Friday, July 31, 2015

Things I'm Into Lately


So comfy.  Soft.  Cute.  Easy.  Have been wearing lots lately.

Messing with my hair

My hair is straight and fine and doesn't do a thing, nor do I usually try to do anything with it.  Lately I've been trying to do a little more with it, even if that just means pulling it half back into a rubber band (gasp).  And sometimes I do my funky updo that I've done off and on for half my life and it looks pretty nice to start...

...then turns into a hot mess by the end of the day...

...and looks super funky when I take out the bazillion bobby pins...


Gimme gimme gimme.  These are my Shoes Of Summer this year.

Adult coloring books

I want to hug whoever invented these.  It probably would drive many people up the wall but it's very calming and fun for me.

Parenting books

Because three children.  No pressure.  Omg.  Must learn all the things...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I Take It Back

What's that I said only a few days ago about this being the easiest baby in Texas?  About this three under three thing being a piece of cake?  About not drinking coffee?

I take it back.

There's currently a pack n play set up in our living room which contains a still snoozing baby that came home from daycare with some fever yesterday and proceeded to wrestle with me until 1:00 am last night.  Maybe it was teeth coming in.  Maybe it was gas.  Maybe it's finally setting in for her that she's in a new family and all the change knocked her down.

But it took me back to middle of the night mode.  Back to what in the heck does this baby need??  Back to I don't think I can sing Amazing Grace one single time more. Back to fighting selfish tears because I just want to go to sleep.  Back to frantically texting my night owl mother who gives calm advice and encouragement and blessings and prayers and wishes she could beam herself here to camp out on our sofa and help wrestle.

I'm back in baby mode.  Guessing games and frustration and up half the night.  But here we are with our previous down pat parenting life turned on its head, so we'll keep chugging and doing our best.  And drinking coffee...

Friday, July 17, 2015

Our First Week With Three Kids Under Three

Hey I'm still alive. Whaddayaknow.

Nah really, we are doing quite fine following the addition of a third baby.  I'm pretty sure she is the easiest baby in Texas, possibly the universe, so that helps a whole huge ton. She sleeps, she eats, she smiles, she high fives. We are learning new things, new routines, a new child.  And we're tired.  Oh are we tired.  But we are keeping our heads above water for sure.

I'm so tired of coffee.  I have consumed much of it in the past week or so and I'm just super duper over it, much like I find myself in the final weeks of tax season.   Caffeine yes, coffee blech.  So I've been trying tea or soda instead but really I think I just need about 14 hours of sleep a night to curb this fatigue.  Baby sleeps through the night, there's no problem there, but we are both just. so. tired. omg.   Even though the past week has gone swimmingly in the area of logistics and keeping children generally alive and happy, the emotions have been running high and that can drain ya, lemme tell ya.  So I will keep chugging.  Just not chugging coffee.

I was worried how the girls would do sharing a room, if bedtimes would be a disaster and nights would be a wreck of nobody sleeping, including me.  My worry was unnecessary.  When baby has had her bottle, she is done for.  Goner.  Not even Sister hollering for her typical minute or so upon my exit from the room will bother her.  And then they sleep.  And then they wake up in the morning and stand up and stare at each other over the ends of their side by side cribs and my heart melts.  Sister points and says "Baba! Baba!" like "Mom, did you know this baby is still here??"

I have had moments when I have thought how does anybody handle three kids ever and I have had moments when I've thought what's the big deal, this is a piece of cake.    The latter is more common than the former, much to my surprise.

Brother alternates between talking to or playing with Baby and totally ignoring her.  Sister alternates between being surprisingly independent and being hella jealous.  Suddenly someone else has busted her previous monopoly on mama's attention and she occasionally makes her opposition known in the form of plastering herself to my leg or attempting to physically take over my arms or lap, such that Baby sometimes ends up smushed or dethroned.  We're working on Sister getting specific time with me often, when she doesn't have to fight for it.  The flip side is a wonderous independence this has brought out in her and a more proportionate reliance on daddy to fulfill her needs.  

This will be a journey for sure.  Nobody said we needed to have this all figured out lickety split.  But we are really doing quite well so far.  So...go us.  *pats self on back*

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

An Excerpt From My Journal About Loving This New Child

From my personal journal...

This is different from when we got Brother and Sister.  With them, we didn't know if they would stay with us or not and we were just trying to survive the sudden stress we had been thrown into.  There was little time in those first days to focus on learning to love truly.  Unknowns consumed us.  Love grew, but it took time.  We felt like we had the time too, plenty of it.  We just needed to figure out how to parent in the first place and knew the love would find its place. 

But this time...we know she will be our daughter, that she will be ours forever.  I feel like I'm supposed to suddenly love her like a daughter, right away.  I struggled with this in the days before we got her.  I wasn't feeling that love yet but felt pressure to.  I kept telling myself that I needed to give it time, let it grow, that I had only seen her a few times, much less had any substantial chance to get to know her. 

Now that she has been here a few days, I can feel the beginnings of it, just barely.  I tell her "I love you" often, to get in the habit, but I sometimes think "Do I really?".  In some fashion, yes, I do.  I love her as a beautiful child who needs a home and a family.  I love her as a cute little girl who is sweet and funny.  But as a daughter?  That will come.  I know it will.  I am not worried.  It comes from caring for her, feeding her, bathing her, holding her, getting to know her and letting attachment grow.  I am throwing myself into those things since that's all I can do at this point.  Those are the things I can easily learn here at the beginning and must learn in order to properly care for her.  And they are what cause love to grow.  Those and simply time together.  When you don't grow your child inside you for nine months, I guess this is the way connection is created and attachment arrives.  I guess.  

We're moving forward.  Smiling, laughing, clapping, playing, rocking.  Day by day.  Love will grow.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

That Time That Jen Hatmaker Invited Me To Her House

So for any modern Christians hiding under a rock, there's this lady who lives about two hours south of me named Jen Hatmaker who I adore. She and her family really get this guy named Jesus and the things He told us to do with our lives.  I have a blog post draft in my line up called 8 Reasons I Want To Be Jen Hatmaker When I Grow Up.  Or maybe 9.  I can't remember.  She's an author, speaker, biological mom, adoptive mom, feisty lady, pastor's wife, preacher, leader, doer of good things, champion of social justice.  Also hilarious.  As in, sometimes I have to stifle snort laughs when I read her blog posts and facebook anecdotes.

And she invited me to her house.

Ok, ok, a computer randomly selected me to come to her house, but I'm just gonna stick with SHE invited me because I feel as though in her heart she truly wished to invite all the specific randomly selected folks and is stoked for us to show up.

Lemme back up a smidge.

Jen and her husband, Brandon, and a whole lot of other cool people just launched a new project called the Legacy Collective.  As I began seeing news of it come out on their facebooks and through Jen's EF e-mails (you want to be her EF, I promise), my heart hollered "Yesssssss!"  I may have even shaken fists of triumph at the sky/ceiling.    Orphan prevention, sustainable housing for homeless, child trafficking rescue and prevention?  Um, yes please, I would like to be on board with that.  They intend to design this as true community rallying around these causes, contributing money and wisdom and experience.  They're having a launch party at their house with their Legacy Collective leaders and a random smattering of the rest of us.  I figured with how many people are in their tribe, there was no way I'd randomly get in on that, but didn't really care.   I wanted to count myself in regardless.

So I trotted over to their giving link and pledged my little $15 per month.  It's not much.  But for a family running on one income, while incurring seminary loans, with two foster/adopt kids already and another headed our way shortly (omg, everyone remain calm) you give what you can.  And that's the beauty of their system.  They want a lot of people to simply give what they can and suddenly, math happens, and they've got a lot to go on.  

A few days later, this appeared in my inbox:

My eyes got wide and the first thing that came to my mind shows just how much I have apparently internalized Jen's words over the past couple years, both her insightful writing and her quirky Jen-isms... 


I get to go to Jen Hatmaker's house?  FOR THE LOVE!  THIS IS A WHOLE THING.

The email said I could bring a guest.  After spewing the news to my husband, I asked if he wanted to go with me.  "Not enough to pay for a babysitter."  Ok then.  Valid reasoning, given the aforementioned one income/student loans/many babies situation.  Next.   I proceeded to tell my friend Kristin " who gets to go to the Legacy Collective launch party?"  She already knew exactly what I was talking about and I knew she would.  She is one of Jen's EF's too.  I told her I was bringing her and she died.  Figuratively of course, or else...well...I wouldn't be able to bring her.

Not only will the Hatmakers be there (of course they will's at their house), but also Willie and Korie from Duck Dynasty and Scott Hamilton.  As in, how many minutes of my young life were spent listening to his figure skating commentary?  A whole lot.  The email said to RSVP.  I RSVPed the heck out of that thing.  Heck yes I'm coming.

So there you have it.  The story of how I got invited to hang out for an evening with a bunch of world changers.  I'm excited.  I'm honored.  I can't wait!