things i'm looking forward to, and things that make me happy right now

LFT (looking forward to): Pedicures with my mom this weekend! (a belated birthday gift from me to her, and her first pedicure ever... she'll be a convert!)

MMHN (make me happy now):

LFT: Peach festival at Linvilla Orchards next weekend... mmm, peaches.


LFT: My birthday weekend... with Gwen's 6 month pro pictures, and a birthday lunch/dinner with my parents, and sleeping in... 2 weeks!


(This was in the morning yesterday, after she woke up to eat...
apparently she was still sleepy, and took a little nap in our bed while I pumped.)

LFT: Hoser's wedding, and the Celtic Classic, and the season that they occur in... FALL!!! 8 weeks.


(Food is going so much better now... she actually is figuring this stuff out and doesn't hate it so much. She's been eating about a Tbsp of cereal each evening, actually finishing it all for the last two nights.)

MMHN: Daisy is just the sweetest pup. I've been lazily trying to work on "stay" with her for a while and she just wasn't getting it. I had an ah-ha! moment the other day and realized that she already knows stay, she just knows it as "wait"!! Whenever we come inside after it rains, we always tell her to wait, and she stops so we can dry her off. So I've been practicing with wait for the past few days and she's been perfect. This morning I let her out on the front porch while Trav and I took Gwen out to his car before he left for the day. I told her to wait, and she did... sniffing the porch and watching us until I came back and "released her"... at which point she trotted after me around the house and to the back yard. Such a good girl!  :-)


Where’s my Jimmy Buffet World?

I wrote this ages ago, but never published it. I thought I would now... because, why not?! Lol. It fits, and then its not just sitting around taking up space.

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." Nothing could be more true, for in the midst of planning my weekends to do everything I could, and see everyone I missed, I found that I was having trouble just enjoying where I was. Life has become so rushed, about fitting in every last event and appointment. You barely digest the first before running to the second. This is not the life I pictured. I have the husband [and daughter] I’ve always dreamed about, but the comparisons ends there.

How did I end up where I am? Raised by hippie parents that wanted me to grow up and do exactly what I wanted to do, exactly what would make me happy, whatever that may be, I’ve always enjoyed the simple things. Being outdoors, in nature, with a good friend and no plans. So where exactly did I turn from my lifelong dream of finding a job that allowed me to have at least some small extent of a Jimmy Buffet lifestyle, and find myself in the rat race, pushing only towards money and power and societies version of contentment? Stuck in a job that doesn’t make me happy, and which is taking me nowhere fast… or I suppose you could say that it is taking me nowhere, very slowly. I was recently informed that I will be acquiring a new job title and new responsibilities in addition to the ones I already have at my job. I will therefore, be more valuable to the company, so I should be happy. But I only feel trapped. These are not responsibilities that I want, nor are they even from an area of the company that I am remotely interested in. But it is my job, and so I smile and nod and accept my new role.

Except that now I would describe it less as Jimmy Buffet an more as, I want a job that makes me feel the way a perfect autumn day does. That doesn't seem too much to ask.


5 Things That You Can Find on my Bedside Table

  1. a Coaster - for the big glass of water that we bring with us to bed
  2. Double Picture Frame - with a pic of Gwen & I (from her three month shots) on one side, and an old picture of my best girl Babs & I on the other
  3. a Pad of paper & a Pen - for those nights when random things I meant to do pop into my head right before I fall asleep. that way I can write them down and not have worry about forgetting them keep me up!
  4. my Manual Boobie Pump - ready and waiting for me to pump in the a.m.
  5. my Alarm Clock - with the ringer set to sound like birds! :-) 

What's on your bedside table? 


new things

Yay, I get to put a spoon in my mouth!! I love putting things in my mouth!!


There is something on this spoon...

Mama, I'm not so sure about this stuff.

Saturday we tried a little bit of baby oatmeal for the first time. Gwen was not so sure about this. She made the funniest faces. We just did a tiny bit, and once she stopped opening her mouth readily for it, we stopped.
Sunday we tried again, with about the same results. We'll give it a go again tonight and maybe tomorrow, then decide where to go from there. If she still seems to be really disliking it, then we'll take a break until the weekend or next week to try it again. We're not in any rush. If she seems to be getting more adjusted to it, then we'll keep going.

As for new things that were more enjoyable for Gwen... we also tried this out for the first time this weekend:

She had that look on her face basically the whole time. :-)  It was pretty damn cute.

This weekend was nice. We had a relaxing, low-key two days. I got to sleep in some on Saturday (Travis is an angel), and we popped into the city to have a nice brunch with his parents who are in town for a wedding. Sunday we stayed home, stayed in, hung out and relaxed. Late afternoon a big thunderstorm ripped through our area, and afterward... bliss! 70* outside with a gorgeous breeze. We threw open every window and door in the house to let the cool air in. It was wonderful to air out the place for the first time in weeks.

Now its back to work and back to the grind, and I'm doing my best to be positive and give my 100% at work. The break in the weather and extra relaxing this past weekend actually did wonders for giving me a better outlook. So I'm definitely going to keep looking, but am not going to be miserable about it in the meantime!

Thanks all for the advice and commiserating on my last post... keep it coming! 


The space between
The tears we cry
Is the laughter keeps us coming back for more

I think there is always a bit of a letdown when you come back from vacation. The responsibilities that you've pushed aside and been allowed to ignore while you were gone, all come crashing back. We've been tired. Not as much extra sleep over vacation as in past years, with Gwen getting us up earlier, and staying up later to visit with family. We've been making it up in the evening some this week, going to bed a bit earlier most nights. We snapped at each other on Sunday night. Trav felt badly on Monday, so we treated ourselves and met after work for dinner. It was relaxing to just order up some food and not have to make it, or clean up after it. It gave us a chance to talk too, which was nice. We agreed that we need to work on communicating better... in a nicer way.

Work has been keeping me very busy since I got back, and the few breaks I've had during the day, I've spent running errands or spending some time with the intern who is leaving next week. He was a G*d-send during my maternity leave, and we've been sharing an office for the past two months since I returned, so its hard to see him go. Not to mention that I'm just not happy with work at the moment. Being so contented with Gwen and my family life has made me even more aware of how not contented I am there. Its not who I am... I don't think it ever was... and I can't keep plugging away at something that doesn't offer me more then wonderful coworkers and a mediocre paycheck. I need more from my job. I want to show Gwen not to settle, to do something that brings her happiness and a sense of purpose. I want her to have a balanced life, a full life, a content life. I'm not balanced right now and its taking its toll.

If any of you have read Eat, Pray, Love (if you haven't, I definitely recommend it!), then my word right now is between. Between that place where I was contented with a job that paid the bills because of the nice benefits it offered, and a place where I am in a job that I actually enjoy, which gives me a sense of purpose. Between a place of it being all about me, then all about Gwen, and a place where I have a happy balance of time and energy for my daughter, while still making sure that I'm taking care of myself (I'm almost there on this one... I'm getting better). Between a house that I can stand because it is affordable, and has a few redeeming qualities and I know we won't be there forever, and a place where I actually look forward to raising my child(ren), and want to make it a "forever home". I'm between, floating along in this place.

This being between, I don't like it. Its left me feeling rushed and disoriented, ungrounded and left hanging. I am having trouble falling asleep some nights again because I can't turn the mind off, but during the day I'm forgetful and can't seem to get my brain in gear! Its unnerving. I'm overwhelmed.

So I beseech you blogosphere... any suggestions for how to make a career switch after the better part of a decade in a certain job? If you could picture me in any job, what would you see me doing?

Here's what I've come up with so far, not just for the job stuff, but for life in general.

  1. Try to fit in a me activity every week, and encourage Trav to do the same.
  2. Take more walks and spend more time outside.
  3. Take my mom up on her babysitting offer, and do something just Trav & I. At least once every other month, and once Gwen is a little older (lets say when she's doing more solids then breast milk), every month. 
  4. Focus completely on where I am at the time. If I'm at work, I'll concentrate on work... if I'm at home, I'll concentrate on home. I can't give 100% somewhere if I'm 20, 50, 90% somewhere else! 
  5. Try to find the things about work that are the most enjoyable, and find ways to expand them. 
For the long-term:
  1. Try to figure out what type of job would make me happy (that I can realistically get to)* and take steps to get there. 
  2. Search those job sites. 
  3. Keep one eye on the housing market. 
  4. Pick up an exercise habit that I can do routinely: running, swimming, yoga, etc. Something that I enjoy and will stick with. Make time for it at least every other day. Encourage Trav to do the same.

Anyway, I'm going to go relax a little and have a snack before bed. If you've made it this far, you're patient! Feedback, please. 

* I love spending time outdoors, doing things for the environment, taking care of animals. I enjoy writing, taking photos, helping people. The problem... any job that I can thing of that has to do with those things either requires more schooling then I have, or more specific schooling, or it is something that is p/t, hourly, with a wage that I cannot do. I have to make a certain amount right now to do my part towards keeping our mortgage paid, as well as that second mortgage which is daycare. I'm stumped. I'm stuck.


cape cod picture, take 2

More pictures...

I love this shot:

Gwen's first time on sand, or in (non-bath) water...

Wyatt's first time to the beach as well... though little man didn't get wet:

All this new stuff was tiring!

Little man.

Hanging out with Aunt Megan:

Proud Grandparents!

Out to eat at Baxter's:

4 Seas attire!

And a quick video of Daisy going for a swim. They were playing fetch in the water, but when Daisy got tired, she would swim over to Trav. We though it was funny that even when he was holding her, she kept swimming!

We came home Saturday night... doing the same thing as when we went up, though it worked even better. We left at 745pm and arrived home about 6.5 hours later. She slept longer stretches, and didn't wake up when we got home. I was able to take her out of her carseat, hold her for a bit while the AC cooled our bedroom off, then put her down without her waking! Tired girl.
Of course, 6am came way way too early for Trav and I. So Sunday we were very lazy at home.

Something I forgot to mention earlier. Our little girl is now doing an army-crawl. She doesn't go far yet, but she turns a lot and will inch herself along on her belly. We're in trouble now!!

Well, back to the grind for me. Its only Wednesday, but its already been a long week. C'est la vie. I guess that's always how it is the first week back after vacation.


cape cod pictures... part 1

First, Gwen's five month shots!

I can tell these shots are just going to get more and more difficult to take and amusing in results as the months pass. This month she finally seemed to discover Pumpkin the Puppy, and he ended up where everything else she discovers does... in her mouth!

Now Cape Cod... there are so many pictures, I decided to split this into two posts.

First off, my babe was sick right before we left... and she hadn't been sleeping well anyway (four month wakeful, I think). I ended up taking off to stay with her Thursday and Friday, and she felt better, but still wasn't 100%. So Friday evening, I did her night routine, but she was rather awake and distracted on the boob. I didn't want to fight with her to get to sleep, only to wake her as I put her in the carseat... so I took her down and told Trav we should just leave.

She fussed a bit to begin with, but fell asleep pretty quickly. The drive took about 6.5 hours, and she woke about three times... but I would hop in the back and give her some bottle, and she'd fall back asleep. We were pretty tired when we got there, so Gwen and I headed right to bed.

Saturday we woke like normal, and started visiting with Trav's oldest brother and his family, who had been there for a week already, as well as Trav's parents who had arrived the night before. Gwen took a good nap too.

Trav's oldest brother, Scott, and company left on Monday.

Cape Cod is a relaxing vacation. When Gwen would nap, I would read. The Quads came to visit on Sunday (pictures of that when I get some from Laura... I forgot to break out my camera!). During the beginning of the week we walked around Hyannis one day, ate at Baxters (our favorite clam chowder), got ice cream from 4 Seas, relaxed and visited. One night we had lobsters:

Trav let me sleep in one morning... and this is what I found when I woke up:

Then there was swimming in the lake. Daisy was so much braver this year... she would run and jump right in herself.

We also got to visit with a friend that we haven't seen since college. We met up for dinner one night.

Gwen wore some cute clothes:

Then we saw another college friend, Hannah (who's bridle shower and wedding I/we attended last year), and met her daughter Lucy. Gwen loves other babies right now, she couldn't keep her eyes off of Lucy!

Gwen never had a shortage of people to love on her! Here's her and her Papa.

She also stands for a bit now if you hold her hands for balance, so Trav had fun "walking" her around the room. :-)

On Thursday, Trav's middle brother Andy, his wife Megan, and their new baby Wyatt arrived. It was great to see them, and to get to meet our new nephew! Gwen loved him (again, loves looking at, touching babies right now).

He is a cutie, and I'm so glad they got to meet. Next year, they'll be running (well, toddling) around together!

Okay... more later! 


5 months

Dear Gwenivere,
I'm writing this from Cape Cod (hence why there are so many less pictures then normal)... where you are on your first official vacation. This was a hard earned vacation, following a 6 hour car ride, which you actually did pretty well on. We left at night, right after your bedtime routine, and headed out hoping you would sleep most of the ride. You did well, waking a few times... but I was able to get you back to sleep with the help of a bottle of boob milk. But we'll come back to the Cape in a bit.

This month started off with a bang... my baby crying in the night, and a 103* fever! Not how I wanted to start off your fifth month, with a stomach bug, but we worked through it. A visit to the doctor, acetaminophen, lots of love and snuggles and naps, and thankfully you were good as new. The amazing part... how much you smiled, and how pleasant you were through the whole thing. Even when you weren't feeling well, you were still just the sweetest girl. I can't believe how lucky I am.

I am loving this age. You just want to smile at me and "talk" to me all the time. When I'm sitting down, and hold you up against my shoulder, you put your legs on my lap and bounce yourself up and down. You have your cranky moments, when you are just too tired, but now that I am better on picking up when you are getting sleepy, those are diminishing.

You have learned so many new things this month. Rolling over from back to belly, of course, and now starting to go the other way as well. You laugh sometimes, this great giggle that just makes me melt. You can support yourself standing for a little bit if I hold your hands to give you balance, and you are starting to do the tripod sit (with an arm down to help keep you up). Just the other day you started to say something that sounds suspiciously like "ma-ma" too! And you've done it a number of times since. That was a very exciting on for me.  :-)

Of course, there are downsides to this... like the fact that you have been very hard to put to sleep lately. You just want to be awake and experiencing everything. Add to that your second fever ever, a sore throat bug that you picked up just days before we came to the Cape, and then Cape Cod itself... with all its things that are different from home, well sleep has not been great lately. But, last night you gave me the best reprieve. You went down the first time, and only woke one during the night. Hopefully this is the beginning of better sleep again. And hopefully my great Sleeping Thru the Night baby returns!!

You've met a lot of new babies this month, and new people in general. Some friends of mama and dada's from school (and one of their baby's), your Nana and Papa for only the second time, your Uncle Scott and his family for the first time, your Uncle Andy and Aunt Megan and cousin Wyatt for the first time as well. You seem to love looking at other babies, maybe because they are little like you, and you reach for them. Its sweet.

Another sweet thing... how you have really discovered Daisy this month. It's like you suddenly realized there is another creature living with us, and you want to investigate her. You run your hands over her fur, finger her ears, and grin at this funny creature. You guys are going to be such good friends.

Things just keep getting better with you, my sweet girl. We are learning about each other everyday still... as we will for years and years to come. I love watching you grow and learn and change. I feel so blessed, like what did I do to deserve to be the mama to someone as sweet and beautiful and innocent as you. I am lucky, I know that much. And I will try to always deserve you!

I love you Gwenivere Mae.