Friday, April 29, 2016

happy half birthday!

My favorite things:
  • My dog Beau! Even when all he does is stretch or scratch his ears, I think he's fascinating. He is starting to realize I'm not going anywhere and he's getting used to me, too.
  • Being on a sleep schedule! I never thought I'd like this, because I'm a baby and I don't know a lot about life, but once my parents laid down the law, I realized I'm a much happier baby when I have a bedtime and I take naps on schedule. Thanks Mom and Dad! 
  • When Dad comes home from work every day. He walks in and it just makes me smile!
My least favorite things:
  • I like having a regular sleeping schedule, but I wasn't such a fan of getting kicked out of Mom and Dad's room. 
This month has been such an exciting month of firsts for us! Eva had her first solid foods, slept in her own room for the first time, and perhaps the most exciting first, she learned to sit up all by herself! It's nice to set her down and not have to hold her and I think she's enjoying the new view. It feels like this month I finally had to admit she's not a tiny baby anymore. She's so inquisitive and social and she's always exhibiting new skills, which is making my head spin because I distinctly remember her being a newborn like one minute ago.

This month was a month of firsts for me, too. I had my first overnight away from my girl, my first freakout when she slept over five hours and I had to make sure she was still breathing, and my first time leaving her in the church nursery. It was a big month for everyone and I have a lot more thoughts to share in another post about how it feels like, after six months, I'm just starting to really feel comfortable in my Mama skin.

Here's a little bit of what we've been up to this month:

Helping Dad brew by holding on to the hops for him. 

Uncle Jon and Aunt Kelsey drove down from Wisconsin to meet heir niece. And drink Florida beer.

Sleeping in her crib instead of in our room. Hooray! 

She started rolling over and if I'm not watching closely, she rolls away!

She's a lot more into the swing than she was last month. 

First time putting her little toes into the Atlantic. 

Mama's first night away in Savannah with the girls!
Eva's first sweet kiss from her buddy Ethan. 

Apparently there was something more interesting than a huge giraffe standing right next to her. 

Solids with Grandma! She's tried sweet potato and avocado and I've also let her gnaw on a celery stalk because I'm lazy like that. 

These two give me heart eyes. 

We had a play date with Eva's Baby Gang and played in a kiddie pool for the first time. I think a kiddie pool may be a necessity with summer coming. 

A new contraption and she loves it! Even if she can only scoot backwards still...

Swings with Grandma. Eva was lucky to have lots of visitors this month and she got lots of Grandma and Grandpa snuggles!

Just chatting with Grandpa. 

I can't believe she can do so many  big girl things! Wasn't she just coming home from the hospital?!

The sweetest little budding friendship. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

to give and give again.

Next week, my tiny baby turns six months old. And next week, I will post a few little highlights about her sixth month and some pictures of what we've been up to just like I do every month. But this week, I'm taking the time to marvel at how much my life has changed in six months.

I think about myself six months ago, swollen and pregnant, complaining about how little sleep I was getting (HAHAHA) and feeling full of nervous anticipation. I knew nothing then. I thought I knew things, but I had no idea. Six months ago, I knew nothing about sleep deprivation and post-partum hormones and Caesarian recovery. I didn't know the terror of walking out of the hospital and into the bright sunshine with a newborn baby and the profound feeling of uncertainty that I would feel surrounding almost every decision in those first sleepless weeks. I didn’t know what it felt like to keep another human being alive. I didn't know anything at all really. And I still don't know everything.

But I do know a few things. I know that motherhood is the refining fire that is making me a better person. 

I know there are moments in the last six months where I can almost see the selfishness being peeled off me, reluctantly and uncomfortably. I know now that underneath those layers of my old self that I keep clinging to is a woman made more whole by the act of giving.

And I know that motherhood is just a million acts of giving strung together. Giving over and over and over again, and giving in so many ways that no one but me will ever see, to this person who gives almost nothing back.

Every time I think I've come to the end of how much I can give, how much I can nurse, how many times I can clean spit up, how little I can sleep, how many times I can comfort her in the night, I keep thinking, "I'm so tired, I'm so spent. This is it. I will fall apart if she reaches for me even one more time." And then she does. She reaches for me again. And in the space where I decide to respond instead of holding back, when I decide to give to her instead of holding on to myself, when I choose selflessness even when I'm exhausted and so over it and spent and I honestly do not want to give anymore; in that space, I've become a mother. 

In that space, I have turn to face Jesus with tears in my eyes to ask for the strength to give again, and it's a painful process usually. Giving is hard, especially when you're tired. But the result is the paradox of motherhood which is to be emptied and filled in the most profound way and it's beautiful. 

I don't know everything, but I do know I've come a long way in six months and I'm a gentler, more compassionate, more honest and selfless person than I was six months ago. And I know there's still a lot to know. Here't to the next six months and all the spaces in between. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

five months.

My favorite things:
  • Babbling! I talk all day from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep! And sometimes even after I've gone to sleep, I remember I still have things I need to say. Nothing like a little chit chat at 4am to keep thing interesting. 
  • Being outside. I like walks in the stroller, going to the park with my baby friends, coffee on the porch with Mom in the morning. My favorite is watching Beau play ball in the yard though. 
  • FaceTime. I love looking at faces on a phone or the computer screen and my grandparents and aunts and uncles seem to love looking at me! 
My least favorite things:
  • I still hate naps. I try to keep them nice and short so I can hurry up and get back to talking.
Our little Evie is still has happy and content as ever. This girl may look like Dad, but she has lots of her Mama's spunk and joie de vivre. She knows what she likes and she isn't afraid to tell us. She is still happiest in our arms, and she likes to let us know when it's time to pick her back up and cater to her. This month felt like it was spent almost entirely outside, which I adore. The weather is absolutely perfect here and that's short lived before it gets crazy hot. The transition to stay at home Mom has had it's rough days, so being out and about with friends and soaking up the springtime sun is good for everyone!

I also feel like I spent the whole month just marveling at how quickly this little person went from a teensy little newborn into a full fledged baby in so little time. It seems like every week she's mastering new skills and becoming more and more like someone who has a personality and distinct likes and dislikes. I also marvel at myself as I slowly become a full fledged mother! Every week I feel a little more confident and a little more proud of how far I've come in a short amount of time. I'm beginning to forget what it ever felt like not to be Eva's mom. I mean, until she's up at 4am chatting her little head off. I distinctly remember loving sleep in a former life...

Here's what we've been up to this month:

We had a rare chilly day here and she was ready with some winter wear from her Grandma.

First time in a swing! She didn't love it.  
Browsing at the used book store with Dad.

First pool day! The water was too cold, but she looked as cute as ever in her teeny swimsuit!

The jumper is her fave and lifesaver for us! 

Skyping with Grandma and Grandpa. 

This is what happens when Dad needs to put her down for a minute and she can't sit up yet... 

Oh just two Dads brewing beer while they tend to the babies. Heart eyes!
Eva's posse. 

When your posse is almost all boys, you're bound to have an admirer.  
The backyard is our favorite place in Jacksonville lately. 

First time on a carousel! She was much more interested in the shiny pole. 

What a little weirdo...

All of my favorite things on one quilt.
First trip to Lowe's with Dad. He found her favorite aisle. 

First Easter basket!

She met chickens at a friend's house and she was thrilled! She was talking to them and everything.