Sunday, November 24, 2013

the Lord God is my strength

today seemed like a hard day. well, it was a hard day. i'm 35 weeks pregnant, and i have a 14 month old and a 28 month old, so some might think all days are hard days. in some ways, they are. just because things are blessings does not mean that they are also easy.

i've been a lot more achy this pregnancy, and i don't know if i've ever had as much insomnia with it. i'm on a schedule. i can't go to sleep until late, i wake for an hour and a half to two hours each night for no reason, and then levi is up by 6:30, so i don't get much rest.

breakfast didn't go incredibly smoothly. some days it does. today it did not. eventually i found things both boys would eat and they ate. sometimes pregnant with 2 under 2 means you don't give your kids organic, home made, free-range, grass-fed, spinach pop tarts for breakfast - instead, they just eat regular strawberry pop tarts you buy at the store. (it can't possibly stunt their growth any more than genetics already will.)

the boys were up earlier than they should have been, so they needed naps by 10:30 and 11. there were various cues, including eye rubbing and shrieking. (i wasn't the one shrieking.) unfortunately, there was only a 30-minute nap overlap, and when you have to eat and clean up lunch mess from two little boys (SO many crumbs, and what is that goo?), that leaves no time to rest. granted, they sometimes give me beautiful two-hour overlaps where i can nap, rest, make a grocery list, clean, cook, and even do a craft (pick two, not all). not today.

levi was very tired from his one-hour nap and grumpy from his final first-year molar coming in. he required approximately 40 minutes total of baby wrestling (he was very angry and crying for most of this) interspersed with more attempts at getting him to nap. these were unsuccessful. he eventually calmed down and played with the ipad. i'll take it.

then sam got up after a lovely two-hour nap (jealous). then there were still, *still* somehow more than two hours until justin got up. he is a day sleeper and a night worker. thankfully he can sleep through shrieking.

about an hour of this time was spent deciding on and eating snacks. they are young, indecisive, and they eat slowly, and they sometimes eat a lot (which they did). i used the time they were confined to high chairs to clean and get laundry going.

by the time justin got up, there was still much to do, including feeding ourselves, folding laundry, general everyday stuff, etc.

both boys had dirty diapers at the same time (sam refuses, absolutely refuses, to potty train), and thankfully justin changed them.

by that time i was really tired, feeling hormonal and emotionally raw, and just overwhelmed (the night was nowhere near over). i had tears in my eyes, my head in my hands, and my belly on my lap (it's big). i had the urge to get on my knees and pray, but i wasn't sure i could get up from there without a crane.

leave it to levi to sit on his coloring book and then NEED it, desperately, and try to pull it out from under himself on the floor. so as you can imagine, i ended up in the floor anyway, helped him with the book, and laid my head in the seat of the rocking chair.

i cried and prayed. it wasn't so much a prayer of words but an outpouring of emotion - my exhaustion, my desire to be a good and patient mom, the training of and demands of the boys, an argument (or two) justin and i had, and this long, giant, achy pregnancy.

before i could finish, there was poop somewhere it shouldn't have been and i needed to deal with that, but you get the point.

and i know, God got the point too. of course. i realized that i wasn't worried about the wording of my prayer, about using the right words, the right structure, the right vocabulary. there are some moments of some days where you just can't.

i can't imagine having one of my babies come to me, hurting from a tough day, and sending them away to dry their tears and come up with a more poetic way of expressing what was wrong. no, no, a flawed, sinful mama like myself would still take that little head on her shoulder and hold and comfort that upset baby, even if he was blubbering incoherently.

God heard His child, me, and comforted, strengthened me to finish the day.

and my day, it didn't really get better. it was tough to the end, and i still can't sleep. God never promises to bring me an easy evening after a hard day. sometimes He does anyway, but we get the graces that we need, and we also get the refinement that we need. even the refinements themselves are graces, though they don't usually feel like it.

i know God gave me this day to help me remember not to parent or generally live life in my own strength. i tend to try. a lot. and fail. today was a reminder that God is where our strength comes from - thankfully, too, because if all i have is a waddling, tired, third-trimester-pregnant mother of two toddlers to rely on, i don't have much to rely on at all. (unless i wanted crazy. i have a whole lot of crazy on days like today.)

"the Lord God is my strength" - habbakuk 3:19

"cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." - 1 peter 5:7

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

catching up

my last post was april 14 of this year. i have missed blogging dearly but haven't felt i had much to talk about, or rather that i had much to talk about but it was mostly diapering and dishes and daily normal stuff that probably no one wants to read a blog about. or maybe they do. anyway.

on april 6, justin left for the police academy. less than one month out from resigning my position at work and taking leave to keep the house together and children alive while he worked at his new job, i was basically alone. we had weekends, and phone calls, but i changed all the diapers and fed the kids and took the trash to the curb. and so on.

on april 17, i took a pregnancy test and saw the faintest of lines. i didn't have any more tests, so i asked justin to pick up a few (i'm kind of an addict so i asked for three) on his way home (a three+ hour drive) from the academy that friday. he wasn't home for five minutes before we had our answer. we were having another baby! (the other two tests were also positive, in case you wondered...)

because of my miscarriage two months before, i was able to get a six-week ultrasound to check on baby, and all was well.

and there i was, nauseated, tired, by myself, taking care of sam, who would be two in july, and levi, who would be one in september. this is in part because we are crazy, and really because God smiled on our crazy childbearing wishes and gave us another. (the back story is, i have endometriosis and it took 18 months to conceive sam, through limited-fertilization ivf, and we thought he would be our only child. pregnancy apparently shrinks my endometriosis, making it easier for me to get pregnant soon after a pregnancy.)

levi stopped sleeping at night for about two months around this time, so i didn't even feel human until the academy was winding down in june. it was harder than i can even begin to describe and i am glad it is a distant memory. [he stopped bottle feeding in favor of eating table food around the time he started sleeping better, and we still don't give him dairy. i will never wait that long to try an alternative again - it just seemed like he didn't fit the bill for an allergy, but now i really think it's an intolerance. we have puke and sleepless nights as evidence for this (after yogurt and ice cream) and that's enough for me!]

justin got home at the end of june and started his regular police work. sam turned two in july, and we learned that our baby was another boy! i turned 29 in august. levi turned one in september. it's really been quite a blur. justin's job mandates overtime for every home football and mens basketball game, so it gets hectic, especially when he couldn't take a day off until november to "make up" for any extra time worked. but we made it here, and he took a day off just this week. it was fabulous.

i'm due december 29 but as i have had two c-sections (the second after an attempted vbac), we will be doing another c-section, so we are scheduling it either december 22 or 26, depending on when we can get in with both the doctor and anesthesiologist.

we put our christmas tree up today (it's still sans ornaments, because as i said, we have a one and two year old and it's busy). we want to be sure to enjoy the season even though we have a lot to prepare for with the baby, josiah, coming in just over a month, so we got an early start (though, thanksgiving is LATE this year compared to the usual, i will point out).

our life has changed a lot since i last posted. we are busy and sometimes slightly (or mostly) insane, but we are right where we are supposed to be. we have so many blessings, so much to be thankful for. and in mid-november, that's a good place to end a blog.