Back where we started

Two years ago today, I received the best birthday present to date: I was pregnant. I wouldn’t know it for a couple weeks, but as I sit here as a newly minted 36 year old, I couldn’t be happier.

Some birthdays were hard – the milestone ones after my father died, the one where I got snowed in, the one where I was alone – but this one feels just great. My fifteen month old brought me my present as I was standing in the kitchen, making her lunch for daycare. I can’t imagine anything cuter.

Life turned upside down over the summer, but I’ve finally embraced it and am – dare I say it – okay with it. I lost my job. Again. And I’m okay with it. I got to enjoy the summer with my daughter, celebrate her first birthday, and haven’t minded the near sleepless nights that come with teething and colds. It has been lonely, and challenging, and uplifting all at the same time.

I thought I would blog more once she was born, but there is something that made me want to keep those first months and moments private. I am still digesting all the emotions that come with being a mother instead of just wife and sometimes homemaker. It’s only the past month or so that I haven’t cried every night putting her to bed – tears of joy, tears of wonderment, tears of frustration and release.

Becoming a mother has been the ultimate life challenge and blessing, and for my birthday, a gift to myself is the time to be here again. To share what we’ve done in the house in the past year, to create beautiful things and a beautiful home, and to ask for advice when I decide to repaint a room or try a horrible Pinterest tutorial. So welcome back! I look forward to sharing this crazy life with you all again.

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Totally preggers

We were out with my in-laws a few weeks ago looking at houses when suddenly I turned and caught my side profile in the mirror and gasped. I was pregnant.  They asked me what was wrong and I told them. I’m pregnant. No… really?!

Obviously I’m pregnant. I’m 26 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I’m due in three months. 92 days to go according to my Glow Nurture app. But I finally realized how I look to other people. Up until about two weeks ago I felt pregnant, I felt Alexandra moving and kicking and even seeing my belly move when she gave a particularly energetic jab. I saw the numbers on the scale going up (slowly thankfully). But I didn’t realize just how pregnant I looked.

From the front, if I’m wearing a cardigan that falls just right, there’s still the initial thought of, “She had too many cheeseburgers,” which has been my joke all along. Especially around month 4, there was the look you would get from students and others on campus we hadn’t told yet where they were trying to figure out of if you were gluttonous or knocked up. Now it’s real.

Things in Alexandra’s room are pretty well set. The crib has been together for a while now, the room painted, the closet cleaned out and prepared, and the dresser refinished. I can tell you I hate spray painting pregnant. YES, I wore a heavy duty respirator mask – don’t yell at me. Now we’re just trying to settle the rest of the house. The bathroom is done. The center hall ceiling and mold taken down, new ceilings and moldings put up, and now we have to peel the wall paper.

But now, I actually feel pregnant too. I can’t work on the wall paper removal for more than an hour without feeling discomfort. The bajillion trips up and down the stairs while trying to clean are unmanageable now. I can do it, but if I don’t take breaks, I end up in a lot of pain by the end of the day. Maybe it’s because I’m carrying all out front. Maybe it’s because I’m too stupid to know I should slow down.

But you know what? I’m not angry or sad about any of the limitations. I’m happy. I have been lucky. I feel good. I dare say I look good. And I can’t wait to have this little girl here.

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anniversary of being a (rescue) mom

If you had told me that we’d be celebrating having Abby for a year I wouldn’t have believed you. I can’t believe how quickly time has gone! Last year, the Man was still sleeping on the floor outside her crate so she wouldn’t cry all night, and we were fighting with baby gates and pee accidents. Then also, of course, was figuring out that her legs are ridiculously long and lead to LOTS of trouble.

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Now, of course, we’ve upgrade to a shoe/remote control/cordless phone eater who has to have her toys rotated so she doesn’t get bored, and has a penchant for sleeping on our bed IN BETWEEN US (which, what spoiled dog doesn’t??) or blatantly stealing my spot in bed in the morning.

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But you know what? Despite the countless eaten shoes and dug up garden beds and muddy paw prints and torn up toys strewn about the house, I wouldn’t change anything for the world. I couldn’t be a prouder rescue mom.

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beautiful birthday

There are many perks to the fact that The Man now works 9-5 at the same university that I do. Today was proof that it is actually EPIC because we took a lunch break together and actually went into the city to celebrate his birthday with an amazing meal.

The weather was gorgeous, the cherry trees all in bloom, and WE FOUND PARKING! Around the lunch rush that is no small feat in Philly. After checking out the menu online, The Man decided he wanted to check out City Tap House and oh what an amazing choice! They have a fabulous outside seating deck which is on the second floor (with plenty of umbrellas!) so we got to take full advantage of the gorgeous weather.

The Man had The Tap Burger which had an amazing dijonaise, and I chose the Tartufo flatbread pizza with truffle oil, roasted mushrooms, and a fried egg. I was a bit skeptical about the pizza, but took it on recommendation of the waitress and told her when she asked how our food was that I wanted to hug the person who thought of the creation. Our lunch was AMAZING and we were full without being disgustingly stuffed.

When we got home, we set up the fire pit and talked to the neighbors. ‘Tis the season that we’re all outside when we get home from work. Dinner tonight was spent with one of our friends and we picked up some seasoned chicken cutlets – some with a bourbon sauce, some with garlic and pepper – and made zucchini and sweet potato fries.

It was an amazing day with The Man, who I am blessed to have. We have ups and downs and challenges with the house and work, but at the end of the day, I know I have a partner, that we’re on the same team, that we’ll get through it. We kiss, say I love you, and start over the next morning. Happy Birthday, love. Here’s to many more happy days.

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warming trend

Sometimes it’s hard for me to admit when I’m stressed or depressed. I think it’s hard for everyone. But recently, I had to. Not because I need an intervention, but because I needed the people around me to understand that I’m not myself. That I’m getting emotional over small things. That I need a shoulder.

And somehow it always starts to ease in the spring. Suddenly, I’m not so worried about all the things to do that have piled up over the lazy, winter months. Now I’m looking forward to all the long hours that I need to put into the yard to get it in shape for the veggie growing season. And the door that still needs to be painted? Now that it’s light out longer and it’s warmer, it will get done.

Finally, I admitted to the Man that I’m overwhelmed and need some more help with stuff around the house. That I’ve been indecisive and sad and need him to be patient. And he has been. Sometimes you just need to ask for help, wait for the warmth, and breathe. It will be okay.

resolute

Most of us make New Year’s resolutions, and I would bet that most of us don’t keep them for very long. I decided that I wasn’t going to make any resolutions this year. Instead, I’m going to make myself mini goals throughout the year and try to achieve them.

Well, my dear friends, I already made and kept my first one: do not cry on my first day back to work after vacation. SUCCESS! I was unfocused and antsy on and off during the day, used to working on something for a few hours and then getting away and switching gears while I was at home. But, despite that, I made it my eight hours and then came home to a freezing cold house and Abby having eaten one of the Man’s books.

Now I’m curled up with a cup of hot chocolate, Abby, Luna, and the space heater trying to warm up. It’s a brisk 17 degrees out right now and VERY windy. Old house = no insulation, so we’re bundled up watching Netflix.

Bring it on, 2015! We’re ready 🙂

first crappy selfie of 2015!

first crappy selfie of 2015!

A very Merry Christmas

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It was a very Merry Christmas and we are finally recovered from all the cooking and present opening and dishes. Because our living room wall hasn’t been repaired yet from the plumbing work I was hesitant to decorate for Christmas. Then on Saturday the Man and I were like elves on speed and out up a lot of our decorations.

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Then we all packed up and headed to my mom’s house to celebrate. We got to see both sides of our families which was lovely. Christmas morning brought lots of fun gifts for all of us, but especially for the youngest member of our family – Abby.

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She was spoiled. And we learned she is VERY good at opening her own gifts. I wish we had been ready to record because she was adorable tearing into wrapping paper and tissue alike.

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Luna is home being watched and getting a vacation from the puppy so we will just call this “furbaby” Friday. I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas! I know that we did and were very blessed to spend it with our families.

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