The Challenge

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Days 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

Well, I'm a real loser at the daily blogging thing.  But - I'm STILL super grateful. 

Warning: This post may refer to breastfeeding and the associated body parts and/or apparatuses used to facilitate said feeding.

Day 19: Kia
Today was grocery day.  Boy and I ran a few errands after picking up our groceries as well, including a large mirror for the bathroom.  I managed to fit Boy, the stroller, the groceries and the mirror in my beloved 2011 Kia Optima.  We've had the car for over a year now and I've never regretted that car choice for a second. 

Day 20: Naps
Last night was rough.  Boy was up a lot, leaving both of us pretty exhausted today.  This afternoon we snuggled up together on the couch and took a nap together.  It was so warm and relaxing napping together - what a rare treat!

Day 21: My breast pump
I spend about 45 minutes a day tucked away in a small recording room at work to ensure that Boy gets breast milk to eat while I'm away.  I've been doing this three times a day since I came back to work 9 and a half weeks ago (longer then I was on maternity leave - time keeps mooooving!).  I'm still a little shocked sometimes that we've never had to supplement and that he's only had breast milk from the day he was born.  This is something I'm really proud of.  I wouldn't have had a problem, really, if supplementing had been necessary, but I'm glad I've been able to [with the help of my trusty Medela pump] provide for him even when it has been hard.  I remember the first few days back at work and seriously wondering if I'd be able to a) provide enough and b) do this three times a day, every day.  And here I am now, still pumping and sticking to it.

Day 22: My fam
This week is Spring Break at school for the hub.  I took a half day at work so we could finish (ha, right) the bathroom.  After finishing the repair in the drywall and texturing, we had a bit of a wait time.  The weather was approaching 50 degrees, so we put Boy in the stroller and the pups on their leashes and went for a nice, long walk.  It was beautiful and so much fun to be out as a family.  We don't get to do that much since we are really never together during the daylight hours.  I love my fam so much and just love every minute we are together.

Day 23: Pay Day
The 15th (tomorrow) is pay day - and that always rocks.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Days 17 and 18

Okay, okay.  So I'm not fully back into the daily blog swing.  I've got my reasons - but part of this whole guiltless thing would indicate that I don't have to make excuses for myself, so I won't. 
Day 17: Daddy

Thursday, while I was at work, I got a text from the hub containing a photo of Boy smiling big and happy from his play gym.  Such photos have a way of filling my heart to capacity.  I was just struck with such gratitude that Boy has such a great daddy who is able to care for him every day.  That I've got someone who is able to send me pictures throughout the day and make sure I don't miss out on any of the fun stuff going on while I'm working away. 

Day 18: Paint

Today is PAINTING DAY in the bathroom.  After work, Hub and I are going to meet at the hardware store and pick our final paint color.  Then, we're going to go home and get our paint on (well, actually I may paint while Hub works on homework and entertains the boy - but he'll be watching me paint).  If you noticed, the picture of my floor from the last post is rendered relatively ugly by the fact that the greenish wall hue totally clashes with the new, warm brownish hue of the tile (with some blue accents).  I've hated the wall color since we moved in, but we knew we wanted to do an overhaul of the bathroom, so we held off on painting until we repaired the wall and removed the old vanity. 

Paint can just make everything feel different and better - and it's not too much work, either.  Especially for a room as small as our bathroom. 

So, I'm excited to get those walls painted tonight and then put in the vanity and toilet tomorrow and watch our bathroom makeover come to a finish. 

How many people do you know who DIY'd their bathroom makeover with a 4 month old baby?  It's pretty empowering.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Days 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Sooo, it's been a busy past few days.  I have been writing down each day the thing I intended to blog about (so I'm maintaining my attitude/challenge of gratitude!).  I'm going to catch up quickly today and hopefully get back to my daily blogging. 

Day 10: I am thankful for March.
The promise of spring to come. 

Day 11: I am thankful for being a grown up.
Hub and I had a new bed delivered yesterday.  It's kind of life changing what having a real bed can do for a room.  I LOVE it and it makes me feel so much more grown up to have a nice, new bed (considering our previous bed came from Ikea's as-is section for $35 - oh, how our lives [and budget!] have changed).

Day 12: I am thankful for a husband who's willing to join me as we step outside our comfort zone.
We took on the task of remodeling our bathroom this week.  Today we tiled.  Neither of us has ever tiled before or really had any idea what we were doing.  But, a little YouTube and some fearlessness and we have a beautiful floor!

Day 13: I am thankful for little celebrations.
Boy celebrates his 4-month birthday today.  What an exciting day.  I can't believe how fast times seems to pass and I'm so grateful to celebrate each day he's been here.

Day 14I am thankful for Cadbury Easter candy.
Cadbury Mini Eggs make life so creamy and delicious.  And they always remind me of my best friend, because without her, I definitely wouldn't fully appreciate their amazingness.

Day 15I am thankful for time.
I'm a little sad I didn't get to write a full post about this, because I was feeling really contemplative and wanted to talk about how amazing every moment really has the potential to be.  How we can waste so much of the time we are given with negativity or regrets, which just tarnish the moments we are approaching.  But, I'm just trying to catch up here.  So, maybe just those thought nuggets can get your own brain going. 

Day 16 (Today): I am thankful for my upbringing.
I was discussing with my mom the other day the fact that I really have no qualms about my upbringing/childhood.  I have nothing but fond memories of my school days, my home town, my friends, etc... Don't get me wrong, it's not like there isn't anything I'd do differently (namely my crappy job of keeping up with people post-high school), but I look back on those days and really just feel so grateful for it all.  Now that I'm a mom, I really hope I can help Boy to grow up in an environment where he feels loved and encouraged and happy. 

Hope you are all feeling grateful after all that! 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day Nine: No Guilt

I am thankful for: My decree to give up guilt.
Today was a really good day.  A really good day.  We had a work-from-home day due to the blizzard conditions in our northern town.  This meant that Boy, Hub and I were all in the same house for nearly the whole day (the weather had subsided by the time Hub had to go to work).  This meant I got to sneak up and kiss my kid when I went for a yogurt or a soda and I got to feed him instead of pumping every three hours. 

And after Hub went to work, Boy accompanied while I did dishes and sang to him (something that made him smile so big his face must have hurt!). 

Then, after a short nap, we had story time, bath time, and bed time.  It was one of the best evenings I've had with Boy in a couple weeks.  And here's why:The past 2 weeks, I was doing 6am trainings a couple days a week.  The trainings were good and I was happy to do them, but they rendered me super exhausted by the evening hours and I found myself pining for the time when Boy would be ready for bed. 

Thankful Moment: He was also coming down with an ear infection last week, so he wasn't as much his good natured self - so glad he's feeling better.

And, yes, I felt SO guilty for that.  I want to soak up every minute I can of his awesomeness, so to be counting down the time until bedtime made my heart just hurt.  But each day I reminded myself that guilt wasn't allowed and it was okay to be tired.  This got me through.

And then today I got to enjoy the evening without feeling guilty for the days that were hard, without feeling like I missed something by not having every day be like today.  Today was enough.  It was enough to live in the moment and enjoy every second I had - without harboring guilt for any other day that might not have been as great. 

I'm thankful for the constant reminder I have to stop myself from being my own enemy. 

I hope you enjoyed your leap day.

Day Eight: Antibiotics

I am thankful for: Antibiotics

2 years ago (my, my, my - how the time FLIES) just about this time I was sitting in a hospital room after my body had an intense allergic reaction to an antibiotic I had taken.  This was not the first allergic reaction I have had.  Antibiotics and I just don't get along very well. 

This week, however, I am SO grateful for them. 

I was playing with Boy over the weekend when I noted that he really got mad when I laid him on his back.  I couldn't set him down for anything.  Not even to play.  This was unusual.  Later, I noticed that he was tugging and pulling on his ear a lot. 

I had read that this could be a symptom of teething, so we played a little game and I checked his mouth for teeth buds.  None.

Thankful Moment: Teething at 3.5 months - no thank you.

Next up on the list of possible causes: Ear Infection.

So, Monday morning we took boy to the doc's office to have his ears checked.  Sure enough, infected. 

Now it's Wednesday and he is already feeling so much better.  Not perfect, mind you, but much better.  I'm so grateful for modern medicine and that my little tiny man doesn't have to be in pain for very long.

So, I am thankful for antibiotics. 

(I also realize I'm writing this Day 8 post on Day 9.  There will be another post today yet!)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day Seven: Chobani

I am thankful for: Chobani Greek Yogurt

I started a "diet" of sorts today.  I have a big family get-together coming up in April and I'd like to lose a bit of weight before that event.  As a part of that diet, I've planned out my between-meals snacks to keep from getting too hungry.  Given that I'm nursing, it doesn't take much for me to get hungry, so I really wanted my snacks to pack a punch [of protein].

I'm a big yogurt fan.  However, traditional yogurt is a bit high in carbs for my taste (just from added sugars).  Then, there's Greek yogurt - with twice as much protein and typically more natural sweeteners, I'm game. 

I've tried a few brands of the Greek stuff - and some of it is hard to eat.  It's got a bit of a bite.

Well, my local store recently started carrying Chobani brand Greek yogurt, so I decided to spend the extra quarter and give it a try this week. 

Life. Changing.

It's creamy and smooth and sweet and without that bite to it. 

So, I'm happy, full of protein and ready to lose this baby weight and get back to my old self. 

Thankful Moment: I like the mental shift that comes with focusing on healthy eating.  One day in and I already feel better. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day Six: Schnauzer

I am thankful for: my schnauzer

Such is the life of a dog.
I am a creature of routine.  I operate best when my life follows a routine of some sort.  For me, this means that my Saturdays include meal planning and grocery shopping and my Sundays involve church and cooking/food prep for all our meals for the coming week.  Today, church was canceled due to snow, so cooking was the only thing I really had on my "to do" list. 

Thankful Moment: I really enjoy church, but I hate driving when it is actively snowing, so it was nice to not have to worry about trying to drive in the snow with Boy in the car.

Those who know me best can tell you that I'm not the most coordinated.  Also, when I'm cooking on Sundays, I'm typically preparing multiple meals simultaneously; this means there are a lot of ingredients on my counter and going into pans and bowls.  Often, ingredients do not make it 100% into their desired location and they land on my floor. 

Cue: Schnauzer.  Sunday is probably my miniature schanuzer's favorite day of the week.  He sits dutifully by my side for 3-4 hours while I cook and nothing hits the floor without his taking notice and cleaning up said item.  I've yet to drop something he is unwilling to clean up for me. 

This includes, but is not limited to: olives, pasta noodles, ground beef, butternut squash, vodka sauce, mushrooms, and eggplant. 

Without him, my cleanup would be a significantly bigger pain (and let's be honest, the cleanup for 4-5 meals is already a pretty big ordeal). 

So, today, I'm very grateful for my dear little schnauzer who thinks everything is delicious.