Sunday, September 30, 2012

Letter: Month Eight

Dear Harrison,
You turned eight months old on Friday and your eighth tooth just broke through your gums this weekend. Just so you know, you don’t have to keep getting teeth at the same rate you’ve been going (I think you have gotten five teeth in the past six weeks, that must be some kind of record)!

I turned 27 years old on Monday and pretty much ever since then you’ve had a little cold. Thursday was the worst of it (with only about three hours of sleep) but I just laid you down for bed about an hour ago and you haven’t made a peep. I’m hoping this is the beginning of a good night’s sleep for both of us. We could use it!

Well this month has been busy to say the least. You are on the move, relatively speaking. One week shy of turning eight months old, you finally rolled from your belly to your back. And with the help of the carpet you have rolled once from your back to your belly (but we don’t really think it counts since the edge of the carpet gave you a little bit of help). When you sit on the hard wood you scoot around on your bottom now. And you can scoot in a circle and backwards when you’re on your belly. Sometimes you get in these funny “yoga-like” moves where your butt is in the air, or you’ve pushed up on your arms so far that your tummy doesn’t touch the floor (I think those moves are downward-facing-dog and the cobra, if I remember correctly). Anyway, I don’t think it’ll be long before you start moving around even more. But we are actually really thankful that you’ve been slow to get into things. It’s made it easier for your Daddy and I when it comes to baby proofing the house.

You are officially out of your infant car seat. Moving on up. Now your Daddy and I both have a car seat installed in each of our cars which means less shuffling things around when it’s time to drop you off and pick you up from Hilary and Landon’s house while I’m at work.  Plus it leaves you with more room when we’re cruising around town; you were seriously squished in your old car seat!

Speaking of Hilary and Landon, you are having the time of your life. Watching your buddy run around and play wears you out every single day. You two play with all kinds of toys, enjoy time outside, go for walks, and see more of my friends than I do! You’re a pretty popular guy and seem to enjoy all of the love and attention you’re getting. The best part is that I never once have had to worry about you while I’m at school teaching my students. Hilary loves you a ton and so does Landon. He is literally smiling and ready to play every morning when I pull in the driveway. Knowing you are happy and taken care of while your Daddy and I have to work is the greatest blessing in our lives. I thank God so much for providing us with the perfect place for you to be each day!

Aside from getting into the new school routine, all of your busy-ness lately, you getting more teeth (all of the time), and spending time with both sides of our family, we did manage to take you to your very first baseball game this month. We went the day before my birthday. It was a gorgeous day, and even though the Mariners lost, we had a great time together. We took the train from Auburn into Seattle, walked to the stadium, ate hot dogs and peanuts (and you enjoyed some baby food), and had fun cheering on the team. You even managed to squeeze in a nap, and also clapped for the first time.  We got you a poster and certificate from the stadium to commemorate your first visit to Safeco Field. I’m sure it won’t be the last time we enjoy watching baseball together – your Dad was pretty excited to share with you something he enjoyed doing as a little boy. Someday I’m sure he’ll tell you all about the day he watched some amazing thing happen in a Mariners game (way back in the 1990s sometime). I’m not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to sports, so you’ll have to ask him what it was…but I’m pretty sure it’s his favorite memory watching baseball with his own dad.

Anyway, it was a great way to wrap up the month of September. Now we are on to your first holiday season. First up is your very first Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years…and then it’ll be your FIRST BIRTHDAY at the end of January. I really cannot believe that it’s Fall and that all of the “firsts” will be here so soon. This time last year I could only imagine how fun it would be to introduce you to my favorite time of year, and now we are here.


Well Sweet Pea, I am wiped. The weekend is almost over and I need to get some sleep.

Thanks for being such a great baby. Even in the midst of feeling crummy, you have been full of smiles and only mildly cranky. I’m sure this is the first of many colds you’ll have in your childhood. This week certainly made me infinitely more thankful for my own Mom and all of the times she took care of me as a little girl when I was sick.

Being a mom isn’t the most glamorous job at times, but being your Mama is the best job I could ever hope for.  It’s both wonderful and exhausting, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Sweet dreams Little Man. You are seriously LOVED, today and every day!!!

Love Always,


Friday, September 28, 2012

Oh So Tired (but relying on Jesus)

It's 12:16 am which means in about an hour it will mark 8 months since my water broke...which means Harry is almost 8 months old.

September is always tiring, but to say I'm exhausted is an understatement this school year. Let's just say that I'm seriously taking life one. day. at. a. time. It's really all I can handle to just make it from my alarm to bedtime in one piece.

My house needs to be deep cleaned, and de-cluttered.

My email inbox is overflowing (if I haven't emailed you back, I apologize).

My camera is full of photos that need to be uploaded, edited, and posted here on my blog.

And I'm really not sure when all of this is going to happen...maybe next year ;)

Poor Harry has a bit of a cold...stuffy/runny nose which is making it hard for him to sleep. After some snuggles, using that terrible nose bulb thing, and putting a few blankets under his mattress so that he's not laying flat on his back, he's sleeping (as) soundly (as can be expected when one has a cold). But I'm wide awake...hence this late night blog post. Not to mention that I have also gotten a few other things done, including: dishes, put away laundry, taken out the trash and recycle, put all of the piles of mail/bills lying around the house into ONE FAT PILE to be dealt with this weekend. 

I even unsubscribed to some blogs that have been filling up my google reader, because let's face it I just don't have enough time to read all the blogs I used to (I managed to narrow it down to my top favorites...which is still probably too many but it's a start).

I should really email a few people back but I'm going to reserve the right to use the "I'm a new mom" (and a working mom at that) card and put the emails off for another day. By Sunday I hope to clear out my to-do list and updating my inbox is definitely included in that.

Some people have recently asked me "How do you do it all?". The truth is, I really don't. I'm just barely managing to stay afloat these days. And there have been tears. Which may not be surprising to anyone who has known me for long.

Like I said, my motto is: "one day at a time". And prayer helps (big time). I may shed a few tears before bed, mostly from exhaustion...but each morning presents me with a new opportunity. New challenges, yes, but every challenge is an opportunity to rely more on God's strength than my own. I am reminded daily that I am in need of grace, and find myself thanking Jesus more and more for offering me that grace to be a wife, mom, teacher, daughter, sister, name it.

I'm sure anyone who is a mom (and really everyone for that matter) understands the feeling of being stretched so thin that you think you might just break. At least that's how I've been feeling lately.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

I'm definitely learning to boast gladly, but this verse is such a good reminder that being weak and relying on God is not a bad thing, but something to be thankful for.

Here are a couple of blogs that have been really encouraging me lately, just in case you find yourself needing some encouragement too...whether you're a mom or not, we could all use a little encouragement to rely on Christ more and more!

She Reads Truth

Beautifully Rooted

Out of Her Heart

Sunday, September 16, 2012

So I don't Forget...

...I LOVE the way Harrison's eyelashes stick together when he's taking a bath. They make his eyes look even bigger than they already are!

...Though we're trying to teach him to say "more" using sign language, his version of asking for another bite consists of panting "he...he...he..." or a funny little fake giggle.

...At 7.5 months old his 7th tooth finally cut all the way through his gums today. Can't believe he has so many teeth already.

...Harry loves to be ticked (especially by his Grandpa Lamb...who was always the best at tickling us as kids).

...If you bounce him on your knee, he'll start kicking his legs to make you bounce him some more.

...He loves pulling his hair when he is really tired and seriously looks painful but for some reason it seems to be soothing to him. Whatever works I guess ;)

...In a crowd, Harry is usually pretty quiet and often has a serious look on his face. But when he's at home with just us, or has a captive audience of one or two people he's very chatty. I wonder if that's an indication of what kind of personality he'll have when he gets older?!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lessons I'm Learning

In the past few weeks as I've been getting my mindset focused on this coming school year and how going back to work gives me less time to "get it all done", I've been reflecting on things I've learned thus far as a mom.

Just because he's cute ;)
What comes to mind first is that my value for sleep has changed. I used to love sleeping (don't get me wrong, I still really do) but here I am up on a day off at 6:45 typing a blog post. Harrison slept through the night until 6:00 this morning (wahoo!). In my pre-parenthood days I would most definitely be back in bed until about 8:00.  I'm pretty spoiled because if I let him, Harry will probably sleep until between 7:30 and 8:00 (I know other moms are probably shaking their heads at me because they've been up since an ungodly hour with their baby, I'm sorry!).  But this morning, instead of going to back sleep after he did I got dressed and headed downstairs hoping to get a few things done before he officially wakes up for the day. Drinking a cup of coffee, while I eat breakfast (in peace) and update my blog gives me more energy than another hour of sleep would.

Which brings me to the issue of time. There is NEVER enough of it. Ever.

I am known by many as being an "organized" person, and I think that's true in many ways. In my personal life however I haven't always been the most organized. I never "meal planned" or set up a "chore schedule" to make sure the house really gets clean. I have piles of mail on the counter almost every day and I usually don't make the bed (although I love crawling in at night after it's been made).  As with everything else in my life, things are changing when it comes to my use of time. Now that Harry's around, I want to spend my free time wisely (aka: cuddling, making him laugh, reading books, going for the the gist). Being a working mom means I have even less time at home than other moms do (I could write a whole post on the working vs. staying home thing...but I'll save that for another day) so I want my time with my son to count.

Hence the EARLY MORNING blog post, or late night laundry folding. I'd rather lose sleep to get things done when Harry's sleeping so that his awake time isn't wasted on my to-do list.

How can you resist this bundle of cuteness?! I sure can't!!!
Now obviously I don't live in a perfect world, so there are times when he plays while I unload the dishwasher, or "helps" me fold the laundry...and those moments are special too (plus I want to train him young to help us out with things around the house. I'd like to help out his future wife by teaching him how to be a helpful husband someday). Of course, in a perfect world, neither Josh or I would have to work and we could play all day with our sweet little guy. Not to mention that the cleaning fairy would keep our house clean (free of charge) and the dinner fairy would provide us with nutritional and delicious meals every night.

Since that's not going to happen I've been really thinking about being intentional about making our household run smoothly once the school year begins (TOMORROW already?!?! Where has the time gone?).  The two main organizational changes I've made so far are a meal planning system and a household binder to organize everything from our calendar, to birthdays/special events, coupons, and yes, a cleaning schedule. I've already written far too much this morning, so I'll save the details for another post (or two).

I guess what I'm trying to say about time and priorities is that they have certainly shifted now that I'm a mom. I understand why my mom never slept in when we were kids, and I appreciate all the hard work she put into keeping our home clean and making sure we ate healthy meals at dinnertime (let's face it, mac and cheese is a way easier option sometimes, and Harry doesn't even eat "real" food yet, just the mashed up stuff).

I know that having a plan to keep things organized is important now that school is starting, but I also know that with limited time I'm just going to have to let things go sometimes. Especially as Harrison gets older, I know that the memories he will treasure will probably have less to do with my productivity and more to do with my love for him and our relationship.

So HAPPY LABOR DAY! I wish I could say that my day will be free from labor, but I have a few (too many) things to get done before I welcome twenty-some first graders into my classroom tomorrow morning.

Have I mentioned that Harry has THE BEST time while Josh and I are working with my friend Hilary and her little guy Landon! That's another post too (clearly I have quite a few posts in the works...if only I had the time to actually sit down and write them ;) lol).  But seriously, he is napping and sleeping better than ever and is all smiles in between. Watching a 15-month-old toddle around is pretty exciting for our little okay, big 7-month-old guy.

As a family we are truly blessed by our family and friends who love Harry so SO much!

I may not feel as though I have enough time in the day to "get it all done" but the more I think about it, the more it doesn't really bother me. I am SO THANKFUL for this time in my life. Time to be a mama to Harry, a wife to Josh, a teacher to many young kiddos, and a ________ to many other people. This season is very FULL and I honestly couldn't ask for more, or less.

Here's to taking this life just one day at a time.