Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finding Our Own Way

We have finally gotten Pursy into a nap routine- usually she wakes up between 7-7:30 and is rubbing her eyes by 9. I nurse her, rock her, then put her in her crib with drowsy eyes. Sometimes she flips right over onto her belly and goes to sleep. And sometimes she fusses- definitely letting me know that she is not tired yet. Most methods tell you that the worst thing in the world is to go in to her because she will never learn to self-soothe. I find that if I pick her up, she snuggles into my shoulder and falls right to sleep after that. It's like she just wants to make sure that I am still there.

I can't blame her- I am the same way. Grant finds several times during the night me snuggling into that place under his arm. He has gotten so used to it that he doesn't really wake up anymore, just puts his arm around me. So if I still need that little comfort at 30 years old, why wouldn't she want it at 5 months?

Nature vs. Nurture- nature wins every time. :) I don't really believe this but in the 5 months that I have known her, I have seen more of her innate personality winning over my attempts to teach her things that babies her age are learning. This used to be scary to me, especially as I heard other mothers tell me that I needed to be teaching her that I am the Mom and she needs to acquiesce. But this looks different to everyone, and I plan to find the balance between training and helping her become a good human being and allowing her to be the person she is going to be. And that may not be someone who can self-soothe. I just hope she one day finds a husband who likes to snuggle.

Friday, September 24, 2010

It takes a village to raise a child

I have been thinking a lot recently about the reality that the community we raise Purslane in will be hugely important. I think it must have been our pastor/friend Russ who introduced this idea around the time of her baptism because at that time the members of our church promise to help us raise her. Our church community is only one of the many we have though. We have a group of people we eat dinner with every Sunday night- 5 couples in whose lives we are intimately involved. Kate walks in our house without knocking anymore. Our Bradley teachers- Scott and Carla- frequent our home and we theirs. Abbey encourages Grant and I to go on dates while she keeps Pursy. We have friends in New York, Japan, Alaska, California, DC, Colorado, Louisiana, Tennessee- all who keep involved in our lives as if they lived next door. This is our community.

Along with this concept of community comes the reality that every one of these people will be able to offer my daughter something I can't. Their respective strengths and knowledge from their own life experience that I simply do not have. And I have to be okay with this. This reality seems obvious, but selfish or not every mother wants to be able to give their children everything. So I started thinking about the women in my community and their strengths and began to get genuinely excited about the things Pursy could learn from them.

Amy can teach her about the beauty of opening her heart to "all the children of the world".
Becki can teach her creativity and color.
Abbey can teach her independence.
Carla can teach her how to empower other women.
Julia can teach her a quiet and gentle spirit.
Anna can teach her how to laugh loudly.
Steph can show her how to steward the earth and get her hands dirty.
Amanda can teach her selflessness and how to dance ballet.
Sarah can teach her how to relax and go with the flow.

Some of these things she will learn from me and some she will learn more from them. It actually gives me peace to think that I am not solely responsible for raising Purslane. I am blessed with these girls that make up "my village".

Friday, September 17, 2010

Success and a second cup of coffee

Purslane is sound asleep in her crib. Yes, it is 9:30 and she is taking a morning nap. We have the routine in place- we turn on the snail mosiac lamp (thank you Anna), press PLAY on the CD player and the sweet sounds of Brad Meldau begin (thank you Grant), have a little snack (thank you Mama) and the eyelids start to droop. Before they fully close, I place her sweet little body in the crib- where she instantly wakes up and begins to cry. I stand at the bedside for 30ish seconds rubbing her back and singing some Dixieland version of a hymn (thank you Redeemer New Orleans) and walk out of the room. She fusses for approximately 3-4 minutes then flips on her belly, sticks her little cloth diapered rump in the air and goes to sleep.

I am a mad crazy genius.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ines Sainz

Whenever a story comes out about some stupid boy being accused of harassing a girl, I almost always believe the females side of the story. Not because I am one, but because I find the argument that "she looked like she was 18" or "boys do stupid things" so maddeningly trite. Hormones, alcohol, peer pressure, celebrity- none of these are excuses for taking advantage of a woman. I don't care who she is, whether she is a drunk college girl or a call girl- assaulting a woman is never excused. I am so sick and tired of seeing Ben Roethlisberger take advantage of his position as a QB for the Steelers, I would be fine with a losing season just to get rid of his pathetic molesting self.

However, the story that came out about the NY Jets and Ines Sainz made me take the other position for once. When I saw pictures of her and the outfits she wore to interview these football players- in the locker room- and now she is upset that they noticed?!? You don't flaunt fake boobs and fishnets to blend in. I'm sorry sweetie- you wanted those catcalls and you need to stop asking us to feel sorry for you. Take some responsibility and put some clothes on.


I don't know which is better- courtesy or honesty. I seem to come across a large number of situations in which I must choose one or the other. Either I come across as polite and agreeable(i.e. say nothing) or say the pink elephant in the room and be described as rude. Why do people not like to hear the truth? I asked a friend of mine last weekend to point out my biggest fault. After some reassurance, she told me. And it stung a little, but it was definitely not anything that I was not aware of. I had just hoped that no one else was. :) But now that I know SHE knows, which means probably others know- I feel like I have a better shot at keeping to my desire to weed out this particular behavior.

Hooray. And thanks Steph.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wine before 5

Today I had a glass of wine at 2 in the afternoon. I was continuing with nap training with Pursy and she was particularly stubborn today. So I cleaned the entire house, did 3 loads of laundry and had a glass of wine- all while she fussed in her crib. She is finally asleep and I am congratulating myself for persevering. As painful as it is to listen to my little girl cry, I keep thinking about the day when I can put a cranky baby in her crib and two hours later pick up a happy and well rested baby. I kept repeating my new mantra- "I am giving her the gift of sleep".

On another note, I received two books today. One was "Momology"- a Christian mother's musings on parenthood the Godly way. The other was a colorful, sacrilegious, outrageous and fantastic new book by Sark. As I looked at these two books, I thought that this was me- a contradiction of style, content, purpose and delivery. I will give each book it's proper attention and both will add something to my life. I am more then okay with this.

East West Crossing

I had tea today with one of my new favorites. We shared a pot of Tiger Hill black tea while our baby girls napped in their car seats. Well, her baby napped- mine was awake after about 2 seconds of realizing that something was going on that she should probably be around for.

Things I like about her:
1. she is self depricating without asking for affirmation
2. she doesn't wear make up
3. she says things like "self behavior modification" without sounding like she rehearsed it
4. she admits that she doesn't like going to new places because she is afraid she won't know what to do and someone will be mad at her
5. she gives me advice without sounding preachy or patronizing
6. she listens- really listens

I realize that is only a Top 6 list but somehow appropriate for her and the afternoon.