Friday, September 30, 2011

Nap Time... for the birds.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Told You "No," and Other Challenges of Letting a Toddler Jump-Start You into Motherhood

Don't get me wrong. I know that no matter where you start, becoming a parent is challenging. Whether your first child is 0 or 17, there's going to be some kind of steep, steep learning curve that makes you wonder if you just maybe might have taken on too much.

But boy-o-boy does starting out with a toddler present some unique little challenges. And while Briggs is fifteen point five months old, I am only three point five weeks old as a mother. As I parent this "older man," I am bound to loose a few battles.

He's just plain outsmarting me somedays.

He's a solid
25 lbs of

Need I say more?

For this mama, there was no starting with an eight-pound baby and letting my arm muscles slowly build up. One day I was lifting things no heavier than a cup of coffee and the next day I was lifting and swinging and spinning and carrying and lowering twenty-five pounds over and over and over.

I've woken up most nights with SCREAMING back and neck muscles. Some mornings I can't bend over or stand up straight. I should have registered for Ibuprofen for my baby shower.

Couple these cramped neck muscles with a mobile baby that requires constant neck craning you'll be sure to find me hobbling from the kitchen to the bathroom while my son unrolls the whole roll of toilet paper saying, "no, no. OW. no. please stop. OUCH. okay. put the toilet paper in the trash please. mommy can't bend down to pick it up. okay, or put it in your mouth. either way, mommy can't help you down there on the floor right now."

Last week was Mark's first week back and work and can I just say that Briggs has been giving me a run for my money every day. And by "run" I mean there has been what feels like miles of actually running after my boy.

Don't get me wrong, his little belly-first-butt-out-toddle is completely endearing, but oh how I wish I could buckle him safely into a bouncy seat with a couple of dangling toys for entertainment and get five minutes to think about what comes next in his day. Instead, it's kick the soccer ball, sing along to Raffi, and try to clear a tiny space in my brain to plot my next move.

Needless to say, I have not yet learned how to stay one step ahead.

Really though, the running
and laughing
and making messes
and getting ahead of mommy
is all pretty fun.

But the defiance. I could just cry.

As is par for the course with most toddlers, my boy is just not fond of that big, fat "no" word.
Like most new parents, I'm struggling to figure out when and what he eats, when he sleeps, if he is cold or fussy or gassy.

But I'm also trying to figure out how to discipline him.
This I was not prepared for.

Parents do not have to discipline their three-week-olds.
But this three-week-old parent must get a handle on it pronto.

I say "no"
he gets funny.

I say "no"
he hits my face.

We've tried tiny time-outs and holding his hands in his lap and taking away things that he throws. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

But it's a constant reminder of my own inadequacies and weaknesses - and a constant reminder of my own depravity and that of the entire human race.

From day one, he's been a hitter. Never once have I had even a moment to imagine that my tiny child is a perfect angel. Nope. I've known from the second I started parenting him that he has a little sinful mind of his own.

So far, my experience with motherhood has been less about diapers and formula and more about training and consistency and being firm.

We are learning.
ALL of us are learning.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Arriving Home; A Video

A little over a week ago, we were greeted at the airport by an amazing group of friends and family.

I cannot begin to describe what it felt like to have so many people there rejoicing over our little one - rejoicing that he is home and that he is a part of our family.

Landing at Denver International Airport and arriving home with our boy did mark the end of one phase of our story. But really, it represents the beginning of a new life for him and for us.

We are so thankful for everyone who supported us and walked with us these last 2.5 years and we are even more grateful for the ways you all have and will love this little Briggs.

He is so blessed to have all of you in his life.
WE are so, so blessed.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

So Good to be Home

Oh, to be home with this boy is just wonderful.

We decided to spend our first two weeks at home alone. No running around town visiting. No entertaining visitors. We really aren't trying to be selfish, but we've got to make sure that Briggs knows we are his BEST people. Everyone else can be great, but we've got to be numbers 1 and 1 in his book.

But we are DYING to share our boy with everyone. He is blessing us so much and we just can't wait to spread the joy. We've been home 6 days and right now, two weeks seems like a really long time.

So for now, I'll have to settle for telling you what I've learned about this little guy so far.

He's pretty laid back, except for when it comes to his bottle. Then he is fierce.

He hates fruit. Or anything that tastes or smells like fruit. But he loves bananas. In fact, he loves bananas so much that he was kissing them on his high chair tray the other day.

He loved eating Gerber Puffs when we were in Ethiopia. Then he came home and discovered multi-grain Cheerios. Now it's Cheerios or die. Puffs are so last week.

He thinks his "welcome home" balloons are the greatest thing ever.

He loves books and toys that light up. He even has a book that lights up and he MUST get his hands on it at least once an hour.

He loves to be chased and to wrestle.

He also loves to cuddle.

He isn't afraid of the rabbit, but he is afraid of the broom. I nearly brought him to tears cleaning up the mess under his highchair after lunch.

He is a busy, busy, hilarious ball of energy when we are inside of the house. But step on foot out of the door and he's Mr. Cool Guy - won't crack a smile for nothin'.

We really do believe that things are going great. We have nothing to compare this experience to, but so far, he has exceeded all of our expectations. Most of the time, I can't believe that he has been home less than a week. Sometimes, it feels like he's been with us forever.