Baby Talk: What I’ve Learned

Being a mom is both nothing like I thought it’d be and everything I expected. I’ve always been introspective but motherhood really brings it out in me. What else am I supposed to do while rocking a fussy baby alone in the dark at 3am…?

Here are some truths I’ve learned over the past +13 months.

These are the good ol’ days.

Yesterday, today, two weeks from now. There is some “good ol” in every day. The newborn stage wasn’t for me, but looking back we had lovely days just lounging around together (because I was too exhausted to move). M is a freaking monkey and I am dead tired by the end of the day, but when I ask for “snuggs” and she wraps her arms around me and bite-kisses me, I know I have it good. And there are so many good ol’ days to look forward to with her.

You trade one mess for another.

As I hang Moo’s clothes in her closet she sits under my feet and unpacks the bins of bows and hats. While I wash dishes in the sink she squirms in her highchair and rubs spaghetti sauce in her hair. It’s chaos and the only way through it is understanding that if you want to get anything done, you simply trade one mess in for another.

There is no good & bad- just baby.

We were so proud of ourselves for training M to sleep in her own bed. But at 4am when she just wants to be held you know what I can’t do? I can’t bring her to our bed because she thinks it’s playtime. I love that we have a super little eater but you know what she does when I have ANYTHING edible in my hand? She fusses and cries because she wants a bite. She knows where her nose is but sticks her finger in it if you ask about it. She loves the dogs but sometimes won’t leave them alone. There’s no good and bad… there’s just a baby figuring it all out.

You find a focus & you obsess.

It seems like moms fixate on one or two things. “I MUST breastfed and my worth is based on my success… We WILL follow baby led weaning to the T and we will not supplement with purees… My child NEEDS to sleep X amount of hours in the morning and X amount at night to ensure perfect REM sleep”…
I’m the sleep mom. And it’s paid off, but I have been the sleep police with Moo since week 4. It’s funny how parents pick one or two areas to OBSESS over. Pay attention- because we definitely do it.

And perhaps the most bitter truth…

She will never love me as much as I love her.

It sucks having this realization. Then I realize how much my mom actually loves me. And K’s mom loves him. And really how much any half-decent mom loves their kid. And there is no possible way for that child to love their parent as much. It’s selfish to wish that she would, but dang…

And on that note…. I’m going to go scroll my phone and watch newborn videos.

What has parenthood or aunt-hood or guardian-hood taught you?

What’s New With Me

Most of my blog topic ideas come to me when I’m rocking M to sleep and I can’t jot them down.

Last week I missed SUYB day (because I haven’t finished a book yet this year) & then just said the heck with it and skipped Thursday, too. I have a freelance writing job on the side now and much of my free time and creative juices have been going to that.

I thought I might just share what’s new in my world.

Bristol is starting obedience classes next month and I am pumped. She is incredible when she wants to be & terrible when she doesn’t… It’s at 8pm on Mondays, though, so send prayers & coffee. We’re both ready to be on the couch at that hour.

We’re starting to plan a few things for 2021 and it makes me so excited. Thank Jesus we bought a camper! We’re headed to a few races this year and camping at the tracks. The tracks are having limited spectators and it’s all outside. We’ll bring our own food & drink and sleep in our own beds. It’s as safe as it can be.

We’re also (fingers crossed) planning a low key trip with my family & maybe a girls’ trip later this year. Plus both of my bffs are getting married this year. Yes, the pandemic is still a thing and I am 100% about following the guidelines- but 2021 can’t hold me down. We’ve got lives to (safely) live.

Moo has started walking. She’s also started throwing tantrums. I’m amazed at how she’s becoming more of her own little person each and every day. She’s amazing (and temperamental like her mother…). Her love for her daddy & the dogs makes me melt every freaking day.

We don’t qualify for the vaccine yet in our house but I am SO grateful that some of my friends and family have been able to get it or get on a waiting list. I’m excited for tomorrow. I’m hoping a new year and a new administration can hit reset on some of the stresses we’ve been carrying. No single person can fix or change the entire system, but I’m praying the US is moving in a better, more unified direction.

At the end of 2020 K and I jumped on the Dave Ramsey train and then jumped off (lol). I like his method but I don’t love his madness. We’re cracking down on financial goals and hopefully moving in a healthier direction with money.

Beyond all that, I can’t think of anything else to share. I started and finished Bridgerton- which was the perfect little escape. I’ve been diligently working on my island on Animal Crossing (hahaha). About 30% of our Christmas decorations still need taken down. And Enzo is still perfection except for his stank-breath (& he steals K’s seat every time he gets up, lol).

What’s something mundane but new in your world?

1461+ Days of Anger

I am so tired of being angry. The body isn’t made for four years of anger and fear and frustration. I know I am not alone & I know it’s a privilege to just declare that I’m done being angry (I’m not). But dammit… my body and mind are so worn out. And the treasonous morons in the Capitol Building this week stirred up the waters that had since calmed in November.

I have noticed that I spend a lot of time policing my anger. I am gracious and polite to people who would not and do not extend the same courtesy to me. It sucks my energy and my patience, and by the time I get home to my family- the people who matter more to me than anyone or anything in the world- I have nothing left for them. I’m exhausted and short tempered and checked out.

Seems backward to me.

And so I just cannot and will not do it. They will see the judgement on my face when they say something terrible. My absence will be felt where I do not feel comfortable. My friend lists and following tab will diminish. And I don’t feel bad. Because my people get my good and gracious energy- not the world.

I am a dedicated subscriber to “If you can’t say something nice…” and “Kindness is always cool”, but I’m also a pretty big fan of “Take no sh*t.” And so I’m moving forward with a reservation and preservation for self. And I’m teaching M that in addition to telling men where to go when they suggest she “smile more”, she’s also under no obligation ever to stick around when she’s uncomfortable nor grin-and-bear-it when people are being especially cruel and hateful.

I’m tired of being nice.

Take It Easy, 2021

I learned a lesson last year. I mean, I knew I should be doing this… but I didn’t put it into practice. Instead, I dreamed about the day that I could put it into practice. And then the world shut down and I was forced to do it.

“It” being slow the eff down, prioritize what makes me happy and calm, and invest in the things I want to do- not the things I should do.

I want to be a minimalist at heart, but instead I’m an extravagantist in practice. The 2020 COVID crisis did not make me a minimalist… but it did make me focus on how I spend my time, how I fill my space, and how I react to my every day situations.

Honestly, this post is getting deeper and more psychological than I meant it to…

Long story short, I enjoy reading and watching and listening to things… but I’m terrible at prioritizing entertainment. I’d sooner change the laundry over, wash a few dishes, vacuum, turn on the TV… only to leave the room and scrub the kitchen floors.

And while a clean space does bring me joy, so does Netflix and chillin’.

So I’m going to *trick* my own brain this year. I’m going to make a TV/movie/podcast to do list. Because nothing motivates ya girl to get stuff done like a checklist.

But honestly- no pressure. I’m doing it for fun. If I don’t get to everything it’s likely because I’m busy feeding a one year old or scrubbing a very dirty bathroom.

Yin and yan. Balance is essential. Yada yada. You get it.

SO without further ado- because there’s been a lot of ado in this post already- here’s my…

2021 Entertainment List

Bridgerton

The Queen’s Gambit

The Crown

Muppets Now

30 Rock

High Seas (season 3)

(finish) Schitt’s Creek

(last season of) The Good Place

(finish) Once Upon A Time

Noble Blood podcast

You Must Remember This podcast

Enola Holmes

Holidate

Jingle Jangle

Klaus

Happiest Season

(finish) Hamilton

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Molly’s Game

Easy A

Booksmart

The Greatest Showman

Crazy Stupid Love

I think that’s all I’ve got for now. Where should I start? (After I finished Bridgerton, of course.) I don’t do true crime podcasts but I looooove historic ones!

What’re you watching this year?

Goodbye 2020!

I know we’re supposed to hate 2020, but if I’m being honest it was a relatively ok (dare I say good?) year for me… Compared to 2019, I would do 2020 again in a heartbeat. 2019 chewed us up and spit us out. Then stepped on us and lit us on fire.

I know that 2020 was an awful year for many many people, though. I don’t discredit that and if you’re someone who suffered terribly these past 12 months please know I’m thinking about you and praying for you. I, too, am looking forward to hopefully never having another year like that again.

But as I said, 2020 wasn’t the worst year I’ve had. We got to spend SO much time with Moo. We got to hog her for holidays and witness so many milestones. We had a forced slow down with work (through which we tried so hard to maintain and take care of employees) and we didn’t travel one single place after March. After years of professional go-go-going, it was weird. And it was eye opening. And it’s helped us to prioritize a little more going forward.

We are lucky that our family has been mostly healthy and safe. A few of us have had COVID, but we haven’t had any loss in our family and I am so grateful for this. My heart breaks for those who’ve had a year marked by death.

I still haven’t convinced K to get me a kitten. We bought a camper. We cancelled countless trips. We fought over whose mask was whose. We survived sleep regressions and teething. We had groceries delivered and quiet holidays. We had a slow year that I very ironically wished for at the end of 2019.

So here’s the normal pic recap…

New Years! | Finished nursery | Baby Moo | Fender Bender | Fly to TX | Moo at the Alamo | K drumming | Swiss relative visit | Pandemic yoga w/ best friends
Lots of family walks | Baby Moo | Easter | First taste of cereal | Green beans fail | Hike w/ Bristol | Anniversary pic | Kayla’s Matron of Honor! | Off to buy a new truck
Aub engaged! | Cousin graduates | Family cookout | First Moo swim | M actually likes food | K takes up cooking | Moo 6 months! | Lots of front porch time | K’s 1st Father’s Day
Bike trailer for M | Zoo | 4th of July | 1st camping trip | Bought a camper | Family front porch time | 1st time in our camper | Family fun | F&C buy a house
Purple hair | Fall | Kayla’s dress!| Social Distance get-together | Baby Cooper | Bday hike | Halloween | COVID | Corvette pics
Big girl! | Friday’s with AJ | Outdoor hangs | Thanksgiving | 12 month pics | Moo’s 1st Bday! | Xmas tree | Merry Christmas! | Christmas morning

It was a weird year, but looking back it seems we made the most of it. Here’s to 2021 being better than its predecessor. Honestly… it shouldn’t be tough.

Hopefully you find some bright spots when looking back on your year, too!