not what we expected

well, i bet you’ve all been wondering what we
have been up to since hibernation has ceased.
it’s been terribly exciting.
too exciting.
and very memorable.
so fun, that after a very pleasant time out of the house on monday morning, we were headed to trader joe’s and then the library on monday afternoon… of the very first day back in the real world. but, on our way into trader joe’s i pulled a muscle in my back while getting L out of his car seat. it was so horrendous as i wasn’t even sure if would be able to get L back into his car seat. i couldn’t speak and was in so much pain. pain worse than childbirth, dare i say. i waited for a few minutes in absolute pain and then bit the bullet and put L back. we went home and waited in the car for B to come home and rescue us. i spent the next 16 hours in bed. and it wasn’t restful sleep, it was uncomfortable sleep. i thought that instead of calling my blog
capturing motherhood,
i should have called it
capturing fatherhood
because B was doing everything.
and i mean everything.

after being on bedrest for six weeks while preggo with L, once those six weeks were over i made B promise that he’d never give me breakfast in bed again.
well, there i was having breakfast in bed. but, i wasn’t enjoying it.

what a way to celebrate our first few days of freedom. yesterday and today have been mellow days … quite similar to hibernation. too similar. today was the first day i was able to pick up L. until now, B would just bring him to me when i needed to nurse him. i am on the mend though. back to capturing motherhood.

yesterday, B had a fancy dinner to go to with my parents (golf related) so we all headed to my parents’ for the afternoon so that i could get some help. we packed up this much stuff (and more) that we needed for only a few hours if you can believe that.
i bet you can.

singing along to her beautiful song.

the kids have full reign over my dad’s office supplies.
and yes, this is a huge rubber band adorning K’s head.
and yes, pink is her favorite color.

L loved the new environment.

i got up with the kids this morning (B usually lets me sleep in until 7am).
and yes, that is considered sleeping in in our house.
this delicious little moment was before the other kids woke up.

for some reason, K decided to color on herself today.
i don’t think that this one was intentional.

but this zebra arm was.
and so was the red bic pen she used all over her legs.
i guess she’ll be wearing pants tomorrow to our Bible class.

today, while on the phone with my mom, K explained that “we were in the parking lot at trader joe’s and then mommy’s back hurt and she grabbed her back and said it hurt. and then we came home.” she finished her story with “and i have a cute dress on.”
one lesson in storytelling is to personalize your stories. she’s got that covered.

we got to see Grammy for a little bit this afternoon. L was mesmerized.

tonight, D hurt his foot so B had it
airlifted to the nearest hospital with his toy helicopter.

that’s the end. there isn’t any more.
looking forward to a more “normal” day out of hibernation tomorrow.

day fifty nine.the end of hibernation

last night, B and i heard some pounding noises coming out of the big kids’ bedroom. we thought it was D getting out of bed. we turned on the light and this is what we found instead…

what a silly, silly girl.

heading down to the very high tided beach (we ended up going to a different one because this one ended up not having any beach at all… just a lot of water).

we celebrated this
very
last
day of hibernation
with a fun family day at the beach!
and yes, we did stop at coffee bean on the way.

L and i hung out, put our toes in the sand and
watched the crazy kids run around with their dad.
it was perfect.

the day was filled with building,

chasing,

having a ball,

and getting as sandy as humanly possible.

when we got home, i put L down for his third nap. he was rolling around in his crib so i went back in to tuck him in. well, he greeted me with one perfectly prepared raspberry and a big smile. i got the message alright…
he wasn’t going to take a nap.

i’ve learned
a lot
over these last fifty-nine days.

most of all, i’ve learned to not let those little mundane moments slip by. the ones that distract you from whatever it was that you were on your way to do. the minute simple moments. i’ve learned to turn those into unmissable moments.
moments to cherish for a lifetime.

i’ve also learned that if i’m ever stuck in the house in the future,
we will survive.
we will think of crazy and new things to do.

i just don’t want to do that anytime soon.

i have also learned that even though there were those few nights where the thought of updating the blog seemed laborious, i really enjoyed blogging. accomplishing something from start to finish was so rewarding and just what this mom needed.
and needs.

it’s also been so great to wonder “what did we do last tuesday” and to know exactly what we did.
what made our day special.
different from all the rest.
so… i have decided to continue blogging.
i will not be blogging every single day but i will still update the blog often.

day fifty eight.doing the unimaginable

B loves ice blendeds from coffee bean. he hates coffee in all other forms but loves that drink. this morning, he allowed me to make some tea for him. i carefully chose the most flavorful bag i had, (good earth original – my favorite!) knowing that this would either only happen this one time or that i might successfully convert him. i added some cream and a bunch of sugar. shockingly, he said that he liked it. it’s been all day and i still can’t believe it. but, i wouldn’t be at all surprised if he got himself an ice blended tomorrow.

while the kids were eating breakfast this morning i ran out the front door, went across the street and captured the sun peeking out and glimmering on these rain drenched leaves. to my surprise, nobody was crying when i came back 90 seconds later. might have been a new record.

i found some old make up and brushes and let K go wild with it. she put them all in her purse and wouldn’t let D use any because “it’s for just girls.”

here she is trying to get a drop of my empty apple cider mug. her hair was especially curly today. every time i looked at it it reminded me of an old lady who slept in curlers. her hair does go half-way down her back, but you’d never know it because it completely coils up.

my little dolly babe. when i was helping her change from her jammies into her clothes this morning, i saw that her jammies were a size three and i thought to myself, how great that she can wear her age. (D is just wearing his age for the first time… ever.) but then hours later, i realized that she is only two, not three and that she isn’t in fact wearing her age but she is wearing a size bigger than her age. i must be really tired if i’m forgetting how old she is.

sharing tea from our tea party.

in our house, we try to avoid listening to children’s music as much as possible. instead, we listen to soundtracks like mary poppins or the incredible sound of music. children’s music, especially when its sung by children, puts me in an instant bad mood. i especially can’t stand american kids faking british accents. anyone else feel this same way? this book has the best chapter title: “children’s music, why?” but i think i finally came to the revelation as to why i hate it so very much: it sounds like even more children are in my house. like we need more noise around here.

our eleven-toed wonder.

he is perfect.

the sign for water. i’m pretty sure that he’s signing that on purpose… not positive yet though.

no matter how hard i try, i can never hide from him. even at dinner tonight, he was not satisfied by sitting in B’s lap and looking directly across the table at me. he had to be in my lap. what a momma’s boy. i do love every moment.

D and K doing wii yoga.
D was surprisingly very accurate. K on the other hand was too busy eating D’s popcorn.

B took the big kids out on a few errands before dinner. L was soundly sleeping and so i did something crazy. i did the the unimaginable…
i took a bath.
it was simply wonderful.
it was even sweeter knowing that there were a billion other things i probably should have been doing. i don’t regret it for one minute.

day fifty seven.arise, shine

per D’s request, i made waffles this morning.

i got to go out of the house all by myself. i was giddy all morning. so what if this little break included a visit to the dermatologist. i’ll take anything that i can get on day fifty seven.

but, as i walked down the street to the doc’s office, i realized that the last time i was walking on that street was when little L was in the hospital. today, i could see the PICU window safely from the street below. during those horrible days, my parents would bring D and K for me to visit for twenty minutes outside while they would go inside to see L. it was always so good to see the big kids and i really tried to be the same old mommy to them but i knew that they could surely see right through my exhausted and weak attempts. they know me almost more than anyone knows me. besides B and of course, God.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Luke 12:7

i loved being with them. their little bodies, free of worry. it was so refreshing to breathe that in. but every ounce of me longed to be with my precious little baby. my sick and helpless little baby. i never wanted to leave his side. not even for a few moments. i felt so torn to be the mom that the big kids so desperately wanted but to also be the protector of my little L. all at the exact same time.

this walk brought back so many sharp memories. too many. the things i haven’t thought about in the light of day. the things that i haven’t allowed myself to think about in the light of day. the thoughts i’ve safely shoved way down deep. the thoughts that only creep up as i fall asleep
every.
single.
night.
thoughts of the PICU and of the NICU.

but even though we’re all safe and sound when those feeling bubble up, they are still rock hard and feel like they were happening just yesterday. those countless days, hours, minutes and seconds that were endless. life stood completely and totally
s t i l l.

God has been faithful throughout all of it. every painful breath.
His love and comfort has been unending.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

and that is what we must rest in. that is what we must cling to.
we must cling to Him with every ounce
of our strengths and will all of our weaknesses.

But he said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

after the appointment, as i walked back down the street,
i relished in how life is so much brighter now.

i treated myself to a delicious lunch at a cute little cafe.
they even served watermelon juice. of course, i just had lemonade because i am not a risk taker. but, i thought about the watermelon.
i really did consider it.

and, i got a sassy new haircut. my dear friend’s blog just talked about how even a haircut is good for the soul.

snuggling with the babe.

our orange-eater.
he happily reported that he ate 12 slices at dinner.

the train tracks D made after the other two kids had gone to bed.
it was in the shape of “ice cream in a bowl.”
what flavor, you ask? chocolate. yep, he’s just like his mommy.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”
Isaiah 60:1

day fifty six.my little super hero

after such an incredibly touching Bible class this morning, i felt refreshed and renewed. it’s been too long since i’ve felt that way. good thing too because i spent much of the rest of the day on the phone getting much of that goodness drained from me.

whenever i get up in the morning and am not happy about my hair, i am always reminded that it could be worse. thanks for that reminder, K.

this little guy has been really happy today. seriously.
hardly any fusses. and he’s our fussiest baby yet.
he also realized how to make a new sound.
oh, the joys of being 8 months old.

playing with his daddy, but all eyes on his mommy.

a full lap.

getting his massage, like a pro.

what a sweet little thing.

his new “mommy’s super hero” jammies.
look at those muscles.

there’s a lot more refreshment and renewing just for me coming tomorrow. the great thing about being up so much at night with L is that tomorrow will be here before i know it!

day fifty five.wish i were working nine to five

i told B tonight that when K doesn’t take a nap it’s like showing up
for work and having them let you know that you’ll be working overtime and won’t be getting paid for it.
it makes for a very long and draining day.
but, there’s always the hope that she will tomorrow.

this guy organizes everything he can get his hands on.
i have absolutely no idea where he gets that.

i also find this the best way to eat my morning snack.

there she goes, hamming it up once again.

K said to me today,
“Mommy, I love you.
Mommy, I love the pillow.”
wow. thanks, babe. i feel so special.

working on our letters.

this boy loves his orange.

the chub angle.
wowzers.

sewing with paper.

K’s cute new sneakers.

goodnight.
sleep tight.
don’t let the bed bugs bite.

day fifty four.button, button, who’se got a button?

i couldn’t clear the dishes from the dining room table this morning because i couldn’t move the clean bath toys from the kitchen counter to the bathroom until i cleaned the bathroom and i couldn’t clean the bathroom while L was asleep (as i can’t chance waking him up… ever) and i couldn’t clean the bathroom while L was awake (because who can hold a baby and clean the bathroom at the same time?). so, things just kind of stayed in their places for the entire day.
and it was okay.
it was actually more than okay.

while playing go fish this morning, when D would ask K if she had a particular card, she would reply “no thank you.”
if it was a game about manners, she would have won.

when you get bored with your toys, there’s always toilet paper!

thanks to the fun idea and the sweet supplies from G,
we did button art! what a fun time we had. i even joined in!

the man that D and K jointly created.

K’s button creation.

day fifty three.the last monday

today felt like a monday.
although, today was the very last monday of hibernation.
can you believe it?

gotta love that drool.

i had the big kids clean all of their bath toys in the kitchen sink today. with a couple of toothbrushes and some vinegar, the toys were clean and boredom had been avoided. phew.

Auntie B had the brilliant idea of heading out to the beach today.
i could not have done it without her help or
the travel potty we brought along for K.
but if i had to pick one, it would have been Auntie B.

as you can see, it was simply lovely outside today. the moment we touched the sand, D was covered in it from head to toe. it was as if he had been at home for nearly fifty-two days or something.

mountains were created and then quickly destroyed,

the kids did some watercoloring (with a bit of sand mixed in),

and L and i snuggled up the entire time.

i read on an incredible blog about the importance of purposeful mothering. it’s so easy for me to think about all of the things i must do each and every day (laundry, nursing, picking up, cooking, feeding, reading, cleaning, wiping, dishes – although, B does most of those, thinking, planning, wondering, hoping, praying…) and forget about why i am doing all of this and for whom. i lose my focus. it’s like when i don’t look through the viewfinder of my camera and to no surprise, end up with horrible photos.

that’s how today started out. i felt like garfield as i just wanted to climb back into bed. but then, something changed and i remembered that it’s those small teensy tiny almost missable moments that it’s really all about. it’s about being faithful and not perfect. and much too often i focus on the perfect part
(which i am not and cannot be) and forget about just being faithful. i’d love to say that i’ve mastered all of this during this time away from the world but i haven’t. and i probably never will. it will always be a daily struggle. but being conscious of it and being faithful to Him are where i need to be focused.

“Be still, and know that I am God”
Psalm 46:10

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