The Oregon Tale » Our Adventure Journal

Masthead header

Al

Apparently I didn’t get the memo that our kid would get sick every other week after starting school. Ugh … It’s been two weeks since she first spiked the fever from hell (that ended up being a double ear infection), and today, it happened again.

We knew she’d get sniffles and the occasional sickness, but this is just getting ridiculous. Don’t even get me started on the parent who admitted their kid had a fever the week Al did, but they didn’t keep the kid home.

Right now, none of that matters … I am tired after a day of caring for a sick babe, and this is all I have for now. We’re settling in for an evening of Netflix and Nutter Butters, which happen to be accidentally vegan. Yes, please.

#pleaseletthisbeashortfever

share on facebooktweet this postpin an image
  • Jessica Glynn - Sending you hugs! The first year of daycare is so hard. I kept a journal and looking back austin was the same… Fever, fever, fever, pink eye, fever, pink eye again, hand foot mouth, fever… Ugh. It was exhausting and so frustrating. But if it helps at all.. After that first year.. Austin hasn’t been sick. Like at all. It gets better, I promise!!! And I loved your Nutter Butter comment… That was like me when I discovered Oreos were dairy free!!! ;-)ReplyCancel

Newberg-17

As I watched Al prance around naked in her room tonight, I giggled when I noticed that she has J’s butt … and his hips. It got me thinking about what she got from us …

What she got from Jim:

  • Basically every physical feature, minus the penis and beard. This kid is a copy of him!
  • Her doubt of my (obviously awesome) vegan cooking. Sometimes this girl gives me questionable looks when I serve her dinner.
  • Her rhythm … It’s better than mine.
  • She loves to dance.
  • Her love of boring things … if it’s not my hobby, it’s boring. ;)
  • Her love of airplanes. Ew, no thanks.
  • She likes people. I don’t really like people.

What she got from me:

  • She very rarely laughs. Jim always scoffs at my lack of laughing during shows and movies. I swear I think it’s funny, I just don’t laugh out loud much. But, if I do, it’s the real deal.
  • My “what the hell do you want?” face.
  • She’s a messy eater. We’re in a competition to see who can ruin more shirts.
  • Her love of animals. This girl loses her shit when she sees an animal … in an awesome way.

What she got from both of us:

  • She loves being outside. We said we’d return her if she didn’t like the outdoors.
  • She’s loves giving hugs. It’s the best.
  • She’s joyful … Made with love, and exudes love.
  • Her weirdness. Sorry kid, you’re doomed.

Maybe I’ll keep building on this list for fun. This girl is a firecracker, and I think we’re to blame.

share on facebooktweet this postpin an image
  • Heather - Oh, I love this! I might have to copy this idea for a blog post. :) I find it so intriguing to think about what physical characteristics and personality traits my kids have from my husband and I.ReplyCancel

  • Alisha - Oooh, I love it! I’m going to do this for my 9-month-old. It’s so fascinating what our kids get from us, and what is all them!ReplyCancel

Week-12

Photographs like this mean one thing … that our child is not sleeping through the night. Meh. Since this photo, she’s been sleeping a bit better, but man, I just didn’t think we’d be going through sleep drama at 15 months. As much as we complain, I know I’ll miss her presence in my bed when she starts sleeping consistently on her own. This parenting thing is a funny, funny thing.

“A portrait of our daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015″ – A photo project …

See the other photos in this series.

share on facebooktweet this postpin an image

The-Gorge-28

Last week, I attended the baby shower of one of my closest friends (hi Emma!!) … Shortly after it started, I connected with one of the older women there, and we had the most beautiful conversation.

She expressed to me her regret of not having more children, the feelings of raising a small child (and how we can guide their development in a world full of stimulation), and we talked at length about how parenting/life has become this thing that can only be celebrated. We talked about the “highlight reel”.

The highlight reel existed long before social media (think: holiday newsletters or keeping up with the Joneses), but now with social media, we are put face to face with everyone’s highlights. I haven’t showered in two days, but there’s another mom with hair & makeup done, doing yoga (in her size 2 pants), with her perfectly behaved baby in a ring sling. I just want to take a shower.

This new friend and I agreed that this way of living is bullshit. She brought tears to my eyes when she told me that parenting was the hardest thing she’d ever done … She said it was so, so rewarding, but it was hard work, and society makes us feel like we can’t express that. It might mess up the highlight reel. Like I said, I felt hot tears forming in my eyes … it is hard. Hearing another mom say it out loud was so refreshing.

While I feel like I transitioned into motherhood really naturally and easily, it’s not been without tears, stress, and frustration. Last week, my toddler had a high fever for 5 days, she was diagnosed with a double ear infection, my house is really messy, and it’s one of those weeks when I can’t stop thinking about money and my work schedule. I’m constantly feeling guilt when it comes to being behind on work, and then using “mom” time to check emails and get close to catching up. I wanted this baby so, so badly, and sometimes I get so frustrated that she won’t nap/stop crying/eat/listen. When Jim texts me to say he’s on his way home, I think, “FINALLY!! I need some support!” … My shirt is usually covered in food/snot, I’ve said, “Alba, please don’t climb on that.” 8,000 times that day, and I am just so, so tired from parenting and fitting in work when I can.

My Instagram/Facebook isn’t showing that part of my life. It’s showing yummy meals, flowers, and a happy baby. Why are we so afraid to show the negative? Personally, I feel like a guilty asshole if I complain about parenting. When I see friends struggling to conceive, or waiting for their adoptions to come through, I feel completely selfish for ever complaining. I am so, so thankful for my family, so posting about our struggles with sleep or my deep emotional scar regarding my breastfeeding issues just feels wrong. I parent with a grateful heart, and I hope no one sees it as complaining as much as just expressing my feelings about what parenting is really like some days. Some days, bedtime comes too quickly, but other days, there isn’t enough wine in the world.

All I know is that my heart felt lighter after this conversation. This woman made my day. My feelings were validated. Hearing from a mom who raised her child in the 70’s/80’s (before all the tech) echo the same thoughts I’m trying to process? It was golden. I actually really, really love parenting. I love my baby … every single day is more fun and more full of joy than the last. It’s better than I could have dreamed. It’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And, in those moments when I’m feeling defeated, it’s nice to know that there’s another mom out there (or another woman who has been through it) feeling the same way: “I absolutely love this wild ride, but shit, that was a long day!!”.

I am going to have lunch with her in a few weeks, and I hope I can tell her about the gift she gave me.

share on facebooktweet this postpin an image
  • Ingunn - This is interesting – I was just telling my husband the other day that having a baby is much more fun than I expected*, and I think that’s because almost everyone I know seems to use facebook/their friends to vent about how miserable parenting is, to the point where they seem to actually resent their children. As much as I yearned to become pregnant, I came into this with really low expectations of parenthood. Maybe I should find more positive friends? Also, ask me again when my baby becomes mobile – I think toddlerhood is going to kick my arse.

    *but I start getting antsy around 5 tooReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - It’s so funny, because it’s soooo much more fun than I expected too. I laugh so much more than I used to … I find joy in tiny little things. But, in my circle, no one talks about sleep deprivation or how frustrating it is to have a child who has the capacity to sleep, but won’t. I came into with no expectations, haha … I seriously had no idea what to expect. It’s better than I thought, but it also takes a lot more mental energy than I could have prepared myself for. And yes, “mobile baby” is a lot more work than “lay on the floor baby”, but they are also soooo much more fun. I am so excited for your LO to get mobile … this summer is going to be so fun for you!ReplyCancel

      • Ingunn - Well I clearly shouldn’t have said anything, because apparently my baby read this post and decided to give me a run for my money by refusing to nap (six minutes do not a nap make, little lady!!) ever since and being very cranky about it. Wheee!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - This post made me want to cry. In a good way. It’s all so beautiful and also so damn hard. I keep so much of the hard stuff to myself these days because I don’t want to come across as ungrateful or whiney. Sleep stuff is the bane of my existence though. Anyway, you are nailing it. Good job, mama.ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - Big hugs to you!!! Sleep is the worst of the worst. I never thought it would be an issue after 1. It’s horrible. I hope you can find some peace in knowing that we’re right there with you!!ReplyCancel

      • Debbie - I wouldn’t wish this bad sleep on anyone! So hope Alba sleeps again for you. Must be so hard especially because she was such a great sleeper before!ReplyCancel

  • nonsequiturchica - I think that showing the bad days on social media would be difficult. As a parent it may not be the best idea to whip out the camera and take a picture of a meltdown when really you should be talking to your kid, trying to calm them down. Of course that is just one example.

    That being said, parenting is hard. You have to be “on” the entire time that your child is awake (especially once they start moving around) AND you have to teach them EVERYTHING. As you know it took us 3 years to have Izzy and sometimes I feel guilty that I look forward to her afternoon naps on the weekends, but it is really the only time that I get anything done these days.ReplyCancel