Wednesday, June 19, 2013

In Which Mouse Crisp Occurs

Yesterday I broiled a mouse. Or baked him. It could quite possibly have been more of a slow roast. I'm not sure. It was accidental.

I swear it was accidental.

Although if I had found His Mousiness still alive and kicking in my broiler drawer, I'm not quite sure what I would've done. Screamed bloody murder and called in the snipers? Or just screamed bloody murder and called in the neighbors.

As it was, I screamed bloody murder when his well toasted tail snapped off in my paper-toweled hand as I tried to remove his dead carcass from my previously rodent free home.

Incidentally, when your somewhat relatively even tempered mommy screams bloody murder and you are only one and a half, you may start to sob uncontrollably and be sent to your room, hence missing the rest of the completely thrilling de-mousing of the oven. This could cause latent trauma.

At any rate, I will never get over the grossness. But I treasure this in my heart: I took care of it myself. It's the small victories, people.

With that said, I am now wondering if I should wash every single dish in my kitchen and get rid of any and all food that could have possibly been anywhere in the vicinity of said mouse, not to mention the fact that I spent a good hour last night wondering if there was an entire mouse army coming to avenge the death of their fallen brother by shoving me into the oven and leaving me there to slowly burn to a crisp. Don't ever accuse me of not taking things seriously.

Incidentally, the Redwall books, anything by Beatrix Potter, and Stuart Little are all dead to me. And no, I will not give a mouse a cookie. But I did concede defeat and lovingly read Tiny's Big Adventure to the boys tonight, seeing as Littles has recovered from whatever emotional scarring he incurred and is now fascinated by the fact that there was a mouse in our home.

And the moral of the story is the next time a mouse decides to entertain himself by scouting out my kitchen, he'd better hope his name is Shadrach, Meshach, or Abednego, because that sucker is going to be thrown into the fiery furnace. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Strength and Weakness

I want to be intrepid. Unshakeable. Capable. Self-sufficient. Impregnable (which is a joke in and of itself). Indomitable.

I want to be strong.

Over and over again the last few weeks, though, I have learned that my battle cry is not that. It is, instead, "Weakness, weakness, weakness." I must proclaim this repeatedly. I must learn to revel in it, reminding myself that when I am weak, His strength shines through.

Recently, I've thought often of Moses, weakened, tired, sending out Joshua to fight the battle, while he sat on the mountain and literally had him arms propped up by Aaron and Hur, so that he could do the only thing he was capable of doing: pray. I am Moses in this scenario. I have nothing to offer to this situation or any other except my utter dependence on God for the victory.

You are the ones holding my arms. You are the ones fighting the battle. You are the acquaintance showing up on my doorstep to take my temperature and look at my rash. You are the friend staying with the boys so I could go to the ER. You are the ones praying while I am there--and rejoicing with me when it turns out to be just a virus and a funky rash (not something weird like shingles). You are the ones sleepless and just being there for me. You are Aaron and Hur. You are Joshua.

And I feel like a broken a broken record, and I'm sure you are all sick of hearing this, but I am daily astounded by the grace that is being poured out over our family as I have completely crashed and burned and lost any ability to pull my own weight (much less that of the two boys or the twins).

I have nothing left to say but thank you. And then continue to boast in my weakness and His strength.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Oh, Harry

I'm considering writing an entire post completely filled with Harry Potter references, but I don't know how many of you would then come to the stunning (and belated) observation that I'm a complete nerd and stop being friends with me. That would be okay. I'd still have Harry. And possibly my own twins that I'm now considering naming Fred and George (or Padma and Parvati, depending on the gender).

Anyway, in the spirit of geekishness, let's just do it.

I'm thinking of hiring Professor Slughorn to follow me around and transform into a cushy armchair whenever I want to sit down.

These excess hormones leave me with cry days where I'm giving Moaning Myrtle a run for her money. I should take up residence in a bathroom. This would help with other things too.

I've decided that Trig-dog could very well be the Grim, in that he's going to be the death of me.

If I was on Mrs Weasley's clock, my hand would vacillate between sleeping, eating, and pretending to parent. There are no other necessary options. Unless being pregnant with twins counts as mortal peril.

There are wrackspurts in my brain at all times.

And I think that's more than enough for tonight. Don't judge me. I get insomnia when the Man is gone and do things like obsessively rereading favourite books and rewatching favourite movies, and this week it's been Harry Potter. Besides, I've got to start the twins early, right?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Twinancy Blurbs

  • One of the great things about everyone knowing I'm pregnant with twins is that they can now stop pretending that I'm not showing already. When I know that I look like I just swallowed a baby armadillo, it's eye rolling-ly funny to hear, "You're not showing at all!" I'm just saying: please tell me I don't look like this all the time.
  • Maternity swim suits suck. The end.
  • Doing twin research while actually pregnant with twins is a bad idea. If there is even the remotest possibility that you could ever end up with twins, do the research before you get pregnant. Otherwise, you will end up a sobbing bucket of irrational fears. "It's not a pretty picture--I don't like doing it!"(Name that quote!)
  • I am working on my mooching skills. Some days this goes better than others. Today, I had a friend tell me that I need to take better advantage of being the Man's wife. As in, "Do you not know who I am? You'd better help me, or I'll make sure you are given ten thousand tickets!" And that is the advantage of marrying Security Forces, people. If only I could learn how to throw some of my soon-to-be-expansive weight around.
  • Unlike previous pregnancies, I have been craving Indonesian food like there's no tomorrow. Naturally, this happens now that we live no where near an Indonesian restaurant. Thankfully, my mom sent me a care package with some IndoMie in it, and then today I busted out the nasi goreng (fried rice) spice packets. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of looking at the ingredients list. Never do that with foods you love. MSGed!!! (And name that quote.)
  • Never underestimate the power of a clean kitchen floor. A friend of mine took Littles for the afternoon, and since I was one kid down, I finally decided to tackle the mopping. You couldn't see the bottom of the sink by the time I was done, the water was so gross. But now, I feel happier and healthier, and am considering making the boys eat outside for the next six and a half months so that I never have to mop again. That wouldn't be crazy, would it?
  • There are guardian angels whose sole purpose is to track down the run away dogs of twin-pregnant women with toddlers. Twice in one week, Trig-dog? Do we need to talk about the possibility of turning you into a rug again? Do we?
  • Somehow, vacuuming has turned into an extreme sport that requires pee breaks, hydration, and sitting down with my feet up. Someone explain this to me.
  • Other kids fall through the cracks. Just being honest. I showed up at the playground this morning around 930 and looked down at Tiny only to realize last night's diaper, which had not yet been changed, was starting to sag down through the bottom of his pajama shorts, which he was still wearing.
  • I eat chocolate these days like I'm recovering from a Dementor attack. And sometimes cake for breakfast. Don't judge. I'm trying to give the twins a good start in life.
  • This version of pregnancy brain is killing me, Smalls. I can't even put together coherent thoughts. Case in point: this blog!
  • I am now officially a one upper. "You're pregnant! Oh, wow! Me too!" Pause for effect. "And my husband's deployed." Pause again. "And it's twins." Privately think: eat that, sucker!!! (This is a joke--just clarifying.) But seriously, how did this happen? Don't answer that.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Help and Home

The first question you get asked when you tell people your husband is deploying is, "Are you going home?" My response has always been no, for multiple reasons, all of them halfway decent (stability for the boys, wanting to stay with our military community who understand deployment, no room in the inn...).

Of course, when people found out I was pregnant, they asked again, thinking the answer might have changed.

And then again, when we discovered I was pregnant with twins.

One day they will learn that I am mule-stubborn and hate changing my plans even more than I hate eating eggs.

The truth is that I know if I wanted to move to Tennessee or Virginia or Pennsylvania (or Indonesia!) for the duration of this deployment, the Man would support me and our families would find a place for us. I know the boys would have a wonderful time. And I know I would find at least a few people who understand deployments or at the very least would be willing to listen. I love our family, and our family loves us.

And there are definitely days when it would be nice to plop down on my mom's couch or my mother-in-law's or my sister's or my aunt's and say, "Pregnancy sucks; feed me everything in the house and then go mop my floors for me." Really, that's only acceptable with family. They have to love you even when you're rude, demanding, and lazy. Which is pretty much the whole nine months of pregnancy for me.

But I have never doubted my choice to stay put, and I'm not sure it has anything to do with the three reasons I usually tell people. The reality is, this is my home. Not the small town we're currently living in, but the military community that we are a part of. I learn that over and over again.

I learn it when I am invited to dinner two nights in a row by two different families.

I learn it through emails and phone calls, just checking in.

I learn it from a bag of hand me down clothes for Littles and an invitation to go to the pool with an extra set of hands.

I learn it when a neighbor and his son come by to feed the cat and pick up dog poop.

I learn it from another mom taking Tiny to the play room at church so I can listen to the sermon.

I learn it from a clean box of kitty litter--not changed by me.

I learn it from a chocolate cake baked to help celebrate the Man's birthday, even when he's not here.

I learn it when friends gang up on me to make sure I ask for help and when they just start doing things when I haven't had the courage to ask.

Over and over again, I learn that this is home. I learn that this is home because we are not even a week in and I already have lost the capacity to say thank you enough. I am a broken record of gratitude, and this is good. In my brokenness, I am allowing others to bless, and I hope that's the blessing that they need right now in their lives too. And perhaps, like Mary, if I treasure up all these things in my heart, one day, I will be able to bless them back too.

In the meantime, all I can say, again and again, is thank you. For loving me. For loving my boys. For loving my husband. And for loving in a tangible, real way. You are Christ to me. You are home.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

She's so HEAVY

Take a good long look, people. This is the part of the twin pregnancy that looks cute. It's not going to last long.
9.5 weeks, baby. Babies?
Bring on Monday and we're a quarter of the way through this thing.
Give me a few more months and we'll all be singing together: She's a (BRICK!) Hoooouse! And then I will become a permanent fixture on my couch, answering only to "The Blob", until the babies come. At which point it will take several more months before I look this good again. Twins are fun, guys, twins are fun.

But really, this week I successfully transitioned a sleeping Tiny from the car seat to the crib, so I am, as Littles would say, the, which means that I should be screaming from the rooftops: Bring it on, Twinadoes! And I am. But the neighbors are complaining to the cops, and the Man isn't here to protect my appropriately defamed name.

Finally, no. I'm not going to post weekly pictures of the growing monstrosity that is me. I want this pregnancy to sneak up on you and then all of a sudden, around week 20, BAM! I hit you with a new picture and your eyes never recover from the scarring of seeing me with a small, outlying planet shoved up my shirt. Most likely, said planet will be Pluto since it's not currently serving any other purpose. At any rate, wait for it....

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Silliness (Part Three?)

To close out our three volume novel ("of more than usually revolting sentimentality"), I will give you the last reason all has been quiet on the western front. Did you like that? Two completely unrelated book references in one sentence. ONE! That's skill.

Anyway, quite simply, the Little Man has started getting himself dressed, and fashion monstrosities like this have begun to occur, and I just cannot survive the horror:

Angry Blue Steel
So I've been recovering from the trauma and resting my bleeding eyes in the hope that one day he will stop wearing those boots everywhere and realize that red and green should never be paired together--even at Christmas.

And I share this with you now, why? Simply because today has been exhausting in every way possible, and I'd rather laugh than cry. I'd also rather take a shower than write, but that would require getting back up off the bed.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Substance (Part Two)

For those of you who haven't read Part One, you can find it here. For those of you ready to continue on, let's do this.

The other reason I haven't been writing as much lately is because I've just plain been tired. Part of it has been because of Thing One:
If that face is not diabolical, I don't want to know what is.
And another part of it is because of Thing Two:

This is what he did when I told him to smile.
But the most significant chunk is because of Thing Three and Thing Four, who, along with wearing me out, have lovingly helped me spend a good portion of my time with my face in the toilet. Here is a picture of Thing One holding a picture of Things Three and Four. Their little legs are already kicking up a storm.
Littles is voting for two boys.
The Man and I wanted to wait to share our news until we'd seen a doctor. We thought we'd be telling you this really funny story about how we were done having kids and then God cheerily bestowed upon us one more who was going to share the same birthday week with the boys. We thought I was going to be writing about giving birth yet again while the Man is deployed. We thought we'd be sharing about God's sovereignty and trusting that He is always in control, yes, even of two-legged surprises. Now we're just doubling all of that.

Because, really, why have one baby when you can have two?

Right? Right???

At any rate, now I am really sad that I can't remember any of the fantastic twin jokes I've been coming up with in the middle of the night for the last four weeks. But at some point, the shock will wear off and I will remember them and you will be so sad that I did. You will also grieve the fact that I can now air all of my pregnancy cravings loudly and exuberantly from all corners of the internet. It's hard to be you. But then again, you get to enjoy watching me swell up to the size of a two bedroom house with these kids, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

Anyone for a Part Three? Anyone?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Silence (Part One)

As many of you know, the Man is heading out for deployment again this summer. I was feeling pretty good about this, to be honest. Not that I wasn't going to miss him, and not that I didn't expect more than a few road bumps, but I had a plan, and it was doable. If you'd asked me about it, I would've told you that the boys and I were going to totally rock this deployment.

Then around four weeks ago, something changed, and I didn't feel quite so sure of myself any more. I started having days when I wonder if I could do it on my own. I am snapping at the boys for the smallest infraction because I feel insecure in my future role as solo parent. I stopped writing because I am afraid to be weak right now (and writing, for me, is almost always about weakness). I want to be resilient.

On Wednesday, we found out that the Man's pre-deployment training had been bumped up a month. So he's leaving this Tuesday, as opposed to next month, and while that doesn't really change much (he'll be home July and August before he heads out for real), I had to do a quick rearrangement of my plans and expectations for the month. He's spent the last few days vacuum sealing gear and scalping the grass and trying to get one month of preparation squeezed into three work days.

And then today, I'm just being honest, I hit full blown panic. The kind where you find yourself crying in the laundry room but you're not actually doing laundry. The kind where you open the fridge and then realize you were supposed to be getting dinner out of the oven. The kind where you think you might possibly, just a little bit, potentially be going crazy (but please, God, don't let anyone notice).

With all of this, I'm not sure it will come as a surprise to say my routine has been thrown off a bit, and that's why this space has been a bit more silent than usual. That and the aforementioned fear. But as one of my dear friend's reminded me last week, it sounds like I'm getting a lot of writing material as we go through this. And I can't help but think: waste not, want not. So here I am, not wasting my stories.

There is a second part to this blog that I'm hoping to add tomorrow, but I want to close for now with this.

Military spouse, whoever you are, it doesn't matter if it's your first deployment or your fifth. There are always new struggles and the fear of the return of old ones. It is hard to send your husband halfway around the world (whether to a war zone or not). It is hard to do this thing called life on your own while always wondering if the other half of your heart is okay. It is hard to daily die to self knowing that God has called you to the life that you are in. I won't tell you to be strong or put on your big girl pants or Just Man Up (although those are all things I have told myself). I will merely say this: our only real problem [is] forgetting how great our God is (Sally Lloyd-Jones, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing).

And I forget all the time.

Please help me to remember.