I notice that I really don’t feel inspired to blog during the winter months. Of course the weather keeps us mostly restricted to the covered, every day tasks that don’t seem even the smallest bit interesting so I don’t feel the need to share my uneventful seasons. However, I know there are friends out there that appreciate the mundane. Like how I completely (ok, the hubby helped:) cleaned and reorganized the refrigerator. And how being stuck inside really does make you aware of all the little corners of your house that need a little t.l.c. This past year we have really tackled a lot of projects in our little wee rental- and it has really begun to feel like a home. Now we are antsy to get some clear weather so we can begin our outdoor projects. We are starting a garden this year- something simple that someone like me can keep up with. “Someone like me” meaning someone that really can’t keep anything besides cacti alive. We are going to incorporate small compost and a play area for v and her friends so we will have a lot to keep us busy. The yard was never kept up in the past and it has been overtaken in parts by blackberries and vines so it will be a challenge. We just feel privileged to have a yard area that is completely in our creative hands- that is rare to find in the city. I would welcome any thoughts or feedback from those that have taken on yardscaping from scratch. V has been growing so much and- though she has never been void of personality- seems to be becoming more an more amazing every day. Today we happened upon her first “see mom- what you said didn’t happen so that was silly!” moment. These things tend to catch me off guard and I ahve to catch myself before I give the response I know I would regret. Oh dear- it just keeps getting more interesting!
I’ve had the thoughts. I’ve looked longingly at all of V’s tiny newborn clothes that I carefully washed and set folded into tiny squares to welcome what I referred to as the “next baby”. As my own baby grew with leaps and bounds- I had a nagging thought in the back of my mind- Could I do this again?
Sure- I dont always recall how ridiculously sick I was.
How often I had to pee in the middle of the night
or how delirious I was on the months that by baby wouldn’t sleep longer than 20 minutes at a time.
My husband and I have struggled. We didn’t do well with little to no sleep under our belts, and to be honest, it was brutal at times. I loved having my little girl. I loved everything about it. Everyone says the time goes by fast- and even now I can say, it really does.
But I feel, with no regrets, that I’ve made the most of those moments. The hubs and I have to recently decided that this is our family. Three is the number we shall be. I honestly feel like we are being trend setters here. Besides very few of our close friends, every family we know has two or more children- or at least has plans for more.
I’m really amazed how much goes into “family planning”. It is no small task. I’ve heard others talk about the looks and judgement they receive for having multiple children, and I think the threats follow in this category as well. Threats that she will be “spoiled”, “lonely”,or “resentful” are a few that come to mind. I completely agree that siblings can form bonds that last a lifetime. I also think there is a great gap that has risen in the rest of family. What about cousins? Family friends? Family in general! Friends in general!
Also, is this the only reason I should make the choice to have another child? Because I don’t think it’s a good enough reason. In our generation there is a real lack in pursuing and maintaining friendships- and I think this is sad. This is value I really hope to cultivate as a parent. She has an amazing blessing already- a large, loving family. Both of her parents, both sets of grandparents, multiple uncles, aunts and cousins. This is something that was very lacking in my childhood. This is where we are going to start. Taking a chance to learn how to love and appreciate the family at hand. To take things as they are and whether they are good or bad- learn how to embrace them, and form bonds.
I want to live life with my daughter. Travel, eat food, give her an education. I don’t want her childhood experience to have every event linked to strife over finances. There are much more personal reasons that this decision has been made, this is just scraping the surface. But this is what I know- this is us, for now…
I’ve been in a reflective mood as of late- and I came across some words I wanted to share from a favorite artist of mine- Regina Spektor. Occasionally there is something that speaks to me and this, is one of those somethings. Short story.
This is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
and try to love the things you took
and then you take that love you made
and try to stick it into some
someones elses heart
pumping someone elses blood
and walking arm in arm
You hope it don’t get harmed
but even if it does
You’ll just do it all again
Go ahead. If you know the song, sing it. I will be the entire time I’m writing this. But the question itself stands. WHERE is the LOVE? It seems like life itself is set up to make love the last action we choose. I’m writing about this for two reasons. 1.- All relationships in my life have been tested in this area to an extreme, and 2.- I believe this week is a good time to reflect on the Love that was given be God. The second reason is one very close to my heart but to keep personal choice respected I will focus on something all of us can relate to- relationship. We all desire love. We all have a definition of what it looks, or feels like- but when it comes to returning it- how do we follow through? I’ve personally made many disappointing decisions in my life when love was involved. And by disappointing I mean that I had no idea how to take care of the love in my life. I went looking for it, longed for it, but couldn’t receive it. And, because I couldn’t receive it- I REALLY couldn’t give it. I couldn’t receive it because I expected the love from others to be enough, but it will never be. Okay so this is where it gets mushy so if you’re not into that and think it’s hippie crap you can stop reading:)
Still here? Okay…I will go on. And this is taking me a while because I’m putting this out there and who even knows who will read this but, whatever. I had no belief in my own worth. Didn’t have (and still struggle with) any sense that I was worth investing in or waiting for. Now, I could say that this is all happening because I have a daughter and I know that she will look to me for example on her self-worth and strength- but it’s more than that. I am a daughter. I have family and friends and relationships all around me. And they all need feeding. They need to know they are cherished. They need to know their self worth- and how much they are loved, unconditionally. I know that’s a kind of love that is hard to turn from- hard to be hard towards. I’m not going to give you homework, or 5 simple steps on how to apply it in your life. But, if you’re anything like me, even biting your tongue when someone is driving 10 under the speed limit in front of you could be a start, right?..
I’m a believer in staying positive. I watch so many people making the choice to only keep in mind those things that keep you under a dark cloud, and I just can’t live like that. I see the pure joy on my daughters face and I know there is more to life than hurt and pain. So many of us are so blessed to have health, and more wealth than others in our world will never know- though we may not be considered wealthy in our own culture. But, in the light of recent tragedies, I also wonder if I allow myself to feel the true grief of it. To be completely honest, most of the time I say a quick prayer, and I move on…most of the time trying NOT to think of it. Is this selfish? Most of the time I think so. Then I find myself haunted by thoughts of what I’m not able to do and if I ever can truly do ANYTHING. I believe in God, I believe in prayer, and most of the time that truly is all I can do to help. Then going back to my original train of thought- do these happenings tend to follow you around like a dark cloud that keep pressing in- or have you found a balance in your personal reactions to the worlds happenings?
I have to ask myself this a lot lately. I knew I wanted a child. But that’s all I knew. I did not extend my thinking beyond the number 1. I know many moms that have planned their second child right away and I knew…that was not for me. For one- morning sickness was really hard on me. It happens before anything good. Before you have the cute bump, before you have cravings or even feel the baby move. I felt like I was a cancer patient pretending to be pregnant. Ok, maybe that is extreme…but it sucked. Also- I will never understand why every pregnancy can’t be the same. We should all have the same amount of symptoms at the same time in exactly the same way so that no one can doubt you or judge you because they are comparing either their own or friends pregnancies. Moving beyond that- what about the actual baby. I adore my little girl. I think every mother falls crazy in love with her offspring, but how do you balance all of the needs? Is it an every day struggle, or do things tend to fall into place after a routine is established? Almost every mother I know has either already had her second, or third child. Or, she is pregnant with them now. This has interrupted my focus of one-baby-ness and sent me into a flurry of thoughts that only sound like panic. “Will I be too old in a few years and regret not trying?’, “If V is an only child, will she understand balance or be awkward when she socializes with others”, “What if I never get to use the items I loved using when V was a baby?”. I am juggling these questions, and if you have insight, please share!
I know most of my friends that read my blog are linked over by facebook- and I posted about this experience on my page there- but I thought I would be a little more in depth here for anyone that wanted updates. Last week our daughter Vera was being put to bed for the night- and like many nights- she ventured out of her bed a few time. This is not unusual. We just pick her up and put her back in bed and after two or three times of that routine she usually gets the hint and stays put. Occasionally she tumbles when crawling out and we hear a thump and a wail. So, when I heard the thump and wail- I sighed and proceeded to go assist her back into bed. What I saw when I opened to door was not the usual sight. It was dark at first so I started with the: “Okay, let’s get back into bed” routine of starting to calm her down- when I saw her trying to rub the blood off her entire face. Internally, I wanted to scream. I picked her up with a quiet but repetitive “oh, no.” continually coming from my mouth and walked to the bathroom assuming she bit her lip or tongue. Of course the words coming from my mouth had my husband dashing into the room to see what was wrong for himself. Trying to wipe flowing blood from a babys mouth to determine the place of injury is NOT AN EASY TASK! Thankfully, I had a helpful hint when I saw that her teeth were not poking up out of the flow- but forced forward. I tried to calmly let my husband know that this was not just going to be a call to the pediatrician, or even a trip to the E.R. This time we are calling 911. He called 911 as I poured her a bath to try to calm her because this is one of her favorite soothers. The wailing didn’t stop but she was somewhat distracted. The fire trucks arrived in about 4 minutes amazingly- since this was the night of our second big snow in Seattle. The ambulance was not so fast. In the meantime- we had two differing opinions of advice. take her ourselves to the E.R., in a VW golf, through the snow. Or, the ambulance could take her, but they weren’t sure about our insurance. All I know is, when you are a mother, and someone is questioning what to do with your injured toddler over medical coverage- you don’t like it. Of course, they were amazing and wanted nothing more than to get her the best care, but when there’s even a moment of questioning, you don’t take it lying down. Thankfully there was one younger aid that took a look at her and said “she needs to go…now”. So we hopped on the ambulance and took daddy’s phone because it has our trusty episodes of “yo, gabba gabba” on it. The on staff nurses tried to help us make the choice of whether to stay overnight and give her some pain killers- or to call in the dental on call surgeon. I told them to look in her mouth and see if they thought she was actually going to get any sleep. Her teeth were pushed straight out and her lip couldn’t lay over them. I would have taken a picture, but I was holding the goods, and I’m not sure that was a picture I would have wanted. So we waited, and waited. This wasn’t surprising since it had been snowing, but it is frustrating when you have an exhausted, hurting, squirming child in your arms. The procedure was relatively fast. They gave her a nasal spray at first of morphine and something to calm her, I’m not sure if the calming medication ever kicked in. They used the sheet to roll her into a “burrito” and keep her still. Then the gave her a quick shot in her gums (:() to numb the area and brought out the two teeth. They let me know that her teeth were broken through her gum bone so the bone itself was broken, but she had an adult gum bone as well. She needed one stitch to bring her tender gums back together and it was over. Oh, and I cried the entire time. They put her in my arms and she grabbed her bottle and didn’t move. As soon as we put her in her seat for the ride home, she fell asleep. Ian slept next to her the next three nights because we were so afraid she might do it again- or something worse this time. The next morning- she acted like nothing had happened. She was bright and happy and playing- but I was traumatized. My baby girl would have to wait 5 years until she has all of her teeth again. She will have to bite food with the side of her mouth and possibly have other children ask her why she has a hole in her smile. I know we will have time to prepare before or if this is ever a reality, but as a mother I think you always want to protect your children from these things that set them apart. I’m not unaware of the fact that my daughter will have hardships- I just didn’t expect one so soon
I was peeling potatoes tonight for dinner and a childhood memory came to mind. I hated peeling potatoes. I would whine and moan and stop mid swipe and groan about how much I truly HATED peeling potatoes. Come to think of it- I hated basically every kitchen chore. Washing dishes, taking out the trash, sweeping. And my mom would always remind me that one day- I will need to know how to do these things for my own family. I disagreed.
I made up my mind that I was tired of girls being the only ones that did that stuff. I rebelled against it for most of my life. I only cleaned if I HAD to- and well, if you knew my friend Kelly- she would have some stories to tell you about my attempts at cooking. I became very fond of my microwave. In fact- when I lived alone in a basement apartment where the only shared appliances with the upstairs household was the stove- I bought a separate microwave and didn’t enter their kitchen at any time. I lived there a year. Yes, I shudder at the thought.
I did not start cooking until I had a child. When I started thinking that microwaved meals may not be what I prefer to put into her little body. When I saw the benefit of adding ingredients I could pronounce and control the portions. And when I stepped up to the big box called “stove”- I discovered my hidden skill. I could cook. Now that it was my family and my choice- I actually knew how. So, yes mom. You were right. As you are about so many things. But my hashbrowns were undercooked.
Wow. Happenings have been so hectic over here that blogging has definitely been put on the back burner. We have had a great holiday season with friends and family! Vera is growing like a weed the past few months and her personality is busting at the seams! I am going to take some time to gather some more writing topics- but in the meantime I will leave some pictures of our gap in time. Enjoy!
I am truly a breakfast fan. It is my favorite meal and I would rather go out for breakfast than any other meal. This article on “the kitchn” (yes- the e is missing) was truly inspiring for the upcoming season. I personally lean on the savory side of things- but there is always a place in my heart for sweet as well!