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Insanity

I think we’ve all seen insanity defined as doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.

Well, I’d define motherhood similarly. Being a mama means doing the same thing day in, day out, but actually getting a different result. In that way, being a mom is sort of an exercise in beating insanity.

From one day to the next, I swing from yeah, I got this! to sweet baby Jesus, somebody help me without a whole lot of difference in what is actually going on (except maybe how much sleep I got the night before!).

Despite having started this day by dropping an entire container of formula, which promptly exploded and rained beige fallout all over the kitchen counters and floors, today is an “I got this” day. I keep asking myself, why do I think this is so hard sometimes??? And, then tomorrow, I’ll be all, why in God’s name did I think I’d figured this out???

I can never seem to remember on one day what the hell I was thinking on the other. I need to wake each morning with a movie of my life like Adam Sandler does for Drew Barrymore in that cute movie just so I can have a well-rounded picture of the situation.

I… have no idea where I was going with all this, but my adorable baby alarm is going off. When upset, he sounds remarkably like a cross between a velociraptor and a mewling kitten.

Here I go… I got this. Clearly.

Mama Life: 7 Weeks

Over here in Mama Myers Land, we’ve started our second week with Daddy back at work.

It’s been a mixed bag.

Yesterday, I felt like I’d punched a wall… with my face.

Today? Feeling pretty good. Managed to string together about six hours of sleep last night and just went for a walk with my favorite doll baby. Life is swell.

Elliott turns seven weeks on Thursday (Want to see pics? Instagram), and I think I’m finally getting into a groove. Sort of.

Well, I’m cooking, reading, and watching TV, so there’s that.

Here are a few meals I’ve made lately that I thought were worth sharing (found via Pinterest!). You will definitely sense a theme (crockpot for the win!).

Plus, lists of books and tv shows I’ve consumed since Elliott rocked my world. Motherhood is a weird mix of mach 60 busy and mindnumbing boredom.

What I’m Cooking

What I’m Reading

  • The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo
  • Someday Soon by Debbie Macomber
  • Love After Dark, McCarthys of Gansett Island, Book 13 by Marie Force
  • The House You Pass on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson
  • California by Edan Lepucki
  • How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

What I’m Watching

  • Fear The Walking Dead
  • Zoo
  • The Strained: Season 2

Things I Won’t Forget: The Hospital

My little love came screaming into the world. Obscured by a powder blue curtain, his was a voice I’d never heard, but that I knew by heart.

“He’s here,” my husband whispered.

The wail that escaped my body took with it the fear that had held siege since the moment they wheeled me into this unexpected surgery.

Screaming, furious, and beautiful, he was here, and I was fine. Their words about risks fell away… The heightened dangers that this commonplace surgery had for me, ever the uncommon case were far away now that I knew: he was here.

And, I want to remember that. I want to remember the moment that I stepped down from my perch to allow someone’s life to matter so much more than my own.

I never want to forget how Elliott made me brave by simply being born.

—–

It wasn’t until our second long night that Elliott and I clicked into place.

He was born at 10:18pm on Thursday, and that first night was spent in the delirium of new personhood, for him, and new mamahood, for me. I was heavily sedated, unable to walk from the surgery, and sleep deprived from several days in the hospital spent trying to evict my stubborn boy from the womb.

On the first morning, I stared down at him, struggling to feel like his mama, hell, trying to feel anything more strongly than I felt my exhaustion and hunger; I hadn’t eaten for days. I went through the motions of healing myself and worked to memorize the curl of his lip (like mine), the shape of his face (like Daddy), and his adorable nose (like grandma).

When he looked at me, I couldn’t help but wonder if he felt overwhelmed by it all, too. Only hours ago, we were one, and here, we’d been torn apart and had to somehow figure out how we fit back together again.

Those first nights were filled with trying and failing, as I guided his tiny mouth to my breast over and over again.

Perhaps it was our shared frustration, our mutual exhaustion that finally bonded us, but as I sat there with tears streaming down my face, stroking his cheek, he looked up at me, and suddenly, my uncertainty fell away and I knew.

I was his mama, and he was my Elliott. Forever.

(Not) Love at First Sight

02.16.2007

I had been divorced 27 days when I met him.

Decked out in my favorite jeans and a striped black top that afforded a peek-a-boo look at my fuchsia bra beneath, I felt like hot stuff.

What can I say? I was 24-years-old, single for the first time in my adult life, and determined to spend the next year — at minimum — kissing random boys just because I could.

And, then I walked into my friend’s apartment, and every plan I had went to hell.

First, though, let me back up.

She’d called me an hour earlier to tell me that her friend Ryan wanted to join us for our night of planned debauchery. (She’d just broken up with some jerk, so clearly.)

“Look cute!” she said. She’d been hoping to set me up with this guy, and out of the blue, he’d called her. Fate, her voice seemed to suggest.

“I always look cute” was my quippy reply.

So armed with my usual cuteness and a complete lack of expectation, I walked into her living room, and my first thought went something like this:

OH, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, REALLY?????

I have no idea what other people would have seen when they looked at him that night, but I saw the very last thing I was looking for.

The poet in me wants to call this moment love at first sight, but that wouldn’t really be accurate. Having loved, I know that it is something altogether different.

Romantic love is by design. It is conceived… planned… forged by hand. It isn’t a natural wonder at all.

Love is the Egyptian pyramids. We work for love, and our ability to create it stands as a reminder that divinity flows through our veins.

This was like stumbling across the Grand Canyon. I had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was there waiting to be found, and once discovered, it redefined beauty for all of my life.

All those doors I’d kept open just in case slammed shut at the same time. Nothing would ever feel the same again.

Of course, at that moment, I didn’t know I’d crossed some invisible threshold. I didn’t think that my life had changed forever.

I was just really glad I’d worn that pink bra.

Accoutrements of Mamahood

Last night, I discovered what a horrible mama I am.

That’s how it felt at least.

I climbed into the driver’s seat of our Nissan by myself and made a trip a whopping three miles away. I was nervous being away from the boy for such an extended period of time, but also? I enjoyed the living hell out of it.

Where did I go on this momentous trip? Walmart.

Yes, super exciting.

Walmart has a lot of haters for many good reasons. That’s fine. I get it; I even agree with it.

But, back in Greene County, Indiana?

That’s all we had, and I still can’t walk into a Walmart — a rarity these days — without feeling a lump in my throat. It makes me think of my Gram. It reminds me of humid Sundays mostly spent playing in the yard and punctuated only by a trip to that big store one town over with its cool rush of air and aisles of toys.

So, tooling around Walmart last night felt not only like a temporary reprieve of the intense pressure that is brand new mamahood, but also like a moment of coming home. And, I savored it.

Yes, I spent most of my time there standing in the baby section comparing diapers and measuring the merits of binkies. And, over the course of an hour, I probably checked my phone oh, 243 times to make sure Ryan hadn’t called for me to come home.

The point is, I was alone. Cue the confetti.

My one and only exchange was when I stopped a young employee stocking the wedding/party section to ask where I might find a baby book.

This was her response:

A baby book? I have no idea… It’s hilarious they have so many accoutrements for babies these days.

I think I stood there blinking for a good 20 seconds weighing whether her response should make me feel very old or incredibly cutting edge, and also, did she really just use the word accoutrements???, before I finally managed to say, “Um, okay. Thanks.”

Ultimately, I left without one of those newfangled baby books, but I did manage to come home with at least five things not on my list, including a shareable bag of M&Ms (which I most certainly did NOT share).

On the way home, I cranked up Beyonce, ate my candy, and drove around my block three times just to stretch out the trip sans my sweet-cheeked boy.

Horrible, awful mama, I may be.

But, goodness, it felt good.