Friday, June 20, 2008

It was a dreadful noise.

Before I had no idea how early self-will becomes evident in a child. About a week ago my mother warned that it would be soon when I will notice this "I want, I, me, me!" struggle in Oliver. And a couple days later he started letting out this scream that wasn't the normal I'm-just-making-noise scream. It's usually when he's bored or I'm not focusing my entire attention on him. One of the first instances he was forced to sit in his high chair while Shane and I ate dinner. It was a dreadful noise. And we both recognized it and almost simultaneously got onto him with "Oliver, NO, don't do that." He stuck out that bottom lip which makes my heart sink and want to pick him up (what IS it about that bottom lip??), but I resisted and let him sit and hopefully he realized why we didn't like that reaction. There's not much point explaining with words he doesn't understand why screaming at us with impatience is wrong. So I hope the tone of voice we use is enough of an explanation for now. Logic and reasoning come later.

MAN, how do I know though? Do I really need to go to the "experts" on things like this? I've already tried that on a lot of things and end up doing it a different way than advised almost every time. Every child is so different. And how I want to raise my kids may be by a different moral standard than a lot of the world. With questions like these I usually go to other mothers I trust. My mom, Shane's mom, older women at church. How thankful I am for them. They're usually hesitant on telling me a direct right answer, though. Which tells me that I'm probably going to have to figure most things out on my my instincts and pray for wisdom and grace.

On a completely different note: I laid out on a blanket in the sun yesterday with Oliver for about 30 minutes just enjoying the gorgeous weather and playing with some favorite toys. Of course I lathered baby sunscreen on every little exposed area of skin and stuck a hat on his head. But he still got a slight sunburn! How thick do I need to put that stuff on?? Babies are soooo sensitive. But thankfully they heal so quickly. But mother-paranoia is getting worse.

And more photos! The first one is on our front porch. We spend a lot of time here when the days are warm and sunny. I just love how goofy he looks. It's such an Oliver look.

And the second one is when I made Shane take pictures because I got a new haircut and Oliver just makes me look less full of myself. Hah. But I ended up really liking this picture of us. He's wearing one of my favorite outfits too. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Meet Oliver.

A little over a year ago Oliver Jackson Morgan was conceived. Jackson is the middle name of his grandfather and late great grandfather. Oliver means "Olive Tree". So does Olive, my grandma's name, and Olivia, my older sister's name. In Scandinavian, which is a big part of his heritage on his father's side, his name means "kind; affectionate."

Oliver is my firstborn and he's only been out of my womb for almost 6 months. I'm sooo new at this.

I am more proud of him than any other accomplishment in life. And if there is one thing I have learned from being his mother thus far, it is that I am really important and totally insignificant at the same time. He has revealed more levels of my humanity than anything else. A talent most likely inherited from his father. :P Actually it's probably just the experience of marriage and parenthood together that make me feel so human. Isn't it weird that it takes something so natural and common in life to convince us we aren't invincible and immortal? This little big-eyed world wonder falls into my lap and suddenly my life is under a magnifying glass. Both my strengths and my flaws are bigger than the mountains I live in. It's no longer the big things that matter in life....EVERYTHING matters.

I'm mainly keeping this blog to regularly update friends and family on little Oliver, and also to talk and reflect on what I am learning as a new mother.

I've broken most of the book rules of new parenthood. I frequently nurse Oliver to sleep for naps and bedtime. I don't brush his gums twice a day. We don't have a set wake-up time (or a set schedule at all for that matter). I'm a breastfeeding mother who drinks coffee and occasionally a glass of wine. Shane takes showers with him, and when he does take baths we don't use a baby seat. And we let him sit and watch movies with us (covering his eyes for the scary scenes of course). So I guess one of the biggest things I've learned so far is that the books are just suggestions. Don't take them to heart and soak them a filter, not a sponge, as I frequently say in life. Because there's no way everyone is right about everything. And every home has its different needs and adjustments to changes such as parenthood.

Our home is particularly one that cannot be compared to "normal" homes. We live in the back woods of Idaho on a Christian horse ranch currently not in use. (In fact it may or may not be sold in the next few months, so who knows where we could be moving to next?) When I say back woods I seriously mean it. We're on 144 acres right on the edge of a huge National Forest. Shane and I are both stay-at-home parents since Shane's job is to take care of the ranch. Sometimes we wonder how this sort of home will affect him in the long run. How awesome is it that he has both mom and dad to teach him, care for him and play with him all day long!

The recent Oliver news:

He's rolling over from back to tummy all the time now. If put on his hands and knees he can balance for about 30 seconds to a minute. He's learning he has large lungs that can produce loud squeals and babbles. He knows when we're upset with him and sticks out his bottom lip. He's starting to recognize familiar faces, and resist strange faces. He's recently obsessed with his own hands and he rotates them and slowly wiggles them in front of his wide eyes. He absolutely adores his own image in the mirror. He's easy to make laugh and loves to play rough. He's content for longer periods of time when he's outdoors. Ever since he was a newborn he has loved to stare at the trees. He now likes to pet Festis, the barn cat and I think considers him a dear friend. He smiles and talks at the pretty ladies in movies. And finally, his favorite words are: "ehhhhhmbAH" "pbtpbtpbt" and "amamama."

Here are a couple recent shots of our Father's Day fishing trip. We lost 3 lures and caught zero fish but had a blast.