Wednesday, July 23, 2014

F I V E months!

Millie Willard you slow it down right now, sister!
This has by far been my absolute favorite month of my life!! You are SOOOOOO fun.  So animated.  So happy.  So full-of-life.  So adorable.
Are you sure you're mine???!!!.... of course you are... every article of clothing and accessory had your name on it at the hospital so we keep telling ourselves there's no way to they could have given us the wrong baby :)).. plus you are starting to look more like your daddy every day.  I'm okay with that... kind of... just promise me you'll eventually have something of mine??

It has been quite a ride this month! SITTING UP on your own... insisting to hold your own bottle when we give you one... having a double ear infection... an eye infection... we even took the infant insert out of your car seat (which makes for a much happier millie when we ride in the car) WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE DID MY NEWBORN GO?? Oh, yeah... can't forget-- YOU HAVE A TOOTH!!!

Watching you sleep is one of my favorite things to do these days--- you clasp your hands together under your chin like the most precious little cherub angel I've ever seen.  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it and of course I cry every time I witness it.  Speaking of sleep--let's just go ahead and talk about that.  You're starting to KIND OF get the hang of it... You are in your crib.  Last week we started putting you down at 9.. let me explain.  The doctor (and most books i'd read) insisted we put you down at 7, dream feed between 10-11, and then you should sleep until 7 am.  You never got that memo.  You'd wake AT LEAST 4 times between 7 and 3:30 and at 3:30 you were up ready to do the chicken dance and party until the sun came up! Silly Girl!  I'd convinced myself that this was the reason the Lord paved the way for me to be able to stay home with you because He knew I'd be getting very little sleep.  I told myself to just buckle up and cease every minute I could spend with you, but I started to get delirious, cranky, and couldn't get anything done during the day because I was so tired.  We changed your bed time to 9 and started putting you down for a nap around 6:45... Since then you have (still woken up 2-3 times, but have gone right back to sleep.. I usually feed you just one of those times.. which is better than what I was doing and feeding you like 3 times throughout the night.. woooo buddy was that rough) slept later and later into the morning.  The first time you woke up at 5:30 am (and believe me we celebrated this because for some reason 5:30 is WAY better than 3:30).. then 6:30 the next day.. then 7 ish... then NINE O'CLOCK???... and now you've started consistently waking up between 6:15-6:45.  THANK YOU.  I know your tooth had to have SOMETHING to do with that inconsistent sleeping pattern and I'm sure the ear infections didn't help either...

Another favorite thing these days is pushing you in the jogging stroller.  YOU LOVE IT.. I think you love that you don't have to be strapped into that silly carseat and the weather the past week and a half has been glorious and you just smile and giggle your way through the breeze.  Thankfully, I'm finally able to run again (slowly but surely) and we can enjoy that time together!

Other things that you love:
-your jumper.. you stay in there for about 20 minutes occupying yourself
-SOPHIE..I don't know what it is about that stinkin giraffe but she has been your bestie
-to swing.. sadly you're about to get too big for the swing :(.. you already fall asleep and end up with your head leaning forward
-to play in the mirror
-for people to sing to you--you stare in amazement!
-to take a bath
-the pool
-EMJAY.. You watch her in amazement, too
-you won't sleep without your giraffe lovie... Tone-tone got you a replacement one if the first one goes missing.. thank goodness she did because the weekend she gave it to us we were traveling home from her house and you had quite a BIG accident in your car seat and giraffe love #1 fell victim.. ha
-to sleep on your side
-to giggle
-the booger snatcher
-to wiggle your head back and forth and make a snorty sound when you realize it's time to eat or see a bottle (so hilarious)
-when we let you take naps with us in our bed
-other babies.. you had a playdate with Archer Crawford and Owen Harness and "wouldn't keep your hands off them"... also--you had your first kiss! :).... ha Beckett Helmkamp planted one on ya.. actually he started sucking your lip and you just did a little giggle and let him  HA
-to suck your lips together, to suck your toes, and you have started to suck your thumb much more.. it was funny when you first started because you'd throw your arm out really wide then bring it in to your face and completely miss your mouth a few times before you got it. :)
-the sound machine when you sleep (we just use an old iPhone with the "sleep pillow" app)
-to be outside

You went golfing for the first time with daddy this past weekend.  You had so much fun riding in the golf cart.  The joy on your face scooting in the breeze was so cute.

The next night (7.21.14) I was finishing up dinner and your daddy was holding you.  We were (like usual) gnawing on your hands and drooling like mad and he stuck his finger in and felt a tooth!!!! WHATTTTT??!  I hadn't felt for one in a few days so not sure how long it had been broken through the skin.

You're just the best and as I say every month.. I can't believe you're FIVE MONTHS OLD. :(
I am loving every minute of being home with you, Mills.  Thank you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Choosing Happy

I don't even know where to begin. I have an overwhelming desire to write this post because I feel like i just need to get every thought I've been feeling the past month out. Joy. Disappointment. Hope. Discontentment. Excitement. Anxiousness. Fear. Sorrow. Thankfulness. Desperation. Overwhelming feeling of blessedness (is that a word)..... I've felt it all. I wish I could blame this on the roller coaster that is being a mom but there's so much else to take into consideration. Aside from my eternal salvation and my marriage, Millie Everett Willard is the most amazing blessing in my life. The joy that radiates from her eyes is heart wrenching. I pray that light and joy is ever present in her life.

I guess I do know where I should begin.. And that's by saying I should have been diagnosed with ADD a LONG time ago- I'm not saying that to be funny. I don't take that lightly because I know so many sweet kiddos [and adults] that struggle with it. I know I have it. I'm just afraid to hear a doctor say it because I hate for my body to depend on medicine. On a given day I think my brain does about 5 million jumping jacks. So this post may make this obvious.

I LOVE MY DAUGHTER. I wouldn't change a single thing about the past four and a half months.   Not even the sleepless nights. I know that "trials of this life are His mercies in disguise"  the past month and a half Millie has decided to stop sleeping. I love sleep. I wish she did. I REALLY wish she did. We found out poor baby has a double ear infection last Monday so a lot of her sleeplessness can be accredited to that. The rest of it is MY FAULT. She is my first child (and we are thinking our only) and I just was not ready to let her out of touching distance at night. She slept in the rock n play until almost three months. Then we moved her to the pack n play- both in our room. On my side of the bed. The pack n play sleeping went on the past month. Sleep has been a huge hazy blur for me. I couldn't imagine letting her "cry it out"- I just felt like I'd be abandoning her when she needed me. But I got desperate. I let her cry for an hour straight one night and sweet girl still did not go to sleep :(.

After she got the ear infection the doctor suggested letting her sleep upright. So I let her sleep in her swing two nights-- she only woke up once both nights.. As opposed to her normal SEVEN. Yep. Seven. Again- my fault. She has been relying on "sucking" as her soothing method to get back to sleep and oblivious me let it go on too long before realizing it.
So now she is in her crib. Wow what a night we had last night. EIGHT crying wakings. Then up at 3:30 and ready to play. Only sleeping a few five minute stretches until 8:30... Mmm hmmm. Also at 6:30 I got the swing to put in our room in hopes that both of us could get some sleep... Changed her diaper (she was laying on our bed) and I literally thought to myself- the only way this could get any worse is if she peed on our bed. YEP!!! :(((. Millie I'm not writing this to make you feel bad.  I'm writing it because I know one day very soon this will make us all laugh. I know this is just a season and I am sinking my toes in because I'm determined not to wish a single moment away. I love you... See. So many emotions.

I also have this terrible "disease" where I constantly want to FIX things that I have no control over. The only thing I can usually contribute to the situation is a shoulder to lean on and a prayer. Right now the thing I'm lugging around is wishing I could take away the pain and grief from my mom and papaw (and the rest of the family) of the loss of my Nanny. I see their pain and I hear their daily struggles and I just so greatly desire to help and take it away. I know their pain right now is part of the grieving process but I wish they didn't have to feel it.
Another thing I want to fix is having my family near me. I still cry every single time I leave them. I constantly worry about my mom - she truly would do anything for anyone- especially her family and I pray so often that she would just find JOY in this life.

Told you this post was going to be a doozie. Speaking of doozie- a double doozie from great American cookie sounds SO good right now

Now. Let me come down from my ridiculous ranting podium and THANK THE LORD for my family that I wish I lived near, for my daughter who i am not sure what this life would be like without, for my husband who wipes my tears, lifts me up, and always makes me laugh , for my home that we've made so many memories in that The Lord helped us sell, and for bens family who has always welcomed me in. I truly realize how WONDERFUL I've got it.....  My complaints and "ailments" are so petty as I sit and think about children in Rwanda who just want to be fed and loved, about widows who yearn to hear their husband's voice again or feel his touch, and for sweet couples who have lost their babies or who have tried for years to have a family. Lord would you heal the hearts of those, hug them with your righteous hands, and lord, give them hope for the path you are paving for them.

1 Peter 1:3-6

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you,  who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
I am so incredibly blessed that I have what I have. My prayer for myself today is that I would get so wrapped up in my blessings that when I wash my makeup off tonight my smile won't fade. That I'll see the JOY in every situation and that I will be THANKFUL.
I went to visit my mom last week and on the way home Sunday Ben and I listened to a focus on the family about "choosing happy".                    
John Maxwell spoke about how joy is a choice. We don't get to choose our circumstances but we can choose our attitude. There were so many great quotes that I wish I could remember but the central message was that we are as happy as we allow ourselves to be. Today I'm choosing happy.