Archive for 2013

On luxury.

Bath time.

For me, not for A.

Now that I am a parent, I think I am starting to finally understand the truest meaning of “luxury.”

Example: pre-baby, I could care less about taking a bath. I don’t say that to mean that I enjoy being stinky and unclean because I definitely do NOT. However. Taking a bath was not a particularly favorite past time of mine. I preferred the shower: get in, get out, all done. No complication, minimal wait time…showers were perfect.


Then I had A. And I became a stay-at-home-mom. And all of my day -save naptime!- revolved around his needs, wants, etc. Now, I am addicted to taking baths. Addicted, I tell you!!! There is NOTHING more invigorating to me than drawing a super hot bath, dropping a bath bomb from Lush into the tub, and reading whatever book tickles my fancy for an hour.

Without a baby.

By God, I love that hour.

Did I mention we don’t have a bathtub in our house???

On sweet/difficult days.

Mr. No Hair
Look at that little bald head.

I wake up every morning, walk down the hall to his crib, peer over the railing, whisper “Good morning, handsome” to him, watch him smile at me in reply, and scoop him up into my arms.

Then I kiss his little bald head.

When I lay him down on the couch or our bed so I can prepare myself to nurse him, I look at his sweet face and hold one-sided conversations with him: “Why hello, good-looking! What’s on the agenda today?” I pick him up and get him ready to fill his belly.

Then I rub his little bald head.

I strip him down to get ready for bathtime: onesie off, diaper off, bath water running at a comfortable lukewarm. I stick him in his whale-shaped bathtub and sing softly to him while I’m cleaning his itty bitty body.

Then I scrub his little bald head.

When he is at his grouchiest, his grumpiest, his bitchiest…I sigh loudly, speak to him calmly, let him know that I hear him and want to help him.

Then I pat his little bald head.

When it’s nighttime and I am preparing him for bed, I go through the whole routine…diaper change. Check. Food prepared. Check. Pajamas on. Check.

I cradle him in my arms, sometimes so tightly that I think I might hurt him accidentally. I whisper to him how much I love him. I tell him I will always be around to watch him grow into an amazing man.


I kiss his little bald head.

On how quickly it all happens.

A is teething. Already. It blows my mind, honestly. I hate to sound cliche but it seems like just yesterday that he was born, so small and fragile and delicate.

Because of occurrences like this, I become easily amazed at how quickly growing up happens. Before A was born (and before I was even married, for that matter), I was obviously aware that growing up was just something that “happened.” As an 18-year-old college freshman/barista, I honestly never took the time to sit back and wonder how my life happened to be happening.

I let myself grow up in one big blur and am only now retrospectively appreciating what growing up entails.

One of the side effects of parenthood is living in an extreme wash of sentiment and nostalgia. Not in the sense that you ever regret having your child, or wish you could again do all of the stupid things you did when you were younger…the sentiment and nostalgia just rear their ugly heads and push out memories & experiences that you had totally forgotten were beautiful & special & miraculous in their own ways.

I feel like I’m rambling. I say all of this because I am purely overwhelmed with being overwhelmed. Not only is my soul aching to remember every detail of the significant moments of my “growing up,” but I am aching to remember absolutely everything I can about my son’s “growing up.”

"…let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry…have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well-dressed. Let me be sincere - be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost."


On sappiness.

rough times

That’s my belly at 30 weeks.

At the time this picture was taken, I was on doctor-ordered bedrest. Ten glorious weeks of rest until A arrived (or so I thought). I spent a lot of that time watching movies, reading books, doing typical “nesting” things…

And then things changed. Quickly.

I ended up having him at 36 weeks, a whole month earlier than anticipated. It was -as expected- a total explosion of conflicting emotions: was I excited that I was finally “done” being pregnant, or was I terrified that I now had a baby to take care of wayyyy earlier than I thought I would? It was such an intense, intense time.

While I was pregnant, I hated it. I had terrible, terrible morning sickness that lasted most of my pregnancy. I got awful food poisoning during Christmas weekend. I gained almost 30 pounds of just water weight. I developed preeclampsia. Every day, I would look at my body in the mirror and say “Never, ever again.”

It pains me to have that recollection now because I realize, almost four months after giving birth, that I will never have that experience again.

I will never be pregnant with my first baby ever again.

I will never deliver my first baby ever again.

I will never learn how to be a mom to my first baby ever again.

I am so nostalgic for that time now, and I truly never thought I would say that.

I really miss that nervous anticipation of wanting to meet my baby. I really miss the quiet times early in the morning in the hospital, when it was just me & A watching the sun come up. I really miss getting to know him initially, trying to figure out his sneaky baby ways.

I don’t know where all of this nostalgia is coming from. Parenthood turns you into a giant sap, I guess.

On traditions.

When J & I first married, I became obsessed with the idea of making “traditions.” I have no idea if deliberately making up traditions makes them valid but nonetheless, that’s what I felt and did.

Traditions I Can Immediately Call To Mind:

On December 27th, my family always travels to San Francisco for the day, just to spend time together and also to spend any Christmas money we might have acquired. I definitely have made sure we always do this.

From the first night of December until Christmas Day, J & I watch a holiday movie every night regardless of what else we have planned. I definitely have made sure we always do this.

Every Sunday morning before church, we always always always get coffee together, either from Starbucks or Empresso. I definitely have made sure we always do this.

And so on.

Nothing serious, nothing life-changing…but then we had a baby.

And oh. My. GOD.

I became a crazed woman. Not only did I want to make new traditions involving A while also incorporating him into our already-existent ones, but I also wanted to document everything.


I take pictures like it’s going out of style. I have four different journals that do various jobs of recording each and every day’s occurrences, big & small. I browse Pinterest to find ideas of new traditions I can implement in our family.

I’m a woman possessed.

For awhile, I was honestly pretty self-conscious about it. I felt like I was obsessing over things that, in the long run, aren’t important. After all, we’re not expected as a society to take pleasure in the day-to-day routine of our lives, traditions included. Every day is just…a day.

But in the last few weeks, I have become more and more comfortable with the idea of celebrating each day like it’s a holiday, and then documenting what made that day special. I want to remember every last thing that happens while A is still so young and sweet. I want to make memories with him that he can recall when he gets older, and then look forward to participating in when the time is appropriate.

I want to make a tradition of reading a story to him every night before bed, and taking pictures of it while it’s happening.

I want to make it a tradition to walk down Meadow Lane to look at the lights during the holiday season, and videotape us doing it.

I want to make it a tradition to not just celebrate his birthday but his birth week, and then write about every one in my journal.

Time and space are so extra special now that A’s around.

I don’t want to miss a single moment.

Moments I'm nostalgic for.

the best day

Pedaling on an exercise bike on the back porch at dusk, while reading the Connecticut chapter of State By State (I think the chapter was written by Rick Moody).It was the perfect combination of amazing, clarifying weather and peaceful feelings after a hellish few months.

October 28, 2010. My wedding day. Of course. This is a no brainer. Everything was perfect. Everything was beautiful. I was so excited to start my life with J.

Watching The English Patient late one summer evening with our newly-purchased Netflix account while Josiah was on tour and I was on vacation. Was it the novelty & excitement of finally having Netflix? Was it the fact that it became my favorite movie when it ended? I don’t know…but whatever it was, it felt wonderful.

Sitting in the living room recently, reading the latest David McCullough book and drinking iced coffee, while the sun came in through the curtains and A slept next to me. Bliss.

Thursday, March 7, 2013. The night that A and I were alone in our hospital room all by ourselves, for the entirety of the night. Those sweet, still, silent moments. Just me and him.


This one rainy late March evening in 2010. I don’t remember the whole context of the day but I remember wearing a black blazer, skinny jeans, and flat brown boots, and driving around town in my old Volvo with J. Most importantly, I remember thinking that everything would end up okay.

On youth.


In my younger years.

It sounds so weird to say that. I will be twenty-four years old in less than two weeks. In case you didn’t know, twenty-four is not old. At all.

Yet, I really, truly feel like I have already seen, done, heard, accomplished, attempted so very very much. All at the ripe old age of almost-twenty-four.

There is a definite freedom to being young, regardless of what responsibilities and obligations you have. I mean, even though I am a wife and a mother, I am still young. That doesn’t change. I still possess a lot of the factors that contribute to the typical twentysomething. On the flip side, though, there is a lot about me and my lifestyle that are completely different than that typical twentysomething.

Spontaneity, for one.

I don’t miss the spontaneity of my former life at all. AT. ALL. I never was very spontaneous to begin with (I’m a Judger, not a Perceiver, you know) but when I was younger, single, not a mother, barely a student, just a barista…I just did.

I slept in a lot and wasted a lot of valuable, precious hours doing so. I pretty much dropped out of school because I thought it was pointless & expensive & redundant. I spent a lot of money that I didn’t have, and acquired a lot of stupid things I didn’t need. I went to church when I felt like it (which was not a lot) and when I did, I didn’t emotionally or spiritually connect to what I was hearing.

I don’t miss it.

I may despise the spontaneity and aimlessness and wandering of being young, but I definitely enjoy just being right now. Being focused. Being present. Being in the moment, soaking in whatever wonderful thing I’m witnessing my family doing.

Like watching my son smile at my husband. He’s learned to do that now. It’s amazing to see, and I’m so thankful my twenty-four year old self can appreciate the beauty behind it.

Even if I had to endure a lot of “spontaneous” credit card debt to get here.


Waning motivation.

I have a babysitter for A who is available -and willing to- watch him the whole day. I have a list of tasks that need to be accomplished on my to do list. I have no schoolwork to do, job to go to, or other such distractions/obligations. I have a giant cup of iced coffee next to me and a fully charged laptop.


I cannot, for the life of me, find the motivation to get any of it done.

I used to be extremely driven. Like, we are talking overboard. I did more than I absolutely needed to do. I finished things quickly and efficiently. I overachieved, for sure.

But then I got married. I got so comfortable in my marriage that I let a lot of things go including, but not limited to, my weight, my temper, and my motivation.

But then I had a baby. And my lack of motivation got even worse, if that’s possible! Don’t get me wrong: when it comes to getting things done in relation to little A, I am on top of it. Seriously ON TOP OF IT. Too much, in fact. He will never, ever feel the direct brunt of my lack of motivation.


I feel like I have fallen off the wagon in so many ways, and I am just clueless about how to get back on. I fear that the longer I go without just forcing myself to follow through immediately with the little things in my life that just need to get done, the farther from the wagon I will end up being.

I suppose I just need to buck up and do it. Whatever “it” is, I suppose…

For my littlest man.

look at that smile

"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a man, my son!”

This Kipling poem never rang truer than when I found out I was having a son.

Creating a balance.

This motherhood thing is hard. Well…I should rephrase. Challenging. Is that better?

Don’t get me wrong. I adore this new job I have found myself cautiously dipping my toes into; it is simultaneously the most rewarding and most infuriating thing I have ever done -or will ever do- in my life.

Be forewarned, though: if you have the same kind of type A, control-freak tendencies that I lean towards, it will be a task in itself to find that proverbial balance.

Balance. What a beautiful, terrifying word.

Really, though. It is such an intense challenge to strike that balance of motherhood and “everything else.” My personality is such that I want to go full throttle into one or the other…sometimes it’s Super Mom, other times it’s “Leave me alone. I want to just read my book!”…Lady.

My son is only fourteen weeks old, though. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. 

Should I???

I suppose that I am just learning, slowly but surely every single day, what works for my small but beloved family unit. And what doesn’t.

So, as I sit here, typing this first entry while also shaking a lime green terry cloth monster rattle in my screaming son’s face, I take a deep breath and realize that I am doing what I can, with what I have, where I am.

That is enough. Balance will come, just as maturity, experience, and reason come.

Let’s hope it’s soon, though.

About Me

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I am a wife. A mom. A lifelong student. A lazybones, occasionally. This is where I litter the Internet with my thoughts.
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