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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

MELLOWING

 
We have been mellowing here.

Last week we hosted. An out-of-town visitor and a cold for both James and I. After our guest left on Friday morning I took it easy for the remainder of the weekend and let things lapse into sheer chaos. Dishes piled, laundry lumped in corners, and stuff everywhere. Regardless it was a welcome break from the cook-eat-clean-repeat cycle I suffered while our guest was here. I am not a good hostess to start but add in a cold that won't quit and diminished sleep with someone on the couch and forget it. I was a walking zombie. Returning home in the soft light of the dawn with Lucas' night light still shining through his window made me appreciate my home all the more. My home. Yes I most definitely need more hosting practice. Hospitality is not my strong suit.

 
 
Since I have had my house to myself again I have been nesting. Bread baking color organizing nesting. The spring cleaning bug has bitten me hard this year. I absolutely cannot shake it. I keep thinking about getting rid of things, getting things organized. In truth it's getting ready for our next move. I don't know when or where, but I am sick of carrying the same things from house to house. The espresso machine I haven't used in five years, the mishmash of neglected cookware cast-off for my favorites, and what felt like a hundred of James' old shirts hanging unused after years of hard wear. I just want everything in my home to be beautiful or useful. Or gone. Is this what being a grown-up is?
 
Lucas and I baked cookies the other night. I love chocolate chip cookies and they are pretty much gone now. I almost never bake because chocolate is expensive. But our neighborhood friendly WinCo had a great deal on chocolate chips. A dollar fifty a bag is too perfect for this girl to pass up.


I can do almost anything with my little babe in a sling. And the cookies were absolutely delicious.


As is my little guy.

Monday, April 7, 2014

FROM THE WEEKEND.

This weekend we finally saw some sun. It felt just a little bit like springtime so on Sunday afternoon our little collective decided it was time to do some spring activities.

 
I am in the throes of spring cleaning, taking part in what I call a self-paced self timed 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge. Also known as I found out about it too late but I totally want to get rid of my stuff. So far I have gotten rid of seven whole bags of stuff, five bags of which were old clothes. Some were mine but most of them were from the depths of James' closet. Going through James' closet is a little bit like that part in Lord of the Rings where they go a little bit too deep and then have to run away from the Balrog. Except the Balrog is those pants that haven't fit my husband since high school. It's enough to make a girl want to yell "You shall not pass!"


 
We made sure to get the clothes out of the house today and we dropped them off at our neighborhood friendly thrift store. It's one of the ones I don't shop at as much so that I don't run the risk of re-buying some of the things I donated.
 
 

After our thrift store donation adventure, I conned my husband into not one, but two walks. Here's a great picture of Molly's face of excitement for walkies.
 



 
The dogs were done after a little while but I sure wasn't. My lovely husband took me downtown where we walked in the warm sunshine. It finally feels like spring here!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Friday, March 28, 2014

NEWSLETTER: MONTH ONE

Dear Lucas,

The day we brought you home from the hospital we swished our way down the front walk through four inches of fresh snow. The whole world was absolutely coated with new snow, light as a feather, that can only be classified as "champagne snow." March definitely came in like a lion this year.



It has been a month since that day. The first week you were home all I can think of is the slow dance of the hours as I slept, nursed, and made attempts to get up. We slept on the couch all that week since our first night home I wasn't able to climb into bed given the shortness of my legs and my recent Cesarean section. You inherited my short legs, little man, so you may want to get used to climbing up on things now. One of the very first things we learned about you during a biophysical profile ultrasound was that you had short legs. The nurse shot a worried look and asked how tall your father was and then zipped out of the room. The doctor informed me in the exam room later that your legs were short. Then she sized me up and asked how tall I was. I said "Five one," and relief flooded her face as she said "Well, he'll have legs like you." Sorry son. You have mom's legs.



The second week of your life I finally felt ready to climb in the bed but after having you sleeping in my arms or on my chest your entire life at home I did not feel ready to have you leave my side. While I would have loved to have you join us with our spoiled dogs on the bed, their big paws and horror stories about SIDS had me looking for a bassinet almost immediately. We found a wonderful Pack and Play with a bassinet attachment. Dad and I dragged it into and out of the bedroom and the first night you slept in it I felt like I had to explain that I was within arm's reach and that it was time to go to sleep. Then I swaddled you and kissed your little cheeks and put you to bed for the first time.



You have hair. That was another thing the biophysical profile told us. You have a lot of hair, and you have so much down the nape of your neck that I am considering trimming it. Either that or letting it grow and begin to braid it and put beads in it for a bona-fide rat tail. Yes the nineties called and they want their hair back. People keep telling me that your hair will start to rub off and grow again when you start to roll over so for now it's business in the front, party in the back. You have a mullet. Or as my mom would say "a bi-level." Which is what they called mullets when she was growing up.



Mullets aside, I love to look at your little face. I am so enraptured with your little cheeks and your sideways peering eyes. When you are awake you are very alert and you love to look at the world around you and quite often you peer to the right or the left as if there is something far more interesting in that direction. Another thing discernable before your birth was your nose. On the ultrasound I could tell that you have my nose. You still do, even if it's just a baby nose until you grow more.You have such a sweet little mouth. You remind me of a Kewpie doll in every way, and while they tell me your smiles are just gas, I like to think they are authentic. People comment everywhere we go on what a good looking perfect baby you are. I love to cuddle you and kiss your little face. Two kisses on your right, two on your left, and two on your forehead. Possibly times infinity. After changing you one day daddy caught me carrying you down the hall and chanting to you "I have a face and you have a face!" I figured since you couldn't see much but my face it was probably good information. Your dad thinks I am a dork.



People constantly ask me how the dogs have adjusted. Molly and Dakota are medium largish dogs with personalities that are about as people-y as you can get. Before you they responded to "baby" and for a while they didn't understand that they are no longer my babies. They are now my dogs and you are my baby. Dakota has stepped up and become very protective of you. She comes running when you cry, and the other day while you were in the Pack n' Play and I was in the bath you started to get a little fussy and she came into the bathroom as if trying to find help. You are such a quiet little man. you only seem to cry when you're hungry or wet, though we've had some experimentation on your part with fussing "just because." It still startles the dogs when you cry and unless the noise is remedied quickly, they come running to help you. Dakota's attitude seems to be "I will protect baby" and Molly's is more like "Babysitting? I can sit on babies for days!" Dakota wants to mother you and Molly is just wanting the same attention she got before. Overall though there is no aggression from either of them and you don't seem to mind that they constantly sniff you. We don't let them lick you since you haven't had a lot of immunizations, but that day will come. Dogs have no good concept of the future however, and I can't promise they haven't sneaked in a few rogue kisses.





You are one celebrated baby. There have been family visits and coffee dates and since I gave birth to you on the weekend that I was scheduled to work, most of the nurses on my unit came to see you and love on you. Your Grandma Kay came to see me while they were still trying to induce labor even though I told your dad no visitors. As you know, Grandma Kay does what she wants. And that day I realized that I was in a new world now. In my new world there are lots of people who want to see me and bring you presents. You have gotten sweaters and edible books and the nurses I work with bought you a high chair and a stroller as a "welcome to the world" gift. You are special to so many people. Especially your mama.

At the beginning of your third week of life I took you to my Next Generation Mentoring meeting at Angela's house. We drove all the way to Spokane together by ourselves and I had to feed you at the meeting. You threw up all over my sweater and into the recesses of Angela's nice wicker chair. But as a mother of three Angela took it with such grace, taking you from me so I could clean up. Once everything was settled she said a beautiful blessing over you as we finished our meeting. I feel like God has an amazing dream for you in spite of (completely normal) infant digestive issues. Thankfully I layered that day. Even though you have ruined a couple of well thought out ensembles for both mommy and daddy, you are gaining weight well and you weigh almost nine and a half pounds by my unlicensed estimation as we stand together on the scale. From the first day you took to nursing like a champ and you are a very vigorous eater. I am thankful that you are gaining weight well and you feel so big now in comparison to when we brought you home. Daddy says you are still a one arm baby though. You are still so small.

Daddy is very proud that he was the first one to take care of you. Since I had surgery to deliver you I was whisked away to recovery right after you were born. Daddy saw you through your first bath and swaddle and oversaw the move from Labor and Delivery to Post Partum while I chatted with the recovery nurse about the new building the hospital was planning and worked on moving my legs so I could see you right away. Your dad loves you so much and I can tell you make him so happy as you snuggle together when he comes home from work. He loves to bring his hand into a claw and start high in the air and bring it closer and closer to your face, just like his dad did while making a high pitched "booooo" noise. Your dad loves you so much and watching him love and care for you has made me fall in love with him all over again. We are so blessed to have you.

Before you were born I was so worried we wouldn't bond. I was afraid that I had some sort of bad gene or inner flaw floating around just waiting to unleash itself and that I would be detached from the baby I wanted for so many years. I prayed and prayed that when you were born that I would be attached to you. That all that natural motherly bonding and love would take over when you came into the world. And the moment I heard you cry all I could say over and over was "That's my baby. That's my baby." Jesus answered my prayer. I knew you were mine then and now even more so.

Love,

Mama



Saturday, March 22, 2014

COMPLETELY RANDOM TRANSMISSION


I took these pictures back when I was still able to have coffee. I miss coffee. Sadly I am unable to consume espresso beverages without my petit Lucas staying up all night, blue eyes open and curiously hoping for some sort of entertainment. This happened one night about a week ago when I had a cola and a cup of Earl Grey in the same twenty four hours.

It is starting to be springtime here in Idaho. We have four seasons here. Winter, Spring, Fall, and Road Construction. Like Athena from the forehead of Zeus, safety orange cones and angry flaggers appear with their walkie-talkies and perma grimaces. The ones that are sans grimace are usually staring off into space while confused motorists idle in a line, confused about exactly what they should be doing and why the flagger was posted there to begin with. Looks like Road Construction is starting early this year.


My mother-in-law's birthday was last weekend and I baked the cake. Yes the frosting (and maybe the cake?) cracked on the way over, but we tried to fix it. Even though it was ugly the cake and the sour cream frosting were absolutely delectable. 


Also in the spirit of keeping it real around here, James' family has this weird tradition of having these little plastic trees and this plastic balloon bunch on pretty much every cake ever. I kind of insisted that we put them out on the cake I made for my mother-in-law.


The plastic decor maybe obscured most of the terrible beginner's errors that this cake is absolutely rife with. Also don't think the strawberries at the base are fancy in the least: they were a hail Mary pass at trying to fix some super messy looking frosting. 


We have gotten many many baby gifts. For someone who is not used to getting presents from people not her spouse this has been a time full of surprises for which I am very thankful. One of my thoughtful brothers-in-law chose this awesome nightlight for our son and it makes me smile every time I see it because it reminds me that James cannot wait to take Lucas to a monster truck rally. No kidding. 

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