Thursday, August 21, 2008

Resisting Sleep So here I am, resisting sleep. It seems like my days are spent focusing on the kids so much and their needs that when they go to sleep, I get my second wind...wide eyed and awake until the wee hours wondering what the heck I'm doing and why the heck I'm doing it. I almost become euphoric thinking about it all. It usually starts when I'm getting Zachary ready for bed and nursing and rocking him to sleep. I start to think, I could find that missing (fill in item here) that I haven't seen in months. I'm convinced it is located (fill in location here). I know I can find it - never mind I've been looking for that same item in the same three locations for 3 months. I could write in my journal, update both kid's baby books, organize pictures, read the five books collecting dust in my night stand, read through the latest Ikea catalog, Pampered Chef catalog, all while randomly flipping through the latest Parents and Parenting magazine. (Seriously, why the heck don't those two magazines just merge? They copy each other's articles every month and you can barely tell them apart on the newsstand...different font doesn't count.) As soon as Zachary is in bed and I've snuggled with Kayla for a few minutes, I step into this Mommy's paradise...NIGHTTIME!!! I fully intend to do the things mentioned above, but I turn on my laptop to innocently check email and suddenly I'm shopping for makeup...I'm learning more about a perfume I just tried on at the store, I'm checking the tracking number on my latest Amazon purchase. An email with it's melodic ding pops up...doesn't matter if it is worth reading or not - I go and read...I remember someone I didn't email back earlier. I send the email...I read my favorite blogs...I lament over the extreme out of dateness of my own blog... I look at the time...12:04am...dishes still waiting, experiment ring in the toilet, clothes quietly crinkling to unmanageable lumps in their baskets, crumbs on the table... The baby monitor quietly coos...a tiny static crackle here and there.. If only morning would not come...or stealthily delay its appearance. Alas, all fun things must come to an end...the shower is calling this tired body.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kaylic I'm sure those of you with small children eventually come to know their own native language. Ever since Kayla was old enough to utter sounds she has been making some interesting ones. When she was about 5 months old she started out by growling or heavy breathing as we liked to call it. For awhile she earned the name, "Darth Baby" because of the funny sounds she was making. Most babies coo or razz, Kayla would growl in delight. It was the funniest sound we had ever heard. When she was about 18 months old and starting to say words she would sometimes break into a babble that we dubbed "Kaylic." You could tell she was saying something very serious and she would look at us as if to say, "Why don't you understand these profound things that I'm saying?" Now that Kayla is older (3 years old) and consistently speaks in complete sentences, I thought it would be fun to update you on some of the new words she is saying: Han-gah-ber - hamburger. (I think this is a childhood classic and just about every kid I've known has said this. Love it!) Va-po-ra-tor - vaporizer. Ma-zah-gine - magazine. Ma-gah-log - cross between a magazine and a catalog. I was pretty proud of her for coming up with this one. She also likes to make up words with one of her pals at daycare. One of the words that seems to stick is this: Schwapped - to set down or throw down forcefully. This seems to be the meaning of the word, but she uses it in many different contexts. Such as, "I schwapped down on the couch to watch a movie." Hope you've enjoyed your short lesson in Kaylic.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Update So I'm finally getting around to giving y'all the update - sorry for the lateness in responding! I am still getting this frequent blogging thing together. I've been back at work for a month now and things are very slowly coming together (hence my absence). The first day I dropped off Zachary at daycare I was in my car crying...trying to calm down enough to drive. When I finally slowed down, I turned on the radio and the first line of a familiar song played, "It's not the end of the world, it's just another day, standing on grace." I stopped for a moment and listened again and laughed. Oh great, God, you always know what I need. Truly this separation, this change, is not the end of the world, but just another day in a sea of changes. Since then there have been ups and downs. Downs - finding out that Zachary cried a lot and didn't take the bottle for several days at daycare. Ups - finally after three weeks having him happy and cooing and playing at daycare. Downs - not getting much sleep due to the new schedule and both kids waking up on and off. Ups - finding the sweet spot in the schedule and having them both finally sleeping better. I appreciate all of you for your nice comments in previous posts and asking how things were going. From now on I'll try to write more.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Less Than A Week Only a few more days until I go back to work. I'm trying to process it all - to be practical about the things that need to be done. Paperwork to fill out, things to buy, prayers to be said. But deep down it just hurts. There is no other way to say it. I look at my sweet boy blissfully sleeping and I realize that it is no easier this time than it was with the up his care to someone else for part of the day. It reminds me of the fact that he is already starting to grow up so to speak, to be separate from me. I guess the day he found his thumb and started sucking it was the beginning of that process. I'm reminded of when Kayla was his age. I was feeding her one day and then rocking her to sleep when it hit me like a ton of bricks. We are constantly preparing our children to be independent enough to one day leave us. What a heart wrenching thought! I'm overwhelmed with those thoughts today. Oh I know, our children will always need us, our love, and prayers, even as adults. (In fact, I'm surprised and yet strangely comforted by how much Kayla, at almost three still wants snuggles and hugs. She may look like a big girl, but she is still a baby inside.) But the truth is that one day they will be on their own. So for the next few days I'll hold my baby boy tight and delight in his smiling face, the smell of his little head, hold onto his tight little fists, and rest in the peaceful quiet of him nursing. Hoping as he grows that he chooses me to hug and kiss him and comfort him no matter how old he is.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Poetry Jam Megan over at Sorta Crunchy is celebrating the last day of National Poetry Month and I though I would join in the fun. Be sure to check out her favorite poem by clicking here. Here are some of my own poems written over the last few years. I'm not great with naming these things, but have tried to name them something. Coffee Shop Confessions As I sit in my corner vantage point in Waterstreet I see caricatures of reality A snowflake etched in glass A love letter in a handkerchief A copper sun on the ceiling A poet in the corner It quiets as they all leave Serenity pours out of the speakers What seen before me is reality? Everyday Chaos Incessant chatter, word upon word My participation wanes Until I become a catatonic observer Dusk Clearing black sky Clouds floating away The Cheshire cat moon smiling Twinkling light in the distance The crisp night ahead of us To Write Books, books, and more books! How I long to read them all Lose myself in the pages Experience what I don't in life Be happy that I don't have that life! Read about great truths for eternal knowledge Read silliness and laugh Look at pictures and wonder My desire to drink it all in, all the time! To become part of the book, whether truth or fiction But to write a book - So much harder to do But necessary to understand and reflect on life Difficult to express the mundane in the pages To be unleashed, to write at will! Whether it be serious, scholarly or just plain trite. What good is it? What purpose is served? My random thoughts fill this space This page that may hold the complexities of my mind Or the experience of existence. Where am I going? I started out asking this question And know nothing more here. Purple pen gliding over the pages As I listen to the chatter in the cafe Do they know how loud they are? Mixing into a stream of confusion Some voices standing out in random patterns "The trees are pretty," says the father to the daughter "I stopped by and saw it," the loud man on the couch Kitchen topics with my love We are here together We share our thoughts - Our perspective - Our experience My thoughts blend with the din - Rising and falling - Until silent My pen is stopping I've read this randomness and strangely I am happy

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Had Forgotten I had forgotten the excitement of seeing the first robin of spring... I had forgotten the sweet, heavy scent of rain coming in the distance... I had forgotten the waxy tug on my fingers of the first green leaves pushing through the ground... I had forgotten the wonder of seeing a duck just a few feet away... I had forgotten the cool, damp feeling of grass between my toes... I had forgotten the spine tingling excitement of hiding during hide-n-seek... I had forgotten, my sweet girl, until I met you.

Friday, April 11, 2008

When I Look at Your Face... ...little son, I see big, deep, blue eyes staring back at me in pure innocence and unconditional love. I see your button nose and your toothless, double-dimpled grin and I overflow. You are the sweet boy I never knew I could love. ...sweet girl, I see a the glimmer of my BeBa in your big girl eyes and I'm overcome. Blonde hair and sweet cheeks like your Mama, so stubborn like your Mama. Trying so hard to be the big sister, but longing to still be her Mama and Dada's baby. You are my pure joy. perfect husband, I see icy blue eyes overflowing with patience and a supernatural calm. We are growing old together - can you feel it? Look how far we have come. My life is infinitely and forever changed - bigger, better, and yet grounded in ways that I've never comprehended. I see your smile, the twinkle in your eye and I know that there is so much yet to know. "To love another person is to see the face of God." - Les Miserables

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Sweet Sound of Chaos Yes, you read the title correctly. I've never been so happy to hear screaming and laughing and the pounding of running feet! After five days of being sick, Kayla is better. She is smiling and laughing and she asked me to chase her around the living room. Normally that whole chasing thing is pretty short lived for me, but I heartily chased her around for as long as we could handle it! Breathlessly she declared, "I feel much better!" Indeed! I never thought I would be looking forward to the week coming up that her and I would spend together with the baby. The sick Kayla was much harder to handle then the well Kayla. I'm sure well Kayla and I will have a great time. Note: I didn't publish this post right away and am happy to report that our week together was great. We had our ups and downs, but overall it was a good. Thanks to everyone that was praying for us. In a way, I'm sort of lonely today without Kayla's sweet face around. Just me and the little boy today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

If Only There Were Two of Me... I'm sure we have all had that thought - wishing we had a clone or an extra set of hands. I'm especially feeling that pain today - figuring out how to juggle two kids - an infant (by definition - needy) and a little under the weather toddler (temporarily needy). It seems that I'm constantly having to choose, whose needs get met first. Unfortunately, my infant son cries more loudly and is harder to reason with and he usually wins the battle. I'm also struggling with how to work with Kayla's recently behavior issues (presumably more apparent or new due to baby Zachary's recent appearance on the scene). A few days ago, I was reading Corey's post over at Living and Loving Every Minute of It (click here to check it out - a little long, but worth it) and I believe she really hit the nail on the head. When our own needs are not met we are impatient and cranky and stray from our core parenting style and frankly from our own personalities in general. It seems like that is the story of my life lately. I'm thankful to Corey for her timely post and helping me get back on track. I guess in the end I keep coming back to this simple truth. God has put me in this situation and he will see me through. I Corinthians 10:13 says "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." How often I am tempted to lash out, to yell, to be impatient, to do what I shouldn't do in this new, two child parenting game. I have to remember that I am weak and nothing without God's help. I often think about how blessed I am to be a mother (twice now!) and I have to constantly focus on God's strength and not my own. With this focus, I can do anything!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sweet Girl As those of you know who have had children, the aftermath or "post partum period" can be a roller coaster of emotions. At times I'm happier than I can imagine and other times the littlest thing can make me cry. (Case in point, I am not a country music fan, but there is a country song on the Gospel Music Channel that had me in tears one day.) One morning before Jerry and Kayla left for the day I was crying and Kayla came up to me with the receiving blanket she uses for her doll and said, "Mommy, don't cry, don't be sad" and she wiped my tears away with her blanket. Of course, this made me cry harder. How can a 2 1/2 year old know what her Momma needed so much? I'm so blessed to have such a sweet girl. She adores her little brother and takes every opportunity to kiss him, touch him, and hold him when she can. It will be great when he can respond more to her. Thinking about this reminds me again of how blessed I am.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Devotion I had a hard time naming this post only because the word devotion seems a bit too cheesy for me, but I can't describe it any other way. I marvel at Jerry's love for me and how he so often anticipates what I need to hear or what needs to be done. It is as if we have found out how to be in sync - in a perfectly, devoted way. Right before we left the hospital with Zachary, we were enjoying a quiet time when he was sleeping. Jerry looked at me and he said, "you should be proud." I knew exactly what he meant. All those months of praying and asking God to give me a natural birth, the work of actually experiencing it and all that pushing! I starting crying. How I needed someone to say that to me, how I longed to shout from the rooftops, "I DID IT!!" But I knew that was not what I was supposed to do. I've tried so hard to be humble and thankful that God would choose me to be a mother again and I knew that was what I should focus on. But to have those words said out loud for me - what a wonderful gift. So I want to be proud, but I won't. Instead, I'm thankful that a faithful, gracious God heard my cry for help and blessed me with the desire of my heart.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Five Weeks and Counting...and Growing! Five weeks - little Zachary is 5 weeks old today. As some friends predicted, he arrived just after the Superbowl - Monday February 4 at 2:44 am. My water broke at 4pm on Sunday February 3rd and I just laughed. For some reason, this whole pregnancy I had a feeling my water would break and I was in a great mood thinking about how in 24 hours or less, Zachary would be in my arms. I was nervous when I called the midwife and excited that she said as long as labor started on it's own in the next 6 hours I was free to stay home. The contractions felt like low abdominal menstrual cramps and I actually had to ask myself at first, "was that a contraction?" They became regular about 6:30pm and were about 5-7 minutes apart when we left for the hospital about 9:30pm. When we got to the hospital they asked me if I wanted a jacuzzi room - I was excited thinking how comfortable that would be. (Turns out I never used it - more on that later.) They told me I was dilated 6 and 90% effaced. I was elated and happy that I was able to be home through so much of the first part of labor. The contractions were intense, but I prayed through each one and held onto Jerry. I found labor to be a very inward, introspective experience. I closed my eyes through every contraction reminding myself that God created my body to do this work and I should not resist or tense up. When I resisted a contraction they hurt more and seemed unbearable. Unfortunately because I had a c-section last time, they made me wear a fetal monitor at all times. It made it hard to move around although they could hook me up to a wireless unit, they kept having to change the position of the monitor to make sure they could still capture his heartbeat. I tried to walk, but felt best when I was lying on my side, but I knew that this slowed things down. I was unbearably hot - that was one of the most surprising things about the whole experience. (No interest in a hot, jacuzzi tub!) Even though it was freezing cold outside, they turned the heat off completely in my room. I can't imagine if it had been on. By about 1:45, the feelings were incredibly intense, I felt the urge to bear down, but didn't recognize at the time what that feeling was. I just remember sitting on the toilet thinking that my pelvis was coming apart - that it was at the widest position it could be. I was right - I was fully dilated and 100% effaced. I remember the midwife saying to me, "It's time to push this baby out!" I remember saying in a fog, "Really, it is?" I kept thinking - the hard part is over, right? WRONG! I never realized how hard it would be to push out a baby - I just had no idea. I pushed for nearly and hour and I just remember thinking after each push - he has to be out soon right? I was so tired and the fact that I had not slept in almost 24 hours was taking its toll. Near the end they lost Zachary's heartbeat and could not get it on a monitor on his head. That was ironic to me because I could feel him kicking me right at that moment. In the chaos I don't remember if I said anything about it out loud. The midwife said to me, "If we do not get this baby out soon, I will have to cut you." That was enough motivation for me and on the next push, his head came out partially and then the next push he came completely out. I'll never forget that immense feeling of relief and the strange sensation of the umbilical cord still attached to my body. In seconds he was on my chest and I remember saying over and over, "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness." He was so big - 9lbs 6oz. They said I could breastfeed him, but I couldn't sit up, so that was challenging, but he sucked for about 10-15 minutes and then they wisked him away over to a bassinet to be weighed and other things. I'm still overwhelmed now 5 weeks later thinking of the experience. I thank God that he gave me the perfect birth - no drugs, a short labor, a beautiful, healthy boy. I just kept looking at him when we were in our room a few hours after he was born and just marveling at how beautiful he was. We were surprised to find that he has two dimples. There is no one else in either my family or Jerry's family that does. I remember during those quiet days in the hospital looking at him and thinking "God must have delighted in making you." Five weeks later I look at him in his swing making growling and cooing noises as he likes to do and being amazed at how big he is already - almost 13 pounds.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It Won't Be Long Now I'm counting the days until little Zachary John makes his appearance. Everything is going well. The midwives think that he is much smaller than Kayla was and he is head down and ready to go. Everyday seems slow when waiting for something this big to happen. I hate that I just used such a simple word as "big" to describe giving birth and the experience of raising another child. In truth the magnitude of it all is alluding me at the moment. I'm just trying to take one day at a time. Everything is ready - at least physically - his room, clothes, even diapers and wipes all loaded up into the changing table. My bag and his are packed. Yet everyday I keep wondering, am I ready? Mentally ready? I'm trying to stay positive, to take the memory of the chaos of those first few weeks with Kayla in perspective. To remember that I was new to everything and at least this time there are only some aspects that are completely new. Like the fact that he is a completely different person - with a different personality and habits among many other things of course. I'm not sure what I had to say in this post that is very profound, but more just me trying to grasp the stillness and quiet before this joyous change. It reminds me more than ever that I have to trust God in all things. He has given me the gift of this little boy. Zachary John means "remembered by a gracious God." Because he has remembered me, I know that he will be with me through this.