Four

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Just some things I’ve learned in the past 7 weeks as momma to 4, ages 5 and under…

1. Time is funny. It can seem like it is at a stand still or whiz by without a care of our needs. But either way, it is moving. I think our Amelie is the best indicator of that. The rolls are appearing out of nowhere right before my very eyes!

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Sometimes, I think she looks a little scared…

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I would be too. You have been picked up, plopped down, poked, scratched, pinched and left on the changing table more than I’d like to admit.

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2. God is faithful. And He always provides what we need. I can’t tell you how many times He has come through for me in the most specific ways like running into a friend at the store when I need an emotional pick-me-up and some helping hands, or the time when I walked into the post office thinking “I don’t think I can handle this. Really, Lord? Is this what I should be doing with my life?” and not 2 seconds later, a man walks in and as he is opening his box starts telling me to enjoy them, because however hard I think it is, or whatever worries I have, this is the best time when they are with me at all times. He said he just lost his 19 year-old son and would give anything to have him back. And that when he was a little boy, those were the best times of his life. Wow, I didn’t expect the Lord to respond that quickly. I almost felt like I was in a scene from Joan of Arcadia. (remember, Dad?) Oh, and how He provided in my last month of my pregnancy and 1st month post-birth with a babysitter for the girls for 2 hours twice a week. Except it wasn’t just babysitting, it was a play-date for them with 1 of their favorite play-mates! And, her mom kept thanking me because it was helpful to her to give her daughter (who is an only child) 2 playmates she enjoyed very much and an opportunity to practice her English!

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Only God knew how perfect the timing was and how desperately I needed the break during that time! (oh, the exhaustion) There are too many examples of His intervention for me to think any of it is coincidence or happen-stance. I don’t believe in that. I believe He is more real than what our senses tell us. I don’t think we even have a clue as to how much He cares and wants to help us in His timing.

3. Amidst the chaotic moments, by keeping life simple, I am still able to find opportunities to spend special, 1-on-1 time with each of my children (which was a biggie I feared I would not be able to do), whether to get on the floor and wrestle, or play trains with this little guy

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or count her perfect little toes.

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(Disclaimer: This has been much more available and possible than I expected, thanks to Mimi, Bapa and Nini!!!!)

4. As the demands (& messes & laundry) increase, it is definitely time for daddy and I to ramp up our home management skills. As in a detailed system to document chores, tasks to be done, projects, schooling progress, appointments, family needs, etc. especially now that Dean is working from home. Sometimes, it feels a little like we’re running a business or a boarding school with these little subordinates…

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But at the end of the day, our little system is strengthening our communication so much! It’s been a learning process with lots of bumps in the road but with God’s grace, we’re slowly getting there. There have been many times, I have thought to myself, “Ahhh, now I see why divorce is all too common. 😉 It is definitely hard work to keep the marriage thriving. We are sooo very different, us men and women, and l am experiencing on a new (much deeper) level how we truly are meant to compliment and complete each other by God’s perfect design!

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And let me tell you, a lot of it, at this point, is small stuff. The messes, Oh the messes. I have this ongoing joke with God how e.v.e.r.y. single time I mop the kitchen floors, within the next 24 hours, there will be a huge splattering of the stickiest substance all over the place. It used to drive me nut-so but now I look up at Him and chuckle (or mumble something under my breath!) 😉  Or how about when I turn my back to hang up his towel and Mr. Serious takes off running and sneaks his way back into the bathtub right after I have dried him and put his Pjs on…Arggg!!!! Sitting on the toilet with my head in my hands on the verge of tears this particularl time,  I looked up at Dean and I just love what he said, “You know you want to. Go grab the camera!” And so I did. And we laughed.

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6. It is possible to breastfeed while wiping a bum with the other hand, stirring the dinner, helping with a lesson, pushing a swing or even spreading some strawberry jam on a piece of toast. Nursing while sitting down? Sitting down at all? That’s a luxury now. And that is why the bottoms of my feet ache by the end of the day. And that is also why if you happen to just drop on by, more than 1 child will most likely be shirtless or pantless, or getting into the mud or eating the mud and I will most likely be in my sweat pants for the 3rd day in a row with my hair thrown up on my 3rd cup of coffee!

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7. I won’t be dressing my kids in designer clothes or throwing them huge birthday parties every year. It is unlikely we will have a college tuition fund for each of them, they will most definitely be sharing bedrooms and we certainly don’t drive the coolest car, but I can say our home is overflowing with love because of them, and to be able to capture his look…

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or see them introducing their siblings to every new friend at the park, helping each other up when they get hurt, consoling their momma when she’s a frustrated, tired mess, reminding each other to pray before meals or just gazing at “the least of these” with an incredible, innocent, pure love and awe that we all can learn from…

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4 Responses to Four

  1. What an awesome post! I loved your reflections and I giggled and smiled the whole way through. I love that you captured Soren in PJs, in the tub! (And CR has those exact same PJs – Costco purchase?) I especially love the photos of the sibilings together – seeing their bond and connection is so precious. The Soto family is so totally blessed! Glad you are able to see and appreciate your infinite blessings (amidst the sometimes chaos) 🙂 Love you sissy! You are an awesome momma to four!! Keep it up!!

  2. You truly have a gift to capture the moment with your beautiful words and emotions! Your Blog is not only a gift to you, your children, to us the family, but also to all of your friends. You permit us to intimately live these experiences that you share with all of us. I, as a result feel very blessed to be connected to your Family, GODLY LOVE, in action. The fruit of living out life and our vocations as God tells us, is that, BEAUTY is born, out of what may seem a difficult or impossible situation. The Love,the concern, the bonding, the praying, the care for one another, the learning of right from wrong, the respect, all of these are blossoming in each one of your children because you all are connected to the one who is Truth, Beauty and Love. You are all very BLESSED! Perhaps not with the latest gadgets but with jewels stored up in HEAVEN. I would love some of your blog pictures for the grandchildren room.Is it difficult to order them thru Costco? I will pick them up. Love, Mimi

  3. Ah yes, those were the days when we gathered on Friday nights to watch Joan of Arcadia and were so enthralled at how God spoke to Joan in the most unexpected places and circumstances! How ironic that you recall those episodes and now find God speaking to you in a similar way! If I may offer my reflection on what you posted-I sincerely believe that all the many and varied challenges you are facing in what seems like each and every moment of each and every day will DIMINISH with time and there will SOON be a time when you will look back and sigh, smile, chuckle and wonder how you ever got through it. At the same time these challenging moments are diminishing, those wonderfully fullfilling moments of love, family and God’s presence will INCREASE, amplify and reach new and unexpected levels. Every sacrificial act of love that you are so freely and unconditionally giving to your kids and family will come back to you many times over in the form of pride, satisfaction and ways you can’t even imagine. Hang in there baby!!

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