Thursday, January 26, 2012

What did you do to your mom to make you deserve this??

The day before Christmas eve, James surprised me with an early Christmas gift. He took the day off of work and it was perfect so I could get some last minute Christmas shopping done. I was able to find myself a cute Christmas outfit (very important), and it allowed the four of us to spend the day together before we celebrated with our entire family. After breakfast I took Karis with me shopping, and James took Jericho on a daddy date to the kid museum.

Hallelujah! With one kid, I went shopping. What a breeze!
What happened to her sock and shoe?

Or so I thought. While I was shopping Karis was fussing a little bit so I took it as my cue to hurry up. At the counter as I was paying she found a lip gloss she wanted. I tried to distract her with mine and she threw it on the floor. After I paid, we left the store. At that point Karis was crying and screaming inconsolably, the way kids do when people stop and stare because it truly is a sight to see. I tried to hold her, comfort her, have her walk on her own. And this is what ended up happening. On the floor, the day before Christmas eve, me with a bunch of bags and a stroller and a crazy baby.

For the last two weeks Karis has been sick with the stomach flu, an eye infection (which she has been on antibiotics for), and welcoming five new teeth. All at once. My child who sleeps 12 hours a night decided that she would wake up every single night at 1 and or 3 and 5 in the morning, almost every night for the last two weeks. AND she will cry bloody murder and won’t stop until I pick her up, read her a book, turn on cartoons, and/or give her cheerios and water. Oh my goodness, I’m creating a monster!

sad eye (it's all better now!)
Is she giving me a dirty look? This is 1am by the way

Since we were going on a getaway trip for James’ birthday weekend, we were praying really hard that Karis would magically get better and start sleeping through the night again.

Watching The Little Mermaid (1am Saturday morning)
Walking around the hotel (2am Sunday morning). Why is she so happy?

Watching Finding Nemo (430am)
We were so wrong. This girl barely took a nap all day, and at 1:00am all that would console her was watching Finding Nemo as we all tried to sleep in the hotel room. The next morning at 2am she was done with letting us sleep and would not stop crying. I decided to walk her around the halls of the hotel and one of the workers stopped me to ask if I was lost. I’m not sure it is that weird for a mom to be walking her little girl in a stroller at 2am. I prayed that God would make Karis feel better and let her little body calm down and rest. Ten minutes later she was snoring. Relief!

Looks can be deceiving!

Karis slept soundly until 6am and the crying and screaming began again. I know you are thinking, really, Karis? She is so quiet and gentle. But this girl, when she gets mad, you don’t know what hit you.

 When we got up later that morning, James asked me, “What did you do to your mom to deserve this?

Oh, how much this question brought me back to many arguments my sweet momma and I had during my wonderful high school years. There were many times my mom would tell me, “When you have kids, you’ll understand. They might even treat you how your treat me.” And my response at the time was always, "Then you must have been really bad!" Now that I have kids, I understand. My daughter is only 19 months old and I don’t ever know what I did to deserve this! I know my mom is smiling down from heaven because payback is a you know what. But I love and adore my daughter, especially when she wakes up from giving us a night of misery and all she wants to do is hug me.

I think about how much I want to tell my mom how much I love her and how I hear her words, “You’ll thank me later,” and let her know how truly grateful I am that she loved me so strongly, so bravely, and so well. Especially, during the years that I really gave her hell.  I want to tell her how thankful I am that none of my crying and screaming and throwing fits, and telling her God awful things ever stopped her from loving me. And what an example she is to me of always showing grace and letting me know how special and loved I am.

Dear God, please have mercy on my when my Karis becomes a teenager. Please help my Karis realize before she's 33 years old that I am her biggest cheerleader, that there will never be anything that will make me stop loving her, and please let her believe me when I tell her, "been there done that," as my momma would always say.

Father, please give me the faith, courage, and strength to be the mom mine was to me.
My momma and her crazy girl (1979)

Me and my crazy girl (2012)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

God Makes Us Better

I love the tender moments of the every day with my Jericho. It's January 7th, and as much as I hate to put Christmas decorations away, I know it's time. There is no hint of Christmas anywhere. The stores are full of Valentine's day decorations, it's 75 degrees outside, and Christmas has come and gone so quickly I barely have any memories of the last three weeks because it was such a whirlwind.

That's why I am so thankful for traditions and memories, and I realize that I want to leave a legacy for my children and my family and my friends. And as sentimental as I am, I need pictures and items to remind me of the tender memories tucked deeply in the back of my mind. Three years ago I started collecting Christmas ornaments that represented the year.

In 2008, there were two ornaments, one of a picture of James and I together, a week before Jericho was born, the very last time it would be just him and me. And the other, a picture of James, me, and Jericho on his first Christmas. In 2009, the ornament was of Santa with two children on his lap, one named Jericho, and the other one named baby.

In 2010, the ornament was of the four of us in a 2010 frame, and the other ornament of the word FAITH, representing the faith we had that God was going to miraculously heal my mom, and also representative of  Karis' middle name, and how it reflected the baby girl added to our family and the love of Christ that she represented. That particular ornament was purchased on one of the last trips we took with my mom to Santa Barbara.

In 2011, one ornament was of Jericho with trains (perfect because of his love for them, and his 3rd Train Birthday Party), and the other was of Karis with ladybugs on the frame (again with many representations). The most special one, being a frame with an angel on top of my mom's picture. Of course, representing the angel that heaven gained on July 10, 2011, and the hole left in my heart for the rest of my life.

Jericho was "helping" me take down the ornaments from the tree and I showed him the one with my mom's picture on it. I asked him if he knew who she was. He said, "It's Nanay. Is she sick, or is she better?" And I told him, "She's better now." His next response being, "Did God make her better?" And my answer with tears in my eyes, "Yes, baby, God made her better."

It's still hard. Every day I still have to ask myself if she really died. But the truth is, God made her better. He made her better in a different way than I asked. I may not understand, or know why He chooses to do what He does, but He always makes us better. And I am thankful that my three year old son knows, that no matter what the outcome is, God ALWAYS makes us better.