Monday, August 27, 2012

On Having a Boy

When I was pregnant with Sydney, before we knew she'd be a girl, I was weighing out the pros and cons of each gender. One of my biggest fears about having a girl was raising a teenage girl. There's a lot of drama-rama that goes on in the mind of a teen girl. I know. I was one. I worry about her being 12 and wanting to dress like she's 25. I worry about her listening to Justin Bieber-type blah. I worry about stupid boys disrespecting her. I worry about mean girls bullying her. I worry about her developing enough self-confidence and self-respect and knowing that the girls who put out at 16 are not cool and happy.

When I found out that this current pending baby is a boy, the worrying shifted, and if anything, got worse. I thought for sure, having a boy would be less worrisome. But raising a boy is huge, especially a teenage boy that has to learn how to be a man and all this stuff I don't know how to do. Luckily that's where husbands come in.

With a girl, I worry about protecting her and teaching her self worth and how to be feminine and kick-A at the same time. With a boy, I worry about him becoming a good, quality man in this world full of really, really crappy stuff. I remember a friend of my brother's telling me once the reason why parents worry more about their girls than their boys was that girls tend to get into trouble where the boys are the ones that start the trouble.

I'm a girl so I know how a girl's mind works. With a boy, I have no idea how his mind works, but I know what it's like to be the observer of boys and how it looks like their mind works. [Yes, you should bathe every day]. Therefore, I have some fears on how I raise my boy.

Here is my boy-specific wishlist.

...wants to go to college and have a career.

...shakes people's hands and looks them in the eye.

...knows how to talk to people face to face and not solely via electronic devices.

...finds enjoyment in going to church and learning the gospel and won't sleep through seminary.

...if skinny jeans for boys are still in style in 14 years, he will NOT wear them. not going to think bodily functions are the epitome of humor. Or will at least grow out of it by the time he's 12.

...finds the right friends and stands up for what is right.
...have hair like Patrick Dempsey.
...asks girls out on dates. And will open doors for them, regardless of how anti-feminist this will no doubt be by the time he's dating. And will talk to his date's parents with respect.

...never spends countless hours playing video games.

...gets a job. Any job. Saves money.
Do any of you mothers of boys have similar fears? One thing I'm grateful for is that my boy will grow up with a sister. I think boys with sisters learn valuable lessons on how to treat women. I have known plenty of high-quality guys growing up. Perhaps I should do a Q&A with their mamas to get some tips. Not in the least should be from my own mother and mother-in-law, since two of the best men I've ever known are my older brother and my awesome husband.
But times are changing. Things are getting a little ickier out there.
In Sydney's first days on this earth, I whispered all my wishes for her while I held her and fed her, i.e. "please don't hate me when you're 14". Now I'll do the same for my son in just a few weeks. He'll be new in this world, hearing his mom whispering pleas to take baths when he's smelly and not burp at the dinner table. That's not too unreasonable is it? What do you whisper to your sleeping babies?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stuff and Things

Jericho came home on July 4th. Since then my computer usage has dropped significantly. Partially because I hang out with husband and baby all the time. Partially because my computer chair doesn't cater well to pregnant ladies. Now that things have settled some and I hijacked Jericho's laptop and can therefore blog in my comfy bed, I've vowed to stop neglecting the blog. There may be a lot of posts very suddenly. My apologies if you get sick of me.

Like I mentioned, husband is home. He's been home nearly two months. He's back to work. And out of town. How mean is that? He's out of town for a few days each week but then we get him work-free for almost four straight days. I could complain but I'm very grateful he has a good job. And that I get him at home more days than he's away.

We got a van. It looks like this.

We are a van family now. It's a little weird. I'm having slight identity issues. I'm not just a soon-to-be mother of two but am also a van-mom. I'm 30 and I drive a minivan and almost have two kids. When did I grow up?

I have about 4 weeks left until baby boy gets here. It's the homestretch. A very uncomfortable homestretch. I'm not sure if I'm going to make it. Can you put yourself on bed rest? Does that make me a wimp? I'm so hot. All you people complaining about the summer heat, I don't want to hear it. Try being a walking oven in this heat. I sweat in air conditioning. No more summer pregnancies for me.

I used to think that having days spent in stretchy pants without hair or make-up done would make me sad. Turns out I'm fine with it.

Boy names are hard. I have this fear that any name we give him will be stolen by the girls during his lifetime thanks to people like Jessica Simpson.

I turned 30 last week and it's hardly phased me. Since it was a day of the week that Jericho was home, we got to go out for breakfast AND dinner. We took Sydney to Cracker Barrel for the first time. Baby loved her some grits and biscuits and gravy. I also convinced Jericho that since I'm now in my thirties, my birthday present should be decent skin care products to keep me looking like the young trophy wife that I am.

Parenting with a second parent in the house is revolutionary. I highly recommend it. Baby gets a parent that she can play with on the floor. I get to nap and take longer showers and without little hands yanking open the curtain. Go to the bathroom by myself with the door closed. I talk about things that need to get done and they happen. The floor gets vacuumed. Groceries and laundry are put away faster. Having a second parent is awesome but having a second parent that is Jericho is magnificent. I know what parenting-life is like without him and now know what it's like with him and am completely spoiled by the latter.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Year of Sydney

On July 29th, my wonderful baby turned one. 

Physical stats: 19 lbs, 6 oz; 28.5 inches tall; eye lashes- .5 inches
Favorite foods: yogurt, cheese, scrambled eggs, anything someone else is eating that she's not
Teeth: at least nine. accurate number is unknown due to tendency to bite any fingers while attempting to check
Walking: a lot, not all the time, but an impressive amount. she's a rockstar.
Fears: vacuum cleaner, blender, popcorn popper
Loves: crawling up the stairs, progressively putting everything in our house on the floor, cell phones, keys, baths, being the center of attention
Life aspirations: to take flight from the back of the couch, unroll the entire roll of toilet paper, own a cell phone, take up residence inside the dishwasher

One year ago, I had a new baby, said goodbye to my husband, and was staying at my parents' house while I adjusted to my new world. I reminisced with Jericho about those first nights in the hospital with our new baby. He remembers me crying a lot. I told him more about what it was like for me that first week that he left- the hardest week of my life. This year has been challenging, educational, dramatic, lonely, depressing, character-building, and precious. I'm still amazed that it's done. I owe so much to so many people for helping me get through it.

In the past year, I've spent roughly 97% of my time with Sydney. We've done everything together. I took her shopping and consulted her on purchases. We watched TV and I taught her the greatness of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. I took care of her every night when she woke up. Changed nearly every diaper. Given her 10 million hugs and kisses. Took naps with her on the couch. Cried with her. Fed her. Sang her songs with my winning singing voice. Snuggled and cuddled and nurtured her.

With all the priceless time I was able to spend with her over her first year of life, Jericho came home and after two days, she already liked him better. I think he's been sneaking her ice cream when I'm not around.

[how she gives "kisses"]

While this year was crazy difficult, the one least affected by it was Sydney and that's what we wanted. She will never know life without her dad. She'll never know how hard life was for her parents during her first year. All she'll know from this point forward is our happy little complete family.

Happy first birthday to my crazy silly baby. I'm continually amazed at how much joy she brings to so many.

Speaking of joy, here are some snippets of Sydney devouring her birthday cupcake. She made us proud.

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