Dreams To Do

8 months.

Just over 8 months ago I was a wreck. I was a big ole ball of nerves – full of anxiety over becoming a momma to three and birthing a baby who may have some medical complications. Fast forward to today and I just can’t imagine existing before this little goofy butterball came into my life…

My baby. I already know that this one is always gonna be mommy’s baby. I have special connections with all of my children, but there’s definitely something different about being able to spend pretty much every waking hour of Roman’s life with him. I will always remember the way he lights up when he hears my voice or sees me enter the room. This kid has stolen my heart.

All about my Roman Micheal at 8 whopping months old…

  • Roman is still a rolling machine. No crawling yet, but that doesn’t stop him from getting where he wants to go. He rolls and rotates his body and rolls again until he gets where he needs to be.
  • If I need to cheer him up (which frankly is pretty much never since this kid smiles just about non-stop), a good pony ride on the knee does the trick like nothing else.
  • Finally LOVES food! We just had to ditch the purees and go straight for the good stuff. He’ll eat pretty much anything I’m eating as long as I chop it up really small. But he only eats very small amounts at each meal.
  • Unlike his big bro, Roman has no eczema and no constipation issues thus far. It’s so nice for a change to have such an easy-in-all-ways baby! (knock on wood)
  • Oh wait… Roman still isn’t a huge fan of nap time. He does nap, but he gives me his cranky scream cry as soon as we approach his crib. Oftentimes he just catches cat naps in his car seat or in the Ergo while I do housework or play on the computer.
  • Still sleeping through the night from about 6pm to 7am. I do still pick him up and feed him when I go to bed because I just can’t get enough of that special snuggly time with him.
  • Wearing 6-9 and 9-12 month clothes. I know he looks huge in these photos, but he’s pretty darn average according to the charts (a little on the tall side, though).
  • Currently his favorite toys are these three plush green peas and a wooden chicken drumstick from Melissa & Doug. Haha!
  • Roman is talking a lot these days: bla bla bla and lots of cooing mixed with plenty of high pitched squeals. He’s a noisy one!
  • OBSESSED with the bath. Like if I’m holding him and we enter the bathroom he will literally dive out of my arms towards the bathtub. If he even hears the bath filling up for his sis or bro, he will throw a fit until I put him in it, too.

As far as Roman’s medical situation, we’re just waiting until he’s one to get a final verdict on his kidney reflux. Otherwise, he’s a happy, healthy, hearty 8 month old. And he’s my little ray of sunshine each and every day.

Threenager

It’s a beautiful morning. The sun is streaming through the windows, the birds are chirping, and the kids are laughing over something as they eat their breakfast. As I run around getting stuff ready to take Leila to school, I glance at the clock. Oh good, we are running early today! So, I slow down, relax a bit, and around our normal time to head out the door, I round the troops to get jackets and shoes on. Leila happily obliges, tying her own shoes and everything. When I approach Landon with his socks and sneakers I get, “NO! I DON’T WANT TO!” 

In an instant, I know that my seemingly happy, easy-going day is about to go downhill. I regret taking some time to slow down and relax as I know we will now be frantically running late. Every persuasive technique, bribe, and threat fails to convince Landon to put on his shoes and socks to take his sister to school. So, I load his sister and baby bro into the car and proceed to chase Landon around the house, eventually throwing him, with bare feet and coatless (it was 30 degrees out), up over my shoulder kicking and screaming. Getting him buckled in his carseat is like tying down an angry bull. There are scratches and tears and sweat and lots of frustration. The car is filled with high-pitched screams as we make the 2 minute drive to school and the whole time I’m wondering, “Why me?”

Nothing makes me long for the days of dealing with the newborn sleepless nights and diaper blowouts and unexplainable fussiness more than dealing with a 3-year-old. All this talk of the terrible twos, but I tell ya…. three is no walk in the park. Landon is seriously like a sassy teenager trapped in a 3-year-old’s body. After he was born, I thought I’d have years and years before experiencing any rage or hatred against me. Unfortunately, at least once a day he pushes me away and yells, “Go away Mom!” Are you for real kid?

I finally got around to putting together his baby photo book the other day (yes, I’m lame). While sorting through photos of Landon as a baby, I had tears streaming down my face. What happened to my sweet, little, innocent, chubby baby? Where’s my little guy who couldn’t get enough of his momma? Parenting is tough in ways I never anticipated. Watching your children grow and develop their own personalities is amazing, and fascinating, and utterly terrifying.

But, ya know what? While there are days when I want to put up a Craigslist ad to find a new home for my threenager (no joke, the other day Leila asked, “Mom can we have Landon adopted?”), there are still far more days where I can’t get enough of him. And mixed in with all of the no-I-don’t-want-tos and mom-go-aways are still a whole lot of precious moments where he’s still my baby – moments where he curls up in my lap and looks up at me with those big blue eyes and smiles… and I know I’m his world. Even if he doesn’t always show it.

Choosing Love

They say the 7th year of marriage is the toughest. Something about a “7 year itch.” Early in my marriage I remember thinking, “Well, since Andy and I have been together since high school, 7 years of marriage is no big deal.” However, as we are half way through our 7th year, I see the reality of the situation. These past 7 years have brought us a lot of life change. New jobs, three kids, a mortgage, car payments, budgeting, meal planning, house keeping….We are constantly go, go, going – pushing off from each other to get everything done. Some days we don’t even kiss each other, let alone speak. It doesn’t seem like a big deal at all until I sit back and really reflect on where our relationship is.

Last Friday we had the rare pleasure of a date night out. We sat at a little romantic table across from each other for 2.5 hours without moving. No kids and lots of delicious food and good conversation. It seriously feels like it has been ages since we conversed. Sure, we chit chat at the end of each day and sometimes watch TV together and we enjoy tons of awesome time with our kids, but we hardly ever really talk. Midway through our 5-course meal, it struck me that I don’t even know if my husband is truly happy in our life. And so I asked him, “Are you happy? Like really happy with where you are in life, with where we are?”

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I’m going to make an effort to check in with him on that more often. We should never assume that our spouse is happy and all is well in their world. Marriage isn’t easy. Love isn’t easy. Sure, it’s easy to fall in love quickly, but sustaining it is work. Some days we really have to make a conscious decision to love our spouse. We have to choose love.

I’m not threatened by the 7 year itch. I’m not worried that my marriage is ever going to fall apart. But, I do see how it can happen. Luckily, when I strip away the stress, the daily responsibilities, the children, the distractions… I still see the guy I fell in love with. And I’d still choose him all over again. We are slightly different people in an entirely different situation than when we first met. However, underneath it all there is still that deep, unconditional love that drew us together.

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Craving a mushy-gushy love story?
Here’s ours that I shared a couple of years ago, in honor of Valentine’s Day:

Our Love Story: How We Met
Our Love Story: Falling In Love

Our Love Story: Perfect Proposal & Dream Wedding

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I hope you took advantage of Valentine’s Day as a chance to reconnect with your significant other. It may be a cheesy, commercial holiday, but it can be a powerful one if we let it. XOXO

Easy Coconut Almond Butter

… or Almond Coconut Butter. :)

Since I spend a lot more time at home these days, I’ve actually been enjoying playing around in the kitchen a bit. While I am still far from developing a passion for cooking, I do enjoy baking and whipping up simple snacks. A new favorite of mine is this super easy and delicious almond butter… with coconut! Yummo! I like to scoop it up with apples for a sweet and healthy snack, but you can also enjoy it on a sandwich or by the spoonful.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of raw almonds
  • 1 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbl of coconut oil
  • Dash of salt

HOW TO

  1. Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet (I lined mine with tin foil) and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Let them cool.
  2. Throw roasted almonds and all of the other ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until you reach your desired consistency (until it turns into “butter”). You will want to periodically use a spatula to scrape down the sides and push the mixture towards the blade.

Store this gooey deliciousness in a mason jar or any airtight container. I have no clue how long it’ll stay good on the shelf, but I’ve never had to worry about that because it’s gone in like 2 days. :) Word of warning: if you stick this in the fridge it will turn into a solid block – still edible, but not spreadable.

Mmmmmmm….. ENJOY! :)

 

7 months.

Yes, it’s true. Roman Michael is 7 months old now. This means he’s officially closer to turning one than he is to his birth date. I call that crazy. Each kid you have grows up faster and faster. I’m not sure why…

All about my Romie bear at 7 months old…

  • Took him in for his 6 month doc appointment a couple weeks ago and he weighed in at 17 lbs 11 oz (just under the 50th percentile). I don’t remember his length, but he’s above average for that!
  • He’s rubbed off a pretty bald patch on the back of his head. The rest of his head is full of crazy cowlicky hair.
  • We are still slowly introducing him to solid food. He just hasn’t been interested in purees. If I give him little chunks of things, he’s much happier, but still not good at gumming them enough not to gag. We’re just going to take it slow with this one.
  • Roman smiles all. the. time. Love it! Such an easy baby.
  • He consistently slept SOLID through the night until the last week or so. I think the whole solid food thing is causing him some gas and discomfort at night as his body gets used to digesting something other than my milk.
  • Not crawling yet, but rolling all over the place and trying with frustration to pull himself towards things.
  • He’s got the smoothest, most perfect skin with rosy cheeks that I can’t refrain from eating at least 10 times/day.
  • Loves taking a bath with his big sis who is such a helper.
  • Starts cracking up when he hears Leila coming from a distance saying, “Where is my baby? I’m gonna get my baby!”
  • Grabs everything! I can’t hold my phone, food, a drink, anything while I’m also holding him without him twisting and turning to grab it away from me.
  • Cat napper extraordinaire. Usually takes 3 20-30 minute naps each day.
  • Loves him momma the most. :) I’m wrapped around this kid’s little finger.

I’ve been working hard over the past few weeks to go through all my old digital photo albums and clean out photos I don’t need and back them all up to the Amazon cloud. It’s been an intense trip down memory lane looking at old photos of Leila and Landon when they were Roman’s age. It makes me realize how little time I truly have with this little bundle of baby who won’t be a baby for very long. So sad. I just love him so much and I don’t want him to change. I don’t want him to grow into a tantruming toddler or a school-aged kid who’s away from me for most of the day. Trying with all my might to live in this moment and savor my little 7 month old while he’s all mine.

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