29 May 2014

Enjoying the Small Things

Sorry about the crappy writing in that last post. I cringed re-reading it just now. Lots of things went wrong over the holiday weekend and continued into this week. Some of them not so bad, just growing pains as we get use to our larger family. Some of them more significant on the bad-scale; not fixable. Anyway, I wanted a nice distraction post, so I decided to talk about Eleanor's name. But I was clearly not producing my best work. My apologies.

I mentioned before about how newborn days are a microcosm of parenting: everything that happens during the first few weeks is really intense and incredibly challenging, but the time period is really very short. Sometimes there is no solution and the best thing to do is just grip that bucking bronco until your thighs ache and your knuckles are white. I don't want to jump online and complain all the time. I don't hate my life, I love my life, it's just really difficult right now. A blessed, soul-filling, purpose-driven amazing difficult; suffering, even, on the days following the nights spent sitting up on the couch with a cranky 19-day-old. But you can't look into the eyes of a newborn baby and feel anything but intense, instinctual love and adoration, even if you're sobbing over plugged milk ducts while you do it.

This too shall pass and the only goal is to be on that horse when it does.

So instead, I'm enjoying the small things.

-Abigail's crib. I'm glad we haven't transitioned her to a toddler bed yet because keeping her contained in the mornings before I'm ready for her is very crucial.

-Tiny magnetic white boards where I can take a moment to reflect on where I need encouragement the most and write myself a pep-note for the day.

-Tiny apartments. It's easy to meet a low-set bar for cleanliness without expelling much energy.

-Couponing and meal planning. I have yet to cook a serious meal by myself or do a sink full of dirty dishes.

-Scripted prayers. Sometimes an auto-piloted Hail Mary is the only thing my brain can manage when I'm whiplashing between emotional highs and lows while cleaning up a blowout.

-An in-unit washer and dryer. The one thing I don't miss about Chicago. That, and the taxes.

-A breastfeeding veteran of a sister-in-law (five kids, all exclusively breastfed until they ate solids) on speed dial who does not mind giving me advice and talking me off the ledge. Several times a week. Note to self: send her something nice as a thank you.

-Pink carnations that never die, spring-smelling breezes, flowering trees outside my window, pre-pregnancy clothing that is starting to fit again, a husband who comes back from a diaper run with a box of Junior Mints, Kelle Hampton's Instagram reminding me to loosen up and enjoy my girls, and levitating baby legs.


Allison said...

Sorry about clogged ducts, I remember those :( I'm sure your sister has given you tons of advice, but hot showers really helped me, and massaging the clogged area. That and Booby Tubes (basically circular buckwheat packs you microwave) put in my bra helped too!

Anonymous said...

Plugged ducts are a major bummer!
But God is incredibly brilliant -you're right, you can look at your newborn with anything but ecstatic love. :-)

I remember, when my oldest was two weeks old and Mario had been gone at work all day, and I cried through most of the day, just laying down on the floor next to F propped up on a Boppy Pillow and sobbing, "it's not you -it's ME!" :-)

God bless your family. One of my SILs just had a successful VBAC this morning, and I'm so happy for her! She had her second girl as well. They live in WI, but are originally from MI. Lots of similarities. TB