March 13, 2014

On Toddler “Help” (and how I’m a toddler)

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , , , at 2:05 pm by Tamara

Little Bear is in the phase where he loves to help me, and I’m doing whatever I can to encourage it. He especially loves baking with me, which I find absolutely ADORABLE. Of course the downside is that everything takes 3x as long with a toddler helping, but I try to let him anyway because I want to encourage that considerate and helpful spirit of his!

The other day I was having an “Ahk-I’m-not-accomplishing-anything-in-life” sort of day, and desperately wanted to get some stuff done to make myself feel better. Bear was trying to help me clean, but Baby Songbird was quite indignant that I thought a broom was more interesting than her. She is SO social; Bear has always been able to amuse himself for quite a while alone, but she wants interaction all-the-time. At one point I told Bear, “You know, the way you could help me the most would be to keep your sister happy for a bit.” He gave me a dubious look, but, sweet boy that he is, trotted off to entertain his fussing sister (who perked up the minute he was paying attention to her).

Bear really seemed skeptical that he could be more helpful playing with Songbird than hanging on to the bottom of the broom for me, but as I swept and mopped as quickly as I could, I thought how that REALLY WAS the absolute best thing he could do to help me and how much I appreciated it. And suddenly it occurred to me that God probably often tries to tell me the same thing, and I often give him the same ‘Not-sure-you-know-what-you’re-talking-about’ look Bear gave me.  Sometimes I’m so busy looking for “BIG THINGS TO DO FOR GOD,” and frustrated that he doesn’t seem to be letting me “help” him as much as I want to. But I wonder if he’s telling me, “Honestly, what would be the most wonderful is if you would just love and care for the people I’ve put around you.” He did say, after all, that the two things he wanted most from us are to love him and love our neighbors.

Shortly afterwards I got a chance to choose to practice this conviction, because Bear got tired of playing with Songbird and she decided she was going to cry until I rescued her. So, I abandoned my mop in the laundry room sink and scooped her up. I told her teasingly, “You know, how YOU could help me the most would be to fall asleep.” And right away there was God’s whisper to me: “You could ‘help’ me by being still too, you know. By choosing to rest in me, and to peacefully enjoy and love the little ones I’ve given you to love, even if you don’t feel like you’re ‘accomplishing’ much.”

Now, I’m not saying I plan to let our house fall to complete shambles, because I know I can honor God by doing those practical things, but I realized that I probably have no idea how thrilled God is with the moments when I’m just sitting on the floor, showing my precious kiddos that I love them and God loves them too. If it gives me warm fuzzies to see my little boy sweetly loving and caring for his baby sister, how much more delighted must God be when we love and take care of the family, friends, and even strangers he’s put in our lives?

“Little children…a new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

December 6, 2013

How to Make a Mom Fall Over

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 2:08 pm by Tamara

I can just picture her.  She’s dirty and sweaty from working all day, and hungry because she’s barely had time to sit down and eat.  Her clothes are ratty and out of style because she can’t afford to buy new ones.  And she’s working a low-class, thankless job that proclaims to the whole world “I’m poor.”  And then, here strides up this handsome, wealthy, single man, who just happens to own the field where she’s working, and he looks straight at her.  I bet she thought, Fantastic!  Could the ground just swallow me up?  Because I would like to die.  Right. Now.

He must have blown her over when he tells her, “Don’t go anywhere else to work—I want you to stay here in my fields.  I’ve told my men to look out for you, and you can stop and drink from my water whenever you need to.”  Actually, he did literally blow her over, because it says she “fell on her face, bowing to the ground” for Boaz (Ruth 2:10).  Now, to my modern sensibilities, this is just a TAD over-the-top dramatic.  I mean, I consider myself fairly dramatic, but I’ve never fallen face down in front of someone.  (Well, at least not on purpose.  Ahem.)

I read this passage today for the first time since I became a mom, and suddenly Ruth falling on her face when Boaz encouraged her didn’t seem too overly dramatic.  I have a lot of moments as a mom where I don’t feel put together.  When I’m working hard but don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything, when the only thing hiding my post-baby flab rolls are pajamas I have’t had a chance to change out of, when the ingredients for that gourmet dinner I planned to cook are spoiling in the fridge because I haven’t been able to put the baby down long enough to make anything but spaghetti, when I’m sacrificing for my kids and just HOPE they can sense my love for them.

Instead of pointing out everything Ruth probably thought was wrong about her at that moment, the next thing Boaz says to her is that he’s heard of everything she’s done to take care of her mother-in-law.  He basically tells her, “I can see everything you’ve sacrificed and how hard you’re working, and I admire you for it!  Let me do what I can to make your life a little bit easier.”  I think if someone came up to me and said something similar to me about my life right now, I’d probably have an emotional reaction akin to falling on my face at their feet and weeping.  “I can see everything you’re sacrificing and how much you love your kids and husband.  I really admire you for it!  If there is anything I can do to make your life a bit easier, let me know.”

I’ve read some great articles lately about the “Mommy Wars,” and how easy it is to get hostile towards moms who are parenting differently than we choose to.  I get the hostility.  I confess I’ve felt it myself.  But I recognize that it’s not really hostility, it’s a fear/guilt/self-consciousness mix.  Fear: “Oi, that sounds really hard.  Do I need to do that?”  Guilt: “Would my kids be better off if I did it, too?  Am I failing my kids?”  Self-consciousness: “Does she think I’m a terrible mom for not doing ____, too?”  And this can apply to ANYTHING another mom is doing differently than I am: food, diapers, sleep methods, working out, vaccines, schooling etc, etc.  And because we care SO MUCH about making the right decision for our kids, when someone else’s choice makes us slightly doubt our own choices, our natural response is “Defend!” which sometimes turns into “Attack!”

Pick your poison, but basically any different decision can fling me off on a sling-shot roller coaster ride of fear/guilt/self-consciousness.  Another mom brilliantly (and hilariously) described this as feeling like other moms are “Parenting AT her.”  (“Quit Pointing Your Avocado at Me“)

But I’ve been really challenged lately to allow myself to step off that roller coaster, and do what I can to help my other mom friends get off it, too.  I’ve seen what a huge difference just hearing one person say “You’re a great mom” can make.  The fact is that, at the heart of our differing decisions lies the same thing: a passionate, self-sacrificing love for our kids and a desire to do what’s best for them.

Interestingly, Boaz didn’t just encourage Ruth, he changed Naomi’s whole outlook, too.  She went from being bitterly convinced that God had forsaken her, to blessing God and Boaz for showing them kindness and not abandoning them (Ruth 2:10).  Encouraging words are powerful things.  You never know how on-the-brink another mom may feel, about life in general or even her faith.  One loving, encouraging sentence may be all it takes to give her the strength to not only make it through the day, but feel a sense of joy and fulfillment at the end of it.  And a related benefit is that when my brain is focused on encouraging another mom, it’s usually too busy to beat me up for anything.

So, the next time you see a mom who looks gorgeous and put together, instead of beating yourself up for the spit up on your shirt and mascara on only one eye, consider that this might be the first time all week she’s been able to shower, let alone be nicely dressed, and tell her how lovely she looks.

When you hear of a gluten-free mama, instead of beating yourself up over the PB&J your two year old is eating, consider that she might desperately wish her allergic son could eat easy meals like that, and tell her you admire how hard she works to keep him healthy with his unique needs.

When you talk to someone who’s made different vaccine decisions than you, instead of telling her she’s a horrible mom for putting her kids in danger (whether by vaccinating or not), tell her that you admire that she cares enough to do her own research and do what she thinks is best for her child.

When you see the mom in the grocery store whose kid is throwing a tantrum, instead of glaring at her, tell her she’s doing a great job at staying calm and she’s a great mom.

When you stop by your friend’s house unexpectedly and she’s sitting in a disastrous living room holding a fussy baby, tell her good job for putting her baby above her desperate desire to have a vacuumed floor and that she’s obviously got her priorities right.

She may not fall at your feet, but I guarantee she’ll love you for it.

Note: This is hardly a perfect post (a symptom of having 10 minutes to type while the baby sleeps and the toddler eats, yes, PB&J ), but if you know another mom you think would be encouraged by this, feel free to share!

March 22, 2013

Love at First Sound

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 12:56 pm by Tamara

The storybooks talk about love at first sight, but I’m a believer in love at first sound.

I’ve experienced it twice: the first time was several years ago, as Adam and I sat in a tiny room at my first midwife’s appointment.  In spite of a positive pregnancy test and torturous morning sickness, I still had a nagging fear that the midwife would take one look at me and declare, “You’re not pregnant, you idiot.”  Haha.  So, needless to say, I was anxious for our first sight or sound of baby.  I waited with bated breath as she tried to find a heartbeat first.  She couldn’t find it right away, and my fear of being called an idiot swiftly turned to a chilling dread that she would actually say we had been pregnant but had lost our baby.  It was one of the longest minutes of my life as she moved the scope around and around on my tummy and my own heart pounded faster and faster.  The shifting power of a minute is mind-boggling: how it can be a desperately too short time in some circumstances and morph to an agonizing eternity in others.

Then, suddenly, there it was: a rapid pitter-patter filled the room as we heard our Bear’s tiny heart beating for the first time.  Tears burst from my eyes, and in that instant something indescribable happened: an invisible but indestructible bond leapt from my heart to his.  It was finally real—I was a mom, and that was my baby, and I loved him with every fiber of my being.  Love at first sound.

I experienced this again a few weeks ago, at my first appointment for Baby #2.  This time I wasn’t at all worried that they would say I wasn’t pregnant—the nausea was even worse than with Bear, as was the crippling exhaustion.  But I was still eager to hear that little heartbeat.  This time, the midwife set the scope down and immediately, there it was!  The precious little pitter-patter heartbeat of our baby, and that bond instantly anchored just as strongly as it had with Bear.  In an instant, pregnancy went from just meaning that I felt horrible, to meaning that there was a precious life growing inside me that I loved with all my heart.

Addition in Progress

Addition in Progress

Amazingly, this heart-bond between mother and child is more than emotional; it’s actually physical.  This video  gets me all teary eyed every time I watch it.  Researchers have found that living cells with a baby’s unique DNA actually cross the placenta and can live in the mother for the rest of her life.  Not only that, but they can actually live in the mother’s heart: scientists have found cases of heart failure in mothers where those cells from their children have actually replaced her damaged cells.  And in case that’s not enough to make you teary eyed, this is true even with babies who are lost before they are born.  Our children truly do live in our hearts, even the ones we never get to meet on this earth.  We carry our children our whole lives.

Elizabeth Stone said that “Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Someday, too, I think I’ll experience love at first sight.  Adam and I suspect that someday one of our children will grow not under my heart, but inside it.  I experienced a taste of this love the day I first saw pictures of my nieces and nephew, who God brought to our family all the way from another continent.  I cried happy tears that day, and I can only imagine the bond that formed in my sister and brother-in-law’s hearts when they saw their children for the first time.

The heart-to-heart bond that I formed with Bear the first time I heard his heartbeat has grown stronger every day.  I can’t wait until I hold Baby #2 and snuggle the tiny body that holds the heart I already love.  And it’s awe inspiring to think, if God has enabled me to love my children this much, and even thought to weave this bond into our very DNA, what kind of a message must He be trying to send to me about how much He loves me, His child?

October 13, 2011

Six Months Old

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , , , at 12:29 am by Tamara

Bear just turned six months old.  I can’t believe it–where did the months go?  We’re loving every day of discovery and development.  He lights up our lives in more ways than I could ever express.  I’m pretty convinced that he couldn’t get any cuter…and pretty convinced that he’s going to.  :)

Bear, Six Months Old

Loving life!  And boy do we love him!!

Praising God for our handsome, healthy, heaven-sent baby boy!

October 11, 2011

The Daily Paws

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , , , at 12:26 am by Tamara

You can’t really see it in this picture, but Bear’s shirt has a picture of a dog delivering a newspaper called “The Daily Paws.”  I love it because I’m realizing that Bear is my “Daily Pause:” taking care of him, particularly when he needs to nurse, forces me to pause for a minute, which I think is more valuable than I realize.

The other day right after Adam left for work I got a call saying someone might want to look at the house.  So far Adam has (miraculously) been home every time we’ve had a house showing, and I’ve been dreading the first time I have to get the house perfect and get Bear  and the two dogs out of it all by myself.  When we put the house on the market I emptied out our storage ottoman in the living room so I could throw stuff in there in a pinch (can I just say how stressful it is to not even be able to shove things in closets, let alone close doors on messy rooms?  Thank heaven for that ottoman!)  I now measure the cleanness/messiness of our house in terms of how many ottomans the mess would fill up.  Haha!  Thankfully the house was only about one-half-ottoman messy, but I needed to do cleaning (bathrooms, floors, etc), so I was a little panicked.

About halfway through my cleaning Bear woke up from his nap and wanted to eat.  Panicked though I felt, I still told myself that he is the most important thing and sat down to feed him.  Pausing in the middle of panic seems counter-intuitive, but I think it’s probably a really good idea.  I’ve written before about how I love nursing Bear because it’s one of the few times I’m sure I’m doing the most important thing right at that moment.  Having an immanent house showing definitely tested that theory, but I stuck to it, and I was glad I did because I was more calm in the end, anyway.  Pausing to take care of him also gives me time to think and time to pray.  I think I’ve done more praying since he was born than probably any other time in my life.

I know that as Bear gets older and stops nursing it’s going to get harder and harder for me to take a “daily pause” with him.  He’ll be running around and we’ll probably have more kids and twenty activities I’ll want to do in order to give them “every opportunity” and make myself feel like a model wife/mother/Christian/missionary.  But it’s a lesson I don’t want to forget: I can, and need to, take time to pause and just invest in and enjoy Adam and our kid(s).

It’s also a lesson I need to learn on a spiritual level.  We all need time to pause and invest in our relationship with God; He instituted Sabbath for that very reason, but we Americans are very, VERY bad at pausing.  My Sundays (or any other day) aren’t always truly restful, refreshing, and renewing.  I think they (and the rest of my life) could be more so if I would make pausing and focusing on God more of a priority.  Reflection, meditation, quietness, and listening prayer are all spiritual disciplines that are under-emphasized and in my case seriously under-practiced.  I’d like to read something about them, if anyone has any book recommendations.  An excellent book about rest in general is called The Rest of God, by Mark Buchanan.  I think I need to reread it!  (Oh, and I just saw he’s coming out with a novel about David.  I am SO EXCITED!!)

But for now, I sure am treasuring my daily pauses with Bear.  I never would have thought the business of motherhood might teach me to pause, but I hope it does.  I may need to frame that onesie when he grows out of it….

September 22, 2011

Ignoring Conventional Wisdom on Having Kids=Best Decision We’ve Ever Made

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , , , , , at 11:57 pm by Tamara

Bear, Five Months Old

I’ve been thinking tonight about what an incredible proof Bear is that God knows what He’s talking about and wants good things for us.  When we decided to try to get pregnant, there were plenty of reasons people could have said we were nuts.  The common “wisdom” on starting a family is that you need to a) be finished with school, established in your career(s), and financially secure, and b) have done everything fun that you want to do, because kids are going to tie you down and could destroy your dreams.  We decided to say bah humbug to conventional wisdom, mostly because the Bible is so chock full of statements about how kids are a blessing and a joy.

For example: Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward!  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.  How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them!  Psalm 128:1-4  How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways…your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, your children like olive plants around your table.  Behold, for this is how the man who fears the LORD will be blessed!

If God, the one who created all the incredible things that make me happy (like chocolate, colors, the ocean, back rubs, my husband!) says something is a blessing, then I would like to experience it!  We also trusted that if God instructs us to raise godly children, He’ll give us the financial and emotional resources to do so.

Zooming Around on Daddy’s Shoulders

Tonight I was doing homework and my husband put Bear in his PJs and then was jogging around the living room with Bear on his shoulders.  The sight of our little baby in footy teddy bear pajamas, grinning from ear to ear as he clutched fistfuls of Adam’s hair and “drove” his daddy around the room was too adorable for words.  They stopped by the table where I was working and Bear gave me a squeal and a huge smile before they zoomed off again.  My heart just melted.  I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am with our little family.  My husband and Bear have brought me so much joy—infinitely more than I can ever imagine getting from the things we gave up to have him.

Certainly, it’s hard too.  And there’s no guarantee that parenting won’t involve heartbreak (in fact, it probably will at some point).  I have friends who have experienced terrible heartache, whether in raising their kids or in trying to have kids.  My heart bleeds for them, and I don’t understand the unfairness of it.  I don’t understand why good parents have children who rebel, or why evil people harm their children while wonderful couples have no children.  Amazingly, most of my friends who have experienced this have still told me that God has brought good things even out of their pain.  In fact, witnessing firsthand the pain of our friends who wanted kids and were struggling to have them really drove home to my husband and I that kids are a blessing we shouldn’t take lightly or make a low priority.

Melts My Heart!

When I look at Bear, there just aren’t words to describe how fiercely I love him, or how fulfilled and joyful he makes me.  And tonight it hit me again: God is right.  He is really, really, right.  He knows what He’s talking about.  Bear will always be a great reminder to trust God when I’m faced with things that God says but I don’t think make sense.  I SO wanted to have a baby, but it was still a leap of faith for us, one we made because we trusted (and still trust) that God knows what’s best for us, knows how to give us REAL blessings, and will take care of us.  God has provided for and blessed us more than I could ever have imagined, and He always will.   I am SO thankful, and so blessed!!

August 9, 2011

Baby Toys: All You Need is Four!

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , at 12:35 am by Tamara

I’m determined to keep the toy situation from becoming out of control.  I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it, because baby toys are so cute, and it’s so fun to give him things, and….  But clutter stresses me out, and I would really rather have a few great, quality toys that Berean loves than a million cheap ones he doesn’t play with, so I’m determined to try!  We all know we only really played with a couple of our toys as kids, anyway.  Of course, it’s much easier to keep a handle on it right now when he has no idea what toys he has!  Haha!  But for the time being I’ve found four baby toys that cover all the bases, are safe and well-made, Berean loves, and I love too.

1.   Freddie the Firefly.  This was the first toy Berean showed an interest in, and it’s great for when babies are just getting interested in toys but don’t have a lot of coordination.  It’s easy to hold and has fabric in the wings that makes a crinkle noise, which he finds fascinating.  Now that he’s older he’s getting interested in all the different textures — it has parts that are silky, fuzzy, ribbed, knotted, knitted, etc.  He’s fascinated by the contrasting colors—the front is colorful and the back is a bold black and white pattern.  It also has a mirror, teeter toy, clinking rings, and a squeaker.

I think it’s a beautiful toy. Maybe I’m silly, but I’m really affected by atmosphere/ambiance and it makes me feel stressed to be surrounded by kid’s toys that are garish and clashing.  This one is bright and cheerful and the colors are gradated so they coordinate really nicely.  And, last but not least, I’ve also read that Lamaze is committed to not using PVC in their toys, which is great.

2.  The Skwish.  It seemed like every family I babysat for as a teenager had one of these, and I was just as mesmerized by it as the kids!  The black strings are elastic, so you can squish and pull on it and it springs back into its original shape.  The balls on the rods slide so as you turn it it’s like looking at a kaleidoscope and it makes a gentle clinking sound.  It is very lightweight and easy to grasp, so great for helping develop motor skills.  I can just see the neurons firing when he’s playing with it and watching it move!  Manhattan Toys says that all their Skiwsh varieties are made with replenishable rubberwood with a water based, non-toxic finish.

3.  Sophie the Giraffe.  When Berean started gnawing on everything I got one of those circle gel-filled teethers.  Not only was he totally uninterested in it, but he seemed to have a hard time holding it, and even though the packaging said it was non-toxic I was a little unsure.  I kept thinking they needed a stick-shaped teether so he could easily get it in his mouth.  Voila!  A giraffe!  I was a little surprised how pricy it was ($20), but it got great reviews (4.5 stars on over 1,300 reviews!) so I gave it a try, and Rean loves it.  It squeaks, and Rean loves to fling it around and make it squeak as much as he likes to chew on it.  It’s made of all natural rubber (from a tree) and food paint—no harmful chemicals.  Again, I’d rather have one expensive but safe chew toy he loves than a lot of cheap ones I’m not sure about.

4.  Blankie Bear.  Rean loves to cuddle this when he’s falling asleep in his swing.  The bear is snuggly, he loves to chew on the fur on the edge, and the underside is cool satin.  If I put a stuffed animal in his lap it rolls off as soon as he moves, but the blankie part of this keeps it in his lap.  I wouldn’t put it (or any loose blanket) in his crib, but it’s great for when he’s in his swing or high chair.  I got this as a gift and couldn’t find a link to the exact one, but I love the look of the Pooh Bear one in the link!

With these four toys you have something soft and textured, something hard with movable parts, something chewable, and something soft and snuggleable.  All your bases covered in four toys!

So, what are your favorite baby toys, and what would you recommend for when he’s a toddler (and beyond!)?

July 14, 2011

Nursing – The Gift of One Thing to be Confident In

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 10:24 pm by Tamara

I am so thankful that God created breastfeeding.  There are innumerable decisions to make as a mom, and for all the researching and praying and advice-asking I do, I still feel unsure about half of them.  I’m so grateful for one decision that I feel one hundred percent confident in.  There are so many things to worry about health-wise for Berean, but not breastfeeding – – I know it is healthy for him, and perfectly so.  I just think it’s incredible that our bodies can create this miracle food.  Even if a woman is malnourished, her body will still make creating milk first priority, which is, I’m sure, what every mom would want if it was her choice – – to be able to take care of her baby.  And not only is it a miracle food, but it’s simply incredible that all babies (unless there is a health problem) love it.  How many foods can you think of that everyone likes?  And especially foods that are healthy – – how rare is that??

I also love that I don’t have to ever wonder how to prioritize breastfeeding.  Sometimes I have so many things on my mind that I need to get done that I can’t decide where to start and I end up doing nothing and just stressing out instead.  But, when it’s time for Rean to eat, I don’t need to think about what to do first.  I feel completely secure in the decision to drop everything else and nurse him.

At first, I confess I wasn’t sure why so many moms talked about the emotional fulfillment and connection to their babies they found in breastfeeding.  Now I can definitely say it’s precious.  There’s nothing sweeter than when he finishes eating and just smiles at me with the most contented, relaxed look.  Often he’ll lay in my arms and just softly chatter like he’s trying to tell me everything he’s thinking.  And it is so comforting to know that if he’s upset and nothing else will calm him, chances are feeding him will.  It’s reassuring to know I have a trump card!  There is something extremely satisfying in calming down an upset baby.  I love that he feels safest and most secure when he’s in my arms, so much so that he can go from crying his eyes out to falling asleep in a matter of minutes.

Granted, the first five weeks of breastfeeding were incredibly painful.  I was on vicodin the first week, and I still told Adam it felt like I had a million paper cuts and someone was pouring salt and vinegar in them.  Ouch!  But, even still, it was totally worth it (and I’m so thankful it isn’t painful anymore!)  I’ve also been incredibly blessed that Rean caught on fast and I didn’t have any complications.

I really see breastfeeding as an incredible example of God’s grace, not just in providing for Rean, but taking care of me, too.  I need the emotional security of having at least one thing I know is the absolute best thing I could do for Rean!  I realize not everyone has such an easy time, and some can’t keep breastfeeding because of work or health problems, and I can imagine how discouraging that would be.  It makes me even more thankful for God’s grace, and I treasure it even more!  What a gift.

May 1, 2011

A New Kind of Date

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , at 10:55 pm by Tamara

After working seven days in a row (with 10-12 hour shifts) Adam finally got a day off today!  It was sooooooo nice to have him here.  I simply don’t know how single moms do it.  He went to church this morning, but we’ve been instructed by the pediatrician to not take Berean out until he’s a month old, so I stayed home.  Since we can’t take Rean places, we got creative for a date—we packed him into the car and went on a progressive drive-thru date: to Hardy’s for burgers, then McDonalds for fries and drinks, and Wendys for frosties.  Hehe.  The weather was nice, so we sat with the windows rolled down and talked.  It was fun, and really nice to get out of the house.  After we came home and fed Rean, Adam insisted on watching him while I went and ran a few errands.  What a sweet husband!  For some reason I love running errands—getting them done makes me feel like the world is in control!  Every time I left a store I had a horrible feeling that I was forgetting something, though (my keys?  wallet?); I realized I felt like I was forgetting baby!  It does feel like a piece of me is missing when I’m not with him.  To finish our date day we rented Tangled from Redbox, popped popcorn, poured soda, and watched the movie (with only a few breaks for diaper changing, feeding, and crying).  Our lives have definitely changed, and our definition of a date night might have to change for a while, but it’s a good change!

April 9, 2011

Happy Pregnant Pessimist

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , at 1:20 pm by Tamara

I am a happy pessimist.  I have long maintained that it’s better to be pessimistic and pleasantly surprised than optimistic and disappointed.  The logic is irrefutable!  I like being a pessimist, and I am quite happy being regularly pleasantly surprised when my dire dramatic predictions of doom fail to come true.  Pessimism is great!  (Oops, I mean, it’s horrible.)

I don’t know what possessed me, then, to be optimistic about when Baby would arrive.  Maybe it was the fact that I hate surprises, so I mentally prepared myself for the possibility of him being early.  Maybe it was the fact that my Mom’s first baby was three and a half weeks early.  Maybe it was the preeclampsia scare where they might have induced at 36 ½ weeks.  Maybe it was the fact that I’ve been having pre-labor contractions (weak, but real) for three weeks.  Maybe it was the fact that Mom’s schedule meant she had to come early, so we prayed for Baby to come early, too.

Whatever it was, I’ve spent about the past month optimistically thinking “He COULD come any day now.”  Which means that I’ve also spent the past month being disappointed!  Baby is now late, even later than the average late baby, and my case for the benefits of pessimism has been supported like never before.  Hence, I have come to a conclusion:

Baby is not coming.  He is going to live in my tummy until he is 18.  It is time, at long last, to break down and go buy summer maternity clothes, since I will be wearing them for the rest of my life.  It is time to embrace my huge stomach and go get a tattoo to cover the rapidly multiplying stretch marks.  Adam’s going to figure out how to turn Baby’s crib into an attachment to our bed so we can have a king size, I can sleep with my mountain of pillows, and he can sleep on more than six inches of mattress.  We’re going to buy an ultrasound machine so we’ll have pictures to post on Facebook as Baby grows up.  I’m enrolling myself in peewee soccer, kiddy choir, little fishies swim class, and finger painting class so Baby can have every opportunity in his childhood in my tummy.

Because, you see, Baby is not coming.

(Aaaaand…let the pleasant surprising begin!   …PLEASE??)

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