Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!! I love festivities of any sort and have been so excited for today.  In years past, my excitement has pretty much been the only around here....but this year, it clicked! Garrett got really into dressing up and even more 'into' trick-or-treating and it was so fun to watch.  I even had a makeshift cat costume, which all the kids thought was so funny.  Maybe next year I can get Paul to wear a costume.:)

My boy is growing up...wanting to go up to doors without me, high-fiving friends about their loot, and making his own plans about what he was going to do with the stash.  It was great---nights like tonight feed my soul.  There is nothing better in the whole wide world than watching your child find such overwhelming joy in something.

The part where momma begs "please sit by your sister so I can get your picture":)

The annual 'pre-game' picture
Spider-people were very popular this year

Aunt Liz, Uncle Seth and Miss Flower-Anna Kate

Look at that determination!
This was Lilah's favorite part...chewing on the cotton candy stick:)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This is Lilah and her cousin Maggie, born just days apart.  I love this picture, because Lilah looks so interested, so engaged...because laying in bed is just about the only activity where she can hang.  It's still really hard for me to be around little girls Lilah's age--and it's probably going to get worse before it gets better.  Until recently, I've gotten away with thinking, in my head, that she is still a baby--even though she's over 2--because she still seems like a baby.  And, when it's just us at home, it's easy to not think about.  Not that I'm trying to be all "stick your head in the sand and ignore the obvious", because I'm nothing if not a realist.   But day in and day out, I'm meeting her needs, where she's at and not thinking about where she's not.  However, it's darn near impossible not to compare when I see her with her peers.

And sometimes, the emotions sneak up on me.

I have a dear friend who is  a trained counselor, (coincidence? I think not.) who told me early on in this journey that I just had to deal with the grief as it came.  That there was no preparedness or prevention to do.  No 'banking' of the bounty of joy we've experienced to throw at the waves of sadness.  "It is what it is".  This has been our mantra from the beginning, Paul and I.  I know, I are standing in awe of our depth of wisdom and enlightenment, right? :)  But it's true.  And it is.  This whole thing is a million descriptions and experiences rolled into one--and it covers the expanse of emotions...from the happiest happy to the saddest sad.  And there is just not much I can do about where my heart lies on the spectrum sometimes.  And what it is right now is sad.

And the sneaking up of sadness happens something like this: 

 We go to  a birthday party where every other child is running around independently while the grown-ups are talking--as it's supposed to be.  But,  I'm sweating from holding a 30 lb child on my hip and can't hold a conversation because I'm thinking about how in the world we are going to get her and her stroller back up the steep hill at the pony farm and back to the car, and, since we can barely manage this year, how it will be next year.  

Or how, the next day at church, I fight a quivering lip as I listen to a child behind me tell her momma all that she did at children's church.  And I hear that momma "shush" her several times, as I'm thinking I would do anything in the world to just hear Lilah's voice.

And then,  I know that the 'sneaking' is over and the onslaught of grief has begun.  Because, in the grocery parking lot, I see a little girl dancing in purple ballet leotard and I absolutely lose it.  As in, must pull off the road to keep from crashing, crying so hard.  Like, wasting hours of babysitting time, driving around bawling because I just can't pull it together.  And, I'm thinking, It's not that I have always dreamed of her doing ballet, why the heck am I a basket-case?  But, I know the answer. Or the answers, I should say--because there are a million things that have me so upset.  There are so many things about Lilah's life for me to grieve that my head spins.  

My girl can't stand or crawl.  She can't talk or eat.  She will never have a best friend or a first crush.  All her thoughts are a secret to me.  I want so badly to know who she is and what she wants.  (Or maybe I know the very little that goes on in her mind already, and it's nothing more than simple likes and dislikes.  And that is even more terrifying.)  I want her to disobey me or sass me back or argue about what clothes I've chosen.  I want her to scrape her knees on the playground or discover that she really loves to read.  I want her to go on field trips, and sleep overs, and spring breaks.  

I'm still trying to find my way in all this, obviously.  I wish I could say that it gets easier, but I'm starting to suspect it doesn't---only that the sadness ebbs and flows.  But, I do know that God's desire is to love and guide us through it, asking only that we rely on Him and trust His promises.  I also know that without Him, I wouldn't make it through one day with the burden of the reality of her life.   But, hope is a powerful thing....and as hard as things get, it wins out over sadness and grief everyday of the week (and twice on Sundays:).  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We've moved....the rental period is over and we are in our new house! Yeah! If I wasn't so freakin tired, I'd be even more excited.  Right now, I kind of feel like my head is spinning between piles of random things, boxes of stuff, and baskets of clothes.  We are making great progress and are anxious to be 'settled'.

We are so thankful for the village of people who helped us, brought us food, and watched our children.  I would post our new address, but because friends who are more internet-smart than me would make me take it down immediately, I will just say:  email me if want it. :) Because, at this rate, there is snowball's chance in you-know-where that I will get those cutesy little WE'VE MOVED cards out before I die.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm posting in retrospect here....because it was a big story this summer.  "The Day My Baby Smashed Open His Beautiful Face".  It was traumatic--seriously.  It was a hot, hot summer evening and we were having dinner with dear friends.  The kind of dinner where both mommas are too hot and too tired, and a joint meal seems easier because at least the kids entertain themselves.  The older kids were outside playing manically, getting hyped up on fatigue and popsicles and the mommas joined the papas (he-he) when the clean up was done.  I was just thinking we should go, when out of the corner of my eye, I see Garrett trip.  Not a big deal.  Kids fall.  His daddy picked him up and came toward me.....and I am not even kidding here, I almost passed out.  He looked like Frankenstein on steroids.  The pictures do not do it justice.  It was massive.  Not really bleeding, but full of blood and with a crackled appearance, and sticking out from his forehead 3 inches.

You would think after all I've been through as a momma, this would not have shaken me so badly.  It was all I could do to speak reassuringly to the child and not throw up dinner.  After we determined he was okay and got him to bed, I cried and cried.  Garrett was just fine.  Momma was not okay.

See, the thing is, Garrett is still my child.  The one I cling to, put all my hopes in, the one I still trust to myself.    He's the child whose future I dream of instead of avoid thinking about.  I know this is not right, but it's where I am.  In some ways, I worry more about him than Lilah.  Crazy, I know.

The same truths apply equally to both my children.  They are children of God, on loan to us.  He loves them far more, and better, than I.  The Lord has a perfect plan for both their lives, a plan that numbered their days before the beginning of time.  The only difference between those truths is my perception....with one child I accepted them swiftly and wholly and with the other....well, it's a work in progress.  Because relinquishing control is hard for most of us, especially me--and when it comes to my babies, very unnatural.  But my hand was forced with Lilah.  I'm hoping it will be a more gradual process with Garrett.

You will be glad to know, (and not at all surprised, I'm sure) that Garrett handled his injury very well.  He used it to milk privileges (like eating on the couch), with skills that would have made any pre-teen proud.  Also, being familiar with the term 'goose egg', coined this his 'dinosaur egg' and joked to strangers "that it's about to hatch any day."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Oh my word...I am blogging with a complete handicap. Our computer had to make the move to the new house ahead of the rest of the family. That computer and I have a hate-hate relationship, so it really works out....except that it leaves me tapping out blog posts with my pointer fingers on the iPad. Don't tell Mrs Bozeman, after all the work she put in trying to get me to have all 10fingers in 'the ready' position in high school typing, it would just make her sad. Anyway, because of my plight, I'm going to bullet points.

-my baby turned 4! I can't believe it and I had all kinds of things to say about the event, but, with the typing and all, it's too hard. I will say that he is the sweetest, kindest, best little boy in the world, despite what you've read on here in the past.

-Lilah spent the end of last week in the hospital for IV fluids. It sucked. I hate the hospital, so much. It divides our family and gives me way too much time to contemplate the severity of her medical conditions. But, of course I'm so thankful that she's better and that we have great care so close to home. And, it always serves as a sort of 'restart' for me. A reminder of what is important and how I want to spend my time. As Garrett said "I love it when we are all together."

-it is flippin freezing here and the only clothes I can find that aren't in boxes are 2 pairs of jeans, one totally random sweater, and two long sleeve tees. So, if you see me around town, that's why it appears that I am always wearing the same thing--because I am.

-we move in 2.5 weeks and this rental house has officiAlly become a biohazard. Not that I really did much all summer, but I have officially given up now. If we had any dishes or ever ate at home, they'd be piled up. As it is, it looks like someone (Garrett) took the contents of every room, shook them up, and dispersed them randomly throughout the house. Complete chaos. That means when I open the moving boxes in 3 weeks I will find things like shoes, apples, hairbrushes, Lightening McQueen, bug nets, and empty sippy cups in the same box. Fun.

That's it. Hoefully coming to you soon from a real keyboard......