Monday, August 29, 2011

Isn't it Love?

B and I were afforded the opportunity to spend an entire 6 days in San Diego earlier this month.  It was amazing.  Not only were we kid-free, we were on the West Coast, and were able to spend a lot of time with some dear old friends.  One night we had dinner with some sweet friends from TBS who are now stationed out there.  Having been married for a little over a year, they decided to ask us "old marrieds" for advice.  This sounds awful, but nothing came to my mind immediately.  The past year has just been such a roller coaster for me in all aspects of life and I've spent a good bit of it feeling like a complete failure at everything, I felt like the last person anyone should ask advice from.  But then it hit me and I told them that the most important thing I think I've learned about marriage in the past seven years is that love is a choice.  The ooey-gooey, touchy-feely, lovey-doveys fade fast and you must wake up everyday to the same person and remember that you made a choice to love them and choose to love them again that day.

Love is found in the day to day.  The making of meals and beds, the cleaning up of kitchens, bathrooms, tables, etc, etc.  I am finding that this is true of parenting as well.  I've been pretty open about my struggles during the first bit of Miller's life and I find that the longer I simply take care of him, the more and more I love him.  With every diaper change, every bottle shake, every time I rock him, every chorus of "Sweet Afton" that I sing, my heart is drawn closer to this little man who I at one time thought had made me crazy. Even now, as I listen to him "cry it out" for naptime, I love that him.  (The same is true for Els too, I am just using Miller as the illustration.)

We are called as mothers to lay our lives down for our families everyday.  And then get up the next morning and do it again on whatever sleep we were allotted.    

D.C. Talk had it right.  Love is a verb.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If You Feel Like a Failure At Something

First of all, just don't.  And here's why.  About a month ago we made the switch to cloth diapers.  I know, I know, it's a little late in the game, but it's honestly something I've thought about doing since before Els was born.  Fast forward two and a half years and I'm finally doing it.  Nobody ever accused me of early-adopting.  On with the story.

I've done pretty well with the whole "dumping the poop in the toilet" thing.  Once you're a parent for any length of time, poop just doesn't gross you out as much.  I find I deal with so much of it on (sometimes) an hourly basis, it just doesn't phase me.  So, I change Miller's diaper this morning and put him down on the floor while I dump said diaper's contents out and flush.  I turn around and Miller is wiping something around on the floor.  Also used to this.  He spits up a lot and plays in it before I can get to him sometimes.  As Jeff Foxworthy once said, "Moms'll clean up things that would gag the Roto-rooter man."

You can see where this is headed.  Oh yes he did.  He was playing in poop.  His own.  What's more is he had it on his face and, get ready for it, in his mouth.

Long story short, if you're feeling like a failure at something today, consider my tale.  At least your kid didn't eat his own poop today.

Unless of course he did.  In which case, laugh.  That's all you can do.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

You Just Do

Sometime during Els' first year of life, B and I started looking at one another after she went to bed and saying, "Man, I love that girl!"  We just couldn't help it, we were both just spilling over with love for the little bundle of life and energy that she remains this day.  So, it was only natural that I wondered while I was pregnant with Miller how I could ever love him as much as her.  When you ask someone with more than one child about it, they say, "You just do."  Great.  How does that help?

I am finding that it's a question that only experience can answer.  I just do love Miller-man more every single hour.  He's hitting that really fun, active stage and his personality continues to emerge.  I've made no pretenses about how hard the first six-ish months of his life were.  Now, I wouldn't take back a single second of it.  That little man has stolen my heart for good.  The bitter of life makes the good all the more sweet and I praise God for this good time.  

All that to say, as much as you love your first baby, you love subsequent children the same.  They are all blessings in and of themselves.