Saturday, April 19, 2014

because of him

Here I sit, this precious, new little life tucked in next to me. The sun is shining and the day is (mostly) warm. Hubs took Pirate out on an errand. Grandma is taking a (much deserved!) nap. (I think the Pirate is wearing her out.) And I finally, finally have a chance to write. Part of me wants to relate the birth story, but I think I'll save it all for another post. My mind, today, is on other things. Easter things.

My feed has been flooded this week with #BecauseofHim things. I've watched all the videos and songs, read all the thoughts. It's been wonderful -all this reflection on the life of the Savior -all that He is, all that He does.

Specifically lately I've been noticing the beauty of sisterhood. I've been noticing the way women serve one another, from meals to childcare to rides to I-have-this-thing-that-I-don't-need-anymore-does-anybody-want-it? Kindness and love and compassion all around. During the hospital stay at one point Hubs said to one of our (fantastic!) nurses, "You nurses do the Lord's work." And it's true. So true. I know it's a career and that they get paid for it, but it is a chosen work and a difficult work and truly the Lord's work. 

I love being a woman. I love the gift of sisterhood. I love the gift of motherhood. It's a special kind of service, doing something for another person that they cannot do for themselves. Birth -for as much as I was NOT loving it- it truly a beautiful and miraculous event. I don't want to sound blasphemous but I  think that in those moments, especially in these early mother moments we women are as similar to the Savior as we can be in this life.

I am grateful that he partook of that bitter cup for me. That he accomplished the will of His Father, and mine. That He was willing. 

All that is good in my life, all of it, is because of Him. I know He lives. I know He's mindful of me. I know He loves me. 

There is so much peace and joy and gratitude in that.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

today was kind of the perfect day

This morning Pirate did a little happy dance in the center of the living room because "The sun came out! The sun came out!" -I wish I had caught it on video because it was pure joy escaping his body and it was darling.

It was just a relaxed, peaceful morning followed by a General Conference dominated afternoon. The sessions were, as always, inspiring in a just-what-I-needed kind of way. Some of my recent prayers were answered. I received some direction and some confirmation and for that I am thankful. Between sessions we went for a walk, Hubs and I with the Pirate trailing behind us on his little red tricycle. The sun was shining, flowers are working their way up, some pretty thin squirrels and rabbits chasing each other, birds singing... In other words: It's spring and we were able to get outside and enjoy it.

Then I came inside and took a nice nap, while Hubs and Pirate played in the backyard and prepped the garden. I woke up to their voices outside the window. I love watching and listening to them play. This afternoon they were wrestling and Pirate said to Hubs, "I love you. You are my favorite Daddy-pillow."

Just small things all piled on top of each other all day long. I am so blessed.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

i'm feeling very pregnant!

Every day someone calls, emails, messages, texts the same question, "How are you feeling?"

My standard answer is "Good!" Because I am feeling good. As good as anyone this pregnant possibly can feel!

My feet and ankles no longer fit into my regular shoes. I've been reduced to crocs -the ugliest, yet most comfortable shoes ever invented.

I can't sit for very long. I can't stand for very long. I waddle when I walk. I rock back and forth on my feet when I have to wait in a line.

I wake up (I do sleep a bit!) multiple times a night to use the restroom. A couple nights ago I went, washed my hands, brushed my teeth and then had to go a second time before I'd even left the bathroom.

My gallbladder is trying to kill me. It happened with Pirate too. It's total misery. It's worse than heartburn, which shows up periodically through the day -but always, always, always at night.

I wish "nesting" would hit. Maybe it has today, because I really want to go clean my bedroom/ bathroom. ?

Things are ready to go. I'm feeling ready to go.

I hope this time it's all a bit easier than it was the first time. I think it will be if for no other reason than I know what to expect and I've gotten pretty good at living with sleep deprivation.

If this boy is as kind as his brother was, labor will begin tomorrow. If he is kinder than his brother it won't drag out for a full 23 1/2 hours.

That's all.


Recently we went to visit the hospital where this new baby will be born. Walking around the Maternity unit and poking my head inside the rooms got me thinking of the last time which was the first time. It's a bit nostalgic, really. As I prep for this new little life to join us, I can't help but replaying things from when his big brother first came to us as well.

I remember the day they released us from the hospital. Hubs was carrying the car seat with our brand new baby strapped safely inside. We were commenting on how strange it felt to be leaving the hospital (we'd been there for three days, which was hospital policy for first time parents) with this precious, new little life and really only a vague idea on how to take care of it. Hubs was saying, "I wish he'd come with an instruction manual" and I was all smiles as we approached our truck.

On the sidewalk near our truck some hurried parent had left their diaper bag. I noticed it about the same time a guy in uniform did. He flung his arm out. "I need you to stay back. Stay right there." he commanded.

Maybe I should mention, for those who don't know, our first baby was born at an Army hospital.

I remember thinking, Wow. I'm pretty sure that's only a diaper bag. Can we say over-reaction? But then, once he'd cautiously approached the bag, and gave it a good look-over, and motioned that we were safe I got to thinking. There is a reason that this man is so especially cautious. Chances are pretty good he's seen first hand the results of a strategically placed bomb. Chances are pretty good he's attended the services for a fallen friend. He was cautious for good reason.

As we drove home I couldn't help think on it all a little bit more. We are raising our children in a sick and dangerous world. A place where Evil looks and patiently waits for opportunity. A place where wolves come to us in sheep's clothing.

Recently I read an article where a fellow LDS woman in a very respectful way lifted her voice in a "this is what I saw" kind of way. She wasn't calling anyone to repentance, and she wasn't judging anyone. She was merely stating something that she felt the Spirit had called her attention to, and she was pointing out that she was seeing a wolf disguised as a sheep. It obviously took a great deal of courage for this woman to write the things she did. She had to know there would be a back-lash from others...

I bet she didn't expect that back-lash to come so quickly, violently and viciously from her fellow Sisters in the gospel. I read her article and then for the next three days watched other LDS women tear her down and apart. It was sad, painful even, to watch. Have we become so hardened? Even if we disagreed with her, couldn't we have quietly done so? Instead of virtually lifting her up to social media and making a mockery of her, and throwing word-rocks at her? Especially when it isn't too crazy to suppose she could be right. People who study social movements will tell you as much.

I got a bit sidetracked here, didn't I?

As a mother to these two little boys in this crazy and often evil world, I sure hope I can guide them safely. That I can discern between what is just a diaper bag and what is a true danger disguised as a diaper bag. I think now more than ever vigilance is necessary -Mad Eye style vigilance.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

week's end

My SIL and BIL and their kids came to visit this weekend. We love, love, love having them close enough that we can do these periodic weekends together. The kids play so well together. They just kind of disappear into the bedroom or basement and we'll hear a constant string of laughter and chatter.

Saturday we took the kids to "Chicken Flay" for fun, and then in the afternoon my SIL and I ran a handful of last minute errands to prep for this babe. (We were so hoping he'd come this weekend. It would have been nice to have the help with Pirate.) We were in search first for a bassinet/ pack-n-play with a bassinet. I checked Once Upon A Child on Monday and they had nothing, but it'd been a few days and I thought it would be worth another look -just in case- and they had one! It's perfect, looks brand new, and was marked for $50. My punch card was full and for 20% off -so I was able to find exactly what I needed for a crazy good price. Awesome!

Then, I was really needing my pre-labor pedicure, so we stopped into this nail place that my friend who was raised here recommended. We walked in and immediately were wondering if we were in the right place, because it just seemed a little on the dirty side. I texted my friend and she assured me that we were in the right place. So we put our names down and waited for our turn and then they got us seated and I was looking around and noticing that the chairs didn't look clean, then I noticed the tools looked dirty and there were still nail clippings stuck in the clippers... and by then the girl was already working on my SIL's feet, but they hadn't started on me yet... and anyway, I pointed out what I was seeing to her and I totally faked sick, holding my big pregnant belly, and we put our shoes back on and left. It was so gross and kind of awkward walking out -but that place was so gross! So we drove across the street to the drug store and bought all the do-it-yourself pedicure stuff.

So last night she gave me a pedicure, it's really cute and I'm certain I don't have any diseases from it. It also pretty much crosses off my very last "to do" item on this Prep for Baby list. He can come any time now. It'll be fine... I think he'll make me wait about another week/ week and a half. Hubs thinks I've got another three weeks or so. (I really wish men could experience what it is to be 38+ weeks pregnant for just one day, just one single day. I think then he'd be a bit more empathetic.)

Anyhow... the weekend was totally awesome. Pirate and his cousins got lots and lots of quality play time. I had a lovely stay-at-home girls night with my SIL. We're now fully ready for baby.

If we can just kick these little minor colds we'll be golden.

Monday, March 24, 2014

remains of the day

I just finished reading a book, a memoir, that was written entirely in clips you'd read as a facebook status or maybe a tweet. It was like reading a photo album of words and I really liked it. One of the things she mentions is how you have your "last" with your kids and sometimes you didn't even know it was you "last." Like the last time they need your help bathing. Or the last time you get up with them in the middle of the night. The last time they need something from you...

Pirate and I, we've been best buddies and constant companions for three and a half years now. He's never been one night without me. In fact, if I'm out to book club or a gno he makes his best effort to stay awake so he can tell me about the remains of his day before drifting off. He's been known to physically hold his eye-lids open and chant "Wait until mom gets home. Wait until mom gets home."

And soon, without any real foreknowledge, we're going to have our "last" day of just the two of us. I hope we end on a good one. Today was hit and miss. He was either super sweet and happy or in the middle of a melt-down.

We started our day with a trip to Target. He happily sang "Blue's Clues's" in the cart for the first half of our shopping and then he was a laughing his little head off, hooting train whistle for the second. Dressed in his bright blue rain boots and his dad's cowboy hat singing and laughing and hooting, he really was being as cute as the people around me kept saying.

A bit later we pulled into Once Upon A Child and he said, "Jesus made this store. He made it for us because he loves us and he wants us to be happy." -It's good to know he's at least partly listening.

Even later in the day, on a whim I decided to check Goodwill for something. The entire time in the store he sang "I am a Child of God" and my heart both swelled and melted at the same time. He asked to see the toys and when I pushed the cart past a little car toy identical to the one in Toy Story he exclaimed his NEED to have it. He explained it's the exact thing he's been looking for. The $1 price tag wasn't too intimidating so I handed it over to him. He clutched that thing! He showed it off to the cashier. He talked about it on the way home.

Then, as soon as was humanly possible, he put it on the floor in our kitchen, gave it a push and promptly burst into tears. "No!! No. No. It doesn't work!" He stomped his feet. "It's supposed to go fast!" I sent him to his room to finish his sorrows. He clearly had expectations that the car would do what it does in the movie. It took an hour and a half for him to touch it again. By then, he'd gotten over his disappointment and now we're currently on the hunt for his Woody doll which has gone missing.


Other things I'd like to remember:

Last night as I was tucking him in I said, "I love you, Pirate." And as I was leaving he said, "I love you too mom." So of course I had to "Aww." and go back and give him another hug and kiss. Then he said, "You're just like a princess." Aww.

Lately if he's doing something he shouldn't be, he'll tell me "Don't talk to me mom. No more talking to me." OR if I ask him to do something he doesn't want to do (or stop doing something he does want to do) he'll tell me, "I'm sorry mom. I don't hear you. I can't hear you mom."

One day he brought me my bra and said, "Mom. I found your eye-brow! Here you go!"

He says:
Flute instead of fruit.
Ex-camater instead of elevator.
Sunbeeps instead of Sunbeams.

On Sunday we were late (for the first time in the history of our family it was NOT my fault!) and had to sit in the foyer. On the couch some kid had left this puzzle-ball thing that Pirate found and immediately began playing with. He referred to it as his new toy, so we corrected him explaining that he could play with it for now, but he'd have to leave it on the couch where he found it so the person who lost it could come back and find it. It took him a second, but then when it clicked he pointed his little finger high in the air and exclaimed, "We have a mystery!!" (Busytown Mysteries is a new favorite show around here.)