Sunday, February 8, 2015

First week back

My first week back at work wasn't horrible. There were only a few hiccups getting a defiant almost four year old out the door on time. I'm so thankful work from home. I don't have to rush or feel bad if I log on a few minutes late (or if I need extra time securing that victory Starbucks). Or dress up if I don't want to. And I can pump in the privacy and comfort of my own home. It also helped that Jonathan was home this week to bond with Isla before she sets off to daycare end of next week. 

I was still stressed thinking about a major website relaunch happening this week that required way too many brain cells that somehow burned up while on maternity leave, but that even went better than I hoped.

Or maybe I'm just learning there is only so much work life interfere with your family time.

This happened this week: 

Isla finally took a pacifier and a bottle (Born Free by the way). Daddy was super patient and after a couple tries learned that milk from a bottle is just as good! Girlfriend I think is going to end up having an appetite her brother never had. 

Isla turned 10 weeks. Was she ever a newborn? I feel as if those sleepy cuddly days are hazy memories that are fading fast. We have an alert social baby who is killing it at tummy time. It helps that every time we put her on the floor Vincent is right there to entertain (and sometimes annoy) her. He's such an amazing big brother! 

We had one rough night. Up every hour. Sleep deprivation is cruel. I earned those black eye circles. I deserve a medal. All mama bears do. I also learned there is a new kind of tired when you have two and one kept you up all night. It was painful, but we lived. Coffee helped. A lot.

When you're a sleep-deprived mama, it's important to do little things to lift your spirit. Like wearing a sweet bracelet from your sister to remind you how blessed you are. Forever. 

It was a good week. I wouldn't trade it for the world.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Chapter closing

Today marks the last day of the very last maternity leave I'll take. Monday I'll return to work, and right now, we're planning to be done with a family four strong. The sides are even: two boys and two girls. Right now we think that's pretty perfect, my body is tired, our mentality is tired from dealing with a baby and a preschooler, and we're ready to focus our energies to continue to raise these two halfings up proud. And maybe take some epic vacation in the coming years.

I've loved my 10 weeks off with my sweet Isla. She's such a good baby. Where Vincent was only happy being held and rarely smiled, Isla thinks being held means you're trying to put her to sleep (she's right sometimes), so you have to hold her a certain way or put her down and she's full of smiles, coos, and talks. The other day I'm pretty sure she tried to say "I love you." I think she's going to be my zesty energetic one, while Vincent is my deep sensitive one. I'm good with that. I love them both fiercely. I'm their mama bear. And I'm so excited to watch them grow up together. I can't even really remember what it was like before Isla, almost as if she's always been here.

Yesterday was chickabee's 2-month appointment. I've been fretting about her weight since Vincent struggled in that department. I can't help but compare and anticipate the worst because of him, but Isla is 2 ounces shy of 11 pounds! She's also in the 76 percentile for height. I'll have to dig out Vincent's stats to compare, I'm pretty sure she's beating him!

 I didn't get nearly all the things I wanted to get done on my maternity leave that I had planned, but I'm good with that. A new era is dawning in this household, so I've plenty of time to clean out the basement later. For now I'll just enjoy these sweet gummy smiles and almost four year old excitement over playing Go Fish with his mama. Plus, I found a new show, Castle, during my leave. I think that's a successful leave!




Sunday, January 11, 2015

All true

1. I think babies are cute. From a distance. Although Isla is my last baby and I know I should be savoring her babyness, I can't wait until she's Vincent's age. I do love it when she looks at me and smiles though. That's pretty fantastic.
2. Breastfeeding isn't my favorite this time. With Vincent I loved nursing and was sad when my baby was no longer thriving. Vincent and I made it 9 months. Now I contemplate switching to formula everyday, but then I remember I'm saving money and I'll be paying for another kid in daycare soon. We'll see how long I last. 
3. Sometimes I don't change Isla's clothes for a couple days. 
4. I'm praying for my coffee maker to die (it's 8 years old), so I can buy a Nespresso machine.
5. I'm already thinking about what I want for my birthday. In March. I'll be 33. Wow. I don't feel 33. These days I probably look it. Hello under eye circles. 
6. I think about a beach vacation everyday. And sometimes at night when a certain someone wakes me or another one starts snoring loudly. 
7. My attention span is really short these days and I get bored quickly with whatever I'm doing. I need to figure out how to focus. I'm also incredibly impatient. 
8. My car is 10 years old this year. It needs to hold out for another year. I think I'm going to hop on the SUV bandwagon again. I'll be sad to see my Scion xA go. I have a thing for tiny cars. I've never met a parking spot I couldn't fit.
9. I received my quarterly IRA statement this week. I'm fascinated with it looking at it. I don't get numbers and economics, but I'm always calculating how much more my account will grow. It makes me a little obsessive about retirement.
10. Speaking of retirement, I think I want to buy a tiny home and plop it on a sliver of land close to the beach. Are there tiny home retirement beach communities? If not, I'm starting one! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Isla takes over Instagram

If you follow me on Instagram, you know my daughter has taken over. People might think I only have one child or that Isla is my favorite kid while my son takes runner up. But really, I'm just seeing more of her while on maternity leave while he's at daycare, I'm holding her a lot (I try to get Vincent to snuggle more but he's more interested in his Star Wars figures he got for Christmas), plus she's so dang cute and learning cuter things everyday. 

This week alone she's discovered mom is up there while she nurses. She's starting to vocalize more than screams and crying. She loves when I make the sound agoo to her. And her smiles are social though still fleeting. 

So until I can top this, my insta feed will be overrun with this sweetie.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My word

It's been a tradition the last couple of years to pick a word I want to shape my year by. It was harder to choose this year because I'm sleep deprived and taking care of a new baby. I always say babies are in and out of phases, so when you have a span of good days, you have to know they're gonna throw you a curve ball by not sleeping, screaming with no solace, and decide not to nurse. Babies. A lot of work. And no consistency to allow you to really be in the moment and work on yourself and goals. I'm sure I'll be sporting my flabby abs for another year.

But back to my word. I thought sleep or be could work because I could achieve those fairly easily. Well, maybe not sleep. 

For the past two years I've been driven by the need and want to be more creative. Frustratingly so. And many of my goals are creative driven this year too. Create. That's my drive this year.  So while I'm probably a little too ambitious with my word this year, I think it's a good reflection of the direction I want to go. I just hope that baby of mine agrees.

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Reboot

It's a new year! My favorite kind of fresh start! Last year was insane. I grew and birthed baby number two and my son will soon be 4. Creatively, last year was a struggle, but I guess if you think about it, a baby is a creative project. {wink} This year I'm dusting this space off. Perfection kept me from keeping it up last year. That and having a baby. Did I mention that?

This year my goals, as much as my kids don't keep me from them, are:

  • Revamp this space so it's inspiring for me to come write in. I'm thinking of buying an Etsy template for it. 
  • Take a Skillshare class on lettering and calligraphy
  • Break out the knitting needles more
  • Buy yarn that makes me want to knit more
  • Sew. Projects include my daughter'so stocking (I've sewed all of us monogrammed stockings) and a quilt using my favorite pattern designer, Bonnie Christine of Going Home to Roost, fabric
  • Fall more in love with my house by purging what I don't use, wear, or love. I also want to try moving things around. I read that you can fall more in love with what you own just by trying it someplace else. So simple yet so genius. I have lots of pictures and prints to hang up as well.
  • Speaking of pictures: to take more with me and my husband in them. I've always felt self conscious both behind and in front of the camera. I think because it's not a natural skill for me and because I'm a perfectionist all I see is imperfection. I have to remind myself practice is the way to perfection. 
  • Read more. I own both a nook and an iPad. I try to take my kids to the library. I have no excuse, besides time and sleep deprivation, for not reading more. Book suggestions?
  • Write more. Both here, journaling, and professionally. I'm getting rusty and words are starting to escape me. Yikes. 
  • Date my husband. Having a new baby is really hard on marriage because you're sleep deprived and at the mercy of the newest little and caring and entertaining the other. It's easy to let your life partner go to the wayside. My plans include playing scrabble and having him reteach me how to play chess since it's been years! And drinking wine. Oh how I've missed my wine.
  • Save money. 2016 is the year we pay off a car loan and all my student loans, so I want to focus on not spending, so our next year goes smoothly money wise. 
I bought a Day Designer to stay organized and inspired this year. Does anyone else love planners as much as I do?! I'll share my review of it since it's a pricey system.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Why do you write?

I'm almost done writing six stories in less than two weeks. Five of them weren't particularly difficult of articles, but that last one really called upon my entire being and all my brain cells. That's on top of a full-time job as a magazine editor. I know what you're thinking: Oh, the glamour. Oh, the excitement.
You're half right. I'm naturally curious, so any chance to take on an assignment I'm unfamiliar with, I can't but help but get a shiver of excitement. I was the kid who tried things just for the mere reason to know how they work and consider that itch scratched. I remember one dreadful experiment I conducted without much forethought: What do party streamers do when wet? Do they stay crinkled? How do they come in such brilliant colors? My vessel was a brand-new jewelry box. A gift, I'm sure, from said party. I can't remember exactly my mom's reaction, but the results: wet streamers are bleed their colors since they're dyed, creating a gross, fragile mess and ruining the interior of the jewelry box. Curiosity fulfilled. Hopefully the punishment was to. Also: I was five.
When I wrap up my writing assignments I take time to reflect. It's a really critical process that's best done with a glass of wine, or two. Writing is not for the sensitive of heart. Writing is not for the disorganized. Writing is not for the uninterested. Curiosity has to burn in your soul.
Why do I write? My answer has changed over the phases of my life. I discovered I loved writing my junior year of high school. My prose back then was primarily brilliant moody poetry full of teenage angst. Too bad the literary mags didn't think so. My junior year I received around 15 rejection letters, but I persevered.
In college, I toyed with continuing my literary love and becoming an english major. This was after I royally failed my first class toward becoming a speech pathologist, a career I picked out of the list of majors offered at my school. {I told you, I'm very curious. And by royally failed, I got a C. Ouch.} I hadn't heard of anyone making money with an English degree, so naturally I opted to become a journalist.
Now I write to see what I can do. I write to explore the world around me. Every phone interview is like getting on a plane all by yourself to destination unknown and trying to learn the language from the locals. This year I'm 10 years almost fluent, and sometimes I wonder that I wouldn't make a better scientist. I'd probably burn the lab down. Time for glass number two of vino.