My boys. My life.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All my pain will fade to memory....

"Once you feel the weight of glory
all your pain will fade to memory."

I've been singing those lyrics in my head the past couple nights as I've been fighting tears of pain.

this link in another window and listen to this song while reading the rest:

And throughout much of this pregnancy it's a song that often came to mind, too. I've kinda coined it as my pregnancy theme song. It's easy to think this pregnancy has been harder physically since it's what's here and now. But I've had pain I simply don't remember having in Bryce and Ethan's pregnancies. More of a constant pain from lower back to knees, which intensifies at night after a long day. Makes it hard to get to sleep. Especially the past week I've been overwhelmed with how constant and intense this pain is at night. It's worse the busier I am during the day so I try to take it easy. But with two kids, that can be a challenge. :-)
Anyway, back to the song.... I keep singing those lyrics because it makes me think of our baby. "Once you feel the weight of glory".... meaning once this 7-8 lb being is in my arms... my pain will fade. It will no longer matter even though it's what plagues me 24/7 right now. It's temporary. And for that I am thankful.
And later in the song....
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the hurt before the healing
Oh, the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the dark before the morning
I find such truth and peace in these lyrics. So even though I'm really seeing what it means to take life a day at a time during this short season, I find that comfort knowing Baby will be here in God's timing and my pain will fade. My body will heal. And we will just be embarking on a new wonderfully amazing journey with our little miracle.

Friday, June 17, 2011

What Ethan are we going to get?

This blog post is just me airing some feelings/concerns I have.
My younger son, Ethan, (soon to be middle-child) is a very unique child. I know, I know. They all are. God created no two alike. Ethan is an intense child, though. Either intensely happy or intensely mad. Tim and I often joke that we never know what Ethan we're going to get in various circumstances. I've taken Ethan to many doctor appointments, which surprises me that my blood pressure has remained low during this pregnancy. LOL. Earlier this week, Bryce had his 4-year check-up at his pediatrician's office. Again, Tim and I joked - never know what Ethan I'm going to get. He was fantastic during the appointment. I haven't had an appointment like that where he's been along in a long time. It went so smooth. I was happily surprised.
Bryce and Ethan could not be more night and day. Even at this age. Bryce was very independent, outgoing and social at a very early age. Ethan is clingy and cuddly. And in some circumstances to such an extreme it's very overwhelming. A week or two ago the kids and I went with Tim to Cleveland for a couple days. While Tim was at work that morning, I took the kids to Gymboree Play & Music for an art class. I had high hopes but also held back some nervousness about it. I kept an open mind to it, though, figuring at least Bryce would enjoy it. And hoped Ethan would, too. The teacher set out play-doh for the kids at the start of the class. Ethan enjoyed just holding it in his hand. He likes walking around carrying various things in his hands. I have heard I was much like that as a child. And especially younger, we (particularly my parents) have noted that my niece, Alyssa, would do this, too. Anyway, when it was time to put away the play-doh, the wrath of my second son was unleashed. I felt so helpless - perhaps more so than I ever have with him. I won't go into a lot of detail about what it was like, but it was basically intense, inconsolable screaming the next 45-50 minutes and him throwing himself on the ground. To the point I worried he was going to knock a tooth out! And other parents were visibly concerned as they got up to make sure he didn't hurt himself.
All this to say.... we seriously don't know what Ethan we're going to get in the coming months - both with the addition of our third child and with preschool. (Ethan will go two mornings a week.) I know I need to let go of my concerns... "Let go, Let God." I need Him to ease this Momma's ache in her heart. The ache of what it's going to be like for him to go from the baby of our family to the middle child. I pray almost daily that he makes this transition smoothly. I still hold back some fears that I wish I could ignore. In the end, I know adding a younger sibling will be good for him. Even if the first days and weeks are full of adjustment. I had similar concerns, although not as justified, when Bryce was 21 months and we added Ethan to his life. And I can now see in hindsight how awesome it is for Bryce to have Ethan, and for Ethan to have Bryce. So I know and trust we will get to that point this time around, too.
Ethan has pleasantly surprised us with some transitions. Where Bryce has transitioned well with certain stages, Ethan has seriously given us a run for our money. When we decided nearly a year ago that we'd transition Bryce to a twin bed and Ethan from the crib to Bryce's toddler bed after Christmas, I did not know what to expect. He has blown us away and far surpassed our expectations. In fact, I think I'd say he transitioned better than Bryce. I only hope the same will be true whenever we decide to tackle potty training. I've heard younger siblings watching older siblings can help with adjustments. In hindsight, I see that was the case with the toddler bed transition. Ethan would even start to climb in the toddler bed with or before Bryce before we transitioned them. And I do think Bryce will be an AWESOME big brother to Baby #3. So here's to hoping (and praying) and letting God.... that Ethan will again see his big brother's example and follow suit once again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Balance

This summer, more so than any previous, is about trying to strike a balance. And in a lot of ways. When the summer began, it was a mixed bag of emotions. Checking off another chapter of Bryce's childhood as he 'graduated' from the 3-class and will be in pre-k in the fall. (If you recall, I blogged about how I'm sadly and happily seeing my kids grow up right before my eyes.) Excited that the start of summer would mean we're nearing our baby's birth-day. Overwhelmed at the thought of trying to get through our open-scheduled days in late pregnancy and all that entails. And believe me, some days it entails a lot. Or at least it feels like it does.
However, today felt like a pretty good balance. There are days where I'm so exhausted and we don't accomplish much. Mickey Mouse is a household favorite, especially by my 2-year-old. So some days, Mickey gets an awful lot of attention. Especially rainy days. Then there's my 4-year-old, who I swear would almost agree to living outside ALL summer long. He just can't seem to get enough outdoor play time. And that is sometimes overwhelming. I know I can't pile on the Mommy-guilt saying "no" to him, but I can't say "yes" every time either. So again, striking that balance.
I did say today was a good balance. Took care of some household responsibilities this morning, cuddled with Ethan while watching his favorite mouse on Disney, and then made lunch and we ate on the deck... followed by a solid 1.5-2 hours of outdoor playtime. One of Bryce's best buds even came over from two doors down and played for much of that. My heart felt full - a nice balance of accomplishing tasks, giving the kids some Vitamin-D-filled playtime, and not overdoing it myself.
I have felt a good amount of pressure (all self-inflicted) to give the kids a fun summer, knowing some things will be more challenging THIS summer with being late pregnancy and then with a newborn. But all I can do is my best to try to do that, right? To try to give them a fun summer. Or at least make my best effort on the days I do feel up for it. On days like today. :-)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Treating Others Well

This is my Grandma's story but feel compelled to share... and I too want to remember this story...
The Friday of Memorial Day weekend she had a hi-def TV guy at her home much of the day getting her all set up. She knew the young man was probably in his 20s and sounded like they had an interesting afternoon. He spoke a lot of his grandparents and treated her as such. He was very kind to her. And likewise, she was to him. He told her if she had technical problems, she was his customer. To give him a call. That there was nothing she could do that he wouldn't be able to fix.
That evening his cousin wanted him to go with him on their motorcycles to the Illinois line - just for something to do. If you recall, the weather was dreary that week and he had spent much of the day at my Grandma's outside in the chilly, damp weather. My Grandma encouraged him to tell his cousin maybe another time.
Early on the next week, Grandma realized with her new contract she didn't have copies of any of the paperwork from the visit. But did remember the guy's name - Aaron. So she told herself each day she needed to call to ask for copies of the paperwork. Friday finally rolled around - a week later and she made the phone call. She mentioned the young man's name. What she was told on the phone next was very shocking. Aaron died in a motorcycle accideint that night - that Friday night. The very night he told her about after being at her house much of the day.
When I heard this, a chill ran up my spine. She had tried to talk him out of going. Now I believe everything that happens on earth is part of God's divine plan. It's a very sad story and one that has impacted my Grandma. And I think everyone who hears about this, on some level. For whatever reason(s), it was this young man's time. But as I told my Grandma, she gave him a positive experience that afternoon. Doing what he does, he may not always be treated well. You obviously have that some in service jobs with the public. But she gave him a positive afternoon.
I just think more and more about this story.... makes me think about ordinary, daily interactions more. Life is so fleeting and you never know what someone is going through or is about to go through. What if this 27-year-old had been servicing a very grouchy and rude person? Or what if he had been to someone's house who is usually kind but having a rough day and gave him the cold shoulder? I'm thankful he spent that time at my Grandma's house. I'm thankful the paperwork wasn't left so she could follow-up and learn of this sad story. If it wasn't for her needing to contact them, she would have likely never known about Aaron's fate that night.
God is at work in everything. Aaron was at her house for a reason. At least his last day in this life was a positive one, in large part due to my Grandma treating him well. I don't know about you, but I will certainly think of this and try to remember this in my daily interactions. Because like I said, you just never know what someone is going through or about to go through.