Monday, August 13, 2012

Seth: Four Months Old

Seth is four months old, and he is such a joy.  Just this past week I had a super hard day, and at the end of the day I was able to sit face-to-face with Seth for about fifteen minutes, smiling, making faces, and "talking."  His laughs, coos, and slobbery kisses filled my heart with so much pleasure I all but forgot the day I had just endured.

Sleeping Patterns:  Seth is still a pretty great sleeper, but lately we have had an issue.  He is an unhappy roller.  He starts out every night being laid on his back, and he immediately turns onto his side and sticks his thumb in his mouth.  During the course of the night he continues to roll onto his tummy, and I don't know if it is just practice or an attempt to locate his thumb, but he hates being stuck on his tummy and can't get back, so he wakes up crying.  I have heard about kids that lose sleep because they have to practice new tricks like rolling, crawling, standing, etc., but I have never had a child who did those things.  Now that I have lived through this phenomenon, I no longer think it is funny.  It is only cute the first dozen times.  Last week there was a night I had to get up to flip him over about every two hours.  And by the fifth time that night, flipping him back wasn't enough.  He was awake enough to discover that he was hungry.  I'm looking forward to him being able to roll in both directions!

Eating Habits:  Seth is still eating every two and a half to three hours during the day because he sleeps so long at night.  I wish he could go longer stretches, but I'll take the sleep without complaint.

New Discoveries Made:  A few days ago, Seth discovered his ear.  He kept grabbing it and pulling it like, "What is this thing attached to my head?!"  (Don't worry, seasoned parents... I had his ears checked at his check-up a couple of days ago, and they're fine.)  Seth has also discovered his voice and loves to make lots of noise.  Most of the time it's pretty cute.

Accomplishments:  Besides being a seasoned roller-overer now, Seth really wishes he could crawl.  He can turn in circles on his tummy to look at things, and he is trying desperately to get his knees up under him and propel himself forward with his toes.  I know things will become super hard when he crawls, but I am proud of his determination.

Places We Went:  We haven't been to any exciting places, as I wrote about in my last post.

Memorable Events or Holidays: Jim and I celebrated our 12-year wedding anniversary, and Seth joined us for a day of shopping while we left the big kids with Grandma.

Baby's Weight Gain:  Seth weighed in a few days ago at 14 pounds, 12 ounces.  This was a bit of a loss on the growth curve (he hasn't lost weight, he is just growing slower), but he is still an average, healthy baby.  Most people who see him think he's a chunk because of his round face and big cheeks, so it's surprising to me that he's "average."  Anyway, the doctor said he usually sees a drop when babies sleep long night stretches, and he is still growing beautifully, so I am pleased.  

Mommy's Weight Loss:  I had a better month than I thought I would, and I have lost 52 pounds total.  I am 8 pounds away from my starting weight, and I am hoping to be back into my fall clothes by Seth's six-month birthday.  I went a week ago to try on new shoes and discovered that my feet are larger than they were (I've been wearing flip-flops all summer).  I am seriously praying my feet fit back into my boots this fall, or I am going to be really, really sad!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

We Survived the Summer...

I have told several people now that I may look back on this as one of the hardest summers of my life.  Having a baby several weeks before school let out for the summer was difficult enough, but add to that record-breaking temperatures and the fact that I had to pull Cora out of Mother's Day Out because of some changes we didn't like, and we had a recipe for real cabin fever.  On top of all of that, I had no computer.  I was home all summer long with three little kids, we couldn't leave the house because it was SO HOT, I couldn't get any work done, and we were paying off more medical bills making date nights, shopping, and other luxuries impossible.  It was super hard. No, that's a lie.  It was enough to make me a crazy person at times.

There were days I dreaded waking up in the morning.  I knew the kids would fight, the house would continue to be a mess, and I would feel painfully lonely.  I wanted routine.  I wanted my body back.  I wanted to complete a grown-up conversation.  I secretly resented people who could afford big vacations.  I felt jealous of those who could spend the whole day with their children at the pool.  I wanted my kids to be happy and didn't know how to make that happen.  It was so tough.

Brennan started first grade yesterday.  He was so delighted to be back in school, and I was so happy to have him there.  The start of school represents all that's right in the world for Brennan.  He loves to learn, he loves to create, he loves routine, and he loves to socialize with the other kids.

We have a fantastic elementary school, and although a lot of people take it for granted, I thank God for it often.  So, on Thursday night, as I thought about Brennan heading off to first grade the next morning, I should only have been happy.  But after the kids were all in bed and I collapsed onto my own, worn mattress, I started to cry.  Why?  Because I felt like I had failed my children.  I have several friends who love summer and treasure the opportunities to make memories with their kids, but what did I do for my kids this summer?  I survived.

Today, as I got Cora out of the bathtub and saw her brown little legs, I forgave myself a bit.  I genuinely did the best I could for my family this summer, and although we didn't make as many trips to the pool as my kids or I would have liked, we hardly sat at home and watched paint dry.  We went to dance classes, Brennan went to Encore summer camp for a week, we participated in Vacation Bible School, Brennan took swimming lessons for two weeks, we went to a puppet show at the library, we met a friend at the splash pad, we "ate more chikin" at Cow Appreciation Day at Chick Fil A, we watched family movies, and we built lots of forts out of blankets.  My kids were not terribly deprived, and I'm guessing they will do more than survive to tell about their summer experiences.

I am really excited about fall - maybe more so than I have ever been, and I always look forward to my favorite season.  I am ready for cooler weather and more opportunities to be outside.  I am excited to have both kids back in school (Cora will be going to preschool two days a week), and I am looking forward to pumpkin spice lattes and our first family vacation this October.  More than anything, I am looking forward to feeling like things in my life are somewhat under control and I can be the kind of mom I want to be.  I am completely ready for a new season, both figuratively and literally.

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