Dark tunnels

There’s that old saying that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. So, in theory, if you keep moving forward, eventually the darkness with turn back to light. For a while, that light felt more like a train barreling towards us, and us running the opposite direction, back into the dark, just hoping it doesn’t catch up and annihilate us. And lately, there’s been no light at all. Just us…sitting in the dark…waiting…hoping…for something to guide us back out.

Well, today is the first Monday of the year. It’s the first day of the first work week of the year. It was also my first day at my new job. And I’m not gonna go on the typical “new year, new me, new possibilities, yah!” spiel. No, I’m still in the pitch black tunnel for the time being. There’s no big excitement for a new year and starting over and all that junk.

I was very lucky to spend 8 months at home with EB when she was a baby. We struggled, but I was happy otherwise with being the one my baby interacted with and grew with every day. I returned to work and worked at that job til EB was 15 months old. Then I was home with her for another 4 months. Next, I got a day time job with regular hours. That job was cut short because of pregnancy complications. I was devastated. It really tore me up that the place I had planned to spend at least a couple of years, if not long term, had to let me go simply because of policy reasons. I felt like I had failed. Hindsight, that job was probably going to end up being a dead end, and the silver lining of being unemployed was that when Matilda showed up, I got to be with her every day just like I did with EB.

Anyway, today was kinda a big deal. It was hard to leave the girls especially Mattie. EB has been to two different babysitters. She knows the drill. She understands that mommy has to go to work. Mattie, on the other hand, doesn’t know why mommy left her with some stranger today for 9 hours. It breaks my heart…and I’m sure it’s probably harder on me than her. I did drop them off like a champ though. In and out. No tears. No problems.

Work was a bit weird today because it was the monday back for everyone after a 4 day weekend, and it was busy. So, I was little lost in the shuffle which I totally get. There are suppose to be 4 people doing my job. Well, 1 is me, and I have no idea what I’m doing yet. 2 is a vacant position that they interviewed for today. 3 is a lady who was off today. And 4 is the woman training me who happened to be absolutely swamped because it was just her and me and I’m still completely useless.

The day went quickly though. I was so happy to get my girls and head home. I asked EB about her day and here’s her account:

“I eat lunch and I play with the boys. I fall down at the babysitters. The boys fought me. I watch spongebob squarepants. Snacks. I did that! Mattie rolled over. The boys hurt my feelings. They hurt my heart. I fall down and I got a batman sword. I used that! I hit everybody with the sword. That’s my job.”

Never found out what or how the boys hurt her feelings, but apparently she had a productive day. Hopefully, mine will be just as productive tomorrow. I get to go sit in on court cases and shadow some. I’m just happy to be contributing to this family in a job that has some longevity possible. It’s been such a rough past month. December was hard for us – Christmas not included. I tried to make sure the girls got the holiday memories and experiences they deserve. Otherwise, I’m so grateful for a new year, new job, and, hopefully, a new light at the end of the tunnel

(fine, a little optimism managed to sneak in there)

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Better late than never – October and November

I love holidays. I blame my mother. She decorates for every single holiday. There is hardly a day in a calendar year where her house is not decorated (Those rare days being the switch between two holidays). It wasn’t until high school that I realized that this holiday obsession makes her weird. And when I say weird, I mean it in the best way possible. Josh thinks it’s crazy. He doesn’t understand the point of it all. It’s safe to say that his dad wasn’t hanging heart covered garland for Valentine’s day or covering the house in bunnies for Easter so it’s no surprise. To me, decorating for holidays is just part of the change of the seasons. And changing season themselves are reasons to celebrate.

I’ve been itching for fall this year. Summer was weird this year, wet and cool, and it was spent down and out for the most part. Between the healing cesarian incision and having a newborn, I wasn’t in the holiday mood (Sleep deprivation will do that to you). Don’t get me wrong, I obviously was into the specific holidays as they rolled around, but the decorations and the celebration of the season wasn’t there. It was as tired as Josh and I was. So, fall. I’ve been waiting for it – tights and moccasins and hats and football and changing leaves and crisp air and pumpkins and turkeys and costumes and hot cider and the list could go on and on.

Oh, and just for the record, my house was decorated in falling leaves and light up spider webs complete with glowing spiders and creepy gauze and tombstones and garlands with skulls and pumpkins and spiders for all of October.

To start the month, on October 1, I had a structured oral exam with the police department of Blue Ash. I didn’t think I did very well. They only hired for one position so I didn’t have my hopes up, but I did get invited back for an interview. I never heard anything back to I didn’t get selected. 😦 Oh well, that’s life.

Then we started our busy weekends of October with the return of one the best parts of fall – football.

10/3 – Alex’s band performance

Alex is Josh’s sister’s daughter, and she plays the flute in the band. We were going to try and go to one of her games in September, but it poured down rain and we didn’t want to take Mattie out in it. So we rescheduled and it was still wet and rainy. We arrived before the beginning of the game, and we were bundled up. It was cold! Luckily, Mattie was dress in long sleeves and pants, her jacket, a hat, inside of her mei tai carrier against my chest with my jacket around her exposed legs and a hood on the carrier and blanket. She was the only one of us that was warm. Ellabelle was excited though and the rain couldn’t dampen her spirits. She had been saying all week, “Go see Alex play music!” We only stayed to see her perform til the start of the game because it was so cold. We said our hellos and then went to Josh’s mom’s house for hot chocolate. IMG_0587

10/4 – Bengals game

Auntie Ang and Mike watched the girls so that Josh and I could go see the Bengals face off against the Kansas City Chiefs. I was a little worried for them because both girls together can be a bit of a handful. They did wonderful though, even letting us go out to dinner before we picked them up, but I could tell they were happy to have them leave. IMG_0601IMG_1071

Where Ellabelle watched the game
Where Ellabelle watched the game

As for the game, the streak has been broken, they WON! I have never seen a professional team win while at the game – the Reds, the Blue Jackets and both Bengals games I had been to. Well, third times a charm because they beat the Chiefs! It was an amazing and exciting game to get to see live. IMG_0614 IMG_0626IMG_0618IMG_0608

Lately Ellabelle has been wanting the match Mattie when I get them both dressed. So, besides the adorableness of tights and knee socks, theres also sister matching going on. 

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10/10 – Barn n Bunk Pumpkin Patch and Lisa’s 50th Birthday Party

I’ve been waiting and waiting (not so patiently) to take both of my girls to a pumpkin patch. We went to the same one we went to last year. We went through the corn maze, IMG_0876 IMG_0870

Ellabelle rode the train, IMG_0882

rode the tractor ride around the pumpkin field, IMG_0890

and checked out the pumpkins for sale. IMG_0923IMG_0931

We let Ellabelle pick out a pumpkin for her and one for Mattie. IMG_1290

A pumpkin patch is everything that is fall – all the smells (straw and cinnamon), all the sights (dying corn, which is kinda depressing if you think about it so don’t think too hard about it, and pumpkins), and the feels (both physically – baby wearing and rest your chin on her knit hat and carrying pumpkins by the stem – and emotionally – my heart swelling as Ellabelle jumps up and down when she finds the right pumpkin). IMG_0859 IMG_1044

After the pumpkin patch, we took Ellabelle and Mattie to spend the night at Mamaw and Papaw’s so we could go to Lisa’s birthday party. Ellabelle was over the moon about it. 

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We went to Django’s in Northside for dinner with everyone. The shrimp tacos are amazing. IMG_0936 IMG_1084

We went back to the neighborhood bar, The C&D, for about 2 hours. Josh and I sat and watched the first Iron Man at the bar. Everyone kept saying we were being anti-social, but it was crowded and watching a movie without someone screaming or throwing toys across the room was exactly what we love to do without our munchkins. We did get into the group before the party bus showed up and then once on the bus. It was a great time on the bus. What’s better than cruising and belting out some of your favorite songs with like 20 really awesome people? IMG_0945 IMG_0951

Josh dancing
Josh dancing

10/11 – Soccer

Ellabelle had a lot of fun at soccer. There were only 4 kids that showed up (out of 15?), and she loved the games they played. IMG_1085IMG_0971

10/12 – Job interview

I had a job interview bright and early on Monday morning. Poor daddy had to take the girls to work til I was done. The good news is I got the job! It’s part time and in the evenings making pretty decent money. I had to go take the drug test so it was almost noon before I saved daddy from the trouble twins. IMG_1086IMG_1087

10/17 – Trent spends the night and Alex’s band competition

We watched Trent Saturday into Sunday. Ellabelle was ecstatic to wake up and have “Cook” here (Her “Tr”s come out like “C”s). We went to watch Alex play with her high school band in a competition. We had no idea what to expect, but it was actually pretty cool to watch. Afterwards, we went to Marion’s and had pizza. Ellabelle was glued to Trent’s side the whole evening, and I know she was sad when he had to go home the next day. IMG_1134 IMG_1133 IMG_1135IMG_1155

10/18 – Last soccer practice of the year

Only 6 kids showed up, but it was a fun closure to Ellabelle’s first attempt at soccer. IMG_1218 IMG_1207 IMG_1215 IMG_1263

10/22 – Library craft day

Our library does craft days every month for kids ages 3-5. Ellabelle was ecstatic when we got there and there was a huge group of kids. The theme was trees, and they made two crafts, listened to a book about trees, and learned a fun song. 

We also carved pumpkins. Ellabelle painted her little one. IMG_1277 IMG_1279 IMG_1291

We carved the bigger pumpkins. Ellabelle hated the guts but loved the seeds. IMG_1578 IMG_1569 IMG_1575

She was terrified of them once we put them outside though IMG_1589

This is seriously as close as she'd get even in the daylight
This is seriously as close as she’d get even in the daylight

10/24 – Halloween Trick or Treat at the Library and Britnee’s wedding reception

The library had a not scary halloween event on Saturday morning. Ariel and Sleeping Beauty looked adorable. Ellabelle loved all the games, won a few prizes, and got some candy. We also checked out a few books about Halloween. IMG_1367

Mattie had fun too!
Mattie had fun too!

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Saturday night was 2nd cousin Britnee’s wedding reception. The wedding had been a week before in Florida, and they had a regular reception up here. Ellabelle had a blast! She loved dancing and being with her Auntie Ang and Mike. I, personally, love weddings. So, it was a great night. Josh was exhausted because he had worked 10 hour days at work before hand so him and Mattie weren’t as into it all as much as Bee and I were, but it was still a lot of fun. IMG_1513 IMG_1523

10/31 – Trick or Treating with Ellabelle’s “boys” and Lisa’s Halloween Party

We went trick or treating around our friend’s neighborhood because 1) no one gives out candy in our neighborhood and 2) Ellabelle loves seeing her boys. We rode in a golf cart which ended up being a great idea because of the little legs and the crowds. Ellabelle and Hudson trick or treated for the full two hours and scored a ton of candy. IMG_1722 IMG_1732 IMG_1723

We went to Lisa’s halloween party afterwards. Ellabelle played on Lisa’s iPad. Mattie was unhappy with Oma’s clown make up. Josh fell asleep (which happens every year somehow). IMG_1726

A few random pics:

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Aaannndddd . . . now November.

November has been crazy for us. I’ve been working every evening, and Josh has been working 10 hour days for overtime. Life has been beyond stressful financially which has taken a toll on us emotionally Our furnace had to be fixed. Our car is still in the process of being fixed. I’m honestly happy to see it go. I’m so excited about what December holds for us. But for now, November (mostly in pictures):

11/3 – We voted 12191195_10101061637981280_1725614924284367627_o

11/6 – Josh and I had our 9 year anniversary. We didn’t do anything, but its still worth noting. lol

11/7 – Thanksgiving Craft Day at the library

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11/8 – Out for Oma’s birthday

We ended up at Logan’s and it was yummy. 12208394_10101065048496580_3865265573986997796_n

11/15 – With my schedule at work, we had to put the Christmas decorations up early. We started by raking up the leaves to begin with. EB was daddy’s big helper.

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Ellabelle loved helping with the lights too. 12241462_10101069646272600_9203201950836428002_n 12243050_10101069676816390_2446718015103309887_n 12219388_10101069676911200_8521092962374019006_n 12208358_10101069109208880_602206747596361411_n12241404_10101069646292560_4791130334071619673_n

11/21 – We mailed the girls letters to Santa

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11/23 – Mattie’s 6 month check up

All 16lbs of my chunk is healthy and happy 12278964_10101074417810400_8566353417462208522_n

11/26 – Thanksgiving

We all matched!
We all matched!
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Great Grandma with her namesake and EB
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with Auntie Ang
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4 generations

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11/27 – Helped decorate Oma and Opa’s tree & Christopher Pop-in-kins came back

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New Patterns

We’ve been slowly sliding into our new pattern of life. Poor Miss EB had a hard time adjusting to less sleep and long days away from us. She was crying when daddy dropped her off in the morning and won’t let me out of her sight when I come pick her up. She even runs to the door as soon as I get there cause girl is ready to go. She has, lucky, gotten better about the mornings. As long as we supply some sort of food distraction (be it goldfish or milk), she happily waves bye-bye to mommy and daddy takes her in, tear free.

Our days are as follows:
5:30: up and at em for daddy and mommy
6:00: Mommy gets Bee up and daddy makes coffee, starts the car, and takes out the dog
6:30(at the latest): out the door
7:00: drop baby off, fingers crossed for no tears
7:30: drop momma off, wolf whistle from the weird guy in the alley (aka my husband)
8-4:45: work and all that necessary stuff
5:20: pick up Bee, get smiles and blow that popsicle stand
6:00-8:30: dinner, bath, whatever housework we feel up to doing, and playtime with the manimals til bed
8:30: bedtime for the baby and last minute stuff for the next day
9:30: beddybye for momma and daddy.

Now repeat as necessary (or required anyways.)

So, yeah, poor Ellabelle isn’t liking this whole being home for only 2 hours to play with HER toys. I think she misses them too.

The real sad sap is Maisy. She’s so pathetic every morning. In the beginning, she would sit on the couch like, “Are we going somewhere?! You have pants on! We must be going somewhere!” And now she mopes, “Oh it’s that time of the day when you leave me again. Are you sure you have to go?” Insert big sad puppy dog eyes here. Like I said, she’s pathetic. But without fail, 6pm when we roll through the door, she’s there, still on the couch, wigglebutt agoing in excitement. And all is forgiven.

I’m so glad I have my job and the piece of sanity it grants me, but that little feeling of guilt is hard to shake when I look at Ellabelle. I don’t want her to feel like she’s neglected which she isn’t in anyway. It’s gotten easier as the weeks have moved on. I’m hitting my 1 month mark here this week. I feel like we’re finally on the path to where we want to be. I’m so looking forward to catching up on bills so we have some extra money to start saving for bigger and better things. Just like last year, march is so full of exciting new things and lots of busy busy weekends. More to come on that…

Anxious Mommy Math

I do my best thinking at night when I’m trying to fall asleep. I swear I’ll remember it all when I wake up, but I never do. I’ve lost many a great plot ideas for the book I’m probably never gonna write this way. But tonight, I’m writing things down. Why? you may ask. Well, it’s a battle of wits here this evening. See I don’t have the luxury of being a daddy so that means if the baby’s up so am I. And tonight she is refusing to sleep. Not sure what her beef is. But anyways. Using her sleep boycott to write. 20140204-230923.jpg

So now I get a chance to write and I’ve got nothing. Of course. Let us see. Well it’s my last week home with my kid. I’ve been home with her everyday since she was born and now I’m off to a regular job with regular hours. That means 10 hours away from my precious Baby Bee a day. And of course I’ve figured it all out into hours and traumatized myself into panic over my lack of baby time and the possibility of being an awful mother because I’m going to work instead of being with her. Anyways, here’s my crazy, anxious-about-leaving-my-baby break down:

With commute I’ll be away from Ellabelle for 10 hours a day

She sleeps for 12 hours a night (or usually does anyways)

There’s 24 hours a day so 168 hours a week

She sleeps 84 hours a week (lucky) and we are away from her for a total of 50 hours a week

So 84 + 50 = 134 hours away from her and 168 – 134 = 34.

Thirty freakin four.

That’s it. 34 hours a week. Barely over a day I get with my kid every week. I’m not happy about this.

I would like to win the lottery right about now so I can just stay home and hang with her while still being able to send her to good schools someday. But I don’t play the lottery. I’m too broke. And I don’t get to stay home with her anymore. I’ve been so lucky to get to spend the first 18 months with her. I had to sacrifice nights with her for a while, but I got every single day. Every single morning. Every single morning smile. Now I’ll get grumpy face cause she’s not going to be able to sleep until 10 or 11 anymore, and she’s gonna be a sourpuss about it, I just know it.

So anyways. This is our last week together, hopefully, ever. I will hopefully never find myself unemployed again even if it breaks my heart. So I’m trying to put down the laptop and trying to enjoy every little second I get with her. She ran around with a bucket on her head today. She’s become such a little person. I wish I could make it stop. I miss my tiny baby. I love this fun lively toddler. I’m sure it’ll be gone too soon as well.

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