Friday, April 29, 2011

I promise I am not crazy

Just thought I would let you all know that at soon as I write about all this stuff.....I stop worrying or crying about it. So, basically you all read my craziest parts. You are very welcome.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Today, it feels like Saturday.....

I swing back and forth on the pendulum of emotion. I know that some of this is simply pregnancy emotion and that everyone does it. I remember staying home from work so that I could cry all day with Juliet, before all the twin business started. I was just completely overwhelmed by the thought of a baby in my life. What if I didn't want to go back to work? What if I was terrible at motherhood? What if my emotions never went back into control? What if there was something wrong? What if all the worrying caused something to be wrong? What if Christian died and she would never know her father? What if they had to put me into a medically induced coma just to gestate the baby, and then a c-section and then they pulled the plug and she would never know me? (I swear I wasn't watching soap operas all day, but it sure sounds like it.....).

I also remember thinking that I of all people did not have a right to think and feel those things. I wanted this baby this was a planned  pregnancy. Here I was weeping over the life change this baby who I hoped and planned for and I still hoped that other women would be braver than I and carry babies to term who were not hoped and planned for. Hy-po-crite.

This time around I am still a mess, but a different kind. This pregnancy has been surprisingly less emotionally exhausting. Maybe it is because I am emotionally throwing up on anyone who read this and not keeping it all inside. (Thank you dear readers, have a wet wipe.) But physically I am drained, drained. And the sheer exhaustion has definately made me generally crabby. Oh and what is that, hello 20 week Braxton-Hicks.

But ultimately, over all I would say this pregnancy feels like the space between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. On Sunday someone mentioned that Saturday, the one between The Crucifixion and Resurrection,  and I have been thinking about it a lot. We talked about it a little bit in small group yesterday. What was it like for them? The disciples, the crowds who had been following Jesus and believing that He was indeed the messiah. What was it like for his mom, who had believed so effortlessly when the angels came to tell her that she was with child....but hadn't had sex yet? What was it like for people who had dropped their careers and abandoned families to follow Jesus, only to watch Him die on a cross? How did they deal with the reality they were seeing when it conflicted with the hope and faith that had been growing in their hearts about who Jesus was. Who Jesus proved himself to be over and over again.

Sure, by Sunday it all made sense. That whole ridiculous business about being sold and crucified, really THAT was the piece that wasn't a parable? Really? Okay, he WAS the Messiah, He IS the messiah, regardless of the expectations He made it work. By Sunday there was a greater plan explained, an understanding that only comes from the complete picture. How I long for the complete picture.

But that Saturday must have been rough. Some people were probably angry, some disappointed, others frustrated. Maybe some wallowed in their doubt, or were already on their way home to beg for their jobs back and apologize to their family members, knowing they would hear "I told you so" for a long long time. I like to think that there were some who clung to the hope that if they just held out long enough Jesus would come back and make it all make sense somehow.

And Saturday is exactly what this pregnancy feels like, what every pregnancy will feel like (and Lord have mercy may this be the one, next tops) until there are two baby boys in my arms. Two tiny heart beats on the monitor. I go from anger, to doubt, always in confusion. I don't want to be disappointed, but know I will be. I am trying to have faith....and when push comes to shove I know they are is only the when that I struggle with.

I feel so small, so selfish. I know that people have real problems. There are millions of women who would beg for ANY baby. That infertility is a heartbreaking path that the I will never have to travel down. At this point I am absolutely guaranteed two biological plus as many as we choose to adopt. I know how lucky I am. And yet, I want my boys. The ones I know are out there, are designated for me. And I want to be sure and rest in peace, the peace of Sunday because I know the fulfilment is coming. But right now, I have the desperate faith and hope of Saturday. Because it isn't Sunday yet, and I need to be okay with my Saturday faith.....because I believe God is okay with it.

Tuesday I have an ultra-sound. I am praying that anyway it is, it will be revealed to me on Tuesday. But you know what I want it took look like.....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Uh Oh!

Peanut is using new words by the second. Her current favorite is Uh-Oh! Ever the English teacher I am attempting to get her to use her new word only when appropriate. It has been going something like this:

Peanut (dropping her sippy cup on purpose): Uh-Oh!

Me: Peanut, that isn't an uh-oh. That was on purpose.

Peanut: (Looking at the cup and then me): Uh-Oh!

Me: No, not an uh

Peanut (interrupting): Uh-Oh! Uh-Oh!

Me: No, purpose

Peanut: Uh-Oh

Me: No because you

Peanut (interrupting again):Uh-OH UH-OH!

Christian: You just lost that debate to an 11 month old.

Me: Fine, here is you sippy, don't drop

Peanut (you guessed it): Uh-Oh!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What have I been praying for?

Yesterday I was hit in the face with the reality of how into me I am. Ughh. Don't you love the mirror God occasionally holds up to your heart? Yesterday, I did not.

We bought a car a couple of weeks ago. We meant to get around to making the key. We did. But I work full time and am ridiculously tired because this baby(s) is eating me from the inside out. Christian has the baby the days he is home, we babysit two nights a week. Weekends are full of other stuff. We just don't feel like it, but we will get to it later......except now we won't get to it later because somehow this weekend we managed to lose the key. We looked everywhere. I even went through the trash. Gone. Like yesterday, the key is gone. We need the key so I can get to work tomorrow. The replacement cost us $250. Ouch.

Also, Sunday I couldn't get the Wii remote to work. This may not sound like a big deal, but we don't have cable and we stream netflix live through the Wii. So, basically the TV went out.

And finally, today Christian texted me to let me know that he couldn't find his keys and may not be able to get to work. While the Internet at school was acting up and my lesson plans demanded netflix and the new superintendent was roaming the school looking for classes to pop in on. Awesome!

All of this has driven me to my knees. I have been praying desperately and fervently. Please just let this stuff work! Which makes me realize that I haven't been praying desperately and fervently for much else lately. Not for my friends and co-workers who don't know the Lord, not for the city I profess to love deeply. Not for my children, the peanut or whoever happens to be residing in my uterus. Not even for guidance as to whether or not I should teach summer school. I have been praying I make it to work on time the 4 days a week I am cutting it too close for comfort.

I remember a time in college where this wasn't the case. I had a lot of friends who didn't know the Lord personally. Some of them seemed to be seeking, some of them had let me know up front that they didn't really have any interest, but they were okay with the fact that the whole Jesus thing seemed to be working for me. I was on my knees for these people every single night. I would literally cry out to God, tears streaming down my face, for the lives of my friends. I steadily prayed for three people who didn't know the Lord all through Junior High and High School, the inside of my dresser decorated with an orange piece of construction paper with a three person list and a Jesus fish in blue paint marker. God has twice in my life repeatedly woken me up to pray for things that I didn't fully understand until the whole situation was revealed (both had to do with unborn babies no one knew about).

But right now? Currently I am completely keyed into praying for things that make my life easier, that benefit and convenience me. It isn't that I don't think God doesn't want these things for my life. It is just that....well.....I like the person I am better when I am more in tune with other people's problems, with other's needs. Considering where I work, there are people in my life (my students) who have larger problems than their netflix not working. When my prayers are less concerned with the admittedly shallow needs of my own and more concerned with the deep hurt of the world around me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sisters, sisters

I went  to visit my sister and her three kids in Detroit over spring break. I had a great time but it was so cold. Why do people live where it snows, in April? I am so so so glad that the Lord called me to Atlanta and not Alaska.

So I was at my sister's in Alaska Detroit. She has three kids. Three girls. Basically she has the exact family we were raised in, space between sisters and all. 5, 3, and 1. It was super fun to be around. I kept calling us the estrogen parade. Everybody at the mall, or at the zoo (where we had a friend's 4 year old girl- 5 girls under 5) kept commenting about all of those little girls. Especially when we dressed them alike for their picture. Here were some of the highlights

*Deciding at 8 am to get the girls dressed in matching outfits (that we had to find and put together) and get their picture taken. We had never done this before and it was hilarious. The big girls did a great job but the babies were a little less than co-operative. So the poor photographer had to keep a 3 and 5 year old in place and smiling while the Em's youngest cried that she wasn't being held by mama and the Peanut (who refused to nap that day) pulled on her ear and looked border line comatose. Lucky for us we got one good photo. So it wasn't a difficult decision.

*After the photo-shoot we drove half way across town to go to the mall with the play place, got the kids fed (the Peanut was mad I didn't get her food fast enough). Where there was a sweet carousel and Em and I had no cash so the big girls had to be told sorry after we had said yes.....oops. Luckily there was enough change for them to each go on the ride of their choice. They were remarkably amiable about the whole thing. By the time we got home I was really glad my brother-in-law had made dinner. We were all pretty tired.

*Four girls in one bathtub. The squealing, the splashing. The sheer joy of it all.

Mostly it was fun to watch the older sisters interact. I don't really have any memories of what it was like to have day to day interactions with my sisters when I was one or three. It was pretty entertaining, especially watching the older two. The oldest who I will refer to as the Star and the second who I will call the Scientist were constantly playing together. Occasionally the Star would tell the Scientist "You can't be my best friend anymore." Which she is NOT allowed to say. Mostly because it is mean, but also because it is not true. Em and I were sitting around laughing about it.

Ask Jill and I, as much as you try to avoid it you sisters are there. Always there.....the person who you are screaming at across the 150 people in the band room, is the "extra" person you want with you in the delivery room when you are birthing your first child. The person who bears the scars of your fights is the same one who is still able to make you laugh until you pee yourself at 27 years old. It is the arch of sisterhood. Those old rivalries and frustrations will fade and be the strange foundation of the closest relationship outside of your marriage. If you let them. If you forgive. If you and your family covers those relationships in prayer. Believe me. I know.

I still remember the Christmas where I was engaged, where Jill and I had erupted into yet another argument. I know it was about something stupid, but I don't remember exactly what. We ended up yelling across the living room as our extended family wondered if we were ever going to be able to get along. And my dad let us know what a bad witness it was. Two people who professed to be followers of Christ, who spoke of the forgiveness of sin, were unable to forgive each other of anything, ever. Whooops. Merry Christmas.

We began praying for our relationship without telling each other, and just a few years later Jill was the family member I was praying would come here. Jill was the one I was so desperately grateful for when I had my baby, funny how God's grace can work out like that. Can cover and heal relationships if you let it.

There is little doubt in my mind that The Star and The Scientist will have a similarly close relationship as they age. And for them I leave this hilarious interaction. Because, who else can you puke on but your sister.

Star: (Bursting in the door) I PUKED! I puked on Scientist, I puked on her coat. I PUKED on Scientist's coat!

Scientist: (Trudging in) Someone puked on my coat, star puked on my coat. I do not want to wear this coat anymore.

At which point I was doing everything I could to control my laughter. When I found out that Scientist had made Star laugh so hard that she puked up the birthday cake she had eaten I couldn't contain myself any longer and covered my head with a blanket until I laughed till I cried.

See, this is what you need sisters for, to make you laugh so hard you have some sort of bodily fluid come out of you involuntarily.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

The importance of Clinton Klett

So I work at an urban High School. I really enjoy it. I find these kids particularly charming. As difficult as it is, and as much as I whine about it (oh, and how) I feel privileged that these kids share their lives with me. I also am grateful that my life is bigger than me, what is going on in my own house. I like that God has given me a heart for people who have it a whole lot harder than I do. I like watching so many of  them rise from their circumstances and succeed.

Anyway, I went to an assembly with my students yesterday. It was about post-secondary options, specifically, dual enrollment. Basically, the state of Georgia will give qualifying students the opportunity to go to college for high school credit for free. This is a great opportunity for most kids, but especially for mine for a couple of reasons. Most of my kids don't have parents or siblings or cousins who went to college, so they don't know what it is like or what to expect. If they can take one class while still at home and the rest at high school it is a good way to make the whole college thing less intimidating. Also, no one needs FREE college more than my kids. And they will likely go to school in GA and qualify for a lot of financial aid, which tax payers foot the bill for. So if the tax payers can pay for a credit once and not have to foot the bill for the high school credit as well, everyone is better off.

In order to promote this whole dual enrollment thing, the state produced a video that is on a website that they are requiring the couselors to make every kid watch. Here is my beef with the video. While it is supposed to be talking about ALL the different ways you can get college credit in high school, the video highlighted a single student. Clinton Klett.  And he is as white as his name. Whiter even. He is a student at Georgia Tech and he came to tech with a ridiculous 27 hours worth of AP credit. There aren't even 27 hours worth of AP options offered at my school.

But there ARE options that COULD work for my kids. The move on when ready seems like it could really work for them, and some community colleges are right off Marta lines on purpose....but that isn't what the video focuses on. The video focuses on Clinton Klett, the white kid who aced his bajillion AP classes and talks about the benefit of being able to take less classes his Jr. and Sr. year instead of the cash benefit of graduating a semester or two early. Oh yeah, because Mr. Klett has the ability to bank roll little Clinton's education.

In don't mean to knock this kid. I am sure he worked really freaking hard in high school and think it is great that he gets to reap these benefits. But the focus of the video let MY kids know in no uncertain terms that this video was not designed with them in mind. If it was they would have had a Clinton Klett in smaller doses and had Myesha Parks who took the bus to night classes and can tell you how much money she saved and how she could support herself one year sooner. Or a kid talking about how the computer classes let them not have to listen to b.s. from teachers. That would get my students interested.

But they didn't. The lovely people who make all the statewide decisions for all the students in GA choose Clinton Klett as the sole spokesperson. Classic.