Motherhood

Theo at four months

Theo at four months

Contrary to these photos exhibited today, Theo does not have a serious face 100% of the time. He is such a joyful baby and I could not be more enamored by this squishy goodness.

Baby Theo is four months young today. He’s my chubbiest baby for sure. I am so grateful I took monthly photos of Emma and Henry too, because I love looking at the kids side by side. I think Theo looks a bit more like Emma than he does like Henry, but all i know is they are all adorable.

This month was full of exciting accomplishments. Theo started moving around on his tummy and he discovered his greatest joy in life - his own feet. He’s also been having a blast with Paul while Paul is on family leave. He takes a bottle like a champ (THANK GOD).

Theo’s personality is a cross between a super relaxed surfer and screeching howler monkey. So that’s been fun. He’s super relaxed and easy-going most of the time, but yells at us when he is tired or hungry. Like banshee screams. But he’s still cute.

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Emma's first ballet class

Emma's first ballet class

Excuse me while I compose myself, because I’m sobbing like a baby. Well, not like a baby. I am sobbing like a mom. And you know what that looks like. It’s eyes filled to the brim while I gaze upon my little girl who is growing right before my eyes. I am smiling and crying at the same time. I am looking at this little four year-old but simultaneously seeing the little baby I used to hold in my arms and a young lady stepping further into independence.

Emma started ballet today. We have been talking about getting her into ballet since she was two. She has always enjoyed dancing and twirling. I could tell that she wanted to dance before she even formed complete sentences. It was important to me that this be her choice. I did not want to project some ideal of my own for wanting a little ballerina in the family. I waited until she kept asking and seemed serious about starting something she could claim as her own.

There is a local ballet academy that is considered to be more serious and structured in which I thought Emma would thrive and enjoy. And today, she started her first pre-ballet class and I am beaming with joy and pride and mom-sized emotions.

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On the day I return to work

On the day I return to work

My dear Theo, 

Things may seem different today. You do not have a concept of time quite yet, but you may feel that things are different. You may be wondering where I am or why I’m missing from your day. Well sweet boy, I have returned to my work outside the home. At home, I take care of you and your big sister and brother, but at work I take care of other people who need me. It is important work, I think. But I want you to know, raising you and your siblings is the most important work I’ll ever do, the most important thing I’ll ever do.

I want you to know that I love what I do outside the home too. I love taking care of my patients and making them smile. I hope I am part of, however small that part is, improving their quality of life. I hope they feel that I care and that I empathize and that I want to be a partner in care with them.

I also want to show you, Emma, and Henry that you can use those qualities God has given you to help others and be uniquely able to improve the lives of others by your own special gifts. I have felt called to care for this population of patients and I hope one day you answer whatever call God puts on your heart.

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Three's company too

Three's company too

Before I say anything, I’d like to give a huge shout out to those of you who take care of little ones at home each day. You’re my heroes. Working outside the home is hard, working in the home is hard, staying home all day with littles is hard, staying away from home all day is hard. Parenting is hard and I just think you are all doing the best you can.

Starting this week, the big kids will be staying home Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week. We wanted to save a bit of childcare money while Paul is home with Theo for two months. So I had all three littles for a couple days this week. It was simultaneously incredibly exhausting and extremely entertaining. It was constant movement and diapers and meal times and staggered nap times and meltdowns and dancing and playtime and errands and chaos and pure bliss.

I have been an emotional mess this week leading up to my return to work this coming Monday. But spending uninterrupted time with my sweet babies — in all the crazy, beautiful chaos — has been just what I needed. Here’s a photo and video dump for memory’s sake. Hand me the tissues.

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Here we are

Here we are

It’s happening. I am attempting to sleep train Theo. Currently on this Monday night, I am hiding on the couch in the dark trying not to let him smell me (those infants have the noses of blood hounds for that breastmilk). My bff Grace gave Theo a Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit (google it) for Christmas and I am attempting its magic. For both Emma and Henry we failed (read: currently failing) miserably at sleep training. In fact, Paul is laying down with Henry in his bed because he still cannot fall asleep alone.

So this is me, a 29 year-old mom to three kids under five. I’m hiding in the dark living room trying not to make any noise (and praying my typing is not too loud) and listening for the baby to fall asleep in his crib alone.

Ope, just heard him crying. Let’s see if he self-soothes or if I have to go back in there.

Okay, I did have to go in there but I cuddled him for about two minutes and put him back down. Guys, this may work (she says as she holds her breath, crosses her fingers, makes a sign of the cross, throws salt over her shoulder, makes a wish on a birthday candle, breaks a wish bone in half, douses crib in holy water).

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