To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Breakfast. Dear Gracious.

This morning, Haley woke up with her usual morning chatter, Brent grabbed her and brought her in to bed with us. He asked, "Do you want pancakes?" to which I replied, "That sounds lovely!" and he disappeared. I fed Haley, pumped, and started to rouse and get ready for our day. I went in to the kitchen, found the eggs on the counter, and Brent nowhere to be found. I thought maybe he had forgotten. He eventually returned and started to make pancakes while I entertained Haley. He was looking for sugar, vanilla, and all sorts of things. I asked him, "Why are you looking for sugar and vanilla if you're making pancakes (from Bisquick)?"
"I'm making melt-in-your-mouth pancakes."
"Did you go research a recipe?"
"No, it's on the side of the box."
"We had just enough milk."

I was trying to decide if I should store milk in the fridge, or freeze it. I wanted some readily available for Haley, but I knew there was some in the fridge already. When I looked in the fridge, I couldn't find any breast milk at all.

"There's no breast milk in here?"
"What'd you do, dump it?"
"Nope." (grinning)
"What's so funny?"
"I think it's funny you can't find the breast milk."

I opened the fridge again thinking he had moved it, hidden it, or something else.

"Well, I don't see it."

Brent looked at the pancakes. And smiled. I cocked my head to the side, trying to figure out what was going on.

He smiled bigger.

"Well, we were out of milk!"

Now I haven't checked the side of the Bisquick box, but I can guaran-dang-tee you it does not call for breast milk for "melt in your mouth" pancakes. For the love of Pete! Being funny is one thing, but presenting me with the possibility of having to pump all day to have some readily available milk to feed Haley with at a moment's notice is not easily forgiven. Not when you despise pumping as much as I do.

So here arrived the day I never thought would come. The day my husband, not only consumed breast milk, but used it to cook.

I don't........I can't.........I just........I don't even know.

While Haley was still in the NICU and Brent and I were trying to keep our sense of humor and our sanity through the long days, I presented Brent with a dare. There were two ounces of breast milk left in a bottle and I told him I would give him $5 if he took it as a shot. He bartered, and told me he'd do it for $5 per ounce, so I'd have to cough up $10. That wasn't worth it to me. Brent finished by saying he would never do it anyway. He wasn't even interested in what it might taste like. The thought grossed him out. My conclusion: Good! I don't have to worry about my husband being one of "those" guys that does something stupid with breast milk.

Several years ago when my best friend's children were much younger, she told me her husband had made brownies with breast milk. Only because it was her husband - and if you knew him, it wouldn't surprise you either - did I think that a handful of men in our nation would do something so ridiculous. I have been grateful ever since, that my husband didn't reside among that handful. Until today....

The second or third time we gave Haley rice cereal, just a couple of weeks ago, Brent made the comment, "It tastes like rice cakes."

I said, "Brent, you realize you just tasted breast milk."

Apparently he's been hooked ever since. Or something.....?!?!?!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life Lesson in Humility

Last Sunday, Brent and I attended a child dedication of a little man who is a few months younger than Haley. His mom and I were 10 days apart in our original due date, but when Haley came two months premature, we kind of won that race.

I was having an "off" day. I wasn't content with anything, I didn't like doing something outside of my usual Sunday routine, and I just wasn't "feeling it." You know the days. We all have them now and again. Instead of laying my inhibitions or anxieties at the foot of the throne, I decided to just be a grumpy butt all morning. (Insert your total shock and surprise that I could be anything other than happy-all-the-time here.)

After the church service, we were invited over to their house for lunch (and cake). By this point I was already what Brent and I have dubbed "angry-hungry." You know, the kind of hungry where if you don't get something to eat NOW you're going to seriously harm someone. Or worse.

On the way to their house, Brent committed the sin of all sins. He crossed a double white line even though there was a clearly marked sign that read, "DO NOT CROSS DOUBLE WHITE LINE." I decided to point out his wrongdoing. Oh yes I did, I totally went there. Out loud.

He argued the sign was there to prevent an accident, and he knew he wasn't supposed to cross the line, but since there were no other cars around, he knew he was safe to make that move. I told him he was not allowed to teach Haley how to drive. He explained the "intent" of the law. I argued the sign was in black and white. You don't pick and choose what to obey or when to obey it. He again pointed out there were no other vehicles. I again pointed out black and white is LAW and he just broke the LAW. He said I was overreacting. I looked away because I almost started crying.

What you may be missing from that paragraph is this: Brent was calmly and coolly pleading his case. I was freaking ballistic. He was shocked (and probably a little afraid) at my reaction. I was ready to roundhouse kick him in the teeth. Twice.

We pulled up to the house and we were the first ones there. Even before the homeowners. They lived next door to a gas station and I told Brent I was going to go buy a snack. He replied, "I think you can wait." Through my laser-beam-of-death-glare, I explained to him that we would have to wait for them to show up, wait for them to get lunch ready, wait for them to finish visiting, and by that time I would be dead from starvation and I was not going to wait for that. "Val. You can wait." "BRENT! You are PISSING ME OFF." I lovingly slammed the car door before stomping over to the gas station and buying myself a small bag of Chex Mix.

By the way, that Chex Mix saved a lot of lives that day.

Upon my walk back to the car, I realized that my responses over the last 20 minutes were a bit....uncouth. Sure I can be dramatic now and again, but this was severe behavior. I knew it, and I knew I had to apologize.

I got back in to the car, as no one else had arrived yet. I turned to Brent after shoving a handful of Chex Mix into my mouth. "I've done the math.......and I'm pretty sure I'm PMSing."

Brent laughed. Heartily.

Later I told him I appreciated his reaction. What I was anticipating, and what would have made things worse, was him responding along the lines of "YA THINK?!" or "Uh-Duh!" He didn't respond that way, though. Instead, he laughed. And I appreciated it. He said, "Well, the humility of your comment really struck me." And it was apology accepted.

I learned a very valuable lesson that day: a lesson in humility. When you start to realize you just might be having an off day, or moment, or whatever - and you notice the reaction of others is completely contrary to your own.....check yourself. "Before you wreck yourself." Thinking before speaking goes a long way. And so does a little admission of having some PMS issues.

Later Brent commented, "I wonder how many other of our disagreements have had to do with your PMS."
"I did the math," I replied, "and that's the first time it's ever been an issue."
He laughed again.

He still is not allowed to teach Haley how to drive. God bless him.