if you ever need to cross a hot lava lake...

...be sure you are wearing the proper attire.  Disregard the amount of sunlight and heat in the environment.  Cover yourselves from head to toe.  (Footie pjs, mittens, and hats are perfect for this.)  Make a mighty run for it across said hot lava lake and jump onto the counter next to a bowl of waffle batter.
Brave the fierce Hot Lava Tickle Monster.

After you've shown him who's boss, ask him to make you some waffles.  Slather them in Nutella.  Forget all about hot lava.  Onto the next adventure...


oh Lord, it's hard to be humble

Little Lu has had an ear infection.  Her first.  Sweet thing was clearly in pain and was not afraid to let us know.  Communication seems to be one of her strong points.

I've noticed something about myself over the past few days as I've devoted most of my time to holding her and/or keeping her from exercising her all-out banshee scream.  A strange mixture of discontent and inadequacy seeps into my bloodstream when an entire day's moments are not particularly enjoyable.  All of a sudden it drives me absolutely CRAZY that I'm unable to pull weeds in front of the house.  Funny, I didn't feel compelled to pull any weeds in the previous 2 weeks when I had 3 relatively happy girls on my hands.  I glance around my home and only see mess.  I decide I should be more serious about finding time to exercise/bake healthy snacks/blog/organize the master bathroom closet.

It happens every time.  I wish it wouldn't.  But here's what I'm thinking - the more I am compelled to put the needs of someone else (or multiple someone elses) before my own, the more my will tries to assert itself in any way it can, to the point that it tries to convince me that if only I was baking multigrain banana muffins instead of caring for my precious (albeit screaming) child I would feel fulfilled.

I was home in Santa Barbara for a whirlwind trip a few weeks ago and got to enjoy a rollicking meal with most of my family.  I can't remember what led up to it, but in the middle of dinner several of them broke out into a song I've heard sung many times before: "Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble, when you're perfect in ev-er-y way..."

It made us all laugh, just like it always does.  And we sing that song tongue-in-cheek.  But the truth is, it IS hard to be humble, not because I'm perfect in ev-er-y way but because it is hard work to try to quiet my pride and my need to please myself.  It's not something my heart always wants to do.  Motherhood, however, requires it of me, whether I'm ready for humility or not.  It can be a hard way to continually learn this lesson.  But it is such a sweet way.