That’s right — it’s church time, and I’m writing a blog post. How is it that I’m not at church right now? Well, just a mere fifteen minutes into our discipleship group, Wes came to the door and proclaimed that we had a “stomach issue.” Pretty sure that he wasn’t giving me commentary on his own bowel movements, I suspected that one of the girls was in tummy trouble. This was confirmed when I walked out of the classroom to see our amazing nursery worker, Maggie, holding a towel-clad Ana. Seeing as how I didn’t have any extra Ana clothes with me and seeing as how Ana still smelled kinda awful after her wet wipe bath, I opted to leave church a little early, run home, bathe her, re-dress her, and scurry on back. This took longer than expected, though… which means I’m here at home. Ana, after a warm bubble bath, is wearing a princess nightgown and is just as pleased as she can be. Emma, who hasn’t had any problems, is looking at me accusingly, as if to say, “Why did you take me away from Ms. Maggie?!” That’s a good problem to have, when your children start to love the church nursery worker more than they love you, right? (Better than them screaming their little heads off when they go to Sunday school. That’s for sure.)

Ana went to see Disney on Ice with my parents and her cousin, Kendall, yesterday afternoon. (I suspect that this is where the tummy trouble originated. Ana is a milk girl, but Kendall is a juice girl. And when Ana is around Kendall, Ana becomes whatever Kendall becomes, of course. I guess juice… loosens things up a bit more than milk?) I’m told that they had a blast, and I can believe it, as Ana has been appropriately worn out this afternoon as a result. She napped for FOUR hours! Unbelievable.

Emma was still a bit young for the show (all the lights, noises, etc can be overwhelming), so we took her on her own adventure. She browsed the aisles at Toys R Us, checked out the puppet section at the local Christian bookstore, and ate her very first fajitas. Given how picky of an eater Ana is, we usually order and split a kid’s meal between the two girls when we go out to eat. Yesterday, since it was just Em, who is a fabulous eater, Wes and I got a bigger portion of combination fajitas and included Emmy in the share. She sampled the chicken, licked up the sour cream, ate the cheese, delighted in the salsa, lingered over the tortillas, and devoured the beef. In her mind, she’s got to be thinking that the culinary choices improve drastically when Ana is gone. Despite this, she seemed excited to see her sister again. At some points during Ana’s absence, Em would just look at us so pitifully, like she couldn’t imagine why the toys weren’t as much fun, the books weren’t as interesting, and life in general just wasn’t as exciting. I’m glad that they like each other. So very, very, very glad!

We had an exciting morning at church. We’ve been in the new children’s wing for a couple of months now, and everything has been great. Today, however, a carbon monoxide detector decided to malfunction on us. Of course, when we heard it beeping, we had no way of knowing whether it was a malfunction or if we were actually being poisoned by carbon monoxide. Lovely. The kids overheard, and I spent a good portion of my time trying to convince one very precocious ten year old that we were, in fact, NOT all killing ourselves by breathing the invisible fumes. Despite this, we had a really great class. The younger kids (who usually go to the room right next to the detector) stayed with us, and it was a lot of fun. I really enjoy teaching Sunday school and am so glad that I’m able to do so during this season of my life. Especially after a particularly long season of spending all my time at church rocking, holding, feeding, comforting one of two (or both) babies. It’s kind of sad that they don’t need me to do that for them anymore, but at the time, I never thought we’d get past that stage. Sigh. Isn’t it ironic that the stages we wanted to pass by so quickly are the ones that we look back and miss? (I say this and I did end up rescuing my nearly three year old today after a poo explosion, so perhaps it never really ends!)

Not sure why I’ve been all sappy-nostalgic lately with my girls. Part of it has been an interesting online conversation I’ve been having recently with a young American woman who is teaching in Japan right now. She and her husband are considering starting a family while they’re there, and seeing as how I am the expert on giving birth in a Japanese hospital (one experience does, in fact, make you an expert, right?), I’ve been answering her questions. I’m remembering all these details that don’t come to mind easily, and in answering her questions truthfully, I wonder how much of the truth is actually HELPFUL. Like, will it help her if she knows in advance that she’ll do all of her hard laboring in a room with a whole lot of other pregnant women who are doing the same? (And that it’s entirely possible that she’ll have halfway delivered a head before someone notices that she’s pushing over in her little corner of the room?) Will it help her if she knows in advance that the Japanese midwives think a 125 pound woman shouldn’t be any heavier than 140 pounds at the height of her pregnancy? (Just for reference, I weighed 175 pounds on the day I gave birth. Just about killed the midwives who monitored my weight, y’all.) Will it help her if she knows in advance that the doctor will do an invasive pelvic exam ONE DAY after delivery? (I think my exact words were, “You. Are. Kidding. ME!!!” when this happened. Did he not know what just happened down there twelve hours earlier!?!) I’m thinking that knowing none of this will help. Some things are better left discovered on your own — wouldn’t you agree? This said, I’m being honest and remembering the very wonderful parts of being pregnant and giving birth. A positive pregnancy test. Actually being big enough to wear maternity clothes. Hearing that she’s definitely a girl. Watching a little rear end scoot across the inside of your bump during those last few weeks. Applause in the delivery room. Having those frantic baby cries suddenly stop as soon as they put her little ear up next to your heart. Those, y’all — those are the wonderful parts. I’m glad for these memories. And the other stuff? Well, it just makes for funnier blogs. (And probably a little TMI. But, hey. If I can’t share it here, where can I share it? Certainly not with someone who is still wondering if she should give birth in a Japanese hospital, right?)

And with that, I think I’m done. I’ve got to get some girls fed and am wondering what works to prevent explosive diapers…

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