How not to change a diaper

1. Quickly take off the child’s diaper while they are standing.  Do not bother to check if there is anything other than urine in the diaper.
2. Make a gutteral ‘OH’ sound when realizing there is a ‘prize’ in the diaper.
3. Do not not put the diaper back on and lay the child down.  Instead let him stand there while you start to grab a wipe.
4. Change your mind and grab toilet paper instead even though it is several steps farther away.  Watch child follow you and pray things stick for a minute.
5. While wiping the tush of the standing squirming child knock a bit of the ‘prize’ on the floor.  Quickly try to clean the floor while keeping child’s feet out of it.
6. Lay child down on the rug you just washed a few hours before.  Realize his tush was not completely clean.  Clean tush and rug.   Repeat process.
7. Run the diaper, wipes, and rags to the washing machine.  Don’t bother to put another diaper on child.  Discover you took too long to get diaper on.  Use your foot to make this discovery.
8. Clean foot and carpet.
9. Get distracted by starting load of dipes and rags and don’t put diaper on child.
10. Watch as child finds a sibling’s toy spoon and tries to pee on it.  Laugh to yourself and think about boys and their parts.
11. Stop laughing when child successfully pees on spoon and floor.
12. Clean floor and spoon.  Think harder about toilet training.
13. Finally get diaper on child.
14. Wonder what part of your brain is fried since you have changed a minimum of 5 diapers per day for almost 4 1/2 years and ought know better.  Know that the chances of this happening again in the future are pretty high.
15. Start composing blog post in your head.
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Love or strangling? Both.

Matt:  “I didn’t yell at her, aren’t you proud of me?”  Chel: “Yes!  I didn’t kill her, aren’t you proud of me?”

My pride and joy.  One of the greatest loves of my heart.  I’d do anything for her.  And today I wanted to strangle her.  No, there’s no need to call the authorities.  I wouldn’t actually do that.  I just said I wanted to.  Wanted to very badly.  I love her so much, but I think I understand why some species eat their young.

It’s partly my fault.  The little ones were playing so well together today.  Every time I checked on them they were doing great.  So at one point I was reading a book (my kindle might be the death of me yet) and apparently I waited too long to check on them.

Did you know clumping cat litter sticks to a toddler’s scalp like glue?

Did you know vacuums make really funky sounds when you use them to suck up a lot of litter?

Have you noticed how similar litter boxes are to sand boxes?  Except for two very important differences:  sand boxes are outdoors and litter boxes are toilets.

The positives:  My laundry room, bathroom, and hallway are much cleaner than they were this morning.  So are the children.

The negatives: Cat litter tracks all over the upstairs of the house. Especially with the assistance of toy dishes and brooms and a dustpan.  It can make a big pile in the laundry basket (which was thankfully otherwise empty!)  A lot of litter can fit in the toddler’s hair. And his clothes.  And the diaper pail.  The cloth diaper pail.  Did I mention it’s clumping cat litter?  When it gets wet it clumps up really nicely so it’s easy to clean out the litter box.  Unfortunately, it is not designed for hair or clothes or diapers.  Go figure.

Day three of stuck-at-home-because-of-current-or-pending-illness, and K and J decide it’d be fun to play in the litter boxes.  And haul litter throughout the upstairs.  On a positive note, there was very little poo in the litter box at the time of it’s…excavation.

Since we’re in the middle of a stretch of two viruses plaguing our family, I believe I need a really good plan for day four of stuck-at-home, don’t you?  However, I think I’ll play it safe and avoid markers. And paints.  And glue.  Most definitely avoid glue.  Maybe we’ll just go for a long bath.

Poo and beauty

This summer was rough.  Really rough.  It was supposed to be good, at least by my standard of measurement.  Last summer we moved across country and had a baby born too early in a part of the country where we knew no one.  It was pretty icky.  The summer before that my husband was living out of state and our family barely survived some of the hurdles related to that.  It was pretty icky.

So this summer was ‘supposed’ to be better.  It started out well.  We finally met people we connected with in Bama.  We found a great church.   We were healthy.  The weather wasn’t as extreme as the year before.  The kids and I were able to visit friends and family in Michigan.  This was a good summer….until things suddenly went downhill FAST.  Our lives were turned upside down by a person’s poor choices.  We didn’t know where we’d be living.  My husband no longer had a job and we didn’t know how we’d pay the bills. We didn’t know if our family would be able to be live in the same state together.  While we didn’t have insurance our son broke his arm and our daughter had an infection.  We suddenly were overflowing with hurdles and ugliness.

But there is One who specializes in ugly crap.  I mean, really specializes in crap.  Sling a whole bunch of nasty poo and He’ll make something beautiful out of it.  I’m not saying you should start creating some crap in your life…it’s still stinky and messy and overwhelming.  But if you’re breathing, chances are really good you’ll have crap in your life.  Thankfully God specializes in making beauty out of it.  I’ve heard stories through the years that have amazed me, where God has made beauty out of situations such as abortion, affairs, drug use, abuse (physical and sexual), and divorce, just to name a few.  Don’t get me wrong, there are scars that will always be there.  Some things can never be forgotten.  However, there is beauty around and through those scars.  He’s a master gardener.  Give Him poo and He’ll grow beautiful plants and flowers.

My life has been filled with various amounts of crap through the years, and this summer felt like a…load.  But now we’re in the period of rebuilding.  It’s hard and stressful and exhausting.  Then we see something starting to come together and it’s suddenly exhilarating.  And then we look at another pile of poo and rubble and we’re overwhelmed.  And then we get a vision for the masterpiece when it’s rebuilt and we’re overcome with gratefulness and hope.  This is where we are.  Some days the process is awful and I want to be as far from the rebuilding as humanly possible.  And other days I’m incredibly excited to be part of it.

I’ve been afraid to tell others God is doing a big work in our lives.  I didn’t want to say something and have things go awry again.  How’s that for living in fear!  Well, I’m going to tell you anyhow and give God a drop of the credit He deserves.  Some amazing things have been happening in our part of the world.  Not all of them look big on the surface, but they are indicators of something we can’t see yet.   He is doing a huge work in our lives and sometime I’d love to tell you all about it.  It’s amazing.  Even if something does go awry again, it doesn’t change the reality of God’s redemption.  He is still making beauty out of crap.  Sometimes I like to dream we won’t provide any more poo for Him to work with, but I know we will.  My hope and encouragement is when we do, He can handle it.  No pile of crap, no matter how ugly or stinky, is too much for Him.  I’d prefer to not smell or wade through the crap…it’s a bit unpleasant, to say the least.  Sometimes I feel so bogged down and discouraged.  Yet I have to envision the future, even in the darkest times.  What kind of beautiful garden will He make out of this pile of manure?  Will there be a rose or lilac bush over there?  Maybe some morning glories around a fruit tree here?  This vision is my hope:  beauty is in the making.  Even when the work and stink are intense, I’m living this rebuilding process.  Someday the stink of poo will be a distant memory and I’ll only smell the fragrance of the beautiful plants.  Someday the crap will be covered by gorgeous flowers, plants, and bushes.  For now I’ll take care of this little batch of flower buds and keep watching for other glimpses of beauty.  There is more coming.

(PS.  I’d really appreciate your prayers.  There is an Enemy who is not happy about the rebuilding work in our family and fights against it constantly.  When you think of us, please continue to pray.  Thank you!!)

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