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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Why is the first birthday so hard on a momma?

Bringing Shelby home from the hospital
I asked Matt this afternoon while we were running, "Are you a little bit sad about her first birthday?" He said he was not.  I realized then it's a mommy thing.

Why is it so hard on a mommy?  And I don't mean the party planning.  That part- at least for me- has been so fun.  This post is about the milestone.  The big FIRST birthday.  We spend our whole lives as females imagining what it will be like when we have a baby.  What will they look like?  What will their name be? When will I have one?

The first year (in my experience) of a baby's life is an emotional roller coaster.  From the moment that slippery baby is pulled from your womb and placed in your arms, a mommy's heart is overcome with an instant feeling of unconditional love.  How does God do that by the way?  Then, you bring that sweet baby home and the worrying begins.

Why is she crying?  
When will she learn to nap?  
If I swaddle her too long, will she become dependent on the swaddle?  
She can't fall asleep being held- she will never sleep in her bed!  
Why won't she take a bottle?  
What if she's allergic to this food?
Why is her head shaped like that?
Is that enough tummy time?
Should I let her watch TV?
Is she gaining enough weight?
Can I eat that/ take my medicine?  Can she have it in my breast milk?
Is she cold? Is she hot?

And between all that worrying, there are so many magical moments.  The first smile that isn't gas.  The first big belly laugh.  (Hers was at our doggies of course).  Cuddling and cradling her head while breast feeding.  Oh how magical!  Seeing those little hands learn how to feed herself.  The way her fingers find her ears when she is sleepy and sucking her paci- or the way they sometimes find my ear too. Learning to crawl and then suddenly walking- I wasn't even kind of ready for that.  The way her face lights up when daddy gets home from work.  The excited reaction I receive when I playfully say, "I'm gonna get you!" 

I've tried my very hardest to savor every minute- good and bad.  I've learned patience this year in a way that I never thought I would.  I've tried to be selfless and generous and nurturing every minute.  Yes, I have failed many times in this quest due mainly to the fact that I'm human.  (I had no idea my body could run on pure adrenaline and coffee.)  But I loved every sleepless night- even though I wondered just a little bit when I would sleep again.  Side note: I think those people that say their babies regularly sleep through the night are liars.  Either that, or they have the 1 in a million baby who actually does that and to them I say, "Congratulations.  You've basically won the lottery."  

I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but I was in no way prepared for the fantastic journey it would be.  I have loved every minute of worrying- which has been most of the year haha!  I have loved the instant adoration that God gave me for this special girl.  I've loved watching Matt become a father.  He took to it like a duck in water.  I remember him being the only person who could soothe her in the hospital.  I'm thankful for our siblings and the love that they have for our baby girl.  I remember being so thrilled and a bit baffled by the love my sister had for Shelby and then being overwhelmed when her two boys were born later in the year.  I understood at that very moment how she felt.  I've loved seeing our parents become grand parents.  It's been the most magical year of my life.  

So, I can understand being a little bit sad to see it go.  To say that I am "thankful" for the last 12 months would be an understatement.  There isn't a word in my vocabulary that describes my feeling of happiness and thankfulness.  But, I know that God gave me these feelings and these blessings and I can't wait to hug his neck one day and thank Him personally for the first year of Shelby's life and every year he lets me celebrate with her in the future.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Shelby's First Christmas

Oh my- how Christmas has changed for our family.  Last year, I was huge pregnant with her.  Lauren was not even pregnant.  It was so special to have her and her brother cousins with us this year. Although Shelby didn't know exactly what was going on- meaning the reason for the season which is of course the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior- she did enjoy the many fun things that go along with the Christmas Season. Here is a sample of the pictures and happenings that made up our Christmas time!

After Christmas Eve service

Wearing her first tu tu gifted to us from Mrs. Arnold

Desperately trying to kiss baby Tessa at the Rogers' Christmas Party

REALLY upset about meeting Santa

Snuggling her cousins!!!  We love them so much!

I kept balls around the house and she loved to pull them out, drop them, and say "uh oh!"

This was the best $10 I've ever spent- she loves her grocery cart

Anywhere chair!  Uses it everyday!

Climbing the stairs with Pops

Opening presents with Aunt Juli

Modeling her new apron for cooking with mommy

Grammie and Pops!

Aunt Lauren and Uncle Zac

MeMommy and G-Pa
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and yours!  Looking forward to 2014 and everything it has in store for our family.

Shelby is 11 Months Old!

Shelby wearing a dress by MeMommy

Well, I can't believe it.  Shelby June is 11 months old.  Seriously, I feel like I just found out we were pregnant and here I am planning her first birthday party.  Every other parent will tell you how fast time flies (which, seriously, is so annoying by the way) but it's true.  I try to take each moment and savor it.  

Shelby, every day with you is so much fun.  I love seeing you discover your toys.  You love to play with your walker and toddle behind it.  You like to pull things off the shelf and then put them back on.  You like to turn the lights on and off.  You love to find the fan and point at it.  You get in the bumbo and then get mad when you can't get out.

  • We finally have a tooth!  Right, bottom front!  So cute.
  • You took your first steps!
  • You still take 2 naps each day, but if you don't have your morning nap, you do just fine.
  • You are sleeping better through the night.  THANK YOU.
  • We celebrated your first Christmas.
  • You are basically all bottle feeding.  I will nurse you sometimes at night, but we are really trying to get your weight up and I can tell how much you're drinking with the bottles.  I chase you around with a bottle ALL DAY LONG.  I have stopped adding formula to your bottles though.  I discovered that you will drink a whole extra bottle each day if I don't put the formula in them.  But, when you don't eat and you're the busiest baby in America, that does not add up to weight gain!
  • You love Bear and Midas.  When they come around you will light up and say "daw-di"
  • You love to play with your books and "read" to yourself.  (I will read to you of course, but I love to watch this too.)
  • You love Praise Baby DVD's and Sesame Street.
  • We got you a Red Wagon for Christmas and you light up when we pull you around in it- money very well spent.
  • You also love the pink anywhere chair we got you.  You will climb in it and laugh for me to tickle you.  I happily oblige.
You are the most precious thing I've ever known.  God is so good.

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This is the story of our family living life one day at a time!