Thursday, September 24, 2009

Knowing

I do not have a lot of experience with babies other than the Barking one. I just haven't really been around many babies. I have 4 nieces, ages 14 to a-couple-month-shy-of-3, but when most of them were born I was not ready for my own babies yet, so my interest in them was centered on cuddling and playing. I really didn't pay attention to the rest of it. And they were all born in a different city, so I wasn't around for the nitty-gritty of the newborn days. I didn't get to observe it, think of questions to ask, and essentially be taught how to care for an infant.

The summer after my sophomore year of college I worked at a Christian conference center in Glorieta, New Mexico. I participated in a discipleship program that required us to work at the conference center, so I applied to work in the nursery, thinking it would be educational for me to spend some time with babies and learn a little about them. Instead I was placed in housekeeping. Apparently they did not want me practicing on their babies.

In nursing school, I had a Labor and Delivery rotation. I swear if I had been married I would have gotten pregnant that semester. You'd think that an unmarried (and celibate) 21-year-old watching a natural birth would be very effective birth control, but it had the opposite effect on me. I knew I had witnessed a miracle. And when I was standing in that hospital nursery surrounded by newborn babies that I was allowed to and also too afraid to touch, my uterus started to bloom.

When I turned 25, something clicked and all the sudden my ovaries were aching. I felt ready to have a baby, like now. J and I had been married 2 1/2 years and the only serious discourse we'd had on procreation was that we wanted to wait and enjoy our first years of marriage. Right around this time we were approached and felt lead by the Lord to start a community group at our church to plan a short-term mission trip to South Africa the following year. Our best friends were pregnant with their first, and I vicariously enjoyed her pregnancy and birth while we planned for South Africa. I knew God was saying, "Wait for it, waaaait for it.....".

Little C was born and I got my first real close-up view of a newborn baby, and what life was like when these mysterious creatures entered your home. I got to hear real details about registering, nesting, birthing, diapering, and sleep deprivation, and though I had probably heard some of it before, suddenly it was so relevant to me! I was allowed to hold the 8 little pounds of him all by myself while his mommy napped and I started to think, "I can do this." Trying when we got home from South Africa slowly became more of a reality and less of a fantasy to me.

Once we were pregnant with BB I knew there was no turning back. We were going to have a baby. That would turn into a child. That would turn into an adult. That would forever be deeply impacted by days that he would never consciously remember, days that I would be responsible for instilling love and value and security in, armed only with the folklore-ish "motherly instincts" that were supposed to kick in and a bunch of books by a bunch of strangers that had never met me or my baby (And my mom on speed-dial, of course). I prepared the only way I knew how, by trying to find the perfect baby equipment and perfect bottles and decorating the nursery (for the baby, of course, because he would be so aware of his room decorations :) ), and every time we stepped into Babies R Us I was reminded of how little I knew.

As it turns out, BB doesn't care what stroller I picked, or whether I use the cloth diapers the way they are supposed to be used (I don't). Turns out he doesn't care how little I know about babies. None of that affects whether he will smile, turn his head a little shyly and do one long blink when I'm putting him down for a nap, which is BB for "I love you". Turns out I don't need to know all about babies, because I know him. Turns out that the overflowing amount of love I feel for him is what he cares about. I never knew I could feel this way. I just love him to teeny-tiny pieces and then back to whole again. And I'm okay with not knowing exactly how this mothering thing works. I'm learning as I go. The Lord has said that I am the perfect mommy for BB, and I am thankful for this honor. And now I get to see this everday:



And for all of you Mommys-to-be out there who don't know anything about babies, I am comforted by 2 Peter 1:3: "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." The Lord gives me everything I need for life and godliness when I seek to know Him. Everything for life?!? I guess that includes mommyhood.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Places to Go, People to See

Our Barking Baby has been very busy - last week he traveled all the way up to Washington to meet his cousins and uncle and to see his Auntie Jen again. His time in Washington was spent smiling at his cousins, listening to them argue about who's turn it was to hold him, watching Cousin A play soccer and Cousin M get a stripe on her Taekwondo belt, cuddling with his Auntie and Uncle, getting sniffed by Koko and Simon (the canines), acquiring his very first diaper rash (interesting as this is the first time he has been in disposables for an extended period of time), and pooping all over mommy at their church (oh the moment before you look down when you feel the warmth, the dreaded warmth...). What a fun trip! We even snuck in some family photos!

It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's BB in the sky!


Yes, if you were looking skyward last week, you might have seen our Barking Baby soaring high above! He was on his way Northwest to see his Auntie Jen again and meet his Uncle A and cousins M + A.
Here are way too many pictures of this exciting event!

I think this was so exciting because I didn't fly on a plane until I was 16! So I am pretty proud of BB's aero-achievements at such an early age. Actually, my first flight was to the same place to visit the same people! Several people commented on how good BB was after one of the flights - J and I are super-grateful for such an adaptable little super-boy.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hostage

Some things our camera was holding hostage:
Several photo shoots:




A visit with his Gigi - he has never smiled for anyone as much as his Gigi


And a new hat! BB started using a British accent immediately after this photo was taken:





Friday, September 4, 2009

Save Money and the Environment!

If you are interested in saving money and/or natural cleaning products for a safer home for your family follow this link!

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2009/09/natural-housecleaning-carnival.html

If you poke around this blog a little more, you can even find recipes for homemade toiletry items (like shampoo!).

Baby is a Rolling Stone

video

Just this morning!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Equations for life

Pinkeye = laundry
in fact, babies = laundry and
pinkeye + babies = even more laundry

Oh, and
less dessert = less pounds
(yay!)

Evidence of Fun

first day at Auntie Seenie's



Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy 3 Month Birthday BB

BB turned 3 months old yesterday! According to Happiest Baby on the Block, he is now ready to be born (whew, what a relief! :) ). BB's 3-month achievements include:
-being able to actually direct his hand into his mouth, which just started in the last 10 days or so, and boy does he enjoy it!
-sucking on anything his mouth comes in contact with: his swaddle blanket, his clothes, mom or dad's shirt, etc.
-lots of drool and spit bubbles (in the last week or so) (And yes, I know what all you veteran mommies out there are thinking, that some of these may be signs of (ominous music here)...the dreaded teething, but there are no signs of any tooth sprouts yet)
-smiles for people other than those who created him
-learning that the bath tub can be fun when you kick

Mommy's achievements on BB's 3-month birthday include:
-becoming a working mom

Yes, hi ho, hi ho, off to work I had to go. BB decided to be supportive by wearing his scrub top too:

I think it will take some time to adjust to this new routine, but I was thankful that BB was very smiley (after a very sleepy morning) at his Auntie Seenie's house with his cousins who read him books and played with him, and also that after 3 months off, I had no problems remembering how to be a nurse. It was amazing how tiny he felt after a whole day away from him!