So many things to remember

It’s been almost two and a half years since my last ride on the newborn train. There are so many things to remember …

… How long do they nurse on each side? What was that technique for getting them to open their mouths bigger for a deeper latch?

… Baby acne … Is it normal to start this early? How long will it take to run its course?

… Did it work out better for us to change before a feeding or after? Did it really depend on the baby? Did Seth or Nora do this well with the peeing and pooping?

… Baby fingernails are like tiny razors. I think we file, not cut … But that booklet says to trim. Which one was right? What did we do with Seth and Nora?

… Did I feel this guilty sending Nora to the nursery for a quick nap for mommy and daddy on the last night in the hospital? Did I send Seth at all?

… It seemed so much longer to stay in the hospital with Seth. Is it just the difference between a spontaneous 7am birth and an induced 3pm birth, or is it because we’re not so totally overwhelmed?

… Jude is bigger than Seth and Nora were at birth, but he still seems so tiny. Were they really that small? How can they be so big now?

… Jude smells just like my other newborns, even though he’s already such a different baby. Why can’t we take smell pictures so I can keep this forever?

… Those perfect little feet, never having touched the ground. Skin that’s so soft and will never be this way again. Utter perfection, even with baby acne.

… Quiet moments stolen in the middle of the night when he’s still just mine, even though he’s on the outside now.

… Those hormonal surges that come the thirdish day that make you cry at the sight of a pizza box.

… The absolutely rank smells that a newborn baby can put out when he passes gas.

… The delight and amazing feel of a newborn tucked up into your chest, resting on your shoulder.

So many, many things to remember.

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To Claus or Not …

Our four-year-old son is very, very inquisitive, just like many kids his age. He likes to know how things work, he’s an observer and experimenter, and he takes things apart so he can mess with them and figure out what’s going on. He’s smart enough to take in information, digest it, and apply it appropriately to other situations. He’ll learn something, chew on it for a while, and then come back to you with follow-up questions that make you wonder what’s really happening in that brain of his.

For example, a few months back, his preschool class was learning about the planets in our solar system. One day he’s sitting at the table and asks, “Mommy, why do we live on Earth?!” From his inflection I could tell he wasn’t just asking how we ended up here, he was asking, “Of all the planetary choices we have in this galaxy, how and why did we end up on this one?”

I tend to answer him in what I hope is an honest and age-appropriate way. I don’t want to dumb down or falsify information for him because I respect his brain too much for that. Sometimes I don’t always think it through fully before my mouth starts, though.

“Mommy, is that magic?”  “No, sweetie, that’s physics.”  “What’s physics?” (Oh dear … um …) “Uh … it’s how different things in our world move together and against each other to make things happen.”

“Mommy, do drive and hide rhyme?” “No, because they don’t sound exactly the same.  When they sound a lot the same but not exactly, that’s assonance.”  “Hmm … assonance.”  (Mother-light dawning … Oh boy, thank goodness he said that word correctly.)

“Mommy, who is Saint Nicholas?”  “He was a very nice man who lived a long, long time ago who loved God so much that he wanted to help other people and be nice to them by giving things to them.”  (Oh crap — I answered for the actual Saint Nicholas, not thinking about Santa Claus. Did I just ruin Santa Claus’s story before we even started it?!)

He’s never brought up Santa Claus, we haven’t pushed it, and I’ve never wanted to force an idea on him. It’s one topic that I’ve felt is sort of awkward to work into conversation. I don’t want to push the idea of being good only so you get presents, I do want the holiday to be fun and for our kids to have great memories. I have no problem with talking about Jesus’s birth being the reason for Christmas and we celebrate by giving gifts because Jesus was God’s gift to us. Working the Santa connection, though, has been weird. The stories don’t flow well.

Tonight, though, I asked Seth (and Nora, our two-year-old), “Seth, do you think that Santa Claus brings presents to boys and girls?”  Wide eyes and nodding. (Nora: “And he say ‘Ho ho ho!'” A week or so ago it was “He say ‘Ha ha ha!'”) “Do you hope that Santa comes to our house to leave presents for you and Nora?”  More nodding. “Would you like to leave a note for Santa?”  “Oh, YES!”

DSC_0044I guess it wasn’t that hard to start the tradition after all …

Almost there …

We stopped by the house to see what else had changed in the last week or so. The appliances are starting to be installed, the tile is installed on the floors and the back splash in the kitchen, and we have electricity! Supposedly we had carpet installed yesterday. Soon we’ll have final painting done, the cleaning, and then it will be time for walkthroughs and all that!!

Seth, though, is already completely excited about his favorite feature of the house: the game room. We’re pretty excited about it, too.

Ready for the game room to be his!

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