2 Blondes and a Ginger

2 Blondes and a Ginger

Friday, August 1, 2014

My How Life Has Changed

6 years ago, I woke up at 5:15 every morning.  I got dressed in business casual. I got in my car and made the 45 minute commute. I investigated claims, reviewed medical records, looked at pictures of auto accident fatalities, conversed with insureds, claimants, attorneys and engineers throughout the day. I took an hour break for lunch. I listened to whatever music I wanted to listen to on the drive home. I made dinner for 2, talked with my husband, watched some TV, and went to bed.

6 years later I wake up to a baby crying or “Momma, I wet the bed,” or “Momma, can I choose something to watch?” I roll out of bed and ask my 2 blondes and 1 ginger if they’re hungry. The youngest nods her head vigorously. The middle child wants goldfish and asks if she can eat dessert if she finishes her goldfish. I ask her if she’s kidding. She’s not.

I blink and it’s 10 am. We’re all in our PJs. I think, “I should go to the gym,” but then I see the redhead rubbing her eyes. “Oh yeah, that probably won’t work.” So I lay her down. My oldest asks if I can play Ninja Turtles. All I can think to say is, “Party dude!” and “Can we eat some pizza?” I think of all the things I should be doing, but he loves it, so I oblige him for a few minutes.

I finally get around to asking the middle child why there is a huge puddle of water under the kitchen table. I noticed it about 30 minutes ago, but I’m just now getting around to doing anything about it. “I peed on the floor,” she says in a matter of fact tone. I have no idea how there could be that much pee and why she would do it. We potty trained a year and a half ago.  

A friend comes over for a play date. We sit down and drink coffee. We try to talk, but I’m not sure that we get in more than 2 sentences before there are continual interruptions.
“Yes, hopefully you can have an Elsa birthday.”
“We might be able to buy My Little Pony panties.”
“No you cannot have a cookie after breakfast tomorrow.”
“Please don’t interrupt while I’m talking.”
“I guess Ninja Turtles are kinda like superheros.”
“Someone smells stinky, who?”
Please stop interrupting.”
“You’re tummy is tired everyday, please go play.”
“Is it really important? Please stop interrupting.”

No wonder friendships aren’t the same now as when I was in college. We could sit in the dorm room or in a coffee shop talking about life for hours. Now I have little time to even think about life, let alone talk about it.

It’s time for lunch. I could have sworn I just fed them breakfast. The plates from breakfast are still on the table, so why get another plate dirty? I turn on the Children's Folk Songs station on Pandora. The kids ask to make their own lunches. I let them. Soon peanut butter is everywhere. I know my husband wouldn’t be able to stand the mess, but I smile at their peanut butter and Nutella faces. “We forgot to pray!” I yell. So with half eaten plates, we bow our heads and thank the King of all Kings for his daily graces. In my heart I thank him for my Ninja Turtle lover, my spunky Frozen princess, and the redhead. I smile at the chaos in front of me and think about Instagramming a picture of my kitchen. My life has changed a lot in less than 6 years. I think how in 6 more years this kitchen will probably be a lot cleaner and quieter but with no peanut butter and Nutella faces smiling back at me every single day at 11:30. And so I pause. I pause to give Him thanks.



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

For the Mommas: Having Babies Ain't for Sissies

Having babies ain't for sissies. And I'm not talking about all the stuff that women go through during pregnancy. All the aches and pains and morning sickness, being kicked and prodded and having things stuck up you. It's rough. But I'm talking about actually having the baby and then life immediately after baby.

One minute you have this life inside of you that no one else really knows like you know. And then suddenly he's out in the world for everyone to see. Something so private, so personal is now out in the public. And it's wonderful to meet your baby, but you still find yourself putting your hand on your tummy or feeling something inside like a kick. Oh wait, I'm not pregnant anymore. Can't be a kick.

The nurse gives you the baby, and at first you think it's just so you can hold him. But then you realize you're supposed to feed the baby. "Hmm...how exactly is that supposed to work?" Your arms are awkward; your baby is awkward. You just don't know what body parts are supposed to go where. So you call the lactation nurse. And if you haven't already, you let go of all modesty.

After you have the baby, you feel pretty special for a few days. You have breakfast, lunch, and dinner (as disgusting as it may be) brought to you in bed. You have visitors. You receive gifts. You are full of joy. And yet there's another side to it.

When the the nurse first tells you to get up and walk (keep in mind I've only had c-sections), you look at her like she's come from another planet. "Ummm excuse me, but my insides might completely fall out if I do what you are requesting." But with moaning and gritted teeth and crying on your husband's shoulder you somehow make it to the bathroom. Forget pulling down your underwear. There's no way you can handle that yet. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

People come and see you. And you look like death. I know there are some of you women out there who look as good as you did on your wedding day, but I'm just not like that. I wish I were, and I can't say I'm not a little jealous of those post-baby beauties. But seriously, I look like I just died. My face is pale. My lips are peeling. My eyes have deep, dark circles under them. And I'm supposed to take lots of pictures like that?

And then they tell you it's time to take your baby home. And if it's your first time, you try to look like everything is fine, but inside you're thinking, "Are they crazy? I have no idea what I'm doing. I babysat in high school but never took care of infants. I still get nervous that I'm putting the diaper on wrong. I might forget something. Don't you need a degree in Parentology to take this kid home?" But, you go through the motions and get cute pics of the baby in the car and pray that your mom is at the house to help you get this baby bathed and dressed because he might wear this sweet going home gown for the rest of his life.

And once all your relatives leave your home, and once your husband goes back to work, you think, "What in the world am I doing? Are you sure I can do this BY MYSELF?" You go to Target to get out of the house and people say he's cute. And you want to say, "Do you know what I just went through? I just had a baby inside me and it was pulled, pushed, vacuumed, tugged, or cut (you chose the method) out of me days ago." But everyone just smiles at your baby. You're glad they smile, but you think people just don't get it. He was just INSIDE me. He's more than just cute. It's pretty miraculous that he's here. And it's pretty miraculous that I'm still here. And you continue to walk through the store with breasts like anatomical bombs that might explode at any moment. Or maybe you just get depressed when you pass the nursing bras and hooter hiders because you're one of the ones who can't feed your baby.You try on some clothes but determine that there no longer exists a size that fits you. Liz Lange for life!

You leave with a pack of diapers and some Mylicon drops and get in the car. What do you know? There is a radio commercial for St. Jude kids and you burst into tears. You go to Walgreens to pick up some medicine and they have the wrong insurance information. You burst into tears again. And you just can't stop crying. And it's embarrassing. And you feel like you have absolutely NO CONTROL over your emotions. But you need to stop crying because you have this adorable baby, and everyone will think you are sorry you had a baby if you don't stop crying.

You see, having a baby can make you a bit of a crazy person. It can make you pretend that you're something you're not. You feel like you need to prove to everyone that you know what you're doing, but the truth is all us parents are trying to figure it out. We're trying to make sure we don't screw our kids up by buying the bottle that causes tooth decay and we're debating on whether we should eat peanut butter while nursing because it could either give our kid an allergy to it or make him not have an allergy at all.

I just had my third kid, and I still don't feel qualified for this job. I've only been doing it for 4 1/2 years. It's rough having babies. It's the most natural thing in the world and yet the most unnatural thing in the world at the very same time. And it's precious and wonderful, but man, it just ain't for sissies.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Crazy Life

So let me just sum up our last 10 months for you. Beginning in October we found out we were expecting #3, we celebrated Lucy's 2nd birthday, put our house on the market, sold our house in a few days, celebrated mine and Jeff's birthdays and 7th anniversary, bought a new house, celebrated Graham's 4th, potty trained LP, got put on bedrest for 3 months, became an aunt, found out I was going to become an aunt again, had a baby, had surgery on a kidney stone, cried, laughed, survived.

Norah Kate is 8 weeks old today and needless to say it's been a crazy few months since we first found out we were having another kiddo. All the chaos has made me a crazy person at times, but I'm thankful that it seems we are settling down and things are getting back to normal, our new normal.

I have many posts that I started over the last several months, but none that I've completed. I guess that speaks to what my life is like these days. It's just incredibly hard to get anything finished. I'm trying to come to terms with that. I'm trying take in all the baby smiles, smells, and cuddles in the middle of the night. I'm trying to cherish the last year I have with Graham before he goes to Kindergarten and enjoy being with my spunky, sweet Lucy. It's hard to appreciate life when your older two are fighting and the other needs to eat every time you try to nap or eat something yourself, but it's a sweet time nonetheless. I'm thankful to not have to sit on the couch anymore. I'm glad to be able to take care of my kids by myself. As Lucy said the other day, "Mommy are you better now? Can you play with us now?" Yes, LP, I can finally play with you. Let's just hope I have the time!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ahhhhhhh!

"I wunna wash my face, Mommy. I wunna wash my face," said Lucy. What kind of mom is going to argue with that? "No you can't wash your face, my child."

"Ok, Lucy. Go wash your face." She left the room, and it kept her occupied. But at some point I thought she was being too quiet. I peeked into the bathroom and there she was dipping toilet paper into the toilet and then rubbing the water all over her face! "Ahhhhhhhhh!" I yelled. I'm not a germ freak, but I really don't like toilets. Especially when toilets come into contact with mouths. I threw her in the bathtub. That's the only way I knew how to decontaminate her face. Graham wanted to hop in with her.

A few minutes later, "Ahhhhhh!" I yelled. Of course they would try making the bathtub a wave pool. That's what all kids do. Just turn the bathtub into a water park? For some reason my kids think the slope in the tub is a water slide  Not cool. So not cool. The bathroom floor was sopping wet. This is what kids do on that nanny TV show, right? I mean, I don't even know the name of the show because there's no need to watch it because my kids aren't that bad, right? Real kids...my kids don't do that, right? What was I to do?

"Get out and go to your rooms!" I quickly dried them off and sent them to their rooms. I was in the middle of an important phone call, and that seemed like the easiest fix. They were out of control, but I could control them once I sent them to their rooms. Logical? Of course so!

"Ahhhhhhh!" While I'm wrapping up my conversation, I see little naked bottoms running from one room to the other jumping on the beds. Yes, it was one of those days. One of those days that doesn't seem very real and yet so real at the same time. One of those days when you think, "How am I ever going to take care of 3 kids?"  But somehow, someway God just gives you the grace to get through it even though you might be an eligible contestant for a parenting show. We all have moments like this. Hmm...at least I think we do.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Little Super Hero


"Why does Batman wear a cape?" I could tell from the start that this conversation was getting serious. I didn't let the topic of Batman fool me. I was talking to my son which is a lot like talking to myself. There is no simple answer. "Ummm. Because it's part of his costume," I replied. "You mean Batman is pretend?" I stammered and thought and stammered and thought some more. "But he's a SUPER HERO!" Graham exclaimed.




I found myself in a discussion with my 3 year old that I wasn't sure how to handle. I mean, of course I didn't want to lie to him. But I also saw him looking at me with eyes that seemed to say, "Mom, please, please, please, don't tell me Batman isn't real. I just don't think my heart can take it." So I didn't lie, and I didn't tell him the truth either. I avoided the truth which might be the same as lying. I started to tell him about Batman being pretend, and then I ended with the "it's complicated" statement that I use when I just don't think either of us are ready for a conversation. Because Batman is a complicated conversation...trust me.


Needless to say, super heroes have been on the brain. In the mornings I ask him what he dreamt about. "Super heroes!" is always his reply. It's like something happened to him overnight, and he became obsessed. I know diddly squat about super heroes, but I'm falling in love with them myself. I've never seen G light up the way he does when he talks about Spider Man, Batman, Iron Man and Captain America. And if you ask him why he loves super heroes so much, he replies, "Because they SAVE people!" Why wouldn't you like someone who SAVES people?

I had the rare opportunity to spend the last few days just with G alone. We went to the movies, played in the rain, painted pottery, got ice cream, drank hot chocolate, and of course went to super hero night at Chick-fil-a. I've loved my time with him. I've never had a day alone with him since Lucy has been born, and it was so special to me. Most of the time I spent hanging out with Spider Man or Captain America, but I also got some quality time with G himself. It was priceless, and I'm thankful for every day I have with my own, personal super hero.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Gospel Whispers

And I'm finally sharing a post much of which I wrote months ago. Please forgive me. Life's been crazy.



Well there's been a lot of hard playing around here lately. Digging in rocks. Swimming in the baby pool. Playing in the sprinkler. Eating snow cones. We've summerfied our house. We even made a trip to Target to get new sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and large paper for finger painting. I guess it's my summer survival kit.

There's been lots of baseball playing. Graham loves him some sports. He wants to spend the afternoon either playing football or baseball. Thakfully, there's also been a lot of helmet wearing too. Lucy loves walking around the house and yard with Graham's Batman bicycle helmet. She just so happened to be wearing it as he wacked her head (by accident) when he was playing baseball. Disaster adverted all because of her obsession with that helmet.

There's also been a lot of fighting around here. One kid takes something away. The other kid yanks it back. Lots of screaming. Even some hitting. There's been lots of frustrations. Lucy has been dragging Graham's Humpty Dumpty around the house and saying, "My baby. My baby." To which Graham replies "Lucy, NO! That is not a baby! It's Humpty Dumpty!" Who would have thought that calling Humpty Dumpty a baby was a crime? Apparently it is. It's one of those absurd laws that our state has had for years.




And because of all the fighting, there's been lots of I'm sorrys around here and lots and lots of hugs. Now that Lucy is talking a lot more, she goes up to Graham and says, "sorry," while giving him a huge hug. And then inevitably this bear hug results in a wrestling move (because that's only natural, right?), and one of the kids gets hurt during the process of apologizing. So we go through the day stacking I'm sorrys on top of I'm sorrys because we hurt each other in the midst of our apologies. And to be completely honest, G and LP aren't the only ones having to say "I'm sorry." I get my fair share of I'm sorrys in too because of course I'm not always calm, cool, and collective during chaos or even during moments of peace.

There's been lots of sweet moments. Reading books together. Graham and Lucy playing peacefully in the backyard and laughing so hard at one another even though neither knows what is so funny. There's been some sharing. There's been some helping one another. There's been Graham trying to teach the Westminster Catechism to LP and also instructing her on how to mow the lawn. And there's been some gospel sharing. There is nothing much sweeter than hearing my husband whisper the gospel to Graham every Sunday as communion is being served. These moments put a smile on my face. These moments give me delight...delight that is deep.



So that's what's been going on around here. Nothing perfect. Nothing extraordinary. Just two kiddos trying to figure out who they are and Jeff and I trying to figure out the best way to love them, nurture them, discipline them, and teach them about Jesus. It's just real, ordinary life. But, I hope one day those gospel whispers stir up something extraordinary in the hearts of my kids.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

He Did Nuffin' Wrong

Today, yes three days before Easter, it dawned on me that we haven't talked that much about Easter around our house. During Christmas it seemed like we spent a whole month talking about what Christmas really was. But not for Easter.

So, today I asked Graham what Easter was about. He first said, "it's about celebrating Easter!" So good of him to define it with the word Easter. "No...tell me what Easter is really all about." He quickly said, "about God being alive." You got it G. It's about Jesus (who is God) being alive.

We talked about Jesus dying on the cross, and then Graham said, "He didn't do nuffin' wrong. And he still had to die." Yep. He did absolutely nuffin' wrong. And he's the one who had to die. That's what makes grace so amazing, so sweet. We have a Savior that loves us so much. He came to this earth, did nuffin' wrong, died for us, and then didn't stay in that tomb. He rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father. That is what Easter is about.

I told Graham that Jesus loved us so much that he died for us. Then Graham said, "He loves you even when ya'll yell at me." Why did you have to bring up my sin...again? But, yes, my sweet Graham. He loves Daddy and I even when we yell at you. I pray that one day G really grasps what he told me today. I pray that one day he will be able to say with full understanding that he is a sinner. And normally I get so frustrated when he makes excuses with the word "but." However, one day, I pray he can proudly say, "I mess up all the time. I'm a huge sinner....but Jesus." The only excuse I don't mind hearing is, "but Jesus...but Jesus died for me. But Jesus has given me faith. But Jesus paid it all." I'm waiting for the day to hear those words come out of his heart and not just his mouth. I do things wrong all day long, but Jesus, sweet Jesus? No, he did nuffin' wrong. Not one trace of evil is in him. Praise be to God!