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I’m so glad that yesterday is over and that Scripture tells us God’s mercies are new every morning.

Yesterday was an insane day – I was jokingly terming it “Woeful Wednesday” in my head.  Yes, it was.  That. Bad.

I’d tell you all about it (and started to, actually) but it is a really long whine, and really don’t we all get enough whining every day?

Suffice to say that I had bratty kids, went grocery shopping because our pantry was BARE, left my wallet at the store but didn’t realize this until I’d pulled into a gas station because my low-fuel light was on, left to go get my wallet, and ran out of gas at a major intersection in rush-hour traffic.

Just one question?  When did my life become a re-run of I Love Lucy?  I mean seriously, between the stuff I’ve documented on NMM and this, I feel like I’m one comical scene away from being right there with Lucy and Ethel, including the dramatic Whaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh at the end of the day, lol.

So here’s to humor and a great NEW day.  I’m off to drink a pot of decaf coffee and get my laundry going.

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Yes, it’s Monday again, and yes I have plenty to tell you all what I have NOT been up to.

I have definitely NOT let my baby call a Pack ‘N Play in our room his bed for the last 6 months instead of a crib. (His first bed was a proper cradle in our room).  I definitely have NOT procrastinated on getting the crib assembled because all of the bedrooms were NOT in a state such that they would have failed a health and safety inspection.  Not me, I’m a great housekeeper, I stay on top of things, and I have taught my children well in the tidying arena! (Hey, a girl can dream, right?)

I did NOT then, spend a whole day in Colton’s room last Saturday, while Seth was working, cleaning and reorganizing furniture so that we could get the crib put up.  Again, things are so neat and tidy that I barely have to do much to maintain our clean home!  Because none of this happened, I did not have to call Seth at work to inquire as to where I might find an allen wrench (During said call I informed him I DO know what one is – just didn’t know where they were making their home).  And I didn’t promptly go into the garage where he has a BUCKET of tools and other miscellania, find my allen wrench and proceed to assemble a crib, all by myself.  I did NOT have any problems following instructions and was quite smug and pleased with myself when it was all put together.  But then I did NOT notice a piece that was still out and realize I’d forgotten to put it in, oh, all the way back in STEP 2!!!  *sigh*  Right about then Seth got home (telling you, I did NOT spend ALL day in there!) and got that odd piece in and went to tighten my allen wrench screws.  I did NOT hand him the TENT STAKE I’d used all along as an allen wrench, and we did not laugh at ALL about my sleep-deprivation induced stupidity.  Seth did NOT remind me, “I know what an allen wrench is, I just need to know where they are!”  Oy vey.  Always an adventure.

In other life events, Kelsey is selling Girl Scout Cookies (and will be thru the end of February so if you want some, e-mail me!).  Last Monday we went around the neighborhood and sold some cookies to the folks living in the townhomes.  When we returned she wanted to call all of her relatives and sell over the phone.  When we got to her Uncle Jared’s phone number, I did NOT tell her it was “303- 619-xxxx” instead of “303-617-xxxx.”  Thus she did not speak to a TOTAL STRANGER.  So I did NOT have the following conversation when she handed me the phone while I was cooking dinner that night:

“Hi!”

“Hi, this is Raleigh.”

“What?  Is Jared not there?  Are you a friend?”

“Uh, no – your daughter just called me, Raleigh, and wanted to sell me some cookies.”

:lightbulb:

“Oh, no!  I told her 619, and it should have been 617!  Oh, I’m so sorry, she meant to call her Uncle Jared!”

“Well, I’m a businessman and I thought she did a great job for a cold call – so I’d still like to purchase a box from her.”

And I did NOT proceed to collect his mailing information so that we could then ship his box of cookies when we got them in.

Finally, the other night we did NOT start baths so late that Kelsey had to be in brushing her teeth while the boys bathed. (Kelsey and Colton are getting to that age where they really ought to give each other privacy when nude now).  Colton was kicking water with his legs to splash Chritopher a bit (my shirt sleeves as well, I might add), and I did Not giggle when Kelsey glanced over and said, “Your penis looks like a bobble-head when you do that!”  That would be immature and only serve to encourage future sayings of this funny little phrase.  No, I remained calm and without response, so really I had NO idea why Colton proceeded to chant over and over that night “I have a bobble-head penis!”  And I definitely did not have to suppress more laughs again while typing that story out.  Because I’m more grown up than that.

:this post was started on Saturday, December 26th:

So groaned my husband late last night early this morning.

Christmas was great – both sides of our family significantly downsized the presents aspect, something I’ve craved for years, everyone got along despite the lack of sleep afforded by Christmas Eve, and the juggling between my family and Seth’s was a piece of cake this year – no guilt-inspired tug of war.

And yet, at about 11:30 I fell apart and sobbed on my husband’s lap in front of my in-laws for a good ten minutes.  Exhausted.

****

We sing a song in the children’s programs at church:

The wise man built his house upon The Rock, his house upon The Rock….

The foolish man built his house upon the sand, his house upon the sand….

****

Tuesday night we experienced one of Kelsey’s sensory superfits.  While we saw the beginnings of one over Thanksgiving, we hadn’t seen a big one in a LONG time.  Like long ago enough that sensory integration dysfunction seemed like a distant memory.

Well, Tuesday not only recalled that memory but brought it front and center.

Sleep has been an issue of late for Kelsey.  She’s had trouble with insomnia, and calming her engine enough that she can successfully relax and induce herself to sleep.  Result: chaos for an already disorganized brain.

Add to it that her school was in session Monday and Tuesday, yet really, all bets were off re: attempting  normal schedule.

Mix in one mother, caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle, also deprived of sleep because of one teething infant, whose hypervigilance at waiting for the other sensory shoe to drop has been greatly reduced, and well, I completely missed the triggers.

At bedtime, we had a battle royale about sleep and it escalated such that I had to put her in her room and hold her bedroom door shut for a prolonged period (45 minutes…have I mentioned that the child is stubborn in addition to neuro-atypical?) while she screamed and beat at the door.  It broke my heart to see her like this again.  It made me want to crawl into a hole when she proclaimed that I was the “meanest mama ever,” because when I tried to see things from her eyes I could see how she felt betrayed by me essentially locking her up, BUT I knew it was for her own good, lest I hurt her or she me.

****

It’s Christmas night.  We’ve just returned to Seth’s folks after eating with my folks, exchanging gifts and playing Wii.

It’s late.

I told Kelsey it’s time to get ready for bed and she protested.  She wasn’t one bit tired!  She wanted to read!

This is stubbornness, not a sensory issue, it seemed.

I told her she could read in the entry room but that the adults were playing a game and she didn’t need to be in the same room.

And the melt-down began.

I want to cry and scream and pitch a fit because I am bone tired after Christopher’s weeks of teething have been topped off with traveling sleep, which means none.

But I called upon some reserve somewhere within me.

After Seth had tried to reason with her, and failed, I began to see this was going sensory.  She was hysterical and repeating that she’d never be able to get to sleep, all while having that other worldly look on her face.  Nothing penetrates this look.  Just gotta take the wild wave and ride it.

Manic, she flailed at me, screamed, shook her head and just fell apart as I tried to touch her, hoping that the deep pressure could bring her back to me.  Her eyes held a look of fight or flight, terrified at what was going on inside her.  I almost broke at the helplessness of knowing her neurons were in chaos and firing excessively – lot of good knowing what does when there is no rhyme or reason to alleviating the why of the problem.

Eventually, I got her to a spare bedroom.  There I cradled my biggest baby like when she was a newborn and we rocked while she continued to huff and puff and slow her engine down.

At this point my sister-in-law entered the room, tears streaming down her face.

At first, I interpreted her tears as those of the “I can’t stand her pain, make it stop” variety and felt a twinge of defensiveness raise its ugly head.

“What…can I do…to help? I want to help her….and you.”  Her face crumpled and her tears fell faster.

It was then that I sensed that she’d gotten a glimpse of what it is for me to mother Kelsey, this bittersweet hellish rollercoaster that I ride, along with two other children who need me just as much.  Her words from our morning present-opening (we make a point of having the gift-giver tell their giftee why they love them before each gift is opened) echoed in my mind, “You’re so brave.”

I motioned her over to the bed with us.  And she just sat while I numbly and automatically did joint compressions on Kels to calm her down.  I remember at one point squeezing her hand so hard that my knuckles turned white and Kelsey whispered, “Harder, Mama.”  As I could feel her body quiet, I began to murmur to her that I knew it was beyond her control, that I wasn’t mad and that I just wanted to help her come back.  My sister-in-law asked Kels what would help her, which caused her to stiffen.  She couldn’t have known that in this state an open-ended question is just more chaos for Kelsey’s disorganized brain.  So I intervened.

At home Kelsey and I have a nightly prayer together before bed, but when traveling this nighttime rite is often tossed aside.  Routine and ritual help soothe her.  So I prayed while I held my girl, all gangly limbs curling over my arms, one of the longest, most heartfelt prayer I’ve prayed with her.  It was long after she fell limp in my arms that I closed the prayer, my own eyes moist and damp.

I hefted her 75lb, nearly as tall as me frame, into her bedroom and tucked her in.  Asleep.

Mission Accomplished.

But at what cost?  Would she be mortified in the morning?  And how can I keep this from happening?  What’s she gonna do when she’s at college and noone knows to squeeze her feet, hands and compress her other joints?

These and other racing thoughts plagued my exhausted mind such that I gave voice to them with the hiccuping sobs that I melted into on Seth’s lap.  It was now 11:30.  We’d battled for right at an hour and a half.

****

Sometime after midnight, we settled into bed.  And Christopher awoke.  Inconsolable.

We each took turns trying to soothe him.  But no amount of rocking, nursing, Orajel, Tylenol, or Motrin would help.

Around 3am was when Seth made his statement re: how this day was going to go down in my mind’s history.

It was then that the childish song popped into my mind, and I realized how this incident might have undone someone else, that someone else might have slipped into their own sleep-deprived, incoherent raging.

But that reserve from which I drew?

The rock upon which my faith is built, from which I draw my strength.

****

This week has been hard, as the sleeping has still yet to resume back to N-O-R-M-A-L, whatever that is anyway.  But I have to say that the fact that my husband is an angel, my sister-in-law’s empathic gesture of just BEING with me, and a silly little song have all helped remind me that I’m not alone and I don’t have to do this all by myself.

I believe that God speaks to us through many different media.

There are written words, both those breathed by the Holy Spirit in Scripture and those penned by people (who often will not know their impact) in tomes of literature, on display of a computer monitor or some other format.

Nature speaks to me, not audibly to my ears, but to my heart and soul which “hear” things my ears never could.

Music speaks to me in a way that integrates all the senses.

The analysis of a series of events often conveys messages to me – though some might call it superstition, I feel it is more of a discernment and intuition.

I could go on, but that would take me away from the point at which I’m trying to arrive.

I also believe that God, when He really wants our attention, will cause the same thing that speaks to us to lend itself to repeated surfacings.  In the past I’ll have read a certain passage in Scripture and then it will come up in class or a sermon, or in conversation with a friend – usually a combination of all of those, too!

Recently, I got an e-mail from a friend called The Invisible Woman. The words, dealing with the frustrations of being a mom who often comes last, can be found below.  A few days later, I received the same e-mail with the message being spoken by the lovely and talented Nicole Johnson.

God’s doing it, trying to get my attention. The overall theme of The Invisible Woman is directly applicable to my life, particularly the part about God seeing ME and caring about what I do or don’t do and His admonition to keep at it.

And the timing….could it come at a better time?  No, in the midst of several attempts to do fun things with the kids for the holidays (salt dough ornaments and then the painting of them, holiday baking with the kids’ help, gingerbread cookies and then the decorating of them) and their quick lapses into complaints of “We NEVER get to do ANYTHING fun,”  not to mention my recent little pity parties, I’d say the timing on this is nothing short of perfect.

I’m going t share it with y’all, in the hopes that it uplifts you and speaks to your heart.  Blessings!

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’

Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible.. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?? Â I need that now Mommy!

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’ Hurry Mom, I’ll be late!

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, she’s gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’ It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe

I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it t o me until I read her inscription: ‘To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fuelled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees.’

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become. At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, ‘You’re gonna love it there..’

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.


I was perusing my blogroll the other day and found a great post of Megan’s over at Velveteen Mind.

She quotes from Meet the Robinsons:

From failing you learn.  From success…not so much.

Lately, I feel as if I am failing everything (perfectionist) and everyone (people pleaser) though, and it gives me pause to wonder what it is that I(‘m supposed to be learning.

For example, this morning Kelsey and Colton were in prime form, willfully disregarding my entreaties to, “Please eat! … Please quit reading riddles and get ready for school!  … Get your socks and shoes on, now please!… Eat your breakfast! … Socks and shoes! … Leave the dogs alone and do what I’ve asked you to please! :repeated ad nauseum: ”  I quickly transformed from harried, albeit polite, mother to a harsh monster as their mouths got smarter and sassier, not to mention none of the morning necessaries had gotten done yet.  As my normal voice had gone unheeded three or more times already, I morphed into yelling.  And that didn’t work either.  So then the flood of emotion started to build, as my inner dialog focused on my inadequacies as a mother – surely I was a failure as my children wouldn’t obey me in getting ready for school, surely it was my fault that my daughter’s eyes were rolling every time my mouth opened, surely this lack of respect for authority was going to wind them both up in prison on down the road – and they sensed it.  Colton ran over to me, breakfast STILL uneaten, and tried to hug me when I leaped over the edge.

“I DON’T WANT YOUR &*%# HUGS, I WANT YOU TO LISTEN TO ME!!!”

Yes, I swore at him.  Yes, I felt like my stature went from 5’5″ to miniscule in mere nano-seconds.  FAIL!

Kelsey and Colton both chimed in chorus, “You hate us,” and pouted.

I had to regain my composure instantaneously.

“No, guys, I do not hate YOU.”

“Yes you do!!!”

“No, please, let me finish. I am very sorry for swearing at you and yelling, and wish that I could take it back.  That was very wrong of me.”

Deep breath.

“Can we please just get along, follow instructions and have a relatively easy morning from here on out?”

Solemn nods.

And that’s just one example.

I feel like I’m floundering in so many ways.  And I’m left wondering, what is the lesson in this floundering?

All I can come up with is that I can’t make it all better on my own.  I can’t do all of this on my own.  And that I am NOT a perfect person.

But God is, and was, and will be.  And I just need to lean on Him more in times like these.  Forget pulling myself up by the bootstrap and ask Him to help pull me out of the slimy pit I’m in, to ask Him to put my feet on a firm rock.

It’s been a frozen tundra here in NoCo lately. 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas indeed, as the snow we got last week has yet to melt.  In other words December has arrived.  And with it, some frigid temperatures that have kept me housebound.  I’m in need of a good long run but it’s too cold outside and I have no indoor substitute – no treadmill, no gym membership, and no indoor track that I’m aware of. 

Christopher has been teething and as a result has become extremely clingy and light in his sleeping.  Monday he got all of 30 minutes in daytime sleep.  As a result his wakeful time was quite irritable and fussy.  So, Tuesday when I got him to sleep I held him long enough to ensure he was really out, then carried him over to the swing and began to lower him down ever-so-gently when POP! went his eyes.  I quickly retreated to the couch and sat with him, where he fell back asleep and we were one flesh for 2 hours.  I was so glad that he slept that long, but was frustrated that I was rendered unable to get any of the household things done, and they need done badly as I’ve been sick and let a lot of things go while trying to recuperate from this nasty sinus bug.

My other beef with the temps  is that our dogs have been indoors for a week and are beyond squirrely.  Sometimes they wrestle to get out their energy, but that is LOUD and not exactly the safest with a baby crawling around.  Consequently, I feel like I am shouting “No!” all day long and trying to divert their attentions to other pursuits.

I’ve been wrestling with parental guilt too as Kelsey and Colton have gotten into some bad habits of late, and I find myself wondering at the end of the days what I have done to foster such whiny, selfish, and disrespectful behaviors.  I know that a lot of this is them being cooped up too – indoor recesses for a week due to the cold – as well as me being sick and thus not sticking to our routines, but….sometimes having an understanding doesn’t always help the experiencing much.

I’ve been trying to find more activities to engage them to try and curb the insolence and I’m getting mixed results.  I had the kids make salt dough ornaments with me last weekend and we painted them together when we were done, which was fun.  They’ve been helping me out more with cooking – just last night they helped me fill and roll enchiladas for our supper and they really seemed to enjoy it.  But the bickering and the obstinence over daily minutiae (what to wear, what to eat for breakfast, not following directions etc.) continues.  Kelsey’s sensory issues seem to be popping up in the nature of her fits at home, so I’m having to re-discipline myself into making sure there’s structure and interjecting little ways for her to receive input here as school has pretty much determined that she’s compensating well enough at school and thus there is no need for them to intervene – something that I agreed to at the beginning of the year as things were going really well.

So…pity party for me, lol.  It’s been a hard few weeks, and I sometimes forget that “This too shall pass.”

So, it’s been 2 weeks since this happened – finally time to sit and write about it, eh? Also; any mention of voices in my head is regarding that inner turmoil that we ALL have in our thoughts – no auditory hallucinations for this girl, thank you for your concern.
Two weeks ago, we had just returned home from our short-lived camping trip. Both Charlie Brown and I briefly entertained the thought of not going to church in the morning, since we were supposed to be gone afterall. We decided that was just silly and ended up going.

Sidenote- in the weeks preceding this I’d been having lots of doubts about life. Doubts about our financial security, my mental health status, and the joint decision for me to stay at home among many other things. In chatting with girlfriends about these doubts, a few of them had suggested I maybe look for a PT job to help me regain some of my self-confidence as well as make a little extra cash for those daunting medical bills. And the juxtaposition of all the voices of these doubts with the tidbits of “helpful” advice was driving me to the edge.

Ok….so, back to church.

Our Sunday morning bible study this summer has been on Romans. The text for the day was Romans Ch. 8. As the teacher droned on about how an abstract was different from a book review (re: a handout that he’d thought was helpful to the study), Li’l Guy began to fuss and alert me to his growing hunger. So I took him into the “cry room” (a little private area for nursing moms) and fed him. While doing so, I halfheartedly listened to the teacher on the speaker. As the abstract v. book review discussion went longer, I grabbed my Blackberry out of the diaper bag and pulled up Romans 8 using the Youversion app (which I totally btw).

I read the whole chapter, the words not unfamiliar to me as Romans is probably the book I’ve read most in Scripture during my walk with the Lord; but towards the end my face grew hot and moist as the tears came down, for I read:

26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[b] in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[c] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them…

…35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[d]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[e] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

I’d been feeling guilt about my silence in the dialogue between me and my God lately. Even knowing full well that this promise of an intercessor exists for those times when life gets so overwhelming, so full of other voices that I cannot find my own, beyond the simple gut-wrenching utterances of “Lord, please help me,” despite knowing that, I was in a place where Guilt had begun to plague me, adding just one more voice in the cacophony that my mind had recently become. So irrational was this Guilt, bothering me over things of which I had no control – namely my getting sick. Yes, I know, like I could have prevented such an anomaly; the doctors still aren’t quite sure how I came to be so ill.

Through this passage, God assured me. The Voice of Truth stilled the others and spoke, in solo: You are still my child, sweet girl. I have not abandoned you and I know you are overwhelmed right now. My Spirit is translating the woes on your heart and I am listening. NOTHING can ever change that. Keep going.

I was so thankful that I was physically alone, just my baby and I, in that room because I wept freely at the reassurance the moment had afforded me.

Later, the preacher’s sermon (link opens an MP3 recording of the sermon if interested) was on Luke 5:1-11. Specifically, he focused in on how the men, professional fishers of their day, had fished ALL night and not caught anything yet Jesus told them to go out and launch their nets one more time. They did and the blessings (fish) were more than abundant, they almost sunk their boats! Perseverance, especially when all looks bleak, pays off, was the message in a nutshell.

Keep going.

The words, coupled with my moment in the cry room, were just what I needed to hear. Tears streamed down my face long before the conclusion of the sermon, as the realization hit me that it was no mere coincidence that our camping trip had gone south and caused us to return home early. How amazing is this Love that notes every detail of my life along with those of every other living being?

I knew I had to go forward at the invitation, to ask for the prayers of my family. But what most people didn’t realize is that it wasn’t a feeling of hopelessness that drove me to asking for help – rather, the hope and reassurance that God had given me that morning made me want to publicly recognize my need for Him in my life. We have been so blessed over the past several months with my rapid recovery, the help and support we received, and through things not yet revealed. Several people mistook my emotion as a cry for more help – but as I talked with them I assured them it was just a realization that I needed to keep going.

And how much good it does me to know that as a direct result another young mom shared her struggles with me that night. And then another. When a dear older sister e-mailed me the next day to see how I was doing, she mentioned “mom coaching,” so I called her and asked if she would meet with some of us to pray and talk some things through. Not only would she, but she and a couple other more experienced sisters had been praying for such an opportunity in the spirit of this Scriptural example. Not because of me, but because of God.

Keep Going.

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

So, new drill here, remember? Yeah, I’m doing Mrs. 4444’s Friday Fragments thing. Click thru the links for more info.

Friday Fragments?

***In reference to the title above, I feel fragmented and chaotic in my mind. I have started to write several times in my head but get interrupted or never have the time to finish the thought itself, let alone being able to process it by writing/talking about it.

***Li’l Guy covered some serious ground today by pseudo crawling (rather like an inchworm, he has yet to coordinate his arms). The dude is not even officially 4 mos old yet (Tuesday), and we are dealing with crawling???? Oy vey!

*** LMNOB and Punkinhead started school Weds. and I have still not posted pics. slacker! LMNOB seems to really like her teacher who is a rather hip young thing. This is good as LMNOB is excited for the year and has not been anxious and fit-throwing. Punkinhead, on the other hand, is not quite as enthused with first grade. Seems kindergarten was Much Better in his mind.

***I have been living a luke-warm life when it comes to my faith over the past several years. I’m trying to heat things up which means some serious Growing Pains. Charlie Brown has been experiencing the same thing over the past year and this is good, but can be quite exhausting seeing all the errors of your ways in a relatively short period of time. Dying to one’s ego and living for Christ is no small task….truely no one ever conquers it on earth, but we still push forward, eh?

***I have exercised 3 mornings in a row now, with some good running even! I am determined to show how God has worked in my body – from being on death’s doorstep 3 1/2 mos ago and unable to inhale more than 500 mL at a time (normal lung capacity is about 4+ times that) to being able to run is quite something!

***Well, bus is almost here and baby is crying…..

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

So, all the cool kids do it….I figured I probably would too…if I can promise to get on regularly enough to participate in Mrs. 4444’s Friday Fragments.

Friday Fragments?

So…. let’s go.

**** Li’l Guy started rolling over last Saturday, at 3 1/2 mos. Since he’s begun to roll, he now fancies a life of mobility and has been spotted getting on all fours and pushing with his legs – and has started making headway. He has yet to coordinate his arms, however, and I’m hoping full-fledged crawling will be at least another month away. Can you imagine?!?

**** I have yet to write up Li’l Guy’s birth story and he is as mentioned above, pushing 4 months old. For shame.

**** I have been in a weird funk of late. It could be that I’m looking down the barrel of post-partum depression. Or dealing with a form of post-traumatic stress disorder on the heels of nearly dying. Or, switching to a different tense of conditions, it could be pre-menstrual syndrome. Good ole PMS. Wait, Heather, aren’t you exclusively breastfeeding? I mean what with the whole ‘I nursed Li’l Guy come hell or highwater’ attitude while you were in the hospital – you are still nursing right? Ahh, yes, I am. And yet, I had not one, but two periods in July, 21 days apart. My OB/GYN had the nerve to call me “one of those lucky women,” and I had the nerve not to slap her across the face. So, going off my mental state, I am right on schedule for another dousing of estrogen and such. Add to it just some general senses of failures as a Christian mother, and well… you know, a lot on my plate right now.

**** The older kids start school on Wednesday. I am both elated and yet oddly enough, given my complaints about the stresses of dealing with 2 school-aged siblings over the summer, saddened by this. On the one hand, ROUTINE!! On the other, well, uh, ROUTINE!!

**** In effort to do just one thing that we’d originally planned to do this summer, before I got sick, we went camping this weekend. ‘Cept that we only ended up staying for just over 24 hours due to weather. Tent camping with 3 kiddos, one of whom is under 4 months, kind of requires perfect weather. And we got torrential rains with gusty winds last night/this morning. Our gear kept us warm and dry; however, being forced into the tent at 7:45 last night kind of pre-empted LMNOB’s nighttime pee before bed. And despite her gear keeping her warm and dry, she herself did not. Yeeeeeah. She was a good sport about it, as were we – I mean, it was completely cruel of nature to expect her super teensy bladder to make it 10 hours without release – but her warm nighttime clothes were not re-wearable despite the fact that her bag (actually MY mummy bag) was virtually un-touched by her leakage. So, yeah, we packed up and we are now home sweet home.

**** As mentioned in the title, we are still reeling from sticker shock of my medical bills. Much tighter budget than we are used to, sometimes to the point of blind faith – thankfully God has always provided an AFLAC check, a love offering from church, or a side job for Charlie Brown at just the right times. God is so good to us, and yet I struggle with worrying still. I am learning, slowly, that Jesus meant what He said in Matthew 6:25-34. I should know this inside and out after the big crisis this summer, but unfortunately I am very much like the Israelites, who after seeing and walking through a parted Red Sea, who were fed DAILY with manna and quail (BTW…could you GET any more organic than sustenance from HEAVEN and an un-chemical-ed earth? How many of us would LOVE that now?!?!) and basically had every need met still worried and grumbled about the hard things they were going through. So….still learning. Still growing. Still a work in progress.

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

Several years ago when Punkinhead was 18 mos or so, he started staying dry overnight. As I’d go to change his diaper every morning during this time, I would find two things:

1.) a dry diaper; and

2.) his little “soldier” standing at attention

It kind of creeped me out – me thinking it was some kind of weird Freudian mother-son thing going on. But later upon recounting this to Charlie Brown, he told me, “He’s got morning wood because his bladder’s full, duh.” I HAD NO IDEA that male plumbing worked that way!!! But, ahh, that made a lot of sense, thinking back on patterns in our own bedroom. Hmmm…

Fast forward 4 1/2 years…..

The other morning Punkinhead came down the stairs FREAKING out about having an erection.

“Mama!! My weiner,” and let me just interject here that I insist on the appropriate anatomical terms in our house, but Daddy tends toward the more slangy terminology, “my weiner, it’s all big and going places that I don’t want it to – it’s going up instead of down!”

Then.

He completely drops trou and says, emphatically, “SEE?!?!”

It. Took. ALL. I had not to just bust up laughing at him, bless his little heart, and the irony of how now this concerned him and yet later in life….

Calmly, I nodded and said yes, sometimes a man’s penis would do that, and that perhaps he just needed to go pee for it to go “back to normal.”

Skeptically, he trudged up the stairs to the bathroom. Within minutes I heard him shouting from the stairs that I was a genius and IT WORKED!

If only he knew how ignorant I would have been if not for Charlie Brown’s enlightenment several years ago.

© 2009 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

I'm a 30-something with a bend toward the spunky and unconventional. I like to accent big words and academics with slang and pop culture - makes me a little more well-rounded. My husband and I follow Christ and am training up my 3 precious kiddos to do the same. This means that I'm human and I fail - a LOT, but there is beauty in sharing that with others. Last, but not least, in case you haven't noticed, I'm prone to rambling. It may seem unrelated to you but the little "tangents" I go on are all interconnected in my mind!

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