Saturday, June 28, 2014

Absolutely Luxurious

It's been the kind of month that's required frequent self-medication with chocolate chips. 

The twins decided that sleep was for lesser babies, and we have all spun into a vortex of exhaustion and insanity.  I hesitate to say that things are improving only because I'm a firm believer in the sleep jinx, and I don't want this to backfire on me, but today, I found myself with both the time and energy to engage in what suddenly has become a luxury: writing.

Everyone is happier with a little sleep.
And a few chocolate chips.

Also a luxury these days: eating my own meal without having to share with Bee and Bruiser who have suddenly decided that real people food is the most thrilling excitement of their lives. Please don't judge my lack of an appropriate introduction to food. It's hard to diligently space out perfectly pureed fruits and vegetables when Bee is literally grabbing my turkey sandwich and shoving it in her face.

This kid tried (and failed) to steal my frozen yogurt.
It was a low point in her day,
and I'll be honest: it is so hard to say no to this face.
Anyway, through all of this, I'm learning a lot about expectations. And hope. And how easy it is to think completely irrational thoughts when I'm over tired and there's been a baby screaming bloody murder in both ears. And that's been good, you know? Also, it's been really nice to know that the Man has my back through all of this. He's a good partner in crime. And he doesn't judge me when I say really mean things in my sleep (which I do when I am over tired--and no, there is no logical explanation for this).

Here is Littles sporting the bite mark of
the wild Tiny, native only to the jungles of Frizlandia.
I told you, we've all gone a bit insane.

But the twins put themselves to sleep tonight without at least half an hour of walking the floor with them praying desperately for them to just pass out, and so I am celebrating by being here. With you. And some typed words.

The fact that I'm blurry is not due to Little's camera skills.
Nope, I was literally starting to fuzz around the edges
from lack of sleep. Seriously. No lie.

Also, we are moving in two months! And I thought that you would be excited about that too. Especially if I manage to produce a few completely incomprehensible posts about boxes and moving trucks and road trips and doing a Permanent Change of Station. Yes, fifteen months counts as "permanent".

All that to say: hurray! For the little luxuries life affords. Like sleep and writing and turkey sandwiches and the Man and precious children who help sand down the rough edges just a smidge.

{I'm trying to include a video of the twins laughing their heads off at my sister and brother-in-law--whose visit has been a big luxury. Posting this video has been the bane of my last twenty four hours, and I'm pretty sure it's still not working. So tell me if it actually is!}

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Joy Choices

We were in the middle of our Sunday afternoon drive tradition when I told the Man I'd always wondered what wheat felt like. He grew up in the country, while I grew up in the concrete jungle, so he's starting to get used to me saying things like this.

It was a somewhat enforced Sunday afternoon drive since we'd had a rough night with the twins and a ensuing nap battles, and they had finally consented to fall asleep in the car, and there was no way we were messing with that. So the boys sipped strawberry limeades, and we drove through fields of gold brown Oklahoma wheat, and the Man and I talked about big things and little things and wheat.

He said wheat was kind of fuzzy.

"Really?" I replied.

And he pulled the car over to the side of the road so I could jump out quickly and find out for myself.

It wasn't fuzzy. It was prickly and proud, and one of the little seeds rolled out into my hand, and I crunched it between my teeth, and it tasted like joy.

The Man asked me that night what my favourite part of the day was, and I told him it was when he had pulled the car over so I could experience the feel of wheat first hand. 

Turtle number two and happy boys

Three weeks ago, before the Man was home, the boys and I woke up to an empty Saturday after a long week of grumpiness, tantrums, and missing Daddy. When the Man is gone, it's always the weekends that are the hardest. During the week, we can pretend he's at work, stuck at the squadron for this or that, but when the bleary weekend comes, the reality that he really is gone always hits again.

I sat on the guest bed in the nursery, feeding the twins with my eyes closed and my head tilted back against the wall. I wanted nothing more than to climb back in bed and get another few hours of sleep. Instead, I decided to pile the kids in the car, and we went to pick up donuts. When we got home, we grabbed a blanket, the stroller, and a to go mug full of coffee and walked ourselves and our donuts down to the creek to look for turtles.

The donuts disappeared even more quickly than usual, and the boys could barely wait for me to finish my coffee so that we could go turtle hunting.

We found 6 turtles that morning, and I got a great work out off-roading with the twins' stroller.

I wanted nothing more than to quit that morning when I woke up. We were so close to the end, with the Man's return just around the corner, and all I had to do was grit my teeth and survive. Making what at first seemed like a choice that would just wear me out more brought me my favourite memory from the entire 8 weeks of separation.

Some women go to the gym

Yesterday was another nap war with a few side skirmishes in congestion and crankiness. Every choice had to be purposeful.

Bang my head against the wall or bathe screaming twins?
Complain or cook dinner?
Cry or cuddle babies?

It was a one step at a time day. And there were moments that I lost it. But when I found myself taking a picture with both twins strapped to my front while I stir fried beef and green peppers and brokered train deals between the boys, and I was somehow still laughing? Well, I knew I'd won. At least that day.

Sure, I was dog tired and I could feel my spine compressing vertebrae by vertebrae (I've always wanted to experience life as a short person), but there was still joy, and I had found it. I had made one tiny joy choice after another, so no matter how difficult the day became it never turned into a bad day.

In retrospect, it's easy for me to over emphasize what I need to live a joy-filled life. Even when I think I'm being low maintenance (the words "all I need is a cup of coffee, some time to write, and the twins to take a nap at the same time" may or may not be my new mantra), I'm still asking for more than I really need.

You see, I already have everything I need.

I've already been given every spiritual blessing in Christ. It says so in Ephesians 1:3.

So if I can just remember that, and then ask Him for the strength to take the next step, to make the next small joy choice, there never have to be bad days, even when there are challenging ones.

Sometimes, it's about pulling the car to the side of the road (all the while risking waking the babies) so that you can pluck a handful of glowing life and taste it on your tongue.

Sometimes, it's about donuts and coffee and turtles and the early morning sunlight on the laughing faces of your children--but please let the coffee be caffeinated.

And sometimes, it's about getting to the end of a day where the twins traded off screaming for four hours straight, and knowing it was still a good day because of the many, many blessings that I was able to see because in Christ I could choose joy.