|The Little Man dancing at breakfast this morning.|
|Sono taken at 38 weeks, 5 days.|
The time has come . . .
I’m 31 weeks and reality is setting in that there’s about 8 weeks left in this pregnancy. And oddly, I spend more time worrying about the child I currently have than the one that’s on the way!
With 2 months until baby #2 arrives, we’ve decided we’d better get moving on transitioning the Little Man from the nursery into his “Big Boy Room.”
He just turned 20 months last week, and although I don’t think I’m ready for him to be in his own bed, I think it’s probably smart to go ahead and rip that band-aid off.
For months now, we’ve been working on his room, and watched as it transformed from a guest room to an empty play room to the room it is now.
There are fun sports sheets on the bed. We’ve moved the TV out (and most of the toys) so he won’t get distracted. There’s nothing left to happen except put move him in.
He’s got walls on 3 sides and a railing on the 4th. We’ve put pillows and blankets in. But, he already knows how to climb in, out, and over the railing. What stops him from just getting out of bed whenever he wants?
It’s Friday night around 10:45pm, and I was laying awake in bed tossing and turning. I’ll blame it on the fact that I’m 24 weeks along and no longer able to get comfortable. Of course, it could also be the Iced Tea I had at dinner. . .or the 2 hour nap I had today.
Today is one of those days where I want to run away. I woke up this morning with a cloud just hanging over my head and feeling defeated by life.
For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with finding my identity and feeling claustrophobic with the world around me . As early as 10 years old, I remember feeling worn out from so many moves and struggling to make friends, that I’d decided that running away to California to become a famous actress would solve all my problems. By 14, it wasn’t California, but New York and I was going to become a successful Marketing professional working in the Empire State Building or World Trade Center. I wasn’t going to marry until I was in my 30’s and then, IF I had kids, I’d have enough money to hire a full time cook, housekeeper, and nanny!
In high school, I was constantly changing my identity to try and fit in. Literally, I’d be wearing black pleather pants and listening to alternative music one day and putting on my high heels with tight Capri pants the next. My hair was always going from long to short to long again with bangs and no bangs. I wanted to fit in with the crowd that didn’t care and never showered, but was always trying to impress the preps of the band. High School was a disaster for me as I struggled with who my parents wanted me to be and who I wanted to be.
Which is why when I turned 18 I ran away to Oklahoma State University where I was hundreds of miles from anyone I knew. I so desperately wanted college to be the high school experience I never had, and discover who I truly was. But instead of reinventing myself and breaking out of my shell, I made the mistake of going potluck and found myself stuck with an ultra popular cheerleader roommate who was from Oklahoma and came to school with a million friends. Once again, I was that shy little girl, lost in the crowd. . .
Fortunately, it wasn’t too long into my Freshman year that Tim and I started dating, and I discovered the me that was comfortable in my own skin. And what I found was that I was a shy, caring person who loved t-shirts and jeans. I was confident with myself and where I was going. I began succeeding in school and even graduated Magna Cum Laude. At 22, I was a college graduate, married to my best friend, and starting a career in teaching. I felt like I’d finally become the person I’d always wanted to be. My life was laid out in front of me.
Then the unexpected happened, after 3 years and some major emotional breakdowns, I realized the path I’d chosen wasn’t for me. I once again ran away in a completely opposite direction. Through a series of random events, I landed in a job I loved, and once again, remembered what it was like to be happy.
Most of you know what happens next, this is where my blog started. After 2 years of discovering new talents and skills at a job I loved, I felt God calling me to be a stay at home mom. I was having to leave that security and comfort and reinvent myself once again.
Flash forward 18 months later. . . .
As I started going over our budget last night, it hit me. . . I’m turning 30 next month, living in the middle of suburbia, and contemplating a minivan. I’m 20 weeks pregnant, and currently mothering a toddler who thinks he’s hit the terrible 2’s. My once wonderful life of work responsibilities, travel, (practically) unlimited spending, and free weekends is a memory that is still painfully fresh. Where am I?? Who am I??
It was as if the walls were closing in around me and I felt stuck. And in my head, I couldn’t help but wonder what life would be like if I just . . .ran away.
Well, for starters, I’d be a single mother come January. But besides that, it caused me to want to really think about who I’ve become and how I got here.
I’m not the perfect mother who can miraculously pull amazing learning experiences from a hat. I’m not the successful working woman I’ve always wanted to be. Instead, I often feel like I’m a mediocre wife and mother just going through life; surviving one day at a time, but not really living or taking advantage of the life God has given me.
Obviously, I won’t run away. I love my husband and I love my son. I also couldn’t be more excited (and scared) about this miracle that’s about it come into our lives, but I need to find a way to once again discover who I am. But this time, I have to find out who I am with all these limitations. How do you discover talents and skills when you don’t have the time to learn a new craft? How do you learn new interests or hobbies when there’s a child tagging along with you everywhere you go?
Or is that the point of being a mother? Giving up your self for the life of others. . .no interests, no talents, no time.
I don’t think I can accept that.
One of the biggest struggles with blogging is whether to keep my posts real without sounding too much like a “Debbie Downer.” I never wanted to be one of those bloggers who only showed one side and made you jealous or envious of the life I live because let’s be honest, there’s not a lot to be jealous or envious of. Instead I wanted to show you the raw side of being a mom. Not as raw as Jenny McCarthy might reveal, but, nonetheless, honest.
Lately, I’ve found myself uninspired to write. When I sit down to type about what’s going on in my household, all that comes to my mind is hopelessness and negativity. And who wants to hear that? So, I simply leave Blogger, and move on over to Pinterest to try and drown my worries and frustrations in DIY design tips and ideas.
It occurred to me today that by not blogging, I’m letting myself down. I was so good in the beginning about sharing the positive with the negative, but lately, all I’ve wanted to do is show the positive.
Is that real life? No.
So instead of trying to keep up with appearances, I’m going to let it all out. Bare with me if you’re a happy person and hate to hear negativity. I promise I won’t do it often.
Since we came back from New York, the Little Man just hasn’t been the same. Although I’ve been told he had trouble sleeping in the Pack ‘n Plays set up at our parents’ homes, he didn’t ever experience any anxieties or attachment issues with us being gone. Since we’ve been back and life has been more stable, it seems like he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
His sleep patterns and eating habits were the first thing I noticed that seemed to have changed. He’s always been a great eater with the exception of teething. So when I noticed he wasn’t eating as much, I naturally assumed he was beginning to get his 2 year molars early. This wouldn’t have been a shock to me considering he’s been an early budder with all of his teeth; however, when I started paying closer attention, I noticed a lot of the other teething symptoms weren’t appearing. There wasn’t swelling, excessive drooling, or biting. I figured he must just be going through a phase.
The next unexpected change came literally overnight at bedtime. Normally we’ll give him a small glass of milk while Tim reads a bedtime book to him. Once he finishes, he goes right to sleep without any issues and will sleep until 6:30 or 7 the next morning. One night while Tim was getting ready to read his book, he started freaking out about going near his room. He refused any of his milk, and when we tried to put him down he started getting hysterical. When he finally did fall asleep, it was almost an hour later than his bedtime, and we were completely exhausted from all the comforting.
We thought it was just a one time thing, but he was up bright and early at 6 the next morning. Usually, whenever he wakes up early, I’ll give him a little milk to help him go back to sleep and he’ll almost always get another good hour or two in before officially waking up. But this morning, when he finished his milk, he went ballistic. Almost like he was afraid to be in his bed!
This continued at nap time, and for the next few days with each bedtime. Nap times slowly became easier on Sunday, but there’s been a few times since then I’ve had to completely wear him out before even going near his crib without crying. Bedtimes haven’t been easy; especially when I tried to go out on Monday night for Book Club. Even though I tried to sneak out at dinner time, he heard me open the garage and started screaming for me. Around 9:30pm, Tim texted me and said he was still awake and had been basically crying for me the whole night. It took 3 tries to get him to bed, and even then it ended in tears before he finally fell asleep.
Thankfully, last night was a good night, but he was up at 6:30 this morning, 5:40 yesterday morning, and 6 the last 3 mornings before that. It’s been iffy whether he’ll even go back to sleep and when he does wake up, he’s in a terrible mood.
In general, he no longer wants Tim to hold him unless I’m within eyesight, and if he even thinks I might be leaving, he’ll attach himself to my leg afraid to let go unless he’s extremely distracted.
I don’t know if it’s separation anxiety or just a toddler stage. I’m not sure if the sleep problems and eating problems are related to separation anxiety or something completely different like teething or growing or who knows what else. My first instinct would be to assume that he was afraid of us leaving again, but he had a few great days once we were back at home before all this commotion started going on.
I’ve read when some toddlers begin acting this way towards their cribs it’s because they’re ready to transition into different beds, but at 17 months, this seems too soon.
Fortunately, we’re not traveling anytime in the near or distance future, so hopefully his worries of us leaving for a long time will go away if that’s what this is; however, he starts Mother’s Day Out next week and MOPS the week after that and I’m nervous he’s going to meltdown.
So, this is what’s been on my brain the last few weeks. Life hasn’t been easy in our house, and it makes everything that much more stressful. I’m hoping there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but right now I can’t see it.
With our second trip to Hawai’i over and done, I can look back with a little reflection and experience. Having been to 3 of the Islands, I can say that Hawai’i is truly one of the more beautiful places I’ve been, and look forward to one day returning to experience Kauai and Lanai. But until then, there’s a few things I’ve learned that I hope to remember when (and if) we’re able to vacation back to Hawai’i.
Looking back on this vacation, I learned a lot about my new life as a parent and setting expectations. I wish I could say that the trip went so much better than we expected, but it pretty much matched what I thought would happen.
Originally when we were planning our family vacation, it was decided we’d try something big and exotic since it would be the last time it would be convenient for the whole family to travel together. Ideas of foreign countries were thrown around, and we were smart enough to veto taking a toddler out of the country for common parenting and traveling fears, but when Tim and I suggested Hawai’i almost 8 months ago, we had no idea how enormous an undertaking even staying in the US would be.
I had visions in my head of laying on the beach while the Little Man sat \next to me running his fingers through the sand and playing with toys. Relaxing by the water and occasionally running along as the tide came in and out getting our feet wet.
Now that we’re home and on firm ground, we’re able to look back and are happy we made the trip as a whole family since we know how important it is to spend time together. And we’re DEFINITELY glad we attempted Hawai’i with grandparents because we can only imagine how much of a surprise it would have been if we’d gone alone. But. . .
For 7 years, we traveled as a couple to destinations around the world. 2 weeks in Germany. Long weekends in Mexico. Car trips up and down the East Coast. Couple trips to Vegas. But never have we vacationed with a child in tow, and after this trip, it will probably be some time before we choose to do it again.
|Our rental home in Maui.|
|View out our back door / front yard.|