And just like that, they are
In one week, Reese will be one year.
Right now I’m watching her crawl around the living room and eat tiny scraps of paper from Sadie’s masterpiece creation station (aka the dining room table).
Paper bits glued to her face, she stops to slap my legs, kiss the dog, and talk to me in with assertive baby babble.
This is the baby that wouldn’t sleep but now wakes up smiling and excited to play.
This is the baby that weighs as much as her sister and eats as much as her Dad at dinner.
This is the baby that goes after what she wants and gets it every single time.
This is the baby that is strong and independent but always loves a good cuddle.
This is the baby that is so curious about the world and explores everything.
This is the baby who loves to dance and wiggle.
This is the baby who loves baths but hates getting ready for bed.
This is the baby that needs to go to sleep by 6:25 because she doesn’t nap at daycare (#FOMO).
This is the baby that has the sweetest big sister who always makes sure she is nurtured, fed, and entertained while Mom is busy in the kitchen.
This is the year that has been both exhausting and exhilarating.
This is the year that our family became complete.
This is the year that my baby turns one.
I asked my Mom friends to give me their best motherly advice.
This is what they said:
Be kind to yourself. Speak to yourself with the same kindness and compassion that you use to speak to your own child (or at least with same lovingness as when you are watching them sleep!).
Just as much as you are patient with your children, be patient with yourself. There is no handbook in regards to parenthood and at the end of the day your are human. Love yourself! Your children learn more by example
Forgive yourself – there will be bad days, days you feel you could have done more or been better and on those days you lay guilt on yourself – you have to forgive and move forward or the mom guilt can eat you alive.
Enjoy every single second! It flies by so fast and you can’t get it back. I remember wishing “she would just get potty trained, and cup trained and to talk so I could understand her” and realize by doing that I rushed through so much. Try to slow down and enjoy things. But also know, 1 day you may be blessed with grandchildren and OMG that’s just amazing in a whole new way!!
Remember that you’re not alone! Ask for help if you need it! Don’t sweat the small stuff!!! Be kind to yourself! Don’t get carried away in the Momma guilt. Also don’t forget to take time away with just your hubby! Don’t lose sight of the two people that created these beautiful lives. Cherish each other and your marriage!
Every phase has it’s hard times. Just remember they will grow out of it. And when your teenage daughter back talks you, just remember it’s because you raised her to be independent and not to take anyone’s crap.
Small children-small problems
Big children-big problems
Enjoy all the small problems as much as possible
None of us know what we’re doing all the time, but we figure it out as we go along! Call your mom, sister, friend…whoever you need to when you need to. Try not to compare yourself to other moms who seem to have their sh*t together. Stay off the internet/Google because you’ll drive yourself crazy. Be easy on yourself…a loving, safe home is what’s most important. And have fun!! Become a kid all over again!
Don’t feel bad when you need to say “ just a minute “ to your kids ! They will survive!
Enjoy the little moments. They all end sooner than you realize. And looking back over the last 15+ years, I still can’t believe how fast its gone and how grown up they already are becoming. Very bittersweet.
You MUST make time for you as a human. Not as a mom, or a wife, or any other title. Do something for you, to help you be the best version of you. So that you are able to be your best self as a wife, and as a momma. Your kids are watching and soaking in everything you do, how you act, how you treat others, how you act with your husband in your marriage, affection,etc. They’re learning what’s acceptable in relationships from what they see at home. Remember that.
As they get older, pick your battles. They will challenge you, they will strive for independence. You’ve given them the tools and examples to make GOOD decisions, let them life, and make their own path…. And if things go sour, they know their mama will always be there to pick them up & love them unconditionally.
Have a small circle of women in your life that are involved with you and the kids regularly. Call them for help, for advice, call them to vent on a rough Monday morning when everyone woke up late, the kida won’t stop crying, spilled their breakfast,the dog pooped in the house and you’re at your wits end. Strong parents raise strong children. We are a team and don’t ever forget you are never alone in this awesome journey.
If we weave all of these sentiments together, the common threads seem to be:
Be kind to yourself
Be mindful of the joyful moments
Build a life of loving relationships
Love yourself, your kids, your spouse, your family, and your village unconditionally.
Here’s my advice:
You are enough.
You are good enough, strong enough, mom enough.
You are everything.
And everything inside of you and around is as it should be.
1. Reese is the smiliest, happiest baby. She wakes up with big smiles and laughs all day long at everything!
2. Sadie saying “No, thank you” when I ask her to clean up. At least she has manners.
3. Reese having loud, babbling conversations with herself and anyone that will listen.
4. Sadie starting conversations with “Once upon a time……..”
5. Reese raising her eyebrows at me knowingly. I don’t know what she knows but it’s something.
6. Sadie continuing to have zero interest in potty training. I want to remember this because surely it will be funny someday.
7. Reese exploring everything. She has no fear and dives into whatever her heart desires. Which is usually the dog food.
8. Sadie whispering to Dad “Don’t worry, Daddy, the angels will keep you safe.” We don’t know where she got this and are interpreting it as a message from the Big Guy.
9. Sadie and Reese spending time with Grandparents. Its just as fun to watch the grandparents having fun as it is watching the kids play!
10. How fast 10 months goes by. We’ve already started making plans for Reese’s first birthday and it feels like we just brought her home last week. Yet, here’s this little person that knows her name, pulls herself up on everything, laughs big, belly laughs, has the silliest disposition, plays games with big sister, loves everything she eats (prunes, sweet potatoes, mango, broccoli, strawberries, oatmeal, bananas, smoothies and banana bread!), and gives the snuggliest hugs. Her personality is starting to shine and she makes the world so bright.
I want to remember the sheer joy these kids bring to us and the world.
That, and the time they both slept past 6:00 AM.
Thank God for small miracles (human ones and otherwise)!
Questions that come up for me as a parent:
1. Will I ever sleep again?
2. Can chronic sleep deprivation kill you?
3. Will the house EVER be clean?
4. The oldest is almost 3 and has ZERO interest in potty training. Is that normal?
5. When was the last time Reese pooped?
6. How bad is it really to use tv as a babysitter? (Daniel Tiger does a damn good job)
7. Can chronic sleep deprivation kill you?
8. If I became a stay-at-home mom, could I still take them to daycare?
9. Can a heart explode from cuteness?
10. Did my toddler just put me in time-out? WHAT DID I EVEN DO??
11. What will they be like when they’re teenagers?
12. Did I feed the dogs this week?
13. Am I really mean or just really tired?
14. How did my mom do this?
15. What memories will stay with me forever?
16. CAN YOU DIE FROM SLEEP DEPRIVATION?
As it happens in life, as soon as you have a baby, people want to know if you’re going to have more.
Do you keep buying lottery tickets when you’ve already won?
I won the baby lottery and the ticket shop is now closed.
Especially now that we are having so much fun with our winnings!
Friends, newborns are cute, but they are a lot of work.
Eight months in and we are finally (I always say that) hitting our stride.
My Mom promised me that life with two would get easier and (as is always the case) she was right.
Now that Reese can sit up on her own and is starting to move (crawl? shimmy?) she is
She thinks big sister is hilarious and laughs hysterically at the most mundane of moments.
They are starting to play together (and squabble over the same toys) and I can finally sit back and just soak up the joy.
Reese always has big, big smiles (until 4:00 and then she is ANGRY) and claps for herself and her accomplishments all throughout the day.
Speaking of accomplishments, Reese is:
Starting to crawl/scoot and she is FAST.
Eating ALL THE FOOD. They requested backup at daycare.
SO CURIOUS. She explores EVERYTHING in her path.
Talking (grunting) to let us know what she wants.
Playing independently. Something sister didn’t do much of until about a couple of months ago.
Sitting up in the crib when she wakes up. I find this to be the cutest thing ever. Even at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00 AM.
February was filled with love and Valentines all around.
Speaking of Valentine’s Sadie was so excited that we got her………..paper.
And Reese, naturally, was in love with her recycled bag.
Eight month old babies are the best.
They are all plump and squishy, but inquisitive and independent.
And 2.5 year olds make the best big sisters.
I just love it.
Just perused my phone and I have about 3 pictures from the last month.
Words will have to suffice.
I had lots of ideas of what to write about as we approached the 7 month mark, but they all escape me because
It’s not the sleepiness that comes from a restless night, it’s the kind of exhaustion that comes from 2.5 years of 24/7 demands.
I’m singing the song of motherhood, right?
I bet you all know the tune.
Even though I don’t have many pictures to show for it, its been an eventful month.
There were snow days and snow plays,
football with friends,
LOTS of swimming at the YMCA,
and a very important eye exam for Reese.
Reese has had a clogged tear duct since birth and its yet to clear on its own,
so the pediatrician referred us to the nearest children’s hospital to meet with a pediatric ophthalmologist.
My mom brain thought we were scheduling a surgery but it ended up being a consult (duh, what surgeon just goes poking around a baby’s eye without assessing the situation first?? Like I said, mom brain).
Part of me was glad that we would get to see the hospital in a non-emergency situation so that we could have an idea of where it was and what it was like.
Where it was: A short drive north.
What it was: The most amazing place on Earth.
Talk about attention to detail and making an exceptional experience for kids and families!
There were places to play at every turn, a huge digital aquarium, multiple cafes for coffee, baked goods, and healthy snacks, a huge playground, and opportunities for educational play in every waiting room (one game had this mom stumped!), and lots of color and visual stimulation.
We could have happily spent an afternoon there playing and exploring.
I’m so grateful that we have a top notch facility so close by.
After a quick consult with the doctor, she informed us that the blockage is “severe” but not something they perform surgery on until after a year.
There’s a chance it could clear on its own by then, so we don’t have to go back for another four months.
She gave us some ointment to use in the meantime and told us that the rest of Reese’s eye health is great!
Reese has also been doing lots of growing.
She can now sit up unassisted and never lets a toy or object escape her grasp.
Like Sadie, she is SO curious, but where Sadie was cautious, Reese dives after the things she wants.
She also spends an extraordinary amount of time examining the dogs and her own hands.
When she goes to sleep she soothes herself by flopping like a fish and it is adorable.
It’s less adorable at 2:00 AM when she does it for an hour and half, but what can you do?
She wakes up with big smiles and I forget to be mad.
Speaking of fish, Sadie has taken to the pool like one!
After spending a summer pleading with her to put on her lifejacket so she could go in the pool, it only took one time of seeing another little girl hop in the water with puddle jumper for Sadie to decide she was ready for one too.
The first day she wanted us to hold on to her the whole time while she kicked and swam, but now she’s swimming half the length of the pool (with a puddle jumper) on her own.
She also taught herself to slide into the water from the side of the pool.
She really loves to go to the Y to swim and I’m almost dreading the day I have to put her in childcare so I can actually get some exercise on my own.
But I desperately need some “me” time.
I’ll probably spend it in the sauna by myself enjoying the sound of silence.