Disclaimer: I love my children.  I think they’re fantastic and am beyond blessed to have them in my life.  But the reality is that parenting children teaches you so much more about your sinful heart than you really want to admit.  It all comes down to humility.  Which I am not very good at. 

Sedryn is upstairs screaming again.  I just put him in bed after holding/nursing/burping him for nearly an hour.  I’m probably going to have to stop typing right now and go put him in my Ergo Carrier. 

(now that that’s done and the screaming is accompanied by clawing my collarbone and a bouncing ab workout…)

Aeralind and Bronwyn are down for their nap and I am tired.  I want so badly to sleep (or do 400 other things that need to be done).  But I can’t because Sedryn is so needy during these two hours.

Let me make a confession: I am probably the only newborn photographer on the planet that dislikes the entire newborn stage.

Don’t get me wrong: newborns are sweet… while they’re sleeping or when you’re cuddling a baby who doesn’t belong to you.  My clients say that I’m so patient while soothing their baby to the deep sleep needed for my art; truly, I am… but it’s almost because I sort of feel sorry for them.  I know what they’re going through with little sleep and barely any ability to get things done. They’ve been soothing this baby for about a week and, while they’re probably not weary yet (the honeymoon stage is nice), they’re going to be.  And then comes guilt from not enjoying each moment of this new one’s life.  And the potential to only have a precious scattered few memories of this new baby outside of the images I’m going to create.  I take my job seriously and patiently, but I know how hard newborns are.

Newborns make us (or is it just me?) come to the end of ourselves.  We can’t hide our frustration or anger or just pure discontent with little sleep and the constant-ness of that little life’s neediness.  In fact, I honestly believe that by 3 weeks of life every new mother knows why a mother could shake her infant to death.  It’s not the baby… it’s the sin welling up inside of us; the insidious sin of selfishness.

And I am utterly and completely selfish.

I want everything my way.

I want my girls to obey and play quietly with books or puzzles rather than smear vaseline on a pumpkin or paint each other in toothpaste while I spend 15 minutes nursing or 5 minutes changing over the laundry (their laundry!).

I want my son to speak and tell me whether he’s screaming because of gas or hunger or a dirty diaper so we can fix things and I can move on.

Move onto my to-do list of laundry, finishing a tree skirt, blogging our life for memories/record of growth, crafting some Christmas projects, unloading the dishwasher,  eating something that resembles a meal, showering and, for goodness sake, is a nap or early bedtime or even 5 hours of consecutive sleep too much to ask for the 3 of them to coordinate?!

Why, yes, I am that selfish!

And while I’m too sleep deprived to hide my selfishness behind the mask of perfectionism, let me be real and say that coming to see your selfishness while quarter inch long eyelashes flutter sleepily in the crook of a weary elbow and another child wakes from a coughing fit is not easy.

I am broken.

I need a gracious Savior more than I will ever need sleep.

Because, after all, He’s the one selflessly and quietly serving (even unto death) the most selfish new-born daughter there is: me.

And yet he showers even me with countless gifts.

Counting just a few of these gifts here while my son finally sleeps sweating against my chest and my girls wake up 30 minutes early from nap (maybe I’ll get this post up this evening when it’s just me and the boy again… or maybe I’ll finish it a whole week later :-p)

  • 3-day weekends
  • Mother/duaghter morning date out
  • 3 nights sleeping from 10-1:47. woohoo!
  • Husband so willing to serve me and kiddos
  • little girl hugs
  • Getting out of the house most mornings this week
  • Mandy walking in the house as I finished nursing to gently help me clean the girls’ vaseline mess
  • Being able to laught at the “Punkin” smeared with “med-sin” as they call vaseline.  I thinky they were trying to heal his newly broken stem
  • coversing with little girls
  • Girls remembering how much fun we had at a local water park and begging to go in when we visited a park next door
  • writing a little bit during newborn safety week
  • learning how to kill bacteria with a cloth and water
  • handstitching
  • sewing hats for Sedryn
  • walking thechallenging newborn raod with Sedryn
  • Bronwyn unharmed after a scary plaground fall
  • pumpkin smoothies
  • little girls gobbling up pumpkin smoothies
  • airplanes with daddy
  • Swinging happy with Mrs. Joni
  • new friendships through MOPS
  • generously still recieving meals
  • hearing Derek talk to his sister
  • crashing nap wise on Saturdays
  • one day wihtout Sedryn screaming for a long period of time
  • Sweet mornign with Becca
  • Sedryn and Becca being just the thing each needed. Cuddles for Sedryn and post-surgery heating pad for Becca
  • Brady working so hard to open a toy motorcycle for Bronwyn
  • comparing Daylin and Aeralind and learning from each other
  • Playing in the backyard with the girls
  • Ruthie bringing and staying for supper
  • little girls showing off
  • girls working on memorizing Psalm 23:1 and repeating “The Lord is my leopard.”
  • Derek wrangling crazy crying girls
  • Sedryn almost sleeping 5 hours even if the girls were up a few times that night
  • Talking to Ruthie in my kitchen
  • Ladies Bible Study
  • Brunch
  • Ruthie helping whe we discovered the stomach bug/acid poo diapers
  • lying in bed with Aeralind holding my hand
  • First nap for mommy in days
  • Derek
  • Derk’s physical help
  • Derek encouragement
  • Repentence
  • B just wanting to snuggle
  • Amber relating to twins at 2 + an infant
  • one night feeding
  • night out without kids
  • Sedryn getting better at burping
  • sister coming to visit
  • watching crazy girls roll on a rug
  • laughing hysteria at girls wearing (and loving) their first gag gift: Cow costumes
  • Girls jumping into Kay Kay’s arms
  • Silly girls getting their pillows and lying under brothers crib while I sort clothes
  • A third set of hands during fussy hour
  • Sedryn all dressed up in a little man shirt
  • Just enough dinner
  • girls coloring for 2 hours
  • Aunt Kay Kay pedicures
  • waking to a clock reading 3 for the FIRST night feeding
  • not being woken again until 7
  • Thrift shopping with my sister
  • laughing when Aeralin sneezed pumpkin oatmeal all over the car after she tripped on me and got her first bloddy nose
  • hymns to sing when I fall short
  • Oh, to grace how great a debtor!
  • Retrieving bare bottomed Bronwyn from her crib
  • 1 motnh with a precious boy
  • 1 month flying for the girl who doesn’t like newborn cryptic screaming
  • breakfast out with the whole family
  • A scarfing down dady’s blueberry pancakes
  • morrning at Chanwey’s
  • the blessing of her friendship
  • exploring the Good Night Gorilla pictures with all 4 of our girls
  • Sedryn enjoying snuggling with Chanwey
  • HOw fascinated they are by crayons
  • taping up a wall calendar
  • relatively fuss free day
  • snugglign with my men watching a movie
  • little boy in a warm girl sleep sack
  • coming ot the end of myself and recognizing once again my need for a Savior
  • A Savior who knows my need and loves me in spite of it
  • little girls playing in one crib with two blankets and Sedryn’s stethescope from the hospital
  • Those long little boy eyelashes
  • Keenly looking for all the things in Good Night Moon that the girls have the vocabulary for
  • author who has the creativity to move a mouse and kittens in each page- even when it has nothing to do with the  story
  • playing outside in the tunnel before afternoon thunder showers 
  • Kind neighbors who take a shift with fussy Sedryn so I can get a break and one on one time with my girls
  • teaching the girls scripture memory
  • learning the verses with them
  • little voices saying “Lord” long before I did

holy experience