When I was a few months pregnant with my first child, I signed up for BabyCenter's weekly emails on the development of my baby. My husband and I got a kick out of learning which fruit or vegetable the baby's size matched that week, and I was amused by the cutaway illustrations revealing what miraculous change might be taking place deep in the dark inside me: eyelashes! kidneys! fingernails! Then I made a naïve mistake. I also signed up for BabyCenter's online "Birth Club" for the month my baby was due to arrive. Pitched as a way to connect with other expectant moms, the birth club was supposedly a great source of support and community as we prepared for our babies to arrive. But I quickly found myself in a strange new world, more mysterious than anything of the wonders of the womb. Peppered across every post on the online message board were bizarre abbreviations and acronyms: I'm a EBF, CD-ing, CS-ing AP (Translation: I'm an extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, co-sleeping … [Read more...] about are moms the choices they make?
I do not like the experience of pregnancy. There. I said it. I like the fact of being pregnant. I love the gift of life, the sheer blessedness of getting to bring a child into this world. I love the answer to prayer brought by pregnancy after infertility and miscarriage, the undeserved grace that this is how our story turned out. I love the overwhelming abundance of a healthy pregnancy, knowing that – for now – everything looks good with the baby growing within me. But I hate the way I feel and think and act while pregnant. I hate morning sickness that drags months beyond what every expert tells you is “normal.” I hate taking medicine merely to function beyond the overwhelming nausea. I hate the exhaustion that sends me to bed at 8:30 most nights. I hate the nagging back pain and the chronic discomfort and the unmentionable side effects. I hate how big I get so quickly, how eyebrows raise when I tell my due date because it doesn’t fit anyone’s mental math of how I must be … [Read more...] about in which we are all – begrudgingly – images of God
Yesterday I made a shocking discovery. (For a book-lover, that is.) I was rummaging through my bookshelves, trying to find something for work. When I suddenly realized that I had completely failed myself. I hadn't organized a single book I'd read since I became a mom. Allow me to back up for a minute. Of course I've shelved all the books I own. (It took us months longer to get settled into this new house when we moved with two teeny kids, but I did manage to get that essential unpacking done in short order.) And of course, the book geek in me did find time to arrange by genre: all the theological tomes together on one towering bookshelf in my office, fiction on another, poetry and art history on a third, and old French paperbacks (and even a few of my husband's books I let him sneak in) on the fourth. Perfect, right? Wrong. Because here's the full geeky truth: the only way I really want my books arranged is autobiographical. (When John Cusack whispered that same line about his … [Read more...] about what i’ve been reading lately
We've been playing endless rounds of Sorry! Two, three, four games a day aren't enough for my boy's insatiable appetite. Maybe it's the combination of cards with numbers (which he's always loved) and games for a group (which he's learning to love). Or maybe it's because beloved cousins introduced him to the board game at the cabin over New Year's, thus cementing in his 4 year-old mind the concrete connection of coolness that links friends and getaway and holiday. Whatever the reason, we're stuck playing Sorry! from morning till night. There are worse childhood games to get roped into, as any adult who's ever tried to cheat to end Candyland can attest. And I actually enjoy playing Sorry! (at least the first time or two) because it takes me back to sprawling on the living room floor as a kid, flipping over the dog-eared deck to crow at the cards that would send my younger brothers back home. Even more than Memory, this game offers enough surprise and strategy to hold a grown-up's … [Read more...] about a new year: what to treasure, what to trash