One of my greatest dislikes is stagnation. I absolutely hate when life falls into too much of a rut or routine. If I’m not constantly moving and changing and growing and working towards something new and looking forward to things to come, life just feels bland to me. And it makes me get all twitchy and I slowly start feeling down and depressed.
This is probably why I’ve never stuck with one thing for too long. My hobbies are constantly changing. I get bored with one thing and move on to the next. Yes, I sometimes wish this wasn’t the case so I could really excel in one area, but it is also what makes me who I am. If I don’t have something to look forward to on the horizon (a new endeavor, a trip, a new baby), I’m not the happiest Ariel I can be.
I was starting to feel that itch of boredom with life tickling the back of my throat a few weeks ago. I was falling into the rhythm and routine of my day-to-day existance with nothing much to look forward to or work on that really excited me. And then my husband who is obsessed with watching the local real estate market found a house in our dream neighborhood with a price that was too good to be true. Were we looking to move any time soon? No. Were we ready to sell our house? No. Were we in a financial position to buy a new home? Not necessarily.
But somehow one spontaneous and rather irresponsible decision brought a spark back into my life. On the same day that the “dream house” was listed for sale we went and looked at it. And then within a matter of hours we got a pre-approval letter for a new mortgage and put in a full price offer (on a house that we probably couldn’t even afford). That day I seriously almost died of a panic attack over all of it, but the adrenalin felt so good at the same time! Ha!
Needless to say, the next day we lost in bidding war to an offer that was like $30k OVER the list price! It was heartbreaking and such a HUGE relief at the same time.
So why am I writing about this when we aren’t moving and haven’t even bothered mentioning it to many of our family or friends? Because that one little (big?) irresponsible decision sparked a couple more spontaneous decisions that have brought a little light and excitement to my boring ole life. First of all, we immediately decided to fix up our kitchen in case we do decide to sell our house soon. Right now we’re installing new floors and will be getting new appliances and having our cabinets painted soon. It’s exciting! And then we booked a last minute trip to DISNEYLAND (!!!) at the end of this month and we’re going to surprise the kids and I’m SO EXCITED I CAN’T TAKE IT!!
Should we be saving money instead of fixing our kitchen and taking an expensive trip? Yes. Should we at least sit on ideas for more than a day (or a few hours) before signing up to spend a bazillion dollars? Absolutely. But ya know what? Sometimes it feels good to be a little bit irresponsible. And I’ve definitely decided I need to make space for a little more spontaneity in my life. Maybe just not the expensive kind next time. 😉
Here are some bits of life lately. Follow me on IG (@dreamstodo) if you want to keep up (since I can’t seem to find time to blog as much as I used to).
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.
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.
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.