52: 5

Motherhood is…Pride.

As a Mama I am constantly full of pride.  I am in awe of Joshua and think that almost everything he does is pure talent.  It has nothing to do with competition.  I am just so proud of him for being him! 

Joshua is SO handsome, he’s incredibly smart and has this insane memory, his voice is precious, he uses his manners very well–many times without prompting, he pays attention to detail, he absorbs his surroundings, he’s a thinker, he’s hilarious, and fun and sweet and just everything about him makes me want to brag about him.  I’m just that proud of him.

In the almost 29 years I’ve been alive, Joshua is my proudest moment.  ❤

 

“I wuv you”

The unprompted, saying it first “I love you” has started coming from my baby boy and it MELTS me!  A couple nights ago we were sitting on the stools at the kitchen table when out of the blue Joshua looks at me and says, “Mommy, I wuv you.” Then he puckers up his lips and leans in for a kiss.  My eyes filled with tears…he had never told me that on his own before. 

Last night he melted me again.  Joshua was running around the living room playing and said, “Daddy kisses” and ran over to give his dad a kiss.  Then he said, “I wuv you.”  Of course Nathan responded, “I love you, too buddy.”  Awe my life is so full! ❤

Tonight I got it again when he pressed his face into mine and gave me another, “I wuv you.”  I can not hear that enough!!

He is the sweetest little thing.

52:4

Motherhood is…Forgiveness

Yes, we moms have to forgive all the time!  I have to forgive my just-about two year old when he hits me out of frustration and remind myself that he hasn’t yet learned acceptable ways of dealing with said frustration.

I have to forgive my son for exhaustion meltdowns because being tired is hard.  Even for adults.

I forgive him for kicking me when I change his diaper.  And for repeating naughty words.  And for throwing food on the floor, yes on purpose.  And for not eating his dinner–3 nights in a row. 

But most of all, I have to forgive myself.  I have to forgive myself for losing my cool and yelling at Joshua when he doesn’t deserve it.  I have to forgive myself for caving and giving him the goldfish crackers instead of a healthier option because it’s easier.  For not giving him a bath before bed even though he hasn’t had one in 2 days because I’m just too tired.  Mostly, I have to forgive myself for not being a perfect mom because a perfect mom doesn’t exist, but I do know that I am the perfect mom for Joshua. 🙂

52:3

Annnd I’m already falling behind.  My Project 52 posts are supposed to come on Wednesdays and here it is Friday.  Oh well, life’s busy. 

52:3 Motherhood is…Unconditional Love

This is the most obvious one so might as well get it done up front.  You hear it all of the time…you don’t know real love until you become a parent.  And you think to yourself, “I can only imagine.”  That is so true…you can only imagine, but until you become a mother (or a father) you really have no idea what it feels like to love someone so…so…unconditionally.  When a baby is born, so is a mother and once you are reborn as a mother your life has new purpose.  Life before baby suddenly becomes unfocused, a blurry fog because none of that matters anymore.  Your new love takes over.

I didn’t fall in love with Joshua instantly, it wasn’t a golden light shinning down on us while the Heavens sang the first time I held him and looked into those big eyes.  Looking back I will always remember the look of wonder on that beautiful face of his and how incredibly precious he was.  Nathan’s tears were falling on my cheeks and Joshua kept looking back and forth between the two of us…I will never forget it.  But truth is, in that moment, I was exhausted and all I could think about was how happy I was 77 hours of all natural labor was over.  I was overwhelmed with…relief. 

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The love hit later.  After we got home.  He was just SO beautiful.

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And when this pretty baby had colic and cried for hours on end in the evening leaving his daddy eating alone at the dinner table while mommy rocked him in a quiet, dark room I still loved him.  Unconditionally.

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And when he would only sleep for 20 minutes at a time before waking up screaming wanting rocked back to sleep giving his mama no relief I still loved him.  Unconditionally.

And then he hit around 6 months and I fell even more in love with him.  Joshua was so stinkin’ sweet at this age.  He giggled and smiled and was just precious and I was in awe of everything he did.  Even when he would get really frustrated because he couldn’t crawl and get to where he wanted to go so he would full all. the. time.  I still loved him.  Unconditionally.

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And then Joshua started to walk and his total boy personality came out and I fell more in love with him.  His first words started to come and I fell more in love with him.  Even when he had meltdown after meltdown because he wouldn’t nap during the day resulting in pure exhaustion by evening and would totally ruin our dinner time I still loved him.  Unconditionally.

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At almost 2 years old I love Joshua more now than I did 22 months ago.  Everyday I fall deeper in love with my son.  It’s a love that is strong, honest, and pure.  It is a love of constant forgiveness.  No matter how many times he kicks me, screams at me, or slaps me I always forgive him the instant he looks at me with those big eyes that say, “I’m sorry Mama.”  On days that he completely tests my patience and my limits, the guilt of loosing control reminds me how much I love him.  When I walk in the door after work he greets me with an enthusiastic, “Hi Mommy!” and my heart expands with more love.  And at night when I put him to bed and he tries really hard to get the words right with, “I love you Mommy.”  I completely melt.

It is a love with no conditions.

It is a love in it’s purest form.

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Loving this little boy is my greatest gift in life.

Yup.

Joshua, like most toddlers, learned the word “no” very early on.  Again like most toddlers, it was one of his first words.  Sometimes it would be frustrating that he always said no to everything, even when he really meant yes but would say “no” because he didn’t know how else to communicate.

In the last couple of days Joshua has finally learned No’s counterpart.  What is so extremely wonderful about this opposite is not that it’s refreshing, but that it’s hilarious.  Joshua doesn’t say yes, he says “yup.”  And he says it very matter-of-factly. 

We are working on manners and I’m pretty strict about them.  When he wants something I ask for a big boy voice with manners, “Joshua, say ‘Milk, please’.”  And when he is given something I demand a thank you.  He is really getting very good with his manners and when a please or thank you comes unprompted it melts me.  But when I ask, “Joshua, do you want some juice?” He will reply, “Yup.” And it is almost too cute to correct with a “yes, please.” 

Not only cute, but freaking funny!

J: “In the potty”
Mom: “What’s in the potty?”
J: “Nana”
Mom: “You put a banana in the potty?”
J: “Yup.”

He kills me! 🙂

52:2

Motherhood is: Cleaning Everything Twice (and sometimes 3-4 times.)

Before I was a mom I thought I had to clean my house a lot.  We have a chocolate Labrador and she sheds constantly and there is always dog hair to sweep up and footprints to scrub.  We take our shoes off at the door but still it is unbelievable how much I have to sweep and vacuum my house. 

Then I became a mom…and I began cleaning everything twice.  I pick up books, put them back in their crate to find them on scattered on the floor five minutes later and have to pick them up, again.

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I fold the laundry and before I can get it put away I find that I have to fold the laundry again…

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I walk through my kitchen to find a random spatula in the middle of the floor…

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And so I spend my days home cleaning.  All day long.  The toys are strung all over the house as fast as they are put away.  I find random objects in random places constantly.  Many times I wonder to myself, “How did Joshua even get a hold of that?” 

Before motherhood I would clean my house and it would stay that way for a couple of days.  Now, I clean my house and within an hour it needs cleaned again. 

 

The Croup

Remember when I said that as a mother I constantly worry?  Well, that worry has been magnified since Tuesday when Joshua woke up at 4am with an awful sounding cough.  A cough I knew wasn’t right.  I rushed into his bedroom and he was burning up, high fever, and covered in pee (his diaper had soaked through.)  I striped him down into just a dry diaper and brought him into bed with Nathan and I.  It was clear that he felt awful and took him an hour to fall back asleep only to wake up an hour later.  It was New Year’s Eve but I knew Express Care in Clarkston would be open at 9:00 so we were there by 8:55am waiting for the doors to open.  I’m an anxious person by nature so I’m that mom that is calling the phone nurse or taking her baby to see the doctor anytime even the littlest thing is off.

Turns out Joshua has croup.

The nurse practitioner that was working the holiday prescribed a one time dose steroid and we were on our way to getting better.  I thought.

Wednesday Joshua didn’t seem to be any better.  He laid around all day watching movies.  Which is not like him at all…he is a very active toddler and all boy!  His normal is busy, busy.

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That night his fever went back up to 102 and he woke a couple times during the night crying (which isn’t like him at all!  Joshua is an awesome sleeper…goes right down at 8:00 and I don’t hear from him again for 10 hours) so I knew he wasn’t feeling well.

Thursday morning his breathing and coughing was quite a bit worse.  I got on the phone with the nurse who advised me to bring him back in to be checked out.  Made an appointment with Dr. Amborson and we were on our way back to the doc.

I just want my baby better.  Look at those sad eyes…

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It’s SO sad!!!  I just want my happy, spicy, full of life and laughter boy back.  I want this croup to go away and never come back!

Talk about a rough start to 2014.

Project 52: Motherhood Is…

Know Ruthie Prasil? She keeps a super awesome blog and takes fantastic pictures! If you haven’t checked out the fairy wings and dinosaurs, you really should. Anyway, on her blog she recommended doing a Project 52. You chose a topic and a day of the week and you write about that topic every week on the same day. So to help me keep my resolution of writing at least once a week I thought doing a Project 52 would be a great, and fun, idea. 

To go along with the theme of my blog I chose Motherhood. Each week I will post what motherhood is to me. Because as any mom knows it is many, many things. So, here we go…

52:1 Motherhood is…Constant Worry.

From the moment I saw those two pink lines I began to worry: what if I have a miscarriage? Will my baby be “normal”? Will I have to have an emergency c-section with a premature baby?

And from the moment my baby boy entered the world I was a worrier: is he breathing? Can he latch on correctly? No, really is he latching on right? How much does he need to eat? Is he breathing? Has he peed enough today? Has he pooped enough today? Is the poop supposed to be that color? Is. He. Breathing?

The moment my little one became sick for the first time my worrying went into overdrive: Do I need to take him to the doctor? Emergency room? Is this normal? Is he having an allergic reaction to something? Is this the first signs of some disease or disorder? Is my baby going to die? 

Irrational worrying? Yes. But that’s what motherhood is. It’s a natural, maternal instinct: mothers are protectors.  And with that role comes this constant worry that as protectors we’re not doing enough to keep our precious offspring safe.  When you love someone that much it’s a very scary feeling because if anything were to happen to such a vital part of your life it has the ability to completely wreck you. So as mothers we worry. Constantly.

2013 In Review

My New Year’s Resolution?  To be a blogger again.  I know it may sound silly or a little shallow, on the surface, as far as resolutions go but the truth is writing has always been therapeutic for me.  Journaling is what got me through the teenage years.  I even took a poetry class in college just for fun.  Yes, I am a journal, notebook, nerd kind of gal.  It helps me release all of the things that sometimes get so bottled up I feel like I’m going to explode.  So, you see my resolution really is about working on my stress levels and being a more positive person in 2014.  Not as silly as it first sounded right?  My goal is to blog at least once a week.  I have to be honest with myself and more than that is just setting myself up for failure…after a long day of being a kindergarten teacher, mother of an almost 2 year old, friend, and wife I am exhausted…blogging will happen once a week. (Probably a little more than that in the beginning.)

So before I move forward, a little reflection.

A lot has happened in what feels like a very quick year.
We started 2013 with a baby attempting to walk with his first independent steps and starting to talk with initial sounds.  By the end we have a toddler that is running, jumping, climbing, and clearly communicating with 2-3, sometimes 4, word sentences.  Joshua James is so fun and challenging everyday.  The sweet, fun, exciting, entertaining, adorable, brilliant and wonderful sides of Joshua definitely out-weigh the stubborn, challenging, feisty sides of Joshua.  1 hour of precious cuddles or mounds of giggles can make me forget 5 hours of frustration and patience testing.  He is pure joy.

We learned early on in the year that Grandma Linda had stage 4 lung cancer and not but 7 months later we were forced to say goodbye.  October 21st, 2013 at approximately 10:00pm.  It was a Monday.  I miss her everyday, but I can’t help but feel so lucky…because I got to be her granddaughter and I got to love her.  You see, we don’t share all the blood and genetics, we were brought together by fate when she married my papa.  We were family by choice and sometimes that makes family that much more meaningful and special.  Grandma Linda was a very significant person in my life growing up and I will always carry her with me.

I finished up my first year of teaching kindergarten in 2013, as well as started on my second school year with the little ones.  Kindergarten has it’s own special challenges but every part of it is totally worth it.  The pure innocence, their love of learning, watching the hundreds of “light bulb moments” that happen in a day are just a few parts that make kindergarten extra special and I love my job.  How many people are lucky enough to say that? 🙂

Nathan had a great year professionally as well.  He has been working for Mike’s Heating and A/C for 11 years now.  He lead and directed many commercial jobs this year and is really enjoying the leadership role as it is constantly challenging him–something that is important to him. 

2013 was also very rewarding in the bass fishing world.  Nathan is very modest but I’m his wife and I’ll brag on him all I want.  He did very well placing in the top of most of the tournaments he fished this year.  I got to fish him with quite a bit last year and caught some of my personal best this last fall.  We both learned even more about being bass anglers and really enjoy the time we get to spend together on the water.  We even took Joshua on his first boat ride/fishing trip and he LOVED it!  We both predict that Joshua will be catching his first fish on his own this summer.

Looking back on the year I feel very blessed that all 4 of our parents were in good health.  They all managed to stay out of the hospital which is a huge blessing.  My dad had double knee surgery and that was pretty rough on him.  He still struggles with his knees, but sore knees we can live with.

I am not sad to see 2013 go and am very excited about what 2014 has to bring.  Nathan and I have some big things planned and I can’t wait to see what life throws our way.  I find myself at peace today.  I feel…a little boy pulling at my legs asking for lunch. 🙂 
I’ll upload some of the best pictures from 2013 while fixing some grub.

 

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Here’s to 2014 and many more precious memories.