Friday, December 19, 2014

The Power of being a Parent

If you're a mom you may already know this and experience it from time to time, but this time of the year it seems like I am constantly tearing up. I find myself overcome with emotion and gratitude that this little boy is ours, that we get to spend our days with him, and that he is strong and healthy and happy. Tonight K-man was exhausted and nodding off as he was eating. He hasn't done this since he was probably 2 or 3 months old. After I gave up trying to wake him and encourage him to eat, I just held him and his little sleeping body for about 15 minutes. I remember when he was small enough to perch on my shoulder and let him sleep, and now he spans my lap. His chubby cheeks make my heart swell.

I simply cannot believe that we have been entrusted with this little soul. It has been so much fun watching him learn, showing him he's loved, and seeing life through his eyes, and he's only been here a little less than 9 months. When he reaches for me I immediately want to hold him, whether I'm tired or angry or sick or whatever. He wants me. He trusts me to make it better, and {for now} I can. I can bounce, sing the ABC's, and hold him tight and that will cure pretty much anything that is ailing him. That power is not lost on me, and I know I won't have it forever. Someday some really unfair things will happen to him and I won't be able to fix it. But in these silent nights with him asleep on my lap, I promise him to fix what I can, and love him through all the rest- completely and utterly unconditionally. What else can I do? I pray that that will be enough.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

To Killian on Your 6 Month Birthday

My Little LoveBug,
Wow, you've been out of my belly and on this earth for 6 whole months! How does it feel?? You're getting this whole "life" thing down, my dear. Sure, you're not perfect, none of us are, but you get the eat, sleep, play, smile, bathe, enjoy-the-day activities and we have a really good time now. 

You have completely changed our lives. And there is no way we could ever thank the Lord enough for making you ours and trusting us to care of you. Sure, I'm your mom and I'll be teaching you stuff your whole life. But you've taught me more in the last six months than I ever expected.

You give me the opportunity to practice patience and deep breaths. I really did not expect to know what I was doing, and I was right; I had no idea. You were quite a fussy little newborn and constant crying tests my patience, being unable to solve your problems tests my patience, willing you to sleep from outside your room tests my patience. Deep breaths, often right in the middle of the storm, help to remind me that this will pass. {What an amazing life lesson you are teaching me!} It reminds me to keep on with what I believe because I know you, and I know me, and we will figure this it. You will stop crying/fall asleep/be ok.

I'm learning from you how difficult it is to do what is both hard and necessary. I'm the mom who would rather rock you to sleep every time than hear you cry for even 5 minutes. I won't apologize for that. But I do need to remember that sometimes you have to learn things on your own so that you can grow into an awesome, healthy, strong young boy. This concept is harder than I imagined, and I know it's only the beginning. Sometimes I may have to hurt you to help you, and I'm sorry about that. I will always try to do what I believe is right for you, even when it's hard. 

You bring out a fierce love in me. I have never in my life loved a being as much as I love you. That's just a fact. It's all consuming. It's scary and worrisome. It's challenging and rewarding and amazing. We made you. You grew inside me and you came from me. It's so much love that it's overwhelming sometimes. In the future, when you are annoyed, irritated, embarrassed, or frustrated with me, just remember that love. That's where whatever I'm doing is coming from. 

I loved your Dad before you were here, obviously. Having you here these last 6 months has changed that love in so many ways. Hearing you two "chat" and seeing how big you smile when you realize he's home from work make days full of tears completely worth it. My love and respect have grown ten-fold for your Dad since you arrived. He's learning just like I am and he's doing a really great job. 

So thanks for being here, my little one. Thanks for being happy, for all the giggles and hugs and finger holds. I can't wait to see how you keep changing and growing in the next 6 months. Don't worry about going so fast though, ok?! I love you.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

I was a really good mom this week.

Mom friends do you ever say this to yourself? It's funny to even type. On the heals of an article my friend posted, I have been thinking a lot about how I talk to myself as a mom. I truly thought that even though motherhood would be stressful and difficult, I would be made for this job. I haven't actually felt that to be true in the way I imagined. 

I've been trying to really use some positive self talk to get myself in a more positive place. "I was a really great mom this week." It was a tough week because Nick was away for 4 days and that always stresses me out and makes me nervous. Lucky it was just 4 days. We had a lot of tears and whines, and the little man's teeth are raising H-E- double hockey sticks, but I was there to comfort him, snuggle him, bounce him, and when it was necessary, give him tylenol. We also had a lot of smiles, some awesome giggly-giggles, fun at bath time, we enjoyed a little gym class, went to the children's museum, practiced standing and sitting up, sang our ABCs, and even got some big smiles at the dreaded tummy time. 

Those of you who are mommies, do you feel good at your job? Will that ever be true? Did you have to manage your expectations with reality? This is what I'm working with right now. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sometimes I Feel Invisible

I'm going to be a transparent mom today (well obviously I'm transparent, I blog about our life ha!) There are a lot of days that I feel pretty invisible. Today at a mother's group meeting we played around with making necklaces. I made one that had some clear beads (Killian's birthstone is a diamond) and some blue beads (because he's a boy), and then another section with a ruby colored bead and a feather (because ruby is Nick's birthstone) and then I proudly put it on to see what I thought. If we forget that it's homemade ;) it doesn't look half bad, but you know what I left out? Myself. It seemed interesting that I didn't think to put some of my birthstone on there. There I am, invisible to myself too. 

Our lives with a little one are pretty hectic and having only a few friends in the area doesn't help. I suppose I just get lost in it all sometimes. We go about our day, Nick at work, and me trying to keep K alive and happy. Sometimes it's a good day, sometimes it's a less than ideal day, and many times it feels like Groundhog Day.  Killian's smiles and the laughs he laughs just for me remind me that I'm not invisible. I may be in the trenches, but I'm valuable and necessary to him, and that is worth it all. I've said it before but I'm astonished at how hard mommy-ing can be, and also how amazing it can be.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I hate you, September

I felt the weight of this month bearing down on me today. It's amazing to me how in one minute you can be happy and carefree and then just a few minutes later some little trigger can have you transported back 6 (holy crap!) years and reliving every detail. Do any of you do this? I have this automatic video-reel type experience where I relive it all over again. The day I found out. The day he came home. The memorial services. The funeral. It seems-- it was-- so long ago, but very quickly it can seem like yesterday. And we just keep walking forward through these days. Head on through what we know is coming. We just keep walking because it doesn't get worse. It gets rough, but it doesn't get worse than those days.  

Do you know how incredibly guilty I feel when I get stuck down the rabbit hole? Being stuck reliving those days takes so much energy. That's energy I should be giving to my beautiful baby boy. I'm so very blessed to have what I have when I never thought I'd get there. To be able to live the life I dreamed of, just a regular life, is such a privilege. I don't know how to convey my true gratitude for it. So September is a balancing act that I have yet to master.  P

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sometimes the Laundry doesn't get done.

Me to Nick as he got ready for work: "You don't have any clean socks, do you? My bad."
Nick: "Probably not. But you're raising our son. I can wear dirty socks." :)

As a new mom, I am trying to give myself time to master the art of truly raising a child and taking care of the home. Now, that doesn't seem all that hard right? Or at least it never did to me until now. Raising a kid is no joke! And even though I've only been at it 4 months, I can tell you there are so many things I've learned in that short time. He is my priority, and often demands that he be my only responsibility throughout the day. I try to remind myself he won't be this little for long, so it's completely ok to spend the day playing and snuggling and bouncing (lots of bouncing!) and dancing with him. The vaccuming can wait. The dishes can wait. The laundry can wait. When it starts to bury us, then we can tag-team and tackle it. Me and my main squeeze can get very overwhelmed by the "house stuff" piling up. We are learning to prioritize, and to let go. Thanks for the life lessons, Killian. 

Also, can I quickly say I have legitamately NO IDEA how my mom did it. She wrangled 2 kids (not only wrangled, but taught us stuff!), one dog, kept our house cleaner and more well-kept than a magazine, and made nutritious meals every single day. I'm lucky if Killian changed clothes, the dogs ate breakfast, and we had scrambled eggs for dinner ;) Love ya, Mom! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Take Me Back


And Family

We had a wonderful, packed-full trip back to my homeland. It was full of firsts for Killian; first airplane ride, hotel stay, and first meetings with family and friends. I love being there but traveling with a little one is rough, so it's nice to be back home. 

I spent some time reflecting and praying this morning. {Side note- prayer seems absolutely necessary since having this little one, if only to thank God for his safe arrival and his presence in our lives.} In this time this morning I found myself in tears about the distance between me and my friends and family. Sure, since we were just back there the leaving is fresh and so is the sadness. I spend my days recording poopy diapers and soothing temperatures from vaccines, and I just wish some of that could be done with a friend by my side. 

So I miss you all. I loved seeing you. I can't wait until we're back again {for good? Ha}.

Three generations of men I love. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On The Night You Were Born

So a lot has changed but rather than a round up of all of it, I'm just going to jump right in! We had a baby boy in April! Wowza! Here's the story of his birth:

On the afternoon of March 31 around 3pm I decided to take a nap. Lily and I curled up on the couch and Jory found a comfy spot on the rug. At about 4:50pm I woke up suddenly to a "whoosh" followed by fluids. I sloshed to the closest bathroom, sat down, and looked at everything that was soaked and wondered what the heck was happening. I was 33 weeks and 5 days. I called Nick, who had left that morning for a week-long business trip to Ohio.  I explained to him what happened, he tried to calm me down. I decided to try my doctor's office before they closed. The nurse told me to head to labor and delivery and get checked out.  I called the one couple of friends we have here (because we moved to a new state about a month earlier) and they came over to pick me up.  I was surprised that I felt absolutely fine, just that fluid kept coming. I expected to feel contractions, but I didn't.

Our friends drove me to the hospital. Once I got out of the car at the hospital another large woosh convinced me that I was probably not going home. Our friends offered to stay the night with me, but I promised I'd be ok. Nick was able to I get the earliest flight out of Cleveland and was at the hospital by 9:30 am the next day.

That night, I definitely freaked out that I was alone. I talked to Nick a lot and had the most fantastic nurse who took care of me, Bev. I hardly slept but felt mostly fine, just uncomfortable. I was having contractions but I didn't feel any of them. Because I was having contractions they wouldn't feed me, but they gave me some jello and water. Nick called my Mom and Dad and explained what was happening. Every time we had to tell someone about it, we had to make sure they knew it wasn't an April fools joke.  I called Mom and Dad too to make sure they knew I was fine, but they were still worried.

The next morning my doctor came to check on me. We talked about how I was feeling, and what the plan should be. I was 33 weeks and 6 days so her plan was to let my body go and see what it was trying to do. My contractions weren't hurting, and they weren't regular, so she thought I could make it a day or two. Everyone was worried about the baby's lungs. So the plan was wait it out, and start pitocin Thursday if necessary. After discussing that she wanted to check me. I was 4cm! So she said things may pick up, since that was a lot more than anyone was expecting.

As soon as nick arrived I felt a million times better. He sat down beside me and apologized up and down for not being home. He cried. We cried. And we regrouped and we were together.  Mom and Dad got there shortly after Nick. No one would feed me since I was close to active labor.  I labored all day with contractions I could feel but not badly, hoping my body would pick up. Everyone was waiting for me to be in pain, then they would know I was progressing. It's a weird feeling waiting for pain. It stalled out a bit and my Mom and Dad went home to our place around 6pm.

At about 9pm I was starting to feel more pain, but I was also so tired, so hungry, and so exhausted at the thought of doing this for 2 more days. I was most comfortable sitting up or on the edge of the bed. (Oh that hospital bed was not comfortable). When I would sit up, the baby's heart rate would drop. He was not tolerating the contractions well at that angle. I was so uncomfortable. Around midnight Nick had a serious talk with me about getting an epidural. The pain was definitely there, but manageable, but I was so afraid I would have to do this for another 24 hours. He rationalized that and epidural would get me some rest for the night and that I was not in any shape to deliver a baby without some rest. I was not thrilled with the prospect of an epidural, and I was also extremely afraid of something in my spine. But I was exhausted and shaking and I had to do something.

My awesome nurse Ronia calmed me down a bit and tried to check me before the epidural. My doctor came back to see how I was, checked and said I as a little over 4cm. She said we'd start some pitocin since I was getting the epidural and maybe get the show on the road. The anesthesiologist explained everything to me and was so good at putting in the epidural. It was so, so much easier than I expected!! I was thrilled once it was in and so relived. I had to lay flat for 10 min after the epidural. Then things got crazy! As I was laying down my blood pressure dropped and Killian's heart rate disappeared, so the 6 nurses in my room started to move me from one side to another, gave me an oxygen mask, told me to relax and take deep breaths (ha!). I had no idea what was going on, but Ronia came back to the room and said the doctor thought we should have an emergency C section because Killian was not tolerating the contractions or the epidural. Nick and I said ok, and I was actually very relieved to get the babe out and safe. Nick called Mom and Dad, and then put on the scrubs.  My doctor came in and just wanted to check me one last time. After all that quick commotion, I was 10cm. She then said something like this to me, "Lets just do this! I know you don't know me very well, and for a first time mom this isn't going to be easy, but the baby is small, and I think you can deliver him. He isn't going to tolerate pushing well so we only have about 20 minutes. I will tell you what to do. If we can't get him out then well do the c section. What do you think? Do you want to try?" Thank God for her. So we got ready.

Suddenly I was pushing, with no idea what I was doing. I couldn't feel a thing. Nick was super helpful. Holding your breath and pushing for 10 whole seconds is a really long time. I didn't think I was doing anything. Nick was the one telling me I was doing it. Then we were close, I was trying hard but not sure I was pushing the right way. Then she delivered him, with the words "whoa tight fit!" Killian was 6lbs 1oz.

He cried right away, which brought us so much relief. Nick went over to see him with the people from the NICU. They let me see him quickly and hold him for a couple minutes. We took the first (and worst) family picture ever. Then they went to the NICU and Nick went with them. Then I was just in a daze of what had all happened. Once I settled a bit, I was working on my epidural wearing off so that I could go see him.

He kept us on our toes the entire time, changing his mind, being finicky, and making his own rules. He was worth every single second and more. I love him beyond words.

Me proving to Nick I was in the hospital that night. 

The first time I held my son.

Killian John, born April 2, 2014 at 4:36am.

The worst family picture ever ;)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Love in the New Year

Nick and I get very excited to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  Last year we spent it sharing the evening with some of the best friends, who we've actually shared NYE with for every New Year since we met :) We missed them this year! This year was a little different- no alcohol for me and bebe so it was a little more calm, but still happy. We usually reminisce with stories from our wedding like, "Oh, at this time you guys were getting to the church and my girls wouldn't let me look out the window to see you,"  And, "Remember when we cut the cake and had no idea which part to cut into? Did we even eat any cake…?" And, "All. That. Jameson."

This year, we were able to travel to Georgia to celebrate another beginning of the year wedding, and see some of our Army friends.  It was such a nice weekend! Easy travel (thank goodness!), fun stories, and a beautiful bride and groom!! It was fitting to start off the year of my personal focus on LOVE with a wedding.  Love of two people starting a life, love of friends we haven't seen in a while, just love everywhere.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 in One Word

Happy New Year Friends! Are you excited about the year 2014? A chance to refresh, start over, begin a new year and push that reset button. It's a pretty cleansing feeling if you can embrace it right? Do you guys do New Years resolutions? I love the idea of self-improvement, but with our long list of changes coming in 2014 it seems overwhelming to add more goals on top. We have some big things coming this year. We are moving in February, welcome a new baby in May, and trying to settle in in a completely new place. I'll be working to finish my master's degree, and building my business with Rodan + Fields, and Nick will be adjusting to his new role in the company and working hard to grow he accounts he has. So a New Years resolution wasn't something I was really going to do this year.

Have you heard of One Word 365?  It's a nice way to take on the new year and focus on one word that affects all parts of your life. You're word for the year. I like the idea of only one world, and as I was thinking about it my word came straight to me. Check out he community at the link above!

My word for 2014 is LOVE.  I will spend this year approaching all things with love.  This will help me let go of negativity in my relationships, spend oodles of time loving on our new addition, be kind and warm and only focus on LOVE. This will help my relationship with my husband grow stronger in year 3, as well as strengthen friendships and relationships with family. We could all use a little more LOVE, right? I think so :) What's your word? Remember to hashtag your words, and your blogs, and your tweets, etc. #oneword365