Wednesday, January 28, 2009

According to Samuel...

A perfect, productive day, would consist of simply snuggling in bed with Mommy and Rose Marie talking, laughing and nursing.

When he looks at me with those huge eyes of his and laughs with his whole body, I have to stop and wonder why I can't just do that with him all day.

Why can't the rest of the world understand just how captivating a little snugly boy can be?! Who needs housework or food for that matter! Can't we just live on Samuel's cuteness!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I realize that this is a rather obvious statement, but I am daily coming to the conclusion that there are those people in my life whom I will NEVER please. I will never wear the right thing, say the right thing, come at the right time, I will always be too rigid, too strict with my children, I never listen enough, nor do I talk enough. In short, I have come to the conclusion that it is not what I do, it is me, myself that will never be good enough for these people/or this person.

As sad as that may sound, it is actually extremely freeing. I no longer have to try...I will no longer try. I am going to be myself. I will be who I am, the person who my husband is proud of and whom my children love. I will wear, do and say the things that are true to myself. I have been trying to be someone else in my efforts to be this evasive "perfect person" and you know what, I am not perfect.

This is not to say that I am not trying to better myself. Daily, I strive to overcome my faults and challenge myself both physically and intellectually. But I need to strive for the perfection God is calling me to and focus on that, as opposed to stressing about what these people/or person is going to think. I feel like I have wasted an inordinate amount of precious time and energy trying to be someone who is not me and who is not gaining in virtue.

So, I hereby announce that I am finished with this charade. (I sound much braver right now that what I will actually be in real life, but oh well! :) ) I will live how I know I am being called to live and be the person God asks me to be (by His grace). I will passionately adore my husband and love my children with wild abandon. I will be proud of my upbringing. I will not apologize for the things that made me who I am today and I will not pretend to wish it were otherwise. I will always try to be respectful, but I will also respectfully request that I be allowed to be happy in myself and my family.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Real Parents

You know you are real parents when you decide to have a romantic bubble bath and fill the tub with Johnson & Johnson baby bath bubbles.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Today I watched as America's first African-American President was sworn into office. It truly was a day of historic significance. I felt so proud of our country for having finally made this move and I felt so happy for the African-American people. I hope that this might heal the wounds that still seem to run deep in certain areas of our country.

However, my pride and happiness were also marred with a great deal of sadness. I sat there, with my toddler asking pertinent questions and jostling my baby in my arms, as I watched one of the most anti-life leaders in our country, make promises that he has already intended to break.

I felt angry as I heard him talk about the necessity for everyone, of every age and race to have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and live a full life. And yet, he has also sworn to insure that babies can be disposed of at any point in pregnancy for the simple reason that "I just don't want this." It seems so hypocritical that today we rejoiced, as a nation, that by our election of a man from a race that has suffered great grievances, we feel that we have finally understood what it means to say, "All men are equal, and all have the right to pursue, life, liberty and happiness." And yet, it is that very vote, that will now condemn thousands more innocent children to death. How is this justified? How does this make sense?

As I sat there, holding my own children close, I felt uneasy and scared for them. Please God, change the heart of our now President Obama. May his heart be softened to understand the sacredness of human life. May he truly take a stand for the principles of equality and justice that he promised to protect today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Scientific Experiments

Me: Looking at Rose Marie who is sitting very quietly at the table with a far off, pensive look in her eyes, "What are you thinking about?"

Rose Marie: Looks back at me, slightly annoyed, "Mom, I can't talk while I am burping."

Hmmm, okay. Apparently, this is one of those walking and chewing gum kind of things. I never thought about it that way.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Inner Reflection

Newborns seem to permeate everything and everyone around them with a kind of "newness." There are new clothes, new diapers, new routines, new personality, new temperament, new laughter, new smiles, new smells etc. In a much more subtle way, they bring a newness to the inner life of those around them.

I am a "new" mother, despite this being my second time around. Having a boy, a son, brings a different kind of tenderness than I had with Rose. I am still learning what it means to be both the mother of Rose, and the mother of Sam. I am new to Samuel's love language. I am new to his sleeping patterns. I am new to the struggles that surface within my heart at the end of an exhausting day. I am new to the thrill of his laughter when I cuddle and talk to him.

Our family is learning to work as a family of four. We are new to how our relationships change and shift to include this little person. Rose Marie in particular, is new to being a big sister and having to share Mommy and Daddy. We are learning how to be the security and stability she needs while beginning and establishing a relationship with Samuel.

All of this "newness" is oftentimes very overwhelming. I find myself a rookie in a game I thought I was getting the hang of. And yet, I am also seeing that the things that mean the most, the things that speak the most familiarity, the things that help you feel comfortable amidst the change, is often the little things. A familiar story read to Rose while I nurse Sam, seems to give the security that was needed. A quick kiss and a hug give the confidence to proceed to the next task. A gentle touch is tangible evidence of a deep love. Remembering the power of these little things has brought so much peace to everyone recently. I need to resolve, not to try to find big solutions when things get overwhelming, but to cling to the little things. It is the little things, the little ways of love, that help me to enjoy the here and now, the newness, the freshness. And that is something I do not want to miss!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Daddy a.k.a. Prince Charming

While looking at a coloring book together, Rose Marie points to Cinderella and says, "Look, there is a princess." She doesn't know anything about the Disney princesses, so I decided that I should let her in on who this one was. "Her name is Cinderella, and yes she is a princess." She pensively looks over the rest of the page, points to the prince and says, "That is Daddy."

Yes, Jake was sitting right next to us and overheard her observation. It completely melted his heart. So now, I am sure that when she asks him for a pony, she will be certain to get one.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Joy in the Midst of Chaos

Between throw-up, sneezing, coughing and other messy bodily functions happening from all people in this house, here are few things that made the day much more bearable...

1) Seeing Rose Marie try to "make him laugh" (him being Samuel) by whacking him in the head with her pink Tu-Tu. He wasn't overly enthusiastic, but it didn't hurt him.

2) Listening to Sam test his laugh. He can't decide if laughing is caused by inhaling or exhaling while making a funny noise.

3) A hug from my husband when the two kids were having meltdowns at the same time. It felt so good to find comfort in him.

4) Seeing Rose Marie share Bud-Bud with Samuel when he was upset and then bringing him tissues so he could wipe his nose. She is so thoughtful.

5) Sharing a long laugh with Rose Marie that actually reduced us both to tears. In the end, I don't think we remembered why were laughing, but it didn't matter one bit.

6) Watching Samuel in the bath. He loves it so much. He spends most of the time keeping eye contact with me while bursting into smiles and laughs.

Thank you, Lord, how could I ask for more.

When it rains, it pours...

The flu has decided that our house would be a perfect place to come and visit for awhile. These are the times when sacrificial love reaches all time highs. It feels like everyone is miserable and cranky, no one feels good, no one is sleeping well and food is simply out of the question. At the end of the day, all I have energy is for is a good cry and a sigh of relief that one more day is down and hoping that tomorrow will be better. Despite the craziness and sleep deprivation, I am eternally grateful for God's grace. Just when everything hits the worst, somehow I find the strength and energy to get through that moment and on the other side. Even more amazing, in the worst moments is when I feel God is closest to me. I guess in that horrible time I know that unless He physically carries me through, I am going to collapse beside my toddler with an upset tummy and a hysterical newborn...and He always does. He is always there.

And I am acutely aware of how much I am loved in these tough times. My love for my sick family is so deep, I want to stretch myself to the limits to make them well again and see them happy...I am loved even more by Our Lord, whose sacrificial love was displayed for me in a much bigger way than simply battling the flu.

Thank you Lord, for loving me the way You do. Thank you for helping me come closer to You in hard times. Please continue to give me the strength to help my little family feel better.