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TTC for #2

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

It feels so different trying for a baby this time around. It totally changes your perspective to have 9 months of pregnancy, a L&D, and a year and a half of parenting under your belt. My SIL commented that I seemed very relaxed about the whole thing - I think that's because I know what's on the other end once I do get pregnant. With that being said, I also feel so much better prepared and I know once I am pregnant, I'll savor every little bit of time as a mom to 1 (ALL THE SLEEP) because once baby comes, everything changes.

To back up, when H was around 15 months old, we tried half haphazardly for a few months and then put it on pause because I didn't want to be 9 months pregnant in the dead of summer. I'm not sure what changed (probably watching H get bigger and smarter and more of a little boy every single month that passes) but this month we decided to just let go of planning and give it a full effort. I re-downloaded my Glow app and have been tracking regularly. With that being said, I'm also not driving myself crazy. If it happens, it happens and the timing will be just as it's supposed to.

We talked about it and again, don't really have a gender preference! We do plan on finding out at the 20 week mark this time around though, just to do it differently. Honestly, I could see having another boy and maybe stopping there, or having a little girl and then trying for a third. It's really crazy how you have an idea in your head of what your family will look like but you really have no control over it! I'm not sure I'll write anymore about this until I have news to share because like I said, I'm not obsessing but this is an exciting time for our family with lots of changes on the horizon. It's scary to think about rocking the boat once things have finally calmed down but these are all happy blessings.

One last thought (I know this post is all over the place) is that Ben has given me full reign over baby naming this time around. He likes to think he named Harrison but we all know we had that name picked out for ages before we even got pregnant ;) So that is ONE thing I've been obsessing over.

Day in the life / 19 months old

Thursday, November 9, 2017

If I could go back in time I would have written these every month of Harrison's first year when it really counted (things definitely slowed down/got easier after that, in my opinion) but I still wanted to take a minute and document what a year and half looks like to us right now...

6 AM (give or take 15-30 minites) - rise and shine! Despite our best efforts, we're convinced Harrison smells Ben the second he's out of bed but I'm blessed to have an early bird husband who loves dancing around his toddler as he gets ready for work. Ben gives Harrison some breakfast snacks, packs his lunch and then rouses me around 6:20 so he can leave the house at 6:30.

6:30 AM Dad leaves for work and mom pours herself a giant cup of coffee. I finish feeding Harrison breakfast, which is usually some mix of carb (toast, oatmeal, cereal, french toast), fruit and yogurt and then change his diaper. We stay in our jammies and play, watch cartoons and wake up (me haha). Right now Harrison loves reading, watching the tractors across the street, playing hide and seek and coloring.

9 AM I make myself breakfast and Harrison eats half of it. I prep dinner, check emails, and do some housework. Since he's down to 1 nap/day now sometimes we run a morning errand, go for a walk or meet up with friends for a play date.

11 AM I usually feed him another snack around 10:30 and by 11 he's ready to lay down for his nap. Lately, he's been pushing this closer to 12 or even 1 which is weird because at daycare he naps from 11-1. My theory is they tire him out a lot more there ;)

NAP TIME I let Ivy out, grab the mail, pay bills, do any household stuff I can't get done with him under foot and sit down for a minute. Naptime flies by!

1 PM He’s up! We cuddle for a while, I change his diaper and since he’s usually not ready for a full on lunch, I give him a snack. We almost always leave the house in the afternoon for a long stretch. We visit other friends with kids, head across the street to run around the farm, visit my mom if it’s her day off, or head to the park if it’s nice out. Stores and basically anywhere that require quiet and still are becoming increasingly difficult but I’m trying to be better about not caring what anyone thinks since toddlers are definitely their own breed. In general, Harrison is pretty mild mannered and I tell myself the worst thing that can happen is that we just leave where we’re at. Since winter is approaching I think we’ll be spending a lot more time at the library and the little gym.

5 PM Dinner Time. I almost always have dinner prepped or even fully made in the morning because cooking with a hungry toddler at your feet is really trying. I also always have back-ups if what I have planned isn’t the most toddler-friendly or he’s having a picky day. I let Ivy out so he doesn’t try and give her food and then I let him watch a show while he eats (he typically eats more when he’s being entertained, not the best habit but whatever works!). When he’s done I throw the dishes in the sink, strip him down and we either shower together if I work the next day or he gets a bath. Most of the time he doesn’t want to get out so I let him splash until he’s cold and then it’s jammies, brushing our teeth and waiting for dad to get home! I try and relax at this point and just read lots of books, play and let him get all his energy out. I want his last memories of his day being mom and dad playing with him and him feeling loved on. 

6-7 ish Dad's home!! Harrison forgets all about mom and follows dad around while he unloads his stuff and gets changed. We read lots of books and play until….

7:15 BEDTIME Multiple rounds of kisses and hugs all around and then Dad takes H into his room and he rocks him a little and then lays him down drowsy. He rolls around a bunch and is usually out within 15 minutes.

7:30-9:30 Mom and Dad time! We eat dinner together, chat about our days, watch a show together and just unwind. Sometimes we’ll play cards, sit outside if it’s warm (or bundle up and have a fire if it’s a weekend night) and we're both usually in bed by 9:30.

PHEW! It makes me tired just writing all this out but this is such a fun age and although a lot of it is spent making snacks and cleaning up messes, I love the independence and the endless cuddles I get. His language is exploding and he loves helping me with stuff so I just try and practice lots of patience and be the best teacher I can be. I feel so lucky to have him for my son and he truly is an amazing little person. 

Thoughts on Turning 30

Monday, August 21, 2017

I turn 30 this Saturday and a lot of people have been asking me if I'm dreading it, but honestly, I'm looking forward to this new chapter and the only word I can truly describe how I feel is relieved. My 20s were jam-packed full of the typical big life events (graduating college, getting married, buying a house, having a baby...), but the last year especially, was a really huge time for self discovery and personal growth for me. Battling anxiety and questioning myself, my goals, my life - that's what my 20s were. And while your 20s seem to be the years you set the foundation for your life, your 30s is when you take action and mold your life truly into what you want it to be. The pressure feels off to "check things off the list" if that makes any sense.

I'm looking forward to entering this new stage with a stronger sense of self than I've ever had and making it my time to focus on the things that really matter and help me grow even more into the best person I can be to my family, friends and community. I can feel my priorities shifting and it's an exciting change. I'm looking forward to continuing to build the life I want for my family, getting more involved in my local community and taking time for myself. Here's to finally feeling like a grown up!

This weekend we have a baby-free night planned in the city and it's exactly what I wanted for my birthday - cheap tacos with my handsome man and then strolling around the city sipping on fancy cocktails. Then Sunday we are having our friends over for a fantasy football draft and some pizza. There will be a bunch of 1 year olds running around so it will be a full house for sure!  

the mower diaries

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

During the week it's all mama, all the time and this week especially I've been feeling pretty drained from it...and yes, it's only Tuesday. H isn't one to play independently for very long (and I'd lie if I said I wasn't a little envious when I see these other kiddos running around by themselves for what seems like hours doing their own thing), but I know every child is different and I try and cherish that he wants me to read him every single book in his little library....even if it is every single day, all day ;)

On the weekends, I catch a break because Ben is a super hands on dad and I love just sitting back and watching them interact. I know before I know it, he won't want to sit in my lap or give me endless kisses, or even want to be seen with us so I try really hard to take my tough days in stride. And in the meantime, weekends are daddy and son time.

Harrison is obsessed with the mower and all things farm/tractor so when Ben mows, H joins in and almost all the time falls asleep. I got a video this past weekend and I can't stop watching it because it melts my heart. I love their relationship so much.





On PPD & Baby #2

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I'm writing this as my toddler throws eggs onto the floor next to me, I'm heating up a cup of green tea, instead of a second cup of coffee because my body can't handle caffeine like it used to anymore, and I'm trying to figure out how to put into words all the changes that have happened over the past (almost) year and a half.

Physically, I bounced back fine. I didn't tear during birth, I lost the baby weight quickly (which I totally attribute to breastfeeding) and although breastfeeding was a struggle in the beginning we held on for 8 months. On the outside, everything looked fine.

Emotionally, it was the most trying time of my life - and I'm still working on it some days. Hormones are a crazy thing and for a long time, it's what kept me from ever thinking I'd be able to have a second child. I got diagnosed with PPD at 11 months post-partum. How's that for stubbornness? It wasn't all bad but so much of that first year was spent angry, crying, or just plain miserable. I finally got help, things took a turn for the better around the 1 year mark, which coincidentally, is also when my son started sleeping through the night.

Looking back, I know the bulk of it was being a first-time mom, becoming a SAHM, and of course hormones. I was on this ridiculous high during pregnancy and then the second he came into this world it was like a crash. I was sobbing uncontrollably in the hospital and I couldn't express why. I placed so much guilt and blame on myself and kept asking myself why I couldn't just keep it together. I thought I was missing the mom gene or the trait that would make me ever want to do this again.

Now I'm sitting here with a toddler and I have the smallest seed of yearning. Our family doesn't quite feel complete. I think about the all night feedings and the fact that I won't be able to "just sleep when the baby sleeps" because I'll have a toddler to care for too. I counter that with the thought that I might be a better mom to two. I won't be so hyper focused on the baby and myself and I won't have time to psycho-analyze. I'm sure I will look back on this post and roll my eyes at my own naivety but that's okay. Motherhood is about learning and growing and changing. I remember being super pregnant and thinking "I can't wait to get my body back". And I laugh thinking, that's not even important! Becoming a new woman is the hard part. Being completely selfless 24/7 and making time for it all without going completely insane is the part you should have researched. Oh and breastfeeding - should have taken that class. Live and learn.

But I know all of that now and I feel stronger and more capable and I have the tools to get through it. Baby #2 will come and I'm not sure when, but I know now that it's at least on the table and I feel more peace than I've felt in a long time about it. It's leaps and bounds from where I've been the last year.

I think about the little boy I envisioned for our family and Harrison is him to a T. Curious and cuddly and ridiculously smart and funny. Oh and stubborn like his parents ;) I'm not sure what baby #2 looks like. I know everyone wants to hear that I want a girl, but honestly (again) we don't care what we have. We'll probably find out what we're having this time around just to do things both ways. I can see a little tom girl like myself or a little, quieter brother for H. Or I could be totally off base and have a wild child on my hands. Either way, it will be perfect for our family.


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If you even THINK you might have PPD whether it be a week after baby is here, or a year, I urge you to call your doctor. It doesn't always mean medication, or therapy, or either. You will find what's right for you and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I promise.

http://www.1800ppdmoms.org/

August

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

And here I am at the beginning of another month after another long hiatus. What can I say? The days are long and opening up my computer at the end of the day is that last thing on my mind. Lately, I've been eating dinner, curling up with a good book and going to bed early. We've got a lot going on and I really need that time to recharge and unwind. We're still in the process of selling our house (most likely? long story for another time), I went on another interview (total flop) and on top of it all, Ivy tore her ACL last week so we're looking down the barrel at a super expensive surgery and long recovery.

I know it's not anyone's fault and this injury happens to lots of dogs but I couldn't help but feel overwhelming guilt. As the mom you're expected to take care of everyone and never miss a beat so when something like this happens your mind tends to race. I cried all day yesterday but today is a new day and a new month so we are just going to take it one step at a time and move forward. We had to cancel the anniversary trip we had planned for Fall because financially we can't do both, but family comes first and there will be plenty of time in our future to go on trips. And hey, it wouldn't be marriage and life in general if there weren't ups and downs.

We're in a trying period right now but the good thing about Ben and I is we don't give up. Yay, stubbornness! When one of us is down, the other cheers, if only on the outside, to keep the boat afloat. Lately, we've both been feeling pretty defeated but honestly, after a good night's sleep and a good cry it's nothing I know we can't handle. That's the wonderful thing about family too -- I know no matter how bad it gets, we have so much family and friends in our corner to lean on.

How's that for doom and gloom on a fresh Tuesday post? I just needed to get it out. It's not sunshine and roses all the time. But we do have a sunflower growing in our front garden so I'm taking that as a good omen.


Like I mentioned above, reading has been a really good escape for me lately. Unlike TV or social media, it doesn't feel like a drain or waste of time to me. I get so caught up in the characters and their stories and it helps me sleep so much better. Here's what I've read the past couple weeks:


Image result for the alaskan laundry

This book sucked me in from the beginning. It's about a young girl from Philadelphia who leaves home after her mother dies, and her father blaming her, kicks her out. She heads to Alaska where for 2 years she learns the ropes on all sort of fishing and crabbing boats while working through lots of things from her past (letting it all come out in the "laundry"). The story was so good that I wanted to see what happened after it was over, but I also know the story had to stop somewhere even if it didn't tie up every single loose end. The fishing jargon was a little hard to weed through and at the end I was surprised to see it was written by a man (not sure why I didn't notice that because I tend to lean towards female authors), but it was because he did a really good job tapping into female emotions and fears. Overall, a really good novel about how emotions run high during trying times and a good perspective from a tough female character.


Image result for how to knit a love song 

I picked this one up at the library last night and I'm already halfway done. The quote on the front says "The perfect book to curl up with, as warm and cozy as your favorite story". Seeing as I'm craving both comfort and cooler temps this book has me captivated. It follows the story of Cade and Eliza - two people thrown together by the fact that Cade's great-Aunt left him her sheep ranch that he's been living/working on for the last 10 years and he left Eliza the knitting cottage and the land on that ranch. Cade wants her off and Eliza just wants a fresh start and a place to live. Romance ensues which complicates things. I'll report back when I'm finished (probably tonight haha). 

I love novels with sub-cultures that I can learn more about (fishing, farming, and knitting in these cases) and it always makes me want to try my hand at it. My mother-in-law is knitting some things right now so I might need to ask her to show me the ropes to see if it's something I could get into. 

And speaking of hobbies, I'm keeping up with my garden (as much as I ever do) and should have my hands full with lots of tomatoes soon. I have some basil going and if it's not too late might plant some jalapenos and banana peppers to pickle. I'm looking forward to cooler temps, or atleast anything below 80, so I can get back to running outside. The gym/treadmill just isn't cutting it and I've been thinking about cancelling my membership altogether. 

It felt good to get on here to ramble and let my thoughts out. I can't promise I'll be back anytime soon because obviously consistency isn't my thing ;) but like always, I'll try. I turn 30 at the end of the month and have some thoughts rumbling around in my head about that. 

Heather 



Almost July / Summer Bucket List

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Here we are just two days out from July (why does that always feel like the middle marker of summer to me?) and my poor blog has been neglected. I can never decide what I want this space to be - a personal blog for my own development and passions, a photo dump for our daily happenings, or just a place I pop in randomly to ramble on with promises to post more often. For now, in this season, I like the idea of it becoming more of a place to record our every day activities, if only to look back on myself. We've been busy this week with a picnic at the lake yesterday, sprinklers with friends today and visiting a farm tomorrow. I had a grumpy day on Monday when I realized I once again forgot to schedule things with friends and the long week ahead looked looming. 

In all transparency, I struggle with the planning portion of being a SAHM. I can stick to the boring parts of cleaning, naps, meal prep but then I find myself bored or in a rut and I need to remind myself to get out and DO things. I guess it's just the natural introvert in me. I'm working to be better at getting out and doing things, even if no one is around. I mean, really, I haven't had a summer where I didn't work (in the traditional sense) since I was a teenager, so what's holding me back? I tell myself it's a lot of work to plan, pack up, get going but H is at an age where all he needs is some diapers, snacks and sunscreen and he's good to go. I tend to make outings bigger in my mind and need to get over that hurdle. So that's exactly what I did this week. I even made a little summer bucket list for us (and a lot of these can be repeated or saved for the weekend so Ben can join):
  • Giggleberry Fair
  • The Little Pod -- an indoor gym for kids that's perfect for rainy days
  • North Wales splash pad / Promenade shop sprinklers -- both free!
  • Pool days
  • Menlo Park carousel
  • Freddy Hill Farms
  • Bucks County Childrens' Museum
  • Tabora Farms sand pit
  • Nockamixon Lake beach area
  • Doylestown castle park
  • Elmwood Park Zoo
We are checking off the sprinklers with friends today so I'll be back at the end of the week with a photodump. Happy summer, friends.