Monday, November 19, 2012

You Know You Have a Toddler ...

You know you have a toddler when:

You finish wrapping your husband's birthday present, flip it over, and find peanut butter smeared all over the top of the package. #peanutbuttermonger

You actually look forward to 6:15am because it's so stinkin' cute that the kid proudly says, "Waaaaake! Meeeee! Wake!" as he wiggles to get out from under his blankets.

Your formerly really cozy-cool den/reading room transforms into a fort/epic dinosaur battle room.

Crumbs on the couch, under the couch, on the floor, crushed in the carpet, sprinkled over every surface are, well, normal. #newstandardofcleanliness

You don't even feel the need to vacuum up the crumbs until people are coming over. And then only sometimes. Depending on the people.

Bananas, yogurt, string cheese and graham crackers--all things you used to eat, are ferociously protected and reserved for the youngster. So much so that you don't even remember what those yummy foods taste like anymore.

Guests have to sidestep boats, walruses, numerous fishes, balls and other such bathtub toys when trying to shower. #sorrydon'ttrip

Words like "abudatti" "dati" "hetititititoter" "aowi me" all make sense to you and are actually a relief. #nolongerlostintranslation

The words helicopter, elevator & alligator all sound the same. But you can tell the difference.

Your new baby girl gets peanut butter kiss marks on her cheeks and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles placed in her arms.


The approaching winter is more dreadful than ever before. How to expend enough of his energy indoors?? #impossible

You often have to explain the difference between stickers and window clings. So not the same thing ...

A blog moment is interrupted by a little voice saying, "Stories Mama? Stories?" #whocouldresist?

Bathtime is an often used reprieve to occupy and contain a non-stop bundle of energy. #heisintherenow :)

 You dream of three word sentences and a potty trained son.

Your blogging is interrupted again by the same little voice, now done with his bath, asking, "Mama plays? Me? Turtles?" and you crouch on the floor to have a battle between two ninja turtles, a giraffe and the Hulk. #practicingmybattlesounds

 You can't even count how many times a day you say, "I'll be right back", "In just a minute" "What Josh?" and "Silly! You're so funny!"

Equally so, you can't even begin to count how many times a day you hear "Deez Mama?" "Wook, Mama!" "Mama? Down?"

When playing with your precious son, you are almost always told you're doing it wrong. "No Mama!" #somanyopinions

Pretty much you know you have a toddler when your world is full of joy, giggles, tantrums, precious moments, hair-pulling situations & lots and lots of cuddly hugs, "pat-pat-pats" on the back, and sloppy wet peanut butter kisses. I pray for more words, I hope for easy potty training ... but for now, I have a little 2 1/2 year old who has said, "Deez Mama" 4 times in the last 20 seconds, just asked me to go "down" to "plays" with his sticker book in hand and his overalls falling off his shoulder. I've said, "In a minute" twice and should probably now go. #lovebeingamom

Friday, November 9, 2012


8 salad plates = $5.52
8 dinner plates = $7.92
2 serving platters =$5.98
1 cool coffee thing = $3.99
Goodwill hunting with my future sis-in-law = PRICELESS

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Be Near

Do you hang verses around your home in an attempt to be immersed in God's word?

I do. Every other cupboard door, over the stove, on the side of the microwave that faces my so called "office" in the kitchen. My bathroom door, the linen closet door, the kitchen window sill. The verses are all over, and yet, I rarely see them.

(To be fair, I do read the one on the linen closet door, only because the toilet faces that door. So ... yeah. I do read that one.)

Today I've been feeling a bit blue. "I'm blue." --Rachel, from "Friends" (Brittany Miller, name that episode... :) ) I think it's a whole bunch of things. It's the weather, it's some changes in our life, it's contemplating going back to work and all that means for my daily life with two young kids. (Dad, if you're reading this, I like my job and no, I won't quit. I know you need to retire... :P)

It's my perpetual headache, my endless sinus infections, the lack of girl time, the tantrums of my precious two year old. My blue feeling is a product of a whole bunch of things.

So as I sat down to blog, with really nothing in particular to write about--just knowing that writing tends to help me--I paused. My eyes wandered to the pile of random coupons, "to-dos", and hospital bills (ick). My gaze caught a verse that I'd taped to the microwave months ago.  One that is there, in my eyesight every day, that I don't think I've read since I wrote it down.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Who have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

 I may be blue, but that verse can't NOT lift my spirits. "Nevertheless" -- no matter what. No matter headaches, or monotony of motherhood, or tantrums. "Continually" -- all of the time. Never ending. Never ceasing.

For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge that I may tell of all your works. Psalm 73:23-28

"Good to be near" -- close to. Residing with. Snuggled up. I must say, I am not always near God. I have verses plastered around my house in an attempt to stay connected. I spend at least a few minutes most days reading my Bible, trying to journal some thoughts. I make prayer lists, and attempt to lift my voice to the Lord. I play worship music (or Joshua does) as we play and do chores. And yet ... I'm so often not "near" Him. I've put all these things in my life to help me get near, but I rarely actually draw near. Why is that?

If you have an answer, or some experience with a possible answer, please comment. :)

"But for me it is good to be near ..." It's a choice. I guess I just have to choose more often to pause, read those verses on the kitchen window sill, the bathroom door, the microwave side. It's a choice to be near.

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Little Butterfly

I'm not real big on super themed rooms. I have nothing against them--in fact, I'm always a little awed at how cute some people's kid's rooms are! But it's just not my thing to ever be THAT coordinated. Joshua's room had specific colors that I liked, and a monkey night light and light switch plate. That was the extent of the coordination.

When it came time to decorate Rebecca's room, I felt a little stuck. She would be sharing with the guest room, and I was adamantly against going pink. Too much pink, I thought, and I might hurl. So I opted for whites and yellows, and since the walls were blue, blue. Hints of pink--just hints. (Ended up with pink curtains, so the "hint of pink" is a little more than a hint ...) We didn't choose to go with any sort of animal theme, just colors and pretty decor.

It came time for me to send my ideas for the design of Becca's name print to our cousin, Emily. She designed Joshua's, and I was so excited to have another one done for my baby girl! I talked it over with Erik, we chose a verse, decided on the color scheme and then I asked him, "What should be on the picture?"

See, I didn't really want owls or birds, though those baby girl designs are adorable. I didn't want jungle beasts or zoo animals as that's Joshua's thing and I didn't want him stealing her picture. :) Butterflies had crossed my mind, but I don't love butterflies either (obviously I have a problem here). However, butterflies were seeming like the way to go. And when I asked Erik, he, on his own, said butterflies as well. So it seemed we were going with the butterfly idea! So I sent our notes to Emily so she could work her magic.

Life went on, days dragged on, and we finally reached Becca's birth day. I gathered a few items including a pink blanket with a butterfly on it. "Funny," I thought as I folded it, "there's a butterfly!"

Well you all know the story of Rebecca's arrival. What should have been a perfect labor and delivery ended up unexpectedly awful when our little girl came out limp and not breathing. (See here for the story). And in the days that followed, I started to notice something: there were butterflies everywhere. On blankets given as gifts, on sleepers received from out-of-state aunties, on toys for the car seat, on swaddle wraps from friends. At first I just thought, "Well obviously Target had a line of butterfly themed items this year."

But as I sat in the dimly lit NICU room, listening to the hum of the cooling machine that was working hard to cool my daughter in order to hopefully protect her brain from further damage, I realized something.

Becca is our butterfly. 

She came to us in this big person world but needed some extra time in a cocoon. Her cocoon happened to be a plastic box in the NICU but it was a cocoon all the same. My little girl needed some time to recover from what had happened to her--something that the rest of the world will never know or understand--and after a while in that cocoon, she could come out in all her butterfly glory. Which she has done fully--smiling and cooing and growing and pooping, my butterfly is stunningly beautiful.

And so now I have fully embraced this butterfly theme. The print from Emily is perfect. I had a light switch plate designed to match. Becca's Auntie Jen found her a butterfly costume for Halloween.
And I still notice butterflies on her clothes and blankets and just smile now because I realize it's not just a line from Target. It's a reminder of God's protection--God's miraculous protection--of my little butterfly.