Tuesday, October 23, 2012

two years in.

my sweet roman, you're two years old.

i think of the transformation that has happened to me, these past two years, and i'm overwhelmed.
a shift from the old me, to the mom version of me, has begun, and is in full bloom.
my dear roman, i was 98% part excited for your birth, and only 2% nervous.  
those last few weeks before you were born, i was going on walks, doing squats, even playing ball-girl for your daddy's tennis games with friends.  but it wasn't that i was miserably pregnant and wanting to just get you out, no, it was that i just needed you to be in my arms.  i was ready to meet your face, and get to know this little guy who was always moving around inside of me.

and then you were born.  
my excitement continued...so much so that we even forgot to tell your grandma's (who were in the other room) that you were born for over an hour after the main event!  
we were just so in awe, we simply soaked in the moments without a care of the outside world pressing.
me. you. and your daddy.
and then, during that first week home, you weren't able to nurse, so with the help of the nurses we rigged up quite the macgyver contraption.  and eventually, my dear, you caught on.
and that would be the first defining motherhood moment of:
 "ahhh. i don't know what to do??.... and then figuring out how to do it"

as soon as nursing finally clicked, your jaundice spiked and into the glowworm cocoon you went.
i couldn't wrap my mind around how i was supposed to cuddle you and hold you and bond with you, if you were attached to the wall, by way some silly hard glowing wrap and cord.
and of course, we made it through that trial, too.  

i realized that motherhood was full of little mountains.  i could freak out with them, or breathe, and take on the climb, knowing it too would pass by.  some mountains of course, are bigger than others.

it seemed like in just one week of this new life, this new me, the momma me, i was tugged and pulled and stretched more than i had been in my entire life.
i remember thinking, there wasn't really time to freak out, or panic, or even cry much though.
there was just you.  
you needed me, so i figured out how to reach in deep, and find strength to just keep going, though multiple times i wanted to crumble into a heap on the floor and sneak back to my old life.
oh roman, you were just a wee little 7 pounder, and with your birth, i, too, was also born.
once you came into my life, i was no longer able to function during even the smallest of tasks without first thinking of your needs.  
you, my little love, showed me what it meant to love so much it hurts.
and it's a good hurt.

i moved through maternity leave like a little girl riding her unicorn in the clouds.  
though, there wasn't a day that went by where i didn't project myself to weeks ahead when i'd be leaving you to go back to work. 
those thoughts took my ride up in the clouds to a very low, lonely, crawl on the ground.  
so, i blocked it out.  and tried so hard not to think about you, a little 12 week old bundle, being dropped off with someone else. 
i tried very hard to embrace our 12 weeks together.
we spent our days going on walks around the neighborhood, browsing target, and making our "big outings" to the mall, where i knew the nordstroms restroom would welcome us with comfy sofas and dim lighting, so i could nurse you, and change you, and get back to browsing forever21.
as with any transformation, it's the hard parts that truly mold you the most.
motherhood is hard. 
the old me was confident, and passionate, and loved to have a good time.
the new me?  anxious and full of guilt.  wondering if i was doing anything right?  and not a lot of time to worry about 'having a good time'  
i was in such new territory, trying to figure out this new role as a momma, and the weight of responsibility it brought.  

but we just kept on going....and before i knew it, when you were 12 weeks old, i went from being just a momma to a working mom, and i was also going night class 2 nights a week, trying to finish grad school by may.  

it was a painful transition, leaving you, with someone else, but soon, those seemingly impossible days became my norm.  
somewhere during your first year, little romy, i started recognizing a common feeling.  
there was this little spark of capability, that would flicker during moments of craziness.

it seemed like the first year of my new life as momma was spent in a cocoon, 
but i began peaking my head out and realized that i wanted to fly, and emerge as a butterfly, as a capable mother.
the sparks of capability turned into, feelings of "i'm a rockstar"

i began taking on experiences that were scary to me, yes, but left me feeling capable.
things like flying with you for the first time alone, driving home to nebraska for the first time with you alone, figuring out how to nurse you in a parking lot, just so we could re-enter our day out, without needing to rush home so i could be in the comfort of easy, the comfort of home.... those things? 
they left me with a rush of adrenaline.   
your second year came little romes.  
and the Lord used some very hard, [like, me balling on the kitchen floor in despair] times.... 
and, for multiple reasons, me as a working mom, wasn't really working.
it was a disaster.  
circumstances were happening, one after another, and soon, the Lord placed on your daddy's heart a gift to me.  
he told me it was time for me to stay home.  to quit my job.  and just be here, with you.
and in 2 days, i did just that.

and now? as we reflect on this past year, and the scary, SCARY feeling it was for us to go from 2 incomes to just 1? we are in awe and amazement at how the Lord has continued to provide.
and not just in monetary ways, but a lifestyle of contentment and peace, as well.

to say my new job as stay at home momma is bliss would be silly.
i spent three months wondering who i was.
i didn't get hundreds of emails daily anymore.  
i wasn't working with a school full of children, or teachers; no one called me mrs leif.
and, instead of the adrenaline rush i would get with trying to get you to daycare on time, so i could fly into work on 2 wheels?  
i was just wondering i should even put a bra on.  
i mean.  i wasn't going to be doing anything important that day, so why even change out of my jammies?

the transition from working momma, to stay at home momma was hard, but beautiful. 
i held on to the dream i had of staying home, so that even the darkest days of feeling like i really didn't have a purpose other than to feed, change, and play with a one year old, would be OK.  
even those days i remembered that this is what i prayed for.  
what i cried prayers, for days after days, for.
i began joining moms, and groups and finding my place.
i stepped out of my cocoon, and my wings of motherhood began to flap.
our days are simple, now.  but so full.
we leave the house when we want, taking on the big city, as if it is our playground.  
and if we don't feel like it?  we just stay in our jammies til noon.  or 5pm.

i get my adrenaline rushes from picking up the house at 5:15 every day, so your daddy thinks i'm a good housekeeper :) 

and motherhood empowerment is emerging as i begin to learn the role of advocate.  
we're treading new waters of therapy for your legs and therapy to help with sensory processing.  
and though i know things like therapy can be a beautiful blessing, i'm beginning to realize i have the ability to choose which paths we embrace, and which ones we close the door to.  
my little love, romy, because of you, i became a different person, a transformation took place. 

and now, two years in, i feel like a rock star, ready to enter toddlerhood with you.

not because i know what to do, how to react to your throw-yourself-on-the-floor fits, or because i'm an awesome mom who doesn't happen to still let you drink milk from a bottle.

because i don't really know how to deal with your fits.

and you do still drink from a bottle.

but i feel a rockstar because i know was created for you.
God chose ME to raise YOU.  he picked me out, because he knew i could do it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

a whole lot less shampoo.

last saturday roman turned two.
yep.  he's big now.
i'll post about that later :)

his birthday, brought grandma to town.
this means my mom becomes "mom" and i sort of just hang out.
this time she stayed for 6 days.
i was sort of on mom vacation.  it was glorious.

so one of those days, i got a wild hair brained idea.  pun intended.
but, i suppose i shouldn't say it was the first time this has popped into my mind.
i've been saying to my sis for a while now, "i'm ready for less hair."

even though with long flowy hair....... you can do loose curls, or straighten, or do all sorts pinterest things.....sock buns, random braid contraptions, really high twisty buns like kourtney kardashian. 
even thought with long flowy hair, you're basically trendy.  i mean, just look at any style blog. dude.

because: when you have long [LONG] hair, your hair is like a blank canvas, just waiting to be made into a masterpiece.

BUT!!!!!! let's say you have this hair, and instead of creating masterpieces.... 
you just do a lazy side braid, about 98% of the time.
 and you stalk hipster instagrammers with amazing hair 
<< @nicolecalleen // @emilyframe // @jmrammell >>
because, well, THEIR.HAIR.

and also they're raisin' boys.  and, they write about it too at: small fry.

so now that you know what's filling up my instagram feed,
let's get back to my wild idea.

"enough!" i said, "enough!"....... most of the time my hair is in a messy side braid.
which is fine, and totally reflective of this season of life.
but i was craving something fresh.  new.  easy.
so i texted my hairgirl.
and the next day, i chopped it all off.
this was on wednesday.

i thought i was fine.  i mean, i liked what i saw at the salon.
but then i got home and tried to mess with it.
and soon my canvas, became like a 2x3 piece of paper.
i suddenly felt like i couldn't really do much with my hair.
i felt like i cut off my creativity right along with my locks.
so, i posted a whiny picture to my IG @lindseyleif
and i texted my sis. she said it was ok that i was upset. and in mourning. 
and, that i feel like i got a "mom hair cut"
and of course comments read that it looked fine.
but then i started really examining my heart.

i wondered, am i this vain?  that chopping off my hair will bring me to a whole afternoon of pouting?
i know.  i know.  with change, brings a season of adjustment.
but it's hair.  
and why is it that when i'm all up in my outer beauty, it finds its place way up here in my heart?
[picture me holding my hand up really high]
and then my concern with inner beauty is way down here
 [picture me holding my hand, way down low]

so that's where i'm at today.
totally fine with my hair.  it's growing on me.
and i finally washed it this morning, and wow, talk about needing way less shampoo [bonus!]
but while i'm at a good place with my hair,
i'm still trying to address my heart.
i'm a work in progress, and i guess the lord just reveals our ugliness in all sorts of ways.
but, he shows us our flaws so that we might cling to him.
and i'll take that, over long flowy mormon mommy blogger hair, any day.

besides, this little guy doesn't care what my hair looks like.
 but speaking of romes.  and hair.  we held him down at sheer madness and gave him a cut :)
he's still imitating the sound of the clippers, walking around saying, "hair tut? ehhhhhhhhhhhhh"

Thursday, October 11, 2012

i'm all like "off to the plaza!".... FAIL.

last night, after a nice little walk with a friend {hi katie!} i stopped off at the plaza.
per orders of mr leif, i was to "go do something fun by myself, while he hung out with roman"
(we're constantly trying to attempt to wean roman away from his "must.need.want.giveme.MOMMA.24/7.365.all.the.time-ness")

and well, momma didn't protest.
i took the scenic route.
and basically drove through a live pinterest board titled, "my someday home"
mission hills is full of curvy roads, bajillion dollar homes, big huge stone walls, long sidewalks, and fancy gates.

i winded my way through and scoped out a perfect parking spot, right between jcrew and h&m.
i have had this shirt that rides along in my car, needing to be returned to jcrew, for about 2 months now.
it's just not gonna fit this fall, being pregs and all.  (sigh..... depressing)
and then, i have these cute little skinnies that i bought for romes. are h&m's sizes are always wacko w/ kids.  or is it just me?  but it seems like i'm always exchanging there.

so, i park.  grab my bags.  and then i realize.  no purse.
i'm hungry {read:hangry} and feel nauseous because i waited way too long to eat...
and here. i have an evening to stroll the plaza streets off in la-la land, but i my hands are tied.
and there will be no possible anthro sale purchases.  blerg.

but, never the less, i giggle.
i actually laugh. out loud.
because i look around at all the cute people strolling about, off to their dates, their girls nights out, their shopping sprees, their late night happy hours....and here i am in yoga pants.  looking really cute.  without my bag.  my id.  my debit card.
so back home i went.

i called mr. leif.
"i'm on my way home! i totally forgot my purse so i can't run any of my errands or grab anything to eat! HA!"
     {him} "don't you have any spare change for even a little snack?"
"[insert giggle] i may have a quarter stuck to the bottom of my cupholder? but no it's ok, i mean i did get to see a lot of people out having fun, meeting for dinner, shopping, dressed all super cute, so good for them right?! [insert giggle]"
     {him} "yes, linds, that used to be us, ha, but i suppose we've traded that all in for romes and babyboo, huh?"
"yeah....we totally did"

i mean, truly.  this wasn't a pitty party phone convo.
it was actually full of sarcasm and laughter.
and totally reflective on our state of life.  that we love.

i'm takin it from this beautiful hub/wife duo, mr leif?  i think that we'll be fine ;)

it's easy to think of the what-ifs or the if-only's or the maybe when-we's...
it's easy to trade in contentment for desires that we american's like to call "dreams"...
but really.  i'm just reminded, time...and time...again that where my treasure is, there my heart will be also.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

my parenting, a hot mess.

yesterday was not good.
roman pretty much dropped to the floor in a pile of tears anytime he was told no,
anytime one of his toys was "stuck"
or anytime he felt the slightest bit of frustration in any way.

but that's not the bad part.
no, this is where i come in.
i made things ugly.

i lost my patience.
i spoke in a way that didn't sing a song of gratitude.
i took no time to reflect on my blessings.
and, i said two prayers out loud for roman and i, asking God to help him make good decisions and to give me patience.  
though, i didn't even really try to be patient. ever.  it was basically a fake prayer.

sometimes, just the sound of his whiny voice sets me off.  in seconds.  i go from calm, to a very "not calm".

yes, we have 87 moments where we cuddle, and giggle, and chase, and make tooting sounds, and snuggle, and give kisses.
but then, the one not-so-nice moment comes.
and i'm faced with the choice.
or smooth things over, aka give in.

i usually try to choose discipline.  it's my duty, but it's exhausting.
but honestly, if it's just another piece of gum he wants? if that will quiet him? and calm him?
it's so easy, so tempting to just given him the silly gum.  even if i've said no.
but it's my job to stick to my guns.
and it's exhausting.
and i only have one child. oh dear.
how do you do it with multiple children?
the long days?
the consistency?
the whining.....hold me.

ahhhh.  what a season of life.
and, what a gift.
when i stop to reflect, i realize yes.  it IS a gift.
the lord has GIVEN me a child. 
i have been blessed with the ability to mold a little heart to run fast to jesus.

so, at the end of the day, the long and exhausting day, i have hope.
hope in my gift of motherhood.
hope in the grace and mercy i receive in response to my poor mothering choices.
and hope that because of jesus, my sad attempts at being a momma are wiped clean and made perfect.
and that, is beautiful.

and for now?
i'm gonna go make sure this happens today:

Monday, October 8, 2012

dude just dominates the day.

it seems like somedays i'm leading a 3 ring circus around here, with just one child.
he's a busy one.  jumping from activity to activity, toy to toy, room to room, leaving little tornadoes everywhere he goes.
i realized the other day that i spend most of the day running after him, playing damage control.
sometimes i think i'm pathetic, as i spend HOURS picking up HIS stuff.
but really?  it gives me purpose.  
i'm weird and have a "way" i like to put all the toys. all the crayons. all the gadgets. all the stuff.
back in ORDER.
i like order :)
i usually make him help me "teen up", as he pronounces it, but he lasts for about 4.8 seconds.
regardless, he has fun and i get to organize and reorganize and clean up the same stuff all day. every day.
but you know what?
i sort of actually love it.
i love my job :)
i think i'll call myself the home organizing engineer.
i mean, why not add engineer to the title?

here's romes in bunch of crappy cell phone pictures, just out and about, escapading around the house:
 {keeping his lungs up and running}
 {single fisting the masterpiece}
 {double fisting}
 {peeking out from his "2 biiiiig bankies"}
 {building a tower, and exclaiming, "i did it!"  and then building another one and shouting, "2 did its!"}
 {watching bob the builder.  the only way i can take a shower without someone standing right.THERE. the whole time}
 {helping mommy with her ridiculous popsicle consumption}
 {probably the result of me saying, "no more bob the builder, time to read books"}
 {building things.  dude could build all day.}
 {whoops? how did this one get in there?  this is one of my "let's make these cows sit in awkward positions sessions"}
{stinky face}

so there you have it folks.  a little view into how little romes dominates his days.
ps. he turns TWO on saturday.
? i know.  the cliche, "they grow up sooo fastttt....wahhhhh"
but they do.
and it's sad.
and he better not ever get married.
or have any girlfriends.
unless it's eden, or lucy, or rose :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

a little prep work

i had one of those days.
you know, the one where you have immense guilt for the amount of junk food you consumed.
i began with marshmallow cereal.  it was some fake off brand, but basically like lucky charms.
two bowls.
and then i moved on to cinnamon poptarts.
2.5 of those.
and then i moved salty, with pretzel sticks.
3 handfuls.
and then, to cap it off, olive garden.  
ugh.  i thought i would feel "healthy" if i ate their salad.
and pasta....and breadsticks....and dr. pepper.

i hate that i'm not a healthy eater.
i browse pinterest and see things like black bean and avocado burrito, 
and chicken stew with butternut squash.
and then i end up pinning things like paula deans super easy crockpot potato soup,
and chocolate chip caramel salted bars.

i hate the guilt i feel with not eating healthy.
i wish things like broccoli would make my mouth water.
but instead i get excited about a good grilled cheese sandwhich.

anyways.  enough boo hoo for me.
at least one of us is preparing for baby in the healthy way he should be
behold, romes: the big brother chef serving banana, bun, pizza, and kiwi.
now that's a well balanced meal.
 and we also might flinging baby down the slide.  head first.
romy's pretty pumped for the baby in momma's tummy.
it sort of is the cutest thing on the planet.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

recommitment to the city.

i've spoken of this dream, the one where we live back in nebraska.
close to family, and small schools, and waving at everyone because you literally know everyone.
  yes.  all the cars on the street, you practically know who drives each of them.
it's the small town life.
it's appealing to us.  it's not so big and scary as a city seems.  it's what we know.
or, so we like to dream.
but then something happened.
the lord began working on our hearts.
speaking contentment into our lives.
speaking a love of our city into our hearts.
and whispering into our ears, to just seek His will, not ours.

and so, the dream, of moving "back home" has sort of dwindled.
it still could happen, someday.
but for now?  mr leif and i feel a burst of excitement to recommit to the city.
kansas city.

so, naturally, we've been talking about what our lives will look like here.
as a family, how will we seek His will, and spread His light, in the city?

today, mr leif asked me, 
"if we are going to live here, how can we raise our kids to spread the gospel here?  how will we teach them to serve others because we LOVE others, and not just because it's 'what christians do'?"  

so. that's what we're working on over here.
our recommitment to the city.
how we can be the salt and the light.
how we can serve and love.
and how we can live with compassion.
a compassion that's real. deep. and full of life.

. . .

do you ever find yourself getting caught up in serving because you should?
when i taught in a school that had children in need, literally, i had a live passion.
i saw their homes.  i delivered gifts during christmas.  it was all very real to me.
but now?  i'm just praying i get that passion back.  
not just the duty, but delight.

do you have any traditions you do with your kids or families that brew up a love for serving?
if so, share with me.  we're new at this parenting gig, and we're taking any advice we can get :)

ok. that's all.
just some swirling thoughts :)