With Grace

It's Gonna be Maaaa-y

May 1, 2017

I feel as if these past 3 months have been an absolute whirlwind in the best and craziest way. Our life was turned upside down at the beginning of February and things have been on fast forward ever since. I feel like I'm wishing each week away but secretly wanting time to go slowly so I can savor these sweet moments with our girl.

When I think of May,  I can help but sing that N*SYNC song (hence the title of this post). But it's actually a great thing because I want to set some focus points to get me back on track. I'm so blessed by my job and that I get 2 whole months off to enjoy Adilynn and spend some time getting caught up on things for myself but before that, I have one more hectic month at work so setting some areas I want to focus on is going to be important.

Marriage.

It's amazing how many things seem to change when you add a new human to the mix of a relationship that has only had 2 people for the past 11 years. Adi has given me a whole new perspective of all the things I adore in Michael but balancing my time and efforts between the two of them has been harder than I thought. I hope, this month, to find some time to focus my efforts of letting M know how thankful I am to have him as my partner and to show him how important he is to me. 

Adi

It's so amazing to watch how much babies grow what seems like daily. I feel like each time she wakes up, she has a new trick or is up to something different. It's so hard to not wish time away because I look forward to watching her grow but I hope to focus my energy on just enjoying her each day this month. Not wishing for the next milestone or trick for her to learn, but simply enjoying her in the moment each day. 

Phone free time.

I keep my phone very close by when I'm nursing or playing with Adi but I need to start putting it down and actually enjoy those moments with her. I feel like I'm always in her face trying to capture each precious little moment but ultimately I don't need 800 pictures of her laying on her changing table smiling. I want her to see my face, not my phone. And this goes for when I'm driving too. That is a terrible habit I hate to even admit to. 

My face.

Y'all. Why is this one so hard for me. I am a true believer in Rodan and Fields. I love their products and have seen it work wonders on my skin but I can't seem to make myself use my products on a regular bases. I've got to work on this. Immediately. Because let's be honest, my face wasn't spot free to begin with but add in those awesome hormones and we are back to my middle school days.

Mommy time. 

Michael and I have slowly found a rhythm for how we both can get in some free time. It's still a work in progress but it is so needed for us both. He has a fishing trip with his dad planned and I hope to sneak away for a day at the beach at some point this month. Hopefully writing that here will keep me accountable. 

Reading. 

My friend Sara bought me the book "The Fifth Trimester" and I have been so excited to dive into it but mind myself choosing to browse social media rather than read through it. I want that to change. And not just for that book. I'm hoping to get back into my bible studying and one of the last books of the Outlander series. Reading is such an escape for me so I'm hoping to spend more time there than on social media. 

I know there are other areas that will need my focus as time goes on but those are definitely my top ones for this month. Happy Monday and first day of May friends. I hope you have a great one! 

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. 

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