Thursday, February 28, 2013

The new normal

I'm spending the week hanging out with my family while D.J. is criss-crossing the state for work. So today I enjoyed the rare treat of having lunch with my sister. I should have known before we left that today was not going to be a smooth sailing picture perfect world. We were already running late and when nursing Caleb I leaked through several layers of my t-shirt and had to change everything. Then there wasn't time to do my hair, so I put it up in a bun - still wet from my shower earlier in the day. On top of that, my phone wouldn't send text messages and I was having a heck of a time telling my sister what our delay was and when we'd be there. Caleb and I dashed out the door with a diaper bag I prayed held everything we'd need for a lunch downtown.

We met my sister at a cute little local place full of downtown charm and lots of business people dressed in suits and heels. I instantly knew that while they had a high chair for us, it wasn't the kind of place people usually bring children to. (I've been eating at Chick-Fil-A and McDonalds a lot lately! The people there don't mind a squealing baby banging toys on the table.) We followed our waitress to a table in the back - right in front of cute, stylish mirrors that revealed (to my shock and horror) roll upon roll of hard earned mommy back fat. My shirt that previously made me look so cute, suddenly made me look like an overstuffed sausage. I turned my back to that ugly mirror and chose to enjoy the special time with my sister. We chatted through lunch and I thanked the Lord for a quiet baby. The diner began to fill and get noisier about the same time Caleb did. I breathed a sigh of relief that we weren't disturbing any business meetings. Then, I made a choice I will remember for the rest of my life. I chose to feed my child. While this choice has made for many memorable moments in the past 7 months, this is the first time this choice was memorable with no body parts being revealed. This is not a breastfeeding horror story. This is a solid food feeding explosion story.

I fed Caleb his carefully prepared bowls of puree and prayed for a minimal mess. In no time, we had peas on the floor and smeared across the edge of the table. My sister laughed and enjoyed his antics, but made a hasty exit once the checks were paid. (She said she had to go back to work. I think she was smart enough to know she needed to get out of dodge.) While I sat in the midst of a crowded bistro, full of skinny college students and smart business men and women enjoying a dignified lunch, I attempted to gracefully feed my child throw food in Caleb's direction. The waitress felt sorry for me trying to clean up the mess with a blanket and brought me extra napkins. Three of them to be exact. Each the size of a quarter. She's clearly not a mother. With peas, oatmeal, banana, and sweet potato being flung far and wide, I did my best to contain the splatter explosion. Unfortunately, my child chose today to test out his "raspberry" sounds. With a mouth full of food. Luckily, my child chose today to sneeze his oatmeal into the diaper bag and not into my face. By the time it was all said and done, I had bananas on both shoes and one sock. There was at least a mouth full of oatmeal in my diaper bag and a smattering of food dropped spit onto the floor. The high chair was coated with food and the straps, I'm convinced, will never be the same again. I saved the syrup bottle from being thrown to the floor, but not before Caleb figured out how to pour some on the table. As I gathered my food covered belongings and scooped up my child, I heard the man behind me breathe an audible sigh of relief. Maybe he was just sighing. But I think he was thrilled to see us go.

When I got home, I found sweet potato still in Caleb's ear and some sweet peas between his toes. (Seriously not sure how that even happened!) Welcome to our new normal!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

This Moment

I want to freeze this moment in time. After a tough day of tears (both Caleb's and my own) there is peace in our home. Laundry is hanging drying by the fireplace. Dishes are piled in the kitchen. The coffee table is full of clutter and unclipped coupons. The TV is quietly playing Duck Dynasty, but I'm not really watching. DJ is puttering around, getting ready for tomorrow. In my arms there's a tired little boy who finally gave up the fight and went to sleep. I want to remember his soft snore, the weight of his sleeping body, the warmth of his head against my arm, his soft sighs of contentment, his sweet lips puckered in peaceful sleep - just like they have since our first glimpse on the 3D ultrasound. I want to remember the peace of this moment - the love filling my heart as he sleeps against my chest. I want to always remember that after a long day of mothering what truly matters is that I'm here for him. What truly matters is that I love this little boy so very much. He's growing up too fast! (The exersaucer and the jump-a-roo got moved to the next height level this week.) This little baby who once fit in my arms now wraps his legs around my body. It won't be long before he out grows my lap. So for now, I'll breathe in a deep breath of his freshly shampooed head. I'll smile at the little whisps of hair that are a bit crusty from his oatmeal spattering sneeze at dinner tonight. I'll stroke those sweet cheeks that are finally soft again, even if the pimples under the surface tell me another breakout is just around the corner. I'll thank The Lord that his cradle cap is cleared, that we have answers for the cracked skin behind his ears, and that we finally found a lotion that helps more than it hurts. I'll ignore the to do lists and the chores and the "rules" that tell me to put him down so he can learn to sleep independently. Because this moment won't last. I'll blink and this moment will be gone. So for just this moment, I'll hold onto my baby just a little tighter and praise the Lord that He blessed me so deeply when He called me to be his mother!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Men vs. Women

The other day I came home from the store with a ridiculous number of groceries. I wanted to wait until DJ got home so I'd have help but I needed to cook dinner and had to put things up. I worked hard to get everything done before Caleb got fussy. I filled the sugar canister and left the rest of the sugar in the bag, sitting on the counter. The extra sugar always goes in a plastic canister in the pantry, but it's up where I can't reach it. DJ knows this. He's always had to get the sugar down for me. So I left the bag sitting on the counter thinking he'd see it sitting there and know I needed his help.

Fast forward several days and the sugar bag is still sitting on the counter. One night when I felt a little fiesty I mentioned the bag to DJ.

Me: "You know, I left that bag of sugar there thinking you'd notice that it was there and get down the canister. I figured you'd know that I couldn't reach it and left it for you."
DJ: "What? I thought you just left trash sitting on the counter!"
Me: "Why would I leave trash sitting out?"
DJ: "I thought maybe Caleb started fussing and you just forgot about it."
Me: "But you just moved the bag and you should have noticed there was sugar left in there."
DJ: "Well, yeah. That's why I didn't throw it away."

At this point, I just shook my head and walked away. Men and women. God sure had a sense of humor when He decided to create us so differently!

Note: When I went in the kitchen later that evening, DJ had gotten down the canister and taken care of the sugar for me. He's a good guy. He's just not one for subtle hints...