Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Best Things in Life are Hard

My friend and neighbor and mother of 4 boys asked me the other day if motherhood was harder or easier than I expected.  Of course I said it's a piece of cake. Or maybe I actually said something like it's a little harder...ok, I said a lot harder.

I was prepared for the sacrifice I would make leaving my job and the comforts of working life, but I wasn't prepared for all the other sacrifices. It's super hard some days to shower, take bathroom breaks, eat. I can barely scratch out the very basic necessities of life. So that was all sort of unexpected. 

I'm trying to change my perspective of what it means to be productive. In my working world, productive meant always having something to do and crossing off everything on my to do list. It meant being fast and efficient.

 In my mom life, I might only be able to do dishes and make dinner and at the end of the day, I don't feel very productive. But I also fed my baby 5 times, changed his diaper 12 times, cleaned up poop 4 times, sang him to sleep twice, read him 2 books, went on 3 walks, and supervised tummy time. That's a lot of stuff I haven't been including in my productivity overview.

So that's my goal: pick a new definition of productivity that includes all that mom stuff.  After all, it is my new job.

Then there's all the stuff I have to worry about. I knew I would worry, but I didn't know exactly how much there would be to worry about. Worry: my worst enemy. It's such a waste of time. 

Is he eating enough, spitting up too much, growing and developing on schedule, am I scarring him for life because I rock him to sleep, does he sleep to much, is he pooping enough, getting enough alone time play time? The list goes on. I think those are all normal mom concerns, and I just need to store them in the back of my mind and not let them take over the front and sides and every crack in between.

What it comes down to is that this is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. No one gave me instructions. Redd didn't come with a rule book or how-to manual. I've learned that it's a great chance for a clueless mom and dad to learn how to rely on the Spirit and strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I know that my redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives.
He lives. He lives who once was dead,
He lives , my ever living head. 
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.
("I Know that my Redeemer Lives" HYMNS  136)

How grateful I am in this hardest time of my life to know I have a loving Savior who is here to quiet my fears, wipe away my tears, feed my hungry soul, and bless me in my time of need. I have been counseled that having children would bring me closer to The Lord than anything else, and I'm beginning to understand why.

Read more about what I believe about Jesus Christ here

He's pretty much perfect. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Break Week 2

Monday (Aug 11)

We took a ferry to a nearby island called Long Island (not the one in New York). There's absolutely nothing on the island except a beautiful beach and a cafe. It took an hour to get to the island because we made several stops along the way to pick up garbage or drop off mail and freight at other islands. When we reached the island we walked a mile to the beach. It was white sand and beautifully clear water. Then we walked back and ate lunch at the cafe. It was delicious! The man who owns it lives above it during the warm season, then takes off to Florida in the winter. 

On the ferry:

The beach:

That Monday we also had our neighbors over for FHE. Our activity was to make helicopters out of egg cartons and paper. 

Tuesday (Aug 12)
We took a break from fun and grocery shopped instead. We also attended a new member lesson for a recently baptized member. My dear Watson baptized him a couple weeks ago. We learned about the priesthood to prepare him to receive the priesthood this Sunday.

Wednesday (Aug 13)
It rained all day, but that didn't stop us from going out. We did a little hike to great pond in Cape Elizabeth, a neighboring town.  After all .7 miles, We stopped for some delicious Kettle Cove Ice Cream.
Great Pond: Redd is in the Bjorn under my rain jacket.

Thursday (Aug 14)
We went to the Boston Temple. We switched off, so my dear Watson went in first and I hung out witht Redd. Then we switched. It felt good to be in the temple: so much peace. We ate lunch at a little BBQ place, then drove home. We stopped at the Nubble Lighthouse on our way home. It is my favorite so far. We had some wild maine blueberry pie as we watched the waves. 

The temple:

The lighthouse:

A guy feeding seagulls:

Friday (Aug 15)
We went blueberry picking. At $2.50 a pound these babies were the best I've ever tasted. We didn't get enough, that's for sure.  It was just a nearby farm, privately owned. You drive up, get a bucket, then start picking! It was a beautiful day for picking.

That night we went to the Drive-In movies. Ninja Turtles and Hercules. It was an awesome experience. We felt like true Americans.

Saturday (Aug 16)
We visited Higgins Beach. It was pretty windy and chilly, which I wasn't prepared for. I feel lime in order to enjoy the beach on a cold day you need long pants and a sweater. I wore my swimming suit, so...Yeah.

It was an awesome break and I was definitely sad to send my dear Watson back to school this week. He had only been gone an hour on Monday and I had already been teary a couple times. Here's to another semester!

Here's our cutie:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Break Week 1

Here is a snapshot of what we've been doing during the first half of my dear Watson's break:

Tuesday (Aug 6)
My dear Watson finished up the semester and successfully passed all his classes. He did quite well in Anatomy even, and that was the most difficult class. He's sort of a natural when it comes to the body. That sounds weird. His classmates had a pool party that afternoon, so we went, and left before it got too crazy. "Why is all the rum gone?" (Pirates of the Caribbean quote)

Wednesday (Aug 7)
Laundry day! That means we stayed inside. I have to walk my laundry over to the neighbors, up the stairs, and according to her schedule: so it's sort of an all day thing.

Thursday (Aug 8)
We went to Guardians of the Galaxy. It wasn't a bad movie, but it doesn't even come close to the caliber of the other Marvels if you ask me. We also had fresh spring rolls for dinner at a friends house; full of shrimp and tofu. It was a new experience for us both, but actually tasted pretty good. I made pecan cupcakes with a delicious vanilla whipped frosting.

Friday (Aug 9)
We went to Sebago Lake. It was a dream. Perfect weather, semi- warm water, and a lot of relaxing. I even got in...all the way, which tells you it was warm-ish. I've been to the beach a million times here and have never more than stepped in.
This is the lake. It was really cool for kids because the beach is only about 8 feet from the water so you can sit by your stuff and be close to your kids as they play in the water. We tried to put Redd in but he screamed. It was too cold for him I guess.

Saturday (Aug 10)
Stopped at the farmers market at Deering Oaks. I've never seen so much produce at a farmers market. The markets in Utah are more homemade craft stuff than actual produce. We ended up with some fresh green beans and corn on the cob which I whipped up for dinner that night. We also walked around the mall and ate lunch at a Philly CheeseSteak place. It was delish.

Sunday (Aug 11)
 Church. My dear Watson gave a great talk about enduring to the end. Sunday evening we went to Bug Light Park to see a lighthouse and fly a kite. It's an itty bitty lighthouse which is why they call it bug light. The kites people were flying in the park were incredible. Like sky ballerinas floating gracefully in the wind. They were big, made of fabric, and went way high up. Our kite was stellar too. 1/2 off at Marden's so about a dollar, plastic, and reached close to 75 feet. At least we got it in the air.
That's our little kite at the top right, the yellow and purple things on bottom left are the other, bigger kites. Here's a video: 

There will be more later, but for now, here are some cute videos of our little guy.

This is him playing with his keys. 

This is him laughing with my dear Watson.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lobstah Nightmare

Another eventful week. 

My dear Watson went to the Biddeford campus to study in the cadaver lab, and took us with him. Since we aren't interested in dissected dead human bodies, he dropped us off at the beach. This is called Hills Beach, and is so close to campus that we just walked back when we were done. It was the warmest water I've encountered so far at a beach in Maine. Redd got to wear his favorite hippo hat.

 A couple days later Redd and I spent a couple hours at the Eastern Promenade. It's a beautiful path along the ocean, and we found a bench right on the water to relax on.  

We watched 3 giant trucks and a Ford F150 play Tetris to fit on this small freight ferry. Every time a truck boarded I was sure there wasn't any more space, and then saw another big truck backing on. It was fun to watch

This beanie actually fits him now. As a newborn I had to roll it up. I just thought it was so adorable.

Our good friends the Woolley's came to visit and we showed them around our beautiful city. They fell in love with it, as most people do. Austin was Kam's friend all growing up and is in med school in Cleveland right now.

We took the Woolley's to Portland Lobster Company on Old Port because they wanted to eat Maine lobster. Lucky for us, there were two or three non- seafood things on the menu, so that's what we ordered. We watched the Woolley's crack into their lobsters, and as soon as I saw the green bile-looking stuff inside, I started to get queasy.  When Austin gave me a piece of claw meat to try I put it in my mouth like a boss. But when I bit down and my teeth bounced back instead of biting through, I spit that nasty creature back onto my plate. I had an upset stomach for an hour and I didn't even swallow anything. Turns out, I may never try lobster and I'll definitely have lobster nightmares. 

The picture above is the buzzer that tells us when the food is ready. I thought its lobster shape was super cool.

This past Saturday a man was baptized into our ward. I attended a couple of his lessons and My dear Watson reached out to him when he came to church. To our surprise, he asked my dear Watson to baptize him. It was such an honor.