02-19-18 A Very Special Woman

A very special woman is having a birthday tomorrow… my mama! My mom is one of my best friends and has been for many years. We talk almost daily, usually on my ride home from work. And today she got to spend the day with her grandkids. From what I can gather, Naona and Baby E even took a nap together. 🙂 I love that my kids enjoy spending so much time with their grandmother, and that my mother enjoys them as well.

I’m grateful that God gave me such a godly, loving, and industrious woman as my mother. I have learned so much from her throughout the years and I hope I do justice to her lessons as I pass them down to my children. She is a blessing.

So happy early birthday, mom! I’m sorry I won’t be there to celebrate, but the next time I see you we’ll get sushi and eat cake! I love you very much!!

02-18-18 Meet me by the Sea

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I have no desire to cross the ocean, feet planted on the deck of a ship, waves pounding the bow- no, that is not for me. But on sad days, in lonely moments, when my world feels heavy, I need the sea. I need to stand by the water, to hear the waves lap or crash upon the sand. I meet God by the sea.

That’s not entirely true, though. I meet Him everywhere. I meet Him when I open my eyes in the morning. I meet Him in my car. I meet Him in the kindness of strangers. Of course, I meet Him the most in His word.

But there are days when the sea is where I must meet Him- my friend, my Savior. I whisper my fears and my hopes to the waves, knowing my Father in heaven can catch them before they get lost in the spume. We wrestle by the sea. I beg for answers. I stand in silence. I marvel.

I marvel at a god that can count the grains of sand and knows my name. I wonder at the one that channels the winds and cares for the minnows. I am in awe of the creator I share with the tides.

By the sea I am small. I am insignificant.

And that’s ok… because I am.

Without the overwhelming sacrifice of my Lord Jesus, that is all I would ever be. I would forever be a captive to my own shortcomings, my own sins, and my own folly. But because of that sacrifice, I am the daughter of a king- with rights and responsibilities fitting a heavenly command, and the concerns that weigh so heavily on my mind, the ones that keep me up at night, all fade away when I meet God by the sea.

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My sweet family has gone away for the night. Tomorrow is a day off for the kids, and while I had initially planned to take the day off too, I decided it was best to go in- after all, I missed four days last week from sickness. Since the daycare is closed, they are going to the new house for the day and they will spend time with my mom and sister. So I’m here, in our basement palace, missing them desperately, but also excited about only having myself to get ready in the morning. I talked to them on the phone before they went to bed, and by now they should be deep into their dreams, snuggled in their beds. I’m counting down the hours until I see them again. 🙂

 

02-17-18 A Good Day for a Party

Today was the birthday party for Baby E’s favorite person in the world, his cousin Ms.B.

Ms.B is three months younger than Baby E, and while they have picked on each other since the beginning, they absolutely adore each other. I often catch Baby E having conversations with an imaginary Ms.B and he includes her in many of his fantastical adventures. When he heard it was her birthday party, he got very excited 1- because it was for her, and 2- because there would be cake.

After our rough week, it was wonderful to watch the children playing with their cousins and having so much fun!

This evening each of the kids took turns giving me huge hugs. It’s sad to realize I went even a few days without their tiny arms around my neck. I’m so grateful to be feeling so much better.

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02-16-18 A Lost Day

This morning I woke up early to get the kids ready for school. When I finally got them to their daycare, I made the final decision that I was going to stay home. I still wasn’t feeling well, and I knew I wasn’t up to going in. So I came home and went to bed. And I slept until almost noon. Even though I wasn’t hungry, I knew I should eat, so I had some lunch and went straight back to bed and slept until 3. When I finally crawled out of bed I was feeling much better. My fever is completely gone now and except for a minor sore throat and being tired, all the other symptoms are gone. Finally. This has been a long week and I am so grateful to have a weekend to spend with my family and get a little more rest.

Hopefully things can settle back to normal tomorrow. I’ve missed cuddling with my kids and enjoying my family.

02-16-18 Convalescence

Well friends, I really wish I had the version of Strep that C has because by noon this afternoon she told me that her throat didn’t hurt at all! Today did not treat me as well, and while she spent the day watching tv and playing on my iPad, I spent most of it napping or just lying around. This one has put me through the wringer. I tried to clean up a bit this afternoon and the simple act of bending over made my entire head throb. Ugh. But the good news is that I ate my first full meal since Tuesday lunchtime this evening, so that’s looking up! I’ve been on the antibiotics for about 32 hours now, so hopefully all the symptoms will start waning off soon. In the meantime, I’m going to spend the rest of my evening in a dark quiet room with nothing but a fireplace to keep me company. 🙂

02-14-18 A Not So Happy Valentine’s Day

All day yesterday I just felt off. And as the day progressed, it just seemed to go downhill. Halfway home from work I was pretty convinced that I had a fever. I picked up the kids and got home as quickly as I could. Thankfully my mother in law took the kids off of my hands until Tim could get home. When I checked my temp it was 101.5. Yup, definitely sick. Ugh.

Let me tell you, friends… It has been a long time since I have been that sick. I started getting crazy, crazy chills. I was dizzy, nauseous, my throat hurt, and I couldn’t stop shaking. Every time I tried to take something for the fever, I threw up. I couldn’t even sip on water without it coming back up. I couldn’t lay down because I got nauseous. I just sat in my chair, shaking for hours. I was convinced I had the flu. Finally in the middle of the night the fever broke and I was able to snack on a few crackers before getting a couple hours of sleep. This morning I woke up fever free. Tim got the kids to school, but as I laid in bed I felt the fever come back. Thankfully I was able to get some meds in me, and was able to get it under control.

I called the doctor to see if I could get in and they had an appointment in a half an hour so I booked it over there. Thankfully the meds had worked and I was feeling pretty good. The doctor didn’t think I had the flu because I didn’t have any coughing or upper respiratory things going on, so he ran a strep test. The rapid one came back negative, but they sent one out to the lab to make sure. Meanwhile he said that my symptoms were very ‘strep’ like and he started me on an antibiotic.

I came home and slept for a long time. When I picked the kids up from daycare, C was complaining of a sore throat. I figured we should get it checked out since it was highly possible that I have strep. So I took her to the walk in hours at her pediatrician. It almost seemed ridiculous being there because C wasn’t acting sick at all. We were surrounded by obviously unwell kids. I was starting to feel worse again and was ready to leave when they called her name. Man was I glad we stuck around because her strep test came back with an immediate positive. So thankfully we caught it super early in her and she has started antibiotics. She will stay home tomorrow and will be good to go back on Friday.

Despite me feeling awful, I really enjoyed my evening with my girl. She was so bubbly and talkative, and she made me so happy to just be with her.

So while our Valentine’s Day really wasn’t what we had hoped it would be, I’m thankful for easy access to doctors and medication. I’m grateful to my wonderful husband for carrying an extra load while I recover. And I am looking forward to my sick day with my girl! 🙂

 

02-12-18 The Other Side of my Comfort Zone

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An introvert by nature, the thought of being in front of a large group of people is pretty overwhelming. The moments leading up to the experience are fraught with anxieties, and fears. I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong things. I worry people won’t laugh when they should. I’m scared of being made a fool.

I was asked to lead an ice breaker/game this evening at our MOPS event, which meant talking (and ad-libbing) in front of a large crowd for about a half an hour. Good bye, Comfort Zone!

I was talking in the car this afternoon with C, who was home on a sick day. I told her I was nervous about talking in front of everyone and if she had any advice and she gave me three tips.

1- Imagine everyone in the audience is wearing underwear on their heads.

2- Pretend there is no one in the audience.

3. Don’t be afraid to mess up.

While I’m not sure I’d subscribe to 1 & 2, but I think the 3rd option is some pretty solid advice. So once I got up there, that’s what I did. Of course, anticipation is usually the worst part of anxiety, so once on stage, it settled down pretty quick and it ended up being a pretty fun experience. I’m constantly surprised about the confidence I find at the other side of my comfort zone. 🙂

As for my girl, she was under the weather last night and ended up taking a sick day today. I was up most of the night, so after we dropped the boys off this morning, we came back to the house and I took a nice long nap while C watched TV and ate everything in sight. She was completely fine all day and this afternoon we went on a short date to Starbucks and Walmart before picking up the boys. I really enjoyed my time with her. We practiced math as I drank my coffee and she ate her cake pop. I don’t get a ton of one on one time with my kids, so I try to soak it up when I can!

 

 

02-11-18 Just Like That…

And just like that, folks, Baby E is potty trained.

A few weeks ago he started to complain about his diaper, and his daycare thought he was definitely ready. So we decided on this past week for Potty Training Boot Camp and he took to it immediately. He now insists that he has “Potty Power” and only wears underwear unless it’s bedtime.

He was by far and away the easiest child to potty train (probably because we waited so long), but I am super excited that he has hit this milestone! Way to go, Baby E!!!

02-10-18 The Dragon King

We decided to wake up early this morning and go to the new house. On the way we wanted to make a stop. I had researched yesterday if there might be anything interesting happening in the area near the new house that we could take the kids to. There were a few options- there was the chance to make Valentine’s cards at Michaels, there was a cooking class at Wegmans, but then I ran across something happening at a local park. About ten minutes from our house there is an arts center, and this morning they were featuring a marionette show. It started at 10am, and we pulled into the parking lot as it was about to begin.

Now I can’t remember if I have ever actually seen a real marionette show in person. I’ve seem them on tv, but never on the stage. The kids have never seen them. When we entered the theatre the room was incredibly dark, but the show hadn’t started yet. We found some seats and in a couple of minutes it began.

The moment the first puppet entered the stage, the kids were entranced. Even Baby E stayed engaged for the entire show! The story was a sweet little tale of a grandmother going on a journey to help bring the rains back to her country. She traversed desert and ocean to fulfill her mission. The highlight of the show was then the ‘Dragon King’ came out into the audience, ran around the theatre, and squirted water on all the kids. Baby E was especially excited about the dragon puppet.

The entire show ran about an hour, and the kids never got antsy or bored, they couldn’t keep their eyes off the magic. When the show was done, the puppeteers came out and answered questions, and then they invited the audience to come behind stage to look at the marionettes and props. We learned several awesome tidbits. Each human marionette had 13 strings. One of the puppets was a rod puppet, it used rods instead of strings to move. The dragon’s squirting powers came from a disassembled squirt gun. It takes 2 weeks to 2 months to make a marionette. And it took 2 years to produce the two-person show.

I loved that we were able to give the kids this awesome experience and I hope that they remember it for a long time!

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