Wednesday, October 30, 2013

All In a Nights Sleep

We had one of those nights last night.
You know the kind of night where it feels like you're on a twisted "ain't-parenting-grand" version of Candid Camera.
Henry had a terrible cough and couldn't fall asleep. He finally did. Just in time for Adam to wake up and mysteriously appear by my bedside at 12:30am. After being re-tucked Adam seemed settled.
On my way back from tucking Adam in I noticed a light coming from Claire's room. I chose to ignore it. She was quiet and with this one we've learned not to rock the boat.
I crawled back into bed and fell asleep just in time to hear,
"Mooooommmmmmaaaaaa ... I neeeeeeeeed you!"
 I went to her room and found her stripped down naked.
"I need to go poop."
Guess she wasn't lying.
I quickly got her to the potty. And then sat on her bedroom floor while she sat on the toilet and sang songs.  Twenty minutes later (&#^*!), she decided she was done. There was no poop. But she had removed all the band aides we have to put on her face every night (long story). She needed them reapplied and of course wanted to "help". Fifteen torturous minutes later she was back in bed.
 She wailed as soon as I left her room. And woke up Henry. Who came to our room crying and hacking. He could not sleep with Claire screaming so he laid down on our bedroom floor where he could cry and hack in peace (logical). He finally hacked himself back to sleep.
And then he had an accident. There's a first time in 2 years for everything I suppose. After a quick pajama change he fell back asleep. And so did I.
Just in time for Adam to crawl into our bed 5:30am. And for Emily to wake 15 minutes later.
So last night? That was not fun.
But you know what is fun?
 All of this ...


A Night on the Town

We took the boys to see Alton Brown this week.
In our house he's called "the funny science cook."  
It was so fun to do something so grown up with the boys. When we walked into Laxson Auditorium the stage was set with a huge screen of burping, farting puppets.
So I'm not sure "grown up" it actually was.
Which made it just right for the boys.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Special Delivery

Grandma Sandy and Papa Jim live thirty minutes from our house but they spend a lot of time in Chico.  99.9% of the time when they're in town they stop by to see their grand babies.
I'm pretty certain this is the reason why ...

They like to squeeze this baby.
So today when they popped in the say hello they found this surprise package by our front door ...
Papa wasted no time rescuing that cute little pumpkin in the middle.



Saturday, October 26, 2013


When you finish a marathon you get a medal. It doesn't matter if you complete it in 2 1/2 hours or if you cross the finish line in just over five. Either way, you receive a medal. I have two. And I worked hard for them. I lost blood and sweat and tears and toenails and calories and sleep for them. About six months ago a sweet child of mine broke one of my hard earned medals. I found it in pieces on our closet floor. And I was angry. The medal lying broken at my feet had once spoken volumes. It said I was more than just wiping bottoms and breaking up fights and kissing boo-boos and making Mac & cheese. It said I was able to take care of my home and my kids and my husband. And I was able to do it while also training to run 26.2 miles. In it's prime it had boldly declared that I could do it all. And get a medal on top of it.  

And now it was broken.

It took me awhile to realize that being angry over my broken medal was childish. I had a little fit. I shed a few tears. I tried to get the guilty party to understand the value of what he had broken. And then I showed my medal to Matt. He quietly went to work gluing it back together and hung it on a hanger in our closet to mend. And there it rested while I forgot about it. Until the other day when I was searching for a favorite fall sweater. And there it was. I removed it from the hanger and turned it over in my hands. The cracks were still visible. And as I held the symbol of my well done accomplishment in my hands my eyes filled with tears. But I wasn't crying out of disappointment as I had when I first discovered the broken medal. I was crying over the work God has done in my heart in the last 6 months.

Since Emily was born I've gone running just a handful of times. Running, something good and healthy, just doesn't fit in these days. There are moments when matt is home to watch the kids and Emily has just finished nursing and dinner is ready and clothes are folded and I am able to dig deep for the energy needed to go for a little run. But these moments are few and far between. I could let other things go so that running could stay. In the past, I did. Because I needed to run. I needed to de-stress. To be fit. To get away. To be more than just a mom. I needed to run to accomplish a goal, and a medal on top of it all was a very nice "job well done."
But right now, in this season of life I don't need the medal. Because by God's grace alone, I am immeasurably filled and deeply rewarded with what used to be "just" the everyday.
 In this season, I am deeply filled teaching Adam "the F says fffff" and that 2 + 3 equals 5.
(well done good and faithful servant)
I am deeply rewarded when I cradle Claire in my lap and tell her fairy tales.
(well done good and faithful servant)
I am deeply filled when Henry gets home from school and we sit together over a snack.
(well done good and faithful servant)
I am deeply rewarded by laying on the floor with my camera snapping picture after picture of my sweet little Emily.
(well done good and faithful servant)
I am deeply filled sitting alongside Matt, just being together.
(well done good and faithful servant)
And above all I deeply filled when I find myself resting in the grip of God's unconditional love.
(well done good and faithful servant)
So for now, my medals are hanging in the closet, where dust and cracks will fade them.
But my rewards are many.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!
Matthew 25:21

 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


 If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart.
When strangers look at me and say, "Wow, you've sure got your hands full." I often reply, "Yes. But you should see my heart."  My kids are a blessing and I strive to see and treat them as such. Admittedly, my little blessings also induce severe exhaustion in their momma.

Children keep you young.
But first they make you old.

Oh how true it is! I feel old lately. And tired. But when I look at my children - and I mean really see my children - I recognize that their childish antics are actually life lessons for keeping me joyful and young at heart.

For example, if I entered every room the way Adam does, I'd skip down the hall in the morning on my way to make breakfast. And when I heard my name being called from the other room I'd quickly run around the corner and bunny hop down the hallway in response.

If I welcomed Matt home the way Claire does I would run to the door when I heard his keys in the lock. I'd arrive out of breath and just in time to jump up and down and wrap my arms around him, begging for him to pick me up (This ecstatic welcome home every evening would either result in (a) complete annoyance or (b) more babies).

If I took relaxation as seriously as Henry I'd go into my bedroom each afternoon, turn on audio books and sprawl out on my bedroom floor on a pile of stuffed animals wearing nothing but my underwear.

And if I loved like Emily, my smile would make everyone I encountered feel like they were the most important person in my world.

So thank you, Heavenly Father for gifting children with joy. Thank you for blessing me with eyes that notice their gleefulness. And when I'm tempted to blame my exhaustion and aging eyes on the presence of my children, help me to choose instead to thank you (over ... and over ... and over again) for the fullness they bring to my heart.



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hearding Cats

I realize I post a lot about the joys of running errands with little kids. I write about it because it's one of those things that is universally understood - and dreaded - by parents. If you have kids, you get it. If you don't, imagine taking two, three, four, or more (bless you!) cats with you to Target.
Imagine telling your cats to get their shoes on. Imagine how well they would listen.
And there you have it.
Imagine opening the front door once you've finally gotten shoes on all your cats and imagine them running in 3 different directions. One runs toward the street. The other meanders toward the flowers in the front yard to go pee. The third actually heads in the general direction of your car, only to sit down in the driveway and play with ants. The fourth cat is sound asleep in her car seat.
And there you have it.
Now imagine asking your cats to get in and buckle up. One of the cats, the one who just happily peed on your lily's, obliges. Your second cat climbs in quickly, but then sits in the middle of the floor playing with markers and paper airplanes and week old fishy crackers. The third meows. And meows. And meows. And won't stop meowing because she wants to buckle her 4 point harness all by herself (totally logical).The fourth cat is sound asleep in her car seat.
And there you have it.
Now imagine driving to the store.The meowing hasn't stopped.
Imagine getting to Target and unloading all of your cats. The first hops right out (God bless him!). The second cat unbuckles but then sits in the middle of the floor and demands a treat. "Sorry, no treat right now - we're having lunch in a little bit." (Imagine how well your cat would understand you). The third agrees to climb out, but only if she can do it all by herself with her eyes closed while also playing with her toenails and sucking her thumb. The fourth cat is sound asleep in her car seat. 
And there you have it.
Imagine walking through a minefield busy parking lot with all your cats. Upon entering Target a cat fight erupts because two of your cats want to hang off the same side of the shopping cart. Your third cat is meowing in your face because she doesn't want to ride in the cart. She wants to walk, all by herself! And the fourth cat is sound asleep in her car seat.
Now imagine just needing to buy paper towels, toilet paper and Windex but your three cats are meowing for candy and toys and markers and movies. Imagine telling your cats "No!" Imagine their response.
And there you have it.
And just when you're done and pushing your feral cart to the checkout, imagine your potty training cat starting to meow the meow that tells you they need to relieve themselves. Imagine taking all 4 of your cats to the restroom. Imagine waiting 20 minutes while your potty training cat sits on the toilet. All while your other two cats are meowing at the door, trying to get out. And your fourth cat is waking, and stretching and starting to whimper.
And finally, imagine your cart brimming over with cats as you wait in the checkout line. Imagine them growing increasingly insane (and you too) as you complete your transaction. Imagine navigating back through the minefield parking lot all while the daunting task of doing this all over again at the grocery store and the post office looms large in your mind. But wait, that cat that's been sleeping in her car seat. She just woke up. And wants milk. From your boobs.
And there.
You've had it!