Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Sunday, September 23, 2012

sunday night blues.

I caught the Sunday night blues a lot earlier than normal tonight. I just felt like my Sunday night to-do list was far too long to actually get accomplished. This making of unrealistic to-do lists really isn't anything new for me, but tonight's was just ridiculous considering added to it was a LOT of work that needed to be done to prepare for meetings tomorrow. Anxiety and stress were creeping in quickly. 

It is so hard. It is so hard being a full-time working mom sometimes. Here's the thing, when you're working in the business world nobody really cares that you just went without sleep for the past three years week because you have had a teething baby and a toddler with a cold. Nobody really care that when you get home from work you have a million things to do for your family and then will end up getting back on your computer to finish work when everyone else is headed to bed. Nobody cares that while you're leading meetings and hammering out presentations that you're missing your babies to the point of tears many days. Nobody cares. They, of course, care about you and they care about your family... but what I mean is that they're not going to cut you any breaks. 

And I'm grateful for that in many ways. I know I can be amongst the best both at home and at work, but I'm not going to say that it's easy, because it is so hard and I'm feeling the weight of all of that tonight more than usual. Probably because I'm at the end fo the weekend and feel like the weight of all the pressures weren't lifted at all since I left the office Friday.  

Sorry to be a downer, but I'm tired and just need a break. I'm so thankful for the weekend coming up. We'll be headed out of town for a friend's wedding. So, so needed. The goal of the week between now and then is survival... and hopefully a lot more than that. 

Any advice is welcome :)

PS: One BIG piece of amazing news from his weekend which will probably only be understood by fellow moms is that Jackson finally, finally went #2 consistently on the potty. He has been out of diapers except for his every other day #2 since he turned two in February, but we made HUGE progress this weekend and I think he has said goodbye to diapers once an for all. So proud of him!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

oh, saturday...

Today was made up of all my favorite things. Relaxing morning full of coffee, lots of baby time, a great run, fall weather, adventures, shopping at some favorite places. Perfection. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

the cure for anxiety.

I have had a lot of anxiety the past couple of days and it all feels like it's coming to the surface tonight... house is a disaster, really feeling overwhelmed at work, still recovering from not feeling well the past few days, not liking that I'm behind in my runs... and then I see this goofy face and I finally feel at peace for the first time today and realize that I'll get to all of it, eventually. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

the peanut: 3 things.

Do you see the little face up there? That's the peanut and she's killing me today. 

1. I stopped by Target to get her some leggings because clearly her "won't even fit in her closet" because it's too big wardrobe doesn't include any leggings up to my standards. And do you know what I realized? Her size? It's not in the little baby section anymore. It's in the section that is with all of the big girls, the toddler girls. I know this because I searched every single rack in the little baby section and nothing, absolutely nothing for the peanut. Heart-breaking. 
2. She fed herself half a bottle tonight on the way to the grocery store. My peanut does not feed herself. Maybe she would like to, maybe it would be easier, but my peanut does not do that... mommy and daddy do that. It's our job to feed our peanut. Dislike. 
3. And finally, my baby took THREE- count them, 3!- steps tonight. She has been taking 1-2 steps every once in awhile over the past week but tonight we will count them as her official first steps since she did so many in a row. Peanut, thank you for waiting until mommy got home to see, otherwise you would have been in some serious trouble. 

And that's all. Just that my little baby Audrey has completely grown up today, no big deal. I'll just go cry myself to sleep now... 

Update: We checked and it turns out the peanut was exactly ONE day earlier in taking her 1st steps than Jackson as seen HERE

10 Things: Thankful on Monday

10 things I'm thankful for on this Monday:

1. For candy bowls in the office.
2. For happy, inspiring, funny colleagues. 
3. For a husband who initiates dance parties with my babies. 
4. For a son who spontaneously gives his baby sister hugs and kisses. 
5. For a safe, secure home... because that's not so much a guaranteed thing in this world. 
6. For a career that pushes me to do more, be more, see more. 
7. For answered prayers. 
8. For fall'ish weather. 
9. For the confidence I have that my babies are being taken care of by people who love them. 
10. For so much to look forward to. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

philippians 2:13

I pray often for God to tell me if I'm on the right track, if I'm doing what he put me here to do and to give me some hints on what I'm supposed to do next. Any by "hints" I mean, just please tell me exactly what your purpose is for me and please do tell me NOW! It's the impatient side of me asking for all of this. And it's the perfectionist side of me. It's very "me" to want to please Him so badly and to know that I'm making the most of my life. 

And for as many times as I've prayed this to Him, I still am so humbled and so surprised, really, when he answers my prayers and starts to lay things out very clearly to me. Almost like a teacher spelling the lesson out to his student very carefully so that they don't miss it, so that they couldn't' possibly misinterpret the instructions. 

I can't go into details now, but I will say that God has been whispering in my hear very loudly over the past couple of weeks and a seed that he planted in me a long time ago is starting to grow very strongly. "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." -Philippians 2:13. (isn't it funny how little verses such as this one pop up in front of you just as you're thinking about the very message it is conveying?). This desire that he has placed in my heart is a passion that is almost overbearing, taking over so many of my thoughts and has me tediously researching and seeking to understand even better so that I can not only accept this mission he is sending me on, but live it out with as much bold faith as he already has in me. 

I've, of course, already been avidly sharing all of this with Dan. His response? Zero questions asked, zero judgement, zero cynicism. Only complete support, faith and love. Why am I surprised? Obviously God wouldn't have asked me to live out such a purpose without providing for me a partner to fulfill it with. 

There is so much wrong with this world. So, so much. So much to fear, to hate, to let get you down... if you let it. But, what is most important and deserves so much more of my energy and my attention is that for all that is wrong, there is so much more that is good. And if we listen with our hearts open, He will provide a way for us to keep focused on all the endless hope and will give us each our purpose (or many purposes) to fulfill. 

Peanut's 1st King's Island Trip

This weekend was P&G's day at King's Island. We weren't sure how JP would be feeling after having surgery on Friday, but when a two year-old is forced to contain energy for more than 24 hours there comes a point when you must release the beast inside and let him run (a little) wild. So, we packed up the babies and went to the amusement park on Saturday. The weather was gorgeous and Jackson LOVED every part of riding the rides and eating the treats (of course). It was so nice for all of us to relax together after such a stressful day before. Jackson was a lot more brave on the rides than I had expected and seemed to be pretty pain-free with the help of children's tylenol, he only mentioned his "ouchie" once and hasn't mentioned it since so I think it's healing nicely although his eye is starting to turn black and blue which we were expecting. So, we're avoiding mirrors for the timing being so he doesn't realize what an "ouchie" he really does have! Ignorance is indeed bliss in this little man's case. 

Jackson's 1st King's Island Trip HERE

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Happily (very happily) we can now report that JP's surgery is OVER! He was so brave and did so much better than I thought he would. There were absolutely moments of almost unbearable worry and sadness for me to see my baby in the hospital going through those things, but I feel like I earned a mom-badge yesterday. A badge that you never really want to have to earn, but I earned it nonetheless. For the most part everything went really smoothly. We were really impressed with how efficiently they moved us through the pre-op procedures, the surgery itself and then quickly getting us back to his side as soon as possible to be there with him as he woke up. I can't tell you the peace that overcame me as I heard from friend after friend who reached out to let me know they were praying for our little man. I could very tangibly feel the anxiety dissolving in a way that only prayer can do. I'm so humbled with all of the love and support from so many people who love Jackson so much. And we're so thankful (although exhausted) that he is back to acting like a normal, over-active little 2 year old monster. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

donuts in bed.

You know it's the night before handsome butt's surgery when he's laying (naked) in bed eating chocolate sprinkle-covered donuts while watching Little Bear. All rules are out the window, folks... lets hope he passes out before he catches on to the fact that he is 100% in charge.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

prayers please.

My little buddy and I have been getting in a lot of extra snuggles the past couple of days, the number of cuddles has directly correlated to my rising anxiety levels as we get closer and closer to his surgery on Friday. Jackson will be having surgery at Children's Hospital to have a cyst removed from his temple. The location, being so close to his eye and brain, makes it too dangerous to let it go. We are gladly accepting any and all prayers over the next few days for a smooth, safe surgery and recovery for the little man and for minimized anxiety for the rest of us. PS: My super sneaky surgeon stalking skills today resulted in uncovering some major accolades for Dr. Garcia who will be performing the surgery, the man appears to be nothing less than a genius and a saint- all of which makes this mama feel a lot better. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

the other roller-coaster.

I must have roller-coasters on the brain from our fun this weekend because today I couldn't help but think of how much of a roller-coaster life can be right now during the work week. It seems like we're trying to manage so much between both of us having full-time careers + two babies 2 and under + still driving hard to realize many dreams and goals both inside and outside of work and the home. It's a lot. A lot of good stuff, but still a lot. And with all of it comes this reality where you can feel on top of the world and like a total champ one minute and like you're drowning the next. It seems to happen only during the work week for me, on the weekends life is a totally different thing without all of the added pressure of deadlines, work politics and complicated projects, but those 5 days in between have their moments of being a total roller-coaster and today was no different. Today's ride included a smooth start, a productive morning, a migraine-filled afternoon and is ending with a chaotic evening of juggling both caring for babies while trying to catch up on some work I feel so behind on. It is the story of a life that is totally bi-polar at times, but thankfully far outweighed with the good and joyful and loving versus the moments of chaos, stress and defeat. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

best friends.

audrey danielle: TEN months

My peanut is 10 months old. TEN. We're talking double-digit months, people. We're talking t-minus two months until her first birthday. Torture I tell you, absolute torture to realize she's too quickly out-growing this baby phase that I so love. Partly because it's so adorable and precious, but partly because it is so fleeting. I'm determined as ever to not let any moment or memory get by without wonder and awe. I love you, Audrey Danielle, more than you will ever understand. 

Jackson's 10 month update HERE.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

sunday night at the playground.

Things to know about this playground:
1. It is at the elementary school where I grew up. It was much smaller than in my memories.
2. Jackson is riding his pink bike because he went #2 on the potty (a tiny bit anyway) so he was rewarded as promised. 
3. We are wearing jackets. Jackets! Fall weather is my favorite.


V is for volcano

Jackson has been obsessed with volcanoes lately, constantly asking us to "talk about volcanoes" and asking questions about what they are, where they are, how they work. We've resorted to you tube videos when our own knowledge runs out (which happens pretty quickly with this subject). He pretends everything is a volcano and runs around the house "rescuing" us and asking to be rescued from the "hot, hot volcano." Pretty adorable (see him in his "volcano boots and cape" below which apparently protects you from the volcanoes). So, last weekend we made some volcanoes of our own by mixing vinegar (which we colored with food coloring) and baking soda which we had in muffin tins so it looked like a bunch of mini exploding volcanoes. The kid was in heaven.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

daddy games.

Dan set up a game for JP a few days ago... resulting in literally days of fun. I have never heard JP squeal so loudly and run around the room with so much excitement as he did when they were placing multiple balls through he pipe and then seeing if they could run to the other side in time to catch them in various containers. I think maybe it's a boy thing and I'm not really sure which of my boys loved it more. 

:30 by 30: "Run a Race with Dan"

This morning I crossed my first item off of the 30 by 30 list! It was to "run a race with Dan." Now, here's the thing, Dan is NOT a runner- as in, he does not run for fun. He thinks running for fun is crazy so a 5k was the best I was going to get with him by my side. And honestly what sealed the deal for him was that anyone who ran this 5K was given a "fast pass" to use for the rest of the day at Honda's (his company) King's Island Day. So, really he did it so he could cut to the front of each roller coaster line and running with me was total bonus because as we know a happy wife is a happy life!

On the way to the race it was pouring rain with no visible end in sight, but luckily right before start time it let up and the cooler weather ended up being so nice to run in. The course took us all around the amusement park, weaving in and out of all the main attractions and even running some 'behind the scenes.' Honda had invited an Olympic Gold Medalist in this distance from the 70s to start the race and he was at the finish line as well and placed my medal on, pretty cool! 

Dan had been trash-talking for weeks about 'leaving me in his dust' and he totally could have. While I run multiple times every week and love it, he is innately in-shape and always one of the most athletic at every sport he tries (so annoying!), but we ran this one side by side and crossed the finish line at exactly the same time. Now I need to try to convince him to run the Thanksgiving Day 10k with me in November. 

The rest of the day was a blast- we were a little over-giddy at the thought of being at the park kid-free and with fast-passes... oh, the roller coaster possibilities! Dan was right, the whole "we get to skip to the front of the line" thing was amazing. A little awkward when passing by all the people waiting, but amazing. Many rides and treats later we reluctantly came back home to our waiting babies who have no idea what they missed out on. Lucky for them next weekend is P&G day at PKI so they can have some fun as well. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

30 by 30!

A few days ago I realized that I (shockingly) only have a year and a half until I turn the big 30. That is exactly (as of next week) 18 months until I hit a big milestone. And big milestones are great reasons for big lists! Well, really, anything is reason enough for a good list, but this one in particular I'm counting on for making the most of what I have left of my 20s. 

After much thought, a lot of over-excitement, a few conversations with husband (who turns 30 just a couple of months after me, by the way) and a few different drafts, I have completed my 30 by 30 list- 30 things I will cross off by the time March 13, 2014 rolls around.

So, take a look (and by "take a look" I mean if there is anyone who is actually reading this :)) and if any look interesting, fun, scary, amazing to you (as they do to me) and you want to join in, please do let me know, I'd love to have friends alongside whenever possible. Otherwise, Dan will be forced to complete all 30 of my 30 by 30 instead of having his own list. 

(in no particular order)

1. Run a 1/2 Marathon in a destination city
2. Visit at least 5 new states
3. Visit at least 2 new countries
4. Turn 30 in an amazing new place (exact location TBD)
5. Go to a drive-in movie
6. Take a photography class and/or lessons
7. Host a formal dinner party
8. Run a race with Dan (winning that race would be bonus ;))
9.  Take a cooking class
10. Spend an entire day at the spa
11. Take a trapeze class
12. Hot air balloon ride
13. Renew our wedding vows in Alaska (for 5th anniversary)
14. Introduce babies to Purdue (via trip to campus)
15. Go on a trip alone
16. Eat a cupcake from a famous cupcake shop
17. Stargaze from an observatory
18. Host an outdoor movie night
19. Spend an entire morning/afternoon reading books in a coffee shop
20. Be a tourist in my own city for a day
21. Dine at the highest ranked restaurant in the city (actual city is TBD)
22. (financial goal: keep specifics private)
23. Have at least 3 rooms completely decorated exactly how I want
24. Have at least 1 date day with each baby (full day packed with mama/baby fun)
25. Go to an opera
26. (career goal: keeping specifics private)
27. Explore DC (I've never been and have desperately wanted to go since the age of 5) 
28. Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston
29. Begin tradition of running Thanksgiving Day 10K Race
30. Wild Card: Do something completely spontaneous, has zero functionality, but really really fun and somewhat scary. 

I will also be saving this list on a new page at the top of the blog where I will keep it updated on progress. It is taking everything in me to not color code this baby. 

Here we go- let the countdown begin!
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