Baby Sullivan | Week Fifteen

I was wiping the bottom of one of our adorabe children today and it hit me....this is where we are. This is part of who we are. This season of my life doesn't completely define who I am but it helps define parts of who I am. If someone had sat me down 10 years ago and told me that I would be married, working at a church, own our home, and have 2 small children under 4 years old...I probably would have laughed you out of the room. Back then, my grandiose vision contained dreams of traveling the world, playing music, taking photos, living in the northwest. My dreams didn't really consist of cleaning the bathroom, conquering mountains of laundry (how many people live in my house? I want to know!), dealing with toddler tantrums, and fussy babies. 

But, here we are. I am right here, in this moment of wiping bums and noses. I am right here in this moment of scrubbing down the carseat after Sullivan had a major explosion at the grandparent's house while I was working at church. I am right here, playing out in the leaves with my preschooler, holding the baby in my lap and watching Marin slide her Barbies down the slide. I am right here with the sun on my face, longing for this fall season to stick around for a while longer. 

Would I like to be traveling the world, being creative? Of course. But, I'm also totally content where I am right in this very moment. I never wanted to admit before that one of the callings upon my life was to be a wife and mom. I honestly used to think that was an excuse to not succeed in my career or passions. Now, I see it as one of the most important callings of all. I don't care what other people think about that anymore. Certain aspects of my creative life are in a stand still right now. I see that, I feel that pretty much all of the time. But, the fact that we get to raise our children without having them in daycare 40 hours a week is the biggest blessing we have right now. I still get to work full time but still get to be home with my kiddos throughout the week. I don't take that lightly. I am super blessed by a job that allows me to do just that. 

The next time I start to feel the ache of my former life before becoming a mom, I just need to open my eyes to where I am in this season. I need to be okay with reheating my coffee for the 800th time in the last few hours. I need to be okay with the sand dumped all over the living room rug from Marin's boots because that means that she was out playing and learning and living. I need to be okay with the 4:30am feedings and cherish them with everything I have because they will disappear soon enough. I need to soak in the mornings when Marin has to give me multiple hugs before sitting down to eat breakfast. 

Sullivan is fifteen weeks old today. We've had many diaper explosions the past few days. I've scoured Pinterest far too much for ways to get poop stains out of baby clothes. He's asleep next to me on the floor of the basement as I write this and we are surrounded by an explosion of toys, thanks to Marin. Tomorrow, we are bringing snack to preschool, I am a teacher for the morning, and Ryan and I are the music teachers. 

10 years ago, I didn't think my life would look like this now. But, I'm so grateful that it does look this way. 

Baby Sullivan | Week Fourteen

Our baby is 3 months old now and I can't hardly believe it. He's growing like a weed. I've already had to go through his clothes and put away everything he can no longer fit in. I don't plan on keeping it all this time around because I believe our family is feeling pretty complete at two kids. It will be weird to not keep around the swing or bouncer once he outgrows it. All of his little clothes too will no longer just sit in a box but I'll donate them so some other little guy can use them. I am excited to get the insane amount of all things baby out of my house someday soon. He needs to slow down a bit though. He's 3 months old and weighs 16 pounds!!!! He's wearing mostly 3-6 month clothing and we almost have him in size 3 diapers already. 

His new favorite thing is a little elephant that we received as a gift. He likes the gnaw on its little nose and have it close to him. He didn't really have a little stuffed animal yet that he liked, not like Marin and Bernie the Bunny. That bunny still goes almost everywhere with us. He now is in a pink sparkly dress with pink sparkly shoes. Marin would wear a similar outfit everyday if I let her. 

Marin took a bit of a tumble last night while I was cooking dinner. She was going downstairs to grab her little water bottle for bedtime. Daddy has just read her a few books and she came down the steps. As soon as she hit our wood floor, she slipped in her socks and I heard a BOOM! That noise was followed by a pause and then a wail. Poor kiddo fell and slammed her mouth into the floor. Her gums were bleeding and punctured her lip a bit. Mouth wounds always have lots of blood. She has a bit of a puffy lip right now, poor kid. But, we are keeping an eye on the teeth and I'm sure she will survive. 

Sully is also using his voice a lot lately. I captured this video of him the other night with Daddy. 

Marin is still going strong with "Quiet Time" instead of our daily afternoon naps. She does a pretty good job of entertaining herself in her room for a while. It helps keep us sane and gives her some time to learn and explore. She has put herself to bed a few times in the past week or so. I'm glad she recognizes when she's tired. 

Week Fourteen. 

Portrait Two

I took this photo last week and I am just now finding the time to post it. As part of my 32 Things Before 32 List, I am attempting to take one self-portrait per month. This is September, in all of it's early morning, un-showered, unruly haired glory. 

Lately, Sullivan will wake up anytime between 3:30am and 5:30am. I stumble out of bed and feed him in the soft glow of his nightlight. After that I put him back in his crib and decide whether or not I will just get up or go back to bed. If it's anywhere near 5am, I just get up. If it's before that, I will usually head back to bed to sleep for just a little while longer. 

I love mornings. Becoming a parent has slowly helped me become more of a morning person. I was much more of a night owl in the my college days but those days are long gone. I normally do not see midnight nowadays unless I'm waking up to feed a baby, change a diaper, or wipe a runny nose. The morning is the only time that I find an overwhelming peace and I find myself longing for that time, no matter how long or short it may be that day. 

If I decide to stay up after I've fed Sullivan, I walk downstairs and make some coffee. I sit in my chair by the piano. My books, Bible, and journals are found on the table next to me. I usually try to read my Bible along with whatever reading plan I'm doing. Then I will read a portion of a personal development book of some sort. If time allows and everyone is still sleeping, I will journal in my moleskin. My goal is usually three pages, taken from the Artist's Way Morning Pages. I write about my days, my hopes, my frustrations, my prayers. I've journaled for a very long time through many seasons of my life and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. Putting pen to paper is such a great way for me to begin my day, no matter how many times I was up in the night with the kids. 

This portrait captures the person I am in the quiet hours of the morning before anyone else is awake. I usually watch the sun rise out of the living room window. If it's raining, I throw open the windows and drink my cup of coffee that hasn't been reheated a million times within the course of my parenting day. My hair is always a mess. I usually can be found cuddled up in a blanket in my robe that I bought for when I was in the hospital having Sullivan. I spend part of my morning whisper yelling at the cat to quit raising hell in the house and try to not feed him too early because he always seems to puke it back up again when Ryan is sleeping. Kitty puke is the worst. 

This is me in September of this year. I'm slowly trying to rediscover who I am in the early morning hours. A mom, a wife, a creative individual that needs this time to soak, pray, and better myself. I am always willing to wake up at 5am to get this time. I need it. 

Baby Sullivan | Week Thirteen

We've had a few runny noses in our home over the past week. Marin stayed home from preschool last Tuesday. Sully is pretty congested. I've been taking vitamin C like it's going out of style. So far, I haven't gotten sick and I'm just hoping and praying it stays that way. Life is way too crazy right now to be sick. I also can't take a lot of medication when I am nursing. I feel like we are finally getting healthy again aside from some pretty raw little noses. 

We did take Marin to the doctor last week and found out that she has an incurable skin condition. I thought she might have a yeast infection but turns out it was something else, something pretty crappy. I have faith that God is bigger than this condition. We are treating it with a creme currently and it seems to be helping. She's not as itchy as before. Sadly though, no more bubble baths. The condition could come and go for the rest of her life. The medical community doesn't have a ton of information on it other than the fact that it is common in girls/boys before puberty or after menopause. It might be due to low estrogen levels. I'm trying to just pray through it and hope for the best. It's pretty sucky. 

On a whim, I decided to try and weigh Sully last week as well. I believe he is just over 16lbs now. This kid just keeps growing. I don't feel like we are feeding him too much but I do tend to feed on demand when I am there. Luckily, he's really tall too so his weight isn't a big concern with the doctors. He's a healthy, growing little guy, that's for sure! 

He's growing so quickly and is so strong already. He's been sitting in a Bumbo chair lately as well. His chubby little thighs almost don't fit in it though. We've been doing lots of tummy time lately too and he gets stronger every day. He's sleeping decently well and wakes usually once a night. 

We've also gotten to the point now with Marin that I believe she is doing away with her naps. (Cue mommy crying in a corner somewhere! Nooooooo!) Those naps are the one thing that has kept me sane in motherhood and that's also a time that I get a lot of work done for my job. So, we've created a compromise. We have gatherered together a number of activities to keep her busy. She can have quiet time in her room instead of taking a nap. She can read books, build with blocks, play with dolls, put together puzzles. If she wants to sleep, she's welcome to. Being the strong-willed child that she is, she always declares that she will not sleep, but she's just going to play. The first day we tried, she spent half of the time pounding on her door and yelling, "Mom! I know you can hear me in the monitor! Mom! I know you can see me in the monitor!" But, overall I think she's starting to look forward to that time now and we get to still stay a little sane. 

Pretty blurry, but I had to get his smile.

Week Thirteen. 

Baby Sullivan | Week Twelve

I love this photo. He seems so hardcore. 
The weather has cooled down a bit in the past few days and it rained all of yesterday. We even turned on our heater the other night because it was freezing in our home. This is my happy place. The first day of fall has arrived and Sullivan is twelve weeks old. 

I'm back to work in full swing and pumping will probably be the death of me. I also keep forgetting to bring the little lids that go on top of the bottles for after I pump. I've resorted to pouring the milk into water bottles until I can get them home and put a lid on them. Seriously. How do I keep doing that? Those lids are important. I want to keep my supply up so I'm pumping on the same schedule that I feed him, give or take an hour or so. Sundays are the hardest because the second I step foot at church/work, my day flies by at breakneck speed. 

Sullivan is all smiles and coos. He is finding his voice. He's outgrowing all of his clothes and I need to get him some pants because cooler weather is coming soon. He is already in 3-6 month clothes and is growing like a weed. He loves playing on the activity mat that we had for Marin. I feel bad for the little guy though because it's very pink but he doesn't seem to mind at all. 

Sorry for all of the pink, buddy. 
Marin caught a cold in the last few days so we've been taking it super easy at home and just praying that she takes long naps and gets healthy. Now that she's in preschool, I'm sure she's around a lot more germs than before. I'm also consistently asking her to stay out of baby brother's face because a sick baby is never any fun for anyone. I'm praying that she is on the mend because she has preschool again tomorrow and I know she will be super bummed if she has to miss it because her nose is so runny. 

The weeks are moving so swiftly and we are almost in October already. I decorated the inside of our home for fall. I'm ready to drink lots of hot coffee. I want to take the kids to a pumpkin patch this year. We've never done that before and I think Marin would have a blast. I feel the need to try and slow down a bit in our lives but it becomes difficult when our weeks are so full. The days go very quickly. With every new week, I'm left wondering where the previous week went. It will be Christmas before we know it and we will have an almost 4 year old and a 6 month old! My goodness. 

Week Twelve. And just for fun....Marin at 12 Weeks

Baby Sullivan | Week Eleven

Baby Sullivan is most definitely going through another growth spurt. I'm certain he is over 15 pounds already since his  2 month appointment at the beginning of September. He's also not been sleeping quite as well as he has been. I'm just trying to take every night as it comes. On Saturday, his was up every 2 hours all night, just like when he was a newborn. I worked on Sunday morning and had to get in the shower at 5am, be at church/work by 6am. Needless to say, I was pretty dang tired. 

I think he's growing so quickly and he has just been more hungry at night lately. I miss the nights where he goes to bed at 9am and wakes up once around 4am. Let's go back to that game plan. This mama is T-I-R-E-D. 

Our weeks are flying by and there are some good, new things on the horizon. I've had some answered prayers lately and I'm so thankful with the direction I am heading in the music realm again. No, I'm definitely not playing any shows or anything like that, but I do have the opportunity to do something I love and help support my family while doing it. Win, win. It feels like home already. Every little bit helps me not feel like I've lost myself once I became a parent. 

Sully initiated Great Grandma on Friday by pooping all over her lap while we were visiting for our weekly lunch with them. He had just eaten and was starting to do his business. Next thing I know, I look over at them and my Grandma has poop all up the side of her. It was an epic blow out. I'm just thankful I wasn't holding him at the time because I didn't have a change of clothes for myself. Diaper blow outs are always so fun. Luckily, I don't believe we ever had a diaper blow out in the car seat. I shouldn't jinx it....

I'm ready to get out the fall decorations this week. I want to carve pumpkins with Marin and maybe visit a pumpkin patch. I want to take a mountain drive to see the fall colors. I'm ready for cooler weather and hot coffee. September has been treating us well and I love the groove we are falling into. 

Week Eleven. 

Baby Sullivan | Week Ten

Last Wednesday, we took Sullivan to his 2 month old check up. I cannot fully grasp the fact that we have a ten week old already but here we are. I was so curious to find out how much he weighed and how he's growing. As it turns out....he has no problems with growth. This wasn't a surprise to me because every morning I go in to get him out of his crib, he has grown a bit more. He eats like a champ, still every 2.5-3 hours. Sometimes I can stretch is to 4 hours, but that's pretty rare. 
We have a huge baby. I'm not over exaggerating at all. He arrived large and he just keeps growing. Sully is in the 90th percentile in pretty much everything: weight, height, and head circumference. He is 2 months old and weighs 14 lb., 6.7oz! He has grown 3.5 inches since he was born. Just to paint a picture of his size, our daughter, who is going to be four in February, weighs 30 lb. right now. Little Sully, who isn't really that little, is half the size of his big sister! He's also pretty tall so the doctor wasn't worried at all about the weight gain. It's such a relief to have a baby that gains weight well and not have to have the discussions with the doctor about the need to gain more weight. He's going to be the size of a football player when he gets older. 
Marin started preschool last week and I am so proud of her. We didn't have any tears on either day. As long as mommy and daddy escape out of the classroom at a quick speed, she seems fine. She's ready to go play and learn. I really believe that this will be so good for her. She needs to be out of the house and around other children. I know she will find confidence and independence in this new journey. It's good for us as parents and for her as a growing child that learns so much more when she has the opportunity to explore the world around her. 
I officially returned to work on Sunday at church. This was my first full Sunday on the clock and I was praying that everything went smoothly. I was a little anxious about feeding Sully on time and pumping and still actually being able to do my job. I woke up at 4am (ouch!) and fed Sully. I put him back down, took a shower, got ready for the day ahead. Before I left for work around 6am, I pumped so that Ryan could feed him at 7/7:30am. During our first service, I went into the nursery and fed Sully at 10am. Marin and Sully both left after first service with Grandma-doo and Grandpa-doo. They fed Marin lunch at Culvers and fed a bottle from my pumping stash to Sully around 1-ish pm. I got the kids home, put Marin down for a nap, and pumped. Whew. We made it. No one died. Everyone was fed and well taken care of. I know I couldn't have pulled it off without my wonderful husband getting both kids to church and Ryan's parents taking the kiddos after first service. It all worked out fine and I know we can handle Sunday mornings!
It felt so good to be back at work. I'm so thankful for that, especially due to the anxiety I was feeling leading up to the end of my maternity leave. Everything has worked itself out. Our schedules are pretty busy heading into this fall season, but my heart has been overwhelmingly full lately. I cannot imagine our life without two kids now. I have an awesome job that I got to return to with ease. Life is good. 
The crazy family. 

Week Ten. 

Baby Sullivan | Week Nine

Our lives seem to be speeding up quickly into the fall season. Last week was spent with an intro class at preschool, training to be teach parents, and learning that we are the music teachers for Marin's class. I was so worried about which committee we would be on and all that the co-op entails, but I do feel really good about the fact that Ryan and I can use our musical knowledge to meet the requirements of the preschool. I'm not sure what all it will entail, but I'm excited to be able to be musicians with a bunch of kiddos instead of helping with the garage sale or sanitizing toys. 

Everyone loves Sully at Grammy's house. 
Tomorrow, Marin goes to preschool. We will take her there and then we will leave. She will be there on her own for the first time. The only other time she has been in a situation like that is when she goes to the classrooms at church. This mama is nervous. I am praying for no tears and a great confidence to rise up within her adorable preschool self. I know she can do it. I know she will love it. She will get a chance twice a week now to get over her fears and embrace the classroom. 

Sullivan is officially two months old as of September 3rd. He has his 2 month well check coming up on Wednesday this week. I cannot wait to see how much this little guy actually weighs. We switched up to size two diapers already and he grows and grows every day. Every time I go to his crib in the morning to feed him, I'm always a little surprised at how he grows overnight. He has been all smiles lately and is slowly finding his voice. He is awake a lot more often lately and is slowly becoming more aware of the big world around him. His big sister loves him very much and she is always not far from his side. 
Best Buds. 
At Ryan's birthday dinner. 
I am officially back to work, full time this coming Sunday, the 10th. I was planning on not going back fully until the 24th of September but we need the finances and I believe that I'm ready. Two kids is so different from just one. I was in such a haze with Marin those first few months after she was born. Learning to be a mom is a big task. Now, we have two children and I feel like it has been so much easier this time around. Granted, we've dealt with toddler tantrums and trying to get everyone on a schedule, but I feel like I am in a much better headspace than before. Now I just need to be able to feel good in my own skin and make sure I'm taking good care of myself. It's a day by day process. 

Week Nine.