Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This water

This water washed away my tears in 2011 and 2012 when I was totally unsure if my marriage was going to remain intact, and lap after lap, my anxiety turned to prayer turned to peace and exhaustion.

This water gave me a sense of purpose and achievement in 2013 when I was between jobs, and my last outdoor swim of the season that year was with a tiny little baby belly. A little piece of redemption in a place that had seen me through some of my darker times.

This water provided a welcome weightlessness for my postpartum body in all is cumbersome awkwardness in 2014. The silence and stillness was invaluable when I was able to get away from our still-under-construction house and reflux-y baby.

This water was the only place I found relief from lingering postpartum pelvic pain in 2015, and I loved introducing Noah to my sweet summertime ritual here.

And it's happy to welcome me back again this summer. Always ready to refill my thirsty soul with water and light. I usually take Noah to another pool in the mornings now, due to nap times and whatnot, so this pool is all mine again. A reminder of who I am when I'm not answering to "Mama," and a way to refresh myself before going back to the job of mom that I dearly love.

Overly philosophical? Maybe. A little slice of heaven on earth? Absolutely.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Day in the Life with a 2 Year Old

Yesterday was kind of crummy. Noah and I had lots of meltdowns, so I intentionally set out to make today awesome! I'm learning that there are 3 ingredients to a good day, but it takes time and energy to make the effort:

1. Start with quiet time
2. Get out of the house
3. Get to bed early

This doesn't happen every day, but when it does... we have way more fun!

0615: Noah is awake, babbling in his crib. I turn the volume down on the monitor and roll over for a few more minutes.

0630: Time to get up! Ross gets Noah and gives him a sippy cup of hemp milk while I assemble breakfasts (banana + homemade muffin for Noah).

0645-0715: I retreat to the office/playroom to have some quiet time with the Bible and my Armor of God workbook for the Bible Study that started this week. Ross and Noah play and read books and eat breakfast in the kitchen and living room.

0730-0815: Noah and I take a morning walk. One of my favorite traditions, and I'm so excited it's walking season again!

0830: Drive to a coffee shop in Lenexa to sell some cloth diapers to a fellow mama. Noah starts pointing to the coffee shop and crying, "muppy!" I haven't been to this coffee shop since I was pregnant, but somehow he knows there are delicious things inside. I realize it's been way too long since our last muppy date, so we go inside to enjoy some wheat-free treats  (for both of us) and some iced coffee (for me).

0915: Pool time! We driving back to our part of town to go to Kiddie Pool Playtime at out local pool. I made the mistake of telling Noah we were going to walk, then sell diapers, then swim this morning, and he's been pretty insistent on "swimming" for the last two hours.

0930-1115: So much fun at the pool.

1130-1200: Home for lunch. Super proud of Noah for leaving the pool like a big kid without crying. We were hungry for lunch! He ate some roast beef, gluten-free toast, and carrots (with dairy-free Ranch to dip, because everything's better when you can dip it).

1210-1245: I nurse Noah for 15 minutes and he falls asleep in my arms, which is my fave. I snuggle with him, filled with gratitude for our adventures today and in the past two years. We've come a long way.

(picture: 2 weeks into out breastfeeding journey // 2 weeks before weaning)

1315: I put him in his crib and sit down to start this post, eat a snack, and catch up on older blog posts.

1415: Noah is awake and singing, "Rain, rain, go away" to himself. Not gonna lie, I was REALLY hoping for an epic nap after the busy morning we had!

1430: Noah eats some of his lunch leftovers while I try to brainstorm what the heck we are going to do for the next 4 hours until Ross gets home! I decide to head to the diaper store to get a few things I've been needing.

1525: Finally leave the house 1 handful of GF pretzels, 1 apple, 1 sippy cup of hemp milk, 1 dirty diaper, 1 tantrum, and 3 rounds of a Clifford board book later.

1600-1700: We socialize, play, and shop at the diaper store, enjoying the change of scenery.

1730: Leftovers for everyone for dinner! Dinners I don't have to make are the best :-)

1845: Bath, story, snuggles, and bed for Noah. A little early because we had such a busy day.

1900-2115: Small group with friends! Love this girl time.

2230: Read in bed for a bit, and then sleep!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Here I Raise my Ebenezer

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far the Lord has helped us.' 1 Samuel 7:12

The due date was supposed to be June 20 (2016)-- exactly one week after Noah's due date of June 13 (2014). I would've been 38.1 weeks pregnant today. I went into labor with Noah at 38.4 and had him at 38.5 weeks.


I'm really anxious for it to get here. So much life has happened in the last 9 months, but it's hard not to remember how much life hasn't happened. It's been, quite literally, a pregnant pause. I don't feel like I've dwelt unnecessarily on this day, but as Noah's birthday approached, I couldn't help but know that this day was approaching as well.

I think it's affected me more than I realized. I've always been the hurry up and wait type. Like, I get all worked up for this milestone or that birthday or these anniversaries, and find myself disappointed that life didn't turn into rainbows and butterflies once the obstacle was behind me. This week was no exception.

Ross has been working his butt off on a long to-do list, finishing the last 15% of a whole bunch of house projects for Noah's party this past weekend, and it's safe to say I've been in panic mode about it. Really nitpicky. Mean. Not fun to live with. But it HAD to get done. And it wasn't until I was in tears at midnight on Friday night that I realized... I need closure. I need to feel like we brought our first baby home to an eventually safe place, and to have that whole lost season of chaos behind me. And I need to feel like we did THIS baby justice. Even though we aren't bringing him or her home, I want to feel like WE COULD HAVE. Like the house is READY.

Last fall, I was so worried I wouldn't be able to bond with Noah, to study for my IBCLC exam, to finish the house, in time for this baby's due date. But we did!

And oh, the house. I feel petty talking about it, and I'm sure my bitterness comes through even when I'm trying to make jokes. Is it a first world problem? Heck yes. If I could do it differently, would I? Heck yes. Don't buy a fixer-upper at 28 weeks pregnant. It seemed like a grand adventure at the time, but after the wilderness we'd been through in the years prior to getting pregnant with Noah, I really should've used my third trimester to rest, to recover, to prepare. To draw inward and nest and connect. Not to work two jobs, sometimes both in the same 24 hour period without sleep. Not to come "home" to a suitcase in a relative's bedroom. Not to avoid the actual house we bought because the sights and sounds of a construction site instead of a home filled me with a deep sense of panic and loss of control.

There's still a lot of work to do, but we worked right up to the start of the party, and for the first time ever, our house has a DONE list! Every room except the laundry room has walls, paint, trim, no exposed wood putty... It's amazing. The sense of relief I felt after Noah's party was palpable and surprising, even to me. His party was a birthday party and a housewarming party and a "welcome back to the land of the living" party. I feel like it was a tangible chance to get some closure on his tumultuous newborn days. An Ebenezer stone for where we've been and where we're going. We can move forward into toddlerhood with one baby. We can graciously say goodbye to what could have been with the other.

I don't need rainbows and butterflies now. I just want to make it to Saturday, take a deep breath, and move into Sunday.