food, travel, lifestyle, and a hearty serving of motherhood

Tag: motherhood

I Will Do Better

Today, I had a moment where I totally lost my patience with Colin.

The day started out like this…

Colin slept until 6:50, which was actually pretty awesome. He “helped” Richard and I make our “tah-chee” (coffee) while simultaneously grabbing everything breakable in sight. Richard left around 7:20, and I felt a pang of jealousy as he walked out the door. I was jealous that he was dressed up for work and heading outside into that perfect cold, crisp morning air that I love so much… and with a hot coffee in-hand, about to enjoy a solid 35 minutes of a podcast or music on his commute. My morning was some kind of blur that began with “don’t throw that car at the kitty” and ended with “do you really need to sit on the coffee table and touch the television while you watch that?” Somewhere in there, my coffee got cold (and nearly spilled 600 times), my clothes were smeared with oatmeal, and the floor was a smattering of spitty Halloween stickers that I had pulled out of Colin’s mouth.

He fell asleep for his nap quickly (win!) aaaaaaaaand woke up about an hour and a half later (which is not spectacular for him). In that hour and a half, I managed to clean up the mess downstairs, take a shower, and relax on the bed for a bit. I hadn’t gotten dressed or tried to start looking like a decent human being for our impending (and super necessary) grocery store run that would take place when he woke from his nap. I usually get a few minutes of “okay, he’s awake, but he’s content” to do that sort of thing.

Not today.

He woke up crying. I sighed, lifted myself off the bed, and began perusing shirts in my closet, trying desperately to determine what would actually fit my now 34-weeks-pregnant belly. The crying got louder and more intense. He was crying so hard that he was making himself gag. I could see him on the monitor – he was fine. Not being strangled by a blanket or stuffed animal. Not sitting in a puddle of pee or vomit. No limbs caught between the bars of the crib. Just tons and tons of crying. I began to move faster. I put on the exact same thing I wore yesterday, threw my wet hair in a bun, took a quick glance of my tired and makeup-less face in the bathroom mirror, and went to go get him.

Walking toward his room, I felt angry. My relaxing day wasn’t going at all like I had planned, and the crying brought back memories of those devastatingly difficult days when Colin was only a few months old. Anxiety washed over me, and I knew that I couldn’t spend what was going to be a LONG afternoon (since he woke up early) with him being this cranky.

I walked in, turned his sound machine off, opened his curtains and blinds, and grabbed a long-sleeved shirt from his closet. Without a word, and without even really looking at him, I reached into his crib, helped him stand up, and changed his shirt. He stopped crying, but was catching his breath. Ugh. Those post-cry gasps. Another anxiety-inducing sound. I quickly carried him downstairs, grabbed keys, my backpack, and shoes for us both. And we left.

It felt all too familiar.

I can’t count the number of times I used “let’s get out of the house as quickly as possible and go for a car ride” to soothe Colin when he was small. It always works – and it gives me a chance to think about absolutely nothing except for the stretch of road in front of me. When he woke up from today’s nap, I immediately needed an escape from the please-don’t-knock-my-coffee-over clingyness and constantly grabbing things out of his mouth. I couldn’t do it today. I woke up with the urge to spend a little bit of time on myself today, and when that didn’t happen, I let it get to me. Without a destination, we drove.

We ended up at the Target in Apex, where Colin was basically an angel. Naturally, I felt guilty. He was even perfect on the drive home. We pulled up in front of our house, and Richard was home. He walked outside to greet us. As I pulled Colin out of his carseat, he noticed Richard and a giant smile appeared on his face. “Dada,” he beamed.

I pass Colin to Richard and grab Colin’s shoes. “He probably wants to go play, since he’s been in the car,” I tell Richard. He sits on the porch steps and puts Colin’s shoes on.

With an armful groceries, I watch as the two of them cross the street to go play on the green in front of our house. I smile watching Colin’s bouncy little toddler steps through the too-tall grass. He falls, picks himself right back up, and keeps walking. And here I am, standing in the street with all of these damn Target bags. My eyes well up with tears.

It’s picture-perfect. But I don’t take a picture. I just watch.

I will be more patient next time. I will smile when I open the door to his room. I will sing songs to him in the car. I will stop at the park on the way home. I will do better.

Motherhood is so hard.

And it is so beautiful.

xo Cassie

We’re Expecting Again!

Whew, what a whirlwind the last few months have been!

Colin celebrated his first birthday — anddddddd I’m expecting again!

Yep, we’re crazy.

I know.

Baby BOY number two is due December 7th and I am overjoyed at the thought of having a snugly newborn in my arms during those cold, but oh-so festive, winter months. Fingers crossed we don’t have another Christmas where everyone gets sick, though. Ugh.

I thought I’d start checking-in on here to share pregnancy updates for those who want to follow along! (This week’s bump photo isn’t a great one, guys. A selfie in the bathroom will have to suffice when I’ve got a toddler to chase around!)

23 Weeks

Weeks: 23

Weight gain: 12-15 lbs so far (though it definitely feels like more…)

What I’m wearing: Comfy tanks, elastic waist shorts (Old Navy!), and sandals! So ready for summertime in NC to end.

Sleep: I’ve been sleeping well, aside from getting up to pee 2-3 times per night. Colin wakes up around 6-6:30am, so obviously I wish he’d sleep a bit later!

Miss anything? I miss having loads of energy, but I’m certainly feeling more energized than I did a month ago. Being pregnant while taking care of a toddler leaves me essentially no downtime. (Yes, Colin is napping right now!)

Baby movement: Haven’t felt those definitive cute hiccups yet, but this little boy is definitely most active first thing in the morning!

Currently craving: Mexican food.

Annoyances and symptoms: Nighttime heartburn and the NC heat/humidity!

Belly button: Still an innie, but I’m convinced it may pop out this time. Weird.

Emotions: I find myself daydreaming of baby’s arrival, but I think what I’m actually craving is fall and winter weather. When I stop and think about our future changing from a family of three to a family of four in a few short months, I do feel pangs of sadness. I’ve heard too many stories of firstborns “growing up overnight” when a new baby arrives. I want Colin to be my little baby forever.

Ginger curls

Best moment in the last week: Spending time with new friends. We have a couple neighborhood friends who are also expecting their second babies, so it’s been really fun to get together and swap worries, laughs, and advice.

Looking forward to: A haircut on Saturday! Hey, when you’re a mom to a toddler, it’s the little things.

Leave a comment if you’d like me to include anything else in these updates! I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you for the second time!

xo Cassie

8 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Having a Baby

Hooray, motherhood! Right?

Let’s get one thing out in the open: there’s a good chance that I’m not saying anything you haven’t heard before. With that in mind, here is a smorgasbord of tips / experiences / lessons / tricks / hacks / musings all related to new-motherhood.

1. Don’t have a birth plan.

Okay, before you get all WELL I’M HAVING A WATER BIRTH IN MY LIVING ROOM SURROUNDED BY LAVENDER DIFFUSERS AND A CIRCLE OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY, let me explain. I’m not saying you shouldn’t at least have a general idea of how / where you’d like to give birth. Do you plan on having a home birth? Great. Cesarean? Awesome. No pain medications? Perfect. However, if this is your first baby, you are likely completely mystified when it comes to labor and delivery. AND THAT IS OKAY. I wanted an unmedicated hospital birth and had a drugged-out-of-my-mind emergency C-section. And you know what, I’m fine with that. When I say “don’t have a birth plan”, what I mean is that I want you to feel okay about whatever happens, because guess what – the most important thing is that you and that little baby are safe and healthy.

2. Utilize the hospital nursery.

For goodness’ sake, DO NOT listen to anyone who says, “Don’t send your baby to the nursery when you’re in the hospital because that is when he needs to bond with you.” Trust me, when you are so physically and emotionally wrecked and exhausted, you need AND FULLY DESERVE the nursery. Those nurses are there to help YOU and BABY. You are not a bad parent for asking a nurse to take your baby for an hour or two so that you can sleep. You are of absolutely no help to your baby if you are not well-rested and alert. In the days after Colin was born, there was a point during which Richard and I were so deliriously tired that we couldn’t keep our eyes open — the nursery service saved us.

3. There will be days where all you want to do is cry.

We all have them. They suck. Do you want to know why we all have them? It’s because when it comes to parenting, no one knows what the fuck they are doing. Everyone pretends. We all make it look like we have our shit together, because that mom over there definitely seems to have her shit together. Ask for help. Friends, neighbors, family members — anyone that you trust. Just know that you will have days where you feel like a failure. You’re not.

*If you are experiencing extreme mood swings, crying spells, insomnia, or feelings of depression or anxiety, ASK FOR HELP. Postpartum Depression is real, but there is a world of help out there.

4. The bathroom will become your sanctuary.

Seriously. Even if you’re just peeing. You are in there, sitting, sans-baby. It’s wonderful. Brushing your teeth? That’s a luxurious self-care experience at this point, mama. If your partner is home with the baby, you’re golden. Just sit in there as long as you want. Bring your phone. Reply to texts, delete junk emails, watch Instagram stories, you name it! Oh, you know how sometimes you put toothpaste on your toothbrush, but the toothbrush flips over and the toothpaste falls onto the edge of the sink? You wipe the glob of toothpaste up with a tissue and throw it away and start over, right? WRONG. New MOM YOU will just use your toothbrush to scoop the toothpaste up and proceed to brushing your teeth. Why? For one, time. You literally don’t have time to start over, because your baby is crying up a storm because you WALKED OUT OF VIEW. Another reason is that you just don’t care anymore. Most days, I only have time to brush my teeth once. Yep, go ahead. Call me disgusting. Just you wait.

5. Your body will never be the same.

When I was pregnant, people told me this. I pretended to understand, but I really didn’t. I planned on working my ass off to get back to my pre-pregnancy self. But now I get it. Thanks to hormones on the fritz, my skin changed (acne, ugh) and my hair is thinner. My breasts (even though I only breastfed for a couple of months) will never be the same, ha. The muscles that I worked sooo hard to have are weak. Getting back in shape is not a walk in the park, my friends. Oh, and did I mention that you’ll likely be too tired to do much working out anyways? While I’m not there yet, I’m making strides. I am just now getting back into running (thank you, cool weather!) and I’m wiped out and in bed by 9pm almost every night.

6. Make mom friends.

And do your very best to stay close with your non-mom friends. You will need them all. You might think you are too good for “mom friends”. Trust me on this one, you need them. And you most certainly need your non-mom friends to keep you sane. There will be days where literally ALL YOU WANT is to have a conversation with another adult about ANYTHING but babies. Let your friends know how much you still need them around.

7. Get used to what your face looks like without makeup.

Because you won’t have the time. Nor will you really care (that’s a plus, I guess). I’m not at all ashamed to say that I started using Proactiv a couple of months ago because my post-baby skin was terrible. I was embarrassed to leave the house without concealer or makeup, but I didn’t have time, so I decided to give Proactiv a whirl and it has been my lifesaver. Really, I’m not getting paid to write about this. It’s worked wonders for me. Also, because I don’t wear makeup every day now, it’s really fun to play around with it when I actually have the time to enjoy it!

8. Don’t let anyone tell you that you take too many photos of your baby.

When I look through photos of Colin that we’ve taken over the last four and a half months, he looks like 5 different babies. That’s how much babies change. You will want to look back at every single little stage that your baby went through. You know why? Because you won’t remember. You will be so tired and drained that you won’t actually truly remember those early weeks. You will want to look at those 1,496 photos to prove to yourself that you did it. You raised and loved and kept alive that sweet and squishy little newborn baby.

So cheers to you, mama.

xo Cassie

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