Starting Again

Today I did something that I have not done in nearly a year…I went to the gym. The whirring of the treadmills, the smell of the chlorine from the pool, it all pulled me in and made me afraid.

When we found out we would be moving last year, we cancelled our gym membership. Although I tried to keep up with exercising as much as possible, I was not doing as well as I could have. I used our jogging stroller to go on runs around the neighborhood (until Cupcake got too heavy and it hurt my back). I tried to do workout videos here and there. I found it hard to stay consistent without the gym. It was too easy to look around my house and see the chore list staring back at me. There was always something that needed tending to. So, my workouts suffered.

And being a work-at-home-mom, working out became less enjoyable for me. Home was where my family was, but it was also my workplace. And now it was supposed to be my gym. I made a million excuses but the honest truth was I just hated working out at home. I was really unsure about whether we wanted to shell out the money for a gym membership, so I tried to make it work. My fitness suffered. I was cranky. I was getting out of shape. It was not good. Added to that was any decent gym around us was nearly double what we were paying before.

It took some convincing, but I told my sweetie that all I wanted for Valentine’s Day was a gym membership. I wanted a place to go to work out. For this mama, it also had the benefit of childcare! This meant that not only could I get my workout in, I could also shower and get ready after sans Cupcake. I was so excited when he agreed.

But this morning, I was terrified. I did not want to go. I was going to be so out of shape compared to where I was. It was a new place so I had no idea where anything was located. It was also snowing when we woke up and we live in a place not accustomed to much snow. I teach my students online, but the physical campus (located just 10 minutes away) was cancelled for the whole day due to the weather! We only have a car seat in one car, which is the better car for the snow, so my husband would have to take it to work. YAY! I would be able to excuse myself from attending the gym.

Thankfully, my husband gently reminded me how much I wanted this. So at an ungodly hour, the three of us packed into the car so I could bring him to work in the “good” car, then I drove through rush hour traffic (why do they call it that? It should be slow hour traffic). We arrived at the gym just in time for the childcare to be opening. I slowly got changed into my workout clothes, dropped Cupcake off with the providers, and was faced with actually having to workout.

The stats of the workout were not impressive, but they were better than anything I would have gotten sitting back on my couch. I pressed start and that seems like a huge accomplishment in itself. And while I had to work far harder than I used to in the past, I did it.

Have you ever been scared to start something up again that you haven’t done in awhile? Tell me about your “press start” moment in the comments below!

Love,

Lindsay

The Magic of a Blink

It’s amazing how quickly time passes once you become a parent. You find out you are pregnant, blink, and then there is that little miracle looking back at you.

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Before you know it, you foolishly decide to blink again and your newborn is becoming an interactive little one. Our Cupcake was so fascinated in the world around her and loved exploring. Every day was an adventure. You are happily going along when the urge to blink hits once more. Suddenly your infant has transformed once again.

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Now you have a baby. She can play. She can coo. She certainly can tell you in her own little way what she likes and doesn’t like. A personality emerges. Time passes as it always does and you let those eyelids touch for but a moment and instantly a toddler is born.

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These days are punctuated by a flurry of energy. Movement is the name of the game. What is this and how does it work motivates their world. Life is so fun as you crawl, walk, climb. But just as you settle into your new life of action, that blink is waiting.

IMG_7008Now you have a kid. Not a big kid, in global terms, but a bigger kid than you’ve ever known. She not only walks and talks, but she has opinions. Strong ones. And she knows how to express them! Not every adventure is a new one, but it is always an adventure. Don’t blink just yet, mama.

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On Our First Birthday 

Sweet daughter, 

Today something truly momentous happened. You turned one. So did I, I suppose. One year of being your mommy has been my greatest adventure. Over the last year we’ve shared 365 days of sunrises and sunsets. We’ve shared laughter and cries. We’ve grown together and learned a lot. 

On the day you were born, nothing else mattered in the whole world except for you. For perhaps only a fraction of a second, you held the distinction of being the youngest person on Earth. And while a new miracle quickly took over that title, I was mesmerized. 

Some women have really hard pregnancies and some just don’t like being pregnant. While it certainly wasn’t the most relaxing nine months of my life, they were the most magical I had ever experienced. You were my little buddy, with me wherever I went. When the cold winter months hit, I’d wrap us up under a warm blanket and rub my belly, hoping against hope that you felt my love. I would talk to you constantly about everything I was seeing, hearing, and doing. You were my everything. But, then you were born. And I had to share you. 



Now, don’t get me wrong, I was so excited to share you with the world. I couldn’t wait for you to meet your amazing Daddy. I knew Grandma and Grandpa would be bursting at the seems to become grandparents. I couldn’t wait to lay you in your nursery, the same one that your great-grandmother raised your Poppy in. I wanted to be the best mommy, just like your Jammie was for me. Plus, I kinda sorta made you- and you were perfect- so I wanted to show you off. 

But, nonetheless, I was a bit sad at the loss of our secret little bond we had. So as they laid you in my arms, all I could think to say was, “Hi baby.” The time at the hospital passed in a blur and we were home before we knew it. 



Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that the secret little bond we had was nothing. When you call out for me in the night to come feed you, although I am tired and sleepy, I smile. You call for me. What magic. When you take a tumble, you reach out for me. When you decide you don’t want your diaper changed, or to be in your car seat, or to do whatever it is that we’re doing- you are soothed by my singing, my hugs, my love. 



You can be busily playing and smiling and the whole world thinks you’re happy, but I can tell that you’re secretly tired, or upset, or mad. As soon as I bring you to a quiet place, you dissolve into tears because you know you’re in a safe enough place to do so. You know Daddy and I will take care of you. 



You have learned such amazing things over the last year! You can walk, talk, and dance. You laugh and play peekaboo. You can roll a ball. You have a knack for taking off any shoe or sock we put on you. 



But, as much as you’ve learned, I’ve learned more. I’ve learned that sometimes the most wonderful moments occur at a 3am nursing session when I’m so tired I can barely function. You reach up, touch my cheek, and I’m cured. I’ve learned to slow down and to truly smell the roses, crunch the leaves and watch a bird sit in a tree, because nature is stunning, even in it’s simplest form. I’ve learned that our secret little bond of pregnancy is gone, and has been replaced by a much larger, much better one. I’ve learned that literally nothing matters unless I know you’re safe, cared for, and healthy. 



So while today we will place a candle on the top of your cake, Mommy will be there to help you, because it’s my birth-day and I couldn’t be more excited. 



Love always (and in all ways),

Mommy 

Stomach Bug and the Baby

Oh my goodness gracious. The last few days have been some of the hardest momming I’ve ever done! I literally feel like it’s all been a blur and I cannot believe we all managed to survive. I need to write this all down so the next time this happens *shudder* I can remember that we made it through! 

On Wednesday, I felt off. I had been battling a rough cold, but it was starting to improve. My stomach wasn’t 100%, but it was no big deal. My husband had a late shift, so I did the nighttime routine with Cupcake myself. I spent the next two hours scrubbing the house because we were leaving the cold Northeast for beautiful Florida the next day (yay!). 

My husband got home at 11 and I woke up as he crawled into bed. I woke up and realized my stomach was in knots. I will not detail what the rest of the night consisted of. I will just say that I eventually gave up and just brought my pillow and blanket into the bathroom. Somewhere around 4am, I told my hubby to cancel our flight. There was no way I’d survive the trip. It was a difficult decision, but one I had to make. 

Thursday was horrible. I was no longer getting sick, but I was in so much pain. I had a million aches and pains. I was exhausted. Since we were supposed to be on a trip, my husband had the day off. I have no clue how single moms do it, but major props to them. I don’t know how on Earth I would have made it through the day without him. I wasn’t at my momming best, that’s for sure! 

By Thursday evening, I managed to have a bit of rice for dinner and we were getting ready to tuck Cupcake in. And then all broke loose, and my darling Cupcake got sick. It was like so sad to see how miserable she felt. We were so worried about trying to keep her hydrated, but she couldn’t keep anything in. After several hours, her tummy quieted enough to let her nurse and sleep for a few hours on me. 

I still felt miserable, but obviously when momming duties call, everything else gets put to the side. To top it off, my poor husband came down with the horrible cold Cupcake and I had been dealing with in the days leading up to the stomach troubles. We were all down for the count. 

Friday was a long day. Thank goodness, Cupcake seemed better. She was able to nurse and ate a few crackers throughout the day. She was super clingy, which usually wouldn’t be a problem for me. But, I still felt horrid. My stomach was constantly cramping, everything hurt, and I was exhausted. My hubby was not doing much better. It was like living the newborn days all over again, we napped when she napped. And we tried trading off as much as possible so we could sneak in extra naps. 

We are now into our third day. Cupcake seems mostly recovered, but still is eating cautiously. She wants to nurse on overload. This is probably a combination of her needing to rebuild my supply and overcome her mild dehydration. My husband’s cold is much more manageable and he’s managed to avoid the stomach bug (lucky guy seems to never get them!). I am definitely in a lot of pain still. I ate about a half cup of rice for breakfast and was stuffed. Sitting upright makes me kind of dizzy and feeding Cupcake is taking a bit of a toll on me while I try to rehydrate myself.

This has me seriously wondering how I will handle these situations next year when my husband starts residency and can’t take the time off. I mean, I guess you just do it because you have to, but ack! That’s a nerve-wracking thought for sure. I guess we’ll see when we get there! 

In the meantime, since we’re supposed to be in sunny Florida and now can’t, I shall leave you with an image of me today- rocking out on my beach towel with my Ginger Ale/Gatorade cocktail in my living room. Who said you can’t have a little fun when you’re sick? 



When to Have a Second Baby

I have literally Google’d this several times over the last few months, hoping that one website would tell me what to do. Cupcake will turn 1 in March, and I’m starting to feel ready to add another sweetie to our world. Since Cupcake is such an awesome baby, I definitely want to make sure we’re doing the right thing for all three of us! Unfortunately, everywhere I clicked said essentially the same thing, the right timing is whatever is right for you and your partner.

That’s not helpful! Can’t someone just tell me what to do?!?

From the oldest of my siblings to the youngest is a 17 year span. My younger sister and I are only 19 months apart. Having lived these two extremes, I know how close siblings are depends more on their character than on anything else. Thankfully all of us are close despite our age gap. However, when I was younger, it was easier to relate to my younger sister because she was going through what I was at the same time. Based on that and the experiences in my DH’s family, we always wanted our children to be relatively close in age.

It hit me the other day that if I want our kids to be 2-3 years apart, we are quickly closing in on the time to start ttc! The idea of bringing another baby into our family is exciting and nerve-wracking all at once! We have talked about it and feel like we’re definitely getting ready to continue growing our family. But, there are still a million questions we have!

How will this next cutie be like and unlike Cupcake? How will his or her personality fit in with our family? What unique traits with this little one have? Having recently emerged from the horrors of having a stomach bug with a baby, am I ready for morning sickness again?

Despite all the difficulties of adding another child, we know that we are getting close to ready. There is no one specific reason why, we just both acknowledged we felt it. Perhaps it’s that Cupcake is now older and gaining more independence. Maybe it’s because she’s sleeping better. I’m not sure I can pinpoint one reason; it just feels right.

So I know that I’ve arrived at the same conclusion of everyone else- the timing is right when the timing is right. So simple and so hard all at the same time!

Calling all parents of 2+ children. How far apart are your kiddos spaced? I would love to hear about your experiences!

A Day in the Life

4a: Cupcake wakes up. I nurse her. I bring her into bed for morning snuggles. We both fall back asleep.

5a: My alarm goes off. Cupcake and my husband are still sleeping, but I’m off to my first day back at the gym since my early pregnancy. I’m scared. I putter around the house before working up the courage to leave.

5:30a: Get to gym. Nice girl assists me in signing back up. I hop on a treadmill and run a mile at my high school pace (which admittedly is quite slow!), but I’m happy. I walk until I get to 20 minutes total. I want an easy peasy first day so I don’t get discouraged. I stretch and do ab exercises. I come home because I really need to nurse Cupcake (you mamas know what I mean).

6:45a: Cupcake is ecstatic to see me! I almost cry from joy at the reunion. This is the first time since she’s been born that I really feel like I took time for me. Big lesson- it was okay . Everyone survived. My husband and Cupcake had the greatest daddy-daughter time. It was good for everyone. I shower.


7:15a: I make us breakfast. Cupcake eats oatmeal, which she loves more than almost anything.  Except her spoon. She really loves her spoon.IMG_2536.JPG


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IMG_2535.JPG8:15a: I have been trying to find the perfect dairy-free cupcake recipe for my mom’s birthday on Saturday. Today I make my third attempt.

While the latest batch is cooking, Cupcake shares an apple with us. We can no longer have apples to ourselves. She loves apples!


9a: I set my husband and I up for a little morning cake-tasting!

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9:15a: My husband leaves for the gym while Cupcake and I complete errands and play.

10a: Cupcake naps while I complete today’s chore: Thursday-Tub/Toilets! We have a lot of company coming over the course of the weekend, so I’m glad it’s sparkling clean now!

10:30a: Cupcake wakes up. Husband comes home. Cupcake crawls around the house wherever we go. We make lunch and hang out. Cupcakes chases our kitties around the house.

12n: Husband leaves for work. Cupcake and I decide to go to our (my) favorite store- Target! I am sorely disappointed that I do not find what I am looking for.

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1pm: Go to play date at park with friends.
Cupcake loves the swings, but loves staring at the cutie pie little girls on the swings next to us more!

3:30p: Cupcake naps for only 10 minutes on the way home. She won’t go back down for her real nap. I am prepared for baby meltdown. Instead I am surprised with a very happy and playful baby!

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4:30p: The mail comes and Cupcake receives a card! She loved opening it!

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4:47p: Cupcake stands without assistance! No picture because I was amazed- she only just turned seven months old! So cool!

5:10p: My best friend gets out of work and we have a phone date. Husband comes home. Olivia tries to take all the books off the book case.

5:20p: In order to make room in the fridge for all of the big cooking I will be doing this weekend, we have leftovers for dinner. The chicken drumsticks I made earlier in the week taste even better tonight!

6:10p: We start Cupcake’s bedtime routine. Chris gives her a bubble bath while I clean up dinner. I love hearing their giggles during this special daddy-daughter time! Then, I come back to help with cozying her up in a fluffy towel, changing her, and brushing those cute little chiclets!

6:45p: We come upstairs, give her reflux meds, and I nurse her. Typically, I nurse her, we read a few books, and then I nurse her again quickly before she falls asleep. Since she’s barely napped today, she falls asleep while I nurse her the first time. I’m sad to miss out on story time, but glad she’ll get the sleep she needs.

7:15p: Chris and I watch DVR’d Modern Family. We chat about our plans for tomorrow and finalize weekend plans. We watch Mike&Molly reruns.

9:15p: I’m exhausted. I lay out all of my stuff for the gym for tomorrow. I make sure I have an orange and black outfit because I celebrate holidays in a big way! I cannot WAIT to share this holiday with Cupcake tomorrow!

The Joy of Momming

Let’s be serious, ok?

When I first found out I was pregnant, my husband and I decided I would stay at home from my teaching job for the first year of our little one’s life. During the autumn, I imagined apple picking and our first Halloween as a family. Every snowy day, I imagined baking cookies and cuddling under blankets together. As it turned to spring, I thought about enjoying the beaming sun on long walks.

In late March, Cupcake came into our world! She was healthy and perfect in every way.

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I was so ready to be a mom. What I wasn’t quite ready for was momming. Yea, you’ll learn quickly that I frequently make up words-you can blame my mom for that. Sometimes the English language is too limited, so I make words that better express what I mean. Momming is the perfect example.

Momming (v)- to mom.

For me, this means all the hugging, kissing, cuddling, boo-boo fixing, nursing, and diaper changing of motherhood. Since I stay at home, I also do all the meal planning, cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, errand running, chores. [many working parents do all these things, it’s just how it breaks down in our world!]

So, I am momming. And it is a joy. Except for when it’s not. So join me for all the ups, downs, and everything in between.