Friday, December 14, 2012

I suck ... there, I said it

I've been reading 2 Corinthians lately and am struck by how many times Paul boasts about his weaknesses. He talks about his inarticulate speaking skills, his thorn in the flesh and his moments of loneliness - and does so with gusto. It's not because he's trying to outdo Debby Downer and revel in misery; he does so because he has learned that when we are weak, then we are strong.

And none of us is 100% strong 100% of the time. There's something freeing in allowing ourselves to be imperfect with weaknesses and shortcomings.

So in that vein, here is my confession: I suck at multi-tasking. Seriously.

In college I waitressed at Pizza Hut for a semester and I quickly learned that I was fine as long as I have 2 tables or fewer. But toss me a third table and I immediately forgot basic skills, like greeting customers or bringing them drinks. It's as though a glance at the waiting, hungry horde was enough to overwhelm me and cause me to breakdown.

And now I have 4 hungry hordes (careful how you say that). And I still seize up when all 4 are hungry or fussy at the same time. I catch myself forgetting basic steps and will be in the middle of an activity before I remember, "Oh wait, I should have done ____ before I started this." For instance, 2 nights ago I started bathing the babies. Mid-wash I remembered that I should have put their bottles in the warmer so the babies could eat as soon as they were clean. But then I remembered I hadn't made a batch of formula. So while naked babies laid on the bathroom floor, I scrambled to assemble bottles that could be warmed that could be consumed after the washing.


So if you see me wandering the streets of Jacksonville with empty bottles, please steer me back home and whisper in my ear what it is that I'm supposed to do next.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Hardship Begets Generosity

Today I've been thinking of the medical bills that already have started rolling in. We are blessed to have decent insurance, but triplets who remain in the NICU for 2-3 weeks are bound to cost a pretty penny (or cute penny as the case may be). Honestly, I'm not sure how we're going to pay these bills. I'm working on the faith aspect and trusting God but there are days it's hard to believe we will come out of this with more than the clothes on our backs.

And then God does amazing things to remind me He hasn't forgotten nor is He surprised.

He leads me to verses that tell of a small band of believers who were undergoing immense poverty and persecution. Yet, in the midst of their suffering Paul tells us that they "begged us insistently" for the opportunity to give. Seems the reverse of what I would do in the midst of poverty and hardship; yet Paul says because of their generosity and faith, not only were their names being remembered but so was the name of God.

He then surprised me with a very unexpected gift from my dearest and bestest friend. My friend, who is not Scrooge McDuck swimming in money, is probably the most generous person I know. She sent a note with a check. Her note said she had the opportunity to earn some extra money and she wanted us to have it for Christmas, formula and diapers. And the check was beyond anything I would normally accept from a friend.

Not only will I remember her gift forever and ever, but I'll remember this day as a reminder from God that He is Jehovah Jireh. And God is faithful. And my friend is awesome.

Conner Predictions

I'm not psychic and fully admit I could be 100% wrong regarding my predictions for these cute children (minus Santa). However, based on the time I've seen them, here are my guesses regarding my four offspring.

Nickname: Addie Boo, Midget, Munchkin
Character: strong-willed, compassionate, fearless
Prediction for future: Addie will be class president and possibly a lawyer. She has strong convictions of what is right and wrong, and is rarely willing to budge from her conviction. She can dig in her heels with a stubborn streak rarely seen, but I believe this character trait will serve her well. I don't think Addie will be one who is easily swayed; rather, she will be the one leading the swayers.

Nickname: Sweet cheeks (seriously, you have to see her cheeks)
Character: laid back and easy going
Prediction for future: McKenna will be the one to engage in reading and non-competitive activities. While her siblings are arguing or getting into trouble, McKenna will be cuddled next to her daddy as she reads a book. She will be the obedient one who we could leave alone for the weekend at home and know the house will still be standing when we return.

Nickname: Chubs
Character: needy, daring, mischievous
Prediction for future: Josiah will be the kind of kid who you worry about when he gets quiet. At just 1 week old, he was already trying to roll over in the NICU. He started out the weakest of the triplets but quickly surpassed them. He is VERY strong and determined. Josiah will be the instigator and will be the one to think of new ways to try daring adventures.

Nickname: Lil Bit, Q-tip (due to her white hair)
Character: feisty, fun
Prediction for future: Ryleigh will be all tomboy. Even the nurses in the NICU talked about how Ryleigh require more baths than the other kids because she was always messy and smelly. I can see her being the fun kid who runs around with boys. She also will be the character in the group. Even now, she loves to put on a show of facial expressions as we laugh at her antics.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

A Whole Lotta Lovin'

So if you pay attention you'll notice a large gap of time has passed since my last post. There's a reason for this: their names are McKenna, Josiah and Ryleigh. And most likely you know they were born Oct. 24 and spent a few weeks in the hospital before being released home. Josiah has been home nearly a month; the girls came a week after him.

And life has never been the same.

Our 3-year-old is more visible in expressing her shock over our new lives. She has taken to throwing splendid tantrums in Target. If you happen to see a toddler lying on the ground thrashing her legs, chances are it's my child and you'll find me hiding one aisle over. She also has decided the hill on which she's willing to die involves clothing. It can take her 20 min to choose underwear and an hour to choose a dress. If I dare dress her in something she didn't choose, I risk igniting another Mt. Vesuvius scream eruption. When people ask me how we are coping, I sadly tell them life with the triplets is a cakewalk. It's our 3-year-old who frustrates and baffles me.

Mike, too, seems to be coping with this life transformation in his own way. Most days we are both optimistic that things are going well and will only get better. But after sleepless nights or endless fussiness from our son, Mike will be known to say, "I've decided I don't like babies."

And I know what he means. They are smelly, messy and very very needy. Our schedule revolves around their schedule and there are days I feel like a prisoner in my own home. It may be noon before I'm able to shower and brush my teeth. We can go days without leaving the house - which I hate for Addie since she's so active and can't tolerate this slothfulness well. And tasks that normally took 10 min can now take half the day.

Thankfully, Mike has been working from home and has been a HUGE help. We've also been propped up by family, friends, church members and lots and lots of coffee. Honestly, I don't think we could have survived without folks coming to bring meals or to feed babies. We've even had a few nights of uninterrupted sleep thanks to my parents watching the babies long enough for Mike and I to escape, sleep, breathe and reset ourselves.

So while things may seem chaotic and messy, I know we are starting to find our balance. We have a system for feedings, cleaning and surviving. And once in a while we have time to write, read and relax.