Clothes: Don't be fooled by the above picture. I'm totally using the "rubber band trick" because I still can't button these pre-pregnancy jeans. So what, who cares...
Mommyhood: Being honest here, I did not love the first couple months of mommyhood, but I didn't dislike them either. It was just so so. I was going through the motions, not wishing days away, but not wanting them to slow down either. My love for Trace was always through the roof, but it took him getting a little bit of a personality for me to fully know that I was meant to be a mom. When I look back on this summer I don't even recognize myself... or Trace for that matter. We both are such different people now. We have both grown, developed and learned so much since he came into this world. I used to doubt myself as a mother and in turn I valued other peoples opinions and instincts over my own. But not anymore. I now know, with everything in me, that I understand Trace better than anyone else. I know which cry means he's hungry and which cry means he's tired. I know when he's in the mood to play or when he just needs to chill. I know when he's been overstimulated and when he wants to continue playing. I know that the eat, play, sleep schedule that I had him on wasn't working for him and that he is now thriving on my modified eat, sleep, play schedule. I know how to make him laugh, smile and talk. And my favorite, I know how to comfort him in a way that no one else can. I feel competent. I feel secure as a mom. I feel that I was put on this earth to be Trace's mom. And let me tell you, being Trace's mom is pretty damn fantastic!
Husband: Several weeks after Trace was born I broke down and expressed to Bryan that although everyone under the sun thought that he was such a hands on dad, I felt as if he was more my assistant than my partner. He listened to my examples and heard me out. And he knew it was true -- he could leave the room, go upstairs, walk outside, etc without thinking twice, but if I wanted to do anything (even use the restroom) I had to ask him to watch Trace so that I could step out of the room. It was exhausting. And he understood. That conversation was a turning point. That conversation made Bryan not only my partner in life, but my partner in parenthood. I can't tell you what an incredible father he is. I started to work events, here and there, a couple months ago. When I work I am out of town for the weekend - generally Friday evening to Sunday night. My working has left Bryan home alone with Trace for 4 weekends thus far, and because of this, Bryan has realized how exhausting it is to be a stay-at-home mom. He appreciates me more than ever. He realizes that being a stay-at-home-parent is the hardest job on earth. And when I come home on Sunday nights he breathes a huge sigh of relief knowing that he gets to go to work Monday morning. And now that he knows what it's like to be a mom, he comes home from work every day and asks me if I need a break. He straps Trace to him, in his carrier, and lets me have some time to get stuff done around the house or to just be by myself for a few minutes. We are such a team. If I make a bottle, Bryan will clean it. If I feed Trace, Bryan will change his diaper. When I'm putting Trace to sleep at night, Bryan is cleaning up his toys and tidying up downstairs. It's so amazing to watch this man, who I once saw as my assistant, be the most incredible partner in parenthood I could ever imagine having. He thinks that my job as a stay-at-home-mom is harder than his job in sales. Trace will learn how to be a good, honest, loyal and loving man because he has a real man to learn from. I am so thankful for that!
Friends: What an incredible feeling it is to see your friends embrace your child, hold him and want to spend time with him. I still can't get over how warm and fuzzy this makes me feel. And because I love this so much, I want more friends. Haha! We want to be able to do family play dates or couples date nights where all we do is talk about our children. Yep, I'm now that person. That person who wants her conversations to revolve around babies! Ahhhhh, who am I?! Oh you know, just a chick who's totally head-over-heels obsessed with her kid!
Blog: While I was pregnant I remember saying that my blog would still be about Bryan and I... with Cali and Trace sprinkled in. Now that Trace is here, you can see how that's workin' for me. Ha! I love documenting my little guy and don't plan to stop. But I am going to back off of blogging for a little while.
Baby Weight: I'm not losing, I'm not gaining. There, I said it. And it's not easy to admit, but it's true. This baby weight thing is no joke. I know some people make it look easy to lose, but we aren't all that lucky. And I know some people work really hard to get the weight off, but I'm not one of them. Do I work endlessly to lose it or should I just get pregnant again? Oh the decisions.... ;)
Life: Life is fun. It's busy. It's comical. And it's filled to the brim with love. I often push in my muffin top, look down at my c-section scar and smile. I feel so lucky to have that beautiful reminder of the gift of life written on my body. When I am old and Trace has children of his own, I will look down at my scar and see, with my own two eyes, everything I went through for my family. It's my forever reminder that Trace was once part of me. And I hate calling it a scar. Because to me, a scar has a negative connotation to it, as scars generally come about by experiencing some form of pain. And although Trace's birth was traumatic and a c-section is not easy, it was what was meant to be and because of that I've embraced my scar and will always see the beauty in it.
C-Section Recovery: Everyone has their own experience, but what I've learned is that c-section recovery lasts long. I'm still very tender and puffy around my incision. Trace likes to stand on me and his feet fall right on my incision line. It hurts so bad when his little feet bounce on me. But I let him do it anyway.
Sleep: Dead serious. Trace is an expert sleeper! Any sleep issues we ever had were always short lived phases. Very early on I realized that Trace thrived on a strict schedule and when we went off schedule, he fell apart... and in return, we as parents, were a hot mess. So schedule it is! He actually started sleeping through the night when he was 2 months old, but it was hardly consistent. By 3 months he slept straight through the night at least once a week. At 4 months in Trace slept straight through the night every night. I credit keeping him on a rigid sleep schedule and listening to his wants. Trace goes to bed at 7:00pm and wakes up at around 6:30-7:00am. He demands his early bedtime and we never object. As much as we love having Trace around, it's good for our marriage to have our nights to ourselves. Having our nights to just the two of us gives us time to get a workout in, have adult talk, cuddle on the couch, watch our favorite shows, work on a puzzle, play with Cali... and just generally it gives us time to stay connected with each other, which in return makes us better parents to Trace, I'm sure of it!
But how?: There is a moment that occurs every single day to where I stop dead in my tracks, look at Trace and think "how is he mine?" or "how am I a mom?" I literally still can't believe that God has trusted me with a life. And I'm not saying this in some profound way. No. When I experience this moment I generally laugh out loud because seriously, it's funny to me. I'm a mom. I have a child. I'm a mom. I still can't believe it. I can't believe that what I did today, I will do tomorrow and the next day and the next and the next. I can't believe that I will be feeding him baby food, helping him with his homework and sending him off to college. I can't believe that me -- a 32 year old shit -- has a baby. I mean, I'm the girl who constantly asks Trace when he's going to be able to wipe his own ass, who can't believe that I have to deal with car seat buckles for 47,217 years (I hate car seat buckles!) and who chose Jameson for her sons middle name... I'm that girl. That girl who's wildy and madly in love with her son, but who's still stunned that she even has one in the first place!
Love: It's true what everyone tells you -- The love that you feel for your child is unlike any other and you appreciate your parents and your husbands parents just that much more, knowing that everything you are doing for your child, they once did for you. It's an incredible love. One that scares me to death. All of the bad in this world terrifies me more than ever. All of the good in this world excites me more than ever. All of the complacency worries me. And all of the progress being made makes me know that the sky truly is the limit for Trace... Bryan and I promised each other that we wouldn't wish any days away. Time goes so fast as it is. Living in the moment and embracing each day with Trace provides us with such fulfillment. I've said it before and I'll say it to the day I die -- the world is a better place since Trace came into it!
Drinking: I had my very 1st hangover, post Trace, and it sucked. Sad thing is that I drank a bottle of wine... on a random Monday night... all by myself. Having to deal with my overly happy and full of energy child the next day was rough. But want to know what was more rough? Having to listen to all of his toys make that incredibly annoying baby music sound. Oh em gee! His music just about put me over the edge. I've learned my lesson, that's for sure!
Cali: That dog. Man, she is just such a good girl. She's a good sissy to Trace and just loves love. I can tell that there are times when she's jealous of him, but she handles it so well. Every time we feed Trace she comes over to us and curls up right next to me and under Trace's feet. He wiggles around and accidentally kicks her, but she doesn't flinch. She just wants to be close to us. Close to her brother. We practice petting Cali oh so gently because I want Trace to know from a young age how to treat animals. Boys can be rough, but I need Trace to understand that we are never rough with animals, Cali in particular. She loves him so much and I know they'll be the best of friends one day!
Mom Style: I've had to say so-long to my fashionable necklaces and large earrings, as these are just a recipe for disaster when I have Trace in my arms, which is pretty much most of the day. Sure I could get away wearing all of these things, but chances are Trace will yank on them or spit up on them more than once - Not worth it to me. Oh, and the current spiked shoulder trend? Yeah, that's not happening... Just think about how good that would feel on Trace's sweet face. Ouch! So I'd say that my mom style is less than glamorous. It's comfortable, functional and cute... enough. I do wear make-up 5 out of 7 days and try do my hair often. I do this in the morning during Trace's 1st nap of the day -- it just makes me feel like me. Sometimes I actually throw on a real pair of pants, but those days usually only happen so that Bryan can see his wife looking like a normal human being... or if I need to look presentable in public. I tend to live in yoga pants/leggings and a cute top/sweater and sometimes a sweatshirt. Below is my general look...
To read my 1st "babble" post that I wrote when Trace was 10 weeks old click here.