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31 October 2014

Second Child

In this week alone:
  • Noah mastered the army crawl and is thiiiis close to full-on crawling
  • He moved into a new, bigger car seat
  • I put away the activity mat since he doesn't actually use it anymore
  • And also put away the baby swing
  • His face received its first bruise as he face-planted on the kitchen floor trying to walk without holding on to the bench he'd been using
  • 12 month clothes are now the norm (he's 7 months old)
  • Two first teeth finally cut and came through
I'm not one to feel much sentimental heartache over my babies growing up, the stage that they are entering is always so exciting - why cry over unavoidable change?  But even as the change- and growth-loving mama that I am, there's some shell-shock happening. Like, can we slow down just a tinge?  I haven't enjoyed this stage enough, how can you be moving on?!

Maybe that's part of the territory of the second child.  A little less parental attention, but a whole lot more sibling love.  The internet would probably tell me to feel guilty, but looking back at the thousands of families in history with plenty of siblings all smashed together who end up all being the best of friends, I'm gonna say I'm giving these hoodlums of mine a gift.  Someone to love, annoy, bicker, share, cause havoc, and learn lots of life's lessons with built right into the fabric of your life. 

So Noah boy, you keep on growing, changing, and becoming you.  Your infectious smile, irrepressible laugh, and most content and social little nature sure is amazing.  And while you're at it, enjoy Mili's company.  She loves you something fierce.



08 October 2014

Chit chat

Mili is really into friends right now. Everyone she sees, she asks, "My friend?" And the answer is always yes. Always always. But my favorite is when she is near a group of children and proclaims, "My friends! LOTS of friends!"

Oh Mili Kay. 

She loves to make Noah laugh. Then she will announce that she "Make happy!"

If you offer her fruit when she is really hungry, she makes a grumpy face and says, "No! Real food." 

After stuffing a Cheerio in his mouth, rolling him over, or torturing Noah in some other way, "I help."

Apparently her birthday will be on Wednesday no matter when you ask and she is very excited for her Uncle Anders to come at Christmas when Santa is coming as well. 

The other day she requested, as I told her to come in, "Outside for 5 minutes please."

She can't hardly leave a room without saying "Right back" and protests getting ready for bed " Not yet!"


01 October 2014

Enough

Recently I took a month-long fast from social media, aside from a few favorite personal blogs, almost entirely of people who are my real-life friends.  It became one of the healthiest, happiest choices I have ever made.  Ever. Here's why:

Somewhere along the invention of high-speed internet, social media, and the demon Pinterest (I'll write my feelings on that some other day) we started living and breathing at seriously unhealthy stress levels and thinking that this is totally normal.  And mothers, oh mothers, already susceptible to guilt and feelings of inadequacy simply due to the nature of the job, suddenly entered a state of Never Ever Being Enough.  Suddenly, as women, we had the capacity to be social mavens, small business owners, inspirational writers, advertisers, designers, decorators, bakers, chefs, fashionistas, trendy, and more, all while staying at home to raise our children.  So naturally, most of us unconsciously decided that we had to be ALL OF THAT, ALL AT ONCE, ALL THE TIME.  And we also needed to keep in contact with everyone we've ever met, responding to everyone else's major life events, and admire everyone else's accomplishments.

Fact: This is not possible.

As a result, you can find hundreds and thousands of heartbreaking posts, blogs, and other writings from mothers who find themselves completely depleted, depressed, and guilt-stricken all over the internet. It isn't hard.  Just search for anything related to mothers.  Anything at all.

But you won't find that here anymore.  Sure I have good days and not-so-good days, I don't live some perfect fantasy, and I'm not expecting that my life won't be without some undesirable moments.  I'm fairly certain that at some point in the future I will think, "Is this what hell is like?"  But I won't have guilt-tripped myself into it, it'll just be part of God's refining process for me.

I have decided, with God's help and personal inspiration.  My primary roles are limited to these three: wife, mother, friend.  And I am doing enough.

I do not make any money on the side.  There's what, maybe 20 people, who read this blog.  I'm no decorator, chef, or business owner.  I am fairly lousy at keeping in touch with the hundreds of people I've been privileged to have as a friend at some level, but I'm beginning to be a good friend to those who really matter most to me.  If you try to get hold of me through Facebook, it's not a very good bet.  I may take an hour, a day, or, if you catch me at a bad moment, a week or so, to respond to a text, but anyone who matters knows that I'm usually doing more important things and I'll do my best.  I leave my phone on silent more so Mili won't run to get it while we're reading stories.  My laundry pile is fairly managed and we're eating pretty well.  My house is now clean and tidy maybe 80% of the time.  Noah laughs more and Mili hears less, "Not right now"s.  I'm behind on world news and my fashion is probably atrocious, but Tyler and I's relationship has never been better.  We've lived in our apartment 8 months, nothing really truly coordinates and nothing is Pinterest-worthy, but these walls are so full of love and toddler art that I think they might just burst.

It is all enough.

Turn off your phones, disconnect your internet, reconnect with God, find your enough.