everyday

wonder weeks: leap 6

wonder weeks: leap 6

welcome to week 42 nine months and some change and leap six in the wonder weeks book. we are now in the process of discovering what hank is learning in this leap. it has mostly been a continuation of what he started to learn in the previous leap, with a few new items to add to his super suit.

hank has been pulling up on everything. when he wakes up in the morning the first thing he does is want to stand in his crib and babble until he realizes he cannot get back down. he started about two weeks ago in his room on the floor, and after a few falls and bumps he has figured out how not to fall.

army crawls are slowly turning into the standard crawl. his balance still isn’t great so the knee crawling gets tiresome for him. but man does he still get around and quickly. i let him explore the safe places in our house just so he feels like he has some independence. he is on his way to being a cruiser and my bet is that he starts walking by next month around the time i started.

he still shows minimal interest in solids, mostly because he is distracted by the wind or his seat buckle, or the crumb on the floor. in general he is not eating as frequently as he used to which means i can get out of the house a little more with him without him having a meltdown in the car.

to date he has waved at four people, none of those waves directed at keith or me. he claps at random times but never when you ask him to clap. he loves playing hide and seek. OMG watch out for me to post it on my IG stories! the cutest thing ever.

his naps were improving up until his leaps while night time had gotten way worse. after the leap though, his naps began to get worse again while his night time rest has gotten way better. can’t have my cake and eat it i guess.

he prefers keith to me, which i think is awesome given the fact that he hardly sees keith all day. but when keith is not around, hank is particularly clingy with me. apparently, this is supposed to be the calm period before the next leap, but i have seen none of that and hear that the next leap is relentless.

pray. for. me.

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Parenthood: chapter 8

Parenthood: chapter 8

and just like that our boy is eight months old!

where do i even begin? baby boy achieved so many things this month that i will probably make a separate post about his leap 5 and 6 wonder weeks. sleep was also a hot topic again this month, but we decided to be proactive rather than reactive, with a few mental breakdowns in between. that will have its own posts coming shortly as that is a whole chapter in it of itself. what i will say about it, that it definitely improving as i am actually able to sit down and write a post!

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Parenthood: chapter 7

I know I start every new month with i can't believe he is...  But seriously, I caught myself swiping through videos of his first months here with us and I am amazed at his metamorphosis!

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The battle continues for good naps and good bedtimes, but from here on, he is going through a ton of changes and I know that has played a part in his sleep. I am sure there is some cure  to this regression, but my kid doesn't want any part of it, and so I surmise that this is God's way of letting me know that he's got this. I need to relinquish control.

One of the biggest blessings we have received as parents is his laughter. Oh. My. Word. If you haven't watched my stories on Instagram, you are missing out on sweet giggles. It's the kind of laughter that fairies are made from.  sigh. Wish I could bottle it and wear it around my neck when he is inconsolable and I am exhausted. I need the reminder of how precious he is in those moments.

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he hasn't started to crawl yet although the Oksana baiul leg comes up every once in a while and I know he is getting pretty close. I have been doing my best to try and cheer him on without swooping him up the moment he gets frustrated. he can drag himself a few paces forward, but that's about it.

He seems pretty content with playing by himself while I am doing a few house chores. I have felt free at times in this stage, but I still find myself neglecting my own needs because i feel like I am on standby for any moment he may need me.

I don't think he is the primary source for self neglect, but he is definitely highlighting the struggle I have in general. I hope I can get the space to explore ways to truly care for myself in relation to others. 

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!

Parenthood: Chapter 2

I have clocked in so many hours with babies in both my young and adult life, but none of it prepared me for a newborn.

I find myself fumbling in the dark, just looking for a wall to find comfort in. There have already been tears shed in the early hours of twilight due to shear exhaustion. I am not sure how much people stress the fact that a newborn wields the incredible ability to bring out the ugly in you.

Really fast.

From friends and strangers alike, I have heard the tales of sleepless nights and cranky babies. I was schooled on what parenthood would do to me physically, but not emotionally and psychologically. I have been curt on more than one occasion with Keith, felt the agitation rising in my chest whenever he needed my help to care for our son. I could get to that place so fast, I hardly had time to simmer before I said what was on my mind. 

But the scariest part has been the frustration waiting to erupt when I have hit my limit with our son. He's the worst boss we could ever get, Keith often jokes. It's true though. Always demanding, leaving us to guess what he actually wants, long hours, and most times without thanks. Disappearing into the background as he becomes the main priority and sometimes the only priority.

suddenly, i can't remember when i last brushed my teeth or took a shower or saw the sun. the days blur into one continuous loop and the house begins to feel like alcatraz. exhausted. half-starved. depleted. exploited. frustrated. abandoned. trapped. alone.

invisible.

black mother breast feeding

I am finding it easy to lose myself in motherhood, not that I am trying to or want to entirely. One day my son will find his identity apart from mine and the last thing I want to be asking myself is who am I? I am fighting to stay present, to stay connected with myself, to stay in control, but the only things I find surfacing in the two short months that we have been with our son are insecurity, selfishness, and a lack of patience, all wrapped in a warm blanket of guilt and anxiety.

I knew I would have to sacrifice, I just didn't know this much and this soon. Part of me naively wished that God would make it easier for us since it was so hard the first time. I guess he has, although I was hoping for something with training wheels.

baby crying

Losing myself to care for our son is far easier than losing our firstborn. The reminder stings and haunts me, but it is far better for my growth than the sweet honey my own selfishness tempts me with.

So I celebrate the poopy diapers, the spit ups, the moments where he is inconsolable, yet his tiny arms wrap around as much of me as he can manage because he needs me. Most days are rough. Most days I am not the best I can be for him.

But he still gives me a smile. 

 

photoography by Jesse Walsh 

Parenthood: chapter 1

even though the first few weeks are from being considered a blur, i still cannot believe it has almost been a month since we brought our son home. the pure bliss of having a baby at home was quickly replaced with exhaustion and frustration over not having things figured out.

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i had prepared myself for the difficult task of parenthood as best as i could, but quickly discovered that i was still unprepared for the moments where i would not be able to console my son through his discomforts. his steady cries during diaper changes, bouts of gas, or in the late hours were unnerving and overwhelming. i didn't think a baby could cry at such a high frequency. and i have worked with a lot of babies in my life.

there was definitely ptsd mingled with every crying experience with our son. every minute continued crying, keith and i wondered if his vitals were dropping. our only indicator of distress with isaac was monitors that told us his heart rate was low, or his blood pressure was dropping, or his temperature was down. we never heard him cry, just saw his limbs move as the monitors beeped and blared.

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bath time

but what was our son telling us through his grunts, whimpers, and screams? we had no manual, no on-call nurse or doctor to help us decipher his language, no screens to give us the numbers. I think that has been the hardest part about our transition into parenthood.

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still, despite the challenges that keith and i are facing and have faced already, my sleep deprived heart melts the moment his chubby hands and arms embrace me after his terrifying sessions of diaper changes or as he drifts off to sleep. the first time he gave me eye contact, or his gaze followed me across the room, I felt seeen by hims. swoon.

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i am learning to embrace the struggle, as dismal as it is, because in it exist these beautiful moments that remind me of the precious gift we have been given. I by no means am saying that every day is pretty. I take no pleasure in hearing him scream his head off in the car or during a diaper change. His cried rip me wide open, but he is coming to know his mama, reaching out for me when he is scared or uncomfortable and I have the opportunity and pleasure of responding to him with all of this pent up love that has been waiting to be released ever since we lost Isaac.

 

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Celebrating with Family

I am so happy you are here, my sister cried as she held our son in her arms. Safe and healthy. So many people have been waiting and praying for you.

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there was no hiding the eagerness on everyone's faces to hold this little human. Keith and I had decided early on that we would delay visitations (even from our family-minus my sister because she never got to meet Isaac) by a few days. We wanted to allow God to restore our hearts after having to share our time with Isaac with doctors and nurses and family.

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it was an experience that had made me somewhat resentful. I had felt my space being invaded and my precious moments with Isaac stolen away, but I felt powerless to say no. I did not want a repeat hence the delay.

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I will admit I still carried some of that baggage. The fear of having to share our son too much. But like my sister had mentioned, many people had been praying and waiting that within this little human, hope could be restored.

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the newest member

we had our top three girl names picked out. our boy name list, however, lacked meaning and connection with us. none of the names that we liked as first names paired well with other names. it was like laundered socks missing their other half. pointless.

while on our way to look at some sod 45 minutes from home, Keith expressed that he wanted to steer away from family names and wanted it to be a testament of our story. of where we have been and the way in which God had connected with us. 

valley. that's been our experience for the past year. but how had the lord ministered to us in the dark crevice of our grief? what did we find in the midst of this dismal existence? I liked the names Isaiah and jude--isaiah meaning praise and Jude meaning salvation. while these were true for us, it wasn't till the following morning that I woke up with "comfort" sticking close to my chest.

we found comfort while we were in the valley, i thought to myself. [air snaps]  yessss. [bobs head]

the name flowed so well together. the meaning flowed well together. it all brought smiles to our faces as we wondered why we didn't start here in the first place. rather than give him a name with a story he would feel the pressure to grow into, we gave him a name that would remind us of why he is such a gift to us. anyway, we would like you to meet our son,

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