Xanax with a side of birthday cake, please?

Oh man, where to even start?  I guess they always say, At the beginning…so here’s how my life seemed to change in the blink of eye on January 24th.  I know that sounds dramatic, but it was dramatic.  So it’s totally called for.

So, January 24th.

It so happens it was my dad’s 70th birthday, but that’s neither here nor there.  January 24th was the day we were scheduled for a 6am departure for a super amazing family vacation to Turks and Caicos.  I’d been neurotically packing for weeks now.  Every possible medicine was neatly packed in our toiletry bag.  Each of W’s mix-and-match outfits were labeled, color-coded and vacuum sealed in plastic bags for easy retrieval.  We’d managed to get everything we could possibly need into three bags…including our carry on.  I was impressed.  This was a packing job to be proud of.  We were just hours away from hot sun..warm sandy beaches that stretched on for turquoise miles after turquoise miles…tropical drinks…and relaxation.

We were all in need of some relaxation, for sure.  It has been the L.O.N.G.E.S.T winter evah and our vitamin D levels were depleting as was our patience for being stuck inside due to frigid temps.  We needed this vacation.

And what we got was anything but a vacation.

It all started the night before we left.  It’s not unusual for me to have trouble sleeping before a trip, or at all for that matter.  But, usually I get a few hours at least and whatever, I make it work.  Well, not this night.  I couldn’t sleep and as the minutes ticked by, my heart started racing a bit more…and the possibility of a few hours of sleep were slipping away.

For anyone who has ever had an anxiety attack, you probably just read that and went, Yup.  Been there before.  Except I didn’t quite know that that was what was happening.

So, when the alarm went off at 4am it just about made my heart leap out of my chest as I shot out of bed and scrambled into the bathroom like a madwoman.  I remember looking in the mirror and my eyes were that of some lunatic…big, dilated, puffy and darting around the room as I muttered about not getting any sleep.  And a million other things.

I barely managed to get dressed.  I couldn’t eat anything because I thought I was going to puke.  My heart was still racing and my hands were shaking.  I couldn’t even get W out of bed and dressed because I was so weak.  I remember climbing up the stairs on my hands and knees and sitting at the top waiting for my husband to come out of the bedroom.

The look on his face was all it took for me to declare that something just wasn’t right.  Something was happening to me.

Thankfully he was able to get W all ready and load our remaining gear into the car while I jus tried to get my shit together.  Much easier said than done.  I barely managed through security.  I struggled as we waited to board…still unable to eat anything due to nausea.  Like a zombie, I put one foot in front of the other and got into my seat.  My husband, again, holding down the fort and schlepping W and all of our gear.

At that point I was starting to realize this was anxiety, but still hadn’t labeled it an anxiety attack.  And I most certainly didn’t have any tools (medicinal or mental) to get me to a better space.  So, I closed my eyes and just tried not to throw up.  Or explode.  Or have a heart attack.  I knew I needed to eat, too, so I tried to choke down a banana I had in my carry on.

But it wasn’t happening.  Two bites in and I turned to Jason and said, I’m really not doing well.  I grabbed the air sickness bag and before I knew it I was waking up surrounded by concerned passengers, my husband and flight attendants.

I had passed out.

To make a long story short(er), my anxiety attack had peaked and I was starting to feel better.  Weak and embarrassed. But better.  An EMT had been sitting behind me and monitored my pulse while I was out and was telling the flight attendant that it was normalizing now and there was no need to make an emergency landing.  But, of course, I had to be greeted by EMT and police upon exiting the plane.  I got checked out and told I should probably go to the hospital.  We pushed our connecting flight back and had a family meeting about what to do next.

Thankfully we’d purchased trip insurance, so we decided that whatever happened was pretty serious and that it could happen again on our next flight or on vacation or on the way home…and that it’d be best to go home and get it figured out.

We were bummed to say the least.  And scared.

I was still feeling week and shaky but functional, and was able to get on our flight back home.  It wasn’t until a few days later when I had another small anxiety attack in the waiting room of my doctor’s that things really went downhill.  For the next two weeks I was pretty much a hot mess.  I mean a non-functioning ball of constant anxiety who couldn’t eat.  Couldn’t talk.  Couldn’t shower.  Couldn’t fucking function.  It was terrible.  I literally thought my life had changed forever and I was going to be someone who couldn’t leave the house.  Who couldn’t care for their child.  Whose marriage would end because of anxiety.  Anxiety that I never knew I had until like forty-eight hours ago.

What. The. Fuck.

Thankfully I’ve got amazing family and friends who literally stayed with me 24 hours a day when my husband went back to work.  Who did everything for W’s birthday party.  Who recommended amazing therapists.  Who told me I was OK when I started to get anxious.  Who sent me inspirational cards.  Who checked in with me when I needed it and gave me space when I needed it.  With a little bit of Xanex to help me sleep for a few nights, weekly therapy sessions, multiple meditation session a day, Melody Beattie’s book A Journey to the Heart and some good ol’ fashioned time…I started to have more “good” minutes than bad ones.  They built on each other…gaining positive momentum…and outweighing the negative momentum and negative spiraling that had consumed me just days – hours – before.  Slowly but surely I could see glimmers of what life had been like a few weeks prior.  Life that, at that point, seemed like years ago.  Life that I honestly didn’t think I’d see again.

And W’s birthday party was another turning point.

I mean, I could barely shower and feed myself let alone host a party for 25 and be cheery, friendly and social.  Gag.  I knew that the show must go on, but I was dreading it.  Family and close friends would be there.  But they all knew.  They were all supporting me.  If I needed to leave I would.  But I worked up the courage and confidence to take one step at a time and move through it, as my therapist says.  The night before his party I took my last Xanax, and as the minutes passed during his party, I started to really feel like myself again.  I could have a conversation.  I could laugh.  I could sing happy birthday and blow out candles with my son.  I was proving to myself that I could do it.

But ohmyfuckinggod.  That was the longest 14 days of my life.

I now see my therapist twice a month and haven’t had any other major events since this one.  But, I’ve realized I’ve got a lot to work through and work out as I start reconciling the person I used to be with who I am now as a mother, a wife, a person.  I’d spent so much time caring for and worrying about others that I’d missed a lot of signs that I was needing to take care of myself and unfortunately…or fortunately…this made that a necessity.  Life is different now, and that’s OK, but I need to reflect and take steps to make it what I want.  What I need.

So, there it is.

I’ve been avoiding writing this because talking about the event used to be a trigger.  And, avoidance is – for anyone that’s been in therapy – the essence of B.A.D.  So, the more I talk about it the less power it has…that’s what my therapist says.  And I love my therapist.  So I do what she says 🙂  Except for when I don’t.  I still don’t like exercising for exercising’s sake.

Did I mention that we’ve booked another vacation and are giving it another go?!  Yeah. Most definitely the subject of my next therapy session…

But, more to come about the ways I’m taking time to weave more “me” back into my life…personally and professionally for this SAHM!

Calmly yours,

MomME

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Resolution Update

Today was Day 3 of my five-months-in-the-making New Year’s Resolutions exercise.  Results?  Well, my hamstrings are super tight and though each day into my Ripped In 30 journey gets a bit easier, I now have nightmares about Jillian Michaels saying, “Giiiiit some, B.”

If you’ve done the video, you know what I mean.

But seriously, there wasn’t a ton of thought that went into choosing this DVD over others other than that the fact that I already owned it from a  previous workout-quest (though I’ve never made it past Week 1).  I also love that each workout is under 40 minutes (perfect for a quick nap-time workout that even leaves me some time to, oh I don’t know, shower after?!).  And finally, it includes strength, cardio and ab workouts.  It really just seems like the perfect DVD, and it’s filled with lots of “Jillian-isms” like “Transformation isn’t a future event, it’s a present activity.”

Nothing like pondering some philosophical content while doing the running man holding two soup cans for weights.

My resolution isn’t about burning fat or losing weight, really.  In fact, I’ve been a bit hesitant to dive back into working out for fear that burning fat might interrupt the amazing nursing relationship I still have going with my little W.  I’m just hoping to make a few slight changes that will have me feeling a bit more energized, healthy and subsequently…cheerful.

In a similar vein, I’ve also been intrigued to learn more about cutting back on our gluten intake.  Ever since W was born, I’ve noticed my cravings for processed sugars, carbs, donuts – you name it – has been THROUGH THE ROOF!  I mean, I couldn’t go into my favorite coffee spot without getting either a cinnamon-sugar donut or an egg and cheese sandwich.  Luckily for me it hasn’t been an issue of gaining weight, but in hearing doctors talk about the opiate-like effects of wheat, I can TOTALLY see it.  It was becoming a craving I just had to satisfy.  And, I’d be satisfied for a little while until my blood-sugar was all out of whack again and I needed something else.  Ugh.  It was exhausting.

So, while we don’t don’t eat a ton of obvious gluten in the form of pasta and what not, we definitely opt for the whole wheat options of breads, crackers, cereal, etc.  This isn’t a mission to totally cut out all gluten but a conscious effort to make some substitutions that work well with our lifestyle and our eating habits.  But, I checked out Wheat Belly and the Wheat Belly Cookbook from our local library and intend to start digging in a bit deeper.

My favorite gluten-free recipe so far?  Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad – hellllllo, yummy.  I used a bag of the broccoli slaw and double up on the broccoli to make sure there are TONS of veggies.  There’s usually enough that I eat it for lunch the next day, too.  It’s so good!

My goal at this point is to make it through the whole DVD and at least get in 5 workouts each week.  Two more to go this week.  And, to read the book within the next two weeks.  Yeah for checking off two resolutions in one!

Yours truly,

MomME

 

#tbt: I’ve re-joined the paid workforce

The sun is shining.  Wolf Blitzer is on the radio.  My iced coffee is near by and still cold (for now). And, thanks to my WordPress app, I’m coming to you live.  From the field.  Or the Cabella’s parking lot, but close enough.

All and all, things could be worse.

Today is one of the many times, as of late, where my little comrade has boycotted one of his two naps.  No matter what I try, or how hard I try to schedule the afternoon so he will take a nap…he always falls asleep in the car.  So here I am.  Trying to make the best use of this time and stick to my resolution of two posts a week.  So far, so good.

My setting is rather appropriate, though, considering the topic of today’s #tbt post – my new job!  

In a past life I was a teacher, and then a recruiter of teachers, with Teach For America.  Having a portfolio of schools (and managing a team) across New England meant that I spent many hours in my car.  Driving to Boston to meet with my team.  Driving home again.  Sometimes all in one day.  Then driving to Bates.  Or Bowdoin.  Or Colby.  Sometimes two in one day.  Then it was off to Boston College.  Heck, why not Dartmouth?  Needless to say, I was no stranger to long stretches behind the wheel.  Now a days, though, a fifteen minute car ride can seem like an eternity as I fret about keeping W occupied so he doesn’t melt down.

But, shortly after returning from maternity leave I parted ways with a job, a team and a mission that meant so much to me.  I definitely missed it.  That’s why, when my former boss Skyped me about a part-time opening on her team atTeach For All (the international parent organization to TFA), I couldn’t refuse!  It was an amazing opportunity to work 10 hours a week.  From home.  Without travel.  Without managing a team.  Just me, some good ‘ole work and a mission I cared about.  So, for several months now, I’ve been employed outside the home once again 🙂  I work on the Talent Acquisition team and spend my time reviewing applications and working on learning and development resources for hiring managers…eek!  I love it.

In all honesty, though, I was actually pretty terrified about going back to work.  Even though I hadn’t been “out of the game” for too long, it was long enough to make me question whether or not I’d still be any good.  Whether or not my brain would still function at a high enough level to be considered a competent addition to the team.  Considering I was only going back 10 hours a week I felt a little ridiculous about how nervous I was feeling, but it was going to be different than the groove little W and I had gotten in.  Thankfully the learning curve wasn’t too steep as I’m doing somewhat similar work to what I’ve done in the past, so that just left one more emotion hurdle to overcome.

Hiring a nanny.

Going back to work meant that someone (other than myself, my husband, or our parents) would need to watch W.  I got right to work on SitterCity and began contacting sitters in the area.  I definitely wanted someone responsible.  So, if I Facebooked you and all of your pictures were of you drunk in the Old Port…welp, you weren’t getting a message.  And yes.  I absolutely did that.  My former occupation required me to learn a special set of sourcing skills that I eagerly put to use when trying to learn more about people who would be alone with my kiddo.  After I found a few seemingly responsible individuals, I set up a series of interviews.  Yes, that is an “s” at the end of interview.  As someone who recruited and selected for a top-notch organization, it was hard to let those rigorous standards fall by the wayside.  After all, the qualities you’d want in a great teacher are similar to what I was looking for in a nanny.  I wanted a high-achieving, go-getter-of-a-leader who was organized, timely and not afraid to speak up.

The first round interview was conducted by yours truly and included a litany of questions about challenges and emergencies they’d faced while babysitting, how they handled discipline, what their philosophy on child care was…all the while watching for how confident they were and how they interacted with W.  I really wanted someone who was going to take charge and speak up – I know it can be strange babysitting while a parent is home and I didn’t want a shrinking violet who was afraid to tell me what was happening, etc.  The next interview was with both my husband and me so we could norm on whether or not we thought the person was a good match for our family.  After all, hiring someone to watch your child is like voluntarily adding to your family.  It’s serious business.

Finally, we found a match and gosh, is she amazing.

She’s a first-year graduate student in the school of occupational therapy and she’s fantastic.  Little W lights up when she walks through the door.  On her first day with W, she even taught him how to go through the play tunnel we have…something we’d tried to do for months!  And, much to my delight, as she was leaving on the first day she turned around and said to me, “I just wanted to tell you that he took a bite out of one of his blocks downstairs.  Just so you know, and aren’t surprised if you see a piece missing.  He didn’t swallow it, though, I was able to get it out.”  It was amazing!  That was precisely the kind of thing(s) I wanted a babysitter to tell me and the reason I’d hired her…I just knew she wouldn’t shy away from being direct with me.

And that sealed the deal on my utter adoration of her.

The rest is history, folks.  I’ve got a new job at a familiar company, and we’ve added a member to our little family.  Maybe we’ll even have a date-night soon, now that we have a fantastic sitter!  Wink, wink, honey 🙂

Yours truly,

MomME

#tbt Christmas morning

My quest to be a more diligent blogger (and capture all of life’s fleeting moments) is feeling more like a study of inertia – a tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged.  W finally fell asleep for nap #2 of the day (something he’s been fighting for weeks) and I couldn’t get to the couch fast enough to have some much anticipated “mommy time.”

And then you ruined it.

Ok, so not you, per say, but the fact that I’d committed (in writing, just two days ago) to writing a post a week.  To keeping my focus not on literary perfection, but capturing the hilarious imperfections of life with a toddler.  Ugh, sometimes I get really irritated with myself when I move forward on something with such public gusto only to look back and think, Ugh, why did I say I’d do that?  I’m so annoying!  But the little voice in my head that hates to fail was louder than the volume on the TV (which isn’t hard when it’s nap time and I pretty much have to have the subtitles on to understand ANYTHING that’s happening.  But I digress…)

So.  Here we are again.  Post #2 of the week.  That’s the rate at which I’m going to need to crank ’em out and catch up on what’s happened without missing out on posting about what’s happening now.  So, I thought, why not make Thursday’s weekly post a dedicated #tbt post to catch up on missed happenings during my 3 month hiatus.  I’ll pair it with an Instagram picture.  For some reason, that makes this seem easier.  I guess I’m just a sucker for a good filter.

Let’s try and start where I left off – Christmas!

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My husband and I were SO excited for W’s first Christmas…and slightly overwhelmed with the number of parties and dinners and gatherings that we were schleping him around to.  New parents know there is nothing as terrifying as interrupting a baby’s nap.  Welp.  We had to get over that fast because celebrations were in full swing.  There were presents to open.  Faces to be stuffed with food.  But, as with most things, W took the holiday season in stride and (yet again) proved that most of the time we’re silly to worry.  He adjusted perfectly and loved all of the Christmas lights and decorations…and food!

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What we were most excited for, though, was Christmas morning.  We wondered if W was too young to understand the concept of presents or new toys, and if the wonder of Christmas morning would be lost on him.  We’d resolved to only buy W a few new toys and had asked grandparents and relatives to do the same.  But, the presents that we did buy, were laid out underneath the tree and unwrapped in hopes that their flashy colors and new-ness would catch his eye.

As soon as we heard him wake up, my husband got the video camera set up in the living room.  We all snuggled in our bed while I nursed W (our morning tradition) and it was finally time for the big reveal.  I carried W down the stairs in his new pajama’s (with an adorable firetruck on the front).  The house was still dark, but the Christmas tree lights glowed and his new toys sat sparkly, shiny and new below it.  My husband and I exchanged quick and anticipatory glances…did W understand that these were new toys?  That this morning was special?

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Yes!  He looked under the tree and pointed.  Then he looked at my husband.  And back at me.  As if to ask, “Are these really for me?  Are these new toys I can play with?”  And without further ado he got right to work pushing his alphabet train around and chasing this little bug that vibrates around and rolls balls around.

It was priceless.  As is pretty much everything he does.

We played for about an hour before starting the long day that is Christmas.  First, breakfast with my husband’s family and then a 2hour drive to my grandparents house for dinner with my mom’s family.  W screamed the whole way home that night and we were ALL ready for bed by day’s end.  But, it was still an awesome day.  I’ll never forget coming around the corner and seeing the look on his face when he caught sight of his new toys…those are the moments.

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And speaking of moments.  My solo moments are up.  The little guy is awake.  Funny thing, though, about Christmas morning and all…it pretty much feels like Christmas morning EVERY morning (and afternoon) when I go into his nursery to find him squealing and giggling with excitement and outstretched arms.

Yours truly,

MomME

Did you think I un-friended you?

My lack of presence in your newsfeed is not because I “unfriended” you, as one of my friends asked me.  However, since I probably have exactly three minutes to write this post before baby toddler W wakes up from his nap (yes, he turned 1 a little over a month ago [sob]) I’ll get right to the point.  On the 1-year anniversary of my entry into the blogosphere, after a 3 month hiatus, I have a request of you…I need your help.  Holding me accountable, that is.

Joy.  But, seriously, there’s far less commitment than you might imagine.  Read on.

If you’re anything like me, you likely know it’s easy to fail at goals you don’t tell anyone else about.  That’s because I pretty much thrive on being held accountable by someone…or to someone.  Someone other than myself, that is.  My fear of failure, or my desire to make others happy, is actually my greatest motivator.  (I’d like to think I do most things for my own betterment, but when I’m honest with myself, that’s just not the case.  I’m working on it, but that’s for another post.)

That’s where you come in, inter-webs and follower friends.  A place to cement my intentions and goals.  A place where I can’t take back what you’ve written.  A place to hold me accountable.

Without further ado…my resolutions are:

  1. Be more present (the former educator in me cringes at the vagueness of this resolution, and how challenging it will be to measure this…but)
  2. Write one blog post a week
  3. Read one book a month
  4. Get selfishly active 3x a week (that doesn’t mean lifting W, or taking him on a walk…that means exercise just for mommy!)

They’re not uber complicated or crazy.  Simple.  Realistic, I think.  My first step to making any of these happen?  Just write a fucking post already!  However short or poorly written this is, it’s intended to help me break the ice.  Otherwise, I just keep thinking to myself, Ugh, well I can’t write about Z without writing about X and Y first!  So, there are going to be many posts to come, highlighting all the fun and crazy things that have happened since my last post in early December (W’s first Christmas, learning to walk, I started working part-time, more drama related to his lip-tie, his first birthday, learning sign-language, our first family vacation to Disney, my creation of a cleaning chart…).

But, today, I’ll have to be satisfied with at least stating my intentions.

So, at the risk of letting myself down looking like a failure in front of others (a Type A person’s WORST NIGHTMARE), I’m now compelled to follow through on these things.  Because you’re waiting for updates on them, right?  ;0

Yours accountably,

MomME

Bumper sticker fist-bump

Bumper sticker fist bump

I pulled into a sweet parking spot at Target, giddy to be so close to the entrance and right next to the cart return. As I put the car in park, about to gather my ErgoBaby and grab W, I looked up and smirked. It really was the perfect spot. The bumper stickers on the van in front of me read:

“Breastmilk: it’s never been recalled”
“Cloth, Love & Wear” and
“Wearing is caring”

I liked this mom already, and I didn’t even know her. During the rest of our Target outing (during which, of course, W pooped on my nice chambray shirt) I smiled at the other moms we passed…imagining each of them as the breastfeeding, baby-wearing and loving wonders they are.

As I drove off, I gave a little nod of agreement and raised a fist-bump towards those bumper sticker truths.

One revision “To My Post-Partum Self”

To My Post-Partum Self: Things I Wish I’d Known has been blowing up my Facebook newsfeed, so during W’s nap yesterday I finally sat down and read it.  And, she got it (almost) all right.  At first I found myself nodding along: boobs, do what works, you’re not alone, take a time out, ask for help, don’t clean, find your tribe…and then I got uneasy.  Be a hater?  This is where the “almost” comes in.  Yeah, she got it (almost) all right…except for being a hater.

Ick.  Ugh.  Shift in my chair.  Not sure I like that.

After digesting it all, I get that the overall message of the article is not to hate on other moms.  It’s acknowledgement of the crazy and reassurance to new moms they’re doing a great job and all will be OK.  I just don’t think being a hater (even a little bit, even jokingly) is what I want to tell my post-partum self…or my friends who just had babies…and are about to have babies.  Of course I’ve done it.  We all have.  And I think Shattuck means to encourage you to forgive yourself if you do get a bit judgy-pants (which I agree with).  But making ourselves “feel better” at the expense of others – of new moms – it’s just not very productive.  Or supportive.  Or kind.  Parenting is hard enough as it is, and if you’re anything like me, you probably already second guess every decision you make when it comes to your baby. Do we really want to wonder if every other new mother out there is “hating” on us?  Nope.  Not me.

Women already face too much sexism (along with every other ism) for us to fear that the one group of people who are supposed to be our “tribe” are secretly – or not so secretly – judging our choices.  The truth of the matter is that all moms want the best for their children.  All moms do the best with what they have.  All moms make the best decisions they can for their children.  Even if that means breastfeeding in public.  Even if that means formula.  Even if that means WIC.  Even if that means homemade baby food.  Even if that means “big designer diaper bags brimming with healthy snacks and water and sunscreen and extra outfits and hand sanitizer.”

So here’s my revision, Shattuck…from one mom in Maine to another:

Be a hater Be kind to yourself.

When the doubt creeps in and you’re comparing yourself to other mamas…be kind to yourself and know you’re doing the best you can, mama.  Your baby doesn’t care whether you’re size 6 or 16.  There’s only one you and you’re perfect for your baby.  Always and in all ways.  So when you find yourself in yuck-ville, take a deep breath and: take a break, ask for help, know you’re not alone and spend time with your tribe.  You are on your way. 

Thankfully 99% of Shattuck’s article follows this philosophy, which I loved.  A few other readers, and Shattuck herself, reflected that this section could have been a bit more thoughtful.  I appreciate her owning that!  We all have the right to change our minds 🙂  No shame in that.  So come on, ladies.  Let’s stick together.  If we can’t count on each other to support our, albeit different, parenting choices…then who can we count on?

Your tribe-mama,

MomME

And with a wave it hit me…

On three separate occasions this week I’ve been reduced to tears and about to explode with love and pride over the magic that is growing, birthing, nurturing and witnessing the journey of this tiny human.  I’ve been overcome with the magic that is motherhood.  Either that, or I’m pregnant again…I have been craving Thai food and crafting…

Welp, let’s hope not quite yet…

But, I digress.  That’s not to say I don’t think W’s amazing all the time, obviously.  But, I think the crisp fall air has jerked me out of a humid summer haze and made me inhale deeply…made me aware and present in these moments.  It’s been reminding me to emotionally and mentally catalogue these far too fleeting firsts.

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One of these moments was when W waved for the first time.  The realization that your child understands what is happening in the world around them and then communicating with the world around them is…just…cray.  It’s crazy!  Theoretically I know that he already communicates in his own way when he’s tired, hungry or unhappy and theoretically I know he is very intuitive and gets what’s going on.  But, when he waved “goodbye” to Nana as she left after her usual afternoon visit, with a forlorn look and all, the magnitude of his sheer human-ness just hit me.  He’s growing up so quickly.  He’s so smart.  He gets what’s going on and he’s engaging with the world around him in a learned way.

IMG_1556Another was during our morning nursing session.  This is, quite possibly, my favorite time of the day.  It’s been a long (and amazing and hard-worked-for) 12 hours since I’ve seen my precious little W, and when I hear him chirping over the monitor (usually around 7am) I go in and find him sitting up, happily playing with his lovie in his crib.  The excitement in his eyes when he sees I’m there is (swoon) priceless.  But my favorite part is still yet to come…we head back to our bedroom and sleepily snuggle under the covers while he nurses.  Some mornings we fall asleep again and take our first nap all intertwined.  Other mornings he fills up and is ready to play…so he babbles on and on, stares at our ceiling fan and giggles while we play peekaboo.  This was when it hit me again.  I was peering down at him…babbling and smiling up at me, playing with my hand…and again I was overcome with awe at what a little human being he is – and that we created him.  That we were nurturing him to become this incredibly happy and joyous boy.  Ugh, I love our morning time together.  My second favorite moment of the day?  When we get out of bed and I make cup of coffee.  Ahhhh…perfection.

IMG_3193The third awe-inspiring moment was yesterday at the park.  It wasn’t awesome for any special reason – W didn’t have a “first” moment or anything.  It was amazing because it was just so simple and mundane.  It was a gorgeous fall day. The sky was blue, the grass was green and the wind was blowing in our faces.  Our Frenchie, Rex, was with us.  W was so content looking at the fountains, watching the birds flit around and chewing on his whisk.  Oh, the simple things.  I just felt downright lucky to be alive.  Lucky to be there with little W.  It was just an awesome day and I got to thinking I wouldn’t want to spend it any other way than with him.

Sigh.  And with that, our little love-bug is just shy of 8 months and he’s phenomenal.  Sleeping through the night, finally taking a bottle, eating some solid foods, sitting up on his own, crawling, pulling himself up on his knees, waving goodbye and mastering the b, d and m sounds…soon it will be talking and walking, oh my!

For now, though, I’m just enjoying the present.

Yours presently,

MomME

It’s the first day of school…

It's the first day of school...

And for the first time in 25 fricken’ years, I’m not participating. From Kindergarten (ahem, twice) to college, to teaching my own classroom in Brooklyn, to recruiting college students for five years…I’ve been there, obnoxiously eager, relatively anxious, and with my new gear in hand.  The first day of school always marked the start to a new year.  To the start of sweater season. To turning over a new leaf. Today, though, I’m neither student, nor teacher, nor friendly recruiter. It’s just another day in the neighborhood, and W and I will carry on as usual.  But my wheels are, of course, turning…I see a fall bucket list on the horizon and possibly some baby sign language classes.

But until then…

In honor of the first day of school, of fall’s glorious approach and to turning over a new leaf…I decided to get a hair cut at my favorite salon 🙂  It seemed symbolically appropriate.  Frankly, I just really need one.  And, most importantly, I have a gift certificate.  The stars just seemed to align on this one…

Yours truly,

MomME

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ME-juvination

In a world where technology and connectedness trump simplicity and solitude, we’re far more concerned with the battery life of our gadgets than we are with our own battery life.  Why aren’t we as religious about recharging ourselves as we are our precious iPhone or video baby monitor?

I mean, being a life-sustainer (aka mom) can be is hard work.  It is downright exhausting and often anxiety-producing to have a little, precious, breathing, growing human that depends on you…to survive24/7.  But just like the stupid video monitor I can’t live without, I need to recharge every once in a while, too. This past weekend I did just that.  I recharged with a weekend full of what summer in Maine is about.  Call it a ME-juvination.  And it was a beautiful thing.

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The little sister and her boyfriend were home from NYC for the weekend, so we dined on delicious homemade pizzas, wine and ice-cream sandwiches on our back deck at dusk while W slept.  I had an extra glass of wine and said eff-it to pumping. Freedom.  I also ate so many ice-cream sandwiches I thought I was going to puke.  Reckless.  We ate stupidly expensive and awesomely delicious lobster rolls at Fort Williams with W’s Great Grandmother.  Timeless.  We went swimming off the dock at Sebago Lake under the hot summer sun.  Refreshing.  The hubby stayed home with W so I could go to dinner with my family.  So, I drove to dinner by myself with every window down, the sunroof open and Pop2K BLARING on the radio while I screamed lyrics to songs from way back when.  Giddy.  The hubby stayed home again with W so I did the same thing on the way to lunch the next day on the deck at Portland Lobster Company, where I drank cold beer and ate friend Maine shrimp while grooving to Lyle Divinsky.  Soulful.  As the band played another set, I looked out onto Casco Bay I took a deep breath.  Mindful that my soul was full.  Exhale.

And I couldn’t wait to get back to my little love bug ❤

So here’s to being as anal about my own battery life as I am that stupid video monitor.

Yours fully,

momME