10 April 2013

Rapahel: Three Months

What? Three months?

It used to be that three months was forever time in pregnancy-land. Now three months flies by as Raphael grows just as fast.

Month three was an adjustment period for us. Thankfully Raphael handled everything perfectly. Even using a bottle came easy to him! I think taking him to daycare is harder on Mike and I then him. For now it is his routine.

Learning about our friends!
Speaking of Mike, a few photographs in month three provide all the evidence needed to prove Raphael is Mike's son. Those two are two peas in a pod. Daddy and baby time consist of a lot of napping and some "adventure time". Having a baby has brought out the kid in Mike, even giving way to a few more cartoon watching Saturdays.

I am over joyed each day when Raphael does something new. Whether he makes a new sound or simply smiles even bigger, my heart melts. This kid has got a hold on me. I am going to have to work on saying no because his smile gets me every time. I cannot imagine life without him any more.
My Grandmother made this hat and sweater set. The hat is a little small already!

I think some days my heart wants to burst with love for this little one.

We didn't like this part of the photo shoot.

This is the month when Raphael has learned to grab, pull and pinch. Between cups at the table, my hair and various clothing pieces, he is quite the little grabber. We are getting to the point where everything needs to be processed through our mouth. A lot of slobbery toys have been washed lately.

Look at those chunky little legs!

Mike and I got pretty sick early this month. Thankfully Raphael was spared the pink eye and head cold. Mike's family was in for the weekend when were the sickest. They were a huge help getting things done around the house and taking care of (more like spoiling) Raphael.

And then I got the stomach flu later this month. That was not a fun experience. I got sick after Raphael had gone to bed, but those sweet hours of sleep were interrupted by my need to constantly be near the toilet.  Awesome. Not some of my best parenting that next day.

Overall, month number three was awesome! With the weather getting warmer and our little guy getting bigger I can only imagine the fun we will have.

25 February 2013

A bit more creative

One of the best things about writing is the dynamic ways in which it can be done.
I have decided to create another blog on which I will be writing more creatively. I want to try and write a bit more story-like, rather than just the updates and life happenings.

If you are interested, head on over to Gas Station Flowers. I hope to keep that updated at least once a week or whenever the creative mood strikes me.

Thanks always for reading and I hope you like the creative side as well.

Raphael: Two Months

I can hardly believe it, Raphael is two (as I write this, already three! the plight of motherhood, everything takes longer to do) months old. Everyday he is growing, learning and becoming even more of a little human. Month two was a big month for us, lots of changes in our life including daycare and back to work for me.

Here is what we did in month two:

We took a few baths. Raphael even learned that he didn't mind bath time! We had to bathe via sponge bath for most of this month due to Raphael's bellybutton not fully closing yet. We still need a follow up visit with the doctor before we can get in anything that looks like a real tub, sorry bud.

Bath time with our ducky towel

Such a little gentleman

Raphael played on his play mat. He even started batting at the monkeys! Mike and I listen to more "monkey music" at home that real music now. At least it plays Cannon in D.

But his real favorite toy is a ceramic snowman I had on the table. He talks to it with coos and giggles. I hope it snows a little longer so I can keep the snowman out without looking like I forgot what season it was! (update as I write this post, it has not snowed in a while...it is starting to look silly).

Two months flew by. I cannot imagine how the next 10 will go! I am trying to soak it all in as fast as I can. Luckily I take tons of photos.
And videos. 

Raphael has even started to sleep more than two hours at a time during the night. Not every night, but most. His record is 8 hours IN A ROW! 
That time is so precious to me. I am so thankful for those nights. It helps me get through those other not so great nights.

I returned to work full time this month. I was nervous about the whole bottle feeding thing, but just like the go-with-the-flow kid he is already, Raphael took it well. At first he was particular about the bottle and nipple being warm, but a few weeks in and the ladies at daycare mentioned he took the bottle cold, right out of the fridge. 

I have been able to steal away a few mornings a week to get a run in. Even a brief few miles leads me feeling re-engerized and ready to tackle the day. All the stars have to align in order for me to run, but some careful planning and the right feeding time has allowed me to get out the door. 

I can still hardly believe this wonderful little man is ours.

always, Erika

15 February 2013

On Running This Season

I have developed a strange relationship with running and my season in life.  I feel pulled in two directions. Constantly. It is a little unnerving. It wasn't always like this.

On one hand, I want to spend as much time as possible with my little one. Especially since I am back to working 40 hours a week. It is hard to leave him each day and then get home each night to spend maybe 4 hours together before he is ready for sleep. I want to soak up as much cuddling, laughing and playing as possible. He is only going to be this little once.

On the other hand, I want to run. It feels great. I love the time doing one of my favorite activities. I love being outside, getting fresh air and tired legs. The strength running gives me makes me a better mother, a better wife. I find solace in being alone for even just a quick 3 miles. I miss running competitively. I miss the hard workouts followed by exhausting long runs that add mileage to my running log.

Plus add on top of that a very busy husband trying to make his way through medical school.

I create instant craziness in my head.

I go back and forth with this dilemma more that I care to admit. I spend more time worrying about the days that go by without a run then what I am going to make for dinner. I am in a constant state of battle within. I want to run, to be in shape but I want to be there for my son.

I ask myself where the middle ground is, where can I compromise. If I get less sleep will that really allow me to have a good run or will it just lead me to crankiness. Other mothers do it. It must all be possible. I can do it all.

The reality is, I can't. Not right now. Not given the circumstances, the life strings that are being pulled are not in my favor. Life has changed, so must this season of running.

I want it to be easier to admit, but the first stage of self-forgiveness must be admitting what I am doing wrong even when it is hard. It is hard to tell my inner collegiate athlete that running 6 miles a day just isn't going to happen right now.

But that is the important part of that realization. It isn't going to happen right now. Not that it won't in a month, a year or many moons from now. It is ok. Life has seasons, and my season is parenthood right now. Next season might get a little easier.

Writing it, speaking it out loud is good. I need that reconciliation with myself. I need to allow myself to embrace the change.

I know running will keep me healthy, help me get my body back. And I will do what I can, when I can. 5 am on days it works, in the dark when it doesn't. Being healthy can me a quick walk with the little guy, a swim or even a good 20 minute yoga session during nap time.

I need the grace from myself more than anything. More than new running shoes to help motivate, I need a long deep breath allowing myself to be ok with my wants, selfishly or unselfishly. I can make it through this.

It isn't going to happen now. But some day it will again. And I will be so glad.

(I still have that marathon and 100 mile race on my running to do list, don't worry)

This song sums up how I feel about running right now. Thank you Mumford and Sons.

08 February 2013

A few favorites for the weekend

I was browsing around today and wanted to share some fabulous internet finds.

Enjoy the weekend! Stay warm and try not to get buried in the snow.

And what post of mine wouldn't be complete without some pictures of my little man.