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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Celebrating the Small Things

Bobby and I biking the Milwaukee waterfront. Phew. Sleep training is NOT FUN. Solomon: 2, Mommy:1. He's slightly ahead, but I'm gaining on him. This entry is not about sleep training and schedules, but it's kind of consuming my life right now. I've actually been trying to document what I'm considering "victories" in this new and challenging phase of my life. As a new mom, it's easy to feel like I'm doing nothing but being an Oberweis cow--just a milk supplier. Additionally, I'm a new wife;I got pregnant 3 weeks into my first year of marriage. We don't even have time to argue about dishes! Though these new developments are blessings, they've been a shock to a woman who was single and doing her own thing until age 36. In one year's time, I became a wife and a mother, and my days of backpacking alone through Mexico feel like a distant memory (though I used to dream of backpacking with a baby tied to my chest--hopefully, we'll be back on the travel scene soon). During the first two weeks of Solo's life outside of the womb, I was documenting things like "I took a shower and did my hair!" I've had to adjust my expectations a lot about what "productivity" is and looks like. I thought I'd get a lot done this summer because "newborns sleep all day". What I failed to realize is that they sleep on you! I've found myself to be really frustrated, feeling like I'm not "accomplishing" anything. What I'm coming to realize is that my greatest accomplishment since May 1st will be fully and unconditionally loving my son Solomon. However, the purpose of my writing today is to celebrate that which I've been able to do since May 1st. 1) I survived breastfeeding and my child is still exclusively breastfed (after working with 2 lactation consultant and very special lactation specialist--thanks, Shelly!) 2) We beat thrush! 3) We made it to my cousin Miranda's wedding in Detroit when Solo was only 4 weeks old 4) We did an overnight without Solomon for our one year anniversary! We did our favorite thing--riding Amtrak--to Milwaukee for the Summerfest, stayed in a vintage suite, cycled the Lake and parts of the city, had great coffee, and heavily caloric food! Apparently, an "overnighter" is quite a feat. We learned from some friends that they haven't had a night alone since the first child (years for some folks!) Admittedly, it was hard. I teared up expressing my breastmilk into the sink 5) I'm biking and running again 6) We attended Silver Room's Block Party--our meeting anniversary spot 7) I see friends weekly for exercise, talking, advice, laughter 8) I cook dinner almost every night! 9) Bobby and I still have a pretty regular date night!Sushi! (Thanks Pastor Ted and Shelly!) 10)Coaching the boys from my block in our community basketball league 11)Hosted 4th of July family gathering; "heart to heart" with my brother Doug was a highlight of my summer 12) Bobby and I building a bookcase 13) Worked on hopefully my last leg of work for National Board Certification--took a crazy Chemistry exam 3 weeks postpartum 14) Alternatives to Violence trainer training! 3 weekends! I'm celebrating evidence that though my life has a different focus, I'm working to keep my own identity as a woman with interests, as a wife, friend, daughter/sister/niece/cousin/granddaughter. Really important stuff. The advice veteran married couples give over and over is "Keep a date night!" We plan on it!