Throwback: Lucca's 1st Birthday Party

Thursday, September 24, 2015



We're a week away from Lucca's second birthday, so I thought I'd do a little throwback to his first birthday bash from last year. I never posted about it-- I wanted to, but in between loading the 10,000 photos and backing up my computer a million times, a year passed by and here we are. At least now I can try and free up some space on all of our devices to try and capture this year's birthday...
Celebrating Lucca's first birthday was so important to us. Yes, we had a one-year-old but it was also a family celebration like, "Oh my God! We made it through our first year as parents!". So naturally, we invited all of our family and friends, partied with the kids, ate cupcakes and other yummy Fall treats, and somehow, after Lucca finally crashed from his cupcake high at the end of the night, the adults kept the party going with beer pong and flip cup in the basement. 
Because you know, that's how you celebrate first birthdays.

I spent a lot, and I mean ALOT of time on Pinterest to try and find cute themes for his birthday. As many of you know, I hate anything cartoonish, babyish.. all of that crap. And he's a baby still, so what did he care? I decided on a pumpkin theme and loved it. Yes, I went all out and ordered special invitations and a personalized shirt for him to wear. But in the end, Lucca was excited about all the pumpkins, I was excited that our house was decorated for my favorite season.




The end result was perfect. Pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin beer, yummy treats for the kids (and big Kids), outdoor games and pumpkin activities inside (including a picture frame 'guestbook' for everyone to sign) and a beautiful Fall day. I stuck with a color scheme-orange, black and white, and stayed away from anything too kitschy or Halloween-ish. I had a picture in my head of exactly how I wanted it to be--something I could live with in my house even after the party was over. I was damn proud of that birthday party. I even made a hashtag for the festivities. 



I can honestly say that party was one of my highlights of Motherhood.  
First birthday party planning: "Check, check, hellll yeah I Pinterest-ed my ass off and everyone had a great time--annndd check."
At the end of the day, Lucca was practically bouncing off the walls. He tore through presents like it was his job, and was so happy to be around family and friends, laughing and playing until he literally could not keep his eyelids open. I couldn't have asked for a better day.
This year, I gave in to the cartoonish crap that I loathe because my kid is freaking obsessed with Toy Story. I want to see him happy and excited to have Buzz Lightyear overload--just for him. That's what it's about, right? I can deal with 1 1/2 hours of in-your-face Toy Story party gear. And this year, we decided to skip the house party and opted for a party at a local kid's gymnastics spot instead. So far, it seems to be way less stressful as far as planning goes, and hey, that also means no set-up/clean-up for me! 
And no beer pong.

Surgery Vacation

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Last week I had surgery on my wrist after dealing with a little thing called "De Quervain's tenosynovitis" for the past year and a half. I discovered the pain almost four months after I had Lucca when I couldn't even pick him up out of his crib, and after having several cortisone injections with little to no help at all, the next step was to have surgery.  Apparently this is a pretty common problem among pregnant women, or after just having a kid who is really freaking heavy and you are constantly lifting him all day everyday. 
See, these are the things they never tell you could happen to you when you have kids...
Anyway, I was set up to have surgery, two days off of work and Lucca was staying at my mom's for the weekend. For such a small surgery, the surgery prep was such a big deal. I went under general anesthesia and had a nerve block down my entire right arm from my clavicle to my fingertips. This will sound terrible (it sounded terrible in my mind) but I wasn't nervous about the surgery at all. In fact, I was actually looking forward to the drug-enduced sleep I would have over the next few days (yep, it sounds worse after writing it).
And I slept. A lot. Like swimming in a pool of drool on your pillow kind of sleep. Like holy shit what day is it kind of sleep. And it's been AMAZING. Don't get me wrong, I'm not promoting any kind of prescription drug use for sleep-deprived mothers, but this past weekend kid-free while I recovered from surgery was a lot like vacation.
I would have much rather been laying on a beach somewhere sipping Coco-Locos (you can get those in the Dominican) but instead I hadn't showered in 3 days, was wrapped in bandages with a hand full of stitches and an arm that felt like it weighed 60 pounds, and practically lived on my couch.
But, I got to eat what I wanted, when I wanted. 
I got to watch movies during the day.
I slept past 7:00 a.m. 
I took naps sporadically, often in the middle of eating or watching a movie.
I was waited on by my dear husband who cooked, cleaned and fluffed my pillows.
I mean really, if you want a "vacation" go have surgery on something. I'm healing quite nicely on day 3 post-surgery, a little sore but moving. Quite honestly, I've had the most difficulty just adjusting to being back to reality-- just like returning home from vacay
It was a good little "getaway", but I sure did miss that kid. I was ready to have him back once Sunday rolled around. And he sure came back roaring through our house like a tornado. Right now, I've just got to convince him not to get anywhere near my arm. Or not to touch it. Or bump it. Or squeeze it and laugh while I scream in pain.

Ha! Yeah right.
 

To-Do List

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Ever since Lucca was born I've always been very particular about things. Like most new mamas who have spent countless hours reading up on books and blogs and everything else, I packed my head with a shit-ton of know-how to take care of this kid. It's always been a learn-as-you-go kinda thing, I've kinda done things my own way, and now as far as I'm concerned, that IS the way.
I get made fun-of.. well, not really, just given a hard time, about my particularity. Like what food groups Lucca should be eating throughout the day. Or that I don't want him to have the iPad in the car right away, wait until he gets restless. Or that he needs to be playing outside everyday for at least an hour. There are just certain things that are a standard for me. If I don't achieve these things I get hung up on them. And I think other people should care about them as much as I do.
I'm aware this is stupid. I know he'll survive if these "requirements" aren't met. The thing is, sometimes I can be a fly-be-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of mom. No clothes today? Sure run around naked. Leftover mac and cheese for third time this week? Whatever. But some things I just can't budge on. When I leave him with our family, I always give them the run-down, what's changed in his schedule, how to do this, how to do that. For the most part, I think they stick to the plan (how will I ever know unless I attach a body-cam to him?) But mostly I get the "Ok yeah sure... we'll see how that goes" kinda vibe. 
Totally understandable. Sure. I get it. Motherhood has made me worry about stupid freaking things. And to be honest, I thought it'd get better as he got older. But the list keeps getting longer. The requirements keep getting more and more absurd. 
Do I blame them for wanting me to STFU when I'm naming off each and every thing that should be done? No. Will I apologize for my ridiculousness? Of course not.
And that's that.

Now, it's raining and I need to think up something to do indoors that requires some kind of physical activity to reach our quota for the day.


 

100 Percent

Saturday, September 5, 2015


It's been awhile since I've posted, and really the only excuses I have are that we've had so much going on and the only time I've had to write is when I'm sleeping. And I'm sorry, but I will always choose sleep.
And just like that, Summer is over. It's already September, there are already leaves on the ground (of which I've been raking up since July) and this morning we head out on our last summertime adventure. It's 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday, and although Lucca has slept until sunrise this week, he's all too excited about a family day-trip to the beach. So here I am. Not sleeping. And blogging while it's still dark outside.
This is also the time where I begin the countdown to my babe's birthday, and the days ahead that I will most likely cry for no freaking reason. I cried a lot last year. I held him a lot in those last few days of September, stared at him, soaking in all of his baby-ness that I'd never see again. I was pathetic. And guess what? It's back again.

I almost feel like I'm having a tougher time with him turning two. He's a little person now. He wants to learn about the world around him, and he wants my time more than anything. I've had ridiculous amounts of mom guilt this Summer, when he'd come grab my hand every 5 minutes and say, "Come on Mommy, come on..." when he just wanted to dance or to race his cars together. He asks to go places: the pool, the beach, his friends' houses, the park... and his all-out rage when my response is "later" or "not right now" is totally warranted. To be honest, I want to jump up and down and scream at the top of my lungs too.



I've felt so shitty about it that I've been looking all over for a daycare situation for him a few days a week. Yes, I work from home and I'm looking for daycare. But not for me, for him. A lot of my guilt stems from the fact that he's stuck in the house, with me while I click-clack away for hours, and all he's got is the TV and his toys. We take breaks and leave the house throughout the day, but I feel like he needs more than what I can give him: the back and forth from my desk, the "mini lessons" on letters and shapes and colors, the thrown together art projects. I don't need him to be away from me all day long, but a few hours a day a couple days a week would be ideal. Reading these words back makes me feel shitty for even wanting him to go to daycare because I'm home, and the cycle continues.


This is why mothers go bat-shit crazy. They got bat-shit crazy just over worry and guilt alone.

We'll figure something out. It's funny that even after 16 months of doing this work-at-home deal, I just can't find the right balance. I can't ever give 100% of myself to anything, and that's been so difficult for me. I know I'm always looking for the perfect situation, and I know there isn't one, but it always feels good to bitch and complain for a bit. Then, I'll move on.

For now, I'll return to the couch with my love to watch Buzz Lightyear until the sun comes up. I'll look forward to a day ahead filled with sandcastles and wave-chasing with my little family. I won't care about the week ahead or the frustrations I'll encounter.

Today I'll give 100%.