Archive for June, 2015

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Happy 1st Birthday, My Precious Twins!

Brooks tunnel cute Bella rocket smile

Every year on Mica’s Birthday (or around that time), I find a quiet place and sit alone with colored pens and a birthday card.  I write.  I write and write and write and I pour my heart out.  Then I seal the letter and date it to be opened in 18 years or “when the time is right.”  I imagine her as an adult opening it and feeling the love I have for her.  I imagine how the very scripture I’m writing right now will apply to her future self.  I imagine how precious these letters will be to her, particularly if anything ever happens to me.  In this life, you never know.

Every time I’ve ever done this, I’ve felt the anointing.  I’ve been sentimental and nostalgic.  I’ve cried my eyes out.

Today is my twin babies’ 1st birthday.

I’ve got some writing to do, some tears of joy to shed, and some tiny little heads to kiss and hands to hold.  I can’t believe a year has past.  I still can barely believe the journey we’re traveling. Although sometimes trying, I cherish this time.  I’ll never get a moment back.  They only get older, so, as they say, I’m enjoying the ride.

(June 28, 2015 –  twins 1 year old)

Double Talk Quote: “What do you mean ‘Keys my chicks’?” – Mica to Amor –  accent issue He said, “Kiss my cheeks.”  (She’s picking on him in love)

Bible Verse: Little children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. – 1 John 3:18

Word that has Lost its meaning: prediction

Relatable LyricsJack Johnson’s, “In the Morning”

Amor's Phone Bella and Brooks tunnel

“these are the gifts we keep
and this is the morning that we breathe
and then we see
these moments are the only gifts we need”

Brooks baby dedication picture Bella Baby dedication picture

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Starla, How I Wonder at All You Are

Starla bella good

To my sister with love on her birthday:

We called you thumper when you were in the womb.
When you were 3, Bambi made you cry, even though you’d see in a hundred times

Your baby book is laced with my handwriting.
I had prayed for a 3rd sister.

You used to kick me when I’d try to brush your hair. I know, you’re sorry for that.
I let you taste your first sip of beer. I know, you know, I’m sorry for that.

It took a pregnant woman’s tears to get you off that mountain. It’s good that you went, but you didn’t belong there.
As hard as you tried, you could never have been one of them. Your heart was not that hard.

The anointing on you was too strong. God wouldn’t let you go.

Your then boyfriend barely said “hello.”
Your now husband prays over our home.

You shed light on me when I was in my darkest of places.
I’m only one of many who can say that.

We’ve grieved.

We’ve cried until we laughed and laughed until we’ve cried.

We work together, teach together,
play together and pray together.

I teach you things as I learn from you.

You’ve got stars in your eyes.
We’ve got love in our lives.

You’ve captured the colors of the sunset.
We’ll see them all once we’ve seen the Morning Star.

We have Jesus. We are alive. We’ll be together forever.
And that, my sissy, that fills me with joy.

Amen.

Starla and Brookstwins and Aunt Starla good

starla taking pictureBrooks and StarlaDrSeuss Starla Starla and Jeff

Eph star

I love you,

Love, Big Sissy Belle

Old Double Talk Quote:  something like:  “Wasn’t it Einstein who invented the light bulb? or am I thinking of Benjamin Franklin?” – Starz back in school, [Insert Belle laughing] “Edison” – History wasn’t our favorite subject or maybe a slip of the tongue
(Einstein was genius, we always think of him with light bulb overhead, Franklin had the key/kite “discovered” electricity).

Bible Verse: Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars?  He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.  Isaiah 40:26

Word that has Lost its meaning: death

Relatable Lyrics:  “Shooting Star” – Owl City http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ROX1ajxRQY  “Let your colors burn, and brightly burst,
Into a million sparks, but all dispersed and illuminate a world,
That’ll try to bring you down, but not this time”

Starla bella good

I See Two Heads!

twins sleeping

“You can’t sleep here, ma’am.” Leaning back on a couch at the thrift store, I was hoisted back into consciousness by the sale’s lady.  “Sorry, I’m pregnant.  I started feeling very dizzy, so I just sat here.”  “Oh, My manager thought you were another wine-o.” She brought me some ice water and I sat there a few more minutes until I felt well enough to drive.  I had to pick up my first-grader from school.

I knew then that I needed to see the doctor, insurance or not.  My morning sickness combined with withdrawal from bipolar medication had made me bedridden for weeks already and I was only 9 weeks along.  I had applied for coverage, but hadn’t been seen yet, due to a back-up in their system.  I went in the next day and they listened for the tiny heartbeat.  They said the baby was fine and my blood pressure was just a little low.

But I was not fine.  Over the next three months, I suffered severe nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue, mood swings, and deep depression.  It was all I could do to get out of bed long enough to get Mica ready for school.  The change took a toll on my marriage.  We had been doing so well!  Well enough to think we could handle another child yet within a matter of weeks, I was wondering if we would survive this.  Had we made a mistake in getting pregnant?  Oh, then the guilt that goes along with that question…

Here’s what I wrote in my prayer journal Feb 6, 2014, at 18 weeks (about half way through my pregnancy):

“Dear God,  I’m freaking going crazy!  I cry every day.  I can’t take it back.  I should be feeling grateful and excited, I have my first ultrasound today.  But I’m afraid.  Something just doesn’t feel right.  I’m in a bad place emotionally and I’m scared it’s affecting the baby.  I feel like I’m drowning.  I am in so far over my head.  I can’t even take care of myself, much less two kids.  What the heck was I thinking?  I feel completely inadequate…  I want to see this a a gift, a miracle from You.  Lord, please make my baby healthy and help me be a good mother.  I need help, Amen.”

My entire family attended that first ultrasound.  They had told us we’d have a good chance of learning the baby’s gender. They were so excited.  I was ambivalent, though I didn’t let it show.  I wanted to be excited.  I wanted to be happy.  But the depression was so heavy it hurt.  They started the ultrasound.

“I see two heads!” the technician exclaimed.

What?  That had to be a joke, right?  We’ve just got a “funny” technician, right?  “I don’t joke about things like that,”  she said cheerfully.

Two tears swelled up in my eyes, and I felt God’s presence.  A peace swept over me, and suddenly the heaviness was lifted.  The fear dissipated.  A supernatural calm soothed my soul.  A still small voice whispered within my heart, “Everything’s going to be okay.”

Learning I was having twins explained so much:  the exaggerated pregnancy symptoms, feeling early movement, rapid weight gain, the feeling that something was “off.”  It also made me see clearly:  this was two gifts, two miracles from God, and He chose to give them to me.  And for that, I am eternally grateful.

(written June 17, 2015 –  twins 11 1/2 months)

twins fight asleep

Double Talk Quote: “Do you understand what she said?  Mommy has 2 babies inside of her.” – Me to Mica.  “Yeah, I know.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted a brother or a sister so I prayed for both.”

Bible Verse: Psalm 127:3

psalms_127_3- children are a gift, reward

Word that has Lost its meaning:  fear

Relatable Lyrics: “1,000 years” by Christina Perri – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9ayN39xmsI “All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow… Every breath, every hour has come to this”

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Physical Illnesses and Spiritual Ailments

twins sleeping

Physical Illnesses and Spiritual Ailments

Back in March, I started writing a post about sicknesses and ailments.  I wrote:

“Last week everyone in my immediate family (including Grandma), came down with a stomach virus.  It was quite a week, hard and hectic.  I felt like I was losing a very frustrating game of wack-a-mole.  As soon as I’d get one kid down, two more would pop up with tummy explosions and there would be more messes to clean and more comforting to do.  This week, Amor injured his back, and it is bad.  He’s not been this down or out in years…” March 18, 2015 – This is an example of how it had been in our house since last Fall.

Little did I know there was more where that came from.  The very next month, during the week before Amor and I were set to get baptized, every family member (except myself) went through yet another spell of tummy troubles and high fevers.

Then just before an important Church retreat, another family member came down with Lice.  Lice.  Twice.  Really?  I helped her comb the knits out, reminiscent of just a few months ago, when we with through the same thing with Mica and Hope.  Lice twice. (Here’s a past sample of what I’m talkin’ ’bout: https://theearthquakers.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/what-a-week-wednesday/)

Last week was Small Group Rally day at our church.  I was supposed to run one of the booths during all services except for one, during which I usually teach in the 4-5 year olds’ class. But both babies spiked high fevers the night before, so I couldn’t take them to the nursery and therefore was unable to serve.  I took them with me to the rally, wearing them, just kind of hiding out in the back while Amor took care of the human interaction.

Time out paragraph:  I have written a lot, but haven’t published much about my Spiritual vs. Physical thought processes and theories.  See, I don’t want to come across as crazy!  But I do believe there is a Spiritual realm.  That’s scriptural.  But because I have Bipolar paranoia tendencies, I have to constantly test what I’m thinking to make sure it lines up with the Word of God.  (I’m sure this will be linked to future posts dedicated specifically to how I decipher whether I’m being paranoid or whether there is something Spiritual happening.  For now, please trust that “I’m not crazy”, just a Christian with Bipolar Disorder!)  Time in again!

At first, I thought we were just unlucky.  When a sickness comes on any of my 3 kids it always seem to occur on a Saturday afternoon, right after their doctor’s office closes until Monday.  But then I realized that almost all of these ailments, even the illnesses and health problems of our extended family members happened right before a big church event.  There has to be a Spiritual component there.  This was not just physical.

So, I took stock of my own physical well-being over the past year.  I’ve experienced the following non-contagious problems:

  • Anxiety / Panic attacks – which have dissipated fairly quickly upon taking medication and praying (compared to some past experiences).
  • Mastitis (a painful and serious infection breastfeeding women sometimes get) – which came on suddenly one late Saturday night.  My doctor called in a prescription, which would be ready Sunday afternoon.  I went to serve at church anyway, despite the pain and fever.  In the preschool room, my sister, Starla, with whom I teach, laid hands on me and prayed.  I felt the lump dissipate; no need for meds.  All pain subsided by the end of the day.
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – twice, took over the counter medication & drank plenty of Cranberry juice and it went away on its own without needing medical intervention.
  • Severe back pain -at least twice – treated with heating pad, otc medication and determination.
  • Mania / Hypomania – I’ll take that over depression ANY DAY!

Then I took a good, hard look at all the illnesses that have been through my house over the past year that I have NOT contracted, despite them being highly contagious:

  • Thrush (yeast that babies sometimes get in their mouths, often very painful to breastfeeding mothers) – Bella had it twice, Brooks didn’t catch it at all, amazing!  It was only a bit of a nuisance to me, physically speaking.
  • Lice – twice x2, so four times altogether throughout the house.  I was never infected.
  • Influenza (THE FLU) – everybody had it except me.  Bella’s was bad enough to need a nebulizer.  I had mild symptoms of a cold, that’s it.
  • Several (long) bouts of the common cold.
  • Bronchitis- Grandma got this after catching a cold.
  • Several bouts of stomach viruses – I was nauseated a time or two, but never got sick!

Again back in March I wrote:  “I’ve felt spiritually attacked in a physical way over the past couple of months.  But I refused to let any physical illness get me down!  I am determined to take some ibuprofen, pray, and push through.  Praise God!”

Every time someone has gotten sick, I have settled it within my Spirit that I’m not going to catch that.  I’ve not been afraid.  I have not spoken sickness over myself.  I have not claimed it.  So far, God has protected me from getting seriously sick and I’ve been able to take care of my babies and family members.  It’s like He’s put a protective shield around me.  I won’t boast or say I’m never going to get sick again BUT I can say that, for the first year of my babies’ lives, God’s had my back and kept me going. Amen

Double Talk Quote:  “That was about as long as a Sponge Bob episode.” – Mica after I read her this article (Sorry, I know it was a longgie but a goodie)

Bible Verse: In addition to all this, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Ephesians 6:16

Word that has Lost its meaning:  sanitized

Relatable Lyrics: 4 Him “Where There is Faith” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcJ-iEnHn50&index=33&list=PLvTDChO_aBNqeGx4m-6Plh_5WXI0_JG7_  “..There is a peace like a child sleeping, Hope everlasting in He who is able to bear every burden, to heal every hurt in my heart…”

Let’s Stay Up and Play

twins play - books funny face
Mommy says, soft and sweet,
“Go to bed, it’s time to sleep…
In your crib, don’t you weep.”
But in babies’ heads here’s what they think:
(chorus)
“I don’t wanna go to bed tonight,
I don’t want a nap today,
I don’t want to go to sleep, that’s right,
Let’s stay up and play!”
Mommy sings a lullaby
“Go to sleep, don’t you cry…
Please don’t whine, just close your eyes.”
But in babies’ minds, they wonder, why? (Porque why)
And “I don’t wanna go to bed tonight,
I don’t want a nap today,
I don’t want to go to sleep, that’s right,
Let’s stay up and play!”
Everybody sing (chorus)
Let’s play all night and day…
Hey!
Let’s stay up and play!
Hooray for play!
– Written by S. Michelle Ward Mendoza
(November 2008 for Mica, now adapted for and dedicated to Brooks and Bella)
brooks amor smilebella mommy bell
Twins USAearthquakers twins grace Mica crib

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