I’ve been wanting to do one of these posts since Jack was born…when every week seemed different…as a way to chronicle it all and compare in the future.  Obviously that didn’t happen…but that doesn’t mean I can’t jump on the wagon now!  I always love reading these from other bloggers to get an idea of how similar/dissimilar our lives are…kids vs no kids…SAHM vs WOHM…I tend to find mundane details interesting…like when people wake up and what they watch on TV.  So here’s hoping you all feel the same…otherwise this will be extremely boring.

So it’s no secret that I work full time in addition to being a Mom full time…which is a mix of good and bad.  Working is a choice I make and after going to school for 6 1/2 years (and STILL paying for it) well I don’t take my degree lightly…I put it to work (literally) and like the daily challenge that it brings.  So here is a “typical” working day (a Wednesday a couple weeks ago) in my life.  (Part 2 will be an At Home day with Jack…which looks totally different!)

5:10am

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Now that Jack generally sleeps past the 5am mark (knock on wood) I’ve started to sllooooowwwllly get back into working out in the mornings…because let’s be honest if I don’t do it first thing in the AM then it’s not happening.  Lance and I alternate days (just in case jack does happen to wake up before 6) so Mon and Wed are my days.   It’s not easy…I find any and every excuse not to get up but recently the reality of “not breastfeeding anymore = weight gain from eating one chip” has set in.  So to the basement I go…

5:20am

DipticShaun-T FTW!!  I loved Insanity pre-pregs…so when we discovered T25 we jumped on it…25mins is perfect for our current life and fits nicely during naps too (if i MUST use such precious minutes this way!).  Also Tonya is back…for all you Insanity folk…and she does modified moves which is nice because my post c-section bod does not love doing pushups in every form imaginable.

6:20am

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Jack starts waking up just as I’m getting out of the shower…I quickly throw some clothes on and head to the kitchen to see what food Jack may or may not eat for breakfast and how many meltdowns this will involve.  Luckily Dad is on the case already.  Lance also has breakfast ready for me (scrambled eggs and toast is typical) so I eat while I prep Jack’s breakfast and get our bags packed for the day.  I make our lunches the night before so it’s all ready to go just needs to be put in bags, etc.  I find even though I HATE doing this the night before it helps the mornings go MUCH smoother.

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Oh and just because I think this is insanely cute…in the above picture Jack is trying to put bibs on his stuffed puppy.  You guys…this all started because one morning I was trying to avoid a meltdown and quickly grabbed a nearby bib and put it on his new puppy.  He did not forget…because every day since we have to put bibs on puppy.  Toddlers are crazy…and smart.

6:30am

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Time for Dad to head out to work!  This is Jack running and saying “byyyyyyyyyyye”

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Jack will refuse to sit and eat most mornings…so we just let him run around and eat in between while we try and get ready ourselves.  Not perfect but it’s life.  In the meantime I rush back to dry/straighten my hair and throw on minimal make-up…I’ve got this whole process down to about 10mins…granted most days i look like crap.

6:40am

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And now the real dressing battle begins…Jack’s turn.  Obviously he knew something was up and decided to put on a show and quietly look at his book while I dressed him.

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Dressed in record time and with zero fighting…seriously…this is NOT my child.  I’m not sure who he’s trying to impress.

6:55am

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It pays off because we’re out of the house before 7!!!!  This is rare but on mornings when things go smoothly it does happen!  Hooray for no meltdowns this morning!!

7:05am

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Arrived at daycare and drop off goes smoothly.

7:15am

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Back in the car and ready for the commute to work…and COFFEE!!

7:45am

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Made it to my office.  I work on a college campus…in an old building on the 6th floor…no bells and whistles here!  Just constantly praying we don’t have that catastrophic earthquake we’re overdue for anytime soon.  Usually when I get in the first thing I do is check email, figure out a game plan for what I need to get done that day…check on progress of processes I started the day before, etc.  My day to day is different and depends on whatever project(s) we are focused on…ie. whatever proposal/grad student thesis/conference/publication deadline we have breathing down our necks.  Hooray for science research and fighting for government money!

11:30am

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Once a week we have a group meeting.  (Our group consists of a couple research staff (me), one post-doc, and about 5 graduate students working on their Masters or Phd)  Each week someone presents an interesting and current article relating to our research…and this week it just happened to be my turn!  So here I am trying to put the finishing touches on my presentation.  It was quite thrilling…that is if ice nuclei creation in long lived supercooled clouds is something that thrills you.

3:30pm

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Post talk snack…and planning out next task.

5:20pm

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Heading home…the WORST part of my day.  The U is shoved up next to the foothills which makes for a traffic nightmare every night.  There’s literally like one 2 lane road to get ALL THE PEOPLE out.  This is why I LOVE spring break, fall break, Christmas break…and summer…because getting rid of the kids creates a much smoother commute home.  I’m an old curmudgeon and college kids are the worst.  This day’s commute was made slightly better thanks to a Bill Simmons podcast with Lena Dunham.

6:10pm

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HOORAY I’M HOME!!  This little guy was happy to see me and posed for the rare selfie with me.

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In fact we got 2!  Now that we got our hellos out of the way I run faster than a speeding bullet to the bedroom to get my sweatpants on.  Please tell me I’m not the only one that does this w/in minutes of walking in the door.  Like i CAN NOT BE BOTHERED by anything until my sweatpants are on and my bra is off.  Lance is one lucky guy.

6:15pm

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Lance will usually have dinner ready to go and Jack fed by the time I get home…so we eat quick and then if I’m lucky Jack and I will sneak in some playtime before he has to head to bed.  He got a shiner at daycare this day (see his right eye) but his mood was great!  So we got about 10mins of “fun time” before starting the bedtime routine.

6:30pm

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Jack and I read a couple books (of his choosing..Go Dogs Go is a current fave…the one above is a random he dug out of the toy bin).  Then it’s prayers and into the crib!  Most nights he will go down without a fight.  We do have the occasional meltdown when he doesn’t want to stop playing…but overall it seems to work great for us.

7:00pm

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I start cleaning up the kitchen, do the dishes, and get Jack’s lunch and my lunch ready for the next day.  We have to provide all the food for Jack’s daycare and they request we don’t bring anything that needs heated…so he gets a lot of PB&J’s.  I also have a bad habit of snacking during this time…but omg are these pb pretzel chips good.  DO NOT BUY THEM.

7:50pm

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After getting things prepped for the next day I finally get to sit down and relax!  Woo!  I decide to upload pics for this post using the ipad…granted I won’t actually write this post for 2 more weeks but hey at least I got an early start!  Lance and I chat and catch up on TV or whatever we’re feeling that night.

8:30pm

Nothing worth watching on TV so I head to bed a bit early to read a bit.  Working on the last of the Divergent trilogy (Allegiant).  (Finished it a week or so ago…actually didn’t mind how it ended considering I didn’t like the book as a whole that much…the first and second ones were much better I thought.  Excited for the Divergent movie though…I sorta love Shailene Woodley)

9:00pm

Lights out and I’m pretty sure I fall asleep within minutes.

So yes there you go…a typical work day for me.  As you can probably tell on days  I work I have very little time with Jack…which sucks.  But I also only work 4 days a week so I get 3 full days with him and I think that makes up for it.  The busiest parts of my day are between 6-7 (both am&pm).  Life is usually pretty hectic and nuts and all over the place during those hours.  I know that this schedule will only change as Jack gets older and our family grows…so I’m glad I was able to document it at THIS time.

I hope to do another post on a day at home with Jack soon…so stay tuned!!

Me vs The Internet

February 20, 2014

A couple articles across the interwebs have got me thinking lately. 

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Deep in the trenches of Toddler motherhood it seems every day I’m faced with new challenges (like the need to THROW ALL THE THINGS AT MY HEAD), frustrating whining fits and tantrums, and several “ah-ha” moments when I realize that HOLY CRAP HE UNDERSTANDS WHAT I’M SAYING!!!  And those same days I question if I’m doing the right thing…setting enough boundaries, reading him enough books, making enough animal sounds.  So to ease my stress and worry I turn to the internet…naturally. 

Like a lot of new moms I’m drawn to those bloggers that make me feel right at home…that I’m not alone and that sometimes half the time having kids is NOT all butterflies and rainbows.  So called “Bad Mommy” bloggers.  The ones that aren’t afraid to be honest and tell us how it really is…to get peed on,  the unexplainable crying, nonstop whining, food throwing, biting…all before 8am.  Sometimes I’m left terrified of what’s yet to come (terrible 2′s, troublesome 3′s…having multiple children to care for (deep breath in)) but often I find myself nodding my head thinking YES OMG YES THAT IS EXACTLY IT!! 

So when I came across this article I surprisingly agreed.  As my co-mother friends can attest…I will be the first one to admit my shortcomings or mistakes as a mother…(yep we turned Jack’s car seat forward already…and this one time he fell out of the cart at Target b/c I failed to strap him in)…but I often wonder if this comes off as a competition?!  Like some warped competition of being the “worst mom ever” which makes everyone else feel better about what they do.  If I’m not perfect…am I also not Bad Enough either?!  I love how Elissa ends the article:

“This isn’t to say we didn’t gain anything from the bad mother. The spirit of confession she brought, the invitation to reveal our deepest doubts and frustrations, has surely benefited many women who felt suffocated by the mother mystique. But now we need to take that slightly selfish, sometimes bored and occasionally uncaring woman and just call her a mother. Not good, not bad, just mom.” 

I’m not perfect, and I’m not bad…I’m just a Mom.

Along the same lines…when I was pregnant these “bad mommy” blogs were totally foreign to me.  I lived in a blissful fog of “omg my baby is going to be AMAZING!!!.”  I read weekly pregnancy updates of fellow bloggers, and birth story after birth story.  So when my life was flipped upside down during those first months…I wondered WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THIS?!  

Turns out…the internet tried to.  At the time I turned a blind eye but it seems like now the “Things no one told me about having a baby” and “What I wish I knew…” or “What I would tell my Pre-Pregnant Self” posts are littered across the internet and fill my facebook feed…thanks to a lot of my new mom friends.  So it’s not exactly new news…having a baby is hard and life changing.  I’ve even made it my unofficial “job” to tell people this before they have children themselves.  I don’t want to be blamed for not giving fair warning. 

As an example…a few weeks ago I was guilty of doing the head-tilt “awwwww” look at another couple with a newborn at the liquor store.  After I realized I was probably making them uncomfortable with my wide-eyed stare and huge grin, I asked how old their son was and if he was their first.  When they both replied yes…and had that all-to-familiar tired look of “please don’t say how amazing this time is” I quickly replied with “it’s hard huh?!”.  Now thankfully they must have agreed because instead of cursing me they gave me agreeing looks…and even bigger smiles.  It felt good.  Maybe that is what they needed to hear.  Being me…I also threw in a quick “well that’s why we’re here buying booze right?! (awkward laugh)” 

While I wholeheartedly agree that as friends and Moms is it our duty to let our fellow moms, especially our closest friends, know that they are not alone during those hard times…that they are doing great…and yes you can admit it is hard you can tell me your deepest honest feelings without the “but it’s the best decision ever and i wouldn’t trade it for anything” end comment…. (I KNOW.  Trust me…I know.  My days are filled with ups/downs and yet my love for my son is unquestionable and deep and scary strong** ) I also worry that by pushing too much negativity about what becoming a parent is “really like” in the faces of those friends of ours who do not have kids yet (or ever), or even our pregnant friends can be a bit much…and even make them question why we did this in the first place?!

Like most things…you can’t fully grasp it until you experience it.  You can tell someone how hard it is and try to explain just how evil sleep deprivation can make you…they won’t get it until they are deep in it themselves.  So I’m torn.  I inhale articles and blog posts that talk about how hard motherhood is and the daily challenges we experience before we even have our morning cup of coffee.  But on the other end, I don’t want to be so negative that those around me question even for one second my choice to become a mother. 

It was our choice.  We don’t regret it.  My marriage has changed, my free time has changed, my workout schedule has changed (if we can even say it exists), my view on what matters has changed, but most importantly my role in this world has changed.  I’m a Mom.  My son deserves whatever I can give him…whether it’s “bad” or “good” in the eyes of the internet.

 

** I’ve been thinking a lot about how negative posts must affect those who are unable to have kids or those who experience miscarriage and unthinkable loss.  A beautiful blogger friend recently lost her daughter at 37 weeks and it just breaks me inside to think of the pain she and her husband must be going through.  PLEASE please please send her and her husband your thoughts and prayers.

The Holidays & Mom Hormones

December 18, 2013

In the past Holiday commercials have mostly annoyed me…cars and jewelry being the top contenders.  But this year I’ve seen a couple that have made me laugh and cry…all at the same time.  Maybe it’s the Mom hormones in me…or companies are finally figuring out how to tug at our heart strings…but these are good.

You may have already seen them…esp if you don’t live under a rock.

This one from Apple.

 

This one from Coke.

 

See what I mean?!  Tears.

Happy Holidays All!!

Some Pics

November 19, 2013

You guys…Jack’s 1yr photo shoot did not exactly go as I had hoped.  I guess I should get used to this.

Instead of crawling around smiling, laughing, and hamming it up like the perfect little boy I envision him as…he was NOT HAVING IT.  As in…every time I tried to set him down so you know…we could get a picture of JUST HIM…he screamed bloody murder and grabbed onto me with a death grip.  30mins into it when he was STILL not cooperating I wanted to cry…pretty sure Sam thought I was a crazy mother who has no idea how to even make her child smile.  Ugh.  So it turned into a “Mom&Jack” photo shoot.

Here are a few of my favorites.

 

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See that last one is pretty good of him right?!

Oh and here’s what I mean about clinging to me for dear life…

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Another “Mom lesson” learned…things will not always go as planned…but try and roll with the punches and make the best of it.
And bring snacks…always.

*All photos by the lovely Sam Kelly.

 

1 Year

October 22, 2013

A year ago today we met Jack.

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This past year has been the hardest of my life.  They say a mother’s love for her son is something fierce…and I get it now.  Although it took a little longer for me to develop that real strong bond with him…the love and joy he brings to my heart now grows at an exponential rate.  It’s indescribable the way his little looks make me feel…and when he tucks his head just so on my shoulder I want to stop time and never move from that moment.

Turns out…I’m not a baby person.  The 6 months mark was right around the time Jack’s personality really started to show…he became such a cool kid.  Being a Mom became fun…not just work.  Still hard yes (oh man is it still hard!) but fun too…enjoyable.  The last couple months have been even better.  We wrestle around on the floor.  We sing and yell.  We dance.  We chase each other.  We laugh.

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Jack is Me in miniature form.  (and a boy..duh)  He has that spitfire redhead personality.  Lance evens us out…and one can only hope our next child is more like him…calm, relaxed, chill…or else he might have to move out.

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Jack’s favorite things right now are (in no particular order):

blue blankie (although this is probably the top one)

Me…obviously (ok and Dad too)

pushing ALL THE THINGS around the house (his clothes basket being his first choice…activity table a close second)

The dishwasher…well actually the silverware in the dishwasher

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Strawberries, grapes, and mac-n-cheese.

Pairs of things…and crawling with one in each hand.  (ie., pan lids, blocks, cups, socks, toy cars…)

Piles of magazines stacked on side tables…that he can one by one throw off and rip up.

Jack’s least favorite things right now:

Diaper changes and getting dressed/undressed.  (so dramatic!)

Taking naps

the Stroller (actually he has NEVER liked this)

Sitting in the cart at Target (only wants to stand and throw stuff around…makes for tricky shopping)

Veggies

 

He doesn’t walk on his own yet…but he seems to be getting more steady and braver by the day.  He’ll get this look on his face like he wants to walk from one point to the next…but then he’ll drop down and crawl.  He is getting a lot better at standing on his own.  All these skills I feel like have gotten stronger over such a short period of time.  When he first started pulling up he was so wobbly and unbalanced…it’s amazing how quickly they change.  I still gasp a little when I see him standing independently.

I think our nursing days are over.  We had slowly gone down to just morning and night sessions…which i loved.  Then that turned into just morning sessions…and then the other day he refused…and my boobs didn’t mind.  So yeah…I think it’s over.  Man…breastfeeding was SO MUCH MORE than I thought it would be.  More work, more pain, more exhausting, more emotional…just all of it…MORE.  But it was good…at times very good…and worth it.  Oh so worth it.

Although that barely scratches the surface of the past 6+ months…it’s what’s on my mind now.  I wish I had updated here more often…but such is life.  I hope to drop in from time to time still…if anyone is still reading.

So with that…Happy Birthday handsome little man…I love you more than you’ll ever know.  You are my happy.

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On Motherhood

August 1, 2013

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I love this picture.  I look happily in love and glowing as a new Mom with my almost 3 week old little boy…which is exactly how I want to remember that time.

But what the picture doesn’t tell you is that I was also suffering from my first case of mastitis, uncomfortably squeezed into my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, deliriously tired, and feeling guilty that my baby was not  blissfully sleeping through his newborn shoot but instead screaming (look closely).  It’s a good thing we have professionals to take pictures that paint a different story than reality…the one we want to reflect on and remember as the truth.

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A friend of mine recently had a baby and jokingly (honestly?) pokes at me for not telling her exactly how hard it would be in those early weeks.  Hard doesn’t even come close.  Everyone and their aunt Sally will tell you it’s “hard”…but no one can actually explain it in a way you will ever be able to comprehend until you’re living it.  But how can you expect them to?  I came across this article via another blogger and it really resonated with me.  (if you’re a new Mom…or even considering the idea of ever becoming a Mom I suggest you read it…then read it again at some point during those first weeks….and then read it again…)  Our minds have this amazing way of working…or maybe it’s just the magic of sleep deprivation…that the early months of new motherhood slowly turn into a fog…and what’s left is a montage of fond memories.  We slowly forget…or maybe just gloss over…the bad…and focus solely on the good.

IMG_6823 copyIt took me a while to start writing in Jack’s baby book about the early months…because I was terrified of what I might write.  In hindsight I wish I had written it down somewhere and kept it for me personally just so when #2 comes around I can reassure myself that I am not crazy and my feelings are totally ok.  Even now at 9 months in…and what feels like a lifetime away from those early days…I still feel a small shutter of terror and anxiety with the thought of ever caring for a newborn again.  Yes my controlling, change-hating, stress-ball personality may also play a role.  The thing about babies is they can teach you a lot about yourself…or more realistically force you to acknowledge things about yourself you stubbornly don’t want to admit.

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Even now the fogginess has already begun to set in.  The relationship with my son blossoms on a daily basis…and I no longer think of him as an angry blob who only wants my boobs…but instead the funniest, cutest, sweetest, ( and on and on and on…) little redheaded kid I know.  Lord help the woman who wants to marry him someday.

It took me a while to accept that life would not go back to normal….THIS…life with Jack…is our “new normal”.  Some things will never be the same as they were pre-baby.  Seems simple enough…but it was (and continues to be) a hard adjustment to accept.  Although I’m getting more comfortable in my roll as a Mom… I may never feel fully confident.  But I think that’s ok.

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As Jack grows older, and I learn more and more about him and myself…we make our montage of those early days that much more beautiful.

Photos by the wonderful Jylare Smith.

 

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