Allison at 1 Year

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My little girl is one.  It happened so fast….before we know it she’ll be a walking running, talking, sassy 3yr old.  As much I want to put into words all the thoughts and emotions I have about this…given the current status of her baby book there’s a good chance that won’t happen until she’s 2.  So for now…5 quick things that I don’t want to forget about Allison right now!

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ONE:  I’m calling her having her first official “word” and it is “uh-oh”.  She mostly says it when she drops her paci and or sippy cup.  It’s the cutest thing in the world.  I’m not even sure when or where she picked it up but she seems to understand what it means…as far as her beloved paci is concerned.  She also points and mutters “keeeee” when she sees one of our cats.  I’m not sure what she loves more…her paci or the cats.  Or her new pink cozy coup…

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Dad wins best birthday gift this year.

TWO:  She is now taking a hand full of steps by herself.  She can go from sitting on the floor to standing/crouching/bending over and taking a few steps all without holding onto something.  She has not been too into push toys which is completely different than her older brother.  That kid pushed ANYTHING and everything around the house for months before and after he learned how to walk…oh wait he still does.  Sometimes she doesn’t seem to care and will just crawl where she wants to go.  Other times she is determined as ever and will get this cute grin on her face as she tries to take some independent steps.  I just love this initial walking stage…when they are just toddling about and look like mini drunks.  Pre-hitting their head on everything and falling all over.

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THREE:  Girl loves the wagon.  If we’re outside and she catches the tiniest glimpse of that sucker in the garage all bets are off.  She could happily sit and get pulled around in that thing all day long.

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When we go for walks she will just sit back and put her arms out and hold onto each side like she’s just taking it all in….enjoying the ride.  I just roll my eyes and then die from cuteness.

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FOUR:  She finally has teeth!  Compared to her teething maniac brother who had a full set by 18mo…she is way behind.  Or just on normal teething time.  She has her two front bottom teeth and 3 1/2 top teeth (last I checked).  I also believe those suckers are the current reason for her sleep issues.

She still wakes up 1-3 times at night and fusses…most of the time she puts herself right back to sleep once she locates her paci.  However lately she has just been sitting up and crying until one of us goes down, retrieves her paci off the floor, and then lays her back down in the crib.  It’s usually quick and painless so I’m not too torn up about it…except when she does it multiple times from the hours of 4-6am.  She loves to wake up and party whine by 5:30 and it is THE WORST.  UGH.  Sleep is for the weak right?!  I’m just holding out hope that one day she will sleep through the night and both her and her brother will stay in bed till 6:30am.  Oh the dreams I dream…

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FIVE:  I’m staring to notice little “girly” things about her.  It is so crazy to watch how she is different from her brother.  My mom got her a little baby doll for her birthday and she was instantly taken by it.  She loves to point at the baby’s eyes and hold it in her arms.  It has to sit with her in the cozy coup at all times.

She also loves to try and put headbands in her hair.  I stopped putting them on her for a long time because she would just rip them out…but now she will reach for them and try to put them on.  Then when I do she will smile and touch it lightly with her fingers.  It’s so funny to me!

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Overall she is a pretty sweet little girl.  She puts up with her obnoxious older brother constantly taking toys from her (although she is starting to fight back) and will sometimes lay her little head on your shoulder if she feels like cuddling.

I know everyone says this…but it’s true….we are so lucky to have her in our lives.  She brings so much joy and happiness to our little familiy (except at 5am of course) and I feel lucky to be her Mom.  Until she hits puberty anyways.

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*linking up with these ladies!

 

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Friday Hodgepodge

Five hodgepodge-ish things this Friday…

ONE:   Today marks the beginning of the Avey Month-O-Birthdays…starting with my main man Lance turning 35 today!

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Next up is Allison (see more on that below), then Jack, and then me at the end of October.  It’s not like we planned it this way (exactly)…it’s just how nature intended.  Clearly God wants me to earn any sort of birthday fun I have by first stressing out over everyone else’s birthdays.  Think of how cool it will be when we can take joint bday trips…I mean that will happen right?  Without the kids also insisting on gifts?!  right…????  Or I’ll just take MYSELF on a trip after surviving birthday-maggedon…

TWO:    Allison turns ONE ON MONDAY.  WHAT?!  HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!  Not to sound all cliche but seriously this year went by really fast.  I still call her my “sweet baby” and I might be calling her my baby till she’s 35…who knows.  We had her one year pictures taken on Monday and Becca already gave me a little sneak peek (below) and I’m dying!  Allison was so much better than her brother that we actually got some pics of JUST HER!   I feel like she deserves her own post detailing all the ONE-year things…so maybe I’ll get around to that next week after my hormones calm the f down…

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THREE:  Speaking of hormones…I got my period this week for the first time since pre-Allison.  I felt like a 13yr old girl again scrambling around looking for tampons (who are we kidding I was scared of tampons till I was like 17)…only to remember DUH I was pregnant when we moved so obviously I didn’t have any.  As I was texting my friend about it (obviously) it reminded me how much I miss our girls nights where we would discuss such lovely things…basically like this video (LOVE these moms…they’re from Nebraska too so woot woot!)

“I get pre-pre-menstrual, then pre-menstrual, then I’m menstrual, then I’m post menstrual…then I get real horny for 2 days…whaaaattt”  <—– yep thats me.

 

FOUR:  Along with all the birthdays we’re having a lot of visitors this month starting with my little sister and her boyfriend this weekend.  While I love having visitors and extra helping hands…I also know that my kids wake up ass early (making staying up late extra painful) and Jack is always a little nuts unbearable on little sleep and more than normal attention.  So I really hope I make it through this month without any family members disowning me and/or the neighbors calling CPS on me.  Yay!

FIVE:  Now that Allison is basically one and I’m done with the breastfeeding biz…I feel like it’s time to get serious about working out again.  I’ve been running here and there…some weeks I do well and others not so well due to lack of sleep from a teething baby.  Thanks to KCMB I got to try both yoga and barre for the first time this past month.  I realize I’m super late to the yoga train but it’s true…I had never taken an actual yoga class up until this point.

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I really enjoyed both…barre is definitely more up my ally with the resistance/muscle training.  Unfortunately the studio is like a 30min drive for me so I can’t justify the cost/time it would be to do it consistently enough.  Brittany is also tempting me with her challenge groups through beachbody…which I’m also a huge fan of after doing Insanity and T25…so we’ll see 😉  This month is all about survival so it will probably be another month before I get too serious!

*BONUS*:  Um I just have to say that football season is starting out AWESOME this year…both the Huskers and Vikings are undefeated so far…what?!  Oh and the Utes!  I definitely didn’t see that coming…nor do I know how long it will last so better revel in it now while we can!

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Herringbone Cowl

Sometimes a knitting project turns into more than just another WIP.  Sometimes you start a project never knowing when or if you’ll finish it and how much life you’ll live in between…creating an emotional attachment you never saw coming. For me that project was the Herringbone Cowl.

Cast on the herringbone cowl finally…hopefully cowls are still cool in whatever year I finish it.

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Thanks to this Instagram post circa Feb 2013, I know exactly when this beast of a project began.  I remember it was right around the time the newborn fog (from Jack) began to lift…and I needed something to make me feel like ME again.  Something that I could concentrate on and lose myself in…to escape the mom life for just a moment and revel in my pre-mom self.

I vividly remember having an hour before I  needed to go to bed that night and literally taking up the ENTIRE HOUR to cast on….because every time my guess as to how much yarn I would need for the long tail cast-on was off…which meant starting over.  I think it took 3 times before I finally got all 220 of those stitches on the circular needle.

 

From then I would work on it whenever I felt the urge to knit.  Often it would go months untouched…but never forgotten.  If you scroll through my instagram feed you’ll notice it makes an appearance from time to time.  It came on trips with me just in case I got a minute (only to be left in the bag untouched more often than not). Sometimes I would get it out only to complete half a round before getting distracted by social media or intense text convos with friends.

The pattern is not a hard one once you get the hang of it…the same stitch over and over, alternating by round…it became addicting.  It was easy to pick up and knit a couple rounds and then put away for a couple months…which is why in the end I think I ended up finishing it.

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As so often happens in the fall and the start of football season…I got the urge to knit and so to the cowl I went.  I knit a round and then decided to measure to see how much further I had to go.  Except I didn’t have any further to go…I had completed the suggested thickness…it was done.  I had an overwhelming rush of pride hit me in that moment.

 

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To me it’s not just another knitting project checked off the list or just another cowl to warm my neck this winter…it’s so much more than that.  It’s a symbol of everything I’ve been through these past four years.  From the scary early days of motherhood to feeling more comfortable and owning my mom-hood (and adding a little girl to our clan)…from our little family of 3 budding in Salt Lake City to our beautiful family of 4 blossoming here in Kansas City.

Of course now I’m faced with an even bigger issue…what to put on the needles next.

 

6 Months with Allison

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I remember counting down till each monthly milestone with Jack, waiting for his personality to come out and his crankiness to subside.  I also remember when I swore off the newborn phase and fell in love with the 6month age.  Things really started to change around then for Jack…he was happier and sleeping better at night (after lots of sleep training) and for me as a Mom I slowly started to get into the groove of motherhood.

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Now that I’m a seasoned mother (Ha!) each milestone with Allison has been anticipated in a different way.  Since I somewhat know what to expect on the development front, my anticipation and excitement is more about how Allison’s personality will shine through and what skills she will master first.  The other notable difference this time around is how FAST the time seems to pass.  I feel like each monthly mark hits before I even get comfortable with her being the previous month’s age.  For once I find myself wishing for time to SLOW DOWN.  30yr old “New Mom Steph” would want to punch me.

Still, the 6month mark was one Lance and I both couldn’t wait to get to.  I think other parents share the same feeling.  It’s a sweet spot in the ever changing, ever challenging, first year of life.  Personalities come out, sleep stretches increase, first teeth, first solids, first laughs, sitting up and holding toys…and the holy grail of it all…they are still IMMOBILE!!  (Well unless you have a roller…neither of my kids seem to fancy rolling around outside of their crib)

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In a nutshell…Allison is just a happy baby.  Sure she has her phases but don’t we all?  She greets us everyday with smiles that melt our hearts.  The daycare ladies comment daily about how cute and sweet she is and how much they love having her there. (I’m sure they say that to all the Moms though right?!)

At 3 months Allison discovered her hands…and by 5 months she decided grabbing things was her jam.  Miss “Grabby Hands” we call her.  Nothing is safe from her grasp and she will do almost anything to reach whatever she has her eye on.  Which usually involves several nose dives into the floor.  But girl don’t care…she wants what she wants.  I can’t argue with that.

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Her sleep has had it’s up and downs.  While she tends to be a good sleeper for the most part, we had our stretches of playing “paci police” every hour throughout the night as well.  Some nights she cries a little before falling asleep…and other nights she falls asleep as I rock her a little longer than I should.  Some days she takes 30min cat naps, and some days she’ll rock a 3hr nap out of nowhere.  We haven’t done any strict sleep training…I think having been through it all has allowed me to chill the F out in the sleep department. But mostly I’m just grateful for any amount of sleep I can get.

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We are holding steady in the breastfeeding department.  Once again I’ll play the “2nd time around” card here…but with Jack I stressed about pumping and struggled to make as much as he wanted to eat.  With Allison I was much more prepared for the whole pumping during work thing and have been able to maintain her needs…it also helps that I work from home so I really have no restrictions on when/where I can pump.

However that doesn’t take away from the extreme commitment that pumping/breastfeeding requires…man.  So yes…I recently bought some formula that says it’s for the “breastfeeding Mom who chooses to introduce formula” or as I see it…FREEDOM!!!  We haven’t given it to her yet but hopefully she takes it.  I cut out one of my daily pump sessions which has been great for me…but my supply has taken a hit for sure.  I’d like to continue breastfeeding her up until her 1st birthday like I did with Jack…but I see no shame in giving her formula here and there if it allows me a few hours away from her and/or the pump.  My hormones have been going crazy lately as well thanks to the recent changes…but that’s for another blog post I suppose.

She now eats solids too.  Once again…not nearly the stress fest that I made it out to be with Jack.  I should probably get my act together and make her some homemade food but whatever…pouches from Target don’t seem to be killing her.  Thanks to daycare she actually eats it consistently too.

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So many feelings about this sweet little girl…I had no idea how much we needed her in our lives.  Having our first child turned our world upside down… and now adding Allison has flipped it right side up.  She “completes us” in the most corny Jerry Maguire way possible.  Jack loves her and is so sweet to her…and Allison adores her big brother like no other.  He can make her laugh like no one else.  There’s a strong relationship budding…I know it will get rocky and frustrating and hard…but right now it’s just perfect.

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So yep 6months…I think you win.  You’ll always be a favorite.

Now if only we could freeze time and stay here a little longer.

Friday Hodgepodge

Five hodgepodge things from me to you…here we go!

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My child has stellar fashion sense…clearly.

(1) Thought of the week:

I’ve decided 90% of parenting is just trying to convince my kids to do things I love while they fight back like evil little ninjas.

  1. Eat.  Seriously….just f’n eat your food.  No cookies and candy do not count and No you do not NEED a snack every single night before you can go to sleep.  I mean I would kill for your diet of mac-n-cheese and french fries…and your metabolism.  Suck it up now before you get old and every time you look at a piece of pizza you automatically gain 10lbs.
  2. Sleep.  FOR THE LOVE!!  I wish someone would wrap me up in a nice blanket, read me stories and make sure my environment is completely perfect before sending me off to dream land….but no.  I have to sleep next to your dad who falls asleep within seconds of hitting the pillow and immediately starts snoring.  Then once I do fall asleep I have to wake up every couple hours to “touch up” your environment so you can once again sleep for 20mins.
  3. Get Dressed.  Why must getting dressed be such an undertaking?!  Like you could literally put on ANYTHING and no one will care…no one.  I’m not even asking you to put on jeans and a cute shirt…just pick out one of the 5 shirts you will actually wear and your favorite holy sweatpants and LET’S GO!
  4. Alone Time.  Is it really too much to ask for you to sit and play BY YOURSELF for 30mins?!  Heck I’d even take a solid 15!  I wish someone would force me to spend an hour in my bedroom ALL ALONE.  Just think of the possibilities!!!   The books I could read!  The things I could knit!  The episodes of Vanderpump Rules I could watch!!

(2) Link of the week:

Why “Free Time” when you have kids doesn’t actually exist…like ever…not even when they start school.  Cue ugly cry face!

 

(3) Tweet of the week:

Seriously though.  I also find I look much skinnier and less pale in store dressing rooms and then I get home and realize nope…nope I do in fact look like shit.

 

(4) Beer of the week:

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Buffalo Commons Windblown Wheat

The in-laws are visiting this weekend and my Brother in law brought me beer from the little brewery in their hometown.  It’s like he knows me or something.

(5) Song of the week:

Fifth Harmony – Work From Home

“put in work like my timesheet”

OK yes this song is NOT actually about WORKING from home I know…but I still can’t help but sing the chorus over and over when I am…in reality….working from home.  It’s also a current favorite song for running….which I’ve been attempting to do more regularly these days.

Happy Friday all!

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A Day in the Life (Part 1: A Work Day)

I’ve been wanting to do one of these posts since Jack was born…when every week seemed different…as a way to chronicle it all and compare in the future.  Obviously that didn’t happen…but that doesn’t mean I can’t jump on the wagon now!  I always love reading these from other bloggers to get an idea of how similar/dissimilar our lives are…kids vs no kids…SAHM vs WOHM…I tend to find mundane details interesting…like when people wake up and what they watch on TV.  So here’s hoping you all feel the same…otherwise this will be extremely boring.

So it’s no secret that I work full time in addition to being a Mom full time…which is a mix of good and bad.  Working is a choice I make and after going to school for 6 1/2 years (and STILL paying for it) well I don’t take my degree lightly…I put it to work (literally) and like the daily challenge that it brings.  So here is a “typical” working day (a Wednesday a couple weeks ago) in my life.  (Part 2 will be an At Home day with Jack…which looks totally different!)

5:10am

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Now that Jack generally sleeps past the 5am mark (knock on wood) I’ve started to sllooooowwwllly get back into working out in the mornings…because let’s be honest if I don’t do it first thing in the AM then it’s not happening.  Lance and I alternate days (just in case jack does happen to wake up before 6) so Mon and Wed are my days.   It’s not easy…I find any and every excuse not to get up but recently the reality of “not breastfeeding anymore = weight gain from eating one chip” has set in.  So to the basement I go…

5:20am

DipticShaun-T FTW!!  I loved Insanity pre-pregs…so when we discovered T25 we jumped on it…25mins is perfect for our current life and fits nicely during naps too (if i MUST use such precious minutes this way!).  Also Tonya is back…for all you Insanity folk…and she does modified moves which is nice because my post c-section bod does not love doing pushups in every form imaginable.

6:20am

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Jack starts waking up just as I’m getting out of the shower…I quickly throw some clothes on and head to the kitchen to see what food Jack may or may not eat for breakfast and how many meltdowns this will involve.  Luckily Dad is on the case already.  Lance also has breakfast ready for me (scrambled eggs and toast is typical) so I eat while I prep Jack’s breakfast and get our bags packed for the day.  I make our lunches the night before so it’s all ready to go just needs to be put in bags, etc.  I find even though I HATE doing this the night before it helps the mornings go MUCH smoother.

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Oh and just because I think this is insanely cute…in the above picture Jack is trying to put bibs on his stuffed puppy.  You guys…this all started because one morning I was trying to avoid a meltdown and quickly grabbed a nearby bib and put it on his new puppy.  He did not forget…because every day since we have to put bibs on puppy.  Toddlers are crazy…and smart.

6:30am

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Time for Dad to head out to work!  This is Jack running and saying “byyyyyyyyyyye”

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Jack will refuse to sit and eat most mornings…so we just let him run around and eat in between while we try and get ready ourselves.  Not perfect but it’s life.  In the meantime I rush back to dry/straighten my hair and throw on minimal make-up…I’ve got this whole process down to about 10mins…granted most days i look like crap.

6:40am

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And now the real dressing battle begins…Jack’s turn.  Obviously he knew something was up and decided to put on a show and quietly look at his book while I dressed him.

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Dressed in record time and with zero fighting…seriously…this is NOT my child.  I’m not sure who he’s trying to impress.

6:55am

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It pays off because we’re out of the house before 7!!!!  This is rare but on mornings when things go smoothly it does happen!  Hooray for no meltdowns this morning!!

7:05am

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Arrived at daycare and drop off goes smoothly.

7:15am

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Back in the car and ready for the commute to work…and COFFEE!!

7:45am

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Made it to my office.  I work on a college campus…in an old building on the 6th floor…no bells and whistles here!  Just constantly praying we don’t have that catastrophic earthquake we’re overdue for anytime soon.  Usually when I get in the first thing I do is check email, figure out a game plan for what I need to get done that day…check on progress of processes I started the day before, etc.  My day to day is different and depends on whatever project(s) we are focused on…ie. whatever proposal/grad student thesis/conference/publication deadline we have breathing down our necks.  Hooray for science research and fighting for government money!

11:30am

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Once a week we have a group meeting.  (Our group consists of a couple research staff (me), one post-doc, and about 5 graduate students working on their Masters or Phd)  Each week someone presents an interesting and current article relating to our research…and this week it just happened to be my turn!  So here I am trying to put the finishing touches on my presentation.  It was quite thrilling…that is if ice nuclei creation in long lived supercooled clouds is something that thrills you.

3:30pm

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Post talk snack…and planning out next task.

5:20pm

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Heading home…the WORST part of my day.  The U is shoved up next to the foothills which makes for a traffic nightmare every night.  There’s literally like one 2 lane road to get ALL THE PEOPLE out.  This is why I LOVE spring break, fall break, Christmas break…and summer…because getting rid of the kids creates a much smoother commute home.  I’m an old curmudgeon and college kids are the worst.  This day’s commute was made slightly better thanks to a Bill Simmons podcast with Lena Dunham.

6:10pm

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HOORAY I’M HOME!!  This little guy was happy to see me and posed for the rare selfie with me.

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In fact we got 2!  Now that we got our hellos out of the way I run faster than a speeding bullet to the bedroom to get my sweatpants on.  Please tell me I’m not the only one that does this w/in minutes of walking in the door.  Like i CAN NOT BE BOTHERED by anything until my sweatpants are on and my bra is off.  Lance is one lucky guy.

6:15pm

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Lance will usually have dinner ready to go and Jack fed by the time I get home…so we eat quick and then if I’m lucky Jack and I will sneak in some playtime before he has to head to bed.  He got a shiner at daycare this day (see his right eye) but his mood was great!  So we got about 10mins of “fun time” before starting the bedtime routine.

6:30pm

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Jack and I read a couple books (of his choosing..Go Dogs Go is a current fave…the one above is a random he dug out of the toy bin).  Then it’s prayers and into the crib!  Most nights he will go down without a fight.  We do have the occasional meltdown when he doesn’t want to stop playing…but overall it seems to work great for us.

7:00pm

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I start cleaning up the kitchen, do the dishes, and get Jack’s lunch and my lunch ready for the next day.  We have to provide all the food for Jack’s daycare and they request we don’t bring anything that needs heated…so he gets a lot of PB&J’s.  I also have a bad habit of snacking during this time…but omg are these pb pretzel chips good.  DO NOT BUY THEM.

7:50pm

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After getting things prepped for the next day I finally get to sit down and relax!  Woo!  I decide to upload pics for this post using the ipad…granted I won’t actually write this post for 2 more weeks but hey at least I got an early start!  Lance and I chat and catch up on TV or whatever we’re feeling that night.

8:30pm

Nothing worth watching on TV so I head to bed a bit early to read a bit.  Working on the last of the Divergent trilogy (Allegiant).  (Finished it a week or so ago…actually didn’t mind how it ended considering I didn’t like the book as a whole that much…the first and second ones were much better I thought.  Excited for the Divergent movie though…I sorta love Shailene Woodley)

9:00pm

Lights out and I’m pretty sure I fall asleep within minutes.

So yes there you go…a typical work day for me.  As you can probably tell on days  I work I have very little time with Jack…which sucks.  But I also only work 4 days a week so I get 3 full days with him and I think that makes up for it.  The busiest parts of my day are between 6-7 (both am&pm).  Life is usually pretty hectic and nuts and all over the place during those hours.  I know that this schedule will only change as Jack gets older and our family grows…so I’m glad I was able to document it at THIS time.

I hope to do another post on a day at home with Jack soon…so stay tuned!!

The Holidays & Mom Hormones

In the past Holiday commercials have mostly annoyed me…cars and jewelry being the top contenders.  But this year I’ve seen a couple that have made me laugh and cry…all at the same time.  Maybe it’s the Mom hormones in me…or companies are finally figuring out how to tug at our heart strings…but these are good.

You may have already seen them…esp if you don’t live under a rock.

This one from Apple.

 

This one from Coke.

 

See what I mean?!  Tears.

Happy Holidays All!!

1 Year

A year ago today we met Jack.

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This past year has been the hardest of my life.  They say a mother’s love for her son is something fierce…and I get it now.  Although it took a little longer for me to develop that real strong bond with him…the love and joy he brings to my heart now grows at an exponential rate.  It’s indescribable the way his little looks make me feel…and when he tucks his head just so on my shoulder I want to stop time and never move from that moment.

Turns out…I’m not a baby person.  The 6 months mark was right around the time Jack’s personality really started to show…he became such a cool kid.  Being a Mom became fun…not just work.  Still hard yes (oh man is it still hard!) but fun too…enjoyable.  The last couple months have been even better.  We wrestle around on the floor.  We sing and yell.  We dance.  We chase each other.  We laugh.

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Jack is Me in miniature form.  (and a boy..duh)  He has that spitfire redhead personality.  Lance evens us out…and one can only hope our next child is more like him…calm, relaxed, chill…or else he might have to move out.

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Jack’s favorite things right now are (in no particular order):

blue blankie (although this is probably the top one)

Me…obviously (ok and Dad too)

pushing ALL THE THINGS around the house (his clothes basket being his first choice…activity table a close second)

The dishwasher…well actually the silverware in the dishwasher

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Strawberries, grapes, and mac-n-cheese.

Pairs of things…and crawling with one in each hand.  (ie., pan lids, blocks, cups, socks, toy cars…)

Piles of magazines stacked on side tables…that he can one by one throw off and rip up.

Jack’s least favorite things right now:

Diaper changes and getting dressed/undressed.  (so dramatic!)

Taking naps

the Stroller (actually he has NEVER liked this)

Sitting in the cart at Target (only wants to stand and throw stuff around…makes for tricky shopping)

Veggies

 

He doesn’t walk on his own yet…but he seems to be getting more steady and braver by the day.  He’ll get this look on his face like he wants to walk from one point to the next…but then he’ll drop down and crawl.  He is getting a lot better at standing on his own.  All these skills I feel like have gotten stronger over such a short period of time.  When he first started pulling up he was so wobbly and unbalanced…it’s amazing how quickly they change.  I still gasp a little when I see him standing independently.

I think our nursing days are over.  We had slowly gone down to just morning and night sessions…which i loved.  Then that turned into just morning sessions…and then the other day he refused…and my boobs didn’t mind.  So yeah…I think it’s over.  Man…breastfeeding was SO MUCH MORE than I thought it would be.  More work, more pain, more exhausting, more emotional…just all of it…MORE.  But it was good…at times very good…and worth it.  Oh so worth it.

Although that barely scratches the surface of the past 6+ months…it’s what’s on my mind now.  I wish I had updated here more often…but such is life.  I hope to drop in from time to time still…if anyone is still reading.

So with that…Happy Birthday handsome little man…I love you more than you’ll ever know.  You are my happy.

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On Motherhood

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I love this picture.  I look happily in love and glowing as a new Mom with my almost 3 week old little boy…which is exactly how I want to remember that time.

But what the picture doesn’t tell you is that I was also suffering from my first case of mastitis, uncomfortably squeezed into my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, deliriously tired, and feeling guilty that my baby was not  blissfully sleeping through his newborn shoot but instead screaming (look closely).  It’s a good thing we have professionals to take pictures that paint a different story than reality…the one we want to reflect on and remember as the truth.

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A friend of mine recently had a baby and jokingly (honestly?) pokes at me for not telling her exactly how hard it would be in those early weeks.  Hard doesn’t even come close.  Everyone and their aunt Sally will tell you it’s “hard”…but no one can actually explain it in a way you will ever be able to comprehend until you’re living it.  But how can you expect them to?  I came across this article via another blogger and it really resonated with me.  (if you’re a new Mom…or even considering the idea of ever becoming a Mom I suggest you read it…then read it again at some point during those first weeks….and then read it again…)  Our minds have this amazing way of working…or maybe it’s just the magic of sleep deprivation…that the early months of new motherhood slowly turn into a fog…and what’s left is a montage of fond memories.  We slowly forget…or maybe just gloss over…the bad…and focus solely on the good.

IMG_6823 copyIt took me a while to start writing in Jack’s baby book about the early months…because I was terrified of what I might write.  In hindsight I wish I had written it down somewhere and kept it for me personally just so when #2 comes around I can reassure myself that I am not crazy and my feelings are totally ok.  Even now at 9 months in…and what feels like a lifetime away from those early days…I still feel a small shutter of terror and anxiety with the thought of ever caring for a newborn again.  Yes my controlling, change-hating, stress-ball personality may also play a role.  The thing about babies is they can teach you a lot about yourself…or more realistically force you to acknowledge things about yourself you stubbornly don’t want to admit.

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Even now the fogginess has already begun to set in.  The relationship with my son blossoms on a daily basis…and I no longer think of him as an angry blob who only wants my boobs…but instead the funniest, cutest, sweetest, ( and on and on and on…) little redheaded kid I know.  Lord help the woman who wants to marry him someday.

It took me a while to accept that life would not go back to normal….THIS…life with Jack…is our “new normal”.  Some things will never be the same as they were pre-baby.  Seems simple enough…but it was (and continues to be) a hard adjustment to accept.  Although I’m getting more comfortable in my roll as a Mom… I may never feel fully confident.  But I think that’s ok.

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As Jack grows older, and I learn more and more about him and myself…we make our montage of those early days that much more beautiful.

Photos by the wonderful Jylare Smith.