Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Motherhood Part II

Motherhood right now: taking mom/daughter selfies!
I’ve had this post on my mind for awhile now.  And I’ve been thinking of writing a follow up to this post on Motherhood, to document the changes and feelings since I've become a mother. 
I think the first feeling is of pure unconditional love and how it grows.  I remember when I very first saw Helena when I was still on the operating table.  I couldn’t yet hold her because my arms couldn’t move.  My first few thoughts were how in that single moment you forget everything.  I forgot how horrible it was being pregnant those last few huge weeks.  I forgot the frustrations of testing my blood sugars and later taking insulin.  I forgot all of my worries of baby being ok.  There she was.  She was ok.  Then my mind sifted to her being inside of me.  This is a miracle I don’t think I’ll ever be able to truly comprehend.  That my baby was inside of me.  That she grew from me.  From two tiny itty bitty little cells, to this.  This little human.  This little girl.  I still look at pictures right after she was born and I question: “How did she fit inside of me?!” 
Next is the love. 
Surprisingly this was not a wow bam hit me moment, like I expected it to be.  It was more of a aura of feelings.  But nothing overly overwhelming.  Does that make sense?  Sometimes I wonder if this means I’m a bad mom, or others have a similar experience but don’t talk about it?  Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and I loved her before she was born, and my love grew for her once I had her.  But the moment I saw her I expected this super intense feeling of crazy drastic in love emotion.  And it just wasn’t there.  I have bigger in love moments now than I did when she was born.  Is that normal?  Can someone please tell me I’m not crazy?! 
Which brings me to the present time.  I love being Helena’s mom.  There is nothing like it.  Giving 100% of myself to her every day is easy.  That’s one of the reason’s I hate being apart from her some days.  I love her unconditionally.  I would easily and gladly put myself in front of a moving train if she were in the way.  The type of give you give during those super short newborn months is part of that love.  You are giving and giving and what she is giving back is knowing that she is a healthy and growing baby.  That is priceless.  She can now show her love for me in other ways, like when she mimics me and says “Ma Ma Ma” or if she is just sitting on the floor playing, and we look at each other across the room and she gives me this ginormous smile.  Those things tell me that she loves me and that I’m doing something right.  I think it is difficult to give love without expecting something in return.  But not when you become a mom.  I of course, have expectations of Helena and no doubt that throughout our mother/daughter relationship we will disappoint each other.  But the feeling of unconditional love is so well, unconditional.  And up until I had her hadn’t ever experienced. 
I see being her mother as doing things.  Always staying busy.  We’re similar that way.  We both get stir crazy if we stay in the house for too long.  I see going swimming with her, doing art projects together, writing in a mother/daughter journal together. 
I see her now and think back to this post about what makes you, you?!  I wonder if I’ll have anything to do with who she is as a person.  Or if it’s all pre-calculated and decided.  I like to think we’ll have some influence on her.  I hope that she is silly and laid back like her dad, and a planner and observant like me. 
With reading my Motherhood post, I re-read the comments.  And they made me laugh and cry.  First was Rachel’s comment.  Now that Helena is crawling I now have an audience when I pee.  I don’t see that changing for many years to come!
In my post I also wrote out concerns that I had about how this new parenthood role would affect my marriage.  I loved Emily’s comment that basically says to take the time to truly focus on the new motherhood role because that baby phase is so short lived.  Let it be life consuming.  Looking back, I wish I would have done more of this.  Because it does  We thankfully have found an amazing babysitter and do go out on dates!  And this is something I’m extremely proud of.  Although Chris is an amazing dad, I haven’t lost him as my husband.  And I hope he feels he hasn’t lost me as his wife.  I was talking to someone recently who has 2 kids and she said she couldn’t remember the last time she had a date night with her husband.  My goal is to not have this be me, ever.  I know there will be a time where a monthly date night won’t happen, but I don’t ever want to not remember when my last date night was.  Although Helena is a top priority I love that Chris and I still take time for us. 
Being a mom is like everything I expected and so much more.  From making her giggle to getting frustrated at her when she won’t hold still for me to put on her diaper.  To everything moment in-between.  My motherhood role is one I don’t take for granted and I feel incredibly blessed that God as trusted me to take care of one of His children.  I know my motherhood role will expand and grow as Helena gets older and I’m looking forward to all the milestones.  I don’t know why it is so hard, but right now my biggest focus is staying present on the present! (thanks Andrea.) 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Birthday

I’m officially in my mid-30’s.  Right in the middle.  Not necessarily a milestone, but a reminder that I’ll be 40 before I know it, because the past 5 years have flown by. 
I had a great birthday.  Helena was up off and on from about midnight to 3am the morning of my actual birthday.  With such a rough night for both of us I decided to stay home for the day.  I did some work and enjoying playing with my daughter.  I had some wonderful phone conversations with friends, then had a impromptu coffee date with my friend Erin.  We have daughters that are about 2 weeks apart!  I got my free coffee from Caribou, and we enjoyed just chit-chatting.  Some one on one time is such a treasure!
Helena and Lilly

Right after coffee I got Chris and we went out to dinner.  I knew he had a birthday date planned for the coming up Saturday but if there is one thing I love, it’s going out to eat.  When we were planning our menu and grocery list for the week I told him I didn’t want to cook on my birthday.  So out we went.  We went to Ted’s Montana Grill. I had the trout, as did Helena…she loved it!  I only ate half, and left the rest in a to-go container on the table! I seriously hate it when I do that!  Anyways, we came home gave Helena a bath and put to bed, and I opened my birthday gifts and cards. 
I’m truly spoiled!  I got lots of great stuff and ended the night with some cuddle time with my man. 
Helping Mom open presents

Birthday flowers from my Mom! 

On Tuesday I got some flowers delivered to my work from my mom that smelled glorious.  Throughout the week I got some more cards in the mail. 
Then Saturday Chris and I went out.  He had our babysitter come watch Helena, and we went out to what is probably our newest favorite place called Guard and Grace.  This is the second time we’ve been here in the past 6 months, and everything is just great.  Good food, spot on service, nice atmosphere, strong drinks.  They even made me a birthday card!  After dinner we went to a show called “Forbidden Broadway”.  A four person show that does various parodies of different mainstream musicals.  It was pretty funny.
Yummy dessert!
What I valued most was my time with Chris.  We’ve been successful in having a date night each month since Helena’s been born. But our December date night was at the beginning of the month, with the hustle and bustle of the holidays and new year, it felt like it had been forever since we had been out.  It was great having him all to myself with no distractions,  or other priorities filling our minds of things to do around the house, a budget to make, cleaning, laundry, etc…
The celebration went on to yesterday when I got a package from my cousin Kari.  She made a beautiful pink blanket for Helena that I love!  It’s her first real girl thing, since the patterns are pink! 
Birthday are super special to me, and I feel this one is for the books!  It is such a special feeling to feel such love and to share my day with my family and those I’m close to. 
Here’s to a great 35th year!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I really don’t like when I get behind on my blog.  The thoughts in my head seriously keep me up at night, which is no good because this mamma needs her sleep!
So where do I begin? 
I’m officially done breastfeeding.  I nursed her for the last time last Friday 1/16.  I started reducing my pumping time after Christmas and had reduced it to 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night.  Then last week I took Helena to the doctor because she’s been scratching her ears to the point where they will bleed, and I asked the doctor and she said I need to stop pumping.  So that’s what I did.  (Her ears are fine BTW).  I felt a little uncomfortable last Friday, and she was getting ready to nap, and I knew it would be the last opportunity to nurse her, so I took it.  I expected to have an emotional breakdown over it, but that hasn’t happened.  Now I’m not too sure it’ll happen.  So maybe because I was prepared for it and planned for it, it’s ok.  The biggest difference since I’ve stop as definitely been Helena’s food budget.  We’re going through formula like crazy, and that stuff is expensive!  With all of the value breastfeeding provides we now also realize the money it saved us over the past 7+ months.  I feel extremely proud that with all of the setbacks and trouble I had I was persistent and did it for so long.
One of the things I’m in total awe over is how raw having a baby is.  The emotions involved are just so pure.  When she laughs you know it is because she is overcome with joy and fun.  When she cries out you know it is because she is truly hurt or confused.  I absolutely love making her laugh.  Hearing her giggle is amazing.  Sometimes she laughs so hard she snorts!  Last night while I was undressing her getting ready for her bath I was tickling her belly and she snorted like 4 or 5 times in a row!  Pure raw emotion right there! 
She started standing up in her crib.  So now the mattress has been lowered.
She’s gotten separation anxiety.  This kills me.  Her first day back at the in-home daycare after the new year was super hard.  Then after my mom was in town and watched her for a couple of days and she back to the in-home daycare last week was also super hard.  She was crying, screaming, and crawling to the front door all day long.  Combine the fact that she only goes a few days a week, with the inconsistent schedule, I think she is just confused.  That was part of my reasoning for staying home yesterday.  I asked the doctor about it last week and she said the peak for separation anxiety is 8 months to a year. 
She has super long hair.  Her hair gets in her face and eyes.  I’ve started clipping it back.
I know I have lots more but that's all I got for now. 

Monday, January 19, 2015


Chris getting Baptized

Helena getting Baptized

With Pastor Ken

Last Sunday Helena and Chris got Baptized.  It was an amazing event, and such a blessing!  Three years ago when we were planning our wedding and getting to know Pastor Ken, and seeing him Baptize baby's I knew that if I were to ever have a baby I would want him to do their baptism.  Pastor Ken as such amazing Spirit and speaks such wonderful blessings.  He did a fantastic job at our wedding, and didn't disappoint for my daughter's baptism. 
This process was something new to me.  When Chris and I discussed it we didn't know much.  Chris wasn't raised in a religious household and I was raised Catholic.  Neither one of us knew what the process was for the Methodist church.  Shortly after Helena was born, Chris and I discussed her getting baptized and he mentioned wanting to be baptized as well.  How more special can a baptism be with a father and daughter getting baptized together?!  We asked Pastor Ken if he would do both of them at the same time, and he said he was happy to!
We got to learn more about the Methodist practices and their sacraments and I'm excited to take Helena on this journey!
It was a family affair, as Chris' parents and my mom came to celebrate the event!  We had a great time. We got dressed up (big fancy hair bow for Helena and everything!) and celebrated their welcoming into the church!  I was nervous as Helena hadn't pooped for a couple of days prior (and she didn't poop that day either) so we waiting to put her in her dress until the last minute.  Thankfully she was a perfect little girl during the whole Baptism!
In addition to our families all of our church friends and fantastic babysitter came to the service as well.  Afterwards a large group of us went to a fancy brunch and just enjoyed food and good company.  The whole day is a highlight of good memories!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 Goals

So what am I gonna do in 2015?!  How do I even begin to top the past 5 years?!  I’ve had some pretty monumental years and although nothing can top some recent changes (becoming a wife {2012} and mom {2014}) I do hope to put something’s on repeat (lose weight) and achieve some new aspirations that I’ve gained as of late.  

A big focus for this year is lose weight.  I honestly didn’t focus much on it after Helena was born because I was breastfeeding.  I have no idea how much I weigh right now, but if I had to guess I would say I am a little less than what I was before I got pregnant.  I know this is what a lot of mom’s want, to be at their pre-baby weight.  But not for me.  I want to be at my wedding weight.  So that’s the goal.  I’m looking at the big picture and another big goal is to be possibly (newly) pregnant by this time next year.  I probably shouldn’t put this out there on the WWW (who knows why?!) but that’s what I’m shooting for and it’s my blog.  I want to try and experience a healthier pregnancy the second go ‘round so that means I gotta lose weight.  Especially since the second pregnancy will most likely be the last.  As always I plan to post my struggles and triumphs especially since I have my previous weight loss experience to compare it to. 

Another focus for this year is to be a calmer and more patient wife.  I need to work on the way in which I communicate things.  Through my married life (all of 2 years) I’ve learned that I bottle things.  I keep things inside.  For whatever when I have something I want to accomplish, something I want to say, something I want done, something I want to plan etc…I keep it inside and don’t express it.  And then I expect Chris to know what it is that I’m thinking and get frustrated at him when I have to explain something.  Had I just said something sooner it would have prevented so many headaches, some heartaches and tears.  But I wait until  I snap and then it is just too late, and all that’s left is for me to apologize.  It’s a difficult lesson to learn but I do know I want need to change it.  

Lastly I have some professional changes I want to accomplish this year.  I’m working hard at my Younique business and hope to make it grow.  I have some specifics in mind but don’t feel comfortable making those public.  Hopefully in due time.  

In addition to all of that we have a couple of family trips planned and I’m looking forward to watching Helena grow and celebrating her first birthday in May!  I’m tempted to throw a “We Survived the First Year” party, because really she won’t remember the party anyways and I think the fact that we will survive is worth celebrating! 

I know the year will fly by so I better get going!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

8 months

We have a big weekend in the Sweat household and in the middle of it all Helena is 8 months old today!  Last weekend we went out for breakfast and saw a family with a little girl, I asked the parents how old their daughter was and they said 3 months.  Time goes by so fast and one thing I hate about it going so fast is how that time seems like such a blur.  I told the parents "I know you get told this all the time, but it really does go by so fast."  I've always known that a baby changes so much by their first birthday.  To go from this tiny little being that truly just lays there, to this walking toddler, in 12 short months is just crazy.  And now that we are in the middle of it, and nearing that 12 month mark, to see all of the milestones that happen in-between, it is nothing short of a miracle.  She's been crawling for about 7 weeks now and when she is on the move I think to myself "there used to be a time when you couldn't move, you would just lay there, or sit there.  And now you are moving." 
The past month has been a big one!  In addition the celebrating Christmas, meeting Santa Claus, going on her first airplane ride, she also had her first trip to Urgent Care.  The Sunday before Christmas she vomited for the first time.  And this immediately had me concerned, as she had a horrific sounding cough with the vomit.  I called the after hours nurse, and she advised we bring her in.  Once we were there we found out she had a fever of 101.5.  We were given some Tylenol and a new method to clear out her noise, and sent on our way.  I was super thankful when her temperature was back to normal the next day, and that even though she wasn't feeling well, for the most part she was still a happy baby.
She loves to talk, and everything is on repeat.  She's working on waving, and moves her wrist back and forth.  She's eating more and more solids, and eats super fast!  She also gets tastings from whatever is on Mom and Dad's plate.  She loves toys that make noise and had has lights.  She's always on the go and is a super fast crawler, and she can pull herself up onto anything, which is pretty impressive.  She has the most joyous laugh, and has even snorted a few times!
She still only has one tooth.  I call her the "one tooth wonder" as she's had this one tooth since the beginning of December, with no other teeth in sight.   
She's still in size 2 diapers, and just started wearing her 9 month clothing.  She can still wear some of 6 month stuff but the sleeves and pants aren't really long enough.
I'm still pumping twice a day (at night and in the morning) and I still nurse her around 6pm.  But I know my nursing days are coming to an end.  I only pump for about 5 minutes and can only really nurse her if she is tired.  I know we'll both miss the comfort it brings.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Year in Review: 2014

What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before? Gave birth.

What moments from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory? My summer home being a mom.  Helena meeting her grandparents for the first time. 

What was your biggest achievement of the year?  Having Helena, keeping my house somewhat clean.

What was your biggest failure? Being inpatient with my husband.

 Did you suffer illness or injury? I was super sick back on 12/14.  I don't think I have ever been that type of sick.  I felt horrible.  I didn't get out of bed and slept all day.

 What was the best thing you bought?  A new Toyota Highlander.

What were your favorite 3 photos of 2014?

 What did you get really, really, really excited about?  Having a GIRL!

 What song will always remind you of 2014? "Happy" Pharrel Williams

What was the best food discovery of 2014? The re-discovery of sushi and over easy eggs.

 What do you wish you’d done more of? Blogging.

What do you wish you’d done less of? Not communicating.

 What was your favorite new TV show?  I didn't watch anything new.

What was the best book you read? I definitely want to read more in 2015.

 What was your greatest musical discovery? That any song can be a Dance Jam song!

What was the best film you saw this year? Probably "Heaven is for Real". 

 What did you want and get? A healthy baby.

 What did you want and not get? A remodeled downstairs bathroom.

What's something you fell in love with? More like someone: Helena Grace!

 What was your family's favorite kid's book? Sophie's First Words were a definite favorite.  Reading it always calms Helena.

What kept you sane? My husbands patience, my mother-in-laws food, my mom's cleaning.  And texting with Andrea.

 Who was the best new person you met? My daughter.

 What was a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014? I feel as though I've learned this lesson year over year, but that God listens to your prayers, and answers them.  In His time.

PAST Year in Reviews: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas Break

At Jingle Jam

Playing with Grayson

I like to eat my socks!

Watch out here I come!

She loves her Aunt Michelle!

Babywearing in Boulder.

Playing with Aunt Michelle!

Christmas Eve dinner

On the plane

The stockings are hung

With grandma!

Helena and Luke

All the second cousins: Aidan holding Helena, Riley holding Luke, and Joshua and Katherine.

Small baby little dog.

River of Lights
I've had the last two and half weeks off, and it's been great!  I saw some friends, had some snow days, celebrated Christmas, spent a few days in Albuquerque, and rang in 2015!
It's been so much fun!  My dear friend Michelle came to visit and meet Helena the week before Christmas.  We went to a Jingle Jam and just hung out! I even got a babysitter so we could have some alone time and get a pedicure/manicure!  It was a lot of fun.
Chris had Christmas Eve off, so we just hung out as a family, and went to the 4pm service at church.  It was super crowded, but thankfully we got a sit and at the end even got a Christmas blessing from Pastor Ken.  After service we went to dinner.  It was just ok.  Then we went home and to bed.  We woke up Christmas morning and had pork pie, and we opened up presents!  We didn't get Helena anything, but thankfully she had gifts from grandparents and other family members!  It was so much fun.  After presents Helena took a nap while we got ready to leave town.  Thankfully Helena woke up just in time to head to the airport!  It was nerve-racking preparing for her first plane ride, and everything needed for an out of town trip, but we did pretty good!  She was the perfect combination of tired and hungry as we lifted off, so I was able to nurse her while she took a short 20 minute nap.  She got a little bit fussy on the way down as she was awake and didn't want to be covered up to feed, but overall the first plane ride was a success!
Once we arrived we got the car seat installed into my parents car and went to my parents house.  My parents have a step down into their living room which she mastered RIGHT away!  And she loved the open space and just crawled around and got used to her surroundings.  After dinner we went to visit my friend Michelle and her parents, then Helena got a bath and put to bed.  She definitely knows when she is someplace new.  My parents got her a crib to sleep in, but she just knew it wasn't her crib.  Plus the crib was in the room where we slept, and when we went in to go to bed she immediately woke up. 
On Friday my cousin Nikki and her husband Dan came over with their little boy Luke who is 15 months old.  We were very excited to meet Luke for the first time!  We had lunch and the kiddos had a little play date, it was so much fun.  Later that afternoon we went over to my Aunt Deanna's to meet the whole family!  There were 20+ people there, and I was worried how Helena would handle so many people, but she did great!  Chris and I were able to eat while various family members got to spend some time with Helena. 
Saturday we went to see my cousin Kari and went out to the River of Lights.  It was super cold, but we did the tour and Helena stayed bundled up.  Sunday we just hung out before heading to the airport.  Again on the way up she was the perfect combination of tired and hungry, so I was able to nurse her.  On the way back she slept for about 30 minutes, and she didn't fuss at all on the way down with the help of some chewy little things we gave her to eat.  This week was spent taking down Christmas - all of the decorations and the tree.  New Year's Eve I made a really good chicken dish, and we watched Dallas Buyers Club.  New Year's Day I made a yummy breakfast!  And today as been a snow day, as we haven't even gotten out of our pajamas's!  The break as been super nice.  I'm already dreading Monday.