The Day Before You Were Born

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lucca turns one tomorrow and I’m having some mixed emotions about it. I love the little person he’s becoming. He’s observant. Silly. Persistent. Smart. Playful.
But I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach. This sinking, empty feeling. This exact time last year I was checked into the hospital, make up on, hair done, just waiting for him. Not knowing what to expect. At that point, I was so huge I just wanted him out. And here I am, one year later, watching Greg put together this ginormous indoor playground for our baby boy. The kind I swore I would never, ever, have in my house. 
There are so many thoughts going on in my head it’s no wonder I haven’t slept in forever. I wish I cuddled him more. I wish I never got frustrated. I wish I had enjoyed being pregnant with him. Sometimes I wonder why the hell I started working again.
But, time does not turn back nor does it stand still, and when I wake up tomorrow I will have an (almost) toddler. An (almost) toddler who will be bouncing up and down in his crib at the ass-crack of dawn so excited to start another day. An (almost) toddler who will want to eat everything in front of him without breathing in between and then will inevitably throw all of his breakfast in my direction. An (almost) toddler who wants to drive the dog crazy and put dust bunnies in his mouth. 
This time last year I had no idea that this would be our life. Our happiness, frustrations, excitement… I had no idea that it would all stem from a little, tiny person. I mean I knew, but I didn’t really know… ya know?

A year. One whole year.

OMG Sleep, I Miss You.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The past few weeks have been rough. Teething sucks. It’s hell. I go to bed every night and literally pray for sleep. Nobody and nothing can prepare you for the 34928390 sleepless nights you will have as a parent. All those nights in college staying out till 3 a.m., then somehow rolling out of bed to make it to that 8.a.m class (what the hell was I thinking when I did that, anyway?) Yeah. those were the friggin’ days, man. I thought I was invincible. Now, I run on caffeine and adrenaline and have found that I can pretty much catch a few quick Z’s anywhere: sitting in traffic. At my computer desk. Laying on a mat at the gym pretending to do crunches. Sitting in Lucca’s playpen while he pelts a plastic airplane repeatedly at my head. I mean, ya gotta just work it in there or you won’t survive…
My son is a happy baby. Everything makes him laugh. Everything excites him. So, when the teething train rolled on through it totally rocked everyone’s world. He literally sits up in his crib and screams in agony. All around the top of his crib are chew marks like I’m keeping some kind of caged animal. Can you imagine the pain our little babes must be feeling? A piece of bone is ripping through the gums in their mouths, one after another after another… And this goes on for HOW long? And only for them to fall out for more to come in. I mean, really?
I don’t want teething advice. I just want some sympathy. I don’t need to know the next new amazing teething ring (I’ll just keep letting him gnaw on his bed till he whittles it down to toothpicks) or that you ‘heard’ that a little dab of whiskey on the gums is what works wonders. Nope. I just want to share a venti skinny vanilla latte with an extra 10 shots of espresso with another mama who is as sleep deprived as I am and maybe we can keep each other’s eyelids open. And then, we could watch each other’s kids while we take turns napping. Yep, I think that’s a pretty damn good idea. Maybe I can set this up as some kind of ‘playdate’ in my mom’s playgroup…

Ahh, sleep. Even the word sleep sounds amazing. S-l-e-e-e-e-e-e-p… I miss you so much, sleep. I hope we see each other again soon and for a long time. Those moments we’ve shared over the last few weeks are so fleeting. Please. Come back soon..

I Want to Quit

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I wanted to quit today. I wanted to throw in the towel and be done.
My washer is broken.
My basement is drenched in water.
I’m running off of adrenaline and caffeine.
It’s 8:00 pm and I’m still punching numbers while Greg puts our bear to bed.
Dinner is halfway made and sitting in the oven.
Working from home can really, really suck. Today was one of those days where I just felt like I couldn’t handle it all. The contractor, taking care of Lucca, working, making dinner…Can I get a moment to breathe? Or a glass of Pinot?
Alas, tomorrow is a new day. Steer clear of me this week. Foreal. 
I may feel the need to:
a.) punch you
b.) yell at you
c.) blame you for things you didn’t do
d.) cry hysterically for no damn reason
e.) all of the above

Just Let Go

Monday, September 22, 2014

One tough lesson I’ve learned this year is this:
If people want to be a part of your life, they will be there. 
Period. End of story. It’s that simple.
Except, it’s not that simple. What I’ve struggled with is that I’ve literally never been happier in my entire life, and I want to share that happiness. I want to share this pure, beautiful, amazing happiness with people that are important to me. My friends, my family, people in the grocery store. But there are some that just don’t get it. Or maybe they do “get it”, but just don’t feel that same way. Either way, it does hurt to wonder why in the world wouldn’t they want to be a part of this? This amazingness that is in the form of a tiny human who can’t even speak yet.
But, such is life. Instead, let go. Let go of that feeling of wanting, and wishing, and hoping that other people feel the same way you do. Let go of that idea that your happiness is their happiness. 
Just. Let. Go.
And this is an everyday battle for me. I’m so happy and so thankful that people that I love get to experience this same joy that I get to wake up to everyday, but in the back of my mind I always think about those who aren’t there. And I want to be there. 
And what I’ve come to realize is that my heart is already full to capacity. Bursting, even. Sharing Lucca’s love with this world is my greatest accomplishment, and being present and happy with our life and with the people who are a part of it, is enough. Holding on to those thoughts does nothing.

Just let go…

Inspiring Words

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

“I love you. If you hadn’t existed I would have had to invent you.”

                                — Elaine Dundy, "The Dud Avocado"

Slow Down

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This past year has felt like I have been on auto-pilot. Schedule, schedule, schedule, running here and there, keeping everything in order from doctor appointments for the whole family to conquering a never-ending to-do list. Reading a million blogs and baby books to answer all my million questions. I want to do everything. And I want to do everything right
And in the past few weeks, I’ve really tried to slow myself down. Lucca’s first birthday is quickly approaching and I’m having a difficult time dealing with that. To those who don’t have kids, you might think, what’s the big deal? It’s just a birthday. But no. It’s a milestone, not just for Lucca, but for Greg and I.
This year Greg and I have been together for 10 years. A DECADE. And when I think about that, I think how stupid in love we were but we were just kids. Fast-forward to 2011 and we’re married. Still learning how to be adults. And now, we have a one-year old. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this… does it ever make sense?
I’ve said it before but honestly it’s been a life-changing year. I hated being pregnant. I struggled having a newborn. And now I feel like I’ve been catapulted to a totally different phase of my life and I just want time to slow down. While I used to let Lucca’s little whimpers and cries go, I practically jump out of my bed and just hold him. I look down and see how his legs hang past my hips, and how he practically envelopes me when I try to lay his head on my shoulder. What happened to that teeny babe that could lay his entire body on my chest? Man. I just can’t get over that. 
Literally, as I write this, Puff the Magic Dragon is playing on Lucca’s music station and it’s making me cry. How depressing that Jackie Paper grew up and doesn’t come to visit Puff and have magical adventures anymore. Yes, this is happening right now. OMG. Is it OK to have a cocktail at 10 a.m.? 

If you see me in the next few weeks, here’s a fair warning that I might just lose it on you. Not because of you. But because I literally can not get a handle on life and I don’t want Jackie Paper to grow up.

Chit Chat

Friday, September 12, 2014

To the little Italian lady at Best Buy yesterday, you made my day.
When I rolled up to Best Buy to pick up my new phone, I thought it was going to be a painstaking process—taking at least an hour of my day, I had forgotten the damn stroller, and only brought one snack. I lugged Lucca inside and stepped in line.
Do you have an appointment?" An appointment for what? I just want to pick up my friggin’ phone. My name was taken down and we stepped off to the side. Time for a snack. Luckily, Lucca was occupied for at least a little while and was over stimulated by the music, TV’s and bright lights.
But then he starts to get restless, the snack is half eaten and half thrown on the floor, and I start to get annoyed.  I move a little closer to the register to signal that I’m irritated and I have a heavy baby who is losing interest… hurry it along, people
Sitting in a chair near the register was this little Italian lady making faces and talking to Lucca. That’s the thing with babies. They will talk to ANYONE. And you can’t just ignore it. He was literally having a full on conversation with her and then they started on a game of peek-a-boo. I guess I should say something now..
While I usually just make small talk and smile, I really liked this lady. I wanted to know her. She showed me a picture of her granddaughter, asked me what words Lucca was saying and if he could walk yet. She was laughing and being silly and Lucca was enjoying every minute of it. At one point, he pushed me out of the way, turned his body and stretched out his arms for her. For whatever reason, he felt connected to her. Should I be worried that my baby will go to strangers?Whatever, he liked this lady.
This went on for at least 30 minutes. But it passed the time and Lucca was highly entertained. When she was all done and ready to leave, she waved her hands until he waved back to her, and then blew him kisses.. 
On the way home (I didn’t even get my new phone because I was apparentlysupposed to bring my old broken phone back—ugh!) I thought how before Lucca I hardly ever truly interacted with “strangers”. This sounds weird, but just think about it. Unless you are that type of person that goes out of their way to talk to everyone you meet, you basically just go about your day with minimal interaction. In the checkout line, at the post office, etc. I hate small talk, so for the most part, I’ll do a quick verbal exchange, but that’s the extent of it. K thanks, bye.
But with Lucca, I find myself always talking to people… because of him. I can’t go down the aisle of the grocery store without being stopped by people who are having conversations with my 11-month old. He’s so social, will talk and smile and laugh with anyone. I like to think that he will grow up to be just like that— so open to people, so accepting and willing to talk to anyone. He’s made me better about this.

You just never know who you’ll connect with. Or who’ll bust out a game of peek-a-boo. 

Inspiring Words

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. 
We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. 
But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive."

                                                         -Thich Nhat Hanh

A Thankful Post

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Today I’m thankful. 
This past weekend I went down to Richmond to help judge VCU Dance Team auditions and had it all planned out. I’d stay with my Dad, he would babysit for (eek!) 48 hours, I’d go out with my best friend Saturday night, and drive back up North on Sunday…perfect.
I wouldn’t have been able to do ANY of this without some help though. I still had to squeeze in time to work on Friday and Monday, and my mom and sister pitched in to help entertain Lucca. This also meant adjusting their schedules and their routine so they could do that. This was also the first time my dad had babysit, so having him on board to help me out was a huge deal. He was so happy and excited to watch Lucca but I know how much energy it takes to watch an (almost) one-year-old, and when you aren’t used to that, it’s exhausting
I had a GREAT time this weekend. I caught up with old friends, got to enjoy the city that I miss so much, had some BFF time… It was a great ‘refresh’ button that I find myself needing almost every weekend. I need time to be “me”, not just Lucca’s mama. If you’re a working mother, a stay at home mom, or somewhere in between, it’s physically and mentally exhausting. If I didn’t have family around to help with this, I would be a serious crazy person.

I’m so incredibly thankful for our family who are around and always willing to help out. Thank you, thank you, thank you… a million times over. 

Oh, The Places You Will Go...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

This past weekend we took a road trip up to Ottawa to visit friends. 10 hour drive, 2 hotel stays, and a new passport for Lucca (Yes, he’s not even a year old and he has a passport!) This was a trip we’d been looking forward to for a long time, and it was a great way to round out such an eventful Summer. It was a very quick visit, but it was great to catch up and do a little sight-seeing, wine-drinking, and let the kids play. 
It was so nice to visit friends with kids. The kids are entertained. Adults are entertained. And they get it. They get that life doesn’t have to be put on hold because you have kids. Yes, things change, logistically it makes things more challenging and the spontaneity of doing whatever, whenever isn’t really there anymore… but now it’s just a different adventure. I feel that since we’ve had Lucca we’re experiencing so much more. Finding places to go, things to see.. And when you have friends that feel the same way, it’s refreshing.
I honestly think that since we’ve kind of always been ‘on the go’ since Lucca was born, he’s adapted really well to getting in the car and adjusting to wherever he is. This makes it all the better— now we want to do more, see more… camping trips, day trips, even FLYING to a different destination (hey, we gotta put that passport to use now)… we want to do it all. I don’t feel at all that my life has ‘slowed down’ since we’ve had a kid— it may be on a different track but if anything it’s sped up. And I love that.
Everyone is different. I know that in the first 3 months of having Lucca I was totally over hibernating and ready to be out in the world— so we did. Even if the library was what I considered to be ‘out in the world’, we went, twice a week, and he was only 8 weeks old. I definitely got some looks, like “hey lady, get back inside with your newborn’, but it was good for the both of us. 
So now we are planning our next big adventure and taking up friends’ offers when they say ‘hey, come and visit!’ If you really don’t want us to come, then don’t tell us that… because you never know, we may be knocking on your door soon!

Anybody have any good weekend road trip suggestions?