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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Llama Drama

I feel just like a child on Christmas morning.  I finally found it.   Right here in my very own hands hold what I have been desperately searching for.  Okay, so maybe it really wasn’t that hard to find.  Three stores merely constitutes as a vigorous hunt.  But I can’t help the ecstatic feeling surging through my soul.

You see Kasen & I have an inside joke.  (What?  You and your 4 ½ month old baby don’t?).  The day our joke came to be was quite the experience for me, the brand new mom. 

Once upon a time about 3 months ago….

My child had been fed, burped, and had a new dry diaper. 

I tried gripe water, bouncing him, and a warm blanket fresh out the dryer.

We went on a walk, I gave him a bath, and dressed him in comfy clean clothes.

I sang to him. I rocked him. I put him in his swing.

I offered him another bottle and a pacifier.

And to no avail, I still had a screaming baby.  A baby with a perfect temperature of 98.6 that had nothing poking or prodding him. A baby that wouldn’t be consoled and an exhausted mother that felt helpless. 

Here I was on day 5 of these 3-hour long cries.  “Why are you so mad at me?” I wondered.  Every fragment of my body ached.  I wanted to help my baby, I wanted him to be comforted, but nothing I did worked. 

Tears began streaming down my face.  Uncontrollable sobs wailed in unison with my child.

My crying wasn’t going to help the situation, but I couldn’t help but to feel like an inadequate mother.  So I did the very last thing I could think to do.  Swaddle him.  Babies liked to be swaddled.

But there my dear son was in his orange swaddler screaming at the top of his lungs while I rocked and sobbed along with him. Oh my poor apartment neighbors. 

I knew I couldn’t just sit there frustrated and crying.  I had to regain my composure.  Remembering an article I had previously read, I decided to place him in his crib to see if it would help.  I turned his monitor on and walked to the living room, wondering if he might feel more comfy out of my arms.  That’s what the article suggested at least.  A few deep breaths, a glass of water, and a prayer later I felt better.  I was a mom on a mission.  I had let three minutes pass before I went back to my baby who  didn't seem to like that method of consoling (mommy didn't either).  My baby was still crying.  

A crying son, laying in his crib, with an orange swaddler on.  I picked my precious boy up, gave him a dozen kisses, and laughed. 

Laughter doesn’t sound like it appropriately fits in this situation, but I couldn’t help to think that Kasen looked like he had an orange strait jacket on sitting in his crib. 

I had sent my son to jail.  Baby jail that is.

Holding my baby real close, I playfully asked him, “littlest llama why are you so mad at your mama?”  

Do you ever say things and wonder what just came out of your mouth?  I say silly things often, but this one just made me laugh.  Again. 

“Llama, Llama Mad at Mama,” is a children’s book that I had read about on a top children’s book list via a Google search earlier that week.   (I might possibly Google things a lot.  “Hi. My name is Keiley, and I’m a chronic Googler”). Guess it somehow stuck in the back of my mind. And NO I do not believe everything I read on the Internet.

Ever since that day, when my son gets fussy (particularly when we temporarily take his bottle away to burp him or when he is fighting sleep), I chant “llama, llama mad at mama”.  Or something to that extent. Though I had never read the book I LOVED the title.  It became our little phrase around the house.  So, after months of overusing it, I finally found the book.  And let me tell you, it is fantastic.  I get giddy when I read it.  I mean the word llama itself just cracks me up. 

Thankfully Kasen has grown out of his colic stage and this mama has learned how to calm her son down with a lot more ease.  Though, I must say the older Kasen gets the more dramatic he gets.  Oh the faces he makes.  They look like llama drama faces strait from the book, and they crack us up.  He is especially fond of the pouty lip.

Getting to be Kasen’s mother is an absolute joy.  I discover new things each and everyday and try to be the best mom I can for him.  When you have a child, you know your child better than any advice, article, or opinion.  You do things for your child based on their specific needs, as each child is unique.  Watching Kasen learn, grow, and discover the world around him is one of my very favorite things.  And when he looks at me and grins from ear to ear, my heart melts.  And when he cries, my heart breaks.  He is my son and I am his mother.  God has blessed me with Kasen, and I am still in such awe.  I know that some days will be harder than others, and I’ll never be perfect.  But what parent is?   Motherhood is a journey.  A never-ending learning experience.  I don’t have all the answers, but that doesn’t make me inadequate (though I might feel it a time or two or ten).  In those moments, I have the job of properly educating myself to make decisions that are best for my family.  And alongside with seeking wisdom, I also have discernment and motherly intuition to make those decisions.  Being a parent is a whole new world for me, a world that I love. Cheers!! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Anniversary Trip

Branson Bound

Dear Husband & I had a fantastic one day getaway in celebration of our very first wedding anniversary.  A last minute pick landed us to the destination of Branson.  We headed out early Saturday morning in Kyle’s favorite part of the trip (his parents Mercedes Benz).  After about a three hour drive, we arrived and started shopping at the Landing. 

Part of my gift to Kyle was letting him choose what we were going to eat all weekend (I'm usually quite picky).  So he decided on lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack.  I cracked my very first crab. Which is a bit of a big deal because I really dislike seafood.  Not because it tastes bad, but because it creeps me out.  Ick.  I think the only reason I agreed to split a crab with Kyle was because I wanted a bib.   

After lunch we shopped more, ate some not so great over-priced fudge, then stopped at our Bed & Breakfast to check in and drop our bags off.  This was my very first stay at a Bed & Breakfast, and I have to say... it was pretty neat.  The flat screen t.v. in our room was bigger than the one in our living room, and I especially loved all the “free” mini snacks.

Next, we decided to check out some more shops, and by the time we got done the traffic was out in the WORST kind of way.  We had planned on going back to the hotel to change for dinner, but an hour of stop and go swayed our decision to play at one of the many places we passed.  The ejection  seat was first on our list.  Followed by go-karts & mini golf.  By the time we got done it was close to eleven, so our dinner choices were slim.  Kyle's winning pick was Fudruckers.  I was really quite scared he would pick McDonalds.

Eleven 'O Clock is late for us folks and since traffic was STILL out, we headed back to the hotel.  As I settled in, I couldn’t help but to think we were in the perfect set up for a horror movie.  For starters we were in an old restored hotel that was dimly lit.  As beautiful as it was, it didn't lack creepiness.  The staff had gone home for the night, and soft creaks echoed in the halls.  I hadn't sighted any guests but could hear faint laughter in the distance.  I scared myself out of a good night of sleep.  A baby free night of sleep at that.  
Alas, morning finally came.  I really wanted to eat breakfast at a place called Grandma Ruth’s Cinnamon Rolls before we headed out.  So, we made our way twenty minutes in traffic (who would have guessed) just to find out that it was closed.  : (   Breakfast Fail.  By this point we were so antsy to get on the road back home, but traffic held us up for another hour and half before we could jump on the highway.  Let's just say Branson is not on our good side after that. 

Okay, so we didn’t do anything super extravagant or go anywhere that thrilling, but it was perfect in all it’s un-perfect ways.  The trip was memories made and MUCH needed alone time together.  I always seem to forget how refreshing it is for us to get away, even for a short amount of time.  I know that as a couple we need time together (just the two of us) free from distractions.  And lately, with all the busyness of life, we have sort of neglected that.  I have made it a goal to implement more date nights (even at home when Kasen is asleep).  I realize that we will be the example my son sees of marriage.  The only course on marriage he might get is at our home, and though there are many more components of a strong marriage, spending quality time together is really important.  The relationship Kyle and I build as husband and wife will be the foundation of our marriage and most importantly our family.  And you know what they say, "a couple that plays together, stays together."   

With all that said, I can't tell you how excited I was to get home to my baby.  My heart ached as we got closer to picking him up.   I am really not even sure if the car came to a complete stop before I raced inside my parents house to get him.   And as silly and overly emotional as it sounds, his sweet smiling face brought tears to my eyes.  I missed him so much.  Cheers!

Friday, August 2, 2013

365 Days. 12 Months. ONE Year.

ONE year down FOREVER to go 

You know that weird feeling of time?  The one that feels as if it has taken forever yet has gone by so quickly.  August 3rd, 2012 feels like it was yesterday and at the same moment seems like a distant memory.  Our wedding day marked the very beginning of our story as a family.  McKean party of THREE (thank you honeymoon). 

I love Kyle so much more now than I did a year ago as we stood with our toes planted in the warm sand committing our lives to one another.  Marriage is a choice I made.  On that beautiful August afternoon I vowed to love Kyle.  Love him in the best times, hard times, and in between times.  And to be honest, marriage is not always easy.  Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a choice that has to be made daily. We are supposed to love one another how Christ loves.  Not based on feelings or performance but with agape love.  A love that is irrevocable and unconditional.  If we want a strong marriage, we have to work on it.  You see, we are both selfish imperfect people that without Christ could never have the marriage we strive for.   A strong marriage must be a giving relationship, a relationship that gives and expects nothing in return.  As husband and wife we have to put the other first, even when we don’t feel like it.  And when you chose to act in love the feeling of love most certainly follows, because love is something we do, before it is something we feel. 

I am absolutely grateful that Kyle chooses to love me.  God bless him for dealing with pregnant me one month into marriage ; ).  But really, it is such a joy to feel secure in our marriage.  Deep down in our minds and hearts we both made an absolute commitment to our marriage.  For better or for worse.  Together we have had quite the first year of marriage.  And I am definitely looking forward to the years to come with Mr. McKean, and baby McKean.  Cheers !!

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