Friday Fives: Soft Opening 

Hi Internet!! Miss me?

Updates fueled by coffee!

 This is my “soft opening post” since there will be a few more changes as I get all of the dust bunnies cleared out. Be on the lookout for some real content coming to the blog… AHEM… in otherwordsi’llactuallybepostingregularlyagain <cheesy grin>

What do you guys think of the new graphics? (Mobile users head to a computer and check it out!) It took me a while to figure out which direction I wanted to go, and while this is certainly the MOST girly look’ve gone for, I’m very pleased with it.

The first 10 months of this year have been full, and I wish I had been better documenting some of the things that went on here, both the great and the meh. Here are a few things:

1// Bernhard’s 1st Birthday – it was great. My parents popped up for a whirlwind 36-hour trip, B got to go to the childrens museum here, and then that Saturday the littlest Beatles fan had a yellow submarine party.  

Our local vegan bakery did an awesome job on his cake! And it tasted amazing too.

2// Nina passed away  – Unfortunately we lost JP’s grandmother very suddenly around the same time B turned 1, so JP missed the yellow submarine party so he could be with her, and we headed to her funeral soon after. Losing a family member you’re close to is never easy.  I hope I don’t cause offense mentioning it here. I’m extremely happy B got to get some quality Nina-time in lat Christmas. She was a beautiful woman in so many ways, I only knew her a realtively short time, but all of us will always miss her. 

3// Childcare Ups and Downs – the one thing people don’t tell you is how dang stressful finding good childcare is. We started the year on what we thought was a high note but then it deteriorated into an unsafe situation, we had a second crappy option, JP was home with B for about two months (they went on SO many adventures!!), and then we found an absolutely wonderful situation and B is THRIVING!!

4// JP Passed the Qualifying Exams – and not only did he pass them, but he got FULL passes from ALL of his committee members. In addition to studying like a mad-man we had a touch of help and now have a family devotion to St. Joseph of Cupertino🙂

5// Health Issues – 2016 has been rough for us concerning health issues. All of us contracted hand-foot-and-mouth disease, JP had a mild case, B and I had severe cases (I couldn’t walk due to the blisters and was on quarentine from the office for a week). We’ve had multiple rounds of the sniffles, a couple bouts of horrid stomach viruses that hit all three of us hard, B had had multiple rounds of acid rash, aaaand the  week after my 30th I ended up in the ER and a few specialist visits after the trip I was cleared for what took me in but now have a heart condition that will be monitored annually. Just how I wanted to mark my entry into the  next decade of my life. Yay… not really. Here’s hoping 2017 is better for us in that respect.

When everyone is taken out the only thing to do is ‘camp’ in the living room. Even of it means a daniel tiger soundtrack.

So yeah, I’m back and more awesome things are in store for my little corner of the internet. I’ll be seeing you soon!


Wrapping up the #lastdayofmy20s I still have work to finish while the baby-turned-toddler sleeps. 
Or rather the few minutes he’ll sleep before demand more boob for what feels like the umpteenth time. It’s not his fault. He’s still little, and he’s cutting a tooth. The last couple times I popped upstairs I couldn’t help but let a few tears trickle and leak out.
Tears that contained exhaution, anxiety, pain and frustrations.So far 2016 has been rough, this last week has been no exception, and to cap it off I’m being flung into another decade tomorrow, and I’m feeling really uncertain about it. I’ve had a sour feeling in my stomach each and every time someone has brought it up and along with that sour feeling my anxiety spikes. Why? I have no flipping idea, it’s a rather silly thing to allow tl happen, but it keeps happening, and as the last 120 minutes (in eastern standard time anyway) tick away the pit in my stomach becomes a little more persistent.

I think I good part of these feelings are wrapped around not only 2016 being a hard year, but also that 30 seems like such a big milestone to be flung into. Reflecting on it during my rather ridiculous commute home that took more than twice as long (thanks major chemical spill) I guess part of it is me wondering if I’m where I wanted to be per my younger self. 

I have the husband, the (hopefully) first of my children. I’ve gotten a degree, gotten to go on adventures both in the States and in Europe. I’m somewhat functional (a bit rusty now) in another languge. And this is mearly scratching the surface of what’s happened in the last decade of my life.

Yet, despite all of it, I’m still finding myself questioning who I am, what I’m doing with my life and where I’m going. 

Am I who I really set out to be and who I had hoped? Am I happy with what I’ve done with my life and what I’m currently doing? And am I going in the direction I want to? 

They seem like simple questions to answer, but they aren’t. And I’m not sure of I can answer them fully tonight or actually ever. I don’t know if I’m really meant to.

In the birthday card my grandmother sent (yes I already opened the card) she suggested I do something ‘outrageous’. And at this moment I’m not sure what that something would entail. Maybe it will come to me tomorrow when I wake up in another decade.

One Month a Baby and Life Lately

Two days ago Bernhard hit the 11-month mark, which means babyhood is fading at an alarming rate and toddlerhood will be upon us before I’m ready. Also, I’m still sucking as a blogger. :p Well, and sucking in other aspects of life too… More on that later.

On the eve of his 11-month mark, B said his first non-parental word: “kiss”. And he has been refusing to let is get video evidence. On his 11-month mark the monkey stood straight up without having to pull up on something, though he was holding an empty OJ carton he fished out of the trash (mother of the year here), and yesterday he crawled over to me while I was prepping dinner in our tiny apartment kitchen, sat ON my feet and said “sit”. I have a feeling we’re going to have a chatter bug on our hands!

As I snuggled down to nurse him to sleep last night I couldn’t help thinking “be a baby longer”. Not because I’m upset he’s growing, but I know sweet moments like this are going to be replaced before I know it. He’s already showing glimmers of the switch between babyhood and toddlerhood, and my heart has been aching in a rather acute bittersweet way the last few days.

Back in March JP passed the big PhD qualifying exams!! So now we’re over that hump, it’s onto the dissertation proposal, writing the actual dissertation, defending the dissertation aaaand then FINALLY purchasing academic robes and huge bottle of trappist beer to celebrate when he’s finally Dr. Ewing, PhD. Now for the buring question everyone has: how long does he have left? The answer is about three years — some people give me a funny look when I say that, BUT you have to remember that in addition to doing this PhD thing he is also teaching and now has fatherly duties in top of the massive paper and research. Our little boy does love him some daddy time too:


I love these two so much.
(the dog isn’t half bad either)

So where does that put me and the general suckiness I mentioned? In addition to kinda freaking out about B’s birthday coming up in less than 30-days, I’m still dealing with postpartum gumbo fun, and being sick, including contracting a not-so-lovely case of hand foot and mouth disease at the beginning of April, feeling the crazy pull of wanting another baby already, project deadlines, feeling like I’m sucking at my day job, feeling lonely, bouncing between a bunch of periods of stress and geneally feeling lost and overwhelmed a lot of the time.

In so many ways I feel like I’ve been barely keeping my head above the water since January 1st. There have been glimmers of “you’ve got this”, but if I’m honest a lot of the time I don’t feel that way.

Last Friday I had a bit of a ‘reset day’ where I ignored work in the morning and met up with some friends for coffee and had a moms’ night out that evening. It made me realize that so far this year I’ve been putting my eggs into the wrong baskets, and to use a somewhat crude euphamism “sh!tting where I eat”, so I have GOT to make some changes. JP actually pointed out last week that I’ve let my self-care drop to next to non-existant because I’ve been busying myself with things that aren’t close to home as well as struggling a bit to figure out who I am again. I’m giving myself a timeline — I havr until June 17th. After that I’m setting a list of 30 goals for 30 and we’re going to do this. I kinda refuse to let the suckage and gumbo turn into a “quarter life crisis” as someone suggested I might be going through! That and I think the whole idea of a quarterlife crisis is peter pan syndrom BS… Ok, my pumping session is nearly up – packing it in until next time.

9 months, how did that happen? And looking back at 2015

Hey internet.  If you haven’t guessed, the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 really ramped up… and technically I SHOULD be doing something more productive… like corrections to a document or folding laundry or dishes or walking the dog, but instead I’m blogging.  I guess I just need a brain break😉

So, tomorrow my tiny boss, aka Bernhard Joseph, the second great love of my life will be 9 months old!!!  How the heck did that happen?!?!  He’s doing really well — he has 8 teeth already, love eating, still nurses a LOT, is full out crawling and has JP and I wrapped around those tiny chubby fingers.  He’s also wearing 18-month clothing, and I’m in the process of boxing up all the 12-month size!!

So, this is only about 6 weeks late, but let’s review 2015 — fair warning, most of my answers are cheesey new mom related!

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? Gave birth!

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? My theme for last year was kindness.  I feel like keeping to that was hit and miss.  The theme for this year is “Growing into Me” — more on that in a future post (and this is NOT one of those stupid ‘you do you’ thinhs), and hopefully soon and not in 6 months! Also, I’m turning 30 this year and will be reevaluating life then🙂

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Me!  And there have been LOTS more babies this year, including lots of friends, including some of my closest, and cousins.

4. Did anyone close to you die? We had another year with no deaths in the family.

5. What countries did you visit? Texas.  Hey, it was it’s own country at one point😉

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? More time with extended family.

7. What date from 2015will remain etched upon your memory and why? May 18th for pretty obvious reasons.  But also August 2nd, the day Bernhard was baptized.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Learning not to loath pumping milk for the baby.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not being kind to myself, and failing at being kind and patient with others.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? December was rough — I had bronchitis followed by a norovirus!

11. What was the best thing you bought? Our second car! It has made life just a bit easier.

12. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Everything baby related, the birth, his milestones, sharing the world with him, watching John Paul turn into a father.

13. What song will always remind you of 2015?  The Good Old Days by P!nk.

14. Compared to this time last year, are you: Thinner or fatter? Thinner! (if I’m going February 2015 to February 2016)

15. Richer or poorer? Richer in various ways🙂

16. What do you wish you’d done more of? Reading. 2015 was a light year for me. Or board gaming. The first half of the year was ok, the second really light.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of? Smartphone confession time (and I really am a little ashamed of this): candy crush… Yeah…

18. Did you fall in love in 2015? I fell even more head over heels for JP — he was amazing during Bernhard’s birth, I could not have asked for a stronger rock or better birth coach, and he was amazing during my recovery. Also, I maybe changed a handful of diapers during the first couple weeks of Bernhards life — how lucky can a girl get?? And of course I met the number two love of my life.

19. What was your favorite TV program? Uuuummmmm… Maybe Fixer Upper? Or Property Brothers? Both shows feel scripted, the latter more than the former, but JP and I like getting ideas for our home someday once this whole getting the PhD gig is finished.

20. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I had an interaction with a member of the public last year that left me feeling horrible and having a strong adversion to her and a certain political candidate running for office. I don’t hate people, but I have an adversion to both. Maybe next year I should change up this question?

21. What was the best book you read? Expecting Better – it was the best pregnancy book I read.  I highly recommend it.

22. What was your greatest musical discovery? Look up Rockabye Baby on youtube — lullaby renditions of the beatles ans more. Need I explain further?

23. What did you want and get? A new family member.

24. What did you want and not get? A little more sleep?

25. What did you not want and get? The whole postpartum gumbo. Things are slowly improving through.

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Dinner, cake and hung out with my guys.  Bernhard was only a month old, and I was still recovering so it was perfect.

27. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A longer day/more time to do wve

28. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? Nursing mama chic.

29. What kept you sane? As always, John Paul.  But also baby smiles.

30. Which celebrity/public figure did you follow the most? No one really.  I’ve been a bit preoccupied.

30. What political issue stirred you the most? The planned parent hood videos — I, and John Paul, are unapologetically pro-life, and the act of selling baby body parts is horrible on top of the act of killing a defenseless human being. (please note, I will delete comments are inappropriate, my stance on this is NOT up for debate)

31. Who did you miss? The usual suspects — family. I miss John Paul and Bernhard every single day in yhe fiercest of ways when we are apart. They truly are parts of my soul.

32. Who was the best new person you met? Bernhard Joseph!  (duh!), but I’ve also made LOTS of new mom friends.

33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015:  I am enough. (another forthcoming blog post)  It’s been a really hard lesson now that my life has shifted to being needed not only in my role as a wife and partner in crime to John Paul, but now I have more expectations as a mother to Bernhard. I’ve never had such intense feelings of being an absolute failure before.

34. Quote a song lyric or something that sums up your year: “And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.” Mumford and Sons

I feel like in a way, this snippet describes becoming a mother in top of everything else, postpartum gumbo included.


(please excuse any weird formatting! I finished this post on my iphone after the baby went down)

Being Enough; Becoming a Mother

Day to day life and interactions can be difficult enough when you’re just married or even single. Life is full of demands. There’s school, work, cleaning, self-care, familial obligations, student loans, volunteering, pets, friends, etc.  All of it can be a struggle. you feel like you’re being pulled in a thousand different directions, and you’re not sure which fire needs to be doused first.

Add a baby to the mix, and you can go from feeling like you’re treading water well to being on the brink of drowning.  Your fires have gone from bonfire to full on forest fire scale, and you find yourself unsure if you need to burst into tears, scream, or curl up into a tight little ball and wish the world away.  Oh, and then if you’re dealing with any bit of postpartum “gumbo” you find yourself feeling royally F-ed from time to time because on top of not feeling like you can possibly give anymore of yourself, you’re also having to come to terms simultaneously that you’re also dying.

Holy crap Batman.

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