Saturday, September 10, 2016

Real Talk





Last weekend we went to a wedding for one of Ryan's very best friends growing up. Ryan was a groomsmen and the wedding was full of people he grew up with and had known for a really long time. Super fun time for him. This picture is from the wedding and I posted it to instagram for posterity sake and because I was just being a good millennial. I got some nice comments including one that said "your family is perfect" from a friend I love a lot & who knows that we are NOT perfect. But I just wanted to share the real talk behind this picture.

Ryan had been gone ALL day to do wedding-y things. The first time we saw eachother he was walking (of course) the hottest bridesmaid down the aisle...which is fine, I told myself. This isn't a debutante ball. It's a WEDDING. Get over it (but whyyyy does he have to be paired with the prettiest one? insert distressed emoji here!) I was distracted by Mack and jellybeans until the ceremony was over and we were finally able to go over and talk to Ryan. But suddenly as Mack & I were walking up to Ryan, who was surrounded by his "buddies" and "pretty bridesmaid", I looked down and remembered how huge I felt. And how tight my dress was. And wondered if people could see my belly button. And hoping no one would notice my droopy butt or the crumbs stuck to my belly. I was mortified with myself. It seemed as if everyone there that was our age was skinny, beautiful, *drunk or getting there*, and having a good time. The rest of the night was so weird for me. I didn't want Ryan to look at me. I was embarrassed about myself, my appearance. I felt like the fat pregnant cow of a wife to this super hot, hunky, popular, fun, charming groomsmen.
These feelings were so real to me. I know Ryan could tell something was up but I was so ashamed of myself I couldn't even talk to him about it until a couple nights later.
(yes...it took me days to get over this).
I blame pregnancy for my extreme emotions and deflated self esteem but it scared me to have such feelings of self loathing. I kept telling myself that Ryan didn't belong with me, but with someone prettier and skinnier. I was breaking my own heart and only hurting myself. I don't really know how I was able to shake these feelings. I am my own worst enemy. Why do I have to be so mean to myself? I'm growing a little girl! I should never be ashamed of my body in any stage, and yet I always find a reason to criticize it.

I'm trying not to make everything all about me, just explain the reality of this picture.
Social media has a way of twisting reality I'm afraid.

XOXO






























Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A mother's body





I gave a talk in church last week and my topic was self esteem/self worth. Definitely a hard topic for me to speak on because I struggle with it a lot. It was a really good topic for me to study though. I found this post from one of my favorite blogs and this quote totally hit home to me. I need to post it somewhere so I can read it on those days when I can't stand the way my body looks.

"Recently, I had a conversation with a friend about her body image. She told me: “Sometimes I look at my daughter and think, Oh my gosh, she has my thighs, that poor girl. She has my big feet and my huge hands and these things that I always saw as being less than perfect. But she’s so completely beautiful to me. I love everything about her, including her thighs. Seeing myself through that lens helps me see my own body more kindly. All that unconditional love, how can it not extend to me, too?”

XOXO

Monday, August 29, 2016

Here we go


I told myself ONCE A MONTH. Once a month I need to sit down and do some "journaling" of some sort. So here we go...


Mack is starting to watch shows more which is fantastic for my pregnant butt. He usually likes me to watch with him. Some of his favorites are Sesame Street (Melmo), Chuggington (choo) & I just introduced Blues Clues so we'll see how that goes over. Sesame Street is kinda cute and I don't mind watching that one. They throw adult jokes in there every now and again and I appreciate that. The other day he snuggled up to me (rare) and placed his hand so sweetly on my belly where his sister kicks the most. She totally starting kicking his hand and while he didn't notice, I loved the connection.



I am 24 weeks along now aka 6 months aka viable baby!! Woo hoo! Except she needs to stay in there for a good 3 more months. I'm feeling real good but I'm probably eating too much. I made a loaf of banana bread the other day and ate the whole thing myself (not in 1 day...) I kind of felt accomplished when I ate the last slice. Anyways, this girl is a lot more active than Mack ever was which is really reassuring. The nights I work she's up with me pretty much 3/4 of the night. It's fun and slightly terrifying...like...do you sleep ever or what?



Also, we bought a new car! Ok, well, it's used, but new to us. It's a 2013 Chevy Traverse with about 30,000 miles on it. It has everything we wanted (3rd row seats, all wheel drive, and a back up camera) plus it's kinda pretty. We were really nervous to buy a new car but have been so happy with our purchase so far.




This kid is making me laugh on the daily. This last week I have felt myself grow as a mom in that I can handle his freak outs so much better than I used to, especially in public. I don't get quite as flustered anymore. I'm trying to see things from his perspective and understand why he gets frustrated instead of just getting mad because he's mad. I'm not perfect and somedays I still have to lock him in his room for a sec while he screams it out but...we're getting there...Oh and he still likes to pinch/slap/pull hair so we're working on that one too...
Ryan was sick on Sunday and I managed church all by myself. I cornered him in a pew and we only had to get up and walk around twice! Ha. 
Also he wants to be his dad so bad. Always stealing his shoes, hats, etc and asking for dada. He gets so hyper when Ryan is around and just runs and screams everywhere. He also is obsessed with basketball like his dad. Hoping that sticks. Hoping all of it sticks because his dad is the best. The other day I was really really stressed about some scheduling issues we're going to have coming up here in a few weeks and he totally took charge and solved a lot of problems so I didn't have to worry about it. I cried when he told me what he had done. It meant so much for him to take that load on himself so I didn't have to. I love him a lot.



.....aaaaaaand here is Mack eating yogurt with his hands. This is pretty much how he eats anything. Grabs a big ol handful and gets about 1/2 of it in his mouth. So messy. Oy.
My favorite thing that he does now is push a chair up to the kitchen sink, climb up, ask for "wa wa" so I'll turn on the faucet, and he will play in the sink with the utensils and clean/dirty dishes for a good long time. He always gets himself and everything around him soaked, but...childhood.

XOXO

Thursday, July 28, 2016

vent




I'm so proud of myself for blogging again! Time is spinning so fast and I want to write things down so I can laugh at myself later.
The picture above is of Mack pinching me. He pinches me and anyone close to him constantly. He also likes to slap and pull hair. It's incredibly aggravating. Like, he'll be doing something naughty already so I'll pick him up, and he'll pinch the crap out of the back of my arms or slap my face. I may or may not have locked myself in the bathroom and cried earlier this week. It just seems like my sweet, happy boy has been overshadowed by this urge to be aggressive. It's really hard to see and it's really hard for me to feel connected to him because I feel constantly frustrated. I guess that's something I have to fix in myself. It's also hard for me to put him in social situations because I have to watch him like a hawk and I get so embarrassed when he hurts other kids. I'm praying (no, begging) that this phase ends fast. The other day at swim lessons, he slapped me across the face really hard in front of all the parents. I was mortified. I know he's just being a toddler, but it still totally sucks.
On a happier note he's talking up a storm (it's probably part of his aggression, I think he wishes he could talk more). Some of his (and my) favorite words are: truck (everything is a truck), ball, Luna, pwees (please), dee doo (thank you), no, ya, duck, and melmo (elmo). It makes me smile when I ask him a question and responds with "ya" or "no" like he knows what I'm talking about.
"Do you want some milk?" "Noooo" ...takes the sippy anyways.
"Do you want to take a nap?" "Ya"...cries when we walk into his room.

He's totally into Elmo aka Melmo right now. One morning I heard him stand up in his crib and say melmo. He'll either wake up and say melmo, Luna, or poop depending on what's going on that morning (poop if he pooped his diaper). Haha, it's cute. and AWESOME that he will finally watch tv of some sort. I know that sounds bad, but sometimes mama just needs a minute.

I'm getting my first taste of raising a child who maybe doesn't act the way you want him to all the time and you have to find out how to love them through it. Some days are hard. Some days you have to say a few cuss words & eat chocolate (that day was yesterday for me). I might as well write it down because no one reads my blog and maybe I can learn from this experience. We had a really rough morning..like really rough...and he wouldn't go down for a nap that afternoon. I was so done. I pulled him out of his crib as he was screaming/pinching me. I pinched his arms back and said "THAT DOES NOT FEEL GOOD DOES IT!" then I put him on the floor & said a few bleeps and told him to get out of here and gently pushed him out the door. I think it freaked him out really bad to see me so mad. I regret losing my cool like that. I already have a short temper and pregnancy makes it even shorter. I finally put him back in his crib and let him cry it out. He went down but woke up 30 minutes into his nap. I had cooled off by then so I took him and snuggled him in the recliner while he slept for another 45 minutes. Just sitting there holding my sweet baby who doesn't know what's going on with his emotions and feelings and who has a mom who looses her temper way too easily...just cuddled up with his ear to my chest listening to the heartbeat he had memorized 18 months ago. How could I be so impatient and unforgiving? Needless to say I'm trying to learn from it and move forward with a more understanding heart that looks at my child with eyes that see him for who he really is instead of how he's acting.

Every night I sing him this song + a primary song and tell him 4 things that I want him to always remember. I hope he knows that I love him.



One of my favorite pictures of him lately...this was in one of our hotels in Utah. There's my happy baby.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Should I wear pants today?

Should I Wear Pants Today? (Teal)


I love that print. I’m pretty sure I just bought it so that I can get it in the mail and put it in my pile with the rest of the pictures and prints I’ve ordered but have yet to hang in our house (it’s been 2 years). I blame it on our busy life, which I feel is really busy these days, but then again everyone is busy and manages to get things done so why can’t I? It's a good day if I put pants on. Seriously. Like, I'm serious. Most days it's the G's and a robe until noon, or scrubby workout clothes that I probably pulled out of the hamper.


Here’s what’s keeping us busy in this stage of life:
-Ryan works full time. His hours are never the same day to day, which is insanely annoying because trying to plan life between our 2 work schedules is a nightmare. I feel like every night he’s busy, too. He either has to mow the lawn, or go to scouts, or plays softball, or helps his dad with a project, or plays basketball, or goes golfing. All good things I suppose. He’s usually home in time for us to watch a show or 2, and you know how I love my shows.


-I work 2 nights a week. My new job is pretty good and the pay is pretty great. I don’t feel like I’m keeping up with my nursing skills like I did with my old job where I was in the middle of everything. Now, as a float nurse, I just kind of skim the surface. It’s ok though I guess. This isn’t my passion. I don’t know what my passion is, but this definitely isn’t it. It works for now. And I’m thankful to have health insurance!


-I get really overwhelmed with housework. Either my house is a complete pigsty and will stay that way for several days. Or else I get really OCD and clean like a mad woman. I wish I could maintain a cleaning schedule but my work schedule changes each week so that makes it hard. I’m kind of obsessed with having a clean house but if I don’t have the time/energy to do it well, then I don’t do it at all. Plus it depends on Mack as well. Somedays he just won’t let me. Too whiny, clingy, needy, etc. Toddler problems.


- Ryan has 2 callings that keep him super busy—11 year old scout leader, and sunbeam teacher. I teach the Beehives at church. Thursday nights & Sundays are always packed. They’re fun callings though. We’re learning a lot and getting stretched, so that’s good. Somedays I have a hard time relating to the beehives. I don’t think they get my sense of humor and so I feel really awkward and lame. And then other days they say the most amazing things during a lesson and I’m blown away by how spiritual they are!


-Mack is 17 months old! Holy cow. I don’t think I need to explain the busy part about this child. He just is. He’s either busy getting into things, creating messes, destroying things, or running around naked. He is exhausting. He’s 95% for everything (height, weight, head) so basically he’s huge and my back hurts 95% of the time. Carrying him up the stairs is hard. Add pregnancy and I’m winded after 2 steps. Like, I have to lean over and catch my breath . Phew. Even though this stage is exhausting, there are some days where I just have an absolute blast with him, he can be so fun! Like I look at him and think, you’re my real life little friend. He can say the usual: mama, dada, papa, Luna (na na), dog but some of his favorite words are truck (everything is a truck, he’s obsessed), ball, hi, bye, water (wa wa), Jesus, Cici (his cousin), tree, please (pwees), thank you (tee too) …there’s more, I’m just forgetting. He loves to make people laugh and makes farting noises on my bare skin whenever he gets the chance. He’s a feisty little nugget and sometimes can be a  little bully with his peers when he doesn’t get his way (sorry, nursery). He’s just a giant and likes to boss people around. He’s a great eater (everything expect veggies), sleeps 11-12 hours at night but only naps like 45 mins- 1 hour during the day womp womppppp…I just have this intense love for him and he is such a part of who I am as a person now. It’s a cool feeling to be that intertwined with your child. The unconditional love is for real. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m probably a crappy mom. The other day he wouldn’t stop grinding his teeth and I got so mad at him. I absolutely hate that sound. I legit yelled, grabbed his face really hard, and put him in time out. I felt so bad afterwards, he had giant alligator tears, yet still wanted me to pick him up and love him. Makes me cringe just thinking about it. I have a lot to learn from him.


This post is long. I think that’s enough of an update for now. We’re going to Utah this week! I can’t wait to see all my friends and family and be with Ryan and Mack for 10 days straight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

All About Boobs


 
This past week was National Breastfeeding Week!  It has made me think a lot about breastfeeding and the love/hate relationship we have together. So I'm going to share my thoughts. Because it's my blog.
I'm not one of those people that's going to try and push my breastfeeding beliefs on anyone. I know how it goes, sometimes it just doesn't work out. But I never thought I would be so into breastfeeding!I think my job has a lot to do with that. I help mom's breastfeed everyday & I have loved and admired all the breastfeeding relationships I've seen. It is seriously a beautiful thing! That base helped me LOADS when I began to breastfeed Macklin. I felt so lucky to have some kind of knowledge base to back me up when days were hard and painful. It also helped that Mack is a champion nurser...but it really felt like second nature for us getting started.
I wanted to type some advice for myself...while the experience is fresh in my mind.
 
Dear self,
1) The first weeks are HARD. The baby eats ALL THE TIME and FOR A FREAKING LONG TIME. At times he would want to eat every two hours, for an hour long per feeding, aka I would get MAYBE an hour in between feedings to un-cow myself. Ugh. It was hard. I would call my mom in tears and ask her to go get formula, but we never had to actually resort to that!
 
2) I stressed a lot about having a good milk supply. I did fenugreek, lactation cookies, Gatorade, coconut water (gag)...I tried it all. What worked the best for me I think was feeding on demand, and pumping after my first morning feed when milk production is at it's highest point. It helped me start to get a little freezer store as well! Mack was a little piggy. He gained weight so fast and I think my production had a hard time keeping up at first. Now that he's eating solids and sleeping through the night, I have a bit of an oversupply.....as in over 1,000 ounces in my freezer. It's a good problem to have.
 
3) You have to figure out what works for you. At first, I was sick of breastfeeding all the time, especially when I wanted to hang out with family and friends. I'm not ( and am still not ) completely comfortable breastfeeding in front of people other than my husband or mom, so if I am around others I use a cover which is not really that fun to breastfeed under, or I isolate myself in another room. Boring. So I tried exclusively pumping for a bit. That was a nice relief because I could see how much I was producing. It was oddly rewarding to see that. But it didn't last long because Mr. Hungry Pants usually was not patient enough for me to pump.
 
4) It's all about supply & demand. Don't skip feedings and expect your supply to keep up. It's about getting your "magic number" of feedings/pumpings in a day. My magic number right now is 6. It changes with baby's needs. This means that you really don't get breaks. But maybe you'll get lucky and your baby will sleep through the night. It's amazing how your body regulates your milk supply to baby's needs.
 
5) It hurts so bad if your latch isn't right. Keep those lips flared out! If baby is struggling with the latch, look into it! Maybe he's lip or tongue tied. Even if he is, which I think Mack is, he can still learn to latch correctly with a little help. Or, maybe it hurts if you're 1-3 weeks post partum. I remember getting the chills after a shower one night from the pain. Cool gel pads and lanolin and coconut oil and your own breastmilk help with that. Gotta get them nips trained!
 
6) Speaking of pain. At first I had a hard time bonding with Macklin because my only interactions with him were painful (aka when he was breastfeeding.) After he was done, someone would take him and love on him, or I would lay him down to nap. Make sure you take the time to cuddle, love, and enjoy your newborn in between the painful, beginning nursing sessions. Don't worry about creating bad habits if you nurse him to sleep and then hold him while he sleeps. You can sleep train later. Babies be babies for such a short amount of time.
 
7) Suddenly it just gets better. I can't really pinpoint a moment but all of a sudden you look forward to each feeding (hello, time to catch up on your shows!) You see this moment of relief and comfort come over your baby's face when he starts to breastfeed that makes you feel like you're giving him a gift. Which you are. So all those days of tears and frustration suddenly become worth it.
Also, it's awesome when you don't have to wash bottles. Or buy formula!!
 
PS-- Working full time & continuing to breastfeed has been really difficult. Most days it's a lot of stress & sleep deprivation. But we're doing it! It will probably be one of my greatest life accomplishments.
Ha! but really.
 
6 months down, the goal is 6 more!
 
XOXO
 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Seasons

I was thinking the other day about how mad I was going to be at myself for not journaling in some form the first few years of being a mom. I've been having a hard time because part of me wants my blog to be this aesthetically pleasing, fun to read & look at internet escape, but then...reality sets in. But the need for myself to journal is greater than for anyone else so you can go ahead and ignore me now. 


Ugh, I'm still working nights and somehow it's a lot harder than it used to be. I'm working a lot and the nights I work I feel so disconnected from the world and from my world. I'm trying to find the balance between getting sleep during the day and still being a breastfeeding mother. It's definitely taking a toll on me physically & emotionally. I keep telling myself I've had enough sleep but my body says something else. I like nights because I get to see more of Macklin that way, but personally I feel like a zombie. I keep telling myself that this is just "a season of life" & it wont last forever. I feel like on my days off I am so spent that I can't find the energy or motivation to do a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g so I sit there & think about all the chores I have to do and all the fun things I want to do and I don't even know where to begin. I work with a lot of working moms. I don't know how they do it. I'm losing a sense of self in all of this but I'm just trying to hang on...it will get better...right?
Enough about me. Ryan is an amazing stay at home dad. He goes to school full time & takes care of Macklin. Their relationship is the absolute best & I love seeing Mack's face light up when Ryan walks in the room. He follows his voice and laughs at everything he does. If ever I'm breastfeeding Mack & Ryan walks in the room, he pops off so he can see his dad. It's kind of annoying but completely adorable.
Ryan and I started our family earlier than we had originally planned. I had a nagging feeling before we started trying that we shouldn't wait too much longer and that God would help fill in the gaps. We wanted to wait until Ryan was closer to being done with school to have a baby, but I'm glad we chose to move forward in faith. When I was pregnant with Mack I would often have strong impressions about him--about his strength, his health, his character. I had a feeling he would be mild and would be able to fit into our crazy life right now. It's been so true. He is such a mild, go with the flow baby. He has been sleeping through the night since the 2nd night I went back to work. He eats well, has been healthy, doesn't nap for very long, but does well on his schedule and is just overall a really happy person. He has been the sunshine in our lives & I am so so so thankful we didn't have to wait any longer to have him with us. 



This picture was taken as I was leaving for my first night back to work after maternity leave. It's like he's saying to me "Don't worry bout me mom, I'll be fine!" 


It's just another season of life. Somedays when I feel like the wind is blowing and I'm tired of this season, I just remind myself that I'll miss it when it's past.  
Ryan & I just finished the TV series 'Parenthood' (I cried & laughed in nearly every episode...) & one of the last scenes really got me. The grandpa & grandma of the family go back to visit the home where they raised their family & had lived for many years. As they pulled up to it, they saw young children playing in the yard and a pregnant mom in the doorway of the house calling her kids inside. Camille, the grandma says, "Boy she's got her hands full." & Zeek responds "Yeah...I hope she's loving every second of it." I realize this season of life, with all the other responsibilities I have, may not be exactly picturesque or blog worthy.... But I am loving every second of being a wife and a mom. It's all I've ever wanted. 

XOXO