As a mom, my expectations of things have gone in to overdrive.  I started thinking about this issue more when my nephew refused to eat his cake at his 1st birthday party this weekend.  I just expect Declan to inhale his birthday cake and rub the frosting all through his hair and look up at me with a toothy grin. The truth is that reality can be so different. Why is it that I (and most women) put so much pressure on ourselves?

Another example? Mark and I swore to be uber social and just bring our son along to our events. We love sports games, dinners out, etc. Our realization? Social outings are based the proper balance of a not-sick, well napped, full tummy Declan.  It's not a quick process leaving the house either. I need a diaper bag stocked with toys, puffs, diapers, A & D, tylenol, teething tabs, a change of clothes, sippy cup, baseball cap, etc. We still try to get out as  family as often as possible but sometimes a PBJ sounds better than trying to inhale Chi.potle while handing my busy 8 month old puffs at a fast pace so he doesn't try to rip everything off the table. 

The other I'm-a-big-fat-failure issue is my home. Before Declan joined our world, I worked a ton of hours and still kept everything in balance...pretty clean house, bills paid, etc etc. Now, I'm home the majority of the day M-W-F and I feel like my bathroom should have caution tape on it, the dishes are constantly spilling out of the kitchen, the laundry is stacked high needing washed. I'm even contemplating trying to budget a housecleaner to come every other week or so and help with the deep cleaning. How is it that I can't keep on top of things? Well...the majority of the day I'm playing with or watching Mr. Active crawl around and pull himself up on everything. When he's napping I catch up on work stuff and try to do a few things around the house. It's just not as easy as I expected.

It's a good thing that expectations do often get met. I expected to adore my child but I never could have imagined the amount of love I have for him. I expected to enjoy motherhood and I very much do. Everything in life is more full filling- family events, church, even errands. I expected my life to do a 360- it certainly did. ;)

It's also a good thing that reality inserts itself when our expectations are not met. In those moments when disappointment sets in, I try to remind myself that there are a lot of things not in our control that we just have let go. My husband is fabulous at this. He's chill about life and all that comes our way 99.9% of the time. We're a perfect combination because I freak out often and he talks me down.

I'm trying to learn to roll more with the punches. If my sink is full of dirty dishes- life will go on. If I feel like there isn't another moment I can juggle my roles as mom, wife, employee...I try to remember tomorrow is a new day. 

Speaking of new days, I'm thankful God designed it just the way He did. If the crap factor of a day is a 10, you get to lay your head down...the sun sets....and a new day arrives. Ah, fresh starts- they're necessary for my sanity. 


8 months old!

Hanging with Aunt Kellie (we loved when she visited us from St. John)

Today Declan is 8 months old. To say that "time flies" is an understatement! 

Declan is:
-18 lbs 
-eating 8 oz bottles and 2 meals a day. He also loves to munch on puffs.
-sporting 4 teeth.
-wearing 12-18 month pants and 6-9//6-12 month shirts
-not sleeping as well as he use to. We're lucky if he's down 9pm-7am. Hopefully 8p-8am will re-join our lives soon.
-drinking from a sippy cup and learning to grab food and feed himself.

Declan loves to:
-pull up on anything or anyone nearby.
-crawl like there is no tomorrow...this kid is FAST.
-go on stroller rides...even on crabbiest day, a walk always makes for a happy boy.
-play with mom's keys and water bottle.
-watch Noggin in the morning...Toot and Puddle!
-be tossed around and thrown in the air.
-stand in the crib and "yell" for mom and dad.

We just love our animated little man. He grows and changes every day and it's amazing to see. We're just SOOO blessed. :)


Standing, pulling up on things, and all that jazz...

Declan is doing something different daily it seems. We're amazed by his new desire to pull himself up on EVERYTHING. Here he is standing at the ottoman: 
Here he is standing at our barricade made of our dining chairs. We're too cool for baby gates. ;) 
I've got a video of Declan pulling himself up on the couch that I need to post sometime soon.

Since my babylove decided to ditch his 8pm-8am sleeping schedule for a 9-5am schedule, I've been a bit tired so I'm off to bed...

Wordless Wednesday- look who stands!



I feel very bleh today. No other word (that I should type on here) can describe it. A small recap of the last 24 hours:
*We could NOT get Declan to sleep...being up all night equals a very exhausted mom today.
*We had a super busy weekend which was great but my house is a disaster. I'd clean it but...
*Declan will not nap today. He's got a cold (not new around here) and 1 of his top 2 teeth still pushing through. Regardless, I'm not use to an inconsolable baby.
*I work from home M-W-F and haven't been able to do anything work related (see above). 
*I'm eating healthier (which I'm really excited about) but my exhausted body is dealing with lots of different forms of withdraw...caffeine being the worse.
*I had a paperwork error at work and found out today that I have to give up my entire commission to pay for my mistake. 

Now, some things I need to write out so I don't get lost in my Monday misery:
*I love my husband and I love my son. I feel extraordinarily blessed that I'm Declan's mom.
*I have a cozy house (though currently messy). My refrigerator is stocked and my gas tank is full. I don't want to take those things for granted.
*My sister who lives in St. John took a quick trip home this week and I loved spending time with her and watching her in Auntie mode.
*My business has been going really well. I'm in full commission sales so that means that we don't have to worry too much about money for now. That's not always the case (cue memories of last winter with a newborn and a million new expenses).
*Declan recently weaned off of Ali.mentum and we now buy "normal" formula. 

Ok, deep breaths. I'm feeling a bit better. I'm thankful that each day is new. Tuesday...here I come. 


Me? Really!? ;)

I got nominated for a fun little award from a fellow blogger, Simply Complex. Check out what she has to say- she's witty, has a sweet little 7 month old that looks like he could be Declan's brother, and has a cute doggie to boot. 
Here's my task...
* Share 7 things you LOVE.

1. First and foremost, I love my family. My husband is my best friend and I wouldn't want to do life without him. My son makes my heart smile a million times a day. I could go on and on about how fabulous my parents, in-laws, grandparents, all my siblings, their kiddos, etc are. My favorite moments are spent with them.
2. I love my dog children. Jack and Sophie keep us active and laughing. I was nervous that they would take a back seat when Declan joined our lives, but they haven't. 
3. If you know me in real life, there are days this isn't true, but I do love my job. I have the flexibility to work part time and earn a full time wage. I can bring little D with me to the office if I need to and I work with fun people in an energetic and challenging environment.
4. I love TV. When Declan goes down at night, Mark and I gear up to watch our shows. Some of our favorites are American Idol, Friday Night Lights, Lost, Hells Kitchen, Survivor, The Bachelor, ER (RIP), The First 48, Dancing with the Stars. There's more. I'm embarrassed to admit that there's more, but there are.
5. I love to Recycle and other "green" things. I'm trying to convince those in my life, one by one, to recycle. It's amazing how much waste we throw away and recycling is just one small step that we can do to be good stewards to this earth we've been given. 
6. I love Dt. Mountain Dew. I could drink it all day long. I've spent 3 days with a horrible headache because I'm trying to break my DMD habit. Wish me luck. 
7.  I love organizing things. I feel most sane when my house is clean and organized which doesn't happen that often and definitely doesn't stay that way long. I get a ridiculous amount of joy by organizing a space. Weird, I know. 


Wordless Wednesday

Nana & Papa call this Dec's "Charlie Brown" smile. 



We had a fabulous pre-Easter and Easter with our families. The real reason for the occasion was celebrated Sunday morning when we were all reminded that we serve a big God that gave His most precious gift- His son...for us. As a new mom to a bouncing baby boy, I couldn't begin to imagine how God must of felt giving up his only son for our sins. The great, fabulous, amazing, life changing news!?! OUR REDEEMER LIVES!!

Stepping down off my joy-filled soapbox to share my favorite out takes. Ahem. My only pictures from Easter. (You try to wrangle a 7 month old, 1 year old, 3 year old and 5 year old).

Easter post-church with cousins Ella & Shauny:

Pre-Easter with cousin Asher:

A couple milestone notes:
*Declan started pulling himself up today (and his crib mattress got lowered by Daddy). ;)
*A third tooth popped through the top on Saturday. The fourth is pushing through today.
*He has not stopped crawling EVERYWHERE and he pulls up to the sitting position (still a bit wobbly some times). It's cute. :)



Declan is finally sitting on his own. He's been crawling for weeks but just now sits on his own. I love the out of order developmental milestones. ;) Here is is in all his cuteness. Please ignore the bucket of drool down his shirt. He has 4 top teeth wanting to make their appearance in this world.

Wordless Wednesday...future Xbox-er like Daddy...


Getting some zzzzzs...

*I know this picture is completely not sleep related but it was from one of our many park trips we do in the early evening to avoid the pre-bed meltdowns.

Since I mentioned Declan sleeping 8pm-8am, I've gotten several emails and comments that want to know our routine. It's nothing special and it's been a process to get where we are. At 4 months, 1 week old we decided that Declan was stuck at a 3:30am bottle. How'd we know he was stuck? He was eating less and less at that feeding and was waking at nearly the exact same time.

So, for 3 days we let him cry at 3:30am. Don't send me critical emails...letting your baby "cry it out" is controversial but this is my blog about my son. He didn't cry long and was right back asleep. That next day, he increased all of his feedings by 2 ounces. The crying was brief each morning only lasted 3 days. After that, he's been sleeping 8-8 and never cried except for when he wanted his pacifier or if he got a limb stuck (we were bumperless). Some of the adjustments we've made over time are:

*Added a bumper. Declan's very mobile and I'm not nervous about SIDS anymore.
*Added multiple pacifiers (thanks to my sister-in-law and bloggy friend Dori for suggesting).
*Put a brown flannel sheet over the window. Too much light was coming in and he didn't adjust well this last daylight savings time. Once the sheet went up, he's done great (and better at naps).
*If it's a chilly night, we run the space heater for 45 minutes or so before putting him down and then shut it off. We haven't done this for awhile.
*His room is pitch black at night with a fan on high. A small lamp is on during naps to distinguish that it's not bedtime.

Now, our not-so-exciting-but-it-works-for-us routine:

*Declan starts melting down (yes, my smiley little man can get really sassy) at about 7:00-7:15. As I blogged before, we bathe him every night usually around 7:30. If he's really crabby, we do it earlier. If he's having fun splashing and playing, he stays in there longer, if he's whining, it's a quick wash.
*After his bath, I rub him down with Baby.Magic Lavender (smells SOOO good). I would hardly call it a massage because he doesn't love it. At this point he's getting REALLY tired.
*He gets a bottle no matter the last time he ate. Since we're on a loose schedule, his last meal was at 5pm or 5:30 or sometimes even 6pm. He normally eats every 3 hours so he's never due for a bottle but we make one up and let him eat until he falls asleep or when he's just done drinking. We burp him well (to avoid him waking up an hour later with a bubble) and then lay him down -almost always- awake. He gets his comfort blankey and a paci (one of 4 or so in the crib) and we turn on his crib toy and that's it! He very rarely makes a peep.

Now in full disclosure, I feel I need to say that he's been up around 7:15-7:30 these last few mornings. I'm pretty convinced it's because his top teeth are trying so hard to bust through. He'll play with his crib toy for a bit but then he's ready for a bottle. I'm hoping this before 8am "early streak" is over soon.

Oh, and I totally know every baby is different. I also know we're way blessed that he sleeps so well. And, before you email me, YES- he does nap still. He takes a cat nap in the morning and a longer 2+ hour nap in the afternoon. Hope this covers it!


Finding his way...

Declan has been finding his way as an early crawler. It's pretty hilarious to watch him crawl, plop on his tummy, shake his legs, crawl again. He's a riot. Here's little video from yesterday. Note the Xbox in the background. This would be Declan's favorite thing in the world to crawl over to and play with. I tell him "no" semi-firmly and he laughs. Guess he doesn't know what that means quite yet. Oh well. We need to start some baby proofing. ASAP. :)


Picture challenge: day 5

It's the last day of the My Life in Pictures challenge. Thanks, Amber for a fun thing to do this week! This last day is "something old". I had lots of different ideas but I ended up sifting through pictures from our trip to LA in 2006. I took a lot of pictures at the Santa Monica Pier. There was just something so cool about the worn down and weathered (yet uber cool) pier. Here's my favorite pic:


Picture challenge: day 4

Today's assignment with the My Life in Pictures challenge is "something you do everyday". One of my favorite things I do everyday is giving Declan a bath at night. We credit his bedtime routine for being the reason he sleeps 8pm-8am since he was 4 months old. These days, he loves splashing and gnawing on his washcloth (gotta loves those 2 top teeth coming in).


Baby Stellan

My heart is heavy for Jennifer and her family as they watch their miracle struggle for his life. Stellan is a miracle because, when Jennifer was 20 weeks pregnant, he was diagnosed with a life threatening disease and ended up to be born 100% healthy. Now the disease has returned and he needs your prayers. Visit her blog, My Charming Kids, to read about their battle. 

Picture challenge: day 3

Today is "the view from your front door" day in the My Life in Pictures challenge.

Here's my view:
We live in an old area here in town called the Country Club. Our 1922 home sits on a brick street near a library, a park and small grocery store. We love our neighborhood!! Peek out my door and you'll see part of our big front porch and a glimpse at the cool house across the street. I also really like the mailbox right up on our porch (look closely...it's small to the left side of the picture attached to a column). Our mailman still walks door to door and he'll even cross the street out of order to hand me the mail if Declan and I out during the day. Though we'll probably constantly have new issues popping up with an old house, we'll never live in anything newer than the 20s or 30s. :) Thanks for checking out my view.