Thursday, November 30, 2017

A few attempts at mini podcasts

About 10 years ago,  we podcasted under the name, The Contranauts, this is our attempt at a revamp in a different style.  There's less equipment needed these days and we are dull learning the ropes of it all.  So polished we are not.  But its fun so I think we will keep it up. 
Here's our first two official 5 minute segments.
"On why this podcast is called Squall and Lucy" on Anchor:

"Where we recommend the book The Secret Horses of Briar Hill" on Anchor:

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Post holiday visit

I keep starting posts but never finishing them. So here's to hoping this one actually gets completed. I went to my childhood home for the Thanksgiving holiday. I hadn't been there fore 2 years. That isn't a huge amount of time in the realm of life, but at the same time, that's a good chunk of time. I needed the break and I'm glad I took it and can now come to things returning to the place of my childhood with a new perspective.  I don't need things from there that I once thought I did and that helps a lot. It just took a long time to get there, but I think I needed that as well.

My oldest child is such a dynamic child. He can be intense and he can drive one crazy quickly if you aren't up for all he has to give. However, at the same time he has the absolute biggest heart and just does everything to the fullest. He is unabashedly himself and I give him props for being so. When it came to this holiday, he was stoked about the whole thing. He would have time with cousins, he would get gifts, he would have time with his aunts and uncles and grandparents.  He would have free reign of a large yard in the country, something we don't have in the city so much.

He ate every single minute of it up when we were visiting despite having a terrible lingering cough that just would not go away. He did have a few setbacks when he didn't get what he was wanting in his Christmas at Thanksgiving gifts until very late in the gift giving, but still I cheered him on.  I knew that he had inherited my terrible gift recipient trait, darn extreme honesty and wearing our heart on the sleeve bites us in the butt here.

On the last night there, he was pretty quiet on the car ride back to our hotel we were staying at due to overcrowding in my parents house and my middle guy's severe allergies to dust mites and pets. I asked him if he was okay. He said he was having a lot of feelings at the moment. He then said he didn't think it was worth it to come all this way to just have to go home again and that he was just so sad about doing so. I said it was okay to be sad and that this sadness comes from your love for these people. And that's actually a very big thing. I gave him a hug and he was just sad for a little while, but like the sanguine he was he was able to go to bed happy and it didn't dampen breakfast the next morning with his relatives either.

It's interesting watching your child grow from being thing oriented to caring about spending time with others. I know he's still little, only being 7, but sometimes I feel like he's got a bit of an old soul and its interesting how it comes out in things like this. It makes me realize that its such a gift of grace to have him be part of my life. That maybe I could learn a bit more from him if I stopped and pondered who God made and is making him to be. Perhaps I could use a little more enthusiasm like him instead of my cynicism, and perhaps my heart could just be a little bigger and see more of the good in people like he does. I am truly thankful for this opportunity to be his mom.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Baby struggles

I think sometimes I am more high strung than I give off being. I guess its because I have a lot of balls to juggle and really mostly by the grace of God I do okay. But I am currently struggling. And I know in the realm of things its a minor struggle, so I'm not saying that its tragic, but instead its simply where I am at.  I remember when I starting this blog I wanted to be more candid about things, but then I realized that people were reading and I became self conscious. But I want to be authentic, so here goes.

You would think that by baby number four that I would have this baby thing down. But most days I don't feel that way. I will factor it under the each child is different and they really are. I want to say that this little lady is like Ephraim, but then she's not. She's completely herself.  I've been frustrated lately with her not being able to go along with the big kid chaos that surrounds her. Any time I take her out of the house, she refuses to nurse. So I can't be gone long and the big kids kind of require being out longer than a few hours sometimes. She also refuses to nap solo yet, so teaching some days is tricky. And if I take her out to an event that has a lot of people, well she kind of freaks out.  Sometimes she will simply pass out amongst the chaos when she's just had enough. Church is probably the one place that she likes because its rhythmical and methodical, so if she gets fussy in the pew as long as I'm standing with her in the back she's usually okay with it.

And the thing is that I love this baby girl so very much. She is sweet and is the best cuddler, I guess what I am saying is that I am struggling to figure out how I can best serve her needs and also everyone else's needs. Some things we have learned to be creative about, she seems to love (or at least not mind) to hear stories being read and so we read or listen to audio books a lot, and this goes over well with the big kids too. Recently she has transitioned to being back carried and if out will take a nap for me if she is on my back. She won't nurse when out, but we make sure we nurse as soon as we return. As for getting out, outside things or people's houses work best.

Today's homily was talking about humility and children have definitely helped me with humility. I know pride runs deep in me, I want to prove that I can do it and be who I need to be in any situation. But kids, they are helping me to see that it isn't me who is in charge. Most everything and everyone is out of my control. I don't get to say if I will have an easy baby or a more challenging one. I can't predict if everyone will be in a good mood or a bad mood that day or if we will have lots of joy or lots of tears. I can't know that my child is going to blurt out about someone being pregnant that is not one bit pregnant or if someone is fat or thin or short or tall.

Honestly, I am glad I am not in control because I am an awful manager. I feel like the only way my kids learn anything is by the grace of God or that it was innately in them. I am their guide and I am trying to get them to heaven, but wow do I suck at it on my own. On my own me is mean and yells and get frustrated easily. On my own me wants to give up when its hard.

So I surrender that this baby is going to be who I want her to be and instead be who she is meant to be. Somehow I am learning and growing into God wants me to be being her mama.  I know she is an amazing child of God and that she is growing well in her own way despite me and my failures. I know she won't always be so needy and I'll miss it. I am praying for the grace to be the best mom I can be for her and to have joy in doing it. I've been grumpy for too long trying to fit her into a square peg when she is definitely a star. And that star peg is beautiful, I pray I don't miss the chance to really see it.