Nov 042013
 

I have an anxiety disorder. I don’t handle high-stress situations with any grace. I fall apart when I am put under pressure or when things don’t go as i had planned. I set perfectionist-high expectations not only myself but on everyone else and when anyone, including myself, falls short, I lose it. It’s not pretty.

My anxiety comes in waves. I can go months without having an issue, but when the beast decides to show itself, it wastes no time in wrecking everything in its path. I am currently not on medication for it because I thought that I was better. My post-partum anxiety/depression appeared to have tapered off like it’s supposed to, and then I took up yoga which seemed to help for a while.

But, yoga is pricey so I had to quit taking classes (and don’t suggest that I do it at home. I have tried and it is NOT the same and it does nothing for me). Rather than do something else like running, I gave up on all types of physical activity. I also started eating like I was on death row. I gained eight pounds the first week I stopped going to yoga.

It’s a safe assumption that I’m unhappy. So very, wholly unhappy. I yell at my husband and daughter. I get furious when one of the kids wakes up in the middle of the night, as if they are purposefully denying me sleep. Everything is my fault, and nothing is my fault. I have no control. I have lost control.

While I believe that I know what I need to do, I’m not sure if I can make it happen, or if I’m willing to do it. I need to get back on my medication. That’s easy; I have an appointment with my doctor on Thursday. The other pieces of the puzzle are a bit trickier even though they really aren’t. I need to see a counselor or therapist. Ugh. I have no issue with therapy but when do I go? During my lunch hour? Then, I can’t pick up the kids and Jacob early enough to get home before the sun goes down, therefore pushing back our evening routine by half-an-hour. Weekends? Do therapists have office hours on Saturday? This seems unlikely. Also, if I go to a therapist during my lunch, it would have to be somewhere within a reasonable driving distance from my office. And, I prefer a woman. So far, one search on my insurance company’s website has left me with unsatisfactory results. All men.

I also need to start exercising again, but by the time I finish preparing dinner, eating dinner, bathing the kids, and putting them to bed (yes, Jacob and I tag-team on the bedtime routine so I’m not doing it alone), it’s after 8pm and I am tired and would prefer to just rest on the couch. Should I bail on my family in the evenings so I can go to the gym? I would like to get back into running but I hate the idea of starting over. I never ran fast, but the last time I worked at it I was able to run for thirty minutes without stopping or slowing down. Knowing where I used to be and how far I’ve slipped backward is depressing.

I know that I eat my feelings, and mine taste like Halloween candy. If there is any junk in the house, I will eat it. I will find something unhealthy in a house full of healthy options. I eat at night which is a no-no if you want to lose weight, but I feel like I have no willpower. I need the satiation. I need the comfort.

I want to get better and be better and do better.

This week got off to a bumpy start with a shitty night’s sleep but I’d like to turn it around. All I can think about is sleep and being left alone but I know that won’t solve anything.

I made an appointment to see my doctor on Thursday to discuss getting back on my medication. So that’s step one. I would like to join the rec center in our town since it’s only $20 per month and there are a couple of group fitness classes in the evenings- including yoga- and getting out of the house at a specific time each night will be good for me. However, I feel like that $20 won’t be seen as a necessary expenditure for the sake of my mental and physical health and well-being. There will be a justification as to why the cost isn’t worth it. I’m anticipating this discussion and already getting upset at what I consider to be unfair.

Why bother having a talk about it at all if you know how it’s going to play out? I don’t think that I’m worthless but maybe I really am.

 Posted by at 12:10 pm
Oct 072013
 

I need to talk to you for a minute about my hair. I don’t go around announcing it because I don’t want people to think I’m dirty, but I don’t use shampoo or conditioner. Seriously. I have been doing what is called no ‘poo for over a month after giving up conditioner for about six months. What happened was this: I ran out of conditioner and was kind of ‘meh’ about it so I never bought more. Then, I ran out of shampoo. I was using something cheap since I can be kind of a tightwad when I feel like it, so my guess is that was chock-full of chemicals and toxins (as all cheapy-cheap manufactured goods tend to be). I started using a tiny bit of my husband’s Head and Shoulders (also chemical-laden but my hubby has dandruff, making his options for shampoo pretty limited) mixed with baking soda. My hair felt squeaky-clean and soft since the dandruff shampoo has tons of moisturizers in it.

Then, I read a few (dozen) blog posts about washing one’s hair with ONLY baking soda and then doing a conditioning rinse with apple cider vinegar. It sounded kooky but I tried it and hey, it works! Sort of. There is a serious transition that takes place on your scalp when you go from using conventional, oil-stripping shampoo to using something milder that isn’t made to dry out your hair. Also, you aren’t technically supposed to wash your hair every day. I have an oily complexion and that includes my scalp; my hair cannot go more than twenty-four hours without being washed else it will turn into a slick mess. That said, I still went for it with the baking soda/ACV no ‘poo plan. I could try it and if it was too much trouble or my hair always looked dirty, then I’d ditch this hippie dippie hair routine and go back to conventional products.

Like I said, I’ve been doing no ‘poo for a month. In this month, I have worn my hair up every single day. It never got past the initial grease pit phase. I only wash it every couple of days, and sometimes I use a tiny bit of Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap (you have to water that stuff down – it’s some highly-concentrated soap!) when my hair feels super oily. My hair never feels super-soft and clean. I can’t run my fingers through my hair. I also stopped blow-drying it every day and since my hair is never soft enough to brush, I kind of stopped brushing it when it’s dry. You shouldn’t brush your hair when it’s wet, but that’s the only time when my hair is remotely manageable.

Why am I doing this, you ask? I’m starting to ask myself the same thing. At first, I liked the idea of saving money on hair products by using items we buy in bulk (I cannot tell you all of the ways we use baking soda and ACV around the house – if it has to be cleaned, we are using one or both of those products). Then, I learned more about what I kind of already knew, which is that most cosmetic and beauty products are full of unpronounceable chemicals that don’t even provide any benefits to your hair other than temporarily stripping it of oils while adding a layer of wax (some conditioners, like Pantene’s, contain a waxy substance in order to make your hair super shiny). I wanted to keep things a bit more natural with my beauty routine since I already do that with the kids (diluted Dr. Bronner’s soap on their hair and bodies; they get a bath every night but only get the soap once every few days, and we only wash Avery’s hair about once a week with the same castile soap).

I knew that there would be a transition period but it’s been a month and I didn’t even go off conventional products cold turkey so I thought that my hair would accept the change a bit faster. Wrong. I just want my hair to feel clean again! It always looks messy, oily, and grungy. Not a good look. My plan is to cut back on the ACV rinse and see if that helps with the oiliness – I am giving my hair one more week of this hippie routine before ditching it for good ol’ shampoo and conditioner. I just need to find a brand that is all-natural since I still want to avoid putting all of those chemicals on my body.

 Posted by at 10:49 am
Aug 272013
 

Lately, I have been having feelings of anxiety regarding bad things happening to my family. Because we are in the car for such a long time, this increases our likelihood of getting into a car accident. I am worried about a gas line breaking at their school and the school blowing up. I fear that they will be given a prescription by their pediatrician and the pharmacist will incorrectly fill it and it will kill my child. I am scared of letting them go to a friend’s house because the parents may have a gun that isn’t stored properly and their child will shoot my child or my child will shoot theirs. Since Henry hasn’t had his first measles vaccination yet (he isn’t scheduled to get it until his 12-month appointment), I am worried that he will catch it thanks to the jackwagon who brought it back from overseas to north Texas. I’m basically living in fear. And it sucks.

The problem is that my life is over-saturated by bad news. I listen to NPR in the car. I follow a dozen news feeds and aggregators on Facebook and Twitter. I don’t read a physical newspaper (who even does that anymore?) nor do I watch the news on TV since we don’t have cable or even basic channels, but those two media sources move too slow anyway.

I am constantly bombarded with news. When I log into Facebook, I am hoping to see what my friends and family are doing, but I am also looking for information. I am certainly not a news junkie, but I spend several hours a day reading or listening to the news. If someone tweets something like, “I cannot believe what just happened in Syria. My heart breaks,” I immediately begin Googling to find out what the tweet was about. And of course, it is so very, very sad. Chemical warfare scares the shit out of me because it’s so simple, so easy. You can wipe out an entire population without making a mess. It’s disgusting, and the people who commit such crimes against humanity should be destroyed. Those kinds of people make me wish I believed in Hell.

It is important to know what is going on in the world. Ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s just plain ol’ ignorance. I tried to avoid the local news, but then I started reading the feeds of my local news affiliates and now I know about every robbery, homicide, and kidnapping in the Metroplex. The constant barrage of bad news in my area (granted, it’s a big area) makes me want to move to someplace safer. But where would that be? Every town has dangerous people.

Shutting myself off from the world isn’t an option. I have to work. I have to put my children in daycare. I have to drive. I have to be in public at some point. But do I really HAVE to know what’s going on all the time?

Is there a way to go on some sort of ‘news diet’ in which I only catch up on the big headlines maybe once a week? Is that even possible in this day and age, in this constantly-spinning out-of-control 24-hours news cycle?

Can I un-like and un-follow the news feeds without looking like I don’t care? Because, trust me, I care. But all of this bad news is causing me to live in fear. Should I subscribe to a real, honest-to-goodness printed-in-ink weekly newspaper that gets delivered to my house and have that be the only news I read? Can I even function without a constant flow of information into my brain? It might help me sleep at night if I limit my news intake.

But a lot of people I follow on Twitter and Facebook share articles, often of the bad news variety. Do I have to un-friend and un-follow them too?

Because of the turmoil our world is currently in, it truly hurts my heart and makes me incredibly paranoid. Is it possible to reduce one’s news intake? Please, if you have a real answer to this, let me know. I am afraid that I’m addicted to the news which only makes my anxiety worse.

 Posted by at 11:19 am
Aug 162013
 

My little guy is nine and a half months old. WHAT? I know. I KNOW. But I’m not here to write about how time slips through your fingers and soon he’ll be walking and starting school and getting married and making me a grandma. I’m here today to complain about pumping. As in, pumping milk for him to eat while he’s at school. Basically, I hate it. When I first went back to work, I pumped around 9am, then drove up to his school to nurse him around 11:30am, then pumped again around 2pm. AND THEN I pumped at night, too. He was only seven months old then, and he nursed pretty much the entire time we were together in the evenings and then all night long since we co-slept.

Then, I dropped his lunch-time nursing session but continued to pump three times per day.

I dropped the nighttime pumping session because he would nurse until my breasts were two empty, saggy bags of nothing. It was a waste of time. I didn’t feel like power-pumping at night was necessary since it didn’t exactly increase my supply when I did it anyway.

Now, I only pump twice per day at work and it sucks. It takes me almost thirty minutes to get four ounces. He eats eight ounces at school (plus solid foods), so I spend nearly an hour a day at work pumping. And while it isn’t a waste of time since it’s for my baby, it is such a drag. I go into a vacant office to pump but there isn’t a computer in there so it’s not like I can keep working while I pump. I know that I can’t get fired for taking so much time do it, but I still feel bad that it does take up so much time. But, I know that he needs at least eight ounces every day and I don’t have a reserve supply in the freezer. Whatever I pump on Monday, he eats on Tuesday. And if Jacob needs to feed him a bottle over the weekend because I’m gone for more than four hours for whatever reason, then I have to pump on Sunday to make sure Henry has milk on Monday.

Starting on Monday, I will be pumping only once per day. At least, that’s what I’m hoping to do. I figured that I can pump after lunch, around 12:30pm, and maybe, just maybe, I can get all eight ounces in one session. If I come up short, I can always pump before bed since Henry doesn’t nurse all night long anymore (oh yeah, sleeping through the night baby in the houuuuuuse!).

Seriously, I am jealous as fuck of those women who can pump an entire eight ounces from a single boob in ten minutes. Who are you and what the hell are you eating/drinking/smoking for that to happen?

Once he turns one, I will no longer pump. Nope. My little dude can drink something else at school. I will continue to nurse him, but I’m ditching the pump on his birthday. So, if anyone needs an Avent double electric pump, holler at me.

 Posted by at 11:33 am
Aug 132013
 

Genetics is a motherfucker.

Sure, thanks to my genes I have my gorgeous red hair (WHAT! There are only a couple of things I like about my appearance and my hair is one of them) and big boobs (that’s the other thing). It has also given me the inability to lose weight easily (or at all and yes, I try try try). ALSO? We have recently discovered that cancer, namely thyroid cancer, runs in my dad’s family. So far, out of my grandparents’ four children, three of them have had thyroid cancer, and the fourth had some wonky-looking bits on her thyroid so be on the safe side she’s having hers removed too. What the fuck, genetics? Thankfully, thyroid cancer is not all that aggressive. It is kind of a lazy cancer, and according to everyone I’ve talked to, if you’re going to get cancer? Get thyroid cancer. I mean, don’t get cancer at all if you have a choice. But since when does cancer let you decide?

It doesn’t. Because it’s an asshole.

In March of this year, my uncle underwent surgery to remove his cancer and more tumors were found in his throat in addition to his thyroid. Apparently, he had not been taking very good care of his health and had not been to the doctor in years. But even if he had, would his doctor have noticed unless my uncle mentioned something like, “Doc, does my thyroid look bumpy to you”? If you have thyroid cancer, supposedly you can see the swollen glands and lymph nodes from the outside but only if you maneuver your neck a certain way. Anyway, I guess you just have to be vigilant about checking yourself if you know that it runs in your family. As is with most cancers, genetics plays a huge part in whether or not you will have it.

Anyway, my uncle had his surgery and was in the ICU for a few months. He would have good days, then really bad days, and it seemed like he was not benefitting from physical therapy like he should have been. Thankfully, he is now doing well enough that he is out of the ICU and was relocated to a rehab hospital where he will hopefully recover and be able to learn to speak again. Oh yeah, they took his vocal chords and he has to use one of those devices that you hold against your neck in order to speak.

Last year, my aunt had part of her thyroid removed in order to get rid of the cancer on it.

Last month, my dad decided to get his thyroid checked out since hey, are you noticing a pattern here? And yep, after a biopsy was done, they found it be… CANCEROUS! My dad had surgery in which the endocrinologist removed his entire thyroid. He had to spend the night in the hospital but we released in the morning. His surgery lasted about five hours, and while he was under the knife I sat at my desk at work and thought about worst-case scenarios. I didn’t go so far as to try to bargain with God (what good would that do anyway? I may as well try to ask my dog to end world hunger which wouldn’t happen since he’s too little and you couldn’t get a full meal out of him), but I was nervous. Many people lose their fathers every day but not me, dammit.

Anyway, the man lived. He spoke as though he had laryngitis and he was in pain but so far, it appears that the surgery was successful.

I found out on Facebook that my other aunt, my dad’s other sister, had some tests done and her thyroid appears to have some irregularities on it.

So that’s four for four on the thyroid cancer in my paternal grandparents’ children. Did my dad grow up near some sort of nuclear waste site? Neither one of my grandparents had cancer (unless they did and no one told me). If it wasn’t environmental factors, then it must be genetics. And since I happen to be related to these people, it has me a bit worried.

Once Henry is weaned I plan on getting some testing done to see if I have thyroid cancer. I would do it sooner, but if I have it and I require surgery and then radiation (just like my dad), then I will have to stop breastfeeding. Waiting a couple of months on this kind of cancer isn’t a big deal… hopefully. Of course, I hope that I don’t have it. Cancer is a jerk and I hate jerks.

 Posted by at 9:08 pm
Aug 052013
 

I have made the move from stay-at-home mom to working mom (and yes, we all work whether we are getting paid or not, but you know what I mean. I go to an office, I get a paycheck, my children go to daycare) once before. The only difference from last time is that I now have two rugrats who need to attend daycare so working out of the home costs more than it did with just one child. But don’t worry, I’m not going to blog about daycare again. That was one long-ass post, AMIRITE?

I am currently employed with an online shoe retailer based in Dallas. I am responsible for writing product copy, something I have oodles of experience doing. I also write some of the blog posts for our site and will probably be helping out with some other projects soon. I have been here for two months and in this time the manager who interviewed and hired me has quit and another person has replaced him.

Changes in management tend to make me nervous. I have not been here for very long and it would be easy for the new guy to bring someone else in to replace me under the guise that they are bringing in ‘an additional copywriter’ only to replace me a month later. This isn’t paranoia! It happened at my last full-time job. They hired me and a couple of months later they fired the old copywriter. True story! I don’t want to put that out into the universe but there it is.

Anxiety about job security aside, I really like my job so far. The two people I work the closest with are part of the merchandising team. We all get along well and I sincerely enjoy my work day much more because of them. It is important to like those you work with; you may not have much in common with a coworker but surely there are things you can talk about to make the day more enjoyable. I am not the most social person, but it is nice to take a break from writing and wheel my chair over to my coworkers for a little chat.

The discount is pretty nice, too. I have only used it once but I see many, many more shoe purchases in my future.

The company I work for is very small so I don’t know if there is much growth potential but I am not worried about that right now. I am just happy to be writing full-time again, bringing home a paycheck, and I get to commute to work every day with my family! Jacob’s office is practically on the way to the kids’ daycare so we drop him off, then I drop off the kids, and then I make the final stop at my office. We do the reverse on the way home, and thanks to Dallas traffic our drive home is twice as long. I am in the car for about three hours a day during the week. I don’t even want to calculate how much that is per month or year. I am not a fan of our drive but the kids are great in the car and it’s nice to have hubby there to talk to since we don’t get much time to talk otherwise.

I have my own little work-space which I have personalized with totally adorable photos of my small people in addition to other little things that make me smile. Bare walls make me crazy so I was tacking stuff to my cubicle walls on day two. I get two monitors which makes me feel kind of important, and let me tell you, I will NEVER work with just a single monitor again. You spoil me, new company!

We are all adapting to our new routine (which I will blog about at some point) and even though we are spending less time at home, the house still remains a mess. How is that possible?

I digress. Hooray for employment!

 Posted by at 9:47 pm
Aug 022013
 

Going back to work has not been as difficult on me or my family as I thought it would be. I work full time outside of the home which means that both kids must attend daycare. In 2011 when Avery was two years old, she went to daycare for the first time and it was so hard on me. She was fine and loved her new friends and her caregiver. Thankfully, I found an amazing woman to watch my precious baby, and we ended up becoming good friends even after she had to close up shop and find a job that offered benefits. The care she received after her first sitter quit was a bit sketchier and every time there was something that I didn’t like, we fired the sitter and found someone else.

Anyway, the transition from staying at home to working full time was tough the first go-round, but this time it has been rather breezy. Henry is such a cuddle-bug and a sensitive soul, and I was concerned that he would fall apart in the arms of someone who isn’t his mama. However, I knew that my daughter would be fine at daycare, or ‘school,’ as we call it since it’s basically like school at her age.

This particular ‘academy’ as they call themselves has been great for my kids and I am so relieved to have found them after interviewing only two other daycare centers. Nothing is more stressful than starting a new job and only having a few days in which to line up care for your kids. Not only was I limited in terms of location (it needed to be somewhat along our commute and relatively close to my office), but I am leery of leaving my children in the care of people I don’t know. I have every right to be picky! I made these rad little people and I have to be comfortable with the people I leave them with all day.

When I was growing up, my parents had good intentions but kept hiring the absolute worst in childcare providers. We moved when I was about to start second grade, and my parents didn’t know anyone in our new town so they sent my sister and me to a daycare center. It was awful. There weren’t separate bathrooms for girls and boys and absolutely no privacy. Kids would fight with each other and the teachers did nothing to stop the fights. It was the least nurturing environment imaginable and my sister and I dreaded going there.

That arrangement lasted an entire year until my parents hired a woman to watch us in her home. She had two adopted daughters and watched a couple of other kids too. She seemed nice enough and was rather charming, but she was a lunatic. I remember being sick with some awful illness that made me throw up every time I coughed. Perhaps my mom or dad should have stayed home with me while I was sick. Anyway, one of the older kids was in the bathroom and I needed to throw up. She refused to unlock the door and let me in so that I could puke, and when it all finally came up, I tried catching it in my hands. A nine-year-old doesn’t have large, vomit-catching hands. Most of it ended up on the floor and I got in trouble. You know, for being sick and not having access to a barf receptacle.

She would play a ‘game’ with an older girl and me in which she would whip our butts with a leather whip. I’m not kidding. I was scared but wanted to fit in and be one of the grown-up girls and play grown-up games so I went along with it while my sister and the littler kids played dolls in the other room. This sitter would shut her bedroom door with the three of us behind it, therefore not watching the other kids, and would play this whipping game. Did we get to hit her back? No, of course not. I even showed my mom the welts one day and she didn’t say anything to the sitter about it. My mom used to have some trouble with standing up for herself and this obviously hindered her ability to speak up for her children.

Thankfully, that arrangement didn’t last long. My sister and I were old enough to stay at home by ourselves when were nine and ten years old. The whipping babysitter would come by our house sometimes and would bang on the door like she was trying to break it down. We never let the psycho inside, and there were a couple of times when we even called the police on her. She eventually left our family alone, and I heard that she lost her childcare license and was banned by the state from watching children other than her own. I found her daughters on Facebook recently and they both seem normal so hopefully she didn’t screw up her own kids too badly.

My sister and I did just fine as latch-key kids. We took the bus or a friend’s mom took us home, and we would entertain ourselves until one of our parents came home. We never tried to burn the house down or jump off of the roof. At least, I don’t remember attempting anything stupid at that age but my memory is shady sometimes.

So when it was time for me to place my babies in the care of someone else, I remembered my experiences from my own childhood and it freaked me out. I was scared of daycare centers due to low-paid ‘teachers’ not giving a shit, but in-home centers aren’t always great either and there is less accountability. The center that I chose has been wonderful so far. Not only are they reasonably priced, but all of the teachers seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs. My daughter is able to tell me if something seems wrong, and she knows that the teachers shouldn’t be hitting the kids or allowing negative behaviors to exist in the classroom. She will tell me if something bad happens, and I like that she is next door to her brother in the baby room where she can check up on him.

Henry loves his caregivers in the infant room. They hold him and give him comfort throughout the day, and they also helped him learn to be more independent. I have witnessed how the teachers treat the babies- for the first few weeks I would go up to their school and nurse Henry during my lunch- and they were always playing with them on the floor and holding them. Unless a baby was sleeping or trying to sleep, no child was ever put into a swing. With this school, I didn’t have to worry about Henry ending up with a flat spot on the back of his head.

Knowing that my kids are in good hands while I’m at work is a great relief to my husband and me. And if something does seem fishy, I will speak up about it. When Avery was attending daycare before Henry was born, she went to a woman’s in-home daycare. The lady had some part-time staff but they quit and she ended up relying on her grown children who lived at home to help her. One of them was in and out of rehab for drug addiction and at one point the sitter had banned him from her home. So when I found out that he was living there and interacting with the kids, I questioned her about it. I have a high-ish threshold for what I will tolerate for myself but that threshold is non-existent when it comes to my children. There is no ‘three strikes’ policy – you do something ONE TIME that I don’t feel comfortable with and we’re done.

Finding care for your children is a stressful process but you are an advocate for your kids. If you don’t speak up for them, who will? The cheapest place in town may not be the worst choice, just like the nicest-looking, most expensive place may not be the safest. All you can do when you are faced with finding childcare is to trust your gut – that whole ‘mother’s intuition’ thing is legit.

 Posted by at 1:47 pm
May 232013
 

Summer is my favorite. Before I was a mom, I loved laying out by the pool, frying my delicate Irish skin like bacon on a hot skillet. I would relish my days off, especially if they fell in the middle of the week. I had the apartment complex pool to myself, and I would read a book while drinking water or something less hydrating (Bartles & Jaymes, party people!). When I got too hot, I’d swim for a bit, then return to my chaise to continue roasting. A few times, I fell asleep while tanning; if you have fair skin, you know that this is both stupid and dangerous. But, the warm sun and chilled wine coolers just made me sleepy so how could I resist? I was a woman of leisure!

These days, taking the kids to the park, pool, beach, etc., is a huge undertaking. Avery and Henry love being outside and they especially love the water. Our town has a swim beach on the lake and the kids love it. Sand! Water! Ducks! It’s perfect. The swim beach doesn’t extend out too far into the lake so it isn’t very deep and since the area is well-maintained, I don’t worry about Avery stepping on something or getting caught on something under the water. She can run up and down the miniaturized shoreline without me going into helicopter-mom mode. I hate hovering, constantly shouting “Get back here!” and the like. It’s exhausting and it can’t be very fun for Avery either. So I let her play while I observe from a short-ish distance. We bring a quilt to the beach and Henry and I sit and play in the sand with little shovels and rakes. Henry is fascinated with sand and he apparently loves the way it tastes because he is always trying to shove a handful of it into his mouth.

We also have four swimming pools in our subdivision. Basically, there is no excuse for us to stay indoors this summer.

Not only that, but since I am planning on going back to work full time, I would like to get some quality time in with my children while I still have the chance. I will continue to take them to the pool, beach, etc., on weekends, but it isn’t the same. During the week, the beach is all ours. At least, it is until school gets out for the summer next week.

I just want to soak up as much time with them as I can. I have decided that I am going to focus on my kiddos and not worry about anything else. I will do basic housework like laundry and dishes, but I am not going to fret over the fact that the foyer needs to be mopped and that Avery’s books aren’t alphabetized. This summer is about having fun and spending real, focused time with my babies.

Most days, we get up, have breakfast, go for a walk to the park, come home, watch TV while I play on the computer, and then the day gets away from us while we lounge around the house. I am sick of the TV and I hate how when I sit on the couch I immediately reach for my laptop. Sure, I am applying for jobs but I’m also endlessly scrolling on Pinterest and getting sucked into Buzzfeed and Reddit. I want a break from it. A break for mediocre parenting. I want to give my kids a fun summer that I know they won’t remember, but I will.

 Posted by at 2:38 am
Mar 292013
 

Guess who is thirty? ME!

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Wasn’t I such a cute baby? Did I really have brown eyes when I was a baby? I never noticed that before in my  baby pictures; I probably just didn’t look because my eyes are blue and as far as I knew they’ve always been blue. Weird. Maybe one of my parents can shed some light onto this new discovery I’ve made.

Anyway, I’m thirty! I guess this officially makes me a grownup. It’s weird because when I see other moms at the park or play area who are probably my age, they seem to be much more mature than I am. I don’t think that I’m immature, but perhaps I’m not as polished as some of the other suburban moms I encounter on a daily basis (I almost typed “on the reg” which makes it pretty apparent that I am not as refined as I’d like to pretend I am). I try not to compare myself to others since we are all having our own unique life experiences, but sometimes I wish that I felt more ‘together.’ When I lose control of my daughter in public, especially while we are in a store, I feel like everyone is watching me as I discipline her;  and when she gets off of the stroller’s sit-and-stand step and disappears, it makes me want to scream. I guess that’s pretty normal for a mom to feel frustrated when her child doesn’t listen, but most of the time I don’t think that I handle it well AT ALL.

This post isn’t supposed to be about my shortcomings as a mom. But it seems like every post turns into a list of my parental failings. Oh well. Stream of conscious writing rears its ugly head.

So um, happy birthday to me! Tonight, Jacob and I are going to see the Deftones at Austin City Limits, and then we are going to spend the rest of the weekend with our kiddos in Austin, doing Austin things. I can’t wait! Being thirty is going to be awesome.

 Posted by at 1:01 am
Mar 272013
 

Dearest Baby Boy,

Look at you, precious boy! You are five months old! You’re getting so big! I can’t stop using exclamation marks!

You have started teething and it is making you quite fussy. I feel so bad for you when you start crying and gnawing on your hand. I still haven’t spotted any teeth breaking through your gums, but I hope for your sake (okay, mine too) we see a teeny pearly white soon. You haven’t been sleeping for long stretches at night like you used to – you have been waking up after only a couple of hours instead of five or six (or that one time- eight!). I guess you just need some cuddling and something to chew on; I don’t mind tucking you right up next to me. We both sleep better when we’re together anyway.

You have mastered rolling over, but once you get onto your belly you seem to get upset. Being on your tummy appears to bother you. How can you learn to crawl if you don’t like being on your stomach? It’s kind of neat to lay you down on your play mat, and have you be completely off the mat and onto the rug when I come back into the room. You’re a professional wiggler; unless I’m feeding you, you are in constant motion. You pump your legs with all of your energy and you are really strong!

Your first word! I nearly forgot to mention it! Henry, you said your first word! It was “Dada,” but I forgive you. Actually, you said “Mumma” tonight so that’s good enough for me! I guess watching Downton Abbey with you has influenced your speech. You love babbling and laughing, and your favorite person is, without a doubt, your big sister. Whenever you find her in the room you keep your eyes locked on her, watching her every move. She makes you laugh and smile more than anyone else.

I love you, sweet boy. See you next month!

Love,

Mumma

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