Sunday, January 29, 2012

Musings on Motherhood

Conundrum. Catch 22. The feelings of my heart. Recently my thoughts are a juxtaposition of the differing aspects of Motherhood. I became a mother at 23. My 4th time around at just before 34 is very different. At 23 I had more energy. At 33 I had gained wisdom, tricks, and techniques. At 23 I spent so much time hanging around the toilet I wanted to die. At 34 I vividly remember those hours in the bathroom with each pregnancy, the burning reflux, and the aching of my legs, back and pelvis later on. But balanced against holding that sweet newborn I still think I want to go through it again. With 4 kids I can't seem to find a minute to work out, read, scrapbook, garden or hardly even blog anymore and I really miss and whine about that. But I also feel that with the addition of each child I cut out more of the extras to just survive and sometimes thrive on the essentials. I cheer on the days that my baby takes a good nap so that I can work out and shower on the same day. But I'm also sad that she doesn't need me to sleep next to her like when she was tiny. I relish the night of good sleep when she sleeps in her crib but I treasure the feel of her sweet little body snuggled next to me in the crook of my arm. I simply love nursing her. I can't think of a downside to that one. Feeding my babe bring such a sweet loving feeling to me. I treasure watching each of my children grow, learn, and discover who they are. But at the same time I want them all to stay little cuddled in my arms or on my lap. I recently was tallying up our budget for last year and can't believe that Eva cost over $7000. That much money would pay for a boob job, a trip to Disneyland, a motor bike for my husband, the increase in house payment for a bigger home, braces for my older kids or a lot of other things on my want list. $7000 is a sizeable chunk of our income. How many $7000 babies can we afford? At 22 I was a size 7 and 25 lbs lighter than I am now. At 34 I look better with my clothes on but in many ways I've grown into my skin. At 23 I loved my career and couldn't see ever not working. At 34 I can whine and complain after a long day of peed pants, fighting kids, and a messy house but I love being a mother and wonder what I will do with myself when my youngest goes off to kindergarten or worse yet off to college. How long can I put that off for? Who will I be then?

7 Months and a Big Baby

It seems that this month Eva made the big jump from little baby to big baby all at once. She has reached some major milestones and is growing up way too fast for mom. Eva learned to sit up on her own. Just recently she has also started scooting around on her little bum. Eva has learned to babble "Dadda" but no "Mama" yet. Her hair is coming in really well now and she is going to be another little curly blonde.
She has two bottom teeth, great for biting crackers and anything else that come close to her mouth. Two more teeth on the top are so close to breaking through. Eva has been a really good teether though, no fevers and not much fussing.
Eva started on crackers and pureed food this past month. She loves graham crackers, arrowroot biscuits, puffs, and town house crackers, but Chicken in a Biscuit are her favorite. One afternoon the older kids were having them for a snack and Eva fussed until she received one too. Sweet manna from heaven, Eva was hooked and licked and mushed about 6 crackers. Eva also loves bananas, peaches and pears but the veggies have not been her favorite. She will take one or two bites then rear her head back and toss it side to side trying to dodge the spoon.
Eva is becoming really playful and Leah loves to entertain her. This day Leah begged for rides in the laundry basket so I pulled Leah and Eva up and down the hallway. Another favorite time is bath time when Leah and Eva splash in the water and play toys. Then can play in the water for the better part of an hour. Eva has learned to play peek a boo and can pull the blanket up to cover her face and then down again grinning and giggling the whole time.
Right about 6 months Eva stopped taking her usual naps. Previously I would nurse her to sleep and then transfer her to my bed where she would settle in on her tummy. But just past 6 months her eyes would "Bing" open and that would be the end of the nap. For several weeks a very grumpy mommy and tired Eva struggled along until I gave in to sleep training for naps. Sleep training, or crying it out, is soooooooo hard for me. The sound of my babies crying hits the perfect frequency for my ears to literally ring in pain. We would nurse to the point of sleep with her little seahorse singing lullabies and then I would lay Eva in her crib. The first time she fussed for 10 minutes before falling to sleep, the second time for 5 minutes. I wish I could say it has been smooth sailing since then but I don't lie. Most days she will fuss for a minute and then nap well, but a few times I have rescued the wailing baby after 15 minutes because my breaking heart can't take it. Night time sleeping has also improved. The majority of nights she sleeps until 4 or 5 am before waking to nurse but once in a while we still pull all-nighters. Though I miss the sound sleep of sleeping alone, the lovely feel of a warm baby snuggled next to me is priceless.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas Memories

The month before Christmas fly by in a flash. Off to stores and activities we would dash.
I'm afraid this best illustrates what we felt like.
Eva met Santa at our Ward Christmas Party. She was not scared one little bit. In fact she really wanted that candy cane.
We tried out some new recipes for treats this year. The first batch of cherry divinity that Abi and I made was gobbled up so we had to make a second batch; how sad. Abi and I also made eggnog marshmallows, interesting but a little over powering. Abi made haystacks, yummy. And then the kids and I made and decorated this fantastic Lofthouse style sugar cookies. Delish!!!
Leah is the vision of her favorite princess Rapunzel in this new dress, crown and wig.

Princess Squinkies were another huge hit with Leah.
Abi's pig hat from Eva was her favorite present.
Tal spazzed out over his new Lego Harry Potter game. I think he had it beat within a week.
My little Meeks were super cute in their new outfits from Nana and Papa Fife.
We rang in the New Year a little early, at 9 o'clock, with our cousins and family.
Toot, Toot. Happy New Year.
Goodbye 2011 - you were a great year.
Hello 2012 - we hope that you are even better.

Leah the Hambone

Leah is the funniest kid. She says and does things every day that just crack me up. I just love this picture of her in these goggles.
She just had to wear this hat. And then she had to wear it to bed. Not kidding.

The other morning she woke up at 4 in the morning. Trying to convince Kris that she needed to stay up she said, "But dad, I'm all out of dreams."

We were eating spaghetti one night. She took 2 of her little cut up noodles and held them above her eyes. "Look, baby eyebrows."

"Mom, I am going to marry Daddy. It's okay, you can marry Daddy too."

Leah has an imaginary friend named Turbean. ( I really have no idea how to spell it but that is how she says it.) He is a prince and she is going to marry him. Many mealtimes we have to pull up a chair and set Turbean a place to eat with us. Luckily because he is invisible he eats invisible food. One dinner time we were naming the different kind of beans: green beans, yellow beans, chili beans, jelly beans etc. when Leah piped up ," and Turbeans."

Six months and growing

Evangeline turned 6 months old in the middle of December but with the rush of the holidays I got behind. Then my computer was out of commission from just before Christmas until last weekend. I felt as though my left hand had been cut off. But here is the 6 month update on my little sweetie.
Christmastime was so fun with little Evangeline. She attended Dad's work and 7th District Christmas parties and was the belle of the ball in her little Christmas dress. She loved the paper and ribbons of the presents, crumpling and sticking everything in her mouth. When I set her up for a little photo shoot our Christmas tree also merited a little taste testing.
Eva cut her first tooth on December 10th. The second tooth followed almost two weeks later but you can hardly ever see them because she always has her tongue sticking out. Her tongue was her favorite entertainment for quite a while, tasting and licking everything. She even sucks on her tongue at night, too cute. She is able to sit on her own for just a few minutes but then bobbles over. Toys are beginning to hold Eva's interest. She likes to mouth the little people nativity figures and pull on the monkey on her car seat handle.
Eva also rolled from her front to her back on purpose on Dec. 10th. But she like rolling from back to front better. One of our favorite times is each evening when I lay her out on a blanket, take off her clothes to her onesie and rub her down with lotion. She giggles and laughs as I tickle her with my hair, blow raspberries on her belly, and "Boo" at her. Then she rolls herself onto her tummy and scootches around on her blanket after her toys.
Eva sure loves her food. Most nights she practically dives out of her Bumbo for her cereal and applesauce. At meal times she loves gumming little bits of bread or rolls. We just introduced peaches and graham crackers, both of which she loves. All that nutrition keeps her growing and growing. At her 6 month appt she was 28.25 in and 17 lb 1 oz. That's 99+% for height and 70% for weight. Eva had to move up to her 12 months clothes just after Christmas.