Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back to the Grind

Today was the first day of work for me since June.  Sierra woke up in a good mood, and even got herself dressed and made her bed.  Something I have been working on - with little luck - all summer.  She was so excited to go to the baby-sitter's house.  It almost made me sad!  Coen woke up before I had to wake him up, probably Sierra being loud woke him up, but he was happy so it was all good.  When I went to drop them off, it was a bit chaotic and I was trying not to think about leaving him.  Another mom was leaving her 5 month old for the first time, and another mom was leaving her 15 month old to go to work for the first time also (she was able to take a year off and keep her job).  So lots going on.  The 15 month old cried, and it almost made me cry because I was on the verge.  But I was ok.

On the drive to work I started thinking about this day last year.   I started thinking about what a difference a year makes.  Last year, I was pregnant but didn't want to talk about it really, I hadn't even told many coworkers I was pregnant at the end of the previous year.  I was so detached and had not really bonded at all with the baby.  All I knew was that it wasn't Adelyn, and I felt too guilty about loving another baby that wasn't her so soon.  I honestly wasn't sure I could love another baby as much.

And this year, I was driving to the first day of work, on the verge of tears because I love that baby so much I couldn't bear to be away from him. 

Like I mentioned earlier, all summer I wasn't away from him more than a few hours, because he never had one bottle.  Well, I guess that came back to bite me in the butt today because he would not take a bottle at the baby-sitter's house today.  He was turning his head and pushing it out of his mouth, as if to say "what is this thing, it's not the real thing!"  I guess he forgot what a bottle was like in 2.5 months!  I am not sure what to do, he wasn't unhappy or anything, but when I was home he did nurse before lunch fine.  I know he eats food, but he still needs most of his nutrition from milk.  I guess I could try to push the sippy cup?  I wouldn't care honestly but I have a whole freezer full of frozen milk and I hate to throw it away! All that hard work for what?  I do use one bag a day in his cereal, but still. 

Work wasn't too bad, I got to be in an air conditioned building all day which really makes a difference.  Being hot and sweaty all day, really makes me tired and cranky.  This evening went well too, no meltdowns and everyone went to bed easily.  But man, 5 hours with your kids is not enough.  When 2 of those hours you spent cooking dinner, doing dishes, feeding them, giving baths.  I need more hours in the day already!

Time to get off the computer and relax some, so I can get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The End of Summer

I can't believe summer is officially over for me tomorrow. Where did the time go?  What did I do?

I'm disappointed in some ways.  I really didn't do much.  Last summer, I was running every day - playdates, lunch dates, trips to the pool, amusement park (even though I couldn't ride), shopping, museum, water name it, we pretty much did it.  On top of that, I had 2-3 dr. appointments per week.

This summer, we went on vacation.  We went to the pool a LOT.  We went to lots of birthday parties (after awhile I wished my daughter didn't have so many friends!)  And that's really about it.  I didn't manage one play date with any of my friends with kids.  We didn't go to the local amusement part or the free spray water park.  I didn't take Sierra to the Children's Museum, or to see a movie like I've been wanting to.  We didn't even manage to go to the county fair, because Sierra had a meltdown Saturday night.  I was really looking forward to going and was really disappointed, but it would have been a disaster.  She was too tired and cranky, and misbehaved to the point that we had to put our feet down and say no.

If we weren't at the pool, Sierra spent a lot of time inside playing with her toys.  I feel so bad about that, but the only time I could get anything done was when Coen napped.  So she would play and I would shower, or clean, or attempt to organize things.  We did go to the pool a couple times per week for most of June and July.  Then she always went outside to play after dinner.  I just feel guilty, that I didn't do enough with her.  I have toys that haven't even been opened yet, because they are the type you have to play/supervise.

I guess I was playing catch up - catch up on sleep and catch up on things around here.  I just didn't have time to stand outside and watch her play, but didn't feel comfortable just sending her out for the neighbors to watch if they were outside.  Sometimes living in a plan is a curse - it made me feel guilty to see everyone else outside, enjoying the nice weather, and I'm inside trying to clean or do laundry or organize this mess of a house, and so Sierra can't go outside.  Ugh.

The sad part is, I didn't even really get anything done inside!  I cleaned a little more than usual I guess. I wanted to finish Adelyn's scrapbook that I started last year right before her birthday.  I have everything I need for it, just need to put it together.  I didn't even look at it.  I wanted to finish it at least by her 2nd birthday.  Not to mention Coen's by his first birthday!  Ha!

I bought stepping stone kits to do the kids' handprints/footprints, but didn't make them yet.  I want to do them every year to compare over time.  I bought seeds to try to grow some flowers to plant, but they died because I waited too long to plant them, and didn't water them for a week (we were on vacation and I forgot to tell my cousin to water them when we were gone).

I wanted to clear out the kids' outgrown clothes, but that's a huge process.  I made a dent, but still have a long way to go.  I try to recoup some of the money I spent on them by consigning or selling on Ebay, because I know I probably spend too much, or buy too much, for them.  But it makes me happy so oh well.  I also wanted to organize the basement and make a play room for Sierra down there - but we need to rip out the carpet because it smells like cat pee.  So that didn't get done either - although we did get rid of the couch that was down there, so at least there is room now.

Just about the only thing I did accomplish was uploading all our pictures to Snapfish.  I was about 2 years behind, and I take a ton of pictures, so it took all summer messing with it to get it done.  I didn't order them yet, but they are there for when a sale comes along.  Even then, it will take awhile to order 100s of pictures.  Maybe 1000s!

So, I start a school year after being off for 2.5 months, not feeling refreshed, but feeling a bit disappointed.  If I wasn't going to get anything accomplished, I wish I would have just said "forget this" and enjoyed every moment.  I guess having 2 kids at home was harder than I thought - not that I am complaining by any means.  But Coen's morning nap made it hard to do anything - by the time I was up and ready to go, he was ready to nap again so I would just stay home.  Then by the time he got up, it was lunch time, and after everyone was fed, we had 2 hours tops before it was afternoon nap time.  Normally I would have just let him have his nap in the car or on the go, but for some reason I just didn't have the energy this summer.  I guess I can blame having a very difficult, stressful past 2 years.  Hopefully next summer will be easier.

Now, if I can just find a way to get some things done from my to do list at home, in addition to the usual housework chores, taking care of two kids, and full time job.  Ha!  I think I set myself up for failure when I do this, because it stresses me out more when I don't accomplish it (which happens more often than actually getting it done).

Off to work I go tomorrow :(

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I now have less than a week left of summer vacation and all I feel is dread.  The only way I can describe it is the night before you are to have some sort of surgery or procedure done, and you have had it before so you know what you are in for and it's not fun.  That's how I feel.  I know exactly what I am in for next week when I have to go back to work.  It's dreadful, really.  Like a rat race - all hurry and no time to enjoy.

I feel like I can't really vent about it, because most people tell me to be grateful that I have summers off.  Why does it mean I am ungrateful just because I dread going back to work?  What person WANTS to go to work - please tell me that?  I like my  job, and even I don't want to go.  Because even though I do like my job, I love my kids more.

I AM grateful for the time off to enjoy my kids.  I LOVED every.single.moment of it.   That being said, because I have limited time off, I tried to catch up and cram in things that I put off until I had time.  So, I feel that I didn't fully enjoy my  kids because I was often trying to get something done in the process.  But, thanks to Adelyn, I found myself much more aware of moments.  I made myself stop and be in the moment, especially when I was rocking Coen to sleep or watching him learn something new, or listening to him laugh.   I tried to put those moments firmly in my memory, because I am very aware that soon enough, he will not be a baby anymore. I am slowly becoming ok with that.  Then, there were the sweet big sister moments, the ones I looked forward to when I was pregnant with Adelyn, and longed for after she died.  They are so precious to me.  And every time Sierra said or did something super girly (which was often), I felt so thankful to have a daughter here on Earth.  I really tried to put those moments in my memory too, because I feel like I have to savor them twice as much - once for experiencing them with Sierra, and once for what I don't get to do with Adelyn.

I try to tell myself that it could always be way worse.  I could have a long commute to work - I drive literally 10 minutes!  I could work long  hours - I work basically 7:30-3:15.  I could have no time off.  I could hate my job.  I could send my kids somewhere I wasn't crazy about - and I love and trust their baby-sitter so much.  Yes, I have it pretty good.

But, then I sit here and think about some of those moments we've had this summer.  And my eyes instantly well up with tears.  Still, after four years of this transition from stay-at-home mom to full time working mom - it is SO very hard.  I think this year may be the hardest yet.  I know what I am in for, and I know what I am missing out on.  And I also cherish those moments way more - I think this is something that no one can understand until they have parented a baby after losing one.  Everything means more, it is a gift to us.  Plus, I am 99.9% sure that Coen is our last baby, so that makes these moments even more precious, knowing I will never get to experience them again.

My feelings remind me of that first time I had to leave Sierra and go back to work. Right around then, my mom found this article.  I saved it, and give it to moms going back to work for the first time.  I also re-read it often to remind myself of these things. Since I -finally- got a scanner, I scanned it so I could share it.  This is the perfect time:

Sigh.....I think I will be starting my countdown to the next day off as soon as school starts. For now, I am going to try to relax and enjoy one of my last nights of "freedom".

Saturday, August 11, 2012

10 Months!

Coen was 10 months old yesterday. Wow - double digits!  I remember being so excited to turn 10 because it was double digits.  So funny to think about that now.

10 months is such a fun age.  He's still a baby, he still needs me, he is still a momma's boy.  He is still so cute with his chubby legs and big eyes.  But he is also learning so much and his personality is really showing.

I'm really not away from him very much during the summer.  Call me crazy, but I just can't bear it.  I think that other people think I'm nuts, but until you leave your kids for 8 hours, you can't understand.  I miss so much, that I just want to soak it ALL in.  Every last second of his baby-hood (which is sadly slipping away).  Anyway, the few times I have left him to go to the dentist and just this week to put some hours in at work for extra money, he has been completely fine. But as soon as I come home and he sees me, he crawls right over to me and "pulls up" on my legs.  It melts my heart every single time.  I have to add that typically I am sure to get home just in time for a feeding, and so I am sure he does this because he knows that mommy = milk.  But, those moments are one of the reasons why I love breastfeeding so much.  And, just to prove how much I refuse to be away from him - he has not had one single bottle since my last day of work at the beginning of June.  I have been home for every single feeding, and I cherish every single one of those moments.  The way he grabs onto my necklace - the one of his sister's handprint that I wear every day.  The little noises he makes while he nurses, the way he is instantly calmed.  I love it.  All of it.

You know what else melts my heart?
His dimples!  I love them.  He has one under his eye, but I searched and could not find a picture that shows it :(  It is my favorite - so I will have to try really hard to take one where you can see it.

I am also loving hearing his little voice.  I could listen all day long.  He babbles a lot now.  My favorite is when he makes the "t" sound...not sure why, but I blame being a speech therapist on noticing these types of things!

What is Coen doing these days?  Well, getting into everything.  He loves to eat dog food, and I often find him by the bowl with a piece in his mouth.  I have to swipe it out, yuck!  He also loves doors and opening (or trying to open) the cabinets in the kitchen.  They are all baby proofed, except the drawer under the stove.  He is always opening that one!  He has crawled/climbed up a few steps.  He also learned how to pull up to standing this month!  We came back from the beach to find him standing up in his crib!  I did finally take down the mobile :(

He loves to crawl under things, and his new favorite is under the exersaucer.  He doesn't really like to be in it anymore, but he does love to crawl through it, or sit under it and roll a ball around it - like a cat!  He loves to play with balls and will crawl everywhere after one.  This kid is ALL boy.  Not sure I am cut out for this, but here we go!

Coen is still breastfed, and he has still only had breastmilk.  He is starting to eat more finger foods - like cut blueberries, peas, etc.  We tried chicken this month, but he wasn't a fan until I mixed it in with other foods.  He also tried mashed potatoes, yellow squash, cottage cheese, Cheerios.  We tried a sippy cup once but it didn't go over well.

I think Coen had a growth spurt this month, according to my amatuer measuring/weighing!  He still weighs the same, 19.5 lbs, but when we measured him, he was up to 28.5 inches (last month he was 27.25 at the doctor's office).  It is hard to measure them until they stand, so not sure how accurate either of those are.  But, his 9 month onesies seem to be almost too short, so it could be that he has grown.

Coen still sleeps very well, but hasn't been going down as easily.  I have had to rock him and sing to him, and he hums himself to sleep.  My mom and brother hum in their sleep, so maybe he inherited that slightly annoying trait!  The falling asleep issue started at the beach, not sure if he is getting another tooth (he still only has 2), growth spurt, change in routine?  Who knows.

This month, Coen had his first trip to the beach, his first trip to Chuck E. Cheese's for a birthday party, lots of trips to the pool also!  He loves to splash in the water!  We have been working really hard on clapping his hands and raising his arms when I say "How big is Coen?"  No success just yet, I guess boys are just slower at these things.

I have really enjoyed every moment with him this month.  Even though sometimes I feel like I haven't "done" enough with this kids this summer - we haven't had many playdates, gone to amusement parks or anything extra fun - I guess I have just enjoyed doing nothing with them.  Sometimes I just love to sit and watch them play - often Coen plays with Sierra's big doll house (he loves the doors) and she plays with his Laugh and  Learn house or ball popper.  Figures, right?

I have been missing our precious Adelyn a lot lately.  I mean, I always do, but it's been more intense lately.  I'm not sure if it's the time of year, knowing September is nearing.  Or going back to work, a new school year can remind me of starting the year very pregnant 2 years ago, and last year too.  I have been trying to push through and think about all the moments and things I love about Coen, knowing I probably wouldn't have him if Adelyn was here.  He is such a gift, and I am grateful for him every single day.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Old Photos

It's summer, I'm not working, so I am trying to catch up on things.  Things that need to be done, and things that I want to do.  My desktop computer has so many pictures on it, there is little memory left.  It is a fairly new computer, and when I bought it, I got extra memory.  Needless to say, I take TONS of pictures.  To the point where my husband told me on our vacation this year to stop taking so many pictures because I was ruining/missing the moment (something to that effect).

While that may be true to some degree, I do believe that there is nothing more precious than old pictures.  They capture a moment in time, that you can never get back.  If not for photos, sometimes you forget those moments.  For example, the very few photos I have of Adelyn are priceless, even if I don't really like any of them.  If I didn't have them, I think I may have forgotten the details of how she looked by now. Some days, I think I forget even with those pictures, because they didn't really capture how she truly looked (to me).

So I have been slowly uploading all my pictures to Snapfish.  This way, if my computer crashes, they are saved online.  If after I print them out, my house burns down, they are still saved online.  I do want to print them all out and put them in albums, I finally decided this last summer.  Scrapbooking is great, but too time consuming and expensive when you take as many photos as me.  I thought about going through and only picking the best ones to print, but that would take forever also.  Plus, even the imperfect ones capture a moment, and I couldn't leave out one precious picture of my kids.

Right now, I am on the year 2010.  It has been hard to look back at these pictures, photos of me happily pregnant, of Sierra almost the exact same age that Adelyn would be now.  I almost don't recognize those people.  So happy and naive. 

At the beach in 2010 - our happy family.  It was super hard looking through the pictures from that vacation.  It seems like way more than 2 years ago.

This picture just proves my point - if I hadn't taken this picture, I may have forgotten how after my niece was born, Sierra became obsessed with "swaddling" her dolls.  Here she was trying to do it and got frustrated, some things never change!  And the plastic doll cradle/swing/highchair is in the basement with the garage sale stuff now :(  I never really thought about the fact that Adelyn would be at the perfect age to be playing with it right now.  I wish I hadn't just thought that!

And here is Sierra the month before she turned 2 - exactly how old Adelyn would be right now.  I can't even imagine her at this age.  Looking back at these pictures, makes me realize how fast time goes.  I almost don't remember Sierra this little , and it was only 2.5 years ago.  It's also just another reminder of what we missed out on.....I LOVED this age.  And how cute is my girl?  Her "pony tails" melt my heart. Again, I forgot I used to do her hair like that.  On the other hand, looking at old pictures reminds me of what I DID get to do with Sierra.  Sometimes I get very caught up in all the girly stuff I can't do because Coen is a boy.  I really looked forward to all the hair bows that are so in style right now, because they weren't quite as easy to find when Sierra was little, and the ones I had left marks on her head so I didn't use them much.  But looking back, I certainly did have my fun dressing her up and putting bows in her for that I will always be grateful.  I always dreamed of having a daughter, two would have been awesome, but one is better than none.......

I could go on and on....but my point is, going through these old pictures, while emotional, has also been therapuetic.  Reminding me of moments I may otherwise have forgotten, little moments that I didn't realize at the time would mean so much.  Since losing Adelyn, I try so hard to remember every single little moment with my kids, because I appreciate them so much more.

I'm really thankful that I take too many pictures.  I have been slacking since we got home from vacation, so tomorrow I vow to take lots of them!