Thursday, June 28, 2012

Homecoming: back to OKC

Last week Molly and I made a trip back home to Oklahoma City. We had so much fun and I thoroughly enjoyed having extra hands to help with Molly. It made Working at Home so much easier! I was also able to squeeze in a couple nights out thanks to my parents who babysat. Always nice to have free babysitters.

When I wasn't working we were busy with activities. We celebrated my brothers birthday, we met up with old high school friends who have had babies for a play date, we went to brunch, we hit up the bookstore, we checked out the new local library and we visited family. A fantastic trip.

Doing a little reading with GG at the new library

Upside down reading at Barnes and Noble

Nomnom on some letters

Checking out the backyard

Lunchtime with GG

Exploring the new environment

And of course we had to enjoy a few drinks during our downtime. Sitting and chatting in the front yard.


Its always nice to go home for a few days. Extra help with the baby, prepared meals, laundry doesn't get much better. But back to reality.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Being a Work at Home Mom {wahm}

I received a few requests asking how I make being a work at home Mom work for us, so I thought this would be a good post topic.

I will start off by saying its not easy. But I am extremely fortunate to be able to make a living and be around my baby girl everyday. I also have an amazing employer who has worked with me from the beginning to accommodate my changing needs.

For us, me working is a must. My husband is in a doctorate program to become a chiropractor so he is not bringing home an income right now. This means that I am the main breadwinner in our house for the time being and need to have a job so we can pay the mortgage and keep the lights on. 

The company I work for is remote so prior to having Molly I already worked from home. My plan was to continue my same work from home situation after she was born and my maternity leave was over. In my mind I was picturing this- me, in my office, working along with my cup of coffee and the radio on while my baby happily played with her toys on the floor causing no distraction. ha! I had another thing coming...

Before becoming pregnant I had never pictured myself being a stay at home mom. Part of my identity was my career, actually a lot of my identity was my career. I was a 20 something single (not yet married) woman with no kids and no real responsibilities. My main objective every day was work. And I really really enjoyed my career. So picturing sitting around the house, watching daytime television and turning over loads of laundry while my kid played (my unrealistic view of what a sahm did) was not my idea of a good time. 

I got a real understanding of the stay at home mom life while on maternity leave and wow, hardest job of my life! And I quickly realized my notion of simply working as I once did, just with a baby on the floor, was not going to work. I was going to have to come up with another plan. Especially since I couldn't work while bouncing on the yoga ball holding my screaming child and SSHH'ing as loud as a I could {see my colic post for a better explanation of this}. 

My husband and I sat down and started a conversation about what was going to work for us. And luckily some family members stepped up in a HUGE way. So this is my life as a work from home mom.


What I do: 
I am an Account Executive for a web development firm. I manage clients and projects on a day to day basis and oversee the ins and outs of the operations. I have been with my current company for 2 years.

My schedule:
I work full-time on a modified schedule. I am available every day but not always at my desk. Because we are a web company my work can mostly be done anywhere, including on the go. Technology is fantastic! On Mondays and Tuesdays I work at my desk all day from 9 to 5. These are my full focus days and I schedule most of my client meetings during these days. I have someone watching Molly during the day so I don't have to worry about her and I can devote all of my attention to work. On Wed-Fri I work at my desk, in the living room, from my phone at a doctors appt. etc. while taking care of Molly. On these days I make the most of nap time. I power through things with 150% during those times to make sure everything is taken care of. I have one hand in work and one hand on Molly when she is up and it gets very challenging. Especially as of late since M has gotten extremely mobile.


Sitter situation:
Near the end of maternity leave I started to panic because I realized that my vision for work from home/take care of Molly was not going to pan out. I was going to need another plan. There was no way I would be able to work without the help of someone else. This is when my Dad stepped up bigtime! Lucky for me, my Dad is semi retired and he volunteered himself to watch Molly on Mondays and Tuesdays. No big deal right--well my Dad lives 3 + hours away! He made a huge sacrifice to drive to us every week to watch Molly so I could work. This has been a lifesaver for us. It has allowed us to save money on childcare, keep Molly at home with a family member and he gets to spend time with his first grandchild. He drives to our house on Sunday evenings, watches Molly on Monday and Tuesday while I work and then drives home Tues night. Amazing!


What Molly does:
Molly has never really been on a schedule (we are sort of there now, finally) so her days look a little different from one to the next. Right now she takes two naps a day, each around one hour and fifteen minutes and eats 3 meals a day. In between that she plays. So on the days that I am taking care of her I juggle between working, feeding her, changing her diapers, putting her down for naps and keeping her entertained while I work. It is not easy. My office looks like a daycare center. Toy chaos! Some days she is more independent and will play on her own for a long time allowing me to really focus but other days she is extremely needy and wants my attention at all times. And now that she is crawling, pulling up, climbing, trying to step from one thing to the other I am unable to walk away from her for more than a minute. This makes finding time to pee, eat, get something to drink, etc very difficult. BUT I get to spend my days with my little girl by my side and that is amazing.



Evaluation of how its going:
I am tired. I don't get any downtime. My breaks from Molly are when I work at warp speed and my breaks from work are when I am fully focusing on being a Mom. My lunches are cheese sticks and a slice of turkey while making a bottle and my conversations are bababa and lalalala. Its different from what I ever imagined myself doing but I think its worth it. Believe me, there are days when I wish I was waking up and driving Molly to daycare and then going into work. Being able to separate my two roles completely sometimes sounds like heaven. But then I remember how short this time is and how much Molly enjoys being with me and her Granddad and I wouldn't trade my situation for anything.

We are just now starting to explore hiring a babysitter to come in on Wed and Thurs around Noon to 4 or 5. Because of Molly's increasing mobility I just need to be able to have some more full focus time. Our plan is to have them in our house still so I am there and available if Molly needs me.

My 20 something pseudo single (shout out to the old blog name!) self would have never, ever pictured this for myself. But life is full of new and unexpected adventures. And we are making the most of it, and trying to have as much fun as possible while doing it!



Please, please post any questions you have in the comments. I would love to hear from other work from home or stay at home moms or work away from home moms. Its all hard and there is no right way to do it. Its whatever works best for your family. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Daddy Daughter Friday: Throwback

All of my social network friends are having babies and all the photos of these fresh babes have me missing teeny tiny new Molly. So I thought we would go throwback on Daddy Daughter Friday. Molly is probably a week old in this picture. So small and precious.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Attempts and Failures

As a perfectionist, one of the hardest things for me to learn and cope with is that not everything is going to turn out as planned. Especially in regards to being a new parent. I have really struggled with some of the things that didn't work out like we had hoped (breastfeeding) and been able to embrace some of the other things that didn't take hold (a schedule).

I thought I would share some notes on some of the attempts and failures modified successes.

My initial goal was to breastfeed until M is 1 year old but we had to give it up at around 6 weeks. This was the hardest attempt and failure for me to swallow. {You can read about my full experience here.} And I still have moments of guilt and sadness about it to this day.  But I have also learned to understand that Molly is a healthy, thriving baby who is meeting all of her milestones and is happy. That is the ultimate goal.


Cloth Diapering
I had big grandiose ideas about all the money we were going to save using cloth diapers and how great it was going to be. ha! We have had issues since day 1. First Molly was super tiny (and still is) and they just didn't fit great and looked ridiculous. So we stuck with disposables and told ourselves once she grew out of newborn diapers we would switch to cloth. Well we are in size 2 and still using disposables. I just haven't been able to find my stride with this one. I use the cloth from time to time but can't get the hang of it. And they still look ridiculous on her tiny frame. 

I am not completely abandoning this one, she will be in diapers for another year at least so we will revisit this. And hopefully turn this current failure into a modified success.

Glass Bottles
We wanted to use glass bottles from Lifefactory to reduce cleaning, waste and a whole slew of bottle accessories. During the breastfeeding struggle we were told to use specific bottles that were as close to the breast as possible so we had to purchase those. They were also specific to colic since Molly was very colicky. They are Playtex Drop-Ins and we are still using them because Molly likes them the best. I hate that we have to buy drop-ins and it creates a lot of waste (we do recycle them) but we have to go with what our daughter likes at this point.

I did use one of the glass bottles while we were out and about the other day and she liked it well enough. But I think we will be transitioning out of bottles and to sippy cups for all feedings soon so these will be a waste. For the next one!

I am an athlete. I have always been into physical activity in its various forms (running, gym, cycling, tennis, Pilates, frisbee etc. etc.) and I thought after Molly was born I would be able to resume these activities no problem. Ha!

I have yet to make it to the gym. I have not been on my road bike or mountain bike since she was born. I can count the times I have gone running on one hand. And my tennis racket is collecting dust in the garage.

Right now, between work and spending time with Molly and my husband when he gets home I just haven't found the right balance. But I am not giving up on this one.


A Schedule
While reading all of my baby books prior to M's birth I knew that we would be getting on some sort of schedule fairly early on. I am a schedule person. I need my routine and I need it to be consistent. Some of my Mom friends had successfully got their babies on a very regimented schedule and life was peachy.

Well Molly is a different baby. She had colic, she is "high needs" and she moves to her own beat. All things that add up to no schedule, complete chaos!

Recently, we have found our stride and a schedule is beginning to form. Thank god! But dealing with the lack of one has been hard for me.

I had to tell myself that Molly knows what she needs and for these few months I have to go with that.

Sleeping through the Night
This one is rough! M was a great night sleeper from the first night we brought her home. She knew her days from nights right away. She would sleep, by definition, through the night with no problem. She even started hitting the coveted 12 hours straight. And then BAM -- out of nowhere it stopped. And we had been spoiled so adjusting to her new night wakings has been tough. And frustrating. And a failure!

Now that she is 7.5 months old, and our pediatrician has let us know she needs to get rid of her night feeding(s), we are about to embark on some serious sleep training. Hoping that turns into a modified success and we start getting some good uninterrupted sleep again.


As you can see, things have not always gone as planned. We have made many many adjustments. But that is part of being a parent. You have to learn to go with the flow, even if its against every natural instinct you have. Being a parent for the first time is HARD. And learning that every baby and situation is different takes time.

But the most important thing is a happy healthy baby. And we are so lucky and blessed to have just that.


Monday, June 18, 2012

A First Fathers Day

I want to start off this post with a message to my husband Chase...

Such a hot Dad!


What a joy it has been these past 7 months to watch you grow into an amazing father to our little girl. While the timing wasn't quite what we had planned you embraced this new journey with excitement and enthusiasm. I always knew you would be a great Dad and to watch it in action is so much fun. You have been there when I needed you most in those first trying months and you continue to be our rock. You are patient when I am frazzled, you are calm when I get worked up. You have the ability to center us when we need it most. Molly adores you and gets the biggest grin when you walk into the room. Our family would not be complete without you in it. We love you.



2011-11-27 at 16-13-02





To celebrate Chase's first Fathers Day we went to ballgame. It was Molly's first major league baseball game and it was so much fun.



and Molly got her first bat.


Then we gave Dad his present. He loved it.


Happy Father's Day!


And for my Dad. I love you. You are the best Dad and Granddad in the entire world!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Molly: 7 Months

I feel like I hit 'publish' on the 6 month post just yesterday (I did post it a week or so late). Time around here is moving at lightning speed! But it sure is getting fun.

In last months post I talked about how there hadn't been a lot of change. Well I guess Molly took that as a challenge because boy did things take off since then!

Our baby girl has made some huge physical strides. She went from sort of crawling to speeding around the house on all fours like she has been doing it for months. And within the week of mastering crawling she just pulled herself up like no big deal.

She spends her days crawling around the house and pulling up on everything. It has made working while she plays a bit of a challenge. If she isn't moving, she isn't happy. She gets this amazing accomplished look on her face when she pulls herself up and then lets go with one hand to balance herself. As soon as she makes eye contact with you after she is up she gets the biggest "look at me Mom" grin on her face. I love it.

We were a little concerned she would never sit up on her own since they are "supposed" to sit first and then crawl. With her interest in pulling to stand all the time we wondered how she would ever learn. Once again she took this as a challenge to her and within the same week span of crawling and pulling up she started sitting up on her own. Seeing your baby sit up and play with a toy is unbelievable. It turns her into this little person. Wow.

Eating solids is going pretty well. We are doing mostly purees because she doesn't quite have the pincher grasp down and gets frustrated. She likes most foods we try but still struggles with the whole "open up" concept. We are eating 2 meals a day right now, one around 12:30 and one around 6pm.

Sleeping is still the same. She had a cold for a week and started waking a lot during the night and wouldn't go back down without a feeding. We are back to once a night now but the time varies dramatically and we are still doing a feed. I know we have to wean her off the overnight feed but it is rough. More on this to come.

Being a parent of a 7 month old has snuck up on us fast. But its just so much fun. She sees everything from a new perspective now and watching her brain process the world is really something.

Happy 7 Months Molly!


Stats: {no doc appt this month so these are guesses}
Weight- Close to 15lbs 
Height- 26" {50%}
Head- no idea

Wearing mostly 6mo clothing and some 6-9mo and still in size 2 diapers.

Crawling around the house
Pulling herself up
Wrestling with her giant lamb
Typing on my keyboard
Playing with Mom and Dads faces

Falling and bumping her head
Being removed from a bad pulling up scenario
Being in the carseat outside of the car (restaurants etc.)




Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekend Review

We had a very fun and happy weekend so I thought I would share a few photos to sum it all up. We got some rest, did some house chores and got in lots of play time!

Our first fruit from the garden, a cherry tomato


Pool time!

Hanging out after her bath

Pulling up on anything and everything

Her first Twizzler (looks like she is smoking a cigar!)

Playing with her boyfriend

Beautiful roses really opening up

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Here is to a wonderful week ahead!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Daddy Daughter Friday: Matching Mustaches

Molly was a great sport at the birthday party we threw for her Dad a couple weeks ago. So much so that she was willing to grow some facial hair just for him.


Happy Friday!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Our Lil Monkey

So many milestones have been reached this past month and I can hardly keep up. Molly is all of a sudden a little monkey. Crawling, climbing and reaching for anything and EVERYTHING! My job as a Mom has gotten so much harder as I follow her around the house preparing for big spills or redirecting her away from a not so safe target.

I realized just how different and mobile she has become when last week, while in my office trying to work, I was typing an email and turned around to realize Molly was no longer in the office. I quickly got up to find she had crawled into our bedroom (going after our dog Paisley) and was pulling herself up on our bed. Whoa! When did she get so fast?

Of course with all this new adventuring she has been doing we have been snapping lots and lots of pictures. I thought I would share her latest antics with you via a few photos.








The things babies pick up so quickly is just amazing. It seems like just yesterday she was barely able to tolerate tummy time. Now look at her go, exploring the world around her.