Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Things I have learned from being a mommy

2. Settled down is actually kind of nice.

When Matt and I were dating, I told him point blank that I did not want children. I furthermore did not want to be tied down to a life of boring domesticity. I wanted to travel (I had just gotten back from a four-week tour of the British Isles). I wanted excitement and adventure ’round every turn. I did not — NOT — want to settle down.

Luckily, he wore me down. I’m not saying it’s not the right path for some people, but getting out of the Army was the best decision for us. Watching Matt in the morning with Natalie, I am so grateful that he is here. I am so grateful that he will never miss a birthday. Or Christmas. Or dance recital. He will be available to chaperone field trips and ferry her to soccer practice. He can teach her the intricacies of baseball and long division. And — when she’s older — boys. Because she will probably go to an all-girl’s high school, he will be available for those Daddy-Daughter dances that my cousins are so fond of now. He will be the one to teach her to make snow angels in Winter and how to execute a perfect cannonball dive in the Summer.

And although it’s so so important to both of us that she knows who he is, I am also grateful that he knows who she is. I don’t want her to be stranger to him either. My mom hasn’t seen her granddaughter since she was about 3 weeks old. Of course, she remembers Natalie. Of course she has watched her grow in pictures and, soon, will watch her on a webcam. But if you ask her, she’ll say it’s just not the same.

Army life is rewarding in other ways. I’m grateful for Matt’s involvement in Natalie’s life, that’s all. I feel blessed to have my family together and safe. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

920 -- Things I'm loving these days

  1. The rain. It is nature's car wash. Plus it smells good.
  2. The PSI monitor on my car. I'll leave you to your inferences.
  3. These to do list note pads from I appreciate their honesty. (PS My birthday is coming up!)
  4. Moms Like Me. After searching high and low for a full time working mom online support group, I finally stumbled on this (all local!) site. They have already helped me through one low point.
  5. My darling daughter. Despite sickness, exhaustion, and general icky feelings, she manages to be amazing every day. We should all be so lucky.
  6. My new fabric softener scent. Hey, it's all about the little things, right?
  7. My husband. He works really hard, and never (hardly ever) complains. I have a lot to learn from him.
  8. Custom return address stamps like these. Because labels are so last decade. Did I mention my birthday is coming up?
  9. Bath time. Natalie's bath routine is the time we are guaranteed every day. We pick out her clothes, get some tub time in, and she talks up a storm. Afterwords, I feed her and sing to her. Sometimes she sings along.
  10. Friends who call more than a month ahead of my birthday to ask what my plans are and if I want to get together to celebrate. They don't need no stinkin Facebook reminder! Thanks friend :)
Anything you're loving these days?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

808.882 -- Nerdy Librarian Quote

"When you handle books all day long,
every new one is a friend and a temptation."
-- from The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Monday, March 8, 2010

649.1 -- Things I've learned from being a mommy

1. A very very clean house is not necessarily a home

Of course it's necessary that Natalie has a clean place to grow and thrive. Clean clothes to wear. Clean bottles from which to drink. And a clean place to sleep. Does that mean it's important to vacuum the house every day? To scrub her bathtub after every bath? To sanitize her bottles after every feeding? Not to me. Will she mind if the dishes pile up or if her laundry never does get folded? She won't. And if she does, I hope she won't care.

What I hope she remembers are the trio of lullabies I sing to her at every bedtime. That I would rather cuddle and play with her than anything else. Even if she doesn't remember specific things, she will hopefully remember that she was always more important to me than chores.

I try to get Matt to understand this, but maybe one of us has to keep an eye on the dust bunnies.

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby for babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton