Friday, September 19, 2014

This is my life

Have you ever had one of those "this is my life?" moments? Like not the good kind? I have had at least a few since getting married and bearing offspring, but none quite as intense as the other night. So I shall indulge myself with yet another blog post, which is all too similar to many other of my "be more grateful reminders to myself" because I never don't. I never promised original content here, sorry I'm not too sorry.

I have done the bedtime routine before since having 4 kids, but when Mike left for his evening committment on this particular night, the thought of handling all four felt way more daunting than any of the other times. Joseph's fussiness has peaked and is not letting up yet and the mixture of that, the spunky girls and the multiple loads of laundry staring me in the face acting like my 5th and 6th children, I was pretty much undone the second he walked out the door for the evening.

^^A few pictoral demonstrations. I don't just photograph Joseph screaming for fun, I was trying to get one of his rooster onsie because "Hahn" means rooster, that was the best one.

On this evening I decided to play drill sergeant and make the girls thoroughly clean the play room, with the promised reward of gummy bears for dessert, while I attempted to take care of my extra unwanted progeny- the laundry.

So the girls were cleaning the play room and while they cleaned they had a bible song CD playing. Sounds harmless, right? Even sounds a little bit enriching, no? NO. This thing is the bane of my existence right now and here is why. There is a song entitled: "I Wanna Throw Up", which goes "I wanna throw up! I wanna throw up! I wanna throw up my hands and praise the Lord" (repeat 20 times) and then it has 2 whole verses that go like this: "throw up in the mall, throw up at my school, throw up at the park", etc, etc... Making a super vomitous play on the phrase "throw up" and the girls think it is hilarious. I have since banned the song but during this clean-the-playroom time I was letting it slide hoping it would boost their productivity.

So I sat on the floor of their room with an ultra screamy Joseph in my arms, doing one-handed sorting of piles of clothing and listening to "I wanna throw up" on repeat and here is the thing: I hate laundry. I know- so does everybody- but it was at this moment that I felt like all the crazy and hard and bad things about life right had collided and it was too much. I fell back against the dresser almost in tears and just kept thinking: This is my life?!?! I started day dreaming of college days, and my time traveling abroad 10 autumns ago and wishing I could just be there again, with no one to think about but myself and so much beauty to take in. Instead I was sitting on the floor, folding and sorting more little girl clothing than I ever knew I'd have to sort through and barely any time to think of myself, not able to find much beauty in anything and all I could think over and over again was "This is my life?!"

It was at this very discouraged mother-moment that Bernadette sprinted into the room with something behind her back and shouted in my face:

"This is not just ANY huge, yellow, disgusting thing.... IT'S A CUMCUMBER!!!"

And proceeded to shove an enormous, half eaten yellow cucumber in my face.

It may have been the wine I was sipping while I was doing the laundry, or my total and complete confusion at what was happening, but I started laughing and didn't stop for at least 20 minutes.

I went outside to find that they had given up on the half-cleaned play room and made their way out to my pathetic, neglected garden. I had already uprooted and thrown away the nasty cucumber plant from it, but they had discovered a few rogue, giant, yellow cucumbers and were chowing down. Naomi also had discovered a lone red tomato and was enjoying it thoroughly.

They were doing this instead of cleaning the play room in order to get gummy bears. I tried to re-direct them to the gummy bears, but my typically vegetable-hating children insisted that they would rather continue their "picnic" of old, almost rotted vegis from my gross garden.

My laughter continued as I snapped each picture.

As I stood their being entertained by my genuinely lovely and entertaining children the emphasis in the phrase "This is my life" changed. I could not believe God had given me these wonderfully adorable, hilarious children to spend my days with. I was in awe that I have so many beautiful grace-filled little girls, whose clothing I am honored to be folding and sorting.

The phrase shifted in that moment to "This is my life?"- Surely there is someone else out there way more deserving of all this goodness. I do not deserve all these blessings! Especially when I way too often take them for granted and complain about them! I do not deserve all the beauty and life that God has so freely lavished on me, which fills me with greater joy than a thousand European trips- and true, life-infused joy.

I really hope that the emphasis on that phrase sticks, as well as my appreciation for all these blessings, despite the piles of un-folded laundry and stupid little kid songs.


  1. I so wish you lived closer so we could hang out and I could come over and fold laundry while we drank pot after pot of coffee. Just talk Mike into moving to KC and it's a done deal. You're doing an awesome job. Awesome, I tell you. The newborn days are freakin' hard. I don't care what anyone says. I could write a whole book on the hundred billion days I just sat and cried from being overwhelmed when new babies came home. Coffee, booze, repeat.

  2. This was beautiful. Really. A moment of actual grace.

  3. Thanks for this post. I recently had my fourth child too and have been really struggling with the whole new level of craziness. And last night my hubby also had an evening commitment just in time for evening and bedtime. It's so nice knowing I'm not alone. Your post gave me a little lift :)

  4. Wow, I don't know how you do it! We're considering #4, but I'm scared. My youngest is almost three and I'm torn between wanting another baby and being terrified I won't be able to handle it.

    That song had me cracking up though. I love kids and kiddie amusements.

  5. This is such a great reflection. I had tears in my eyes by the end! Thanks Ana!

  6. That song sound heinous.

  7. Love this post! And I've got a few giant yellow cucumbers left hanging around if they are interested!

    And that song? That's just all kinds of wrong!

  8. You may not care for more baby advice, but I would feel bad not at least leaving a comment about what you are going through as I went through the same thing (but with my first baby!). After figuring out I wasn't making enough milk for my baby boy, we finally got him eating the right amount with the aid of formula. But then started gas and painful bowel movements (the whole bit). Turns out he had reflux...which never occurred to me because he wasn't spitting up or throwing up at all but they don't have to to actually have reflux. Once we got him on reflux meds, he was so much better (still some painful poops because of the formula, I think)! By 6 months, reflux symptoms typically disappear and that was the case for my boy.
    Just wanted to share in case this is a possibility for Joseph and you can mention it to your doc.

  9. Yes!!!! Thank you for this post. It's very encouraging. I sometimes look at my life and think I'm paying restitution for my college years. Then I think about each of my children individually, one at a time, and I'm reminded that I am RICH beyond measure, just like you. (:

  10. Beautiful, hilarious, relatable post. Seriously, though, chuck that cd - it sounds terrible!

  11. Thank you so much for this, Ana!!! I can definitely relate to this post. :-)

  12. The "I Wanna Throw Up" song story even had Andrew laughing.... high praise!

  13. I'm a week and a half in on number four, and my oldest, five, is a special-needs boy. The other night I was having not so nice thoughts about life in general, and then I remembered this quote from one of my church leaders:

    "As gratitude is absent or disappears, rebellion often enters and fills the vacuum."

    I realized that I was having rebellious thoughts, and even though for a second it didn't seem like there was anything to be grateful for, I looked at my precious new son, and thought about what a blessing he was, and then proceeded through my remaining three sons, and thought about how they individually were a blessing in my life. And then I was overcome by the thought that God trusted me, as broken as I am, with these precious souls.

    Motherhood really is one of the most trying, exhausting, fulfilling, exalting callings, no?

  14. This gave me goosebumps and teary eyes