Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's halftime

This month, the children of 3 of our closest friends (who are, by default, Ben's closest friends) started Kindergarten. Even though we made a family decision to wait one more year before sending Ben to kindergarten, I found myself being very weepy the night before school was going to start for Tanner, Emily, and Mia. I was laying in bed that night thinking, wow, where have these five years gone? I then did some quick math and realized that in five more years, I would be sending my baby off on his first day of school. The concept of time became real to me in a way I haven't ever thought about it before. I was half way there. Five years down, five to go.

When you have little ones at home (and particularly when you are a stay at home or mostly stay at home mom), the days tend to DRAG by. Way too often I find myself looking at the clock and thinking, "Seriously, is it not nap time yet?!" Lately I've had to remind myself to slow down. Ten years. That is the time that the Lord has gifted me with these three precious little ones at home. Ten years filled with things like diaper changes, meal clean-up, potty training, and lessons in sharing (all squeezed in between floor mopping, bill paying, toilet scrubbing and laundry). I too often focus on that part and get a little overwhelmed. I forget that it's also ten years filled with playing trains and coloring sheets and children’s stories. Ten years of play dates and lunches at McDonald's. Ten years of napping in our pajamas because we couldn't think of a good enough reason to get out of them that morning. Ten years of arms wrapped around my legs while I do dishes, ten years of stopping what I'm doing so that a little person can crawl into my lap and clue me in to their current life-consuming dilema. Ten years of those sweet, tiny voices mispronouncing words and asking curious questions… a lot of questions... SOOOOO many questions.

A few times over these past five years I've wondered if I made the right decision by not working full-time and staying home with my little bitties. Did I give up a great career? Am I wasting my degree? Should I be contributing more to our finances? Then I think about these 10 finite years and I wonder, what could be worth exchanging these years? Who wouldn't like more dinners out, a bigger house, a nicer car, newer clothes, or exotic vactations? I certainly wouldn't turn down any of those things. But would I trade my 10 years for them? There isn't enough money in the world. They'll be plenty of time for those things in the future, but my little ones won't be little forever, and I don't want to miss it.

I blinked and half of my years are up. My prayer is that the Lord would give me the presence of mind to savor the next five, as busy, frustrating, and overwhelming as they may be.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Paci Cow

The time has come for Gracie Belle to say good-bye to one of her best friends, the paci. Now that she's in a big girl bed, she's gotten up a couple times during the night when her paci falls down between the wall and her mattress. It is not fun to have to stumble to her room and fish it out at 3 in the morning. We had a similar experience with Ben around the same age, so we decided that it was time for paci to move on. We talked to Gracie all week about saying good-bye to paci and getting to pick out a new "pet" (what she and Ben call stuffed animals). She told me she wanted a puppy dog, but Brian took her to the store tonight and she came back with a cow. "Paci Cow" as he is now affectionately known.

Here are some pictures of our momentous evening.

Here they are, her two favorite paci's

Enjoying them for the last time!

Oh, pacis, you have been so dear to me.
Tucking them inside Paci Cow

Getting some hugs from Paci Cow after he was all sewn up.

Paci Cow has some moves!

We're going to be great friends, Paci Cow!
For the most part, our evening was filled with giggles and smiles. Then Gracie climbed into bed and said, "Ok, Paci out." 

Um, sweetie, Mommy sewed up Paci Cow. He doesn't open anymore. Your paci is in Paci Cow's tummy... you can feel them and hug them... see?

No, lady, I do not see. Kindly remove my paci's from this ridiculous cow before I go and find the seam ripper myself. Whose idea was this cow, anyway?  
(Ok, so she didn't say those things... but it's what she was thinking.)
A little upset with Paci Cow
 I then spent approximately 30 minutes making Paci Cow sing songs to Gracie. "Paci Cow says moo moo moo... Paci Cow says I love you!"
(I, like you, am mystified that my song writing has not yet received a Grammy Award).
My silliness won my sweet girl over and she made up with Paci Cow. She even requested that he have the prime spot in her bed, tucked with her under her blanket.

We'll get through this together, Paci Cow!

Requesting that I kiss Paci Cow "good-night"
 10 minutes (and no tears) later, she was passed out. I'm counting it a success!