Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reflections on an (almost) year of motherhood

One year ago today was Wilson's due date. One whole year. I've been a mother for nearly one whole year. That blows my mind just a little. The fact that I'm a mother at all still sometimes blows my mind. 

A whole year. A year ago today, I had absolutely no idea what I was in for. No new parent really does. Of course I read all the books and took the classes, but no one can prepare you for how much parenthood rocks your world. It changes you in ways previously unimaginable. 

This year has been a year of learning. Learning how to change a diaper. Learning how to function on no sleep. Learning to calm down. Learning to let things go. Learning to distinguish between a hungry cry and a sleepy cry. Learning to appreciate 5 whole minutes alone. Learning to give more when I feel like I have nothing left. Learning I'm not perfect. Learning to find the greatest joy in sitting on the couch, reading a book as a family. 

More than anything, learning what it means to truly love. I love Wilson more than I ever thought a person could love. Not only did I learn what it means to love my baby, I also learned to love my husband in new ways. Becoming a family of 3 has definitely changed My relationship with Caleb, but it's all for the better. Not to be judgey, but I really think married couples without children are missing out on something special. 

I think the biggest lesson I've learned throughout this year is that I was meant to do this. I have wanted children for as long as I can remember. I've never had much career ambition, I only wanted to be a mom. While I was pregnant with Wilson, I had a fear that I wouldn't like being a mom or be good at it. I was scared the one thing I had always wanted wouldn't live up to the hype in my head all those years. And honestly, motherhood is so dramatically different than how I imagined. It's a million times harder. But it is also a million times better. There were definitely times I questioned if I could do this, if I could do the stay at home mom thing. But I feel really confident now that I am doing the right thing. I love being Wilson's mom. I love motherhood. I am meant to do this. 

In just a few short days, my baby will be 1. I feel like this is big moment in his life, but really, this is just the first of many, many birthdays. And as big and old as I feel Wilson will be when he turns 1, he will only continue to get bigger and older. But I have a suspicion that no matter how old Wilson is, he will always be my baby. He will always be the baby that made me a mother. I know I will look back on this first year of motherhood for the rest of my life. It has been the hardest and best year I'll ever have. 

I can't wait to see what challenges, surprises, and happiness my second year of motherhood will bring. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wilson lately

I know Wilson's one year update is coming next week but I can't help but write about all the new things Wilson has been doing lately. It feels like he does something new almost everyday and I love watching him learn. 

Wilson learned to wave bye bye a few weeks ago. Instead of waving, he just opens and closes his hand, but he knows what it means. Last night I was waking out the door to go to class and I told him bye and he waved all on his own, without promoting. He mouths the words "buh buh" but doesn't say them out loud. No idea why he won't say it. 

We took Wilson to the Mississippi Children's Museum over the weekend for an early birthday present and he had the best time. He loved being able to run around wherever he wanted and touch everything. He really, really loved around other kids. I think he was more fascinated by the othe kids than anything at the museum. Ever since Saturday, Wilson had been 10 times more talkative than ever. I think picked up on the other kids talking and he wanted to be one of the big kids. He is so funny babbling. And yelling. So much yelling. 

He is saying his first word. Not mama or dada or baba. But dog. His first word is dog. More accurately "daaahhhg". He is constantly chasing Sadie around yelling "daaa daaahhhg daaaahhhg". He also has a touch and feel book about dogs that he calls dog. He has always been an animal lover, so I guess it makes sense his first word reflects that. 

Speaking of books, he is still obsessing over them. He is constantly bringing me books to read to him. His favorite is called "The Very Lazy Ladybug" that has lots of jungle animals in it. We point to all the animals and he makes the animal sounds with me. He can hop like the kangaroo and roar like the lion. Sometimes he will grrrr like the bear or make the monkey noise but not always. Be he knows what to do for the kangaroo and lion. It's pretty amazing how fast he learned that. 

It is so much fun to watch him make such progress. But it also confirms that my baby isn't so much a baby anymore.

Friday, August 22, 2014

It was awesome

I had my first graduate class last night and there are no words to describe how awesome it was. It was so so so good. 

I was a ball of nerves all day yesterday. I knots in my stomach from excitement and stress. I felt really insecure and that I made a huge mistake trying to juggle a masters program and a toddler. I was scared no one would like me and I wouldn't know anyone. I was terrified I wasn't smart enough. I knew the course work would keep me up and take my attention away from my family. 

But despite all that fear, I put on my big girl pants and went to class. And from the moment I saw my professor, all of that fear went away. I adore my professor, who was my undergrad advisor. The man is by far the most brilliant man I know, he is kind, he has a sharp, irreverent wit, and he honestly wants us to learn. I forgot just how much I like him. 

I know several of my classmates already and everyone seemed very friendly. It's a class only 10 women, so that should be interesting. There is one super annoying girl but you know, there is one in every class, it seems. 

I felt on top of the world when I left class last night. I can do this. Not only that, but I can succeed at this. I am going to learn and grow and make myself better. 

I'm so excited now. So pumped. I really kind of forgot what it was like to be someone other than mom. And while that is still my main hat to wear, two nights per week (I switched my classes) I get to be an adult, a grad student. It is awesome. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sewing 099

That's right. I need sewing 099, as in remedial sewing not even ready for sewing 101. I'm that terrible. 

My instruction booklet, which was tauted as "very helpful" in every online review, might as well be written in Italian. It's like "step one, insert bobbin" and I'm over here like "WTF IS A BOBBIN!???!!?"  It's been a frustrating few days. 

Once I got the machine threaded, I jumped to the "starting to sew" section. Again, more assumptions that I have some sort of basic sewing knowledge. It took me a day to realize that I didn't have to push my fabric through, that the machine will sew a pretty straight line without me doing anything. That revelation made things infinitely better. 

On my third day, since I could thread the machine in minutes AND sew an even seam, I decided to start my first project, Wilson's onesie quilt. I started with this because 1. The tutorial said it was super easy and a great "beginner" project and 2. I really want to give it to Wilson on his birthday. 

I started last night and halfway thru destroying Wilson's baby clothes, I started panicking. What have I gotten myself into? I just ruined probably $100 worth of clothes! What if it doesn't turn out and I have to hear Caleb bitch about how I wasted $100 worth of clothes? 

After cutting nearly 90 squares (only halfway thru realizing my rotary cutter blade was super loose, which is why I wasn't getting straight cuts) I felt so overwhelmed by my project. 

This is normally where I would call it quits. I'm a big giver-upper. I don't tend to stick things out when shit gets tough. 

But I said screw it and started sewing. Even though I had (have) no idea what I was doing. I knocked out two (of 10) rows last night. Are they perfect? Not even close. But that's ok. I shut out the make-it-perfect-or-quit voice inside me. I'm praying it comes together and doesn't look like a 10 year old got loose in Hobby Lobby. But I'm making the damn thing and I will learn the basic functions of my sewing machine. 

Also praying that when Wilson is older, he will appreciate the time, thought, and frustration I put into it. If my liver fails in 20 years, I'm placing a lot of the blame on this project. Wine makes perfection a lot less important. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

A happy place

We had the best weekend. We spent the entire weekend with my Gran in Water Valley and it was just what I needed. It made my heart so happy. Wilson and his Gran got to spend lots of time together. Caleb and I had some fun time for ourselves. 

Saturday we went shopping in Oxford. Belk was having a good sale and I got Wilson 7 pairs of pajama for $20. I would have gotten more, but it was mostly things for little babies or girls. The 24 month boy rack had the smallest selection. We also got Wilson a pair of Nike tennis shoes and a pair of red Chuck Taylor's as his final birthday gifts. They are adorable and he looks so much like a big boy in them. 

My sewing machine was sitting on our doorstep when we got home last night. After it took me an hour to thread it, I got the hang of the very basics. I stayed up way too late playing with it. I'm so excited to make something. 

I've been in a weird mood lately, but I can really feel myself coming out of it. I'm excited for school and all of our upcoming plans. I'm having so much fun with Wilson and even when he drives me crazy, I just love the kid to death and want to be with him always. Caleb and I are in a good, steady, happy place in our marriage. Not that we have been unhappy, but things just feel extra good right now. There is so much going right and to look forward to for our little family. I often struggle with being content with what I have but if I never have anything else in life other than Caleb and Wilson, I think that would be just fine. Well. Caleb, Wilson, and another baby one day. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

5 on Friday!

1. Caleb and I start school Monday! I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. The first day of school has always been a highlight of my year. I get giddy over meeting new teachers and about all the learning and growing. I know that Wilson's first day of kindergarten will be on of my favorite days ever. 

I met with my advisor yesterday. He was also Caleb's advisor for his masters, so that makes me feel a little awkward. Caleb and I are very different types of students. I really don't want to be compared him. 

2. Wilson has become very interested in books. He doesn't like for me to read the words, he only wants to talk about the pictures and make the animal noises. But still. He has shown 0 interest in books before now, which had me slightly worried. Now he will pick a book out of his toy box and bring it to me. He sits in my lap and laughs at my horrible farm animal impressions. He doesn't like to look at the pages in order and is constantly turning the pages back and forth. It's really sweet and I love cuddling together on the couch and reading together. 

3. One of my ongoing personal goals is to become a less picky eater. I was a terribly picky eater as a child and while it did improve some as I got older, I still feel like I don't like a lot of things. I don't eat any seafood or fish. I only truly like a handful of vegetables. I'm really weird about my food's texture. I feel like I'm limiting myself from some great things and being really annoying/immature, so I am actively working on retrying things I don't eat. 

One of the biggest strides I've made is liking sushi. I used to gag at the thought of it. The first time I tried it I almost cried because it was so gross but we were at a nice restaurant so I couldn't spit it out. While I was pregnant, for some strange, hormonal reason, I started craving sushi. We would go out to japanese places and Caleb would order some. I would take a bite and I still didn't really like it. I kept craving it even though I didn't particularly like it. It was weird. 

Since then, I still get a craving for sushi, but I've gotten used to it and I actually enjoy it now. I love it really. We have a Chinese buffet/Mongolian grill that also employs a sushi chef. For $10, it's all you can eat sushi! It's not the fanciest, but it's fresh and tasty. We went there Wednesday and I had probably 3 plate fulls of sushi. It was so satisfying. 

4. We have some nonstop busy weeks a head of us. We have 3 weddings, a birthday party, a vacation, a bridal shower, and an anniversary crammed in the next two months. And as soon as all that is over, it'll be thanksgiving and the holiday season. Whew. It makes me tired thinking about it. 

5. After reading countless reviews and studying over hundreds of pintrest projects, I finally ordered my sewing machine! It should be here Monday and I am so excited to set it up. I don't have any clue how to sew, but I'm looking forward to learning. I've always enjoyed working with my hands and making things. And I really need a hobby. I need something to do just for me and my enjoyment. I think my first project is going to be curtains for the living room. Curtains seem pretty simple. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wilson -- 11 months

I think I'm probably going to cry every day between now and Wilson's birthday. I cannot believe my baby is getting so big. I cannot believe he has a whole year of life behind him already. I feel like this year has just gone by in a big blur. I'm just a big puddle of emotions. 

- I'm guessing Wilson weighs around 24.5 pounds. I have no idea how long he is, but I'll guess around 32 inches. 

- Night time sleep is still awesome. He goes to bed awake, but sleepy around 9:30 and sleeps until 9:30-10:30. 

- Naps are still weird. Since he sleeps so late in the mornings, he doesn't take a morning nap. Afternoon nap is always between 1-2 and he sleeps about 2 hours. Sometimes he takes a quick cat nap around 5, but that seems to actually make him more cranky so I try not to let t happen. He still isn't napping in his crib most of the time. 

- We quit day time bottles last week and he is doing great with the switch to cups. He takes 6 ounces of formula with 2 ounces of milk from a cup when he wakes up and again around 4. He likes to watch Sesame Street and lay on the couch while he drinks. At night, we still do an 8 bottle with formula and milk. 

- Wilson is usually a great eater. He has days where he won't eat much, but usually he eats 3 meals and a snack every day. I'm thinking about teaching him to use a spoon soon. Some of his favorite foods are sweet potatoes, deli meat, fish, green peas, broccoli, peaches, bananas, buttered toast and pasta with tomato sauce. 

- He is wearing 18 and 24 month size clothes. Some of his 12 month shorts still fit but all of the t shirts and onesies are way too small. I told everyone to buy him size 2t for fall. I personally like his clothes, especially shirts and onesies to fit bigger. Just seems more comfortable to me. 

- Still in size 4 diapers, but I think we will go to 5s when we run out of 4s. 

- Wilson is doing great with walking. Everyone kept telling me that I was "in trouble" when he started walking, but I think life is much easier now. Wilson seems happier that he can move around for himself so well. I caught him standing on his tip toes today trying to look on the kitchen table. He learned how to stand up from sitting on his own this month. He doesn't have to pull up anymore. 

- Wilson is a pro at making funny noises with his mouth. He Mimics what we do and it's amazing how fast he learns. He clicks his tongue, makes a kissy noise, makes a "bluuubbbbluuuub" sound with his lips, and lots more. He will also growl at us when he chase him around.

- With him imitating sound so well, I would have thought he would be saying more words, but he doesn't. He babbles a lot, but nothing in particular. He says bababa a lot and says mama when he is whiney. He squeals and shrieks when he is happy. 

- Wilson learned to dance this month, though he doesn't dance to most music. Only hip hop really. Caleb blames me for that. He will sometimes "sing" along with Daniel Tiger or Elmo, which is the sweetest thing. 

- Likes: Sadie (the feeling is not mutual), when daddy comes home, evening walks, Elmo and Daniel Tiger, eating

- Dislikes: diaper changes, naps, getting in trouble (like he did in this picture because he tried to eat some dog hair off the couch) 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday thoughts

I'm currently sitting in bed eating a huge bowl of sugar free cherry jello and drinking a PBR. It's been that kind of a Monday. 

Wilson had so much fun with his Grammy and grandpa this weekend. Wilson is especially find of my sister in law. We call her Wilson's girlfriend because when she is around, he only has eyes for her. It's adorable. She is going of to college next week (!!!Say what??!!??!!) and I know Wilson will miss her when he goes to visit his grandparents. Clinton is only an hour and a half from here, so I hope we will be able to go visit her sometimes. I'm so excited for my SIL. Freshman year of college was one of the best times of my life and I can't wait for her to experience college life. She is actually going on a sports (soccer/track) scholarship so I hope with all that commitment she still has some free time for shenanigans on the weekends. 

We bought Wilson two birthday gifts and an adorable birthday outfit on Sunday. We got this neat bean bag chair and a toy that he fell in love with last time we were at Walmart. We will probably buy him several more things before his birthday. I really love buying other people gifts and buying Wilson things makes me infinitely happy and excited. 

Wilson will be 11 months tomorrow. I don't know whether to cry or jump for joy. This stage is so much fun. I love playing with him all day. He is developing such a sweet personality. I just love it. I don't want him to grow, but the bigger he gets, the more fun he is. It's a mother's catch 22. 

I start school in 2 weeks! I'm excited but quite anxious. We have such a good family rhythm and routine. I'm scared of messing that up. I'll only have class on Thursday nights because my other classes are online, but still. I'm nervous that it will throw our balance off. Caleb decided to pursue another masters degree instead of the doctoral program. He is starting the geospacial program full time in august, too. I'm glad he decided to do that because a doctoral program would have kept us here for 6-10 more years.  No thank you. After this semester, both of our programs are online, so if we do move, we can both finish online. 

The Mosquitos here are so terrible. I think all this mild weather we have been having has made super mosquitos. I'm covered in welts and poor Wilson has two on his forehead. Whenever we buy a house, a screened in porch will be a necessity. 

These photos have nothing to do with this scatter brained post. And my kid has freakishly long legs. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

This week

I am so ready for this weekend! Wilson has been so clingy and whiney this week. He is cutting a tooth and I know he doesn't feel well, but good god he has tried my patience this week. He is fighting naps and wanting ME to hold him constantly. I even contemplated getting his baby wrap out of the closet, but he is well beyond the weight limit and I figured he would be 10x fussier if he fell out of the wrap. On the bright side, I've gotten in lots of cuddles with Wilson. He is quite the charmer with his little kisses and hugs. 

Wilson is going to spend the night with my mother in law tomorrow. She works in special ed and goes back to school next week. She wanted to keep Wilson before she goes back to work which is fine by me. I know a lot of new parents are hesitant to let their kids spend the night away from home (I was one of them) but I trust my in laws and my parents. I'm very grateful Wilson has such loving and involved grandparents. Having just one night with my husband every month or so is so refreshing and rejuvenating for us. We are going back to our college bar tomorrow for the first time in almost a year. We used to go play trivia (and get wasted) there every Wednesday night. Those days seem like ages ago. 

Yesterday, Wilson had a little left over milk in his cup from the day before. I thought I would just try putting his formula in the cup with the milk to see what happens. To my surprise, Wilson sat on the couch with me and drank most of it. I did the same thing in the afternoon, and he took it again like it was no big deal. So, if things keep up, we are bottle free during the day now!!!!! I'm still doing the night time one just because it's a big part of Wilson's night time routine. And the routine is working for us and I do not want to mess that up. Our walmart quit carrying the only cup he will use (of course) so I've been searching for them everywhere. I'm hoping target will have them. 

We officially booked Wilson birthday party at a pizza place in Southaven. I am so excited. I'm trying to find a cute birthday shirt or outfit for him to wear and we still aren't sure what his gift from us will be. I can't wait for future birthdays when Wilson will be just as excited as I am. I've always been a big fan of celebrating birthdays (or birthday weeks) and it'll be nice to have someone else share in my excitement.