Monday, April 25, 2011

Some Thoughts.

Easter is always a time of reflection for me.

I don't necessarily consider myself an overly religious person. I am Catholic, I was raised Catholic. I have my beliefs and I try to live true to them, regardless of what others may think. But I don't go around talking about God or Jesus or being saved. I've never been an in your face kind of christian. Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that. Far from it. I'm simply saying - it isn't me. I know how I feel, I discuss this with my husband, with my family, but with random strangers on the internet? I don't feel a need to bring it up. You believe what you believe, I believe what I believe, and we can all be happy never knowing what the other person thinks.

But this time of year, I find myself delving deeper into my beliefs. Being honored that the one being *I* believe created this entire world, and everything and everyone in it, gave up the single most important thing to HIM so that WE could all be saved. My respect for that sacrifice has only increased since becoming a parent. Because never in a million years can I imagine being okay with giving up my only son, no matter who it might benefit. But then, that is what makes me human, after all. The selfishness. I strive to be selfless for my children, for my family, for myself, but let us face facts here: nobody, aside from Jesus, is truly selfless. It's a flaw, granted, but it is the flaw that makes us human. That and free will - and I firmly believe that selfishness arises from free will. A byproduct of it, if you will.

But at Easter, as I contemplate HOW much God must love us all to have willingly given up his child - so that we imperfect beings could continue to live, to love, to fight, to fail. Well, will we ever REALLY be able to thank him enough? I mean, really. If you are a parent, as a parent, can you fathom the sacrifice he made for us? First, to send Jesus forth from heaven into the human world, to watch him grow and teach, and become this perfect being, to suffer and to hurt and then ultimately to die? All for the sake of someone else? I can't. My heart aches to the point of physical pain at merely the THOUGHT of something happening to either of my children. But to know, from the day they are conceived, that ultimately you will have to watch them die? A slow, horrible, painful death, at the hands of others? Oh my.

This is the sacrifice that God made for us. How can we be anything but honored by it?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Live life with no regrets...

I've been thinking a lot lately. Dwelling, really. Thinking about decisions I've made, choices we've had, and where they have led me and also my family in our lives.

I've heard people talk of regrets before. One thing I refuse to do is live my life with regret. I cannot change the decisions I have already made, wish away my past, or the impact those decisions might have on my future. And honestly, I don't want to.

Without those decisions, I would not be the person that I am today. And while I am always an imperfect work-in-progress, I kind of like who I am today. I wouldn't want to be anyone else. To wish away something would make me someone different, and I would never want that. It would change who I was married to, who my children are, who I am. And since I love all these things, I will not live life with regret.

We can only make the best decisions we know how with the information we have at the time. Before we were married, I owned my own home. When we became engaged, we made the decision to sell my house. It was smaller, had only one bathroom, no basement. It was a good starter home, and was a great place for me to begin my journey of motherhood with Monster Boy. But with plans to expand our family, it was no longer fitting to our needs. We could have made it work, although it would have been tight. But, we made the decision instead to sell our home and purchase a larger one. Nothing crazy, just something a little bigger, a little better suited to our future needs. We carefully considered our budget, and what we could afford reasonably without straining our finances, and we bought our "perfect" home. Little did we know that within 18 months, we would both be laid off, have an infant and a small child to care for, a infant who required multiple surgeries and extensive doctor care. How could we have known these things? Had we known what would happen, I have no doubt we would have remained in the smaller home, with the smaller house payment. But we did not. And I cannot regret that. The home we have now, it is OUR home. The home we chose together, not the one I chose on my own. The home we are raising our children in, the home that we love. It has been a struggle, during our journey the past two years, that I will not deny. But we cannot change the choice that we made, and we would not want to. It may be a small example, but it is one that so clearly defines the reason why I will not live with regret.

After all, it is such a wasted emotion. For even if you regret, you can do nothing to change it. I honestly feel you should focus instead on the way you want to live your life going forward, for that you do have the power to change. Regret dwells on the past, and the past is what it is. We can choose to dwell in it, or we can choose to take it for the lesson it is and move on with our life. I choose to move on. What do you choose to do?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Things just keep moving.

I cried, like a big baby, last week. Monster Boy lost his very first tooth! Which would be reason enough for me to cry, since I'm emotional like that. But, he lost it at school so I didn't even get to see it! I managed to hold in the tears until after he went to bed that night, but then I cried. And Daddy Mac just looked at me like I was crazy and shook his head in consternation. I didn't care. My baby boy is growing up and I am SO not ready for it.

This morning Miss Sunshine had another speech therapy visit. It is time to rewrite our IFSP (Individual Family Services Plan). The speech therapist has been so impressed with her speech development that we didn't even include that as part of our desired progress this time! She wants to continue her therapies simply because she does qualify for them due to her cleft, although we are only going to do therapy every other month at this point. She doesn't see the need for more, and is thinking that when the time comes to release her from Early Intervention's care when she turns three, that the school system will phase her out. Here, after the age of three, the schools actually handle their therapies. Miss Sunshine may still qualify for services because of her cleft (she actually doesn't meet any of the developmental guidelines for therapies, so if it wasn't for her cleft she wouldn't qualify for services at all) but we don't feel they will be necessary at that point. I will have Daddy Mac discuss this with our cleft team at Shriner's when he takes her there in June for her team visit, but I feel they will say the same thing - her speech development is appropriate for her age at this point, and while we are seeing some nasal emissions, they are not significant, and not something that we feel therapy will help. It will either resolve on it's own as she gets bigger, or require additional surgery around the age of four... So, for now, we just play the waiting game.

Miss Sunshine is also showing signs of being ready to potty train. On the one hand I am excited by this, as it means no more changing diapers. On the other hand, I'm not ready for this. One, she's my baby. I'm not ready for her to be a big girl yet. Two, I cloth diaper (as I know I've mentioned before) and I love it. And I love all my diapers. And I don't want to put them up in to storage. Silly, I know. But for now, we are waiting. She will tell us she needs to go potty, and then as soon as we set foot in the bathroom, tell us "All done!" before we've even made it near the toilet. We have successfully gotten her to go a few times, both on her potty chair and on a big toilet, but I don't want to rush things. We made that mistake with Monster Boy and potty training him was a nightmare. I don't want to go through that again, so for now, we just play it by ear. I'm starting to make some training pants (I will not use disposable training pants, I think they are counter productive and a large part of the reason why it took so long to train Monster Boy) for her, and plan to start really working on the potty with her when I return from Florida in May.

Yes, I get to go on a kid-free vacation in May! I will be going to see my sister in Miami, and I can't wait. A week with no demands on my time. I plan to do a lot of laying around in the sun reading books and just relaxing. I know I will miss my kids horribly, but this is the first time in nearly seven years that I will get to go on a vacation with no kids and nothing to do. And anyone who has traveled with small children knows that you can call it a vacation, but with kids there, it is anything but. So now I get a REAL vacation. I am so ready!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hear the Rain

Hear the Rain

A cadence.
running in streams
down the window panes.
hitting the roof
like a snare drum.
A slow,
steady rhythm
beating softly in time.
A song of something new.
Hear the rain.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


It's finally springtime here in the Heartland. Finally. We are still having several quite chilly days here and there, but it looks like spring has finally made it's arrival.

This afternoon, we will start our seeds for our seedlings for our new garden. We are doing seedlings indoors for several reason - one, the weather here is still quite unpredictable and there is a good chance we will have at least one more hard freeze before growing season really hits and I don't want to lose plants. Two, I will do a much better job at remembering to water the plants if they are right in my face each day! And three, we still haven't actually determined WHERE we are going to put said garden. I'm hoping to get my dad and stepmom over sometime this week for their advice - they have much greener thumbs, and considerably more experience, than we do in regards to this and while I know where I would like to put the garden, I don't know that it's actually the best location for it. And then we have to rent a tiller and till up the land, frame it, put in our soil, put up some chicken wire to keep the dog out, and so on... but it will be well worth it in the end, or so I hope.