Hello. It has been a while since I have shared a life update and I have so very much missed writing, and I have missed hearing from all of you. Life has been moving at the speed of a bullet train, and to say I have had a few tears lately is an understatement. I am currently sitting in bed with mascara rolling down my cheeks half tired half emotional wondering if this post will publish in July or if I will miss it altogether and move right into his one year birthday? We will see but lately setting goals and watching them burn been more common than not. Anyone else who relates?
To be transparent, that has been one of the hardest adjustments for me. The clean house, go-getter, list-maker kind of girl that I am has to try and let things roll off my back. Something I do not do well, and I am learning to accept a little more each day.
But you have heard it a million times, and I am here to tell you it is true. Parenting is the role of a lifetime and an unexplainable feeling. I am still wondering where the last eleven months went?
The first three months, in my opinion, are the hardest. Then it slowly gets more natural, or you figure out how to manage to be sleepy all the time! And you wonder how you ever lived without this tiny human in your life.
We have tried to keep things as regular as possible, traveling, eating out, going out, and there have been changes and things that are different about each of those but life doesn’t necessarily have to end when you have a baby.
Except for our new early bedtime! Oh my goodness we are asleep so fast after Leo is in his crib! We continuously wake up to texts and messages from family and friends! Sorry guys we are snoozing over here. Sleep when the baby sleeps is a definite rule around here!
Traveling with Leo has been amazing. I know he won’t remember all the places and airplane rides but we will. I have the memories and a hard drive packed with photos from his first year and first trips around the world.
And those were some hard times. Trust me vacationing with a five-month-old in Mexico or an eight-month-old in the Netherlands was not a cakewalk but it was pretty dang special. Looking back, I wouldn’t do any of it differently.
I will admit that after our trip to the Netherlands, things have been non-stop. And it is all good and beautiful things like flying to Texas to spend my first Mother’s Day with my entire family, updating our kitchen, entertaining my whole family in Minnesota for a week, new windows on our house, celebrating my husbands birthday, and our first Fourth of July as a family of three!
But it has left me feeling tired. No, more like utterly exhausted! I tend to bite off way more than I can chew, John and I are guilty of that, and we are guilty of not asking for help when we need it. A constant struggle to find a delicate balance of we got this and help we are sinking!
I shared in my Instagram Stories (if you follow me there I like to share daily updates on life via that channel), I confessed that not being able to write as much has been something I miss. I have felt all kinds of guilt. I will write posts in the shower or while I am breastfeeding but pounding the keys has been less than smooth. So I am making it a priority. Hello to a new goal of just two posts a month! Hold me to it okay!
But as far as Leo and being less than one month shy of one, I thought I would share a little bit about where we are at right now and a few items we love lately:
Leo is sleeping through the night! Hello, eleven hours of straight sleep! We had this all worked out before we left on our big trip, but unfortunately, the time, new places, new sleeping arrangements, all threw him off. We were not sleeping a whole lot in this house, and it was miserable. Finally, we were all back on schedule and able to get back on our routine with bathtime, book, and his bed! I know sleep is a hot topic, so I am happy to answer any questions about this if you have them! He sleeps in his crib and usually in footed pajamas and a sleep sack depending on the temperature. I swear by white noise and a small fan always!
I am watching him learn new things like discovering his little hands and crawling like a maniac. I am surprised we are not walking yet, but he seems to have a little bit still to go before we cross that milestone. But I know it is in the distant future. Recently he is starting to stand without holding on to anything, so I am sure it will be soon!
He is eating everything we eat. He has yet to turn down anything I have put in front of him, which I find a real blessing. I realize that could change as he gets older, but so far we have a very healthy little eater on our hands:
Salmon, chicken, avocado, cheese, bread, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, grapes, broccoli, sweet potato, carrots, pasta, rice, pickles, cheerios, eggs, yogurt, Happy Baby Puffs (all the puffs) and we just started one ounce of whole milk in preparation for the big one year. I also still love the Once Upon A Farm foods. The Wild Rumpus Avocado and Green Kale and Apples are two of our go to’s with his meals. They have non-dairy smoothies packed with all kinds of goodness and loves these as a mid-day snack.
Leo is obsessed with being outside. Rocks, grass, dirt, it is all right up his alley! I can barely get him inside in the evenings to take his bath after dinner because he loves it so much. I do not blame him; I feel the same! We have recently added a teepee to his room, and he loves it so much! Also his bucket and shovel for the park, his pool for the backyard, any tractor, car, or ball. Also enjoying the water so anytime I can get him in a pool or the lake he is one happy baby! I bought a cute blow-up pool for our backyard!
Morning wake up is 7-7:30 am. We go straight to a diaper change and play then it is morning oatmeal with one whole mashed banana, fresh fruit (cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, blackberries) followed by some puffs. More playtime after breakfast, and I nurse him before he goes down for his first nap at 10 am.
Wake up and play! The second meal starts around noon. Always different like Avocado and chicken with a squeeze pack. I usually venture out to run errands, go on a walk or to the park at this time. Leo is often up until around 1:30-2, and I typically feed him before he falls asleep, and this can be a solid nap sometimes an hour and a half to two full hours.
His last nap ends around 3:00, but it does fluctuate depending on our entire day. I say this all the time, but babies are not machines. Just be okay with knowing it might change a little day to day depending on the circumstances, teething, growth spurts. I read in one of my books that right now they are taking so much in that it is hard for them to turn off their brains. They are aware of the world and learning so much they don’t want to miss out! I do not blame him!
We play hard during the evenings. Crawl, go outside, swim at the lake, whatever we can before dinner and bathtime. I so love our evening routines, and we usually aim for dinner around 6:30 and for bathtime to start around 7:15. John takes care of the bath, and this is a little bit of me-time, so I like to shower or get ready for bed, check emails, etc. After a bath, we do a book, and I nurse him to sleep. Lately, he can barely keep his eyes open and is in his crib asleep by 8 pm.
I hope you know that none of this is easy, but holy smokes kids are so amazing. I read a quote recently that said we only get 18 summers with our kids. It hit me like a freaking bullet. That somehow feels unfair. How do they grow and change so fast? And yet it all feels hard and challenging all at the same time? I keep thinking next year it will only be 17 left. So we are soaking every single one of them up!
As for me, I am so happy to call myself a mom. There have been some emotional days and days when I am unsure of everything, but I will say I am proud of this journey we have walked. Proud to have made it eleven months with breastfeeding when I said I would do it for two and super proud of John for being one of the most supportive dads and attentive husbands.
It takes support and help from so many.
My mom has been to Minnesota multiple times when I thought I couldn’t do it. Dropped everything to hop on a plane and help. My mother-in-law has been a massive help in watching him when I need me time, errands, work, a blowout, or my nails done.
I have had conversations with so many new moms, my girlfriends, and I have asked you guys for help and advice, and more than not, you have so willingly offered it. I have read blogs and read plenty of books; some of it has been helpful and some of it not. But being able to share and offer some insight into things that have worked has been such a joy. I have loved hearing back from all of you when it helps!
I will say, I am far from a perfect mom. I am always learning, and I continually fail. But learning our strengths and setting small goals for us as a family and for me, have made the past eleven months doable.
After I had Leo, my doctor told me to look at each day as it’s own. I remember in the beginning, feeling so overwhelmed, and she said, looking in my eyes, “Take this one day at a time. Hour to hour. Do not look at the future or worry about tomorrow.” I find myself going back to that even now at eleven months.
New moms and seasoned mamas know it helps to take it day by day!