Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Me: {handing a tissue to Elijah} "Do you need to blow your nose?"
Elijah: {shaking his head} "No. I just have some crust in my nose."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Responding to Sin

Today, for the first time, I locked myself in the bathroom so I could take a quick shower. Elijah is 3 1/2 now, and - well, that probably means we should develop some rules of privacy at our house. With only one bathroom that can be tricky, but I thought I would try the locking technique and see how it went. The baby was safely tucked away; Elijah and Haven were playing independently.

I heard screaming. Not the "I want a snack and you won't give me one" scream. Not the "Elijah grabbed that toy from me" scream. A different scream. An "I'm really hurting scream." I yelled for Elijah, intending to tell him to go help Haven. Perhaps she was stuck under the chair or a book had fallen on her. Elijah didn't answer. I yelled for him louder. No answer. No noise at all from Elijah. Haven's scream continued but moved to another room. I was scared.

I grabbed a towel and ran out to find Haven. She was laying down on the living room floor. Elijah was pounding on her back as if it were a drum. Over and over. I yelled - at him. "What are you doing to your sister?!?!?" I grabbed him and threw him on his bed. I grabbed Haven to comfort her. She perked right back up, resilient little thing.

After getting dressed I had Elijah tell me what happened. "I hit Haven over and over again." "What else did you do to Haven?" "I pulled her hair over and over again." I cried. I have never cried over my children's sin. I was so sad - sad because of the wickedness in Elijah's heart. Sad because he was capable of being so mean. Sad because he would be so mean to his sister. I felt desperate. Desperate to know how to help this little boy I love so much. How can I explain to him how wicked that was? How do I tell him, in words that will pierce his hard heart, that God hates those who oppress the weak? How do I show this boy his need of a Savior?

I wonder that I have never cried over Elijah's sins before. Why do they often only stir up irritation or inconvenience rather than grief? I wonder that I do not cry over my sins. And I thank God for this brief glimpse of seeing sin as it really is - wicked, terrible, an offense to a great God.

I am freshly reminded of my need for supernatural wisdom - Biblical wisdom - in raising these children. This afternoon I read I Peter 5. How thankful I am that I can cast all my anxieties on Him (because He cares for me!). So, I cast Elijah's little heart again at the feet of Christ and plead with Him to change it...and to give me gracious guidance in responding to his sins.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Recent Verbage

Bella, crying: "I need a bow!"

Elijah: "Miles, why are you still crying? I just sang you a song."

Elijah: "If I saw a big, big spider, I could just kill him with my big, big muscles."

Lydia: "Oh, Elijah! Did you just hit Polly Jane's head?"
Elijah: {pause. looks confused.} "Oh, Mom, I just did it by purpose."
Lydia: "You mean, 'It was an accident'?"
Elijah: "Yeah. That's what I mean. You were confused."

Lydia: "Elijah, in what are we riding to go to town? Are we in a bobsled like Almanzo or a wagon like Pa?"
Elijah: "Ummm. We are in the Civil War, and we are driving in a chariot. Yep."

Elijah: "Haven, if you trust me tomorrow, I'll give you more prizes."

Haven: "OORRREE ANDY!!!" ("more candy!") "And?!?!" {holds out her hand with a charming look on her face}

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Plugged...or...Why Eric Wins the "Best Husband" Award

With a few details left out, yesterday went a little like this.

Lydia: wakes up, wonders what happened last night and how many times she fed the baby, unable to raise arm, gets children breakfast, sits around praying God will give wisdom on what to do, has hard time moving, wonders what her problem is, begins to have a full body ache, confirms suspected plugged duct diagnosis, watches kids ransack the living room, watches kids jump on the couch, doesn't care, gets kids lunch, feels nauseous, puts kids down for a nap, starts witch doctor regimen*, lays down with Polly Jane, listens to Polly Jane cry, gets headache, finds it hard to move, gets Haven up early from her nap after Haven uncharacteristically wakes up crying, unsuccessfully attempts to resume nap with Haven, snaps at children, watches an hour of Disney cartoons (Elijah is thrilled), wishes husband would come home, attempts to discipline Haven, wishes husband would come home, snaps at children, feeds children dinner without vomiting, sits on couch holding a crying Polly Jane, says "I can't move. All the kids need a bath." as soon as husband walks in the door, lays in bed crying and sweating for the next three hours, wishes she could care for either her home/husband/or children, awakens to the delivery of cabbage leaves at 10 pm.

Eric: up at 4:30 AM to exercise, slaves away at work all day amidst many demands, arrives home to disaster-strewn house and distraught wife, eats dinner in four minutes, puts cats up for the night, bathes all three kids, brushes children's teeth, reads fun books to Elijah and Haven, tucks children in bed, loads dishes, picks up strewn toys, replaces couch cushions, cleans the entire house, vacuums all the floors, starts washing the cloth diapers, prays for me, runs to the grocery store, delivers cabbage leaves at 10 pm.

While these are sweet, sweet days they are also very hard days. Thankfully, these difficulties continue to drive me to the One who can provide grace to help in my time of need. Yesterday I repeatedly pleaded with God to "Give the strength to sustain me and wisdom enough to guide my hand" in between apologizing to my children. God is gracious, and today I am feeling much, much better. As in, I can move. I can eat. I even ran an errand! Isn't it amazing what 24 hours can hold? Today I read this post from my favorite blogger, cried, and was encouraged. So, today, I'll continue to seek to be thankful - for everything.

*Witch Doctor Regimen (highly recommended!) for Plugged Ducts:
- 1000 mg Vitamin C
- 2 tablets of Echinacea
- 2 capsules of odorless garlic
Take all three supplements twice a day until resolved. This has always cleared up my plugged ducts within 24 hours. Regimen courtesy of Susie Meeks, CPM.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Rock-a-Bye Elijah
Upstairs in our house.
When the wind blows
Your crib won't crash.
When the thunder cracks
You can just relax
'Cause our little Tooskie
Is loved to the max.

Rock-a-Bye Haven
Right where you were born.
In this cabin
Safe from the storm.
You've brought lots
Of great big pink bows,
And we love you...
Right down to your toes.

Rock-a-Bye Polly
Here in our room.
You're a treat
That came none to soon.
We're so glad
God brought you our way;
And we're thankful
You're here to stay.

{Please excuse my attempt at poetry, but - to us - these little rhymes represent lots of rocking, crying, sleeplessness, and love.}

Friday, October 8, 2010

These Days

Tuesday, September 28th - Birth Day
- We get up at 3:30 AM. I had been awake all.night.long.
- God moves a baby.
- A fairly large and completely wonderful little girl is born.

- "Well, we're going to have to take the baby to the nursery downstairs. By the time you are moved to a postpartum room, she should be ready to come back and see you." (It didn't happen.)
- Daddy is happy. - Momma is happy. - Elijah is excited. Haven does not like being smooshed on her chair but is, otherwise, out-of-control with squealing and excitement. - The new family of five:

Wednesday, September 29th - Day One
- Polly Jane gets dressed in the same going-home outfit Elijah Millard wore...only the socks are too small for her!- Eric (who loves to NOT make a stir) says "Can we just walk out of here?" -After much ado, we left the hospital! - Susie weighs Polly Jane who has dropped to a scant 8 pounds, 6 ounces. - Grampa, who had helped at the hospital the entire day before, finally gets to hold Polly Jane.
Thursday, September 30th - Day Two
- Haven goes pee-pee on the potty - Haven calls Polly Jane "Row-Row" and thinks we stole our friend's baby.
- Haven squeals with delight upon seeing/touching/hearing Polly Jane. - Elijah says, "When you get bigger, Polly Jane, I'll teach you tricks." - First bath at home which pleased no one except Momma.
Friday, October 1st - Day Three
- Haven goes poo-poo on the potty and gets entirely freaked out.
- Polly Jane continues to eat every two hours...or less!
- Eric & Grampa finish cutting and hauling a huge tree to our house. Eric arrives home with several injuries. "Oh. This is where part of the wedge split off and flew into my arm."

Saturday, October 2nd - Day Four
- Eric begins to feel the effects of what we came to call a "virus."
Sunday, October 3rd - Day Five
- Polly Jane does a photo shoot. Ready:Posing:Irritated:Exhausted:- I hoist myself into our "tractor" to take a ride with the kids. That's the kind of Mom I am.

Monday, October 4th - Day Six
- PawPaw comes to visit.- Mom continues to be the World's Best Helper!- Pediatrician visit with the girls. (It's really fun to say "the girls!")- Polly Jane surpasses her birth weight by 7 ounces. (9#2!!) Eric is surprised. I am hungry.
- Elijah learns to draw a face.- Eric gets a tetanus shot.

Tuesday, October 5th - One week old
- Polly Jane gets goopy eye (yuck!) and stops eating.- We flip the mattresses, change the sheets, and put our winter comforter on the bed.
- Eric doctors his wounds and gives us frequent updates on his condition.
Wednesday, October 6th - Day Eight
- Polly Jane has a poop explosion through two layers of her clothing, three layers of my clothing, a duvet cover, down comforter, blanket, sheets, and mattress pad.
- I remove poop clothing and put on my robe.
- Friends come over.
- Cow comes frolicking towards four small children. I run outside.
- Strange woman comes walking up the driveway.
- Strange woman wants to know if all these children are mine. Strange woman wants to see my baby. Neighbor has much entertainment while mowing the grass. I wish that the neighbor would come give me a hand.
- We go to Costco. - We go to sleep on blankets.

Thursday, October 7th - Day Nine
- I realize that I'm not *quite* as recovered as I was pretending to be.
- We do 100 loads of laundry.
- Baby Mason meets Polly Jane. - Mombo shows herself to be Super Mom - watching the four older kids while letting Charlotte and I chat for an hour!
- Eric exclaims "Those blankets have poop on them too?!?!" Eric sleeps without his usual extra blanket.
- I go to bed early.
- Polly Jane stays awake and upset (unless I'm holding her) until 1:00 AM. I stay up late.

Friday, October 8th - Day Ten
- We do 100 more loads of laundry.
- Polly Jane makes great eye contact with me and does a real smile. I don't mind being up late anymore.
- Haven and Mombo head outside. Haven turns around, waves, and says clearly "BYE-BYE! Love you!" with her cheerful little voice. I love being a Mom.
- Polly Jane tips the scales at 9 lbs, 9 oz. Eric is proud. I am hungry.
- Polly Jane resumes her "I like to eat every 2 - 2.5 hours" feeding schedule.
These are the days we are living, and oh! they are sweet, sweet days!