calm after the storm.

Just a few moments ago, as I was putting Dax to bed, I heard the tell-tale sound of summer.

Thunder.

Next month it will be two years since my family moved to Naples; we relocated just as the hot, rainy season was ramping up, and I remember that not a day went by in those first weird months that I didn’t hear that throaty rumble of the angry, humid skies.

And I heard it again today for the first time this year and it sent me into a spiral of nostalgia.

When we first moved here, we didn’t have any friends. We didn’t know a soul. And Dan was out of town for work a lot, so many nights I would sit by myself on our lanai and watch the lightning and listen to the thunder. It was lonely, sure. But it was also peaceful. I didn’t know much of anything about my new town but, being a native Floridian, I knew that sky and I knew those sights and sounds enough to not feel completely out of place. Being naturally extroverted, however, it was a whole new challenge to find so much time to myself. To be silent. To listen and to not speak.

To anyone.

Today was one of those days I wish could have been struck by some of the lightning I saw tonight; both Dax and I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, each of us already counting down the minutes to nap time before the last bite of breakfast was swallowed. I’m hormonal, and he’s two. And then a massive poop cut off a huge chunk of nap time, causing the rest of the afternoon to go just as poorly as the morning. He tested one too many boundaries and I lost my temper in an embarrassing way one too many times. And when I didn’t think I could possibly handle any more, I got a phone call from a debt collector wondering why we haven’t paid the nearly $3,000 still owed to the emergency room for last year’s miscarriage.

Seriously, Wednesday?

The storm is over now. Rain is no longer falling and thunder is no longer rumbling, but the ground is still sopping wet. Similarly, Dax is no longer raging against the Mom Machine but is soundly asleep in his crib. I’m no longer yelling at him, but am sitting on the couch in a funk so intense it almost has a color, contemplating eating cookie dough ice cream straight out of the carton (BECAUSE WHY THE HECK NOT, I’M 30 WEEKS PREGNANT) feeling both relieved to finally be done and ashamed at the ways I missed the mark today.

And Dan is away at work and I’m home by myself.

The sun will come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar.

where we are.

Over the past month, our family has experienced a lot of change. And from what I understand, the saying goes that change is hard. Regardless of what change is taking place, there is an adjustment period and, in case you’ve never experienced it, it can be hard.

But, as I was discussing with a friend yesterday, there is “good hard” and “bad hard”. And I am grateful that, for us, all of this change has been “good hard”.

I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant with this new little life (who we recently found out is another sweet BOY whom we have named Case Daniel) and my pregnancy is going faster than I’m really prepared to acknowledge. Baby shower dates are being finalized and I passed my glucose test and now I have a stack of bins of clothes to go through, but we are treading water in this house, making barely any forward progress. We have no plans currently in place to redesign Dax’s room to be a shared room, and we have yet to reorganize our own bedroom to allow for a newborn. But there is still time and we are enjoying where we are.

One thing we have done in preparation for a growing family is take a serious leap of faith; facing the reality of no paid maternity leave or short-term disability, Dan and I (with the help of a very dear friend) made the decision for me to quit my job to work full time as a freelancer. (That’s a lot of reason for my blog silence; finding time to work on my own blog has taken a backseat to the blogs of my clients. In related news, I LOVE MY NEW JOB!) Since making that transition, I’ve fully embraced the idea of “good hard” change. For instance, now that I work from home, the hardest thing I deal with is not working too much, and slotting out dedicated times throughout my day where I am 100% focused on being with Dax. Since Dax is such an independent little soul (who still takes 4-hour naps in the afternoon!) I could easily spend my entire day at my laptop plowing away at my work while he plays, pausing briefly to have short conversations (usually about trains) and to throw together a little lunch or a snack. But I prefer to give him my undivided attention for good portions of the day when he’s awake, so finding that balance is a bit of a challenge.

Compared with the “bad hard” Dan and I both dealt with while I was working full time outside the home, this is certainly preferable.

Dax, being the fierce introvert that he is, absolutely loves our new routine where he is home with me more. Every morning he tells me that he wants to “stay home with Mama and wear Spiderman jammies and play with trains!” And maybe it’s a coincidence, but I feel like the number of time outs he earns has dwindled a bit (not that he isn’t being very two and pushing a lot of boundaries lately).

Lots of change. But lots of “good hard” change, resulting in higher spirits around our house and increased sense of gratitude for this precious little life we get to live together.

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*crickets*

So uh.

Hey there. :)

Been awhile. :)

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There are a lot of reasons for my three-month (!!!) blogging hiatus. And all of them are personal. So, uh, sorry, but I don’t really want to go into them. But here’s what you need to know for right now:

1. I’m back.

2. For, like, good.

3. I got pregnant while I was gone. Due in June!

4. You better be ready for some serious blogging.

K thanks.

Sincerely,

The Worst Blogger Ever

love.

We cannot see light. We can only see the things the light illuminates. When we walk along the beach at sunset, we don’t say to ourselves, “What a pretty light.” We say, “What beautiful colors in the sky. What amazing sparkles dancing on top of the waves. What a beautiful sunset.

Similarly, we cannot see love. We can only see the people in our lives illuminated by our love. When I see my son or my husband, I don’t say to myself, “How amazing is love?” But instead, “How incredible are these people I’m blessed to call my family? The way my husband laughs makes me smile. The way my son holds my hand brings me such joy. I love them so much.”

Love does not “exist” but rather brings things and people into existence.

And for that I am grateful.

reality.

Like I was saying the other day, no one can prepare you for the things you believe you are capable of and the things you actually are capable of. This goes both ways; just like you are far more capable of doing certain things that you might think you can’t, there are some other things that you feel capable of that you just aren’t.

This is what we like to call a reality check.

For me, September and October have been the months of reality checks. For some reason, these two months I’ve gotten some wild hairs up my butt or SOMETHING that have “inspired” (???) me to try a bunch of new things.

But not just try them — dive head first into them.

  • Blog everyday for 31 days
  • Work out everyday for 30 days
  • Reread the entire Harry Potter series (I’m on book 6 since starting 5 weeks ago)
  • Meal plan every week
  • Come up with and maintain weekly chores schedule
  • Continue doing other life things as usual

Let me just be honest and say that this blog post is not like the one in which I find out I’m capable of way more than I think I am. Oh, on the contrary. REALITY CHECK: I am stretched T H I N.

But it’s all good, though! Because sleep is great. And sometimes I do that sleep thing.

music therapy.

I have a lot of friends who went to graduate school to obtain degrees in art therapy. I’m not up to speed on what they actually learned or what they actually do in their profession, but I do know that therapy that utilizes art is valuable.

Back in March, I decided to learn a new instrument. Rather than capitalize on my already-honed piano skills and try something similar (like an accordion, for example) I opted for something else.

The ukulele.

So I’ve been strumming on those little nylon strings for about seven months now, and while I’m not anyhing special, I can at least jam out on a few of my favorite songs (like “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, an instant ukulele classic).

I was gifted a handmade ukulele by a coworker of mine, and so I keep one at home and one at my desk, and whenever I’m feeling upset or stressed I pick it up and pluck at it.

Almost magically, the stress disappears. I don’t know why, but playing this instrument is extremely therapeutic for me. Maybe because it’s just such a silly little thing, making the sweetest little sounds, but regardless it melts away the blues.

I’m curious — what helps you unwind? What takes away your stress? Do you use art to channel your emotions? Painting? Writing? Cartwheels?

some daxisms.

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My son Dax is awesome. Here are some great things he says sometimes and what they mean.

“No Mama do it.”

Translates to: “Mama, please don’t do the thing that you are currently doing.”

“Dax hold it.”

Translates to: “Please give me some item whose name I can’t verbalize yet, but I fully expect you to figure it out.”

“Mama’s lolos.”

Translates to: “Look! Mama is eating noodles!”

“Mama pray Why.”

Translates to: “Mama, please pray for Super WHY!”

“Mama run; Mama gitchoo.”

Translates to: “Mama, please run so that I can get you.”

“No ews mouth!”

Translates to: “Please do not wipe away the snot that is dribbling from my nose and into my mouth.”

“Dada kiss Mama.”

Translates to: “Dada, kiss mama.”

“Strawbess? Yergurt? And?”

Translates to: “I would like to eat strawberries and yogurt.”

“No yes share!”

Translates to: “I will not share, even though you just told me, ‘Yes, share.'”