20 April 2011

the perfect day

My moment began very late last night, and is continuing to go on even now.

It's almost like we'd been playing at marriage and parenting for the first four and a half years (excluding time during the deployment).  But today . . . this is real.  This is what home is supposed to be. This is how it should have always been.

I can't describe it better than that.  I am filled to the brim with hope.  The rest of the deployment looms ahead, but this is what we have to look forward to.  And really, it's because of the deployment that this even exists.


19 April 2011


Lila woke this morning at a little after 6. I tried futilely to get her back to sleep but she would have none of it. So I propped her up on my tummy with my legs as the back of her "chair" and as this upright position settled her squirmy fussiness down, I started dozing.

A few seconds later I snapped back to full alertness as the entirety of what I'd just observed dawned on me. This little newborn was watching the window light up as the sun rose. Awed, all thought of dozing discarded, I couldn't tear my eyes away. For over half an hour she sat and gazed at that window. Then, when it was as light as it will be until the sun is shining directly on it this afternoon, she fussed just enough to get me to try laying her down again... and she went back to sleep.

Something tells me this girl will love camping. After all, the best way to watch a sunrise is to wake up and slip outside the tent to breathe it all in...

18 April 2011

like a child

Yesterday, Lila thought she'd spice things up for Arabelle's birthday by developing congestion and an accompanying fever. I was never really worried about her, even though she is only a few days more than two weeks old. It's hard to be concerned when the child is still eating, alert, not fussy, and scootching her way across the bed in that way of newborns. You know, no notable movements but somehow they get places. Oh, and she threw in a painfully thought out roll. I felt the need to give her brain a massage after how hard she was concentrating on what she was trying to do. But she managed it. (This is huge to others since she's so little but comes as no surprise to me; she was constantly rolling over in the womb, so it makes sense that she has been trying to do so from day one.)

None of that is to say that I wasn't keeping a mindful eye on her temperature. But seeing as it never strayed more than a degree over normal, I have some internal conflict over actually calling it a fever. Then again, the danger zone is a incredibly closer for a newborn than the older kid's. Each time I used that thermometer a part of me expected to announce a hurried field trip to the ER.

At one point I started getting a little concerned as she became quite fussy and uninterested in nursing. But the very moment I thought about packing up to the hospital, this overwhelming conversation took place:

Y: Jesus is here, Mom.
M: Yes, He is. He lives in our hearts when we're His disciples.
Y: No, Mom. He's here. Outside our hearts too.
M: What?
Y: You need to pray for Lila to get better now.

I don't know how anyone could not pray for her after that, after he said those words with that impossible authority in his voice. The fever practically disappeared for two hours and only made a very pitiful attempt at a comeback. I don't know for certain if it was related to my prayer. I don't think it matters. At any rate, that isn't the part that gives me a sensation similar to goose bumps when I remember it.

16 April 2011

tough love

Tonight I found myself thinking of tough love.  Today has been a very difficult day.  In honor of her birthday tomorrow, Arabelle is acting like a bona fide 2-year-old.  One second she'll be playing happily with her brother, the next she's slapping and screaming and biting anything within reach.  Why?  Who needs a reason when you're at such a hard age?

Finally we fled to the outdoors.  Rain could not stop us from taking the break that both she and I needed.  I wouldn't let it.

Unfortunately, it was not a very long break.  I wish I could say that it was because the kids got chilly, or too muddy, or it was getting dark.  No, it was more of the 2's stuff.  She would not heed the boundaries, which is a serious issue when we are in a sad excuse for a non-fenced in yard.  So inside we headed after just barely more than 5 minutes.  But instead of feeling exasperation, I found myself thinking of God.

How many times has He given "soft" love only for me to throw it in His face and by my behavior insist on His getting tough?  It embarrasses me that I've lost count.

15 April 2011


This is the official end of my two weeks of "maternity leave".  I didn't need to take the break from blogging; even if it were physically taxing, I easily would have been able to manage it.  (Mom might have disagreed with me on this.)  But at the same time, I did need it.  I needed to soak in those moments without having to think about what I liked best, or what stood out to me the most.

The comment I've heard the most from others has been something along the lines of, "She's so gorgeous . . . But no.  I don't want her."  And a part of me gets that.  Love the baby, hate the work, right?  But I love everything about having a newborn.  I wasn't the hugest fan the first time around but it has seriously grown on me over the last 4 years.  The sleepless nights; the constant diaper changes; having such limited time to accomplish things between nursing sessions; the extra laundry filled with spit up and baby poo that leaves clothes only reluctantly; the exploded or leaking diapers; the bed time dance from nursing, to burping, to rocking, to the diaper being filled, to nursing . . . I love all of it.

Of course I recognize that my kids so far make it easy.  Instant nursers, not a hint of colic, good night time sleepers, my milk production has earned me the nickname of DQ, and as an extra bonus the older siblings simply adore each new addition.  And of course I am fully aware that this last labor left me in unusually good shape.  I was ready to start getting back to normal an hour after she was born, even though I'm still not feeling ready for the first Sunday back (this might be different if we attended a significantly smaller congregation).

But I believe that if I had a baby who required so much more effort, I would still love every minute.  (Even if I was pulling my hair out at the same time.)