Gavin - Eight Months


Gavin, 

Oh, you sweet little thing. You are the craziest little baby I have ever known, but you are so sweet that I just can't be mad! I just told your Daddy the other day one of my favorite things about having kids is watching their personalities develop. It's such a surprise because you have no idea what you're going to get. And let me tell you, after the sweet, calm baby that you were, you are definitely a surprise. 

I've thought for quite some time now that you are going to be a bit of a daredevil, and you certainly are. Your brother started climbing up the outside of the staircase for the first time the other day, and when Nana asked him why he was doing it, he said "Gabin does it!". So at just eight months you are already influencing your cautious big brother to do wild and crazy things. You are going to be a handful I just know it! 

You are constantly into things that you shouldn't be. Eating rocks out of the fireplace is a major attraction these days, as is attempting to stick your fingers in power outlets and chewing on electrical cords. You escape into empty rooms all the time, and the fact that they are pitch black doesn't bother you at all. You just crawl right in to the dark and find something to chew on. You also just discovered the little trampoline in the playroom, and if I can't find you that's typically where you will be, perched up there trying to bounce. Unfortunately it's way too tall for you, so I'm pretty sure you're going to dive off head first before long and hurt yourself. 
You have gone from laughing and smiling nonstop to becoming quite studious. Grayson was studious as a baby, but you're developing the trait later. You are always looking around, studying every little thing with a serious look. But you're still easy to make giggle, and you love when Daddy tosses you in the air, when I put you on my legs and pump you up and down, and when we tickle you. You also love when Grayson chases you through the house and then catches/tackles you. Mommy does not love the tackling as much, but you're pretty good to scream at him if he takes it too far. You guys wear me out. 

We are having the hardest time getting you to eat anything other than milk straight from Mommy. Just within the last few days you've gotten a lot better about eating about a third a jar or pouch of baby food at a time, and you're really into eating pieces of bread or veggies that I put on your highchair tray for you. We've been attempting some formula because I'm so busy that it's getting hard to exclusively feed you myself, and it is NOT happening. You straight up refuse that. But you loooove to drink water. If you're freaking out about something, giving you a drink of water generally will calm you down. Strange, but helpful. 

You are crawling like a little maniac, but you still don't crawl normal. Now you crawl with your legs almost completely straight, and you look like a little jungle/cave baby. It's hilarious, and you are so fast! I actually took you to the chiropractor to see if something is out of whack, because you refuse to crawl normal. I'm hoping now you're all fixed up and can crawl like a normal baby, but if you do I'll honestly miss your crazy little cave baby crawl. You also pull up and climb on everything, but you have zero balance if you're not holding on to something, so I don't think you'll be walking anytime soon. 

Just in the last couple of days you've been doing A LOT of the "mamamamama" thing, and yesterday for the first time I got a few DEFINITE "Mama"s, so I think it's safe to say that Mama is your first word! Yaaaay! Grayson's was Addie, so I'm so happy I won this time! (Although I'm sure if Addie were still around she would have beat me). You only really have said it when you've been upset and crying for me, but hey! I'll take it! Last night you woke up and started SCREAMING "MaMaaaaaaaaaa!!!!" It was kind of hilarious, but it sure made me come running quick! 

You and your brother are playing together so much these days, but are also starting to fight a lot more frequently, too. So far nothing too extreme, but he hates when you don't play the "right" way with him or come touch his toys when he's playing with them, and you absolutely do not like when he takes a toy from you. But the way you two light up around each other sometimes is the BEST thing I've ever seen. When I picked Grayson up from his class at church on Sunday and told him we were going to get you, he said "I missed Gabin!". Ugh, I love it so much. 
One of the cutest things going on these days is all the dancing and singing you're doing. If you hear anything that even resembles a beat, like something thumping more than twice, you start moving your little shoulders and hips and it is so cute! You go fast or slow depending on the beat, so I'm thinking you got your brothers natural rhythm. You have no idea how exciting this is for your parents because we both like to think we are excellent dancers ;) You also sing along with me and Grayson when we sing to you, and it is hilarious. You're basically screaming/squealing, but you'll do it through an entire song of "ABC's" or "Twinkle Little Star" and stop immediately when we do. So cute. Also, anytime I start singing "You are my Sunshine" you almost go into a trance. It's what I sing when I'm rocking you to sleep, so I think it just turns on some type of sleep switch in you. So funny. 

The only way I can get through a diaper change with you is to sing "ABC's" or distract you with something you shouldn't have, like a remote or diaper cream or something. Getting you dressed is no easy task, either. Basically, any time you have to sit still you can't stand it. You are ALWAYS on the move. Like, never ever are you still unless you're about to pass out. I'm excited for/secretly dreading the day you start walking. You will be unstoppable. 

Once again, 8 month old Gavin is my favorite Gavin, but there seriously has not been one single bad phase with you. I think I say it every month, but you are a true JOY, baby boy! You are so smiley and happy and funny and ornery and sweet and cuddly and smart and cute - I know, I know all mamas think their babies are the best, but I swear, you are the best little angel baby out there! I adore you so much, sweet Gav, and I love watching you grow into this crazy sweet little mama's boy you're becoming! 

My Heart Hurts

When I first opened up my laptop, it was with the intention of writing a Thankful Thursday post, since I haven't done one in a couple of weeks. But this morning I just can't write a happy go lucky post about all the trivial things in life that make me happy. This morning, my heart hurts. Like, physically, my chest feels tight and I find myself constantly on the verge of tears. Because our world is so, so, so broken. And the weight of that, of the things that we see on a daily basis, of the hatred that is constantly spewed out of people's mouths, of the horrific injustices that happen regularly - the weight of that feels like it's just too much today.
I know there are two sides to every story, I know there are "reasons" and "excuses" for the way things happen, I know that I most certainly don't have any answers, I know that I am completely ignorant to so much of what goes on in our world - and that's largely by choice, because I can't bring myself to read or watch the news most days because it is sickening. And terrifying. And absolutely, positively heartbreaking. But what I do know for sure is that this world is broken. We live in a world that scares me. It scares me that my sons will have to grow up in this world.

I have always had a heart for the underdog. I have always been compassionate to a fault. If a debate comes up, I am siding with the "other", the person without the privilege, the person who may be misunderstood or at a disadvantage. I have always been painfully aware of the advantages that I have in my life, because I have so many. I am a young, relatively attractive white girl who grew up with all of the material and monetary securities I could have ever hoped for. I had parents who loved and protected me from all of the "bad" in the world for as long as they could. I have never actually feared for my life, I have never felt like a true outsider, I have never felt as if I didn't belong in a certain place because of the way I looked or dressed or the color of my skin. If a cop pulls me over, I play dumb and smile a lot and they send me on my way. If I walk into a room, I can guarantee that no one feels threatened or uncomfortable or nervous. If I encounter any type of tension, I can almost always smooth it over without much effort. I am privileged, there is no denying that.

Instead of making me feel entitled or judgmental toward other people who may be different than me, this has filled me with a sense of responsibility. I have ALWAYS wanted to help those who aren't able or aren't sure how or feel like they don't know where to begin to help themselves. I feel such a burden for anyone who is hurting, who is confused, who is angry, who is unfairly treated - my heart honestly feels like it could break.

I have no answers. I don't know where we go, I don't know how we begin to heal in our communities, as a country, as a human race. I don't know how you fix something so horribly, horribly broken. The only thing I know to do is to pray. To pray and beg God to please give us answers. Please guide us, please help us, please open people's eyes on both sides of all of these horribly divisive situations in our world. Let us see the common thread, let us view the "other" out there as human. As someone's mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, mommy, daddy - whatever they may be, they are HUMAN. They are someone's person. They are someone's whole world.

I feel like no matter how much I try to avoid all media, all the crazy stories, almost every day there is something horrifying that goes on. Terrorists killing massive amounts of people around the world and right here in our own country. Children being abused and neglected and murdered. Men being killed by people who are meant to protect us. Politicians that speak hatred and judgement and spew lies out of their mouths. How will any of it get better? How?

All I can do this morning is sit here with worship music on and lay my broken heart here before God and pray. I don't even know what I'm praying anymore. I feel raw and bruised and broken, and I can't imagine how people that are directly affected by any of this must feel. The pain is almost too much for me to bear, HOW is anyone surviving this?

If you're a believer, please pray with me. Please pray for our country, for all of the hurting people out there. Please pray, no matter who you believe is right or wrong in any situation, just pray for all of the human beings who are being directly affected by the horrible things in our world. Pray for direction, for something to do, for a way to make a difference. That is my prayer. That I won't only hurt this way, but that I'll feel some direction for something that I can do to make the tiniest difference right here in my own little piece of the world where I have influence. Because something has to be done.

Declare Conference Link Up!

Ladies and gentlemen (well, let's be real, there are probably zero gentlemen here), I will be attending my very first real life blogging/writing conference in ONE month right here at home in the lovely DFW area! That's heavy on the sarcasm, because there is basically nothing lovely about Texas in July. But that's OK. 

Because! Not only am I jumping out of my comfort zone and attending this thing, but it is also a writing conference for Christian women - is this something anyone thought I would be doing even like six months ago? Probably no, not one little bit. However, I am insanely pumped. I cannot WAIT to get together with lots of other like-minded ladies and see what God has in store for all of us. My life has basically flipped upside down over the past few months and I kind of love everything about it. (side note: did that sentence make anyone else immediately start singing the theme song from Fresh Prince? Just me?)

So, that was a very long-winded intro to a link-up style post that the attendees have been asked to do. I love this kind of thing when trying to get to know new online friends, and it's even better because I'll hopefully get to meet some of these ladies IRL (that's "in real life", mom) super soon! Now - on to my answers. 
Here's my recent photo..Hi!
1. If we were meeting in person, how would you introduce yourself? 
Hey there! I'm Celeste. Wife to a pretty fab husband - aka "A" here on the blog, and mama to two precious boys - Grayson is three, Gavin is 8 months. We live in a suburb just north of Dallas, and I currently stay at home with the babies. 
Even though I'm a stay at home mama, I'm always dreaming and scheming, coming up with a zillion things I want to pursue. I'm a freelance writer and blogger, and I love building relationships and getting to know women with similar stories, or similar interests, or in similar stages in life - really, just getting to know other women in general, I suppose. Community is everything to a mama with littles, and I (somewhat recently) have developed a huge heart for bringing mamas together. 
2. What is your favorite thing to write and why?
Oh gosh, I'm kind of all over the place. So many times I've tried to narrow things down to a specific niche, and it never works for me. Sometimes I feel like being super serious and sharing my heart and soul, sometimes I just want to write something funny. Sometimes I want to share something cute that my kids did, sometimes I share things that no one else probably cares about but that I want to remember forever. Basically, writing is my jam and I just enjoy it, no matter what form it happens to take. 
3. What is your favorite thing to read and why? 
This is going to sound super duper spiritual and maybe a little cheesy, but right now it's my bible. I consider myself a baby Christian, because I only very recently returned to my faith after a little over a decade of taking more of a I-could-take-it-or-leave-it kind of approach. So for the first time since I was in my late teens - or maybe ever, honestly - I am totally immersing myself in the bible and soaking up all the goodness that I'm finding inside. But aside from that, I love memoirs, a good mystery or suspenseful fiction, occasionally a love story or a really easy beach-read type book. I love reading more than just about anything else, but with the itty bitties running around here I don't get too much of that done these days.
4. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
I want to say something sweet about spending time with my family, but I'm going to be totally honest and say my perfect day right now would be this: sleep in until like 10, preferably in a large king bed in a hotel room all by myself, have a quick but yummy breakfast, get a massage/facial/pedicure, come back to said hotel room and read/write/brainstorm/snack, possibly take a nap, get ready in a super leisurely fashion without tiny people climbing all over me, meet up with girlfriends for dinner, then retire back to my hotel to sleeeeeeppppp in peeeeaaaaccceeeee. Just being real, friends.
5. What’s one thing you love about your blog and one thing you’d like to improve?
I love that it still feels small and private enough that I can share basically anything I want and know that I likely won't get any negative feedback or feel overexposed. However, I would love to feel like I'm reaching people and to know that my words are helping other women in similar situations in some small way. So I love my lack of an audience, but I would also like to grow my audience. I never said I wasn't a complicated lady...
6. [Lightening Round] Would you rather …
  • Read on Kindle or paperback? Ugh. Both? I love my Kindle app on my iPad because I can read it at night without disturbing the husband and/or whatever child is in my bed at the moment. But there's really nothing like cracking open a fresh new book.
  • Drink coffee or tea? Iced coffee in the AM, iced tea in the PM - especially in sweltering Texas.
  • Go to a musical or a movie? Probably a movie, although I certainly wouldn't turn down a musical.
  • Vacation at the beach or the mountains? Beach! Well, can I say both again? Beach for like three days, mountains for like three days - sounds like a great little trip. Someone book that for me....
  • Have an exciting night out or a relaxing night in? Depends on my mood. Most of the time I love a relaxing night in, but every once in awhile I get in the mood to dress up, go out, and have a fun night sans bebes. 
  • Watch sports, play sports, or no sports? Just no. I want to like sports so bad, but I just can't make myself care. I tried so hard to get into the whole football thing for my husband, but...just. No.