Monthly Archives: February 2009

A budding linguist

Oh Dora.  What would I do without her?  With her purple backpack and faithful companion Boots by her side is there anything she can’t do?  I mean come on, people.  This girl is pretty amazing.  One day she’s a princess, the next she turns winter into spring, the next day turns it back into winter simply by smiling into a shiny rock, and then she’s off to sail the seas as a pirate.  This girl gets around in a big way.  Can you imagine her resume?

One of the best parts about BQ being such a Dora fan is that it has opened her eyes to learning Spanish and to the fact that there are people in the world who speak other languages.  She will often ask, “What’s (insert word) in Spanish.”  We’ve had everything from colors, to furniture.  The most recent, however, was definitely not one I had studied in school or ever learned.  And, not one I ever expected to teach my 3 year old.  

Like any kid, BQ will often go to the bathroom with her dad if we are all out together.  I guess lately she has noticed that in the boy’s bathroom there are “boy potties,” aka urinals.  If you ask, she will tell you that girls sit down to make pee pees and poo poos, but boys only sit for poo poos and stand for pee pees.  We had to explain to her that “boy potties” are only for pee pees, since boys can stand.  Any-who, the other day she asked, “Mommy, what’s boy potty in Spanish.”  Needless to say, I was at a loss.  

But, I did look it up and just in case you ever need to know, it’s urinario.

Privacy

My profession, unfortunately, comes with the tendency to develop some quirks, ticks, and bad habits.  It is the danger of spending one’s days with small people with limited vocabularies and lack of social inhibitions.  I found myself at the grocery store yesterday in the bathroom, big stall of course, with BQ and Molé in her plastic ride on car, attempting to use the facilities.  BQ had to go, of course mid shopping trip, so the three of us headed in.  After she finished, she of course asked me if I needed to do the same.  I said yes, because I genuinely felt the urge, and began.  She then asked me if I needed privacy and it happened.  Rather than give her a simple answer, I launched into a little monologue.  Let’s face it, she was tuned out after the first 10 seconds, but I continued.  I talked about how we all had to be together for safety and how I actually do often long for those days of old when going to the bathroom was a private experience.  I heard other toilets flush.  Hands were washed in the sink just outside my little stall door.  And yet, I continued.  Who knows what the rest of the ramblings entailed.  The verbal diarrhea of a stay at home mom in need of adult conversation.

So, there it is.  My true confession.  I talk to myself.

You know that place where…I’m so there

And then it happened.  I am now the mother of a 1 year old.  Not only that but a 3 year old as well.  WHAT??  I no longer technically have a baby.  I’m not sure how I feel about it, to be honest.

BQ was a feisty baby.  Not a “bad” baby (hate that term) just colicky.  Reaching that first year point felt like a total victory.  We survived and better yet, SHE survived.  We could possibly handle taking care of another human being.  I think I also knew that we were going to have more children, so I didn’t really cling to BQ’s “babyhood.”  I was READY for her to move on.  This time, with Molé, it doesn’t feel the same.

We have no idea whether or not we will have more children, as if anyone ever does, and there is a big part of me that feels this is a time of lasts rather than firsts.  Did that make sense?  With BQ, everything was new and exciting and it was fine when it ended because I knew we’d do it again.  This time, I’m not so sure.  The first birthday means it’s the last first birthday.  The first steps, mean there won’t be anymore first steps…and on and on and on.  My heart feels a little bit achey.  That strange twinge, a dull ache, a restlessness.  

My sweet husband, oddly enough, is feeling the polar opposite.  He is pretty much thrilled that we no longer have a baby in the house and is super excited about what this next stage will bring.  In so many ways, I am right there with him.  This glass of wine is definitely part celebratory beverage…

Ahh, any of you felt this way?  Who knows, maybe it’s the frosting talking.  I did have three cupcakes.  

Happy birthday, Molé.  I love being your mommy.

All dried up

As you can probably guess from my last post, I have not been in the most witty, creative, let’s write something for entertainment value on the blog kind of mood.  But, I’ll attempt to mix it up.

First off, would you mind saying a prayer for Mary?  Today is her birthday.  How is she to celebrate only 3 days after losing her child?  I think it’s safe to say this birthday is going to totally suck.  Nonetheless, pray that there would be some glimmers of joy, some moments in the midst of this vortex of grief, that would help to soothe and bring comfort to this amazing woman.  Thanks.

The times in my life when I have been grieving, I always find that after a few days of crying the tears tend to run out.  I’ll find myself “dry crying.”  It’s almost as though the body simply cannot bear to take the energy to produce more tears.  In those moments the sadness is almost a palpable hurt- an ache.  I hate that stage.  Where you just want to wake up, trade realities, or crawl out of your own skin?  Do you know what I mean?  

Molé is going to turn 1 soon.  She’s walking, almost running, all over the house, cutting molars, sleeping all night long without even a thought about her mom, attempting to say words, and turning into a toddler right before my eyes.  She stopped nursing, as you already know, about 3 weeks ago.  For a while I was secretly hoping that she  would go back to it, and felt like my body would still be able to step up to the plate if she changed her mind.  But now, I know that I am truly dried up.  That time is gone, over and not coming back.  This process of letting go is already beginning.  Being a parent often seems like a road of “letting go-s.”  With each stage that passes there is joy and a bit of sadness too, isn’t there?  There will come a day when our girls do not live under our roof, do not need me on a daily basis to help them use the potty, and may even live far away.  Such is life.  

I guess what this is all making me realize is that I want to savor it all.  I don’t want to linger in a dried up place.  When those times comes I want to acknowledge them, but then I want to look with joy at what’s to come.  Even though it makes me nauseous.  The challenge to live in the present- not grieving what we’ve lost or longing for what’s to come, but sitting down to tea with right now.  Drinking deeply, savoring every last drop, and engaging in the wonder that is this moment.  

Life is full of loss- just ask my sweet friend, Mary.  My prayer for her is that someday, when the time is right, she would be refilled.  That there will be a day where the dry places will overflow with abundant joy.  May we be the kind of friends that can look for it for each other, when we can’t for ourselves.  Many of you know that I believe in Jesus.  I believe He is able to restore, renew, and heal.  It can take time, but He is faithful.  I trust He will be faithful to Mary.

Oh, another heavy blog.  What can I say?  It’s where I am and I want this to be real.  Just to end with something, should I say, light?

Being dried up in the “bosom” area is so lame.  When you are not “well endowed” to begin with, part of the thrill of breastfeeding is your first experience with cleavage.  I felt like a 13 year old girl again.  No more plunging necklines for me.  Are you relieved?

Grief

I am writing from a place of sadness after hearing about dear friends who today lost their beautiful 16 year old son.  Tears, disbelief, and even some anger are in my heart.  What words are there to explain such deep, and visceral grief?  

Grief is unlike anything else in our human experience.  It seeps into every part of our being, appearing around every turn, and far overstays a welcome that was never extended in the first place.  It’s a weight, a physical heaviness, that leaves us wanting nothing more than to hide away.  Laughter does not bring comfort, kind words, an embrace, even a really great meal don’t even scratch the surface.  At the end of the day we cannot escape reality.  We have experienced loss.  

I am strangely unable to shake this grief right now.  Charles was not my son and yet my heart is heavy.  So heavy.  Have I hugged my girls tighter tonight?  Yes.  Have I thought often of this young man that will never grow up or become the amazing man that I know he would have?  Yes.  Do I cry at the thought of what this moment must feel like for his family, his mother?  Yes.  

So, here I am.  Heavy.  Burdened.  Sad.  We know that God shows up in just these places.  How much I wish they didn’t have to happen, that we could see Him in the highs alone.  How grateful I am that he is faithful to come and that He already has.  May He lift this weight and roll back this thick, dark curtain of grief.  May his mother, a woman I love and respect so much, have some moments to escape.  Some corners, places, and dreams that are not shrouded by these unrelenting waves of grief.

We will miss you, Charles.  Be embraced by your Savior and rest in His perfect love.

Traveling light?

I apologize for the delay in blogging.  The girls and I have been traveling for the past two weeks, which did not allow me much time for the computer.  Both of our trips were awesome, but I am exhausted.  The girls did really well, over all, but let’s face it-traveling with two kids is no picnic.  Just to give you a mental picture, here is the list of items that I had in tow on my voyage.

1.  Large roller suitcase

2. Small roller suitcase

3. Britax Roundabout carseat

4. Double stroller

5. Backpack/diaper bag

6. DVD player

7. BQ’s small Dora backpack

8. Bag of “Lovies” and such

9. Snack bag

My technique is the following:

Strap down small people in said stroller.  Do not allow them to escape and/or move under any circumstances.  Doing so may result in total and utter chaos.  I repeat, keep contained.  Next, purchase snazzy backpack attachment for said carseat that you are carrying onto the plane.  Place on back.  Fill stroller pouches with all small bags that will be going onto the plane.  Get rid of those roller suitcases at check-in, after looking like a complete freak of nature for carrying that much junk.  Next, take approximately ten thousand hours to unload said stuff from stroller, along with children, shoes, coats, liquids in baggies, baby food, and the like.  Put all of that stuff up onto the conveyer belt to pass through the x-ray, all while holding a baby who just wants to get down and walk, and wrangling a 3 year old who is exploring mid daydream.  After passing through this LOVELY process, pack it all up and get ready to do it again as you board the plane.  While boarding the plane, make sure to hit each chair and innocently sticking out elbow within reach as you whack the seats with the carseat on your back.  Definitely a good way to make friends with fellow passengers.  Finally, when you reach your seats, make sure you turn down all help, because you are too stubborn to receive it, and put all your stuff away and get buckled while the kids scream, spill stuff, and inflict bodily harm on one another.  Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the short duration of your flight.

Thank God the trips were worth the work.