Life Lately

A random update in the name of typing as my therapy:

First/best thing: Mom is visiting us again, as one final time together before I return to work. This round she will be here for twelve days and holy man, it's always ridiculously amazing to have her here with us. Being able to keep Porter at home with mom as I walk Truman to school, or pick Cecelia up from Lori's, or run's just so much easier with her help, obviously! Because baby still despises his car seat and I just cannot deal anymore. Not to mention that the big kids eat up the added attention from mom like nothing else. Mom brings all kinds of Pinterest-y craft projects to keep them entertained, she helps with meals, and is basically just the best grandma anyone could imagine. For real. We are so lucky/blessed to have her.


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Now. I return to work on September 29th, which is about a week-and-a-half away. Totally crazy to think it's that time already, especially since I took a whopping 12.5 weeks off from work. Of course, the first week of my leave I spent overdue and super pregnant but that seems like a different lifetime ago. I just don't know where the time has gone despite trying to be present and enjoy this time at home.

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I guess it *is* Fall, anyway.
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Here is the kicker: I'm really surprising myself this time and feel that sense of dread when I think about going back to work. Which is not at all like me, since I *do* enjoy my three days per week as a PT. It's personally rewarding to help other people, to get out of the house, to have a routine, to use my therapist brain....I keep reminding myself of all the reasons I love my job. The biggest being 'balance.'

But I just feel....tired thinking about being 'professional' right now. It's just one more thing. One more adjustment, right when we are sorta kinda getting into a groove with three kids. One more thing to conquer when I admittedly feel stretched fairly thin at the moment. How can I do one more thing and remain semi-sane? How am I going to treat patients on such microscopic amounts of sleep? How can I seriously tackle the game of pumping and calculating milk ounces and bottles? Plus the schedule shuffling of *three* kids? Of course I will also miss my baby boy while we are away, but my dread is more related to mustering up energy to deal with another change. Did I mention that I'm really tired?

Oh, how I love them even through my sleep deprivation.
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I think I can. I think I can. I'm sorry for whining when I know I'm lucky to have a great, flexible, rewarding job. I'm just sort of dreading the next phase of digging deep to find extra energy and whatnot. Perhaps you will understand.

So I will do my absolute best to savor these last days at home without the added role of being a part-time PT. Maternity leave is just the best. But I know I can handle being a working mom again, too. Especially since we'll have all day Tues and Thurs and evenings and weekends to ignore my job;)

(Their hands!!!)

Heck, maybe having Porter at Lori's a few days per week will be a very good thing anyway. She is awesome with baby schedules and routine and will probably do a great job of getting him to take *real* naps. I just hope he doesn't start to dig the bottle more than my boobs. Feeling very anxious about that possibility, too---since he still has random days when he really hates to nurse. I told Nate that Porter is definitely my most difficult baby to nurse and he's only two months old! Snacking for five minutes, then pulling off and crying when the flow slows down, getting angry if I attempt to continue with the session? Not the worst thing in the world, no, but still really stressful when I feel like my baby has to be starving and he's not willing to nurse to get his food. Sigh.

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Moving on. Porter is ten weeks old now (!!) and sporadic nursing issues aside, he's doing really well. He's ridiculously smiley and adorable and we are all BIG fans of this sweet baby (duh). His sleeping skills are a little less than outstanding, however, and I've stopped looking at the clock at night because ignorance is bliss. Makes me less tired when I'm not calculating the broken sleep we're getting. I did note that last night he made it until 1:30 in his swing which was HUGE 5.5 hours, and then was up again at 4:30 until 5:15 once he was in our room. Not bad! But unfortch, most nights he's up quite a bit more than twice. And naps anywhere but in the Ergo or my lap are a joke, but he did make it for two 40 minute naps in the swing today. So whatever, he is sort of sleeping. Sometimes;)



Mister EARS!

Chin dimple is sticking around.

(ah, the life of a third child)
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Stop it.
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No really.
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I just cannot.
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So the baby is awesome! Thankfully he kicked whatever bug landed him in the ER by the next day.

After the fun of taking my newborn to the ER, Truman barfed all over the couch and rug the following day last week. It totally came out of nowhere and cleaning up his vomit while Porter screamed for me in the other room, CC cried because the puke scared her....well, it was a low moment for sure. But Truman felt better after that and we all survived that little episode.

Next up after baby in the ER then barf? Truman's eye swelled shut one morning after we noticed a few bug bites on his face the day before. Like, woah. WHAT? I know. It's been a weird week.

Mom thought she noticed a bug bite on T's left cheek on Sunday night after we had played outside that evening. Monday I for sure noticed a bite on his cheek and one on his left ear, and his left eye seemed a little puffy. It seemed to get a lot worse that day and looked like this at night.

Hmmm. We figured we'd have to see if it magically went away or what---since he has had a few bug bites that seem to blow up a bit. Once it was this SAME EYE (??!!) and it was better the next morning, and the other time he had a reaction on his arm. Both times it went away over night, pretty much.

Well, Tuesday he woke up like this. CRAP. OMGGGGGGG.

I kept him home from school, gave him Benadryl, and got him into the doctor (again, SO glad mom was here to keep the other kids at home for this!). The doc thought it was likely just an allergic reaction to the bug bites, because at this point it looked like two small bites above his eyebrow plus the one on his cheek and another on his ear. But since it looked so awful and you don't want to mess around with the eye, he also prescribed antibiotics for a possible infection. He said *if* it was infected it could spread very quickly to his eye socket and eye itself...and then we'd be in big trouble. The doc said if the meds didn't help and his eye was more swollen the next morning, or not any better, we had to take him directly to the ER. Sounds familiar. At least I know where it is now.

After starting the meds and giving Claritin, it looked better. This is him on Tuesday in the morning versus the evening.
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The next morning (Wednesday) it was even better. He went to school and it started to look mostly normal by the end of the day. Morning versus evening.
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Just such an odd place to get four bug bites, right? The doc thought they looked like mosquito bites but I think it's really weird for a mosquito to go nuts on one side of his face like that. He actually did have another episode of eye swelling about three weeks ago, after what we thought was a mosquito bite under his eyebrow. Very weird to have this happen twice, although this last time was MUCH worse with the swelling. Who knows. Just hope it doesn't happen again and have changed his sheets, searched his bed, and vacuumed like a mad woman in case it was a spider. (Shudder).



What else besides my mom visiting, me dreading the end of maternity leave, a baby who is awesome but giving me a run for my money with eating and sleeping, puke, and a scary swollen eye? Is that enough for one post?

(weirdos! Love them!)

Oh yes, I also submitted Porter's nursery to Project Nursery. Just because. Rate it for me if you'd like;)

And the Moms Make it Work series is still chugging along but I will only be posting on Mondays at this point, instead of twice per week.

And Cecelia is wearing pony tails these days. TOO BIG. SLOW DOWN CHILDREN!
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(new shoes)
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And I've had afternoon Starbucks five out of the last six days. Whoops. Tough habit to break. Yikes.
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And I'm wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans which is a big enough milestone to celebrate with Starbucks, I'd say. Can't really believe this baby was inside of me just two months ago! The human body is freaking crazy.

I think I'm out of random updates and I know you must be disappointed;) Happy weekend!

Busy Bag: How I Created Mine

For the busy bag swap that Erinn set up for us bloggers, I drew Natalie's name and immediately started brainstorming ideas for her daughter, Blair. I searched Pinterest for a bit, became overwhelmed, and then randomly stopped by Target's Dollar Spot for ideas. I sort of hit the jackpot in the Back-to-School spirit as all of my supplies cost me $1 and the entire projected totaled $4. Yessssss, love crafting on a budget!

I made a letter matching game using a pack of flash cards, two packs of 18 foam blocks and one pack of foam letters. I also used construction paper that I already had in the house because I couldn't leave well enough alone.

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I decided to add one letter to each foam block, which was simple since the letters had peel-off backs.
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Then I thought we could just have the child match upper case letters to upper case letters. But it REALLY bugged me to see the lower case letter on the card at all, especially the larger lower case letters that would stick out from behind my block.
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So I found construction paper in the same colors as my blocks, cut out a rectangle to adequately cover the lower case letter, and taped it right on there with my scrapbooking tape. I tried glue but it looked crappy and bled through my paper so I switched to the tape.
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And voila! All of my flashcards were then a single upper case letter plus a colored square below. This way Blair can match up the letters but also the color of the block to the color of the paper. Two concepts in one!
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I think that if using all 26 letters is too much, maybe Natalie can divide up the cards into groups and use fewer letters at a time. Maybe she can spell things out instead of doing the entire alphabet. But learning color matching along with letter matching is a fun educational activity that may take a bit of time for a two year old to master, but it's a start!

Do you have a busy bag idea? Link up with us below to share!

Moms Make it Work: Priscilla | Full Time Working, Military Mom

Today on the Moms Make it Work series is Priscilla, and her sister-in-law is a blog reader that suggested she write for our series. Priscilla works full time and part of those hours are spent working from home, along with traveling a bit for her job. Her husband is in the military (we've had so many awesome military families featured in this series!!) and she doesn't have family in her area, so that means she does a fair share of solo parenting, too. Priscilla just started blogging at Lola's World Unveiled and is very honest about her current situation: it's harder than she expected but worth it! Enjoy!


I found out about Julia’s blog from a good friend of mine, my sister-in-law actually. She was the one that told me about the “Moms Make It Work” series. When I looked into it I thought it was such a great idea. Showcasing different moms from all over and sharing their story and how they make it work. So I decided to give it a try and tell you my story.  I actually just started blogging, my sister-in-law was the one that got me into it. I do enjoy it and when I have the free time I sit and just write about my life experiences. If you want to check out my blog and read my story you can find me @ “Lola’s World Unveiled.” Until then, this is how I make it work….

What is your background Story? What was your career/schooling before you became a mom? And where are you now?

I waited a long time before I even entertained the idea of becoming a mom let alone a wife for that matter. While I was going to school for my Bachelors and throughout primarily my whole life I had a vision of who I thought I was going to become. I have always envisioned myself becoming a great success. I didn’t know where my journey was going to lead up entirely, but what I did know was that I was going to live in New York City and make a ton of money. I never saw myself getting married or let alone having children until maybe my thirties, if at all. Everything I did in life I tried to succeed at and be the best at it. So when I thought of having a family it wasn’t something that I was looking for, even though I did want one eventually. I always felt that having a family would have hindered me from my goals in life and it wasn’t what I pictured for myself. It’s hard enough for a woman to achieve great success in the working environment and I didn’t want anything to get in my way. But then one day HE came along, and that all changed.

Before I became a Mom I had a Bachelors and was going for my Master’s. I graduated with my Master’s when my baby was only a month old. I was also working as a Sales Manager for a high end Fashion Company while living in New Jersey. Life was good, I was making good money and living a pretty fantastic life. Everything seemed to be going in the right direction, I had a wonderful husband and a fabulous life, what more could I ask for.

The million dollar question, where am I now?

I am living across the country in the furthest place I’d ever find myself from where I started (California), with a three year boy and a husband who is in the U.S Marine Corps. That’s right, this girl right here is a military wife, who would have known?! I work as a Sales Manager for an Engineering Company in San Diego. Life is good right now, I can finally say that things are getting back to how they use to be. It took some time to get to where I am now and the journey was a bumpy one, but it only made me a stronger person. Having a child has really put things in different perspectives but also made me view life differently. Being a mommy is probably one of the best things that could have happen to me. It definitely had its challenges in the beginning because it was uncharted territory for me and I had to give up a lot of myself for it. I made a ton of sacrifices with work and my career moves but it was all worth it.

The Best Parts and the Challenges of my situation?

Best part of my situation is being able to see my baby boy grow up, while managing my career and being a wife all at the same time. I’m so blessed to have a job that gives me the flexibility I need to still be a mom and still get my job done. I do have to travel at times for work but the perks are being able to work from home half the time. So I’m still able to spend that quality time with my little one. Not to mention that being a military wife doesn’t make matters any better for me and sometimes puts a significant strain on life. Being able to travel the world and go to places I would never live in, if it weren’t for my husband’s career can be pretty cool at times. But this too is a great challenge for me, because I find myself living in his shadow and following his dreams rather than mine. It’s a catch 22.
Not to mention my husband has a strenuous job and crazy work schedule. At the moment he is a Drill Instructor, so what that means for me is that I have to play the role of mommy and daddy 80 percent of the time. I basically play the role of a single mom with a husband, if that makes any sense at all. He is always gone and sometimes is away for days at a time. Luckily this is only a three year duty so once it’s done he will go back to a regular schedule, but for now it’s all work and no play. It definitely puts all the pressure on me to balance the household and everything in it. It can be hard at times but my motto is "what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger." Luckily it’s not forever.

Is this what I thought it would be like and is it my ideal situation?

This is not what I thought it would be like at all, considering the fact that I live 3000 miles away from my friends and family. However, for the moment it works for me. This is where God and fate led me and I strongly feel that my future was destined to be where I am at. I’m with the love of my life and have a beautiful healthy boy so I can’t complain.

My ideal situation would probably be to have another baby. I think about having another baby at times especially now more than ever because my three year old is getting so big. What do they call it, “baby fever” but with baby comes a ton more responsibility, which I know I can handle. However, at this point in time it probably wouldn’t be the smartest move for me. I am finally getting to a place in my career that can bring great success and having another baby might delay things for me, which scares me. It’s a catch 22 for women that want to achieve success in the workforce but still maintain a family. I guess my situation is a bit more complex because my husband’s career can sometimes battle mine without meaning to. Moving every so often because of the military is really challenging when you’re trying to make a name for yourself as a working woman. Being a mom and wanting to have a successful career is difficult to begin with but I never thought I would be going up against my husband’s career and his success too. I wasn’t oblivious to the military life and I knew what I was getting myself into when I married him, I just didn’t think it would be this hard. However, he is the man of my dreams and just like having my son, putting myself on hold is what I would do for the two loves of my life. I just hope I don’t have any regrets in the future.

Tips on how you make your situation work for you?

I honestly don’t know. I feel like I am super mom. My situation is tougher than most because I live across the country from my family and close friends. So having the ability to say “Mom I’m dropping off your grandson” is not an option. One thing I will say that works for me is communication, communication, communication with the husband. Since it’s just us two and I do majority of the work when he is not around, I make sure that he knows everything that goes on at home and work. So whether it’s texting or leaving voicemails, my husband is always in the loop. And because I work from home half the time it’s not too bad for me. Daycare is always a big help! Not to mention a glass of wine at night while the little one is sleeping, keeps me sane!

How do you handle mommy guilt?

When I first put my son in daycare, I was so devastated. He is my baby and I didn’t want anyone taking care of him but me. But I couldn’t stay at home forever and money doesn’t grow on trees. Although staying at home started to drive me a little stir crazy and I found myself longing to get back in the real world having adult conversations.  Luckily after a couple of weeks the mommy guilt slowly faded. Besides, he loves daycare and just to see him smile as he says goodbye to me when I drop him off makes me realize I made the right decision.

Advice for new moms struggling with returning to work or if staying home is the right choice?

It will get better! It’s always difficult in the beginning because you are not sure if going back to work makes you a bad mom, but trust me it doesn’t. I feel that it’s good for us to get back to work, because it balances life out. Don’t get me wrong I know plenty of stay at home moms that love to be at home with their kids all day, and hey I commend them. But if you don’t have the luxury to stay at home because you need the dual income or if you just want to work because it’s what you love to do. Just know it does get better and only makes us working mommies that much stronger.

What will the next 5-10 years bring?

 Hopefully, the next five years is going to be about me and my success. I have followed my husband long enough and now it’s my time to shine and luckily he is more than happy to join me in the ride to our success as a family. Fingers crossed that all this education I have, will be my ticket into all my dreams that I left behind the moment I said yes! And hopefully somewhere along the lines baby number two comes along. There is no telling what the future will have in store for me. Hopefully the possibilities are endless, and if you want to read along in my journey you’re more than welcome too. It’s an interesting story to say the least.

{Thanks, Priscilla! To find the rest of the MMIW series click here}
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