Drew’s Leftovers

31 10 2007

I went running yesterday for the first time in almost a year. My body was not happy about it. Before I started, I was feeling really good mentally AND physically. By the time I finished, I was thanking God for the beautiful day, but scorning Eve who I blame for all the curses of childbirth including this dilapidated body. I was hoping the books would all be wrong when they said that during pregnancy your body would morph into something you didn’t recognize. But after yesterday, I cannot sit in denial any longer. I’ve definitely morphed. Part of that morphing has included this little pouch that sits where my waist used to be (it’s not really little, but I find that using diminutive terms makes me feel better 😉 ). ‘Drew’s Leftovers I call it. Yup, that is what I like to think of it as. It is a little pocket of all the things that he didn’t like to eat when he was inside. Like broccoli, I’m sure it is full of broccoli – he didn’t like broccoli and my stomach sort of resembles the lumpy headed veggie. Or it could be full of the curry chicken I ate that one night and regretted for the next day and a half. Drew certainly objected to that meal. It could contain salad or red meat or fish – who knows what the kid opted to leave behind.

Anyway, needless to say, I am frustrated with him for leaving his scraps for me to clean up. Now, I am forced to work (when I have the energy) on getting rid of Drew’s leftovers. It does make me feel better to think of it like this, though. This way I can blame it on him- instead of facing the fact that it probably has more to do with the times when I, like Eve and her apple, simply can’t say no to the box of Cheez-Its. 😕

Oh, the talent…

29 10 2007

Every day I am more and more impressed by the plethora of talents my son possesses. For example, Drew is a master at spitting up – he can hit the couch, my shirt, his outfit, and a pillow while keeping the burp cloth on my shoulder completely clean. 😉

Dead Things Don’t Suffer

29 10 2007

Mommyhood is hardAnd it’s not just the lack of sleep or monotonous chores or constant worries, although those things play their part. Mommyhood is hard because I am selfish. I realized this a few weeks ago – or I should say, God revealed it to me. One night, I was feeling strangely awake, so I decided to read a bit. On the edge of my nightstand was a small volume called Let Go by Fenelon. Months prior, a friend of ours had given it to us declaring we needed to read it. I had attempted but couldn’t engage in it. Now it was the only thing within arms reach, and I didn’t care to expend energy or time searching for anything else.

The book is a collection of letters; I breezed through the first- a short commentary on humility – before being caught by the second one. It was entitled “How to Bear Suffering Peacefully”. From all outward appearances, this chapter should not have applied to me at all, but inwardly, I knew I was suffering. From what I wasn’t sure. The first few lines mentioned “needless worries and restless thoughts” – yes, those were my problems. My ego bristled though when the author defined “restless thoughts” as “self-centered ones” – maybe this letter wasn’t for me.

Hidden in the middle of the second paragraph, was the sentence God used to arrest my heart. “Even now my soul is suffering,” says Fenelon, “but I am aware that it is the life of self which causes us pain; that which is dead does not suffer.” My soul ached – this was it. I flashed back to a recent day fraught with unnamed anxieties. Why did taking care of my baby seem to be so hard? The answer echoed back from the page – on the days where I was anxious, deep at the root of my thoughts, I was concerned only with myself. I wanted the freedoms I used to have, the friendships, the feelings of significance and importance; I wanted to do whatever I wanted and set my own schedule. I was yearning for the life of self.

It might sound strange but in that moment, discovering my sin, I was ecstatic. This unknown anxiety had been haunting me for so long, and now I had a name for it – it was my selfishness, my life of self. My joy came from knowing that the answer to my anxieties was provided by God as well. In dying to my selfishness, I could live motherhood joyfully through Christ – that which is dead does not suffer.

I would love to say that God’s revelation completely ended my anxious days, but I am a work in progress who sometimes finds herself wishing that Drew had an alternate food source or that he would sleep more and cry less, but God’s Truth is always there and it always remains the same.

  • And Christ died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (II Cor 5:15)
  • Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:2-3)
  • I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)


Friday Night Date

27 10 2007

The final phone call didn’t come until 5pm. I had been waiting all day to hear from Tim about the high school football game he was supposed to attend as team doctor. The rain had been pretty steady throughout the day, so I expected the game would be canceled and hoped Tim would be home for the evening. Unfortunately, the phone call dashed my hopes. The game was still on despite the rain, and Tim had to go. I was facing another night home alone with just the baby. Since Drew was born, I’ve had to adjust to long days home alone with little adult interaction. It’ s been hard some times, but I do the best I can to scatter trips to the store or other outings throughout the week so I don’t start climbing the walls at home. But now, it was Friday night, and it had been a long week of being home alone. Quickly, I dialed my best friend’s number to ask about pizza and a movie at my house. She was on her way to choir practice – hopes dashed again.

Home alone on a Friday night – I started racking my brain and pacing the house trying to figure out what I could do to fill the time till Tim came home. I contemplated heading out to get dinner, but decided it would be a waste of money. I was tempted to go out for dessert figuring a hot fudge brownie sundae would definitely make me feel better 😉 , but the only place I could get one of those was down in an area I avoid when alone at night. And then I realized that taking Drew out at all would be a bad idea. His schedule had been messed up earlier in the day, and a missed nap had led to an hour long meltdown. Now he was finally napping peacefully before his final feeding. Going out was not an option. Home alone for the night…

After a little while, I began to wake Drew for his final feeding. I dreaded a night alone, but now that it was imminent I dreaded even more having to put Drew to bed. I would miss even his companionship. As I lifted him up, I prayed he wouldn’t be fussy – I was too emotional already. If he had another meltdown, I would surely end up melting down with him. I sat down on the couch to feed him, and he happily ate for a long time without crying at all. I had debated skipping a bath because I figured he’d be too tired, but he seemed happy, alert, and smiling, so I let him spend a few minutes splashing in the tub. As I put him in his jammies, I watched for signs of sleepiness but he still seemed very alert and happy. Normally, when Drew hits his bedtime, all he wants is his crib, and he will cry until he gets in it. It was 7:00; his bed time is normally 8:00 – so, I sat him next to me on the couch wondering how long he would last.

We sat for an hour on the couch together. We held hands, and he laid there and just stared at me, grinning every time I said “I love you” or “You are so beautiful”. Finally, 8:00 approached and I waited for his fussiness to begin, but it never did. I saw his eyelids get heavy, but he still grinned at me from behind his pacifier. I wanted so badly to keep him right there beside me till Tim came home, but I knew I needed to do what was best for him. He had blessed me with his precious company for a little while. He whimpered only slightly as I put him in bed; I think I was whimpering inside too. I hated for our Friday night date to end.

Sleeping Through the Night

22 10 2007

“Is he sleeping through the night, yet?” is another question I’ve heard often since Drew was born. I think someone actually had the nerve to ask it during our very first week. They thought it was extremely funny, but in my hormonal/sleep deprived/first-time mommy state, I was a little less than entertained – I think it actually caused me to break down sobbing… 😦

At this point however, Drew is on a pretty good three hour schedule during the day, and his nighttime stints have been getting longer and longer. Today I am rejoicing because for three days now, he has slept from 8pm-5pm, waking only a few times in need of his pacifier. Now, when people ask this question, I can proudly say, “Why, yes, my little prodigy is sleeping soundly (almost) through the night!” 😀

The better question now needs to be, “Are you sleeping through the night?” The sad answer – No. I’ve realized that as Drew’s sleep times have gotten longer, I still seem to be waking every couple of hours. I’ve been longing for this time of rest for weeks, but now that it’s here, I find myself the victim of worry. I wake constantly to check the volume on the monitor; I dream of Drew screaming and bolt out of bed only to find him sound asleep; I have nightmares in which I bring the baby to bed with me and he gets lost in the sheets somewhere or worse yet, I crush him; I wake up at 1am thinking it’s 5am or wake up at 5am thinking it’s 1am; or my absolute favorite, I don’t wake at all because I don’t fall asleep – instead, I just lay there and think! Oy…

Drew’s sleeping problems were cured with a simple pacifier. I think my husband might find it a bit strange, but I’m contemplating trying it – do they make those things in adult sizes? 😕

Winnie the…ummm

20 10 2007

I used to consider myself a well-educated person. I did well in high school, graduated from college, taught for ten years, even took a few graduate classes, but a few days ago, I realized the extent of my ignorance and lack of knowledge. I do not know the words to the Winnie the Pooh song. I discovered this sad fact as I was sitting on the couch playing with Drew. I was dancing a Winnie the Pooh rattle over his tummy, and thought he might enjoy hearing the song. I got as far as, “Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh…” and had to start improvising. Thankfully, I don’t think Drew noticed. But how is it that I am 32, and don’t know the words.

And it’s not just Winnie the Pooh either. I started going through my repertoire, and I don’t know any Barney, Teletubbies, or Disney classics. I know Milton and Poe and Hawthorne, but I’m a total flop when it comes to Mother Goose and the like. Somewhere along the lines I learned to change a diaper, I read books and articles on bathing your baby, and the hospital showed me how to use a nasal aspirator, but no one prepared me for the world of baby tunes. So, where do I go to get a degree in “Winnie the Pooh” lyrics??

Today’s Lesson

15 10 2007

Lesson of the Day:

Never choke on couscous. It will fly from your mouth in a thousand little balls landing all over your carpet, forcing you to retrieve the vacuum cleaner that you have been avoiding for a week and a half. The vacuum will then in turn wake the sleeping baby who was not supposed to wake for another half an hour – leaving you with a couscous covered floor, running vacuum and screaming baby. Can a day get any better than that? 😉