Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Holy Smokes, Henry's 1 year old

I remember every detail of the day I gave birth to Henry. That first cry and that slimy first hug. I remember his first smile and his first laugh, held so tightly in my heart. I remember the first time he crawled, the first time he devoured a banana, the first time he gave me a big open mouth kiss leaving drool on my cheek. It all feels like it was just yesterday. This is has been the most incredible whirlwind year, full of some of the most wonderful moments I could ever imagine. 

And now, my little squish is a year old! He's a full blown toddler, climbing and standing, babbling and being stubborn, learning his animals and making messes. He's not a baby anymore. He eats like a beast, and is absolutely present in every moment teaching us to be excited about the little things in life. 

So because I'm a first time mom, my son is amazing, and I love a good excuse to eat cake and have people over, Henry had a fun little birthday party last weekend. He doesnt have any 1 year old friends yet, so we invited a bunch of ours over. I did my best at being crafty and made the decorations, and have the hot glue gun burns to show for it. 

 He ate cake. Lots of it. A good time was had by all. I'm so proud of the little boy he has become, so excited for the adventures we have ahead of us, and a little sad for the baby moments that have passed. 

Hoping for hundreds more afternoon naps that I can sneakily peak in at him. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Guilt of Motherhood

The pressures, expectations, self-judgment and outward comparisons of being a mom are enormous. Enormous I tell you! The things I find myself feeling bad about, or guilty about like I've dropped the ball are truly ridiculous. But it feels like the nature of parenting and motherhood has these crazy notches on the measuring stick, and because some kids can do certain things or some moms do certain things, then my lack of doing those things means I have somehow let my kid down. Which if I try, for just a moment, to be a rational human being I may be able acknowledge that my worries are unreasonable. But I am unreasonable, so the whole rational thinking thing doesn't equate to much. Here are a few examples of what seem to be worthy of questioning my mom skills.  

Henry is almost 11 months old and doesn't know a bit of sign language. He cannot sign to tell us if he's hungry, full, tired, or would like a puppy.  But he does whisper something that sounds very close to "poop" while he is pooping, which to me, is pretty extraordinary. 

I'm not big into music but about a month ago, James played some music while he was hanging out with Henry, and he immediately responded. He calmed down, he was listening and thinking, and he was bobbing up and down. Great, right? Except that I felt terrible that I had wasted 10 months of his life without surrounding him with music, and maybe, just maybe, I had already set back his brain development, because we all know music helps tiny human's brains develop and become more active. So I'll have you know that every day since we make sure we have music on while we play or eat. Hopefully I can undo the effects of my failure to have music playing for 10 whole months. 

My kid has worn socks maybe a dozen times in the 300+  days he's been alive. Apparently people expect babies to have socks on? This guilt is only momentary, and then I think, my kid hasn't ever been sick. Which I also attribute to the fact that he, on numerous occasions, has chewed on grocery carts, restaurant tables, and playground equipment. My lack of concern has lead to an impenetrable immune system. For this I am confident. 

I can probably spill out some meaningful statement about not judging our parenting and mom skills and that comparing ourselves to others isn't fair, but the fact is, I do it. Constantly. I think on one hand, it keeps me striving to be an awesome mom, on the other hand it keeps me questioning if I am doing enough and on the last hand -- because moms have three hands, thats how we get some much done -- the bitterness reaffirms that I am happy with how I am showing up as a mom, even if it's not the most "proper" way. 
Because we have fun. We laugh and smile and sneak up on eachother with kisses. We make huge messes, and loud noises. We blow bubbles in our water cup and bite eachothers feet. We sit on the floor and eat snacks and sometimes leave the house without being all put together. We try our absolute best. This is the good stuff, we don't make it serious. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Too Slow, Too Fast

Have you ever felt like a day is slowly creeping along? Or that there just isn't enough time? Have you ever felt both in the very same day?

This is motherhood to me. 

There are days that I am just counting down the minutes to Henry's bedtime, until I can start our routine of dinner, bath, nursing, books, bed. Starting that routine feels like the light at the end of the tunnel on some days. Once he's asleep, I usually find I have too much to do and there is very little down time. Once I've gotten him to bed, I straighten up the kitchen, which after Henry's explored, usually winds up with dishes and boxes of crackers, bags of rice, and pots and pans strewn across the floor. For my sanity I put everything away. Make us dinner (or send James out to hunt and bring home mexican food), eat dinner, clean up from dinner. Then get to folding laundry or organizing the bedroom or any other combination of household tasks. It usually winds up being 9:30 or 10:00 once I'm done, and by that time my brain is fried, I'm achey, and writing or working on projects is the last thing I want to do. 

It's endless. 

I could totally go for some "me time." A pedicure, an afternoon out at a cafe to focus on writing, getting a sewing project done, repurposing furniture, building planter boxes, painting the mailbox....argh.  I can't even think of more than a few ways to relax before getting back to the household tasks. I am so out of practice when it comes to relaxing. 

But it's a labor of love. The belly laughs, sloppy kisses, and snuggles kind of make the daily grind seem like a small price to pay for all that is awesome about my life. 

And considering its closing in on 10pm and a complete shutdown of my brain, this will be a rather short post. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The circus has landed

Deep breathes, deep breathes.
We moved! Happy face.

While our 8 month old was teething with his very first tooth. Sad face. 

My life is now a demonstration of emoticons. Each emotion lasting all but a few seconds before another comes by. And by the end of each day I end up looking like the emoticon with two big eyes and a straight line as its mouth. An exhausted, emotionless, unfocused mess. Mess as in a physical mess. Wearing these weird sweatpant material awkward length shorts, a bright green t-shirt, and smelling like I bathed with a dirty baby.  And here I am...looking at the kitchen which is in a state of disarray as I snack on the "hidden"stash of dove chocolates that James put in a cabinet that I forgot about for a couple of weeks, only to be overjoyed by this (sort of) new discovery. But only because I earned that chocolate. I cleaned up a mashed avocado, the pots and pans that I stubbed my toe on, and the hot chocolate packets that lay all over the floor because our wonderful 9 month old obviously has the nose of a drug sniffing dog to find that powdery goodness. Unopened thank god. End scene. Repeat nightly. And then remember the 12 hours prior that make it all worth it. 

Anyway, things are finally calming down here, after a couple of weeks of life being a circus. I'm trying to convince myself that it's calmed down even though there are a couple of mounds of laundry and unpacked boxes right behind me. In the kitchen. Oh and the entire house is covered in dust because of the work being done. The number of times I have swept, mopped, vacuumed, and swiffered has been deemed pointless. Not that anyone is counting but it's got to be in the hundreds. I forever resent the floor installers who were sawing in the house. Ffffffff. 

I can't grumble too much because we found our "long-term" home. Long-term for us is probably 10 years. We live in a great neighborhood, with an awesome elementary school that we can walk to, a safe area, an incredible view, plenty of space, and a strong investment. Everything lined up and things fell into place.

*As you can see by parts of this post, specifically the mention of "our 8 month old" and "our 9 month old," this draft to completion took me a month. We do not, in fact, have a second mystery baby. I have about 6 drafts staring at me with this weepy look of incompleteness.

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