With Grace

The Monday-est Monday ever

April 24, 2017

The story begins with a young, new mommy who just knew that she had done everything she could to prepare for the start of the week. Pump parts were washed, baby's clothes were laid out, lunch for the week was bought and packed, and she had her morning routine down. Or so she thought. 
It started with our routine being off. Adi had woken up a little earlier than usual so I got her fed and then put her back to sleep while I decided to get ready. After I had everything packed and loaded in the car, I woke our sweet girl so that I could get her ready. She has been battling a cold, or what I think is allergies (that's a different post for a different day) and so when I got her all changed, she started to gag on some of the junk in her nose and spit up all over her daycare outfit. So I changed her, threw on some clothes, and off to daycare we went. 

I got her all settled in at daycare and headed into work. I am careful about what I choose to wear to work because I need it to be pumping and nursing friendly (again, another post for a different day) so I had on a button up dress and my black flip flops. I was walking around the office when someone stopped me and politely told me I had something all over the back of my dress. Sure enough, I had obviously sat in something that was now all over my dress. So I made a quick exit to run home and change. 

I get home, change quickly into what I thought was black pants and a black button up blouse and run back to work. As I'm getting out of my car to go inside, I happen to notice that I had put on my blue pants and not my black pants. Sigh. Thankfully M was off work so I call him and ask him to bring me a shirt from my closet that matches my blue pants. I do not like to not match and we had 3 interviews scheduled for that morning and I did not want the first impression I made on potential new teachers to our school to look at me and not take me seriously. 

As I'm in and out of interviews, daycare calls. It is never a good sign when you have a missed call from your baby's daycare. I call them back and the lady says "Umm I think your baby is going to be mighty hungry today without any milk". It took me a second to realize that I had not restocked them on milk for her week. A quick call to M before he left with my shirt resulted in him dropping milk off for our sweet girl to eat and then bringing me my blue shirt to match my blue pants. 

After he drops off my shirt, I run into the restroom to change into my blue blouse to match my blue pants, only to realize that I still had on my black shoes that matched my dress. The only thing I knew to do was laugh, walk to my office, and go about my day. 

And in the longest winded post ever, here's to hoping that today is a better Monday than the last one.  

Working Momma

April 17, 2017

Work. noun. activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. 
my friend Sara sent me this book and I can't wait to dive into it. 
Even before I got pregnant, Michael and I discussed what we would do if we add a sweet baby to our little family and the answer was always that I would go back to work. Not because I had to, but because I love my job. Being around people and my over 700 students brings me so much joy (and some stress too) but I couldn't seem to imagine not going back to work and not seeing my kids. If I'm being honest, we live a comfortable life style with both of our incomes so that was part of our thinking also. 

I think going into parenthood with the mindset that I wanted to return to work helped me when that time came. After the first week with her, I was almost sure that I could never take that tiny little human to a daycare, leave her in the arms of someone else, and then pick her up 9-10 hours later. A few weeks passed and I still would cry thinking about not being the person that was with her all day long yet I longed to get back into my own groove and return to work. It's crazy how much you can want two totally opposite things at the very same moment in time. 

About 2 weeks before Adi was due to go to daycare and I was to return to work, I had to go to the daycare to finalize paperwork. I wanted to walk in there hating the place, the people, and ultimately tell them that she wouldn't be attending and then figure out my work situation. But when I walked into the doors, a sense of peace came over me. I talked with the teachers in her room, saw where she would be hanging out, and was able to watch them interacting with the other babies in the room and I knew that I was making the right decision for me. For her. For our family. 

That doesn't mean I didn't cry the week leading up to her first day. I would cry holding her, wanting those moments to stay forever. I cried picking out her outfit the night before. I cried putting her to bed that night. It wasn't easy to know that the next day I wasn't going to spend all day staring at her, holding her, bonding with her. But I also knew that this was the first step that I needed to take for her and for me. 

So come Monday, March 20th, after almost 7 sweet weeks with our girl, I drove her to daycare. We stopped at sonic first because I wasn't quite ready. Then I took her into her room and immediately started crying. The poor lady in there had to listen to me cry while also listening to my instructions for her that they already knew. I loved on her for at least 10 minutes and then passed her over. It was such a bittersweet moment. I was leaving this precious little soul and selfishly excited to go back to work. It was quite the scene in there I tell ya. 

I made it until about 11 that first day. Not quite by choice but by divine intervention I suppose. I had forgotten to turn in my paperwork to return to work so I had to leave work immediately around 11. I will admit that I did not wait a single moment when they told me that. I was packed up and headed to the door to go pick up my girl. It was the perfect opportunity for me to see what her days would be like at daycare without them knowing that I would show up. 

So I get to daycare, peak through the window, and low and behold, the sweet, sweet teachers are loving all over the babies in there while doing tummy time and letting the babies explore different textures. It soothed my momma heart and let me know that if I was going to be away from her, she was in great hands. But, it was time for her to be back with me. So I picked her up and we spent the rest of the day snuggling and catching up. 

It was the perfect way to start our journey of me back to work and her at daycare. It definitely helps knowing that starting June 1, I have 2 whole months off with her to just enjoy her and watch her grow and develop. I feel very blessed by that because I know for some working momma's those first weeks are the longest stint of time they get with their littles. 

So, this is me. Being a working momma while Adi is a daycare baby. And we are surviving. She is learning and growing and I am getting my interaction with my students and other adults, then getting to enjoy her at night. It's not everyone's perfect, but it is working for us.  

With Grace | Volume II

April 10, 2017

When I was trying to come up with the name of this blog to make my grand re-entrance back into the blogland, I wanted something that would grow with me. I pictured it showcasing my every day life, mommy-hood, and anything else that came along. I didn't realize when I wrote it, how much it would mean to me on the mommy-hood part.

As I've journeyed through these past almost 10 weeks with our sweet girl, I have tried to do it with grace. There have been moments of weakness, tears shed, questions asked, questions unanswered, and moments of regret. But there have also been so many moments of happiness, joy, overwhelming peace, and wonderful moments. But most of all, there has been grace.
The life of a mommy is no simple task. What works one day does not always work the next. What worked for a friend may or may not work for you. Those first few weeks you feel like you are in the trenches. You are grasping for any tiny little clue that you are doing something right. Searching for something to make it easier. Grasping for moments of clarity and understanding when you feel like the dumbest person around. But in all of those moments, there is so much grace.

How blessed am I that I get to have this experience? It is one journey that not all people get to take and for that, it is cherished. I feel like as I'm coming out of the newborn fog, I'm slowly learning about our sweet girl and all that has changed with her. But I am also learning to balance this new life with her, my husband, and work, and sharing responsibilities with M along the way. You have to give yourself grace in these moments or else you will only see the difficulties and not the triumphs.

I am so excited for what these next days, weeks, and months have in store and can only hope that I tackle each milestone, big or small, with grace in my heart. Cheers to a new week after a refreshing weekend.

Arrival

March 7, 2017

Our sweet girl is officially here. I guess that would have been more exciting if she wasn't already almost 5 weeks old. It's amazing how much time you don't have even though you really do have time with a newborn. Anyone relate to that? 

Adilynn graced us with her presence on Thursday, February 2nd at 7:42 in the morning and was every bit as perfect as we thought. My induction pretty much went by the books and maybe even better than what I and the nurses expected. I had heard horror stories about induction and labor in general so I definitely planned for the worst case scenario. Thankfully, my labor and delivery was anything but worst case. 

We arrived at the hospital on Wednesday at 3 pm after being called off 2 days in a row due to a high number of women having babies. To say that I was frustrated is an understatement. I am not a sit and wait type of gal, especially knowing the end result was our baby girl. But it's amazing how things work out exactly how they should. More on that in a bit. 

The sweet nurses got us all set up and ready to begin the process of the induction. Our doctor had ordered 3/4 of the induction medicine and we had to do it in 1/4 sections. They said that after they did 1/4 of it, they would check to see when I needed the next one. Unfortunately, the nurses who got us all settled in left after just a few hours with us. I was so bummed because they were so helpful and relatable and I just wanted them to stay all night. Little did I know that our next nurse, Patti, would be our angel in disguise of a nurse. 

Patti took over and was actually the charge nurse so she was extra attentive. When my family and Michael went for dinner, she and I had some good discussions and that was when I decided to get the epidural. I had been having contractions for a while, and they got to the point of being uncomfortable. She guided me through the decision and the incision with Dr. Cherry. She was with me every step of the way and I don't know if I'll ever be able to repay her for that. 

After the epidural, it all went fast from there. The medicine they had given me for induction was doing it's job x2. Patti had to give me some medicine to make the contractions slow down. Thankfully it didn't stop my progress at all but definitely gave me some relief. She made that call and it turned out to be the right one. She checked on me every hour and during her check in around 3:00, she decided to go ahead and check to see how far along I was. To her surprise, and mine, I was already almost to 8cm dilated. She decided to go ahead and call my doctor as it seemed Adilynn was ready to make her appearance, even before they gave me the pitocin which is what is suppose to really get the party going. 

Patti was in and out and on the phone with my doctor. Around 6:45 or so, she checked again and could already feel baby's head so she started getting every gathered. Michael had gone to get coffee and she told me to get him to the room asap. My mom and sister were still in there hanging out as all the nurses started making their way in to the room to get set up. Patti told me we were going to do some practice pushes to get me ready for the doctor. We got through about 2 and she made me stop because Adilynn was already in position to make her debut. 

Thankfully Michael walked in about 5 minutes before my doctor and we did a few more practice pushes. Once my doctor came in, I pushed for about 12 minutes and our sweet girl was here. All 8 pounds 15 ounces of her and her dark hair. Patti grabbed Michaels phone, put Adi on my chest and snapped picture after picture for us. Our sweet girl was officially here. 

February | The Start of a New Journey

February 1, 2017

As January came to a close yesterday, I couldn't help but be in awe of how busy, fast, slow, and crazy of a month it was. From having 3 amazing showers hosted for us, to getting Adi's room ready for her arrival... the days just seemed to fly by. Not that I'm complaining because each day got us one day closer to meeting our sweet girl. Here is a look at the goals I set for January and how I did with each one. 

January Goals: 

Be Present. It's amazing what putting the phone down for a while can do for the mind. I had deactivated my facebook over the summer and was surprised at how much time I had to actually get things done without constantly scrolling. I missed being connected with my friends but I loved that if I wanted to know what was going on, I called them or met up with them for lunch. Being present is going to be something that is a work in progress for me as we 
Complete. It's amazing what you can get done when you have a timeline keeping you in check. This month was definitely my most productive, even if some of that production wasn't on things that truly needed to get done. 
Learn. I think that this is going to be an ongoing goal for me as the months continue and I learn how to be the best momma that I can to miss Adilynn. As so many people have told me, it's definitely a trial and error process. People can give us the most wonderful advice but ultimately, it will depend on her little personality and her specific needs. I am so open to all of the knowledge and ideas that mommas have to share though so send those my way any time you wish. 
Be Thankful. With all of our showers happening in January, I had plenty of opportunity to become more aware than ever of the amazing people that we have in our life. At each shower, I could feel the love and excitement as people gathered to spoil our sweet girl. 

And now to set some goals for the month that will bring Adilynn into the world and forever change our little family in the best way possible. 

February Goals:

Welcome our sweet baby girl. It's amazing to think about actually holding her in our arms and brining her home to a house that is so filled with love for her already. I am excited and nervous for all the days and nights to come but knowing she will be here totally over powers those fears with so much excitement. 
Love. The month of February will forever represent love and it makes me excited that even though we hadn't planned on her waiting until February to get here, I am so glad that she did. It makes me feel as though she will be a lover of all things and I can't wait to instill in her how much she is truly loved. I plan to use this month to love all over her and M as we begin a new journey in our marriage by welcoming her to our world. 
Adjust. This one is going to be huge for me. When you have lived a certain way for almost 30 years and then adjusted to living another way for almost 5 years, the thought of all of those things going away to care for a baby is a bit scary. I hope that I can adjust my thinking, my worries, my fears, and my time to fit the needs of her and Michaels. 
Self-Care. I've heard from many mommas that you HAVE to take some time for yourself as you are trying to recover from growing a human for the past 9 months and then giving birth to that same little human. I hope that I can find some time to take care of myself so I can be the best momma and wife to my little family. 
Breathe. Although I tend to be carefree in different areas of my life, I've found out lately that I like to have control over things and when they don't go as planned, it stresses me out a little more than it should. I hope that as we are in this adjustment period, I can just breathe and enjoy these precious moments. 
Loosen the reigns. This goes with breathe. I try to control things that are not in my control and end up frustrated and overwhelmed. This is going to be something that I need to work on as we have so many people who are going to be here helping and guiding us during these first few weeks of having a new baby in the family. I hope that I can just relax, be thankful for the help, and learn to accept things that don't go my way. 

Wow... now that I look back on those things for February, it seems more like a new year's resolution post. I guess this month really will be the beginning of something new though so it is what it is. I am excited for what February will bring us and all of the lessons that are in store. Happy February friends. 



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