell in my lap as I opened my wallet. Philip chuckled and declared, "That's what makes you a real mom."

Popping the still-crisp cereal in my mouth, I continued on my task in my wallet while Philip exclaimed, "Did you just eat that?!"

To which I replied, "That's what makes me a real mom."

15 July 2011

Of Options

One of the selling points for taking advantage of the world of midwifery is the ability to birth the way one wants.  Truthfully, this tagline has done little to pique my interest as I never particularly felt there was a way I "wanted" to birth, other than painlessly and successfully with no complications on either end.  It wasn't until I noticed a comment regarding hypnobirthing on yesterday's post that I remembered . . . there IS a way I've always wanted to do this process.

Ever since watching a John Stossel segment on 20/20 a decade or two ago depicting women wandering the halls of the their maternity ward calmly breathing as the body prepares to push out a human being, I have been fascinated with the concept of mentally "escaping" the pain of childbirth by little more than the use of visualization and the concept of mind over matter. 

Granted, it all sounds a bit hippie-ish, but as previously established, apparently that's where I live these days.  The only thought in recent years that has put me off of the idea of hypnobirthing is the concept of looking inwardly for the power to overcome the pain, whereas I feel it is healthier for my spiritual well-being to look to Christ as my source of strength.  Now, if I can find a way to combine the two, life would be great.

Enter the midwives.  Our midwives are the only "supporting physicians" of the practice of hypnobirthing in the state of Oklahoma - a fact I discovered only this morning after a little research.  On top of which, they appear to be wonderful, God-following women.  So if these guides in the childbirth world can aid me in bringing my child into the world while also helping me to focus my mind in a manner that will allow me to rise above the pain, I'll be a happy birther.

And on an entirely un-related note, I have always been interested in public cord blood banking - donating my child's cord blood in the hopes that another child, in dire health, can make use of what would otherwise be thrown out.  I had never known how to go about doing so and it never even occurred to me to ask my OB.  I suppose when I enter the doctor's office, I expect to be told what to do and how and don't question it (stupid, I realize, but it's how the process has always felt).

With home-birthing and the use of midwives, however, the concept is always that the mother is in control of her own birth experience.  And according to some of the paperwork, cord blood banking is an option. 

In fact, there are a ton of options in the world of childbirth.  And I just never knew it.

Honestly, I'm getting a little giddy (and maybe power hungry) at the idea that I really can make my "dream birth" a reality.  Of course, my dream birth never happened on my living room floor and, at the same time, I know we can never completely control how this new little person will come into the world - but that doesn't mean I have to completely surrender my will to that of a hospital or the nurses on duty.

And that knowledge is a little freeing.

14 July 2011

Of My Hippie Years

I am not sure exactly when it happened, I'm thinking when we began producing off-spring, but it really feels as though I have become more of a hippie as the years have progressed.

It seems without even planning on it, and, for the most part, with little more excuse than convenience and frugality, we have come to live what sometimes feels like an "alternative" lifestyle in our increasingly consumer-driven society.  Our babies wear cloth diapers (when we're at home), eat home-made baby food, are carried around in slings (when our arms are tired) and, for the most part, don't receive many birthday or Christmas gifts from Mommy and Daddy.  We also test-drove the potty-training early approach, only to meet massive failure and a near-three-year-old who still couldn't care less if she's wearing a dirty diaper.  But we tried.

Of course, as mentioned, most of the above was less out of some altruistic tree-hugging need to save the planet or be uber-health conscious and more out of a desire to waste so much money on things we could take care of much more cheaply than the ad-driven parenting magazines suggest.

Until now.

Now I feel we've truly gone off the deep end, taking a route a never, as of a year, or even seven months ago would have dreamed we would take.  In fact, I had distinctly sworn we would not, ever, in a million years (that's me and my big non-wood-knocking mouth).

We are venturing into the world of midwives and homebirth.

That's right.  If things continue on the course on which we have begun to set sail, this next little nugget will be born right in this very living room (or bedroom, or bathroom), without the aid of drugs (oh, help me!), an IV or a doctor in scrubs, latex gloves or face mask.  Just me, my husband, a few select others (maybe), and a baby-loving midwife to catch the squirming ball of life.  In my living room.

What is happening to me?!

Meanwhile, I'm still wondering how my doctor will know I've had a baby.  And then I realize, I guess it doesn't much matter to my OB if he's not having anything to do with it.  It's definitely a whole new world.

And won't you be so excited to take this hippie journey with me?  I just knew you would.

13 July 2011

Of Seeing and Believing

We saw our baby today.  At just 10 weeks, 2 days gestation, our little nugget (or penguin, as Micaiah calls it) is only an inch and a half long.  But what absolutely blew my mind was seeing his or her tiny appendages - arms, legs, toes - all wiggling about within me.

An inch and a half long and our baby has toes!  I can't even begin to imagine how miniscule those are by comparison.

Only slightly less wonderful than seeing that real life beating heart swishing along inside me was seeing my husband, near the foot of the examining bed, our two post-womb children perched each on one knee, all watching the second monitor.  Micaiah with her eyes wide and mouth open at seeing her brother or sister (at times she insists it's a sister - other times, she admits she really just wants a sister, but she'll let Emmett have a brother), was a delight.  And the pride in Daddy's eyes was very real.

Suddenly this whole experience just felt about one hundred times more concrete.  I don't care that we've done this twice before or that I've been nauseated off-and-on for a month now.  The fact that another baby was joining our family just had not sunk in, not really.  Not until I saw it right there on that black and white screen.

When we got home, I showed Micaiah the printed pictures and asked her who it was.  She declared it was her brother or sister and we talked about how it would be coming out of Mommy's tummy.  She grew increasingly excited as we discussed the changes and was all ready to go to bed when we were done.  As she ran to her room, she cried anxiously, "I want my brother or my sister!"

"Oh, baby, it will still be a long while."

"But I want my brother or my sister right here in my bed!"

At least she's looking forward to the new addition, right?

12 July 2011

Of Kids Saying the Darnedest Things

At dinner tonight . . .

Philip: "Now, remember, Micaiah, when all of your milk is gone, it's gone.  That's it."

Micaiah: "Ok. . . . Now, remember, the monsters are coming."

Yeah, she kind of cracks us up.

(Side note: there had been no previous discussion of monsters or anything of the sort at all this afternoon, so this friendly reminder really did come out nowhere.  I kind of feel we need to buy her a soapbox and let her stand on the street corners of a thriving metropolis to declare the end of the world.  It's an important message and she needs to get it out there.)

11 July 2011

Of Pre-Schoolers

About two minutes into my third group in my Missions class at this morning's Vacation Bible School, I knew I was never destined to teach Pre-Schoolers.  Bless those who are.

But while time flew by as I re-directed one inane, utterly un-related, off-the-wall comment after another, I became grateful for these attention-deficient little four- and five-year-olds.  I found the extra ten minutes I struggled to fill with the previous, un-enthusiastic, un-responsive group of first graders was a non-issue here.

In the end, both groups learned, presumably the same amount.  Or, more accurately, were presented with the same quantity of information - retained or not.  It's just that only one group felt I was unprepared to fill the time.  The others had no idea how glad I was they were whiling away class time with lists of where their families of vacationed and how many planes it took to get them there. 

Then again, they're pre-schoolers.  They think everyone is thrilled to hear that information.

10 July 2011

Of Peace

We sang this morning in church words to our Lord that spoke of melting in His overwhelming peace.  And as I strove to get past the sound of the syllables on my tongue to a true significance from my heart, tears trickled down.


Have I really known this peace lately? 

I have been in the throes of a storm dominating my mind for weeks, if not longer.  A raging torrent of wanting to do more, be more, serve more and, yet, feeling always stuck in this place where I am.  Bogged down by the possessions through which I wade every day and the mindless entertainment which always clamors for my attention and to which I unceasingly bow.  I feel weighed by these children whom I love more than my next breath, but who also require most of my attention and so much of my time - with the feeling that I have nothing left to give.

And the one area in which I have felt led to give, with my time to the children of our church for only one week of the year - this I have been dreading, wishing I had never put the pen to paper and scrawled out my name.  Can I not sacrifice even this much from my own selfish life?

This mind of mine, constantly tossing with the judgments of those I have no right to condemn, turning with anger at myself and the sin that so easily entangles, threatened to be thrown over the edge at any moment.

No, peace, I would say, is not a typical characteristic these days.

And, yet, that's what He offers.

This God for whom I say I will give everything offers the one thing I need.  And, yet, I have failed to let Him wash over me with the peace he so freely bestows. 

Not anymore.  I am done.  I am His and His peace is mine.  I lay it all down today.  The God Who calms the storm has been awakened and spoken His Word to my soul. 

Be still.

Along came the next song:

"You are stronger,
You are stronger,
Sin is broken,
You have saved me."

He is and He has.  And I am His.

09 July 2011

Of Today's Favorites

Favorite Quotes from Today:

Me: "Micaiah, are you going to get in the water?"
Her: "No, it's wet."

"You can dance with me, Daddy."

Favorite Turner of Pages for a Bedtime Story: Emmett

Favorite Toy for Emmett: a Ball

Favorite Place to Eat a Meal for Micaiah: the Living Room Floor

Favorite Main Course (for the kids): Chicken Nuggets

Favorite Main Course (for a sick mama): Ramen Noodles

Favorite Saturday Evening Activity: OETA Movie Club

08 July 2011

Of Being Too Good to Last

Emmett is officially weaned, as of this week.  In fact, I declared him done on Independence Day - appropriate, I thought.  He had a week of big boy breakfasts (as in milk, banana and cereal, just like sissy).  And, as a result of not waking up with the desire to nurse, has actually been sleeping in.  Little man has routinely allowed Momma to sleep until about 8:45 or 9am every day.  Micaiah has awoken per her typical schedule, but she is always content to entertain herself with books or stuffed animals in bed, so I truly am free to enjoy a bit more shut-eye. 

I've loved it.

And then comes next week. 

I have graciously volunteered my services as teacher for our church's rendition of Vacation Bible School.  Such a position requires myself and my children to report for duty at 8:30am.  I do not believe I have had to be anywhere so early since having two children.  And now that my son has taken to a late morning schedule, I will have to find myself waking him entirely too early for any of us.  Thereby, most likely, ruining all hopes of his continuing in this sleep routine hereafter.

It was good while it lasted.

07 July 2011

Of Bedtime Prayers

Micaiah's star-shaped magic wand is currently sleeping on our hearth, nicely tucked in with a flannel blanket made by Gram.  Before she laid it down to sleep, she prayed the Lord its soul to keep.  Okay, not exactly, but she did pray with her wand.  And it was just about the sweetest thing in the world.

Our baby girl pulled her little red step stool up beside the hearth where her wand lay and folded her hands together, bowed her head and began, "Thank you with* Mommy and thank you with Daddy and Amen."  She recited this prayer a few more times just for good measure. 

Pretty much the greatest moment of my day - maybe my week.

*She has issues with her prepositions.  "With," "for," and "on" (among others) are almost always interchangeable.  She's two.  If she still has problems with this by the time she's writing papers, we'll talk.

06 July 2011

Of Mind Reading

Emmett broke his mama's heart today. 

When it came time for his afternoon nap, for some reason, the little guy could not get comfortable.  Watching on the video monitor, I would see him sit up and cry, flop to his belly, be restful for a few minutes (sometimes up to ten or fifteen at a time) and suddenly begin wriggling and fussing once again.  Thinking he was too warm, I turned up his fan and turned down the AC (a sacrifice to the electric bill in these Sahara-like temperatures we've been enduring).  Thinking his diaper may be the issue, I checked it out and found it satisfactory.  Thinking he may be hungry, I nursed him a little.  Still he would alternate between comfort and crying.  And so would I. 

At dinner, he refused anything solid, leading us to believe the culprit to be another tooth sneaking in.

By bed-time he was giggly and ready to crawl everywhere (not exactly the best attitude for settling into bed, but I was happy to see his mood lifted).

These are the days when Mommies just wish they could mind read.

05 July 2011

Of a Cuddle Bug

Our Little Guy is a cuddler - which is fun when we have a temperamental daughter who swings between wanting tons of hugs and affection and shrugging away from our embrace. 

Emmett, on the other hand, loves to be in our laps, or laying next to us.  Not that he really spends much time doing so because he also loves to play and we don't tend to interrupt those moments.  But when we do take the opportunity to simply snuggle with our bug, my favorite part is how he'll sit up on our bellies and then flop, face first, into our chests and cuddle in. 

Tonight as he did this with his daddy, he jabbered away with syllables that resembled "Hi, Da!" and echoes of his father's love with, "I da you!"  Of course, most of this was our imagination at work, but it's fun to pretend.  And even if his words are unclear, there is no mis-interpreting those actions of adoration. 

It was one of those similar times this weekend, as he dropped himself onto me in a sign of complete trust, affection, joy and letting go, I wondered if this is how it feels to our Lord when we throw ourselves prostrate at his feet in complete surrender and acceptance of his love for us.

How great the Father's love for us!  How grateful I am to be His child.

04 July 2011

Of Fireworks

One of the greatest simple pleasures in my life has always been fireworks.  I never seem to have outgrown the little tingle inside that comes from seeing a burst of green, blue or red sparks exploding across the sky.  Saddened by our city's decision to not perform their own display this year, I tuned into a YouTube broadcast of a show in London from this year's New Year's celebration.  I resigned myself to the knowledge that this was as good as it was going to get this year, as we did not have the gumption to keep the kids up past the point of crankiness to stuff them in the carseats and drag them down the highway in either direction to find a formal display.

Instead, after a day of Mommy laying on the couch from feeling yucky (Happy Fourth to me), we tucked them into bed per our usual schedule and settled in for a movie. 

Then, before the sun even set, we heard the popping begin.  After about a half hour, unable to quell my curiosity, I sent Philip out to investigate (I wasn't dragging my nauseated tummy off this couch for any false alarms).  He returned with favorable reports and I ventured out to the driveway to await the sporadic display. 

The air was beautiful as I settled onto the concrete, still radiating the remainder heat of the day, trying to keep the bare skin of my legs from holding contact too long, and turned my eyes to the sky.  At the first sighting, I knew this was too good to keep to ourselves.  So Philip retrieved our daughter from her not-so-slumber.  Little Man, however, truly had fallen asleep and we opted not to disturb him.

Thus, Micaiah sat outside with us, atop a blanket spread on our stone mailbox, monitoring the skies for any signs of fireworks.  She oohed and awed and noticed the moon watching as well.  Her imagination made horses and dragons from the remnant clouds following the sunset and she renamed the booming sparks "Gun-ch"'s after the sounds they made.

This was when I realized there is a joy greater than seeing the Fourth of July celebration with my own eyes, and that is watching the delight on the face of our two-year-old daughter, truly appreciating these wonders for the very first time.

Happy Birthday to our beloved nation!

03 July 2011

Of Beautiful Days

Heard repeatedly in our house today: "We have the greatest kids in the whole world."

It was just one of those days when everything they did, even a few necessary time-outs, was adorable.  It all began after Emmett awoke this morning and joined Mommy and Daddy in bed for awhile before we called Micaiah in from her bedroom.  The precious time spent with the little ones crawling over the big ones and snuggling in under the covers for awhile was priceless.

When Daddy and I emerged from the bedroom after getting dressed for church, we found our children, where we left them, in their high chairs, sharing breakfast and giggling.  Emmett was doing much of the laughing while Micaiah put Cheerios on his tray and snuck her hand over for a tickle or two.

After naps, when Mommy's sickness was catching up to her, Micaiah helped Daddy out (without being asked) by aiding in the distributing of animal crackers to herself, her brother and her momma.  She also rounded up cups so together they could get everyone water. 

And then, before bed, while their tummies were full of ice cream, cookies and cupcakes from a fellowship time at church, the two of them sat on the floor with Daddy playing with Micaiah's puzzles.  Emmett taking the pieces out of the clear bucket and handing them to his sister, and, later, plucking them from their correct places on the board to put them away - before his sissy even had time to finish.  But rather than respond with bossy commands or cries of injustice, per her typical attitude, Micaiah merely giggled, saying, "No Emmett!  Not yet!"  She always seems to be a little more forgiving of her brother than she is of anyone else.  Which is a wonderful thing.

These two beautiful children really bring joy to my days.  I am so grateful to call them my own.

02 July 2011

Of Our Little Dinosaur

Lately I have had so much fun just watching Emmett.  All he has to do is play happily by himself on the floor while his sister watches TV or pesters any random adult in the room, and he will make me smile.  The best part is when he glances up from clacking two Weebles together to see me watching him and then offers the biggest grin, stretched from dimple to dimple - which of course makes me smile even more.  Then he will crawl over, place his two little paws on the couch next to where I'm sitting, pull himself to his knees (still not standing!), bear those beautiful teeth and squawk like a baby dinosaur (or, for some reason, that's what it makes me think of).  I love it.

We will then get into a squawking match and his sister, not to be out-done, will eventually join in. 

I felt the need to mention this because, while Micaiah says the cute things and has her adorable antics, I am still a big fan of my Emmett bug as well and he just does not get much face time on this blog.  So, just a reminder, he still exists and he's as adorable as ever. 

01 July 2011

Of Old Friends

While I have been feeling much better with this pregnancy than my previous two have treated me, I did have a little bit of a rough afternoon.  Fortunately for me, saltines and ginger ale are like good friends - always there when I need them, even if it's been years since we've seen each other.  So I broke out a package of crackers and poured myself a small glass of bubbly (of the aforementioned nature - no, I don't even drink when not carrying a developing life within, let alone now) and settled onto the couch for a little Netflix therapy.

All of this brings me back to the latter days of my first pregnancy, spending afternoons on the sofa running through the afternoon line-up of acceptable and available television options for one who does not pay for cable - which led to a lot of Curious George and Reba - much better choices than daytime soaps or courtroom dramas in my opinion. 

Thank you, Netflix, for coming to the rescue.  Sure you're more the type of friend who only sticks around if I regularly stuff money in your pockets, but somehow your paid presence still comforts in my time of need.