The “smelly” shirt

I had to break out the “smelly” shirt today. Other Army wives know the shirt I am talking about. It’s the shirt he left behind that smells just like him. The one you find when you are doing all of his laundry after he has left and you just can’t bring yourself to wash it. Yep, that one! It smells a perfect mixture of his deodorant, cologne, and shampoo. The smell of “him!”

I keep mine in a ziplock bag at the end of my bed and only bring it out when I really need the comfort it provides. I lay there and deeply breath in the perfect scent! Immediately my body relaxes and I am calmed.

Today was a “smelly” shirt kind of day!

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Words that were spoken in my house today…

“Remember, you have to put your weapons down for a diaper change.”
—–Said by me to Little Man as I interrupted his “hero” play with Big Brother to change a rather big stinky.

“This movie reminds me of my daddy and that he is gone!!! It has been way too long, I can’t take it any longer!”
—–Sobbed by my Middle Girl

“Are you licking the trash can?”
—–Me to Baby Girl as I found her licking the trash can!!! Gross!!!

“Is that poop on the floor? Nope, just a raisin.”
—–Me

Yep, our life is crazy!

10 Months

Ten months with the babies has me reminiscing and looking back through my prayer journal at what I have prayed about since we started this crazy foster care journey in June 2013.

June 3, 2013- “Lord Jesus, the desire of my heart is to be a mommy to another child through adoption. However that comes to be, will you please give me peace and show the way…”

June 17, 2013
“Lord, thank you for letting the 1st meeting with our social worker go so well! I was so nervous God and you granted me peace!”

July 13, 2013
“What is ahead for me, oh Lord? What do you have in the future? Lord Jesus, I want to put You above all else. I want to be the woman who is steadfast in You!”

October 15, 2013
“It has been over a year since we started on this journey towards adoption. Lord, if it is Your will, please let us get “the call.”

November 13, 2013
“We got the call! Thank you for Little Man and Baby Girl!”

December 4, 2013
“Dear Lord, please continue to give me the strength needed to be a mommy to all five of my precious children! What a huge blessing they are to me!”

March 19, 2014
“Lord, my prayers are of Thanksgiving! Thank you for blessing our family so wonderfully and completely!”

April 6, 2014
“Lord, my heart is so nervous and scared and I run to You! Please guard my husband while he is away from us. Please, Lord keep him safe and strong! Please, protect him, love him, encourage him! Please, allow me to be an encouragement to him. And, please bring him back to us!”

April 7, 2014
“My heart hurts today Lord, please help me!”

Life has been a bit busier since Army Daddy left for Afghanistan and journalling my prayers has not been as regular, but I still pray. With every breath I pray!

Parenting a “difficult” child

The looks, the stares, the words of “advice” from strangers, it all gets to be a bit overwhelming sometimes.  We have no official diagnosis, other than that Little Man has a speech delay, but let’s just say he is “difficult.”  He has two volumes, loud and louder.  His hugs are hard, his cuddling harder, and when he comes up to kiss you he may just head-butt you in the face instead.  He hates the word, “no” and routinely throws himself on the floor if you say it.  While out in public we have meltdowns, the kind that make everyone around you stop and gawk.  He throws food from the shopping cart, we have clean ups wherever we go.  Parenting Little Man is hard.  

I love this little guy with all of me, but sometimes being his mommy is exhausting.  I go to bed tired and I wake up wondering if today will be a “good” day or a “difficult” day.  There is no reason that he “should” act this way, other than that he had a rough start.  We don’t know a lot about his past.  He’s been with us for 10 months, but the first two years of his life are a blur written on paper and who knows what if any of that is correct.  We have stories of his beginning, but I wasn’t there, I don’t know what it was actually like.  

So, we just love.  We just love him through it.  Its hard sometimes to get the energy to leave the house.  What will happen this time?  Will we have to leave in a hurry?  What if he hurts someone?  The lady at the store when seeing Little Man bite me told me to, “bite him back.”  I was in such a hurry, but feeling the need to educate said, “I can’t… he is my foster son.”  “Oh,” she said and gave me that look that says she has no idea what that even means.  The doctor that told me to just be “firmer” with him really had no clue.  Firmer, doesn’t always work.  Sometimes we have to just go with the flow and try our best to calm him down.  Then, there are the times when there is no calming him down.  He’s screaming, he’s on the floor and everyone is looking at me with those eyes that say, “do something!”  

I’m trying my best.  I’m using every once of energy I have to parent this little guy that had a rough start.  All I need is a little patience, a little kindness, a little understanding.  

Thank you to the friends who still sit with me at Wednesday night church and eat with me like throwing food and spitting drink is normal.  Thank you to the nursery workers who are always joyfully excited to see Little Man and never show an ounce of dread.  Thank you to the man who holds the door when he sees me carrying two babies, one of them squirming to get away.  Thank you to my older children who patiently wait for mommy to finish taking care of Little Man before asking for their bedtime story.  Thank you!  You are all wonderful and I love you for it!  Thank you!  

Mornings

Keeping calm while raising five kids with my husband deployed overseas is not easy. I wake up every morning thinking, “I can do this! Today will be the day… I will not lose my patience, I will keep calm. The trouble is, right after my alarm goes off and I wake up, so does everyone else. Two babies are screaming for food, one teenager is trying to get just one more minute of sleep, my ten year old gets distracted by everything while trying to get ready, and my seven year old basically makes me pull her out of her bed, refusing to help, laying there limp. It causes me stress! “We’ve got to get going, we can’t be late for school,” I say. Breakfast needs to be eaten, lunches need to be made, backpacks stuffed with library books and binders, and of course teeth brushed, hair brushed, and shoes tied. Everyone, in the truck! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go! Nobody in our family moves very fast in the mornings. I am always trying to get us to hurry up!

I would love to have easy mornings where I leisurely wake up, make some coffee, read my Bible, and calmly wake each child a few times giving them each an extra few minutes to wake up slowly, but that is just not the season of life that we are in right now. There was a time when that used to happen occasionally, but this is not that time. Right now our mornings are rush, rush, rush. The worst part is feeling guilty about all of this. Why is it that motherhood comes with so much guilt? Why can’t I give myself a break? I wouldn’t judge any other mother for having mornings like mine, so why am I so harsh with myself?

Next week, I’m going to try really hard to embrace the crazy and let go of my high expectations. Maybe I’ll turn on some tunes and we’ll blast worship music to get us going. Maybe I’ll learn how to pre-program the coffee maker, so that I can still get that cup of coffee I so desperately need in the mornings. And maybe, just maybe, I will give myself a break!

His Birthday

Today was my soldier’s birthday. I hadn’t talked to him in a while and I was starting to get nervous. What was keeping him from being able to call? I was praying and praying that he was safe and then I broke down and texted another military wife in our unit to see if she’d heard from her husband. I just wanted to know that my soldier was okay! Literally, seconds after I hit “send,” my phone rang! It was my man! He had given himself a phone call home as his one birthday present to himself after a long night of flying.

I found out that working 15 hour days/nights non-stop since arriving in country was what was keeping him from being able to call! He was so tired, but he missed us and wanted to check and make sure that we were okay.

All I can say is, BEST CALL EVER!

I’m a wimp and I’m okay with it.

4 days without talking to my soldier and I’m about to fall apart. Not literally, but I’m pretty close. I’ve got a great support network. I have family. I have friends. The only thing is, all I want is him! I just want to hear his voice. It’s time! I “need” to talk to him!

I feel short tempered, I have no attention span, and I cannot go two minutes without making sure my phone is still working. I feel a bit crazy. I don’t need to tell him any one particular thing. I don’t have a problem that I need him to fix. I don’t need advice. I just need him.

He asked me to be patient. He’d figure out a way to call more often. He’s really busy and has to walk to a tent to call me. I know I sound stupid. I feel whiny and wimpy, but ya know what? I’m okay with it. Call me codependent, call me a whatever you want. At this point, after 3 1/2 months of not living with the guy, I don’t care how “strong” I seem. I’m a wimp, I’m a wuss, whatever! Just have him call me!

A Snake, Black Widows, and Wasps…

A Snake, Black Widows, and Wasps… all three of these horrid things, I found in our back yard last week. Could this have happened any time? Yes… but of course it happens while my husband is in a foreign land, leaving me the “scaredy cat” to deal with it! I do have to say though that I did not freak out and although I wasn’t happy about it, I dealt with it! Yay! One point for me!

In other news, my soldier is safe! He is busy flying and right now we do not get to talk very often, but he is safe and that is all that I care about!