Seventh Kransling is a boy, and he has a name![Read more…]
I will attempt to be better at documenting this pregnancy. This is how the third month of pregnancy (weeks 9-13) went for me.
This month was the very worst for morning sickness. It just seemed to get worse and worse, and my resolve to bear it with dignity withered with each passing day. I hit a huge wall at around 10 weeks. Emotionally, I just couldn’t cope with trying to keep up with life and feeling so miserable all of the time. The knowledge that I was only halfway through the worst part compounded my frustration. Dizzy spells, “noodle-arm syndrome”, nausea and food aversions all intensified. I spent a lot of time crying this month. I just wanted to feel better and be able to do the things I needed to do.
In the book of Jeremiah, the prophet is led before officials of the city by the priests and others seeking his death. They cannot find reason to condemn him, yet Jeremiah places himself in their hands to do as they will. In any case, he tells them, he has said the words that God has given him, and his death won’t change the message.
Christ also is led before the court with false accusations by religious leaders. He also submits himself to their rule, despite His innocence and the Divine nature of his message.
In Isaiah it is prophesied that the wolf will lay down with the lamb. Then follows a series of things all diametrically opposed to one another. They are paradoxes; things that should not be together but nevertheless are. These images are touted as symbols of peace, and maybe they are, but there is much tension in a paradox. “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword,” says Christ.
That tension seems to be the sum of my days recently. Keeping balance is an ever-present task. Sometimes we talk about balance as if when we reach the balancing point, we can relax. I do not think that moment ever comes.
Jeremiah surrenders his life; he is saved. Uriah flees to save his life; he is captured and executed. It is a paradox. Whoever finds his life will lose it; whoever loses it will find it.
Motherhood is a paradox. When my first was born, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to go back to normal and keep ahold of “myself” as separate from motherhood. The more children we added, the more difficult that became, and the more stressed I became. After my sixth, I finally yielded that. It’s not that I stopped taking care of myself. It’s that I stopped caring so much about it. Everything still happened as normal, but I could breathe.
When we reflexively strive for peace, will we find it?
I will attempt to be better at documenting this pregnancy. This is how the second month of pregnancy (weeks 5-8) went for me.[Read more…]
Thirteen months for the little mussed-haired sprite currently hanging on to the sides of her playpen and shouting plaintively aaaiieee, aaaiiieeeee at me. She has recently found her voice. She has never been much of a babbler, but now she speaks full sentences in her own tongue. None of it is understandable, of course, but it is all heartfelt and emphatic. Aaaaiieeeeee!
Now she is complaining–not exactly crying, but certainly not happy. I glance at the clock; it is nap time. I sincerely doubt that’s what aaiiee means. (Elvie thinks it’s Beatrice saying her own name. She could be right.)
Naps have been something of a nemesis lately. She’s slowly and surely transitioning to one nap, but it’s quite the process. Some have dropped to one nap very early (Ephraim); some have hung on to two for what felt like forever (Eldore). Beatrice does not get sleepy in time for a two good naps. As a result, her first nap is great and long but there’s no time for the second without moving bedtime. I can wake her up early from the first nap, but honestly I need her to sleep at that time so we can do school. So I let her sleep, hoping each day that that first nap will turn into a solid, three-hour, one-nap-day nap. It rarely does, but I keep hoping.
On the days it doesn’t–which is most days–we go for a late-afternoon catnap.
She’s a nimble (and quick, and silent) crawler. I am forever checking and re-checking to make sure the basement door is shut. If I’m sitting with her while she plays in her room and one of the other children comes in, she makes a beeline for the door and can completely overtake some of them. SHUT THE DOOR! has, therefore, become an oft-heard refrain in the house. That, and HERE COMES BEADIE!!
She’s become very brave about cruising and standing. The other day I found her perched on top of her toy-tin, turned upside down and shoved against the rail of her playpen. She may be plotting an escape. The Door Handle is very important especially for the basement door to stay intact.
hair & eyes
I can’t believe I can say it, but her eyes seem to be the same strange, what-color-is-that–anyway color as Elvie’s eyes. I suppose this is a good thing; the more they have in common the better, I guess. At any rate, they are a golden color in the center and grey-blue on the outside. It’s not hazel. It’s not grey. Elvie’s look green until you get close enough to tell they’re not. Beatrice’s eyes aren’t as far along as Elvie’s, but they’re the same color Elvie’s were at this age.
Her hair is growing, growing, and curls beautifully on the ends. It’s very much like Anselm’s was at this age, though his was thinner and a bit more flippy. It’s still dark. She and Anselm are the only two to not go blond-ish after birth.
Her personality has gotten BIGGER, if that’s even possible. She loves a good joke, and especially loves Eldore’s antics. She loves to have her siblings around, but it also very content to play alone in her crib while she listens to music. Music! She is a big fan. Everything from our singing after breakfast to her favorite “Family Folk Songs” station makes her glow with delight.
She likes to rub noses with Ephraim and Eldore. I’ve not observed her doing this with anyone else.
She has a very good eye for details, and has been seen following sugar ants across the floor.
She deeply resents being told “no”.
She doesn’t care for sitting in the grass.
She does like flowers.
She lives for the thrill of finding an unattended package of wipes, picking it open delicately, ripping each wipe out one by one, and flinging them aside with a flourish.
I officially weaned her about a week ago. She barely batted an eye, though she was unhappy the first day I took her straight to the changing table instead of nursing her right away when she woke up. After that she was fine.
She is not much of an eater, though. She’s extremely picky. She will condescend to eat greek yogurt and simply adores lasagna. Grandfather’s stir-fry is high on her list of edibles. Scrambled eggs are hit or miss. It’s always a bit of a guess as to whether or not Beatrice will refuse whatever food she’s offered. It makes things interesting.
A short–and late–update.
Beatrice has been ten months for three weeks, now. I can, however, still tell about her tenth month with fairly clear memory.[Read more…]
A little rush of adrenaline accompanied my typing out that title. I confess, I was not expecting to ever write that.
But I tell myself every pregnancy that this time I will be better at documenting it, and I never follow through. I am trying to remedy this; I am actually typing this post before we have even announced the pregnancy, so that I may capture all of these thoughts at their freshest.[Read more…]
I started writing about paying attention several months ago. It was an unfinished thought, and I knew it, and I wasn’t sure how to complete it. It wasn’t entirely clear in my own head; I wasn’t sure how to articulate it in its half-formed state.
I am still not entirely clear, but I’m giving it my best try, anyway. Over the past few months I have attempted to clarify the thought that precipitated a total paradigm shift for me this year, the former way of thinking and the feeling of being bricked in, and the change and the relief and peace that came and what all else was lost in the process.
Yes, there was loss, but it was a good kind. It was throwing off of “things that hinder.”
That loss can probably be most accurately summed up as myself.
Lose myself? That can’t be good. One is not supposed to lose herself in motherhood. She’s supposed to work very hard to establish herself as separate, to care for her own needs first, and not forget herself while she cares for her children. And to a certain extent that is true; there is danger in focusing all of my energies on my children. It’s unhealthy for them and for me–but I think we confuse symptoms with cause, here.
It is not the hyperfocus on children’s care that is of chief danger to me as mother–it is the fact that, more than likely, I do what I do out of a deference to myself and my insecurity. It is how I convince myself that I am a good mother, something of which I desperately need to be convinced. Because I am motivated, ultimately, by my own self-interests, counseling me to move from focusing time and energy on my children to focusing time and energy on myself only allows the root cause–an over-preoccupation with myself–to flourish, unseen. (I call the result of this the Pet/Pest Situation–something that has its own post in the works and will be published “eventually”.)
When I say lose myself I’m not talking about a loss in practice, where I bolster my self-image by passing over my needs to become a martyr to my family’s needs. I’m talking about a loss in principle, where I no longer judge what I do by how beneficial it is for me personally. Pay attention, Beatrice told me. And I tried to. And when I did that, I couldn’t pay attention to myself. I quit worrying about me. In practice, everything stayed the same. Our days actually looked the same. My work and my rest looked the same. But I stopped paying attention to myself and I started slowing down and paying attention to somebody else. And, suddenly, I could breathe.