Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

Inspiration December 29, 2010

Filed under: Blogging,Favorites,Motherhood — dayna @ 4:37 am

My sweethearts...

Motherhood took me completely by surprise.  Becoming a mother was, without a doubt, the second most transformative experience in my life.  I never expected to be so madly in love.  To feel so alive, so challenged, so creative, so keenly aware of the beauty and pain of this existence.

Life suddenly became endlessly more complicated and simultaneously so simple.  So pure.  Priorities so true and clear. 

Laundry basket tickles

So the main inspiration for this blogging venture is right here… flowing from these two wiggling, giggling, squealing little girls. You’ll have to excuse me if this blog first and foremost attempts to document our lives together. It is going by way too fast and deserves to be recorded!  So chalk some of this up to the virtual scrap-booking category, because I sure can’t seem to get to the actual thing…

This gorgeous job of mothering is not without its glitches. One of them being the sort of surreal isolation that can creep in.  Especially after the arrival of my second daughter, I found that a mom can find herself missing some of those good old “heart to hearts” with a girlfriend. Ok, a girl can miss finishing a complete sentence, let alone a thought, sometimes. In the midst of all the doing, saying, teaching, one realizes she doesn’t know what is really going on with her mom friends, and they may not know what is really going on with her.  I am thankful for so many great “in the flesh”  friends to love, but I sure do enjoy reading what is going on with the cyber moms.

The blog world is a place for the complete conversation. While reading around out here, I found an amazing dialog, a sense of humor, and a fresh perspective on the significance, (and sometimes silly insignificance), of what we are doing.  I have found my faith strengthened & my hope renewed. Here mommies can formulate a thought, share their heart, and weave a tale that makes me laugh out loud, weep, or just nod in agreement.

While there are so many fabulous blogs I have peeked at, my two “go-to” blogs, (the girls I simply can’t get enough of), are Stephanie at Metropolitan Mama and Darcie at Such the Spot. You’ll have to excuse me if I’m not hooked on your blog just yet. Give me some time & please feel free to share a link…

Stephanie’s Metropolitan Mama is a resource for all things mom. She is a fantastic writer, an amazing mother, and a woman full of determination and daring. Oh yeah- did I mention that her family is changing the world? Check out their new adventure at Give Every Day as they travel the country in their RV living out l-o-v-e. In real life, Stephanie is just as savvy, pulled together, kind, and generous as you would expect.  To quote E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer” (emphasis mine).  Stephanie is both. 

Now over to Darcie at Such the Spot… this girl can WRITE.  As a lover of fiction, I’m here to tell you that Darcie can tell a tale like no other- even her true ones read like the very best fiction! If she wrote cereal boxes I would devour every word- oh, who am I kidding?  I read those anyway.  But if Darcie wrote them, they would be really gripping!  I recently had the privilege of meeting her in person, and she is a delight; just as warm, witty, & literate as you would expect from her “spot”.

As for Mommying Grace… right now- nothing more ambitious than chronicling our lives, gaining some perspective, processing my jumble of ideas, and connecting with you in your phase of life. Yikes! This may be a bit ambitious after all…

Thanks for reading.  Hang in there.

What are your favorite blogs and why do you read them?


A Library Legacy December 24, 2010

Filed under: Milestones — dayna @ 9:07 pm

A card of her own

My three-year old got her own library card today (12/22/10).  For someone with such a freakishly book-loving family, this is a big day.  The outing had been on our to-do list for a while, but today we went with our sights set on a DVD of the Nutcracker ballet.  Predictably, they were all checked out or reserved, but I still count the trip a success.  My daughter came away with her feet firmly on the path to literary adventure and her mother came away relieved of the heavy burden of a book hoarding penchant.  “Oh, what’s that you say? I don’t have to own every book I want to read? You’ll keep them for me? Nice!”  Not sure when I forgot that little tidbit, but it is just in time as our little house is currently being swallowed by bookshelves… 

Don’t get me wrong, we have been to our library since she was born, but mostly for storytimes as a little one.  I was criticizing myself aloud for not doing this sooner, when my husband brought up that this is actually the perfect time. Until they are out of the “chewing-on and tearing-up” phase (a.k.a. my one year old), it seems just plain icky to me. Besides, the big girl now has this well-developed hunger for new books and she knows how to care for them. It feels like a rite of passage.  Sweet.

So we walk in and as the earthy bookish smell waves over me, I am overcome by childhood memories of hour upon hour spent in public libraries as a young girl. I was especially blessed to have a few really good libraries close by and an amazing friend that was always up for sharing quiet company.  My current little book buddy’s hand in mine, we march up to the counter and announce with grins that we are here to get library cards.  The librarian obliges with her own obvious delight and, after coming up empty handed on the ballet front, we head to the children’s section.

I nudge her towards the seasonal display. She picks out a couple of holiday selections and then insists on “Shannon & The Tallest Leprechaun.” “Ok” I sigh, not wanting to spoil the magic of our first borrow. We do the express self-checkout, (cake!) and head out the door. When her Daddy pulls up, she skips to the van, card in hand, proudly singing out the momentous news.

It was a lovely trip and sure to become a regular haunt. I am so thankful for the change in perspective and sweet reminder of days long gone.

 Oh- and good old “Shannon’s Leprechaun” turned out to be the best book of the bunch. The kid has literary instincts, right? Yup, I think this is going to work out just fine… 

Who knew there was another "Good Dog, Carl"?

How do you use your public library? What age do you think is best to get one’s own library card? Are you a “booksniffer?” 🙂

Upside down December 1, 2010

Filed under: Motherhood,Pregnancy & birth — dayna @ 10:06 am

Behaving herself @ 19 weeks

About one year ago I experienced a miracle. At 38.5 weeks of pregnancy, my second daughter was still determinedly breech. I say determinedly because I had (with increasing desperation) been trying everything to get her to “head” for the exit.

My pregnancy had been a relatively easy one thus far, so when I headed into the final trimester and she was breech, I knew she still had plenty of time to turn. My obstetrician is a warm easygoing woman who, while not ordering excessive tests, can’t resist “sneaking a peek” with the ultrasound if she happens to see a patient in a room with the machine. At 32 weeks she sang out “Oh, she looks great!…Plenty of time and room to turn.” At 34 weeks “Hmmm… she’ll probably still turn,” at 36 weeks “She could still turn, but…let’s discuss your options.” The tone in the room was much more business- like. Ugh.

Her feet

My options included scheduling a c-section right then & there. Not really my style. Attempting a vaginal delivery of a “known breech”- an option at my academic medical center, but riskier for the babe and not really the standard of care. A risk level I wasn’t comfortable with. And then there was the intriguing option of external version. This involves medication to relax the uterus, greasing up your belly, and having a couple of docs “push-pull” your baby in an attempt to flip ’em. I was a relatively good candidate for this procedure (and I really didn’t want a section) so I researched it ad nauseam (totally typical for me;). After weighing the risks, my husband and I agreed to take more of a “wait & see” approach, although the window for “options” was getting smaller and smaller. My ob was completely supportive of our decision.

I say “wait & see” but- who are we kidding? This was only the beginning of my antics to get this girl to flip. Starting around week 35 I was googling, reading, questioning, and figuring that anything “non-invasive” couldn’t hurt. There were some reasonable attempts: visits to the chiropractor (see Webster technique), sleeping positions, & relaxation. Some silly attempts: frozen peas & flashlights anyone? And the last-ditch efforts: Yup, I was that 9 months pregnant chick you saw dangling upside down from the monkey bars contemplating whether or not to send her two-year old for help when she couldn’t “crunch” herself back up! “Lassie, where are you…”

Thanksgiving 2009

But this one day, November 25th, 2009 to be exact, my second daughter and I took part in an experience almost as profound and intimate as her birth. With my firstborn down for her nap, I desperately needed to be getting in the shower before heading out to a luxurious late pregnancy pedicure. I was suddenly overcome with the most intense sleepiness. I simply HAD to lie down on the couch. I did, telling myself it was only for a moment and of course, as the expectant mom, my hands naturally came to rest on my belly.

I carry my pregnancies rather compactly and was so familiar with this little one’s every bump. Sure enough, I palmed the roundness of her head- soundly nestled under my rib cage. “Hi sweetheart,” I breathed. As I had frequently over the past few weeks, I pressed my other hand under her bottom that was stubbornly trying to lodge itself in my pelvis. We rested like that for a moment as my breathing slowed. Then she seemed to sort of stretch and lift her rear almost imperceptibly. In my mellow trance-like state, I remember keeping my hand cupped against her head as it seemed to drift to my outer rib cage. Ever so slowly she maneuvered until she was noticeably sideways in my belly. Suddenly filled with quiet resolve, but not wanting to break the spell, I quietly kept my hands pressed in position, trying to ensure she didn’t go back the way she came. And then, pressure, as she seemed to slide into that more familiar position. I blinked, waking up from a dream. I was pressing my belly quickly now- trying to get a purchase on that little round skull I was used to. I simply couldn’t find that same roundness. And I could breathe:). I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I had imagined this turn before & been wrong. Could it be this time? As I rose to make my way to the shower there was no denying a different “weight.”

After my shower, I couldn’t restrain myself any longer and called my ob. She said with an audible smile “You’re probably right… Moms usually know. But let’s confirm it just to be sure.” She was going out-of-town unexpectedly, but told me to “sneak” into the maternal evaluation room the next morning and one of her favorite residents would look with a quick ultrasound.

Sure enough, the next morning the resident and a tentative med student experienced the full glory of my tears of joy & relief as they confirmed that my little girl had flipped!

I feel like that special day was when I truly first “met” my second daughter. True to form, she kept us guessing, but really pulled it off in such a sweet special way.

A few days later on Thanksgiving, her big sister was able to announce to our family, “She turned! Baby sister turned!” I am so thankful for that priceless memory.

Thanksgiving 2010- Head up! Most of the time;)

Do you have any “pregnancy miracle” memories? I would LOVE to hear about them.

P.S. She stayed put for another week and a half to the day. Stay tuned for a birth story or two if you dare…