My life lately

I know it’s ominous to post a post like my last one and then not post for weeks, but everything is going well. Just really really busy. So what have I been doing for the last several weeks? Lots of things. So many things. This may come as a surprise but having two kids makes your life pretty busy. And that can make finding balance a little difficult. But I’m working on it and here’s a pictorial of what my balance has been lately

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Going on walks with Marci. Everyday I try to get out the house for an hour or so of walking. We’ve been having great weather lately (except for yesterday when it rained literally all day) and it’s been super enjoyable.

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Nature. This is a meadow we pass on our daily walks. It’s just dandelions and purple clover, but I love it.

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Noticing the small things like this curly grass. I think this is actually the top of some wild onions. Regardless of what it is, I think it’s really pretty.

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Playing with cousins. I’m pretty sure he gave her her first drink of soda that day, but it’s okay–she had so much fun. Probably because she was on a caffeine high…

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Spending time with the family. Stella loves holding Marci. Luckily, Marci’s too heavy and too long for Stella to pick up on her own or Stella would be trying to carry her everywhere.

And that pretty much sums up what I’ve been doing lately. I mean, there have been a few other things (yoga, Pilates, a bit of work, some organization projects), but mainly that’s it. Pretty boring and awesome all at the same time.

I need to not be needed

The last few days have been really rough for me and my little family. Stella had some sort of stomach virus that lasted for almost 2 full weeks. She didn’t feel bad, she just had explosive… well, just explosive everything. And she needed me. Not all the time. Sometimes Sean would suffice. But when she felt really bad, she needed me. When she was tired or thirsty or hungry, she needed me.

That’s fine really. I’m used to being needed. It kind of comes with the “mom” territory.

What I’m not used to is being needed by two people. Marci needs me too and since she’s still in the fourth trimester, I’m really the only one that meets her needs. With Marci touching me for what feels like 24 hours a day and Stella needing comfort those same 24 hours a day (not to mention the dogs needing food, etc), I just need a break from being needed.

For me, easily the hardest part of transitioning from 1 child to 2 children is that they both need me so much. I know, I know. That sounds horrible. But hear me out. I have 2 kids under the age of 3. Both of them need me and one of them needs me pretty much 24/7. I have to make some choices that I didn’t have to make when Stella was a newborn. I have to prioritize the needs of each child and I don’t like that.

It’s hard, this parenting thing. No one says it’s easy, but no one can really tell you how hard it is to be needed all.the.time. Parenting is one of those things that legitimately cannot accurately be described. Being needed so much is just exhausting. Mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Even though all the neediness is exhausting me right now, I’m overjoyed. That word is really inadequate to describe how it feels to know that you made such awesome little people, but it’s the best I can do in my exhausted state. That’s what being a parent really is: a mixture of being overwhelmed by the needs of your offspring and being overwhelmed by the joy your offspring bring you by just being themselves. And maybe a dash of just wanting to finish your hot beverage while it’s still hot. 

 

April Fool’s Day

Over the last month I’ve spent a LOT of time reading. Like a lot a lot. Most of the books I’ve been reading are about medieval Europe. I’m not sure why; that’s just how it worked out. Anyway. One of the things I’ve learned from one of these books is that April Fool’s Day came about when the Gregorian Calendar was accepted and changed New Year’s Day from April 1 to January 1. As it turns out, that’s not actually true–probably. The timing of the acceptance of the Gregorian Calendar doesn’t jive with early mentions of April Fool’s Day (Chaucer mentions it in the Canterbury Tales, but the calendar wasn’t accepted in England until the mid-18th century). Regardless, April Fool’s Day is probably tied to early celebrations of the arrival of spring, which always included pranks and mentions of fools.

I’ll stop boring you with my history nerd knowledge, but all of that did have a point and it was this: I hate pranks and practical jokes. Always have. Some are admittedly funny, but generally I think they’re just mean. At least, I think they’re mean when they’re personal. I tend to really enjoy the less personal prank news stories and such. For example, Kindle Author or Burger King’s New Fragrance.  So, you can imagine how amused I was when I popped over to Amazon this morning to order some diapers really cool new product and saw Amazon’s new Dash Button.*

Am I the only one who hates April Fool’s Day pranks? Based on my own research, yes.

But this doesn’t mean that I hate April Fool’s Day. In fact, I really like like it because it’s the anniversary of the day I met Sean. Meeting on April Fool’s Day was, thankfully, not a forecast of how our relationship would turn out. This year is the 9th (!!!) anniversary of our meeting and I still get that fluttery feeling in my stomach when I see him.

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Ah. Young-ish love.

*Apparently, the Dash Button is actually a Thing. I think it’s really neat and have now signed up to hopefully get one. 

Hello, Morning!

Remember earlier in the week when I blogged about how I had a terrible cold and was super worried that the newborn would also catch a terrible cold? Good news! I survived the cold (which is still hanging on, btw) and the newborn didn’t catch it (at least not yet. Breastfeeding ftw!).

Since it appears that I’m not going to die (immediately anyway), I wanted to let you know about some steps I’ve taken over the last few weeks to do something that’s always been out of my reach.

I’m going to become a morning person.

If you see me on a daily basis, you probably know I’m categorically NOT a morning person. That’s not to say I don’t like mornings. I actually love mornings. I love waking up, having a hot beverage, reading a bit, and eating breakfast all preferably while sitting outside or near a window. What I don’t love is doing things in the morning. I hate being forced to get up and rush to get ready for the day and rush to be somewhere. I like having time in the morning. I like mornings that prepare me for the day. Alas, mornings like that rarely happen to me.

Instead my mornings generally go like this–I wake up about 15 minutes late (yes, no matter what time I set my alarm for I wake up 15 minutes later than I need to), I rush to the shower, rush through the shower, toss on some makeup, hurriedly do my hair, toss on some clothes (which will hopefully be easier with my ongoing closet reorganization), make my breakfast smoothie, grab lunch, grab my bag, and head out the door. And that’s just the me stuff. You also have to add in the helping Stella get ready stuff. Sean and I divide this up, so it’s never the same but always had 15-20 mins to the morning routine. Now that Marci is here and I add nursing her and getting her stuff together to the routine, we’ll be looking at another 15-20 minutes to all of that. So we’re looking at probably a 2 hour-ish morning routine before I even make it out the door.

And that’s why I need to become a morning person. Mornings like I described above (i.e. every morning I’m not on maternity leave) cause a lot of unnecessary stress and leave me feeling frazzled for the rest of the day. Much like the closet reorganization, I’ve got a plan. This one is less complicated, but will undoubtedly be much harder to implement.

Basically, the plan is to incorporate the things I love about mornings into my everyday morning routine. Obviously all of those things can’t happen every morning unless I want to wake up for the day at 3 a.m. Since I definitely don’t want that to happen, I’m working on altering those things to fit my schedule. I’ll be incorporating habits to give me more focus, make me more alert, and give me more energy throughout the day. My goals are to give up caffeine (check!), drinking lemon/honey water, incorporating 15-20 minutes of yoga and/or meditation, and, this is the big one, not pick up my phone or hit the snooze button before I’m ready to walk out the door.

Since the hardest part about this plan is going to be, you know, actually doing it, I’m starting it now. That gives be about 8 weeks or so before I have to actually use it to get out the door at a specific time. So far, I’ve given up caffeine (remarkably easy with a newborn) and have started drinking lemon/honey water (surprisingly refreshing and soothing). I’m working on the not picking up the phone part of the plan, but that’s not going well. At some point in the coming weeks, I’ll start doing some yoga after I wake up and, eventually, I’ll start setting an alarm again and not snoozing it.

I can’t say I’m a morning person yet. At least not in the sense that I enjoy doing things in the morning, but I think I’ll get there. And, hey, we’re one step closer. If you’ll notice, I’m actually writing this post in the morning! Woohoo!

Baby steps, my friends, baby steps.

Naming it is the hardest part.

I’ve got several blog posts mapped out just waiting to be written. This post  isn’t one of them. I’ve succumbed to Stella’s most recent daycare cold and, even though I feel the need to write, I just don’t want to give short shrift to any of the posts I’ve mapped out.

So, here we are.

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My sick station

 

I’m sitting on my couch with some terrible sinus pressure, a runny nose, sore throat and a newborn. A newborn who also has a runny nose. I know this is just a cold, but Stella didn’t get her first cold until she was almost 3 months old. A three week old with a potential cold really freaks me out. I’m waking up every time she makes a noise, I’m sleeping with my hand on her chest or with her on my chest, I”m nursing her as often as possible and hoping that she’s getting antibodies from me.

I’m sitting on my couch, feeling pretty terrible myself, and feeling anxious that my newborn also feels terrible. This feeling–the feeling that you’re more worried about someone else than yourself–really only has one name.

Motherhood.

I’ve felt it before. Of course I have. I have a two year old. It’s new and different now though. Feeling it for someone other than Stella is new and different.

Motherhood is old and new all at once.

Transitioning

Earlier in the week, I posted that spring had finally come to the Bluegrass. Well. I was wrong. The last several days have been cold and rainy and just generally depressing. Blah.

But.

Today is officially the first day of spring. Today or, to be more accurate, this evening is the vernal equinox. I’m not sure why, but equinox and solstice days really speak to me. More than any other days of the year, these days feel sacred. They mark the transition between seasons and phases of life.

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I never have or attend any sort of celebration for those days, but I do quietly mark them on my own. Today I’m planning my garden, starting some seeds, and spending some time meditating on the transition from winter to spring.

The transition from hibernation to full waking life.

From dark to light.

From old to new.

A transition.

That’s what this day is for me and that’s why it feels so important and so momentous. The vernal equinox marks the beginning of a blank slate and represents hope.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this new season brings.

 

Spring has sprung!

Here in Kentucky, spring has finally made an appearance. Of course, it is Kentucky. So, even though the last several days (maybe even the last week!) have been absolutely gorgeous, it’s entirely possible that winter could show up again at any moment. The changeability of Kentucky weather really makes those of us who are native Kentuckians live in the moment. You have to enjoy nice weather because it could, and does sometimes, change within minutes.

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My little family has been outside enjoying the warm weather for days now. I’ve gotten into the habit of taking an afternoon walk with Marci and later going to the park with Sean and Stella. Both are my favorite for different reasons. When I walk with Marci I get a little alone time (perfect for recharging my introvert self). Sometimes I spend this time just listening to nature, but mostly I listen to audiobooks. I discovered my love for audiobooks when I started commuting longer than 10 minutes andnow I listen to them all the time. It’s a great way to get things done while also “reading.” But I digress… These peaceful walks with just my thoughts or a book are a sharp contrast to walking with a toddler. Walking with a toddler is so much fun. Stella is amazed by everything. Puddles, grass, flowers, worms, birds… they’re all new to her and watching her discover all of the newness of the world is so gratifying. Her amazement makes me appreciate and see things in a new way. Her discovery of all the newness is the real spring.

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