Posts Tagged ‘working mom’

Life with Two Kids

There are lots of giggles. Juggling schedules. Adoration. Defiance. And adjustment.

Remember when I was going to be a stay-at-home mom? It lasted all of two weeks before I received my first contract requests, and for the last six weeks I’ve been working on a part-time basis for organizations and businesses. It’s wonderful. I get to use my skills, collaborate with others, bring in a small income and be available for Wes and Maisie.

Figuring out work time vs. feeding schedules, Maisie’s nap and school pick up has been the most challenging part, but we’re all starting to get used to the rhythm. Instead of evening workouts, I bring Maisie with me to morning classes. Whatever is on the agenda for a particular day has a hard stop time at 2 in order to make it to school, help with homework and get started on dinner, and then it’s nearly bedtime. I’ve had to become SUPER PRODUCTIVE during my precious morning and early afternoon hours. But look at this face! It’s worth it.

Wesley still thinks Maisie is the bee’s knees. Now that she’s nearly 4 months old and more responsive, he’s all the more eager to play with her.

“You’re such a sweetheart! I could love you forever and ever and ever!” (We took so many videos this day.)

Maisie practices using her giant hands, grabbing anything she can. She recently discovered she has feet, and it amuses her to kick her little legs. She’s a drool machine, though not teething yet. Her bibs and shirts are nearly always wet, her face and hands get chapped, and she has a stubborn drool rash under her chin that I can’t seem to get rid of. (What else should I try before heading to the pediatrician? Vaseline, Aquafor, Lotramin, coconut oil and neem oil haven’t yet done the trick.)

She fights sleep with everything she’s got. Sometimes it takes 1.5 hours of rocking, nursing and pacifier use to get her finally settled for the night. I still swaddle her, even though she tries to get her arms out. A flailing, loose arm and hand is dangerous – she whacks herself, and we start all over again. She can’t fight the magical swing for long when she’s sleepy, though. And once she’s asleep, she gives us 4-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night.

Everything she can grab goes into her mouth. Or she just look at it with her mouth open wide, drooling. She thinks sneezing is funny, her feet are ticklish, and she studies everything. She’s terrible at making eye contact when there’s so much to look at. However, Maisie reserves her biggest smiles when she has one-on-one time with someone: while changing a diaper or buckling her car seat belt.

When it’s just us or it’s relatively quiet, we hear her talk to us. “Ah ooooo!” “Uh uh uh.” “Hooooo!” And a series of grunts.

Maisie wants to “stand” whenever possible, so I wear her when I can (she prefers outfacing now), and she likes her Johnny Jump Up for about 10 minutes. While I’m working or preoccupied with my hands, she will tolerate the Bumbo seat while I finish up a recipe or wrap Christmas presents.

She isn’t rolling over yet, but she’s starting to move her hips and arch her back. Maisie gets lots of praises for small victories from her little cheering section.

As much as he loves her, Wes has struggled to find his place and position. It could be the change from Kindergarten to First Grade, or perhaps turning 7 flipped a switch. Steven and I have had to discipline Wes in a much stricter way than ever before, and it happened around the time of Maisie’s birth.

Defiance, back-talk, a “know-it-all” correcting attitude…our sweet kid is still sweet, but he has a sharper edge to him these days. Though when disciplined, he crumples with guilt. To find the balance, Steven recently re-enrolled him in Taekwondo (we took a hiatus once Maisie was born). Wes loves it, and he’s been able to channel his energy into a sport that teaches self control, obedience and respect. They also have their own father-son hobbies, which gives Wes a sense of exclusiveness and pride.

Additionally, we created a reward chart that compliments his usually good behavior but makes him more aware of the choices he makes. For example, he has to earn his right to watch a TV show after school, which is harder when docked points for bad behavior. It’s a love-hate relationship with the chart, but he has already come up with more reward options, “Monkey Joe’s! Pokemon cards!”

Steven and I take turns volunteering in his classroom. It’s been enlightening to see how he interacts with peers and teachers. Bias aside, he’s a smart kid who just needs a little direction to be a successful leader (and protective big brother). We’re so proud of him.

During advent, we’re reading stories about refugees and displacement, as Jesus and his family found refuge in Egypt. He seems particularly worried about families who have to be separated for any reason. He’s made a similar comment several times about his love for our immediate family.

“I just love my girls. If something ever happened to you or Maisie, I would be so, so sad and cry my eyes out.”

Being parents to TWO kids takes a lot more creativity and energy than anticipated, but wow, it’s good. Really good. Steven and I tag-team well. And being available for them in their unique needs has been such a fulfilling role for me.

Christmas is an exciting time, and I love spending these weeks of anticipation with my three favorite people.

Posted: December 7th, 2018
Categories: Leah
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Next Steps

My fingernails are the longest they’ve been since perhaps my wedding day. I’ve always had a nervous habit of fidgeting with my nails, and it got worse when I started playing guitar in high school because I bit down the nails on my left hand for easier fret fingering. Though I don’t play guitar much, I kept that nasty habit. But on maternity leave, I haven’t stress-bit hardly at all.

The last seven weeks have been filled with joy and adjustment. Wes continues to be helpful (“Mama, you already fed her on that side.”), and Steven has taken on or completed household projects every time I turn around.

I’ve developed some new skills as well:

  • Multitasking with one arm (while breastfeeding). I’m proud of my abilities to shuck corn, make dinner and set the table, feed the dogs, and yes, even use the bathroom while feeding Maisie. I don’t know why I don’t just use a carrier more often, which would make tasks that much easier!
  • Wearing spit up and sweatshirts. I notice these things while sitting in the parent pick up car line at Wesley’s school. I’ve also gotten good at configuring the best time to arrive at school with the least amount of idle waiting.
  • Reorganizing areas of the house. You should see my linen closet! Steven remarked on the Day of Kitchen Cabinets, “It’s like someone actually thought about where things should go.” I take that as a compliment.
  • Stocking the freezer. I’ve discovered how much I enjoy prepping freezer meals for a rainy day. We’ve eaten so well during the last couple months – starting with meals provided by friends the first weeks, and now with these Shattuck family-approved make-ahead meals (many of which are crockpot simple!).
  • Sorting clothes. Gone are the snug-fitting shirts and pants in Wesley’s closet. Maisie has a solid wardrobe for her first 9 months, all organized by size and season. I’ve also gotten good at dropping off bags of donated clothes to various places!
  • (Not) Looking sleep-deprived. Maisie is pretty good at sleeping once she finally gives in, but she can fight it for hours. Thankfully I can usually get enough rest to have a functional day ahead, but I can also call upon a tip given to me by a makeup artist friend: white eyeliner on the top lid makes you look more alert.

It hasn’t been all peaches and rainbows, however. This pregnancy and birth were relatively easy and uneventful, but the postpartum recovery process has been more difficult than anticipated. After initial breastfeeding issues and several infections, I’m not 100% recovered. I’m still fighting off a lingering staph infection, and it’s really frustrating. Some days I could do little more than watch reruns of The Office.

There were (and sadly, still are!) times where I felt like a senior woman who complains to friends and family about her aches and pains. Thankfully I’ve been well looked after and my body seems to be slowly healing, but it has made my big plans for traveling and visiting throughout leave go abandoned. Not to say I/we haven’t done anything fun!

Earlier this month we joined Steven on a day trip to Chicago. He was scheduled to speak at a conference on a late Saturday afternoon, so we bundled up the rental car, caught our familiar train from Hammond, and toted a stroller around downtown Chicago. We visited Millennium Park and the Bean before Steven had to get ready.

 

The kids and I spent the afternoon at Navy Pier and the Chicago Children’s Museum, which was so much better than expected. We had just enough time to walk back to the conference hotel (ugh, that walk was the worst because it happened during Maisie’s prime feeding time), walk to the station and board the train back to our car. We arrived home just before midnight. Steven: “We could do that again.” Maybe a near-future day trip to visit some museums?

Both Steven and I have volunteered in Wesley’s classroom on separate occasions this month. It’s the best way to see how the Spanish immersion experience plays out, and it’s amusing to observe how your kid does and interacts with others. Wesley was thrilled to show off his baby sister to his classmates, and she was Miss Popular at recess and the lunch room.

Our first date night occurred last week! Steven got us great seats to Andrew Bird’s limited symphony tour, Time is a Crooked Bow, as my birthday present earlier this year. The show did not disappoint. I joked with a friend (who generously watched the kids for us!) that I started leaking breast milk from sheer excitement.

We’ve also had entertainment at home during these past few weeks. Maisie has reached an interactive milestone and has been smiling and cooing at us in recent days. At bath time the other night, she was so happy that we all took turns making faces to get the best smiles out of her. We likely looked ridiculous, all three of us gathered around her, talking and giggling in high-pitched babbles. She loved it!

I’m unsure why the video recorded on its side:

I return to work this week, and I’m starting to fidget with my nails again. For good reason: this is the busiest week of the year as the Indianapolis Walk to End Alzheimer’s is happening on Saturday. I have missed the entire fundraising event season and feel very out of the loop. I’m anxious to jump in and be a part of things, contributing to a mission I love and believe in.

But I also believe in my mission to contribute to my family’s needs. Maisie was a gift to us, and it’s my turn to give her my time and service. After this event season wraps up, I’m stepping away from my job to be at home for the foreseeable future. We are in a more stable position than when Wesley was born, and though it’s not something I ever thought I’d do, it’s time for me to take on a new position at home.

This decision was made with lots of influence and encouragement from Steven and Wes. I pretty much blame them for this newest adjustment. Though I have to admit, I’m looking forward to experiencing Maisie’s milestones and spending the holidays together. In January our family will re-evaluate my options, and I may return to the work force in a part-time position if something fitting becomes available.

Though my nails will be bitten to the shreds in the next few weeks – from health concerns, returning to a busy work environment and then leaving it all behind – I find I’m not nearly as anxious as I might have been. God has provided a blanket of peace in which I’m deeply snuggled. There is joy in my heart. All is well.

If I should say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.    – Psalm 94:18-19

Posted: September 30th, 2018
Categories: Leah
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First Head Injury

IMG_0878aWhile I was organizing and setting up my webinar for 5 p.m. today, I noticed my phone ringing from Wes’ preschool. You know you better answer the phone when school calls. People started arriving into the digital waiting room, but I answered the call anyway.

“Hi, Leah. Wesley had a big fall today.”

Uh oh. “What happened? Is he alright?”

“Well, we stopped the bleeding from his head, and he’s been a good trooper.”

I’m not sure I heard most of what she said next because I was immediately thinking concussion. And then my mind raced to stupid scenarios which likely were too creative to be true. All I gathered was that there was a basketball hoop, some major dunking and mulch. Something at some point hit Wes in the back of the head and left a small puncture wound.

I talked to him over the phone and told him he would be alright. Daddy would pick him up soon.

whimpering “Okay, Mama.”

I hung up the phone and tried to plow through leading a webinar. Afterwards it took me nearly an hour to get home, but I did, eventually, and he was happily sitting on the couch.

“Hi, Mama. My head got hurt today. I was playing basketball.” I saw the ridiculous amount of blood that had stained the back of his shirt. It took all my strength not to pick him up like a baby and rock him. (What is wrong with me? It’s just a small cut!)

We played outside for a little while, tried to clean up the wound with hydrogen peroxide and rinsed the blood out of his hair in the fun form of a bubble bath. He seemed to act fairly normal all evening; we read a couple books and said a prayer thanking God for keeping him safe.

“My teacher picked me up and I was crying a lot. She was nice to me. And Daddy was nice to me and picked me up from school, too.” Sometimes he talks causally to God about his day. I’m sure God thinks it’s as sweet as I do.

He quickly drifted off to sleep.

Sweet boy, keep that noggin of yours safe. And don’t ever need stitches, please. This mama can’t handle it.

Posted: June 3rd, 2015
Categories: Leah
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Conversations with Wes: Careers

This morning, we somehow got around to talking about the careers of our relatives. Wes was fascinated to know what his aunts and uncles did “at work.”

Me: Did you know that Aunt Hannah, Uncle Jason and Aunt Kelly are all teachers?
Wes: You mean like my teacher at school?
Me: Yep, just like that.
Wes: I have a teacher. Her name is Miss ____.
Me: And when Grandma went to work, she helped sick people.
Wes: Yeah! Because she’s my grandma.
Me: Aunt Katie and Uncle Lee also help sick people get better.
Wes: What does Grandpa do?
Me: He’s called an engineer – he fixes things and uses wires and gadgets. (I really didn’t know how to best explain.)
Wes: And Pa and Nana, too.
Me: Sorta. They both work at an office like Grandpa does. And so do I and Daddy.
Wes: Why do you work with markers?
Me: Oh, you mean “marketing.” Yep! That’s what Daddy and I went to school to learn to do. And now we do it at work.
Me: Annnnnnd! Did you know that Uncle Chris works on houses? And he builds them too?
Wes: (hitting a sweet spot) HE WORKS ON HOUSES?! Like the song… (launching right into it)

Uncle Chris built his house upon the rock
Uncle Chris built his house upon the rock
Uncle Chris built his house upon the rock and the rain came tumblin down
The rains came down and the floods came up
The rains came down and the floods came up
The rains came down and the floods came up
And the house on the rock stood FIRRRRRRMMMM

And then later,
Wes: When Uncle Chris is sick, that means Aunt Katie makes him feel better. And then he builds houses.

Posted: March 7th, 2015
Categories: Leah
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But Man, Age 3…

PollyPandaSept14_1Let me make a disclaimer and say that Wes is a good kid and is generally well-liked. But man, age 3…

…Is Tough
Do I really need to explain? I mean, I knew it was coming; Wes was such a slow, easy-going and lazy infant and toddler. He now needs a ton more attention and activity. I feel like Steven and I are counting down and disciplining left and right for stalling, ignoring tactics, repeat behavior, refusals and – my favorite – potty talk. Three-year-old boys absolutely know what’s edgy enough to say and get away with it, and Wes is nearly always walking that fine line.

…Is Repetitive
Oh was that funny? Let’s do it again for a chuckle. And again. Alright. Ok, it’s a stale joke now. Seriously, it’s not funny anymore. Wesley, stop. STOP! Oh did that gross you out? Let’s do it again! Again! Again!

…Is Wonderful
Right now, I’m his best friend. He tells me nearly every day. Forget the fellow sweaty preschoolers, I win the best hug award! This guy has some major sweetness embedded deep within his heart, and I hope it never fades. The way he cares for people is evident, and he believes babies are life’s best miracle – and heck, he’s so right. I love watching Wes discover the world. His utter amazement – mind blown –  when he connects the dots about a concept. We’re also at an age where we are making memories that he recalls months later, and it’s wonderful to “reminisce” about the past.

…Brings Out the Best and Worst of Me
I’ve had to be creative more than ever. Thinking of ways to keep him occupied so he doesn’t get himself into trouble or break something has been a super challenge. We’re more crafty around here, and we do more hands-on activities. But sometimes I’m just plain tired from a long work day and can’t get myself off the couch. I grow irritable of his loud boy noises, repeated phrases/sounds and nonstop movements. His repetitive disobedience and testing. And then Mama Bear gets mad. I roar and stomp and do terrible irritable-mom things and instantly regret it.

I know Age 3 is full of learning and teachable experiences, but, you know, some days are just bad. Some days you completely skip right over those teachable moments and either brew worry or anger.

However, as cliche as it sounds, I’ve found that a new day presents new chances to learn from each other, and thank goodness for those second and third chances to make things right. I can’t be a perfect wife or mom, but we 3 have morning snuggles down to a science – and it heals any wounds from the day before.

…until we’re running late for school and Mama Bear makes an appearance again. 🙂

Posted: October 16th, 2014
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 1 Comment.

The Daycare Dilemma

Photo 1I’m pretty sure I’ve hit on this point before, so call me paranoid, I guess. I’m in this weird limbo of sorts because Wes is one of the only kids I know who attends daycare. There are a few, though usually the kids in my life are watched by a relative, dropped off at a caregiver’s house, or they have parents who work from or stay at home. I don’t think one is a better option than another, but it does cross my mind a lot.

It makes it tough because I can’t really talk through my troubles with many people and sort out my thoughts.

We’re about to transition Wesley into full-time daycare. Currently he attends 3 days a week, coupled with my mom watching him one day, and I the other. When he was still a tiny little guy, my friend Jillian watched him until he turned one year. He’s been enrolled in part-time daycare since then. My paranoia arises even when I type this.

Will we be able to afford it? His school is highly rated, which means it’s worth the money. But. Three days to five days is a big financial jump. I often find my job, of which I love, and of the not-for-profit salary margin, and the words, “importance” “worth it” and “selfish” in the same thought-sentences. It’s an ongoing battle in my brain.

Will we miss out on his childhood and developments? In other words, will I regret this decision later on? He’s only this age once. I don’t know how to answer this question.

Will he get enough rest? On days at home or at his grandma’s house, Wes will nap an average of two hours. However, with all the distractions at school, group naptime is usually about one hour, tops. He is a tired mess of a crank-ball by the time I pick him up. We struggle to get dinner on the table, eating is a challenge, and BOOM, it’s time for bed. I think we spend less than two hours with Wesley every weekday. It’s pretty crummy.

Will he ever stay healthy? I and his pediatrician are looking forward to the end of cold and flu season so we can kick these frequent winter illnesses in the rear end. With a kid who likes to touch his face, we’re pretty much doomed until Kindergarten.

And, of course, what will people think of us? I have to admit that I do think about how others view us. I know it doesn’t matter, but it affects me. His daycare, for instance, doesn’t cloth diaper. So, we’ve had to change our ways, and I feel a little guilty for not upholding my original plans. I feel like I’m now in this outsider realm of “failed cloth diapering parents.” Why, why does it matter? (Besides saving the environment?)

But then again, I weigh all the positive outcomes of his experiences. His school is a sigh of relief. It’s just down the street from my job, and I can be there in a heartbeat in case of fever or emergency or whatever. He mingles and socializes, which I know is a struggle for him. He learns to trust and obey authority. He learns to share and be part of a community. He learns! I mean, some days I have no idea what to do other than explore the outdoors or draw on a coloring page or destroy a block tower. These are teachers with real-life lesson plans geared toward specific developments of his brain’s age.

It amazes me how much he knows at nearly 21 months old. I’m super proud of him. I wish I could have taught him some of the things he shows me, but I don’t know how to teach him. I know how to love him and encourage him and support him, and I will.

The thing is, I want what’s best for our family. I know I am more fulfilled and happy and successful when I am employed in a wonderful position such as my own. Yes, even on the difficult days, I know this. My time, though it may be limited, with Wesley is more enjoyable when I’m applying and challenging myself during the day. I better appreciate and cherish the laughs and tears and snuggles with my son. I also know that my husband is proud of my accomplishments. He is proud of me! Ain’t that something?

So, I guess our situation may change down the road because I’m obviously still struggling with inconsistent thoughts. But for now, we enter full-time daycare. It’s a family effort. We’ll all feel the change.

Posted: April 12th, 2013
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 2 Comments.

Potatoes, Fevers and I’m a Hot Mess

I generally try to keep this blog positive and non-complain-y, but I have to break the rules occasionally. After all, what is the point of journaling (face it, I don’t blog for money or recognition, so therefore this is my public journal) if it doesn’t act as a release of some sort?

It’s been a tough week of Mom Guilt. And you know what else I’ve realized? I really suck at homemaking.

My job doesn’t typically include grant writing, but occasionally I assist here and there, and one of my proposals is due this coming Monday. It’s done and just needs to be printed and copied multiple times, and I am certainly grateful that I started working on it three weeks ago. But sometimes deadlines press so hard on me that I can’t think. I press onward to beat the deadline… like several days before, if I can. If not, I stress out about all the kajillion things that could stand in my way and make me miss the deadline. Ugghhh my brain!

Enter yet another Wes sickness. This time it’s just a low grade fever and runny nose, but I actually got annoyed at my son for being sick. As if he meant to get in the way of my deadline! And then… it hits.

MOM GUILT.

I have it bad. I feel torn between work and home life. What’s the boundary? If I’m not in the office, or heaven forbid, miss the proposal deadline, what will happen? Will I be needed? YES. Of course I will. That’s why I have a job.

If I’m not at home to comfort my feverish child who just wants his mom, what will happen? Will I be needed? YES. Will I be missed? DOUBLE YES.

You know what’s funny? I don’t consider myself stressed out right now. I tell myself I “just have a lot going on,” but when I look at my work load, I realize that I probably am stressing negatively. In fact, I had a near breakdown this evening when I accused myself of dinner failure. You see, during this week of approaching deadline, I found two large bags of potatoes in my pantry. For some crazy reason, I decided they needed to be eaten RIGHT NOW so that I wouldn’t have to throw them away (sprouts were everywhere). The night before I had attempted a new recipe that involved way too many cloves and not enough orange slices and it was pretty much horrible. And then, these potatoes… bah. My attempt two nights in a row was disastrous. WHO can mess up freaking potatoes?! This girl. I’m a hot mess.

And that week-old load of clean laundry that needs to be put away was ignored again today. Somehow denying it my attention serves as punishment. “Nuh uh, you don’t GET to be put away because of that crazy potato incident!” See? It makes sense.

Wes picks up on it. He was cranky today, too. When the sun decided to make a presence, we headed outside and soaked up our Vitamin D and felt tons better. He’s so much like me that way.

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Thankfully the proposal is done. I had the day off work today anyway, and it worked in my favor. But I need to remember to reevaluate my priorities. My family comes first and foremost. I need to take a chill pill and relax more. On purpose. Even if I don’t feel stressed out, you know? Be present with myself and my husband and my kid. And heck, I threw out the potatoes anyway.

Posted: March 8th, 2013
Categories: Leah
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The Post About Stay-At-Home Motherhood

Typically Steven stays home with Wes on Fridays, but this week was my turn to work four 10-hour days and spend today with the little guy. I gotta tell ya, it’s an adjustment to say the least. Granted, we’re early risers and really didn’t have to get up outside of the norm, but the whole “getting the entire household ready and out the door by 7” thing is tough. I definitely wore my Supermom cape this week and have been beaming with pride with my accomplishments.

Photo 3So today. The original plan was to wake up late, ease into the morning and visit my sister and the kids. My niece and nephew came down with a stomach bug, so I thought it would be fun to take Wes to the Children’s Museum instead. However, his 4 a.m. wake up-and-scream fest lasted nearly 2 hours (another blog post some day on night terrors), and I decided instead to make it a productive at-home day.

Based on how productive I was, and how great I feel at 9 p.m., I’ve come to the conclusion that staying at home full time might not be as terrible as I’ve imagined. Now, if you know me at all, it’s no secret that I love my job and would tell anyone that I prefer to be a working mother. But I’ve convinced myself that I would pull my hair out and drive myself crazy if I didn’t have an office position, deadlines and social outlet. Oh, the agony of it! Sure, I’d get to spend oodles of time with my only son and witness his milestones and accomplishments, but somehow my sanity has always seemed more important. Selfish sounding? I agree. We’ll get back to this thought later.

By 10:30 this morning, I had already: washed the sheets and started another load of laundry, handwashed the several-day-old pots and pans that were becoming a major eyesore, swept (vacuumed?) all the floors AND dusted our room. Whew. I was on a roll. Partly because Wes didn’t end up taking his nap like I thought he would, so I had some alone time while he talked to himself in his room.

We ate a leisurely lunch together, which never happens. We laughed and made funny faces at each other. Throwing on less grimy clothes, we left to fill up the gas tank – where I got hit on! (mind you, without showering or makeup) – and stocked up on necessities and not-so-necessities at Target. By the time we got home at 1:30, Wes was ready for his nap, so I finished several items off my list. Including my newly organized pantry:

Photo 1

It’s too bad I got the Ellen schedule all messed up, but I did get to see the last 15 minutes of Nicole Kidman giving her best impression of a kookaburra.

If you notice on my check list above, it says at the bottom, “remove poop.” Remember Jake, the Italian Greyhound who doesn’t like wind, rain or temperatures below 72 degrees? He certainly was having a fit during Blizzard 2012 and decided to do his business as close to the door as possible. Now that all the snow has melted away, our patio looks DISGUSTING. I think I deserve some sort of reward for scooping up multiple days worth of slushy, loose dog excrement.

Wesley woke up shortly after. The warmth of today was absolutely lovely, and we spent a long time enjoying it. He was beside himself.

In fact, the only way I could bribe him to go back inside was Baby Signing Time. These videos are slightly annoying, yes, but SO much better than other signing programs out there. Thumbs up. He smiles throughout the entire 25 minutes, and lately he’s been attempting multiple signs he hasn’t before. I caught him signing “day.”

Photo 4

Even after all that play time, I still had time to throw chicken in the oven, snap green beans and tidy the house before Steven got home. Alright, so Wes was on my hip for much of this time period. But he’s at the age where if he sees/participates in the preparation of dinner, he’s more apt to eat it. (He didn’t, however.)

Whatever was left on my list won’t take long as tomorrow’s chores.

It was a great day. I love my guy, and he’s thrilled when I’m home with him. There’s so much teasing, playing, laughter and all those wonderful things you associate with parenting on days like today. I know it was just one day. There are bad days, and they happen fairly frequently. But for today, I can resolve that I could be a SAHM. As long as I have a schedule to accomplish and realize I may not get everything done, I could do it. And throw in a few do-nothing days.

I’m trying to be less selfish and more accommodating for my family. Steven makes many sacrifices and works around the clock to provide for us. I sometimes feel like I skip off to my dream job, enjoy the day and the people and complain if I have a sick child. Reality check: I may have to be mom-at-home one day. I’m starting to get used to the idea, and it doesn’t make me quite so angry anymore.

Posted: January 11th, 2013
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 4 Comments.

I Am the 1%

Here’s the long-awaited “working mother” post. I’ve avoided this topic, mostly, because I don’t fit in. I enjoy working. “Wait, what?! Don’t you have a kid?”

Facebook is great. I like keeping up with people and seeing photos of families and hearing of news that I probably wouldn’t otherwise. It also opens up all kinds of silent judgments, and for that, I often contemplate pulling back from social media. I don’t want to, so I don’t, but it comes to mind more often than not. Usually it just means I hide certain types of posts and be done with it. I know I still have that new-mom grace period so I’m allowed to post a kajillion photos of Wes everywhere, but I also wonder how many people have hidden ME because of it. Posts about wanting to stay home with children but can’t, posts about kids growing up too fast – all that – I just don’t fit in.

Maybe it’s because I have a job that challenges me and keeps me craving more. Maybe it’s because I love my coworkers. Maybe it’s because I’m working for a fantastic mission in the face of a cold and scary national reality. Maybe it’s because it’s pretty much my dream job. Well, I’m sure it’s all of these things to an extent, but the fact is, when I was pregnant, I didn’t think I would want to stay home fulltime. I had many people tell me I would change my mind, but I haven’t. Sometimes I feel guilty about it. Will Wes think I love my job more than him one day? Will it make me a worse mom?

Yes, my job is overwhelming at times. 2012 is my busiest year yet. Throw in a new logo design and launch, and you don’t have nails for the year. And yes, I am truly looking forward to family vacation in September and my dear friend Jordan’s wedding next weekend. They keep me going. Knowing that I have so much to look forward to keeps my pace. But I still don’t believe I would trade it for staying home. It’s possible my life may change, and I may look back on these times and think Past Me is crazy for not being home. And that will be another windy post.

While I’m on the podium, I’m also “weird” in the fact that I’m just not in love with the infancy stage of life. I know it’s supposed to be some of the best years – watching tiny people grow into little people in just a short year. Since Month 6, we’ve had much better sleep and a much happier baby, but I’m ready for him to do toddler things. GASP. I know, I probably will regret saying that in the near future. I don’t want to wish away his life, either, so I’m savoring what I can each day. But honestly, mothering babies is so competitive. Women are the worst, most judgmental people in the universe. And I know I struggle with envy of nice, rounded heads filled with hair on a mobile baby. Why does it even matter? ALL KIDS GET HAIR. MOST KIDS WALK. It’s not like Wes has a terminal illness. I am blessed to have THE cutest and most expressive kid on the planet (Mothers: judge away). And more seriously, I am blessed to have Wes at all.

All my needless worries about hitting developmental milestones melt away when I slap myself back to reality. Too many of my friends are facing some sort of fertility, pregnancy or special needs battle. And again, Facebook opens up a world of knowledge I wouldn’t know about people otherwise. Through social media, my heart aches even MORE for people dreaming and praying for strong, healthy children and mothers. How can I be so thoughtless?

I am the 1%. I’m weird and like working. I’m ready to tackle “terrible threes” (yes, I know it’s supposed to be “two,” but frankly, 3 is harder!). And I feel like the lone person in the world who doesn’t know how to best comfort and console a hurting, wounded or barren woman. However, I do know the immeasurable power of prayer, and you’d better believe my list is growing.

Posted: May 6th, 2012
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 3 Comments.

Robot Photo Shoot

Same face

Ended up working from home today, and as we all know, it’s difficult to get much accomplished with an awake baby. His 6 month photos were way overdue, so even though it’s a gray day & the only camera laying around was the old, standby Kodak, we attempted Robot Photo Shoot.

I wish the photo quality was better, but his toothy grin and dimpled cheek (yes, that’s singular) still shines through. And Pink Robot, who lives in his nursery, was a welcome addition.

Check out the full set here.

 

Posted: January 26th, 2012
Categories: Leah
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