So that’s where it comes from

My aunt came and went. We had a really nice visit. It was kind of short at only 5 days in country, but I think it was a good amount of time for her first visit. She said she really enjoyed her time and was happy that she came.  It was so nice to have family around for a while. I was struck by how many family quirks I have, but had never really noticed because of circumstances. It was great to realize that there are reasons why I am the way I am :) Tee hee. It was just nice to have family here for a while. There’s a different level of comfort that settles in when family visits as opposed to strangers. 

My aunt brought a whole duffel bag of treats from home which was so fun. My mom sent a bunch of stuff, of course, but there were also surprises from other friends and family. It was a nice feeling of being loved from a distance. 

Yesterday after my aunt and the boys left I got right to work, which was saying something considering it was 5:30 am. It was early, but I was in my jammies and on a mission. It was moving day for Miss Olivia. I had been thinking about the fact that Olivia had been up in our room, and that her stuff had been everywhere but in her room, for a long time, but I don’t think I had been letting myself really think about how long that was. Yesterday as I moved stuff out and stuff in it settled in on me. THREE WHOLE MONTHS had gone by. In it’s own right it had felt like and was a long period of time. Yet in a way that can only happen when you just have to suck it up and let it go the time had gone by and here we are three months later. Then it struck me even more… Liv had spent more of her little life sleeping in our room than her own. 

Some days I look at her and I feel like she’s getting so old, that she’s growing up so fast. Yesterday was one of those days. More than six months have gone by since we brought her home and she has grown so much. I love watching those milestones pass, but every time I pack away clothes or things that she’s outgrown I feel that little pang of sadness settle in. This is how it feels I find myself thinking. And, I feel so much a part of something bigger. That feeling that all parents feel repeatedly as they watch their babies grow up into the people that they will become.

I was also struck by how much of the year is already gone, and how much has happened in our lives and around the mission in just six months. There have been many times of feeling exhausted in there. Of feeling like I have nothing left to contribute. Of feeling that I don’t want to offer more of myself. Of feeling like I want to horde things, whether it be my time, my family, my privacy, my emotions. Chris has seen several bouts of tears, often triggered by things that in hindsight are very minor, but they lead to bigger things for me. To those sacrifices that we make. To those days where nothing seems to go the way we plan. To disappointments, be they little or be they big. To short lived highs of excitement or happiness because this time something did work. I know that if we were living a life anywhere else that life would probably not be much different, that there would always be things thrown at us that we needed to deal with or move around, but living here it just feels like there are so. many. more. It is life here though and sometimes I need to suck it up, and sometimes I need to cry about it. It’s something that I know about myself. In the end I know I’ll get through my emotions and become a sane, level-headed person again, but I just need to move through it at my pace. 

That roller coaster can be exhausting though. I feel like yesterday I started coming down into a period of time that might be a bit calmer, even if it’s just for a week or two. Matt is settled now. We’re settled into him being here. August is relatively “light” with the exception of a training class. I need that time I think to just personally regroup. It’s just my thing that I need to do. I need to feel like there’s some routine around here, that people are in the places they need to be in, that things are where they are supposed to be. Just for a little while. Then September will come and it’ll be all crazy again until the end of the year. We literally have something going on at least two weeks of each month, all of that involving visitors coming and going, sometimes within the same day. It’s a crazy, crazy ride people!

So last night was the first night in three months where I didn’t worry about rolling over in bed in the middle of the night because I might wake up the babe. It was so nice. She did wake up, but I was able to take care of her on her turf, not fumbling around in the dark and trying not to wake up everyone in the house as I did so. You know how it goes, whenever you’re trying to be super quiet is always the time that you will drop the thing that makes the most noise, the baby will start screaming or you trip on something and almost break your neck. 

It was also the first night in three months where Olivia had to remember how to go to sleep on her own after mommy did her part. We got away from letting her work it out because she was 10 feet away from us and it was get up or lose our sanity. It’s hard to lie there in bed not breathing and pretending you aren’t there, just hoping she’ll think you aren’t there. I know it’s going to be a bit of work, but I also know it’ll be worth it for all of us because I remember how well she slept before. Today she went down for a two hour morning nap – the first time since the beginning of May! Woot! She definitely doesn’t like it, but she didn’t the first few times we tried it before. Over time she figured it out and incessant I think I’m dying and there is no possible way I can go on crying became slight whimpers and then nothing. I knew that having things out of routine was throwing her off a bit, just enough to mean more whining and less sleeping. She woke up so happy today and was so happy all. day. long. Yipee! 

One of the goodies that Mom and Dad sent was a Jolly Jumper. Chris and I had talked about getting one, but I didn’t think it would work in our house just because of how it’s built. I will openly admit it, I was a fool. How could I not want a Jolly Jumper? Really? Talk about sanity issues right there. This has seriously been the best baby gift/item that anyone could have given us. Instant gratification. That’s what we call that. I have no idea how we got this far into raising a child without one. I keep reassuring myself with the knowledge that she probably wouldn’t have been ready for it before now. Olivia hearts the Jolly Jumper. A lot. In the 6 days that it has been rigged up in our house she has gotten so tricky in it that she can do switch foot bouncing, one foot bouncing, and even figured out that she can get it going, then lift her feet into a sitting position and keep bouncing. For a six month old this is big stuff. And we know she’s impressed with herself because every time we look at her she starts getting all smiley and squealy and starts blowing super raspberries. If there are Jolly Jumper competitions anywhere please let me know, especially if there are cash prizes. Hey, we’re missionaries and need to start thinking about college funds now. 

I got a couple new cook books in the Duffel O Fun and I feel a need to go research chicken dishes for supper. Hope your week is shaping up nicely. I just heard a big crack of thunder, so maybe recipe research goes on hold so I can take down my laundry. Did I mention that I’ve done SEVEN loads since yesterday morning?!?! Yes, seven. But now I’m done for the week – grin.  
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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

2 thoughts on “So that’s where it comes from

  1. Gotta love the jolly jumper. My oldest spent hours jumping around in his. He loved it when I pulled it back and turned it into a swing. It’s a great muscle builder too. Nice that everything is back to “normal” for you now that Olivia is back in her own room.Kelly

  2. Jolly Jumper is the best invention ever! Put an mpeg of Olivia Jolly Jumping up on utube and I am sure she will find competitors. Our grandson has one but it is in a frame of some kind so he will never reach the heights that I expect Olivia is reaching. Photos please. Hugs Barb J:)

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