Ralph Lauren ad, InStyle magazine.
Quote from the movie Raising Helen
Hudson has become quite enamored with soccer thanks to the World Cup. He now takes his soccer ball everywhere, including my parents’ house. As he practiced shooting goals between the legs of my Mom’s buffet table, he aimed too high and knocked over one of her decorative candles. As several adult voices called out in dismay, Hudson looked at us with concern on his face and a question to ask. “Yeah, but was it a goal?!”
On Friday as we were packing for our adventure to the mountains, Devyn and Hudson were belting out the words to “Single Ladies”. I chuckled and asked, “Are you guys singing Beyonce’s song?” assuming they remembered the song from the previous night’s Glee. Devyn, with hands on her hips, said, “Mama, NO! We’re singing it from the Chipmunk’s Squeakquel.” I stand corrected.
What trip to the mountains is complete without smores?! (Side note: The adults on the trip are all in firm agreement that whoever invented smores did not have children.) As I gave Hudson a flambéed marshmallow, he got it all over his hands, his face, and even in his hair. Suffice it to say, he did not care for the stickiness. He waved his hands in the air and cried frantically, “I need water! I need water!” Poor kid.
We ushered the kids inside to eat dinner when we heard the sounds of various types of sirens approaching. Jon and the older two went on the deck to see if they could see where the emergency vehicles were headed. “I wonder if its an accident,” I called out to the threesome. “Or a fire,” Jon interjected. Then Devyn’s small voice volunteered her opinion, “Or maybe someone killed somebody.” I think we’ve been watching too much Criminal Minds.
|Devyn is getting so excited about being a big sister again, and especially at the idea that she might get to share a birthday with the baby. (Remember, I’m due just 10 days after her birthday.) She’s quick to ask if she and the baby can share a birthday party, and I just smile, knowing that the novelty of that idea will wear off soon. She is also planning a very elaborate 6th birthday party (even though its still months away) that involves Daddy building a stage and inviting her friends over to put on a “show” for all the parents and their siblings. Oh my word! I can only imagine what kind of music/show they’ll put on for us.|
|Hudson lost a good 2-3 pounds with this virus and I won’t lie, those are pounds that he could not afford to lose. I was mortified when they weighed him at the ER and found myself hastily explaining that he is just small, that we’ve done all the testing to prove otherwise. And when I look at him, I can tell he’s lost that much weight. It makes my heart ache and we’ll be doing whatever we can to get that weight back on. When we were finally shown a room at the ER, of course he asked his daddy to turn on the Celtics/Lakers game and was so intent on the game that he ignored whomever came into the room. And tonight, he was shouting “Defense” along with the rest of the fans. He is a sports nut!|
|Reagan is still our sassafrass, no ands, ifs, or buts about it. She will stand as closely next to Hudson as she can, without actually touching him, just because she knows it drives him nuts. He will be telling her to stop, and she’ll just stand there, smiling at him. I have my work cut out for me! Her hair is coming in a light reddish/gold color and is the curliest of all our Littles. Its gorgeous, really. And her eyes are still as blue as can be. Never in a million years did I think I’d have a blue-eyed child, but I think she is even more of a spitting image of Jon than Hudson is. Without a doubt, she has Jon’s mischievous smile down to an art. She is also our eater! We cannot keep enough food in the house to fill her up, which is surprising considering the fact that she’s still so tiny. Trust me, she outeats both of her older siblings. Its amazing.|
I believe that’s it… A not-so-quick update/random thoughts from our house.
For those that follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, know that our Littles have been battling quite the virus for 12+ days now. We’ve had temps ranging from 102-104 degrees, a never-ending cough, and just overall grouchiness. We’ve been to the doctor, to Urgent Care, and finally had to go to the Emergency Room when Hudson’s temp reached 105.4.
Now I’m a pretty relaxed Mama when it comes to colds, viruses, and flues, meaning we’ll do what we can at home before heading to the doctor’s. Prior to Hudson’s highest temp reading, we’d been battling his 103-104 temps for four days at home with ibuprofen, Tylenol, and lukewarm baths. But this mama doesn’t mess with fevers in the 105-degree range. No ma’am! So off to the ER we went. We’re now armed with a heavy-duty antibiotic and hopefully we’ll see the same results with Hudson that we got with his sisters after they started their antibiotics.
But this post isn’t about them, its the about the man that fathered them. I am awed by him, and so very thankful that he is whom I’ve chosen to journey this life with.
During these 12+ days, there were numerous times one of us looked at the other and commented how it felt like we were at war with this virus. There were multiple times where pure exhaustion led us to fall into each other's arms, needing strength the other had to offer. We moved around the kitchen like a dance as we dispersed various medications and administered vapo-rub to small chests. It was reassuring to know that no words were needed when one took charge of the steam shower, while the other filled humidifiers. One remained calm, while the other took a moment to vent or freak out over our sick Littles.
These past 12 days have given me a new appreciation for this man. He is an incredible father, always willing to cuddle a sick child, or feed the other children when it was my turn to cuddle. When I was truly at my wits end and feeling out of my element, he completely stepped up to the plate and knew what to do next. I know that I wouldn’t have survived this virus without him!
Last night, after our trip to the ER and once all the Littles were medicated and put to bed, Jon and I crawled into our own bed, exhaustion radiating out of each pore. I wrapped my arms around Jon’s back and smiled when he brought our linked hands to his lips for a kiss. We’ll survive this virus, my comrade and I.
Babe, I know its a week early, but Happy Father’s Day! Our family is blessed by you as the leader and father that you are. I am thankful for the times of laughter as you pull the kids in for a good old-fashioned tickle war, I love watching them follow you around as you grill or do yard work, and I even appreciate your discipline in teaching our children the boundaries of our family and in life. You are a good man! And I’m so very thankful you are ours!
2010 was supposed to be a break for my body; the first year since 2004 that I haven’t been pregnant or breastfeeding. I was looking forward to it, hoping to whip this body into shape.
Jon was ready for the vasectomy, even asking for it, but I wasn’t ready for the permanency of that decision. I asked for one year, this year, before a decision was made. I wanted this year to be a time of pray and a time of reflection. My prayer was a simple one, that God would work on either my heart or Jon’s heart. That no matter the decision, we’d be in agreement on the decision for our family.
The reflections were going to be more personal, more brutal, and would demand more honesty. I wanted to get to the root of why I wanted a fourth, searching my heart for the truth between not feeling “done” and just loving pregnancy and infanthood. I wanted to ask the hard questions, such as could I really devote the time and attention I wanted to each child? Would we be able to cultivate and encourage each child’s talents to the extent that we desired? Was it fair to add a fourth to divide what was already unequal one-on-one time with each child? Could we logically afford to add a fourth? And the list goes on.
I have friends that are currently asking themselves these very questions and/or have already asked these questions of their family. I’m a bit envious that they get/got to take the time to ask these questions and wait for the answers they were seeking before a decision is/was made.
I wish I’d gotten to seek my heart for those answers first. But as time goes on, I’m receiving answers of a different kind.
First of all, Jon and I are aware that having four children is six years is going to be hard, we’re going to be in the “thick of it” as my mom likes to remind me. We’re going to be balancing kindergarten and preschool, juggling dance lessons, sports practices, and Awanas, chasing after an independent, sassy toddler while waking to the nightly cries of a newborn. These are going to be hard years and we’ll basically be in survival mode. I don’t anticipate breathing room until all four are officially potty trained.
But when I look years ahead to birthdays, holidays, graduations, and weddings, I can’t help but think of the richness we’ll have around our table. With fingers crossed and with much prayer, I think of close, deep relationships between siblings and parents. My prayer is that my children will feel as blessed by their relationships, as my sisters and I feel about each other. I can only imagine that one day I’ll look around my family and thank the Lord for the blessings He’s given to us.
Secondly, I’ve become certain of one thing. I am going to fail at being a mother of four. All the answers I was looking for during my reflections would have been a resounding no. I absolutely will not be able to be the kind of mother I want to be. At least, not on my own. There is only one way I will be successful at this mothering thing and that is through the grace and mercy of Him.
When Hudson is running right, Devyn is skipping left, Reagan is taking advantage of my distracted attention, and I want to rip out my hair, He will step in and guide my actions and responses. He has most certainly whispered in my ear, “When you are overwhelmed and want to throw in the towel, turn to me, child, I will give you the patience to follow through. When disobedience is common and temperaments are rising, I will give you the wisdom you seek. When you feel sapped of energy or motivation, I will give you the strength and energy you desire.” I can do nothing without Him, apart from Him, I am destined to fail. But with Him, and through Him, I’ll be able to be the kind of mother my children, all four of them, need.
For a long time I have questioned God’s sanity and His plan for my life, wondering how on earth He thought I’d be able to handle four children. But then I realized that it’s not because of confidence in my parenting skills that am I having another, it’s because He is giving me another reason to turn to Him for the things I need.
Now if only I can be reminded of this post in the wee hours of a midnight feeding…