Friday, October 24, 2014

Two Years Old!

One week ago, you turned two. Two of the best years of my life. You celebrated your short little life at Cascades Camp, where your dad and I met, and where two years prior, I had been just three days from giving birth to you.

It was a hot, sunny Yelm day. You spent the day doing everything a two-year-old could hope for; a softball game, a nap with Poppa after reading your new backhoe book, swimming in the lake and playing with everyone you love most in this world. As the sun was setting and a day full of laughter and play was coming to an end, you spied a sprinkler shining in the evening sunlight. You were drawn to it, and with unabashed joy, your entire world consisted of the water, your feet dancing in it, your laughs and shrieks as you discovered and experienced. What you didn't know, was that behind you, 40 plus people were watching with the same unabashed joy as you learned how to do what God created you to do. I will never in my life forget those five minutes, and hope that you find times, no matter what age, to experience life without inhibition, not caring what people think.

You are my sensitive boy. This last year I have watched as you learned words, learned to walk, to play the guitar, to read independently and form opinions and speak them. You wake each day asking for your favorite foods-applesauce and oatmeal. I cannot believe God has chosen me to be on the front row, cheering you on as you approach life, squealing and laughing as you go.

Bigger than the Fears

Tonight we are sleeping in the same room. I moved the mattress from our guest room into the nursery so that I could hear you both suck on your fingers in your weird little upside down ways and touch your cheeks and your pudgy little hands while you slept. Kaisa, you are cooing away at the dark ceiling, contentedly unaware that the dark can be a scary place. You have no fear and you trust me completely. Sig, you banged your head earlier and I came in to cuddle up next to you and console you. All it took to comfort you was a kiss on your neck and a song in your ear and you knew everything was going to be okay. I know these moments will be brief, and I chose to sleep in your room tonight so that later on I can look back on a time when I could comfort and care for all your needs. Soon you will face the world. The world where the dark is scary, you don't know who to trust, and some nights the pain will be so unbearable that you cannot be consoled 

Today in the parking lot of Mormor's school, Poppa and I turned on the radio to hear that twenty minutes away, there had been yet another school shooting. We heard of children with backpacks running for the shelter of school buses, all the while you were both chattering away, Sig ironically singing "The Wheels on the Bus." I asked you then to stay small forever.

I don't want you to stay small, though. I want you to grow bigger than the hurt, to get strong enough to help others carry their burdens, wise enough to recognize needs and understanding enough to feel people's pain. God clearly told me today while I prayed that it is not my job to keep you safe. It is my job to love you, it is my job to love others and it is my job to love God. 

So tonight I will fall asleep, aching with all my heart for the parents of all of the victims. I will continue with my commitment to make sure each and every night how precious, valued and loved you are, so that one day you can teach everyone around you that they too are precious, valued and loved by God. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It Takes a Village...

They say it takes a village to raise a child.

Sig is on his first train ride today. The conductor joked with me about placing us next to a rude passenger, so that the other passenger would have to deal with a screaming baby from Seattle to Portland. I apologized to him, letting the conductor know that Sig does not generally cry and is actually quite boring. I get distracted from the view outside the window by the view in the seat next to me, a precious little boy with a little conductor's cap sleeping through what in a couple of years will be a very exciting event to him, riding the rails. We are on our way to visit grandparents Dave and Joan, or Farfar and GmaJ, as we call them. Sig spent last evening with his adopted grandparents, Bob and Marilee Erickson, both cooing and spitting up. We are beginning to prepare for his first flight next week to Chicago, and I am still taken aback when people refer to hosting "our family." We have been just A & M for so long, yet we feel complete now with our first addition, and others seem to recognize that as well. What a gift to be part of a family 'unit.'

I have heard it said that friends are the family you choose for yourselves, but I don't believe that. God, not us, has placed very significant people in our lives to fill special roles of aunt and uncle to Sig, and brothers and sisters in Christ to Alex and I. Sig is blessed with the following adopted relatives, who have already invested many hours of support, companionship and prayer for Alex and I these last couple of months:

Auntie Katie (she knit the bear hat)
Katie was placed in my life at a time when I needed a friend most. She is the one who has helped purchase almost all of Sig's wardrobe, the one who attends breast feeding classes with me and the friend who I can save diaper changes for when I know she is coming over. Her unabashed love for my baby is a wonderful gift, as it frees me to share my joy without holding back, because she is truly the friend who rejoices with me when I rejoice. She is the friend who I can FaceTime with while I nurse, and the aunt who requests to get the nanny text updates along with Alex and I.

Uncle TyTy (purchased the newsboy cap for his roommate upon moving in)
Tyler Krumland is the reason Alex and I are together. We have known one another for almost ten years, and now have the blessing of sharing our home with him as he transitions to Seattle. He is eagerly learning diaper changes and all of the nuances of Sig's day-to-day schedule. He is the type of uncle who pulls a stool up next to the changing table to read to Sig while he fusses, buys him adorable hats in preparation for fall, and puts up with his screaming during workouts together with Alex in the garage.

Uncle Sean and Aunt Merri (Sig is wearing Sean's Boston hat)
What fun it is to think that Sean's old room while he interned at Boing one short year ago is now Sig's nursery. It took one glass of wine and one luenga taco to instantly bond with Merri and Sean, respectively. They are the friends for whom our hearts' ache when we have to go longer than a week without seeing one another. They are the friends who you 'do life' with. No plans, just life. Car shopping, errands, laundry, cooking and being. These are the things of our friendship, and I can't imagine anything more beautiful.

These are some of the people who love Sig so tremendously that I fall asleep trying to figure out how to spread it out to others who desperately need that type of love. As he sleeps next to me, unaware of the anxious, brimming-with-love grandma who waits for him on the other end, I repeat to him once again my one wish for him since he was born,

"I hope you grow up to love others and the world as much as you have been loved."

It truly does take a village, and I sure am happy with the population of ours!

"Dinosaur eat Dinosaur"

I saw the best play tonight. It was an impromptu showing of "Dinosaur eat Dinosaur" starring Alex's hands. Sig and I lay fascinated on the floor as we listened to the 27 year-rehearsed ferocity of T-Rex and Velociraptor sounds.  It was better than any episode we have seen of Downton Abbey (and we love Downton Abbey!).
Sig is rapidly approaching seven months and has all the bouncy energy, screeches of delight and a whole tooth to go with it. His days are a random assortment of the following:        

-patting Khloe on the back while simultaneously attempting to avoid her licks
-laughing at his momma when she groans pushing his stroller up a hill on runs 
-eating broccoli-banana puree his momma made that he is kind enough to not spit-up
-sitting in his teddy bear outfit in the garage in his stroller watching his dad work
-nightly ballet performances from his mom
-playing machine-gunner with his dad on the floor

-listening to his dad sing songs that only involve names of transportation equipment

-laying on the dog bed in the kitchen watching his parents cook and clean
-sucking on his left hand pointer and middle finger upside-down

-reading from the Beginners Bible each night before bed

I have found that while parenting and working has me pulled in many different directions (often at once), yet it has made my life feel more whole and unified. Maybe it is the addition of an evening routine that involves a sleeping baby at 8:30pm and a glass of wine with my husband at 8:35pm that has relaxed and centered me, but I think that it is probably more. A long day at work which included self-consciousness and annoyance at a stray strand of hair was quickly forgotten when my son wanted nothing more than to sit on my lap and play with that same strand and look into my eyes. Recently on a walk with Alex and Sig in the front carrier with dogs on leashes wrapped around us, I was reminded that our whole life was in that little 4 foot circle.

Hiking in Palm Springs

A typical afternoon with Khloe
Playtime at the Park

Vacation Baby


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Taking Time

I cannot believe that it has been a month since I last sat down to write my thoughts on motherhood and the musings it brings. We have returned from a 10 day trip to the Midwest where Sig got to add four more states to his "passport" and have gotten back to a sense of routine. I have heard so many parents say they do not have the time to do things like write a blog, read about what developmental stage their child should be at or be totally caught up on the latest news. That is not true. I have the time, I just choose to spend it tickling my son's face with my hair, saying "poopy poodle pants" over and over again, doing push-ups next to Sig while he struggles on his stomach attempting to build up his neck muscles and generally spending lots of time in my sweats carrying my son around singing and dancing. I have the time to do other things, they just don't seem that important.

I take the time each night to write down one thing about the day that I would like to tell my son about when he gets older. A highlight from this last month included watching him discover his hands, staring at them in front of his face while he goes cross-eyed and shoving them so far down his throat that he gags. I delight in getting to know his routine (and being able to plan around it!). He is in my arms now for his evening doze fest before he wakes up for some couch time. Last night, Alex and I sat among piles of laundry reading books that Sig couldn't understand while we admired the pictures and he stared up at our faces. We look forward to the day when this will be more of an interactive activity, but in the meantime Alex is practicing all of his truck noises and accents. In one book, he was a dump-truck who started out as a British cowboy and ended as a husky Australian.

I am thankful for fall. As Alex and I took him for his first run along Alki Beach, I spoke with him about all the trees, colors and sounds. The next time autumn comes around, he will get to experience it in a whole new way, in a whole new routine, and I will make sure that I have the time to spend it with him.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Oh the Faces I Know!

Sig has many faces. As I am sure that I do, although I do not think that I have spent as much time staring into mine as I have found myself doing with him over these past seven weeks. I lose track of time, and have become one of those awkward moms who cannot maintain eye contact during a conversation, because apparently it is more important for me to look at my sleeping baby than practice decent social skills.

The face that warms my heart is the one that is such a vivid and exact replica of his dad. Alex says he does not see it the way everyone else does, but also reminds me that he knows my face better than his own because he does not look in the mirror for hours a day. I am learning to love Sig's face that doesn't remotely resemble mine. I remember when Alex and I were first dating and I would try to memorize each feature on his face, tracing his eyebrows and freckle marks with my fingers while he slept. Now I see my husband in my son's face, the frustration when Sig gets hungry, the uncertainty in his forehead when he doesn't understand something, the smile that starts on one corner of his mouth, the agitated eyes when he is tired and the pensive wonder that makes him seem like he is in another world. Funny to think that God gave me these two faces, so different from my own, yet more familiar to kiss and love my whole life. The face on this momma most days is contentment :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Movin' on Up :)

It happened today. The moment that I knew was coming, the one that I would celebrate and that would still be bittersweet. Sig grew out of his newborn clothes. A box has been purchased, labeled and stored with my favorite items for a possible further child or nostalgia in twenty years. I am glad that I was never “baby-crazy,” and that in all of Alex’s and my conversations regarding Sig’s arrival, it was that of a human who we would get to teach, learn from and watch grow into a man. However, seeing his clothes get a little tighter as he stretches his legs means that many of the things I have enjoyed these last few weeks will soon be replaced. Sleeping on my chest will be replaced with keeping up with his crawling and responding to his hungry “clicks” will soon be listening to his observations and ideas.

We have had family weddings the last two weekends, which were emotional for me in that the last family wedding was when we found out we were pregnant. At each, Sig was held, admired and loved on by many. I found myself needing to grab him for quick momma cuddle sessions because I missed him so much. I hope to never forget special times like holding him close to me on a sunny afternoon while singing “Be Thou My Vision” into his ear along with other friends and family who live this hymn out every day. To celebrate love is such a special thing, whether it be the love of God, our love for our children or a couple’s love for one another. Alex and I sat on a porch swing overlooking the vineyard where the wedding was held, we reminisced where we were at four years ago as newlyweds before taking Sig in our arms out on to the dance floor to rock to some Michael Jackson.

I have been able to live in the moment more in the past six weeks than I have ever been able to, and I will continue to strive to do so through each milestone. I will celebrate his development, knowing that with every achievement he is becoming a little bit more of the man he is meant to be.