Saturday, April 24, 2010

So this is what you do...

Let me first begin by saying I have been administering medications (yes, that is plural) for over 2 months now. Multiple ear infection meds, steroids, inhalers, nebulizer treatments, antacids, antibiotics, and of couse Tylenol and Motrin.

This week a strange virus hit Savannah on Wednesday afternoon causing her to run 103.7 fever until I could get her to the doc for a diagnosis of tonsilitis and croup. Needless to say she's been understandably pathetic, miserable, whiny, needy, and clingy. (All of the above I could handle except for clingy.)

Enter today....Weston wakes up from his nap with a 102 fever, and the evening generally goes like this: both kids crying on and off for the next three hours, Weston puking up good chunks of dinner, Savannah gagging on hers because she literally-no exaggeration-doesn't stop crying all evening, I put my head in my hands trying not to join the tear-shed, Savannah continues to cry in my lap while watching TV and Weston finds some solace in Jumpy seat, Bathtime all hades breaks loose and I feel I am losing my grip on reality, Joey walks in the door 30 minutes late, and with one kid in bed I walk out the door.

I proceed to run a few errands then head directly to Wendy's for dinner. (Since I obviously had no time or free hands to eat my own.) So here I am 8:15 at night downing a grilled chicken sandwich with cheese, a small fry with a side of nacho cheese, and a coke, eating alone in the parking lot and blogging from my cell phone. Not really sure when I'm heading back home.

So motherhood has sucked me dry and left me wondering where the light at the end of the tunnel might be this week. Sigh...a little venting always feels good. But not to complain....let me be sure to say:
"Thank you Lord for awesome pediatricians, medications that help, an insurance company that is comparatively affordable, two children that love me and need me, for making everything better when you add cheese, and technology that let's you vent right from the comfort of your own car under a parking lot head lamp. Thank you mostly Father that tomorrow is the start of a new week!"

May you all find comfort in your own unusual getaways this week :)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Growing Pains and Perks

So, Easter came and went around the Durham household. I am thankful for Ann Voskamp's blog, or I might have unfortunately never reflected on the true meaning of Easter. Between her and my little sis, I was reminded daily of the sacrifice our Lord made just so we could spend eternity in His presence. Oh, how He loves us so! Even in the passing of Easter, I continue to find myself meditating on His goodness and grace and holiness.

And of course, in the midst of the spiritual there was also the fun. Dyeing Easter eggs was always a favorite of mine growing up, so I decided to give it a whirl this year with Savannah, and I have to say, Joey and I both agree this might be the most fun we've had as a family to date. Props to me for doing this outside and in one of Joey's old T-shirts after completely stripping her down because the dye did soak through and even her belly was Easter egg colored =)(Yes, the color faded off her hands by Sunday, and no, Weston didn't exactly no what to make of Daddy with his big camera in his face.)
We took Savannah to two different Easter egg hunts, but unlike last year, where she couldn't gather enough eggs fast enough, this year she literally wanted nothing to do with the entire process. She literally walked out into the middle of all the eggs and just stood there, head bent in solemn defiance to what she was obviously expected to do. Sigh. I must say, this is a perfect example of exactly what I've been dealing with on a daily basis where she is concerned.
I love my daughter dearly. She is the spark of life and living breathing joy when all is well. But when all is not well in her little two-year-old world, she will make it known. We have struggled daily for months now with unending crying fits over what seems to me nothing at all--invisible boo boos on fingers and toes, missing her "daddy at the store," complaints about her "teeth are hurting,"(which she did cut her two year molars, but that was like two months ago--still she complains)--and the list could go on and on. Just uncontrollable crying, which gets her no attention at all because more often than not she gets sent to her room until she can calm down, then she's allowed to come out. She comes out. She's fine. Life is good, until some inexplicable, minute thing sets her off again. Sigh. Between this, and her never-ending fascination with testing me to see if she will get in trouble just one more time for the same offense, I think I am slowly losing my grip on reality. My solution at this point--to get out of the house as often as possible because she is content, happy, obedient, and entertained if she doesn't have to be confined within the four walls of home. I know, this is simply a band-aid for a gaping wound of a problem at this point, and quite frankly, it's exhausting me, but there are just too many days around the house where I'm coming to my wits end by noon. "Lord, please give me wisdom and insight I need into the heart and mind of my child, so that we don't drive each other insane." If this is just a phase...if this is truly what the meaning of the "terrible twos" is...please leave me a comment and let me know it gets better...encouragement is as good as gold these days=)

However, in my never-ending efforts to focus on the positive, I will say she has found a new love for the companionship of her brother. It tickles me to no end to watch them wrestle and roll around on the floor! Yes, I know Weston's only 8 months old, but there's only an 8 pound difference between them, and to hear him giggle from the tip of his toes to the top of his little round head is the sound of everything that is good and right in this world. I am careful to keep an eye on them, but so far, it takes a pretty good whoppin' for this kid to break into to tears. Lately, he's been more likely to get red-faced and weep alligator tears of dropping his toy than getting squished by his sister. If anything, he puts her in tears already just by getting two fist-fulls of her hair, all the while smiling from ear to ear. They also both enjoy playing on our newly erected swing set in the backyard. I have found that if I put Weston in his walker next to the sandbox, Savannah will play for a good 45 minutes uninterrupted. Yes, I must remind her to give Weston his toys back and to stop throwing sand on him, but he doesn't seem to mind all that much, and they are both happy as a lark, so I take full advantage of this new found playtime as much as possible.

Weston has simply become a little rolly boy overnight it seems. Thanks to some Zantac the doctors finally gave us, he no longer spews constantly all over everything all the time. Now it's simply smaller portions less often, which is a blessing considering he rolls from one end of a room to another, never staying on the blanket, which means our carpets are now in even more desperate need of replacement. But, he's oh so happy, and I do believe he might be crawling sooner than I anticipated. He just really likes being able to get around. Another first, he finally cut his two bottom teeth the Saturday before Easter, which was no surprise, but a relief in hopes that it will help clear up the double-ear infection he's had for six weeks now. He sits up on his own in carts and high chairs now, and we've been practicing his balance sitting on the floor. He really is the smiliest kid I've ever seen. Now that he's finally getting past his winter sickness, I think I'm starting to see more and more of his little personality coming out. He definitely has a temper....Joey and I sat in amazement as he worked himself into a red-faced screaming fit at lunch today at Subway....all because he dropped his toy on the floor, and we weren't retrieving it fast enough. There was nothing I could really do except to remind my son, quietly, that in six more months we would be heading to the car for some one-on-one discipline if he kept this up. Yet, the downside of his little temper is far outweighed by the upside of his typically sunny personality. He loves everyone and everything all the time, and he is so good to go with the flow on a daily basis.

(His Granddaddy can always make him smile...I'm pretty sure Daddy was the first one to get him to belly laugh.)

My children are such a blessing. Through the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the knowns and unknowns that lay ahead, I can't help but feel eternally blessed and gratefully humbled that God would entrust me with their little lives and hearts. "Lord, may I be a good steward of what you've so graciously given. May my children still see You even in my flaws and mistakes and shortcomings. May they always love each other and grow to love You more each day."

(I'll have you know, we were only able to get Savannah to smile like this for the pictures because we told her that Weston was smiling better than her...sigh...I hate sibling rivalry, but just this once won't hurt...I hope. =) )

I Am Eternally Grateful For:

11. a Savior who loved and still loves me enough to suffer an unspeakable death just so I could have the priviledge and gift of asking for forgiveness and being able to soak in His presence.

12. Spring sunshine and the opportunity to get back into my yard and flowers with both hands on bent knees, soaking in the smell and warmth of the soil.

13. the chance to learn new things like how to parent a child so different from yourself. God keeps life interesting by keeping things challenging.

14. Chick-fil-A=) Should have posted this at the end of my last blog, but I'm putting it in the count now. =)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Potty Training Days

To date, potty training is the hardest thing I have tried to accomplish with my children. Breastfeeding was easier! And those who know me, know how much I abhorred that. I'm totally not forcing the issue with Savannah, not yet. It doesn't seem fair to require her to go cold turkey all day when two days out of the week she's in school where--her being the 2nd child to even start potty training--they don't even take potty breaks during the day. Any progress I make the few days before she goes to school is completely erased come Tuesday or Thursday. we continue to daily celebrate successes and express extreme disappointment with failures. Some days I never have to change a pair of wet panties, even after nap times! And then some days, we go through five outfits before the day is over. Not really sure when that little light bulb will go off in her head, but I'm praying it happens this summer for good. I would really like to stop buying diapers and at least some pull-ups.

Some funny stories to share:

1.) We were in Burlington Coat Factory when I turn around to see Savannah pulling her panties down in the middle of the aisle and pieces of poop falling out onto the floor. Mortified, I scoop her undies up, poop-filled and all, and rush her to the bathroom, somehow finding time to grab wipes and pick up the floor before I fly off. I'm pretty sure "pooper scooper" was not in my job description when I signed on. HA!

2.) Having to leave Weston alone with the Chick-fil-A hostess lady (a complete stranger) while I whisk Savannah away to the potty--we made it just in time=) And the sweet lady saw my distress and had offered to sit with Weston, so it's not like I just dumped him on her. Thank you Lord for Chick-fil-A!

3.) Somehow in the midst of a recent rush to make an unplanned doctor's visit for Weston, Savannah ended up in the car with no panties on and no shoes. (We frequently do the no panties thing at home right now--she tends to make it to the potty with no accidents more often.) Anyhow, she successfully told me she had to go while at the doctor's office. However, when Joey arrived to take her off my hands and go fill prescriptions, he didn't have as much luck. She popped a squat and took a dump right inside the pharmacy front door when they arrived. Not having the diaper bag with wipes on hand, my hubby quickly opened the pharmacy door and kicked--yes, I said kicked--the poop into the parking lot. That's going to be a nice surprise for someone getting out of their car!

4.) Once again, we are at Chick-fil-A. Savannah has taken her shoes off and is running around all over the place, playing on the playground. I notice from afar that she runs off to a corner and gets real still. In a panic, I call out, "Do you need to go potty?!?" She looks stunned that I caught her, yells "Yes!", then makes a beeline for the door. I snatch my purse and wheel out, pushing Weston in front of me in his high chair. Thank you Lord for high chairs with wheels! I zoom past all the dining customers, waving at the owner and managing a passing, "Hey" with forced smile as I fly past him, ignoring all the people staring while yelling at Savannah ahead of me, directing her to the Women's Restroom door not the Men's. We come to a flying halt in the bathroom. I briefly check Weston for whiplash--he's still smiling, God love this kid! And yank down panties, only to find this was a failed attempt. Soaked dirty underwear stripped and toilet cleaned, we head back to the playground at a slower pace. The owner, a friend of ours, asks if everything is ok. I nod and smile, and glance ahead at Savannah's bare feet, cringing inwardly at the thought of us just being in the bathroom, and say, "Yep. Just hope your floors are clean." And laugh jokingly. He beams, and says, "Just had 'em steam-cleaned Monday." Thank you Lord for Chick-fil-A!

I Run: Lesson Five

Lesson Five: For God is able to do and accomplish immeasurably more than we can even hope to think, imagine, or comprehend.

Today I ran six miles. A complete loop around my community. Not re-lapping or passing anything twice. An entire loop of six miles of sweat, controlled breathing, and small inward prayers, "Dear Lord get me home." And He did.

Six miles people! Are you kidding me? Now that I've done it, I shake my head and wonder how in the world did that happen? That was the longest run, covering more ground than I can even comprehend. An hour and a half--give or take--of running. Up and down steep hills, long, gruelling, gradual hills, and winding roads. Somewhere around mile three my inner thighs began to burn from chapping, but I figured (rightly, by the way) it would hurt worse to stop and walk than to keep going through the dull, constant, rubbing, heated pain. I started, and I finished, and I sit amazed at the wonder of a God who enables our frail, fleshly bag of bones to be able to accomplish this feat.

Six miles. Now I know I can do it. Now I dread doing it again. I still hate to run. The thought of covering that distance again, on another day, is daunting, tiring, and I truly deeply dread it. But I will do it again...Lord willing, I will do it again.

Why? Because this is the path He's put me on. This is the task He has set before me. There are lessons to be learned, words to be typed, and thoughts to be shared. I run because He asks me to--no other reason. No deep theological thoughts to share, just encouragement for the weary. This seems to be my niche in life--to remind people to stay the course and keep going. The task at hand soon fades in comparison to the call of the Master on your life. Be encouraged!

"20Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians3:19-21

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

Galatians 2:20

When you run this far for this long, at some point in your run, between the counting of breaths and the gritting of teeth and the forgetting of pain of chapped inner thighs, you lose yourself in the knowledge that only God can carry you home. You have no strength of your own left to give, only a determined heart and mind, a willingness to hang on and hang in there--to have faith-- because your Personal Trainer tells you, "It's worth it. Run." Listen to His voice--it's worth it.