The last month

It's been a big blur. That's what they all say, right? The first month you barely remember and that is why you have more kids because you forget all that a newborn brings. I've been humbled yet again. I was humbled with Anna because I thought I had it all figured it out before she was even born because, you know, I was a nanny (huge eye roll). And this time, I just feel like my whole world is a tailspin. Out. Of. Control. Where have the days gone? or nights, rather? Where have my beloved nap times gone where I get everything done? Oh, they're being used for catching up on the sleep I didn't get the night before. Laundry is never-ending. I used to get by doing a load or two a week, now I'm doing a load everyday, which means baskets are laying around the house with unfolded clothes--clean, albeit, but unfolded and yet to be placed where they belong. Some days we're living out of baskets. I don't remember the last time I cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed, or dusted. I don't remember the last time my eyes haven't burned or randomly gone crossed out of sheer exhaustion. By the time I'm able to take a shower I wonder if it's even worth it knowing within the 15 minutes I'm out I'll be spit up on again. I've never changed so many poopy diapers. Literally, every diaper change has been a poopy one. Guys, I'm not joking. If I got a quarter for every poopy diaper I've changed...

Be real with me, you experienced this too. That's just how it is, right? I think God gave parents the newborn stage to bring us to our knees. This life is out of our control and having a newborn reminds us of that. Really just having kids does that too, but having a newborn is only the beginning. I also think the newborn stage brings light to how God looks at us. We're like the newborn: fragile, unable to care for ourselves, totally dependent on someone else. And God takes care of us, feeds us, cleans us, keeps us alive. And why? We don't do anything to deserve it. Because He loves us. A sacrificial, unconditional, incessant love. In all our helplessness God still looks at us with a perfect love. Despite all that I've been through the past month in adding another helpless being to our lives I can't help but look at my son and marvel at the vast amount of love I have for him. As caregiver over another I get the honor of experiencing just a glimpse of how God sees and takes care of me. And that's another way He brings me to my knees.

Along with the sleepless nights, the unceasing loads of laundry, the eye twitches, days without showers, the endless poopy diapers, the cries we don't know how to stop (by both baby and parent), we've also experienced so much joy, awe, love, and sighs of disbelief that we now have two beautiful, amazing children. We look at one another and wonder how did we get so lucky? We've also been blessed with a village surrounding us. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles aren't close but we have found "family" in our friends who have brought us meals almost every night since we arrived home from the hospital, who have taken Anna to play with their children so I could take a shower or catch up on some needed zzz's, and who have encouraged us that we're not alone in this crazy world of parenting two children. Blessings have overflown in the Jones' household, that is for sure.

I mean, just look at this little guy on his one month birthday:

A little note from Theo:

I weigh 11+ pounds (way to go, Mommy!) I'm a spitter upper who is now on Zantac for my acid reflux. It seems to be helping which makes me feel better. I know it makes Mommy and Daddy feel better too. I have great head control, I poop like it's my job, I smile when I'm gassy, and I can't live without my paci. I like baths, cuddling, tummy time, and co-sleeping (shhh, don't tell Dr. Brown). I dislike being alone, wearing hats, and being on my back. Mommy says I'm a tiny heartbreaker.


A Letter to My Children

Dear Anna Jubilee,

You're a big sister! How did that happen? How are you old enough, big enough to have someone younger and smaller than you in our little family. You are already the best big sister to your little brother. You are so sweet, so loving, and so helpful. I was nervous how you'd react when we brought your brother home. I was afraid you'd poke his eyes out, try to feed him your crackers, and I'd have to continually tell you to be more gentle. But not once since we've been home have I had to worry about you. You're so gentle with Theo, you love giving him kisses, you love to hold him (even if it is for 2.5 seconds), you love to sing him songs, and the first question you ask in the morning is "where's baby brother?". I'm so proud of you, sweet girl. You're growing up way too fast but I love seeing you learn new things and become more of girl and less of a baby. You're a sponge right now and I swear you're a genius (I may be biased). You love singing, especially to Mumford and Sons. You enjoy drawing and I think you've inherited your Daddy's artistic abilities. Your fearlessness is going to be the death of me (or just make me pass out every now and then when you come crying to me with a broken appendage). You'll always hold a special place in my heart being my first child and my first (maybe only) girl. I pray you'd continue to grow in wisdom and stature and that Christ would always be the center of your joy. I love you, my sweet Anna Jubilee.

Dear Theo Shepherd,

You're finally here! A week early nonetheless; and while we weren't quite ready for you (considering you didn't have a name for the first 12 hours of your life), I'm not complaining. You, sir, are one special guy. You have your sister head over heals in love with you, and your Mommy and Daddy are pretty smitten as well. As soon as you entered the world my first words were "I love him so much!", and after taking a good look at you I realized how much you resembled Anna. For a few days I felt like I was reliving two years ago. But now, after two weeks, you're beginning to look less and less like your big sister and you're becoming your own person. I love it. Your eyes are starting to lighten, I can't wait to see what color they'll finally settle on. Will they stay blue like your Daddy's or turn brown like your sister's or will they change to a green like mine? Your cheeks are starting to fill out and become more and more kissable. You're still so fuzzy and soft and your sweet baby scent takes my breath away every time (or maybe that's all the poopy diapers!) You're always making noises and they are the funniest. The other night, I swear, Predator took over my son. One minute you sound like an alien, the next you sound like a velociraptor. I wished for a cuddly baby, and boy, did I get one! You won't let me put you down for a second. It makes for long nights since you don't sleep well if you're not on mine or your Daddy's chest. But that's ok. We can't stay upset for long because we just look at you and our hearts melt all over again. You have added so much to our little family. I already forget what life was like without you (more sleep, that's for sure!). I pray you would always know the love of the Father and that as you grow you would look to Him in all things. I love you, my precious Theo Shepherd.