December has always signified a month of excitement and change for me. Not only is it the buzz of the holidays and the impending new year, but it is also my birthday month! I don’t just feel the weight of setting New Year’s resolutions, I feel the weight of setting goals for a bigger and better new year of life for myself. After all, I’m not getting any younger!
A couple days ago I turned 31. If you asked me at 18 where I thought I’d be at 31, I’m pretty dang close to the dreams I had in my head. I wanted to be married with kids. Check. I wanted to own a home. Check. I wanted a career. Been there, done that. Overall, I’m pretty dang proud of what I’ve accomplished thus far. Do I still have hopes and dreams for things bigger and better? You bet. But, I don’t think that’s a void that will ever be filled (after all, we should always strive for more).
Today at 31 my life is dedicated to my kids. My world revolves around diapers, feedings, baths, bedtimes, reading, kid activities, playdates, school drop-offs. There’s a tiny part of me that is still empty and waiting to be filled by something just for me, but if that space didn’t exist, what would I have to look forward to in this life? For now, I’m savoring the season of day-to-day survival – the season of baby snuggles and feeling truly needed by three little creatures who love me more than anything (and a husband who’s sometimes pretty darn needy, too – ha ha!).
So, when it comes to me sitting down and dreaming about what I want to accomplish in this next year of life, I draw a blank. I just want to be. When we were out at a restaurant for my birthday dinner, waiting to be seated, an older gentleman who was also there waiting with his wife smiled at my husband (who was wrangling the kids) and said, “You are so lucky.” He went on to explain that he had five children of his own and while it may seem tough when you’re in the thick of raising youngsters, it really does go by too fast. He told us to savor it, even the craziness of it all.
Some days I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of chaos, but when I stop to really reflect on where I’m at, I realize that I may just be living the best days of my life.
So I realize all I’m good for these days in blogland are simple posts about my kids, but lately I’ve just been preoccupied by a myriad of things and blogging is getting pushed to the back burner for the remainder of 2014. I’m hoping I can get back into it consistently in the new year, but until then you’ll just have to expect monthly baby updates and little else from me.
Yes, Roman Michael is already 5 MONTHS OLD!!! I swear he’s doubled in size over the last month, too.
All about Roman at 5 months old…
- While my little Romie-bear started out as a little handful, much needier than my other babies were, he’s grown into quite the easy going little guy. He’s content to just kick around on the floor and even enjoys tummy time now.
- Roman gave me a couple week stretch of sleeping through the night, but he’s back to regular wakings around 3am now. Oh well. I’ve learned this newborn season disappears in the blink of an eye.
- Little (big) man still wants to eat every 2-3 hours during the day. Thus his expanding cheeks.
- He just started sucking on his bottom lip all the time which is quite adorable.
- Just today he started being able to sit up unassisted for short bursts before folding forward and eating the ground.
- Roman had his first taste of food on Thanksgiving – sweet potatoes! But just a taste. He wasn’t too interested, so we’ll probably wait until 6 months to really get going in the food department.
- Still taking at least one of his many daily catnaps in the ergo baby carrier. I don’t know how I’d survive without this thing.
- Obsessed with his Sophie The Giraffe. I spent $16 for her when Leila was a baby because people kept telling me it was the best toy. At the time I was skeptical. However, we sure have got our money’s worth out of Sophie.
- Putting everything and everything in his mouth, including fists full of my hair on a daily basis (starting to understand the mom haircut trend).
- Getting oh-so-close to rolling over back to front, but not quite there yet.
- I am so, so, so blessed to be able to spend time with this little guy. I thank God each and every day that I don’t have to leave him in the care of someone else.
I can’t believe that Roman will be half a year old at the end of this month. Craziness I tell you. I am so looking forward to his first Christmas. We just got his stocking in the mail and it’s surreal to me to see all 6 of them hanging together on our mantle now (yes, our dog has a stocking, too). I really feel like our family is complete and can’t wait to celebrate our first holiday all together.
Seriously, this kid has changed so much! Check out his 4 month post and see for yourself!
Shortly after I gave birth to my daughter, I remember sitting in our tiny living room, sun streaming through the window on a hot summer day, gazing down at this sweet little innocent bundle asleep in my arms, and thinking about all of my hopes and dreams for her future. I dreamed she would be fearless, determined, brave, outgoing, and confident – all things I’ve never been. I hoped that she would be different from me, better than me.
Now at just barely five years old, I already see so clearly the little person she is. She’s amazing in so many ways, I can’t even describe, but looking at her is like looking at myself 25 years ago. My heart is already breaking a little bit, seeing her struggle in ways that I also struggled at her age and knowing that she is going to face a lot of the same internal battles that I myself have faced.
The night before Halloween was Leila’s very first school dance – a Monster Mash costume party. The days leading up to it were full of bursting-at-the-seams anticipation. She couldn’t wait to get all dressed up in her leopard costume and see all of her little friends in theirs. The night of, we couldn’t get there fast enough.
Her school gym was packed full of families in costume, lots of decorations, and loud music blasting from the speakers. As we walked in I could already sense the social anxiety building inside her. I myself wasn’t looking forward to the social event, but I was looking forward to watching my kids have fun. I figured once we found some of her friends, she’d loosen up and have a blast. Wrong. My heart hurt as Leila’s little friends held hands and danced around, but nothing I (or they) did or said encouraged her to join in the fun. I finally got down on her level and in the middle of a million people with music burning our ears, demanded that she tell me what’s wrong. After asking several times and telling her to speak up, I finally made out what she was saying to me through sad eyes: “I don’t look like everyone else.”
My heart seriously shattered in that moment. How is my five year old daughter already worrying so much about what other people think of her? A few weeks prior when she told me she wanted to be a leopard for Halloween, I had a strange feeling she would regret not wanting to be Elsa or Anna or some other princess like every other little girl. I even asked her several times if she was sure that’s what she wanted to be. She was excited to be a leopard. But as soon as she saw all her little friends in their pretty costumes, she lost all confidence in her choice. It killed me.
We ended up leaving the Monster Mash after only about 20 minutes. Leila was just frozen in a state of sadness (and the loud music and crazy costumes were freaking Landon out). As soon as we got in the car, Leila lost it in a sea of tears. We ended the night with a deep heart-to-heart talk about being confident and not worrying what other people around us do as long as we’re happy with ourselves. A difficult conversation to have with a little girl.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I flashed back on all the moments in my life when I had confidence and happiness stolen away from me as soon as I compared myself to others. How do I teach my daughter, who is so much like me it isn’t even funny, to not let the same thing happen to her? How can I help her have fun and embrace life instead of worrying so much about what other people think? How do I teach her these things when I don’t even know how to do it myself?
On Halloween the next day, after our deep talk and a mini life lesson learned, Leila once again embraced being a leopard and ended up having an awesome time trick-or-treating with her brothers and cousins. I just love this little girl so much and I wish she would realize how awesome she is.
Considering everything I have going on in my life right now, I’m pretty impressed that I’m getting this post written just two days after Roman turned 4 months old. 4 months!!! Every month it gets better and better with this little guy and we are entering my absolute favorite time in babyhood – when they start sitting up, playing with toys, and becoming much more interactive. Love it!
Since Roman turned 4 months old the day before Halloween, it was only appropriate for us to photograph him in his costume. The same monkey costume that his big sis wore 5 years ago! My little monkey…
Happenings with Roman Michael at 4 months old…
- This kid is becoming a little drooly monster. He is constantly sucking on his hands and soaking his clothing.
- He’s rolled from front to back.
- He finally doesn’t hate tummy time now that he’s getting stronger.
- Such a smiley, giggly little beast. Can’t get enough!
- Sleeps through the night about 75% of the time now. Put him down around 7pm, feed him before I go to sleep around 10/10:30pm, and then he wakes up around 6am. I’ll take it!
- Takes a binky when falling asleep, but that’s it.
- Takes most of his daytime naps in the ergo carrier. It’s just so much easier for me to get him to sleep in it and he stays asleep much longer than in his crib. And I don’t hate the snuggle time.
- Roman has recently decided that he pretty much hates his car seat and likes to scream his head off when you strap him in. If we time car rides close to nap time, he’ll usually fall asleep right away. Otherwise, there are a lot of tears.
- His favorite person is his mommy (well, duh!) – it is the best feeling in the world watching his face light up whenever he sees me.
I’m just obsessed with this kid. I love spending pretty much every minute of my day with him. I seriously never want him to grow up.
Fall leaves, tall boots, chilly morning school drop offs, baby drool, hot coffee (lots of it), Daily Mom, diaper changes, play dates, photo editing, internet socializing… these are the things that pop into my head when I take a moment to sit and reflect on what makes up my life lately. The family and I are fighting off colds that came with the recent change in weather. It’s finally really starting to feel like fall around here and I’m slowly adjusting to this new life I’m leading.
Days that used to drag on and on back when I was “working” now disappear in the blink of an eye. Going to work means something completely different to me these days and while I no longer “work,” I now truly understand the true definition of what it means. My payment may not come in the form of dollar bills, but it’s much more valuable than all the dollars in the world.
I have a new favorite time of each and every day. It’s the late afternoon hours between 3 and 5pm, after we pick Leila up from school and before the craziness of dinner and baths and bedtime sets in. It’s just me and all three of my kiddos and whatever we want to do. Today we decided to bake cupcakes and while they were in the oven filling our home with the smell of warm pumpkin spice, I sat in the living room nursing the littlest while his big siblings rolled around tickling each other on the floor at my feet. Sure, most days are filled with chaos and mess and disorganization, but it’s these little stolen moments that keep me strong and feed my soul.
Tomorrow Roman turns 4 months old. I love how this little peanut has completed our family. Each day we all fall into more and more of a steady rhythm as we get to know this new little human being. I seriously can’t get enough of having a baby in the house again. I am so, so, so, so, so savoring each second I have with him before he becomes an unruly toddler and a small child who can talk back to me. We spend a lot of time snuggling and I spend a lot of time chowing down on those sweet little cheeks.
I still question whether being a stay at home mom is truly for me, but I don’t have one single ounce of regret in any of the decisions I’ve made to get me to this point of my life in the here and now. I’m learning each day how to be a little bit of a better mom, with lots of failure along the way. But, mixed in with the failure is a whole lot of love and laughter and days ended with the sheer satisfaction of a comfortable bed. It’s a new season and I’m really enjoying it.