Saturday, March 31, 2012

moon phases

 {click to enlarge picture}
last week micah's class at school was studying moon phases. 
i had seen this project initially on pinterest and i thought my science loving son would enjoy doing it. and he did. the bonus of this project is getting to eat the other half of the cookie and the frosting that represents the waning moon.
i got the instructions from here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


 today was a better day for bea. she cried a bit when i left the classroom again, but i felt confident that she would recover quickly because yesterday when i picked her up she had bounded out the door like a happy gazelle. haha yesterday she rattled on and on about school. she kept making the sound, bbbbbbb B! bbbbbb B! we drove by a bus and she yelled B! she pointed at penelope and said B! she pointed at herself and said Bea bea! B. i would interpret here and there. thankfully, her teacher told me what they had talked about that morning so that i would know what questions to ask her. the theme for the week was butterflies and so yesterday when we stopped at wal-mart for a second before we picked micah and matt up she spied this swimsuit from the cart. she yelled B! and i said for butterfly. she made the sign for yes and in the cart it went. then when we got into the car i came across a song that i have listened to before, but yesterday it had new meaning for me. listen to it here.
 so today when i dropped her off and she cried again i was hopeful that she would recover quickly and have fun. and she did. 
when i picked her up today she smiled and shouted B! 

a quote i like

"No person, trying to take responsibility for her or his identity, should have to be so alone. There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep, and still be counted as warriors. (I make up this strange, angry packet for you, threaded with love.)

I think you thought there was no such place for you, and perhaps there was none then, and perhaps there is none now; but we will have to make it, we who want an end to suffering, who want to change the laws of history, if we are not to give ourselves away.”
― Adrienne Rich
i read this quote this morning on a friend's facebook status. every time i reread it a different part of the quote stands out to me. 
initially it was the line that says that we need people who we can weep with and they will still count us as warriors. awesome! i'm always worried that if i show weakness my friends will freak out. i think i'm the one at the party that tends to overshare. i take it literally when it says in the Bible we need to bare one anothers burdens. i feel like the one doing most of the bringing of the burdens. i keep trying to convince people that i want to bare burdens too, but maybe i come across a little fragile. i guess i need to think about that some more. 
the second part that stood out to me was in the second paragraph that says if we don't want to give ourselves away we need to make a place that does allow that kind of friendship. matt and i talk about this alot. we talk about how it seems that living in american breeds the mentality that we need to do IT ALL on our own. we need to have a relationship with God on our own, in our own quiet time; we need to deal with pain on our own, in our own prayer time; we need to deal with our rocky marriages alone, in the privacy of our own therapist; we need to deal with our own problems and not talk about them. but this person, adrienne rich who passed away recently at the age of 82, seems to have come to a different conclusion. rather than trying to do it all on our own, she seems to think that if you don't see a space for that mentality you need to create a place so that you don't run the risk of totally giving yourself away. 
so the secret to getting to the end of this life not feeling lost and like i don't know myself anymore is to actually talk about how i am feeling now. what i am experiencing now. the hard things about life now. the things that bring me to my knees and make me weep now. so that at the end of this race known as life i will recognize myself.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

her first day of school

the day came. 
tensions were high in the house yesterday morning. matt took micah into school early and then he came back and picked the girls up. i took beatrix outside to take her first day of school picture. she didn't want anything to do with it. i kept trying to stay positive and excited, but i think she knew i was faking. and doing a really bad job of it too. i wanted to cry a million times before 7:30. i didn't though. i kept it in, stuffed way way down. i packed her snack, and an extra pair of clothes just in case. i kept thinking, "what if she tries to tell them all something and they don't get it, and she cries. what than?" 
we got in the car and headed out. 
i think matt was nervous too, but he does a better job of "soldiering onward" than i do.

we left her there. actually she left us. her teacher took her hand and like little ducks she and the 6 other little ones in her class went to get some breakfast. i started to cry. she was calling mama, mama over and over again and i told her i loved her before turning away and letting the tears slowly fall down my face. they fell on penelope's head and again i was so thankful for this new little one who was making this separation with beatrix a little easier. more than once yesterday morning, i wondered how i was going to manage this. how would pips get her morning naps, how would i manage to get up every morning at 5:45 or 6 and take matt and micah to school. how would i get bea in the car if she was screaming her head off that she didn't want to go to school and penelope was joining right along in the tears? i came to the conclusion that i don't know. everyday is going to look different and once again, if i look too far ahead it will keep me from even wanting to start. so, i dealt with yesterday. i dealt with penelope's lack of naps. i dealt with more time in the car than i comfortably enjoy. i dealt with it. matt asked me what i was thinking. i told him that i was worried she would be misunderstood, or not understood at all. he said, "sometimes it takes situations like this to make a person dig deep down. i think beatrix will dig deep.
i know she has it in her."
i picked her up at 10:30. i was on the phone with a friend while i was waiting for her. i fear i may have mumbled something quickly when i saw beatrix in the rear view mirror and hung up on her. all i know is that i greeted bea with a huge smile and a hug and she had a smile for me too. i asked her if she had fun and she said, "yeah mama!" i had promised her a picture in front of the train mascot after school so we walked over to it. i held her hand. so happy she was happy.

we went and had lunch with micah at school, which was a highlight for both of them. then bea fell asleep on the way home. and before we knew it it was time to go back to school and pick matt and micah up. when they got home they both opened their backpacks and took out their papers. beatrix loved showing him that she had a backpack too. micah patiently listened and said that he was happy that she liked school so much.
this morning when i dropped her off she was happy to be going to school. she held my hand and carried the star pass to her classroom. she smiled at her teacher, and put her folder where it needed to go. she sat in the same spot she did yesterday to drink her juice box and eat her cereal bar that i had packed for her. i asked her teacher if there was a good time to talk to her about beatrix's day. i told her that i would like to know a little more about what she does so that i could talk to her about it at home. her teacher said that would be fine. at that moment one of the little girls started to cry because her mommy was leaving. bea started to look worried. i asked her teacher if there were other kids in the classroom like beatrix. with kindness she looked right into my eyes and said, "no. not as severe as her." i choked back tears at the term severe. i knew she was severe from the speech pathologist who initially evaluated her. on her chart it was called executive. the term executive degree didn't sound nearly as real as severe. my eyes welled up and she with sincerity said, "she is looking at years of therapy. years. but the early intervention program is really great."  i swallowed the lump in my throat. told bea i loved her and gave her a hug. as i shut the door i heard her cries again and
her voice saying, "mama no".
i was talking to my sister-in-law last night who is going through her own set of hardships with her daughter. really really tough stuff. things no parent should have to go through. but because her daughter is happy and smiling it is easy to minimize the reality of what she has in her near future. this morning reminded me of that conversation. i fluctuate between minimizing it and getting smacked in the face with the truth. with the hard work. with the fact that this is going to affect our whole family. it will mean getting up early every morning. it will mean disciplining myself to have dinner early every school night so the kids can get to bed early and wake up happy and ready for a new day. it will mean being flexible with penelope and for the first time it may mean having a baby who takes a few naps on the go instead of being home. it means sharing a car and learning that matt's not a big fan of a lot of words first thing in the morning. 
it means putting our arms around each others shoulders, huddling up and breaking, ready to tackle whatever comes our way.

reading on his own

 micah reads on his own now. he has for awhile, but a few days ago he started his first chapter book. he loves books. his latest obsession with them is to copy the text from the book and draw tons of pictures. he calls it studying.
{click on picture to enlarge}
sometimes i see how far his feet are from the floor and it makes my breath catch a little. because i know someday his feet will reach all the way to the floor and that day will come quickly.

Monday, March 26, 2012

a glimpse of beatrix

there are many things about this video that speak of bea and her personality. she glances at matt to see if he is watching her, her smile, how happy she is when she accomplishes the puzzles, her words... she starts school tomorrow. i hope the accomplishments keep right on rolling in.

saturday morning by the pool

bea is getting braver with the water. she still will only stay by the steps, but now she is wanting to put her face in the water with goggles.
i love all the barrettes in her hair. she brought me two fist fulls that morning and wanted me to put every single one of them on her little head.
yeah, i took her to publix like that.
so proud
can we just talk about micah's body for a minute. he is ALL muscle. when i see micah like this it is like getting a glimpse of what matt as a little boy must have looked like.
friends were in town from chicago this weekend for a wedding and they stopped over to say hi. we ate breakfast by the pool. it is one of the best ways to spend a saturday morning.

digging at the beach

penelope's first day at the beach

i love pictures at the beach. it's like a game of where's waldo. sometimes my favorite pictures are ones with funny things in the background. there was one picture that didn't make it onto the blog (because i look a little too "real"!) but in the background there is a little girl who is loosing the bottom part of her swimsuit. it is funny.
can you find all 5 of us in this picture?
the top picture not the bottom would be looking a long time if you were trying to find pips and i in the bottom picture.

the kids were throwing sand at seagulls. try doing that on a super crowded beach day and not getting it on some old person speed walking.
here they were holding hands, jumping waves.
i tried to get a video of it.
it was so precious.
my camera video was full. bummer.

pips slept on me in the sling for almost 3 hours.
much like another day at the beach, 3 years earlier.
when she did wake up, she woke up happy, alert and ready to get some sun.
we are starting the kids early on the tattoo front.
in reality a friend sent me an amazing st. patrick's day/welcome penelope box of goodies. one of the gifts was a packet of pirate tattoos that the kids and i put on the night before at dinner. the kids insisted the baby get in on the fun too. i got some pretty crazy looks at church. ha!
i love baby backs, the best fish and chips before a visit to the beach, warm sun, the sound of waves, the taste of salt on my lips, sleepy babes, happy kids, breezes, and holding hands with matt.

sleepy soft

my helpers

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

sunny mornings

our friend stopped by yesterday morning to drop off a present for beatrix. can you guess from the picture above what it was?
forgive me for over analyzing her gift, but i must.
quinn gave her wings.
i pray that by starting school next tuesday and getting some help from rhonda, who we met on monday, that beatrix will get the wings she needs to take off with talking.
rhonda is a very sweet lady who i believe has the patience of an angel. she used to work with stroke and brain injury patients until her own kids went to school and then she got a job in the school system so that she could have the same hours as them. it sounds alot like what my own mom did with nursing and her reasons for becoming a school nurse. now rhonda works with autistic high schoolers. she loves her job. and i think she is going to be a huge help. she will come every wednesday afternoon to play with bea and to help keep her on track at the school. matt thinks she will be here for me to talk to. *grin* but i will try not to use her for my own venting purposes. i confess, i see mostly short term, and this thing with bea definitely needs a long term perspective. it will be hundreds and hundreds of teeny tiny baby steps.
so, wings. that's a good place to start. i pray she finds her wings at school.
did i mention the school's mascot is TRAINS! how cool is that? see, God doesn't have to add cool little details in there like that, but he almost always does. the assistant principle of the school turned out to be a friend's husband too. i knew that he was an assistant principle, but i never knew at what school. so there are train murals all over her new school and a familiar face.
God is so kind to us.
we saw baby ducks yesterday on our walk. they were fearless. they came right up to us and the mama duck just kind of stood on the outskirts.
it was beautiful.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

a new day

"because of the Lord's great love,
we are not consumed.
for his compassion's never fail.
they are new every morning.
great is Your faithfulness."

a new day that brought smiles, a fun time at the park with friends, refreshing naps, a surprise gift of yummy blueberry muffins from a sweet woman from our church with an encouraging note, bike rides in front of our home, a good talk on the phone with my mom, a baby that slept while i talked on the phone, a new backpack for a very happy little girl bound for school soon, and a simple dinner with garden tomatoes.

thank you Lord, that Your mercies are indeed new every morning.

being a mom

it's one fifteen in the morning. 1:15 am. i am so dumb sometimes. but this isn't one of those times. i need to get it out. i'm not really sure what it is, but IT needs to get out. today was one of those days when i didn't want to be a mom any more. i didn't. and i don't even feel bad about it. for now anyway.

it was a hard day. a day of serving others. a day where it felt like i couldn't get ahead of anything. piles on the floor, 6 pairs of poopy underpants, taking care of unwell people, changing diapers, going out of my way to go on walks when i would have rather stayed in the house, frumpy clothes, messy hair, spit-up on my shoulder, 3 meals made and complaints heard about said meals, crying fits of anger, tears and more tears from children, complaints from one child that i don't do enough with him, and cries from another one who can't speak that i'm not doing enough for her either. i felt stretched beyond my capabilities today.

it's tough being a mom.
there i said it.
i am sure there are some women out there who do it graciously and with ease....i know i was one of those when i only had one. but then it got tough. really tough. and for some reason it is all really really great or really really awful. today it felt really really awful. i felt like an epic failure. i yelled. a few times. i wanted to cry, but i felt drained of all emotion. i know every old person out there will tell you to enjoy this time because it goes so fast, but honestly on days like today, i want it to go faster. i want it to fly! i want days to come where i can sit at the table and have hot food again, or where i don't have to wipe a stinky smelly butt 20 times, or when i don't hear that i have failed yet again at doing everything that everyone wants.
tap tap tap.
is this thing on?
umm hi my name is lydia, and i think i struggle with being a perfectionist.
and ahem...just a little's hard for a perfectionist to fail!

i am learning that there are some things i need to not try so hard at, like meals for instance. i try too hard with meals. my family would be much more content if i didn't run around like a chicken with my head cut off for an hour before dinner trying to put something beautiful and elaborate on the table. it goes unnoticed by them. not because they are insensitive, but because they love yogurt and strawberries, grapes, or cheese, or bread and butter.

geesh lydia, give yourself a break and don't try so hard on the meals, for now.
they just don't have your palate.

but there are some things you do need to try harder. and one of those things is over explaining yourself. you don't need the approval of your 6 year old. you don't need him to understand why you do the things you do. you see the big picture, he doesn't need to. you need to have confidence in the decisions that you make, so that they will have confidence in you too.

you do need to try harder at having patience with your 3 year old when she has pooped in the 6th pair of underwear that day. she can't tell you what she is feeling, she can't tell you why she is doing it and for goodness sake you don't need to alienate her even more by letting poopy panties cause you to yell. even if you had to throw them all away, they are just underwear and her sensitive nature is worth a bazillion times more than that.

so what.
today was an epic fail.
write about it.
get IT out.
go to bed for a couple of hours and wake up tomorrow and try again.

unprompted love

last friday i was setting up penelope for her 13th week photo. her patience was waning thin. beatrix came into the room to see what we were up to. she got right in front of my camera. everything in me and my no-nonsense get this over with mentality took over. for a second. and then i decided to hush and just see what would happen.
and it was beautiful.
i just tried to become a fly on the wall {with a camera}.
i'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
and no, i didn't plan to match beatrix's outfit to pips and the chair. just one of those happy accidents.