Wednesday, August 26, 2015

3 Month LilyMae

I can't count how many times we go out in public and I get some comment about, "You got your girl finally!.."
"You must be so happy to finally have a girl!..." "I bet you've just been trying and trying to have her!"
As much as I don't want these erroneous statements to be spewed in front of your big brothers, I don't want you to have to hear them either.
I want you to know that you are loved because you are you! Not because we were trying for a specific gender, we wanted YOU and God specially created you just for us.
You were and are just what our family needed and the past three months have only proven the perfect design God had in building our family and the fact that we needed our LilyMae.
Your bright round eyes watch every move we make from eating to laughing, to brothers wrestling and mommy exercising.
You keep a rather serious face but it's punctuated with the most rewarding, beautiful, dimpled smiles. You talk all. the. time. ALL. the. time. Loud! You rival our pastor at church, the radio, and your brothers for vocal attention.
You are in 3-6 month clothes, wear size two diapers, and have a hair accessory in every day. You just started eating cereal this month and you eat from a spoon like a pro!
But I guess if you've had three older examples of stuffing food in one's face then you probably got the hang of it well before I ever attempted to try to feed you. I have a feeling you'll be ready for more than just cereal pretty soon!
You are sleeping 12 hours at night and three naps during the day, you go with the flow, put up with crazy schedules and our family's lack of consistency. You are our precious gift and you're greatly cherished and loved! Happy three months LilyMae! 
(And yes I know she's almost four months, maybe one of these days I'll post on time :)

Friday, August 14, 2015

This Is When We Went To The Twilight Tattoo

This was the night I took all four kids onto base at Fort Meyers near Arlington Cemetery. The twilight tattoo celebrates the history of our military and does nothing but instill huge American pride and honor for our country's heroes. 
This was right after I had my car searched. The soldiers had been making everyone ahead of us get out, open every door, hood, and tailgate. But blessedly they took one look inside at my full car and only had me get out. And then continuing to be incredible, helped me shut every single thing I had to open while entertaining my wide eyed kids in the back.
This was right after my heart sank when we walked up and saw a wall of people surrounding the field. I knew if we had to stand in the back, the kids would never see anything and I definitely couldn't hold all four up to watch. But God gave us a awesome gift and a soldier directed us to an open spot right up front!
This was was when silence fell on the entire field as the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the U.S. Army Drill Team marched out in perfect unison. And if you can believe it, all four of my kids were participatory in that silence.
This was when they played the songs representing each branch of the military. The boys totally forgot about the sweltering August humidity and mosquitoes as they watched in awe.
This was right after Wilson decided to pick flowers not only for me, but for every female seated in a ten foot radius around our picnic blanket.
This was right before they took their bayonets and threw them inches from each others heads, spinning them in the air and flipping then behind their backs.
Subsequently it was right before my boys decided they needed bayonets to practice so they could join the drill team one day.
This was when Paul Revere road out across the field warning the "British are coming!" This is also when Harrison loudly asked, "if they could get Paul Revere for the show, why couldn't the get George Washington?"
This was Wils being overly cute, right before the soldiers, in mock battle, started firing.
This was Wils deciding he did not like artillery fire; at all.
This was when all three boys did a meet and greet with their heroes and informed them they would be relieving them of duty one day. This was before the same drill team members escorted us back to our car parked a good distance away. This was when I wished every American could see and appreciate the incredible military we have and their sacrifice and honor. And this was when I felt proud, as their mom, and as an American.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Sting of Death

I had just finished reading a description of the fifth video released about Planned Parenthood. I was trying to read between stop lights in the heavy northern Virginia traffic. What has happened to our country?
Soon I found myself trying to wipe my eyes between stoplights. The crying wouldn't stop. My heart is wretched in two and I grieve.
The boys are in the backseat bickering and whining. Their tattling is ringing in the air. Why are they acting like this?
Harrison has a scraped knee, Jefferson lost his Iron Man, and Wilson is using his t-shirt to wipe his nose and I'm taking out the rising emotions in myself on the brake pedal being smashed into the floor board.
The noises filling the car aren't the most pleasant of sounds but they have breath and life to make them. They may get scrapes and stitches, lost toys and bad dreams, but they live. They play. They dream. They grow. They live! 
Knitted in secret they grew and thrived.
Yet in the secret, other babies are murdered at the hands of evil. 
I sit at the stoplight surrounded with whining, precious whining, staring at my phone sitting blank on the console remembering the words on it's screen moments before.
I can't read them again. The brake pedal couldn't take anymore.
I think of my babies I never held on this earth I would have moved Heaven and Earth to hold. Those precious babies I loved. I grieved their loss. And the same hurt, the same sorrow grips my being in the same crushing grief. I can't breath.
My brake pedal is glad to be relived of it's floorboard duty as we arrive home and I sweep four squabbling children in my embrace. It's tight, it's raw, it's the surrounding ourselves with life. Their silence in the moment is deep as if they know the solemn grief of my heart. I look deep in their beautiful eyes and wordlessly charge them in this fight.
America is under attack, the sacredness of life is being extinguished. But we are fighting. 
Oh my God give us strength. I can't handle the horror on my own. 
We're defenders of life.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Now You Know

Did you know Lego's could multiply faster than rabbits?
 Did you know water balloons take three hours to fill up and 30 seconds to be thrown and exploded?
Did you know mustard should just be embraced as a permanent accessory to little boy's t-shirts; it's not washing out.
 Did you know toothpaste could be used for wall art?
Did you know goldfish crackers make perfect hand grenades for wars over living room fort rights?
 Did you know the toy section at Target emits a homing signal only kids can hear and effectively lures them in?
 Did you know living things can be tucked inside pockets?
 Did you know the equation "the more recently a floor as been mopped is directly proportional to the size of mess that it will attract" is a home economical fact?
 Did you know your shirt will be used as a tissue?
 Did you know you will never finish a meal on your own again? 
 Did you know you could never go to a grocery store without being asked at least once on every aisle for something not on your list?
 Did you know car rides, bathrooms, waiting rooms, and libraries will never be quiet again?
Did you know how so worth it it all is? Did you know how incredibly rich life is, even though your purse will now hold fruit snacks and Iron Man band-aids? 
I do, and I love. it. all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Comedy of Errors

You'd think four kids into this parenting thing we would have mastered a thing or two.
But even after six years of full time mommy status, I'll do something royally absent minded and wonder who in the world decided I was grown up enough to be responsible for little humans.
Case in point, taking four kids to the beach for a long weekend - seems innocent enough.
But then my mommy brain lapsed on packing necessities and somehow we ended up with a sore lack of clothing options for the infant...
...swim diapers for the toddler, snacks for bottomless pits, and shampoo and conditioner for me.
And while yes there are stores nearby to purchase aforementioned items, it wasn't until we were in the moment in which we needed them that we realized I had forgotten them.
Which is why I found myself lugging a sand covered toddler with a loaded diaper through a hotel with an infant strapped to my chest who's wearing the same outfit for the second day due to the shortage.
Or how we got to the hotel way past dinnertime and everyone was asking what was for dinner and all I had were two smushed packages of fruit snacks and a granola bar.
But the best thing about doing this parenting thing is you quickly learn to think on your feet and you kind of evolve into a Macgyver in your own right.
Problem solving skills go through the roof, and even the sandy dirty diaper moments become comical memories worth the momentary, "what was I thinking?"
These four awesome kids are turning out ok even with my occasional judgment lapses. They still love me and trust me despite my lack of granola bars on hand.
Our four days at the beach were completely perfect, even if we ended up having to walk a few miles to get lunch, spill water all over the restaurant menus, turn hand towels into sumo wrestler style temporary diapers, and ended up using the complimentary shampoo.
It's the stories I get to tell them over and over again from trips like this that make them dissolve into giggles over the silliness that are completely worth every hilarity filled moment of parenthood.