Monday, August 19, 2013

New Beginnings

Well, it's been a good 3 years.  To all 10 of you who read this blog, I wanted to let you know that I've decided to revamp and start fresh in a new format.  Check me out, and follow me at!!

At Mom Life Blue Wife, I'll be posting more often and posting on a larger variety of topics including motherhood, thoughts on being a LEOW, recipes, favorite products, etc.

Oh, and I'm still sure I'll have plenty of funny anecdotes that include JD....

Friday, July 5, 2013

Birthday Surprise

My 30th birthday passed without much fanfare.  JD was working that weekend, so I just relaxed at home with the baby.  I’m not one to ask for a big celebration in my honor, but I was a little bummed that I hadn’t planned something fun since it was a milestone birthday.  I’ve been so focused on life as a new mom, that my birthday kind of snuck up on me.  It wasn’t until the day had arrived that I realized I wanted to celebrate in a big way… and felt it was too late.  Little did I know JD had been working on something for over a month.

I left work Friday, and made my way down to the parking garage.  I’d driven JD’s car that day, his beloved Charger.  I did a double take when I saw the car.  There was something red on the hood.  I immediately went into a panic, thinking someone had vandalized it.  In JD’s world, it goes 1. Our daughter 2. His motorcycle 3. His Charger 4. Me (maybe- it’s a close call between me and the iPad), so  any damage to his precious car is detrimental.  As I got closer, I realized the red was actually rose petals.  A smile crossed my face.  There were a dozen roses on the front seat of the car, and a card confirming that they were from JD (and not some creepy stalker).  Inside the card was a note telling me that he’d scheduled a massage for me in a half hour, and that my “next set of instructions would be at home.”

I was elated, not only had I been desperate for a massage that week, but I knew there would be more after the massage.  I love my hubby, but he’s not exactly a planner, so I had no idea he had that kind of foresight.  Plus, I work a half hour away from our house, meaning he had to load the baby in the car and drive an hour out of his way to deliver the roses and card.  I smiled the entire way to my massage, anxious to find out what was planned for me after. 

After an absolutely fabulous massage, I went home to find no husband and no baby, but a note on the front door telling me to “hurry upstairs!”  I went into the kitchen to quickly put my roses in water and paused, noticing that the house was suspiciously clean.  Like, Jenny-style, meticulously clean.  I was, once again, impressed.  JD and I have different standards of cleanliness, so if I can come home and say “Wow, this house is spotless,” he must have done a super thorough job.

When I got upstairs, there was a new dress laid out on the bed (actually, 2 dresses so I could pick which size fit better), along with a necklace and pair of shoes he’d pulled out of my closet to complete the outfit.  It was starting to feel a little surreal.  This is the man who wears navy and black together and thinks his Loch Ness monster t-shirt is appropriate for date night, and he’d gone shopping for me, picked out a really cute dress, and picked appropriately matching shoes and necklace… what?  Lying next to the dress was another note with an address and time to meet him. 

When I arrived at the restaurant (Cheesecake Factory, yum!), about a dozen of my friends were there, plus my sister who’d driven up from Atlanta.  JD had dressed up and put Loralai in a cute dress.  Sangria + yummy dinner + cheesecake + fabulous new dress + some of my favorite people = the ultimate way to celebrate my 30th.

My only regret is that we didn’t take any pictures!  I snapped a few quick ones with my phone of the setups he left for me, but we didn’t think to take ANY pictures at dinner, which is a huge let down!

Later, when I was filling a friend in on the details (lives out of state, so couldn’t be there), she told me that it “sounded like something out of a romantic movie.”  It was so true, and I can’t get over all the little details JD thought of.  It’s refreshing to be surprised by your spouse once in a while.  Guess he’s more romantic than I gave him credit for… Loch Ness Monster shirt and all.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

To the Next 10 Years

I turn the big 3-0 in a week and a half.  Does it make me sad?  No!  Does it make me feel old?  Not one bit.  Do I feel different?  Not really, but when I reflect on where I was at 20 vs. where I am now, it’s incredible to think about how I’ve changed, how my life has changed, and how much will change over the next decade.  In some ways, it’s sad to say goodbye to my 20’s, but I’m excited about my 30’s too.  I think your 20’s are when you grow into yourself, and I’m entering my 30’s with confidence and contentment.  A milestone birthday is bound to make you a bit more introspective, and this one has me thinking about what I want for myself going forward.  Here are the promises I’m making to myself.

I vow to leave dirty dishes in the sink once in a while. 

I’m a compulsive cleaner.  Few things irritate me more than a cluttered, dirty house, and when you have 3 big dogs plus a husband who tracks in 12 hours’ worth of police work every day, it sometimes feels like I’m perpetually cleaning a house that’s never truly clean.  Now that I have a beautiful baby girl who grows and changes every day, it seems like such a waste to stress about the pile of stuff on the coffee table or the unfolded laundry on the love seat.  I’m not saying my house will be a disaster zone (although sometimes it feels that way to me), but I’m still working full time so every moment with Loralai is precious.  I don’t want to look back in 10 years and regret all the time I spent cleaning instead of cuddling or playing with her.

I vow to be proud of my body.

Like pretty much every woman on the planet, I have stressed about the way I look.  As my 20’s progressed, I went from thinking my athletic frame was “fat” to becoming really confident in myself for being strong, healthy, and unique in my own beauty.  When I got pregnant, it was surprisingly one of the times I was most confident in my body.  I loved my round belly and the weird little changes from the dark spots that appeared on my face to the dramatic change to the shape of my belly button.  They all symbolized the miracle inside me.  However, since giving birth, I feel that I’ve regressed in a way. I spent 29 years getting comfortable in my own skin, and just when I had gotten to a place where I had embraced what I had to offer, “flaws” and all, the aftermath of child birth changed almost everything about how I view myself.  My already huge boobs got bigger, my belly pooch got poochier, and things that were once firm have gotten… squishier.  Others may look at me and think that I bounced back from pregnancy really easily, and I know that I’ve been blessed in that way.  But it doesn’t change the fact that my body is somewhat unfamiliar to me now, and I have to learn to love and embrace it all over again.  I am in awe of what my body accomplished and the beautiful little life it produced, and I have to remember that the extra pooch and tiny stretch marks are reminders of that.  I bought 2 bikinis for this summer.  My body may not be as bikini ready as it was pre-pregnancy, but I still honor all it has done for me.  Those little “imperfections” leftover from childbirth are simply battle scars, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of them.

I vow to splurge on a fancy vacation.

Ever since honeymooning in St. Lucia, JD and I have been dying to go back.  It will be expensive, but it will be worth it (it was the first time)!  To me, part of celebrating life is splurging once in a while to travel and do the things you want to do.  Also, I think an important part of remaining connected as a couple is to make time for each other, especially once you have kids.  What better way to do that than escaping to a tropical paradise?  I’m sure there will be smaller, more local vacations that we take as a family, but I want to make sure that he and I have our own getaways once in a while.

I vow to make my 30’s even better than my 20’s.

When turning 30, some people mourn the end of their “youth.”  Really though, why would I miss a time when I was insecure, chasing around boys who didn’t deserve me, and broke?  I’m not trying to say my 20’s were miserable.  I met my best friends when I was in my 20’s and we had some really fun times together.  I took the heartbreaks and lessons of my early 20’s and built a healthy, fulfilling marriage with a man who treats me like I deserve and who loves me for exactly the person I am.  We built a foundation for our beautiful family and now I get to look forward to the next 10 years, secure and content with them.  I’ve never been happier, and ultimately, that’s what your 30’s are all about.

Here’s to the next 10 years.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Night Shift, My Hell

Well, David and I have both been back at work almost 2 weeks now.  Honestly, it feels like an eternity.  Those first 3.5 months where one of us was home with her full time were like a fantasy, and then we had to dive into a hell also known as “mommy and daddy both work full time and daddy is in the midst of night shift month.” 

The first few days were hectic, but bearable.  I changed my start time from 7:30 to 8 to accommodate our new schedule, woke up earlier, got home later, suffered through rush hour traffic, and never even had time to stop for Starbucks (the travesty)!  Our original plan was that L would only go to the babysitter’s on the days that JD went in for a night shift.  This meant that he could sleep during the day before his shift, but it also meant that on his “off days,” he would come home from working all night and then stay up to take care of her.  I always suspected this wouldn’t work out, but JD wanted to try.  Last Wednesday was the first test of this.  It did not go well.  JD texted me late morning to tell me he was so tired he felt sick, so I offered to come home early and relieve him of his duties (it was a beautiful day out, and I’m always happy to come home early and see my baby, so this wasn’t such a bad deal for me).

We worked out a new deal where David’s grandma would watch the baby on those extra few days of night shift months when JD came home from a shift and needed to sleep.  Our babysitter is flexible and I’m sure she would have picked up the days, but it will save us a bit of money and allow his grandma some bonding time with the baby, so everybody wins.  Things seemed to be back on track… until today.

Today was JD’s first day home with the baby where he was off last night and will be off again tonight.  He went to bed at 2am in an effort to get enough sleep to watch the baby today without messing up his sleep schedule too much.  It did not go well.  She woke up earlier than usual, was fussy all day, and didn’t want to take a nap.  He texted me throughout the day and I could tell he was getting progressively more tired and more frustrated. 

I sat at work, wishing I could come home and fix everything.  Wishing I didn’t have to work.  Aching for my baby.  Wanting to sway with her in the hammock and enjoy the late spring breeze.  Wanting the freedom of being home with her.  Wanting nothing more than to just take care of everyone- the baby, the house, the dogs, and my husband, who desperately needed to sleep.  Feeling helpless, I did the only thing I could do at the moment, I went into that little barren room called the “Mother’s Room” and pumped.   I listened to the rhythmic noise of the pump and the drip of my milk into the bottles.  Then, for the very first time since I’ve been back at work, I cried.

No one can prepare you for how hard it is.  I spent 9 months convincing myself that I wanted to continue working because I knew I didn’t have much choice.   I’m still not sure if, given the choice, I would even choose to stay home.  There are definitely pros and cons, but I hate that I don’t have that choice.  In a lot of ways, I hate that it has to be a choice at all- that we can’t have the best of both worlds. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

First Reponders

My heart goes out to the people affected by yesterday’s tornadoes in Oklahoma.  The sadness.  The loss.  The innocent little kids in that elementary school.  Devastating.

Whenever tragedy like this strikes, of course I am thinking of the victims, but I also pause to think of the first responders.  I’ve seen firsthand how something like this can affect the people who are ready to sacrifice their own lives to save others, and who work tirelessly to dig through rubble and try to find survivors.  It’s a shocking experience that will never leave them.

Last year, JD responded to a call where two kids who had been fishing with their uncle fell into the river and were immediately pulled under by the current.  He was first on scene and didn’t think twice about diving into the frigid, fast-moving water to try to save them.  The truth is, by the time he arrived, it was probably too late, but that didn’t stop him.  I never blogged about it because it was something he didn’t like talking about.  It haunted him for weeks.  Maybe it even still haunts him now, I don’t know.  My point is that I saw how hard that incident was for him, and when I see those first responders digging through the aftermath of a disaster like yesterday's tornadoes, I know how hard it must be for them, and how hard it will continue to be for a while.

So please, whether you pray or simply send a healing thought that way, don't forget to include the first responders.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Loralai's First Day With The Babysitter

7:00am: While feeding the baby, I notice a small red mark on her neck.  It’s probably irritation from dried milk, but I’m tempted to call it a “big rash” and stay home with her for the day… or forever.

7:30am: Arrive at the babysitter’s house with 2 big bags of stuff.  Wonder whether I compulsively over-packed like I always do, or if I’m just an organized and prepared mom. The babysitter greets Loralai excitedly and Loralai smiles back.  I’m reassured that we picked the right caregiver for our love. 

7:35am: I tear myself away as K (the babysitter) promises to text me pics throughout the day.  I get in the car and pull away, determined to be a strong mama and not cry, but my heart aches.  It’s like leaving a piece of my heart with a stranger.

8:00am: Arrive at work and give myself a pat on the back for getting both of us ready and out the door on time on my first attempt.  Am slightly surprised when my co-workers don’t throw confetti to celebrate my punctuality.

8:05am: Wonder why K hasn’t already sent pictures.  I mean, it’s been a half hour.

8:30am: Missing L like crazy.  Realizing that this is even harder than when I first started work and left her at home with JD.  Send my mom a sad text.

9:21am: Receive first pic from K.  L is happily snuggled in the car seat taking a nap while K drives her daughter to school.  Glad to see she’s not freaking out and that I’m not missing anything other than nap time at the moment.

12:10pm: Receive a video from K of L cooing.  Miss her.

2:15pm: Pull up Google maps to determine fastest route to babysitter’s house.  Determined to find a better way than this morning.  I want to pick up my baby ASAP.

3:00pm: Receive another picture of L napping.  Notice she’s wearing a different onesie than this morning.  K informs me she had a diaper explosion.   That makes me laugh.  Our sweet L just had to break in the new babysitter right away!

4:00pm: Wonder if this day could get any longer.

4:29pm: Leave for the day.  Am tempted to run down to my car but refrain myself.  This is still a professional environment, after all.

4:45pm:  Curse traffic.  Also, stoplights.  The afternoon commute seems infinitely longer than the morning commute.

5:00pm: L is still napping.  K is talking quietly so she doesn't wake her up.  I don't care, because I'm picking up my baby and giving her a huge kiss.  L stretches but doesn't fuss.  I get a groggy half smile.

We head home, and suddenly nothing else matters.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Loralai- 3 Months

Wow, where has the time gone?  Hard to believe that Loralai is already 3 months... I have failed to post new pictures in quite a while.

She is still the sweetest and happiest baby.  She even took a plane ride with daddy up to Michigan to meet the rest of his family last week.  I was nervous for JD traveling with her alone, but she did great- not a peep out of her on any of the flights!

She is starting to grab and hold smaller toys and LOVES reaching for her favorite butterfly when she's lying on her play mat.  This past weekend, JD and I bought a Bumbo for her because she's been wanting to sit up more- she loves that too!

Here are a few pictures I took from when she turned 2 months.

Happy baby after a good night's sleep

Dressed up for tea with Great Grandma.

Bath time!

Little peanut passed out in the hammock.