My baby has officially been outside of me for as long as he was inside of me. What the? And of course, these last 38 weeks and five days flew by way faster than the whole pregnancy thing itself. If only we could figure out a way to reverse that, because I have a feeling with every pregnancy, and with every child, the feeling will always remain the same. Pregnancy drags on, the first year flies by.

I have loved every minutes of being a mother. I've had my fair share of struggles, challenges, and hiccups along the way, but no matter how hard this whole thing called parenting gets, I hope you will never hear me complain about being a mother. Ever! It's one of my biggest pet peeves as of late. It's amazing how many women complain about being a mother on a daily basis.  Like they thought this "job" was going to be an easy one. It baffles me.

Motherhood is hard. But no matter how hard it is/will get, it's that much more amazing and wonderful, and rewarding, and one of the greatest things I've ever done. Ever!

After nine months in, the selfish and vain part of me wanted these things accomplished by nine months out:
  1. Run a half marathon...the farthest I've gone is six miles, and that was months and months ago...maybe I'll push that goal to by the time he turns one!
  2. Lose all of my baby weight...I got lucky and lost that within 10 days of having him...that's not to say I didn't have a jelly-belly still, I sure did, but thankfully that's gone now, too. In fact, I'm in better shape now than I have been in pretty much forever. But, I've also been working out a lot harder and differently than ever before, so, I like to think I've earned it.
  3. Sleep through the night...I made it just in time, thanks to the hubby leaving town for two weeks. Sleep glorious sleep! It's amazing what 6-8 hours of straight sleep will do to me. 
  4. Be a mom who actually gets ready every day. Sadly, it's hit and miss with this one. If you ever see me wearing a hat, it would be safe to assume I haven't gotten ready that day. Don't look to close at the picture above. Some days are rough...as in, I'm just being lazy. 
I'm 50/50 on my goals. You win some, you lose some. Most of these things matter to no one but me anyway...well, except the whole getting ready one. John may actually care, seeing that on the days I actually get ready he almost always compliments me and tells me I look nice. I should take that as a hint I need to work on that goal a little harder. Point taken!

Some days I still feel like I'm figuring this whole mom thing out. Some days I still wonder when my maternity leave is going to be over. And some days I still can't believe I have a son and I'm a mother. But everyday I wake up to a happy baby who screams with delight when I walk into the room, and every day I love my life that much more. 



On Saturday I watched Preston fall and smack, just above his eye, on the bookshelf. It only left a small cut, and a tiny bruise that would have been pretty big I'm sure had I not been massaging it everyday. You'd probably never know anything even happened...unless you saw him just minutes after it happened. Then you would have known. It wasn't pretty.

On Sunday John and I left him crying in his crib for far too long, we were both sick, and we were hoping he'd just got back to sleep. We were exhausted. He only had a nasty diaper that needed changing. No biggie.

On Monday while we were outside playing on our front lawn, I accidentally jabbed my thumb nail into his forehead. It bled, and left a nice red bump.

Today, well, today I accidentally smacked him in the head with his high chair tray. He wasn't too happy with me.

I'm on a roll for being an awesome mother these days. Good thing children are so forgiving, and despite all of the 'whoops' we've been having, he still smiles, kisses, cuddles, and talks to me like I'm his favorite person anyway.

Oh, I love him.


Cheers to the freakin weekend

I survived being a single parent for the past two weeks. And I'd like to say, as boring as it is without John around to pester, it wasn't all that bad. But only because I knew there was an end in sight. Single parenting is something I never wish upon anyone. Ever! Thankfully, there's just a few more hours left until it's over...until next weekend that is.

Someday I'd like to leave for the weekend sans child...


But let's be frank here, with John gone, that meant other things could occur around here that I wouldn't have to feel bad about, and therefore made my life easier.

Like not getting ready if I didn't want to...for multiple days in a row. Heaven!
Not having to cook dinner. Did I even eat dinner?!
Sleeping in the middle of the bed. We need a king!
And the best thing of all, sleep training. So over that middle of the night feeding. But, as the kind wife I can occasionally be, I'd feel bad (sometimes) when the little one would wake up John who has school early the next day. Good bye middle of the night, I hope I don't see you again for a long long while.

Now, if only I'd learn to go to bed sooner, his new 7am wake up time wouldn't feel so early.
Alas, I'm a night owl, and I dread mornings, no matter how hard I try to change that about myself.  

Thank goodness for a husband who will soon be home, and his love of the early morning hours. I'll be sleeping in tomorrow...



Long weekends are the best weekends

I loved long weekends when I was working, I mean, who doesn't love an extra day off of work? Now, I just love them because it means I get to spend an extra day with my hubby around. This added day off yesterday was perfectly time, and all the better because it means I have one less day of being alone this week. Thank you, Martin Luther King, Jr.

The weather was all too perfect this weekend to stay cooped up inside, so, we figured what better thing to do on a beautiful Saturday in January than go to the zoo? The zoo made me miss Africa. Something about seeing animals in their true element, instead of being stuck behind a fence, seems a little more thrilling, and a lot less sad. The zoo has never made me sad before. John told me I'm stuck up. And I say I've just been blessed. Ha! But, I loved it regardless. Although, I was totally bummed the lions weren't out, the one animal I wanted our little lion to see, and they were nowhere to be found.

We got spoiled with mid-60's on Sunday, too, and being done with church by 11am. Well, twist our arm we'll enjoy the entire day being lazy, and going on lots of walks to the park. Don't mind if we do. Have I mentioned this boy LOVES to swing. Or, maybe it's the fact that there are other kids around at the playground that he loves. Either way, just look at that face. Aw, I love that little one.

And, thank goodness for another day with the hubs on Monday. I'm pretty sure more gets accomplished in a few hours with him home, than I accomplish in an entire week while he's gone. I have a lot to learn from him. Our house is that much closer to being ready to put on the market now, and it feels so so strange. I'm meeting with our realtor tomorrow. What the?!



Sometime over the weekend it finally clicked. Instead of moving himself all over the place by sliding backwards, he figured out the forward motion makes things a little easier. So, forward it is. We have a real crawler in our house and I have mixed emotions about it. 

Perhaps by the end of the day my back won't hurt so much. But his crawling means he's growing up, which means he's that much closer to walking, and that much closer to no longer being my baby anymore. And that just seems sad. 

How easy was life when I could just set him on the ground and he'd stay put. Easy peasy! Now he's into everything, which is actually ok with me because I know he's just curious. Discover away little one, discover away. Just don't mind me chasing after you making sure you don't swallow too many things that shouldn't be swallowed.

I love watching this little boy learn and grow every single day. In fact, I'm already afraid I won't be able to keep up with his desire to learn. He's the most attentive and alert kid I have ever met, and I know it's because he's going to be a smarty pants in no time at all. Sometimes I already think he is with how well he knows how to trick me...like his daily attempts at tricking me into believing he's already had a nap when I know he hasn't. 

He's a sly one. And I love him, a lot! 



Pictures with binkies are never cute...his outfit was cute...the binkie, not so much
This week begins two long weeks as a single parent...minus the weekend because John will be home for a few days before he has to leave again, and I'm already dreading the loneliness...and the absent five o'clock break I get, for an hour or two, before our little lion goes into hibernation for 12+ hours.

I hate being alone.

John and I have challenged ourselves to read the Book of Mormon all the way though this month. Something I've been wanting to do for awhile now, but, alas, I'm too lazy and a pro at wasting my time to actually achieve such a "lofty" goal. Please tell me why I haven't done this sooner? You'd think I'd never read this book before, (I have), with how many new things I'm discovering. It's kind of embarrassing, yet awe inspiring how much I'm learning.

I love this book even more.

I was trying to be better in the whole "eat less treats" department, since my sweet tooth has kind of gotten the better of me. I was good up to the point of making chocolate chip cookies the other night. Duh, rule number one of limiting sugar intake is to NOT MAKE DESSERTS!! Oops. I'm pretty sure I downed at least four cookies, and they're not small by any means, before I realized what I had done. All I have to say is, thank goodness for nursing, but if I don't start being better now, I'm doomed once my nursing days are over...which hopefully won't be for awhile.

I love burning calories without actually having to do anything.

Sometimes we stick our child in front of our ipad for entertainment when we're feeling lazy, or he's being fussy. But will you just look at that rocking and his smile. I mean, you would too if it made your child this happy, right?

I hope this doesn't make us bad parents.

Even though I cried the day I found out we would be moving to St. Louis, I've since had a drastic change of heart, and I now find myself daydreaming daily of the new adventure we'll be having there. And it makes me really excited for the road ahead, a bigger city, and a whole lot of fresh corn, since we'll be living in the middle of corn fields. How dreamy.

Mid-west living at it's finest I tell ya.

Now, while John is gone and I have a quiet house to myself, I'm off to take advantage of it. Not sure what that really means though...


Monday Blues

Life post-vacation seems pretty dull. No more family around to hang out with all the day long. No more John home to play house with me (today his LAST semester of dental school began!!!). No more anyone around. It's just me and my little lion, left to our lonesome. Being back home isn't all that bad, but when there used to be a constant flow of people around, just the two of us seems pretty boring. I'm ready for another vacation.


8 months

Our little lion (he will be called this until his roaring/growling dies down...and I don't foresee that happening anytime soon) is growing so fast. He's huge. He's chubby. He's top 90th percentile for everything. And he owns it.

I almost don't believe I ever had a fussy child with how happy he is these days. I love him to pieces and feel blessed everyday he's mine...even when he has his occasional moments that make me want to pull my hair out. Motherhood at it's finest I'm told.

At eight months old, our lion scoots around like crazy. He rocks the backwards motion, twists and turns, and does all sorts of crazy maneuvers to get to where he wants to go. Everything but moving forward. Go figure.

He loves to roar. All. The. Time.

Babbles like crazy, and I'm convinced he can already say a few words, like mom, dad, hi, hey, wow, kitty cat, grandma, papa. Words I'm sure he has no idea he's saying, but the sounds are there, so I'm counting it.

He's Mr. Social. He LOVES loves loves people, especially older kids. If only he had an older sibling...

He's quite the ham, and chalks up any attention he can get. If he starts getting fussy, it just means someone isn't pay enough attention to him. Give the boy attention and he's happy go lucky.

He still cries when I leave the room, and I still find it endearing. John still hates it however.

He loves music. Nothing calms him down quite like our singing does. I wonder how long it will take for him to discover that I can't sing. At all. Until then, I'll enjoy the fact that he finds my terrible voice soothing.

Oh how we love this little lion of ours. What did we ever do without him?


December Highlights

My blogging has gone to shambles. Even though my life is far more exciting with a child in tow, I feel far less inclined to document our happenings since his arrival. Why is that?

Alas, it's a new year, and like the rest of the world making resolutions that will never be kept, I'm vowing to become a better blogger, if for nothing more than for myself.

Like the rest of 2012, December flew by faster than I would have liked. Half of it was spent in Utah with family, and like any good vacation, they always come to an end far to quickly. Although, I'm sure my parents were ready to have a house back to themselves for awhile, sleepless nights, thanks to certain grandchildren, are exhausting.

The first half of December was spent getting our house semi-ready to sell.

The second half consisted of:

Bath time with cousins...

Discovering what the hype with Scheels is all about... 

Being entertained by more cousins...

Eating Cafe Rio multiple days in a row...

Watching my parents play dress-up with their primary class (adorable), and wondering how these kids I don't know got my dad to dress up, when I'm pretty sure he'd never have done that with his own children years ago...

PJ discovering the nasty white stuff falling from the sky...

Enjoyed authentic Mexican food at our neighbors on Christmas Eve, one of my all time favorite traditions. Forget that I was throwing up the night before with a stomach bug, I had been looking forward to this meal all year...

After two years of spending Christmas with the in-laws, finally getting to spend Christmas morning with my family...

Free baby sisters, means date night for us. So there are perks of living near family...

 An exhausting road trip to Idaho to visit Grandma/Great grandma Benson...

And one late night plane ride back home to Oklahoma, for a few more months, before we pack up our lives and head to a new adventure that awaits us...

It was a good month, er, good year. Bring on a new year and all of the new adventures that are in store for 2013.


2012 Recap

This past year will always hold a special place in my heart. It's a year that brought the biggest challenges, the biggest rewards, and the biggest blessing into my life. It's the year I became a mother, and the year I wish I could rewind and live all over again, because somehow, it slipped by all too fast.

This little gem showed up in my inbox tonight, courtesy of my dear sister, and I have to say, out of all of our past family video's, I think 2012 takes the cake for best year ever!

It's always sad to say goodbye to a year that will be deeply cherished, but we know this next year holds so many new opportunities for us, and we're excited to jump right into the new adventures that lie ahead. Big things are in store in 2013, namely John graduating from dental school and a move to our new stomping grounds in St. Louis. I can only imagine that there will be plenty of other twists and turns, and hopefully not too many road bumps, along the way, so, stay tuned for another year with the Lovells.

We wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.