Running errands with my first newborn child I made sure to bring along a fully stocked diaper bag.  Contents included:  10 or so diapers, a full package of wipes, an extra change of clothes, changing mat, an extra blanket, extra burp cloth, toys (what?! ha!), extra pacifiers, so on and so forth…  (Keep in mind that in her carseat she was covered with a blanket, a burp cloth sits on top of that, and she had a paci in her mouth – the extras were, you know, just in case!)

I tucked my wallet and phone into the diaper bag and went without a purse.

Second child.  I pack into my purse a changing mat and a cute little pouch containing a travel size amount of wipes and 2-3 diapers.  She is in her carseat with a blanket, burp cloth (if I remember the burp cloth, a blankie can do the trick in a pinch) and her paci.   I figure if we need extras, we are minutes away from home. (Also if there is an instance where she actually needs a change of clothes, I will want to go home anyway.  You can’t really get baby cleaned up properly in a gross public restroom! Just ew!)

Diaper bag is now relegated to longer periods of time away from home – usually with the grandparents.  It also serves as a baby overnight bag when we go out of town.

 


This blog is no stranger to my annual birthday wish list. Well with the exception of last year – I didn’t make one for my last birthday for some reason. This year it’s back on! Here’s my birthday wish list with a couple extravagant things because it IS a wish list after all.

1. Fitbit  - this is really my top request. I’ve been working to lose the weight I gained with my two back to back pregnancies and, really, have been trying to just be healthier overall. In addition to #31OctMiles I’ve been trying to make healthier food choices and do little workouts at home. The process is slow and steady, but thankfully I’ve seen some progress which is always encouraging!  I’ve heard good things from friends and read good reviews about the Fitbit online.  Seems like something that will help me stay on track.

2. Sentimental jewelry. I would love some sentimental jewelry that’s delicate, feminine, and subtle. Pieces that remind me of my favorites (my hubby and my babies) would be top notch.  I’m not much of a bracelet kind of girl but love earrings, necklaces, and rings.  Here are a few faves I came across online: three initial necklace in gold, trio of gold stacked rings to represent our past, present, and future (can’t help the mushiness!), love the idea of a personalized handwritten engraved necklace with maybe my loves initials…?

3. Elements Massage Wellness Package. Okay this one’s a little more extravagant but would really make an excellent gift (maybe for Christmas?!). A couple weeks back I was in a world of hurt. My back felt like one giant knot due to a combo of picking up babies, bad posture while nursing, and the tension brought on by lots of stress. My mother in law kindly agreed to watch the baby one afternoon so I could go and get a massage. It was so last minute & the only place I could find an available appointment was at Elements Massage. To be perfectly honest my expectations were low because my understanding is that this is a massive chain-store kind of spa and so it seemed kind of hokey to me. When I met my masseuse, a short & portly woman who seemed older than middle aged, my expectations sank even lower. Well, it turned out to be one of the best massages I’ve ever received and my back still feels one million times better. So shame on me & my preconceived assumptions! The wellness package allows you to receive one massage a month at a discounted rate, which ONE MASSAGE A MONTH?!  Sounds ah-mazing if you ask me.

And that’s it!  I really can’t want for much this year (or should I ever want for much?).  What would be on your current wish list?

Affiliate links where applicable, all opinions are most definitely my own.  Thanks for reading and your support. 


October is a big month. It’s my birthday month and the 21st marks my last day of maternity leave. I have mixed emotions about going back to work, but that is an entirely different story for another time perhaps.

Anyways, on the first day of the month I was mulling over things and a wild brain idea entered my head – I should run one mile everyday in October.  Interesting…

See, for the better part of the last four weeks I have been trying to be healthier. I have been eating better and  taking long walks with one of the girls in the BOB Stroller.
I have also been doing a few exercise things at home when I’m crunched for time or even the opposite, when I have a little bit of extra time.  Jogging is something I have definitely wanted to ease myself back into and I have gone on probably two jog/walks, that to be quite honest, were really just long walks that started out with the briefest of a jog.

Running just one mile a day would certainly help get me back into jogging. It would be challenging in that I haven’t been running for pretty much the past two years (back to back pregnancies), yet the short distance would make it attainable.

As the day continued I liked the idea more and more, but wasn’t exactly able to get out for a jog because E is still too young to ride in stroller while jogging and Matt was at work.  No babysitter = no jogging at this point in time.  With that, I pretty much told myself that this hair brained idea just wasn’t going to happen.

Well Matt got home shortly after 5pm and we did the dinner time/bedtime routine with the girls.  The run a mile a day in October idea was still there though, rolling around in the back of mind, but the day was slipping away.  It just wasn’t going to happen I kept telling myself.  Then it was 720 pm, the girls were asleep, and it wasn’t quite dark out.  A little more hemming and hawing before I told myself to just go for it.  With my sneakers laced up I announced that I was gonna run a “quick mile.”   Matt was surprised but said “Go get ‘em Tiger” as I headed out the door.

I’m glad I went for it.  I’m on Day #3 and already it hasn’t been without it’s challenges to get those three miles down in the books.  I would like to be able to run every single mile, and I’m going to try my hardest to make that happen.  But the reality is that I’m a mom to two small littles, I have a family, and I’m about to go back to work.  Somedays it may have to be a long walk with the BOB  because there’s no one to watch the kiddos or, worst case scenario, there might be some days where it just cannot happen.  Now that I’ve started I really, really would like to complete this little personal challenge, but if a wrench gets thrown in I’m just going to do my best and start again the next day.

As a bit of motivation I’m posting an Instagram picture of my running shoes everyday with the hashtag #31OctMiles.  I realize it’s day 3, but if you want to join in… please do!!!  The more the merrier.

 


Recently I was scrolling through my Instagram and I was momentarily dismayed – I’d become THAT person who only posts pictures of her children. Had I become someone I did not want to be? Just a mom? Just a wife? Someone who has lost herself in motherhood and family life? Boo!

Then I pulled myself together and gave myself a pep talk. (I seem to be giving myself a lot of pep talks these days). The fact of the matter is that I am a wife and mom. And yes, that’s pretty much what defines my life these days. It has to! I have a lovable yet super busy 16 month old and a small and sweet 7 week old.

There’s the essential childcare duties: diaper changes, figuring out what’s for dinner, (also breakfast, lunch, & snacks), baths, bedtime routines… There’s also play time, reading, singing, learning, and lots of hugs and kisses. Day after day.

So maybe I have become that person who posts mostly pictures of my kids. It’s natural! Motherhood occupies 90% of my time these days. Being a mother is a privilege and I’m thankful to be known as Mama to these wonderful tiny people! !!!!

Of course, I am still “me”. I still have my personal interests, hobbies, and dreams. I don’t have a lot of time for them right now, but hopefully someday I will.

In the meantime I’m going to try to squeeze in a few of my own personal interests in the rare pockets of time I do get to myself: learn how to sew, paint something, write, workout…

The rest of the time I’ll be a mom, posting pictures of my kids and focusing on the good things going on in this phase of our lives. I mean, can you even handle the matching outfits? I barely can.


As if you didn’t know, it’s all about babies around here! :)  I just want to say that you guys are the sweetest!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind comments on my past couple posts.  I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to feel like you are being heard and also understood.

Things are chugging along around here, we have our good moments and our share of rough moments as well.  Of course.

Today has been a good day.  (Read: today naps have been successful).  The raincloud mobile I made for E is a hit, she loves it and happily watches it go round and round.  She’s usually content for about three complete cranks of the wind up lullaby, which, I think, is pretty great for a 5 week old.

Our current downside is that we seem to have found ourselves in a pickle…our original plan for childcare for E has fallen through!  (PANIC MODE!)  I’m scheduled to return to work in 5 weeks and have been on the phone all day trying to find a suitable place for her to go.  Obviously not just any ole place will do, and I’m big on personal recommendations.  Nothing has come through for us yet…but hopefully SOON! #workingmamaproblems Am I right?

In other random news, I love seeing E in Alice’s old clothes.  It’s just so fun to pull out a past favorite outfit and put it on our littlest little.  Hooray! Adorable tiny clothes get a second life!

Speaking of baby clothes, yesterday I ran into Sam’s Club and couldn’t resist buying the girls MATCHING outfits while I was there.  They’re just simple Carter’s play sets, but still.  The adorableness of matching outfits on my babies is almost too much. And so it begins and you know it won’t stop until they can put up a big enough fight.

E is waking up from one of her naps so I must stop filling you in on the randomness of my days, but I’d love to hear what’s new in your world.

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It’s Friday and I’m out to dinner all by myself. Not really by choice but sort of. I did ask four separate girlfriends if they were free, but not a single one of them was.   Ugh. Getting out tonight was actually my husband’s idea. I’m pretty sure he can sense that I’m thisclose to needing to be carted off to the looney bin. Motherhood you guys. Also newborns.

Elaine is now four weeks old and Alice is much improved but not quite 100% and I feel like I haven’t had a break in at least four weeks, because I haven’t had a break in at least four weeks. Matt has requested to go to the football game on Saturday night and while I desperately want to say no absolutely not, I don’t. He’s also back to work and getting to go out to lunch with his coworkers to all of our favorite restaurants. It’s no bother because I’m at home keeping it real and eating leftovers out of Styrofoam boxes while standing over the kitchen sink and rocking the baby in her rock n’ play  with my foot.

Perhaps I’ve doled out my fair share of dirty side eye glances and sported a snarly pout far more than I’m willing to admit. Because lets just be dramatic as the situation calls for. Woe is me and life is completely unfair. (Seriously, though.)

As far as husbands and dad’s go, I really do have a good one. I don’t want you to think I’m bad mouthing Matt because I’m not. I cannot/ do not want to imagine going through any of this without him. I’m just jealous. Jealous of his breaks away (work) and his ability to go out to eat at real live restaurants. Plus he has this elusive upcoming Saturday night out, which is one of the reasons why he suggested I go out tonight. (The other reasons involving me being potentially committed as mentioned above.) I almost said forget it and stayed home because, I mean, four girlfriends. Not one can go? What a loser I am!

I’m kidding. Women of my age and women who are also mothers (most of my friends) just cannot be as spontaneous anymore. We need days upon days to make these sorts of plans. Gone are those fun, fun spontaneous college days. Why I’m even referencing college days is beyond me; I graduated ten years ago. (Although I can remember so much of that time in my life like it was yesterday.)

I hate to complain because I know, I know I’m blessed. I KNOW THIS. I feel it too, but I’m just trying to be transparent and admit that I’m having a hard time. The sleeping two to three hours at a time during the night, the constant nursing, the baby who only wants to be soothed by me, the 16 month old who hasn’t been feeling well, the feelings of being trapped from the limitations that come with having a newborn, with having a family, and then the guilt of feeling like I’m not being patient or grateful enough…

Yuck. Feels ugly.

I do love, love, love my family. Honest I do. I know that I usually keep things pretty upbeat around here and I’m sure those sorts of posts will return shortly. This is just the phase I’m in at the moment.  This too shall pass.

By the way, dinner wasn’t that good. I couldn’t even finish it. Bummer, right?  I’ll spare you the complete Debbie Downer show and not end on such a Negative Nancy note because I treated myself to dessert and a coffee (decaf, mama needs to be able to get some sleep) and it was the bomb dot com.

Also eating out on my own was kinda nice.  I can totally see myself doing it again.


Yesterday was rough. I was feeling the things that I like to think other moms to newborns universally feel: tired and maybe a little clausterphobic. Clausterphobic because you never quite have a moment all of your own. Then when you finally do have a moment all your own it goes by so quickly before you have tiny warm body on your person again because she will only stop crying once she’s in your arm.  How does she even know it’s me!?  I feel bad even thinking those things because having a newborn means all kinds of sweet and wonderful things that I know I should be focusing on and feeling grateful for. And I am. Honest, I really am so, so very grateful Yesteray though was rough, in fact our little family has had a bit of a rough time lately.

I vaguely mentioned it in my last post and to sum it up our oldest daughter has been sick for about six weeks. Six weeks is a very, very long time to have a child that isn’t well. Thankfully she’s much better now and I’m really hoping that we are nearing the moment that she is back to 100%. Throw in a c-section to recover from (and anesthesia meds that left me feeling sick to my stomach every hour for 8 hours), a brand new adorable baby, five trips to the pediatrician in five weeks, and a two night stay at children’s hospital because no one is quite sure what to make of your sick child.  Add all that up and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a few tears.

Despite it all, I must say I’m pretty proud of my little family. We’ve held it together.   I’m not saying our brows haven’t been furrowed in worry, or that we haven’t been anxious about the unknown, or that there haven’t been tears of exhaustion and frustration. No I’m not saying those terrible things haven’t been there, because we’re only human and of course those things have most certainly happened. But there’s also been love, support, and a marriage that pulled together and worked as a team. I cannot express the gratitude I have to be able to call Matt my husband and the father of my children. Words cannot describe…

Also, I’m grateful for family that has jumped in to help without second thoughts and I’m grateful to God for continuing to provide the things we’ve needed throughout all of this.

>>>>>

So yesterday I felt the pressure of all those things and I cracked. I ugly cried and I thought terrible things and then I felt terrible for thinking the terrible things.  Then Matt avoided me because he was afraid. Once the worst of my storm passed he held me and sent me to bed.

This morning it’s better. I got dressed and left the house and drove my car. I put on a different pair of shoes besides my birkenstocks, and man oh man, I’m grateful for fresh new days.

p.s. As I type this I’ve put my birkenstocks back on. They’re just way to comfortable. Also both my babies are waking up from their naps at the same time! (It’s still all good). Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

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