Well, that's it, I'm off!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Before I start, I want you to know that I'm not blogging about this to brag. I'm blogging to let you know the truth about how I am. I am worried about people thinking I'm some sort of spiritual superwoman when a lot of the time I am the extreme opposite. So please don't read this thinking I'm bragging about how awesomely Godly I am and how obedient I'm being. Because really, I am the opposite of that. I also didn't like the idea of getting messages on Facebook and not replying to them for a month with no explanation ... anyway, to the post.

Right now my baby girl is smiling and talking to a toy zebra. I'm watching old episodes of the IT Crowd and munching on walnuts. It's not even five o'clock and it's dark. The heating is on and the boiler is humming in the background. I have a bug bite on my shoulder. Where on earth has it come from? I don't know but it's itching like mad.

Why do I need to share that with you?

I don't need to. But I have shared it anyway.

I have just finished a Bible study on Gideon. It's been wonderful. The teaching has been so in-depth, and yet so easy to understand. It has taught me so much about Gideon's time, specifically the idols they worshipped and the tribes that they were a part of. It's taught me a lot about myself. And most importantly, it's taught me about God's endless patience.

In the last week, we were asked to list healthy things that have turned into unhealthy habits. Things that are not necessarily within themselves bad, but have become bad because they have taken precedence in our lives. I listed a whole bunch of things, but it only just hit me that one particular vice I have is *whispers* The Internet.

Not just Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest, or blogging. Even just surfing the internet. It's become a massive part of my life. I spend every spare moment - stood in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil, or dinner to cook, cuddling my baby back to sleep at 2.30am - I will fill that time, and therefore my brain, with stuff. Random things. Things I read on forums, things I read on websites. The problem is five minutes turns to ten minutes turns to an hour ... and so on. And the more I think about it, the more I realise how much my attention span is suffering as a result. I can't just sit and watch a film or a TV show anymore. I have to have something else to occupy me. It's started to encroach upon time with my loved ones and quite frankly, I am not happy with that.

I'm not happy with it encroaching upon my time with God, either.

This morning I sat with my gorgeous girl in a circle of amazing women. All in different stages of their lives. All wonderful, wise, God-fearing girls. As we talked about what we took from the study, what bits we particularly enjoyed, I realised how good my God is. Each of these women are different and each has an amazing story to tell about His goodness. There were a lot of wise words spoken and I felt so moved to have my baby girl there in the midst of it all.

However. Words kept being spoken. Words that cut right through me and left me with a feeling of impending doom. As the session went on, I felt as though I was being hit over the head with the same truth again and again. In fact, when Baby B fell asleep and I had a hand free to write, I scribbled down word for word what some of these ladies were saying. 'First we make our habits, then our habits make us.' 'Who are we pleasing with our actions? When we fill our spare time, are we filling it wisely?' I had a brief and mad flash of clarity - imagining that God there with me in a physical, big-bearded-sandalled-man sort of way, watching me quietly while I stand in the kitchen and flick through Facebook. Who is benefitting from that? Me? My family? Him?

Why do I feel the need to fill up the quiet bits of my life with stuff? Nonsense? Noise? Why can't I be comfortable with nothing? Post after post I have written about Living In the Moment. Being fully present and engaged in every circumstance, whether it's washing bottles or holding my baby girl while she sleeps or having a conversation with my Mum on the phone. Post after post of it. But am I doing it? Am I living it?

Of course not. I'm papering up the cracks of empty space in my life with fluff. I'm distracted even in the joyful moments - my brain won't settle on one thing at a time. I cannot switch off and enjoy the pure moments. Which means, if I'm being harsh (which I need to be) I don't really have the right to bang on about it anymore. I remember a while back, contemplating what I had come to know (I can't remember where I heard of it now - a book maybe?) as the God Gap - i.e., spaces in your life where God can fit. And I realise now that I literally don't have any gaps for Him.

And do you know what's weird? (True confession time peeps - which is ironic given what I'm about to tell you). As I sat there with all this slowly dawning on me (probably with an interesting look of mild terror on my face) my brain responded with all sorts of reasons why I couldn't possibly give up the Internet. These reasons included:

  1. I'll be lonely without social networking. Well, if that happens, then I guess I need to get out more.
  2. I want to read what everybody else is doing over Christmas. I'm obviously too nosy for my own good.
  3. I need to write my blog because people like reading it (woah there. I don't need to do anything - if God wanted me to speak to a certain person at a certain time, He'd make the circumstances happen for that. I don't work for Him - He works through me, sometimes, which is an amazing act of grace on His part and nothing to do with how I choose to do things).
  4. I wanted to share Baby B's first Christmas with everyone.
The last one got me the most worried. Because, why? Does our first Christmas with our baby girl not 'count' because I can't post adorable photos of her playing with wrapping paper? Can I not enjoy my life without cataloguing and displaying it at all times? Are these moments with her less significant because they are only between the three of us?

No. If anything, Baby B's first Christmas will be more special because it won't be shared with everybody. And why on earth do I feel the need to share all this stuff about my life? Does it come from a place of security and self confidence, this need to show everyone how well everything is going? I don't think it does.

Now, before you think I'm being a pious religious moron, let me tell you something. I don't think the internet is inherently bad. I don't think Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter are bad things. In fact, it annoys me when people tut and sigh and roll their eyes about The Evils of Social Networking. Because I actually think that it's an amazing tool to connect people together and to stay involved with people even when they move halfway across the world. I don't think all Christians should see these things as bad. Social networking and the internet in general are just a huge part of our culture now - and I don't think there's anything more righteous about avoiding it as a rule.

Also, you should know I really don't think any differently of people who are on Facebook over Christmas, posting amazing photos of Christmas trees and yummy food (and yummy babies). In fact, I'm quite jealous of you ;) This really is a heart thing, for me to do.

And I'm not even sure anything will happen because of it. I'm hoping of course that by creating space and silence, I will hear more from God - but I'm not doing it because of that, in a 'I'm giving up this so you owe me x amount of time' sort of way. I'm doing it because I feel like He's calling into question what really rules my life - Him, or something else.

So no internet. The last straw I clutched at was the idea that giving it up might be nice to do in December as a sort of advent thing. I was quite pleased with this idea until a quiet but firm voice said 'No - this begins now.'

So from now until 2014. No Facebook. No Twitter. No blogging. No Pinterest. No forums. No pottering around on Cracked.com. Nothing.

For transparency reasons, I'll tell you I'm allowing myself to use internet-based services (i.e. Netflix, 4oD) and I am allowed to check my emails because I've ordered a ton of Christmas presents and I need to know when to stay in for the parcels. I'm also allowing myself to nip online to get recipes for things I have cooked before and haven't got round to printing off yet (but I'm not allowing myself hours online browsing Pinterest for new recipes).

If you're reading this, you know me in Real Life - so ask for my number and give me a text. We'll meet up. Have a coffee. And studiously ignore the messiness of my house. ;)

I will be back in January blogging again. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Lots of love and God bless xx

Grab the season before it goes

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

I dislike the term 'yolo'.

Although it's quite fun to shout out in a stupid way. YOLO! But anyway, I don't like it, because I've seen it used to justify some spectacularly stupid decisions. I get the principle behind it though - seize the day. Hakuna Matata! Etc.

I feel a bit like that today.

I finally got round to getting pictures and videos from Chris's phone backed up, and I found myself having a little emotional moment about how fast Baby B is growing. She was so small! And grumpy looking! She made helpless little squeaks like a hamster and she spent most of her time with her lips pursed in a permanent 'oooooooooooh'.

Now she's all rolls of fat and gummy smiles. She can be pulled up from laying down by her hands (and she loves it!) she is developing a preference for songs (she particularly likes 'a sailor went to sea sea sea'). She can reach out and bat her toys in her baby gym (though it takes all her concentration) and if I lean over her she tries to bat my hair with her little fists. She squeezes her teddy-blanket-thing, Frank, and chews on him with delight. She laughs when we copy her noises. She looks at me and bursts into tears when having cuddles with people she doesn't know very well, even if I'm sat right next to her. When did she become this little person? Full of vibrant personality with likes and dislikes?

I guess a lot of my posts have a similar theme going on at the moment. It's all about gratitude and thankfulness and such. But wow, it's so important. Just to take a moment to soak it all in. I stare at her and I somehow try to cement the memory in my brain, to carve it in my heart so I'll remember it forever. And part of me is scared I won't remember, so I take photo after photo and film after film. But at the end of the day, I realise there's nothing I can do. She's growing and changing and it's bittersweet. With every tiny baby quirk that is gone, a great big leap of personality arrives to take its place.

I was walking to Sainsbury's the other day and I realised that autumn is nearly over. My favourite season, almost gone for another year. The leaves were falling constantly like red and gold confetti. I made a vow that, on the next day with no rain, I'd get my wellies on and take Baby B to the park.

So the next day I grabbed a break between the rain and legged it out there. Baby B didn't really get it - I took her out and showed her the trees, and she quickly squirmed and cried and so I had to strap her back in the pram and push her until she fell asleep - but I was glad I went. Just to enjoy a moment, just for myself. A moment of peace.

I guess this is what it feels like to catch moments and keep them. Some of them I might forget, but some I might remember, and surely it's worth entering into every moment 100%, being fully present wherever I am, my mind firmly on what's happening rather than other silly stuff ... just in case.

Two more things I am thankful for today:

Birdy bum.

Cup that keeps my tea warm until I can drink it (which is often long after I make it), that doesn't make said tea taste like metal. Excellent!

God bless everyone xx

gratitude and poo-splosions

Saturday, 16 November 2013

My daughter doesn't poo very much.

Is that a wrong thing to talk about online? I guess I'm risking a very angry teenager later on in life. In my defence, my mother happily talks about our childhood poo habits even now, with no abandon whatsoever, so maybe I just don't find it that embarrassing any more.

Anyway, Baby B stores it up. No idea why. For warmth?* She might not 'go' for a few days at a time, and by the end of it, she's curling up in pain, crying, refusing to sleep in the day but wanting constant cuddles, and not sleeping as much at night. All this makes for a very tired Mummy.

Then finally this morning, she did what we affectionately term a 'poo-splosion'. She goes all quiet and still, almost serene, as though she has entered some sort of zen state. A few grunts and red faces later, there is a spectacular noise and a rush for the changing mat and hugely excessive amounts of praise all round.

That's right - praise and excitement in the event of a poo. That's how it goes down in the Bidmead house. I used to feel quite smug at the fact that Baby B doesn't go very much. I'd smile at the mothers that are constantly changing nappies and think 'yay for me!' Now I look at mothers whose babies happily poo left right and centre with envy. They check their babies' nappies and exclaim, 'Oh, you've pooed AGAIN!' and they tut and sigh (in a secretly smug sort of way, I imagine) and moan about how inconvenient it is whilst getting out wetwipes and such, and I want to take them by the shoulders, shake them, and say 'YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW LUCKY YOU ARE.'

Poos are a joy here. You will find me and Chris shrieking 'WELL DONE! GOOD GIRL!' and beaming with pride whilst cleaning up something incredibly disgusting. That's how rare these moments are.

Because poo nappies take five-ten minutes out of your life to clean up (and sometimes extra loads of washing depending on severity/direction of poo-splosion). Constipation = hours of sleeplessness. And sleeplessness = hours and hours and hours of tiredness.

Tiredness exacerbates everything. Every small disappointment (no Bible study today due to grumpy constipated child) seems like a huge let down. A small comment, completely innocent, might be taken completely the wrong way by me. The chores seem even more chore-ish than before. When I'm tired, I look around at my house and my heart sinks at the knowledge that, no matter what, I'll never be able to get on top of it.

I guess there are parts of life like that. Never ending, I mean. Like being on a hamster wheel constantly rotating but never going anywhere. If you've ever had a job you didn't like, then you probably know what I'm talking about. Every day - back on the hamster wheel. Being at home with a house full of kids and work to go to, every morning you wake up to your rapidly untidying house, and it's back on the hamster wheel. You mow the lawn, two days later, it's looking awful again. Hamster wheel. For some people, obviously, these things aren't too much of an issue. Some people really like cleaning and find it relaxing. A lot of people (including me, I should point out!) like their jobs and don't find it so much of a grind. But I'd say that everybody has stuff that they find necessary but totally not enjoyable.

You have to have balance, of course. Or at least, I try to. If I have the option of playing with Baby B or sorting out that big pile of paperwork, I'll usually choose to play with her instead. I don't want my child to constantly be seeing the back of me as I plonk her on the floor and walk away from her to do something more important. But there are some things that you just can't avoid and quickly become a pain in the bum. On my list I would probably include:

Washing bottles ...

And sterilising them.


laundry ...

And yet more laundry.

We've been doing a study on Gideon recently, and one of the days' teaching was about seeing God's blessing in the mundane. I had to write down five mundane, everyday chores that I found most tedious. Then I had to write down next to them how these chores show God's blessings for me. For example, washing bottles = beautiful baby to feed. Wiping kitchen tops down = nice house with food to make mess with. Etc, etc. It felt simplistic at first, but I started to realise that actually, an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude is not just cultivated through tough times and how I deal with those. It's actually a lot to do with how I deal with every day stuff.

It's not just empty thankfulness (again, we're back to that whole 'my gun jammed!' thing). It's real thankfulness that comes from a place of respect and humility. It's not easy. And it's not something that I can boast about (because believe me, prayers of thanks are not on my mind when I look at my overflowing washing basket). It's a heart thing, and I believe only God can change my heart, but it starts with a decision on my part. A decision to be made every day. To be thankful even if I've had about five hours sleep. And it doesn't mean I have to enjoy the boring stuff, leaping around like a leprechaun whilst brandishing a bottle brush - it just means I have to respect them and what they represent.

So I will thank God for my life, and when I thank Him, I will thank Him for all of it - including the washing, the exhaustion, and the poo-splosions!

* I realise babies don't store poo for warmth. Just in case anyone was thinking about intervening. ;)

aint nobody got time for that

Friday, 8 November 2013

There are many things that I try not to allow time for. Bitterness. Bitchiness. Self-doubt. Anger. Obviously I'm not superwoman and I frequently forget/purposefully allow myself to dwell on things that I shouldn't.

However, now I've got a baby, there are even more things I just don't have time for (hoovering, for example. Or mopping. In fact, just don't ever look at our floor) and one of those things is excessive Mummy guilt and 'competitive parenting'.

I couldn't continue breastfeeding Baby B. Basically because it was too painful and it became a huge emotional deal for me. Throughout pregnancy, I was determined to breastfeed - determined. Ignoring the fact that family members had tried and failed, I did all the research I could. I knew about the equipment, I knew about letdown, I knew about the latch - oh, the latch, the solution to every painful breastfeeding issue, apparently. The only reason (so I thought) people around me found it so painful is that they didn't have the right support to get the latching on right. Breastfeeding according to official sources 'shouldn't be painful if the baby is latched on correctly.'

I found out from a friend with a baby older than B that actually, the first few feeds can be hellish, and the first few sucks are always a bit toe-curling. I felt not daunted, but even more prepared for how it was going to be. Chris and I had many discussions about the benefits of breastmilk and how natural and beautiful it was. I would ask for help from the midwives. It would be fine.

I didn't feel the first feed, but I was merrily sucking on gas and air at the time, so I didn't really feel much of anything except stunned and overwhelmed. But by the end of my stay in the hospital I'd called five different midwives to come and check us while we fed.

'Can you just check she's latching on properly?' I asked in desperation, Baby B crying and wriggling, every movement on me becoming more and more painful.

They'd check. By the end, I had her latched on properly every single time. 'See?' they'd say. 'Look how wide open her mouth is and how her cheeks are rounded. You're doing really well.'

'But it really really hurts.'

'It's only the first few sucks. It'll calm down in a minute.'

One midwife stayed for a bit longer to look at my charts, check medication, etc. After a few minutes she said chirpily 'Is that better now?'

I think she may have been startled to see me crying and writhing in pain. Toe-curling? Body-curling is more appropriate. When I told her that no, it wasn't better, in fact it was now hurting more, she looked a bit puzzled, shrugged and said 'Well ... she's latched on right.'

I went home and struggled for days, sobbing every time I fed her, dreading when she woke up. I couldn't enjoy her, smell her, snuggle her, kiss her, while she fed. I held her head in a vice grip and stuffed my fist in my mouth to stop myself from screaming at every single feed. I dropped tears on her little head. It wasn't getting better. It was getting worse and worse.

It actually got to the point where B was hungry and I couldn't do it any more. Chris took control and made her the first bottle. We had visitors, so I couldn't cry, but I wanted to. As soon as they left I burst into tears. What had I done? Rather than feeling happy that my baby girl was enjoying an uninterrupted feed (probably the most peaceful feed of her life so far) I became numb with failure. I'd let her down. I was letting her down with every formula feed she had.

All I can say is, if I'd not had the support of a wonderful husband and a very reassuring midwife, I could see how the guilt could have pushed me into postnatal depression. I truly wasn't enjoying my precious baby daughter. As well as recovering from labour and being a little overwhelmed by the influx of visitors, I had to deal with the fact that my baby was now outside of me and no longer being nourished by me. I had to deal with the constant guilt that by not exclusively breastfeeding, I was leaving her vulnerable to all sorts of illnesses and allergies. The worst part was feeling I was missing out on bonding with her. Because wasn't it proven that breastfed babies bonded better with their mothers?

I had to talk myself out of it. I literally did not have time to feel it any more. I got on with expressing milk to the point of not being able to make any more, and she got more and more formula, and gradually, as I was encouraged by my health visitor and I watched B get plumper and plumper, I started to relax. I finally feel now that I'm doing the right thing.

But why was it so hard for me? I don't know. Partly me putting pressure on myself. Partly because of the sheer amount of information on breastfeeding and the lack of information about bottle feeding - I had nothing, in all of my copious amounts of pregnancy paperwork, about bottle feeding, beyond the basic facts of sterilising and making up feeds. How did I know which formula to try? Which kind? How did I deal with the emotions of failing to breastfeed? Where could I get support? The NHS were keeping quiet about that. Which didn't help my feeling that I was failing as a mother.

The other thing I guess that compounded this was that everywhere I went people wanted to know about feeding. I think nearly every person that met Baby B asked that question during the peak of my guilt and worry about it. 'How is she feeding?' 'How's feeding doing?' and the worst 'Are you feeding her yourself?' (I always felt like saying 'Er, no - I let her use the kettle and pour out her own formula'). I really hate that phrase. I am feeding my baby - just in a different way. I know that it's probably a way of getting around the embarrassing use of the word 'breast' but I actually found it pretty insulting during a time when I felt guilty that my body was unable to nourish my child.

I've calmed down now. I've realised that most comments are innocuous. I've gotten over the feeling when I take out a bottle in public that people are staring at me and condemning. I bite my tongue when people tell me that formula fed babies are more colicky and constipated and don't sleep as well and don't you find washing up the bottles to be a pain? Because I realise people really don't mean it that way. Most people are genuinely interested in how we are doing.

I also know that the whole no breastfeeding = no bonding thing is rubbish. I am so in love with my daughter that sometimes I want to bite her a little bit (I won't). She calms down with me in a way she doesn't with other people. Next time I will know that I can say no to other people feeding her if I want to and that's okay. And I also know that, having worked with babies, I honestly can't tell the difference between bottle and breastfed in terms of weight OR general health. The bottle fed babies are no more sickly than the breastfed ones. Similarly, breastfed babies didn't sleep any worse than formula fed ones and weren't any more difficult to settle in. And I know that by the time I get to her first birthday the early emotions will be a distant memory and I will have a whole new heap of things to worry about.

That's the thing. The worry. The guilt. The competitiveness. Whilst doing emergency 3am 'why can't I get breastfeeding right' Google searches, I accidentally uncovered the world of competitive mummyhood. The labels for things are mind boggling. Natural parenting? Attachment parenting? Baby-led weaning? Co-sleeping? My brain hurt looking it all up. I came across mothers that truly believe that if you don't breasfeed/co-sleep/do 'babywearing'/baby-led weaning, then you have failed as a mother. Some people actually consider formula to be poison and according to them, if you can't breastfeed, you just didn't try hard enough.

I'm not going to be a Mummy Martyr. I would die for my daughter in a heartbeat, in a literal throw myself in front of a bullet sort of way. Of course I would. But why should I persevere with something that makes me miserable every single day instead of enjoying my beautiful baby?

Because now, we're peaceful. We're happy. Today we spent the morning playing, talking and reading stories. She is now spread across me asleep, and I know I could put her down, but I don't really want to. I can enjoy staring at her, every eyelash, every hair on her head, knowing I'm doing my best for her.

And that's what all mothers should do. No mothers should have to put up with comments like:

  • You're not breastfeeding? Oh, what a shame, is it too late to try again? (I've had this one said to me a good few times! And yes, it is definitely too late to try again.)
  • You're still breastfeeding? Doesn't he need formula by now? Doesn't your husband/partner feel left out?
  • You don't co-sleep? What about the bonding?
  • You co-sleep? What about SIDS?!
  • You push your baby in a buggy instead of holding them in a sling? Don't you care about their attachment to you?
  • You wear your baby in a sling? Don't you get tired of it?
  • You let your child watch television? Don't you care about their brain development?
  • You don't let your child watch TV? Are you mad?
Etc, etc, etc. It's all a great huge steaming pile of nonsense. I'm sorry, but it is. If you're reading this and you're about to become a parent for the first time, or you're a new parent still struggling with everything - forget everything anyone says about how you should do things. Do what you've got to do for the good of your whole family. Look at the Proverbs 31 woman. She makes decisions for the wellbeing of all of her family. Her children call her blessed. She speaks with wisdom. That can be me - that IS me - the details don't matter.

It all comes down to women tearing each other down in order to overcome their own insecurities. And honestly? It's not good enough. (Especially for Christian women. Competitive parenting in Christian circles is not. good. enough.) Surely we live in an age now where women can just get over this competitive stuff? How much time and headspace would we save if we didn't compare our children? Our parenting methods? Women should NOT be defined by our cutting remarks and judgy attitudes. We should be defined by our caring natures, the way we nurture, the way we connect, the way we provide. 

If I spent less time worrying about what so-and-so chooses to do with their child, what could I be thinking about or praying for instead? Could I be praying for that child to be safe and well? Could I be mentoring them? If I let my guard down and stopped letting my insecurity run rampant, how many people could I connect to, how many mothers could I meet that might just need a new friend?

Whether you are natural parenting, attachment parenting, sit-your-child-in-front-of-the-telly-so-you-can-have-a-cup-of-tea-and-go-for-a-wee-in-peace parenting, or flying by the seat of your pants parenting (I'm the last one!) - you're doing a good job. Mothers - you are doing a good job.

Wow. Thank you for letting me release all that. I hope you got through the waffle. I'm going to go eat toast. :)

little things

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Short, rambly post of nonsense today.

It's been a crazy week. Baby B had her first lots of vaccinations, which is a horrendous moment for any new parent, and she pretty much spent the whole day afterwards crying in outrage. That combined with getting her hips scanned (all fine!) and pushing her up an extremely steep hill in her buggy to get to said scan, her general crankiness and clinginess and her infected fingernail, a missed flu jab appointment (for me!) and exhaustion on mine and Chris's part, it's been a blur.

So, a moment to pause, and some things to be thankful for ...

Autumn/winter and the snuggly clothes that come with it.

A baby that watches her Daddy with fascination from the comfort of her bouncy chair ... even when he's just unloading the dishwasher.

New hair, and a brand new laptop to take stupid photos with! I can't tell you how blessed we've been with this laptop - a gift from some very lovely people.

Not much to say really, other than I'm exhausted. I caught myself at the start of the week feeling kind of annoyed. Annoyed that I can't afford to learn to drive, and therefore have to struggle with buses or pay a fortune in taxi fairs to get anywhere, and I can't just 'nip' to the shops in the car for medicine for my child, and it's not fair on my husband who has to drive us everywhere when he's not driving for a living at work. I found myself crying at six in the morning after being awake for three hours with my crying child, who can't seem to sleep for more than an hour at a time, and how come some babies sleep all the way through from day one? And also, how come some women (In fact, a lot of women) aren't left immobilised by horrendous stomach cramps every month? And how on earth do I cope with going dizzy and sick whilst looking after a tiny baby?

But obviously, I am being a bit of a brat. Later in the week, we received the quite frankly amazing gift of the new laptop, which is extremely swish (and SO SHINY!) Then Baby B surprised us by sleeping for five and a half hours in a row which is a new record for her.

Finally, last night, feeling in pain and jiggling baby around the living room to try to get her to settle down, it hit me that I am actually extremely blessed, and there's blessing in everything, especially in the crying baby (because how long will it be before she doesn't need us so much anymore, and how much will we miss her cuddles then?). And you know, I walked everywhere as a kid, and we managed. I'm still pretty good at walking now without getting too tired. There's even blessing in the stomach cramps, in a convoluted sort of way.

I don't need new laptops to be reminded of this (though it helps). I don't need to be disappointed when baby wakes up every hour instead of sleeping for six like I hoped for. Because these things don't really matter. Not in the long run. It's okay to be grumpy sometimes, because no one is as shiny and happy as Pollyanna, and I don't think I'd want to be that crazy person that grins vacantly when bad stuff happens ('Alright, my gun jammed!') but it's not okay to wallow in said grumpiness.

And also, how amazing is it to have a God that surprises me with blessings even when I'm not really deserving of it? Very amazing! :)
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