Monday, April 20, 2015

30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me: Growing Up

A while back I came across Jennifer's Blog (Baby Making Machine) and her list of "30 things my kids should know about me" and I instantly fell in love with the idea. So here I go at tackling all 30 prompts and maybe even adding on some bonus questions of my own. 

Today I'm addressing lucky #13 on the list: What’s the hardest part of growing up? 

I think, in general, one of the most difficult part of growing up is moving from a me-centric life to the opposite. When you're a baby you can do absolutely nothing for yourself and while you gain small independences (is that a real word?) over time, for most of your childhood you depend on your parents for so much.

Baby me & my dad|1988

Then adolescence comes around and for most of us we live as if the world revolves around our wants and needs as we really have no one else to care for other than ourselves. You journey into adulthood and if you're like me you eventually get engaged and married and it's all about me-me-me-us-us-us for a while due to the celebrating through parties, showers, and culminating in the beautiful wedding day!

And then for me, adulthood REALLY hit when we brought Presley home. That is the moment where it really went from me-centric to focusing my attention, efforts, energy, thoughts, etc. on a whole different little person.

Me, Tony, & Presley| first week as a family of 3|February 2012

Don't get me wrong, I have loved and cared about another person for lots of years in my husband, but he didn't depend on me in the ways a baby/toddler/child does. It's beautiful and miraculous to be a parent, but it is exhausting and there is a level of self-deprivation attached to being a stay-at-home parent specifically. (Note: there doesn't HAVE to be - and I am fully aware of that - but it is often a reality.) 

It was quite a shock bringing home a baby nine months following our wedding, especially when she wasn't in our plans for that season of our life. Moving from a life where you can do what you want whenever you want without a thought onto a life where most things require careful consideration is quite a leap. And people can warn you of just how big these changes will be but until you experience them yourself it is very hard to really grip.

So, I really miss sleeping in... but I've also gained coffee! And two beautiful, amazing children who no amount of uninterrupted sleep in the world could ever replace.

And more than the superficial challenges that come with adulthood, another struggle of coming into adulthood is the added stress and worry. Whether its meeting deadlines, paying bills, raising children, keeping up with chores (ha...ha...) - it can all feel like an awful lot at times. Those are the kinds of conversations I'm usually having with my sisters or my cousin where one or both of us end up saying, "Being an adult sucks!"

By far one of the hardest parts of growing up is losing the ones you love. It is inevitable that if we are alive then we will one day die. Just thinking about all the people you love leaving you is beyond difficult.

Queen Elizabeth II nailed it. Goodbyes are a very difficult aspect of growing older. Whether we lose the people in our life to death, growing apart, or irrevocable differences. Sometimes it's gradual and other times it is after a conscious effort on your part or theirs. But as QE2 said so well - with most of the grief we experience so much love.

The pain of losing my dad has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life because as you all know, grief is ongoing. It might get easier with time and introspection, but it never goes away. Therefore, a challenge in my life is trying to keep the anxiety at bay when thinking of all the people I love... it's a reminder I have so much to lose.

"In This Diary" by the Ataris came to mind when writing on the topic of growing up.

I guess when it comes down to it... Being grown up isn't half as fun as growing up:
These are the best days of our lives.
The only thing that matters
is just following your heart
and eventually you'll finally get it right.

All things considered, there are amazing and upsetting things about every stage of life we are fortunate enough to experience. Any difficulty we face in growing older means we are living and breathing another day and we owe it to ourselves to find ways to deal with our struggles head on.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Molly is NINE months old.

So, wow. We're less than 3 months away from having a TODDLER!

Another month closer to Mol's first birthday.

We've given her bananas, peas, green beans, eggs (woops), pumpkin, sweet potatoes/yams, pears, and carrots.  On deck is applesauce, avocados, and yogurt.  And she's a fantastic eater... probably making up for the fact that she didn't really start eating solids until she was 8 months old!

Oh and she just started snacking on table food as well - she's tried sweet potato puffs, rice rusks, & tiny bits of blueberry pancakes.

We're still breastfeeding.  We're currently in the stage where she likes to grab my boob while she drinks (out of comfort) but ends up practically mauling my boob!  I've currently got little fingernail size cuts all over my skin.  Thankfully, she's cute and can get away with that kind-of behavior.  I remember Presley used to pinch and scratch my arm fat when she nursed and I HATED it... would end up bleeding and with little bruises... so I am sure this too will pass before I realize it.

We're currently teaching her how to touch people gently as well as how to clap.  Presley has SO MUCH FUN helping me teach Molly these little behaviors.  She will be the first to realize when Molly is trying to clap on her own and will congratulate her enthusiastically.  Presley is such an awesome big sister and Molly already follows her around the house and wants to do everything big sister is doing.  That, and she looks at her so lovingly.  Sometimes Presley has the "get the hell out of my personal space" type of attitude about it... but most of the time Presley is welcoming of the adoration.

Molly is crawling like crazy and loves to chew on paper... and anything else we leave on the floor that she's not supposed to have.

She had your first time in a swing this month and seemed to like it despite her inability to sit up properly.

At her 9 month well visit, Molly measured 26.5 inches tall and weighed 14 pounds & 11 ounces.  (At this age, Presley was 16 pounds & 13.5 ounces and 27.5 inches tall.)  Molly dropped off her growth curve and is currently somewhere around >3% for weight.  We talked it over with her doctor and if it continues this way at her next check up, then we will begin to worry/figure out if it's a bigger issue.  I'm hoping for no underlying health issues... I love her being a tiny little peanut baby and hoping it's just the way she is!  By the way - we LOVE her doctor so so much.  After leaving Dr. Brodd when we moved, I was much more distraught than I probably should have been.  I was sure we would never find another pediatrician like him and as a result I was destined to hate every future doctor of Presley's (because Molly wasn't here yet).  And that's exactly what happened with the first pediatrician we saw... it was an awful fit.  So we tried Dr. Bradley Jones at the Memphis Children's and holy cow - he is a great man! Glad to have found another pediatrician for my kids that I totally trust and who has great bedside manner!

Mol is definitely working on her top teeth coming in so we are teething full force, round two! I cannot wait until they come in and I can see what she looks like with her new chompers.

The weather here has been great and we have visited the zoo several times already... so excited for the beautiful weather to be here to stay!

And since I am so late in posting this, I get to talk about our trip to Nashville! Our nephew, Matthew, had his FIRST birthday so we got to party with him this past weekend.  We went to the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro and it was a blast.  We followed it up by pizza for lunch & hanging out the rest of the day before heading back home.  The kids are adorable together and I love how close they are to a cousin in age... that is so much fun & will continue to be throughout the years.

And finally, Molly's first Easter has come and gone. It definitely makes me happy to see the changes in our family's Easter photo from 2014 to 2015... cracks me up Tony is in his work clothes both photos and just how much his uniform has changed in a year! And then there is little Presley - look at how much she has grown in a year. I go from being pregnant to having a tiny little 9 month old baby girl in 2015 from 2014.

Easter 2015
Easter 2014

This post wouldn't be complete without posting the 9 months in/9 months out photos!

L: Me & Presley and my 9 month baby bump R: Me & Presley with little Miss 9-month-old Molly!