Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On Time

I must admit, this evening, I had my mind set on writing on Spencer's blog about the various things he did over the weekend. It was set so firmly on the idea, in fact, that over the past 45 minutes when I'd been "fighting" with him to get him to sleep, I found myself wishing that he would just go to sleep already so I could get on with my evening and have some time for myself, finally.

Yeah, that's a good summary. I had said to my husband last night something along the lines of how in four days of being together, I didn't have any time for ME. I was with Spencer all weekend long, except for during sleep and a few short moments here and there, but basically, while Jake was home, I still felt I had Spencer with me every moment of every day. Not that it's a horrible thing, of course, but I was hoping to have some personal time away from the house for just me, without having to worry about Spencer waking up or having a diaper change, etc. Call me selfish if you must.

So, after a very long (feeling) day at work and the cranky baby episode around supper-time followed by a short bath and fight for sleep... I just couldn't wait for him to finally be asleep so I could do what I wanted to- blog about Spencer.

Then, the song "Never Grow Up" (a Taylor Swift (gasp! Yeah, I like one or two of her songs, I'll admit)) song came on his Lullabies CD. The lyrics, as they often do, resonated with me, and suddenly, I was no longer dwelling on the fact that he was fighting me and I still hadn't had ME time.

Instead, I was realizing... I have Spencer time. Yeah, he was fussy, and he was fighting sleep the best he knew how. Literally.. I was trying to hold him onto his tummy and pat him to sleep like he usually likes to have done, and he was trying SO hard to roll over and grab my arm while crying and smiling at the same time... BUT... he was there, in his crib. He's so big, but he's still so small.

I realized that tomorrow he will be 7/12 old. In FIVE MONTHS, he'll be one. Time does seem to pass by us way too quickly as it is, and here I was, just wishing these moments of fighting would fly by and be done.

My frame of mind changed. Instead of being completely frustrated, I was mostly not frustrated (I will admit, still a little, I'm only human after all), and instead, looking at my baby boy just wishing that time could stand still for a little while. He's going to be a toddler WAY too soon.

I know that personally, I often find myself wishing that we could go back in time to a various occasion or age. I know that even now, I sometimes find myself wishing Spencer could be a newborn again, so tiny and curled up on my chest, or I could be nursing him again and have him clutching onto me with his tiny fist. I know that in not all that long I will be wishing for the days when he was only six months old, sitting and bouncing on the floor, full of smiles as he watches the dog play.

I feel like I'll spend countless hours of my life wishing he was little again.

So, why do I let myself wish that time would speed up now, just so I can do something other than savor the moments that I know deep down I will eventually miss?

Tonight, I wish I could push pause on our lives.

I know I won't always feel that way, and I will admittedly wish for circumstances and events to speed through to get onto something greater (whether it's sleep or just time to read something funny on a random website). But, I hope that I will be able to reframe most of those instances, so that I will again realize that time is short, and I'm going to wish for these moments someday.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Various Topics

As you may know (if you're a follower of my blog), I had a cystectomy on my tail bone in March. It was not a joyous experience, but it wasn't as bad as I imagined either.

Post-surgery, I thought I was very well-behaved, taking it easy for about a week, doing not much of anything (thanks to my amazing husband who was daddy, mommy, housewife, and provider all week), and then light activity for a few weeks after. I went for a few post-op visits and everything "appeared" to be fine.

So, I was disgraced and saddened when I realized that, in fact, it was not healing properly. I've been back to the surgeon a few times, and up until this past week, he didn't seem very concerned, which annoyed me and my husband. Following this last appointment, he verified that the incision site isn't really healing that well. In fact, as gruesome as this sounds, there's a hole in it. Sweet. NO wonder it's been uncomfortable and painful, among other things, ever since. So, he gave us a few instructions to helpfully help it actually heal, and I go back in a month or so.


Lately, our little family is less financially stable than we used to be. I've been blaming myself for this a lot, especially since I make much less doing in-home daycare than I did doing center-based daycare, which was also less than teaching preschool, which was definitely less than social/community work. Ah!


Today, I took Spencer to the park, by myself. He and I have been to the park with Jake or Jillian and the daycare kids before, but never alone. It was a wonderful experience! I had him in the baby swing, and got to talking to another mommy there, whose baby is just three days older than Spencer. So we were comparing stories and stuff. It was pretty cool. He used the swing, then one of those bouncy/rocking sit-on toys (a duck, actually) until he bonked his face on the handlebars (I was holding him, and he still did it... whoops), and then we went on the play equiptment and played with the tic-tac-toe board thing for a while, and then back to the swing, together, then the toddler swing, then the baby swing. Then we played in the grass with toys. It hit me, while playing in the grass, that I was AT THE PARK with my BABY. I'd spent years driving or walking by parks and seeing mommies and their babies and children and I would just pray that some day I would get to take my baby to a park. And I WAS AT THE PARK WITH MY BABY. I almost started sobbing pure joy. It was overwhelming. I didn't have to wish anymore, I was living that dream! Ah! Pure bliss!

Then we went for an hour long walk, and came back and sat on the step with the dog watching the cars go by. Both Spencer and the dog like cars.


Spencer surprised me today and scooted five or so feet on his bottom and got the dog food bag. Didn't eat any, but was sure excited about his find.


My brother, who is 19 now, but my youngest brother, is in the National Guard. Right now, he's training in MN to be deployed to Kuwait for a month, followed by Iraq for a year. The send-off celebration is this coming Friday, in Minnesota. I don't know how to prepare myself, emotionally and mentally, for the event. I try not to think about it too much. It's funny though, because I'm not really scared he will die overseas... but that the events will change him and we won't know him like we do now. He's one of the most easy-going, funny guys I know, and I don't want him to lose that part of himself. I know he'll change, but I hope he comes back and we still know him, if that makes sense. Of course, I'm also concerned for his safety, but I trust that God will be watching over him.

Another thing that gets me about the entire situation is that, with the exception of a short pass in July that I just found out he'll have, before actually being deployed, I will not see him for over a year. In a year's time, Spencer will be walking (I assume) and talking (a bit, hopefully), and be a little boy, not just a baby. He'll be nothing like Bryan knows of him now. That's crazy! And you never know, there's always a chance that Spencer would have a sibling on the way by the time he comes back. He was in training/camp this fall when Spencer was born... and it's just... hard to wrap my mind around, I guess.


Anyway, the movie "Seven Pounds" is playing in the living room, and I should get to watching it, because it is almost to the area in which I fell asleep watching it last night (sorry about that, Jake, I had no idea I was so tired).

Monday, May 9, 2011

First Mother's Day

This is going to be just a "daily recap" sort of blog. That's my forewarning.

I had an (overall) wonderful first official Mother's Day! (I say official because I was pregnant last year.)

I got up early because Spencer was screaming, afraid of the thunderstorm. By "got up" I mean I woke up, and didn't get out of bed until Jake's best friend, Brian, and his girlfriend, Cari, were about to leave and informed me that I had a gift to receive. (It was a humorous picture book- I Haz a Hotdog).
I took a nice long (7 minute!), hot, Mother's Day shower as a treat to myself, and then realized I wasn't going to make it to the 10am church service with Jake (who does lights) because I was still in a robe and Spencer wasn't close to being ready either, and Jake was "late" and had to run out the door. So, I cried on the couch for six minutes (roughly), realizing how I'm tired of going to church alone, and sitting alone, Sunday after Sunday (or the Sundays that Robert or Jillian don't sit by me), while Jake does lights for the service. Then, I felt guilty wanting him to be with me at church because he likes doing lights. So, I cried.

Went to the 11:30 service at church, and sat by myself, of course. I started crying halfway through the service, actually, again, and then shortly after, my hero of a husband came and sat by me for a little while as there was a break in the "lights necessity" of the service. That warmed my spirits up. Following the service, we socialized with a few people, and realized that Spencer was basically dressed as a miniature version of the worship/creative arts pastor. He had on a plaid button up (of the exact same patter and design, just different color), blue jeans, and chucks (sneakers). I don't think Hal shops for himself at Children's Place, but you'd almost think it with how they matched. Haha.

After church, Jake took Spencer and I out for sushi again! I LOVE sushi! Spencer, turns out, loves steamed rice with teriyaki sauce, as well as ice water from a straw (poured from the straw into his mouth).

Jake then surprised me with a nook color! YAY! I had just sent him a text the day prior saying something along the lines of "every time I come to B&N I want a nook more badly." He said, "save up your paychecks and get one."
What a sneak.

So, I was quite delighted with that surprise.

Came home to charge the nook, work on some household chores, change Spencer's diaper and clothes (I didn't, Jake did, which was kind of a bummer because under his plaid shirt he was wearing his "I <3 MOMMY" shirt (but then changed into "My Mommy Rocks")) because he had a little accident, and then Spencer and Jake took a nap while I... did not nap. I do not remember what I did.

Following nap time, we went to Starbucks to use their wi-fi to set up my nook, as well as learn how to use my new cell phone, an HTC Aria. Unicel (our current provider) is switching to AT&T sometime this decade (we've been waiting MONTHS for this to actually happen) and we got new free phones. I enjoyed two beverages, and then we came home.
Jake fed Spencer, gave him a bath, and put him to sleep. Then, we watched "Napoleon Dynamite," and I fell asleep two minutes or so before it was finished. Then, I went to bed (more or less, after getting up hearing Spencer cry, doing some dishes, putting away laundry, and having a sleep-deprived, exhausted cry (which is kind of embarassing to admit)).

Here's a photo of the three of us at Starbucks, taken with my new phone, on my very first Mother's Day.
I love my little family of three (and a half, if you count a beagle as half a person).

Friday, May 6, 2011

She used to write poetry... and take fine art photographs...

Last night, I wrote a post about how I used to play guitar and vowed that I would bring that back into my life.

Tonight, I was sitting on the computer, browsing a friend's etsy shop (which I happen to adore and hope to own an item from someday) when I also happened upon a list of that friends' etsy favorites, which included photographs of coffee. (I think that was a complete sentence...)

That made me realize that it's been quite a long time since I've picked up my camera to take a "fine art photograph," or photograph of anything that wasn't my son or other family member.

I used to do that frequently (read: I had a project 365 for over a year straight, until I found out I was pregnant, actually, and I stopped that day), and I would sell them online in my own etsy shop.

Once, I had someone from a college in Tennessee (I forget which one, which is kind of embarassing, because the entire event was a big deal to me) tell me that she wanted one of my images in her curated show in a local art gallery! One of my biggest dreams had been to be featured in an art gallery somewhere!

Anyway.... Photographing "fine art..." I did it mostly for fun, however, and with the "crazy" idea that someday I would have my own art gallery in my home. Not to sell or anything of that nature, just to display some of my favorite photographs.

I loved taking photos. Heck, I still do, my focus just has, undoubtedly, changed from "art" to photos of my adorable (yes, I'm biased) son.

But that doesn't mean that desire isn't still there. I still have some photos for sale on an etsy shop, but I haven't really done any marketing to find an audience. Part of me doesn't have any interest in selling it, but then again, the other part of me does.

Tonight, on facebook, I commented how I miss taking fine art photographs. A few friends told me that they'd buy my art, or display it, which was great to hear, I won't lie. This then lead to someone commenting on how I should publish a photography book.
That had been one of my dreams as well. I guess it still is, I just haven't focused on it at all since Spencer's arrival. I have always wanted a book of my work published.

Then, I remembered I used to write poetry. I had over 200, maybe three hundred, poems written and published on a long-deceased geocities website. Fortunately, I had a crazy whim once to make sure to save them all and made two copies of the entire "works," one for my high school German teacher, mentor, and friend, Frau. The other, I gave to my boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband). When geocities had their demise, the website was surely lost, but luckily, these works are around somewhere. Jake says he still has it, and I know Frau does, because she let my little sister read them at school, or something to that effect.
I miss writing poetry. I haven't done that in YEARS. I don't know why. It's not like my love of language has faded, nor have I really lost my words. I guess I should probably find a spark inside of me and get that going, too.

What does poetry have to do with anything, you might be wondering? Well, I had the idea that maybe I'd put poetry with my photography, and have the two mesh, somehow.

Maybe. I guess we'll see.

The photos in this post are a few of my personal collection. Be a pal, and don't steal them.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

She used to play guitar.

Two weeks or so ago, my husband asked me why I don't play guitar with him anymore. I answered, "I don't play guitar at ALL anymore, not just not with you," or something along those lines.

He asked me if it was because the fact that he's excellent at it (not his exact words) made me feel frustrated or something.

I told him no.

I meant it.

He asked why, and I had to actually dig deep down to find the answer. When I finally did, I told him, "it's because it's not fun anymore. I started playing guitar for me, for fun, but it's not. Not when everyone would demand I play this for them, or that for them..."

It was kind of shocking, actually, that I felt that way, but then again, not really. When people would beg and plead for me to play a given song (any that I knew) I would begrudgingly do it and hope to be done as soon as I could.

When I first asked my parents for a guitar, I did it because I was inspired by someone I saw playing. It looked like fun. I didn't want to perform concerts, I just wanted to know how to play. My parents got me a guitar for Christmas in either 2000 or 2001, I think, and I was embarrassed to play in front of anyone. I was teaching myself in my room.

Gradually, I'd start playing for people, and it was fun, when it was on my watch. But when I'd be asked, I would put up a wall. I have no idea why.

I still don't know why.

But when I pick up a guitar to play for fun, for me, when I want to, it's completely different.

I want to get past it.

The other night, I went to move Ivy (the Ibanez guitar that Jake and I purchased a year or two ago) off the couch, and Spencer saw me. He got a big smile and started bouncing like he does when Jake plays for him. I assumed he thought I was going to play... so... I did...

for the first time since he was born! Holy cow! I hadn't played since I was pregnant. That's nuts!

I played the first song that came to mind, "Hold Me Now," by Jennifer Knapp. When I started singing, he started making "Aaaaaaahh" noises, like he was singing along, bouncing on the floor like he does when his daddy plays. It was obvious that he was excited and enjoying his private little concert.

That felt... well, indescribably wonderful. I loved seeing his face light up for me like it does for his daddy. I too know how to play. I might not be great, and I might be totally bashful and filled with stage fright, but I do know how, and I need to keep on.

In other news, last night, Jake's twin, Jesse, and his friend, Sam, came over to babysit Spencer and give Jake and I a night to ourselves. Jake took me out for some delicious sushi, then ice cream, and then to Best Buy to oogle over guitars, and finally for coffee. It was a lovely few hours away. Rumor has it, we might be blessed with these opportunities monthly. I guess we'll see!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

If I Die Before I Wake...

For the past four days, I keep finding death on my mind. Not in a suicidal fashion, so don't worry about that. More so in a "I hope I don't die soon," sort of way.

I've had "episodes" like this in the past, so it's nothing brand new to me, but I can't help but wish it would pass quickly. I used to be afraid of dying when I was young. I'd lay in bed terrified to go to sleep because I was afraid I wouldn't wake up. After I met Jake and was engaged to him, I was deeply saddened listening to the song "Romeo & Juliet" by Edwin McCain, because it got me thinking (mind you, the song itself doesn't directly deal with death, that I recall, it's been a while since I heard it as I have long lost the CD it is on) that I did not want Jake to die before me, but I also didn't want to die early and leave him behind in sorrow.

Well, now I'm back to not being afraid of death, but rather... fearing it will come too soon and being saddened at the prospect of that and just praying that it doesn't happen.

I obviously realize that how I feel about the matter has no bearing whatsoever on when God will take me from this life into the eternal one, but I can't help but find myself praying that he lets me live out more days here, to see my family and watch my son grow, especially. I'm just not ready to be done. Graciously, thus far, he has answered my prayers.

Thursday night, I lay awake in bed shortly after Spencer fell asleep, thinking about how if I were to die that night, Spencer would be alone, he'd wake up hungry and sad and cry for hours and no one would be there to comfort him because Jake was on his overnight route. No one would probably come to the house to look for me if I hadn't shown up at Jillian's for work the next morning until many hours of calling my phone and no response. He'd be so hungry and upset by then, his diaper certainly soiled and irritating his bottom as his stomach ached with emptiness. Naturally, I started sobbing and continued to do so until I had successfully cried myself to sleep. Needless to say, when he woke up each time that night, I was relieved to hear him and know that I was still there to take on his needs.

Tonight, I had trouble falling asleep again, thinking about how if I were to die when he was so young, he would not remember me for himself, just through what others tell him and what little legacy I have left behind for him to find on my own. I definitely had trouble falling asleep. As luck would have it, he woke up half an hour later, so I changed his diaper, gave him a bottle, and came here to write this.

Hopefully, getting the words out will help this "phase" pass once again.

And, here's to one more prayer that God lets me live many more years so I can be there for my husband and son.