Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Big fish, small pond

Happy Halloween!

There is no doubt in my mind after this Halloween that we moved to the right neighborhood.

We've always decorated our house for Halloween.  I've written time and time again about how much I loved to hear the kids oooh and aaah as they came up our walk at the old house.  With the exception of jack-o-lanterns, we were basically the only house in the entire neighborhood that was decorated.

Well, the decor in this neighborhood puts ours to shame.  Not only is every third house decorated, but several of them are done with lights, music and effects.  We were the big fish in a small pond, but we've graduated to the big leagues.

Now, it's true: most of our boxes aren't yet unpacked.  We weren't going to try to compete since only the basic necessities can be found, and technically speaking, this shouldn't count.  But somebody caved (spoiler alert: it wasn't me!).

It's nowhere near as good as some of the other homes, but all things considered, I was pretty impressed with his last minute handy-work.

We had a great time trick-or-treating.  We live in a place where everyone knows their neighbors' names, and there were dozens of kids going up and down the streets.  I can't express my excitement that this is the place our kids will spend all their Halloweens!


there's plenty of candy to go around!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Two months

It's crazy how fast time goes.  I don't much recall his first month of life.  It has disappeared into a haze of anxiety, little sleep, infection and trying to move into a new house.  Casey and I couldn't even get it together enough to take his "official" one month old photo. 

But we're starting (emphasis on the starting) to get settled and into a routine, and things are becoming a little less hazy. 

Some things about my sweet little peanut at 2 months:

He has grown out of the following: all newborn and 0-3 month clothing.  3 month clothes are hanging on for dear life, and he actually fits in 6 month clothes.

I've upgraded his diapers to the next snap, because the newborn enclosure is too small.

He has three modes: Awake happy, awake unhappy, and asleep.  He is both smiley-er and more prone to tears than Leah was.  Both his smiles and his sad faces are ridiculously awesome. 

Still eats a ton, but we've downgraded from every single hour and a half to sometimes being able to go two or three hours in between feedings. 

Is beginning to sleep better through the night.  He goes to bed wonderfully at 8, and I'm usually only up twice with him through the night. This is a HUGE triumph, because I was up... I don't even know.  A LOT more than that.

His goal in life is still to fall asleep while nursing, and I will admit that I love the way he has to keep his tiny hands on that part of me as much as I'll let him. 

Is continually carted around in the Moby wrap. I have far fewer pictures of him than I'd like, but it's because I'm always holding him. This boy looooves to be snuggled up against his momma.

He holds his head up quite well.  Just as with Leah, I get tons of comments about how strong he is.  My children don't melt into me while they're being held the way most newborns do.  They both loved to hold their heads up and look around.

Does well in his bouncer, and enjoys talking to and playing with toys.

Has rolled over from his back to his stomach - or, mostly, anyway. 

Loves to support his own weight on his legs, just like his sister did. 

Hates the car.  Just like his sister did.

Is loved and adored by his momma, daddy and big sister.  We feel so fortunate to have this special little man in our lives!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Reminders: Day 3 of single parenting

Yup.  Again. 

The same day I got the injunction on action from the doc, my husband came home with glad tidings.

"So... it turns out I actually have a show to do.  In San Antonio.  Tomorrow." I only cried a little.

We've done okay on our own so far.  (See also: it's only day three.)

Then there's that inevitable "but..." In this case, it has to do with poor timing of both meals and bed time, two things which should be carefully tended while single-parenting. 

Fortunately, tonight I came accross a reminder I need (in addition to prayer, grace and forgiveness, that is):

Motherhood isn’t about making my kids make right choices. Motherhood is about me making right choices. Day in and day out. When I feel like it and when I don’t. When it’s hard and when it’s easy.
Motherhood is about changing me…not my children.
The best I can do is to show them what following God looks like, what good choices look like, what love looks like. My job is to invite them to journey alongside me, teach them as much as I can and pray for them constantly.
Ultimately, though, their responses and decisions I must entrust to the grace of God. Unlike a marathon, boot camp or grad school, following all the rules doesn’t mean I get the prize of perfect kids.

What Is the “Prize” for Great Mothers then…?

Our prize then, is Grace. To fully live it, fully embrace it, fully know it, and fully give it.

Love, love love this blog

So I'll keep trying.  When it's hard and when it's easy. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seven weeks post

I keep writing about these things because, in the hopes that we do get to go down this road again, I want to remember.  I'm already starting to foget the challenges I've faced and probably won't be able to make an informed decision x number of years in the future.

So revelations from the 7 week post-partum appointment:
*Even though I'm a full week late in getting my check, I'm still cleared for exactly diddly.  Gah, running.  Apparently I'll see you in the spring.
*I may or may not know how to spell "diddly." 
*I'm high risk for infection.
*Doctor wants to see me again in no more than a month.
*Doc was amazed at the changes in this baby she delivered. He's absolutely huge and round in all the places he was teeny and tiny seven weeks ago. I don't think I've mentioned this, but it's worth noting that he has gained 4 pounds since leaving the hospital. I'm convinced God knew that I couldn't birth a giant baby, so he's done the rest of his growing on the outside. 
*I'm advised to take it easy for the next 2 weeks minimum, and 4 weeks to be safe to help myself heal.  Sure... cause that's possible in this scenario. 

It explains why I'm still bleeding (I'm still healing) and why I'm still sore enough to take meds from time to time.  So at least those questions were answered, because I'd been worrying. 

Future Melissa: You might be skinnier and slightly more mobile than when you had a C-Section, but please remember that this hasn't been a walk in the park!  It's 7 weeks later and you're still not healed.  Seriously, just consider the c/s next time.  Your "natural" birth is just as tough to recover from.

I also have to admit to something I never, ever thought I would do.  I asked for an antidepressant.

It's an incredibly touchy subject, and one I'm still coming to terms with myself.  Because, the truth is, after the year we've had, I have absolutely no right to complain.  I've gotten literally everything I've ever wanted my entire life this year.

And it's drowning me a little. 

From my miscarriage last September, to finding out we were pregnant, to selling the house, to struggling to find a house, to moving into my mom's, having a baby, having a two year old, fixing up a new house and moving.  It sounds so simple on paper.  The experience has been overwhelming.

My cup runneth over.  Like, for reals. 

I can't decide if it's just normal life events or if there is a hormonal component to all of this.  Every challenge I face could be chalked up to hormones, or could be explained away by something perfectly harmless.

I'm exhausted all the time.  Um, duh: I haven't slept through the night since December. 

I have no motivation to get anything done except care for myself and the kids.  Again, logically: There is sooooo much to do, and having tiny children aren't exactly conducive to "getting things done."  Not to mention the person hanging off my body every twenty minutes - enough to gain 4 pounds in seven weeks. 

I get frustrated with my daughter's behavior, and I've never been frustrated with her in her entire life.  Well... she's also two and hasn't behaved like this before in her life.

The source of all this stress is all good things, and it seems totally backwards that I can cope with a Columbine but have decided to get antidepressants now.  But the truth is, if I can get even 10% of my energy, patience and vitality back, I will take it.  It's silly to feel like this if there is an alternative, particularly when we have so much to celebrate and be grateful for.

So that's that for now.  It's funny to be in this place, because even as I struggle, I recognize that these are some of the best days of my life.  Someday - sooner than I'd care to process - I'm going to absolutely long for these precious, cherished moments when my children were small.

I'd much rather just enjoy them now. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's not perfect, but it's ours

So we've arrived at another anniversary.  Yes, Casey and I have been married for four years.

On a totally unrelated note, my grandparents are also in town, and remarked,
"Can you believe we were here three years ago for a wedding, and now they have two kids?"

Cringe.  A definite drawback to eloping without telling everyone: Math doesn't work out properly when you don't know about that whole first year thing. 

We're just over the five week post-partum mark.  When you have an anniversary five weeks postpartum, you're guaranteed it's going to be an uneventful one.  The only person entitled to any part of my anatomy is Logan, because - let's face it - he's kind of dependant on it.

Added to that is the fact that Casey left today for Philadelphia and I'm feeling downright blue.  My romantic evening included a two and a half year old who didn't nap and a baby who wanted to nurse every 20 minutes and wasn't terribly pleased when I couldn't let him.

Maybe I can Macgyver together some sort of contraption out of a towel and three toothpicks that will allow me to nurse the baby while making Leah dinner...

Although I'm not exactly in a place to write some long, sappy love post, I do confess to loving that man.  I'm pretty lucky to be married to someone who is genuinely good, hardworking and smitten with his family. 

There is no skywriting.  No expensive jewelery.  No candelight dinner.

Just two people who will always, always come back tomorrow, regardless of what that day held. 
And that, friends, is true love.

Happy anniversary to the best man I know. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Catch up

So, the truth here is that I haven't been able to post any pictures for almost a month.  Why?  I have absolutely no idea.  It won't troubleshoot, but other people are having this issue as well, so I'm hoping the proverbial "they" will fix it soon.

I've held off on posting some of the things I've already written because I can't add the photos that would finish them off, and it's given me another excuse - besides all the other things taking my time - not to write any new posts.

Logan is five weeks old, and pretty darn incredible in his mother's humble opinion.  But there have been some other kind of important changes in our lives as well.  Like, you know, the really big kind.

Just to start off with, we closed on our new house the same day we left the hospital (the first time... that would be prior to having to go back again).  Luckily, Casey had power of attorney so I didn't have to take my brand new-born son to an office building at three days old. 

In the days since...
Casey drove an hour each way to instal new flooring throughout the house.  Mostly in the middle of the night.
New fixtures (light and plumbing).
We painted Leah's room.
Carpet was installed.
Casey painted the fireplace, staircase banister, windowsils and many of the doorframes with a fresh coat of white.
New appliances were installed - half by my hubby.
One week ago, we moved from Littleton into our new home.
We've unpacked approximately 15 (of like 700) boxes.
Furniture has been assembled, moved and moved again.
Corners, walls, windows, cabinets, shutters and more have been washed.  And vaccuumed.  Then again.
Our kitchen is almost entirely set up. 
So is Leah's room.
The rest of the house... not so much.
I still have a two and a half year old.
I still have a newborn.  He still does all the things newborns do, including eating round the clock, needing his mommy all the time and that other thing in his diaper that I have to tend to due to all the eating.
I'm still recovering - although I'm sooooo much better - from that whole giving birth process.
Casey still has a job that he has to go to.
With not enough sleep in between.

Suffice it to say, we've been a little busy.

I can't describe the joy and happiness we've been blessed with - it's pretty much unequaled in this season of our lives.

I also have to record that I'm as overwhelmed as I can remember being in my life.  I have been pretty much since May when we learned we'd actually have to move.  The process of finding a house, moving to my mom's, finally finding THEONE, bidding, losing, negotiating, getting, renovating and finally moving into it.  While in my third trimester.  Immediately after having a baby. 


I think it was Charles Dickens who wrote about the best and worst of times (and if it wasn't, I'm blaming post-baby brain), and that's absolutely how I feel.  I'm not sure Casey is going to recall his son as a newborn, and I mean that seriously. 

So that's where we've been.  I'll post pictures when I'm able; the transformation is pretty cool.

Leah adores her new house.  Before we moved in, she was telling strangers that we had a new house and she was going to have a new room.  She loooooves her new room, and it's not even finished yet. 

The house we're going to raise our family in.  The house my children will always call home.  It will be worth it, even though it has been hard. 

I changed my font at