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. 

 

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.

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 cleaning

The suspiciously un-blizzardy weather (I can see the grass!) we’ve been having the last few days has me thinking about spring cleaning.  I want to clean and organize ALL THE THINGS, but since I’m only 10 days postpartum I’ve decided to baby steps (Ha! See what I did there? Baby steps…) and do small tasks for now instead of taking on the BIG ONE (the garage) immediately. I’m going to be reorganizing/cleaning/clearing most areas in my house over the next few months as part of a move to a more minimalist lifestyle, so you’ll probably be reading quite a bit about my “spring” cleaning.

First task is my closet. Why is the closet first? Two reasons. First, I’ve gotten much too comfortable wearing leggings as pants. Don’t misunderstand. I LOVE leggings. Especially when pregnant and postpartum. But I can’t in good conscience keep wearing leggings as pants like 3 times a week.

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Exhibit A: My outfit today.

Non-legging related reason to start with the closet: Right now I have  3 different wardrobes and that’s 2 too many. I have a regular wardrobe for spring, summer, fall, and winter, a maternity wardrobe for fall and winter, and a postpartum wardrobe for spring/summer. To make matters worse, portions of each are all currently in my closet. It’s a mess.

So, how is this closet spring cleaning going to work? Slowly and in baby steps. First, the maternity wardrobe goes into storage. I’m not sure that I’m finished with it  and 10 days postpartum is too soon to make final decision. Next, I’m taking a good look at the postpartum wardrobe. Obvs this is the wardrobe I’m wearing now and if my experience with Stella is any indication, I’ll be wearing this wardrobe for several months (probably into the early fall or even winter) and will need to add a few pieces. After that, I’ll be going through my regular wardrobe. Even though I won’t be wearing it for a while, I know what I wore and what I really didn’t and can go ahead and pare it down before I actually start wearing it again. Finally, I’m going to edit my accessories. Shoes, jewelry, bags, etc. I have tons of accessories because I’ve always had the mentality that more options are better than fewer options. Now it’s time to face facts: at this point in my life, more options overwhelm me and I can’t decide which pair of red shoes I should wear and just end up wearing black instead.

The end goal of all of this is a capsule wardrobe. I’m really drawn to the idea of a capsule wardrobe because, as I mentioned with the accessories, I don’t really have the time or energy to have a lot of clothing options right now. I want to be able to reach into my closet and know that whatever I pull out is going to go together.  I’m doing this with the stylebook app and my Breastfeeding Friendly Closet pinterest board (because for the next 2 years or so my wardrobe also has to be breastfeeding friendly).

Things got rolling today when I started gathering up maternity clothes (minus my favorite Old Navy tanks which have made the leap from maternity to full-time wardrobe) for storage. Tomorrow I’m planning to pull the postpartum wardrobe from storage and begin the process of adding it to stylebook and evaluating what I need to add to it. Of course, all of this is contingent on a newborn so things may or may not go according to plan. This is going to be a long process (probably), but I’ll provide updates to let you know how/if its working out along the way.

Pregnancy Update: The I’m not pregnant anymore edition

Welcome to the world, Marcella Novelle!

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Baby Marci joined us at 6:54 am on March 1st. Full birth story to come later. For now, enjoy some cute baby pics!

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And one of Stella and Marci. Stella loves her so much that she actually can’t stop touching her. I love it and am so freaked out by it at the same time.

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It’s baaack!

That’s right. My now somewhat annual 30 day yoga challenge has returned! This is when I challenge myself to practice yoga for at least 20 minutes a day and document it in someway. Last time I did the challenge, the documentation was to take a picture of a pose AND blog about each practice. I’m under no illusions that that’s going to happen this time around, so I altered the challenge a bit. Starting today look for semi-regular posts about my yoga practice.

To ease into this (and, yes, I did have a yoga practice today), I wanted to share my home yoga “studio.” It’s in our guest room/office/yoga studio and I kind of love it. So much, in fact, that when Garfield (that’s what we’re calling new baby right now) arrives, she and Stella will be sharing a room just so I don’t have to give up my Martha space. There’s nothing fancy about this space. It’s just tidy and has enough room for me to roll and my mat and practice in peace.

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Jumping back on the horse

 

It’s been a while since I posted something here. The truth is I had a really really rough few months in the fall in winter. I won’t bore you with the details suffice to say it wasn’t anything super serious. It was really just a work-life balance thing. Things are better now and for the last several weeks I’ve felt the old urge to write again. I’m feeling excited that my creative spark is every so slowly starting to shine again. I’ve been putting off posting here though. This is by far the longest blogging break I’ve taken and I was am nervous about coming back. Here I am though. I’m back and I’m ready to write again. Stay tuned!