Thursday, June 21, 2018

Brain Dump: Blogging is Hard

Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom (or mom-to-be), I really need to get into the habit of writing daily. To do this, I've created some drafts of entries with random topics. When I have nothing better to discuss, I will post one of these topics so that I have something to post each day.



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Brain dump. What’s on your mind right now.

Keeping up with blogging is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Even without a full-time job, relaxing and planning for baby is keeping me busy. I figured I would have a lot more time. However, I do think there is a "learning curve" as to how much time I actually do have and to put some time aside each day for writing.

I am basically home alone from 7:30 AM to almost 6:00 PM. Right now, I do not have a baby to take care of, but I am 36 weeks pregnant and baby could come at any time. I really do not know what my schedule will look like then. I know it's hard to plan something like that because all babies are different. I could have an easy baby who sleeps and naps for hours at a time giving me more free time. I could have a baby who wants to be held 24/7 and cries if put down which would leave me with no time to blog...

All I know for sure is I really want to write often and get my blog going again. I find writing cathartic. I enjoy going back and reading blog entries I've written at different parts of my life. I know I will, one day, enjoy reading about this particular time in my life... where I am expecting a child in four weeks, when the baby is newborn and I'm figuring out that part of my life. That is why I'm trying to get into the habit of writing multiple times a week (or daily right now).

I will do my best to write as often as possible, but it's going to be hard to get back into that habit. Even with writing prompts already planned, it's hard to take the time to actually write. Here's to doing better at that. *fingers crossed*

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hey, It's Okay

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Hey, it's okay...

... to have missed a day of blogging already (Sunday). A goal is a goal and, while it would have been nice to keep up with it, I won't stop trying this time. I have a bad habit of dropping goals if I miss them somehow. Not this time!

... to feel weird about not having a full-time job right now. I'm on my second day of not working and it's so strange. I'm supposed to be spending the four weeks and two days until my due date relaxing and getting things ready for baby before being a stay-at-home mom. When you've had a full-time job for the last fifteen years, it's weird to all of a sudden not be at work.

... to have binge watched television all day the first day off work. I haven't watched a lot of television lately so it was very enjoyable.

... to both love and hate pregnancy. I'm almost 36 weeks pregnant. I'm ready to meet my baby. I'm also super anxious while pregnant. I know I'm going to worry once my baby is born. I don't question that. While he's inside me, though, I don't know if he's okay. Did his heart stop beating? Did he stop breathing? I can't tell while he's inside. Having a pregnancy loss ramps up my anxiety.

My sweet baby boy in 3D.

... to be sad I had to take of my memorial ring for the twins today. My right hand is slightly swollen. My left hand is fine so I'm not sure why my right hand is swollen. I could barely get my ring off so I decided to just keep it off for now which makes me miss them more.

Memorial ring with the names of the twins.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Dear Younger Me

Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom (or mom-to-be), I really need to get into the habit of writing daily. To do this, I've created some drafts of entries with random topics. When I have nothing better to discuss, I will post one of these topics so that I have something to post each day.



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What would you say to a younger version of yourself?

Dear Me,

If I could give you only two words of advice, it would be these... BE BRAVE. Life is too short to worry all of the time. I know it seems like the issues you are facing today are incredibly important, but in the long run, most of them don't even matter.

Don't care so much about what other people think. It will take you about fifteen more years to realize how awesome you are, but don't try to transform yourself into what you think others want you to be. Be yourself. Your true friends, and true love, will like you because of who you are and not who you are trying to be.

At 16 years old, you may think you have life figured out. I'm here to tell you it is much different than you ever expected or dreamed. You will not have good, steady boyfriend while in high school. You will not marry directly after high school graduation. You will not have your 2.5 children by the time you're 25. It's perfectly fine that these things don't happen. Your life has it's own pace and it's a good one.

Don't worry so much about your weight. You shouldn't feel the need to starve yourself to be thin. In recent years, a musician named Meghan Trainor wrote a song all about being plus-sized. Her lyrics say, "Yeah, my momma she told me don't worry about your size. She says, boys like a little more booty to hold at night." These lyrics couldn't be more true. While some guys are very superficial and care a great deal about your looks, the ones most important in your life don't. Your curves are great. You are great.

While you will have a lot of ups and downs in your life, while I'm writing this, your life is pretty awesome these days. You have a lot of great things going on so hang in there through the toughest of it. Everything you experience will lead you to where you are today.Your trials and tribulations help define you. This is something that is sometimes hard to fathom, but you need to try to remember that little fact.

Don't forget to tell your friends and loved ones how much they mean to you. Life is short sometimes and you will lose some people before you are ready. It's important to spend time with those you love because one day you won't be able to do so.

Following this advice might be difficult, but it's in your best interest. Life is wonderful. Experience it.

Love,
A More Mature You



Saturday, June 16, 2018

Writing Goals

Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom (or mom-to-be), I really need to get into the habit of writing daily. To do this, I've created some drafts of entries with random topics. When I have nothing better to discuss, I will post one of these topics so that I have something to post each day.



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Set a goal and a plan on how to get there.

It's ironic how this topic came about. I found 50 blog ideas I would like to write about and put them in a list in a Google document. I used random.org to generate some numbers for me. I went to the Google document and added numbered drafts in my blog for when I don't really feel I have much to write about. This was the first topic chosen and is super easy to write about today.

This is because yesterday was my last day of gainful employment. Starting today, I am preparing to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) when my first child is born in the next five weeks or so. When my husband and I discussed me being a SAHM, he didn't want me to get burned out and wanted me to have a goal. This goal was to get my public blog active again. In order to do this, I know I need to write more.

Therefore, I have set a goal to publish a post every day in the remainder of June. Some posts will be random blog topics with the little disclaimer at the top like this one. Others will be posts that I am purposely writing because I feel like I have something important to discuss.

It's hard to come up with blog entries that require much brain power these days due to baby brain. I also realize that, once baby is born, baby brain transforms into mom brain and doesn't get much better. That being said, I have already pre-started 15 blog entries with various topics so, at minimum, something should be posted each day.

If, by chance, I go several days without posting, you can probably assume baby decided to come early. So, there's that. :)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Freedom!

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I have been employed full-time since about 2005. In that time, I have worked for Home Depot, a magazine manufacturer, a small electrical business, a book manufacturer, and now a university. I have definitely had a lot of growth as a person and as an employee since my first full-time position.

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant and made it past the half-way point, we began discussing child care. Our first thought was to have my cousin be our "nanny". She loves children and I know my child would be treated amazingly in my cousin's care. We discussed this with my cousin and came to an agreement. However, we wanted to do this legally as my husband is ex-law enforcement and, due to my anxiety issues, I always want to do everything the "proper" way. We contacted a lawyer who specialized in this type of thing to ask some questions. After that, we figured out having my cousin legally watch our child would not work. Due to laws in our state, we would have to pay her state minimum wage plus time-and-a-half for anything over 40 hours a week. Her base pay would be more than I make in a month. We would also have to pay for federal and state taxes and have a special type of home insurance.

After informing my cousin of the bad news, we started looking into day cares in our area. Unfortunately, for many of them, the baby would have to be at least sixteen weeks old before he would be accepted into any of them. Considering the max amount of time off with FMLA is twelve weeks, this wasn't ideal. After that, we began looking at rates. The cheapest we found was about $250 a week which is about $1000 a month. That is around half my monthly income. We discussed it more and realized that, due to our commute, we would both be away from baby for around 10.5 hours a day. That's a lot of time away from our sweet boy!

So, we decided to look into one of us staying at home. We are really good at budgeting so we made a budget based off of a single income. Surprisingly, it worked out! We discovered we would really have to make some adjustments to our miscellaneous spending, but it would be doable. At tat time, we had a discussion about who would work and who wouldn't. We're not traditional in the sense that neither of us feels like he needs to work and I need to stay home. However, it ended up making more sense for me to stay home for two main reasons. The first being that my husband has a bachelor's degree while I don't so he would be eligible for more promotions and higher pay than me. The second is that I am planning on breastfeeding and it would be easier to breastfeed while at home with the baby instead of having to pump at work and bottle feed.

All that is to say that today is my last day of work! FREEDOM!!! After today, I will have about a month until my due date to rest and prepare for baby's arrival (assuming he makes it to his due date or near there). I am so excited! We have so much to do in the nursery! I am planning a post once it's set up to share the before (ish - we forgot to take a picture before we painted), the middle (during our kitchen remodel and after our baby shower), and the after photos. I am feeling very much like nesting and can't wait to have all day to work in the nursery. Once I get home from work, I don't have the energy so things are not progressing in there the way I would like.

Also, a fair warning, once I am staying at home, there are probably going to be lots of entries about me trying to figure out how to survive on the restricted budget we created. While we do follow a budget, it currently has a lot of wiggle room. Starting July 1st, we lose all of that wiggle room and have to be strict about what we're purchasing. Should be interesting... to say the least!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Hey, It's Okay

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Hey, it's okay...

... to be counting down the days until my last day of work. As of today, I only have about 8 days left of work... that is if I take my currently scheduled vacation days off and do not take any other days off. I am so excited!

... to have come up with a list of about 50 blog topics to write about. Obviously I need some help as my entries haven't been as frequent as I would like them to be!

... to be so glad my baby shower is this weekend. I'm looking forward to a day of celebrating my little one. Now if only he will cooperate and not beat me up all day. We shall see.

... to be very happy about the fundraiser I'll be launching very soon for my passion project.

... to be addicted to watching a kitty cam with foster kittens in the northwest. They are so cute and I would totally adopt them all if I wasn't so far away from them!