Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Letter to My Daughter

A letter to my pretty princess, who I love so much more than I even thought was possible.

Right now, you are an adorable four months old little baby.  You laugh and smile and light up my heart.  You had a couple of weeks there where you weren't sleeping (it was brutal, but you are worth every sleepless night) but now you seem to be back on track.  Looking at you napping in the swing is making me think.  About how precious you are, how sweet, and silly, and full of personality, and how innocent you are right now.  And it's got me thinking about what I hope for you as you grow, first into a sweet little toddler, a child, tween, and teenager.  It's a sobering thing to think about, because it is such an awesome responsibility.  And I do mean awesome as in awe-inspiring.  As in, God  has entrusted your little heart to your daddy and I, and I can't think of anything more wonderful and scary.

You are such a unique little girl.  You already know what you like and what you don't, and you know how to tell us.  You are so full of personality that it floors me.  Your smiles take up your whole face, and they can instantly banish my tired and crabby moods.  Oh, and crabby.  You can be pretty crabby.  But it's still so cute that it's hard not to laugh sometimes.  You are so interested in everything that goes on around you right now, to the point that I'd worry you aren't getting enough to eat if you weren't 15 pounds and a chunky little monkey.  You have to see everything.  I can't believe how much you are growing and changing every week.  How different you look compared to photos from just two months ago.  I think you are ready to roll over, but you haven't yet because it would require you to ignore what is happening around you long enough to do it.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you sat up on your own around the same time that you first really roll over all the way onto your tummy.

You are the love of our lives.  Your daddy and I just can't get enough of you.  And we will try our best to always do right by you.  I promise that we will do our best to make sure you feel loved every minute of every day.  That you never, EVER doubt that your parents love you unconditionally.  We will help you become a confident little girl who knows that her parents support her in everything, and that you can do anything that you set your mind to.  I promise that we will protect you and teach you what is right.  To love God, to hear His voice.  I promise that no matter what comes our way, you will always be our little girl, and we will nurture you.  We will nurture your creativity, intelligence, curiosity, love, joy, and hope.  I want you to grow up to be a young woman who isn't swayed by the mindless fads and unhealthy trends of your age.  I want you to know who you are and stand firm in it.

I want you to know that I am not perfect.  Far from it.  And sometimes I am going to screw up, maybe big time.  I may hurt your little heart with careless words or inattentiveness on occasions.  And for those future offenses, I want to apologize in advance and tell you that being a mom is hard, and that is probably what I will be struggling with when I screw up.  It won't be you.  It won't be your fault.  Sweet girl, you are so loved, and even when you mess up or are super naughty (you are your father's daughter, after all!) we will try to be patient and keep our cool.

My cute little chunky monkey, I want you to grow up and know that you are beautiful, smart, hilarious, full of light and goodness, and capable of so much greatness.  But for now my wish for you is that you be healthy, curious, innocent for as long as possible, unaware of the cares of this world, and I want you to be able to be a kid.  Just a sweet silly kid.  I want you to look back at your childhood and see how loved you are every step of the way, feel supported, and have as few regrets as possible.  I want you to be happy.  I want what every mother wants for her baby.

I love you so much.  You are such a beautiful blessing, and I thank God for you every day.  I see His goodness in you, and I am blown away.  You are so precious.  I hope you know that, even now, at four months old.


your loving mommy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hi, my name is Copper, and I am a cloth diaper addict...

Seriously, are there any support groups for this disease obsession yet?  Because there should be.  Good Lord, what has happened to me?  Who in the world ever would have thought that something like cloth diapers would end up being like crack to me?  I just can't say no to a cute, fluffy, colorful cloth diaper, especially when they are on sale!  I swear I have taken it upon myself to try every cloth diaper available on the market today.

My latest buy?  Three itti bitti tuttos.  Not one, but three.  Yup.  You read that correctly.  Now, do I really need these diapers?  Nope.  Is my baby just going to waste away without these adorable minky things?  Nope.  Should I be spending money on more diapers?  Not even close.  And yet here I am, snatching them up because they are super on sale, and because I've been dying to try them.

I used to buy clothes and stuff for myself like this.  It is a sickness, I'm telling you.  But now, when my stomach is still flabby and I'm in between sizes, where's the fun in buying clothes for myself?  And baby clothes, while I still buy waaaaaay to many adorable outfits for E, only fit for so long and then you have to pack them away to be worn by another baby someday.  It's sad!  So I buy diapers.  She'll wear them for a couple of years, and then baby #2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (ok, there's no way I'm having 6 babies, but you get the picture here) can also wear the cuteness.

Oh who am I kidding?  Baby #2 is going to come along, and I will say "Oh he/she needs some new fluffy diapers of their own!"  Pretty soon I won't have room to store anything in Eisley's room but diapers.

Ok, so maybe I am exaggerating here, but not by too much.

Why are cloth diapers so stinkin easy to get hooked on?  My baby poops and pees in them.  It's not like the cute factor suddenly makes her poop smell like roses or anything.  But I guess it does make a task that every mom does so many times a day for so many years a little more fun, and a little bit less of a chore.  I guess that really is what it boils down to.  And as a photographer and artist, and just general lover of beauty, why not make that part of my day a little more aesthetically pleasing?

Plus, there is just nothing cuter than my smiling daughter in a bright, cheery, adorably fluffy diaper.

So, all you other cloth addicts feel free to go around the room and introduce yourself.  The first meeting of cloth diaper addicts anonymous is in session.  I won't judge.  My name is Copper, and I am a cloth diaper addict.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Things I've Learned - 4 Month Edition

I can't believe my little girl is four months old already!  Time is just going so fast.  I remember being a kid in grade school and feeling like the summer would never come.  Now as an adult, I wonder where the summer's gone more often than not!

Well, without further ado, here are some things that I've learned this month.

1.  You know how people will say to you "Meh.  Sleep is overrated."?  I want to know what those people are smoking.  Until I got pregnant, I totally underrated sleep.

2.  You always want what you can't have.  ie sleep, a nice hot bath, the chance to go to the bathroom without a baby screaming that she needs you the second you sit down on the toilet.

3.  At 4 months, babies can be hilarious!  They discover their feet, how to chew on them, how to make fart-type noises with their mouths, and start to laugh and giggle more often.  You will probably just watch your baby in amazement, and crack up at how proud they are that they can blow raspberries now.

4.  That 4 month sleep regression that everyone talks about?  Ugh.  It's so real, and so sucky.  Goodbye sleep.  It was nice to know you.

5.  When you go back to work (if you go back to work) as a breastfeeding mother who intends to pump... get ready for some ignorant comments.  And get ready to defend your rights.  Sadly, these comments and potential attacks will probably come from your childless female managers, not the males.  Go figure.  Stick up for yourself and your baby.  They just don't get it.

6.  If you find yourself in the market for a new vehicle, you will probably find yourself leaning towards a mini-van.  You will feel old, and slightly nerdy, but then you will think about all the space you'll have to bring home furniture, and you won't hit your head on the ceiling of your car as often when you get the baby seat out of the car, and... ok.  You'll resign yourself to the fact that a mini-van is almost inevitably in your future.

7.  Mini-vans are freaking expensive!  Good Lord.  Someone want to buy me a winning lottery ticket?

8.  Sleep deprivation can often equal depression.  If you're like me, that also equals going broke because you will participate in what so many women before us have done to cure the blues.  Retail therapy.  Although, if you have a spirited, unpredictable baby like me, you will now get your "therapy" in online.

9.  Your house probably looks messy way more often than you'd like it to, but you still have a little baby and who has time to clean constantly?  So what if your house looks like a tornado ripped through it?  You will never have a better excuse than this.  Take advantage of it!

10.  Sleep when you can.  You know you'll regret doing other things (like writing a blog) while the baby sleeps as soon as they wake up and you are still exhausted.  Your baby is four months old now!  You'd think you would have figured this one out by now...   

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Post in Which I Try To String a Coherent Sentence Together.

Forgive me if any of this post makes no sense.  I, like many other new moms, am sleep deprived.  (As if I needed proof, I just started to type "sleeped deprived."  Lord help me.)  My darling, sweet, angelic stubborn daughter has decided that neither of us need to sleep anymore.  She'll be turning 4 months this week (where has the time gone!?) and we've hit that 4 month sleep regression stage.  Yay!

Now, I know sleep deprivation is one of the universal rites of passage of motherhood.  A badge of honor, as it were, that lets other moms knowingly (and annoyingly) say to every pregnant woman they see "Enjoy your sleep now!  You won't get any once that baby is born!"  If you've ever wondered why these moms smile at you as they say that, I've decided that it's because misery loves company.  And tired mamas have a lot of company.

I thought I had at least partially escaped this fate.  Eisley would typically sleep between 5 to 7 hours the first part of the night by the time she was just a few weeks old.  It could only get better from there, right!?  Sure.  Absolutely!  Oh boy.  So now, I've become the mom that reads books searching for the secrets of the universe.  Surely in one of those books is the fool proof solution to my problems.  We tried the "cry it out" method the other night out of desperation, and all I think it did was make her needy and emotional the next day.  So I bought "the no-cry sleep solution" and I'm just praying that there is something in there to help me figure out how to break the awful habits we set in motion when it comes to getting our daughter to sleep.  Oh please God let there be something in there that can help her sleep!

I know that this is just a season, and that she will have to start sleeping some day (she has to, right?  I mean, this kid is only human...), but for now, I have to admit that I'm discouraged and exhausted.  Nick tries to help me get some sleep at night, he tries to calm her down when she wakes up after only an hour of sleep, but she only wants to nurse.  It's hard.  It's totally and completely worth it, but it's really hard to be so exhausted, take care of my daughter, take care of myself, spend time with my husband, and work part time on top of it.

I love where my daughter is at right now.  She's getting so funny, becoming more interactive, more aware, more full of personality.  It makes it difficult to stay frustrated when she giggles or flashes me a ridiculously huge smile.  She's the tiny love of my life, and I'm trying hard not wish that this period of her life would speed by so that I could get some sleep.  I keep telling myself how amazing this time is, how quickly she's growing and learning, and how much she is changing.

I am trying to take each moment as it comes, nap when I can, and really enjoy each new stage of her life.  Even if it means that sleep is a distant memory (for now, at least).  Everyone says that this part goes by so quickly, and I know they're right.  Four months has gone by, and it feels like only yesterday that we were bringing her home.  So I'll just keep dying to myself little by little each day, and ask the Lord to help me love my daughter selflessly through anything.

She's worth it, after all.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Slightly Befuddled Wetbag Set Winner

Ok- so rafflecopter won't load the winner's name on the form yet (I'll keep working on it), but I know you want to know who won the giveaway!

So congratulations to Nicole T!  You will have an adorable wetbag and changing pad coming your way very soon!

Thanks to everyone for entering, and a big thanks to Rebekah for offering such beautiful prizes!  If you loved her wetbags, check back on the 21st, because she has given an ADORABLE pail liner for the summer cloth diaper giveaway hop.  I'll post some pics with the post for the event, but it's the cutest liner I've seen!

I just love being able to share cute stuff with you guys, so head back on the 21st!  I've got a pail liner from Slightly Befuddled, and an in-stock diaper from Sew Silly Designs to give away to one lucky reader!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On How I Wish I Was a Stay At Home Mom

I went back to work a few weeks ago.  Just part time, not full anymore, but it's still so hard to leave Eisley for those 24 hours a week.  I figured it would be difficult, but I wasn't ready for just how emotional it really is.

It's really made me think about how behind our country is compared to the rest of the world when it comes to maternity/paternity leave.  I feel blessed that I was able to take almost a full 12 weeks off with my daughter.  Not all of it was paid, but we were able to make it work.  Lots of women aren't that lucky.  6 weeks seems to be pretty average as far as maternity leave goes.  6 weeks.  Really?  It takes your body that long just to HEAL.  It takes that long just to get a good breastfeeding routine going.

All of our other first-world counterparts get much more generous paid leave.  In some countries it's up to around 6 months.  I'm not going to get too far into this here, because there are a lot of articulately written blogs about this out there about this very subject.  I will say this.  I'd give up a lot to be able to stay home with my daughter.  To never know what it was like to worry that my milk supply will dry up because I'm not able to nurse on demand, or worry that my daughter isn't eating because she is refusing to take her bottle.  To be able to nap in order to catch up on sleep so I'm not exhausted to the point of depression.  To be to make sure that my daughter never feels like she's been abandoned because she's too young to understand that I'll be back in 9 hours.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm grateful to have a good-paying job so that we can live comfortably, and a husband that works his butt off with the goal of allowing me to stay home some day.  I just can't help but wish that it was possible today.  Leaving my baby is hard.  I have to give mad props to all the single moms out there.  I don't know how you do it.  I know it's hard, and it's sometimes really sad.

I know this was a rambling rant of a post- but it's just where I'm at right now.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hen and Chicken Cloth Diaper Winner!

Well we have a winner for my first giveaway on the blog!

Congrats to Lacosta L!  You have won your choice of an All in One or a fitted diaper from Hen and Chicken Cloth!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check your email, you have 48 hours to respond!

Congrats again Lacosta!