Link Love: Giving Moms Some Love

I’ve found myself reading more and more about being a mother, how to help baby, and how to stay sane than I ever thought I would! It just comes with the territory of being a new mom, I guess. But I found a couple of articles/blog posts that have hit home that I wanted to share for new (or not-so-new) moms like myself. Enjoy!

LinkLove

New Research Shows Equine-Assisted Intervention Can Have Significant Improvement on Mother-Child Engagement (Equine Chronicle): Growing up in a horse family, I have to say that I completely agree–horses can bring a family together. It was because of horses that we spent weekends together and because of horses there were many late nights at the barn. We didn’t have as much technology back then, but it was simple, and nice. I’m looking forward to sharing horses with Baby A&W and I hope it can bring our little family together just like it did as I was growing up.

Things I Need My Daughter to Know (Scary Mommy): OMG I love the Scary Mommy site! As a new mom, it seems like their posts are always so timely and hit me so hard. This one is something I want to keep in my back pocket for when A grows up. I’m so nervous about raising a daughter in the current state of affairs the world is in, but I know she’s going to be strong and smart because that’s my goal.

Balancing Blogging & A Baby (The Lunchbox Diaries): I’m trying to find that balance of work, blogging, life, and baby…as you can tell from my long breaks between posts. I was happy to take a maternity leave from blogging after A was born, but after five months, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. Kind of appropriate timing, don’t you think?

Your turn: What’s been some of your favorite reads lately? 

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The Move: Struggle, Tears, and Changes

I had started writing this more than a month ago, and I should have posted it before now, but life has just been way too crazy for me.

Flashback to May…and I, along with the help of some family, packed up our entire home into a Budget Rental truck and we set out for a new beginning. We moved from Lexington back up to Indiana. It was time to be a family.

You see, M had started a new job up in Indiana in mid-January. There was no way I was going to move nine months pregnant, nor with a newborn, and I needed my job for the insurance, so I stayed in Lexington. After Baby A&W was born, M was able to spend two weeks in Lexington with us before he had to return to work. Since I had four weeks of maternity left, and a baby who needed to be fed every two hours (which included 30 minutes nursing on me, plus 30 minutes of me pumping, then 20 minutes of feeding baby the bottle…repeat the process 40 minutes later), I temporarily moved back to Indiana with M and my parents so I had some help. At the end of my maternity leave, I moved baby and the dogs back to Lexington and started to live the life of a pseudo-single mom. When M wasn’t traveling on the weekends for his new job, he’d come down to spend a couple days with us, then he’d return to my parents’ place and I returned to being the lone wolf.

How I coped on my own many evenings freelancing at night with a baby...it's all about multi-tasking.

How I coped on my own many evenings freelancing at night with a baby…it’s all about multi-tasking.

It was like that for 3.5 months. And it was hard. It sucked. It was lonely. I don’t know how single parents do it everyday for 18+ years! I had so many breakdowns, so many rough nights, and all I could do was cry in the phone to my mom or husband as I struggled with just about everything. But, yet, I still worked out every morning, dropped my daughter off at daycare, worked 9 hours, picked her up, then we’d walk the dogs, and I’d feed her and make bottles for the next day, put her to bed, and then maybe I’d eat dinner around 9 or 10. I got it done. I had to. I had no other choice.

Then in May, reality hit us. The cost of rent on our house plus daycare each month was more than what I was making at work. Add to that a (HUGE) mistake by my HR with my FMLA paperwork, which meant I went five weeks without any income coming in at all, and we needed help. The only option we really had was that I moved up to Indiana earlier than planned. I had hope to find a job before the move, so it’d be an easier transition, but things weren’t panning out that way. So we set a date for Memorial Day weekend and I gave my final notice to my boss, which sucked.

Let me tell you, packing and moving with a 3 month old is not fun, nor do I recommend doing it when it’s 80+ degrees out, and you’re dealing with your parents and your in-laws, and are totally emotional because you don’t want to move. It was one of the hardest weekends ever for me. While I was happy to be able to finally have some help with Baby A&W (since we were moving in with my parents to help us get on our feet again), I didn’t want to leave Lexington. Lexington has been my home for eight years, and I built such a life, with friends, work, hangouts, dog training, Man O’War CrossFit, etc.

But, I knew it was for the best. M and I needed to be together again, and he needed to be able to be a father to Baby A&W more than just a couple days every couple of weeks. And I needed help.

While the accommodations are tight (four adults, one baby, three dogs, and four cats under one roof), I know it brings my parents great joy every morning to hear A laugh and screech with joy. M and I are crammed into my childhood bedroom, while A’s crib is in my dad’s office. Most of our belongings are in storage in my brother-in-law’s garage next door, so if I’m needing something (which is most of the time), I walk over there and dig through tons of boxes and hope I can find it (to date I’m still looking for flea/tick meds, bottle brushes, dog brushes, and I think something else). I’m thankful for my family to be such big help.

One perk to living back on the farm: Baby A&W gets to grow up around horses like me! (See how thrilled both she and my old barrel horse is?)

One perk to living back on the farm: Baby A&W gets to grow up around horses like me! (See how thrilled both she and my old barrel horse is?)

I’m going on a second month of still looking for a job, and it’s hard. It’s hard managing being a stay-at-home-working-mom with my freelancing. I feel like my entire life/identity is gone and I’ve lost myself in the move. I can’t do CrossFit everyday like I used to–I miss my boys at MOWCF like crazy–but I do it maybe twice a week with the local police department until I can afford a new membership. I’m trying to get back into running, but it’s hard with a fussy baby (most of my runs are with the stroller because I have to have A with me). And I just miss working…it might sound weird, but I do. But I know I need to cherish this time with A, as she’s changing everyday, and I do. But my sense of worth has drastically declined, though I know that’s stupid for a mother to say.

My writing has totally slacked, especially with this blog, and for that, I apologize. There’s been quite a few things that I’ve thought “I need to blog about this” but then I don’t because my “me-time” is only so fleeting, and I have so much more that has to get done besides blogging (i.e., laundry, caring for the horses, taking care of my parents’ house, interviews, transcribing, writing articles I actually get paid for, etc.). I’m going to try my best to be better..about everything.

For now, this has been Life on Planet Marsz….coming to you from Indiana.

Dear Aubrey – 5 Months

Working on your ring rows, keeping your nickname "Baby CrossFit" legit!

Working on your ring rows, keeping your nickname “Baby CrossFit” legit!

Dear Aubrey,

It’s rather ironic, but your 5-month birthday was also the day that we told your grandparents we were expecting last year! 🙂

Once again, we’ve had a lot of firsts this month!

You attended your first agility trial with mom competing at the beginning of the month. Mom brought you along to a trial your Grandpie puts on, so we had to be very busy. You walked the courses with me in your carrier, so I’ve already been teaching you about front and rear crosses and what the different obstacles are called. When momma ran, someone offered to hold you so you could watch me run Dally and LaMesa. You loved it. You only fussed once, and that was when the judge accidentally bunked you on the head. The next day you spent the day with Aunt Erin and Uncle Jerry, and then you got to witness history–American Pharoah, the horse that you watched win the Kentucky Derby, won the Triple Crown–a feat that hadn’t been done in 37 years! Your momma was so excited, because she’d never thought she’d see the day.

Representing "Team Stump Kids" with your Corgi onesie at the agility trial!

Representing “Team Stump Kids” with your Corgi onesie at the agility trial!

When daddy finally came home from a long trip, we went on a road trip to see his friends Matt and Sophia, who were celebrating their wedding. You were such a little trooper! Then we celebrated your daddy’s first Father’s Day. Mommy had you help her make little hand and footprints for daddy and Grandpie, however you were more into grabbing the dough than making a print.

Daddy's Girl

Daddy’s Girl

You started swim lessons, too! We had so much fun in your first lesson–you’re a natural in the water, it’s amazing to your momma! You loved to splash the water and you were already dunking your face in! We would sing songs while momma held you with your belly in the water and floating on your back. You’d reach for toys, and do tummy time on a floating mat. It’s so much fun to see you having fun, and I’m thankful for Stony Creek Swim Center to be offering the Water Babies class for free.

Swim

We’ve been working on trying to get you to nap better this month. We’re still only able to get you sleep for longer periods of time if you’re swaddled, but now we’re starting to put you to bed when you’re still awake so you can start putting yourself to sleep. So far, so good…but you’re still fighting nap time and hate to see your swaddle. You still like to cover your eyes when you’re sleeping, either with a towel or your hands.

We started feeding you solids at 21 weeks. For a few weeks you’ve been watching us eat with great attention, grabbing our plates, and just drooling at the look of food. We started with some homemade oatmeal, but you weren’t a big fan of that. Then I tried giving you chunks of banana, but you’d quickly spit that out. Pureed bananas, on the other hand you’re starting to like. We’re only feeding you solids once a day right now, but it is helping satiate your appetite and you don’t seem as hungry after you’ve had some. You’re still eating 5-6 bottles, with a 6 ounce bottle before bed and 5.5 ounces the rest of the time. You’re a growing girl!!

You can watch the video of your first bites of oatmeal.

Grammie and mommy packed up all your newborn and 0-3 clothes the other day. I kept a couple of the cute onesies that I loved, but it was time to make room for your 6 months clothes! You can still fit in some 3 month clothes, but it’s mostly 6 months, with a few 6-9. Your legs are long, so sleepers have to be long enough for your legs!

The corn is Aubrey-high before the 4th of July!

The corn is Aubrey-high before the 4th of July!

We celebrated your 5-month birthday along with Grammie’s birthday at Joe’s Crab Shack, and with that you got to ride on the slide for the first time. Grandpie is going to re-do the swing set he built for your momma so it’s ready for you when you’re able to swing and slide.

You still love your walks and you love when we go for runs in the stroller.

5Month

This coming month will be fun for us with more swimming and more summer activities.

Love you, baby girl!

Catch up on the previous months:

Month 1
Month 2
Month 3
Month 4