Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Let's talk Oreos

It is official. Layla has now crossed into an age for which I have been anxiously awaiting. She is a walking chatter box (we all knew that) BUT she is starting to talk to random people and shares some pretty interesting things with them. Anytime she starts a sentence with, "mommy told me" or "my mommy said" or "daddy says" I feel my heart skip a beat. I am waiting for something embarrassing to slip out. But so far, so good.

ANYWAY...thought I'd share some of her latest and greatest....

(1) I had to run into CVS the other day...Adalei had gone FOUR days without pooping (thanks to a small tiny bite of banana) and Layla and I were hunting for a remedy to help her ailing sister. Layla (per her normal self dressing routine) was wearing her white patent leather dress shoes, winter socks with brown owls on them, one rainbow leg-warmer, a purple tutu, pajama top, princess tiara, headband with GIGANTIC purple flower attached, two necklaces, one glitter microphone and a wand. Yes. They looked at me funny. But not as funny as when my sweet little three year old noticed the nice wall of colorfully decorated condom boxes and blurted out, "hey mommy...remember that time that I played with those". Unfortunately my first response was, "huh"....which meant she repeated herself even louder. I never realized how (1) quiet a CVS was and (2) how much condom boxes looked like the band aid boxes she plays with. I told her she never played with those, she played with band aids. Those weren't band aids. She asked what they were. I told her band aids for grown ups. I think it worked.

(2) As I was getting her undressed/dressed for bed the other night...she informed me that she was being so agreeable to getting undressed because she was "getting kinda hot with all these clothes" and "probably needed to run around naked for a while so she could air out". Air out. Interesting.

(3) She has gotten really into riding in the BOB while I run. Its a workout, but we have some great conversation. She asked me other other day why I ran so much. I told her that it was important to exercise and eat well--that it is important to take care of our bodies. Kind of like brushing our teeth and bathing. This is the conversation that followed:

Layla: Well, what does daddy say about that?
Me: Well, hum. Daddy thinks it is important to eat healthy and exercise too.
Layla: Well...he does eat lots of Oreos. Aren't those not good for you mommy?
Me: They aren't REALLY bad. Just if you eat too many. They have lots of sugar in them.
Layla: Well, what does God say about exercising?
Me: God likes to see us take good care of our bodies. It is one of the ways that we glorify the Lord, and that's pretty important.
Layla: Glorify?
Me: Yeah. Like praising the Lord...making Him happy and stuff.
Layla: Oh. Can we not talk about that anymore? Lets talk about Oreos.

I love this age. I really do. Its alarming, embarrassing and HILARIOUS at the same time. She keeps me on my toes, for sure and makes me thankful that I don't have a potty mouth!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My heart is a construction zone

Warning...brutal honesty ahead....and probably some jumbled up thoughts and broken theology.

You may be seeing a pattern here. Neil is leaving on Friday for a camping trip with the guys. A trip that has been planned for a while, but its still another trip--away from home. I had planned on running a half marathon this weekend in Roanoke--registered and everything. I had planned on a nice day trip with the hubby--maybe stopping at a vineyard for lunch after the race. But my plans don't really matter. Neil is going on the camping trip. I am staying home.

When the reality of this sunk in yesterday morning, I went into full on battle mode. I was disappointed, angry and hurt. And I think part of me wanted a fight...I wanted to be mad and then have the opportunity to defend myself. I wanted the right words to make Neil feel really rotten about leaving his family again. I wanted to wallow and whine. My attitude stunk up the whole house.

Thank the Lord, He interrupted my thoughts and my heart yesterday--cause ya' was getting ugly fast. I was reminded that He is enough...that He meets my needs. My response, well okay God but I'm still mad. I'm still the victim here. Aren't I entitled as Neil's wife to express my opinion about him leaving...AGAIN. Aren't I entitled to be a little angry. And PS...I really need a day off. Just maybe an afternoon--I think I'm entitled to that too. Bless my heart. I better get some crazy rewards for keeping my mouth shut.

Ehhh hemmm. And that's just one mili-second inside my head yesterday. See...rotten!

It was an all day battle between the flesh and the Spirit. I didn't recognize it as such until I was reading Layla's devotion to her last night...Galatians 5:16-26--fruits of the Spirit. Gulp. Amazing how God spoke to me through my child's devotion. It was like He reached down and covered my heart with is love and mercy. And I felt peace.

I am not in charge here...I am not the one judging or convicting. Seriously...I'd like to think that my sharp words would convict Neil's heart...but that's not my job. My job is to love him....and I'm completely free to do that every minute of every day because you know what...I'm not the one who disciplines him. I was reminded that my faith is not in man but in God. The disappointment I felt in Neil was completely lifted. The Spirit and flesh cannot co-exist. My flesh felt flesh felt flesh wanted the satisfaction of harsh words. The Spirit...well He was fighting to keep the give me self control and patience.

Guys...if you know me at all...this was a small miracle. I hold back and try to be everything to everyone. And when I exhaust myself trying to be the rockstar wife...I bottle it up and then storm around the house angry. I become a pill. I deny myself and I sacrifice, but I want a little pat on the back...I often NEED a pat on the back (I jokingly call this the "martyr syndrome").

But something changed yesterday evening. I desperately wanted to glorify God in my response to Neil and not myself....I wanted to feed the Spirit and not my flesh (believe flesh is not starving here...I feed it plenty every day). So between now and when my husband gets home on Saturday night, I am going to have to willingly give this over to God...multiple times, I'm sure. Because even as I write this....the "what about me" starts creeping in. Funny thing about really sacrificing is that you don't do it with the intent of reaping a reward...of being noticed...I'm starting to realize that I don't sacrifice for Neil. I do it for God. And really, what bragging rights do I have for my tiny little sacrifices when I compare it to the cross. There goes my sense of entitlement... a lot of work to do. My sweet Lord is working over time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Single and working...

Single, working hat is off to you!

Several months ago, I was contacted by an old high school classmate who expressed interest in me photographing his wedding. I felt pretty confident that I could do it...more importantly, Dad seemed confident that I could do I set up a meeting with the sweet little couple. My meeting was yesterday morning.

My wonderful little husband, who would ordinarily jump at the chance to have both girls to himself, had procrastinated on a couple of jobs that needed to be complete before he took off to Kentucky yesterday afternoon, leaving me to wrangle both girls AND meet with the happy couple to talk photography. Great.

So I got both girls dressed and fed, myself dressed, all of our stuff together and off we went. I have to admit, I felt half dressed and scattered--ALREADY. There is nothing like a 3 year old who has absolutely no concept of time and a mommy who is in a hurry. I detest when I get us into those situations--because I become impatient (read *selfish*) and Layla acts out accordingly.

When we are finally in the car, I turn to Layla to apologize for our less than stellar morning and vow that the day will get better. We arrive at the bookstore with 5 minutes to spare...SWEET! I decided to just bring in a diaper and the wipes container for know, my hip factor decreases slightly with a huge diaper bag and I have to look hip and professional for my meeting (you know, as professional as you can with two little ones in tow). Anyway, Adalei was just waking up from a nap in her car seat...but what on Earth was that stench. I asked Layla if she smelled something...she sniffed and gagged. Yep. poop. Nice. Thank goodness for that extra 5 minutes. Off we go the restroom.

I unbuckle sweet little stinky Adalei and my hand slides (yes...SLIDES) into something wet and gooey. I knew it...not just a yucky diaper, but an explosive one. There is poop EVERYWHERE. Layla is gagging like crazy and I am trying to maintain composure. Adalei's change of clothes were in the diaper bag (which was in the car because mommy was too cool to carry it in) she'd have to be naked for a little while. Score one for mommy of the year...naked baby in Barnes and Nobel! I laid her on the table, stripped her down and got to work...only to notice I had one tiny little wipe.

Mommy: Layla, what happened to Adalie's wipes?
Layla: Oh, those wipes
Mommy: Yes (note, hint of impatience).
Layla: I needed them for my lambie, she had a yucky diaper.
Mommy: Great. Did you get lambie all cleaned up?
Layla: Yeah, she's clean.
Mommy: Sweet, now you can help mommy clean up your little sister.
Layla: Okay, but remember, I'm expensive so we don't want to mess me up.


So every inch of my tiny little wipe was was toilet was the leg of Adalei's pants that didn't have poop all over get the job done. I got her changed, got the car seat cleaned out...managed to hug Layla, who was a superstar helper--an "expensive" superstar.

We met with the couple (6.5 minutes late), Layla and naked little Adalei. Layla blurted out that her sister got poop all over herself so I assured the couple that I managed to save the CD that I burned for them from the explosion. I looked down and realized that I did, however, manage to NOT save my shirt. Ya'll...I had baby bottom print on my shirt in yellow poop where I picked Adalie up trying to get her back cleaned off! Okay, so am I still hip..still professional? Sure. I think so. I told myself it probably just blended in or maybe looked like pollen? Fortunately, I was there as a I was just being an eccentric artist and could get away with stuff like that...yeah, that sounds right :-)

The meeting went great, but I left promising myself that I would NEVER ever NEVER do such a crazy thing again--at least for the next week. More importantly, I am thankful that I have that choice. So many mommies out there don't...and my hat is off to them. I can't begin to imagine the level of stress that they feel in so many different areas.

Single, working moms...thank you thank you thank you! You guys are rockstars.