Friday, April 20, 2012

In a bubble

We have officially spent our first month in our new space and while the boxes are out of the house and the walls have started to (literally) take on our presence, there still seems to be so much undone. I am mostly to blame. I have started 6 projects that I can think of and I have finished one and that is because the more-un-pregnant adult of the house took over the reigns at the end of the little project but I still take full credit for initiating and happily crossed the little pest off "the list."

It's funny being a first time home owner. You sit cozily in the comfort of your own home and you notice the dirt built up around the window seal and you think, "hnn...if I want that clean I have to clean it." I know this sounds elementary but that's what I think throughout the day and then I hope I can just forget that I ever saw the dirt or else "the list," the one that only grows and never dwindles, starts to overtake my daily sanity and rob me from needed sleep at night.

So as you can imagine, there is this incessant sense of coming undone. Not to add, another real, live, eating, crying, sleeping and mess-making (pooping) human will come under this roof in a matter of weeks and I am not exaggerating when I say zero preparation has occurred for this event. ZERO. Isn't a 2nd and 3rd child worlds different from that crazy first experience? Brad said the other day that he needs 3 days to prepare for this new baby. I'm not sure where he got 3 from but I believe almost anything he says and I was comforted. That is, until a few days later when I visited a friend who had a baby in the hospital and realized seriously for the 1st time that I have to have this baby. Like, it has to come out of me...not him or anyone else. As a pregnant woman (after the first baby atleast) you quickly adjust to the fact that you're pregnant and your body has been occupied by a soccer player. Then you start to think about the changes this will impose on your family and your daily routine and how well (wishful thinking) the new baby will fit into the family once he/she is here. But somehow I always block out the middle chapter. Oh yeah, this thing has to come out!I know people have babies all the time - in fact 54 a day born at the hospital where we deliver, and I have done this twice before too but I think every woman forgets the birth part of it all (that's why we all do it again for the most part) and then you have the realization at the oddest time. I was in the McDonald's line at the hospital getting a tea when it hit me. I am convinced this "unknown thing" the 2nd time around is what contributed to the start of my year and a half with insomnia. I was never a worrier but all of a sudden you feel the weight of responsibility on your shoulders but you are just waiting for the event to happen....deliver a healthy baby, figure out how to feed it, keep the family at home happy, learn to survive on little sleep (and not have the joy of "sleeping when the baby sleeps" because the other baby is awake!) and quickly recover because nothing stops while your'e having a baby. And can all of that happen while your mom is able to help and when your husband doesn't have a big meeting out of town?!?!?! The first baby for me things did seem to stop and everyone else seemed atleast to stop - I didn't know the date for atleast 6 weeks and my while world revolved around a 3 hour feeding schedule but when you add kid upon kid you just don't have that same luxury....everything moves on because after all - it isn't your first rodeo.

Anyway, we aren't prepared one bit for this major event but I am not surprised, actually comforted. Finally aftetr my first two attempts I've learned a few things. A baby does not need the perfect going home outfit in order to thrive at home. He or she really doesn't even need it's own coordinated room or bed - actually, I had a friend who had her baby in a padded drawer on the floor when they first came home because their apartment was so tiny. Really, like the paper work says from the hospital - I need an up to date car seat and I need to know it works in my car. The end. The other thing I have learned is that no matter how many birth stories you watch on TLC or how many woes or thrills you hear from your friends or strangers who just delivered via cesarean or in a bath tub - your own story won't be the same. There is absolutely nothing predictable when it comes to labor. Many women tell me I need to race to the hospital the moment I hiccup and feel a tug because the third child tends to fall out. (Does this gross you out? Just imagine a stork and a baby falling from the sky. That's all). But then in the very 10 minutes I have a lady with 5 children tell me #3-5 were the longest, slowest, worst labors of them all. What? Exactly. There is no use in really "preparing" because I couldn't prepare enough.

Here's the encouraging part if you've waited for the climax of this little rant. The baby will join our family and it will be just fine. Praise God! My mom brought home her 4th child and says that very afternoon we asked her what was for dinner. Life moves on and really that is the best for everyone. The baby will ease into our new normal just as we will but because we have prayed over this baby's life and his place in our family and because we know without any doubt that this baby was supposed to be in our-already-crowded family at this time - that it is in fact meant to be and it will be perfect. Truly, that is the assurance I hold so dearly everyday especially when I am out and about in public and welcome the most obnoxious comments and glares from the have-it-all-together-and-never-would-have-subjected-themselves-to-3-babies-in-3-years-type moms. Yes, maybe the path our family has followed wasn't in our plan but I am so glad it wasn't. I am just thankful to love and serve a big God that knows the details of my life and of each of the children we have brought into this world. It's a little crude of me but my response is always, "yes, but my heart is so full, too" to the lovely ladies and men who like to point out that I have my hands full. I signed up for this. I signed up for the mess, and the long hours, and the embarrassing tantrums in Publix, and the car filled with cheerios and goldfish. But I also signed up for the mornings at the park swinging our 20 month old endlessly because there is no place he'd rather be. And I signed up for the special time on the floor with all the boys and my unavoidable belly at night before bed that could never, never be put into words. Some of you know exactly what I mean. What a treasure, right?

That is why we've been camping out in this bubble for the last month. I've had friends in our old neighborhood call out of concern wondering where we have gone. I am grateful for the concern but also grateful for our time "away." I feel like for the first time in the short history of our family we are just that - a family with an address and a whole lot of undone things but a whole lot of rich moments that could never be replicated. I know that we are in that stage that so many moms a generation older than me would do anything to relive. While I certainly have my moments during the day that cause me to go into the bathroom and scream I also know we are in a short stage of life where almost everything is new and is fresh and is viewed by virgin eyes. That is why we are in this bubble for a little while.....just taking it al in....trying to relive a pic-nic or the thrill of a new matchbox car through the eye of a toddler.

Luckily the toddlers of this house have taught me (while in this bubble of mine) that I couldn't prepare for the Pope coming to visit if I tried. Life with little ones is unpredictable and as I've learned (thankfully) - the only thing little humans need is a whole lot of selfless love. The kind you don't know about until you become a parent. But is has nothing to do with the sweetest going home outfit or a matching monogrammed pillow in the nursery.

Here are some (terrible quality) pictures of us in our little world lately. Can't you see why I don't mind it?

ANd here are a few of the boys at their little wee-school. The last one makes me melt.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Where did we go?

Oh, hey! Yes, were all still here...all 4.5 of us plus a dog and we are doing quite well this Spring. Technichally, we moved 5 miles north of our beloved little abode in Brookhaven but I feel like we are worlds away....atleast for a short season. Our previous home of 2+ years served us very well. We enjoyed the best neighbors turned friends that a family could ever ask know, the kind that intrude a little bit in eachothers lives but the result is so invaluable. The old neighborhood also had more young kids under the age of 5 than any place I've ever known. There were young families everywhere and it surely made it easy to find encouragement as a young mom or dad. The neighborhood park was a toddlers dream and a stay at home mom's source for daily sanity. Our kids rarely stepped foot on the play structures but rather laid claim to a new toy a week that was disposed of by one of the neighborhood residents. ANd our little house was little but perfect for us for two years. I didn't know that sheets could stay ironed if only they had a closet for them. I didn't care that the kithen didn't allow for a whole party to engage in it's space because as it always goes - we all gathered in the small kitchen anyway. And my boys didn't know that they needed a little more running room or a whole basement in order to thrive. They were happy, loved, and they loved coming home to their house every time we were away. I love kids for that reason....always reminding us of the sweeter things in life.
That house in that season were so right for our little family and I know that GOd knew when He planted us there that we would bloom. There were some extremely painful weeks in that little home but even richer moments playing on the floor in the playroom, gathered around the kitchen table, and enjoying the gift of like-minded neighbors on an afternoon in the front yard. I could write a whole post on our neighbors and the special place they have in each of our hearts.

SO, 2.5 weeks ago we moved and I can say the same thing about this new space. From the first day I could tell this would be the right house for our family. Actually, the perfect house. I could list so many little things about this house that cause me to pinch myself daily and they don't have to do with granite counter tops, 10 foot ceilings, and superb crown molding. It is the way we can use this new entertain and to enjoy each other. This house has such a welcoming presence to it and the boys and I have found ourselves not wanting to leave the house at all! What? This is sooooo different than our last house. As much as I loved it I had to get out every morning and afternoon. Here we have spent many days in our pajamas traversing the many stairs, finding things to get into or places to lay around. Oddly enough, this has been so good for me in this new season.

Our new baby should join our family in the next 6-8 weeks I guess and I couldn't think of a better way to spend the weeks - hiding out! The boys are in the most edible stages and unfortunately, no picture or amount of words can adequately capture who they are right now. So luckily for me - I am here with them all day everyday and I've loved getting to experience every ounce of their personalities in this short period before a new little one takes up my free arms.

I've been a part of a mom's bible study at a local church for 2 years now and a mom I know of but do not know very well wrote about this "pull" today. This pull to actually "be" with our kids as opposed to writing about them, snapping photos of them, and taking account of their lives in every way is so intense - especially when there is so much good stuff to chronicle. And ultimately, I love writing more than any past time so it is where I want to spend my time. But right now I just don't have that kind of time. These weeks are too short. The days fly by so quickly and each week brings about new independence that lessens their need for me. I don't want to put my "pen" down one day soon and realize I have a whole blog about our days but I don't really remember them from first hand experience. So, yes, maybe for a little while we are taking a vacation from our old ways and allowing this move and the new season upon us to slow us down. I'm just glad we have stopped before it was too late!

Oh, and these are in our backyard and I adore them. We moved the week everything bloomed. Again...perfect timing!