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I need some advice from the parents out there.

First off, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and anything else we have celebrated recently.

So I am looking for some words of wisdom.

Our family had an incredibly blessed holiday. Turner was showered with gifts and love and it was a memorable second Christmas for sure. But it was his second Christmas. And our home is officially overloaded with toys. I am incredibly thankful for all of our friends and family who wanted to spoil Turner. Admittedly, Andrew and I also went on a Toys R’ Us shopping spree for the little guy. But as I try to get my life and my house back into order, I don’t know what to do with everything.

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This is just from one of the 5 Christmas celebrations we had with family.

1) I am incredibly sentimental, so I tend to hold on to things. I have his “first” toys that his cousin, aunt, grandma, uncle, great grandma, neighbor, and anyone else has given him. I am real big on “firsts.” Then I have kept his “favorite” toys. So if he loved it for more than a day when he was 2 months old, I probably have stored it somewhere and refuse to get rid of it. Then there is the fact, that Turner legitimately still plays with most of the things he got last Christmas and at anything since. So although he got bigger and better toys this year, I don’t want to do away with the ones that still get great use, even if they are a bit older.

So you can understand why my house is overflowing. We live in a pretty fair sized house with plenty of storage space, but somehow, Turner’s 2 Christmas and 1 birthday, and my online shopping obsession, have started to overtake us.

So here is where I need advice. Turner’s 2nd birthday is in May. While we want to celebrate our pride and joy with family and friends, we can’t take much more clutter at home. At Turner’s first birthday, we were already anticipating this happening, so we asked our guests to not bring a toy for Turner, but instead make a donation to a charity. And while we plan to continue to teach Turner this value on his birthday, that effort didn’t really work out last year. Some people brought toys for Turner and a donation, some just brought toys for Turner. And don’t get me wrong, we appreciate it beyond words. We value and love everything our friends and family have done for Turner. I don’t want this to come off as ungrateful, especially to all you wonderful family members who take time out of your day to read my blog.

I have no problem picking on my mom. For one, she doesn’t read my blog, and two, this is something I am not afraid to say directly to her, and have for that matter. My mom donated to the charity last year for Turner’s birthday. Then got him the traditional big yellow and red car. That car will be used for a solid 3 more years, and Turner loves it. In fact, I am fairly certain it is in our living room right now. But you see what I mean? My own mother wouldn’t listen to the no gift rule. She said, “I am getting my grand baby something for his birthday.” She is one stubborn lady.

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So Andrew and I were talking last night, and we suggested maybe asking for a no toy, charity thing again this year. Although it wasn’t completely effective on the gift end, our family did support the charity. And it did cut down on some gifts. But then, those who listened and didn’t bring a gift, felt awkward and out of place by those who did.

Another option we discussed was not having a party at all. Turner is only 2, so while we can get him a cake and just our little family celebrate, I think that would be sufficient. But I can hear my mother’s voice in my head. She would be furious that I was depriving her of the chance to celebrate Turner. So then we could have a small party with just family… but the only problem is, we have a rather large family. And that isn’t really a problem. We are blessed to have so many people who love us and care for Turner. Turner is very fortunate and one rich little boy in that aspect. But he is only 2. Do we need to rent a building and make it a production? It is 6 months out and I am already stressed about it.  Oh, and if you think I am crazy for worrying about a party that is 6 months from now, you must understand that in our very small town, spaces to have birthday parties are very limited, and are usually already booked by the first week of the new year, so I have to get moving.

The third option we disused was asking people to donate to Turner’s college fund. At least for another year or two until Turner could really ask for gifts. Turner has his own bank account and realistically probably already has more money than I do. We want him to have a college fund so when he graduates high school, if he wants to go to college, it will already be paid for. So we started saving the very day we found out we were pregnant with him. And it isn’t just spare change, it gets routinely contributed to. So we thought, we could get a huge piggy bank and have it has a centerpiece at the party and write, “16 years until college” on it. (Can we please talk about how I will only have 16 years with my baby before he abandons me? Talk about depressing!)

Is that tacky? Is it offensive? I just don’t know.

Any and all advice would be great.

We got Turner a motorcycle. Although he loves it... what 19 month old needs a motorcycle? He doesn't even weigh enough to make it move.

We got Turner a motorcycle. Although he loves it… what 19 month old needs a motorcycle? He doesn’t even weigh enough to make it move.

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After being a mother for a year, the only advice I can give is…

We officially have a single digit countdown until Turner will be 1. May 30. I just have no idea how it has all happened. He is basically an adult. He eats mostly solid food. He no longer takes formula, he will take a sippy just as easily as a bottle, he runs everywhere he wants to go… time has just flown by. 

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Turner lost his strawberry while feeding himself. 

He is so independent. Most of the time when I am trying to feed him, he will fuss until I just let him do it himself. He is not even 1 yet and he already doesn’t need me! The other day, he even took his diaper off for the first time. 

He sleeps through the night, picks up books and knows to turn the pages, has little conversations with his cousin Madison, and before I know it he is going to be filing his own taxes. I just can’t handle it. He is such a grown up. 

When I was pregnant, everyone told me that they grow so fast. It was annoying to here. I got tired of smiling and nodding my head. But now, looking back, if there was one piece of advise I could give to new mothers or soon-to-be mothers, it would to cherish every single second with that sweet little bundle of joy, because before you know it, you will blink and it will all be over. 

One day I had a sweet little baby boy, then by 2 months he was sitting on his own. By three he was starting to wiggle around. By four he was crawling. By 5 he was eating baby food. By 6 he was pulling himself to standing and talking gibberish. By 7 he was starting to eat solid foods. By 8 he would stand on his own without support for long periods of time. By 9 months, he was walking. By 10 months he no longer wanted baby food at all and just wanted regular food. By 11 he was talking gibberish sentences and running everywhere. And in the next week before he turns 1, I am sure he will have some other milestone that will remind me that I officially no longer have a baby. 

I think it is tremendous how much that little boy has changed my life in the last year. So many things that used to matter to me are now long forgotten and the only thing that matters each day is him. Everything I do, every thought I have, every action I take is with the intent of preparing him for the best possible life. I don’t want to fail him. I don’t want to embarrass him or let him down. He deserves the world. He deserves the best of everything, and if I have to trade my last dying breath to give it to him, I will.

I am sure you have heard it all. I am sure, just like me, you have been given every piece of advice there is. Everyone knows the best way to feed a baby, to burp a baby, to bath a baby, to teach a baby, to get him to sleep, to cut his nails, to brush his teeth, to change his diaper, and every other aspect of being a mom. I can tell you how I did all of that for Turner, but that doesn’t mean it is the best way, or that it was even the right way for that matter.

The best advice, the only advice I can give and know that without a shadow of a doubt it is 100% certain, is that you should spend every available second you have with your new baby. You can’t ever get that time back and without even realizing it, it is over. It is gone. Don’t wait a month, a week, or even a day to pick up your baby and squeeze him or her. Don’t wait to read to them and tell them stories. To smile at them and watch their every move. Don’t waste a second. 

, SiteDart Author

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Turner is 7 (and a half) months!

So, every month we have a birthday party for Turner. Up until this weekend’s party, it has always been just me, Andrew, Turner, and on occasion when they are interested, the pups. Well, this month  Turner had his first friend come to his party. Even thought right now the slot for Turner’s best friend is tied between Turner’s Cousins Royce and Maddison or Turner’s fav, the baby in the mirror, we bought Turner a new friend just for his party. (I know I sound nuts right now, but its all in good fun)

In case this is the first post of monthly birthdays you have seen, here is a little explanation. Turner’s baby book has slots for monthly photos. I didn’t want just a boring photo of Turner, or a ridic picture of Turner  with a sticker on his onesie. I hate those. So I decided to have mini birthday party’s for him. They all have themes. Turner’s birthday is the 30th of each month. This month’s is late because he has been sick or Andrew and I haven’t been home at the same time. But regardless, here it is! Turner’s New Year’s themed 7th month birthday party!  

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Thanksgiving weekend fun!

What a week it has been. All in the same week, we moved into a new house, spent wonderful, quality time with family, and got a new job!

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So many new and exciting things are happening and with being a full-time mommy, it is stressful. I wish someone would have warned me about moving with a little one. Turner is not a fan of the process. He has yet to sleep solidly in the new house. I guess he just not comfortable enough and still al little confused. It makes me sad though. I guess in time.

Turner met Santa for the first time. No good fit or crying, although after being in his lap for several minutes, he did cry so I quickly came to his rescue!

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We celebrated Turner’s 6 month birthday party yesterday, which was our second night in the new house. And the first real night without things being completely upside down! This month’s theme was winter, and we had a cute elf costume that his Grandpa Debbie got him. It is so hard to believe I have been a mother for six months now. I am having to run off to a meeting for work, but tomorrow I plan to write an article on things I have learned so far being a mother. The list is extensive for sure.

I hate that this is short, but as soon as we get moved in and settled with everything, now that we have internet and phone service at the new house, I will be able to post in the evenings! That might be the thing I am most excited about!!

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