I know I should be sleeping right now (it's almost midnight!), but I have been enjoying reading my blog posts from one year ago when Gage was born! I am learning so many things...
1. I used to get more comments --what happened?! :) 2. Eli and Gage look a lot alike! 3. Gage was a slightly difficult newborn too! You so quickly forget those things, as I have jokingly been telling people: it's a good thing so a person will have more children! I forgot that Gage was a catnapper and woke up when laid down too! Eli is a pretty good napper during the day, it's just nighttime that we're working on. 4. Boy I was good at recording the details! Maybe too good...some posts were like books! 5. Gage was smiling a lot more than Eli is at this age... I can't help but compare. 6. I was so lucky back then, being able to go and do so much more, sleep-in in the mornings... 7. But...although my hands are fuller now, so is my heart.
The boys and I stayed in our pajamas yesterday. No time for me to really do anything to myself, and no energy to hold Gage down to do anything to him...He is a little booger these days while changing his clothes or his diaper! We are entering the "Discipline Stage" and I don't like it! His strong will mostly comes out during any "changes" whether it be diapers or clothes. And he has transitioned from getting into the garbage to getting into the toilet lately! So with my days full of chasing Gage away from the toilet, and bouncing Eli in my arms, I have decided that staying in my pajamas is ok...forgetting to brush my teeth is not...but some days are like that...
Could it be true...you are one month old already?! It seems like just yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital. And you are growing quickly!
You have spent much of the past month in Daddy's and my arms! You love to be held. You cry when we put you down, but are very content when we don't.
Here is what else we have learned about you:
~ You have the sweetest, most kissable cheeks and I kiss them all the time! ~ You like your pacifier best when we run it under water first ~ You get fussy, in the morning especially, just before you are about to fall asleep ~ You like to have your tummy massaged when you are having gas pains ~ You like to have your cheeks and head stroked anytime!
Here is what we still don't know...
The best nighttime sleeping method for you! We have tried lots of things: swaddling you with arms in, arms out, heartbeat sound nearby, in the sleep positioner in the pack 'n play, in the boppy pillow in the pack 'n play, in the boppy pillow on the couch, with Mommy on the couch, with a shirt of Mommy's wrapped around you, on your tummy, on your side... and we still don't know what you like best! Well, yes we do know, and that's in our arms but we can't do that all the time sweet boy! So we are still working on it and praying that God will comfort you through the night so we can all get some sleep! Sometimes we have to just let you cry for awhile until you fall asleep, and it breaks my heart! You get so hot and sweaty and so worked up that you sound like a hissing cat! We hope that by next month you will be more secure on your own. (Please Lord!)
We are seeing you with your eyes open wide lately and I just love it! You have big eyes, and sometimes look just like Gage did as a newborn!
I can't wait to find out just what you will look like later. Will you have blonde hair? Blue eyes? But I do know one thing for sure...you have the cutest dimples! And you have even smiled at us already! I was able to catch both this morning:
Sweet Eli, you are a precious addition to our family. I feel even more complete with you here. My prayer for you is that God would grow you healthy and strong, that you would feel comforted and secure enough to sleep through the night, and that you would know how much we love you.
A thought struck me yesterday that brought tears to my eyes...I was made to be your mom. God made me to make you. What an honor and a privilege.
My sister gave me a wonderful book for Christmas called: "You are Captivating...Celebrating a Mother's Heart" by Stasi Eldredge. I highly recommend it. She so beautifully describes a mother's heart. (She also wrote "Captivating" with her husband, John Eldredge, who is the author of "Wild at Heart")
I started reading my new book over the weekend and connected with it/her instantly! I couldn't believe how well she described in the first chapter exactly what I have been feeling...
"Motherhood is a hard thing. As time passes, our babies are born and leave the safety of our wombs; they crawl and walk and then run away from us. In fact, a good mother is working toward the day when her son or daughter will healthily and happily live completely independent of her...The joy of being a mother is so very closely linked with the sorrow of being a mother. It is holy ground."
Oh, the joy and heartbreak a mother endures! It is beautiful and at the same time bittersweet. I do want my boys to be independent and self-confident, but I will enjoy those arms reaching for me for as long as I can...
Well I am definitely learning that there is not a lot more to life right now than feedings, changing diapers, and keeping up with the laundry! So unfortunately my blog is way down there on the priority list. But please stay with me - I will do my best to keep my many "readers" up-to-date on our lives! :)
Celebrating Gage's 1 year birthday was a very special event for me! I have been really sentimental about him turning one. I think it's a big milestone! A lot happens in the first year that will stay with him forever...growing teeth, hair, and sense of humor! Learning important words like "mama" and eating real foods. Sitting up, standing up, and almost walking. Our sweet boy has accomplished a lot in the past year and I was excited to celebrate him!
A few days before the big party (yes, quite last minute, but I did just have a baby...:) I created a scrapbook of Gage's monthly photos as well as other significant events over the year, while Craig created a slideshow of all of my favorite photos from birth till now. It was fun watching the slideshow with everyone and having all of our guests write a message to Gage in his book. I cherish what everyone wrote and hope he will too someday.
He enjoyed opening his presents, and I enjoyed putting everyone to work unleashing the toys from their tight holds in their boxes...
His first piece of cake, which he ate like a pro! You'd think we've been feeding him cake for months now! But I am not surprised that he has a sweet tooth like his mama.
To have Craig's family, and mine, together in our small house, was a treat. I was thrilled to see that everyone fit just fine!
All the Engelbrecht cousins (and their dads):
Eli was conked out the whole time! He spent the afternoon snuggled in many loving arms. Great Grandpa Faust had his turn too.
Our Birthday Boy on his actual birthday on Monday:
We had Casey's pizza for dinner, a very small piece of birthday cake for dessert, and just a few more presents to open. Whew, lots of celebrating...because this one year old is pretty special!
One year ago today you came into this world at 10:41am. But your story actually begins nine months before on a Thursday...May 8, 2008... when you began as a twinkle in my eye.
I will never forget, it was a sunny spring morning when I found out that you were growing in my tummy. After many, many months of hopefully waiting, this was the day. The day I found out that YOU were coming! I fell to my knees next to my bed and with tears of great happiness and joy I praised the Lord. I couldn't wait to tell Daddy, and the whole world!
Daddy and I spent the next nine months anxiously awaiting your arrival. The time couldn't pass fast enough! Finally on a wintry Saturday, January 3, you made yourself known that you were ready to come. We got to meet you 18 hours later, our sweet, precious baby boy, on January 4, 2009.
And now, one year later, you aren't my little baby anymore, but my delightful, energetic, funny, adorable little boy who brings me, and everyone who knows you, such joy.
I have to admit I am a little sad to see you grow up. I don't want you to outgrow your precious innocence. Or the hugs, kisses and snuggles you give. Or the awe you have in discovering new things. But I know I have to let you go. The minute I first held you close was the very start of letting you go. Letting you be you, letting you learn from your mistakes, letting you grow into who God wants you to be.
The next time I write you a birthday letter you will be 2 years old! I look forward to what this next year has in store. I love watching you be a big brother to Eli! You are so sweet, already giving him love pats and pacifiers. He is lucky to have you!
My prayer for you sweet Gage, is said best from these words in a great song... "Be strong in the Lord, never give up hope. You're going to do great things, I already know. God's got his Hand on you, so don't live life in fear. Forgive and forget, but don't forget why you're here..."
You will always be my first miracle, my precious Gage. I will always be holding you close as I let you go...and I will always be loving you, Your proud Mommy