Warning: The following post may be disturbing to some readers. Particularly those with a weak stomach. Reader discretion is advised.
If you caught Wednesday’s post about our exciting car ride on Monday afternoon, then you can probably guess how the rest of my week has been. I have cleaned up vomit 5 different times. FIVE. That’s about five more times than I would have to do it if I had that live-in nanny Brian promised me before I agreed to marry him.
Yesterday at 5:45 a.m., I awoke to JJ’s blood-curdling scream and the reconstituted remnants of his evening meal. I think Bill Engvall is so right about this one: someone should invent an alarm clock that sounds like a baby vomiting because there is NO snoozing!
So, as I watched 12 solid hours of kid-friendly programming yesterday, I put a great deal of thought into Mr. Engvall’s words. If I’ll never have that live-in nanny, then I should probably consider how I can turn these unpleasant moments into a lucrative business opportunity.
My Super-Simple, No-Fail Diet Plan
I hopped in the car with the kids on Monday for a week-long trip to the booming metropolis of Knob Noster, Missouri. Yes, since you asked, we do lead glamorous lives.
Brian is working in Knob Noster all week, and I thought it would be a sanctifying experience if the kids and I joined him there for five days in a military hotel. I woke up with no alarm at 6:30 a.m. on Monday (seriously, that’s a miracle in and of itself) with a list of things I needed to accomplish before our 4:00 p.m. estimated departure. I wanted to wait until after Averi’s nap to hit the road, and I knew I would need every bit of the morning and afternoon to pack for a week in a hotel with two toddlers.
Did I mention it is a one bedroom hotel?
I was shooting for super-sancitifed.
I know for certain I successfully made it through 13 years of public school, though there are very few things I actually remember. I could probably only recall a dozen or so specific memories:
1) There was the science teacher who accidentally wrote a 4-letter-word on the board.
That’s a pretty memorable event when you’re in middle school.
2) Then the same teacher made us blow up balloons and make decorations for her dog’s birthday party.
3) And then she sat in front of the entire class on a barstool with her zipper down THE entire day. No one told her.
I still feel bad I never told her.
4) And then there was another teacher—NO! Actually, the same one!—who told us that she was a reincarnated peach tree.
I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
5) And then there was the boy who kissed me on the mouth (uninvited, thank you) in front of my sex ed teacher. I was MAD. I may have slapped his face.
And that summarizes absolutely everything I learned in middle school.
Oh, but there was one more thing:
6) I performed a weekly, one-woman show.
One of my classes took place in a trailer, and our teacher would go AWOL for hours at a time at least once a week. I now believe that she had some significant problems in her personal life. Honestly, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t also hide under my desk and shoot rubber bands at the students if I taught middle school. (Yes, that actually happened.)
I’ve told y’all before that I’m not a huge fan of over-the-top, Pinterest-worthy birthday parties. For one, we don’t have the money to shell out on crafts supplies that I will purchase and then never complete. Second, our kids don’t eat sugar. At all. And I can’t think of a single kid (or parent for that matter) who would come to a birthday party without cake and ice cream. And, third, I can hardly get up the energy most days to “cook” for my own picky eaters. So, the idea of entertaining a bunch of other people’s picky eaters is pretty overwhelming.
Those of you who know my mom well probably just shook your heads and said, “The apple sure did fall far from the tree.” And you are absolutely right. Really, the apple fell off the tree, and while it was in mid-air, was swept up in a tornado, hit by a truck, and dumped in a field of buffalo manure in Kansas.
[Oh, no. Katy's using metaphors again. Someone call a therapist.]
So, I created this letter for my daughter, and now I’m SOBBING. I can’t even see to type. So, let’s just hope this is relatively free of errors.
I’m sobbing because:
1) our baby girl turns 2 today and
2) I was dumb enough to make a video montage to commemorate it.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ESV)
For everything, a season.
And it seems that our 3-year-old and our almost-2-year-old have joined together to drag us all—kicking and screaming—through the “break down,” “weep,” and “war” seasons of life. Every day feels like a cage match. Every. Single. Day.
I really would love to be one of those people who comes home from a trip, unpacks my suitcase(s) the moment I step foot in the door, throws a load of laundry in the washer before I’ve even taken off my shoes, and then creates a scrapbook or photo album entitled “Summer Family Photo Album” before the memories have faded.
If you know me or have read this blog for more than a week, you know good and well that just isn’t me.
Not even close.
But this past summer was one of the best summers of my life. Maybe the best. Despite the screaming and tantrums, the sleepless nights, the potty training failures, and my miserable attempts at motherhood, I can look back through my thousands of photos from our summer and know that I am blessed far beyond what I expected. And certainly beyond what I have earned. This has been a summer full of grace…in so many ways.
Let’s start here:
If you’ve ever seen the film(s) Paranormal Activity, the following post will probably run through your mind as you try to fall back asleep tomorrow at 3 a.m., and you’ll say, “I hate you, Katy in a Corner, for reminding me of this! And, oh great. Now I’m thinking about Katy standing in a corner of my room, and I’m even MORE freaked out!” And I’ll just laugh and laugh because I “saw” Paranormal Activity on my parents’ TV with ten fingers in front of my face, without my glasses on, and singing “LALALALALALA” at the top of my lungs. And the only thing I could tell you about that film is that the painting that hangs on my parents’ wall close to their TV is really beautiful. Why? Because I’m not an idiot, that’s why.
I don’t watch scary movies because I don’t want to be reminded of them every time I have to use the facilities at 4 a.m.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
‘Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.’
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
(Proverbs 31:26-30, ESV)
When the author of the second part of Proverbs 31 “penned” these words, I can only imagine he must have known a woman like this: