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Mar. 20th, 2017

An Incredible Ordinary Life

It has (literally) been years since I've blogged. I don't really remember why I stopped.

So. What's happened in the past few years? My one year old became a three year old. He's tenacious and wonderful, except when he's not. I had a daughter - who is fastly approaching her first birthday and who, just by being here, has taught me to slow down a bit and has provided the reminder that sleep is overrated. I'm two years into my agency job in home state and (mostly) liking it, but also fearful of what the new administration may do. Being an environmental and renewable energy professional is sort of an uneasy spot these days. (And yes, as a middle class white person, I fully realize just how trivial many of my concerns are by comparison).

What else? I've gotten closer to my mom. I'm about to celebrate ten (!!!) years of marriage. I've lost some friendships and gained new ones. I'm (sort of) growing up. But still feel about 12 most days. Adulthood is a mixed bag. But, overall, I'm really really happy and really really grateful. I definitely have struggled with postpartum anxiety after both of my pregnancies, so it's often hard to just *be* and really truly absorb just how much good there is in life rather than constantly fear losing it, but I'm trying.

I can't decide whether I'll post more or not. I LOVE the time capsule element of the blog, but also want to retain some privacy for my kids. Not sure what to do on that one. Maybe take a lot of artsy photos where you can't see what they really look like? Ha.

Anyway, just a rambling post to the 3 people still reading this thing.

I'll leave with a quick lesson for today (and my life!). An old friend of mine used to tell me her goal for her children was that they would grow up to be happy. Not that they would change the world - or do anything particularly amazing - just that they would find happiness. I think of that sentiment all the time as I am raising two little people.

When I was growing up, I felt a lot of pressure (mostly self inflicted) to make a real difference in the world. To effect change. To make sure my career would enable me to leave the world a better place. I sort of fell hook line and sinker and pursued a law degree without much thought. I was going to save the world!

Needless to say, normal days spent in a windowless office typing memos hasn't always felt awe inspiring.

When I was reading blogs this weekend, I came across this passage from "The Parents Tao Te Ching":

Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself."

How great is that. Words for my kids. And words for me.

TTFN, friends.

Nov. 20th, 2014

a one year old

a couple months ago something crazy happened.

my favorite mini person turned ONE.

being a mom is the best thing i have ever done with my life.

and this last year? it was the shortest and longest year of my life all at once.

needless to say ... it was important to me that we celebrate the big birthday.

it was especially important since we were back in home state. and my dad flew in from out of state and got to meet his grandchild for the first time. it was pretty special.

i also may or may not have gone a little bit crazy with pinterest projects to make it "pinterest perfect" (i should have known better!). i can't say that i will ever put this much effort into another party (ha! fitting that the most elaborate party is the one that he is the least likely to remember!) but it turned out exactly like i wanted it to. it was a great "woodland-themed" first birthday. and hopefully one day he'll see pictures and have a glimpse of just how adored he really is.
spread

(loved the bug birthday ideas on this blog)
bug dip

(found the hedgehog idea here)
hedgehogs

(i made that "G"! and the wormy peanut butter apples were inspired from this)
worm apples

(adorable smash cake and cupcakes from thisbakery)
cake

cupcakes

(i put up birdhouses for kids to decorate as favors)
birdhouses

(i masochistically made my own balloon wreath and consequently lost feeling in my thumbs for 24 hours)
balloon wreath

(bought the banner and matching paper products here, and set up a make-shift photo booth using these)
smash

i have never felt so happy. i have never been so vulnerable. i have never felt as exhausted. but also never felt so alive. when i look at my child, i feel like i finally understand what the point of all of this is. i may or may not have made a 10-minute slideshow of his first year and cried listening to this:

and although i will save the super cheesy stuff for his one-day-it-will-be-made baby book, i will say this: LB, you bring out the absolute best in me and are the best part of every day.
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home state residents

almost.

i have yet to brave the dmv and make it official. lately i have been hoarding my time off and refusing to do anything but fun-filled things. this, of course, has led to a house that is still packed to the brim with boxes and an ever-growing to-do list. thus, in addition to the cliche need-to-get-in-shape-and-be-less-of-a-jerk resolutions, this year i shall also be vowing to get the ol' adult responsibility thing going, too.

to be fair, there has still been a lot going on. the move was a bit of a disaster. despite the monstrous truck that we rented, we still couldn't fit everything and ended up leaving our elliptical. even though rationally i know that we used that machine for maybe a total of 5 hours, it still felt wasteful. that thing was expensive after all. i desperately posted it to craigslist as a last-ditch effort to recoup funds, but didn't have any bites in the 48 window i had idiotically allotted. sigh.

the bright side is that we managed to make it to the airport on time. with SIX full suitcases, a baby, a carseat, a stroller, and some carry-ons. (thank you, uber xl!)

my mom also managed to get herself, the cat, and the dog safely back to home state via ridiculously long road trip.

needless to say, by the time we arrived back at the house we had recently purchased (!!!) we were all a little too tired to care about much. both sides of the move had problems (damaged furniture, recalcitrant moving crews, etc) - but we made it. in fact, we recently moved in all of the stuff from my mom's storage unit, too. can you believe it? for the first time in SIX YEARS, we are not paying for a storage unit. hallelujah.

so now we "just" have to figure out the logistics of this new house of ours. i have already had what can only be called a pinterest fail wherein i stupidly believed the world of DIY bloggers and attempted to stain my oak-colored banister a nice espresso color. ended up with a blotchy mess (even after spending 3 solid days sanding and ending up with blisters on every. single. finger).

banister


we are planning on painting it now. fun! this, and a series of other maybe-pinterest-fails-but-hopefully-fun-experiences will most assuredly be happening over the next few months. but in the meantime? we just get to be.

Aug. 16th, 2014

moving, apparently, is stressful

according to this website, moving is the 3rd most stressful thing in life. granted, #1 and #2 (death of a loved one and divorce) are much more intense (to say the least), but i was sort of shocked to see that moving really is that stressful.

the census bureau claims that, after turning 18, the average person moves 9.1 times in their lifetime. this marks move number 17 for me since 18. already. what is wrong with me?

i remember when i decided go to law school, my friends correctly pointed out that i had not, in fact, loved school. kind of hated high school. disliked undergrad (both schools). and yet, i couldn't get enough education. in my darkest moments, i even fantasize about getting more education - but am quickly brought back to reality after taking a quick look at my loan balances. so maybe moving is the same thing? it hurts so good?

all i know is that we decided to do this a little differently this time. no one felt like driving a uhaul across the country, so we signed up with abf this time around. and this bad boy was just dropped off in our front yard:

giant truck


such a blessing and a curse to have so many things.

such a blessing and a curse to orchestrate a move back to home state with an almost one-year-old.

such a blessing and a curse to be so sarcastic and sleep-deprived that i alternate between maniacally crying and laughing.

moving gods, be with us.

Aug. 10th, 2014

bucket listing

DH and i recently got the wonderful and stressful news that we will finally be going back to home state because i got a job at another federal agency! my mood about it as been fluctuating about every 15 minutes because i cannot wrap my head around the fact that, after NINE years away, we actually get to go home. i have a slight fear that i have been romanticizing home state the way people romanticize old relationships. was it really that amazing? or is it just that i've selectively blocked out everything that wasn't so great? i suppose time will tell. the one thing that is devoid of doubt is that both DH and i will get to be back with (most of) our families. and that, of course, is invaluable. knowing that i can watch LB form relationships with so many people in person is still such a crazy concept that i can barely imagine it. but we will be there soon. as in, two weeks soon.

foot in mouth


at the moment, however, i am sitting in my bedroom staring at the mass amounts of crap valuable possessions that we have. as someone that has moved nine times in the last eight years (2x across the country!), i am familiar with how this goes. and man oh man, i wish i could just click my heels and wake up when the process is over. it seems like the logistics of the move can kill even the best of what's to come (namely, being in home state and having bought a house there that we might actually stay in more than 12 months?). but we will forge ahead. in terms of blogging, i am half considering starting a "do it yourself" portion on here to chronicle what i am sure are going to be some hilarious and frustrating attempts at making the new house beautiful. we shall see. i think i still have hopes of becoming a "lifestyle blogger" and living off the fruit of viewer clicks...

anyway, before any of that can get going, i suddenly realized that we have to "finish" this stage of life. and that is why DH and i agreed to a truncated bucket list of things we must do prior to leaving the DC area. here's what we've been up to:

we went to virginia beach, va and stayed here. cute little place a couple blocks from the beach. as pale vampire-esque people, DH and i rarely elect to willingly take on a beach vacation, but a friend from law school happened to be there and we agreed to go to prematurely celebrate her upcoming 30th birthday.

30!


while we were there, LB and i swam in a rooftop saltwater pool and ventured to the ocean (it was LB's first time!).

beachy


we wore insane amounts of sunblock the whole time, but we have plenty of photos that prove that you can enjoy the vacation life even with a hat on.

family


LB and i have also been doing some brunching. he's generally a really good date so long as the stream of food never stops and we've gotten to go to cool (albeit suburban) places like matchbox, mon ami gabi, paladar, and comet ping pong.

danielle

babies


we also ventured to the hangars associated with the National Air & Space Museum. DH geeked out about seeing the discovery space shuttle (amongst other things)

dudes


it was really sweet to hear him explain the wonders of the world to LB (who was more interested in devouring a foam model of a space shuttle that we begrudgingly paid $6 for after he ripped off a chunk with his front teeth in the gift shop).

planes


my mom and i also took LB to national harbor to visit the children's museum. although it wasn't as nice as its counterpart in home state, it was neat to have a space that LB could enjoy. and a trip to the nearby outlets on the way back home made the whole day a success.

butterfly

museum


as the days tick on and the amount of constructive packing procrastination is at an all time high, we also managed to venture out to take a tour of the kennedy center and ate at the infamous mitsitam cafe in the national museum of the american indian.

indian


we barely squeezed in a peek at the building museum and scored a surprise view of the the national law enforcement officers memorial nearby. our family lost a great man when i was a little kid and it was pretty moving to see his name amidst other fallen heroes.

mem1

mem2


admittedly, despite the mass amounts of last minute sightseeing, it's been kind of overwhelming to think about the fact that, in 2 weeks, DH and i will own a home in our home state and be in the process of settling down. part of me is sad that the adventure might be on hold. that we might actually be stable for a bit. but stability has its own set of advantages, and i think we will be quite happy with our new normal. not to mention that we'll be back to visit my sister and soon-to-be-brother-in-law a fair amount, too.

until then, is there a magical amount of sangria that i can safely ingest and still be productive? opinions welcomed.

Jun. 26th, 2014

staycationing for dads

we made it to our staycation destination, annapolis. let me just say that i sort of loathe the word "staycation." it seems pretentious, yet cheap. fun, but boring. something about it irks me the same way the word (and idea) of "gentrification" does. but i digress. because it was fun. and it was WAY more relaxing than any of our more long-distance jaunts post-baby have been. i think it was mostly because we were allowed to be selfish and only concentrate on ourselves. sure, LB was in tow. but we just to got hang out. just the 3 of us. in a place that felt so different from dc (ha! or rather the suburbs of dc) that it might as well have been far away. the fact that it took us a solid 2 hours to pack for aforementioned OVERNIGHT trip added to the "realness" of it all, too.

anyway, i ended up getting a nice online deal for the o'callaghan hotel. because i was feeling schmancy, i used the money we saved to upgrade us to a suite. i have shamefully started reading mom blogs and everyone i "talked to" said that, when traveling with young kids, a suite is a must. this allowed LB to have his own room and therefore, in theory, would allow DH and i to stay up and watch tv and drink champagne. turns out, LB decided only losers sleep and he could totally party until midnight with us. the best laid plans...

but the trip (minus the lack of sleep part) was pretty awesome.

we started at a wine festival that included unlimited wine tastings with your admission ticket. i briefly felt like it was a wee bit irresponsible to carry around my child and drink wine, but quickly got over myself when i saw TONS of people doing the same thing. i then realized, however, that maryland wine is about as good as texas wine. so although i was mildly intrigued by the "pineapple sauvignon blanc" and the chilled "watermelon cherry merlot," i soon realized that age, combined with having family in the napa valley area, has made me into a bit of a wine snob. so i bought $5 sangria (something that's supposed to taste fruity) and called it good. we also bought a nice candle made in a refurbished bottle that used to house our favorite champagne, and got a signed copy of this book.

sangria


we went and explored downtown annapolis, which was really nice. i consistently refuse to make the drive to "real" chesapeake bay towns, so this was a nice compromise. we got to see the water and the rich people's boats. we got to eat amazing ice cream and peruse a million (or ten) navy-themed gift shops. we scored a nice "goose" onsie to go with DH's "top dad" shirt. i considered that a pretty solid win.

mommy

town1town2


of course, because it's me, and i enjoy mercilessly dressing up my dog and child i snapped a quick pic of LB in an ever-so-maryland crab hat.

crab


we had a nice anniversary dinner at a place that i never thought i would celebrate at (visualize a beachy version of chilis alongside a store that only sold boat shoes) and had the perfect meal with my family. followed up by the largest cones of ice cream i have ever seen (i had vanilla nutella and DH got peanut butter oreo - OMG).

on our way out of town, we stopped at sandy point park so that we could hang out at a bay beach. it was overcast, but still fun. LB managed to get sand in unmentionable places, but seemed to enjoy himself nonetheless.

beach


we also travelled down davidsonville road (!!!)

sign


and ended up picking up strawberries that basically started rotting on the way home, but i decided maybe that was a good thing because it meant that there were ZERO pesticides/preservatives. an especially refreshing tidbit after watching LB devour a couple of them...

berries


it was fun to be together. on our nearby overnight stay. (so there, "staycation!")

last weekend was DH's first father's day. we had a low-key day and went to brunch at birch and barley in the city. i sort of cringed as i watched other moms use clorox wipes to sanitize high chairs and tables as my child used our unsanitized table as a teether, but ce la vie. DH is a great dad. and it was nice to have a designated day to tell him how incredible i think he truly is. LB is a lucky little guy and it is quite evident that he already has a grown man wrapped tightly (and so sweetly) around his little finger.

dad1dad2

dad3


this week we are off to home state to catch up with family. i am co-hosting a bridal shower for my sister-in-law and am SO looking forward to some rest and relaxation fun.

Jun. 4th, 2014

baby's day

lots of happenings. most of them are still necessarily secret. so, much like the super-obnoxious people that say stuff like, "ohmigod! i have this great story that i can't tell you!", here we are. full of vague. but, lest i completely forget everything that has been going on...a nice little update is in store. i've come to the realization that i think only about 5 people, 2 of which are not family, still read this blog. at first i was debating getting rid of the blog entirely because i used to obsess over who was reading this and whether i was gaining popularity. but when i graduated law school, readership took a plunge. this, coupled with the fact that i only update every couple months (at most), has nearly depleted all of the small following i had acquired. but, after some overly emo and sort of annoying soul searching, i decided that having the blog might just be good for me. because i like the time capsule aspect of it. so...yeah. while i will do my best to incorporate some wit here and there, i readily admit that this has become more for me than anyone else. and there is something utterly refreshing about that.

DH and i have been having a wonderful time with little buddy (a nickname that has taken over to the point that we now lovingly refer to him as "LB"). he started crawling a couple weeks ago (!!!) and, even though we have ZERO childproofing done, it was such a pride-filled moment. he's so kick ass. he is also pretty awesome at feeding himself and can sit unassisted for very. long. periods. he still refuses to hold his own bottle (an act of laziness more than competence, i'm sure), but i kind of love it because it allows me to be in denial still think of him as a baby. he got his first tooth about a month ago and it is razor sharp and adorable. DH thinks he looks like a toothless hobo. but, if that's true, he is undeniably the best looking hobo i have ever had the pleasure of meeting. i think the solid 8 months of telling him how adorable he is has started to make him a big ham. he flirts with everyone and giggles after he does something naughty. he loves the swings and is obsessed with textured balls (and yes, saying that conjures up several good "that's what she said" jokes). he's about ready to graduate to his enormous carseat. he's becoming this little person. i love him so much it hurts. i read on another blog that having a baby is like raising your best friend. and it kind of is. i'm so grateful to him for making me a mother. all of my tomorrows are more exciting because i know i get to share them with him.

in march, DH and i did a couple's cooking class as a belated valentine's day celebration.

cooking


in april, we went to our first super cliche yuppy gymboree class with moms that don't work, and their nannies. LB was pretty into it. we tried my gym about a month later and LB was having none of it. the side-by-side:

gymballs


we got some professional photos taken of LB to celebrate his half birthday. he was legit the cutest 6-month old i have ever seen. and yes, i know every mom says that.

family


DH's mom came to town and we got to take LB to the national (and therefore FREE) zoo for the first time. i can't say that he really cared one way or the other (the only thing he perked up for were the small bites of frozen yogurt that we shared afterward on the way home), but it was nice to experience it all together.

gma
gorilla
tulips


around that time we also celebrated a first easter, first time in a high chair (?!) and first ride in the grocery cart (?!). (he started off with a definite tilt, but giving him a bell pepper to gnaw on at the store seemed to straighten him out a bit.)

easter


my first mother's day was pretty great. surreal, but great. i got my first obligatory (but only because my husband is awesome!) breakfast in bed - and got a few dozen open-mouthed slobbery kisses from LB.

mom day


after that, we headed off to LB's first swim lesson. i learned (fairly quickly) that he literally has no fear and had no problem trying to catapult himself off of me into the water. he is thisclose to being michael phelps. (with such an obvious talent, i see no point in investing in a 529.)

phelps


(note: one-way mirrors do not a good picture make.)

i think something that really shocked me about the swim experience was that it got me to put on a bathing suit. aside from our trip to greece (where we spent a lot of time on desolate beaches), i haven't wore a swimsuit in years. i haven't been in a pool since before our car crash in 2005. the scar on my leg has kept me from wanting to be in the water. well, that and all the other female body BS that we all seem to lug around. but when it involved something my child might want to do, i got over myself. for 45 minutes. and, to me, it was sort of huge.

huge enough, in fact, that i didn't notice at first when a toddler in the class dropped a deuce in the pool. conjuring up the infamous scene in caddyshack where the candy bar floats on the water, it was kind of hysterical to watch everyone scramble out of the pool. especially because i was momentarily oblivious and blowing water bubbles at LB which involved having my mouth partially submerged in poop water. that was a nice moment. and suddenly that scar i worried about? wasn't as insurmountable.



DH rounded out the day by cooking an incredible dinner, giving some incredibly thoughtful gifts, and taking me to a movie. it was so nice. i'm part of the mom club. pretty wonderful.

to celebrate my mom, i took a day off work and we went to ladew gardens, one of north america's best topiary gardens. it was so gorgeous. i have never seen a place quite like it before, and it was cool to see LB react to it all. the array of sounds and textures seemed to excite him. he also seemed to really like trees, which, as a self-admitted tree hugger, i appreciated.

tree
flower


last weekend we decided to start a tradition with LB and participate in "Walk Like MADD," which is a race put on MADD to end drunk driving. we participated for a couple years after the crash when we were living in Texas, but hadn't gone in quite a few years. it felt really good to get out and remember how much we have to be grateful for. the fact that our tale is one of survival is such a blessed and fortunate thing. i hope we keep up the tradition and continue to pay back an organization that did so much for us when we were recovering.

MADD


the following weekend we went to harper's ferry, west virginia. it was a pretty neat place. although i admittedly have very little interest in history (i know, i KNOW), i enjoyed the view from jefferson rock (thomas jefferson claimed that the view from the rock was worth a voyage across the atlantic!) and was very excited to cross THREE states in the span of less than 5 miles. the east coast is nuts.

jeff rock


we are set to go on a little staycation this weekend to celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary. i think we got all of the itchiness out of the way, so we're ready to coast on through the next seven years. wish us luck.

IDO

Apr. 27th, 2014

so yeah.

time to face the truth - i'm not going to be updating regularly. despite my best efforts, it's becoming less and less realistic.

so, i will blog occasionally. when the little one is sleeping, i don't have extra work in front of me, and DH is occupied watching a tv show i can't stand or (more likely) engrossed with sports. (quick tangent, but i'm fascinated by people that seem to like every. single. sport. i don't even like the "good ones" all that much. i only like football because of tom brady and i only like hockey if there are big fights. but DH? he watches soccer. on purpose. shoot me. the only appeal that has for me is if/when little one decides to play. and that is 99% because of the adorable outfits and pint-sized players.)

so yeah.

anyway.

lots of cool things. some pretty s****y things. neither of which i can write about because this blog is not anonymous. at all.

so i shall digress into mom bloggeryhood, instead.

ladies and gentlemen, we have a SEVEN month old.

though i can't wrap my brain around that (probably because my brain has atrophied due to massive amounts of sleep deprivation), i have, despite my best efforts, become the very mom that i used to mock pre-baby. i have legit heard myself reciting the ABCs in a high-pitched falsetto in the middle of public places and have more-than-once casually brushed snot/poop/spit-up on my jeans without flinching. i find myself saying (in a non-sarcastic tone) that i have the. cutest. baby. in. the. world. and yesterday, when we got our first taste of separation anxiety and he cried when i left the house, my heart broke in half.

the past couple months have had their highs and lows. lows where i smacked his head into a light fixture and watched helplessly (right beside DH) as he casually rolled off the bed. also dealing with some dog-and-baby personnel issues that are going to require some dog-whisperer-like behaviorist advice. so...wish us luck.

but, as is true in life, for every perceived "down" there is almost certainly an "up."
this little guy, who used to be a tiny 8-pounder who couldn't make eye contact or hold his head up has suddenly become a little person with a larger-than-life personality. he is incredibly ticklish and laughs maniacally when i squeeze his side or blow on his neck. he loves that his crib mobile has a built-in light show and hates, with the fire of a thousand suns, being left alone is his playpen. he is thisclose to learning how to crawl (he gets up on all fours and just rocks back and forth vigorously in his cosleeper - so hard it shakes our bed, too!) and has now been putting together (what i perceive to be) full sentences of straight gibberish. it's wonderful. he snores in his sleep and prefers to fall into dreamland holding my hands. (i close my eyes and try to commit it all to memory so that when he's 16 and can't stand his mama, i can remember when it was us against the world.)

it's cliche, but so true - he changed everything in my life...for the better.

as is evident from my sporadic blog posts, i think it's fair to say that i have been battling with a bit of postpartum anxiety. not necessarily prescription worthy (jury is still out) - but it took me awhile to realize that just because i am not textbook "depressed" does not mean that everything is coming up roses, either. it's hard for me to stay present and not worry every waking minute. but even that seems to be getting better with time. i feel like i'm in a really good place. and maybe the ticket to sustaining that is to focus on the good stuff a lot. so, if wittiness has to be on the back burner for a bit, so be it.

obligatory photos in the next post. (well, at least in theory.)
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Apr. 4th, 2014

knowing yourself

i have been in a bit of a blogging funk lately.

probably because i generally get only 4 hours at a time of uninterrupted sleep (somehow my six-month-old didn't get the memo that, by now, he should be magically sleeping for 12 hours solid per night) and am over being on the computer by the time i get home from work. i can't quite decide whether it's the lack of sleep that's causing me to feel so out of it (bets are all on "yes"), but everything has just seemed harder lately.[n1] i know it's cliche, but i am really struggling with the working mom thing, and wondering how in the world people "balance" everything. in fact, i'm beginning to think the word "balance" is a complete misnomer. striving for balance is like striving to win powerball. i wish you the best, but your odds aren't great. seems like instead perhaps we should all just be striving to do the best that we can. every day is new. every day has new possibilities and our future is completely untouched. this sentiment is helpful when i get teary packing up newborn clothes (hey! you get to be with this little boy for your whole life! and he keeps getting cooler!) as well as with my job (despite evidence to the contrary, this awful case you're working on will, in fact, not last forever!). maybe the possibilities of the future are the very things we need to enjoy the present. i mean, we spend enough time worrying about the bad stuff that could happen, why not spend that time thinking about all of the amazing things that might be in store?

so anyway, after that rambling...

i stumbled upon this blog, which is featuring a 4-week series on embracing self-care. i figured that participating would mean that i would be inspired to update 4 times in 1 month (can't even remember the last time that happened) and i would be inspired to actually check in with myself.

this week's topic is "know thyself." from the blog:

This week we’ll talk about what it means to know your own needs. We’ll dig down deep and ask ourselves what we need as unique individuals. What’s your personality? What makes *you* tick? I’ll explore the question of what self-care would look like for me specifically, and I invite you to do the same.


to get myself started, i took the love language quiz to figure out how i show love and what, at least theoretically, i need to feel loved. unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) i scored almost equally in all 5 categories. (talk about high maintenance!) but, reading through the options, i think my real love language is "quality time."

from the quiz:

In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.


undoubtedly, this has been missing since we welcomed baby g into our family. it has been really hard to have quality time with DH, with g (it seems like we spend a lot of time tending to him, but zombie feeds at 3 am don't necessarily strike me as "quality" time), or (and this is a new realization) with myself.

as a type-A personality (which, incidentally, i'd bet about 99% of lawyers are), i want to have control over everything. but, not shockingly, it's not always possible. rather than give in and "go with the flow" - i fight for control at every corner. i spend so. much. time. worrying about the what-ifs because, in some screwed up way, i think that preparing for the worst will prepare me. this, of course, is ridiculous. i scoured the internet and found this, which i think explains it best (especially for control freaks):

“Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience,” Brown says. “And if you cannot tolerate joy, what you do is you start dress rehearsing tragedy.”


reading this awakened me to a disturbing realization. i avoid quality time because, in some ways, i find it difficult to tolerate joy. reaching new levels of euphoria (i cannot describe how awesome it is to be a mother) brings with it a great weakness. a new level of worry. an "i-don't-think-this-is-quite-PPD-but-who-knows level of anxiety." and i'd rather run a million errands or sleep or stress eat or do just about anything to avoid just relishing in the happiness because what if something happens and i'm never this happy again?

i can't say whether this is common or not - but, as part of my own little self-help project, i'm going to try to get a bit of control (ha! figures, right?). i think it's important for me to realize that i am never going to be the type of woman that can do yoga and meditate to achieve relaxation. my comfort comes from research. from being proactive. from leaning in to who i am rather than fighting against it. for example, after describing my anxiety, my aunt sent me the book loving what is and i am excited to read it. the book focuses on something simple, but (in my mind) revolutionary: “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.”

i will strive to embrace the joy of today and the joyous possibility (rather than the worry) of tomorrow. i will spend the quality time i need to feel restored. i will remember to breathe deeply and hug tightly. to relax without guilt and to love unconditionally. to trust the universe. to trust myself.

[n1] that's what she said?
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Feb. 24th, 2014

the quiet before the quieter

i keep postponing updating the blog.

sort of like g's baby book, i end up getting so overwhelmed about everything i should do that i end up just not doing anything at all. i gave myself some anxiety the other day because i can't remember the exact day that g rolled over for the first time. what if, god forbid, i write the wrong date in his baby book? what would all the other babies say? and, even worse, what about all the other moms??? i know it's ridiculous, but i have been spending WAY too much time perusing the internet and finding moms that, at least in their internet presence, seem to have their proverbial s*** together. they work, go to the gym, breastfeed, have a defined nap schedule for their (often multiple) children, have awesome multi-orgasmic sex, and blog about it all on a regular basis. and i'll just say that, particularly in a sleep-deprived state, it's a lot to compete with. it's hard to go online and not leave feeling, well, inadequate.

i've felt for awhile that facebook and other social media are designed to make us feel like we are perpetually stuck in a contest with the joneses. no one ever signs in to talk about an impending divorce. or how they wish they never went to graduate school. or how their baby has no routine whatsoever. instead, we (myself included) brag (sometimes incessantly) about date nights, vacations, weddings, baby showers, and whatever other cute-and-omg-so-amazing things. and, when my postpartum hormones are running rampant, it's hard to remember that this isn't real life. and, just like the question of whether a tree makes a sound when it falls even if no one is around to hear it, can you really be happy if you're not broadcasting it at every turn?

i worry in general. a lot. sometimes i think i do it as a morbid source of entertainment. the "what if" game, that i most often play to my own detriment, conjures up such horrific images and scenarios that it's hard to think about anything else. this works in my favor (or so i tell myself) when i'm trying to escape the latest monotonous project at work, or when i'm trying desperately to fall asleep next to a snoring husband and a bulldog that has wedged herself in the small of my back. sometimes i just am afraid to be happy. because, if i'm being honest, i've never been this happy before. and it's awesome and terrifying all at once. because once you have something, you might lose it.

and i know, even typing that, that that's a horrible way to live. i can't even count the number of vacations i've ruined because i'm already thinking about saying goodbye before i've said hello. i find it really hard, almost every moment of every day, to stay present. so instead, i seek fulfillment via my phone (of all things) where i can escape into the realities of my 300 closest "friends" online and play endless rounds of candy crush. it allows me to avoid reality and avoid thinking about whether i need to delve further into my own set of new mom issues. and general thirty something year old issues.

so i'm going to try to unplug for a couple weeks. only use my phone to make phone calls. read a book to "escape" rather than virtually spy on every friend of a friend or seek advice in the blogs of perfect strangers. and relish in the fact that i have an amazingly adorable FIVE MONTH OLD (omg!) who thinks my boobs and i are pretty freakin' awesome.

i'm also going to give myself permission to worry. to a point. but then i hope i realize that it's just destructive. god forbid, if anything happened to anyone i care about, the last thing i'd think to myself is, "gee, wish i'd worried more about them!"

we will see if that zen-ness lasts. the irritations at work are temporary. one day i'll be closer to friends and family. one day i'll sleep more than 4 hours consecutively. one day my body will feel like mine again. one day i won't feel like a date night is a missed opportunity to bond with g. one day (hopefully soon!) i'll get our wills done and then will myself (ha! pun intended) to stop thinking about every morbid possibility. one day i'll stop freaking out so much about money and realize what an utter blessing it is to have problems that money can solve. and one day, because i'm only human, i will try to get a few more update posts up on this blog. just because sometimes seeing happiness in print does make it seem more real.

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