Saturday, June 29, 2013

Five Mistakes of {This} New Mother

New fathers make all kinds of goofy mistakes. It's silly to pretend otherwise and robs couples of coffee-snorting inside jokes years later. In order to wave at the perpetually offended and loosen up the tightly wound, I cheerfully admit my laughter at Clorox's advertisement and add a little maternal balance.

 (So sorry, Rees, this was all you...):

1.) In a wee-hour stupor, I picked up my mewing newborn upside down. I was so tired, I held him head-down for probably ten seconds, utterly confused as to where his head went, then panicked that someone hurt him in the one hour I'd been sleeping. He vomited; I cried; we bonded.

2.) On day two of his life, I had a crunchy moment and hoped to reconnect his comfort from the womb by putting him in a warm tub. He hated it but I made him stay there for a long time, swooshing water over his tiny tummy, insisting that he loved it. I'm not sure how long we stayed there. I think Ken finally stopped me.

3.) The first time I went grocery shopping with my new son, I locked him, the diaper bag, and the keys in the car. I couldn't leave him in the parking lot and enter the store to locate a telephone, so I stood beside it and cried. Remember that eighteen years ago, every single person did not have a cell phone so I had to wait for someone to offer to go inside and call my (then) Marine husband. But we lived in a different town, not on base, and it took him half an hour to get to us ~ baby Rees wailing inside the car; me sobbing outside the car. I never did shop that day. I think we had Ramen noodles for supper.

*Now I know I titled this "Five Mistakes," but I can only think of three, so these next two are Ken's mistakes . . .

4.) He used to grasp the front zipper of Rees' snowsuit and swing him like a pendulum (which he loved). I'm not sure this even counts as a mistake, but it shocks new parents and "experts" so it counts.

5.) He could not (and still cannot. Maybe he refuses?) snap snaps on onesies, so he just let them hang. So attractive.

Clearly, we all do some things all right and some things all wrong. Or not. Admit it; make some coffee; laugh over it (Don't forget the napkins.) ~

Hey, Rees turned out just fine!

From one laughing mother to another,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

About John's Birthday

On June 7, 1997, I gave birth to our second child, another son we named John. It was more momentous than any other birth in human history (!) because it meant that cystic fibrosis had not paralyzed us. It meant that we loved Rees exactly how he was, genes and all. It meant that we could, and happily would, take care of our kids no matter the need. It meant that more children, even with CF, was still a pleasant prospect.

It was my fist-shake at God, whom I blamed; and at Satan, whom I feared, in a mixed-up mess of muddled theology. After our charmed life crashed over the dire diagnosis, we learned a few things about Christianity, stretching, and growing. The adventure of real love in real life is a trifle reckless. It opens you up to pain and loss as well as peace and joy (Just like Mary, but I wasn't Catholic yet so I never gave her an instant of thought except for Christmas Eve.).

I continued to search the Scriptures for answers despite my dabbling with atheism, and Isaiah 54:13 turned my mind's eye ~

"All your children will be blessed by the Lord and great will be the peace of your children."

That would be enough: to have blessed, peaceful children (not necessarily healthy). Then here came John! Because of him, we also have Clare, Ian, Luke, Joseph, and Adah. So take that, CF! Although we're sadder and would give anything for a cure, we're smarter, stronger, sweeter, have a great big family, and the world is a better place with the beauty of true life, blessed and peaceful.

Happy 16th Birthday, John; you're the man! Our cowboy, motorcyclist, farmer who idolizes his big brother and is (usually) nice to his little brothers and sisters ~ we are glad to have you!


Here's his chosen "birthday cake" recipe ~

*3 boxes of ice cream sandwiches
*1 large tub of Cool Whip (or knock-off brand)
*1 bottle of Magic Shell topping

Layer the sandwiches, then magic shell, then cool whip as many times as the size of the pan allows. Freeze. Thaw for about 10 minutes before serving.

There are many flavors of sandwiches and magic shell so the possibilities are many!

Warmly (Because it's wicked hot here in AK),