Third Trimester: Re-Cap

I had written this right before Camdon was born.  So, I’m going to leave it the way I wrote it, even though the tenses will be wrong.  It is so fun to look back and read this now!

Get ready for the birth story!  Coming up next!

Projects:

The third trimester total caught me off guard.  Pregnancy seems to go on forever and each week I have felt that I still have more time to wait until the baby arrives.  I have felt less anxious and concerned about getting things finished, that is, until the very end.  I think we might have underestimated the number of projects that we wanted to complete before the baby arrived.  Of course, if anything was left unfinished, we could finish it later, but then we would be contending with two children instead of one.  And one of those children will be very demanding for a while.

I had painted the soon-to-be-nursery over the summer, not too long after we found out that we were pregnant.  In January, I got the idea  that our beige master bedroom was too dull and needed to be repainted.  So, I painted it a light blue and we rearranged the bedroom, which was Doug’s idea.  I was pretty against it, but it did end up opening the space and made it feel bigger.  The painting process required more coats than I expected because the beige was darker than I thought so we basically had to do the trim and walls three times.  It was a project that I thought could be accomplished in a weekend and dragged out to a full week.  But, it was so worth it in the end!

The biggest project was relocating Doug’s office to the space in our garage and relocating his tools and outdoor equipment to a shed.  We explored shed options and even though Doug is pretty handy, we didn’t want the stress and the time commitment of building it on our own.  We opted for a pre-made shed from a local company.  Once we got it delivered, Doug then needed to build shelves inside and reorganize the garage. Thankfully, my Dad was able to help with the building and they got it done in one day.  Sorting and moving and reorganizing the garage took a little bit longer, but it felt good to get it done and we are enjoying the additional space!

Doug’s office was the next space to tackle.  Once it was emptied it had to be painted.  We went with Red and gray to set a Keller Williams vibe.  At 38 weeks pregnant, I was out there with Doug painting and getting that room finished.  Oh, and we decided to make my Dad a cornhole set for his birthday, so that project took over our garage for about a week.  And, if you decide to make one set, you might as well make one for yourself, too. Right?

Having the nursery cleared out we had to decide what to do about furniture.  We had finally found a sleep training system that was working for us and D, which was really awesome as we all were getting more sleep.  But, we should have done this sooner than we did.  We also didn’t feel right about taking away D’s crib after he was finally sleeping so well.  Plus, I’ve heard from many people that you want your child contained in a crib as long as they will stay in it.  So, we bought another crib.  I even assembled it myself!  I reorganized D’s room and moved over a bunch of items that he didn’t need in his room anymore.  It is nice that now he has room for more toys, which frees up our living room from a ton of clutter.  Having the nursery set has been a huge relief.  Although, I really liked not having to do this at all last time.

And then there are all of these little projects that you want to accomplish…crafts, decorations, fixing things that haven’t been working, making spaces more functional, moving clutter around.  We have done some serious reorganizing in preparation for this baby to arrive.  I feels so good to cross those things off of our list.  Any it makes us realize that we have so much “stuff” and that we need do this more regularly so it doesn’t become such a long list…easier said than done 🙂

How are you feeling?

Overall, I have felt pretty well this whole pregnancy.  I am certainly more tired as the end approaches.  As I mentioned before, this baby is carrying much lower than D did.  As I approach my due date, I am becoming more miserable.  D was induced a week after my due date.  I wasn’t have any contractions and I wasn’t dilating or effacing.  So, while I was “over it”, physically, it wasn’t bad at all.  This time around I am and it feels awful.  The only plus is that this baby is lower than D so I’m not getting kicked in the ribs at all hours.  But, it is leading to lots of lower back pain.

I am far less annoyed and crabby this time around.  I think I have mentally prepared myself to accept the fact that I will go late and there isn’t much that I can do about it.  Plus, this is extra time to get projects done and enjoy time with Doug and D as a family of three.

Breastfeeding

I had such a hard time getting started with Donovan and I worked so hard to keep with breastfeeding.  I loved the bond it allowed for Donovan and I and I decided to let him wean when he was ready.  Being pregnant wasn’t go to stop or change anything for me.  At some point in November it just become really uncomfortable and I was always annoyed that he needed me all the time.  It was hard for me to end our breastfeeding relationship, but it was nice to finally enjoy a bit of freedom from it.  I am happy to have given him 21 months of milk and to see him become a little more independent.  I hated that it had to be imposed on him instead of him choosing to wean, but breastfeeding a toddler is pretty minimal anyway.  He only got a little milk each time and it was really more for comfort.  We still snuggle all the time and he knows that I’m still there for him.

Does D know what is about to happen?

Donovan notices my belly more but that doesn’t keep him from climbing all over me.  He will put his ear on my belly and say that the baby is sleeping.  Recently, we have been watching Daniel Tiger on PBS and in a few of the more recent episodes Daniel’s mommy has a baby girl.  It was pretty cute talking about it with him and it seems to be the thing that has made the most sense to him.  The following episodes have addressed how life changes with a baby.  We might need to rewatch them later.

Last minute predictions

I still think girl.  Doug still thinks boy.  We are getting so close to finding out!!  It was fun seeing the predictions on the baby bookie.  It looks like the votes are pretty even for boy and girl.

28 weeks
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30 weeks-Merry Christmas!
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37 weeks
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40 weeks- Happy Birthday, Doug!!

With Love,

From Me to You

 

 

May 2015

Good-Bye USF

My last day at USF was May 1st.  It was strange leaving a job that I had only been in for less than a year.  I had no regrets leaving and I was looking forward to my new career in real estate and more time at home with my little man.

I greatly miss my co-worker, Melissa, who taught me how to be an advisor.  How to ask the right questions and know what students really mean by their questions.  She is such a dedicated and hard working woman.  I am thankful that she was there to show me the ropes and keep me from losing it when I was frustrated or down.

I was most happy to say good-by to my breast pump.  Three times a day was getting old, but Donovan wasn’t ready to wean.  I gave up a lot of opportunities to connect with colleagues and friends so that I could pump during my lunch.  I also learned that it is ok, and frankly, good to take breaks during the day.  It helps you refocus and turn your attention back to your work with a fresh mind.  I was so thankful for a job that allowed me the flexibility to pump and that Donovan and I were able to keep our nursing relationship going.

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Rachel arrived home from FSU that same night, so obviously, some Champagne was in order!

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Rachel Turned 21

Cinco de Mayo might be the best date to turn 21.  It certainly is a special day in our lives as it is Rachie’s birthday.  We celebrated at Don Pablos for dinner and toured the Village for Rachel’s first LEGAL night out.  Look out world, all of the Schwartz sisters are legal!  In other news, I am old.  10pm was WAY too late for me to be out.  But, we were happy to celebrate Rachel’s milestone 🙂

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Summer fun!

We enjoyed an awesome beach day with the Motley’s.  We also stepped up our beach game by purchasing a pop-up tent to keep the little ones in the shade.  Also, Donovan likes to eat sand…

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Mother’s Day is one of my new favorite holidays as it is a reminder of how much I love my new role as a mom.  I never knew that I could be so thankful for my little guy or how much he would change me.  I also find myself appreciating my own mother in new ways.  She has taught me more than I will ever know and she has helped me in more ways than I can count.  Being a mom is a tough job and one that doesn’t always get the thanks that it deserves.  But, it is the best and I am thankful  to have the best mom around!

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During the riots in Baltimore, the Rays hosted an extra game with general admission for all.  We got a big group together and enjoyed the Sunday game!  The Rays won!

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Donovan the Toddler

It seems that since Donovan turned one, he has grown and changed so quickly.  He loves practicing animal sounds and he has quite the repertoire already.  He still loves reading books, but now he likes to try to read them to himself.

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He has always loved exploring, but now he is into everything and he cannot be contained.  Every ordinary object is now a new toy yet to be discovered.  And, have I mentioned that he loves to climb on everything?!?

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As much as I see him growing up into a big guy before my eyes, he still needs his Momma.  Especially when he is sick 😦  He is loving the extra time with me at home!

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Adjusting to the new job

It is strange to wake up one day with a whole new schedule and set of priorities.  I no longer turn into a crabby person on Sundays nights as I scramble to get the chores done and the family ready for the new week.  I still have responsibilities and things to do, but now I have time to do them and I’m not up against a stressful and dreaded Monday deadline.

It is nice to drive with Doug to work and to drop off Donovan for only three half days of daycare.  I wasn’t easy learning the ropes of a new job, but Doug is a patient and amazing teacher.  He puts up with my lack of knowledge and encourages me to work on projects that utilize the strengths that I bring to our team.

Working from home is not as easy as it seems.  There are distractions everywhere.  And, mostly, it is the cute little boy who needs me.  I try to be as productive as possible, but sometimes, work has to wait.

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One of the many perks of working with you spouse are lunch dates.  With Donovan at daycare, we can find time to eat and catch up.  We talk about work a lot more than we did before, but we also find time to check-in and support each other.

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Wisconsin

With the new job, comes flexibility.  It is so nice to plan a vacation without needing to check with someone or request time off.  We headed to Wisconsin to visit family and celebrate the wedding of Doug’s cousin.

Donovan had a great time on the plane!

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We spent time with Grandma Kimmy and we really enjoyed the Milwaukee zoo!

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We saw Great-Grandma Irene and Uncle Terry for dinner.

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We arrived at the DeGroot house and Cathy hosted Ed’s birthday and invited Doug’s childhood buddies and their families over for a fun day.  It is fun to see how their children grow!

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We traveled to Antigo, Wisconsin to celebrate the wedding with the DeGroot family.  The wedding was beautiful and the reception was a blast.  Such great time with family!

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We headed back to Milwaukee for a Memorial Day BBQ at Grandma Kimmy’s house.  The weather was perfect!  And, we enjoyed some quality time with Brian and Pip and their sweet children.  We wish we lived closer to them!

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Our trip was a busy one, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world!  It was perfect seeing so many special family and friends and getting to do so much, too!

With Love,

From Me to You

Donovan: Month Eleven

February was all about visitors!  Grandma Kimmy arrived just in time to babysit so Doug and I could go to the Bob Seger concert with my family.  I know you are wondering why we would go to a Bob Seger concert.  Well, each summer the Schwartz family would drive to Illinois to visit family.  Looking back, the summer road trips are some of my favorite family memories.  Sure, it was a really long time in the car and there were some moments on each trip when one, or all, of us would wish we were there already, but the quality time was so unique and special.  To help pass the time, we listened to a lot of music.  The driver usually had final say and there ways really only so much N’Sync that my Dad could tolerate.  Bob Seger was a favorite and the greatest hits cd reminds me of those long hours on the road.  My Dad purchased tickets for my Mom’s birthday and he let the rest of the family tag along.  The concert was great!

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Adam and Kristin had spent their honeymoon in Costa Rica and on their return, they planed a stop in Florida to visit with family.  Kathy decided to come visit us before we traveled south.  The visit was perfect.  Ann and Frank were excellent hosts!  And, both Kathleen and Maggie, their two daughters, were able to come home.  It was so fun seeing Kristin’s growing bump!

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Ann and Kathy had planned a surprised baby shower for Kristin and Adam, so Doug and I were responsible for distracting them.  We took them to Buy Buy Baby to test-drive some strollers and so Kristin and Adam could check out all of the fun baby gear.  I’m pretty sure that every new parent that walks through those doors is overwhelmed by all the stuff lining the walls.  I remember wondering if I really needed any of it.  We did the best we could to not add to the baby stuff mania.   We showed them exactly what we used and what was just fluff.

When we got home, Kristin and Adam were so surprised by the Baby Shower.  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and Ann had some fun games to plan.  My personal favorite was when Frank, Doug and Adam had to put a balloon under their shirts and accomplish a number of tasks while being “pregnant”.  I wish they could actually know how challenging it is to carry around that baby bump, but it was pretty entertaining to watch.  Unfortunately, Doug made me swear to not post any pictures from the relay.

Kristin and Adam are waiting to find out the sex of the baby, so we offered our favorite baby names.  Some of them were better than others.  We can’t wait to hear if any of our suggestions made it to the top of their lists.  We still don’t know what names they have decided on!

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The next morning Doug, Donovan and Kathy took a swim, even though it was still a little chilly.

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We left the next day, but not until we took a bunch of family pictures!!

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On the drive home...the car was parked :)
On the drive home…the car was parked 🙂

Valentine’s day was a busy one.  I had to work in the morning, so my Valentines met me for a walk at Flatwoods Park.  They brought food for a picnic.  The weather was still a little cool, but the sun was warm, which made for a beautiful walk!

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That evening we went with Phil and Amber to check out Top Golf.  Being a non-golfer, I did not expect that I would enjoy the outing.  But, in the end I was really impressed.  It felt really similar to bowling because there was a place to sit when it wasn’t your turn and their were different games that you could play.  I thought that you would just hit the ball as far as you could, like a driving range.  There were these different colored ball pits that indicated different points and you could play different games depending on what your group wanted to do.  Everything was super high-tech and the seating was really nice.  The beer was great, too!  However, I am not any better at golf, nor do I think that I will enjoy golf anytime soon!

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Aunt Joni and Uncle John came down for a two week visit.  It was so nice to see them! They came over to see our house and we enjoyed a nice dinner outside on our awesome new patio set that we found a yard sale.

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February is also the beginning of Strawberry season in Florida.  After an afternoon adventure hike, we found this amazing produce stand that sold the best strawberry shortcake.  After our discovery, we became addicted!  So delicious!

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We celebrated Italian night with the Mitchells and Sweeneys while Aunt Joni and Uncle John were in town.  Michael came down for the second half of their visit and it was so nice to have everyone together!

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Donovan reached a big milestone this month.  After a few steps here and there he started WALKING!

A few random moments:

Donovan loves spaghetti!
Donovan loves spaghetti!
Stella puts up with so much!
Stella puts up with so much!

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Still babywearing!
Still babywearing!

Eleven month Photos:

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With Love,

From Me to You

Donovan: Month Seven

October was a pretty calm month.  We spent most of our time getting settled in our house. It felt nice to finally unpack some boxes that had never been unpacked from our wedding!

Donovan likes to eat his crib...
Donovan likes to eat his crib…
or play with toys...
or play with toys…
We moved him into the bath tub!
We moved him into the bath tub!
We needed the "baby jail"!
We needed the “baby jail”!
So cute :)
So cute 🙂

We had a horrible stomach bug and we had a few lazy days recovering.  Donovan had more sinus issues and we started to get used to handling the sickness.

At the doctor again...
At the doctor again…
My little sick guy.
My little sick guy.

We took an impromptu trip to Tally for the FSU vs. Notre Dame game.  Thankfully FSU won 🙂  And Donovan got to experience the best University ever!

Donovan and Auntie Rach!
Donovan and Auntie Rach!
Family!
Family!
Go Noles!
Go Noles!
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with Gigi!

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Cousin Becky!
Cousin Becky!
That purse looks good on him :)
That purse looks good on him 🙂

We enjoyed lots of time with family and friends!

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Evey Motley’s 1st birthday!

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Donovan meets Natalie and Vinny!
Donovan meets Natalie and Vinny!

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First walk in out neighborhood!
First walk in our neighborhood!

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We cheered on Leah and Becky in the Chicago Marathon!

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We went to a pumpkin patch to get ready for Donovan’s first Halloween!

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Donovan started eating more solids.  He loved avocados 🙂

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And we moved just in time for Donovan to start crawling 🙂

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IMG_5909Seven Month Pictures

He wasn’t feeling too great and he officially boycotted the laying down photo.

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With Love,

From Me to You

Donovan: Month Six

Sickness

One of the cons of daycare, besides the expense (!!!), is the sickness.  Donovan didn’t get sick right away, but around 6 months, he was sick all the time, which made going to work that much harder.  It was horrible knowing that he needed me and I couldn’t be there.  Even if I couldn’t do much except snuggle him.  Luckily, I was able to stay home some days, but nothing makes you feel better when your little one is not feeling well.

As new parents we didn’t know the difference between a high fever and a low one. To us, the world was ending.  We made many extra visits to the pediatrician (who thought we were nuts) and started to learn when to freak out and when to just let it work itself out.

Congestion is the worst for babies.  They just don’t know what to do and it makes nursing even harder!  It make sleeping difficult too.  I guess it is just one of those things that you just have to get through as a parent.

That time Donovan got hand, foot, and mouth..
That time Donovan got hand, foot, and mouth..
And the day he came home with a purple foot :)  It wasn't contagious!
And the day he came home with a purple foot 🙂 It wasn’t contagious!
Donovan loves this little swing!
Donovan loves this little swing!

Anna Maria for Labor day

We got to spend a fun, long weekend out on Anna Maria Island with my family.  My Godparents, who own the Alecasandra (http://www.alecassandravacationrentals.com/), invited us to stay with them on the beach.  We love AMI and time with the family 🙂

Breakfast with the fam at Peaches :)
Breakfast with the fam at Peaches 🙂
The boys went for a morning walk on AMI
The boys went for a morning walk on AMI
Uncle Nick is trying to hide greatness aka FSU!!
Uncle Nick is trying to hide greatness aka FSU!!
Smooches from Aunt Vicki!
Smooches from Aunt Vicki!
Pool time!
Pool time!
GO NOLES!
GO NOLES!
Snuggles with GiGI
Snuggles with GiGI
Auntie L and Donovan
Auntie L and Donovan
Helping Daddy pick his fantasy football team!
Helping Daddy pick his fantasy football team! Wish he brought him more luck 🙂

Meeting Mr. and Mrs. K

One of my most favorite people in the whole world is my former high school English Teacher, Mrs. K.  I have kept in touch with her over the years and we would always have lunch together when I came home for breaks.  She was obviously super excited when we told her that I was pregnant with LBD and even more excited to have us back in Florida.  Mr. and Mrs. K loved meeting our little guy!

Pearls of wisdom from Mr. and Mrs. K!
Pearls of wisdom from Mr. and Mrs. K!

Moving into OUR home!!

This was the biggest news of the month.  We were so ready to out of the rental and in our first home!  My awesome Realtor (http://www.kw.com/kw/agent/flrealestatebydoug) was able to keep our closing on track and we moved on September 8th 🙂

Moving is hard work and so is packing and doing it all with a baby.  Luckily, my family was able to help.  We celebrated with pizza for dinner.

None of our furniture was arriving until the next day, so camped out in the living room and slept on the air mattress, for the last time!  The next day our bed, sofa and refrigerator arrived!

Last dinner in Ruskin!
Last dinner in Ruskin!
My little guy :)
My little guy 🙂
Homeowners :)
Homeowners 🙂
Good-bye rental craziness!
Good-bye rental craziness!
Hello moving!
Hello moving!
Stella loves her back yard!
Stella loves her back yard!
Helping Daddy with his crib...and watching football.
Helping Daddy with his crib…and watching football.
The men installing the garbage disposal.
The men installing the garbage disposal.
Bears and Packers
Bears and Packers
There seems to be a trend with house work and football...
There seems to be a trend with house work and football…
Doug loves to do yard work...or so he says now :)
Doug loves to do yard work…or so he says now 🙂

Ed and Cathy came for a visit right after the move so they could see the new house.  Doug and Ed did some water rerouting project and we enjoyed seeing them 🙂

Donovan and Grandpa Ed!
Donovan and Grandpa Ed!
Nap time!
Nap time!


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My sleepy boys!

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Doug's attempt at babywearing...
Doug’s attempt at babywearing…
6 month check up!
6 month check up!

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6 Month Photos

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Family :)
Family 🙂
So over pictures :)
So over pictures 🙂

With Love,

From Me to You

Donovan: Month Five

Daycare

This was the dreaded month that Donovan started daycare.  Don’t get me wrong, we found a great daycare and they take great care of him, but it is just hard.  Luckily they have a camera that allows me to watch him all day.  That is, when I’m not working 🙂  And I am so thankful that Doug was able to do most of the dropping off.  There is no better way to ruin a day then to drop your child off at daycare.  I would cry the whole way to work.

There are some great things about daycare.  Donovan gets to interact with other children his age and they always send home the sweetest crafts.  And many of the staff members are moms as well.  Many of them love babywearing so I know that he gets lots of snuggles during the day.

Waiting to move

We were SO ready to move…we were done with stairs and the longs drive.  We were ready to unpack our boxes (for good…or at least longer than a year) and get settled in our very own house.

Finding a Routine

This month was a little bit calmer as we started to get into a routine.  I had my morning and evening commutes down to a science, I was getting used to waking up at 5 am, and I knew exactly what I needed to do in the first 15 minutes when I got home so that I wouldn’t be too tired to make my lunch.  Even as life seemed to be getting more regular, I still wondered how other people did this.  As much as I could manage to shower daily and look presentable at each day, I knew that things still needed work.

Working out, for example, used to be a necessity for each day.  Now, I would be lucky to go up and down the stairs a few extra times.  I didn’t want to leave Donovan when I got home and I physically could not get up any earlier.  Also, breastfeeding and sports bras…that’s enough on that topic 🙂  Doug and I took lots of walks along the water and I did a little running with Stella, but nothing consistent.

How do people work, raise their children, breastfeed, workout, make dinner, spend quality time with their partner, and prepare for the next day?  And don’t forget about those house chores, bills, and other projects that we all have to attend to.  As much as I was feeling more confident in my parenting, I still felt like I would never be able to balance it all.  I had to remind myself that it would take time and that I was being way too hard on myself.

In the midst of survival mode, I had to remember to savor every moment of every day with my little guy.  Everyone constantly reminds you (as if you could forget) that time would fly by so fast.  And, yet I found myself caught in between the hope that I could get through it all and the desire to to slow down the moments with Donovan. In those moments of feeling less than perfect, I had to remind myself that there was nothing greater than being a mom and that my little guy made it all worth it.

Tummy time while Daddy does push ups!
Tummy time while Daddy does push ups!
Donovan meets Dylan!
Donovan meets Dylan!
Ready for football!
Ready for football!
The chaos of our tiny rental...
The chaos of our tiny rental…
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Shopping for furniture.
Lunch with GiGi and Grand-dad!
Lunch with GiGi and Grand-dad!

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Donovan meets Becky!
Donovan meets Becky!

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Sleepy guy in the Solly Wrap!
Sleepy guy in the Solly Wrap!
Happy First Birthday, Drew!
Happy First Birthday, Drew!
Happy third Birthday, Stella!!
Happy third Birthday, Stella!!

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Somebody doesn't want to sleep...
Somebody doesn’t want to sleep…
I love to smooch those cheeks!
I love to smooch those cheeks!
A future Van-go :)
A future Van-go 🙂

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Five Month Photos

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Family :)
Family 🙂

With Love,

From Me to You

Donovan: Month Four

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.

The Move

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.

Getting ready to leave.
Getting ready to leave.

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.

Ready to hit the road!
Ready to hit the road!
Pumping on the road...I wasn't driving :)
Pumping on the road…I wasn’t driving 🙂
Back in Florida!
Back in Florida!

Ruskin

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.

Donovan and Evey met for the first time.
Donovan and Evey met for the first time.
Happy 4th of July!
Happy 4th of July!

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!

Chipotle is good for house hunting.
Chipotle is good for house hunting.
Panera too!
Panera too!
Offer accepted = time for Champagne!
Offer accepted = time for Champagne!

The Tears

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!

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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

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The Timeshare

Sloan and Donovan meet!
Sloan and Donovan meet!

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Four month photos

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With Love,

From Me to You