Monday, September 29, 2014

Dear Tired Mama

Dear Tired Mama,

I know. I know your baby kept you up half the night. I know she wanted either a snack or a snuggle every two hours. I know your toddlers fought all day. I know it seems that you are constantly disciplining and not only do you constantly doubt that you are disciplining the "right way" but it seems that nothing you do or say seems to impact them anyways. I know the munchkins destroyed the house and you picked it up 9 times. I know they cried when they didn't get their way. I know you did 5 loads of laundry, cleaned the toilet, and made dinner all while your children were ungrateful and wanted you to do more (like play with them...who has time for that?!). I know you have either been home alone all day with them and feel like you may go insane for lack of adult interaction or you have worked at a stressful job all day only to come home to more work on the home front. I know it seems like you are constantly wiping either a bottom or a nose. I know your children decide to fight and scream and desperately "NEED" you every time you are on the phone. I know your baby wants you to hold her just when you are trying to get something done. I know you always have to be watching to make sure she doesn't play in the dog food or put a Lego in her mouth. You are always on guard. I know sometimes your sweet little ones won't nap and don't allow you to get anything done. I know sometimes you feel like you live in a tiny little kingdom controlled by an army that you made yourself! I know. I've been there. I'm there.

These days are tiring, but I am choosing not to let the difficulty of these days take away from their sweetness. Babies are only little for a while.

I remember when we brought our first child home and I felt like I could get nothing done. I was always looking for ways to get him to sleep longer or play on his own longer. Now, four years later, I look at him and wonder where time went?  I thought those sleepless nights and busy days would last forever. And yet somehow he's so independent, so grown up. He sleeps soundlessly through the night and plays on his own during the day. He doesn't need me as much as he used to.

Tired Mama, let them be little. Because they're only that way for a while. In the blink of an eye they grow up. My oldest is only four and I know he has SOOO much more growing up to do. But I can already look back and realize that these years FLY by.

With my second I held her a little more. I cherished her sweet "babyness" a little more. I tried not to let the days slip by so fast. I rocked her a little longer at bed time. I told her I loved her a little more often.

With my third, now 5 months old, I admit that I let her sleep with me often at night. Sometimes, I just can't bare to put her back in her bed. I take pictures of her sweet face sleeping on my chest. I trace her face with my finger, trying to memorize it's baby softness. I start to cry if I think about her big siblings and how fast they have grown up, knowing she is doing the same thing.


Try and enjoy these days, Tired Mama. They will be gone before you know it. Kiss those sweet babies more often. Hold them a little longer at bed time. Don't yell when they get out of bed for "a drink of water" and then "they have to go pee pee" and then "they need a snack." They just love you so much they can't bare to part with you at bed time. When your baby wants you to hold her constantly, strap on a baby carrier and go about your day. There will come a day when your "baby" doesn't even want you to drop them off closer than one block away from school, let alone hold her all day! When she wakes up at night, of course there is nothing wrong with sleep training, but remember also to cherish those sweet times with just the two of you. Your baby will eventually sleep through the night.

There is scarcely anything more important in your life right now than raising your children. Your job IS incredible. You ARE making a difference in the lives of your children and impacting future generations to come. Be encouraged. Take heart. These days are long and tiring now but they won't be forever. Make the most of your time with your children now because you can never ever EVER get these days back.

Some day you will look back on your life and evaluate it. I don't know about you, but I don't think I'm going to say, "I wish I had held my children less, made them grow up faster, and spent more time wishing away their childhood so that life could get easier."

Go kiss your babies right now. Love on them. Enjoy them. Try not to stress so much over the little things. Try not to blow up when the days don't go like you had planned. This is a season of life that will soon pass. Enjoy it while you can.

Love,

A Tired Mama


"So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little"
-Let Them be Little by Billy Dean (redone by Lonestar)



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Date Knight With Isaiah

I love being the mom of a boy! There is something so special about the relationship between a mama and her little boy. I really treasure these years when Isaiah thinks I am the coolest thing since sliced bread. =)

Last Saturday Isaiah and I got to go on a little double date with my mother in law and Isaiah's cousin, Gavin. Chick-Fil-A hosted a fun event called the "Mother-Son Date Knight." There was a magician, a balloon maker, good food, fun crowns to decorate, a goodie bag, and even a limo ride! It was such a cool event!

It was a fun night and something special that Isaiah and I could do together. Can't wait for many more date nights with my little man!!

Silly boys
Me and my handsome date! (He's into making silly faces whenever the camera comes out...Can hardly get him to do a normal smile these days!)
Limo ride!

This balloon knight was incredible! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Ergo- One of My Favorite Baby Products

Having three children ages four and under presents some problems when you happen to be a normal human being. Despite what my children think (I mean....they must think it because why else would they whine, "MOM can you hold this?" when I clearly have about 100 things in my arms already), I only have {TWO} hands. Yes, it's true.... I am not super mom.

However, there is great news! Some really smart people invented a baby product that is seriously one of my favorite inventions ever. It's something that I used occasionally with Isaiah, more often with Eloise, and pretty much every day with Olive. The more kids you have the more you need it. ;) It's called an ERGO!

This is the Ergo that I have but there are many different styles and colors! The newborn insert pictured is recommended for babies up to 12 pounds. After that, you don't need it. 
I've tried wraps and slings and different carriers, but the Ergo is by far the most comfortable and easiest one to use in my option. I know there are lots of people who prefer different ones but the Ergo is definitely the one that I prefer.

I don't use my ergo when we're at home. Olive is a pretty content baby and I don't need to hold her a whole lot when we're at home. However, I do use the Ergo often when I'm out and about... grocery shopping, the pool, on a walk with the kids, at a friends house to help Olive sleep, etc.

Here are my favorite things about the Ergo:

  • It carries your baby in an ergonomically correct position, therefore eliminating the risk of hip dysplasia that some other carriers have.
  • It is comfortable! Unlike the Bjorn (which I hate!), the Ergo distributes your baby's weight evenly between your hips and your shoulders, making it very comfortable to use.
  • Very easy and quick to put on. Unlike some wraps I've tried, the Ergo can quickly be put on all by yourself.
  • Has a zip pocket for storage so you can stash your wallet, keys or phone in there and not have to take an extra bag for a quick trip.
  • It has an incredibly long lifespan! Unlike some other carriers that only carry babies up to around 15 or 20 pounds, the Ergo can carry children up to 45 pounds and several years old. And it really doesn't hurt your back to carry a child that heavy, I promise! (Although you might not want to do it for long ;) 
  • It can be worn so that the baby can be carried on the adult's front, back, or side (on the hip).
In my Ergo I can comfortably hold a 3 day old...
A 5 month old...
A 2 1/2 year old...
And a four year old!!
There are a few cons:

  • It's expensive. But, although it's true that it's a bit pricey, I think it's worth every penny! With how much I use it, I think It'd pay $500!
  • It's a bit bulky. The fabric is very thick and padded which helps to make it extra sturdy and comfy, but also adds bulk as far as packing it up to take with you.

Conclusion:

All in all, I LOVE my ergo, and I think Olive does too. It definitely comes in handy to free up my hands and Olive is extremely content in it. It's one of the most comfortable, easy to use baby carriers I've tried and I highly recommend it! =)

Olive, comfy in her Ergo!

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Trust You, Jesus

There are four words that the Lord has been teaching me to say and {believe} this past year. They are:

Trust 
You, 
Jesus

These four words became very meaningful in my life in early January of this year. It was then that God really grabbed a hold of my heart again and I felt convicted that I wasn't spending the quality and quantity of one on one time with Him that I should. So on January 3, 2014 I decided to start getting up before the rest of my family and having  my quiet time before the craziness of the day began. It hasn't always been easy to do it, but it really does set the tone for the whole day and I've seen so much growth in God when I spend time with Him ALONE (not easy to do when you have three kids!).

It was on January 4 that I was challenged in my devotional (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young) to respond to whatever happens in life by saying, "I trust You, Jesus." 


The phrase "I trust You, Jesus" stuck and ever since then I've found myself often repeating those words when things don't seem to go as I had hoped or planned.

Praise Jesus that He is all powerful and worthy of my trust! Praise the Lord that I have Someone who knows me inside and out and is working all things together for my good! I don't need to worry or fret. I can let it all go. It's incredibly relieving! 

Folks, God is {REAL}. He is {PRESENT}. He {UNDERSTANDS} our circumstances. He is filled with {COMPASSION} {LOVE} and {JUSTICE}. And most importantly of all, He can be {TRUSTED}! No matter what. No matter when. 

Say it with me, "I Trust You, Jesus!" It's freeing isn't it!?!?!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Miss Olive: 5 Months!

Our Livy turned 5 months old yesterday! Can't believe how fast the third baby goes by!! And with how quickly Olive is advancing, I feel like the baby days are slipping away from us even faster than normal!

I know, I know, I'm the mom and moms always think their kids are advanced. But seriously, Olive is doing things faster and earlier than Isaiah and Eloise ever did and I really do think she's ahead of her time! For instance, she already has two teeth and, no joke, is already trying to {CRAWL}!! Yes, when she was still just four months old she was getting up on her hands and knees, rocking back and forth, and looking ready to take off. Geesh! I was contemplating never even teaching her to crawl or walk... and definitely not this early!!! ;)

Trying to crawl!!! She gets in this position all by herself!
Olive continues to be a happy and joyful little baby! She is easy going and sweet. She is just a lovable little sweetheart and we are so blessed by her every day!


Height & Weight: Olive is 17 pounds and 26 inches long. Slow down, baby girl!!!!

Eating: No solid foods yet, although she is starting to show an interest. She watches us intently when we eat and makes chewing motions with her mouth. I think in the next month or so we'll begin solids. As of right now, she's just still nursing every 3-4 hours (Yes, all those rolls are just from milk!!!). =)
She pulled her bow over her head during a nap. Usually I take it off before nap time but I forgot this time! Apparently, she thought it was pretty funny. =)

Olive went to her first concert last month- Unity Christian Music Festival! (See her cute little ear plugs?) =)

Olive ate her first ice cream cone this month! (Just kidding, we made it look like she was eating the cone and sent it to Drew as a joke) =)
The girls love and miss Aunt Adelynn!
Sleep: Olive sleeps great in her own bed and also takes great naps in the ergo when we're out and about. One thing that I started from the beginning was putting her down in her bed awake, and letting her learn how to fall asleep on her own. Now I'm thankful that I can just lay her down when it's nap time and she knows how to soothe herself to sleep! She's still not on a consistent schedule and I still can't let her do much crying at night to help her learn to sleep through the night (we're all sleeping in one room!). Thus, she still wakes up 2-3 times at night but at least she just wants to eat and goes right back down to sleep. And her bed is right next to mine (in the closet!) so I barely lose any sleep getting her out of bed and putting her back after she's done eating. ;) Perks of us all being in one tiny room!!
Olive and her 2nd cousin, Decker - 4 months apart!
Splish, splash, Olive's takin a bath!
Olive has looked at lots and lots of houses with mommy and daddy! She's such a good little house hunter! 

Olive's second time to the zoo in less than 5 months of life. That's pretty impressive!

I love this picture because it just symbolizes Olive - Joy!


Personality: Olive is still just a sweet, laid back baby! Almost always happy, with a smile ready on her lips. Mmmmm, I could just eat her up! She's so yummy!!!

Milestones: She's not yet sitting up on her own but she is rolling all over the place, getting up on her hands and knees, and almost about to crawl! She has one tooth that's completely popped through and another just under the surface. This month she loves to jump in her jumperoo, chew on her teething elephant, and grab people's hair and face when they're holding her!

One tooth in, another on the way!
Almost sitting on her own!
video

Isaiah and Eloise: Livy has begun taking an interest in Isaiah and Eloise and loves to see what they are up to and smile and laugh at them! Eloise continues to adore and I mean {ADORE} her baby sister!!! It is so sweet to see her love on her. Isaiah likes to take care of Olive and keep an eye out for things that he needs to notify us about (such as the blowout pictured below). He makes sure Baby Olive is protected and well stocked with things to play with!

Isaiah informed us about this blow-out... good thing too, it was starting to drip on the carpet!!!!!
Eloise likes to share everything with her Baby Olive - even her face paint!
Isaiah makes sure Olive has {plenty}of toys to play with. 
Bath time!
Happy Five Months Baby Girl!
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