Friday, July 31, 2009


I'm often struck by how teensy tiny things can have such an enormous impact...

Sometimes it's a pain in the rear:
Little mosquito bites = big old itchy nonsense
Paper cuts = throbbing little wound that might not heal for days because it keeps getting irritated
Rock in your flip-flop = OW OW OW!

Sometimes it's a good thing:
Driver on the road waves you ahead with a smile = People are SO friendly!
10 minute power nap = a whole new person
Phone call (or even voicemail from a friend) = an extra burst of energy

Today, I am mulling over a couple teeny tiny enormous things... like sleep and quiet moments for my brain.

Wednesday night - Hazel was awake off & on from 1:30 until 4:15... and then she took only one 40-minute-nap (should've been 2 hours at least, given her crummy sleep the night before). By 7:30 last night, I was in tears - exhausted and so emotionally fragile.

Last night - Hazel slept 12.5 hours without a peep, and now she's fast asleep (knock, knock) for her afternoon nap. Right now, I almost laugh at the Me from last night who was so easily unglued. Sleep makes all the difference.

And today - just taking a few minutes here and there to focus my heart and my mind - train them heavenward and allow God to show me a bigger picture - what a change.

Yes, being a mama is tough. Yes, there are days when I want to cry right along with Hazel as she protests having her hair washed AGAIN. Yes, there is nothing quite like being responsible for another human life.

And yet - there is more. There is joy, there is eternity. There is God in all things. There is laughter and messiness and life and perspective.

Sleep and God help me see those things. Just gotta make sure those two things are in my day somewhere, and I'll be okay.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

drippity doo dah

It's been a seriously not-hot summer.

One week in June topped 90 degrees. That's it. Most of the time - we're hovering in High 70s, Low 80s Land.

I appreciate it - I really do - because at 8.5 months pregnant, I am STILL SWEATING. I cannot imagine what state I would be in if summer was actually treating us as it usually does.

I knew y'all wanted to know about my body heat issues.

Anyway - having one of those lovely, productive days (which I SO appreciate) and as it's following a very fun & busy day yesterday - I'm just a very happy clam. (albeit a sweaty one). I made some new food for Hazel (who is currently taking her 2-hour-nap for the SECOND DAY IN A ROW) and hope we can get her slightly picky self to eat some new and delicious things... done laundry, did some grocery shopping - all very Mama-ish things to be excited about, but hey. I like a simple life.

At any rate - just wanted everyone to know that although I'm melting into a pregnant puddle when it's 75 degrees out... that there's a goofy old smile on this face.

Monday, July 27, 2009


I am praying for strength, energy and patience.

Strength - there is SO MUCH TO DO... and it's so hard to get it all done. Toddlers, oddly, don't make tasks quicker or easier to complete. Go figure.

Energy - sleep is elusive these days - and after a night of tossing, turning, and getting up to waddle to the bathroom... the Nut awoke at the lovely hour of 4:45am. Yeah. That's what I said.

Patience - Sleep-deprived toddlers are clingy, whiny, easily frustrated and tough to distract. Sleep-deprived mamas are crabby, whiny, easily frustrated and tough to be around. The two of us are quite the pair today, let me tell you.

And so, I pray.

Lord, give me strength to be who I need to be today. Fill me with Your energy and purpose - and allow me the insight to realize what is important and what can wait. Help me choose love and patience over selfishness and exhaustion. And above all, remind me continuously that Your grace is enough for me - enough for today, enough for my daughter, enough for us all to come to the end and still be smiling. You are enough. Praise for that!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

two times

It's looming.

A very familiar thrilled-and-terrified-and-impatient cloud hovers above my home, or more accurately, above my head (Eeyore-style, only it's not a gloomy raincloud).

There is a strong resemblance to the wonderings of early 2008 - and yet, it is markedly different.

What will this baby look like? Be like? Is this baby a precious new daughter or a beloved new son? Will I be a good mama? Will I know what to do? What will my life look like on the other side?

Because I have "been there" once before, I know the answers to these questions more clearly than I did before the birth of my daughter... but only in the sense that I *know* I have no idea.

I am standing on the edge of becoming a mama of two. The mama in a family of four.

I am standing on the edge - raising up on tiptoe to peer into beyond, hoping for some glimpse of what is to come, praying that the next few weeks will bring me closer to becoming the woman God has made me to be.

And He is bringing me calm (okay, I know it's the calm before the storm - but it's still a blessed, heavenly calm) - not in practical, day-to-day terms (I have a toddler in the house, folks)... but in my heart. I feel myself beginning to rest deeply. My heart is ready to discover how beautifully it can stretch to hold love for another tiny being. My mind is slowing down, knowing that I cannot plan everything, knowing that the next few months will turn my world upside-down and shake it like a snow globe... but that we will emerge, right-side-up in a world more lovely and intriguing than before.

There have been many, many blessings in my life that have altered me forever.

I love and am loved by a man of God - one who will never leave me of his own accord, in whom I trust completely.

I was given the precious gift and responsibility of motherhood in February 2008 - in the shape of a tiny, dark-haired wiggly baby girl.... who has since become a tiny, blonde-haired wiggly toddler girl.

And now, I get to be a mama again.

What a gift to be allowed to be called "Mama" by one child - to have small, soft, chubby arms wrap around my neck and a little face bury itself in my neck - to look into one girl's sparkly eyes and see love.

But two times? To be mama two times??

I can barely comprehend the treasure.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Things are returning to "normal" around here (whatever that really means with an 8-month pregnant mama and a sillysweetbusy 17-month-old gal in the same house). Mark is home safe (hurrah!) and our days feel a bit more predictable and patterned.

To keep y'all entertained whilst I'm busy gestating, nesting and trying (in vain) to keep up with my toddler - here's some funny Hazel-isms of late:

- Words used to not have an end consonant for Hazel (milk was mih, nose was no). Now, all words that end in a "k" sound actually end in "key." Now milk = mih-key, sock = sah-key, duck = ducky (this one actually works) - and so on. It's super cute (and yes, there's usually a slight pause between the two syllables).

- The two taboo words in the house right now are "outside" and "car." If you say either one out loud, you've just signed yourself up for at least 5 straight minutes of the cutest gal ever repeating "owt-sah? owt-sah? owt-sah?" or " kah? kah? kah?" in her little high-pitched baby girl voice. She may also bring you your shoes and her shoes, and attempt to put them on. She *loves* to play owt-sah, and *loves* cars - playing in the driver's seat of real cars (parked and OFF, of course) and playing with her Little Tykes plastic car in the driveway.

- She loves to get the mail. This is something she and Daddy usually do when he gets home from work.

- Trying on grown-ups shoes is fascinating as well - she gets a little mad that her tiny feet pop right out when she tries to walk - but it's so cute to see her standing in our big ole shoes.

- This child, she is a dancer. She can wiggle her bum like nobody's business - little shimmies and shakes (her upper body stays still while her little hips go back and forth - it's crazy!!). People ask if I taught her that (yeah, right!) or if she saw it on TV (we really don't watch TV at all). Proof that some people really are born to dance.

- She HATES getting her hair washed. More than anything. Purple faced, shrieking, screaming, thrashing baby monster takes over when it's hair-wash night (thank the Lord we don't feel the need to do that every night!). No amount of coaxing, singing, or fancy-little-face-shielding-plastic-visors make this better. The neighbors must think we're torturing her.

- She recognizes people in pictures now - she saw Nana & Papa on the wall yesterday, then started pointing to the front door (where most people come in), the computer (where we see them on video calls) and downstairs (where they would come from when they were here visiting last weekend). It's super cute.

- When she gets really frustrated, she's taken to whacking herself in the forehead. I'm not sure why, but it's hard to watch without laughing at her. She stands still, crying, then leans over and hits herself in the head. I don't think it's proven to make her feel much better, so maybe it will stop soon.

That's it for now - I'll try to put up a few pictures soon (it's been a long time!).

Tuesday, July 07, 2009



Things have gone by in a bit of a blur the past few days... Mark took off for a trip to Colorado with our YoungLife friends on Friday the 3rd - my parents showed up the same day and spent the past 3 1/2 days taking care of Hazel & I and helping get all kinds of good things done for Baby Preparation (we got a crib bumper, crib skirt, valence and curtain all made, and my dad was able to prime Baby's room so it can be painted).

It was wonderful. They cooked, washed dishes, changed diapers, and told me to sit down. A lot. They left this morning (darn the "real world" and jobs and things) but my sister is coming into town today, to stay until Thursday... then Hazel and I have a zoo date on Friday, and Mark is (FINALLY) home sometime on Saturday.

It's been a bit fuzzy, but good.

I had my 34-week check-up yesterday, and all looks good... I get yet another (my 7th) ultrasound next time to keep checking the amniotic fluid levels around Baby and make sure that the left kidney is still functioning as it should be... and that the right one is just as we expect it to be (backed up with fluid). Good blood pressure, good heartbeat for Baby, and only 26 pounds of extra weight on Mama.

Yesterday was also my 7th anniversary... and for the first time, Mark and I were many, many states away from each other - and out of all reach of communication. He DID manage to leave a card and 7 long-stem red roses with a friend, who delivered them yesterday - that was a sweet surprise. It's so awesome to look back and see how we've helped each other grow - as individuals, as a couple, and in our walks with Christ. What a cool journey... here's to many more years.

I'm going to relax, put my feet up, and enjoy a little summertime feeling for a bit. Hopefully the Nut naps well and lets her mama shake off some of the fuzziness.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

a cautionary tale

Today I decided to tackle one of the most disgusting tasks of my adult life.

Surprisingly, it has *nothing* to do with being a mama. It has everything to do with being a homeowner.

For the past few weeks/months/years - who knows? It just seems like for-ev-er.... I've had a battle waging with our dishwasher.

Here's some history:
We built our house in 2004.
We installed a water softener in 2008.
We've had FOUR YEARS of VERY hard water running through our pipes, and through every appliance that uses water.
There's some GUNK in here.

Since the water softener installation, things have gotten better.

But four years of gunk deposit doesn't (unfortunately) disappear on its own. It takes some scrubbing, some scraping, some hacking... and lots of time.

I've cleaned the dishwasher out before (although, as I discovered today - nowhere near as thoroughly as I'd thought).

Can I just tell you that the ICK that builds up in a dishwasher is one of the most stomach-churning things in the world? I was scrubbing and scraping and hacking (and trying to keep my cookies) - and I thought - I have to blog about this. SAVE the others (if anyone out there is as deluded as I am) from the horrors.

And so, I urge you in all seriousness - CLEAN your dishwasher thoroughly at least once a year. It's SO NASTY. I thought about taking a picture of the bad-ness of it... but I couldn't bring myself to share it with the world. I want y'all to still like me.

And now, I head back to the task at hand. And hope and pray that all this work will result in a dishwasher that actually WASHES my dishes clean.