Tuesday, April 19

A Worthwhile Job

In the last 3 months there has been a lot to do.  Since moving into our "new" home we've encountered many challenges.  Most of the challenges have been related to the home itself with each week bringing a new mini-crisis our way in the form of things around the home malfunctioning.  When we moved in we knew there were still renovations to be completed and we anticipated taking it slowly getting those things done with our newborn at home.  Well, 3 months in, NONE of those things are done, yet we have been working our tails off.  We're trying to keep up with things like busted water heaters, 2 different plumbing leaks, clogged drain pipes, getting dropped from our homeowners insurance, electric panel issues, broken dishwasher, etc.  We have also been sharing a car because since Joshua was born mine has only worked about 3 out of 15 weeks.

Since Joshua's birth Michael Hays has officially had strep throat 3 times and I have been through 3 different illnesses as well.  In the same amount of time we've had some of our most difficult trials as parents.  Our family shifting from 4 to 5 people has been unbalancing, and we're still struggling to get the train back on the tracks just right.  Joshua is the most adorable baby I've ever seen (each baby is even more heart-melting than the last), but he has not been an "easy" baby by any means.  I have to abstain from eating both dairy and gluten in order to keep his tummy settled because he is an allergic baby just like his daddy and sister.  This issue has brought me literally to tears more than once!  You better believed a sleep deprived momma will cry over some cheese.

Adah and Jonah have both had their share of adjustment issues regarding the new brother and new house.  Jonah most of all has been slightly traumatized and we've dealt with behavior issues from him that we never dreamed would come our way.  So from taking care of our house, which seems to be coming apart at the seems in certain moments, and nuturing our beautiful children, there is no time left.  While in certain moments of exhaustion it feels like life is nothing but struggle, in other moments I have clarity to see that the job I am doing is of utmost improtance.

On a daily basis I sustain the life of my 3 month old.  Now on a daily basis he smiles and laughs at me in thanks.  Each day I feed, bathe, and clothe my other children as well as listen to them and work through whatever new issue the day brings for them.  And each day they hug me and make me laugh in return.  I've learned that when an issue comes my way and feels as though it will break me completely, it doesn't.  I pick up the new skills needed to work through it, and I keep going because I know my children are worth it.  Ultimately this season of seemingly endless struggles will change into a new season holding new things for our family, but until then I will hold onto the truth that what I am doing now matters.  Nurturing our children and making a home for them is the most worthwhile job I can think of doing right now.  This job won't always require every ounce of my attention and energy, but for now it does.

These are things that are helping me get through, moments of light in my day:
the cutest Joshua pouty face ever

Jonah making up a hysterical fight between his action
figure and Joshua's bouncy seat:  cracked me up!!  I always
tell him he should be a comic book or cartoon show writer.

Adah came home from school and went straight to her room
emerging 10 minutes later with this card for me. It says, "Dear
Mommy, I love you, you are special.  To Mom from Adah."

Sunday, April 3

Recounting My Blessings

Recently we unpacked our boxes of books, which had been stacked in the living room since our move.  I found such a treasure in one of those boxes.  When Jonah was a baby I kept a journal
(for like a couple months before I forgot about it) and I wrote to him about himself and our life together.  He is my first baby and our story is unique..  Reading the journal brought that lifetime into the present so strongly, and it made me grateful again for the blessings God has given me and the trials he has carried me through.  One particular entry is very touching, so much so that I've tried to read it outloud 3 times to Jonah and Michael Hays and I can't get through it without tears.

This was written on August 4, 2003.  Jonah was 4 months and 1 week old.  I was 21 years old.

Dear Jonah,
       So many things are new since my last entry.  Last week your sputtering sound turned into a "B" sound.  You started saying, "Bah..Bah.."  You are also getting really steady when I stand you up.  You are only 4 months old and you can already stand up on your own while holding onto something!  The exersaucer has become your favorite toy because it allows you to sit and stand whenever you want.  You are reaching out and grabbing the toys on it now too.  Michael and I finally found a teething ring that you like.  We accidentally left it at a friends house though.  We took you there to celebrate her graduation from college.  Everyone loved you and thought you were SO CUTE!  You really are the cutest baby I have ever seen.  A lot of people say that, not just me. 
      You are definitely developing preferences.  You seem to like some people better than others.  Don't misunderstand, you like everyone; you are very good with strangers.  But there are some who can make you smile and laugh so easily.  You love Michael the most.  He is going to be a great daddy to you.  Once he and mommy get married we can all be a happy family.  God blessed us with a wonderful man Jonah.  He gave us Michael because he loves us and knows exactly what we need.  I hope you never feel sad that your biological father didn't choose to be in your life.  You are so loved!  God blessed you more than most babies.  Everyone who comes in contact with you simply falls in love with you.  This has been especially true for Michael.  He has loved you from the first day you were born and he seems to love you more every day, the same way I do.  Michael is our gift from God baby.  He was sent to us in our time of need.  God only gives perfect gifts.  Just know that a God-ordained daddy is the best there is.  I can't wait for the day that you can talk and call Michael and I "Mommy"  and  "Daddy."  You are growing so fast.  I know that day is just around the corner.  I look forward to every moment with you...
                                                                    With all my love, Mommy

Wow.  So good to be reminded of this place that I was once in.  Also of interest:  this was written 3 months before I was actually proposed to.. how did I know we were going to get married?