Monday, November 17, 2014

Restoration for the Weary Mom of Two Under Two

Parenting is awesome, but it is tiring. My head and shoulders, knees and toes, eyes and ears and mouth and nose are weary. I am counting down the days until my sweet baby starts waking up only once a night and develops some sort of moderately predictable eating and sleeping schedule during the day. Too bad I have no idea how many weeks to count down! 

In the meantime, I have found a few activities that restore me. So, if you ever find yourself the mom of two under two years of age, try any of the following. I've done them all at least once in the past couple of weeks.

Take a shower.

Brush your teeth and brush your hair.

Lie in a grassy field in the sun.

Go for a long walk.

Eat M&Ms.

Take a nap.

Get a back scratch from your husband.


Pick up a couple of new clothing items that flatter your not quite back to normal body.

Read a few pages of a good book.

Do your hair.

Do your hair and put on some makeup.

Get your toddler belly laughing.

Write. In a journal, on your computer, on your blog, on a napkin. Whatever. Just process.

Tell other parents how exhausted you are. You should get nothing but sympathy.

Tell God how exhausted you are. You will get nothing but sympathy.

Snuggle your sleeping baby, memorize her smell, feel her little breaths, and remember that this won't last for long.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cora - Two Months Old

Well, people, we've got a two month old in the house!

Cora is sweet and mellow and growing like a weed. Babies are supposed to double their birth weight in six months. My nursing champion is on track to double hers before she's three months old. She is also surprisingly strong. She can hold her head steady while upright and she can bear most of her weight on her legs.

Cora's favorite things so far include...

  • Soaking in the world with her gigantic, alert eyes. She especially likes cooing at and staring at Michael.
  • Eating. She does it all day long and twice most nights. I was relieved to find out how much weight she's gaining. All the nursing is paying off!
  • Spitting up. I remember Grace spitting up pretty profusely, but I feel like Cora might one up her on that front - before feedings, during feedings, after feedings, chunky, dribbly, projectile... she's mastered it all.
  • Smashing her face into something to fall asleep. During the third trimester, the ultrasound tech couldn't get a good picture of Cora's face because it was buried into the wall of my uterus. Now that she's out of the womb, she still likes to bury her face into my arm, my chest, the side of her swing, or anything else that's not SIDS-proof to fall asleep.

When Cora was born, Grace pronounced Cora's name "Caca" which means "poop" in Spanish. Now she calls her "Caya" which means "trash" in Thai. Despite these awful names, she has adjusted surprisingly well to being a big sister. She very sweetly tries to share her sippy cups and toys with caca/caya and she kisses her before going to bed. It's been awesome to watch their budding sibling relationship.

Each child is an incredible, precious gift. We are so grateful to have Cora in our family. I'm really looking forward to uncovering more of who she is over the upcoming months!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Things I Learned in October

It's fall!

Here are a few things I learned this past month...

There are gobs of good books available on Amazon for Kindle for FREE! Most of these books are classics, which is perfect because I usually prefer a book that has stood the test of time over a current bestseller. I'm going to be working through this list for years.

The book, Les Misérables, is not only readable, it is excellent. Ever since watching the movie almost two years ago, I've been wanting to read Les Mis, but I've been intimidated by its massive size. Since it's free for Kindle, I dove in a week ago and I'm hooked.

My husband enjoys classic books too. When he saw the list of free ebooks, he asked if I recommended any. I told him that The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde was an addicting read. He read it, loved it, and moved onto another one of Robert Louis Stevenson's most famous novels, Treaure Island. He says it's even better than Jekyll and Hyde. I have book envy.

If you take a branch off of a tomato plant, stick it in the ground, and water it, you can grow a whole new tomato plant. Here's Grace with the new plant.

Sleep deprivation is just as hard the second time around. Sleep dep reveals the worst in me - I get cranky and emotional and I can't deal with anything. My sleep dep reveals the best in Michael - he is patient and gracious and ever-loving. Where did I find him?!

Going for a walk is an almost acceptable alternative to caffeine. I normally have a cup of hot, black tea every morning. While nursing Grace, I noticed no difference in her napping habits based off of my caffeine consumption, so I kept up my habit. With Cora, a simple cup of tea can mess up her napping for hours, so I've reluctantly given it up. In giving up caffeine, I've found that a thirty minute walk can perk me up almost as well. Though you can be sure that when I'm done nursing, the first thing I will do is drink a cup of tea.

While words tell me, art moves me. Over the past weeks, I've come across multiple forms of art on the theme of being welcomed by God despite my mess. I've been a follower of Jesus for over two decades, so it is a very familiar message, but I feel the art speaking to me in deeper ways than I've ever felt this message conveyed. Thank God for poetry, paintings, parables, artful prose, and literature. 

The poem is George Herbert's Love (III).
The artful prose is Nouwen's The Return of the Prodigal Son writing about Rembrandt's painting by the same name, both based off of Jesus' parable of the prodigal son.
The literature is Les Misérables, specifically the scene involving the Bishop and his silver.

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