Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Tuesday list

1. Today's to-do list has pretty much gone the way of just making it through everyday tasks like keeping up with dishes and hungry kiddos. I did finish sorting through the girl-munchkin's current and next-size clothes to make sure we were ready for the cool weather that we will eventually be getting. But you know...I'm okay with that. Newborn rule number 1: lower your expectations and every day is a win.

2. Coffee. Mmmm....coffee. I'd been taking a break since the boy-munchkin was born, not wanting to challenge his brand new (and seriously gassy) digestive system with caffeine just yet. But this week I've had to take a nursing break due to an antibiotic, so I've been enjoying a little time each day with my old friend.

3. So You Think You Can Dance. Just when I'd gotten a little burnt out on this show I love, they mixed it up this summer just enough to bring me back. I got behind the past few weeks, but have spent yesterday and today catching up. It's been a fun season! I enjoyed the new stage vs. street format, and enjoyed the new judges (we ALL needed a break from the Hot Tamale Train, am I right?) Next fun and fluffy reality competition show on my radar: the return of The Voice.

4. Road trip, part 2. A couple of weeks ago we went to Austin and back for nieces' birthday party. The kiddos did as good as we could have asked on the trip. Three hours there, three hours back (including our stops). Our next adventure will be in a few days when we head over the river and through the woods to grandmother's (Nana's and Grandpapa's) house. Four hours with no stops, so I'm hopeful we can make it in five. We'll see!

5. And because we can't walk away from each other without talking books for a minute: I've got the third Throne of Glass book on loan from the library and will start that hopefully today, I just finished Anne of Windy Poplars in my long-overdue Anne Shirley re-read, and will start Anne's House of Dreams next (one of my favorites!) And I'm savoring my way through Felicia Day's memoir You're Never Weird On the Internet (Almost) (so far, as funny and charming as I expected). And for audio, I've got Summer Night, by Jim Butcher (a Dresden Files book -- as an aside, I've never read a print version of this series because when they're all read by Spike from Buffy, why would I?)

5.2 For anyone who wonders "how is she finding time to read with a new baby and a toddler???" let me just say that boy munchkin likes to eat a lot, and as I'm not yet adept at nursing and walking around, I spend a lot of time sitting. Sometimes I'm chatting or reading to the girl-munchkin, but even if you just count the after-bedtime and middle of the night feedings, that's a good 1-2 hours of potential reading right there.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto

One of the reasons I journal, and one of the reasons I blog is that it helps get the running commentary out of my head when my head just gets too crowded. Basically, it's an alternative to talking to imaginary friends. And when you're currently spending hours a day feeding a newborn, you end up with a lot of thoughts running through your head...of course you also end up with not a lot of energy/hours in the day to write, but we do what we can.

So, yes, newborn. Baby boy, name: Matrim (short "a", like Mat). Not a common name, you're right, but you might recognize it from the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. We're a book loving family. He's quite a cutie, mostly cheeks and lips and wrinkled forehead. Definitely a keeper.

Bringing a new baby home has reminded me that there's only so much preparation one can do for a huge life change. I know that having a newborn and 17 month old will be a challenge and completely change our routine. But there's only so much I can do to prepare for that. I can what-if myself all day long, but at the end of the day anything involving another human being (no matter how tiny) involves a lot of wait-and-see-then-adapt-and-adjust. Some days that's easier than others.

I read an excerpt from Jen Hatmaker's new book For the Love (which...note to self: buy soon) in which she talks about the freedom of 40. And one of the things she has found about turning 40 is less need to justify or excuse one's choices. That really spoke to me, especially as I daily wonder if I'm doing "enough." Women around the world know the struggle to stay out of the comparison game. To feel like every other woman is judging your choices, or judging how competent/not-competent you are. It's definitely a mom thing, but not exclusively -- I felt the need for validation long before I became a mama. One of my life goals is to live free and confident and comfortable with myself. I don't want to wait until I'm 40.

One thing I've learned since the first baby, is how much better I felt the first time I did something that felt normal or routine or part of life that's beyond diapers and milk. So I've been quicker to get dressed in the morning, and we went to church last week, and if I have 30 magical minutes when both kids are napping I might spend 10 of them reading a chapter in a book and 20 of them taking a power nap. Of course, doing normal every-day things is pretty much a necessity this time around with a toddler running around needing to be fed and changed and loved on too. But it's helped mentally and emotionally.

And speaking of reading chapters in books, I felt like a comfort read lately, and am filling that need with some Anne Shirley and Avonlea. I made my way through Anne of Green Gables pre-delivery, and am currently enjoying Anne of Avonlea. It's almost making up for the current lack of coffee in my life. (almost)

So here we are. New reality that changes daily. Beautiful moments and really, really hard moments. Plenty of laughter and cuddles and plenty of tears (not always from the babies either...let's be real). But we press on, grateful for God's grace, family, friends, and always remembering the sage words of Anne Shirley: each day is new, with no mistakes in it yet.