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.

 

How low can you go

It’s funny how sometimes all it takes is one little thing for you to totally lose it.

Last week was a really bad week. I was sick for most of it, my manager went out of town leaving me to run the office for half of it, on top of which work was just insanely crazy, and I knew this week wasn’t going to be much different. I got yelled at a lot by clients. As a result, I was pretty run down this past weekend.

I put A to bed last night, like always, and she went down relatively easily, like always. About 20 minutes after going down, I heard her start screaming. Terrified she had managed to hurt herself, I rushed into her room to find her sitting up in her crib, something she had previously been unable to do. I picked her up, and she immediately quieted down and went into playtime mode. She had napped heavily late that afternoon, so I figured she just wasn’t ready for bed yet. I let her play for a little while, then tried to put her back to bed.

It didn’t take long to figure out it was not going to happen. She screamed every time I put her down and immediately sat up. I was getting flustered. I couldn’t just leave her to cry like I usually did, because I was afraid she would catapult herself out of the crib. I needed to lower the mattress.

How difficult could it be?

Apparently, pretty freaking difficult. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I needed to do. Under normal circumstances, it probably wouldn’t have been Such. A. Big. Thing. But exhausted, still feeling sick, and with a crying baby, I just lost it.

I mean, completely lost it. Like sobbing hysterically on the floor of my child’s room. A was crying, I was crying. We were both big fat messes. I gave up and decided A would just have to sleep with me. This meant I had to listen to her cry while I quickly took a shower and got ready for bed myself. By the time I had her settled down and falling asleep, my head was pounding from all the sobbing. Hers and mine.

It was the first time since John left that I let myself break down. It was the first time I really allowed myself to wallow in self pity about how hard it’s been since he moved. I know there are plenty of single moms out there who do what I am doing every day all day with no foreseeable end in sight, but I am tired of it. I’m ready to have my family together again. I’m ready to have my husband back again.

I’m ready for some freaking help with lowering the crib mattress, among other things.

For what it’s worth, I did figure it out this evening. After a little help from my good friend Google, I lowered the mattress by myself. And while it was empowering, knowing I can do this all by myself, I’d still rather do it with John.

Lights will guide you home

Today was a very bittersweet day. This morning I said goodbye to my husband, and I watched him drive off to start the next chapter of our life. Without me, and without our baby.

John will be in Indy for four and a half months by himself. Long distance isn’t new to us. We were apart for a year while I was in grad school in Boston. This isn’t the first time or the longest time we’ve done this, but it is the first time we’ve done this with a baby, making it significantly more difficult for both of us, for different reasons.

John will not only miss me, he’ll miss A tremendously. He’ll won’t be here for her milestones, both big and small. He won’t be here for all the little day to day moments either, like belly laughs and bath time. I’ll not only be missing John, but I’ll also miss having a partner to help me with all the other little things, like laundry and meltdowns.

I’m also left with the challenge of packing and moving our entire existence almost 1,000 miles. No big deal.

In a small way, it will be like being a single parent for a few months. Luckily, I have a great support system of family, friends and co workers to help me through it. The hard part won’t be finding help, but rather me not being too stubborn or scared to ask for it.

I miss my husband. I know this is what’s best for our family, but I’m still sad to be without him.

And I’m scared to do this parenting thing on my own.

Up up and away

A and I are going on an adventure!

My youngest cousin is graduating high school in June in Massachusetts. I was born there, my dad is from there, and our family is up there. I figured it was a perfect excuse to take a little vacation.

I’m so excited for her to meet my family, especially my Noni, her Nonna (that is my grandmother, her great-grandmother if you didn’t follow). And even though she won’t remember any of it, I’m still looking forward to showing her where her mama came from.

A and I will be flying the friendly skies with my parents since John isn’t able to go. Even though we won’t be alone, I’m still a little uneasy. I may be married to a pilot but I’m definitely a nervous flyer. Having John there always calms me down, but this time I’m going to have to put on my big girl panties and deal.

I’m a planner by nature, so even though our trip is over two months away, I’m already preparing since this will be my first time flying with a baby. I’ve pinned a ton of great articles on Pinterest, so I have a good start, but I’m definitely open to any and all suggestions.

What are your baby travel must haves? What should I leave behind? What’s the best advice you’ve got for flying with a baby? I’m all ears!

My biggest fear realized

I had plans to write about Baby A’s nursery, now that I’ve finally found inspiration for it, but today I’m going to write about something a little off topic.

As I’ve said before, my husband is a pilot. As a contract/corporate pilot, he flies a lot of planes, one of which being a Cessna 210, a small single-engine. This morning, that airplane crashed.

Before I go further, HE IS OKAY. The only passenger on the plane with him is ALSO OKAY. I stress this because as soon as I got the text from him saying “I crashed the plane, but I am okay,” I immediately began freaking out. From what I understand, there was an issue with the landing gear, and he had to declare an emergency. As only half his landing gear was functioning properly, he “veered” off the runway.

This is something I think about every time he goes up, and I usually don’t breathe easy until he lets me know he’s landed safely. It’s not that I don’t trust his flying capabilities, I know what a great pilot he is, it’s just that anything can happen, to anyone, at anytime, and today really proved that point. I’m pretty sure his next few flights are going to be twice as nerve wracking (for me, and maybe a little for him, too).

As far as crashes go, his was pretty tame, and it could have been so much worse, but as a pilot wife, hearing “The plane crashed” is my biggest fear. Today, I am just thankful it was my husband sending the text. I’m also thankful he is as good and well trained as he is. He did everything he needed to do get his passenger and himself down safely.

(And apparently today was a slow news day in Midland, TX. Look, honey, you’re pseudo famous now!)