Friday, February 26, 2010

Motherhood Explained

I will jump right in and start with describing a normal day as a Stay At Home Mommy (SAHM).
I will start with bedtime because it makes more sense that way.

Around 7-7:45pm I give Gage his last bottle of the evening and can usually successfully put him down to sleep. This is after 2 hours of general fussiness if he decided that an afternoon nap didn't interest him that day.

We eat dinner, which is rarely anything fancy these days, and Curtis gets the short end of the stick sometimes. We've gotten into a routine where we trade off entertaining Grumpy while we tag team cooking dinner. And by cooking, it could mean I start cooking hamburger meat for some pre-boxed dinner, and Curtis tends to it while it finishes browning, and we mix in whatever pasta or sauce or flavor packet he picked out. Or it could be my dear friend, Stouffer's and one of their many lovely frozen family meals - lasagna, sesame chicken, etc. Occasionally Curtis votes to order some take out and goes and picks up dinner.
Lately, Gage has been waking up around 10pm and being a little fussy, so I put him in bed next to me to get him to go back to sleep.
Between 4am-6am: Gage wakes up to have breakfast. The two hour time frame depends on when he went to bed the night before. He will usually go back to sleep til 7:30 or so.

7:30am-8:15am: Gage is ready to start his day. He is in a great mood, and we play and giggle til he starts getting annoyed by me.

Around 9am he eats

9:15-9:45am: We go to the bedrooom to cuddle and settle down for a morning nap. This is only a NEWLY LEARNED idea. Naps go from 45 minutes to a blessed 2 hours.

And, then he eats again.

And, we can hang out and stuff, but he's constantly needing entertainment. He might take an afternoon nap. We are working on the naps. He's grumpy when he doesnt nap. Which, is exactly why I am staying home. I want him to be engaged and stimulated. I read books, I play and sing and talk. It's very rewarding.

Conversely, I remember nothing important. I rarely see adults. I think I might chunk a bottle at the wall when I am at my wits end. I don't get to shower every day. And, the other day, I didn't even remember to brush my teeth that morning. My problem solving skills left with the pleasure of sleeping through the night. I get poop and spit up on my clothes. I went 3 months without mopping all the floors in my house. I squeeze in some coffee after the first cheery morning wake up, and I might eat lunch by 3pm. Laundry gets washed, and sometimes folded, but rarely hung up. I have days (sometimes 3 or 4 in a row) that I can say are "bad days". Days when the tiredness catches up, the constant 24/7 job of Mommy wears my patience thin.

Motherhood has driven me closer to my Lord. It's like a death row inmate finding religion. You realize you can't face it alone. And, not that I am ALONE. We have family that watches Gage if we need it. Of course, you can't take advantage of them! I started taking him to Mother's Day Out for socialization (ok, really for my sanity). Most importantly, I obviously have my wonderful, supportive, helpful husband.

It's not to say this is easy. It's not to say that it's not rewarding. Absolutely nothing can prepare you for this. And, I think if anyone could accurately portray and explain what being a parent is like, no one would do it. It SOUNDS hard. It IS hard. But, damn, it's awesome.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010

Well, I rarely have time to write these days. And, I obviously rarely found time to write through the end of my pregnancy. But, as part of a renewed commitment to becoming a better Christian and wife, I felt led to share more. God is glorified in our sharing His good work. "I will remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord." (Psalm 27:13) And, "He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it." (Philippians 1:6)
Gage Parker Avary was born at 11:45pm on December 8, 2009. He's 10 weeks this Tuesday. It's been a whirlwind. In the past year, I went from trying to pursue a career in Staffing, finally getting that promotion I thought I wanted to being a stay at home mommy and having the most fulfilling life. I knew a few years ago, when I decided to leave college that I really wanted to be a wife and mom, more than anything. I also knew that my love for writing could best be pursued while my babies were growing, and I was home with them.
Being a stay at home mom is crazy awesome, but it can be a challenge as well. I have to remember to keep myself connected with other people, other women especially. I have to remember not to let Gage run my life. I have to remember to be a wife to Curtis first, and take care of him as well. Curtis takes such good care of me and Gage. He works so hard. Harder than I've seen anyone work most days! But, he loves it as much as he hates it. I know he takes pride in being able to provide for us, but I know he's stressed about being the sole provider as well.
I hear the munchkin waking up from his nap...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Gage -Two Months Old

Gage: Two Months Old Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 9:54pm
This past month has held a lot of new moments for you. You have gotten a personality in the past few weeks. You smile and coo and make baby babble sounds. You like to lay on your play mat and look at your handsome baby face in the mirror. I prop you up and make sounds at you, and sometimes you'll echo back and we will go back and forth a few rounds. You rolled over on your 7 week birthday, but that's the only time it's happened. So, I know it's only a matter of time til you're going to college.
This baby stage is the hardest. You've had some colic-y evenings and it's been hard on me and your dad. You scream and scream and usually only a bath will do in keeping you calm. But, it occurred to me tonight that you're entitled to freaking out occasionally. I admit this outside world is not nearly as easy as the place you came from. Tonight, I gave you a bath, but you got tired of it, and decided it no longer pleased Sire and Sire wished to have something else to amuse him. So, I tried to give you a bottle. But, to no avail. So, I ended up sitting in the bathroom next to the bathtub feeding you a bottle while I let the cold water run. The sounds calmed you down enough to eat. And, then, lo and behold, you were sleepy. And then you weren't. Talk about going a few rounds...
Daddy needed a haircut, and you were happy so I laid you down in your bed, thinking you'd hang tight til I was done. But, guess what? YOU FELL ASLEEP. ALL BY YOURSELF. And, then I scared the crap out of your dad when he was leaving the closet getting his shoes because I was so excited to tell him that YOU FELL ASLEEP. ALL BY YOURSELF. And right now, you're asleep. Because I am actually writing you a day before you're two months old. I figured I should take the chance while I had it.
You've met a lot of new people this month. Mostly all the women who were waiting to meet you since you were born. Your dad and I haven't been much fun this past month. We've gotten to see our friends once. We have been able to take you places though. I went to the grocery store with you and you slept the whole time, and then slept another whole hour once we got home. We went to the mall to shop and you were so good, sleeping and looking around. People seem fascinated to look at you. I guess I never noticed how much people notice babies. Even other kids notice you. It's cool to see toddlers peeking at you, like kids know something. You met Gus and Emmerson this week too. Gus hugged you and it made me think that I was pretty sure you needed to be a big brother. Of course, that means having another baby, and right now, Mommy isn't loony tunes. So, you'll be waiting a while on that one.
Your smile and baby laughs make the colic moments liveable. We joke how nice it must be to be a baby. You get fed and changed, and you have a good looking woman who is your personal nose and butt cleaner. I think you've got it made. But, really, I guess it's hard being so new to everything. And, not being able to help yourself or defend yourself - not that you've needed defending. But, really, life is so new to you and you don't know the first thing about handling it. That's hard when I think about it. And, when I look like I'm about to lose my cool, I am reminded that I am thankful I have a crying baby to hold and comfort. Because not everyone gets that in life.
I look back each time I have written you, and the same things come to mind.
1. I don't know how we survived it.
2. You amaze me every single day.
3. No one and nothing could have prepared me for this.
4. I love you in a way that has infected every fiber of my being, and I would lay down my life every second for you.
5. You've made the bond and love between your dad and I stronger.
6. You're absolutely, positively a miracle.

This next nonth, I am hoping you'll grow out of the colic. But, like daddy says to you: "We love you even when you're noisy."

Love, Mommy