Natalie has just been completely WONDERFUL the past, well, since she was born, but especially lately. She is such a happy little thing, all the time! I have been completely relishing all my time with her. She is now the nap pro (KNOCK ON WOOD) and sometimes her marathon naps go on so long I feel like I don't know what to do with so much free time; don't worry, that feeling is short-lived...I'm just not used to it! She wakes up with such a big grin on her sweet face - when I hear her making noises after a nap I creep into her room and peek around the corner, and when she sees me she sort of does this frantic/excited crawl and squeals and flails her arms as I come closer and closer. It's seriously my favorite part of the day. Then we have cozies, some mirror time, some foods, we play, we go on errands, we visit Daddy at work, we go on walks, we take more naps...we are just total pals, and I love every minute of it.
I've talked to a lot of moms with a lot of different opinions and feelings about their baby's first year. Some ride an emotional high for the first few weeks of life and then get overwhelmed with the reality of living with an infant; some handle it like total pros and are fine on three hours of sleep; some have done tons of research and know exactly which methods they want to use to raise their baby; some take it in stride and always seem to be put together and calm; and for some the excitement or newness wears off after a few weeks or even a few months, and then it's just sort of "now what?" I think we've all probably felt bits and pieces of all of these (and more) moments in motherhood, but I was talking to a friend the other day and I realized where I fall in all of this:
I have never been unhappy as a mom, but I have been overwhelmed at times, worried that I'll never sleep again, very frustrated with having to go to school, feeling like I'll never get my fit body back, and either wanting more Natalie time when I can't have it (such as during class or rehearsals) or needing a Natalie break after a long day. I'm making it sound dismal: of course it's been way more fabulous than dreadful and the hard work is well worth it. But in the last month, I have just been in such a good groove. It has been indescribably nice to be done with school - I don't have to organize my days around class, Natalie has a beautiful, REGULAR nap schedule now that she doesn't have to be carted off to campus every day, and I'm getting more Jessie-time, which I lacked before. This is happily coinciding with an extra fun stage in Natalie's development - she just loves to play, and it is so fun to have her crawl all over us and interact with blocks and make her adorable squeaks and babbles and practice pulling herself up on anything and everything. She loves dumping out her basket of toys and going through them all on the floor while I'm in the kitchen making dinner, she plays happily with my contact case and an old Gatorade bottle while I'm in the shower, and she goes down so easily for naps and bedtime. It is just a complete JOY at the Poulsens! We love going on walks, giving Natalie new foods to try (we found out she loves strawberries) and watching her grow and change.
I think I'm enjoying everything at a higher level now because my life can finally be focused primarily on my baby. Other things aren't really nagging at my time; Natalie is the priority, and it is what I've been craving since I went back to school when she was three weeks old. Some other moms who I've talked to are feeling a little opposite at this stage since they have been able to focus only on their children for however long and now feel like they don't do anything else with their time. I'm sure I'll get there again (it's always good to be involved), but right now I am completely reveling in all this time I have to just be a MOM!
|wearing Daddy's shirt...I love this picture haha|
|shopping for sunhats...this one didn't make the cut|