Mothering in the Fog

It's amazing that I'm even sitting down to write this post... (we'll see if I get anywhere before something, rather some child, interrupts me...).  Life post-Lucy has been like living in a fog.

But let me back up...
While I was pregnant with Lucy, I didn't give much thought to how I would handle life with 5 kids.  To be honest, I didn't think I needed to.  Virgil, baby #4, had been a breeze.  I figured after three kids it was all about the same.  It's kinda chaotic,  kinda loud, you do alot of dishes and laundry and that's pretty much the gist of it.  I guess I was fairly cocky about it... I really thought it would be no big deal to add another baby to the mix. 

Then we had her... and she was (is) colicky.  And then you add Virgil's renewed determination to dominate the house and everyone in it... and you get a shocked mamma. 

It has been a real struggle for me.  All of my systems, routines, and rhythms have been jolted.  My house isn't clean,  I can hardly get a meal made,  and I feel like I never sleep.  Lucy is 8 weeks old today, and I would have expected that life be pretty much back to normal by now.  She still isn't sleeping through the night, she still cries a LOT,  and I'm still facing each day in sweat pants and crazy untamed hair.  Not to mention,  there's basically no time for anything recreational or creative... which is about to kill me!  I have piles of ideas in my head for crafts, decorating, and design projects.  I have a bazillion things I want to put up on the blog... but absolutely no time (or energy).

But don't misunderstand my tone... I'm actually not complaining... rather painting a picture of what life is for me these days.  A few weeks ago I would have been complaining, but I've been working on my perspective. 

Lately I've been mulling over what it really means to live by the Spirit... especially these difficult days as a tired mamma.  I haven't completely figured it out yet, but for me it involves a few intentional steps on my part.  I've had to come to a place where I can accept the fact that this is MY PORTION.  This isn't bad... it's not an accidental glitch in God's plan for my life.  Rather this is what God has given me for now.  I shouldn't be trying to change it or wish it away.  Throughout the night and throughout the day I breath this prayer...  "God do your work in me.  Let these days refine me and accomplish whatever you would have them accomplish.  Teach me to lean hard into you and to stop resisting this.  Take away my selfish self-serving heart and replace it with a heart for you, filled with your Spirit." 

The other part of it for me is finding a way to still be in God's word, pray, and even worship.  It's fragmented and feels insignificant at times, but I'm trying to sneak it in where I can.  My iphone has been such a wonderful tool!  Because I can hold it and manipulate it with one hand, I'm able to read my Bible app while I'm walking Lucy to sleep or nursing.  I've been using the Bible app "You Version" which has reading plans on it.  awesome. 

During most nights, Lucy needs to be walked back to sleep after she nurses.  I'm naturally not a happy person during the night :)  I tend to feel very agitated or even angry.  So as I pace the floor in the living room, lately I try to use the time to breath somewhat foggy prayers for my children and my husband instead of letting negative thoughts fester.  I know they aren't my most eloquent prayers, but I know that the Lord hears them and blesses my determination to make the most of those sleepless nights.  And I've noticed what it does for my attitude the next morning...

Then there's Pandora on the computer...  Not a moment goes by that worship music isn't piped out of my Mac's speakers :)  Yesterday Lucy was screaming... she had been crying for a long time and I couldn't get her to stop.  My arms were so tired from carrying her and my nerves felt fried.  Finally I just laid her down on the floor in my office and sat down beside her.  Somewhere under the sound of her cries I heard a worship song coming from my computer.  I don't remember what song it was but the words were something about bowing down and singing "holy".   With frustrated tears coming to the surface, I just closed my eyes and took it all in...the crying, the exhaustion, and breathed "holy, you are holy...".   For me, that was perhaps one of my most genuine moments of worship I've ever had.  These days,  that's enough. 

I'm learning... it feels like a painfully slow process some days.  But hopefully when this stage passes I will be able to look back and see how God grew me through the tough days and nights.  I don't want to just survive these days, I want to allow God to use these days...

"But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble." Psalm 59:16  
(this was the verse of the day, a couple days back, on my phone... I discovered it in the middle of the night and took it to heart :) )

Hey!  What do you know?... I only had to stop once in the middle of typing this!  That's pretty good :)

Oh, and I wanted to tell you... randomly, this has nothing to do with any of this... I joined Instagram!  I can do it with one hand on my phone as well :)  happy. happy.  I added a button on the right sidebar... come find me!


Brokenness Here in Oklahoma

On Sunday night, all 7 of us took cover in our laundry room as a tornado came within two miles of our home.  As we hunkered down under mattresses and blankets,  I looked at each my kids' faces and wondered if the tornado would make it to our home...
It passed.  We were perfectly fine.

The next day the residents of Moore, OK, our neighbors to the South 20 miles, were in a similar position.  But for them it ended in devastation.

We mourn for those who lost loved ones.
We hurt for those who lost their homes.
We pray for all affected.

Click on the verse to for a high resolution version... Feel free to save, print,  and pass on to someone who needs some encouragement.

We have families from our church who live in Moore.  Thankfully they were spared from the physical destruction of the tornado.  For one of these families, our close friends, the tornado came within a half mile of their home, leaving his neighbors homes completely leveled.  Jeremy and this friend spent the day today in Moore, offering help wherever they could....

I ran into the garage door a bit today with our SUV...  I called Jeremy and told him while he was working in the rubble.  You know, he told me that I could have wrecked the car and he wouldn't have cared a bit.

Amazing how a tragedy like this puts life into perspective. 

Here are a couple shots that Jeremy took while out today...

This is a panorama shot... click on it to see it larger.  Jeremy was standing on a kitchen counter top looking over what used to be a neighborhood of hundreds of homes.  Nothing but rubble as far as the eye could see.


The Battle with V Continues! ... and some pics of all 5 kiddos...

So you know how I told  you about my struggles with Virgil a few months back?  ... You know the whole poo on the walls, pink footie p.j.s, and opening doors saga...  Well, for a while it seemed to be getting better!  We purchased those child-proof door knob covers, continued to pin him into his p.j.s, and locked the doors that led outside.

Then Lucy was born... And V upped the ante.  Poor little guy, I'm sure it's hard having a tiny little person come in and take over the house... and mommy's arms... But seriously, it's like he decided he was going to go to war against all of us!  Don't get me wrong... he wasn't mean or angry... just incredibly mischievous!  He was into everything...  and he figured out how to pop off the door knob covers.  So now nothing was off limits for him.  V took full advantage of the fact that he could now get out of his room again in the mornings.  He began waking up at 6  or 6:30 instead of 7:30 or 8... and quietly sneaking out of his room.  One morning we heard a strange noise in the kitchen that woke us up... it was Virgil, sitting on the top shelf in the pantry, eating candy.  oh. boy.

 The other thing that V figured out was how to undo the dead bolt on the front door.  He would put one foot in the window sill beside the door, hold onto the door knob with one hand, and swing his other arm up to barely reach the dead bolt and flip it over.  He mastered this technique and could open the door as quickly as I could!  ...such a little monkey. 

(During this time he also started trying to pick up Lucy,  share his candy with her, feed her random small items like rocks, and crawl into her crib with her... but that's a whole 'nother  post!)

But opening the front door was the real problem...this was the kicker.  V now could escape into the front yard... very easily and quickly.  He had it down to a science. As soon as I would leave the room he would grab his keys (Jeremy's spare car keys..that he's allowed to play with), get the door open, and dart out.  He would run into the street and try to unlock Jeremy's parked pick-up truck.  You see he's fairly obsessed with vehicles and keys...  and I think he thought that if he could just get that car door open, he would be able to use those keys to drive away! 

It scared me to death.  I usually would hear the screen door squeak and run and stop him before he got very far, but every now and then I would miss it.  Then I would realize that I hadn't seen V in a few minutes, look out the front window and see him running down the side walk or in the street.  It was awful.

This went on for a couple weeks, then one morning I looked out the window to see him in the neighbor's driveway across the street trying to get into the their Mustang!  I'll never forget that image... him standing there with his keys, in his footie p.j.s, wearing his sister's pink cowboy hat trying to unlock the car door.  oh. my.

The next day Jeremy went to Lowes...

He bought extra latches for the front and back doors that could be placed really high up.
Child running loose in the street problem. check.

I feel like I can breath a bit now!  Until that curly headed, big blue eyed son of mine comes up with some new ways to make me panic :)

Oh, I just remember what happening on Monday... in Kansas, at my folks' house... (chuckling.)
Let's just say it involved eggs, antique doll dishes, house plants, and quite a bit of crying :)
But that too, is a whole 'nother story for another day!


Baby Doll Record Book Printable for your Little Girl

So these days, our household is pretty much in complete baby mode.  So on that note, I have a free printable for those of you with little girls who love playing with baby dolls!

Do any of you remember the little Golden Book called "The New Baby"?  This was one of my absolute favorite books as a little girl.  I loved looking at all the pictures of the little baby and all the sweet baby things...  all illustrated by Eloise Wilkins.  So cute. Well, after reading this book to my girls... in honor of our new baby... we decided that we needed to make some Baby Doll Record Books for the girls to fill out for their baby dolls!

It is packed full of so much sweet baby girly goodness... with lots of pages for an imaginative little girl to fill out (or for her mommy to fill out)!  We have ours assembled, and have started to fill in the info... but we've yet to take pictures of our baby dolls.  It will be a fun project to work on for the next several weeks.  I'm actually going to use it for my oldest to practice her hand-writing and spelling for homeschool...  (much more fun than worksheets!).

To assemble the book you will need to download and print the pages below.  You will print two 81/2 x 11 pages front and back... then cut each sheet in half.  Then each half sheet will be folded and then all the pages stacked together. (I added pages numbers, to help you figure out the order!!)  The cover should be printed separately on a thicker paper, like card stock, then cut out.   I chose to bind our little books with twine... but they could be stapled as well.

Click on each link below to Download all the files...






*As always...File and finished product are not for resale or profit of any kind.  Please contact me if  you have any questions about usage.

Oh, and of course I can't post these days without showing you a couple pics of my sweet Lucy Lou!  She is 4 weeks today... can't believe it.


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