Monday, February 21, 2011


It is crazy in our little apartment today.   Snow is blowing around outside.  The laundry is piled way past the top of the laundry basket.  Toys are everywhere.   Dishes all over the kitchen.  Beds unmade ... and Little Two is sound asleep while Little One is sitting in front of the TV before lunch.  That never happens!   But today my perspective has been put in check.    As I look around at the tornado that has come through our home, my friend is holding her one week old little one for the last time.

She is hugging her.  Taking in her sweet newborn smells.   Singing and reading to her.  Listening to her soft noises.  That is what moms do.   In the beginning we can't get enough of our little ones.   They can do no wrong.   Sleepless nights don't bother us.    We get excited when they poop and pee.   We don't realize we are covered with spit up.   Why do we forget those feelings as they get older?    

As our little ones get older baby things become less cute.   They become mobile and our job becomes more difficult.   We can't just put them down with a toy because 5 minutes later they will be on the other side of the room pulling books off the shelves or making their way up the stairs. They begin talking and our job becomes infinitely more difficult!  At first we are amazed they are even forming words at all, and then those few words form sentences and paragraphs that challenge our authority and sanity.  

It's not really that baby things become less cute.   That is just what we tell ourselves.  It's that our little ones, our precious little ones, become more independent and that is scary.   Even though we, as parents, hope to raise independent little ones, we secretly hope a part of them will stay little forever.    We hope in some ways they will always need us, because in very real ways we need them.   Our little ones are our hearts walking around outside of our body.   The more they grow up, the less we can protect them, and we feel helpless.   When our little ones are babies we are in control.

But today I am reminded that really isn't true.   I am not in control.  I have never been in control.   My little ones are really not my little ones.  They are entrusted to me by their creator and God.   It is when I think about my friend holding her sweet daughter today that I am reminded of who my little ones really belong to.  At the end of the day they are sustained by God's power and protection, not my own.   At the end of the day they are God's precious little ones that He loans out to us for a short while ...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

5 Minutes

A lot needed to get done today.  Laundry, cake cookies for the swim team, cleaning, meeting, practice, and packing up two little ones plus us for the weekend.    Most of these things had been accomplished, but I still had a long way to go and I am tired and bedtime ALONE is staring me straight in the face.  I quickly got pajamas on both little ones, teeth brushed and then Little One asked the dreaded question.  "Will you read me a book?"  UGG! I was SO close!  I almost had Little One in bed before he remembered!  I took a deep breath and sat down on the couch while Little One ran to get a book.   One book; I can do this.

As I sat down begrudgingly to read one of his favorite Thomas books (which seemed longer than usual tonight), Little One curled up next to me, wrapped his arms around my arm and then rested his head on my shoulder and looked up at me with a smile from ear to ear.   My heart sank at the realization that I almost missed this moment.   I tried to trade it in for an extra 5 minutes of packing!    That makes me sick to my stomach.   Since when are my "tasks" more important than a proper bedtime routine.    Since when are my "tasks" more important than a special moment with my little one.   These moments will not last forever.   Soon I am going to become the uncool mother.   Soon Little One is no longer going to want  to spend time with me, let alone snuggle and read stories.  Soon my little ones are going to be grown up and I am going to wonder where all the time went.    I hope and pray I don't trade it in to pack, do dishes or clean the bathroom.   Those tasks can wait 5 minutes while I cherish a snuggle with my little ones.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This Afternoon ...

Sunlight is shining through our living room window.  A fresh cup of hot green tea is sitting next to me on the coffee table, and I am snuggled up on the couch with my favorite blanket and computer on my lap.  Lunch is finished: dishes cleaned up and put in dishwasher, Little One is happily content beginning "Feet off the Floor Time", but this peaceful serenity every mother looks forward to in the afternoon is ruined.  I am in a battle of the wills with Little Two.   I told you he was passionate, but I failed to mention how stubborn he is.   He still has not figured out that Mommy will ALWAYS win these battles of the will.  It is not because I enjoy hearing him cry; in fact, it often makes me cry.   It is that I know something Little Two does not.   I  know he has been sick and the best thing he can do is sleep to get better, and right now it is nap time not play time.  

It is in these moments I wonder why I believe it is so important to stay home with my little ones; why a parent cares for their little ones like no one else can, and why little ones so desperately need their parents.  It's because no one has as much invested in them or knows them as well as we do. 

I, like most mothers, sacrificed my body to bring my little ones into the world.   Every day when I threw up I thought of them inside and knew they were ok because of what I was enduring.   With all the hours of labor, hours of pushing, and finally hours of surgery, I knew I was one step closer to giving them life.  That is what I have invested in my children: Life.  Their healthy life is more important than all the throwing up, all the nausea, and all the pain.  All that misery pales in comparison to the incredible miracle I've held in my arms at the end.

It's the little things that show how much they love and need us.   It's the way they won't let go of your finger.  How they burrow right under your chin when they are tired.   The smile that lights up their face when they see you. The hug that knocks you down when you pick them up from school. It's when they come sit on your lap just to tell you they love you.  We know their favorite foods, toys, and clothes.  We know what scares them and what makes them laugh.

Only parents know which animal needs to be in their bed at night, or which blanket they NEED to sleep with.   Only parents know the exact spot to tickle their back, in their armpit or under their chin.   Only parents read the stories with the silly voices and make their oatmeal just right.   Only parents cut their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the right way, and make them feel perfectly safe in our arms... 

Right now Little Two is quietly sleeping, and in a couple hours when he wakes up he will not remember this afternoon's lesson: Mommy knows best.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hello, my name is ...

It only seems appropriate to introduce my little family, because how can you understand my thoughts, struggles and joys without knowing the little ones who contribute to them? 

I'd like to introduce you first to Little One.   He is 100% boy!  Cars, trains, and trucks comprise most of his day ... as well as mine :)  He has the kind of cheeks that beg to be pinched.   His smile is still pure and innocent, although there is an unmistakably mischievous twinkle in his eye.    He gets more and more rambunctious the longer his hair gets, but in the midst of chaos he takes comfort in our daily schedule.   He likes routines and quiet days. He has precise ways his cars should be lined up, where each and every stuffed animal gets tucked in, and what PJ's he will wear to bed each night.   He is tender-hearted and crazy at the same time.  He is my firstborn, my sweet and sensitive little boy.

Next is Little Two.   He is 8 1/2 months and just one big stinker ... in fact, we call him chunky monkey because in 8 months he went from 5lbs to 17lbs!   Little Two has a belly laugh that will bring down the house.   He is on the verge of crawling, and has perfected the worm as his mode of transformation right now.   His smile is infectious, his hair is spiky and his little dance (which includes shaking his head from side to side and up and down) he does at meals and to fall asleep at night never cease to crack me up.  It doesn't matter what something is ... it must be in his mouth.   He is passionate, but is never happier when he is in my arms.  I love how he "needs" to bury his head in his blankets to fall asleep and how fascinated he is with his fingers and toes! He is my baby, my silly little snuggle bug.

These are my precious darlings, my babies, my little treasures.   They have brought more joy, giggles, fear, frustration, and exhaustion into our lives than my husband and I could ever have known.  But it has been worth every tear, every laugh, and every trip to the ER.  Right now life is perfect.  I have my boys (including my husband!) and life could not be sweeter.