Thursday, June 30, 2011

'Til My Sides Hurt: Hazel Edition

A few days after attending a friend's graduation party where Hazel stuck to the older girls like glue she had this conversation with me:

Hazel: Mom, remember Sassy Sarah? She's the one who wanted to swing. There was another Sarah. She's the one who was hanging upside down.

Me: Why do you call her Sassy Sarah?

Hazel: Because she wanted to swing. There are lots of Sarah! One and two and five!


A few weeks before Jackson was born Marlys, who is a dear friend on mine, stopped by to give me a beautiful handmade quilt for Jackson. Well, in her 30 minute visit Marlys made a huge impression on Hazel. She hasn't stopped mentioning her to us. She even named one of her dollies Marlys.

Well, this last week while Hot Hubby was out at the grill making dinner the girls were running around the yard playing house (and I was thanking God for the break!). Hot Hubby told me that he kept hearing Hazel call for Carlys and realized she was calling for Amelia who was running away. After a few minutes of this chase going on in the yard Amelia stopped by Nathan and said, "Dad, I Meya Roof."

"Yes, you are." he reassured her as she ran off to hide from her sister.

During dinner I heard the story and got to witness Amelia being chased and tormented by her older sister calling her Carlys. I explained that the name was probably influenced by Hazel's admiration of Marlys but it didn't seem to matter to Amelia. She kept telling her sister, "I Meya Roof!"

At one point when I corrected Amelia, Hazel jumped to her defense saying, "Hey! Don't be mean to Carlys!"

After awhile I asked, "Hazel, how do you spell Carlys?"

"Ummm, T-H-double!"


As I was getting ready to go to out for a Ladies night Hazel informed me she was going to. When I told her she was too young she said, "But Mom! I'm the prettiest girl!"


Hazel quote: "I'm afraid in the dark. Yeah, cuz, cuz it's not much better in the dark. It's much better when it's light and pretty."


Hazel, when explaining her daily activities to me:

I dust wake up... and get dressed... and come down stairs... and brush my hair... and have brefest...and get stuffs ready for tomorrow...and, and then I go to the park. And I drive. I know how to drive now, Mom, because I can reach the counter. Mom, when I was little and 25 I didn't reach the counter so I didn't know how to drive.


Hazel: Mom, can I have a pencil?

Me: No. You aren't supposed to color in books.

Hazel: But! I need to write more words so, so, so God will be happier about it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Prison Inmate

A life of crime is rough!

Charged with: Stealing his momma's heart.

Verdict: Guilty as charged!

Sentence: Life as a momma's boy with no chance of parole. You can't even go to college...unless you take me with you.

Ok, Momma! I'm fine with that!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Flat on My Back


I escape to the front porch hoping for a moment of silence and attempt to make an important phone call. The phone call I had asked him to make.

I was hiding from the noise. The noise of 4 kids. Dishes. A budget to be made and the spoiled dinner sitting on the dirty stove. A creative attempt gone to waste.

As I waited for someone to answer from the other end, I find myself pulling away from the phone now blaring orchestra music in my ear.

I'm on hold. Again.

More noise. More waiting. A day of waiting. A life of waiting. A life of noise. My chest feels a little heavier.

It was then that I spot the bug. On the rail in front of me he lays flat on his back, legs squirming and struggling. Struggling to stand.

That's how I feel, Lord. Flat on my back, legs flailing. Struggling. Today was a bad day to try not to stress eat.

I sense someone behind me. Turning, I find Hot Hubby standing there watching me through the window. Sympathy in his eyes.

I quickly turn back afraid he'll see what's truly in my mind. In my heart.

Finishing the phone call, I enter the house and he's still standing there tenderly rocking the babe so fresh from my womb.

"You'd die without me you know!" I snap as I walk past him.

"I know! I tell you that all the time." He laughs. "That's why you can never die! You are amazing!"

There it is. That word. Amazing. That word and I have a love/hate relationship. Love, because that's what I strive to be. Hate, because it's what I never feel. And he uses it so much when describing me.

"He needs a new adjective," I grumble inwardly.

He whose river runs deep. He who uses words only when he needs to.

It's not him. It's me. The one who uses words and then has to find a way to take them back. Like trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

He looks at me with compassionate eyes. As tenderly as he is lulling the baby to sleep, he begins massaging my heart. Drawing me out.

I am making dinner for the second time in one night. Every few minutes I come back into the living room to look into his eyes, that place a solace all my own. I have words that need to come out. I focus on chewing them carefully so they are easy to digest.

"I just...I feel..."

He waits.

"Today wasn't a good day to try not to stress eat."

Confession over... but there is more to be said. I go tend and come back again.

"I would like for it to be an easy fix. I wish it was as easy as giving a few things up and then everything would be fixed..."

The conversation pauses to acknowledge the Lego creation of the children coming to share. I see their sweet faces and my heart breaks a little more. And my mind is flooded with one more thought that brings guilt and pressure.

"I am coming to realize how I find my identity in what I feed you guys. When I make meals packed with veggies and healthy ingredients I feel a sense of accomplishment. Of doing it right. And yet all I want to do right now is grab some cash and go to the market for some crap food. And what kind of example am I being to our kids?!"

I leave to stop the bickering children and fail to find the words I'm so desperate for. I want them to understand the real issue. The real issue is the heart. It's not the fighting. It's the selfish heart that causes the fighting.

I return.

"How can I help them understand it's their hearts that need to change if I don't even know how to change my own? It's my heart... I know it is... I am like any other addict."

And it's true. When my heart is hurting, depressed, stressed my 'fix' comes in a circular form with the raised letters O-R-E-O across the front. Or sometimes in the form of a potato deeply fried. Or anything else that I feel will satisfy that deep place inside.

He nods his head letting me know he hears and offers another tender look. I feel my shoulders begin to relax as the communion between us acts as a healing salve to my wounds.

There is a freedom here. A freedom to be imperfect. A freedom to be human. There is an understanding. And there is love.

Like a cheap paper towel attempting to sop up spilled milk, my heart begins to understand his definition of amazing. He knows my weaknesses. He knows my failures. He sees when the laundry doesn't get done and the dishes are left crusty on the counter. He sees the days gone by without showers and the children who have need of more training.

But he also sees my heart. My attempts to keep up with the laundry and dishes. My desire to be healthy for and with my family. My days filled with children and school and a nursing baby. And he still thinks I'm amazing.

The conversation, though never completely over, finds a resting point and the night goes on. My heart, though not completely peaceful, has found some relief. My mind, as if tormented by a thousand grains of rice all eager to be sorted and handled one by one, takes one more step towards the freedom it so desperately desires.

And that word is still floating in and out of the waves of thought. Amazing.

Amazing. Amazing what? Amazing wife? Amazing mom? Amazing cook? Amazing me?

As I wash the day's grime from my face, I catch my reflection in the mirror and my heart whispers, "Lord, I need your grace...Your AMAZING grace!"

And I picture myself, flat on my back, resting in his amazing grace. And the day's grime rinses away from my heart.

To be continued...

Monday, June 6, 2011

'Til My Sides Hurt: Jackson Makes a Funny...Boy Style

After getting the three older kids to bed, Hot Hubby and I were enjoying a few minutes of quiet with Jackson. As Jackson sat cradled in the crook of Hot Hubby's arm he suddenly let out a huge toot. Just as Hot Hubby turned to look at him, Jackson closed his eye as if faking sleep.


After giving Jackson his bath and putting some lotion on him, I told him how good he smelled. He looked at my face, smirked and then pooped!

Friday, June 3, 2011

I Had the Perfect Day!

I woke early. Since all the kids were still asleep I slipped downstairs for some quiet time and coffee followed by a quick 20 minute exercise video. Abiah woke up shortly after my video finished and I asked him to sit quietly in the living room and read while I took a shower, knowing that if the girls were to wake they could join him and be supervised.

Sure enough a few minutes later when I got out of the shower I heard their little voices coming from the other room. Getting dressed I went out and brought them each a cup of milk and put a video on for them to enjoy while I finished getting myself ready for the day and prepared breakfast.

With breakfast out of the way I took the girls back upstairs to get them dressed and instructed Abiah to do the same himself. After they were all dressed I woke Jackson for his morning feeding and had the kids start their chores, or as we call them responsibilities.

When Jackson was finished eating and was changed and dressed I helped the girls finish their tasks as Abiah got started on his school work. He only has a few things to do as the school year is almost over.

The day went by smoothly by comparison to the days preceding it.

Play time. Lunch. Clean up. Nap. Snack time with another video. More play time. Time with Daddy while Mommy does a few tasks and starts dinner.

Dinner was delicious. The kids ate fairly well and then Abiah and I cleaned the kitchen while Nathan held Jackson and helped the girls clean up their toys.

After a book, brushing teeth and putting on pajamas I sang to the kids and we had kisses and hugs. As I turned out the light, shut the door and passed a few more wishes for a good night along to my kids I thought, "Yes. This was a good day. Perfect in fact."

A perfect my dreams!

To be continued...