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.

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!

Third and Final Trimester

I have finally made it to the 8th month of pregnancy which means we get to meet baby Logan next month! It has been quite a journey to say the least. I remember feeling like it was never going to come to and end during the first trimester, like the finish line was just way too far to see. Now I’m a little more than 6 weeks from my due date and although that’s still a good little chunk of time, it’s nothing compared to the past 7.5 months.

The third trimester comes with lot’s of new feelings, including an occasional kick to the ribs. If you’ve read my previous pregnancy-related posts, you know that it took me a long time to actually feel pregnant. Well, after about 25 weeks, my belly grew a lot each following week and baby’s movements grew much stronger. It’s pretty fascinating to watch her little body jerk my belly around and even though I’m more used to it now, it still freaks me out.

I’m starting to mentally prepare myself for labor and delivery and trying to get things ready to go. I have to pack a hospital bag, install a carseat and learn as much as I can about giving birth so that I am prepared when the time comes. I’ve learned a lot already and heard tons of wonderful birthing stories from other moms. It’s definitely scary but it helps to hear about other peoples experiences, because no matter how different their stories are they all have the same ending. They all end with a baby in their arms. Labor and pregnancy in general are different for everyone and even change depending on the child. Each of us has our own path to take but in the end, we reach the same destination- motherhood.

I will have spent 9 out of 12 months this year focusing on bringing new life into the world and now I’m only six sweet weeks away from indulging in some delicious raw fish. Seriously though, not being able to eat sushi has been so difficult but I’m pretty proud of myself for being able to change my lifestyle somewhat drastically so that my baby is healthy. It’s obviously a small price to pay but considering that this pregnancy was somewhat surprising, I never really got the chance to mentally prepare myself for the changes I had to make.

I can’t believe that I’m going to be a mom next month… it’s all very surreal. My life is about to change even more drastically and I know it will be really difficult at times. But from what I hear, it’s totally worth it. Wish me luck 🙂

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!

 

Preparing for Parenthood

It’s pretty unbelievable to think that our daughter will be here in only 10 more weeks. The past 7 months have been filled with so many different emotions. It’s kind of overwhelming knowing that I’m bringing another human into the world. I’ll be responsible for keeping her safe and teaching her how to be a good person, but she will be her own personality. Yes, it is my responsibility to bring her into the world- but who she becomes as a person is embedded within her at birth. She will have a personality and sense of humor all her own. She will show interests in certain things and choose other humans to make relationships with. I can guide her along the way and do my best to instill good morals and behaviors into her life but ultimately, she will be who God created her to be.

Being a parent is a big responsibility, it can even be thought of as sort of a job. My job is to love, encourage and believe in my daughter. To be an example of kindness and strength to her and to always be patient when she is learning new things or expressing difficult behavior. I feel the way a lot of people probably feel when they graduate college and start a new career. Going from a life of freedom and fun into a life of bills and 5 day work weeks. I know it’s not exactly the same, but it’s a big life change. It’s no longer just about me, and this is a very permanent situation. It’s something that takes some mental preparation and acceptance. Accepting the fact that my life is going to change drastically once this baby is born has been a bit of a struggle for me. I’ve been babysitting since I was 15 and I know how hard it can be to take care of children. It takes a lot of patience and attention. I worry that I might not do a good job, that I may lose my patience or not give my child enough attention. Realistically, I know this is bound to happen from time to time. I just have to try my best, and that’s all I can do.

I’m terrified that the little baby who’s been growing so comfortably in my belly will soon be ripping my body open to get out. I don’t think about it very often, and I say I’m terrified.. but I’m actually a lot more calm about it than I would have thought I’d be before I got pregnant. Ever since I was a little kid the thought of having to go through that kind of pain really freaked me out. I would cringe at the thought of having to push a little human out of my body. And even as I got older I would joke about just getting a surrogate because the thought of childbirth was scary to me. Yes, it’s still a scary thing but the pain won’t last forever and at this point, I kind of have to do it…. so there’s no point in freaking myself out about it. I like to think that everything will go smoothly and I’ll get to brag about how it was no big deal…. positive thoughts right? I also think that things are more likely to go smoothly if I believe that they will, the mind can play some horrible tricks and I don’t want to spiral down a hill of negative thoughts. All I know is that I’m a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. All women for that matter, are stronger than anyone gives them credit for.

It’s also scary to think that bad things can happen to my little human. She can get hurt or sick or have her heart broken and I may not be able to do anything to help her or relieve her of that pain. My dog gets an eye infection and I’m freaking out trying to figure out what I can do to make her better, I can imagine this worry will only multiply by 10 when it comes to my child. I need to remember that I don’t have control over every situation in life and to trust God. I don’t want to be an overbearing parent who won’t let my kid make her own mistakes. I have to let her fall off a bike so that she can learn how to stay on it. I can do everything in my power to keep her safe and healthy but I know that I don’t have complete control over everything that will happen in life. This is where the positive mindset theory comes back into play. I just have to hope and pray for the best and take things as they come.

I’m unsure how to feel about having my own little baby to take care of. I know I can do it and that I’ll work hard to be really good at it. But I still can’t quite grasp the fact that I’m actually going to be a mom. I think once I see her little face and start to bond with her, then I’ll feel that connection. I keep wondering what she’s going to look like and what her little smile will be like. It took me so long to actually feel connected to this pregnancy, but now that I can feel her moving, it has definitely helped make things more real. It honestly freaks me out. People talk about what an amazing feeling it is… and they’re not wrong, but it’s also so so strange. Being able to look down at my stomach and see her shifting around, wondering whether it’s an arm, a leg or her head that’s making my belly poke out on one side, is the most surreal thing. I don’t always feel pregnant, but when I see or feel her moving, I remember that theres a person growing inside me and it trips me out. This has been my body for my whole life, I’m familiar with most weird feelings I get and how my body looks. But this is a whole new thing that my body has never done before, so unfamiliar and almost unbelievable. These feelings are so foreign and so is the shape of my body.

I’m excited but it’s a different kind of excitement, for it comes with so many fears and other feelings. It’s the kind of excitement one might feel when they get a promotion at work. There are reasons to be happy about it, but the hours are longer and the work is harder. I’m excited to meet our little girl and to watch her grow and find out what kind of parents Blake and I will be. I can’t wait to teach her things and raise her to be a strong, fun, and kind person. I have always wanted to be a mom and I kind of feel like it was one of the things I was born to do. I’ve never really had a passion for anything when it comes to school and “what I want to be when I grow up”. Some people have a passion for a certain career even at a young age. I remember being asked in first grade what I wanted to be when I grew up, I went with teacher… probably because it was a teacher who was asking so that was the first profession that popped into my head. I love a lot of things and it’s hard for me to commit to doing one thing for the rest of my life. I don’t feel that way about becoming a mom though, I feel like it will come naturally to me. Of course it will still be difficult at times but I will treat it as a job and work every day to be the best mom I can be for my child.

I feel very fortunate to have a husband who supports me emotionally and financially so that I can take my time to figure out my own career. Also now, so that I can be home with our daughter to raise her. I know a lot of people don’t always have that option and I’m aware of how lucky I am. Honestly, my life would be so different if it weren’t for Blake. I don’t know if it would be good or bad. All I know is that I love the life we have created together and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m sincerely the happiest I’ve ever been in my life and I know that bringing a child into the mix can sometimes make things difficult. However, I like to think that we’ll make a great parenting team and come to agreements on how to raise our children without it becoming a stressor on our relationship.

Parenthood is rapidly approaching and I feel so many different things. But most of all I feel like I’m ready to take on the challenge and excited to meet the little person who is made up of me and the person I love.

 

 

 

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 #56 

If I’m being honest, I’m having a hard time getting up off the couch this morning. I tried to plan my day out yesterday in order to prevent this from happening but here I am again…ready to go back to sleep.

But I really do want to be productive today! I especially want to workout because this whole pregnancy thing is causing me to eat very poorly. So what can I say to motivate myself to get up off the couch, get dressed, and go to the gym?

Well, yesterday I was feeling very… not myself. It seems as though pregnancy will do that to a person. I am so forgetful and I feel like there are 20 things I need to remember to do but I have no idea what they are, it’s a very unnerving feeling. So last night, I took a bath and read a book. It was a great way to come back to the moment and be present in it. I was able to take my mind off of all other things and think about what I need to do right now. So after my bath I did something else that I love to do, I made a list!

With a clear mind I was able to jot down about 10 things that I need to do today, some of which I have been meaning to do for a while. I felt great after I got it all down on paper and I went to bed feeling like I would definitely conquer this Monday. But apparently it’s easy to lose focus because here I am on the couch again, refusing to move. Luckily, I have the whole day ahead of me and I have just crossed on thing off my list- this post!

So if you’re struggling to get going this Monday, try to take a moment to think about what is most important to you today. Think about how accomplished you will feel once you take care of whatever it is that’s has been lingering on your to-do list. Do what you need to do and clear your mind of that clutter. I hope everyone has a lovely Monday and a fantastic week 🙂