Friday, April 30, 2010

Use the good stuff

read this great post over on SimpleMom.

few years ago, I read this excerpt from one of Erma Bombeck’s columns, when she discovered she was dying from cancer — it was titled “If I Had to Live My Life Over”:

“… I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. … I would have sat on the lawn with my kids, even if it meant grass stains.”

It hit home. As I write this, I’m looking at a bottle of perfume — one that I love — that was a Mother’s Day gift in 2005. I’ve used about a quarter of it. I’m not sure if I’m waiting for the queen to visit, an invitation to the presidential inauguration ball, or just some amazingly romantic date with my husband. But for some reason, I hesitate to use it, as though it’s a precious commodity; that once it’s gone, it’s gone.

That’s true, to some degree. But I can just get more perfume, probably as another Mother’s Day gift. If I love it so much, why don’t I just use it?

Do you have something in your life akin to this? For your wedding, did you register for special china in addition to your everyday dishes? How about certain lotions, or soaps, or articles of clothing? Do you have eleven categories of towel types, like Monica does in Friends?

Maybe you’re in the depths of early childhood rearing, like me. You’re up to your elbows in poop and snot, and you lost count the amount of times you’ve picked up the same blocks off the same carpet. Your day is peppered with breakfast, lunch, dinner, nap times, quiet times, time outs, and story time. If you hear Dora’s map yell “I’m the map!” one more time, you might scream.

The liturgy of our day’s everydayness can be numbing. It’s easy to forget about that good perfume, the bone china, the silk skirt. There’s spit-up to contend with.

Make this season of your life — whatever it is — more special with those special things you’re saving. Break out the good china for tonight’s homemade pizza. Let your kids know they’re special with those special little things, and don’t worry so much about the messes they’ll make. Bring out the “fancy guest” towels for your family. You’ll blink, and this season will be gone. That pudgy hand covered in dirt will soon be holding hands in a waltz with her groom.

Enjoy the little things in life. And make them more special by using the good stuff. Don’t wait for that perfect moment — it’s right here.

changes, uncertainty, and guessing

So I have been praying for God to show me some sort of plan for me to follow since I started college. At first it was a reasonable (if difficult for me the control/planning freak) step of faith to just take it one step at a time. As I got married, graduated and had my baby, it was always assumed that he would tell us what to do with our lives just in time. Now RJ's graduation has come and gone, and we are still in Brownwood. RJ fries chicken for a living and I stay at home convincing an eight month old not to eat paper and electrical cords, and eating often enough to keep moving.

There are so many questions. Do we move somewhere else? Where? Do we just take the initiative to start the home church community we feel called to? How would we even do that? Or should we wait for God to make his timing apparent when a situation arises where such a church start would feel more organic and less forced? Are we committed to be apart of the ministry of Nexus, or has it filled the part of our life that it was supposed to and now we move on? Does RJ work a job just to make money to do what he wants or should he seek a career that is fulfilling and enjoyable? Should he try to find a job using the degree that he has, or was that all a waste? Does he start over training for something he would enjoy more? How can RJ work enough to support our family and have time to build a portfolio?

I have no idea.

For now we are looking for a house to rent. Two bedrooms so there is a place for both kids, and with a yard so RJ can garden. We also have our name on the waiting list at the only apartments that have a washer dryer hook up in the unit. They are income adjusted. RJ is applying for the art teaching position at a local private school. If he gets the job we will return to the question of moving next summer. If not, we may move at the beginning of the year after the new baby gets here. If RJ likes teaching we may try to plant roots here and invest our lives in Brownwood. If not, he will probably start taking online courses in landscaping and agriculture and he can get a job nearly anywhere.

Once again we have the path lit only a step at a time.

We're still alive

I know it seems like I must have disappeared. I have had a harder time adjusting to this pregnancy than I did with Efrim. Throw in a record allergy season and you get the picture.

The weekend between RJ and I's birthdays I had a terrible asthma attack as the culmination of a week of increasingly terrible allergies. My doctor is in Abilene, which makes visits inconvenient as well as expensive. Foolishly I put them off if I am feeling well and then end up in the emergency room because I have no asthma prescriptions. This is what we did on April 16th. Fun huh?

The following week I was not only weak and battered feeling, but suffering from what I believed to be morning sickness. I turns out it was probably just an allergy to the hydrocodon I was given for my cough (when I don't take it, I don't throw up-magic!)

This week I am finally getting back into the swing of things. Still there are a lot of days where I get done the one chore that RJ requests of me, and then lay on the couch all day, and that is what I can do that day.

Aside from these distractions I must confess that I am not very good at spending a little time on the computer. One link leads to another for hours, and right now spending time with Efrim is more important. He is crawling and pulling up and has been getting in a lot of teeth, and every day his needs are different.

That said I will plan to post a few things every Friday, and maybe others if I think of them during the week. Efrim does nap for two hours every morning, and my chore for the day is not always one I have to get done while he's asleep.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hormones, don't you love them?

So Efrim and I are having a pretty good morning. My blood sugar is a little weird, but mostly we are playing and laughing. Then I am sitting at the table feeding him lunch and suddenly, all at once, I am uncomfortably warm, nauseated, and feel like crying.

Another baby is great. I am not even worried about them being so close, but I am really not having any fun being pregnant again.

Efrim's Day,

I have not been posting lately, which anyone who reads this will have noticed. With various projects, fatigue, and morning sickness, blogging has gone on the back burner. Meanwhile We are FINALLY arriving at a steady (more than two days) routine with Efrim. So I thought I'd share with you what we've been doing instead of blogging.

9:00 am
Official first feeding. We are up with Efrim before this, but I try to start us out at the same time everyday.

Fix breakfast for RJ and I while He plays with Efrim in the floor, and checks in on his Tumblr.

RJ and I eat breakfast, and he leaves for work around 9:45.

Cereal for Efrim. He loves his oatmeal, and has started to sip from a bottle of very watered down juice as we go. It has been a long time coming to get him to take fluids from a bottle. He really needed more when he started solids, but was not having the whole bottle thing until the last week or so.

After eating Efrim plays in the floor some more, while I kind of take stock of the day, and get dressed if I don't need a shower. Sometimes he needs a little help, which involves a lot of cup stacking one my part, so he has something to knock over, and some singing.

Milk and a nap. This usually means a nap for mom too lately, but every other day I take a shower here. I am so sleepy all day! I take a nap, complete a task, and want to sleep again.

This is where he day gets unpredictable. From the first Efrim has resisted scheduling. Usually- hopefully- Efrim will sleep until 1:00. This sets him up for a pretty happy, agreeable day. If he won't you never know what the afternoon will hold. Yesterday Efrim woke up at noon, bright eyed and alert, but he was exhausted by 2. I put him down way early for his afternoon nap, and he slept 2 hours here, where he normally only sleeps one. He woke up at four when he normally would be going down.

In any case afternoons are very flexible. Efrim plays a lot, but sometimes needs a lot of attention too. He may sit in my lap and watch a movie with me.

He has milk at one, and normally some food at 2. The last few days he will only eat half a jar of food, and then wants more milk. Since I know that the nutrients in milk are still easier for his body to use, I let him tell me how much he needs. Normally milk feedings are two hours apart, so this could be at 3 or 4 depending on whether he needs more at lunch, and when he takes his nap.

I have been resting during his afternoon nap as well.

from 4-5:30 Efrim has to be pretty good at playing on his own since this is my time to do "If I don't get anything else done today I will..." Wednesday this was straightening up the living room, and making pizza crust, Yesterday I vacuumed and cleared the dish drainer. Today I will make the Pizza I was supposed to finish Wednesday no matter what. If the house falls down around me RJ will finally have his favorite dinner. I would also like to get some work done in the bedroom.

We've only lived here two months and already it is time to declutter.

RJ gets home at 5:30 and we go about the evening's plans, feeding Efrim every two hours. usually he gets more food at 7 and 8 is milk and bedtime.

He is waking up at 11 something, 3 something, and 7 something for milk. Usually he wakes up a few other times during the night,but RJ can get him back to sleep pretty easily. I dream of the day when he will stop waking in between feedings and then cut out the 3 o'clock. We prayed when we started this that we would not get pregnant until he slept through the night, but God chose otherwise. We ask for temporal physical things, and he gives us spiritual gifts by showing us that with him we can get by without them.

So that's what we've been up to. Trying to grow two babies and keep the house in one piece. I do a lot of running for tissues since the oak pollen is so high, and running to the bathroom since my bladder is so squished. Try to eat often so I don't have a meltdown.