family

Grace

I’ve been meaning to write a post about nursing, but obviously that requires two hands and lately those have been in short supply. Though it’s getter better! But I have five minutes and I need to remember–

last night was rough, starting with both my husband and I forgetting our ID cards and having to drive to the literal other end of post and then pray I could get on (as I forgot my license as well–I know, rookie mistake). It started looking up when baby girl (I have a baby girl! have I mentioned that? she is six weeks old as of yesterday) went a full four hours between nursing sessions, thus allowing me about three and a half hours of sleep! But then she latched on poorly and all my attempts to fix it were in vain, so I gave up and played Candy Crush, figuring it couldn’t possibly be that bad–

and then I lay in bed for an hour and a half in agony, unable to sleep, miserable–

so finally I took a shower and then fed her again and passed her off to my husband and got about thirty minutes of glorious repose–

only to be rudely awakened when he set the baby down to get ready for PT and she woke up–

and reader, I cried.

(Not one of my better moments, but I was exhausted.) (Hysterical.) (There’s nothing like dripping tears onto your baby’s head to make you feel like a winner.) (Also when you’re kicking your heels like a toddler when your husband tries to hand you your child.) (It was Not Pretty.)

And then it was time to feed her again anyway, so at six-thirty-ish I latched her on (better this time)

(my husband is snort-laughing at the baby right now I assume everything is okay)

and then I considered playing Candy Crush, but decided it was the source of my problems

(ah he was squishing her cheeks)

and so instead I turned on the podcast of this morning’s Morning Prayer, so I could at least lightly pray while nursing.
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Childbirth Class the First

Having now watched two birth videos I can safely say that by the end the mommies and daddies on the screen were not the only people crying when they got to hold their babies for the first time.

The emotional whiplash from “oh gosh she looks so tired oh labor’s still happening oh she’s so exhausted this looks exhausting this is going to be so exhausting” to “what the are they showing us the baby crowning oh that’s gross that’s so oh no oh NO OH NO I DON’T WANT TO BE WATCHING THIS HAPPENING OH NO” to “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAW LOOK AT THE BABY IT’S OVER THEY’RE ALL TOGETHER EVERYONE’S OKAY I’M SO HAPPY FOR EVERYONE” is intense though. Probably these videos should come with a warning for pregnant women. Unless they’re trying to help us practice for the actual emotional whiplash on its way.
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Saturday Chores

Today marks the very first time my husband and I have ventured into a gym together. Usually I get my exercise from walking the dog, but given the terrible weather lately that hasn’t been an option. So twenty minutes on the exercise bike it was! If only upright bikes had wider seats; I had to go recumbent, which is not very comfortable either, given the whole legs-constantly-bumping-into-bump thing. The baby was vaguely concerned about the jostling but mostly slept through it, at least.

And now my husband is washing our dog. I love listening to him do this. I love the whole process of bathing the dog, which generally goes like this:

1) Mommybird gathers up Ladybird’s bedding and beloved blue blanket and throws them into the washing machine, thus designating that Sometime Today, the Dog Will Be Clean.
2) Daddybird forgets he is supposed to wash the dog.
3) Mommybird reminds him.
4) Daddybird says, “Laaaaaaaaadybird, do you want to take a bath?” in the most excited tones possible.
5) The dog retreats to her corner of the couch.
6) Daddybird repeats his not-quite-an-invitation.
7) The dog’s ears go back; her tail tucks underneath her; she attempts to disappear into the couch.
8) Daddybird gathers the dog into his arms, still extolling the virtues of bathtime.
9) The dog attempts to escape Daddybird’s arms. Sometimes she is successful, and steps 4-8 repeat themselves.
10) The dog looks longingly at Mommybird, who stalwartly ignores her.
11) Daddybird carries the dog off to the bathroom.
12) Mommybird sits at the computer or in her chair with her book or basically doing anything that isn’t bathing the dog.
13) Mommybird hears, wafting from the guest bathroom, a tireless and sometimes tuneless song about Ladybird being given a bath, and how she is a good girl NO NO NO NO oh what a good girl she is she is such a good girl NO NO NOT YET oh what a pretty girl she is.
14) The faucet is turned off and Mommybird is treated to an encore performance of “what a good girl she is.”
15) Daddybird announces, “Crazy dog!” and a split second behind the announcement the dog comes careening through the house, heedlessly bouncing off furniture and walls, trying to find a safe place amidst the cruel, cruel sight of her pack alphas.

She’s outside now to dry, which she is less than pleased about, but on the other hand it’s sunny and she loves the sun. I’m sure she’s only clawing at the door because she thinks it sounds cool.

Bathtime with the baby is going to be so much fun.

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Hannah and Eli

When I was a kid, we had a book on tape (complete with finger puppets) about the story of Samuel (1 Samuel 1-3), starting with Hannah’s prayer and ending with his calling. We listened to it many, many, many times, and I can still hear the narrator’s soothing voice, the deep call of “Samuel! Samuel!” It’s always been one of my favorite stories, in part because it is a story, a narrative with dialogue and everything, and in it we hear very human reactions to the trials of life and to God’s call in the midst of them. And we hear people answering that call, making that choice and understanding it means both joy and sorrow, humility and greatness.
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The Dog

This morning I awoke, completed my morning rituals, and yawned my way out to the living room, fully expecting to find my dog sitting on my recliner looking out the window and preparing to scold her profusely for it.

Except she wasn’t on the recliner. Or the couch. Or in her crate.

She was, however, the source of that strange snuffle-lick noise that dogs make when they’re going through your garbage, and there she was in the corner of the kitchen, having accessed the garbage bag inside the garbage closet (apparently the door was not secured last night) and having found, amidst all the other treasures, two Lindt milk chocolate bunnies that we had found while unpacking, gone “how old are these?” and promptly tossed.

(Is there any way to work an Oxford comma into the last bit of that sentence? I don’t think so. Tragic.)
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Motherhood (Impending)

I stopped updating this blog, and I stopped updating because in September I came down with something called “the first trimester of pregnancy,” which affects women in various ways and me in particular by giving me a severe case of “incapable of leaving the couch.”

It was, in a word, pathetic. And by that I clearly mean “full of pathos,” because what is more moving than the sight of a woman furiously in the throes of setting up her internal baby-growing infrastructure? What could inspire a greater sense of the commonality of the human race than witnessing a woman as she participates in its propagation?
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Perambulation

That Mr. Shaw keeps a lifted head and a contemptuous face before the colossal panorama of empires and civilizations, this does not in itself convince one that he sees things as they are. I should be most effectively convinced that he did if I found him staring with religious astonishment at his own feet. “What are those two beautiful and industrious beings,” I can imagine him murmuring to himself, “whom I see everywhere, serving me I know not why? What fairy godmother bade them come trotting out of elfland when I was born? What god of the borderland, what barbaric god of legs, must I propitiate with fire and wine, lest they run away with me?”

–G.K. Chesterton, “Mr. Bernard Shaw,” Heretics.

I thought about this quote several times last week, which I spent helping take care of my paternal grandparents in little ol’ Thomasville, North Carolina. My grandma is still (much to her chagrin) recovering from a triple-whammy of triple bypass surgery, a heart attack, and stents, and she came down with pneumonia while I was there (much to her disgust). Grandpa has late-onset Parkinson’s (he’s been diagnosed for…gosh, three years now? maybe a couple more?), and his symptoms are the classic ones: constantly running nose, tremors/shakes, and overall motor difficulty.
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