Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentines Day Breakthrough

Usually, I'm always the one who wants to do something special. Whenever it's a holiday or special occasion, I'm the one that's all for the fancy dinners, fun outings, sweet surprises, etc. I always felt that in order for these occasions to be memorable, we HAD to do something special. And we HAD to take pictures to remember this special occasion. And often, if said occasion didn't quite go as I had pictured in my head, or if I felt like I didn't take enough pictures, or if I felt like we didn't DO enough...I would be left feeling disappointed.

But disappointed by who's standards? My own made-up ones?

Thursday night, I finally had a breakthrough.

You see, Valentines day is usually a big deal to me. Andrew and I started dating on Valentines Day in 2003, as just mere little high schoolers. So since this day sort of symbolizes the beginning of our relationship, it always meant a little more to me than just chocolates and flowers. And because it always meant a little more to me, I always felt like we needed to celebrate it a little more than the average. So over the years, we did just that. We did the dinners out, fancy dinners in, exchanging of gifts...but not just any gifts...super special, creative memory boxes with pictures, old ticket stubs and CD's of favorite songs, T-shirt quilts that included shirts that had memories and meanings, jewelry, favorite framed pictures and so on. Basically, I had set this standard in my mind of what this day NEEDED to look like in order for it to be special, since marked the beginning of "us".

Well I've realized those standards are dumb. I'm not saying that all those things I mentioned above are dumb. Trust me, I love a good crafty, creative gift, I still enjoy a fancy dinner out every now and then, and romantic dinners in still woo me. But to think that I HAVE to celebrate in a certain way to reach a silly, made up standard is just absurd. And I'm sorry to say it's taken me 10 years to realize it.

I went into Valentines Day with these standards set. I had all these expectations of the day going perfectly: Which included waking up before Andrew to surprise him with heart shaped pancakes that we would eat together at the table before he left for work, meeting him for lunch out as a sweet little family of 3,  and having a surprise dinner all ready for him when he got home with his gifts out on the table waiting for him.

Here's the reality. I was awake by 5:30 and couldn't go back to sleep so I was up wayyy earlier than I'm used to. Andrew overslept which meant breakfast was wrapped in tinfoil and sent with him as he ran out the door. As I was leaving to meet him for lunch, we ended up getting into a spat because we couldn't decide on where to eat (ha. typical us...or me, if you know me). I ended up going to 3 different stores until I finally found the Nori sheets that I needed for the heart shaped sushi that I was planning on making him for dinner. And 3 different stores with a 4 1/2 month old in tow meant an errand that would normally take maybe 30 mins took about 2 hours after you include the break to nurse in the Target dressing room, the diaper change in the bathroom, the constant consoling of the fussy baby who was overdue for a nap and the forever it feels like it takes to load baby in and out of the car each time (have I mentioned how much of a pain I find car seats to be when it comes to inserting/removing a baby??). This in turn caused dinner to be behind, which meant by the time Andrew got home...I hadn't even started on it yet. So much for dinner being a surprise! So he played with Addy while I made sushi.  Which I finally finished making at around 7pm. By this time, I was EXHAUSTED (Why again, was I up at 5:30am?) So exhausted, that I felt like I had been hit by a truck. And to top it off, I was so tired, that I wasn't even hungry anymore. So while Andrew enjoyed his heart shaped sushi, I decided to go lay down on the couch. Next thing I know, Andrew woke me up at midnight telling me to come upstairs to bed.
WHAT!? How in the world did I fall asleep for that long? But there was still food to be put away, dishes to be washed, tidying up to do and a baby to bathe, feed and put to bed.

It.was.all.done. My sweet Valentine of 10 years took care of ALL of it and let me sleep.
My husband gifted me with service and sleep this year for Valentines Day. And friends, let me tell you...that gift could not have been any more perfect for this mama's heart and soul right now. When I woke up and realized that all the usual things I take care of were already taken care of for me (while I slept, mind you!) without me even having to ask...I felt like I had just been gifted the

As I climbed into bed, I suddenly realized that I was OKAY with how the day went, even if it never matched up with the way I had it planned out in my head. I was OKAY with the fact that I only snapped 2 photos of the day with my iPhone. I was OKAY that the day did not match up to my silly made up standards. Because thats exactly what those standards are. Silly.
Instead, this Valentines Day may have been my favorite one yet. Because it was real. And normal. And perfect for us. Or at least the new "us" as a family of 3 :)

I kissed my husband goodnight, told him I loved him, rolled over, closed my eyes, and thanked God for  giving me such a wonderful husband who loves his wife and daughter SO well. And for letting me grasp how wonderful this new normal of life really is.


Friday, January 25, 2013

3 months with Adalynn, and mommy playing catch up.

My sweet Addy Cakes,

Well, I hoped to write these posts (on time) every month for you, to keep track of your growth...but you'll soon find out that your momma isn't quite the best with anything being "on time". Nothing. Which is why I'm actually surprised that you came on time (In fact...a little early even!). I'm hoping that means you'll take after your very punctual father who is never late. Except for when I make him late. Oops.

Anyways, you turn 4 months old next week! So I wanted to at least play a little catch up on here before I get TOO far behind.

So your first 3 months. Phew. Can we say blur? But in a good way!..?

Your first month was probably the biggest blur of all. Mainly because of the mixture of sleep deprivation, transition, and not knowing what the heck we were doing.
You struggled with some jaundice when we first brought you home from the hospital which absolutely broke me down because you had to constantly be kept on the bili blanket (light blanket), and we were going to the doctor every other day to check your levels to make sure they were going down (which meant a heel prick each time too! UGH. I was a mess). But after lots of prayer and working hard...your levels finally came way down, and we got to resume life as normal with a newborn...or at least as normal as we could manage :) We were finding that you were a bit of a high maintenance gal in the in you needed to be held ALL.the.time! Which, we knew as a newborn, you needed to be held a lot...but I'm talking ALL the time...ALL day. The second we would try lay you down anywhere, you'd start screaming your little head off. So that got old, real fast. But I tried everything I could to keep you happy...even if it meant holding you ALL day long :)
Sleep was pretty much non-existent for either of us this first month (and by either of us, I mean you and me, baby girl. Your daddy could sleep through a circus performing on top of a train in the middle of the loudest thunderstorm.) The only time we could get you to sleep even the least bit was if I would hold you (of course). So mamas against co-sleeping who might be reading this...please don't judge! We were in sheer survival mode at this stage, and we needed to do whatever it took to get you to sleep some and to allow me to sleep some. And just like the trooper I knew you would be you outgrew that, and we were finally able to transition you out of my arms at night :) As far as feeding, nursing was going great, and you were eating like a champ! (Which that, I will claim, you hopefully take after me. ha).

Month 2 seemed to get a little easier, as we felt like we were finally starting to adjust better to life as a family of three. You started giving us glimpses of your adorable little smile, and we kept falling more and more in love with you each day! Your sleeping habits weren't  really getting better, but you would let us set you down for more than 2 seconds now! Small victories :) We also noticed a little bit of a "silly" side emerge as you started making the most adorable little faces at us and loved to watch our faces as we talked to you. I discovered that you HATED tummy time, but LOVED to be carried around in the sling. This was a HUGE blessing for me since you still hated to be set down at all, but mommy really hit a point where I needed to start being more productive outside of just nursing/holding you. So you would let me throw you in that sling, and you would fall asleep in a matter of second as I would go about my business...taking care of chores, while you were nestled up against me snoozing away :) We also began to notice how strong you were already getting! From the week we got you home, you were already trying to hold your head up and had such a strong grip. Mommy swears that these early signs of strength mean your prepping to be a gymnast :) But daddy swears your prepping to play soccer. ha! Maybe both? Honestly...we don't care what sport you might grow up to play, or even if you decide to play one at all! We're always going to love you, unconditionally.

Month 3 was probably the best month yet! Not only were you getting more adorable by the day (or second!), but you finally would be content when set down, and became such a happy, smiley baby who was finally SLEEPING...and not only sleeping, but on a wonnnnddeerrfffuullll schedule! (which I would soon learn would NOT last long). Now the only catch would sleep WONDERFULLY during the day...taking about 2ish hour naps like clockwork...but night time...not so much. You were doing better though, sleeping in slightly longer intervals, but still not sleeping through the night. Oh, girl....I hope you know how much I love you! The amount of sleep that has been sacrificed for you is crazy. But you are SO worth it. And you will ALWAYS be worth it.
You finally started warming up to your swings, and started noticing your toys that would light up.
 You also started chunking up some, and those cheeks became even more kissable! I mean, c'mon...look at that picture above. Those chunky cheeks and THIGHS! ugh. You make mamas heart melt every time I look at you.

Addy baby, these first months have been nothing short of amazing. Despite the lack of sleep, late nights, crying fits and (tons of) poopy diapers....we've grown to love this new normal. You, sweet girl, are hands down our greatest gift and biggest blessing. And we LOVE watching you grow.

Your biggest fan,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

3 Years

Dearest Andrew,

Welp, it's 2 weeks after our 3 year Anniversary - I wanted to write you this post before we went to bed the wednesday night on our anniversary, but you asked me not to spend the last bit of our anniversary on the computer, but to spend it cuddling on the couch with you and Addy instead...couldn't argue with that :)

3 Years. Can you believe it? 

 I love that we get to start off each New Year with an Anniversary, because right after we ring in the new year, we then get to celebrate another year of marriage! Clearly, SO much has happened in these past 3 years - from starting our Newlywed life in Wisconsin, to moving back home, starting new jobs, finding a new church, making new friends, moving 3 times since being back home (oy!), and most exciting of all...growing our little family with our precious baby girl :)

Hands down, my favorite moment of this past year was watching you become a Father, and meeting your baby girl for the very first time. You stared at her with such awe and amazement, and still do to this day. And that melts my heart. I thank God every day for bringing you into my life and for loving me so well, and now I also thank Him for giving our little girl such a wonderful Daddy who also loves her so well.

Life with you has been the biggest joy. Even when things get hard and we get on each others nerves, your always quick to forgive and make us both laugh and forget what we were even arguing about in the first place :) You put up with me and my occasional "brat-iness", and still manage to love me even though I make us late EVERYWHERE we go (and I know that's your biggest pet peeve!).

I also love that you find joy in the little things. Like pizza for our Anniversary dinner :)
...per our "tradition"(proof: blog posts about our 1st and 2nd anniversary with Chanellos pizza)

Andrew Paul White, thank you for your constant affection, love, support....and for always upholding your promise of keeping my heart safe :)

Life with you is my favorite. You're my favorite. 
Here's to year 4!

Love Always,
Your Best Friend