Thursday, March 30, 2017

The past few days

On Monday I had big plans to run errands, cook for friends, and do lots of laundry. But my sweet girl woke up very sick, cranky, and demanding. I don't know why having one child sick can throw a whole day off, but it sure does me. Around 11 AM, my plans were not even close to being started, let alone completed, so when William asked to paint, I figured, why the heck not. It felt like I didn't really leave the kitchen for most of the day, but you know what? The only thing I can remember from this day now, three days later, is a picture of these boys painting, so I'd say it was a pretty good day. (Besides remembering that Neva was sick. She was miserable, sad, snotty, and goopy.)


Tuesday I took all the kids to my midwife appointment, which went great. On the way out, Will started telling me he was "sick," which usually just means he's tired of sitting and being bored. I didn't think too much of it. But on the way home, when he told me he didn't even want to go to Meijer, I knew he was legitimately not feeling well. Sure enough, he had a fever and a stomach bug and spent much of the day on the couch. Barrett had a slight fever too and also seemed out of it. Neva, on the other hand, seemed to have perked up and enjoyed her madcap adventure bugging her brothers on the couch while they watched a movie and convalesced. 


On Wednesday, William seemed to be feeling better and Barrett seemed to be fine, and my hopes were high that we were past it. The kids played in some old boxes, and I even had a chance to take a 25+1 picture of our last little baby:


But then around 7 PM Barrett felt like an oven, and in my own body things didn't feel "right." Barrett was up through the night (and William too, having come down with a plugged stuffy nose, which really freaks him out at night!) and woke up early in the morning, kind of confused, running into the bathroom for a drink of water. His early wakeup disturbed Neva too, so for the wee hours of Thursday morning, while I dealt with my own gastrointestinal issues, I spent time with these sweet babies, too.


Since no one reads this blog (and so there's hardly need for a TMI warning), I figured I'd share this with myself for when I miss these sweet, little baby days, many years from now:

Maegan, I know you miss having babies, but remember being sick, and being in intense stomach pain on the toilet, and not being able to shut the door, and having babies crawl in and claw at your legs and climb up into spots from which they can't get down on their own, and whine and fuss, and meanwhile you're just trying to survive? (Also, remember having to keep the piano bench in the bathroom for when Barrett wants "a lotta books" for going poop, but he can't hold them on his tiny lap, so he needs a little "table?") 
The week was also intensely sad because Allan had passed away on March 23. My mind kept drifting to my friends and what they were going through. It was also so, so sad to think of never seeing Allan again in this life. The last time I saw him was June 2016. He was dropping David off in MI for VBS. I was decorating the toddler classroom when suddenly - there was Allan! I gave him a great big hug. I couldn't believe he was there! At the funeral on Saturday, Carlos said in his tribute that Allan would "pop in and pop out," and that was exactly how I had described seeing him, too. I remember when I had my miscarriage, Sister Evelyn brought me a McDonald's happy meal. We were living with my parents at the time. Will happily ate the fun food on my parents' deck on that warm May day, as we sat and talked together - Sister Evelyn, my mom, and I. There was a blue plastic butterfly ring in that happy meal, and I put it in my jewelry box to reminds me how my sweet baby had flown away to be with Jesus. Hers was such a sweet, thoughtful gesture, and all this week I couldn't stop thinking about how when I had lost my baby, she was there for me, but now that she had lost her baby, I couldn't do anything to help.

I suppose the road ahead will be the time and place for that.

Thursday was my worst sick day. The kids have never watched so much TV as they did this week.

Friday morning, I was still feverish and feeling the aftereffects. Neva woke up caked in vomit (something I had obviously missed during my own restless night - cue heavy dose of mom guilt), and Barrett wasn't keeping anything down all day. Brian wasn't feeling well, now, and it was just a "brace yourself" kind of day. By God's grace, we made it to bedtime, when I was finally, finally feeling a bit more myself. I put baskets of clean sheets and pajamas outside the kids' door in case the kids kept getting sick in the night, but mercifully, they didn't. Still, I was running up the stairs, wide awake, at every cough!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hannah... goodbye 23!

I was really looking forward to going out to eat with all the Sabol sisters. It was my motivation for like three days! We went to Bahama Breeze and we sat in a pretty room and ate and talked for like 2 1/2 hours. I got seafood paella and it was delicious, then we all shared a Chocolate Island dessert. Happy 24th birthday, Hannah!

(The next morning Hannah was put on the spot to fill in for the organist during worship at church! Very thankful she did not know about this the night before, or it may have spoiled her time out with us.)


I lost my phone!

You should've seen me crying for my phone on Monday afternoon. I felt like I had lost a friend. Not to mention that I have not backed up my photos. I kept thinking of pictures that were on my phone that I would never see again.

Monday was a big day of errands. It felt like they were mostly unproductive and that I would've had a better result just staying home to begin with. Our last stop was the "toy library" and the kids had a blast playing alone, doing puzzles, setting up the toy dinosaurs and creating a "world." We were the only ones there and it was really nice. (Note to self, Mondays are much better for the library then Tuesdays at 11.) William is very much into skeletons and bones lately and he loved doing this puzzle with me.


Like I said, we were pretty much alone, except for one kid who was maybe 10 or 12 and was engaging with the kids, building towers for Neva to knock over and putting the skeleton puzzle together again for William while I was walking around picking out books to borrow for the kids. He wasn't inappropriate or anything, and being generally to myself most of the time, it's sometimes hard for me to pinpoint whether I'm annoyed with somebody else intruding on my little group or if the person is acting inappropriate and that's why I'm annoyed. But he wasn't. He was just kind of an awkward kid. Anyway, he left abruptly, and about 20 minutes later, it was time for us to go, and I noticed that my phone was missing. 

I searched our bags and looked all through the children's department with no luck. Hoping it was at the bottom of our bag of like 40 books, I set off for home with a sinking feeling. Nope. It was not in the bottom of that bag. I had left my name and Brian's phone number at the library and I told them I was missing it. All that evening I waited for a phone call but none came. Since of course I hadn't done anything proactive, I did not have the 'find my iphone' app downloaded and didn't even remember my iCloud password; I had to set up account recovery on Brian's phone and that said it would take a few days. Brian said, "Isn't there an app that we can use to see if it's moving around Oxford or stationary at the library?" I couldn't get it out of my head that maybe that kid had taken my phone. What would he even do with my phone? I wondered. Would he try to sell it? Would he know how much it meant to me? (In retrospect, one thing that makes me proud of myself (occasionally I do feel this way!) was that I had told Brian my concern in a hushed voice over by the fireplace so my kids didn't hear me. I'm so thankful I did not malign that kid in front of my little ones. To them he was just a nice kid, and that's truly all he was, and I'm so thankful I did not create suspicion in their minds.)

I am making this story too long. On Tuesday morning, I was already toying with the idea of returning to the library to look for my phone. I kept thinking of all the places I had walked inside the children's department. I typically keep my phone in my back pocket but sometimes I sit on the floor with the kids and I take it out. My mom messaged me on Facebook to say that she would meet me at the library to help me look, so that sealed the deal. When I got there at 11 with the kids again, it was jampacked full of people, since storytime just ended. I'm sorry, but on a sidenote, kids are jerks. I don't know why anybody would want to go to the library and meet with a thousand other moms and kids. Neva got pushed down intentionally a couple times by some snotty little girls who didn't want her playing with the dollhouse, and the boys kept getting their toys taken, which they bore with so much maturity and graciousness I could have squeezed them, and all in all the scenario was highly unlikely I was going to find my phone amid all that chaos. Nevertheless, I looked in all the places I had been thinking. No luck. 

Obviously, it was the last place I checked. It was next to the "world" William had created with his dinosaurs. To the left there had been shelves of books and I kept glancing over at those books to pull new ones of the shelf to borrow. At one point Neva had gone around to the other side of the bookcase and was playing peekaboo with me before I realized that she was where the associates work and stock supplies, and that I should probably get her out of there. That's probably when I set down my phone, on top of the shelved books, far in the back, and left it there. (Of course as a good citizen, I had put it on silent.)

The library associates, one of whom had been there the day before when I had left her my name and number, were so happy for me. I was happy for me! William was happy for me. Before we had gone into the library he had prayed for me to find my phone. The Lord was kind and merciful to show us his goodness and let me find it. My friend is back :-)




Things I love about these pictures:
1. Brian
2. William
3. Barrett
4. This thing is enormous.
5. The snowman's face
6. The snowman's hair
7. The snowman's giant arms
8. Bo not sitting in one place for the picture because the snow makes his butt cold
9. Barrett's attachment to the orange paddle
10. William holding the snowman's hand
11. See the man in the picture? World's greatest dad right there
12. Also world's greatest husband because he took the boys outside and made this giant snowman which I could never have made nor would have wanted to
13. The winding paths of grass where you can see they were rolling the giant snowballs
14. The snow was gone by the end of the day
15. It's been four days and the snow has been all gone for days but the bottom portion of Goliath and a portion of his abdomen still sit like snow boulders on the lawn and every time we drive past them, the boys point and say, there was goliath!
14. I am able to post these pictures on my blog because I found my phone and these were some of the pictures I mourned never seeing again

Brian told me that he had to basically do gymnastic feats to stack Goliath as high as he got him. Isn't he amazing??


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

And suddenly, they are old enough.

"I have to do laundry and the dishes, do you guys want to go outside and play by yourselves?"


This is what I hoped for when I imagined having two boys. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

March 16

Neva didn't seem to be herself at church the night before. I was doing toddlers and she was one of only two babies, and she kept crawling into my lap and laying her head down instead of wanting to play with her friend Kari. I knew she wasn't herself (she had seemed totally fine all day, up until this point) but I was hoping it was because she had not really napped that day. My gut told me she was coming down with something, and my gut was right. That night as we were putting the kids to bed, Brian said, "She feels warm to me." She woke up the next morning with a pretty decent fever. It lasted most of the day, but by the afternoon she seemed to be feeling a bit better and took a really good long afternoon nap. (Incidentally, I got a heck of a lot done during that nap, even though the boys were awake. It's nice to know, even though I'm sure a million people would probably already have told me this, that my productivity is not lessened because I'm lazy or incapable, just because I've got lots of little people around here to take care of.)

Kari, the other little one in nursery, never got sick, and I think Neva's fever was probably due to teething. (???) I am not great at pinpointing teething. Usually my kids show up with new teeth and I say, oh!

Even though I felt sad for my sick baby, it was lovely to get so much cuddling time with her that morning.


March 13

Brian was my hero and promised me he would take the boys outside to play in the new snow when he got home from work at 4:30. Of course, he was true to his word, so I did not have to go outside in the new mid-March snow, which is always a delightful and pleasant weather surprise in March. :) Maybe when I'm old and gray and my kids are grown, I will regret not going outside to play with my preschoolers in the snow, but at this point I really don't like doing it.

In the meantime, we got new toys out (toy rotation has been my sanity this winter) and Barrett was so pleased to be reunited with Captain America.

"Say cheese for the last snow!" (It wasn't.)

This was so precious. As the boys were getting dressed, Neva brought these to me. She didn't know they were her mittens, at least I don't think she did, but she wanted to sit on my lap and put them on. As soon as I got them on her hands, she yelled toward the garage, where Brian and the boys have just disappeared. "Dada!" It seemed like now that she was all dressed for the snow, she wanted to go out with them. 

Start walking, Neva, and you can go play in the snow!

Getting ready for Kurtis' party

Talk about excited. The boys' first solo party together was the topic of the week! William said, "I'm going to pick him out a present that is better than new!"

First we headed to Funky Monkey toys to pick out a gift for our friend. Both Will and Barrett found a (different) present they were DYING to give to Kurtis, but both together were a little out of our price range. Since Will is about the same age, I went with his suggestion. Sorry, Barrett. 

Posing with Mr. Monkey!

The boys wanted to wear their matching "racing stripe" sweaters they had just gotten from Nana the day before. They looked so handsome!

Here Will is showing off the sweet "new" watch he loved at Goodwill. Since Barrett chose a different toy, he has no watch to display. 

I then tried to get Neva in the shot, but they posed themselves in a way that made getting all three faces impossible, and I was laughing too hard to successfully fix them. 

Neva seemed a little out of sorts when her brothers were gone at the party. At one point, I set her up at the piano and she enjoyed playing on her own for a tiny bit, but she ended up getting mostly Mommy time and then early bed time, which suited her just fine. 

The boys had a FANTASTIC time at Kurtis' party. Barrett must think it's a place like Chucky Cheese or McDonalds because he keeps asking me to take him back there. Every day, at some point, he'll lament (out of the blue), "But I love Kurtis' party." I keep trying to tell him, Kurtis has one party a year, but it's not quite sinking in. Will had all sorts of fun stories for us. I think the boys were probably a couple stinkers without their parents to check their behavior, but they had the time of their lives at Kurtis' party. 

They were tired the next day (yes, I let them wear their sweaters again). Here's Will, legit sleeping on the couch, and Barrett, pretending to. 
Here comes the baby!

Friday, March 10, 2017

My girl

Neva is emotion and impulse and affection and attachment. She is a handful, an armful- complicated, loving, funny, irresistible. 

When I put her on the potty (just for fun), even as I'm positioning her on the seat and stabilizing her, she's pushing my hands away. I can do it myself. 

She loves new foods... but only if YOU'RE eating them. Don't even try to feed her something suspicious, unless you happen to be enjoying it first. 

She is so entertained by the boys, particularly Barrett. The dynamic of a third child added to the mix is indescribable. The boys equal parts love her and escape her. "Neva!!!" they exclaim when I bring her down after her nap. 

"Can you do something with Neva?" they ask when she's trying to play with them. (Snatching their toys, destroying their buildings.)

Here's a new one: girl loves to sing. Noises come out of her mouth when we sing. She loves "Put on the garment of praise" and the ABC song. In the past two days this has become evident. On the way home from a play date, she had thrown her blanket down (so frustrating that she does this when she clearly needs its pacifying comfort the most) and was fussy. I started to sing and she cheered right up! When I would sing, "shout forth from Zion's hill," she'd shout: "ah!"

Here she was helping me shred pulled pork. Like her mama, she LOVED the pork. She ate piece after piece of meat as I separated it from the fat. 

She is sleeping through the night now. I am so grateful. This has been a rough week for me. My so-far-absent hip pain started up, my right upper eyelid developed a big old nasty stye, I pulled my neck during a workout, my ankle is kind of numb from poor circulation, and my face is flaring up into a mystery rash. Sleeping has been the only reprieve from pain, Thank you, baby girl. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Little things

"This is for you to keep, forever."
"Who is it?"
"It's me and Barrett... but I didn't do a very good job on him."
"I think he looks great! And is this Neva?"
"No, I didn't do a good job on that either.... it's nobody."
"Is this Bo?"
"No, it's nothing."
"What about this pet?"
"It's just nothing."
"Well, I think this looks like Barrett, William, Neva, Bo, and Pumpkin."
(Brightening) "Okay."

The other day, Barrett was hollering at me from the bathroom to let me know he had finished pooping. I was carrying Neva on my hip, so she came into the bathroom with me. When I entered, Barrett was sitting on the toilet, leaning all the way forward, with the lid of the toilet down on top of his back. 
"I'm a turtle," he announced. 
"Wow," I said. "That's very clever. OK buddy, let's get you wiped up."
"No, no," he replied. "I am a turtle. You be the mommy turtle and Neva can be the baby turtle. I'm not Barrett, I'm a turtle."

As I was hurrying to dress William for Sunday church (he having dribbled butter from his toast onto his original Sunday shirt), I urged, "Quickly buddy, let's move faster."
"I'm just trying to go slow like a sloth," he earnestly explained.