Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Mother's Love

So I don't know if you've heard, but I'm in love.  Head over heals, melts my heart, would do anything for him kind of love.  I loved Mark with all my heart, but loving my child is a different kind of love.  It's unconditional and there is nothing that Karter can do to lose my love.  He can pull my hair out, poop while I'm changing his diaper and outfit because he's just peed everywhere, and refuse to sleep in his crib for his second nap of the day and only on me and I will still love him.  And yes, that all happened today.

Each night before we go to bed, Mark and I talk.  I enjoy this time as we just lay in bed and unwind for the day.  I find myself talking about Karter and what he's done that day and how I fell more in love with him.  It warms my heart when I hear Mark talk about how much he loves him as well.

It's so cliche, but it's amazing how much my heart grew the moment I held him in my arms.  I mean, I loved him when he was in my belly, but I always feared growing too close to him because I was afraid something would go wrong (which it almost did!)  Once I could hold him in my arms, I knew he was real and I knew he was mine.

Having Karter has given me such insight into God's love for us.  While I would have said before having Karter I knew what unconditional love was, it wasn't until he rested his tiny little head on my shoulder that I knew what that love was like.  It's amazing to serve a God that loves us that much and more.

Whether you are a mother through blood or adoption, you know this kind of love I am talking about.  It's amazing, overpowering and scary all at the same time. I can't even imagine now what life was like before this little red headed, strong willed baby entered my life.  All I can say is that it will never be the same again...and for that I am thankful.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Baby Assembly Line

Let's get real here.  Maybe I'm a horrible person or maybe I'm vain...but one of my biggest worries in having a baby was that it wouldn't be "cute."  I mean, there are babies out there that I look at and wonder "I wonder if he looks cute to his parents?"  Does/did anyone else have this fear? (I mean obviously, I had other important concerns, but this was one of them!)

It bugs me when you ask people if they want a boy or girl or if they have any other hopes and aspirations for their baby and they reply with an "Oh, I just want a healthy baby."  Umm, duh.  Who doesn't want a healthy baby?  I was pretty vocal when I got pregnant that I wanted a boy.  Would I have traded my child if it came out as a girl?  No...but her hair would have always been a mess, that's for darn sure.  So yes, I wanted a healthy child, and yes I wanted it to be a boy, and yes I wanted it to be cute.  And yes, I did want it in that order.

I know I'm incredibly blessed because not only did I get a healthy child and a boy, but I got a cute child as well.  Seriously, he's the cutest baby that I have ever seen in my entire life.  Don't even lie, when you've seen his picture, you've thought the same thing.  I'm pretty sure I'm not exaggerating here or viewing him through my "Mom Goggles" (similar to beer goggles, but without the beer.)  He's cute...freakin' cute.

Which leads me to the title of my blog.  Sometimes when I imagine God creating Karter, I imagine heaven as kind of a Santa's workshop of sorts.  The angels working the assembly line, putting together baby body parts as God directs (disclaimer: this is not biblically based, nowhere in the Bible does it mention a baby assembly line, just in case you were wondering.)   When I think about this, I imagine God picking out all of the most perfect parts for Karter-to his roly-poly thighs, to his strawberry blond hair, to his rubber band wrist (my brother Matt says that it looks like he has a rubber band between his wrist and hand because of the roll.)

Now, I know you are probably sitting there shaking your head and thinking "nope, God used all the perfect parts on my baby."  And that's probably true, too.  It's just amazing that all these perfect parts were put together to create the most perfect baby for Mark and I.  I couldn't have drawn a more perfect looking stick figure baby if I tried.  Which is why God is God.

So, I hope you don't think I am being petty or vain.  I'm just being honest.  I would love Karter so so much even if he wasn't the cutest baby in the world...but it certainly makes blasting his face all over facebook a little more justifiable;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

940 Saturdays

I was reading my Parents magazine last night and was shocked by an article I read.  The author informed me that from birth to the time Karter is ready to go to college, I only have 940 Saturdays with him.  As of this point in time, I only have 913 Saturdays left with him until he's ready to conquer the world on his own.  How is that possible? 

They say that time flies when you have a child and that "they grow up so fast."  I'm starting to realize that is the truth!  While the first couple of weeks dragged on, as we were all adjusting to our new schedule and family dynamic, it now seems that there is a fast forward button on my life and Karter is growing up faster than I can restock his closet with clothes that fit!

The author of this article gave several lame examples of how to use those 940 Saturdays and the time you have with your children (I mean seriously, putting sprinkles on an ice cream sundae?  Please.)  But it made me think of all the things that I want to do with Karter before he's out on his own.  I often think of making my own bucket list, but maybe it would be more beneficial to make a bucket list of things that I want to do with my children.  Because before I know it, my 913 Saturdays will turn into 1 Saturday left...(I'm already stocking up on the tissues.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What has this world come to?

I should probably go back to work.  Or destroy my tv and cancel the internet.  I can't even believe all the stories I have heard lately on the news and on Dr. Phil of what people do to their own children and innocent other children.  It's sickening.

I am by no means a perfect parent.  I'm sure I make plenty of mistakes, but I love my child with an unconditional love and would do anything for him.  I'm not trying to pass judgement on others either, it's not my job...but I'm just in shock of the evil decisions that people make towards children.  Maybe I'm more aware of this now because I have my own child.  When you have a baby, most people think of all the joy it brings...what I didn't really think of was how protective I have to become of my child to protect him from all things bad in this world. 

Here's just a sample of the news stories I have heard as of late:

-I posted this on my facebook page, but the story of the parents in Indiana whose 4 month died of malnutrition just disgusts me.  Their precious baby boy died at 6 lbs 2 oz.  Did no one see this child and feel some sort of concern?  My beefy little boy weighed 15 lb 12 oz at 4 months...that is 2.5 times what this child weighed.  How could you, as parents, not feed your baby or notice that something was wrong? I mean, I just don't understand how you could ignore the cries of your baby, knowing that they actually need something.  Sure, sometimes it seems like Karter fusses for no reason, but I always make sure he isn't hungry, dirty or have some other immediate need.  Sometimes I wish there was some sort of common sense test you have to take before becoming a parent.

-Last night on the news there was a story about a guy charged with punching his girlfriend's 6 month old baby.  Luckily, the child was fine (though probably would be better off in a different home), but all the mother cared about was making sure her boyfriend didn't go to jail because he "didn't mean to."  Please.  If someone hit my child, whether it was my boyfriend or not, going to jail would be the least of their problems.  Karter is 6 months old.  I can't imagine him getting hit so hard that it cracks his ribs, and I really can't imagine feeling sympathy for the perpetrator and not my son. And how did the guy justify it?  He was just giving him a hug, but it was a "different kind of hug."  I'd like to give that guy a different kind of hug.

-Today on Dr. Phil, he is talking with children and their parents who were abused sexually by a teacher at their school in such disgusting ways I don't even want to type it.  How does someone become so immune to their conscious that they think it is acceptable to take away one of the greatest gifts of being a child-innocence?  It's a sad day when I not only have to make sure that Karter has the right calculator and pencils when he goes to school, but now I have to make sure he knows what an appropriate relationship is with a teacher.

Like I said, I'm not trying to pass judgement, but these kind of people make raising a child in this day and age a scary, scary thing.  My job as a parent is not only to make sure Karter is fed, changed, and well rested.  Now I have to make sure he is educated about appropriate boundaries, the lines of communication between us are always open, and that he knows I am a safe place that he can turn to.  Not only is it important that I do this for my son, but it's our responsibility to watch out for other's children as well.  Maybe that 4 month old baby would be alive today if someone spoke up or reported their concerns.

Seriously, after reading/seeing what I have this week, I'm going to start researching real estate in the deserted hills of Wyoming.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Childbirth Class-Revision to Curriculum

Anyone else leave childbirth class feeling petrified and wishing the stork really did deliver babies?  I felt like childbirth class should be taken before you get pregnant so you know what you're getting into.  And what did I gain from it (besides $100 missing from our account?)  Nothing.  Mark and I didn't find ourselves in the operating room going "hey, remember what we learned about c-sections?" Instead, I found myself saying "am I dying?"

So I decided that after being a mom for the last 6 months, perhaps the curriculum could be revised to include the following items:

-You might as well bathe your baby in spaghetti sauce and you'll achieve the same amount of clean.  Karter pees multiple times per bath.  If I were to drain the water each time we'd be in there forever.  So what if his hair smells a little like Johnson & Johnsons and a little like baby pee? (I promise it really doesn't.)  The way I see it, he's just preparing for getting stung by a jellyfish in the ocean.

-Bulb syringing your child's nose will be the worst thing you ever do.  Ever.  What makes it even worse is when your child is stronger than you and has learned to roll away from you.  Seriously, I'm like a human pretzel getting in position to suck out his snot.  It's terrible...for him and I!

-You know those people you made fun of for posting constant status updates and pictures of their babies?  Yeah, you'll be one of them.  Believe me, pre-baby I threw up a little in my mouth every time I read a "Susie just rolled over" status and now it's like word vomit pouring out from my keyboard.  I can't help it that I gave birth to the cutest thing ever and feel the need to publicly share every detail of his life.

-Find a doctor who doesn't mind you calling them each week.  I'm surprised that my ob/gyn didn't send out a mass memo to all the pediatricians in the are warning them that I call...a lot.  Luckily, I found a doctor that we like, but fear they may start blocking my number.  As a first time mom, perhaps I'm a little paranoid, but better safe than sorry, right??

-Learn how to type one handed. You might be amazed to know that I wrote this entire post with my right hand while Karter slept in my left. 

So there you have it.  If you are expecting a baby and you've read this, you really don't need to go to that awful class.  Because really, do you want to see someone else giving birth over a tv screen?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lord, I love him

It's been awhile since Karter and I have rocked in my rocker at night, especially since he's been sleeping in our bed and I just turn and nurse him.  Now that we are sleep training, he's back in his crib and I'm back in the rocker for night feedings. When we are spending that special time together, I like to pray over him.  I believe it's never too early to start praying for his future...his spouse, his happiness, even his ability to pass the driver's exam (though now that I think of it, perhaps I shouldn't pray for this so he'll always need me:)

Last night while I was praying for him I found myself saying the same thing over and over again "Lord, I love him."  It wasn't a prayer for his future, or happiness or safety, but I think it was a powerful prayer just the same.  In those four words, I was sending out praises to God for giving me Karter.  In those four words, I was letting God know I would do my best to take such good care of this awesome gift He gave me. In those four words, I was reminded myself just how much I love Karter.

When I looked in the mirror at my belly this morning (vain, I know, but I like to see the progress of it shrinking) the thought crossed my mind that perhaps I won't be able to get pregnant again.  What if the right factors worked to make Karter won't be there for another baby?  How will I handle this? It was motivation for me to soak up every moment I have with Karter and to cherish every smile, new milestone, every cry.

So I should probably make this post short, so not to be a hyprocrite about cherishing every moment with my little man.  I've got a little cutie to my right screaming in joy at the top of his lungs ready to sing songs, play with his monkeys and impress his momma with his new tricks!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Great Debate

I was watching The Talk the other day and they were discussing something that I have been thinking about a lot lately...breast feeding in public.  I know that this has been a hot topic for some time now, but now that I need to do it, I actually care about the topic. 

I'm not going to lie, prior to having Karter, I was a little weirded out about it.  I mean, boobs out in public??  Craziness.  But now that I am a nursing momma to a boy who likes to eat every 2 hours (and hates the bottle), I find that I am now one of those boobs in public...and you know what?  I don't care.  I don't care that I'm doing it, I don't care that other people don't like it, and I don't care to hide in some disgusting bathroom or freezing car to do it so that others aren't offended.

There is a tasteful way to do it, which I try to follow.  I usually double up with both a cover and a blanket because Karter likes to rip off the cover sometimes all the time. I mean, I can't say that no one's ever seen some skin as I'm nursing, but I try my best to prevent it. As I write this, I'm reminded of about two months ago when two of my good friends from college and I were at the mall walking around and suddenly hunger struck...all three of our babies.  We lined the benches at the Piqua mall with our babies and nursing covers (two of which matched, by the way) and fed away.  I didn't see any scowls or rude looks and hopefully no one saw any boob.  (Michelle-I know you're a little sad you weren't part of this:))

You kind of lose any sort of dignity you have during the child birthing process.  After I've been exposed to more doctors and nurses than I can count on my fingers, whipping out my boob in public to feed my hungry little monster seems like a pretty modest task.  Now, I have a harder time condoning those that don't take into consideration anyone else and don't bother with any sort of cover.  It's people like that that give nursing mothers in public a bad name. 

I've gotten to the point where it kind of pisses me off when people seem to have a problem with me nursing in public.  I mean, really?  Aren't we all adults?  Have you never seen a boob before?  Plus, when you think about it, I'm technically saving tax payers a lot of potential dollars by providing Karter with the best nutrition possible, which hopefully protects him from many chronic illnesses. 

So I know I am just one opinion of many on this topic, but I felt like voicing it. And if you have a problem with breast feeding in public, well, you should probably just stop going out in public.