What have you learned?

Reading together

Reading Together, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

It’s 1:30 in the morning and here I sit with a laptop on my knees, a baby snorgling (really…she already has a cold) next to me and some bad reruns on TV to entertain my brain while I wait for the imp to completely crash.  Somehow, in the last two and half weeks, I have lost complete control over any “free time” that used to exist in my life.  Somehow?  OH YEAH!  Babies will do that to ya, huh?  Truthfully, the bigger hurdle for me has been the very painful and not-so-smooth recovery from my c-section.  It means I can’t pick up anything heavier than our now 7 pound little one… nor walk far… nor do the stairs in our house… etc.  THAT is killing me.  More than anything in the world, I miss carrying and playing with Zoe.  Now, since I’m relatively confined to a minimal movement lifestyle, I have begun to relish my mornings waking up with Zoe in bed with me and the baby in the bassinet nearby.  At least when we wake up together, I can cuddle her, tickle and play a bit more.  We sing songs together (now we are making up songs about the two sisters), count fingers and toes, and decide on breakfast.  (She typically wishes to opt OUT of breakfast for more toy-time with Buzz Lightyear and Grammy who is here to save the day while I recover.)  Thank goodness for slow waking mornings, no work (yet) and a happy souled child.

And since my writing time is limited (mostly by Zoe’s desire to help me type….not so helpful, actually), I have found that this time of night (or the last night feeding) has my brain working overtime.  I have found myself revisiting writing topics and thoughts that I had when teaching writing.  When time moved slowly enough that everyone stopped to just write for 15 minutes.  I miss that time.  I think writing helps me organize my world and learning.  While I don’t consider myself “a writer”, writing comes from the heart and soul of who i am and I have always found myself writing or doodling my world around me.  It helps me think about the lessons life has taught me and the ones I am still trying hard to learn.  In fact, I found this site:  Plinky.com that gives people writing prompts just to get started.  The one I found tonight was “Share what you’ve learned lately”.  Oh, I had to cover my chuckle a bit so as not to wake the household up.  What have I learned lately?  OH MY.  Here’s my list.  I hope you will share yours too.  Truly!  I want to know what you are learning lately too!

  1. When baby and toddler naps coincide, EVERYONE in the house is happy and napping.  And when they don’t, it makes for a long day.
  2. There is no way I will wake up for the first few hours of the early morning…which is perfect as there is NO way my love WON’T wake up then.  (And conversely, he can’t seem to wake in the early morning when I can.  I’m telling you…match-made-in-heaven!)
  3. My local CostCo (thank you, Mom, for the first outing NOT to a doctor’s office in almost THREE WEEKS!) carries frozen GREEN garbanzo beans!?!?!  Needless to say, I am now the proud owner of a monster-sized bag of these little babies.  My brain is whirling with ideas.  now.. if only my body will have the energy to pull the ideas together.  I know the Chicklet will munch on a few for lunch a la edamame (like she LOVES) but am not sure just what I will do with the rest. Have any ideas to share?
  4. If there is ONE diaper to change…. there will definitely be another at the *exact same time* as the first.  That’s just the way it is around here.
  5. There is no better cure for slow healing than your Mom.  No matter how old you are.  I almost snuck in to bed with her at 5:30 in the morning yesterday just for a cuddle.  😀
  6. I have no idea how I arrived at the girls’ pediatrician appointments on time as I have been unable to organize any other outing in any timely manner since.  (It must have been Divine Intervention.)
  7. You can read a story 8,000 times in a row.  You will still be asked to read it again and the giggles will still come – as will the screeches of delight and terror (the Chicklet is currently freaked out by gloves…long story about a high school kid stocking milk and thinking it would be funny to reach his gloved hand out over the milk jugs and growl “ROAR” at my barely two-year old daughter who was traumatized.)  Who knew that “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” could provide such a wide range of emotions repeatedly?  :)
  8. There is nothing sweeter than holding my Love’s hand as we cuddle the two little sisters together.  Nothing.
  9. There are so many more things I need to learn – and will learn – as this parenting adventure continues,  Part of me is completely exhausted at the mere thought of the adventures to come and the other parts of me tingle with curiosity and intrigue.  I want to cherish every second with my girls while they are young but I long to know them and see them when they are bigger.  i wonder what they will be like, what will make them laugh, what will drive them, where they will go/travel, what adventures we can share, etc. but I don’t want my wondering about their futures to speed up their present or make me miss the beauty of the moment with their little hands in mine.  OH LIFE is unfair.  Somedays I just want it all to continue for an eternity for us all.
  10. I am blessed to have BOTH of my parents able to meet and love my children.  Children I never thought I would be blessed enough to hold, love and have.  Children who I never thought would have the chance to know my Dad’s scratchy beard-kisses, warm hand caresses or silly songs that he sings.  Or maybe they would miss out on my Mom’s sweet touches, tender loving games, joyful support or their dreams and imaginations.  Maybe I just think that by watching my girls interact with my Mom and my Dad, I am able to relive the moments I hold dear in my heart of being little within my Mom and Dad’s loving protection.  I am a lucky girl.  That much is true.
  11. I have learned that I need to write.  That I love to write.  And that writing brings my peace.

What about you?  What have you learned this week or recently?

Back again when I get time to type with a recipe for a Fresh Peach Dutch Pancake and/or a low-fat apple-sweetened scrumptious potato salad.

Happy GF adventures and life learning!


  1. Motherhood is the best. I just posted that very fact today at my place. Come visit! I love this blog because we are trying to deal with the gluten free lifestyle that we all do better on.


  2. Stephanie says:

    I have learned over and over again how pleased I am when I get an email from ‘gluten free gobsmacked’
    Thank you for the happiness you provide to me!

  3. With 3m and 24m old daughters I totally agree with you about the naps. Best wishes during your recovery. I am happy to say that now that the little one is 3m old I am recovering a little bit of my free time. Enjoy this time, but know that you will get your life back eventually. :) Life may never be the same, but I expect it will get even better. I’m looking forward to more of your recipes when you have time to post.

    • Ah! There is HOPE for a future! Thank you, Tara. I’ve been wondering how long until I have a little time that is NOT found at the witching hours. :)

  4. great post :) I’ve got a newborn two – 3 weeks old. I’ve been writing about my experiences recovering from my c-section at my blog too. You are welcome to drop by and have a look: http://www.lavendilly.wordpress.com I have more posts coming in the next few weeks as I intend to draw my healing to a close with a special ceremony :)

  5. My big lesson of last summer, when my son was a newborn, was to let sleeping babies lie! He often fell asleep while nursing (and that was the ONLY time we could get him to fall asleep!), and they tell you to wake them up, that they should learn how to get themselves to sleep…and perhaps we’re paying the price now, as we try to teach him to get himself to sleep, but oh my goodness, those first few months, you just NEED the sleep- so we’d take it any way we could get it!

    This summer, I have been fascinated watching him learn so much- from toddling around to saying his first words to “reading” to experimenting with different things he finds around the house and figuring out what they can be used for! And of course this reminds me what a great career teaching is- I’m so lucky to have had the past few months to be home with him full-time!

    Good luck with the c-section recovery. I went through it and it’s no fun. How wonderful that your mom is there!

    Congratulations on your two beautiful daughters- your happiness is so apparent in your writing!

  6. A beautiful photo of you and your girls and great thoughts and sentiments, Kate. Having a 22-year old, sometimes I’d like to go back to various ages for just a few minutes. Yes, cherish the times, live in the minute, sleep as much as possible … do the best you can and love, love, love. If I remember correctly, it’s when the little ones weight about 12 lbs that they can actually sleep through the night. That makes such a huge difference for all! :-)

    I’ve learned that you can fret and fret, but usually things work out and the fretting doesn’t help.


  7. michelle says:

    I remember those days when I was up at 3am watching xena with my oldest because she was teething and couldn’t sleep. I have 3 girls and have been their and have the stains on
    t- shirts to prove it. Enjoy all those little moments you have with them because soon enough they start high school and learn to drive. Congratulations on everything! It has been a joy to follow this blog.

  8. Kate,
    A local bistro serves the green garbanzos (in pod) tossed in a wee bit of olive oil, roasted in their pizza oven and sprinkled with a bit of sea salt. They rock and I’m heading to Costco with fingers crossed! Thanks for the update and I know your life will settle down soon. Take care.

    • Ohhh… that sounds simple and delicious. I was thinking that roasting might be the way to go. I know that boiling is NOT based on the sparse recipe I can find. :)
      Thanks for the tips, Ms Jan!

  9. A few things I have learned that…

    …that sadness can come at you out of nowhere and knock you over.
    ….that watermelon really is the best thing on a very hot, dry summer day.
    …that laughing at the silly antics of my kitten is something I like to do everyday.
    …that I hate the clutter that makes house cleaning a bigger chore then it needs to be.
    …that having a loving family and true friends is something not everyone has and that I am grateful for every day.
    …that I need to do something creative (write, paint, garden) to be truly happy.

  10. Haha! The diaper thing is SO true except it happened with the twins and Adia. It was crazy. One twin, then the other, then Adia, every single time in those first few months. Just line them up and there you go. :) It happens less now (Adia’s potty trained), but it does still happen.

    And it is heaven when they all nap at the same time, which happens maybe once a month unless I’m driving. Then it’s just not fair.

    Mommies really do make everything better. So glad yours is there to help. My mom lives a few apartments down and she’s a total lifesaver. Seriously, I wouldn’t have survived the last year without her.

  11. I have learned that 3 year olds are so much harder to keep on task than 4 year olds… You’d think I’d have known this but, no, I did not fully realize how different they would be. I’ve been reminded how interesting interacting with children can be, how different each child is, and how much energy they can have.

  12. ~I’ve learned that even though my 5 and 3 year olds don’t nap anymore, I can still make them do “quiet time” while their baby sister is napping, so I can have a few precious moments to myself.
    ~I’ve learned (or re-learned, in this case), that crawling 10-month olds can go from 0-60 when you’re not watching, so you ALWAYS have to be watching.
    ~I’ve learned that being a stay-at-home mum is a misnomer, because the best way to keep my sanity is to keep us all out of the house as much as possible.
    ~I’ve learned that even though there are times I’d like to poke my eyes out with a rusty fork, I really do love these three little critters!

    Congrats on your little Rory and enjoy these days!

  13. Congrats on the arrival of Baby Rory! She is so adorable, I wanna squish her cheeks.

    I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but please watch your daughter’s cold. I know you are, all moms do, but my little one caught a “cold” at 2.5 weeks old that turned out to be RSV. We spent the night in the hospital because of that one and she now has Reactive Airway Disease from having RSV at such a young age.

    So watch for signs of respiratory distress: skin pulling in between or under her ribs, flared nostrils, lips turning blue. There is an RSV test that’s easy and quick. It takes a swab up the nose and about 30 minutes to get results. BTW, both my pediatrician and midwife thought she just had a cold.

    • Thanks for the info, Joanie. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. I have kept a close eye on the little imp and now we have learned that poor little Rory has reflux – thus the back-up in her nose. Now she has a veritable princess throne made out of sponge to support her sleeping at a 45* angle, etc. And…. physical therapy to boot! Yeap, life is getting busy and booked with doctor appointments around here! :)

      • Oh, no fun with the reflux. I hope all goes well with that. And where’s MY princess sponge throne? Maybe I can get my hubby to make one…

  14. Hi Kate -I’m one hand typing with a sleeping 8-week old on my shoulder :).

    Congrats on the new edition to your family! My baby is actually how I’ve gotten to know you – my naturopath recommended a dairy free gluten free diet to help solve infertility issues. I especially enjoyed your blog since I’m a teacher too!

    I’ve learned how much of a blessing my friends and family are. From offers to come and hold the baby to lunches brought over to visits with actual adult talk, I have learned how wonderful my “village people” are.

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