Dear Babykins: Our Anniversary

Dear Babykins,

Today is a special anniversary.  Admittedly, it’s an anniversary that will probably fade as life continues.  But this year I have the presence of mind to mark it.

Do you know what today is?

A year ago I consciously became your mother.  I held the pregnancy test with shaking hands, shocked by the small positive sign on the plastic stick.

While it took many more months for you to appear to the outside world (heck, it took many more months for me to even show I was pregnant), from that moment your father and I were no longer a couple.  You made us a family.

And we thank God for you.

Love,

Mommy

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A Pastor’s Vacation

It seems to happen to every pastor’s family at some point.  As a vacation approaches, death comes.

My husband has a conference at the seminary in Indiana next week.  Babykins and I were going to tag along and visit some of our seminary friends.  Technically, this is continuing education for my husband, but it was also going to be a vacation for our family.  My husband would get a chance to focus on studying and take a break from the daily grind of parish life.  I would have the opportunity to have rejuvenating socialization with people I’m comfortable with.  Perfect.

But a member has been fighting terminal cancer.  Last week my husband no longer referred to him as “terminally ill” but as “dying”.  By Tuesday, my husband had made his decision–he couldn’t leave for the conference.  We cancelled our trip.

The man died yesterday.  The funeral is on Monday.

Our family can’t complain about the cancelled vacation.  It’s a disappointment, but there are people in our congregation mourning the death of their husband, father, grandfather.

We’ll just count this as one of those “Quintessential Pastor’s Family Experiences”.


Baby Gear I would Pay Good Money For

There is a lucrative business for baby stuff.  Despite new parents being told over and over gain that a good portion of this stuff isn’t necessary, most of us find ourselves wading through a sea of baby things once our little ones come home.

Before and After Baby

Some of these items are truly necessary–items like a car seat, a safe place for baby to sleep, a way to feed baby if breastfeeding is a struggle.  Some things are extremely nice to have.  Babykins sleeps peacefully in her swing during the day, so I am thrilled that we have it!  And some things seem silly in hindsight but are purchased in a fit of sleep deprived desperation.  That’s how I wound up paying $30 for a stuffed animal to help Babykins sleep.  It still hasn’t given me the peaceful bedtime I was promised.

Yet there still seems to be areas untapped by the baby stuff business; untapped areas that have items I would pay out big to have:

1. A cure for hiccups

hiccups

Baby hiccups sound fun and cute, but Babykins has a tendency to get the hiccups when she’s tired.  Have you ever tried going to sleep with the hiccups?  It’s not easy!  I’m under the impression she’s not alone in this tendency.

2. A cart to safely put a car seat in and have room for your purchases

shopping cart

Because shopping with a baby isn’t hard enough, carts are designed to be anti-infant.  Either you put the car seat in the big area of the cart and have no room for anything else, or you carry/wear your baby.  The latter option is especially loathsome on the rare occasion that Babykins actually falls asleep during the drive to the store.

3. An easy-to-inflate/deflate exercise ball.

excercise ball

Our only guaranteed soother for Babykins when she hits complete meltdown mode is to put her in the Moby and bounce with her on an exercise ball.  This works well enough at home, but it’s too cumbersome and time-consuming to bring the ball with us everywhere we go.

4.  A pocket-sized nursing pillow

nursing pillow

Breastfeeding isn’t as intuitive as you might think.  Babykins and I still rely heavily on the help of a Boppy or pillows.  Again, this works at home but pillows just don’t fit into the diaper bag.

5. A pacifier hold-inner

car

While I have nearly perfected driving while reaching into the backseat to hold Babykins’s pacifier in her mouth, I’m hesitant to think that this is a safe way to drive.  Having a way to keep that stupid piece of plastic in her mouth would be FANTASTIC!

If you have heard of any of these items, please let me know!

What baby item would you pay anything to have?


Introvert Monday: The Best Way to Survive Your Own Open House

Open houses are unstructured parties with lots of people making small talk.  It’s no surprise that most introverts dislike open houses.  I’m no different.  Unless I know the majority of people attending an open house fairly well, these shindigs are draining and stressful.

Despite my dislike of these parties, my husband and I decided to host our own open house.  I have heard several pastor’s wives recommend inviting people from church into your home and an open house is supposedly a good way to do this.  My motivation for hosting an open house was purely selfish:  If I do this party thing once, then I wouldn’t have to worry about not seeming “inviting” to congregation members for at least a year.

Still, the prospect of flitting about my house socializing with people I barely know seemed daunting.  However, I found the best way to survive hosting an open house came down to two steps:

1. Have a baby

2. Host the open house while the baby is still young so you spend most of the time either feeding her or trying to get her to nap in the peaceful sanctuary of your bedroom.

It worked like a charm.  I spent over 2/3 of the time in our bedroom.  Granted, this was because Babykins was having an anti-nap day.  Still, dealing with a fussy baby was way better than small talk.


Is It Easter Yet?

Christmas Day has come and gone and pastors take a breather before the chaos of Lent starts.

At least that’s what I always assumed what happened.  Then I looked at January.

Apparently there is a small window of rest after Christmas Day and we used it to go see family.  While visiting family is important, it’s also not restful (especially when traveling with a baby.  I tried explaining to Babykins that we were going on vacation, but she continued wanting to eat and needing diaper changes).  Then I took a closer look at our January calendar and realized that my husband starts his full schedule of Bible studies and meetings on Monday.  Since he has to actually prepare for these things, as well as continue writing sermons for Sundays, he went back to work yesterday.  Additionally, Lent will begin in about 6 weeks.  Our little family will be back on the triage schedule that we had during Advent.

Maybe we’ll take a break after Easter.  Maybe.