Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Biannual Blog Post

Tap, tap...

Is this thing on?

Oh, folks!

My days of not-ever-blogging are coming to an end. I'm sure you'd LOVE to hear my list of excuses, which include no internet, no computer, and no time, but I'll spare you. I'm getting those things back, one by one. My blog WILL rise from the ashes again!

So, what should I talk about?

The closing for our new house was delayed and deLAYED. It was quite contentious, to be honest. But when Brian wanted to throw in the towel, it was with great tears and supplication that I convinced him NO other house would do. And now we are three happy clams in our new home, having been there almost two months. Actually, make that four clams - Bo is thrilled to be living in the country again. He often escapes to explore and returns with BRANCHES of burrs clinging to his fur. Having a slightly more needy dependent now (Will!), Bo sometimes must wait for his bath and grooming before he can come in the house. It's quite a sight to see him sit proudly at the top of our hill, surveying his vast domain, nearly camouflaged in mud and foliage.

William is wonderful and absolutely the light of our lives. I have zero complaints about him. My only gripes near the end of the day come from misgivings about myself. If only I had more energy! Was more creative! Was more patient! Had more time to explore his world with him! He is learning at an amazing rate. His vocabulary is expanding at a new word - or more - each day. My mom said recently, "He loves growing up!" It seems true. He loves learning, showing off what he knows, and being excited about all the things he can explore. The bulk of his language is still baby babble, which is devastatingly cute. I love having people over to admire him with me. Sometimes I feel guilty that these precious things become commonplace in my day-to-day. My biggest struggle lately has been feeling guilty when I'm playing with him and NOT doing housework, and also feeling guilty when I'm doing housework and NOT playing with him. Naptimes, thankfully, are pretty much guilt-free. Maybe that's why I love them so much.

We're still using our cloth diapers! I used to use them exclusively, even when we traveled. I'd bring a huge bag of clean diapers and take home a huge bag of dirties. It may surprise you to learn that Brian, who is a minimalist packer, did NOT love this. So we now travel with disposables. And since I therefore have disposables on hand at home, I will occasionally pop one on him if, say, I have no night-time pockets stuffed in the middle of the night and he needs a change, or if we're in the middle of moving and I don't want to bother with laundry. I've heard people complain that pockets begin leaking in the night when the child becomes more of a heavy wetter, which may start happening soon. In that case, I may either try wool covers and fitteds, or (more likely) put a disposable on him at night.

All that to lead into this: when Will was exclusively breastfeeding, cloth diapering was NOTHING. No rinsing the poops, just put them into a wet bag and throw 'em in the wash. When he graduated slowly to solids, it remained quite easy since all his poops were turds. NOW, however, he is on the fast track to potty training because Cloth Diaper #2's are The Daily Ordeal. Let's just say that my son LOVES fruit, and lots of it, and has not pooped a hard turd since January. Poopy diaper changes involve clothing changes, baths, rubber gloves, holding-of-breath, repeated toilet flushings, Lysol disinfectant wipes (for the bathroom... not for Will), antibacterial soap, and about twenty minutes. I'm not sure if a diaper sprayer would help. I'm guessing probably not. So I'm very, very vigilant about trying to catch his poops. About half the time, I do, and I sit behind Will on the toilet and we look at books and he goes in the toilet and NOT in his diaper, and LET ME TELL YOU WHAT - it is literally the biggest reward of my day. No one in my household understands why my face is beaming with glory when he's done going poo-poo in the potty. No one but me.

Last night, Will was unexplainedly awake at 3:30 and would not go back to sleep. I have been staying at my parents' house for the weekend, since Brian is in Montana for a hunting trip, so crying it out for an extended period of time was not really an option (I mean, these people have to be somewhere in the morning! I don't!). So I took him out of his crib, went downstairs, fed him a snack, changed his diaper, read him a book, and made him lay down with me on the couch. He was tickled pink to be laying down with mama... so tickled, in fact, that sleeping was the last thing on his mind. He preferred at that point to repeatedly stick his finger in my eye, saying, "eyes!", calling to Bo, and smushing my lips with his hand in an attempt to make me blow raspberries into his palm. These things are cute as I look back on them, but at - then - 4:45 am, they were met very dryly: "No, Will. Lay down, Will." It occurred to me during this that being a mom can be hard BECAUSE it aims to literally squeeze the selfishness out of you, little by little. It hurts to have the selfishness squeezed out. And so sometimes, being a mom is hard. I'm trying to embrace this. I'm trying to remember that I WANT my selfishness to be squeezed out. He eventually fell fast asleep beside me, and when I carried his limp, 28-pound body back up the stairs, my heart exploded with cuteness. Take that, selfishness.

My English teacher in high school made a comment to our class once, in passing: she said, "You all still have so much to look forward to - getting married, having children..." her voice trailed off at that point and she seemed a bit sad. That sunk into my mind, and I determined to enjoy those things that were, at that point, still ahead of me. I've gotten married, and now my family is growing. I will determine in my heart to enjoy this, to enjoy the tiredness and the work and the tedium and to grasp the moments throughout the day that make it so worthwhile. I have a long way to go before I serve the Lord and my family with joy. Right now I pretty much serve the Lord and my family with sometimes-joy and sometimes-an-air-of-martyrdom. But if God can make a way in the wilderness, he certainly can make me into whom he's called me to be. Right?

Until we meet again,