balance · parenting

Happy + Tired

This is my current status, today and for two months before today and probably for several months after today: happy and tired.

That’s what New Mom Life is like.

I’ve been holding off on a lot of things recently, making lots of resolutions that start with As soon as J.J. starts sleeping through the night, I’ll – and I am realizing that I can’t wait until that far-off day arrives. I need exercise and writing and meditation, and I need them now.  

This morning is a good start. I woke up at 4, cuddled with J.J. for a little bit, got him back to sleep, and then came downstairs to do – stuff.  I wish it was just writing on my agenda when I wake up! But, I fed and walked the dog, got dressed, ignored the dishes in the sink, made coffee, picked out an outfit for Edgar – and intermittently, I sat on the couch and I wrote. It’s not much – but it’s what I can do at the moment.

This week, I’m allowing myself to begin to daydream about a longer piece of writing – a short story or a novel. I always have a million ideas in my head, but in this moment, it feels like I need something BIG to work on – something that I can revisit every day. I have several projects in the works, so I might pick one of those, or decide to focus on something brand-new – we’ll see.

Sometimes I still can’t believe that J.J. is here – that Our Baby is home with us, and that we’re a family of four. We are busy and stressed and joyful and delighted. We are oh-so-happy and oh-so tired.

 

 

 

 

balance · snapshots

All The Things (November 2018)

I have made a solemn vow to myself that I will return to my biweekly posting schedule as soon as J.J. starts sleeping through the night.

I’ve considered trying to make a lesser commitment in the meantime. I could commit to posting once a week or twice monthly. But nothing sounds quite right. So I will continue to plug on, writing when I can and trying my best to get back on track with biweekly posting.

Here are all the things for this month:

Things I’m Reading: Just finished a fantastic book: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. Loved it! I then started A Ladder To The Sky, by John Boyne, and I’m loving it so far. I am definitely reading slower than I usually do. #momlife

Things I’m Watching: I’ve been keeping pretty up-to-date with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and The Good Place. I am continually amazed with these two shows. They keep shifting and changing and still (IMHO) making me laugh and keeping my interest.

Things That I’m Struggling With: Finding time to write and exercise, and maintaining a healthy diet. I do feel somewhat refreshed after my four-day holiday weekend, so I am hoping that I can keep myself on track this week. I don’t have high expectations for exercise; my goal is to do a little yoga every morning, move as much as I can throughout the day, and run on the weekends.

I feel recharged and ready for the month of festivities ahead. Bring it, December!

balance

Slow Down

It feels like a good time of year for a restart. It’s fall – a time when many are transitioning from the hectic and sunny days of summer to the cold and cozy days of winter.

This time of year is always a fresh start for our family. The weekend before Thanksgiving was the last weekend of farmers markets for Tamara; that means her farm work will slow down and she’ll be less busy and more available for family time. It also means Edgar will be home with Tamara and J.J. more often, which I think is going to help him to have a happier and more restful winter.

Life has felt really chaotic these past few weeks. I’ve been back at work for three weeks, and that’s still been a big adjustment, navigating the new job and meeting new people and being oh-so-tired at the end of the day. It’s been challenging, trying to find time to exercise, and my diet has been awful – lots of candy and junk food and caffeine.

I actually found it helpful to look back at this post from a few months after Edgar came home. It was November 2016, and I was riding the struggle bus, trying to figure out how to be a parent while also practicing self-care. That’s where I am now, too, except that it’s twice as difficult. When Edgar came home, it was fairly easy to just leave him cuddling with Tamara and go for a two-mile run. Now, there are TWO little boys who need to get situated before I can engage in any meaningful self-care.

This week, as I contemplated what kind of a fresh start I wanted to make, I had one basic goal: slow down. 

Life has been zooming by recently, and I’ve started to feel overwhelmed and a little depressed. One of the signs I’ve noticed for me is constantly watching Netflix, having it on in the background wherever I am and whatever I’m doing. (Even playing with the boys!)

I have tried to consciously slow down my life this week. Whenever there is a pause in the activity around me, I have done my best to bring myself fully into the present moment.

Whenever I slow down, I start to consider mindfulness and meditation and the role I want them to play in my life. They are inextricably connected, my tendency to move quickly and my habit of living in the past or the future rather than the now.  I’ve made so many attempts at living in the moment, and I constantly have to re-commit to being present. I have to remind myself of the way I’ve been taught to meditate: you sit, and you are present and centered. And then thoughts pop into your head – they always do – and you gently bring your mind back to the present moment.

That’s my whole life – I find my center, and then a million thoughts and needs and wants crash into me. And then, I have to gently bring myself back to the present moment. My whole life is a mindfulness meditation practice.

So – can I try this, yet again? Can I try to totally live in the moment? Can I try to slow things down so that I am genuinely enjoying the life that I’m living, instead of always being caught up with the past and the future?

Slow down, and live in the moment.  That’s my mantra as we move into this busy, wonderful holiday season.

Slow-Down-Wallpaper-Blue

thought of the day

Oh Boy

Oh, boy.  My blogging schedule has gone off the rails.

I’ve been posting twice weekly since March 2018, but the addition of our new adoptive son J.J. (yaaaaaay!) in early September has impacted my writing time majorly.

I stayed pretty consistent with my biweekly posting in September. (It helped that I was pretty ahead of the game and had several posts already written and ready to publish.) During October, the schedule got a little wonky – the posts weren’t always on Tuesdays and Saturdays, which are my regular posting days – but for the most part, I still got two posts a week published.

AND THEN NOVEMBER.

It’s November 16th today, and my last post was published on Halloween!  Eek. That’s a very long accidental hiatus.

Image result for you got thisI’m not going to beat myself up about this. J.J. is still not sleeping through the night, and life is hectic and tiring. I have big plans involving writing and exercise that will kick in as soon as I can reliably get a full night’s sleep. Until then, I’m doing the absolute best I can to write as often as possible.

My apologies to anyone who follows and is missing my content!  It’ll all fall back into place – the blogging, the novel writing, the ability to get through a day without five caffeinated beverages and a bunch of sugary treats. Until then, I’m just giving myself pep talks and high fives and enjoying my two amazing little boys and the transition to a cozy and festive winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

self-care · snapshots

All The Things (October 2018)

SO. MANY. THINGS.

Well, not so many, really – just a few. Taking care of a newborn and a toddler – working – and sleeping. Those are the things I’ve been doing, all day every day, for the past two months.

However, I’ve squeezed in some THINGS this month – most involving binge-watching shows on Netflix and Hulu.

Things I’m Reading: The books I’ve read this month are The Beginning of Everything; Vox (super scary #MeToo-esque premise!); Pachinko (such an awesome novel); and Lethal White (Robert Galbraith’s latest). Currently reading The 19th Wife and loving it so far.

Things I’m Watching: So much television!  I’m all caught up on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and The Good Place. I slowed down with my binge of This Is Us – not sure if I’ll get back to it or not. (I hope I do!)  I watched both seasons of Dear White People on Netflix – loved the first season, liked the second season a little less but still enjoyed it. My latest obsession is Black-ish, but that’s an exaggeration since I’m still in the middle of the pilot episode.

Things I’m Working On: My patience. (Taking care of a toddler while caring for a newborn is testing my temper!) AND my self-care. I know this by now, but when things get hectic, my self-care takes a nose dive. I am mid-dive right now, and this week have been aiming to get back on track.

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goals · self-care

Set An Intention For Your Day

I am a person who is constantly making resolutions. I am a person who is often found looking for books in the Self-Improvement/Personal Growth sections of either the library or my local bookstore. I am a person who sets many intentions about ways to be a better/best version of myself.

This can be overwhelming.

On New Year’s Day 2018, I set several intentions: I wanted to meditate; to write more; to practice self-care rather than angsting; and to be intentional with my actions, my words, my choices.

These are all in line with the person I want to be, but they’re pretty broad. What do I focus on, from day to day? Do I read about mindfulness? Do I meditate? Do I write? Do I try to make really intentional choices about how I spend my time, either on my own or with my family?

The answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE. And this is where I get overwhelmed. Because how do I focus on everything that’s important to me, all at once?

I can’t. And that’s what got me started thinking about setting an intention for my day.

I like the idea of choosing a word or a resolution and focusing on it for a set period of time.  In the past, I’ve done this via a happiness project. (See more info on Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and check out her monthly resolutions chart here!) I find it helpful to focus on one thing at a time, especially when life is hectic. And life is definitely hectic lately!

Right at this moment, when I think about setting an intention for my day tomorrow, the one that’s drifting to the forefront is this: Be well. 

I feel a little unwell these past few days. My exercise routine has been abandoned (oh, newborn life), and that always throws me off. I don’t have a novel on my nightstand; that feels weird, too. Most importantly, my diet has been all out of whack this week.

When things get busy, I have a hard time remembering to take care of myself. Even the basics, like showering and drinking water, are neglected.  I think that’s why the idea of wellness appeals to me at the moment. I want to slow down and consider my choices; I want to think about what choice would help me feel the most whole and healthy and well.  

I don’t know if I’ll stick with this intention setting. It’s a tough time to commit to a new habit, especially when I’m not even maintaining the regular habits! We’ll see. For now – my intention is to focus on wellness all day tomorrow. Wish me luck!

balance · snapshots

Oops

Oh, boy. Having a newborn baby is not helpful when you’re trying to post consistently on your blog!

My goal is to post on playful + peaceful every Tuesday and every Saturday. I’ve missed two deadlines in a row at this point, and finding the time to write has been really challenging. My hope is that once Baby J.J. starts sleeping through the night – and we are definitely not there yet – then I’ll be able to recalibrate and get my writing schedule back on track.

I’m trying not to feel guilty for slacking on my writing goals. Right now, every single minute of my day is taken up by work, child care, or sleep. THAT’S IT – those three things, and nothing else. It’s an intense and busy and wonderfully adorable and amazing time of life, and it means my regular routine is on hiatus for a while. And that is okay.

My fingers are crossed that I’ll make my next few deadlines and get somewhat back on track. But if not – c’est la vie.