Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm called to three... (priorities)

I feel like I'm on a roller coaster ride. Every day is an adventure, either in wiping snotty noses (last week) or discovering the fall leaves through new eyes (today). The Thanksgiving season causes me to desire togetherness, special moments and most of all time with my family. I'm learning that I can't fit everything in every day but I can fit in the things that I make a priority. I have been (slowly) reading Meg Meeker's book 10 Habits of Happy Mothers which is fantastic, by the way. It gave me pause to think about her suggestion to write down all the things I'd like to do in life... it was a long list from exercise goals to book club. Then she suggests making a short list of your main goals in life right now, in this season. Wow. I'm still thinking about it but I think the following are the main ones:

1) Live life as a servant and Jesus-follower, consistent and real - mind body and spirit
2) Love my family well: husband, daughters, parents&brother, church, the poor, the lost
3) Raise up my two daughters to follow God and be women of character and influence

That's it, my friends. I can't add to that my fashion, scholastic, decorating, traveling and vocational goals. Those things are sometimes a part of my life I'm not saying I won't do them at all. I need to remember that I meet my goals when I accomplish just those three because first at least in this season, I'm called to these.

Will keeping that in focus help me to spend my time well? I think it will. Can I let go of my perfectionism long enough to simplify my life and in so doing manage to experience it? We will see. In this busy season, we will see.

Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Temper Tantrums

Being that I'm the mother of a nearly 3 year old and a 6 week old you might think the title of this blog refers to my sweet little lady and household "big sister." Well it does (unfortunately), but it also reminds me that when I look at her it is like looking in a mirror. Today's saving grace is my mother. I was launching into my own version of kicking and screaming on the floor (tearing up while nursing "little sis" in a rocking chair) while listening to my daughter sob in her room. Clearly neither of us could get a hold of our emotions long enough to see the irony or the big picture. She's 2 years old. She has an excuse. I'll be 31 next week (oh goodness it's this week). I don't. Temper tantrum.

You see, I have a list of excuses to offer as long as my list of un-done chores. I'll spare you. If you have lived any number of years you might guess them. The laundry isn't finished. Potty training is hard. The dog escaped. There are puddles in our driveway. The mosquitoes are ferocious and we can't go outside. My hair was not blow-dried after my shower. No one slept soundly except the dog. Temper tantrum.

Those are just the excuses that are funny and don't really hurt any one's feelings. You should have heard the sob story I spilled on my unsuspecting mother when she floated in the door this morning to help me. God bless her, I needed help. I needed a time out. I hope she still loves me even though she can see what a mess I am on a daily basis. I hope she thinks I'm a worthy mother even though I know I won't be half the mother she was. I love my children when they mess up. I feel it necessary to remind my eldest: "I love you when you make good choices and when you make bad choices." God loves me when I make bad choices. Sometimes as I remind her, I remind me. It's not mother's day, I know. Today is, for me, the opposite of mother's day. It's whiny, feel-sorry-for-myself, anti-mother's day. It's the day that I most need mothering. Our dog always answers a loud whistle. My mama can whistle, LOUDLY. I am not so talented. I can not whistle and the dog does not come when I try. Temper tantrum.

Some days my good friends mother me. I do so depend on them for advice and even a swift kick in the derriere on occasion. Some days my husband mothers me (in a good way) fussing about and cleaning up messes I haven't the heart to tackle. There are other mothers who have contributed regularly to mothering me and I know that's how I make it. We are a community of "mother hens" in a good way whether or not we have any children.

If you read my blog mom, thank you. Thank you for today and for all the days I didn't thank you.

I am over my temper tantrum now. I would like to stay in time out a bit longer. When you're 2 time out is a punishment. When you're (well I don't think I'll remind myself again how old I'm getting) my age time out is a blessing. I hope the title of my next blog is "self control."

Fat chance. Temper tantrum.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Post Post Post

I can't say how many times in the last month I've thought "I'd like to write a new blog." There is so much to say and life is so full with a new addition in the house. What with potty training (for the 2.5 year old not the infant) which is the bane of my existence, nursing, the house, the laundry monster... which is fueled by cloth diapers and constant spit up I must have something interesting to say! Or maybe I just need to make the coffee.

Coffee made, infant screaming, big girl on the potty I guess I'll try again another day. Seriously! But life it too sweet to skip it in order to record it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Baby Sierra's birth Story

After waiting a week past her due date the Worsham family was thrilled that Sierra Rena finally arrived. It's funny, we kept hearing and saying "she's late" but the truth is she was right on time. There are a million little reasons that Tuesday August 16th was the perfect day for Sierra to be born but one of the largest reasons is that my friend and nurse Carol was going to be returning from her vacation at the beach that morning. Her shift started at 6:45AM. I could have scheduled an induction for Tuesday morning but I chose to schedule it for Friday... with the hope that if Thursday's appointment was good we could move it out to Monday. I prayed for labor. What woman who plans on natural childbirth (no drugs) prays for labor? I would argue that any woman who's baby has not arrived on her due date! It is really a mystery how we can be ready for an ordeal like that but oh boy was I ready! Monday evening we were at lifegroup (Cove Church Bible study) and I asked again that they pray for us to have a baby! It was kind of a joke at this point. They all knew I was ready and wishing I could just go into labor on my own no induction, not anything. I started thinking "I wonder if my body is malfunctioning? Am I one of the women who will never go into labor on my own?" Secretly I think my fear was that I wouldn't be okay with it if I was one of those women. Why was I judging them? Why was I judging myself? I had an "induction" with Sophie and things had turned out fine. Birth is about letting go.

Monday night I prayed went to bed with little to no expectations and planned to wait for Friday. Let go, be uncomfortable, be okay with whatever happens. Thank God for a healthy baby when she does come. Try to ignore the way it makes you feel when you hear the phrase "you haven't had that baby YET!" By the way, never tell a woman who is 9 months pregnant (or more!) - "you haven't had that baby YET!" First, it's obvious by her physique that she has not. Second, she is already frustrated by this fact. Third, no matter how she smiles and pretends not to care she probably cried that night when she was alone in the bathroom feeling like a huge and unpleasantly plump pregnant person no matter how cute she might look to you.

Now I'm trying to decide if I should tell my birth story with gory details and warn you off now if you don't want to read them or if I should focus on what was going on in my heart. I think for this post I'll focus on the non-physical details.

I went into labor on my own - yea! I got to labor during stage one at home while reading a novel - yea! I got to take a shower! I got to wake up my spouse at 4:30AM to tell him to take a shower (haha) he looked groggy. I called my mom over to the house at 4:55 (I was waiting until 5AM I thought but my dad swears it was 4:55AM - excuse me). I tried to tell Mike to wait a while longer at home. Mike got to tell me NO WAY! We stopped for coffee on the ride to the hospital. The smell of coffee (usually a lovely aroma) made me throw up. We arrived at the hospital at 6:20AM. By the time we were settled Carol showed up, at 7 my water broke (on it's own - yea) and at 10:42AM we had baby Sierra and a HUGE mess that both Mike and I were grateful that we didn't need to clean up. I knew that she would be born soon on Monday but how soon I wasn't sure of. Waiting for baby Sierra was an act of faith. It showed me that I do really want control - more than I should. The result of waiting and having faith was that I got the desire of my heart even though I had to cry and sweat it out waiting. If it was more laid back I probably would have had the same result without all the struggle but then maybe I wouldn't have needed this lesson. Having a newborn is beautiful. I'm enjoying it so much. Every day is a gift and I'm thankful that we waited for it. I also realize that this is different for everyone and judgement is totally unhelpful... I'm just not going to do it (to myself or others).

Welcome baby Sierra!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Daily Bread

"Give us this day our daily bread..."

For the Israelites it was manna, bread that fell down from heaven to feed them on their desert trek from Egypt to the promised land, and they didn't really appreciate it. For Jesus' followers it was only what they needed for that day whether it was knowledge, power, grace, a lesson. For me it's another day of being pregnant. It is actually a gift.

I was thinking of all the things I've done on the days I thought I'd have a new baby from spending quality time with Sophie to cleaning and organizing. I realized how difficult most of the simple tasks will be while recovering and taking care of an infant. I am anxious to get on with "the next stage" because I know what that side looks like. It's fun and exciting and it's the goal of this whole pregnancy thing and darn it I'm goal oriented! Every day "could be it" and that feels like a whole lot of pressure. God doesn't call me to stress out every day that I don't have a baby. God doesn't ask me to be goal oriented and feel like a failure when I fail to meet my own perception of other's expectations. God calls me to turn to him for the energy and patience I need daily. He asks me to seek him (and his kingdom and righteousness) first and he will add everything else as well (Matthew 6:33).

That's nice. I don't think I like daily bread all that much. It sounds like a good idea for the Israelites. I hear myself saying: "Seriously people, God gives you food from heaven, all you have to do is pick it up and eat it and you're complaining about the flavor or that you don't have enough meat." But doesn't that just sound like me? I hear myself: "Thank you God that my doctor's appointments are uneventful. Thank you that my blood pressure is down. But can't you hurry up with this baby? We're anxious to meet her and you know I like to be on time. The nurse I know is on vacation after tomorrow. My doctor also leaves town this weekend. God I don't think you understand that my time table included a baby this week!"

Daily bread didn't rise this morning? Don't like the flavor of the manna?

The most encouraging thing Mike said all week was: "I'm not leaving." I was complaining about how my nurse was out, my doctor was headed out for vacation and this baby seems to have no plans to make her debut anytime soon. I was griping about my fears and that I was "on my own." The best thing, the kindest thing he could have said to me in that moment was what he did say: that he would be there. I've thought about that over and over since he said it just a couple of days ago. Who would I say was most crucial to me at Sophie's birth? Without a doubt, my husband. I love the professionals but Mike is my partner and coach, the one person I depend on daily and the one who loves our babies as much as I do. How could I take his presence for granted? Some women birth babies without their husbands present for one reason or another (I'm thinking soldiers or others with obligations away from home). How could I forget that I am blessed to have him with me!?

I love when my husband reflects Jesus' character and ministers to me. This was one of those times. He reminded me that like he is there for me when I need him even if all the other people I've decided that I depend on are not; God is faithful and He won't ever leave me or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6). I can't help but mention that Deuteronomy 31:6 starts out by saying "Be strong and courageous..." Isn't that just the right thing to say!? Doesn't it make me more strong and courageous knowing that I have God behind me and also the man (Mike) he sent specifically to take care of me?!

On this day, which also happens to be my due date, I'm going to embrace my daily bread and be thankful. I won't do it just because I have to or in order to finish up another task on my to do list. Let's face it: if it isn't done now it wasn't that big a deal. There must be a reason I'm here even with my limitations and frustrations. I don't want to always rush into that next season of life without taking time to enjoy the current one. How many more days do I have as a mother of one? Most likely not too many. But in any case all I really need is His strength and purpose, just for today.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Waiting

You might notice the lack of post after this week's doctor's appointment. The truth is, there was no news. My blood pressure has stabilized, the baby looked good in the ultrasound, I feel fine and there is no reason I can't wait out this pregnancy. My doctor supports my decision not to rush baby S. I feel that I'm making the best decsion. So, nothing to discuss, nothing to do but wait. A part of me totally understands why people are anxious for induction. There's something about being ready and having to wait that is frustrating. I think we have control of so much in our lives the healthy reminder that we really aren't in control is a shock. So I guess that's it. I've been in shock. I think I have been trying to avoid talking about how close baby is to her arrival because I'm ready whenever and saying "any day now" doesn't make it today. I didn't have all the physical signals I'm experiencing now when I was pregnant with Sophie so I think that each set of new things had me on edge. This weekend would actually be quite good for a baby. I'm up for it, my doctor's on call, my nurse is on until Monday and my good friend who works in Labor & Delivery will be around. The only problem is... I'm not so sure baby will arrive. I feel peaceful about that. Baby will be here soon. She can't stay in there forever! Until then, I'll swim and snuggle extra with Sophie. I'll enjoy sleeping (as much as someone 9 months pregnant can enjoy sleeping) and feeling strong and swimming. I really did enjoy cooking an all Produce Box dinner of spagetti squash, eggplant/mushroom/red pepper, kale chips and convincing both my husband and 2 year old to eat it. (Okay so she was bribed with ice cream and cashews but it worked.)Things are about to change. I don't know why I'm so anxious to rush the process because life is a series of present moments and this present moment is just as precious as tomorrow's.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Slow...

I know last week it sounded like baby S would be here any second and I really was afraid that might be true. I have hoped a few times that labor would start just so that well things could get going. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to wait it's just that with every day waiting is being uncertain about how things will turn out. At least labor would be the next step. I feel like a traveler. I have a bag packed. I try not to buy too much food. I try to keep plans light and loose. I have things ready most of the time.

Well fast forward to today. A week of lap swimming in the mornings and laying down (and sometimes napping) for an hour or 2 every afternoon plus lounging in the pool as much as possible does work wonders. I'm glad to say today's appointment was better than expected. My blood pressure was down to the somewhat "normal" range and though they did 20 minutes (read 40 but told me I needed 20) on the fetal monitor in a non-stress test everything looked great. I left the office feeling fantastic. I have been having contractions pretty regularly for the past week. I'm not sure I'll believe it when I actually go into labor. Every day feels like a gift to me, to my task list, of time with my firstborn, to cherish being pregnant (which might never happen again), to just be. Mike calls it the "calm before the storm." I'm not sure who's feeling calm about all of this. He just had a major victory at work and is continuing to work hard on some pending big-deal projects at the office. I am trying to get things together at home. There's a birthday party I'd like to bring Sophie to on Saturday. I'm trying not to over commit or over plan the next days it's just difficult not to knowing how life will be post baby. So now is a time for rest, to take it slow. Now is a great time to read my Bible then a book, lounge in the pool, fix my nails and play tea party with my 2 year old. Speaking of that 2 year old. She is currently in bed, it is way past bedtime, she is not sleeping and sounding louder than ever. Unfortunately not everyone agrees that this is a time to take things... slow.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Get Set...

You might think that little things don't matter. Sometimes I think that but not this week. Not in a week where each deliberate thing I did was with blood pressure in mind. I don't usually think about blood pressure. I take it for granted because mine is fine (usually). I don't check it. I don't worry about salt intake. I don't eat a pile of potassium. Bottom line, blood pressure is a little thing and one that doesn't really affect me much. I can't see it. I don't feel it. I forget about it.

This morning I canceled my walk (with a friend) because of blood pressure. I stayed home from the gym (where I usually meet another friend) so I could do an hour of yoga to help lower blood pressure. I ate a potassium rich breakfast, got a babysitter and tried to pray and stay calm on my way to my appointment but alas all the attention gave the blood pressure stage fright and a spike was the unpleasant result.

I lay on my left side in the exam room crying, praying and worried. Last time my blood pressure was THAT high I was sent directly to the hospital and had a baby by morning. But last time I was at my due date. This time I'm at 37 weeks. Baby is little. I feel frustrated and I may be more ready than I was last week but this can't be time. She can't be fully developed enough. Yes some items are checked off of the lists both practical and eternal... but eeeeeeek! Dr. A came in, was kind and sensitive. He recommended an ultrasound to make sure baby and placenta and amniotic fluid were all okay. I could come back in a couple of hours. I could bring my own blood pressure monitor -courtesy of my parents- to calibrate. I need to rest. I ask if that means no more spin class. He looks at me sideways and says you need to be HORIZONTAL when you rest. So I say - that's a yes for no more cardio or? He says I can swim or do water aerobics if I must exercise as long as it doesn't raise my blood pressure when I check it. That is assuming I don't go directly to the hospital after my ultrasound.

Serendipitously my dear friend is in the waiting room for her own appointment as I'm walking out. I get a quick hug then tell her the condensed version of the scoop. I'm thankful just to see her sweet face. God sent her. She might not know it but she wasn't there for an appointment today. At least not in my opinion.

I get my tail to the hospital and preregister. Kind of late, I know, but better now than in 2 hours. I rush to work and tie up loose ends. I make sure Mike has cleared his afternoon and can make it to the 1PM ultrasound. I rush home, get big sister settled and off with her grandparents for the afternoon with an overnight bag just in case. I snatch 2 pb&j sandwiches, my computer, my hospital bag and the infant car seat. There are a few things undone but they don't matter. Husband and wife (me) converge at the doctor's office on time. We scarf down our pb&j and wait.

We wait an hour to get into the ultrasound. The ultrasound machine is new. There are 2 people in the room running it and trying things out on it. It takes another hour. I'm irritated and relieved because they appear to think everything looks great and are busy trying to show me feet and face and other baby characteristics. They want to play with the new machine. I do not but I'm feeling somewhat confused about how to react. They send the doctor in who says it all looks great and I can calibrate my portable blood pressure monitor then I am free to go home if I promise to rest. (horizontal = rest, remember?)

My blood pressure measures fairly low on my portable. They take it on their monitor. It measures much lower, normal. It measures 2 weeks ago pre-worries low! I remember how many people have been praying. I remember many things about how today could have or might have gone. I retake my pressure on the portable. I'm no longer a risk. I assume that's why suddenly all nurses and doctors have gone on with their business. My husband says that the monitors measure close enough. We walk out. No one really notices. I'm relieved.

It feels like being on the starting line at a big race. Last week I heard the official yell "Ready" this week "Set?!" all that's left is a shot or an emphatic "GO!"

It's the little things that I don't notice that do matter. Last night a couple from our Lifegroup (Cove Church Bible Study) gave us all the leftovers from the dinner they made for the group saying "now you don't have to cook tomorrow." Oh am I thankful. Maybe to them it was a little thing but tonight we had soft tacos and tasty rice and I only had to press buttons on the microwave. All seems settled and right. I even get to exercise! I'm allowed to do all things water, swim laps, water aerobics and whatever else I think up as long as it's not on land. The little things do matter even the ones I usually don't see or feel or think about. Tonight I'm tired but I'm also more thankful. It could have gone much differently today and so the little things like my own bed and my own couch, tucking my daughter in and getting her off to sleep all seem more significant. The little things are so crucial.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Getting Ready

Getting ready for baby S to be born in less than a month has been at the front of my mind. I have a room full of baby gear new and from big sister staged but not ready. We recently got sister a bunk bed so that the toddler bed could reconvert to a crib. It's converted and waiting. Sister's room is not quite redone. Our house was housing my parents recently moved from California. I think this is their second week in Carolina... and their move has been a big prep for us too. Though our part in helping them do projects is less now than it was a week ago. Nothing is finished. Nothing is in order. I'm not due for 3.5 weeks but I have this sneaking suspicion, well I'll ignore that for now. Tuesday my blood pressure was up at my checkup. Big surprise. Guess what lovely treat awaits those with a blood pressure spike in the last few weeks of pregnancy? 24 hour urine collection. Joy! I have a 2 year old. Please don't touch that. What is it? Can I hold it? Can I help? This is one thing you canNOT help with. Please go to the other room and shut the door behind you. Yes, I'm okay. Yes mommy is okay. (Am I okay?)

So I read about lowering blood pressure, without medication. Diet - check. Exercise - double check. More potassium - this I can use, I will eat more cantaloupe and watermelon and bananas yum! A massage - oh yea I can do that! Meditate - when? Breathe deeply. Remove stress - haha thank you that's funny. Drink red wine - I wish. I know the real cure for gestational hypertension which this isn't, at least not yet. I'm still on the border of having high pressure.

Then a slip of the tongue reminds me that preparing for baby's arrival is more like preparing for a marathon than it is a sprint. It's more preparing my heart for raising 2 daughters in a godly way than it is preparing for a smooth delivery and welcome home for baby. Those first weeks are hard. I know what I'm up against this time. Yes, there are things to be done before baby arrives like cleaning up and washing clothes, buying diapers or rewashing the cloth ones that I'm daring to try. Yes I do need to get together my hospital bag and preregister for heaven's sake! But aside from the essentials is our family and my character ready for the arrival of baby girl S? I've been preparing big sister for months. She seems ready. The transition out of the highchair and into the booster at the table was seamless, easy, even enjoyable for her. Well, except that the dog can reach her lap now so she need only put the offending piece of zucchini in her lap and it magically disappears. We're working on that. The transition into her new bunk bed was easy. Even if she fell out the first night she loves her new bed that daddy built and does not complain. She joyfully looks at my belly and says how happy she is that baby S is "a comin'." I worry that my labor might start in the evening when I'm clearly a morning person. I'm worried about having enough love, enough energy, giving enough attention. I'm worried about the word "favorite" and the pain that it's misuse can cause (mostly from well meaning others). I'm worried about everything rather than being ready for anything. I'm worried about getting too busy. I feel too busy already. That has to be a justified one right?

I read Matthew 6:31-34 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%206:31-34&version=NIV Worry isn't all that it has cracked up to be. Besides Jesus reminds me that I'm not in control even if I want to pretend that I am. If I seek Him first everything else will be added as well. Oh and what are they worried about? What to eat/drink... we're good on that. God's already got us covered, our family has enough food and baby S too. I'm equipped without doing a thing! What to wear, mostly good but by necessity's standards we are more than overstocked.

I need to take my cues from the 2 year old in my life. I need to prepare my heart, accept the essentials cheerfully and really get ready to be the mother of not one but 2 girls. For me, that means thoughtful meditation on God's heart, reading my Bible daily, working on my character diligently and realistically tackling only what is needed today. By His grace I'll be ready even when I'm not prepared for the "getting" ready.

By the way, the cure for hypertension caused by pregnancy really is quite simple. I know it is effective. It's called delivery.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's been too long

So not posting this on FB but since you subscribe if you are getting this then I think it's fine. The long hiatus from blogging was because I didn't want to spill my guts on purpose or on accident. We have had quite the exciting month around the Worsham household! I've been ready to puke or nap most of the time. Sophie's really hitting some new developmental milestones and really this week is the first time I've felt like I've had control of the household chores since before the holidays!

Some highlights:
1)The dog - Sophie and the dog are funny. They play together. Sophie bosses Molly around. Sophie releases the dog when we have asked her to "sit and stay." Sophie also has taken on the chore of feeding the dog and giving her treats both of which, she loves. Unfortunately an occasional pb&j has been sacrificed to the dog in the name of "she wants it mommy." Dog and toddler no longer mutually exclusive dependents; dog and toddler now plotting together against the parentals... priceless (and actually worth the trade).

2)Sunday's weather - Oh my goodness Southern California came to visit NC last Sunday afternoon. We so needed it! We basked in the sunshine outside for hours, played with bubbles, swept the porch, cleaned off the driveway and generally enjoyed the one day break from the winter wonderland!

3) Naps - my new friends naps. Sophie naps like a champ and I take most opportunities to do the same. In fact, right now she's napping. Why am I still typing? It's time, time for a... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz