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.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

PS: I am a jerk. I am repenting.

this was the previously mentioned commenter's response to my response on my status. among other things, she said: "You are doing a good job, momma !!"

gah. i'm a jerk. i am PMSing. please ignore everything i said.  


moms, come together. (or, if you don't have anything nice to say, stay off my status.)

lots of things going on here in casa de music y teacher y baby (TEETH! TRYING TO CRAWL! WHY IS MY BABY GROWING UP SO FAASSSSTTT?***), but i just had to jump on here and vent because i can't do it on facebook and ohmygosh do i want to.

uhm, if you saw a variation of this in your google reader and are all, hey man, where's the juicy story, here's the abridged, repentant version.

i posted about maggie's new naptime routine. i'm trying to get her used to a routine of sleeping in her bed for three of her naps a day (she takes 4-6 short 45 minute naps). somewhere in my delusional brain, i think that sleeping in her crib will make her sleep longer. in my rational brain, i realize that if she gets used to a routine now, when her naps solidify in a few months, it will be easy to keep it up.


someone who has posted before on my parenting-related statuses and whose feedback has not always been...received well...posted about how well her kid napped.  it annoyed me. i vented here. it was not the nicest thing i've ever done. i wasn't totally hateful. just...annoyed and talking about it.

i felt sort of bad about it at the time, but even more so when i read the comment that i posted about. so here's me repenting and getting rid of the ridiculousness.

i am prone to being annoyed right now.  lots of irrational stuff is annoying the ever-loving snot out of me, so there you go. 


***she's getting at least one bottom tooth. we have given her tylenol a couple of times but for the msot part, she's a tough beastie. also, when we do tummy time, she just spends the whole time now trying to get her legs under her so that she can scoot. she's 14 weeks old. i fear for our house. how do you go about babyproofing a house?!? help!

Monday, July 11, 2011


it's been a long day, but in the fading afternoon light in my bedroom, where maggie and i had escaped to let the downstairs air out after the pest man came (i hate it, but it's reality when you're renting), something truly magical happened.

i have been deeply frustrated every time i try to feed maggie. she's very distracted right now, and she won't eat well.  she smiles and she moves every which way and she eats just enough to be briefly satisfied (but by no means full) and then acts like it's an affront that i keep trying to offer her the bottle. sometimes she'll take it if i read a book to her while she's sitting in her bouncy chair, so that she's distracted enough to eat.  it's as if she forgets that food is for chumps.

combine this with her being up twice last night to eat (though one of those "night" wakings was 6am, so  guess i can't really count it) and making noises every time she cycled in and out of sleep (though never waking up, she did at one point yell out and at another point grunt really loudly) means i am very tired.

it is getting toward the end of the day. we had just fought another food fight, and she did pretty well, but when i tried to get her to nap, she screamed and howled like she was still hungry (see?) and so she ate the last ounce. 

she was wrapped up, in my arms, when she finished and i just looked down at her.

and she was the most beautiful thing i had ever seen in my life. 

somehow the light made her already creamy skin seem like porcelain and her eyes even larger than they normally are.  she was smiling at me and i nearly cried, as i stroked her face and told her how beautiful she was.  i asked her if she knew that, that she was beautiful, and told her that i thought she didn't and that that was okay. 

she looked at me as if what i was saying held the key to all of life's truths and magic.  as if i was the most amazing thing in the world.

i may not be getting much sleep right now, and i may have to fight every two and a half hours to have my daughter get the calories she needs to be the happy, cheerful girl she is (and SHE IS. so happy right now), but there are moments like this that make everything i've ever done or ever will do for this girl worth it.

she is my magic.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

in progress.

i haven't talked much about my post-baby body here, other than to moan piteously about it earlier on in the journey. i've come, a bit, to terms with it because i've done, a bit, to try to get it back into shape.

a wonderful friend of mine loaned me some clothes until i can fit my post-baby hips back into my pants, which have always been the bane of my shopping existence.  i happen to have a very curvy shape, even at my lowest weight, which makes finding pants that fit nearly impossible.  so add in the inevitable butt spread of a sedentary pregnancy (NEVER AGAIN! of course not, since the next few times i'll be chasing after and the anatomical spread of the pelvis to do what it does best in childbirthing, and you've got two sizes right there.


today, one of the pairs of shorts she loaned me, which were snug when i borrowed them, were nearly falling off of me by the end of the day.

i'm 14 days into the 30 day shred challenge, and i'm already a better plank position holder than i think i've ever been before.  i feel GOOD when i finish, even though it's at the end of my day, and tonight i was so tired and didn't want to do it but did it anyways because i told myself i would.  and i nearly cried and laughed with joy at the end, because i worked hard and didn't cop out. 

that's progress, folks. i'll take it.

(and i'll write it down here so that it's out of my head and into print. my goal? to be 30 pounds lighter than i am now by december. that'll put me a bit below where i was before i got pregnant. my goal after that is to be at my goal weight by maggie's 1st birthday, which would be about 30 more in 4 months after that. i'm not sure that one is actually realistic, but we'll see.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

letter to my girl: month three.

dear maggie girl,

you are three months old and right in the middle of your 12 week/three month growth spurt.  i'm writing this a few days early, but you are most assuredly no longer a newborn. it's hard to believe that's true, since it seems only yesterday that you were born, but you have reached the stage where you would much rather look at the world than do just about anything else.  i'm so excited by that--you are learning, every minute, and i know it.  it's daunting, too, baby girl--i have to make sure to teach you as you look and to help you learn as you see.  i also have to make sure to set a good example, and i'm not sure watching psych all day is doing that.  but we're trying.  watching you take in the world is awesome.

you have done so many new things this month! you were teasing us with rolling over, but you've done it! multiple times! we were at your grandma and grandpa lamkin's house when you did it two times for reals, and it took my breath away. front to back, like it was no big deal--once in one direction and once in the other. you had such an audience, and you seemed to love that.  i think you might be a people person, maggie. i've thought that for a while, because you love faces and people and interaction more than any toy, but in that moment, my heart told me that you might be a performer at heart.  

you've been talking more and more. in fact, today, i left you in your pack and play for a while, hoping you would finally go to sleep, but you just moved around and wiggled and talked.  it was sort of awesome to watch, except that you should have been sleeping. i think you're just so excited about all that you're seeing that you find wonder even in the pastel green edging of your little pack and play bassinette. i like that about you. you seem to be entertained and content by most anything.  i was that way too, and so was your daddy--so it makes sense that you are too.

you're starting to act like you want to sit up too. i often have you on my legs, in a reclining position, facing me. now, you start to do these little baby crunches and pull yourself up to a sitting position. when i sit you up from laying, your head control is so much better--your head often follows your shoulders rather than falling back, the exception being when you are tired. you like to sit up when you are propped up or on our laps.  you do really well reading books like that, and you seem to get really annoyed, especially when we're trying to soothe you to sleep, to not be facing the world. your daddy discovered this about you first--i just thought you were being cranky--and he's right. you want to jump into life and not miss a thing.  yesterday, when we were playing on your play mat, you turned to your side. in fact, you seemed to be trying to roll from back to front. when i helped you roll onto your tummy, you got this look on your face like that's exactly what you wanted to do.  i don't think it will be long before you're doing both regularly--and heaven help us when that's true! a mobile maggie will be quite the sight.

you are gaining weight and height so quickly! awe just finished a growth spurt at the beginning of this month, and we're ending it with another.  you're out of size 1 diapers now and have been for several weeks. i knew it was time when you were leaking more than ever--you never do that unless you're too small for your diapers. i thought size 2s were too big at first, but it's become quite apparent that they're just right. :) your cute 0-3 month onesies are now too small too. you can still fit into them, but they look a little bit absurd now, with plunging necklines and bulging snaps. it's time for me to weed them out of your drawers and replace them with the bigger things we've gotten for you.  i guess we'll pack them away for either a sibling or for when you have a doll that you'd like to dress. that was daddy's idea too. :) i think you've gained at least a pound and a half this month--or at least that's what the scale says when we unscientifically weight you.  you've definitely gained at least an inch or an inch and a half.  that's extraordinary--i can only imagine what your brain's been doing.

even though they're doing amazing things for you, growth spurts aren't my favorite thing, baby girl, and this one that we're in right now seems to be a doozy. yesterday, you ate 31 ounces! that's a new personal record for you.  i know it's a growth spurt for sure because you woke up last night in the middle of the night starving and you ate 5 ounces like it was no big deal.  extraordinary.  you're fighting sleep during the day SO hard and will only sleep if you're on mommy or daddy. i hate that, not because i dislike having you with me (so far from the truth--i actually really love it), but because i want you to learn to sleep in your bed.  but i guess we'll do that in good time, and probably not when you seem to need us so much.  you need your sleep, and i'll take it any way i can get it. sometimes i have to stop myself from trying to make you bigger than you are. you're so advanced, and you seem so much bigger than you are, that i have to remember that you're still little and there's plenty of time for things like nap training.  i have a feeling you'll find your way. you've found your way with almost everything else.

you're growing to like your toys. in fact, it seems like this week you've grown to like your toys even more. yesterday, when you were playing on your mat, you seemed to really like the chimey hanging toy that you used to be annoyed by. you continue to really like your giraffe with the hanging legs, and today you grabbed your teething giraffe and seemed to snuggle it. you held on to it for a while--that was amazing! i'm thinking that you're going to like loving on toys, like your teething giraffe sophie, but i think you're going to like sticking everything in your mouth first.  you are a drool monster right now, which is sort of adorable, and you stick everything in your mouth. i'll find you eating your shirt, your hands, your toys, your spit rag--most anything you can put near your mouth goes into your mouth. i am feeling like it's nearly time to babyproof this house.  that's going to be such a task.

you are so much fun, maggie girl, even when you're a pill. on days when you are cranky and fighting sleep, you still save a smile for the changing table.  it helps, dear girl, and i'm so grateful for it. it helps me to know that my sweet baby girl, so content and good natured, is still in there. it helps me to know that this is all part of the process and we're going to make it. it helps me to know we're doing something right.

another cool thing has developed over the past few days: when we give you your bottle, you wrap your little hands around it, and i swear you know what it is (or at least what good things come from it). i never thought that would happen so early! but it seems to be fairly consistent, so that's exciting.  a funny thing happened this afternoon--i was eating some frozen yogurt in front of you and you were totally enraptured. i could swear the look on your face said "can i have some?" i'm sure you were just trying to figure out what it was and what i was doing, since most of the time you're asleep for dinner time, but it was funny. i know it won't be long before you actually are wanting some of our table food, and that will be an amazing day. for now, though, i showed you what the spoon was and the bowl was and told you what i was doing.  that's probably enough for you. i need to remember to do that more. i loved the look in your eyes--pure learning. extraordinary.

i can't WAIT until you're sitting up and we can play. i know i shouldn't wish for the future. i know i should just enjoy every moment of this time--and i am--but i just think you are the most adorable kid and as your personality comes out a little more every day, i can't wait to be able to teach you cool things like how awesome plastic bowls and wooden spoons are to bang on things with and how cool blocks can be and the wonders of the playground. i can't wait to be able to help you learn to communicate and to start to learn even more of your language. i can't wait to see who you become.

so far, you're an awesome kid. so far, you are a joy--and i know that's just going to exponentially increase as i get to know you even better. i was thinking today that i have learned your language pretty well--i know when you're hungry, i know when you're tired, i know when you need to play because you're bored--and that it's hard to translate that for anyone else except daddy.  but i also know that you're coming to a time when you're going to get introduced to socializing. i'm excited for that--for babysitters and for play groups and for interaction with strangers at random stores--because i think, like the woman you're named for, you are going to be naturally gifted at loving people.

you're already really good at loving us. thanks for that, maggie girl.  keep growing.  keep developing. keep becoming who you are. daddy and i promise to try to listen really hard to what you're telling us and to try to figure out what you like so that we can help your world to be the best and most fun and engaging that it can be. we'll make mistakes, for sure--but we'll never stop trying. i promise.

we love you so much. every night, i look at you sleeping and kiss your beautiful head and thank Heavenly Father that He has blessed us with such a beautiful girl.  thank you for making me a mommy and for teaching me, ever so patiently, how to be one.



...that i get to choose to give 100%. that i realize that it can be a joyful choice.

...that even though we're not ready to go to the library for story time and probably should be, baby girl is contentedly sleeping on my chest. that even though i'm wondering if the sneezes and coughs earlier and now the extra sleeping this morning mean that she's fighting something off, i'm not afraid.

...that i have a partner who believes in me 100% and always has wise words to say when i melt down.  that he forgives me readily and easily for my selfishness.

...that i melt down more frequently, because it means i'm growing. rough edges are being sanded off, and i like that. even though sometimes it's painful.

...for prayer.  that i can pray in my heart whenever. that they are answered.

...that i read my scriptures this morning instead of just going right back to sleep when the baby did.

...that the baby is growing and is so forgiving. she got a pretty good head bonk yesterday and turned her ankle or something horrifyingly frightening while standing on my lap last night (screams of pain = heart stoppage for mom and dad, yet they dwindled and were gone and she was smiling again in a few minutes but i was ready to call the doc and crying at the same time) AND stabbed herself in her own face while flailing about and yet woke up this morning like sunshine personified.  i know there will be more head bonks and small laceration and big scares, but she's so tough.  i am so grateful for that. 

...i got my first week's grading done in an hour. 

...that we have sufficient for our needs. that i don't need the extra job. 

...that musicboy's summer classes aren't as hard as we thought they might be, so he won't have to be as stressed as he normally is. though he may not realize it, i think he might have had his worst semester last semester.  as i recall, junior year is suckage. major, major suckage.  now he's a senior and, with the exception of student teaching, i think he's got this nailed.

...that even though i'm tired and stretched thin and sometimes worn through, i still can't wait to have another baby.  that said, i'm trying extra hard to enjoy all of these moments with maggie girl.

...that friends are finally being valued for the incredibleness that they embody.

...that headbands were invented for days like this.

...that i have this life.  i work hard in it, but there's no way i work hard enough to deserve it.

Friday, July 1, 2011


for the past six or so months, there has been an abandoned fast food restaurant sitting empty, prone to occasional graffiti and window breaking as most empty, independently placed storefronts are.  about a month ago,  my husband reported to me that there was now a sign on the old establishment's sign that said a new mexican grille was going to take over the space.

i was excited for multiple reasons. mexican grille? yes please. but i also didn't like the way that abandoned building looked, and i didn't really understand why it had stood empty for so long. (you know, except for the crap economy.) it's one of the busiest streets in collegetown, so it made sense that some other fast food enterprise could make a go of it.  or so you'd think.

i sort of assumed that they'd just take over the space. renovate, yes. repair, certainly. but basically, the place had been a restaurant.  i figured once a restaurant always a restaurant.

imagine my surprise when i drove by one day a couple of weeks ago and found that workers had completely stripped the place, down to the brick basic structure.  gone were the windows. gone was the inside. everything was gutted and stripped to its barest beams and rafters.

i was a bit puzzled.  was that really necessary? i figured it must have been in much worse shape on the inside than i had originally thought.


wednesday was hard. wednesdays normally are, because i teach a church class and feel certain that satan conspires to make my days as difficult as possible so that i won't have the Spirit with me when i teach. so far, Heavenly Father has won out in the end but i have grown to dread what comes to me on wednesdays.

(it occurs to me also that baby girl was born on a wednesday so it seems like, punctual as she is/was, perhaps all of the growth spurt stuff that sends me reeling begins or is in full force on a wednesday. also, it's the middle of the week.)

nevertheless, wednesday was hard. baby girl has been fighting her naps, and she does so in the afternoons, when she's most tired and in most need of a good solid sleep.  the only way to get her to sleep for more than 10 or 20 minutes at a time is to let her sleep on me. this makes me feel like a terrible mother, despite what i said earlier.  i feel like it's a terrible habit to begin, but i also feel like she needs to sleep. if we had a swing that would work to put her out, i would use it.  i know it's not just me that she'll sleep for--she sleeps on my husband as well, or even just on the couch next to us, but she just won't stay asleep.

(it's developmental. i've been commiserating with other moms going through EXACTLY the same thing.)

after a hard morning, i got an email that our family pictures were ready to be viewed. and they were just...not flattering of me. i felt, all of the sudden, so defeated.

and i cried. not the kind of sweet cry that happens nicely. the full-on ugly cry that comes from just feeling like nothing works out.  my husband just held me, getting snot on his shirt in the process, and let me cry.  i cried for a while and then thought for a while and he didn't say anything.

finally, i talked about how it wasn't fair, how i try so hard and there's never enough time or energy for me.  i didn't mean that in a selfish way. i meant that in a "i can't find the energy sometimes to do a 20 minute workout that i so want to do" or a "i haven't been able to read any part of a book in weeks."  when i write it here, it seems entirely selfish, but i guess i meant that my tank was feeling quite empty and i needed some time during the day--not much, mind you, but some--when i could know that i could do whatever i needed to do. if it was a day when i needed to read a chapter out of a book that had nothing to do with teaching writing or with growing babies, that's what i needed. but mainly, and my husband knew this, i wanted time to make myself into the person i want to be. i needed time to be healthy. 

so we devised a plan whereby he would take bedtime from now on and we would take walks as a family as often as we could. for the next six weeks, that's the plan. it will change, probably, as our schedules change, but hopefully by then it will be a habit. 

it's been two days. i already feel like a new person.


i can't tell you how raw and empty i felt before we talked, how stripped down to the bare bones i was.  and i began thinking about that restaurant, and i wasn't sure why until i thought about why i felt the way that i felt.

i think i thought that because i was a woman and a wife before our girl came that i could just fit motherhood into that model and be the same person as i was before. i'd heard that motherhood changes you, but i didn't realize that such a change would require me being stripped and refashioned.

a woman is a woman is a woman, right? like a restaurant is a restaurant is a restaurant?

no. i'm coming to see that i have to be a new version of me. 

so in these moments when i feel broken down by life, by trying to do it all and seeming to fail, after a little while, and a bit of perspective, i see it for what it is: renovation.  change.  i am being shaped and moved and chipped away to become something different, something better, something that fulfills the measure of my creation. so many things seem entirely different, and yet the pieces are often the same.  maggie is certainly a huge new addition, but i spend my days often doing the same things that i used to do--working, cooking, exercising, praying, doing laundry, paying bills--but now the way i do them is entirely different because our lives are entirely different.  and yet, they're not.  the most important things are still the same, and the many of the parts are still the same: just reworked into a new blueprint.

it's not always an easy process, but that doesn't make it unwanted either.  the best things in life are the hardest things, the things you have to work the hardest for.  but sometimes, in those moments, it feels like the tough times mean you're failing.

i felt, on wednesday, like i was failing. i asked musicboy if i was. he said, in probably the most emphatic voice i've heard in a while, "no. you're not failing at ANYTHING. you only fail if you quit, and you're not quitting."

i am not quitting, not by a long shot.  i'm not quitting at anything.  in fact, it's probably the opposite--i feel more committed to more things that are important and essential than ever.  i'm just still finding my way, one project at a time, one change at a time.  i'm finding ways to incorporate everything i was into everything that i'm becoming.

it takes a skillful Architect to plan that sort of thing. i'm glad i'm letting the Eternal Architect handle it.

He can renovate my life any time. His projects are always successes.