Friday, January 23, 2015

Adaline Mae: 3 Months

My baby bug is three months old.

And I've already broken one of my 2015 goals for the year. {I do not create new year resolutions, but instead set casual and achievable goals or "try's" for the year.}

One of my "try's" was to live in the present. More specifically, I don't want to dwell on the fact that each passing day means that Adaline is one day older than the last. A day I'll never have again.

I can't help it. I love my babies as babies. But I've also learned, I love every other phase too.

Regardless. Call it the breastfeeding hormones, but I've been so sad and feeling extraordinarily sentimental lately. Maybe because Addie is no longer a helpless little newborn. She's getting stronger! And more socially aware! And she talks! Of course all of these things are what we want because they mean she's growing. But they also mean time is completely out of my control as the sand in the hourglass seems to be dropping much faster than it did with Lyla.

But then I always come back to Lyla's favorite book we gave her on her first birthday. {So favorite that we've had to tape it back together again several times}. If I Could Keep You Little. You've read this, no? Never mind the fact that I hold back the tears every.single.time. we read it, which is a lot, but it's such a good reminder to me. I often wish I could keep my babies little, but even more, I want them to grow and thrive and get older to experience life!

So. Adaline is three months old. And we're going to focus on all the exciting growth that's occurred.

Babies' first years are absolutely miraculous, I tell you.
  • I wish I knew how much Miss Addie-Mae weighed or how tall she is. The last check up we had was when she was 6 weeks old, and we don't have another until 4 months. Something tells me that appointment is going to be a shocker. 
  • This kid watches and observes everything. I swear I can see the wheels turning as she holds stare-downs with the pups, or as she carefully watches her big sister. She stared and smiled at her baby-buddy Carson for a solid 20 minutes this past weekend. 
  • I think the baby of the family may be the social one. Too early to tell? Wishful thinking? We still witness the saddest little bottom pout if we leave her alone in a room. I mean saddest. She lights up when she's around a big group of people, something Lyla-Bell never quite enjoyed.
  • We started music class again! Not only is Lyla thriving, but Adaline just loves it! She listens, watches all the big kids, kicks her legs with each song, and SMILES the entire class. 
  • Everyday she gets stronger. She may grunt and groan the whole way through and dislike it just like big sis, but she works hard during tummy time. Which, if I'm honest, tummy time is totally a check on the old to-do list. Mostly because she screams like a banshee the moment we put her down. My kids hate being on their bellies. 
  • Poor baby has cradle cap, which makes her look like a lizard, and she's got a glamorous bald spot on the back of her head where she sleeps. Quick. Where's the baby beauty pageant sign up? ;)
  • Baby girl is a TALKER. She just chats with everyone she meets. Lyla loves it too and gets so excited, runs into the room where I am and squeals "She's talking to me, Mama!" We've even gotten a few small giggles out of her. And by we, I mean Lyla. Because big sis is the funniest. 
  • That smile. This one smiles so big, all day long. Sometimes I worry it's going to extend out past her face. And unlike big sis was, she's generous with her smiles and gives them out to everyone she sees. *Lyla saved those big ones for family.*
  • Her favorite position is still the fetal. Just on the crook between my neck and shoulder. Oh that smell and warm skin when she's that close to my face. {Quick. I'm getting baby fever over here}.
  • She completely fills out 3-6 month clothes. And everyone who sees her says "She's so BIG" - first thing out of their mouths. Wrench my heart why don't ya?
  • When I go into her room in the morning, you'd think I was Santa Claus. The excitement is so palpable. She looks like she might explode with happiness. She sure lights up when Daddy shows her some attention too. 
These girls. They sure know how to wrap their dad around their fingers so tightly, he'll never be free. 

What joy the past 3 months have brought. We love you, sweet baby Bug!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

12 Weeks: Only the Beginning

Twelve weeks is such a pivotal baby landmark in my mind.

Lyla turning 12 weeks old stands out vividly, as it brings up a heap of emotions. It was that moment when I walked into her room and suddenly realized I no longer had a newborn. She had graduated from newbie to baby overnight.

The fourth trimester, as difficult as it was, was over in an instant.

That, and my maternity leave of course.

Oh to go back and read my thoughts from my last day of maternity leave two years ago. What a painful moment in time.

And now I'm experiencing some of those same emotions with Adaline. How is it that we brought our sweet baby girl into the world 12 weeks ago already?

Time is cruel and has a heart of ice.

However. This time around, I'm no longer looking at it as saying goodbye to my most-favorite-of-all-time newborn phase. Instead, I'm excited to be welcoming the next phase. The babbling, the endless smiles, and the eagerness to soak in the world. Oh the joy that comes with entering each phase!

The past twelve weeks have been some of the most high-quality, beautiful, and heart-expanding of my life.

And like that precious time with Lyla, my sweet "maternity leave" with Adaline is now complete. It is time to move onto the next phase. And I am ready. I welcome it with open arms, lots of excitement-nerves, and plenty of coffee to compensate for the late nights. {and now an annoying cold, that I somehow managed to avoid until this point}.

But I am abundantly thankful. Because this time, as I say goodbye to maternity leave, I do not have to say goodbye to my babies. I get to be home with them. And live up and savor these years that pass too quickly.

So dear friends, here I am... entering the realm of entrepreneurship. That's right, I'm a mamapreneur.

I am fast and furiously working away to prepare for the launch of a new resource for our community: Wichita Moms Blog!

I am incredibly excited to be part of a larger network and bring this resource to Wichita. I'm currently in the process of taking in all the information I can, while figuring out behind-the-scenes technology stuff {where I am horribly illiterate}, while networking, while building my site, while searching for other mamas to contribute as writers for the blog. 

It's a smidgen overwhelming, but also THRILLING.

I look forward to seeing where this journey takes me, and my hope is that I'm still able to find time to hang out in this little corner of the internet to document life and post plenty of pictures of my babes. For me. For my girls. 

- - - - - -

So, Miss Adaline Mae. Happy twelve weeks, my darling. Although I'm a bit sad this chapter of ours is coming to an end, there are no tears this time. Because I still get to pursue dreams and show you what it's like to work hard for those dreams, all with you swaddled right next to me. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Most of the time, blogging is my heart.

Usually it's a much needed, stress-releasing form of therapy and a really important memory-capturing creative outlet.

But sometimes I get in a rut, sometimes I put pressure on myself to blog even when I really don't feel like it, and sometimes I feel inadequate.

I've talked about it often. But blogging, and social media in general, can create this horribly false sense of who someone really is. Worse yet, it paints this picture that someone has the perfect life. With perfect children. Who dress in perfect outfits. Who live in a perfectly styled home.

Oh my goodness, it drives me CRAZY.

Of course like most normal people do, it's so easy for me to get caught up in this desire and portrayal of perfection. It can leave me wanting and wishing for more. But all it takes is a quick glance around to realize that my life has everything I could possibly ever want or need.

Besides, I find perfect quite boring really. {Ironic coming from the queen of perfectionism - a quality that is simply a defense mechanism I use as a crutch when feeling insecure, I suppose.} But I tend to seek out and connect with others who embrace imperfection. Not because it makes me feel better about myself. But because we put others at ease when we share who we really are. And I like that. I strive for that.

While being conscious of my family's privacy, I try really, really hard to portray reality here on my blog. In fact, anyone who knows me will tell you that it's near impossible for me to hide what I'm feeling. I'm the poster child for wearing my heart on my sleeve. And I thoroughly enjoy tracking, writing, and sharing what I am truly going through in every season of life.

It's just that this particular season, specifically after leaving teaching, starting a new job, and then deciding on permanent maternity leave after having baby#2, has been a really fabulous one. So my blog posts for the last year and a half have really been about how lovely life is. How much I'm obsessed with my babies. How I'm sickeningly happy.

But I must say, although many of my recent posts have only focused on the blissful, I too have experienced quite the opposite. I've gone through my share of darker seasons. I can think of periods when I would wake up, praying for that particular season of life to be over. More recently, I look back at the time I returned to work after having Lyla, and I don't even recognize that person. For quite a many reasons, that was a very trying year. But it is only through these difficult seasons where we are shaped, become stronger, and walk out on the other side with a lot more confidence.

Because, after all, without darkness, there would be no light.

{And suddenly this post got a whole lot deeper than I ever intended it to be. Refer back to earlier paragraph re: my inability to hide emotions}.

I only bring all of this up to explain that my most upbeat and restful season has been desperately needed as it followed a much darker one. I have done a lot of reflecting, catching up, spending quality time with those who really matter, and detoxing things that created stress in my life. I have learned to say no. I have stopped over scheduling and focused more on my family. I have infused peace and simplicity into our home. I have thought about my role as a mom and what that means for my girls. I have realized that maintaining my personal identity is equally as important.

Then, we had Adaline. And while bringing home a new baby presents its own set of challenges, it also helps us to remember to slow down and breathe in the everyday. That it's okay to pick up takeout and leave the vacuuming of the dog hair for another day. And it's okay to stay in the same sweatpants two days in a row because you are too busy building a lego tower with your two year old in between nursing sessions with your newborn. That it's okay to hibernate and do not much of anything else but snuggle under blankets. {There are some definite advantages to having a baby in the winter}. And most importantly, it's okay to not focus on accomplishing but to focus on being. Being with these little people who will no longer be little much sooner than I'd like.

And that's exactly what I've done these blessed 10 weeks.

But, my friends, the seasons are about to change yet again.

The newborn haze has begun to lift, and it's time to hop back in the saddle. Admittedly a teensy bit nervous, I'm ready to begin a new venture and enter a season of a little bit more...productivity. One that will boost my need to create and build connections with others, while still focusing on what matters most. One that will require being strategic and intentional with my time. One that will motivate me to get out of my yoga pants and out of the house. I'm ready and very excited to get started on my next project. {I'll share specifics soon soon!!}

I truly feel that I've taken the time I needed to start with a fresh slate. I have a positive outlook, have had much needed quality time with my girls, and am ready to bring on some new challenges. Because in all reality, we only grow when we step out of our safety zone and face challenges head on. There will be plenty of hectic moments I'm sure, but my hope is to always return back to this exact moment where things are clearer than they've ever been.

That family is my number one.

More info on this exciting life change to come soon...