Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Let it go

This season of life has proved to be one of my favorites. Everything about what I get to do everyday just makes my heart swell up with happiness.
It wasn't always this way.
in fact, i wanted my mom more than anything for a long time.
Don't get me wrong, I adored staying home with Lux from day one. It just wasn't always easy.

The first couple months especially. I was trying to get Lux to follow a sleep schedule, eating schedule, etc. She cried, I stressed, she'd sleep while nursing, i'd freak out and think she's gonna have to be nursed to sleep til she's in college. 
All the books discourage nursing babies to sleep.
I tried sleep training with the advice of others.
Lux wouldn't have any of it. 
While it worked for many, it didn't work for us.
She woke up twice a night at the least, for 6 months
Books also say not to let the baby sleep with you.
Ah, well, i broke that rule.
and i loved every second of it.
They say to let babies cry to sleep...
hated that.
I picked her up.

Finally, I just let it all go.
Let go of the books, the advice, the obsessive online research i was doing to make her sleep.
I just quite relying on all those sources and decided i just wanted to stop stressing out and enjoy her.
if she didn't want to sleep, i wasn't gonna make her.
if she woke up at night, i'd pick her up, feed her, snuggle her, put her back to sleep.
I didn't want to do whatever everyone else said to do.
 If the only way to help her nap was to lay down and take one with her, thats what i did.
I just followed my instinct as a mom and decided what I was gonna do with my child.
My little girl isn't every other child in the country that books talk about. 

And after I let all that go...
I started to enjoy her in a whole other way.
I didn't stressed over her not sleeping at a certain time.
I let her just, well, be her.
and when she was ready to sleep, then great!
I took naps with her, snuggled on the couch a few times a day while she took short naps.
I stared at her chubby cheek pressed up against my chest as she took heavy breaths and her eyes fluttered.
I held her hand and enjoyed the beauty of her as she slept on me.
and I enjoyed her. 
When I didn't stressed over her sleep, it totally lifted the heavy burden of thoughts that'd flood my mind,
"What am i doing wrong?"
"What's wrong with my baby that she won't sleep?"
"How is it that every other baby I know is sleeping through the night?"

I stopped doubting myself as a mom.
I embraced her alertness and got used to her being awake more than asleep.
I did chores around the house while wearing my baby.
I placed her in a bouncer/swing/excersaucer/walker in the room that I was working in.
Eventually, things changed.
But on her time, not mine.
I realized what an energizer bunny I have and I'm so totally more than thrilled with her.
I cherish that I realized early on to just let go of what everyone else was saying and to enjoy her no matter what she was doing, sleeping, playing, eating, etc.

That was 5 months ago. 
She now sleeps through the night.(and yes, i let her cry it out, but waited til she was older 6.5 months).
She takes great morning naps and afternoon naps.
She can sleep anywhere at all, no matter how loud the place is (a Jr. high basketball game was the loudest place that she napped at...buzzers, whistles, shouting, and clapping were all present!)
She's doing wonderfully with sleep.

Now, to be fair, the baby books have worked for so many of my friends.
In fact, if it's something that you want to try, then go for it!
But know that it doesn't work for everyone, and it's okay.
Even when you follow it to the tee.
You aren't failing as a parent if your baby isn't sleeping through the night at a month old.
Or even at 12 weeks (which is what I was told many times).
You're doing fine and you know your baby.

It's okay to just enjoy and snuggle my baby while their sleeping.
It's okay not to do what everyone else with babies are doing.
It's great to embrace my time with her this little...because we can't ever go backwards in time.
It's not okay to stress out and wonder whats wrong with my child.
Because, in the end, she isn't every other baby that statistics or books talk about.
She's mine.
and I know her:).

Monday, February 24, 2014

Back tracking to Lux's valentines

Back tracking to about a month ago, we had this mini photoshoot.
Is it bad that I put her in a ridiculous hair do (or as my sisters and I like to call it, "Shrek-doo,") because it's entertaining and cracks me up? 
We sent these pics to her grandparents and aunties for some Valentine comic relief, and their reactions, especially my sisters, were so fun. 

This first pic is a practice shot, taken a couple days before our actual photo shoot.
 Here's the shrek-doo! She's such a good sport!;) then again...she doesn't realize her mommy does these ridiculous things to her.

She and Alexio kept pulling the hearts off the wall and eating them.
They both thought the hearts were the greatest thing ever, and of course, who wouldn't want to eat/chew/destroy them? 
When I finally just gave up, and let Lux help me take the hearts off the wall, she literally stood up against the wall, hugged the wall, rubbed her face against it, and then scratched her fingers up and down all the hearts, while babbling some kind of foreign language in her abundant happiness...and then picked the hearts off the wall as quickly as I put them up.

*happy sigh over our silly girl*
That's Lux;)

Friday, February 21, 2014

8 months of "Light" in our lives

Life continually is more fun the older Lux gets.
I can't believe it's been 8 the same time, it feels like we've had this sweet little person in our lives forever. We can't remember what life was like before she came along.

I have to say though, the older she gets, the harder it is to take pictures of her. She just doesn't. stop. moving. 
She kept launching herself off the couch towards her daddy, who was helping me keep her on the couch.
Between her runny nose, coughing, sneezing, and moving, I was glad to have gotten a few decent pics...but a majority of these pics are blurs of Lux moving. Of course.
Finally, we just gave her a book, and she sat. and i took pics. 

One of my favorite things about this month was her fascination with books.
Last month, she finally sat still long enough to look at a book, and this month, she has realized the beauty of pictures and words each turn of a page.
She's obsessed with flipping the pages and taking one finger and swipe it across the picture. She started doing this after she was given a fun touch and feel puppy book. It's one of her very most favorite books right now. 
Whenever I need a couple minutes to do something (wash dishes, go to the bathroom, clean something), I set her down in her room with a bunch of books and they keep her busy for a long time. Ryan and I are both pretty thrilled with her new love for books:).

(i love her fat little finger pointing at the pictures and her serious lip as she was seriously reading her book.)

 Lux's most exciting parts of the day is whenever daddy comes home. She starts bouncing, gets this huge grin on her face, her nose scrunches and her eyes squint from smiling so big, and she immediately throws herself onto the floor to crawl as fast her she can to daddy. 

With the fairly nice weather, we've been able to leave the front door open.
It's her favorite spot in the house. Alexio's too, for that matter.
They could look at the window for hours and watch people walk by, cars drive past, or watch daddy do whatever he's doing out there.
Lux especially thinks it's cool when daddy's shoveling. She bangs on the window and says, "dada dada," while alexio whines to go out and join him.

Lux had such a special treat this month.
She got to see TWO of her aunts.
Her Aunt Kate and Auntie Ash. 
How cool is that?

Aunt Kate read with Lux, danced with Lux, and spoiled her with gifts. 

Lux and I took Auntie Ash out for a lunch date. Her college auntie snuggled and napped with her and showed us her dorm room. She gave us yummy treats that our mom had sent her, so we enjoyed that while up there. 

For those of you that haven't spent any time with Lux, I think the first thing everyone notices, is how much energy she has.
This girl never, i repeat, never stops moving.
Like, I set her down one second in our house, and i look up and can't find her.
She's usually exploring a room that she rarely goes to. 
or a closet.
or alexia's food or water bowls.
or the trash can.
or opening some drawers.
ya know. 

When we're at church, I let her climb up the stairs to burn some energy.
It's really fun, and she gets a real satisfaction from getting to the top of the stairs. 
we usually climb up the balcony stairs and watch everyone singing below. 

I love love LOVE her energy.
I love her curiosity and her excitement and her adventurous's so fun and it's so familiar to me. I have so much fun watching her climb things and explore. 

She and Alexio's relationship is sweet...
she just adore her dog.
He's getting used to her. 
She'll take his things...bones, toys, milk bones, mommy, daddy, etc...
and he steals her cookies, cheese, and meat. 

There was this time that I bought Lux a ball and Alexio, a Chicken.
They switched. Alexio went crazy about the ball and Lux wouldn't let go of the chicken.
And when alexio reclaimed his toy chicken, Lux wasn't ready to give it up without a fight.

Lux has had many playdates and times with friends. She's always so interested in the toys that others are playing with, so we'll definitely be working on sharing as she gets older;). she is really good with sharing food though. She immediately wants to share whatever she's eating...whether it's with a friend, or Alexio, or mommy and daddy, she'll try to aim straight for the mouth, and then take it back and put it in her mouth.

One of the biggest things that happened this month, was that Lux weaned herself from nursing.
That's right...she did it.
I was planning on nursing her for as long as I least up to a year, but she decided she would no longer lay back in my arms and nurse. I tried and tried, but she decided she was done. 
It was rough for mommy for a couple days, I was so sad and emotional about it, but at the same time, she's really growing up. 
She's independent and strong willed and I'm proud of her for that. 
Thankfully, i had a freezer full of pumped milk, so she's been on that, plus formula. 
I was so nervous that weaning her would mean no more snuggling, since that was the only time she'd sit still. But ever since she's weaned, she's been extra snuggly, and gives lots of hugs and kisses (open mouth...sometimes scary cuz of those razor sharp teeth), and when she has a bottle, we snuggle:).

We enjoyed one lovely trip to the park.
Lux loved the jogger and talked all the way to the park.
However, now she's sick with croup and i think it might have been a little too cold later in the day.

Lux is also pretty adventurous with all the food she likes to eat.
She prefers table food to pureed food, so i end up giving her bits and pieces of what we eat, and she likes everything we've had so far.
She also graduated to Cheerios from baby puffs, but i don't think she likes them as much.
The organic apple cereal puffs are one of her faves, and cheerios are kinda bland compared to them.

Oh and another miles stone in her life-she graduated to the big tub!
She kept trying to stand in her infant tub, so we finally just moved her to the tub, and she's got all the room she wants to move around and splash.

This little person puts so much joy in my day.
Even as sick as she is right now, she still is as happy as can be, and smiles and laughs at all the things that normally make her laugh. 
I'm so thankful. i can't express how blessed i am to have this little person as my girl.

Baby girl,
You fill us with joy each day we get with you. 
Your sweet spirit is becoming more evident as you share hugs and kisses with us, as you try so hard to show affection to Alexio (even though he runs whenever you reach him), and the smiles you give to complete strangers that look like they're having a rough day. We love your spunk, your personality,  and can't get enough of your smile, toes, chubbiness...everything about you. Daddy and I miss you once you go to sleep at night, and a majority of our conversation is about you and the cute things you do. 
Love you, Lux Ann. Can't believe you're ours.

~Mommy and Daddy