Thursday, April 26, 2012

Finding that extra "push"

Lately, I've been into motivational quotes and reading materials.  It's all a part of the new and assertive Nain.  I look for inspiration to keep myself going in this journey.  It's hard adjusting.  I've been everyone's doormat for so long that I don't know any other way to be.  It's a learned behavior, and I've been doing this for 31 years.  (31 years this Saturday to be exact!) But it's a change, and it's one for the better. 

I have come across one of the most motivational blogs I have ever read, Marc and Angel Hack Life.  If you've never gone to their blog, I highly recommend it.  Today, I loved this quote from their post "12 things you should be able to say about yourself." 

"Each of us has a fire in our hearts burning for something. It’s our responsibility in life to find it and keep it lit. This is your life, and it’s a short one. Don’t let others extinguish your flame."

So often I let the words that others say to me and the criticism they give me eat away at my happiness and derail me in following my heart.  And gosh darn it, I need to stop that.  Because it's getting me nowhere.  I am my own worst critic and my biggest enemy.  And unfortunately, in my life, I am surrounded by a great number of negative people, people who are unhappy in their own life and make it their mission to bring down others around them so that they, too, can feel bad about themselves.  And for me, it works like a charm. 

So I've been craving these little nuggets of motivation like nobody's business.  And I've probably been driving my family and friends crazy posting these on my Facebook page.  But...too bad.  Don't read it.  I just need that extra reminder from time to time.  This is my journey towards becoming a better and happier person.  It's a tough road, but I know it's all for the best in the long run.

On a side note, I am so unbelievably tired today it's not even funny.  What T and I wouldn't give for a good night's sleep.  I'm on my second cup of full-blown caffeinated coffee, and I hate to say that it's not doing the trick.  My next step is sticking my finger in a light socket.  Let's see if that does the trick...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My growing girl

As Aubrey gets older, we find that she's getting more and more alert.  I love it.  Absolutely love it.  It's not like I didn't love the snuggly newborn phase, but it's so fun to see her little personality come out.  And it's fun to start playing and interacting with her and watch her develop and learn things.  She's learning so much and so quickly, too. 

One of the things I absolutely love is to watch her get all excited about the ceiling fan.  Seriously, the kid loves her ceiling fan.  We have one in our bedroom and in our living room, and she just stares at it, smiling and just kicking her legs away.  It's so funny to watch her be so entertained by something so simple.  But to her, it's the coolest thing ever. 

We also try talking with her and interacting as if we're having a conversation.  I'll joke and try to talk politics with her.  For instance, she has some pretty strong views on this upcoming election, as well as the North Korea nuclear crisis.  Or at least she shared those with me.  It's almost like she's trying to talk to us.  She moves her tongue around and coos with us.  I'll ask her a question and give her a second as if she's responding.  She also mimics things I do.  I have started off just by sticking my tongue out at her.  She's managed to stick hers back out at me a few times.  It takes some work, but she gets it out.  So cute. 

It's also so amazing how she recognizes T and me now.  The other day, it almost seemed like she was playing a game with us.  T called it "where's Mommy, where's Daddy?"  He was holding her, and she would look at him, smile, and then turn to look at me, turn back to look at him, turn to look at me, and she kept this up for a good few minutes.  It was hilarious.  Of course, she'd smile at Daddy but not me. (I think someone is already a Daddy's girl...just saying...)  She smiles when we come into daycare to pick her up, too.  It's the best part of my day, picking her up in the evening. 

She is not such a big fan of the tummy time, on the other hand.  I know, I's necessary.  We were kind of slacking on it, until our daycare teachers told us it was pretty important and to just let her cry through it.  So we did that last night, and what do you know?  She was trying to push herself up!   Of course, she cried through it, but I have a feeling once this kiddo starts crawling, we're in big trouble. 

It's just crazy to see how much she's changing, and in just less than three months.  I feel so blessed to be here to witness it.  God, I love that little girl...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

So it wasn't really that bad...

Before Aubrey made her arrival in our world, I got a lot of advice.  And words of warning.  And it got old.  So I wrote a post about it, of course, asking if it really is that bad having a new baby.  So I decided to go through those questions and see if those negative Nancy's were right.  So...were they?  Here are the fun little things I was told before baby...
"You think you're tired now? Just wait, you won't sleep forever..."
Yes, I'm tired.  Beyond tired.  I would give my right hand to get at least six straight hours of sleep.  But, I don't think it'll be matter how long it may seems.  I do hold out hope that someday...just someday...I'll sleep again.  So help me, God.

"You think T's going to help you out with that baby? Be prepared for that NOT to happen..."
Umm....NO.  Nope.  Not at all.  T has been nothing if not an amazing father.  I couldn't get out of bed or move at all those first few days in the hospital, and who was the person who did everything for Aubrey?  That would be her father.  Without complaining or anything.  Granted, he complains now when she's crying at 2 a.m., but so do I.  But we alternate who gets up to feed her.  He helps with her daily baths, we alternate nights on who puts her to bed, and he loves spending time just Daddy and Aubrey.  So the person who told me that couldn't be more wrong. 

"Be prepared for your relationship to suffer..." (YES, I have heard that one, believe it or not)
Well...I'm not going to lie to you all and say that it's been rainbows and ponies this entire time.  We're going on no sleep here, a huge change in our life, and a great deal of stress.  So yeah, we have our days.  But we have grown stronger as a team.  And being new parents and having a family, something has shifted.  It's become more about us, our family, when we make decisions or plans.  We have grown stronger in that respect, too.  So I wouldn't say our relationship has suffered.  It may have been tested, but we're coming out winning.

"You may as well give up on the idea of showering..."
Nope.  I had to at least shower on a daily basis.  Yeah, Aubrey would often cry in her pack and play while I did it, but I needed to at least shower.  It killed me to not be able to shave

"Wearing makeup? Not going to happen."
Well, while I don't wear makeup every day, like when we're working around the house, and during my maternity leave, there would be days where my  hair would immediately go up in a pony tail after washing it, I always did my makeup.  I mean, I am a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant.  Of course, I wear my makeup!  You're talking to the girl who put foundation on before surgery.  And I kept up my skin care routine for the most part - microdermabrasion and wearing my even complexion mask.  I made time for it, what can I say?

"You won't want to exercise at all..."
Not true.  I was itching to start exercising right away.  I hate sitting around, and recovering from surgery forced me to do that.  I pushed myself a bit too hard at first to move around the house but as soon as the doctor said I could, I got back to my walking.  It started off slowly but I'm back to working out regularly.  In fact, T and I alternate who works out in the mornings before work and who does so in the evenings.  It's something important to me, is my stress reliever, so...I make time for it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Motivation Monday!

Motivation Monday 

Who is happy that it's Monday?  Not me!  But alas, it's the start of another work least it ends with my birthday on Saturday.  So I guess I do have something to keep me going this week.  That and motivation, right?  Because this is Motivation Monday, after all!  So let's get started...

It's easy to do, and I totally recommend it.  Start your week off with a goal - whatever it may be, make it your motivation this week.  Write a post about it, linking up to this blog.  Copy and paste the link to your post and put it in a comment to this one, and I'll add you to the list!  Last week we got two people, and that made Nain very happy.  So let's see if we can make it three this week!  Let's do this!

My motivation this week is to continue getting in shape and losing this baby weight.  Well, not just the baby weight, but the stuff that was there beforehand, too.  I went to my cardiologist on Tuesday for my last appointment for a year.  It went really well, and my blood pressure is down.  But that's mostly because of the medication.  While, yes, because of my heart defect, I'll be on medication my whole life, I do think reducing some of my weight will help.  And the doctor thinks so, too.  I'm not close to my target weight for my height.  Granted, I'm not sure if I can get to that weight because most women my height are not so...well...well endowed in certain areas.  But I'd like to get close to that, at least...

So I have a goal.  I did the mini-marathon for the 500 Festival last year, and I couldn't train for that this year with the baby and what not.  But they do have a women's marathon on Labor Day weekend in September.  So I decided I'm going to do it.  I'm walking the mini-marathon in September.  It gives me a goal to work towards, and I'm pretty excited about it.  Walking 13.1 miles is hard, but it feels so good when you've accomplished it.  And with T doing the marathon in November, I can help encourage him and he can help encourage me. 

So that's my motivation this week...what's yours?  Can't wait to read them!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Posting? What's that?

Man...I just saw that my last post was Tuesday.  Today being Friday, I feel kind of bad about that. I do have good reason, though.  This week has been my first week back to work and Aubrey's first week at daycare.  It's been an adjustment, to say the least.  Let me just saying that handing her off to her teachers in her room, walking away and getting in that car was so hard.  I thought I'd be better with it since I wanted to get out of the house and get back to work, but Aubrey and I had spent so much time together since her birth and leaving her was so much harder than I thought it would be.   I cried before we even left the room and then even more when we got to the car.  As much as I said I wouldn't be that mom,  I did call the room later that morning just to see how she was doing.  Not surprisingly, she did just fine.  So I've back off on calling them this week.  I could stop by and see her during the day, but I decided not to do that, as it would make leaving her again hard for me.  So I've decided not to do that. 
The only problem we are facing is how she acts when we get home.  The first day then we got home, you could just tell she was exhausted.  So she just cried and cried throughout dinner and her bath until we put her to bed.  Same thing for Tuesday, a little less on Wednesday and same on Thursday.  All you moms out there, please tell me this does get better.  It's such a bummer that we don't see her all day only to spend two hours with her in the evening and she fusses and cries during that entire time.  Plus, I just hate to see her so upset, little tears forming in her eyes and her bottom lip quivering.  Poor kiddo.  So I do hope she adjusts to this new normal, and of course, we'll keep her to this new schedule as much as we can to help along the way.
My first week back to work has been interesting, too, for reasons I can't go into.  Suffice it to say it hasn't been non-stressful.  And it feels like I never left.  Probably because I was doing work on my maternity leave...but....
I am off today, as is T.  We'll be taking little Miss Aubrey to her two month well-check.  I am totally not looking forward to this, as she receives her first series of boosters.  Luckily, T is coming with me.  The last appointment she got one shot, and when the nurse came in with the needle, she asked "ready?"  And I said no.  But I think she was talking about Aubrey. 
Because of how craziness of this week, T and I will be spending time just the three of us and being low key this weekend.  We need it.  Before the craziness of next week begins....
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Aubrey wants to know...have you turned in your 1040s?  Taxes are due, folks!  Get on it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Motivation Monday!

Motivation Monday 

Another Monday!  I'm not really stoked for this one...I'm heading back to work after 8 weeks off, and it's Aubrey's first day at daycare.  It's tough to leave her in the care of someone else.  We've been together pretty much constantly since birth.  We've bonded and become good buddies..having our good and bad days, but I've loved getting to spend so much time with her.  But alas, it must come to an end because Mommy does need to start earning a paycheck again.

Anyway, I'm rambling...onto the you know the drill, just write a post about something motivating you this week and link it up to my blog.  Just comment to this post and leave a link, and I'll add you to the blog roll!  I'm dying to get to 2 people in one week...let's do this!

Sadly, I feel I have gone off the wagon a bit from last week...didn't get to work out every day like I was doing, but at least I still have been exercising.  I've been trying not to snack but the brownies and M&Ms I had at my Mary Kay Open House today were just calling my name.  I couldn't resist :-)   Bad, Nain, bad. 

So I need to get back on that this week.  With going back to work, of course, there will be days when I can't work out because my time is much more limited.  But one thing I can work on is snacking.  That's my down fall so if I can reign that in, I will be doing OK. 

I'm also working on the whole assertiveness thing...that's my motivation for the week and trust me, I'll need it this week.  So I have some health goals, as well as mental health goals.  Let's see if I can hold to them! 

What's motivating YOU this week?  Can't wait to read them!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Look out world!

I told you all about this Women's Conference I went to on Tuesday and how assertiveness was one of the topics that was discussed.  Well, since that time I've done some thinking...scary, I know...and I've come to the realization that I am giving others way too much power in my life and in how I think.  I'm always worried about how others will react and what others think in order to avoid a conflict and please other people.  And it's exhausting.  I'm currently reading a book about establishing boundaries with people in your life, and it's inspiring me.  Something has to give. 
So I've decided that it's time I speak up for myself.  To live for what I believe in and what I want.  To stop walking on egg shells around people because it's just too much.  I can't keep it up, and now that I have Aubrey, I find that it's just not fair.  And it's not fair to T either.  It's become a source of contention in our relationship, and I've decided to do something about it.  And trust me, this isn't easy for me in the least.  Yeah, I know I'm an attorney, and I fight and argue in the courtroom, but in my personal life?  I fear confrontation in the worst way.  I hate it with a passion.  It's one of my least favorite things to do, right under going to the dentist and gynecologist, of course :-)
It's something I need to do in my job, as the director of a nonprofit.  I've come to find that perhaps others are taking advantage of my trust and easy-going management style.  Now that I am going back to work on Monday, I've decided that has to stop.  I'm the boss, I make the rules, and sometimes...that involves not being the popular one.  I just have to accept it.
With Aubrey, everyone and their second cousin Ted has an opinion on how to raise her, what to do with her, what she wants, needs and what I'm not doing correctly.  (I had this in my pregnancy, too, but I have found that it's become more pronounced after her arrival.)  And sometimes the way people handle her and what they do with her when I am around isn't something I like either.  But I won't say anything.  And then that affects Aubrey.  I'm just going to have to speak up.  Upsetting people or not. 
Now this isn't to say I won't mess up every now and then and won't relapse into my "Oh, but I can't say this because he/she will get made or have his/her feelings hurt."  Part of that is just in my nature as a woman.  But I sure have to try.  And try I will.  Starting today. 
So look out world! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hello, Easter Bunny!

As promised, here they are!  Easter pictures!
On Saturday night, the Easter Bunny visited our house and left a fun basket for Aubrey.  (The other two were sent from her Nana in Michigan.)  Sure, the Easter Bunny knew that Aubrey was only 2 months old and couldn't enjoy Easter candy...but he had a few gifts he still wanted to share.

Mommy woke Aubrey up bright and early Sunday morning to get ready for mass.  We headed to 8:00 a.m. mass, which meant we needed to get there at 7:15 a.m. to get seats since these masses always are super crowded with the Easter/Christmas Catholics.  So I had to wake her up and dress her.  She was none too pleased.  But I think she looks adorable. 

Look, Aubrey!  The Easter Bunny came and left you a present!

After mass, we headed up to my parent's house for Easter dinner.  We were sure to get family pictures taken since we were all so dressed up.  (And before Aubrey ruined her outfit.  She did, by the way...right before her nap.  Peed all over her dress.  Oh well!)

But it's okay...Mommy bought her a cute Easter shirt from Target to change into, along with her jeggings.  And besides, this was MUCH more comfortable!

All in all, it was a pretty good first holiday for Miss Aubrey.  Next big occasion?  Aubrey's baptism on May 20th! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why are you bringing me down?

Yesterday, I was lucky to spend the day networking with some pretty great women at a Women's Conference put on by Skillpath conferences.  I had signed up for this event a little while ago, thinking I could benefit from the topics, and I am so glad that I did.  It was one of those days of "aha" moments and some great ideas for the future and what I want to do when I return to work.  I am an attorney and a director, and while I have a great deal of training in the legal arena (and student loans to show it, too!), I don't have too much training in the areas of HR and being a supervisor.  Leadership skills, assertiveness, etc., are all areas in which I need a little help.  You wouldn't think that, being a lawyer, but being an advocate in the courtroom and leading an organization are two totally different things. 
So I spent the day listening to speeches on assertiveness, on sharpening your leadership skills, excelling at communications with your staff, and the very last of those classes was how to not let difficult people ruin your day.  This class topic particularly spoke to me.  I am more than guilty of doing this on a daily basis, probably several times a day.  I am a sponge.  Everything people say to me, negative or positive, I tend to soak up.  However, the words and comments I tend to soak up the most are the negative ones.  A bad situation or stressful interaction can ruin my day so easily.  And this can happen at work or home.  So I was anxious to see what ideas the facilitators have to share. 
One comment that was made during the day particularly stuck with me:  "Not everyone is meant to be an active player in your life. Some people are meant to sit on the bench."  So many times I let every person in my life play a huge part in determining who I am, how my day will go, what decisions I make, etc.  Why should I?  Why would I allow negative people to be active "players" in my "game?" 
A lot of what was discussed involved how you cannot control how others behave, you can only control how you behave, how you react, and how much you let what negative people say or do control how you feel.  
I spend a lot of time with my Motivation Monday posts talking about losing weight and getting in shape, but honestly, after yesterday's session,  I think some of that motivation should go towards my mental health and my self esteem, especially in the area of how much I let negative people and/or events affect my day and who I am as a person. 
We're all guilty of this, but sometimes it takes hearing it from another person to really step back and say "hmm...that IS a problem..."  I am so glad that I attended yesterday's conference and have some positive changes to make in my life.  I'll have to keep you all posted as I go along! 
Still going to post those Easter pictures...promise :-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'll do an Easter post, I promise!

I should have uploaded the Easter pictures from this weekend yesterday.  I should have.  But no, my daughter had other plans for me...see, we had a bit too much going on this weekend...well, Sunday.  My family can be a bit loud and intense, and this was Aubrey's first experience with that.  And I have a little girl who likes things calm, collected and quiet.  So she was a wee bit over-stimulated and didn't nap more than 45 minutes on Sunday.  She had a hard time getting to bed Sunday night.  So Monday?  She was even more tired than the day before and didn't nap for more than 20 minutes at a time.  By the time the evening got here, she was a mess.  I was a mess.  And poor T had to pick up the pieces.  It was not an easy evening by any means.  I just hope that she gets back to normal because we were doing so well with the sleeping.  I'd hate for one day to throw all of that off. 
A small blessing is that today I get a day off.  T will be spending the day with Aubrey as I go to attend a women's professional conference for the day.  I had signed up for this conference before my maternity leave, thinking I would be back to work by now and Aubrey would be in daycare.  But...not so much.  So T will be with her so that I can attend.  And by how yesterday went, I think this is a very good thing.  My mental state needs it. 
I do have some very cute Easter pictures to share.  Aubrey looked beautiful in her Easter dress.  The Easter bunny came to visit for the very first time.  I promise to share those.  But...only if little Miss Aubrey cooperates and allows me the time to do so. 
Side note...I could also use some time to get out her birth announcements.  Is two months after birth too late to send these out?  Oh well...that's when they're getting to everyone!  If that! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

What's your motivation?

Motivation Monday 

Another Monday greets week from this Monday, I'll be taking one Aubrey to daycare for the very first time.  While I am ready to get back to work, I'm not ready for that.  It'll be tough so I'm trying to not focus on that for the time being.  Instead, it's time to focus on motivation!  I got a participant last week, so let's shoot for two this week!  :-)  It's super easy to do.  Just write a post about anything that is motivating you this week.  If you've already done a post for today, you can do it any day this week.  Just copy and paste a link to your post in a comment to this blog, and I'll link you up! 

I'm doing pretty well on my motivation from last week in working out and trying to lose weight.  Granted, I'm still pretty restricted.  I tried doing a sit-up last week, and the muscles in my stomach are still pretty sore from the surgery.  Probably a little too soon for that just yet.  But I did manage to walk every day last week with Aubrey and went to the gym for some time on the elliptical on Saturday.  I have lost three pounds since I've started working out.  It's hard to say where that's from, but I'm going to take it.  I've reduced the amount of snacking during the day and trying to watch my portions.  No Easter candy yesterday...well, maybe a couple of M&Ms but that's not too bad!  So I just need to keep it up, and hopefully I'll see results!

I do need to give T some huge props on here.  He's training for a full marathon this November, and he's been running these past few weeks since Aubrey was born.  Running on very little sleep apparently is good for him, because he's really been pushing the pace.  And he, too, has been watching his food intake, and he's down 7 lbs since Aubrey was born!  So proud of him! 

So that's my motivation for the week...what's yours? 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Yep! She's my kid!

For the most part, Aubrey gets her physical features from her father...the eyes, shape of her face, lips.  But her disposition, strong will and stubbornness?  I'm afraid to say...she's taking after me.  Dear Lord.  I'm thinking of the teenage years and the battles that are sure to ensue.  Poor T will need to hide in the basement for those years.  It's amazing how much you can see her personality coming through.  And yeah...she's kind of taking after me.  That goes to show how strong genetics are. 
We've been working on the sleep training for about a week now, and it's hilarious how much she's resisting.  (By hilarious, I mean only in hindsight.  I do not find it humorous at 3 a.m. when she refuses to lay down or close her eyes.  Suddenly that book "Go the F*** to Sleep" seems like the best book ever.)  Here are a few instances of her cuteness and stubborn will.
She's more alert now and notices everything.  Seriously, everything.  She looks at the monkey stickers on her wall, she looks at the nightlight, the window, the rungs on her crib, name it.  T and I try to close our eyes when it's late and not look at her so as to not stimulate her.  That doesn't mean she won't look at us.  In fact, the other day, I look down to see if she has finally closed her eyes and I see her little cute face, all wide eyed, smiling right up at me.  (How can you get mad at that?) 
The night before that I closed my eyes again to make her fall asleep.  I look down, squinting them just enough to see her, and there she is...eyes mostly closed, but squinting right back up at me as if to see if I'm looking.  Then they were wide awake after that. 
That same night, I have my head up, eyes closed, and she's all wide-eyed and ready to play.  She realizes Mommy isn't looking at her, so she reaches up and hits my face to get my attention.  I couldn't help but laugh at that. 
We've been working really hard on this sleep training and getting her to sleep in her crib.  She was sleeping in her car seat because that was the only place where she could get comfortable.  She refused the crib.  However, I think we're winning at that.  Last night she slept in the crib the entire time, after each feeding.  (Victory for the parents!) 
The socks.  Oh how she hates the socks.  But her little feet get cold.  I'll put the socks on, and every time, I come back to her and they are off.  I'll put them back on.  She'll kick them off.  I put them on when she's asleep.  She'll take them off in her sleep and when I check on her, there she is sleeping like a baby, socks off.  We went for a walk a few weeks ago, and it was a little chilly out.  So I put socks on her and covered her bottom half with a blanket.  We walk for a few minutes, and I look down at her, and what do I see?  Her bare feet, just barely out of her blanket. 
It's these little moments where I have to laugh.  She's simply adorable and has quite the personality.  And at only 7 weeks, too! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Making friends

"I sure wish I had some friends to play with around here..."

"Wait, who is this?"

"Let me get a better look at look kind of nice..."

"Hello, my name is Aubrey...can we be friends?"


Monday, April 2, 2012

Motivation Monday!

Motivation Monday 

It's another Motivation Monday!  I didn't get any participants last week so let's change that this week and get as much participation as possible!  I mean...we all need motivation every now and then, right?  It's super easy to participate...just write a post about something for which you need motivation, link up to this blog and leave a link to your post in a comment.  And I'll add you to the list!

My motivation this week continues to be weight loss and getting into shape.  I'll admit that last week I did eat a little too much of the Easter candy...but I have vowed this week to steer clear from that as much as possible.  I've even specially requested of my parents that they not do the normal thing with our family this year and not give T and me candy.  Because we don't need it.  Especially me, since I'm stuck at home, and if it's there...I will eat it.  And that's bad.  I'm also doing a better job of exercising more often.  It's nice because the first few workouts were pretty tough...having not done any physical activity in forever and recovering from surgery.  But I am proud to say this weekend that I managed to do 45 minutes on the elliptical.  (Go me!)  I try to walk every day, at least with Aubrey with me, if not by myself when T is around.  It's going to be a process but I'll get there.  Despite the fact I haven't gained as much weight with the baby, I still need to get rid of that baby pooch and also about 10 pounds I had put on before the baby. 

I'm wanting to start doing ab workouts to help with the baby pooch, but I'm only seven weeks out of surgery, still a little tender in that area, so I'm thinking that may need to wait.  And that's hard for me to admit because I tend to push myself a lot and am incredibly stubborn when it comes to things like that. 

So that's my motivation for the week...what's yours?  Write your post and link up!