“…but the years are short.” 

Most of our neighbors are elderly. And whenever I spend time with them I walk away reminded to cherish this season of life I’m in. 

When they share their lives and stories with me, they never share about how perfect they were. 

They don’t share about how impeccable their lawns were (currently my lawn is dead and stressing me out) or how decorated their homes were. They aren’t sharing about how amazing the meals they made were. They don’t share about how much or how little they had in their bank accounts.

They share about memories they had, life they lived with their kiddos/families. They shared about what made/makes them feel alive, and the trend I hear among them all is it isn’t in anything they possessed or a status they held.

It’s who they held, and the memories they made along the way. It was the simple moments. 

They share about how much they miss these years when the kids are young. 

They tell me to soak it up. 

To savor it.
 My neighbor Marie just kept kissing Atlas and speaking this to me repeatedly. 

I came home again today and this (the images on this post) is what happened and what I saw. 

This isn’t staged. 

This is our real life. 

It is messy, imperfect and truly so beautiful simultaneously. 

We hear “the days are long but the years are short” often but man do I feel an emphasis on “the years are short”, today. 

(It’s also rare they ever share with me how tired or worn out they felt, either! So guess what, fellow mommas, I’m assuming maybe that’s the part we won’t remember the most in the long run! 🙌🏻) 

an all-over-the-place post about nights and Chaseyboy

(this post has been in the works for a month now so even as i re-read some of this i can see how much God has really been working in my heart and mind – so very thankful that my eyes have been opened or whatever you want to call it…read on if you dare ;)… no but seriously, do because i want to hear from those who may have walked this road before us)

Chase is almost 3-years-old. 33 months to be exact. and there is something i have rarely (if ever, really) shared. definitely not on the blog – maybe you caught a glimpse of it in my post about the “ba-bas”  and even when sharing with close friends and family, i haven’t shared what nights with Chase are really like.

i don’t think i ever made the conscious decision to not be honest, i mean people who are around enough, know that Chase has “rough nights”. but within the last month as i’ve gained more perspective i’ve started to share honestly about what it’s really like. mostly to process it and try to understand it.

the perspective that i’m talking about – about our (my- not Ted’s but not his fault as he is seriously the deepest sleeper i know) nights with Chase –  is that what we are going through is {not} normal. it’s like my eyes have been opened to what’s really going on and maybe, if i’m being totally honest, i’m facing the reality of something i haven’t wanted to for far too long.  the reality. the truth.

sometimes, it’s feels easier to go through the motion of things than to really deal with the root cause, the deeper issues. or maybe it’s just that i don’t even know where to begin, or i’m afraid of what i’ll really learn if i allow myself to face everything honestly.

yeah, obviously i’m still sorting through all of my thoughts. i’m overwhelmed by them. and, i’m afraid to share. but i {need} to share. i {need} to hear from others who are/have walked this road before. because i am baffled. because it’s recently started to take it’s toll on me.

there isn’t really a “gist” i’m getting at. it’s actually bunch of things jumbled into one big mess. and we go through this every.single.night.

i am slightly afraid that people might say, “well you’ve brought this on yourself”. and maybe that’s partly true. i love co-sleeping. i read this or that for and against it before i had Chase and decided i’d just do what i felt was right for us in the moment. after we had him, i pulled him into bed around 2 months and until a month before Shailo was born, he was still in our bed.

now he is in his own toddler bed, beside our bed (really don’t want to get into the full answer of why he’s next to our bed…basically,  it’s a fear-based thing within me that i’m working through. and also, because of our nights with him.) so, yes, he’s in his own bed. and Shailo sleeps in his little bed beside ours and I pull him into bed around 5am every morning (i would co-sleep with him, like i did Chase but after losing Eisley, it’s again, another one of my fear-based things. freaks me out now.)

the truth about our nights is that they are sleepless, long and exhausting. i am going to share honestly with the hope that {someone} can say they’ve walked through this too and can help me. here goes.

Chase doesn’t sleep for more than an hour and a half at a time. he wakes me up either every hour or hour and a half. (edit (because this has been a draft for a few weeks now): Chase slept one night for a period of 4/5 hours and i slept so deeply that when i woke i felt i had overslept and could barely get out of bed. cra-zy awesome and also, more perspective that this isn’t normal.)

he wakes me and asks me to do things like to straighten his pillow case. to fix his blanket because it’s no longer the way he likes it to lay. he wakes me if his jammies are on weird, or the ankles slid up to high but he can’t {not} wear jammies because if he doesn’t, he itches his skin until he bleeds (eczema) so in a way, some things seem kind of hopeless although i know they probably aren’t.

he’s totally inconsolable if he asks for milk and doesn’t get it. part of that is because he’s half awake and mostly because it’s a {major} comfort thing. i tried water for a time and that worked a whopping two times. he was doing much better in this area but again it’s gotten worse. we go through a gallon a day – maybe a day and a half if we’re lucky.

(-kind of TMI- side note: because he drink so.much.milk i have totally put off potty training all together. in my brain, the way this has to work it to get him to stop drinking so much fluids daily first. then begin the training. he pees SO much as you can imagine a child his age would, going through a gallon of milk all by himself in one day. he also poops like a baby still. mushy poos, rarely solid. (how’s that for TMI) so our nights our putting a damper on even things like potty training and saving money in diapers and milk…)

i was lying awake one night, around 3 am and trying to wrap my mind around our nights and i felt so clearly God reminded me of the first night i had to leave Chase to be hospitalized for Eisley. i suddenly realized that this could be a huge factor in why he freaks out at night. why he is unconsolable and needs the comfort of milk.

he was (is) traumatized too.

my heart aches every day lately as i’ve really let that sink in. i’ve known for a {long} time now this is an area i need to face. since we lost Eisley, i’ve struggled with anger towards Chase for things that aren’t his fault. things that are totally out of his control and to be honest, my hearts knows a major part of why he struggles with sleep is because he’s traumatized. by what happened while i was on bed rest and suddenly unable to to the “normal” things with him anymore. traumatized because his mother – whom always slept with her arm wrapped tightly around him – suddenly left him (when i hospitalized for Eisley – which once i had her, was 1 month. 1 month away from Chase)

traumatized because the woman who was now back wasn’t the momma he knew -watching me come back home – a changed, confused, grief-consumed and broken momma, not the momma he’d known his whole life (he was just 14 months at the time). i sometimes feel like she’s gone. the carefree-light hearted-cheery-rarely angry-momma.

i felt so consumed by the loss of Eisley that i stopped taking care of him in the loving, natural way i had before. i felt angry at him at times because i wanted to just be left alone in my grief, and friends, i feel like i’ve traumatized my son. i know i have.

i love him so very deeply and my heart has been changed by the love i have for him. from the very first time i learned he was growing inside my womb. from the very first time i heard his heartbeat, felt his movements within and saw his little profile during an ultrasound. and from the moment i held him in my arms, it’s like i now stand watching my heart run around in him. in my memory of eisley. in shailo.

it’s this deep, unbelievable and inexplicable love.

and my eyes have been opened again to this beautiful boy before me, my firstborn love, my Chaseyboy. my first baby to claim a piece of my heart. i love him so much and i know i’ve hurt him so deeply in my actions. in my season(s) of coldness and depression.

i’ve prayed my heart out during our nights but have i really meant it beyond my own selfish desire for sleep of my own? until recently, i don’t think so. i’ve been so selfish and so consumed.

it’s eating away at me. lately i watch him run around and i’m in awe at him and who he is, again. i’m starting to see him the way i once did before, and not just through the eyes of a grieving, confused and broken momma. i still feel broken and confuse and somedays, consumed, but mostly i feel like God is showing me what is before me in the here and now, and how i can live my life with my two beautiful boys and husband and still carry on Eisley’s legacy. it’s okay to feel these waves of grief and sorrow all while intertwined with living a full and happy life here. what’s before me now.

 i am so blessed to call Chase Journey, son. my firstborn. whom from the very beginning his life has truly been quite a journey. so much has happened in his (almost) 3 years of life, it’s unbelievable.

 one night, i was lying in bed with him, reading books before bedtime and i decided to video him reading this book to send to his Grandma Anisa in Alaska. it was a book about construction vehicles and it was so cute. when i pushed play and watched it back, i felt kind of stunned. thanks to having a phone with video capability now, i can watch him now from a perspective that most would see him, not sure if that makes sense. you know, like as a mother or auntie or whatever, you are around the kiddo enough to understand them and how they say things, so while we understand them, others are like, what did they just say? i had that moment. and brain suddenly registered the reality as i listened to his young voice; Chase is still oh so little. my heart stung a bit at that reality. i treat him and expect more out of him as if he were so much older.

i actually goes through these “roller coaster” emotions when it comes to Chase and how i feel i have/haven’t treated him. they go hand in hand with the season i’m in, so in my seasons of feeling more hopeful i feel guilty in how i’ve treated him during my seasons of depression, fear and anxiety. it’s a really hard and draining battle within me but i want to face this.

i want to be clear that i have never ever hated Chase or anything like that. i have always loved him and i always will. i’ve struggled with knowing how to grieve the loss of one child and still really, truly care for my other children the way i can best.

i guess i just wanted to share and see if there may be anyone who has walked this path before and has wisdom for me. whether it be about the nights or about grieving the loss of another child while caring for your children here with you and if you get me and what i’m failing miserably at trying to share here.

please pray for us as we keep processing all of this. please pray that we can find a way to get through these nights and most importantly how to really understand and work through any trauma that Chase is going through.

thanks for reading. i often hit post and know that those who really stick through to the end here (hi, you :)) must really, seriously like me or something for sticking around long enough to go through the ups and downs of my emo processing here. thank you.

love,

jami

“Backhoe, where the ba-ba go?!”

Chase is 2 years and 2 months. He’s a big boy now and has prided himself of this very fact for some time now. Except there was just one “itty bitty” problem that conflicted with that. Something that I don’t talk about much because, if I’m being honest, I feel kind of embarrassed by it.

One week ago from today,

Chase was still drinking milk from a bottle. Oh, but that’s not really the main problem…he was drinking milk from a bottle… throughout the night. He was still waking up 1, 2 or even 3 times asking me for a bottle with milk. Yes, it’s true. Chase, 2 years old and 2 months, still hasn’t hadn’t slept the whole night through. Still needed momma throughout the night.

(side note: he did drink from sippy cups and cups with straws at a really young age, but we just couldn’t nip this bottle in the night thing!)

A bit of background, not that it helps or excuses it, but here it is. When Chase was just 7 months old I became pregnant with Eisley and my milk supply dwindled rather quickly. The problem that arose during that time was the Chase has never been introduced to a bottle. Well, we tried once or twice, but other than that, nothing. He had only ever been breast-fed, never bottle fed. Needless to say, weaning him was super intense (plus I wasn’t ready to and that made it even harder on my heart).

So by 1 year old, just 3 months later, we still allowed him bottles. We decided we would wean him off bottles by the time Eisley was supposed to arrive, when he was just 17 months old. Once we lost Eisley, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t take away his comfort, for himself but also because I didn’t feel strong enough to “fight” that “battle”. I just didn’t have it in me. By the time we moved into our new home in April, I was in the 1st trimester of pregnancy with Boy S and then the excuse went from being emotionally unready to wean him to being too physically exhausted. So, that pushed the weaning process back even further.

And then, let’s be honest, I just became lazy. I kept saying, “We’ll start next week.” and when the new week came I’d come up with some kind of excuse to not wean him just yet. Until one night, on my 3rd trip to the fridge to get him milk. I leaned down, my hip was in pain, my right leg asleep (this happens often with how low S is) and I reached for the milk and it HIT me SO hard. In just a few weeks I would be home with a newborn baby that would need me in the nighttime for nursing. I will also be recovering from a major surgery (c-seciton) and the last thing I needed to be doing was getting up 1,2, or 3 times a night to get my 2 year old son milk.

even if he is stinkin’ cute ;)

I then (finally) set a date and stuck with it. I threw out all of the “ba-bas” and so it began. I then told him something I’m still not totally sure was the “right” or best thing to do. I told him that the backhoe came and had to take away all of his “ba-bas” because he was a big boy now and they were for little boys and babies. I wasn’t sure if he’d understand that but BOY, oh boy did he!

The first night was incredibly difficult and drew out many tears from a confused boy and a tired (and kinda sad) momma. We spent most of the night up, getting a total of 3 hours of sleep. Chase knows what he wants and is a very determined little boy that it was kind of tough. That first night, I was scratching his back (another comfort thing – but I don’t mind this one) and he said pitifully, “Backhoe…. ba-ba… backhoe… ba-ba peeeeeease” I realized then that he did understand me! And then wondered if he’d ever love backhoes again. :)  That morning as my super exhausted hubby got ready for work I told him I was tempted to get Chase pacifiers (one thing he’s never had and one thing I am DEFINITELY doing with Boy S!) Ted told me that kind of defeated our purpose. He was right but I wasn’t happy to hear that. ;)

By the 3rd night, he was doing much better and now, just one week later, we are doing phenomenally. He does occasionally wake up and ask me but last night was the moment Ted and I dreamed of;

An {entire} nights sleep uninterrupted. He slept the night through for the first time…since… ever? Maybe beside the accidental nights of deep sleep he had. Were there any? Gosh, I’m not even sure. It’s just been a really long time if so.

Yesterday, Chase and I dropped Ted off at school early and as we were driving home he noticed a bunch of construction trucks in the grocery parking lot. So I decided to pull in so he could get a better look. I pulled into the shade, rolled the windows down and we watched. I joined in his excitement and even laughed at myself that I knew some of the correct terms for the trucks like excavator, road roller, skidster loader, etc. (one of those ‘You Know You’re A Momma To A Boy When’ moments)

And then Chase suddenly YELLS out: “Backhoe, where the ba-ba go?!” I about lost it. I laughed so hard (and then of course called my mom and grandma and then texted Ted because I knew they’d all appreciate it too.)He {totally} understood what I had said to him. And he wanted an answer, even 6 days after the fact. Definitely going down in the book of ‘And then you said…’!

I know that each parenting style is different in timing of introducing certain things or taking away of others, ect. Please know that this is what our personal journey is and that if you’re in a different place; I do not judge or even think twice about it. This was/is apart of our personal journey through parenthood and failing and accomplishing a goal we’d set. Each person, family, kiddo, situation is different and I respect our different journeys through parenthood, mommahood, etc. All that to say, I hope you know my heart and don’t feel at all judged of worried if you are in a different place with your kiddo.

Which reminds me… I have a post that been stirring up in my heart about mommahood – lies, struggles, etc. It’ so heavy on my heart and mind, a lot and I will post that soon!

Thanks for reading :) Any funny stories you have, I’d love to hear :)