Sunday, February 17, 2013

say yes to the bread

I picked up Hummus Girl from school (feeling mucho better!) on Friday and told her we would be stopping by a grocery store where we don't usually shop. ('Cause apples were $.68/lb. and we eat a LOT of apples.)  She told me about this special rainbow bread her friend had brought in her lunch and asked if we could find it.

So beautiful!  (Just try not to hyperventilate about the gallon of artificial dye.  It's a one time thing.)  Yay for me...I said yes!  Doesn't it feel good to say yes?

On the way home Hummus Girl asked if she could have candy once we got home.  I said "No, let's go for a healthy snack; we might have some sweets later."  She got upset, told me how disappointing it is when I say no.  I have to say she reacted with surprising maturity for a five year old...even if she did stay kinda pouty for a while.

I told her I understood how she felt; it's hard to hear "no."  I reminded her that we had searched for and bought the special bread she had asked for.  That I hadn't said no to the candy, rather, later.  Reminded her of the many times I say YES to her requests.

Oh...I act just like a five year old with God sometimes.  {hangs head sheepishly}

He says yes to me often, e.g. this beautiful chubby soul sitting in my lap, drooling on my left hand while I type with the right.  He said yes!!!

But I get tripped up over the "no"s and the "not right now"s.  Sigh.

We're teaching our children to trust us and our decisions on their behalf and to recognize the many times we say YES in order to delight their hearts...the very same lesson my Father God is still working on with me.

Thanks for the insight, rainbow bread.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

sometimes a valentine looks like...

My day began with a visit from our family therapist who patiently processes with me my emotions and parenting strategies while bearing with interruptions from Princess Firecracker regarding laptop concerns, Absent Minded Professor complaining about redundant comma worksheets, and Shu having a giant poop.

At the last minute I decided to send the Professor along with Shu to his grandparents for the day.  I thought it would be nice to spend some quality time with Princess Firecracker (whose middle-child-acting-out-ness I'd been discussing with the therapist).

Mid-morning I got a call from Hummus Girl's school; her ear hurt pretty bad and she couldn't decide whether or not to come home, knowing she'd miss the Valentine's Day party.  I let her stay a while, but got called again 30 minutes later to come pick her up.  Poor girl was crying in the office when I arrived.

We went straight to one of those walk-in clinics...and waited...and waited...and waited for over an hour.  Imagine if I'd had one or two more kids with me!!!  Sheesh.  (Giant thanks and love to my in-laws for caring for both boys today.) She was prescribed antibiotics for an ear infection, and then we waited some more for them to fill it.  We passed through a drive-thru on the way home, finally eating lunch at 1:30 p.m.

No.  No, I did not. 

The girls and I played a few games, baked some pre-packaged cookies. I put salmon on the grill for dinner (Dr. Husband's favorite), and just as it was due to come off, Sweet Tea had a massive poop blowout requiring a bath AND my in-laws arrived home with the boys.

Did I mention all four of the other kids are sick too?  Oh yeah.  Like, hacking their lungs out, using up all the tissue, medicinal paraphernalia covering the countertop sick.

It's been about two weeks of this nonsense at my house.  Diarrhea, tantrums, vomit, snot, spelling lists, make up work, staying up too late, waking up too early, baby Zantac, trying to home school, too much need, and not enough of me.

Today, especially, love is on my mind.  The kind of love that wants to quit but doesn't.  The kind of love that lays its life down just like Jesus did.  He did it without his own temper tantrums and pity parties, mind you, but He keeps showing me the way and filling up my love tank so I can empty it again.  Sometimes I feel I am stretched beyond capacity, and it sucks, and I long for the easy, unencumbered life I can barely remember.  Except that life is no more.  I chose a different life.  I know that.

Today love looks like wiping a nose 67 times, bathing a poo-coated baby, waiting for two hours at the "doctor" so my girlie can get back to feeling good, grilling salmon for my husband, slathering said salmon in ketchup (gross) so Hummus Girl will eat it,  investing in my own emotional health for the sake of all of us, reading that &@#* Dora book.  Again.  Breastfeeding.  Making my voice gentle when I'm close to snapping on the inside.  Finding joy so that Dr. Husband is glad to see me when he arrives home.  And a hundred and twelve other choices and self-denials.

From my love.
So that's my my family...and to Jesus.  It's not pink and frilly.  There's no lace or frosting or glitter (no. more. glitter!).  It's just me.  Imperfectly loving, serving, not giving up.  Me.

Friday, February 8, 2013

why i hate crafts

It wasn't even their fault.  {Implication: it was mine.}

And then...Princess Firecracker blew it....BLEW THE GLITTER...across the table.  Because, of course, what else would you do with glitter?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

So why did you punch your sister in the stomach?

Yes, Dr. Husband asked that yesterday to one our beloved offspring.  Sigh.  A child who shall remain nameless has been acting rather like a hormonal teenager, so I've been practicing deep, cleansing breaths while rereading parenting books.

Sweet Tea just turned four months old.  She spends her days smiling, eating her hand and copious amounts of milk, and blowing out her diapers.  We couldn't be more pleased with her.

Absent Minded Professor adores her too.  This photo was in no way staged.  There he was, gazing lovingly into his baby sister's face.  He's pretty much that way with Shu, too.  Grace just oozes from him.  Granted, he's not the parent...but still, it's a beautiful thing.  I tell you, I could not have ordered a more ideal oldest brother for this family.  

Shu is much more emotionally stable these days (even if I can't get him to smile for pictures).  He has made great progress in speech, and we are now talking about the transition from early intervention therapy through the state to services from our local school district.  He will be evaluated in the next couple of months.  We are praying he qualifies and trusting that God knows just what he and we need in the way of resources.  He gives lots of kisses to Sweet Tea's head, and I believe now more than ever that her presence has been healing for Shu somehow.  I have a plump, bald object lesson reminding me of all the ways infants learn love and attachment, which helps as we continue to play catch-up with Shu.  Lately he will demand to be held in a certain way, call himself a baby and, since he knows mommy hates Rockabye Baby, what with the baby plummeting out of a tree and all, requests "Black. White. Song." instead.  (Jesus Loves the Little Children...would you have guessed correctly?)

Princess Firecracker likes the lip balm a little too well.  Before Christmas we discovered she had gouged out every last one of the family stash with her finger, and we had to throw them all away.  She got more for Christmas and now just applies it heavily.  It's a battle I'll not fight for now.  She's certainly a passionate little creature.  I'm often tempted to treat her like she's older and have to remind myself that she's only three.

All five on a typical day.  Some in pajamas, some in dress up clothes.  No one fighting or crying at the moment.  I may have resorted to yelling to get them to look at me, but you can try to ignore that little reality tidbit.  It's not the most chaos-free zone, and it's a heckuva lot of hard work, but there's joy a good bit of the time.  God promised me that. 

Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.  Isaiah 35:10