One Year of Motherhood

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One year ago today, I gave birth to a 7 pound 13-ounce baby boy via C-section. He smelled like home, fit perfectly on my chest, and made us a family. He was perfection.

Today I woke up with a little explorative toddler who shrieks as he covers my face in big sloppy kisses. He is perfection.

Throughout my pregnancy and the first few months of Wyatt’s life, everyone whispers the same telling advice, “Enjoy every moment!” To a new mom that hasn’t showered for 3 days, is running on two hours of sleep, and doesn’t know why on earth her baby won’t stop crying, that phrase feels more like a guilt trip than words of wisdom.

There were days that felt monotonous and never-ending that I wished away so I could sleep. There were nights of cluster feeding and a baby that refused to sleep that I wished away so I could sleep. All the while those little words, “Enjoy every moment” haunted me. I knew the year would go by fast but sometimes the days felt like years.

But most moments were blessed with happiness. We met each new month with joy and surprise over the changes it brought. Smiling! Rolling over! Sitting up! Grasping toys! Babbling! Crawling! Pulling up! Every day was a new adventure, we never knew what to expect. Life was full of fun and ups and downs and laughs as we bumbled our way together as a family of three.

We watched our little swaddled baby afflicted with torticollis develop into his own sweet little personality and it all felt unbelievably surreal.

Last night, on the eve of his first birthday, I nursed my baby before his bedtime and started to cry. In my hands was a long, lean, and strong little boy, holding onto my hand as he had his nightcap. This will be the last time that I lie my baby down in his crib before he is officially a toddler. Where did my baby boy go?

Despite all the warnings, I still found myself surprised to find that time had slipped through my hands.

I look around his nursery and I can clearly picture myself sitting in this same glider, rocking a little 8-pound newborn at 2 in the morning, almost in tears myself because I was so exhausted. I remember her well. She feels like this night will never end, that her baby will never sleep through the night. She fears that she is doing everything wrong. She innocently doesn’t think that one day she will miss peering down at her sweet baby’s delicate face. She is clueless has to what the year will bring. She is clueless as to how much bigger her heart will grow in the next twelve months.

It’s been a wonderful year of change and milestones and I can’t wait to see how much we will all grow as a family in the months and years ahead.

But nothing can compare to that bittersweet first year where so much change happened in such a short time; it seems like a weird lucid dream.

In a matter of twelve months I gave birth to a baby and then helped that baby grow into a sweet, calm, happy, and curious little toddler. I still have no idea what I’m doing as a mother but each day I learn a new lesson and love him a little bit more than the day before.

Happy First Birthday, Wyatt. You are our entire world. We love you so much!  

 

 

Wyatt: 10 Months Old

Wyatt10months1  Wyatt turned ten months two weeks ago! We’ve been so busy this summer that blogging and my updates are a bit behind.

Busy is the best word to describe Wyatt these days.

His personality is shining through and he’s acting like a little boy. We are having a lot of fun together and he’s keeping me on my toes.

There has been so much change this past month, I don’t even know where to begin! The biggest thing to note from this month is the fact that he is sleeping through the night in his crib! I repeat, he is sleeping through the night in his crib. Miracles do happen! The baby who refuses to sleep no more!

Weight: I’d guess around 21 – 22 pounds

Length: I’d guess around 29 inches. 

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Hair: light brown and getting longer. He has a few strands by his ears that are super long. 

Eyes: Blue

Nicknames: Wy, Wy-Wy, Mr. Man, Binky. Stinky 

Likes: Books, Photographs, Music, Playing in water, Dog bowels, Pulling up on things, Mickey Mouse, eating, dogs, opening and closing doors, the piano, bells, his wubanubs.

Dislikes: Getting his diaper changed and getting dressed.  

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Clothing and Diapers: 6-12 months clothing, size three diapers. 

Sleep: Sleeping through the night in his crib! He goes down around 7:30 at night and usually sleeping until 5 – 6 am. Sometimes he still wakes  up around 3:30 – 4 for a quick snack, but that’s few and far between. He then takes an average of two naps a day. 

Feeding: Breastfed every three – four hours and eats three solids a day plus some puffs as snacks. Thank goodness for puffs, he loves them and they entertain him very well. 

Milestones: Sleeping through the night, pulling himself up on furniture, crawling on his hands and knees (not just army crawling), turning pages in books super fast, sharing food and toys with us, and waving. 

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What I want to remember:

 

How he shakes his whole body when one of his favorite songs come on (The Hot Dog Song and Peanut Butter Sandwich)

The way he eagerly wants to share everything with us.

How he can entertain himself for atleast 10 -15 minutes browsing through all of his books. 

His reaction to the ocean waves. 

The way he tossed away a regular pacifier with disgust when I tried to give him one while down at the beach (instead of getting his beloved stuffed wubanub all sandy and wet)

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
  

   
        

My Hope as a Mother After the Orlando Tragedy

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I’m still reeling from the tragedy in Orlando. Powerless, frightened, sickened, frustrated, and devastated. These are all words that aim to describe how I feel. But there are no words to truly convey how the surviving victims and their loved ones feel. My heart simply aches for our country.

Where is our future headed?

We know the facts. That this was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. That 49 were killed and 53 more were injured. That the killer easily obtained an assault rifle despite his history with the FBI. That there have been 141 mass shootings (more than 4 people involved) in 2016 already.

But what makes a tragedy so tragic is the fact that the consequences leave us with a hole that no statistic, justification, apology, speech, vigil, or prayer can fill. How many more holes can our country take before we are so fragile we crumble?

Many people question why one would choose to bring a child into such a scary world. To me, as a mother, that answer is simple. Each and every child is a hope for our future. Each boy and girl has the potential to create change – every little act of kindness as the potential to domino into a life altering change.

As a mother, I look into my innocent baby’s eyes and hope that he will be one of the good ones. I hope that he will always choose love. Hope is a powerful weapon. But it takes more than hope. It takes action – from us all.

Love is not a singular activity. In order to bring change we must act together. As a society we must love one another, help one another, accept one another.

Teaching acceptance, kindness, and love start at home. As a mother I aim to teach my children these basic moral codes. I promise to tell and show my children how to choose love every day.

But we are more than our singular homes. One day our children will leave our homes and the power to teach goodness will not be solely in our hands as parents. These principles must continue to be taught in our schools, our places of worship, and our places of work. It takes all of us. Not just parents, not just teachers, not just leaders. The power to bring about change takes all of us. Straightforward concept, right?

Yet, we are failing. Why is such an easy task, to be kind, accepting and loving, so hard to achieve?

As a mother I promise to never stop searching for that answer. I promise that in every step I take I will choose love. Together I believe we can move forward to peace, I won’t let go of that hope.

Wyatt: 9 Months Old

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Wyatt turned nine months last week! Nine months!! This month has been jam packed with fun, change, and major changes for Wyatt. 

I feel like he’s closer to a little boy than a baby now. He’s so attentive to everything around him and loves exploring. My little baby is growing up. He is keeping us on our toes, but we are loving it. He’s so full of joy and this happy positive energy. It’s hard to be sad around him. 

We are so lucky to have such a happy and content baby. Really, the only time he cries is when he’s tired and when he won’t go to bed at night or in the car. (He cried the entire 2 hours home from DC yesterday, fun times)

I started my new job on May 1 and now work from home. It’s challenging but also perfect for me. The other week I was at the pool, breastfeeding Wyatt, while responding to work emails on my phone. What other job could I do that at?

It’s been a fun month for us. He’s so much fun!

Weight: 20 pounds and 6 ounces

Length: 28 inches. 

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Hair: light brown, although sometimes I swear it look blonde and then other days it’s almost red.

Eyes: Blue

Nicknames: Wy, Wy-Wy, Mr. Man, Bink, 

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Likes: Doors (opening and closing them) air conditioning vents, photographs of people, books, music, dancing, crawling, exploring, eating, shaking things, balls, Mickey Mouse, dogs. 

Dislikes: Sleeping in his crib. Getting dressed. Riding in the car for extended amounts of time. 

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Clothing and Diapers: 6-12 months clothing, size three diapers. 

Sleep: He takes three naps a day, the longest one in the afternoon. Sleep at night is touch and go. We are desperately trying to transition him into his crib and are suffering with the crying it out method. 

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Feeding: Breastfed every three hours and eats three solids a day plus some puffs as snacks (but Maggie usually gets most of those!) He likes everything. But I think his favorites are butternut squash and blueberries.

Milestones: Army crawling everywhere. Standing up assisted. Recognizing music. Turning pages in books by himself. Kissing. Banging two objects together. Squeeling and becoming much more vocal. 

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Favorite Things: Photographs (he loves crawling around the house and looking up at all the photos everywhere and studying them) Board books, Mickey Mouse, Hot Dog song, singing, listening to music,  balls, balloons, dogs, wagon rides, being outside. 

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What I want to remember:

How happy he is when I first see him in the morning. 

How he smushes he face up against mine (it’s his way of kissing)

 

How proud he looks when he makes his way to a door and then shows me how he can open and close it.

The way he goes over to his bookshelf and pulls out all his books until he finds his favorite “Baby Faces Peekaboo”

The shrieking noise he makes when he wants us to laugh at him.

When he crawls over and grabs my ankles when I’m drying my hair or doing my make up. 

Mother’s Day was very special. He was the perfect little gentleman at lunch and dinner. 

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Memorial Day weekend was a blast – traveled to Philly visiting family and my best friend. It was our first night away with him. He slept terribly and didn’t do well in the car, but otherwise it was fun…

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Those Little Moments of Joy

Lately motherhood has been messy and overwhelming. 

It has been hard transitioning into a new job and learning how to balance working at home while also looking after a crawling 8 month old while also stressing every day over Ryan finding a job. 

Once again, I feel like we are in this in between stage – waiting for our lives to begin. And it makes me feel so guilty and anxious.

I feel anxious that Ryan won’t find a job that he loves and will take a job to make ends meet. I worry that we won’t be able to provide Wyatt with everything we want to give him. 

I feel guilty because lately I’ve found myself counting down the minutes to Wyatt’s next naptime so I can get some work done. I feel like I’m ignoring him while he plays on the floor by himself and I’m focused on my computer. I feel guilty that I can’t give him 100% of my attention.

But then all it takes is one little moment of joy. One little smile from Wyatt that reminds me that everything is okay. He reminds me to live in the present. That right now all he needs is our love and our smiles. 

Motherhood will always be overwhelming. Life will always be messy. There are no “in between” stages of life. This is our life, right now, we are living it. His sweet smiles remind me to reach out and to capture these little moments before they are gone. 

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On My First Mother’s Day

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I feel like I should have something poetic or even profound to say on my first Mother’s Day. But in honesty, I am overburdened with too many words, too many thoughts, too many emotions to thread them together in a coherent message. The best way I seem to express myself these days are through soft tears that water up my eyes when I take a time out to think about the past 8 months of my life. 

Perhaps that is motherhood’s way of keeping you sane. You are so busy with all of the changes – the diaper changes, the laundry changes, the dishwasher changes, the growing baby that changes daily that you don’t have enough time to reflect on how you have changed. 

The daily life as a mother is so heavy. I’m constantly balancing life as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter, as a friend, as an employee, and as a woman. Every day I feel overwhelmed. There have been many times where I’ve questioned my ability to be a good mother, many times when I just wanted to give up and stay in bed all day or take the longest shower of my life while the baby screamed in the other room. 

But I did what mothers have been doing for centuries. I took a big breath and kept on going.

Kept waking up every three hours. Changed a diaper 5 minutes after I just changed the last. I sacrificed showers and dinners with friends and time with my husband to care for a baby who seemed to do nothing but eat, cry, and poop. 

You just keep moving. 

The magic of motherhood sneaks up to you in those mundane moments. It happens during that 4 a.m. feeding when you can’t keep your eyes open and you think you will never sleep again, but then the baby smiles at you for the very first time.

It happens when you’re changing your 10th diaper for the day but then the baby rolls over and giggles at you.

It happens when you’re glued to the couch pumping more milk for when you will be apart while working and the baby starts to crawl and looks up at you with so much pride and excitment.

It happens when you are lying awake in bed full of anxiety but then get a whiff of the little newborn, heavy in sleep, lying on your chest and just feel so alive.

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. But, love is all around, even in the middle of the night when you feel nothing but alone.

Just keep moving, the love will surprise you when you least expect it, coming at you full force, fueling up your heart for another day, surprising you and changing you in the most profound way.