Kid Convos

Update for the handful of you who don’t know me in real life (*winkwink*): We are 14 weeks along with our third!

Conversation with Naomi yesterday
Me: Do you want the new baby to be a girl or a boy?
Naomi: Boy baby.
Me: Are you sure? What if it’s a girl?
Naomi: BOY BABY!
Me: What should we name the baby?
Naomi: Scout.
Me: What should we feed the baby?
Naomi: Hmmm….water.
Me: How about milk?
Naomi: No, water.
Me: Where should the baby sleep:
Naomi: My bathroom.
Me: What should we give the baby to play with?
Naomi: Loveys.
Me: Loveys are a great idea!
Naomi: My loveys! Give new baby my loveys!
Me: ….heart melt….

Conversation with Malachi today
Me: Do you want a boy so you can have a baby brother or another baby sister?
Malachi: Another baby sister.
Me: What should we name the baby?
Malachi: Santa!

ultra

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7 Quick Takes about 2013

I wish I could come up with one word to describe 2013, but I’m not sure what to choose.  Maybe it would be “fast” – my memories of Christmas 2012 are crystal clear because it seems like just yesterday. My memories of newborn Naomi are already fuzzy because that is what it’s like to have a baby. Any stage other than their current one seems so far removed you sometimes wonder if it even happened to you.  I watch videos of Malachi from 8, 9, 10 months ago and it’s hard to believe this little boy was ever that little boy.  Maybe I would choose “hard” – because focusing all my attention on one child at a time gives me a twinge of guilt almost every time, no matter which kid. Because on the day I think I’ve never been more exhausted, that night I lay awake with a squirming baby and realize that now I have. Because consistently spending time with the Lord has never been so difficult for me. Because anytime I make progress in one area of life I fall behind in another.  But maybe I would choose “joy” – because there has never been a happier, more smiley, more laid-back baby than Naomi.  Because my son has finally broken past the barrier and can speak clearly and efficiently and is so much happier for it.  Because my endless stream of photos and videos attests to the beautiful memories we have made this year.  Maybe I’ll just choose all three.

And if I were to pick a word (ok, two words) for this coming year, I will declare them over my home and my family and myself and prophetically choose “peace” and “love.” Not because I’m some kind of hippie, but because if there’s anything this house needs, it’s a little more peace so the abundant love we already have for the Lord and for one another can be a little more obvious, a little more dominant, and a little more in-control.

Thanks for sticking through the sappiest and most flowery introduction to date.  Onto the cooler stuff: 7 quick takes about 2013.

  1. January – We discovered the neighborhood farm, Malachi learned to sit at the big table and give real hugs, and he experienced his first snow.
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  2. February – One night I went to bed early because I thought I was having regular, painless contractions.  The next morning when I woke up they continued but at the same frequency and pain(less)-level.  So Jeremy went to work, Malachi and I played, I bought an app called “labor mate,” made myself cry when I put Malachi down for his nap because intuitively I knew this was the last time it would ever be just me and him (crying again, btw), mopped the kitchen floor, did some yoga, finally decided to go to the hospital, found out I was SIX CENTIMETERS PEOPLE, and three very-natural hours later, sweet baby Naomi Kate was born to change our lives forever.
    ImageMalachi was overjoyed.
    ImageEventually he got used to her and even learned to share.
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  3. March and April – March included a lot of sweet moments, like this:

    According to a quick skim of my daily kid log, I went to Goodwill at least 3 times with both kids in April. We also really settled into being a family of four. I remember feeling really content with just “being” with my kids. I wasn’t super stressed about things with Naomi (she slept through the night for two months starting in April) and Malachi was doing really well with her, too. Also, I started my blog in April.
  4. May, June, and July – In May my baby boy turned two. Naomi rolled over, laughed, and settled into a great schedule.  In June we went to Seattle.  Re-reading some of my highlights of July makes me remember how much I LOVE summer and how much happier we all are when it is sunshiney outside. We did so much partying, playing outside, swimming, and fun stuff in July. Malachi started making developmental strides (colors, numbers) and we visited his pre-school for the first time. We also hosted two Brazilian girls for a long weekend and I got really, really secondhomesick.
  5. August and September – In August I started harvesting things from my first-ever garden. It was encouraging and discouraging all at the same time, but I’ll definitely do it again (just way differently).  August was also a little hard – Naomi had major sleep problems and Malachi started hitting her. Having two young kids started to get a lot harder than it had been before. In September we visited my best friend and her family, Malachi started preschool, Naomi started eating insane amounts of food (this trend continues), and we went to several festivals.
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  6. October and November – In October we went camping, Malachi potty-trained, Malachi and I had a very intense supernatural experience with the Lord, and Naomi started standing on her own.  In November I began my ongoing trend of slacking off on blogging. Malachi made huge strides in his speech. We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgivng.
  7. December – I love the Christmas season! We had so much fun family time this month. The kids LOVED Christmas, baby Jesus, Santa, and presents. Naomi took her first steps. Malachi became obsessed with the guitar. Malachi was the cutest Christmas angel ever.
    christmas malachi christmas nani

pageantHappy New Year!  Now go see Jen for much bigger and better.
**Ummmm, also…. I just reread this and realized I only talked about my kids. Wow. I guess that’s what I get for using my daily kid log to remind me of the year….  if you wanted any news about me and Jeremy, sorry to disappoint!  Better luck next year when I’m not too tired to go back and edit.

Not even the possibility of a chemical burn can dampen my mood

Just typed out two whole paragraphs, went back and fell asleep trying to re-read them, and then deleted them. You’re welcome.

Yesterday was awesome. Aside from the fact that Naomi quite literally pooped 8 times, all on my shift, and that during one of these times when I was about to change her I heard a bloodcurdling scream from the bathroom that turned out to be the reaction of my poor son who had just sprayed Daddy’s cologne into his eye. Yes I rinsed it, yes I panicked, yes I called the doctor to make sure I didn’t need to take him to the ER, check check check. He was fine five minutes later and I still feel like crap for leaving him unattended with his footstool but “lesson learned” and all that yada and also his hair smelled fantastic all day so there’s that.

Anywho, both kids slept straight through the night the night before and they both took spectacular naps – Malachi had zero night terrors and woke up happy for the first time in a week and Naomi actually took two full-length naps in one day so I guess she finally got around to reading Babywise and praise be. But it wasn’t the great sleeping or amount of alone-time that made me happy. Having the kids sleep in gave me time to start my day with the Lord, which makes absolutely the BIGGEST difference in my day of anything. The great naps gave me time to focus on my to-do list – and actually finish it. Guys, I crossed off every item! That alone makes me giddy not to mention the fact that stuff actually got done. And the finishing the to-do list made my stress level go down to the point of nonexistence. When Malachi got up we baked cookies and he dumped the flour and sugar into the bowl and kept saying “yum, chocolate!” when he licked the beaters before the chocolate was even in it. And Naomi and I played peek-a-book and patty-cake and fake-laugh. Dinner got started, finished, and eaten on time. Jeremy came home from work and I wasn’t frantically pretending I didn’t desperately need to just hand him a kid and go pee alone for the first time all day. I randomly organized something which always makes me happy. It was just a good day.

At the end of the day I realized that this was the kind of day I envisioned when I thought about being a stay-at-home-mom. Not that I expected perfection or perfect sleepers or whatever, but just the ability to approach my day and its tasks and joys and scares and opportunities with peace. And even when Naomi woke up crying with inexplicable gas at 10 and I had to hold her writhing self for 45 minutes, it was ok. I was ok.

Also, this happened:

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I’m not sure what it would look like for me to be able to have this kind of day every day. Not the sleeping and cookie-baking per se, although that would sure be nice. But just the lack of stress. Feeling productive. Having the home be peaceful when Jeremy gets home. I’m trying to identify a few of the things that made this happen:

  • I stayed on top of my chores. For a while I’ve tried to do a chore a day and I schedule it out, but for some reason I just never keep up with it. This week I kept up with it. Not only was it surprisingly easy to do, but it made me feel so much better about myself and my home when I did.
  • I did my devotions first thing. Always a goal, not always accomplished. But so long as I don’t have a child asleep in my bed and I’m not sick I don’t really have an excuse.
  • I didn’t allow myself to sit down at the computer until my list was done. Um, yeah. It’s kind of embarrassing how big of a difference this made. Not that I waste hours and hours online every day, but sitting down “just for a minute” interrupts my focus and my momentum and I practically have to start over whenever I get up.
  • The kids slept really, really well. Here’s hoping.
  • The kids behaved really, really well. Here’s praying.

Today Jeremy is home because it’s Saturday and of course Malachi is ecstatic about that. We’ve run errands and wrestled and cuddled and it’s been fantastic and I’m just really, really hoping this continues but even if tomorrow brings screaming, sleepless nights and endless time-outs and more scum than I can scrub, at least it’s been nice to have a little bit of a break.

Why do I keep punishing you with these?

From the time I set my breakfast down on the table this morning to the time I actually finished it, this is what happened:  Set breakfast on table, start feeding Naomi who is swallowing it faster than I can refill the spoon, argue with Malachi about eating more than 4 Cheerios for breakfast, feed Naomi some more, give Naomi some finger foods to try to buy a minute to wolf down some toast, take Malachi to the potty to pee, come back to the table and resituate Malachi, give Naomi another bite, take my first bite of now cold toast, get up and get Malachi’s fork off the floor, finish feeding Naomi, start feeding Malachi making “choo-choo” noises because it’s the only way he will eat, randomly stuff a bite in between Malachi’s bites, get up and lunge for Malachi’s dropped vitamin before the dog eats it  (I think she might have licked it a little but Malachi will never know), finish eating, get Naomi cleaned up and down from her chair, get Malachi cleaned up and down from his chair, take first sip of coffee, take vitamins.

All the while I was praying that the UPS man wouldn’t come first thing in the morning because I was not at all decent.

Lunch was slightly more organized – by the time I finished my leftovers they were no cooler than lukewarm so that’s something. Malachi let me know it was naptime by beginning to randomly kick and hit his sister. When I yelled at him for smacking her I looked over and realized she was cracking up and thought the whole thing was hilarious. I put Malachi down at 1:30 and then let Naomi crawl around in peace for a minute or 30. Then I looked up to see her crawl into her carseat from behind, wrangle her way all the way in, nearly slam her head on the ground rocking it, fart really loud, then somehow climb out without injuring herself.

I put Naomi down for her nap at 2:00 and sat down to read some e-mail when I heard Malachi’s door open and shut super fast. I marched in to discover him wide awake and beaming with the light on. When I sternly told him to go back to bed he responded with the requisite “See Daddy home!” which means “I want Daddy to come home so I can see him (because you are a horrible mother)!” – parenthesis mine.

Just another day in the Dillinger funhouse.

The things you never thought you’d say

Sometimes as a Mom you get a glimpse of yourself from the outside, and it totally cracks you up. Here’s some things I’ve said that are either funny because they are taken out of context, or funny because this is just my life now.

To Jeremy:

  • I’m so tired.  We just have to watch some TV.
  • (Because of dairy restrictions) I love you, babe, but you have Doritos and Cheetos in there that I am super jealous of and if you eat one more of my barbecue chips I’m gonna smack you.  

To Malachi:

  • It’s not a TV, honey, it’s a chalkboard.  And I can’t turn it on for you.
  • Honey, it’s bread. I can’t put it back together. Just eat it.
  • Malachi, if you want to wear earrings you have to say please.  You can’t just go in there and grab them.
  • If you’re just gonna sit on the grass and say “fub” I’m going back inside.
  • Malachi, don’t lick the wall, that’s gross. 
  • It’s not gonna stand up, honey, it’s an apple.
  • It’s not any more expensive to buy glass cleaner than to buy white vinegar. I mean, my kids lick the windows occasionally but not that often.
  • It’s really just a noodle, Malachi, you don’t need to put it back together.
  • Drink your coffee.*
  • Put your pee-pee in the hole.

*1 part decaf, 50 parts milk, lest you have a panic attack.

7 Quick Takes Numero Seis

  1. Let’s start off with a confession slash funny story and let me preface it by saying: No one got hurt. Naomi has been napping in our bed since she was born because having two kids under three share a room was probably not the best decision I’ve ever made. Anyway, this past Sunday she was napping on a guest bed right next to where I was sitting so I knew I would hear her when she woke up.  I finally heard the mild “I’m frustrated” fuss and went to get her. But she wasn’t there. I couldn’t find her. I could hear a muffled fuss (not really a cry) and walked around the room til I saw one foot sticking out from under the dust ruffle. She somehow managed to fall off and roll under the bed and I don’t know how she did either because the pillow barrier was untouched and the bed isn’t that high off the ground. So yeah. Bed sleeping days are over. Except for today because Malachi was making noise when she was dosing off and so….
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    We are living on the edge.  The very well-protected edge.
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  2. I’m currently the classiest of the classy and watching Wife Swap. Judge me not. This one has a legit Rastafari family (look that up if you want your head to spin). The other is the most controlling family I’ve ever seen. The Rasta family keeps saying things like “The $8,000 you are going to spend on a home theater could buy 800,000 mosquito nets for kids in Africa,” and “Jah will provide,” and they are pro-homeschooling. And they are also crazy, don’t get me wrong, BUT. Never did I ever think I’d see the day when I was more in line with the Rastas than the type-A chore charters. Just call me Rastafallie (get it?). But there will be a chore chart in my home one day. Rest assured.
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  3. Naomi is currently sleeping in the bathroom. Or not sleeping, I should say. She went from being the most! amazing! sleeper! ever! to waking up 1 to 3 times a night. Today the doctor encouraged me to “ignore her” and let her learn to sleep on her own. We’ll see how long I can handle that, but she needs to be not in Malachi’s room and not in our room lest she see me and start doing horizontal jumping jacks and so….bathroom it is.
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  4. Speaking of the doctor, we saw a different doctor today and I’m not a huge fan. I wish I knew why – maybe because she is just loud enough to make Malachi nervous (not difficult) or maybe it’s because no one will ever be as awesome as our normal doctor or maybe it’s her purple lipstick. I’m leaning towards the lipstick.
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  5. I’m sorry to report that my garden does not look good.  Not sure if my tomatoes are gonna make it or not and half of me wants to pick them while they are green and let them ripen indoors and half of me wants to give it another chance because maybe tomatoes come back to life after 70% of the branches and leaves are dead? Maybe? No? Here’s a picture of this week’s harvest:
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    What do you think I should do with the five green beans? Are there any recipes out there that call of 1.3 ounces of pole beans?
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  6. Last week I asked you to like Anderson’s Facebook page for me so I could be the thousandth like. I’ve had their page open on my computer for a week, and I refresh it religiously to see if it’s close yet. Yesterday they were only 6 away and I was being very serious about my monitoring (what I will do for 10 bucks…sad). Then they sent out a text blast reminding people about it while I was putting Malachi down for a nap. And being the boring, responsible, stupid, boring, responsible mother that I am… I finished nap time and by the time I got out to my computer…. 1,004 likes. I was so disappointed I shut my computer lid and come to think of it, I don’t think I ever did actually “like” them. Petty much?
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  7. On a more serious note, I’ve had two things on my mind a lot lately. One that I was grappling with last night is the “trend” or whatever of growing, faithful, ministering Christians cussing like it’s totally normal. The other thing I was thinking about a lot is the vaccine issue. Being a mom and learning about vaccines is hard because there is SO much information and SO many conflicting “facts” and SO many accusations of who is a trustworthy source and who is not… Anyways, yesterday I came across this article about Christians swearing, and today I came across this article about vaccines. And while I am still thinking a lot about both issues, it was like God just said, “I hear you, and here’s what I want you to see today.” He is good like that, isn’t He?

Go see Jen, the hostess with the mostess, for more takes!

Both

Naomi was having a fussy day today. There are times I try to swallow the mommy-heartbreak that happens when you listen to your child cry so that I can focus on meeting Malachi’s needs. I put Naomi in her swing, give her her baby doll and paci, and then pray she calms down long enough for me to read him a story and put him down for a nap without feeling guilty. There are other times when I meet her needs first because I just have to and see the disappointment on my son’s face. Last week he rediscovered an old story and was so, so excited to read it at nap time. I made a big deal out of it, called him over, and Naomi immediately started crying the kind of cry that just can’t be ignored. I quickly said, “Hang on, buddy, I need to help Nani” (which he understands) and then looked over just in time to see the smile fall from his face and his head dip and I thought, This sucks.

I have good, happy, healthy kids. I can’t imagine what families go through who have a special needs child among their lot. But sometimes it’s hard to choose one need over another. It’s hard to ignore a crying baby who doesn’t understand and it’s surprisingly even harder to make an excited child wait while you rock his sister in his chair during his story time.

But what I love about having two young children is the ways they surprise me. Like yesterday when I tried to get Malachi down for a nap while Naomi fussed in her crib. I tried to just focus on him, focus on reading his story, but he wouldn’t let me.

“Uh-oh. Nani! Uh-oh.” He wouldn’t take his nap until she stopped crying. Today when she skipped a nap and fussed and fussed and fussed and fussed on his own accord he stayed by her side the whole time I did dishes handing her one toy after another after another trying to make her happy.

A few months ago we had the most discouraging doctor’s appointment. Malachi’s iron had dropped again, which was just incredibly disheartening for me. Then I learned that his speech is of concern and I needed to watch his development in that area. Then he had shots. Then Naomi had shots.

I’m not a mom who cries with my kids when they get hurt. Believe me, I cry, but they don’t see it. I try to stay as calm and composed as I can for their sake. But watching my son get his finger pricked to test his iron and then get two separate shots all the while saying, “All done! All done!” is incredibly hard. I hate it. After his shots were over and he was finally calming down a bit the nurse came back in to do Naomi’s shots. And Malachi started crying and panicking as soon as he realized what was happening. “Nani! All done! All done!” and when she lost it, so did he. As a mom, that might have been the most heartwarming and heartbreaking moment I’ve had.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. I guess just to say that I know there are people out there who think I’m crazy for having my kids so close together (not that close, in my opinion, but ok). There are probably people who would think it’s “unfair” to them both and that I asked for it. But the truth is, they are precious. They love each other tremendously. And although Malachi is very 2 and he sometimes throws toys at Naomi’s head or “helps” her roll over or tries to feed her with the salad spoon I didn’t know he had, the truth is he adores her and he protects her. He worries about her when she cries in the middle of the night and tells me when she drops things and mimics her sounds and laughs when she laughs and excitedly says “Nani!” whenever she wakes up. And of course she practically worships him and will continue to do so for a while, I think and hope and pray.

And there are moments. There are moments when having two tiny people is hard. The hardest is when they are both hurting or both tired or both whatever and I can’t help them both at once. But the best is when they are both cuddling with me, both listening as I read a story, both touching each other’s face, both laughing, or both sleeping in the backseat. They already have their own relationship apart from me. Malachi already takes care of her when he thinks I’m not doing enough. She already looks for him whenever she hears him and tries to crawl toward him when she finds him.

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They are everything I hoped they would be and more.