Sunday, March 24, 2013

through the doorway

He waits all day for this moment.  The muffled sound of keys rattling at the front door sends him running to his bedroom, straight to the aptly named "battle basket", filled to the brim with Hulk hands, Thor hammers, swords and the like.  He chooses a "weapon" and darts  into our bedroom to hide under the covers.

The front door opens, Daddy is greeted by the sound of giggling floating down the stairs.  He smiles as he takes off his jacket & tie, then heads upstairs to find the source of the giggles.  You know he's found it when a shriek rings out followed by a small voice proclaiming "It's battle time!".  And so it begins.  They play, they wrestle, they reconnect.

This is their favorite time of day.

As I smile, watching through the doorway.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

practical advice for newbie mamas

With Sam's birthday just this past weekend & my lovely sister-in-law giving birth to her first child just a few days ago {Congrats Maryann & Nick!!!}, I've been thinking a lot lately about my initial transition into motherhood after bringing Sam home for the first time.  Of course, I expected all the wonder, awe & love that you hear about from every parenting magazine, website & mama on the street, but there were a few realities that I had wished I'd been a little more prepared for. So without further adieu, here is a short list of practical advice for newbie mamas regarding a few of the less commonly discussed and slightly less glamorous realities of new motherhood.


1)  You're going to be a hot mess for awhile {we're talking weeks here} and that's okay.  You'll consider a day that you shower by 5:00 pm to be an amazing success.   Leaving the house for a quick run to the grocery store becomes more reminiscent of packing for a month long European backpacking trek.  You will be late to everything for a while.  Just keep in mind, "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."  And when all else fails, go to your mama's.  Having an extra set of hands, someone to talk with who understands what your going through, and is willing to forgive your sleep deprived zombie-like ramblings has a miraculous way of making you feel human again.

2)  People are going to judge you.  From how you choose to handle the birth process to breast feeding, what type of baby food you feed your child to whether or not you sleep train your baby.  The list never ends, and everyone has an opinion.  Some are pushier or more judgmental than others, most have good intentions.  Don't let them get to you.  Most of the issues are not black & white, so feel confident making your own decisions regarding what's best for you and your baby, and if you have questions always feel free to contact a trusted health professional.

3)  Two words:  Stool softeners.  Be kind to your poor post delivery nether regions and buy some. *disclaimer: always check with your physician prior to initiating any new medications blah blah blah.

4) ALWAYS carry an extra outfit for baby and extra nursing pads for you where ever you go.  You never know when one {or both of you} will have a blow out.  Although chances are good it will be in the car on your way out to a nice dinner with friends when you're already 20 minutes late.

5)  You and your boobs are going to be cuh-razy for awhile.  You will feel a little emotionally crazy.  Elated one minute, crying the next.  It's okay.  It's called hormones and sleep deprivation.  It will get better.  If it doesn't, go see your doctor, and then it will get better.  But you won't be alone, your boobs will have jumped on the crazy train with you.  One morning you wake up with two half watermelons stuck on your chest.  It's uncomfortable.  Go feed your baby or pump or both.  Make sure to lay a couple of towels down on your side of the bed--this will save you from having to change your sheets every day.  Thankfully, this phase is relatively short lived, your boobs will figure out how to modulate their milk production soon.

6)  Take care of yourself.  Mama's have the tendency to put everyone else first and can put their own needs on the back burner.  Remember to make yourself a priority too and do NOT feel guilty about it. Just as in any relationship, a whole and happy person is better able to actively participate in a healthy relationship.  Same goes for motherhood.  You want to be be the best mama you can be, right?  So make sure to keep yourself whole and happy as an individual.  If this means hitting the gym or that yoga class a few days a week, do it.  If it means having a scheduled girls night once a week or taking that painting class at the local college that you've always wanted to do, do it.  Taking care of yourself will allow you to better take care of others.

7) Don't kill yourself trying to be perfect.  There is no faster way steal the joy right out of you than chasing perfection in motherhood, because just like unicorns and delicious fat-free popcorn, it doesn't exist.  So just buckle up and enjoy the ride, because motherhood has one steep learning curve that just never seems to end.  And it's fun, and scary, and amazing and often times gross, but mostly amazing if you'd just cut yourself a little slack.  You will never have it all figured out.  And that's okay.  So, just love on that kid like there's no tomorrow and you'll both be okay, imperfections and all.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

to my sweet boy

On Saturday you turned four. Four years since you came into our lives and turned our world upside down in the most amazing way.  With each passing year, my heart nearly bursts with joy just watching you grow, but at the same time, something that has surprised me since the day we brought you home, a twinge of sadness.  Sadness that each passing moment is just that, passing.  Over time, this sadness that manages to sneak it's way into the happiest of moments has slowly lessened because you see, as you've grown, I've grown too.  I've learned to accept these fleeting moments as they are, soaking them in for as long as they last, with the knowledge that more are to come.  Because you know what?  This is life, Sam.  Full of beautiful moments just waiting for their turn.

Happy birthday my sweet boy.  We love you more than words can say.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

a good wife

hat & jeans: aeropostale, sweater, scarf & belt: target, coat: JC Penney, shoes: Dolce Vita

Jon was seeing us off as Sam and I were heading out in the car the other day.  Sam was feeling a little blue about something or other, so as Jon was giving him a hug goodbye he started telling him about a surprise he had purchased Sam for his birthday.

"What is it?" asked Sam.
"It's a surprise!" said Jon.

Sam smiled and gave Jon a big hug.  Well, this hug must have squeezed Jon just a little too tight because a foul smell began to float into the car.  Sam quickly covered his nose, and with disappointment seeping from his voice, he said "I thought the surprise was going to be a preseennnt..."
Obviously, I started laughing hysterically.  Jon said, "No.  You will tell no one about this."

I am a good wife.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

oh yes, we fon-did

I know I am a little behind the times here as we are practically a third of the way through March already, but just humor me, please--I am still catching up from my time of no-time-for-fun-things-like-blogging.

Fon-did fondue that is.  Jon and I normally don't do much for Valentine's day, usually just some candy, maybe some flowers or a little present, sometimes nothing at all.  And this year, was no different.  I was working & Jon was at school.  I was just getting off of my 12 hour shift and as I walked by the hospital waiting area, who did a see, but my two best guys!  A Valentine's day surprise.  The smaller one greeted me with an enthusiastic "Happy Valentine's Day!!" as he shoved a Thor valentine at me with "Valentine, you are heroic" printed on the front.  The bigger one just smiled.  Anyway, long story short, they took me out to a Valentine's dinner.  Sam chose the venue: Costco food court.  Perfect setting for a tired, dirty, scrubs wearin' lady.

Little did Jon know that I already had a little surprise up my sleeve for later that weekend too.  Considering anything involving melted cheese is Jon's favorite food, I can't believe I hadn't thought of it before, but fondue was officially on the menu.  Unfortunately, due to my lack of planning ahead skills, Jon ended up coming to the grocery store with me to pick up the ingredients {why am I so awesome at life??}.  We came home, cracked a bottle of wine and prepared our delish fondue meal together.

But before you start getting all mushy thinking this was a romantic dinner, you should know that there was a third dinner party guest present under the age of four.  And he talked about what robots do and don't eat, tried to eat his blueberries directly from table to mouth, and told me that he hopes I turn into a daddy this year--I told him that I don't think our insurance covers that.

Here's the cheese fondue recipe we used {except I didn't add the butter}
and here's the chocolate fondue recipe.  I highly recommend both!