Archives for posts with tag: family time

 

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Last week I was lucky enough to be accepted as a RedTri Spoke Contributor! I am so excited about this opportunity to share my voice in their community.

In Defense of Downsizing takes a look at what happens when you look into your heart and family and make choices based on the answers you find. I explain our journey to living with less space and more time together.

I hope to remain active in this contributor community. I will always share with you whatever work I am fortunate enough to submit and have published.

Do you have any pieces that have been published on different sites, blogs, communities? Share your links below!

One worry I had even before getting pregnant with Alexander was “How could I ever love another baby as much as I love Jackson?” It was one reason I was hesitant to even try for another baby. I just wasn’t sure how it was possible. Even after finding out I was having another baby, I was slightly worried. Jackson has been my whole world for 3 & 1/2 years. How is there room in my heart for more love like that? I know other moms who have had the same concern, so I know I am not alone in that thinking.

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I am here to say that it is entirely possible. I have discovered that your heart just doubles its love storage. It simply opens up more space without even trying to. That baby left my body and in the space that was left over my heart took the opportunity to expand. I easily feel the same way about Alexander that I did about Jackson the moment I saw him. Pure, simple, astounding, overwhelming love. I would move mountains for both of these boys. At the same exact time if I had to.

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Reading a book to my sweethearts

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I also have more love for Jackson. I swoon every time I see him melt over Alexander. Let me just tell you what he decided to call Alex all on his own: Sunshine Face. That is what he calls his baby brother. I sometimes call Jackson that and on his own he just decided that would be his nickname for his baby brother. I about died of love when I heard him say it for the first time. A 3 & 1/2 year old using a nickname like that for his little brother. I thought to myself “I am doing something right here.” He wants to help me with everything. If I need the binky, he is there to find it. If I need a diaper, he will get one. Or any other number of small things I need help with, he is there to lend a hand.

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Watching my husband be a parent to two children has also made me love him more. He is my partner in crime. We work together and we divide and conquer. It has only been a week! Somehow, we effortlessly slipped into this rhythm. There was no laid out plan of who does what when. We just flow together and handle all that has been laid before us over this week. One night Jackson helped me cook dinner while Jason hung out with Alex. Last night I snuggled with Alex while Jason and Jackson made caramel apples together. Earlier in the day all four of us hung out in bed watching Jackson’s shows. Jason even drove to two different stores in the middle of the night and in the middle of a storm to find gas drops for Alex. He had awful gas on night and was so upset and in so much pain, we had to do something right then.

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When you look at all of this, it is safe to say maybe my heart more than doubled. It also squeezed out some more space in the Jason and Jackson spots. Everybody got some more room.

And me? I am feel very confident as a mom. I am feeling that even with the challenges that we have faced this week (there have been a few concerning Alex’s health. Jackson has had a couple of jealously moments, which is totally normal!) that I can and will do whatever it takes for all of my boys. Last night after getting Jackson in bed Alexander was hungry. Jason was holding him as I moved around the house trying to get things in order. I had to pee, I wanted to change into a nursing tank, I had to gather my boppy, water, etc. Jason was whispering to Alex, “Mommy will be ready soon. She is very busy. Lots to do here. She is almost ready. She is a busy lady.” It was true. Getting two kids situated for the night while healing from delivery is a busy time! It was nice to hear him appreciate that.

My first photo with both boys!

My first photo with both boys!

My belly is much smaller these days but my heart is much bigger. I will take that trade off any day!

I am on day 4 of being a mom to two boys! On Sunday, September 28th, at 4:38pm Alexander was born. 7lbs 2oz and 20 inches. He is pure sweet shiny new perfection. 19-DSC_6613

I was not planning on having a baby on Sunday. I had a long to do list of things. I definitely wanted to go grocery shopping. I was going to call a spa around 10am to see if they could fit me in for a prenatal massage. My shopping list was ready to go before 8am. I decided to not workout that morning. I was feeling pretty tired and realized I could use a rest day.

The day before I walked 2 miles on the treadmill. I even threw in a couple jogs. Very short and slow jogs. Nothing crazy. I did a touch of arm work after the run and a lot of stretching. We all went to Apple Fest with my mom, sister in law, and niece. We walked around a ton there. I started having contractions. Not just tightening but enough to stop me in my tracks a few times. They got down to about 7 minutes apart. We decided to head home and see where this took us. In the car I had one last one and then they stopped. Later in the evening I had a few more, but again they stopped. I figured just more false labor. I went to sleep, not knowing in less than 12 hours I would be in active labor!

Around 8:30am I hopped in the shower and I was having even more painful contractions than the day before. They were closer this time. I ate some breakfast and got ready for the day. I was still not convinced. Around 9:30 they got even worse than they had been and were coming 2-3 minutes apart. I walked the staircase in our backyard over and over until I reached 10:30 and they had been happening for an hour. Jackson spent some time walking with me! I called my OB. She told me to head on over to the hospital. So much for that massage.

My labor walking partner

My labor walking partner

By the time I arrived to the hospital I was 5cm dilated. 6 days before I had only been 1cm! I said “I am not going home today, am I?” The answer was no. It was time. I wanted a natural birth. That was my plan. I declined the epidural and fluids. I agreed to a port during my blood draw just because it is easier to do it then instead of during an emergency. I also agreed to letting my Dr. break my water because she explained it progresses things faster and she hates to see people in pain longer than they need to be. That is when the party got started. My husband took some photos during my labor. I was initially pretty mad because I had no idea. Now, as I write this, I am a touch thankful.

This was before things got exciting. And before my parents arrived to help out with Jackson. See, I am still smiling. That changes fast.

This was before things got exciting. And before my parents arrived to help out with Jackson. See, I am still smiling. That changes fast.

As contractions are wont to do, mine progressively got worse and worse. The pain was incredible. The downtime was heaven. But then, my downtime started to disappear.

They had me on my side because his heart rate dipped. If I was gripping, things hurt.

They had me on my side because his heart rate dipped. If I was gripping, things hurt.

The contractions kept getting closer and closer together. Totally normal. Then, the downtime started to vanish. I would be on my way down from a painful contraction, never quite hitting 0, and another contraction would start. It would spike off the charts again and have to work its way down. Sometimes I was having 3 minute long contractions. The break in between those would be a minute or a minute and a half. IMG_8931

My Dr came in and asked for me to consider agreeing to a fluid IV to try to hydrate me. She thought I was dehydrated and that could be why these contractions were overlapping. She wanted to get me a break of 2-3 minutes in between each one. I agreed to the fluids. They ended up not helping much. She came back later and said I still wasn’t always getting a break and when I was that they were only maybe a minute and a half. She mentioned I still had the option for an epidural. She hated sitting out there at the desk watching the monitor knowing what I was going through. I hadn’t dilated past 7 at this point. I was frustrated but I held off.

The contractions started to exhaust me. I just wanted to sleep after each one. I felt like I was at the end of a long hard day after every single contraction. But I never got the rest time. It was boom boom boom. The pain was in my back, uterus, and would shoot down my quads into my knees. I tried all kinds of labor positions. Kneeling almost made the leg pain worse. I found nothing that worked in helping me work through it. There were contractions where I couldn’t even breathe through them. I was trying but even breathing hurt. My mom was trying to remind me to breathe. Jason was having a very hard time seeing me in such pain.  I started to get worried that I wouldn’t be able to push. I was so tired. So so so tired.

At my next check I was 8cm. At the check after that I was still 8cm. The epidural was mentioned again. I asked how long I had to decide on that. The nurse told me as long as I liked. I could get it whenever. She left the room. I had another long contraction. I told Jason to go tell her to get the anesthesiologist. I felt as if I were caving. This wasn’t my plan. I am a strong person, I should have been able to do this. I was just so tired. I know I am a great pusher. I know I have the core strength to push him out, but my energy had been depleted. I was really worried that when it came down to it, during those long contractions, I wouldn’t have the energy to push. Which could result in a C-section. I knew that was number one on my ‘I don’t want it” birth list. So my decision had been made. I weighed my options and went with the one that I thought would still result in the birth I would be most satisfied with.

After the epidural I was able to relax. It wasn’t long before my next check. My Dr said I was just about 10. Asked me to give a little push to try to get a part of my cervix to complete its disappearance. She said “oh you are a good pusher. His head is right there. I was going to have you push one more time but never mind. It is time to deliver. I am going to get ready.”

My mom left the room at 4:26. The doctor and nurses finished getting everything all ready. At 4:30 I started pushing. At 4:38, Alexander John entered this world. He entered with the cord around his neck and he was blue. My husband said that my Dr got that cord off so fast it was amazing. In one swift movement she unwrapped it from him. The cord was also wrapped around his leg, which I got a glimpse of. When they put him on my belly he was blue and not crying. My brain was racing “why isn’t he crying. He should be crying.” It was a blur. A nurse (who happened to help deliver Jackson as well!) started to fuss with him and he started crying. My life was complete in that moment. They put him on my chest and I held that sweet boy for the very first time. They took him away to get him ready for some more snuggles.

My first photo with my sunshine face

My first photo with my sunshine face

We were able to go home the next day, per our request. We wanted to get settled into our home with both of our sweethearts. We hate hospitals. Don’t most people? He is mostly healthy. Very tiny and a little jaundice. So his pediatrician is monitoring that. He has lost 8% of his birthweight. We have a follow up tomorrow to see if we packed some ounces on him. I have been nursing on demand all week. He eats close to every hour over night. If he even whines I offer him a boob! Ha! Time to chunk this little monkey up.

Jackson is over the moon for his baby brother! He is wonderful with helping. Jason and I are doing a great job being partners and making sure Jackson gets some one on one attention too. Family time and one on one time with each boy. We definitely got this. IMG_8785 IMG_8889 IMG_8957 IMG_8990

We are in love and I really do feel like my life is complete. I am so happy to have two children. I am enjoying the balancing the needs of both. I truly feel like I was born to be a mom. I do other things. I love teaching Pilates when I am working. But nothing gives me joy like being a mom first and foremost. I easily throw all of my energies into my family. I feel satisfied and content with that role. My heart is warm and overflowing with joy. Even if I haven’t slept. Even if Jackson was asking for Cheerios while I was trying not to pee my pants and make him a bowl and Alexander started crying at the same moment and I realized my husband put the old almond milk I wanted to toss back in the fridge and now I can’t tell the difference between the new and old. Which was this morning. It lasted 3 minutes and was chaotic, but it was home, it was life, it was uniquely mine and I wouldn’t trade it for a thing!

Welcome to the world sweet boy. Welcome to our family. You were made especially for us and you are perfect. 12-DSC_6563 11-DSC_6558IMG_8966 IMG_8979 IMG_8980

I have started and failed to finish several posts this week. It has been difficult for me to get into a good writing flow. They were all very long posts but they just didn’t seem right to me. They all were incomplete as well. I have had a lot on my mind but the words just won’t form correctly. Today, though, I am going to try a bit harder.

Yesterday evening I was thinking to myself that I would really enjoy it if I had a rainy day tomorrow. A day to just slow me down a little bit. A reason to stay inside, cuddled up with my sweetheart. A day where I could use the bad weather as an excuse to not run errands, go somewhere fun, walk to the park, or whatever ever else came up. 

For over a week I haven’t slept through the night. Last night was no exception. As I lay in bed I considered a walk to the park with Jackson today. No workout, take a rest day because I haven’t taken a rest day in over a week either. But a nice 1.5 mile walk and maybe some swimming. My brain was active as I lay in bed considering all the things I could do today. I finally decided to get myself up for the day, having stayed in bed a bit later knowing I didn’t plan on fitting in a workout. Alexander started slowing moving around, then kicking. It was time to start my day. 

Imagine my surprise as I waddled into my kitchen, not greeted by the usual beaming sunlight that radiates through the massive set of windows we have. I was greeted by grey sky, rain, clouds, and utter wetness outside. My heart skipped a beat. My rainy day! I hadn’t even checked the weather forecast yesterday. I had no idea rain was coming. I just wished it would, to force me to slow down a touch. As I sit here and write I am accompanied by the sounds of rain falling on my skylights. Heavy raindrops writing their own song. Jackson is still asleep. He likes to sleep late on rainy mornings. There is no sun radiating around the small space around his blackout blinds. 

I am not sure what we will do today. My dishes could be washed. I was too tired last night to wash the ones from dinner. Legos are already spread across my kitchen table. Except for the small area I am afforded for my meals and well my laptop I am typing on now. We have a ton of books we could read. I have a new big Ninja Turtles coloring/activity book we could make our marks on. Maybe we will do all of them. If he keeps sleeping much longer, there won’t be a nap today. Especially on a day where we don’t wear ourselves out playing outside or going on an adventure. 

As I sipped my coffee earlier, watching the rainy day, I couldn’t help but thank my Gma (that is what I called her a lot). I can’t help but feel like she may have had a hand in providing me with exactly what I needed this week. Forcing me to slow down a little, her girl who is always on the go. Thanks Gma, you did me a solid. 

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View from my kitchen

This weekend, Memorial Day weekend, has been fantastic. The weather has been phenomenal! Yesterday we had a “day off.” No parties, no visitors, no obligations. Just the three of us enjoying a family day together!

It was much needed. We are always so busy we rarely have time for days like yesterday. Sometimes I really hate that. I mean Jack is barely 16 months old (he is officially 16 months in a week from today). It is kind of insane how busy we get with obligations and activities. It will only get worse the older he gets.

So sometimes it is nice to just take some time to spend together and ignore the rest of the world. We had a very outside day!

The morning and early after noon consisted of a trip the the spray park/beach down the street.

woo hoo spray park!

We took him a bit last year. He was still a little blob though. Mostly not even able to sit up on his own. He liked sitting in the water but couldn’t do much. I don’t think he remembered this place. It took him a second to warm up. It was kind of funny watching him walk around looking like he was thinking what the heck is this place! Then he had a blast!

We haven’t had time to do one of these pics in a while!

We used to always take photos like this. It seemed to have stopped after Jack was born. Too busy taking care of him or taking photos of him! But I made us stop for 2 seconds yesterday and take one. Ahhh the good old days!

Dad this is so fun

My boys were soaked! We were all having a blast. Jack is squealing with joy in this photo, not crying. He would just run around squealing. It was adorable. He cracks me up!

We hung out there for a quite a while. Then Jack spotted the beach….and pointed to it…..soooo….

first bikini photo of the year….

sand!

He thought the lake was TOO cold! But he loved the sand! I am hoping he likes the water a bit more as it warms up over the summer. But he really enjoyed the sand. We have a small beach in our backyard but I think it is a bit dirty. I don’t know who of our neighbors thinks it is ok to smoke there and toss their cigarettes but if I ever see them they will hear it from me. I think I have to get him a sandbox. This beach was pristine, it is paid to get in to. Mostly families. I didn’t notice any trash on the beach. But sometimes it would be easier to just walk out our door and play in a sandbox. Instead of hiking it up to the park.

dinner on the boat

After a very very very long nap on Jack’s part, we decided to have dinner on our boat. He LOVED the boat!He even kept pointing to other boats exclaiming “boat!!!!!”

no big deal just eating on the boat

It was like he was born and raised on the boat. No big deal to him. Walking around perfectly. Just eating the whole time. Playing with some toys. His hat even blew off and one point. Into the water. We had to turn around and Jason was able to grab it. Didn’t even phase him when I put the wet hat back on his head. This kid is a little boy through and through.

After our boat dinner we headed BACK to the spray park! I didn’t take any pics there because at that point I mean, they would look about the same as the morning. But we went and it was fun. We have a season pass. That is nice because we can come and go if we please. Without a season pass it is a bit expensive every day for adults. 8 dollars an adult each day! After a handful of visits the pass will have paid for itself.

Then Jackman stayed up until a bit after 9pm! We played in the living room. At one point all 3 of us started doing our own thing. Jack was in some other world playing with and arranging his toys. Happily playing on his own. Jason was on the floor playing a video game, and I was relaxing on the couch reading. So we ended the day of togetherness each doing an activity of our own choosing.

All in all it was a great family day. Today we have a birthday party to attend. Later this afternoon. I am going for a run after this. Gotta keep that bikini body looking acceptable! 🙂

Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all our troops past and present!

This week has been so busy. I have been doing a million things. We got a job for a photoshoot though Medela. They selected two mom/baby models to come that day. They made their final decision about who to shoot the day of. They went with the other pair (we still got paid!) because I am blonde and the last momma they used was blonde and we resembled one another. The other girl that came down that day had dark hair and her son had a lot of very dark hair. Little Jack has such light blonde hair that he looks bald. It is ok though. I was super disappointed but my hubby pointed out, we got paid and didn’t have to work. That is smart!

Walking around downtown

We had to go downtown, where we used to live. So we showed Jack the city and our old neighborhood. He seemed to love all the sights to see. We stopped at our old condo. Well we still own it but we obviously do not live there anymore. I think we had a blast showing him around. He even got to see what would have been his bedroom.

in our condo...want to buy it???

It turned out to  be such a fun day together. He was so wonderful too. He was going with the flow. He was happy after catnaps. He never got a luxurious nap in like he normally does at least once a day. He didn’t seem to mind not being in familiar surroundings. He will be 5 months on Monday. He is really starting to grow up. I am enjoying it but I am also sad about it.

On the balcony with Dada

Yesterday we had a vet appointment for the kitties. This meant Jason stayed home again. We also had another fun day together. It was Gymboree day as well. Jason got to come with us for the first time. Jackson seemed to enjoy having us both there. It was wonderful for Jason to get to be involved in some of this fun stuff instead of always being at work while we run around doing activities. I also enjoyed watching him interact his own way.

Parachute time

I even stepped back and let them play without saying “no do it this way or no the song goes like this” GASP!!!! I know, I actually relaxed and let him take total control. Ok, so I didn’t do it RIGHT away but after a few minutes into class I did. That is a huge step for me. I am kind of a control freak, especially when it comes to my only son/child. I like things done a certain way. I know I need to give up some control, but not right now.

So happy to play with Dada

I have a million things to do today. Our house is a disaster since we really weren’t around much. I probably shouldn’t even be writing, but I decided to take a few moments to unwind this morning. I have been getting all of my exercise in despite being so busy. I haven’t missed a day! Today will probably be a pilates day, unless the temps stay under control then I will go running. I treated myself to some more new running gear yesterday. It is incredibly motivational to have new things to wear. I just want to put them on and use them right away!

This weekend is going to be even busier than the past couple of days. We have company coming over tomorrow and Sunday. Monday I have my 5k! AHH I DO need to get cleaning! YIKES! See you all next week!