Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I have found, with each of the three babies we've been blessed with, that the hardest part about the transition phase (and it IS a phase, I keep telling myself!!!) is not the sleep-deprived nights (although those are pretty harsh!) nor the constant stream of interruptions (though I have had to learn how to cope better with that --- not a personal strength :P) nor the fact that you are essentially on duty 24/7.

Nope. The hardest part for me has been learning how to stay connected with God, myself, and others throughout the journey.

It's not that there aren't pockets of time available, because there are. But for availability and energy to happen at the same time --- well, it's a miracle indeed!

This summer it has been particularly challenging to stay connected with Little M. Babe requires a lot of attention, time and energy. Our rhythm of life is in upheaval and so the times we normally took to connect were no longer consistent. And, with hero dad being around all summer long, she followed him like a shadow --- which gave me a nice break, but also meant that we spent even less time in each other's presence.

Not good.
Makes parenting and training and disciplining even more challenging.
And I missed her :).

I knew I needed to get a bit creative in how we were going to share time together. As I uttered a short, but whole-heartedly sincere, prayer about this, an idea came to mind....

Grandma's tea set.

Back in spring, the gals & I had ourselves a little adventure, and headed west (all of 2 hours!) to pick up my mom and go visit my grandparents. In their mid-80's, time with them is getting shorter and shorter. We needed time together. My dear grandma, my cool grandma who drove a thunder bird and let me hang my arm out the window while we drove around town; my sweet grandma who entertained us with stories of mischief and childhood tales; my spunky grandma who laughs and laughs and laughs... gave us a little china tea set. It was time we put it to good use!

Our tea parties are brief. Iced tea and crackers or cookies are our dining fare. We sit quietly munching (I prefer to let M lead the conversations to avoid peppering her with questions and to see what she'll come up with!) or lightly chatting. Little M is THRILLED when she gets to pour the little tea pot (an MCC bargain!) and when she insists we do things, like eat our cookie, at the same time.

Our locations are random. On the deck, outside in the grass, on the living room floor --- it doesn't matter where. It is a 15-minute glimpse of heaven and it is wonderful :).

The best part is, Little M has my undivided attention for a short little while. 
And I have hers. 
And that time will run out faster than I can blink.
And in the mean time, we practice connection and enjoy conversation.

Friday, August 27, 2010

At least I know she's listening :)

Sweet babe had spent an hour wailing away.
Missed her nap time by a country mile and now it was melt-down city!
In the midst of this, Little M and Sweet K have YET ANOTHER kurfuffle...
and suddenly my left eye starts twitching again...
and I can feel my temper rising (which had remained surprisingly calm all day long ;P)...
and BO-ING! Uh oh. Here comes mama bear and she is GROWLY!!


Silence. Blink. Blink. Blink.
Okay then. I'll just go sit back down and keep rocking the still-wailing baby.

Once Babe had settled and calm reigned again, I knew I needed to apologize.

Me: "Sorry honey, for yelling. That was not kind, and I am sorry."

Little M: "Thank you. Yelling is just not appropriate."

Sometimes you wonder if they actually hear the things you say, but apparently she is listening!! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Love Tickets

One of the "games" Little M has been into these days is "Speeding Tickets."
Mainly -- she speeds, and someone -- mostly an adult who can print ;) -- writes up a "speeding ticket" for her.
Fun fun. I am always sure to note that the fine, which is $100, goes STRAIGHT to her mother ;).

I'm not sure where she got this idea. Thankfully, it wasn't because I got a speeding ticket to set the example. ;)

Yesterday morning, however, I was the recipient of ticket. It actually could've been a "speeding ticket" considering the swift way I was headed toward the shower!!
Hey, when you only have a 5-minute window opportunity, rest assured one can move very quickly!!

Sigh. That quiet-window is rapidly closing. One more interruption to field before ...
No. No I had not. Apparently I had missed the lucky piece of paper on the stairs.
"Is it for speeding?" I ask with a grin.
"NO, it's your LOVE TICKET."

Oh my. My very own love ticket. Oh how I love her little-girl heart, and how much I have to learn from her, and how she stops me in my mothering-tracks and how much I will miss her when in a few short weeks she will head off to kindergarten and I will cry my eyes out!!! I have it taped to my kitchen cabinet where I can see it all the time. A reminder for me to stop, invest in those I love, and shower them with time and affection.

I'd write more, but I think it's time I go out and hand out a few "love tickets" of my own ;).

Sunday, August 15, 2010


This is one's perspective on life after very little sleep....
slightly hazy and over-exposed

This is one's perspective on life after a bit more rest!
clarity and focus

In the fog of fatigue, it is sometimes hard to see the forest for the trees, or rather the garden through the weeds :). These days I find I have a mild moderate slightly acute obsession with all things sleep-related!!! However, I find it most reassuring that even when I can't see things as clearly as I'd like, and I may not always feel like my best self (the other day I was asked to spell my name, and I admit, I had a brain stall!), experience has taught me that these things too will come around again :).

We've been enjoying a lovely summer full of great memories. With only a few short weeks left before school life resumes for Jon and Little M trots off to kindergarten (sob sob sob soooooob!!), we've been balancing family fun with time-that-this-mom-needs-at-home (I have stated quite emphatically more than once that for every day we are out and about I need at least ONE FULL DAY to recover --- especially if anyone wants clean clothes in the closet or clean dishes in the cupboards!!). We've played at the park on several evening occasions, visited with friends whom we haven't seen in a long long while, shared outings with grandparents, paid a visit or two to Superstore :) and even tackled SCHOOL SUPPLY SHOPPING - which was extraordinary fun!

Learning how to handle fatigue well has been a theme in my life for the last 4 years. Whether it has been tackling the insomnia that surfaced after both Little M and Sweet K were born, learning how to best help Sweet K with her sleep problems (an on-going issue), and now adjusting to life with an infant (who, by the way, has been sleeping better at night than her older two sisters --- sheesh!!!), my constant desire is not simply to SURVIVE this season, but to THRIVE in it as well.

This comes from a strength I do not have on my own. 
The days when I remember to centre my perspective and pray for the ability to live well and love well go far smoother than the days when I wake up grumpy and stay that way pretty much for the rest of the day ;). 
The days when I count my gratitudes are overwhelming with blessing rather than overwhelming with all the demands of time and energy.
Sometimes too many days pass before I remember that this is the way I long to live. But it's coming. And it is good.


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