Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Sunshine...or Mom

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
I keep thinking of this line--not in a fatalistic way but it's true. Behr will never know how much I love him. He will know (I sure hope!) that I do love him and Lord-willing some day will be a daddy who loves his littles. But in a very real, biological way, this little son of mine will never know "how much I love" him... and I may not know how much my mother loves me but I have now tasted seventeen months of mommyhood and enough to say I know a little bit more just how much my mom loves me.

I love you Mom! I love you in more ways than I can say--and one of my favorite parts of being little Behr's mom has been watching you be his grandma. Happy 30th Mother's Day! (PS We almost went to a nursery to look at plants today. How's that for ironic? ;-))

Oh and hash tag real life: Our Mother's Day has been the quiet kind of Sunday with a family brunch at Great Sage (mmmm dairy-free big fluffy cinnamon rolls!) and a West Wing marathon on the couch while the Behr hopefully naps off a case of the fussies (some crazy parents decided letting him stay up partying until 10pm last night was a good idea). Wouldn't trade day-to-day life with my boys for anything in the world. 

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Favorite Words

As of today, as two days shy of sixteen months, Behr's favorite words are:

1. Sturrrr'it
As in, to stir. If there's one thing Behr likes to do and would do most of the day if he could it's stir things. He spends most of the pre-dinner hour grabbing my legs and begging to "sturrit? sturrit?" He's actually not too bad though if I do let him sit on the counter and help he usually uses at least four spoons to do his work.
2. Asing't
Hear the "sing" in there? I think this means "song" but also sing. Behr loves to be sung to and to listen to music. I don't sing for anyone but him -- yet he can get me to sing to him over and over. Tonight at bedtime I was singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and he sat up and shook his head at me and starting pinching his fingers together. I thought he was signing for milk but no, he was doing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" hand signs. His favorites are honestly anything you'll sing to him. When he's up in the middle of the night and I'm tired of singing to him sometimes when he asks for another song I tell him I'm too sleepy and that he needs to sing to Mama. And he does. Heart-melting. We listen to Raffi CD's in the car to help him be cheerful on our longer drives around town and the second a song ends immediately a little voice in the back seat starts asking "asing't asing't??"
One day when we were listening to a random Pandora station this song came on by Vered Songs and man. I love how it captures the sweetness of being my little boy's mommy in these tiring non-stop busy days.
3. Swit!
This one sounds a whole lot like "sit" to me but we've figured out this week that it means sweep. Nearly every morning while I make breakfast and most nights if Dada's home (because he's the one that sweeps after Behr) he gets out the broom and works his hardest to sweep up his messes. It usually results in more of a mess but he sure is proud of his work.

Our little buddy is a chatter box. Ninety percent of what comes out of his mouth is babble, incessant non-stop babble narrating his day from when he wakes up until he goes to bed. But he's got a handful of very clear words mixed in the "mama," "dada," "buhbye," and "hiiiii" are words like "bayball." We love this little guy--we love his words, we love his voice, and man, we just love everything about him.

Friday, March 15, 2013

You're Worth the Work

“I want to thank my wife, who I don’t normally associate with Iran. I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good. It is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.” -- Ben Affleck accepting the Academy Award for Best Picture for his movie Argo (great movie by the way!)
I read this article on Salon a few weeks ago and I can't get it out of my head. The Academy Awards are a distant memory to most of us other than when we look up a movie on Wikipedia in a few years we won't remember for long much that happened that night. And like anything else from that night Ben Affleck's comments of gratitude toward his wife (Jennifer Garner) are also quickly forgotten. But I heard them and noticed them and this article so well articulated the thoughts I hope he was thinking and that resonated in my heart in a rather surprising way--I think it was just nice to see the culture recognizing marriage in a healthy, normal way.
"Like many things in life, just because a relationship is good doesn’t mean it doesn’t take a hell of a lot of effort. In fact, the effort is the good part. The lovely, wedding day dream that love is enough and you’ll always feel perfect and splendid forever is just that – a dream. The day-to-day can be boring and irritating and yet often, in the midst of all it, that’s exactly when you feel most deeply at home within each other. And maybe someday, when your mate is at your mom’s for Thanksgiving or accepting an Academy Award for best picture, he’ll start acting in a way that’s weird and makes people uncomfortable. That’s when you think, oh, right. That’s what I love about him."
Marriage is hard. It's hard work. It's worth it but oh it's hard. It's hard when you're happy and it's hard when you're sad. It's hard when you have everything and it's hard when you feel you've lost everything. But it's work that's worth it, it really is "the best kind of work."

And so today, to my husband who I work to love every day and will continue to work to love every day I am given, I wish you a happy birthday! This may be an odd way to say it but you knew I was crazy when you married me--and you are the greatest example I have on this planet of someone who loves me unreservedly whether or not I've given you reason to. In the last year you've shown more patience and love and gentleness to me than in the nearly six years prior--and that's saying something! Thank you for every night you've gotten out of bed to re-lock doors to make me feel safe, sat up with me and my tears and fears and patiently listened to me, for every meal you've made me or glass of water you've brought, for every extra five minutes of sleep you've given me. Thank you for working to love me and working to build our marriage in the most practical and yet heroic ways possible. May the year ahead of hard work in marriage, in your profession, in parenthood, and in life, be rich in our marriage and may God replace any tear we cry with joys unimaginable to us today.

i love you much(most beautiful darling)
more than anyone on the earth and i
like you better than everything in the sky // e.e. cummings

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Happy Birthday Son

My little boy I've tried for weeks to put together some semblance of words to sum up how I feel as you turn one. How you've changed me as you made me a mama. How you changed your dada and I as we've loved you together and watched one another love you and become a family of three and not just two. The closer to your birthday we've come the more and more at a loss for words I've become. At night after feeding you and as I give you your last snuggles before bed with my head on yours on my shoulder and as you pat me on my back mimicking my pats on yours, I tell you how very much I love you, how very much God loves you, and how very very grateful I am that you are here with us healthy and whole and special gift to your dada and I. And I really can't move beyond that. I tear up with thoughts that aren't finished. We love you son. And we are so grateful that God gave you to us. 

"And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the LORD of hosts."

Little Behr our hearts waited so long for you. And yet you came at just the right time. Our hearts are full. Happy birthday son. We are so glad you're here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Day Before a Birth Day

Audrey and Jan came over to hang out as usual, keeping me distracted, doing projects, who knows of all things I don't remember. Clearly at the very least Audrey and I sat on our yoga balls for comfort. 

Dre and I went to Starbucks for a mini date and time together. It was the day after my due date and for a week there hadn't been any signs of imminent labor. (Up until the weekend of my due date I had several days and nights with consistent contractions.) We'd walked miles worth of Tysons the day before and thought we'd go out and then buy food to make dinner at home and have a quiet night. Maybe try some suggested "labor food" like pineapple and eggplant. We sat at Starbucks for a while. We went to Giant. Andree left me outside the store while he pulled up the car and water broke.

We rushed home so I could change and call the midwife. Having you water break out of no where and with no contractions is one of the strangest things. Always an adventure. I texted Janet but no one else until we got home because I still wasn't convinced. It was always possible I'd just peed my pants. ;-) Once we talked to the midwife we told our parents and Dre called Kristen at basketball practice. 
Kristen used the groceries to make chili (I think?) since that was the plan for the night--but I don't think Dre or I ate a bite. I know while I was laying down trying to relax Dre ran out to KFC; I have a vivid mental memory of him sitting in the corner in the prepositioned rocking chair-waiting for a baby to rock to sleep-chowing down on fried chicken.

The last picture of "us."
Since contractions still hadn't set in and we were sure if we didn't get a tree now we wouldn't have a tree for a while with the distraction of a newborn we went to Home Depot. Where else can you walk around a large uncrowded area for a few hours and buy the last item you need in your house to welcome home baby? My sister met us there and helped bring the tree home and did laps with us. I can't say it was the funnest time I've ever had at Home Depot but it was memorable considering my water had broken a few hours earlier (basically it doesn't stop...). We saw at least three people from church and just walked and walked.

We brought our tree home and the Christmas Angel helped Dre hang the lights...and more lights and more lights and more lights. Around 9:30pm at a shift change the midwife called to check in on me; I still wasn't having any contractions. The second I hung up with her they hit. Immediately I hated my birthing ball and started timing them within half an hour 540 Christmas lights were on the tree and Dre suggested I go try to sleep--which was when I finally got his attention that I need his help now and the rest is history. 

Ten hours later a little boy was in our arms. A boy who hadn't had a name for months and months was named. A face we'd never met was imprinted forever on our hearts.