Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I finally published some posts I started months ago. I had intended to add more detail to this one, but time slipped away from me.  These two are about Ethan's blessing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Becoming A Mother

I've tried to write this post a few times.  It's about things that a very dear to my heart, things that are sacred to me, and things that are very much a part of me.  I want it to sound that way.  I want it to be well written and profound. But I don't have the right words.

My journey to becoming a mother was incredible to me.  I always knew I would someday be a mother, and I always wanted to have children.  But I used to wonder if I could really handle it.  I loved my nieces and nephews, but there would inevitably come a point when I was watching them that I became very ready to turn them back over to their parents.  You obviously can't do that when the kids are your own.  But when the Lord let us know our turn was coming soon, the worries melted away.

It didn't take long to conceive, and the timing was pretty much perfection.  The queasy first trimester was in the summer, when I had a pretty flexible and not too demanding schedule.  I felt much better by the time my student teaching started.  It was possible (though never pleasant) for me to get up and get going in the morning.  The first couple of weeks were really hard for me emotionally, and really it was a tough couple of months for our family, but we got through it and were stronger for it.  I finished my official teaching November 30, but wasn't really done until the Christmas concert on December 14.  Two weeks later Ethan joined our family.

It sounds very simple when put that way.  But there was so much involved.  There were so many little things nudging us in the direction the Lord wanted us to go.  We definitely felt His hand in our lives during that time.  I felt like our eyes were opened to the miracle that was happening within me.  I didn't mind the discomforts because it would result in something wonderful.  And Terral was always so sweet and thoughtful. He did all he could for my comfort.

The first few months of Ethan's life were the happiest in my life up to this point.  It wasn't a fleeting happiness.  It was a happiness that I knew had heavenly--eternal--connections.

The day he was born, I was surprised at how matter-of-fact I felt.  I didn't experience a wash of joy, euphoria, or love.  I did have joy and love, but it was more quiet than I had expected.  The joy and love grew, and they continued to grow.

I was so very content with life those first few months.  There were hard things during that time too, but I felt as though our little family was right where we needed to be.  I felt a foundation of faith.  I felt so much more complete than I ever had before.  I wish I could convey that feeling of rightness.  We were so blessed, and we were so grateful for those blessings.  (By putting this in the past tense, I don't mean to say that we are no longer content, happy, blessed, or grateful anymore.  It was just so continuous during that time.  Now, life has returned to more of a "normal" state, and worldly cares and worries have crept back in.) 

In his baby blessing, Ethan was blessed that he would live a life of service.  He started at a very young age.  He has been an instrument of healing and teaching.  I am truly privileged to call him my son.  He is my son, and yet he is not mine.  He is God's son.  I knew that before I became I mother, but I understand it so much more now. I thank my Heavenly Father for His guidance in my life, and for the role He has given me.  The creation of life is divine, and I will be forever amazed and humbled that I am able to take part in it.

All About Ethan


This post will is my attempt at recording all the little things about Ethan that I keep saying to myself, "I really need to write that down."  So if you're not into reading about other people's kids' milestones etc., I get that.  This post is not for you. ; )  Feel free to skip it.

For a few months, come rain, shine, or wind, Ethan made sure we got out on a walk every single day, sometimes two or three times.  It was pretty much the only way I could get him to nap.  I really came to enjoy our daily strolls.  He loved it and would calm right down.  The boy loves being outside.  I liked getting some form of regular exercise and getting thinking time or talk on the phone time to myself.  I kind of miss it now that he doesn't need it.  Sleep has been hit and miss for us.  I hadn't thought too much about it until one day when I asked a friend of mine who had recently had a baby how she was doing.  She said, "oh, we're still doing the wake up every three hours thing." and I said, "huh, so are we."  He's had weeks of really good sleep.  It just never lasted.  But I haven't worried about it too much because of all that's been going on.  We've had emotional upheaval and crazy work and vacation schedules, so it really wouldn't be reasonable to expect him to have a wonderful and consistent sleep schedule.  There is hope, though.  Lately he's been taking naps really well (did I mention he would sometimes go all day without a nap?) and also sleeping longer chunks at night.

He is a stinkin' smart little boy.  Of course, I may be a little biased.  He figured out early on how to get something he wanted by pulling on something it was attached to.  If Terral held something up out of reach, he would grab Terral's arm and pull it down until he could reach the desired object.  Speaking of reach, this kid has an amazing one.  He is always surprising us with how far he can stretch to get things.  He's really persistent too.  He got the concept of object permanence down quite a while ago.  

As biased as I may be, there is no denying he is cute.  I'm not joking when I tell you another parent told my husband, "My kids' smiles were never that cute!"  Although Ethan can be very photogenic (he has some not-so-great-looking pictures too), his biggest "cuteness factor" in my opinion is his personality.  When he opens his eyes his whole person just lights up.  He exudes joy!  I seriously adore him.  And I do not use that word lightly. 

He is an adventurous little boy.  We, of course, have tried to sort of cultivate this sort of an attitude, but I'm sure a good portion of it is just part of him.  For example, he loves swimming.  We went camping last weekend at a mountain reservoir and he did not mind one bit that the water was a little chilly.  He just loved swimming around.  He also gets a kick out of being startled (think peek-a-boo type games, only sometimes on a much larger scale).  He also loves it when I throw him in the air, or when Terral does a game with him that flips him over.   A couple of days ago he was in the johnny jump-up and kind of wound it up by slowly turning around.  He lifted up his legs, and of course he started spinning the opposite direction.  He got going pretty fast.  I was about to rescue him when he put his legs down and started laughing.  He liked it so much he kept winding himself up and lifting his legs so he could spin.  He just put his feet down whenever it got going too fast.

Hmm...what else?  He loves trees. Especially the cherry tree in our front yard.  When we got back from our week-long Lake Powell trip he looked through the car window, saw his tree, and gave a huge sigh of contentment.


*shrimpy voice* I am ashamed.
It's a whole month since I started this post!  I must finish it. . .  Dang.  I was listing off a whole bunch of things in my head earlier today and now I sit down to write and can't think of a single one.  Maybe if I just start typing it will come.

I want to remember:
How he used to hold so still whenever I cleaned out his ears or nose.
How he used his little monkey feet to wrap around my arms and push them away when he didn't want a diaper change.
His intense observance.  For example, he will study my mouth when I'm speaking and I can just see the wheels turning trying to figure out how to make those sounds.
How he is so interested in food.  He's a great eater, and doesn't usually make much mess.  Earlier today (*correction, yesterday) Terral was feeding him breakfast and he started to get grabby.  Terral said, "Put your hands down," and his little hands went to his lap.  "Now open your mouth," and the cute little mouth opened wide.  Of course, it's likely coincidence, but we thought it was pretty neat!
The way his smile absolutely transforms his face.
The way he showed that he loved me from such an early age.
How quickly he forgives.
How much he loves sounds.
The way my voice and touch can calm him.
How he kisses me by placing his open mouth on my chin

I just want to remember everything!  It has been so amazing to see him grow and learn and be able to express himself more bit by bit.  It makes me sad that I've been so negligent in recording it all.  I do have lots of pictures and videos, though.  I just need to get them up here. :)

Well, that's as far as memory will take us for the moment.  I think this post is lengthy enough.    I think it's disorganized enough too.