10 Things I Learned in April: The Parenting Edition

I can’t quite wrap my head around the reality that it’s been almost a month since our sweet Anders Knox joined the family.

IMG_0210

The past four weeks have been a blur of visitors, spit up, diapers, yoga pants, late night feedings, and sleep deprivation. It’s been the most challenging four weeks of my life, but it’s also been the most beautiful.

IMG_0222

Since April was entrenched in babyland, my monthly “10 things” isn’t going to be a very diverse list. I may not have showered today, but I’m seizing a quiet moment (Anders finally went down for a nap) to share 10 things I learned last month.

10 Things I Learned in April

1. Babies poop. A lot.
They warn you. The books tell you. But nothing can prepare you for the awe-inspiring amount of poop a tiny human being can produce. It’s baffling how much of my day is spent dealing with, assessing, smelling for, washing off, evaluating, logging, and transporting poop. Dairy Man and I are both black belt changers at this point.

IMG_5342

2. I can eat any meal in under 60 seconds.
Anders’ crankiest time of the day is typically between 5 and 10 p.m. That means DM and I stagger our dinners: one person consoles the baby while the other scarfs down their food. During the day I also have to eat breakfast and lunch with a baby in my arms or frantically while he’s napping. At this point I think I could win some sort of speed-eating competition.

3. I can do a lot of things with one hand.
Anders isn’t the best napper and DM is busy at work every day, so I spend a lot of time alone in the house with a baby in my arms. Thankfully I’ve gotten quite proficient at doing things with one hand. The list includes eating a bowl of cereal (though I did spill milk all over the table), loading the dishwasher, doing laundry, typing emails, and mopping baby vomit from the floor. If only onehandedness was a marketable job skill.

4. The human body can survive on minuscule amounts of sleep.
Anders needs to eat every 2-3 hours. Since I’m breastfeeding, this means that I never get more than three hours of sleep at a time. The fact that I’m still standing, speaking, and functioning is nothing short of a miracle.

5. Seeing my husband as a father is the most beautiful thing in the world. 
My heart wasn’t prepared for the gut-bursting joy I would feel in seeing DM as a father. He’s patient, gentle, and enamored with our little blue-eyed bundle of joy. My soul melts into my shoes when I see them together. I can’t wait to watch them grow closer and learn from each other.

IMG_0199
IMG_0231

6. Sometimes just taking a shower is an inconceivable accomplishment.
I feel like I’m really kicking life’s butt if I manage to take a shower every day. I never thought something so small would puff me up with such a sense of pride. If I’m really feeling crazy, I might even wear makeup.

7. Flexibility is the new norm.
I’ve grown in flexibility ever since marrying a dairy farmer. My plans and schedules often fall victim to a broken tractor or escaped bovine. But I can already tell that parenthood is going to require an unprecedented amount of flexibility. My schedule, my sleep, my favorite shirts, my furniture, my chores, my sanity, and my relationships are already outside of my control. This leaves me with two choices: become completely unhinged or let it all go. Since I don’t want to take a trip to crazytown, I need to learn to let go. I need to be ok with being late. I need to ask for help. I need to accept failure. I need to put everything I do into the hands of my Creator.

8. I have the best family and friends in the world.
There’s nothing like having a baby to make you feel loved. I’m ridiculously grateful for the people who have held Anders while I napped, changed diapers, cleaned our house, given advice, brought dinners, walked Jersey, sent encouraging messages, delivered chocolate milkshakes, and tolerated a steady stream of adorable baby photos on Facebook. DM and I couldn’t have made it through April without this support. We are so blessed by our tribe. I’m also so grateful for the love I’ve received from YOU, our online community. Your sweet messages and comments are so appreciated!

9. Parenting is the most frustrating, fulfilling, exhausting, amazing thing I’ve ever done.
Dairy Man and I wake up each morning as different parents to a different child. We learn more about this strange creature every day and he learns about us. We have good days and bad days. We’ve had triumphant parenting moments and moments that make us want to curl into a ball and weep uncontrollably. Like most new parents, we’ve done a lot of things wrong. But we’re learning. We’re trying to be patient with ourselves and each other. We rejoice in our small victories and live to parent another day. This life is beautiful and we are so in love with this child.

IMG_0121

IMG_0034

10. Babies don’t really appreciate new machinery.
Despite DM’s best efforts, our youngest farmhand isn’t quite ready to report for duty. But we have complete confidence that he will one day appreciate the excitement of a brand new loader.

IMG_0186

Advertisements

He’s Here!

Dairy Man and I are thrilled to introduce you to the newest member of our family! (And the reason for my radio silence over here in blogland. Who knew infants were so much work?)

IMG_5307

On Saturday, April 5 at 3:11 p.m., Anders Knox was born weighing in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 19 inches long. I might be biased, but he’s adorable. I can’t get enough of his adorably chubby cheeks and bright blue eyes. No odd-looking newborn Benjamin Button here. We’re in love.

IMG_5382

It’s been the most exhausting, amazing, frustrating, humbling, and exhilarating two weeks of my life. Labor and delivery was difficult, but we feel so blessed to have a healthy baby boy.

IMG_5303

I’m floored how much I love this tiny little human already.

IMG_0062

Thank you all for the love, prayers, kind words, well-wishes, and tolerance of a flood of baby pictures on my Facebook page. It’s been so much fun to share my pregnancy journey and I can’t wait to see how Anders changes our lives.

Jersey is settling comfortably into his role as big brother. He occasionally sniffs Anders to make sure things are still ok and seems happily ambivalent the rest of the time. I’m sure they will be best friends. And I’m half tempted to dress them alike like this awesome dog/baby duo.

IMG_5372

Thanks to my new sleep schedule (or lack thereof), I think things may slow down for a little bit here on the blog, but check out Facebook and Instagram for current updates.

And never fear, I will be back with dairy updates soon. As if our lives aren’t crazy enough right now, this is happening on the dairy.

IMG_5389

Yep. We’re beginning another barn expansion just like last year. Never a dull moment around here. More details to come.

For now, I leave you with one of the many faces of Mister Anders. He’s keeping us on our toes!

IMG_0032