-1-Grace is…faith enough to turn to God in the midst of unsettling doubts; the power of prayer—however simple however desperate; a husband who is supportive and loving; a Heavenly Father who knows our deepest, darkest secrets, our worst sins, and not only loves us, but pursues us even when we struggle to accept His unconditional love; unsolicited kisses from little ones, snuggle time with my adorable nephew, an opportunity to do something helpful for my sister, a phone call from a friend thanking me for a letter I sent to her in 2008 that she keeps out and rereads often that I know could only have struck a chord if the essence of it came from the Lord…
-2-Alleluia! Sunshine made me smile and got me singing today. I read the daily Mass readings out loud from my Magnificat magazine, and after the Gospel I said: "Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ." To which she immediately responded by singing "Alleluia!" This is just one more reason why it is awesome to have young children at Mass (something her parents do with them every Sunday)! Kevin and I are two of the twins’ Godparents, so we often go to the same Mass and save a row for the crew.
Jonah & Veggie Tales Kevin and I watched Jonah the Veggie Tales full-length movie this week, because it's hilarious and the Mass readings have been about Jonah, so it all ties in. I'm grateful for a husband who understands that I'm often ready to collapse by the time I get home after feeding, chasing, changing, cleaning up, reading to, singing and dancing with, entertaining, disciplining, hugging, kissing, drying tears, laughing lots…with three silly sisters.
The Muffin Girl After singing "Do You Know the Muffin Man?" a bazillion times and coming up with a fun "Do You Know the Muffin Girl?" rendition that was site specific, I made chocolate chip muffins Wednesday evening with the intent to share some with the girls the next day and sing the song a bunch more times (of course). Sunshine used white Play-doh and made a big muffin to share with all of us. I was eating baby carrots at the time, and she asked for one. She ended up using it as a candle on the muffin. When it was time to put Play-doh away, I went digging through the container to see if she’d stuck the carrot in there as well. I couldn’t find it, so I asked her what happened to it. She’d eaten it.
The “intent to share some” had a whole lot more to do with me remembering to bring the muffins with me in the morning than they had anything to do with me polishing off a dozen. Sunshine loved the muffins, and asked for more every time she was hungry.
Dr. Seuss’s Mr. Brown Can Moo! This was one of Sunshine’s favorite board books, and now it has become one of her sisters. All three girls know that I love books, and that pretty much any time they come up to me with a book that I’ll read it to them, not once but as many times as they want and/or I can stand in one sitting. I had to laugh when Sunshine got sick of hearing me read her sisters the book over and over again that she said that was enough.
I told her that I read the same book to her over and over again when she was that age (just as I’ve done with many other children, starting with my youngest sister). It does help that I love books and adore reading, and also that I’ve read and learned quite a bit about child development over the years, so I know more of the things that they’re learning and what’s going on in terms of connections in their brains that are much more significant than just learning what animals make what sounds—which, don’t get me wrong is both a fun and entertaining part of childhood.
-6-Nephew in the Nursery Today I had the pleasure of taking care of my nephew for a bit. He has a Montessori-style room—mattress on the floor and padding around, but even after seeing recent pictures of him getting around in his bedroom, I was still surprised and amazed when I went up to check on him during his nap. The baby monitor was turned up, but they have a couple sound machines in the nursery, and I only heard a little noise, so I went to check on him, thinking he was still asleep because I hadn’t heard a peep out of him.
Okay, it’s not surprising to me that a child who can roam safely around their room does so even while sleeping; what gets me is that the boy is only 7 months old, is so big, chubby, and long that he’s already rocking 24 mos. clothes, and though he was wearing a baby sleep sack at the time, he made it halfway across the room, was pushing up on his hands, and looking up at me with his bright-eyes when I peeked in. Somehow seeing the photos just didn’t prepare me for this experience in real life.
Cute Much? Kevin’s been coming to visit me and the girls in between searching for a new job and a bunch of doctor appointments. Sunshine cheers when I tell her he’s coming. One of the twins shrieks as soon as he walks in the door she’s so excited, and the other one has been crawling up on his lap whenever she gets the chance.
Kevin gave each of the girls a kiss before I took them up for their naptime. I usually tuck Sunshine in and pray the bedtime prayer my mom and sister made up with her, then give her a kiss whenever I put her to bed. I tucked her in, prayed the prayer (which she often says with me because she knows it by heart), I went to give her a kiss, but she shakes her head.
“Kevin already gave me a kiss,” she said.
“So does that mean you don’t want/need one from me?” I asked.
I smiled and blew her a kiss as I went out the door, the little skunk.