Thursday, January 29, 2009

Starbuck's and Sympathy Smiles

Does anyone else think in Facebook statuses? For instance, today Jenna and I came home to someone playing clarinet in the living room. Since nine times out of ten there are no clarinet players in the living room I immediately thought, "Kelly is finding it curious that there's a girl playing clarinet in the living room." This is generally what my day looks like. "Kelly is wishing her lender realized that she isn't an idiot." "Kelly is wishing she didn't answer 'yes' when the lady in Starbuck's asked if she could touch her child."

About that.

Yesterday I talked about how babies soften people. After having Emma I took notice of the kindness of strangers. Even as I neared the last months of pregnancy, I found that people were generally nicer. Another added benefit was not getting cat-called at anymore either. You don't often here a man yell, "Ooooo like at the fine big belly. I wanna get me summa that." Not that I was always getting hit on before, but come on ladies, you know what I mean.

Anywho, now that people want to talk to me (ok Emma) every where I go, I have to step up my friendliness quota a few notches. Looking down while walking is no longer acceptable. I have a baby. People want a smile. Other moms expect the sympathy smile and old people expect the beaming-with-pride smile. Also, I have to be ready to drop what I'm doing to engage in conversation. The bases that must be covered include but are not limited to: Emma's name, age, amount of teeth, and if she's a good sleeper. I also have to be prepared for people to touch my child, which they often do. Today I was clearly caught off guard because they usually don't ask. I said "no" in my head but "sure" came out of my mouth. Shoot.

Now, about those cat-calls that used to bother me so much. Yeah, not so much anymore. I remember the first time a group of guys did it to me after having Emma. It was in the grocery store parking lot and I rushed home excitedly to tell Matt. It was like a 10 lb. baby weight lift.

I think this first year with my first child is like a honeymoon period though. I see these women out and about with three or four kids, and they just don't seem to have the same flocks of people migrating to talk to them. Instead, I feel like people go the other way and avoid eye contact at all cost. Something to remember next time I pass by a frazzled mom with screaming kids. That'll be me one day. I better offer my momma-sympathy smile now...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Simple Things

I remember when I was a little girl I would always accompany my mom on shopping trips. It really didn't matter whether she was going to the mall or just going to Wegman's. Then when Livvie entered the picture, she would often come shopping with me. I love that about girls. Noah usually wasn't interested unless we were going some place fun, but Liv always wants to come along for the ride.

Even though Emma is only nine months old (today!) I feel like I'm already experiencing that with her. She loves sitting in a shopping cart and looking at all the people as they pass. She never fails to capture their attention with her big cheesy grin, or if that doesn't work- she yells in her indistinguishable language. I'm pretty sure that she's convinced that the world revolves around her; I know that's not healthy for older children, but I'm not looking forward to the day when she learns that the world can be a cruel place. Right now I'm more than happy for her to believe that everyone is patient, kind, and good-willed. It's funny, there's just something about a baby that softens people. Today I was in line at Walmart and this lady kept yelling at her daughter, but in the next breath would turn around and talk sweetly to Emma. Or maybe it's not babies but just that my daughter is so darn cute??

I took a bunch of pictures of her tonight. She's so funny; when she does something silly that I laugh at she starts laughing too and does it again. She's a smart one! However her mommy is not. I went to load the pictures...and there was no memory card in the camera. I would have known that if I had not dropped and broken this camera (as with our nice camera) so it doesn't show pictures on the screen. Here's one from a few weeks ago of her though, looking absolutely disgusted. This is what she usually looks like after dinner- not so much the expression- but the mess.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coming Out (of my Mary closet)

I started attending this moms’ Bible study at church this week. It’s a great chance to spend time with some other adults and be able to have conversation while not having to chase around a child between sentences. We’re reading the book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, and we started our time together with the obvious question, “Who feels like Martha?” Hands shot up all around me, and women nodded their heads fervently.


My hand stayed uncomfortably at my side and my mouth stayed shut.

The women also voiced their annoyance at the Mary’s of the world.

Shoot, don’t make eye contact, don’t make eye contact…you don’t want to have to lie in a bible study…

See, there’s nothing in me that screams Martha, and frankly, I wouldn’t peg most of my friends as Martha’s either. I sat there trying to figure out why this was. I have friends that certainly have the Martha personality but not the Martha complex. Somewhere in the course of the discussion I think I figured out what the difference is. While looking at the church, there’s such a difference between women that have been raised in the modern era and those that are products of the postmodern era. I guess I would classify my generation as all those within five or six years of my twenty-seven years. Here’s what I mean: the women of the previous generation were raised in a very performance oriented environment. Modernity praised efficiency. Proverbs 31 praises efficiency. The women of that generation REALLY took that to heart, and as one woman confessed yesterday, “It’s a pride thing.” Women want to appear to have it all together. As much as women may want a Mary heart, many quite openly thought Martha was in the right and were annoyed by Mary.

Now take my generation. We’ve given up on the idea of being the perfect wife and the perfect mother. We’d rather just be human. In fact, those perfect women annoy us. It’s great that you can make your homemade apple pie while juggling your laundry and driving three kids to various places- all with a smile on your face, but come on, get real. We don’t want you to make us a five course meal if it’s going to stress you out; order a pizza and throw in some no-bakes and we’re perfectly happy. We don’t want you rushing around serving us- that just makes us nervous. We want you sitting and talking with us. We were bred as relational to the core, and if you’re not going to be real with us, we don’t really want to be around you. Of course, my generation has our own set of issues, but this just isn’t one of them. I just finished reading chapter two though- now THAT I can relate to- and I seriously do look forward to getting to know all these crazy Martha's too. I mean, it's only been one week and I already have a recipe to make my own laundry detergent that does 900 loads! Maybe I will become SuperMommaWife...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Playing Catchup

I have a lot of catching up to do. I stopped blogging when I went up to NY, and said that I would continue when I returned. Then I returned and said I would continue after we got into our house. Emma might be five by the time that happens though. Our closing keeps getting pushed back, and I feel like my life has been on hold for the last three months. Every plan I have or goal to accomplish revolves around the closing of our house. We'll get another car when we get in the house. I'll start dieting and exercising when we get in the house. I'm not sure what I think the magic fix will be for being in the house, but I just feel stalled until we close. Some things truly are beyond my control right now, but there are plenty of things that I can do before we get in. So, here's my first baby step to change. Yes, as silly as it sounds, blogging is something that I feel like I need to do; it not only preserves memories, serves as an outlet, but it also helps me thinks through things in a way that I would not otherwise. That's part of my problem now too, my mind feels stagnant, which is one of the worst feelings. I used to share this quote with my students when they would journal that said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." I go crazy when I don't take the time to reflect. I don't know what it is, but I've always been that way. I love being around people,but I need my space as well or I literally stop functioning correctly. Weird as that may sound. Anyways- enough about me.

Here's what Emma's been up to these last few months:

She experienced her first snow fall up in NY at Grandma and Grandpa's

Caught up with her cousins (she could hardly roll over last time she saw them).

Spent time with her aunts and uncles on both sides.

Grew five teeth (of which you can't see in this picture- I downloaded the wrong one- oops)

Celebrated her first Christmas

Made some girl friends.

and hung out with her daddy.

She is growing and changing so much every day. She's just starting to let go of things when she stands up now and takes a few steps along the couch. Once she started crawling she was so quick, but she's much more hesitant about walking. Who wants to walk on those wobbly legs when she's such a bullet on her hands and knees. :) She's such a funny, sweet girl with this weird little smile where she snorts and shows off all her teeth. We're pretty sure she's going to be an extravert; she screams through the grocery store, smiling at people, waiting for them to tell her how cute she is. She had such a hard time her first couple months but is just so fun and easygoing now! So much happens in such a short time with a baby- I'm disappointed that I've missed talking about these last few months when so much has happened in her little life. But, my time is up- she's waking up!