April 27, 2006

It's Official: He's a Pre-Verbal Communicator.

Ezra has discovered some new sign language. And so begins the communication....
He's figured out that opening and closing both hands rapidly means "bye-bye", and he now knows that bye-bye means outside, and that outside ultimately means time with the exalted garden hose... I've never seen anyone so obsessed with a lawn maintenance tool in my whole life. I'd wager that he dreams of this hose at night-- just the two of them, prancing and twirling in the grass, splashing plants and soaking socks into the wee hours of the morning...

Just yesterday he started doing the sign for "food" or "hungry" by tapping his fingers to his mouth, and I don't know if it's just a little over-excitement from learning a new trick or what, but this kid is suddenly telling me he's hungry 24-7... It's now this constant tap-tap-tap-tap of little fingers to little lips, and I quietly wonder to myself, "Has this kid been consistently hungry for the past 14 months??"

We are leaving tomorrow night to drive to California, and I'm so excited to get away and have a change of pace for a bit... Ezra has been on a loosey-goosey schedule for so long (with naps, meals, bedtime...naps, meals, bedtime....) that I'm feeling a bit stir-crazy lately. I was never one for rigid schedules or repetition and predictability, so this "daily routine" with him is not in my nature and it wears on me.
I'm ready to 'rough it' across the country for a couple of days and then hand him over to friends and family and enjoy the security and safety that goes hand-in-hand with old, comfy community like that... a little breath of fresh air for a travel weary momma and her pre-verbally communicative son. :)

April 25, 2006

I have a new favorite room.

I am so freakin glad we have a basement in this house. Let me tell you why...

Last night, when Chris left to go grocery shopping, there were just a few clouds in the sky and a chance of thunderstorms for later in the evening. The sun was still shining at the house when he pulled out of the driveway. Before he got to the store, he called and said "There's some really creepy looking clouds out here... are they saying anything on the news?" So, I turn on the TV and watch two tornadoes in El Reno (west of us) drop down out of the sky. It was insane. But, since they were quite a ways west of us, Chris decided to finish up with the shopping and head home after that.

About 10 minutes later, the clouds over our house started looking very ominous and the sky had a green tint to it (bad sign.) I was thinking, "I sure am glad those tornadoes aren't closer to us..." when all of the sudden, the eerie sound of the tornado sirens started echoing through my neighborhood. Ummmm...are you joking me?! My friend Shannon called me to make sure I wasn't freaking out and to tell me I should just go down to the basement and not be too scared and that I should call Chris and tell him to head home.

So, I took the pack-n-play down to the basement (my new favorite room in the house), and I went and grabbed the weather radio, and my sleeping son, and I took shelter. I was down there thinking about how I should have grabbed batteries and a flashlight and my new favorite pillow on my bed that I got from Target (I could just see it getting swept up in a tornado and landing in someone's front lawn miles away and them running out of their house and snatching it up and putting it on THEIR bed with a huge smile on their face...) when the sirens finally stopped. I waited for Chris to get home and then Shannon called again and said it was safe to come out but to keep our eye on the news. We got candles and flashlights ready in case the power went out, and we hunkered down in front of the TV.

The weather here is so crazy. It was 90 degrees yesterday, and today it is 40 degrees. Tornadoes are a run-of-the-mill nuissance, and hail the size of baseballs is commonplace. It's like we've stumbled into a fairy tale land where the newsman is calling for spagetti and meatballs to fall from the sky, and the people who've lived here their whole lives simply sigh and bring in the potted plants.

April 24, 2006

CA Cool

We are getting ready for California...
swim trunks? check.
flip flops? check.
laid back CA attitude? check. (sometimes)

We can't wait to see our friends in CA and in Reno... but there is a 22 hour drive between us and them... PRAY FOR US.

Ezra's front tooth has always had this big spot on it (it came out that way), and just a couple of days ago, the part of his tooth with the spot on it chipped off and now a big chunk of his front tooth is missing! Now what?? Can they fix little baby teeth like this? How? Ezra can only sit still for about 2.5 seconds!
I feel horrible-- poor guy is already having tooth trouble... (he takes after me in this area.)

I'm going in on Wednesday to get my 86th root canal done. Ok, maybe I haven't had that many- but it's got to be something close to that. I'm thinking of asking if we can just skip all the years of dental work I have ahead of me and start discussing dentures now... then we can use all that money we'll save to put Ezra through college and retire at the ripe old age of 30.... (i have expensive teeth.$)

April 23, 2006

My Pillow.

Dear Jesus,

I so desperatly needed Your rest.
And I felt so refreshed tonight
as the boy and his guitar told me
to lay my head on Your chest
and just quiet myself in Your love.

I pictured myself climbing up into Your lap
and sobbing into Your neck-
screaming into Your chest
and, as I calmed back down,
matching my breaths to Your breaths
and hearing the thump of Your heartbeat against my tear-stained face.

And the whole time, You didn't say a word.
You just let me cry and rest and melt and be.
because tonight I didn't need words...
I just needed a pillow.
Thank You.

April 21, 2006

Time Travel

This is a crazy thought that just occured to me last night:

one day, Ezra will be older.

Now, bear with me here.... Because this thought is really blowing my mind. Like, I never realized this would happen until just last night or something.

But one day, he will be talking to me and discussing deep theological issues with me, like: "Why is the sky blue?" and "If I flush a banana down the toilet, will it feed the mutant alligators in the sewer?" (he will get this idea from watching too many Saturday morning cartoons).

He will tell me things about himself that I don't know yet and relate tragic tales of how he buried his quarter in the school yard and couldn't find it again after recess... He will have sleep-overs at friend's houses and call me in the middle of the night to ask me to come and get him because Jimmy's mommy didn't tuck him in just right and their house smells like cabbage. (and I will all but skip to my car because it will feel so glorious to know that he really did miss me and that maybe he wasn't as close to moving out on his own as I had convinced myself he was when I'd dropped him off there earlier...)

He will suddenly realize (maybe sooner than later) that his mom and dad are horribly outdated, and make a pact with himself to never be seen in public with us again. (He will break this pact just hours later when we bribe him with a trip to the arcade, but Chris and I will purposely wear our most dated, unfashionable attire just to ruffle his feathers.)

And all of this will seem so normal to me in the future, but for now it seems completely absurd as I look over at Ezra and watch him stuff animal cookies down into the depths of the couch-- quietly whispering "uh-oh" under his breath because, for now, it's the only word he knows.

April 19, 2006

Back to normal

I've never seen Ezra so entertained as he was earlier today trying to put the cap back on the water jug. He did this for at least 15 minutes! CRAZY!

OKay... things have calmed down a bit. My hubby is home, Ezra's asleep, and as I type, Chris is spoon feeding me yummy chocolate chip cookie-dough ice cream and we're talking about our trip to San Luis Obispo. I feel like everything is under control again and I don't feel so overwhelmed like I did earlier today...

I've always prayed that Ezra would be a blessing to the people he's around, and tonight I got to see him bless a very dear friend of ours. It was like the breath of fresh air that I needed- the reminder that God knows what He's doing and I'm just getting in the way with all my worrying. Ezra sat with our friend Joel and giggled at him and gave him kisses and played silly games with him while pretending to call people on his cell phone, and I could just see the joy that it brought Joel as he was able to lay down his cares for a short while and play with our goofy little son. I found myself whispering under my breath "thank you jesus", because it was literally like I was seeing a prayer being answered right before my very eyes. amazing.

I'm trying not to stress and I'm trying to keep my cool, but today was one of those days where you're just not as graceful in life as you'd like to be.... I had two left feet today and I stumbled and tripped my way through it-- but the important thing is that I made it. It may not have been graceful, but hey!, life rarely is... am i right?

I feel funky.

I took Ezra to the zoo today with my friend Erin and her darling little boy Ethan. Ezra didn't see a whole lot of animals though because they were all sleeping and then I looked down and he was asleep in his stroller too. I meant to take pictures-- I brought my camera but forgot my batteries. (genius!)

My favorite animal was the mini owl. Ezra really enjoyed the sea lions. They kept swimming by the window and hanging upsidedown in the water for him. Sea lions are goofballs. This is why Ezra and I love them.

He's finally asleep now, and I feel like I need to take a long bath. I'm feeling stretched pretty thin. I want Ezra to be happy, but I just feel like he's angry or upset about something most of the time. (screamy tantrums). And when I hang out with other people's kids, they don't seem to be upset and frustrated most of the time- they just seem happy...
What am I doing wrong? I feel totally worn out from trying to think of what it could be that's causing him to be this way. Something he's eating? gas? not enough sleep? too hot? too cold? hungry? full? teething? sick? just plain frustrated?? The list could go on for miles...
I just want someone to swoop in and tell me what to do to fix it. I'm so tired from trying to figure it out on my own.

mommying is hard.

I stumbled across the lyrics from a song I wrote a few months ago...
I feel like this bit applies really well to what I'm feeling right now.

Do I love him enough?
Does he get what he needs?
I am carrying him-
but who's carrying me?

Sorry to be a downer again... I'll write more a little later when I feel more rested and less funky.

April 17, 2006

Tantrums cause permanent Zits.

My son has discovered screaming. It's no longer tantrums and yelling, it's tantrums and screaming. Like, if we're outside and then I try to take him inside, he screams. It's piercing. It's loud. It's embarrassing...

I got to thinking that maybe my son was the only 14-month-old in the history of the world to ever have complete meltdown/temper tantrums accompanied by shrieking screams and rolling around on the floor...because judging by the looks on the people's faces in the grocery store or at the park, he's an anomaly. I mean, sure- you'd expect this behavior from a two-year-old... but he's just barely ONE and he's already a pro.

Then I read some other moms on the Berkeley Parent's Network website talking about their kids who are Ezra's age who are having these tantrums as well. Then, instantly, the world was OK again. He's not an anomaly! He's a little boy. He's not a monster seeking to destroy his mommy! He's just Ezra.

I've since decided to ignore his little outbreaks, and when he settles down, I'm going to calmly tell him that tantrums cause permanent zits and that he'd better be careful because some day he's going to be in high school and blemishes don't help get prom dates.

I think it's probably a good thing that he's going through this stage right now, because when he hits two and all his other little friends are just starting to having tantrums, I'll be the "rock solid" mom -- (the one that is the seasoned pro at dealing with the fits), and all the other moms will stare at me with a mixture of awe and wonder as I saunter into a room- completely calm, cool, and collected- with a matching pair of shoes on my feet and an obliging, blemish-free child on my hip...



You Are Kermit

Hi, ho! Lovable and friendly, you get along well with everyone you know.
You're a big thinker, and sometimes you over think life's problems.
Don't worry - everyone know's it's not easy being green.
Just remember, time's fun when you're having flies!

April 16, 2006

Green Thumbs! (red faces)

Okay, so you know all those weeds I told you we pulled the other day? Funny thing....

We spent HOURS digging these things up by the roots and really clearing the ground because these weed things were everywhere and we didn't want it to look like we didn't care about our yard, you know? It was really hard work, and we finished all of the front part of the house, but only part of the side. We were really proud of the work we'd done and hoped our landlord would notice that we cared about the place and were a good little family that pulled their weeds.

So, a couple days ago, this black SUV comes speeding into our driveway as Chris was out watering, and a sweaty, winded landlord jumped out of the driver's seat.

Winded Landlord: "I'm glad I caught you!", he gasped to Chris. "Have you been doing some digging?"
Chris: "Why yes we have! We pulled lots of weeds and planted some flowers!"
Winded landlord: "Oh... well, the thing is... those weren't weeds... Those were flowers that bloom in July."

...a k w a r d ... p a u s e....

Chris: "oh....really?"

Needless to say, we felt a tiny bit ridiculous.

I had been just inside the front door when I saw the landlord pull up and heard him say this about the "weeds" we'd pulled, and I quickly decided that the best action I could take in that moment was to hide behind the couch and wait until he was gone. (Not my proudest moment, but I really did this).

Does anyone know the best way to re-plant the flowers I "weeded"? And also, can you instruct me in such a way that I could do this re-planting in the darkest cover of night?


Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter!

Some things we learned today:

1. Ezra likes ham, cheesecake, and plastic eggs.

2. Ezra doesn't like small dogs.

3. Chris and Emery are quite good at 'lawn golf'.

4. Easter activities = one sleepy baby.

April 15, 2006

Difficult age, Wonderful son...

He is 14 months old now, and this is proving to be a really challenging age for me...

By now, he's walking around like he's always known how. He is easily frustrated because he knows what he wants, but has no solid way of communicating those wants to me... His communication at the moment consists of going completely limp like a wet noodle and yelling at the top of his lungs. (And yes, I know all about baby sign language... I was recently scolded by my local librarian for not giving my son the tools he needs to 'pre-verbally communicate' with me... I thought to myself, "I'll pre-verbally communicate something to you, lady!")
I'm finding it so difficult to take him places because he seems to have this built in radar that hones in on whatever object he is not allowed to touch, and boy-oh-boy!, this kid can shimmy when he wants to be somewhere!

Even when I try to take him to the park, he's too young to play on most of the playground stuff, and the baby swings just seems to piss him off because he feels trapped. (You can just imagine how he feels about his stroller now-a-days...) He is no longer content just cruising around in my arms or the sling-- and he has mastered this kamakaze dive where he throws his top-heavy head towards the ground when I'm holding him so he can let me know he wants down... (I guess he's figured out that plummeting is quicker than me gently placing him on his own two feet.)

On top of all of this, he's still putting almost everything in his mouth, so taking him places has become more difficult than running the length of a full twenty-six mile marathon. Well, no- scratch that- it's more difficult than running a marathon... it's more like an ironman triathalon... It wears me out, so I find myself going out less. Then I feel like he must be withering away from boredom and I feel like a lousy mommy.

The one safe place I've found to take him is Barnes & Noble. There's a train set there that he loves to play with, and when he gets bored with that, he's content to just walk back and forth from one end of the children's section to the other.... (don't ask me why this is so entertaining for him... I don't question the miracle, I just accept it.)

Thankfully, this age has LOTS of fun things, too... He's turning into quite the little helper. (I'm not surprised... his name, Ezra, literally means "helper"). He insists on throwing away his own diapers and putting away the wipes. He closes the dishwasher for me (even if I'm not done loading it). He wipes his own mouth with his napkin while he's eating. He's starting to figure out that the big red button on his carseat seatbelt = freedom. (eeegad!!!!) And he calls people from mommy's cell phone at 7:00 in the morning for her. What a little dear! hehe.

I know that this is just a season that will pass quickly and then be gone forever- so I'm trying to enjoy it even though it is wearing me out physically and emotionally and mentally. It's hard, as a mom, to grasp the concept that the difficulties I'm facing right now aren't going to last forever. I'm so 'in the moment' and so absorbed with Ezra's needs right now, (like switching to cow's milk or cutting back to one nap a day, or finally getting rid of his bottle that he uses to fall asleep) that I forget the ultimate goal-- to raise him in love and teach him to love God through my actions and my life. It really is that simple! And if I'm doing that, then everything else will fall right into place.

That's why I say "Throw out all those baby books and tell Dr. Sears or Dr. Ferber or whoever that they can try to stress me out with their 500+ pages of 'do's' and 'don'ts' on parenting, but I refuse to live in fear like that!"
I trust that God will tell me what to do and direct me in raising my son,
and I don't need to hear all those other people's conflicting voices in my head -- all I need to be listening to is the still, soft Voice in my heart.

April 14, 2006

Life is a Big, Wobbly Ocean

Yes, the madness has begun.... I picked up this little drumset at WalMart yesterday and have not enjoyed a moment of quiet since...
(When Ezra's not playing it, Chris is.) hehe.

* * * *

I've been thinking a lot over the last couple of days about how incredibly FRAGILE love really is... it's hard to see that at the very beginning, but the truth is that the 'love heeby-jeebies' DO fade, and here's the real question: What will the foundation underneath them be when they go?

It's a sobering thought, and it's made me feel a little like I'm standing on one of those balance board toys... nothing feels stable (it's all wobbly) and the slightest movement of my feet sends me clamoring for the center again- where everything felt somewhat stable and orderly and I could control my own legs.

And knowing that love is so fragile, I can't expect to just kick things into cruise control and sail through this life without choosing to love, choosing to love, choosing to love every single day. It means choosing to communicate with Chris when all I want to do is hide in the bathroom until my heart rate slows to normal and the issue doesn't seem so gi-normous anymore. (A.K.A. "sweeping things under the rug"... I am quite good at this...)
It reminds me that I am not an exception in love... I have to fight for it and choose to honor it even if I feel like throwing in the towel and clocking out.

I'm learning that love really is more about dying to yourself than it is about warm, fuzzy feelings and romantic walks on the beach. (Because in reality, I've discovered we spend more time discussing budgets and changing diapers and doing laundry than we do prancing about in the golden sand....)

And on this Good Friday, I feel heavy with questions about love and life ... I feel reverent with thoughts of Him on the cross ... and I feel humbled by the realization that His love is the only anchor worth tying my little boat to in this big, wobbly ocean.

April 12, 2006

What Ezra taught me today.

One of the things I love love love about having a son is the fact that I can be completely undignified and he absolutely eats it up. I've always had a bit of a goofy side, and in the two or three years before I had Ezra, I was noticing that the 'goofy emery' I used to feel so free to be was slowly fading away...

I felt like I was growing up and leaving her behind because "grown-ups don't act that way." Afterall, REAL people don't imitate frogs and praying-mantises in front of their friends, and they certainly don't let those friends take pictures of them while they are imitating frogs and praying-mantises. (Also, REAL people don't play peek-a-boo with large paper bags from Braum's.) We all know this. This is Page 1 in the 'How to be an Adult' handbook.

But Ezra is bringing that part of me back to life.

This must be a big part of why God wants all us stuffy grown-ups to become more like the little whippersnappers in the world. Don't you think? I can only imagine the pleasure God gets when Ezra is vigorously nodding his head to music while trying to walk AND eat an animal cracker all at the same time. If that's not worship, I don't know what is.

I want to learn to be more like Ezra so that I can actually be FREE before God, and not be so worried about what that might look like to everyone else.

I want my 'worship times' to look more like our 'play times' ... where I'm doing all that I can possibly do... (like flailing my arms and legs around while singing songs and making silly faces)... just so I can hear that little laugh that is sweet music to my ears... Just so I can show him that, in that moment, there is nowhere else I'd rather be.

April 11, 2006

Hi! I'm the planet Earth! Have we met?

My first major 'mom-brain slip up' happened on this past Sunday morning.

Chris had to be to church early, so it was my job to get Ezra fed and dressed and to pack him some food for later before I headed out the door around 9:15 AM. While doing all of this, I also had to get myself dressed and ready- and it's not as easy as you would think because Ezra tends to become personally offended when I do anything that doesn't involve him... (i.e. changing into clothes or brushing my teeth.)

So, I thought I had everything under control and I left the house a little early so I could get some coffee before I went up to the church. Everything was going smoothly.

When I got to Starbucks, I thought people might have been looking at me a little strangely, but I brushed it off because they were pretty much all young, college aged kids like myself, and young people like that almost ALWAYS look at me and Ezra with a combination of awe and horror... I can see it in their eyes.... they are thinking, "Dear Lord, I'm probably the same age as that girl and I can't even IMAGINE having a kid..." It's like you can almost see them putting themselves in your shoes and playing the "what if" tape in their minds. Then they kindof shudder and go back to their coffee and textbooks- but only after cranking up their iPods and shifting uneasily in their seats.

Anywho- I got my drink and we left Starbucks and headed up to the church. I walked into the sanctuary where Chris was finishing up practicing with Joel and the crew for worship, when suddenly a terrifying thought flashed through my mind. It was a premonition of sorts. I froze and slowly peered down at my feet. And sure enough....

I was wearing two different shoes.

It could have been a lot worse, I know... I could have been wearing a moon boot on one foot and a high heel on the other, but that still doesn't change the fact that I walked around in public with two different shoes on, does it? We all had a good laugh and discussed the possibility of my slip-up somehow starting the next big Hollywood fashion buzz, but what it all really boils down to is the fact that I am (quite simply) an absent-minded dweeby-faced mom-brain... and there's sure to be plenty more where that came from. *chuckle chuckle*

April 10, 2006

The Evil Shrub

Yesterday was gardening day around here... We've never done much gardening before, (OK, none...) but we thought we'd have a go at it! Our house has been looking quite drab lately, mostly because the "lawn" is a mixture of crabgrass, dirt, and anthills, but also because the one large bush we do have in front of the house got an unexpected haircut a couple of weeks ago, and hasn't been the same since...

A couple of weeks ago, I looked out the window to see a lawn company truck and some strange men hacking at the large bush out front with their chainsaws. Our landlord had called them in to do the job. After they left, I went outside to look, and was horrified to see a scraggly, bare, stub-like bush in its place. It looked like something that belonged outside a gloomy vampire castle in Transylvania... I could almost hear the nasty black crows flocking from miles and miles around to come and perch in it's awful branches... and I suddenly felt tempted to hang a cheerless "No Trespassing" sign from it's twisted arms. I decided against this because I thought the humor might be lost on the neighbors.

So, we decided to plant some bright flowers around it to take the "evil" edge off of it. And while I was down in the dirt, maneuvering through the weeds and roots and worms, I noticed that the bush was already growing bright green leafy patches on it's branches! It turns out that lawn company knew what it was doing, afterall. This wasn't a shrub massacre! It was what experienced gardeners call "pruning". Imagine that!! :)

Ezra was "helping" us garden by repeatedly walking back to where the hose was hanging and yelling "DA DAAAAAAA!!" while waving his arms and pointing as hard as he could at the hose for 10 minutes at a time. (Dad sometimes lets Ezra help water the lawn, and Ezra is obsessed with the garden hose now.) When he tired of this activity, he sauntered back to the dirt patch we were digging in and proceeded to COVER himself with it. He hadn't tried to put any in his mouth after 20 minutes or so, so Chris and I thought we were in the clear....
And then he ate some.
Dirt has lots of iron in it, right? Kindof like bread?
This is how I justify all the dirt Ezra has eaten in the past week.

I'm trying to really focus on Jesus this week. This week is the week to celebrate and remember what He did for me 2,000 years ago... Yesterday was Palm Sunday, when he rode into Jerusalem and all the people laid down palm branches and coats for His little donkey to walk on while they cried "Hosanna in the Highest!". Five days later, they would kill Him, and He knew they were going to, but He loved them fiercely anyways. When He died, the earth shook and the sky went black, and everyone knew that what He'd been saying was true. Three days after that, His grave was empty, and death had been conquered forever by God camouflaged as a Jewish carpenter.

And this story sounds SO CRAZY and it's still sometimes so hard to believe at face value, but all I do know is that 2,000 years later, when I pray that God would help me through the day and give me the patience and the grace I need to hang on, He does it somehow... He really does it... And suddenly this crazy story isn't quite so hard to believe.

April 7, 2006

Sleep Kicking

Ezra seems to be teething really badly the last couple of days. When he's teething, his nose runs a constant stream of goo and he can't sleep at night and he hardly eats anything. When we do get him to finally eat, his tummy is so upset from all the nose goo that he throws up. (I hope none of you are trying to eat while reading this.) He seriously seems miserable and I wish I could take his pain away... Poor itty bitty dude-meister...

We brought him into our bed to sleep with us last night and he kept waking up and rolling around every couple of minutes. Whenever we bring him in our bed to snuggle, he ends up turning completely sideways with his head near my face and his feet level with Chris' throat. (did I mention he KICKS while he sleeps?) So, needless to say, I quite enjoy this sleeping arrangement, while Chris finds it quite bothersome. (he says it's even worse when Ezra is wearing his cute little zip-up footie PJ's... He's convinced that the feet of these pajamas are actually made of a sandpaper-like substance.)

Anywho- It's Friday and I love Fridays. That means the weekend is here and Chris will be around the house with us for a couple of days. PLUS, when Chris left for work this morning he had a smile on his face. Not just a regular smile... it was an "answer to my prayers" kindof smile.

Things To Do Today:
-wash Ezra's pukey clothes
-track down all of the playing cards Ezra has scattered around the house. (I think he's rehearsing for an easter egg hunt.)
-rescue the porch swing. (it blew over the side of our porch yesterday from the 1000mph wind gusts and got tangled in our bushes.)

April 6, 2006

"Wha is dat?"

Today was a good day.

I hung out with Susanna in the morning and then hung out with Erin this afternoon. I've been a regular social butterfly today! It may not seem like much from the outside, but these interactions with other adult human-beings really make life a whole lot more manageable for me. Something about being cooped up with a little person who doesn't say a whole lot brings to mind scenes from 'The Shining'...
"All work and no play makes Emery a dull mom" written over and over and over again on crisp white stacks of paper...

While Susanna was over earlier, I was holding Ezra and he pointed up to the ceiling fan and said CLEAR AS DAY "Wha is dat?"
Susanna and I looked at eachother in shock. Did he just really say that?? I think it was a total fluke, but maybe it wasn't... It was the STRANGEST thing to suddenly hear english coming out of my son's mouth. It hit my ear and took a few seconds to de-code itself and sink into my brain before I realized that it was a complete sentence. And before I knew what I was doing, I was answering him like it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. "Why, Ezra, that's a ceiling fan!" I said, looking at him uneasily like maybe he had been understanding everything I've said since the day he was born.

My mom tells me that the very first thing I ever said was, "I love you" while the whole family was sitting at the dinner table one night. She said that it was clear as day, but then I didn't say anything else for months. I think to myself, "Wow! I must have been very advanced!" and get to feeling quite proud. Then she tells me that I didn't walk until I was one and a half...
(I was obviously too engrossed mentally to trouble myself with the physical act of walking.) hehe.

I love:
greasy chicken bits
Oklahoma trees
big manicured lawns
and crushed ice and pepsi.

Isn't it funny how we can have more faith that God has everything under control when we are looking at other people's lives, but when we think of our own lives it all just looks like a jumbled jigsaw puzzle that won't ever come together to make the picture we want it to? But the same God that's in control of their lives is in control of mine. If I can have faith for good things for others, I need to have it for myself too... basic reasoning skills, right?

April 5, 2006

Strawberries and Mud.

Ezra likes strawberries very much.

PS. He ate some mud today too.

Screaming at the Ocean

We live in Oklahoma City as of 8 months ago after living in San Luis Obispo, CA for the almost five years before that. Chris and I both grew up in Reno, NV (high school sweethearts ...*sigh*...) and both of our families still live there. I stay at home with Ezra during the day and Chris works really hard as a painting contractor. When he puts on his 'painting whites' every morning I groggily think to myself "he's a musician dressed in white" before I fall back asleep for a few minutes or crawl out to the couch to watch early morning PBS shows with Ezra. Life is more-or-less good, except on those days when it's not. We want more out of life but sometimes can't see past the pile of bills sitting on the dining room table.

Even if no one ever reads this, I still feel strangely excited about it. I'm getting all of these mommy-thoughts and mommy-concerns off of my chest. It's like standing on an empty beach and screaming at the ocean. No one has heard you, but somehow you feel heard. The beach hasn't changed one iota because of your screaming, and neither has the ocean, but you've changed, because you feel lighter... like the breath you just wheezed out was too heavy in your lungs or something.

I think this is why I love the book of Psalms in the Bible. The book of Psalms is totally King David's blog. mwa ha hee. He's so up and down, yet he isn't afraid to tell it like it is. If he feels like saying, "God- wipe out all my enemies. Leave their bodies out to rot somewhere and curse their children and their children's children, OK?" , he just says it. And I know that David's anger is maybe quite different than mine because his anger is holy anger... It's in defense of God's Glory, against those who mock his God... But maybe (just maybe) my anger is a tiny-bit holy too.

Like, "God this world is ridiculously hard and lonely sometimes, and I'm pretty pissed about that. When did You say You were coming back, again?"

I think these feelings are holy because it's letting yourself feel the separation between you and God and acknowledging that this is not how it's supposed to be. It's just a matter of keeping this feeling of disappointment in balance, I guess. Yes, life is hard and overwhelming, but if Ezra is refusing to nap at the time I think he should, it shouldn't send me spiraling off of the edge of sanity like it often does, right??

I mean, there are people in this world that face hell-ish injustice everyday, and they still live with a dignity and faith that I can't even pretend to understand. And yet, if my 14-month-old son has the audacity to refuse to sleep at 2:30pm, I find myself questioning God and telling Him that I don't think I'm fond of Him anymore (to put it nicely), and letting Him know that He's got the wrong girl because I am obviously not stable mommy material.

Two reasons why I wish we lived by our parents:

1. Free and willing babysitting privledges as outlined in 'The Grandparents Handbook' page 32, section 2, paragraph 4.

2. That feeling of comfort you get when you walk through the doors of wherever your parents are.

April 4, 2006

A brief Introduction of sorts...

I've often found myself wondering, "Am I the only young, dazed-and-confused, semi-disappointed (and is this ok?), unlike-all-the-other-mommies mommy out there?"
I'm slowly discovering that the answer to this question is "No, I'm really not the only one". There are other moms like me in this great big world, but so far I've only found their blogs. I've yet to track one down in person. But I am on the hunt... They are a rare breed and distinguishable only by their babyslings and beat-up chuck taylors.

My son's name is Ezra James and he is 14 months old. My name is Emery and I'm 23. My husband, Chris, is the most patient one in the family. Then comes Ezra, and then me. (naturally)

I mean, surely I can't be the ONLY mom in history to throw her husband's bag of McDonald's food into the back of the car-- ejecting its contents onto the unsuspecting baby -- all the while screaming and punching the dashboard and declaring that she hates her f*ing life...?


Let's just say I've had a melt-down or two, and suspect that there are plenty more where that came from.

Is it too late to tell you I believe in God? Well, I do. I'm not sure if it's OK to be a semi-disappointed, melt-down prone mommy AND a Christian, but I'll let you know when I find out.

I love my family and believe in Grace, and this is what gets me through the day. (That, and cinnamon dolce lattes.) I intend to be honest and forthcoming here, so you can choose to read my thoughts or you can choose not to...whatever floats your boat.

I am hoping that this honesty helps other mommies feel a little less fear and a little more brave.... A liitle less shame and a lot more grace.