Saturday, January 30, 2016

There's Always Room on Mama's Lap

One of my biggest mom struggles is how to give individualized attention to all three of my little boys.  Living with three kids under three, it can be difficult, on the daily, to feel like you had special bonding time with each child in a meaningful way.  Sometimes it's all I can do to dress, diaper, and feed all of them (those things are taking FOREVER right now by the way). 

Each one of my boys is special and unique and different.  Each one has talents and struggles and experiences a variety of feelings and emotions in any given day.  It is SO important to both Josh and I that we spend one-on-one time with Nolan, Judah, and Carter.  It is SO important to both Josh and I that we can foster a sense of confidence and self-worth in each boy as well.  It is SO important we let our boys explore and practice and experience things that they are interested in.  We want also, especially for Nolan and Judah since they are twins, that each of our boys feels like they can stand proudly on their own; that they each have something awesome to offer the world as an individual human.  Those things take a lot of time and also take knowing each separate child.  

Recently, during an afternoon nap when all three boys were sleeping, I was reflecting on how hard it is for me to be all I want to be to each of my boys individually.  I will admit openly that there are days where I cannot recall that I really honed in on one boy and gave them my complete and undivided attention for a chunk of time.  Daily, I am asking myself questions like these: 

-Judah needs help on his verbal communication, did I practice words with him for a while today?
-Nolan is really into building things (and knocking them over), did I support him in this task today?
-Carter needs to spend more time reading books with me outside of a bed or naptime ritual, did I do that today? 
-I want Nolan and Judah to keep practicing their letter recognition.  Did we do that?
-Did I have moments where just Carter got to spend time with me without his brothers?

When I can't answer yes to ANY questions like that, I feel guilty.  Guilt comes SO so easily to me. 

This particular day when I was reflecting, however, I was reminded of a book we read to the boys.  It's called On Mother's Lap.  I bought it initially because it's one of those books that helps older siblings understand the birth of a new baby in the family.  It's about a boy who is being rocked to bed by his mom.  He keeps wanting to get his favorite toy, blanket, puppy and bring it on mama's lap with him.  The new baby cries and the mom says that maybe the baby would like to rock too. 

The boy, Michael, says, "there isn't room."  The mom says, "Let's see" and goes to get the younger baby sister. 

In the end, all of Michael's favorite things AND the baby sister all fit on mother's lap to rock to sleep.  The last lines are the mom saying, "You know it's a funny thing... but there's always room on mother's lap."

Yes! I do have so much room on my lap! I do have so much love to give!  You are spot on, picture book. 

I may not get to spend all the quality one-on-one time that I'd like to with Nolan, Judah, and Carter, but when those moments come, I try to seize them, cherish them, and be present in them. 

Reminding myself of how much room I have on my lap gives me a lot of hope. 

I am not a perfect mom... none of us are!  But, I am confident my heart is always in the right place.  I am confident I am doing the best I can every single moment of the day.  And I am confident that all three of my boys know they are SO SO SOOOOOOO loved as individuals. 

I will always strive to do better and be a better mom for my kids, but I will take comfort today knowing that even though my lap is pretty full right now, I can always make more room for loving on my babies. 

 Pictures with each of my boys, one-on-one: Nolan, Judah, and Carter

My favorite thing in the world to do
with all three of my boys, separately or together: read :)



Carter Catch-up

Because I wasn't great with my blog over the last few months, I wanted to get some things down here about Carter so they are not lost :)


AUGUST (Carter was 3 Months)
-Pavona family cottage trip
-Goes up north for Aunt Ashley's wedding
-Starts sleeping in crib






SEPTEMBER (Carter was 4 Months)
-9-3-15~ laughed out loud, like a belly laugh as I was making toot noises. He also rolled over from his stomach to back that day. 
-9-9-15~ My dad got him up from a nap and said Carter was on his back... that would've meant that he had rolled over, but no one caught it!
-9-12-15~ Caught Carter rolling over on video!
-Starts sitting in Bumbo
-Baptism






OCTOBER (Carter was 5 Months)
-Trip to Uncle John's
-10-31-15 was a bumblebee for Halloween






NOVEMBER (Carter was 6 Months)
-11-3-15~ has solids for first time... over this entire month, he doesn't like most of what he eats except for apples and bananas and peas (what?!) He does not like baby oatmeal, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans
-11-1-15~ Moved to new house
-11-2-15~ One day before sixth months old, Carter crawled!
-First trip to Bronner's
-First Thanksgiving








DECEMBER(Carter was 7 months)
-First Christmas
Over winter break~ Carter climbs down stairs from living room onto tile floor, he also falls down basement stairs

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Carter Pavona Hundt: Month 8

The fact that I've been such a bad blogger is sad because some of precious little Carter's story is going to be missing.  Rather than try to back log things, I'm starting fresh and hoping to keep up much better in 2016 than I've been doing the last few months.

Carter is eight months old and bringing a ridiculous amount of joy into our family. 

What I Learned About Carter Pavona:
Carter does not want to be eight months old, he wants to be 2.5 like his brothers.  He wants to run like them, eat like them, play like them.  Because of this, he is not the typical eight month old that I became accustomed to with Nolan and Judah. 

Carter is crawling all over the place; he can easily crawl up stairs.  He has also been pulling himself up to stand on EV.ER.Y.THING.  His body can not quite catch up to his determination and so he definitely "humpy dumptys" a lot.  He is huge and his muscles cannot accommodate his chub when he tries to do things he shouldn't.  I would not be surprised if he walks soon. 

Just in this eighth month, he is finally getting the hang of eating solids.  During his seventh month, it was a struggle to get him to eat much of anything.  Just recently, he will eat most things now.  He is eating basically pureed type baby food with some puffs and Cheerios mixed in.  He still prefers breast milk over anything else and prefers to get nursed over any other way to get food. 

Carter is an erratic sleeper.  His sleep patterns are different every night.  His day routines are almost exactly the same each day: he goes down for this first nap between 10-11:00am depending on what time he wakes up in the morning.  Then his second nap happens between 2:30 and 3:00pm.  He is usually in bed around 9pm each night.  After that 9pm bedtime is a crap shoot.  Sometimes he wakes up at midnight to eat and then will sleep until 8:00am the next morning.  Sometimes he wakes up at 3 or 4am and will be up again at 7:00.  Usually he only wakes up once a night, which is great, but sometimes he will wake up twice.  I do not feel comfortable any night that I know what kind of sleep he's going to do. 

He has and can sleep all the way from 9pm until 8am, but I certainly cannot count or expect that right now at all. 

Good thing he's not a twin.... this non schedule thing at night time has been interesting for "my crazy" to get used to. 

When he's not being weird with his sleep and food and trying to injure himself daily with his acrobatics, he LOVES to laugh and smile and play with toys. He is so interactive and has been since he was born. Literally.  He is a lot more into toys than Nolan and Judah were.  If there are things to keep him busy, he will be content.  He's gotten five teeth in the last month, which has been painful certainly and resulted in him wanting to put everything he can in his mouth. 

Carter loves to read like his brothers do, but is picky about books right now.  If he doesn't like a book, he will cry and cry.  If he loves a book, he will smile and point and laugh.  His favorites right now are Dear Zoo, Little Hands Love, Goodnight Gorilla, Goodnight Moon, Giggle, and I see a Monster.

We love you so much #CarterPav

 
 
 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

What's up With Nolan and Judah: 2.5 years old

Time goes so fast.  As I sit and watch Nolan and Judah play with each other; I still see them as infants.  I feel like I just took them home from the hospital on one hand, but also don't remember my life without them on the other hand.  They are doing, saying, and experiencing so much!!!

What's up with Nolan:
Nolan Gerard is such a paradox.  He is thoughtful, but impulsive... aware of how others are feeling, but completely unaware of what's on the floor when he walks... he has an incredible memory, but no patience to learn...wants to do everything by himself, but is more scared then ever of things like the dark or heights...

Stuff like this goes on and on with him. 

One of my favorite things about him lately is how great he is at being thankful.  My boys know to say 'please' and 'thank you' but it's about immediate small things.  Just lately, Nolan is able to say things a little more deeply like, "Thank you Mommy of making dinner."  or "Thanks for the basketball hoop, Mommy."   He says sweet things at random times and will love on you when you don't expect it. 

Nolan experiences intense emotions (apple doesn't fall far) and we've been working on helping him label what those might be.  He laughs hard, loves hard, runs hard, cries hard, etc.  When he is joyful, it will light up an entire house. When he is upset, it's a wonder our neighbors don't hear him having a tantrum.  
 
One of the things I'm not so keen on lately with him is how much of a showoff he is in front of other people.  When other family or friends come to visit, he acts like a completely different human- making everything into a show.  No thank you. :)

 




What's up with Judah:
Judah Matthew has had a vocabulary explosion over the last couple of months.  I'll be honest and admit I worry about his language development sometimes: he often won't try out words he doesn't know, he is stubborn to call things by their incorrect or more simpler name without practicing or trying out the real name, and sometimes lets Nolan talk FOR him.  His comprehension of language  incredible, which has always given me peace.  Recently, he has been more experimental of vocabulary trying out words and phrases... he is singing and reciting books and songs he knows well, and is more conversational.  It is obvious how proud these victories make him. 

Josh and I often joke that not many people know the "real" Judah.  With the exception of Nolan's recent showing off, what you see with him is what you get.  Judah is a bit more of a chameleon.  Most people find him to be incredibly calm, happy and positive and never doing anything naughty and he certainly IS all of those things.  He is also calculated... if he does something 'wrong' it was for sure on purpose.  He is often the mastermind behind ideas him and Nolan try to execute.  He can also have, what we call, "Judah days" where he tantrums a lot, wanting to be held particularly by Josh.

He is an early riser, which is fine, mostly, unless he goes through stretches where he wants to wake up before 6:00am.  When you have a newborn in the house who is still waking up at night, having someone wake up at 5:45am is just too early :) 





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Both Nolan and Judah LOVE to cook, LOVE to play with Playdoh, LOVE their play kitchen, LOVE to draw, paint, color, etc. 

They have just been starting over the last few months, to play pretend a lot more, which I am enjoying so much.  They will pretend they went to work, or pretend that anything is a car to drive, or build something they will pretend is a house or garage, pretend to go grocery shopping, etc.

They love to sing and dance and still love love love to read. 

The boys enjoy the zoo, Impression 5, to help Mommy or Daddy run erands, to play ANYTHING outside, and to build things.  They like cars, puzzles, musical instruments, and Mickey Mouse.

Most importantly, they LOVE being together, watching out for one another, taking care of one another, and trying their hardest to be a gentle big brother to Carter. 







 

Friday, January 1, 2016

#Yet

I am a goal-driven person.  Period. 
(Actually, more like-exclamation point)! 

For as long as I can remember, I have always made a New Year's resolution. It was another excuse to start fresh, re-focus, reflect, and plan ahead.  I always strive to be better because I know there is always work to do :)  

When I sat down this year to think about what my resolution might be, I started reflecting the way I always seem to, by asking myself WHERE CAN I IMPROVE?  That is then followed up with all these other negative questions to myself:  where am I falling short?  What am I NOT doing?  What do I suck at? Question like that go on and on and on.  

I inevitably end up with an extremely long list of things I'm 'bad' at: I don't read enough, blog enough, work out enough, pray enough, spend time with Josh enough, call friends enough... I am not caught up on ordering pictures and putting them into albums, I haven't done of good job of teaching my boys to know and love the Lord, I don't make good food choices, my house isn't fully unpacked.  Again, this goes on and on and on.  

I end up feeling semi motivated, semi overwhelmed, and semi awful about myself.

I was playing around on Twitter today and saw people tweeting about #ONEWORD that would sum up their new year's plans.

Both because I'm not concise and because of the new year's conversation my crazy brain and I have every year (see above), I wanted millions of ONEWORDs. 

I decided I would never decide on one word.  Instead I went back to all these negative things about myself I wanted to change... and then... the word came to me:

YET! 

During this school year, our team tacks that special word unto LOTS of negative thoughts or comments about ourselves and our abilities.

Take some of these negative statements I made above and see the power...
-I don't read enough YET.
-I don't work out enough YET.
-My house isn't fully unpacked YET, 

HELLO?! This was so obvious.  The word yet makes things unfinished, not stagnant or permanent.  It has hope attached to it.  Isn't that what New Year's Day is supposed to be all about anyway?  Hope for a better year? A better world?  

It is clear my 2016 will be all about my mindset.  I will continue to examine myself under a microscope looking for failings, short-comings, and areas which need my attention, or focus.  It's who I am.  What I CAN change is using the word 'yet' more often when I am working to improve.

2016: I have not conquered you YET, but I think I will ;)  

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

PS: If you're interested in reading where this whole #ONEWORD thing came from, there is a book One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon.  I haven't read it... yet :)