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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tonights topic is....................

Top 10 things that have changed in my life since having a baby
10. My figure. By looking at me, this one is quite obvious. The pounds are not shedding the way I hoped. I've always been one of those people who scorns over the way society makes people view women. It's everywhere you look, magazines, TV, internet, billboards, video games, even cereal boxes! If you're a woman and not 5 ft. 10, 110 pounds and at least a C-cup, what's the point of showing yourself in public? I hate that society twists and turns womens minds to make them think they have to look this way. Drives them to the point of starving themselves. Yet, I'm guilty of often thinking I must live up to these standards to be accepted. Until I had Cailyn. Yes, I was hoping to deliver a 30 pound baby and walk out of the hospital in my size 4 jeans, but it didn't happen. And still hasn't happened! The only thing worth the extra baggage, it my little chubby bundle of joy. And maybe a margarita or two.
9. Finances. Another obvious. Babies cost a lot of money. This is a subject that stresses me out and makes me cry sometimes. In my own innocent "Ellen World" I have always believed that people should not have to pay for necessities. Like tampons. Why the hell are those things so expensive when you absolutely need them? Anyway, diapers, formula, baby food, clothes, toys, wipes...these things make your wal-mart bill sky-high everytime. There is no way around it, except to plan, prepare, save, and work a 2nd job.
8. Cleanliness. I believe the Smashing Pumpkins once sang that cleanliness is godliness. I guess I'm not very "Godly" since bringing Cailyn into the house. I do what I can, but with all of the new "furniture" our living room has accumluated, it's hard to ever feel like you're not living in clutter. I know that God doesn't care how clean our house is, and most importantly, neither does Cailyn.
7. Laundry. This goes nicely with number 8. As soon as we brought that wrinkled, red, tiny thing through our front door, the washer and dryer have constantly been running. The vibrations lull us to sleep at night and the buzzer wakes us in the mornings. It's not just because we've added another persons laundry. Yes, babies created mounds of dirty, foul laundry, but babies also have a malicious way of making their parents change clothes 3 times a day. No one ever prepares you for the colossal amount of unidentified substances that will come out of your child....and land directly on you.
6. Tolerance. Again, bouncing off the last, my tolerance to repulsive bodily fluids has skyrocketed. I use to get woozy at the sight of blood. After delivery that petty little fear was gone. Then I had to face the vomit and poop and the smell of a rotting umbellical cord. Yeah, enough said on this topic.
5. Punctuality. Those of you reading this who know me well are probably thinking, 'Ellen has never been punctual'. Since having Cailyn it has gotten worse! It doesn't matter how hard I try or how early I start, I can't get anywhere on time. I remember the first time we ventured out to church on Sunday morning. We arrived 10 minutes late and the service didn't even start until 10:45! My pitiful excuse was "we have a baby, it's ok we're late". That has been my excuse ever since and I think I'm the only one who is still accepting of the excuse.
4. Sleep. If you don't already know this, before Cailyn I was an expert napper. I could nap for 3 hours in the middle of the afternoon and still sleep all night. There is something magical about sleeping. As you sink down into your mattress and let your mind wander to the sky everything in the world seems "ok". Your worries and fears are shut out by the darkness of your closed eyes. As you drift off to dreamland there is no other place in the world you would rather be. Sleep is something that I miss the most. In a recent Parenting Magazine Poll, 53% of women would rather sleep than have sex. I'm not shocked. Besides your wee one, there is no greater joy in the world than a good nights rest.
3. Professional Work Ethic. The days of getting to work early and staying until 5:00 at night have gone astray. I report to my classroom at 7:45 am and leave at 3:30 pm. I put my hours in, I do my job while I'm there, and then leave to do the most important job that I have. Motherhood. I still care about my students and strive to teach the to the best of my ability, I just don't try to please everyone else as much. Let them be katty and think what they want when I decline being part of the math committee or an after school program. When it comes to my personal work ethic of being a mom, I have the most powerful work ethic I've ever had and have received the most rewards for my efforts that I have ever received.
2. Interests. 2 years ago I would have given anyone the crazy eye if they had told me that someday I would be interested in decoding cries, teaching sign language, and reading about the consistency of poop. Now here I am, devoting my "down time" to reading mountains of baby magazines front to back. I still possess a passion for music, a desire to play the piano, and an appreciation for the outdoors, but these affections come second to the affection I feel during time spent with my daughter.
1. Love. I have loved and been loved in my lifetime. I never thought I could love anyone more than the love and admiration I felt for Eric on our wedding day. Then I saw Cailyn for the first time. Kicking and and waving on the ultrasound screen. As the happy tears saturated my dry pregnancy cheeks, I knew that what was to come was going to be the greatest love I have ever felt. And it was (and is) by far. If you ever want to truly find out what the meaning of unconditional love is, have a child. Everytime Cailyn smiles at me, my heart melts. Everytime she cuddles up to me, I feel as though I'm dreaming. Cailyn fills me up in a way I never thought was possible and as I encourage her to take new adventures everyday, I smile to myself and thank God for the gift he has given me.
Someone once quoted, "Making the decision to have a baby is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside of your body." Cailyn holds my heart in her hands and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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