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An Apology to Myself

I’m sorry for being so hard on myself. I am my biggest critic, and I am often times too hard on myself. I bring myself down constantly especially when it comes to how I am as a mother. Everyday I torment myself because of a situation I could have handled better. I don’t give myself enough slack. I expect perfection from myself all the time. While that may be a great thing for some things, it does nothing but cause grief when applied towards motherhood.

I’m sorry I push myself to the limit all the time. Doing that everyday makes things so much harder in the long run. I get burnt out easily because I don’t give myself a break every now and then. Being burnt out makes me tired and puts me in a bad mood making it nearly impossible to be the mom I aspire to be.

I’m sorry I don’t like to leave Andrew with a sitter. It’s not that I don’t trust people, its just that I don’t like the separation. Anthony and I really do need a date night every now and then, but it has been a long time since that happened. I will have to deal with this issue eventually. I know I have to let him live his own life, and experience things without me one day. I will try to work on this so it won’t be as hard when his first day of school comes around.

I’m sorry I feel so guilty every time I spend money on myself. It doesn’t matter if I am buying something I need like clothes or it is something I want like a movie, I always feel guilty about it. I just keep thinking that the money could go towards something for Andrew, Anthony, or even my dogs. It is okay to spend money on yourself every now and then. There is no reason I should feel guilty for it.

I am not a perfect person. I am nowhere near perfect, but I still have a family and a lot of friends who love me very much. I have no reason to be so critical of myself. I may not be the perfect mother, but I am and always will be the exact kind of mother Andrew needs.

My Friend the List

Before I was pregnant with Andrew, I rarely needed to use a list. I used a grocery shopping list, but that was about the extent of it. Things started to change once my “pregnancy brain” kicked in. I couldn’t keep track of things I need almost everyday like my phone and my keys. I started relying heavily on Anthony to help me find everything I misplaced, or couldn’t remember.

I figured things would get better once Andrew was born and all my hormones had settled, but I was wrong. In fact, things got much harder for me. The amount of things I constantly have to keep track of increased by so much, there is no way I would be able to remember everything we need to just leave the house without a list.

We need bottles, formula, diapers, wipes, toys, extra socks, a burp cloth, pacifiers, etc. That’s just for the baby. I still have to keep track of my wallet, keys, and phone. It is nearly impossible some days. If I’m not full of energy before we leave the house, then there really isn’t a point to leaving at all. If we did, then I am about 90% likely to forget something important. It has happened so many times before. We have even had to turn around and go back to the house so I can get whatever I had forgotten.

I love making lists now so I don’t forget things. The only problem is sometimes I forget where I put the list. I always put my lists in a “safe place,” but then of course I forget where that safe place is. What I should do is just put lists that are meant for home on the refrigerator, and lists that I need to take somewhere in my wallet. Then I will always know that the list I am looking for is in one of two places.

Maybe one day I won’t need lists as often, but if I am anything like my mom then that won’t be the case. It is far more likely that my need for lists will increase over the years. I guess I’m just getting ready for old age already.

Starting My Day Off Right

Yesterday I was feeling really down, and overwhelmed. It happens to the best of us, but the trick is knowing how to pick yourself back up again and keep on trucking. What I needed yesterday was a change, and that’s just what I did.

Andrew has started the grabbing and yanking hair phase. It was very painful for me. I get headaches very easily because of my epilepsy, so when Andrew started yanking on my hair, I was almost guaranteed to get a headache. Plus he would always end up pulling a few hairs out. I would find them wrapped around his fingers, toes, neck, and even his manhood! I was really scared that one day a hair would be wrapped too tightly around him, and he would start to lose circulation so I decided it was time to get a haircut.

My best friend is going to school to learn how to cut hair, so of course when she offered to do it for me I was thrilled. I never did anything with my hair other than brushing it once in the morning. I needed something easier to manage, and of course shorter. She kept asking if I was sure that I wanted it cut, and I kept assuring her that I did. She ended up cutting about 8 inches of hair! Now it only goes down to my jaw line.

I can run my fingers through it so easily. It feels so much lighter and cooler than it did, and best of all it is so easy to manage I don’t have to do anything with it! Last night when I took a shower I accidentally used too much shampoo because I was still used to my old length of hair. I was surprised for a minute and thought, “What happened to my hair? Oh right, I had it cut.” It made me laugh.

This morning I woke up and felt great. While all the issues that I was dealing with yesterday are still around, I don’t feel as down about them anymore. I know I can handle them when the time comes. I’m sure I will need help, but that’s okay. Everything will end up working out for the best.

It’s amazing how something so simple as a haircut can change your attitude. I think the big reason is when you feel like you have no control over what is happening in your life, the best thing you can do is find something you can control. I know people who clean when that happens, or rearrange their furniture. Whatever works for you, you should do it. Then it may be easier to deal with everything else going on now that you have your sense of control back. You may end up being as amazed as I am today with just how much better you feel!

My Clouded Mind

I want to apologize for not posting new things as often as I used to. I feel guilty every time I miss a day. Blogging is something that even though I am very new to doing, I already know I really love it. I know there are people who read my blog regularly and I feel like I owe it to you all to post as regularly as possible. Lately though my mind has been very clouded. There is so much going on in my life that I have been feeling very stressed which in turn aggravates my epilepsy.

I wish I could go into detail of everything that is bothering me, but some of it isn’t meant to be common knowledge yet. So for now you will have to bear with me in my vague explanations. I can tell you that it is very likely that I will have to be working soon. I have a direct sales business right now, but that may not be enough. If I do have to go back to work that means Andrew will have to be put in a daycare. I’m almost crying just thinking about it. I don’t want to be separated from him even for a few hours out of the day. What it comes down to though is if me going back to work is better for the family then the separation is just something that I will have to get used to.

I’ve been trying to think of other things I can do from home. If I could find something that wouldn’t require Andrew to be in daycare, that would be ideal. That way we don’t have to pay for child care. I’ve been thinking a lot about pursuing a writing career of some sort. (It is on my bucket list to have a book published after all.) Then there is the photography route. I have been doing photography since I was 11, and I have been published a couple of times for my wildlife pictures. I also love to paint, (although I really haven’t had the time to put into painting lately,) and it has crossed my mind to attempt to sell somethings I paint. Attempt being the key word there.

With so much on my mind lately, I can’t keep everything straight. I just end up getting stressed out. I’ve been trying to stay as calm as possible, but I admit it gets harder every day. Hopefully soon things will start getting better. For now I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Andrew’s Newest Milestone

Yesterday was a big day for baby Andrew. He said his first word! He said “Hello,” although he did pronounce it “Hewwo.” I still can’t believe it myself. My little one is only 5 1/2 months and he said “Hello!” I was so proud and excited that I immediately called Anthony to tell him.

He was shocked too of course, and wanted to hear it for himself so he told me to try and get him to say it again and get it on video. I tried. Let me tell you, I really tried. It just didn’t happen. Every time I tried to get him to repeat after me he just started smiling. It was adorable, but it wasn’t proof.

Maybe it was just a fluke thing. I doubt Andrew really knows what hello means, or the proper time to use it, but I am still counting it as his first word. Hopefully sometime soon I can get him to repeat it while his daddy is around.

My little one is growing up so fast. If he keeps this up I’ll have baby fever again in no time…

Andrew and His New Friend

This weekend a friend of mine was throwing a birthday party for her oldest son. I decided it might be fun to go and take Andrew because her youngest is just a few days younger than Andrew. To protect her youngest, we will call him Buddy.

Andrew hasn’t had a chance to be around other babies other than in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. He was fascinated by Buddy the moment he saw him. Buddy has already learned to sit up on his own long enough for him to play with his toys. Even while I was holding Andrew, no matter which way I tried to make him look, he still wanted to see Buddy.

I was curious to see if Andrew wanted to try sitting up just like Buddy was, so I sat down and put him on my lap. I balanced him as best as I could, and then slowly moved my hands away from him. To my amazement, he was actually sitting up without my help! He was using his hands for balance, and he was able to stay upright for about 5 minutes! I was so proud of him. Every time I had tried to have him sit up unsupported before he would just fall over within seconds.

Later on in the party Buddy was on the floor rolling over. I saw Andrew was watching him again so I put him right next to Buddy. He watched him for a while, but didn’t seem like he wanted to follow Buddy’s actions. Instead he felt content showing off his vocal cords. He babbled every sound he knew how to, and the other adults that were around seemed impressed. The attention made Andrew smile and babble even louder. Buddy was content with rolling around, and didn’t make a peep.

Andrew and Buddy may just be a few days apart, but they are a great example of how babies develop differently. Buddy seems to be making great strides towards moving around, and he will likely walk before Andrew does. Andrew on the other hand is content staying in one spot, but will probably start talking before Buddy.

Losing the Baby Weight

Some people are lucky and lose the weight they gained during pregnancy with ease, others really have to work at it, and some just don’t even care if it is there or not. At the beginning of my pregnancy with Andrew I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t care if I was a bit heavier. I was so lazy at the time I couldn’t imagine myself ever working out or dieting again. (Maybe that is because I was sleeping most of the first trimester.) When it came to the end of my pregnancy I had gained a total of 65 pounds. Needless to say, I wanted that weight gone.

I know that 65 pounds gained during a pregnancy isn’t “within normal range,” but my doctors never said I was gaining too much. Beyond that, even when I tried to eat healthy, I gained more than most women do during each week. I eventually just started eating what I wanted instead of stressing myself about what the scale said. I figured if it didn’t worry the doctors then it shouldn’t worry me. I know that part of that weight gain was from all the fluids. My fluid level was very close to being too much. Within a few days of Andrew being born I had lost 20 pounds.

I felt great losing so much so quickly, but I couldn’t seem to lose anymore after that. Because I never breastfed Andrew, I wasn’t able to lose anymore easily. I was soon facing the choice of either work out and diet, or buy a whole new wardrobe. Being the cheap person that I am, I went for the diet option.

I started counting carbs, and closely monitored what I ate. I lost another 15 pounds. Then I started to lose my drive for dieting and stayed at the same weight for a few months. It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that I decided to continue losing more. This time I cut out sodas, eat smaller portions, and force myself to eat fresh vegetables. ┬áSo far I am down another 5 pounds. That puts my total weight loss since Andrew was born at 40 pounds! I’m very happy happy with how far I’ve come, and now I have my sights set on getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. If I keep at it, I may be able to lose a little more than that.

Whether you have gained a lot or a little weight during your pregnancy, there is a good chance you will want to lose it just like I do. I’m no personal trainer or dietitian, but let me give you a few words of advice. Only lose the weight if you want to do it, this shouldn’t be something that you do to please other people. Be healthy about it. While losing a lot of weight very quickly seems appealing, the best way to do it is slowly because you are more likely to keep it off and you won’t be endangering your health. Finally don’t get discouraged. There will be times where you feel like you can’t lose anymore weight, or possibly even gain a few pounds, but just remember if you stay focused on your goal then one way or another it will happen!