October 31, 2008

Halloween Masterpiece

My son is officially a genius. He asked me (grunted and pointed) toward the piano today indicating that he wanted to begin composing a masterpiece. A Halloween psycho type thriller, if you will. Since it was Halloween, and since we are very much into the promotion of genius behavior in our home - I promptly placed my "small wonder" (anyone ever watch that show? Vickie the Robot?...but I digress) at the piano bench and lo and behold - the work of art that can only be further described as terribly awesome and awfully wonderful began.

Now you must remember a few things from the director as you watch this short clip of our infant miracle. He is found to be pondering heavily his next steps as he slows his playing to a crawl and puts his head down. Deep in thought and making decisions about his next notes. Then you will see that he teases the camerawoman with a brief but thrilling smile - midway through his performance. Lastly, you will also note that he frequently chooses softer and scarier moments to really spook the bejibbies out of you seconds later when the horrific banging resumes.

Oh, and wait for the drum solo which is 3/4 of the way through. It's worth the whole thing. Seriously - who can have a Halloween Music Masterpiece without drums?

I'm just saying.

Enjoy my prodigy.

October 29, 2008

In Which I Lost the Battle of Pink Fluff

Dear CC -

We took our son to Chucky Ch@@se (again, affectionately referred to in our home as the "Chunk a' Cheese"). It was his first trip and I must admit I was looking for you when I walked in the door. I didn't see you. Was it too early? Where were you? I arranged this trip just so you and I could be together....

I finally had to go and ask the Chuck man himself where you were hiding / would you be out / when would that be?!? First he had to make sure he heard me right and then he laughed at me and said you were getting ready to make your appearance on a large chain hanging from the ceiling - and today you were wearing two colors, but I was only interested in one - pink. Laugh at me all you want...bring it out...bring it to mama...that's right...

And suddenly (ok, thirty minutes later) there you were...like a beacon of pink bliss in the night - calling my name and wooing me to your dangling chain and the tiny clip that held you to it. I gently leaned (lunged) over the counter and pointed to the one I wanted (needed) and you came to me....yes, you did. In your pristine plastic bag, making googly eyes at me from your dreamy spun heavenly fluffs.

I had to remind myself that you came at a price. So I paid, willingly, happily. I carried you tenderly to the table and announced it was time to leave. You and I needed to be alone.

And so, in the car while waiting patiently for a husband who had made a quick run into R@dio Shack (again, when is a "shack" ever a good reference?)...we had our moment. You and I. Yes we did. And it was like a reunion of two lost souls. Yes, it was. And then the unthinkable. You left me. I mean, by way of intensely fast consumption and then digestion...you were gone. Sob. I had forgotten since our last meeting how quickly you melt away to nothing. How your large fluffy peaks collapse into tiny pieces of crystals when my fingers hold you. You practically disintegrated in my grasp. Woe. Woe!!

And so it was over. Dagnabbit. Now I have to find a reason to go back to the Chunk a' Cheese just so I can meet up with your extended family. We're gonna need a "family" reunion soon. Oh yes, very soon.

With love and deepest affection,


October 25, 2008

October 24, 2008

Happy Weekend!

Just some fun pictures of Anton's Birthday - we went to visit him at school and take him to lunch. Quint absolutely LOVES his Daddy! He squeals with delight when he sees him - it's darn near the most adorable thing I've ever seen...

Little window into our world:

October 23, 2008


O.M.G. Can I just say that again? O.M.G. Pooooor guy! I think he's trying to get like 8 teeth all at once. He'll stick anything in his little mouth (shoes included, thus the pic at right...snicker). I'm a new Mom - so I get a pass, right? After the first four teeth, I thought...man, this is a breeze...not too bad at all! He did great! BLAH. That was a cake walk. That was only four teeth. Now we're hitting the molars and the BIG pain has arrived. Not to mention the drooling. Oh, the drooling. Felt like I had showered again after cradling him tonight on my shoulder.

Not to worry - I've got stockloads of teething tabs, Motrin, Tylenol, cold teething rings, and a whole other assortment of home remedies from the "been there done that" crew. I just feel bad for him!

Funny story - and not funny in the "ha-ha" sense...but funny in the "oops, guess this is another example of how much of an amateur I am at this parenting Quint stuff". He's been cranky for a few days and I told Anton I didn't know why - didn't know what was wrong. No fever, not really any symptoms. Then he started drooling. And I thought, huh...that's interesting. What's that about? (I know people...just stay with me...I already admitted I'm an utter amateur) So it took sweet Dawn (whose blog is private) to point out to me that his gums were all red in the last post! She said in her comment "wow, those gums look sooooo sore!" And I was literally thinking "Huh?" Insert question mark over head. But then it all started clicking together and I said "Aha! That's it! He's teething!" (Oh brother - only took me three days!)

Good thing someone else could look at a picture of my son smiling on top of his Daddy's shoulders and point out that my son was teething something fierce. Here I just thought he was being cranky. And that's not sarcasm - that's gratefullness!! (thank you x100 again, Dawn!)

So we're gonna try and sprout some teeth this weekend and hopefully we can do it without too much baby mama drama. (Yes, I did.) Because lets face it - it's harder to watch someone in pain sometimes than it is for the person who's feeling it. Then again...I'm kind of a big baby with an insufferably low pain tolerance. Ah, but I digress.

What a guy!

Happy Birthday to the love of my life - the best husband and most amazing Daddy ever! Love you, babe!

...and many more....


October 19, 2008

That's it in a nutshell...

  • Quint will be a year old next month and I have no plans for a party outside of "yaaay, you're one!" and some cupcakes maybe. Small family type thing. Am I horrible? (don't answer that)
  • He's so close to walking - it's scary. (and exciting!)
  • Thank you for asking, I'm doing ok. The Mono is a PAIN but I'm gonna live (wink, wink). Ok, it's pretty bad - the lethargy is the utter and total pits. And I go a few days where I feel good and then it's right back to bed I go for a few more. So this weekend would have been a lot more fun if I didn't sleep half of it away.
  • Did you know that there are only 66 more days until Christmas. Are you gagging/choking yet? Have you even thought about shopping lists? (I have not, for the curious)
  • Did you know that there are only 38 days until Thanksgiving. Have a plan for what you're doing/making/baking/going/etc.? We think we're honing in on some plans on our end but it's still in the infant stages. You know...infant stages of "only have 38 more days to decide for sure". Crap.
  • 16 more days to decide who you're voting for. Unless you're already 100% sure. Can we have new candidates, please? Anyone?
  • I'm terrified to give Q-man peanut butter because of allergies, etc. But now I'm hearing kids can choke on it and all this crap - and that you can't give it to them before they're three!??! What? I don't think when I was a kid we knew this stuff. We just ate whatever. Mom, did you feed us PB & J before we were 3? What the world coming to?
  • Oh, by the way - 12 more days until Halloween - and my boy is going to be a Lion. That is, if he'll actually tolerate wearing the costume. What are you/you're kids going to be? That is, if you celebrate.
  • And while I'm thinking of it...why does W@lm@rt produce always suck? Why is it always so nasty and like gnat ridden rotting gross veggies and fruit? I can't do it anymore. We got some lettuce home recently and unwrapped it - it was totally rotten underneath the outer layers. Nasty.
  • On another note, is it Fall where you are? I swear - everytime it tries to be Fall for a day here, that's all it ever is...for a DAY. The next day, we're back into the 80's and here I am ready to put on my sweaters and boots. What the frig is up with that? Welcome to Texas.
  • We left the house yesterday to get some much needed groceries - and what did we see? Hot air balloons. Only in Fall. So it must be Fall, right? They were absolutely stunning. It was magical and it always is this time of year. It's like living in Mayberry. Or that place where the Cleaver's lived. So freaking idyllic.
  • Has anyone seen "The Duchess"? Please tell me it's good. I so want to see it.
And that's it...in a nutshell...

Happy Sunday night...

October 16, 2008


Well, I came across this post today over here and it really hit me between the eyes.

All I can say is OUCH. Take a minute to read it.

Makes me think twice about what we're doing and or not doing in terms of the country that gave us our son. It also makes me grieve just a little bit more when I think of how our son came to be ours. What kind of life must you be living when the only solution left for you is to give up your child - whether it be from sickness or starvation? Can we even comprehend that on any realistic level?

I try to think about becoming poor...right now, right here in the U.S. And being terribly hungry. And our son being hungry. And suddenly we hear about places that are taking the children and some of those kids are getting chosen to go to another country and live with families who can take care of them and feed them. But I'll never see him again. And in utter and total desperation, I take Quint to one of these places and walk away.

That makes me want to throw up.

Having been there - having seen it...I can tell you that it's 100% real and happening even as I type this.

But this post made me think so much more about the other side of this. Yes, I have my son and soon my daughter - and any orphan is a child in need of a family - regardless of how they came to be an orphan. But, it does make me think about the greater picture and what we personally can do to help change that.


October 14, 2008

Boy & His Dog

He's giving her a kiss - right on her cheek. Because that's what he does...he loves to give kisses. And he LOVES this dog.

Anabelle is the the most gentle and kind dog. I can't think of a better way to describe her to you. She's just hands down, the best dog ever. She puts up with a lot from Quint - and he squeals with delight when she's in the room with him. It's re-dic-u-lous-ly cute.

October 12, 2008

Dear Quint...

We got home from Africa four months and fourteen days ago. Time is flying by and we can't believe it. You will be 11 months old this coming week, and we'll be celebrating your 1st birthday next month. When we got your referral, you were just three months old. By the time we got through court and were able to go and get you, you had just turned six months old. You were so little. It was incredible how much we loved you the minute we met you!

Were you really this little? I can still remember it, if I try...

And look at you now! Growing up and changing every day. I love those teeth! I love that you wave hello and goodbye. I love the way you clap your hands and hum to yourself. I love the way you giggle and laugh over so many things. You always make Daddy and I laugh too! You're such a sweet and wonderful boy, Quint! We can't imagine our life without you - wouldn't even want to try.

I love that when Daddy and I say "can I have a kiss?", you lean in and plant a big on one us. That never gets old. I love the way you chatter and say "dadadadadada". I love that you love beans and rice as much as Mommy! I love your hair, your big beautiful soulful eyes, your happy smile, your cute little teeth, your adorable feet...I just love everything about you! People who meet you, love you too. You're just lovable, baby boy!

Sometimes Daddy and I look at each other and we just shrug our shoulders...because we are so completely in love with you - hook line and sinker - that it's overwhelming. Sometimes there just aren't enough words, or pictures, or moments, or kisses and hugs that can convey it.

We shudder to think what our lives would look like if we hadn't taken this road to you. It's unbearable to even go there in our minds. So we don't. Easier to just play and have fun and enjoy loving you every single day - because we did take that road! (whew!)

You're growing up so fast and before we know it, you'll be two then three then four and on and on. In the blink of an eye...we'll look back at our pictures and wonder where the time went and how fast you grew up.

Until then...

You are our sunshine. Our only sunshine. You make us happy when skies are grey. You'll never know dear, how much we love you...

Love you forever and ever ~

October 10, 2008

Distance makes the heart...

...grow fonder - I guess it's true. I was thinking back to this moment - that first moment I got to put my eyes on my son. That breathtaking moment when we met and he smiled at me for the first time. I wish I could go back, and relive it. Just to feel how small he was and how fragile he felt in my arms. I just want to reach into that picture and embrace the moment all over again. It was such a pivotal day in my heart and such a stunning moment of my life. I was in LOVE and it was like every place I'd ever been going in my life, was all to get to that moment right there. It still takes my breath away!

And dare I admit, that distance has given me the ability to appreciate my time in Ethiopia much more. To actually remember much of it with fondness, even though we were all dreadfully sick for the majority of our trip. Having put some space between myself and some of the unfortunate things that we experienced - it does seem much better in retrospect. Still the hardest thing I had ever done to that point, but somehow it has softened and the rough edges of my memories of Africa aren't as sharp. And when I let my mind go there - to the amazing gift we have been given in Quint - I am humbled over and over. Because he is flat out and hands down the best thing we've ever experienced together or been a part of.

Anton said it the other day, and I agree: I don't think we've seen the last of Africa. I just don't think we have. Don't know what that means just yet. We have a little gal waiting for us in China and I'm pretty sure that little gal has been born. (chills) So that's the first priority. But whatever it means or ends up looking like - we just don't feel God's done with us in Africa.

And if that's true - then we have a lot of opportunity waiting for us...

October 8, 2008

Mono y Mono

Well this explains a lot. I mean, A LOT. I have been so tired. So drained of all energy. So freaking tired, I could sleep sitting up. My limbs heavy. My back sore. My everything just pooped. I've been spiking a fever daily up to 102 - always at the same time of day - evening. The worst case of sweats you've ever seen. I'm talking buckets. I'm talking practically carrying a fan with me throughout the house, and cranking the air down so low, my poor husband got a cough. Not to mention, I've had practically no appetite. It's a challenge for me to get less than half of my meals down. And I'm really working it - really trying. Totally not like me - I'm a foodie, people! And there's the nausea - oh, don't get me started on the nausea. And now I've got the ever present sore and scratchy throat. Yuck.

This has gone on for over two weeks. Close to three. I've thought I was losing my mind (ahem...that might actually still be true). I've thought I was just so miserable at parenting and being patient with my toddler - that I would, you know...break out in a fever and sweat like a faucet from the stress. Yeah. Right. Don't flatter yourself sweetheart, right? And no, I knew I wasn't eggo prego, because Auntie Flo was a' visitin'.

Well, I finally drug my sorry butt to the doctor. And I expected to get a little pat on the back and a "you're fine...stop being a loon". Instead I got a blood panel taken (MY FAVORITE THING EVER! - insert annoyed sarcastic chagrin here) and a phone call today to confirm - I have Mono. Oh. Yes. I. Do.

What I believed to be a "kissing disease" for pimply faced teenagers - turns out, to be another virus in a long line of viruses. And as with any virus, there is no "cure" per say. Other than, and I quote "lots and lots of rest" - the one commodity I just don't have.

I have no idea how I got it. I have no idea how long it will last. The verdict was weeks to months. Months? Months, people? SOB!

My husband feels he and Quint are doomed to get it - because it's highly contagious. It's just a sorry situation, I'll tell ya.

Meanwhile, it's kicking my booo-taaay. I could sleep 18 of the 24 hours out of the day and still be tired, I'm convinced! No amount of sleep seems to help right now. I'm yawning right now as I type this. Jeepers. This is for the birds.

But it explains so much. And I actually feel better that I have a diagnosis and I'm not losing my marbles thinking I "feel" sick. I actually am sick. Who knew?

Off to try and get lots and lots of "rest". Can't resist the quotation marks tonight.

October 7, 2008

Boy Projects that Melt my Heart

Saturday was a project day for us. And projects take on whole new meaning when there's a little guy tagging along to get into each and every little nook and cranny that he possibly can. I have to tell you - it's ridiculously cute.

We baby-proofed cabinets and it was long overdue for our curious little boy. But the level of warmth that hit my heart and the melting that ensued watching my sweet son hover around his Daddy (and the powertools) with such sweet interest and fascination - OH! I can't tell you! Well, actually - I can try, but pictures say it so much better. At one point, Quint leaned over while Daddy was working on a cabinet and kissed his shoulder and using those tiny little hands, pat his Daddy's shoulder, as if to say "I love you, Dad...this is the best day ever!" I was literally weepy trying to take the pictures. Sweetest little boy ever!

Have I mentioned how much we love this little guy?

October 4, 2008


First of all, thank you all for your supportive comments and encouragement. It has been good for me to (a) get it out, and (b) be reminded that I'm pretty much in a very large pool of women who have felt (or are feeling) the exact same way.

I have three things to clear up and then I'll share some fun pics.

First, a reminder to my more critical readers - I work full-time from home. A job that requires frequent phone calls, conference calls, accounting concentration, and a tremendous workload. This contributes substantially to my feelings below. It is insanely difficult to shuffle both "supermom" and "superworker" in the same day, in the same space, in the same moments - with my all-boy, into everything, stubborn and strong willed, crafty little guy running around screaming at the top of his lungs. And not because he's crying. He's not. Screaming because, it's fun to scream and hear yourself, dontchaknow?

Second, some of you asked if AB was aware, what he thought, does he help, etc. So let me clarify that not only does he know, but he has been my biggest supporter. He is 100% engaged with Q - and he is overtly giving to me whatever I need to get through this bump. Whether it be time in the evening alone, extra sleep on the weekends, a trip to the store alone, a night out with my girls - he's ready and willing. In addition, he has bent over backwards to make sure that I know I have his full support - to the extent that we have decided I will cut back to part-time on my work to enable me to be more present with Q and not have to divide myself so much during the day between work and the baby. This will give me some much needed relief during my week. So, we're gonna need a lifestyle change pronto - but we both feel that's a sacrifice we're willing to make. Guess I better get to work on that "Empty Pantry" project I was thinking about...

Third, my own paranoia has me feeling like being that honest with my readers when I've got only a handful of months standing between being a family of three and a family of four - well, let's just say I'm feeling really vulnerable right about now - which is what I was afraid of, by sharing that post. So let me clarify something. Regardless of how I feel today - it does not change my love for Q. My own sense of ill accomplished parenting thus far, does not mean that we do not laugh or smile, or have fun - even several times a day. It does not mean he is not smothered in kisses and love and affirmation, and it certainly does not mean that he is not the light of our life. But even more, it does not mean that we do not love and long for Keira. We talk about her almost daily. It does not mean that because I'm in a rough spot, we are now dreading her arrival. Because we are most definitely not. In fact, part of analyzing where we're at now and how it's working and how it's not - is our way of assessing what needs to change before we add another child to the mix. i.e. cutting back work to be more present with the kids. So, just wanted to clarify...we love our girl!

I managed to get out of the house a few times this week, and I have to say - that may be where I've been missing the boat. Getting out of the house made me feel quasi-human again. Who knew? I met with a friend for lunch, and she was - as usual - an absolute joy. Love you, Desi! I took Q to the mall one day, just so we could walk around and see something other than the four walls of our living room. We met Daddy for lunch another day, and that's always a treat. I just felt like I got to breathe a little more, by getting out of the house. We planned to visit Chuck*y Ch**se, which we affectionately refer to as "Chunk a' Cheese", but AB came down with a little bug called pneumonia (omg!) and so we've decided to stay in and feel better. Down time never hurt, eh?

So here's some pics we took this week and thanks again to all - I'll get through it...cuz that's what Moms do!

Lunch with Auntie Desi!! We LOVE us some Auntie Des!
We had a so much fun and Quint is clearly having a blast....

Momma's Boy - and I seriously love those four little teeth.
He makes the greatest faces with those teef.

Upside Down for Daddy! This boy LOVES playing with his Daddy (almost as much as Daddy loves playing with his boy...)

Ok, so let's discuss. I know it's not "common" to give an 11-month old powdered donuts. I realize this. But it's Saturday morning. And we're all together enjoying our breakfast and Daddy and Mommy are seriously doing damage to the donuts. Poor Quint. All he got was some lousy O's. So, we decided "what the heck!" It doesn't hurt - everything in moderation. So I give you...The Powdered Donut Loses Battle w. BOY. So darn cute!

Love and hugs!

October 2, 2008

I'm trading my shame

Friends of this blog - I have tried rather unsuccessfully to find happy and funny things to share with you these past several weeks. To share all the good times and the cute little anecdotes of being a new mom.

We've only been home from Africa for four months. It feels like a lot longer. Like ages have passed since we were in another country, another culture, immersed in the diversity and taking on the biggest change of our lives.

I'm trading my sorrow

I have to tell you, that I am eating a rather large helping of humble pie lately. I have a big spoon and I'm heaping it in by the gallons. Daily. I used to think "look at that mom over there...control your child for goodness sake" or "If that were me, I'd have that kid towing the line in a flash", or even worse and much more often "why is she whining? She got what she wanted! She's got her baby - now stop complaining". I admit it. I was that person.

I'm trading my shame

I am ashamed to admit to you that parenting has been my biggest struggle. My biggest fear come to life. That I would be no good at it, or that somehow it would not be all I had imagined. It's not what I imagined. It's not what I thought. It's so hard I could weep. Actually, I do. Everyday is a new day, yes - and everyday is a new challenge.

I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

Once I read a comic that stuck with me. A Dilb#ert comic strip where Ratbert, the new office "temp", sets up a desk for himself inside a cardboard box in the hallway because he wants to be permanent in the office so badly. He tells Dilbert that since he knows he'll be there for a long time (cough), he needs something that can be his own. Have you ever been a temp? Then you know how apropos the word "temp" is. Dilbert sagely faces the reader and the caption reads "Warning! Sharp learning curve ahead!". Poor Ratbert.

I'm trading my sickness

That's how I feel. Like I wish someone had hog tied me and wrangled me to the floor back in May and said "WARNING, Christie! SHARP (very, very sharp) learning curve ahead!" But no one did. It was all smiles, well wishes, isn't it great, isn't it wonderful, what a wonderful time, it's the best time of your life, and all that jazz. I wouldn't change the outcome - I would have just mentally tried to prepare myself a little bit better for the reality and the utter levity of the situation.

So, quit reading now if you're already getting irked at me and want to shout "get over yourself - you've got the baby, now shut up already!" It's about to get tangled. And beware lest you find yourself eating humble pie like me. It's nasty, nasty stuff and there is no watering it down or chasing it with some guilt-free sugar coated variety of "sorry, I was wrong".

I'm trading my pain

Quint is a wonderful boy. He's sweet and funny, charming and smart as a tack. He's engaging and snuggly and he has his own mind. He's opinionated, he's cute - he's a delightful baby. Who wouldn't be happy all the time?

It comes as a shock to me at least, that I would struggle so much to live each day to its fullest. To enjoy the moments. When people say to me "enjoy this age - it's the BEST!" I literally want to scream back "then YOU enjoy it! Because I would love to go to the bathroom or read two lines of a book, or finish putting clothes on, or bathe for crying out loud, or makeup - what the heck is that? - or how about finish one freaking meal while it's still even quasi warm, or get one thought out of my head and into the world before I have my pants pulled down and off by a well meaning but screaming child as he is latched on to my leg for 10 of his 12 waking hours, or see a movie (what the frig is even playing?) or comb my hair (don't even ask!) or wear something other than a nightgown all day, or balance our checkbook (God help us) or read my Bible (Lord forgive me!) or have a conversation with my husband that does not begin or end with "so then the baby..." or sleep one night without worrying about crib death at 11 months (does that ever end?) or enjoy one of 30 breakable things in my home that are now crammed unceremoniously into small and unreachable by little hands, places.

I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

I need to be honest - this is not called a "full-time job" for nothing. I'm not even kidding you. I worked corporate for years before this stay at home gig - and I can say hands down, that was the easiest job (whatever it was...insert company here) that I ever had compared to this. We could have a quiet day over here at La Casa B and it would still rank as the hardest thing I've ever done. This is not for wimps. It's not for the weak. You can't get away with half hearted parenting for more than about...oh say, 15 minutes. Do you wanna know why? Because they will eat you alive. You have to be engaged constantly. Otherwise, you end up with a child pulling the television over (are they seriously that strong? Give me a freaking break!) or climbing out the dog door (true story). You have to be on your game all the time. Can you imagine? Even nap time is a race to get done as much as humanely possible before you hear the alarm - and by alarm of course, I mean "whhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

I'm pressed but not crushed, persecuted not abandoned

So speaking honestly with the deep hope for no condemnation, I am sad. I am not as good at this as I hoped to be. Maybe I am my own biggest critic - but this is breathtakingly hard. I love Q beyond measure - but that doesn't change the difficulty of the day to day struggles of learning to be someones mother. He's very strong willed, but it's beyond that. It's not even about him. It's about me. People say it will come naturally - and many of the elements do indeed. But friends, new moms to be, know this - it does not ALL come naturally. Some of it is hard earned, sweat induced, tear filled, patience tested, iron will "learn as you go" parenting. It simply is.

Struck down but not destroyed

I have to compare this to getting married. I love AB more than words. There aren't enough ways to express my love and genuine admiration for him. Having said that, I remember being young and very in love and thinking that the world was our oyster. That we would NEVER become one of those tired old married couples and that we would never take each other for granted. (heh...snicker...) Anton reminded me of an embarrassing gift we gave our relatives for Christmas one year - "Love" cards - oh gawd, we're still cringing. 100 ways to tell the person you love that you "love" them. Or something like that. After we got married, I distinctly remember sitting in the honeymoon cabin of the cruise ship we were on and thinking "so this is it, huh? All that planning...all that waiting...all that work...for three hours of wedding and it's over. And now it's life as usual - everything returns to the mundane and now it's more complicated because I'm responsible emotionally to another person." Yikes! Where did those thought creep in? I can tell you where. Because NOBODY tells the bride "listen, marriage is infinitely hard and full of craziness and moments where you think you'll keel over - but you should still do it". No one says that! No one ever will. I was surrounded by little well wishers who said "ooh" and "aaah" and "isn't this wonderful" and "it's so romantic" and "ooh the gown is gorgeous and the invitations are lovely...ooh ahhh ooggle". Heaven help us all if people start spitting the truth.

I'm blessed beyond the curse for His promise will endure

Likewise, becoming a parent in whatever form, is surrounded by oohs and aaahs and well wishers and those who regale tales of delightful parenting moments and relish passing along their tricks of the trade while you stand numb and dazed holding your bundle of joy. Let's face it, if they showed up, grabbed you by the arm and said "just you hang on sister because this life ride is about to get cracked out...and you think you're busy now? HA! Don't make me laugh. You don't know tired, busy, hungry, deprived, annoyed, tested, or mentally worn down to your noggin nub until now! And honey, pass the chaos, hold the sanity! You're about to get dealt the biggest blow to your ego in YEARS. You are no longer...well, anything. Except diaper doter, bottle feeder, nose wiper, vomit catcher, toy cleaner, slobber saver, tear dryer, crib sheet changer, and "I can name that cartoon tune in 3 notes" all around hand holder. So suck it up! Because you can wipe that happy little crappy smile off your face and start dancing to the music of "this is your life" everyday, all over again. Now you have a nice one.

And His joy's gonna be my strength

No one is gonna say that people. Because if they did, we'd RUN, not walk in the direction of "free spirit forever" bumper stickers, movie hopping on Saturday nights, and midnight sushi bars. We'd never sign the contract. We'd need to see proof that this gig was more than...well...the above. So no one is out there saying "this crap is HARD".

It's frowned on. Even shushed. I might be losing offended readers even now. But isn't that sad? Let me tell you - in my distraught frame of mind, I have opened up to several close friends and you know what? I'm comforted to find that once you begin sliding your hand up in the air and saying "hi, my name is Christie...and this new mom gig is freaking hard", you find that you are not alone. That MANY women are struggling with motherhood. That so many are facing the same uphill battle every day that you face. That even right down to the scenarios - we are a sisterhood even in our weakest moments. We have the same stories, the same struggles, the same fears, the same weaknesses. What a comfort to me in my hour of need. (I love you and you know who you are friends...)

Though the sorrow may last for the night

So, I have been broken like a wild horse these past months - and I haven't known what to say to all of you. Haven't known how to tell you that I'm having a hard time. I've tried a couple times and then I feel so guilty for not being able to whistle a happy tune for you. All the love in the world for my little man cannot change the fact that sometimes I just need to breathe. Sometimes, I just need to use the restroom. I'm not joking. Do you know I'm actually crying when I type that? That's not frailty - that's reality. That's me being vulnerable to you. Sometimes I just need to have five minutes to think about myself. And learning how to do that, and when to do that, and what hat to wear at what time of day has been my sharp learning curve.

Considering so many women have told me of the exact same struggles, I can't imagine that most of us have not faced or thought these same things. All things considered, if you are facing new motherhood - I in no way wish to discourage you - but I hope you will take from this the benefit of having been "hog-tied" to this post and forced to hear "sharp learning curve ahead". It's not about loving the child - that's not even in the equation. It's about you. You think after all these years, you can deal with it - whatever it is. You'll cross that bridge when you get there. Friends, take a note from my utter open wound here...now is the time to begin to understand that your entire life will get flipped upside down. Think of everything you do now - and flip it over. You can't come away from that untouched. It's just natural that you would "feel" something.

His joy comes in the morning

Motherhood Saints out there - whoever you are - that have never felt this way, that have never really struggled as I have, or felt completely lost in parenting, or struggled to get up and do it again each day - bless you. You are so fortunate.

Struggling mothers - and I mean this from my deepest place - bless your heart. Love that baby, but take care of yourself as best you can. Find ways to keep your sanity and do your best not to pummel the lady who stops to tell you to "enjoy this age...it's the best!!" with that Pollyanna smile and high pitched voice. She means well. But let's face it - it's not the best age (insert age here)...they've forgotten. God has blessed mothers with the ability to slowly forget the bad and latch on to the precious. That's ok - it's for you too and it'll happen with time. But while you're in it...Lord, it seems overwhelming.

I'm trading my shame. I'm laying it down. I'm gonna take the Joy of my Lord. I can't think of anything else to do. I've arrived at that little place we all hate to go to..."Witts End".

If you're still here...and still reading this, then thank you for that - truly. I'm not sure what else I've got to say for a bit. I'm sure I'll find something, but it just might be tidbits here and there until I can find a way to trade my sorrow over. I guess I'm nothing if not relentlessly honest over here at Bushel and a Peck.

I'm trading my sorrow

I'm trading my shame

I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

(* it's a song...and a great one at that...)