Anyone who knows me knows that I simply adore my kids. They are my life. Nearly everything I do in some way, shape, or form is for them. Even when I’m not with them, they are always on my mind. I love them. I love being their mom.
Being able to carry, nurture, and birth a baby is a privilege and a true gift. It is an amazing experience. I loved being pregnant both times (at least up until the last few weeks). Seeing my newborn babies for the first time are moments that I will never forget. I love holding them, feeding them, caring for them. Heck, I don’t even mind changing diapers that much.
Nighttime feedings, nightmares, monsters, and middle of the night water requests (followed by trips to the potty) aren’t that bad in the big scheme of things. Tantrums, stomach aches, and band-aid obsessions all pass in time.
Story time, rolling on the floor, racing cars, splashing in the tub, and hugs and kisses while snuggled on the couch will all be fond memories in a few years when they are too grown up to do those things with Mommy.
But, while I’m spending all this time loving on my kids and being Mommy, I’m missing being me.
Before I became a Mommy there was so much more to me. I was learning to play guitar and aspired to be part of an actual band some day. I read books and magazines (and actually finished them). I could take part in an intellectual conversation and know what I was talking about. I spent hours learning about web design and hand coding web sites. I listened to adult music. I wrote both online and offline about things other than children. I went to rock concerts regularly. I slept for more than 3 hours at a time. I cooked meals that required more than throwing some chicken nuggets on a pan and putting them in the oven. I spent hours snuggled on the couch watching movies with my Hubby. I actually got to eat an entire meal while it was still hot.
These days there is no time for those things. I spend my weekdays at my job, where my time belongs to my boss. Then I go home where my time belongs to my kids. I’m completely exhausted by the time the kids get to bed. Hubby complains because there is no time for him. I complain because there is no time for me.
There is something to be said for the old tradition of the man bringing home the bacon and the woman staying home to raise the kids. I feel like I would have so much more control of my life if I could have those extra 9 hours of the day at home. I could have the time I need to play with my kids and not feel guilty when I needed to put them to bed at 8:00 so I could have some me time. I could keep the house picked up so it wasn’t a mad rush on the weekend to get laundry done and find the floor underneath all those toys. I might even have a little time to myself during nap time. I know there would be other difficulties that come along with it, but it sure looks good from where I stand right now.
I know I make it sound bad, but the truth is I began this post because I wanted to talk about how much better things have gotten recently. Somehow it turned into a big stress dump instead. But things really are getting better. For the last 13 months, my body has belonged to someone else. My brain has been zapped from pregnancy and then lack of sleep. But now Evie is becoming slightly more independent. She still owns my boobs, but the rest of my body is slowly coming back to me. She doesn’t have to be held all the time. She can play alone for a few minutes in the exersaucer or roll around with her toys in the floor. She goes to sleep easily by 8:00 every night and if I can actually get Zachary to bed I do have a couple of hours of me time. I’ve actually had time to do some sewing and work on some blog designs. I feel little bits and pieces of the old me coming back and it feels good. I can even laugh instead of getting angry when I tell Zach to go to bed and he says, “But I just went to bed last month!” It still isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
I guess like any job, this Mommy thing includes both good and bad. Fortunately, the pros of being Mommy greatly outweigh the cons.
I’ve been a little absent around here lately and I can only blame it on one thing: The creative juices are flowing. Pregnancy seems to zap it all out of me but it is finally coming back. In the last two weeks I completed a re-design of this site, created a completely new site, and actually did a little sewing on top of that. I feel such a sense of accomplishment.
But, that’s not what this post is about. What this is about is the launch of my new site Getting Crafty! A few of you may recall a little site I started up a year or so ago called Novice Knitting. Well, I haven’t been doing much knitting lately and the site has been pretty much abandoned because of that. So, what I’ve done is rolled it all over into a new site that will feature all of my craft projects (not just knitting!) as well as feature some great craft ideas and amazing crafters that I find around the internet. I won’t promise daily posting because I still have a full time job, two kids, a husband, and two other blogs to take care of but I am hoping to update at least a couple times a week.
Life with a new baby includes carrying around a lot of stuff. You need diapers, wipes, extra clothes, bottles, bibs, toys, pacifiers, along with all kinds of other odds and ends. That’s why when I found a super simple pattern for this cute little tote bag I had to buy it. I made the first one for my sister-in-law back in December. I thought it would make the perfect diaper bag, but she chose to use it as a purse instead.
After my own little bundle of joy came along, I decided I needed to make one for myself. Now, only four months later, I finally found the time to make my own bag (the pink/brown striped one). I also put one together for my sister (the underwater themed one), even though her diaper bag days are nearly over. I’m sure she’ll be able to find a use for it.
The bag is reversible, with pockets either on the inside or outside. I haven’t yet decided which way I like the best yet.
You turned 4 months old a week ago. Why am I just now writing this letter to you? Well, quite frankly I’ve been entirely too busy to sit down and get my thoughts together. Your 4-month birthday fell on Friday and then we spent all weekend in Omaha so we could take you, your brother, and your cousins to the Omaha zoo. Yes, we do have a local zoo here in KC, but the one in Omaha is so much better. We got to explore an indoor Rain Forest, a Desert, and of course the aquarium, which seemed to be your favorite. You loved watching the fish swim around. The only things you didn’t seem to care for were the heat and the fact that I couldn’t feed you at the exact second you decided you were hungry.
This last month with you has been so much fun. You are really noticing things around you now (like the fish!). You watch with great interest when your brother is nearby as he’s always doing something silly. You also love to grab at your toys and (more often than not) shove them into your mouth. Every time I lay you down in your crib you reach toward your little pink teddy bear that Zachary brought you at the hospital. You can’t always pick it up by yourself, but you try so hard.
You are getting the movement thing down pretty well actually. You’re arms aren’t so shaky when you reach for things now and on July 1st you rolled over for the first time. You rolled from your back to your tummy and Mommy, Daddy, and Zachary all got to see you do it. It took a week or so for you to get really good at it, but now I can’t lay you down anywhere without you trying to roll away. It makes me so nervous when I leave you in my bed in the mornings, but I don’t want to move you or I’m afraid you’ll wake up.
Speaking of sleeping, you have learned to put yourself to sleep. It is this amazing thing that I didn’t even realize was possible until you just did it one night. I needed a few minutes to help your brother get settled in bed so I put you down in the pack ‘n’ play. When I came back, you were sound asleep without so much as a peep. I thought maybe it was a fluke so I tried it the next night and you went right to sleep again. You also seem to have put yourself on a sleep schedule which is amazing as well. You are ready for bed every night around 8:00 to 8:30 and if I just lay you down you go right to sleep. You still wake up quite often during the night to eat, but not having to fight (or listen to a screaming baby) at bedtime makes it all worth it. The next step will be getting you to sleep through the night in your own bed. I have to admit I’m not in a huge hurry for that though because I’ll miss snuggling with you all night. You’ve recently gotten in the habit of holding my hand and most nights you sleep tucked inside my arm with our hands intertwined.
My absolute favorite time of day with you is when you first wake up in the morning. You are so happy. You often do your happy growl and babble on and on like you are telling me a story. It makes it so hard for me to get out of bed because I would rather just stay there and have conversations with you all day. I expect that those morning sessions will be some of my favorite memories of you as a baby.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that you were staring me down at dinner time. You would follow every bite I took with your eyes. You watched as I moved my fork from my plate to my mouth. I figured if you were that interested in what I was eating, maybe you were ready to start eating some food of your own. A few days later I gave you your first taste of rice cereal. I mixed it with formula the first time since I didn’t have any extra breast milk pumped but you ate the entire bowl. The next night you refused it. Then I tried mixing it with a little apple juice and water and you’ve been a happy girl ever since. You love your cereal now and when it’s time to eat you have your mouth open and waiting for each spoon full.
Besides all of the other firsts you’ve experienced this past month, you also received your first real injury. While attempting to play with you at day care, your brother accidentally let go of a toy and it ended up hitting you right smack on the eye. You had a pretty nice bruise on your eyelid for about a week but it’s all better now. I’m sure it is the first of many bumps and bruises you will receive from him during your life.
Evie, you are growing so fast. It seems like you get bigger and bigger every day. Tomorrow you go to the doctor for a check-up and you’ll get weighed and measured. I’m anxious to see just how much you have gained in both height and weight. The last time I weighed you at home you were just over sixteen pounds and I’m sure you’ve gained more since then. I love watching you grow, but there’s a little part of me that wishes I could just keep you tiny forever.
I’ve had a few people ask me recently about feed readers and RSS and what it all is. If you only read one or two blogs, it’s not going to make much difference in your life, but if you read ten or more? Definitely worth figuring out how to subscribe and use a feed reader. Simple Mom has a great post up that explains it all in very easy terms. I highly suggest clicking on the link below and giving it a read.
p.s. I promise I’ll have a real post soon! Just wanted to pass this along.