Werk, Werk, Werk, Werk, Werk…

I am at the end of this maternity leave. I feel so fortunate that I have had the opportunity of having the last 11 weeks off work, and even more so to have the next two weeks part time to ease myself back into the swing of things.

While it is hard to transition away from my time with Daphne and my family, I do want to look at the positives of returning back work.

  1. I am ready to be back in the real world. I have been living in this perfect bubble of baby cheeks and boxes of raisins. I have no idea what is really happening outside of my house, so that will be nice to engage in reality again.
  2. I can eat lunch at a normal time instead of between cries and feeding other people. I can eat something that is hot and without having to hold a baby and worry about spilling on her. That one meal a day is going to be like a vacation.
  3. Routine. We have no routine right now. On one hand it is nice, and I have enjoyed the flexibility. But having no routine means that I have to have a billion alarms on my phone to remember things like paying the bills and taking my vitamins every day. Having a routine is good.
  4. I can wear my hair down for more than one day a week and dress like a real human being. I like my wardrobe, and I want to use it. I love Daphne but she likes to pull my hair and barf on me, so I have been living in grungy gym clothes all summer.
  5. I don’t have to worry about other people’s bodily functions or help them doing them for at least 8 hours a day. Bless them.
  6. On that note, I can go to the bathroom by myself.

Lastly, I really enjoy my job and August is such a fun time in Higher Ed. There is excitement to a new academic year, and all the hoopla that happens in the fall is just wonderful. I can’t wait to meet my class for my freshmen seminar and also the individual students that I will be coaching this fall. I know I am going to miss my babies, but coming back to this high energy time is going to be perfect to help me to get back into my professional mojo. It is the perfect time to be rejuvenated back to working mom life.

Tomorrow feels like the first day of school. I have all the bags packed and our clothes picked out. (I have tried on a million outfits like I am presenting myself to the world again.) I am excited to see all my friends and colleagues again. I have the jitters about leaving my family, and I’m slightly nervous that I have forgotten everything over the last few months.

I feel like I should be arming myself with a Lisa Frank Trapper keeper.

It’s going to be great…

I will get up in time…

Both kids will get to the sitter fed and clothed…

Pray for us.

This is Hard.

Yesterday, I cried at a salon.

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With George, I cried a lot during his first couple months. I had no idea what I was doing, so much was changing for us, and breastfeeding was a pain (literally and figuratively). With Daphne, things have been so seamless so far so my spirits have been high. But yesterday, I hit the emotional brick wall and had my first meltdown.

We are struggling a little with Daphne in the afternoons/evenings. She gets to a point where the only thing that will console her is me. Whether it is feeding her or me putting her in the wrap carrier, I am the solution.

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Knowing that I am going back to work soon, we knew that we needed to start getting her used to other people and getting her used to bottles.

So I have been more intentional about leaving the house while Tom is home or letting others hold her when we are out. I am also trying my best to not be holding her all day when I am home with her (STRUGGLE).

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Y’all, this is hard.

It is devastating to hear her cry. She’s wants nothing more than her momma.

Yesterday when I was at the salon, and Tom was sending me desperate texts asking me how to help her since she started screaming the moment I left, I was heartbroken because there was nothing I could do or that he could do.

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So I became emotionally unglued for the first time since she was born.

(Luckily it was during the time that they were letting my perm set so I was in the sink area by myself.)

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I feel guilty for wanting to go back to work.

I am anxious that she will just scream until I get back to her.

I am sad that our beautiful summer together is quickly coming to an end.

I have a heavy heart knowing that I am her security blanket right now.

The longest I have been away from her is three hours. I am starting to think about all those moments missed.

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I know there is no solution to this feeling, and I know from having George that some days the weight seems to bury you and others you do just fine carrying it all.

I also know that it is ok to cry.  And although the feeling of guilt is heavy, I don’t have anything to feel guilty about.

I know that being a mom is never easy and there is guilt with any lifestyle, but dang this is hard right now.

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I rationally know that I am doing what is best for me and my family by going to work. I love what I get to do and feel so fulfilled professionally. I nkow that they get the best of me when I am home. I know that the kids get the benefit of other folks loving on them and interacting with other kids all day. Rationally I know all of this.

But sometimes a momma’s emotions are not rational.

I mean look at those cheeks? How do you not start crying knowing you can’t eat them up all day long?

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So for now I am letting my hormones get the best of me and cry along with her as we start this transition back to normal.

I enjoy all the time we do get together, and I feel so fortunate to have a few more weeks at home than I did with George.

I will try not to stress too much about what is to come in two weeks. I know everything will work out fine, and that I am not scaring them for life.

But I have to admit, today, it is hard.

(That’s what she said.)

A Day For Us

Days go by so quickly, and I want to remember the little things.

I saw another blogger record just a random day for her family, and it prompted me to do it for us. Our days change so much with our schedules, and with an ever changing toddler, but I thought it would be nice to see just one day of our lives laid out.

And I also happened to do it on a Monday. The day that I rarely have my crap together. Sounds about right.

My alarm goes off at 5:10, but I hit the snooze until about 5:30 when I grudgingly get out of bed. This day, George was still asleep so I rushed into the shower to get done before he decided to join the day. Every day is different though. Some days he wakes me up before my alarm, other days I have to wake him up 15 minutes before we have to leave.

This Monday however, he stayed asleep until I got out of the shower and dressed. He EVEN read his books quietly for about 5 minutes before I went to get him up for his milk.

One of my favorite parts of the day is when I pick him up out of the crib is that he hugs you so tightly. Seriously the best. It warms my cold morning heart right up.

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First thing on the agenda for little man is getting some milk. He is barely awake so he usually gets upset when I put him down so I can get his cup ready.

He is obsessed with this chair. He carries it around with him, and he will sit so proudly in it. He looks way to big sitting in it. I do not approve.

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Most mornings though he isn’t done snuggling, and this morning was no exception. So he crawled in my lap as I ate breakfast and did my morning devotion. However, I think the snuggling is all food motivated because he generally gets some cereal in the process. (He eats a full breakfast once he gets to the sitter’s.)

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Every morning George shuts us in this room to get ready. I have the door open, but he feels so proud of himself that he can shut the door on his own so he does it anytime he can. Even though all his toys are behind the door, he usually finds other things of mine to play with, like my scarves. He LOVES my scarves. He is often carrying them around like Linus in Peanuts, or he wears them as scarves are meant to be warn. He is infatuated with them.

He also loves this box and that he can sit on it like a chair. Surprisingly, he will sit on it quietly for about 5 minutes just content with the world on a box.

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At about 7am, we are finally getting George dressed for the day. And I take the opportunity to get some good snuggles in.

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And in the car we go. Folks this Monday, for some reason I decided to make this the day that we no longer use a pacy in the car. It might have been because my car stash had all made it into the house, and I didn’t feel like running back in to get them. But hey, Mondays already are the pits so why not endure a screaming toddler in your backseat.

(He did really well actually. He only cried for maybe 3 minutes on the way there and on the way home. This was our week I guess!)

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I also need to mention that I got all the way down the street before I realized I was not wearing real shoes. So we had to turn around so I could grab work appropriate shoes instead of my slippers. #Mondays

This Monday apparently was like the heavenly Monday because I made it to work on time as well, even with the lack of shoe debacle.

My day at work was a pretty light day. I only had one student meeting. We also had a huge event planned for Tuesday (that I was co-running), so I had a lot of prep work to do for that. Bulletin boards, last minute emails, random printouts, and event set-up were on the docket to make it successful. I also have been working through a personal financial planning course for the last 6ish months, and the final exam was this week. I blocked out a lot of time to study for that, and my test anxiety came back real strong. But I passed it! Now I will be able to talk with students about their personal finances more effectively since our office sees so much of these struggles and looking for options.

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I am loving that it is still daylight once we get home which is sometime between 5:45 and 6:30 depending on the day.

We are trying to teach George how to get from the car to wherever we are going. It is a process. Sometimes he loses footing or his focus.

His hugs. Can’t.Get.Enough.

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George looks like he is having a very important meeting.

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We generally play a little bit before dinner, or while dinner is cooking. He loves his puzzles.

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I have started letting George record himself while holding the camera. He thinks it is great, and I find the videos hilarious to see his viewpoint.

George knows how to feed himself a banana, but some days he will only eat it if I hold it. If I try to give it to him, he throws a tantrum. Some days I am up for dealing with the tantrum. This Monday, I was not.

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We had spaghetti and meatballs with brussel sprouts for dinner. Truth:  the meatballs were from a bag in the frozen aisle.

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George needed some reassurance before getting in the bathtub.

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Sometimes toddlers are odd.

George just climbed up on this chair to assist his daddy with getting ready for work. Tom was on the midnight shift, so he gets ready after we do bath time.

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It’s not easy to say goodbye, but at least we have these moments.

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He may not be talking much, but he can follow instructions.

He does a really great job brushing his own teeth now. It makes me so proud!

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Whenever Tom is home right before bedtime, George gets to jump on our bed. HE LOVES THIS! Jumping is a new development in the past couple weeks.

Before we go to bed, we have to say “night night” and dole out hugs to everyone.

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We usually read two or three books each night. I let George pick out at least one of the books each night, and he ALWAYS picks the “That’s Not My” series.

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Once Gdubs is in bed around 8, I get my me time since Tom went to work. Monday nights I don’t worry about any dirty dishes or the toys every where. Whether it is Dancing with the Stars or the Bachelor franchise, Monday nights are my nights. I am a bump on the couch and enjoy my ice cream watching the drama go down.

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I start getting ready for bed around 9:30/10pm. I am asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

Pretty good for a Monday if I may say so. Every day is a new day trying to make this thing work. But we all made it to where we needed to be…on time…and eventually wearing shoes. So that is something!

Fit for Me 10/52

Has it really been 10 weeks since I started this challenge? Wow.

What I did last week:

Thursday-10 minutes on the row machine…HOLY MOLY what a burn. 20 minutes on the elliptical.

Sunday-We took advantage of the beautiful weather and took the kids on a walk. The dogs have been needing more time outside so it was nice to finally be able to get out with the temps not freezing.

Tuesday-30 minutes on the elliptical.

Impressed by:

Making it to 10 minutes on the rowing machine. I wanted to stop at 5.

Struggled with:

My period has come back with a vengeance so I had to sit out from the exercise game due to being in pure agony.

Did I meet my goal from last week?

I tackled the rowing machine! I am not sure if it was like a beast, or if it was the beast. Either way, it was an intense 10 minutes. It has been a long time since I have been on a row machine, and apparently I forgot how it hits everything so I was a little shocked at first that I couldn’t do more than 10 minutes.

What is my goal for next week?

To work out at least 5 days. I have been struggling a little bit, so I need a little goal motivation. Plus I will be going on a road trip at the tail end of next week, so I need to make this week count!

Fitness Thoughts:

I have seen some positive improvements, but the process is slow. I still struggle at times getting out the door or remembering to do at-home workouts. The thing about fitness, unless it is your job, you really have to decide to make it a priority every day. It is not a one time decision. If you want to see changes in the long run it has to be a habit that makes it into your every day in some way. I think that is hard for anyone to find that time, but also the balance that it won’t become a chore. I think that is why so many people struggle with fitness. It is so easy to push it out of your day. So easy. As a working mom, there are so many other things that I could be doing, but should I be? I mean really does my kitchen need to be clean?I need to remember to make a conscious effort to move a little more every day. It definitely takes a re-framing of your mind every day.

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Just An Average Day

One thing I love about this blog is that it is a documentation of our family. I enjoy reading back and remember how things were at that time and how they have changed/or not since then.

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So this is what our schedule looks like now with me as a working mom, Tom in the Police Academy, and George being his 6 month self. This is our average day.

  • Tom’s alarm goes off some time between 4:15 and 4:30am. He lets the dogs out first thing.
  • If George wakes up before 4:45 and cannot be soothed, he ends up sleeping with me either on his floor, his rocker, or our bed. If he wakes up before 3:30am, I can usually nurse him for a couple minutes and put him back down in his crib.
  • If he wakes up between 4:45 and 5:20, I wake up and nurse him. Then I just stay awake and start our day.
  • If he is an angel child, I have to wake him up when my alarm goes off at 5:20. Or at 5:30 after hitting the snooze. I will then nurse him, change his diaper and clothes.
  • Tom leaves around 5:15am for PT.
  • After George is ready for the day, I bring the play mat into the bathroom and put George there on the bathroom floor while I hop on the shower. This is always interesting because he is most alert in the morning and loves to babble. So we talk through the shower curtain. At first I was concerned about the dogs messing with him while I was in the shower. But who am I kidding they are divas and crawl back under the blankets while I shower.
  • Around 6am, we have breakfast. George is first with some rice cereal mixed with some other puree. Then I have cereal while he plays on the kick and play. I also use this time to catch up on Instagram.
  • At 6:45, I put George on a blanket next to the bathroom doorway and let him play with toys while I put on make-up and dry my hair. He is mesmerized by my hair dryer! This is also when I listen to my daily devotional speeches.
  • At 7:00, I let the dogs out one last time while I load up the car with every bag imaginable.
  • At 7:15, I brush my teeth while holding George because he has started his morning nap-time fussiness. I also close all the room doors and do a last check of dog destruction potential.
  • By 7:25, George and I are in the car. (Usually I have to circle the neighborhood to make sure I shut the garage door.)
  • We hit the babysitter’s house at 7:40.
  • At 7:50, I head to CC which is 5 minutes away.
  • I walk into my office around 8 am and then do the work thing all day.
  • Tom sometimes gets a long lunch to come home to check on the dogs.
  • I get off at 5pm. Tom does sometimes. If we both are off at 5, Tom picks up George on Tuesdays/Thursdays. I then pick up G on Monday/Wednesday/Friday. But more often than not, Tom does not get off at 5. Either way, George is picked up around 5:15 every day.
  • On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I will go to the gym regardless of if I picked up G or not. The gym childcare ladies love him, so it is a win/win. Seriously they all huddle at the window when they see us walk in and squeal when we come in the door. It’s a great feeling to see him so loved when he is only there a couple hours each week.
  • On Mondays and Wednesdays we get home about 5:30. Tuesdays and Thursdays we get home about 6:30.
  • Tom usually gets home between 7 and 8 after he gets off and then goes to work out. (which is technically him still working) There are some days like tonight that he won’t get home until after 11pm. Real bummer.
  • I feed George some solid food at 6:30.
  • Tom then does George’s bath time right when he gets home around 7. If he isn’t home yet, I do the bath charge. But to be honest some days when Tom isn’t home yet, George just gets a “wipes” bath. Especially on the nights where I have an hour worth of dishes to do.
  • I take the lead on the first bedtime with jammies, story time, last nursing of the day, and then lights out hopefully around 7:30-7:45.
  • We (the adults) finally have dinner at 8:00pm. Lately, we haven’t really been sitting down together to eat just with the way that the schedule has gone. I am hoping once the academy is over we can adjust things so we can sit down formally together again.
  • Rarely does George make it past 8:30 with this first bedtime. So we take turns with the wiggle monster depending on what we need to do. This is really the time that we do any household chores, getting ready for the morning, I catch up on the blog, Tom does his homework, and anything else that needs to be done.
  • We hardly ever spend this time in the same room “being still” during the week because of things that have to get done that night. (We are sooo ready for the academy to be over to have us time again.) Friday nights however, we do go on our Hy-Vee buffet date night, so we don’t worry about any household chores that night.
  • At 9:30pm, Tom gets George’s last bottle ready and then feeds him.
  • Around 10pm, Tom puts George down for the final time of the night.
  • At the same time, I wash my face and brush my teeth. Then I do one last pumping session before bed. I use this time to do my bible study.
  • Around 10:30, sometimes Tom and I will have some time to chat and just be the two of us. Usually we pass out around 10:30 though. It is very seldom that we are awake past 11pm on a weeknight.

The weekends are a lot more fluid, but we do try to keep George’s night time routine the same as much as possible.

There are a few things we do to make things go a little smoother and save ourselves some time.

I still try to pick out George’s and my clothes for the week on Sunday afternoons. I find I spend much less time wondering what the heck we are going to wear when I carve out a half hour on Sunday to lay everything out. It also helps to grab George’s clothes more quickly since he is now practicing to try out for Cirque du Soleil.

I also purchased more pump parts so I am only doing dishes for that 3 nights out of the week which is a huge help! I have a pretty good system now that I set up my computer in front of the sink and catch up on shows while I clean those parts those nights.This makes me feel like washing dishes isn’t so awful with the entertainment distracting me.

Sundays we also do a lot of meal prep for the week so we don’t have to do as much with our limited time during the week. This has been such a saving grace so we don’t have to worry so much about what we are going to eat for lunches and dinners.

I write a majority of my blog posts over the weekend. Having the skeleton done makes it much easier to go in quickly during the week to do some edits. I have a planner with all my ideas written out so I know when I want to post what and can design drafts farther in advance as well.

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So there you have it. Our schedule is a little messy right now with very little down time during the week. It’s not ideal, but we are making it work right now with our temporary schedule.

Do you have a crazy schedule? What are your time saving tips?