Yesterday was a hard day for me. I'll spare you the details, but just know that it was rough, and I might cry again if I think too much about it (although crying seems to be normal for me these days, so that doesn't mean much).
It's funny because people keep asking me if I'm just ready for my baby to be here already, if I'm "making it" or "pulling through" or whatever else you're expected to be feeling two weeks before your baby is due and you are hugely pregnant.
Truth is, this baby isn't giving me any trouble. He never cries. I never have to change his diaper. I carry him and my hands are still free. I'm definitely making it and pulling through and all the rest because honestly, being pregnant seems like a piece of cake compared to what I am anticipating as a mother of two.
And although if you've talked to me lately you probably know that I have it all planned for my next little boy to be a perfect angel who does exactly what I say, immediately sleeps through the night, never cries, and lets me cuddle him whenever I want to-- I think things are going to get pretty crazy around here.
What's really been hard, and what will continue to be hard, is being a mommy to my sweet 20-month old, jr. At our worst moments, I think to myself, "Am I really ready to do this all over again? Will I be able to survive two crying babies?" Maybe I just don't have the patience all you other mothers out there have. Maybe I just wasn't cut out to be a supermom.
But really, how does anyone survive having more than one child???
P.S. And then I see jr.'s cute, smiling face and I think, "Yeah, I can do this. I think."
P.P.S. Yes, I know that so many people have way harder situations than I ever will, so I should be grateful and not complain.
P.P.P.S. Yes, those are packing peanuts, and yes, they are everywhere now.
P.P.P.P.S. Thanks to the Karolys for the gifts that came with the packing peanuts! I'm sure we will love them!
I just wanted to share a little miracle in my life. You might think I'm silly.
My sister had her baby, Dinah Villette, about a month before Thanksgiving. The plan was to drive down to their house in Arizona for the holiday to meet the baby and attend the blessing.
Around the time that Dinah was born, everyone around us started getting sick. Pretty much every person I knew.... except me! And my boys! We just kept on being healthy. But I knew that it was inevitable that we'd get sick unless we quarantined ourselves, which just isn't feasible or fair for a healthy little boy. And I also knew that if we were sick, staying for almost a week in the same home as a newborn baby would be out of the question.
So I started praying that if we got sick, it would be either before or after Thanksgiving, but not during Thanksgiving week. It was a pretty specific thing to pray for.
As November went on, and we were still 100% healthy, I started getting more and more worried. Would we be able to go see my little niece? Would we get sick the day we were going to leave? I know, I worry too much. But it was a big deal to me. And I kept praying.
Two weeks before Thanksgiving, jr. suddenly got a nasty cold. A few days later, Josh came down with a bad sore throat that kept him home from work for a couple of days. Then I got suuuper congested.
A day or two after the sicknesses had run their courses, we were all perfectly healthy again, just in time to get in the car and drive down to Arizona.
A coincidence? You could try to say it was. But I know it wasn't. It's little things like these that consistently show me, over and over again, that there is a God, and that He listens to my prayers. I never cease to be amazed.
We just read (listened on cd to) The Last Book in the Universe. It was really good. I can't speak for my wife, but I can try. If she were writing this post she would say something like, "this book was one of the most refreshing books we have read in a long time and you should all read it!" Or something like that.
It is hard to explain what the book is all about without giving anything away or accidentally tarnishing your impression of the book before reading it. But I will say that it is kind of a cross between The Giver and City of Ember, but different. Does that help?
Either way, I will confirm the words that I think my wife would say about the book "you should all read it!"
This morning after I threw a diaper away, the diaper champ suddenly toppled over onto my foot. So I yelled really loud, being the dramatic person I am. When the Joshes came to see what was wrong, I told them (mostly big Josh) what had happened. So I'm standing there and jr. sits down in front of me and picks up my foot by the toes. Then he picks up my other foot... and starts rubbing it!!! At first I was confused, and asked him what he was doing. Then I realized that he was trying to make my foot feel better. Isn't that sweet? You never know what a little 18-month old kid will comprehend about a situation-- I hadn't even known he was paying attention to my conversation with his daddy.
The other night I was talking to Josh about the endless household chores that I have to do every day. These tasks aren't specifically "my" responsibilities as the wife (since in our marriage we are equal partners), but they often become my responsibilities because I am here, I have the time to do them, and they need to get done. I was venting because sometimes it's so frustrating to do tasks that seem so mundane! I just DID the dishes-- don't tell me I have to do another load! And no matter how many times I do those dishes or clean the living room or change the sheets or pick up jr.'s toys... I should probably do it all over again tomorrow. Sometimes it gets a little old! Sometimes I wish I could do things that were more fun or seemed more personally fulfilling with my time.
Then, as I thought (sulkily and a little indignantly) about all of that, I realized something.
What keeps me doing those things over and over again? It's the fact that I'm a member of a family. I'm a wife and a mommy, and for those reasons, I have to. That dinner isn't going to magically appear. That diaper isn't going to change itself. That kiddo isn't going to stay safe and well-fed and clean all on his own.
So if I weren't in the situation I am now, what would keep me doing good things all day? Probably nothing. I would probably end up surfing the internet or sleeping during my free time and doing absolutely nothing productive. Not because I'm a bad person, but because by nature, I'm a little lazy. The natural man has a tendency to take the easy road. So the fact that I chose to be a mother (which God asked me to do at this time in my own personal life) means that automatically I have responsibilities all day long to guide me in my daily choices.
And that makes it easier to be a good person! Instead of being in the position to waste all of my time away, which I probably would, I've got this little guy (soon to be TWO little guys) crawling all over me, and begging for my love, attention, care, and support. And I have a busy, hard-working husband who probably wouldn't mind having things to eat and a tidy place to come home to amidst all the craziness of his work and school activities.
So my point, I guess, is that God makes it easier for us to use our time well by giving us the commandment to have a family. Just by getting married and having children, I have lined myself up for a whole bunch of built-in opportunities to serve (and to serve those I love most!) that I wouldn't have otherwise. If I didn't have that commandment in my life, I'd have to find soup kitchens to volunteer at or old ladies to help across the street or charity organizations to donate all of my money to (not that I shouldn't be doing those kinds of things anyway, but hopefully you see what I mean), which would be very time and energy consuming... and who knows if I would take the time to do it? Being a wife and a mommy is the easy way out in this case.
And the more I do the things that are ever present (albeit ever mundane) and necessary in my home, the closer I am to becoming like Heavenly Father. He is endlessly serving, so He has given me a simple way to be endlessly serving too (and hopefully growing to like it someday...) and trying to become more like him. The more I fold the laundry, the more I align my actions with God's will and the less with my own silly will that doesn't know what's best for me.
Yeah... in the end, I'm pretty sure that mopping jr.'s dinner up off the floor is going to make me happy.
...and once my kids are old enough, they can do it all! just kidding. kind of.
jr.'s first football game ever. good thing BYU won! our seats were at the very top of the stadium, very last row (that's the sky above us). you can imagine how good I was feeling by the time we got to the top. and then, well, you know, with all that walking... I sure was wishing there was a restroom up there. there wasn't. they ought to have maternity seating...