Friday, April 12, 2013

Malachi really is one of the smiliest babies. (Smiliest was highlighted as a misspelled word. I'll bet Words with Friends would allow it.) All anyone has to is say hi to him and he pulls out and delivers the biggest grin he can. He just exudes happiness and contentment.

So it has been a huge turn around that he has been doing this a lot this week. Last week he had a little cold but it was never really bad, meaning I didn't have to extract anything from his nose with the hated blue squeezy thing. I've been waiting for any drainage to stop but I still have to wipe his nose several times a day and he definitely is not feeling his normal self. Meaning he requires lots of pacing and bouncing and strolling. It is so sad to see him trying to tell me what is wrong, as loudly as he possibly can, but I still don't know what. His gums look fine, he felt a little warm yesterday morning, but that was 5 days into it. If he is in the midst of a communication session. nursing is not desired at all, on his part. So I keep pacing. Eventually he gets into a low mournful  moan on the exhales and then I know he is going to fall asleep. If I time it correctly he will be asleep enough to not be offended by nursing and  eventually I can put him down for a little bit.
 I feel so exhausted at that point I can just muster the energy to take a quick shower and make some sort of meal. I am afraid the little kids schooling has been compromised this week, but the big kids are carrying on nicely.

So when my sister sent me a text to join her on Words with Friends, I thought yes, that is what I need. We love to get together for Scrabble, but as schedules don't always allow for real, live, in-person game it seemed the perfect option. So I signed up, apparently all the user names I tried were taken so I am just a random number and won't know how to find me. But if we just keep a game going all the time I don't have to worry about it.

Yesterday she came over and we played a real game. We took turns pacing with the baby and sorting out kid squabbles. Then finished up our virtual game we had started that morning. I asked her at what point we might suspect we have a problem. She said when we stop feeding the kids. That sounded about right. But I was a little unsure of our diagnostic criteria when it was time to go and we found this:

But they were well fed, no one needed a socket put back in place, and we had both won our fair share. And Cyprian now knows how difficult it is to put a mattress pad on a lower bunk without hitting your head. So we all learned some good lessons. And some new words. More on that later. I have to go. It's my turn.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shane didn't have all the details of my day yesterday, when half way through it he called and told me if I put away the laundry he'd give me a backrub after dinner. At least I could have understood it that way. What he really meant was if I unearthed the massage table from the mountain of clean laundry sitting on it, we could utilize it for it's intended purpose. Which, I found out, is not as a clean laundry hamper. Though it is pretty functional that way too.

For the rest of the day I'd catch myself getting grumpy and then I'd remember the promised treat. And sometimes I'd remember the clean laundry. But things were so busy all evening I didn't get to it until a few minutes before he walked in the door. The kids had already eaten so I gave the baby to them to play with and Shane and I  sat down to eat and recount our respective days. Mine was mostly whining about how draining- physically and emotionally-my day was. Shane, after listening to the news on the way home, about how morally drained our society and country are and it doesn't appear there are going to be any major improvements for a few generations.

In thinking it over, the brazenness of the evil in society is astounding. And its not that so much that it is just tolerated, but is promoted, and taught to be  'normal'. Anything different is laughed at, at best, persecuted, at worst. Though its not fiery stakes or lions or any of the other forms of torture used in the first 300 years of the Church, and some places still today, it is persecution nonetheless. And its everywhere .Seriously, if you value your employment, you can't wish your co-workers a Merry CHRISTMAS. You can't talk about how you are against killing children out 'offending' someone. Marriage? That's so outdated and exclusionary.

 And then he go to the scary part. Yes, things have been slowly, initially, and now rampantly been getting worse. But to continue, evil needs the next generation. Meaning my kids. And your kids. And their kids. And it will try to slowly wear them down. To desensitize them to evil and it's fruit and eventually convince them it does net exist. Its just a bogeyman you think is under your bed. But look. There's nothing there. See? Everything is fine. Now go to sleep.

A bishop, somewhere, said recently of the rapid decay of society and its effort to eradicate Truth, 

"I am going to die in my bed. My successor will die in prison. And his successor will be martyred in the public square."
 For speaking the Truth.

Maybe his successor will be my son. And his successor my grandson. And They Can't Have Them!!!

I am sure every thinking generation thinks they are the most corrupt and can't imagine things getting worse. But that just means they have no imagination. Things can and will get worse. More babies will be killed, more lies put forth as the truth, more good people will be persecuted.

Shane posited a situation where homeschooling was outlawed and the state comes to take your kids. What would you do? As a Christian, what can our response be? Like Peter, do we cut off their ear? ( I'd probably start with something else, personally) Or do we turn the other cheek? And what does that look like when it comes to our children?

It seems so overwhelming and hopeless at times. Which is exactly what Satan would like.

I've been reading a book my brother-in-law recommended called Everywhere Present by Stephen Freeman. I've only gotten a little way through, but am really enjoying it and wished I'd started it at the beginning of lent, instead of Holy Thursday. I won't try to summarize the book as I am sure I'd do it poorly and that would not be fair. However, it did help me to think about what Everywhere Present might mean. And how we accept and live with the fact that God is EVERYWHERE PRESENT.  Not just in saints and tabernacles. God is Life. And Life is Everywhere. Where life is celebrated and welcomed, so is God. Where it is not, well God is still there. We are just choosing to ignore or deny Him. And what does that mean for how we live? Not just for ourselves, but for the whole world. I think of all the monks and nuns praying unceasingly for themselves and all of creation. That we might see and accept God's presence and strive to make our life here an abundance of His Life. To share that with everyone we encounter. To be able to see in everyone the Divine Spark that makes us icons of the Creator and bring more light to the world. Because who would want less God in the world?

It is so apparent to me when I see little Malachi. He truly is an abundance of Goodness. But the same is true of the guy who cut me off, the dis-obedient child, and the grumpy worn out mother. He's there. And I don't think Satan can stand it and stupidly thinks he can win by trying to put out the lights or blind us to the reality that God is here. But we all know God wins. And there we can find our  comfort. That and chubby thighs. Even if he is fussy.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Even When No One is Puking, Days Are Still Hard

I just realized how long it has been since I've updated. A while. Like we have a new pope now, while. And Pascha feels like years ago.

Craziness has been mostly contained the past few weeks. Not controlled. Just contained. And on a good day, so are Malachi's poops. Which is good because he's been choosing the most inopportune moments for a movement. Cyril has started eye therapy to help improve his visual acuity. And no matter what day of the week, or what hour of the day the appointments are, Malachi feels the need to leave his mark. I try to wrap him in a blanket and muffle it a little. But it usually does not work. And if it did, the warm sour-yogurt cloud that quickly permeates the small office will not go unnoticed. I finally got Cyril comfortable enough ( I will under no circumstances leave you and head for a warmer climate, besides now Malachi needs a new outfit) to be ok with me excusing myself and  going to the bathroom or car to clean him up as best I can. And now Cyril thinks it is jut funny and reports to the kids when we get home that Malachi did it again. They have taken to referring to the eye doctor as the 'poo doctor'.  I am just hoping he recognizes we are at the dentist, later this week, and withholds his gift a couple hours. At least I know where to take him if he ever gets constipated.

He has actually had a cold this last week. This is his first big kid illness, and he is a big kid #19 3 oz.
But he is also 6 months old this week, so I knew we couldn't keep him for everything forever. He is not losing too much sleep over it, just a little fussy here and there and not napping as well. Thankfully, the stroller can let him sleep in  as semi-reclining position so that helps a bit. As does a little ibuprofen . Still, he  is just needier, which makes for a more exhausted Mama. Even with all the kids fighting to help him. Heavy accent on the FIGHTING. Not much of the helping.

Today he was not comfortable enough to nurse and nap so I paced and he moaned and I rocked and he moaned. And I knew he was tired and I also knew Shane was going to be late and that I had nothing for dinner and needed to go to the store and the kids were getting along poorly. He finally went to sleep so I gently asked the kids to keep their audio output to a minimum and please for the love of everything holy, stop fighting. So they put their game faces on. And got along about as well as an Israeli and a Palestinian would do in a three-legged race. Which, of course, woke him up. And when he finally went back down, I did the big girl thing, instead of playing Words with friends, and went to the grocery store and bought enough sedatives to last a week. Just kidding. Just milk and cereal and chicken. I popped in the drug store to get more ibuprofen. They had a cereal the kids, especially Cyprian, like for $2 less than the grocery store. So I bought the whole shelf. Which was only 7. I was so excited I forgot the ibuprofen and had to buy it at the grocery store. So I probably came out even in the end.

And now it is that magic hour where I drink wine with my husband and put together a feast Barefoot Contessa would be drooling over. Kidding again. It's 7:00. Shane is still not home. I'll feed the kids some chicken and potatoes and try to get the house in some version of 'clean'. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about how the country is going you know where in a hand basket. And it might all be due to Words With Friends.