Reframing Life: A Meditation On The Home

My two-year-old sincerely loves all things musical – Recently we’ve discovered that this includes The Lawrence Welk Show.

My husband took this photo yesterday as we were working on getting dinner on the table. He had been about to shut off the TV after playing the toddler Pandora station for awhile and it landed on The Lawrence Welk Show on PBS.

Sebastian saw the horn, looked up and him and said, “I love it, daddy! I love this show!”

We sat back amused and allowed our kid be exposed to the music of another era, while daddy made dinner and mommy worked on her blog.

Sebastian Watches Lawrence Welk

I love this picture because my husband took it and there is not one thing I would change about the composition – which, I must admit, is rare.

For once I can’t say, “Next time try not to get the counter top full of clutter right behind his head.” Or, “It’s better if the light is behind you.” Or, “See how the light fixture looks like it’s sprouting out of his head.” (I got this photo pickiness from my mother, in case you were wondering why I should be such a nag.)

The timing was perfect, too. How awesome is that Geritol ad at the top of the screen?!!!

Here is a rare snap-shot of a day in our lives in which I feel that we really do live that unattainable, magazine-perfect life. Outside of the shot, the rest of the house is steeped in the clutter of the weekend, and of my recent trip to Target to get toilet paper, diapers, and La Croix sparkling water.

But in this photo, I’m not bothered by the out of place kids toys, the old Turkish rug that doesn’t match anything, the crumby blanket that covers our crappy couch, the new curtains that still have creases in them from the package, and that I hate but we can’t return. Etc, etc, etc.

In this photo I see our house as an outsider might see it. A comfortable place to be at home with family. Watching Larence Welk to boot!

This photo has been a reminder for me to be truly grateful for life and the home that we share together as a family.

I love it because it’s aesthetically pleasing to me: I love, love, love the composition. It stands on it’s own as a photograph. (Old-school photography, before digital cameras, was the first art form I fell in love with.)

I love it because it was such an amusing moment in our lives. A moment that made my husband and me smile together and appreciate the wonder that is our son. That despite us being sleep deprived, him being on-call all weekend and trying to get dinner on the table, and me feeling uncomfortable and swollen with pregnancy, allowed us to step into another frame of mind and enjoy our family time.

I’m planning to use this whenever I need a lift and a smile this week.

My new meditation on the home:

As I look around my house this week I’m looking through the eyes of the photograph. Our house – even with the bits of clutter that I’m always battling on the counter tops, with all toys and books and things that the two-year-old tornado is always depositing all over the floors in all of the walkways, with all the clutter that gets shuffled from place to place because it doesn’t yet have a home – even with all this stuff, our house is still a comfortable, happy home when you step back and look at it from the right point of view.

This week I will look at our home from the frame of mind of love, comfort,  togetherness, and amusement,  not with that critical eye that infects my everyday battle with domestic chores.

Lady Bloggers Social Conference, a Teething Baby, and a Sick Hubby

Photo on 2011-07-09 at 14.13
Sebastian is teething so I spent a lot of the day standing and swaying with him in the Babyhawk Mei Tai baby carrier, while watching session speakers on my laptop and interacting with conference participants via chat. This photo was taken with my laptop camera as I was watching a speaker.

Here is a brief update on my life this weekend:

(1) This weekend, I’m attending the Lady Blogger Social Online Conference, a friend is coming to visit, and my husband threw up last night (Food poisoning? Stomach bug?) so my plate is FULL!

Oh, and one of Sebastian’s top teeth poked through today to top it all off! So….incredibly moody baby.

Lady Blogger Socail Badge

(2) The conference has been really great so far! Among other things, I’m learning to network, which has always been difficult for this formerly shy gal.

(3) Just as I begin to feel good that I’m doing more laundry these days (and possibly catching up?), I realize that I still have clothes in the dryer from two days ago, and I’m going to have to leave the wet load in the basket till tomorrow, because I can’t run the dryer right now and risk waking the baby up. Wah-wah-wah (sad trombone sound effect).

(4) Because of the baby, the conference, my sick hubby, and a friend’s crisis, I haven’t had time to shower since before my workout yesterday morning. 🙁

Yeah.

Sorry for the TMI there, but it had to be said.

(5) I’ve got lots to catch up on – I’ve been exercising and have joined Weight Watchers, so we’ll be talking about how physical health affects mental health, and also cheap healthy lunch choices this coming week.

(6) Oh yeah, after avoiding them for a long time, I’ve started watching hoarding shows, there have been an abundance of them the past few days.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

 

In Baby News …

So I haven’t showered in … 3 days? And now would be my chance, except, “Dont’cha understand, ma? I gotta write?!

I’ve got blogging fever right now and I really want to keep it going. And I want to keep taking and ORGANIZING pictures. I’m feeling particularly good today in the few moments when I can squeeze in some writing and such.

Plus, looking out the window – it’s REALLY windy today – so I don’t think we’ll be going on a walk any time soon. And the post-office is closed today… So why do I need to have clean hair?

Moving on …

IN BABY NEWS

Eating with Baby

Eating with Baby 2

As I’m sitting here eating lunch bouncing Sebastian on one knee, holding a bottle in his mouth as he’s too young to do so himself, and eating with the other hand, I’ve realized, “Hey, I’m actually good at this!” Good in a way that I know my husband, and even many of my friends are not. I was holding a baby and his bottle, eating, and reading through my email, responding with one hand at the same time. It happened because I was determined to eat in one sitting while it was hot. After popping up and down several times to stick my face down at eye level where he was lying, and complaining, in his play gym, I scooped him up and grabbed the bottle with barely an ounce of cold expressed milk out of the fridge and ended up here.

And when I realized that there was no way my husband could manage to feed Sebastian a bottle and eat, much less be reading email, I felt talented! I felt skillful!

And I needed that, I really, really needed that. I feel extreme gratitude that I’m able to stay home indefinitely with my child, but I’m an intelligent 21st century woman, and I, of course, thought I’d be doing “more” with myself than this.

And I am, by continuing to write and imagine a creatively productive future for myself. I’m trying to re-define what work and success means – I think we’ve been incredibly closed minded about this since we broke through the barriers that kept us out of men’s careers in the past. Yes, we can now do what men do. But what else can we do? Can we create a world where we get to use our skills and intellects in the adult world, while being present for our children?

That is the never-ending question for someone like me. Because I will never be happy being “just a mommy,” or “just a housewife.”

IN OTHER BABY NEWS

1. Sebastian has had two bottom teeth for a few weeks and the jury is out on whether he will be getting more teeth sooner, or much later. But something may be happening because he has been quite irritable the past few days, grabbing fist-fulls of my hair – right at the roots if it’s pulled back – kicking and hitting me as he lies wide awake next to me in the wee hours of the night, and BITING me. (And he’s barely 5 months old, mind you, so none of this is conscious on his part and there isn’t really a way to modify his behavior, aside from reading his mind and fixing whatever it is that’s making him so discontent.)

He bit me really badly two days ago, bad enough that I’m panicking in my mind about what I will have to do if this problem gets worse. I’m not able to produce enough milk by pumping to pump exclusively for him. I think I might preemptively order some of those nipple shields. Yeah, even if I never use them, I think it will be better to have them around in case he does another angry clamp-down on my sore nipple. The pain of the abrasion he gave me is this searing, shooting pain I’d rather not make worse.

2. I got my period in the middle of the night last night. Wah, wah. 🙁 And I don’t understand why, since I breastfeed exclusively. My midwife had told me I could be fertile as soon as I missed a night feeding – and I don’t feed him for most of the night anymore. But still, since I’m still the sole source of nourishment for this growing boy, I thought my period would stay away longer.

So my to-do list now has at the top:

  • Order Diva cup online
  • Call midwives for birth control appointment
  • Oh, and order nipple shields.

As for the birth control, I think the safest thing to do while breastfeeding is the IUD … but it just gives me the heebie-jeebies for some reason, so I don’t know …. Any other suggestions?

Ha! I just might have time to shower before he wakes up!!! (She writes, just as he begins to stir in the other room …)

Me and Baby