Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Singing Telegram

For Will's first b-day, his lovely cousin Beth just had to come help celebrate the big day. She was so very excited to come to Will's big b-day bash--so much so that she wrote him a few songs for his monumental day (the songs aren't original but the words sure are). So for his b-day gift, Beth came all the way from VT and sang him not one but two b-day songs. And now for your viewing pleasure--Will's very first original b-day songs, written and sung by the very talented Miss Beth:

Will loves to watch this video and he just sits and claps and smiles b/c he loves him his cousin Beth. What a great treat it was to have her at the party. Thanks, Beth for always bringing your beautiful music and your wonderful enthusiasm (she appreciated Will's party way more than he did). More party pictures are pending. Stay tuned (as I know you all are).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

10 Things I've Learned in My First Year of Motherhood

My little boy turned one last week. While there were some tears on both parts (mine because I am in denial that my baby is growing up and his because he apparently does not like large groups of people singing to him while having a fiery, baseball-shaped cake thrust upon him), we survived the b-day, for the most part. More on that to come soon. But even though I sound as though I'm all right with this new stage of toddler hood (yikes!), really I'm not. Somehow my swaddlin' loving, never sleeping, always nursing, toothless newborn has grown into a four-teeth biting, practically weaned, destruction causing, semi-sleeping (he's dropping a nap), walking, talking (ball & hi) toddler. When and how did that happen?

As I reflect on the last year of my life, I feel it necessary to depart some of the wisdom I have gleaned from being a new mom. So, I've nicely compiled these pearls of wisdom into a nice little list for your viewing pleasure (I like lists). Here it is: the 10 things I've learned in my first year of motherhood.

10. Contrary to what the La Leche League book claims (or, as I like to call them, the Nursing Nazis) the night nursery nurses at the hospital are NOT part of some conspiracy to feed your baby formula, thus thwarting all your plans to successfully and exclusively nurse your baby. So, it is completely unnecessary to call said nurses at 2 in the morning and demand them to bring your perfectly sleeping (not secretly-being-fed-formula-through-a-bottle) baby to your room so that you can once again attempt the feeding of your child. No, it is perfectly all right to let the baby sleep (trust me, he'll awaken when he's hungry) and it is even better to enjoy a nice night's rest yourself.

9. Sleep is an essential part of my life. If I get no sleep I turn into a crazy lady who simultaneously cries and screams at her husband, who can barely string two coherent thoughts together and who can't cook, clean or function in any other shape or form as a normal person rightfully should. Since sleep is such an essential part of my life, a newborn's schedule didn't exactly mesh well with mine. Next time, I'm hiring a wet nurse and/or requesting a baby who is born sleeping through the night. That's possible, right?

8. Though sleep seemed an important aspect of my life, apparently personal hygiene fell way down on the list of importance. Showering, doing my hair, putting on makeup and dressing stylishly somehow lost their place in my daily ritual. I swore I would never leave the house looking like this or that I would never be one of those moms who actually wore that, but hey--when it came right down to it, I always chose sleep. Should I shower or nap? Nap. Should I do my hair or nap? Nap. Should I shave my legs or nap? Nap. (Too bad one year is a loooooooooong time not to shave one's legs).

7. Given the choice, I would gladly choose labor & delivery over those first 6 weeks of nursing--any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The engorgement, the soreness, the thirst, the pain, the constant three hours of being on demand. It's no walk in the park, people. And labor and delivery? Short, sweet and all accomplished while hopped up on an epidural. What's not to like?

6. I am a sleep Nazi (as all my family can attest). My child will have his naps, will go to bed early and will have a dark, quiet place to sleep. Clearly, I've highlighted how important sleep is to me; thus, I find it just as important for my child. It is true, as Dr. Weissbluth attests, a well-rested child is a happy child (and a well-rested mommy is a happy mommy). If you haven't read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Do it. It's my sleep bible.

5. Though a sleep Nazi, I have learned to relax in other departments, sort of. Before Will, food was not permitted in the carpeted areas of my house. However, currently on the carpeted-floor of this room there are 12 Cheerios, 7 Goldfishes and 4 raisins. But my child is entertained (so that I can blog, right?)

4. Being a mom is hands-down the hardest job I've ever had. And I've had some seriously wretched jobs. My sophomore year of college: a campus pizza delivery girl who had to deliver pizzas in a golf cart that would not steer (I got stuck countless times and would have to beg strangers to help me get my cart unstuck all the while wearing a Tomasito's Pizza Hat and a grease-stained shirt. Pretty sight). My first two years teaching: a class full of 15-year-old boys (only two girls) who didn't like me much plus it was seventh period. A lethal combination. Or, of course, there was the semester I had to teach health to 8th graders. As in sex-ed health. Yikes. And then there was my job as an orthodontist assistant: putting braces on teenagers after NO training--losing brackets down those poor defenseless teens' throats, all pretending like it never happened and just continuing on with the brace procedure. Now that was good times. Hard to believe, but yes, being a mom is harder than all those jobs combined. To know that I am solely responsible for the care and keep of this child. To know that I can never quit this job, never set it aside. To know that if I mess this up, then my child will spend years in therapy, detailing how his mother drove him mad.

3. Being a mom is hands-down the best job I've ever had. Who would trade playing patty-cake in bed every morning? Who would pass up tickling Will until he is in a fit of giggles? And how could throwing a ball back and forth ever get boring? And have you ever chased Will while he's crawling? Let me tell you, it's a must. Believe you me, I have the best job in the world hanging out with this guy. I love being a mom.

2. I could have never survived the first year if it hadn't been for a stellar father/husband. Josh is in full Dad mode the second he walks in that door. He'd do anything for that kid--he is seriously in love with this little boy. And how it makes my heart happy to see those two wrestling and giggling and playing.

1. Most of all I've learned that I never knew how much love one could have for such a tiny being. Every night as I put Will to sleep I tell him, "Oh, I love you soooooo much--you'll never know how much until you have a child of your own." And every night I say a little prayer of thanks for this miracle, this little boy who waited for so long to come to us, this little boy who changed my world so wholly and completely.

Friday, February 13, 2009

You WILL Have Fun

We are pretty much convinced that our child loves tubing. Will, on the other hand, is pretty much convinced that he hates it. However, we persevere, knowing as we do that he secretly loves it. Luckily, our backyard is the perfect small sledding hill, so any time the temperature creeps up to ABOVE freezing, we take our child out to the backyard, plop him on a tube and tell him: "You WILL have fun!" And if these pictures are any indication, he clearly is a lover of tubing. Well, you can be the judge of that:

Yes, I know that not one picture shows him smiling and one picture even shows him crying hysterically, but we won't give up. No, we'll never, never, never give up. Our child will love tubing and he will have fun.

Well, Pompa, You Finally Made the Blog

Here they are: the three whole pictures we took on our two-week long vacation. Sad, I know. But at least we did manage to get a picture with Will and his Pompa. My dad is always begging to get pictures with Will so that he can "make it on the blog". So, Pompa, you finally made the blog:
My dad was so very cute with Will. He had some Backyardigans tivoed and would cuddle with Will for as long as Will would stay still watching the show (and my dad loved it!). My dad also took Will during church and took him to his office in the church building and fed him Fritos (whole!). Will loved his Pompa. It made my heart happy to see Will with his Pompa.
And here's Will with his Grammy and Pompa (Grammy was playing dress-up with Katie--she usually doesn't wear bright, shiny clothes). Grammy was good to us as always. Spokane was actually the second half of our trip and we went without Josh. We had a good, relaxing time, just chillin' with Em and her kids and getting together with some friends. Plus, I finally got to see Twilight and do a little shopping. As always, we loved our trip to Spokane and enjoyed a much quieter trip than our last crazy one. Thanks, Grammy and Pompa for a wonderful trip. Can't wait to see you over the summer for our Lake Roosevelt vacation!

And here's Will on his first skiing expedition on our ski-trip to Utah. Of course, he is crying (shocking, I know). It was nap time for him, so he wasn't too thrilled. He was literally screaming before we got on the lift, then he fell asleep on the lift, woke up when we got off and then screamed the entire time down the bunny hill. Josh and I decided to torture our child a little more and took him up the lift for one more run. The second time he fell asleep on the lift and stayed asleep down the mountain and in the lodge for half an hour. Then he woke up and was as happy as could be. We didn't want to push our luck, though, by taking him on another run.
Our trip to Utah was fun--filled with lots of family time (the whole Madsen clan was gathered); cousin playing time; lots of skiing time--mostly for Josh; Park City outlet shopping time and, of course, some Brian Reagan time. We love our trips to Utah and can't wait for more skiing adventures. Thanks, Granny and Gus!