Monday, December 30, 2013

The boy who made me Mommy

As I am about to go from a Mother of One to a Mother of 3, I look at my son who started it all.

I remember Caleb's first night home. He had fallen asleep and I laid him in his bassinet next to my bed, and went back to the living room. I had the monitor but it wasn't long before I needed to see with my eyes that he was ok and hear him breathe. I looked down at his calm body, but was not satisified that he was breathing. My heart skipped as I leaned over to hover just above his face where I could finally hear his quiet and peaceful sighs. As I walked back out I wondered how I was going to make it if I needed to check his breathing that closely! But motherhood has not been that tense. In fact, I believe Caleb has spoiled me.

He is a snuggler, and affectionate to family. He will jump up to sit by me and snuggle into my side saying, "Mommy. Mommy. Mmm. Mmm." He looks up at me with a sweet smile and soft blue eyes. He shows that he is safe and content next to me. Caleb has liked snuggling since the beginning. He loved being swaddled and his daddy is the best at it!

Caleb has really been a great sleeper. He never had his days and nights confused. As a nursing momma, I really don't remember hating night feedings. Our first several weeks I was still high on adenaline and on cloud 9 to be a mommy. I woke easily and gladly to meet his needs. He took a Nuk and was easy to get to sleep. When it came to be put down awake so he learned to sleep on his own, I couldn't handle the 'cry it out' method, and he was stubborn, so I found a book by The SleepLady and used her method. It was a slow and smooth transistion and he's been doing well since. For a stage he would run and climb into his bed happily for bedtime. Now it's a bit more begrudgingly.

What a great eater! He latched immediately and nursed quickly. He rarely needed to burp and I can't remembering him spitting up! Nursing was easy for us and I wish I could have done it longer, but my work schedule and stress put an end to my supply at about 7-8 months. When we switched to solids he again devoured food. We did cereal and veggies, then meat, for his first few months of solids and it paid off. He eats fruits and veggies gladly. Fruit is a great treat for him! But he'll eat his weight in broccoli.

He has his moments and tears but nothing that isn't turned around quickly. I think he may have reached 5 minutes once. When occassionally needed he takes timeouts well, with apologies and hugs after. Discipline goes well for being 2 1/2. In fact he sits in the timeout, takes a breath, flaps his arms down, and slunches his shoulders with guilt (or frustration). Stinking cute! Thank goodness he does not face me or he would see my grin.

Daycare is phenominal and we are lucky to have Amy provide such a nurturing and loving place for Caleb to learn and play. Caleb has always been good about babysitters, staying with grandparents, or getting dropped off at Daycare. I never need to worry and he lets me leave with hardly ever a tear, but rather a, "Bye Mommy. Have a good day!" And when he is picked up, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy..." There is usually at least one big hug too:)

Today he stopped what he was doing, picked up a craft feather and ran at me saying, "Tickle, tickle." Boy he knows how to make me laugh!

He is sensing the transition and prefers me to anyone right now. He wants to play with me on the floor, in his fort, or at the table. He wants me at night and he wants to sit by me. A few days I have gotten 'touched' out and go to the bathroom for a break. Yes, he still comes asking for me, but saying I'll be out in a minute usually suffices.

I know I'll regret this many times over and over but as he pulls me over to show something or snuggle for the 100th time that day, I have recently muttered, "Can you love me a little less?" I'll regret my words the first time he runs to Daddy instead of me, when he asks me not to hug or kiss him in public, when he calls a different girl instead of me for advice or encouragement, and many other times. Because the truth is I can not love him less. That's the most amazing truth of being a mother. He can aggrevate, whine, cry, and pout, but I cannot, will not love him less! He is my firstborn, sweet, intelligent, funny, 99th percentile son. A growing, loving boy who looks to me for reassurance, boundaries, and love. I pray God will grant me a long life and the wisdom to be his mother for all my days.

I love you, Caleb!

Carrying the world(s)

As I was desperately trying to find a comfortable position for sleep last night, I became very frustrated. I just wanted to sleep but my hips and pelvis ached and creaked with each movement. Finally after fitful stretches of sleep my body adjusted or resigned to the fact it would be horizontal. 3:00am was my hero and I got about a 3 hour stretch of sleep! Glorious! When Caleb stirred my loving husband went and got Caleb so we could lay in bed a little longer. However my son didn't feel like snuggling in my bed for long this morning. His request was, "Eat!"

I pushed myself up and my hips creaked again, resisting being vertical now. As I stood, one hand went under my growing belly and the other reached for the foot of the bed for support. Suddenly, "I feel like I'm carrying the world in my belly," dropped into my mind. Just as quickly it changed to, "Actually two worlds!"

My complaints and aches quickly diminished. Whoa, two worlds. It was completely true. Two lives had begun and their entire worlds nestle safely inside me. All they know is provided by my body. As I walked to the kitchen I prayed that these two babes also knew God already, His love, embrace, and grace. Suddenly the burden lightened slightly. While I am charged with this physical burden and blessing, my babies and I are not alone as we ache and grow. We are supported and loved by our family, and above all God!

Thanks for meeting me where I was at this morning, God.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Morning

December 25, 2013

Caleb went to bed without much anticipation. He didn't know what was in store for him the next morning. We hadn't done much hype about Santa or any elves at our house. For Christmas Eve we had dinner and presents, and then played. So was it any surprise that he woke up as usual and ran to the couch to watch some cartoons. He didn't even look for anything more near the tree, but there was something there. Josh lured him over and they peeked inside the fort Santa (Nana) made for him.
Then he noticed the stick horse that Santa (Papa) made for him. Then he unwrapped the tunnel from Aunt Britta, Uncle Ryan, and Kiri. The fort had a special hidden entrance for the tunnel to attach to. Caleb was pumped. Then he opened a cowboy outfit, chaps, vest, and bandana. Next was the handcuffs and pistols. Introducing Cowboy Caleb, complete with a hideout and horse!
The rest of the day included extreme Cowboy skills. He was my hero multiples times as he would have me handcuffed, grab the keys, and then say, "I rescue you, Mommy!" What a guy! He could melt my heart with each successful rescue.

I called Grandma Miller for her Creamed Eggs and Toast recipe, and we enjoyed a family favorite. I made a roux for the second time in two days. I felt so domestic:) What a day of play and good eating! It was too windy for the planned ice fishing trip, but we didn't mind staying cozy together.

Before having Caleb the joy of Christmas had lost some of its luster for me. I got the hymns and services to feel that Jesus was born, but the true elation and joy was difficult to conjure. I loved giving presents, and appreciated opening them, but something was missing. Apparently, Caleb was missing. This Christmas was all about joy. His joy and kindness when opening gifts. His creativity when assembling and playing with new items. It is the child-like faith in goodness, God, and imagination that gave me back the Christmas Joy!

I hope and pray each of you had Christmas Joy too!
Here are some captured moments of Christmas Morning. I have a playlist linked to this video.