And Then There Were Two

Excuse the blogging hiatus, but I think you’ll understand when I tell you, we are adjusting to life with two under two over here; beautiful chaos, as I like to describe it. As I sit here and type this, reflecting on the past 8 weeks of our lives, the best word I can muster up to describe my overall emotion is: overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed with LOVE. I have added a new “love of my life” (3 in total now – I’m a lucky lady), our son, Gavin Michael who recently joined our crew. I call him Mr. Sunshine because he’s the happiest little guy. When you smile at him, he can’t help but smile back — even if he’s crying, you can see his face trying to hold back a smile. I’m smitten.

Overwhelmed with EXHAUSTION. I haven’t slept more than 3 hours straight in 8 weeks and the fact that I’m even able to string together sentences right now is quite the miracle (so please excuse any typos, run-on sentences, etc.). “Napping when the baby naps” only applies to life with one child. Naps for Mom are null and void when you have two in the house. Write that down.

Overwhelmed with GUILT. Oh, the mom guilt is on FIRE while making the transition from one to two kids. My heart sinks every time my daughter asks me to hold her while I’m holding or nursing the baby — poor thing is not used to having to share Mommy. And I feel like the worst Mom in the world when I’m so busy fixing my daughter lunch that I don’t realize right away that my son is covered in spit-up in his bouncer – when did that happen? Trying to split my time and attention between the two of them is the most difficult, heart-wrenching obstacle I’ve experienced in motherhood so far.



Overwhelmed with TO-DO LISTS. Turns out life doesn’t stop moving when you have a new baby. Nope. It just keeps chugging along at miraculous speeds. And laundry piles up, dishes accumulate in the sink, grocery shopping trips lurk just out of reach (maybe we’ll make it there tomorrow), friends and family expect call-backs and updates, and there are just never enough hours in the day. Never. Life in general, is harder.

Overwhelmed with HAPPINESS. Among the chaos, the tears, the temper tantrums, the 3 A.M. feedings and the constant mess, there’s this thick layer of happiness that cushions the “hard”. It’s quite incredible, really, that among all of these struggles — arguably the hardest and most grueling life moments — happiness still permeates through our house. Are we all stressed, tired, adjusting to this new life? Of course! But are we all happy? Yes! And that’s what keeps me going every day, because my heart and soul are full.

So I’ll take the “overwhelmed” feeling and all it brings — the good with the bad. Because in the end, this is our life — the stuff memories are made of — and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

adjusting to life with two under two




Coming to Terms With Life As A Stay-At-Home Mom

life as a stay-at-home mom

After 15 years of working my way up corporate ladders, becoming a stay-at-home mom was definitely a bit of a culture shock. I found myself suddenly dreading the question: “What do you do for a living?” For the first 3 months of being a stay-at-home mom, I answered this question with a lie. Not because I was intentionally trying to mislead the interrogator, but simply because I hadn’t come to terms with my new role yet. In my mind, and my instant gut reaction – I always responded, “I do marketing for Hyatt Hotels.” I was proud of that position, I generally liked telling people what I did because it was an interesting role and I worked hard at it. I was successful.

After I finally realized that I was telling these lies, I switched my story to a more truthful tone, “I’m a stay-at-home mom.” The reactions this response prompted were unexpected, to say the least. Depending on who I was speaking with, I either received blank stares, a judgmental eye, or pure and simple jealousy. I could physically feel these acquaintances writing me off as someone who perhaps lacked education, work ethic, determination – maybe some even thought I opted for the easy road and now lived some “cush” life without a grueling 9-5. Others simply felt they probably had nothing in common with such a simple-minded person or simply couldn’t relate. Fellow mothers, who didn’t or couldn’t give up their jobs after having children either seemed to judge me for wasting my education and a spot in corporate America or looked at me envious of my “easy-breezy” lifestyle.

I’ve come to despise these reactions, hence me hating the question itself in the first place. I found myself desperately wanting others to know that I was educated, that I put myself through college and have worked hard for everything I’ve ever had, and that prior to becoming “mom”, I was climbing the corporate ladder with one of the largest hospitality companies in the world. I was not lazy, I was not on some “free ride”. For some reason, I needed people to know that, so I found myself working my past resume into the conversation somehow – proving my self-worth to these outsiders who had probably already made up their mind about me the second “stay-at-home” left my lips.



The only time I ever felt validated for my “stay-at-home mom” title, (besides my husband telling me how grateful he is for me – he’s a gem) – was when my husband’s grandfather looked me straight in the eye and said, “I think it’s so wonderful what you’re doing for your family – staying home and raising your daughter. You should be really proud.” That simply stated compliment was so shockingly different from the other responses I had grown accustomed to hearing, that I fought back tears and could barely spit out a muffled, “Thank you.” 

THANK YOU to this sweet old man for understanding what it meant to stay home with children — he should know, his wife had stayed home with five! And he was right — why wasn’t I proud of my new title? Why was I letting these negative reactions and judgmental tones determine my own self-worth?

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room — I am lucky. My husband is the breadwinner and he works extremely hard to financially support our family. When my daughter was born, I made the decision to leave the corporate world and stay home with her. A decision that I know many of my friends and acquaintances never had the opportunity to make because of financial or family situations. Others did have my same decision, and they chose careers over staying home, and to that I say; to each their own, no judgement here. I could have easily made the decision to go back to work and continue building my career – it was a close call. But in the end, I decided that I loved my job, but I loved the idea of staying home and raising my daughter more. The decision was mine, and my husband’s, and we made it together.

But let’s get one thing straight — staying home and raising a child/children is as far from “cush” as it gets. You punch in for this job and you never punch out — unless you go back to work of course. I’ll tell you what looks really “cush” to me right about now — sitting in my old private (and quiet) office, answering emails and phone calls while having uninterrupted conversations with adults, attending high-level meetings in my perfectly pressed suits and manicured nails, and receiving praises and raises for a job well done — that sort of lifestyle feeds the ego.

Often being a stay-at-home mom is a thankless existence that requires you to pat yourself on the back every now and then — a role that often gets lost under stereotypical labels associated with yoga pants and loads of laundry. (Dont’ get me wrong – I do wear yoga pants and I do A LOT of laundry – but the point is, there’s more to my job than that). Unlike my past corporate life where I kept my eye on big goals and projects, I now live and breathe by the small accomplishments my toddler and I achieve throughout our day; like teaching her how to pick and smell flowers, brush her own teeth, say please and thank you, or eat all of her veggies (well, the veggies are a work in progress).

When you’re consumed by these small, sometimes mundane, accomplishments every day, it’s hard to see the big picture that paints the importance of a stay-at-home mom. It’s hard to truly grasp that these small actions that fill our days are molding my daughter into the woman that she will become someday.

It took some time for me to appreciate my new role and what it really entailed. When I finally stood back and realized that I’m the biggest influence in my daughter’s life right now and my constant presence and guidance is impacting her overall existence, my role as a stay-at-home mom seemed larger than life. I suddenly could care less about outside judgement or not feeling “appreciated” enough in society. Me staying home with my daughter was working for our family, and I couldn’t ask for a better reward.



Things That Become Difficult When You Have a Toddler and a Baby Bump

I’ve been lucky enough to have two “normal” pregnancies with no complications so far, and for that I am thankful. But, I will not lie, this second pregnancy has been much harder than my first. Maybe it’s because I just blocked out some of the less-glamorous aspects of being pregnant from my memory after the first time, or maybe it’s because I now have an energetic little toddler running around 24/7. Either way, the simple, small tasks of every day life have become increasingly more and more difficult when you have a toddler and a baby bump. Here are a few that come to mind:

toddler mom

1. ROCKING YOUR TODDLER TO SLEEP OR CUDDLING BEFORE BED TIME
Gone are the days when my toddler can cuddle up on my chest before bed time. She still tries but it’s not the most comfortable of places with a huge basketball between us. The cuddle sessions have evolved over the last few weeks from cuddling on my chest, to cuddling on the side, to now cuddling with Dad. :(

2. PUTTING YOUR TODDLER DOWN TO SLEEP IN HER CRIB
Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! Belly bumps make it almost impossible to gently place a toddler in her crib for nap time or bed time – especially if the mattress is on the bottom level. My only solution is to reach in as far as my baby bump will allow and then ever-so-gently drop my toddler onto her mattress while saying a quick prayer that the minor fall doesn’t jolt her wide awake. This works about 75% of the time, and that percentage keeps dwindling as the bump gets bigger and the height of the drop increases.

3. MAKING MEALS FOR YOUR TODDLER
Nausea and food aversions have made it pretty difficult to whip up any sort of weird-smelling vegetable, chicken, or any other food that doesn’t sit well with me on that particular day. What’s worse? Watching your toddler attempt to eat said food while she smears it all over her face and the high chair. I’m still trying to perfect hiding my look of disgust during meal time. “Mmm, yummy green beans!” (barf!)

4. READING WITH YOUR TODDLER ON YOUR LAP
My daughter LOVES reading books so this has been a big adjustment for us. No longer can she sit directly on my lap while turning through the pages of her favorite books. We’ve switched our routine to her sitting directly beside me, tucked under my arm enjoying Good Night Moon for the 50th time that day.

5. PUTTING SHOES ON A TODDLER
Bending down to almost ground level to place shoes on a moving target is quite the challenge. I’ve found that counters come in nicely, if you can get your little one to sit still for more than 5 seconds and not jump off!

6. OVERALL EXHAUSTION
During my first pregnancy I worked full time, and often kept long hours at the office Monday through Friday – I thought that was tiring, even though I had the weekends to rest and do nothing. Now, this second time around, staying home with my 18 month old daughter is sort of like completing an obstacle course over and over again, 24/7. I chase her around, bend down then up to pick stuff up off the floor, lift her up and then down, carry her around for long periods of time, etc. Let’s just say, I hit the couch hard after she goes down at 7PM every night.

I know life is about to get a whole lot harder with “two under two” in the house, but at least I’ll be able to bend down and touch my toes when that time comes. 😉

Pregnant moms with toddlers, what else would you add? 

9 Signs Your Baby is Now a Toddler

I know this sounds cliché, but I’ve really enjoyed every stage of my daughter’s life so far. The newborn stage was so cute and cuddly – exhausting because of the no sleep part, yes – but the cute, silent cuddles were precious! Then the crawling, babbling stage was so fun – watching her take the lead on where she wanted to go and discovering her surroundings on her own. Now, we’re in the toddler stage at 18 months old and I think it’s a riot! Walking, running, talking – her little personality shining through in everything she does. I also understand her preferences now – for example, I’m pretty sure her favorite color is purple because she will only write with the purple sidewalk chalk and she usually picks out stickers or toys that are primarily purple. It’s a fun age but it’s also a messy, mini tornado type of stage – in a hilarious way of course. Here are 9 signs that your baby is now a toddler:

1. You can never find your keys, your lip gloss or your credit card because your toddler goes through your purse, daily, and hides all of its contents around the house.

2. You find strange things in your purse (mostly everything you don’t need), like sea shells from your beach walk last week, a doll’s hairbrush, and a toilet paper cardboard roll  – all strategically placed there by your toddler.

3. You are constantly restocking your first aid kit with band aids and ointments because your toddler has bruises, scrapes and cuts all over her knees and legs from falling at least 5 times per day.

4. You’ve considered, or have already executed, hiding a certain book from your toddler, because you might have to check-in to the loony bin if you have to read it just ONE…MORE…TIME.

5. You’re at the weird in-between stage at the park where you’re not quite comfortable letting your new toddler crawl up to the top of the jungle gym and go down the slide by herself, but that’s all she wants to do in life – so you climb up there with her and find yourself in a sea of kids – trying to fit through the small doorways and bumping your head around every corner because, well, this contraption was not made for adults!

6. You have no less than 25 pieces of Tupperware in your fridge all filled with different meals for your toddler because on Monday she LOVES Mac ‘n Cheese and turns her nose up at green beans, but on Tuesday she MUST have green beans and looks at you like, “are you kidding me?” when you try to give her Mac ‘n Cheese. It’s an uphill battle.

7. Your toddler has a newfound obsession with shoes – her shoes, your shoes, your husband’s shoes – she does not discriminate. And you know it’s going to be good when you hear a “clomp, clomp, clomp” coming down the hall.

baby is now a toddler

8. You have to be on guard around your toddler, because at any moment she could poke you right in the eye and say, “eyes!” Or jam a finger up your nose and exclaim, “nose!”. Learning the human anatomy is so fun!

9. You must be careful what you say around your toddler because they will now repeat anything and E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G – including 4 letter words that rhyme with “fit” and are oh-so easy to pronounce. 😉

I love being a mom to a toddler because it is a new adventure every day! New toddler moms, what would you add to this list?

Fab Moms: Joelle Khannakhjavani of Mother Earth Brew Co.

Today I’m so excited to introduce you to my next Fabulous Mom in the series, FabMoms! Meet Joelle Khannakhjavani, one of the owners of Mother Earth Brew Co. here in San Diego, California! Mother Earth Brew Co. is an awesome brewery with a tap house located in Vista. Their tasting room is family friendly and offers some of the best San Diego beers on tap. Joelle also happens to be one of my good friends who I met in college and an all-around great person and rad new mama! You can follow Mother Earth Brew Co. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too!

Mother Earth Brew Co.

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    My little Valentine, Zane, born 2/14/14.
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I work part-time for our family business, a MicroBrewery in Vista, Ca called Mother Earth Brew Co.  I do a little bit of everything; right now I mostly manage our Homebrew Store but soon I will be working closer with our sales team.
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    On a day off, I like to meet up with a mommy group or other friends around the area, hit the park, the pool or go for a walk.  If my husband is home we do an outing to the store or maybe even the driving range.  On a work day, fortunately I am blessed with lots of family that lives close by so Zane is watched by my Mom twice a week and either his GiGi (my mother in law) or my aunt the other day.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    Take help when it’s offered! Whether it’s a friend bringing dinner, your brother offering to babysit or your mom coming over to vacuum, take it.  Also, a little bit of normalcy goes a long way.  Have a glass of wine or a pint once the little one goes to bed, or go out on a date with the hubby as much as you can.  A glimpse back at the “pre-baby” you can re-set you after a long week, and that can do wonders.
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    When I overheard my husband asking Zane “Are you ready for Mommy to give you breakfast?” after Zane was a few days old.  Hearing someone else refer to me as “Mommy” made it hit home.
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    Finding time for me, my husband and me, AND my son, my husband and me.  It’s all a balancing/juggling/scheduling act that is endless but exciting and necessary too.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The first time I heard Zane laugh, it felt like I was actually doing a good job.  It meant he was happy, and I was the one keeping him that way.
  8. What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
    My husband was changing Zane’s diaper early in the morning.  The way the room was situated, Zane was pointed directly at the head of our bed.  We happen to have a Temperpedic Ergo and I was raising the head of the bed to nurse him.  Right when the bed was at the right height, Zane EXPLODED and poo shot out exactly in the spot my head would have been had I not raised the bed.  We about died laughing, and quickly cleaned up the mess.
  9. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    Again, that first laugh.  I’m not a super emotional person but I about broke into tears the first time I heard that raspy belly laugh.  I was sitting on my brother’s couch, and I was holding Zane so he was sitting up facing me.  I would lean toward him and say “HIIIIiiiiiIII” and he just broke out into his first ever giggle.  It was so amazing.  My husband wasn’t there but luckily my mom, brother and sister-in-law got to hear it too!
  10. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    Oh my there are soooo many life savers, but I have to go with the Baby Einstein Neptune Play Gym.  Not only is it a great distraction so I can get some dishes and laundry done, but you are actually able to watch a lot of their developmental stages.  From newborn and just trying to focus on the objects, to seeing themselves in the mirror, to grabbing the toys, now pulling and chewing on the hanging objects.  It’s also great for Tummy Time and has a portable music player that lights up that you can move to the car or crib.
  11. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    I’m a lot more patient now.  I used to always feel like I was in a rush so things could be done, but now I’ve learned to relax a little more, not fully, but more than before 😉 Mostly because there are just some days you can’t do it all, and that is OK.
  12. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    Mani/pedi or drinks with my Hubby or the girls. Resets the soul.
  13. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    Well, there have been many since I was never one to stay at home, but one of my favorites had to be the beach.  We were staying with my mom in San Clemente and went to the Pier for a few hours.  We took sandwiches and laid out on a big quilt under an umbrella.  Then I dunked his feet in the water and took the stroller to the end of the Pier.  It was a beautiful day and he was all smiles the whole time.
  14. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    Well this might come off a bit biased but of course our top place is Mother Earth Brew Co.  We are family (and pet) friendly and have lots of space for strollers or carriers.  I’m one of the lucky ones and Zane LOVES background noise so he usually passes out when we get there.  We don’t serve food but usually order a pizza or Mexican food from the neighboring restaurants, and relax for an hour or two while the little one either sleeps, or gets passed around by friends.  It’s great for big groups or just the three of you.
  15. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    I would have to say it goes back to #4.  Take help when it’s offered, in any form, and find any normalcy that helps you get through those tough days.  EVERYONE has a bad day, or 16, but it always gets better.  That, and anything that vibrates will help with naps 😉 (that’s not supposed to sound dirty haha).

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com 

Fab Moms: Olivia Howell of The Lovely Sisters

I’m SO EXCITED to kick off my new series: #FabMoms! Since I’ve become a mom I’ve built an incredible, supportive network of other moms (both online and offline) who inspire me everyday. I’ve learned something new from almost every mom that I’ve met, and I love hearing their unique stories. So to celebrate these amazing women, I’ll highlight a new mom each week where they’ll answer my 15 questions about their definition of “motherhood”. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, work full or part-time, own your own business, are a brand new mom or have five kids, you are all amazing and deserve the spotlight every now and then!

I’m excited to introduce you to my first guest blogger, Olivia Howell. Olivia and I are fellow Rookie Moms and are both in the midst of completing the 52 weekly challenges. I love following her new mom adventures over at her blog, The Lovely Sisters as well as her Twitter and Instagram.

So, without further ado, here’s Olivia’s spotlight:

FabMoms

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    My son is named Weston, and he’s just about 9 months old!
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I am a middle school Latin and ancient History teacher, as well as a freelance writer and blogger.
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    Well, we have two typical days: work days and weekends. Work days begin at 5am, when my husband gets ready for work first, and then takes Weston so I can get ready. I get his bag packed with clean bottles, get all my things ready for school, and then Weston and I head out, around 7am. I drop him at my mom’s house, where my sister, or mother and step-dad will watch him until 3PM, when I get back. After picking him up, we often see friends, or visit my grandmother. Sometimes we don’t get home until 6PM, and I let him crawl around and play, while I throw laundry in, make dinner, wash bottles, and clean up. I give him dinner, my husband gets home, we (sort of) eat, and then it’s bathtime. I’m not the most consistent parent with bedtime, because, well…I miss him during the day and want to spend time with him. Often, he falls asleep in our arms on the couch, as we wind down, or we all get into bed to chill out and relax together. Those days are quite long and tiring! I rarely have time to even shower! Weekends are, obviously, much more relaxing…we wake up late, eat a long breakfast, play a lot, and most of the time, we run errands as a family or go out to lunch. There’s usually an afternoon nap, and a later, more relaxed dinner.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    It’s really, really hard being a working mom. I was the first woman in my family, ever (seriously), to go back to work with an infant. Weston was three months old when I went back. To be honest, I don’t really know how I do it. I would say, just go with your gut, and remember that you are indeed doing the best you can! It’s incredibly hard juggling both lives…!
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    Actually, it was recently. I took a personal day from school and Weston and I had a totally “normal” day. Breakfast, errands, playing…it was wonderful. It was the first time I truly felt like a mom!
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    I think the hardest thing about being a mom is worrying. I worry that I won’t be there for him, or that something will happen to him. I really and truly try to cherish every single moment with him, because life is insane and you never know what could happen.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The most rewarding thing about being a mom is watching their little brains grow right before your eyes! It is astounding watching him learn how to sit, and then crawl, and now stand! I’m so proud of him.
  8. What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
    I think the most shocking thing about becoming a parent, for me, is now thinking about what my own parents went through. I look at every milestone that Weston goes through, and I think, “now I get it!” I get why my parents cared, loved, and protected me so much. It is true what they say: there is no love like the love you have for your child.
  9. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    Honestly, I think my favorite mental snapshot is the moment he was placed on my chest, directly after birth. He was just SO HIM. A sweet smile, hands ready to grab, eyes wide open. He became my best buddy at that moment.
  10. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    I have to say that the best purchase we made was our Jumperoo! We started putting him in at three months, and I really feel like it helped him learn to sit, gain muscle strength in his legs…oh, and it was a great, safe, place to put him while I was doing things around the house! We even have two of them!
  11. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    My whole life I’ve wanted to be a writer…and I never did much with my writing. After I became a mother, it made me have the strength to pursue my passion! Who knew that would happen?! Not me. I learned that I do indeed love to learn, and love to write. I learned that having my son makes me feel strong and incredibly capable of conquering the world.
  12. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    When I find a few minutes to relax, I like to catch up on my favorite television shows: Shark Tank, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Modern Family, About a Boy, Growing Up Fisher, and of course: Parenthood!
  13. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    My favorite thing to do with Weston is simply to go walk around our town. He loves people watching, and I browse stores; we often run into people we know. It’s relaxing, fun, and I am so proud to show off my little one.
  14. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    We’ve gone to Green Cactus (Mexican food) in Huntington, NY, a lot with Weston! They have wide, open seating, perfect for strollers. It’s clean, open, and often not a ton of people there…and if there are people, it’s mostly families. I never feel self conscious having him there.
  15. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    Just to remember that every day is different. Nothing is set in stone. My grandmother reminds me of this all the time! Babies change daily (even half-daily!), so don’t get worried that the one night of no sleep will last forever…take every day as it comes, and just do what you need to do to get through to tomorrow!

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com – we’d love to feature you!

 

Mental Snapshots, Vol. 1

I’m the first one to admit that I take way too many photos of my daughter. When I start to think that I should print them all out and make some sort of photo album, I begin to hyperventilate because there are just SO.MANY.PHOTOS! For now, I have them safely stored on my computer. But even with all of the photos, I miss capturing most of the good stuff…the stuff that melts you to your core and happens when you least expect it. It’s these moments that are the most dear to my heart, so I’ve started taking “mental snapshots” – hoping I can call on these memories after Blake is grown.

Here are 10 of my favorite “Mental Snapshots” so far:

  1. The moment the doctor put Blake on my chest after she was born. I have one image in my mind where she turned her little cone-head upwards and looked right into my eyes. At that moment, the last 19 hours of labor were forgotten, everyone else in the room faded away and I just saw her perfect little face. The first thought that ran through my mind when she looked at me? Worth it.
  2. The moment I picked Blake up from her crib and I felt like she really saw me  – the newborn “fog” had lifted and she just studied my face.
  3. The time I walked into our family room and saw Mike fast asleep with his mouth wide open, with Blake sleeping on his chest and her mouth wide open too – they had never looked more alike.
  4. The first time Blake smiled at me because she thought I was funny (not because of gas or an accidental smile) and that moment when I realized, I can make her smile! Oh, the triumph I felt.
  5. The first time Blake giggled which was really the first time I heard her little voice – precious and surprisingly loud! At this moment I began to look at Blake in a new light – she wasn’t really a newborn anymore – she was a bouncing, laughing baby girl!
  6. The moment when Blake was crying in her monkey bouncer and Tucker beat me to her, licked her face then laid down right beside her – the first time I realized he loves her.
  7. The first time Blake watched Tucker walk into the room and smiled so big – the first time I realized she loves him.
  8. The moment Blake discovered her hands – she stared at them so intensely, opening and shutting her little fists, that her eyes turned cross-eyed.
  9. The first time Blake rolled over – she scared me, her Auntie Jaclyn (who was also in the room), and herself – it was hilarious.
  10. The moment when Blake began her jibber-jabber. I was changing her diaper when all of a sudden, she just couldn’t hold it in any longer – she had things to say! We must have had a 30 minute conversation back and forth that first time on the changing table.

What mental snapshots do you have stored away? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

mother daughter

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