Friday, January 10, 2014

Five Minute Friday: See

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 2. Link back here and invite others to join in. 3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.. 

Each day starts the same.  A thump.  Hopefully some giggles.  Occasionally a wail.  And then I open the door and let them out.

I see droopy diapers and runny noses and messy hair.  So I deal with the droopy diapers and runny noses.  The hair... well, that just depends on whether we're going somewhere.  One climbs in her booster and announces "eat eat" while the other goes to the fridge and says "mi, mi."

We get breakfast, then they get down to play, and I see dirty dishes.  Food in the floor.  Lack of clean clothes.  So I tackle those tasks while they play dump the toys.  Eventually, it's naptime, and I see toybox explosion, and a lack of dinner prep, and exhaustion.  So sometimes I deal with what needs to be done, and other times I spend their nap studying the insides of my own eye lids.

And so every day goes... seeing immediate needs, and dealing with them.  Not a bad thing.  But sometimes, I remember there's a bigger picture.  Sometimes, I realize just how quickly time is slipping by.  I blinked and she's two.  I'll blink again and the unborn son inside me will be two.  A few more blinks, and they'll be in school.  And then gone.

And what will I have seen each day?  Will I only see the dishes, the laundry, the clutter?  Mostly nutritious meals, keeping them reasonably clean, providing developmentally appropriate toys... yeah, got that.  But what about other things?  Like actually preparing them for life?

That comes in bits and pieces throughout the day.  Every moment has a learning opportunity.  But am I so focused on the here and now survival that I forget to see the bigger picture of what I actually want them to learn?

So here I sit, waffling on clicking the order button.  Can I commit to this?  I don't want to spend my money and then have a workbook sit on the shelf and not actually do it.  But will it help me remember the bigger picture?  That each day is more than just survival.  That each day is a step towards adulthood.  Where they'll need to know that God is love, and He is risen, and that we are to give thanks with a grateful heart.  Where they'll need to know their ABC's which might require a bit more intentional teaching than I normally give.  Where they'll remember more than just mom constantly saying no, stop that, don't do that, but also Bible stories, story books, crafts and activities we do together.  Fun and learning together.  More than just survival.
Maybe.  I hope.  So do I take the plunge and commit to seeing the bigger picture?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

That Mother

"I'll become a skull CT, and you won't understand me," says Baby Bunny.
"If you become a skull CT, I'll learn to read you, so that I can understand you," says Mama Bunny.

I am looking at CT scans online, so that I can learn to identify a closed suture from an open one, and maybe even a patent suture from a non-patent one.

I'm sure this makes radiologists and surgeons cringe.  They go to school for 4 years, and then train for an additional 4-8 years to learn to read these things.  And this mother thinks she can do a better job than they can?

Better? No. But does that stop me?  Nope.  Because the only way for my child to get the care she needs, is if I know enough to question.  And if I do question.  And express doubt.  And get very specific.

I am becoming that mother.

In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to be that mother.  I could trust that everyone else cares just as much about my child as I do.  I could trust they're double checking names and medical record numbers and dates of birth.  I could trust they're keeping in mind the age of my child at the time of the test, not just her current age.  I could trust they're putting her as a priority.

It's not a perfect world.  In an imperfect world, boob enhancements and nose jobs take time and brain cells away from my child.  And mistakes get made.  Honest mistakes.  They happen.  I get that.  I worked in a doctor's office and know how things get lost, people get sick and take vacations, things get shuffled to the bottom of the stack.

And that's why I'm here.  That's why I'm that mother.  Because I want to know that my child is getting the best care she can have.  Because by trusting you, a human, I'm assuming you care just as much about my child as I do, and will be just as careful.  And while there's a time and place for that, this is not that time.

Hopefully this will make me a better and more understanding nurse in the future.  For right now, though... I pity the medical staff that treats my child, because they're going to have to deal with me, and I'm on the warpath for some answers.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


How are you doing on your New Year's resolutions?

I'm doing great!  Haven't missed a single one!

I also haven't made any. =)

Last year, I decided to be very intentional.  I'd read Emily Barnes' books, and I was determined that 2013 would be different.  So I wrote down a variety of very specific goals, and I wrote down specific ways to begin accomplishing those.

And by our first move in March, I'd lost those goals.  Not lost as in not kept them.  Literally lost the notebook and planner where I'd written them. Which is too bad, because I really liked that planner.  It resurfaced for a month or so during the summer, then got lost again in the second move.  I ended up making my own calendar for November and December, and I've ordered my 2014 planner.  Unfortunately, everything I order seems to go through Colorado, and everything that goes through Colorado gets delayed by weather.  Amazon two day shipping means nothing out here; it can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks, if it arrives at all.

But back to resolutions and goals.  It's not that there aren't a lot of things I want to improve, and I have ideas for how to improve them.  But I'm also realistic.  I have a two year old and a one year old.  Both very mobile.  Both very demanding in their own way.  And I'm almost 22 weeks pregnant.  So while I do need to exercise, and get organized, and manage our money better, and be a better wife and mom, and be a more faithful Christian, I'm also a very practical person.  I have my hands full with life as is.  I struggle to get through each day without losing my temper. And last years' detailed goal setting didn't work.

So how do I go about things this year?  What can I do differently?

Until I get my planners in hand, not much.  I've gone over and created a budget of sorts, which I'll then transfer once my planners arrive.  Whenever that is.

But there is one simple thing I can do, need to do, that I think will make a difference in just about every area I want to improve.

Getting up before my children.

Fifteen years ago, that seemed so simple.  I loved getting up before the rest of my family, seeing the sunrise before the bickering started.  I didn't understand why my mom didn't do that.

I have turned into my mother.  I don't want to get up in the morning.  I tend to lie on the couch (my bed until I stop coughing) until I hear the children making noise.  And then I lie there a few minutes longer in hopes they'll go back to sleep.  They never do.  So I get up, and hobble in to get them, stupid gout to thank for that.  Then, I try to make and drink my coffee.  And it's never fun to have to discipline before you even finish your first mug of coffee, even if it is decaf.  And I try to keep them from choking on my cough drops or dumping my water that I've left on the endtable.  And I try to check the weather while they get into stuff.  And I try to fix them breakfast while they're getting into the trash or getting upset over something.  And I forget to set the oldest on the potty because that's a new part of what should be routine, but I'm too sleepy to remember.

Peaceful moments?  Time to sit and study God's word?  Not on your life.  And if we have to be somewhere, oh my.

I remember a mom I greatly admire talking about how early she had to get up in order to be up before her early rising pre-schooler.  That was such a foreign concept to me.  But when I was in her home, I saw the fruits of her early mornings.  The well-worn Bible and study books on the end table.  The menu on the chalkboard.  The peace that was in her home.  I'm convinced that started in those early mornings, before her 3, then 4, then 5 children rose.

Such a simple concept.  Get up.  Yet SO hard to actually do.  We'll see, over the next month, if I can manage to do this.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's Only a Year

Ladybug, 1/13

Ladybug, 12/13

How do you measure a year?  How do I measure this year, especially?

Turkey, 1/13

Turkey, 12/13

3,650+ diapers changed.

Turkey, smiling during diaper time

1,461+ sippy cups filled.

Ladybug, waiting for the plane and armed with sippies

2 times at a hospital bedside waiting on a child to wake up from anesthesia.

Ladybug, sedated in Billings

3 kitchens packed and unpacked.

Etowah kitchen, #2 of 4 kitchens in 2013

3 church homes.

Bridwell Heights Presbyterian, Kingsport
Fairview Baptist, Athens

Glasgow Evangelical

2 girls' first steps.


2 SUVs purchased, 2 cars buried.

The Flying Dodgeman, RIP 04/14/13
"Don't laugh, it's paid for" Camry, RIP 03/17/13

Patty the Pilot

Nikki the 4Runner
 2 dogs surrendered.

Fritz & Kraut during move from Church Hill to Etowah

8 pediatric specialists.

Waiting on a skull doc
 730 good nights & I love yous.


Countless books read.

Sometimes the day goes on forever.  It feels like there is no end to the diapers, the sippy cups, the toys in the floor, the runny noses and tangled hair.  The dishes are always piled up, the laundry is always a mountain, and the floor always needs vacuuming.  The list of "should do's" always feels longer than the "doing good on's."

But this time last year, neither girl could say a word.  This year, they can both say what they want.  Neither could walk.  This year, not only are they walking but climbing.  This time last year, I was bashing my head trying to get both girls in the back seat of a '96 Camry.  This year, I climb up into a Pilot to load them in car seats.

You never know what a year will hold.  If you'd told me this time last year that I'd be sitting here now, temps barely above 0, with who knows how many inches of snow on the ground (I've not gone outside to measure!), I'd have said you were nuts!  Time moves on, whether we want it to or not.  Enjoy the things that are good, knowing they'll pass... and endure the things that aren't so good, knowing those will pass too.  God knows what the next year holds, and He will give us the grace to get through it!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

On an eve...

For the last time, I find myself on the eve of a gender discovery.  Tomorrow's the big day, when we find out if this is Baby Girl Pedde #3, or Baby Boy Pedde #1.  The sad part is, I am far more excited about the OB giving me an inhaler and some antibiotics for some serious bronchitis if not pneumonia than I am about finding out whether or not we'll be inundated with more pink!  Such is the affliction of a 3rd child, I suppose... or else it just goes to show how sick I really am!

At least this kid gave some mighty kicks visible from the outside today, which I appreciate since that lets me know that despite my misery, he/she's doing just fine in there.

I ordered Turkey's special book today; poor thing is getting a used library edition since apparently the book is out of print.  Oops.  If this turns out to be a 3rd girl I'm not sure what book I'll get for her; most "special" books tend to be about moms and sons.  We've not read every book in our new library's children's section, though, so maybe I'll come upon another good one.

But, I think I'm going to get a copy of The Runaway Bunny for all three kids.  I don't remember ever hearing this story before we were given the Mechanic's childhood copy shortly after Ladybug was born.  I don't think we owned it in my childhood home.  The first time I read it, I was a tad disturbed. "I will become the wind and blow you to where I want you to go."  Um... not my role as a parent.  I felt the Mama Bunny was rather controlling, and at the time, I found any form of control revolting.  But the more times I read that book, the more I understood... "if you run away, I will run after you, for you are my little bunny."

That's it.  That's my parenting philosophy, plain and simple.  Counseling, mental health, addiction, abuse... where they run, I will run after them.  Whatever it takes.  For they are my children.  And that's what I want to get across to them.  They will grow up, they will make their own choices, they will make mistakes.  And I will love them.  And I will be there.  Whether or not I like their choices.  Whether I approve of their career.  Whether I approve of their spouse.  Whether I approve of their child-rearing.  Whatever the case may be... if we need professional help, we'll get it.  That youtube video of the girl in the abortion clinic calling her mom?  Heaven forbid my girls walk that path, but if they do... I want them to know that I will come for them.  And cry with them.  And love them through it.  That there is nothing they can do or say to take away that love.

And I know I'm risking reaping a whirlwind by saying these things.  Because life tends to take funny turns, and the problems of the parents tend to multiply in the children.  And the things we say are challenged more than we'd ever dreamed.  But I want it said.  I want it recorded.  So that on those days when they are driving me up the wall, when they dump half their antibiotics on the floor, smash goldfish into the carpet, and get me up 6 times a night, I'll remember.  So that when they are teenagers, with attitudes and hormones and strange friends & horrible music, I'll remember.  So that when they are "adults" and I don't believe it, and they're making choices and I'm thinking they're crazy, and they're telling me all the stuff I did wrong in raising them, I'll remember.  I'll remember the love that started with that first positive test, the first glimpse of a flickering heart on an ultrasound, the first time I felt each of them move, the first time I heard them cry... a love that grows deeper as it grows more difficult, a love that grows more fierce as they challenge it.