Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Davis: 5 Months

One of my best friend's just had her second baby boy. Looking at her pictures and listening to her talk about her new little bundle takes me back. It takes me back to those first moments, when you stare at each other and wonder what life was before they entered your world. When your already full heart puffs up even more. It is so full of joy it feels like it may burst if you take one more look at the precious bundle in your arms. And then you do....your breath is taken away by one more teeny-tiny feature that makes them so unique and so completely yours. And you die all over again. Then you wonder how anything about this little human can get any better than it is in that moment.

And then they smile at you.

Give you their first coo.

Roll over for the first time.

Pick up their first toy.


Squeal with delight.

Take their first step.

And do so many more unbelievable things in such short amounts of time, and you keep telling yourself "this, is the best....No, no, wait.... THIS is the best".

And then you blink and they turn 5 months old. Your brain is still trying it's darndest to catch up to your heart. And you still can't seem to keep any of your kids birthdays straight (the poor doctor's office trying to figure out if I am actually a legit mom, because I can't seem to remember the most monumental days of my life!)

I'm starting to feel like a broken record.

This baby (practically grown kid) is such a tender little soul. He just looks at you and you melt into a million little pieces. And I am so so in love with him, my heart physically hurts sometimes.

The way he is growing, blows my mind.

Every day you can see the wheels turning as he grasps more and more of the world around him. He is starting to reach for toys, his favorite is to play with the crinkly wipes package.

He also discovered his fingers and his toes. I love watching him move his hand in, then out, as he watches it intently. 

If I need to get something done, like make dinner. He is usually very content to hang out under his play mat or his latest fave, the jumperoo.

He's still not the most stellar sleeper. Prefers to sleep on his side. But typically goes 2-3 hour stretches. except for last night, he was nearly impossible to get to sleep.

And what is it with our boys and their need to start the day at the break of dawn? They always say put them down earlier and they will sleep later. Or put them down later and they will wake up earlier. I swear our kids have programmed alarm systems and no matter what time they go to sleep they will be up at the same time, every morning. We could wear every ounce of energy out of them and they would be set to go the second their internal alarms go off at 5 in the morning. (ok, fine the older boys are 6 but Davis seems to have made 5 the new 8....)

This past month he learned to roll from his back to his tummy. And while that is a great achievement, it has proven to be not so great at night or during his naps. The second you lay him down, he flexes his little tummy muscles and flips himself over. And then, low and behold he's furious about it.  All attempts at sleep are gone.

His thumb seems to be an on again, off again kind of relationship. When he gets really upset it's as if he forgets it exists. But then I find him randomly sucking it throughout the day.

This kid has such an innate desire to suck something all the time. Whether it be my arm, shoulder, ear, finger, nose, lips....basically if anything gets within close proximity to his mouth it's fair game.

He is a phenomenal nurser, kind of like Cole. He gets to eating and there is no stopping. His cheeks get all concave and his rolls keep upping their game. I believe his ankles gained one new roll this month.

He likes to break away while nursing, look at me and give me sweet, closed-mouth grin. As if he's saying, "thanks mom, it's really good."

He's also taken to biting......ouch!

And those legs and knees, never have dimples looked so adorable as they do on his.

I just love all the rolls. I don't have an official weight for him this month. But I did attempt to try and weigh him at home, and he came in around 16 1/2-17lbs. Soooo...about what Bennett weighed at a year ;)

He's still wearing a solid 3-6 month clothes, with some starting to get too short on him. And I'm secretly mourning that next month he is going to be 1/2 a year old and starting solids, what?

He loves bath time still. And just learned all about kicking and splashing. If I start to hold him above water, he starts kicking and stomping his legs in anticipation. 

He is starting to be able to sit by himself some. He still needs his arms on the floor to help balance, but can sit for good chunks of time.

He also loves that this gives him better opportunities to be involved in whatever the big bros are doing.

He's still super easy and goes with the flow. My sister and I have a running joke, whenever he starts to kind of fuss, we always say, "Whoa, whoa....this is a big one...." Because they never are. His fussiness is always calmed quickly. And realistically shouldn't even be referred to as "fussy".

He is starting to not appreciate being worn any more. But I still try, and I still do. Because when it comes right down to it, it's easier than lugging his infant seat out of the car, and I really need to have two hands free while out and about with all my boys.

But I'm pretty sure he will never complain to be held like the above. He was "helping" daddy do some vacuuming.

I just can't get over the fact that he has been in our lives for nearly half a year. I knew time was going to go fast, but this....

Before I know it he is going to be crawling and on the go, go, go.

He's going to start eating real food. He's going to start digging in the middle of whatever his brothers are doing. Knocking their blocks down, grabbing their markers. He will probably become fascinated with trains, just like his brothers.

But above it all, I'm pretty sure he will always remain my sweet little heart.

My baby boy, I love you in all your rolly polly glory. You have such a kindness about you, and always seem to know when mama needs some extra cuddles. Though you are growing like a weed, you will always be my baby. I adore how any time I am holding you in my arms and we walk past a mirror, you grin. You are always giving me cheeky little grins, with slobber down your chin and bubbles on your lips. You observe, and watch, and take everything in around you. Especially your brothers, they fascinate you.

Sometimes I ache to go back to those first days in all their wonder and glory. But then I look to the future and i get so excited to see who you will be and what you will become. You are destined for greatness, and I have no doubt God will use you in massive ways. Especially with your ability to bring out the softness in people.

I hope you give me many more years of kissing your scrumptious cheeks, of holding you next to my heart, of watching you as you explore the great big world in front of you.

But please, please always stay my baby. Even when you are old and gray and I can't walk. Promise me you will always let me kiss those cheeks, forever.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My Purpose

I don't know why, but for some reason this past week really got the better of me. Both physically and emotionally. I feel like I've fallen into that hole of feeling lost to the world. I feel like that mom wearing the frumpy clothes, dawning the hair that hasn't even seen a trim in....a year? Longer? Perhaps. Adorned with the same make up since first giving birth, and parts of who I am slowly drifting down the drain along with wads of my hair.

And yet, I know what I was designed to do...and I'm doing it. Loving it actually. I know without a doubt God made me to be a mom. And for 99.9% of the time I feel like that is enough. But this week has me petering on the edge of that 1% of feeling like I'm not enough. Like the world needs to see bigger and better things than just little ole me. Like my kids need someone better at this "mom" thing than just me. Like even though I give, give, give....i still haven't given enough and fall short somewhere along the line.

I know being a mom is a job where you give more of yourself in more ways than in any other job. And that is a beautiful thing. It really is. But it's also easy to lose sight of that beauty in the day to day grind.

It's the constantly shoving sharp cornered furniture out of the way so someone doesn't fall and conk their head. It's hosing off little bodies after making mud pies and throwing mud bombs. It's crying when you realize your oldest changed out of the grubby shoes you put on him and changed into the only suitable shoes left for wearing to church. It's hosing them off because it's hot out and far more quicker than trying to do a midday bath, then throwing down the hose only to have it land just right and spray you in the face. It's kind of laugh/kind of crying because of course it did. It's trying to make it out of the house because your oldest two are tired of playing red light/green light and are bouncing off the walls crazy. So you plan to go to an "art day" at their favorite toy store. You pay two bucks a kids to have them blop paint on paper and blow it with a straw....and could have easily done the same at home for free.

(And for those folks in the store who maybe were on the fence about having kids of their own, pretty sure we helped make up their mind, as I wrangled a red-faced-screaming-nearly-three-year-old out the door. While having another screaming baby attached to the front of me and only making it half way out the door when when the seemingly 200 lb child with 10 pairs of arms and legs suddenly stuck like glue to the frame of the door. It's trying to remain full of grace and keeping an "I love them so" tone in my voice when all I want to do is cry and scream and maybe do so simultaneously. And to the gentleman who held the door so I could have both hands free to unstick all the limbs and strap the flailing, wailing child into his car seat in the blood curdling 100 degree heat.....you saved me kind sir. It's trying your best to do the "Love and Logic" approach only to be turned down by a defiant "nope". It's making the decision to drive to Burgerville to get the oldest a smoothie reward because he behaved and listened (and I kind of wanted to be the "fun mom" and take them all to get treats after our fun outing, instead of being the one who has to discipline ALL.DAY.LONG) Cole of course walked around with a halo while his middle brother grew horns. And I tried the, "Oh, that's too bad Bennett (Love and Logic) that you threw a big, gigantic, deafening fit...I'm sorry, now you don't get a smoothie of your own" After all, that is what they said to do, and it's supposed to work..... (supposed to, being the key words) and then it's gritting my teeth as I under go round two of wails, and screams, and big alligator tears.....

But it's also,

Watching my warriors as they build mountains out of cushions, climb to the top and flex their muscles proudly. It's congratulating them on such a big endeavor and for succeeding after countless failed attempts. It's laughing when they toot and tell you to smell it. It's finding the fun in pulling out our "binoculars" and looking for bugs and bad guys with our fists held up to our eyes.

It's the never quite knowing what they are going to do next.....

It's the bursting pride when I pick them up from Sunday School, and the teacher tells me that they are precious. And that the whole time Cole was watching out for Bennett, helping him and making sure that he was well taken care of. It's watching Cole lead Bennett into situations that without him, Bennett would wilt and turn around to hide in my leg. But watching him grow braver with his brother by his side. It's hiding around the corner and listening quietly when they are giggling and laughing over something silly. It's meeting the big baby eyes who never seem to lose sight of me. It's the smile that is reciprocated every time. It's the complete abandon while nestled in close to my neck, and the slobbery drool that is often found dripping down my arm. It's watching the sweetness in their features when they finally collapse after a long hard day, and they give in to restful sleep.

The feeling of their arms around my neck. The way Cole will walk by me, grab my arm, and kiss it randomly throughout the day. Bennett asking me to give him an "enimo" kiss (Eskimo kiss) and laughing uncontrollably when we make up our own "raff" (giraffe) kiss.

It's knowing that God has given me another day with them, even when it seems so hard. I'm always thankful for one more day to try it all over again. To try and learn from my mistakes and stretch in ways that seem unstretchable.

So yes, today I feel lost. Today I feel like no one sees me (not even my kids), like I might not have a voice. Like I'm not getting the approval my heart feels it needs. And then God gently whispers to my soul "why? why are you seeking approval from those that is doesn't matter? Why are you not turning to me, seeking me? "

And I do. Finally. (you would think I would have learned this lesson by now....)

I silently let the tears fall while breastfeeding my baby and trying to put him down for his third nap because the first two were failed attempts, thanks to noisy "secret agent men"...and it was only 10 AM.

And yet, even though I am called to turn my eyes to my Christ alone and seek Him and find favor in Him alone.  I realize He also knew that my weary heart needed to hear tangible words. Words that were audibly spoken to me.

So, to that sweet woman in Target, who must have seen my glazed-over-blank-stare while I stood in the check out line, not realizing it was my turn to put my things on the conveyer belt. How you stepped away from your cart and kindly offered to help unload my own cart while I bounced a very unhappy baby boy back and forth. We chatted and you asked about my family. And then you told me how amazing I was. How much respect you had for me, how being a stay at home mom was one of the hardest things anyone could ever do. Sweet sweet lady, you spoke to my heart...you probably don't even realize the impact you made. You probably won't ever know that my heart is weeping over your words and how they were just what I needed to fuel my soul for my today.  Thank you.

So I pray for a softening of my heart. For delighting myself in the One who really cares, who chose this perfectly planned family and path for me. As I search for the reasons why I matter (why YOU, the mom who is feeling the same way---YOU MATTER). For me, the three most important reasons are finally napping and giving me a few moments to drink my second mocha and release that which has been building up in my heart.

Thank you Jesus for finding me in my mess, and reminding me my daily purpose. I pray for all of us mama's, that we never lose sight of our goal, that we continue to find grace and joy and good in the tasks before was....no matter how mundane or extravagant. May you find the truth that YOU are enough, that you MATTER and that bringing up littles is a great great task that shouldn't be brushed over.

It's a calling and purpose that has more demands than anything. And when you're in the trenches of disciplining 24/7, it's so easy to lose sight of this truth.  May we continue find the perfect purpose in which God has called us to do, and be thankful for the opportunity we have.

For it is such a blessing, it really is.