Some Serious Bliss Today

Angry Baby

I am overflowing with gratitude today.  I make a daily effort to recognize my blessings and take a moment to be thankful, but I will be honest; it has been a little harder the past week.  It is easy to say out loud, “I’m so lucky that I am able to stay home with my son everyday!” And I do think that, I really do. But on days when I’m stuck in a 700 square foot apartment with a newly walking toddler who’s favorite game is pulling my hair or throwing a tantrum, it doesn’t feel so lucky. The past few days have been filled with cell phones and remotes thrown in the dog water, a broken video camera, very short naps, lots of screaming and brief stints in 100 degree heat.

Being cooped up and tired turns me into a not-so-great version of myself.  Luckily I do have the ability to never take out my frustration on my Dylan. I guess I’m a workaholic at heart even when it comes to being a professional mom – I take my job to make my son laugh very seriously.

Unluckily for my hubby, I’m less great at hiding that frustration from him and he gets the brunt of my nastiness. Sometimes he handles it okay and other times he is a rock star! Two nights ago he did everything he could to pamper me and even took the monitor that night to ensure a good night sleep. Then last night we both had a mellow night on our laptops working. It is amazing how a little quiet time (read: no need to entertain baby or husband) can totally rejuvenate me. I got some thoughts on paper about direction for a new project, sent some business emails, and read an inspirational book.

Happy Baby - Great Day

Today I feel like a new woman! Dylan I had such a fun morning and then he slept for two hours! This is a rare and beautiful thing for him. It is like he felt my newfound peace and he wanted in on it too. Now, he is hanging with his aunt Marcia for a bit while I study.  Another miracle, I even found 5 minutes to write this post!

Time to get serious about losing the baby weight

I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant. We are not talking Jessica Simpson weight but I did gain about 40lbs. Granted Dylan was 8lbs 12 ozs when he was born, I also enjoyed my food but was too uncomfortable to exercise much.

Dylan turned five months old just a few days ago and a little light went off in my brain – my pudgy little boy is adorable but my pudge is not so cute. I’ve lost weight, and I don’t look terrible but I’m not where I want to be. I’ve heard it enough times, “9 months on, 9 months off,” but I refuse to wait another four months to do something about how I look now.

So here we go…I’m now getting serious about losing my last 15 pounds. I don’t have a great game plan yet. I do know I need to continue the exercising I’ve been doing but I now need to put down the high fat and sugary foods. Wish me luck and I’ll let you know how I’m doing in a month!

And then there were two

 

Thank you, yes I am handsome.

This weekend my dear husband went off to California for a wedding. It just didn’t make sense for Dylan and I to go but Nick could not miss the wedding of his great friend from college. So, Friday afternoon I put Nick on a plane and got excited for a weekend of mommy and son time. Well excited and nervous. I went ahead and planned to spend Saturday in Boulder with my mom so she could get some Dylan time and I could get some help.

We survived Friday night alone. As a strong independent woman I hate to admit this but I do not sleep well when Nick is traveling. I go to bed later than I should and when I finally do fall asleep it is restless and fitful. D was either missing his dad or taking cues from me because he slept more poorly than he has in weeks. Despite the exhaustion we got about our morning, packed up for Nana’s house and I even managed a shower and put on some make up. Then Mom calls to tell me she’s sick and just like that, D and I are without plans for the day.

Now I don’t manage a shower and makeup often so I was not about to let it go to waste. I put the cutest little outfit on D complete with shoes and we headed out. Now I won’t go into details but the day didn’t go well. I refused to give up my positive attitude and we powered on, and on, and on. Every time something went wrong I would look at that adorable face you see above and think, I am so blessed and I will remain happy. Then back at home I bent over to plug in the baby monitor and smacked the hell out of my head on a shelf. And then I unraveled. I just sat down on the floor, had a pity party and just sobbed and sobbed (don’t worry; D was napping in his basinet so he was not neglected during my meltdown).

There will be days when I am full of confidence, ease, and grace. I will win mommy awards. Today is not one of those days. Today is the day when I put my pjs back on a 4pm, semi wipe off the smudged mascara, and pray that Dylan goes down easy at 7pm so I can eat some cereal and cookie dough before putting myself to bed. Fortunately Dylan won’t judge me and there is always a fresh start at 6:30am tomorrow morning.

PS: one minute of rocking my little man and watching him drift off to sleep at night makes any day a great day.

Sweet dreams my little prince

We’ve made it so far

What’s up Daddy

My sweet Dylan turns three months old in three days! Everyone told me that at three months it all gets so much easier and I can now confirm this as truth. Dylan was spirited from the start. He had no problem finding his voice to tell us he was unhappy and battling his acid reflux was no joke. But he was also the sweetest most loving thing in the world right from day one. This three-month milestone is filled with so many emotions for me. Mix those emotions with new mom hormones and basically you need to look out because you never know what you’re going to get with me. I’ve noticed my laughing and tears pretty much go together like spit up goes with D.

No more newborn…I truly cannot believe that my baby is no longer a newborn. He looks like a different baby then the one we brought home from the hospital. No more wrinkly skin and tiny little sweet face. All of the sudden he is a little boy complete with smiles, sad faces, and a big personality. I love watching every little change but come on, can’t it go a little slower??

More sleep! Now, despite how sad I am that my little one has doubled in size already, I am not complaining about losing my dark circles. It is A-MAZING to wake up at 6-6:30am! This may sound early but after nights of waking up a 2am, 4am, and then 6am, I will take it.

Independent play! This one also comes with mixed emotions (shocking right) with smiles and tears. My D was a total cuddle bunny and used to only be able to nap on me. At the time this was so lovely but also so difficult because come on peeps, sometimes a mom has got to pee. But as a good mama should, I weaned my baby to take naps in his bassinet and have encouraged him to enjoy being in his swing or on his play gym. The good news is that now I can get a little laundry done (or who are we kidding, check out Facebook) while he plays for a few minutes alone but the sadness comes when he now gets squirmy when I want to cuddle! I fear the next 18 years will basically be me trying to cuddle my little man while he tries to get away to play…

A Year Later…

What the shit?? Has it seriously been almost a year since I posted on my blog? (Sorry for the cursing but I do enjoy the bad language and I can’t use it often with a baby in the house).

So I had big plans to write about my life and then blog about Nick and my fabulous trip across Italy…but instead of writing about the trip, I just got busy loving every second of our travels and never stopped to write. Honestly this makes me a little sad but I have all the wonderful memories in my head and maybe someday I’ll write them down.

What I love most about looking back at this blog – I’m pretty sure that the last post which is a picture of Ravello – WAS THE NIGHT I GOT PREGNANT!!!

One year ago my life completely changed forever. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the stuff no one warned me about, it has all been an amazing journey and I’m a better woman from every step of the way. I can’t go back and recount every detail of the past year but I can’t start writing about what’s happening now. At first I thought, well hey I’m a mom so I should toss this blog out and start a new mommy version. But then I realized that while so much has changed, one thing hasn’t: I’m still just working on finding my bliss. My bliss in life, marriage, myself, and now I just add my son (the best bliss of all).

So my dear friends, bear with me as I get back in the practice of writing and stay tuned for my updates on figuring out how to be my best version of a mommy and my best version of myself.

The day that made everything better!

Ravello: my happy place

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My feet and perspective will never be the same

I’ve been lucky enough to spend the past five days in Rome. My trip has been truly amazing but not quite what I expected.
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I thought Italy was going to mean slowing down with blissful relaxation. It will probably be that way in other areas but not here. Rome is bustling with people on the move and full of purpose. I’ve been hot, uncomfortable, my personal space totally violated, and stared at relentlessly. I have also been overwhelmed with beauty, passion, history and spirituality.

We have walked up and down, back and around again this entire city and my feet might never be the same. But it has been worth every painful step because my perspective will never be the same either. There is too much beauty and charm waiting around every corner to risk missing something with a blink let alone a subway ride. I could write a page on every museum and church but for now here are a couple of favorite memories:

1. Walking to St. Peter’s Square at night to find it all lit up and to ourselves except for a small group of travelers who were singing hymns in spanish beautifully. This was my most spiritual moment so far.

2. Waking up at 6am and going for an early morning walk with Nick before the tourists were about. The light was incredible as we walked sleepily through Piazza Navonna and Campo Di Fiori. We had the most beautiful square and sculptures all to ourselves as we watched the locals set up for the day ahead.

3. Vatican museum and Sistine Chapel: there are truly no words to describe how it feels to stand in that chapel taking in all of Michaelangelo’s work both on the ceiling and in The Last Judgment. It doesn’t matter that you can’t take pictures because there is no camera that could ever do this master justice. It is very clear that God was working through man.

4. Getting out of the hustle and crowds to go have lunch in the Trastevere neighborhood. We were early for lunch so we walked around a little until we found a little spot to have beers with the locals. Nick and I got a little day drunk sitting outside on the hottest days yet and just had fun.

5. Going out for our nightly gelato and me ordering nutella and “fruiti di mare” instead of fruiti di bosco. I think I’ll go back to letting Nick do my ordering so I can avid asking for seafood salad ice-cream!

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The U.S. causes a 400% increase in risk for cancer??

I found this video through one of my very favorite websites, Elephant Journal. Without fail, this site always gives me a truthful, sometimes funny, but always thoughtful read. However, this particular video post left me feeling exactly how the movie Food, Inc made me feel – hopeless.

All I read lately is how just about all our food sources are poisoned with antibiotics, growth hormones, dangerous proteins and quite a bit of other things that honestly; I am not going to pretend to understand. What I do understand is that as a woman I have a 1 in 3 chance of getting cancer. My chance is actually greater than that because my father died of colon cancer. My husband, he has a 1 in 2 chance of getting cancer. And according to Robyn O’Brien, “moving to the U.S. will increase a person’s cancer risk by 400%.” Well I was born here so that doesn’t make my chances look too great.

In my search for a healthier lifestyle I have also learned that a handful of corporations control our food supply and put profit above our health. I turned Food, Inc. off thinking; well what the hell am I supposed to eat? I would love to cook and serve only organic all the time but bottom line, who can really afford that lifestyle? Right now Nick is a student and I’m not pulling in the big bucks so it’s very hard to justify spending $4.99 for a small container of organic blueberries which will be eaten in one or two days when the non-organic container is $1.99. The differences add up very quickly and are even more dramatic if you are comparing organic meats. We’ve made the decision to try to eat less meat to spend more on organic and to try to keep the dirty dozen in mind when shopping for produce.

I am terrified when I think of how much more expensive our grocery bill will be when we start to raise a family but even more afraid to feed my children the alternative. I write this feeling hopeless right now but I am so hopeful that others have overcome their paralysis to find a way to make a change. I’d like to understand how I can make some difference in what feels like an impossible fight.

My Absolute Yes List

Machu Picchu

I recently started reading “The Way of the Happy Woman” by Sara Avant Stover and I am loving it! I’m not very far in but there have already been several things that I know I will take with me for a long time and I look forward to reading more. Check out the book!

One section that struck me instantly was the instruction to make a list of what gives me strength and inspiration. As Stover says, this is “taking an empowered step toward living as your highest, most divine self amid the nitty-gritty of your daily life.” So this is my list. These are the things that are important to me to find my highest, most divine self!

  1. Wake up being grateful for the day ahead!
  2. Take a minimum of 30 minutes outside every day breathing in the fresh air. It’s amazing how sad it is that this actually seems challenging.
  3. Spend time with friends at least once a week.
  4. Spend time with my husband every day.
  5. Do yoga once a week…to start (this will increase).
  6. Get to the gym for workouts three times per week.
  7. Meditate for at least fifteen minutes a day, six days a week.
  8. Read a book every day, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes.
  9. Travel as far and as often as possible.
  10. Create a healthy home cooked meal three times per week.
  11. Go to my first yoga/meditation retreat this year.
  12. Sleep at least seven hours a night.
  13. Do something special for myself once a month: massage, pedicure, spend one entire day reading, etc.
  14. Do one thing every day to put a great big smile on my face.
  15. Do at least one thing every day to put a great big smile on someone else’s face!

I know I won’t always be perfect when it comes to my “yes” list. There will be days when I just won’t be able to get it done but I won’t beat myself up about it because I am a work in progress. But this list will serve as my anchor and publishing it here gives this list a place to breathe and be real.

Well Hello Dr. DeWeese!

Nick just graduated from law school! My husband is officially Dr. DeWeese (J.D.) and I could not be any more happy or proud. He has impressed me over and over again every day for the past three years. It was not always easy but we did it together and we made it!

I met Nick just after he finished taking the LSAT. I’m not going to lie, the girl in me who couldn’t help but be neurotic and think ahead to a potential future, thought, awesome this guy will be a successful lawyer and that sounded like a pretty comfortable and nice life. Now what I managed to gloss over was the school part of becoming a lawyer. The law school part involved living with a man who spent more hours in a library than at home for that first year. It meant a lot of debt, only one income, and a lot of stress. We are talking let it build up kind of stress that ended up in me acting like a true loon in hysterical tears looking down on myself thinking, “who is this nutter yelling at her husband? Stop talking!” And other times praying for God to give me strength to not throw something at his head for being so darn thoughtless! Did I mention I sort of feel like I deserve my own diploma for marrying and staying married to this man as he completed his degree?

Nick going back to school forced me to deal with many aspects of myself, and often I didn’t love what surfaced. There were a lot of insecurities on my part when I realized my fiancé was going off to a campus full of beautiful and smart woman and my imagination could get the better of me when he had to spend late nights at school. I never thought of myself as a jealous woman until I caught myself asking him silly questions about the girls he saw at school, his study partners and who was texting him. I realized in that first year that I had to get over it pretty quickly or we were in store for many a rough night and probably wouldn’t make it through the three years. And the result? Well now I feel blessed to have met some of the most wonderful and inspiring women and made what I believe life-long friends – all because Nick invited me to meet this wonderful group of people.

I also remember a conversation in that first year with Nick’s mom. She asked me if I thought I would end up resenting him. I thought to myself well that is just crazy! I love him and I’m here to support him and I am so happy he gets to pursue his dream! Okay, sometimes that was a whole bunch of baloney and wowza did I resent Nick some days. There were days I woke up at the crack of dawn to go to a job I really hated and meanwhile Nick was snoozing away as I ran out the door and then when I returned home from a long day I was the one who had a kitchen full of dishes, a dog to walk, laundry to wash and what felt like a million other responsibilities. So yes, there were days I resented Nick but the bigger battle was with me, not him. I had to learn how to first understand my needs, and then find how to communicate them to my partner. I had to learn to let go of some of the pressure and stress that I put on myself to be able to do it all, because bottom line – I can’t do it all. Letting go of the stress I pile on is my greatest challenge and weakness right now. I am so grateful for the law school experience because it slapped me in the face with some of my least desirable traits and forced me to face them and deal. I am working on it daily.

Nick’s school experience also made me fall in love with him more and more. He handled his own stress and pressure with grace and resilience. He set goals, worked hard and really went after what he wanted. And, as we navigated through what could sometimes be a pretty tumultuous time, Nick really did a great job of making sure I never felt neglected or too distant.

I can easily say that the past three years was our first opportunity to handle life as a team and show up together. It was incredible practice for what we have ahead and I’m feeling really good about where we are going.