We 'dog sat' Nasha yesterday afternoon.
Max is 18 months old and not scared of anything. He shouldn't be fearful at this age but it still amazes me that he has no hesitations about walking up to a Rottweiler that is easily quadruple his size. At this point in his life he has no fear of heights, falling, the dark, animals, insects, strangers or moving vehicles. Thankfully he doesn't need to be scared of anything at this age because we are here to protect him.
This morning he did get a little nervous though. He was sitting with his dad reading stories on the couch when all of a sudden a leaf blower started up outside the window. It was loud and unfamiliar. In the community where he was born, hearing a leaf blower would be like hearing a llulaby, but here it is not that common. So I watched as he cocked his head towards the noise and his eyes opened a little wider. Josh encouraged him to go check it out and when he started moving I thought for sure he would scoot off the couch and over to the door. Instead he stood up and plopped himself into Josh's lap.
From there he felt confident enough to crane his neck and look for the source of the loud noise. From there he could process this new situation that had entered his world. From Dad's arms it didn't matter if the noise was a person, an animal, a machine. It didn't matter if it was something big or small, as long as he was safe in Dad's arms.
It reminded me of a truth in my life that in the midst of chaos I sometimes forget about. I have a safe place too. It's a comforting, protected place. I can sit there and have peace of mind no matter what my circumstance and my fears are calmed. I close my eyes and remember that I am not in control. I sit in the lap of Faith, in the arms of Grace...in the belief that no matter what my life is in His hands.
This may seem simplistic and naive to some, cheesy to others, but it is my safe place. I hope you have one too.
My husband and I had many discussions about how we wanted to raise our children long before we decided to actually have a child. We talked about our own upbringing and what we wanted to take from that. We observed our friends and family and tried to glean from those we thought were having positive outcomes with their kids. Throughout our conversations there ended up being a common theme and that was this...We had to be on the same page and even when we weren't on the same page, we had to appear to be on the same page.
Kids learn so early that they can play one parent against the other, they are super smart like that! Already Max will run to Josh and hide behind his legs when I call him to do something he doesn't want to. If Josh were to 'side' against me even one time, some trigger in Max's brain would get tripped and he would realize that he had all the power over Mom if he could just get to Dad. Thankfully, Josh doesn't 'side' against me, because we addressed the issue before it ever came up. It's a rule.
We have other rules too in our marriage. Like if one of us holds out our hand then the other one has to hold it. That was one of our first rules and Josh loves to drag it out when I am super mad at him. I HATE IT!
Anyway, I made a new rule yesterday after having a super frustrating morning. Here is the story:
Max had been brushing his teeth and didn't want to give his toothbrush up. I needed to get some breakfast for both of us and Josh was about to leave for a work appointment. It was obvious that getting Max to give up the toothbrush was going to be an issue and I was ready to let him chew on it all day. You know, pick your battles, right? But Josh decided this was a battle he did want to fight and he insisted that Max not leave with the toothbrush. So, the toothbrush was put back in it's place, the screaming and flailing started up, and then...Josh left for work!
20 minutes later, after I had almost lost my mind, Max finally calmed down. Not Acceptable!New rule. If you start the battle, you better stay to fight it because I don't want to fight it for you!
What do you think? A reasonable rule? Do you have rules
Making mommy nervous! First time climbing the slide on his own.
It is embarrassing to admit that I could stay in the house for days without ever thinking about going outside until I actually need to emerge for groceries or an appointment. Max, however, loves to go outside and I am a firm believer, even if I haven't lived out the belief, that kids need to play outside a lot.
One of my earliest memories is playing in our backyard with earthworms. I was an only child until the age of 6 and our neighbors were elderly so my playmates were either imaginary or of the creepy crawly sort. Now I watch Max as he is fascinated with ants and ladybugs and know that I do not want his development to be hampered by 'nature deficit disorder', I want his mind to be, as it should be, full of awe at the most simple but beautiful things.
The smell of a flower and the evergreen tree.
The feel of a pine cone and the grass under feet.
The sight of your shadow as it dances and sways.
The warmth of the sun on a bright, sunny day.
So, here goes folks...
I am challenging myself to take Max outside every day.
I can't believe I am making myself responsible for this publicly but maybe it will help strengthen my resolve in this commitment. Fall is just around the corner so it is the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf, right? Oooh, so cliche, I know. But, we are having perfect weather in Calgary right now, so it should ease me gently into this challenge.
Anyone interested in taking the challenge with me?
Eighteen months ago I looked down into the curious eyes of my newborn son and fell in love. Josh and I had talked about having a little boy named Max for the previous 9 years and finally he was here! Was he everything I had dreamed about? Yes! Has being a full-time stay-at-home mom the dream job I thought it would be? No! Has it been worth it? Well...let me describe my morning to you and then answer that question.
It started in the wee hours this morning. Max slept through the night which is normal now except that for this past week he has been crying out or moaning every hour on the hour from about 4AM on until he wakes at 8ish. So, I should have been sleeping peacefully for the first time in four nights right? Wrong! The monitor was malfunctioning and let me tell you I do not deal well with any interruptions to my night especially when it is anything other than Max that is waking me. So there I was whacking the monitor on the counter hoping to set it straight. Back to bed, fall asleep...crackle, crackle, pop, pop - get up, turn it off, worry that Max would start crying and then turn it back on again. I know that this is not necessarily about Max and being a mom, but it is related since I wouldn't have a malfunctioning monitor if I didn't have Max, and it does provide background to my tale of motherhood this morning.
The alarm went off and Josh started getting ready for work. I was relieved that Max wasn't up yet and I could maybe sleep in a bit...but 10 minutes into my snooze, you guessed it, he woke up.
Introducing The First Low of the day - Tired, tired mom wishing that her kid would just stay asleep!
Josh brought Max in and laid him beside me. Max put his cheek on mine and giggled happily.
Introducing The First High of the day - Happy, contented mom drowning in love for her sweet little boy!
Max learned to give Eskimo kisses yesterday and it was one of the first things he wanted to do this morning. First mom, then dad, back to mom and everyone clap for Max (including Max)! Another high!
I grab some socks, shoes and a fleece for Max, a warm wrap and some Uggs for me. Max has been wanting to sit outside in the mornings before breakfast and I want to be ready just in case. With arms full of stuff I head to the kitchen with Max and he throws a royal fit, the second low.
He won't let me put him down but he thrashes in my arms whining, crying, pointing to random things in the kitchen that he doesn't really want.
"You want some toast?"
"You want some milk?"
And on it goes...
I wrestle him into his highchair and he finally calms down when I reheat a waffle from yesterday mornings breakfast. Phew! That was a big fat LOW!
Our morning eating schedules are completely off. He likes to eat fairly soon after waking, I like to have several cups of coffee and then eat. So while he is happy eating his waffle I make my first cup and enjoy it while I can. Max is so cute eating his waffle, legs kicking, smiling at me between bites, chatting. Another high, although not quite so high since I am still recovering from the big fat LOW that I was just in.
Max finishes and wants down. I clean his sticky hands, put him down and grab a second cup of coffee. He spots the cordless vacuum and asks for it. While he vacuums the living room I start making some breakfast for myself but one of the cardinal rules of motherhood is that mommies can never do anything they want to when they want to so Max runs over to me and insists that I vacuum. He gets so happy and claps for me. I give it back. He takes a turn but it is so short I can't even turn back to the toaster before it is my turn again. Several turns later, forget this! Mommy is too tired and hungry and yes, grouchy, to play this game. Max throws a little fit so I decide to put the vacuum down and ignore. If he wants it, he can have it but I sure as heck DON'T WANT TO VACUUM RIGHT NOW! I feel a low coming on.
Max heads into the living room with the vacuum and I sit down with my toast feeling slightly relieved. Oh! I felt that relief a moment too soon. Here he is with outstretched hands for my food because one of the other cardinal rules of motherhood is that mommies can never, ever eat alone, they must always share their food! Not only does Max want to share my food, he wants to sit on my lap and bounce up and down as my head starts to pound from lack of sleep and nourishment. We ride out this low with a only a few grouchy remarks from mom to son.
By now I am feeling like this Monday is going to be one huge low. What's that you say? Speak positively? Put together a vision board for what my day should look like? I can't respond to that in this post because I'm trying to keep it PG but you know what I want to say to you!
Soon after our shared breakfast Max wants to be held and whines and cries not knowing what he wants or not being able to express what he wants. It is only two hours since he woke up but I can't take it any longer so I put him down for a nap. He kicks and screams as I lay him down. Sweating and shaking I try to remain calm as I kiss him and say what I always say when I put him in his crib, "I love you! Sleep good." I shut the door to his room and refuse to turn on the monitor. This is too many lows for two hours. I need quiet. I need more coffee. I need some food to eat alone.
This is motherhood today. It's not like this everyday, but this week the scales are off balance for some reason. Maybe he is teething, maybe he is experiencing frustrations because he has been having huge developmental changes and learning so many new things. who knows what it is. All I know is that it sucks and I don't handle it as well as I would like to.
So back to the original question...18 months of being a full-time stay-at-home mom...has it been worth it? In the words of Mr. Big "Abso..." oops, gotta keep it PG! Absolutely!
I made this salad yesterday and Josh said it would get me through the appetizer round of Chopped. (High compliments coming from the giver of The Hamelstein Award.) Seriously, my husband is a foodie and very hard to please. So, I thought I would share the recipe and see if you agree with him. A winner?
Also, I am using Picasa's Web Albums since it integrates with Google + which syncs with my phone automatically when I take pictures and videos. I would appreciate any feedback on if the link is easy to use and the recipe easy to understand via the slideshow.
It takes a lot of facial muscles to say "No!" (You can tell he really means it when his fists shake.)
My son has been kissing us for a long time now. He sometimes does it when you ask him, other times he turns his head with a twinkle in his eyes and says "No!" He loves that word and says it with little fish kissy lips that stay pooched out even after the sound has stopped coming out. The best kisses are the ones he gives unsolicited. My heart melts! I want to gather up the feeling and put it in a box to take out and treasure in later years. I know there will be a day when he won't want to kiss my lips and might not want to kiss me at all. Even if he is a lovey kid, I won't be able to eat up his little mouth without it being weird.
Right now his lips are small and most of the time slobbery and he presses them to mine with such fervor. Last night he called out to me after he had been in bed for a few minutes. I went in to his room with his sippy cup to see if he needed another drink of milk before going to sleep. He giggled with delight, grabbed the cup and started drinking so I squatted down beside the crib and peered through the rails at him while he drank. He put the cup down with a satisfied sigh and then grabbed the rails on either side of my face and stuck his little lips through smacking me right on my lips with a milky smooch. What a kiss! What a child! What a delight!
These are the moments to hold on to.