1 month

Tucker is one month old today! In many ways it’s been the slowest month of my life, but I am also incredulous that we’re almost to the end of October and I hadn’t even realized it. We haven’t even made it to the pumpkin patch, y’all. And we Wedekinds are suckers for a pumpkin patch.

What I can say about being a real live family of five is that we’re still figuring it out. The first few weeks were bumpy, and that’s putting it mildly. We’ve survived by the grace of God and the generosity and endless patience of our friends and family. Many days have not been so pretty, and I really hope to forget them soon.

Other days have been better than I could expect– last night I actually took all three kids to Target [dog food emergency– you’re welcome, Ingle], fed them*, bathed them, and put them to bed by myself.

If you think I’m bragging, well, I am.

Two weeks ago I never would have thought that feat possible.

So there’s improvement. There’s hope.

There’s also chaos. Mary Bullock reminded me on the way to school [late] this morning that we hadn’t brushed teeth. I promised her we would brush them twice tonight.

And Tucker– he’s hanging in there. Bo hasn’t smooshed him, dropped him, or suffocated him yet. And he’s getting some pudge in his cheeks and sleeping most nights. He puts up with us, which is saying a lot for his character. Bo threw a mini pumpkin at him yesterday, and he didn’t even cry.

So that’s the update. Plus a picture gallery, mostly for my mom. [Don’t say I never did anything for you, mama!]

Thanks to everyone who has helped, encouraged, prayed, texted, played, cooked, and was just there for us in the last month. I appreciate you more than a thank you note could say. [But yours will be in the mail shortly, anyway.]

Love.

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Everytime He Sneezes I Believe It’s Love

I’ve been trying to teach Bosey to give real kisses for, oh, forever.

I’d say: Bosey, can I have a kiss?

Uh-huh! he’d say, all sweet and smiling. Then he’d lean his cheek toward me until my lips were touching.

No no, I’d say. YOU give ME a kiss. Let’s try again, ok?

Uh-huh! he’d say, leaning his cheek toward me again.

We’ve been through this for months and months.

And then Tucker comes along and all the sudden not only does Bo know how to kiss, it’s his new favorite thing: kiss the baby.

I have to admit, I was a little bit jealous. And then Bobo’s nose started running. Then my nose started running. And oh, the sneezing. If you’ve ever spent significant time with me, you know about my sneezing.

So now we’ve got the crud. The sneezy, snotty, headache-y crud, and lots and lots of kisses.

This Boy’s Life

Knowing that everything comes to an end is a gift of experience, a consolation gift for knowing that we ourselves are coming to an end. Before we get it, we live in a continuous present, and imagine that the future as more of that present. Happiness is endless happiness, innocent of its own sure passing. Pain is endless pain.

-Tobias Wolff, This Boy’s Life

So, I’ll be honest: I haven’t been snuggled up with Tucker on the couch the last few weeks sighing and cooing over how much I love the newborn stage. It’s not that I don’t love the newborn stage– just that I’ll love it more in retrospect, after I’ve slept and showered and done laundry on a more regular basis.

Instead, I’ve been spending most of my time at home looking at scrawny arms and legs and thinking–

Grow, Baby, Grow!

Listening to cranking on the monitor and thinking–

Sleep, Baby, Sleep!

Looking at the tiny black stump on his belly and thinking–

Off, off, stump!

I’ve been willing this time to pass, because when you’re in it, it seems interminable. Exhaustion is endless exhaustion.

And then on Monday, day 13 in real life but but day forty million and twelve to my impatient mind–

And then at the next diaper change, it was off. And he’s up over his birth weight, and he’s sleeping much better at night this week.

Before I know it, this all will have come to an end.

Lately the phrase lean into it has been coming to mind. I’ve decided I’m going to try to lean into this newborn phase– the last newborn phase this house is likely to experience– discomfort, exhaustion, frustration, hormonal roller coaster and all.  Leaning in sounds so much better than pulling away, wishing time would pass to suit my whims [insofar as sleeping and showering are whims].

And although the clock does seem to be ticking away so slowly right now, I know that pain is not endless, nor is happiness. So I will take them both, for what they are, when they are.

Or at least– I will try.

HOP. NESS.

[Today I’m linking you back to a video I posted on the Blogger version of my blog long long ago because I don’t have video on WordPress and you really just won’t get where I’m coming from without the video. So go ahead and click here. Dear Mama, if you’re reading, that means click on the word here. Yes, right there where you see it in the sentence. Here it is again in case you missed it the first three times: HERE.]

Anyway, Lee and I were telling Mary Bullock a few weeks ago about the time Lee taught her how to say HOT. MESS. She tried and tried before she got it right– she kept saying HOP. NESS! And looking so proud of herself. So it sort of became one of those things that we said, and we both got the reference, of course, but other people probably thought we were strange.

Which is probably not that unusual.

But anyway, we were telling Mary Bullock about that time [the time you just watched on the video– wasn’t she cute? Baby MB? I can hardly remember her being so little!] and she started saying HOP! NESS! Only it came out HOT. PISS.

Which I bring up today only because on days when HOT MESS isn’t even the tip of the iceburg in terms of how terrible awful I feel, HOT PISS saves the day. I mean, in terms of descriptive phrases.

It cannot make my baby sleep, or make my big kids stop running amok while I am helpless feeding that baby every hour, but it does make me laugh.

Come on. HOT PISS? That’s funny.

So next time you see me and I don’t make eye contact and I’ve got my hat pulled down over my eyes and you hear me muttering HOT PISS HOT PISS HOT PISS…just laugh.

I’ll be laughing with you on the inside.

Talking in His Sleep

Last night during another middle of the night stand-off with The One Who Shall Not Sleep [a-hem, TUCKER, that would be YOU–], Lee rolled over just as I was picking the baby up yet again.

What’s a billion? he said.

Huh? What’s a billion? Are you even awake?

What’s a billion? he repeated.

I don’t know, I thought.

Number of times I’ve nursed this baby tonight?

Number of times I’ve considered duct taping a paci to his face?

Number of times I’ve thought: I can do this. No problem. This won’t last forever. Followed by No I can’t. Yes, problem. Yes, forever.

Lee rolled again and said: What’s a billion, here and there?

Not much. Not much in the end.