So, we went to Home Depot.
Remind me to tell you later – when I’ve stopped twitching with anger – about how I believe choosing paint is a leading cause of divorce in this country. Or, at least in my house.
After our little outing, we came home and hung out in the kitchen while Chris made a big pot of chili.
Bean and Gracie were super excited about the 4th of July.
Well, Bean was. Gracie was more concerned about where her Kitty Kitty had run off to.
Bean’s excitement wasn’t just about the holiday, though. What he was really excited about were the fireworks Chris brought home.
He tried explaining to Gracie about how much fun we were getting ready to have, but she didn’t seem to get it.
So, we put Gracie down for her late afternoon nap and, as the sun began to set, Bean, Chris, and I headed out to the driveway to play with fireworks. We didn’t get REAL fireworks (don’t tell Bean…). We got a pack of things that sparkled and smoked and popped. “Dingy fireworks,” as Chris said. But they were the perfect size for Bean Man.
Mostly, they just whizzed and smoked and sparkled. Bean loved it all!
Then came the sparklers, and all hell broke loose. It started out pretty innocently. Chris lit the sparkler and then handed it to Bean. He thought it was pretty cool. He walked verrrrry slowwwwly with it and made big circles in the air, just like Chris showed him.
And then when the sparkler died out, Chris took the stick from Bean and set it on the ground while he got the next firework ready. But Bean decided that he wasn’t quite done with the sparkler and before we could stop him, he picked up the very hot sparkler by the very hot end.
So, the Boo Boo Bee made her appearance on the 4th of July.
Bean was a champ. He sat with his fingers on his ice cold Boo Boo Bee and insisted that we finish the fireworks before we went inside to treat his mortal wound.Â I don’t think Chris had ever been prouder.
“Way to take it like a man, Bean,” he said.
And then we set off more dinky, manly fireworks.Â After our grand finale (oooohhhh…aaaahhhhh….), we took Bean inside and tended to his wound with Neosporin and Woody and Buzz Lightyear Band Aids.
Thankfully, we were able to save the finger.
I felt bad at first. What kind of parent lets their two-year-old play with fireworks?!?! And I still kind of wonder about our judgment on that one. But, I felt a lot LESS bad when Bean held his fingers up to me and said, “COOL, MOM!”
Hope your 4th was safer and full of more responsible parenting decisions than ours!
Hey guys!Â A few weeks ago, bodycology sent me their latest products to review, the Rich and Creamy Body Wash and Lotion.Â It’s like a spa in a bottle and I am officially addicted.Â Head on over to my MC Reviews website today and enter to win an awesome bodycology Gift Basket!
Also, if you’re in the do-good state of mind today, I’d love to ask for your help for a friend of mine from church.Â Her daughter has just been diagnosed with Rett Disease, a rare neurological disorder that means she will be dependent on her parents for the rest of her life.Â This is such a sweet family and a diagnosis like this is beyond belief.Â But, true to form, they are rallying around their daughter and are looking for ways they can make her life a little easier.Â And there’s actually something YOU can do to help them!Â The International Rett Syndrome Foundation has entered to win a charity contest sponsored by the Vivint Gives Back Project.
Here’s how it works:
1.Â Go to the Vivint Gives Back Project page on Facebook by clicking here.
2.Â Then, head over to the Vivint Gives Back Project homepage by clicking here.
3.Â Next, scroll down the page until you see the list of charities you can vote for.Â If you’re so inclined to help a sweet family that you don’t know, choose charity #4 – the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.
4.Â Once you read a little about the disease and the foundation, scroll to the bottom of that page and click VOTE.Â (My picture is gray and says “Voted,” but yours will be orange and will say “Vote.”)
5.Â Finally, be sure to publish your vote to your Facebook page so that you can encourage your friends and family to go vote for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.
Thanks so much for your help!Â The Rett Foundation is so close to finding a cure for this disease and with your help, that might be possible in my sweet, little friend’s lifetime.
Now, you all have done your good deed for the day.Â Class dismissed!
You know what I’ve learned about myself as a parent lately?Â The more I wing it, the better I do.Â The minute I try to organize or control something, everyone is miserable – me included.Â The thing about the first baby is that all of your attention is focused on him.Â I knew Bean’s schedule like the back of my hand.Â I knew when he’d be hungry almost to the minute.Â I knew when he’d get tired and when he’d be more alert.Â And I thought that was because he was an easy baby.Â But I’ve discovered that maybe it wasn’t that Bean was such a good baby.Â Maybe it was that he was the first baby.
Which leads us to Miss Gracie.
Gracie is 14 weeks old (I think, but I’m really bad at the weekly counting thing with babies). I thought she was doing just fine. She seemed happy. We were all happy. Life was good. But then started to worry that I wasn’t paying enough attention to her development because we were so active with Bean Man, so I had to go and check out Babycenter.com and that happiness quickly turned into, “MY BABY IS BROKEN! I THINK I BROKE MY BABY!”
According to BabyCenter.com, my little Chumbawumba should be sleeping through the night in 5-6 hour stretches. And sometimes, Gracie does sleep in long stretches like that. But sometimes she lays in her crib awake all night long, wanting me to stand there and keep her company. She doesn’t want me to pick her up. She literally just wants me to stand there while she gives me these goofy, gummy smiles.
Not that I mind. I mean, it’s not like I’ve got too many other plans at 3:00 in the morning.
You know what I think it is? I think that 3:00am is the only time Gracie gets all of my attention. She’s not competing with her brother at 3:00am. Because he’s sleeping. Like a normal person. So, Gracie likes to just, you know, hang out at 3:00am.
It started out as a midnight feeding. She’d wake up between 3 and 4:00am for a bottle when she was itty bitty and that was totally acceptable. I was happy to do it. Of course, I was also still on pain medication, so I was pretty happy to do anything, really. But gradually, she started taking less and less of her bottle and spent more and more time staring up at me, giggling. And, she’s cute and all, but at 3:00 in the morning, gummy giggles only take you so far with me.
So, last week, after almost two weeks of this, I remembered what we did with Bean when he was transitioning into sleeping through the night. We’d give him a “twilight bottle.” Basically, we’d sneak into his room and give him the bottle while he slept without touching him or picking him up. Then, he still kept his belly full, but he’d stay asleep. So, I tried that with Gracie and it works pretty good. She’s a sllllloooowww eater thanks to her reflux, but she takes about 3 ounces in the middle of the night and then goes right back to sleep.
Everybody wins, right?
After reading Babycenter.com, I decided that she shouldn’t even be topped off like that. So, I started picking and picking at the situation and now we’re all miserable. I decided that Gracie needed to be awake more during the day. That was her problem. She would sleep longer at night if she was sleeping less during the day. Makes sense, right?
The longer I kept her awake, the more pissed off she became. And the more pissed off she became, the longer she stayed awake. Vicious cycle. And, of course, the sudden onset of crying all the time put mine and Chris’s nerves on high alert, which meant we started to snip at each other. Then, it culminated in a huge fight tonight as we walked around the house, trying to soothe Gracie and with Bean right on our heels. And did I mention that Bean is now repeating everything we say? Like E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. So, I’d snap at Chris in this snotty little tone and say, “Well, that’s just perfect.” And Bean would then start saying in a very happy voice, “That’s perfect, Mommy!” Then, Chris snapped at me that I should just do things my way and quit picking fights. And Bean then started saying in a very happy voice, “Do it your way, Mommy! Do it your way!”
It was like fighting in stereo.
So, what’s the wise, wise lesson I’ve learned this week that I can pass on to all of you? Well, there are several:
a) Babies move and groove and grow at their own pace, whether you think you’re in control or not. Ain’t nothing you can do about it.
b) Husbands like to be consulted, not bossed around. Ain’t nothing you can do about that either.
c) Toddlers enjoy being a part of all discussions, no matter how tense. Ain’t nothing you can do about that one neither.
d) Gummy grins in the middle of the night are still pretty freaking cute. Ain’t nothing you can do about it.
There you have it, my friends. Words to live by.
On Friday, Chris, me and the kiddies will pack up and head to meet my parents, my sister, and her husband, John Michael, at the beach for a long weekend together. It’s been planned for months and I’ve really been looking forward to it. But now, as the weekend approaches, I have to tell you that I’m a little nervous about it. Actually, I’m not nervous about the weekend. For the first time in my whole life, I’m nervous about seeing my sister.
Two weeks ago, my sister miscarried. She was 15 weeks pregnant.
I just wrote that last sentence and then sat here for 10 minutes trying to think of what to write next. And that’s the exact reason I am nervous about seeing Ginny. I just don’t know what to say to her.
She miscarried over the course of several days while she and John Michael were out in California on vacation.Â She was stuck in a hotel room, far from family, and going through such a horrific experience.Â When she finally was able to get on an airplane, she came home to her Atlanta doctor, who confirmed what Ginny had feared.Â She had miscarried.Â That day, as if things weren’t hard enough, Ginny had to go in for a D&C.Â When she woke up, John Michael and my dad were there, but it took Ginny a few minutes to understand what was going on.
“Wait, why am I here?” she asked.
And then she remembered.Â My dad said that he had never seen such raw emotion in a human being before as Ginny broke down there in the hospital.
Throughout those days, Ginny cried and cried and cried. And as I sat on the phone with her, thousands of miles away, I cried with her, but couldn’t form one supportive comment. Not one.
Because what do you say? What do you say to someone who loves kids more than her next breathe, who wants to be a mom more than anything else? What do you say when you’ve got two boxes of pink clothes all boxed up for your niece who won’t be here in December after all? What do you say to your best friend as she goes through such an incredible loss?
I love you?
I wish I could go through this for you?
I’m praying for you?
None of it makes what happened any easier.Â None of it repaints the nursery walls back to white or empties out the closet already filling with pink onesies.Â None of it seems to matter when the hurt was that deep and that raw.
And so, I sat very quietly and didn’t say anything to one of the most important people in my life as she went through one of the saddest times in her life.Â And I felt so ashamed about that.Â I still feel ashamed.Â That I can write and write and write and talk and talk and talk when it doesn’t matter, and then when it really does matter, there were just no words to be found.
I didn’t know what to say because I have no idea what she is going through.Â I can’t even imagine.Â And I didn’t know what to say because I was sad, too.Â Ginny’s pregnancy was a celebration for our whole family and so her miscarriage was a devastation for our whole family, too.
But you know who it was that finally gave me the strength to speak?Â It was Ginny.Â I was supposed to be the one lifting her up and instead, in true Ginny fashion, she taught me.Â She taught me how to really grieve for something.Â How to shut out the world and give yourself time.Â She taught me how to find strength in small, daily activities and how to look forward while still remembering the past.Â She taught me that laughter really does help, but only when you’re ready to laugh.Â And she taught – and is continuing to teach me – that every day we start over again, fresh, and even if we break down once or twice in that day, we get a redo tomorrow.Â She taught me what it really is to love the Lord so deeply that you can praise and thank him in the middle of such sadness.
But more than those things, she taught me the importance of our husbands.Â The importance of choosing well because you’re choosing someone to share your very high ups and your deepest downs.Â She taught me that in times of great sadness, it is the heart of our husbands that we turn to for support.
This was the first tragedy Ginny has experienced as a married woman and so it was the first time that she turned to someone other than her family to get her through.Â Though we were never far from her, I couldn’t be more grateful for John Michael’s presence in Ginny’s life and in our family.Â Knowing that he was the one to carry her through this made me worry just a bit less about her.
The love that they have for each other will make them wonderful parents one day.
We leave on Friday for the beach and my nerves are a bit on edge.Â I’m not sure what I’ll be able to say to Ginny when I can finally see her face to face.Â I’m not sure how she’ll react to seeing Bean and Gracie.Â I’m just not sure.Â But I know that if I stand there struggling with how to go forward, it will be my sweet, strong sister who shows me how it’s done.