Before I had kids, I often heard the following phrase in regards to parenting: "The years go by fast, the days go by slow." I thought yeah, yeah. But now that I am the mom of a one year old, I have to admit: IT'S TRUE!
In some ways, it's hard to believe my precious little son is already turning ONE YEAR OLD! But at the same time, during those first few months of his life, when all I was doing was nursing every 3 hours, napping when I could, eating when I could, and just plain surviving, it felt like the minutes, hours and days DRAGGED ON.
When I look at pictures of Marshall as an infant, I am SHOCKED, wondering, "was he really that small?" He looked so fragile, so pink, so helpless! And now, he's toddling around the house on his own (yes, he's walking!) and mumbling his own little words ("doh" for dog and "bawl" and "dada" for just about everything else).
When someone asks me about what this year was like, I tell them that it has been one of the hardest of my life, but also one of the most fulfilling. Before I was a stay at home mom, I remember always feeling an unsatisfied longing at work, no matter what job it was. There were always things I enjoyed about my job, but it was just never quite the right fit. I wanted a slightly different role or more challenge or different schedule or SOMETHING else. But now, as a stay at home mom, I can actually say that I truly feel FULFILLED in a deep way. That's not to say that I don't have bad days. Trust me, I still get cranky, tired, emotional, stressed, frustrated, etc. on numerous occasions (just read my blog!). Yet despite feeling all of that, I still feel deeply FULFILLED. I am certain this is what God has called me to...in a way I've never felt before. It's a pretty awesome feeling. So when the hard days come, I can cling to the fact that this is what I am called to do, this is my purpose, to stay home, love, discipline, and invest in Marshall. What an awesome calling!
Today I'll leave you with a TOP TEN List of Marshall's first year of life:
1) THE CRAB CRAWL. Marshall has never crawled "normally" but proceeds to stick one leg out like a crab and drag himself along. Believe it or not, he can actually get going pretty fast. Our friend Jefe lovingly named it "the stanky leg."
2) THE ROCK CATASTROPHE. I will never forget my first scare at the park, when Marshall swallowed a rock and almost choked. YIKES!
3) NO PANTS. Anna, as I look back at pictures of Marshall 6 months and under, with onesies and no pants, I can finally admit, "what was I thinking?" For some reason I thought pants on an infant were unnecessary (I still think that) but for crying out loud, he looks practically naked in all his baby pictures. Baby 2 will be fully clothed at all times, even if it's just for good pictures!
4) DARE DEVIL. Moms in playgroup, babysitters and childcare workers all have the same thing to say about Marshall, "Man, he just GOES FOR IT." He doesn't think before he acts, he just does it. Hmmm...I wonder where that came from? Jim jokes that he will be skydiving well before I did. Oh goodness. Payback is a @#$#$.
5) PULLING UP. While he didn't necessarily start walking early (11 months he took his first steps, at one year he's fully walking), he did pull up to standing very early (6 months) which kept me BUSY and constantly WORRIED. He had a BUNCH of "knock knocks" on our hard wood floors. Poor thing!
6) THE ULTIMATE KNOCK KNOCK happened when he was 4 months. He propelled himself off the ottoman footrest (when I looked away for 5 seconds!) and dove headfirst onto the hard wood floor. I've never heard him scream so loud and FREAKED out when he a large black and blue bruise quickly appeared on his forehead. We rushed him to Dell Children's Hospital where the doc proceeded to tell us that everything was fine. Phew!
7) HUNGRY BABY. How did I almost forget this one? For the first 2 months of his life, thanks to mom's low milk supply (which was a whole other guilt-ridden, emotional issue), Marshall was a hungry, unhappy little baby most of the time. I remember the first night home from the hospital, when Jim and I were up ALL night taking turns holding him while he screamed. At one point, Jim stormed out into the hallway in frustration and ran into mom, who said, "Jim, I think we need to hire a baby nurse." Hilarious! Those were definitely HARD days and nights!
8) POOP IN THE BATH. So for the first 3 or 4 months of life, my child did not just poop ONCE in the bath, he pooped EVERY time he took a bath. Something with the warm water on his booty just relaxed him and it ALL came out. I got quite efficient at catching the poop with a rag and swiping it up without any of it getting on me, Marshall or the sink. But that took numerous failed attempts before I got that one down!
9) RIDING LAWNMOWER. One of my favorite images of Marshall and Daddy is watching them ride around the backyard on the riding lawnmower together, with Marshall sitting in Daddy's lap, looking around, pointing at everything, in utter fascination of the noise and the movement. I know, it doesn't sound that safe. But I've gotten past that after seeing how much they BOTH enjoy their time together. Now, when we go into the backyard to play, he always points at the lawnmower, hoping for a ride.
10) HEAD OF HAIR. Everyone comments on how much hair he has for his age. He definitely has some lovely, thin, soft locks which make him look older than he is. He is often mistaken for a two year old because of this!
Happy birthday, my precious Marshall! I love you and can't wait to get to know the wonderful man you are becoming in the years ahead!