Monday, June 2, 2014

Childlike Faith

"Will you be my baby girl forever?" I asked Virginia, only to be told "No Mommy, I'm a big girl, remember?"
Oh my sweet girl, I remember. I remember very well. What I don't remember is your babyhood. I seem to only be able to remember today, or yesterday. I have a difficult time recalling what she was like as a baby and who she was back then... my sweet big girl.

We were nestled together on my bed, her favorite sleeping spot when Daddy is at work. Her soft hair tickled my nose and cheeks as I breathed in the smell of her, her fingers intertwined in mine pulling my arm tighter around her in a snuggle, as I tried to hold on to the moment, to etch it in my heart, mind and soul forever while knowing like all other memories, it would sooner or later be lost to me.

Listening to her suck her thumb in the dark, I thought about the hundred things still needing to be done before I could drop my exhausted body into bed beside her for the night: laundry, shower, clean the bathroom, tidy the kitchen, finish the dishes, catch up on emails and current events, workout, sweep, mop, take out the trash, declutter some more, work on extra cash flow for the home, et cetra... 
A hundred things to do, but I knew the most important one was to just be. I knew I needed to soak up the moment. I also desperately needed a shower, but then realized that someday she will care if I'm sticky from sweat and if I smell bad and also not want to be so physically close to me because she won't "need me", and so for this moment that she didn't care what I smelled like, I needed to just snuggle. She was totally relaxed in my arms, loving me, just trusting that I would be with her.

Unconditional love and trust.

The way of a child toward a loving parent.

It was like a light bulb turned on in my soul, and for what felt like the first time, I understood what Faith is meant to be...
Jesus says "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3).

Children unconditionally love and trust. They don't allow the mess ups from the day, or the pain of discipline, or the hurt of failure, rejection, or let downs alter their feelings toward their loving parent. They wrap themselves up in their parent's arms with the security of their faith in their parents, unadulterated and unbiased by their environment.

Tears stung my eyes as I realized how far from His idea of faith I've been living. Then for a moment I felt Peace... none of the anxiety or panic that have been my constant companion this last year, just calm. The weight of the world being lifted for a moment was like getting a sip of cold water on a hot day. So incredibly refreshing.

Pondering this God Breeze leaves me wondering what the application of this kind of unconditional love and trust in Christ looks like... how do I apply it to daily life? How do I remember to just be with Him in my darkest moments of anxiety?
I can't even make it to the grocery store by myself because of the fear of a panic attack... and yet I'm supposed to unconditionally love and trust God. It seems so simple to write it out, but I'm struggling to picture what real life application looks like.

I have no real closing thoughts on this... just continuing to ponder what my life with childlike faith in Christ should be like, and praying for guidance and peace while getting there.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Queen of Rolly-pollies

I'm pretty sure Ginia is the best Rolly-Pollie catcher I know. Seriously. Look at her bug jar from this morning. There are even a few snails in the mix, too:

She's very proud of this superpower:

Honestly, I feel kinda bad for the bugs. Instead of sealing their fate in the bug jar (like what normally happens... Two days later we just pitch the bug jar because the smell of death inside knocks us over when we open the lid. Good thing Joseph and I are up for the challenge of replacing the Talenti Gelato "bug jars".) we decided to create a terrarium for the little buggers. Behold, Rolly-Pollie utopia:

It certainly makes lunchtime more entertaining, and gives us new things to talk about while we're eating. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Crafty came out to play today

Inspired by this post that I found through Pinterest
 I decided to bite the bullet and make a door muffler for the girl's room. 

I couldn't find any scrap fabric that I loved, but stumbled on these iron on angels. 

I decided that hair ties might be a better option to keep the door muffler on than ribbons that I was bound to have to continuously re-tie with a busy toddler in the house. 

I cut some felt to sort of fit for the center, pinned it all together and sewed it around the edges:

Stopping here for a picture ruined things. It had nothing at all to do with my lack of know-how or lack of experience with my sewing machine. I promise ;-)
My string snapped and the machine had to be re threaded (Mommy, where are you when I have need of you?!) and I developed several large knots during the home stretch of sewing. See?

Oh well. The other side wasn't too bad. 

The finished product on the door! I'm not insanely proud of it, but I am proud of myself for starting and FINISHING a project (not to mention blogging about it) while both girls were awake and playing around me :-) *no babies were neglected in the making of this project. Extra bonus points for me! ;-)

Hope you're having a wonderful day! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A little too late.

In the moments after a harsh word comes out of my mouth, or too firm a grip on my girl that makes her squirm with pain... That's when I get my check. My "oh crap, Alex, this isn't you. This is not who you want to be. This is not the mother you want to become" moments make me hot inside, burning with shame, burning with the guilt that I can't undo what I've done, and worse than that, I can't undo Virginia's perspective of me. 

At that point it's too late to take it back, too late to be gentle, quiet and loving. Too late to set the best example for my daughters on appropriate interactions with others. 
Even after apologizing to her, the knowledge that I'm sure to mess up soon and overreact again is hard for me to swallow. 
When Virginia comes to talk to me about the incident, and the memory brings her to tears and she can't control the trembling of her bottom lip... It leaves me heartbroken.

Parenting is tough. You don't get a manual with your baby. Just a lot of love, excitement, and fear. You hold that fresh human for the first time. The smell is intoxicating. You get high just being around her. Then your brain begins to function. 
"What if I screw up? What if I raise a child who, despite my best efforts, picks a life path contrary to her upbringing. Oh Lord... Her upbringing! How can it be any good if I can't be a consistent, patient momma??" I had the best intentions. I'd seen how others parented, so I knew exactly how I would do it so my kids wouldn't turn out like "those" children. 
Jeeze, speaking from personal experience, childless people are so judgmental. 
I have a child who pushes other kids, sometimes bites, sometimes pees in random places for what seems like the fun of it (so yes, my house smells just like one of "those" houses I knew I'd never have), and a million other sin traits. 
Guess what though? I've had a 20 year head start on her as far as developing sin traits. No, I don't pee in random places for the fun of it, but won't deny that it hasn't happened in the past.
I loose my temper quickly, am quick to judge, can be unfeeling and cold, ungrateful and many other things I'd rather not list.

Tonight I was in a decent (low?) enough place to realize my brokenness and be able to ask God for help with her, my temper, my attitude towards her, and forgiveness.  Praying with her for both of us helped the situation waaay more than a broken hearted apology from me. She still got the apology though. 

That's when I realized what it wasn't too late for: It wasn't too late to use my failings to turn myself to Christ. It wasn't too late to turn her towards Christ. Does she fully understand forgiveness of God and faith in Jesus? I don't know. I just know it was the right thing to do. 
Somehow He turns ashes into beauty. And if He can redeem a situation that I've basically thrown downhill, then I need to get good at getting out of the way so He can work. 

I am working on being like Jesus. What kind of a mother would He have been? That's who I want to be. 


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Elimination Communication, a.k.a. Potty Training

Here's a post I never finished from 10/12/2011:

4 dirty diapers from 9am to 10:15am. 1 dirty diaper from 10:15am to 3:30pm. 2 dirty diapers from 3:30pm to 8:45pm. And many, many, successful trips to the potty in between.

Aside from the fluke this morning with the 4 diapers, that's a pretty good day as far as potty training an infant goes.
I am so impressed at how well Virginia goes potty in the toilet. She knows the cue sound we have for her, and goes (or at least tries to go) every time we take her to the bathroom. Sometimes there's just a few drops, which tells me that she's trying to go, and sometimes it just keeps coming and coming, which tells me she was holding it.

We began the process when she was a newborn. Every time we could tell she was going to the bathroom we would give her the cue noise we chose to teach her to associate the noise with the action of her releasing her bowels.

Hello Again!

Finally reunited with my blog! It's an understatement to say that it has been neglected. Not that I was a great blogger to begin with, but I hope to get better at posting occasionally.
A lot has happened since my last post. Joseph was hired by a local law enforcement agency as a Patrol Officer. He has worked hard to reach this goal, and I am very proud of him!
Baby girl #2 is 6 months old. We were blessed with the birth of Vita Marie in April, and life since then has been busy! Having two children that are 2 years and under, plus adjusting to Joseph's new career, has been pretty challenging. However, I feel like we've finally found a balance and good rhythm.

My goal is to post every now and then, hopefully with pictures.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

6 Months Old

     Oh boy, time really does fly by!
     It's been 6 months since Virginia was born. These last 6 months have had more meaning to them than my entire life. I've never felt so important or needed as being a mother makes me feel. I've also never been so tired, or had so little time to myself! haha. 

     Today was special because we were able to get the summer born cousins together (Laura, August, & Virginia). It's maybe only happened twice in the last 6 months, and no one thought to get pictures of them together. Bummer. Anyway, we did get a couple of pictures of them today. 
     These were my favorite:
August really wants Laura's ear. She's not too thrilled by the prospect. 

Haha... this face of Virginia's cracks me up :)

Ahh, if only Ginia was looking up for this one. 

     I'm disappointed that I didn't have my camera with me. My phone doesn't have the best photo quality. I'll start carrying my camera in the diaper bag from now on. 
     That's another big change... my purses have been traded in for a diaper bag. Everything I used to tote around in my purse that I "couldn't go anywhere without" seem obsolete now. My personal belongings in the diaper bag have been reduced to just a few items. Small things like my wallet, headphones, pen, "emergency" granola bar, gum and house keys. *sigh* Someday I'll get to carry a purse again. 

     A lot has happened since my last post. I'll try to catch up a bit. 

     These first two pictures were actually back in September. This first one was when Virginia had tests done on her kidneys. It was so sad to see her with the little IV in her hand :( She was so good though... I cried more than she did! 

This one was when Caryl came to visit.
This was the first time her Great Grampa Jim held her. We were all in Georgia for my cousin's wedding the weekend of October 8th.

Hanging out with Ol'man in October at the Bowen Bash.

Four precious generations on Daddy's side.

Chilling with Aunt Tara and Gramma!

Laura and Virginia at 3 1/2 months.

Family day at Bok Tower Gardens in early December.

Celebrating Christmas with Great Grammy! 

Virginia loves PopPop!

Meeting Mrs. Miller for the first time.

Four wonderful generations on Mommy's side.

The girls at Tricia's baby shower in late January.

Playing in the sandbox last week with Aunt Katherine at Grammy and PopPop's!

The beautiful sky at the lake.
We praise God for all things - His craftsmanship included.
I always feel like God is showing His love for us when the sky is painted. I love stopping to take it all in and breathe His peace!

       Well, I believe we're mostly caught up to date!     


"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. 
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"
-John 14.27