The privilege of motherhood

29 August 2017

29 August 2017

Parenting two kiddos is a journey and a challenge and a blessing, all in one, pretty much every single day.

Sometimes I watch them, when they're sleeping or playing nicely together, and my heart bursts with the love I feel for them. My heart aches when they're gone, and the love I have for them eclipses pretty much everything else.

Other days the screaming hasn't stopped since 7:46 a.m. and my head is pounding from the headache their screaming has caused, and the minutes slowly drag until 5:30 when David pulls in the driveway and I practically sprint out the door for an escape because I just can't take another minute of it. Or I collapse on the couch, defeated by the 39th request to do something or to move Cora away from the cords on the ground and I just think to myself, "I can't handle another minute of this" so I hide in the bathroom and scroll on Instagram to remind me that I'm an adult who has more varied interests than making another pb&j or wiping butts all day long.

Can you tell which of the two is my favorite?

I treasure the moments when it's quiet in here, when the two girls are occupied with whatever holds their attention for a minute or two. I'm holding on to the hope that a sweet child will re-emerge from the hormonal raging monster that is currently the 3 year old, and the teething pain will ease for the 8 month old so my still-sweet babe can smile at me for more than a minute at a time.

But really, my life is so much more fruitful and privileged than I can even comprehend.

I complain to myself about having to get up off the couch to tend to a child -- and I think of those who don't have children. I refill a water bottle for the thousandth time -- and I think of those suffering the floods in Texas. I coax a baby back to sleep who really doesn't want to -- and I ache for babes with no beds to call their own. I wipe another butt -- and I thank God for the blessing of modern toilets. I read another book for the millionth time in a row -- and I think of those who can't afford books or toys like we can.

This dichotomy of modern living has been haunting me for awhile. How do I manage to stay thankful and optimistic when all I can think about is those who have less than me? How can I complain about my small difficulties when they are pebbles in comparison to some? I try to lift all my confusion up to Jesus and ask Him to help me pray for those who need it, help me remain grateful, help me let go so I can help others in the small ways I can.

I'm not writing this all as a plea for sympathy - but rather as a reminder to myself that everything is temporary, kid phases will pass, and I really can handle the small trials I'm sent. No matter how many times during the day I say "I can't do this anymore" and wish for just one minute alone to regroup, God didn't send me these two beautiful hooligans on a whim.

Every moment is a chance for me to better myself, to grow into the person and mother I was called to be, and yeah - life isn't all roses & daisies, you moron. (That's me talking to me, if you're curious.) Sometimes life is hard. So it is.

"Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer." Romans 12:12.

That's all any of us can do.

End of summer feels

24 August 2017

24 August 2017
Although this summer has seemed like an endless wave of heat and wishing it to be over, it's kind of surprising me that we're already at back-to-school time. This is our last year with just us, because Kitty will be starting preschool next fall (AHHHHHH) so I'm going to really try to enjoy it while I can. Right now the thought of having to drop her off and pick her up every single day, at the same time, sounds like a major cramp on my loose and free schedule, but c'est la vie.

I'm going to try to take advantage of this during the fall and do some more impromptu and fun things with the two girls. Honestly most of our "free" time right now just is me working at the computer...which isn't all that fun for her, although it is a continual lesson in independent play. We need to work on a few social skills, so I'm hoping to make a regular occurrence at our library's story time, and hopefully take advantage of the less populated zoo during school times. It'll hopefully be a nice change from our normal outings: Costco, Target, Walgreens drive through, library visits for 10 minutes at a time. #glamorous

I'm sure that will just mean more late nights and work for me on the weekend, but if this is the only year we have to really do it up, I'm going to try to do it up! Wish me luck.

Anyway, this summer has been great. I haven't posted photos for awhile, so here goes.

First off, the eclipse!
Can you stand how much this cutie above just ECLIPSES all other pictures with how adorable it is?! Couldn't resist a pun there, because this is my new favorite picture of her. She was just so happy to be included.

We traveled to Lincoln (a 45 minute drive) to see the totality, and it was honestly 100% worth it. I kind of thought it might be overhyped, but it was an emotional experience to see it. I hope I never forget it. 

Eclipse cupcakes!

Not an amazing photo, but a picture of the eclipse nonetheless!
Kate had a little difficulty following the directions but she mostly just played while it was going on, so I'd call it a win. We went to watch it at my uncle's party, and it was awesome to experience it and hear the collective gasp when we reached totality.

Naps have become a little sporadic for this one. I'm clinging to them as long as I possibly can, because most days she's tired and really needs one to survive the day. Other days she just plays in her room quietly for a couple hours until I give in and let her up. Some days she doesn't fall asleep for a long time, like the day above, so I had to go in and wake her up. Still so cute sleeping!

We're also still in the throes of threenager behavior, which means I constantly have to go shut myself in the bathroom and take some deep breaths when things get out of hand, and/or make David take over when he gets home so I don't pull my hair out. It's hard to remember there's a sweet girlie underneath when she's screaming for the 10th minute in a row, but moments like this or cuddles on the couch help a little.

Cora had her first experience with grass and she was NOT a fan. So funny that I had to take a picture before picking her up. I think Kate loved grass (?) so it's extra funny in the difference between them. We'll give it a try later when she has pants on to see if that was really the issue.

On days where I just can't stand being inside with them another minute, we take a long walk in the double stroller after naptime. It's a hefty workout (oh my gosh, I haven't even attempted to run with it yet in our only-hills-neighborhood) and it keeps them mostly quiet for at least half an hour, and for that reason alone it was worth the money.

I'm thinking we may need to buy the snack tray soon. It's finally become nice enough out that it's not unbearably hot, and I might try to make it a habit to walk every day after naptime this fall before the snow hits. Aka prime snack time for two little girls!

We've got some more house projects in the works, including a new toy organization system, finishing up staining the flower boxes in front of the house, and I'm trying to convince David to paint the basement. (Really tired of the pinkish orange tan we've got going on right now.) I might just tackle it myself if he refuses to help. We're headed to Denver to see friends in a couple weeks and an IKEA trip is included there, and luckily football season is right around the corner too, so fall is really here!

How was your summer?

My Sunday Best: flouncy dress edition

20 August 2017

20 August 2017
Cora and I both wore our flounciest dresses to Mass this morning so I felt the need to document! So we're linking up with Rosie and her My Sunday Best series.

Outfit details, because I know you just HAVE to know.
Dress: old from Gap
Belt that you can't see: old from Target
Shoes: American Eagle that I painted for a wedding
Sling: Wildbird Dove (seriously still so in love with this sling, I'll never go back!)

Cora's dress is one Kate used to wear, a gift from my mom so probably from Younkers or Dillards if I had to guess. I'm too lazy to go check and see what brand it is.

Although we looked real cute, we showed up late (super unusual for us, I must just not have been checking the time), Kate spent most of Mass either crying or whining about Jesus-only-knows-what or reading her allotted one book VERY loudly, and Cora regaled everyone with her high-pitched screams when she wasn't chewing on my fingers, prompting the couple in front of us to turn around and comment that she'd have a great singing voice one day.

Needless to say, I need a nap.

Luckily the rest of our day should be relatively low key. David's sleeping on the couch at the moment while Cora naps and Kate reads every book she can get her hands on out loud. I think I'm going to go buy some paint samples for our new toy storage organization (coming very soon!) because if David's involved, it'll be 4 weeks later and we still won't have anything picked so I'm just going to go for it.

How's your Sunday going? Head to Rosie's for more Sunday shenanigans!

Cora, 8 months

18 August 2017

18 August 2017

Blogging about inconsequential things like baby news and house updates seems...somehow inappropriate right now. So I've been quiet here. (Also busy, but that's nothing new.)

I'm trying really hard to take Jesus's words to heart, and honestly pray for my enemies.
BUT, I promised myself I'd keep doing Cora's pictures and updates every month so that still has to be taken care of. Hey, we all need distractions now and again, right?

So! Cora is 8 months and the months keep flying by faster and faster!

Weight: just over 21 lbs by our home scale.

Height: Same old same old, although she's getting longer I don't have the patience to measure her so who knows?

Firsts this month: successfully sitting up for periods at a time, and figuring out how to crawl around the entirety of the house to find us.

Nicknames: nothing new

Other things to note:
+ We've had some ups and downs with sleep this past month. Probably another sleep regression on top of teething and a growth spurt, so not too much terrible all at once....... ha. ha. ha. But we rode it out and back down to just one wake per night.
+ I'm thinking I'm going to try to cut out that one feed soon, because she's really not eating all that much and the time she wakes up varies SO much that I don't think she's actually hungry. We'll see if I get motivated enough to do it, though.
+ Baby girl is now suddenly noticing when we leave the room, and immediately cries/screams to get us to pay attention to her and come back where she can see us! So that's real fun.
+ She's a huge fan of baby food now and occasional big people food, depending on if I actually want to get some food in her or if I just want to occupy her in the high chair for awhile.
+ So far she hasn't actually disliked anything, although her father (ahem ahem) has a tendency to feed her cold vegetables and then complain that she doesn't like to eat them... Can't say as I blame her, I'm not a huge fan of cold green beans either. Surprisingly when you warm them up she eats them like a champ. ;)
+ Her clothing sizes are all over the map. Mostly 18-24 month onesies, a few 12 month PJ sets still fit because her thighs have thinned out (she fatted out of them at like 6 months because they wouldn't zip over her thighs, hahahaha), 9-12 month pants. We just went through all of our girls clothes to organize them and see what I need for winter, and she's going to fit into a lot of Kate's stuff, so I just need some long-sleeve onesies and a coat or two. Yay!
+ Her naps are pretty good for the most part, still going strong with 2 a day, usually 10-12 and 2:30-4 or so. She is a serious champ to put down too, just nurse her and stick her in the crib and she's out. Napping in the car is not as easy to achieve when we actually want her to, but that's okay.
+ She's on a major hair-and-glasses pulling phase, because she's discovered she can get a reaction out of you when she does it.

She's a blessing and we're so happy to have her around.


a catch-up post

03 August 2017

03 August 2017
Lots of things going on at Casa Gokie plus a really busy month of work means I effectively haven't blogged consistently in a very long time. Is this what it's like to be a functioning adult? I'm not sure, and I'd prefer not to find out for a few years yet. Anyway, here to give you a rundown of what's been going on lately and to jot down thoughts about this stage of life because why not!

First of all, I have a lovely new theme and some organizing going on behind the scenes lately. I get this itch to change everything on my blog pretty consistently every 6 months or so, and I finally succumbed to this round of editing. You won't notice anything if you read on a reader like I do (Feedly all the way, man) but that's fine. It's mostly for my own benefit anyway. I did edit my About page although it will go further in editing when I get a somewhat current family photo of us (the last ones I have are from Easter when David and I kind of look like death warmed over cause we took the photos too early in the morning).

I'm down 25-ish pounds since the end of May, and while that is awesome and I am very proud of myself, it has not been an easy two months. Admittedly I was eating too much beforehand, but I was also relying on food to lift my mood and to entertain myself probably too much, so this has been a good system to try and negate those not-so-great habits. If you're curious, I've been doing Weight Watchers and working out 5 days a week. I went through Insanity Max 30 and I think I'm going to start Focus T25 in the next few weeks, just for something new. I miss eating whatever I want, and like I've told multiple people by now, I'd better be seeing results for all the food I wish I was eating. ;)

Both of those changes have incredibly lifted my daily mood and overall life outlook, which everyone says is a benefit of working out but is hard to believe until you're actually doing it yourself. I really look forward every day to working out either after the girls nap and are plonked in front of an episode of Clifford on Netflix or after David gets home. And the fact that I'm actually losing weight is a great motivator.

My big reward for the end of all this (my "goal" weight, if you will) is a vacation sometime next year after Cora weans. It'll be a combination 5 year anniversary trip plus the reward, and I'm already excited about it even though it's a long ways in the future. If you've got any suggestions for us when it comes to destinations, hit me up! I'm thinking something adventurous and relaxing at the same time - something maybe like an Alaskan cruise? We'll see.

Cora is crazy on the move now. She's crawling everywhere, although has an affinity for our main rug in the living room which is nice. She's of course attracted to all the cords, dog toys, and outlets around, so I've put back some babyproofing methods in place, and Kate is quickly learning to keep her books out of her reach. 

In other words, I'm appreciating these sleeping photos of her even more the more she grows, because it's the only time she stops moving. 

This one (^^^) is still constantly on the move, and becoming an excellent shopper in her pretend grocery store in the basement. She has recently rediscovered the glories of splashing in rain puddles, coloring, and pretending to put her babies down to sleep. Her tantrums are somewhat spacing out but she has a lot of emotions for a little person and it's overwhelming at times. She's getting braver and braver in the pool (see photo #1) with lots of help from the grandparents, and it's still as fun as ever to see her grow.

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