Wednesday, January 11, 2012

5 Months of Fun

Just the other day we hit Russell's 5th month after he was born. I have wanted to sit down and write about what I've felt and how he's changed our lives for a while but it's amazing what sleep deprivation will do to your motivation. Sometimes it was eat, sleep, poop and nothing more. Today though I wanted to take a minute to share my thoughts and a video.



The video was from the other night. I was getting Russell ready for bed which is why he's in a little sleep sack. We have found that a pair of pj's and a sleep sack are just enough to keep him warm through the night. We used to put these little mitten things on him at night to keep him from scratching his face but as of late he has been pulling them off one hand so we gave up all together. Luckily for him he doesn't seem to be scratching himself anymore so all is well in sleepyland.

He loves his ball. It's easy for him to play with and soft so he can't bonk himself with it.

I can say through these past 5 months it's been a lot of learning and adapting. Never did I realize just how much my life would change. I no longer work which means I no longer make money. Even though his money is our money it still feels weird at times to know I add no monetary value to our home. I know this won't be forever but still it's been an adjustment. I no longer have the 8-5 schedule, responsibilities and co-worker drama to deal with. Sometimes it's nice and other times I kind of miss having projects to work on and adults to talk to. (Though for now I have been limiting my contact with others since it's cold/flu season and I am trying to keep Russell from getting sick for as long as possible.) It's also no longer all about me. My needs come second no matter what. It doesn't matter how hungry I am, cold/hot, have to pee whatever... If he needs something more my needs must wait. At times I don't mind and other times I feel very selfish just wanting to eat without scarfing down a meal in under 5 minutes. I feel my whole life has dramatically changed. Being a mom is a job that goes 24-7, has no breaks or lunches, has no definite rules or guidelines and is completely based on figuring it out on your own. Sorry there is no training program available for Offspring 2.0.

Looking over his glow worm toy.

On the dark side I have found that motherhood can be a lot of judgement and pressure. Sometimes I feel that everyone has advice to give or ways they feel you should do things. Other times I feel that it's all about making sure you look like homemaker of the year and if you haven't successfully baked 4 loaves of bread, cleaned house, done laundry, taken the kids to the park, baked cupcakes for school and made sure a healthy balanced meal was on the table before husband comes home or else somehow you're not good enough. I feel that the debate between stay at home moms and working moms will never end and each will always hate the other. Why can't we all just accept each other and move on. Also I don't want to hear that your 5 month old is already walking, talking and eating cheeseburgers this week. Nothing is wrong with my baby and I know he will grow and develop at his own pace. Seriously sometimes I feel like it's a contest on who can breastfeed the longest, make completely organic homemade baby food for every meal and has the child who has hit all their milestones and slept through the night way before your kid ever thought about it. *Sigh... Perhaps it's just me judging myself from the view of the grass being greener on the other side. I mean really how often do your friends post on FB that they're tired, their baby cried all night, they got no sleep and they haven't worn anything but yoga pants in months? Of course not. You get the highlight reel of milestones being hit, birthday parties and celebrations... In the end you can end up feeling like you are the only one experiencing the down times, the hard moments and the feelings of doubt in your abilities...

Even while in the swing he loves his hands.

On the bright side I have realized just how much another little tiny human can mean to you. I have realized just how much my Mom and Dad must love me and how much I mean to their lives. I understand when my Mom says she would love me no matter what I did because I'm her child. I understand why parents would give their lives for their children and why sleepless nights can all be erased by one smile, a giggle and a hug. I have realized how lucky I am to have a husband who provides for our family and isn't afraid to change diapers and get up for late night feedings. I am lucky to have a roof over my head, food for my baby and clothes to keep him warm. I am blessed with relatives and friends who love little Russell and send prayers and positive thoughts when he needed them the most.

He has his toy, Minx has her mouse.
It is amazing to feel like your heart could burst when your baby rolls over for the first time and looks up and smiles at you with a look that says I'm so proud of myself mama. It's amazing to see how his little personality is starting to show with smiles at the toys he loves most and different noises for his different moods. I love to watch him roll over and over now that he has figured out how to flip both ways. I love that he still flashes a big smile after he rolls over like he's still so happy he has figured this out. I love the way Russell paws at the side of his pack-n-play in the morning when he's ready to get up for the day. I love the way he still lets me snuggle him while I rock him to sleep every night. I love that he is learning new things and making progress every day. At times I do worry about him hitting his milestones because of his rough start but so far I think he's doing great and I will never push him to grow up any faster than he is ready for. I love his sweet gummy smile and almost wish he wouldn't sprout teeth any time soon. I love the way he laughs when he's tickled. I love that he enjoys his baths and am amused that he has figured out how to kick his legs in the water splashing his mom and dad. I love watching him sleep on the baby monitor because he sometimes sleeps in the funniest positions.

He loves his hands!

Oh motherhood... This journey of never ending lessons to be learned, trials to overcome and joys to share. Some days I feel so unprepared and other days I feel like I could take on a dozen more. (Not that I ever plan to have that many more kids. HA HA HA.) So, cheers to all the mothers and fathers out there who are loving their kids, raising them to be good people, caring for them and showing them all the love and support they can. To all the single parents who are making it work and doing all they can. For the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who share in every joyous moment sent on video or through pictures. Being a parent is not easy and there are no right answers that fit every situation and child.

He's such a happy soul.

If you feel like reading another story of motherhood and the birth of a blessed little angel check out this story HERE. Children are such a blessing and I hope that everyone will kiss their babies tonight and love them all you can. Also if you can check out THIS blog post from a woman who lost a child. She is putting together a simple memory book with pictures of her daughters name taken in different places. If you can, take a picture and send it to rememberingbella@gmail.com. I know if it were my baby and my project I would hope people from all over would help.

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