Throw Back Thursday

I was going through a box of fall clothes tonight.. Packing for a trip and falling in love with a season that isn’t even here yet. Among all the cardigans, sweaters and scarves I found my little point and shoot camera that I hadn’t seen in months, and was sure was lost forever. Got it charged, and was even more surprised that it had pictures on it.

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Random, brand-new baby pictures! Totally warms my heart. Back when he had eyebrows so faint you couldn’t tell he had any at all and had that white spot above his left eye that eventually disappeared. When he was so new, I wasn’t even sure what being a mom was.

I’ll admit that over time, the exact moments of those first, early days have blurred together. I couldn’t tell you exactly how we made it through, but here we are.

I love you to the moon and back and for forever, fuss bucket.

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The Hard Things

I have one friend who shares “the hard things” on her Facebook page. She usually asks for prayers or guidance at the same time. I assume it’s just part of her outgoing and open personality. That makes 0.003% of my online friends. Most of my friends in real life are the same though, only sharing with a select few people, the difficulties they face.

We don’t talk about the hard things.

There are some things we can’t say. Knowing how much to share with others is like a game of Jenga or dominoes.. The smallest detail might be the one to unravel it all. We bottle them up, because if you let one thing out, the whole facade of who we are would crumble.

This all came to mind after chatting with an old co-worker about her baby, born just a few short weeks ago. She mentioned how her daughter was quite fussy, didn’t sleep well and really cried a lot. Her words took me right back to when my little was that age. I don’t remember all that much besides wishing I could sleep and wondering if other babies were like he was/is. I had a horrid time with day/night confusion and the fussiness that has still yet to fade away. Family and close friends all said he’ll “grow out of it,” but I have a feeling I could wait forever for that to happen. He’s just intense. He has been since the moment he was born. In the early weeks, it baffled me how someone so, so quiet during pregnancy could be so much once he was here.

I don’t really remember, because it’s all a blur now, but I don’t think I really talked about it. At least not in full detail. That was the first thing out of my co-workers mouth, as I commiserated with her. She said I always made the best of everything, that she never would have guessed I was struggling. I didn’t want to talk about it. There are several reasons, really, with the first that comes to mind being that talking doesn’t always help. If I mentioned his reflux or general fussiness, I heard a lot of suggestions I had already heard before, or advice to just wait it out because time apparently fixes everything. I’m not saying some of it wasn’t helpful, but I wish someone would have leveled with me, or listened to me. Those who let me complain like being a sleep-deprived, new mom was something they had never heard before, made making the effort to reach out worth it. They made me feel less unprepared, more capable of living with four to eight hours of sleep a week in those early weeks.

Being a new mom is hard regardless of your baby’s temperament, but for moms out there with “spirited” or intense babies, I feel your pain. It is a unique kind of distress, wondering what you’re doing wrong, why they won’t stop crying, what you’ve done to upset them this time… but the truth is, if they have been fed, have a clean diaper, aren’t too hot or too cold and are in a safe place, you’re doing everything you can.

It is unbelievably hard sometimes, and equally as worth it.

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Resolution Check Up

I will be honest. Until about ten minutes ago, I had forgotten about most of my new years resolutions.

Isn’t that what always happens though? So here goes..

1. I will write more.  

…Have I? I tried writing my husband as much as I could while he was deployed. I’ve totally failed at blogging more. I forgot Elliott’s five month letter. Yeah, I definitely need to keep working on this one!

2. I will put more money into savings. 

Well first off, why was this one italicized? Maybe if I blogged more, I would have caught that error! Hah. I have done a pretty good job with saving. We used part of our tax return to start a CD for the little’s college/whatever fund. Also saving more each month for that and will roll it all into another CD when it matures next year. The 52 Week plan of saving is going well. Started that backwards so the amount put in each week is getting less and less. Even set phone calendar reminders for this one! Then there’s our main savings account, and though it isn’t completely depleted, I definitely need to start putting more money in than I am taking out. So far, so good.

3. I will tackle the rest of this baby weight and then some! 

Totally kicking butt on this one!! Down to 203 from the 260 I was right before giving birth. Baby weight GONE!!!! Down forty some pounds in the last ninety days of tracking on myfitnesspal alone. (Add me if you’re on a mission to lose! > ElliottsMomma) I bought myself a fitbit in March and it’s done wonders for motivating me to walk more. So close to Onederland I can almost feel it! Still quite a ways from my dream goal, but I am determined to get there.

4. I will love more, live more, laugh more.. 

This one kind of feels like a fluff piece now… I will say that being a mom has definitely brought a unique sense of joy to my life.

. . . . . .

If I could add another resolution it would be to work on my communication with the sailor. I find myself unfairly expecting him to read my mind, and it often causes trouble.

So, random people, friends and family who might stumble across this, how are  your new years resolutions going, if you made any? Feeling inspired to work on anything in your life lately?

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8 Weeks Later

Tomorrow the little man will be eight weeks old. During tonight’s snuggle session I had a chance to look at the photos taken during his birth. I uploaded them when I got the disk from my doula, but I wasn’t ready to look at them before.. Something about that night was too raw to face any sooner than now; perhaps that my husband is missing from the pictures, or knowing I was far from my ideal weight at that time.

But it was more than that. I wasn’t ready to experience those moments from someone else’s eyes, for the fear that it wasn’t everything I remembered it to be. That somehow it had only been magical in my mind.

I held my breath, and I saw me becoming a mom. The concentration it took, the pain I can recall but can’t really remember. The ugly cry face I knew I was making but couldn’t stop…and then the look of pure love, staring down at this new and perfect, tiny human. I’m thankful those memories were captured for me.

And although I am far from having “baby fever” I can see why moms are willing to go through labor again and again. For those first moments when you are able to hold your whole world in your arms.
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Searching for Normal

It’s been a hard day for no particular reason at all.. Elliott actually slept really well last night. Settled by 11pm and pulled out two, three hour blocks of sleep in a row. That’s a major accomplishment for a mostly, formerly day/night confused baby.. He’s slowly getting the hang of things.

There’s almost an anxiety knowing tomorrow will be mostly the same as today, and I’m not sure if it makes me a “bad mom” to admit that. It’s all the same though. Feed baby, change baby, talk to baby, tummy time, nap time, attempt to put baby in swing/bouncer/bassinet so that I can eat or clean and wait for the 5-10 minutes to pass before he’s screaming his head off to be picked up again. This all seemed so much easier when my mom was here. It was easier when she was here, and it would be easier if my husband were here. Someone to take turns holding him when he just wants to cuddle, someone to help with errands (even sometimes) or to help keep the house picked up. I’m searching for normal, searching for a routine even though I know the bumble butt is too young for routines..

It’s hard not feeling like I’m not enough, not doing enough. Not taking enough pictures, or reading him enough books or just remembering enough. Where did the past almost six weeks go? Is it okay that for the most part I hardly remember any of it? How can I possibly share this experience with my husband in any way, if I can’t remember what happened last week? I have just been so tired and caught up in the whirlwind of it all..

I’m sure I will look back in a few weeks, or months and be able to tell myself that I was doing alright…but for today it’s hard to not feel like I’m failing.

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Happy (not so) New Year

I’m not a huge fan of  New Years resolutions. They are often cliche, over and underdone at the same time, and almost never come to fruition. That being said, I do have a few particular things I would like to work on this year.

1. I will write more. That means more blogging, more time spent writing in my “letters to Elliott” journal, and more emails to my husband while he’s away. Time is moving way too fast, and I’m so sleep deprived that in a year or two or ten I fear I won’t remember any of this.. and I know I will want to remember it.

2. I will put more money into savings. I have already started doing the 52 week plan, where you put a dollar per week of the year into a savings account, working up to $52 transferred the last week of the year. Only, I’m doing that backwards. Will have a little over $1300 in the bank by the end of the year, which isn’t much, but it’s a start. 

3. I will tackle the rest of this baby weight and then some! I’m already itching to get out and exercise but I know my body isn’t ready.. At least I don’t get winded walking around Costco anymore!

4. I will love more, live more, laugh more.. all around try to remember that I am a positive person and I am capable of accomplishing more than I know and more often than not, the only one holding me back is me.

That’s all I can think of for now, on the fly, sitting on my office floor. Was just setting up an automatic payment for our water bill because that’s one of the last ones I have to physically take care of every other month and with a baby, I’d rather not leave that up to memory to get taken care of anymore.

For the few people that stumble across my blog, and the few regular readers I have, do you have any resolutions? I love the idea of them, even if they are silly.. but I also think re-inventing yourself shouldn’t be a once-a-year thing. I think the best people are always working to better themselves.

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