Friday, July 29, 2011

It's a New Day

My poor husband came home last night and it just took one look for him to know I'd been crying my eyes out.
(Actually, it wouldn't have taken a genius because one look in the mirror and I realized my mascara was everywhere!)


Today I grabbed some of my baby books and started reading.

With my first pregnancy I was given a book that I completely ignored.
It was TOO overwhelming to me and felt incredibly intense.
The book is called My First 300 Babies.

Know it?

Well, I opened it up today and started pouring over the pages and with this baby,
I'm convinced I want to use this manual.

I'm a planner.
I love me a good schedule.
I adore routines.

I think what held me up last time was I decided to read the book once I had my son.
(bad idea)
This time I know there's more to think about and I know a bit more of what I need to prepare for.

So reading through the book today calmed me down.
Yah, the schedule is intense but it's also seemingly FREEING!

I can think of a few people who are going to consider me to be a nazi parent on this one.
Perhaps a few people who aren't going to like the limited waking hours the baby will have to be held or played with
but ya know what
our house, our kids, our rules ;)

The greatest thing I took away from today's reading?
Pg. 56 A Child's Natural Acceptance of a New Baby
"What child is not overjoyed at the thought of a new little brother or sister? Their childlike acceptance is natural, and this attitude should be the expected by the parents, rather than any negative behavior. There should be no need of gifts being brought to the other children when the infant is being favored. It is their happy opportunity to learn to share as a family, with no sense of being deprived in any way. Again I say, this thinking does not originate in the thoughts of the child; so parents, expect this childlike acceptance."

Oh the freedom that can come with a bit of studying, a bit of advice, and A LOT of surrender!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The {UN}shining

I am days away from:
meeting my second baby
completing my family
starting overand suddenly

& terrified.

I'm counting seconds of "what's left" vs. looking at the joy of what's to come
and I haven't felt this sad about it all until yesterday.

Yesterday when I heard my body wasn't doing what I was hoping it was.
Yesterday when my husband had to take my emotions & fears and protect me from myself.
Yesterday when that same husband had to take our delivery plan and disburse it amongst 6 adults that we call our parents that I can't control.
Yesterday when I started the cycle of self-defeat as I stared at my son:
Can I be enough for you?
Can I do this again?
Can I do this differently then I did the first time?
Can I protect myself from the potential for post partum since depression was a struggle in my past?
Can I....I'm sobbing tonight
unable to breathe out of my nose from a collection of uncontrollable weeping.
Even as I cry and empty out my fear, I have worship music on because
I know
this is a really bad moment
my feelings are not truths
that my doubts and fears are lies
but in this moment
I am feeling them with every ounce of raw human that I am.

I'm counting seconds toward a goodbye tonight.
Staring at my life as a series of lasts instead of a hopeful hello to a slew of new firsts.
I feel desperate, alone, broken hearted, & so....sad.

I am fighting to FEEL the truth I know:
"Let no one caught in sin remain/inside the lie of inward shame/[I] fix [my] eyes upon the cross /and run to Him who shows great Love" ~Matt Maher, Christ is Risen

Father- I surrender!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ready {Logistically Anyway}

My due date is officially August 11 but when I was put on bed rest with a goal date of making it to July 14, mentally, my due date changed!
It now feels like I'm past due.

Initially July 14 came and went and I felt discouraged but now I'm good just waiting.
After all, with the use of my legs & mobility again, I'm a "free" woman.

Don't get me wrong.
My bags are packed
(& have been for 5 weeks...)
The build out the Hus was working on for the new office is complete so now the little one's room is ready.
And the gifts that the baby bought for his big brother are wrapped & ready for Big Brother to open when he meets the baby for the first time.

(Yes, already considerate and giving, the baby bought his big brother two trains for this Thomas the Train collection)
So it appears these last few weeks will be spent wondering:
Is my water going to break on my friend's leather couch?
Am I going to start having contractions & going into this unexpectedly?

And watching our big boy go through his own changes:
Not so excited that the baby has his own room with a rocker he can't call his (sad)
Waking up each morning asking if the the baby is awake and if he can hug him (sweet)

We are ready {Logistically Anyway...}

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The {Misused} Strength of Silence

I listened to a sermon by Rick Warren this weekend titled
"Making The Hard Changes In Me."

One of the main guiding questions of the message was,
"Why is is to hard to change myself?"

I listened & it resonated with my heart.

My defects come from three main places:
1. Biological - my genetics
2. Sociological - my background
3. Theological - my choices

Two things Pastor Rick Warren said that struck me about the places these defects come from were
*My defects are my attempts to meet my unmet needs.
*My defects are often my strengths being misused.Quite candidly, I have a defect of silence.
When I am angry, when I am hurt, when I need words of encouragement or thanks, I grow silent. For someone who loves words, I lose my ability to talk and I shut down. I wait for others to read my mind, know my heart, and fill the gap caused by my emotion.

This defect is both sociological & theological.

I went through something very traumatic at 14 that taught me to be silent, to write, that no one hears my cries. Silence became my sociological defect.
15 years later, silence is a theological defect because I know better.
I know I have voice, that I can be heard but I live in fear and lack of practice at speaking up and out.
Instead I write, I stew, I live in a silent turmoil until it bursts--most frequently passively and with the very select few, openly or aggressively.

On the flip side, my silence is also my strength.
My silence compels what I love, writing.
My experience with silence has caused me to champion for women's rights and volunteer with other organizations that fight for women's voices.

Now I have to figure out how to make what is more dominantly and unhealthily my defect into a permanent change of strength.

So, Why is so hard to change the defects?
The reason that was like a lightning bolt to me:
Because we identify with our weaknesses with statements like, "That's just the way I am."
This statement causes us to identify with our sin when the truth is, we are not our sin.

I loved Pastor Rick's clear example of how we identify with out sin.
He pointed out that in AA meetings, people introduce themselves as,
"My name is X & I am an alcoholic."
In Saddleback's Celebrate Recovery, they do things differently:
"My name is X. I am a Christian and I struggle with alcoholism."

What a profound difference in phrasing!
I am not my sin, I am a Christian who struggles with a sin!

So here I am.
Thinking about the truths of who I am.
Who I was genetically established as, who I became by my environment, and who I am by my choices.
The truth is, I am incredibly proud of who I am because I chose this version of me
I also have an incredibly long way I want to travel each day as I choose to be even more then who I am today.

It will happen--out loud & not in silence.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Competitive (Grand)Parenting

When my husband and I were first married, we tried to please everyone:
my two sets of parents and his one set.
For all of you who have been there, you know, it's impossible for two people to please 4 parents let alone six or more nowadays.
Each set of parents comes with their own way of doing things, their own priorities, & perhaps worst of all, their own expectations.Attempts at making all 6 parents happy in our young relationship lead to total craziness and discontent on our hearts.
We attempted Christmases that hit three houses all hours apart from each other (this meant a three ring circus!)
I begged to elope because I couldn't handle the idea of my four parents competitive say in what I wore, who walked me down the aisle, and how the wedding was done.
We ultimately went crazy...
then we had our son.

At the birth of our son we had two of my parents who didn't make it and then a hospital waiting room with my mom & his mom.
Not only was my son born but so was a new form of competitive parenting and the birth of competitive grandparenting.

Between a Portuguese man and a Norwegian girl, we all expected a little brown haired, brown eyed baby, but what we got was a beautiful strawberry blonde, blue eyed boy.
Enter: CRAZY.
All of a sudden we had parents saying things like,
"His upper lip looks just like [his paternal grandpa's]."
This was ACTUALLY said.
Everyone wanted a piece of this little boy.

Well, this little boy got older and most recently, especially with the onset of our upcoming addition, there's NEW crazy.
Crazy like:
if one grandparent gets our son a toy, the other grandparent has to.
if i refer to my son by his first & middle name, one grandparent force feeds him his first and last name.
if one grandparent hears our son say he loves another grandparent, the grandparent says, "what about me?"

Annnnd this is officially NOT Okay and where I coined the term "Competitive Grandparenting."

Each of our parents carries their own insecurities.
Two parents are insecure about another set's love language of gifts.
Another set of grandparents are insecure about another set's love language of time.
and so on...
Each set of parents is vying for the central focused love of our son & this is where I say

Growing up in a divorced and severely dysfunctional set of parental relationships,
I KNOW what it's like to walk on eggshells and feel like you can't love one parent in front of another.
This will NOT be tolerated for our kids.
We will soon have 2 precious babes that have EVERY RIGHT to
each one of their grandparents inside and outside of their relationship to each one.
The insecurities of these adults will NOT be placed on our kids to
cater to
or fear
Our kids deserve to
talk about how they love x, y, z in front of whoever they want
to be excited about a gift received by x, y, or z
to be a kid who is loved by x, y, & z.

It's one thing to competitive Parent a married set of adults--
that's something each married couple has to go through and establish individual relationships with.
It's quite another to competitive Grandparent and as a protective mama bird, completely unacceptable.
It's true, I have a heightened sensitivity to it as a product of my 4 parents,
but I think it has made me a more aware parent.

Oh, how in need of love and how broken we all are in one area or another...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

All Tucked In...

Last night I got off of my side, out of my bed & broke the rules.
I broke them in the name of one little boy who needed his mommy--
my little boy.My little boy who's been this joyful light in my day.
My little boy who hasn't shown a sign of noticing Mommy hasn't been herself
other than his insatiable energy as loving hearts come in and entertain him while I can't.
Last night, he needed me
And I was there.

The curtains were drawn, his night light on, and the music gently bounced off of the walls that I pray over every night.
My little boy looked up at me and said,
"Don't want baby bruhder to come."
If a broken heart made a sound, you would have heard mine shatter to a crystal floor in that moment- clanking, shaking, crashing.
"Baby, you don't want baby brother?"
He quietly said, "Yes & No," and reached for my hand as he whimpered.

I let him feel his emotions and I took them in myself knowing he's allowed to feel like that but surprised he could...surprised he did.
A feeling like that, the ability to express it, seems so far past his tender three years to know.

"Mommy, you stay here til sun is out," he asked.
And I curled my growing tummy up next to him.
I shared his big boy bed with him as he pulled my arm around him and tucked my hand up under his chin.
"I love you, monkey," I whispered closely into his ear and brushed his sweaty hair from his forehead.

And I rested there, full of love & heavy heart, with my two boys.