Dreams To Do

3 months.

Somebody is 3 months old today! Blogging is definitely taking the back burner to caring for this little man, but I’m making it a priority when it comes to keeping track of his growth. So here we go!

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My Roman Michael at 3 months old…

  • Like a fine wine, Roman just keeps getting better with age. :) I seriously love him more and more each day!
  • He’s starting to giggle, but you REALLY have to earn it to get one.
  • He is about 500x more easy going than he was at birth. At first he didn’t even want to be put down, but now he’ll spend a good half an hour kicking on the floor, perfectly content.
  • He’s slept through the night 3 times already! He’s also had a few rocky weeks where he’s been up 3-4 times, but overall he’s a pretty good sleeper (at night… naps are a different story).
  • He still lives in the ergo carrier a good chunk of the day. I really don’t know how I existed without one of these with my firstborn!
  • Wearing 3-6 and 6 month clothing. He’s got the cutest little baby boobies and he’s starting to get wrist rolls – my favorite!
  • He looks like me!
  • Roman is starting to suck on his hands and drool a lot.
  • He hates tummy time (just like my other two).
  • He loves his sissy and brother – they get his best smiles. :)

I am just loving this age and mourning his growth. I seriously love, love, love the newborn stage. Yes, it’s exhausting and unpredictable, but there is nothing better than snuggling a squishy baby and being their everything. I don’t want it to end!

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PS – it is REALLY hard to get a good photo of a 3 month old! Yikes!

The End of Maternity Leave

My little Roman is 12 weeks old today and at this point I would normally be one big, hot, panicky mess as I prepare to return to work and leave my baby in the care of others. I honestly don’t know how I did that not only once, but twice before! The thought of having to leave Roman right now is impossible. He just got here! I am so, so, so, so grateful for this opportunity to stay home with him.

It still doesn’t feel real that I’m a stay at home mom. After all, I’ve only been out of work for 12 weeks which is just like my last two maternity leaves that I spent at home. It’s gone by in a blur of sleep deprivation, chaos, and lots of awesome family time. I feel like the real test of this stay at home mommy thing starts now. But so far, I’m feeling really dang good about it.

Yes, taking care of kids all day isn’t easy. It’s exhausting and sometimes much more mentally challenging than a day at the office ever was. For years I thought I wasn’t really cut out to be a stay at home mom – I was terrified of it! Even though I knew I wanted more time with my kids, I just didn’t know if I had it in me. So far, I’ve proved myself very wrong. I really am loving it. With Leila in school now, we are slowly finding our rhythm and routine. I am beyond blessed to have a couple stay at home mommy friends to keep me sane as well as my Daily Mom gals who I am constantly “hanging out” with throughout the day, so I never really feel like I’m lacking adult time. My awesome hubby also lets me escape on his days off for lunch dates with my old co-workers and me time at Starbucks. So, I still very much feel like I do have a life outside of my kids!

The other day, mid-week, I found myself sprawled out on the couch at 1pm eating licorice and catching up on DVR’d reality TV. Both boys were miraculously asleep at the same time. I nearly laughed out loud when I realized I was living out the inaccurate vision that many people have of SAHMs: lounging around in PJs, eating bon-bons, and watching TV all day. Ha! Yes, I do get moments here and there to relax, but it is usually very short lived (and very much deserved!).

A small part of me is starting to feel that dream-doing itch again. I haven’t felt it in a while. For months I was consumed with the impending birth of Roman, his possible health issues, and wrapping things up at work. Since his arrival, I’ve obviously been consumed with getting to know him and establishing a new normal for my family. Now that things are settling in to place I feel like I’m finally returning to myself a bit. I feel excited and hopeful for what’s to come.

A dose of good and a pinch of bad.

When you choose to have a baby all that you can imagine are the smiles, the sweet baby smell, the joy and happiness that new little life will bring. Sure, you know you’ll experience sleepless nights, fussy fits, and even the terrible twos, but it never crosses your mind that there could be anything wrong with your child. No one plans for or expects the worst.

I am beyond grateful for the three happy, healthy children I have been blessed with. I feel like God eased me into parenthood with the cards I was dealt. Leila was beyond an easy baby. A little bit of a traumatic delivery and jaundice at birth, but otherwise pretty darn perfect. Landon was also a pretty easy baby, although it took him forever to sleep through the night and we dealt with the whole flat head thing and subsequent helmet wearing. Roman is my little prince, but he’s a little bit more of a handful than the other two were as infants. He also has caused me some serious stress with his health concerns.

At my big 19 week ultrasound, we found out that Roman’s kidneys didn’t look quite right. The whole last half of my pregnancy was full of LOTS of ultrasounds and lots of stress over what we would face when he was born. Since birth he’s been poked and prodded a lot. Just before he turned 2 months old we went in for a day of testing. It was pure torture for me, but overall our little man handled it all quite well.

After a two week wait for results, we finally got some good news! Roman’s kidney dilation has gone down and his right kidney (the problem child) is functioning enough to NOT have to be removed! Currently his left kidney is taking on 80% of the work load with the right carrying 20%. Anything below 20% would have been concerning. So basically, we still just need to keep tabs on his kidney reflux with regular ultrasounds and a daily dose of antibiotics to prevent infection. It looks like he will most-likely have a little surgery to reposition his right ureter (that drains from kidney to bladder) to fix the reflux on that side when he is one year old. But, there is still a 5% chance that he will miraculously grow out of the reflux and all will heal itself. Keeping our fingers crossed! So, still a waiting game.

The day after we got Roman’s kidney results, another medical issue popped up that we weren’t expecting. Our pediatrician referred us to a cardiologist after a very subtle heart murmur hadn’t disappeared yet at Roman’s 2 month check up. So, last Thursday I took Roman in for an echo and ECG. I honestly expected us to walk out of there with a clean bill of health. After all, we are already dealing with the whole kidney thing and the several in depth ultrasounds I had during my pregnancy showed that Roman looked perfect everywhere else. However, it turns out that Roman has a bicuspid aortic valve. Yippee! Not. I won’t go into the details of it, but basically he will need to be seen by a cardiologist periodically as he grows up. Again, just a waiting game. It could need to be surgically fixed later in his life, or he could live a long and happy life with no complications.

All of this is to say that you can never prepare for having a baby with any sort of “issues.” It’s a level of worry that you just can’t explain. At this point I seriously am just so, so, so unbelievably grateful that we aren’t dealing with anything worse. I don’t know how parents with terminally ill children survive. I’m happy to be working with some truly awesome medical professionals and I am BEYOND happy that I don’t have to send this kid to daycare any time soon. He needs his momma. And I need him.

Back to School

When I got my first real job out of college I found it really strange to no longer be living by the rhythm and flow of a school calendar. For my whole life up to that point, time was always in relation to the length of summer vacation, fall semester, spring break, and so on. I remember that first fall after graduation – seeing the back to school advertisements and not actually going back to school myself was so bizarre! I mean, we spend most of our lives living and dying by the school calendar.

I’ve enjoyed the last several years of time on my own terms, but it’s all over now. For the next 18+ years I will be once again following the school calendar. My baby girl is in kindergarten!!! %&$#@!!!! That’s pretty much how I feel about that.

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Yesterday was Leila’s first day of school and it was really rough on me. A few months ago when I was getting ready to register her for kindergarten I had a little meltdown. After that I slowly became more comfortable with it all, to the point where I didn’t even think I would cry on her first day. HA! Oh man, I lost it. I was fine all morning until she actually walked into her classroom. Slowly the tears came. Luckily it was a bright sunny day so I was wearing glasses… and I wasn’t the only parent shedding a tear or two (or several dozen).

I stayed busy the whole time she was at school that first day, but I just had a sad, dark feeling in the pit of my stomach. I think I’ve finally realized why this is so hard for me. It’s not being away from her. It’s the fear of the unknown. It’s the fact that I can’t really relate to how she is growing up. Coming from the tiniest town known to man, I already knew a lot of the kids in my class when I started kindergarten. Those same kids stayed with me all the way through high school. My daughter is at a huge school where we don’t even know a single family with kids there. She’s in one of five kindergarten classes. It is so vastly different than what I grew up with.

Today was a much better day. I dropped her off and watched her giggle with new friends before walking into the building without even looking back my way. I know she will be just fine. I know that in time she will build friendships and hopefully I will meet other parents of kids at her school. It’s just all new to us. And new is sometimes scary.

Cheers to the first of many, many, many back to school seasons to come!

 

Finding My Place

It was a beautiful Wednesday afternoon. I still had several hours left in the day before my husband got home from work and no plans as to what we should do. The kids pleaded for a walk to the park and I could hardly argue. So off we ventured, Leila and Landon skipping ahead of me with the baby strapped to my chest.

We arrived to jungle gyms and swings full of little ones not yet in school. I sat with the baby on a bench while my older two frolicked about, making new friends and having the time of their lives. Across the playground area from me was a group of beautiful women sitting under a willow tree. Their laughter caught on the wind and hit me like a slap in the face. I watched them with envy, sitting in a circle of eight in their pretty Lululemon yoga pants, sipping their Starbucks iced mochas with fancy jogging strollers scattered about. Some held babies in their laps while others peeked over their shoulders occasionally to check on their older children. Smiles, laughter, friendship. Oh the life of a stay-at-home mom.

All I could think of is, where do I fit in? Β Being a working-outside-the-home mom for the last 5 years, that’s how I’m used to defining myself. Most of my closest friends still work. I’m in a new strange position of figuring out how to fill my days (which isn’t hard when you have three little ones to care for) and trying to find out just where I fit in. Yes, I’m now a stay at home momma, but I don’t quite relate to that title just yet. I’m still figuring it Β all out.

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