Saturday, June 27, 2009

We are fully enjoying summer around here. I'm not sure why it feels different to's not like my kids are "out" of school....we still have the same therapies, doctors, etc. But, the mood is very relaxed....lots of family and ice cream and swimming and sweaty little boys and girls. Paul's brother, Robert, and his family are in from Israel for 2 months!! (staying with his mom, though). I love a house-full of kids and the sound of their laughter.
I know the Lord will allow many other seasons of grief and sadness, but in this season, He is carrying the load. I am really thankful for the emotional break-we were beyond maxed out! Please pray for sweet Lilah, who is having ear tubes placed and her adenoids removed next Weds. We, and her doctors, feel like she will do well with the surgery, but of course, there is always concern with anesthesia.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ya'll know I love me some reality tv, right? Real Housewives, Jon and Kate (sigh), The Bachelor, and I Survived Love with Tila Tequila. Just kidding on the last's some real smut on MTV about this girl who can't decide if she likes men or women. Right. But, I digress. I have 2 points here:
I have wet my pants twice laughing at the new ABC summer series (I think it was on last year), Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Game Show. Paul says I'm sick and have a twisted sense of humor (might be true), but these are seriously funny. I can't even describe them, they are too intricate:). The first is basically a grown-up, slightly dangerous, obstacle course....which gives me fond memories of my youth (which is, i'm sure, making my parents snicker--I was not an especially active child). But, I love obstacle courses...always trying to get Garrett (and Lilah) to do them--no luck yet. My favorite part on Wipeout is when the uhm, larger, contestants slam their faces into the huge path of balls and fall 2 stories into the water. Watch it! I Survived a Japanese Game Show is funny because it just makes people look ridiculous and stupid....and it cracks me up. Too many good things ....'human torpedo', 'human velco spiderweb', 'human bowling'....the list goes on and on, as do the costumes.
My point of this post (you are, by now, wondering, right?) was to inform you of a most humorous blog I have discovered. This season of The Bachelorette has not pulled me in, but I watch (in FFWx2 on my DVR) just so I can read what she has to say about it. Check it out.

I know, I know. I'm always lamenting the crazy chaos around here and you are thinking it's because I watch too much TV. I confess, it is my escape:).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ahh...relaxing weekends. Here's how a recent Saturday evening went for us....

The plan was to meet friends and their daughter at 6. At 5:30, as I have wet hair and am not dressed, Lilah has mysterious green goo all over the front of her dress (remember she doesn't eat??), and Garrett is saying "I just want to stay home", Paul tells me our clock is 15 minutes slow (lots of power outages here lately). Great. We haven't even started the car seat/ shoe ordeal and we are already late (G is all about some independence and these things take 152x longer than they should). Did I mention it's 97 degrees out?

We get there, do the high chair, booster seat, car seat sling re-arrangement dance at first a table, then a booth, and get settled. Whew. All is well until the other couple arrives and G's lower lip starts trembling. He is genuinely afraid of the dad, always has been....even though they are some of our best friends and Garrett sees him regularly. This man is sweet, gentle, literally saves peoples lives every day, and every other child in the world loves him...but he has a mustache. Apparently, a mustache makes you "not happy", according to G. By this time Garrett is bawling! Like, my parents are about to drop me into the mouth of a tiger, crying. I try holding, whispering comforting words, creating a barrier between Garrett's eyes and said mustache man (who is, strategically, sitting at the opposite end), bribing with wild abandon--it's a no go, he' still hysterical. Paul, who equally avoids hurting anyone's feeling and causing a scene, takes Garrett outside.

10 minutes pass, I apologize for the 10th time, and I see the boys returning. They make it halfway to our table, G sees the hair on the top of his nemisis's head and starts crying again. They go back out. Sweet man follows to see if he can calm him outside. I hear G screaming though the brick wall. I order a glass of wine.

The table is reunited, Garrett is muttering "I want to be sweet", and our poor friend keeps a smile plastered on his face, so as to appear "happy", through the rest of the meal. The bread arrives and the children start dipping pieces the size of their heads into the herbed oil and slinging into their mouths. G starts whining because the herbs are lodged in his nose and burning. Of course!-why did I not think to warn him of that possibility? It might have been because I was too worried the people passing by our table, who kept bumping the car-seat sling, would actually knock Lilah to the ground.

Garrett and his 'girlfriend' start coloring. She is kind enough to share her markers, and after assigning him a particular picture and color (did I mention she also told him what to order?), they got started. This little distraction quickly turned ugly when little girl gets upset that G is sliming her markers, coloring out of the lines, and dropping the caps on the floor. The waitress comes, asks if I want another glass of wine...I scream "yes" and then realize I haven't had time to take 2 sips of the glass I already ordered:).

The food came, I think....but by then I was holding Lilah, who was literally dripping sweat from every body part (sweet baby is very hot always). I was trying to calm her without transposing any of my body/anxiety heat onto her when....Garrett literally dive bombs into my lap. He does not like to miss any snuggle fun and, apparently, it looked like we were having some. Now I have a 2 year old pizza handprint smack in the middle of my chest.

At this point, I'm looking for the exit. But, the best is yet to come!!!! I have handed Lilah off to Paul and Garrett climbs into my lap. Two seconds later, I simultaneously think is my lap wet and see G shudder (if you have boys, you know where I'm going!). In a very rare, freak diaper disaster, he has left a puddle (not an exaggeration) in my lap. CHECK PLEASE!!!!
We make it home, the whole way discussing how we are definitely going to take up chain smoking, to discover that neither one of us buckled L into her carseat. At least she's not fragile.
But, we don't have to worry about that anymore, because we are never leaving the house. (we did go to church today, but events there were much the same and just confirmed our decision).

Parenthood is a psychological experiment.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting my dad, you know he's one-of-a-kind. Here are a few of the things I've learned from him:

-Try new things. He's always up for something new or different. Both of my parents did a great job of teaching me to be adventurous.....go new places, eat new things, talk to new people. I've learned it's your life experiences that help shape your person. One of my favorites: he and I jumped from an airplane at 13,000 feet the summer before I got married--it changed my life (but not in the I broke my neck kind of way).

-Don't complain. He's never told me not to (that I can remember), but I've learned (or am learning) by example, that griping never gets you anywhere. Right now, Paul is telling me to "learn faster".

-Serve my children. My dad has done, and will do, anything I ask of him. He has never acted like me, or my requests are a burden--and now that I'm a parent, I realize that it must have taken an enormous amount of effort.

-Be prepared. Plan ahead. A fully stocked emergency kit barely scratches the surface of the things this man has thought of, and probably has with him.

-Laughter is the best medicine. He's really funny (I think) and has some great stories...and he loves to tell them!:) But, he's also just light-hearted in a way that people appreciate.

In a country full of irresponsible, selfish, and absent fathers, I am beyond thankful that my children have a different reality than most. Paul loves them, and their mother, sacrificially, provides beyond their needs, and leads them well. Clearly, Garrett and Lilah adore their daddy and I am so proud of him for the great job he's doing!

Happy Fathers Day!! Please pray for my grandpa and Paul's dad, who are both in nursing homes, to know, and rest in the Lord's peace.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I could not have laughed at this months ago:) Garrett is giving his baby medicine and her feeding tube.

Sweet baby padded up and leaned back in the high chair. She is so proud!!

On our trip to Memphis, we read/played/answered The Question Book (at this moment, a group of 5 women are holding their breath in fear of what I'm about to reveal:). Last night, on the way to Litton's, Paul and I answered a few more. The question was "what are your compulsions". My answer....chores! I feel compulsive just thinking that. I'm always thinking of my 'to do' list. The thing is, even though I'm constantly working on the list, I feel like we live in a state of 'upheaval'. (note: i am not talking about lofty aspirations, like furniture stripping, here. I mean the basics.) House a wreck, someone needing clean clothes, someone else needing a bath, a room totally torn apart. I am definitely doing better than months ago, but if anything 'out of the ordinary happens'....I drop all the balls. Yesterday, I tried to take down the crib in Garrett's room (he's graduated), by myself, while Paul was at work, with both kids awake. It was a total disaster.

Before you think I need to quit trying to be super-woman and/or please people....I stopped that long ago. This is about me. Why do I long for things to be perfect? Why do I only feel it's been a good day when I am productive? Why do I only feel at peace when things and people are clean and put away? Why can I not just live in the moment? Race cars with Garrett? Hold Lilah for hours? Let all the other stuff go to hell? I know what matters...what memories I will cling to when I'm 80....I just can't make myself do it. I don't think I'm alone. Most women I know are this way (my grandma is 80+ and can't sit still to save her life). I write this because it stops today...or maybe tomorrow...I have laundry to fold now:). But, this is a call to action! If I'm going to let my domestic facade sink like the Titanic, I'm taking other people with me. When I randomly drop by your houses this summer, I expect to find dishevelment...and happy, dirty kids:).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lots of unthinkable(good ones) around here lately....the most recent is that I just returned from a weekend 'girls trip' to Memphis. It was amazing!!! Full of rest, sweet friends, and the freedom I crave. Paul kept both kids all weekend and did a great job! I missed them but am considering a week at the beach for the next trip (a girl can dream, right?!).:)
Reality came calling fast and hard this a.m. (at 6:15!) with 3 of Lilah's therapies and a trip to the doctor....and a subsequent trip to the Walgreens pharmacy, as is our pattern. She has, yet another, ear infection and some other, lesser stuff, in the 'rash' family.:) I am hoping to make it to our date with the tubes doctor before the next ear infection (July 14th).

On another note...I am missing some excitement in the tv department this summer and am hoping someone I know will make up for it with some funny blog/s. I know lots of you are capable. Dad, you could tell Driver's Ed stories (my mom will have to tell him about this suggestion as he doesn't embrace the WorldWideWeb just yet). Any of my sorority sisters could tell stories of college (of course, changing all names). Sarah McGovern, you could make a blog about anything funny and I just want to hear more from you:). Uncle Danny, you could start your funny blog with the time a raccoon ate bacon out of your toes. Funny stuff. World needs more funny, people.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hello from Happyville!  Ok, that might be a bit extreme...but things sure are brighter around here lately.  Not that there aren't still moments of panic, sadness, and overwhelmedness (i think this should be word!), but they are coming less frequently.  I still feel like there are not enough hours in the day or brain cells in my head, but there is some normalcy in that for all mothers.  So many things to celebrate...we are relishing the love of our children, cherishing such sweet moments, and in awe of the development of both.  We are praising the God of miracles for sustaining us through such hard times and blessing our family so richly by His love.
Garrett is charming in a way that makes it nearly impossible to say no, and he clearly knows it. He is so much fun to spend time with, as he enjoys life fully.  Everything is an adventure! He is talking non-stop and I am missing the days when my words weren't questioned and he wasn't always trying to bargain.
Lilah is doing something new everyday (something I did not imagine myself saying months ago!).  She is babbling, making her wants and needs known, and very, very interested in the world and people around her.  As we have said before, no expectations can be a beautiful thing--every tiny thing is cause for celebration!  At this point, she is a baby and she acts like a baby....a sweet spot that will not likely occur again.  She seems healthy (for her) to me and I have quit making sure my bags are packed for a hospital stay or expecting her heart to explode out of her chest.  I have either realized the anxiety is counterproductive or run out of energy.....either way, it's great.
I am still, prayerfully, living in the moment...trying hard to enjoy this place.  This was in my devotional today (Streams in the Desert by  L.B. Cowman, my very favorite!!).....

There's  stream of trouble across my path;
It is dark and deep and wide.
Bitter the hour the future hath
When I cross its swelling tide.
But I smile and sing and say:
"I will hope and trust alway;
I'll bear the sorrow that comes tomorrow, 
But I'll borrow none today."

Tomorrow's bridge is a dangerous thing;
I dare not cross it now.
I can see its timbers sway and swing, 
And its arches reel and bow.
O heart, you must hope alway;
You must sing and trust and say:
"I'll bear the sorrow that comes tomorrow, 
But I'll borrow none today."
-Hannah Whitall Smith

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sweet Garrett...has hardly let me out of his sight since 6mo, tenderhearted, incredibly sensitive, shy, and keeps to himself (unless you are part of his very small inner circle)--or so I thought! We left him with Paul's mom and his cousin Elizabeth (5) the other night for a 'date night'.  When we get home, Paul's mom tells us of an "incident".  I, of course, am thinking 'oh no, elizabeth has hurt my sweet boy'.....not the case.  Apparently they were playing on the floor with trains, and Garrett attacked her!!!!!!!  As in, scratching, kicking, ape-shoshoo attack.  I can't believe it.  I didn't know whether to laugh or march up to his room and yank a knot in his tail. It is soooo out of character for him.  I can hardly get him to talk to other children and he is incredibly reserved in the presence of 'others'.
I could tell that Paul thought it was hilarious and was proud that Garrett had the gumption to stand up for himself (Elizabeth, like all 5 year old little girls, has a tendency to be bossy).  And I have had my first taste of having someone report the bad behavior of my children.  I'm sure it's the first of many (if I can ever get him to go anywhere without me).