Sunday, July 29, 2012


It's 9:18 in the morning. I've come to dread the mid-morning hours lately. It's usually when Little Miss is falling apart, needing a nap but of course she doesn't know that. So I rock and sway, and shush-shush-shush and make my figure eights (to help her cerebellum develop, my friend tells me. All these things we instinctively do with babies have a purpose). But, today, look! Maybe I was less tense and frustrated, and she could feel that and so she just went to sleep instead of fighting so, so hard. And my boys are shirtless, eating popcorn and doing Sunday morning things (inside, outside, building robots, watching the mesmerizing Pingu on Neflix and leaning back on Penny). I am filled with love and new energy.

Life is very one-day-at-a-time right now, and I'm getting to be okay with that. A few days a week, I'm at work--getting to do amazing things like teach about breastfeeding and wheel families out of the hospital with their new little person. Other days, it's taking care of an elderly woman after a heart cath or making sure my patient who's withdrawing for the fifteenth time has what she needs and doesn't harm herself. It's twelve hours of safeguarding. Some days it's a break to be there.

But then I love being here too. It's taken time to figure out this new rhythm--for a while there I entertained the thought of just quitting my job for a season. And, if that need became apparent I would do it easily. But I've realized that it might be a sanity-saver for me--I go out, challenge myself in a different way than I'm challenged here, and it helps. I love coming home to everyone, all happy and ragged from their Papa day--and his eyes are so tired and we both get it. We're closer for it.

The home days are slow to get going, and I start off with a long to-do list and then have to prioritize as the day goes on--and even so I'm folding laundry after the kids are all asleep. The trick is the same as it's always been--stop and enjoy the gift of another glimpse into childhood. Squeeze in the chores where I can. Lower my expectations. Remember Ann Voskamp's words: life is not an emergency; it's a gift.


Here are some pictures of the nursery we put together just a few weeks before Little Miss came to stay with us. I'm still adding touches here and there, but I'm so glad it was mostly done before she came. Needless to say, it was fun. Spray paint and hot glue are my friends.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

three weeks

Tomorrow it will be three weeks that Little Miss has been with us. We found out yesterday that her mother is waiving custody for the time being (nothing permanent at this point), so she will be with us, but we still don't know for how long. It is difficult not knowing; as is predictable we are bonding with her and making space for her in our daily routine and in our hearts.

So, this post doesn't have too much of a point but here are some random happenings:

The summer rainy season has begun. Next to fall, this is probably my favorite time of year. Such a relief from the June heat. I caught Silas playing in the rain a few days ago and took video, but he was naked so that's not appropriate for the internet I guess. Too bad; it was super cute.

This is kind of a difficult age. He's all sweetness and then screeching and swatting and throwing himself down. But so, so curious. He loves big shoes and watering plants (and concrete) and basically doing whatever I'm doing. He goes to time-out now, and when he gets out puckers up his lips to say he's ready to be nice again. He repeats everything, and he has a complicated friendship/rivalry with a Bassett Hound that mainly revolves around the sharing or witholding of food. He still drinks his milk bottle in the morning and at bedtime, with his finger in his belly button. He says "mas?" in his raspy, lispy way about a hundred times a day, and he would eat otter pops constantly if I let him. He pats his diaper and says "pee pee pee poop poop poop" when it needs to be changed, or when he's trying to stall at naptime. Nineteen months. He looks enormous next to the baby. But he's still a baby too, with lashes and cheeks and curls that slay me.

Nicky has been at his Grandma's house (my mom's) for almost two weeks. It was going to be for one week, but then his cousins were staying for two, so. I'm so ready to hug that boy and bring him home. And, selfishly, ready for him to entertain Mr. Silas a bit. There are trees to climb and sprinklers, a sandbox, a horse, goat, chickens, and three cousins to keep him busy for a few more days though. Silas likes to look at pictures of "Ditty" and points to the front door asking for him sometimes.

Life with Little Miss is challenging but good. The lack of sleep catches up with us sometimes, not to mention the exhausting nature of the situation. But as we learn more about her, we feel more for her. She's been through a lot in her short life, and will have some challenges ahead. I feel lost in this sometimes. But there are resources available and I'm resolved to take advantage of pretty much whatever I can. And pray more. And choose to go to bed early more often.

She's still fussy, but not like she was. She's more awake and alert these days. And she smiles at us--oh how that helps. She's not hating tummy time quite so much now, and she's getting stronger. Every day there are little victories along with the frustrations. Just like with any infant I suppose. She's a tiny fighter.

His mercies are new every morning. I really need that these days.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


"Thank you for being so wonderful", Ricky said to me, kissing me goodbye and packing up for work today. I love that he still heads out the door with a backpack. I say exactly what I'm thinking, which is "You're wonderful. I'm not wonderful. I'm just grumpy." Last night was a long game of musical beds: I caught some sleep sitting up in bed with Little Miss, snoozed next to Silas in his bed after carrying him back to it, and was then closing my eyes for long intervals while we talked. He re-heated my lukewarm coffee and handed it back to me, that sweet man of mine.

I need him; I do.

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