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?


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...


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...


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!

It's A ____...

Sunday, April 3, 2016

In case you haven't been following on my other social media outlets, we're adding to the crazy with another boy on the way. We found out before Valentine's Day (talk about procrastinating a blog post), and I'm finally over the initial shock of discovering we were having another boy. I shouldn't say finally over... but it definitely took a hot minute. The flooding amount of text messages I received after finding out the gender of baby #2 were all along the lines of, "Oh my god! I can't believe it!" and "Are you okay!?"
And rightfully so. Up until the last millisecond, I believed this babe was going to be a girl. I had been dreaming of a little brown-eyed girl for months, I'd felt zero pregnancy symptoms, I looked different, I felt different--I was absolutely certain. And to be quite honest, hopeful. Of course I wanted a little girl, I won't deny that fact. Not because of the cute clothes and future outings to the nail salon but I had just dreamed of having a mother-daughter relationship. I speak to my mom everyday and we've always been extremely close--I have always wanted that same thing with my own future daughter.

So, in our little tradition of finding out the gender via a scribbled-on piece of paper from the sonographer, my husband and I went next door to grab some donuts and reveal the surprise. We did the same thing with Lucca, just wanting to experience it together and just the two of us so we decided to keep it going. The envelope sitting in front of us was terrifying. I opened it while G recorded the reveal on my phone. When I saw "BOY" written across the picture of our babe, I cried-laughed and contorted my face in positions I had never seen before. This is a recording that is never to be viewed by anyone. It wasn't necessarily disappointment, it was just...shock. My mind was already pre-programmed into thinking we would be having this little mini-me of a daughter, and when I opened up the envelope I honestly didn't know what to think.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm absolutely happy that our baby boy is as healthy as can be and I've been extremely lucky during this pregnancy as it's been a breeze this time around. However, I will be completely honest when I tell you that when I got into my car after leaving the donut shop (also after inhaling 3 donuts), I cried my eyes out all the way home. I ignored the texts and phone calls. I needed to process this information by myself, radio blaring, until the second I pulled up into my driveway. I needed that. And I'm pretty sure that a lot of people have reacted this way, but maybe felt guilty to tell the tale. Did I feel shitty for feeling that way? Of course I did. But I needed to process my own thoughts and feelings on that 25 minute drive to say, "Alright. We can do this."

And now with 11 weeks left until this bouncing babe (literally he never stops moving) arrives, I'm in full-force baby prep.  We're trying to prepare Lucca for his transition into being a big brother, switching rooms, switching beds, and getting ready for this little person to come into our lives. I see the excitement in Lucca's eyes when he talks about his "baby bru-yah" and I can already picture the craziness and chaos and fun that these two little boys will encounter. I'm happy for Lucca that he gets a sibling to share special moments with and for another sweet boy who is just as wild and free as my firstborn.

That initial shock has worn off, and I've moved on to dreaming of holding my sweet baby boy and reading books together in Lucca's big-boy room. I always think about the two of them together, looking up to their daddy and emulating him in every way possible. It's those thoughts that make me smile--and I know whole-heartedly that I'm so incredibly lucky to be raising two little boys.

So you can stop asking now if I'm alright. I'm more than alright. I'm the happiest I've ever been, and I can't wait to meet this little person who will bring another element of joy into our crazy family.

See you soon, little man. You've already stolen my heart.

F U Jonas

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

As I'm sure you already know, Winter Storm Jonas was a royal pain in everyone's ass a couple weeks ago. It started out innocently enough. A few flakes on Friday, just to say "Alright ya'll, I'm comin'.." and then it snowed all night long. It was fun to wake up and see the snow piled high on our back deck; Lucca was amazed at how the snow was taller than him when we opened the door. But then, it never stopped. It just kept on coming down in massive amounts with high winds making 5 foot snow drifts just outside our back door. The snowfall didn't die down until almost 10 p.m., and we were officially snowed in.

Now did we prepare for this epic blizzard? Absolutely not. I rushed to Walmart on Friday morning for some last minute provisions when there was an announcement that a shipment of snow shovels had arrived. Luckily, I survived my first chaotic experience of rushing to an checkout aisle to snag one of the last shovels with other crazed Walmart shoppers. But damn, I could have really used some alcohol to stock up on. This was my first snowstorm being held up with my husband (and child!) without being able to consume alcohol. I panicked for a moment wondering how I'd make it out alive.

Without any booze filling up my trunk, I had the greatest idea: DONUTS. I drove over to the Dunkin' Donuts across the street with high hopes of filling the void of alcohol consumption with calories covered in sprinkles. I walked in to a line 8 people deep, and when I peeked around the corner I almost cried. The shelves were practically empty. REALLY? I wasn't giving up. I would round up whatever passed-over donuts were left and I would stuff my face with them. But nothing had sprinkles on them. There was even a banana creme bullshit donut that made it's way in there, and I filled up a box of Munchkins just to have some kind of glazed something. All in all, it was a box full of disappointment when I walked out of that DD. Still, I ate 4 munchkins on the way home.

Saturday was tough. We exhausted every indoor activity you could possibly think of. Crafting. Painting. Play-Doh. Dance parties. Fort building. Games on the iPad. Building blocks. Playing in the basement. I did my best to space them out over a period of time. "We will do A, B and C. Have a snack, watch a show, eat lunch and nap." It sort of worked, and we tried to take turns with activities, but for the most part each activity only last for several minutes. We were so freakin' tired. And even with nap time upon us, we still had X amount of hours before it was time for bed.

The next day we went sledding with our friends, which was the most painstaking experience of my pregnant life. After getting everyone bundled up which took a decade long, I began sweating 5 minutes in. It literally took us 30 minutes to walk down the street, and once we tredged through the waist-deep snow across the school yard to the sledding hill, we were just about spent. Not to mention Lucca was not well equipped as far as snow gear goes. We get a D+ in snowstorm preparedness. Rain boots instead of snow boots, Greg's snowboarding gloves because he didn't have any, and a 2 inches-too-short snowbib. We went down the hill a few times, but after about the third time of his boot slipping off and the threat of frostbite (his ankles were bright red) we walked down the street for some hot cocoa at our neighbor's house. If there were ever a time that I wished I could be airlifted three blocks back to my house, it was then.

We were trapped inside our house until Wednesday. THIS IS INSANITY FOR ANYONE WITH YOUNG CHILDREN. I called Lucca's gymnastics class the night before, wishing and praying that they would be open the following day. The roads were pretty clear, we could escape, and I felt like I had emerged from a dark cave out into the world. Finally, Lucca could jump off of something without getting yelled at, and I was wearing pants. Sort of. I'm pretty sure I resembled Charlize Theron in "Monster" when I showed up at the place. Scary, foreal.

Somehow, we survived. Look, I don't know how we did. I don't know how I didn't find myself in an extreme mental state. I don't know how I survived nearly 6 days trapped inside my house in a snowstorm without a sip of alcohol. But I did. I'm here to tell the tale. For sure, this will be one of those "hey remember when I was pregnant with ____ and Lucca was little and we got two feet of snow? How fun!" moments that I'll look back on and think wow that was wonderful... but I'm still in recovery mode.

And I swear to God, every single flake that falls from the sky since then I have cursed. This can't happen twice can it? Because if it does, I may not be able to tell the second story.