Monday, September 26, 2011

Must Be Love

(Image from Discovery Channel)

It is my humble opinion that having children can be one of the most disgusting jobs around.  Seriously.  I'm considering calling up Mike Rowe and asking him to come and do a Dirty Jobs episode at my home.

Today, Natalie's stomach decided that something was wrong.  She projectile vomited, vomited, and vomited some more all over herself, me, and the futon.  The two of us were dripping, I was soaked through, and the futon had puddles on it.

Natalie sat and giggled after it was over, and I, covered in foul-smelling curdled milk, took a moment to think about how much I love her in between thoughts of "How on EARTH am I going to clean both of us up without tracking this mess everywhere?!?"

Well, I ran to the laundry room and pulled out a blanket.  After putting Natalie on the blanket and ascertaining that she did not have a temperature (thank God!), I pulled her diaper off and ran her to the bathroom for a quick bath.  In the ten seconds that she was out of her diaper, she somehow had to go to the bathroom . . . diaper-less . . . all over my bathroom.

There were no paper towels in the bathroom, and I didn't want to risk running with her to the kitchen lest we have another accident, this time on the wood floors; therefore, I grabbed some tissues, threw them onto the floor to soak in the mess, and quickly bathed my daughter.

Carefully, I pulled her out of the tub and into a towel, making sure the whole time that I did NOT let her touch my body because I was still covered in grossness.  Once her diaper was on, I put her down for a nap so that I could get everything cleaned up.

While not the first time something so disgusting has occurred, the magnitude of this event has definitely stepped things up some.

Now, I get easily grossed out.  If I hear someone else being sick, I instantly begin gagging.  If I see someone else being sick, chances are that I will be sick in a minute too.  If I even hear about a story like this, my stomach begins to churn.

So answer me this: if my stomach is that weak, why is it that I still want to take care of this child who made a mess all over me and my house?  Must be love.

It gives me yet another little glimpse at how much God loves His children.  Our sin to Him is much worse than the contents of my baby's stomach, but He loves us anyway.  While Natalie doesn't often create such a mess, we sin many times each and every day.  As a mother has unconditional love for her child, so much more does God look upon His own with eyes of love because His Son has covered the grossness and vileness of our sins with His grace and righteousness.

All seriousness aside, though, I still think that Mike Rowe could have a pretty nifty episode if he came over for a day.  I mean, come on--how many of you have a job as DIRTY as mine?!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

So Thankful

This post will be short and sweet.  I just want to say how very thankful I am for my husband.  After being a "single mom" for most of last week while he was away on business, I have realized once again how blessed I am to have a life-partner who loves me and is committed to our family.

Honestly, I think that having children makes one understand just how important it is to be together (someone to help with diapers, keep you sane during endless  crying fits, and someone to help you unwind at the end of the day).

Yes, I spent most of the past week at my parent's home, but I was here for most of one night alone.  Never have I been sooooo tempted to go and buy a tub of Ben and Jerry's and just pig out!  I like time to myself, but that night was too much time for me!  I'm so glad that he's home and that he doesn't have to travel often!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Signing Away

Today I am sitting at my parent's house, using my brother's laptop as a gentle breeze threatens to flip the pages of The Baby Signing Book that I have open beside me.  Along with deciding not to give Natalie any solids for at least six months (for various reasons), I have also come to the conclusion that I am going to teach her sign language during this critical time in her development. 

That being said, I now must actually learn to sign so that I can accomplish this endeavor. I always wanted to take a signing course in college, but nothing ever worked with my schedule.  This little experiment of mine will not only benefit Natalie (studies show that babies who can sign may actually begin speaking earlier), but it will also allow me to do something that I have always hoped to do.

As of right now, I pretty much have the alphabet mastered along with various signs: the all-important "Mommy," "milk" for when it's time to nurse, "read a book" for when we read, "thank you" to teach her manners (haha!), and a few others. 

I am having so much fun learning this new language.  While I was in school, I always said that I would absolutely love college if only I didn't have the stress of exams.  Well, here I am studying and enjoying myself! 

All of this makes me even more excited to home school in the future.  For now, though, I am going to bask in the joys of having just ONE child  (we want a lot, but I know that the opportunities that I have for one-on-one time with babies will diminish little by little as more little ones come along!) and watching her grow more and more every day.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Holy Heavy Cream, Batman!

Right now, I am eagerly awaiting Patrick's (hopeful) early return from work.  He doesn't know it yet, but we are going to go to Starbucks when he gets home.  I'm hoping that there will be some sugar-free "fall" syrups available to pump into my decaf Tall coffee.

Daydreaming about my coffee-to-be reminded me that, when we started dating, Patrick's favorite drink to order us was a Grande Americano with sugar in the raw and heavy cream--yes, the heavy cream that they hide behind the counter.  His idea, not mine.  I didn't even know that hidden heavy cream existed.

Unfortunately for me, it is difficult for me to imagine EVER asking for heavy cream in my coffee again.  Yes, it tasted a-ma-zing, but I highly doubt that I will ever be in a place in life where I will be willing to pour all of that extra fat into my body.  *Shudder*

I always knew that the day would come when losing weight would take more than just "cutting back" for a few days (oh for the days when that would yield a five pound loss with little effort!), but I didn't expect it to come so soon.

With the world's focus on body image and being extremely thin, it can be difficult for one, like myself, to stay positive.  Most of us will never be tiny enough to model or to be in a magazine, many of us will struggle with weight for the rest of our lives, but all of us should love the bodies with which God has blessed us.  That's right--blessed us.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't eat healthy foods, watch portion sizes, and be careful about caloric intake, but I am stating that being obsessed with such things is not wise.

It is my belief that sin brought weight struggles into the world, and it is most definitely sin that causes dieting and the desire to "be skinny" to become an idol.

Do all things to the glory of God--including your efforts to stay healthy and in shape.  Do not feel sub-par because you don't fit into a particular size, and do not let anyone tell you that you are anything but beautiful.  Beauty is on the inside, and when you are beautiful to God, that beauty radiates into every part of your life.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Separate Anyone?

Patrick and I recently watched an episode of King of Queens. If you've ever seen the show, you know about the hilarious ups and downs that Carrie and Doug have in their marriage although they always come back stronger in the end.  In this particular episode, they go mattress shopping because their old bed is ripped and falling apart.  Anyway, while they wait for their new set to come in, they sleep in twin beds on opposite sides of the room.  They realize that life is so much easier if they are SEPARATE but TOGETHER!  They begin going to different restaurants, movies, and events.

[Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation for the show . . . sometimes the humor is clean, other times we either flip the channel or turn the show off altogether.  I just thought that parts of this particular episode went well with what I wanted to discuss today.]

I was reminded of this show when Patrick and I decided to try going our separate ways this week--with our own coffee makers!  He hates it when I make flavored coffee in our coffee maker, so I now have my own little five-cup in which I can make a daily decaf flavor of my choice without him giving me any grief.  It's amazing!  I love it!  Why didn't we do this sooner?!

The coffee makers and the fact that we have separate bathrooms (sort of . . . I kind of use both!) are the only ways in which we are truly separate, though.

I often see couples who live their own separate lives, who come together occasionally to do things, but who would rather do their own "fun" things.  Men's outings, ladies nights, fishing trips, shopping excursions.  I'm not saying that doing any of these things occasionally is wrong, but I do think that the majority of time in a marriage should be spent together lest a couple grow apart (and we see a lot of that these days).

Because Patrick and I get to spend so little time together because of his job, when he is off I want to spend time with him and not away.  As an aside, I must confess that it kinda bugs me when he is invited to join various "men only" Bible studies that are on FRIDAY nights.  Excuse me--Friday nights?!  That's the one night of the week when we can really stay out late and do things together, the one night when we don't have to be up early in the morning, the best night of the week for family time.  I'm all for Bible studies, but come on--think about the families here!  I don't want to be left home every Friday night or every other Friday night . . . I don't think that it's healthy for our marriage.  That being said, I am always VERY relieved when my husband declines such invitations. *  Sorry, rant over.

Well, all this to say that while I am loving having my own java brewer, I prefer that the majority of things in our lives stay "ours" and not his/hers.  :-)

*Note: Patrick does participate in a weekly Wednesday night Bible study for men at church.  He does this and I'm able to go and sing in the choir, so we at least get to ride together even if the ride is only three minutes each way!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Trains and Babies

Wow, a lot has happened since my last post!  We lived through an earthquake, survived hurricane Irene, and we went on a scenic train ride through Western Maryland.  Thankfully, we made it through the first two unscathed and had a wonderful time on the third.

Mommom was able to come with us on the trip, and it just felt like old times .  .  . those many occasions when she and Poppop accompanied us on fun-filled field trips.  We reveled in the blessing of her presence and basked in the fun of all of us being together as a family.