Every minute of every day

Gotta love a baby smile!
Last night, my husband noted that I hadn't written a blog post in a while.  Which is true.  I've wanted to, but right now, I don't really get to do exactly what I want, when I want.  The reason I haven't blogged even though I want to can pretty much be summarized in the last 60 minutes of my day. 

I was starving and have been starving all day as it was 4:15 and all I've been able to grab for myself was a smoothie and cup of coffee, which I was hoping would suppress my hunger and give me a much needed surge of energy around noon until I could find a spare moment to eat something.  I had gotten the swaddle back out of the drawer for this afternoon nap.  We dropped the swaddle last week, which has gone well... 

He's still sleeping though the night, but had regressed back to 45 minutes naps.  Which pretty much means, it's 4:15 in the afternoon and all I've had time to do is sip on some blended up frozen fruit and lukewarm coffee.  Right now, shower is a very distant and ambitious hope for another day and another time. 

But now I have a snoozing baby burrito, which means I get to put something in my grumbling tummy and maybe get a head start on dinner.  As my feet hit the landing, the hardwood is wet, the cleaning people left around 3:30 so unless there was some sort of spill on their way out the door, it could only mean I just stepped in dog pee.  As I look down, that's not all she has left on the floor.  I've walked her 4 times already today, and am fine to just let her run away at this point.  I go to get some paper towels, but can't find any, so have to finagle my way into the storage space under the stairs to get some paper towels, begin cleaning up the mess to see the mess is a bloody mess, which isn't really a good thing.  I assume these doggie stomach issues are brought upon us because my husband has decided (without consulting me) to start Molly on dry food - only it's best to ease into a new dog food - not just pour her a bowl in the morning, which goes uneaten until some wet food on it.  But, "when she is hungry enough she will eat it." 

So I call the vet, to make her an appointment for tomorrow.  I finally make my way to the kitchen and say a silent praise to the Lord that I was smart enough to get some organic frozen veggies and brown rice entree at the grocery store "just in case."  I pop it in the microwave, grab a wet swiffer and re-mop the floor that was just mopped 2 hours ago.  I open the front door to get some sunlight in the foyer to make sure I got everything and Molly takes this opportunity to make a run for it.  So I go after her in my bare feet and after catching up with her, just thankful that I do not have to put James in the moby wrap for this impromptu outing. 

When I get back in, the microwave is done, and I get to eat something-yay!  Dinner prep will be after Josh gets home and can help with walking the dog continuously and entertaining the baby.  I guess I should be thankful he is home this week because he has been gone the past four weeks in a row.  I would honestly just open the front door and let the dog run away if he wasn't here.

How is this what an average hour of my day is like?  This multiplied x the 16 waking hours I have in a day is a glimpse of what my life is like right now.  Some hours are much much worse and some are remarkably better, in fact amazing.  But every second of everyday is full to the brim, and the good is so good it out weighs all the bad. 

James found his feet today


Friday Happy Hour

A little different than it used to be!

Now includes baby talkin with my boy, skinny cow ice cream sandwich, tracking daddies flight over the Atlantic, listening to the toddler station on Pandora, and occasionally (ok-constantly) wiping up spit-up.

If I'm lucky daddy will be home in time for me to make my Friday night Pilates class.

You know...

I've never been happier!

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Things We Love 2-3 Months

Ironic, that I'm trying to change my focus from being on 'things,' and I'm writing a things post. But I've found some life saving products on other bloggers posts like these, so here are the things we have loved as James has been in the 2-3 month age range.

He loves to grab things. The oball rattle is a favorite, My advice, get it at target and not a boutique like me-ha!

We also love the angel dear foggy pillow pictured above
Also a fav angel dear is the monkey blankie. He grabs it and shakes it around, so cute!

He also loves to grab and shake his wubbanub. I love it because we no longer loose his paci.

Tommy Tippee milk bibs were a life saver for our 'happy spitter' or a life saver for mommy's sanity

Also love the Aden+Anais burb bibs, but there isn't a product they make I don't love.

Also we love to jam to our Baby Einstein cd's

We read and read and read some more, James really doesn't discriminate, but really seems to enjoy all the Llama llama books.

There are so many things we use everyday from swaddlers to strollers, and one day I'll do a mega 'things' post, but that seems to cover the bases for now.


My First Mothers Day

Josh and James really know how to make mommy feel special. We spent a wonderful day/ weekend as a family which was so nice.

Josh took me out to brunch at the Sea Pearl just down the street. He had been there a few times for business dinners, but today was my first visit, it was awesome.

Best Bloody Mary's, granted no pickled okra, but the abundance of horseradish and other spices made up for it.

We both started with crab and corn chowder, which I dug into before I remembered to snap a picture, it was fantastic.

I had crab cake benedict, I rarely turn down a the combo of crab and hollandaise sauce. Delish!

Josh had the lobster pot, which was also super yummy.

Brunch was complete with a mango mousse, a nice treat.

After brunch we headed to a park, where we found we didn't have a stroller or sun hat for James. We did have diapers, and got creative with a light blanket to protect his little head.

Despite not being prepared for our journey to the park today, everything else in parenthood is gon so well.

Josh has been on business trips all month, so we've enjoyed spending weekends with daddy.

Being on my own has been hard, but with each passing week, I feel better and more confident in what I'm doing. Plus I survived taking care of the dog and baby by myself with food poisoning. If I could do that I can do just about anything!

I am loving being a mom, and am so grateful that I get to stay home with James. It is so amazing to be there first hand to help him learn and grow. He is just so happy, and it's neat to know that I'm one of the reasons why.

Of course the best moments are those causal ones at home!

I'm so glad that I was able to celebrate my very first mothers day with the guys I love, and I'm looking forward to a lifetime of more!



3 Months Old!


James, how on earth are you three months old? As I rocked you this afternoon in your nursery, I remembered the fist time I rocked you on your first night home. I remember being so so tired that night and you were so so fussy. This afternoon you just smiled your 1,000 watt smile at me. Your whole face lights up when you smile and I'm not sure what shines brighter your smile or the sparkle in your eye. You radiate joy all day long and I'm so happy that you are so happy!

You love to sleep, eat and play.

You are sleeping 11 1/2 hours a night and would probably do 12 if we put you down 30 minutes earlier - but it's so nice to spend time as a family when we can. We are transitioning the lengths of your naps to give you two nice long two hour naps a day with three "cat naps." So far you are transitioning very well despite mommy's errands occasionally infringing on nap times. We will be dropping your swaddle in the coming month, so I hope you are as easy with that as you have been with your naps.
This month your appetite varied dramatically. A few weeks ago you just refused to take your bed time bottle. So we dropped you from six feedings a day to five and upgraded you to a medium flow nipple. You are doing fantastic with this new set-up and are getting good feedings all day. I didn't expect to enjoy nursing as much as I do now, it was such a struggle at first. It's just such a special quite time for us to share. I'm pretty thrilled that the AAP now recommends exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months, but we will see what Dr. Kelly wants us to do at your next appointment.

At three months old you are already into everything! This past month I was thrilled when you could grasp your rattle and balls with my help and now, just a few days later, you are grabbing everything in sight and it's going straight to your mouth. Other than playing with your balls, kicking is your next favorite past time. Maybe that's how you stay so skinny. You are always moving, but still staying in the same place-thank goodness.  

You love to stare at the ceiling fan, you follow the blades with your whole head. It looks like you are at a tennis match as your head goes back and forth back and forth. You also find your two hands quiet captivating, and if you are not enthralled by the fan you are gazing at them in awe.

We do sit ups and stand up and down in my lap all day long. Up down up down.

You are very chatty these days especially after you eat, when you go to bed and wake up in the morning, you make all kinds of sounds and have started doing a very fun razz/rolling of your r's. Your daddy and I love talking to you.

We've moved on from your favorite song being Baa Baa Black Sheep to The Green Grass Grew All Around, and you laugh and laugh every time I sing it to you. You love it when mess up the words, you laugh and then I laugh and by the time I get my whits about me, the verse is already over. I hope we have fun like this together for the rest of our lives! I sing to you all day and am very grateful for our baby einstein CDs, and pandora's rock a bye baby, baby einstein and children's sing a long stations!

Nicknames include Coo-Man-Chu and Little Buddy

You are 25 1/2 (90th percentile) inches tall and weigh 14 pounds and 4 ounces (69th percentile).

We are so lucky to have such a wonderful son, I thank God everyday for making me your mommy.  


Taking My Own Advice

I haven't written as many posts as I would have liked to the last few days/weeks.  With Josh back on constant travel, and me trying to be a good and present mom, my "I" gadgets have taken a big time back seat to James, and what I wanted to write I needed to type (with all my fingers, not just thumbs).  This isn't my "typical" post full of pictures and fun updates on our lives.  It's about the changes that are occurring in my life right now, observing my evolving point of view, growing as a mother and letting go of the some of the things I love, so I can be a better wife and mom.

A few weeks before James was born I wrote an article for my sororities website on the balancing act we play as women  Why I Give My Time.  Work, family, volunteer commitments; sometimes it's a bit overwhelming.  As our lives ebb and flow and we grow as women our interests, priorities and availability change.  The overall theme is there is a time and a place for everything, do what gives you joy and make your happiness a priority.  This article I wrote, paired with a few others I've read the past few weeks have helped to shape and guided me to make some important decisions and strive for excellence in my new role as a stay at home mom. 

The time I have to spend with James is precious, I need to take full advantage of every moment.  When one of my best friends was visiting from Florida right after James was born she told me to enjoy it because they won't want to cuddle forever.  I took her advice to heart, and have been savoring every moment with my son.  Her words of wisdom paired with  this article from Hands Free Momma got me to put my iphone and ipad down unless James is conked out, we are face-timing with Daddy or jamming to a baby themed Pandora station.

I also took the article from Motherhood Matters to heart as well.  While at first I didn't feel like I compare myself to others or feel inadequate (lack of confidence has never really been an issue for me-ha), I've quickly realized that I do, more so recently than ever before.  Josh has a wonderful job and provides for our family, and I feel so lucky that I get to stay at home with James.  But I look longingly at the Mercedes SUV's and mulit-million dollar homes that surround us.  I'm not sure where my new obsession of commercialism is coming from.  I guess it would help if we didn't live in the highest income per capita city in the country, but I have to work much harder to answer the question posed at the end of this article of how to keep my perspective on the importance of my role in our family with so many temptations to compare myself to others. 

For those who know me, they know I like to be involved.  I am a hand raiser, a joiner, I like having lots of things to do.  I've quickly come to realize that being a mom to James is my number one priority.  The first week of the month is always insane with all the groups I'm involved with between board and committee meetings I'm out of the house almost every night.  It became very stressful and too much to bear very quickly, I nearly had a nervous breakdown a few Friday's ago while Josh was out of town, possible the country (I can't even remember where he was now).  I had a specialist appointment with James, where we got not so thrilling test results, sitting in traffic I quickly realized there was no way I would ever get home and get dressed in time to be at the Cherry Blossom Gala with my sorority alumnae group, where I was of course the point of contact.  It was then I realized how stressed and snappy doing all these things where making me.  It was time to clean house (not physically - I'm got help for that), but clean out and get ride of the things that take my time away from my family.  Over the past few weeks I've resigned from a bunch of positions and am winding up my commitments for the year with others.  I feel when May 22 comes and goes I will finally be able to breath again. 

I'm not sure if the link to my article will work, so here it is, as if this post isn't long enough.

Why I Give My Time

I’ve always been one of those people who were the first to raise my hand to volunteer. I try to give everything my all and I have always enjoyed being involved with lots of activities – the typical overachiever. As I’ve grown as a woman, I have learned lots of valuable lessons. When to say no and when to say yes, how to find joy in my daily activities and to be sure what I spend my time doing is enriching my life and helping me to meet the goals and priorities I have set for myself.

During different stages of our lives, different activities take priority. Planning my wedding trumped being president of my university’s local alumni chapter, career demands meant not serving on the gala committee of my favorite charity. Now, becoming a mother means leaving career opportunities I had worked long and hard to achieve.

Three years ago, when I moved from my home state of Florida to the suburbs of Washington, DC with my husband, I left behind the non-profit board of directors I sat on, activities with the Junior League, a fantastic career and the best friends a girl could ask for. I didn’t know what my new life in the Nation’s Capitol had in store for me, but was excited to spend it with my husband.

Quickly, I found a great job. I enjoyed being married. Planning and preparing our dinner menus, traveling, and exploring our new hometown were the highlights of my activities. Something was missing, so I decided to get more involved with Phi Mu by volunteering with the DC Alumnae Chapter and advising the collegiate chapter at American University. I transferred my membership to the Junior League of Washington, DC and joined a Daughter’s of the American Revolution Chapter. I’ve been able to make great friends, grow as an individual and find joy in doing all these things. I continue to learn more about myself and the woman I want to become by remaining involved with Phi Mu and volunteering with these other organizations.

The joy that fills my heart when the collegiate women I advise reach a goal they set for themselves or when I read with children at a homeless shelter by volunteering with Junior League are very satisfying and complement the life I have chosen to create for myself.

A main goal of mine is to have fulfilling days where I feel enriched and am able to be the best wife and mother I can be. I learned that by making my happiness a priority, I am able to be a better mother, wife, friend, daughter and employee. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way to help me develop a work, life, volunteer balance:

  • Edit – take the riff raff out, do what’s rewarding to you.  Find a way to bring joy to things that have to be done.  Folding laundry becomes a lot more fun when done while watching a recorded episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
  • Record – write it down and have a game plan.  Keep a calendar and schedule help to see what’s ahead and properly plan for it.   There are great online tools and beautiful paper planners to keep you on track.
  • Delegate - one person can’t do it all.  Set clear expectations, provide the tools and resources needed to complete the task and let the other person run with it.  It won’t be the same as if you did it yourself, but that’s OK.
  • Balance - learn to say no to unnecessary things and yes to meaningful activities.  Don’t count the quantity of what you do as a volunteer, count the quality.  Include time with your family and friends on your priority list.
  • Communicate - it’s imperative to be on the same page as the others in your life from co-workers to children, let them know what’s going on.  Regularly talking with my husband about our plans for the week has changed our marriage for the better.
  • Vision – set goals and check in to ensure that how time spent is worthwhile and helping you to achieve your goals.  If I spent all day running errands in the car, how did that help me achieve my goal of spending time with my family?  
  • Escape – take time for yourself.  Have some quite time, go for a walk or take a bath.  You’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on anything.
  • Endeavor - strive for excellence in everything you do.  Cutting corners is never fulfilling, work hard and take pride in your accomplishments.
These are just some of the guidelines I use to help me prioritize and balance the activities in my life.  I’m sure the list will grow as I continue to grow as a woman.