Pinball

I keep Pandora radio on pretty much all day anymore. In an effort to save money this year, we cancelled our dish service and instead are reveling in the glorious invention that is Netflix. Anyways, because I can’t function unless there’s music or noise of some sort going on, we use Pandora.

Yes, I am completely aware of the toddler and infant residing in this household.  They produce a lot of noise on their own. But y’all.  I need something more than screaming and whining. I know. I’m selfish. Don’t judge.

If you know anything about Pandora on the TV (and if you don’t I’m about to tell you), it has a sleep mode where the picture of the album floats around. After putting the little dude down for a nap, I come out to A repeatedly saying “baby! baby!” and pointing at the TV. Imagine my confusion at her claiming there’s a baby on the TV. It’s Pandora. Music. Right?

Thanks Nirvana album of 1991.

Crap. Parenting fail. Just realized we’ve been listening to rock bands from the early 90s for the past 2 hours. Rock bands with some questionable lyrics.

Before you call Child Protective Services on me, here’s the scene at our house this morning:

Toddler gets out crayons. Puts away crayons. Gets out blocks. Dumps blocks. Play doh. Plays with pink play doh for 34 seconds. Gets out crayons again. Dumps crayons. “Momma book?” Gets coloring book for toddler. Colors for approximately 21 seconds. With the white crayon. Who invented a white crayon anyhow? Playing dress up with Minnie Mouse robe. Screaming high pitched for no reason. Gets piggy bank out. Back to play doh. Now time to jump on the couch. Gets magnetic letters out. Back to crayons. Damn you white crayon. “Pee pee potty!” Supervision for the freshly potty trained tot. Crayons. Blocks. Piggy bank. Blocks. Play doh. Chasing dog. Dress up. Letters. Screaming.

And that’s just the one kid…..

Never ending. This all happened before 9am. We need Nirvana in our life right now. And I’m not talking that ‘zen’ feeling. Though that would be cool too.

So we had a bit of a parenting fail with the music selections this morning. But when you’re house becomes a pinball machine with a 45 lb toddler as the ball? Well, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Time for potty again. (4th time in the last 45 minutes)

At least I didn’t start drinking before breakfast today. I consider that a parenting win.

❤ Erin

 

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These Little Moments

My little guy is 2 weeks away from turning 6 months.  And it’s been hitting me all too frequently how rapidly he, and his big sister, are growing up.

You see, he’s hit a bout of teething.  Last night before I went to bed, I heard him crying in his room.  Not the screaming cry that I loathed 2 months ago when he was still waking 3-4 times each night.  This was a cry for help, a cry saying “Momma, I hurt.”

He woke up again early this morning with the same cry.  I loaded him with Tylenol and double dosed him on love.  As we were sitting there rocking in his room, he and I both half asleep, it hit me.  It hit me so hard I started sobbing.  Instead of flash-backs, I have flash-forwards.  Thoughts of the future.

If you know anything about my husband and I, and our little family, you know that we are… well, not little.  We make big babies.  A was 8lbs, 22 inches.  JD was 9lb 10oz and 21 inches.  Instead of newborns, I birth 2 month olds.

With that knowledge, you can only imagine that my 6 month old is quite apparently not the size of a normal 6 month old.  Unless of course you happen to know any 6 month olds on steroids.

Three months ago he fit in my arms in a completely different way.  Now, he still fits.  His head cradled in the bend of my left arm.  His feet hang off the right side of the chair now.  If he curls up, we fit in the chair comfortably, but the way he crooks his neck to the side now causes him to have this sweet little snore.

Because he’s getting bigger.

He’s growing up.

As he lay there last night in my arms, milk drunk, he flitted open his eyes, gave a soft smile and then fell back asleep.  I live for these moments.

For many reasons we’ve decided that we’re done.  Two kids is more than enough for us.  Obviously God ultimately can control that and He can decide that our plan does not coincide with His plans for us.  But for our own sanity, we’ve decided not to let this one up to fate.

That being said, I know all too well that JD will be my last baby.  My second baby.  But my last.  He will be the last one to need me.  REALLY need me.

My toddler is now fairly independent.  She does a lot on her own.  Sure, she still needs my help, my love and guidance.  But she doesn’t need me all the time anymore.  As she ages, she needs me less and less.

There are days when I dream about how wonderful it will be to have 2 kids who can get up on their own in the morning, who can pour their own cereal, feed themselves.  There are times when I look at the land mines of laundry throughout my house and think how awesome it will be when they can load the washer, fold and put away their own clothes.  Sometime in the very distant future my basement won’t look like we’re planning for an apocalypse by the stockpile of diapers we have, because y’all know how fun it is to run out of diapers in the middle of the night.  I fantasize about the day that I will be able to just focus on myself and what my goals are in life, to be able to spend more time writing.  To take a full day to lounge in my pjs, drink coffee and read a book cover to cover.  The day I finally lose the baggy sleepy eyes will be a day worth celebrating.

But the reality is, that when that day comes, when all of those things are my reality again, my babies will be grown up.  They will have moved on with their own lives.  Anyone will admit that they always will need their momma.  But as you grow it seems you need your momma less and less.  There will be a time when my baby doesn’t need me at 10pm because his gums are hurting, and all he wants is to be cradled in my arms, his belly to my belly, the reassurance of sweet kisses on his forehead.

He will be grown one day too.  He may even have babies of his own, then he will need a different kind of help, possibly in the form of a grandma wanting to love on and cuddle her grand babies.  But he won’t need me to cradle him anymore.  He will have other things that comfort him, too.  Right now, it’s me, and only me.

We joke about how he is a “momma’s boy”.  He totally is.  I love that he is, even though I do want him to grow and be independent of me.  But for right now, I relish in these sweet moments.  I will happily lose sleep for him when he is in pain.  I will willingly stay up all night with my daughter when she gets sick.  The night before both of their weddings I will be up praying over them.  I will never stop praying for them.  

The days are long and hard right now.  Whoever said ‘parenting is the hardest job you will ever do’, was right.  They were more than right.  Sleep is a long lost friend of mine, but I know we will reunite one day.  Because today, at this point, my babies NEED me.  They don’t need anyone else, but me.  So although I may not be 100% put together, there may be laundry on my floor, and it may be a long time before I can actually have a clean house free of toys in every nook and cranny, I have them.  The beautiful little blessings God has called me to love on.

And for now, that’s good enough.

❤ Erin

 

My Sweet Boy

“Hi Prince!”

You’re close to 3 months old now. 12 weeks.  That seems unreal.  As the saying goes, “time flies”.

You came into the world quickly.  Not too quick that I couldn’t get my beloved epidural.  But you made your appearance in half the time it took your sister.  It’s showing more and more of your personality.  A takes her sweet time in life.  You, Prince, you’re like your Momma.  You want things to happen.  And you want them to happen yesterday.

You were immediately alert and ready to learn about the world.  You lifted your head within the first few MINUTES of your life.  And you looked right at me.  You were so focused as if to say, “Hey, I’m new here, but I know who you are.  You’re my momma.”

A has been such a great big sister.  You are so blessed.  I, as you will someday know and understand, am an only child.  That means I don’t have any brothers or sisters.  It doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a good childhood, but it does mean that I don’t understand the bond you and A have already at such a young age.  And, truly, it makes me a little jealous.  Mainly, because, as I said, you are blessed with a sister who will give you a lifetime of entertainment, protection, and probably sibling rivalry and battles, too.

You have another big sister, though she has 4 legs and a lot of hair.  Auty, too, has been so protective of you.  She was the same with A, but has taken on her role of “protector” all over again.  I think she realizes now with A that she doesn’t need to protect her anymore, rather SHE needs protected from the random flying objects, intermittent screaming and temper tantrums and excessive amounts of overly affectionate love.  Right now, she needs to protect you from A and her shenanigans.

Everyone says you look like me.  We all thought A looked like me, but now?  She still looks more like me than Daddy, but you, sweet boy.  You are definitely me.  

It would make sense that you’re so much like me.  You’re birthday isn’t even a week after mine.  6 days after my 28th birthday, you blessed us with your presence.

I call you ‘Prince’.  Daddy says I’m going to give you a complex.  Though, you smile every time I say it.  And your smile lights up my world.  I also call you ‘Prince’ because you’re quite opinionated about life and what you want.  You’ve mellowed slightly, but wow.  I’m not lying when I say that your daddy and I looked at each other during one of your screaming matches in the hospital, and said “think we can come back and get him in a few months?”  You were very vocal, to say it nicely.

Baby boy, already I know you will grow up.  And all too quickly.  Your sister is now 2 and that, too, seems unreal.  I’m going to do my best to raise you in the same way we are raising A.  To be respectful and honest.  To have a love of life and of people.  To have a love of GOD and shout it from the mountains.  We’re going to have disagreements, I’m sure, but you need to know that I will always love you, no matter what.  Someday, I hope that you and/or your sister will make me a grandma (though, let’s hold off on that for at least another 20 years, please).  There will be a time when you leave me and marry a fine young woman and I pray daily for that day that you find your soul mate.  You don’t know yet the need, the absolute necessity to have a good person by your side.

Your daddy is an amazing man.  It took him awhile to realize what being a dad looked like with A.  This time around, he has nailed it.  He has been such a helpful, kind, compassionate man.  He has let me cry on his shoulder when I have had too much. He cried when you were born too, by the way.  You are going to have a wonderful man to learn the ways of the world from.

So for now, prince, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing.  You’ll keep growing and learning from your sister.  I will keep pushing forward even on our hard days.  Because I know one day I will look back and wonder where you went.  Why you grew up too quickly.  And I will cherish this time.  Our time.

❤ Momma

Duggar Problems

More news has surfaced about The Duggar family recently.  And it gets me thinking.

Though I’ve been fairly absent lately, I do still ‘think’ a lot.  However those thought provoking revelations don’t often make it to fruition, as they’re often jumbled with thoughts about baby poop, and when the toddler last had her diaper changed, and did I remember to take the dog out today?

That being said, it’s safe to say that it takes me a few days, sometimes even weeks, to catch up on the news.  The extent of the knowledge I have about what’s going on in the outside world is through my Facebook feed (shout out to my friends who are keeping me ‘informed’). 

Our newest family member is now close to 3 months old, and I feel like it’s time for me to get back into life, so to speak.  Catch up.  Say my little bit on the controversial news happening in the world.

The Duggar family, as you may well know, surfaced a few months ago when it was brought to light the oldest son’s alleged sexual abuse of his younger sisters.  Evidently this was something the family had buried in the past and was, by their standards, “appropriately handled” at the time it happened.  I’ll admit, I don’t know the full extent of the story.  To be honest, I never really enjoyed their particular show.  Partly because I think the mother is nuts for having that many kids.  I can barely hold my own with two.  And let’s not even go there with my pregnancy and birth experiences.  But for me, watching another families daily experiences is just not really that interesting.  If I have my choice, I’d rather watch something along the lines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper.  Though, I do enjoy Duck Dynasty, because let’s be honest, we’re a bunch of rednecks up here in our neck of the woods.

As a Christian, ‘thou shalt not judge’.  And this is something I have been adamant about in my life.

Full disclosure: I’m having trouble not judging this latest news on Josh Duggar and his admission to having been a part of a dating website for married couples to commit adultery.  Everyone has their “thing”.  Their ‘capital sin’ if you will.  For me, that’s cheating.  I don’t care if you’re married or just dating.  Cheating on your significant other, no matter what the context, is just low.

So to find out this latest chapter of the saga, well, as I said.  I’m having trouble not judging.

But the real point I’m trying to make is this.  Idol worship.  It’s a problem.  It’s a very real and very large problem.

So many people, my own friends even, came to the rescue of this family, defending them with the first scandal.  Though I think it’s great that the family has people who support them, I feel like as an outsider are we ‘supporting’ them?  Or are we idolizing them?

I fear that if we really sit down and think about it, not just with the Duggar family but across the board, we are idolizing a lot of people and things, other than our One True North.

Here’s a family, who has been portrayed to be the ‘perfect’ Christian family (if there even is such a thing).  When that perfect Christian family falls, we get upset.  Should we be upset?

The reality is that we are not meant to be perfect.  God didn’t intend for us to look up to anyone other than Him.  Sure there are certain brothers and sisters of faith who might have it a little more ‘put together’ than some of us.  And that’s certainly a good example to follow.  But we need to keep in mind that we all have our ‘things’.  Someone who struggles with a certain sin might look to someone who doesn’t partake in that particular transgression and say “Hey!  They’re a perfect Christian!”  Though, that ‘perfect Christian’ might have something else that they struggle with, even if it isn’t as transparent to the rest of the world.

My point is this: I don’t think we should be getting THAT upset and come to the defense of Josh Duggar. Do I think he is wrong for what he’s done, both in the distant and the more recent past?  Sure do.  I should think we could all learn a lesson or two from his mistakes.  Do I think we should be defending him and his family because they are our fellow brothers and sisters?  Not a chance.

I think, if anything, right now, we should pray.  Pray for healing through the Lord for Josh and his family.  Pray for other’s in our world who may be in the same situation, but maybe not as much in the public eye.  I think we should pray for the corruption of our world that someone would even have thought to create a dating website specifically for those interested in cheating on their significant others.  And more than anything else, I think we should pray for ourselves that we may be focused on Him, and Him alone; that we not be sidetracked and distracted by anyone else’s walk, slow crawl or fast run with their own faith.

❤ Erin

In response to your letter…

I received a note this afternoon in the mail.  There was no return address, though with an infant at home, I figured it was a friend or family member sending well wishes for our new little family member.  Instead I found a typed letter.  After reading it, I felt like I should address it somehow, but yet, how?  Although the name was left (and maybe you don’t realize, but I am well aware of who you are), how was I to address the situation when someone felt the need to be so anonymous that they didn’t want to leave a return address?  Since the letter was written with concern to a blog post I wrote for Mother’s Day, I figured you followed my blog enough that I could openly let you know I received your letter, and I have a few things to clarify.

The letter started with you telling me how beautiful a bride I was in my profile picture.  I thank you for that, however, I sit here blushing.  You see, if you know me well enough, you’d now that any compliments make me uncomfortable.  I blush uncontrollably and I change the subject as quickly as I can.  I’d rather not claim humbleness, but just know that although appreciated, I felt quite flustered.

Next, you mentioned that it’s “heart-warming in this day and age to read a blog that proclaims a love for God.”  So, I’m assuming you also know me well enough to know that, obviously, I’m a Christian.  Though, really, don’t take this personally, I’m not at all trying to impress you (or anyone for that matter) with my faith.  At the end of the day, I don’t have to answer even to my own husband or children, or my parents, friends, other family, etc.  I have my faith for one and ONLY one purpose.  And that is to serve, love and honor my God.  Though, again, I humbly thank you for your affirmations.

In the next paragraph is where you threw me for a loop.  After proclaiming that you had read my previous posts and claiming to know and understand not only my faith, but who I am as a person, it seems that you should understand what I was trying to get at in my blog post.  Though… I’m not sure you DO know me that well.  The exact words were: “We ALL have accomplished great things in our lives-thanks be to God-however, only those with a hole in their soul need to publicly boast about them.”  You went on to tell me that my value is only because of God.

Now.  I have to say, thank you again, for pointing out to me that my God has created me.  I’m well aware of that.  Didn’t necessarily need the reminder.  But hey, I’m going on roughly 4 hours of sleep, so I guess it doesn’t hurt to point something so blatantly obvious out to me right now.  Being totally honest here, I put the washcloth in the freezer this morning for who knows what reason.  And it took me roughly 4 hours to figure out where it was.

But I’d really like to address the assumption of my ‘boastfulness’.  You see, I wrote that blog post at, give or take, 36 weeks pregnant.  Though I don’t feel in anyway that I need to justify myself to you, I’d like to bring to light that at that point in my life, albeit only a few weeks ago, I was struggling.  I was struggling with the demands of raising a toddler.  A toddler, who since you have been reading my blog, you also should know has significant developmental delays and requires different therapies several days each week.  Not to mention the anxiety I was dealing with going into delivering my second child.  If you knew me, you’d also know that this wasn’t just the typical anxiety of going into labor in the middle of the night, not making it to the hospital in time, etc.  This anxiety was related to the difficulty we had shortly after the birth of my first child.  When she was taken from me only minutes after she was born and put in NICU for 5 agonizingly long days.  Then, the anxiety that, after we had her home for only 3 incredibly SHORT days, she again was taken from me and placed in the hospital.  You see, she had jaundice.  SEVERE jaundice.  So, anxiety was also an issue for me.  Add that to the normal worries of a second time mom, such as how financially we are going to make ends meet on our single income family; how am I going to be able to juggle having a newborn and still make time to love on and play with my toddler; how is my aging dog, my first child, going to deal with yet another family member added to the madness.

Not to mention, I am frequently single handedly managing my household.  My husband (you claim to know him) is an incredibly hard worker.  He does so much for our little family.  I just can’t even tell you how proud and honored I am to be his wife.  But with all that hard work, he frequently comes home tired.  Exhausted, actually.  And falls asleep on the couch.  I don’t like to wake him, because I know how tired he is.  So, even though I personally am not working outside the home, I really am a single mom.  But I swallow that horse pill with a drop of water.  Though, you should know that also fueled my need to write a blog post for Mother’s Day.

My blog post was not out of self pity for myself.  Again, I am honored to be doing what I am doing.  But I know I am not the only one who feels stuck in this rut of the day in and day out, never changing activities of a stay at home mom.  Maybe you too, had young children at once that you stayed home with.  If you’re like any other sane person, you likely also reflected somedays on what your life used to be.

For me, my reflection was not to ‘boast’ about how wonderful and perfect I am.  My post was to reaffirm to myself that God did indeed give me these gifts.  He also put me in these life situations to help mold me and shape me for what he knew was coming in my life.  Though I knew at the time I wanted children someday, I didn’t know if He had that included in His plans for me.  But, thankfully he did.  And I’ve been blessed with these little ones.  I’ve been blessed with appropriate situations and tasks in my life, so that I can be the mom I am.

I know there are other moms out there that have had these same feelings.  This ‘stuck’ feeling.  I know, because I have talked to them.  Close friends as well as distant friends.  We’ve talked about it.  Shared coffee in our yoga pants, with bags under our eyes while wearily looking at our disheveled children running around with yesterday’s breakfast on their faces, because we just can’t find the energy to clean them up.  Since I do know a little about you, I know that if you have children, it’s been many MANY years since you’ve had children at home, albeit YOUNG children.  Just a friendly reminder, it’s HARD.

I was not “boasting” about my accomplishments and claiming that it was all me, and not my Creator that helped me through each of those experiences.  I was not claiming these things in an effort to bring attention to myself.  You may think I have a “hole in my soul” because I need to talk about it.  Unfortunately you assumed that.  If you knew me, you’d know I had a hole in my soul, because I’m flawed in that I am extremely hard on myself.  I have exceptionally high standards, and I needed, for myself, to acknowledge that I AM good enough.  Though God was not mentioned in that post, He was speaking to me and saying, “Look, Erin.  Look at all these challenges I’ve placed in your path.  You’ve completed them.  You’ve done well.  Motherhood is your task right now.  And it will be hard.  But know that I am with you.  I am with You as I always have been, and I have trained you well for this task.  I will walk with you in this journey.”

I opened my heart and showed my personal struggles, so potentially, another mom feeling the same could also understand she is not alone.

You asked me to reflect on Psalm 139.  Specifically verse 13.  I read from ‘The Message’, so it may look different from whatever version you prefer.  Here’s what I found:

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.

It’s a shame you haven’t taken the time to get to know me well enough to realize my knowledge of this.  As I’ve just mentioned, I know I’m doing what I am because it is God’s plan for me.  Again, very disheartening that you read a 600 word blog post, and after claiming to have read other posts and knowing my love for my God, the assumption was made that I am “boastful”.

A true Christian doesn’t judge.  A true Christian, instead of sending a hurtful letter to a mom with her hands full with a newborn and toddler, would make the effort to care for and love a fellow sister in faith.

Lucky for you, since I do tend to juggle a lot, I have a long list of people to pray for, for various reasons (being forgetful these days, I do have to write down what I’m to be praying for for each individual, lest I forget).  As a fellow sister in faith, know that I will add you to that long prayer list.  Know that I will care for and love on you in my prayers in the coming weeks, months, maybe even years.  I pray that it would be revealed to you how hurtful judgement can be, and how being so narrow minded can close off connections from people.  Not just myself.  But others, who TRULY need Jesus in their lives.

-Erin