remember to take off your cape

A while back I posted something on facebook about how parents are superheroes.

Afterwards I worried that people might take that the wrong way, thinking I was encouraging us to have unrealistic expectations of being “supermoms” or “superdads”, filling schedules with awesome kid activities, doing all the Pinterest crafts, grow and eat organic, keeping perfect houses and having perfectly obedient children, etc. (Great, by the way, if you do any or all of those things! I like you, but you are already superheroes even before you do those things, too).

The pour-the-milk, go-to-work, wipe-the-faces, hide-in-the-bathroom-for-two-minutes-to-keep-your-sanity ordinary, everyday mom and dad stuff. That is why you are superheroes.

You, the unique parent with the unique kids. Parenting them in the unique way that you do.

But, superhero you… do you remember to take off your cape every once in a while?

Do you remember who you are without it?

Do you remember how to be that person?

You know you’ve been sitting around the Kiddy Pool too long when you forget that you are anything other than a Lifeguard.

When you start to worry that if you are not watching, something will happen.

If you don’t jump in, no one else will.

If you aren’t there, no one will be safe.

It doesn’t help that one of the kids is glued to your hip.

I think I’ve stayed at my Kiddy Pool a little too long.

In an exhausted, flustered moment I found myself saying words that I knew weren’t true but I felt them and said them anyway.

“You don’t know him like I do.”

Ow. Poor husband.

And you know what? He was able to calm that baby down when I couldn’t, and he was able to calm me down when I couldn’t.

And then three times I read the phrase “If you find yourself (fill in the blank with things I found myself doing and thinking) you probably aren’t getting the break you need.”

In three different places
By three different bloggers.
On three different days.

And it took a week for me to notice the pattern and say
“huh”.

My husband, in all his awesome husbandyness, has told me to take an evening off a week when he gets home from work. He’ll feed the kids and put them to bed.
I haven’t taken him up on that offer nearly as often as I need it. Even though I know that if I asked, every time he’d say yes.

So what do you look like without your cape, Superhero friend?

You’re allowed to take it off, you know.

Even Superman does ;) He spends some time as Clark Kent instead.

By the way… leaving it on all the time… does that look like trust in your Superman (husband) or in your God?

Not for me.

And trust is such an important part of my relationship with both of them. And they want me to trust them. They’ve told me so.

They love it when I do.

And my Superman and Super God know exactly what they’re doing when I’m not around.

C’mon. Let’s take off our capes and go get coffee.

What does your cape-less time look like? This is mine:

 
image
I definitely asked for a water not to drink, just so I could use my watercolor crayons ;)

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princes and princesses

Some monsters on Sesame Street we’re pretending to be princesses today. Prince Charming kept trying to come to their rescue when they had a problem, and the princess monsters kept telling him they didn’t need him (until they needed another player for basketball).

Parents of daughters, my sons are being taught by example (my husband is amazing) to hold doors for your girls, to treat them with care and gentleness, to “come to the rescue” even if that just means to bring them to God and pray for them.

My sons might someday try to do this for your daughter… not because your daughter is weak, inferior, or incapable… but because they are precious and loved by the King.

Please, don’t teach your daughters to squash my sons’ protective servant hearts. And if I may… please don’t teach your daughters that it isn’t okay to need help sometimes… please don’t teach them that accepting help is a sign of weakness… please don’t teach them that if they can do it on their own or without a man, they should. That is not strength.

I do understand that some of you may have had very negative experiences with men who do not view you with the value that is truly yours. I have personally been very blessed, and my confidence and sense of self-worth has been solidified by men in my life who have held open doors, paid for a meal, threatened a guy with a bat for me, and so much more. Godly men don’t want to help and rescue because it makes them feel superior – they do it simply because in God’s eyes and theirs, she is worth it, and he wants her to know.

Let them be princes.

_ _ _

I don’t normally talk about stuff like this in a very public setting because, honestly, I do not like confrontation and this can be a very confrontational subject. So I am going to ask that unless you are in my closest circle of trusted friends that you not judge, criticize, or correct my thoughts on how I parent my sons or how I view this very tender subject. And if you are one of those people you will do so in person or privately :) Thank you!

stopping the rush

I was folding some of the way-too-huge pile of laundry yesterday, scrambling to find the man-sized stuff hidden under tons and tons of baby stuff, because I realized one day not too long ago that if I wash one person’s clothes at a time that means a lot less sorting after and so less time doing my least favorite chore. But my plan to shrink my time doing laundry failed me this time because kids just keep getting sick and laundry didn’t get folded eve though it was sorted BEFORE going in the washing machine and so the room that was supposed to be our bedroom quickly became laundry-land.

So there I was… flinging shirts and underwear into the empty laundry basket (empty only because I had just dumped it’s mod-podge of contents into laundry land) and I abruptly stopped and sat back on my heels and this thought rushed at me:

Why am I rushing??

There are certain things these days that I do rush through out of necessity. Going to the bathroom. Taking a shower while two boys watch Veggie Tales. Eating lunch. Because if I don’t, my mama’s boy will realize I have left his sight for more than 3 seconds and begin to cry, and then I will be doing the cross-legged dance and I end up either snacking all day or (more likely) eating way too much at dinner because oh my gosh my stomach just realized it has been empty all day and it doesn’t know when it will eat next!

But laundry? Like I said, I hate it already. Least favorite chore. It’s never done. I am sure you feel me here. But rushing? Oh I hate rushing even more, even though I do it like my life (or bladder) depends on it! Somewhere in my laundry hating mind I at some point decided that if I rushed through it would be done faster and so I would spend less time doing something I hate. But do you know what happened instead? I began to hate laundry even more, because I had trained myself to rush through… and I did say, didn’t I that I hate rushing? It makes me anxious and stressed and overwhelmed, even though I usually am rushing to not feel those things.

So I slowed down. I slowed my movements. I sorted through the pile calmly. I told myself that it didn’t matter if all the laundry got folded today. There will still be laundry to do tomorrow. And isn’t a calm, peaceful me with a slightly smaller pile of laundry better than a frantic one with a clean bedroom floor? Isn’t a me who is content with what she felt she could do at the time better than one who is proud of herself for doing it all in one night?

I only folded 2 basketfuls of laundry last night. All of my husband’s things (minus socks… sorry honey!) and all of the baby and toddler clothes. I still haven’t put the boys things’ away. Then I dried my hair, and washed bottles, and played a game on my kid’s kindle while Chris finished taxes. I asked if I could help with that, I promise! And he said no and he didn’t make me feel a bit guilty about being lazy for a bit. There is still a pile of my stuff, blankets towels and socks and random things that got missed on the bedroom floor. But I am okay with that.

coffee spilled

I spilled my coffee.

Really good, really hot Tim Horton’s coffee.

On our new area rug. On my only pair of jeans that were fitting comfortably that day.

I just completely missed the coffee table, staring at my cute toddler as I tried to set my cup down.

I spilled it and I cried. Sobbed.

And my husband. He ran out of the bedroom to find out what was wrong and I felt silly and stupid and ridiculous and hormonal and I kept apologizing and shaming myself and he said…

He said “I’ll buy you more.”

And I refused, ashamed of my spilled coffee and my tears.

But we get in the car to go to his parents and, with me protesting, he pulled through Tim Horton’s drive through.

And I cried a little more but deep down… deep down I felt loved and beautiful.

And just a few miles later I turn to help a boy in the backseat and next thing I know my cup is no longer in my hand and coffee is on the other leg of my jeans (that I did not change earlier) and on my seat and all over, and the coffee cup is currently emptying itself on my husband’s new Window’s phone, which he just picks up calmly, and he even smiles at me when apologies come tumbling out of my mouth again.

I’m sobbing again.

And he says… “I’ll buy you more.”

That is just a small way that I’ve been shown grace lately. The thought that when I do something wrong, even a mistake, all I have to do is apologize {and even ask God “can You fix it?”… and let Him} and not have to dwell on it or make sure I feel bad enough for what I did is so foreign to me…

Chris made our small group listen to this song last night… so glad that even though my sign would say “ashamed” that both my husband and God see “beloved”

some of life

I’ve been telling Chris that I had a feeling this baby was going to be bigger than Eli, and that I have a feeling he will be coming early.

We found out today that baby boy Isaac is already measuring 5lb 7oz. That means that more than half of the weight I have gained are literally all baby. At 33 weeks, his head and belly are measuring at least 35 weeks, but his legs are measuring right on time. My belly is also measuring right on time, still… which explains why my poor boy is moving constantly – he has no room!

Oh, did I mention that my awesome, wonderful husband threw a surprise birthday party for me? :)

His parents, people from our current cell group and last, Chris’ best friend since sixth grade and his wife (they drove more than 2 hours!), and a college friend whom we’ve only seen maybe twice since our wedding came. I was seriously floored. I’ve never been so surprised or felt so loved by so many people!

And my brothers came for the weekend.

And somehow that is the only picture I got of that! And it’s blurry.

And now, since my only-wants-daddy, very fussy, tantrum-throwing toddler is screaming at me for the 10th unknown reason today, I’m going to go!

little boy heaven

Literally seconds after Eli and I pulled into the garage after getting groceries this morning, this truck pulls up right in front of our driveway to take away the tree that was cut down. Instant toddler entertainment, long enough for mommy to put away the groceries without worrying about Eli running away with a yogurt cup. Instant little boy heaven :) He stood there forever.

And then in the middle of all that, my husband’s new toy arrived (for taking down another tree in the backyard)…

More little boy heaven to be had? Either that or Eli and I will make a run for it so that I don’t lose my sanity trying to keep him entertained away from the backyard…

Isaac is pretty much constantly kicking away these days {so much for thinking he was quiet}. Eli touched my belly yesterday and said “baby” … then waved to my belly and said “hi baby.” I don’t think he really understands yet… it was mostly kind of prompted.

We have watched more Thomas the Train in the last 24 hours than I ever imagined a toddler could. And I slept more in the past 48 hours than I ever thought a mama of a toddler could.

My husband just texted me to let me know that work is letting everyone go home at 3 today.

Did you know my husband is awesome? :) He is.

It is just a good day :)

just a baby post :) {and a little more}

So I’m still kinda quiet around here. Being a pregnant mama of a toddler is exhausting. And I’ve let some things go. And I was talking about my husband about the things that I’ve been letting go of, and his reaction? I’ve let go of the wrong things.

I guess my first reaction, when my hands are too full, is to drop everything that only directly benefits me and grasp tightly to the things that do directly benefit everyone else. Imagine my hands full of tiny strips of paper labeled with everything that actually do, that I wish I could do, that I think I should do. The slip labeled “laundry” stays (much to my displeasure… everyone needs clean underwear at least). The one labeled “art class” floats to the floor. The one labeled “feed the husband and kid (and self)” is firmly grasped. The one labeled “take a shower every couple of days” is… dropped. The slip labeled “give the toddler a bath” stays and I frown a little at it because I really should probably add the word “daily” to the end of that one. The one labeled “blog” is sitting at my feet.

Yeah… I need to do all of those things. The laundry, the bathing of the child, the feeding of us all… but also gripped tightly in my fingers are other slips of paper. Ones that I keep well hidden behind and between the ones I really must do. And those other hidden slips are written by me, in my handwriting, but they have the voices of other people. They are words that I imagine my friends, my family, even people I pass in the grocery store but don’t really know… what those people would tell me to write down. Scroll back. Did you see that word imagine? If not go back and read that sentence again. There aren’t (usually… ahem) people telling me what to do, but I see their faces (or imagine their faces) and hear the words and see the disappointment (again, imagined) in their eyes and so those pieces of paper sit there… partially hidden, because they’re not really mine and so I am unsure of them… but I prioritize them anyway. I keep them and let the parts that are really me – the parts that may in fact (according to my wonderful husband) benefit not just me, but also those people around me, the ones that love me – fall to the floor.

And so here I am. Writing a blog post. Not because I actually have anything of importance or profound-ness or any wit to share. But just because my husband, when I told him that I’d let my blog kinda go, told me “that is one of the last things you should let go.” And to be honest that kind of shocked me. And I’m still not sure I quite get it, quite believe it… but because I love my husband and trust that he knows what is good for me (because, afterall, I am the unshowered-for-the-second?-third?-day-in-a-row woman that he lives with and still loves)… I’m here.

So to give this blog post an actual point, and because it just so coincidentally is the day that the tiny baby is 15 weeks along, my ramblings are going to end with some baby stuff :) Just because. {Well, and also because I don’t have any art to share… because I haven’t yet picked that slip of paper labeled “art” back up off the floor, besides to write down an idea for a sketch…}

A picture! That sounds like a good idea…

That is 14 and a half weeks along. And, as I said when I posted it on facebook, a very very realistic moment in my life. Eli is not two feet away, and did you see the cat? Plotting. And I’m in pajama pants, and I’m pretty sure it was after noon that day. And my hair isn’t brushed. Yeah.

Did I tell you that I felt the baby move? At 13 weeks to the day. With Eli it wasn’t until 16 weeks. And it was Eli’s fault that I felt the baby move so early because he decided that day to plop down right on my stomach, and the baby jumped. Since then I can feel it shifting positions, and I finally felt some tapping the other day, too. And? When our pastor told us to stand up at the end of the service on Sunday, and think about Jesus walking right into the room and standing right in front of you… YOU… while he prayed… the baby moved. A lot. I started to cry… because up until that moment I was having trouble imagining Jesus right there in front of me. Well, baby knew. Teaching me things already…

On a random note… are you friends with your pastor? Because I am. And every time that I talk about him (on here or to somebody) I just want to call him Tom. Not “the pastor”… because to me he is Tom. Not the pastor. But noone would know who I am talking about…

Before this post gets too much out of control and really loses the claim to being a post about anything in particular I’d better go. You’re probably bored with all these words and not much pictures anyway. So I’ll leave you with saying that on Thursday Husband and I leave for three nights. Alone. Yay! Sooo needed. I can not wait :)

Miscellany Monday {oops, I mean Tuesday}

Fisrt… Something is wrong with my theme/layout thingy. But only when it’s on the home page (not a single post). Does anyone know what happened? The title of some random post is on the right side instead of my picture and tag cloud and whatnot. Help?? —->

Second… Eli is sick… the worst cold he has had since he had RSV as a little baby. He is more snuggly than usual… and taking lots of warm baths and using his Nebulizer. Blah.

But isn’t he cute? :)

Third… I am continuing my list today… yesterday is definitely the kind of day that needed it. So weird how in a day that could easily feel discouraging, purposefully looking for things such as these is just like taking off glasses just to realize they’d been foggy the whole time, and now you can see…

6. Eli is taking naps again without coughing

7. Received a much-awaited package yesterday {and the UPS man read my note on the door and did not knock or ring the bell so my sick baby could nap}

8. freedom {and time} to create

9. link backs from a friend :)

10. bathtubs. ‘nough said.

11. we already have a Nebulizer to help Eli breathe

12. Veggie Tales.

13. A compliment from Eli’s pediatrician

14. a Valentine scavenger hunt that my husband set up (and which I still have yet to find the first clue for…)
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Miscellany Monday

I think I could just leave this post at that and be happy with it :) He is just too cute… even after a too-short nap…

I made chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I love to bake… but for the very first time in my life, they did not turn out at all. They look more like lacy cookie pancakes. FLAT, and with holes. I have NO idea what I did wrong. My husband likes them maybe even more than real cookies, though, so I guess it wasn’t really a fail anyway, right?

My husband is the best :)

It snowed over the weekend. The snow did not stick :( Somebody told me that this winter was going to be “the worst” (a.k.a. the most snow, a.k.a. the best in my opinion) we’d had in years. Somebody lied to me.

The End.

Miscellany Monday

The snow is falling soft and slow. It finally feels like winter… and though my husband is talking of taking down the Christmas tree this week, I think my ornaments will have to just be re-purposed as {it finally feels like} winter decorations.

My husband gave me a puzzle, chocolate, candles, and a new Owl City CD {he knows me so well}… AND he took care of me all weekend while I was sick…

I have a tote of all new art supplies :)

This is just a peak at my art-play from the other day… {lyrics from Closer by Jars of Clay}

My sister-in-law gave me some fuzzy socks

My baby boy has a walker! Before we bought his walker, he pushed around chairs, coolers, laundry baskets…

I’ve never seen a child stop mid-unwrapping a present to play with it. How did we end up with such a sweet boy? I love him.

He is copying us saying everything now. My favorite is “chee!?” (cheese… string cheese is the new favorite) and “dan-dou” (thank you… which is said especially if we are the ones saying “thank you” to him for handing over something he shouldn’t have been holding in the first place).

It’s lasagna cupcake night. You should make some, too.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters