Monthly Archives: July 2012

Aside

I was really looking forward to my dad and step-mom visiting this weekend.  As they were waiting to board the plane from Denver to DC yesterday, my dad got dizzy and short of breath.  He had to lay down on the floor of the airport just to try and pump more blood into the rest of his body.  They called an ambulance.  We were relieved to find out the problem is not in his heart, which was a scary possibility since he had some stints put in a couple years ago.  They found out he lost a lot of blood internally somewhere, and have yet to find the source.  They just keep giving him more blood and searching for the source and the rest of us are waiting.  I’m pretty calm in these situations since the doctors usually pinpoint the problem and give you your options.  I’m a little worried since they don’t have anything to go on yet.

This makes me think a lot about my parents getting older.  My dad is in excellent health, eats well, exercises, doesn’t smoke, and doesn’t drink in excess.  But he does have his family genetics working against him.  We’ve never dealt with anything like a major death in the family, and I hope it will be awhile until we do.  My husband, Eric, lost his dad a few years ago and I still cannot imagine how it would feel.  Its too much to think about sometimes.

We’ll just wait and see what happens.

My Dad

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Mind your own business

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I was getting my oil changed at Sears yesterday and a man buying a car battery took interest in the adorable little girl I was holding. There was a bit of a culture and language barrier but he seemed to be genuinely interested in learning how many children I had. It went something like this:

“Just one.”
“How many will you have?”
“Just one. Maybe two.”
“Why don’t you want more children?”
“I like my husband. I like having time to spend with him.”

And then he proceeds to share his infinite wisdom with me, the ignorant and young first time mom. …with statements like…

“You lose some of your love for your husband and give it to your children. That’s just how it is.”

Disagree. The family dynamic changes but I think its even more vital to love your husband and feed your marriage after kids enter the picture. How else can you be a good parent if your marriage suffers?  Its tougher, but its not an even exchange.

“When you’re young and you want to go out and party…”

He thought I was some sort of party animal lamenting the loss of my freedom.
And then the most blatent statement:

“Wanting more time with your husband is a bad reason not to have more kids.”

Thank you complete stranger.  Maybe you could do me a favor and carry around my babies for me while they develop inside your body, then push them out your nethers(slowly and painfully) since you feel its your job to encourage the growth of my family on your terms.  Just sayin’.

Again, I do think he meant well.  I’m irritated because he essentially said, “You’re just selfish” in a nice, fatherly way.  I think certain couples are built to handle several children–they are made for it and it shows. Each family has to make those decisions based on their temperament, needs, finances, whatever.  Each family is different.  And sometimes, we don’t have the control over those “surprise” babies, but we have some.  Planning a family takes some consideration.  I hear things like, “When are you having another baby?” sound as casual as “When are you picking up a gallon of milk from the grocery store?”

Who else has some thoughts or experience on this?

Your life in color

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Its amazing how Americans view the milestone of having children.  For the lovely grandmother types, they say the right things like…

“A baby!  That’s so exciting!”

I was talking to a new mom friend of mine this week about how your relationships to people change after you have kids.  You assume your friend will be perfectly comfortable hangin’ on your couch while you whip a boob out to feed your baby, when all of a sudden they have better things to do.  In my opinion, I believe the good ones will sit and chat, but I digress.  A lot of response to the new baby milestone is that once that baby is fully cooked, your life is over.  I held that opinion to some extent and I just had to accept the good with the (lots of) bad.  Your young friends say lovely things like:

“So THAT’S what I have to look forward to…(**with a role of the eyes**)”  Uh…rude much?

For example, when Eric and I got married and had the audacity to be happy ever since, we heard:

“Oh, they’re still newlyweds” I suppose that explains why I don’t yell at him and we don’t complain about each other to our friends?  I’d think that’s a good habit.

One year passed…then two…then three.  When is the magical line we cross where we hate each other?  We’ve had more than our fair share of financial burden, a cross country move without family, family member’s sudden passing, another big move, and a freakishly messy church explosion that still sends me reeling if I think too hard about it.  Those things have cemented our relationship and made it stronger.  Then we hear:

“Just wait until you have kids…”

…then what?  We hate each other AND our kids?  Great.  More to look forward to.  Its true that children will put an extra special pressure on you and your marriage.  But after having Viola and getting through almost the first year, I can safely say that there is way more good than bad in this new family arrangement. And its way more fun and fulfilling than I could have imagined.  Weird.  And you can still maintain your identity after your baby is born… who knew? 🙂

My favorite comment about our pregnancy was as follows:

“Your life is in black and white right now.  When you have kids, its in color.”

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LOVE that.

Sleep as an Idol and parenting magazine

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Most days I’ve gotten to the point that sleep has become an idol for me.  And that’s pretty sad.  I’m very thankful Viola sleeps ten hours at night– 7:30-5:30.  I guess a 5:30 wake-up time is a little intense for me when she doesn’t nap sufficiently during the day.  Some days I pretend I’m rested and I go about my day productively, sometimes singing a jaunty tune!  I really do that…and it works!  Today is not one of those days, but that’s ok.  I’m loving Vi’s personality and spunkiness coming out more and more everyday!  But I’m also looking forward to being able to talk to her and she will understand me.  One day!  That will be fun.  And I can say, “Hey you!  Its naptime!  Ready…go!”  …like it will be THAT easy.  Probably not, but that’s ok.

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We are getting life insurance soon, and that’s a weird thing to think about.  It makes me feel like a grown-up.  After having a kid, I felt like a grown-up too… but that comes in spurts.  Like I’m sitting on the couch with Eric snd suddenly I say,

“Hey!  We’re parents.”

“Yup.”

“That’s wierd.”

“Yup.” 

Parenting Magazine REALLY wants me to re-subscribe.  They’re offering me a free diaper bag if I sign up–its like $12 for three years and I’m tempted.  How do they make money??  I’m not sure if reading Parenting Magazine causes me to obsess over my child.  Isn’t that what American parents do?  My goal is to appear as non-obsessive as possible.  Not sure if I’m fooling anybody, but I let my daughter crawl all over nasty coffee shop floors, so I figure that’s a start.

Humbled

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Wow, I haven’t blogged in awhile.  Its difficult to talk about just one particular facet of daily life with Viola.  I guess I’ll just talk about being humbled.

I’ve been humbled a bunch since Vi was born.  Not only is she her own person, I am convinced she’s even more unique than most babies her age.  Her temporary aversion to solids and oral aversion to an extent are unusual and I’ve gotten plenty of crap from her pediatrician about what she should be doing at this point.  Actually, that’s not entirely true.  Her regular pediatrician isn’t an ogre, she’s just a pediatrician, and she has lots of charts and graphs and percentiles.  

After recently starting the book, Bringing Up Bebe, I wonder if the mindset of constant stress and comparison doctors and moms project on their children is an American problem.  I’ve been empowered by remembering that I’m the parent and Viola is the child and she can start learning patience practically from birth.  I feel like most American moms are contantly shushing and pacifying every peep that comes from their child, as if putting out a fire.  As a result, our kids can’t cope with life.  Don’t get me wrong… I hate hearing Vi cry.  In fact, I’m listening right now to blood curdling screams from a little girl who doesn’t agree that it’s bedtime. **sigh**  I have made so many compromises since she was born because babies aren’t textbooks and there’s no formula for them.  And as much as I have my overall philosophy on how I’d *like* to parent Vi, its going to be a hot mess.  And thats ok.

This parenting stuff is hard.  And I’m convinced the women with grown children truly do not remember what its like to have an small child.  Especially one who isn’t naturally compliant.  But I’m convinced she’s smarter 🙂  Whatever works, right?!

“How old?  Awww… that’s a great age.”  What does that mean?  I think its nice my baby can’t reply with a snotty, “NO!” yet. There’s a perk.

Seriously, I do think most moments with my little girl are so very sweet.  And I love it.  All for now…

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