Looking Back on Winter 2019

Till pale and faint
At shut of day,
Stoops from the West
One wintry ray.
— from the poem Snow by Walter de la Mare

So here I am at the end of the Winter season. School cancelled for Oliver tomorrow not because it snowed but because it’s cold outside. That’s Oklahoma for you.

Anyways, like usual I will join Emily P Freeman in looking back before moving ahead and in sharing things I have learned.

6 Things I Learned This Winter

the NICU is a lonely and longing type of place.

Ivan was born December 2nd and stayed in the NICU until December 10th.

transition + labor

This winter brought a big transition for our family; we went from a family of 3 to to a family of 4.

And that’s just the obvious change, but put it feels like there is more too I’ve just yet to quite put my finger on it or put it into words. It’s hard to process and put anything into cohesive words and thoughts when I’m so sleep deprived!

Transition though; the word winged its way to me right after we moved homes and within weeks of Ivan’s birth. It was popping up all over, and it seemed an even more appropriate term for the season when I learned “transition” is the name of the final and most intense stage of labor! ugh! and so yes, thankful seasons are just that; passing and not permanent.

how to say no to good things to make room for the possibility of better things

I might write a blog post more about this. Basically, I came to the decision to say no to two good things; taking custom painting orders and a possible job opportunity in which I would have helped promote a certain product I love and had the opportunity to work with a wonderful person I admire. But instead I decided to focus on my mental health, exercising, and writing too. Hoping to steer clear of postpartum depression this time around; so less is more for my current life schedule and responsibilities. Offering myself gentleness during this transition stage.

I learned more about the life of CS Lewis and Joy Davidson in the book Becoming Mrs. Lewis

I connected and related to parts of this books and thought it was beautifully written too.

“What has helped you get through this year?” she asked. “If there are so many ills?”

I folded my legs beneath me and set the empty glass sideways on the grass. “My sons. Writing. Drawing close to God, or what I know of him, as best I can.””
— Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Oklahoma is home to the largest tallgrass prairie preserve + tallgrass is one word! I wasn’t sure at first.

You can read about my visit to the prairies in this blog post; unfolding adventures

Necks and our Natural Tendencies

Ivan started developing a flat spot on the right side of the back of his head. I learned from the physical therapist that he has Infant Torticollis, and for Ivan it developed from the way he was positioned in my womb. Anyways, he has this natural tendency because of tight muscles to always look one direction. We bought this little “tortle” hat and a pillow for him. And I have a set of stretches I am to do with him each day to help with his tight neck muscles. I wish I had known about the little pillow and tortle hat earlier as to prevent his flat spot from being more pronounced. Thankful that with time it should improve, and if not there are always these special helmets for babies to wear that will correct the spot.

This winter I also tried swimming for exercise with my husband, and I found it amusing that while swimming it was way more difficult and unnatural to lift my head to the left side for air than to the right side. I’m sure there could be some lesson or analogy to take away from this…