Just a quick entry into the baby book:
Lewis learned how to say “cherry” today. And he also signed the word “more” for the first time.
Yay language skills! Mama likes!
Just a quick entry into the baby book:
Lewis learned how to say “cherry” today. And he also signed the word “more” for the first time.
Yay language skills! Mama likes!
We survived our first trip!!!
Bedsharing for a mama who doesn’t normally bedshare. Last night was tough. We did what we had to.
We are in California for my Grandad’s funeral. Lewis came down with me, and he did surprisingly well on his first flight ever.
However, he has not continued to do well.
He won’t let anyone else hold him or touch him or even really look at him or come near him. Most of the time he won’t let me put him down either. He won’t hardly eat. And now he is up in the middle of the night screaming.
I feel bad for my brothers and my brother’s girlfriend, with whom we are sharing a suite at a hotel. I feel bad for myself because I’m doing this on my own. And I feel bad for Lewis. This is clearly very hard on him.
I am so grateful to be around family while we all mourn, and I will never regret attending my Grandad’s funeral. But after all the challenges of traveling with a baby, I can’t help but think to myself that I’d like to go home now.
I told Kyle I didn’t need him to come. I told him I’d be fine because I’d have buckets of willing helpers. And I do… everyone is willing to help in every single way.
…but Lewis won’t let them.
So I have to handle him and all his shenanigans on my own. I should have asked Kyle to come. Big mistake.
This is harder than I thought it would be. And I’m hardly able to enjoy my wonderful family and mourn with them because I’m constantly dealing with a sad? sick? scared? baby.
I don’t know what is up with the kid. But I do know I want to go home. This is just way harder than I thought.
We all know that Sunday night/all day Monday were prime examples of Murphy’s Law in action in our family.
We seem to be suffering under the curse of Murphy’s Law the whole week so far..
Take last night, for example: after kiddo refused most of his dinner, we decided to go for a walk to the park. When we were loading up for the walk, I consciously thought to myself, “I’m not going to bring the changing pad? What’s the point? We won’t be gone long.”
I think you can see where I’m going with this…
It was literally the only time I have ever gone to the park without a diaper/the changing pad. And it was literally the only time I needed it – The first blowout Lewis has had in probably 6 months. Sorry, kid. No swings for you.
Kyle sacrificed his undershirt as a buffer between the poo-splosion and the stroller (so much easier to wash a shirt than the stroller!), and we went home for emergency laundry and baby clean-up.
Another Murphy’s Law event: We leave for California for my Grandad’s funeral tomorrow. And… the kid has a cold. Peeeeerfect.
Murphy’s Law says that “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. I plan to combat its effects on the California trip through careful planning and preparation. I started packing last night, and we are going to have every eventuality covered. If I’m prepared for it, then it can’t “go wrong”, and Murphy’s Law will not apply.
Take THAT, universe!!!
Kiddo is awake and sad again. Trying a new strategy tonight that seems good so far – Gave him more tylenol and a big cup of milk. He is chugging the milk, and snuggling with the cup when he isn’t drinking. He is so content! Maybe it will translate to falling back asleep quickly.
In an effort to be a little more positive, I’d like to distract myself from the fact that I’m awake by listing some good things that have happened lately:
1. Lewis grew out of some clothes. This hasn’t happened in about 8 months, and it is very exciting! The brand/size he grew out of goes up to 23 lbs. I imagine that means we’re up to 23 lbs. Which would be amazing!
2. I can now sleep on my stomach again. For the first time in nearly 2 years, my favorite sleeping position is comfortable again. No belly or boobs taking it away from me.
3. I got fitted for a new bra by a pro, and I have very happy breasts. I purchased one nice bra, and it has been worth every penny so far.
Well if last night was a disaster, I don’t have a word to explain what today was.
After losing so much sleep to Lewis’ 4 hour sleep-protest, I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I missed the appointment to drop off my car for service, and finally got on the road to daycare/work a full hour later than normal.
Once I arrived at daycare, I found out that, in fact, Lewis would not be provided with food in his new classroom. Ok… well… I’ve got a solution for that, I thought. I’ll just go to the store real quick and buy some food, drop it off at school and then go to work.
I tear through the store and… where the heck are the individually packaged milks? Better grab a redbull. God, I’m tired.
When it comes time to pay for Lewis’ food and my redbull (aka the elixir of life), I have no wallet. No sir, my wallet is 30 mins away in the diaper bag at home.
No food for Lewis. No caffeine for mama.
Abort. Abort! Time to call the day off.
I lost it. I cried all the way back to daycare, collected myself, and went in to pick up the kid I had dropped off 30 minutes prior. Now I am more than 90 minutes late to work. And blotchy from crying. And completely embarrassed.
So when Lewis’ teachers ask me why I’m taking him home… I cry some more. Now I’m even more embarrassed.
I cried the entire way home from school. Most of the drive I was on the phone crying to my mother about what a crappy day I was having. She said I couldn’t always be perfect… I said I’d settle for fed and in the proper locations. Wasn’t aiming for perfect…
So I get home, 2 hours after I should have been at work, starving, exhausted and uncaffeinated. And puffy. And did I mention tired? So tired.
And of course the Internet wasn’t working so I couldn’t log in to work. And Lewis pooped twice in the space of 20 minutes and it was time for his nap.
My poor, aching head.
I think I finally got into my remote desktop and started working around lunch time.
The rotten egg on the cake was that I also had to make the decision not to attend my best friend’s bachelorette party due to finances, even though I’m her maid of honor. That was a fun email to write…
But at the end of the day, I did get all my work done. And Kyle came home to work from home in the afternoon because I was in such rough shape. And I eventually stopped crying. And I got some caffeine and ibuprofen, so my headache went away. And I therapy-cleaned the first floor of the house, which was an excellent idea because it is so pretty now.
This parenting gig is hard. Life is hard. Being a grown up is hard. But you know what? If I can ever get Lewis to sleep tonight, and if I can get through the pile of clean laundry on my bed, then I think I’ll be able to go to bed feeling satisfied that the day was salvaged a little bit. But it has been over an hour of rocking the kid already… and he doesn’t seem very tired. So bedtime feels an awful long way away.
I’ve been awake with Lewis for almost 4 hours now. All I can do with my anger is think about all the sleeping people in the world and hate them with a burning fire. Including my husband in the other room.
I don’t care if I know them or not. I don’t care what time zone they’re in. Everyone who is sleeping right now is a real jerk.
Today is father’s day.
We were supposed to have dinner at Kyle’s sister’s house, but before Kyle and his dad could get back from golfing, Lewis got a fever. We stayed a couple more minutes so Lewis could say hi to his gramps, but then I took the little guy home.
I picked up a slice of pizza for dinner, since suddenly I was without dinner plans. Lewis ate freeze dried strawberries, since the little sicky wouldn’t touch anything else.
It felt pretty sad to not be part of the father’s day celebrations. Especially because Kyle stayed for dinner, so we weren’t with him. But our little nephew is still really little, so as soon as we figured out the fever was there, it was time to hit the road.
Lewis seems to be okay, but he is having some trouble sleeping. I keep getting him down and then he wakes up a few minutes later. Clearly something is up.
I just desperately hope it isn’t an ear infection. Rooting for teething. He is due for molars anytime now.
My Grandad died yesterday. I don’t have a lot that I’d like to say publicly about it yet, but I feel the need to write down the words.
Grandad died. And I am sad.
My whole family is grieving together. I have a couple close friends who know and have offered their sweet, kind words. My coworkers know, since I found out while I was at work and, well, it was impossible to hide that I was sad. And, of course, Kyle knows.
So I have support. But sometimes sadness can feel very lonely. It can feel like you have no one – like really feel like you are completely alone – even when you can count the number of people who are, in fact, there for you. Even when that list is quite long. Sometimes it just feels easier to count the people who aren’t there for you, even if there are fewer of them.
That’s how I feel right now. My Grandad died, and now I’m counting the absences in my life. Perhaps I’m doing it because on some level I don’t want to feel anything but sad right now. I’m not sure.
I love you, Grandad. Missing you is a big, big feeling. But I’m so glad you were ready to go.
I have been struggling to get the kid to sleep. It is way past our bedtimes and frustration was sinking in.
But then he farted super loud, we both shared a laugh, and he fell asleep seconds later.
…well alrighty then.
Breastfeeding is over, my friends. We’re finished. I’m officially dried up.
14 months and 1 day of breastfeeding my baby boy. And I didn’t have to throw in a mercy-feeding anywhere in the week since stopping. Not for his sake, and not for mine.
I experienced very little pain, and Lewis showed no signs of angst, so I was able to power through the mild discomfort I did experience.
Last Wednesday was the last feeding, and some pain did come up on Saturday/Sunday, but I was at the beach with my mom for a girls weekend, so I was sufficiently distracted and was able to ignore it. By yesterday I felt almost normal, and today – Tuesday – I feel no pain whatsoever. I do believe that I am “empty” now.
The stretch marks on my breasts are fading already, and I have begun menstruating again. Amazing how quickly that happened after the breastfeeding stopped. Nature’s birth control, indeed! (Also, hi. I am Fertile Myrtle! Nice to meet you!)
The weekend away with my mom was perfectly timed. A lovely way to mark the end of Lewis’ and my physical connection. I enjoyed my freedom by truly being free, even if it was just for one night.
The boys did just fine at home together, even if bedtime did end up being quite rough on them. I understand that Lewis (finally) began to regularly say “mama” in reference to me while I was gone, and he was definitely happy to see me when I got home, saying “mama” all the time even after I was back. What a special treat to arrive home to! I enjoyed my “freedom”, but I enjoy being home with my baby and my sweet, capable, supportive husband even more.
As I said to my mom… you know you’ve had the perfect trip when you’re ready to go home. It means you’ve done everything you set out to do. And I definitely left the beach feeling 100% satisfied. I didn’t need to stay longer, but I also didn’t need to leave sooner. I got exactly what I needed out of it, and it was time to go home to my family and start our new chapter.
I just realized the kid has been wearing some of the same clothes for 8 months. Same since he was 6 months old. Pretty unusual at this age, methinks!
Less than a month until his 15 month checkup. Hoping for some pounds and some inches! Grow, kid. Grow!!
The other pillowcase I made for King Louie. Navy and gold arrows to match his crib sheet!
Lewis is asleep in his room. We didn’t breastfeed. He just had a cup of milk before bed, and then we rocked and sang like normal.
This is the start of our new life! We’re in it now! What a bizarre combination of relief and sadness I feel.
If everything goes according to plan, we just finished our last nursing session of Lewis’ life.
Assuming I don’t end up in severe pain with engorgement that I can’t get through… this is it. The end.
Amazing. That was crazy, demanding, painful, joyful, special, important, magical, awe inspiring, difficult, and wonderful.
I can’t believe I could do that. 14 months and one day of breastfeeding my baby. I had no idea if I would have it in me. And there were so many times I didn’t think I could go on. But it was important to me for reasons I still don’t understand. And I pushed through and I did it.
We did it. Lewis and I. What a team. And even though this part of our relationship is over, we’re always going to be a team.
I’m sure there will be days when I miss breastfeeding and the tender bond and special moments that come with it. But I’m done. And I’m proud of us.
The world, the news, dinner table conversations, and my Facebook feed have all been buzzing lately about the election lately. I mostly choose to keep my political opinions to myself, employing a “live and let live” policy in order to keep my life peaceful and myself sane. But this election is so impactful that even I am tempted to talk about it.
We still haven’t made it to official nominations at the respective parties’ conventions, but we do have two “presumptive nominees”. Both are suspected criminals, currently under investigation or involved in litigation of some kind. These are the two that I am supposedly expected to choose between. This makes me feel so desperately disappointed.
But let me step away from politics for a moment to talk about little girls. I think you can see where I’m going with this… but humor me anyway.
Personally, I never felt limited by what is between my legs. It has simply never been a factor in my decision making. As a matter of fact, I never felt limited at all. I knew I was powerful. Not because I am a woman. Not in spite of being a woman. Just because I am. I am powerful, because I am.
I felt powerful because I was empowered by my parents, by my teachers, by all the cheerleaders I’ve had in my life who helped me to achieve. I was never told I couldn’t achieve. And because of that, I achieved. Everything I wanted to do, I did.
But not all girls feel this way.
If you ask a little girl what she wants to be when she grows up, the number of answers you can expect are limitless. She may want to be a teacher, a sports star, a unicorn, an astronaut, a dancer, a farmer, a dad, an engineer, a tree… or maybe she wants to be president.
As little girls get older, the list of possible answers gets shorter. “Limitless” is no longer the word. Limits are everywhere. A lot of the limits she didn’t see before are undeniable realities – She begins to understand that she can’t actually be a unicorn, a dad, or a tree. But a lot of the limits are made up. She doesn’t think she can be a sports star, an astronaut, a farmer, an engineer… or the president. But she is wrong. She can! She just doesn’t know she can, because she doesn’t have (enough) examples of people like her doing these things.
Yes, Hillary Clinton is under investigation as a suspected criminal. And her critics could probably spout off a million other reasons why she’s a terrible candidate to be the leader of the United States. But, if nothing else, she is accomplishing one very important thing – she is taking some of the manufactured limits away from our little girls. Put president back on the list, ladies.
Maybe now more little girls will feel like I did growing up. Maybe they’ll set their goals higher. Maybe they’ll believe in themselves. Maybe the only thing that will dictate their aspirations will be their likes, desires, and strengths. Because now they know that women can do whatever they want. Even become president.
A year difference between the two pictures. 2 months on the left, and 14 months on the right. How is it possible that my baby is 14 months old today? 😭😢
This past weekend was filled with sewing. I used to sew all the time, but since having Lewis my sewing machine has been collecting dust. I hadn’t even taken it out of its travel-bag since moving into the new house and if I did any sewing at all, it was at Kyle’s mom’s house once in a blue moon.
I had nothing planned this weekend, and since I don’t have any friends anymore (a pity party for another day), I decided I’d sew. Most of the weekend was at my mother-in-law’s while Kyle hung out at home with the kid. But I even got out the sewing machine at home on Sunday morning while Lewis napped!
It was so relaxing and fun. If I’m not going to be able to have a social life (due to the no-friends problem..sigh), I need to find other ways to enjoy myself. And sewing has always brought me joy, so I’m inviting it back into my life.
The timing is good, since Lewis sleeps well most nights, leaving me well-rested and motivated to actually do something with myself. Plus I don’t have to be there for breastfeeding/naps anymore! So I can be away all day if I want to.
I don’t think I’ll probably spend all weekend away sewing most weeks, but it was pretty fun this past weekend. And it really did my soul good to do something creative. How could you not feel positive when you’re being productive and you’re surrounded by that many colors?!
Some big things have happened in the last few days, boob wise.
First, we cut down to one feed a day with no pain and no protest.
Second, I ate asparagus and Lewis breastfed afterwards and didn’t barf.
Third, I’m wearing a bra!!!! It’s a cheap one, but I was desperate and it will get me through until we are totally done and I can do a real fitting and get good bras.
Kiddo is doing so great with weaning now. And so is my body. Go team!
A boy and his bear. 😍
Monetizing the blog does not seem like a realistic plan. 1) I don’t have a lot of readers, 2) I don’t know what on earth I’d zero in on to attract a large enough audience to make it work. I’m too scattered. And 3) I read a bunch of “easy” how-to guides… and I absolutely do not understand how to do it.
Oh well. Kyle and I have been trying to think of other little side jobs to earn more money without compromising our time so much that we end up miserable. We’re not so badly off financially that we need to sacrifice our happiness to make some extra money. But if we could make a little more here and there, even just a few hundred a month, it would go a long way towards relieving some of the stress.
No good ideas yet. But keep your fingers crossed that something comes to us!
I’m considering changing my blog a little. Okay… maybe a lot?
People make money blogging. I’m not 100% clear on how, but they do it. Why couldn’t I do that?
If I do decide to go for it, I’m pretty sure I’d have a big up-front job to do, including:
It feels like a crazy idea. Like I’m being totally ridiculous and full of myself to think that what I write could be worth something. But… people do it all the time. And I’m already writing, and I love doing it. So… if it doesn’t pay off, I’m still writing and loving it. The risk is pretty darn low.
I guess I’ll put together a game plan and see if it feels right.
I’m feeling strange today. Unsettled and anxious. A little down.
I can’t quite pinpoint where this feeling is coming from. Is it the grey weather? Is it a hormonal swing? Am I forgetting something I should have done?
I’m not sure. I know I’ve been feeling stressed about money lately, but that’s not unusual. Not enough to make my heart race and my chest feel tight.
I wish I could be home with Lewis instead of working. Maybe that would settle me a little bit.
The only conclusion I can come to is that every aspect of my life is a little “extra” right now, and the sum of all of those small “extras” is a bit too much for me to handle and still feel normal. But because no one thing is a huge glaring issue, I can’t zero in on exactly what is throwing me off.
Or you know what… another possible explanation just came to me: I have all these long-term goals and large-scale problems that are eating away at me, and not only can I not achieve/solve them in a day, but I also literally have nothing I can do to make incremental progress right now. I’m stagnant, and I’m not good at that. I always like to be doing something to work towards goals/solutions, and I’ve got nothing right now.
Yes. That’s it. That’s what is happening.
There are a decent sized handful of things on my long-term to-do list, and one of those large-scale problems that I’m trying to solve is our finances. Like the other things on the list, the small things I can do financially right now are yielding no immediate results.
I’ve decided to cancel our house-cleaners, for example, because they do a crappy job – I had to mop yesterday after they came… – and we can’t afford anyone better (you get what you pay for). So we’re just going to save the money and do it ourselves (sigh… with what time and energy, I don’t know). But saving that small sum each month doesn’t exactly make us instantly financially secure.
I also made some toddler pillowcases to put in an Etsy shop (small time investment, virtually no overhead, fun to do), but the odds of actually selling anything are slim, especially when my inventory is small. I’ll put some baby quilts up there as I finish them, and my mother in law has a couple things to sell, too. But even if I do sell something, it won’t make a large financial impact. It’s more of a fun hobby than a financial solution. And it is fun!
Lastly, Kyle and I have started to consider some creative solutions with our debts and a cash-out refinance. But our property value hasn’t increased enough quite yet, even if it is going up quite steadily (10% in 6 months! wooo!). And when it does reach the magic number we need it to, will interest rates still be low enough for it to make sense? Will it even be the right solution for us? It is risky, and the pros and cons lists are equal in length.
Yes, I’m sure the stagnation of my problem solving and goal achieving is what’s eating me today. I can’t solve our financial puzzle today, but I’ll have to see if there is at least one goal I can make some measurable progress on. That would probably make me feel better.
I’m writing this on my phone as it softly plays lullabies and I rock my (temporarily?) peaceful baby.
I have teardrops on my shoulder, trickling down my back one by one. But he’s quiet. For now.
Whatever pain he’s experiencing, I feel too. I want desperately to soothe and calm him so he can get the rest he needs. I want to figure out a magical formula to keep his tears away.
Our souls are connected, but that isn’t enough for me to be able to understand what is happening in him. It seems like I’m simultaneously everything he needs and completely useless.
These nights are hard. Because I’m tired, yes. But mostly because I love my baby, and he is suffering. That’s so much worse than my own suffering. Or… are his suffering and mine so intertwined that you can’t separate them?