Thursday, December 27, 2012


Mom + observation. See what I did there? You're welcome for the unnecessary explanation.

Voltaire said, “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while Nature affects the cure.” This is my life right now, amusing two children with lingering colds until they feel better. This is a problem because I'm just not particularly inclined to be an amusing mother. My sweet babies were blessed with the economy car of mommas. I get the job done, I just don't have backup cameras and Satellite radio. I love and kiss them like they're the beloved ones that they are. I keep them from drinking from the toilet, playing in the street and indulging in other self-destructive tendencies that babies and toddlers seem to have. I try to make sure they eat more avocado and fewer m&m's, and that they read more books and watch less TV (I'm losing the avocado one, but the other things are going okay). 

I'm just not the type to make daily schedules, playdates, or those adorable quiet time busy bags. (I do, however, have friends who do and give them to me - Lord bless them). 

Maybe this is a character flaw. Maybe it's just how I was raised. I'm pretty sure if the words "I'm bored" came out of our mouths, my mom sent us to wash dishes or clean the bathroom. Hopefully everything works together for good and my little guys will be all the more independent because of their non-amusing mom. I see these cute, cute mommies who have activity stations in their home and a daily itinerary on the wall (that their two-year-old can already read). Really, they rock! I'm trying to find the balance of being teachable and learning some tips from these families and just accepting how I'm wired. 

I don't think I'm wavering on this one though: in the future, if any of my kids complain about being bored, so help me, they will be scrubbing every bit of grout I can find!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Postpartum Repression (Part 2)

My last post joked about expectations I have of myself and my tendency to have some very rose-colored glasses when looking back at my baby-having experiences. These expectations haven't fit well with the unavoidable fact that for the past three-ish months, I have been a wreck. Like, if I gave into every urge to just curl up and weep, I would need to schedule the rest of my life around them. It didn't make sense to me. I was happy and content with life, with my sweet kids, with my great husband, with his exciting new job. Life holds great promise for us - for me, and yet I seem to be stuck in the place of hyper-sensitivity to the pain around me. What the heck? I used to have it under control, but now I hear a story about a broken marriage and I'm ready to sob. We pass the homeless in the city and I'm overwhelmed with a sadness and empathy that I physically feel. I sit in church and that pastor-man is talking right to me and about me. I don't know if the truly lovely people of CCC Yorkville are ready for a full on ugly-cry from Jenni, so I (mostly) keep it together.

This week, I realized it's getting worse. I was riding a carousel with my four-year-old. We were the only ones on the ride who weren't from a local school. Looking around, I could see that every other child was handicapped in some way and had a teacher holding them. There was one boy, probably seven years old, and I could hardly stop from staring at him. His head was laid back on his aide's shoulder, his face was upturned as the carousel spun around and around, and he was smiling with complete delight. He was precious. He was someone's baby, and as I looked from my healthy, happy boy to the special needs boy whose momma had a lifetime of hard work ahead of her, it was all I could do not to bawl. I dabbed at my tears and murmured something about allergies (not a lie, I promise).

For weeks I had been just attributing my teary state to some late-onset post pregnancy hormones, but then I came across some journaling I did over the summer. There was a recurring prayer I wrote that went something like "Break my heart for what breaks Yours."  


I had been praying that for a few months, and somehow I was completely unprepared for God to answer, "Okay." So now I find myself in a place of wondering what to do next. The frost of indifference around my heart has thawed some, and I'm wondering where to go from here. A few years back, my husband got to meet a 9/11 survivor named Jerry Molnar. Jerry has a crazy story. His circumstances would have derailed the faith of most people; but his encouraging words to us are, "God doesn't waste pain." I'm confident the same is true for sadness and heartsickness. I don't want this season to be wasted, but for this to be a time when I understand God's big, big love a little bit better and I get to be a part in acting it out. 

So, I guess the moral of this story is be careful what you pray for - you just might get it.

Also, I would like some waterproof mascara for Christmas, please.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Postpartum Repression (Part 1)

I have had this mental list of what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior from hormonal/pregnant/in labor/postpartum women. The list consists of, but is not limited to, the following:

Appropriate - Getting teary eyed while watching Hallmark commercials. This is also appropriate anytime, ever.
Inappropriate - Being mean as a feral barn cat.
Appropriate - Craving chocolate.
Inappropriate - Demanding that your husband/boyfriend/sympathetic family member go out at an ungodly hour to purchase aforementioned chocolate for you.
Appropriate - Admitting you don't feel well, but using vague phraseology like "under the weather" or "out of sorts".
Inappropriate - Using words like "period" or "cramping" around guy friends, guy coworkers and guy family members. It's just not classy, and I'm fairly sure it freaks them out.

Appropriate - Needing some affirmation that you are not, in fact, the size of a barge.
Inappropriate - Acting like a diva, and/or expecting to be waited on by others.
Appropriate - Admitting you don't feel well, but using humorous phraseology, like "beached whale" and "forced eviction".
Inappropriate - Forgetting that words like "dilating" and "mucus plug" are not actual everyday words. These should be used in conversation only with people who are family, BFF's, health care professionals, or Michelle Duggar.

Appropriate - Crunching those ice pellets as loud as you dang well please.
Inappropriate (unless you are starring in a made-for-TV movie) - Screaming, wailing, flailing appendages, 'accidentally' striking hospital staff, or verbally abusing your husband. It's called an epidural, honey. I'm telling you, it's the STUFF.
Appropriate - Dropping your best friend's phone in ice water/the toilet/the afterbirth (whatever is most accessible) before they can post sweaty and swollen pictures of you to Facebook. In this situation, it is also appropriate to have them escorted out of the hospital by security.

I know a lot of my opinions about these things are based on my "postpartum repression", which I will define as "A magical haze of wonder and selective memory enshrouding the pregnancy and delivery experience". Or more simply, "forgetting the bad stuff and remembering the good" or "God's way of making sure humans don't go extinct".

More on that later...

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Lots of Landon!

This almost ten-month-old has turned a corner to being possibly in the most high maintenance phase I have experienced yet! 

But really... couldn't you just eat him up?!