life

A Day In the Life

Right now I am off for the summer and the Mr. has started a second-third shift job (it’s supposed to be 8 hours but routinely lasts 10+) resulting in him not getting  home until the wee hours of the morning and thus making me parent numero uno Monday through Friday because he’s sleeping usually until damn near nap time and then is gone by the time dinner, bath and bed and I’ve noticed a few things about myself in this new daily schedule:

 

6:30a – 7:00a: the Munchkin starts to stir, babbles in her crib most likely to her flowered hippopotamus Katie until she’s decided she’s had enough then starts screaming

so it begins

7:00a – 7:30a: Convince the Munchkin to get out of the crib after she’s done yelling at the dog who came in to investigate.

7:30a – 8:00a: Breakfast, I attempt to make something that resembles varied and healthy for the two of us and it usually results in the Munchkin just wanting to eat whatever I’ve made for myself so other than the coffee she and I share breakfast and generally results in her getting coated in it.  Also feeding the 5 fur children.

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8:00a-11:00a: We play either downstairs or in her room subject to the whims of the toddler and her toys.  While she’s entertaining herself sometimes she requires my presence in her court, sometimes she requires my interaction, or I can get away from her tyranny and potentially accomplish something crazy like adulting!  She’s gotten to the point where she doesn’t really require me to entertain her but some days if I attempt to leave her space she does start throwing a hissy fit.  When we’re playing in her room it results in me just reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy out loud as she plays with her toys around me.

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11:00a-11:30a: Lunch time!  Once again this generally results in us sharing food, but I’ve made an effort to not necessarily make “kid” food to try and encourage her to eat as many different things as possible, so far my plan is working so I guess I’ll stick with it.

12:00p-2:30p: Nap time!  This is my chance to get anything done I want.  I’ve been alternating spending time writing curriculum which has been a huge pain in the ass, straightening up the house, or just being a bum.  I’m glad that we get nap time still!!

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3:00p-5:00p: More playing!  If the weather isn’t too bad I try to get outside.  Sometimes I take the dogs and the Munchkin for a walk.

5:00p-6:00p: Dinner prep, eating, feeding the fur children again (why does everyone need to be fed so much?).  Luckily the Munchkin has not entered “picky” toddler stage yet so she eats whatever we eat.  Tonight for example it was Coconut Tofu Curry with vegetables and jasmine rice with a bowl of watermelon for dessert.  She ate with gusto even after having a snack so I’m guessing there is a growth spurt on the horizon.

6:00p-7:00p: Bath if it’s necessary, which during the heat wave it seems like it has been.  Sometimes a little last minute playing in her room and then the bedtime routine. Most nights she falls asleep pretty well and generally sleeps through the night, when she doesn’t there’s usually a good reason for it.

Once she’s down I generally clean up dinner and then do whatever until I feel like going to bed which is usually much later than it should be but I’m a night owl by nature.

I have noticed that being home with the Munchkin during the day has some pros and cons compared to when I’m at work.  I feel like I’m getting more time with her of course but I’m not sure if it’s more quality time than the few hours I would get to see her during the school year.  This trade off of more v. better time is definitely something I’ve been struggling with.  There have definitely been some rough days where she has been a clinger and it’s made it difficult especially because she can’t vocalize her needs just yet (she’s getting better) so I have to play 20 guesses to try and understand why she’s upset and when you’re a toddler everything can send you into a tizzy if it’s not exactly what you want.  Getting used to this new schedule has also been daunting since I have basically no help Monday to Friday with Babci still on vacation and it makes me appreciate the Mr. because he holds up his end of the deal it’s just difficult with this schedule as it right now and we need to work out a better system.  I’m also not one of those very crafty or creative moms and I haven’t made any “wonderful” experiences for her like you tend to see on social media but I’m ok with that because she doesn’t care what we do as long as we do it together and she’s not going to remember anything special I do now anyway!

It’s a lot easier for me to be present during the school year because my time is inherently limited while I’m working all day away from the Munchkin so I am having to work hard at not letting the moments I do have this summer slip away by watching TV or playing on my phone around the Munchkin but as always I’m a mom in progress, because that’s the only kind of mom there is!

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life

Where Have I Been?

You may or may not remember from the introductory post I did a while ago that I was in graduate school working on my masters of science in biology and since my last class (biostatistics) ended I hunkered down and started studying for my comprehensive exam which was a 4 hour test on 10 classes over the course of the past 4 years.  Between still working full time, having an energetic toddler, and studying for comps I decided to take a hiatus from writing.  After I finished my exam I had to spend the next 11 days down at Mississippi State University running from lab to lab completing the capstone portion of my masters.  It was a grueling almost 2 weeks but I finished my program and was informed last friday (July 7, 2017) that I passed the comprehensive exam and I’m pretty confident that I’ll pass the capstone class.  Now I’m just waiting on the official word that I am a MS degree holder.  While that is good news I definitely had some adventures when this Yankee city girl ended up in the wilds of Mississippi.

I will not lie I was a little nervous heading down to Mississippi for 12 days leaving on Father’s Day for a variety of reasons.  I was leaving my 15 month old Munchkin with The Mr. and Babci, I was a very stereotypical New Jersey girl heading down to the South, I was battling a brutal case of strep throat (102 degree fever on Thursday before I left), and I was trying to stay on top of the very hectic schedule the program coordinator had set out for us which was jam-packed laboratory days from 8am-6pm.  I flew down and ended up meeting a lot of really great people from all around: Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan by way of Florida, Illinois, Texas,  and then me.  I definitely was an odd person out because I am loud, take no prisoners and curse like a sailor (I blame my father…) and many of them were not but amazingly we (for the most part) meshed pretty well together and worked together to try and make sure everyone was able to succeed through the grueling days with the lab reports to write and exams to take (for 12 days I had 5 lab reports, 6 or 7 exams and quizzes, and then a few other assignments) as well as some time for fun along the way.

I ended up going “herpin’” with a couple of the guys that were in the program which basically consisted of driving around looking for amphibians or reptiles around dusk.  One of the guys, I’ll refer to him as M-squared, knew way more about herpetology than anyone else I’ve ever met and could identify frogs by their call and most organisms on site.  He was our guide as we went driving around the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge and would identify various frogs, snakes, and other things we saw.  We even saw a crayfish (or crawdad) crossing the road (I feel like there’s a joke there…) and got attacked by a giant Stag Beetle but that’s a story for a different time.

We also ended up having a few nights off where we didn’t have a lot to do and were able to go out and enjoy ourselves.  It was almost like reliving college days but with much better bank account and much worse sleeping in ability!  I missed my family but had to concentrate on what I was doing and didn’t have a whole lot of time to talk with them but the few times I did it was great to connect with them but I’m not going to lie, I embraced my unencumbered lifestyle.

It was the first time I had spent any significant time away from the Munchkin and I had asked for some advice from some other moms (that’s always a mixed bag isn’t it?) and one of them said to make sure I put myself fully into the adventure because otherwise what was I leaving her for?  So I took that advice and focused on where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with instead of constantly worrying about what was happening 1,000 miles away and I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it anyway.  Luckily the Mr. is someone who is quite capable of handling his daughter without any trouble but I wasn’t sure how the 5 fuzzy four-legged children or the state of the house would fair.  I knew I would come back to everyone fed and alive I just wasn’t sure how well it would have been done!

After being out of reality for 12 days and shedding all of the roles that I play I came back home and slipped back into those roles but with one less burden.  Those 12 days were a blessing in many forms: I had to focus on what I needed to and I had to let go and let the Mr. handle it all for good or for ill.

I’m glad I was gone and now I’m glad I’m back!

life

Halfway to Motivation

As with most new-ish (I’m 13 months postpartum at the point of writing so I’m not sure I can blame this entry on being a “new” mom, but I’m going to try…) moms and women in general I am concerned with my overall health and appearance.  Mostly for health related reasons but also for some vanity but at this point I’ve have just gotten to a low level of concern and I haven’t been able to translate that into any actual motivation to do something about it.  I was hoping at my yearly wellness visit the doctor would say I was ridiculously unhealthy and going to die tomorrow if I didn’t change something about my life because maybe that would have been the kick to the @$$ that I needed but alas I’m still a relatively healthy 35 year old.

I have struggled with size issues for the majority of my life in various ways.  I’m 5’10” on a short day and have shoulders wide enough to qualify to be a linebacker (shoulder pads were a bad look for me) and I’ve always been on the hefty side.  We could get into the myriad of reasons why that has happened (including genetics, my father was 6’3”) but at this point it’s no one’s responsibility but my own and I have been trying to get back on the health and wellness bandwagon since I stopped officially “eating for two” in March 2016 but trying to juggle the craziness that is a working mom life and a toddler who demands a lot of attention and occasionally wakes up at all hours of the night for who knows whatever reason I have constantly made excuses for why I can’t do this that or the other thing even though I know what I need to do: eat less and move more.  Simple, right?  Easy – not so much!

I have always been a huge advocate of exercising in the morning because it gets it out of the way (eating the frog in the words of Mark Twain) but that means currently I’d have to get up around 5am (and if work wants me to start at normal time that gets pushed even earlier to 4am) and I am inherently a night owl (I’m typing this at 9:44pm).  If you tried to guess how many times I’ve ACTUALLY gotten up and worked out in the morning I’d bet you would definitely aim too high.  I like the quiet of night time when everything is settling down and people are quietly snuggled up just relaxing or sleeping.  Nighttime to me has always been more peaceful.  Of course while it’s more peaceful it also means I’m more exhausted.  I heard once that we have only so much energy to make decisions or spend on will power and by the end of that day that energy is exhausted and I believe it.  While I’m a better nighttime person, I’m definitely not a better person at nighttime.  I just want to curl up, watch TV/YouTube, read, goof around online and just enjoy the tranquility.

With all that said, I’m trying to actively change my behavior so I can get up at 5am to go for a run in the morning.  One of the joys of moving in with Babci is that there is a treadmill in the basement, no need to go out to the gym or run outside especially if the baby is asleep, just go downstairs and get it done.  I’m proud to say thought I’ve made it 50% there!  I’ve been getting up to shower in the morning.  I have also never been a shower in the morning type of person, I’ve usually done my showering at night; maybe that’s because my parents always gave us baths at night, maybe it’s because I could get up later in the morning, who knows?  But I’ve made it to 50% of a morning person!

I’ve joined a StepBet (it’s like DietBet but for steps instead of weight loss) for May 8 – June 18 so I’m hoping that’s going to give me some extra motivation with the goal in mind to get up and get as much done before my day starts so when the munchkin goes to bed I can focus on some relaxing time or the much more likely at this point, studying for a comprehensive exam to finish out my masters.

I’ll keep you posted on this one.