Qualifications For A Mama

114

 

006

 

025

 

035

 

108

 

Before I began this journey of motherhood, I had no idea about some of the things that I needed to come equipped with. We all know about changing diapers, lack of sleep and kissing sweet chubby cheeks, but this is the lesser-known list of qualifications.  So here is what I’ve learned in my vast 2 years of experience.

- You must be prepared to be quicker than quick, faster than fast. This is for those times when you’re changing your 2-year-old’s stinky diaper and your 1-year-old grabs it while it’s still open.  Or when you set the jar of baby food down on the tray for literally 2 3/8′s second and your baby throws it on the floor. Or my personal favourites, when your baby makes a beeline toward the dog’s food laying in wait on the floor and somehow gets three pieces in her mouth plus two fistfulls of it before you can stop her. (That one happens on a regular basis.) The best one has to be when you turn around and the dog’s water bowl – which you carefully set  just out of reach of chubby hands – has been dumped all over.

- You must have high pain tolerance. Your one year old may decide that chewing on your arm is a great way to show affection. What she doesn’t realize of course is that she has seven teeth. So, be forewarned. Oh and your hair makes a great thing to hold onto when your toddler is putting on her pants.

- You must have a sixth sense. It’s not enough to have great hearing. (That is still a great asset for when your 2 year old decides to raid the cupboard where she knows her beloved veggie straws are stored.) But the key is this: silence is not golden. Silence is dangerous. This typically means that your children are ripping toilet paper into tiny bits, your baby is stirring the toilet with your favourite pen or your Bible is being scribbled upon.  Beware naptime, because that silence can be the most deceiving. This means your toddler is probably dumping the water from the humidifier on her head and consequently onto the carpet while you think she is sweetly napping away. Also, sometimes children can work together in this. One child demands all your attention so that the other one can be quietly feeding all her food to the dogs.

- You must not be easily embarrassed. It’s not just about dirty diapers, crying children interrupting sermons or nursing troubles. This is about when your toddler finds the box of nursing pads and empties it everywhere. Or when your baby finds a tampon in your purse and waves it around in a public place. This is personal embarrassment.

- You must let go of all sense of ownership. This is the ultimate Communist society. There is no longer any “my” toothbrush, “my” fork, “my” cup, “my” dinner. Your dinner is free reign to any children who may be in the vicinity. If mom is eating it, they want it. They will use their fork or even commandeer yours to sample what is in front of you, even if they have the exact same thing. As for the toothbrush, your toddler may use hers one day and decide she likes yours better the next.

- You must be a social person. This is because you will never be alone. Even using the bathroom becomes a communal event. It doesn’t matter if your bathroom is the size of a postage stamp, you will have one or more followers.

- Most of all, you must be ready to experience greater joy and deeper love. This will come when your toddler wraps both her arms around your neck and squeezes the breath out of you, when she is playing on the playground and loses sight of you and you hear her say, “Mama!”, when your toddler climbs in bed between you and your husband early in the morning and cuddles, when your baby lays her head down on your shoulder because you are the only one who can comfort her, when your baby grabs your face in both hands and gives you a slobbery kiss,when your toddler blows you a kiss or reaches to hold your hand. It begins when that squirming baby is first pushed into the world and grows exponentially moment by moment.

In all seriousness, motherhood is the greatest blessing and gift I have ever experienced. It sure brings a lot of comical experiences with it though! It is a privilege to bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

(For the curious: yes, all of those things have happened or continue to happen to us. It adds an element of the unexpected to my day.)

A Day in The Life with Two

7:00 am – My alarm on my iPhone goes off, and I groggily turn it off. I quietly slide out of bed, careful not to wake Aaron who went to bed pretty late the night before.

7:15 – I get ready for the day and listen to a sermon by John MacArthur. I peek out of the bathroom to make sure Brielle hasn’t woken up. The dogs were noisy running down the hall, eager to go out.

7:30 – I drink my coffee while getting some samples ready to go out with the mail. Brielle’s door creaks loudly and I hear her go into our bedroom, but quickly come back out when she sees that I’m not in bed. She gets a bowl of Cheerios and her milk, while I make a bottle up for Evelyn who I hear stirring in her room.

8:00 – The sermon is finished, the next one is a sermon by R.C. Sproul. I throw ingredients into the blender to make my breakfast – spinach, coconut milk, banana, pineapple, lime, protein powder and yogurt. I press the “on” button right as Aaron comes down the hall. He gets ready for work while I change Evelyn’s diaper and get her dressed. Brielle gets a small cup of the smoothie.

8:30 – Brielle gets changed and her hair combed and done up. I pack the diaper bag and we load up the car. I tell Aaron about the sermons I listened to on the way to Aaron’s work. I read a chapter to him from the book of Matthew.

9:00 – Aaron kisses me and gets out of the car. I climb in the driver’s seat and we drive to the park.

9:15 – This is our favourite park! We pull up and no one is there because it’s still pretty early. I get the stroller out, put Evelyn in it. Brielle wants to walk, so we amble to the playground.

9:20 – I push Evelyn on the swing. Brielle climbs on the play structure.

9:45 – We walk back to the car and load back up. I tell Brielle we are going to see friends. She looks up at me and asks, “Friends?” We drive to Target.

10:00 – I park the van at Target, grab a cart and put the girls in it. Brielle does not want to ride in the back, so I let her walk. We slowly walk through the store to the section I need, grab the baskets I want, and turn to go back toward the front.

10:25 – We are loaded back into the van and I have the baskets I needed. Perfect timing! Now we’ll go to our friends’ house!

10:30 – Yay! We’re at the C’s house! We unload yet again. Brielle starts crying when we reach the door because she thinks I’m leaving her behind. I sit down on the floor until Brielle warms up to Elena and Margaret. Evelyn is interested as soon as I put her down.

11:00 – My friend Amy and I talk while keeping an eye on the girls. Amy begins to prepare lunch.

12:00 – I hold 7 month old Oliver as Amy finishes up. He is nearly the size of Evelyn!

12:30 – We all sit down to eat lunch! Evelyn tries a clementine for the first time, her lips sticking out and puckering at the tart sweetness, but she does a great job. Brielle politely tells Amy, “Thank you” when she is finished. I enjoy my BLT.

1:15 – My girls are both reaching the end of their ropes, so we help clean up all the toys that the girls had strewn around their living room and then left. I call my mom on the way out of their neighbourhood, and we chat all the way home. Both girls fall asleep.

1:38 – We pull in the driveway, and I bring the girls in one by one, tucking them both in their beds. Brielle goes right back to sleep. Evelyn does not. I load the dishwasher, make the bed and tidy up while still on the phone with my mom.

2:15 – I’m off the phone now, so I check the mailbox and open the mail. I won a makeup palette in a party last week and it has arrived! Very pretty. Also, a note from one of my sisters and a picture from another sister. Yay for interesting mail!

2:30 – I bring the baskets from Target in from the car, and sort through all the girls’ toys, dividing them into individual baskets.

2:55 – Turning on Wretched Radio, I wash the dishes in the sink. I dust our bedroom and the living room, then clean both bathrooms. I clean the kitchen. I can still hear Evelyn in her room, so I give her a bottle hoping a full belly will help her go to sleep again.

3:30 – I vacuum the living room and kitchen. Evelyn is still awake, so I get her up and change her diaper. She pushes the walker around the kitchen and living room. I’m hungry, so I munch on sugar snap peas dipped in hummus.

4:00 – I pour myself an iced coffee and step into the bathroom to freshen up. Evelyn crawls down the hall to Brielle’s room and pushes open her door. Brielle is awake, so she gets out of bed.

4:15 – The girls are giggling in Brielle’s room, so I begin to pack the diaper bag. Aaron calls while I’m combing Brielle’s hair from her nap.

4:45 – We are all ready to go! I load the girls into the car, lock the dogs in their crates and pull out of the driveway. I swing by Starbucks and get an iced passion tea. Brielle is asking for more milk. I tell her I don’t have any but she can have water.

5:00 – I pull onto the highway and flip through the radio stations. Nothing interesting is on, so I turn on a sermon I downloaded by Voddie Baucham. Traffic is slow, so the sermon helps me to focus. Evelyn begins to cry. She cries most of the way to pick up Aaron.

5:20 – I pull up to Aaron’s work and text him that I’ve arrived. I dig in the diaper bag to find Evelyn’s pacifier and hand it to her. She calms down.

5:35 – Aaron gets in the car and we discuss where to go for dinner, and what our respective days looked like.

5:50 – I pull into a parking space next to a Smart Car in front of Chipotle. Aaron runs in. Evelyn begins to cry again. Her pacifier has fallen on the far side of her carseat.

6:00 – Aaron gets back into the car and I realized I have to go to the bathroom after that iced tea. I run into Chipotle. Aaron digs out Evelyn’s pacifier and clips it to her. I get back into the car, glance at the Chipotle bag and ask Aaron if he remembered forks. He didn’t, so he runs back in and grabs them.

6:08  - We pull into the gravel parking lot at Keehner Park. Aaron calls his parents to find out where they are. We unload the girls and strap them both into the stroller, beginning the walk down to the outdoor amphitheater.

6:10 – We find Nana, Papa and Auntie Amber. Nana feeds Evelyn her baby food and she is a much happier child. Brielle sits right next to Nana and eats her quesadilla. I sit next to Amber on the blanket and eat my dinner. Aaron sits next to Papa in a lawn chair.

6:30 – Evelyn is done, so she sits on the blanket with Amber and I. She tries to put my Izze in her mouth, and Amber’s water bottle. The actors on stage do a sound check.

6:45 – The play begins. The three witches from Macbeth are on stage. Brielle is transfixed.

7:05 – Evelyn is squirmy.

7:15 – Brielle sits in the stroller and pretends to feed herself with a nail file.

7:25 – Evelyn is more squirmy.

7:35 – Brielle has two tubes of chapstick without the lids and is alternately coating her lips with them. Oh well, anything to keep her quiet. She isn’t paying attention to the stage, except for when someone begins to cry.

7:40 – It’s intermission. Aaron walks to the car with Brielle to get my jacket because it’s cold now that the sun has gone down. I dig in the diaper bag to find Evelyn’s sweatshirt and a pair of pants to keep her warm.

7:55 – The witches are on stage again. Amber takes a bottle for Evelyn and feeds her with it, trying to get her to fall asleep. Brielle sits in Nana’s lap, drowsy. I sit on the blanket and scoot away from a spider.

8:15 – Evelyn is almost asleep when someone screams on stage as they “die”. She bolts upright.

8:20 – Evelyn is getting noisy, so I switch places with Amber. Brielle decides she has to sit with Auntie Amber. Evelyn calms down while I’m holding her. Macbeth is finally killed.

8:35 – We pack up our things and walk to the car. Amber and I walk hand in hand and lag behind. Aaron is pushing the stroller with both tired girls. We load the girls into the car.

9:00 – We pull into the driveway. Evelyn is asleep, Brielle is not. We bring both girls inside and get them ready for bed. Evelyn is ready first, and we lay her down.

9:07 – Brielle is ready for bed, and we go to lay her down. Evelyn is already asleep again.

9:15 – We get out some sorbet and watch a couple of episodes of Once Upon a Time. Mine had melted and refrozen while coming home from the store the other night, so it tasted mostly like ice. Aaron gave me the rest of his instead. (Sweet man!)

11:15 – We finish and Aaron begins to work a little. I type up this post.

12:33 am – Spurgeon is pushing the dog bowl around because he wants water. I get him some, then get ready for bed. Aaron will probably join me soon.

 

 

Project 52:Week 12

Brielle decided she wanted to sit directly in the middle of the kitchen while I was fixing dinner the other night. She would set her chair down, climb in and turn around and sit still for approximately 15 seconds before scooting off and placing her chair somewhere else. It was pretty funny. The very minute the oven timer went off, she decided to set the chair against the oven door. Impeccable timing, that one. Evelyn’s mobility has really taken off. She rolls nearly everywhere and is content entertaining herself on the floor for hours on end. The agility she has at only 6 months old to roll from her back to her stomach is simply amazing to me!

DSC_0547

 

DSC_0557

Project 52: Week 10

My sweet girls. We’ve laid low for awhile as the girls slowly get better. The weather here is nice one day and then rainy/cold/snowy the next, but we’re trying to take advantage of the nice days. The three of us sat on the driveway for a little bit yesterday and Brielle discovered the brown leaves from last fall and thought it was fun to crumble them into dust. It’s fun to watch her walk around, she’s getting more and more confident on her feet. Evelyn is mobile too, just in a more higgledy-piggledy way, by rolling around on the floor. She’s getting closer to sitting alone as well. We cannot wait to get outside and do some more exploring!

DSC_0502

 

DSC_0511

Project 52: Week 8

This Sunday, both girls didn’t feel well plus our car was covered in ice so we couldn’t make it to church. So we had a lovely relaxing day as a family. I fixed pancakes and eggs while we all listened to a couple of sermons by R.W. Glenn on Revelation. Both girls napped a lot thankfully, so Aaron and I had some time on our hands. We played several games of Civilization which made the day pass by quickly. When Brielle was awake, she wanted to walk everywhere. Her walking has finally taken off and it’s fun to watch her happily toddle around the house. They both are feeling better than Sunday, but still have very congested coughs. Hopefully they will be themselves soon.

DSC_0462

 

DSC_0463

Project 52: Week 2

A handful of pictures of the girls from this morning. They love each other so much! Also, I included some of Brielle sleeping during her naptime. She moved to her toddler bed yesterday and is doing great sleeping in a bed! Evelyn is also in a crib which is nice for Aaron and I to have our bedroom to ourselves. Enjoy the pictures!

DSC_0289

 

DSC_0291

 

DSC_0299

 

DSC_0308

 

DSC_0320

 

DSC_0322

Project 52

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember to take photographs of my children. But I know I want to look back and remember these mornings, with Evelyn in her pink cupcake pjs and Brielle sharing her cheerios with me. I also believe this will help remind me to share pictures with you, my blog friends and family. I know it’s not quite the beginning of the year, but it’s close. So, here’s to Project 52!

 

DSC_0255

 

DSC_0251

 

~Anna