Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
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Me:

Me:

Wednesday, September 7

Happy.

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These days, I'm feeling.........

HAPPY.

Just... HAPPY.

And by "these days", I specifically mean that in the last three weeks, my mood has completely changed. The weight I've been shouldering has lifted and for the first time in forever, I feel light. I feel serenity. Just.... HAPPY. No better word. Happy.

For sure, this incredible weather has been a huge factor: I am SO DONE with Missouri summer heat for the year. I know it's not done with me-- I'm sure there will be several more pockets of too-hot days ahead... but this break in the temps this week has been absolutely cleansing for my soul. 75 degrees and breezy... sunny... AMAZING. 

And Noah starting preschool has contributed to my new balance. My excitement for him, his joy at his new experiences... the change in our routine... the peaceful pocket of time in my home when he is gone and Lucy is napping.... It's been so good for all of us. 

But the biggest change has come simply from a shift in my Life with Lucy (should be a tv show, no?). Once she hit 3 months old, her colicky temperament eased considerably. She was much better, but she still tended to be really high-maintenance when she needed something. She didn't need to be held ALL THE TIME, but she still managed to cry quite insistently and stridently when she needed something.

And then she hit FOUR months. And in the middle of my ongoing angst and anxiety and exhaustion as a new-again mama, I abruptly made a bold (some would say insane) decision. After several nights in a row where Lucy went from3-4 wake-ups to 6-8 wake ups, I TOOK THE BINKIE OUT OF HER LIFE. Forever. It was an afternoon nap, and I'd been reading about other mamas whose babies had suddenly started waking a million times at night at this age, and all it took was taking the binky away and they learned to get themselves back to sleep. 

Trust me, if there had been an easier solution, I would have taken it. But I was at the end of my rope... emotionally, physically, existentially... And something had to give. 
So I took away the binky. Which meant we had to put her through some crying, since she'd long lost the ability to get herself calmed to sleep without a pacifier. Which meant we needed to take her out of the swaddle, since it didn't seem fair to ask her to self-soothe if she didn't have access to her hands. It also meant I needed to start watching her sleep cues WAY better than I had been doing so that I could get her to sleep when she was ready and ultimately reduce the crying she did before each nap and bedtime. I took away the bink AND simultaneously became a Nap/Bedtime Nazi like I used to be with Noah.

So basically, what I am saying is, my BOLD/insane decision to take away the bink led to one of the HARDEST weeks yet in my life with Lucy.... But coming out the other end of that week, seven LONG days, we all emerged lighter. Free-er. Stronger. 
And Lucy? 

HAPPIER. 
Abruptly, shockingly, consistently HAPPIER. I swear it. I don't even think of her as "high-maintenance" anymore. She is totally a new baby.

I think she was just as sleep-deprived as I was. And helping her learn to self-soothe, as well as giving her as much sleep in her own bed at the right times as possible, MADE HER A HAPPIER BABY. (And oh how getting better sleep has healed me as well!)

And I am reconverted to SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP for the little ones. Being vigilant and (some might say) obsessed about Noah's napping and bedtimes 3 years ago really helped him settle into his energetic personality and find consistency... and here we are again, and it turns out it wasn't just something Noah thrived on. It wasn't just me being a crazy first-time parent. MY BABIES CRAVE THIS. They want consistency and routine like you wouldn't believe. And the proof is in the chubby, smiling, content, thriving little near-5-month old I spend all day with. 
She is a totally new baby. 

And I am a totally new woman. 
It's been nearly three weeks now, and life has hit a new rhythm, revolving a lot around Lucy's sleep--which sounds constricting, and kind of is--- But I'm telling you--- we are ALL thriving on the routine. We stay closer to home... we calm our wanderlust in simpler ways (which translates into saving money, actually!)... We enjoy being outside in our own neighborhood. 

And Lucy naps. BOY howdy, she NAPS. A LOT. And LONG naps. And not in my arms anymore, so there's this liberty in having my arms free... 
I use that freedom to do so many little things I've missed doing:

Noah time
Tidying and cleaning (can you believe it?)
Sewing!
Baking (like the rainbow cupcakes pictured.. Inspired from Pinterest and made for our church party)
Working (I am getting back into the work groove with more and more sessions... and finally feel able to mange it all.)

And what this all translates to is---

I am HAPPY.

I feel it. I'm not even trying anymore. It's just there.

And basically, that is it. That's what the theme of my days are the last several days. I didn't even plan to come here and get detailed about the Lucy Changes... really. I was just gonna report that I feel joy and contentment far beyond what I've been able to feel for months. But the Lucy Changes are so intrinsic to this wave of happiness that the story just joined up with the rest of my rambling here. 

So. 


It feels amazing. And I am grateful. 
(And thank you to my loved ones who have helped carry me through the dark and tiring times leading to now. THANK YOU. I could not have stayed sane without you who let me vent, moan, cry, admit defeat, rage, and all the other things I did to get through it. I am a better person because of my loved ones. You know who you are.)

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9 comments:

  1. Oh Emily I FEEL HAPPY just reading about your happy. Yay!!!! Such a relief when happy is easy again. Congratulations :)

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  2. Such a happy cupcake certainly deserves to be on such a happy post!

    You're such a good mama!

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  3. I have always been strict with a schedule because I am well, me. But I have always been criticized about it because you "can't have a schedule with a baby." I didn't listen and stuck to my guns and I guess that is what we are supposed to do. Stick to our instincts and raise our children how we feel they need to be raised.

    Good for you for finding the RIGHT solution for your family. I hope it continues to be awesomely awesome. :)

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  4. :) and <3

    That is all.

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  5. Emily, I have been reading of your trials with Lucy, and I have such sympathy for you. Thomas was so colicky, unless he was held too, and I understand that need to have control of your own arms again. He was a thumb baby, though (and still is), but it was still hard.

    But I have always been a nap nazi, for five years I have lived my life being home in the afternoons. Now that Thomas is almost done with naps, it is so odd to be out in the early afternoon, I just don't know what to do with myself!!!

    I am so happy for you and your family.

    xoxo Molly from 2Peas. :)

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  6. Yay! So glad for you! Tate is crying right now and I have to go put his paci back in...hmmmm...you've got me thinkin.

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  7. Yea!!!!!! Sleep is a key ingredient in the the happiness of all of us, regardless of age!!!!! HOORAY FOR SLEEP!!!

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  8. I love that you are happy, it made me happy just reading it. And it gives me hope that my little girl will get happier one day too :)

    And also, there may be some fun rainbow cupcakes in my future - I craved those candies SO BAD when I was preggo, and bought a costco-sized bin of them. I ate them all the time and still I have about 2/3rds of a container left - this is a perfect use for them!!! Gotta find the pin for that one!

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