Three and One (working title: My Hormones are Trying to Trick Me)

The past two weeks have been a blur of joy and smiles and wrapping paper and frosting and sprinkles.  On April 21st, Miles turned three, and on May 1st, Grant turned one.  It seems like I say this with every age/milestone we meet, but really, these are my favorite ages (right now).

Miles is at an age of discovery and wonder, and to see the world through the eyes of a three year old is a magical thing.  Grant is at an age where we no longer need bottles, multiple naps or baby food; officially veering on toddler.  He follows his big brother and bravely tries to do everything that Miles does, and it’s amazing to watch him grow.  We’re hitting a sweet spot in parenting, and it’s so awesome.

But do you know what happens when you enter a sweet spot?  When life is getting really easy?  Your hormones try to trick you.  Because someone you know is definitely pregnant, and someone else you know definitely has a newborn.  You see that tiny little baby, swaddled in a flannel receiving blanket, blissful face of milk induced sleep, and you think, “Let me just smell the baby.  Okay, let me just hold the baby.  Let me take a small, soft bite of the baby.”  And your hormones are all, “YOU NEED A SMALL SOFT BABY TO NIBBLE!  YOU NEED A BABY TO WEAR AND ROCK AND PUT TINY LITTLE SOCKS ON!  YOU NEED SOMEONE BESIDES THE CAT WEARING ONESIES AGAIN!”

And your hormones make you think yes, you’re right, we need another one!

But your brain, your sweet, logical brain, helps you get back on track.  Babies are so awesome.  Babies are wonderful, they are truly blessings, and there is no greater joy I have found than being called Mama.  BUT…when your family is complete, you know it’s complete.  And we feel complete.

We have reached a time when Grant is finally finally FINALLY sleeping for twelve straight hours at night, praise the angels of sleep.  I switched from Café Bustelo to just REGULAR COFFEE.  And I still feel like a human.  Miles can put away his own laundry, help water the plants, and put more sprinkles on the cupcakes than in his mouth.  The boys play together, and I can just sit and watch and drink wine.  The DVR is empty.  I am reading books.  MY NAILS ARE PAINTED.  Evan and I might even go out for an adult meal during dark hours alone.  Oh yes, this is the sweet spot.

But every night when I put Grant to bed, after we read and rock a bit, I recognize his toddlerness and I realize I will never rock a baby of my own to sleep again.  The bittersweet feeling of the end of infancy is upon me, and I’ll fondly remember those newborn days and my hormones say well, maybe…

I see a mama wearing her tiny baby, wrapped sweetly to her chest, and it seems like it was just yesterday that I was wearing a baby on my chest, snuggled up close to my heart.  And my hormones say well, we could always…

I pack up the baby clothes and know that this time, I’m giving them away, but my hormones say hold on a minute…

Then I make PB&J for the kids’ lunch and wonder if I should really give this to them, or just open face the sandwiches and directly apply the jelly to obscure places in the house that I will touch and step in but never actually find so that I carry about my day slightly sticky and obsessively searching for strawberry preserves, and I think, “yes, we are complete.”

And before you say anything, of course I know God has a plan, and sometimes we get together and our plans match and sometimes the unexpected happens.  So could God surprise us?  Sure, he created the entire universe in seven days, so surprising us wouldn’t be an impossibility.  But it would be one heck of a surprise.

And before you speculate anything, know that I am not pregnant but that I am under the influence of allergy medication and red wine, and this post was inspired by a damn Publix Mother’s Day commercial because if there’s anything that tricks your hormones, it’s a Publix commercial.  I can’t even have proper holiday salt and pepper shakers without crying.

DAMN YOU, PUBLIX.

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Can we please just pass them back around the table already?!

 

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Why Publix is AWESOME on Christmas Eve (by: Miles)

Now that my mom has finally recognized my stellar writing ability, I’ve been granted permission to write regular posts for her little blog. Not only will my fans appreciate this, but it could bring new readers for my mom. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. – Miles

On Christmas Eve, my mom and I went to Publix. This was an exciting trip. I love the grocery store, and so does my mom. How do I know she loves Publix, especially on Christmas Eve? Because we had lots of fun, and played tons of games. Here’s how:

Singing. Lots of you know that my mom loves music. As soon as we neared the Publix parking lot at 7:30am on Christmas Eve, she began singing one of her faves, “Welcome to the Jungle.” Have you heard her Axl Rose impression? It’s pretty spot-on. She sang with such tenacity, I knew she was super excited to be at Publix. SHANANANANANAKNEESKNEES!

My mom's spirit animal.

My mom’s spirit animal.

Circling. Mom is a nervous driver. Don’t tell her I said that; she’s constantly telling me that she’s a “cautious” driver. Her level of caution can be measured by the number of circles around the parking lot, as she waits for her special parking spot to become available. Do you know about the special parking spot? It’s four rows away from Publix. Not only is it four rows away, but it’s also the last spot in the row. Mom says the extra 4,783 feet we have to walk to get to Publix is “exercise.” She really parks there so she can avoid hitting cars, shopping carts, palm trees and pedestrians. We do not park anywhere else, so for her to wait 37 minutes on Christmas Eve for the special spot shows her enthusiasm to start grocery shopping.

Bumper Buggies. Wheeeee! Bumping into other buggies is so much fun! I know mom loves it because she’s always whispering the nicknames of other shoppers under her breath as we bump into their carts. Her favorite fellow buggy bumper contender is “HURRY UP AND PICK OUT A TOMATO ALREADY, SLOWPOKE MCGEE.” Mom always wins Bumper Buggies. Christmas Eve was like the Superbowl of Bumper Buggies. We won all the points.

Ninja Chops. This is mom’s second favorite game, and it’s the most fun at Publix. As soon as someone tries to poke my face, she ninja chops their arm. The more ninja chops, the more points. On Christmas Eve we won so many points that my mom is now a Ninja Warrior.

Games, in General. In addition to bumping buggies and chopping strangers, there are lots of other fun games that my mom and I love to play at Publix. My current fave is “Pick Up Throw Down.” Mom gives me five toys (after she spends 10 minutes wrangling the cart seat cover into the buggy). I am allowed to throw two toys per aisle, as far as I can, then mom picks them up. Extra points if I hit someone with my teething giraffe or football. Our second fave game is “GIVEMEALLTHETHINGS!” I get to grab as many things off the shelves as I can, and fill up the seat. Mom tries to make this game more difficult by parking on an angle, steering away from the spices, and avoiding all of the leafy produce…but I still manage to win. Finally, we like “SURPRISE!” You can’t win this game until you get to the check-out line, and find the surprise grocery item. Last week it was a yucca root. Mom was surprised. That means I WIN!

Musical Instruments. This is my mom’s favorite part of Publix. We go to the wine section, and she picks out four different sounding bottles (mom says we must get four bottles because then we get a 5% discount – no point in shopping if you don’t do it the right way, she says). She carefully lays them in the buggy, and they clink-clank-clink-clank all the way to the check-out. Those are her favorite musical instruments.

Don't worry, we recycle.

Don’t worry, we recycle.

Friends. Best of all, we have tons of friends at Publix. The lady who bakes our bread, the lady who slices our turkey, the lady who makes the Apron’s meal that my dad always eats while my mom stares at cans of tomatoes, and all of the ladies at the registers. My mom loves our Publix friends so much that she always lets them win at Ninja Chop. They keep telling me when I’m “old enough”, I can have a cookie with sprinkles every time we visit. Well, newsflash ladies: I am officially eight months old. BRING ON THE SUGAR.

Merry Christmas,

Miles