Wednesday, October 31

ebbs and flows

life has had a lot of ebb and flow lately. some days, it seems like nothing is clicking. the kids are cranky, they are constantly fighting with each other, they are constantly fighting with us, jason and i don't take the time or energy to parent like we should, family time just doesn't happen - things like that. and those days are not fun. they are exhausting. and they make us (or at least me) feel like i am failing as a parent. it seems like no matter what i do, no one is happy and nothing works out. fail.

but then there are times when things do click. hiba has less anxiety about life in general. matthias is happy and snugly. family dinners happen and get eaten happily. rooms are cleaned up before bed time. life is good. and days like these are also exhausting, but a good kind of exhausting. and at the end of the day, i feel like a pretty great parent. i feel like my hard work is paying off and that our family's success is pretty much due to my awesomeness.

the important thing for me to remember is that i probably have little to do with it. i think that i can contribute to bad days very easily and i can relish the good days, but i sure don't cause them. family's grow. kids grow. their job is to test boundaries and see what they can get away with. my job is to enforce those boundaries. sometimes that will result in good life lessons. sometimes it will result in kicking and screaming fits (by my kids, not by me. most days.). and yes, i can make the best out of the good days and take advantage of the good days, but it's important for me to remember that it is just the ebb and flow of life.

last week, we took advantage of a good day. some friends of ours were playing on the patio at a restaurant downtown, so we fed the kids a quick dinner and headed down to enjoy the beautiful weather, good music, and company of friends. and for the most part, the kids listened to us, got along, and had fun. it was great. it clicked.  it's nice when things click.

Friday, October 26

vacation is awesome.

last week, we got to go see some really great friends from jbu. they live in fort worth, so we don't get to see them very often, but every time we do, it's good for our souls. the kids got a long great and we enjoyed talking, laughing, playing games, cooking, eating, and relaxing.

on our way!

jason reading to a captive audience

yo gabba gabba! 

matthias is addicted to electronics

breakfast time!

that's a lot of young kids

he found another game....

jason beating up the kids

walk to the park

the kids did a lot of swinging

and a lot of egg collecting/terrorizing the chickens

what reunion would be complete without a game of catan?

sassy boy

train ride!

Tuesday, October 16

kitchen makeover!

so jason and i are both taking the week off, for our (i think) first real family vacation since we moved back to the US. we have had long weekends, jason and i went to china, but we haven't had a vacation week where we could just make our own plans.

so far, it's been great.

we spent monday and tuesday at home, working on some much needed projects. we sent the kids' to pre-school so we could get as much done as possible. and i think it was a success.

we did some little projects - caulking/spot painting our baseboards and quarter-round, changing out our back screen door, cleaning behind the fridge - little things like that.

and then, we painted our kitchen.

on sunday night, jason and i realized we have never done any home improvement projects together, so i wasn't sure how it would go. i mean, i love him and i think we are a great couple, but we also have some pretty strong opinions about everything, so it could be a disaster. but it wasn't. it was so fun to do a project with him and to actually get it all done.

not my favorite look...

first coat!
trying to figure out what i'm doing....
window sill with a splash of color

still figuring out the whole panoramic thing...but you get the point. 
i was a little super nervous about the color, but i love it. i will be looking for accent pieces, but i am very happy with it. and jason is excited that our backsplash is done. so win for both of us.

tomorrow we are off to ft. worth to visit some friends - yay!

Monday, October 8


this past weekend, we went up to siloam for jbu homecoming. it was a great break from life around here. we got to see lots of friends, hang out with my family, and enjoy the cold weather that is apparently here now. it was 85* when we left little rock on friday afternoon.....and 41* when we got to our friends' house four hours later.

the only pictures i took were from the rugby game, but we also had tons of fun visiting with old friends, watching all our kids play together, eating yummy food from my favorite restaurants in siloam, and visiting with my parents and sister.

pregame rituals

hiba fell asleep. on the ground. in the middle of the crowd.


Friday, October 5

it doesn't make sense

i just don't get it sometimes. i don't get why things are they way they are. why hard things happen to really great people. why great things happen to people who make horrible decisions. why life doesn't make sense.

it seems like every day, i learn about a friend who desperately wants to have a child and can't. or who is so excited to have a baby and has a miscarriage. or who is adopting out of the foster system and has their child taken back.

and then i see teen moms having babies. yes, multiple. i see crappy parents getting to keep their kids. i see myself, having two kids very easily when it wasn't a decision we had to think through very hard.

and i just don't get it.

i don't write this to hear that i am a great mom, or that God gave me hiba and matthias for a reason, or anything like that. i know all of that. so please don't tell me. because that is the opposite of the point i am trying to make. i know that He must have a good plan and i am glad, although often confused, that He chose me to be their mom. but it still doesn't make sense to me. jason and i never really thought through having kids. it was just easy. and so we had two. and then we decided to not have more. and that was that, no problems, no drawn out discussions, no waiting. and to be completely honest, i don't know why we got two. i love my kids dearly, and i would not trade them, and i cannot imagine life without them (although sometimes i try to...). but, i can't help but think, i've never thought i was super cut out to be a mom. it was not the deepest desire in my heart. i am glad and thankful that it happened - and i'm not trying to be trite or make it sound like i don't love my kids or that i'm not glad now that i am a mom. i'm just staying, it wasn't what i yearned for. so why did i get two? why did i get them so easily? and why can't so many people - who i know and love, who would make wonderful parents, way better parents that i feel i am, who deeply, deeply want a baby - have one?

it does make me want to be a better mom. to love my kids better. to spend more time with them and less time watching tv. to read them more books. to pray for and with them more. to hug them more. because i do know that, for whatever crazy reason, i was given these two kids. and guilt or confusion or whatever that i got them and someone else didn't will never change that.

it won't ever make perfect sense to me, the way God works. i don't think i'll ever have the answers. i'll probably always feel inadequate, i'll probably always think someone else could be doing my job better, i'll probably always feel a little guilt when i hear about a friend who is having trouble having children, i'll probably always be really sad for them and not know what to do.

so for today, i'll weep with those who weep. i'll pray for healing, miracles, hope, peace, comfort. i'll hug my kids and try to overlook my shortcomings and trust that God knows what he's doing. and that will have to be enough for now.

Thursday, October 4

boys will be boys

*the other day, matthias told me and jason that he wants to have 10 kids. after telling him that he is crazy, i asked him what he would name his kids. he thought about it and then answered very thoughtfully, "ummmm, hiba....and, ummmm POOPY! and PEEPEE. hahahahahahahah!".

*yesterday, after everyone in our house was finally over the sickness (knock on wood), we had this conversation -
m: are you still sick?
me: nope, all better!
m: oh, good. now we have someone to take us to (, thinking he will say pre-school) POOPY POTTY! (lots of laughter).

*and last, but not least, yesterday hiba and matthias were playing outside when they came running into the house, matthias screaming after hiba. hiba ran into the bathroom and matthias sat outside the door, crying.
me: why are you crying?
m: the bathroom is outside! we are pretending the bathroom is outside!
me: well, that's fun to pretend, but if hiba really needs to go potty, she needs to come inside because girls can't go potty outside.
m: (suddenly cheered up) but boys can!
me: well, yes, but...
and before i could say anything else, matthias was out the door and to the middle of the yard.

awesome. boys will be boys. 

Wednesday, October 3

sick days

it all started about 12:15 friday night - or i guess saturday morning to be more exact. as i was sleeping soundly in my bed, i heard matthias crying. so i did what every great mom does...roll over and hope he goes back to sleep on his own. after a few minutes, it became clear to me that he was not going to just fall back asleep, so i got up to see what was wrong.

turns out, he had a good excuse. it's hard to lay back down and go to sleep when there is throw-up all over your pillow. so i got him up, cleaned him off, changed the sheets, started a load of laundry, and put him back to bed. ten minutes became apparent that this might be a long night. i repeated the previous process, except decided to have him lay on the couch with me to see if he would be throwing up again, because we were out of clean sheets that fit on his bed. so we laid/sat for a few minutes, and then rushed to the bathroom for round number three.

so i spent the rest of the night not sleeping very much, crushing ice as quietly as possible (which turns out is not very quiet), doing four loads of laundry, getting thrown up on, and snuggling with my little boy.

this is how matthias spent most of saturday.

he would not sleep on his bed or the couch -
he wanted the living room floor
it was actually a decent day for me. jason got up about 7:30, so i hopped back into our bed and slept till about 11:45. jason had a home rugby game, so he went to that, i got hiba lunch, and then sent her off to the game with grandma. so it was just me and matthias for most of the day. and he's a pretty good patient. he mostly wants to be left alone, except for when he doesn't. and when he wants attention it is usually a drink, a hug, or a popsicle, all of which take approximately four seconds until he wants to be left alone again. so i enjoyed watching football, organizing life, and having a chillaxed day. not to bad.

sunday morning, he still didn't feel great. hiba and i went to church, and matthias did more of this:

by sunday afternoon, he was back to his normal self and feeling great. monday was a fairly normal day. i had washed all the sheets and sanitized everything in our house. we were in the clear.

or so i thought.

monday night, the bug got me AND jason. talk about horrible. the only good thing about being sick is the knowledge that a) i have sick days and b) the kids' daycare is open. but, when both parents are sick, i felt a little iffy about sending them to daycare, and jason didn't want to. so, we kept them home. luckily for me, i am a much bigger baby than jason is when we are sick, so i got the bedroom and he got the couch, which means he also got to watch awesome kids t.v. shows and get them dressed, take care of them, etc. while i closed the bedroom door and pretended no one else existed. super grandma came to the rescue sometime mid-morning (since i shut myself in the bedroom and ignored everything in life, i really have no idea when) and kept the kids till about bedtime. we both started feeling betterish in the afternoon, so i went to kroger to get what every sick person needs - ramen noodles and sprite. i'm sure both of them greatly added to our recovery.

this morning, jason was back to normal, but i was still not feeling great. i will be the first to admit that i milk being sick for all i can, but after spending two days in the house due to this stupid bug, i really was ready to get out of the house. but a pounding headache, chills, and achiness made me think that my co-workers would be less than thrilled if i decided to go back to work. so i helped get the kids ready, loaded them into the car, and went back to sleep.

i woke up about 1 p.m. and felt great. i still had a bit of a headache that could be attributed to dehydration, lack of caffeine, or sinuses, so i took drank a glass of water, a cup of coffee, and took some ibuprofen and sinus meds and felt great pretty quickly. a large burst of energy led to me rewashing all of the sheets, towels, and dirty clothes, and sanitizing everything in the house. now our house is sparkling clean with fresh smelling sheets, and house smells like sanitizing spray - which, ironically, makes me want to throw-up. so, knock on wood, we beat the bug and are all back to normal.