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CATHARSIS FORTHCOMING

10.05.2017

^^ That perfect "rustling" tree ^^

How many times have I been here before? Even just since I started blogging...

Okay, where to start. I'm just gonna jump in and dump out everything that I'm thinking and feeling. Everything I've been composing in my head (and maybe a little bit out loud) this afternoon.

It's that overwhelmed, lost, "What am I even doing?" feeling. I've been there before, so many times. Especially since becoming a mom. It's what inspired me to start blogging in the first place. My very first post? That new year's resolution to think more positively. Lots of versions of the same thing have plagued me for years. Probably my whole adult life. And it's probably nothing unique. That feeling that you're just not doing enough. Or the right things. Or the things to get you where you want to go. Not even knowing where you want to go.

I'm there. Again.

And that begs the question. Why am I here again? I've made resolutions. I've listened to audio-books. I started taking fish oil... (I need the laughing emoji here :) But seriously, I've taken steps (on numerous occasions) to change these feelings, but those changes just never seem to stick. Or maybe they just aren't enough. Or right? Is this just the natural cycle of humans... women... moms... Maybe it is much more related to "cycles" than I realize or care to discuss on a public platform. Something to consider in private though :) And maybe it's not even something that you Fix, rather something that you just work through over and over and over and hope to come out a little better on the other side each time? 

I can definitely say there are things I've implemented before that I think were helpful, but didn't stick to, or at least, I'm not implementing them now...

^^ Okay, I was on a roll there. Headed toward a short novel. Alas, Mercer duty called and now I am back and that roll is no more. No idea where my train of thought was headed and not really feeling the desire to "cathart" anymore and seriously questioning whether or not to abort this post altogether... nah, I'll just go with it. Might as well. ^^

I do, however, remember the ultimate conclusion that I came to earlier, during a nice walk after Mercer's nap, and that was to make one change a day. Doesn't sound like much, but when you're feeling tired, overwhelmed and without much motivation, I think that's a good place to start. Today, I decided to take a walk with Mercer when he woke up from his nap instead of wandering around the house wondering what the heck it is that one is supposed to do with a 6-month-old. And it felt good (not literally of course, because Texas did not get the memo about fall <--- I'm pretty sure that is a direct quote from some point during the past 2 falls during which I've blogged. I should just make that my tagline or something.) Anyway, it felt good to get out of the house. Breathe in some fresh air and move. And walking past the tree, the one at the top of the hill that makes the most perfect rustling sound, made me feel better. Optimistic.

I guess it doesn't really matter how many times I circle back to this. This feeling of being lost and confused and overwhelmed and like I'm just not doing it right. Life. Motherhood. Work. Anything. Everything. As long as I recognize it and make the effort to do better. So this is me, resolving to do better. One thing at a time. I'd like to share my efforts (committing to share provides some accountability), but it feels so narcissistic. But being narcissistic like that also feels kind of okay, because that's the name of the game these days with all of the social media platforms, etc. Like, who cares if I ate a salad for lunch today (and, full disclosure, chased it with too many Simply Cheetos and a Coke because I was still bloody hungry and too lazy to do better... true story.) Kinda thinking out loud here... I think I'll share it on my blog's FB page, for anyone who cares or wants to do it with me :)

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And just like that, Jordan walks in, looks over my shoulder for a few seconds and says, "Hm." And I'm second-guessing myself and this post. Assuming he read something I wrote (and didn't just make some passing sound that had absolutely nothing to do with me) and thought something not so good about it or that it was self-indulgent... (Hello, projecting much?). I think a little self-confidence could go a long way... Pft.

Am I seriously going to post this? 

I probably should've written this all in a journal. Like, a private one.

It just feels so much better to say it to "someone". Like having a conversation I desperately need to have when I didn't have anyone to actually have it with right at the moment I needed to have it. Thanks, to whoever you may be, for being the listening ears that I really needed this afternoon :)

MERCER 5 & 6 MONTHS

10.01.2017

    

And again, I dropped the ball. I had such good intentions when it came to month 5 too... oh well, I'm here now and that's what counts!

Okay, let's pick up where we left off, all about the month leading up to our guy turning 5 months old...

5 Months: The month leading up to Mercer's 5 month birthday was when he really got into rolling. He had a spell of a few days when he was all about rolling from belly to back during tummy time, but then when he started going back to belly (always in his crib), it was like he forgot how to get back over. I had to go into his room during his naps on 5 different occasions one day to roll him back over to his back after he got himself stuck on his tummy and was livid about it (as if he had nothing to do with it)! Same thing happened a few times over night. I remember waking the poor guy up rolling him back over to his back a couple of times too because he would fall asleep face down and I was terrified he would suffocate himself since he couldn't seem to roll back over on his own. But, he did get the hang of it over the course of a few days. Overall, it was a bit of a grumpy month for him. I speculated that it was due to teething because I could see the outline of those two on the bottom, but they did not break through that month. We also had some hard days due to Adelaide's Mother's Day Out drop off and pick up messing with morning and afternoon naps (though luckily, we sorted out a solution to that and it is no longer an issue!!!). That hair on the tops just keeps on growing, so cute!

He Loves - Listening to and watching Adelaide; sometimes she sits in my lap too when I feed him at bedtime and she sings to him :), the Ergo is pretty much always a win, the jumper, chewing on watermelon chunks, songs - The More We Get Together, Pat-a-Cake, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes and This Little Piggy

He Don't Love - Getting off of his nap schedule, tummy time, sleeping all night (still eating once a night), solids (except gnawing on watermelon :)

6 Months: I gave him sweet potatoes the day he turned 5 months old and he loved them! He had been grabbing at my food so much and loving the watermelon, so I decided to give it a try and it was a hit. Over the month though, it was very hit and miss (still is). Some days he'll kill it and others he couldn't care less. Overall, it was a pretty good month! His bottom two teeth came through around 5 1/2 months and he's loving chewing on anything he can get his hands on! He's obsessed with my water cup - grabs it every time I get a drink, chews on the edge of the lid, and has even sucked water out of my straw a few times (though the water part really throws him). I'm excited about the fact that he seems to get that concept already though and hope that sticks around for when he actually starts drinking water. He has the most perfect natural mohawk! I spiked it up at bathtime one night and he woke up the next morning with it still up and it stayed that way for the next 2 days! He's all about rolling now. When I put him down on the floor and come back in a couple of minutes he'll be 2 feet away from where I left him! He's officially adopted the classic hiney-in-the-air baby sleeping position (heart eyes!) and is still eating once a night and lately, crying 1-2 other times (for who knows what reason). He spent his first nights away from home (2) when Jordan and I went to Chicago for his cousin's wedding. He did great and we had a blast. Beleive it or not, Adelaide was actually the one who had a bit of a hard time by day 2.

He Loves: Adelaide (as always!), the Ergo, being held/carried around (a lot), swinging outside, his jumper, pears, standing (with us holding his hands - though he's been bearing weight on his legs since his first month, which I may not have mentioned), I think the standing and jumping are what give him those meaty legs :)

He Doesn't Love: Being left on his own for too long, sleeping more than about 6 hours without crying, peas

Every month I look at his photos and think he's so dang cute, then the next month comes and he puts his previous month's self to shame. I know I'm biased, but if you ask me, his photo belongs in the dictionary next to adorable :)


 ^^ Those bottom teeth & his new hairstyle :) ^^

Now, can we just take a moment to celebrate the fact that is is now October?!?! Probably my favorite month, the unofficial start of the holiday season (to me at least), the month of our wedding anniversary, the month during which Adelaide was supposed to be born (alas, due to an error in calculation on my part, we were off by a few days, which still makes me crazy), the month of all things pumpkin, and in theory, changing leaves and crisp days... my favorite!

OUR GIRL IS TURNING FOUR!

9.21.2017




 


In just a few more days, Adelaide will be turning four! FOUR! One one hand, I feel like, "How? How is this even possible. How can four years have already gone by? How can we be creeping up on the school years?" <-- Although, thanks to very specific planning by me, and luck that my plan worked out, she will still have a whole year after this still before we have to cross the Kindergarten bridge... and on the other hand, it makes total sense that she's turning four, and I even think, "Only four?" because it's so hard to imagine there ever being a time when she wasn't here, singing, dancing and arguing her way through our house daily.

So, about Adelaide - she's got such an amazing personality. She's so outgoing and confident and goofy (bordering on annoying sometimes.... love her, but definitely entering that annoying kid who thinks she's hilarious-only-not-really, phase :) She loves to dance, just started her second year of ballet/tap, she loves to sing and makes up songs about ev.ry.thing. She amazes me sometimes with the songs and the rhymes she comes up with. She likes to argue... and, like her mom, does not like to let things go, therefore she and I can really get into some pretty good back-and-forth from time to time I'm ashamed to say (yes, I do get sucked up into arguing with a 3-year-old)... I'm terrified of what the teenage years are going to look like for us! She is officially in charge of dressing herself, with her closet rack at her height. She's in a socks phase, which I think is key for that kid, I-dressed-myself-so-I-kinda-look-homeless look :) She wears swimsuits around the house about 50% of the time (the other 50% is spent in various partially dressed states) and hates wearing shoes. She loves going to school and makes a new friend everywhere she goes, which I am so beyond proud of! When I take her to the park or splash pad, she's off, looking for people to play with and doing her own thing. Still super into all things Barbie and princess (total girly-girl) and getting into drawing and doing art. She's a good sister, in that she's never mean to Mercer and so understanding when it comes to him, but she's also not overly interested in him. Hopefully that will come as he gets older and can do more (she is still his #1 favorite person, hands down). She loves playing outside and climbs all over her swingset like a little monkey and wants to jump off of everything. Loves riding her bike and going camping. She's still a pretty picky eater, although that is improving and she has a sweet tooth the size of Texas! (No clue where that could've come from :)

Adelaide, you are absolutely amazing, hilarious, cute, and smart. I love getting watch you grow into this amazing little person and I hope your life is full of wonderful opportunities and surprises, and look forward to loving you every step of the way! We love you x 1,000,000!

I hope you have the happiest of birthdays & many, many more sweet girl!

Check out her birthday interview here.

MERCER - BIRTH to 4 MONTHS

8.20.2017


   

   

 


   

Poor guy... looks like he's on track for quarterly updates, unlike Adelaide's (mostly) monthly updates for her first year. We've got a typical second child situation going on over here! Here we go, a quick long break down of Mercer's life so far...

0-1 Month: He started off at the hospital being too sleepy to eat. It got to the point to where the nurses were ready to send him to NICU because his blood sugar was so low, but in the end, he ate, it finally got up and we had the best nurse in the world that night who was determined to make things work, and they did. For the first couple of weeks, he was that sleepy baby that I had heard people describe. I basically just switched him between sleeping places and fed him every couple of hours. I thought, "This is it! The second baby after baby-from-hell really will be an easy one!" Then, he woke up. And the colic that must be in my and/or Jordan's genes arrived. Overall, I'd say he wasn't as bad as Adelaide was, but he had his moments.. days... weeks, when it seemed like he was trying to capture the title. And he has the volume. The insane volume that should not be achievable from such a small human, that same volume Adelaide has. Ugh. It's the volume that makes it all so much harder! Witching hours started just before 2 weeks, 5-10 pm every.single.day. One thing about him that was amazing from the start was that he knew night was night (with the exception of one night, either our first or second night home when he was up crying for about an hour and we were sure we were in for baby Adelaide, pt. 2!) He woke up to eat several times a night, but he always went right back to sleep. None of that mixed up days and nights stuff. He also started smiling before he was even 1 month old! And he started that one-eyebrow raised expression that Jordan has... gets me every time :) 

His dislikes: evenings, car rides, tummy time 

His loves: being wrapped and being rocked, bounced and "shhh"d all at the same time.

1-2 Months: Still super fussy. Sorry if this is TMI, but I started noticing some blood in his poo. I ended up cutting out dairy when he was about 7 weeks old to see if he was maybe allergic or sensitive to dairy. It seemed to work because he got so much happier after that... for a little while. After a few weeks, he was back to being super fussy and was still seeing some blood from time-to-time, so I decided to give him some pumped milk from before I cut out dairy and he was no different. After about 5 weeks of being dairy-free, I went back to my regular diet and it didn't seem to have any effect on him, so no diary allergy/sensitivity. I still thought maybe it was a problem for a while after that, or at least thought that there was something in my diet causing him problems. Jordan always maintained it was just him... he was just a pain in the ass like his sister was and any improvement was a coincidence... in hindsight, I'd say Jordan was right. It was just natural phases and changes, as for the blood... who knows? It's gone now. 

His dislikes: being tired, being held cradle style, the car seat (when awake :)  

His loves: being held upright over my shoulder, being wrapped and in the Ergo, the monkey sound machine on his car seat (he would sit and stare at it and flick at it with his hand -as well as a 1-month-old can- helped make some car rides better! ;), when we stuck our tongues out at him, Adelaide! <-- the adoration started early! 

2-3 Months: This was a month of major ups and downs! He had about a week of eating every 2 hours, around the clock. A little cold, a growth spurt, a leap? Who knows, but the exhaustion for me during that time was a whole other level than anything I had ever experienced before. (I had started my job with Stitch Fix by that time and wasn't able to nap during the day). He then settled back into a 3-hour schedule, but by the end of the month it became clear that he had an internal alarm clock that was the most accurate of any baby who had ever lived and he was waking out of habit, not hunger (he was barely eating when he woke up). So, we decided it was time for a little bit of sleep training. It took me 40 minutes to get him to go back to sleep without feeding him that first night, but it's been a steady increase since then. He went through phases of being super happy, really only crying when he was tired and phases of being a total crab, crying off and on all day about... who knows? Everything?! We moved him to his crib in Adelaide's room at the very end of this month, which worked out better than I anticipated, but wasn't an ideal situation given the multiple night wakings...

His dislikes: being tired (which was a major problem because he wasn't sleeping well at night or napping well), tummy time, being hungry, car rides

His loves: Bouncing! (he took to the jumperoo like a fish to water!), standing up, his monkey sound machine was still a hit, when we made silly faces at him, Adelaide! 

3-4 Months: Sleep issues still being the major theme... we switched him to the Zipadee Zip early in the month after noticing that when he woke up at night, he woke up mad, like from sound asleep to spitting fire, and thought maybe it was the swaddle? He transitioned to the Zipadee Zip totally fine. It didn't improve his sleep, but it didn't hurt it at all. He was only eating 1-2 times a night but waking up 1 or 2 other times still. I would head in as quickly as I could to give him his pacifier so he wouldn't wake Adelaide up... he went right back to sleep, but there was the new concern of him getting accustomed to the pacifier getting popped back in his mouth multiple times a night, which was not much better than feeding him. So, we cleared out the desk in the office and shoved everything else to the side of the room and moved his crib into his own room and started letting him cry a bit. He cried off and on for 2 hours the first night I didn't give him the pacifier when he woke up (during which I didn't sleep at all), but it's been a steady improvement since then. By the end of the month he was waking up right around 10:30 every night, crying for a few minutes and then going back to sleep until around 2-3, eating and then going back to sleep until 6ish, eating and going back to sleep usually until 7-8ish. 

His dislikes: Long car rides (starting to improve!), being tired, being in the car seat outside of a moving car (I don't even try to take him anywhere in it, we just unload right into the Ergo, which works wonderfully!)

His loves: The jumperoo - he loves it, we love it, it's a lifesaver!!! He has bounced himself to sleep in it on numerous occasions. Pat-a-cake, the Ergo, sucking on his hands, drooling (I mean he must love it based on how much he does it! :) Grabbing his toes, watching cartoons with Adelaide (Bad? Probably. But when he was being super fussy, sometimes putting him in the bouncer with Daniel Tiger on made him content... whatever works!) Adelaide! His face lights up pretty much everytime he catches sight of her... when she actually plays with him? Forget it :) She finally started to really take to him a bit around this time, probably because he finally stopped crying so much!

It's probably pretty clear that sleep has been our main issue with this little guy. When he's not tired, he's an angel! When he is tired.... not so much :) But now, at about 4 1/2 months, I'm finally figuring out a nap and night schedule that's working and that's mostly consistent (it contains several bouts of crying, but now I know when to go in and when I should probably wait it out). Unfortunately, we only have about 2 hours of awake time before he needs to nap again though, which makes it hard to get out much still, but I'm happy! 

I hope anyone who actually made it through this novel enjoyed it. Maybe I'll be back in a couple of weeks for a 5-month update to make things much more manageable.... I'm also planning on a name post for Mercer as well as a Life Lately post about everything else. Shoot for the stars, right? Haha :)


P.S. In case anyone is curious what Mercer will look like at 90 years old, see his month one photo :)

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