Friday, June 6, 2014

One Beautiful, Wonderful, Crazy, Amazing Year

One year ago today, my water broke.

One year ago today, we went to the hospital.

One year ago today, we met out firstborn baby boy who changed everything forever.

One year ago, I officially became a mother, and watched my husband transform into a father.

Is it cliche to say that it went by way too fast? Well, it's true, it did. I could feel the time speeding up the first week of Sawyer's life, and it hasn't slowed down one bit since.

It's hard for me to not think about the little time I have left with him. It aches. The knowing that every day I have a little less time before he is 18. Only 17 more of these short little blips of time we call years where he is mine and that someday, I will have to let him go. Someday, he will become someone elses. That knowledge is always somewhere in the back of my mind.

This little boy, little perfect angel baby, is so much of everything. So much work, so much noise, so messy and busy and so into everything. And so so so so so much joy. That is the word that describes this child to me the best. Pure joy. I don't think I have ever smiled as much as I have this past year. Every time he looks my way, I have to smile. To make sure he sees a happy mama. Or because he is already grinning at me. Or because I need to see him smile back at me. But mostly, because I can't help it.That's what his face does to me. Even if I am in a depressed, stressed out place, that is what seeing his little face does to my heart. It just instantly melts and there is nothing I can do about it.

Watching him never gets old. Seeing him play and talk gibberish to himself, and work things out in his mind is enthralling. And those moments where we watched him learn to hold his bottle, or roll over, or crawl or to put the ring on the stick without ever being shown how were more exciting and fascinating than I ever thought those things could be.

Being a mother has been an overwhelming rush of emotions. Many times I have felt my heart feel as if were about to burst at the seams with love, and at the same exact moment, unbearable aching because I could see him growing up more and more each day and being helpless to slow it down.

It's a roller-coaster, being a mother. A beautiful, wonderful roller-coaster. At times it has been a very difficult battle that I wasn't sure I could go through ever again. Those thoughts came during the intense lows that are postpartum. After the sleepless nights where he refused to sleep and preferred to cry for hours upon hours. After wrestling him to sleep night after night before finally giving in to letting him cry it out alone in his crib. And after what was the disaster of breastfeeding which was, to be frank, a traumatizing nightmare that partly prevented me from bonding with my baby.

Since getting off of the postpartum part of the ride, things have been a lot easier and more stable. Although I do see the importance of having such intense highs and lows after having a baby. Mostly. I think I could have bonded just fine even without the not-being-able-to-get-through-a-single-verse-of-Baby-Mine-without-bursting-into-tears-with-overwhelming-feelings-of-"I love him so muh-huh-huch" levels of love.

But that was a real part of it and I will never forget the first time I laid my tiny newborn down next to me for a nap at home, in his tiny onesie and mittens and for the first time out-of-womb, sang him Baby Mine as he went to sleep. His eyes were closed and a smile crossed his face as if he recognized it from the many times I sang it to my growing baby bump.That single moment will go down in my personal history as a very important moment. Because I waited for what seems like a very long time to sing that song to my own baby as they drifted off to sleep in my own arms.

Another moment that sticks out is a little more recent. A month or so ago I brought Soy Bean in from playing in his kiddie pool and brought him in the shower with me. He sat on the floor as I washed us both up and then I picked him up. My sweet, energetic boy laid his head down on my shoulder as he felt the warm water fall on his back. He stayed like that for a while before we got out. I wrapped him in his towel (towel-wrapped babies are decidedly my favorite form of baby) and I sat down with him on my lap. His head continued to rest on my shoulder, but every few moments he would quietly look up at me and smile. Just smile as he studied my eyes, and then he would lay his head back down on my shoulder. He did this over and over. I could see the love he has for me in his big blue eyes, pouring out to me.

Saying that I am blessed to be able to have this little soul in my care is a very big understatement.

Watching Cody become a father has been absolutely amazing. He is and will continue to be a great daddy to Sawyer. He is such an awesome role model and I know Cody is going to teach him how to be a good, hardworking man. He knows how to make Sawyer laugh uncontrollably and can always make mundane situations into fun, hilarious, silly time. 

Sawyer, I love you more than life and this past year has meant everything to me. We will always love you unconditionally. Happy Birthday, little one.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sawyer is 2 months old! Good things and not so great things about my new job as a mama...


My baby is already two months old. It is so weird to now be dressing him in 3-6 month clothing (some of which he is already too big for!) and finding size newborn diapers in my bag and seeing how tiny his bum once was. Luckily my hormones have settled down, otherwise I would be tearing up at this thought (which sometimes happens anyway). 

While the time has flown by, it also somehow feels like it has been a really long time since we brought him home from the hospital and life changed forever. Not in a bad way or anything. It's just that so much has happened in such a small amount of time. I guess just having a baby makes the time go by slower for me and memories of the early tiny newborn days are already fading which makes it feel like it was a while ago. 

I am still trying to get the hang of things but I have figured a lot of it out. Of course, when I think this, that is right when he changes things up and the guessing game begins again. Every day is a guessing game. That is one thing about my new job as a mother that I don't love. Unlike the jobs I have had in the past, I feel that I can't really "refine" my skills as a mom. Although I am most certainly better at it than I was in the first weeks with him, I still feel like I can't really progress and actually become good at it. That drives me crazy. Once I think I understand an aspect of this baby thing, suddenly things change and I once again have no clue! I never realized that I have a need to perfect my skills until this experience.

Things have gotten a lot better though from the first 6 weeks of his life. I was really struggling with breastfeeding and had to give it up despite giving it my absolute best effort, not to mention baby blues. Since then, life is happier. A lot of things didn't go as planned and I have found that I need to be more prepared for the alternatives because so far, things tend to go differently than what's expected. I planned on carrying him pretty late as that is how it is for a lot of my family. He ended up coming 3 days early and Cody had to go back to work waaay earlier than I wanted because of this. I planned to have a normal birth and wanted to avoid a C-section as much as I could. And what happened? Sawyer was breech and a C-section it was. Then I was SO TOTALLY going to breastfeed for 1 year, and now I am shelling out the big bucks for formula. Ha, yeah, plans are pretty useless.

The biggest challenge I am facing right now is... can you guess it? Sleep! This is one of those things that just keeps changing on me. Sawyer is SO TOUGH when it comes to falling asleep. It seems like every time he gets tired, I have to go through this whole ordeal that takes SO LONG to just get him to settle down and stop fussing and let sleep come. It's like wrestling an alligator. An alligator that screams. He used to fall asleep easily and now it's a bit of a nightmare and I am not sure what to do. Sorry for seeming so negative! I am just in the thick of things I guess and so that is all I can think about.

 Sawyer was waking up twice in the middle of the night for feedings, then he dropped one of those feeds and I was getting pretty used to only waking up once. Well then he went back to two! That was so frustrating. Then after a while, when I thought I couldn't take anymore sleep deprivation, he started sleeping through the night for about 6 or 7 hours. That was amazing, for about a week. The night I announced my triumphant success to Facebook was the night he woke up at 3am and has been ever since. Babies really keep you on your toes. And as my sister says, babies are not robots. As obvious as that is, I often have to remind myself of it when I wonder why he isn't sleeping through the night the way a book says he should, or whatever the case may be. I can't "program" him the way I might like. I can try my best with sleep-training through structured schedules, but I can't be too surprised when he suddenly takes a step or two backwards, because he's not a robot, and that is just how babies are.


So to sum up, life pretty much revolves around sleep. When did he go down? How long did he sleep? When can I sleep and for how long? Most of the time I am so tired and unsure of when he will wake up that sleep just won't happen. And if I do get a chance to sleep for more than 2 or 3 hours, I wake up thinking I hear him on the monitor, when really he is fast asleep and I am hearing it in my head, and now I am wide awake for no reason. My body has gotten so used to not sleeping for significant chunks of time that it won't let it happen when I have the chance. I know I am a chronic worrier, but is it normal at this point to still jump every time the monitor makes a noise? Or am I really just that high strung? Ugh. If only I could just be that "chill mom" I wanted to be. But I guess I can't be too hard on myself. I have been sleep deprived for a while and in my mind, that is a pretty good reason for my stomach to lurch a little when I see him waking up early. Which happens a lot now. Help me. Haha.

Okay on to the good things. Sawyer has been intentionally smiling for over a month now, and has recently started to "talk" to us. My favorite parts of the day are when we finish feeding him, and I sit him facing me, and he makes so many cute little sounds and smiles at me and I smile and talk back and we take turns like that for a while. It is awesome. I just can't wait to hear that first little giggle. I also love to go get him out of his crib because he usually will look up at me and be so happy! He is also much happier than he was in the first month. I don't know if its normal or not, but he was pretty fussy for the first month of life. If he wasn't eating or sleeping, he was crying. Maybe it's because I have things down a little better and I know sort of what he wants, but he is a pretty happy fellow most of the time now (except for sleep time), and that is such a relief. It is also really cool to see him developing. Just simple things like when I see him looking at his hand or foot for the first time. I can see him putting things together in his head and it is awesome to watch.

With every day that goes by, I love this baby more and more. He is my little buddy. Even though this mothering thing is tough business, the good moments make it worth it. It's pretty cool that I get to hang out with such a cute dude all day.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Bits and Pieces - My Bedroom

This is my bedroom. I wish I spent more time in here, because that would mean I got more sleep. But you know... babies. Pshh.

This is basically the prettiest my bedroom has ever looked. At all of our other places the room just didn't quite look that great. This bedroom is something I am proud of. It's grown up. I feel like it definitely has some feminine touches to it but is masculine enough to not make my husband feel out of place. Mostly because of the GIANT furniture pieces he made. When Cody makes something, I always have to prepare myself for it to be bigger than expected. And yet every time a furniture piece is revealed, I am taken aback. I mean, look at that bed! I couldn't even fit it all into one photo. I have hurt myself multiple times trying to climb down from that thing. Cody makes me the prettiest things.


This is the armoire that Cody made for us. We were lucky that we were able to fit these things in this room.




I keep my jewelry over here in a jewelry box that was my grandmas, and on a vintage tiered plate I bought for my wedding reception. Next to it sits a little vintage owl music box.


On this wall hangs my necklaces on a jewelry hanger that Cody got me for my last birthday.




These side tables are temporary. Cody will eventually make matching ones for us.


This is the book hook that he made for me. These posts are pretty much just a bunch of stuff that Cody made, aren't they? Well, he is quite the carpenter.



As with most of the rooms in the house, this one isn't quite finished. For the past year I have been working on art pieces for what I call the "Love Wall." Basically one of the walls in our room will be dedicated to a collection of art and quotes and such that will be clustered together to form an ode to marriage and love. I have all the pieces done, but 2 of them still need glass for the frames (Cody made frames for a couple of them) and since we had a baby, I can't justify going to buy the glass. He also needs to cut some wood to fit a vinyl quote on it and that just isn't going to happen anytime soon since we moved and all.

Someday though, the love wall will exist, I tell you! And I will document it here.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bits and Pieces - The Guest Room

This is my cute and cozy little guest room. We put a chocolate brown accent wall in here as well because I wanted the blue side tables to really pop against the dark background. The guest room in the old house was my favorite room, but I like this one even more. When I walk past it I want to take a nap in there because it looks so comfy, so hopefully my guests feel the same. Apparently my cat, Assassin sure does.



I made these dream catchers out of antique lace doilies. I took thick gauge craft wire used for wreathes, bent them into a circle the size of the doily, and then wrapped them in leather string, hot gluing as I went. That was the hardest part. Then I just found bits of lace and feathers and strung beads and tied them on.


Bits and Pieces - My Living Room

The living room is where we spend most of our time. It's where we feed and play with Sawyer, watch movies and TV, and generally just hang out. I like the look and feel of our new living room more than the old one. The old one was pretty dated despite our efforts, and we couldn't do very much to change it as renters. I really feel like the new one is more us and feels a lot cozier. But the new place doesn't have random built in shelving, and this makes me really worry about the holidays. Where the heck am I going to put my halloweeny witchy stuff, and my Christmas nutcrackers and snowmen!? Conundrum. Questions like these keep me up at night.

Anyway, here is our entryway. We painted all the walls in here a sandy beige type color, except this wall. This is our chocolate brown accent wall. When we get our family photos done, they will go to the left of the chalkboard, in the same type of display is the old one.


I begged Cody to let us get this buffet table to go under our new TV. It has been sitting in a box (just like the  new TV) at our old place for months. When we moved, I was so excited to get these out of their boxes. It was like Christmas!

My beloved peacock chair.


I put this shelf display together when I was about 37 weeks pregnant. Climbing up on a ladder as a fat pumpkin person is pretty interesting. But decorations must go up, no matter the conditions!



Not a great photo of it, but Cody made the coffee table. Cody also made this floating shelf for me last Christmas. He made the frame on the right for our first Christmas as a married couple for me to fill with a photo of the temple. I wanted to get a photo of the Salt Lake temple, where we were married and sealed. I didn't get around to taking a photo until last fall, and I didn't edit and print it until last winter! Finally it is done and hanging up in our family room.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bits and Pieces - My crafty craft area

The craft area of my house looks a little chaotic, but it is controlled chaos. I have everything I need in this space for sewing, painting, scrapbooking, making jewelry, and a heck of a lot of hot gluing, and most of it is fairly organized. Cody made the necklace hanger that hangs above my desk where I keep my Moxie Owl necklaces. A shelf above that holds jars with the jewelry making supplies as well as some stuffed animals that my sister Aimee and I made.

To the left of my desk are some shelves from ikea where I keep a lot of my sewing supplies like fabric and stuffing, painting supplies, and a lot of random parts from un-finished projects.

To the right is the cabinet that Cody made me to hold my camera and scrapbooking stuff and books. Oh yeah, and robot heads. Gotta have the robot heads.



This cabinet is basically just for our record albums which consists of a lot of classic rock like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and The Doors (from Cody's collection) and random Rogers and Hammerstein and Disney and Carpenters Christmas music (from my collection). Ironically, I prefer the classic rock and Cody is partial to the Sound of Music album. (Ha!) Oh, this cabinet also displays our goat skull. Cody's mom brought it home after exploring the desert wilderness and there it sits. Oh yeah, and there is my guitar to the right! Cody painted it, stenciled some flowers and OUR FACES on it, and gave it to me for... I'm going to say birthday number 21. Maybe 20. Anyway, a birthday. And it is pretty kick-ass, no?


I made the wall hanging below out of felt and free hand stitching. It is punny. Bare, Bear, GET IT?! Oh, man.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bits and Pieces - My House

I have pretty much finished {most} of my house. I love being able to do what I want to it and make it my own. Here are some of the details of my kitchen and dining area.

One of the things I really wanted to do was to have one of the cabinets be open with no doors. This way I can be creative and show some of my favorite dishes off instead of hiding them away.


In my old kitchen I had kind of an owl theme going on so I kept this as the general kitchen theme at my new place as well.


I got these owl salt and pepper shakers from a local antique shop and the owl below is a little vintage planter thing I found on Etsy.



My life involves a lot of washing bottles nowadays. This bottle drying rack is awesome. It is made by boon and I got it at Target.


I saw the idea of taking wooden spoons and utensils and painting them to make them look like they have been dipped in color. I found the utensils at Ikea and Target and then just mixed acrylic paint until I found colors that I liked. I taped off the handles with painters tape and painted them with a brush. You can't really tell in this photo, but I made a few of them "ombre." The green one starts out dark green at the top and fades to a lighter green. I seriously love how this little shelf area turned out. Oh, and the flower salt and pepper shakers below are also from an antique store.


In this new house we have very little storage space, so I spent a lot of time thinking of ways to really utilize the space. I got railings from ikea with little hooks to keep kitchen supplies on. Then it turned out that the one and only thing we have more of in this house is kitchen cabinets. But I still like how these look on the wall, especially since they match the "orange and blue" colors I have throughout the area.


A place for my aprons. One of them is vintgage and the one that is blue and red was made my Lindy, my cousin-in-law. She's super crafty.


And finally, my kitchen table.