i think the one thing about being a mom that i need to embrace is that there will always be something to "work on". lets use sleep for example. when matthew was first born it was so difficult to calm him down to sleep. sometimes he would go up to 7 hrs without sleeping. we would try everything and anything. at one point i could get him to calm down by sucking on my finger, but then that got inconvenient so i tried to give him the pacifier. he didnt ever really take that well, so we kept working on it. then he took the pacifier and with lots of bouncing would fall asleep but once we put him in the crib he would wake up. well eventually he would sleep in the crib at night time, which was awesome, so then it was time to work on him sleeping in the crib for naps. just recently we have worked hard and he is able to fall asleep in his crib for naps if i lay him down even awake. and now about 2 times in a 24 hr period he can fall asleep without the pacifier. but now we have to work on him staying in the crib for his entire nap because he always wakes up in the middle of it once his sleep cycle comes around back to light sleep and wants to be held the rest of his nap.. and im sure once i am able to get him to take his 3 long naps, fully in his crib, it will be time to get him down to 2 naps and then pretty soon wean him off the pacifier (i have a love hate relationship with it) we worked so hard to get him to take to fall asleep because nothing else worked. sometimes it feels like it never ends. and i need to learn how to rejoice in each little victory but i dont quite have my groove yet. i need to take a breather and regroup and realize its all the process of him growing up and learning new things. and that maybe this little tiny boy needs me to slow down and give him chance to practice one thing he has learned before we hop onto to the next skill one after the other. i cant be so uptight like i have been ahhh. im driving myself crazy. hes a very happy boy who i need to realize is only going to be dependent on me for so long, so i need to embrace that he needs his mama cuz one day it wont be that way. i gotta learn how to slow down and just let him be a baby. the second i expect perfectionism and happiness only when we succeed, hes got a tough little internal battle to face wondering if he will ever please his mama.
so my family and I are so close. SO CLOSE. I talk to my sisters all the time. angela, its easy cuz i live with her. emily and i play phone tag all the time because of a time change between us. but somehow we catch each other. nicole and I sometimes can talk up to 3 times a day. my parents are some of my best friends. and we all feel the same about each other. we always forgive and forget. its so nice to be in a family you can hurt each others feelings and forget about it the same minute its talked about. we correct each other and learn from each other. we are not just surface talkers. we go deep. we make sure we are all ok. we call each other crying and laughing. we are very very honest with each other, even when its not the popular thing to say. its seriously the best thing i have ever been part of; my family. our relationships have never been defined by how nice we are to each other when things are going well. but more how close we come together when things are tough. im telling you people. its one of the biggest blessing in my life. my family. i could write on and on and on about how i feel about them. but matthew just went back to sleep and so shall I.
nicole: hey. just a question. zechariah (2.5 years old) threw his cup and it hit my nose. and now my nose is caved in on the side. i know that sounds bad but its the only way i can describe it.
me: yeah. you may have broken it.
nicole: are you kidding me? im so mad at him.
my mom: hope you didnt swear. zechariah repeats everything.
nicole: i tried not to
me: yeah. how did that go?
nicole: i only said half of the word. im serious. if a grown adult would have done this, id punch them back im so mad.
me: hahahahah. go get it checked.
nicole: oh heck no. i finally got a babysitter and i am going on a date with my husband tonight no matter what.
me: hahahahahahahahaha. your two year old broke your nose.
nicole: i got to go. im so mad.
moms are so tough. the funny part was that she wasn't so concerned about the nose but the fact that her two year old did it and she was determined not to let anything get in the way of her date. this may not be funny to anyone else but its a conversation i need recorded to read later because it was hilarious at the time.
Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
(Luke 18:15-17 ESV)
i love how much God loves children and how he says we can learn from them.
so over a week ago matthew swallowed a little bit of water in the tub, i mean, just a little bit. he cried so much i couldnt help him forget it and had to take him out. i was told babies forget things quick. nope. not my smart kiddo. he has fussed in the bath everyday since then. its like he will go in just for a few minutes to get it over with then quickly informs me hes ready to get out. this is so sad to me. it should be a 12 weeks old favorite part of the day. i am praying for a redemptive bath time asap.
so im not super crafty, but i like to be. and since i decided to teach matthew he needs to sleep in the crib at home, i want to be holding him for a good portion of his awake time. its SO hot out and the awesome sling i own is really thick, and since i like to walk around the yard with him, which is his favorite thing ever, i decided to try to make a sling out of a light weight, beach style tube dress i bought in thailand. it worked. i didnt even have to sew. im gonna work on it a bit to make it a little better, but it was my first quick try to see if it was even possible.
success: cute for me, light, and comfy. and he loved it.
im gonna try to get better quality photos later of the front and back.
i looked at so many parenting types. attachment, cry it out, sling wearing, paci loving, bed sleeping. breast feeding, crib sleeping, paci hating, formula feeding, nature playing, germ catching etc, etc.
and as i tried to fit one mold. i dont. and that's impossible. since when do i try to fit the mold? since when should any mom?
i have learned that im a sling loving, sleep in your crib at home, don't always need to wash your hands to hold him, breastfeeding, only paci to help fall asleep, he can cry 5 minutes in the crib, flexible but routine loving, infant massage giving, welcome a half a day away, baby yoga searching, type of mama. at least for now, at least for this kid. and it was probably different a few weeks ago and some of it might change tomorrow.
mamas. be empowered to be your own mom style. read the books than write your own book in your heart and put it into practice. be the mom YOU were made to be. AHH! I feel better now. It only took 12 weeks.
tonight my husband is out of town for the night at his parents and has some stuff do to tomorrow. its his first time away from matthew and I at night. matthew is doing great. me. not so much. im so tired, but i cannot sleep at all. michael is like my swaddle. its like if i all of a sudden i didnt swaddle matthew up tonight, he wouldnt be sleeping too well. so the same. i dont have michael to wrap his arms around me all night and squeeze me tighter when matthew squeaks, telling me, "hes fine. go to sleep." ah. its ok. my sister said she would come sleep with me if i really needed it. ill give it another try once my second wind is gone and i feel really tired again. i love you michael, come home soon.
today i decided i was going to be ambitious and wake up every morning at 5:30am to go running. then i realized that my body will be just getting ready to nurse my child after a long stretch of not nursing him. then i realized it may be extremely uncomfortable to run in that condition. typically there is no excuse for not getting up to exercise. but i have one. which im kinda thankful for. 5:30 is eeeeearllllly.
looks like evening runs it is.
it was just a blah day today. wasnt the best mom and didnt feel like the best wife. i didnt get much sleep and matthew was kinda cranky today. one of those days i felt like a failure even tho its all lies in my head. and now i realized that earlier in the day i threw ALL our clothes on the bed to organize this evening when he went to sleep. i regret the decision, as all i want to do is go to bed.
then i was shocked at all the clothes on our bed. the clothes that just the two of us own. and immediatley God reminded me of how he tells us in scripture to do everything without complaining.
all of a sudden i saw that pile of clothes, the task of folding them, as a blessing. seriously. how many times do we turn our luxuries into an excuse to complain. i have to fold the clothes. gosh. be thankful to have more than one outfit to fold. i have to clean the house. gosh. be thankful to have a roof over my head to clean. i have to spend $4 on gas. gosh. be thankful i have a car to put the gas in. my computer is being slow. gosh. be thankful to even have one. i have to make dinner. gosh. be thankful to even have more than rice in my kitchen.
joe. we love him so much. very fond memories watching the world cup and jumping on the bed after exciting wins. oh and good times being competitive in yahtzee.
well he just got married to his beautiful bride, talia. REALLY good love story.
wish we could have made it to GA for the wedding.
happy love to you two.
"babies are God's reminder to me that he loves me" -Daina-
matthew is so blessed to have daina in his life. she loved on him so much. and she took awesome pictures of our little family. ill just randomly post some of them. she captured so many sweet moments.we hope to make it a yearly tradition to vacation with daina so matthew can grow up knowing her.
last night when matthew went to bed, daina was so kind as to offer to let us leave and go to watch the sunset on the beach. what a perfect date. you are the best daina.
at sunset. finally a picture of the two of us. it was much needed.
also a theme ince the world race is that bugs prefer to bite mike over me for some reason. so when i sit next to michael when there are mosquitoes out, i am protected cuz they go to him first, poor guy.
tic tac toe is hard to win with two adults who both know the one winning strategy.
such a relaxing vacation.
we also put matthew in a different guest room than us to sleep
so i always take a ton of pictures of matthew at once and i never know which one is cutest so i post them all. but i may have saved the best for last on these ones.
oh. the outfit is from my mom and more for jon an em in LA.
"you wanna mess with my grandma. you are gonna have to come through me first."
so sometimes i wish i was out doing hands on ministry. i love telling people how much Jesus loves them and has a purpose for them and thinks they are beautiful. but i really cant do that at this certain phase in my life and that is ok, ill just have to change up my idea of ministry and just tell yall right here in my blog.
Jesus loves you
and has a purpose for you
and thinks you are beautiful
this required less boldness than telling you in person, but its truth all the same.
and i think my biggest passion in life is for people to realize what these guys are singing to you in this song.
when michael were out the other day we stopped to get some ice cream in the really hot weather. it was soooo hot our kiddie cones were melting as fast as we were eating them. well. there was a mom outside with her two kids and basically what was going on was that the mom was standing there going back between two ice cream cones, trying to eat the melting ice cream as fast as she could while both were running down her hands. we over heard the kiddos telling her they didn't want the ice cream anymore. oh dear. it was so funny tho.
such a stressful day with matthew. he prolly only slept like and hour in naps, maybe, and was so over tired that nursing didnt even comfort him, and nursing ALWAYS works. ALWAYS. well tonight he finally hit his second wind and was all of a sudden in a good mood once i bounced him outside for a bit. i decided i really needed something to release my stress before trying to get him to bed. i really wanted a bath to relax. so what he heck. i threw on my bathing suit, and instead of awkwardly leaning over the tub to wash matthew, we took a really really really, playful and relaxing bath together. oh i sure needed it. and he LOVED it way more with me being in there for some reason. it really worked to relax us both and just start fresh. well. the funny part. HA. matthew decided to do something that he has never done in the bath tub before. i mean, it had to happen the very first time i decided to take a bath with him. thats right people. he pooped, basically within 30 seconds of us getting in. nice. after a little clean up, it was enjoyable. i really couldnt help but laugh. sorry if you didnt want to hear this, but its funny, and this is for me to read back on one day. oh. being a mom.
this is what we wish upon matthew for much of the day tomorrow
my parents gave a homeless man a ride yesterday. id like to just quote him because it is amazing.
"people tell me your shoes are so old and your clothes are so old, how can you talk about Jesus? I just tell them that it's not what's on the outside but what's on the inside that counts. I have Jesus in my heart. Have you ever felt Jesus so much in your heart that you just want to explode?"
"denise. its ok that this is hard. your lifestyle is completely opposite of what it used to be." -my mom-
My mom is right. choosing to be a stay at home mom cannot be any more opposite of what my life was like. Looking at my life from after high school till Matthew was born. Hmm. I was a very motivated girl in life. I got my degree in physical therapy and worked a wonderful full time job at a hospital that financially allowed me to do many things. I had an incredible social life, and was involved in so much. i would go running in the morning and roller blade at night with friends, jumping in lakes afterwards with our clothes on. i traveled all the time, around the country and the world. visited friends all over the states, fun road trips, climbing trees, midnight runs, bookstores, endless coffee dates, sky diving, adventures around detroit. and the list could go on and on. i was on fire, full of energy and life and passions and new experiences. then i married michael. we were always together, worked at the same job, than traveled the world together, went on lots of dates, and cuddled to our little hearts content.
fast forward to umm, today. michael in the recliner, im on the couch feeding matthew, tears in our eyes (more like pouring down My eyes), and missing each other more than our 8 days apart in thailand. michael tells me he would give up anything if it meant having time with his wife again. (except matthew) "id give up a nice place to live or a good job, i just want you back", he told me. we want to understand each other again, but the roles we play now couldnt be more opposite. we love matthew, but he is very time consuming, of course. and mike works evenings when matthew is sleeping in the crib. during the day when he is home, matthew is very difficult to get to nap, and he mostly wants us to hold him for a nap, so mike and I never have a second for just the two of us. it is very difficult to take matthew out of the house because he is so hard to get down and prefers not to be in the car, sweet thing.
yesterday i sit on the couch with over tired, sick matthew, and while i sit all day feeding his healing body, i stare off with no mental or physical energy left to even think about anything except how lonely this all is. when he cries and fights taking naps so hard, i just want to rationalize with him and explain to him that he needs to close his eyes and sleep soundly for like two hours so mommy and daddy can play a game or something. but instead, the most frustrating and angry feelings i have ever felt come to surface, and i wonder how the most beautiful creation in the world with the sweetest smile can somehow make me feel this way. there are a million decisions to make each day, will i ruin his little spirit if i do something wrong? i get moments where i wish i had a full time job and can go back and have the money to buy a ticket to LA to see my sister and gallivant around the city in heals, and go for a run up the mountain and meet a friend for coffee with no time constraints. why WHY do i feel this way? its not that i dont want responsibility and i always love a good challenge, but there is no possible way to explain how hard it is to be a stay at home mom, and for lack of words, i wont. only moms get it. its just hard to where the past few days, i have felt like i could hardly breath or didnt think i could even go on one more day.
but i sit here this evening, at home with my sick baby while my parents are at a community dinner with millionaires and homeless people all loving each other (so my thing), and i really dont think id rather be with anyone else than matthew right now. tonight i stand with matthew in a steaming bathroom to clear out his nose while he falls asleep with his perfect hand wrapped around my finger. no saturday night in downtown royal oak tonight. just me and my baby.
i realize the beauty of being a mom is to be able to watch a person grow up from the very start. to see his first smile, to see him fight his first cold, to hear about his first day at school, his first crush. to rub his back when he is throwing up and to give him a million kisses in front of all of his friends. . i get to see him fail and succeed and be proud of him during both. i get to discipline with love. GOD has given me the privilege to raise His child. He created him just for us and us just for him and we get the challenge and joy of raising him. and THAT is better than climbing any mountain in africa.
yes. life is pretty hard right now. i am thankful to be living with my parents who insist on mike and I going on dates every once in a while. my mom is extremely a pro when it comes to matthew and i am forever at peace when i leave him with her. thank the lord for that. but yes. mike and i continue to try and figure out how to get our time while not neglecting matthew. we ask for your prayers. we want the child to bring us together and not apart. we ask for prayers for matthews nap time. that he can get pro at sleeping during the day so mike and i have a moment to ourselves and so he can have a restful day. we refuse to believe we are defeated in our emotions and know that God still wants us to enjoy life outside of just being parents but pray that raising matthew would be more joyful than ever before.
you can hardly see straight after a day with a sick baby that wont nap long or go to bed and still isn't sleeping. i cant imagine how matthew feels.
"its amazing how an 8 pound person can completely take out a grown adult" -my dad-
give me a full time job during college finals again and im pretty sure that sounds like a vacation. hey. i love my baby, but im just being very honest. id much rather be with him but im just trying to stay positive and sane over here. its gotta be harder on him. not knowing why he feels the way he does.
oh and no joke. he has probably been eating 8 out of the last 12 hrs. thats just crazy.
i have yet to write the very honest mommy blog but i think it took a sick child to get the deep feelings of a mom to surface. maybe the part two will be soon if he ever sleeps poor guy.