Dear little Leona Rose,
Hello my beautiful daughter. I have thought about writing to you for a while now I just haven't known where to start.
When it comes to the topic of parenting and being your mom there is so much I want to document and in so many different ways. I want to share my experiences and my journey as a mother but I am also terrified because your opinion of me is the most important one and one day you will read these posts.
I have found so much joy in journalling, I just choose to do it on a blog rather than on a journal page. I go through my blog often and I am always so glad I have it documented, I dig having it public because sharing and connecting has the opportunity to help and inspire others. Vulnerable authenticity is so rare these days but it is also so refreshing. So I choose to put myself out there.
I want to always be truthful with you, I am not perfect. I make mistakes and I have moments I am not proud of. In my blog posts focused on parenting, you will see these mistakes and have a diary of them written out. I think the journey of accepting imperfection is a beautiful one and I think lots of moms experience the pressure and the guilt of not being perfect.
I'll be honest, starting a series focused on parenting scares the shit out of me because its one of those subjects im not experienced in. As a blogger I am a reference and like they always say "blog about what you know". Well I know parenting is hard and I don't think anyone ever feels like they are doing it "right". So this is new territory for me and its scary, but that vulnerable authenticity is what I am all about so im going for it. I hope you are cool with that and I hope one day you dig these posts and maybe they can be a resource for you when you become a mom.
The pressure of perfection is a tough one ESPECIALLY when done publicly. I watched both my parents struggle with perfection. My mom and dad definitely felt the pressure to be a perfect example with the perfect family. When life didn't go as planned it was devastating to all of us and our family still struggles to this day 10 years later. Imperfection is part of life and its ok to be imperfect. I want you to know that and I hope maybe my example takes the pressure off of a very perfectly pressured world. Social media adds a level of perfection and I hope times adjust a little by the time you get a cellphone. I have accepted that I am going to make mistakes, I have made peace with this because I don't want the fear of imperfection to hold me back. I can promise you that I will do my best and I will always stay committed to learning and working towards being better. Thats the example I want for you.
So what are these posts going to be about? YOU, me, dad, our family, parenting, etc...! So what have you been up to?
You are 5 & 1/2 months old! Your first tooth just emerged a few days ago. Dad felt it when you bit him haha!
You chew on your tongue and kick your right leg like you are always jamming to music in your head just chillin'. Its hilarious!
When you see us you smile, when you see you, you giggle. You love my phone and you are obsessed with Snapchat.
Sometimes you make karate noises, you are very vocal! I think you will be a chatty catty like both your mom and dad. You love to talk, we make up stories and just chat with you about random things.
Your laugh is my favorite, sometimes you'll just burst out laughing out of nowhere. I wonder what you are laughing at or what you are thinking about. You squeak when you laugh and its the cutest and when its too much you smile and turn away like you just cant handle it anymore. Its adorable!
You kick when you get excited and you get super squirmy. You will make all these coughy giggle noises over and over again while you rock your body and wiggle your legs.
You love food and have taken baby food like a champion! So far you have eaten apples, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, prunes, pears, pumpkin, carrots, oatmeal, bananas, peas, and some meat. Carrots and apples are your favorite and you absolutely despise meat. It does smell like tuna so I don't blame you!
You growl while we feed you. If we don't move fast enough you get impatient. You are a bit of a chunker and typically eat 4-6 oz of formula every 4 hours with about a jar and a half of baby food a day. At night time you eat 8 oz and you are sleeping about 10 hours!!! Thank you!
You are about the easiest most relaxed baby I have ever seen. You are so peaceful that overly crowded or super loud environments bother you. You are a sensitive soul, a sweet little gal who connects well with others. You will smile at people one on one but if 3 or more people come over to chat with you, you get fussy. Everyone at work loves you because you are obviously the cutest baby ever but also because we both work there and we met at work. People call you the CompHealth baby!
You LOVE to snuggle! Dad and I love this about you. You sleep in the bed with us (probably more than the average baby) and you will wiggle your way into our armpit to snuggle up close. Everyone says we need to transition you to your crib and although I agree and I ask dad to be consistent in putting you in your crib, we give in almost every night. On really tired nights we take turns sleeping with you while the other goes out on the couch or creates a bed in the living room out of pillows. You love our tempurpedic mattress and quickly fall asleep when you are in it. We create a wall of pillows around you in our king size bed and you have it all to yourself while mom and dad eat pineapple in the kitchen, ice cream cookies, and joke about parenting. Sometimes we have to put a pillow up against you so you think you are snuggling. You are absolutely adorable I love how much you love, love.
You can sit up on your own now, sometimes you are a little wobbly but you're getting it. You are strong! Sometimes when we burp you, you push back and you get this super strength out of nowhere in your little legs! I like to sing "God Bless America" to you but just the part where the lyric says "and I proudly stand up, next to you" and you stand and start laughing so hard. You LOVE when dad makes you "fly away" and you drool all over him when you get in the air.
You are obsessed with Moana, you and dad watch it every day at some point. This was the second movie you ever watched, he has had it on in the background from day one (the first was Lord of the Rings and we watched it in the hospital when you were born). We sing songs and change the name Moana to Leona. You love it! I go to bed singing "You're Welcome" stuck in my head and wake up singing "Shiny". It will randomly be in my head while at work and I miss you.
When I pick you up from Brandis house I cant wait to see you, when we make eye contact you smile and start kicking your legs. We'll hang out for a bit and talk with Brandi about life, family, what you are up to in Daycare, etc...When Sierra cries you just stare at her and Bexley is always trying to steal your binky.
You love to be outside! We take you for walks all the time, i'll wrap you in the moby wrap or we'll push you in the stroller and we'll walk around the apartment complex looking at the ducks and flowers. Sitting in the grass is so much fun, you like to wiggle your toes and pull at the grass. The wind fascinates you and when we sit on the deck your eyes get big and you look around like you cant get enough of it!
You have this hilarious serious face we all call "The Mason Face" and then you go to an instant smile when we start laughing. Its funny because you have so much of both of us that you go from Serious Mason to smiling like your mama. You are such a perfect combo of both your dad and I. We really make a cute mix! Your eyebrow expression cracks me up, you make so many faces!!
When we leave to go anywhere I ask you "are we going somewhere" and you kick, laugh, and try to wiggle out of your carseat.
Our drive to and from daycare has become pretty fun. Mama listens to podcasts and sometimes we get Starbucks. You like to make random noises and i'll do them back to you like were just having casual conversation in baby talk. I cant wait until you start talking but I also wish you could stay at this stage in your life longer. Time moves too fast.
When I hold you on my chest and you snuggle on my shoulder my heart stings a little. I know there will be a day when you don't do that anymore and it brings me to tears just thinking about it.
I want you to always know how much you mean to me. You are so special to both of us, we love you so much and I just cant believe that I get the joy and honor of being your mom. I am sorry you had to wait so long for us to get together, mom had to sort out her shit and dad had to mature a little.
When Mace and I met we instantly connected, our friendship was so natural and we both felt like we had done a few rounds of life together. It was pretty incredible in the beginning.
We had two weeks of heaven with each other when we first started dating. I'll never forget those two weeks with your dad, thats when I fell in love with him. More on that later!
Mason is the most incredible dad, you adore him and both of your eyes light up when you see each other. He calls you Muffin and has since you were born. The little kids in our family think your name is actually muffin...The love he has for you is so fun to witness. You deserve that, a fathers love is so unique and honestly its pretty rare these days. You will have better than both of us did growing up and I am grateful for that everyday. We both make mistakes and have petty fights but we both are committed to giving you the best life and your dad expresses all the time how dedicated he is to making every day great for you. Seeing you happy is what makes him happy. That makes me happy.
I'll write more later, you are growing so fast and changing every day! I'll have more soon I promise.
Much love my sweet sweet girl! Thank you for everything that you give us, being your mom is an incredible gift and I can't thank you enough.