Oct 23

Must Have

Before our naps at some point during the day, I read a Bible story to William out of the Jesus Storybook Bible. If you do not have this book, then GET IT! No matter what your age is. I actually know there are some ministers that say that if you have one book on your bookshelf, then it should be this one. There is something about the simplicity of the Bible stories in this book that just give you the right perspective of the truths in the Bible that we all seem to forget all too often.

Today we read the section called “How to Pray” that was taken from the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6, and it gave the example like this of how we should pray:

Hello Daddy!
We want to know you.
And be close to you.
Please show us how.
Make everything in the world right again.
And in our hearts, too.
Do what is best – just like you do in heaven,
And please do it down here, too.
Please give us everything we need today.
Forgive us for doing wrong, for hurting you.
Forgive us just as we forgive other people when they hurt us.
Rescue us! We need you.
We don’t want to keep running away and hiding from you.
Keep us safe from our enemies.
You’re strong, God.
You can do whatever you want.
You are in charge.
Now and forever and for always!
We think you’re great!
Amen!
Yes we do!

Talk about a sweet, sweet prayer.

Lately my head has been super heavy, and as I have wrestled with everything that is swirling around, this was exactly the prayer that I needed to be praying. So as you keep walking in each day of your life, remember that sometimes we need to slow down and pray a simple prayer from our babies Bibles and get back to the basics. Get back to the truth.

Oct 17

Porch Swinging

Last night as we waited for daddy to get home, we sat on the porch and rocked bath and forth. I have recently felt like we really needed a house with a yard, because a townhouse with a baby and two dogs is pretty crowded! So as we rocked, the sun was slowly setting and the cool evening air was blowing through our hair, I told William a little story that went like this:

Hey buddy, I love you so much!
I love sitting out here waiting on daddy to get home with you.
These are the best days. I know I tell you all the time how I am so ready to move, but I know as soon as we do we will look back and know these are the best days.

Wanna know why?

… baby noises …

Because we got you and your sister here.
Because we were poor and life was simple.
Because although these college boys working on their junky boat in the parking lot is not what I want to be looking at, I know we will look back and miss these things and laugh.

I think if I have a big front porch, driveway, a cute neighborhood, and a fenced back yard that life would be easier, but really all I need is you William.

… baby noises …

You see, these moments make me realize what life is about.
These are the days that we will tell you all about one day, and you will roll your eyes and say, “ok.. ok… ok…” just like your BB and Doc do to us.
Sitting here in daddy’s junky rocker from college and watching your sister paint us a sunset are the things that I will cherish forever.

… baby yawn …

I love you William.
I love your daddy so much.
I love you sister Mary Anna, and I know that she is so proud that you are her little brother.

… baby noises …

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Happy 3 months today my sweet baby William!

Oct 14

Sleep

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Sleep…

It’s overrated right?

Well not really. We are battling the sleep theories around the Caldwell house until we are blue in the face. Debating techniques, asking friends, failing, winning, and everything in between.

Three nights of successful sleeping through the night, then BAM! at 3 a.m. we are “regressing”. A few good naps in the crib, and then BAM!, we end up in the swing. UGH! I could scream.

A friend last week told me, “Forget sleep when your baby sleeps, but just cry when your baby cries!” So, I just did that. I tried to lay him in his crib awake and just let him self soothe like the books say, but I could not handle it, so I just cried while he cried.

I just read “The Very Hairy Bear” (the book that we read to our baby girl. very-hairy-bear) to little brother bear, and I cried the whole book, because being a mommy is hard. I miss Mary Anna so much it hurts. I read an article earlier where a dad who lost his teenage daughter said that the weight of the hurt does not get any easier, but you just learn to live with the weight. Or something like that.

I have debated this blog so much over the past year and a half, and I almost stop writing every week. Now that William is here, I feel like I do not have much time or thoughts just confusion and tears, so then I think it’s silly to consider myself a blogger, because really? Yeah I just do not know what to say.

I came across this article that I saved a while back, and it was just what I needed. So for all of you weary moms out there who endure the lonely yet sweet days of motherhood, read this: http://findingjoy.net/why-being-mom-is-enough

So I vow to celebrate the little things of motherhood. And Keep Walking.

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Man do I love this little buddy! Even on the hardest days, I have the best job in the world!

Oct 07

A day in the life….

Last night as we were eating our fancy dinner that I prepared of Mellow Mushroom pizza, D and I were discussing parenthood, and how the expectations and desires are so different for all parents. I on one hand am of those who dreamed of being a mommy with precious children running around in smocked clothes, lunches out with friends, a mini van, a walking buddy, etc. since I could remember. Same for Dan, he has dreamed of being a dad as long as he can remember. He always tells me that he could tell what kind of mom that I was going to be when we were dating at age 16.

With these dreams come expectations, and although they can be good, they can also be crippling.

Today has gone as follows:

  • William awake at 4 a.m., & I shush him back to sleep
  • Up at 5:30 a.m. & ready to eat and play
  • Outfit change for both mom and baby
  • Downstairs to visit with daddy before he leaves for his 12 hour day
  • Outfit change for both mom and baby
  • Baby naps, mom should be doing a devotional or something good like that, but mom naps too
  • Baby wakes, mom has a throbbing headache
  • Eat again, and throw-up all over mommy, soooo…. Outfit change again for both
  • Mentally drained by 10:45 a.m., so off we go for a walk to get outside
  • Coffee stop mid walk, can’t get out of the stupid coffee shop with the stroller, no one willing to help, coffee ALL over stroller, and baby *not sure if  I was more irritated that I lost half of my coffee or that it was a free coffee that I had earned by dutifully filling up my punch card and I couldn’t enjoy it
  • Crying all the way back to car… mom crying that is
  • Outfit change again due to sticky coffee & clean stroller
  • Eat again, nap time (which was a struggle), lunch time for mom
  • All by 1:00 & still nothing is marked off the to-do list

Needless to say, motherhood is WONDERFUL, but it is not the glamorous job that the 18-year-old version of myself pictured. I am thankful to be at home with my boy all day everyday, but it does not make it easy.

As I cried finishing my walk, I felt very lonely and sad. I missed my baby girl, my husband who is working a lot these days, and I wanted my expectations of being a mom to be a reality and they just aren’t all of the time. I figured that I should turn off my cheesy playlist that I have not updated since college that is supposed to have good “beats” to motivate me while working out and turn on my “Christian music” playlist. I did this to get out of my rut and to turn my thoughts to what is the purpose of all of this and that is eternity. This song came on:

It’s like my Bible study leader has said to us moms lately, “What you are doing day-to-day with your children matters to eternity… this is your job… this is right where you should be… loving on these babies and raising them up is for an eternal purpose.”

So to all of you struggling with unmet expectations, I get it. Dan and I expected life to be easier, and even though we have so much to be thankful for, our life has been pretty hard. Just like the song says: even when the rain falls, even when the flood starts rising, cause even when the storm comes , I am washed by the water.

The to do list can wait, daddy will finish school eventually, babies will cry, mommy will survive the long days, we will see big sister again, and we will all get through this together.

Keep Walking. And for your pleasure, here’s my mom fail of the day:

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and then my sweet boy responded this way at my fail:

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Oct 02

Baby Monitor

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I sat last night with the monitor in hand and the tears began to roll. As I type this I can’t help but wonder if my fellow readers think that all I do is cry. I cry yes, but I do smile and laugh a lot too. Guess I should start my next post by saying,  “I was laughing so hard that my stomach was hurting…”. Anyways, truly it started during our bedtime routine. We hit a point with our little buddy that said it was time for more of a schedule, and part of that is setting an evening routine around here, which means that William needs to start sleeping in his crib at night. He has been sleeping next to our bed for 9.5 weeks now, and we have had a hard time letting him sleep away from us.

Typical dialogue at our house recently…

Me: “Dan, let’s try William in his crib tonight.”

Dan responds: “I am not ready.”

Me: “Yeah me either…”

A few days later the same conversation happens, etc., etc.

Finally last night, we realized it was just time. Partly because I am pretty sure that William was WAY too big for the little bassinet that we have and partly because I just think he would sleep more soundly in his room. We made the decision that no matter what that he was going to sleep in his crib, and that we just had to do it, because it was never going to be easy. So we gave him a bath, and as I began to nurse him, I just could not stop crying.

It hit me. When Mary Anna “crashed”, it was after we laid her down in her little incubator in the NICU and we walked upstairs to go to bed. In the middle of the night, we got the call that she was not doing well. Before that moment, she was fine and then she instantly was not. I felt like keeping William next to our bed meant that we could ensure that he never got sick. That he never would die.

I told those thoughts to my sweet husband, and he let me cry and talk through it all. Then as usual, I watched  my videos of my baby girl, and it brought back memories to the fact that she did not cry very often. At the time, we thought that it meant that she was a laid back baby, but now we realize it actually showed how very weak she was. A crying baby early on typically means a strong baby with good lungs, so when William was born, we wanted him to cry, cry, cry.

Mary Anna’s sweet noises were her way of fighting. Williams sweet cries now are his way of fighting. My cries are my way of fighting.

Culturally, we tend to make crying a sign of weakness, and we have that all wrong. The ability to be real and let out your emotions is a sign of strength. I know after each good cry that I have as I Keep Walking, I feel a little bit stronger. And men need it just as much if not more than women do.

It reminds me of our old pastor, because he would constantly tell us during our time of grief early on with Mary Anna that God cherishes our tears.

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
Psalms 56:8

So here’s to another night of the baby boy sleeping in his big boy crib, a momma who never wants him to grow up, and a daddy who is a rock to our crazy home. Keep Walking. Even through the tears.