Reflections on 3 Months and 3 Years

Lyla just turned three months old and my Leo is about to be a three (going on 13) year old. At times I still can’t believe I’m a mom, yet these days I can barely remember a time when I wasn’t. Like what did I do with all that free time?? And all that money now spent on diapers and daycare?? It must have been glorious, but I really can’t remember…

I do vaguely remember a time of eating a lot more meals out (and drinking A LOT more drinks out…), getting a lot more mani/pedis, and buying clothes for myself whenever I needed a new “going out” outfit, rather than just mostly shopping for my son, who is already quite the brand snob (Nike everything, New Balance is acceptable also).

I had high hopes that giving birth and the newborn stage would be a bit easier and less panic-inducing the second time around, and for the most part it has been. Giving birth was no picnic and I’m not a huge fan of hospital stays (is anyone?), but when Leo visited us and we gave him his superhero themed big brother bag, and he held his little sis for the first time, it definitely turned my heart to mush and I didn’t really care at all that I was in a tiny sterile room, unshowered and wearing disposable underwear. Thanks to some sweet nurses and our second timers status we were able to go home a day early and get the whole two kid party started right away. I hate to jinx things and I’ll probably eat my words in a few weeks or months, but Lyla has been a very chill baby so far, sleeps through the night (and has been since like 6 weeks!) and is usually smiling, cooing or just hanging out and watching her crazy brother’s antics.

I was able to mostly take the summer off of work, and the whole marrying a teacher thing showed itself to be a real perk as we were able to spend a lot of time together adjusting to life as a family of four. Now as my husband heads back to school and I begin to dip my toe back into the working world, I’m left with a mix of emotions (as usual). Here’s what I’m pondering these days as I adjust to life with two…

I’m not sure what the perfect age difference in kids is. My brother and I were four years apart and I always thought it’d be cool if we were three or less, so we could have been in high school together. Leo and Lyla will be two grades apart in school which seems ideal, but I could also see how having a slightly older kid at home with a newborn would sure be helpful. No one tells you nor can you prepare for all the potential dilemmas that will arise when you have a semi-independent toddler and a brand-new newborn. Like when your toddler suddenly “has to go poop!” (and still needs assistance in that area) but your newborn is nursing away and cannot be disturbed…

Once you have two kids, there’s really no turning back. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but somedays it seems like “getting my groove back” is just so far away. I wonder when I’ll ever have “me time” again, when I’ll no longer have to worry about whether my outfit is nursing friendly, or dare I say “get my body back,” when I’ll ever go back to yoga class, read a good long book, actually get to sit in those new comfy chairs on my deck, read the paper and sip my coffee, and so on.  I’m so grateful for my kids (a boy than a girl, a billionaire’s family so they say), and some days I think, lets just have another since I’m already so deep into this motherhood thing, but other days (most days) I do the math in my head to calculate “how many more months until she’s done nursing?,” “how many more years until they’re both in school?,” “how old will I be when they graduate high school?” (the answer to that one btw is TOO OLD!). I want to live in the moment, enjoy each phase, each hard day and each less-hard day, celebrate every milestone big and small, but I also want to take kid-free trip, wander around the mall by myself and sleep in on the weekends. I think this is every mom’s internal struggle though. We love our kids, they make us happy, but sometimes we yearn for who we were before kids, and maybe more so than for a man, it seems harder to get back to that person. (And don’t even get me started on work/life balance, “leaning in,” “having it all” and all that other crap, I’ll save my thoughts on being a working mom for another day and another post, but speaking of, have you watched Workin’ Moms yet? Best. Show. Ever.)

I’ve had the Darius Rucker song “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” running on repeat in head recently and it sorta makes me cry when I think about it. I feel like there’s always this constant internal struggle for me between “time hurry up and time slow down.” So my goal for this year (I always think of September as the start of a new year, school-aged or not), is to at least TRY to live in the moment, appreciate every day – and when all else fails, just laugh it off and try again tomorrow.

 

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To my firstborn…

This is quite possibly my last day as a mom of one.  Tomorrow I go in for a scheduled induction for Baby #2 (sex unknown!). I have so many feelings. Nervous about the labor and delivery and everything going smoothly. I had some complications this time around and will be delivering a little early. Last time Leo was in no rush to come out but hopefully this chunkster is a bit more cooperative. Sure feels like he/she is ready to come on out!  Nervous about the newborn stage which quite frankly terrified the crap out of me last time. They’re so tiny and dependent on you and I really had no clue what I was doing – but somehow we made it and Leo is now a 2 year old wiz kid and future pro athlete (100% not from my genes but mark my words, this kid is athletically blessed.) Nervous about experiencing postpartum anxiety and/or depression which is very real my friends and doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom, a bad person, crazy or anything else.  My rant on the level of postpartum care, maternity leave policies and general treatment of mothers (especially working moms) in this country will be saved for a future (probably multiple) blog posts but let’s just say it’s lacking. Severely.

And maybe most of all… nervous and unable to imagine loving another tiny person as much as Leo. I know what they say, your heart expands and your love grows and I’m excited for it. I can’t wait to see Leo as a big bro, and see our family come together as a foursome.  It’s crazy to think how much changed since Leo came along though. How this 6-pound little person completely threw my world into a tailspin, gave me the biggest challenge of my life and somewhere along the way, showed me everything I ever wanted out of life and gave me a sense of pride, wholeness and love I never knew I needed.  He makes me laugh daily and drives me crazy hourly, but somehow I’ve grown to miss him nearly every minute we’re not together.

As I anxiously await another birth, another tiny human placed on my chest in a haze of bliss, exhaustion, relief and joy, an uncountable string of sleepless nights, worrying about my milk supply and proper flange size, and a few dozen google searches a day (“What is intermittent breathing?” “What is that gunk in his eye?” “Is green poop normal?”), I leave this letter of love and appreciation for my sweet, hilarious, stubborn, smart and handsome firstborn, may he always know that it was him who taught me to be a mama and prepared me to do it all over again for his sister or brother, hopefully with a little more confidence this time around, a few less google searches and if we’re really lucky, a few less sleepless nights!

And finally… any last minute name suggestions welcome here.  Comment away, we are taking submissions until the 11th hour here, folks!

 

 

11 Months and Counting…

It took me nearly 9 months of pregnancy before I blogged about that so are you really surprised that it’s taken me almost an entire year to blog about the whole motherhood thing? I’ve decided to dust off the blog this week to finally attempt to put into words the whirlwind that was the last year or so.

Perhaps at some point I’ll hit publish on some more specific posts about Leo’s birth, those first few hazy weeks (ok, months) and other bits that have crept in and out of my mind this past year, but this post is more of a quick checkin, as well as a way to hopefully clear my head and deal with the heart wrenching emotions of dropping my little guy off at daycare the past few weeks. Writing can be cathartic, right?

I’ve been trying to put into words the way it feels to have a child, and also how it’s changed my life so significantly, but also in a million little ways too.  The best way that I’ve been able to sum up my emotions since being called mama is this: It feels like I am walking around with my heart outside my body all the time. I have never felt so deeply every emotion there is to feel until motherhood. Love. Happiness. Fear. Admiration. Hope. Loneliness (100% honesty here). Trepidation (aka more fear). Excitement. The list goes on.  One day it’s just you and then there’s this crazy – not possible to be prepared for – birthing experience and then you return home and your entire world has changed and you are now responsible for another life (one that did NOT come with an instruction manual btw). Maybe this was part of my struggle, because I’m actually obsessed with instruction manuals, just ask my husband. I save them all in a binder and feel the need to refer back to them when operating everything from a dust buster to our coffee maker to confirm I’m “doing it right.” No one can really tell you exactly what to do every minute of the day and how to handle every situation that parenthood throws you into and because of this, I really struggled at first. But what they say is true. The days are long but the years are short. And also, it DOES get easier. And you get better at it. You learn what each little cry and sound means. You change diapers like a pro. You rock them and swaddle them and nurse them. You obsess about their bowel movements, their sleep habits, their milestones. Your heart nearly explodes when they smile for the first time. Then laugh. Then say mama. and dada. And become this tiny perfect little human that you created who also has their own unique personality and learns things on their own and amazes you every single day.  Yeah, its kinda like that.

And then nearly a year passes and you can’t believe how quickly it went by. And then your sitting in a coffee shop trying to do some work when you overhear two adorable parents next to you giving their even more adorable son a pep talk on what to expect for his first day of kindergarten. “They’ll be a lot of laughing and there might be some crying… And mom might be a little sad…”And your heart nearly explodes again because it’s just about the sweetest thing you’ve ever witnessed. And you can’t believe you’ll be doing the same thing in the blink of an eye…

 

Is This My First “Mom Blog” Post?

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#39Weeks!

Major life changes over at Allie Zog headquarters since my last few blogs… I am about to become a mom…and I guess as a blogger, maybe also a #momblogger? Though I’d prefer not to be labeled as such. Yes, I may be becoming a mom, and I hope to be a better blogger in the days ahead, but I still plan to blog about a myriad of things. I know motherhood has a tendency to take over people’s lives and consequently their online life, but I really hope I can keep some balance and still write about the other aspects of my life on here too. Anyway…I will happily label today’s post as my first in the Mom Life category.

What’s on my mommy mind you ask? Well, a whole lot but off the top of my head, here at the current things keeping me up at night now that’s there exactly one week until my due date!!

  • I want to wash. everything. I’ve tossed more things in my washing machine than I ever thought possible. Baby clothes (with Dreft!), stuffed animals (who knew?), all my clothes, blankets, sheets, rugs, slippers (Can these even go in there? Here’s hoping since mine are currently on the spin cycle…) My motto has become ABDL (always be doing laundry)…  All I can say is nesting – it’s real people…
  • Is my hospital bag up to par? I’ve read all the lists (and damn there are a lot of them) and I think my two bags (one for labor and one your stay, just like the lists say!) are sufficiently packed but who knows?  I’m particularly stressed on 1) What size I’ll be and whether I need maternity pants or regular-ish pants to wear home and 2) What size the little guy will be? Luckily his tiny and precious outfits take up next-to-no-space so he’s got quite a few options for his “going home” outfit. Poor guy is already having to deal with mom’s over packing problem I guess!
  •  Are we properly “stocked up” for returning home from the hospital? Everything I’ve been reading makes it seem like Armageddon and that you will never be able to get to a store again. It’s like hurricane and snowstorm prep times 10. Do I really need a stockpile of paper goods and a freezer full of pre-made food? And even for the baby, how many diapers and wipes do I really need in advance, especially in the days of Amazon Prime 2-day shipping of anything…
  • After writing these, I am also now thinking that perhaps I consume too much media on a daily basis… I probably don’t need to read every book, blog, app and Facebook post regarding parenthood but I can’t escape it! Thanks to re-targeting, it’s coming at me from all angles from web banners to Facebook ads…
  • Food. My current cravings and favorite foods are cereal with milk, Twizzler pull n’ peel and all the carbs… Oh and as for immediate post-pregnancy wishes, I’ll take a turkey sandwich with all the fixins and a pumpkin beer with a cinnamon sugar rim please!
  • And lastly but certainly not least: I can’t wait to meet this guy!!! What will he look like? I’m thinking a full head of dark hair, wide eyes and a devilish grin but I will be over the moon with an alien shaped head, ten fingers and ten toes as long as he’s healthy and happy.

It’s still pretty unreal to me that a tiny human that FF and I created will be joining us in a few short days and that we’ll be responsible for him and get to watch him grow and shape his world. I think it’s one of those things that you can’t fully prepare for, and no matter how much “stuff” is ready and waiting for his arrival, those first few moments after bringing him home are going to be a blur of “what do I do now??”, “whoa!”, wow, and wonderment. I’m excited, slightly terrified and very much ready to meet Baby Fusco (full name to come at birth!).