I’ll take the most crumbly piece of pie, thank you.

When I was pregnant with Addie, I worried about how she would turn out. Not so much a, “Will she have a third eye?” kind of worry (although sometimes), but I worried because I was going to be her mom. Before you cross this off as just too wildly self deprecating, understand that I really had this imprinted into my head: plants, pets, then kids. Keep a plant alive, get a pet. Keep that pet going for a few years, then you can think about having a kid. I kill plants with wild abandon, and sometimes I think my cats hate me. We have a garden now, from which we are obtaining actual food (more on that later) but its all thanks to Tony. I think the garden is the coolest thing ever, and I think it would be really sweet to be into gardening. Just like I think it would be really cool to be into running, mostly so I can wear the cute runners clothes and look really awesome in them and make my friends super jealous. I did do the running thing for a while, but then I remembered I don’t like it. The insatiable ecstasy  that happens while running must have skipped past me and onto someone else who isn’t intrinsically disturbed by spending several hundred dollars on Lululemon jogging shorts.

And so back to plant murder and children…

I wasn’t sure how I could be a mother. It requires a kind of selflessness I wasn’t sure I was capable of. I realized that when you get married, your own selfishness reflects back at you in mirror that is disturbingly accurate. All at once you’re sharing, giving, thinking of someone else…all of the time. Sometimes you’re even expected to give them the piece of pie that DIDN’T totally fall apart when you were scooping it out of the pan, even though you really want that piece. It took me years to get used to that. Motherhood scared me, because I worried that all of those flaws that were exposed when I got married would be exhumed and magnified. What kid could stand up to that, and turn out alright? So far it has all worked out…surprisingly well. Its not that when Addie came I suddenly abandoned all of my needs and wants and predilections towards the nun-crumbly piece of pie, but they were easier to put on the back burner for this amazing little person. I don’t know that it is because of Tony and I, but I really like the way Addie has turned out so far. I think she’s a cool little kid. I can only take this to mean that I haven’t completely and irreversibly mucked her up as a parent yet. I am, of course, still learning, but perhaps I’m a bit more mature than when I got married 8 years ago (not 100% sure of this), and perhaps its a bit easier to put my wants on hold for someone else. I still enjoy (more of a clawing at the walls kind of need) time to be alone, time to read a book, get uninterrupted coffee with a friend, go on a date with my hubs, drive without constantly handing someone snacks, time to stare at a wall and drool…but I can take care of Addie first, without feeling exhausted or bitter or resentful. I really worried if I would be good at that before she got here.

This lemony summer has taken on a different meaning of selflessness. We don’t have lemons growing in our garden; this is more of an, “Instead of Lemonade My Summer Gave Me Lemons” type of reference. I know the whole parenting sacrifice begins way before they get here. We give up coffee (well, we give up having 4 cups a day, I can’t tell you that I’ve completely abandoned all caffiene), we pass on our delicious summer cocktails (there is SO much mint growing in our garden – a mojito party is happening on my deck when he gets here), and if we’re on bed rest we give up a little more. We give up our typical idea of nesting (hard to do when you’re supposed to be sitting!), getting those last minute projects before baby completed, and exercise…this has been tough for me. Not that I was an Iron Girl beforehand, but I have completely let go of any notion of looking like that cute pregnant lady with a basketball stuck up her shirt. Right now its more of a “just give me my pregnant lady mumu and shut up about it,” kind of thing. I’ve given up going places with Addie when we’re alone, because I can’t lift her into the car. I had a lot of hopes about this summer with her, because it is our last summer of just her and I paling around without any other siblings, and I wanted to make it special. Instead I’ve had to get creative and make it special at home, but thats something I had to let go of.

I think I’ve just generally given up my expectations of the way these months and this summer would go. And its (deep breath) generally alright with me. Some days I find myself more content, and some days I am just itching to have this baby. I told a friend last night that I actually googled, “How to make 10 weeks go by faster.” That was a low point. Google doesn’t really understand what I’m dealing with here.

Until then, I have this gorgeous deck, a gorgeous kid, and a gorgeous husband who has been ridiculously, unbelievably, “pinch me is he for real?” awesome during all of this. I don’t mind getting the crumbly piece of pie for a while. And I get to sit here and post blogs. Its not half bad.

blogtime

 

Hospital Stays, Jesus is my Homeboy, and Betty White

1. Don’t keep your credit card close to you. Since you can’t move around a lot and are hooked up to little machines some of the time, not being able to reach your card inhibits much of your would be online spending.

2. Bed rest exercises are hilarious. I’ve been moving my feet and arms in the shape of the alphabet and trying to figure out where to enter the calories on My Fitness Pal.

3. You can watch quite a few episodes of Hot in Cleveland while still feeling good about who you are. I’ve been saying to myself, “Well, what else are you going to do right now?” And the answer is just more of that darling Betty White, every time.

4. Take the medicine they give you to help you sleep at night. You’re not trying impress anyone here. Its a weird bed in a weird hall in a weird place. It helps to have some artificial drowsiness. In fact, if you let it, it could become one of the highlights of your day, which goes pretty much like this: 9, breakfast. 11, snack. 1, lunch. 3, snack. 6, dinner. Nighttime, Ambien.

5. Be optimistic, but with no expectations. The doctors might feel good about a test, but until they do it and know the results you don’t know whats going to happen. I’ve found that rather than thinking, “I hope I get to go home tomorrow,” that its easier to think, “Lets keep this little man in and safe as long as possible. If that involves being bored at the hospital, then so be it.” And then I can feel positive about things, but I can also be alright if I need to stay a bit longer.

6. Try not to take healthy pregnancy’s and babies for granted. It can seem like something thats so common, but its really just a miracle when everything goes easily and well. Its ok that our journey is a little bit different. It brings appreciation and perspective, and there are so many other things that could be worse. I’m thankful for such a great hospital, doctors, husband, family, and friends, US and/or People magazine, and Hot in Cleveland.

7. Reading a lot about your situation on the internet isn’t very helpful, mostly in the sense that all doctors and patients seem to have a different idea about what is best. I’ve found that I’m much more content letting go of the reigns and just asking MY doctor what would be best for the baby, rather than getting my sights set on how I think things might need to be done, or might be being done elsewhere.

8. I didn’t realize what a crazy micro manger I was until I got laid up in the clink (as I’ve been affectionately referring to it). Tony showed up in a shirt on Friday morning that I really dislike. Whenever I’m at home and he puts it on, I suggest he wear something else. Talk about an insane waste of energy. So what if Tony likes to don his ‘Jesus is my Homeboy ‘shirt from time to time. He’s still hot. It has very little affect on life as I know it, except that I might squint a little when I look at it. For that matter, its okay that he and Addie have eaten from various weird food groups while I’ve been gone, though to his credit, he has done an excellent job getting in the veggies. Its also alright that I haven’t picked out outfits, done Addie’s hair, supervised really anything about what Tony’s done or changed at the house. I didn’t realize how frustrating this probably was to him before (or how ridiculous it is that even use the word ‘supervise!) until I let go and watched him run the house, his job, our kid, all with tremendous success, doing it the way he thinks is working. It turns out I may not be an expert at everything, although I will say that tonight for my hospital visit my 2 1/2 year old daughter showed up running down the hallway in a bright green midriff shirt, I kid you not. I like to think I could have prevented that.

So, for the time being, I’m content to drink hospital decaf, laugh at canned comedy, and feel my baby kick. This life is just not that bad.

 

Life with Jack: 1st Corinthians 13 for Moms

A good read for any day.

http://www.lifewithjack.com/2012/05/1st-corinthians-13-for-moms.html

Chewy.

This is a good blog post my husband sent me this morning. Its some good stuff to chew on.

Be a Friend to Have a Friend
by Laura MacCorkle

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17, NIV

Christmas is just about three weeks past us, but the remnants remain on a bulletin board in my office.

There, I have thumb-tacked various holiday family pictures and newsletters that I received in the mail from all different friends and acquaintances.  I decided that that’s how I would “handle” these materials this year, instead of putting them in a pile to collect dust and go forgotten.

As I look at the bulletin board each day, my heart is warmed as I see the faces of friends who have played different roles in my life:  comforter, truth-teller, listener, hugger, encourager, constructive criticizer, relationship decoder/investigator, and so forth.

I see so many ways of serving and giving from so many different types of friends.  And I am blessed as I am reminded of what they have done for me.  And then I am also convicted:  What am I doing for my friends?  How am I pouring into their lives as they are pouring into mine?  How is God moving me to be part of their worlds?  And am I responding to his instruction and guidance in my life?

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said:  “The only way to have a friend is to be one.”  And he was so right about that.  Friendships don’t just happen.  They take time.  They take effort.  They take upkeep.  And that means we all have to do something if we want to cultivate, grow and nurture relationships with others.

When I look at my bulletin board of friends, if I am truly willing to be a friend “who loves at all times,” I know that that means I have to always be ready to shelve or alter my plans in order to help meet the varied needs of others.

It’s something God has been working on me for a while now.  Am I willing to lay down my plans and sacrifice my time and my desires for my friends?  Or is it more important that I get done today what is on my list and what I think is right for me?  Am I seeking the Lord for his direction?  Am I paying attention to the Holy Spirit for conviction?

Let me warn you, though.  Don’t ask God to move in your life in this way unless you really mean it.  Because when you do ask him to help you be a better friend and to help you reach out to others, he will give you plenty of opportunities that may or may not be what you had in mind.

You might be asked to…

  • Offer your professional skills to someone else in need for free.
  • Forgo your after-work errands or agenda to just sit, listen and offer a warm hug
  • Give up your Saturday to help someone move, paint a house or run a garage sale.

Better yet, you might be moved to…

  • Give financially to someone you don’t even know.
  • Befriend the “different” or “difficult” person whom no one else likes.
  • Not take careless words or confusing situations personally and instead choose to “cover” these minor offenses with love.

That’s what a true friend does:  gets outside of themselves and gives.  And gives.  And gives!  Are you up to it?  I’m asking myself the same question.  For friends both new and old, how can we be a true friend to someone else today?

Intersecting Faith & Life: No doubt, at some point in your life you’ve known what it’s like to be on the receiving end of someone who has been a good friend to you.  But what’s it like to be your friend?  Do you take more than you give?  Are you ever around?  Do you take time to listen and care about others’ concerns and life matters?  Take a friend inventory today and see what changes you might need to make in your outreach to those you call “friend.”

Further Reading:

John 15:13
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

And we’re leaving, in a moving truck, don’t know when we’ll be back…

We’re currently in the middle of moving, which translates to lots of stress, breaking out, and unintentionally wearing the same outfits over and over again. I actually hadn’t even realized that I was stressed out until yesterday when Tony said something quite benign and nonthreatening and I quite literally bit his head off. There in fact may actually still be teeth marks. After a moment like that, as you are quietly thinking about your actions while walking because your husband has let you out on the side of the freeway (not really, though if I were him I might have done this), you realize, “Golly, maybe I’m a little on edge.”

Fun facts about moving:

It is the third most stressful life event (following death and divorce). 

I told this to my friend Katie the other day (not talking to myself, I actually have a friend whose name is Katie), and I said while trying to justify my stressed-out-ness, “They say moving is one of the top three most stressful events in a person’s life.” And being her intellectual and cunning self, she retorted, “Well, who is they?” Well, here you go my friend (Employee Relocation Council, 2003).

The typical moving customer is between ages 25 and 44, with children ages 2 – 11.

That makes Tony and I very typical. Addie is 2. I’m 29, and Tony is 31. Tony is getting old…

Advice to make moving easier:

Get back to normal as soon as possible. 

We’re going to try! We are moving things slowly over this week, with our “big move” planned for this week. We also have friends who have offered to help us pack or drive boxes over this week. How ridiculous is that? Friends who offer to help you pack and take things to your home. How blessed are we. It is not lost on us.

Pace yourself.

This was hard to do. We found out we needed to move very recently, and found a house within a week. One of the reasons for this is very few homes are actually found during the holidays, so we knew if we wanted to find something we loved and would be in for a while, we would need to be on top of it. Total turnaround for finding out we needed to move, finding a home, packing, and moving: 3 weeks. Giant Self Pat on the Back.

Pack Late.

We wanted to keep Addie’s routine as normal as possible. The first week we found out we needed to move there were boxes everywhere and things we not normal. It really was reflected in Addie’s routine and mood. We are trying to keep her bedroom and our living room as normal as possible until D Day.

 

Tonight, friends are coming over to help us pack. Ah-mah-zing. Until then, keep us in your prayers. My husband surely needs them as he will be tasked with keeping me calm the next few days…what a man what a man.

 

 

 

 

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