Sep 28, 2013

a real prayer from your sweet heart

Lucy, tonight you prayed your own prayer from your own heart.  I've never prayed these exact things, so I know they're yours.  I loved it and I love you.

Dear God, thank you for mama and Uncle John and Pap and Nana and for they love us.  Help me a' be strong like you, God. (In my lap, facing me, you did your "strong" arms from the song.)  Help me a' learn Bible verses for you.  Help me a' follow you.  Amen.


Sep 25, 2013

hair hallelujah!

Yes.  It's true.  Not the hair help! I begged for as she turned one, or deep thoughts about hair after learning a bit more (or the scandalous confessions of a hair hypocrite just weeks later).  Today, we have a hair hallelujah, people. 

My friend Angel found this Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care blog.  It is great and goes into a lot of details.  This girl has some crazy intricate styles which are super intimidating, but she also gives a lot of ideas for the basics.

Where we are with hair:
  • Lucy has beautiful hair.
  • It's getting longer now (and tanglier) so if I'm at the commit-to-upkeep-or-cut decision again.
  • Girls usually want longer hair.
  • A boy told her she has "boy hair."  She has not forgotten this.
  • I love her hair big and crazy.
  • If I let her hair stay big and crazy for long, it becomes difficult to detangle and care for well.
Sooooo, this week I thought I'd try some new tips.

REVELATION #1:  Water and oil are the best, most natural, and cheapest things to use to keep her hair moisturized.  I've started using a combination of olive oil and coconut oil (yes, from the pantry).  I spritz it with plain water at night and then use a pretty generous amount of oil.  It has been softer and healthier.

REVELATION #2:  Keeping her hair in some kind of protective style will... protect it (from getting tangled and then the damage I wreak de-tangling it).

REVELATION #3:  Taking good care of her hair will be an investment of time.  An investment of time with my daughter.  Time spent in close physical proximity.  Time spent touching and talking and laughing.  Time when my actions and my words can affirm to her that she is beautiful and special and the top of my priority list.  I am choosing to see what a blessing this time with Lucy is.  And it has been lovely!

REVELATION #4:  Suckers last a looooong time and keep us pretty happy.

We're just dipping our toes into these new "hair hallelujah" waters, but here's our progress so far.

I sectioned her (badly tangled) hair into 5 sections.  Over the course of 3 days, I detangled her whole head.  It took a little over 2 hours all together.  BUT, the lovely part, she didn't scream and shake and cry.  There was mild exasperation on her part, and we got close to tears a few times, but overall we were both calm and pleasant.  This is big, people.

After I got it detangled and a little stretched (banding the sections after they were detangled) I was a stumped... what to do with it?

This is simple and just a start, but we were both so pleased!   I just divided it into 3 sections (a larger front one and then two in the back) and put in puffs.  Then we got a little fancy and I sectioned an asymmetrical section in the front and did a flat rope twist (I think that's what it was).  Basically it's twisting and adding hair like a French braid.  It ended at just the right point to add the hair at the end to the side puff.  The parts aren't perfect and it may not be tight enough to last, but we were both pretty pleased with the result!  I felt good--and "I can do this" kind of euphoria that can only be appreciated if you've detangled hair for hours.

My beautiful girl:


Sep 22, 2013

while I was out...

This weekend I went to a Biblical Counseling conference at my church (which was WON-der-ful).  I dropped Lucy off at her sitter's before school on Friday morning and then didn't see her until Saturday evening.  Yikes!  This was the very longest I'd been apart from her (except for that whole 6 week visa wait... but things are different now.  We're tight.).  I had some surprisingly intense anxiety about leaving her (including a nightmare a few nights before in which I was stuck in Egypt on her 3rd birthday and sobbed and sobbed.)

We both fared well, fear not.  I called her Friday night (at a break in my sessions which lasted until ten o'clock on a Friday night!?!  I'm shocked that I wasn't passed out and snoring!) and got some chat like this:

"We went to Crackerbarrel and it was sooooo fun and I'm in Nana's car and we're going to have ICE cream and sing to Pap!"  (Friday was his birthday--happy birthday Pap!)  So I knew things were good.

The next morning, I called before my first session and she didn't want to talk.  Nana said she'd been up and talking and singing most of the night.  They snuggled in the big bed, and Lucy said it was "SO FUN!" and finally at 4:30, it was "Toast Time!!"  Uh-oh.  The care-taking crew and the little one were seriously sleep deprived.  I said a little prayer.

About 10 am, I got this in a text:

At WalMart

And about 2 in the afternoon I got this one:
At Kohl's

The poor child refused to sleep or nap at their house, but was completely OUT as soon as they got in the car to go anywhere.  Her favorite thing is to ride around in Uncle John's lap, so I've got many wonderful pics of them like this:
The Dynamic Duo (normally)
To see her just sacked out in his lap was so funny!  And so adorable!  Thanks Uncle John and Nana and Pap, for taking such good care of my sweet girl!

And thanks for this:  She slept 13 hours last night and we both had a 2 hour nap today :)


Sep 11, 2013

hypothetical v/s three year old

(Almost) Three year olds do not do well with hypotheticals.

I have prayed and thought and prepared for foster care for about a year now.  One of the reasons that I put off receiving placements was that I was advised that it may be hard for Lucy to understand that she's forever mine, while some of the other children we would love would be temporarily ours.  I thought this was pretty wise advice.

Several things that have happened lately have made me realize that she's probably able to understand this concept at this point.  So I asked her, hypothetically, of course, if she thought we should take care of a baby for a little bit while her mama "got better".

"YES!"  She cried, "Let's DO that!"  (Insert little happy dance).  "I can help you, Mama!  I'll be the sister and you can be the Mama.  I can help you."  (Insert arm gestures, one palm up, then the other her list gets ramblier and ramblier).  "I can help you with the BOTtles and the DIapers and the LOtion and the NAPtime."  

"Slow down!"  I reminded her, "It's just an idea I'm thinking about.  We need to pray about it."

Hours later, the doorbell rang as a friend arrived for dinner.  She shot to her feet.  "MAMA!!!  I think our BABY is here!!" 

During dinner, she casually mentioned, "I want to sleep in the big bed."  (The twin bed in her room.  She currently sleeps in a baby bed in the same room).  "Why do you want to sleep in the big bed?"  I asked, knowing how that little brain was working.  "So the baby can sleep in the baby bed."

Later Nana called and Lucy wanted to talk first.  She picked up the phone and announced clear as a bell, "Nana, I'm HAVING a BABY!"

Oh dear.

Sep 4, 2013

duck tales

Hi Lucy!  I am your ducky.  You know, the yellow one, with a green belly and floppy feet?  Yep, that one.  I just wanted to say a few things. 
First of all, I love you.  You're wonderful.  You make sure I get tucked in with you every night (and your mama has to kiss me, too).   You are good and kind to me, and you make sure I have bandaids when I have a boo boo and that I hear many beautiful songs.
You might not know this, but I met your mama before I even met you.  She saw me and fell in love (of course).  But she was so strange!  She picked me up, all hopefully, and then squashed me back down.   Then she circled around and drove by a few times.  (By this time, I thought she might have problems).  She picked me up, took a deep, determined breath, and finally bought me.  She said things like, "I bought a toy.  For my baby!"  Then she'd get all high and squeaky and "---I'm-going-to-adopt-a-real-baby-and-it's-really-happening-and-am-I-ready-and-I-bought-this-duck---" 
Ahh, I thought.  I now know my job.  I'll be the best, calmest, most re-assuring duck ever for this crazy lady and her new special baby.  So that's what I did.
This Mama-lady was kind of obsessed with you.  She talked about you all the time and got your bed all made up special and plunked me down right in the middle of it.  Sometimes she kind of held me like I was a baby, and she tried out one of those baby-wearing wraps with ME in it...  This was a little above and beyond the call of duty for a duck, but I went along with it.  I couldn't help but be excited, too.  If you were this special, to make this lady so crazy about you before she even met you, well, you must be pretty great.
I was really happy to meet you when you finally came home.  You were definitely a kind of celebrity.  People talked about you in hushed, reverent tones, and everything you did was scrutinized and awed over.  "Did you see how she crinkled her nose?"  "She's SO funny when she eats her green beans!"  And the clothes!  They were all just batty about your precious, adorable clothes.
I knew right away that you were very special.  You just had a delectable special-ness just sparkling along in your sparkly eyes.  I thought you were great.
I just stayed calm and reassuring.  You started to like me, just a bit.
I stayed close, always ready to lend you support.
I think it was my quiet, ducky strength that finally won you over. 
Now, not to brag, of course, but I'm a favorite.  I'm the go-to toy for bedtime and real tears have been shed when I was left at Nana's.  That means I'm IN.



In short, I love you, too, Lucy.  Thanks for the good times :)