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Friday, August 30, 2013

Motherhood and friends

This may surprise everyone but I don't make friends very easily. I tend to have lots of people I get along with but those close really close friendships are really hard for me to find. I can honestly say I have two maybe three really really good friends who I can call anytime and pick up right where we left off. 
Since becoming a mom I feel as if though I've made so many friends and not just acquaintances but really really good friends. I feel like our struggles with motherhood, struggles with being a good wife, struggles with figuring out who we are have lead us to develop these friendships. Motherhood is such a huge change in anyone's life and I am so thankful for those moms around me who have heard me cry, have helped me be a better mom, have listened to my fears of not being the wife I'd like to be, who have shared my struggles with my picky eater, breast milk loving baby boy. 
Yesterday I was at a play date and realized that my little guy is going to miss his little friends, friends that have been around us for the past year. I know he won't remember this past year but it is ingrained in me forever. This group of moms and babies have been growing together and now we are moving far away from them. It just really broke my heart to know that I'm leaving this great group. 
This morning while at the park, I met a mom that just moved into the area. It was so natural for me to talk to her and tell her how wonderful our neighborhood is and explain all of the things that keep me and my little guy busy. There's the library, story time at the museum, the zoo, botanical gardens and on and on. Oh and don't forget to tell her about MOPS and moms clubs etc. As I walked home I realized that in a couple of months that new mom in the neighborhood will be me. I hope there's a Melissa in that neighborhood that will take the time to tell me about all the awesome things to do in the area. I hope I find that MOPS group that will take me in and be the comfort and support that my current MOPS group provides. 
As we get ready for another adventure in our lives I can't help but be a little scared and a little more excited. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sleep...what is that???

I will never forget those jitters of excitement that my husband and I had as we prepared for the arrival of our little guy. We spent our Thanksgiving preparing the nursery for his arrival, 4 months later. As the crib sheets were put in place I could imagine my little baby sleeping in the crib listening to his mobile. I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined that there are some babies who just have sleep issues and my little guy would be one of those.

Fast forward to March when AJ was born, he had to stay in the NICU for 7 days, I would eat, sleep, pump, go spend the allotted time with my baby and come back and do that all over again even through the night. I was so exhausted and wished so much that everything would have gone perfectly and that AJ could've been in the same room with me.  We some how survived that week and finally brought our little one home. He had fallen asleep on the 30-40 minute drive home from the hospital so my husband carefully took him out if his car seat and placed him into his crib. That's when it all began, 5 minutes later and he was awake. We took turns carrying and soothing him, he fell asleep again and this time I decided that I'd just hold him. After all for those 7 days all I wanted was to hold him without worrying about accidentally pulling out his IV or messing with any if his sensors. So I held him as he slept and I enjoyed it.

Throughout the day and evening I'd try to put him to sleep in the crib but as soon as his body hit the crib he'd wake up. 
Night time came and I held him, I laid him next to me it seemed as if though he'd get the best sleep if I held him so after trying different things I resorted to sleeping in the recliner holding him...for eight months!! Gasp I know I gave in but he was such a light sleeper that I tried countless times to lay him in the crib and the most sleep he'd get was 20-30 minutes. The only thing he liked other than being with me was sleeping in his car seat or swing. There he'd sleep for 2-3 hours. 

I tried sleeping in bed with him but for some reason he wanted to be upright, I thought maybe he had reflux, maybe his teeth were coming in, maybe maybe I just didn't know but for my sanity I held him and slept sitting up with him. He nursed a lot during the day and at night comfort nursed a lot. Since I had trouble with producing enough milk anytime he wanted to eat I let him. 

During our Christmas vacation in SA I finally eased him into bed with me reducing the angle that I was reclined until by the end our three weeks away from home I was finally sleeping flat in a bed!! After that point I moved a full size bed into AJ's room and every night after midnight I co-sleep in his room.

Looking back there are so many things I'd do differently if we should have another baby, but for this little guy this is what worked and for this tired, struggling with Breastfeeding, first time mom this is what worked for us. I treasure any time I get to hold AJ even now sometimes he has trouble sleeping so I lay him on top of me and he sleeps just fine. I love the closeness we have, I love that he feels so safe and comforted by me. I take this all in as I know that before I know it he's going to start his first day of school, graduate from High school, college, and (gulp) get married. 

I used to wonder why God made things so difficult for me and my little guy, I had prayed since I found out I was pregnant for a healthy, quick delivery and it was anything but that. The first few months were hard as I was trying to figure things out how to be a mom, how to Breastfeed, how to produce enough milk, how to sleep, how to have time for a shower, how to have a conversation with my husband and on and on. I truly look back and know that God blessed me with a way to get the closeness to my son one like I could've never imagined. 
Thank you Lord for my experience and the many more experiences with our little guy that you are going to bring us. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My before baby views meet my new reality

Prior to having a baby I had certain ideas about what my life would be like as a mom. I remember thinking that I would use all of my early childhood and early brain development knowledge to play exciting games, develop my own activities and provide my baby with amazing learning experiences. The reality is that it seems like these 17 months have flown by and I haven't utilized my knowledge as much as I had hoped.

As soon as we brought AJ home it was like everything was thrown out the window. I was simply trying to survive. I had always imagined being a mom but never really knew what that meant and how to really do it. It really took almost 3 or 4 months before things finally started to feel comfortable. 

Before motherhood I had a list of things that I vowed to never do, I had told myself, I'm not going to be THAT mom. But Hello, I am THAT mom. These are the things that I never thought I'd do, but they work so I gotta do what I gotta do for my mommy loving, picky eater, and adventurous little guy. In my next couple of blogs I will go into detail on some of these things.

1. I cosleep with my little guy
2. I broke down and bought a harness for him.
3. He watches TV while I cook or if he wakes up at 3 a.m. (like he did today).
4. I sit in the back seat of the car with him when someone else can drive.
5. I often feed him while he plays or watches TV because I can get him to eat more that way.

Oh mommy hood is not that fairy tale that I had imagined, it's hard work, and sometimes what works best for your child isn't what you imagined. As moms we do what we can and always try do our best given the circumstance and our child's temperament.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Baby shower

Since my parents are visiting I took advantage of the extra help and worked on some baby shower decorations for an upcoming party. The theme is hippos. It was so hard to find boy hippo items, but I managed to find a few items. I wanted to make sure the wreath and diaper cake weren't too much, as in over done with things. I wanted them simple but cute. So here's what my mom and I came up with. 
My mom loves making wreaths so she showed me how to make this burlap wreath. I decorated it with hippo chip clips from the dollar tree, a wooden O that I decorated and instead of a chalk board I used black card stock and a silver marker to simulate a chalkboard and chalk sign.

For the diaper cake we used a cylinder tube of tub toys from target and rolled diapers to create the cake. A few wash towel rosettes, some ribbon and the blue hippo finished up this project. 

These two projects were pretty simple to make and I enjoyed working with my mom on these two projects. 
The mommy to be enjoyed them and they looked great at the party. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer Fun

Nothing says summer fun like water!! We've had such an amazing summer, a trip to San Antonio to visit family, lots of play dates at the local spray park, water table play, fun at the pool and of course a visit from the grandparents. 

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought summertime with a 1 year old could be so fun. We try hard to keep busy from story times at libraries and museums to play dates with other moms and babies. I've discovered that my little guy loves water and would jump into the lake if allowed to!! For a mom who doesn't know how to swim this is very scary!  Luckily I've found safer ways to entertain him with water play. 
We had the opportunity to visit a local spray park several times this summer and it was a huge hit with AJ. He loves water and other children, so he loved it. This will definitely be on our to do list next summer. 
I love keeping busy with my little guy, it really makes the day go by faster and tires him out so he can take a long afternoon nap while I start on dinner. 

Here's a list of some fun things we did this summer:
Music time at our local library, story time at a museum, fishing with grandpa, spray park, pool time, zoo and aquarium trips, trip to Sea World, parks and play dates. We've had a great summer and I hope you did too!!