Monday, June 25, 2012


I want to spend a few moments in gratitude. I have so much to be grateful for: a loving husband, delightful children, model parents, a thoughtful sister, great in-laws, and a wonderful extended family. I have a house that is more than adequate, plenty of food on the table, cool air in the house, clothes in my closet, and diapers in the nursery. I am healthy, and those I love are healthy.

I will admit that my days with three little kids is total chaos. Total. Chaos. My house is a mess even though I straighten it a billion times a day; I have no mental energy to think about what to cook my family for one meal, let alone three meals a day; I am holed up in "baby jail" feeding Lainey for what feels like eight hours a day; and someone always needed something five minutes ago.

Also. Madeline now requests to wear underwear over her diaper. Coralie has to put on lip gloss before we go anywhere. The girls are completely unaware that it is a hundred degrees outside and ask to play on the driveway every ten minutes. I took Madeline to get her hair cut, and the stylist did such a horrible job that five cuts into it, I told her to stop. I took Mads home and then tried my hand at cutting her hair. (Needless to say, it's short.) Coralie has announced that she will be taking showers instead of baths now.

Throw in a newborn, and I am in over my head. For someone who likes order and predictability, my life is laughable right now. I taught Coralie to tell me, whenever she thinks I am stressed, "Mom, it's only for a few months."

The new-baby stage is so so short. And so so so sweet. I don't want to wish these next months away, but I know I need the reminder that life will not always be so chaotic. I am grateful for this chaos, and I am grateful that the chaos isn't permanent. 

But there is something else I am abundantly grateful for.

My mom, RiRi, lived with us for an entire month, helping me and loving my girls. She did laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, bedtime routines, cooking, counseling, and playing while she was here. She freed me up to learn about my newest daughter, to go to doctor's appointments, to rest while my body healed,  and to actually enjoy the craziness of bringing home a new baby. She freed Ryan up to go back to work before his wife was ready to be alone with three kids all day.

She held Lainey when she cried or needed to be burped, she let Coralie do make-up with her every day, she taught Madeline at least a dozen new words, and she talked with me late into the night while I fed Lainey one last time before bed.

I don't think it is possible for me to adequately express either my gratitude or my love for my mom. Or my admiration for that matter. But I do know how to be a good mom to daughters based on my mom's example, and I will work every day to pass that legacy onto my daughters.

Thank you, Mom, for giving us a month of your life, for the third time in four years. Thank you, Dad, for being a "bachelor" for that long and for coming to Wichita four times in the past 30 days. (And while I'm at it, thank you, Allie for making the trip twice. I loved having you here for Lainey's birth. Your sacrifice to make those two short trips in the span of five days leaves me feeling very blessed to have you as my sister.)

Gratitude. Yes, that is what is defining my day today.