the ultimate transformation

"You blink, and in an instant, they're grown."

So many people told me this before Spencer was born. So many people reiterated this in the weeks of sleep deprivation and that hollow, aching hole of delirium that followed. And yet, I wished those sleepless nights away. There have been times at 2 AM when our sweet babe just wanted to nurse or be rocked that I've missed the comfort of my thick blankets and wondered at the days that seem so long ago when Ryan and I could simply take a nap at 2 PM…just because.

Those days have long since passed. I miss them a lot; I won't lie. But I realized something this morning. When the alarm rings early, or my son's cries wake me up, it really isn't a burden. It's a real, true and beautiful blessing.

In just over 100 days, this little man's sweet heart and joyful spirit has completely transformed us - and me. I wasn't a selfish person before, but I can honestly say that motherhood has made me more selfless. The Bible tells us that we must daily die to self, or give ourselves fully until His service. I find a lot of parallels in motherhood, even if that sounds like blasphemy. To give my son the love he needs, I come second. I can put my daily trivialities like running in a prioritized place on certain days, but Spencer's needs come before my own. 

I remember my mother taking us shopping many times when we were little. We'd go in with the intention of her buying a new shirt or pants for her wardrobe, and we'd leave with new things for my sisters and I instead. She gave, and gave and gave. And when she probably felt as though she had nothing left to give, she gave some more. Even though I'm exhausted 100% of the time these days, I would walk through hell and back for my son. 

Motherhood isn't a job. It's a transformation. And as I watch my son coo and use his little voice, I find myself transformed over and over again every single day.

mornings with the moores

For anyone that knows me in real life, they'll know and testify that I am not now, nor have I ever been a morning person. I grew up swimming competitively though, so I was forced to do a 4:45 AM wakeup most of my life from 13 to 22. So, when I finished swimming in college, I valued my mornings sleeping in more than just about anything. Weekends with Ryan before Spencer usually consisted of 10 AM wake-ups…or later. These days? Not so much.

We're lucky that Spencer is a great sleeper. Honestly, besides the few rough weeks of moving and having a really new newborn, he's been gradually decreasing his wake ups. We generally put him to bed at 8:15 PM, and he sleeps until around 5 AM, nurses and goes back to sleep. It's definitely been an adjustment for me though. Sacred mornings? Different now, for sure. I actually set my alarm for 5:30 no matter what on weekdays now because if he hasn't already nursed, I get up and start working. Once he goes back down, it's usually until 8:15 AM, so I can get a good two hours of work in, plus a shower and make breakfast in that time.

Mornings around here (usually) look something like this now:

4:30 AM - Ryan wakes up to go to the gym
5:00 AM - Spencer wakes up to nurse. I feed & change him, and he's back down by 5:30.
5:30 AM - I start working.
6:45 AM - I take a shower and put on some makeup (I'm like 60% to looking like a real human again).
7:15 AM - I make breakfast of eggs and Shakeology for Ryan…just Shakeo for me.
7:30 AM - Ryan gets home from the gym. We sit and have a real breakfast together. Insanity.
8:15 AM - Ryan wakes Spencer up to be nursed. It's his special time of the morning.
8:45 AM - We start a little time on his playmat, plus the dreaded tummy time (he likes it on his Boppy).
10:00 AM - Spencer usually goes back down for his first 20-30 minute nap.

Spencer is usually awake for 60-90 minutes at a time, so I can get a little bit of work done in those little intervals. His feedings are now between 2 1/2 and 3 hours apart, too, so it gives me a little bit of a relief, too. Honestly, sticking to his schedule has been a godsend. We've blown it a few times and paid the price, but it's awesome to have these little routines together. It makes for a happy baby, but most importantly - a happy momma and daddy. 

confessions of a new mom

Two posts in two days?! What is this nonsense?! Seriously though, I now wake up at 5:15 AM. Though it's super tempting to hit snooze and catch that extra 45 minutes of sleep, it's honestly not worth it anymore. I have so much to get done during the day and, if I'm lucky, those extra 45 minutes will give me a jumpstart not only on my work day, but the household stuff, as well. Being a mama is an adventure, you guys. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, but truly…it's a trip…and I have some confessions to make.

I'm not sure whether that suspicious stain on my sleeve is poop or spit up. And that residue under my nails? Pretty sure that might be poop, despite the fact that I've washed my hands five times in the last five minutes. 

That faint odor you smell? Breast milk. I swear it's the most common constant in our lives these days. If it's not somewhere on my shirt, it's probably somewhere on Spencer's. My apologies. Two loads of laundry a day is not enough. 

I inevitably time all my errands around feedings and nap times. If he's napping, I'm good to go. If he might be getting hungry in the not-too-distant future, I'll hold off an hour or two…and maybe the errands won't get done.

Sometimes I put Spencer in his Bumbo when he clearly needs to poop. Something about the combination of gravity and being able to bear down forces poops out a little better. Granted, it does lead to the inevitable blowout…

That telltale stain? Yes, my friends, that's a blowout, and no, the onesie did not survive this episode. There are some stains that just won't come out.

I'm uncomfortably comfortable with fecal matter these days. Mostly of my son's variety. 

I prefer to have my husband wash my son's boy bits. This might make me a bad mama, but seriously…I think it's a little more comfortable if Daddy does that. ;)

My son has approximately one a half billion skin folds. Each and every one of them somehow captures some sort of spit up, vomit, poop, etc residue. Every single one needs to be cleaned, or my son starts to smell like a dirty little monkey. As an aside, I didn't know that neck rolls could have yeast infections. True story. 

I very rarely do my hair these days. In fact, I'm contemplating the mom chop. Truth.

Motherhood is simultaneously disgusting and hilarious, sweet and horrifying. In all honestly, I love it, but my husband and I both agree that babies are the biggest messes we've ever had to deal with. It's a good thing they're freaking adorable. :)

For more amazing mom confessions, please check out Steph's blog post…hers are much more eloquent than my own. 

postpartum fitness

I was incredibly active for much of my pregnancy - running until I was almost 32 weeks pregnant - but it definitely took a backseat when I got closer to my due date. After delivering, I was blessed to have a really easy recovery, and I lost all my pregnancy weight within 6 days of having Spencer. Plus, though I tore, I was out running just 21 days after giving birth. It was just a mile, but I was so happy to be out there moving again.

What I didn't realize was that settling into a new routine was going to be harder than I thought. Working out took a back seat when we moved into our new house in Black River, and I was lucky if I got a single run in every two weeks. For someone who really longs to be active and moving, this was really frustrating for me. After a few weeks of Ryan and I struggling to find a new normal, we decided to get a part time babysitter. She comes four days a week for three hours a day, and I can finally work out and run again! 

Even better, Ryan and I signed up for the 2015 Lake Placid Half Marathon, so we're training at full force now. This is week 3 of our 15-week regimen, and I'm supposed to run four days - 4-miler, 4-miler, 5-miler and one more slow 4-miler. I've never been a good runner. In fact, I've always been pretty terrible at it, but I find it incredibly liberating now. There's something freeing about being out there, putting miles on my legs and getting it done…even though it's been far too cold to run outside so far. I ran on the treadmill until last week, and now I'm just sucking it up on the 1/9th of a mile indoor track…monotony at its finest, folks.

This was my first postpartum 3-miler - 2 weeks ago

Despite the monotony though, I find that these hours of time on the track are really revitalizing me as a wife, a mother and a woman. I find a little bit of freedom in those minutes by myself. Don't get me wrong - I adore my role in our home, but I also love that there is still a little bit of me, the spitfire, that is able to come out, as well. I want to inspire my son with a love of health and fitness, and I know that in order to do so, it's important for us to lead by example. And so, I'm going to obnoxiously document my fitness journey here, as well. I'll do a weekly run report (or workout report), if only to keep me sane.

And, as spring time decides to show its sweet and oh-so-welcome face here in upstate New York, I can't wait to take our daily runs outside. It's about time we're able to take this sweet boy outside in his jogger. Can you believe the last time we used it was when he was 13 days old in Arizona?! Craziness. 

Truly though, the moral of this entire post is that postpartum fitness, for me, is less about fitness and more about finding some "me time." I don't need to pamper myself at a spa. It's not me. I just need to get out there, feel my legs move and grow stronger and become aware that I'm still the person I was before…only different…and maybe a little more selfless :)

3 months of spencer bruce

Boy, is it tugging at my heartstrings to wish our sweet little Spencer Bruce a happy 3 month birthday today! I feel like just yesterday Ryan and I were in the hospital to welcome our little bean, and now he's a proper little baby - no longer is he my tiny, petite little newborn. Every single day, I watch his personality grow more and more apparent, and it's amazing! He's such a sweet, easygoing little man.

We're down to one wakeup (most of the time) a night now. We have a good nightly routine where he gets his bath, which he just loves, around 8:30, then I top him off with a quick nurse and Ryan reads him a bedtime story. He probably doesn't understand a word of it, but it's so sweet to watch my two men in there in the glider together. Spencer usually goes right down around 9:15, and then we have about an hour before we're both fast asleep, as well. He wakes around 4 AM to nurse, and he usually goes right back to sleep. Last night, he was fussy and a bit off, and this mama has a sneaking suspicion the wee man might be teething far too early.

We got a part-time babysitter this month, too, to help us out. It was a mixed emotion kind of thing for me. I'm the type of person that wants to do everything, but working full-time from home, trying to stimulate my son enough, work out and get household chores done just wasn't working. And so, Rebecca comes 4 days a week for 3 hours a day to help this mama get a workout in while she watches and plays with our sweet boy…and he loves her.

Weight: At 3 months old, Spencer is now 12 lbs 3 oz…his pediatrician says that's the 25th percentile, but he's growing just fine.

Clothes: Spencer has a little frog belly that fits in all his 0-3 month onesies easily, but he's still swimming in his 0-3 month pants. We're working on it though, and those baby rolls make my heart just melt!

Milestones: Spencer is completely crib-trained! He actually did it in just one night, which was incredible. He naps in his crib now, plus he loves all the room these days. And, because we're afraid of sleep regression, the Rock 'n Play has officially been retired until we (God willing) have another child. He's also focusing really well these days, tracking sounds and lights, and he wants to be stimulated all the time. We work on time in the Bumbo, and he loves cooing and chatting with his Daddy.

Spencer's Favorites This Month: He loves, loves, loves his Bumbo. With better neck control, he can sit in there and have full conversations with Daddy and see us at eye-level, which is great. He feels like such a big boy! He also loves his bath time. It's so so so fun watching him discover how powerful his little muscles are.

Mama's Thoughts This Month: I'm loving this month of our sweet peanut! He's getting bigger, bolder and more attentive, which is great. He's having a bit of a harder time nursing though because he's so stimulated by other stuff, as well. It seems like he loses focus easily, which has this mama concerned from time to time. I have to say, too, that I was never a fan of my Boppy, but I love it now because Spencer actually does tummy time on it! I think it's one of those things you either love or hate. It didn't work for me with breastfeeding, but it's the perfect playtime accessory now :)

living purposefully

Since having Spencer almost 3 months ago (how has it gone by so fast?!), Ryan and I have been working hard to establish a routine. It has definitely not been easy though. Having a baby, PCSing across the country, buying a house and somehow learning to establish this routine has been trying, tiring and, at times, frustrating. I've noticed that my anxiety has actually been through the roof lately, which I'm sure is a product of all the insane changes happening all at once. 

Through it all, Ryan's been a rock, reassuring me however he possibly can that things will get better, but I swear that my anxiety has made me almost overlook his words and even doubt them at times. I've taken our relationship with a grain of salt, just trying to get through the day at times, and that's never how I want to be in our marriage or our life together. These precious moments with our firstborn are flying, and the trivialities will pass, but there are constants, and I want to focus more on that.

I read an article the other night that said we should live purposefully, and it really resonated with me. I know that I need to do this, and I know I need to work on so many things...Never take a moment for granted. Live in the moment. Love fully. Make your words have meaning behind them. Appreciate what you have over what you think you might need or want. Accept the challenges with grace and humility. Honor and love my husband, and make an effort to validate his efforts sincerely, rather than simply focus on my own challenges.

We spent our first year of marriage in near-blissful ignorance of the enormity of the challenge that lay ahead of us. Reality hit hard though, but it also hit so powerfully, beautifully and wonderfully. God never gives us more than we can handle, and He gave me a man with whom I can share these burdens and challenges. I need to remember that in moments of weakness and trials.

And so, this marks day one of living a more purposeful life. I never want to say the words "I love you" without having true meaning behind them. I want to make certain my husband knows how very much I appreciate how hard he works and put his challenges ahead of mine when necessary. I want my son to know that, yes, I work a full time job at home, but his well-being and happiness is always at the forefront of my mind. We're also working to make time for ourselves - something easily overlooked but so very important. Whether it's an hour at the gym, a moment at the hairdresser or a fleeting instant in the shower, we both need to honor and appreciate those times.

Parenting is a steep but incredible learning curve. I feel as though I'll be learning my whole life, but I'm so blessed to learn with such a wonderful man. I'm going to work every single day to be truly worthy of this challenge.