Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting Back to my Roots

I honestly have never known if I could call myself a geek. Maybe a dork. I'm just slightly awkward and I tend to gravitate towards scifi/fantasy movies, TV and books. That being said, here's what I'm enjoying now.

I've watched the first three seasons on Netflix and I'm ready for the fourth. I totally love the idea of living in a town full of geniuses.

I am SALIVATING over this movie.

This was my Valentine's present from Ben. It's out of stock right now and I'm glad he nabbed it when he did. I've been wanting something just like this for quite some time.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When You Feel satan Winning

Shout out to Jon Acuff by giving satan the middle finger with the lowercase s.

This morning started out so great. Milly let me sleep a little more than 5 hours. That's Rip Van Winkle sleep when you have a newborn. She got up at 6:30 to eat and was finished with everything by 7:00. I took her back to our room and let her wake Daddy up by being adorable right in his face. Mentally, I was fist pumping. We had time to both take showers, get everyone up, fed and dressed and still get to church without a huge hurry. Daddy got in the shower and I laid down with Milly to wait my turn.

I was just going to rest my eyes.

At 8:30, I woke up and began the mad dash. We left the house at 9:30. The kids ate cereal bars in their carseats and Milly wasn't wearing any of the cute little headbands I bought yesterday. I didn't shower. I really wanted that shower. We threw the kids into the nursery and crept into our Life Group. For the rest of the morning, I felt like satan and I just headbutted.

I'm still in a foul mood but I feel God nudging me. Unfortunately, I'm reacting like Sophie does when she's in a bad mood. I'm ignoring Him. When He does get an arm around me then I yell, throw it off of me and tell Him to go away. I don't want to be comforted. I don't want to learn anything. I don't want to work. I don't want to be loved.

Can you guys pray that He doesn't let up? Please?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sin is a Cancer

Steve Stroope is an amazing pastor. Every time I walk out of church I am bursting with new ideas and thoughts to wrestle with over the week. Yesterday he began a new series called " Community with God". During the sermon he made what seemed like a simple statement but it stayed with me. He was talking about how much God hates sin. He said that God hates sin the way a parent of a child with cancer hates the cancer.

This struck a chord with me because of my sister. My little sister has a life-threatening disease that affects her liver. She was diagnosed in 7th grade and has already had a liver transplant. The transplant is not a cure but really just a kind of mega-patch. The disease is still there. She takes some serious medicine to keep herself well. Before the transplant, the pills were even worse. At her worst, she lived with our parents. Every morning and night my mother would go to her with a handful of pills. These were pills that my mother knew would make her baby girl throw up, tremble, make her bones brittle, make her hair fall out, gain weight and just do awful things to her body. They would also keep her baby girl alive.

The treatment may be terrible but the disease will kill you.

God is the same way when it comes to sin in our lives. I've asked God before why He's putting me through certain trials because they hurt so badly. He's God! He could take this away! Can't he see how this is affecting me?! However, God doesn't just throw those pills at me and say DEAL WITH IT. He wraps His arms around me and tells me that it's for my own good. He cries with me when I hurt. He comforts me and tells me to hang on just a little longer. This is going to be worth it.

I watched my mother tuck quilts around my shivering sister. I watched my mother spoon broth into her mouth when her hands trembled too much to hold a spoon. I watched her sit next to hundreds of hospital beds for endless hours waiting on doctors and tests. I look back now and I can see my mother glorifying and personifying God with her actions.

Now I'm the mother holding my children down while nurses stab them in the legs with viruses. Then I get them up, wipe away their tears and tell them that I do this because I love them. I do this for their own good. Then I pray to God that He keeps giving me my pills and shots. But please keep wiping away my tears, too.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Time Out

Tuesday sent me and the girls to the doctor's office for a check-up (Milly) and a few shots (Sophie). Everyone looks good. More on all that later. My mother came over to lend me her car and watch Gideon so I just had to wrangle two children. Before she came over, I got an email from my landlord.

Here's a little background on my landlord. She lives in another country. We deal mostly through email. This is a VERY old house and it hasn't been taken care of at ALL. We've had all sorts of things break over the last 2 years. The latest was the heater last week during Dallas' ice storm. The ducts looked like they had never been cleaned since installation. Usually the landlord just tells us to take any fees out of the rent and just send her the rest of the money. We're supposed to deposit the rent check into her bank. Well...Dallas ice storm...banks have been closed. She refuses to take our money directly. I've asked, begged, pleaded and negotiated to send her a check so she'll stop freaking out every time that money is not in her account by the 1st of the month. I have no control over what the bank does! I could go on but that gives you the gist.

Anyway, I got another email from her threatening eviction if she didn't get her rent check. I emailed her back and told her that we had to pay the heater guy and that the rent check was going to be deposited. I emailed Ben and we ranted a bit about how much trouble we've had with her and with the house. We are so ready to move. We are planning to move by June 1st. While driving I gleefully thought about how she would never be able to rent such a cruddy little house and how she would be so sorry to see us go. Then God started nudging me.

"So, Kelly, you're feeling pretty good about yourself?"

"God, she's just being so unreasonable! Half of the outlets don't even work in that house and we've never complained because we knew there was nothing she could do. We were just thankful to have a roof over our family's head. But to treat us like that every month? We never pay the rent bill late!"

"I know. I'm proud that you're paying your bills on time. That's a hard lesson to learn."

"It is! I mean...I know we still have a long way to go and we're still learning how to truly be good stewards of our money but we're tithing and paying our major bills on time. I mean, that EMAIL! Did you see the email?!"

"The email? Goodness, I had no idea! For you see, I have been on Mars for the last decade, in a cave, with my eyes shut and my fingers in my ears."

"Touche, God"

"Kelly Bear, watch the road but listen to Me. I love you so much. I always love you. I even love you when you fall. Sweetheart, you still fall a lot. You're falling right now."

"What do you mean? I'm in the right! I'm paying the bills! I'm doing it all right!"

"Kelly, how many times have I said to love those that don't love you back? Those that treat you badly? Even those that hurt you?"

"...a lot."

"Are you doing that? Are you loving your landlord the way I love your landlord? She is my child, too."

"No, sir."

(By this time I am in tears. I'm also in God's lap with His arms around me. This correction is always done gently which is good because it is done often.)

"Is it time to forgive your landlord?"

"I can't do that on my own. Can you help?"

"Of course."

And that's how I forgave my landlord driving to the doctor. And again this morning.

Monday, February 7, 2011


While watching the Super Bowl last night, Sophie and Gideon were running around like maniacs. Sophie blew past Gideon without touching him and Gideon just tumbled to the ground spectacularly.

Me: "Honey, I think we can cross pee-wee football off of the list of sports Gideon is going to play."

Ben: *wearily* "I think there are a lot of sports we can cross off of that list."


Everytime I prop up a bottle to feed my baby instead of holding it myself I feel guilty.

Then today I thought "You know, if I was breastfeeding, I wouldn't be obsessively holding my boob to her face."

I feel better now.

First Day Back

This is really the first day the kids and I have had alone since...Christmas break? The last few months have been a whirlwind of broken schedules and water heaters. We've gotten a new car and a new baby. Bedtimes and naptimes are whenever we unearth a bed and make sure someone hasn't peed on it. There have been so many doctor appointments and emergency visits that I really should have my own parking spot with a glitter banner and litter carriers waiting there with Starbucks. (We actually have another doctor appointment tomorrow!) We've had to scramble to spend days at my mother's, my grandmother's and my sister's because something went wrong again. Sometimes it was the whole family and sometimes it was one or more of the kids. I've had to call my husband home from work more times than I like. (Which is "zero" by the way.)

If there is one thing in my life that is constant, it is that I don't like to be a burden to those around me. I feel guilty if I have to ask for help with my kids and I feel even guiltier if I have to ask for help for myself. Basically, I can ask from God. He's the most powerful being in the universe. Heck, He created the universe. I don't feel bad asking Him for help. Plus He tells me over and over in the Bible to ask for help.

Unfortunately, He also has this hang-up about "humility" and keeps insisting on using people in my life to help me causing me to swallow what I thought was "consideration for others" but is actually "pride". It seems He also has a thing about "pride" as well.

We're easing into it today. The kids are watching Sesame and Movers while eating Cheerios and bananas. The baby has had two bottles and two diapers. Gideon has already found his talking Elmo doll and Sophie is singing the birthday song at the top of her tone deaf / Japanese exchange student accented voice. I've done 2 loads of laundry and 2 loads of dishes and I'm about to start making schedules that I'm sure I'll write "BE FLEXIBLE" across the top in an attempt to remind myself that kids rarely stick to mother's schedules.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Milly's Tale

So! Milly had a good time messing with us. Around midnight on the 2nd, she sent me to the hospital with contractions and dehydration. I was dialated to a three but the nurses got the contractions stopped. I was sent home with terbutaline and instructions to drink more water than 4 camels with cotton mouth. A week later, she did it again. This time it was around midnight (always in the middle of the night) the night before my baby shower. I stayed in the hospital for 2 days waiting to see if she would come. The doctor didn't want to give her any help because I was just shy of 36 weeks. So after two agonizing days of "will-she or won't-she" we went home with instructions to continue the terbutaline and some pain meds.

Fast forward another week. I'm 37 weeks and I'm tired. Milly has dropped into my pelvic bone and is REALLY heavy. She's laying all on the right side of my body and it's making my right foot/ankle swell up. (Just the right leg. SO ANNOYING.) I'm still having sporadic contractions that bring me to tears but never get consistent enough to be called Real Labor. The terbutaline makes me tremble and shake.

This kid better be seriously cute.

On Tuesday the 18th, I have a bad day. I'm tired and I just feel like laying around. I want everyone to go away. I put the kids down for their nap at 12:00 and climb into the tub to try to relax. I begin to pray, asking God for guidance and strength. The prayer turns to sobbing as I cry out to the Lord. I no longer know what I want or what I need. I then remember Matthew 6:8.

"The Father knows what you need before you ask."

Trusting in this, I simply cry and let my Heavenly Father comfort me. Peace rushes over me in waves. I am able to calm down. God brings other people to the front of my mind and I am able to really pray over them. I get out of the tub refreshed and peaceful about the whole situation. God will bring Milly when it's time. He'll take care of everything. That night, I went to what I thought was my Ladies Bible Study. Instead, they surprised me with a baby shower! I had a wonderful evening of fellowship and laughter that just made me feel even better. I came home with a full heart. I shared my day with Ben who laughed and cuddled me. We fell asleep easily that night.

Around 1:45, I got up for one of my nightly trips to the bathroom when I felt something familiar. My foot hit the tile and GUSH. (Ref: ) Luckily, Ben was only half asleep and got up pretty quick. We grinned at the similarities between Milly and Sophie and called the necessary people. Once at the hospital, I got hooked up to the monitors and settled in to labor. It was nice not to be hooked up to a million things to make the labor stop but to have everyone encouraging me to keep going. We ended up watching Star Trek TNG and breathing through contractions. Finally I got uncomfortable enough to ask for the epidural. The doctor also wanted to hook me up to some Pitocin to make my contractions a little more effective at dialating me. (I was still just at a three.) Since Milly is my third child and I was being encouraged by medicine I really thought it would go faster than the last time. Alas, no.

After hours and HOURS of increasing pressure and then pain that even slipped past the epidural, I was exhausted. Ben held me when I cried, he fetched about 938 cups of ice, updated family and friends, rubbed my half numb feet, reminded me to breathe and reassured me that this would end. Good Lord, I love that man! The epidural was working but kept settling into whatever side I was laying on. I kept having to call the nurse to turn me like a hot dog.

Finally, FINALLY, we arrived at full dialation and my doctor said it was time. With a nurse on one side and Ben on the other, I concentrated all of my might and Millicent Mei Dyer came into the world at 2:41 PM. She gurgled and gasped a bit too much so they whisked her to the warmer to get the gunk out of her mouth. After she was clean, they wrapped her and brought her to me. Gazing down at that little mummy-burrito baby with giant alert eyes, I again felt tears coming again. This time it wasn't because of pain, fatigue, anxiety or anger. These were tears of love and gratitude. I thanked my Heavenly Father for giving me such an amazing gift in His perfect timing. I thanked Him for reminding me the day before that He was always in charge and that He would never put me down. I thanked Him for answering the hundreds of prayers from the last nine months and giving us a healthy full term baby.

I thanked Him for Milly.

You're Doing it Wrong

Sophie's tantrums are getting scary and I think I'm handling them wrong.

First I tried putting her in her empty crib for Time Out. Once the screams died down, I would go in there and have a one sided conversation about why she shouldn't scream/throw things/hit people/cause destruction/etc. This didn't seem to do anything and she would usually get angry about 3 seconds after getting out of the crib. So then I started holding her and letting her fight against me. She screams and struggles until she gets it out of her system. When she starts to calm down, I ask her if she wants her baby. She gets her baby when she stops yelling. Once she stops yelling and has her baby in her arms, I talk to her about why she can't tell/hit/throw/destroy/etc. This seems to work a little better. She wouldn't be angry afterwards.

However, twice in the last few weeks there have been actual meltdowns where I had to restrain her from hitting me and herself. It really scares me. I've already been arguing with myself for over a year about autism. (Why doesn't she talk? Why doesn't she cuddle? Why does she get so FREAKING ANGRY?) Aren't meltdowns a part of all of that?

It doesn't help that everyone else's kids seem to be freaking geniuses. They're all speaking in complete sentences by 4 months old and giving guest lectures on quantum physics by 2 years old. They not only eat with silverware but have perfect manners. Some have eschewed potty training and just reabsorb everything back into their bodies. It's more green, you know. Meanwhile, my 3 year old is dangling from my arms, diaper soaking through her pants and onto my shirt, screaming nonsense at the top of her lungs because I handed her a blue crayon.

I know it's my fault. She was early. Maybe I did something. Maybe I'm doing something now. Maybe I'm not doing something now. Maybe I didn't get the First Kid Handbook that everyone else seems to have. I'm taking this beautiful little blue-grey eyed girl from God and just ruining her.

Maybe I should mention this to my psychiatrist. It might be time for better meds.