Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Letter to Becca: 3 & 4 Months

Dear Becca,

You've reached this strange point in infancy where I can't believe that you're already four months, and I also can't believe that you're only four months all at the same time. I'd meant to write your three month letter sooner, and then the weeks flew by with hardly a moment to breathe, and here we are at four months already. It took longer to lapse into combined month letters for Lizzy, but here we are already with you.

So, the last few months, you've really grown into a little person with a little personality and little preferences.You're quick to smile and laugh. When you're excited (especially when you know you're about to get to nurse), you kick your little legs like crazy. You also love books, which we're all completely thrilled about.

You seem to prefer to spend time on your stomach (opposed to your back), and in the last two months, you've really mastered rolling. Aside from an occasional stuck shoulder, you can generally roll however you want-- which is usually off the blanket that I've laid you on. In fact, just last weekend, you rolled yourself right into the kitchen! Over the last couple of days, you've also started scooting, and like to try to pull yourself onto all fours, though you don't stay that way for very long. Sometimes you can tripod sit unassisted, sometimes you just topple over.
Over the course of the past few months, you've also started waking very frequently at night. I'll admit, I'd kind of forgotten about the 4 month wakeful, and how hard it is--just like with your sister, we got a teaser of a few nights of REAL sleep, which just makes the transition to waking every hour or two again even more brutal. About a week ago, after a particularly rough couple of nights sleep-wise, your sister asked if she could watch Dora and hold you before bed. I was bone tired, and so I let her...and I couldn't believe my eyes, but you fell right asleep on Lizzy's lap! One interesting difference between you and Lizzy--you really love to have something snuggly up against your face while you're falling sleep, be it stuffed animal or blanket. Lizzy was not that way at all! She wouldn't even hold any of the stuffed animals that people gave us--it was only when SHE picked out a stuffed animal herself at the store that she started to like one, and she became fiercely attached to "Baa-Baa"! So far, as long as it is soft, you love it, and haven't formed an attachment to any one over the other--it'll be interesting to see if you do as you get older.
Let's see...what else? You seem like you're teething, but teeth haven't actually popped through, so who knows. Also, you've actually tasted "real" food. With Lizzy, I was kind of obsessed about waiting until 6 months until we let her try anything. Since then, I've kind of come to realize that every kid is different, and the "rules" may or may not apply. Lately, you've been really interested in trying to grab food off our plates at meals, and so when you grabbed for some banana, I let you try some. Sometimes you're interested in trying food and sometimes you're not. I'm not sure why, but with Lizzy I think I thought that once we "went there" with solids, that we had to jump to solids as a form of nutrition. With you, you're definitely still breastfeeding as the main form of nutrition, and occasionally tasting a bite or two of food when you seem interested. And I'm okay with that.

We've also been babywearing you a bit more than we wore your sister, which I think is pretty typical for second kiddos. Your dad even wore you for the first time over the weekend, and true to form, he went all out on his first attempt at it, wearing you while we walked a 5k! I've gotta say, there's something pretty hot about a dad wearing a baby. Ahem. You probably did not need to know that. But it's true. And I hope that someday you're lucky enough to have a husband who is just as great as your dad.
Love you a bushel and a peck,

Monday, March 18, 2013

On the Desexualization of "Sexy".

Over the weekend, I was watching Food Network. One of the personalities quipped something to the effect of, "That steak looks sexy."

Later, I switched over to HGTV. It wasn't long before I heard one of their hosts refer to granite counters as being sexy.

Later still, I flipped open the latest issue of Better Homes & Gardens, and in an article about curb appeal, there it is again: "It might not be sexy, but cleaning is an important part of curb appeal."
Let's try this again, shall we?

It might not be enjoyable, but cleaning is an important part of curb appeal.
It might not be pleasurable, but cleaning is an important part of curb appeal.

It might not be fun, but cleaning is an important part of curb appeal.

Those granite counters are so beautiful.

Those granite counters are so classy.

Those granite counters are so gorgeous.

Those granite counters are so stunning.

That steak looks excellent.

That steak looks great.

That steak looks top-notch.

That steak looks exceptional.

I'm sorry, I must have missed the memo that "sexy" became a synonym for fun, excellent, and beautiful. Apparently the thesaurus did too, as you'll note that sexy is no where to be found in any of the synonym lists above.  In fact, here's the entry for sexy:

Look, I'm not against the word "sexy" when used in proper context. There's a time and a place for that. But why are we desexualizing (and devaluing, in my opinion) the word "sexy", and using it to describe everything from mops to steaks to counters to cleaning? Those things aren't sexy, actually, and I don't understand why we're using the word to describe them.

Well, actually...I do understand why. By desexualizing sexy, we're also desensitizing ourselves to "sexy". Think about it: it is why a toddler dancing along to LMFO's "I'm Sexy and I Know It" has 622,000+ views on You Tube, and most of the comments consist of things like 'so cute!' and 'every day he's shufflin!'. It's why when we hear a kid singing "Heeeeyyyyy sexy lady", our first reaction generally isn't to cringe, but to start doing the ridiculous Psy pony dance.

I think it's obvious that kids aren't sexy. And if someone were audacious enough to say that they thought they were, child services would probably become involved immediately. But yet, I can't tell you the frequency with which I see toddlers and their parents singing along to "I'm sexy and I know it" at a stoplight. I don't generally like to point fingers at other parents and shame their decisions as a parent, but seriously, can we stop this friends? If we don't want others to describe our toddlers and young children as "sexy", can we please stop allowing them to describe themselves that way? Can we please stop using the word "sexy" as if it were interchangeable for "fun" or "excellent" or "beautiful"? Because it's not.

The word "sexy" has value. The word "sexy" has a place. This just isn't it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Attack of the Brain-Eating Babies

I can vividly remember a few {*cough* many *cough} years ago, talking with another one of my unmarried, childless friends about a mutual acquaintance from high school, who had just had her second child.

"I mean, it's like having babies ate her brain," I quipped. "Seriously, is it that difficult to remember to make one measly phone call? I just don't understand how someone so smart and intelligent could suddenly become so flaky. It's like she just can't multi-task any more, poor thing! She seems so overwhelmed! Bless her heart, she wrote me an email the other day and misspelled 'exception' repeatedly...she used to be such a perfectionist about spelling!" And then my unmarried, childless, friend and I both laughed, because it was true. We loved our our mutual acquaintance, but she had become flaky, and we just didn't understand why or how.

Years later, I had Lizzy, and puffed up with self-righteousness because even after a baby, I could still remember things. I could multi-task. I'd see someone at the store, and they'd ask me to send an email out about photography, and I'd remember by the time I got home. People asked how I'd find time to blog, or read, and I'd reply, "I just make the time." Looking back, that sounds terribly self righteous and holier than thou, but it was just my reality then. Having Lizzy changed our reality some, but not a ton.

And then I had Becca, and I realized that the second babies must come equipped with some special brain-eating feature that no one told me about. Because y'all? I cannot remember anything. I can no longer multi-task. I AM that mom that I poked fun at before. Heck, it took me five tries to correctly spell "acquaintance" from earlier in this blog post.

A few days ago, Justin saw my to-do list that I'd left on the table. I hadn't gotten around to physically crossing off anything that I'd accomplished yet, so Justin was calling things out to me and crossing them off for me. Our conversation went a little like this:

Justin: Did you clean up the living room?
Me: Yes, even though you already can't tell.
Justin: Did you take Lizzy to swimming lessons?
Me: Yes.
Justin: Did you prep dinner?
Me: UGH! No! I totally forgot to pull meat out of the freezer.
Justin: That's okay--pizza night! Did you update the church website?
Me: I forgot again. I need some time to do that tonight.
Justin: Did you call Kaitlin's grandma back?
Me: Oh no! I forgot again! Crap!
Justin: Did you order a new remote for the new dvd player (don't ask)?
Me: For the love! No. I forgot.
Justin: Did you put Lizzy's fitted sheet back on her bed?
Me: Um, it's now sitting in her room instead of the living room floor.
Justin: Did you do Bible Study?
Me: I moved the books from the bedroom to the kitchen table...and then got distracted by a crying baby.
Justin: Did you pay the water bill?
Me: I have no idea. I already can't remember.

I STILL haven't remembered to update the website, order a new remote, or call back Kaitlin's grandma. Of course, I only seem to remember these things between the hours of midnight and 3am. Don't let her big old grin fool you folks, Becca is a straight-up brain eating baby. And I have become a straight-up frazzled, can't remember anything mama.

 It's worth it.
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