Friday, January 25, 2013

never for granted

You will have to forgive me for my last post. It may have come across as one big huge enormous complaint. (I may only be apologizing to the five of you who I know read this blog! but nevertheless...) To be honest, sometimes I just get really worn out being a mommy and I had a really hard day that should've gone in a journal somewhere instead of on the blog... I think, but I will leave it there for you to see the joy at the end of it. But, I never ever take this vocation for granted... ever. I know of the thousands today who march in D.C. for life. I know of the millions who have been aborted. I know of the millions who have aborted... some I know personally.  I know of the pain of a miscarriage. I have seen the pain of infertility and then the joy of adoption. I will never take my little men for granted. Ever.

I read a beautiful post today from my friend, Maria, that reminded me of how the aches and pains of motherhood are only a reminder of sweet souls in our home, in our life and how very special and sweet that makes every moment. Here it is if you would like to be inspired...

Lord, help me to recognize your love and your life in each moment of my day. Help me to take nothing for granted.

Praying today for the 54 million souls who have lost their lives and for those who still believe it is OK. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Even as the mess I am

I looked at myself today. Not real glamorous today. Puke down my shirt. And on my socks. It was projectile. My hair never did get done. I wore the same pants I wore yesterday. My lip gloss was lost somewhere between me and the bathroom. I managed to get Gabriel to school, go to the chiropractor with 2, feed everyone lunch, and myself, but while holding a baby. And then I attempted to live through a sleep strike. Naps are my saving grace. It is the time I pray, I sleep, I straighten up, I sit quietly, and I prepare dinner. Instead Anthony coughed and I had tissues coming out of my ears for his little nose. Adam decided to be awake and grumpy... so they both twisted and turned on me for about an hour before I put both of them in the car and drove around, hoping for a moment where I wasn't needed. Not so glamorous. I barely made it out the door without crying, my shoes were untied, Anthony didn't have shoes and Adam was screaming. I managed to drive long enough to get them both sleeping... Anthony only lasted 15 minutes and then screamed real loud, "WAKE UP, BABY!" The baby cried and cried. I had to stop and get both of them out to comfort. Then we picked up Gabriel. I was hoping I got out to get him and didn't trip over my shoe laces. I didn't. But the teacher totally noticed all the snot ALL OVER my shirt and some on my own face from the two crying ones. Gabriel got in the car and stirred up Anthony. They fought over a snack and then tried to get one another from car seats the whole way home. Anthony refused to nap when we got back home and so did Adam... so quick break... go ahead outside before we run errands. Rocking Adam and trying to find something to eat... ohh, here they come. They are both drenched, soaking wet. Really? And now I am wet. It took me 20 minutes to strip them down, dry them off, find new clothes (thankfully I didn't have to pull any out of the dirty laundry pile... cause it's super high.. like up to my knees). Then I dressed them, but had to let Adam scream cause he was so tired, but not wanted to sleep. Then to load the car for errands. I couldn't stay home. While gathering what we needed, Anthony decided to attack Adam in the carseat, so I put him in time out... two kids screaming again. I went into the bathroom to take a deep breath. Back to the crying babies. An apology. Load the car, Anthony falls asleep. Adam falls asleep. I arrive. Errands or go back home? That is the question. Gabriel yells, "Wake up, we are here!" Everyone crying again. Yikers. Could anything else go wrong? We made it there and back home. Cooked dinner, wiped bottoms, fed them dinner, then Adam puked all over me (cause I had this great idea to try to get him to eat some broccoli that I cooked and was real mushy for him). Gross. More puke all over me. I'm not giving in though. I am keeping this shirt on... it's not likely I will find a clean one anyway! So, baths. Gabriel insisted on a shower, Anthony tried to lay on Adam in the tub and Adam screamed after his bath the whole time I bathed the others. While I rocked Adam to sleep, Gabriel and Anthony fought in the kitchen over peanut butter crackers (even though they just ate dinner) and then when I laid Adam down he freaked out and I had to rock him for another 10 minutes while Gabriel and Anthony fought over whether they would watch The Lorax or Power Rangers. I was trying to whisper and resolve it, but I had to choose... Adam sleeping or help the cause. I am trying to get them to work things out on their own anyway. So, got Adam to sleep. And we finally made it upstairs to their bedroom, but not before spitting toothepaste all over, spilling milk on the floor and arguing over a pillow. Then to prayers. Such a sweet, quiet time. After we read the book and Anthony spoke the whole way through it like always. This is a normal day, normal kids. Nothing malicious, nothing too terrible.. just normal stuff that all put together is really hard.

Praying tonight they asked a lot of questions about Heaven ... and made me remember what this is all about. It's not about being glamorous. I sometimes try to make it that way. I hope for perfect days where no one argues, no one pukes, and no one has a stinky diaper. I hope for a free moment, actually I hope for a whole hour, but it's not always going to happen. So, to you mommies out there trying to get by, you are not alone. I wrote out my day so I could prove it to you. This is not a glamorous job. It's actually what I would claim to be one of the most difficult. I spoke with a great mom friend of mine today, she reminded me yet again how I need to lower my expectations of myself, stay at home more, and know that some days it's OK to let them watch a movie so I can have quiet time... especially on a day of sleep striking. So, I will try better tomorrow to give things more balance, less drama, and more fun.

When I tucked them in tonight, I realized how much they love me anyway... even as the mess I am. Not once today did they say what I was thinking they should've said. They didn't tell me I was having a fat day, or that my hair wasn't just right or that my soup needed a little more salt. They didn't even hesitate to forgive me when I said sorry for raising my voice. They still wanted a million kisses, they still laughed at my corny jokes and they still fought over who jumped on my lap first for their bed time book. It is so nice to be loved by such pure hearts even as the mess I am.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One lucky mama

 This years family photos! Thank you, Branden O'Neil for taking these for us!

I write this with a grateful heart. Thanking God for these little works of art.

Dear Adam,
You have grown so tall. And you are the happiest, most content baby I have had. You still keep me up in the middle of the night to eat, but you are quick to eat and get back to sleep. You are totally in love with me, which I love, and no matter how hard I try, I will never be funnier than your brothers are to you! You giggle at them all the time. I can already tell that you are going to have no problem fitting right in with them. I saw you roll straight across the floor a few days ago to their new police station and grab the guys they were playing with. Anthony proceeded to tell you to "Move over, brother" but you just kept right on trying to butt in and all the while smiling real big at Anthony. It was hilarious to me. I love that you want to be right there with them.

You already have the sweetest temperament and have been gut giggling since you were about 2 months old, which is so early. Some of my friends' babies didn't do that till they turned a year or so... I was shocked when you started doing this. You are so filled with joy!! You have recently been trying to get up on all fours. I expect you to be crawling soon. We are about to start feeding you solid foods, which I know you are thrilled about, considering you grab just about anything that is in my hand and shove it in your mouth... even my hair... yuck!

I can't wait until you talk. I have a feeling you are going to be a lot like me and Gabriel, with a sensitive side, but I can tell that you are charming like Anthony... and somewhat daring too, which is more like your dad. I know for sure you will be happy without fail. I really can't get you to stop smiling. I have seen more than a few times when people are talking with you and you smile at them with that little twinkle in your eye.. and I see their eyes well up... there is something about you, little man. You are very special.

Dear Anthony,
I love that you are talking to me so much. I love that you have found sentences and new words and that you understand what I am explaining to you. I love that you dance at even the slightest sound of music and then look to me with those eyes that ask, "You gonna dance with me, or what?" You have grown to be such a big boy, not a toddler anymore.. but a big 2 year old. You certainly LOVE to eat. You especially like cheese and fruit and when I ask you if you want to have a picnic with me you always respond with, "Yea, with take (steak) and tay toes (potatoes)!"I wish I could explain to people the depth of your love. You love really deep. Last night when one of your friends got in trouble, you even came to me with a sad face and laid your head on my shoulder. You are quite the protector.

You will hands down be my funniest dude. Your voice, your laugh (SO loud), and your spontaneous acts of rough and tough love make me laugh all day long. A hug from you consists of you throwing yourself at me. I need armor for your hugs. It is amazing how much joy I find in just watching you. You will be just like your dad when you grow up... you will love because it is the right thing to do. And you will be persistent about it.

More than anything I love when you spend time with Gabriel. I am super proud of you for learning to stand your ground.. he is the big brother, you know. You have made sure to share, but have also made sure than Gabriel shares. I LOVE that you call him either, "Brouder (brother)" or "Grabe riel." I smile everytime I hear it. Thank you for being the best middle brother. You have already learned to attend to Adam when he needs something, busting out in song when he is crying and I can't get to him right away, or by always asking Gabriel, "Are you OK, brouder?" when Gabriel has fallen. You are so very special.

Dear Gabriel Patrick,
I love that you are such a big boy in such a little body. If someone couldn't see how tiny you are, they will surely think you were 10 years old. You act like it. You have hands down won the heart of anyone who has spoken to you. You have such an outgoing personality that gets lit up in the presence of people (that's like your dad.. not your shy mom), and you will speak to anyone... usually it's your initiative. "How are you doing today" "What's your name? Would you like to play with me?" I have met many new friends at the park because you first put yourself out there to make a new friend. You have made me better. I have watched your example and known that we should reach out to people.

You are obsessed.. and I mean, totally obsessed with power rangers, super heroes, and anyone who flies, has a weapon or a cool vehicle. You could spend ALL day long playing make believe with "your guys." You want to take them everywhere and pretty often ask anyone around to play with you. It amazes me to listen to the conversations your guys have... you are one smart dude.

You have an impeccable memory. You love "a mystery" as you call it. And you are the world's greatest big brother, according to your mom. The other day you were obviously wearing the dino socks Anthony wanted. "Oh, you want to wear these ones?" In just a moments time, they were off your feet and you were trying to put them on Ant, as you call him. You are always checking on Adam, bringing him toys, bringing me diapers, and you love to make both your brothers laugh... just yesterday you were dancing like a goofball in the car and Anthony was laughing so hard, he was having trouble breathing. You are one special dude.

To all three of you,
As I sat today on the couch rubbing Anthony's back because he is sick, I looked around at the mess, not being able to clean it up. Part of me thought, man, I feel captive here. Then I took a moment. Jesus reminded me how you three boys set me free... you set me free from the desires I have to want and do those things that do not have an eternal value. Instead of spending my days picking out furniture, clothes and new cars, and cooking the perfect meals, and having the super shiny clean house I spend my days with you, the eternal souls God has entrusted me. You have done everything but held me captive... you have set me free from this world, from worldly desires, from selfishness, and led me down a path where I seek Christ more and more because I have none of those things to rely on for happiness. I pray everyday for a bigger heart, a more humble heart, a more generous heart, and He teaches me and grants me these graces through each of you. There is no where I'd rather be.
Your Mommy