Being a mom is…

As I’m coming up on one year of momming, I’m feeling extra contemplative. This last year has been filled with trials and triumphs, happy tears, sad tears, and just-because tears. It’s been a roller coaster! And, sometimes, I feel like I might not have been tall enough to ride.

Through it all, I’ve learned a lot. So, as I’m exactly two weeks away from my baby girl turning one year old, I wanted to share with all of you what being a mom means to me.

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Months 6-11: Tips from a First Time Mom

I couldn’t wait for Norah to start crawling. And now, I wish she would just sit still for a minute! So, soak up the moment. Even through the sleepless nights, the obsessing over solids, and the eagerness to watch them grow, take a moment every single day to consciously contemplate your little one. They really do grow up so fast.

When Norah was little, I used to think, “When she gets a little bigger, when she starts sleeping a little better… it’s going to be easier.” I foolishly thought that all of my mom problems would be solved once she started sleeping through the night.

I. WAS. WRONG!

One thing no one tells you about the miracle of baby sleeping through the night is that it will probably start happening because they spend all day running around like crazy people and they’ve finally worn themselves out.

The older she gets, the more exhausted I feel. But please don’t get me wrong! I’m not complaining. I’m really not. I can honestly, with 100% sincerity say, I am more exhausted than I’ve ever been in my life– but I’m also happier than I’ve ever been in my life.

A lot of this moving and shaking started to happen around 6 months–maybe that’s why I stopped blogging around the same time? I was too busy chasing Norah around?

I’ll let you decide the correlation for yourself.

What I want to do here, dear reader, is make all of that time up to you. I want to give you one, quick down-to-brass-tacks post containing my top 3 tips for surviving months 6-11 with your little wiggly, wobbly, into-every-loving-thing bundle of joy.

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The Obligatory Cloth Diaper Post

It seems like every mom in the blogging world that does cloth diapering has to write a post about it. Most (the really thorough ones) will include a video, as well.

I want to take a moment to thank all of these moms. Seriously. You all inspired me to try cloth diapering for myself (that, and the fact that it is going to help us save the big bucks on disposable diapers)!

So, while my post is not going to be nearly as detailed and enthusiastic as some of those other moms out there, I figured since I’m giving cloth diapers a try, I have to write “the obligatory cloth diaper post.”

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I’m turning into a DIY mama!

Being a mom has really brought out parts of me I never knew existed.

True story: My husband was worried I wouldn’t be nurturing enough to have a baby. I’ve always been a big “tough love” kind of person. And while that’s not a bad thing at all, hubby did have a good point that babies need a little more “soft love” than I typically dish out. Well, now that our little bundle of wiggly joy is here, my hubby is amazed with how “motherly” I have become.

Honestly, I’ve even surprised myself.

Not only have I become a goo-gooing, roll on the floor, blow kisses on your belly kind of mom, I’ve also acquired some other new traits.

I’m suddenly conscientious. I love cloth diapers (post coming on that soon), and not just for the money they save me!

My obsession with healthy eating has gone into overdrive (for her, at least. I still have my Mc Donald’s from time to time… let’s be serious here, people). I want to know exactly what goes into her growing little body and I’ve already started playing around with making my own baby food.

And, what is probably the most surprising of all–I’ve become crafty!

I guess all those years watching my mom down in her craft room, sewing, quilting, and making all types of different things stuck with me. She always told me (after my constant protesting that I didn’t want to do learn to sew and I didn’t want to learn to make whatever it might be) that one day, I would want to know how to do all those things.

Well, dear blogging community, that day has come. It hit me while I was pregnant. It came out of nowhere.

One day, I was googling “Shark Nursery” ideas. There are some cute ones out there. But, nothing quite like what I was looking for. I did find some things that inspired me, though.

And as I sat there, scrolling through Pinterest, it hit me.

“I could make this.”

And there’s been no looking back since.

I’m saying all of this as a way of introducing a new element to my blog: Crafts!

Now, I don’t know all the words. I had to have my mom help me with some things and my dad help with some others. More than anything, I needed their tools. Cuz, I live in an apartment… and I don’t have room to store drills and sanding thingys and Cricut machines and all the fun stuff one can find in the crafting haven that is my parents’ home.

So, while my posts on crafting aren’t 100% meant to be a DIY step-by-step direction sort of thing, they are meant to inspire all you other mamas and daddies out there wanting to make things for your baby. You might not want to make exactly what I did, but seeing what I made might give you that “Aha!” moment like I had scrolling through Pinterest almost a year ago.

So, if you’re interested in crafty things, check back in in a few days to see what I’ve been up to as a newfound DIY mama!

Cry It Out: My Baby, My Method, My Way

Let’s be honest with ourselves here. Who, as a parent, hasn’t let their baby cry for a little bit while they were trying to get something done, go to the bathroom, eat, regain some sense of sanity, etc.?

We can’t do it all. We only have two arms for a reason. And, maybe that reason is so that we have to put baby down every now and again in order to be a functioning person. It’s evolutionary. Right? Maybe?

Maybe babies are meant to be left alone every once in a while.

As I’m saying all of this I can hear the collective groans of parents around the world who are completely against the Cry It Out (CIO) method. But, before you go and verbally slay me in the comments, give me a chance to explain what I’m really talking about.

I promise, it’s not as heartless as it might seem.

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Tips From a First Time Mom: Five Months In

What just happened? Did you see it? Did you feel it? Time just whooshing by! I don’t know about you, but I missed it.

How did my baby girl get to be 5 months old? How did my little Squish turn into a rolling, grabbing, babbling baby? I talked in my 4-month post about how quickly Norah seems to be changing these days. Well, if I thought she changed a lot from three to four months, I had no idea what was in store for me from months four to five.

I had a friend tell me that around three months, their little one turned into a person. She was right! That’s exactly what happened last month. This month, Norah has not only grown more physically, but that personality she started to exhibit before has really started to shine through.

It was a fun month. So much happened. Looking back on it all, I have a few tips to pass along to any other new mamas out there with babies on the cusp of hitting this very exciting age.

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Musings From a First Time Mom- Four Months In

Well, I’m a little late with this post. I know I’ve been absent from blogging lately. And, I could bore you all with reasons/ excuses and ramble on about work/life/yadda yadda yadda. But, that’s not why you came here today, now is it?

So, I won’t go into all that. I will say that soon (very soon!) I will be back to my old blogging self.

In the mean time, here are some musings I have to share. For you, from me, a first time mom, four months in.

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Married with Children

It’s good to be aware of the new stresses that are going to bombard your relationship and to come up with a plan of attack for how to handle them when they do.

Are you ready for a cold, hard dose of truth? I’m warning you:

DO NOT READ ON IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN BLISSFULLY UNAWARE OF THE REALITY OF BEING MARRIED WITH CHILDREN.

To start this off nice and terrifyingly, let’s read a quote from one of my favorite books Brain Rules for Baby by Dr. John Medina:

“We now know that this long-term erosion is a regular experience of married life, starting in the transition to parenthood. Marital quality, which peaks in the last trimester of a first pregnancy, decreases anywhere from 40 to 67 percent in the infant’s first year. More recent studies, asking different questions, put the figure closer to 90 percent… Indeed, one-third to one-half of new parents display as much marital distress as troubled couples already in therapy trying to save their relationship.”

What’s more, that stress and distress felt in a marriage is also felt by the baby. Dr. Medina goes on to explain:

“Infants younger than 6 months old can usually detect that something is wrong. They can experience physiological changes–such as increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones–just like adults. Some researchers claim they can assess the amount of fighting in a marriage simply by taking a 24-hour urine sample of the baby.”

I can hear your internal screams and worries now:

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? HOW DO I STOP IT? IS IT INEVITABLE?

I had the same thoughts, fears, and panic. I love my husband. I love my family. What do you mean I have a nearly 50% chance of becoming miserable just because I had a baby? That can’t be!

Well, four months into parenthood, I can tell you, it can be. I’m not saying that it is. Hubby and I are actually doing really great. But, that’s because we sat down before our baby girl arrived and talked about all of this stuff. I’m not saying that we’re relationship gurus over here, and that our marriage is perfect. Far from it.

What I am saying, though, is that it’s good to be aware of the new stresses that are going to bombard your relationship and to come up with a plan of attack for how to handle them when they do. Dr. Medina, in his book, goes on to discuss the biggest struggles new parents will face and how to prepare for them. And yes, we have faced them. We’re still facing them.

But, we were prepared.

And, my hope with this post is to help you and your partner get prepared, as well. Our way may not work for you, but hopefully this will spark you to start having these conversations and figuring out your way to prepare for, handle, and make it through all the troubles of being married with children.

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Father’s Day- A Year Later

It was Father’s Day 2018 when I found out I was pregnant. Hubby and I were driving home from visiting my parents when the anxiety consumed us and we stopped to get a pregnancy test. The second I got home, I took it. And, two minutes later, we got the most life-changing news either of us had ever received.

This last year has been a rollercoaster. There have been ups and there have been downs. But, overall, it’s been a lot of fun. Being parents wasn’t something we were planning on but it’s something we both love so much.

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It’s Saturday Morning…

And as I’m sitting here, watching my baby on the monitor, I can’t help but think, “wow, this is going by so fast.”

Currently, Norah is perched up on her left side, so so so close to rolling over from back to front for the first time. She’s been doing this for about a week now, taunting me and my husband, getting a little closer each time, and then flopping back to her starting position.

She’s also hitting the four month sleep regression. Hence why she’s back in her crib, supposed to be napping, at 7:30am. I think we’re lucky, though, because she’s only getting up twice a night (so far). So, I won’t complain… too much…

She’s also started this thing where she yells at the top of her lungs. It’s adorable. I’ve read where some moms want to stop their babies from doing this, afraid it will cause “bad behavior.” Not me. I absolutely love it. And you know what? I yell right along with her. And we laugh. And a great time is had by all.

It’s crazy to think that one year ago tomorrow we found out I was pregnant. Father’s Day 2018. It’s been such a whirlwind of a year. There have been lots of ups and a fair amount of downs. But, at the end of the day (or the beginning of the day, I suppose) as I sit down and reflect on all of it, I can’t help but smile. I love my life right now. I love my family.

So, while I usually try to have some “point” to my posts, or accomplish something, I guess all I’m really trying to accomplish with this one is to freeze this moment. To remember what she’s like right now, at 16 weeks 3 days old. Because tomorrow she’ll be different. And next week she’ll be doing something new. And it’s all going to go by so fast. It’s already going by so fast.