Weekend Wrap-Up

Monday, February 29, 2016

We had a lot going on this weekend! Or at least, it felt like a lot with a newborn in tow. On Friday we celebrated Avalon's birthday with a tea party at the American Girl Bistro. She's only been obsessively planning this since September, so no big deal or anything. It felt weird that I didn't have to DO anything for the party. I kept having little spurts of panic, thinking I was forgetting something or letting something slide, but no. All I had to do was make the reservations and show up. Score!

She was pretty thrilled with the whole thing! Her last present (and I use that word loosely here) was that I allowed her to spend Saturday helping me with costumes for the grammar school play. We spent the entire day at the school, along with Tristan, my little sister, and my mom, who held Tristan as much as possible so I could have my hands free to sew. 

(Although technically, since the play is this Thursday and I had a lot of costumes to get through, it was more hot gluing than actual "sewing")

She loved it - both doing the little projects I gave her AND modeling various costumes so I could do alterations. Aaron kept offering to come get her, but she wasn't having it. She stayed TWELVE hours with us!

Tristan was fairly cooperative as well, although he was really, really ready for some serious mama time by the end of the day - he'd had enough of that nursing and then being passed off business!

Sunday morning we went to church for the first time since Tristan was born. We had missed going and seeing everyone, especially the girls, who adore their classes. Tristan was nearly perfect, just fussing for the first part of class and then settling down and sleeping. I think we were both happy to have some snuggle time!

After church and lunch I went back to the school to finish the costumes, and I left Tristan with Aaron and Kim this time. My mom met me up there to work on an oyster costume she is making for me (see? I'm learning to delegate and accept help and stuff!) and I got everything 99 percent finished, thank goodness. I have a few things that I brought home to work on when Tristan naps, but other than that it's all ready for showtime!

(I mean, except for some alterations I'll probably need to do during dress rehearsal and a few things that I decided to tweak after I went home and thought about them and a few pieces my wonderful helpers are finishing...but I'm still counting it as practically finished and don't try to stop me!)

So today I'm just snuggling my sweet baby and catching up on all the homemaker-type things that I neglected all weekend. There's a roast in the slow cooker, laundry in the dryer, and a great big mug of tea with my name on it!

Traveling, Newborn Style

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My final Circe apprenticeship retreat was last week...in California...and my baby wasn't quite three weeks old...and I was still recovering from a crazy bout of mastitis and a trip to the ER...

So naturally I went! Naturally I took Tristan with me. Naturally lots of people thought I was completely insane. And they weren't wrong! But it was a really great trip and I'm so glad we did it.

I was ridiculously terrified to apply for the apprenticeship in the first place, but over the course of the past three years I've come to love it with all of my heart. Now I depend on these twice a year retreats to refresh and inspire me, and to give me the chance to spend time with a really amazing group of women. I can't even say how valuable it is to spend a few days in fellowship with a bunch of other ladies who are also spending their days teaching and nurturing and trying to understand Norms and Nobility. So no way was I going to be okay with missing my last chance for that! And everyone in the apprenticeship was so gracious and supportive, and Tristan is a pretty chill kind of baby, so it all worked out beautifully.

Right before the trip I had a few moments of panic (or possibly a more sane person might call them moments of clarity?) where this seemed like the worst idea ever, but really the most stressful part of the trip was almost missing my flight out to San Francisco, and that had nothing to do with traveling with a baby. Other than that my biggest challenge was the fact that I am not a graceful or coordinated breastfeeder-in-public AT ALL, and really the best way to keep a three week old happy and quiet is to feed him without ceasing. 

(Possibly related facts!
1. Tristan didn't fuss one bit on any of our flights, and was mostly quiet for our retreat sessions.
2. Tristan gained an entire pound, according to his weigh-on on Tuesday, over the course of our trip.)

He really was an angel on the flights...but he screamed like a banshee for fun things like the security line and check-in and boarding and just being in the airport in general. I know for certain that a lot of people around us were hoping hard that we wouldn't be on their flight. Little did they know that he would be the absolute BEST person to sit next to!

We were admittedly pretty worn out by the time we got home on Saturday night, but we've recovered and are getting back into the swing of things nicely. And I'm so, so happy that we went and that I got to be with everyone one last time and learn and participate (a little distractedly, while struggling with a nursing cover) in wonderful conversations about education and rhetoric and literature. I don't know what I'll do in May when I graduate. Try extra hard to go to the Circe conferences, I guess!

I'm also happy that Tristan and I were able to have this little adventure together. Talk about bonding time! And while he obviously won't remember it, he'll love hearing about it as one of those "When you were a little baby..." stories that all my kids are obsessed with. Hopefully this one will end with something like, "And that's why you have such a deep and profound understanding of the characters of Julius Caesar, darling!"

Back To Back, Baby!

Monday, February 22, 2016

So once again I was out of town for the last two games of basketball season - the Final Four playoffs game and the state championship game - and once again I received the much-anticipated texts telling me that our guys came through with victories. Flint has now won back-to-back state championships!

I am so unbelievably proud of them! These boys are so talented (and smart and funny and sweet and strong) and they've worked incredibly hard to get here. Several of them are seniors, and get to end their high school basketball careers on this wonderful high note. We've seen them overcome all kinds of odds and I'm pretty sure they can do anything! We're still a teeny tiny school, we still have to have all our practices in the parking lot, and we're still champions.  It's a good feeling.

And even though I miiiight be a little biased, I can say with confidence that their coach has taught them more about integrity and sportsmanship, character and manliness than you could ever imagine. Not to mention, you know, basketball. 

I would be equally proud of them all win or lose, but my heart is just bursting with happiness for them that they won. Go Falcons!

Finding Our New Rhythm

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tristan and I have been up and around a lot more this week, although we're still spending lots of time resting in bed. It's been nice to get up and get things done, even really little things! But I'm trying hard to resist the temptation of going full throttle just because I feel able. I'm becoming more and more convinced that this whole resting thing is vital for postpartum recovery...and my best evidence is the fact that I am really happy these days. Less than two weeks out from delivery, I always feel really crazy. Postpartum and happy is a totally new experience and I'm loving it! 

Sometimes he does this totally amazing thing where he sleeps in his swing and I get to be freeeeeee for a while. Sometimes a long while, like an HOUR!

Also? The first day I overdid it I definitely got a gnarly case of mastitis, and now I can tell for sure if I'm wearing myself out because the chills and aches come galloping back to knock me out of commission. Tristan and I went Out of the House yesterday morning, which was awesome, but I was pretty much toast by last night. By his 2 am feeding I was shaking uncontrollably and had to wake Aaron up to go warm up the rice heating pads for me. I decided that love is waking up out of a deep sleep to help your wife out, but Princess Bride style Twue Wuv is still calling her baby while you do so. He is seriously the best husband ever!

So our Target baby-wearing adventure was probably ill-advised...but it was so nice to get out for a while!

I do wish I could keep up my usual level of involvement with everything and everyone - I wish I could spend more time with the girls (and be more available to help them when I am with them - my hands are always full of baby!) and I wish I could be cooking more meals and getting more costumes made (the grammar school play is less than a month away, eek!) and things like that. I miss my classes, even though I know they are in AMAZING hands right now, even though I know I'm totally not ready to go back, and I'm going crazy being so uninvolved with basketball right now during THE PLAYOFFS. They have a huge important game tonight and I know perfectly well that a noisy gym is no place for less-than-two-week-old OR his sleep-deprived mother...but it's still killing me to not be there. Y'all pray for the team this evening! And the coach! And the coach's insane wife who will be sitting at home waiting on pins and needles!

But I've really accepted not only that I can't keep up my usual level of involvement in everything, but also that I shouldn't. And in accepting that, I'm able to relax and watch this beautiful process of slowly and gently incorporating a new person into our family. Everything gets broken down to be built up again, and that's okay, that's how it's supposed to be, I think. And everything still gets taken care of, just in different ways than usual. FOUR CHILDREN LATER and I'm finally able to be okay with this whole transition, everything-up-in-the-air stage of having a new baby!

Circe webinars still get participated in, sort of coherently.

Superbowls still get watched, although it's a little harder to hear the commercials

Valentines still get made, complete with worries that the boys will think this means we're in love with them. Followed by a list of boys we ARE in love with. Which is pretty much all the boys, so I'm not sure I see the problem.

Practice work still gets done, although not in the most timely or methodical manner. More like one big session once a week while the baby sort of sleeps.

And incessant demands of TAKE MY PICTURE LOOK AT ME! still get met. I think we're all surviving just fine!


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tristan is here and he is one week old today! 

I started early labor with him on the 29th, which was the ONE day Aaron had been telling me not to go into labor because we had a big home game and no one to cover for him if he needed to be gone. So I spent the day trying to rest as much as possible to stall things, finishing up my progress reports between contractions, and took the girls to the game that evening to try and distract myself from how uncomfortable I felt. That worked for the most part, although the contractions got more significant about halfway through the game and I started to feel super irritated with everything. BUT I made it through the night and didn't mess up any basketball games, so yay! Although I will say if anyone's progress reports seem kind of disjointed or anything, bear in mind that contractions were interrupting my thought process. 
Labor kicked in for real early the next morning and we dropped the girls off at their Gran's house and drove to the birth center around eleven...and just about three hours later Tristan was born! He was definitely my shortest and easiest birth so far and I am officially crazy about the new midwife who was on call at the birth center that day. We rested for a while and then went home around seven that evening.

And Tristan is wonderful. They thought he was measuring small, but he turned out to be my biggest baby yet - seven pounds and 14 ounces, twenty inches long, completely adorable. We're all in love!

We've had a good week. In the past I've made myself really sick by trying to get up and function like a normal person immediately after having my babies and this time I was determined not to. I have stayed mostly in bed all week (with the exception of going to Barnes and Noble to see the girls' classes perform at the Flint art show fundraiser...I just couldn't stand to miss seeing them perform when they were so excited and had practiced so hard) so I feel physically all recovered now. Thank goodness for my mama and Kim dealing with everything so I was able to rest! I've been reading up on lying-in traditions and how strange it is that our culture is just about the only one that lacks an established means of ensuring that recovering mamas get to rest properly. I can tell it makes a huge difference! I still have had to deal with breastfeeding woes and annoying crying-for-no-reason episodes, like I always do postpartum, but it has seemed much more manageable thanks to all the rest.

The girls love their brother and can't get enough of cooing over how cute he is. They aren't wrong! I can't get over it either. This boy is adorable!

The hardest thing we're dealing with (besides trying to find any kind of a sleep rhythm, which honestly isn't going to happen in the first week and I don't know what makes me think I can figure it out) is the unfortunate way the TIMING worked out. Playoffs start next week and this is peak basketball craziness time. I would be missing Aaron and solo-parenting most evenings regardless, but it's about a million times harder with a newborn. He's had to be away with games and other coaching duties almost every day so far, and it's really been hard on both of us. So hard, I'm not even kidding. BUT that's just the season we're in and it won't last forever. There is even a beauty to be found in it, in the way it's made us appreciate and cherish each other, and feel all warm and fuzzy toward each other EVEN MORE than usual. Which is saying something, y'all, because we're pretty much crazy about each other in general!

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