Motherly Love

It’s nearly 6 a.m. and I’m slowly waking up to the tiny coo’s coming from the little person I brought into my bed when she woke up in the middle of the night. I open one eye and try to shove a binky in her mouth, hoping that she will immediately go right back to sleep. “Come on”, I think “just give me another hour.” Sometimes it works and sometimes I have to accept whatever amount of sleep I got and hope to catch a nap later in the day (but I don’t count on it). As unhappy as I am about having to wake up before my body wants me to, I can’t help but smile when I turn my head and see the sweetest little grin- consisting only of two bottom teeth.

The day starts with a feeding and a diaper change for her and a large iced coffee for me- you know, the essentials. As she sits up on her play mat she examines her many toys with her eyes, hands, and mouth. I spend about 10 minutes playing with her before I look around and make a mental list of all the things that need to get done around the house. And then something else catches my attention and I wish I had written that list down on paper.

When I start thinking about my week I realize that I have no idea what day it even is. So I yell out to the only other person in the house who can talk back, “Alexa, what’s the date today?”. She gives me the 411 and when it’s a Friday, a little piece of me dies as I think back to the days when a Friday was always something to look forward to.

I love my daughter more than I ever thought I could love another person, but being alone with her all the time can be- I’m just gonna say it… boring as hell. Saying this makes me feel bad. I look at how big she’s gotten and I can’t believe that what the millions of strangers have told me is actually true. “It goes by so fast!” Ugh I hate when the strangers are right.

It does go by so fast. Suddenly she won’t let me hold her a certain way, so I adjust to her needs without realizing that I’ll never hold her the same way again. I mean, I could but she’s bigger now and it’s not the same. Some days may be boring, but they are also filled with moments of pure happiness and amazement at the little person my baby is becoming. It also doesn’t hurt to have cool neighbors and friends that keep me sane.

At the end of the day, when we’re both in our beds, I go to sleep knowing that I will be woken up in a few hours. I know that I will have to get up, go into her room, and lift her out of her crib to bring her into my bed because I’m too dang tired to do it again. I go to bed knowing all of this and being totally okay with it because I also go to bed knowing that I’ll wake up to the sweetest little two-toothed grin.

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Milestones

Watching your child grow is probably the best reminder of how fleeting life is. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been trying to work on some lifestyle changes. One of the things on my list is to keep a journal to track Logan’s growth. I’ve always kept a journal but lately I have been so horrible about actually writing in it.

So as I lie awake in bed, not able to sleep because of the amount of caffeine I’ve consumed today.. I choose to write. Not in my journal because that would require lights and a pen, but here in my online diary for all to see!

April was a big month for little Logie. She was baptized, tried solid foods, got two bottom teeth, and started rolling all over the place. So far in May, she has begun to say things like “mamamama” and “dadadadada”, and she sits up on her own like a champ. She’s working on her dexterity all the time and I have so much fun watching her grab things and try to shove them in her mouth.

She’s been sleeping better too! How quickly I’ve forgotten having to wake up every couple of hours for feedings. She was waking up twice for the past couple of months but now she pretty much only wakes up once, usually around 4am. Then goes right back to sleep after I feed her. AND she’s starting to sleep in her crib.

All of these little milestones are amazing to watch. I see this little baby that I brought into the world and just observe as she becomes more and more intelligent each day. It happens so fast! Blake and I hear it ALL THE TIME… “enjoy it, they grow up so fast”. We actually laugh about how many times we hear that when we go out in public because it’s a ridiculous amount. But they really are growing so fast when they’re babies.

During the first three years of life, we learn more than we ever will in any other three years of our lives. That’s why the early stages of life are so important. Babies are constantly absorbing new information and they totally vibe off of the emotions and reactions of the adults around them. I don’t even like yelling at my dog in front of Logan because I don’t want her to think I’m yelling at her. Yelling is toxic and can have lasting effects on a child.

Granted, it’s bound to happen sooner or later when your kid is misbehaving but I think it’s important to try to discipline without yelling. Ever since I’ve become a parent, I think a lot about what a huge responsibility it is. We are responsible for raising a whole generation of people and if we collectively do a great job then the world will be a better place for everyone.

Happy Tears

Yesterday Logan laughed for the first time, like really laughed! And OMG my heart melted. It’s the most indescribable feeling raising a little human. I had heard moms say things like that in the past, before I had a baby of my own. But now I understand what they meant. The first time she smiled at me, my eyes started to tear up because my heart was so happy. When she laughed yesterday I had tears rolling down my cheeks as I laughed with her. I saw her little personality shining through those pretty blue eyes and thought, “I can’t believe I made this”. It’s these little moments that make me understand why people decide to have more than one kid.

There are so many things about pregnancy and becoming a new parent that people don’t talk about. The recovery process is really tough for moms. Your body just pushed another human out of it, of course its going to take a while to heal. A long nine months of buildup all comes down to this one day when your body just spits out a mini person. The belly is still there, just smaller and saggier. Your body is this alien thing that you don’t even recognize and your stretch marks are painful to look at. You know that you just preformed a damn near miracle so you love your body anyway and just hope that it goes back to how it was, and as hard as it is to believe.. it pretty much does, eventually.  Going to the bathroom is terrifying. All that blood and junk that was in there with your baby is still coming out of you for weeks! I KNOW..TMI but I really feel that this needs to be shared because I was not expecting to have to wear mondo maxi pads for over a month after having a baby. Breastfeeding is painful and SO time consuming, you’re at your baby’s beck and call every couple of hours all day and all night.

One thing you’re probably expecting but never actually ready for is the sleep deprivation. Why are you expecting it? Well because every friend, relative, and acquaintance with a child will be sure to tell you to enjoy your sleep while it lasts, of course.. ensuring you that it won’t last very long! Well being 9 months pregnant, waking up to pee 5 times a night, struggling to get comfortable, having a hard time flipping from one side to the other, and trying to ignore the back pain while fighting off leg cramps and acid reflux isn’t exactly a great nights sleep either. (run-on sentence much?- yeah, it was necessary)

The lack of sleep might cause you and your partner to get into stupid little arguments. I know it was difficult for Blake at first because I was the only one who could feed Logan but I was just SO tired and uncomfortable and two hours felt more like two minutes between feedings. When he would say “she’s hungry!” as if I didn’t know, it honestly was annoying to me. I know he didn’t mean to be rude about it, he was just frustrated that she was crying and he couldn’t give her what she needed. I would have to mentally prepare myself for the pain of breastfeeding each and every time. We had to stop ourselves a couple of times and verbally point out that we were arguing with each other for no good reason other than we were both sleep deprived.

It was those first few weeks that made me wonder why the hell anyone would put themselves through that on purpose multiple times over. I looked at my mom and thought, woman you are insane for having three children so close together. I’ve always loved her for being my mom but I definitely had a newfound respect for her and all the other great moms I know. Those first few weeks go by, and breastfeeding is no longer painful. You start to get used to waking up in the middle of the night and functioning with less sleep. Your body starts to heal and your belly slowly but surely begins to shrink. Going to the bathroom becomes less scary and suddenly you’ve got the hang of life with a newborn. Then all of a sudden, your baby isn’t fitting into those newborn clothes anymore and you’re feeling conflicted about how fast they’re growing. The first couple weeks are a huge blur. Your baby is this little slug who can’t do anything for themselves and they do nothing exciting… but the baby cuddles are intoxicating. Feeling that soft little head on your cheek is another indescribably wonderful feeling. Then come the smiles, and then the laughs and you realize that your life before baby was void of something and you never had any idea. You never knew that your heart could be SO full of love. You understand why people want more. You may even try to remind yourself of all the hard times and difficulties so that you don’t end up with Irish twins.

I am loving being a mom and I could go on all day about about the cute things my baby does and how much I love her, but I think it’s equally as important to acknowledge the harder parts. Spreading baby fever with pictures and videos is easy but people don’t see all the hard work behind those pictures. The ten thousand diaper changes and the never-ending neurotic google searches about whether the color of baby’s poop is normal, what that rash could be, and when they will start sleeping through the night, etc. ect.

Motherhood is a difficult lifestyle change. It’s a demanding job and it can be really draining. But that first laugh, yeah…. that first laugh makes it all worthwhile.

New Year New Mom

Alright, I’m back… now let’s see if I can write something worth posting before this baby wa… never mind, she just woke up.

Motherhood is an emotional rollercoaster. Some days are easier than others and other days are well, like today.. just absolutely awful. It wasn’t the baby that made my day awful though, no no, it was the dirt in my backyard.

You see, we have a lot of dirt in our backyard. Today it rained which means that the dirt turned into mud.

Tilly, our 11 month old great dane has never experienced rain before.. at least not like this. So she decided to have some fun and dig around in the mud and then proceed to track it around the entire house. With dark wood floors throughout, floors that I spent at least an hour cleaning only two days ago, the dirt was easy to see.

As I sat on the couch feeding a cranky baby who absolutely did not want to take a nap, I stared at the floors knowing that I shouldn’t stress about them because the rain probably wasn’t stopping anytime soon and even if it did, the mud would still be there for another day or so.

So I decided to take a shower instead. With a crying baby within earshot, I soon realized that I couldn’t even shave my armpits because Tilly thinks razors are chew toys and yesterday, she destroyed mine. Thankfully she didn’t digest any blades but you best believe I had a heart attack thinking that she did before I found the top part of the razor in the backyard untouched.

As you can imagine it was a pretty quick shower considering I couldn’t shave and I couldn’t stand the sound of my crying baby for very long. When I got out and got dressed I decided to tackle the floors, because lets be honest, they were giving me anxiety.

I locked the dog out and started sweeping, intending to wash the dog after. She inevitably started freaking out as she’s a bit clingy and does NOT like being locked out. Baby in one arm and Swiffer in the other, I half-assedly cleaned the floors.

Halfway through I realized that the barking, whimpering, and jumping up on the sliding glass door had stopped. So I went to check on the dog. I couldn’t find her anywhere in the yard and I started freaking out because she didn’t have her collar on. I ran back inside thinking I was delusional and that maybe she had gotten in somehow. I came back to see her sitting at the sliding glass door, hmm weird- but I didn’t have the time to think about where she had been while I was looking for her. So I continued cleaning and then someone knocked on my front door.

It was the sweet old man down the street letting me know that my dog was out and had run around the corner towards the busy street. Puzzled and concerned, I thanked him and ran straight to the backyard to see what was going on. Tilly was there, so who’s dog had he seen? He had described her exactly. Come to find out, the fence on the far end of the dirt side of the backyard had either been knocked down by the wind or Tilly knocked it over on her own. She probably headed straight for the busy street and freaked out about the cars, then came home.

I couldn’t get the fence to stay up sturdily enough not to be knocked over again, so I tried to get ahold of the dog to rinse her off and bring her inside. She knew she was in trouble so she wiggled her way under our deck, making her even muddier than before.

I was starting to lose it. A crying baby, muddy dog and broken fence were sure to be the death of me. I decided to join Logan and just cry a little bit myself.  Then I called my mother-in-law for some help.

After my (trying to hold the tears in) phone call, Logan finally decided to fall asleep and Tilly came out from under the deck. I grabbed her and hosed her and the patio down. When I opened the sliding door and leaned in to lay down a towel, a shifty piece of moulding above the door fell down hitting me in the head. It was that exact moment when I couldn’t help but laugh/cry wondering what else could possibly go wrong.

My mother-in-law showed up and helped me try to fix the fence, but more importantly she made me feel better and not so alone.

A few hours later as I recollected my day, Tilly was sweetly leaning against me, letting me give her kisses and Logan was laying peacefully on the couch. I looked at them both and realized that even though they stressed me out, (mainly the dog) I couldn’t help but love the shit outta them.

So thats kinda how motherhood has been going for me so far… at least since Blake has been gone. When he was here it was 100x easier because Logan was sleeping pretty much all day and the dog listens to him much better than me… also he changed half the diapers and calmed the fussy baby half the time. I really don’t know how single moms do it, I imagine they don’t have wild puppies to worry about but if they do, Lord help them.

In conclusion, I can’t blame the baby or the puppy who don’t know any better. Therefore I blame the dirt.. and the rain that turned it into mud. Also the fence that might as well not even be there. Oh and I can’t forget the shifty piece of molding.. gotta keep an eye on that thing- it’s out for blood.

So anyway… Being a new mom is not always easy, as I had imagined. But I’m totally in love with this little human we created and I know that watching her grow up will trump all of the difficult days to come.

By the way I wrote most of this with one hand- frequently stopping to sip wine and calm a crying baby… blogging is no longer a leisurely activity- but I still love it.