Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hi, My Name is Violet and I'm 3 Months Old Today!

Violet Grace:
3 months old
12lbs 7oz
23.25in long
Wears 0-3 and 3month clothes.
Size 0 shoes.
Size build-a-bear sunglasses

Violet loves smiling really big and is laughing more and more each day.
She likes taking walks through the neighborhood in her stroller and she enjoys being close to mommy/daddy in the sling when they go shopping.

Violet spends most of her day (when she isn't eating or napping) playing with mommy. Practicing standing and bouncing are her favorites along with making silly faces that involve sticking your tongue out. She also is VERY interested in watching mommy talk to her- sometimes Violet even tries to join the conversation with her sweet little voice :)

While Violet has a ton of fun with mommy all day, she can't wait for her daddy to get home every evening. She loves bouncing with daddy and cuddling up on his chest when she's tired.

Violet has recently become interested in mirrors, watching mommy play with her toys, batting at toys that hang, and sucking on her hands.

When it's bedtime, Violet takes a bath, puts on jammies (PJs), and sits in daddy's lap while mommy reads a bedtime story. Then, daddy has her fold her hands and they all say their "bedtime prayers." Mommy and Daddy kiss her and tell her how much they love her, then put her in bed and turn on her sleep sheep. Violet curls her legs up under her, puts her thumb in her mouth, and goes to sleep.

Now, all of the loveliness aside, she does whine quite a bit. She HATES a wet diaper. She can only handle being awake and entertaining herself for about 5-10 minutes before she starts crying for someone to come play with her. She does not like taking naps during the day even though she gets very tired, so she cries for 15-20mins almost every time she is put down for one. She fusses late afternoon-evening every day and we're still battling colic the rest of the day (so random bursts of inconsolable crying for no apparent reason). It's getting better though. Since seeing the pediatrician a few days ago, she has greatly improved and is crying less and less and smiling more and more.

I love my baby girl.

Monday, June 24, 2013

No Lie

"No lie" is a phrase that was really common towards the end of my high school years and the first few years of college. I feel like my roommate and I both said it incessantly. The thing is, I feel like the idea behind the trend is something we need to re-embrace. I'm tired of the lies women tell. 

I always wanted to be popular growing up. I tried in high school, tried in college, and even in my adult life at church. The truth is that I just don't fit with the popular girls. I refuse to smile and pretend like my life is perfect and laugh off any small incidences that might make it look like my life is any less. I refuse to pretend to be a dog person. I love my cats. I don't say "God bless you" to people on a regular basis and I don't tell people I'm going to pray for them very often because the truth is that my prayer life is selfish at best (working on it, but honest about where it is). I rarely look "put together" and I haven't had my hair done in almost a year. I don't like to commit to very many things. I guard my time because it's precious to me. In college, when I was still trying to fit in with the kids I thought were popular, I tried to be involved in all kinds of organizations, projects, even a sorority. One day I realized that I was so busy doing things I had committed myself to, that I was missing out on all of the fun things my real friends were inviting me to do. That's when I decided that there are enough things in life that we are obligated to do, everything else that we do, we should do because we are passionate about it. So I quit a whole bunch of stuff, dropped a class or two, and changed my major. I don't regret one bit of it.

So here I am, years later and I see the adult versions of these people I so wanted to be friends with and I can't decide if their lives really are what they make them out to be and they are really that different from me, or if it's all just some facade that I can't bring myself to create to fit in. 

Here's the truth: My husband and I have both made HUGE mistakes in our marriage- the kind that people get divorced over. We forgive each other and move on. We heal slowly from the hurts we cause each other. We make it through because we made a commitment with God and He never fails even when we do. As parents, we get annoyed by our child. We get annoyed by other people's children too. We let our baby cry it out sometimes and we feel like it's what's best for everyone in our family. We let people hold her- friends, acquaintances, whoever. I let animals touch/lick her. I take her wherever I go. I take my kid out in the heat. She'll live. Between the shade of her stroller and water when I think she needs it, she will survive Texas heat just like everyone else did before air conditioners were invented.  I turn down the monitor so I don't hear her crying the first 10-15 minutes after she has been put down. We sometimes struggle to pay our bills and I'm not sure if we will ever get ou
t of debt even though we keep trying.

Honestly, I think a lot of parents put too much pressure on themselves. When did we become responsible for our children's psychological well being? I love my baby. I think she is adorable and when she smiles, she melts my heart. I hate the idea of her being in pain and I want to give her every opportunity for success in life. I don't, however, feel that she should be put on a pedestal. I should not have to sacrifice my life for hers- she is an addition to my life, not a replacement. I'm not going to show her my frustration (mostly because it becomes a vicious cycle) but that doesn't mean I can't be honest with other moms about the truth of how hard it is to take care of someone's every need/want. I called my pediatrician's office this morning because there is something wrong with her and I don't know what it is. That's okay. I don't have to know how to deal with everything parenting brings my way and I'm going to mess up in some areas. But at the end of the day, if my child is loved, and being trained according to God's word, then I succeeded. Why do some make it all so hard? Don't do this or that, and make sure you do this or ____ will happen to your kid. I feel like there is an insane number of rules you have to keep to be a "good" parent. I wish everyone would just be honest and we could go back to helping each other out- truly raising our children as a community instead of this ridiculous notion that mom's are supposed to do it all. I know I've mentioned some things we do in our home that others judged us for. I don't really care though.

That's the point. I'm not trying to impress anyone. I'm a wife and a mom and I'm doing things the best I can without stressing out over whether or not it fits someone else's definition of the "right' way. I refuse to lie about my life. I refuse to feel bad if it doesn't match the picture everyone else tries to paint of their families. I love my picture. I think it's beautiful. No lie.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It gets easier, but it doesn't hurt less.

I've been looking forward to having some time alone: time  to myself, as well as time alone with my husband. My mom has been asking for quite a while when I would let her take Violet overnight again. Last time my mom took her, it felt like I spent the whole time she was gone crying. I knew that it would be hard to be away from her, but I had no idea the sort of doubled-over, gut-wrenching pain that letting her go would cause. It's fairly terrible.

This time I thought it might be different. You see, last time I let her go I knew I needed the time, but I didn't really want her to go. This time I WANTED the time. I thought that because I was looking forward to the time alone, I might feel differently about seeing her leave. I was wrong.

It hurts to turn around and know that your baby is going away in a car without you. I trust my mom with Violet more than anyone else in the world (besides Cameron of course). I have no doubt that she uses the utmost caution with her, and that she would do anything to protect my child including give her own life in a second without even thinking about it. I know my baby is as safe as she can possibly be with my mom. However, it doesn't erase my fear that something uncontrollable will happen, and I will never see my baby again. It doesn't change the fact that I worry she will be looking for me and wondering where I am, sad that I haven't come to hold her or play with her. She can't ask for me. She can't tell my mom if she's sad because she misses mommy. That kills me.

Last night I got up to use the restroom and had the urge to check on Violet, but remembered that's she's not in her crib and decided that it would be neurotic to wake up my mom and ask her to check on my baby because in the middle of the night I needed to know that she was okay.

This morning I woke up when Cameron left and laid in bed awake for an hour or so instead of sleeping in. I'm used to waking up then because I'm afraid if I don't, I won't hear her on the monitor when she wakes up. 

I miss my baby. Yesterday, I completely melted into a puddle of ugly tears on the the floor after watching her leave. But after crying it out, I put on some makeup, gathered my things, and went out to get some errands done I'd been putting off because I didn't want to do them with Violet. Last night Cameron and I went out to eat and didn't have to take turns eating while the other one held the baby. This morning, I'm updating my blog because I don't have to feed her and change her and play with her and convince her to take a morning nap so I can get ready for the day and do a few chores. No, today I'm going to put on my housework clothes, turn on some music, pour myself a glass of wine, and clean my house. Then I'm going to take a long shower, and put on something that makes me feel pretty and wear dangling earrings because I don't have to worry about my child trying to rip them from my ears. I'm going to take breaks to do nothing. I'm going to have a quiet evening at home with my husband.

Today I'm going to trust that my baby is doing fine. She is taken care of and happy. She loves Nana. Most importantly, I'm going to trust that God is in control of whatever happens.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Everything Changes

Welcome to life with a baby: everything changes... all the time. Or maybe that's just what we think is going on, and it feels like it's changing when we are the ones changing (or better yet, learning).

Tonight is the first night since we started giving Violet tub baths as part of her bed time routine that Cameron wasn't here for it. He had to work this evening so I did it myself. We both thought that Violet absolutely loved being in the tub. She is always so happy in there and doesn't seem to want to get out. Tonight it wasn't that way. She cried and screamed and turned bright red and it took me constantly singing in a frog voice with a puppet wash cloth to get her to calm down long enough for me to finish her bath. It was during that time that I realized it's not the bath that Violet loves... it's the undivided attention she gets from her daddy during bath time. Cameron has been giving her baths since she was born. At first I was too scared to hold a wet squirmy baby, but then it just kind of became his thing. She absolutely loves Cameron and lights up in a special way when he holds her and plays with her. It wasn't until she was crying in the bathtub tonight that I realized bath time is the only time when daddy isn't distracted by me or the tv or the cell phone or anything else. The moment he puts her in the tub, it's all about her. Maybe that's why she hates getting out: she knows that her special daddy time is ending and she will have to go to bed.

I feel like I'm learning more about her everyday. She has likes and dislikes and she is different with me than she is with Cameron. He is her fun partner and he's entertaining. Mommy is more serious. We've been trying to read with her after bath time before bed but it never works because she is so upset about the bath being over that she just cries and doesn't pay any attention to what's going on. Tonight she wasn't so upset when the bath ended and I was able to sit down with her and read to her and pray with her. That's something we've never been able to do before bed.

I love getting to know this little girl. I love that every "change" lets me know a little more about this little person God gave us.