Thursday, March 29, 2012

Missing: Red Haired, Non Mobile Infant

I don't even know how it happened, but I've seemed to have lost my baby.  I thought about posting posters around town, but I figure that will do no good.  No one will be able to find him anyhow, he's lost for good. He's been replaced by an almost-crawling-pull-to-standing little boy.  How and when did this happen??  I love the boy he has become, but I miss the baby that he used to be (ok, maybe not the sleepless nights.)  I mean, I know I've blogged about this before, but I just can't get over my baby's insistence on growing and changing.

It really does go by so fast.  Just yesterday it seems like I was rubbing alcohol on his umbilical cord that hadn't fallen off yet and buckling him into his infant carrier that he seemed to be swimming in (and now he can no longer fit in.)  Now, my days are full of trying to keep him sitting instead of standing in the bath tub, removing things with lids because he uses his teeth to pull the lid off, and trying to calm him down when he is throwing a fit (he pants like a's pretty cute, unless he's doing it all day, like he did today.)

I used to chuckle at the ridiculousness of the Duggars, but it all makes so much sense now.  I totally understand now always wanting to have a baby in the house.  I know people look forward to the time when they don't have anyone in diapers, but now that I've had a baby, I'm dreading it (maybe because we use cloth?:)  I always want there to be a baby in my house.  I can't even imagine what it's like to now have a cute, sometimes cuddly baby around.

Maybe I'm being dramatic, I mean Karter is only 7.5 months, but I feel like I'm losing my baby and sending him into toddler hood.  Just the first of many times that I will have no control over my ever growing baby, I suppose.

By the way, if anyone has 20 or so K names they want to send me, please do.  I'm prepared to give the Duggars a run for their money.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hovering Above

I'm trying not to to, but I'm doing it.  I'm heading towards helicopter parenting (and I don't even like flying that much.)  While a helicopter is a quintessential part to a successful date on the Bachelor, it's not so good when it comes to parenting.  Even though at 7 months I can't mess things up too badly, if I don't stop, I'm likely setting Karter up for some sort of failure by wanting to intercede in anything that could go wrongly in his life. 

I've read some about this term, "helicopter parent," in one of the gazillion baby magazines that I am somehow subscribed to, and from what I can tell...this is likely what I could potentially become.  I don't like it, and I want to change it, but it's hard to take a step back.

I mean, I guess at this age it's alright.  My body lunges forward anytime he is sitting up and I notice a wobble.  I freak a little when Mark is sitting with him and doesn't have quick enough reflexes to catch him.  I come to his rescue a little too quickly when he gets frustrated at not being able to move his hands with his legs when trying to crawl.

It's not that I want to hover in his life and over step my bounds, I just don't want him to feel any hurt or any failure in life.  And while I know I have the best of intentions, I'm not doing him any favors.  As much as it pains me (and likely pains me more than him), it's okay to let him tumble when he's sitting up...he has to learn to get back up when life knocks him down.  It's okay to let him get frustrated when he's trying a new task but can't quite get it...he'll need to learn coping and problem solving skills to succeed in life.

I guess part of my problem is that I worry so much about being a good mom, that sometimes I become a not good mom (not being too hard on myself, I could just do things a better way at times, we all could.)   Karter is going to get hurt...he's going to scratch his knee, he's going to struggle in some subject in school, etc.  My job isn't to be there to fix it and immediately make it better (though, I'm not gonna lie, I may complete a few school projects for him), but to teach him how to solve the problems himself and to be there for him when he needs a hug, a band aid, or some encouragement.

Like I said, I know I've got plenty of time and I haven't ruined things for him yet, but I am more aware of my body lunging towards him every time I think he needs something.  It's time I pack up the helicopter and send it back to Chris Harrison, anyhow...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Mother's Heartache

I've said it once and I'll say it again...there is nothing more terrible than my baby being sick.  I feel so helpless when he coughs and when he sniffles that stuffed up nose.  Motherhood has definitely reminded me that I am not in charge, and when my baby is sick, I am reminded even more.  If it were up to me, Karter would never be sick and I would gladly take on that sickness.

Karter just has a cold and I'm beside myself trying to ease his discomfort and to make him feel better.  I can't even imagine what a parent who has a truly sick child goes through.  I am blessed with a very healthy baby boy, with the exception of a few major colds, and this is something that I don't take for granted.  My heart goes out to all the mothers out there that have to deal with more serious illnesses with their children.

I also wonder what it was like for Mary to watch Jesus suffer.  Maybe she was like me, and freaked at the slightest drip of the nose.  Wiping your baby's runny nose is no way to prepare for what Mary had to see her Son go through.  What pain she must have gone through and how many tears she must have shed.

So even though it kills me to see Karter in discomfort, I'm counting my blessings and know it could be a lot worse.  I would be a lucky woman if the worst that happens to Karter is a little cough and runny nose...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Night Like This

So Mark is out serving up beer to all those folk who are truly celebrating their Irishness and not using this day as a reason to get intoxicated (lie) and Karter is asleep, which means I get the night to myself.  Usually I hate having time to myself, unless it involves a dark room, my bed and my eyes shut, but tonight I think I'm alright with it.

One of the favorite things about my house is the outdoor space.  As soon as I saw the screened in gazebo attached to the back door when we looked at it the first time, I knew it had to be mine.  The two tiered huge deck was an added bonus, and the view seemed too good to be true.  Maybe not everyone would like the view, but I appreciate being backed up to a cornfield.  I love looking out and seeing only farmhouses (I'm tuning the busy traffic on our state route out) and the sunsets are so pretty here.

With this unseasonably warm weather, I have been waiting for an evening to just come out and sit on our deck for sometime, but something has gotten in the way of me enjoying these beautiful evenings (most importantly, The Bachelor.)  Now that I have this time out here, I am reminded of the summer evenings I would sit out here and wonder when I would be given the chance to be a mom. 

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in a patio chair looking out over the fields as the sun set talking with God about the sadness I felt, wondering why it was taking me so long and others not so much.  For some reason, this place and this view and those conversations left me with such peace and and understanding that God would provide, one way or another. And He certainly did.

So tonight, I am back in my same spot, reflecting and talking with God...except tonight, I have a baby monitor next to me, on alert in case my little Munch needs me.  Who knew that a baby monitor would be the most welcome accessory to a night out on my deck and a tangible item of an answered prayer?!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blessed to be a SAHM

I am thankful everyday for the opportunity to stay at home with Karter to watch him grow, but today was one of those days that I was very thankful.  One thing I didn't like about working was that on nice days, I was usually stuck behind a computer.  Not today.  Karter and I took full advantage of this weather and played with his toys and worked in the garden.  After I had finished cleaning up the flower bed, I went over and laid on the blanket next to him while he played in his cute little hat and I realized "It doesn't get better than this."  That moment was perfect and I am so appreciative that I got to spend it with him.

Now, becoming a stay at home mom (SAHM) wasn't an easy decision for Mark and I.  I had every intention of returning to work and Mark and I had agreed when we bought this house that I would at least work until the birth of our second child (he claims I promised him this as a condition of buying this house, I say that never happened.)  We had a babysitter picked out and were set to go...but then we had Karter. 

As I've stated before, Karter was a tad bit fussy and disliked hated sleep.  Even though my family had been coming over almost ever day since he was born, he would cry for anyone but me.  He would only nap on my chest (sometimes other people's.)  This was not conducive for leaving him with a babysitter.  Then, when I went over to meet with our babysitter, she revealed that she had agreed to watch 5 kids under the age of 2, which isn't even allowed in the state of Ohio.  My stomach was in knots after this visit and I didn't know what to do.  Did I give birth to my son only to leave him with someone who couldn't love him like I could and to know he was crying all day?  After some long discussions and budget reviews, Mark and I decided I would stay home.

I struggled with this decision, because, as much as I wanted to stay home, I was afraid I would lose some sort of value by not working.  Mark has never ever made me feel this way, but I was afraid that I would be thought of us dead weight, or something.  I know that just because I don't receive a paycheck doesn't mean that I'm not working.  Being a mom is the hardest job that I have ever had.

So anyway, today was just one of those days where I felt so blessed to be able to stay at home with Karter.  It is so worth any financial sacrifice because time is something I can never get back and memories are far more valuable than another knick knack for the house.  I mean, do I really need new clothes when my biggest fashion decision of the day is "which pair of sweatpants should I wear?"

One day he won't need me, and maybe then, I'll go back to work.  Until then, I can't wait for another day soaking up some Vitamin D next to cutest baby on the block (or State Route, in my case.) 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Socks In My Pocket

Not to go all Captain Obvious on you or anything,  but I've been a mom now for almost the last 7 months (17 if you count baby in my belly time), but today, I really felt like a mom. Why?  Because when we got home from our small group tonight I had to remember to take the baby socks out of the pocket of my cardigan.  My little munch takes them off like it's his job, seriously, sometimes he is taking them off while you are still putting them on.  Anyway, reaching down and feeling those socks in my pocket, I realized that this is real, I'm a mom. I am responsible for another human being, and more importantly his socks.

Sometimes I can't even believe how old I am.  28.  When I was 13, 28 seemed old, really old.  Now that I am here, I still feel like I am 13.  I look in the mirror and think "this isn't what I thought being 28 looks like."  There are times when I feel like I am a kid raising a kid (I don't know how those Teen Moms do it), but then I have to remind myself that really I am an educated well-rounded (I think) adult.  When did that happen?  I feel like I am so used to being someone's child it's weird to think that I am now someone's mother.  Weird, that is, until I felt those socks in my pocket.

Today, feeling those socks, I didn't feel so 13ish anymore.  Today I felt like a real mom, cool and collected and finally getting this mom thing under control.  I'd say I've been a great mother to Karter over these last 7 months, not to toot my own horn (but I'm going to anyway), but I finally feel like I know what I am doing.  I don't have everything figured out, but now I've gotten to the point where I've realized that's okay and no mother has it all figured out (and if they do, I don't like them.)

There will always be obstacles and things I don't understand about motherhood.  But for today, I've got those socks in my pocket, and for now, that's enough.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Giving Them Back

I've heard people say time and time again that it's so great to be a grandparent because you can "give them back" to the parents.  Who knows, maybe in 30 years (it better not be 16!) I will feel this same way.  But for right now, I am so happy that I don't have to give my baby back to someone.

This morning as we were completing the production that is getting dressed, I just looked at him and realized how happy I was that I get to wake up to that face every morning (even if it is at 6:30am-which is earlier than I got up when I was working, FYI) and get to be the last face he sees at night.  I am so blessed to be his mother, and I wouldn't trade one day of it for anything. 

There are days that I want to crawl into a hole as he fights another nap, but that's okay, because the rest of the day full of kisses and laughs and reaching new milestones makes up for it.  Not every day is perfect or memorable, but it's another day that I get to spend with him,and I'm okay with it being just that. 

I am sure when I am a grandparent and reflect on the years I was a sweatpant-wearing-crazy-haired mom, I'll realize the blessing it is to be able to enjoy my grandchildren but give them back to my children so that I can relish in the joy of an uninterrupted night of sleep.  As for now, though, I am totally okay with Karter's grandparents "giving him back" to me, because quite frankly, when I'm away from him, I can't wait to get him back.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stopping Time

I'm thinking about taking the batteries out of all my clocks.  Not because I'm becoming Amish (ok, so I really don't know, maybe they use batteries) but because Karter keeps growing and I can't make him stop.  So I'm going to extremes and stopping time myself.  Unfortunately, this will only cause us to constantly be late for things and won't help my baby from growing up.

Over the past 6 months he's been learning new things and it almost seems sometimes that he learns something new each day.  Lately, this has seemed to be on overdrive.  The other day, I was feeding him some fruit-veggie combo and he insisted on holding the spoon and feed himself (the doctor told me he wouldn't be able to do this...she should probably come here during meal time.)  When he does this, he makes a terrible mess and I'm constantly picking bananas and squash out of his hair and ears.  Well, on this occasion, after squeezing the food on the spoon all over his hand on the way to his mouth, he then took the spoon and scooped off the food on his hand and put the spoon back in his mouth.  A boy after his father's heart (not wanting to waste, that is!)  I was so amazed that he had the coordination and thought to this do this (I'm choosing to believe it wasn't a fluke!)

Then, today, I feel like he aged at least a month in the course of 12 hours.  While at church, he started waving to the lady sitting behind us who was waving at him (when he wasn't busy trying to rip the pages of my brother's Bible and stealing his pen.)  It wasn't a perfect was more of a repetitive karate chop but it was adorable nonetheless.  We came home and waved to him and he did it again.  Later on in the evening, Mark was holding him and he started spitting.  Mark and I laughed at this, which I'm sure will come back to haunt us (especially when there's food mixed in with that spit), but it's amazing how alert he is now and able to interact with his environment.  What happened to that 8 pound baby that I brought home from the hospital just 6 months ago??

Sometimes I just look through all the pictures on my phone that I have taken since his birth and I can't believe at how much he has changed.  I don't even remember that baby that in those photos...I just can't imagine that he was ever that small...and it was only 6 months ago!  It's scary to think how fast the next 18 years of his life will go when these 6 months have sped by.

Which reminds me...I have some clocks to de-battery...