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I splurged.  I bought this woven Dolcino wrap to carry our baby.  Its was 30% off, okay?  Don’t judge!

 

Dolcino baby wrap

Why I’m excited:

  • Its really pretty.
  • Our cat Tootie liked being carried around in it.
  • It feels like a good idea to carry a baby around close to you like this/to “wear” the baby.(a lot of my mothering ideas are coming from this…a feeling.  Is it an instinct?  Not sure.  I guess I’ll find out eventually if these feelings are pointing us in the right direction.)
  • I would like to be carried around like this.
  • It came with a How-to/Why Baby-wearing is so great booklet.
  • I have a new friend that is really into Baby-wearing and wraps and even wants to become an educator on the whole thing.  She got me into it.
  • It makes our baby seem more real.
  • I think Gregg is going to like it, even those he’s rolling his eyes/laughing at my excitement over it right now.
  • Along with being good for the baby (bonding, attachment, nursing, etc. (I’m trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about, but I don’t)), it seems and looks cool.  This is a good reason to make a purchase, right?
  • If we like it, we can use it forever.

Why I’m not sure if it was worth the expense:

  • Our baby won’t like it.
  • Gregg and I won’t like wearing it.
  • It will be too confusing to figure out how to wear it.
  • I’m going to worry about the baby falling out or not being able to breathe.
  • I could make one out of more inexpensive fabric that would work just as well.

Looks like the reasons for excitement have won over when placed up against the “not sure if its worth it.”

 

 

 

 

I just finished another Anne Lamott book.  Its her new one Help Thanks Wow.  (This has been the year of Anne Lamott for me.)  I got home last night after work and was Chatty Cathy with Gregg, rambling about what I had learned over my lunch break when I read her Thanks chapter.   I thought I would relate more to her Help chapter, since I recently sent an email to my girlfriends asking for post-baby help.  But it was Thanks that got me.

Thanks was different than I anticipated.  She actually wrote a lot about looking out for the good when circumstances are not.  She doesn’t write about being thankful for the hard or tragic circumstances, but about trusting God in the middle of them and searching for what you can be thankful for afterwards: what you learned, who was brought close to you, etc.

There’s a lot of sad going on right now.  Even though its Christmas and its the season for joy and family and friends, but, along with the school shooting which the entire nation is mourning together, there have been a handful of tragedies closer to home.  To be thankful for the tragedies doesn’t seem right.  But, maybe her point is to recognize God in the middle of them and to know that good will come.

She also writes about thanks in action.  The whole “to whom much has been given, much is required” thing.  She says that this does not just apply to the Kennedys and the Romneys.  I like that.  Its us, we should give, even the smallest kinds of giving can mean a lot to the recipient.

Example.  My grandmother is one of the most generous people that I know.  This year for Christmas, she gave each of us grandkids a gift that was even bigger than her usual.  To say thanks and Merry Christmas, I sent her some sweets and a scarf that I had knit (she’s a knitter, too).  My mom said that she was overjoyed with the package, especially the scarf.  She said she’s knit for other people her whole life (she’s 92), but no one’s ever knit anything for her.  It was not a big deal for me to knit her a scarf with some white, lacey yarn that I had had around for awhile.  It was almost silly to me that she was so excited, since, compared to her gifts to her 5 grandchildren (she also has 3 children and 8 great-grandchildren,) the scarf and candies were beyond miniscule.  But, as small as it was, my thanks made a difference to her.

P.S.  I’m getting really annoyed by the use of the phrase “a lot.”  I’m open to substitutes if you have any suggestions.

Last Christmas I got really into decorating our house.  Lights and those shiny balls (so cheap, but pretty hanging from the ceiling or mounted in bowls), holly and burlap are among my Christmas decorating staples.  I really did let myself get stressed by the season.  With decorating, baking goodies, buying gifts, planning a trip (Gregg’s present last year was a quick trip to New York City), I missed the reason for the season.  (The perfect overused phrase for what happened–and it rhymes.)  I didn’t realize it until Christmas was over, so this year I’m taking a slightly different approach.

This season, I decorated, but I did it pretty quickly so as not to get consumed by it.  We aren’t getting gifts for as many family members this year as we did last year (this cuts down on stress).  The gifts I have purchased are ones that I’m excited about giving, and I haven’t spent too much money on everyone.  But, I’m also preparing.

I’m preparing for Christmas itself even though I’m really not sure how to do this.  Reading baby Jesus scripture, gazing at an Advent wreath…I’m not sure, those don’t feel quite right to me.  But, I’ve found a way to tie in preparing for a baby with preparing for Christmas.  This just occurred to me this morning.  The common denominator between the two (Christmas and pregnancy) is grace.  Grace.

Even though I’m not sure how to prepare for Christmas, I’ve been doing a lot of preparing for a baby coming our way.  When I ask moms for advice, (and I have been asking.  I’m usually not a fan of advice, but I’ve had little shame in asking about maternity clothes, baby gear, labor, reusable diapers, pumping, a side ways swinging swing versus a normal swinging swing, and motherhood in general.  The questions are endless.  I can’t get enough of this advice to be honest.  And, I know I’m not going to get all of the answers until, um, I guess never.)

One piece of advice that I’ve been holding onto is to give yourself grace. (Two examples are E’s posts  and Ashley’s post, another example being my good friend Anne Lamott.)  This is not my best attribute.  But these women are saying over and over, give yourself a break, cut yourself some slack, trust its all going to be okay.  Grace.  Grace.  Grace.  They are talking about those immediate post-baby months and forever after that, too.   So, I figure, I should go ahead and practice now.  Christmastime seems like a good time to start.

Now, how do I do that?  Again, not really sure.  Its a total change in thinking.  A different way of thinking about myself and looking at myself.  Lowering the standard for myself of what I should  do.  Should=my Arch enemy.  As I’m preparing for labor and preparing to be a parent, learning things like how to keep a baby from crying not-stop, etc., I’m also preparing to practice grace.  Anne Lamott talks about looking at yourself from the outside with absolute tenderness.  She describes how helpful this is.  This is how God looks at me/us, right?  So why shouldn’t I/we do the same for myself/ourselves?

I keep accidentally spelling the name of this store wrong, so I’m just going to let it fly.  (Disclaimer: I know that the plural form of baby is babies and not babys.)

Gregg and I went to register over the weekend at Babies R Us, and we didn’t get in a fight.  Victory.  I tried to pick a fight, but Gregg stopped me in my tracks by making a joke.  Very clever, that one.  Registering for wedding gifts was a different story.  I like shopping with Gregg, because he says things like, “Let’s register for more practical things.”  And then, when we get to the bottles, he says, “Ok, which ones are the best?”  He even said, “Aren’t there some new pacifiers that all are the rage?”  Where and how does he even get all this information?  He knows we need stuff, and he wants to get the good stuff, but he doesn’t want a lot of it.

I know this baby is going to need some stuff when he comes.  Clothes, diapers, a place to sleep.  But, does he really need a plastic “weather” shield cover to put over his $500 backroading stroller?

Weather Shield

Weather Shield

Does he need a baby spa/bathtub/shower especially for him?

Luxury Whirlpool

Luxury Baby Whirlpool

These are actual items on sale at Babies R Us.  I know that there will be some things that we “must-have,” I’m just not exactly sure what they are yet.  I have some great mom-friends tat have been super helpful in telling me what the “must-haves” are.  Some of them seem to be true for everyone and others seem to vary from mom to mom and baby to baby.  I hope I’m not offending anyone, but its just fun to be a bit cynical sometimes.

My mother-in-law, already told us she was getting us this.  Definitely not a necessity, but pretty stinking cute.

Lion mane car seat cover

Lion mane car seat cover

See, I’m not completely cold-hearted when it comes to baby stuff.  Just trying to find the balance.

I wonder when I’ll have to change the title of my blog: “This Circle of Quiet.”  I assumed that country living/rural life was quiet, and it is compared to living in the city.  But, we have 5 pets and a baby on the way.  Its already not very quiet at our house, and I suppose its only going to get louder.  The animals have been more of a handful lately.  Pooping inside, for example.  And, integrating our huge white, polar bear dog with our two medium-sized herding dogs has been an event.  There’s been lots of growling and snarling.  Max got body-slammed by Aspen at one point for getting in her face (I don’t know how else to explain these fights besides making them sound like 13 year old girls in the lunch room.  I went to a ghetto middle school, ok?).

But, I’ve been loving them.  Even when I’m cleaning up their poop (I never realized how amazing Resolve was!), I’m thankful for them.  I’ve been comparing them to kids a lot.  Like, “Okay, its time for everyone to go outside, so I can get some stuff done around the house,” and “I need to give ____ some attention because I haven’t in awhile.”

Aspen is starved for love and attention.  She’s still a working dog.  She’s protecting our sheep and our chickens.  But she won’t stay in the fenced-in area where the sheep are.  She also won’t leave our property (unless she sees us leave), so I think she’s still doing her job pretty well.  She reminds me so much of Max.  We got Max from a shelter and Aspen from a rescue group.  They both have separation anxiety (or some other psychological diagnosis that our human feelings have projected on them), so they need a lot of love.  Even our cats, that were found on the side of the road, are extra affectionate.  I don’t think I would love them all so much if they weren’t so loveable.  Roo, who was the pick of the litter, knows that she’s loved.  She thinks that she’s hot stuff, and she can be sweet and affectionate at times, but she’s also a snob.

As I’m writing, Aspen literally just threw up on the couch that we are cuddling on together.  Its like she knew what I was writing thinking about.  Okay, apologies to all the weak-stomached out there.  I’ll try to limit my bodily fluids talk in the future.