Motherly Love

It’s nearly 6 a.m. and I’m slowly waking up to the tiny coo’s coming from the little person I brought into my bed when she woke up in the middle of the night. I open one eye and try to shove a binky in her mouth, hoping that she will immediately go right back to sleep. “Come on”, I think “just give me another hour.” Sometimes it works and sometimes I have to accept whatever amount of sleep I got and hope to catch a nap later in the day (but I don’t count on it). As unhappy as I am about having to wake up before my body wants me to, I can’t help but smile when I turn my head and see the sweetest little grin- consisting only of two bottom teeth.

The day starts with a feeding and a diaper change for her and a large iced coffee for me- you know, the essentials. As she sits up on her play mat she examines her many toys with her eyes, hands, and mouth. I spend about 10 minutes playing with her before I look around and make a mental list of all the things that need to get done around the house. And then something else catches my attention and I wish I had written that list down on paper.

When I start thinking about my week I realize that I have no idea what day it even is. So I yell out to the only other person in the house who can talk back, “Alexa, what’s the date today?”. She gives me the 411 and when it’s a Friday, a little piece of me dies as I think back to the days when a Friday was always something to look forward to.

I love my daughter more than I ever thought I could love another person, but being alone with her all the time can be- I’m just gonna say it… boring as hell. Saying this makes me feel bad. I look at how big she’s gotten and I can’t believe that what the millions of strangers have told me is actually true. “It goes by so fast!” Ugh I hate when the strangers are right.

It does go by so fast. Suddenly she won’t let me hold her a certain way, so I adjust to her needs without realizing that I’ll never hold her the same way again. I mean, I could but she’s bigger now and it’s not the same. Some days may be boring, but they are also filled with moments of pure happiness and amazement at the little person my baby is becoming. It also doesn’t hurt to have cool neighbors and friends that keep me sane.

At the end of the day, when we’re both in our beds, I go to sleep knowing that I will be woken up in a few hours. I know that I will have to get up, go into her room, and lift her out of her crib to bring her into my bed because I’m too dang tired to do it again. I go to bed knowing all of this and being totally okay with it because I also go to bed knowing that I’ll wake up to the sweetest little two-toothed grin.

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Milestones

Watching your child grow is probably the best reminder of how fleeting life is. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been trying to work on some lifestyle changes. One of the things on my list is to keep a journal to track Logan’s growth. I’ve always kept a journal but lately I have been so horrible about actually writing in it.

So as I lie awake in bed, not able to sleep because of the amount of caffeine I’ve consumed today.. I choose to write. Not in my journal because that would require lights and a pen, but here in my online diary for all to see!

April was a big month for little Logie. She was baptized, tried solid foods, got two bottom teeth, and started rolling all over the place. So far in May, she has begun to say things like “mamamama” and “dadadadada”, and she sits up on her own like a champ. She’s working on her dexterity all the time and I have so much fun watching her grab things and try to shove them in her mouth.

She’s been sleeping better too! How quickly I’ve forgotten having to wake up every couple of hours for feedings. She was waking up twice for the past couple of months but now she pretty much only wakes up once, usually around 4am. Then goes right back to sleep after I feed her. AND she’s starting to sleep in her crib.

All of these little milestones are amazing to watch. I see this little baby that I brought into the world and just observe as she becomes more and more intelligent each day. It happens so fast! Blake and I hear it ALL THE TIME… “enjoy it, they grow up so fast”. We actually laugh about how many times we hear that when we go out in public because it’s a ridiculous amount. But they really are growing so fast when they’re babies.

During the first three years of life, we learn more than we ever will in any other three years of our lives. That’s why the early stages of life are so important. Babies are constantly absorbing new information and they totally vibe off of the emotions and reactions of the adults around them. I don’t even like yelling at my dog in front of Logan because I don’t want her to think I’m yelling at her. Yelling is toxic and can have lasting effects on a child.

Granted, it’s bound to happen sooner or later when your kid is misbehaving but I think it’s important to try to discipline without yelling. Ever since I’ve become a parent, I think a lot about what a huge responsibility it is. We are responsible for raising a whole generation of people and if we collectively do a great job then the world will be a better place for everyone.

Lifestyle Goals

In only a few days my little girl will be FIVE months old. Time is doing what it does best and flying right on by. To be honest, I sometimes find myself hoping for the time to pass more quickly which is pretty sad. I really only think that way when Blake is gone because everything is so much more fun when he’s around. But guess what? He’s gone a lot! Way too often for me to be putting life on hold until he’s back.

Having a baby has made me very aware of how quickly time goes by. I sort of get sad thinking that were just slowly growing older. I do my best to let all of the special moments sink in and to feel everything deeply. The soft baby skin, the giggles, the sweet baby scent, and looking into her big blue eyes wondering how I created something so incredibly amazing. I never want to forget how these things make me feel.

I recently came up with a list of “Lifestyle Goals” for myself and I plan on sharing each of those goals with you guys in future posts. They are simple things that I hope to incorporate into my daily life in order to better myself, and you can too! It’s sort of like a list of new years resolutions except these are things that I want to impact my life permanently. Kind of like when people say they’re not “on a diet” they’re really “changing their lifestyle”.

One of the things on that list is to say yes to new experiences. So I’ve decided I need to stop wishing for time to pass more quickly when Blake is gone and just take advantage of every day I get to spend living life. I’m pushing myself to get out more and to try new things even if I have to go alone… and by alone I mean, with Logan. I’ve always been the kind of person who would rather have company when going to new places. But now that I’ve gotten the hang of taking care of a baby on my own, I know that I can do almost anything on my own.

Sometimes my anxieties keep me from doing new things that seem scary. When I think about the fact that I am gong to die someday (even though that may just be the scariest thought of all) … It makes me realize that I better stop obsessing over what others might think, or what could go wrong and just experience all that I can while I’ve got the chance. Take a trip somewhere, hit the dance floor, make new friends…. whatever it is, just do it and HAVE FUN! I think people take life too seriously sometimes. School and work are great but it’s our experiences that make us who we are. What’s wonderful about that is, we get to choose our own experiences. Sure, sometimes things happen to us that we have no control over but we can ALWAYS choose to do something differently and I think that makes life really special.

 

 

 

Motivation Monday #65

This is the last Monday of October and I’m pleased to say that the weather finally matches the month. After last week’s strange heat wave I am absolutely loving this gloomy 67 degree day.

Anyway, if I’m being honest I have no absolutely no motivation today. Somehow I actually got out of bed this morning and made it to my cleaning job regardless of the fact that I got a total of 4 hours of sleep last night.

For the last couple of weeks, my sleep schedule has been totally out of wack. First it was because I had to get Tilly spayed, it was seriously a nightmare for a couple weeks. I felt like I was potty training again as she was having multiple accidents in the house. The medication she was on was causing her to lose control of her bladder and I was doing heaps of laundry that smelled like pee every day. This week she’s still waking up 2-3 times a night to go to the bathroom but at least she is waking me up to go outside. I end up getting up to take her out and then I can’t fall back asleep because I am super uncomfortable. I naively didn’t think that my pregnancy would come to this point but it is finally starting to get to me.

My back has been really bothering me the past few days and although just one more month seems like no big deal compared to the other 8 that have already passed, it now seems like an eternity if I’m going to be feeling this miserable the whole time.

I’ll make it through though, especially since Blake will be home in a couple weeks and I’m sure he’ll be ecstatic to give me back massages. hehe.

So, I’m sorry I’m not more motivational today but I guess the message here is that if I can get up at 9 months pregnant after only 4 hours of sleep and go scrub toilets, you can do whatever it is you have to do too!

Have a good week and a Happy Halloween tomorrow!!

Motivation Monday #64

It’s the second to last Monday of October and it looks like were having bit of a heat wave this week. Thankfully, it should cool down by next week. The heat can make it difficult to want to get anything done but with Halloween only a week and one day away, at least there’s something to look forward to. For me, that will be all the leftover candy.

Today I plan to practice mindfulness. This word seems to have come up a lot since I’ve been pregnant, it is helpful during labor and delivery. But I think it’s something we should practice every day regardless of whether we’re pregnant or not.

To be mindful is to be conscious or aware of the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It is used as a form of therapy to help you forget your anxieties and worries and just focus on the present. Life can be overwhelming at times, it’s important to regain control of what’s going on in your headspace. Taking some time to practice mindfulness can help to create space between us and our reactions or conditioned responses.

Set aside some time today to observe the present moment as it is, let your judgements pass, if your mind wanders, bring it back to the moment you are in and just feel present.

Hopefully, with a clear mind you will be able to get through the day a little bit more smoothly than you would if your thought process were clogged with tons of other worries. If you are holding onto things because you feel they are important to remember, then write them down on a piece of paper and free your mind of that clutter.

I hope everyone has a beautiful week and try to stay cool out there!

DIY Floral Mobile

I am a huge lover of the website Etsy, I really like supporting small businesses and finding unique things. However, I sometimes can’t help but think ” I could totally make that myself”. Well, while I was looking for alternatives to the average baby mobile I came across a pretty floral one similar to what’s in the picture. I knew I could make one myself so I decided to take on the challenge. I’ll let you know right away that this was not a cheap project….. It definitely could be, but since I preferred to use a higher quality of faux flower, it added up quickly. I decided to buy the flowers in increments and took my time finishing this project.

Here’s what you’ll need if you’d like to make one too:

  • A 12″ foam floral wreath
  • Some type of ribbon or string
  • A hot glue gun & glue
  • Wire cutting scissors
  • LOTS and LOTS of flowers

 

Start by cutting the ribbon into three pieces of equal lengths, based on how far you want the mobile to hang down.

Mark three spots on the inner ring of the foam wreath of equal distance from each other.

Glue each piece of ribbon to the marked spots in the wreath.

Create a hoop at the top and glue or tie it securely.

Start cutting the flowers, leaving about a half inch of the stem to puncture into the foam.

Place the flowers in the foam where you think they will look best. Once you’ve got a good bunch, begin gluing them in so that they are secure.

Glue some leaves between the flowers for a more natural look.

And that’s it! It takes some time, patience and obviously money, but the satisfaction of doing it yourself is worth it!

Motivation Monday #63

 

It’s Monday yet again and October is among us. The weather is cooling down and the holidays are approaching (yay!). I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self-discipline. It’s something that I think a lot of people could focus more on. We need to be able to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. We need to be our own biggest motivators.

Values such as loyalty and respect are of great importance to me. To the people I love, I will always be loyal. My friends, family, husband, they never have to worry that I wouldn’t stick by their side through difficult times. To all others I do my best to be respectful. Regardless of how much I dislike someone or how much I disagree with them, I will approach the situation with a level of respect because we are all human and none of us are perfect. These are just a couple of things that for me personally are very important.

We’re all just imperfect people trying to be strong in the world. Some do better than others, some give up entirely. It takes a little self-discipline to do just about anything that nourishes your life. Whether you’re going to school, trying to lose 10 pounds, keeping a marriage strong or just trying to keep it together without having a mental breakdown. You are the only one who can make the decision to not give up. Although things may happen to you that will break you down, it is up to you to build yourself back up again.

Whenever I feel like I’m losing grasp of a healthy lifestyle, I feel guilty. I’m not a health nut by any means. Even when I’m doing my best, I still enjoy a greasy burger and sweets from time to time. But the guilt that I feel is me holding myself accountable for my actions. Self-discipline is me actually doing something about it. No one can make me unhealthy except myself.

There’s a vast array of things that each of us can work on to be the best version of ourselves. Maybe you have a hard time controlling your anger, maybe you’re too quick to judge others. It’s possible that you feel like giving up on a long term goal or commitment. Maybe you’re sick of being unorganized or you have an addiction. Shoot, maybe you’re just an asshole and you want to change. Our parents did their part in disciplining us as children (some better than others) but now as adults, it’s our job to discipline ourselves.

None of us will ever be perfect but we can sure as hell try to be better. Do it for the people who love you but more importantly, do it for yourself. I know that everyone has something that they can work on and I hope that I’ve motivated you to be better.

Have a happy Monday!

 

Motivation Monday #62

I know it’s only September, but I’ve decided to get started on my new years resolutions early. One of the things I really want to do is get back on top of my blogging. I know that I don’t have a huge following, it’s mostly friends and family who read my posts. I love doing it though, and appreciate anyone who takes the time to see what I’m writing about. I started losing focus when we moved back to California, in North Carolina I had all the time in the world to come up with different ideas and subjects to write about. Ironically enough, I lost motivation and started mainly only posting these Motivation Monday blogs because it was easier. I just didn’t have the creative energy to think of new recipes or DIY projects.

Well, I have decided to challenge myself to do better. My first resolution is to come up with new writing topics. Because it may not be a new year yet, but it’s never too early to make improvements. Plus I’m sure I’ll have a whole new list of things that I can do better by the end of the year- there’s always something that can use a little improving. I know that if I set my mind to something and hold myself accountable- even if it’s not necessarily something that needs to be done- I will make sure that I do it.

My next goal is to post some dinner ideas on cooking for one. I’ve been struggling with cooking excessive amounts of food and eating out a lot more since I’m all alone now. I know I can’t be the only one who has a hard time with this, so I’ll try to come up with some good recipes to help others while helping myself. Any recommendations or things that you would like to read about- please feel free to send them my way 🙂

I hope you all have some resolutions that you can get started on too. Have a happy Monday and a productive week!

 

 

Motivation Monday #59

Is it Monday again already? Time seems to be flying for me lately. Maybe it’s because I’m so focused on baby stuff, I spent a whole day last week rearranging rooms and setting up baby girls nursery. It’s definitely making things feel more real and getting me very excited. My belly is finally starting to look like there actually may be a baby in there so I’m more comfortable wearing tight clothes again which is so nice because picking an outfit had been a major struggle for the last three months. But that’s enough pregnancy talk.

Today I’ll be focusing on getting a project finished for my online class, then I’ll have three finals to take and I’m done with my first semester! I’m really liking this online school thing, it can be pretty challenging at times because I do like to have an actual teacher giving me a lesson. I’ve had to learn to be very self-disciplined and I’ve been pretty successful at it so far. I like that I can take my tests before they’re due and I don’t have super strict deadlines because I can make it work with my schedule. Say I’m going out of town for the weekend and I have a test on Friday, I’ll usually take it on Monday to get it out of the way and not have to worry about it after that.

You may have things to get done today too, try practicing that self-discipline and finish your tasks right away so that you don’t have to worry about doing them later in the day or week. When it comes to school work I have definitely been known to procrastinate in the past, but the feeling of completing something and not having it linger on my mind is a great one!

Have a lovely week and start checking things off of your to-do list, I promise you’ll feel great once you do!

Motivation Monday #57

Good morning and happy Monday!

Monday’s are the beginning of each new week, we get to start something new or focus on getting closer to a goal that we have already begun.

Lately my Mondays are the beginning of each new week of pregnancy. Today marks the 18 week point. My friend pointed out that I’m almost halfway through and that is pretty crazy. My belly is definitely growing but at this point it just looks like I’ve given up on my health, basically it looks more like a beer belly than a baby belly. It’s so frustrating getting dressed and not fitting into my clothes the same way anymore. Everyone will try to comfort me and say “You’re not fat, you’re pregnant!” and to that I say, “I know! But right now I don’t look pregnant, I just look fat!”. So there’s that.

According to my pregnancy app, our baby is currently the size of a bell pepper, about 5 1/2 inches long and weights about 7 ounces. We get to find out whether we’re having  boy or a girl in a couple of weeks and that’s definitely something to look forward to.

Speaking of things to look forward to, I’ll get back to the point of this post and remind you that there is always something to look forward to. If you need a little extra motivation this Monday, just remember it’s not forever. You’ll get through today and the weekend will be back before you know it. You may have a birthday to look forward to or some other event that will get you out of the house and bring you closer to friends and family. Work hard today so that you can enjoy those days off even more.

Have a lovely week!