March 31, 2010

Well I guess I brought this upon myself....

Very funny, internets!

Not 24 hours after posting my last post I came down with a really nasty cold. I feel like I have been run over and dragged through a swamp. Ugh.

So much for delighting in my alone time. It was nice while it lasted.

Mr. Spicy cannot get home soon enough.

March 30, 2010

Not lonely

I am all alone. For the rest of the night.

I can't remember the last time I could say that.

Mr. Spicy is out of town for work and Zane is sleeping upstairs and I am here, alone.

Of course, I do have a sleeping child upstairs so it's not like I am really all alone. But it is close enough.

As soon as I heard my son mumble off into the silence of sleep, it hit me. I was enveloped in the richness of the moment, completely alone. Like being wrapped in the softest silk. I almost cried at the comfort of the silence and stillness, knowing that there would be no one coming home tonight, there was no end to this imposed by anyone else, there was no one else to consider.

No one but me.

I sat on my bed, the fan blowing, the windows open, letting the last light of the day stream through, listening to the sounds of the neighborhood ending its busy day, and a part of me showed up in that moment, a part of myself I can only connect with when I am all alone.

Oh how I have missed her.

I have missed this.

Before I was married, before I was a mother, I was an expert at being alone. I thrived on it. For years I took week-long camping trips every summer, just me and my dog. I moved across the country twice all by myself. I have taken so many solo road trips that it is actually hard for me to connect with someone else on a road trip, I just so easily slip into my own routine and my own space there. I enjoy my own company and my time alone.

It has been good for me to be forced out of this, it has been a good practice for me to have to be present in almost every single moment with another human being. I can feel myself growing, my patience, compassion, honesty, courage, selflessness, expanding. Being responsible to another person the way I am as a wife, but even more so as a mother has been an incredible experience of sacrifice and heart expanding love that I would not trade for anything.

But oh how I have missed this.

Of course by the time I go to bed tonight, or surely when I wake up in the morning, I know I will long for the familiar feel of my husband lying in bed beside me, his smell, his laugh. I know I will miss sharing the day with him, sharing each other's burdens. I will miss my partner. And lets be honest, I will also miss the help.

But for now, I am spending the night with an old friend who I have neglected for far too long.

Oh how I have missed you.

Won't you stay a while?

March 22, 2010

The Curse

Yep, it is true. Announcing to the internet that your son sleeps great and loves to sleep pretty much guarantees you are going to have a rough night.

Zane was up three times before finally deciding at 3 a.m. that he was NOT going to go back to his crib. So I laid on the couch holding him until 7 a.m.

Yawn! I hope this is a one night curse and not a "your child will never sleep again" curse.

When will I learn?

Seriously though....I have no idea what was wrong with him last night. He seems totally fine now.


March 21, 2010

The Z Files: Month Fourteen

Zane is 14 months today. Although, if you ask my husband he'll say "he's a year and a couple months". Is it a mom thing to keep track of their age by months?

He is so much fun these days. He has been nodding his head "yes" for several months now and just recently started shaking his head "no". He knows what it means to do both and answers our various questions appropriately.

This is opening up so much between us. I can ask him if he is tired, hungry, hurting. I can ask whether he needs his diaper changed. I can inform him about our plans for the day and find out how he feels about it. I can ask him if he's enjoying something or if he needs help. I feel like we are having conversations all day long and he has yet to say an actual word (except for "mama", "dada", "yeah" and his favorite, "Oh!Wow!"

He loves to do whatever we are doing, whether it is talking on the phone, wiping the counters, stirring the pancakes, pushing the vacuum, or using a screwdriver. He is always watching and always eager to try to mirror us.

He loves his books and will often pull all the books off of his shelf and sit in the pile, "reading" one at a time to himself. He turns the pages, points to things, and tells himself the story in his high-pitched baby babble.

He climbs anything that is standing still, or at least he tries to. He is crazy strong and agile and has no fear. A dangerous combination to be sure.

He loves food with lots of flavor, he eats curry, chili, mexican food, italian food. He prefers to feed himself whenever possible and is beginning to actually use a spoon appropriately, although he still has a long way to go. I am looking forward to eating outside in the summer and being able to just hose him down when he's done!

He stands on his own and cruises all over the house holding onto surfaces, but still no official walking unless you count the two or three unsteady steps he takes between the two of us when we help him "practice".

He has learned how to use crayons and frequently makes his way over to his table several times a day to "color" in his sketchbook.

He is curious about everything around him, always trying to understand how everything works and wanting to get his hands on it, turn it over and ponder it if he can.

He loves dogs but has learned that Zebu is not so excited about him and he generally is really great about respecting Zebu's boundaries. Of course, the one time they are fast friends is meal time!

He is incredibly affectionate, kissing and hugging us all day long. Right before he lays down to go to sleep he will hold my face in his hands and kiss me before pointing to his bed.

He sleeps! And every. single. time. is a frickin miracle to me. He has become a really great sleeper actually and really loves his bed. Sometimes he even asks to be put back in bed for a few minutes when he first wakes up in the morning.

He is still nursing, although we finally compromised down to three times daily recently (from the four times a day he was doing previously). "Num Num" time is by far his favorite time of the day and I joke that if I do not wean him at some point he would probably nurse until he was 16. Right now I think we are both happy with where we are at and I constantly have to pinch myself because I can't believe we have made it this far and done so well. I know how fortunate I am in this area although we did have a few hiccups along the way (such as my milk going "sour" within hours no matter how I tried to store it - meaning I was not able to pump and give him a bottle for roughly a year)

We have noticed lately how much more active we are on the weekends because of Zane. We finally made it to that yummy breakfast place we have been meaning to visit, we went to a parade last week, we went to the zoo today - we get out to see the world more because of him. Part of it is because he is an active toddler who is very happy when there are adventures to be had, part of it is because with his nap schedule we know we have limited time we can be away from the house and we want to make the most of it, but in a big way, our increasingly adventurous and motivated weekends are because we just love sharing the world with Zane and we can't get enough of hearing him say "OH! WOW!"

And inside, we are saying it right back at him:

Oh! Wow! Indeed, Son.

Oh! Wow! Indeed.

March 18, 2010

I have enough for this life

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom - Greek Proverb

We are fortunate enough to live within walking distance of our city zoo. Our zoo membership card is one of my most valued possessions. Yesterday was a hot sunny day, with temperatures reaching 70 degrees. The perfect day for a walk.

I pushed Zane in the stroller, our entire adventure punctuated with his gasps and shouts of "Oh Wow!" forcing me to often stop and ask him what had captured his excitement. Sometimes it was a tree, other times a big red truck or a city bus. At the zoo it was the monkeys, a lorikeet, or best of all the big beautiful carousel! Later it was flowers, a dog, a pineapple.

One of the great lessons Zane continues to teach me daily is to cultivate an attitude of awe and wonder. The entire world seems to excite and intrigue him and in his presence I am reminded how amazing it all really is. The world is so much bigger and brighter when I am with him.

I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think
of heaven and the angels. I have enough for this life. ~ Pearl S. Buck

March 16, 2010

Living in a lovely limbo

I was recently reading one of my favorite blogs, Mother Rising, and was reminded of how many moments are flying by in our lives that are going undocumented.

I struggle with the purpose of this blog, wondering if it should be a place for me to write about myself, motherhood, or my boy - or somehow all three.

I do know that I rarely take the time to capture the days that go by and before I know it they are lost in my memory. I want to be more diligent about writing it down. I don't want to lose these days.

So I am hereby committing to try to write something here at least five days of our week. We'll see how it goes!

It is Tuesday and Zane is napping right now. Tuesdays are a bit of a free day for us. Today the weather is gorgeous so we'll take a walk, maybe have lunch at the park and try to make it to the zoo after his afternoon nap.

This is the part of being a stay-at-home mom that I love, having the time to plan small adventures and daily outings with Zane. I love exploring the world with him, watching awe and delight wash over his face, connecting with him through shared moments and discoveries and play.

Mondays we go to story time at our local library. Wednesdays we visit with friends and sometimes make the trek up to Boulder. Thursdays our friend G. comes to spend 4 hours with Zane while I run errands, or go to appointments, or just generally have "me" time. Fridays right now mean music class.

It's a meager little schedule for our week, interspersed with trips to the grocery store, chores, walks with the dog, stories, tickling, coloring, and dancing.

This is the part I love, the part that gets me out of bed every morning.

The constant cleaning, the awareness of the ever-growing "to do" list that I never get to, the self-imposed standards that I never seem to measure up to, the "witching hour" before my husband walks through the door....those are the parts that wear on me some days.

I can barely stand to be away from Zane for the few hours a week I am, and yet sometimes I just crave the solitude I am missing.

It is a strange math in my heart that means I never get enough of my son and at the same time never get quite enough for myself. It is a limbo I am learning to live in daily.

I feel like so much of this year, this season, is about me finding myself as a mother, but also remembering the self I am outside of my family. Sometimes that latter self feels very small.

I am wondering for you moms and dads out there....what parts of parenting do you love and live for? what parts do you struggle with?

March 02, 2010

All Boy

He can put the shapes into the correct holes of his shape-sorter.

He can point to different animals in his books when asked, "Where's the....?".

He can bring us all to tears with laughter as he makes loud farting noises with his mouth against my belly.

He can identify his body parts: nose, ears, eyes, mouth, teeth, hair, toes, fingers, and yes, his penis.

He can climb up and down from the couch, our bed, the stairs.

He can clearly communicate when he wants something, what he wants and when he has had enough.

He can melt my heart and bring me to moments of awe daily.

He is all boy.

I am all his.