Thursday, October 9, 2014

busy times.

i feel like there's really not much to report as of late. just not much to say... life happens in the smallest little daily increments that most moments just don't seem all that important. plus, right now my life consists of taking care of two little lives, and not much else. i wish i had more time to write, more time to exercise, more time to cook and bake, more time to take walks and enjoy the outdoors - especially now that the leaves are changing.

our season of life takes precedence over all of those other things though. even though it's frustrating and overwhelming sometimes, i wouldn't change where we are. i love our kids. they change how life works. they make it so much more challenging, but they're fantastic. they're fantastic even when the middle of the night feedings are not. they're fantastic even when naps get cut short. even when grocery shopping must be done after keane has gone to bed instead of the middle of the day. and even when adele wakes up in the middle of my trying to take a shower. again.

peter helped [and helps] me adjust my perspective. i was exhausted and annoyed a few nights ago when adele just wouldn't sleep. the next day he reminded me that she's good. she may not be doing what we want her to do, but she's healthy, and growing, and good.

yes, i want her to get onto a schedule. yes, i want to get more sleep. true story on all counts. but it takes time. keane spoiled us with being a pretty good sleeper, and i didn't fully remember what it's like to have a new baby with all the middle of the night feedings, and the sleep training and the constant nursing. it is a demanding and exhausting process. it's a lot. truly. but it doesn't last forever.

and i just have to remind myself that it doesn't last forever. that we're currently six weeks closer to getting onto a more normal schedule, and that has to be okay. and it is okay. at certain times it feels more okay than others, but it is okay.

truthfully i feel like a bit of a slacker most of the time because the house is always a disaster zone, i've cooked maybe 3 dinners in the last six weeks, and getting out of my pajamas and into regular clothes does not happen anywhere close to daily right now. oh, and the bathrooms don't get cleaned, the floors do not get swept [except when keane "brushes" them], and i have gotten the vacuum out one time in the last six weeks. one time. and that was mostly because the dog tracked in a whole mess of junk from outside.

sure, right now i'm writing instead of cleaning, but to be fair writing keeps me sane. cleaning i don't care about so much. well, at least until i look around at how gross things are, and then [if i'm being honest] i'm ashamed that i let my family live like this. but something has to give, right?

that's what i tell myself anyway...


Friday, September 26, 2014

one whole month

yes, really. once again a month has flown by in a blur, and suddenly our newborn is not a complete newborn anymore. seriously crazy.

on a positive note - we're one month closer to getting back to normal sleep habits.

here's our one month old adele!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

you're gonna miss this

all day today i've had trace adkins' song "you're gonna miss this" stuck in my head. i grew up listening to country music, and every once in a while a song like this just comes back out of nowhere. granted, it's completely appropriate for my time in life right now. especially the last verse. [about 2:10 into the song if you don't want to listen to all of it.]

i know that nostalgia plays into it. i know that rose-colored glasses apply when looking into the past. i know that studies have been done that show we don't remember the negative things accurately - we don't remember them being as bad as they were which is part of the reason why we have the saying "the good old days."

i know all of these things. i also know that i will miss this. i love watching keane as a big brother and watching him grow and learn at an amazing rate during this time of toddlerhood. i love it. i love how fast he's learning new words. i love that he loves to help. i love how curious he is. i love how much he loves being outside - despite the many many mosquito bites he acquires. i also miss him as a baby sometimes.

that's one thing i've learned more in parenthood than at any other time in my life. to be present. in the moment.

it's tough. really tough. we're usually planning for something else, and we often think back to times in the past. neither of these things is bad in and of itself, but they do make it tough to be in the moment and be present and enjoy life for what it is day in and day out.

and it's tough to stay in the moment at days and times when you are thankful that "this too shall pass." one day adele will sleep through the night. one day keane's teeth will actually come through. this time shall pass. this time of disjointed sleep and glazed over caffeinated existence. it will pass. in some ways i will miss it. in others, i am thankful.

but it's hard to live in the tension of that. to be thankful for where we are, and at the same time want to move past it.

it's hard to want to be present, but also have goals that don't involve my kids right now. it's a constant balancing act. i have to balance between realizing that there are things that just are not going to happen right now, and also not being comfortable with getting stuck in a tiny perspective - only seeing what is right in front of my face.

i want to keep looking forward and keep dreaming if for nothing else than to help my kids realize that it's always okay to dream. they need to know that it's a good thing to have goals and to work toward something.

they need to know that learning and growing are important. they need to know that they should always push themselves to learn more, and to grow because life is not fixed. they do not just have to take what they're given - they can learn and grow and strive and push. and i want to continue to push myself as well.

i don't want to get stuck just as i don't want them to get stuck.
we all get to live in the tension.

i don't always like the tension. i'm not always fond of it. truthfully, i thought at some point it would go away. but it won't. it doesn't. it's part of life.

i can learn to be at peace with the tension - embrace the tension of this world. the now and the not yet. the balancing act.

the fact that this too shall pass, and we'll miss these times. the times that are hard. the struggles that make us strong.

i can't say that i miss the struggles i've been through, but i am thankful for the growth and the strength that they've brought.

so wherever you are, and whatever you're doing. try to be thankful. try to use it for what it is.
[and i'll try to remember this too when i'm up feeding adele at 3 a.m....]

much love to you

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

another newborn chapter

sibling stare-down

newborn sleepy smiles

life with a newborn is amazing and wonderful and exhausting and maddening all at once. throw in an almost-two-year-old and it gets really crazy. truthfully, i'm sitting in the middle of my first day as just me with both kids. i'm beyond grateful that up until this point i've had help every day. and going into today, i was legitimately scared - especially since i'm not really supposed to do a whole lot of lifting keane. plus the fact that both of our kiddos are still pretty little, and have lots of much more urgent needs than my own, and often need someone at the same time, added to the "what the heck am i going to do if 'x' happens tomorrow?"

of course adele had slept decently the two nights prior, and keane has been a pretty good sleeper for his whole life. but last night. oh, good heavens. last night little miss forgot that she was supposed to go back to sleep after she woke up to eat and took her own sweet time falling asleep. like over an hour to fall asleep both times. during the "i'm going to fall asleep trying to get you to sleep" period that went on from her 5:30 feeding until she fell asleep around 7:15/7:30 i actually downloaded a white noise app to try to push her to dreamland. i think it worked, though i can't be sure that was the part that made a difference.

and keane. keane is getting his two year molars, and woke up crying at least 3 different times. and those were just the times that i heard him.

and peter had to be on a job site today which means he left even earlier than he normally does.

suffice it to say i made fully caffeinated coffee today.

thus far today the day part - as in the part after the sunrise - hasn't been too rough or too bad, but that also may have something to do with the fact that adele has decided that daytime is a more appropriate time to fall dead asleep right after eating and she has slept for more of the day than i anticipated. i'm not sure what that means for tonight, but for now, it is what it is. and it's probably a better transition for keane than her having long periods of awake time.

i also cheated this morning and let keane watch "cars" again. he loves it and asks to watch it daily. he doesn't get to watch it daily, nor does he sit still and watch the whole thing, but considering my mental capacity this morning i needed him to have a bit of a distraction while i waited for the coffee to kick in.

having a newborn is rough you guys. i know that anyone who has experienced newborn-dom knows this. and anyone who hasn't probably has an intellectual understanding of that fact as well. i really don't understand how single moms do it. and i have a much better understanding of why it really does take a village to raise a child.

the kids are not the only ones who need a village. parents need it too. and i've decided that the part of our culture that tells us we should be able to take everything on by ourselves, be completely independent - not needing other people at all, yada, yada, yada... that part is crap. pure unadulterated crap. because then we think there's something wrong with us when we do ask for help. like it speaks negatively about our person, or our character that we couldn't do it alone. but again: pure crap.

we were built for community. the fact that we shirk community more often may have something to do with the fact that we're more connected and lonelier than ever. but that's a whole different post - or maybe multiple posts, actually.

i digress.

i'm trying to enjoy this newborn time despite how hard it is. we may not do the newborn thing again - i don't know. we always talked about three kids, but planned to adopt the third. depending on which adoption route we take we may not do this part again. and while newborn-dom is both magical and horrible at different times and all at once; it is really hard to think that this may be our last go-round.

it's also crazy for me to think about where we were three years ago, compared to where we are now.

the sleeper that adele has on in the second photo above - the one with the ducks - i bought that when we were in the midst of "i don't know if we'll ever have a biological child." at that point it was my way of trusting that we would have a child to put into that newborn-sized garment one day. and now our second little newborn is wearing it. and while certain parts of newborn-dom really are very crappy and hard, at the end of the day i am still thankful that we get to experience them at all.

the hard things are what force us to grow and build character in us. peter reminded me of that last night when i was sitting there scared out of my wits thinking about what to expect from today. both of our children needing to learn patience, and that they are not the only individual who gets attention, or has needs; those are not bad things for them to learn.

they are hard things to learn - for all of us, but they are not bad things to learn.

and honestly, i hate it sometimes that i have to watch them learn the tough things. i hate watching keane hurt because his teeth are coming in, or because one of us put him to bed and left the room, but if he never hurts he will never learn that he can get through it, and become stronger for it, and that it will be okay.

i hate that he is in pain, even if it's momentary. but i would hate it more if he grew up without understanding that sometimes pain is necessary to get you to a better place. pain is necessary to growth.

and yes, i'm really just putting these things down as reminders to myself since keane is flipping out not wanting to go back to sleep right now. but 45 minutes is not enough of a nap for a not-yet-two-year-old, even if he is getting his 2 year molars. of course going in and putting orajel on his teeth may not have been the best decision since he started flipping out the moment i left.

ugh. parenting is tough. sometimes there's no right decision, and there's nothing you can do to make it better. especially since the baby needs to eat in 10 minutes, and getting him up will only result in a horribly crabby afternoon.
no right decision.

and i hate hearing him cry.

so, any prayers you want to say for us would be appreciated. prayers for sleep especially. sleep for all of us. and two year molars coming through soon. dear God, please.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

quiet in the chaos

right now i sit in our family room surrounded by quiet except for the errant voices drifting over from the pool on this late summer saturday. this kind of quiet only comes when everyone else naps, and i stay up drinking some afternoon coffee and thinking about life.

i should probably nap too, but moments to sit and think come so rarely now that i wanted to take advantage of it.

life promises to stay hectic for a while. the gradual slow-down will happen of course, but i have tried to enjoy the chaos despite the chaos.

there are things about this specific time that i just want to get past. i want to get to the 6 weeks out from a c-section so i can feel like a normal person, and pick up my son, and start exercising again. but 6 weeks out is a long time in the life of an infant. six weeks of life looks very different from less than 1 week of life. and even as i dislike and even dread parts of this time in adele's life - and this time of life in the world of our family - i don't want to miss it.

i don't want to miss keane getting to know his sister, and adele starting to understand her family. i don't want to miss watching them both grow over the course of something that will stretch them and their character.

i know that one day i will wake up and they will both be out of the house, and i will think back to these moments. the times when keane woke up because adele cried too loudly, and the first words he said were "baby! baby!" - very concerned for the well-being of his little sister. the times when he picked up his toys to show to her, and leaned his face into her to kiss her goodnight. the times when she reacted to his voice alone as he ran circles around the room playing with his toys.

one day i will think back and realize that because they are so close in age not only will adele never remember a time when keane wasn't around - he will not remember a time before her either.

sure, there are things that are driving me a little crazy right now, but all of it will pass one way or another, and i have a choice to make about how i react in the midst of it.

yes, life is chaotic. yes, life will be chaotic. the house will not always be clean. the kids will not always do what we'd like. schedules will interfere, appointments will run long, traffic will be bad, time for reflection will not always be available. but i can freak out about it - which will happen from time to time, though hopefully not as often as it used to - or i can breathe and take it in, and realize that life will pass by one way or another. and i can choose how i react to it.

i can be thankful for my kids and my husband. i can be thankful for the car i have to get stuck in traffic, and the house i have to get messy. i can be thankful for appointments with professionals who care for my family, and schedules that involve living life with other people. i can be thankful, or i can be upset. sometimes i will get upset, i know. because i haven't lived under a rock for the last 30 years, and i know myself well enough to know that. but sometimes i can take deep breaths, and remember the things i know in the quiet moments. and i can bring that quiet peacefulness into the chaos.

i can teach my kids to freak out, or to breathe, and calm down. every day, i have a choice to make.



Friday, August 29, 2014

welcome to the world, baby girl!

we made it home from the hospital yesterday. we asked to come home a little earlier than normal, and since everything checked out medically; they let us.

we're slowly adjusting to life as a family of four - with a lot of help from peter's parents!

she's already proved herself very different from her brother, even though she came out looking quite a lot like him. there will be more stories to come over the next days [and weeks and years], but suffice it to say that we're adjusting to parenthood all over again.

we love this little girl big! keane is slowly figuring her out, and i'm sure there will be lots of great stories on that front too. tonight he leaned his face in to kiss her goodnight while she was sleeping in her little swing. thankfully it wasn't swinging at the time, or he would have received a bonk on the head for his trouble. he's still learning the meaning of "gentle" and that she can't actually play with him and his toys yet, but he likes showing her his toys whether she's actually awake to look at them or not.

anyway, i don't have the pictures off of the good camera yet, but here are a few hospital shots of our sweet little adele jane.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

dear adele,

{found via pinterest from yarning made}

well baby girl, in less than a week i'll be holding you in my arms. it's kind of funny to think about holding you for the "first" time when i've been carrying you around for the past 9 or 10 months, but life has many ironies. you'll learn about them soon enough.

i cannot believe we're as close as we are to meeting you. in many ways time has flown, though admittedly december 21, 2013 feels like a very long time ago now. but you're almost here. i need you to stay put until your scheduled arrival date though, okay? none of this coming early stuff. your brother didn't have a problem staying snug as a bug in a rug, and it would be very helpful if you followed suit.

i hate that i haven't taken as much time to write to you over the course of my pregnancy with you. of course while i carried your brother we weren't moving houses, and i didn't have another child to chase around all the time, but please know that just because there isn't as much documentation of your pregnancy it doesn't mean we love you less, or that you're less wanted than him.

please know that we are immensely grateful for the blessing you are. please know that we love you always - no matter what. know that while we may have certain expectations of your character, we want you to be yourself. we want you to be the person God created you to be. we look forward to getting to know you and learning who that person is. we look forward to watching the way the Lord will shape you and grow you and teach you. know that no matter what, you were created in the image of God and you have value.
you have unbelievable worth.

if anyone ever tells you differently know that he/she is lying to your face. no one can take that worth away from you. no one. no matter what happens.

i won't lie to you and tell you that this life holds only wonderful things. times will be hard. there will be pain, and tough roads to walk, and heartache. but the struggles make you stronger. they still aren't fun, and knowing this probably won't make it a whole lot easier to go through them. nonetheless it is true, and you need to know that it's true.

there are so many things i want to tell you now and show you now and explain to you so they don't hurt you as much when they happen. i don't want you to hurt. unfortunately i won't be able to protect you from everything. you will get hurt at some point. trying to protect you completely from hurt will not end up making you a better, stronger person, but just the opposite. and i don't want to cause you more pain by trying not to allow any into your world.

when it does happen though, please know that your dad & i are always here for you. we love you so much, and will do what we can to comfort you. i know over the course of your life there will be times when you feel so very alone. please know you are never alone. even when you have to walk a certain path on your own, you are never alone.

i wish i could catalogue all of my mistakes for you and explain them in a way that would allow you to learn from them, but not have to make them yourself. i know that cannot and will not happen though. so, let me just share a couple things with you:
don't expect anyone else to define you. God created you and knows you inside and out. no other person can live up to that.
when the time comes for you to date - don't date jerks. no matter how cute he is, the decision to date a jerk will come back to bite you in the long-run.
marry someone whose character you love. people change. character remains.
don't be a know-it-all. no matter how much you know, there's always more to learn.
remember to be kind. everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.

i could go on for a long time, but i'll just end with this... please know that we will mess up as your parents. we are messed up, broken, imperfect people. so, in light of that, please know that we always always always want what is best for you. even when it's hard. even when it hurts. even when it means that you don't like us very much for a little while. we will always want what's best for you.

i love you adele jane.

your mama