I can't help but constantly Thank God for the gift of these children he has given to me! For the first time in my life, my life is exactly where I want it to be and I finally feel like I am doing what I was meant to do! I know some people may find that concept silly, but I know that being a mom is what I was supposed to do with my life - I have always known that!
It has been so hard for me to be patient for this phase of my life, but the time has finally come for me to raise my babies and I am thrilled! You see, when Peter and I got married we had a plan and had decided when we would have kids many years down the line. Something I did not expect, was that immediately upon marrying and joining our lives together I began to intensely LONG to have a family. There were many tears in my early days of marriage out of frustration that it was just not the right timing to have a baby. Peter still had two years of college and we were no where near the place we needed to be financially in order for me to be able to stay home with my children.
So I had to wait. It was very difficult and I regret how miserable I probably made my poor husband by constantly trying to negotiate or convince him that we could make it work (when I knew we couldn't). I still distinctly remember a conversation we had while sitting on the beach on our first anniversary about having kids. We really worked through some things and came up with a new, revised family plan that actually felt doable for me!
So the time finally came for us to start our family. I was thrilled and so excited and just KNEW I would have a baby in 9 months. I was truly shocked when we didn't conceive that first month and as the months passed with no baby it was almost unbelievable to me. This was certainly not what I had planned! It was a dark time and I regret letting it get to that place instead of trusting God's ultimate plan for our family. There were other circumstances and things happening in our lives during this season that just added to our struggles. I harbored some real anger towards God for not granting my deepest desire.
And finally we arrived at a crossroads. We could keep trying with the help of fertility treatments OR we could adopt. And in an instant God made it clear to us that the time was now to adopt. Adopting was always on our list of things to do someday and our someday came a little sooner than we expected! The desire God laid on my heart to adopt when I was 14, was about to come true. As we began the process to adopt, at that very same instance, half a world away our son was coming into existence - amazing!
For me, I never felt like I needed a biological child (nor did Peter). For me though, it had everything to do with my fascination with pregnancy and birth. That whole process is so incredible to me and I really wanted to experience that for myself. But as soon as God laid adoption on our hearts, I was okay with letting go of that part of the equation. After all, what I truly wanted was children!
And finally after a year of waiting, I got to hold my son for the very first time! By this time, we were also very aware that God was going to bless us with another little one and all of a sudden things felt a little overwhelming and scary, but still very joyful!
My dreams had finally come true! I had my baby! But I will admit that things were hard in the beginning. Here I was trying to bond with my new 4 month old son that I knew nothing about all while trying to bond with the child inside of me too and it all felt overwhelming! Bonding with the baby in my tummy felt natural and left me all around feeling guilty that it wasn't natural with Malachi. I was so tired and felt sick all the time which made it even more difficult.
Finally, slowly as the months carried on things got better. Don't get me wrong, I loved Malachi with all my heart from the very beginning, but feeling like he was "mine" took some time. I wasn't feeling like a mother in the way I thought I would. But, I was slowly getting there. It was hard as I realized that I was just getting the hang of my firstborn and here another one was coming very soon. It was rough and I was afraid of how things would be with the new baby. I had a huge fear that things would be so overwhelming and difficult that I would never be able to be the mother I wanted to be.
And then the day arrived. I was a mother for the second time in just under 6 months time! And I finally had the rush of maternal feelings! For some reason, having Elias helped me to become a better mother to Malachi. I know there is a rush of maternal stuff that comes over you when you physically give birth and I know not every woman needs to experience that in order to be an awesome mother, but for me I needed that! I can't really explain it, but I finally felt like a mother. Plus, this greater fear I had about what if I loved my biological child more than my adopted son was laid to rest. Eli was born and I loved him dearly, but it was NO DIFFERENT than how I felt about my Malachi!
And here we are today. I wondered how I would handle dealing with two babies. I get asked all the time about how it is going and people constantly are telling me I have my hands full. But all in all - life is AWESOME! Yes, I do get tired. Yes, I do get overwhelmed sometimes. Yes, I do get frustrated when I can't get everything done. But the great majority of the time, things are incredible! Life is what I always hoped it would be. I feel so fortunate to be the mother of these two fabulous boys!
I have always heard that the hardest year of marriage is the year you add a child. Well, I will admit that I was a little worried as we were adding TWO babies in that year, but things are going so good! Peter and I are more in love than ever!
We are blessed! I don't take my good fortune lightly! Looking back now, I just wish I would have been more patient to receive all the good things God had for my life! It is definitely a lesson learned.
Yesterday Malachi and Elias celebrated their very first Easter! While Eli wasn't all that impressed with his basket, Malachi enjoyed it for both of them! Eli gave us lots of smiles as mommy kept telling him how handsome he looked!
On Easter last year, we were anticipating our referral call coming at any time! We knew we were very close and were very eager to meet our first child. A year ago I never would have imagined that we would be double blessed and yet here we are with two beautiful baby boys!!!
Peter and I were exhausted last night after another very busy weekend! Children do make the holiday's a little less relaxing, but on the flip side they also make everything so much more fun! We are truly blessed!
Another busy week down. Time just keeps flying around here.
I just have to brag a little bit about my boys. They have been spoiling this mommy rotten. Malachi goes down at 8 and Elias is going down between 9-10 at night. Elias wakes up between 7-8 to eat a bottle then falls back asleep until 10 or 11! Malachi gets up between 8-10 in the morning. They are such incredible sleepers and sleep is soooo important for me so this is about as good as can be expected with two little guys.
I do however still find myself completely worn out by the end of the week. But I am doing the best I can and figuring out a groove and even some days thinking about another little one ;)
Here are some recent pics of the boys for your enjoyment:
Oh how Malachi melts my heart with that smile!
Eli is officially out of newborn and actually is kind of skipping right on through the 0-3 month clothes and into some 3-6 month size stuff! This past week I packed up all of the preemie and newborn clothes. I found the little outfit we brought him home in just 2 months ago and I cannot believe that he was ever that small!
My OTHER little boy who has a melt my heart smile!
Malachi has a new obsession with his tongue. It is not uncommon to see him walking around with it sticking out these days.
Malachi stole his snacks from mommy and was quite tickled about it!
Look at all those teeth!
Malachi and his kissy face. That is quite a kiss don't you think :)
And this is what happens when you continue to let the boy play with his snacks. Apparently they taste just as good (if not better) from the floor.
And for Eli's safety, the only place that we can put him down in the living room is in his playpen. Even still, Malachi loves to go over and yell at him and shake it, but at least I know he can't get to him :) I put Eli inside his boppy and he is a happy camper in the playpen (most of the time)!
And my workout goals:
Today was my 20th day of workouts. I actually skipped out today though. Today would have been my last day at level 2 of the 30 Day Shred, but it didn't work into the schedule. It is much easier during the week to fit my workouts in because I have a regular schedule with the boys. The weekends are always hectic and busy and I have noticed that I am finding myself getting very stressed out trying to find time to get my workouts in. So, I made the executive decision today to not work out on Saturday or Sunday.
So level 2 has kicked my butt! I have struggled with it, but it is getting better as I persevere! Like I stated before, today was supposed to be my last day at Level 2, but since it has been a struggle I have decided to spend this next week on it and then will move on to Level 3.
So anyway, working out is going great. My clothes are fitting better and my body is getting stronger and fit! I am not losing the weight like I would like to, but as long as I keep toning down I am happy. I lost another pound bringing my total to 4 lbs. So that leaves me with 1 lb to pre-pregnancy weight and 16 lbs to my goal weight. A ways to go, but I will just keep plugging along!
Now that life seems to be settling down, I have been able to spend some time on myself during the day. Ever since Malachi came home, I was just too tired with being pregnant and taking care of him to do much of anything, and even though I have two little one's now things seem to be much easier for me.
Here are a few things I do during the day when I have "me time":
In addition to trying to keep up with what all of my friends are doing online and blogging a few times a week, I also spend some of my time online trying to make a little money. I spend time doing surveys for cash or gift cards. I have about 10 different sites that I use to take available surveys and probably make between 5-10 bucks a day. I know that isn't that much money, but it is fun for me to do and gives us a little spending money to buy some fun things that we don't have room for in our monthly budget.
Today I took part in an hour long confidential discussion time with a company and their product and made a little over $25 for my time. Not bad, and sometimes you get to see new products or have a say in what commercials air on tv. In the past I have even been selected to test a new product and give my feedback!
Another thing that has become very important to me is getting time to workout everyday. My physical well being has to be important to me and so as soon as I get Malachi down for his afternoon nap, the first thing I do is workout. Now most days Eli is down and sleeping too, but if he is not I put him in his swing or bouncy seat so I can get this done. Sometimes he cries, but it is just 20 minutes of very important mommy time a day that I insist that I get!
My other fun thing is cooking and baking. I really do enjoy spending time in the kitchen, but I haven't been able to do it and now I am loving it! I really enjoy cooking dinner and that is something that I didn't have a whole lot of time to do when I was working. Now that I am home, I can put more time into it instead of just throwing something together as fast as possible. Every once and awhile I even make a few indulgences!
A few weeks ago I found a deal online (another fun hobby of mine!) and was able to get 2 lbs of free decorating chocolate. I didn't really know what to expect with it so I started out really simple and since we had some strawberries in the fridge I decided to dip them! This chocolate is sooo easy to work with and it is the most amazing tasting stuff too. Seriously, to DIE for chocolate! Chocolate Covered Strawberries always take me back to our honeymoon where we bought a bunch of them everyday! One of my favorites!
Another thing I am doing to save a few more dollars is making things from scratch. In the process I have found out how much more delicious things are too. One of my friends introduced me to a quick and easy macaroni and cheese recipe that is very yummy and doesn't have all the additives that boxed mac and cheese has. Another great recipe I found online was for homemade flour tortillas! They are so simple to make and super cheap and sooo much yummier than store bought!
We just pile the tortillas with rice, beans, corn, and cheese and it is one of our favorite and easy meals! I can't wait to keep trying some new things in the kitchen!
Well the Birthday Boy had a wonderful day and while mommy and daddy were thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day, the birthday boy was still going strong!
We got up early (thank you Eli) and did a little bit of decorating around the house for him. He had no clue what was going on, but we were pretty excited about our oldest child turning 1! We waited for him to wake up, but he was sleeping in and so we finally decided to wake up the poor boy! He had slept long enough!
Now most of the time Malachi is very grumpy if we wake him up, but he must have known it was his special day because he woke up his happy self!
Although a little groggy.
Before long he was running around with his favorite blankie.
Yes, the birthday boy even got pictures during his morning diaper change :)
After an early nap, it was time to party. Malachi thinks Elmo is pretty much the coolest thing ever. Not sure how we feel about our son being into something trendy, but it was easy to shop for him :)
First the Birthday boy was very hungry and shy. This boy is NOT a happy camper when he is ready to eat! But after getting some grub in his tummy he was as happy as could be!
Then it was time for presents!
Which were a little overwhelming for him
He really enjoyed looking at his cards
And Elmo of course
Now this kind of backfired. He did not want to eat his buddy Elmo!
He was totally disturbed by the idea of eating Elmo. Finally Daddy made him smash Elmo and that broke our poor little birthday boys heart.
Today I took him in for his 1 year check-up. He continues to excel and is staying above the curve in every aspect of growth. He was a very early walker and is talking way more than they ezpect at 12 months so he is awesome! He is now done with bottles and has been on whole milk for awhile now so there isn't anything we need to work on with him. He is almost 26 lbs (90th%) and 32" tall (95th%) so the doctor thinks since he is still riding the top of the growth chart that he is just going to be one big boy (we think so too!).
It is so hard to believe that our baby is really a toddler now. He has been transitioning for months now, but for real now he is a toddler in every way. He's walking and talking. He's moved into his big boy room. Yesterday we gave him his very last bottle. It is so bittersweet to say goodbye to the baby phase and see him grow. But, the upcoming stages of his life are going to be so fun!
I could not be a happier mommy. You have made my dreams come true and my life is so full of joy since you came into it!
One year ago, my heart was longing for you, my dear! I was miserable as we waited and anticipated seeing your sweet face.
At the time, I couldn't understand the delay, but now I understand. You weren't ready yet.
1 Year ago today, while you were growing in my heart, a beautiful woman half a world away gave you life. And while I will always long to have been with you from the very beginning, I also wish that this special woman could see even just a glimpse of you today.
I had no idea how incredible motherhood would be! You have completely transformed my life in the very best way!
You are a true inspiration. You have a unique zest for life. You are the most joy filled person I have ever been around. You my son, have a heart of gold!
You are such a comedian and keep us laughing at your antics all the time. Nothing makes you happier than to see a smile on the faces of those around you. I see the gifts that God has already given you and I can't help but wonder what amazing plans He has for your life.
God certainly blessed us when He gave us you.
And today, as we officially say goodbye to our little baby and welcome a new phase of toddlerhood
We celebrate how amazing you are and the incredible (and sometimes difficult) journey your life has been on in this first year of life!