Boy! Which is perfect because that means that DS1 and DS2 will be less than 4 years apart in age (which is less than the age gap between my younger brother and I) and hopefully, they can play together as well.

Of course, this puts a lot of pressure on the fourth baby to be a girl. Heehee. After all, when I was putting away some of DD’s old clothes, I thought, “She can’t be the last girl! She is so sweet and cute and her clothes are ADORABLE!”

Keep in mind, though DD is a sweetie, she’s feisty and a total tyrant!! Not that DS wasn’t a tyrant, but it is much farther back in memory.

DH keeps saying that DD is a handful and that she doesn’t share well and always wants her own way. But you know what? It wasn’t like DS was born being a good sharer! We had to train and beat that into him. LOL. (I say that only partially figuratively.) So, she just needs to be taught that the world doesn’t revolve only around her.

In fact, she gets put in time outs several times a day now. She’s really good at telling me why she got a time out in the first place, too. I was impressed.

Every night, I try to pray over my babies as I put them to sleep. When I do so, I find myself going through a list of wish-fulfillment. I mean, who doesn’t want good things for their children? Sometimes, I find that my prayers seem to be a way to try and manipulate and control God. Other times, it is out of genuine belief.

Here is what I try to pray for my kids (obviously not all-inclusive) and the thoughts that go through my head while praying:

1) That they would be healthy and live long, meaningful lives. Not really sure what that means or looks like, but I’ll know it when I see it.

2) That they would be spared suffering. But then I think that a life without suffering tends not to produce people of character, hope, or perseverance. So then, I think, perhaps just enough suffering. Not too much that it breaks my children, but not too little that it breaks them a different way.

3) Crap. Perhaps I should just pray for resilience. That they can bounce back from things. But then, I don’t want them to be too self-reliant and not ever learn to trust in God. Or be too glib.

4) I want my kids to be smart and work hard. To know that just because you’re smart and things come easily doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have to work hard and settle for just getting by. (That would be my entire academic career. Oh, let’s call a spade a spade. My entire CAREER, too.)

5) I pray for my kids to have their heart take after God’s own heart. That they love the poor, are humble, and have compassion. That they see beyond the physical.

6) I pray for my children to value the insides of a person. To want to be a person of character as well as seek people who have character.

7) I pray for my kids to be incredibly good looking.

8) I pray for them to be funny – both to me and to people in general.

9) I pray for them to choose to believe in God and Jesus not because they were force-fed it as children, but because they have vibrant, full faiths of their own.

10) I beg God to protect my children from evil. I ask God to protect their hearts and their spirits and their physical bodies.

11) I pray that DD knows her value as a person and as a woman and doesn’t throw herself away at “inessential penises” (to quote Daughter of Smoke and Bone). Of course, I realize that I presume she is going to be heterosexual – which is somewhat of a prayer only because anything else will be hard for her. (See item 2. However, if she is something other than heterosexual, I will always love her and support her and who she is meant to be.)

12) I pray that DS also knows his value as a person – and becomes a man who values women and isn’t threatened by or use them. (Same thing goes for heterosexuality assumptions, here.)

13) Inevitably, I pray God helps me be a good parent.

I can’t remember any more off the top of my head, but like I said before. Not all-inclusive. What do you pray/hope for your children?

I seem to be off on my posting this week. I can only blame my sleep deprived state. I think I fell asleep for a few seconds today while driving with the babies – that’s unacceptable. It’s one thing for me to endanger my life, but not my children – nor do I have the right to endanger other innocent people. Off to bed I go!

Lately, my mom has been making these “joking” statements about how she can’t count on my brother and I to support her in her old age. That one of her friend’s kids works on Wall Street and bought her a Mini Cooper and gives her a monthly allowance and how she knows not to expect that from us. Now, once or twice, I can see that as genuinely being a joke. But she has been saying it a few times a week now, and it’s starting to piss me off. Because if she says it that often, that means deep down, she believes it.

Now don’t get me wrong, of course we’ll try to help her or whatever, make sure she’s not eating cat food or whatever, but seriously? My mom has money. She just makes poor choices. And it makes me angry that she chooses to do things that I don’t think are the wisest with her money – and then complain that we aren’t supporting her. Because she can make DIFFERENT choices!

She’s not a profligate spender or whatever, but she is worried about retirement and having enough money to live comfortably. I get that. It’s scary. But you know what? Don’t live in a mansion that requires a good 70k/year just for UPKEEP. Move to a smaller house! (Don’t try to convince me to move in with you and pay rent instead!)

I am leaving a lot of details out, of course. And we would never let her starve, etc. But this sniping has got to STOP.

I don’t know if it’s a result of the book I just devoured in one sitting or just my mood, but I feel as if I’m floating through my life. I was holding DD tonight when she woke up crying and I thought, “Where did my day go? Did I even pay attention to DD?”

I mean, I realize that I obviously take care of my children and though I give them a lot more independence than I used to, I’m not exactly neglectful. I am trying to be more purposeful with not always being on the phone or just counting down the clock. And yet, somehow, today passed and now it’s gone. DD is 8.5 months already, on the cusp of walking, and I truly can’t believe it. Where did the time go? How am I not soaking in every single second and instead, just trying to get through the day? Why am I not more mindful?

DD is getting so big. When I hold her, it’s more like holding a toddler than a baby. (And I suppose that’s exactly what she is: a toddler. She is toddling!) How is this happening?

Then I think back on last week’s HI trip and how I yelled at DS and spanked him a little too often and I feel guilt upon guilt. My dear little boy heaps grace upon grace on me. Even when I’m annoyed or mean or not perfect, he still wants me and loves me and adores me. How can I be so mediocre at times? How do I deserve any of his love? Or any of DD’s love?

Our time is so precious and so short. How can it pass so quickly and yet so slowly? I must strive to be more mindful and purposeful. I don’t want to have any regrets. *sigh* Off to be weepy.

And yet, I continually don’t go to bed early enough. As a result, I drag throughout the day and am cranky. *sigh* Tomorrow might be rough.

This evening, my mom went upstairs to pick up DD after she woke up from her nap. Over the monitor, I could hear DD crying angrily and I noticed she didn’t stop even after my mom picked her up. She cried the entire way downstairs until I held her in my arms. She stopped crying almost immediately.

My mom is positive that DD knows that I am her mommy – and that is why she was so angry when my mom picked her up. DD was expecting me and instead, she got her Ah-Ma. That made me hug DD tighter and then all I could think of was all the babies in the world whose cries for their mamas go unanswered (for some reason or another) and then I started to cry.

I pray for all the orphaned, abandoned, abused, and forgotten babies in the world. May God have mercy upon them and shower them with love in some capacity. May my children NEVER have to go through the same. Just the thought of it makes me want to weep all over again. The fear that courses through my veins and the desperate clinging to the hope that God will not put my children through this particular suffering. That I will grow old and watch my children grow old and have children of their own.

God, I believe, help my unbelief. Have mercy on my family.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Go hug your babies if you have them. Go hold your loved ones tightly.