Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pictures of a Housewife/mom's Life

On a weekday, you can find Charlie and I in the bedroom, folding clothes, cleaning up, etc. He loves entertaining himself with toys. He's a Toy Man! I'll have to post a picture of him with his monkey. It's his favorite. He sticks his tongue out like Mom always did when she was little does.

Today when we got back from the Farmer's Market, he was so hot and sweaty that I laid him on our bed to nap (air conditioner in there!). When I went up to check on him, this is what I found. Can you guess where the baby is supposed to be? Pillows don't stop my screaming baby. I declare he doesn't have a clue what he's doing when he cries...scooting around the bed or floor.

And here's some of the lovely produce I bought. I ended up running back downtown once Nate got home from work. The tomatoes were $1 a pound...steal! And I found zucchini for $0.50 each, so I got a bunch to put up in the freezer. I should have bought far more tomatoes but I still have trouble buying a lot of something, even if it's a steal. How do you remind your too-frugal self that it's okay to spend more money now to save it later? :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mommy Lessons

If you have read Gary Smalley and John Trent's book called "The Treasure Tree," or have just heard in general about the "animal" personality types, then you know what it means to be a "Lion." That is me. Or you could call me "Choleric." Or break it down Myers-Briggs style and classify me as ESFJ. I am extroverted and Type A to the max. I take the lead and forge ahead. I'm responsible and full of initiative. I get things done. I take the vision of others and put feet to it. I am incredibly practical and have often run over the feelings of others to accomplish goals. There's another side to my personality as well, and that is the social "Otter" or "Sanguine" side, but this is not about that. God did a lot of smoothing out on that side of me predominantly before I was married.

 But this is definitely half of me. I'm all there, always there, and efficiently there. I used to think about those sensitive types, "Why don't they just get over it?" (For real, I did.) I mean, moodiness was illogical and useless. Efficiency and practicality, not mercy and beauty, mattered most.

 But once upon a time, or several (maybe several hundred) times, I asked God to make me like Jesus, no matter what it took, which is a silly prayer unless you don't mind being effectively broken all to pieces and then gently recreated.

 And so, the Lord decided to make me a mother. Being who I am, I "knew" that I would be a good mom. I'm the person who you can always count on to get everything done, right? I was going to be an awesome mom. A better-than-soccer mom. But I didn't count on pregnancy making me so sick. Or taking so long to recover from delivery. Or not being able to discern why my baby was crying. Or a baby whose gassy tummy made him inconsolable. Or God laying a new business in my lap 6 weeks before my son was born. Or postpartum hormones attacking my body like a cloud of doom. None of that was supposed to happen. But God planned it just perfectly.

 Lying on my back for the first 6 months of pregnancy taught me very effectively that my identity is NOT in what I accomplish, and that God doesn't expect mile-long to-do lists accomplished, but rather simple obedience to what he calls you to do, even if that means lying in bed.

 Taking so long to recover from delivery taught me to slow down and enjoy my little man from the very beginning. I had time to just sit or lie with him and couldn't rush to do the dishes because my body couldn't do it. It reminded me to savor every moment and not wish for the next stage as I had spent so much of my life doing.

 Not understanding Charles's cries taught me to stop stressing about fixing him and worrying about making him happy. If we weren't on schedule in my time frame, why did it matter? I learned to let go of my agenda and love my baby with mercy, meeting his needs rather than trying to plaster a schedule onto them.

 Dealing with his gassiness taught me patience. The first time I got angry with him really hurt my husband and it sunk in how sinful and selfish it was to want my sleep or my quiet evenings over consoling my poor baby. I started letting go of agitation and acceptance began slipping into its place.

 Working my business has taught me service like almost nothing on earth ever has. I'm serving my husband and my son while building this business. I'm serving others by introducing them to this amazing company and the benefits it has to offer. If my mindset changes from service to business I worry and fear and become overwhelmed. But when I trust, and humble myself before the Lord, He shows me exactly which steps to take and he blesses each act of obedience. And instead of accomplishing the maximum work possible, I'm making the small amount of work I'm doing an act of worship and obedience.

 And suffering from postpartum depression has taught me dependence. God's truth is the only thing holding me up most days. And in order to do anything of worth, I must ask him for his direction and follow where he leads. He leads me through. This is one Lion who is becoming more like Jesus, just by becoming a mom. Who knew?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Little Man

Lately I've been asking God, "Exactly what do you want me to do today?" And when he answers, I try to obey him in doing just what he has told me - no more, no less. It's the only way I'm able to get through the days. I'm realizing I should probably make this my life pattern, though, because it is so effective - duh! I am in the Lord's army, right? I should probably make a habit of taking my marching orders from him... So today his instructions were, "You need to do something creative." He's been adding this to my list for several days and I haven't obeyed yet so today I know I need to listen. He knows me. He knows I'm such an extrovert that always taking in - through reading, thinking, etc - and never putting out in words or creativity isn't good for me. When extroverts withdraw too much into themselves they go stir-crazy and feel overwhelmed. It's just the way it is. We have to pour out. So all that to say that today I'm going to blog, and post pictures of this little person who has invaded our lives with his goofy smiles and kicking legs and tell you all about him. On March 30, 2012, Charles Frederick Cravillion was born. His due date was the day before that, and he didn't seem too eager to make an appearance yet, but once Friday hit, oh boy! Here he came! my contractions started at 10:45 and by 11 were regular, hard contractions every 5 minutes apart. We got to the hospital at noon and I was dilated to 5 cm. The contractions were strong and hard and never stopped coming. At 2:45 I was at 10 cm and ready to push. Within 30 minutes, Charlie-boo was born, screaming the second he caught a glimpse of the outside world and immediately sucking both thumbs at once. Unpredictable already. :)
From the get-go it seemed our little man would be as laid back as his dad, only maybe more so with his eating? Nate couldn't get enough food from the moment he was born, while I had to strip Charlie down to his diaper and poke and prod him to keep him awake to eat for longer than three sips at a time. He seemed like a little angel from heaven sent to charm us. He slept through the night with only a feeding or two each night from the time we brought him home from the hospital. Other than about 3 nights in the past 14 weeks he has continued the trend, too.
But then the 2-week mark hit, and Charlie started to discover his lungs. Once he started crying, we started freaking a little more. What did his cries mean? We soon discovered he was really struggling with gassiness, which goes on to this day. At that point, however, it was much worse than now and he would scream for hours at a time with an upset tummy. Misery for Mommy and Daddy. During this time I was stressed out about getting him on schedule and that made it ridiculously hard on all of us. Then Nate gave me the word: "CHILL out." So I did. And we gradually eased into a routine over the next month at a much nicer pace. Charles did incredibly well learning to eat on time and soothe himself to sleep both for naps and bedtime (although bedtime took a little longer).
We started adjusting to being a family, and loving it. Opening day of Brewer's baseball season brought the opportunity for a good family photo...
Charlie is now almost 14 weeks old...3 1/2 months. He's doubled his birth weight and has grown 4.5 inches in length. He's the busiest beaver you ever saw. Lay him on his back and he starts wiggling and doing the boogey-woogey. Give him a rattle and he shakes it like a maraca. Give him a stuffed animal and he devours its face. Put on some music and he does a dance and sings a song. Leave him on the floor by himself and within 5 minutes he's whining for attention. But play with him for too long and he wants to be left alone. He's a man of contradictions sometimes. He seems laid back but he's already displayed several rather violent bursts of temper, and he already knows that a stern voice from Mom or Dad means he "shouldn't oughta done that!" He loves his routine and loves breaking it. He hates his wet diapers and loves getting them changed. Take him into the bathroom for his bath and he calms down when he sees what room he's in because he loves his bath! He likes TV, especially when watching Daddy play playstation. He likes to dance in Mommy's arms and hear Daddy play guitar. He's our boy, through and through!
And that's my boy. His 3-month pictures were taken and posted to my picasaweb album. Thanks for reading about my boy. He's the best thing since chocolate ice cream. :)