Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Sunday, February 3, 2013
The view from my pillow is Emiliana's crib. She never sleeps in it. I doubt she will for quite a while. You see, we aren't really a crib kinda family. We are a baby sleeps with mama family. You sleep so much better when you are cuddled up with me and your milk supply.
When Esther was first born, I had no idea what co-sleeping was. After several weeks of exhausting nights ... days where I literally cried as night approached because no matter how much I nursed, rocked, sung, you would wake up 2seconds to 20 minutes after I laid you down.
One exhausted night, I fell asleep with you as I nursed you. The next thing I knew, Esther & I awoke rested from a whole nights sleep to a bright sun-risen new day.
Every since then, baby stays with me. It's where you belong, close to me, where you were for the first 9 months of your existence in my womb ... it has since become bizaare to me that we expect a baby to be content in a cold, strange crib, so different from the warmth of their mother, whose heart beat they have listened to their whole lives.
So Esther, Rachel, Joel & now Emiliana, you stay close with me as infants, until you are ready, in your time, to move to a bed.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
It has dawned on me lately why we must repeatedly go through the same challenges. It's by repetition, by facing the same challenges again and again, that God slowly, mercifully transforms our hearts & pulls us closer to Jesus.
When I was a mother of a 2 year old the first time, it was hard, and we survived, but it was confusing and I felt helpless, trying every piece of parenting advice, every expert book to navigate through this age. I cried a lot. I shouted too much. My heart wept and lifted itself to God a whole whole lot.
. When I was the mother of a 2 year old the second time, I was much more tender, but still lacking in some grace. I was frustrated, irritated, but I had been there, done that, tried not to take it personally.
Now I am a mother of a 2 year old for the third time, I look at that little guy in the corner, flailing angry fists refusing to have 'time out' and my heart is a little warmed with compassion, because I have learn to empathize.
I know how hard it is. How confusing it is. How challenging the battle against self is. The fight against flesh and desire. To control those raging emotions that somehow, you can't quite form the right words to communicate.
I am a better mother than I was 7 years ago. I know this is true. I can see how much I have grown in Christ in these 7 years as a mother. I am 99% away from being anywhere near perfect... I have touched a mere drop in an ocean.
I praise God that I He keeps blessing me with Children so that I reface the same challenges, and learn to love deeper, more abundantly and with more grace & peace that comes from my sweet Jesus.
I suppose the theme of this blog is supposed to be about ME. Your mommy. But instead I shall talk about you ... today. Today you decided to paint. You painted you hand, your nose. Then you decided to eat the paint.
We looked over and you began to make a coughing sounds. We quickly cleaned you up and encouraged you that paint was not for eating. However, you did continue to try to eat it. I can't imagine it tasted too good.
Emiliana Squashed Banana
Emi - Pie
Emi - Lu
You are growing to fast. You are so sweet and tender. This week, you started smiling so big. Especially when you saw daddy. Your eyes just lit up with joy.
I love the soft cooing and I hold you close to breath in your familiar baby scent, and it soothes me.
Esther & Rachel always say ...
" I wonder what Emi will look like when she is our age? "
" What will Emi look like when she is two like Joel?"
"When will she be big enough to share our room?"
They think you are the cutest baby in the world. I have to agree.
Joel loves you with all his little heart. I am not sure you think so sometimes because his love is a hard, rough boy love. That of harsh kisses, squeezes that squeeze a little too much.
But he adores you and in the morning, when you wake he runs in and says ...
"Squash banana awake??? Can I hold her? I want to kiss her!!!"
I just love those big blue eyes. You were so delighted Rachel to be holding your little sister. I wonder, as you read this yourself one day, what this picture will make you think and feel.
It makes me feel *IN LOVE* and that wide eyed innocent 4 year old beauty. So precious!
I am so busy trying to soak in every single moment of the tiny beautiful seconds in the lives of Esther, Rachel, Joel & Emiliana, that I sometimes miss the tiny beautiful details in creation in my photography.
Oh my ... I notice them in my heart & soul. For God's beautiful creation breathes energy, life and passion into my mortal bones.
But I don't stop to take a picture.
Today I did. This is ice by the way, I just loved the way the ice had frozen over these tiny red - green leaves holding up against frosty attacks.
It was one of THOSE day. When the four of you are parents, you will understand exactly what I mean. I was tired, we were stuck in all day. We have plowed our weary selves through months of sicknesses ... snotty noses, stomach bugs, flu, fever....
The house was overwhelming, I needed to do so much. Every few minutes another disaster occured... a banged knee, an argument, a melt down, times outs, a diaper change, snack time.
Then we decided, it was time to watch The Lorax. We all agreed on the movie, and this is when I walked into the room, and for the next hour and thirty minutes, all was still and calm, and I regained my still and calm too.
It was a winter snow storm. Except we didn't get snow. We got freezing rain and hail. In the morning you woke up to a slippery slidey porch, coating in a slick layer of ice, rails of icicles, frozen pools of water.
You wanted to play outside and eat the ice. You wanted to scrape all the ice off the deck so that it would be safe for daddy when he got home from work.
Joel was taking a nap, and Emi wanted to nurse. So I opened the blinds, bundled you up and hauled my rocking chair right up to the door. We were feet apart, but you were cold and I was toasting inside with a 6 week old Emi.
You blew on the glass. Esther & Rachel both of you smushing your face up against it. You blew on the glass watching it seem up before your eyes. You collected icicles and declared them to be delicious.
Soon Joel awoke and wanted to join you. So I braved outside with a baby gate and secured the porch, and you all played delightfully together moving around ice to make a path for daddy.
Esther, you were making me giggle inside and out. I asked you to look at me so I could take a picture through the glass and you begin posing and sassing away for me. I love your spunky little personality. You are a hoot my darling!
Friday, February 1, 2013
We were guests. We had barely met once, but 'I' invited us to her home. Such a warm, loving home. She & her family greeted us with smiles and showed us their delightful home! An angora rabbit whom you all wanted to hug. Sheep being shorn. Girl's taking care of horse. A garden full of organic produce. Chickens roaming freely.
We had lovely cookies and tea. The big girls played dress up.
You loved your new friend 'C'.
You think she is the most wonderful, polite little girl you have ever met. I quite agree.
We were sent home with fresh eggs & vegetables, and warm hearts.
ALL of this family is so cherished in our hearts already!
Facebook can be a discouraging place for a mother. There we find pictures of uncluttered clean table with children in co-ordinated Pj's, with vibrant orange filled glasses of juice, a syrup drizzling pile of freshly made from scratch pancakes and wide breakfast filled smiles.
Cups, plates, spoons are awesomely co-ordinated and some rad retro decor or photo montage chills nonchalantly in the background.
But here is what is REAL.
Esther & Rachel, love to wear mummy & daddy's t-shirts instead of pajamas, so instead of the nicely folded Hello Kitty christmas pajamas in your drawers, you trundle in warm and sleepy eyed in oversized t-shirts and wild hair and the rising sun harshly greets us as it rise and beams though the blinds.
There is still a pile of books & papers haphazardly strewn across table from yesterday's homeschool lessons... why put them away when we will just pull it all out again tomorrow?
Joel sips from purple flowery cup oblivious to it's girly condition. I mean, he's a boy surrounded by sisters, so I think he is totally desensitized to girly stuff. I think he was chomping away at his 3rd or perhaps 5th orange of the morning.
I didn't homemake the french - toast. It came from a box from trader - joes (I will tell you how much i love that place sometime soon!). I will home cook better when we settle in better as a family of 6. But for now, they will survive with a box.
I have more chance of achieving the coveted mother - of - the - year award if I am not stressing myself over trying to cook an extra batch in tears because I burnt the last one distracted by one thing or another.
Rachel is absent from this picture, because every. single . meal she decides that she needs to go to the bathroom for about 20 minutes. She really does need to go, somehow seeing food on the table prompts that basic function.
We don't have co-ordinated plate, well, we might, but I just grab the ones closest.
This is life. This is real.
Perfect. Simple. Uncoordinated.
The kind of days I will miss & wish I would have cherished more when all my sweet babies are grown.
Doesn't this look like a picture perfect, happy moment?
I could tell you of happy smiles in cooking baking heaven, delightful laughter weaving itself among sweet scents of warm cookies?
Well... that would be false.
Right after I took this picture, Joel ran across the kitchen melting down that he doesn't like baking. I was moving Emi from one position to the other trying to help her work out some gas issues. Esther & Rachel argued over whose turn it was to stir. I am pretty sure some eggs got smashed somewhere in the process too.
The cookie recipe turned out to be a doozy, and we collectively avowed never to use it again.
We bought cookies from the store shortly after.
Life isn't aways how people like to make you think it is in the pictures... no, it's something way more wonderful. It's a slow, aching, joyful struggle of our journey to sanctification.
And I will cherish every tiny part. Even the parts that had tears, because each tear gives us the opportunity to learn how to love more upon reflection.
What is transparent to me, is that I have bad luck with glasses. Or, perhaps I should be more transparent ... I am too busy to do what needs to be done to stop my glasses from breaking.
We go through so many. Every couple of weeks it seems like another glass broke in the dishwasher.
Each time I ponder... maybe I should start hand washing these dishes.
But then, when it comes to crunch time and I have a pile of dishes I want out of sight & mind before my little Joel runs over and starts slamming the dishwasher door or pulling the trays in & out, I end up just quickly popping them in and vainly hoping that last time was just a fluke and it won't happen again.
Then again... maybe it's not the dishwasher that breaks the glasses .... maybe it happens when Joel slams the door shut full force, bashing the top shelf inside with the force of an eighteen wheeler?
You make me smile. It was dark outside on a saturday morning. Daddy had left early for work. In a rare moment of calm, I glanced to see you all engrossed in the world of your imaginations, of fairies, princesses and train adventures.
For this moment, I sat watching the three of you as Emi sweetly nursed, and I drank my tea. Maybe if you had glanced, you might have seen my gently smiling, but it would not have quite shown the enormity of the smile in my soul.
Sweet children, I know we had our moments of chaos, tempers, tears, breaking each other hearts ... me especially breaking yours at times, your sinful, broken mother scrambling to learn to love you more each day, but know ... YOU, make me smile, every single day.
You dream of snow. At barely sunrise, Esther you ran into our room.. " It SNOWED!!! My dream came true! This is the best day of my life!"
Before 8am, you were already all dressed and outside. It sadly was not the fluffy, lovely, snowball kind of snow. It was the yucky cold, frozen snow that melts into slush and is gone by lunch time,
Yet we rejoiced discovering frozen ice in a bird bath, icicles decorating climbing frames & leaves. The heavy plop of snow rolling, melting from sun basking roof tops.
Before long, your noses & fingers could bare it no more, and your faces lit up as you ran to the door, searching for the solstice of warm bursting through floor air vents and mama's sweet hot cocoa.
Theoretically, this is what I am currently reading. Well, I plan to systematically read one book at a time from start to finish. You see, that is part of my new years goals. To read one book at a time from cover to cover, avoiding reading excepts from 5 books at once that I never actually finish.
So far, in one month, I am 1 chapter into one of these books. Thankfully, it was a life transforming little bit of reading from Mother Theresa, about prayer.
"Erm.... It's a SINK?" I hear you say skeptically.
Ah yes! Indeed. You are correct. A sink it is. But, look! Look! It's an empty sink.
Look how shiny, clean and captivating it is, in all it's emptied glory!
You see, since little Emiliana Lucia Joy arrive (aka Squashed Banana or squeaky), the dishes are often quite neglected.
An empty sink is big news in this home!
This is so me.
Pandora Beach Boy's radio. But it's not just Beach Boys. It has a plethora of dandy tunes that we recorded before I was even a twinkle in my fathers eye. Yet, I can listen to this channel for hours and know the words to every song.
My favorite ... is to dance around the kitchen with you to it. Joel, you especially love to boogy with mommy right now. Esther & Rachel, you dance a little, then request princess music... you want to dance to songs from Tangled, Little Mermaid.
But me, I just want to dance like a crazy lady with the sun beaming in through the window as I find a way to bring glee to loading the dishwasher.