** Caution... emotional, sleep-deprived babble soon to follow... so either grab a snack and get comfy, or just exit the site now. There. Consider yourself warned...
Lately we have been going back and forth with the question: do we get into a new house now, or do we stay put for a while in our 'charming-yet-oh-so-small-and-old' house...
So far, we have opted to stay put. And for now, I'm actually happy about that, because, well, it helps me to not feel so bad when my kiddos demolish anything and everything in one way or another. In a way, this house, to me, has become 'disposable'... at least that's what I tell myself to keep my sanity when they are dragging chairs across our newly re-finished floor, or climbing all over the furniture with sucker-stickied hands that I can't get to at the moment to wipe off.
Especially now that my days (and nights) are mostly consumed with sitting in one, immovable position while feeding Elizabeth, I have come to realize that things are just that... things. Nothing is worth my getting all worked up and giving myself ten ulcers to try to keep everything just picture perfect all the time. This hit me when, in the middle of one nursing session, Joshy climbed on the piano and started picking apart one of my favorite fall decorations. After coaxing, threatening, and then yelling at him to stop, I had to pull myself back and ask if saving this decoration was worth the increased blood pressure and screeching and threats I was yelling at my son. He wasn't doing it to be malicious... he was merely curious as to what made up that decoration, and wanted to feel every part of it for himself. So I sat back, mentally disconnected myself from this material posession, and let myself get caught up in the wonder of a 2 year olds world. It was really interesting to look at things from his point of view... to a 2 year old, there is no law of consequences-- if you like something, you touch it, squish it, taste it, in short, explore it completely. And then you move on to the next thing of interest (while the haggard mommy tries to restore the damage that has just been inflicted on the previous object of interest...)
Now, I'm not saying that I have let everything go to the dogs... (well, okay, in a way I kind of am - justification in it's finest form, right?!)
I have just gotten a lot more calm about the chaos that seems to constantly be going on around me.
Something that my mom said to me a few years ago really stuck with me, and has helped me to prioritize what things are 'really' important... We were home for Christmas, and I had gotten Jerry a CD for Christmas, and we had gotten the CD signed by the artist, so I thought it was pretty important.
Somewhere in the midst of holiday/family craziness, the cd got lost.
My mom calmly helped me search high and low for it (she even went through the garbage... now THAT is one incredible mother!!).
But then she said something that has stayed with me since then...
As I was getting more and more worked up, she calmly stated, "Oh well, if we can't find it, that's okay, you can't take it to Heaven with you anyway." For some reason, that statement stuck, and has since talked me down from many would-be-melt-down moments with the kiddos.
Like when they were playing catch (with daddy...) and hit my monet picture, causing it to fall down, shatter the glass, and scratch up the print. When I first walked into the room and saw the damage, my first reaction was quickly put in check when I looked around at all of their sheepish faces (hubby's included), and I actually repeated what my wise mother has once told me, "oh, well, I can't take it to Heaven with me anyway." And just like that, the moment was de-fizzled. The mess was cleaned, the ball put away, the (glass-less) picture re-hung.
Or when Joshy hosed down the kitchen with the new spray nozzle in the sink during one of my nursing sessions... (hey, kitchens can always use a good shower every now and then, right?!).
... or even when I found a few days ago, a perfect "V" type of cut in *THE chair* (oh, yes... the one that I praised in the previous post...), from 'someone' (so far no one will fess up to the actual crime...) who was apparently experimenting with a pair of scissors...
... it's... only.... a .... thing.... ... right??! I...can't...take...it...to...Heaven.... right??! (insert deep breaths here!!).
... Because, really, at the end of the day (or year, or life...) things are just that: things. They are, in fact disposable, and will stay right here on earth when we leave it. What I will get to take with me, and what really DOES matter, is the relationship that I build with my most cherished and NON-Disposable items: my children. The explorations, the craziness, and the psychotic zoo phase will pass, but the memories and relationship that we build together will last a lifetime. As I am learning more and more with each new soul that comes into my life, they are so small for such a short time, and when they grow, those sweet moments of childhood wonder are gone forever. When they are grown and gone, I'm sure I will look back at the 'v' cut and wish for just one day more of being surrounded by these amazing, incredible (if at times over-zealous) souls that I am blessed to call "My Children"... and who are, in fact, my most priced possessions, for now, and for always.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have been known to be cheap... er I mean 'frugalistic'...
Seriously - I am a bargain hunter to the core... finding furnishings for either cheep or free (have you ever tried freecycle.com?? The best free-exchange website ever!! We have found kids beds, bikes, baby swings, shelves, coffee tables, our dishwasher, microwave, and yes, even our piano... all for FREE!! You have to give it a try for your community! But I digress...) is quite a passion of mine. In fact, most of our furnishings have either been given to us, or bought at deep discounts....
So, when hubby brought up the idea of purchasing a brand new recliner for baby #5, I hesitated just a bit, and looked around at the local thrift stores. I also wondered if it really was "all that" to have a recliner for a baby - if it really did make a big difference during the long nights of nursing. After all, I had made it through 4 babies without one... should we really splurge and go for it? (And from a 'real' furniture store to boot??!)
True to his nature, Jerry set off one Saturday and sat in what I'm sure was every single recliner in the store before I arrived to try out the two he had narrowed it down to...
And after sitting in them, I was hooked. We looked around a bit more, and then I held my breath as we decided to just go for it and get it... (oh, and it did help that it was not only on a big sale itself... but it was also on a big promotion that was a 'buy one get one free' promotion.... yes, in a flash we became the owners of not one but TWO of these little baby's).
... And OH HOW I LOVE THEE, my dear, sweet, all night nursing companion!!!
In the few short weeks that Elizabeth has been with us, I have seldom left your cozy, cushy softness. Through a weekend of utter sickness, you cushioned me through fevers, sweats, chills, and pain. Through our all night parties, you surround Elizabeth, myself, as well as an occasional visit from snuggling siblings, with the warmth of a velvety hug.
Oh, my new favorite chair in the house, how I sing this ode to you, and to my dear, sweet hubby who sat in, tested, purchased, and transported you to my sweet little home :).
I have been battling a wicked case of mastitis all weekend, and pretty much have not been able to do much more than lay in the recliner and feed the baby. I had put a load of laundry in the wash before getting slammed with it, and knew the clothes would start to sprout their own source of penicillin if I left them in any longer, so I told Sarah I had a special job for her - to go move the clothes from the washer to the dryer, and then explained how to turn the dryer on.
- in a VERY excited tone, "I can do that, and then when they get dry, can I fold them and put them all away??"
And that's exactly what she did.
Then this morning, she went around to the rooms, gathered up all the dirty clothes, and then came to me and asked if she could do the laundry all by herself. So she hauled the whole basket downstairs, separated out the darks/lights, and is now becoming quite the laundress :).
Thank you, Sweet Sarah, for making my day!! Love you!
Joshy, with all of his crazy ways, has realized in just a few short days that I have a 'perimeter of reach' while nursing.
... so yesterday morning while nursing, I heard a chair scooting in the kitchen, then some shuffling of dishes... and then joshy came walking around the corner, wielding two big glass bowls... and... a steak knife.... and his 'wicked' grin on his mouth...
... and he stopped just short of my perimeter of reach to show me all the tricks he could do with his glass/knife ensemble...
... mind you, I'm still in the middle of the nursing "hurting so badly that you can't move a muscle or even more electric shock pain shoots through your entire body" mode... so trying to reach out to get him was more complicated then it seemed. I finally coaxed him to bring the knife to me, and then he kind of hurled the bowls on my lap - then crawled up beside me to 'help' me in my nursing efforts. So I then had the baby, Joshy, two glass bowls, and a steak knife to finish out the Elizabeth feeding session....
... this must have been in the fine print of all of the 'new mom' material they sent home with us from the hospital...
Here she is, all dolled up and ready to hit the real world!!
Daddy with Elizabeth in the car seat, which suddenly made her look very tiny!
The official 'home entrance' scene
Bailey sniffing out the newest member of the pack...
Elizabeth was welcomed home by a forest of flowers.
Thank you so much Gramma& Grampa Mission and Gramma Sue and Grampa Steve!
... just a random shot of Elizabeth with her eyes open...
Life is good... and crazy all at the same time. She has already wrapped us all around here tiny little finger. Her brothers are completely enamored by her, and Sarah has her next years wardrobe already planned out. Needless to say, she is well loved!!