I feel like such a total loser right now. Can I vent for a moment here? This day has been a low, in some ways. Or, I guess all I can count as accomplishments are the simplest things. I checked one thing off my to do list in the office. I washed one load of laundry. I don't have a pile of dishes in my house. Yay. Good for me. But what about the shrill exasperated tone of voice I seemed to be using with my son Kid A all day? Or the way I kept tripping and spilling things in my tiny home. (The other day I spilled an entire dishpan full of soapy water on my legs and the bathroom floor while washing dishes in the bathroom sink. It was like a small tidal wave. I guess the floor needed washing anyways.)

Or the way I don't seem to know the basic essentials of sleeping anymore. It's 2:00 AM, my eyes are closed, I'm breathing slowly, I'm trying to let my mind drift away... I'M NOT SLEEPING. Kid A is sniffing, he's coughing, he's scratching at the eczema behind his knees, now he's turning back and forth, NOW he needs to get up to pee... I'M STILL NOT SLEEPING. (You know, I had a very strange experience the other night, when I was staying in the City with friends, without my family. I went to sleep, closed my eyes, and when I woke up... the sun was up. I almost couldn't understand what was happening. You mean-- I slept all the way through the night? On the same side of my body? Right now, with a mattress as thick as a piece of rice paper on a bunkbed which causes my husband to have to crawl over my lightly sleeping body to get to his side of the bed, and little elves who snore in their beds which are five feet away from our bed, well. I wake up about thirty-eight times a night. This is true.)

Maybe not sleeping is the reason that I felt like my brain was decomposing all day. Maybe it was the fact that my husband has been sick in bed for three days, and I alternately feel terrible for him and envy him with a ferocity that is ferret-like in nature. Maybe I'm really tired and that's why I said the "D" word when Kid A peed in his jammies right after I put him in them. He has this terrible habit of holding his pee until he needs to relieve himself so desperately that he is jogging in place while trying to unzip his pyjamas. It doesn't work very well. But is that terrible habit more terrible that saying the "D" word over some wet undies? Probably not. I apologized to Kid A, and he asked sweetly, "Are you saying sorry because you said Dammit?" "Yes," I said. "Because that's not a good word?" he asked. "That's right," I said. "Because you shouldn't say it?" he asked? And ON AND ON until I almost said it again.

But have I talked about the children's foozball obsession? Here at the Land we eat in a building that we wittily call "the Restaurant" since it used to be a restaurant, and it has a foozball (how do you spell that word?) table in it. As soon as someone finishes their meal and starts to play with the table, my children's ears get visibly bigger and a little bit pink and they start to come out of their skin with excitement, losing all interest in their food. This usually happens when I have just put the first bite of food in my mouth, after getting my kids situated and bibbed and eating. It's not fun.

And I still haven't mentioned that every time I'm pregnant I carry the baby lower and lower, until this one is so low that my hips don't even work anymore. They creak and crack and stabbing pains shoot up and down my legs as I waddle around like a blond penguin. Is this why I'm grumpy and snappish with my kids?

The good news is that I'm learning about being a whole new woman. One who doesn't strive to be worth having around because of the amount of work she can do, or how together she is. One whose life is full of grace and love, as the chief ingredients. At least, this is what I look forward to. God's power is made perfect in my weakness. And yes, my floor is dirty and my children are driving me crazy. But there is love and love overflowing for all of us Fords in our crazy little cabin in the woods.