Thursday, October 24, 2013

To Work or Not To Work....

How do you draw the line between your work time and your personal time in a virtual workplace? Expectations are that you’ll do your job whenever you’re asked to do it.  That could mean long hours or even working on vacation.
Yep.  I said it.  I worked on my vacation.  It was unavoidable.  I had to present to leadership about a topic that I own; it was bad timing on my part honestly.  We’d planned this vacation well before I switched jobs and I guess the assumption was that I could take the time off with no worries.  Any other week and I probably could have, but not the week we chose. 
So in the middle of my glorious getaway – prized time with the family – I had to find a way to dial into a conference call and miracle of miracles, find wireless so I could get onto my laptop to present my slides.  That was a lot of fun.  By the way, on Cape Cod in the off season, free wireless is very difficult to come by.  In fact, B drove around one afternoon with his laptop just looking wireless so he could upload his homework!
It’s amazing how attached we’ve become to being connected.  I can remember a time when if someone from work needed you after you were gone for the day they had to wait until you came in the next day!  Gasp!  You didn’t have a laptop and goodness knows there were no cellphones.  There was definitely a separation of work and home – but you did spend more hours in the office.
So where’s the win?  Either you have a laptop and you can work from home when you need to, which slowly becomes more and more hours or you work only at the office and come home later in the evening.  Then I miss putting little man to bed or doing dinner with B.  That’s not good. 
I do enjoy working from home – it sure is nice to do laundry and multi task while I’m on conference calls – but I miss the camaraderie of my co-workers and the teamwork that is so important to my job when I’m not in the office.
So I guess the answer is to balance both options.  Work from home when I need to be there and go into the office the rest of the time.  They gave me a laptop and Blackberry for a reason and I guess working a day or so on vacation is the reason.   At least I got lobster on vacation. 
Happy Thursday Ya’ll!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cold Baby Toes!

Blake dipped his toes into the Atlantic Ocean for the first time while we were at the Cape; it was so much fun!  While we were at the Cape, we drove out to Provincetown which is at the extreme tip of Cape Cod.  Near there is Race Point Beach.  It’s a gorgeous, peaceful beach that is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. 
There are tons of huge dunes and since it’s on the Atlantic side, the water is really cold!  We’d been there years ago on our one year anniversary and decided to head over to see things – the weather was spectacular!
We went on Blake’s 7mos birthday and decided it would be great take our traditional monthly shots out on the beach.  He wasn’t too keen on the idea, but he’s such a sweet baby, he just went along with the fun…until Daddy dipped his tiny feet into the water!  OH he screamed!  Just for a minute – but he was SO not happy with his Daddy.  I of course had nothing to do with it J but just took pictures. 
In hind sight, we probably should have taken the photos earlier in the day, but decided to head into Ptown for lunch first.  Overall, Blake did really well, and we have some wonderful pictures to document his big day! 
I miss it already….
Happy Monday Ya’ll!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Time to Update the Bucket List!

Life changes when we aren’t looking doesn’t it? I get that a lot of changes happen while we’re looking, but then there are some that you just realize all of the sudden – like when did I get white hair above my forehead?  I’ve been ‘going gray’ for 30 years.  No joke.  But lately I’ve been seeing more and more white hair between my coloring sessions and I don’t think I like it.  I guess around my face is the final frontier for losing my brown.
Interesting.  It’s probably been there a while and I just didn’t notice it, but it’s still a shock.  I’m wearing glasses too, well, readers just to clarify.  But I’m still wearing glasses.  Wow.  Old is just staring at me with new interest. 
Have you heard of the term perceptual blindness?  It’s also known as inattentional blindness.  It is categorized as a psychological lack of attention.  Basically, you’re so focused on something specific; there might be something obvious right in front of you that you miss!  I guess in my case, I was staring at my brown spots and missed the gray hairs? J 
I am fascinated by this concept.  It comes into play when you talk on your cell phone and drive -or those days when you drive on ‘autopilot’ and don’t remember the ride.   I think that I’ve been on autopilot for too long.  I’ve been looking right at life and just haven’t been seeing it. 
The time has come to be more aware and actually live life.  We spent so much time waiting and dreaming of having a family, that now that we have one, we need to enjoy it!  I made a comment the other day that came out of nowhere – which most of my comments do might I add – but I think I surprised the person I was speaking with.  I said that I could die tomorrow and be content with my life.  And I mean that.  My whole life there was a part missing and now that it’s completed through little man, I’m at peace.  Pretty cool. 
But what a shocking waste of a great life!  So I’m focused on living again and am doing my best to not ignore what’s in front of me.  I need to SEE more and look less.  I need to come up with some new bucket list items and goals and get on with enjoying little man and B every single day.  Maybe I’ll stop dying my hair so I don’t have to stare at the white hairs….who knows.   Either way, God gave us an awesome gift and it’s now time to enjoy it!  We all deserve that.    Happiness reigns!
Happy Thursday Ya’ll.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Road trip!

I have been fully converted - I am now a road tripper!  We drove from NC to PA to MA and then back through NY to NC a few weeks back and can I just tell you what a gorgeous ride it was?  Of course, that was my view from the back seat with little man, but boy oh boy was it pretty.   I have always been a ‘just get there’ person and never really appreciated the trip itself. 
I guess I can attribute the reluctance to drive to too many road trips as a kid in the good ‘ole yellow paneled station wagon.   At the time it’s what people did (yay ‘70s!), but I did spend many, many hours stuck in my tiny corner of the bench seat with no seat belts to help contain my brothers.   We had ‘lines’ on the seat that defined our areas.  God help you if you went over your line.  I cannot imagine how my parents retained their sanity on those trips.  But I digress…
We originally began our plan simply motivated by the sheer volume of stuff that a 6 month old requires to exist for 10 days– and honestly we were driven out of fear of hauling all of that on to a crowded airplane with absolutely no status to let us board early! 
So we were wimps – I’ll cop to that.  I will.  But the bottom line was, by driving we were able to see people and things we haven’t seen in years!  I saw my Godmother!  Yay!  I loved our visit – even if it was just a blitz.  We stayed with friends and family on the way up and back – which was so nice and again something we’re very unaccustomed to…we typically stay at a Hampton Inn.  It was so sweet to wake up and spend quality time visiting with everyone and little man in his PJs – he’s so much fun in the morning!
B & B @ a Rest Stop in PA
Stretching their legs!
We got to really enjoy the ride too because little man was actually a good traveler.  He really did sleep much better than expected and I think really adapted well to being strapped in to his car seat for long periods of time.  We tried to break things up when we could and get out and stretch our legs.  But in reality, I know the drive was hard on B.  He drove the entire thing – from start to finish.  Ouch. 
Of course he had the option to share the drive, but stayed up front in the ‘grown-up seats’ while little man and I stayed in the middle row – his choice.  Does he need a massage to work out the kinks, probably?   But in reality, I think driving was the right choice.  Breaking it up into three days instead of two was nicer too – but that all depends how much time we have to get away.
Going forward I think I would do it again – I didn’t realize how homesick I was for up north – driving through the mountains and seeing the gorgeous scenery certainly made me want to head to Amish country again….who knows.  Maybe I’ll convince B to go on another road trip to Maryland….would be good to see the old stomping grounds again.
Happy Monday Ya’ll!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I am a Pumpkin Snob.

Welcome fall!  You’re finally here!  I have been waiting for you.  I love your cooler weather and think what you do with the leaves on the trees in my backyard is just gorgeous.  So thanks for that! My craving for homemade applesauce has kicked in and I’ve already started snooping around for pumpkins. But in an attempt at full disclosure, I am a pumpkin snob.  I don’t love the bright orange round ones that just sit there.  I prefer a smart pale orange pumpkin and a white pumpkin will always make me smile.  I don’t know why honestly – somehow in the last few years as they started introducing all of these designer pumpkins, I got hooked.
I love the way the colors are softer – although as most of you know – I have never met an orange shirt or sweater that I didn’t love.  SO I guess I’m good with the color but only if I wear it.  Don’t want to decorate with it.  That makes me an official pumpkin snob.
I don’t even like Halloween – I’m a Halloween Hater.  I think it will be fun to dress up Blake, but I so don’t get into the whole witches and skeleton thing.  Ghosts maybe a bit – but forget the vampires.  As a Halloween hater with a baby boy who will surely love getting dressed up as a super hero and getting free candy – I’m going to have to change my outlook.  I get that.  But not for a bit. 
For now I’ll continue to decorate with my designer pumpkins and be content with my calmer colors. I know in the very near future I’ll have to start actually carving the stupid things – but there will always be a Blake pumpkin and Mommy’s pumpkins in our house.  Because I said so! J

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

There was something I wanted to tell you....crap. Never mind.

So I had a topic all ready to post about today and I have completely forgotten what I wanted to say. Fortunately, this lapse in memory has helped me to find my new topic du jour…I forget things.  Sweet mercy I forget things.  I’ve never been this forgetful in my life.  I knew it was a side effect of pregnancy, but had no idea it was also a side effect of being a Mommy too.
I guess you could think this is funny, but it’s also a huge pain in the butt.  I write things down (when I’m feeling organized and efficient) and then of course I forget to read the damn notes.  (My moments of organization and efficiency obviously do not last as long as they should.)  I ask my sweet B to remind me of some things, but then he forgets to remind me and that just makes me annoyed at him – when I should actually be annoyed at myself since I forgot to begin with!  Sorry B!
So, where does that leave me?  I would love an assistant, but that isn’t going to happen in this lifetime.  Blake is too young to help remind me of things.  I guess I’m just going to have to make do with only getting half of things done I wanted to accomplish.  Phew- that my friends, is easier said than done.  I’ve never been one to drop balls – they might bounce occasionally, but never ever do they stop bouncing.   Until now. 
So now the proverbial ball has dropped and I’m sitting on my hands so I don’t try to grab at it.  OH it’s killing me.  There you have it.  I’m a control freak who had to lose my freak.  I’m now just a tired Mommy who recalls she put laundry in the washing machine, but can’t remember if she added the soap.  But I’m fairly confident than I didn’t turn it on.  So there’s that. 
Happy Tuesday Ya’ll!

Monday, September 23, 2013

We're Car Schleppers Now

Taking a baby on vacation ain’t for sissies.  It is seriously a huge challenge my people.  (I’m laughing at myself here in case you can’t tell.) I was getting all misty this morning thinking about my awesome Diamond Status with Hilton – and even that silly Silver status with US Air had its benefits.  All of that is long gone…sniff…sniff.  These days, we’re car schleppers.    I can’t even think about an airplane with a car seat, Baby Bjorn travel crib, diapers and food – and that’s just the carry-ons! 
The days of just heading into NYC for the weekend are long gone but gosh they were great while they lasted.  The idea of going to NY now makes me shudder not to mention what would happen if we walked into Tiffany’s with a stroller!  EEK!
So, heavy sigh, it’s a car or nada.  Since we haven’t been on vacation in “I don’t know how long” except for a long weekend, it is now time to get away and truly relax.  Not that it’s the same definition of relax that it used to be – relax now means Blake is fed, cleanly diapered, and chilling out on his activity mat for a few minutes.  It means you have time to clean the bottles without holding a baby or singing silly French songs.   
It used to mean, reading a book and falling asleep with a toasty afghan on a Sunday afternoon or driving aimlessly around the Cape going where the whim took us.  Now, we have to plan; probably one activity per day; at least for now.  And odds are we won’t even get that in.  Blake will set the tone.
All I’m hoping for is that he actually sleeps.  I don’t care where.  The car ride up to the Cape (15 hours!) in itself could be a total nightmare as he is not a huge fan of his car seat, is too young to be occupied by videos and lastly, very rarely sleeps in the car.  I am afraid Mommy’s singing voice will be taxed before we even get out of the state of NC!   Good times.  So, instead of stopping for Mommy’s bio breaks, now we will be stopping to get Blake out of his seat, feed him, change him and just find a bit of sanity.
Any tips from you experienced traveling Moms and Dad would be greatly appreciated!  For now I will try not to over pack and remember there are stores on Cape Cod.  We will try to get him used to his travel ‘bed’ and continue to pray a whole lot that we get to the Cape in one happy, cohesive family unit! J
Happy Monday Ya’ll!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Blake & the Bubbies

The Bubbies have adjusted pretty well to having little man around.  In fact, they adjusted much better than I thought they would!  For now, Seamus is both jealous and protective of Blake.  Paxton, he just ignores him – unless there is a treat involved and then he will lick his face and look at us like, “I’m such a good boy aren’t I?  Don’t I deserve a treat now?”  HA!

Blake for the most part will ignore them, unless Seamus lies down next to him – then he’s all about the tail! J  Poor Seamus has lost many of his tail hairs over the last few weeks.  I’m afraid that will happen more often but for now we’re able to hold onto Blake’s hands and warn Seamus to get out of harm’s way.
Stealth Paxton -
They won't notice me under his crib...
Paxton avoids this treatment by staying as far away from Blake as possible.  It’s as though he’s been around babies before and knows what they can do to him.  There are times that he notices Blake like he’s never seen him before and barks at him.  Like, “who the hell are you and who let you into my living room?!”  It startles Blake, but for the most part, the dog barks don’t bother him in the least.

He stays sound asleep when the dogs bark which is great.  I guess he heard it all the time when I was pregnant with him so now he’s just used to it.
Last weekend we went out to dinner and were sitting outside waiting for our meal.  Blake was a bit antsy so I walked around with him to distract him. He’s a social baby and doesn’t like to miss anything; bring on the noise and the people.  While we were walking around he saw a big Golden Retriever mix lying on the ground.  He just stared and stared at that dog whose name was Buddy - he was sweet.  We said hello and I walked on, but Blake swiveled in my arms to see Buddy.  At that moment, Buddy barked and Blake got a huge grin on his face.  He knew that Buddy would bark – didn’t faze him in the least. 

I really love that he likes dogs, people and chaos in general.  I often wondered when I was lying in bed for all those months whether he would be a quiet baby, a loud crier, a mellow bub or what.  I knew that what I wanted for him was to be adaptable to things at a very early age - to just be able to go with the flow.  He definitely does that; at least for now.

Seamus the Photo Bomber!

I think he’ll give Pax and Seamus a run for their money.  Seamus is going to be his cuddle bud and Paxton will stay under his cloak of invisibility under the coffee table.  Seamus will continue to photo bomb our Blake pictures and Paxton will steal his toys and put them – you guessed it, under the coffee table.  Blake will smile and laugh when they bark and pull Seamus’ tail hairs and hopefully learn to scratch his belly – gently.  And peace will reign.  I hope.
Happy Sunday Ya’ll!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Parlez-vous français?

Have I mentioned that little man loves when I sing to him in French?  Seriously.  He can be screaming his head off, teething and starving, but when I break into:
Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.
The child will break into a huge smile and stare at me like I’m the center of the universe!  I noticed that his Baby Einstein toys will play classical music or old school nursery rhymes.  Sometimes you’ll hear a mix medley of Frère Jacques or Alouette – so I think that’s what made me think of those songs.  Blake loves music to begin with, but if he could make requests, I’m pretty confident it would be Alouette over and over and over again!
I hope we’re not creating a Francophile!  Down the road, we’ll probably need to expose him to other songs and retire the French, but for now I secretly love it. 
Another of his favorites is one that drives B just crazy.  As soon as I utter the first word of the song he snaps! J  So of course I feel compelled to sing it all the time too;
A Bushel and a PeckI love you, a bushel and a peck!
A bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck!
'Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your pretty neck I do –
It’s from Guys and Dolls and I have NO earthly idea what brought it into my head.  I was in the musical in high school, but that was a really, really long time ago.  The other night, Blake was in bed and I was sort of watching Julie and Julia for the 4000th time… and lo and behold, A Bushel and A Peck began to play in the background!  Maybe that’s where I got it from…either way B was groaning when it began to play. Teehee…
Every time I sing that one, Blake breaks into an adoring smile with an expression that says, “Sing it again mommy!”  I do my best to channel my inner Doris Day, but I know my voice is sadly lacking; he loves it anyway!   
Isn’t he the perfect child? ;o)  Happy Saturday Ya’ll!

Friday, September 20, 2013

My Heart Is Full!

This whole "Mommy" thing has been a revelation.  I had literally no expectations going in, except for knowing that I would love little man to pieces.  I had no idea that every day it would get harder and harder to leave him to go to work.  It does not seem to matter that I know he is safe and happy and loved beyond recognition.  It is just hard.
Being a Mom is hard.  I get that now in a way that I never could have before Blake.  Your heart literally splits when you have a child.  He/she takes a piece with them when they are born and you are forever tied together in the strongest way possible.
Their pain is your pain.  Their happiness is your happiness.  The best things are the little things – watching him figure out he has fingers or that you have fingers too – brings tears to the eyes.   Each success is a conquest and each delay is heartbreaking.  Life seems to slow down yet go so fast your head spins.  Life becomes a study in contrasts.
I recently heard about friends of a friend who just lost their triplet baby girls.  Twenty four weeks of praying and watching them grow and then they are born and gone so fast that it is a blur.  My heart is just broken for them.  God had other plans for those sweet little babies, but how does a Mother recover from that loss?  The minute you know you’re carrying a miracle, you bond.  Your heart is theirs and no longer your own.
This is why I knew I had to become a mom – my heart was too full and too big and I needed to share it.  Now that I have – life is complete.  I can deal with the ups and downs and blurs – every time I see his sweet face, all of the pain, sadness and the rocky path we had to take just goes away.  My slate is wiped clean and I am fulfilled. 
Blake, Mommy & Seamus
I still think I am the luckiest mom on the planet – I guess that’s how the whole silly bumper sticker thing started isn’t it?  You want to tell the world about your amazing gift; I get that now.  I promise though, that if I ever put one of those silly bumper stickers on my car, that car will not nor will it ever be a minivan! :o)  Have a great Friday ya’ll!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

So, Where Was I...

Hello everyone!  Sorry I dropped off of the face of the Earth!  My pregnant hands were just a swollen, ugly mess and typing was something I had to reserve for work.  By the time I finished that, I was unable to do anything online!  I don’t have too many pictures of me pregnant – I really hated how I looked.  I didn't 'show' until the very end of the pregnancy since I carried Blake so high under my ribs.  It was worth the discomfort, the bed rest and the drama though! 
Blake two days old

Here I am at 38 weeks
So much has happened since my last post!  It's been a long drama, but such an incredibly happy ending!  Our little man was born on 3/1/13 and was a healthy little peanut!  
He was a tiny one, but soon understood the concept of eating and boy oh boy did he take off!  He's now just shy of 20lbs and is over 6 months old.  We are so incredibly blessed.

Blake in his high chair - 1st time!
We are very busy these days with our new crazy schedule too.  I went back to work after a two month leave.  It was certainly hard to go back and leave little man at home, but it was easier knowing that he is at home with his wonderful Daddy.  It's been a true comfort knowing he is safely at home getting lots and lots of attention from his Super Dad!  B is still slugging away at his masters and is juggling his Daddy duties and school duties really well.

I've been back to work for a while, have switched positions in the company and am now learning a whole new job.  I never make it easy on myself do I?

We're getting ready to go on a much deserved vacation and can't wait to get away from the hectic life we now lead for just a bit.  A change of scenery will be good if nothing else.  Going on vacation with a six month old will give a whole new meaning to the phrase, 'everything but the kitchen sink' as I'm sure we'll have a packed car.  It's amazing the amount of 'stuff'' a little guy needs - makes me seem so low maintenance! :o)

I hope you've all been well since I last posted and I promise to use this blog to document our whirlwind of a life more often!