Brain dump: my boys, my night out, my ideas, and my days

I had the opportunity to sit next to Maximus tonight and just stare at his profile. I was in awe of his milky skin and soft features. I marveled at the fact that he is growing up so fast, but in that moment he looked so much like a baby. His features looked like they had a soft overlay to them. His face is speckled with freckles and he parts his mouth slightly when he’s concentrating. I watched his eyes dart back and forth as they tried to take everything in. I watched as his eyes turned up and the tiniest smirk showed on his mouth. It was a moment of peace and innocence. I wanted to scoop him into my arms and smother him in kisses, but instead I stared at him with wonder. I looked at his feet, getting bigger with long toes. I watched as his hands wrapped around a remote, fingering the buttons as his eyes never looked down. His legs are getting longer and he’s looking skinnier. He has tiny little muscles in his calves and that’s when I feel like he’s really growing up. He’s almost three, but he seems so much older, yet not that old in the same moment.

……

Saturday night I’m going to a New Kids on the Block concert! I’m pretty excited about seeing them and Boyz II Men! Both were favorite bands of mine growing up. I think the audience is going to be a funny mix of 30 somethings and young girls. Or, I’m off-base and “kids these days” don’t think these bands are cool. In that case, it’s going to be an awesome group of 30 somethings enjoying a night out reliving their childhoods. As excited as I am for a night out and a trip out-of-town with a fun group of girls, I feel guilty for leaving Bryan home with the boys. Not that he can’t completely handle it, I just feel bad that he has to do it alone for a day and a half. Mommy guilt is a weird thing. It makes me feel anxious leading up to the trip. I’m sure I’ll have a ton of fun while I’m gone, but right now it’s hard to get too excited. Quinten is almost 7 1/2 months old and this will be the first time I’m away from him for a night. Of course it comes after he’s hit a streak of waking up during the 4 am hour. That makes me feel even worse. I hope it’s one of those times where he knows I’m not here so he sleeps.

……

I have a million personal ideas floating around my head for artwork I want to create, posts I want to write, and even a book idea. I’m having a hard time focusing and prioritizing them. I had this grand idea of working in 30 minute chunks of time throughout the day (morning, lunch, after the boys go to bed). That hasn’t worked out very well because my motivation and focus comes at other times. I even thought about getting up early every morning and writing. I like sleep too much to do that, but I feel like it’s a good idea because I would be fresh. Or, it wouldn’t work because I wouldn’t be awake enough to write. Maybe if I start going to bed earlier I can attempt an early morning writing session …

……

At the beginning of every month I tell myself I’m going to do an exercise challenge. Earlier this spring I was going to do a plank challenge. I did it for a couple of days, but then I was too exhausted at night that I’d just go to bed. That’s pretty pathetic considering I stopped before I had to do it any longer than 45 seconds. When Quinten hit six months I dropped some weight, which is pretty common for nursing mothers. I decided a core challenge wasn’t a priority. My next idea was to do an arm challenge. I want to get some tone, which will hopefully also help my hitting. I kind of already have an arm challenge because Quinten weighs 21 1/2 pounds, so that’s helping me when I don’t pull out the weights. For the record, I have done some arm workouts for the past three days. I know, it’s pretty impressive. 😉

……

I have a bad case of the days and weeks running into each other. Summer is my favorite time of the year and I always feel like it goes by so quickly. Bryan and I both play softball on different nights during the week. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to go to many of each other’s games because they are too late. I don’t think he cares at all, but it bothers me. I grew up at those softball diamonds and I love the game. It’s hard for me not to be there when I have the opportunity. I’m a social person so I’m happy to have things to do at night, but with kids it makes it so much harder. It’s a rush to get home, feed everyone, get enough food for myself, and then get to wherever I or Bryan needs to go. I think I’d rather have plans than not, but when my day is full of meetings it just adds to the craziness of the overall day.

……

Who knew I had 900 words of randomness floating around my head. Maybe I can refocus a little more now.

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Random thoughts from the couch

Things I’ve realized as I’ve been on coach rest for the past four weeks.

  • Some days I have absolutely nothing to say because I don’t feel like I’m part of society. I’m in a bubble of books and movies.
  • My dog growls and wags his tail while he’s sleeping. A lot.
  • My living room starts and ends the day chilly. In the afternoon it gets very warm. {Not good when you’re stuck laying down.}
  • After about two weeks of laying on your back, your shoulders and body get used to the lack of movement. The lack of movement was painful in the beginning. {That’s going to be awesome when I can get up.}
  • After three weeks, Maximus adapted to his new daddy routine. Now he cries when daddy leaves, even though mommy is still on the couch. 😦
  • Daytime and most nighttime TV is not entertaining. TV series on DVD are the way to go. It passes the time quickly.
  • DVR is a lifesaver also.
  • It’s heartbreaking to listen to your toddler cry when you can’t do anything to comfort him.
  • It’s hard to constantly ask someone else for things. Fresh water, something to eat, a DVD, a book, more pillows, meds, ANYTHING.
  • Reading passes the time the quickest.
  • Falling asleep at a decent hour is not possible when you’ve done nothing but lay on the couch all day.

I’ve still got three weeks left, but I’m taking it one day at a time. After all, there’s nothing I can do about it. My foot is a constant reminder as different parts hurt during any given part of the day. I am hopeful that as my three weeks come to an end, the pain will be less frequent. Until then, I do what I can to keep my mind off of it. Part of that involves trying to come up with an amazing way to thank my husband. He’s got it rough right now – work, toddler, wife, dog, home, and everything in between. That guy deserves a vacation or something! {Obviously after we get this broken foot bill. Yah for that!}

To Cross It Off….Or Not?

I’m concerned about the days quickly ticking by. At Thanksgiving I felt like I had a lot of time to accomplish a long list of Christmas to-dos. All of a sudden we’re approaching double-digit days in December. Which obviously means we’re approaching Christmas VERY QUICKLY.

I’m left swapping priorities and cutting back. To do Christmas cards or not do them? To write a Christmas letter {if I do the cards} or not? To get those “homemade” presents done or scrap the idea? To get those extra special Christmas pictures of my babe or not.

I’m not overwhelmed…yet. But I think it might be on the brink.

Do you have any tips of staying sane during the holiday hoopla? How do make sure you’re enjoying each moment and not focusing on the List? What’s the first to go on your list? Mine is cleaning and exercising, and blogging of course.

Preparing – mentally and physically

I’m supposed to be taking you on this journey with me, right? I’m not sure how well I’ve expressed the feelings associated with pregnancy. I’ve done a lot of explaining about what’s happening to my body, but have I covered the mind? I’ll see what I can do to change that.

I’m a planner. I’ve told you before that I like to procrastinate just to feel like I have some form of control. But, even with the best procrastination methods, I’m still a planner. Imagine waiting for something that is completely out of your control. Imagine trying to plan a vacation around a day you think might be the right day. Imagine trying to prepare your career and personal life around a tentative date. And these plans aren’t just one or two days away. It’s TWELVE weeks away from your job. It’s preparing for anything and everything that could happen during those twelve weeks. It’s digging deep into the abyss of your semi-sharp pregnancy brain to summon the list of everything you’ve done in the past year that could come up while your gone. I’ve spent the majority of my time lately writing down processes. Given my educational and professional background, instructions shouldn’t be too hard. After all, my goal in life is to make things clear and concise. But, imagine that you are waiting for a life-changing event to happen. On top of that anxiousness, you need to tell someone how you do every aspect of your job. Like I said, I’m a planner. I hope that when my time comes to walk out this door, my office will reflect ease and organization. I’m no where near either of these things right now. In fact, I’m the exact opposite. I’ve got notes all over my desk for things I need to make sure I do before I leave. Before when? Exactly! Sometime before I leave. I’ve got files scattered around my office. Things that need to be filed. Things that have needed to be filed for MONTHS. I’ve got projects I need to finish up. I’ve got a lot left to do before this random date appears. This date that could be August 12 or this date that could be sometime in July. I can say with confidence that my communications are ready. All this planning has helped me draft about 15 emails that need to be sent out when I leave. It’s too early to send them out now (assuming I’m still here in August), but I’m eliminating any pain and forgetfulness when I do go on leave. Pushing the send button is a lot less work than drafting emails when I’m not in the right mindset.

I can say with ease and confidence that my home is ready. There wasn’t much to it. (Ha! That’s a blatant lie.) The office was cleared out, the walls painted, and the nursery furniture put in. Baby clothes, baby blankets, and baby bedding was washed and put away. The room was organized and decorations began to take shape. (No, there are no holes in the walls yet.) The pack ‘n play (also known as a play yard) has been sitting in my living room since the middle of June. The stroller system has been parked in the spare bedroom since the end of June. Sure, there are some things that I still need to get but I’m anxiously waiting for Babies ‘R Us to send me the coupon that I’m told you get four weeks before your due date. Well, the coupon department must not be very good at math, because we’re at three weeks! I’d really like that 20% coupon before I buy a baby monitor, swing, and breast pump. So, while the nursery sits unused and mentally we don’t really know what we’re getting into, we’re ready to bring LBL home. We’ve all got a lot to learn, but we’re all new at this so we’ll figure it out along the way.

I keep saying that I’m a procrastinator. With “three” weeks to go, I haven’t packed my hospital bag. You’d think a planner would have packed that thing months ago. Well, what am I going to put in it? The toiletries that I use every day? The clothes that I’m currently wearing because that’s all that fits? The books that I might read before I go to the hospital (because I don’t know when I’m going!)? The iPod that is probably sitting on the counter dead? (So why not use my husband’s, which is always charged and has many more songs. But he uses his every day.) The suitcase is sitting in my closet, ready to be packed at a moments notice. The planner in me decided if I wasn’t going to pack, I could have the list made so anyone could pack for me. Well, the list hasn’t been made either. Making that list requires energy. More importantly, it requires my body to be somewhere other than the couch. So, I leave it for another day.

Is the car seat in the car? Nope! If we put the car seat in, that means we should really be ready. Why fool ourselves in that sense? The diaper bag is packed. But, now that I say that I can think of a couple of items I need to clean before putting in there. Both items aren’t essential. I don’t plan on using a pacifier or bottle while I’m in the hospital, but I’m planning for the unknown. I’m planning for things that are outside of my control and may not follow the intended plan. So, I suppose I better get those cleaned so I can say with certainty that the diaper bag is packed (and sitting in the crib).  

Each night that goes by, I breathe a little easier knowing that I didn’t have to rush around and pack things up. I find comfort in one more day to get things done. I know I’m only fooling myself. Last I heard, babies don’t work off a 9-5 schedule. LBL could decide he wants to show up in the middle of the night so he can be here to see a sunrise. One of these days I’ll step out of my comfortable denial stage and start bringing my computer home so I can be prepared for the day he decides to show up. And maybe I’ll pack my bag, because who wants to drive 45 mins to a doctor appointment only to have the doctor tell you to check into the hospital? This girl doesn’t! But, until LBL starts showing me that he’s thinking about coming out, I have a hard time thinking I have anything less than three weeks.

Stream of thought

Perception is a funny thing. I can perceive things one way. You can perceive things a completely different way. When our views don’t match, things can get complicated. People can get frustrated. Problems can arise. If we perceive things the same way, we might feel really close together. If we perceive things differently, we might feel really far apart. Perception can be based on an attitude. It can be your morals or a feeling you have. It can be a daily feeling. Or, it can be based on the people you spend time with.

Regardless of why you think the way you do, people are different. People are different because God made them that way. If everyone was the same, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We would all follow each other and we probably wouldn’t have the technology that we have today. People have different interests and different areas of expertise. It’s what makes this world so great. I can be friends with someone who has completely different interests. As long as I find something in common with them, we don’t need to have the same interests or areas of expertise.

Feelings control perception. Feelings are hard to control. They can come on in an instant. They can be negative or positive or even indifferent. They can control our whole being. They can create a road block for us. We may not forgive someone because of these feelings and perceptions. We may get upset at someone for false pretenses because of these feelings and perceptions. Feelings can be easily swayed. They can be altered because of social situations, mental situations, or environmental situations.

People are impressionable. Social situations are hard to combat. It’s hard to be your own person when a social situation is the opposite. It’s hard to feel differently if your friends have strong feelings the other direction.

Feelings, pereception, and impressions are what makes a person. Do you handle them the way you want to? Are you easily impressed upon, whether it’s in a positive or negative fashion. Do you let your emotional feelings affect how you perceive things? Are you easily swayed one direction or the other? Do you make a stand when you feel strongly about something? Or do you let your friends decide what you think?

At the end of the day, it’s a coin toss on how you handle each situation. Sometimes we are easily swayed and other times we take a stand. What really matters is that you are the person you want to be. It’s about being proud of who you are, what you say, and what you do.

Random end-of-the-day thoughts

  • I stayed at work way too late and still had hot items on my Post-It when I brought my laptop home.
  • While stopping at my favorite taco drive-thru, I decided to treat myself to a Pepsi (instead of said candy). The woman screwed up and gave me a giant Mt. Dew. My first thought…YES! I enjoyed it, a lot!
  • I got the most bang for my night: laundry, dishes, clean kitchen, dog for a walk, read a couple of chapters FOR FUN, balanced my checkbook, and got two hours work of work in. If you’re keeping score, that’s one item off the hot item list and a lot of work for other things that aren’t on the list, but still aren’t finished.
  • From my husband: You’re still working? Yes, I can’t get this email to go through. Did the error message say, ‘You have too much hate in this message so it won’t go through?’
  • I need to go to work early tomorrow because I’m in a meeting for the next two days. Working until 11 pm is going to make it DIFFICULT to try to get up any earlier than this pregnant body thinks is possible.
  • Still didn’t get those pictures uploaded. As I left work tonight, I added that to my list of things to do tonight. Nuts.
  • I should really remember my water bottle tomorrow, especially since I’ll be stuck in a conference room.
  • Who arranges a three-day meeting and doesn’t tell you where it’s at?
  • There better be breakfast at this meeting. That’s the fastest way to a pregnant woman’s heart, especially when she’s a little concerned about losing so much desk time.

Stream of consciousness

I forgot my water bottle at home. Forgot as in, it’s on the other side of town and I haven’t been without it in 12 weeks. Twelve weeks of refreshing hydration. I feel naked. It’s become as important as a cell phone to me. I know, like a cell phone? It’s just water.

Maybe I’ve finally experienced “pregnancy brain.” I hope not. I’ve got too much going on the next six weeks. I don’t have time for pregnancy brain. What I need is an extra sharp, amazingly awesome, level-headed brain. Anyone have one of those lying around?

I hate cold bathrooms, especially when I have become the #1 user. They turned on the AC in our bathrooms. That means I want to get up from my space heater desk even less.

I’m wearing a pair of borrowed pants and had zero attempt at trying to zip them. Yes, I said ZIP. We’re way past pretending to button things and now we’ve ventured into a land where I don’t even see how much I can move the zipper. I am wishing that these would have fit me some other time so I could wear them normally, but they are looking pretty good with a bella band. I’ve realized how much I’ve missed a plain black pant. It’s almost as refreshing as that water bottle would be.

I hate waiting for my laptop to backup. I want this to happen without my knowledge. I want to “set it and forget it,” not wait 15 minutes while I can’t do anything. On a day where time is of the essence.

I woke up this morning and felt like I needed more hours in the day. Not to sleep, I didn’t even have time to have that thought. I wanted more hours in the day to get all of the high priority items accomplished. One should never have more than one high priority item in one day. I currently have four that need to be accomplished before the end of the day. Let’s hope the water bottle was the only setback today. One should never wake up and immediately start thinking about work. As soon as I got out of bed, my first thought was work. When I woke up yesterday morning at 3 am, I spent 20 minutes trying to will out the work-related thoughts. Yet, I don’t feel stressed out. Clearly I am, otherwise work wouldn’t be invading my early morning hours.

I may need to end my day with a big ol’ bowl of sweets. Six months ago I would have said, “bottle of wine.” Some would say ice cream, I’m thinking CANDY can do the trick.

I started a crocheting a baby blanket. I haven’t touched it in the last week. Maybe I need that form of mindless therapy back.

Today is a day that I am afraid of my Outlook and phone. I don’t have time to get blocked from my priorities. I hope people forget my name for a day.

I have three posts saved. All they need are pictures. Pictures are on my camera, but not on my computer. I haven’t put them on my computer because I don’t have the energy at night to sit down and edit / touch them up. Instead, you are left looking at what I looked like at 20 weeks. Maybe tonight…if I make it through the day.