Pancakes & Transcription

This past week has been a long week. I had breakfast four nights in a row.

Yes, four.

I wish I could say breakfast consisted of egg whites, fresh fruit, and flax seed. But I would be lying. Nope, I whipped myself up a big old batch of pancakes (half the salt, double the sugar, and triple the vanilla because one can never add too much vanilla) and carbed out. For the record, I don't bother putting syrup on my pancakes (which, by the way, have the same exact ingredients as my mom's cream puffs). Nope, not syrup. Pure, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth brown sugar. Landon stared at me in silence and chewed on a Gund bean bag pumpkin. I think he figured he'd better let Mommy eat her pancakes so he wasn't dealing with a madwoman.

Enough about breakfast. Ever had one of those days that feels like it will never end? It usually starts with a mascara disaster and ends with tripping over the mascara tube that fell on the floor that morning. Well, that was my week. I will not go into excessive detail, but it's 10:30 and my husband's still not home... so, you never know.

Randy's been in what they call Range Week this week, which basically means they're training to be qualified to shoot... guns. I'm not really going to elaborate because, frankly, I'm not sure how. But what I do know that means is early mornings and super late nights. I think I saw him about 5 hours total this week. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. I'm glad they're training the men protecting our country how to shoot. I just miss my husband.

In other news, I started a job from home. Transcription. Long story, but I don't have to actually get a transcriptionist "degree" to do this job. I can sit in my pajamas [remove Landon from eating laptop cord], listen to the lawyers and their mumbo jumbo [check to see where Landon crawled to and remove him from playing in the toilet], type leisurely [remove Landon from laptop cord again], start typing frantically because the darn lawyers are talking too fast [take pencil out of Landon's mouth], and, 5 hours later, I will have a transcription typed [and a gnawed-on laptop cord]. Okay, it's not that bad. I'm just still learning a lot of the terminology. It's bad enough when Randy starts talking about politics. I lose him at the word... well.... "politics." But I'm thankful I have a way to make a little extra fun money and to keep myself occupied when Landon's napping and Randy's off shooting.

The aforementioned toilet discoverer also had a weight check followup with his new pediatrician this past week. Since he was sick for so long this summer, he didn't gain a lot of weight. So... the pediatrician told me to stuff him up with lots of pureed meats and oatmeal cereal and for goodness' sake, go back to nursing him every three hours! Doctors frustrate me sometimes. Don't get me wrong. I am not at all opposed to doctors or healthcare in general. I adored Landon's pediatrician in South Carolina. (The poor man. He tried to reassure me that yes, in fact, there were babies with tummy issues just as bad as my baby's, but I insisted that no, Landon, in fact, definitely did have it worse off than any other child out there and there had to be something he could do to fix it. Bless his heart, he tried.) Anyway, back to why doctors frustrate me. If the child is happy, content, and simply doesn't eat what a "typical" 8-month-old should eat, I am not going to stuff pureed chicken down his tummy. I will not go into further detail. That is all. Oh, and by the way, Landon had gained weight at his checkup. 3 ounces. And now he has hit a growth spurt and eats two jars of meat and veggies at dinner. We are visiting another pediatrician for his 9-month checkup. End of story.

It's Friday and I did not cook breakfast for dinner. I decided it was time to go a bit... healthier, shall we say. Meat, dairy, veggies... yes, yes. Pizza seems like the perfect way to eat the Food Pyramid.

And tomorrow I will go running. Good night.


This Privilege Called Motherhood

Randy asked me the other day if I ever regretted not being able to really start a career. Mini backdrop: I'd been thinking about starting nursing school in the fall of 2010. But that spring, we found out about our little surprise package coming in January. Scratch the nursing school idea. On to researching baby names. What Randy didn't know when he asked me that question is that I'd been thinking a lot about the answer already.

I'll be honest. Landon was not the easiest newborn. The first four months of his life he writhed and fussed and grimaced with constant tummy pain. I thought I was doomed to a life of simethicone drops and leg bicycling (you moms with gassy babies know what I'm talking about). Tears were the norm... which I guess I can also blame on hormones. I never thought that stage would pass, but it did. Now Landon is a crazy little guy who constantly needs to move, explore, and see everything that's going on. All at once. He's at a super fun age right now, and he thinks so too. He can actually get where he wants to get... Like the fireplace. And the stairs. And the outlets. So okay... He still needs constant attention. At times, I've been tempted to think, "Some days would be so much easier without him!" (Ok, admission: I have not only been tempted, I have actually thought those words - shocking, I know.)

But when I answered Randy, I'd already thought through all of this. And no, I did not answer him in a blog post. :) But I decided to write out my thoughts... that way I can go back and read them when I'm ready to tear my hair out!

The truth of it is, being a mom is the greatest privilege I could ever have. Yes, I have sleepless nights. I am still spit up on - constantly. Randy and I miss out on certain events because he goes to bed early. Trips can't be last-minute anymore. Grocery shopping takes double the time. But it is worth it all. Because we get to train up Landon in the ways of our great God. We get to live out the gospel on a daily basis. We get to talk to Landon about Jesus and all He has done and is still doing - for him. We get to love and disciple this little person God has so graciously gifted us with. In my book, that's pretty awesome.

My calling to be a mommy is not an obligation, a burden, or a hindrance to a career. It is a privilege that counts for eternity. And I would not trade one second of my time with Landon for extra sleep, cleaner clothes, or more frequent vacations.

Because I'm writing this does not mean I've got the hang of it. At all. I still have days when I'm fighting to shovel three more spoonfuls of food into Landon's mouth, and instead, it's traveling into his upturned nose and staining his eyelashes carrot orange. That's when I think to myself, "How in the world am I supposed to do this?" (Guess that's because I'm not supposed to be able to do it on my own... what a novel thought.)

I don't know if I'll ever go to nursing school -- maybe, maybe not. But this much I do know: Landon was not a "mistake." He is a precious gift given to me by a Friend who is all-powerful, all-gracious, and all-wise -- and He loves to give me good things.

And that's why I'm thankful for the blessing of being a mommy!


A Tiny Update

It's been a while since I've blogged, mainly because I've been insanely busy. The other reason is a sad one - I've had no internet access. I'm using my phone for this post, actually, so if any words are funky, blame it on auto-correct, not Mommy brain. Although I have a lot of that going on, too (for instance, I've forgotten to feed Landon his solids on multiple occasions since we've moved.).

I've managed to get a lot unpacked, mainly because my little guy has been taking good naps or playing happily with random objects like spatulas or laptop cords (which I deliver him from). The child doesn't like toys. We've had a few rough days, and those have been a bit crazier. But God continues to give grace! I got the kitchen and living room unpacked in two days, which I was pretty happy about.

We are living in a cool community called Montclair in the city of Dumfries (pronounced like Dum-freeze, not like a slow version of McDonald's shoestring fatness). I wouldn't call it a neighborhood because it's much bigger than one... it's almost like a mini town. We are renting a townhome, and we love it. When things are unpacked, I'll try to remember to post pictures. It's funny... although we aren't painting or decorating, our colors have ended up matching or coordinating the landlord's. I love how God works out those tiny details!

Randy had a four day weekend for Labor Day, which was fabulous. He started his next phase of training called The Basic School (TBS) on Tuesday. It lasts for six months and after that we'll be moving to Pensacola for his flight training. Of course, it's the military, so the timeline could change at any point! But we get to be together, and that's what's important. :)

Some things I've learned since being here in Northern Virginia:

- Traffic. Everywhere! I-95 is a nightmare, so I try to avoid it at all costs. But even when you're on other major roads, it's like Christmas frenzy. I will be online shopping this year. 

- It is impossible to walk into any store without encountering multitudes of Mexicans... and Indians... and Muslims. I feel like I'm going to break out in a different language at any given moment. I just might. Don't get me wrong... I'm not prejudiced... I've just never been anywhere in the States that felt so... foreign.

- Every road leads to a road that will take you home. Makes it hard to get lost.

- Life is extremely fast-paced. People simply don't take the time to get to know each other. Although we ended up in a really great neighborhood... sweet older ladies surround us!

- Living near two military bases means that most people around here have a deep respect for their country and its servicemen. I love that.

- Don't go to Walmart around these parts unless it's before 8am or it's an extreme emergency.

- There is a 7-11 on every corner, but don't count on it having gas - especially when you're four miles away from empty.

- There is so much to do here! Being 30 minutes from DC is pretty awesome. I plan on visiting everything we can while we're here.

All that being said... Being a family again has done my heart good. I love that I get to see Randy at the end of the day, and I especially love seeing Landon's face light up when he sees his daddy. God has stretched us and grown us in ways we never would have guessed and probably wouldn't have chosen, but it's a good thing. Our love has only grown and we have known God's sustaining hand of grace in the hard times. I'm thankful for that.

We are supposed to get internet in about a week, so hopefully I'll be able to post some more then. But there is a chance I might be in Walmart, talking in Spanish and unable to leave because the traffic is so bad.

(Regarding the picture... Landon found a mirror in the midst of unpacking. Clearly brought him great joy.)

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