reevaluation

the transition to mommyhood has been one that constantly requires me to evaluate my life.

in attempts to be my best version of a mom, wife, friend, employee, & person, it seems that some of my efforts are concentrated in one area which leaves something to be overlooked.

these past two weeks have required me to focus a lot on my career and the responsibilities within it. the work day would leave me feeling exhausted & mentally drained; however, there was still the expectation that i’d transition into the joys and duties of tending to lucy & her development in a 10-minute window of time once the school day ended. during this time, i didn’t give much time to connecting with people in my life or working out or being active outside my standard roles of “mom”, “employee”, or “maid”. Goo.

last weekend left me feeling GREAT–i felt a sense of purpose & accomplishment when reflecting on how i spent my time. nothing tremendous was achieved that weekend [lu advanced to a new car seat–wahoo], but i think–without intention–i created a sense of balance. when reflecting on what exactly happened to create this feeling, i noticed a few similarities between each day: they began early & they involved a morning activity that got me out of the house on my own. as i age, i recognize how much sleeping in is something i don’t enjoy in hindsight simply because i don’t like wasting time [my days of being akin to eeyore are over–kinda]. the morning activities i did aren’t worth detailing. they matter because they got my day going!

i’m gradually identifying myself as a person that enjoys other people. i notice more how much i relish interactions–big & small. part of me wants to cling on to the introverted side that shelters me. it’s a safe zone. i sometimes think i’ll flop and flounder when i mingle with people, but i’ve had more experiences that suggest that’s all in my head.

i think two takeaways are most evident: i do best when there’s a little structure to my day & i need to push myself to engage in more opportunities that get me engaging with other people.

so with this realization, i make these proclamations for myself:

  • i’m going to think about 2-3 activities/tasks i want to involve in my week & determine when they’d be best accomplished. these will become priorities.
  • find time that goes unused. example: when ry comes home after lax practice, there is a 45-minute period i can claim as “workout/physical activity” time. again, this will be a priority.
  • take advantage of meetup–a social network tool that helps you to connect with local people that share similar interests. for too long i’ve lamented about the unlikelihood that i’d meet people in this area where we’ll likely live for sometime. in the past, i’d avoid an idea of this sort like the plague because anxiety would deter me from thinking i would actually have fun doing this. and even though i’ll likely have to wrangle myself away from instantly reverting to this mindset, i’ll try to calm my mind and ease it from traveling in that direction. if i can get past this and train my mind to believe that most things are worth experiencing once, i’ll be a success.

have you ever felt the need to reevaluate & reclaim? what mindsets did you have to shift to feel reconnected & revitalized?

 

 

give it to lucy–she’ll eat it.

when the decision was made to go straight into solids as lu approached 6 months [I encourage interested parents of infants to consider reading Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods–and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater], two benefits were immediately apparent.

  • $$: extra products were not needed to prepare lucy’s food nor did we have to buy jarred food. because of this, we were able to minimize costs incredibly.
  • time: when we began solids, mealtime for lu usually meant washing broccoli or cutting a piece of fruit into finger-sized portions. starting around 9 months, lucy began eating what we ate for dinner. even now when she doesn’t share our meal, she’s usually content with beans, avocado, or eggs–all of which are simple to make.

One of our first attempts with introducing solid food @ 4.5 months

lucy immediately was content being in control of her food intake [you may have heard about her need to be independent & i suppose her early exposure to it via baby-led weaning may have something to do with it]. as we put different veggies & fruits on her tray–bananas, apples, broccoli, avocado, green beans, cucumbers–she became enamored with knowing she could manipulate her food.  at first, it was purely experimental for her; she would touch the food, put the food in her mouth, and suck on it, but that was it.
now that we’ve been feeding lucy like this for over nine months, we’ve seen other perks with this decision.
  • hand-eye coordination: we rarely relied on utensils to help lucy get her food, so she was consistently working on handling her food.
  • openness to new foods: with new textures and tastes being introduced often, lucy embraced the opportunity to try new food. for awhile, it seemed like her preferences were akin to those of a garbage disposal, yet recently she is exhibiting some pickiness.
  • convenience: i eluded to this earlier. feeding time wasn’t burdensome. if we were out to eat, we knew we’d likely share our meal, so we kept lucy’s digestive needs in mind. even packing her meals during the week is quite simple.

lu taking a leap & sampling a red onion during our trip to maine @ 7 months

squealing delightfully/demanding more

baby-led weaning is an ideal way to transition into solids, especially if you’re a freak about ingredients and quality like me. lucy’s diet is probably more balanced than my own, largely consisting of fruits and vegetables. baby-led weaning does not mean giving your baby anything to eat–the sodium content of a dish must be evaluated and there are particular foods that should be avoided until a certain age. although both require knowledge, educating yourself is fairly easy and soon, everything becomes habitual.

blueberry baby, currently @ 15 months

if there’s one very small downside, it’s this: eating has a social appeal for lucy. that being said: if you’re eating, expect her to want some. this forces us to be mindful of what we’re eating, but it has also forced us to sneak snacks when lucy turns away or feign ignorance as she asks for more because she notices our mouths are too full to speak.

i didn’t imagine that feeding lucy solids would ever be something i’d identify as fun, but it really has been, plus, there’s something that is super charming about a 9 month old enthusiastically requesting more chana masala & guacamole.

herro!

hi, everyone. let’s not get too ahead by tagging this blog post as my “comeback”; i didn’t really leave.

i grappled with the direction of this blog & overdosed on over-thinking. i think blogging is pretty cool. it seems like blogs often fit into categories like health, home improvement, food, or life as a stay-at-home-mom. my blog had an identity crisis–‘who am i?’ it wondered, followed by ‘how do i stay relevant?’

well, cheeks of rose and tiny toes fans, turns out the blog was silly for having such thoughts because it soon determined that its appeal is its originality. it is what it is: reflections on motherhood, random lulu details, & anything else it fancies [mostly reserving itself for the first two].

“reflections on motherhood” is the first direction we’ll travel in this post. as you know, over 9 months have passed since we last checked in. first reflection: what would i do without lulu? it is unfair to compare this current life to a life  i will never live, but dare i say that life would lack its sparkle if not for lu? maybe. no doubt that moments have come where i casually reminisce about the freedom to attend happy hour or going to the gym without feeling exhausted or shopping without too much remorse [i’m sure that last one really gets those closest to me laughing because i still partake in the routine of going to a store, seeing something that i really like & can justify why it should be mine, then agonizing over how i don’t need it & that i should save money, so i put it back. maybe i felt this less before i had childcare expenses added to my budget?]

one struggle for me has been adapting to a new sense of flexibility. this is really humorous to me now, but i once thought i epitomized adaptability. “oh, we’re going to drink margaritas instead of red wine? that’s ok by me!” and today’s version: “BUT I THOUGHT WE COMMITTED TO DRINKING RED WINE.”

a modern-day example: trying to take advantage of the weekend, ry & i plan out the day. we begin it & then, lucy unexpectedly needs to nap. or getting ready takes longer than the allotted 45 minutes because while blow-drying my hair, i must create a make-shift gate [obstacle, really] of toys and books  that prevents lucy from scaling the tub, which means that we now don’t have time to do one item on the grandiose list we created. not only that, but i feel like i didn’t do all that i could with my time. this feeling agitates me, yet i seem to experience this type of frustration almost daily because i perused people.com instead of sleeping–it felt good @ 9:45pm on wednesday, but hurts very badly at 5:30am thursday.

perhaps that is what becomes our biggest obstacle: we don’t fairly recognize or fully account for the limitations of the day. you know? we feel invigorated because the weekend has arrived which prompts us to ambitiously project our desired outcomes for the day. being honest, it is an accomplishment to do a load of laundry, fold it, & put it away. there’s so much we usually need to tend to in order to maintain the order & cleanliness of our home on the weekend. some can just jump into the weekend & carpe diem until 10pm sunday night. i wish that was me.

if there are unloaded laundry baskets plotted throughout our bedroom [which there normally are], or piles of mail/paper/electronics stacked to resemble the hanoi tower on the dining room table [this is pretty normal, too], or shoes along each step of the staircase waiting to find a home in their respective closets [always], i’m a mess. these conditions send me into a tizzy. all of this means i’m practically ready to breathe into a brown paper bag to control my anxiety that stems from trying to balance what i want to do with what i think needs to be done.

i think i entered new territory yesterday that might be the start of something big. ry had invited a friend over & she arrived before i came home. might this have happened on a “normal” day for me, i would have FREAKED. i would moan to ryan that the house was disorderly with dirty laundry in the bathroom, dog hair littering the floors, & the ever-present hanoi tower resting on the dining room table. all of this was still in play last night, but i didn’t care. company, schmopany–the house “is what it is” [such a relevant mantra nowadays]. i chose to enjoy the moment with our friend instead of frantically re-shleving lucy’s library.

it’s probably best to take on this new approach day-by-day & maybe it’s catching on. you know, i could’ve swept the stairs instead of indulging you & me by writing this post.

She does what she wants like going pantless & "drinking" coffee.