Sunday, October 18, 2009

A first date

Trevor and I took our first date as parents today (I know, Karis is 11 weeks old. Another thing I always said I'd "never" be - the mom who has a hard time leaving her kids. So much for that). As it turns out, this date day produced some stories.

Last night landed me on the shorter end for sleep, and I admit to waking up feeling a bit anxious about leaving Karis with our neighbor lady. I confessed my thoughts to Trevor, and the one big worry I had for some reason is that she'd be tempted to feed Karis something or give her juice or water (since I'm not pumping for bottles yet). Well, after a lovely morning at church and youth group Trevor and I sat down to eat our pre-date lunch and I caught him putting a tiny spoonful of yogurt next to Karis's mouth. I hope I can blame my over-reaction on raging hormones and sleep depravation - I ended up saying something to the effect of "I cannot go on a date now". I mean, after just telling him that morning of my worries and then seeing that he was doing the thing I feared, well, it was a bit much for my frazzled self. We both said some apologies.

I finally agreed to still go on our date (grumpily). In true "us" fashion, our date plans were simple and involved trying to spend as little money as possible - using a Caribou gift card and making a return to JC Penny (which is really like making money, ha!). We get to JC Penny's after a pretty amicable drive to the mall. We find a customer service counter and the nice lady assesses our return, a little girl outfit (that we didn't get to use before the season change - a whole other topic being the complicated nature of correctly matching size of clothing to season!). Well, the nice lady says, "Obviously you haven't had the baby yet" (with just a hint of question in her voice inflection). To which I say, "Actually, our daughter is 11 weeks old". To which she says something to the effect of, "Um, oh, sorry, I wasn't sure, I mean you look small . . . open mouth, insert foot." Quite the day maker! Trevor and I walked away laughing (Trevor was thinking he was sure glad it wasn't his foot in his mouth). Apparently eating reeses peanut butter cups during 4am feedings isn't conducive to losing the last of the bulge. Whatever. They taste good, I feel good, and Karis is growing. However, isn't this another reason to take your baby everywhere? No questions asked, no foot sandwiches.

We continued on to The Children's Place store to spend a gift certificate on some cute tights for Karis (are you loving how our date revolved around our daughter? Typical, right?). We walked out remarking how surreal the experience was, just how much our lives have changed in so many beautiful ways.

The date continued at the in-mall Caribou. Trevor got this gift card at work, and then he re-gifted the card to me. I for some reason thought he said it was for $25, which of course had me SO excited about how many cups of coffee for which I could stretch it out. Well, I handed the card over to pay for our americanos and the guy had the nerve to tell me that I owed him money. What? There should be $20 left on that card! Nope, it was a $5 gift card. I laughed, and then I thought I should maybe just go home and go to bed.

Go home we did, feeling very proud of ourselves for not talking too much about dirty diapers or to do lists or budgets. We even took the long and slow way home to enjoy the foliage, and we even reminisced about some "former life" dates.

A gift was awaiting us when we came home, a memory that I'll always treasure. We left our home with one dear neighbor watching Karis and we came home to three dear neighbors watching Karis. It's like they all snuck over for a peek at her while we were gone - precious! A lovely way to end our "first" date.

Moving on to a baby report, some significant things happened:

1. Some of our very best friends welcomed their dear daughter to the world. I cannot stop looking at pictures of Vivian (thank God for Facebook), and during one of Karis's 4am feedings I was literally looking up plane ticket fares because I feel I cannot wait to hold that dear girl and share motherhood stories with my loved friend. Welcome to the world, Vivian, you've already brought much joy to so many who have been waiting for your arrival!

2. Karis went to her first baby shower (where she proceeded to spit up on the guest of honor's beautiful black dress - so sorry!)

3. Karis went to her first apple orchard (with our youth group). How stinking adorable is her little bear snowsuit?

4. Karis got her first cold. =( It breaks her mother's heart to hear even the tiniest sniffle! Poor girl. She did also share the cold with me, so this week was a bit sluggish.

5. Karis went to Chipotle for the first time, significant because since she was born we've called her our little burrito. Please notice that the burrito is almost as big as her (and probably weighs almost as much too)

6. This is kind of old news, but I forgot to mention that Jim and Pam got married. I almost cried at their wedding. Pathetic, I know.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Yes, I do still blog. At least, I think about blogging almost every day. And then I get pulled away and forget all about it until the next day and the pattern repeats itself. I figured the days as a mom would fly, but man do they fly. Karis is of course a joy and every day spent with her is such a gift. Every time I look at her in someone else's arms, I still think "Are you really our's?"

I feel like a few distinct things have come full circle in the last several weeks. First, Trevor told me back in week 2 or 3 of Karis's life that someone told him we'd look back on the first month and realize what a fog we were really in. I remember replying (with probably a hint of defensiveness in my tone) that I really didn't feel like I was in a fog. Well . . . as we enter the start of Karis's third month of life I can say that I didn't realize what a fog I was in. Ha!

One full circle was going to Bismarck for a wonderful visit with friends and family. We got to introduce Karis to more aunts and uncles and grandparents and friends, and every time I had a distinct flashback to all the moments we had in Bismarck over Christmas telling everyone that I was pregnant. And now our daughter is in our arms! Karis loved her first trip to Bismarck and all the time in grandparents' arms - so much so that she started smiling that weekend! There were as always memorable meals, LOTS of pictures taken, and laughs had. One of the hardest laughs I had that weekend was when my mom, Karis and I went to get my haircut. Grandma Nancy was holding Karis and talking to us and she said, "Andrea, I think she filled her pants." Well, Karis has about one such thing happen a day and you can usually really hear it, so I somewhat dismissed it. Not a couple minutes later my mom said, "Andrea, I think she leaked." Sure enough, yellow all over Karis and all over my mom's jeans. Oh my gosh, how can you just not laugh at poor helpless babies who don't know any better? Ah, Karis.

Another distinct full circle was this week when we went to Lucia's, one of our favorite little restaurant/coffee shop, with some dear friends for evening treats. I sat there enjoying my chammomile rosehip tea, sea salt caramel, and the pleasure of fine company . . . and all of a sudden realized I was supposed to go to Lucia's for lunch the day Karis was born. That morning I sent an e-mail to my friend and told her I wouldn't be at lunch because I was going to have a baby!

Yet another full circle has been something a little more personal and obscure, but here it is. When Trevor and I were engaged, I started reading the Anne of Green Gables (you know, only about 10 years behind of when little girls start reading them . . . but they were on the shelf and I felt somehow they'd be good for light fiction reading during my senior year of college). Anyways, the first three books in the series fit so perfectly into all that I experienced that year - Anne's adventures intertwined with her deep friendships and her falling in love with Gilbert Blythe offered so many parallels to how I was feeling about finishing school, leaving behind friends, and starting a "new" life with Trevor. I remember pulling out many quotes and sharing them with my best friend, and also weaving them into a story I wrote for Trevor during our engagement.

So after having Karis I was again in the mood for some light and fun reading, and what do I stumble on but the 4th - 6th books in the "Anne series" (not sure how I missed those the first time around?). I just finished the 6th this morning, and am again amazed at how the stories had parallels in my life for this season of motherhood. I read about Anne's blissful days with Gilbert in their house of dreams, then about the start of their family, and about her adventures as a mother (to six children - certainly that can't be a parallel, right?). In any case, it's been very special to read these books during such distinct times in my life. Books are such treasures.

And so I'll end for now with an Anne quote:

Anne's son, Jem, says, "Mummy, will you tell me a bedtime story that will send a cold chill down my spine? And sit beside me afterwards till I go to sleep?

Anne says, "What else are mothers for, darling?"

Indeed. It's so good to be a mom.

One of the first smiles

Karis in a gown and bonnet made by her great great great Grandmother on the DeKrey side (over 100 years old! The bonnet and gown, that is)
Napping buddies, so precious

A play date with baby Turner

This morning with dad