fatherhood

william: one month old.

oh my poor little second child. already getting left behind because life is so crazy. this, your one month update, is already a week late, which at this point in time means that some of what you were doing last week is already old news. but you’re a trooper so i know you’ll forgive me.

william one month old

i love watching my little mister and seeing what he’s like in comparison to Amelia. because while there are a lot of similarities, in their looks and some of their habits, he is definitely his own person.

like his sister, he is one big bag of gas. unlike his sister, he handles it much better than she did. like his sister, he likes to stay awake ALL morning (from 7-11am, like clockwork), then nap through the afternoon, then howl for a while around 8pm until he eats and goes to bed around 10pm. like his sister, he’s a pretty good night sleeper, he gets up to eat but goes right back to bed. i’ve gotten a couple 5 hour stretches out of him, which is freaking fabulous. like his sister, he hated being swaddled. unlike his sister, he doesn’t seem to be very into his wubbanub, which is a bummer when trying to calm him down for sleep.

william one month old

william one month old

he started to wake up and pay more attention to everything around him a couple weeks ago, and so far, he seems to just be really chill about everything (unless he’s trying to fall asleep). i have a lot of fun with him in the morning before Amelia wakes up, and i try to spend some quality time with Amelia during his first morning nap. but i’m not going to lie, i’m kind of obsessed with when they both sleep at the same time and i get to spend an hour or two without a child or two attached to my body…

william one month old

i’ve been so grateful the last month for a baby who has just fit into our family like he’s always been here. it’s taken a bit to get the routines figured out (or you know, just thrown out the window), but i can’t imagine him not being here in the world. having William has also given me a newfound confidence in myself as a mother. there is nothing like parenting a spirited toddler while pregnant to make you feel like a failure. now that i’m on round two, i’m realizing that i do know what i’m doing, and most of the time, i’m doing a good job. i’m not constantly questioning if i’m doing the right thing, it just comes easier to me now. and that’s a gift only he could give me.

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amelia: three months old.

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technically amelia turned three months old on monday, but that means that i have a three month old, and couldn’t get around to taking photos or writing a post until today. but i’m still doing pretty good, right? i mean, would it make you think that i’m more of a supermom if i told you that i also chose monday as the day i started having amelia nap and sleep in her crib? and did i mention that i also happened to be solo parenting while i did this? #notmybestdecisionever

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a lot has happened in the last month. she was baptized, which was one of the proudest moments of my life, to bring my little girl into the family of God. we went on our first date post-baby and amelia didn’t even flinch. and she started to nap you guys, and my life has changed completely. our days now have some semblance of a schedule, with amelia eating at fairly predictable three hour intervals (until they become every two hours in the evening) and napping on a reasonably regular basis. sometimes the naps are even longer than 45 minutes and i can do more than just change out of my pajamas and put away the clothes on the floor. like, today i made pumpkin bread! WITH cream cheese frosting!

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she has also developed quite the bubbly personality. we have a smiler and a cooer and a flirt on our hands. the best part of my day is when i walk into her room to get her, and she’s talking to herself in her bed, and the second she sees me her whole face lights up like she can’t believe how lucky she is that i came to get her. it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when that’s how your day starts. on the days with lots of crying, i try to remember our morning greeting to keeping me from going crazy.

three months feels like real life is starting again. i feel like this is where the haze clears and our life regains its structure. i can just feel how close she is getting to sleeping through the night, and i am not so nervous to leave her with a babysitter anymore. i can leave the house with no preparation other than a quick check of the diaper bag, and i don’t care if she starts to cry wherever we are, because i know how to soothe her in any situation. it’s not so much that she’s getting older, i think it’s that i’m getting better at being a mom. while it’s sad to see her grow up sometimes and lose more and more of her “babyness”, the new things she learns keep me so excited to watch her get older each month.

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amelia: your dad and i will make funny faces at you until we pass out, just for the hope of one teeny, tiny smile from you. that’s how awesome we think you are. thanks for being such a ray of sunshine in our lives.

p.s. she still hasn’t found that thumb.

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amelia: two months old.

it’s true what they say. the first couple of months are the hardest. there is this shift that starts to happen in your baby at the two month mark. it’s ever so subtle, barely recognizable to anyone but mom and dad, but it’s there. there starts to be an awareness in your child, of you, of themselves, of the world around them. and this awareness, praise be to God, is what will save you when you think you can’t hold the baby for another hour. because all of a sudden, the baby will want to be put down to play, to swing, to explore.

2 months

we’ve learned a lot since month one. namely, any “program” that claims to work for “any baby” is a crock of shit. i invite anyone who would like to prove me otherwise to come and watch my baby scream while waiting to be put on a feeding schedule, or make herself sick with crying because she can’t put herself down to sleep yet. stick with that program, i dare you. i know that works for some babies. my daughter is not one of those babies. she knows what she wants, when she wants it, and she isn’t going to go quietly into that dark night.

amelia and dad

for example, her latest desire is to suck her thumb. she wants nothing more than to be able to stick her thumb into her mouth to soothe her sucking needs and to put herself to sleep. and yet, because life isn’t fair, she isn’t able to do it. she’s close, so FRUSTRATINGLY close, but she can’t get that thumb in her mouth. it’s to the point that she now rejects the pacifier and our fingers, because she knows she wants her thumb. and you’d think maybe any one of her fingers would be enough, right? WRONG. she gets almost indignant when she puts her fingers in her mouth because she knows they aren’t her thumb.

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i’m so happy that amelia is so self-aware and (i’ll just say it) intelligent that she knows nothing but her thumb will do to soothe, but come on! please throw mom and dad a bone. babies need to nap, and when she can’t suck her thumb, she won’t nap, and when she won’t nap, mom goes crazy. right this moment, she is in her room waking herself up because she hit herself in the face trying to get her thumb in her mouth.

amelia sleeping

all this to say, that even with the craziness, i can see the light at the end of the tunnel. watching amelia grow and change these past couple of months has been the joy of my life, complete with interrupted sleep and long days of no napping.

my love, amelia: your dad and i would change a million diapers for you. even poopy ones. we love you more than life itself. here’s to finding that thumb.

amelia finger

i had to.

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our village.

they say it takes a village to raise a child. i agree and would like to add a second piece to that: it takes a village to keep that child’s parents alive.

Mister Man and i would not be doing as well as we are at this parenting thing were it not for the immense amount of help and support we received from our family and friends since amelia was born. you might think i’m exaggerating when i say this, but i truly believe that our quality of life would have suffered if it weren’t for them. we would be more sleep-deprived, our house would be a mess, and our marriage would have struggled.

instead, because of all the wonderful people in our lives, we were able to stay (fairly) well-rested in the first few weeks. we were fed and had errands run for us and were just generally loved on as much as possible. this let us stay ahead of the curve and be the best parents and spouses we can be. there are no words for how grateful we are to our village for taking care of us the last two months. i would have said this sooner, but only just now feel like we’ve made it to the other side of the newborn days. THANK YOU ALL FOR TAKING CARE OF US!

it goes without saying that our biggest supporters have been our parents, the new grandparents. my mom came and stayed with us for a week after amelia was born and helped keep the house running, my dad and my in-laws have provided lots of time for our naps while they hold the little one, and i can’t count the number of meals that they’ve fed us. there is nothing that we can give to repay the help we received from them. but we wanted to say thank you somehow.

treat cards

ignore the wubbanub, this is our life now.

as small as it seems, i decided that a card with photos of amelia on it would be a good way to say it. in comes treat, a custom greeting card website by shutterfly. i was able to find two adorable thank you cards that i could add photos of amelia to, and send directly to the grandparents if i wanted. i opted to have the cards sent to me first so i could see them in person (not that i’m type-a or anything).

treat cards

 

i love how they turned out, and so did the grandparents. if you have anything to say thank you for, or really any reason to send a card, think about using treat. it’s as easy and as inexpensive as getting a card at a store (maybe more so) and definitely more personal. now that going to target is kind of a production, i have a feeling this may become my go-to for greeting cards…

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amelia: one month old.

so i’ve been a mother for a month now?

yea. that is a real thing. i can’t believe it either.

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i am writing this at the tail end of amelia’s morning nap time. i use the term “nap time” loosely, because i feel like that leads you to believe she has a set time in the morning when she sleeps, which is not the case at all. she likes to be up and hanging out from her morning feeding (around 5-7am) until late morning (around 10am-12pm), which can be a little tiring for mom. although if she isn’t gassy, she’s quite a lot of fun! we like to look up at the ceiling together, her favorite spot is the corner of the dining room ceiling.

our darling daughter has been pretty wonderful so far. she eats like a champ, which i am so thankful for, i haven’t had any issues nursing her at all. she sleeps at night with almost no fussing, and has had a couple nights where she goes five hours in between feedings. do you know what it feels like to get four hours of sleep in a row when you’re only used to two?? heaven, it feels like heaven.

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our only challenge has been that her little tummy is growing so fast and working so hard, that she has had some troubles with gassiness the past week or so. there is nothing worse than feeling gas bubbles running through your baby’s tiny body and not being able to do anything to help her feel better. we have started giving her a warm bath in the morning, which helps, and dad and i have both learned some moves that make her feel better, but if it’s a bad day, there is nothing that helps until she has cried herself into an exhausted sleep. i’m confident that she’ll grow out of this in the next couple of weeks, but until then, we will wear a circle into the living room carpet while pacing with her, and keep the baby gas-ex company in business.

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i think my favorite part of the last month has been amelia learning to focus on our faces. one day last week, she started to really LOOK at her dad and me, instead of just looking near our faces. it’s the coolest thing to watch her develop and grow and discover things around her. the day she starts to find her hands and feet is going to be the craziest/best/awesomest!

we have a crazy week ahead of us, because one of my best friends is getting married on saturday and i’m in the wedding! so amelia will get to go to her first salon visit while mommy gets her nails done, and she’ll get to hang out while we get ready the day of the wedding. i predict she is going to be quite the party animal, and will get pretty milk drunk, so i’ll have to keep an eye on her.

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