This house

Thank you for your encouraging words on my post yesterday about my frustrations with eating and weight lately. Many of you encouraged me to "give myself a break" and show myself more grace … you are right. As I reflect on my negative attitude from yesterday (which was quite honestly fueled by sleep deprivation and frustration and stress) I realized that I need to step back from posting about my weight for at least a week, maybe more. I'll continue to update my weekly weigh-ins on the sidebar for now, but I won't be alerting the presses so to speak. My goal in the coming weeks is to love myself enough to eat healthily, to fuel myself to make it through the long days and nights, and to continue to feed my baby son by nursing him and not hold my weight frustrations against him. He's only little once. He's only nursing for this little while. There was a time there when I really enjoyed that and I'd like to get back to that place.

Speaking of my son …

He's now four months old.

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Everyone says this but HOW DID THAT HAPPEN ALREADY? He is smiling, cooing, rolling over (!), interacting with his sister (who is his favorite person, bar none), sleeping in the pack-n-play because he has already outgrown his bassinet (!), and working hard on catching his feet with his hands. He loves to ride in the stroller next to his sister but HATES riding in his car seat and just this week took his first round trip in the car without melting down into screamy tears. He is most definitly a mama's boy and loves to nurse and be held … understatement. He could boob snooze all day and night. He loves his bath (he's already outgrown the baby tub too!), loves the quirky stuffed rabbit in the photo with him above, and grabs everything and anything that looks interesting to him (mind your iPhone! He'll grab it!).

It is so crazy to me how having a second child sheds so much light on my first child's personality. For instance, the first time we put Sydney in the exersaucer at about four months old she sat there in it and just looked at everything. She took some time to absorb her surroundings, check all the toys out. It wasn't until about the third day we put her in it that she actually tried to reach out and touch something. The very first time I put Elijah in the exersaucer he totally and completely WENT FOR IT. He hadn't been in that thing 30 seconds before he was wacking the crap out of the purple star rattle on that sucker, making all the toys spin and shake. Now that I see my son I realize that my daughter is more like my husband and kinda thinks things through before she dives in. My son seems to be more like his mama and just GOES. The first time I put him down on a blanket on the floor he picked up his legs and just rolled. The other day I put him on his tummy for the first time in a few days and BOOM, he just pushed himself over to his back, clasped his hands and giggled at me in what seemed like PRIDE in what he'd done!!

Needless to say, these children are amazing. Every day the little things they do just blow me away.

Sydney continues to dote on her brother. In the last few weeks – to our totally panicked response – she's been trying to pick him up out of his bouncer chair. She just wants to be near him but she's still too little to realize that she has to be careful. She loves to cuddle with him. I am looking forward to the day when I can let her do that without having to be right there and ready to spring in case she gets too close to pinching his fingers under her knee or rolling on him or bonking heads.

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My husband and I were talking the other day about how when we had Sydney our hearts just exploded into this new kind of love for someone that was just as powerful as the love we had for each other but different. And then this new guy comes along and you worry that you can't love another person as much as you love your first child and there he is – he is Elijah – and your heart is doing that crazy swelling thing like the Grinch … you had no idea how small your heart really was until there were these children in your life.

It is living in a house your whole life and thinking that it's the greatest house ever, only to discover as an adult that there are hidden rooms full of things that are so awesome you could never have imagined them. And you get to open those doors and go inside and those things are yours and were yours all along and now you get to see them and get to know them and suddenly you can't remember what life was like before those rooms were open. It is inheriting this great and precious fortune. You hardly know where to begin. But it's exciting and the possibilities are endless and you are totally aware that you have been chosen for something greater than yourself.

I was reading a post the other day by an old acquaintence of mine, a mother of two young ones, who has been through more than I could ever imagine in the last few years. Her husband suffered a brain injury and she has been on her own raising her two young children while he goes through a difficult and frustrating rehabilitation. The years have been long and hard on her. In many ways she has lost her husband, who was once a tall, strong, intense man and is now mostly restricted to bed and a wheelchair. In some ways he has become more like a super-demanding third child. In her post she tackled what it means to be "tended to" and "to tend" and it really spoke to me. Out of respect to her I will not link her blog but I will quote what she wrote here because I think it is so powerful. Her words reflect my frustration and my hope. As someone who deals with much less on a daily basis I too want "my tendencies to be transformed in light of God's faithful tending" to me and my family. I have much to be grateful for.

 

Isaiah 40:11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Jeremiah 23:4 "I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.

Ezekiel 34:15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD.

i know there is a lot there for me–a realization of how my Savior Creator, Provider, mighty God tends to me, carrying me close to his heart, appointing others (like so many of you) to act in his stead, caring for our family, and even preparing us for moments of rest (–that is how i interpret having me lie down since as my kids will attest, i fall asleep if i lay down). and then i wonder what i might tend to… God tends to tend to me, and i tend to get overwhelmed, frustrated, weary. i want my tendencies to be transformed in light of his faithful tending. so here we are, in february 2011, trying not to fall down, but getting not too much further with a whole lot of effort poured into maintaining status quo. i am not sure how all this works but we are staying in the race.

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5 thoughts on “This house

  1. Mercedes says:

    Give your belly some lovin’! It’s a symbol of how hard your body has worked over the last year through pregnancy and now nursing to sustain that sweet little boy. You’re a beautiful mama.

  2. Steph says:

    Oh Manda! I love your heart, your perspective, and your willingness to have a teachable spirit! You are so beautiful, and your children are so blessed to have YOU as their mother!

    Lots of love to you. I’m praying for you today!

  3. April says:

    I just discovered your blog and I feel like we have the same lives! I went to U of I, I have two children that are similar in age (when you said something about typing with a 3 month old and a 2 year old on your lap I thought “uh huh…”) and even the numbers on our scales are the same. So weird. I recognize the joy/frustration of nursing and weight loss since I was there not so very long ago. Glad to meet you!

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