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Monday, December 20, 2010

Busy busy buusy bsuy buasdf.................

The weekend flew by way too fast. Spent Saturday celebrating Christmas with my Mom's side of the family. It was, as always, delightfully loud and tons of fun. But this year was different without Brian and with Brennan as active as he's been lately. Luckily, my parents are always willing to run after him so I can sit down for a minute or two. Judging from this family gathering, I can tell that the rest of our Christmas gatherings will be shorter than usual. First, they usually prevent Brennan from getting his normal nap in, so he's extra cranky. Second, he just gets overstimulated. He's loving his newfound independence now that he's walking, and he doesn't want people holding and squeezing him. But of course, no one cares if they piss off my child. I'm the one who has to deal with it. Argh.

Sunday was equally as busy. Brennan was up and down all night from a lack of routine on Saturday and he slept til 9:30 Sunday morning. We headed to Mom & Dad's where Brennan stayed for most of the day while my sister and I went shopping and then I headed off to my last night of bowling (yay!). I was able to snag some cute new clothes and hopefully get rid of some of my boring, frumpy "mom" clothes that make me feel so crappy about my body. I know that I should feel proud of the weight I've lost and will continue to lose, and hopefully a refreshed wardrobe will help me do so!

Today has consisted solely of packing. My MIL came over for a few (five) hours and finished up the kitchen. Tonight, a few (fantastic) friends came over to donate their muscles and fabulous packing skills and we got TONS more done. I'm so lucky to have friends and family who will give up their valuable time to help me!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Crunch Time

Exactly one week from today, I pick the hubby up from the airport and we begin the rat race that will be our Christmas holiday. I have to have OUR ENTIRE HOUSE packed up, and maybe even some of the furniture moved out with help of our lovely (strong) friends so that we can make sure that the house is empty in time.

Sure, packing, no big deal right? Um, wrong. I can't just pack up our house. I have to pack about a week worth of stuff for Brennan, a suitcase for Mexico for me, a suitcase for me for after Mexico, a few boxes of things we'll need at the temporary house (towels, kitchen stuff, Brennan's stuff), and then all of the rest of our stuff. Then, patch and touch up paint on the walls, install a few window shades/blinds, and clean the house from top to bottom. BAH! This holiday season is gonna be NUTS. I just can't wait for Feburary 1, when we can move into our new house and start to settle in ...

Sunday, December 12, 2010


While living so far away from my hubby is definitely difficult for Brennan and me, sometimes I forget that it's hard on Brian too. It's not the same kind of difficult. Mine is the "busy" kind. I'm busy with school, keeping up the house, packing, and chasing a baby around. Throw in a couple of dogs (who coincidently just had some kind of stomach "flu") and it's constant chaos. My head is always spinning, I'm completely exhausted, and busier than I've ever been. To me, it's obvious that I got the raw end of the deal.

At first, when I stop to think about what Brian's days are like, it sounds like heaven. He goes to work, comes home, runs the dog, and can get as much sleep as he wants. Don't get me wrong, I whole-heartedly appreciate him for everything he does for our family. He works hard to support us, especially since he is now the only provider for our family. But he has very little day-to-day responsibility. A part of me would switch places with him in a heart beat. But then, a day like today snaps me back to reality.

While I know that it must be hard for Brian to be so far away and miss Brennan and me so much, sometimes I forget how much of Brennan's life he is missing right now. Shortly before Brian came home for Thanksgiving, Brennan started taking more and more steps. While he's been taking a step or two in a row here and there, he was starting to more confidently take 4 or 5 in a row. Brian was shocked at this development and I was happy that he was home to see it. I didn't think much to the future and how much more he would miss than what he would actually be able to see. In the last few weeks, Brennan has really gotten the hang of this whole walking thing. He is just trottin' around like a little man.

It didn't occur to me that poor Brian is missing all of this until today. We were talking on Skype when Brennan hopped down off of my lap and toddled across the room. I was telling Brennan not to get into something when Brian said, "Can I see him walk?" I adjusted the webcam and he was able to see Brennan walking around like he owned the place. As much as I love to watch Brennan walk, the look on Brian's face was even more incredible to look at at the moment. He was so excited, so proud, but at the same moment, disappointed by the realization that he's missing out on pieces of Brennan's life.

I thank God for technology like Skype so that Brian is able to see Brennan grow and change and so that we are able to see his face while we're separated. It has made living 1000 miles away from each other a little bit easier. But I can't wait for the day that we are able to live together again as a family.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Single Motherdom

So let me first say that I know there are plenty of women who either chose to be a single mom or had it chosen for them. And kudos to them for doing something so incredibly challenging. Personally, I'm not cut out for it.

Yes, I can handle it. I have to be able to handle it. I'm a very capable woman, but this is incredibly hard. I think the hardest part for me is that I'm used to getting a little "break" or at least some moral support. Since Brennan was born, I've been his primary caretaker. I worked nights and part-time, so I was able to be home with him most of the time. But when Brian would get home from work, there was someone else to be on baby duty. No, I didn't go run and hide the minute he walked in the door. I'd cook dinner, we'd eat and talk about our days, and spend quality time as a family. Bottom line: there was someone else there to back me up. I could leave the room without too much whining or being followed. Or there was someone else to take a turn in the rocking chair during a fussy night.

But right now, it's just me. Our friends and family have been an amazing amount of help. Brennan has had a few sleepovers at Grandma & Grandpa's or Grammy & Grampy's so that Mommy can have a little break. And I find myself wandering over to my parents' house every once in awhile to let the multitude of Brennan-loving adults chase him around. Maybe part of it is needing adult-companionship along with needing a little break. Either way, I appreciate having a place to go to when I'm feeling exhausted or overwhelmed. I love my kiddo with all my heart and look forward to my days as a SAHM ... but I think I'll like it much more with my hubby by my side!

Friday, December 10, 2010

It may or may not be an addiction....

Have you ever tried Shutterfly? Well I have. A lot actually.

Before Brennan was born, I visited the site occasionally. But once I gave birth to the cutest creature that's ever roamed the earth, I had to spread the wealth. I mean, who wouldn't want as many pictures of this cute little face as possible???

So now, Shutterfly is my go-to place for gifts ... for every single member of our family for every single holiday. Not kidding. Whether they want it or not, everyone gets Shutterfly gifts with pictures of my kiddo! It's really an addiction....

Usually, it's the classic photo book. It's not as time consuming as a scrap book, but is just as customizable. Want something just as cute but that can be seen every day? Check out Shutterfly's photo calenders. So cute!

Luggage tags are another favorite of mine. It's the perfect gift for the frequent traveler in your life, and at $7.99 per tag, they're TOTALLY affordable. Shutterfly has plenty more great gift ideas for everybody on your list!

Shutterfly's photo cards are a big time favorite. Why send someone a generic card you bought for $3.99 at the local drug store when you can get a cute, personalized card for around $2? I love love love them!

We've also ordered our Christmas cards from Shutterfly this year and in the past. They have tons and tons of cute, customizable designs to choose from. And thanks to Shutterfly, we'll be getting 50 free Christmas cards this year, just for being a blogger. How lucky am I to be a new blogger, stumbling across such a great offer?? Check out how bloggers can cash in on this great offer! Oh geez Shutterfly, you just fed the beast ....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Done and done.

Some very big progress was made on the housing front today. We accepted a rental application from a nice couple AND our rental application was accepted for the house we want in Florida. So. flipping. happy. It's so nice to finally where we will live for the next year or so. And we LOVE the house we found down there. It's beautiful and in a perfect location. Well, it's beautiful in the pictures I've seen anyways. And I trust Brian's judgement (well kinda ... I trust the pictures more!).

The only snag in our plan is that the house isn't available until February 1. We'll rent a storage place for a month and Brian got the OK from his boss for us to stay in the company-owned house where he is currently staying. The issue is that they may have an intern living there for the month of January as well. If it were just Brian and I, we wouldn't mind. But having a baby and living with a stranger feels odd to me. But we're not even sure if the intern will be there yet. So we've decided to just see how it goes and figure out it out as it comes. I've had to give up a lot of my control issues throughout this process, which I think has probably been good for me.

The process of finding renters was a bit odd. The fact that we've put so much blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention money, into this house makes it important to us to find someone that's the perfect fit. We're not renting it for extra income, we're renting it because we have to. So we don't want just anyone living here. I think the problem is that it's hard to imagine someone other than ourselves living here. But our renters are great people and very excited to live here. I'm confident that it will work out well.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Well, here goes!

In the past few months, I've started reading more and more mommy blogs. None that are on particular topics. Some are written by working mamas, some by SAHMs. Some are written by mommies battling depression, some by moms fighting the good fight against the dreaded baby weight. Some are written by moms going through the adoption process, some by mommies dealing with the struggles of raising preemies, and most by mamas raising just your "average" kid.

Although it may seem like I have nothing in common with many of these bloggers, that isn't the case. We have one very strong common link ... we're all moms. We all know what it's like to have our hearts walking around outside of our bodies. We know what it's like to love someone more than you could ever imagine, even when that someone requires your attention every minute of every day. Thoughts about poop, diapers, pureed food, weaning, and teething consume our days. It can be frustrating to have these new things to focus on, to feel overwhelmed by the pressures of succeeding at motherhood, to feel a sense of loss of a former self. That's why I've enjoyed reading mommy blogs lately. To read about other women experiencing the highs and lows of motherhood, get new ideas about raising kids and being a mom, and to reiterate the fact that I am certainly not alone on this journey.

So, great, I like to read mommy blogs. Why am I starting one of my own? Because my family is experiencing some changes in life and I feel like I will need an outlet for my feelings as we embark on our journey. My hubby has accepted a new job in Florida. Sounds great right? Leaving behind cold, snowy Michigan for the warm, sunny beaches of Florida. But it's just not that simple. Hubby and I have lived in Michigan for our entire lives. We are very close to our families and see them often. The thought of leaving them is not only sad, but scary. They have been such great help, not only with our son, but with life in general. Their love and support is invaluable. We are leaving behind everything we've ever known to build a new life for ourselves. While the life we leave behind has been wonderful for us, we look forward to the new opportunities that will present themselves to us.

I look forward to writing about our experiences in this blog. My hope is that it will not only be an outlet for me, but that it will be a way to keep our families updated on our life in Florida. And if my experiences can help another mom get through a big move in her life, like the mom blogs I read have helped me through motherhood thus far, that will be an added bonus!
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