When your person is away…

As most of you know, Jan is in Afghanistan till March. You know, saving the world and being beautiful and flirting with women in burkas. So this leaves myself, Ollie, Frank, Odin and 3 cats to tend to the house and each other for 6 months. After 2 weeks and 2 days, I can honestly say that this isn’t my ideal situation. I mean, I’ve had bouts of crying, eating, drinking, hiding in the bathroom, sleeplessness, depression, hysterics, denial, and fake smiling. I’ve also cried into my cat more than once. Literally. I put my face on Dennis’s body and sobbed..and you know what? It made me feel equally psychotic and relieved. And Dennis doesn’t seem to mind. I knew all these things would arise. I’d feel all the feels and have struggles maintaining the kids and house and chores and whatnot. It really helps that many of my lovely friends have reached out to help…seriously! It doesn’t go unnoticed, and I will (eventually, if not already) take you up on the offer. Whether it’s babysitting while I shower/get a manicure, or cooking dinner for us, or just being an ear to vent to- I truly love all of you for the support. It means everything. Also, putting up with me is just something you’ll have to do. So, sorryimnotsorry about any mood swings that may occur.

I do get to chat with Janny most days, and it’s what I look forward to the most. That, and it being a reasonable hour for me to have a beer. Can I say that? #nojudgement
His face and voice and antics make me happy. And nobody will ever make me laugh like he can, so it’s great when I do get to hear from him bc laughter is a great mood lifter. He seems to be doing ok, even though his room looks like a scarier version of my college dorm room. Despite his tiredness (from working 7 days a week, 8-10 hours/day), he still manages to make time for me and the boys. Always with a smile or a joke… He is just the best, really. I love him more than I can express.

I’m blogging today from my front porch while Arthur and Frank nap, so I’m trying to hurry through*
U MMMM

OH! This is my BIRTHDAY MONTH!! Yes, yes, yes..I know you’ve ALL been wondering when you could send me gifts and vodka, and I’m pleased to tell you the wait it OVER! Send me all the things! I turn (had to think about it, counting the years on my fingers) 31 this Thursday, and I’ll probably bring in the new age with baby vomit, shitty diapers, and microwave corndogs. And all that, in all its yucky and blahness, is okay. I love being me and I love my life here. I love the chaos and the to-do lists and the babies and all of it. I love it because I worked hard to get here. I’m a good mama with a sense of humor (which, let’s be real, a lot of moms don’t have!), and I worked hard this summer and made sacrifices to get my yoga instructor certificate! I’m proud of me. And I’m proud of my family. I’m in love with the man of my dreams- like, insane, over-the-moon, can’t catch my breath, exploding heart, big BIG love. My boys are healthy and beautiful and SMART. I love my house and my neighborhood. I love DENNIS… There is so much to be thankful for, and my heart is overflowing with gratitude.

On that note~ I want you to get happy, too, and find some goodness in your day/life! Hold on to it, and enjoy positive moments! I sound like a hippy, but what I’m saying and feel is true:

One happy moment in your day can change your entire outlook!

Find that moment and spread good vibes 🙂

XO

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Exercising mind and body #quickblog

Your mind and your body are yours forever. They’re the only ones you will get.

SO, filling them with good things and avoiding the bad is always a plus. I know lots of twenty somethings and thirty somethings who have muddled minds/stress/things that cloud their pretty little heads, and I know a lot of them handle/deal with it fine. What I want to write about is having children AND dealing with all the other/normal stress on top of it. To all the mums out there who have 2 or more kids under 6 yrs: YOU IMPRESS THE SHIT OUT OF ME. I have my battles from time to time with handling the 7-year gap between my boys & can’t imagine having to worry about more than one infant/toddler all the time. Ollie is a great big bro, hands down like, the best! And he seems so grown up about most things that I forget he is JUST 8 yrs old, and I should ALWAYS be conscious of that. Example: Oliver is a sensitive soul. He loves me more than most and is clearly affected by my emotions. Lately, he has been getting more easily upset about my feelings and attitude towards him when he thinks I’m mad at him. It happens a lot when I tell or ask him to do something and he has to stop doing what he’s doing (watching TV, playing a game, etc). But he gets SO emotional about my reaction to his reaction that (I admit) I sometimes lose my temper and raise my voice at him, “No, I’m not mad at you but I’m getting real annoyed with you asking me that all the time” sort of thing. And it happened tonight right before bed, which I HATE (#nevergotobedangry), and I actually tucked him in and left his room with him being sad/whimpery. After a few minutes, I got my shit together and had to tell myself that he is my boy. My little Oliver. And he is the kid and *I* am the parent, and I shouldn’t react like this when he gets upset. So, I went back in his room and snuggled up on him and asked if I could lay there for a while. I held him for a bit and he calmed down and said, “I love you, mommy” (AND THEN I DIED OMG YOU GUYS). I do worry about how I’m raising my boys, and if I’m “doing it the right way” or making them good dudes and stuff. But then little things like ^that^ will happen and I’m reassured I’m not doing a bad job so far. My mind is always swimming with thoughts, but especially as night before bed. Hundreds of thoughts just swirling around up there, reminding me, checking me, scolding me, kicking my brains with no place to go. I try to give my mind some order by listing and sorting things out one at a time. “To-do lists” are my favorite thing ever, and so far pretty successful. I get the lists written down/noted on my iPhone/blogged/out of my mind so I can sleep better at night. Even if it is just a little bit better. When the thoughts aren’t cluttering everything, it is way easier to meditate or relax. ANOTHER REASON I LOVE YOGA #helpful!! I don’t know if that is considered “exercising” your mind, but it sure feels like it to me. If not, I’m sure all that Words With Friends and sudoku is helping my brain sweat. Ew. Sweaty brains.

Then there is exercising that BOD. I think that I have come a long way (fitness-wise). Actually, I’ve never been as serious about exercising as I have been this last year! Not in my whole 30 years of living! YESIM30 omg. I just wanna blog/vent about it, though, so I can look back on this time in my life when I’m 9 months preggo with my next baby and be all, “SHIT YEAH I CAN GET MY BOD BACK!” *disclaimer: I am definitely not pregnant right now…Currently, I get my fitness on  60-90 minutes, 4-5 days/week.  Usually Monday-Friday in the mornings and some Saturday mornings if I can. I feel great, too. I’ve taken to running a little bit, and really like mixing my daily yoga with a few miles. Who knows what the future holds, but I’m open to all the exercises! It is getting me super pumped for the new year. New year means a LIST of “to-dos” to better myself and my family, and I l o v e lists and fresh starts. And my family, too, I suppose 🙂


 

I’ll be blogging (more regularly!) come 2016! Catch you lovelies on the flip flop~

 

Frank meets Mamaw & Papaw

*Writing this poolside at my parent’s house in Florida* #bejealous

Last week, Oliver, Frank and I took a plane ride to Florida!  

 All went fine, and I’m SOhappy to be spending time with my momma. Since baby Frank, things have been slightly less easy #understatement. So, I am loving that I have this opportunity to see my parents AND have some assistance AND get a chance to shower/eat slowly/RELAX by the POOL…  

  “Shhh” is probably my most frequently used word now. Even Ollie uses it. Anytime Frank is the slightest bit fussy, Oliver rushes to his side to rub his forehead and shush him. CUTE. Frank is now 5 weeks old, and has changed SO much in just the last couple weeks! He is more vocal and makes tiny coos and other sounds. He is wearing 3 (and sometimes 3-6) month clothing, and size 1 diaper. He started taking the pacifier (or foofoo/wubanub as we refer to it) to help calm him when he is sleepy- THIS is HUGE for me, because he refused to take anything but my nipple up until last week!  

   So helpful especially during car rides. He has been fed with a bottle (mama’s milk, of course) by Daddy and Mamaw!   

He does well on plane rides (slept the whole way), and is hit-or-miss with car rides. It’s easy while we are here with my mum, because I can tend to fussy Frank from the back seat while she drives. We have been out and about SO much more than I normally would be solely because I have my mum to help with ALL the things! It is awesome. No, BEYOND awesome. Her help is just what I needed, and I’m so grateful for being able to visit and share in this with her and Pops.  

sucking his thumb!

  

he loves standing/using his legs

  
  

BROS

  

smiles for days

  

museum trip w/the fam!

  

restaurant trips are easy

  

papaw ❤️ Franky

  

morning faces

  

car rides are NO fun when Wubanub gets loose

  

frank’s first trip to the ocean

  

ocean breezes 🙂

  

i get to relax! mamaw gets to snug!

  

frank’s 1st ride in the Ergobaby

  

morning faces!

 

Being a super hero

I’ve devised this list of things and ideas on being a SUPER MOM:

  • Newborns are like the evil step sisters from Cinderella (only not-so-much evil) ~always ringing the bell/needing something. Which makes me Cinderella only slightly less magical & thin. 
  • My son is a snacker. He nurses on one boob for 5 minutes and dozes off until I try to lay him down, then he freaks out and wants 3 minutes on the other boob. Why? Because he can. He is getting fuller for longer stints of time now that he’s 3 weeks old, but still not nursing for more than 10 min at a time (I think that’s normal?). And I don’t really mind being needed by the most adorable person in the world. 

    snoozing after a snack (3 weeks old)

     
  • Multi-tasking before I had a baby vs after. Most all things I was capable of doing pre-baby I’m able to do with baby in-tow. EX: cooking/eating/tending to other things with one hand is totally possible and Moms should be given gold effing medals for it alone! Going potty while nursing isn’t something I’m proud of, but it happens.  Showers, though a LOT less frequent than before, are doable with baby in his bassinet on the floor (shower sounds are calming!)
  • How many diapers  my son uses in a day is insane. Seriously, I don’t even know the exact amount, but it is a lot. SO. MANY. POOPS. I’ve gotten quite good at changing a diaper in under 20 seconds. #professionaldiaperchanger And have only been pooped on twice. 
  • My body. Ten days after I gave birth, I had lost 22 lbs. TWENTY. #holyshit And I don’t have much to say as far as how it happened, but I’d like to thank breastfeeding and the fact that I was practicing yoga regularly. My recovery is tremendously faster this time around. With Oliver, I didn’t feel as “normal” as I do now until Ollie was almost 7 months old!  

    taken last weekend (me and Roberta, my yoga mom)

     
  • Nipple spoiled is a thing, I’m sure. Frank has been nursing and pacifying at the breast and will not take a pacifier/soothie/binkie/nada. So, there’s that. #momifier
  • In-laws. I love my in-laws, really I do. But there is a limit to how much visiting one can take post-baby. I won’t rant or talk shit, but I will say this: mommys and daddys need THEIR OWN TIME with baby. 
  • Supermom powers are real. Like, really real. But so are Superdad powers. I am undeniably grateful for Jan and how much he helps/offers help with everything. He and I wear our superhero pants proudly (well, he wears a singlet, but you probably assumed that much).
  • Super powers aside, we ARE sleeping in separate beds … I hate it, but it’s what works for us for now. I feel bad that he isn’t getting a full-night’s sleep, and needs more z’s. I’m sure this will only be very temporary, as Frank starts getting more sleep at night. It will be a transition, but that’s parenting!
  • Oliver is adorable with baby! He is loving and attentive and so good at being a brother! The boys can be seen on Instagram together w/ #OllieandFrankyboy

best big brother ever

And now, some photos!

week-old Frank

2-weeks old

  

3-weeks old

  

34 weeks pregnant feels like 40 weeks pregnant.

Some current stats on zeh pregnancy~

Good thoughts/happenings: This time next month, I could be blogging about my BABY instead of my pregnancy 🙂
Complaints/worries: Extremely difficult finding a comfy position for sleeping/not sleeping well (which leads to cranky mornings). Worried I will go into labor early.
CravingsRaisin Bran w/blueberries, deli sandwiches, and Drumstick ice cream cones
Weight gain: 28 actual lbs, 150 feels-like lbs
Stretch marks: nope. Just a lot of tiny skin tags (gross)
Days til due date: 41
Number of clothing I own that I can fit into: 5

boom.

I do have a few things still to rant about. Worries. Worrying is something that I do too often and wish I could stop doing. And I am seriously NOT a worrier. This whole “stressed-out/ moody” me is totally pregnancy induced. I worry about my Oliver and how he will handle being a brother. I worry about Jan and how he will handle EVERYTHING. I worry about the birth & hope it goes smoothly/as planned. I worry about being swarmed with too much right after the baby is born. I think a lot about how it will be when baby Frank is home, and I’ll admit I get nervous about it. What will Ollie and Jan think of the new sleep-deprived, seemingly absent mommy who ‘only’ shows baby attention? How will they handle it emotionally, and will it all BE OKAY? #magic8ballsaysaskagainlater

In the last 2 weeks, I have definitely lost a lot of what little energies I had left. By the end of the day (for me, is like 5-6pm), I am ready to lay in my cloud bed with my feet up. Ollie notices. Jan notices. And I truly feel bad for being tired a lot and/or not being able to walk or stand for more than 20 min. It is becoming my reasoning for outbursts and not watching tv shows, but I don’t think the boys fully understand. They just think I “don’t want to hang out” with them and that makes me feel terrible, and I try explaining but they don’t get it so I get more irritable (DO YOU GET WHY I AM MOODY AND EXHAUSTED YET?). Oliver will make remarks when activities are brought up (like biking or playing sports with him) and say things like, “Oh yeah I forgot you can’t do that because you are pregnant.” And then when I try jogging after him when we are crossing the street or rushing to the car in a parking lot, he yells at me, “Mommy, don’t rush! You are pregnant!” So, it is sweet, but I hate being this “sit on the sidelines” kind of mum. And I know it will be like this for a while after baby is here, too. It is just so hard explaining the “why” to a 7-year old (no matter how independent he may seem). It isn’t any easier explaining the “why” to a 31-year old, either. Trust me. I feel the most guilt from ditching out on couch time with Janny boy (because couch time/tv show-watching time is usually the only time we get to spend by ourselves/together, once Ollie is in bed).  Now, add in Frank. A needy newborn who has a crazy sleep schedule and can be soothed by mum’s milk and/or rocking. Kind of cuts back on time I normally spend with my [current] guys. Jan’s mom made the comment “let the competition for Ash’s attention begin!” And I can only imagine how this “competition” will pan out. I am hoping for the BEST and wishing for the SUPER BEST.

Overthinking is the biggest cause of our unhappiness. Keep yourself occupied. Keep your mind off things that don’t help you. Be optimistic. – Anonymous

Thinking more on the upbeat ~ babies are wonderful! The thought of meeting my son fills my heart to the brim, and I know he will light up our family’s lives! Jan being a daddy (for reals), and imagining him holding a tiny mini-him gives me butterflies #notgasipromise
Baby Frank will learn all the things from his big bro, Ollie, and the two of them will be inseparable. I know the first couple months will be rough, but our family is strong! *cue triumphant, WINNING music*

Our next check up is the 30th, and I have to go in for ANOTHER blood draw before then. Doc is checking on my blood sugar again. Not looking forward to that. Damn blood suckers.

Jan and I have attended 2/4 child prep classes now, and I really feel the info (however corny some of the classes may be) is rather helpful. Next week, we get to tour the birthing floor! I have my hospital bag packed and by the front door, too. WE ARE READY(-ish)!

PS: This Friday is my last day at work… I AM ALMOST A REAL STAY-AT-HOME-MOM AND I AM THRILLED!

I leave you w/this:

family photo times