March 28, 2014

Same love. Different Experiences.

It's amazing to me how different it is this time around.

I suffered a pretty good bout of PPD with Jackson. For the first year of his life, I was not myself. While I don't have excuses, there are a lot of reasons why I had PPD. Sure, a baby is a huge life change not to mention you know hormones, but we also moved homes while I was in the hospital with him. We left the home that marked the beginning of our married life and I went home to a brand new house with a baby in tow. It was as if someone had stolen my entire life and replaced it with this new one. Jackson was jaundiced and had to sleep on the bili bed 24/7 (which he hated). He was collicky. He wouldn't breastfeed no matter how much counseling or help I received. He went into failure to thrive territory and I was forced into formula feeding. I was spewed on for formula feeding. I was a disaster! When the time came to bring him to daycare, I was more than ready. I felt like the most clueless first time parent ever, so I was actually RELIEVED to go back to work. WTH?? What mother feels that way?? I look back on my experience with my sweet boy and all I feel is horror and regret. Once he got out of the baby phase, started talking (and SLEEPING), I started to enjoy him as well as motherhood. I constantly feel like I am making up for that lost time and never miss an opportunity to tell him how much I love and adore him. I always, ALWAYS feel sad that I didn't enjoy him more as a baby.

It was one of the reasons I wanted another baby so badly. I wanted another chance.

My other chance, by the grace of God, is here and I am not wasting a single moment with her. My maternity leave was full of snuggles and baby talk. I didn't worry (and frankly didn't care) if I got anything "done" around the house. I had 12 weeks to make the best of our time together and I can honestly say I did just that. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed her so much and was so attached that the thought of going back to work seemed to physically break my heart. I'm glad that my husband does the daycare drop off with her because, in these first few weeks back, I don't know if I could have handed my precious baby over to anyone else. I miss her every single day. All day. I cannot get to daycare fast enough to hold her and give her kisses. I feel like she has changed so much and that I am somehow missing it. It seems as if she is one person when I leave her and then when I pick her up and she's out of nowhere babbling and smiling. She rolling over. She's no longer a newborn but an infant. Why is this going so fast? Dear Time: slow down! She is my last baby!

I've dabbled with the idea of staying home in the past. Mostly because I was unhappy and unfulfilled in my prior job and not necessarily because I had this deep desire to be a SAHM. For the first time ever, I really THOUGHT about it. After getting that first daycare bill, I REALLY thought about it. I imagined what it would be like to be with her every day. To hold her whenever I want. To teach her baby signs. To watch her grow and be the first person to see all of her new milestones and "firsts". To go on jogs with her in the park. I imagined my son being able to be home with us all summer before starting 1st grade this fall (which is a total WTF moment in and of itself. 1st grade? What?).

However... despite the serious gouging we received after the first bi-weekly daycare withdrawal (which by the way we pay more for daycare than we do our mortgage), we still need my money and my ridiculously amazing health benefits. Despite the deep hole in my heart from missing my baby every day, I know she's in good hands. And crazy enough? I actually really love my job. For the first time ever, I get to manage a program that I am passionate and excited about. The opportunity in front of me to expand my career right now is huge and if I bail even for a short time, I will miss that boat and I have worked so very hard. I shouldn't feel guilty for wanting that, right? Because, I do.

Most days I don't get to see my baby girl before I leave in the morning, but my husband with time permitting, will send me pictures of her to oogle over during my bus ride. Fortunately, I do get to see my baby boy- if I were to leave without saying goodbye to him? He would have the worst day and would NOT let me live it down.

One of the sweet pictures I received in the morning
I was fortunate enough to be home in the morning when he lost his first tooth this week! 

I love both my kids so, so hard. It is a mental struggle to leave them every day, but I feel like continuing to be a working mom, they get the best mom out of me. While it was harder than ever to make the decision this time around, I am confident that I made the right choice.

He still cuddles with me. Please tell me that doesn't change??? 

But sometimes he would rather cuddle with his sister and I swear my heart explodes with love. 



March 20, 2014

Getting My Groove Back

Now that my maternity leave has officially ended, it is time.

Time to stop making excuses.

TIME TO GET MY GROOVE BACK!

No lie, coming back to work has not been easy. First and foremost, I miss my little girl more than I ever thought possible. In two weeks I already feel like I have missed so much and a measly 3 hours with her at night just doesn't feel like enough. I remember being sad with Jack, but this time feels very raw. Is it because I'm a seasoned mom and actually ENJOY my baby this time around (PPD free)? Is it because she is my last baby? I guess as I get back into being quite busy at work, I have less time to be sad, but still. I miss her sweet face every day.
I miss her sweet, smiling face every day! (Just over 3 months here)

I tell him every day when I pick him up, "I missed you all day!" And I mean it. 

I love that he adores his sister. Seeing them together is everything.
Starting back up at work again is more than just a challenge of the heart though. It is also a challenge to my checkbook. Let's just say that the cost of daycare is my entire paycheck minus about maybe $100. So yes, I am working to send my kids to daycare. We thought we would get some relief after Jack starts summer camp? No dice. That is even MORE expensive than his Kindergarten program with all their field trips, activities and such. So, for the first time in years... we have to really start watching our pennies. I don't mean that to be a humble brag- we are just good with our money management and always had money saved up for little luxuries here and there. We are more than grateful that we have never really had to be paycheck to paycheck (not to say that we won't ever be in that place... we aren't completely naive). The checkbook drainage was just a bit shocking. What does this mean? A few things are going to have to give. One of them being, I have to say goodbye to Medifast. At $300+ bucks a month, it has to go. I'm nervous about what that will mean for my weight loss nutrition. Medifast WORKS for me (I've lost 30 of the 50 lbs I gained in pregnancy in 3 months) but the last 20... Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I fear trying to do this on my own.

I know the last time I posted I had started the Ripped in 30 program again. Yeah. That. Ha. It lasted about a week. My efforts are not completely lost though. With the help of my now recalled Fitbit Force, I was able to watch my activity levels in conjunction with my food intake. Despite my lack of movement, I have managed to lose 10 pounds in a month. That's not so bad! I do have Medifast to thank for that but I credit most of it to my rash inducing activity tracker. I have reported/participated in the Fitbit recall and am waiting for my refund check. Once I get it, I'll be in the market for a new tracker. As much as I want to remain Apple geeky and wait for their smartwatch announcement, I kind of want one now. I have my eye on the Basis- it's spendy, but techie cool.

The Fitbit Rash. As if this isn't bad enough, this thing actually got worse. Blistered. Peeling. GROSS. It's no joke, if you own a Fitbit Force, please be careful. 
I have two (cheaper) fitness/nutrition options that I am looking into: DailyBurn has a nutrition program called Ignite that I feel would mimic Medifast nicely. The first 21 days on Ignite are "cleanse" of sorts (aka, eating clean) which is exactly what Medifast does throughout. In order not to quickly gain back after Medifast it is important to wean out of it (which is why completing the program is SO IMPORTANT!). The other is working through a Beachbody Coach and joining her 21 Day Fix Challenge Group. This coach is someone I "know" from an online mommy group that I joined when I was preggo with Jackson 6 years ago (!!!). She has really inspired me not only with her own weight loss story, but her postpartum fitness as well. I really appreciate her passion and they way she cheers on her participants. It would be easy to be intimidated by her because she is GORgeous, but if you read her blog and her posts, you would know that she gets it, is ridiculously passionate and she really keeps it real. She WANTS to help people. However... as much as I adore her, I am a little overwhelmed by the Beachbody thing. I feel like you need to keep buying workout programs (and they aren't cheap) not to mention the whole Shakeology push (which if I'm going to do this, I may as well stay on Medifast). PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong- I know many out there who follow Beachbody, have coaches, ARE coaches so maybe you can give me your pitch before the month ends?

Importantly- I haven't stopped running! I am currently training for two 5k's in April and have my sights set on a 10k by the end of August! Here's my selfie marking my first official outdoor run of 2014. Come on Spring. GET HERE NOW!


Most importantly, I need to find a way to get back my motivation. Between the exhaustion of being a new mom, going back to work and getting the freaking norovirus which shut me down this week, I am having a tough time. A year ago I was fit, healthy and motivated- I need to find that girl again. I need to find balance between being a mom, my career and taking care of my body and the hardest part? Not feeling guilty.

So, yes. It is TIME for this girl (with the totally new chopped hair)-


to GET HER GROOVE BACK.


 
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