Sunday, August 26, 2012

Joy in the morning

Last night, Chris and I totally broke the law.
Or, at least one of the rules typed on the sheet of paper hanging on the hospital bathroom door:

"Only one parent/guardian may spend the night."

We're usually pretty decent, upstanding citizens. But Chris and I went all rogue up in here and both spent the night. We're rebels like that. He let me have the cot, the blankets and the pillows, and insisted that he could sleep just fine on the non-reclining vinyl chair. He's dreamy like that.

Speaking of the law, we called them last night. Or, Chris did, around 11 pm... when I was home for a few hours with the kids. I texted him because I was fairly certain that someone was trying to break into the front door. I kept hearing these weird noises and bangs... I was freaking out.

He texted me back:
Chris: Do you want me to call the police and have them come check it out?
Me: No.
(a second later.)
Me: I don't know.
(another second later.)
Me: Yeah, maybe.

The valiant Lititz Borough police officers arrived in record time, parked at the street and crept stealthily through the shadows... and wrestled to the ground and finally apprehended...


My homemade, Pinterest inspired, ruffly burlap bandit of a wreath!

Banging on the door in the wind.

(He's serving 2-4 for criminal mischief.)

Seriously. Can you imagine my mortification??

Although now that I consider it, I would rather be mortified than DEAD at the hands of some creepy door-banging serial killer.

After that drama, Evie took a turn for the worse and I headed back to join Chris at the hospital, with a serious RULES-BE-DAMNED! attitude; I was ready to lay into the first person who questioned my right to be with my girl overnight. (Incidentally, no one did. All the better for them.)

A couple of minutes after I got here, Evie woke up in intense pain. She was screaming and crying and sweating and her whole body was convulsing. I have been through natural childbirth, and I can confidently say that what she was feeling was akin to those sensations, at least insomuch as those pains translate to a five year old. I had a moment where I considered telling her to "moooooo" like a cow, a la Ina May Gaskin, but in the end, decided she would probably give me the stink-eye and clock me over the head with her board-and-IV clad arm.

After those pains passed, she went back to sleep and the nurse came in to give her some kind of anti-cramping medicine. I am not sure if it was the meds, or prayers, or the sickness running its course, or what. But Evie has been sleeping peacefully for the last SEVEN+ hours (unheard of since she's been sick!) and only woke up once to pee. I am hoping and praying that this trend continues and my girl is back to her crazy, fun self soon. We are meeting with the specialist at 11, I guess to see how we move forward from here.

I am confident that Jesus has been very close to us in all of this. I am confident that there is a purpose in this. I am confident that He chose this specific set of circumstances because it is the very best for our souls, and because He loves us. I am confident that He will be glorified in this.

I am confident that my friends are waaaay better cooks than I am. I could write a book about how kind and generous and thoughtful people have been with us over the course of Evie's illness.

Maybe I will.

Or you know, at least a blog post.

Friday, August 24, 2012

More Ramblings...

--Tom's of Maine deodorant is not made for the hospital. I mean, it's natural and doesn't have aluminum, and probably won't give me cancer, so that's a perk. But truly. I am gross.

--Speaking of gross (and cancer), I have had a little cold sore/blister thingy in the same spot underneath my tongue for the last couple of weeks. Is this just from stress, or do I have herpes? Or mouth cancer?

--No, seriously. Do I?

--When we get out of the hospital, can someone come watch my kids for three days an hour so I can weed my garden? I have totally neglected it all summer, and it's a nasty weed pit of despair, not unlike my Tom's-of-Maine-clad armpits. It's gotten a couple of weeds here and there while Evie has been in the hospital this past week.

--I appreciate everyone's comments suggesting transferring to another hospital. No, really, I do. This is something that we are considering, and should it become necessary, we will not hesitate to do it. At this point, we feel that-- while Evie is feeling nasty, and her condition is somewhat perplexing-- she is not in grave danger. We need to get her better, but this is not... like, you know, a fatal condition. Ack. I don't even like typing that word. We are, however, considering transferring to Hershey just because there's a Starbucks there. For reals.

--Hey Doctor/Nurse/Housekeeping/Person-coming-to-take-an-order-for-some-disgusting-hospital-food-that-Evie-won't-touch: my kid is SLEEPING. Could you possibly turn it down a few notches??

--I am 100% overwhelmed by the massive support and prayers that have been coming our way. Many have asked me if there is something that you can do to help. Would you consider sending a little note to Cana, my middle daughter?
She just turned three, and she doesn't really understand what is going on, just that she misses Evie. She has been a trooper, but I am sure it is hard to see Evie getting spoiled like crazy with attention and surprises and special treats. I am not asking that you send her a toy or a treat (in fact, I would prefer that you didn't). Don't even go buy a card! She would love a picture that your kid drew, or even a note scrawled on the back of a receipt, like this d-bag:

--But really, if you'd consider sending her a little note or a drawing, contact me and I will give you our address. Unless you're some crazy psychopath stalker. In which case, I will most definitely NOT give you our address. I know Cana would love to get mail.

--I miss my little kids. Ruby is still nursing, and I would like her to continue for quite a while yet. I had a moment of panic yesterday, thinking that being away from me during the day will make her want to wean. Luckily, she seems just as obsessed interested in the boob breastfeeding as ever.

--Also, I am a sinner... but who did this to Evie's new little stuffies? Seriously. Friggin' perv nurses.

--Cana's big news-- she (finally!) conquered potty-training!!-- was somewhat eclipsed by this whole kid-in-the-hospital-scenario, but I am super proud of her. We celebrated with new Dora panties and a grown-up "coffee". I am also super glad to not be scooping toddler poop out of panties.

--For the first time since I was six, I am sporting a disgusting, oozing stye in my left eye. Just kidding, it's not really oozing. But it IS kind of disgusting. Between this and my Tom's of Maine fail and my gangrenous mouth sores, and the fact that I am pretty sure I have worn these pants for a couple of days in a row,

--Don't you want to come visit and give me a great big hug????

Monday, August 20, 2012


-My biggest baby is in the hospital. She's gonna be ok, but she's not ok. And that makes me sad.

-My husband is a very tender daddy. Seeing him with my girls makes me love him more.

-It's totally humbling to have someone do your laundry for you. It goes without saying that it's totally a blessing, too.

-People truly want to help my family. It's truly hard for me to accept help.

-My three year old is finally potty-trained. I am too tired to fully elaborate on how wonderful this is.

-I am really, really, really tired.

-Stacey Gagne is one of the most faithful, consistent, thoughtful friends I have ever had. As I was driving back to the hospital today, I was thinking over various life events in the last eight years... births, deaths, and all the barbecues in between, and I am hard pressed to think of too many that Stacey was not a part of. A true friend. I want to be like her when I grow up. And I want to kick her butt in the OBX 1/2 marathon.

-I may have stress-eaten my way through two three pumpkin cream cheese cupcakes for lunch yesterday.

-This will not help me kick Stacey's butt in the OBX 1/2 marathon.

- Sometimes you just want your mom.

-Evie likes to collect cicada shells. I keep startling myself when I come upon a pile of dead, crunchy bug shells in a corner. Not an infestation, just a collection.

-Ruby Rae has mad talking skills. My favorites are "bummer!" and "shit!" Ahem, "sit". I think.

-Tim and Alyssa are some of the most faithful, consistent, thoughtful family members that I have ever had. I can't wait to meet their baby, and hopefully love him or her half as well as they have loved my girls.

-Evie is moaning in her sleep beside me. As much as I would like to stay the night, only one parent is permitted overnight, and given the choice, Evie would always, always choose Chris.

-This doesn't hurt my feelings.

-I am really, really, really tired.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Maybe a Makeover Monday

It's a semi-annual post around these parts, folks. The ignoring my kids so I can mod podge a map crafting hasn't stopped. The blogging about it has. But Chris just got me a new MacBook (love him!) so now I can be in the same room with my kids and ignore them while I blog dash off a quick post or two.

Just kidding.

I don't really ignore my kids.


My table used to look like this (can you see it past the gigantic headless prego?)

Nothing wrong with it. If you're into ugly two tone wood and stuff. Which I clearly was in 2004 when I bought it.

Then it looked like this:

Chalkboard table and cool vintage school chairs. I told you I have a thing for school paraphernalia.

I love these little chairs, despite the fact that they were made for skinny 16 year olds and not, um, post-3-babies-mamas. Regardless, we definitely did not split three of the seats down the middle. Ahem.

But then I saw these little guys on the side of the road.

More accurately, I saw them at a yard sale. I wasn't willing to spend $3 each, so I waited an hour and circled around after the yard sale was over. Sure enough, they were sitting on the curb with a free sign. I am like a Stealthy Ninja Trash-Picking Superhero like that.

Possibly they may live in a homeschool room someday, but for now, they are living around my dining room table.

Leftover paint and a few stenciled numbers = free.

You know, just in case I ever need to count my chairs in a hurry.

I totally get that bright red + stencils might not be your cup of tea. That's absolutely fine if you don't want to be awesome.

They're going to look even better when Chris makes me this farmhouse table for my 30th birthday:

Oh, hey, Chris? Will you make me this farmhouse table for my 30th birthday?

These chairs are heavy, solid wood.

So if my ass cracks one of these bad boys, we are in biiiig trouble.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Do not despise the season

This past week, a dear friend, her husband, and her sweet little boy came to spend the night with us. I have always felt a special kinship with Kristi; I so value the ability to laugh at oneself, and Kristi is kind and thoughtful and funny, and she is very careful to not take herself too seriously.

Kristi is passionate about a natural lifestyle; we were a stop on the way to their final destination, so she temporarily unloaded all her organic morsels from her cooler into my fridge for the night. She had thought of everything-- organic milk for her son, organic coffee creamer (hopefully not for her son, or I am totally judging her), organic kiwis (Evie ate 3), some kumbucha tea and homemade sprouted grain bread. I am not sure about the last two, but you know... probably.

She is an extremely gracious person, so be assured when you read this next part: I was TOTALLY putting this on myself, not her.

As she placed her groceries beside mine, I began to feel self-conscious and squirmy. I used to be somewhat passionate about natural food; I still definitely see the value in it, and try to feed my family relatively healthfully and purposefully. But budget and time and lack of energy intercepted my best intentions somewhere between kid #1 and kid #3. And as she nestled her hormone-free milk beside my cans of Diet Dr. Pepper, as she described her tv-free toddler, I started to feel guilty.

Because, you know...

My kids had watched Sid the Science Kid that morning practically until their eyes got red and pus-y.

I had an important meeting with someone a few nights ago, and my husband was working... so I totally told my kids that if they played nice in the other room and let me finish my meeting without interruption, we would take a bike ride to the local Turkey Hill and they could get a small cup of red dye #5 Cherry slushie.

And of course, it's not just TV and nutrition:

I see other stupid, annoying moms post pictures on pinterest of their alphabetized DVD collection (oh, wait, they don't watch TV), or their color-coordinated dry erase memo board that plans their meals for the next 37 months (and they only spent $1.73 on all those groceries because they COUPON!), or their list of 674 FUN, EDUCATIONAL, TV-FREE THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS THIS SUMMER... and I just want to cry. I am trying to get dinner on the table for tonight. Sure I would coupon, IF I COULD FIND WHERE I PUT THE EFFIN' SUNDAY CIRCULAR.

And we see all this amazing (good!) stuff, and we think--"This is what I have to do! This is what I have to be!!"

But here's the thing. I am just not in that season right now.

I remember a conversation I had with a friend several years ago. We were discussing another friend, one who buys raw milk from a local farm and uses the cream to churn her own butter. Self-contempt crept into my voice as I said, "Wow. I really need to be like that."

I will never forget what my friend said, "Melody... there's a difference between practice and principle. The Biblical principle is that you are to care for your family and your home. That is going to look different for everyone; everyone will have different practices to make that principle come to fruition in their lives. You have to decide what serves your family best." For one friend, serving her family best means churning butter. Another's family is best served by picking it up at the market: the end result is the same. Neither is more or less.

But oh, I can be so discontent in the here-and-now. I want my kids to be more self-sufficient, I want our home to be more orderly, I want life to be less chaotic and loud.

But that's not the season I am in.

God made me wife to Chris. He chose ME, with all my manic insecurities and sloppiness-- to be Mama to Evie, Cana, and Ruby.

He did this in His perfect wisdom.

He knew that they would be close in age, and in His kindness, He promised that He would equip me with sufficient grace for today.

AndohasmuchasIhateitsometimes, this is the season I am in. The season of Target brand non-organic milk and socks under couch cushions and playdoh ground into the carpet of the minivan (how did that happen?!).

God put me in this beautiful, terrifying, maddening, amazing season because it is the very best thing for my soul. He's teaching me to be like Him--one board book, one band-aid application, one wiped nose at a time.

Help me to roll with it, God. Help me to delight in it, God. In the spilled milk and the overdue library books and the piles of laundry. Help me to delight in it.

Help me to not despise this season.