Obligatory New Year’s Post #thisismylifenow

Well we made it through the not-end-of-the-world and it’s actually 2013! 2012 was a particularly challenging year for me and my little family, especially with me having gone a full 13 months without a full-time job, working long internship hours and finishing school. Concurrently, those were also my biggest achievements this year and for that I’m very proud.

I have never been one for New Year’s Resolutions but the more I think about it, the more I realize that there are quite a few things I would like to achieve this year and I need to challenge myself to at least try. So here is my obligatory list of resolutions I’d like to share and if there are any that ring true for you let me know and we can be resolution partners! Alrighty, here we go.

SPAIN-NEW YEAR-2012

1. Lose weight: duh, already working on it, moving on.

2. Exercise more: although very much related to number one, I’m more so thinking about the other benefits of exercising such as more energy, better sleep, less aches and pains from sitting all day at work and more stamina to keep up with my kid.

3. Read 50 books: there was a time in my life when I read books for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I made it through #48 in the Baby Sitters’ Club series in a matter of weeks when I was 10. British literature senior year of high school? Best year of assigned books ever! Seriously, I read every one and loved them each. I am a bookworm and I need to get back to reading more and being aware of the good stuff that’s out there. That reminds me, here’s my Good Reads profile in case you wanna hit me up.

4. Write more: After 3 years of writing papers, I can’t slack off just because I am not assigned to any grad work. Ideally, I would like to update this blog at least once a week but beyond that, I’d like to get back to journal-ling and writing letters too. So much happens in my life every day and sometimes I feel like I have no idea how to slow down and remember everything. Life is short and precious and I want to savor the memories that I know I’ll want to reflect on when I’m older. Not to mention, having something to pass on to my children in the form of my written experience would be something special. I also want to start using the stationary I’ve been collecting over the years, always with the intent to write to family and friends. And for selfish reasons, I need to keep up with my husband, the poet. Challenge accepted!

5. Enjoy more joy: Nothing has emotionally and spiritually turned my world upside down like the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. For weeks, I was numb and also terrified about what this kind of violence means to me, my child and the world around me. Suddenly, I began to relish even the smallest moments of joy and love with my daughter. It was as if for the first time I understood what it really meant to cherish her and I can’t let that feeling go away just because the press is no longer covering Sandy Hook. Yes, parenting can be challenging and some days are harder than others but when I look at her, I can’t help but feel pride and joy in what her father and I have created. I want to challenge myself to always take a moment to just be with her and enjoy her ever-growing knowledge and skills and the pure joy she exudes over everything she does. I also want to make a better effort to remind myself that I too can find joy in my own moments alone or with my partner and friends. Sandy Hook, Aurora, Milwaukee and the THIRTEEN OTHER mass shootings in 2012, along with the mounting number of daily homicides in Chicago are an affirmation that is in fact a different world than the one from my youth and every day from here on out is a blessing.

Well, it looks as though I have a lot of work to do this year! I think it could be the best year yet! Time to get to work.

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motherhood: awwwkwarrrrrd…#adventuresinparenting

aaaaand she’s back!

so this particular topic has been on my mind for a hot minute. motherhood is awkward. it is and there’s no way around it. imagine this (or if this really is you, just look in the mirror): you have no children. you live your life doing whatever, going to bed whenever, eating and drinking what you want, showing up to work on time, staying behind a few minutes here and there to chat or finish an email. catch my drift? YOU get to do what YOU want because YOU answer to YOU.

and then suddenly, every single thing you do is connected to another human being. a tiny, almost entirely helpless human being. at the very beginning of my pregnancy, (you know, the stage before people know), i started randomly turning down alcohol, deli meat, sushi, soft cheeses, and runny eggs. basically every delicious thing my friends and family watched me consume by the truck load for years. and then the random napping begins because the first trimester is so exhausting. my boss caught me napping at my desk at one point and a few months later had to ask me why i spent my lunch break sleeping in my car. pregnancy made me feel as though i suddenly had no place in the world, like i was living this very temporary alternate life.

and it doesn’t end there. we all know how i feel about #overitpregnantedition. once visibly pregnant, the comments, the stares and the touching had me lurking around trying not to bump into people or i would rapidly find a seat at meetings or in class so i could sit down and cover my belly with my hands or a table. and as i got closer to giving birth, people seemed to be running circles around me pulling up chairs and offering to fetch me things like water, snacks and new, less swollen ankles. and i loved the attention, but it was still weird.

i’m not gonna get into the whole birth thing, that’s not really awkward it just is what it is. but then baby and i are now two disconnected people and since i am no longer with child, it’s a lot harder to hide the crazies. in my case, the biggest, most awkward challenge has been breastfeeding. it’s one thing to be attached to a baby in the privacy of my own home but it’s another thing to go to work and put paper up over the window to my office or having to answer quick questions through the door because i’m pumping. then there was that one time that i got so upset about a comment about my body that i started to leak everywhere. talk about having to walk away without a shred of dignity left.

my favorite moment of motherly awkwardness? washing pumping related equipment in public places like the bathroom. in front of co-workers. in front of a supervisor. in front of 18 year old undergrads.uhhhhh yeeeeaaahhhhh let me just…ok…i’m putting it away now….i just…..sigh.

how about when my daughter wants to nurse suddenly? know what she does? she tries to pull up my shirt, bury her head in my chest and if I’m really lucky, she will motorboat my cleavage. in public. yah.

then there’s zombie mondays that never cease to end. you can bet that if you want me to embarrass myself, ask me a really complex question at 9 am on monday mornings. you’re welcome. and if it’s 5 pm, don’t start a new conversation with me because i am not having it. i need to be out the door, in my car and on the way to pick my daughter up on time. i don’t stick around to chat it up, i don’t go to happy hour and i don’t want to grab dinner. i want to go home and hang out with my kid who goes to bed at 6:45. i’m on a time crunch and right now she’s my social life. if that means i have to be all behind on the gossip and the fun times then so be it. that’s what my undergrad was for.

and if you’re a mom too and you know what i’m going through, i’m going to want to talk about it. i want to ask you about what happened to your body and baby toe jam and baby poop. i want to know what you do to get your kid back to sleep, or how you deal with teething and feeding solids. i want to connect with you so badly that all the non-parent people in the group will feel shut out and skulk away. and i’m not going to feel bad because right now i need to feel like i’m not crazy and talking to others going through the same thing is what will help me feel that way. my social etiquette is out the window, i’m basically napoleon dynamite with smaller teeth. and i’m ok with that.

so in conclusion, no, i didn’t see that movie, i haven’t eaten at that new restaurant and i haven’t been to any good concerts lately [insert awkward silence here].but let me show you my 417th iphone picture of my 9 month old, k? #adventuresinparenting #thisismylifenow

no vampires for me #thisismylifenow

I’m only 26 years old but sometimes I feel like I’m 46. A mere year ago I could hang. Well, I was pregnant a year ago so more like 18 months ago. Back then, a midnight movie was a goal in life, especially one featuring the conception of a vampi-human and the werewolves that are pissed about it. But alas, as I sit on my couch watching prime suspect in my jammy jams (I have a baby, I can call them jammy jams.) the mere thought of being out of my home past midnight makes me shudder. And the possibility of a baby who still nurses once in the middle of the night getting up while I’m out makes me feel guilty. And I didn’t even do anything!

But the biggest thing I feel right now is ok. Cuz so what? Sure, I’m a fan of glittery vampires and shirtless native wolf-men, who isn’t ?! Don’t answer that. But mystical creatures hiding out in the pacific northwest do not delight me as much as a half awake and snarling 5 month old finding an equally half-awake (and only sometimes snarling) mama in the dark for the liquid gold (aka breast milk, k?). I know that the days of middle of the night nursings will someday pass and I’ll be free to do big things once more! Like getting 8 consecutive hours of sleep in a row. Until then, vampires on blu-ray and chunked up sleep times it is! Happy Twi-harding to those who can and will! #thisismylifenow