Motherhood

DITL of a SAHM and 6 month old

it seems strange that anyone would even care to know about my day to day, but in an effort to get to blogging more, (#newyeargoals) i will overcome my own feeling of invisibility and write as though there is some amother out there who cares and appreciates the day to day. in all honesty, that is what this blog is meant to be about anyway, not the well curated moments that i can be guilty of posting. anyway, i’ll stop jawing about.

i would like to say that i get up at five or six am to start my day before he wakes up, but because he has been hitting all of these developmental and growth milestones back to back, i don’t get much sleep. so i usually get up closer to seven. and he just started teething this month, so there’s that.

i start my day by drinking at least twelve ounces of water. if i can get in twenty that would be splendid. the idea is that i can better hydrate before sticking food in me. i wash my face and brush my teeth and bird bath it—yes like i was eight years old again. mothers know at this stage you don’t have time to shower when its just you and baby, so bird bathing it is. then its time to put on a real bra. not the flimsy nursing bra, i’m talking about one that contours. i get dressed and i quickly make the bed before i grab a bite to eat.

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breakfast for me isn’t the greatest right now. i eat what isn’t going to wake up my son. that means no pretty smoothies. oatmeal and maybe a banana because those are quiet foods, right? my son usually wakes up when i am mid chew, i grab him, kiss him several times because he is so stinking cute even when he’s fussy in the morning. i change his loaded diaper and then i proceed to nurse him. his reflux is getting a lot better so i don’t have to hold him upright for half an hour anymore.

from the time that he first gets up, i know i roughly have an two hours before he’s ready to be put back down. i have started to let him have some play time in his crib or on a blanket by himself since he is not crawling yet. i then fix myself a real meal and then check all of my text that i missed from the day before or take pictures of him or i unload the dishwasher like a responsible human.

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normally i would give him solids after nursing, but with him teething, he hasn’t wanted anything but the boob. i read him a story, sing to him i have a playlist of five christmas songs presently in my head, then i put him down. i get some quiet things done like laundry or this graphic design project i have been working on more details on that soon! usually he gets a good first hour long nap in before he wakes up.

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once he’s up, i typically wait half an hour to feed him just because he had a shorter wake time. after that, i change him and get him loaded in the stroller to go for a walk around the neighborhood or a nearby park that doesn't take ages to drive to. this is good for both of us as we both need the stimulation. I am ok with letting him doze off for his second nap because it is so hard getting him down for his early afternoon naps with these stupid sleep merges.

If he is still asleep I will head to the grocery and do a little grocery shopping in the afternoon to get ready for dinner. we head back to the house I feed him and we play. I also attempt a decent lunch. His last nap of the day is the shortest, thirty minutes at most. then he is up for a total of three hours till bedtime that's three hours from the two he used to be because he is sloughing the fourth nap. 

during this time Keith gets home and plays with him and gets him ready for bed while I get dinner ready. on the rare occasion Keith and I get to eat together, but usually I am nursing while Keith eats and singing our boy to sleep. He wakes up twice, once for gas and the other because he needs a top off.

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lately he has been sleeping between four and five hours between his night feedings which has been awesome and nerve wracking because of the lack of consistency. but overall he is getting better.

I hope this helps some mum out there who finds herself having a difficult time. I know it was hard for me to read posts of mums who had it all together. 

first christmas

our first Christmas together was definitely an emotional one. two years ago we discovered that we were pregnant with Isaac. a year later we were celebrating with family over the news of getting pregnant again. we never got a chance to reflect on the holidays without Isaac.

 

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it was our first christmas staying at home, and neither one of us had given much thought to how we wanted to go since we always been at the mercy of someone else's schedule. So we spent some time thinking about what we both wanted for our growing family. And something we could do to remember Isaac.

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I found myself tearing up (okay in hindsight I was straight up bawling) at all the christmas hymns that praised the gift of life through the birth of Christ. even now it is hard to put into words the complete gratitude I felt for jesus and his sacrifice. this sacrifice that gives me the hope that I will see my son again one day.

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I hope your Christmas was merry and bright! When you stopped having Christmas with relatives, how did you go about creating your way of doing Christmas?

family holiday portrait

i am not a traditionalist when it comes to the holidays and that includes sending out family photo christmas cards. in all fairness, i never had a need to, until now that is. however, i was by no means going to entirely give in and try to get us all properly looking at the camera. with an infant—no way! plus keith and i have a tendency to look awkward when we have to think about how we need to stand in order for the photos to come out “right”. in the end, i was very pleased with the photos, especially the funny outtakes.

we’ll probably end up going with minted since they have a large selection of new year options. we figured everyone and their mother is doing christmas cards so we will mail ours out right after the new year that way we don’t get lost in the shuffle of other cards that will most likely find their way to the trash by the end of this month. you know you do it.

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for the record, this was my favorite and I would have used it for our mail outs if hadn’t have gotten a veto look from keith. i smelled dog poop and i was really hoping that we hadn’t sat in it.

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happy holidays everyone!

Leap four: world of events

last week i ran into one of my neighbors, peg, who was determined to have her yard cleaned before she went out to california for thanksgiving. as she leaned against her push broom, her walker within a few short steps, she asked how i was doing with lil’ man, and i told her, you know, just trying to figure out motherhood. she smiled and said to me don’t you wish they had a book on what its really like to be a mother?

i wanted to tell her there was and its called google, but i refrained.

while i don’t think there is a clinical book out there that has accurately or honestly described the first year of motherhood, i have been thankful for the books giving me a better understanding of what is going on with baby.

we as adults take everything we do, see, feel, smell, and know for granted. i guess somewhere in my mind i just assumed that babies were on their own biological timer that said hey now, its time for you to start crawling. i had not even imagined that just the ability to grasp things takes weeks of their brain growing so that it can hold all of the new data and string sequences together.

instead of looking through my own lens of watching for new achievements, i have started to look through his eyes as he picks up a toy and learns to drop it. i giggle as he repeatedly does it. i get the amusement of it all now and i find myself enjoying those moments more rather than anticipating the big ones like crawling and walking.

one of the books that has been shedding light on this wonderment (no pun intended) that we are both experiencing is called the wonder weeks. i am sad i missed all of the first few weeks, but am glad i can follow his journey from here on out. based on the book, along with the normal growth spurts, babies experience developmental leaps (the book mentions 10) that happen around certain weeks of a baby’s life. they will go through a fussy period right before the leap as their brain is trying to figure out this new “district” that has been added to their mind map.

right now i am in wonder week 19 or leap 4 where he is slowly learning about cause and effect and stitching the series of events together to create the effect! this means that all the little skills he learned early are now being put together like blocks to form a new bigger and stronger skill such as sitting up and rolling.

mind. blown.

so what has lil’ man been up to? i’ll try to do a quick recap of all his milestones below and then finish off with this week.

weeks 0-8

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he had pretty good head control from day one and he wasn’t bad at tracking me and others either. tummy time use to be his favorite thing and he was really good at holding his head up and pushing up with his elbows. i am not sure when this was supposed to fall in the leaps but i would say he did this early. as far as talking he started babbling early although not as much as he does now.

weeks 8-13

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it seemed like there was a lull here. he was definitely fine tuning the skills he had already started to master. He started to like getting his diaper changed and was starting to kick and flail his arms about. he was grabbing and holding on to a few things but only when he was on his back and he wasn’t actively looking for things. he did start the teething process and has been drooling and chewing on anything and everything. i will say he did get pretty good at learning to stand up on my lap.

weeks 14-18

i started noticing him noticing himself. he would wake up in the morning sometimes and just wave his arms above his head, slowly moving his fingers and wrists. definitely started talking a lot more and smiling a lot more at people. he also discovered his own reflection and is a bit infatuated with himself. has been rolling to his side for weeks but either couldn’t make the full roll or wouldn’t make the full roll. he gets pretty frustrated about it. at around 15 weeks he started insisting he sit up on my lap and even pulls himself up in the boppy if he is reclining.

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week 19-20

now he is starting to get the hang of rolling and gives me a roll (back to front) once a day now. he has been working on his core and getting better at his balance when he is sitting up. his big thing now is trying to walk and if he isn’t “walking” he wants to stand up.

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he is grabbing at everything now: his toes, his toes, my phone, my hair-ouch! and as i mentioned before he is starting to drop things on purpose. a few times he has even passed an object between his hands. he babbles all of the time, especially when i am trying to have a conversation with someone else. he has been doing this thing with his lips where he puckers them, lifts his chin at me, and grunts.

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i started tickling him the other day and he started laughing and squealing. normally he just gives me a deadpan look and may throw me a smirk, but i have never gotten him to fully react until now.

there are quite a few things left on the list that he could master but if he doesn’t by the next leap then he’ll prolly master it then. i will update this on the next leap. what has your four month old been learning? Comment below!

thankful

thanksgiving often gets glazed over by Christmas decor and music, black Fridays and cyber Mondays, the focus on what we don't have yet rather than what we are currently blessed with.

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occasionally I will read a few photo editing articles in vsco's journal for an inspiring perspective on the world through a lens. today i read a piece about three food photographers from serbia, france, and taiwan sharing their experiences of this american ritual we call thanksgiving.

It was interesting to read how they all seemed to revel in the idea of breaking bread together to celebrate the goodness of the year. One photographer described it as a ceremony that began with the passage of a year and a welcoming of a new one to come.

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as I sit here in the airport on the eve of thanksgiving, disgruntled at the fact that our flight has been delayed by two hours, I look at my son who is mesmerized by the sights and sounds and I realize that this isn't a dream and he is here with us and already headed on a grand adventure. 

this past year was frought with sadness and uncertainty, but I feel blessed to be welcoming a new year filled with family I can call my own. 

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