10 Feb 2011

Five Minute Friday: And then some

I haven’t written anything in a week. Not even five minutes worth.

I’ve felt empty of words.

Full of baby. Full of noise and chaos and worry and kids who launch themselves out of bunk beds with no heed for their physical safety or my mental well being.  Full of to-do lists that wrap themselves around me, paralyze and scare me. Full of mailboxes that won’t quit and a head ache that won’t go away and the poke, poke, poking on the inside of a baby girl outgrowing my insides and forcing her way into my head.

Because my head hasn’t had room for her.

My head has been full of all those lists and worries and to-dos.

But she’s coming just the same and this week I stopped to think about it. I mean, really think. Teeny tiny baby dependent on me again-think. Tiny toes and fresh baby skin and milky breath-will be here in 4 weeks-think. Register for pre-admission and beg for the chance to take a maternity ward tour sometime *before* my due date-think.

The thinking might also have looked a bit like crying at times.

But there it is. Suddenly there’s room for her. Room in my head, which seems more important than the room that naturally blossoms in my heart. Room to think on her. Room to ponder her. Room to remember this start-from-scratch stage of motherhood.

And for her to move in, other things had to move out.

So we’re in process. Moving. Boxes of junk piled high in my head and on their way out. Slowly. Setting up more than a crib. Setting up boundaries for work and social media and my smartphone. Setting up notices to pay attention to the last of the days spent just with my boys. To savor them like so much ice cream and chocolate sauce licked clean from the bowl. To just sit on the couch and watch them dance to Shakira’s World Cup Soccer anthem for hours. On repeat. In their underoos and nothing else.

To watch Pete as he sleeps in just the exact same posture as Micah and marvel that he will soon have a daughter. To anticipate seeing him in doting newborn mode again.

To talk to friends. Not just IM them. To talk and laugh and apologize for being absent for so long.

To surface.

To listen. To be quiet enough to actually hear. The gentle whisper.

It all took me quite a bit longer than five minutes this week. Thank you for understanding. And for still being here when I got back.

Share your week with me? The five minute or the “and then some” version.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Ahem. I do believe you just wrote about my week in writing about your own. The thinking and the crying. Praying for you…these next four weeks are so gonna fly by! And I only have 10 or so weeks myself. (No, all the necessary thinking has not happened yet. Nor has the unpacking.)

    Looking forward to my 5 minutes of writing tomorrow. :)

  2. 2

    “kids who launch themselves from bunk beds…”

    Have you been in my home lately? It seems that every 5 minutes my kids are crashing into something, getting hurt, crying a moment, and then launching into the next thing. I think it is the “February Crazies” or some other insane virus.

    I’m not as far along with you in my pregnancy, but I can relate to not having room in my brain for baby…good reminders, all. <3

  3. 3

    Wow… this post got me to thinking. No, I’m not pregnant. My daughter is, though. She is expecting her first child and is very far away from me. She and her husband are in South Korea. I am trying to experience this with her, as I, myself, have never actually been pregnant. (She is actually my stepdaughter, but I raised her. For whatever reason, God did not see fit to bless us with another child.) I don’t get to talk to my daughter as often as I would like, so I am living a bit vicariously through your pregnancy, as well. I hope you don’t mind. Reading about your pregnancy assists me in dealing with hers in some ways. So I thank you for that.

  4. 4

    ‘The thinking might also have looked a bit like crying at times.’

    i felt you here…not for baby girl coming…she’s here:) but for the desire for #3 but not the time with between states and countries and wanting to know a little more when we will go before we chart the course…

    and then, with none of that, just loving them so much and just seeing it all run through your fingers…i know i need perspective, but, it just keeps hurting…and maybe it’s supposed to? like wanting to brush back blonde boy’s hair when he’s laying in bed b/c somehow he comes all pudgy again and is still baby boy and not big boy…

    well, i could go on, but suffice it to say that i am so glad to hear from you, and just to peek into your heart. with love:)

    • 5

      p.s. when i came back today your picture on ‘places you’ve been’ was Budapest, Keleti train station and i thought, i’ve been there too! and i will be again…my girls, surrogate little sisters, live close to there:)

  5. 6

    A few nights ago, I crawled into bed with my three year old, picked up the crocheted monkey he had tucked under his arm, and told him the story of a mama who was so busy with a toddler and three moves and a daddy about to go across the globe that she knew she had to do something special for the baby boy in her tummy those almost-four-years ago. So she sat on the couch late in the evenings and wove stitches with a hook and talked to the little one growing under her heart.

    What I didn’t tell him was how I had worried and cried and didn’t know how I was going to do it… a 19 month old and a newborn and their daddy leaving on a white bus bound for Iraq. I didn’t tell him that had I not bought that yarn, I would have been so overwhelmed with life that I nearly would have forgotten what the growing tummy meant.

    My eyes filled, telling him, that baby boy now bigger… he just laughed.

    {Do you know how big my heart bursts when I think of your girlie in pink and the cheeks that will be begging to be kissed and smooched?}

    • 7

      Oh Ash – Thank you for sharing. It’s good to be reminded their are many many moms who go through this same roller coaster journey before a baby arrives. And that I’m not a crazy person :)

  6. 8

    It’s getting so close!! What a blessed little girl to be born in a family filled with so much love.

  7. 9

    Thank you for sharing…and how it was hard to find the words. I have felt that way too this week….and often in this season of mine. While different from where you are at, my soul/heart/spirit resonate with that desire to stop/to listen/to process/to re-arrange.

    P.S. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Shakira song!! It was super fun to be in SA for World Cup (just a couple months before we moved back to USA). I can SO picture your boys dancing to it….you just can’t help yourself…wait….that’s ME!

  8. 10

    Hey Sis! Praying you can rest, physically and mentally :). But those are good thoughts~ x

    I want to share my week too! BOTH my girls went to high school in Paarl in Jan so we’re still adjusting. This was a LONG week with several tearful calls, “Mom, I want to come home!! Come get me NOW.” Ag, hartseer… I’m so glad they’re coming home this weekend. Amazing to remember that 14 years ago we were anticipating the little girl coming to be with us, and now she’s almost gone…
    Lots of love, xx

  9. 12

    I remember my first the anticipation, the time I had to relish in my expectance. My second time was still found but snatches between toddler cuddles and tandrums. My third shocked the life out of me. One minute I was dealing with the gladness of new begining the next a crying new born. Well my fourth that was a complete different matter.

    I’m glad you are taking time out to cherish your daughter before she is here. Enjoy , cherish. I am so excited for you xx

  10. 13

    I remember feeling some of those feelings, like I had to capture hold of the time with my one and then my two before the third arrived. They were all so close together, and I felt like I had robbed them of precious memories with their mommy before my attention became more divided. But it’s all okay–we have memories together–and even when it’s not okay, it still is.

  11. 15

    Aside from the pregnant part, our weeks had some startling similarities, dear Lisa-Jo.

    “Full of to-do lists that wrap themselves around me, paralyze and scare me.” and

    “The thinking might also have looked a bit like crying at times.” were definitely good descriptions to how I was feeling too.

    Much love!

  12. 16

    Lisa-Jo, You’re going to LOVE having a daughter. And you’re going to be a GREAT MOTHER to a daughter. Relax and enjoy it.

    We all desire to not make the same mistakes as those before us. I feel certain that all those things you worry about are needless worry, and again I feel certain you’re not the same as the one before you. You live differently, think differently, act differently. And you’ll love her the best way she can be loved. She will grow loving you, being awed by you, and her life’s desire will, ultimately, be to be just like you.

    With God’s Grace, there is plenty of room for mistakes, but the best gift he gave us as parents is that we (usually) get to start at the beginning, when they’re small. And we get to grow with them. (phew! Thank GOD!!!)

  13. 17

    this = good. i nested like crazy before my baby girl arrived. i think i threw things out that i wished i had saved. but making room… that was the point. i think to this day, i’m still making room for her. that may end up being the case until she’s grown. :)

    but this. all this. i love it.

  14. 18

    “waka waka hey hey!” I can just imagine the scene now… little toes chasing pudgy fingers wrapped around the vuvuzuela on full alert … now with toodle-curls teeter-tottering around after them trying to catch up with her feet…

    All amass in giggles and high-pitched squeals of delight and sounds of the vraaaaaaaaaaaaing of the vuvuzuela.

    You, hair-tossed sideways to match the i’m-half-crazy-but-secretly-delighted smile creeping up your lips, mismatched slippers and big-girl clothing long deserted for comfy lounge wear.

    Pete walks in after work and says, “Hi honey, whatcha been doing all day?”

    Tectonic plate movement can be felt as far as Alaska as the vuvuzuela hit-rock parade tackles him to the ground with kisses.

  15. 20

    I think the anticipation is the hardest part…
    Praying for you to relax and enjoy the end of this ride at the fair of life.
    Blessings, dear friend!

  16. 21

    I love this post, it’s so refreshing. I have felt the same way in so many ways, mainly just feeling really quiet lately…and a tad overwhelmed. Maybe it’s the pregnancy for me, maybe not. Either way, I was encouraged by this post, thanks for sharing!

  17. 22

    Love this post – to sit back, remember and cherish. I have a 2 year old and a 2 week old and I have been “grieving” the time I had with just my big boy before new brother arrived. Odd feelings and emotions – so excited about the present and the future while sad about the past being past.

  18. 23

    Here’s to room in your head … I need that room, too, if we’re going to move forward with expanding our family. I’ve been mulling over another baby often at the prompting of a loving husband. I actually spilled my heart about it, but I haven’t been ready to publish it … yet.

  19. 24

    I haven’t written in a week, either. Because my mind has been too full to write. For different reasons than you (no baby girl {or boy, for that matter} in my future), but we have the same end effect.

    The post I linked was a 5-10 jotting down of the state of my brain. The only thing I’ve been able to write this week.

  20. 25

    I love getting a glimpse of that preparing-for-newborn transformation! Gets me all misty-eyed with nostalgia…even tho was just about a year ago I welcomed our last little one. Nothing so challenging and grand and can-hardly-wait expectant than the last few weeks of pregnancy! Blessings upon blessings…
    Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight

  21. 26

    so glad you are finding time to be still and enjoy and surface. keep taking care of yourself. happy weekend.

  22. 27

    There are many of your posts lately where I walk away thinking, “I’m not alone. I can sooo relate to that!” While I’m not as far along as you in pregnancy (I’m nearly 16 weeks now), I can very much relate to not having had time to think, to ponder, to accept the blessing growing inside of me. And if I stopped long enough to do so, the biggest thing looming over me that would be at the forefront of my mind would be: fear. And the only words I can offer you (and a prayer for myself also) are: peace of the Lord be with you, sister!

  23. 28

    Lisa-Jo, I’m praying for you and your’s. I love your “5 minute, and then some.” I pray for Peace, God-whispers, and stillness! Amen!

  24. 29

    Such and exciting time, but also so overwhelming. Hoping you can get some rest in these last few weeks.

    I’m not sure how I discovered your five-minute writing prompts, but I will say that I’m thoroughly enjoying them. Thank you for taking the time to put them up each week.

  25. 30


    I just came over here b/c I feel like I haven’t seen you around. And now I’m glad you’ve been quiet. :)

  26. 32

    I love love love this post. It is so heartwarming and beautiful. I love the idea of slowing down, yet am so far from that stage. My life needs to pick up before it can slow down. Enjoy getting ready for your new baby!


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