Saturday, April 23, 2011

my lovely child

oh how i love my beautiful son.

He sings and sings and sings, and now has begun to echo sing with me, just as my kindergarten students learn to do and he is so dead on in pitch and rhythm and joy in learning to communicate and feel through song.

He presses against me and watches my eyes and runs into me and bear-kisses my face and hugs my arm and squishes into my face during the early morning hours when I'd almost rather be sleeping, but am instead finding myself grateful for his innocent joy at being near me, yet again, for another day.

His growing appetite lately, where he is suddenly the last one to want to leave the dinner table, the toddler-type of picky eater turned into the famished boy who helps set the table and then waits expectantly in his chair, wondering why he is not eating yet and then serves himself almost adult portions and eats it all and then asks for an apple an hour later and I look at his feet and his hands and am reminded that I have been given the honor to help grow this child-boy into a man.

His game of contrarian response to any and all requests which can turn on a dime into a teary-eyed apology when the game goes wrong and mama is not in the mood to play and the joyful attitude is broken into insecurity and needing to be assured of my love to wrap his head around the discipline.

He asks for the Easter story again and again, cheering when Jesus is alive and repeating that He died for you and me and wondering what a tomb is and shouting "Hosanna to the King" at any given moment during the day and I am wondering how much he actually understands and remind myself that there is much that I don't actually understand either, but God does and teaches our hearts, even at 3 years old.

He is gentle and risky, loving and needling, messy and particular, friendly-to-a-fault and shyly attached to me at odd times. He was given to me from my God, to a scared, unwilling girl who knew nothing about what I wanted in a family or child, cared little for security in home and relationship, and was unprepared for the toll it has taken on my ego. I had prayed for a change to bring me closer to Him - it came. It came in a tiny bundle who is just perfect for our family, who, indeed, has helped to make us this family, and who God has used to break my unknowingly egotistical will and prideful ideas, mold my desires and needs into His, and grow my capacity to love others and give grace when unheeded.

I know it is not my son who has done this, but God. I am afraid of, and yet pray for again, an increase in my relationship to Him through this next child. May His hand guide our love in this family.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I am overdue for an update. I will do it in list form. And I will, for the first time, try to add pictures.

I like typing in short sentences. It feeds the lazy in me.

1. I am done working until September. Official maternity leave has commenced!

2. I really like the school I work in. Even though it has many things I would change, it is, I believe, the best situation I could find myself in for my type of job.

3. I don't know if I'll still have a job to come back to in September. It's not looking good. It depends on a town meeting. I don't like depending on a town meeting.

4. I have been craving all sorts of dessert lately. And seafood. But not seafood dessert. That's gross.

4a. strawberry shortcake.

4b. devil's food cake bon-bons. (do they even make those? and don't they sound good?)

4c. mint-chocolate frappes. Yes, FRAPPE and not MILKSHAKE...I've had both, and the frappes are WAY better in every way, because they are basically ice cream. Milkshakes have their place. Like, on a McD's menu at midnight when you have no other options. But, if you do have options...FRAPPE.

4d. fried fisherman's platter with tarter and cocktail sauces on the side. Seriously. Mouth is watering.

5. Ok, so the last few weren't updates, just dreams. Sorry.

6. Jeremiah is the cutest ever and still drives me nuts. But I'll keep him.
6a. He now lets us know when he has to pee. either through a little dance, or by asking "can I go pee now", or by holding his crotch and looking pained. Mostly just the last one, but the second one is happening more and more. :)

6b. His way of arguing with us when he doesn't like our answer is to ask his question, again, louder, and then say the answer he wants after it even louder than that.

6c. This boy cannot get enough of us. I don't know how he is going to survive a baby coming into the picture.

7. We are about halfway done painting the bedrooms' trim a really pretty cream. It's really looking nice, and I'm thrilled, even though it takes forever.

8. I made homemade granola bars today, and they are pretty yummy, but won't stay together as bars. Disappointing.

9. I am 4 weeks away from having a baby! I hope...I dread both going too early and too fact, I kinda dread the whole thing since I want to try to do this naturally this time. I know...many women do this all the time, it's not a big deal, but I am a big ol' wimp when it comes to pain. I don't really know why I'm so fixated on trying it naturally. Maybe it's my crazy "green" side spilling over into all areas of my life. Maybe I'll be doing something like this.

maybe not.

10. I have been trying to garden, unsuccessfully. I think tomato plants can get into gear in the next week or so...I'm going to buy them already grown to make it a bit easier this year, since i'm a little late getting the seeds in.

11. This baby moves a LOT. I think we are having a very active child. Which makes me nervous, because we already have an active child. And he did not move a lot in the womb.

12. I am starting to feel like I don't know what's about to hit me...and it might be a mack truck.

13. In the meantime, I will blissfully continue my life as if not much is about to change. That's the mature thing to do. :)

14. I feel compelled to add another thing, since everyone keeps reminding me (regardless of their religious beliefs) that my due date is Friday the 13th. So, now there are 14 things on my list. No picture for this one, they're all too gross.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

the countdown begins...

I have been achieving small victories almost weekly lately.

It has been a long haul to get to this least it feels that way. I have been working like a crazy person while being much more pregnant than last time with my son. Last time, I was able to be on school summer vacation at the beginning of my 7th month, and basically had 3 months to sluff off and not do much but grow a child and get baby things ready and lay on a beach getting my huge belly tan.

Now...not so much. But, different does not mean bad. Just, very different.

I am working less than I was (only teaching part-time vs. full time), but then again, I stopped working for summer vacation when I was full time, and then didn't go back to that job because it was...well, full time, and being a mom seemed too important a duty to leave my kid with someone else most of the week. I'm not necessarily judging here, since I know a lot of women do this, but it didn't feel right for me. I felt that God gave me that child, and I needed to risk unemployment for a time to fulfill my new role as his mom.


I am working part-time, as I said before, and will be on long-term maternity leave starting April 26. This gives me about 3 weeks or so to focus solely on the new baby coming...although not really, since I still have my other baby who is not really a baby anymore, and I can't believe how amazing he is. And how much work he can be. Correction, work he is.

I cannot just "veg out" and read a book or nap or go to the beach when I am feeling particularly large and uncomfortable, nor will I be able to always nap when the baby naps this time around. I have an adorable son who wants lunch and dinner and playtimes at regular intervals and who will need his mommy more than ever while he tries to adjust to this new scenario.

No wonder parents are so tired all the time. I was exhausted for Jeremiah's whole first year, and have only in the last year or so started to feel like a normal person again. And now, we are introducing a new little life with more needs and quirks into this "new normal?" Except, I have to make this little life fit into our lives a bit more than I did with Jeremiah...for Jeremiah's sake. I can't completely turn his world upside down. So, we will have regular mealtimes and other routines he's come to expect. I know he will adjust, I just expect to be a complete zombie for about half a year while I accept the fact that I have 2 small needy, yet wonderful, children.

I will have TWO kids. I think that makes you a bona fide parent. Wasn't it Bill Cosby who said that parents of only one child aren't really parents? Whatever it was, it was pretty funny - his point being that the parenting style for multiple children is completely alien to parenting one.

Which brings me to something else I've been pondering: Parenting different children. I know some families that I've grown up around that tried to parent all children the same, and others that varied their parenting based on the individual child. Neither style is perfect, but I think I would lean (at this point) toward parenting individuals rather than parenting as a black-and-white strict line.

I don't even know if that makes sense. Let me say it a different way: I want my children to know, without question, that my husband and I love them without rhyme or reason, just the way they are, and nothing can or will change that, ever. But, as each child is different, correcting mistakes and sin in their lives is going to look different for each of them. They will have their own ways of cognitive processing, emotional responses, manifestations of sin nature, and ways of giving and receiving love. I want to do my best to parent the child, not have the child feel like a cog in the wheel of my parenting style. Of course there will still be rules and consequences for not following the rules, but I want them to know that I am trying to hear and see why rules have been broken so as to parent the heart of the child and not slap the hand blindly in response to them questioning authority.

This post has gone way off of where I intended, but is good for me to get down. I have gotten through one of two school concerts I need to do before maternity leave. I am done with the professional choir I'm in for the short-term, so I can have this baby. I feel bad leaving them in a bit of an alto lurch, but the next gig is about a week and a half from my due date of May 13, so I decided to skip out on that one. And, I am finally washing baby clothes and the summer maternity dresses my mom made for me last time, because the sun has started to bravely take over these dreary days. I want warmth!!

Jeremiah and I took a walk today - put him in the stroller even though he's way too big for it at this point....but it's nice to be able to walk at my (slooooow) pace without worrying about his running off. He tolerated it happily for most of the walk, then wanted to get out and push the stroller for me, which aside from a being a bit of a skitzophrenic steer-er, he did alright. :) and it wore him out for bedtime.

He's so cute lately, I don't know how I'm going to let go of him being my baby. I have no doubt that I'll have enough love for the two of them, but I don't want him to feel put aside for a moment, though I can't control how he feels when this new little one arrives. He loves babies, so I know it will all eventually be fine - even great!- but I am worried he will feel a bit replaced, if only with me, since he has a big attachment to me at times. I wish I could understand how his brain and emotions work more. He is lightyears ahead of where he was this past summer, but I wish I could help him express himself more. It will come in due time.

Maybe this baby will jumpstart some new expressions. :) Pray for us. ;)