Thursday, September 3, 2015

Don't Rush Her

I recall being at the gym over a decade ago. I was on the stationary bike when a mother and her young daughter walked by. The little girl was probably no older than 3. As she walked by the lounge room, she stopped to look at the people watching television. Her mother waited patiently for her daughter's observation time to be over. She didn't grab her arm and drag her away. She did urge her to keep walking.

She allowed her daughter to take her time. She allowed her child to process what she was seeing at her own speed.

I have always remembered this moment. I thought to myself "Be that mom. The mom that doesn't make her child rush when no rush is necessary."

When I pick up Julia from daycare and she is running around playing with no interest in leaving, I let her play.

When she is lingering around the house, taking her time to get out the door, I let her linger.

When she wants to hug my legs instead of going this way or that way, I let her.

When she sits on my lap before I place her in the car seat and she rests her head on my chest, I squeeze her little body and kiss her head. If we sit there for 10 minutes in the driveway or the parking lot, that is okay. I think to myself, "These are the moments. Don't rush her."

I'm rarely in a hurry to get anywhere. I'm already 10 minutes late to work every day. If I'm 11 minutes late because I spent an extra minute with my arms wrapped around my child, I think that was a minute well spent.

Don't rush. These moments are fleeting.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Time marches on

She is 16.5 months old. But in my mind, she was just born. The sleepless nights and endless feedings aren't yet a distant memory.

Each phase comes and goes so quickly. You laugh and marvel at her development, thinking back to when she did nothing but sleep and eat. And that funny motion she made with her arms is suddenly gone, never to be repeated again no matter how hard you try to get her to do it.

But there is a new phase. A new skill. Equally fascinating and funny. And with time you understand that before you know it, that will be gone only to be replaced with something else. Rinse and repeat. The cycle of child development is thrilling.

While the world may still see her as a baby, the time you spend with her brings to light just how much she has grown. When the vacuum cord knocks the cat food dish 4 feet to the left, your "baby" picks it up and carries it back to where it belongs. This didn't occur via a parental request. She took it upon herself to fix something that was out of place. And when you see this happen, a lump will form in your throat, your heart will drop into your stomach and you will come to terms with time moving faster than you can even imagine.

The back to school pictures plastered all over social media flash you forward. Will she ever been that kid? Yes. And sooner than you are prepared for.

My friend moved her oldest daughter into her college dorm last week. I sent her a text a few days later to check on her. Her response was heartbreaking:

I'm surprised by how depressed I feel. Really. You tell yourself you know she's going way ahead of time. Does it help? No. Not at all.

I can't relate to moving my child out of my house, away from my protective wings but I do commiserate with the feeling of complete sadness when one phase ends and another begins. Sadness joined together with joy because they are stretching their own wings, experiencing life on their own terms. My friend's daughter is conquering college and living on her own while my child has mastered stepping out of the front door and down to tiny steps without assistance. Independence in two forms.

I remain sentimental about motherhood. I imagine I always will. The picture on my desk at work is of a smiling 3 month old. Her hair is whispy and dark and patchy which is nothing like the blonde locks that fall down in front of her face every morning when I pick her out of her crib. 

Didn't I take that picture yesterday? Isn't she still that small? 

I can't imagine her getting older than she is today. I can't imagine her being anything different than she is now. Motherhood is cruel in that way.

We aren't ready but time marches on.

And it waits for no one.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Favorite Kid, Favorite City

Sausalito, California
August 2, 2015
11 days shy of 16 months

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Another Weight Loss Post

When I complain about gaining weight, my husband says "you work out all the time, how do you gain weight?"

To which I reply, "I LOVE FOOD TOO MUCH!"

The past 15 days, I've restricted my eating in order to retrain my body. I've had no candy, no ice cream, no pastries, no fast food. I have had 2 small pieces of birthday cake and included dark chocolate chunks in the granola balls I made yesterday. But I have made no trips to the vending machine at work. I haven't stopped at the gas station for a morning muffin and there have been no indulging in the mini-drumsticks sitting in my freezer.

And I've proudly lost 7 pounds so far. SO FAR. The problem is that my weight today is my stall out weight. I haven't been able to get below it since birthing my child 15.5 months ago. I've gone up and back down to this exact weight-but never below.

If I can lost 7 pounds in 15 days, I know I can lose another 7 in 15 more days. I'll need to continue with my NO FUN eating plan, count my calories and exercise at least 5 times a week. But more importantly than any of that is not getting discouraged at how hard this might get as my body stalls out.

7 more pounds will put me at the weight I was the day I found out I was pregnant-August 2, 2013.  And while losing more than 7 pounds would be healthy, I am just going to take it 7 pounds at a time, one day at a time.

Here is a list of the food I have consumed so far today: 1150 calories.....

Breakfast Burrito and 4 oz of orange juice
Fruit leather and a small orange
Chopped up Steak and chicken with cheese, salsa and a tortilla (think a Chipotle bowl but not as good)
Pudding cup
Wheat thins
Granola balls

Dinner will consist of sweet potatoes sliced and baked in the oven and probably more steak and chicken (leftovers from a party this weekend).

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Our 4th of July

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. My husband doesn't believe me (What about Christmas, he says). There are no fireworks on Christmas! There is no red, white and blue. No parades and no block parties.

I love the 4th! And it seems Julia is a fan as well. We started the day in my hometown watching the parade. She oooohed and aaaaahhhhed and waved and smiled for the first 20 minutes. Then she wanted to walk into the street and be in the parade. So we spent a good portion walking around, saying hi to friends and trying to stay on the sidewalks. When it was clear to me that she was no longer happy being a spectator, we packed up and left.

She napped in the afternoon and with Chris supervising her during nap time (she was in our bed), I set up our driveway with Julia's water table and baby pool, lawn chairs and the cooler. I sat in the chair, feet placed in the pool, drinking a wine cooler and waiting for family to arrive.

The rest of the night was so much fun! Food, fireworks, s'mores! And Julia stayed up until 9:00 p.m. having a blast. She wasn't scared of the loud pops from the fireworks we set off and was wide-eyed and amazed by the colors. Lots of "oh wow" coming from her mouth! She went to bed right before the big fireworks show started without a fuss and slept until 7:00 a.m. A RECORD!

Last year, she was just a tiny 11 week old who had no idea what on earth was happening. This year, a week shy of being 15 months and lovin' life!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Love Letter

I cradled you in my arms after a long day of playing at school and at home. You explore so well. You are wonderfully curious. It is a quality we never want to stifle.

You grabbed at my ears. It is always the ears. When I grabbed back at yours, you smiled and giggled through the pacifier you were holding hostage in your mouth. Your eyes were heavy but still full of life, fighting off the exhaustion of a busy day.

I put you down to wander around the room only to find you back in my arms a short time later. This time, my nose is the object of your interest. You grab it and I grab yours back. Cute as a button, that tiny little sniffer on your face.

I shift you onto my lap and you pull at your feet. They are chubby and wonderful. I run my fingers across your toes and clap and rub the soles together. I remark to your dad how amazingly small your feet are and how I find it impossible to imagine them every being bigger. Those tiny, smooth heels with no wear and tear damage.

I cradle you again and I recap your day. Water play and naps. Snacks and lunch. Sitting in the garage together. Watching dad mow the lawn. Seeing the neighbors new baby. She is so tiny. You were never that small, were you?

I tell you what tomorrow will hold. Long naps for Grandma to catch up on your sleep. Probably a lot of inside play due to 100 degree weather. Reading books and crawling through the fun tunnel your Aunt gave you.

You take a bath and get comfortable in your pajamas. You are ready for bed but aren't quite done exploring around the house yet. Your eyes remain heavy and your voice begins to whimper and whine. It is now time for bed. You wave goodbye while grabbing at your bottle. You disappear up the stairs and the day is done.

Until tomorrow, my love. When we do it all over again. The greatest pleasure in my life is being your mom. Thank you for being you. Incredible Julia.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Working Mom Guilt

I love my daughter's daycare. I love the teachers. I love the location. I love everything about it. I know she also loves it there. Sometimes, when I pick her up, I watch her through the door just to see her walk around the classroom, playing with toys or with other kids. I love to observe her in that environment. It isn't something I get to do often.

I have every Monday at home with her. Yesterday, we woke up early, ate breakfast and after she cried in her crib for 20 minutes, we napped together in bed for over an hour. We went on a 2.5 mile run/walk before heading out to Costco for some shopping. We ate lunch together and played outside with the water table. She explored the backyard, pointing to the grass and the trees and asking "dis? dat?" She sat in the patio chair and spun around with a smile on her face. She walked the halls of the local hospital where I had my doctor appointment and kicked her legs when I saw her in the hallway with my mom afterwards. I got into the backseat to put her in the carseat and she rested her head on my chest and stayed that way for 30 seconds. I kissed her head and I said I love you.

When we got home, she made it very clear that she was hungry so I made her dinner while she verbally expressed her disappointment that I was moving too slow. The rest of the evening involved watching her walk around the house, coloring, reading books and playing with her toys. Then it was bath and bed.

When I crawled into my own bed at night, I thought about our day and how she made me laugh so many times. How she understands so much and is communicating so well, even though she doesn't have any real words to use. I thought about how she walks with one arm swinging fiercely and often stomps her feet while marching around. I pictured her cute spout standing tall on her head and her whispy blonde hair.

And I burst into tears because tomorrow won't be a repeat of today. And it is 4 long workdays until I get to be with her all day again. I am her mother. I should be with her. I should be teaching her animal sounds and doing arts and crafts with her. I should be at the park with her in the afternoon every single day and playing with her. I want to be eating lunch with her. The pain I felt was real and it hurt. I questioned myself for spending the last 10 months working while she was at daycare. I felt envy for my many friends who stay at home with their kids. I am sad that I can't do that.

I treasure my moments with her. I know she is gaining so many skills and learning so much at daycare. I know she loves it. And I love it too. I just wish she was with me. All the time.

Friday, May 8, 2015

I Won't Forget

I blogged about Mother's Day as a person who was facing a life without children here. That was in 2013, just three months before I would find myself holding a positive pregnancy test.

I was strong then. I had moved past a lot of my fears and worries and hangups about not being able to have children. It didn't happen overnight but I got there and I felt confident that Mother's Day wouldn't cause me to fall apart.

I know there are other women out there that aren't strong yet. And that is okay. You don't have to be strong. You just be you. For me, it was other occasions that sent me into an emotional rage. Visiting the Pumkpin Patch in the Fall with my nieces and seeing dozens of other families, chasing after their kids, playing with them in the corn bath and picking out pumpkins was my "fall apart" moment year after year.

But I won't forget the pain. Having a child after going through infertility doesn't erase the memories. In my case, it has made them stronger. I probably spend too much time questioning why things worked out the way they did. Why did I have to go through that in the first place? Why did I get pregnant when I was least expecting it? Why am I so lucky to get to raise this incredible human when so many friends are struggling?

I don't have the answers but I can tell you-I won't forget what it is like to be in your shoes. And I hope someday, you find yourself in mine.

Friday, April 17, 2015

One Year

 My miracle baby turned one on Monday. This entire week I have been trying to wrap my head around a year passing by. I'm still in complete shock that this time last year saw me struggling to breastfeed, learning how to move around the house a few days post c-section and deal with the range of emotions being post-partum brings. I was a mess.

But that little girl has made my life better. There aren't words to describe how much I love her. Being a parent is hard. She tests me already! Or maybe I am testing myself. Either way, I work to be a better person because of her. She makes me laugh daily and the rate at which she is learning new things is astounding. Their little brains are so open to new ideas and words and thoughts.

I miss her when she is sleeping in her room at night.
I can't get to daycare fast enough after work so I can see her.
Her zombie walk towards me when I walk in the room makes me entire day better.

To think that I had any clue what love for another person meant before she was born.
This is love.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


6 years ago, when we first started trying to have a baby, I wanted 2 kids. I grew up with a sister and couldn't imagine not having two children. In fact, I believe I remember telling a friend that I would rather have zero kids than one.

How times change.

I don't owe anyone an explanation or a reason on what our family will look like. But I know as soon as our child turns one in April, the questions about Baby #2 will start.

We are pretty sure there won't be a Baby #2. And we are okay with that. You should be too. Because how many children I have isn't your concern. Unless you are offering to help pay for daycare and breastfeed and get up at night to deal with a crying baby, you don't get an opinion.

I won't lie-I do have baby fever. My baby is nearly 23 pounds and 30" tall. She wears 18 month clothes and is starting to take steps. She feels less like a tiny newborn each day and is sad.

But I'll be 36 this year. It took 4 years and some sort of miracle to get pregnant. If we were to have kids 3 years apart, I would be bordering on 37, in the "advanced maternal age" category and considered high risk for complications. And that is only if I got pregnant the first time trying. Tack on another 4 years and I'm 40+.

Was this my plan 6 years ago? No. As our years of trying dragged on, was I sad about the chances of having 2 kids slowly diminishing? Yes. Very. But I was facing a life with no baby at all. And THAT was sad. Terribly sad.

Our Julia is the light of our lives. She is our everything. She is perfect.

Babies are hard. They are expensive. They take over your life.

I'm happy with one. Be happy with me. Be happy for me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


When does one find balance in life? I thought 9 months into this motherhood thing and I would be firing on all cylinders. I would have it all figured out. I would go through the day without any major stress because "I GOT THIS!"

I don't got this.

My got this looks like my showering in the morning as fast as I can because my baby is crying in her crib at 4:45 a.m. but I NEED to wash my hair.

My got this is cooking carrots at 8:00 p.m. to include in her lunch so I'm not the weird mom that doesn't send table food with her kid to daycare. Plus, she likes eating and is good at it!

My got this is staring at a bag of trash sitting in my front seat that has already tipped over and caused left over tea to spill onto the floor of my car.

My got this means putting the baby in her stroller as soon as we get home so we can both get some fresh air and time at the park before she eats at 5:00.

My got this doesn't look organized or normal or together. Most days I feel like I'm in such a big rush that slowing down to enjoy life isn't on the menu.

But that isn't okay. I think my balance will appear if I do slow down. If I throw out the trash today because the trash can is right there. If I stay at the park just a little bit longer. If I spend 1 extra minute in the shower while telling myself "she will be fine."

The choices I make on a daily basis all seem so important when really, only a few are crucial to my survival (and J's too). My balance will come when I follow the age old saying of not sweating the small stuff (and it's all small stuff).