Dreams To Do

A Whole New World

It was practically overnight that my whole world changed when I gave birth to Roman 8 months ago. After working full time pretty much straight out of college – through a marriage, becoming a mom, buying a home, having a second child – living on an 8am to 5pm work schedule was my normal. While I didn’t always enjoy it, the early wake ups and getting kids ready and dropped off at daycare before getting to the office and putting in a full day’s work then frantically doing housework in the evenings was all I ever knew. The land of leisurely, long days and mid-day park playdates and daytime TV and too much time at home was all foreign to me. I always craved seeing what it would be like to be a stay-at-home mom, but I was terrified of the prospect at the same time.

My last day at my job of almost 8 years was a Thursday. I gave birth to Roman the following Monday. My husband had a few weeks off work where we lived in a dreamlike land full of family time and then I started on my new adventure. Eight months later and it still feels like I’m living in a bit of a foreign land. I never realized just how much being a working mom became my identity. Most of my friends also worked. I didn’t know about MOPS groups or co-op daycares or where all the best places to entertain toddlers in the middle of the day were. I didn’t know what it was like to actually have time to plan and prepare dinner. Or be caught up on laundry. Or what it was like to not wear high heels for weeks on end!

After 8 months, I feel like I’m the new kid at school who is finally starting to fit in. I’m making new SAHM friends in my neighborhood who are teaching me their ways. I’m slowly learning to manage my time instead of having someone manage it for me (but I still have a lot to figure out in terms of time management – hello long lost blog!). And I’m getting to know my children deeper than I ever did before.

I felt compelled to write this today because today may just be the first day that I really feel like I’m owning this SAHM thing. I’m happy here. I’m figuring it out and it’s growing on me. It’s a whole new world that’s slowly losing its “newness” and finally just becoming a part of who I am.

 

8 months.

Just over 8 months ago I was a wreck. I was a big ole ball of nerves – full of anxiety over becoming a momma to three and birthing a baby who may have some medical complications. Fast forward to today and I just can’t imagine existing before this little goofy butterball came into my life…

My baby. I already know that this one is always gonna be mommy’s baby. I have special connections with all of my children, but there’s definitely something different about being able to spend pretty much every waking hour of Roman’s life with him. I will always remember the way he lights up when he hears my voice or sees me enter the room. This kid has stolen my heart.

All about my Roman Micheal at 8 whopping months old…

  • Roman is still a rolling machine. No crawling yet, but that doesn’t stop him from getting where he wants to go. He rolls and rotates his body and rolls again until he gets where he needs to be.
  • If I need to cheer him up (which frankly is pretty much never since this kid smiles just about non-stop), a good pony ride on the knee does the trick like nothing else.
  • Finally LOVES food! We just had to ditch the purees and go straight for the good stuff. He’ll eat pretty much anything I’m eating as long as I chop it up really small. But he only eats very small amounts at each meal.
  • Unlike his big bro, Roman has no eczema and no constipation issues thus far. It’s so nice for a change to have such an easy-in-all-ways baby! (knock on wood)
  • Oh wait… Roman still isn’t a huge fan of nap time. He does nap, but he gives me his cranky scream cry as soon as we approach his crib. Oftentimes he just catches cat naps in his car seat or in the Ergo while I do housework or play on the computer.
  • Still sleeping through the night from about 6pm to 7am. I do still pick him up and feed him when I go to bed because I just can’t get enough of that special snuggly time with him.
  • Wearing 6-9 and 9-12 month clothes. I know he looks huge in these photos, but he’s pretty darn average according to the charts (a little on the tall side, though).
  • Currently his favorite toys are these three plush green peas and a wooden chicken drumstick from Melissa & Doug. Haha!
  • Roman is talking a lot these days: bla bla bla and lots of cooing mixed with plenty of high pitched squeals. He’s a noisy one!
  • OBSESSED with the bath. Like if I’m holding him and we enter the bathroom he will literally dive out of my arms towards the bathtub. If he even hears the bath filling up for his sis or bro, he will throw a fit until I put him in it, too.

As far as Roman’s medical situation, we’re just waiting until he’s one to get a final verdict on his kidney reflux. Otherwise, he’s a happy, healthy, hearty 8 month old. And he’s my little ray of sunshine each and every day.

Threenager

It’s a beautiful morning. The sun is streaming through the windows, the birds are chirping, and the kids are laughing over something as they eat their breakfast. As I run around getting stuff ready to take Leila to school, I glance at the clock. Oh good, we are running early today! So, I slow down, relax a bit, and around our normal time to head out the door, I round the troops to get jackets and shoes on. Leila happily obliges, tying her own shoes and everything. When I approach Landon with his socks and sneakers I get, “NO! I DON’T WANT TO!” 

In an instant, I know that my seemingly happy, easy-going day is about to go downhill. I regret taking some time to slow down and relax as I know we will now be frantically running late. Every persuasive technique, bribe, and threat fails to convince Landon to put on his shoes and socks to take his sister to school. So, I load his sister and baby bro into the car and proceed to chase Landon around the house, eventually throwing him, with bare feet and coatless (it was 30 degrees out), up over my shoulder kicking and screaming. Getting him buckled in his carseat is like tying down an angry bull. There are scratches and tears and sweat and lots of frustration. The car is filled with high-pitched screams as we make the 2 minute drive to school and the whole time I’m wondering, “Why me?”

Nothing makes me long for the days of dealing with the newborn sleepless nights and diaper blowouts and unexplainable fussiness more than dealing with a 3-year-old. All this talk of the terrible twos, but I tell ya…. three is no walk in the park. Landon is seriously like a sassy teenager trapped in a 3-year-old’s body. After he was born, I thought I’d have years and years before experiencing any rage or hatred against me. Unfortunately, at least once a day he pushes me away and yells, “Go away Mom!” Are you for real kid?

I finally got around to putting together his baby photo book the other day (yes, I’m lame). While sorting through photos of Landon as a baby, I had tears streaming down my face. What happened to my sweet, little, innocent, chubby baby? Where’s my little guy who couldn’t get enough of his momma? Parenting is tough in ways I never anticipated. Watching your children grow and develop their own personalities is amazing, and fascinating, and utterly terrifying.

But, ya know what? While there are days when I want to put up a Craigslist ad to find a new home for my threenager (no joke, the other day Leila asked, “Mom can we have Landon adopted?”), there are still far more days where I can’t get enough of him. And mixed in with all of the no-I-don’t-want-tos and mom-go-aways are still a whole lot of precious moments where he’s still my baby – moments where he curls up in my lap and looks up at me with those big blue eyes and smiles… and I know I’m his world. Even if he doesn’t always show it.

Choosing Love

They say the 7th year of marriage is the toughest. Something about a “7 year itch.” Early in my marriage I remember thinking, “Well, since Andy and I have been together since high school, 7 years of marriage is no big deal.” However, as we are half way through our 7th year, I see the reality of the situation. These past 7 years have brought us a lot of life change. New jobs, three kids, a mortgage, car payments, budgeting, meal planning, house keeping….We are constantly go, go, going – pushing off from each other to get everything done. Some days we don’t even kiss each other, let alone speak. It doesn’t seem like a big deal at all until I sit back and really reflect on where our relationship is.

Last Friday we had the rare pleasure of a date night out. We sat at a little romantic table across from each other for 2.5 hours without moving. No kids and lots of delicious food and good conversation. It seriously feels like it has been ages since we conversed. Sure, we chit chat at the end of each day and sometimes watch TV together and we enjoy tons of awesome time with our kids, but we hardly ever really talk. Midway through our 5-course meal, it struck me that I don’t even know if my husband is truly happy in our life. And so I asked him, “Are you happy? Like really happy with where you are in life, with where we are?”

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I’m going to make an effort to check in with him on that more often. We should never assume that our spouse is happy and all is well in their world. Marriage isn’t easy. Love isn’t easy. Sure, it’s easy to fall in love quickly, but sustaining it is work. Some days we really have to make a conscious decision to love our spouse. We have to choose love.

I’m not threatened by the 7 year itch. I’m not worried that my marriage is ever going to fall apart. But, I do see how it can happen. Luckily, when I strip away the stress, the daily responsibilities, the children, the distractions… I still see the guy I fell in love with. And I’d still choose him all over again. We are slightly different people in an entirely different situation than when we first met. However, underneath it all there is still that deep, unconditional love that drew us together.

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Craving a mushy-gushy love story?
Here’s ours that I shared a couple of years ago, in honor of Valentine’s Day:

Our Love Story: How We Met
Our Love Story: Falling In Love

Our Love Story: Perfect Proposal & Dream Wedding

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I hope you took advantage of Valentine’s Day as a chance to reconnect with your significant other. It may be a cheesy, commercial holiday, but it can be a powerful one if we let it. XOXO

Easy Coconut Almond Butter

… or Almond Coconut Butter. :)

Since I spend a lot more time at home these days, I’ve actually been enjoying playing around in the kitchen a bit. While I am still far from developing a passion for cooking, I do enjoy baking and whipping up simple snacks. A new favorite of mine is this super easy and delicious almond butter… with coconut! Yummo! I like to scoop it up with apples for a sweet and healthy snack, but you can also enjoy it on a sandwich or by the spoonful.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of raw almonds
  • 1 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbl of coconut oil
  • Dash of salt

HOW TO

  1. Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet (I lined mine with tin foil) and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Let them cool.
  2. Throw roasted almonds and all of the other ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until you reach your desired consistency (until it turns into “butter”). You will want to periodically use a spatula to scrape down the sides and push the mixture towards the blade.

Store this gooey deliciousness in a mason jar or any airtight container. I have no clue how long it’ll stay good on the shelf, but I’ve never had to worry about that because it’s gone in like 2 days. :) Word of warning: if you stick this in the fridge it will turn into a solid block – still edible, but not spreadable.

Mmmmmmm….. ENJOY! :)

 

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