Rachel had six weeks of maternity leave and Delilah was mostly on her week-off schedules with mommy having her no-work days so I had much time to myself and few adventures to write about. My life actually became quietly routine. Three weeks ago, Rachel returned to work and Hannah became my baby during the day. I had Leah all day for two days the first two weeks and Delilah only three days of those weeks since the Easter holiday occurred during this time. In addition, Rachel only worked half days. This was an adjustment with Hannah being an infant. It was last summer with Cassi since I had to deal with bottles, burping, and sleepy times.
I’ve had Leah and Hannah together several times but only one day with all three. That day was very difficult. But, it was only frustrating for three hours as Delilah slept late and Leah played quietly by me while I attended to Hannah. Once Delilah was awake and fed breakfast, the battle began. I can’t begin to tell you how often I heard, “You’re not the boss of me!” and that was from BOTH girls. They fought over toys and who was allowed to do what. Once, they were pushing and shoving each other which should have called for a time out but I didn’t want to deal with the crying and tantrums during time out so I got the girls up to the table for a craft.There was a cute winter craft I had planned for our snow day but Tim kept Delilah home that day and I did not get to do it. I traced a picture of a mug onto cereal box sides and cut them out. The girls were to paint the mugs with paints so I had plenty of newspaper down. I gave Leah paint dabbers of blue and red while Delilah got the paintbrush and paints. The girls loved it but I had to hold Hannah most of the time because she was fussy so I was stressed because sleeves were dragging through the paint and there was mess everywhere.
For the top of the mug, where the hot chocolate would be, I poured a line of chocolate syrup and the girls spread it around. Rachel came home at that moment and saw all the girls and I working on the craft with Hannah sleeping on my shoulder. The scene must gave looked so calm and controlled! But, I assured her that looks were deceiving and filled her in on my crazy morning. She and I agreed that it would get better as all settled into a new routine.
The second week was Holy Week so I had Leah and Hannah on Monday and just Hannah on Tuesday through Thursday. I was to have Delilah on Thursday but Cassidy was having problems with her g-tube and Val had to take her to the specialists to figure out what to do. Val had no sleep all day Wednesday with Cassi’s appointments so she did not go to work that night. This meant that Delilah would stay home with her on Thursday and home with daddy on Good Friday since Tim had the day off. By the end of this week, I had Hannah and a routine set in place. Two of those days, I took her for a walk in her stroller. She loved it!
My church had a Maundy Thursday service in the evening. Our new eduction director gave the message. I liked it very much. He’s about twenty-five years old so this is his very first appointment. He’s doing a very good job of adding elective Bible classes to our schedule in the evenings and during Sundays. I like his vision of Christian growth for children and adults.
When I attend a church service, with a sermon, I take notes on my iPad. Before iPads, I wrote down my notes. I have been keeping notes of sermons for several decades. My bookshelf is lined with ring binders of notes from all the messages I have heard over the years. I started this during college when I realized I had a knack for writing down notes. As I listen, I zone into summarizing the message. It helps me remember the message because I am attentive throughout. I have also gone back through my notes in subsequent weeks to refresh my memory of the message. I truly feel that since ministers spend so much time preparing these messages, that I should honor their work by making it more permanent than just within my memory.
Good Friday’s service involved all of our ministerial staff. Between reading passages of Jesus’ arrest and cruxifixction and music from our contemporary team and the choir, several of the staff did soliloquies from the perspective of Judah, Mary Magdalene, and Peter. It was very moving to me and certainly put me in the correct mood for Easter. They do such a marvelous job of depicting the characters and getting their message across.
There were twenty-nine relatives and friends at our Easter celebration. We used the same facility as we have for this past Thanksgiving and two Easters past. We all marveled about how lovely the weather has been for every event. This is ideal since the children have a lovely playground to use. Every grandchild but Jared was there, including BJ’s two boys, Draven and Eziah. My cousin, Matthew, gravitated to Cassi. His career as a rehab nurse gives him a different perspective than the rest of us and he loves to hold her. James latches onto my other nephew, a Ben, and my brother has a special rapport with Zae and all his autistic tendencies. Zae was worried that bugs were gooing to bite him so my brother “attacked” all those nasty bugs before they could get near Zae. Rachel only held Hannah to breastfeed her. The rest of the day, she was passed around from relative to relative and loved. Trinity, Delilah, and Leah spent the day playing together, mostly by running and screaming. We had a gigantic egg hunt for the seven that understood what it was all about. The men in the family hid the eggs while we were cleaning up from dinner. I loved the excitement on the children’s faces as they lined up by the door to the outside, baskets in hand. As always, my mind went back to my brothers and I waiting in anticipation to hunt eggs as little children and then, watching my children as they did the same. Now, it’s my grandchildren’s turn and the eagerness is just as heightened by the wait by the door as it was for those generations past.
I was delighted to put my new van to use! Rather than have Aaron, Mary, and the five children using his very beat up van to travel to the Easter celebration, I took them all in my van. Poor Aaron had to climb all around the back to get the car seats hooked up correctly, and then to get three of the boys settled in those car seats. Trinity and Eziah took the middle with Aaron in the front with me. Mary took BJ’s car with all the supplies and food. This was the first time I had the Odyssey completely filled and it worked very well! The NanaVan is going to be very useful indeed!
- Oh, the sweetness of a baby! Sure, there’s poop and spit up, and uncontrolled crying, but it doesn’t take much to calm Hannah. And, oh my, she is such a snuggle-bunny! She loves to nestle in to the side of my neck and drift off to sleep. So angelic! I’m liking this babysitting gig even more.
- I feel like a queen driving the NanaVan around. All those specialties from the moonroof, to the ability to link my phone, plus climate control within this automobile make me feel very pampered. Imagine! My phone rings and my car answers it! All I have to do is talk.
- Holy Week and Easter will always be a wonderful time to take stock of my dedication to God and get myself on the right track if I’ve been drifting. And being surrounded by family and grandchildren recharges my batteries.