Motherhood has been an amazing adventure. I feel energized and am constantly learning new things about myself on a daily basis. I am in awe of how the babe is growing and learning. And there are moments where I feel like my heart is so full that it’s going to burst.
And then there are days when I wish I could be sent to timeout.
To take a break and get away from the constant pressures of taking care of another (albeit cute) human being. To have personal space again. To stop feeling like my brain is constantly being in fifteen places at once. And to get a mental breather from it all.
And then I feel guilty for wanting to get away… until I remind myself that it’s okay to take care of myself and get my needs met too.
There is nothing healthy or productive about being overwhelmed, irritable, and anxious all the time.
This past week has been a special one in the Levenson household. We have a teething baby who is a raging crankball that doesn’t want to sleep at night. Pair that with transitioning into working again and a husband that has been super busy at work (and therefore not around as much to help out).
Showering has been quick at best.
Eating has been a juggling act of holding a baby and grabbing the quickest thing possible (i.e.—total crap).
And sleeping has been… sporadic.
No rest. No breaks. And no down time.
After a pretty epic breakdown, I handed the baby to The Hubster and went to go get a pedicure. I came back feeling refreshed and renewed. And had pretty toes to boot.
I’m not sure that it mattered what I did during that hour, just that I took it.
That night, The Hubster and I talked about how to make that a regular thing. We have agreed to carve out an hour each week (at least) for me to do the things that I want to do—whether it’s getting my toes done or writing a newsletter.
And you know what? Just knowing that I have that time carved out each week has made everything better.
I am officially back on the schedule at Wellspring Whole Health and will have up to 4 appointments each week. Two slots available on Wednesday evenings (a 5pm and a 6:30pm) and two on Saturday mornings (9am and 10:30am).
1. I am currently in love with our Infantino Sash Mai Tei carrier*. The very first time I put it on—just to see how it felt—the baby fell asleep for a solid hour. Same with the second attempt at wearing it. Any carrier that can do that for the babe is a carrier I will love for life.
We have tried other carriers like a Moby Wrap* (I swear you need a degree in rocket science to figure out how to use this thing) Infantino Flip Front to Back* (will work in a pinch, but she still wiggles and squirms) and a Baby Björn*(the absolute hardest to get on because of the lock system). None had the same effect as the Mai Tei. And none were as easy to get on.
2. The baby went through another “rough patch” where she refused to be anywhere other than in my arms, at my breast, or snuggled up sleeping on me. And if any of those three things didn’t happen…she screamed. I also think she was trying to major in spitting up on mommy. For which she would have received honors.
Did I mention that this period also came with a total switch-up of her sleeping patterns? Yeah… Instead of the glorious 5-6 hour stretch followed by another 4 hour stretch, she decided that it would take 1+ hours to go down, and then wanted to be up every 2-3 hours. And that was a good night. I swear, I totally understand why sleep deprivation is a form of torture. This mama was just plain exhausted.
3. When the aforementioned stuff was going on, several mamas recommended a book called the Wonder Weeks*. It talks about cognitive leaps that happen to babies at very predictable intervals. The first being at 5 weeks (a time when she was incredibly fussy, colicky, and irritable). The next is at 8 weeks (where we are now). Felt good to know why she was behaving the way she was.
I am happy to report that the sleeping is getting back on track. HOO. RAY.
This may sound like an easy task. In which case I’ll remind you that I live in Pittsburgh. I swear we could rival Seattle for the number of rainy days. Today, for example, we beat the rain by a mere 5 minutes.
And then, I received an email from Chrystal Mueller.
I just ran across your blog while searching for nightshade-free recipes for my sister-in-law. As always happens when I find an interesting blog, I got pulled into past posts and ran across the Everyday Hero section. When I read that I could nominate my own, so many incredible women ran through my mind, but there is one who stands out the most. My ten-almost-eleven-year-old daughter Logan is most definitely my Everyday Hero.
Logan has always stood out from the crowd, with her crazy curls and giant smile, but it’s her joie de vivre that attracts people the most. She is very intuitive and immediately knows what a person needs, whether it’s a kind word, a hug, a smile, a helping hand, or a snappy little joke.
In the fall of 2012, Logan was diagnosed as dyslexic. The term weighed on me as I spent countless hours reading and researching on ways to help her overcome this “disability”. For Logan, however, the diagnosis was freeing. She had been secretly feeling “stupid”, “inadequate”, and was afraid there was something terribly wrong with her because she couldn’t read as well as the other kids. She was being labeled “lazy” and “a dreamer”. The diagnosis of dyslexia gave a name to her unseen enemy and she could find the tools to fight it. In the year and a half since, Logan has not only overcome her learning difficulties and built her self-confidence, but she has learned to embrace her differences and help others embrace theirs.
Logan has started a club, the P31 Girls, based on Proverbs 31 to help girls her age learn their self worth in Christ. Although I lead the meetings and ran our first retreat, Logan is very active in selecting topics, organizing activities, and leading discussions. The club is still in its infancy, but Logan has big dreams for its future!
This wonderful, zany, witty, amazing little girl will continue to be an inspiration to me and to those around her.
I don’t think I made it through the second paragraph without the tears welling up in my eyes. No matter that I was 9 months pregnant with my own daughter. THIS is one special little lady.
So, without further ado, meet Logan Walker. THE coolest ten-almost-eleven-year-old you’re going to come across today.
And in case you’re wonder, Logan answered all of the questions herself.
Name: Logan Walker Where you call home: Wisconsin
Where are you from, where are you located now, and what led you there?
I’ve spent most of my life in the suburbs of Milwaukee, WI, but recently I moved to a small town about 30 miles outside of Milwaukee with my mom, my brother, and my new stepdad.
If we really knew you, what would we know?
That I love animals, candy, singing, longing showers, singing in my long showers, and Snapple.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in everyday life. Helping people in need inspires me and we all need each other at one time or another. I’ve had the opportunity with my family to help out with tornado relief in both Joplin, MO and Moore, OK. It opened my eyes to how the smallest thing, such as a smile or kind word, can brighten someone’s day.
What “rules” do you live by?
Anything is possible.
Weird is the new ordinary.
What three things, people, or roles have contributed most to your success?
My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Sapiro, encouraged me to do my best, no matter how hard things were.
My tutor, Mrs. Felix, taught me not only how to read, but to love to read.
My grandmother, Carmen, has paid for my tutoring, spent countless hours reading with me over the phone and helping me study for tests, and is always encouraging me to try new things.
What was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“There’s always someone who has it worse than you.” That never makes me feel better. It makes me feel selfish.
What women inspire you?
Ella Fitzgerald because even though she was young, black and homeless, she didn’t let that or what people said to her stop her from achieving her dreams.
What books are sitting on your nightstand or are currently on your must-read list?
Insurgent, The Missing: Sent, and How to Rock Braces and Glasses. (Although, technically, I won’t “read” Insurgent or The Missing: Sent. I like audiobooks!)
If there’s one thing you could change about the world, what would it be?
I would end bullying. Too many people do not reach their full potential because of bullying. Bullying is what inspired me to start P31 Girls. I wanted a safe place for girls to learn to be women of faith, without fear of being made fun of or picked on.
Famous last words: “To get to the light, you have to go through the darkness.” Joan Buaer, Almost Home.
Almost Home was the first book I read entirely by myself. This quote from the book reminds me that no matter what you’re going through, it will get better eventually.