Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Little Soul Baring

Yesterday was one of those days. A day when I felt uncomfortable in my own skin ... just not quite right. It's hard to explain - do you ever have those days? For the most part I try to be confident. I know who I am and am okay with it.

Except when I'm not.

Except when I am convinced everything about me just isn't right. And I compare myself to every other woman out there. With her perfect hair, and clothes that are really stylish. Her perfect pedi (and now shellacked nails to-boot). Her perfectly coiffed and styled kids. Adorable house. And the way she so effortlessly manages two, three, four or even FIVE kids. All in adorable wedges, mind you.

I haven't made the time to get my hair colored in four months. FOUR. Or get a pedicure. Or go shopping for myself (except that is like in a year ... since I found out I was pregnant a year ago!). Or worked out more than 10 times since having Liam.

You know what? I used to be that girl. Stylish. My hair was always colored. My makeup never smudged. And my shoes were always really, really high and stylish.

And somehow now I'm just ... this girl.

Me feeling uncomfortable made me be a yucky person. To myself and to those I love most. I wasn't a fun mom to talk to at the play date we were invited to. I was just ready to leave. I didn't want to talk preschool, swim lessons, how much exercise we should be getting, or why people make all their own baby food (lets be honest, I avoid cooking at all cost ... why would I want to add another type of cooking to my list?!). I just wanted to scream and run away (I'm starting to sound really unstable here ... but hey, sometimes that's reality, folks). 

So I finally just rounded us up to leave, and then everything went even more sideways. Which put me in an even worse mood. And completely convinced that I will never get down this two kid thing (forget about any more kids). And that Landon will never, ever, ever get potty trained. (Which, by the way, I have decided is the worst thing about parenting thus far. I can take newborn nights, but this potty training business? It might kill me off.)

By late afternoon everyone was cranky because that was just the tone I had set. And then I had a church meeting and it left me feeling even more overwhelmed and inadequate (which, was really my own perception. The meeting actually went just fine, we're just back to that "uncomfortable in my own skin" thing.) 

Then, as I sat feeding Liam, Landon brought me some music I have and asked me what it was.  The song was "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" and he wanted to know what the words said (more on this later). And a little part of me started to un-knot.

Eventually the little people were in bed. And I could evaluate everything a bit more. And eat ice cream.

All this pressure I put on myself. All the expectations I have set for myself. They are pretty arbitrary. And unrealistic. And probably down right silly. 

And then I went back to the words of that song. Do you remember the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) phase? I lived in the mid-west at the time and it was all the rage (bible belt). Everyone wore the bracelets, etc. It was a thing. These words kind of remind me of that. 

1. If the Savior stood beside me,

would I do the things I do?
Would I think of His commandments,
and try harder to be true?
Would I follow His example?
Would I live more righteously
if I could see the Savior standing nigh,
watching over me?

2. If the Savior stood beside me,

would I say the things I say?
Would my words be true and kind
if He was never far away?
Would I try to share the gospel?
Would I speak more rev’rently
if I could see the Savior standing nigh,
watching over me?

3. He is always near me,

though I do not see Him there,
And because He loves me dearly,
I am in His watchful care.
So I’ll be the kind of person
that I know I’d like to be
if I could see the Savior standing nigh,
watching over me.

(Words from here)

I've always thought of those WWJD bracelets and this song in a very literal sense. If the Savior was standing next to me what would I do? Well, I would certainly try to be a better person. More forgiving, more patient and giving, a better example, etc. 
But last night I was pondering those words. And instead I thought more about the fact that He loves me. I am His. If the Savior stood beside me I think he would be asking me to remember that I am a daughter of God. That He knows I am doing my best. Yes, I could do better and be better. But instead of beating myself up over it, I could just remember that He is there watching over me, and let go of the little things that just don't matter. That everything will be okay - even if I don't look perfect, or if my kids ate peanut butter sandwiches (again) for lunch ... or (GASP!) McDonalds (which may or may not have been dinner tonight). Maybe, just maybe, I would realize that it's okay if I just relax a little and remember that sometimes my best is all I can give. And remember that He will make up the difference.
It was a good moment for me. Today wasn't perfect. I got impatient and tried to hurry Landon at one point (which, if you've ever tried to hurry a three year old along, you know you might as well be herding wild cats who have the attention span of a squirrel) and got irritated. But overall, we had a good day. 
And McDonalds for dinner. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Four Months!

I'm trying not to focus on the fact that the last four months have gone MUCH too quickly ... and instead focus on how stinking cute Liam is. He is such a bright spot in our world - I can't imagine life without him! 

He's extremely patient. Extremely. But when he's done being patient, you'll know really fast. Particularly if he's hungry. His "I'm hungry" cry is more like an annoyed/irritated/angry grunting noise (like "how dare you make me wait... you know it's time for me to eat") before it goes to a full-blown cry. And boy, he loves his bottle :)!

To illustrate that point his stats:

Weight: 18 lbs. 1 oz. (95%)
Height:  25.9 inches (75%)

He loves to be read to - his favorite book is The Jolly Pirate (it's quite intense), and when you read it to him he waves his arms and kicks his legs so much I'm afraid he's going to jump right off whatever he is sitting on. He likes his jumper more and more and his feet actually reach the ground now!

Overall, Liam is such a chill baby. But he isn't afraid to make his opinion known when necessary. For example, sometimes, he just wants his mama. And no one else will do. Or, when Jeff gets home from work, Liam will stare at him intently until he catches Jeff's attention and then he'll grin and wave his arms around in excitement. So cute!

I caught them playing together ... so funny!
I've said it before, but boy, he loves his brother! And when Landon is too rough or enthusiastic with him (he still finds it weird that Liam can't wrestle yet), Liam is so quick to forgive him and go right back to smiling.
They were both super thrilled about having to sit still, but I couldn't
resist with their matchy outfits.

He is not a big fan of tummy time (and I'm a sucker and don't make him do it much, I know ... it's terrible of me!), and hasn't rolled over yet. But he does like to get get up on his side a bit, which is generally accompanied by sucking his thumb. He's a binki fan too. I've come to the conclusion he is just a fan of having something in his mouth!

Personally, my favorite thing about him is his quick smile, and how much he loves to be kissed. I'll tell him to give me kisses and he thinks it is so fun! The things that pass too quickly are the ones I hold on to the most. I haven't posted many pictures lately so here are a few of my favorites from the last month or so of our sweet Liam. With my blogging absence I feel remiss in getting enough pictures recorded, so I'm making up for lost blogs!

One lucky mama...
He always has his tongue out - it cracks me up!
He was chatting with me when I snapped this - he is so talkative!
All dressed up for church ... and grinning at Landon!
Love that smile!
How he feels about his car seat.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This Grey Hair of Mine


The last four months have been some of the craziest of my entire life. Hands down.

And to prove it? I now have grey hair. Not just one, either. Multiple. (No, there will NOT be pictures of it. I tell you plenty of things that destroy my dignity, I don't need to add pictures to the list. Plus I firmly believe in hair color).

Since I work part time and had a huge event coming up the beginning of May, I only took off six weeks after having Liam. I know a lot of women do that, but I thought it was hard. Really hard. And adjusting to two kiddos was MUCH harder than I thought it would ever be. So many people tell me it was their hardest transition. Maybe they are lying to me just to make me feel better for being a wimp, but it's working, so I won't complain. 

When I went back it was like a tornado hit me, literally. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it exactly, but I honestly feel like I had my nose to the grindstone so much that I missed almost two months of my life. And if I wasn't working I was going over things in my head, checking my phone and generally trying to keep my anxiety at bay, which can be a full time job in and of itself. 

So, if you spent time with me during that time, please forgive me.

Everything went well (actually, it was a pretty big success, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out ...), and now I'm trying to return to the land of the living (and blogging). And remind my children that they have a mother. 

In some ways I feel like I have missed a lot of them. We were still together a ton, but sometimes I didn't feel as present as I wanted to be. That being said though, there are a few happenings that want to catch up on here. Please forgive the ensuing randomness. It might not be entirely coherent. I promise it sounded better in my head (most things do!).

Landon started soccer. The first game was a disaster - he sobbed openly the whole time. Turns out he had an ear infection, poor kid. Apparently that, paired with cold, windy weather do not make for a happy three-year-old. Ever since then though he has LOVED it. Now he cries when he has to take a turn getting "subbed out" on the field (we're working on sportsmanship :)!). He loves his team, his coach, playing and the victory tunnel we form at the end for them to run through.Sometimes we actually have to form a tunnel for him just because. You know what though? We could probably use more victory tunnels in life :)

He has also become a pro at riding his bike! We can hardly get him off of it ... which, I'm so glad about. When we first bought it he freaked out every time we tried to get him to ride it. It only took a year for him to change his mind!

Now if only he was interested in getting potty trained :)!

Liam is getting cuter (and chubbier) by the minute. I kid you not ... he is just so sweet and lovable, you can't help but smile when you're around him. He constantly has his tongue out and smiles so easily. He started laughing and it is so fun!! He laughs the loudest though for Landon. I love how much they adore each other already. 

I can't believe he'll be four months old tomorrow. I just don't understand how (or why!) time is going so quickly. I'm also amazed at the fact that he doesn't really have knees. Seriously, there are just huge rolls with indents where joints should exist. So. Cute.

We've started doing some things to the yard - curbing, planting more bushes, etc. It's looking really good! We'll do a bit more then leave it for the rest of this summer and start on the inside. I'm getting the itch to (finally!) start decorating in here. So if you have any ideas on where to get great couches, have a great painter you love, etc. let me know. Or, alternately, if you like our couches let me know - we're going to be selling them (I'm just ready for a different look) and the faster I sell them the faster I have to pick something new. 

Now that summer appears to be upon us (or at least spring consistently) I'm reminded again at how much I love the sunshine. It makes me a happier person. And a more adventurous mom. One who cares more about fun than how messy life is (as a cater at one of our events recently pointed out - I'm a bit OCD). In fact, I tend to judge how successful a summer day is by how dirty little feet are and the fact that the kitchen didn't get completely put back together until after kids are in bed. 

Moving forward, I want to commit a little more to that. Since moving I've come to realize that in some ways it was easier to retreat into myself and the bubble of friends we already had. Have you met them? It's easy to see why; they are pretty awesome. And life just kept speeding up ... the move, stuff at work (does that ever end?!), the holidays, having Liam, suddenly I was back at work, and the last couple of months hit like a ton of bricks. And then I ended up with that grey hair. 

But you know what? I look around, and reflect and am reminded again how lucky I am. To have two boys that make me so happy to be their mom. To have Jeff; whose support is unfailing (He helped put together all the welcome baskets for my symposium. Seriously.) To have started to really make friends up here, but to have kept up the relationships I have. To have people not give up on getting to know me because of my distracted-self of late.

Despite that grey hair, life is pretty darn good. So here's to ice cream cones, dirty feet and letting the kids stay outside playing past bedtime (sometimes :)!). And to not working so much!