Sunday, March 31, 2013

waffles and Easter

Expectations are my biggest stumbling block in life.  Well, that and expecting people to read my mind.  Often the two are tied closely together. In my mind I had an idea (an expectation) of what Easter should look like, and it actually was going pretty well until post-church-pre-lunch.  I had not made a decision on what to do - whether to eat out or to make food at home - and that did not make the ride home (or to eat) from church very pleasant. The heated conversation was probably twenty minutes. It could have been avoided if I just had communicated. Or had a plan. Or something.

It was not in a church service or an egg hunt that I experienced Easter this year.  It was on that car ride to get waffles where I felt my daily need for my Savior. It was also on the couch reading It's Pajama Time when I really wanted to be watching Call The Midwife. And it was in the getting a bathtub ready, in getting two boys cleaned up, in removing mud (not chocolate) out of the toddler's mouth, and in listening to that toddler cry uncontrollably from his crib.

I need Thee, O I need Thee
Every hour I need thee
O bless me now my Savior
I come to Thee

On this weekend that represents the ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate miracle, it was all I can do to ask for help with my selfishness. I am powerless on my own. My good mommy acts will never outweigh my poor attitude, my grumbling, my frustration with unmet expectations. Grace was not a warm-fuzzy feeling this Easter Sunday. Instead it was a strong reminder -  He meets me, changes me, empowers me.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

palm branches and potato heads

Spring Break for The Hubs is over. Illini lost (was robbed) tonight in March Madness. And I can't tell you exactly what we've been up too this week or why I haven't blogged. I fought the crankies one day, but deep down I know that life around here is good.

This boy loves the snow.  Here he is watching it fall a few days ago, and then playing in it bright and early one morning.  Not-quite-four is such a fun, fun, fun (but exhausting) age. The observations and questions never stop coming out of his mouth, except when we are around people he doesn't know well.  He says the most hilarious things, and today I watched him playing with his toys. Part of the dialog included Mr. Potato Head telling Mrs. Potato Head, "Be quiet, or I'll throw you into the furnace!"  Apparently we have watched a certain Veggie Tale dvd too much.  I need to catch up on all of the wonderful things that come out of his brain. It is never a dull moment around here, but he is so sweet to his little brother - another protector and advocate for Bugaboo, but mostly just his friend.

Bugaboo is still such a snugly little guy, except when he is on the move.  We hear him singing random songs at bedtime or just while we are playing. He doesn't have words, but he has the tunes.  He likes The Bunny Song from the aforementioned Veggie episode.  This week he is working on not putting his hands in his mouth while chewing - because that really meant he wasn't using his tongue and other mouth muscles.  This is not a fun thing, and lunch today was a battle of wills between him and The Hubs.  It is amazing what we take for granted -like not having to teach (some of) our children how to use their tongue and back teeth and jaw to really chew.  I did manage to catch him at a happy and messy mealtime, as well as amidst a post-lunch wardrobe change.

And today we braved the snow to get to church.  Bubby joined the other kids in coming in during the second song waving palm branches. He looked so cute walking in, but we sat on the wrong side from where he was so I didn't get a picture.  Later during more singing back at our seats he kept lifting his branches high in the air. I said, "Bubby you need to put those down." And he told me, "They told me to lift them high."  I couldn't really argue with that, but he did manage to keep them under control.  He doesn't understand we are Baptist and not charismatic now. 

We didn't sing my favorite Palm Sunday song at our new church, so I had to sing it on the drive home. Bugaboo got the hang of it.

And this is what it looks like when your preschooler gets his palm branch taken away:

The best part of that moment is he noticed I was taking his picture, and through his tears he said, "Cheese."  Yes, we were cracking up in the front seat because that's the kind of parents we are.

And finally a naptime picture and a selfie because Bubby had to have his picture taken again but he wanted to "see it in the box." Hence the fuzziness.

Life is pretty good around here.

Monday, March 18, 2013

'round here (a week at our house)

After the sleepless Monday night, we found out Wednesday morning (yes, Wednesday not Tuesday) that Bugaboo had a punctured ear drum from an infection.  Once again, mother of the year.  In my defense, the child also seems to be eternally teething, so I thought that was why he was extremely cranky.
Later on Wednesday my mom arrived from the Land of Lincoln. (also the land that brought you Senator-turned-President Obama, but I prefer to stick with Land of Lincoln.) Babu (that's my mom-not her real name) was here for a few days, and she took us out to eat at some of our favorite places.  She also read lots of books, brought a collection of Disney DVDs, and watched me sleep.
That's right. I slept a large portion of my mom's visit. I was dealing with a sinus thing and catching up on the last few years of sleep that I missed.  Saturday morning I got out of bed to change Bug's diaper, did that, passed him off to The Hubs, and then fell back asleep on the couch for a couple of more hours.  I didn't even wake up when they brought me a coffee! Sleep is my love language. Thanks Mom (and Hubs) for letting me get a few extra hours.
I apparently needed it because Sunday Bubby woke up with ear pain - so The Hubs took him to urgent care.  Last night Bubby was up from a little after two until 4:30 -and I didn't fall asleep until 5.  Add onto those numbers that I needed to be at preschool today to be a VIP in Bubby's class.  I read one of my favorite picture books to ten three/four year olds.  They were not quite as responsive as my former fourth graders were when I would read after lunch each day.  I miss read aloud time. Yes, I know I read (A LOT) out loud to my boys each day. But there is something wonderful about a character or story that captivates twenty-five (or thirty-three) ten year olds. I miss introducing children to great literature.
Anyway, I got over missing my classroom days when The Hubs and I took the boys swimming after preschool. (The Hubs is on Spring Break from his nursing classes so we get to see him in the mornings this week!) We decided to use our Christmas money on a family fitness center, and I think it will be a great benefit to Bugaboo. He LOVES the water. He would have stayed in all day, splashing, kicking, and smiling. Bubby was cautious and nervous, but by the end of the time he was enjoying it as much as a nervous three and a half year old can enjoy something.
And that, my friends, was a week at the MacB house.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

of sleepless nights at two years old

At 3 a.m. I hear you
I take you out, change you, and carry you down the hall
your head on my shoulder
with monster breath and endless drool from the teething
we toss and turn, me with more care than you,
and sleep evades us

every time I try to put you down you cry
you are a toddler, not a newborn
but tonight age is really just a number

at some point I camp out on your floor
you roll, you holler, you snuggle, you push away
nothing works
I whisper a cuss word and then a repentant prayer
surely there is grace for a weary one just trying to mama

three hours pass and I carry you now to the couch
the support broken, the cushion pressed down
from all the nights I've held you or your brother
in this same position
comforting you as I lose feeling in my left shoulder

It is now 7, the sun is up and you are asleep
and I am exhausted, but I still hold you
the reward is your soft cheek against me
your pudgy fingers curled around one of mine as I take your hand

and somehow it is enough

linking this up tomorrow with emily's imperfect prose

Sunday, March 10, 2013

the gift of the time change

The gift of the time change is the boys are still up in their room and it is 10:15.  The last several minutes have been Bubby saying, "No more."  Then Bugaboo makes another spitting sound.  Then they both crack up.  The Hubs came out of the office from studying for tomorrow's exam.  I thought he was going to utter the "Do I have to separate you two?" phrase, but he just went in and added to their joyful ruckus for a little bit. After a year or so of appointments and few answers about Bugaboo, I think we both are grateful for this "normal" brotherhood moment for the boys.

Life was good this week.

This week has been so good, and I am reminded to count the gifts. I'm not always good at the remembering. But tonight I will.

1021. coffee and conversation with a friend
1022. Bubby sounding out simple words in a book - he's reading!!
1023. hearing the three year old voice singing, "Bless the Lord O my Soul, Ohhhh-oh-ohh my soul" from the backseat of the car and then at the kitchen table
1024. Bugaboo in his yellow rain jacket on the way to church
1025. Surprise date night - dinner and childcare planned for by The Hubs
1026. chopping my hair off - well, a professional cut it - not me
1027. Mr. J. reading to the boys after dinner - a bachelor's commentary on the Mouse/Cookie book -- hilarious
1028. new coffee drink suggestion success - hello hazelnut machiato
1029. a week filled with singing hymns and Jennifer Knapp and made-up songs about the sun and the moon
1030. pretending to be a mama dinosaur, a mama duck, and a monster because this phase will be over sooner than I will want it to be

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

the reminder of the goodness of Tuesday

It's Tuesday night. The Bug-ster is laughing hysterically in his crib because he threw out his three Sandra Boynton books and they landed on the wagon filled with Duplos.  This is quite the switch from his usual wailing and gnashing of teeth at bedtime, but Bubby has come out to tattle on him three times in seven minutes.

Make that four.

JoAnn reminded me today that we are rich.  I read her words at dinnertime. (Go read them now. Seriously.) The thirty minutes before dinner attempted to erase all of the good of the day. But her reminder kept me from erasing. It started me thinking and thanking.

I spent the morning with coffee and a vacuum and an hour of Bugaboo's therapy.  Then I fought the winter wind as I loaded the boys in and out of the van to run an errand and hit two bookstores, one with a train table the boys love.  There may have also been a Sonic run.

The remainder of my day was interspersed with reading picture book after picture book, pretending to be a mommy dinosaur and answering questions about private parts for the eight hundredth time. I even actually really got into The Word for the first time in too long.

Bubby, as usual, refused to nap. But near the end of the afternoon he sat on my lap, and we sounded out words in tiny books. Mat. Sat. Cat. Sam. Another moment I just want to box up to open up over and over again.

Tuesdays are lonnnng days around here. But today was full of the simplest and best things. I am thankful.