+We’re officially standing and pulling up on everything. Just this morning I put her in her crib for her morning nap and looked at the monitor to see her standing up in her crib. It’s the beginning of the end, as they say.
She loves the whole standing thing, I think it’s the independency she likes. We’ve figured this out because she does not like to be sitting for a long time. Gone are the days of her sitting still.
+Em eats anything you put in front of her, which I’m taking as a huge win. Chicken, beef, fish, veggies, most fruit. Turns out she loves bread. I have no idea where she got that from. Crackers and graham crackers are our go to lately for a quiet Emily. In church while communion is being served, Em wants to chat about life, give her a cracker. Out to dinner and someone wants to know why mom and dad are eating and she isn’t? Cracker time.
+We’ve introduced shoes. In fact, when I took this photo it was the first time Em has worn shoes…seriously. She’s a Florida baby, shoes aren’t required.
+Em is SO excited to be getting another cousin! No longer the ‘baby cousin’! Due in February. Em can’t wait to be the older cousin now!
“How cool is it that the same God, Who created the mountains, and oceans, and galaxies, looked at you and thought the world needed one of you too?”
This quote blew me away the other day.
I was scrolling through Facebook and it was one of those “so and so liked this photo from this page that shared it from their sister”. Which I have to be honest and say I hate that Facebook does, let me like things in peace without you blabbing it to the world.
But this one made me so happy to see.
I forget this a lot. I think it’s the whole being a mom thing now, I don’t think about me, well ever anymore. And this isn’t in a complaining way. I’m healthy and happy. But I don’t take time to sit and realize that the God of the universe took as much care in making me as He did the oceans and every piece of sand you find in them.
I think about Em this way. This perfect tiny human that God created by hand. To be beautiful and wonderful. Created to be my daughter. Put on this earth for me to love the crap out of.
When I was pregnant my favorite thing to do was to google “Baby at (whatever week we were on) weeks”. I was fascinated by this tiny human growing inside of me. When her eyes developed and her nose, and her toes and fingers. All of it God had been forming for a very long time.
And He did the same with me.
As a mother I always hear how important it is to “take time for myself”, which yes I hear you. It’s usually to get my nails done, or brush my hair, or if I’m feeling super crazy, get a shower in.
But what if mothers, we decided that the only thing we needed to do was to spend some time with the Creator of the Universe. The same one that placed the oceans into the world, and placed each star in the sky.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never left my time with the Lord thinking, “Gosh that really sucked. I don’t feel better at all”.
So breathe in this beautiful truth:
The God that made your beautiful babies, took just as much time and care into making you.
Me, you, our babes. We were all created by God. The Holy and perfect God.
+These teeth just won’t stop. I feel like every day there’s a new one. But she’s handling it like a champ. Our go to helper is Tylenol…yea yea I know. That’s medicine, and that’s bad. But I’ve tried everything else and that’s what works.
+I started to take Em and Duke on a walk every morning, and we all love it. It’s quiet and peaceful. Also 1000 degrees outside but whatever. It makes the day get going better. We get up, eat, mama has coffee and we go. It’s not a super long walk, which is good for Duke. But that mile and a half is a sweet half our that I love.
+We frequent the library a lot now. I could go on and on about how much I love the library, maybe I will in a post one day soon. But Em also loves the library. Not so much the reading of the books, more of the holding/eating of the books. But I’ll take what I can get.
+Swim lessons were all right, if I’m being honest. But the kid loves the pool which is a huge relief. Hello, we live in Florida so we’ll be in it all the time. She loves splashing in the water and sitting in her float we got her. Best $12 we’ve ever spent.
+Elmo. You’ll never understand how much we all love you. It’s the only show Em will sit and watch all the way through. Which yes, I know is a good thing. But it’s like baby crack. I’ve also mastered getting a shower and the to do list going in 30 minutes or less.
+We have found our favorite park, Lake Eola, and the swings are Ems favorite. The lake is also surrounded by ducks, and swans, and birds a galore, so she also loves that. We fed them all once…I’m scared for life but she loved it.
I got through three books this month, and pretty much enjoyed them all. One was a little long, but I got through it.
Bread and Butter by Michelle Wildgen
I really liked that I got a lot of the “lingo” in this book because it’s about three brothers who have competing restaurants. I understood what the writer was talking about the whole time, but wondered if anyone who hadn’t worked in a restaurant would. With that being said, I thought the book dragged on just a little too much. There was a lot of information being told to the reader that I didn’t think you needed to know. The plot took a little while to take off, but once it did it got pretty good. I did very much enjoy all the food talk. The book goes into serious details on what each restaurant serves which I loved. And found myself reading a lot while I was either a)eating or b)cooking. Would I recommend this book: eh. I can’t decide. If you’re into restaurants and the behind the scenes then yes. If not, I’d say no.
My Life in France by Julia Child
YES TO EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK. I love Julia Child. Love, love, love her. I’m not sure what’s taken me so long to read this book, but I’m so happy I did. I also love the movie Julie & Julia, which took some of the real life scenes from this book apparently and put them in the movie. So as I read I could picture it all perfectly. Julia Child is really funny. She’s super witty, a girl after my own heart. Her story is so much about perseverance. She wrote her first cook book for twelve plus years. That’s a really long time. But she was determined for it to be perfect. I’m actually heading to the store to get it this week. I loved this book so much, and mostly because it’s awakening this huge passion I have for cooking. Would I recommend this book: Yes absolutely 100%.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
I finished this in three days. It’s a beautiful story that kept my hooked the whole time. I eat up that whole runaway finds hope thing. Sign me up, every time. Apparently this is a big known book, which I did know going into it, but I know understand the hubbub around it. Lily is a young lady that knows what she wants, in a crazy mixed up world. I loved her character through and through. The setting is the 60’s so there’s a lot of things that just make you so sad to read about regarding segregation. I often wonder how on earth things were ever like that. The author also does a wonderful job of explaining the workings of keeping bees. To the point that I now want to be a bee farmer. Seriously. I learned more about bees than I ever would have thought I could in my life. And I’m actually fascinated by them. Would I recommend this book: again, Yes absolutely 100%.
I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t love Snapchat. Seriously.
There’s just something so…normal about Snapchat.
It lets you into peoples lives without perfectly curated images. Without perfectly edited photos.
It lets you see people as old women, dogs, pirates, and fat nerds (one of my favs).
Snapchat lets go of what we see as the norm for social media, and lets us be, dare I say it, ourselves.
I love being able to see the mess in your kitchen. Because it lets me know that the dishes piled in mine are ok. I love being able to see your kids with funny filters, because I know I’m not the only one who does it.
I love getting to see my friends in the elements.
Snapchat does away with the pressure of being perfect, and y’all. That is a huge relief to this mama.
I feel like every time I get on Instagram a mama friend, or blogger I follow is sharing a picture of their too cute babe with a caption about how they aren’t sleeping. Whether it’s teeth, or being a newborn, or just…dare I say, being a baby.
Here’s the thing though.
I’ve got a sleeping babe.
And have had a sleeping babe since she was a month old.
GOSH THAT FEELS GOOD TO SAY.
In all honesty, I’ve almost been afraid to say that online. Thinking I had some miracle sleeping child. Maybe I do. Maybe it’s just being really blessed. Or lucky. Or good juju. Whatever it is. I’m thankful.
I 100% do not claim to be a sleep expert. By any means. But. I’ve come up with a couple tips to get that babe sleeping. They might work, they may very well not work.
#1. Feed that baby.
Ok, I know this sounds stupid. But. At around a month old we started to give Em formula at night (I think it was like 4 oz). It was usually around midnight and she slept through the night for six hours. And continued to do so.
Here’s what needs to be said. Sometimes your breast milk isn’t enough.
GOSH. THAT feels good to say too.
Mine wasn’t and I knew that. Giving her formula filled her up for night time and ensured a good nights sleep. Now. If you’re milk is enough. Way to go mama! I’m jealous.
#2. Give the swaddling a rest.
News flash: some babies hate to be swaddled. Case in point, Emily. We got away with it for a couple weeks when she was a newborn, but unless we put her in a suit thing, she busted right out. My mom told me one time, “They’ve been cramped up for nine months, who wants to be squished all the time when they can finally move those limbs”. Point taken, mother. I do think that the first couple weeks works, but once Em became more aware of things it was a no go. So don’t think you have to swaddle your babe just because the book tells you too.
#3. Put baby on their belly.
I know. I know. I KNOW. This isn’t what they tell you to do. But this was our lifesaver. Once Em could move her head back and forth and up and down, which was about a month, we put her on her belly to sleep. The problem was that our little wiggle worm didn’t like to be swaddled, but then would wake herself up from moving her arms and legs.
I’ll be 100% honest with you and tell you it scared the crap out of me. And I lost a lot of sleep those first couple of days checking on her every ten minutes. But the first night we did it she slept for almost nine hours, and was a little over a month old.
Side note. You were probably put on your belly to sleep too. GASP.
#4. Get a noise machine.
I always remembered my sister had one for my niece and after reading (very little) about it, decided it was a good call. Babies are used to noise from being in the womb, so why stop that when they get out?
#5. Created a schedule as early as possible.
Some people seriously disagree with this one. Thinking that babies don’t know whats going on until 5-6 months old, so creating a schedule is useless.
Babies are fully aware of night and day time. Yes, when Em was a new born she got her “night time bottle” at midnight, but eventually we worked that earlier and earlier and now we’re on a serious schedule. Which is sanity to me. If you get a solid 4 hours from your babe, make that four hours make sense. 2-6. 1-5. 3-7. Start early with a schedule, and stick to it!
#6. Create a nighttime routine.
This grew as Emily did. When she was a newborn, there wasn’t really the process of getting into jammies or a bath. But now that she’s older it’s just about the same thing every night. A bath, into jammies, and sometimes Sesame Street depending how long we have. We’ve created a really tight schedule with her so bed time is a hard 7 these days. And I don’t under any circumstances let that change. We plan our days around this 7:00 bedtime. If we go out to dinner, we go out earlier now. The littlest things can throw a baby off from a schedule. So I don’t even want to try and see what happens if we did.
#7. Make day time light and night time dark.
I feel like this might be a no brainer but I guess it’s not. During the day, when baby is awake, open the blinds. Use natural light. When it’s night time, turn some lights off. Create a setting that allows for sleep.
#8. Let them cry.
Again, I know. I KNOW. This isn’t popular. And quite honestly it sucks. Em does this for naps a lot. But. It’s worked for us. We’ve let her cry for a good 20 minutes before and out she goes. You’re the mama, you know a tired baby when you see one. Sometimes during the day for her naps, I just have to put her in her crib and walk out. Most of the time she talks to herself for a couple minutes, sometimes she cries. But she always falls asleep.
#9. Do what works for YOU.
Which may not be a single thing I’ve said. Or your mom says. Or that stupid baby book. I know women who have EIGHT MONTH OLDS that still don’t sleep more than 4 hours at a time. To that woman I say, I’m praying for you. Because I would loose my mind. If having that babe sleep with you works, go for it. If they keep waking up, maybe you should move them into their own bed…and room. If making sure the fan, noise machine, and clock ticking is what makes them sleep, go for it.
#10. NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY. NO MATTER WHAT Again. I start this off by saying that I feel like this is a no brainer. But evidently it’s not. I was given advice more than once to wake Em up to feed her or change her because she slept so long at such a young age. NO FREAKING WAY, MAN. If your baby is hungry…they’ll wake up. Even at the hospital the first night the nurse didn’t wake her up to feed her. I promise your baby won’t starve. Cross my heart. When I hear women say they wake their babies up to feed them I want to shake them. STOP DOING THAT. Seriously. And if your baby sleeps so long through the night like Em does, start them in night time diapers earlier on.
I put that one in all bold because it’s so important.
Sleep is just as important for you as it is for them.
If you’re reading this and think I’m full of crap. I have absolutely no problem with that. If you think some of these might help, then yay!
But this worked for me. And this is the face I get every time this kid wakes up:
And if you have any other suggestions, let me know!
Here’s to sleeping children!
We were having a really good “family outfit day”. I got a shower AND had some mascara on. Clothes were ironed. Em was in a dress. It needed to be documented.
We got a selfie stick for Christmas that we’ve never used and I whole heartedly believed this could become a thing. This Saturday Selfie with the Westmorelands.
This is what we got.
Clearly Em, wasn’t interested. Obviously Sonny didn’t realize how cute my (FIVE DOLLAR) dress from Target was. And he’s also blocking the really cute elephant on her dress.
I huffed and puffed and “I’m done”d. And then looked at the pictures and laughed.
Real life mom moment: this was so much better.
I think as humans we expect a lot out of life. And I believe we should…to a point.
I had envisioned the cutest little family photo in my head. Perfectly lit outside, everyone looking and smiling. We had just had the best day, I’d say something about it in the caption on Instagram. And this is what I get. I know now, that this was perfect.
If we hold ourselves to these expectations of what we think life should be like, we’re going to miss out on what’s right in front of us.
If we think we need to have a perfect family photo every Saturday, we’ll never get it. I almost think that’s Gods way of being like, “Yo, chill out”.
And I’m thankful for that.
Sure, are perfect family pictures wonderful. You bet. But the one’s with closed eyes and babies heads turned, are so much more fun to look at.
I find myself doing that in life a lot too. Whatever the expectation I had, most of the time isn’t at all what actually happens. If you had asked Megan 10 years ago what she expected her life to look like, I can promise you this wasn’t it at all.
But holy crap am I glad those expectations weren’t met.
I believe that we find true happiness in realizing that expectations are meant to be broken, or not set at all. When you’re dead set on an expectation, you’re setting yourself up for failure if it doesn’t go exactly as such. And that’s a lot of weight. Going through life expecting it to look a certain way, trying to make sure everything is always lined up and perfect.
At least I’m tired thinking about that.
So here’s to letting go of expectations. To doing life with less weight attached to it. And to way more “Saturday Selfies”.
I have had the biggest craving for smores for quite some time now.
No, not pregnant.
I forgot every time I went to the store to get supplies, maybe it’s because I wasn’t super sure on how to get this done. Because part of the smores experience is roasting the marshmallow.
If you’re over the age of 10, you can happily make these babies in your oven.
Would a fire still have been wonderful, you bet.
But less mess (yes), and half the time. Plus I was inside. Mosquito free.
Indoor Smores Set oven to Broil (High) Place a marshmallow on a piece of graham cracker and place into the oven for 5-7 minutes, depending on how you like your mallow. Place chocolate and another piece of graham cracker on top.
By far the hardest picture to get. Mommy tried it alone, and obviously had some trouble. Notice the finger prints at the top. But ya’ll. I just can’t with this kid.
A PINK TUTU BATHING SUIT?!
+Em is a pro Army crawler. I think she’d totally win one of those Iron man contest. Just the part where they crawl through the mud though. I’ve tried so hard to get those knees and arms up buuuuut, she’s kinda lazy. It’s so much fun to watch though. And she’s really quick these days too.
+We started swim lessons! This was something I was super adamant about. The girl who comes is so sweet, even though Em screams through about half of it. Which I’m told is better than most. And it’s not a scared yell, it’s a “Hi, I’m annoyed” yell. She’s learning how to float on her back and be comfortable in the water. Which she totally is.
+We’re slowly moving away from baby food and onto actual food. Frozen veggies are amazing and so easy. They already come cut up, so boom. Lunch. We usually have oatmeal or her favorite, a waffle in the morning. She loves watermelon, and every couple of days will eat some blueberries. But the girl loves her veggies. No complaints here. Corn, green beans, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, you name it she loves it.
+Em has four teeth. Two on the top and two on the bottom. The top ones are my favorite because they have a little gap in the middle. It’s the cutest thing ever.
+This girl can talk. Every time she gets going Sonny and I can’t stop laughing. I really think someone needs to invent something that translates baby talk so we can understand what they’re saying. Someone at NASA, I’m looking at you. We still haven’t said mama yet…and I’m still totally fine with it. I’m fine. Really, I’m fine.
+Eats her toes. Which is yes, both totally weird and hysterical all at the same time.
It’s been a heavy couple of months.
A heavy, heavy couple of months.
As a mom, I’ve found myself more often then not saying, “Why and how is this the world I have to raise babies in? And how am I supposed to do that?”
I’ve watched the news cover shooting after shooting (and before we go on, I want to make it clear that I do not think this is about guns) and wondered, “But why do they hate us/them/him/her, so much?”
And then I’ve logged on, and so many time off, of social media. We’ve got a lot to say these days, and as we should.
I know I do.
I have a brother in the police force. So no, I don’t support a movement that’s calling for his head on a silver plater. That’s not peacefully protesting, instead throwing bricks at the police.
I live in the town that underwent the largest terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. I cried and did what I could to show support to the humans affected. No, I don’t think it was just about one “type” of people. I saw humans, that’s it.
As a country we’ve been divided. By the media and the President. Being told that an event that took place was because of xyz, when in reality it was just because of hate. Because someone decided that acting on that hate was a good idea. You can hop on Facebook at any time of the day now and get everyones opinion on anything.
And I want to make it clear, that I think that’s ok. We’re allowed to share our opinion.
But it’s how we do that. I’ll be 100% honest and say that I am struggling with anger right now at recent events. I’m mad. I’m mad that the people who protect us day in and day out are being portrayed like the enemy. I’m mad that I had to listen to my little sister cry to me for 45 minutes the night of the Dallas shootings as her husband was still out on duty. I’m mad that people are making this just about guns. I’m mad that recent events aren’t being told in total honesty, that there is so much of these stories we don’t know. I’m mad that we can’t all just come together and say ENOUGH.
That it doesn’t have to be about skin color. Or religion. Or sexual preference.
We can disagree with each other. You can totally think it’s all about guns. You can think I’m full of it. That’s fine. But we have to start being ok with the fact that we aren’t all right all the time, and that there are people with different opinions than us.
Surely we can change.
Surely we can figure out how to get out of this mess we’ve put ourselves in. Because if we want to point fingers, we can. But we have to all stand in front of the mirror and point to ourselves first.
The only answer, and when I say the only, I mean the only answer.
You want a “movement” that means nothing but love, and peace. That’s Jesus.
The One Who came to change it all. To make us all one. To show the world that love will always conquer hate.
I’ve got some work to do. I’ve got to let some of this anger go because I know it’s not helping. It’s not doing anything.
Jesus came so that this crazy, messed up world we live in, can make a little sense.
And that’s what I clinging to these days.
We’ll make it through, you guys. We will.
We have to start with Jesus.
Where there is hope, love, peace, courage, strength, and forgiveness.
I’ve figured out that we have to start just looking to Him. Reading in the Word about His life and how He handled things. How God placed Him on this earth, to live a life worthy of mimicking. How God created Him to come, and to die for our sins. All of them. To come and remove hate. To let love reign. Jesus is the remedy.
I’ve started taking Em and Duke for a walk in the morning and this morning I put on The Remedy album by David Crowder.
And listened to the song Surely We Can Change.
Here are the lyrics:
“And the problem is this We were bought with a kiss But the cheek still turned Even when it wasn’t hit
And I don’t know What to do with a love like that And I don’t know How to be a love like that
When all the love in the world Is right here among us And hatred too And so we must choose What our hands will do
Where there is pain Let there be grace Where there is suffering Bring serenity For those afraid Help them be brave Where there is misery Bring expectancy And surely we can change Surely we can change Something
And the problem it seems Is with you and me Not the Love who came To repair everything
Where there is pain Let us bring grace Where there is suffering Bring serenity For those afraid Let us be brave Where there is misery Let us bring them relief And surely we can change Surely we can change Oh surely we can change Something
Oh, the world’s about to change The whole world’s about to change”
Y’all. That’s some good stuff.
We need grace and serenity and braveness and change. So much change.
And we do that through Jesus. Even as I type this I wonder where to start. And I think it’s an easy answer. Love. We have to get back to loving on each other. Truly loving on each other. Race, religion, sexual preference, occupation aside. Love.
The world’s about to change.
And it’s up to us to make sure that the change that comes is more Jesus. Less hate.