A time for change.

For three years now, I have been a stay at home mom. Day in and day out, I have been blessed enough to have the privilege to stay home raising my little boy. Every milestone, every bad day, every good day… I have been there to see them all. When I began my journey as a stay at home mom, I never thought I would see the day where I felt like I needed more. My job was to be mommy, and that was all I could ever want.

But here I am three years later and I found myself beginning to think “what about me?”. I am a mom. I am a wife. Those are my two favorite titles and I am so proud every day to be both of those things…but I’ve reached a point where I need to have my own identity outside of those roles. I need to take care of me in order to take care of them.

Some of you may remember me writing a blog post similar to this earlier this year. I briefly tried working part time at a yoga studio before deciding that it just wasn’t for me. I happily returned to my life as a stay at home mom, thinking that I had gotten it all out of my system. I’d seen the other side of the grass, decided it was not actually greener, and told myself I never wanted to leave my baby ever again.

Until a few months ago.

My husband has been traveling so much for work lately that more often than not, he is gone about 2-3 nights a week. Sure, we sometimes travel with him. But when he’s got too much work to do or we don’t want to put our dog in boarding too often, Liam and I remain at home. I found myself having far too much free time, and with that time, I couldn’t help but feel like I could be doing something more to better how I felt about myself. Something that could not only benefit our family financially, but something that could motivate me and get my mind moving (because sometimes potty training a toddler day in and day out just isn’t quite the mental stimulation you desire).

It slowly began to dawn on me that perhaps the problem with my short lived yoga studio front desk job had not been with me being a working mom… perhaps the problem was that I was leaving my baby to do something that I wasn’t excited to be doing. I felt like I had been giving up precious time with my baby to go to a job that I had zero interest in pursuing a real future with. What I needed was a job that I enjoyed. A job that I could excel in and be proud of.

And then just like that, everything fell into place. I often find myself completely amazed at the way the universe works… The way you can throw a thought or a prayer out there and have it answered in such an obvious way.

I had been taking a long “me time” bath a couple of months ago. As I sat there thinking about what sort of job I really wanted to pursue, I found my mind continuously going back to the job that I was working when I found out I was pregnant with Liam. I worked sales, customer service, and social media for a locally based baby product company and it was a job that I truly had a lot of fun with. I knew that the responsibilities that I had at that job were what I wanted to look for in my next job, I just wasn’t sure how I would find it…let alone find something that worked into my ideal schedule. I had thought about contacting my old bosses but assumed they had filled my role long ago and wouldn’t have a spot open for me to return to.

Several days later, out of nowhere, my old boss just so happened to contact me to see if I was interested in working a convention for them. I accepted the job and before I knew it, one thing lead to the next and suddenly I had my old job back. I was able to work out a schedule with them that allows me to work from home half the time, which gives me the best of both worlds. My biggest fear in returning to the working world had been that I would have to sacrifice the time that I got to spend raising my son. The way that it worked out, I don’t feel like I have to sacrifice anything. I get to go to the office a couple days a week where I am surrounded by adults + get to focus all of my attention on the job at hand…and Liam gets to go to a great in home daycare a couple days a week where he can socialize with kids his own age. I could not have asked for a better situation and I am so incredibly thankful that this opportunity came our way because no matter how long it ends up playing out… It has made me feel like me again.

It has been a few weeks now since I have returned to the working world and so far I couldn’t feel better about the decision. Liam absolutely loves playing with the little babies at day care, and I absolutely love what I do. On days that I have to be in the office and my husband is in town, we forgo the daycare and Liam gets to spend quality one on one time with his daddy… something that very rarely happened before because I was always around.

I take a step back and look at my life each evening and can’t help but to feel completely overjoyed with the life and the opportunities that my family and I have been given. Perhaps it’s just the joyful Christmas spirit filling the air, or perhaps it’s the total uplift in my own spirit, but I couldn’t be more content and excited about what the future holds.

If you’re a stay at home mom struggling with the same feelings that I was experiencing… take control. I was in a slump for a while there and the only thing that finally picked me up out of it was my husband reminding me that this life is mine to do what I want with. Whether your inner happiness is going to come from a part time job, starting your own blog, getting involved in mommy groups, getting out of the house to go to yoga a couple times a week, or the hundreds of other possibilities… just go find it. Find whatever it is that is going to make you feel like you again and make it happen.

As Christmas approaches, I wish you all so much love and happiness. I would like to say that I will be blogging more consistently again but after saying that a good five times now, I’m going to refrain from making any promises (but i certainly plan on trying).

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

 

 

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03.17.2015

I remember when my son hit the ‘how many toes can I fit in my mouth at one time’ stage, thinking to myself, “man, I don’t know if he can get any cooler than this’. Then when he hit the ‘gotta test my vocal range’ stage, I remember recording video after video and thinking to myself “man, NOW I don’t know if he could get any cooler than this”. Then he hit the walking stage and somehow managed to get even cooler. Now he’s in the ‘let me say bye to every person that walks past me ever’ and the ‘let me show everyone that wants to interact with me where their bellybutton is’ stage and oh my goodness I truly don’t know if this kid can get any cooler.

Liam was not the easiest baby. With a curiosity often too much for his own good, he became easily frustrated at the fact that he was unable to physically do the things that his mind wanted to do, and this frustration caused fit upon fit upon fit. It was frustrating to watch him be so frustrated, but at last, I think he has finally reached a stage where not only is his body capable of doing what his mind wants it to do, but more than that, he is more cognitively aware of what he is actually capable of doing.

Of course, my favorite new ‘Liam trick’ is his ability to show that he completely understands what I’m saying to him and to follow directions. “Lets go upstairs to change your diaper” I say… and he takes off running to his diaper changing table. “Lets put your shoes on to go outside” I say… and he goes to the closet, says “go, go”, grabs his shoes, and waits on the steps for me to help put them on. “Lets take a bath” I say… and he frolics towards the bathroom saying “ba! ba!” (which sounds a lot more like bath when you hear it in person). I feel as though each day I discover a new direction that he understands and a new word that he can pronounce. We’ve hit a major learning milestone and this kid is charging full speed ahead.

As my son’s various skills, tricks, and developments gain speed, so does everything else in our lives. My husband has been on back to back business trips, winning over one hotel at a time with his undeniably contagious smile and smooth mannerisms. Last week he successfully finished the first half of realty school, meaning that after just eight more weeks and the passing of his licensing test, I will officially be married to a Real Estate agent//linen and terry salesman. A random combination, yes… but this wife couldn’t be any more proud!

My husband and I continue to work hard towards living the healthy lifestyle that we promised ourselves at the beginning of this year. Down nearly 40 pounds between the two of us, we continue to push on. With the combination of P90X and a workout routine that I put together myself (we call it the only logical title… Bailie’s Assercize), we are pool ready and feeling confident. For the first time since gaining my pregnancy weight, I am happy to look in the mirror. I am happy to get dressed for the day. I am happy to go try on new clothes. I am happy with myself, and man does it feel great. I cannot obnoxiously preach enough about the importance of living a healthy life style. It takes less time to throw together a shake with some almond milk, bananas, peanut butter, and protein powder, than it does to get in the car and drive down the street to taco bell. It costs less money to scramble some eggs with some sauteed peppers than it does to buy a breakfast combo from Mcdonalds every day. Minor changes can lead to huge improvements. It’s just a matter of taking that first step and having the motivation and discipline that it takes to follow through. Not only will you be happy to have a ‘hot bod’ for pool season, but you’ll be even happier when you are capable of frolicking around at 70 years old telling everybody that “70 is the new 30”.

In other news, my husband and I have developed an unhealthy Game of Thrones obsession. I’m not kidding… we are obsessed in every form of the definition. We blew through the first three seasons in about 3.5 weeks and the only thing stopping us from blowing through season 4 is that Amazon seems to be taking its time to deliver it. It is March and we have already planned our entire family’s Halloween costumes around the series, and I don’t think I’ve been able to have a single conversation in which a Game of Thrones reference is not made. We haven’t even started the new House of Cards season because we do not care about a single other show on the planet at the moment. And I’m not even embarrassed. It’s THAT good.

So life continues on (although it may end when Game of Thrones does). Busy has become the new normal in our household, and while it can sometimes feel chaotic, it is a happy kind of chaos. My baby is full of new developments, my husband is handsome and highly motivated, and I… I have not one complaint about life. Other than the fact that Game of Thrones season 4 needs to be in my mailbox like, yesterday. We stocked up our wine rack last weekend, I made a super successful Trader Joes run this morning, my son finally sees the enjoyment in cuddling up on the couch, and my husband returns from a business trip tomorrow. Life is good, and that’s all there is to it.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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02.24.15: A february update.

I should probably change my blog’s description to “occasional blogger”, since clearly blogging consistency is just not my thing. It’s not that I haven’t tried, really. It’s just that this afternoon my son woke up literally the SECOND I sat down to work on this post. Yesterday my small amount of ‘free time’ (if that’s what you would call it) was taken up doing the backed up dirty dishes in the sink and being taught by my sweet but very bossy Italian grandpa how to ‘properly’ cook chicken. The day before that was meal prep day and the day before that was errand running day and the day before that was pretend you didn’t wait until last minute to do all of your homework day and the day before that I told myself I would write this blog post no matter what… until my son decided he should dive all over my laptop… and the day before that we were on a last minute business trip in Santa Barbara. You get the gist. As much as I would love to sit down and provide updates and stories and recipe ideas and advice and all of the other fun and adorable things that super mom bloggers write about… I just have not had the time, and probably will continue to not have the time until this semester of school comes to an end.

So here we are, several long weeks since my last post. Our time has been spent partly trying not to think about the hamburgers that we could be eating instead of the turkey vegetable patties that we are actually eating. We continue to work out 6 days a week (mostly) and as exhausting as it has been, we have found much success with the p90x3 workout routine. Now personally down 12 pounds, and my husband down another 15 or so, we are finally seeing the progress that felt so far away just two short months ago. Adding green tea to our nightly routine has seemed to make a big difference in our fat burning ability and getting to bed at an earlier hour has made an incredible difference both mentally and physically. I have picked up a love and appreciation for essential oils, and although I am still stumbling my away around which oil to use for what, at least the oil diffuser makes our house smell pretty freaking good in the meantime. Keeping our goals in mind, we are pushing along. Between the focus on our healthy lifestyle and our focus on both finishing up school, we are left with very limited free time. My husband is just one class away from taking his real estate licensing exam and all that we seem to be able to think about are the exciting new adventures on the horizon. All I can say is that there are two well deserved (probably low calorie) drinks with our names on them once pool season is upon us!

In more interesting news, my son has recently added moon and night night to his vocabulary, while also getting a little bit better at not calling everything on his face an eye. He has gotten surprisingly good at following directions (when he wants to) and has figured out how to open the fridge and bring us the apple juice container when he’s thirsty. This kid has a love for the outdoors like I have never seen before, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have a backyard for him to frolic around in. Other than throwing our backyard rocks down the garbage disposal and crunching leaves all over the freshly swept patio, Liam’s favorite new past times have included dancing the most adorable of dances to any and all types of music, along with with a love for all things with four wheels. He points at airplanes and says “oooooooh!” and he can down a bowl of mac n cheese as though he’s in a food eating competition. We gave the potty a try the other day, but he thought that big porcelain bowl of water was the scariest thing he ever had to sit on… so we probably won’t be trying that again for a while.

As we enter this weekend, I look forward to my upcoming birthday celebration. I honestly could not tell you the last time that I had a night out with my friends and I am looking forward to it so very much. My blessing of a grandma is taking Liam for the night so that my husband and I can join our friends for a night of good food, good drinks, and good times. The reservations are set, my outfit has been picked, plans for the taxi that we will inevitably need have been made, and my nail appointment has been scheduled. All that comes between me and my celebration of 23 years of life is a few long week days, probably several rounds of dishes, a couple of homework assignments, and some dreaded workouts. But hey, it will make the days go by quicker… maybe? Kind of? Sort of? Probably not, but one can hope! In the meantime I will continue to fantasize about the cheat donut that I am going to consume the second I wake up on Saturday.

I’ve held my son hostage in his high chair for a few minutes too long now, and the second his strawberries are gone, I know the protesting will begin. With that, I will wrap this up and return to my mom duties/master chef dinner preparing duties with the pride of a blog post finally done!

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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