Thursday, April 29, 2010

End of an Era

In less than 3 short months, Henry will be a one year old toddler, likely walking around and saying his first words. I will be entering into a new era in my life. A baby-less era. I will be done being pregnant, done nursing a babe, done with infant clothes, done with multiple night feedings, and done with squeezing little baby booties. Forever. It's kind of sad and happy at the same time.

Our decision to be done and satisfied with 5 children has left me feeling odd. I almost don't know what to do with myself without a babe in arms. It seems that my identity for the last 9 years has included being pregnant or nursing. Maternity clothes still hang in my closet, my nightgown has clips on the straps so I can nurse in the middle of the night with ease, and let's just say my under-garments are not those of the fancy boutique kind. I have worn the same outfits over and over, seeing as I've always anticipated large fluctuations in weight. I've attached myself to neck fat and love handles as if they were family. And I've resigned myself to being tired and exhausted always, as if I'm a "functioning lack-of-sleep-aholic."

But now I'm reaching the light at the end of a very long tunnel. A large part of my parenting journey will have passed, and I will be on to new and bigger things. It is bittersweet. No longer will I be someone's favored person. No longer will I be the sole source of nourishment and comfort. I won't be the only one to decipher different cries and new words. I won't be witnessing the miracle that is the beginning of life. And, of course, the first smile, the first laugh, the first discovery of toes, the first sound, the first word, and the first step.

I gotta say, though, there are many things I won't miss about the baby stage. I won't miss the runny poops 4 times a day, the inability to stay on a project for more than 2 hours at a time, the crying as the only means of communication (from baby, not me), the lack of energy and time for exercise, the odor of poop and pee following me everywhere, and the moodiness that comes with nursing (from me, not baby).

So I have resolved to cherish these next 3 months and enjoy my baby boy. I'll enjoy the baby elbows, the toothless grin, the smashing of food on the high chair, the beginnings of sibling bonds, the belly laughs when I kiss his tummy, the splashing in the inflatable bathtub, the teeny toenails, the teeny toes, the first teeth, the fuzzy hair, the cute outfits, the first shoes, the delighted squeals, the first dancing, the napping schedules, the little squeezes, the open mouthed and slobbery kisses, and so much more that I can't think of now.

Because next comes the tween stage, with the funky teeth and the first chapter books. Then comes the junior high stage, where they will start breaking off and developing their own person. Then the teen stage, where they will physically mutate and the training ends and the practicing of adulthood begins. And then they will be adults and out of my home. I'll have to give them away to someone else. They will start their own phases of marriage and parenting. I will officially become a retired professional mother.

Time goes by so quickly. I think I'll savor every moment as best I can. Every day is a day I'll never get back.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Happy Sad Tale of a Housewife

In the last couple of weeks I attacked the weeds in the backyard in preparation for the Rosendale Dream Backyard. I have been obsessing, shopping around, pricing things out and planning our backyard. I have so far succeeded in de-weeding almost the whole yard and hoeing the side yard so the kids can plant their vegetable seeds. I have also lost a couple pounds and strengthened my hips and back in the process. Win-win.

But, there is a down-side to all this awsomeness. And that is: the inside of the house. While I am outside reveling in` the awesome smell of fresh dirt, the satisfying sound of a stubborn root coming out of the ground, the production of Vitamin D as I soak up the sun, a demon comes into my home. The messy demon that comes in and leaves brownie trails, dried mud paths, piles of tiny Lego pieces, dirty laundry, clean laundry, and whatever else he might have a mind to mess up. He allies himself with the dust bunnies, cobwebs, sticky drippings, stray pencils, dirty cloth diapers and sometimes the three year old girl. He attacks when the war front on his side is left unguarded. I can't wage war on the weeds and on the messy demon at the same time. I just don't have enough man-power. Literally.

*sigh. I guess that will just have to be life as I know it. I cannot put all my resources into war on both sides. I will have victory in my backyard and rest in the knowledge that I will live to fight another day. Until then, messy demon: You Win. For Now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Watching Your High Child

Today I witnessed my first tooth extraction as a mother. Well, I didn't see the actual extraction but I watched most of the prep. It was Lela who had the procedure done on an extra tooth growing behind her front teeth. I'm glad she was the one for my first experience because of all the children, she's the calmest and most mature when it comes to medical/dental procedures.

So I woke her up this morning at 7:30, just in time for us to leave for her appointment at 8. We got there just a bit late, and then it took about 20 minutes to get the payment and billing squared away (more on that later). . .We were in the waiting room for a bit before they took us to the prep room. I asked Lela if she was nervous, and she said, "A little" but with a smile on her face. She was more nervous about the shots. I explained to her that she would be asleep when they gave her the 3 shots on her lip. She didn't quite understand.

So the first thing they did was let her pick out a movie. She picked Shrek. Then, Nurse gave her this orange liquid in those little medicine cups made for meds. I asked what it was, and Nurse gave the real name. I don't remember it, of course, but I do remember its nickname: Happy Juice. My only thought was, "I want some."

Anyway, the Happy Juice started working quickly to relax Lela. It also gave her the giggles, which was the first weird part of the whole experience. I could see in her eyes that she thought her giggles were strange, too. Needless to say, she thought the first 30 minutes of Shrek was hilarious.

Nurse came in as all the fairy tale characters were moving into Shrek's place. We were taken to another room. Instead of feeling nervous and anxious, Lela giggled as she got on the chair and sat on the large cushions. It was chilly, so Nurse gave her a warm blanket. Nurse hooked Lela up to the oxygen, put the blood pressure cuff on, and placed the blood-oxygen monitor-thingy on Lela's finger. Lela was now ready for the shot that would put her out. Another nurse came in, and she led me back to the waiting room. Having had plenty of teeth extracted in my lifetime, I was a little nervous for Lela (but secretly glad it wasn't me, don't tell anyone).

I went next door to Delta of Venus and got myself a Soy Chai and a breakfast burrito with no peppers. I took it back to the waiting room, burnt my tongue and throat with my first sip, and chowed the burrito down. I finished the huge burrito, wishing my drink wasn't so hot so I could wash the onion taste out of my mouth. Shortly after, Nurse came out to get me and there was Lela in a comfy chair, with her comfy blanket and a piece of slightly bloody gauze hanging out of her mouth. Oh, and did I mention that she had crazy nystagmus from being high?

I had to wait 15 minutes while they monitored her blood pressure before taking her home, so my main job was keeping her from falling asleep. So I asked questions, called my husband to let him know we were coming home soon, and kept Lela from getting up. She was very irritated at being dizzy, and it was a little disconcerting to listen to her slurred speech through the gauze. And she kept telling me about how the blinds were right behind me. They were about 4 feet behind me, but apparently she saw them directly behind me. She even tried to kick them, which made me want to bust out in nervous giggles. But being the good mom I am, I kept my composure.

I was already feeling awkward sitting next to my oldest child, who was high as a kite. And to make it worse, she kept looking. . .gaping. . .at me and saying, "You have 4 eyes and 2 mouths".

Finally, we were able to go home. Nurse took the gauze out of her mouth, and thankfully we didn't have to put anymore in. I pulled the car to the door, where another nurse had carried her out. We put Lela in the front seat (don't worry, the airbags turn off) and Lela and I left for home.

The creepiness got worse on the car ride home. I kept glancing at her to make sure she wasn't going to keel over. One of these glances were met with another one of those gaping, open-mouthed looks and she told me as she pointed, "You have one eye here, one eye here, one eye here and one eye here." Her voice was very loud, and very drugged. I glanced at her again and she had them same look with a smile, "Here, here, here, and here." Then, she chuckled.

So that was my first experience watching my child flying high.

PS When Johnny found out how much the procedure was going to cost, he said, "Well, if any of the other kids have problems with their teeth they'll just to have fugly teeth."

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Today I worked on the backyard for 3 hours straight. I can barely move. All 3 of those hours were spent digging and pulling out weeds. I discovered that one of the many weeds out there operates on an extended root network. To say the least it was my greatest foe today. And it reminded me of many things.

These weeds reminded me of the Parable of the Sower, in Matthew 13. These weeds had taken root so far into the soil that I had to dig a foot down to pull them out. And judging by the offshoots and root I left in the holes, the plant would recover and grow again. I thought of how we are to grow in the good soil, ie the Bible, so that we can produce a good crop. Not to mention growing in good soil, you'll have strong roots that grow deep, making the weed strong against enemies who try and dig them out.

The other thing the weed reminded me of was Star Trek. Yes, Star Trek. This type of weed had small baby versions that were hard to pull out. Then I tried digging out a big one, at least 3 feed around, and I saw the roots growing in all directions in the dirt. I felt like I was attacking the queen. Remember that episode in TNG with the bug things that crawled into everyone's ears and took over their brains? And the only way to get rid of them was to kill the queen, who was in one of the admirals at Starfleet Academy. .. .Yeah, I felt like that. So wierd, I know.

Anyway, I had 3 hours to think about this. It was one of the only things I thought about. I'm not sure what that says about me, but there you go.