Our New Normal

Now that’s I’m home full time with A (at least for the time being) my day is completely different than it was a year ago. Ironically, last year around this time, I published this post. My life has done a complete 180 since then.

My day is now, obviously, structured around A. The last time I was home with her like this was my maternity leave (one thing about that time that is similar to now, she still wants to be on top of me almost 24/7, except then she wanted to be held and now she just wants to be able to drape herself all over me). A typical day with just me and A, i.e. a day that John is flying, looks kind of like this:

My day still starts early. My alarm goes off at 6:30am, because if I don’t get out of bed early, I will have zero time to myself. This is my time to shower, eat breakfast, and drink my coffee in peace. I also use this time to figure out what the hell I need to get done. Do I have a deadline? Are we almost out of milk? How the hell am I going to keep my child entertained all day?!

Once A is up around 8am, we have some snuggles. This only lasts until she starts demanding breakfast, which doesn’t take too long. Once she is fed, if the weather is nice, we’ll go for a walk. If it’s a grocery shopping day, we’ll go do that. Once either of those things are done, A will color or play for a little while.

I’m trying to keep A on a schedule similar to the one she was on at daycare (I am assuming she will be back in daycare at some point in the hopefully near future), which means she eats lunch early, around 10:30am. And then she naps.

I really, really, REALLY need that nap because it’s really my only time to work. This is when I write. It’s also when I apply to jobs. I feel like I am trying to fit an eight hour work day into this two hour window.

After nap time, I try to take her outside if it’s not too hot. She likes to pick up rocks, twigs, leaves, flowers, and bring them to me, or “blow” bubbles. If I’m feeling really brave, I’ll take her to the splash park or the regular park.

Once we are both too hot to endure being outside, we come in for a snack. At this point I have to admit I usually put a movie on for her, because I just need a few minutes to sit. She loves the Tinker Bell movies and Frozen, so I know if I put one of those on, I can buy myself 20-30 minutes of quiet.

We’ll spend the rest of the afternoon playing and reading until it’s dinnertime. Once dinnertime rolls around I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, because once dinner time is over, it’s bath time, and once bath time is over, it’s practically bed time. A is in bed between 7:00 and 7:30pm. (We had to put up blackout curtains in her room since it is still broad daylight at 7:00, and she was refusing to go down until it got dark. Which doesn’t happen until after 10pm now.)

Once she is in bed, I pick up the house. Then I make myself a cocktail, and if I’m feeling up to it, I’ll write some more. If I’m not, I veg out watching Netflix. My head hits the pillow around 10:30.

The days John is gone are extremely long. Last week he was gone for four days, and towards the end I was about to lose it. I now realize how much I took getting a break for granted before.I especially realize how much I miss having a support system to rely on. It was nice having so much family around when we lived in Louisiana.I could always find someone willing to take A for a little while so I could get things done or just have some time to relax.

I try not to dwell on hard it is, or how stressed out I am, or how lonely it is being all by myself with her, but sometimes it’s hard not to. Dwelling on it doesn’t help, but sometimes I just can’t help it. I’m trying to remember that this, like all things in life, is temporary. This too shall pass, and all that jazz. In the mean time, I know A is very thankful to have me all to herself for a while, so I’m going to try to focus on that.

Ch-ch-changes (and Happy Father’s Day!)

You may have noticed I made a few changes to the blog yesterday. Nothing big, just a new background color and header, but still felt the need to acknowledge them. I know posts have been few and far between lately, but I will be back to my normal posting soon. I promise. We’ve had a lot of change over here in the past couple months, with A LOT happening in the past couple weeks, and it’s taken me a little while to get used to it all.

Honestly, I would probably just write about it all today, but it’s Sunday, and I’d rather bake a special dessert for my husband instead. John is flying back from Mexico today, and I have a few sweet surprises for him.

Speaking of, Happy Father’s Day to all the awesome dads out there! I hope each and every one of you have a great day, and maybe get a new necktie or some handmade pottery and/or other craft.

We will back to our regularly scheduled parenting stuff tomorrow.

Unexpected challenges

When John took this job, we both knew he would be traveling a lot. It’s the cost of being married to a pilot. When being out of town is your husband’s profession, you have to expect to be on your own a good bit of the time. I knew this going into it. I try not to complain about it too much. Plus, if he’s grounded for too long, he gets SUPER cranky.

The past couple weeks John has been flying a ton due to the company being short staffed. He has only been home a day at a time, and his schedule is extremely erratic. He is living his dream, and working on building a future for us. I understand it is for the best.

But there is someone in our house who does not understand this and is not very happy with it. The past couple weeks, A has been moody, aloof, and difficult. She has been crankier with me lately, which I attributed to her changing nap needs and probably teething. She has been more difficult at daycare, which is really atypical because she is usually an angel for her teachers (she loves them). It wasn’t until I noticed her acting particularly, well, rude, to John the other morning that I put two and two together.

John got home from a trip late the other night, after A had gone to bed. When I got her up the next morning and brought her out to see him, she pretty much totally rebuffed him. She didn’t want to be held by him. She didn’t want to give him kisses or to get them from him, either. She didn’t want to play with him.

“I think she’s angry with you for being gone.” I told him.

He looked so heart broken in that moment, it made me want to cry.

I tell her when daddy will be home, but I know she doesn’t understand. She understands he is gone, and then he’s back, and then he’s gone again. She can’t comprehend “Daddy will be back on Tuesday,” or “Daddy will be back in two days,” because she doesn’t know what those things are. She doesn’t have any concept of time past what is happening RIGHT NOW. She certainly doesn’t comprehend why her daddy has to go away so much, even though I tell her why every day. I tell her daddy loves her, and because he loves her so much, he is working as hard as he can to make sure she has everything she needs and wants in life. I tell her that, but I think I tell her more for me than I do for her.

I know eventually she will understand. Eventually she’ll be able to comprehend time, and we’ll be able to have fun counting down to when Daddy is home (especially since I’m sure Daddy will bring her cool surprises from all of his destinations). There really isn’t a cure for this “problem” except to wait it out. Some things just don’t have easy solutions.

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I love this time of year. It is hands down my absolute favorite time of year. I love everything about December. I love Christmas cookies. I love Christmas musics. I love holiday specials on TV. I love cooking for people and entertaining. I love fires in the fireplace. I love candy canes and peppermint anything. I love stockings, Santas, and reindeer. I even love the cold and snow (as long as it isn’t too much). I love getting Christmas cards. I love it all. All of it makes me feel warm and cozy and happy.

I do not like how busy it always is, though. I wrote about it last year, and my feelings towards how rushed the holidays feel, especially now as an adult, haven’t changed. This year is really bad since Thanksgiving was later and therefore the Christmas season is shorter. I’ve learned my lesson since years past and got started earlier this year. I finished getting all of A’s presence by Thanksgiving (I picked up her last stocking stuffer today). I ordered all our nephews’ and niece’s presents on Amazon and just had them shipped directly to their houses (last one done today). I have our Christmas cards addressed and ready to be mailed tomorrow. Our tree has been up since Thanksgiving day, and I decorated the outside of the house the first weekend of December. Really, the only thing that’s left is finishing up Christmas shopping for John. And enjoying the holiday, of course.

You could say I’m doing better at time management. Maybe I’m just getting wiser in my old(er) age (speaking of which my birthday is Wednesday! I love birthdays). I think a good part of it is there is little expectation this year. We are celebrating Christmas here, at our house (my parents are driving up to share it with us), so the chaos of Christmas Eve and Christmas won’t be there. We don’t have any place to be, and as sad as I am to not be home in Louisiana for Christmas, it is kind of nice to not have anywhere to be.

Unrelated but totally adorable: We got our first real snowfall a couple days ago. Here is a video of A reacting to snow.

Awesome soundtrack in the background courtesy of John.

Gratefulness

Happy Thanksgiving! You know, I don’t do the 30 days of Thanks thing on Facebook, because I don’t really care to post that much on Facebook, but I did want to take a moment today to count my numerous blessings.

I am thankful for our families. They have been extraordinarily supportive of us every step of the way, especially during our move this year. I am grateful for their endless love and guidance. I am especially thankful for A’s grandparents. John and I are extremely lucky our little girl has such loving grandparents, and we’re very lucky to have the amazing parents we have. It warms my heart to think how much our little girl is loved by everyone around her.

I am thankful for my husband, who puts up with me no matter how whiny and annoying I can get, which is pretty whiny and annoying. I am grateful for his patience, his love, and his positive spirit. I am especially thankful I married the only man who is able to make me laugh and smile even when I’m my maddest, even if that trait annoys me from time to time.

I am thankful for our friends, both old and new. We’re lucky to be surrounded my such great people, both close and far in proximity. I’m grateful for all of the new friends A is making, too.

I am thankful for all the career opportunities we have now and will have in the future. I’m extremely grateful we both have stable jobs in an unstable career climate.

I am thankful for the house we call home. I am especially thankful for the working heater this Thanksgiving, since it is freaking cold here (the coldest Thanksgiving in almost a decade in Indy, apparently).

I am thankful for our new city and our new state. It was no secret that I was not super excited about moving to Indiana. It’s not a state I ever saw myself living in, but Indiana and Hoosiers have been some of the nicest and most welcoming people I’ve ever met. We’re finally really settling in here, and it’s really starting to feel like home. Dare I say it, I am grateful to live here. It’s a beautiful state, a beautiful city, with some beautiful people.

I am thankful for the food in my fridge and pantry. I’m grateful I’m able to feed my family this Thanksgiving, our first Thanksgiving on our own, just the three of us. We’re going to have a modest little meal (the classic Thanksgiving meal, but scaled down, and with a few substitutions), but I’m thankful for my cooking ability to prepare it.

I am thankful for you! I started this blog as a way to document my journey through pregnancy and parenthood, and while I hoped people would read it and laugh or smile or commiserate, I never expected it. I am so incredibly grateful for every like, every comment, every view. Y’all are the best. I love each and every single one of you.

Mostly though, I am thankful for this little girl, who lights my world up with love every single day. photo (73)

Stuff that happened in October

Holy cow, where did October go? Does anyone else feel like you just blinked and it was gone? It was one of those months where it seemed we had nothing and everything going on at the same time.

In all honesty, October is not my favorite month of the year, and I’m not entirely sad to see it go. Seasonly speaking, it’s a pretty drab month. The time hasn’t changed yet so it seems like it’s dark all the time. It got really cold here, rained a lot, even got some snow. Also, I am not the world’s biggest fan of Halloween. I know, I know, that’s almost sacrilegious in our society, but I just don’t care for creepy, gory, scary things.

At any rate, I always welcome November with open arms. I love Thanksgiving and pilgrim hats and turkey and pie. I also love that Christmas and my birthday are right around the corner in December. But this year a lot of good things happened in October, and before I got into “holiday” mode, I wanted to pay some homage to that.

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We went to a pumpkin patch, and spent some time in a corn maze. A loved the petting zoo and romping around holding Daddy’s hands.

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We went to Chicago. It was A’s and my first time to the Windy City, and we had a blast. We were only there for 36 hours, but we went to Millennium Park, Navy Pier, and the Shedd Aquarium. We did PLENTY of walking so we got to see a good bit of the city. Most importantly, we had Chicago deep dish pizza, which I might have formed an emotional attachment to (sadly, I was too busy falling love with my pizza–and drinking wine–to document the beginning of this relationship).

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Lastly, we celebrated A’s second Halloween. I made her mermaid costume, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I’m not the most crafty mama on the block, but it was definitely cheaper. I think I spent a total of $15 on the whole ensemble. We had some bad weather roll through Halloween night, so Trick or Treating was postponed until last night. We went out with one of my friends and her almost-10 month old, and I had a blast. She had no idea what was going on, but she really like the attention. And getting candy, even if she doesn’t get to eat it.

(We also took some great selfies. A LOVES selfies.)

halloween

All things considered, this October was a pretty great month. We made some good memories and had a lot of fun. I don’t think you can ask for much more than that, no?

But I’m still excited it’s November! Bring on the turkey.

Things that happened since the last time I blogged

Well, hello there…long time no blog! I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth after all, or so it seems. It’s been a crazy, busy (and honestly kind of miserable) couple of weeks. Allow me to catch you up.

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  • We all got sick. All three of us caught awful colds/coughs (and we all still have them, actually). We are living in a miserable, sick household.
  • A got her first ear infection. Actually, she got two, one in both ears. She is, as you could probably guess, pretty unimpressed with it.
  • But she did take her first steps! She took three steps unassisted last week. I’d love to say she is walking all over the place now, but she still would rather crawl. I’m not worried about it, I know she’ll get there when she gets there. She does go like crazy behind her motorcycle, though.
  • And she said mama for the first time! She’s been saying “dada” for a while now, but she (finally) said mama! Granted, she will only say it when she is upset and in tears, but still, it feels good to hear it.
  • We had our first “snow”. We woke up this morning to a fine dusting of snow (or as John put it, “weird northern voodoo”). It was gone pretty quickly, but snowing in October? Doesn’t bode well. Needless to say, it’s gotten really cold here.
  • A had her one year well baby visit. She is 20 lbs 11 oz and 29 inches long, and obviously she is doing great and thriving. I’m thankful to have found another fantastic pediatrician I feel super comfortable with.
  • We went to a pumpkin patch. A enjoyed romping around the farm holding her daddy’s hands, and she especially enjoyed looking at the animals in the petting zoo. I know she’ll enjoy it even more next year, there was a lot for older toddlers and kids to do she was too little to partake in.

I think that just about catches us up. We’re going to Chicago this weekend, so that’ll give me some material to share, for sure. I am so excited I can hardly stand it. I’m really looking forward to a fun family weekend in a place I’ve never been. I’ll do a big picture post whenever we get back.

I am making it my goal to be more diligent about blogging from here forward (scout’s honor!). It’s been a difficult couple of weeks, but I think we’re on the up and up.