Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two Little Berlin Stories

Yesterday Berlin was in the middle of yet another fever. She had fallen asleep on the couch and so Steve carried her upstairs and put her to bed. When she woke up she was really warm, like 103.7 warm. Steve gave her some medicine and I got a cold wash cloth to put on her forehead to try to bringing her fever down a little. 

Steve left and I laid down next to Berlin and put the cloth on her face. She peeked open her eyes to see what I was doing. Suddenly her eyes filled with tears. I ask her what’s wrong. Nothing. I ask her again. She said I don’t know. It was like a game of Twenty Questions only I am sure we went well beyond twenty. Something was clearly wrong and she either did not know what it was or did not want to tell me.

Finally I asked if she was worried. Yes, she said. Really? Yes. Okay, well, what are you worried about? I don’t know. 

We began to repeat Twenty Questions.

Then I remembered. Last week I rearranged the living room. More like spring cleaned and rearranged the living room, which took most of one whole day. Part of that time I had Little Women playing on the TV for background noise. Well, Beth, one of the sisters, gets scarlet fever and then later dies from it. All they show is her lying fevered in bed, and being cooled with a wash cloth to her forehead.

Oh. Oh my. 

Sweetie, are you afraid you are going to die? With tears still falling and ragged scared breaths Berli nodded yes. Like she did in the movie last week? Another nod. 

My dear sweet sensitive girl. 

Not if I can help it. And definitely not today from this fever. I promise, promise.

Today, still tired with her fever, I tried to convince Berli it would be a good idea to take a nap. This is like trying to tell a cat that it would be fun to take a bath. You know how that goes. Berlin is calmer than a cat in her response, but the answer is still the same: Heck no.

I could tell she was tired though. Her fever was 100.2-101.6 all day, which would make anyone tired. Then I finally got it. Berlin is our child who was hard to potty train. The reason being that she was always having way too much fun to even think about going to the bathroom. This resulted in many races to the toilet to see if we could make it in time and ever so many accidents, some while we were just trying to get pants off. Finally, after 5 years, I finally realized why Berlin doesn’t like to nap. Why didn’t I see this before?  

I ask, are you worried about missing something fun? She doesn’t even answer. Her whole face just changes and she suddenly lets her real tired show. Her eyes fill up with tears in a way that only I understand because I am her mother and she gets that from me. 

If I promise that we will not do anything at all fun will you please take a nap? A slow nod yes. 

Oh, good.

 I'm glad that has been figured out. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Long Winter

111 days. That’s how many days it has been since Thanksgiving. Out of those 111 days I think that someone has been sick in this house for all but maybe 10 of those days. The only days I can literally remember not one of us being sick was from Christmas Day to New Years Day. 

101 days of sickness. 

The person most sick has been Kye, which, for obvious reasons, is the hardest. He is a 21 month old boy. He is active, rambunctious, learning to test me and test his limits, and so very busy. Over the past 111 days he has also added a lot of whining and picky eating to his repertoire of descriptors. He used to be my best eater, but sick kids are finicky and when they are sick for almost 111 days straight they live and breathe pickiness. 

Although I have nothing to contend with Laura Ingalls, this is my version of The Long Winter

I’ve had my own sickness during this time, starting with the flu, two other stomach bugs, two colds, and a bout of pink eye that lasted for 6 days and was then followed by a weeklong head stuffy cold.


Sometime back in January I said, “This has to be it. We have gotten all the illnesses there are to get, right? I think we are done being sick.” That was more than 60 days of sickness ago. Now I have been taking care of sick kids for 111 days, not to mention homeschooling for the first time, trying to keep Heidi Haines Photography up and running, and all the general household upkeep and trying to make healthy food for my family. I am tired. And just a little bit discouraged. 

Back in January I wrote a post about how God has been good to me. I still firmly believe that, but you want to know what else I have also discovered since then? Seeing God at work in my life has more to do with me that it does with anything else. 

I know this because I learned it the hard way. In February, after some 80ish days of sickness, I got really tired, so tired and discouraged that I didn’t care anymore. I stopped acknowledging God’s blessings in my life, I stopped saying thank you, I stopped being grateful. God did not change during this time. He didn’t stop being the same consistent, faithful God that He is without fail. The only thing that changed was me. I got burnt out on sick life and stopped looking around me - I started to only look at myself.

Want to know what happened? I became icky to be around. I was crabby, every day felt so hard, and even Steve, who loves me like no other, didn’t have much tolerance for me. To be honest, I didn’t have much tolerance for me either. I think the only people who actually wanted to be around me during that time were my kids, bless their little hearts. 

After all this, I finally have an answer to the one inquiry that was posted in response to that blog that I wrote back in January. The Lord was good to me last year, so good. BUT, He has been good to me every year. Yes, lots of years were harder for me than last year, but that has nothing to do with God. What changed is that I changed last year. I spent the entire year being thankful and grateful on a daily basis, saying out loud, “Jesus, I am SO thankful for my kids, I am so grateful for my house, I love my neighborhood, I am so thankful for ______” I acknowledged Jesus in my life and I acknowledged my blessings every day. And I felt SO blessed, not because Jesus was blessing me more, but just because I was being thankful and I was content. 

We are still not done being sick. Two days ago Berlin went sledding and her face connected with a chunk of ice after a full speed jaunt down the hill. She looks like someone took a 2x4 to the left side of her face. The scariest moments in parenthood are the ones when you realize that your kids will have accidents and there is nothing you can do to stop it. She could have been hurt so much worse and it was so scary. I still feel a little sick when I think about what could have happened. The next day Kye woke up with yet another fever. After our second trip to the doctor in one week I was told that he either has pneumonia or is just getting another cold. You have GOT to be kidding me. 

Although this is completely discouraging, the one thing that I will not forget this week is to say, “The Lord has been good to me.” 

The Lord has been good to me.

Despite the emotionally longest winter I have had in years, the Lord has not changed. He is faithful, He is consistent, He loves me, He is at work in my life, and He sees me. He sees me. Yes, my kids have been sick for a long, long time, but there is still so much good in my life. So much to be thankful for.

The Lord has been so good to me.

(Small disclaimer: I actually started this blog on Tuesday, when it was 111 days. Today it makes 114 days.)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Birthday Berlin


You turned five!! I can not tell you what a joy the past five years have been to have you a part of our lives. You bring so much life and light and happiness to our family. 

One of the things that I love most about you is your passion for life. That combined with your happy, content, easy going attitude about most everything makes you dynamic in a great way. You are a wonderful, happy, bubbly, energetic, sweet, sensitive, helpful, loving little girl and you have captured my heart.

I love that you still call me Mama and that you still say "later ago" when you are talking about the past. I love that you like to make people laugh, you are still a good story teller. I love that you are the last of my babies to fall asleep every night and the last to wake up every morning. You are a good friend and good at making new friends. I like that you find your own things to do and love outside of what your siblings are doing, that you don't feel that pressure to be like everyone else.

For your birthday we had a treasure hunt to find your very own (plastic) bow and arrow. I never would have guess that could be the best present my five year old girlie could get, but this might be your favorite birthday for a few years to come. You have never loved a present more. We also had some of your girlfriends over to do some crafts with you. You love (love, love, love, love, love) to do crafts and projects and be with friends, so it was all around pretty great. It was a good day.

You are treasured and loved deeply by Daddy and me.

Love, Mama

The questions we asked you.

Favorite color: Purple

Favorite food: Chicken from the rooster (chicken on the bone) and the chicken that I like (homemade sweet and sour chicken)

Favorite dessert: Ice Cream

Favorite thing to do: To go to the beach and to play with Ava and Tryn

Favorite game: Hide and Go Seek

Favorite toy: New Brave dress and bow and arrows

Favorite movie: Brave

Favorite song: Brave soundtrack