Monday, March 17, 2014

Take me out to the ballgame!

I am officially a baseball mom. 

I never wanted to be a baseball mom. Honestly, I don't even like baseball that much. I was hoping my kids would enjoy a sport where people actually move around, like basketball or soccer. But they like baseball, so I am a baseball mom.

Saturday was opening day. Last night I sat down with their schedules and wrote everything in on our calendar. Just wanted to let you know that if anyone needs to find me this Spring, I'll be at the ballpark. Evidently I'll be spending about 5 days a week there. Another mom told me that eventually your butt gets used to sitting on the bleachers. Kinda like riding a bike, I guess. 

Watching this guy, though. That makes it worth it. 
Because the boys are on two separate teams, Andy & I often have to divide and conquer. Andy was with Sammy on Saturday for his first-ever baseball game and he said it was amazing. Like Sammy came alive out there! At one point Sammy was positioned on the pitchers mound and every time one of his fellow 5-year-olds hit a ball off of the tee, Sammy would dive for it. And get it! He was in his element and had such a blast.

Caedmon was in his element eating a hot dog and drinking root beer! Ha. I think he'd like to wear those bright green crocs in the game if cleats were not required. He is such a funny kid!

Sammy was awarded the game ball and named "Player of the Game" for his hustle. He was so happy and proud of himself! It was a priceless moment.

Below is my "No-More-Yelling-At-Sammy-Card" that I created. Before you go thinking I'm a horrible person for ever getting frustrated with that sweet face, I'd like to invite YOU over to get the child ready for baseball one afternoon! Then you, too, will appreciate my little check list. 

Sammy is slow-moving, frequently loses things, and often can't even remember what he's looking for. This was a formula for unending frustration for Mom as I try to get them out the door for baseball multiple times a week. So I came up with a check list for Sammy to work his way through. He starts getting ready for baseball at 4:00. Computer time starts at 4:15 and we leave the house at 4:45. So if he takes longer than 15 minutes to get ready, he just eats away at his computer time. No sweat off my brow. (This was Andy's genius idea.) We created a tub for each boy to store all of his baseball stuff in for easy access. I sure hope this alleviates our headache. 

So, here's to sunshine, fresh air, snack shacks, and bleachers. May we make many wonderful memories and friendship this Spring through the great American game of baseball!

Play Ball!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Please Don't Leave Me

Dear Hair,

I think we may have had some kind of misunderstanding.

You seem unhappy to be with me. I'm deducing this from the handfuls of hair that come out every time I shower. I know you've been a little neglected lately. You get spit up on regularly, washed irregularly, and jerked up in a pony tail most days. I'm sorry. Truly, I am.

But just because I'm head over heels in love with a baby doesn't mean I don't care about you anymore. You are still a very important part of my life. It would be helpful to me if our relationship could be more low maintenance right now. I promise we'll get some quality time together at least a couple times a week (namely, before church and date night). Please don't leave me simply because I had a baby.

I'm really hoping we can resolve this issue quickly because, at this rate, I may be bald by summer.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Hot Mess

I was a hot mess last Saturday.

I was not supposed to be. All the attention was supposed to be directed at my friend whose birthday we were celebrating. But I guess we don't typically get to choose the timing of our messes.

It all started when we met at my friend's house to drive together. I was going to drive because Karis came along as an honorary member of our girls' breakfast. Everyone arrived, we piled in my luxurious minivan, and then...the sliding door got stuck. Would. Not. Budge.

I called my friend's husband to come outside to look at it, sure that he'd be able to glance at it and immediately see some silly mistake that I was overlooking. THIRTY MINUTES LATER we still sat in that driveway! We googled our problem. We figured out how to check the fuses. We got on the phone with Honda. Finally, I told my friends to head on without me. Andy was on his way and we'd just drive the van to the mechanic (with the door open, mind you). As my friends began to unload and Andy pulled up with my boys (still in their PJs), my friend's husband found a small broken cable and figured out how to shut the door. Long sigh. We piled back in the van and headed to breakfast.

I was a little rattled at this point. I don't really like being the center of attention, ESPECIALLY when someone else is supposed to be. And I absolutely hate it when people are inconvenienced because of me. But, alas, these were some of my best friends, I reasoned, and they were not upset.

When we got to the (very crowded) restaurant, a table for 6 became available. There were 4 of us plus a stroller, so that's where we were seated. However, as we approached the table I realized the awkward seating arrangement would be me and the stroller on one side and my 3 friends scrunched shoulder-to-shoulder on the other. And then one of my friends wanted to hold Karis for a bit so there was a 4 to 1 ratio going on. This was not helping the feeling that all eyes were on me.

Towards the end of breakfast, Karis was lying across my lap. I bent down to pick up her passy that she dropped and when I did I accidentally smashed her sweet head into the edge of the table. It left a red, indented line across that perfect little scalp. She (understandably) started screaming and I swooped her up in my arms and fled out the back door of the restaurant. As we stood outside, I kissed her over and over and told her how sorry I was...and maybe I shed a tear or two myself.

Finally we got ourselves back together and returned to the party. My friend, who knows what I'm thinking in almost every situation, knew I was trying really hard to hold it together. So she told me a great story about the time she dropped her baby's car seat with her baby strapped inside and the carseat flipped over. And then, even though her baby was completely fine, she still reported herself to her pediatrician out of sheer guilt! Ahhh, I am not alone unintentionally victimizing my child. Thank you for the validation.

But no sooner had her story began to calm my nerves then Karis had a blowout poop that soaked through her clothes and onto mine. (I am not making this up, People.) Seeing that this restaurant did not have a changing table we decided we'd better just call it a day. We fumbled back to my not-so-luxerious minivan that now doubled as a changing station so that I could strip Karis down completely naked, give her a wipes-bath, and re-clothe her, all while the birthday girl and my two friends looked on. I even had to take back the gift bag that I had just given my friend which was holding her birthday present so that I could use it to transport Karis' dirty diaper. Talk about tacky!

I know people who also carry a change of clothes for themselves in their diaper bags. Now I understand why...Because it's a little uncool to walk around with mustard colored poop smeared down your white blouse.

Not one of my finer moments...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Two Gifts

The darkest pain lays a backdrop for God’s blessings to shine most brightly. Maybe that's because when darkness closes in, our eyes strain to see anything that resembles light. I’ve seen this working itself out in my own life recently. 

My two biological children are just over 7 years apart. According to the calendar I had set in my head, the age gap should have been more like 18 months. It seems like neatly aligned bookends now, but the middle ground was anything but tidy. My heart was a mess many-a-days. 
The pain of infertility and miscarriage (which I wrote about herehere, here and here) was suffocating.

When you're suffering people will tell you "God's going to work this all together for your good," and "He makes all things beautiful in His time." I've even said those words myself. But when you're sitting in ashes, you can't see beauty. 

However, I've had time to take a shower since then and, though I may still have a few ashes clinging to me, I'm beginning to see some beauty popping up. Two gifts in particular.

Gift #1:


Our infertility was the motivating force that urged us to begin our adoption when we did. The timing otherwise didn't make a lot of sense. We were less than one year into starting South Bay Church and had, perhaps, one or two minor lose ends hanging around (read: our lives were crazy). If we had been able to conceive naturally, I'm almost positive that we would have waited several more years before pursuing adoption. And in the process, we would have missed our Sammy...a possibility that seems more than I can bear. 

The sweetness of his smiles, the sound of his belly laugh, the shy way he snuggles close, the dance moves he'll perform (until I grab my camera), his deep love for sausage and tomatoes... We could have missed it. But, by the grace of God we didn't. Sammy is our gift. 

Gift #2:

Every single part of mothering Karis is a gift to me. I don't think I would have felt so strongly about that if the journey to her wasn't so winding. I remember being mesmerized and enthralled with Caedmon when he was born, but I also remember getting frustrated over sleep issues and feeling desperate for a little time to myself. 

With Karis, it's different. We've got our share of sleep issues (probably even more than we did with Caedmon) and I have even less time to myself these days now that I am the mother to 3 children. But somehow, every temptation to sigh is linked to my constant awareness of what a gift she is. (Please don't read this as a confession that I love Karis more than my other is more a confession that I had no idea how to fully appreciate each moment with them.) 

I delight in breastfeeding that baby (even if it means that I don't get to go to Catalyst this year and my "getaway" with Andy in May will include a diaper bag). It is no burden to me when I have to excuse myself from a meeting or a dinner early because she needs my attention. Her smile is pure sunshine to me and I would pay a lot of money if someone could figure out how to bottle the smell of her head. 

We receive gifts with deeper gratitude when we know the pain of going without it. 
What gifts do you need to thank God for today?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

4 Months

Four months later and we're still in the honeymoon phase.

She is all smiles now. She recently "found her voice" and loves to sing me songs from her swing while I cook dinner or tell me stories while I change her diaper.

I'm sure a day will come when she will make me mad or I will hurt her precious feelings, but for the life of me I can't imagine it. To me, at least for now, she can do no wrong.

I have to force myself to put her to sleep most nights because it feels so good to have her in my arms. The worst part of getting strep throat was not being able to kiss that sweet face a thousand times a day. Any time something trying happens (like screaming during dinner or waking up 5 times in one night), I think to myself, "She's finally here. And she is so worth it."

Princess Karis, you are unending joy to me.