This month was all about chaos. Moving, starting a new job, living in a temporary rental, commuting to work, pumping, house hunting, and being away from Donovan for a full work day truly tested me in so many ways.
I had been attempting (I say “attempting” because it is hard work packing and caring for a baby!) to pack before we left for Alaska. I was trying to stay mindful of the fact that we would need certain things while we were looking for a house. So there was still a lot of packing to do when we got back from Alaska and before we moved. My parents were amazing and came up to help us with the drive. They were my saving grace as they basically kept me from freaking out about all of the work I had left to do. They helped me do that last bit of packing (which was really quite a lot). Their timing could not have been better since Doug ended up getting a horrible stomach bug the day before our move. He was out of commission. He even went to the doctor to see if there was any medicine he could take, but no such luck. He had to wait for it to work out of his system. Thankfully, my mom was able to watch Donovan as my Dad and I loaded the U-Haul. Doug was able to help with some of the big stuff, but we needed him to rest up so he could drive the next day.
I worked my last day on Wednesday and we drove on Thursday. It was a bittersweet good-bye. I remember crying on the drive to North Carolina because it was hard leaving my family and my home. This time, I was ready and excited for the road ahead. There were still a few tears, but I was thankful for our adventure in North Carolina. The drive was long and we made many stops. Between Donovan, a sick husband (who was SUCH a trooper), bathroom breaks, and meals, we made it home around 1am. Oh and did I mention that there was a hurricane heading for the east coast? So, yeah, we drove through a ton of rain.
We were able to rent a town-home condo from a friend of a friend. It was in this cute water-front community named Little Harbor. In the dark of night, we unloaded EVERYTHING from the trunk into the garage. I think it was 3 am before everything was finished. We slept so well that night. The town-home had a flight of stairs to get to the main entrance and a second flight of stairs to get to the bedrooms. Moving in was chaos. And figuring out where everything got packed was a nightmare.
We tried to get as settled as possible in this space, but nothing every looked organized. This drove me nuts, since I yearn for order. Just like everything else, I had to learn to let it go and spend my energy on what mattered most. We got super lucky living in such a nice space. It was awesome taking walks along the water and in the nice community. I am not sure how people live with multiple floors with a baby. We were constantly going up and down until we just gave up and kept half of what we needed downstairs.
The New Job
I started my new job on July 7th. I got to enjoy the 4th and my birthday before jumping into work again. The first few weeks were filled with training. It was overwhelming at times, but I liked learning about all of the new aspects of my job and the academic policies. I continued with training for a while by shadowing appointments, observing and asking questions.
I quickly learned that commuting was HORRIBLE. Why do people do this? The drive from Ruskin was at least 45 minutes to an hour and I didn’t leave work until 5, which meant rush hour traffic. I HATED the two (sometimes more) hours that I wasted in car. Time that I could have spend with my family. Time that I could have spent doing anything else. I longed for my 5 minute walk to work and suddenly realized that I had it so good back then and had no idea.
The House Hunt
We knew that we needed to buy a house and move as soon as possible. We focused in the Brandon area because we wanted be south of Tampa. This would allow me to get to work easily while also keeping us a little but closer to family in Sarasota. House hunting is not at all like the show House Hunters. You see lots of duds. And you have so much to consider. Luckily, I had the best real estate agent in town and he spent so much time looking for properties. I feel like we looked at close to 50 homes. To see the houses, we spent weekends and evenings visiting different properties. It got old pretty quick. The longer we took to find a house meant the longer we would be living in Ruskin.
We found one home that we really liked, but it needed some work. We put in an offer and someone else did too. We didn’t get that house and we learned what a roller coaster ride it can be to want a home and not get it. Doug and I were both pretty realistic about the process and we tried to set our sentimental feelings aside. We keep looking suddenly and we found a bunch of homes all at once. Its almost like that one that didn’t work out was just the first step in finding something better. We eventually found a house that was everything that we were looking for. AND, it was newly renovated so we would not have to do any work. We were so excited when we found out that our offer had been accepted! We were so ready to move!
This month was filled with so much transition and change. It was an exciting and happy time but it was also overwhelming. I knew that we were slightly over-zealous in choosing to cram so much in, but I also knew it had to happen. It was like pulling off a band-aid; yes, it might hurt at first, but it would be better than dragging it out.
I cried a lot this month. Sometimes it was just the stress of it all. But, the biggest reason was because I felt that I was missing so much time with Donovan. My focus had finally shifted back to work. I had to focus on learning my job, which left me mentally drained. I had to get up super early to drive to work and I was still waking up to do night time feedings, which left me physically exhausted too. I rushed home every day just in time to feed him. We would have a little bit of awake time and he would be in bed by 7:30 or 8, which left me with only two hours with my little guy. It was heartbreaking. I felt like I was being forced to choose between my job and my role as a mom, which surprisingly had become my most favorite role.
I was able to pump at work, which was great. But it was also a lot of work. Three times a day and balancing a job was no simple task. But, I was thankful that I could continue to exclusively feed Donovan with my breastmilk. Every night when I prepared his bottles for the next day, I was always so sad that I would not be the one to feed him.
The silver lining was that my mom was able to watch Donovan most of the summer. It was great to get text messages and pictures so I could keep up with how he was doing. I knew that he was in great hands with his GiGi!
So much happened this month and we had so much to be thankful for. I kept hoping that everything would settle in and get a little bit easier.
Donovan’s first swim
Four month photos
From Me to You