Friday, August 27, 2010

Rejoining the World

Charlie had his first babysitter on Sunday. Well, almost. Last month when our hot water heater was broken and we were staying at my parents’ house because of the mold, we left him with my sister Jane for a half an hour while we went home to pack up what we would need and bring it back. And that same week sister Rose watched him for an hour while I took Jane to a cross country clinic thing. But on Sunday Daniel and I had several errands to run in Frederick, and we figured it would be much faster if we went together and much easier if we didn’t take him with us, so we dropped him off for my mom to babysit him.

We were gone for two and a half hours in between Charlie’s feedings, and apparently he did really well! I missed him like crazy by the time two hours had gone by, though; I’ve never been apart from him for that long. But it was nice for Daniel and me to spend some time out of the house alone, even if it was just shopping.

The day before that, Saturday, Daniel and I both had wedding-related events to attend. Daniel went to Baltimore for lunch and a baseball game for a friend’s bachelor party. The same afternoon, Charlie and I went to a bridal shower that was about an hour’s drive from home. My friend Caroline rode with me so that she could sit in the backseat with Charlie because I was too nervous to have him back there alone for such a long drive. It’s a good thing she did, too, because at some point during both trips he needed to be comforted. Caroline was a great sport about offering her pinky for him to suck on, which worked like a charm to put him to sleep! Charlie was for the most part very well behaved during the shower, and it was a lot of fun to be able to spend some time with my college friends.

This fall will be full of events Charlie will get to be a part of, including his own baptism, three weddings, and a family reunion. I’m currently in the market for a good, comfortable, and easy-to-use baby carrier to make it less difficult to have Charlie out and about (in fact, I have another window open right now with several tabs devoted to different carrier brands and reviews). I have a hand-me-down carrier right now that really hurts my back when I have him in it for more than a few minutes, and he’s only getting bigger! Hence the search. Any suggestions?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Time Marches On

It’s official: Two skinny people can have a very large baby. Charlie had his two month check-up this week; he measured in at 24 inches long and 16 pounds 3 ounces, which means that he has gained seven pounds and one ounce in exactly nine weeks. He is exclusively breastfed and usually only nurses on one side at a time for less than 15 minutes...obviously he is just a very efficient eater!

We are always being told by friends and strangers alike how much Charlie looks like his daddy. Daniel, however, was a small baby. He gets the chubbiness from me, although I wasn’t quite as big as he is at two months.

The doctor said his size is nothing to be too concerned about at this point, though, and overall Charlie looks “super”! This is great news of course, even though I didn’t have any concerns to begin with. I can’t believe that my baby is already two months old!

To update, Daniel is really enjoying his new job. I am also still really enjoying mine—being a stay-at-home mom has some great perks, even though I do have to make my own coffee every morning and drink it at home rather than walk down the hallway for a coffee break with one of my very best friends like I did at my old job.

With this new job, I get to watch Charlie’s developing interest in figuring out how to bring his fist to his mouth and keep it there. And I don’t miss a single one of his spectacular smiles (see photo of the most adorable kid ever—of course I am a little biased). Those smiles get me through the occasional moments of boredom or stress and make it so that it really doesn’t matter that I haven’t washed my hair in three days and can’t keep my house clean. One little boy very plainly thinks that I am the prettiest and most wonderful lady in the whole world. I can live with that.

Friday, August 13, 2010

What I Want for My Son

Daniel and I were talking a little bit earlier this week about how often, in movies and television shows, we hear parent characters talking about how all they really want is for their children to be happy. “Happy.” That’s it. As though there isn’t much more to life than temporal happiness—if that’s not on the road to hedonism, it’s pretty darn close. Is that what we want? Of course we want our son to be happy. But what exactly does that mean? This is what I want for my son (and this of course applies to any/all of his future siblings as well):

I want him to have a happy childhood, full of laughter. I want him to develop a love for learning, an active and playful imagination, and an infectious zeal for life.

I want him never to be forced into close familiarity with fear, sorrow, or pain.

I want him to have true friends to walk with him in every stage of his life, from childhood to old age, and I want him to be a true friend to others.

I want him to be confident in himself and his talents, with a healthy understanding and belief in his value as a child of God, as well as recognizing that same value in those around him.

I want him to have a generous spirit, always counting his blessings and ready to share what he has with those who have less.

I want him always to know how much he is loved, by Daniel and me, and by God.

I want him to walk with God from his first steps to his last, and to find in his Creator and Savior a loving Father, brother, and best friend. I want him to seek God’s will in every choice he makes, and I want him to find it.

I want him to have faith that is stronger than my own, and strength to overcome the many temptations that come his way in an overly materialistic, self-indulgent, and improperly sexualized culture.

But still, I want him to experience doubt—enough to make him search for the truth until he finds it and his faith is strengthened, but never so much that his faith is overwhelmed.

I want him to respect all people’s searches for truth even when they differ from his own, but without succumbing to relativism. I want him to have courage to stand up for his beliefs and against evil in the world.

I want him to do good out of a pure desire to serve God for love of Him.

I want him to live a healthy long life, but without fear of death. I want him to have the “peace which surpasses all understanding.”

Yes, I want for Charlie to have happiness in this life as much as possible, but more importantly happiness in the life to come. I want him to experience eternal joy with God. In short, I want my son to be a saint.

Okay, let’s bring this full circle. I want Charlie to be a *happy* saint!

The question for us parents just starting out with a new baby is: how do you raise a saint? It sounds like a pretty overwhelming task when you put it that way…

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wouldn't Change A Thing

I really don’t know what to write about this week. There has been a lot going on here, though. Daniel started his new job on Wednesday, which is exciting because it pays better and will allow him the option of working from home part of the time after six months. It also is getting him into more of the business side of the psychology field, which will hopefully open up additional doors for him in the future.

As I write this, Charlie is sitting contentedly in his kick and play bouncy seat watching me. I’ve been finding myself with less free time as he spends more and more time awake and alert during the day, but at least he is happy to sit still for a while. Plus, he slept for six hours straight last night, which is his new record! Of course, I was only asleep for five of those hours, but still—awesome!

I must say that having a baby living with us is really making me feel the size of our small house. When our bathroom sink multitasks as a place to scrub yellow stains out of tiny night shirts and onesies and I can barely move around in our living room without stubbing my toe on something or another because of all the baby equipment sitting around, I really start looking forward to building our new, bigger house.

Who knows when that will be, though, if things keep up the way they’re going. Every time we figure out a way to pay down some extra student loan debt, something happens: the hot water heater last month, a maternity hospital bill that was higher than we expected, and now Daniel’s car. It wouldn’t start for him this afternoon (Thursday), and it’s not the battery, so we had it towed to a shop nearby. I’m still waiting to hear what the mechanic has to say about it. We really got a lemon when we bought that car last September—we’ve already had to have several repairs done. It makes me never want to buy a used car again. Anyway, I’m praying that whatever it is, it’s not too big of a deal and they can have it fixed and ready for Daniel to drive home this evening. Otherwise Charlie and I will have to drive an hour to pick him up tonight and then Daniel will need to take my car to work tomorrow, which would mean I couldn’t drive down to see my friends tomorrow afternoon like I had planned. Stupid piece of junk!

Still, I have to keep reminding myself that even with our small house and a difficult automobile, we have it so much better than most of the rest of the world. We are comfortable, and we’re happy. Especially with an adorable seven week old bringing so much joy to our lives every day! If we had waited another year before having a baby, we could have paid down all of our student loan debt because I would still be working and would be that much closer to getting our new house… but having Charlie is infinitely better than that. Like I said last week, I wouldn’t change a thing (except for perhaps buying a different car last fall).

Now that I’ve vented a little bit, it’s back to work/play. There’s a little boy that would like my attention, and that is perfectly fine with me!