Jul 21

Turning it Off

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“Mommy….Mommy!” Harlan’s calling my name from the other room as I sit working at my computer on the kitchen table (my workspace during the day.)

“When are you going to be finished?”  she asks.

“Soon,” I reply. “Just let me finish this for work.”

“But you’re always on your computer working.” she whines.

Ouch. Those are the words I’ve been dreading to hear, yet have somewhat expected.

When we moved from Tampa to Manhattan, we made the decision to have me stay home with Harlan and officially become the stay-at-home mom that I had always wanted to be. I never expected my time at home with her and starting a blog would to turn into a career.

As much as I love being able to be with the kids and work from home, there is still not a perfect balance that I can accomplish each day. I spend a lot of time at my computer or on my phone during the week. I’m sure the girls have no idea what I’m doing on either, but they just see me having a lot of screen time. I try to limit the time I spend with my technology while the kids are awake, but sometimes I have a deadline I have to meet or a phone call I have to get on and I have to give my job my undivided attention. It’s not ideal, but it’s just the way things are.

Thankfully moving into our house has eased a little bit of the stress because the girls have so much space to keep them busy and having fun. One of our favorite things to do is sit on the back porch while I work, Macks jumps around in his jumper and the girls just play.

But while I try to carefully balance both work and being a mom, I know that no matter what my kids are my priority. I never want to look back (or have my children look back) and only remember me with my face in my computer all of the time.

Last weekend, on a whim, I decided to turn everything off. I’d missed deadlines earlier that week, but vowed not to worry about them because the weekend was for my family. A time for them to have my undivided attention. If I needed to get something done, it would be done when everyone was asleep and in bed.

This was the very first weekend since we’ve moved that we had absolutely no agenda. We went shopping together, played in the backyard, enjoyed dinner on the back porch, and even took a little road trip to see Yale. And I didn’t take a photo of any of it.  It was so nice to be unplugged and have my entire focus on my family.

I must admit that it was hard to turn my computer on this morning and get to working and I know the girls had a hard time with it too, but my little experiment over the weekend taught me a lot about the time that I spend during my day.

Sometimes it’s okay to turn it off. You aren’t missing anything by doing so, you’re missing more when you don’t.

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Jul 16

Macks: Month Five

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Five months! Time, please slow down. This guy is becoming so much fun to be around and I love his little personality that is blooming as each day passes.

This month has been incredibly challenging in so many ways. Macks has never been a good sleeper, but this month we hit an all time low. He was up every couple of hours each night and cluster feeding like it was his job. I had every intention to start sleep training him, but I just felt like he wasn’t ready. I am hoping that this month we can transition him into his own room and start the sleep training process. As much as I love him being in the room with us, I am very ready to get some sleep.

It was also the first time that I left him with a sitter for an extended amount of time. Because he is a very needy baby and loves to nurse, I was so scared to leave him with someone and with bottles nonetheless, but thankfully he did incredibly well and took the bottles like a champ.

While he’s not sleeping through the night, we have reached other milestones this month! He’s sitting in a tripod position and is much more confident in rolling over onto his belly (so much so that he sleeps on his belly now.)

We had our last appointment with our pediatrician in Manhattan this week. It was so sad to have to say goodbye. She’s been our pediatrician since we moved to NYC four years ago and has watched all three of the kids grow up. She tells the kids she loves them and kisses their forehead every single visit.

Macks is starting to slow down in his weight gain. He only gained a couple of ounces last month. Of course I start to freak out a little bit because of the path that the girls were on, but he’s still in the 25th percentile (according to his dr.  when I looked at the WHO growth chart he was in the 50th) which is much higher than the girls were. He also gained an inch, and is in the 75th percentile for height. So he’s our tall and lean little man.

I’m cherishing every single day with Macks. Everyone always told me that there is a special bond between a boy and his mom and while I believed them, it wasn’t until Macks was born that I really felt it. It’s an incredible bond that continues to grow each day. I love my Macks.

 

{Month One :: Month Two :: Month Three :: Month Four}

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Jul 10

Settling Down

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It’s crazy to think, but we’ve been a suburban family officially for a month already. I’ll admit that I was completely freaked out when we moved. The only “mom” life I know is one in the city. I know how to quickly fold a stroller while holding a baby so we can hop onto the subway or the bus. I don’t know how to quickly get all three kids buckled in their car seats while sitting in a parking lot with cars driving by. I used to order all of my groceries online in the comfort of my pajamas while the kids watched television. Now I have to tackle the job in an actual grocery store with one kid strapped to me, one in a cart, and the other tagging along right beside me (that’s been one of the most challenging things so far.)

But through all of the challenges, there is one thing that remains the same. I am happy. We are happy. Not that we weren’t happy as a family living in the city. This is a different kind of happy. One that let’s the kids run freely in the backyard giggling as they kick the ball back and forth. A happy that has all five of us in the kitchen talking while I cook dinner and not one person is cramped. A happy that has our neighbors knocking on our door to deliver us fresh baked cookies to welcome us to the neighborhood. Yeah, that kind of happy.

We needed this. Maybe I’m still in the honeymoon phase, but I’ve come to think that this feeling with last for a very long time. Sure I miss the city, but we’ve been back a couple of times since we’ve moved and I love it just as much as I did last month. And while I can’t officially call it my home as in my place of residence, it still feels like a home that I will always cherish.

But here….here feels like home. Our house feels like a home. It’s a feeling I never had when we lived in our apartment. Our evenings are spent on the back porch grilling out for dinner. MacKay and I sit outside with a glass of wine after the kids are in bed and just talk. And it’s magical. Some nights we will let the girls stay up late while we wait for it to get dark to look for lightening bugs. These are the things that I used to do when I was a little girl.

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Our weekends are spent with trips to Home Depot and Target (my happy place!!!) We are only miles from the beach and from the lake so we’ve spent nearly every weekend there too. It’s the simple things that every suburbanite is completely used to (and I’m sure some of you are laughing at me now for all of this excitement over this,) but I am loving it all.

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The girls are adjusting remarkably. There are several things in their new life that has them very excited. Every time we pull up to the house, Avery yells from her car seat, “That’s my house!!” Just the other day MacKay took them through the car wash and they just about flipped with how “cool” it was. We went on our first family walk through the neighborhood the other night and Harlan shrieked when she saw a mailbox in someone’s front yard telling us that she wants one just like it (ours is on the front of our house next to the front door.) The hose is their new favorite toy and they squeal with joy when I asked them to help me water our plants. It’s like watching them discover the world for the first time and it’s even more fun watching them get to do it together. This move has definitely strengthened their relationship tenfold.

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As for me, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. One that I really never knew existed. I’m so much calmer living here. So much more relaxed. It’s the zen that I needed in my life and it came at the perfect moment.

Life can take you on so many adventures. Ones that we aren’t prepared for. Ones that we don’t know are crucial for our lives in order to grow.

This is an adventure I need to take. This is where I need to be.

Right here.

Right now.

Happy.

 

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