Monday, December 12, 2011

*tap tap* ahem. is this thing on?

anybody out there? anybody still reading? anybody care?

i love blogging, but my life does not love blogging. when faced with the choice to journal or to blog, i think i need to choose the journal. have i done it yet? no.

maybe i can do both. i'd like to do both. but i also like sleep, the occasional shower, talking to my husband, oh yeah and sleep, so i don't know.

blah blah blah. are you still around?

Monday, December 5, 2011

letters to my girl: month eight.

dear maggie,

what HAVEN'T you done this month?

let's see.

you cut two teeth, just in time for month-day.  those top ones took forever, but they're finally here--and a little bit before christmas, too!

you have learned to stand by yourself, though you're still pretty timid about it. every day you get braver and you stand up for longer.

you have learned how to climb up stairs. you just did it one day and never looked back. we do it a lot at night before you go to bed just to wear you out.

you have lengthened your naps (finally!) into a 2 nap schedule with one solid, decent 1.5 hour nap, in the mornings usually. mama is really happy about this one.

in the last week or so, you have learned to say "mama" and "dada" and know who you're talking about. actually, when you're talking to me, it's more like "MOM!"

you have dealt with some separation anxiety and some sleep stuff.  it's been a tired couple of months that have taught me a lot about prayer and listening to the Spirit. 

you have started eating solids three times a day. 

you are working really hard on your pincer grip--cheerios on your highchair tray now just seem to frustrate you, but with the bananas you know what to do.  it's definitely time for mom to vacuum more often.

you deeply dislike watching youtube videos of babies laughing. it scares the crap out of you, and it was the most scared i've seen you in AGES.  you were better when you were getting shots.  i get it. they sound a little like hysterical hyenas.  but wow. 

you are so much more social. over the past month, i've seen you sort of turn and start to look at the world around you.  you are interested in babies at church--when they are playing somewhere, you want to be there, even if it means you get poked in the eye. you're sort of fearless (though apt to protest) and i think that's amazing.

you really love peaches. 

i am having much more fun with you than i used to, since we can actually play.  you know what a ball is, what a box is, what a book is, and you seem to know what "go go go!" means. 

you can drink out of mommy's water bottle like it's no big deal.

you are a hoot, maggie, and i love you. i wish that you would get this sleep stuff worked out, but as i watch you every day get a little bit stronger and a little bit smarter and understand more about the world around you, i know that it must just be that brain on overload.  one day we'll get it figured out. 

in the meantime, know that you are the best kid i know.  i love your little personality. already, i see loyalty, love, an easygoing nature, a sense of humor, a playful streak, stubbornness, and a bit of a mischievous desire for exploration.  when you start walking, i'm in big trouble.

but i can't wait.


Friday, December 2, 2011

to the mamas.

an open letter to the mamas of the world:

i'm going to mention a few things here that are sure to get some google hits: 4 month sleep regression. 9 month sleep regression. my baby won't sleep in her crib. my baby wakes up more now. why won't my baby sleep?

if you got here that way, let me just say one thing: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. you feel very, very alone right now. you feel scared that something's wrong, that you're not doing the right thing by your baby. you have probably heard a lot about cry it out and self-soothing, about raising your baby to be an independent sleeper and about healthy sleep habits making a healthy child. you've probably heard something about "ferberizing" your child, as if a name could become a verb, and you don't know what to do because your suddenly good/so-so/crappy sleeper has now just taken a wicked turn for the worse. you're bleary eyed. you're confused. if you're like me, you may feel a bit claustrophobic every once in a while from the sheer weight of the need of your baby right now. 

let me repeat this and please hear me. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

you look around at the world, and you seem to see moms who have it all together. they smile about their babies, spouting little anecdotes about new skills: pulling up, bouncing, rolling over, cooing. there's talk of "mama" and "dada" and eating the heck out of a rubber giraffe.  there's solid foods talk and maybe even facebook photo albums of smiling happy babies who are covered in banana goo.

yeah. that's reality.

but nobody talks about the other reality--the reality where moms everywhere are stumbling down the hallways of america to find babies up on hands and knees or standing in cribs, crying for no apparent reason but desperate for mom to come in and save them. nobody posts pictures of mom's ratty hair and schlumpy pajamas in the morning after a night full of repeated wake-ups. nobody coos lovingly about the double-edged sword of mama attachment--that when they wake up, they want you there.

why don't they?

i think because we all thing we're doing it wrong. we all think this isn't normal. no matter how many sleep books we read or how many parents we talk to, we have been engrained with the idea that we're doing it wrong. that there's something to fix. that the way these babies are behaving is inappropriate.

i've only been doing this for a little while now, but i'm inclined to think those attitudes are wrong. 

babies are babies. they're not manipulating you. they have needs.  it may really, really suck that those needs include you being violently sucked from a REM cycle every 2 hours for two weeks while they work on a new skill, and the irony of waking up every few hours to check on them even when they DON'T cry out desperately for you isn't lost on you, but i don't think these things are wrong.

people will disagree with me. people will say that babies are meant to sleep 12 hours a night.  i would say, yes, they are.  but i am not sure that it's good--for us or for them--to expect them to do it consistently, continuously, and like a machine as little ones. 

do they need to learn to put themselves back to sleep? sure. has your baby ever slept a long stretch of time through the night? my guess is, if you're this frustrated, s/he has. 

guess what?

your baby knows how to put him or herself back to sleep. otherwise, you'd be hearing from him/ her every 45 minutes all night long.

check that one off of your mental guilt trip list and move on. that's not the problem.

the problem, if you're like me, is that THERE IS NO GOOD ANSWER.  there is no good answer and instead of supporting each other in the mayhem that can be nighttime parenting, we keep our struggles a secret and we don't talk about them at all for fear that we are seen as either bad parents or complaining parents. 

you are neither. you are human, doing the best you can in tremendously challenging circumstances.  you are not alone.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

knowing that, i hope, will help you feel like it's not you, failing your baby hugely in some way that you can't understand. it's not you.  it's the baby.  it's not that the baby's broken--it's that the baby's GROWING. mama, you're doing everything right.  you know why? because your baby is just growing like crazy and that little brain can't sit still long enough to let the body rest. too many things to see/do/explore/learn.

mama, you're growing a healthy kid.

you may not feel like it. you may feel like your kid is stuck in some sort of horrible rut wherein no act of Congress, no act of God, no act of anything can get that baby to sleep for more than 4 hours at a time (or, in my case, 2 hours at a time) in the crib.

at this point in the developmental circus, you may actually be right.

but listen.


what do you think you should do?

we don't talk about this. we don't talk about the instincts. we don't talk about how we know what to do. we don't talk about how the little voice in our head always whispers quietly what we should do, bringing peace to our homes and hearts as we listen. instead, we desperately google for answers. we desperately look for peace outside, in the words of an "expert" or in the experience of another mom.


you'll know what to do.

and when you don't--just do the best you can. do what seems like the best for everyone.  and pray.  pray hard. pray often. pray always.

not just for baby and sleep and all the things you desperately want (a shower more often than every 3 days, perhaps?), but for yourself. for strength. for grace. for gentleness with yourself.

if you love that baby enough to be this worried, this upset, this stressed out about sleep, you are loving and growing that baby well.  hang on.  HANG ON.

this too shall pass.

in the meantime, know that i, too, am just doing my best. i am sleeping with my baby to get her to rest. i am hugging her lots during the day and trying to pump her full of food and trying to get her to wear herself out with crawling and pushing and pulling up and doing all sorts of fun, energetic things. i'm trying to help her learn by taking her out in the world. 

i am trying.

that's all we can do, mamas. that's all we can do. 

hang on and hold tight.  pray hard and do your best. 

they'll be teenagers before you know it, and you'll never be able to wake them up.  and the irony will hit you even stronger then.  or the memory of this time will fade in favor of gummy, drooly smiles, first words, and first steps. 

hang on.  hold tight.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

grace in the quiet and in the din.

maggie is teething.  two massively huge front top teeth.

it's been tough on all of us, though i certainly can't suggest that it's been any harder on anyone else than her. except for the fact that she gets a lot more sleep than anyone else in this house, but she also doubles her height every year, so there you go. i'm not doing that anymore. that takes energy. so does learning to stand on her own and make sounds that seem like words.

the past few nights, she wakes up a few hours into her night (around the time when we're going to bed) and refuses to sleep in her crib again. she's whining and whimpering and crying in her sleep as we hold her--she's clearly in pain.  meds don't really seem to help much, so we've just stopped because it seemed like she's been getting them for too long and maybe needed a break.

so last night, though resigned to the co-sleeping deal that keeps both of us asleep for more than just an hour or so, i asked brent if he could give her a blessing.  this is a girl who likes her sleep and actually likes her crib.  her sleep has been crazy since the teeth started again and since the crawling and exponential skill development started in earnest and since who knows what all has started, but this is on a whole other level.

so he did. and as he did, he told her that the angels would come and comfort her.  when he said that, a thought came clearly to my mind: "YOU are one of those angels."

i'd been praying earlier about what to do, about whether or not letting her sleep with me was the right thing to do. i don't want to create a monster, a pattern that makes her less apt to sleep on her own.  so as i was holding her, torn and wondering what to do, praying out loud as she slept, surprisingly restfully in my arms, earlier that night, i felt totally unclear about what to do. i had this cacophony of voices in my head: "as long as you don't make it a habit, that works i guess" was one voice, along with every thing i'd read about being consistent and everything else that the experts a few of us moms have accurately dubbed "the sleep nazis" say about babies and sleep. 

in my prayer, i said i just wanted to do what was right for her. whatever it was, i would do it, even if it was hard.  there wasn't a question of "i don't want to sleep with her; i want to sleep in my own bed." quite frankly, if i knew that she would sleep well, i'd sleep standing on my head singing the star spangled banner (you know, if i could).  that wasn't part of this, though i suppose on another night it might have been.

so when i felt that impression come as brent was giving maggie a blessing, it was my answer.

it was a new perspective. i often pray for maggie to be surrounded by angels, to comfort and bless her and keep her safe.  it never once--never ONCE--occurred to me that i might be one of those angels. 


well, beyond the ridiculously flawedness of me, i think it's because i'm here every day. i do things every day.  there's a lot of the mundane in our days. we do the same things. we have a pattern, a routine. sometimes we mix it up with a trip here or there or, on a nice day, a walk in the sunshine. but pretty much we play in the living room, we eat, we sing songs and take naps, we change diapers and we clean faces and the TV is on too much because mommy needs to have some distraction. 

it never occurred to me that in those moments when she needs me--really needs me--that i am the angel that i pray for. 

but a few minutes after the blessing was done, and maggie was now asleep contentedly on her daddy's chest, he whispered: "you're one of those angels, you know."

and i said i did.

and now i do.  a flawed one for sure, but one grateful for the opportunity to comfort her in any way that i can. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

i'm sick to death of grading--been doing it, off and on, all day--so here i am.

i had all of these things that i could have told you, but now i don't remember any of it.


Monday, November 14, 2011


i think i'm growing along with maggie.

somehow, in the last month, i have changed. or perhaps all of the pieces that had been growing in my soul all came together. or perhaps, as i really believe, my body finally reset and i am feeling more myself than i had been in the six months before.

but i'm just...happier. and finding great joy in my daughter rather than worrying so much about everything. naps are what they are.  teething sucks. solid foods are fundamentally and irrepressibly confusing.

she, however, is a joy.  i'm sitting here on the couch, watching her crawl furiously between two stacks of toys, pulling things out of the storage ottoman that i opened for her that is full of random old toys that she doesn't normally see.  she's pulling up on the ottoman, examining things, taking them out, eating them (of course), and then crawling back to toy home base, where the larger stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else hangs out.

she is just adorable. i think my heart just exploded a little bit.

but every day, i find these moments. every day, i find ways to get more things done. she's been going through some serious separation anxiety issues, mostly related, i think, to some big fat front teeth that are pushing through. as my friend saf put it, sometimes you just need your mom.

unfortunately, sometimes that is around 2 am, and she is not inclined to let me go so that she can go back in her crib.  it's been a bit of a struggle, but we're wandering our way through it, groping together in the dark to figure out what to do.

and i think i'm realizing that's mainly what motherhood is.

as i stumbled back to bed at around 330 last night, i told musicboy (who was awake too) that separation anxiety was kicking my butt.  but i didn't say it angrily or resentfully. just stating a fact.

but when i wake up in the morning, still tired and wishing for another hour or even another half an hour, and i hear my chattery baby talking to herself and pulling up and plopping down and enjoying her first moments of awakeness by herself in her dark room, i know we're doing something right.

when she just has so much fun cruising from chair to exersaucer, when she pulls out books and loves to chew on them, when she finds a metal mixing bowl the best toy of all, when she crawls over just to say hi and tell me she's hungry (or i realize that's probably the problem). when she thwacks the doorstop over and over to hear it make that sound, when she giggles at us singing the beginning of "crazy train," when she never seems to get enough of doing the same things over and over. when my voice calms her down as i sing the silly snowman song, when she decides to go to sleep as we're rocking and she nuzzles into the crook of my arm and is out just like that. when she chews on the crib, on the tv stand, on the side of her highchair.

when she does anything and everything.

maybe it's the season. maybe it's figuring out who we are as parents. maybe it's just that maggie is tremendously wonderful.

but our life is good.

Monday, November 7, 2011

letters to my girl: month seven.

dear maggie, or magpie, or maggie girl, or maggie mags, or magaroo, or any other combination of silly names that we've given you,

you are seven months old.

it snuck up on me. it really did. i don't know where the time has gone, though i'm pretty sure a fair bit of it has gone to you.  i don't regret that. not even one tiny bit. in fact, it seems preposterous to me that it would ever be any other way.

you change every day, but the past month has brought the most obvious changes. 

you crawl.

you pull up, on people and objects.

you sit from crawling easily.

you like to crawl under and over things, and you especially like to hang out under your exersaucer like it's a fort.

you're working on your pincer grip. i need to vacuum more often because whatever's on the ground is free reign for your exploring hands.

you talk, though no real words yet. today, it really sounded like you were working on "yeah" or "yay" and, remarkably, you imitated me for several minutes when i talked back to you.

you sometimes seem like you are close to saying mama or dada, and you do say dadadadadadadada as it seems to be one of your favorite consonant sounds.

you are learning what "gentle" is. you are learning fast.

i think you know what "no" means. i wish i said it less. i'm trying.

you love, love, love to be outside. if we go for a walk in your stroller, you are now facing forward, sitting straight up and looking at the world around you. you love it.

you now deeply dislike the changing table. this saddens me, as it used to be the place where we had so much fun. you're just too interested in spinning around and twisting like a pretzel. i have to give you a toy to get you to be still.

you are beginning to hate your car seat too. when we've been out and about, you seem to resent being restrained. i understand it, but we're talking to you about how you may not arch your back but you may protest verbally.  i swear i think you understand.

you still don't really like green beans.


we've had our fair share of sleeping challenges lately. you've done some great things, like learning how to put yourself back to sleep after waking up and yelling out, which is awesome. but you've also had some real trouble sleeping through the night.  this has caused me no end of stress--well, at least, it did at first. i kept thinking i needed to DO something else, to change something we were doing, that somehow we were harming you in someway by comforting you, rocking you, doing whatever we needed to do to help you get back to sleep.  but any time we thought about doing something else, it never felt right, never felt like it was right for you.

so, with your grandma's help, i just decided to trust my instincts. i still struggle with this. case in point: even though we've been through two teeth already, i still doubt the distinctive signs of teething. i doubt the fact that i KNOW that you teethe for a month before they cut.  i doubt the fact that i know that you get a runny nose just a few weeks before it cuts.  i doubt the fact that it interrupts your sleep in strange ways, until i see that distinctive little white line underneath your gum.  but until then, i just keep thinking that you're sick, that you're cranky, blah blah blah.

basically, i doubt myself all the time. and i've been doing it with your sleep. it's been a rough month, but that month was full of things you've learned to do: crawl, pull up, stand in your crib, sit up, etc.  and then there are the mental milestones also: learning language, learning about inside/outside/under/over, learning words and ideas and gaining independence.  so i know that the month began with your sleep being interrupted by that.

and if this wasn't all maddening enough, you'll occasionally give us a night or two in a row that's entirely silent. you sleep like a log, and it reminds me that you can.  those are little gifts, and they tell me that you know what? you really do like to sleep and you really do want to sleep. you just are having some trouble right now.

so i'm trying to listen to my gut when it comes to you.  sometimes it's hard, because this is my first time at the rodeo, but i'm trying really hard. thanks for being patient with me.


you love mango--but it doesn't love you.

you love to spin around. i foresee a 2 year old you in twirly dresses spinning. if you look, you'll find pictures of me spinning and twirling on our wedding day. the apple doesn't fall far.

i love to giggle with you. one afternoon, before your daddy got home, i was giving you kisses. and i started making kissy sounds and saying "kiss" and you started to giggle like it was the coolest thing in the world. and so, of course, i started to laugh because your laugh is entirely infectious.  it was the best thing that has happened in the past few days.  i love those moments.

you think the best thing ever is to pull up on the TV armoire and touch the buttons. you were laughing to yourself about it today.

when i come back from upstairs and you are playing, i always say "hi!" and you always give me the biggest grin. it is the best.

when you are crawling toward us, and we say "hi!" or "come on!" you start to breathe really fast because you're so excited and you crawl faster. it's adorable.

you have started letting strangers interact with you and even hold you (!) and it's awesome. i love watching it, because it tells me that you are secure enough and confident enough in our love for and protection of you that you can explore the world a little bit.  i love it.

i don't know what the next month will bring for us, but i know that you will keep on being a delightful joy. i was looking at the pictures of you when you were so small, just born, with your old man wrinkly forehead and clothes that just didn't fit.  i can hardly believe that you are the same girl, except that you are as beautiful today as you were that day.  your personality is so kind, generous, loving, and observant. you are so smart, and i am so lucky to be your mom.

thanks for teaching me a little more every day why it's important to become like a child if we want to return to Heavenly Father. your wide-eyed embrace of life and your absolute empathetic and total love for us shows me more about what i want to be. thanks for forgiving us our frailties and loving us into our strengths.

we love you more than we can say.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


you've probably noticed that posts have gotten more sporadic around here.

that's because i don't really have any time whatsoever to do this blogging thing.  i used to do it as a sort of procrastinatory move.  but now when maggie is awake, and i'm on the laptop, the only thing she wants to do is pull up and grab at it. so, long thoughtful entries during the day are pretty much out.

and at night, i'm trying to do the work that i can't do during the day or i'm sitting on the couch wishing i had the wherewithal to do anything close to putting a dent in my to-do list.

i'm busy, i guess, is what i'm saying.

lots of stuff going on, lots of which i'd like to talk about/express, but none of which seems blog appropriate, which really tells me that i need to get back to journal writing but please see above situation about lack of time.

i'd like to know how to solve that because i'm feeling increasingly like the early years of my marriage and the early part of maggie's life is only really captured by fleeting facebook status messages--like the fact that maggie was imitating sounds the other day (or so it seemed) and so i said "can you say hi?" and she said "hi dad" and then said, a couple of minutes later, "dada YEAH." which was just hilarious. or the fact that tonight her daddy was tossing her up and around and she was doing the real laugh. not just the baby giggle. like a full on laugh of glee and pure joy. we were laughing too. it was awesome.

so those things seem to slip by me.

or the fact that i have realized something about myself: when i do not get quality sleep, i will break down.  and by break down i mean have some sort of sobfest about something that is just a bit too much to handle. maybe it's the workload. maybe it's maggie's tendency towards fighting naps. maybe it's the fact that i don't have any jeans that fit me. who knows? but it's not crazytown. it's exhaustion. do you know how instructive that is? huge. HUGE. big revelation there.

these are things that might be important to remember someday.

like the fact that our family motto has become "we're gonna make it." and it means so much and is so much deeper than it seems and i love it and sometimes we just say it to each other and some days i have a little internal scoffage like "i don't know how" and sometimes i'm just annoyed to hear it because heyman i'm wallowing here in the fact that i wake up multiple times a night and every dad in america is hardwired to sleep through babies crying but every single time it gets me thinking about the fact that hey. we will make it.  and we will make it together.

that's also good to record.

but in the meantime, i guess i'll just come up for air every once in a while to say "hey guess what happened?" and then i will go back to it because hundreds of papers aren't going to grade themselves and the longer i wait the more there are of them (did someone feed them after midnight? come on.).

but i will say this--i have made a halloween costume for my baby. that's a stinkin' victory right there.


back to it. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

letters to my girl: month six and a half.

dear maggie,

i am two weeks late.

i am sort of glad, because these two weeks have been MONUMENTAL for you, and not a little bit so for me as well.

in the last two weeks, you turned a wormy scoot into a full-on crawl.
in the last two weeks, you decided you could do this sitting independently thing and have rocked it ever since.
in the last two weeks, you have learned how to sit up from crawling. next step, i assume, is sitting up from laying down. of course, i can barely do that, but i imagine your abs are significantly more impressive than mine.
in the last two weeks, most astonishingly, you have learned to pull up on furniture and anything stationary (including people!) and have taken your tentative first steps toward cruising along the furniture.

you are extraordinary. when you do something, you do it big.

you love to blow raspberries, try out consonant sounds, and smile all day long. you've started to giggle at me when i laugh at you. it's reciprocal and it's lovely.

you went to the park for the first time.  you LOVE the swings. today, when we played on a swing, you just giggled the whole time. you just seem to take such great joy in it. i so wish we had a yard so you could have your very own.

you are sitting in shopping carts now, beginning to get a little more at ease with strangers, interested in eating anything and everything, and absolutely loving books. 

you're working on more teeth.  you're waking up a lot more at night, sometimes having real trouble going back to sleep. you're eating solids like a champ, learning to turn the spoon over in your mouth to get the last bits of cereal and banana off of the spoon. i'm so impressed by that. 

so far, you really, really like peas, carrots, banana, oatmeal, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and mango.  apples seem to not agree with you that much, though the jury's out on that.  green beans are not your favorite, but i think you might tolerate them with something else. 

at your new pediatrician, you impressed with great growth: you were 18 pounds, 6 ounces and something like 26.5-27 inches long.  90th percentile all around, and your little head was right on target as well. the doctor gave you a clean bill of health and called your weight great, which was happy for me to hear.

your naps are improving, though only sporadically.  you slept an hour and a half in your bed one morning--it was extraordinary. someday you're going to get those naps worked out. i'm so looking forward to that. i think it will happen for reals when you decide to go from 3 naps to 2.

i love you so much, baby girl. you are so much fun. i knew that you would be, but you really are.  you're learning and growing so quickly that i can hardly keep up. i like watching you grow though. it's like watching you blossom and bloom--it's a gift.  some days we have our moments, especially when you're fussy and i don't know why, but i am trying every day to take great joy in you.  it's not very difficult to do.

i can't wait to see you shine some more, mags.  you are wonderful and we are so grateful to have you.  you already are on your own track and on your own path, and i'm astonished and excited.  i can't imagine what the next month will bring.


Monday, October 10, 2011

i don't like mondays.

does someone know of some completely legal, completely moral way to earn tons of money without having to deal with work?

i'm thinking having a rich relative is really the only way, and by rich relative i mean someone who bequeaths you mass amounts of money. or publisher's clearing house. $5000 a week for the rest of my life would be just fine, thankyouverymuch.

i just have days sometimes when i want to quit all of my jobs and tell all of my students to shove it. 

this is one of those days.

oh how i wish i could just stay home with magpie and that.  not have to do everything else related to my jobs.


i am grateful that i can. in the long run, it makes life SO much easier (and so much less indebted). 

sigh. but today?

i'd like to pitch them all.

(but not really. so, you know, nobody fire me. because i really do like my jobs. i just don't like dealing with them sometimes.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


there's a mellow kind of sadness that comes from realizing that one of the wounds that felt so fresh is now, ever-so-slowly, healing.

maggie had her first visit with her new pediatrician today. it's in the office where i went to see the lactation consultant about, oh, six months ago.  when we came in this morning, there were so many tiny babies there. some were there for two week checkups, but one was there to see the lactation consultant.  5 day old little boy and a mom probably really worried.

she said that he had lost 6 ounces. i told her that was fabulous.  "you must be doing something right!" i said.

i remembered so well that worry--that worry about whether or not you could provide what your baby needed.

not long after, as we were waiting in the room, i heard the lactation consultant weigh that same baby after feeding, just as she had done with me and maggie.  "a little more than an ounce," i heard her say with happiness in her voice.  "is that good?" the mom asked. "for five days? that's wonderful!"

and my heart hurt a little bit, at the same time as i silently cheered that mama.  when we were measured, it wasn't even an ounce.  it was less than a quarter of an ounce. it was not sustaining.

while i was sitting there, i took stock of how i felt. it wasn't the raw, vibrating, resonating pain of failure anymore. it wasn't even the "i should have kept going," though knowing what i do now, i might have made a different decision.  it wasn't the hot regret of what could have been.  it was just...experience.  it was realizing that the finger that you cut a few days ago no longer hurts when you use it. it's knitting together of what used to be separate.

i think i'll always feel that same sense of memory as we go to that same place, though i imagine those memories will begin to be overtaken by memories of maggie making friends with kids in the waiting room, charming nurses at the same time as she screams at them, shots and measurements that indicate tremendous, healthy growth.

it was interesting. it was odd. it was time, i suppose, to let it go a little bit more.

we did what we could. next time, we'll try to do it better.  but nothing we're doing now is anything but awesome for maggie.

and mommy's learning that more every day.

Friday, September 30, 2011

i don't remember when i wrote last. i could look, but i'm lazy like that.

life just keeps moving. magpie is almost crawling. she's teething again. she, on the second go-around, likes bananas quite a lot (especially mixed with cereal) and carrots and i'm not sure that pears are good for her.  she's started bouncing quite a lot in her exersaucer, which creates a cacophony of noise that indicates that no real good can come of it but i am loathe to get another piece of baby gear so we may just live with it. her smiles are generous and she's getting better at getting used to strangers. 

i am taking each week as it comes for work. i am piled with grading but i'm trying not to let it get to me.  i am often tired, but that's pretty normal whether you work from home or stay at home with no job as a mom, so i'm trying not to let that get me down either. 

i'm still the same size and the scale won't move, but i'm pretty sure it's not going to until i'm able to sleep more.  and have the energy to put decent amounts of thought into what i put in my mouth. some days, i'm just grazing because it keeps me going.  sad, but true.

but our life is really good.  i'm married to my best friend.  he loves me no matter what. i have a wonderful family, and a mom who supports me no matter what and doesn't mind telling me when i should probably reconsider what i'm doing because it's bound to burn me out.  i have the most wonderful kid in the world, who really just has fun every day.  even when she's teething and trying to eat the world, she tries so hard to be happy.  i have jobs that support us and i have on-demand on cable so i can spend friday, my toughest day by far because of its length and because of my tiredness, keeping random TV shows going on in the background so that i don't feel quite so much like the only adult in the house for 11 hours. 

she's bouncing again. it's pretty exciting to her. it's pretty exciting to me, too, because it's a developmental thing. it means that she's developing her legs in preparation to walk.  pretty extraordinary.

so i'm tired and i'm busy and i'm bigger than i'd like to be but i'm blessed and we're healthy and i love my family and i feel like i'm standing on my own two feet most days.  some days, i feel like i'm back on my heels, but those days are becoming fewer and fewer.  i know that's not me--i know that's Heavenly Father.  it's a huge blessing.

the laundry is in and maybe i'll find a way to cook tonight.  thank heavens for frozen, ready-to-make meals. i have no idea what i would do without them.  i really, really need to investigate more crock pot meals. 

so sorry for the ramble, but i thought i'd like to express the humble thanks that are filling my heart, even amid my annoyance at not being able to shower without an appointment.  if those are my issues--unwashed hair and gym shorts in a house with a baby who occasionally whines and protests being away from me--then i have it really good.

i'm totally aware of that. 

all is well in collegetown.  i need a haircut, i'm addicted to fiber one brownies, i don't drink enough water, i should probably get out of the house more. but these are not problems.  i think i'm realizing that so many people, despite the veneer of happiness that they show, are facing so much more than i am. that's not to discount my tough times--they are tough, for me--but to simply say that a little perspective doesn't hurt.

blah blah blah.

i am blessed.

the end.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

true confession.

true confession: i'm ashamed to say i threw something across the room today.

it's such a self-indulgent bratty way to vent.  i can tell i've reached my limit when nap fighting sends me over the edge.  but really? to throw something? it was because i'd heard about someone doing that when they got frustrated.  it wouldn't occur to me otherwise. 

true confession: i think i've thrown things maybe twice in my life. i don't have a temper like that. frustration is really the only thing that gets me riled up, and even then i usually cry rather than do something lame like throw things.

but today, the ring toy base faced my wrath.  and all i ended up doing was crying.

true confession: i felt horrible. to her credit, maggie just looked at me, from across the room, like i was a nutjob.  i cried, said i was sorry (to Heavenly Father, with a sincerely repentant heart) and i picked maggie up, hugged her, and told her i was sorry. 

i didn't do anything to her. she didn't know my frustration was directed at her behavior (good grief child, JUST GO TO SLEEP for your afternoon nap. two days in a row of trying to put her down and not being able to do so without her a) waking up or b) fighting like a big fighting thing has sort of left me with very little patience--my issue not hers).  but still--i apologized for being less of a mom than i should have been in that moment.

she looked at my tears with concern in her eyes--sweet, empathetic girl that she is--and i smiled at her.  because, in that moment, all was well.

true confession: i have yet to reach my zen-like place of bliss regarding naps.  they just frustrate me.  mainly because i know she's tired. i know what will happen if she doesn't sleep. and, to be quite honest, i have hyperfocused too much on it.  i have found kindred spirit moms online who have crappy nappers, but sometimes i think talking too much about it makes it too much of a focus. 

instead, i should have just given up when i put her down and she woke up.  somewhere, down deep, i knew after that that she wouldn't fall asleep until she ate again.

and that's precisely what she did.

so, true confession: i am a crappy mom some days. i do all i can to internalize the crappiness--to keep the frustration internal, to not let it be directed at maggie in any way.  most of the time, i am entirely successful.  sometimes the stress is about her. a lot of the times, it has nothing to do with her.  but it's there, and if i haven't vented it properly, i will blow at some point.

i don't think it's at all an accident that i haven't been to the gym on two of my regular intense days.  i don't think at all.  it's time to go burn it out.

true confession: i have no desire to do so, but i know if i don't i'll be no good to anything pretty soon. 

true confession: there's nothing that feels worse than realizing you chose something stupid over something wise. 

true confession: i am infinitely grateful for the opportunity to have second chances. 

true confession: i need them a lot.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

the philosophy of p.diddy.

or whatever his name is now. who can keep up?

i was at the gym last week--yes, i go now, religiously, on tuesday nights after i teach and on saturday afternoons for body combat--and p.diddy talks over the end of this danity kane track.

(yes, i live in 2006, thank you for asking.)

and he says "sometimes you gotta go through the pain to experience the joy."

well heck if that ain't the darn honest truth, there, diddy.  for exercise (i hit this track at the END of my workout, when i'm contemplating ending early or am ready to burn it out--it depends on the day), for childbirth, for life. for pretty much everything is my point.

so i've cried once already today. i cried three times yesterday.  it's just one of those weeks where i'm like I DON'T UNDERSTAND MY KID.  she's almost six months old (WHAT?!) and, from everything i read, i'm supposed to be completely flummoxed by her. which is good, because we're right on track then.  but between teething (two teeth in a week thank you very much i was not wrong she's been teething for at least a month and a half), learning to crawl (pretty much got the army crawl down, up on hands and knees a lot, oh give me strength), and figuring out how to talk (working on that d sound like a beast), sleeping just seems like the thing not to do at all during the day.  she's been fighting naps pretty regularly, so we're trying to work on a regular naptime routine where we go into her darkened room, turn on the fan, and rock and sing. sometimes she's out in 10 minutes, tops. those are beautiful days. then there are the days when she just whines and cries and punches me in the trachea (yeah, not kidding about that) trying to get away from me.

good times.

not really, but what are you going to do? you can't make a kid eat or sleep, and i know that in my head, but sometimes it feels like a lot of personal affronts. that's irrational, right? my kid digs me. she hangs out with me, gives me giggles and smiles, likes to eskimo kiss me, and thinks the pony girl bouncy knee song is awesome.  she likes me. it's not personal.

but sometimes fighting with your kid to do what you know they need to do, and holding strong, is just freakin' hard.

and sometimes just holding on and doing what you know you need to do even though all you want to do is not that is freakin' hard.

so sometimes life is hard is my point.

again, not landmark life analysis here. however, sometimes i forget that the hard stuff often precedes the awesome stuff. yesterday was WAY hard. just...frustrating in the sense that most of the things that i wanted to do were stymied by unexpected difficulties.  and i just wasn't handling it very well because it was one of those days when i woke up with very little patience.  so...i keep trying. i kept going at it. i kept working and giving mags the opportunity to sleep and giving in when it wasn't working and trying to make things happen.

by the end of the day, she was just cranky and i was losing my mind.

and i had a book of mormon class to teach that night.  i was crying on my husband's shoulder right before i left.  he told me i was amazing, that i could do all that i need to do, that breathing is good. :) so i drove to church, taking deep breaths and praying.

and my class was AWESOME. not because of me. but because in all the gaps of me, Heavenly Father was there. He just filled in what i couldn't do.  i didn't have a lot of time to prepare, but i did pray about it. so when i did try to prepare, i knew what i should do.  when i got there, the words were just there.

it was awesome.

the day just got progressively better.  so today, when maggie already fought her first nap, sort of felt like it was going to be wednesday 2.0.  but, you know, this time i know that all i can do is all i can do.

so i cried a little in that rocking chair. sometimes it helps. it diffuses the tension and my frustration. sometimes i just need to hit the release valve. and i prayed.  and maggie fell asleep.  and she's still asleep.  she'll be up in approximately 8 minutes, but...that's okay.

i'm not sure i know what i'm trying to say, except something cliched like after every storm there is a rainbow or the sun always breaks through the clouds or some such idiotic nonsense that stops meaning anything after a while.  i guess maybe i'm trying to say that, even when you feel like you're slogging up a muddy mountainside in bare feet with a 150 pound leaking backpack on your back, you're really just carrying a 20 pound bowling ball and being lifted up the mountain by the mercy of God.

it's all about perspective, i guess. 

so, yeah, stuff is hard sometimes.  that's life.  but it's also awesome.  that's also life.

so p.diddy is right. and you'll never hear me say that again.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

i just don't know.

today, i went to body combat. i love body combat so much. i know i've said that before, but i really forgot how much i love it.

i don't love it because it is hard, although that's part of it. i don't love it because it's got kicks and punches and muay thai cage fighting moves.

i love it because there are moments that are so raw that i realize what i really want and how much.

there are 8 standing tracks. when you get to track 8, you're pretty much dead.  your arms are heavy, your lungs are heaving, and there's not much standing between you and total exhaustion except endorphins. of course, track 8 is hard and fast. it's easy repetition, because you're too tired to do complicated choreography, but it's a burn-it-out track.

you leave it in the ring, so to speak.

today, i didn't want to go. i almost didn't. i wasn't feeling great and i was exhausted. but i did it anyways. i went.

and in track 8, i nearly sobbed because i left it all there.  when we come to the last part, the last round, my favorite teacher cues us and tells us to give it everything we've got.  and today, it just struck me HOW MUCH I WANT MY BODY BACK.

how much it bothers me that it's fatter than it was.

how much it bothers me that i can't manage to get back into a rhythm that lets me eat better and stop eating so much sugar and stop eating pizza for dinner (did that tonight, btw). 

i don't know how to do it anymore. not with everything going on.  the reality of our lives is that convenience food is almost a necessity. sure, i'd love to be able to cook every night, but sometimes it's try to cook and be frustrated with the baby for being clingy or don't try to cook and have fun with her instead.

that's not really a choice, in my mind.

there's the choice of doing my work or spending saturdays making freezer meals. i just...i just don't have time. i really don't.

i try to be wise about what we buy. not keeping crap in the house really does help.  i set myself back BIG TIME because i didn't immediately throw away the cookie dough my mother-in-law left in our fridge. instead, i spent three days eating it like it was a condiment.


i've been, over the past few weeks, making more of a commitment to my body. i guess i know it's going to be really hard. i guess i know i'm going to have to burn it out, in lots of ways, to get back to where i was, and maybe even (if a girl can dream) get farther back to where i was right when we first got married.  maybe i won't get there completely. maybe i'll have to resign myself to the fact that i'll be a larger size. 

i don't think so though. i don't think permanently.

i just have to figure out how to do it all. it's just really hard.  straight up. it's hard.  so many things have to happen to make it work.

i really want to make it work.

in the meantime, i'm just going to give what i have when i have it. if i'm on the floor of body combat, i'm not phoning it in. if i'm on the treadmill at 9pm on a tuesday night, after having been up since 6 with the baby, then working all day, and then teaching, and then heading to the gym, i'll run for one more chorus of one more song.

i'll give what i have. i just hope Heavenly Father will somehow make up the difference, even in the physical elements.

i think it's the only way this is going to happen.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


i don't think there's anything i dislike more, other than stupid people, people who critique me unfairly, or bad grammar in print, than missing deadlines.

so i suppose i should amend that to say that there's nothing that i dislike feeling more than deeply unprofessional and flaky.

it keeps happening, though, because every day seems like a random tuesday and because my email is a perpetual burial ground of things to do.

i need to find a better way.  to do basically everything, i think.


and it's only week 3.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

letters to my girl: month five.

dear magpie,

you are five months old today. this morning is totally indicative of how big you've gotten. you woke up smiling, up on your belly and peering through the slats in your crib.  you smiled a big smile when i said good morning. you kicked and giggled as i changed your diaper, and nearly sat up yourself on my lap while i made your bottle.  you ate pretty well, took a break, then ate the rest with no real complaint.  you talked and chatted a bit, then fell asleep for your daddy (not for me!) in the rocking chair.  when you woke up, we came downstairs and i put you in your exersaucer. and you played, by yourself, giggling and talking and moving from toy to toy.  when you were done with that, it was down on the floor, where you wriggled a little bit to play with your talking bee.  then you ate and fell asleep--on your own--in your bouncy chair. 

oh, and i'm pretty sure you woke up with a tooth.

that may not seem extraordinary to you, but this month has been full of changes for you. 
  • you're mobile! you scoot and roll through the house. we had to totally clean up the downstairs this week, putting scary stuff away upstairs and giving you plenty of room to roll and play. not a moment too soon, baby girl, because yesterday you figured out how to get up, eversobriefly, on hands and knees. i've been feeling impressed to baby proof quickly. i know now why. you are on the move.
  • you're independent! since we got you the exersaucer, you have been overjoyed to find a small piece of independence in this world of dependence. you can twist around, using your strong legs, to play. we put your other toys on there, and you play and chat and laugh and talk to us while you do.  selfishly, it's nice to not be entirely responsible for your tactile and intellectual engagement. but also selfishly, it brings me so much joy to seeing you have SO MUCH FUN.  
  • you're teething! i told the doctor a month ago that you were teething. he told me i was wrong. well, he was wrong.  a couple of weeks ago, you got a runny nose. i thought maybe you were finally getting that first cold i've heard tell of and i prepared myself for a sleepless night of snot sucking and sleeping in the chair. nope. nothing really came of it. as soon as it came, it was gone. but suddenly you were chewing and more fussy. a little tylenol on a few days of really bad fussiness and chewing and you were better. and then all of the sudden I COULD SEE IT.  that little white ridge down below the gums. and then, a few days later, there was the nose again--and the ridge was easier to see and bumpy--and i could see the neighbor tooth too! and then a few days later, the nose came back and the gums were swollen and by this time i knew what it was.  and then today, it was SHARP. not bumpy, but sharp. i just knew that you were going to wait until your 5 month birthday. i just KNEW it. 
  • you're eating solid foods!  we started you on oatmeal a few weeks ago, and then a couple of days of squash, but you had some...interesting gastrointestinal reactions (read: blowouts).  so, we stopped you. it was about the time you started feeling bad, so i just wanted to let it ride until we were sure you were over it.  i still don't know if it was teething or the food, but this time has been really no problem.  you LOVE oatmeal. i mean love it. i thought i was going to do all orange veggies, but something told me to try bananas next. you did not like them. you didn't hate them, but you were just "meh." but carrots? carrots you REALLY liked.  you dove for the spoon. it was sort of amazing to watch.  next up will probably be some sweet potatoes, and then we'll do some squash, and then maybe we'll do some peas.  but when i try bananas again, they won't be baby food bananas because they don't taste like bananas. i think i'll probably just smash some of my own. :) you're so fun to feed. you just really like the whole experience, which is good because i'm trying so hard to make it fun and enjoyable, and you try to hold your spoon. it's adorable.  
  • you're sleeping on your belly! i think i wrote about this, but you sleep on your belly now.  at first, it really bothered me because it seemed like you didn't really know that it wasn't a good idea to smash your face into the mattress. or you'd end up in some sort of contorted position.  but now you seem to have found your way--you start out on your back and then about an hour or two later, flip to your stomach. sometimes you flip back onto your side; sometimes you end up completely turned sideways in your crib.  i still end up checking on your at least twice--once before i go to bed (when i usually try to move you back to the middle of your crib) and once if i wake up before you do (which i normally do). sometimes i have to move you again then, though i try not to because you will wake up. 
you're just such a cool kid. i like you so much.  while we don't let you watch TV, per se, i've stopped freaking out if you see a little bit. you know what's cool? you like commercials. daddy and i joke that you're going to be an incredibly successful ad exec who will pay for our missions when we're old.  but you don't care even a little bit about the shows themselves.  you do seem to enjoy periodic moments of football, though, but mainly you prefer your sophie giraffe and your noisy toys.  (i don't blame you.)  so i think if i want to watch TV, all i have to do is put on netflix.  no commercials, no maggie. :)

i love you baby girl.

i can't wait to see how the next month changes you entirely.  next time i write, you will be six months old.  i can't believe we've been together for nearly half a year.  my, how time flies when you're having fun with the sweetest kid on the planet.

conquer the floor, baby girl.  go forth.  i can't wait to see you shine, even if i never can sit down again.  :)


Monday, September 5, 2011

babies are people too.

so i don't understand why people don't realize that babies are people and not a sack of flour to be passed around from person to person.

they have preferences. they have favorites. they have opinions. they have fears.

when you scare them, they remember.  when you don't respect their space, they don't react well.  crying is their language; why is it okay to ignore that? "she doesn't mind."

actually, she does.  no, "taking her out more" isn't going to solve the problem. the problem is that you're loud, you took her without giving her time to adjust, and she's tired and teething. just about the time that she started to get used to you and warm up, you pushed it again.

that's the problem.  the problem isn't our parenting.  the problem isn't that she's too attached or that we're housebound. we're neither. she's perfectly happy to flirt with you and give you a big gummy smile when she feels safe.  she's perfectly happy to talk and play with you, when you give her her space.

when you keep encroaching on it, she will tell you.

don't judge us, don't judge our parenting, don't act like you've been offended. we didn't tell her to cry but we're not going to force her to do what you want her to do because you want it when you want it.  we're going to listen to HER.  we'll try what you want, but that's all we'll do.   when it all goes pear-shaped, we'll intervene and remind her that she's safe.

her reaction is not a personal offront.  she's her own person.  she doesn't KNOW you.  i can't help that.  give her time. don't breeze into her life and expect her to jump into your arms and play happily. don't ask to hold her like she'll just go to you. don't be shocked when she screams if you make loud noises in her face or if she realizes you're not her people.

gah.  i just hate this.

i hate the expectations, the strange looks when we suggest that Baby Girl might not be excited to go jump into the arms of someone she's maybe seen once, or even has seen every week but only in passing. why can't people just be okay with the fact that babies are where and what they are?

there's no respect. for all people say about babies being born with a personality, being born with tendencies toward being "easygoing" or "happy," very few people treat them as if they actually have desires and wants beyond eating, sleeping, and being clean.

if being a mother has only taught me one thing (and that's absolutely not the case), it's this: babies are 100% individuals. you can't make them do something any more than you can make granite turn into marshmellow. you can teach them, you can mold and shape them, you can help them learn and guide their steps. but you cannot force them to like someone, even if that someone is related to them.  you cannot make them be any other way than the way that they are, especially at this age. 

at two? we'll talk at two. 

but don't you dare EVER tell me that something i am doing is the reason my baby likes me and my husband more than someone that she doesn't know.  don't you EVER judge our parenting because you think she should be happy as a clam with a person who, to her, is a complete and total stranger.  don't you EVER do that.

it's wrong. it's unfair. and it disrespects my daughter.

don't you dare do that.  i like her too much to let you, and i love her too much to not be her safe space whenever she wants it.

Friday, September 2, 2011


we found this amazing noah's ark board book while on vacation in one of those fake antique general stores in the mountains of NC (fake because, really, they just sell crap to tourists that seems folksy).


i loved it because it has tons of illustrations of animals on each page. i love this book.

so does mags.

but when we get to this certain page, she always smiles hugely at one particular part of the book. we've tested it--it happens almost every time.  we think it's the sheep.

i'm wondering if maybe she loves lambs? i'm thinking maybe she'd love my little lamb. it's dirty, but maybe i'll toss it into the washer and see if she loves it.  if she smiles at it the way she smiles at the picture, it would be well worth it.

i just didn't want to forget that.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the world of maggie.

i'm boring. she's not. let's chat about magpie.

  • she started solids a couple of weeks ago, but had some strange things happening so we stopped. we started again today. i'm ASTONISHED at how much she has changed in just two weeks. she was actively opening her mouth, getting the oatmeal back in there and swallowing like a champ. hopefully we won't have any gastrointestinal issues and we can proceed like puree champs.
  • i can't believe we have one month before her half-birthday. good grief time flies.
  • she's close to sitting up.  she doesn't get a lot of practice (when she's on the floor, she's rolling--ACROSS THE ROOM), but she pretty much does it on her own on our laps. 
  • i can see the tooth. I CAN SEE THE TOOTH. bottom left tooth. it's working its way up--and it's affecting her sleep. she flops around the bed like a dying trout, and i have to go save her complaining, half-asleep grunting self from the contortions she's managed to get herself into.  they sometimes scare me. i saw 12, 1, 2, and 3 this morning. yay.
  • she is so goodnatured.  she giggles now when you tickle her belly. that's new.
  • she loves the $15 exersaucer we got her. a little less now that she just wants to chew everything, but she still really likes it.
  • her favorite toy is the crinkly book that grandma got her.
  • she is such a spaz right now. like, literally, her arms and legs are always moving.  when we're trying to feed her, good grief. we have to pin her arms down sometimes just so she doesn't smack herself in the face.
  • she knows what the bottle is.  i'm trying to teach her to associate it with the word "milk." i may be crazy, but i think she's starting to get it.
  • i showed her a couple of times how to splash with her legs in the bathtub. now she does it.
  • she fell asleep on her own in her bouncy seat yesterday. first time she's just sort of passed out on her own. i'm really excited by this--i think it may be soon that she'll be able to do it on her own for naps and night. we'll see.
  • she does this grunting thing when she's hungry or tired. she doesn't cry, she fusses/grunts.  it's crazymaking. it gets worse when she's not feeling well. she does it all day long.  GAH.
  • she's a joy.
  • we went to choir on sunday. she sang while we were singing. it was adorable. today, she was watching me sing and was moving her mouth like i was and then started to sing a little bit.
  • she's so smart.
  • she's wearing 6 month onesies and 9 month sleepers. she's a tall girl!
we adore her.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

i just have to say...

...that if one more person on facebook flaunts the fact that they are back to their pre-baby weight in less than 3 weeks, i will lose my ever-lovin' crap.

i still have 30 pounds to lose. 

i hate everyone. it's so unkind.

i've decided that, breastfeeding or not, your body is just either one that sheds weight or one that hangs onto it. i suppose, were this a great, long, famine-filled winter, i'd be one of the people naturally selected to not die because of my copious fat stores (and yay for that--must mean my genetics are awesome, which Baby Girl clearly demonstrates), but in this world of not great, long, famine-filled winter, still not being able to fit into ANY jeans at all that are not at least a size larger is somewhat demoralizing.

especially since it's been almost 5 months.

that said, i have the most amazing baby on the planet who just passed out in her bouncy seat (WHAT?!?) so there's that. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

something amazing happens when you actually start TRYING to live worthy of the Spirit in your life.

you keep getting inspiration.

duh, right? but seriously...i feel like since i've been trying to put the effort in to read my scriptures every day, to pray even when i'm exhausted, to remember the Lord more, to make more of an effort to enjoy the baby instead of being frustrated, i keep finding more things i need/want to work on.

that seems like it would be a really bad thing, really overwhelming. in some ways, i suppose it is slightly overwhelming to be shown some of your weaknesses (i.e. being a crappy, frustration-fueled bratty, overtired wife and the world's worst housekeeper) but in some way i find it liberating and inspiring.

if i know what to work on, what to attack, what to even just pray for, it seems a lot more doable. 

i feel like, in some ways, i am on the cusp of figuring all of this out. isn't that crazy? but i felt that way before, when Baby Girl was smaller.  i felt like we were on the verge of figuring some stuff out--and as i recall, in my chronically tired haze, i was right. she figured out a schedule or figured out her eating or something that was bothering me.

i feel like we are just a few weeks, maybe a few months, away from some good changes. i think naps are going to extend. i think her eating is going to normalize. i think we're just going to figure some stuff out.

i think i'm going to figure out how to do all of this work in the shortest amount of time possible. i think i'm going to stay on top of things better than i ever have before. i think i'm going to be able to grade faster and better and not be eternally overwhelmed.

i think i'm going to figure out how to blitz my way through cleaning my house in half-hour increments throughout the week. 

i think i'm going to figure it out. i feel it. i feel like there's good changes coming.

but in the meantime, i'm feeling like i have some work yet to do on myself and on how i manage things in my life.  i'm not beating myself up--i know why i am doing what i am doing and it makes sense to me--but i am not satisfied with being not all that i can be. (oy. terrible sentence.)

so i'm going to work to be better.

there's power in that, you know?

Friday, August 26, 2011

golf balls, pebbles, sand, and some chocolate milk.

i think i've been going about this whole juggling life thing the entirely wrong way.

at first, i thought i needed more "me time" to rejuvenate. not possible, and didn't work anyways. i wasn't any better at grading.

then i thought maybe i needed to use nap time to my advantage, so i tried desperately to make baby girl nap longer. didn't work.  she naps however long she needs to nap. right now, she's napping in my arms. i'm guessing it will be for 45 minutes, but hopefully i'll be able to keep her sleeping longer because she had a rough night and has a runny nose.  little cold, maybe? sometimes i still do things during nap time that need to get done, and i always feel like i have won some sort of prize when i cross things off before musicboy gets home, but i no longer cling to the belief that naptime is my salvation.

then i thought i needed everything in my house to be organized. i grabbed onto this belief that if i organized the closets and babyproofed the house and actually put things in places where it made sense for them to be, instead of all over everywhere, i would feel more inspired. i haven't had time to do that at all.  (i am still clinging to the belief that making it happen is a) important and b) necessary soon.  i have a plan.)

i turned off the tv, for various reasons. i spent more time on the internet, but i tried to keep the tv off in our home.  didn't do anything.

i bought a planner.  i make to-do lists. 

but still i feel fairly well overwhelmed, especially when i start trying to plan more than 45 minutes in the future, and realize that certain things need to get done before certain other things happen. (you're welcome for being so vague.) it feels like a puzzle that i can't quite make work--all the pieces are there, but they just won't fit.

courtesy of

i've been praying about this lately, praying the prayer of the person at a loss for what to do next. it sounds more desperate than it is, because i really sort of just approached it like that puzzle i mentioned earlier.  "what do i do? how do i do it all? please help me know."

after a few days, i started thinking about the analogy of the golf balls, pebbles, sand, and (my husband's addition) the chocolate milk. 

i think i've been putting the sand in first, so to speak. 

the golf balls in my life--my relationship with Heavenly Father, for example, and my own spirituality--have been taking a back seat to the other things in my life--immediate physical needs of baby girl, things like my job, cooking dinner, paying bills. i've felt like my life is filled with neverending tasks, but that those tasks don't leave any room for anything else.

that's because i haven't been putting first things first.

i still have no idea how to do it all, all the things that are righteous and worthy and that i need to do. i have no idea how to teach six classes, care for baby girl all day, work out and lose the baby weight (which is REALLY important to me for lots of reasons), and keep my house clean enough to not be a disgrace. 

but i know that there IS room if the big, important stuff comes first.

so i'm using my planner, but the first things come first on it: prayers, scripture study, baby girl and musicboy, family.  the rest will just follow.

i have faith.

Friday, August 19, 2011


  • for a husband who knows just what to say, even when there's nothing to say. today? "i don't know why Satan is so invested in me," i said. he said "because Heavenly Father is." and that was exactly what i needed to hear.
  • for a baby who watched me cry with this look in her eyes that just spoke to pure love and a tender curiosity about what was wrong. i don't know that she's ever seen me cry before, not really. her sweet heart was so evident.  then she fell asleep, and when i kissed her cheek she smiled. i did it again to see if it was a fluke.  it wasn't.  that was exactly what i needed to see.
  • for the knowledge that when life is wearing you down, it's also rubbing off the rough spots in your character.  
  • for the power of prayer.
  • for the reality of a Savior who can succor me because He knows what I have been through, what i will go through, what i need, and how i feel. no one else does, no matter what.  they may sympathize, but He can truly empathize.
  • for this, which i read shortly after praying for help and guidance: "Pray a little more, study a little more, shut out the noise and shut down the clamor, enjoy nature, call down personal revelation, search your soul, and search the heavens for the testimony that led our pioneer parents. Then, when you need to reach down inside a little deeper and a little farther to face life and do your work, you will be sure there is something down there to call upon."--Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. the full text can be found here. i pretty much cried through reading the section called "call to conviction." read it. it's awesome. 
  • for my life. for truth. for knowing that, at our core, people are inherently good. come what may, when we do our best and put our feet on good ground and sow good seeds and reap what we sow, good things will come.  we are children of Heavenly parents.  we have a divine nature, and that divine nature can lead us to be truly great--if we don't allow anyone to tell us differently.  our infinite potential is not something to be denied or diminished.  anyone or anything that tells us otherwise is a lie.
it's a grateful day.  i have tons to do and not much time to do it in, but all is well.  i am blessed. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

lots of things.

there's a lot going on here in our house this week. it's the week before school begins and, among other things, i have an online class that just started (i can really barely remember it and it's one that i have to post on every day) and six more that are about to start on monday.

i know.

baby girl is adorable and perplexing and ate 9 ounces in an hour last night (woke up SCREAMINGBLOODYMURDER for the last 2 after she'd been asleep for oh 30 minutes). i just...yeah. apparently this is UBER common right now in developmental 4 month land, or so say my pals on the internet baby board. that is comforting, because i was freaked out last night. 

but she's also taller than she was a week ago (her jammies are fitting like they were made for her--and they're 9 month sleepers), so there's that.

i mourn the lack of time that i have to do any project whatsoever. i have so many plans, so many things that i want to do in our house. i want to organize our closets and move things around and get rid of things and just be able to have like 4 or 5 hours where i don't have to grade or plan or be on baby duty.  my non-baby-duty time is almost exclusively spent working, but that's going to have to change because this child is about to be mobile and our house is like Baby House of Horrors. there are so many things that i need to do to get it baby proofed.

and then so many things i need to do to keep it baby proofed.


musicboy saw an ad for winning a sweepstakes that would give us like $70,000 for redecorating. i said that i would hire a personal organizer, someone who could build us things that would hold everything that we have in a babyproofed, organized way, structures that we could move with us wherever we go.

he looked at me askance.

but that's where my head is at. 

that and the fact that i am SO OVER COLLEGETOWN U. i got an online class from them. i am grateful for it, i suppose, but i am consistently annoyed at how these departments expect the world from their instructors but then do not provide any means by which to achieve said world domination. i am expected to upload tutorials/lectures, but the software available to me is insanely difficult and, i am deciphering, doesn't even do what i thought it did. so i am plunking down $100 for a piece of screencasting software that might actually work for my purposes. i tried out the free demo and within 15 minutes had figured out how to create a movie with screenshots and audio.

you know, i just feel like the money's not worth it. not for the annoyance and stress. as if i don't have enough to do, you know? now i have to read your mind, decipher your nonsense, and make a bunch of crap happen that doesn't make any sense at all? whatever. so over it.

(but it is almost twice the amount of money for one class. that's why i keep going back to get smacked over and over again. i'm a sucker for the money.)

flip side? the guy at rural cc said "please don't ever leave me!!!!!!" in an email to me yesterday.

uhm, no. i won't.

and the department chair at collegetown cc basically profusely thanked me for asking to do something i had the power to do on my own, but didn't want to screw up departmental expectations/future instructor's lives. 

this is why i do what i do, you know?

sorry if this seems like a whiny post.  i don't mean it to be.  i'm just battleweary a bit.  the summer has been good, but i haven't been really "off" at all since the baby was born. there might have been a week when i was.  but when i'm not teaching, i'm planning for the next set of classes.  when i'm not teaching those, i'm planning for the next set or i have a quick 5 weeker in there. 

i know this is real life, and adulthood, and mommyhood, and i am grateful for all of these things. we are richly blessed (i'm not unaware of the fact that my constant teaching = financial blessings and security and the ability to pay off debts). 

so i'll take a cute baby and a cute husband and a blessed life and believe that i will just have the energy and ability to do what i need to do when i need to do it. 

and there's the baby.  45 minutes. right on the nose.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

letters to my girl: month four.

dear maggie,

WOW. what a month.  what they say about the "fourth trimester" and the enormous change that the fourth month brings is SO true. you are like a different kid. you're alert and eager to talk, learn, and tell the world about what you DON'T like. you are trying to crawl. you have learned to roll over from back to belly, so now you sleep on your stomach. you weathered two 8 hour+ car rides and a week of vacation where you spent a good chunk of your waking hours in the car going here there and everywhere. you made short work of getting the other side of your family as equally wrapped around your chubby little fingers.  you are amazing.

we went to the doctor for your four month visit: 15 pounds and 25 inches. you've been doing some growing! you more than doubled your birth weight and have grown at least 6 inches since you were born.  that's nearly half a foot! it's strange to think of you as nearly half the size you are now...but the fact that you're wearing 6 and 9 month clothes brings that all back into focus.  it seems like you've always been the cute, adorably rolly girl you are now.  you aren't pudgy--just rounded, and i like that.  we're doing something right. 

i have to admit--it's been a challenging month.  just after your growth spurt, you stopped eating well.  you just starting snacking through the day, not wanting to finish a bottle that normally would have been no big deal. you've started waking up to eat at night again, mainly because of this, but that's erratic as well. basically, there's no rhyme or reason to what you may or may not do from one day to the next, and that's hard sometimes for me.  i like to know what to expect, and when i don't, it throws me for a loop.  but we've gotten through it and sometimes i think we're on the other side of it.  one perhaps unfortunate result of these changes is that you now won't go to sleep unless you're full, which often results in your falling asleep while you're eating.  since you didn't used to do it, and still sometimes don't, i have a feeling that it won't always be a permanent thing.

you have this really perplexing tendency, however, to not KNOW you're tired or hungry. it's like you're not sure what's wrong but you know something is, and until we show you that you're tired/hungry (by giving you a binky, which tells you that's NOT what you actually want, or by bouncing you until you relax enough to realize you're tired AND hungry) it's all a big drama.  but we've gotten pretty good at doing this, and that's a really good thing.  but anyone who doesn't know you? might think you were the craziest kid in the world.  one second you scream if the bottle is anywhere near your mouth and the next moment you take it like it's the answer to all of your problems. feeding has always been our particular challenge.

but everything else is really awesome. you still wake up with a smile.  you don't eat a lot in the morning--you're like your daddy in that way.  you have to wait a little while before you're hungry enough to eat some breakfast--so you're no longer dying for food.  we've taken to bringing you into our bed in the morning and playing with you there. it's so much fun. you are happiest in the morning.

you're rolling over like a champ. you did it once on one day, and then did it five or so times the next day, and then you had it mastered. you roll over in your sleep and sleep on your belly.  you haven't figured out yet how to roll from your belly to your back, though you did that first. i've seen you working on it in your sleep, though, so i think you'll get it soon. 

you work on all of your new skills in your sleep, which means lately you've been trying to crawl in your sleep. on friday, you managed to belly scoot across your blanket to your toys. that was the first time that your efforts had caused demonstrative movement in any sort of forward direction. you'd managed to spin yourself in a circle before, but never get across something. it was pretty amazing to watch. you're getting stronger, throwing that butt up in the air, and i wouldn't be surprised if you have crawling down before we know it. mommy and daddy need to work on babyproofing ASAP!

i wish we could get you back into a consistent sleeping through the night pattern, but i also know that four months is hard on a baby's sleep. working on all of those skills can be hard work, and your body just has to practice them all of the time. we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, if we need to work on getting you back into a STTN rhythm, but i feel like, like with everything, you'll do it at your own pace.

on friday, you turned the pages in your own book. i showed you how for a few minutes, and then you started to do it. that seems to be the way it is these days--you watch, observe, and then try.  i love that about you. 

in short, it's been a huge month for you.  you're still napping only 45 minutes at a time, but you're occasionally sleeping for 10 or 11 hours, so it's fine with me.  i'm figuring out how to work around you, with my teaching and things i need to do around the house, rather than the other way around. you're eating about 29 to 30 ounces a day, though i have a feeling that will increase soon. 

you love to smile. you love to laugh. your daddy is your absolute favorite person, which i will admit is sometimes hard for me.  i knew that's how it would be, so i'm trying not to see it as a commentary on my mommyhood.  i can still usually solve a problem faster than anyone else because i know you differently than everyone else.  that's still amazing to me.

i love you baby girl. you've got big things coming soon: some solid food, sitting up (you're so close! even in the last few days, that's been changing), nap changes (i can see them coming too...occasionally you'll sleep for an hour or so, but usually when i'm right there [but not always!]), and all sorts of amazing things.  i can't wait to see what they will be and what they will bring. 

keep growing. keep changing. i'm sad to see some things go away, but i'm always very excited to see what new things are going to take their place.  you never cease to amaze me. you're smart, you're sweet, you're beautiful, and you love people.  you are the best kid anybody could ask for, and we're so grateful that we get to be your parents.


737 days down...and eternity left.

i love him. two years married.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

mall thoughts part deux.

i've been watching couples a lot lately when i walk. the mall seems to draw couples like moths to a flame or mosquitos to a bugzapper--they're just there, no matter what time of day you go. they stroll together, holding hands, and i think it's quite adorable.

what i've been noticing most recently is how couples match. i've always had a theory that successful couples match--actually, it may be my mom's theory, but i subscribe to it. it's not necessarily that they look alike--i've seen couples of different races, of wildly disparate body types, and of hugely different heights match completely. it's more that they just seem to fit each other...when you see them, you think "uh huh. yeah. i get that."

in the mall, i notice these things. today, i saw this couple that just made me chuckle. they were...well...sort of nerdy (and i say that with affection, since i am down with the nerds).  and they just fit. you could see it, and it made me happy. 

the other thing i've noticed is how couples express a sense of ownership with each other. i don't mean that in any sort of pejorative way--i really mean it as a level of comfort with each other that expresses intimacy. i was walking the other day behind a couple--wildly different looking, by the way--and the girl put her hand on the small of the man's back and it was an incredibly intimate gesture. not because it was inappropriate (though she was so short that it could have gotten inappropriate really quickly), but because it just communicates so much.

i've also been thinking a lot about not letting my issues affect Baby Girl.  i have self-image issues, and baby weight doesn't help them. so i've been thinking and pondering how to be mindful enough of them to a) still work diligently to overcome them both through concrete results and positive thinking and b) work without negativity so that Baby Girl doesn't grow up in a house where she inadvertently gets the idea that body is the only thing that matters because her mom is obsessed with the size of her thighs.

i'm really concerned about this. i want her to live in a house where she feels empowered to be exactly who she is at any given moment, where the hearth of her home is the seat of her confidence.  i want her to see beauty and strength and courage and sweetness in her reflection, not something that doesn't meet the world's definition of size 0 sexuality. 

so what do these two things have to do with one another?

well, today as i was walking and thinking about what i would blog about my walk (aha) and noticing what i was noticing, it occurred to me that musicboy and i match.

if you don't know musicboy, or aren't my facebook friend, you don't know this. musicboy is hot.  like REALLY ATTRACTIVE. like when he got back from his mission i had to beat them off with a stick adorable.  i always thought he was entirely out of my league. and then i didn't. and then we dated and got engaged and got married and had a baby.

and in my core i don't think he's out of my league anymore.

which, then, leads to one conclusion: i must be pretty.  i'm not fishing for compliments here--just expressing a realization. if i believe that musicboy and i match, physically and spiritually and intellectually and emotionally, then i must somewhere believe that i am beautiful enough to be with him. 

that's a revelation that is probably more like a resurrected truth. 

so if i know that, then i must know that, while i still have 30 or 50 or however many pounds i ultimately want to lose, it doesn't much matter in the grand scheme of things. so long as we still match, i'm good.  i ought to live that way, then, and stop talking incessantly about my fat.

walking 4 miles a day in the mall, you know, is probably a good start.

Friday, July 29, 2011

deep thoughts from a mall walker.

so baby girl and i have started walking the mall, if by started you mean we've done it twice. i really like it, actually. it forces us to get out, it gives baby girl some exposure to loud sounds, and it usually (when i time it beautifully) results in her learning how to nap on the go.

these are all good things.

she also becomes my little workout timer. she, right now, doesn't nap more than about half an hour in motion (either because she doesn't need it or because she can't get comfortable enough in her seat), and it takes her about a lap around the mall to fall asleep. so i have to keep going for at least as long as she naps, which ends up being usually around 40-50 minutes total because when she wakes up, she's usually pretty content and still sort of dopey for a good 5-10 minutes.

right now, it works (and it's air conditioned!).

as i was walking my four laps (that's how long i can go in 50 minutes) around the entire mall (little outlying sections included), i was thinking the following:

  • every time i see teenage girls at the mall, usually all dressed up and carrying little bags from some shop that they bought something at, i am thrust back to my early teenage years when the mall was like mecca and you dressed your best to go there. compare that to now, when i had my unwashed hair thrust up into a messy bun covered by a dirty ballcap, paint splattered fat pants, and a stained Oxford University shirt on, and you can see how things change.
  • i'm pretty sure that this mall walking escapade is a little bit like aversion therapy. if i can walk repeatedly by cinnabon and become, at some point, immune to the smell of those 1000 calorie behemoths of cinnamon awesome (i'm not joking--1000 calories EACH), i can do anything. next step: becoming immune to the idea of a fruit smoothie/lemonade. once i've conquered any of those temptations, i'm pretty sure the only thing left is the pretzel place (meh) and the subway (uhm, a viable choice).
  • i want to know how teenagers can afford to have multiple large, full bags from abercrombie. who subsidizes these trips? and is it really necessary? this mom thinks NO.
  • dear boy who can't be more than 15 wearing a shirt that says "i like party girls.": no. <3 every mother everywhere.
  • i now seem to have mom radar. i notice every stroller with a mom, inevitably comparing myself to them. i see some similarities merely by the age of the kids. toddler? they look put together, like they actually had time in the morning to shower and straighten (!) their hair.  older baby? looking pretty good, but a little bit less j. crew and a little more target, like it's good they have real pants on. i like these moms.  you don't see a lot of infant moms, but when you do, they look like me--a bit bedraggled, with flip flops on usually and a weary sort of tired walk.  when we see each other, i like to imagine we share a compassionate smile because we know that we're in the same boat. solidarity, sisters.
  • the mom radar extends to little girls.  i just seem to notice them more now.  
  • the mom radar also extends to teenage girls. they frighten me.  so does every storefront in america. heaven help us all.
  • i do not understand people who bring their two/three/four year olds to the pedicure place with them. yes, moms should be able to do things for themselves. they should not put their kids on a couple of chairs in the doorway of a small place in the mall and make them sit there while they get their heels buffed. it's just...wrong.  that said, i walked by those kids like three times, and heck if they weren't the best behaved kids i'd ever seen.  nice going, kids.  
  • i really hate slow walkers.  
i'm sure i'll have more. stay tuned. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

things i'm noticing.

...i despair for the world sometimes when i look at what most young women wear. there are exceptions, and it warms my heart, but musicboy and i powerwalked the mall this weekend (two reasons: my fat(ter) butt and the hot(ter) heat, and i just shook my head (literally and figuratively) at what i saw, both on and off the rack.

...i planned my course this summer having everything due at the end of the week (in this case, sunday night, which actually grates against my personal sensibilities, so i may change that next time).  i love it. i normally have things due staggered throughout the week, but i love the fact that i know that on monday morning i have things waiting to be graded and that i have until the FOLLOWING monday before more things come in. it's totally doable.  granted, it's tech writing so it is already easier, but it just seems so much more psychologically doable than when i have assignment after assignment piling on me day after day.  i'm going to try it this semester with my composition classes and see how it goes.

...i can just feel myself chilling out as a mom.  a wise mom friend of mine told me that she started chilling out as the baby got older and she realized that she hadn't broken him yet.  he was still alive, still thriving, so it must be okay. i find that to be true as well. i also find the two week rule to be true--if it's heinous and awful, wait two weeks. it will probably pass and/or you'll get desensitized to it and/or you'll find a solution.  even with the crazytown eating, it's true.  she's still a little sporadic, but i am seeing a bit of a change in her (i.e. she just at a 6 ounce bottle like it was no big deal and when i stopped at 5 she let me have it. of course, she didn't know she was still hungry because she was tired, but that's whole other story that's kind of hilarious, actually).  i think she's nearly ready for solids.

...teething sucks. you know this is true when your baby is tired but crying and when you start massaging her gum, she falls asleep with your finger in her mouth.  that's just sad.  poor girl. i used to sleep through the night when baby girl did.  now that she's been sporadically waking up (i never know what night it will be...), i wake up at all the times she might possibly wake up. 2:30? yep. 4:00? yep. 5:00? yep. 6:00? yep. 6:30? yep. and i wonder why i'm tired in the morning.  (i mean, i don't really...)

...i'm so annoyed at how gender specific things like swaddle blankets and sleep sacks are. i sort of get the clothes thing, though it also annoys me, but swaddle blankets? sleep sacks? i know why it is. it's so that you have to buy new ones (or feel like you have to buy new ones) for every baby. forget that. i'm already steeling myself to put any potential boy baby in a butterfly swaddle blanket.  i'm not sure his daddy will like it, but come on.  or else i'm buying everything off of ebay. i think it will probably be the second, but the feminist in me wants to do the first.

...i think i have kicked the television habit.  since baby girl has been so alert and interested, it's very hard for us to watch TV without her watching it too. i'm trying to keep her away from the TV as much as possible--i don't think i'll make it until 2, but i'd at least like her to actually a) know what she's watching and b) only watch things i think are worthwhile.  so we just don't have it on during the day.  it gets really quiet sometimes, but i am finding that's okay. i get really bored sometimes, so when i do, i sometimes turn it on with the caption on and no sound and the baby turned away. i'll play with her or help her play with her toys and keep one eye (sometimes...most of the time it's just background) on the TV.  but most of the time, i just don't watch it until dinner time or later.  for a  gal who used to have it on all day long, that's pretty darn good. of course, i'm on the internet all day long, steps.

...i really hate folding laundry. i have an entire laundry basket's worth that has yet to be folded, and it just sits there and mocks me while i stare back at it. somebody's going to win, and i don't think it's going to be me.

...this post is getting boring.  sorry.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

mommy round-up.

i have a few questions for you moms out there, if you don't mind. 
  • so, the baby is going through this thing where eating is such a chore. i'm not sure if it's because of her teething (the gum is SO BUMPY. just pop through already) or if it's developmental (have read that many babies do this at this stage) or if it's just her eating habits now. it seemed to have started after her 12 week growth spurt, when she was eating ALL OF THE TIME but not huge amounts. now it's nearly impossible to get her to eat more than 2.5 ounces at at time (i.e. she'll eat until she's not dying of the hungries, then stop and twist and turn and writhe and behave as if we were shoving bamboo shoots up her fingernails, then she'll be happy and play a little, and then maybe get a little bit fussy a little later and want more. most of the time i just keep offering her the bottle off and on during a 45 minute period.) i work really hard for her to get a full feeding in each time, but there are some times when she only eats 2 ounces. and it's making me nuts. she gets the same amount of ounces in each day (she's usually around 28, sometimes more sometimes a little bit less), so i know she's getting the amount that she needs (no worries about weight gain here) but WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?!? i keep thinking "is this kid going to always eat like this? is mealtime ALWAYS going to be a struggle?" because, really, i just want to smack myself in the face half of the time.  also, i can't tell you how annoying it is to waste so much formula because she decides not to eat it.  anybody experienced this? any words of wisdom? should i be concerned or just get over it? i'm inclined to just get over it, though in the back of my head i have the "bad habit! bad habit!" red light of doom going off.

  • a couple of times over the past couple of weeks, when someone new has tried to hold her, she screams. other times, she seems entirely fine.  both times, we were around, so it's not like she was by herself with no one that she knew. the only common denominator between the screaming times was that she was tired.  should i be freaked out that my kid is going to be one of those annoying kids who won't go to anyone else? i'm not really sure how i'm supposed to combat this when i'm at home with her every day all day. yes, i could go places and do things more, does that help her become happy with relative strangers? i have read that this, too, is a developmental thing (4 months = happy crazytown of developmental stages, mom!), but should i be worried? and how do you go about socializing a 4 month old? i mean, really. playdates, i guess? a parade of new people? maybe we should just go to the mall in the moby and people watch. i have no idea.  i don't want her to become some sort of reclusive, shy kid, but she's always been very sensitive too.  

mommying is perplexing sometimes! but we're doing okay. we're making it.  i still want to smash my face into the wall in the more frustrating moments, but i've taken to praying for patience more frequently, and it works. heaven knows she's not doing it intentionally, so any frustration comes from the mismatch of her body's needs and my expectations.