Where did I go?

I feel like my life is spiraling out of control. Not all the time, just on mornings like today. I think having two dogs and an almost 15 month old boy what drives anyone a little crazy. Especially when one of your dogs pick up barking as his new sport and the other dog continue to jump on you no matter what you are trying to carry, where you’re trying to go or how fast u need to get somewhere. I love my dogs, seriously I do. But it is so hard to give them their sins and that they need and also be a mom who work full time. We actually look into puppy daycare as an alternative for us since we don’t have as much time as we like to spend with our puppies. I guess I really thought that by the time they turned 5 they would be calmer but that is just not the case. Yoshi will be 5 in September and he still acts like a 10 week old puppy he’s just 80 pounds instead. You think that him having ACL surgery and a titanium plate put in his leg would have calmed him down but no!

Anyway, it just makes my morning seem like pure chaos when the dogs are jumping and barking and Daxton is crying for his breakfast and my husband threw his back out so he has been unhelpful for the last 3 days. At least today is my night to have me time. For the last few weeks I’ve been meeting my best friend at the gym and we’ve gone for about 30 or 45 minute walk and done a few bodyweight exercises together. I know its not much but the time spent with her and doing something healthy for myself is good for me, know it is. I’ve been doing a 30 minute walk each day at our tiny little work Jim as well as a few exercises for my poor that my chiropractor recommended to help with my pain in my hips and back. It’s not anything like I used to do for working out, but it’s something. One thing I’ve noticed since having my son is that my ability to say no to yummy food has seemed to be weakened. I just have no willpower or self control anymore. After a lifetime of counting calories trying different diets sad and everything else you can imagine to lose weight, I think during pregnancy and breastfeeding the ability to eat basically whatever I wanted without having to feel guilty has seemed to sabotage my future ability to lose weight. I seriously can’t even bring myself to step on the scale more than once every 3 weeks and mostly I looked at the numbers with my hands over my eyes and just disbelieve what I see. There is so much that has changed about me since I became a mother, and I wouldn’t trade those new skills and qualities for sure. But there are things that I missed a bout my old self like my ability to exercise everyday and eat smart. I don’t know if all of my self control and will power energy has been replaced by the needs of Daxton and my family but i just dont have that gene anymore somehow. It sucks. I hate being fat. But I know that quote about not hating something so much that you’re willing to change it and that makes me feel even more helpless somehow.

I get really excited about starting a health kick or eliminating something from my diet for about 2 hours, & then I’m over it and ready to eat a giant cookie instead. I’m fitting back into some of my jeans from pre pregnancy but everything feels tight still and I’m just over it! I don’t want to buy a bigger size I just want to feel like my old self again. I need a plan that is going to take me back to where I need to be, but I just don’t know where it is or even where to look for it. I used to Iuz to find the answers by spending time in self-reflection and really wrapping my mind around new research or exciting new exercise programs, but come on, who has time for that now? Not this mom. I know, I’m making excuses for myself to be unhealthy. I see women at the pool when I take my son and they look good in their two pieces and have more children than me. So I know that it’s possible I just haven’t figured it out for myself yet. The things that I used to love to do hurt now. My chiropractor says that that sort of intensity will only make my hip and back pain worse at this point. I’m hoping that if I can lose the rest of this weight and work on getting back to a place of fitness that everything will come together for me again. I’ll have more energy for all of these new demands, I’ll fit back into my pre pregnancy clothes and I’ll be able to do the exercises that I loved to do.

Okay rant over. It is bard…this balancing act. 15 months later I have my son but can’t seem to find myself. I want both, is that impossible?

The next big question

It’s the question everyone always asks it seems now…..

“Are you all going to try for another?” 

Man, that question strikes such opposing views in me…I change my answer and the reasons behind my answers every time. I don’t know if it is because everyone seems to be asking that question, or if my internal clock is pressuring me to make a decision…but it’s been weighing on me heavily for the last few weeks.

My husband wasn’t sure he wanted kids to begin with. He was nervous he wasn’t daddy material. But we of course, made the decision to try. And well, Daxton is amazing and my husband is an amazing dad. Now my husband seems sure that 1 is enough. When people ask HIM this question he says “one and done!”

It’s not so simple for me. And we have decided to NOT officially decide until we have to – which is next year around my birthday (June) as I would prefer to have a second child before I’m 35 and well….that clock is ticking as I just turned 33. 

So we have a year to decide. I know that my husband would be 100% okay with not having a 2nd child. Not that he wouldn’t love a 2nd child if we do have one – I have no doubts about that, but he approaches it from a financial perspective of what kind of life we could offer 2 kids vs 1. 

I see that. But I also see my parents who had 3 kids and my mom didn’t work. We didn’t have a ton of money growing up but I don’t remember that making me unhappy or less of a person, you know? Sure in middle school or high school I was disappointed that I didn’t have some of the same cool brands as other kids…but in the end I still got to participate in the important stuff. My parents always found a way.

It isn’t always about money. Although, I agree it’s a factor to consider.

I fast forward a lifetime ahead to my potential futures. One of which I have one child, a son. And gets married to a girl who is super close with her family…and so I rarely get to see him. They move to be close to her family. They have kids and I’m the grandma who only gets to see them a few times a year. My daughter in law maybe doesn’t love me. Maybe we are just polite to each other and she doesn’t allow me to be part of their inner circle. 

I know that is dramatic…but I think about that as a possibility. 

And I think about the idea of perhaps have a girl as a 2nd child and I imagine myself shopping with her for her prom dress. I envision myself supporting her as she gets engaged and plans her wedding. I imagine her calling me every week to tell me all the updates of every single doctors visit once she finds out she is pregnant. I am the person she trusts most with her son or daughter, and I am the one she wants to come and stay with her once she gets settled in from the hospital. She needs me. 

I’ve created impossible versions of my future and I feel like things are going in a circle for me. We could have a 2nd child and have another boy. I know that. We could not be able to even get pregnant again. I know that.

It is so hard. It is a decision that will alter the lives of so many. if we don’t have a 2nd child – Daxton is forever an only child. He will carry that identity through his whole life (not saying that is a bad thing). If he doesn’t marry or decides not to have kids…that’s it. No grandkids for me. If something happens to my hubby and I – then Daxton is alone. No siblings to lean on.

If we have a 2nd child, we endure all of the chaos and emotion, financial burden and let’s face it – CRAZY that happens during pregnancy and the first year. Can I possibly walk into that again knowing what I know? Having lived through it once, can I willingly do it again? And if my answer is no – that makes me feel so selfish.

Seriously. I have no answers. I am not sure where to look for them…but it is on my heart…so I share it here and perhaps someone can shine some light from their own experiences with me.

14 months

I keep hoping I’ll have more time to blog here. I miss it. But finding time to write content for my blog once I get home is so crazy! So i’m continuing to try and write content via an email to myself…and then hoping i remember to take the email and upload it on my site when I do get home. Anyway…

Here I am. Daxton is 14 months and TWO weeks old. Holy crapballs. When I compare this year with last year – now I have memories of Daxton. I pulled out the picture we took last year for July 4th and compared it to this year and it was mind boggling. 

His hair has gotten so long again – even despite his first hair cut a few months ago. I had a friend tell me that the first haircut was challenging because your little baby turned into a little girl or little boy afterwards. But I don’t really remember thinking he looked all that different after his first cut. It was just more about the experience of it being his first. 

But I took him in this weekend to get a cut…and we kept the same ‘shape’ but it’s shorter. And I just kept turning around and staring at him once we were in the car. “Are you for real?” He looked like a little boy and not my tiny baby.The 2nd cut was much harder for me than the first!

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Drooly mcgee with his new do

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We are in the middle of teething hell again right now. The whole weekend was a roller coaster for us all. Daxton was happy, and then screaming. Hungry and then refusing to eat anything. Snuggly and hold me while I sleep and I’m not sleeping AT ALL EVER. Ugh. It was exhausting. Teeth, come on in already!! I think we have at least 2 trying to pop in on the bottom right now. We currently have 6 teeth (4 on top and 2 on bottom)…so I know we still have a ways to go. OH the fun. This is the reason we don’t remember teething as adults – it’s terrible!

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In other news, Daxton impresses me all the time with his ability to climb and tumble. He seems like such a big boy when we go to the playground at the park. He went right to the swirly enclosed slide and started to climb UP it. I was like – where did you even learn to do that? Boys will be boys!

He learned how to climb onto the couch this weekend as well without any assistance. Pretty soon he’ll be climbing out of his crib. 

Our house has turned into “The Gateway” – since have a split level – that means we have two sets of stairs to protect him from. So we had to have a gate at the bottom of the stairs on the main level and top of the stairs going the other way. This weekend we have to buy another gate to put at the top of the stairs from the 2nd level as that is where our bedrooms are. So in the morning I am a crazy person trying to ensure he doesn’t charge full speed down the stairs. It is a major pain to have gates everywhere – but I just remind myself that it’s better than him falling and hurting himself!

Alright – these updates become too long since I don’t do them very often. I will have to upload some pics and a video once I get home.

Hope everyone had a great 4th weekend! (at least for my American readers!)

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This crazy thing called life

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Has it really almost been a month since my last post? 

Just when I was feeling like I had things down – things change. Isn’t that always the case? Daxton has been going through a really terrible sleeping phase. I know – I was spoiled by his good sleeping habits so far. When I hear some of the horror stories from friends about their kids sleeping patterns, I really shouldn’t complain. There have been some really rough patches, but over all it’s not been terrible.

But the last few weeks, Daxton has just decided that his new bedtime is at least an hour later than normal. So instead of starting the bed time process at 7, now it’s more like 8 and we are lucky if he’s actually asleep by 8:30 or 9pm. He has just been fighting sleep, even though he is obviously very tired. He wants to play, he wants to eat more. He wants to cry when you put him in the crib. Cry when I take him out of the crib. It’s really frustrating. 

I also can’t help but to feel a little distressed because that time in the evening when he was asleep but it wasn’t time for us to go to bed yet was time to get things accomplished in the house. And for the last few weeks now….it’s been a major struggle to have energy to do anything once I fight the battle of getting him to sleep. I don’t know why it’s so exhausting to me….but it is hard to see that he is tired, but be unable to calm him down enough to fall (and stay) asleep. 

We always ate dinner after he went to bed…so now dinner has been more like 9pm…and that is just way too late to be eating when we try to be in bed around 1030. I guess we may be close to just sitting down and having a family dinner where we all eat together. But again, it’s just a big change from how we currently do things and while I’m sure it’s not impossible to make happen – it feels that way to me right now.

They say that 4 of the most stressful things you can do in your life are to buy a house, sell a house, get a new job and have a baby. So in two years, I will have done all of these things – our house is going on the market by the end of the week. I feel like chaos has literally taken over my life. While I’m at work, all I can think about is all the things that need to be done at the house. I need to pack up more stuff. I need to clean. I need to do laundry. I need to organize the closets. I need to go through all the kitchen cabinets and drawers and pack up extra stuff we don’t need that crowd the space.

How in the world do you keep a house “show ready” when you have a dog who can’t be outside without a leash and another dog running around AND a 1 year old? The whole thing blows my mind. I’m not sure how it’s going to happen. I feel so unprepared, but now is really the time to get the house on the market. It’s just a better time to buy/sell when the weather is good, the flowers are blooming and the grass is green. So I get it, but it feels impossible to me right now to actually get the house ready. Especially when we are leaving town on Friday to drive to my old home state to see extended family for the holiday. We haven’t been in almost a year, so Daxton has grown A LOT since my cousins, aunt & uncle have seen him. 

Then we are back for a week and then leaving again for a much needed mini vacation to Chicago. It’s a combo of my birthday and my husband has to go for a work trip so we are going up the weekend before his conference starts to have a weekend away. We are leaving Daxton with my parents for the weekend and this will be the longest I’ve ever been away from him…and the farthest I’ve ever been, too! So I’m excited and terrified all at the same time.

Maybe us being out of the house will help us keep it clean. Perhaps a bonus!

On the upside, Daxton slept through the night last night for the first time in what feels like months. I decided last night as he continued to cry and fuss despite doing all our bedtime routine things…that I just had to let him cry for a bit. I gave him kisses, gave him his lovey, told him I loved him and left his room. He cried for about 15 minutes (which was terrible for me) and then he went to sleep. And he slept until 6:45am. So maybe he just needs to be re-taught the ability to self soothe. Maybe I’ve been doting on him too much at night and letting him get used to me being the one who rocks him to sleep, etc. 

I hope this is the start of a “sunny” period. With us traveling 6 hours by car this weekend, I could really get behind a happy baby..err toddler!

Daxton turned one! (& party pics)

It seems like a billion years ago when I first created this blog. I created it in secret because no one knew that we were pregnant and I felt like I was going crazy not being able to share such enormous news with anyone. I found some amazing people through this little blog of mine. And there have been stages where I’ve been able to blog everyday, and others where weeks go by of radio silence. Becoming a mom and finding that balance between work, spending time with my family, cleaning up AFTER my family and trying to do something for myself everyone once in awhile is something I still haven’t mastered, even though it’s now been a YEAR!

Daxton turned 1 on Monday, April 28. All day long, I kept reflecting back on the day he arrived. It was a full day. I woke up having cramps in my stomach and didn’t realize I was having contractions until I felt them happen again and thought to start timing them. That was probably 7am and Daxton wouldn’t arrive until that evening around 8pm. It was probably the most traumatic and amazing day of my life – going through an unexpected surgery after hours of labor and 3 hours of active pushing. And I remember my absolute sadness at not being able to be the first person to hold my son after I had waited so long to meet him. 

Those first few days are completely blurry to me. I was in so much pain and at the same time, so overwhelmingly in love with my son. He was perfect. I felt so unsure about everything. How should I hold him, how do I feed him, how can I sleep with him here because I need to watch him take every breath?!

Fast forward 12 months and here we are. Daxton is walking. He is saying a few works like mama, dada, baba (which is sort of his general word for anything). He says uh-oh. He shakes his head no. He giggles wildly when I devour his belly with kisses. He prefers meat to fruit 99% of the time after I was so scared to give him meat because it felt weird to me. 

He went from having 2 teeth to 6 in a matter of 2 weeks. We are still working on those cutting all the way in, but he has taken everything in stride. 

We are using up the last bit of our formula as to not waste it. But he could care less. He is totally fine with whole milk. We don’t use bottles anymore, he can drink out of a straw or regular sippy with the spout. He can feed himself but we have to watch out because he will stuff his mouth so full that he is a chipmunk. 

At our 1 year check up, he weighed 23.6 pounds (50-75%) and was 30.25 inches tall (75%). His head is 47cm (75%) so the doctor said he was doing perfect. 

Watching him develop his own little personality has been a true joy this past year. He is funny and curious. I’m sure we all say this about our own children but he is just so SMART that I can’t believe it sometimes. Nothing gets by him!

He is very observant – at our birthday party this weekend there were probably close to 45 people in our house. And he just roamed through all the legs and played with his toys and went from one set of arms to the next and endured kisses and hugs all day long. He had a blast. He also almost ate ALL of his smash cake. I had to take it away because I thought he was going to make himself sick from it! 

Daxton and one of our dogs, Peach, have seemed to find some mutual ground lately. I have glimpsed a few moments of them co-existing. Him tracing his finger across her belly or back and Peach NOT growling which is an improvement. Maybe there is hope for them to be friends, afterall. We are still very careful whenever they are close in case Peach does decide to snap. She certainly doesn’t like it when he gets excited and HITS her. I guess I wouldn’t either.

I’ll share some pictures from the party. We had a Punk Rocker Party and it turned out really nicely. I did goody bags for the kids that had plastic spike bracelets and a rocker rubby ducky. Big plastic rocker sunglasses and some rock star stickers. It was fun. The pictures below will show more of our theme. I got most of my ideas from another blog I found who hosted a similar party. It was REALLY hard to find fun ideas that matched the theme we wanted! But we of course, made it our own. 

Wow. Where did this year go?

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Outside the box

I was reading an article on LinkedIn just now about how we always hear “Step Outside the Box” but never really figure out how to do it. For the first time in awhile, it was refreshing to really feel like I DID step outside my box in life and am forging a totally new path for myself.

Having a new job is scary and exciting. Half of the time people are talking and it is almost like the adults talking on those old Charlie Brown episodes. I know they are talking, but I just don’t get what they are saying. A new job is like having to learn a new language. Trying to create new relationships and partnerships both personally and professionally. 

I wonder – will these people ever become friends or will we always just be co-workers? I probably felt the very same way about the people at my last job. I just don’t remember. It has been a long time since I’ve been the new kid on the block – and it’s an uneasy feeling. 

One thing that has helped me start connecting with people at work is actually my son. It seems like *almost* everyone has kids. So it’s funny that is a new thing to have in common with other people when you are first creating relationships. It’s strange to me to think that the people I meet at my job will have never known me as “not a mom.” 

Not saying that is a bad thing, but it’s just a new part of my identity that I’m exploring now that I’m sort of being forced into getting to know new people, and deciding what I want to share with them…what matters, what version of me will they get? It’s an opportunity to step outside the old box of mine of “who i am” and be able to offer something different.

Every time I start a project or get assigned something that would make that old version of myself super nervous – I tell myself that no one here knows that sounds like a scary task to me. So I just pretend that I’m NOT nervous or scared. I tell myself I’m capable and I just do it. Funny how powerful our minds are in helping us step outside our box when we just give ourselves the chance.

This past year has been one of some gigantic life changing events for me. Having our son, figuring out the working mom thing….and then changing jobs…and really exploring a new career path for me (corporate vs. academic). Oh, and we are prepping our house to sell over the summer. 

I am not sure I’m capable of anything else. But since this is year of reinventing myself – perhaps I AM capable. Afterall, I never knew what I was willing to do, what my body was able to endure, how far my limits could be pushed until this year. Really and truly. 

Becoming a mom has taught me how to believe in myself a bit more. Because I’ve been given this gift and responsibility of another persons LIFE. When I compare any other task with that…it’s like small potatoes. 

We are parents. We are amazingly strong and capable – believe it. I am starting to.

The little things to cherish

I really hurt my back over the weekend pretending to be the person I was prior to getting pregnant. I have been trying to take advantage of our new gym membership, but I didn’t like the first group class I went to and I not only thought the 2nd class I went to was TERRIBLE (just bad instructing..or lack there of i should say), but I also injured myself during it.

My husband says, “Don’t let this discourage you.” Bleh.

It is hard to feel encouraged about working out again when you hurt yourself and have trouble functioning as a normal human being for days afterward. Since tomorrow will be day 5 of being hurt – I have to believe I will feel better tomorrow. 

In the meantime, life doesn’t stop when you are hurt. Before I was a mom, life could stop a bit. I only had to take care of myself and if i wasn’t feeling well or was hurt – I could take it easy. But as a mother – no can do. Daxton still needs his mama to hold him and carry him around. Put him in the car seat, take him out. Hold his tiny hands as he walks around the room pointing at everything.He still prefers mama to hold him like a little baby before bedtime and hum soft non-sense lullabies before I put him down in his crib. He doesn’t understand that it hurts. So I just breathe through the pain and know that it won’t last forever.

And neither will his wanting of me to be there, always. It won’t last and I already miss it even though it’s not gone yet. I hear a lot of people say that you don’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone. I have promised myself to not let that be the case with the little things in raising a child.

Even when I’m stressed and in a hurry, I try not to rush Daxton to take bigger or quicker steps. Even if it means I’m late to work – I want to respond to his little arms stretched up toward me so that I can snuggle him close. He won’t be small enough for me to sweep up forever. 

I get tired of putting up the same blocks, triangles and balls over and over again each day. Of turning off and on the volume on all his toys so they either make or don’t make a sound. But I realize that one day the house will seem to empty, too quiet and he will be out living his life outside of our home. 

It is sometimes hard to slow down, especially when life has been so utterly crazy lately. The new job is going well, just still feeling like I’m trying to keep my head above water. It is just a lot of self-directed work right now…which I tend to enjoy, but being so new it is challenging as well to know how to prioritize things. I had a grand idea that I would write my blog posts on an email during my lunch break and then hopefully I will remember to post tonight from home. I hope this way I can keep my blog alive! In addition to the new job, my dog had to have a major surgery as he tore his ACL. I may have mentioned that last time…but he is home now and a real challenge to keep him separate from our other dog…also separate from Daxton and in an area big enough yet small enough where he can’t hurt himself. We had to put him in the cone of shame to keep him from pulling his stitches out. It’s really fun for the whole family right now!

You know what is the most crazy of all? Daxton will be ONE YEAR OLD in 2 weeks. Holy crap. So much has happened in just one year. It makes me wonder what the next will bring!

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This kid loves being outside!

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Yoshi in his post surgery cone of shame

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Easter Egg hunt!