Running On Empty

Saturday, November 12, 2016



You know when you're driving your car and the gas light comes on-- and every mile more that you drive you feel like you can make it just a little farther, just a little bit longer... so you push it to the limit-- but you've gotta give up or you'll be stranded on the side of the road? 
That was me this past week. Except not with my car. With myself.
I finally reached my limit. The interrupted sleep (waking up literally every 2-3 hours for either the baby or Lucca), balancing work during the day and keeping everyone entertained and happy, putting dinner on the table, trying to maintain my sanity. My tank just ran out.

Let me explain at what point I finally reached my limit...
This past weekend I drove down to help my mom with my sister's kids (while she was on her own mommy-mental-vacay). On the way back, 15 minutes into our car ride on I-95, Lucca exclaimed that he had to go potty. It was so urgent, and of course (which now I feel bad for) my first initial response was, "What!? We just left the house. And you already went potty!"
But he was right. Because what I saw from my rear-view mirror was barf. And a lot of it. Just spewing out of his mouth like a fountain. 
OH. MY. GOD. 
I got off at the closest exit, pulled over into a hotel parking lot, and was terrified to see my son with vomit covering the back of my seat, the front of his clothes, lodged into the buckles and straps and dripping down his car seat. 
I literally just stood there and didn't know what to handle first. I carefully unbuckled him and lifted him out of his seat and onto the ground. I started stripping his clothes off, shaking off the puke onto the ground. "DONT GET IT ON MY FACE!" I tried so hard to roll up his shirt before pulling it over him, but alas, it smeared across his forehead. My poor child was standing in a parking lot in 50 degree weather in his Mickey Mouse undies like a mannequin while I tried to wipe him down with baby wipes.
But then panic began to set in, because as I was pulling out more and more wipes to clean him off, I realized I only had about 20 left in the pack and I still had to somehow manage to clean off his seat. I dressed him again in clothes from his overnight bag and put him in the front seat while I tackled the next step in this debacle. I then had to literally ration out wipes to make sure every piece of vomit was cleaned up. 
This was my worst nightmare...
...That is until Leo, who has now realized that the car is no longer moving, decides to start screaming and crying at the top of his lungs. 
But yes, my friends. It gets worse. While sitting in the front seat, Lucca shouts out again that he has to go potty. But instead of having to puke, he was holding his rear end for dear life. I ran to the back of my car and pulled out our portable potty seat. I threw it underneath him and I can not even begin to tell you the sounds that came from his little body. 
Yep, now this is my worst nightmare.
For the next 15 minutes or so, I encouraged Lucca to "stay put and make sure it's all out" before I even attempted to get back on the road. For the most part, everything was cleaned up, and once he was finished I put him back in the carseat. I drove over to the closest gas station and dropped off a big ol' bag of puke and diarrhea and thought to myself "I'm so sorry for the person who must clean this trash can" and then, "This would never happen to Greg".
The rest of the drive home was quiet without anymore surprises. The boys both fell back asleep, but my car smelled like death and I've never wanted to be home so bad in my life. When we pulled into the driveway, they woke back up and I just wished I had a pause button at that very moment. I just needed a friggin' minute to get my shit together before I pushed on through for the rest of the afternoon.
The remainder of the week we dealt with on again off again tummy troubles, the usual sleepless nights, Lucca coming back into our bed at 4 am (stupid daylight savings time), and by Wednesday I was D-O-N-E. My body ached. My mind was mush. I was mentally and physically exhausted. I had to cancel a girls night--one that we'd been trying to get on the calendar for weeks, but I just couldn't do it. That night I literally blacked out on the couch at 8 p.m. and woke up the next morning not even knowing when I went to bed.
My husband could see I was drowning, and he stepped in to wake up with the boys the rest of the week. I called my mom for help, like I always do, and slowly but surely I'm returning to my normal self. The greatest gift G could ever give me was a one-night stay in a hotel room, from where I am blogging now. 
Peaceful. Quiet. Perfect
I needed this so, so much. I needed to stretch out in bed, get a full night's sleep without any cries or any feet kicked in my face. I needed to watch my own TV shows, eat my own dinner. I needed the silence. I needed to be alone.
Slowly, my tank is filling back up and I think I'll be ready to conquer another week. Because wow. Last week was a doozy. I think I've hit my quota for this month of "Crazy-shit-you-can't-make-up-because-this-is-motherhood". It can't get worse than that, right?
Tomorrow is another day...


Sunday Night Ramblings

Monday, October 31, 2016

This time last year I had just found out I was pregnant--I was trying to keep a secret from friends and family that we would be expecting another babe. (Which was really difficult because I had already planned a night out for my birthday then had to dodge drinks all night). Man, how quickly time flies.. and how quickly life can change. Things are a lot different now, to say the least.

Now we have a three-year-old, a 4 month old, and bigger bags under our eyes (if that were even possible.) but the love has grown so much since Leo came into this world. It's so hard to imagine what life was actually like before we had a roly-poly baby as part of our family. And wow, why did we EVER think that having a baby was so hard?

I mean, I get it. As a first time mama I was right there in the depths of Crazytown, feeling completely overwhelmed and thinking this was the most difficult thing I've ever experienced and how the HELL were we going to make it...because until that point in our lives it WAS the most difficult thing. But fast forward a couple years, throw in a preschooler with lots of opinions and non-stop energy and you tend to forget the baby phase. And hey, 3 years later and we still aren't sleeping so we've got that part down.
Life with two has been fast-paced, often times chaotic, but somehow it works. Honestly I don't know how, but somehow we make it through each day alive with mostly everybody happy (there's always tears at some point) and we wake up the next day and do it all over again. As a mama, I have great days where I feel like I'm completely balanced, winning at life, winning at mommy-hood, and then there are days where I just want to crawl into bed and sleep for 10 hours straight. 
I still struggle with the work-at-home stress and guilt from not giving my kids the attention they deserve. I cringe everytime Lucca asks to cuddle on the couch or play a game with him and I have to tell him for the millionth time "Mommy has to work".  I hate hearing my own words. Or when I transfer Leo from the floor to the bouncy seat to the swing, anything to keep him occupied--when all I want to do is just hold him and make him giggle. 



But it is what it is. I realize our situation is a lucky one--but that doesn't mean it's not hard. It was difficult with one, and now having two that both want me and need me 24/7 has presented even more challenges. I wrote a post before that I never feel like I can give 100% to anything.. my time and my attention is split in so many ways, and when I feel that I put more into one area, the other suffers. I don't know how to make a perfect balance to where I feel like I'm a great mom, wife and doing a good job at work. And on top of that, making time for myself. Because honestly, if you're feeling crappy, how are you supposed to make everyone else happy? 
Seriously people, how do you do it? Or do you just go through life knowing that one will always get the shit-end-the-stick? Because if that's the case, then that really sucks. There's got to be some way to do it. And it's crazy the pressure we put on ourselves to make it all work. You look at people all the time and think they've got it all figured out. I don't have it all figured out and so wish that I did.. like even just a little bit.

That's my Libra talking. Balance. I need the balance
My recent 30th (!!) birthday has got me all reflective and wondering if I'm doing this whole thing the right way.  Or the best way. I guess I always imagined by this point in my life I would have it all figured out and not have any of the worry or doubt that I do now. Maybe I'll have this all worked out by my 35th birthday?



 

Hi-Ho-Hi-Ho, Back to Work I Go

Friday, September 9, 2016



It's Friday night. I'm blogging in bed with a big ol' glass of wine while the baby is asleep next to me and the "boys" (Daddy and L) are downstairs in a full-size tent in our living room having movie-night.
It's quiet. It's peaceful. It's perfect.
But I have to admit, that I'm a little depressed as this night winds down. Once this weekend is over, it's back-to-work-I-go, and that officially means that this summer (and my maternity leave) is official done-zo.
Yes, I know. I work from home. I'm extremely lucky to be able to do that, and have so far managed for a full two years with my firstborn who started crawling on my first day on the job and is now wreaking all over the house... But working from home brings so much anxiety and stress for me that I am absolutely terrified for what is to come on Monday morning.
I'll admit that yes, I am quick to be a Negative Nancy and point out all the cons about what I expect to be hot mess of a day working from home with two children. I feel like I'm still adjusting to LIFE with two at home: 
Survive on 4-5 hours of sleep. Get up. Get dressed. Feed people. Get people dressed. Play. Kiss boo-boos. Read books. Be active. Keep people happy. Keep yourself happy. Feed people again. And again. And again. And again. Maintain sanity. 
Because, motherhood
It is, without a freakin' doubt, a job in itself. The hours are long and trying. Your mental stability is tested every single hour of every single day. Sometimes days pass where you don't quite feel appreciated. But the funny thing about it is, it is worth all the madness. The roller-coaster of emotions. The uncertainties. The triumphs. The pitfalls. It's so freakin' hard, but it's worth it. 
Which is why, I suppose, people keep having kids. Because what's more crazy than one? Two! And... okay, we're not there yet so let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'm still writing about how I'm pulling my hair out with a baby and a three-year old... 
The point is...I will try, probably by the end of this glass of wine, to focus on the positives: still being home with my two loves while they are little, trying to support my family financially as best I can, being a decent mother who keeps her kids clothed, fed, and happy, and a wife who still has love and happiness left to show at the end of a crazy day. 
I will try...that's all we can do, right?


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The Domino Effect

Wednesday, August 24, 2016



Leo turned 2 months old over the weekend, and finally all the hard work and sleepless nights are rewarded with his sweetest smiles and coos. It's interesting how those first several weeks of having a baby are basically survival mode... Keep them fed. Comfort them. Minimize crying by doing whatever it takes, even if it means doing laps around the dining room table. Begin to figure them out. And now, almost 9 weeks later, our babe's personality is starting to show, and seeing him smile and giggle back at us makes it all completely worth it. 
Juggling life with two has been tough, I'm not gonna lie. I'm still in recovery mode from flying solo last week while my husband attended a destination wedding. We've had TONS, like almost weekly help from family, so if I was going to figure this whole two-kid thing out, it was going to be the week I'd be alone while my other half was in another country. I survived. I lived to tell the tale. But man, it was rough. When one was happy, the other was screaming. The hours of 4-8 pm were the longest hours of my life. But we made it. I didn't lock us up for the entire week, because that makes me even more crazy. So we ventured out- took walks, went to the store, the library, playdates.. There were many moments where I thought, "I can totally do this" and then the lowest points of the day I thought to myself, "Holy shit, I'm going to lose my damn mind".

Our big boy has been so incredibly helpful with his baby brother. The adjustment was a lot better than I had imagined, and you can really tell how much he is in love with him. I joke that he is our third parent--he's always on top of things, usually before anyone else is, and is quick to tell you if you're doing something wrong. "Don't put that too close to his face", "He's done playing and he's getting tired now, can you put him in the swing?" "He's starting to spit up again, he needs his burp cloth". And listening to him try to calm him down warms my heart.. "It's OK Leo. Don't cry. It's okay. Go to sleep now..." I know that he will keep his baby brother in line, but will always look out for him. Watching that kind of love unfold before you, of two little humans that you created out of love, is the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. Everyday is a new adventure for them, and I love to just sit back and watch them together...


That being said, today was nothing short of an adventure. I took both boys to the gym with me this morning, and all was good and lovely, until one small kink of the day made the entire rest of the afternoon turn to shit, one thing after another, like a domino effect. My first mistake when picking them up from the daycare was believing that Lucca already went to the bathroom before we left. ROOKIE MISTAKE. Never believe a two year old. We made it all the way out to the car when he told me he had to go potty. Irritated, I had to take the baby back out, and walk all the way back in to the gym. On the way there, Lucca exclaimed that he had mulch in his shoe. First domino down. He kicked it off and yelled for me to come fix it. I walked back to him, tapped out the mulch, and put it back on. Apparently, I didn't do it correctly because all hell broke lose. Next domino. 
Yelling and screaming all the way back to the door of the gym, we fought over who would open the door. I was super irritated at this point because I was tired from working out, lugging a heavy infant carrier, and just trying to get inside and make this quick. A woman approached the door, and the poor lady who was just trying to make it inside had to step over my kid who is now lying flat on his back in the middle of the doorway. She felt bad for me, so she went to hold open the next door for us. Next domino. Lucca flipped out on her because he didn't get to open the door. I was so flustered I grabbed him and tried to scoot him inside and he cracked his forehead on the door. It just kept getting worse. FML.
 More screaming and yelling commenced, and it seemed as if the entire gym stopped at a halt to see what in the hell was going on. The lady at the front desk had no idea what to do, and I could feel myself red in the face from anger and embarrassment. I grabbed Lucca and in the calmest voice I could muster up asked him to get himself together so that we could just use the bathroom and get out of here. Instead of submitting to my request, he started chucking small pebbles that he had clutched in his hand (unbeknownst to me) across the floor. Thankfully, one of the ladies that works in the daycare was out in the lobby and offered to help. She stayed with the baby while I carried Lucca (who has now decided he doesn't need to go to the bathroom) kicking and screaming to the back of the gym daycare.

What seemed like an hour but was more like 5 minutes passed as I had to fight him from running out of the door. Domino, domino, domino. I just sat there. Defeated. Watching people step over us and walk past this ridiculous debacle. But finally, he came to me and sobbed in my arms. I wanted to cry myself, to be honest, but after some hugs and "I'm sorry's" we made it to the bathroom. Mission accomplished. We walked out of there holding hands, happy as can be. Talk about a freaking roller coaster. I'm so incredibly thankful for the help, and for the fact that in that moment of absolute terror, Leo was snoozing away.

And that, my friends, is my life with two. You just never know what you're gonna get. Good days. Easy days. God awful days that you're cursing up a storm. Today was a not-so-good day, and one that I look back and think about some of the things I said or did that I'm not particularly proud of. The rest of the afternoon we had a few more blow ups, and another huge one before bedtime. But, all is good in our house (for the moment) as both boys are sleeping, but not until we talked about how the day went down and how much we love each other. We're bound to have some seriously shitty days like the one we just had, but I need them thinking happy thoughts before their heads hit the pillow...

It's hard. So, so hard, to not be impulsive and yell when you're being yelled at. To take it, breathe, and be calm. To juggle the needs of both kids who need different things from us, and to try and keep the momentum of happiness going. One little kink and you're screwed. If I had just taken him to the bathroom in the first place...

Ugh.

Tomorrow is a new day, right?








Welcome to Motherhood: Part II

Thursday, July 7, 2016



Leo is two weeks old, and I have officially survived 16 WHOLE days of motherhood to two boys. 
I've been pretty damn tired,  but for the most part I have forged on through in order to get out of the confines of my house. I can't do it. I just can't sit in my house, letting the hours drag on by. I wish I could--trust me. When I had Lucca, he would eat, and sleep for what seemed like hours on my chest. All day everyday I'd find the best corner of the couch, put everything I needed within reach: remotes, cell phone, snacks, binkies.. and we'd be set. 
This time around, that same little snoozer is now bouncing off the walls (literally) and needs to get out. As much as I'd love to just stay inside in the A/C, he needs to burn off the energy, and I need to maintain my sanity. So now, with not just one but two babes in tow, we've ventured past my front door and have actually done a lot more in just two weeks than I ever did in the first 3 months of Lucca's newborn life.
We've met up with friends for lunch, had playdates, spent a day at the pool, and even enjoyed our neighborhood 4th of July celebration (Leo slept through the entire fireworks show). I can't say that I've done it all alone, I'd seriously be lying to you if I did. I've had a lot of help from my mom who stayed with us and helped me load and unload and feed and clean and give equal attention to both boys. I'm pretty sure she thought I was absolutely nuts for not just propping up my feet and taking the time off, but she went with the flow and we were out and about. And this week we still have an extra set of hands on deck with my mother-in-law staying with us.
Other than remembering how the hell to take care of a newborn-- a tiny little human who is actually way more needy than a two-year-old (I'd forgotten what that's like) things have been going pretty smoothly. My fears of having another baby join our family have pretty much melted away, and did from the instant that Lucca came into the hospital room to meet his baby brother. He was so excited he could barely contain himself, and instantly wanted to hold him. He was trying to comfort him and tell him "it's okay" every time he squeaked or started to cry. I knew the love would be real, but this real? This right-before-your-very-eyes real? That was everything. That was a moment I won't ever forget.
Since then, we've had a few meltdowns here and there but nothing out of the ordinary. I tend to forget that Lucca is only two (and nine months) so the tantrums are about as expected as the sun rising everyday. He's handled the transition really well, and has pretty much taken to telling everyone around him how to take care of his baby bro. "He only needs his pinky (binky) when he cries". "You need to buckle him in his seat". "He spit up right there you need to wipe it away". I'm not sure if he's a toddler or a nurse, but either way, he's actually been quite helpful and the love he shows his brother (in the form of head hugs and nose kisses) has been so nice to watch. As well as a relief...
So, I'm doin' it people. I'm doing the mom-of-two thing. I still wake up and think, "Holy shit I have two kids" and wonder how in the hell did my mom manage four of us-- without losing a kid, one of us drowning or being kidnapped or turning out to be a little whacko. How? Just how. It's a lot to manage, it's a lot of planning and spreading yourself so thin you don't feel like you could possibly survive one more minute of the day, but the reward is so, so worth it. Lucca inviting me to listen to stories the other night in his room while Daddy read and then falling asleep with his arms around my neck is so, so worth it. Leo showing me a glimpse of a smile yesterday (whether it be gas or not) is so, so worth it. The lingering pain from delivering a baby just two weeks ago is so, so worth it. The exhaustion I will experience for the next God knows how many years is worth it...
All of it means I'm putting every single ounce of my being into this motherhood thing, and though the rewards are small, they are all meaningful.  It's beautiful and chaotic and loud and messy. It's not perfect, but it works. And how in the hell I got to be so lucky to wake up everyday to be a mama to these little boys is beyond me... but here I am.

I'm deliriously happy, and this "new normal" has actually felt as if it's always been our normal. It's funny how that works, isn't it? I've anticipated these very days for so long with so much anxiety and uncertainty, fear, etc. But today it feels like we've been doing this all along and Leo's always been here with us, and we've always been a party of four. 
So here we go, onto Motherhood Part II.
Let the adventures continue...





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Let Go of the Guilt

Sunday, June 19, 2016


On the eve of Leo's impending arrival (I will be induced Monday evening), I have a lot of feelings. Oh man, allll the feelings. I'm excited, nervous, anxious, overwhelmed, super sentimental... all with the extra pregnancy hormones tacked on to make me a serious emotional headcase. 
Since Thursday of last week, I have kept thinking "this was it"-- things were happening, I was for sure going into labor, and our lives would be changing. Bags are packed, the car seat is installed, and I was just preparing myself for those last moments with my first-born. Well, it's Sunday night, things slowed down today, and my definite end-of-the-road of this pregnancy will be met in exactly 24 hours with my induction date.
What makes me nervous about tomorrow isn't the delivery at all, to be honest. I know what to expect this time at least, and for the most part I believe that it will be a smooth and safe delivery. What makes me nervous is knowing that tomorrow is my last full day with just Lucca. I know it sounds silly, but the guilt of all this change is piling on hard, and I feel the pressure to make every single moment count. Like every single moment. Even the times where I'm making him dinner, or playing Justin Bieber for the ten-thousandth time in the car. "Soak it in, soak it in, soak it in...this will all be different soon..." Or making sure that every minute of every day he's busy, he's happy, he's entertained. Summer camp. Pool days. Park days. Library trips. The guilt man, the freaking guilt.
I don't know how to explain to him that I'll be gone for a few days and that when I return I'll be bringing this little human we've been talking about for months now back to our house. That Daddy has to stay with me too so he won't be able to read him stories for a few nights. I don't know how to explain to him that we will kiss him goodnight one night, and when he sees us again he will have to share us with his new baby brother. I just. don't. know.
Again, I know it sounds ridiculous. And I've heard it so many times-- "Your heart will burst", "You will just know", "You never think you could love your second as much as your first--but you do". Honestly, you'd think I'm mourning this time- this chapter ending as my first (almost) three years as a first-time mama, but I can't help but feel the guilt. The guilt of turning this kid's life upside down, the guilt for spending the last several months saying things like "Mommy can't chase you" or "I don't have any room in my lap". 
It's heavy. And though I know he's excited about his brother now, and though I know our lives will eventually adapt, I'm flooded with worry about how to balance this new love. How to have the same experiences with Leo that I've had with Lucca. How to make Lucca know that he's our everything, always...It's such a weird feeling expecting another baby when you've had this one little person who has been your priority for so long. This one little person who made you a mama, who was there for all the "firsts" and accomplishments and low points.
I want so badly to shove the guilt I feel for Lucca to the side, but then there's the guilt I feel for Leo already. Like man, I haven't even met you yet and I haven't given you 100% thought like I should. I just want to be excited, period. Not excited but sad and feeling like a freakin' hot mess express when these should be the happiest moments of my life. Please just tell me this is just the hormones...
If there were ever an instruction manual on motherhood, I wish I could read the chapter on this topic tonight. I know eventually I'll figure it out. I'll have good days and bad days, and there will one day come a time where I think to myself, "I don't remember life without both of these beautiful boys", but tonight it's hard. And all I can do is wake up in the morning, accept all the hugs and kisses and tantrums and tears and everything in between, and try to just let go of that damn guilt.

Stock the Stoller

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Alright, people. We are now T-minus 35 days until baby Leo is set to arrive. I've been in frantic baby prep mode, much to the delight of my husband, and getting everything as ready as possible. I'm already freaking out about this second human I'm going to have to take care of, so I'm trying to take care of these last minute things so there aren't any surprises along the way. 
One thing I do know we're pretty much set on-- diapers and booze. A few weeks ago we had a combo housewarming and baby shower at our new house. We had wanted to share our new home with friends and family, and decided to throw in a baby shower to so we could celebrate our newest babe on the way. 
Now, I hate showers. Not real showers, I love showers (when I eventually do get a chance to take them) but I hate bridal and baby showers. For myself at least. I'm not the type to play games or open presents in front of people and ooh and ahh over diaper cakes. Why do people make diaper cakes anyway? It's not real cake. And now they are all crumpled up everytime you need one. Keep them in the freakin' box.
Anyway... back to the party.
We decided to mix it all up, invite our friends and family for a BBQ, chill, relax, and have a no-agenda type party. We didn't make a registry, we didn't have a "theme" per se, but instead decided on having a Stock the Stoller party.






I wish I could say this was my idea, but when talking to my mom and best friend about my hatred toward baby showers and saying "I wish I could just register at Total Wine", they both had a collaborative idea to have a "Stock the Bar" party-- but instead of only bringing booze to stock our shelves, guests could also bring diapers of various sizes and "Stock the Stroller".






Perfect right? Because really, those are the essentials of new parents. Give us a shit ton of diapers so that we don't have to worry about late night trips to the store, and give us alcohol so that we can cope with being parents of a newborn and a two-year-old.

Despite having rained all morning, the sky cleared and we had a great time feasting on some delicious locally-catered BBQ, watching the kids play in the backyard and running through the bubble machine, and laughing and hanging out with our people. No games. No cutesy shit. Just a good ol' time on a Saturday afternoon.

We are stocked and ready to go at this point-- now we just need a baby. We're excited for what's ahead of us and to meet Leo (who has been barreling around in my belly for months, I have no doubt he will come into the world that way)...

And sidenote: the moment that I can hear my electric wine opener on a fresh bottle of I-don't-even-care-what-it-is,  will also be a glorious day!