Leaving The Military: “So, What’s Next?”

For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile have probably noticed that I am in the military. Well, that journey is going to come to an end very soon. And in the

376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"
The day I graduated boot camp.

military, there is a process where you have to go all over the base or everywhere in your command/unit to get signatures – check out. You have to literally check out of the military as if you were checking out of a hotel. And everyone you check out with will ask you this question:

“So, what’s next?”

There’s nothing wrong with asking that but that seems to be the question on everyone’s minds when you’re about to separate from the military. And I would always answer them politely, with the same, rehearsed response:

“I’m going to be a mom. Stay home with the kids. Go back to school in a year to finish my degree once we find out where we are going next (husband is remaining active duty ) and maybe pursue personal training.”

376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"
First time on a ship.

I am pretty sure I have said that about 100 times in the past few days. But is that really what I want? I am writing this post after I had a minor panic attack when I sat in my car, thinking about what IS next? I mean, I know I am going to be a stay-at-home-mom for awhile and I am going to take care of the babies. I am going to sleep in when the kids let me and I am going to color my hair purple. I will have more time to write and to keep the house clean! As for the “real” adulting stuff, I am not sure. And then all the questions started to pour in.

Will I ever get a job that pays as much?

Will I ever get another job with the same amount of benefits?

How will my current job in the military translate to the civilian world?

Am I making a mistake?

After a little bit of speed texting to a good friend of mine (who happens to be a vet) and a lot of ranting, venting and…virtual hyperventilating, I realized,376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"

I don’t know what’s next. And it’s okay that I don’t.

So, even though I am giving the answer mentioned above, to every single person who asks me what I am going to do with my life after the military, I don’t exactly know what I want to do! I have so many passions and interests that maybe it’s time for me to explore those options. I mean, for the first time in five years, I won’t HAVE to set an alarm everyday. I won’t have to wear a uniform or do my hair. I don’t even have to run a brush through it if I don’t want to. I won’t have anyone telling me where to go and what to do and have to “follow orders.” Well, besides the orders that I am taking from the tiny dictators my husband and I have created.
376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"

For the first time in five years, I don’t have a plan. Nothing specific or set in stone. And as much as I LOVE to plan things out and plan my day (insert The Happy Planner) – do you know how freeing that is? I can take my time with things and not feel rushed.

My husband and I got married almost three years ago and ever since then, we have spent our weekends getting the laundry and housework done. Many meals were just quick and easy and not as healthy. We went out to eat (a lot) which we won’t be able to do as much when we’re broke (ha…ha…ha..). And we never got to go anywhere because we were too busy on the weekends just taking care of things in our home!

So, if I am going to sit here and talk about my plans for what’s next, I would have to say:

More weekend adventures with the family
Taking my kids to the park
Reading to my kids
Potty training my son
Doing the laundry throughout the week instead of letting it pile up until the weekend…
and putting it away sooner than three weeks from now.
Making healthier meals for the family
Actually CLEANING my house – not just picking up
Read books
Teach my kids things about life
Laugh with them, hug them, kiss them, and just BE WITH them

I spoke to another friend about my worries and she reminded me of one major thing:

People do this everyday.

She is so right. People DO do this everyday. There are people who never even joined the military and are doing this whole stay at home mom thing and are killin’ it! Everyone finds a way to make things work for them and their families. As much as I am afraid of making a mistake as a mother and a wife, I cannot dwell in it and feed the fears. I just need to embrace it.

One of the best things I ever did with my life was joining the Navy. I learned a lot, lived a lot, and fell in love. I matured and I gained so much more knowledge than I ever thought possible. I met the love of my life and started a beautiful family. I became a strong and more confident woman.

376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"

And guess what? I joined the Navy wanting to do 20 years and retire…but did I KNOW what I was going to do with the rest of my life? With those 20 years? Nope. And I did just fine. Even better than fine.

Sometimes, we just need to remember that not everything is certain. But we can be certain to make an amazing life for ourselves with whatever comes our way.

So, what’s next?
We shall wait and see.

376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"
The last day I would have to leave my kids to go to work. 4/4/17

Navy sponsored cruise to Hawaii. We made it!

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IYAOYAS @jackiemoonn @ayanabxtch @devilish_ways

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376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"

Plan With Me – Valentine’s Day and Date Nights

dsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nights

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Yes, I finally have a post going up on a Tuesday (even though I prefer Mondays) instead of Thursday! Better to have my PWM posts in the beginning of the week and not the end.

Anyway, I was pretty excited about this spread for the week! No washi tape was used this time. Just craft paper and stickers. As I am sure you have noticed over the past few weeks, I am a huge fan of the floral prints. So, I was super excited to use the gorgeous rose craft paper I have in this week’s spread. It was just perfect for all of the pink I was going to use for the week. dsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nights

As for most people who have kids and work (just assuming), we are going out this weekend. Friday to be exact. A friend of ours offered to watch the kids and it’s going to be nice. I put a bottle of wine and a wine glass on there but let’s be honest…we are going to go to the gym together without the kids! That’s the first part of our date! Hey, we take what we can get. We didn’t go on all too many dates after our son was born but now that we have two kids, it’s a little more difficult to get a sitter! Plus, little girl is still on the ta-tas.

We have another birthday party this weekend for a sweet, little one year old and on Valentine’s Day, a close friend of mine is moving to Japan. I am pretty sad about it. Her kids both are 5 weeks older than both of my kids. And we had recently gotten pretty close. This is the Navy life. And I should get used to it. I mean, it’s been almost 5 years already and I have seen friends come and go. But when I am out of the military, it will be interesting to see how I deal with friends leaving. I am wishing my friend and her family the best of luck, safe travels, and who knows…we may see each other again! The Navy isn’t THAT big! 😛

dsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nights

Well, that’s about it for this weekly spread! I am in my second to last week of maternity leave and then I will be headed back to work. There might be more in the planner…or less. Who knows?! But I will take these next few weeks and enjoy them because I know I am going to cry when I go back to work! haha.

dsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nightsdsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nights

DEETS:

Stickers:
OnceMoreWithLove
The Happy Planner
BellaRosePaperCo

dsc_0058_fotor Plan With Me - Valentine's Day and Date Nights

Plan With Me: Jan 30 – Feb 4 and Monthly View

 

On Saturday morning, I was up fairly early with my kids. They both decided that it would be fun to wake up early and keep mommy from getting rest. I was sick and later on during the weekend, they got sick too. Or vice versa. I don’t know who got who sick. But we were all sick. It wasn’t fun! Anyway, my husband was home so I took advantage of some alone time by working in my planner.

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

I texted that exact sentence to one of my planner friends. I sent her a photo of my planner and she loved it. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! haha!

I really don’t mind how my planner turned out but I guess I was just so excited about how the past two weeks turned out that I was hoping this week was going to be pretty amazing as well.

I used (of course), a bunch of the happy planner sticker packs and other easy stickers I already had. I used this little sticker kit from Sunday Palm. I got this kit in a huge pack of stickers I got from someone in Planners Gone Wild. I don’t know if the easy shop exists anymore but if you come across it, let me know!

There really isn’t much to report. Not a lot going on this week. But it’s cute. haha.

Also, those stickers on the left in the pockets of the binder are from one of my FAVORITE shops! OnceMoreWithLove <3 Little Munchkins are the best!

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

I even worked on my monthly view for February. The funny thing about the sticker kit I used…I was able to use it in 4 different places!

My classic happy planner (weekly)
My mini happy planner
My classic fitness planner
AND
My classic happy planner (monthly)

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

Quick announcement:

I am looking into starting a vlog (again) and doing my plan with me’s on there instead!! We shall see how this goes. I’d like to keep my blog going but who knows what will happen. And if you’re reading this…you’re the first to know about it! 😉

img_1699 Plan With Me: Jan 30 - Feb 4 and Monthly View

The Truth About 28

img_8604 The Truth About 28
I posted a photo the other day on my Instagram, about how it felt to be TWENTY EIGHT. I mean, not much has really changed overnight from 27 to 28. I’m still me but at the same time, I’m different. 

✨the truth about 28 – as I see it✨ ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• I'm still in my twenties. I'm still young. Long ago, I used to think 28 (or anything above 25) was old. 12 years ago, I experienced horrible heartache. And last year I experienced loss. This day doesn't always bring amazing memories but it's not always a sad day either. It's a day I get to celebrate each year, the woman I have become. The woman I am going to be. And the woman I once was. Every year, I sit and reflect on these days and today I sit here, so peaceful. Loving every moment of my life that I've been blessed with. I am a wife, a mother to two beautiful babies, I am healthy, I am strong, I am loved, and I am happy. Happy is not a word I used to describe myself in the years past but I can confidently say it now. 28 isn't a year of change or discovery for me. It's a year of passion. There ARE a lot of changes happening in my life this year, but I get to express and explore my passions. And I'm so excited. Bring it on, 28. ____ 👆🏽 Read more in the blog on Friday. Link will be in the bio. 💕 . . . . . #birthday#happybirthday#28thbirthday#lovemylife#embracewomanhood#embracemotherhood#thehappynow#motherhood#motherhoodthroughinstagram#momsofinstagram#momsofinsta#momsoftwo#strongmama#blog#blogger#momblog#momblogger#ageisjustanumber#lifestyleblogger#lblogger#lifesgood#womanhood#empoweredmama#empoweredwoman#empoweringwomen#selflove#fitmom#fitmama#fitmomsinspire#momswholift

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I’m currently stuck in this stage of not quite mid twenties but not yet thirty. What does that even entail these days? As I wrote in my Instagram post, a few years ago, I thought 30 was such a dirty word! It meant I was old! But the thing is, I still have so much life left ahead of me. And the best part about it is: I spent almost 28 years of my life trying to figure out who the heck I was, trying to find the confidence to be ME, and now I get to spend the rest of my life being me! Unapologetically! 

My birthday isn’t something I ever look forward to. It’s another year I’ve been on this earth and another year I’ve gotten to enjoy the blessings in my life. But it wasn’t always like that. It seems that around my birthday, I’ve always dealt with some sort of pain or tragedy – a bad memory in my life. 

  1. Death of a family member
  2. Loss of a pregnancy
  3. Losing another pregnancy
  4. Breakups

One of those things really isn’t that big of a deal now, but it took a long time for me to get past a few of the others. And although I won’t get into the details on this post, I will say that I’ve come out stronger than I was before. 

And 28 as I see it…is a year of a fabulous me. The mommy of two beautiful children, the wife of a handsome and intelligent man, the active duty service member becoming a stay at home mom. It’s a year of experience, a year of learning, and a year of adventure. Adventures in motherhood, stay at home mom life, not earning my own income anymore, and adventures with my family! 

So, no. I am not in my mid twenties or in my thirties. I am not old. I am not young and naive…

But I am everything and everywhere I am supposed to be. That’s the truth about 28, as I see it.

img_8604 The Truth About 28

Plan With Me – Let’s Party!

img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!Okay, I am not really partying this week, but it IS a week of birthdays, including my own!

I am not usually one to celebrate my birthday. I don’t usually like to and I don’t like having expectations. So, somewhere around my 16th or 17th birthday, I stopped caring so much. But somehow, people have made each and every birthday enjoyable and memorable for me. A lot happened when I was younger around my birthday (and even last year) that I kind of just, space out on it.

In the planner world though, I freaking LOVED this spread and it worked well for the birthday week!! So, I took a few photos while I was planning and then the finished product! I will link as many of the tools I used as I can at the end of the post. I realized I should give credit where credit is due!

img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!

I started out with picking out some stickers for the week. I haven’t used any kits lately and I had received a ton of kits awhile back from someone in Planners Gone Wild. She was selling a bunch of her easy stickers and I jumped on the opportunity to get them. Let me tell you, all of these stickers filled an entire 3″ 3-ring binder…okay not entirely because there is still room. But there is a LOT in there! This kit is from Sensibly Cute Planning and I loved the colors and floral theme that was in it. I had to use it. I would’ve never thought to use green with different shades of pink, but it worked out well! And I attempted to find washi to match, I am pretty sure I barely used any washi this week. It turned out great anyway. Sticker kits are fun. I tend to not use the entire thing though. So, I ended up using them in my mini planner!

As you can see, I was pretty excited about all the options that I had available me. I have stickers, washi tape, craft paper, and post-its to match! Anyone who is really into this img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!planning biz, totally understands the beautiful mess that laid before me. And it was time to have some fun!

I cut out a few pieces of craft paper to fit in my squares. I guess that’s one thing I would change about the planner…if I would, I would change the weekends. I don’t like that they are all shaded in with a specific color. My OCD-self feels like I have to match everything to the colors that are already in the week. The blue and yellow is what I had used last week and I wasn’t about to continue that trend. So, I needed to break out a little bit. Even though I don’t like the colors being on there all the time, it IS more fun to have the colors in it as opposed to having a plain black and white planner…even if it’s easier at times.

Once the craft paper was down, I started to add the washi tape. I still haven’t figured out which way is best (tape first then paper or paper first then tape). Either way works fine but sometimes I have to move things around. ANYWAY….

I am realizing now why a lot of people do Plan With Me’s in a Vlog as opposed to blogging. They can kind of ramble and people will still listen. As of blogging, if it’s boring people will stop reading….

DO I STILL HAVE YOUR ATTENTION?

Welcome back. 😉 I really do like to ramble though, so I understand if people stop reading. But, enough about that and let’s get back to the photos and the planning.

I have these little binders from the Target Dollar Spot section and I have filled them with all of The Happy Planner sticker packs from Me and My Big Ideas. I now have 6 binders full and MAMBI just keeps coming out with more sticker packs! Is it weird that I MUST have them all? Any Happy Planner addict understands me with this! And if you’re new to it, just wait, you will be addicted too!

Anyway, I continued to pull stickers from the Mom Life, Productivity, Work It Out, Memory Planning, and I believe the Planner Basics packs. I will link all of these packs below. You can buy them from the MAMBI site if you’re shopping online or you can go to your nearest Michael’s. If you go online on Michael’s to get the sticker packs, it’s going to tell you “in-store only” so, that’s why you’d have to go into the store. It may change in the future but I am not too sure about that.

I was having a lot of fun with the stickers and the sticker kit that I got that I didn’t want to stop. BUT I had to so that I could leave room for the ACTUAL plans! I think the week turned out beautifully and I am pretty happy about it. I think I might be starting to get my creative groove back! YAY!

Here’s the rest of the photos. 🙂 Links for the stickers are below!

img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!

See, I used some of the leftover stickers from the Sensibly Cute Planning sticker pack, in my mini planner. I still had some left over so I added them to my new binder for my classic size planner to take with me on the go. 🙂

Links:

Sensibly Cute Planning – on Etsy

Planners Gone Wild (Uncensored) Facebook Group

The Happy Planner at Michael’s or MAMBI ***All Happy Planners are currently on sale at Michael’s! (1/17)

Mom Life sticker pack
Productivity sticker pack
Planner Basics sticker pack
Memory Planning sticker pack
Work It Out sticker pack

 

 

 

img_0946 Plan With Me - Let's Party!

Being a Boy Mom

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
I may have only been a boy mom (mom in general) for about 15 months but I totally love it!

It’s hard to believe that this time, two years ago, we were getting ready to be out at sea and I would later find out I was pregnant. During my first pregnancy with Aston, I wanted a girl. I have no shame in saying it! It’s the truth. But that was at first. Growing up, I always wanted a girl first if I had kids. I grew up with a sister, I was the oldest, and my cousins that were around my age were all girls. It just made sense to me. Either way, I just wanted a healthy and happy baby. When I found out we were having a boy, my husband about jumped out of his seat. My first thought was,

‘What am I going to do with a boy?!’

I think that is totally normal for anyone who doesn’t have much experience with boys. I’ve never even babysat for baby boys before! But I seriously went into a little bit of a panic mode. I told my husband that I wasn’t ready for a boy. I came up with so many questions:

How do I dress a boy?
How do I change a boys’ diaper?
How am I going to potty train a boy?!

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
And many more as I am sure you can imagine. But eventually, as I was buying things for him and for the nursery, I became more at ease and of course, excitement overwhelmed me. And now, having been a mom for the past year, I just love being a boy mom. And I wonder, what will it be like if I find out I am having a girl in a few weeks? We shall save those thoughts for a later date.

But I have compiled a small list of things I love about being a boy mom. I am SURE many of these things are fairly similar with little girls, but what do I know? I have a boy. 😉

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom

  1. I never have to put him in pink.

I know, you never HAVE to put a girl in pink or anything, that’s not what I am implying here. But I just love that at the baby shower, I didn’t receive a million pink things or have to return things because of the color. I made a point to tell people not to give us anything with that baby blue color. Bright blues, navy blue, dark blue….anything but baby blue. I am just not a fan. And I don’t like pink like that either. I am sure if I have a girl, I will change my mind. But for now, I am glad it’s blues and other things.

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
2. There really isn’t much accessorizing.

I mean, if he wants to go ahead and wear fancy bows in his hair, that’s fine by me. But for the first year, I am pretty sure he doesn’t have much of a preference besides, “Get this thing off of my head.” And that goes for hats or anything else. But I don’t need to put anything on him. Hats sometimes are cool. I think some moms put bows or headbands on their little girls because people can’t tell if their baby is a boy or girl. Hey, some can’t it happens. We have gotten she occasional, “She’s so cute” but it never bothered me…except when he’s decked out in all blue in a shirt that says, “Dad’s little dude” or something like that. Come on. Maybe some moms actually like the bows and headbands! Again, I will have no idea until I have one for myself but for now, I will enjoy keeping it simple.

“Get this thing off my head.”

3. His clothes are simple.

Onesie or shirt. Pants. Shoes. Done. Okay, it’s not that different from girls but I guess it all comes down to preference! Some people put their girls in a dress and they’re good to go, so that could be simple enough. But then there’s leggings or tights and back to the hair bows. And I guess with boys you can add bowties and suspenders, but I can keep it super simple with Aston.

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
4. I am the only girl he will ever love…for now.

I get to enjoy the fact that my little baby loves his Mommy so much. No other women in the world is going to love him like I do and he won’t look at anyone like he looks at his mommy! I feel pretty awesome when he comes running to me with open arms and a huge open mouth kiss. Yeah, we’re working on the whole kissy face thing.

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
5. Cars, balls, trains, turtles, etc.

These are the kinds of toys he loves to play with. Again, no pink and nothing super fancy. I mean, at this stage he’s just throwing a lot of his toys around anyway but I love that we can play catch (more like fetch) together and he has a grand old time. And he loves playing outside. I was the kid that hated being outside and hated getting dirty…but this kid is adorable and loves playing in the dirt. And I really don’t mind it all that much! Put him in a diaper and no clothes and he’s good to go!

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
6. I’m the only girl.

Hey, it sounds a little selfish but I really like the idea of being truly the only girl around. Like before, I mentioned that I am the only girl he loves right now…but I also like that I get to be the girly one. My husband and my son’s attention is on THIS pretty girl in the room! Ha! I don’t know how to explain it really, but it’s nice being the only one. Plus, when I am trying to get ready, I don’t have to share with anyone. Oh man, if I have a girl this time around, I can only imagine the teenage years! And if she’s anything like me, I am really in for it!

7. Their clothes really do have the cutest sayings on them.

Many of the shirts and onesies you find for a boy could work for a girl too. And yes, all the frill is great for a girl. But if you’re not into frill…and you see some dinosaur eating a cookie while drinking milk…that’s just super freaking cute! I love the Mama’s boy ones or the Dad’s little guy. I just love that stuff.

8. Diaper changes.

You can wipe up, down, side to side….doesn’t matter. No worries. As long as the poo is gone.

9. “Boys will be boys.”

You totally understand that saying when you become a mom. I mean, he’s only one but he does such silly things that I couldn’t see a little girl doing. Then again, we will just have to wait and see. But things like picking his nose and discovering his…ahem…penis. I can’t help but laugh when he does these things!! I probably shouldn’t laugh. He probably does it more because I laugh at him.

The bottom line really is: I love being a mom. And I love being pregnant with my next bundle of love. in about 2 weeks we find out what we are having and it’s going to be fantastic. And it doesn’t matter, boy or girl, I am sure I will have posts about how different it is to raise another baby. <3

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom

To The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

13151501_10206151479938253_4589970671008760466_n To The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

Dear Mommy of a 1-Year Old,

You did it.

Didn’t think you’d make it this far with all of your hair still, huh? Well, you did and you are fantastic.

The first year of anything you do in life isn’t easy. And the first year is definitely a rough one. Then again, we have the rest of our lives with our children and I am sure there are many more years to go that could be just as trying as the first!

But hey, you did it. You ROCKED being a mommy.

You made it through those sleepless nights.
You learned not to wake a sleeping baby.
You figured out the difference between a hungry cry and a sleepy cry.
You have a new outlook on life.
You figured out that being a mom is hard work…
and it’s the best thing you’ve ever done with your life.
You realized that you don’t care about what others think about you…
– your clothes
– your hair
– your parenting style
You figured out that there are more things to think about and none of them are for you.
You figured out that you are much stronger than you know.

Many people told you what it was going to be like having a baby. They told you the pros and the cons and well, a lot of times they left out the really juicy stuff that you wish you had known. But you, you learned that every child is different and you did everything you could to make sure you kept your sanity and kept your bundle of joy safe and happy.

Moms talked to you about topics like (some more controversial than others):
Breastfeeding vs formula feeding
Circumcised or not
Cloth diapers vs disposable
Binky (paci/nook) vs not using one
Babywearing or stroller usage
vax, delayed, or nonvax
and so much more.

It’s all a mess sometimes but everyone parents differently. Everyone makes their own decisions based off of what they believe is right and what works for the family. And you did exactly that.

Good for you, mama! Keep doing what you’re doing.

And now your baby is 1 and it’s a huge step. Don’t worry about where they are.

If they’re walking now, great. If not, that’s great too. Some people want fast movers and some enjoy the immobility for as long as possible.
So, they’re not talking yet, it’s okay. They will, when they are ready.
That first birthday party? It doesn’t have to be extravagant. You don’t have to stress about the theme, the decorations, or who is coming. You can if you want, but your child will not remember it. It’s all for you guys anyway. And a little thing I must add: Really, don’t worry about who is invited.

We had a huge issue with people getting upset with us for not inviting them to our son’s first birthday party. Grown adults whining about not coming to a 1 year old’s party. The thing is, last minute, we decided to have the party at home. Our home is tiny and there wasn’t tons of room for children and tons of adults and we didn’t have the funds to buy enough for so many people! And believe it or not, these were people that hadn’t talked to us in MONTHS. So, we decided to go with the people who our son would recognize and know the most and feel comfortable with. That was that. Don’t stress about it and don’t let people treat you terribly because of the decision you made.

You have now experienced what everyone told you when they said, “Enjoy it now. They grow up so fast.”
That year really did go by fast, didn’t it?

Don’t be sad. Believe me, I was. But I didn’t need to be. My child is growing and it’s what we, as mothers, do. We get sad but we are happy for them. And we get ready for the next stage in their life. Be prepared for the obstacles that may come:

First year molars
First words and steps
Tempter tantrums
Terrible Twos

I haven’t experienced much yet, but that’s just what we’ve gotten so far.

Just remember: You are one amazing mom. You’re a rockstar. You are the best mom for your little baby. And as they grow and change, so do you.

Love,
The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

13151501_10206151479938253_4589970671008760466_n To The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

“Meternity Leave?” This is Maternity Leave

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

Alright, there is a popular article that has pretty much gone viral all over Facebook and Twitter. I have seen it pop up on my feed quite a few times and I finally caved to read it.

The article on the New York Post titled, “I want all the perks of maternity leave — without having any kids ” by Anna Davies has stirred up quite a few blog posts and Facebook posts from moms all over, giving Miss Meghann Foye a piece of their mind. And well, being a mother myself and having finally read the darn thing, I decided to write about my feelings on this subject as well.

No, Meghann. I haven’t read your book. And there’s a very good chance that I won’t, mostly because I barely have time to read books as it is. Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to sit here and say that I have never been in your shoes before. I have. I was once one of those women that focused solely on career and friendships as opposed to thoughts of having a husband or kids in my future. Well, I thought about it but after numerous breakups and heartache, my life became more about me than about having a “we.”

I joined the military with every intent to put in my 20 years, retire, and live a fabulous life of being single and never having any other responsibilities besides the ones that are needed to take care of myself. And hey, that’s totally fine. More power to anyone who takes pride in what they do with their life. Countless jobs before, I thought it was unfair that mothers got to take time off of work. I mean, what did I know? I just saw these moms getting paid to take time away from work or even what you said in the article in the NYP, people got to leave work early to pick up the kids and having a friend who just suffered a breakup wasn’t a valid excuse. Been there. I was like, ‘Why the heck can’t I get out early because I live 30 minutes away and I want to go out with my friends…but I have to drive all the way back home then all the way back HERE just to do so.” We all worked together, downtown…it just made sense.

Then being in the military, I thought the same thing, at first. People got to get out of working a 13-14 shift because the daycares on base shut down after a certain time and you HAVE to pick up your children. People got time off and got away from the job that we were all sleepily working at on a Friday evening…still here…

But that’s the thing. You never know anything about anything unless you have been through it. This whole concept of “Meternity Leave” just makes no sense to me. That’s what vacations are for. If you work in the corporate world, you get paid time off and well, many people who don’t get paid time off for vacation, still get time off to themselves to do whatever they please.

Maternity leave is not a vacation. Maternity leave is a time of bonding with your child and having those precious moments with them. Because those first few months are some of the most important times that baby needs to be with their mother. And 3 months off? Not many people get that luxury. When I first had my child, I was given 6 weeks paid and I took an additional 2 weeks of my own time that I had saved up. And that’s in the military. Granted, we have recently changed things a bit and we now get those 12 weeks – paid, but that wasn’t the case before. And think about many people outside of the military who are ALLOWED to take those 12 weeks or more off…but many moms can’t afford to take it off because that time off isn’t even paid for! So, the entire time that the mother is supposed to be spending time with their child and learning how to be a mother, they are spending time stressing about the bills that need to be paid and how they are going to make up for the time lost at work.

Ask your friend who decided to leave her corporate job and start a new business after she had her baby. What is it exactly that made you want to do that? I am willing to bet that it wasn’t…”I had an awesome vacation from work and I wanted to continue it.” It is very likely the fact that she pushed a melon sized child out of her vagina and realized what was important in her life and what her focus needs to be on. And let me tell you…I highly doubt she had a “break.” Do you really think stay-at-home-moms ever get a day off? Wait, don’t even answer that. I am willing to bet I know which side of the spectrum you’re on when it comes to THAT conversation.

But here’s the main deal with this post. THIS is what maternity leave looks like. And if you’ve never had a child, you wouldn’t know.

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This beautiful moment after I had my first son is nothing short of amazing. Everything I felt was worth it. But what you don’t see here is that, I was terrified. Nurses and doctors didn’t speak to me. They acted like I wasn’t even there and they just had to get a melon out of me. What you don’t see is them pushing on my stomach and passing my placenta out and stitching me up. What you don’t see is the pain that I endured or the fact that because doctors wouldn’t talk to me, I had no idea what was going on.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

You may see me smiling here but what you don’t see is that I am cuddling with my child in the early morning, after hours of fighting him to nurse. I had to battle with him to try and eat for the first 6 days of his life. He had jaundice and wasn’t nursing at all and I didn’t understand why. So, laying down with him in bed was one of the only ways to get him to calm down.

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What you see here is a mom who stayed up all night with their crying baby. Trying to put him back to sleep after hours of trying. Many nights I fell asleep sitting up in my bed because my baby only wanted to sleep in that position.

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No, I am not squishing my child, but this is a great example of what you DON’T see moms go through during maternity leave. Finally, a satisfied baby. Fed and ready to pass out. But mama? Covered in milk from leaky boobs, stained shirts, nipples that are sore and completely cracked from learning how to nurse her baby for the first time, and breast pads to help from a milk waterfall from streaming down your clothes. As you can see, it doesn’t always help.

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There is always poop. I bet your “Meternity” never has a bunch of poop…or pee all over you. Or vomit for that matter, unless you’re covered in your own vomit from those margaritas with your girlfriends at the bar because you’re celebrating her newfound singleness.

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An exhausted mother. Sleeping with an ice pack in between her legs, wearing very large mesh underwear from the hospital, and feminine pads that resemble diapers. It’s the healing process. You don’t see that, do you? That’s because most women don’t post that all over their Facebook pages. You don’t see the heartache some moms go through when they look in the mirror and see their bloated stomach STILL looking like they are 6 months pregnant because not all moms lose weight while nursing. You don’t know the feeling of having a stitch stuck in your lady parts because it didn’t dissolve like it was supposed to. And you don’t know what it’s like to not be able to be intimate with your husband, 1. because you can’t and 2. because you have no energy.

There is no such thing as a “break” when it comes to maternity leave.

So, go ahead and suggest to everyone that you deserve your “ME” time. Because honestly, us moms never really get that “Meternity Leave.” Once you have a child, there is no such thing as ME time. It’s about your kids. It’s about family. And yes, that’s a choice that we, as parents made for our lives. But don’t you dare say you need paid time off to have time to yourself just because women have a baby and get their time off.

Also, I found an article that I found completely hilarious after I started writing this post. And for those of you that want “MEternity leave,” I say, go for it. As long as you abide by the rules of this post. And I absolutely love it.

So you want maternity leave without the kids? OK. Here’s how that should go.” by Elizabeth Bromstein

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

The End of the First Trimester

img_1587 The End of the First Trimester

The first part of a series of documenting my second pregnancy.

I didn’t do much documenting with my first pregnancy with my son. I didn’t really know what to write about and I was in this weird stage of trying to figure out what kind of blog I wanted to have…but that doesn’t matter. I have a blog as an outlet. To talk about my feelings and how my life is and to just have somewhere to dump all of my emotions so that I don’t scream at the next person who speaks to me. So, I will just write about my pregnancy, here.

Unfortunately, I didn’t write anything about this pregnancy until literally the END of the first trimester, but we weren’t really telling anyone about it yet. Most people don’t want to tell anyone in the first trimester that they are pregnant (especially if they had already experienced a miscarriage) because miscarriages are quite common in the beginning. So common, that almost 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, with the majority occurring during the first 12 weeks. There is a 75% chance of miscarriage in weeks 1-2 of pregnancy, when you do not know you are pregnant. There is a 10% chance of miscarriage in weeks 3-6 and this number drops to 5% during weeks 6-12. That’s kind of a big deal. Anyone can see why most families tend to share the news AFTER the ultrasound.

Okay, I lied.

So, that’s what we did. We did it with Aston and we decided to wait for this one too. I was so happy to see that everything was okay and our little peanut was moving around in there. Arm buds and all. 😛 I found out I was pregnant when I was maybe…about 4 weeks along. Seriously, we experienced a loss in January and the next month, I was pregnant again. I was keeping track and told my husband that I wouldn’t take a pregnancy test again so soon. Okay, I lied. We had been trying for another baby and I was too excited when I didn’t get my period! And, it was positive. WOO HOO!

Went into medical the following Monday to be sure and yes, another positive test. HCG levels were pretty high and I was on cloud nine. But, we didn’t want to say anything to anyone.

6 LONG weeks later, we were finally able to get an ultrasound done and we announced the big news!

Related: And Then There Were Four…

The first few weeks after finding out I was pregnant was a bit rough. And what I mean by few I mean like…the past 8 weeks. I never got sick with Aston. No morning sickness. I believe I had about 2 days of nausea and it literally felt like it was just the flu, not a human being growing inside of me. But this time is slightly different. I am still nursing Aston in the evenings and weekends, basically whenever I am home with him. So, there’s the nursing and then there’s the normal fatigue that comes with pregnancy. The first trimester just blows when it comes to energy levels.

I come home every night and pretty much just pass out with Aston. Play with Aston a little bit when we get home then it’s time for him to take a nap so I nurse him and I either watch TV or pass out with him. And when I try to get up to do anything, he flips out. Apparently, it’s his time to be with mama. That’s fine. I like to get my snuggles in when I can.

Nope. You did it once this week. Don’t you dare try again.

But working out, yeah. I didn’t work out at first because I was afraid to. I know very well that working out doesn’t cause miscarriages. But when you start bleeding WHILE you are at the gym, you kind of worry a little bit and this time I just stopped. Probably a stupid idea, but I was all in my head and I just didn’t want to risk it. So, I didn’t. I did try to start working out again and I would do one day but then my body was like, “Nope. You did it once this week. Don’t you dare try again.” And I would just be in pain for a few days and I would get sick. I was just done. So, the first trimester has been difficult for me. Not the regular difficult like most moms go through but…finding the time and energy while working full time, having a 14 month old at home, and growing another baby is hard! Anyone who says it’s easy is lying to you. No joke. But, you can make it through. That’s what I am finally starting to do.

And eating well? Forget that. For the first few weeks, anytime I even looked at a vegetable, I wanted to vomit. That is clearly not healthy and not like me at all. This baby is definitely a different one than his or her big brother. But I am working on it. Trying not to give into the cravings is really hard but I cannot let myself gain over 60 pounds again like I did with Aston. It’s not fun. It’s really hard to get everything you worked so hard for back! Trust me.

I’m not even fully at the end of this trimester but I am almost there. The first trimester seems to just fly by. Before I know it, I will be in the third trimester and then having my baby and into the fourth trimester I go! Oh man…that’s scary all on it’s own!

 

(Written 2 weeks prior to publishing)

img_1587 The End of the First Trimester

And Then There Were Four…

12973018_10205948156655298_5075545641529279649_o And Then There Were Four...

Now that the entire family and the Facebook world knows the good news, I can share it publicly…anywhere I want. Including this blog. 🙂

That’s right, Aston is going to be a big brother! And we are all so excited!

I did post the other day (April Fool’s day to be exact) and I talked about my experience with miscarriage. It’s a sad thing for anyone to have to go through at any point in their lives. But it’s also something real. It does happen. And I will not dismiss it and act like it didn’t happen.

I know that God will use that situation as a reminder or a lesson at some point in my life. we mourned our loss and we moved forward. And you know what? It’s okay to move forward too. Some people may think that it’s not okay to just move on past what just happened to you, but it really is okay! There is no sense in dwelling on the things that you cannot change. Especially something that happened beyond your control.

So, here we are, now with baby #2 on the way. And it’s such fantastic news! Hubby wants a girl and I want another boy. Let’s be honest, I want a boy because I already have all of the baby boy things and I don’t need to go out and buy all the extra stuff then! 😛 But for real, I don’t care as long as we have a healthy and happy little baby. Isn’t that all any parent really hopes for?

This baby will be a fall baby. He or she is due on November 1st and we are pretty excited. Not only that, I am so excited about that fact that I will get an entire 18 weeks of maternity leave! The military changed some things around over the past couple years and I made the cut off by a few days. It’s pretty fantastic. When I had Aston, I was home for 6 weeks and then took an additional 2 weeks of my own time off to stay with him. I wasn’t ready. I really was NOT ready to go back to work after only 8 short weeks with him. And I have missed him every moment since.

Of course, I still see him every night when I get home from work and on my lunch breaks if I take them, but I love being home with him. Yeah, I get the crazies every now and then when I am home with him all day, but I assume eventually you get used to it! 😛

Anyway, there’s the announcement. I am so excited and feeling incredibly blessed to be having this little peanut growing inside of me. Such a gift to be able to carry a child not just once but twice. <3

12973018_10205948156655298_5075545641529279649_o And Then There Were Four...

12973018_10205948156655298_5075545641529279649_o And Then There Were Four...