it's so interesting how different my perception of being a mom was before i had a baby. well, i really had no perception of it at all. i knew i was completely naive about the entire experience. i expected it to be wonderful and hard, and i was right about that. but some of the things that are wonderful i didn't expect. and some of the things that are hard i didn't expect.

i didn't know how funny babies are! tucker has me cracking up every day. he really makes me laugh hard at some of the things he does: his wild sucking on everything he can, his growling and furrowed eyebrows, his high-pitched gasps at every new discovery, his thousand different faces, how fast his little legs can kick. he is a hoot.

i didn't know how deeply and unconditionally i would love this kid. even when i'm up all night with him or even when he won't eat and my patience wears thin, i never lose an ounce of love for him.

i didn't know how incredibly frustrating the nights would be. i always heard friends complain about the nights but wow, they are rough. tucker might be especially difficult at night, and i hope my other babies won't be such horrible sleepers, because i don't know how i could do it again.

i didn't know how hard breastfeeding would be. thankfully we've gotten it all straightened out now and he's a great eater, but the beginning was emotional torture. i don't think there's anything worse than knowing your baby is hungry and not being able to help him.

i didn't know how difficult it would be to keep up my appearance. i still wear sweat pants every day and my hair in a bun. i manage to put on some mascara most days and i feel pretty good about that. i haven't dyed my hair since before tucker was born because that's a 4-5 hour process and he does not do well when i'm gone that long. and forget about blow drying and straightening my hair. that's the last thing i want to do for 45 minutes when i finally have some free time. i now understand the practicality of the "mom haircut." i'm also still pretty heavy. i've got 20 lbs of that baby weight hanging on. i guess that's not that bad considering i put on 55 lbs with tucker. but i don't fit into many of my pants and skirts and struggle finding something to wear to church. and my wedding ring still doesn't fit. a part of me wishes i was skinnier and wearing cute clothes with cute hair. but it's just not practical to play with a baby all day in jeans. and i'm not about to go on a diet while i'm breastfeeding.

well tucker's 5 months now! he just keeps getting better and better. right now he loves:

* to grab, pinch, and scratch everything! it's not usually too painful except when he grabs my hair (like 10 times a day) and scratches my side while feeding.
* to chew and suck on everything in sight.
* to watch people eat.
* to watch football and scream every time the ball is thrown.
* to stare at chip bags, my water bottle, any electronic, and trees.
* to squeal and shout. i'm surprised how loud he can be.
* to laugh. we get him to laugh every day now and once he laughed so hard this week that tears came out of his eyes. ah, love it.

lately he's been a champ with standing and learning to straighten his back while sitting. he's still pretty far from sitting on his own though; our pediatrician said he'll have a hard time sitting up because he's so long and lean. he doesn't roll over much at all anymore and just prefers to lie on his back and chew on whatever he can.

this week his nighttime sleeping finally started to get better. i was talking to the girls i nurse with each week at church and telling them how great it was to only get up 2-3 times a night this week and they both looked at me and said, "that's an improvement?!" when i was used to getting up 5-6 times every night for a month, yes, that's an improvement and it's been great. so i hope he keeps it up!

i am really liking being a stay-at-home-mom. i like being able to plan my day and activities, for the most part, how i want them. i like being able to stay on top of the housework and not feel like it's such a pain like i did when i was working. i like being able to spend so much time with tucker. i can't imagine having to work and being away from him.

tyler's doing well now in his 2nd year of med school. he's got finals this week so i haven't seen him much, but that's not really new. he's just trying to survive all this bookwork until next year when he starts rotations.

happy 5 months tucker bear!