Monday, February 27, 2012

On Mindy and Marriage

The funny thing about being a new mom is that I have both tons of time and no time at all.  It's quite bizarre.  

The nice thing is that books take tons of time to read but can be read in spurts of no time at all, so I actually get to do some reading!  I recently finished Mindy Kaling's muy excellente book, Is everyone hanging out without me? (And other concerns) 

Go read it! 

But I'm going to ruin one of the chapters for you.  
(It's ok, it's a short one! But it is the best one.)

So the chapter calls on married people to "step it up" because she thinks marriage is great and would like to get married one day, but mostly from her married friends she hears that marriage is hard and requires counseling and is WORK. But in watching her parents, she sees that they're not head over heels in love constantly but that they're happy and have a good friendship and companionship.  A lot of times today, people get married cause they're sooooo in love and sooooo excited and want a big fancy party, but they're not necessarily good friends with their intended.  About that, Mindy says, 

"In the Shakespearean comedies, the wedding is the end, and there isn't much indication of what happily ever after will look like day to day.  In real life, shouldn't a wedding be an awesome party you throw with your great pal, in the presence of a bunch of your other friends?  A great day, for sure, but not the  beginning and certainly not the end of your friendship with a person you can't wait to talk about gardening with for the next forty years."

You tell it, Mindy!

But what I really love is what she says about marriage being WORK.  

"Maybe the point is that any marriage is work, but you may as well pick work that you like. Writing this book is work, but it's fun work, and I picked it and I enjoy doing it with you, Reader.  It's my job, and it's a job I like.  Tim, on the other hand, had chosen a very tough and bad-sounding job, like being the guy who scrapes barnacles off the pylons of an oil rig in the frigid Arctic Sea."

I LOVE that.  She totally said exactly what I've felt about being married! Because marriage IS hard work--there's different stresses, and learning to work and live with each other, and all sorts of other difficult things--but I love Jesse and he's my best pal so it's hard work that I like! (And thankfully much more pleasant than scraping barnacles off of pylons in frigid water ;D)

Thanks for saying what I wanted to say but couldn't quite put in words, Mindy! And hey, the rest of you, go read her book!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

In which we play the smile game

We are slowly but surely teaching Nikolai to smile! There's a time of the day when he's full, has a clean bum and isn't sleepy yet when he gets real calm and observant, and if you put your face a few inches from his and smile at him for a long, long time, he'll try to smile back! 

Here's his papa playing with him:

He is our favorite. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's February, baby

Being a new mom is busy! Well, busy as in the I feed Nikolai, he's awake for awhile, we fall asleep...and then do that all day long.  But this week I am also writing my very last college paper ever so this week I have to nix a nap or two and have Nikolai's grandma play with him when he's awake so I can research and write.  

So with that brief update, here are some photos:

Father and Son discover each other

In which Nikolai is grumpy, then happy, then tries to eat his hand, falls over, and becomes grumpy again.

Smiling in his sleep!

(he has smiled a few times when he's awake, but only very briefly.  By far, most of his smiles occur when he's sleeping!)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

In other news

The family pet is a bit jealous of our newest member.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tiny baby, tiny party

Jesse's birthday was Saturday! He's a quarter of a century old! 
If we didn't have a 2 week old baby, I'd have gotten a little more intricate with the party it were, that wasn't really possible.  
(Luckily I married the man who feels really awkward about parties for him and so he didn't mind ;D)

So I made a birthday banner

and celebrated his accomplishment

and made a strawberry yogurt cake with lemon glaze.
(Thanks, Pinterest!)

And we watched one of the short animated films from the DVD of Russian films I got him.

Quiet party, happy husband. 

Friday, February 3, 2012


Being a new mom is HARD.  Nikolai is an excellent baby (pretty much only cries when he's hungry/messy) but there's something about suddenly being responsible for another human being's life that is exhausting. Every time he cries, I know it's up to ME to fix it, and in the middle of the night when I just want to go back to sleep, that's a hard pill to swallow.  

As I was doing my scripture study this week, I came across a verse that, because of my newfound life experiences, suddenly makes sense to me in a way it never could have before: 

But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 

-Isaiah 49: 14-15

I've felt a little forsaken this past week.  Sleep deprivation is hard on everyone, but that plus post-pregnancy hormones and all of the other stresses that come with having a new baby (expenses, etc) have compounded to make me feel pretty crummy.  

And then I read these verses, and realized--I hear EVERY tiny noise Nikolai makes at night.  He grunts or snores or coughs and I hear it, my mommy senses on alert so that I'll wake up when he needs to be fed or changed.  The Lord, our Father in Heaven, cannot forget us because we are his children, and I can't help but wonder if He too lies awake at night (metaphorically) listening to our little murmurs and sniffles, waiting for us to cry out to Him for help.  

Regardless of the correctness of this metaphor, I know God hears our prayers to Him, and that He comes when we cry out for Him.  He granted me a small miracle last night, when after a really teary, exhausted day, sweet Nikolai slept for two 4 hour stretches so I was actually able to get a good night's sleep.  I don't expect it to happen every day yet, but I know it happened last night because the Lord was listening to my cries and knew I needed some sleep. I'm grateful for that small miracle, for the blessing of having my little son in my life, and for all of the ways the Lord has blessed us this past year (and indeed, throughout my whole life!). I know that the Lord does not forget us, even when it feels like He might not be listening.  He's there, He loves us, and He does and will take care of us.