i have no clue what i'm doing
ok so. for the first six months with two babes i thought i was kind of killing it. juniper is such a chill baby. took great naps. was sleeping 12 hours straight at night from like 10 weeks or so on (don’t hate me, my four year old JUST started sleeping through the night more regularly). and then we hit six months and it kind of all fell apart. six month sleep regression. developmental leap. two bottom teeth coming in at the same time. naps shrunk to 30 minutes. waking 2-4 times a night. not going back down easy. gagging and vomiting when we attempt table foods. massive plugged milk duct for me when she was nursing poorly as the teeth were cutting through. separation anxiety foiling my fitness plans. my chill baby is not quite so chill when it comes to teething, separation from mama, sleep, and table foods.
a few weeks ago i sat down as my big girl was whining for a peanut butter spoon and the baby was screaming and refusing to go down for nap and just thought to myself: i thought i was killing it but actually i have no effing clue what i am doing. 😆 i throw up my hands. white flag. kids, you win. 🏳️ i mean, that’s not really true. but it is how i feel sometimes.
this motherhood gig is hard. so so so so hard. i can’t do the things i want to do (i mean like dishes and put away laundry and walk around the block once) because the littles don’t cooperate. because they are humans. every single day is an exercise in surrender. oh lord, i feel like i don’t know what i’m doing half the time. but god how i love these little people and want so badly to do right by them. i am learning over and over again that there is a wide range of "right." and there is so much grace.
the other week bina and i had a "tend" (pretend) day at the beach. she asked to read the book who has what? all about girls' bodies and boys' bodies which takes place at the beach. she saw the beach towels in the illustrations and requested that we go get some at the store. i informed her that we in fact have beach towels and could pretend to go to the beach in our living room. i shouldn't call it a living room anymore. it's basically a play room. our play room. but then it sounds like that room is the only room dedicated for play and that is just not the case. our whole house is arranged for play. at any rate. play is the sole purpose for that room whereas the rest of the house is more multi purpose for adult and child use. i collected our beach towels, an umbrella, sabina's little outdoor chair, and her kinetic sandbox and we pretended to take a trip to the beach. she loved it. something kids do is repeat the same thing over and over and in doing so form brain connections. sabina's thing that day was declaring that it was raining so we had to pack up the car and drive home. then as soon as the pretend rain stopped, we needed to load back up and head back to the beach. over and over and over. i tried to convince her we could just ride out the rain on the beach. she was not persuaded. i love her. later she wanted to go surfing so we went "shopping" for "surfboards" and used the partially folded play town poster board mats she and i had made together as the boards and pretended to surf. we saw dolphins jumping in the water. it was magical. this is childhood. maybe i do know what i am doing after all.
i can't even remember how i got on this kick but several weeks ago i got it in my head that i wanted to make a kids rock climbing wall in our living room. at any rate i did some light research, found a tutorial from another family that had implemented this idea in their house, ordered the appropriate climbing holds (mini jug holds are the best for this, apparently) in sea foam green because i cannot stand primary colors, and sent david to home depot to pick up some plywood with the help of our neighbor and his handy truck. it truly was a team effort.
i measured out and marked where to drill the holes on the plywood. david sanded and hammered in the t-nuts that i found online because home depot didn't have nearly enough in stock and the ones they had were way too expensive when we needed 100 in quantity. david mounted the plywood to the wall in the living room and we both screwed in the climbing holds in various places. we decided to also get a second sheet to add a horizontal wall in the basement. all that to say. if you have a kid that likes to climb. send them our way. we're ready. bina was hesitant at first worried that she was going to fall and hurt her head. i assured her that i did not think she would fall but we would have a mat below her just in case. after her first time up and down, she lost all fear and just climbed up and down the wall on repeat. i tried it once myself and found it quite difficult. that girl is agile! and definitely gets her energy from her daddy.
our basement has been slowly transforming into a kids gym space. i ordered two hanging yellow rings from wayfair and david installed them as i was on the MOPS leadership retreat last weekend. we moved our small trampoline down there. now bina can cycle through the horizontal rock wall, hanging rings, slide, trampoline, and hanging swing. winter, we are ready for you!
and thanks to spirit riding free on netflix, sabina's latest obsession is riding her inflatable horse around the house. which is excellent exercise. she blew out her blue deer so i ordered her a pink gymnic rody horse. highly recommend. much more durable that the original blue deer i ordered before her third birthday. now i kind of want a fleet of rody horses to have around the house and outside. ha. just like her daddy, my girl never stops moving. so i am setting up my house to allow her to play hard and release all of her energy in a playful and productive way.
something that has become important to me lately is durability in furniture and decor. the hardest thing for me about potty training was the accidents. i do not want to be stressed out about life happening in my house. i just want all of our things to be washable and durable. i do not want to care more about my dumb stuff than i care about my children. and i do not want to have a house with a bunch of rules about what you can and cannot do on furniture. people can have different ideas on all of that. it is fine. this is just how i want my house to be. durable. care free. interesting for humans. fostering creativity and play. all within my color scheme of choice, of course.
one of the changes i have made toward my goal of durability is to replace the gorgeous west elm rugs on my first floor with playful and durable ruggable rugs. potty training means accidents. even now that bina is day potty trained, accidents happen. having dogs means occasional dog vomit and excessive amounts of dog hair. humans in a house means potential for things to be dropped or spilled. accidents happen. i have seen ruggable ads in various places. potty training and some other experiences got me considering the switch more than ever. i decided to order a 6x9 rug for the play room and an 8x10 for the family room. i chose the smaller size for the play room because i really just wanted a soft space for the baby to crawl around and a fun pattern to enhance the space. my favorite west elm rug used to reside in there and i still miss that pattern. but i do prefer the soft velour feel of the ruggable rug to the scratchiness of woven wool.
i had pulled up my west elm rug during potty training and just had the wood exposed. after doing that i also realized i wanted more of the wood floor visible. in the family room i still wanted the bigger size 8x10 to anchor the space. and i actually prefer the design of the ruggable rug to my old west elm rug in there. i moved the solid teal rug with rust colored tassels from the family room to the guest room upstairs where the roomba can no longer eat it and the dogs no longer barf on it. this arrangement really works best for a lot of reasons. i have not needed to wash either ruggable rug yet. i will report back on how they do over time. for now i am a very satisfied customer. my only complaint would be that it is kind of a pain to get the hang of applying the rug cover to the rug pad. think of an 8x10 piece of contact paper you are trying to line up JUST. RIGHT. it is quite the challenge. i did alright. practice makes progress. the 6x9 was definitely easier.
in other news, my new strategy with juniper on the sleep front is to let her cry it out a bit for naps and bedtime and then in the night when she wakes i take her into the guest room and co-sleep with her on the queen mattress that resides on the floor. i mean it's not perfect. but she and i are sleeping more and she's even gotten a three hour nap in the last couple days so i think we are on the up and up. she is her happy self as long as she is fed (breastfed) and sufficiently rested. kind of like all humans. imagine that. i wear her a lot. we get by. and i feel like i actually do know what i am doing. i just have to keep trying new things and find out what works for us. heck, bina is sleeping through the night now so. apparently i didn't mess her up too much in that department with all of my sleep fumbling and bumbling with her. it is all good. truly. brittain, you DO know what you are doing. trust your mama instincts. all the sleep books and sleep "experts" contradict each other. you do you. and that goes for all ya'll. we all make sacrifices. we just have to decide which sacrifices we are comfortable making. i just married two opposite ends of the spectrum on sleep: cry-it-out and co-sleeping. and it works for me and my kid. and that is all that matters.
motherhood is so hard. it is so uncomfortable. and i am getting comfortable with this uncomfortable. not all the time. sometimes i just want to peace out. but god in his grace continually shows me that we are going to be okay. we are going to get this. he has gifted me in unique ways. he has shown me his kindness in bringing to light my strengths as a mother. i may not be the best housekeeper. but i do prioritize making my house a home that fosters creativity and play. maybe there are moms that do both of those things well. i am not one of them. and that is okay. god has entrusted these two girls to my care and as i remain humble and obedient to him, he will guide this messy broken journey and bring us somewhere beautiful. i am not quite sure where we are going, but i know we are going to get there together. and that is enough. i may feel like i have no clue what i am doing. and while that feeling is valid, i know it is not true. god will continue to equip me by his grace for whatever lies ahead. and for that i am so very thankful.