Thursday, February 25, 2010

Struggling With Balance

I read recently (I believe it was on one of your wonderful blogs) about someone struggling to be "good" at everything.  This person (gosh I wish I could remember who it was) said that they can only be "good" at one thing at a time.  I have pondered this thought a lot lately while up at night nursing and how much I struggle to be "Super Mom"!

I try to do so many things on a daily basis that it is impossible to do them all well (especially with a four month old).  I try to be a fun and nurturing mother who teaches and encourages her children to explore the world around them.  For my husband, I strive to be a good wife and partner.  I try to cheer him on, listen to his problems and help support him in anyway that I can.  My friends and extended family are very important to me and I try to give them my undivided attention when needed and help them in anyway that I can.  I love to blog and feel it is an important outlet for me.  I try so hard to not only post a few times a week but also comment on my favorite blogs.  I LOVE to learn and educate myself by reading and experiencing new things daily.  My health is important to me and I try so hard to exercise and make good and healthy food for my family.  Finally, although it is not my favorite thing to do, I try to keep my house clean and organized.  A clean and organized space helps me to relax and feel at peace while trying to be all those things to all of those different people :)

Typing all of that made me TIRED :)  It is impossible to be "good" at all of those things at once.  I often find that if I am focused on a healthy lifestyle my blog or friends will suffer or if I focus on being the most effective mother and teacher to my children, the house and my husband suffer.  I just can't be good at everything :)

So I continue my journey of bringing balance into my life.  I feel with a little more organization (and maybe some more sleep...that is up to C), I will be able to take on those many roles and do them a little bit better.  I need a weekly cleaning schedule, a set time to use the computer, time to workout or meditate daily, continue with my weekly meal planning, time to prepare food for the week on the weekends, time to read, time for my husband and I to have "home dates" and finally the rest of my time must go to my children!! :)  I also need to combine activities as much as possible.  Z will be starting his chore chart next month, he loves to exercise with me and is great at helping me cook.  I just need to get creative.  Thank goodness I don't work outside of the home, I couldn't add one more thing to my plate.  I don't know how you women do it, you are truly super heroes!!! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday

Head over to Supah's site to find out how to make your own fabulous post-its :)




Monday, February 22, 2010

"I Need A Super Wal-Mart NOW!!"

These words were moaned to S at his parents house early Saturday morning (4:30 AM to be exact).  We had come down a night early for the big birthday because Z was chomping at the bit to see his grandparents.  My Friday night plans had been canceled due to the fact that C won't take a bottle so S and I decided to make Z's wish come true. 

I had 45 minutes to pack up two kids and all of our stuff for the weekend and get to S's office before rush hour.  In my rush to get out the door I forgot my breast pump.  Now ordinarily this would not be a big deal but while C has been sick she has not been eating as much and so it has been necessary to pump to relieve the discomfort and keep up my supply.

I woke up at 4:30 in the morning completely soaked and in so much pain....C had been up coughing every hour but had eaten so little.  I needed relief and so S ran to get his blackberry to search for the closest Super Wal-Mart.  There was one only 25 minutes away and so we bundled C up and snuck out of the house.  The world was still asleep and it was kind of nice to be out and about.  We got drinks, chatted and hit Wal-Mart all before the sun came up :)  I pumped right there in the parking lot with my new unsterilized hand pump.  4.5 oz of liquid gold were tossed out :( but I felt so much better! 

The rest of the weekend was spent visiting with family and friends and of course the 60th birthday celebration.  Z went to the indoor driving range for the first time, watched movies with his auntie and had his usual walk with Grandpa.  S and I had another early morning jaunt on Sunday...this time it was a little later (6:30 AM) but my back could no longer stand their wicker rocker and the baby needed sleep.  We once again stopped for drinks but this time instead of going to Super Wal-Mart, we headed to the ocean :)  We visited the harbor and then drove along the coast.  The world was once again asleep and S and I enjoyed another quiet moment.  It was wonderful :)  I hope you all had a nice weekend.

C with her great grandparents and Auntie J

Friday, February 19, 2010

Olympic Fever

Olympic Fever has taken over the Raising Z household.  It started with me staying up way too late to watch the Opening Ceremonies....I only stayed up until 10:30 pm (Eastern Time) but for me that was way too late :)  I love watching all of the athletes march in with their cameras and fun outfits (btw what was up with the USA's pants??).  It always makes me smile when there is a warm weather country with one or two athletes marching in :)

Our TV is never on during the day, especially on the weekends.  Scott is not a huge sports guy so the set is off while we buzz around the house.  This past weekend I had the Olympics on in the background and this made Z so giddy.  He was mesmerized by all of these sports that he had never seen before and when he found out that hockey (one of his favorite sports) was an Olympic sport he went wild. 

For the past week Z has been "speed skating" around the couch with one arm on his back, "ski jumping" off of his big blue chair, cross country skiing around the kitchen and playing carpet hockey in the playroom.  Every time he sees the Olympic rings somewhere he stops and screams, "Mommy, the Olympics!!"  It has been so much fun. 

I have not been able to stay up and see all of the amazing moments of these games (I am just too darn tired with two sick kids) but I have watched the recaps or have seen them on the internet.  We have some pretty talented athletes representing us and I am in awe of all of the hard work that they have put into their sport.  They truly are wonderful role models for our youth!  Go USA :)

Z at his first hockey game last year

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Breathing Through Your Nose

This is something that most of us take for granted until a horrible cold strikes and our nose is so stuffed up that we are forced to breathe through our mouth.  The cold germ, "Toots" from Curious George as Z likes to call him, came into our house a week ago.  Z suffered first and had to miss his Valentines Day Party at school.  It started with a low temp, runny nose and then the horrible cough set in.

We TRIED to keep Z away from C but 5 days later...C came down with her own version of "Toots".  She has had it much worse and the poor little baby keeps looking up at us with a look of such confusion and pain.  Her little cry is so sad and we wish there was something more we could do.  She has been sick for three days (three nights of no sleep for us) so today I took her to the doctor.  They ruled everything out and said it is just a really bad cold.  I am already doing everything they suggested so we just have to wait it out.

It is S's dads 60th birthday this weekend and we would like to all be healthy and ready to party by Saturday!  I hope that C is better by then and that S and I stay clear of "Toots".  It will be hard to do considering how little sleep we have gotten this past week with sick kids but we like breathing through our noses so we plan to fight :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"That is Not My Milk Truck!"

After many, many attempts by many different people and lots of money spent on different bottles and nipples......C will not take a bottle.  We have wasted so much "liquid gold" (aka breast milk) on our attempts.  I think we started too late and were not consistent enough.  With Z we started at 2 weeks old and S gave him a bottle every day at 11 PM.  C suffered from such bad reflux that we didn't even attempt to give her a bottle until after the meds had kicked in at 5 weeks old.  We tried it once or twice then and then life got in the way and we didn't try it again until she was 8 weeks old.  By then, she knew what she liked and didn't want her milk coming from any other source other than her momma. 

We have tried to give her the bottle when I was not home, while I was in the shower or while I was at least the 20 recommended feet away :)  The bottles are given when she is hungry but not starving and have tried both fresh and heated milk.  We have had "experienced" bottle feeders come in to try to give her the bottle, we have tried different positions, different brands of bottles....nothing has worked. 

With Z the bottle was much more needed.  He was a HORRIBLE sleeper and the only way I could get any shut eye was for S to take over one feeding.  I also enjoyed the freedom that the bottle allowed me....there were nights out with the girls, date nights with S and we even went away for a whole weekend once.  Over the last few weeks I have come to terms with the idea that for the next 10 months or so, C and I will be joined at the breast :)  I will not be able to go out until she is tucked away in bed and will not be able to go too far away.  As she gets older it will be easier to sneak out during the day but for now, she and I must stay close.  This is all okay...she is my baby and I feel that breastfeeding is a gift that only I can give to her.  Breastfeeding is not for everyone but it is natural and easy for me.  I have once again made sacrifices in my diet (no dairy, soy, caffeine, tomato sauce) but these changes are helping me to live a healthier and simpler life. 

So we have one more bottle brand that my BF bought that we plan to try and the plan is that we will keep trying until all of my frozen milk supply runs out.  At that point, if she is still not taking to the bottle, I will pack up my pump and the bottles and start planning my special night in the city.  S and I plan to get a nice hotel room and have a fancy dinner filled with dairy when C decides to stop breastfeeding.  In the meantime I will enjoy this special bonding time with my little girl because I know it is going to go by sooooo FAST!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Very Special Valentines Day

We had a wonderful Valentines Day yesterday!  It started off with the smell of Z's favorite apple muffins filling the house :)  We then exchanged small gifts that were perfect for our strict budget.  They were either handmade items or gifts found here at home (things we had bought for Christmas and saved for later).  We had an early lunch out at our favorite Mexican restaurant and then Z and I met up w/ my sister K for some bowling (he earned a bowling trip for pooping on the potty all week).  I had so much fun on this special outing w/ Z....we laughed, danced, bowled and he gave me lots of hugs.  It was nice to spend some quality time together and Auntie K was the perfect addition.  After bowling S made a delicious dinner and when the kids were in bed we watched the Olympics in front of a fire.  Perfect!!!  I hope you all had a nice day too :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Focus on the Family"--February Edition

Well I did not complete my entire list of things I wanted to do in January (you can check out how I did here, the things I accomplished are in red).  I am very proud to say that I did accomplish everything in the Z and C category but the results in the Mama and Papa category are pathetic!!!  So here we go again, I have learned some important lessons about goal setting and hope that February turns out to be a great month.  If you would like to participate in "Focus on the Family" head over and visit Connie at the Young and the Relentless.
Family Time
 *Family Adventure Day
*Get to Church
*Continue our Weekend Family Breakfasts

Z and C Time
*Do a few art projects w/ Z
*Continue my one on one playtime w/ each child, every day 
*Find some time to go out w/ Z alone

Momma Time
*Continue to try to get C to take the bottle so I can go out!!!
*Work out 10 days this month (at least) 
*Go to two concerts w/ my sisters and parents (19th and 28th)
*Keep reading my self help books
*Go out w/ my BF L

Momma and Papa Time
*Have a home date night at least twice this month
*Start our workout plan
*go out for a meal w/ one of our gift cards

Home Time
*Finish our bedroom closet project 
*Work on our monthly budget and financial goals 
*Go completely paperless in the kitchen
*make a new batch of household cleaning solution

I am grateful for so many things right now, too many to mention.  This month I would like to focus on our extended family :)  Family is such an important part of our lives and I am so grateful to live so close to mine.  We try to see S's parents once a month (more if we can) and his sisters whenever we get a chance.  We are so blessed to have such a loving and giving family and we truly appreciate all that they do for us.  We hope that they know how much we love them!

Happy February Everyone!!!  What's your family plan this month??

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quick Update--Girls Bonding Weekend

There is so much to blog about and so little time to do it!!!  I only have 10 minutes so I will have to do a quick post today and pack in as much as possible :)   This has been a crazy busy week.  I do hope to get my February Family Plan done this weekend, I did it in my head last night while feeding the baby.  Some days I just wish I could hook up my blog to my brain while nursing in the middle of the night....then I would always be caught up :) 

Lil C and I had a whirl wind of a trip to Jupiter Florida over the weekend.  We went to visit 2 of my great aunts and my great uncle.  We left Saturday morning on a 7AM flight and flew back to the bitter cold of New England Monday afternoon.  My mom, my sister L and my dad came with us.  It was nice to get away for a bit, visit with family and enjoy some warmer weather.

When we left on Saturday it was seven degrees in Boston but in Florida the temperature climbed into the mid 80's.  It was so nice put on my flip flops, a skirt and not bundle the baby from head to toe.  She had her first official walk and it was wonderful.  The weather for the next few days was okay...overcast, spotty rain showers and in the mid 60's but it still beat the cold here!  We went to the beach (even though it was raining), went to a sea turtle rescue center, searched for manatee's, and did a lot of visiting :) 

I really enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with just Lil' C.  I feel that she and I really bonded during this trip (of course the 3 other adults helped to make the journey go smoothly).  She was great on both plane flights, did okay with the crazy schedule and slept really well in the hotel (we had a two bedroom suite).  It was fun to see her in her summer hand-me downs and it made me really miss the warm weather! 

As for other news....Z and S had a great visit with S's parents over the weekend.  Z really enjoyed having his daddy to himself for three whole days!  Z has been doing really well with school (he has a skip in his step when I tell him it is a school day) and has been working hard to poop on the potty.  He is growing up so makes me a little sad.  He and I have been looking at his old baby pictures, he loves to see himself at C's age :) 

S and I are working hard to save money right now.  We have worked hard to pay off our credit cards, almost have our cars paid off and now the plan is to save as much as we can over the next few months.  S has told me to pretend that I am on a cruise ship for the next few months.  Everything I need is here in our house (except for food) or is already paid for (preschool, k-musik classes) and so there is no need to spend any money.  This is super hard for me but I am going to give it my all!

Okay, I will get my February Family Plan out soon as well as pictures from our trip :)  I hope you are all doing well.  Those of you with blogs, I will be over shortly.  Sorry to have been MIA :)