Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Three Stooges

This summer has been a bit lonely at times as we have all been transitioning to a new place, new friends, new routine.

The upside is that we have been able to spend lots ( I, mean LOTS) of time together, the four of us.  I am so thankful for this time (when I remember to be thankful) because I know, with school looming around the corner, it is temporary.  Perhaps the highlight of it all has been watching the big monkeys really getting to know baby monkey.

"Anything you can do I can do better..." seems to be her theme. 

They love their baby sister. 

They love to drag her around the house.

They love getting all up in her face.

They love making her SCREAM!

But perhaps their favorite thing...pushing her buttons.  Which is easy to do.

How do you teach a baby volume control?  I'd really like to know.

And my new, "Am I really saying that out loud?" parenting phrase...

"Do you hear that sound she is making?  What do you think she is saying?  STOP!"

That's our life with the three stooges.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Moving in...and figuring things out

Guess who got a new bed???

Downsizing can be like playing a game of tetris...where, oh, where will it go?  Why do we have so much stuff?  I seriously think we purged all the stuffed animals at least 5 times before we moved, and still they are threatening to take over the place!

In order to cram both kids (and the ungodly amount of stuffed animals they, meaning "she", own) into the same room, we upgraded to a bunk bed.  And, fits.  They fit.

Life in general feels a bit like a game of tetris during these transitional days.  Where does it all fit in? 

When I first started the blog I had more ideas for posts than I could keep crammed in my head.  And I was diligent to edit and post pictures to illustrate our life.  But since the kids got here I just can't seem to get it all in. 

The amount of energy life currently requires of me feels inhuman on the best day.  On the harder days I just feel like giving up.  It's a sinuous dance...fighting the undercurrent threatening to pull me under where I can just quit, and then the will to push on for my kids, for the good of it, because I'm just not a quitter.  But where is the joy?

That is the challenge. 

I think I am ok with not getting it all in.  But if I am going to put forth all the effort, I want it to be worth something.  Not just for the sake of doing it.  But for the sake of...what?  Joy?  My tendency is duty.  Duty is so dry and lifeless without the joy.  So give me the joy!

Lord, please multiply this meager bread and fish I have to offer.  It is a humble gift indeed.  But you do miracles with humble gifts. 

And this, along with some major computer issues and my renewed committment to get more sleep (which I am currently reneging) is why I have not posted more and more often.  I am giving myself grace.  Laundry is important, you know! And sleep, too.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Freeze-Frame Moment

My highlight from the week...giggling over a Mo Willems book with my monkeys!

As mentioned in previous posts, Taylor Beth has been learning to read this year (sadly without said porch swing for the time being...Daddy has plans to build us a frame soon seeing as we have no front porch).  It has not been an easy thing...for her or me.  Certainly no bed of roses.  It has been work.  Good work, worthy work, but work just the same.

I have found that this one thing has threatened to define my parenting day after day.  I hear the whisper (you know that whisper...the phantom you that likes to remind you of all the things you wish you were doing or at least doing better) telling me that it will be all my fault if she doesn't love and learn reading by the time she is 6.  And if she doesn't learn it by 6 then she is doomed to be behind forever.  And if she's behind then she will never discover that thing that she wants to do or be in life that will define who she is.  You know the train of thought.  The downward spiral of despair that causes blood pressure to rise and acid reflux to set in.  Crazy, I know.  Certainly faithless.  And most certainly self-focused.  Or better yet, self-consumed.

Every insecurity ever felt in my decision to do kindergarten at home this year pinnacles in this one thing...learning to read.  I know the truth... that 1)  every child learns to read at their own pace.  Yes, my child needs a little push.  That is just her unique make-up.  No bearing on how proficient a reader she will one day be.  And 2)  God is doing a special work in her heart as well as mine through this process.  Her story is hers.  My role is to love her enough to keep pushing when she needs a push, but to show compassion and empathy enough to know when she is approaching frustration and backing off.  Encouraging.  Being her #1 cheerleader.  

But knowing the truth doesn't always keep us from listening to the lies.  My faith walk for today is believing that God's plan for my daughter is not dependent on my excellence as a teacher.  Now that's a good word.

Truth be told, she is getting it!  And then the culmination of it all this week on the couch in our living room.  She was reading An Elephant and Pig book by Mo Willem, "I Am Going" and not only was she plowing through it,  she was enjoying it!  (It really is quite funny.)  I was enjoying watching her enjoying it and enjoying it genuinely myself.  By the climax of the story we were all three laughing out loud at Elephant's ridiculous antics (which ironically remind me of my own ridiculousness over my child's reading adventure).  And I saw something click with her.

She was compelled to read.  Without prompting.  Without pushing.  Sheer joy.  For her.  And me.

Thank you Mo Willems for giving us this moment.

How great it is to have a Father who is committed to Taylor Beth's story and her joy more than her own Momma.  And one who will remind me of the truth when I am listening to the lies.

Friday, July 8, 2011


My beloved MacBook is fried. Funeral services TBD. Water damage. Don't even remember water getting near it. Long story short, no blogging until we get a replacement. Thankfully I just got an external hard drive a few weeks ago!

The good news...I have actually been going to bed at night!