Finding my delight in the journey of adoption.

Posts tagged “parenting

The Mundane and the Amazing

First things first, I need a new name for the blog.  Something catchy that conveys the topic (which is really broad – my spiritual journey, motherhood, social justice, adoption, orphan care, chocolate eating…).  But I have no creative bones in my body.  Please help me by commenting with your suggestions.

 I had such a rejuvenating day today.  BB got up early with Freddy, which allowed me an extra hour of sleep, followed by a cold, rainy run and finished off with a cup of coffee and a Bible study.  I need to figure out how to start every day that way.

Freddy and I had fun visiting my sweet sister at her nanny job.  The little girl (1.5 years old) enjoyed throwing her ball at him and at one point sat on his head.  Freddy, of course, remained smiling and unaware.

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You can see that Freddy still has quite the affinity for hand-towels and washcloths.  Perhaps a job as a bathroom attendant in his future?  Or maybe Bed Bath and Beyond? 

I had a fabulous lunch with a great friend, also a new mom.  A visit from another friend and her sweet girls who entertained the boy and brought peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  Finally, a visit from a friend who cut BB’s and my hair.  Her passion for helping victims of sex trafficking spurred on great conversation, and I think I may now know where all my stuff needs to go when we move [in 7 weeks!!!!].  🙂

All this grace.  Undeserved.  Who am I to merit such rich relationships with people?  Such love poured out on me and my family.  If not for the Holy Spirit, I would have never met these friends.  These precious people who pray for me, chat with me, bring me cookies, and cut my hair.

My cup overflows tonight.  May I never forget such grace bestowed on me.

 


The Elusive Nap

First, a gratuitous Fred picture.

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I’m in a blogging slump, as the four of you who are still reading have seen. I struggle with perfectionism, so unless I can come up with a really witty and thoughtful post, I usually don’t post. I still have so many thoughts about adoption – there have been a few thought-provoking articles lately about Christians and adoption. I also have thoughts on motherhood. But does anyone want to read them? I am drowning in self-doubt.

That’s really my biggest issue these days – self-doubt. I have spent most of my life running from anything that I wasn’t good at and only doing things at which I could succeed. I don’t play games that I don’t win, I don’t try new things. I really hate failing. {side note – who doesn’t hate failing? This sounds a little pompous – oh you other people must love failing, but I just can’t handle it. blah blah.}

I’m pretty much convinced that I am failing as a mother. Fred doesn’t sleep the required amount of time to ensure that his brain actually develops. His poop is green all the time, which either means I’m starving him or he’s dying of a terrible disease. He still sleeps in our bed, which means (a) he will die or (b) he will still need to share our bed when he’s 16. And on and on and on.

I spend 60% of every day trying to get him to sleep, 20% feeding him, and the other 20% worrying about what he’s not doing right. This motherhood thing is basically pure torture that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

Sure, there’s joy. There’s nothing better than his smile and laugh. His smooth, soft squishy skin against mine. His beautiful blue eyes and sweet personality. Of course, I wouldn’t trade that for a few full nights sleep. Seriously, I wouldn’t.

But man, how did I go from a reasonably competent lawyer with multiple degrees, fairly confident in my abilities to being completely brought down to a sniveling puddle of mush by a 16 pound human-parasite? At this point, I barely trust my ability to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich correctly.

I just want to watch a YouTube video that tells me exactly what to do. Or is there some sort of consultant who can come over for the day and tell me how to care for my child? I’m really good at following directions.

It gives me a new appreciation for mothers. I don’t think I ever quite realized the barrage of worries and concerns that comes with this little bundle of joy. I’m not, by nature, a worrier. I don’t care enough about anything to really worry about it. But now! Ugh.

It reminds me of something my sister-in-law said when she was a new mom. The only way you can really sleep at night is to decide that you will survive if your child dies. It’s a morbid thought, I know. But it is true, the child cannot be an idol. Even the child has to be held with an open hand. I can’t stop the hurt that’s coming his way. I can try and minimize it, but I do want him in the battle of life. I want him to become a fierce warrior, able to change the world. But first, he needs to be able to nap.


Fred: 3 months

I’ll probably stop these posts at some point.  We can’t spend the next 18 years commemorating every month of this kid’s life.  I get that.  Feel free to skip this one.  I have some more meatier material growing in my brain for next time.

In the last three months, my life has imploded.  My apartment is always messy.  I rarely eat a meal in one sitting.  I haven’t slept for more than 7 hours straight (and that only happened once).  I barely remember how to put on make-up.  BB and I haven’t had a conversation that wasn’t primarily about poop color.

And yet, my sweet little boy is such a delight.  He’s starting to learn how to grab things.  He can laugh now.  He sees images in the mirror.  He is babbling more and more.  And he has fat legs.  I always wanted a baby with fat legs.

He has a delightful personality.  Even when he’s crying, it doesn’t take long for him to smile.  And he doesn’t mind when Lucy licks his face.

How are the parents doing?  Surviving.  Not sure we are thriving.  We haven’t gotten a routine down yet.  I want him to work less.  He probably wants me to stop complaining so much.  I am desperate for spring to come to Chicago.  We are getting glimpses, but then it drops back down to 35 degrees. I want to fit in my pants and still eat cookies.  I want to have time to read a book without cardboard pages and to spend time in the Word.

It’s so frustrating that we can never have it all at once.  We want sleep when our babies are young, and we can’t sleep when they are old.  We want money when we are in college, and when we get it, we don’t have time to spend it.  We want time to travel the world when we are young, and when we have the time, we are too tied down.

Isn’t that just the way it is with God?  This world is not our home.  We will never be fully content here on earth, and that’s the plan.  I need to stop fighting it and embrace it for what it is.  Looking forward to the true paradise on the other side.


Used

BB and I are dying to know – is there some sort of study that has proven that babies prefer the sound of the pan flute as opposed to actual orchestration? Why don’t these baby toys just play Beethoven’s Ninth by the full orchestra?

I’ve been warned.  Being pregnant, giving birth, nursing, all these things will ruin my body.  I’ll be all used up by the time Fred is 6 months old.  It makes me wonder, what would I be saving myself for? 

I want to be used.  My body was designed (in part) to bring forth life.  My breasts were designed to provide food.  My body is here for a function.  Even if it wasn’t child-bearing, my hands are meant to wash, build, create.  My feet are to meant to walk, run.  My back should be bent.  I’m not a priceless work of art, meant only for observation.

Our culture strives to preserve – save your money, use the candlesticks only for special occasions, keep your skin out of the sun, wear rubber gloves, keep your shoes out of the mud.  We don’t want to get dirty.  We don’t want to be used.  We want our bodies, homes, cars, brains, kept fresh until….until what?  What are we saving ourselves for?

We are about to embark on another 7-style purge of our home.  This one’s going to be bigger, deeper, more painful.  I’m scared.  I love my stuff.  It’s not all materialistic – some of the love comes from the memories the things hold.  The warm coat that’s insulated me at the bus stop, the running shoes in which I’ve logged miles, the skillet that has cooked many a meal, the platter given by a friend, the sweater picked out by my mom.

But then I kick myself.  Here I’m giving away so many items that I was saving for something special.  Why didn’t I use the wedding china more often?  Why have I only worn that necklace once?  I didn’t know that one day I would be called to give it all up.

Our vats are overflowing, and we build another barn to hold it.  Spend it.  Use it.  This life is fleeting.  You can’t take it with you…not in the next life, and sometimes in this one.

We save our money for an emergency.  But (as Francis Chan once asked), is it only an emergency if it affects our family? 

We save our time like misers.  We have to work hard, and we will serve others later.  We will have that date night with our spouse next month.  We will spend more time with the children once we get this last errand run.  What if later never comes? 

Spend it.  Wear it.  Use it.  Jesus’ body was broken, used.  His blood was shed for us. 


Fred: 2 months

Dear Fred,

You are 2 months old today!  Time flies.  You are pure delight to your dad and me almost 100% of the time.  Sometimes, when you pee on your clothes multiple times in a row (like you did for your dad at 4 this morning), we get frustrated, but otherwise, we can’t get enough of you!

You are growing so much.  We had to out away most of your 0-3 month size clothes yesterday.  You have the most precious little fat legs and perfect belly. 

My favorite time of the day with you is your last nursing before bed.  Right before, you are in such a sweet mood.  Just starting to get sleepy, but still cooing and smiling.  Then, while you nurse in the dim light, you look up at me with your beautiful dark blue eyes.  I rub your feet and legs under your nightgown until you fall fast asleep.

You like it when we sing to you and read to you.  You usually try and sing along with us.  Your favorite toy is still Towely, the hand towel that hangs over the counter where we change you.  Your eyes light up when you see it moving above your head.  You love the book from Ms. Jocelyn called “I Kissed the Baby.”  The pictures keep you captivated.  You never mind when Lucy licks you head to toe and even give your fingers a nibble.

Daddy takes you on long walks in the cold, and you always fall asleep.  He holds you while he sings, and you stare at him mesmerized.  He swaddles you by rolling you into your blanket – we call it the “daddy roll-up.”  He makes sure you always get your tummy time, and he is teaching you to stand.  He loves to see how strong you are.

You recently found your hands and can’t stop looking at them.  You can rub your eyes and suck your thumb now.  It makes you look so grown up!  You are a very social guy.  You love to see other people and be held by them.  You love to be naked and hate getting dressed.  You smile all the time and are always happy to see me.

You are the light of our lives, and we are so happy to be your parents.  Every day with you is a wonderful gift, and I look forward to the next one.  You are grunting and waking from your nap, so I better stop now.  Here’s a sleepy 2 month old picture of our sweet Fred.Image


8 weeks

Fred peed on my hair today while I was trying to suck a booger out of his nose.  Yesterday, a small spec of poo flew into the air and landed on BB’s face.  We have lost all dignity in this house.

We are 8 weeks into this crazy thing called parenthood, which makes me an expert on absolutely nothing except perhaps how to do laundry.  Nevertheless, I have learned a few things in 8 weeks.

1.  It is possible to sustain two human lives on a diet of coffee, cookies, bananas and pretzels, but only for two days. 

2.  Four hours of uninterrupted sleep turns me into a new woman.  Anything under two hours makes me more tired.

3.  I can go three days without showering and not notice it

4.  Breastfeeding hurts at first.  Anyone who says it doesn’t or shouldn’t is a big fat liar.  And yes, I am talking about PAIN, not just discomfort (But it stops hurting, and it’s totally worth it.)

5.  The pain of your hips spreading during pregnancy is only slightly worse than the pain of them coming back together.

6.  Husbands of postpartum wives should get some sort of medal for coming home every day and not drinking themselves into a coma.

7.  You feel super skinny for the first month after giving birth, which was awesome! 

8.  If you breastfeed, you must hydrate like you are running a marathon.  Seriously, it’s nothing for me to drink 4 liters of water a day.

9.  Streaming Netflix is the best thing the internet has ever given us besides the weather forecast.  The West Wing has saved my sanity.

10.  I still don’t understand why anyone in her right mind would do this again.

That said, Fred is amazing and adorable and oh so fun.  Here are a few pics for your delight.  Thanks for indulging me.  I’ll get back to writing about more serious topics when my brain starts working again.

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