Thursday, September 20, 2012

All Things Awesome

I am REALLY digging this whole three month old stage so I just feel like I need to put into words my reasons for loving it slash what I’m thankful for right now:

1. The baby chub that’s accumulating at a rapid rate on what used to be her little chicken thighs, fingers, feet, neck, and oh my goodness those CHEEKS!!!!

2. How she smiles whenever she sees me (not just when she’s hungry, though she’s especially happy to see me then)

3. How she smiles with her eyes, like she’s happy deep down to her chubby little sausage toes.
4. Coming up with an excuse to pick her up from her swing when she should be taking a nap because mama is totally irresponsible and wants to snuggle with the squishy cute baby she made.

5. The way her little hands hold on tight to me when I’m holding her.

6. The dopey little grin I get when she wakes up in the middle of a nap and realizes that I’m still holding her.

7. That she recognizes her daddy when he comes home from work, and tells him all about her day.

8. That she can’t actually talk yet (ha), so she doesn’t need to be disciplined or corrected, just snuggled and smooched on all day.

9. That we can enjoy pumpkin spice cookies, cups of tea, and crisp fall weather without stressing about back to school craziness or juggling multiple munchkins’ schedules.

10. Having grandparents and sweet friends close by so that I can get out and preserve my sanity without going too far (because the carseat gives our poor girl a panic attack).

11. Watching her look so pleased with herself when she stands up on daddy’s lap.

12. How her two tiny fists assume the snuggly position right up under her chin in the bathtub
13. The way she gets totally loopy if she’s overtired and snuggled up on the boob, and just sort of laughs and messes around the whole time.

14. How she refuses to shut her exhausted little eyeballs up until the very last moment of the day until I brush my fingers over her forehead.

15. Eating a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch unencumbered because she’s finally in bed.

16. The smell of burnt pine in the living room from Matt’s wood burning project for the baby’s room.

17. That when she’s in bed, it’s just the two of us again.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Exactly three months in and the little Bean laughs for the very first time, the single sweetest most magical little glimpse of heavenly cuteness I’ve ever encountered (just, gah!! So cute!!!), and poof! I’m beginning to forget. 

I’m forgetting all the initial horror of this lovely experience- the way you’re expected to care for a brand new vulnerable little life immediately upon the conclusion of the most ridonkulous experience you’ve ever endured. Nevermind that your entire body was just hit full-force by a semi, a very mean semi that targeted your ladyparts- It’s go time mama! 

I’m forgetting the weeks upon weeks of being so sleep deprived that every time she cries my eyes well up, not because I’m filled to the brim with motherly compassion, but because I am. SO. DANG. TIRED. So tired that I actually think I am going to die. I wonder how many times in the last three months I've thought to myself being this child’s mother is very literally going to end my life? I mean people say things like that, adults and moms are always saying things like that, but I had no idea that they meant it. 

Many many things did I not understand about the life of a mom before becoming a mom. And I am certain I hardly have a clue now. I feel like I’m slowly being inducted into this secret society of women who, seemingly operating outside of reason, choose (over and over again) squishy little baby cheeks, heavenly giggles, and soft sweet-smelling baby skin over the right to live a normal self-concerned sort of life. 

And by normal I mean one wherein personal hygiene, general physical appearance, and sanity are given priority, or heck at least a friendly nod from time to time. Last summer, I would have been buggin about the lack of tan on this pasty body of mine. We’re halfway through September, and I feel like I’m looking pretty fresh if I’ve changed out of my husband’s pajama pants (new hips require man-sized apparel), my pits don’t stink, and I’ve brushed my teeth in the last twenty-four hours. Oh and then there’s the five solid colored v-neck tees that account for the totality of my wardrobe. Sexy I know. 

But I am starting to get it- I mean baby laughter is pretty much crack for the soul. The laugh occurred early yesterday morning, whilst I was eating her scrumptious little chicken neck, and I have been relentlessly assaulting said baby neck in similar fashion ever since. Too much cuteness. Must have more. 

Life is so different. I haven’t thought about myself, like REALLY thought about myself in a really reallllllly long time. Not because I’m special or extra holy or anything, jus because I happen to for the first time in my life have zero time to waste on me. And it’s kind of a really awesome sort of blessing. Because now that the ucky transitional fog of new motherhood is beginning to lift it’s like I was accidentally (or not so accidentally) given a really sober picture of how screwy my priorities were before Babygirl. I’d always kind of thought, in typical christian girl fashion, I’m not SUCH a bad person. I mean, I could totally be worse right? And all of a sudden it’s like boom the lights are on and all I can see is how incredibly selfish I was before I was forcibly stripped of all opportunity to think or do for myself. Whoa, My Abba is so much better at loving me, so much more merciful than I even knew. I’m sure I’ll eek my way back toward being self-centered, I mean it’s kind of what us human-types do. But it’s been stinking cool (and more than a tiny bit painful) to get a glimpse of what it’d be like to really not think about myself, and the kind of freedom there must be in being so like Jesus, that your whole person, your very life, is up for ransom. Not taken from you, but given (Jn 10:18). Because you so LOVE the world (Jn 3:16). I hope He’s slowly making me into that kind of person. I mean I know He is. And partly through this tiny beautiful insanity-inducing gift that’s got a pretty firm grasp on my heart.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Baby's Daddy

Maybe it’s that we just spent a whole weekend loving on our dear friends as they tied the knot, or maybe it’s that it’s fall again, but I feel like I have to write a shout-out post to the incredibly handsome guy who got me into this mess- my husband. This time last year I had finally exhausted every logical (and not so logical) argument- begging, pleading, guilting, and generally manipulating this boy who I totally love to get me pregnant! I said CRAZY things- things that a sane healthy adult would never say. I cried. A LOT. Because, as I tried to explain to my sweet husband, there was this person that I didn’t even know yet that I was aching to know, like a very real deep sick to my stomach sort of ache. How could he keep me from meeting this person?! From making this life?! Poor poor Matt. He was reasoning with pure madness. I was restless and desperate and hardly lucid: I had contracted a serious case of baby fever. Sounds absurd, but until it gets you, you have no idea how very tangibly it seems to infect your heart, complete with green-ooziness, and a very morbid sounding prognosis.

Not only did he willingly come home to my unpredictable emotional state every day, but he was patient and gentle and he didn’t even tell me that I was a complete whacko. He listened to me over and over again as I tried the same crazy rationalizations, the same selfish strategies, to get what I wanted (what I NEEDED!!) from him. The boy also gets major cool points because he didn’t let me wear him down. He kept loving me, even when I was mad at him and throwing a temper tantrum. He kept praying for me and with me about it, even though it was super weird because he was also telling me no.

So it was this time last year, as I was railing on my husband about how he was coming between me and a call that God placed on my life to be a mom (yeah, I fought pretty dirty), that God dealt with me, and my selfishness and my confusion. I had wrongly assumed that since God had given me this desire, He would fill it IMMEDIATELY, and I was mad at Matt and even God when I didn’t get what I wanted, when I wanted it. After about nine months of striving with Matt and with God, I said uncle. And in very gracious, “I totally deserve the opposite of this” God fashion, He let my sweet husband who had been praying and loving me and working with me in the midst of my insanity finally come to a place where he was really honestly ready to be a dad.

And now that he is our Sadie’s dad, he blows my mind like a million times a day. This is going to sound like an exaggeration, but having him with me in labor and those first two weeks at home with the baby, there were times he was so giving and selfless and just plain awesome that I literally would feel like I couldn’t be in better hands if Jesus himself were in the room (that would sound a bit sacrilegious, if you didn’t know that it was Jesus being reflected in my wonderful husband, because seriously there was no way he could have loved both his ladies that perfectly and beautifully all on his own). I remember being completely delirious after an all-night feeding frenzy, completely overwhelmed by this tiny new person who was so dependent on me, and he would be so kind in the way he served me or talked with me that I would be totally stunned, and think how in the world did this wonderful, handsome, loving man of God end up choosing someone like me?! and forever no less! Totally unbelievable.

The craziest piece of this awesome gift is that it’s not like he didn’t know what he was getting into. Matt got a front-row seat to my ridiculous over-dramatic teenage version in all of its embarrassing glory, and he never chose to bail. It’s crazy to think that there was a time when he was just a guy in my freshman computer class that I really liked, who happened to be incredibly gorgeous and pretty into me too. 

And now he is the one person I would trust with my life, the single safest place in my world, and the perfect ending to a really bad day. Feeling crazy blessed to be his wife today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Good Day

So today was an AWESOME day. In fact, today AND yesterday were both awesome days with the munchkin. I know, I should probably keep it down because she’s likely to hear me, laugh a very naughty diabolical sort of baby laugh, and start to pull out the crazy on me. But really she has been so freakin’ sweet and cute I can hardly stand it!! Like who would have ever thought I’d be looking forward to (what’s been recently dubbed) “snuggly morning time” with the nutty little peanut, who insists that at 7 am (and apparently 6:15 this morning) her bassinet is henceforth completely unacceptable, and thus she must sleep not just with me, but ON me? I know, totally weird. These last two days she has been absolutely hilarious! Like her little personality just broke through the one-track-mind neediness that is infancy, so now I’ve got this cute tiny person to share my day with. And to top it off it’s been like magical no-humidity gorgeous heavenly perfection outside (that’s right all of those lovely adjectives at the very same time.) Can’t you just feel the uncanny level of cheeriness going on over here? I seriously wish I could just bottle up these last couple of days and hit repeat on them until the end of time.

And what’s totally weird is that things haven’t been perfect or even easy. Babygirl’s been teething and so she’s having a hard time nursing, which has meant lots of popping off the boob to wail at the sky in a very melodramatic sort of way, or just kind of looking at me with this horribly pathetic pout like “why mom, why?!”- teething is just plain unfair.

So then what was so good about it? (I mean other than her extreme level of cuteness, and the insanely perfect weather). For one thing, getting something done, ANYTHING other than sitting and holding the baby, nursing the baby, pacing with the baby, rocking the baby, standing whilst nursing the baby… anything else is a huge exciting accomplishment that totally cheers me up, and I have done real live things that needed doing a few times this week!!

But what’s really been different is that (by the miraculous grace of a very good God), I actually let myself off the hook. Shock of all shocks! 
When I stop walking around like all of the Babybean’s happiness is completely dependent on me, I actually enjoy pieces of my day- which translates into having a “good” day. 
When I stop looking at her like she’s a very inconvenient non-formulaic little nutball that makes every single plan I have go to pot the second her little eyes pop open, I actually enjoy her. And weirdly enough, when I’m free to enjoy her, I actually get something done along the way.

In a weird (word of the day I guess) sort of round-about way I feel like it all has to do with forgiveness. 
If I can just forgive myself for not being able to keep the child from all pain and unpleasantness than I enjoy being with her. 
If I can forgive the munchkin for being unpleasant at various points during the day and thus making me feel bad about myself as a mom, then I can enjoy being with her.  

Yes, my perfectionism IS showing.
We’re together, her and I, permanently assigned to this crazy new mama/baby relationship that is totally foreign to both of us, and like all relationships, intrinsically messy. But relationship is good. Some days hellish, some days cheery, but always good. And even better when it's bathed in GRACE. Here's hoping I remember that tomorrow!