the eagles family

Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Christmas Monster

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2011 at 7:09 am

I have a confession to make:  I am not very put together.  Phew…I feel better.  Let me explain.

Maybe because it’s Liam’s first Christmas, or because we’re miles and miles away from our nearest family so the holidays can feel a bit lonesome, or perhaps it’s both, I embarked upon a journey this year to create the quintessential Christmas for our little family of three.  So armed with determination and my list, I pulled my mom jeans up to my chest (lets face it, after having a child thats more the region of my navel than the standard chest you see in Elle or Cosmo) I set to work.  My list contained things like a DIY gift idea for all of our friends that would be A) cute B) thrifty and C) appear effortless.  Other items were getting Christmas cards in the mail, shopping lists for Liam, Nathan and our extended family.  An unmentioned but clearly implied item was to complete this list with ease, organization, and grace, all without breaking a sweat. I pictured my family, Christmas morning, basking in all of the accomplished to do-items in the form of homemade cinnamon rolls, perfectly wrapped presents, stuffed stockings all while sitting in our robes sipping coffee.  Sit with me a moment and enjoy and appreciate how perfect and beautiful that little dream is.  Breath it in.  Ahhh…

Now let me tell you about my little day yesterday and the unraveling of this little dream. I woke up ready to take on my day.  After a MOPS gathering, I planned to pick Liam up from my friend (thanks Debbie!) and whisk us away on a DIY Christmas gift making mission.  A stop to Wal-Mart before heading home was all I needed.  However on the car ride over there Liam completely flipped out, crying uncontrollably.  In hindsight, I think he sensed the impending morphing of his sweet and silly mother into a Christmas season monster that I would become by 5pm, and just wasn’t looking forward to it.  After hauling him screaming out of his car seat into Wal-Mart, only to discover they didn’t have the crucial piece of my project, I hauled him back out to the car, back in his car seat, again screaming and drove him home.

I tried to remain calm, telling myself that I’d run out later that day to get what I needed once Nathan was home and that I had a mountain of other items to complete in the meantime while Liam napped.  Fast forward an hour and I am sitting in my living room holding Liam while he sleeps amidst a house that is totally destroyed, because he desperately needs to sleep and due to a nasty little cold he’s had isn’t sleeping well unless he’s being held (you Babywise moms out there are shaking your finger at me, c’mon, you know you are).  I don’t know about you, but holding a sleeping child does two completely opposite things to me at exactly the same time.  I love cuddling Liam while he sleeps and try to soak up his sweet little angelic face and at the same time as I’m chained to a chair with a zonked out child, I look around my house at all of the crap I have to do as I watch the time tick away.  By 4 o’clock, I was a complete mess.  My day had almost entirely been blown and I had yet to really accomplish anything on my “10 steps to Create Christmas Cheer” list.

By 5 o’clock, Nathan came home to a coming apart at the seams, stressed out wife because I could not seem to make any headway on anything.  At one last ditch effort to cross something off my to-do list, I ran out quickly to find that much needed piece that Wal-Mart didn’t have.  I got to a store, found what I needed (insert Hallelujah Chorus), got in line, waited for an eternity, finally was checking out, only to realize that I had, in fact, left my wallet at home.  Another wasted hour of my evening.

By this point my anxiety and frustration had turned to despair, I hit every red light on the way home and I pulled into our complex admitting defeat.  I went to my mailbox and discovered several Christmas cards of beautifully put together families smiling without a care in the world, clearly accomplishing their to-do lists without a hitch (it’s amazing what we infer from a few smiling pictures, isn’t it?).  I drug myself up to our apartment and proceeded to have myself a good long pout.

Nathan had had enough.  He began to recount all of the things that I do accomplish, of which one of them, I believe might have been keeping Liam alive, and telling me I can’t do it all, to which I tearfully choked out, “But I WANT to do it all!”

But, readers, I have to admit that he’s right.  I am not that woman. I don’t do DIY projects.  I am not a multi-tasker.  I don’t look back at the end of my day and see huge projects completed.  Dinner on the table by 6pm is a feat for me.  And *gasp* I often go to bed with my kitchen a mess.  It’s just who I am.  Of course, I have to work on being disciplined in the areas of providing for my family, feeding them, and making sure they always walk out the door with clean underwear on, but much beyond that, I don’t really have the capacity to keep up.

And why has it taken me this long to admit that isn’t me?  Because I’m not entirely satisfied with who I am.  I want to be something I’m not.  I want to be the woman that I feel like is every other woman I see in blogs, Facebook statuses, and Tweets.  I want to have a pulled together seamless home.  Maybe one day I’ll get there, though with the addition of more children that is a far off and lofty goal.  That isn’t the way God wired me, and honestly, I’m exhausted from worrying about trying to be that woman.

So this last week I’ve been working on focusing on the areas that God has designed me to succeed in.  I’m trying to remember what the heck we celebrate this season for too and not get caught up in the expectations or stress of Christmas.  I’ve also been taking a step back and re-evaluating the things I give my time to and recognizing that at this stage of life my primary vocation is my family.  At the end of the day, if I can say I invested well in my family, then I’m trying to be satisfied with what I accomplished.  So here’s to Christmas cheer that isn’t based on all that I accomplished, the cuteness of my Christmas packages or gifts, but the humble reminder that Jesus came in human form, to dwell among us, and my debt.  Oh, and if you received one of my DIY Christmas gifts, please, for my own sake and pride, just smile and tell me it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever been given.


4 months

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2011 at 6:49 am

Wow, 4 months!  When will this little boy slow down?!  This boy grows overnight, it seems.

Liam at 4 1/2 months

Liam’s stats today at his 4 month :  16 lbs (76th percentile) and 26 inches (96th percentile).  Read:  Longer body, still pretty chubby!

Liam had a lot of fun this month!  He got to meet his new BFF for life, Ralph Stern.

Ralph and Liam holding hands

He celebrated his first Thanksgiving and saw his first snow in Sequoia National Forest.

First Thanksgiving*Stolen from Abby Flies*At Sequoia Nat'l Park

Favorite activities include chewing on fingers, sleeping like a champ (still!), and snuggling Mommy and Daddy!

Daddy's fingers taste good too!


3 Months

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2011 at 5:38 am

Liam had a big month!  He took his first plane ride, met his Aunt Alicia (whom he told me he’s crazy about!), met his Great Grandmother, visited Canada for the first time, dipped his toes in the Alantic Ocean, and went on his first camping trip!  Phew, that was a busy month!  It was a ton of fun.

Our family on Prince Edward Island

All worn out from meeting his Great Great Aunts and Uncles

Liam with his Great Grandmother, NannyWith Grampy and Nana

I’m guessing Liam is now around 15-16 lbs, and wearing size 6 month and up!  I think he’s slowly starting to space out his feedings now to every four hours, because let’s face it, the boy isn’t going hungry.  I had Liam in the Moby Wrap yesterday at MOPS and several of the Asian mom’s looked at me in horror when I told them he was only 3 months old.  I think they think I feed him large hunks of red meat every feeding.  Liam could squash some of there 15 month old kids with his right thumb.  Who knew we’d have such a giant?

Liam also started to “talk” to us in the last month.  Oh my heavens, am I in love with his “ohs” and “ahs”.  He really has no interest in playing with anything I dangle over his head.  He’ll stare at it for a little while and then try to look around it so he can look at my face and “talk”.  I think we may have a little extrovert on our hands.  His Grampy (Nathan’s Dad), Nathan and Grandma (my mom) seem to get some of the best conversations with him.

He also now is totally into standing.  Anytime his feet hit a hard surface he arches his back and straightens his legs.  He really likes to sit up in his Bumbo for about 20 minutes, at which point his jowls get the best of him and he can no longer fight gravity and sags his head.  Tummy time still is an inconvenience to him but he stays propped up on his elbows for longer periods of time now.

Liam's first camping trip to the Pacific Ocean

Liam still doesn’t disappoint in the sleeping department.  It seems that there is little we can do to throw off his sleep schedule.  He averages 11-14 hours of sleep a night and several naps that I’m starting to figure out.  He still loves to be swaddled but will put himself to sleep in his own bed without a peep.

Nathan and I just love this little boy to bits and pieces.  Though he’s only 3 months, I’m already starting to see glimpses into his personality.  Though he’s talkative, he’s pretty soft spoken and responds best when you calmly speak to him rather than lots of stimulation.  He’s not a fan of large crowds and needs time to adjust to new situations before I start handing him off to new people.  He can also stare down someone with a furrowed brow like nobody’s business, but once he’s warmed up can flash them the sweetest smile you’ve ever seen.  He seems, so far, to be a pretty even blend of Nathan and I’s personalities.

We can’t wait to see what new tricks he masters in this next month!

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In Uncategorized on December 21, 2011 at 5:10 am

So we’re going to play a little game.  It’s called “Ketchup”.  Or in proper English…catch up.  You see I am way behind on Liam updates.  Which possibly puts me in the doghouse with family.  So here’s how we play the game.  I post an update on Liam that is way overdue, as in 2 months overdue and you look at it, read it, ooh and ahh, as though it is exactly on time and he is that size, and at that stage.  2 minutes later, you look at the next post which is the next month, read it, ooh and ahh, as though THAT is exactly his current age, stats and developmental stage and then move on.  Got it?  Doesn’t this sound fun?!  Ok, here we go…

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