So Many Changes

Six short years ago, I fell head over heels for a guy in a bar.   To be fair, it was only happy hour (does that make it better?), and it was a charity date auction in which I volunteered my perpetually single self to be put on display.  I had nothing to lose, right?   Apparently, Mr. C didn’t want to lose $80, but slyly decided to chat me up after hearing the words “sold!” awarded to some other guy.  Whoever he may be.

4 short years ago, we were married.   We have always been quick to life changes.  We bought our first home and brought our first son into the world all before celebrating our 2nd anniversary.   That being said, we took time to live.  Time to learn how to be parents (though this is an ever-evolving skill), time for The Mister to work his tail off to graduate with his MBA, time to plan a trip of a lifetime to reconnect as a couple in Ireland, and finally, time to enjoy our little guy.  He has definitely brought us more smiles and laughter than tears and frustration, but as he is approaching two and a half, each day brings its own set of unique challenges.  Like I said, parenting is an ever-evolving skill that I don’t think anyone truly masters.

You may have caught me mention our “first son”.  That’s right, we are expecting to bring our second son into the world before Halloween!  This will officially turn our home into boy territory, and this girly-girl is embracing every minute of it.

Upon learning this great news, we made the decision as a family that I will no longer be working that full-time job of mine as a teacher, but will instead take the year to stay at home with my boys.  I know that it is an amazing opportunity for all 4 of us, and I am excited to take on this new challenging role.  I will admit that I did feel a twinge of emptiness when it came time for teachers to report back to work this week.  It is a job that I am good at, and a role that will always be instilled in me, as I raise my own children.

This year will be full of reflecting on my career, as I watch my toddler grow into an even sweeter, smarter little man, all while adding a newborn to the mix.   After the whirlwind of the past 4 years as a family, it’s okay that I’m not sure what the future has in store.  At least that’s what my heart is telling me.  The life-planner in my brain is still trying to catch up with my heart.

If you’ve followed my silly little blog thus far, with its few and far between posts, stay tuned.  I am planning to revamp and start anew with a new site.   I will link it when I’m ready…I just need a little inspiration first 🙂  Until then, here is a look at our little family of 3 in June, when I was 22 weeks along, and still looked cutely pregnant.

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Hey Babe!

Two boys are fighting over me. Yes, this almost-30-year-old has two very cute guys vying for her attention. You’re probably looking for advice on how to become this sought after. Let me tell you my secrets. It must be those greys sprouting up & my new reliance on hair dye. Maybe it’s my less-than-toned tummy, or the fact that yoga pants, sports bras, t-shirts, and pony tails are oh so irresistible! Perhaps, though, it’s the fact that I’m a youngish wife to a man who drools at the drop of cake batter and newish mother to a sweet toddler boy.

Yes, I’m currently raising a tiny mama’s boy.

A very jealous mama’s boy.

On any given morning, Mr. C will leave for work before me, giving me a goodbye kiss on his way out. Normal? Yes. A disaster waiting to happen? You bet. Baby C grabs my legs mid-smooch and pleads, “mommy up?” As soon as I give in, I get a toddler hug & smooch. This is a double win for me, and a twinge of sadness for Mr. C, as a toddler hug and kiss for him takes more coaxing.

A typical Saturday morning means a coffee date on the couch while the little guy plays at our feet. It really sounds like a sweet scene, doesn’t it? In all actuality, this scene involves hand grabbing, (as if Mr. C should even try to hold the hand of Baby C’s true love!) pulling, and pleading of “peeeeaaaaassse Mommy pwwwaaay!” Do I give in? Usually. Who can really resist that sweet voice? Poor Mr. C.

In addition, we constantly hear, “no! Mommy do it!” This mommy can do anything and everything in Baby C’s eyes and Daddy, well, I guess he’ll do if I’m not around. Again, poor Mr. C.

If Mr. Cupcake ever needs an ego boost, however, he just needs to remember that our son mimics his every move. He is watching, listening, and studying how to be a great man, just like his father. And what an amazing example he has. In fact, thanks to his daddy, Baby C has recently starting practicing his pick up lines on me. Ladies and gentlemen, your daughters are in trouble.

a mini-post

Well, I did exactly what I said I wasn’t going to do, and that is get wrapped up in rushing around as a professional, as well as a mommy.  It’s really hard to not think about work when I’m at home, but it’s all in the profession, I suppose.  I’m trying to stay positive, and keep blogging.  Projects have been put on hold for now, except for a few *wedding present surprises* that I can not divulge at this time.

We have been eating fairly well since adding another working parent to the mix.  It has been easy, however, because of Mr. C’s busy schedule, I really only have to cook 3 days a week, and we have enough food for lunches too.  I’ll try to post sample menus next week, as we’ve been dealing with a sick toddler and trying to throw in some birthday celebrations in for me (although, acknowledging 29 is not a priority!).

Until next time, when I’ll try to get my head unjumbled and actually remember what we’ve been up to lately!

A year ago…

I’ve been MIA lately, mostly due to my “crap, I only have one week of summer left” mentality, which in teacher reality means, “crap, I have to get into my classroom early to make sure I’m not stressed when I’m really due to report back next week.”  See…more evidence that teachers are truly a hard-working bunch.  While I’ve been slacking in the “Mrs. Cupcake” role of meal planning, sticking to somewhat of a schedule to keep our house together, and going on fun trips with BabyC , I’m mentally doing better in my role as a working mom.  You see, last year at this time, things were pretty bad.  I know I brought a lot of it on myself, but there were many factors that made both work life and home life a mess. So here you have some of my reflections from a year ago at this time.  Things are already off to a better start this year!

A year ago…

  • I cried every morning when I woke up
  • I slept for maybe 4-5 non-consecutive hours each night, with Mr. C getting even less as a grad student
  • I cried dropping Baby C off with his nanny
  • I cried when she texted me to tell me that he wouldn’t stop crying
  • I cried when I walked into my building, lugging my teacher supplies AND a huge bag with pumping gear
  • I cried when I was told I had to pump in the science closet, amongst many other strange locations
  • I cried in meetings when I felt pressure to be that teacher that I was pre-BabyC
  • I rushed home to play on the swings and neglected any sort of housework/cooking
  • I cried when I realized I only had 2ish hours to be with Baby C before bath and bed
  • I cried going to bed at night knowing it would all start over again the next day

Do you see a pattern? Of course, much of it can be attributed to newish mommy hormones, but nevertheless,  here’s to less tears, more sleep, more organization, better dinners, a cleaner house, and more smiles this school year.  Of course, Mr. C and I do have a huge goal of celebrating one more semester of his MBA down with a trip to Ireland in December.  That will keep us smiling for sure!

Messy, Messy (A Ziti Post)

Every week, I try to make one dish that will last for many lunches and those lonely dinners when Mr. C is in class.  This particular ziti dish  from Better Homes and Gardens has been a big hit in our house with both of my favorite guys.  In fact, Baby C was under the weather this weekend, and  is also getting those terrible, horrible, no good molars that I have been dreading.  Let’s just say, his appetite was non-existent and this meal changed it all.  If you know how sad I get about the tiny state of my under-10th-percentile child, you know that this was a huge win on my part!

This meal is also going to be a lifesaver for the ever-approaching hectic days where both Mr. Cupcake and I are working full-time.  I’m also thinking it could be a good staple for some families I know with babies due any day now!  Who doesn’t like food dumped on their doorstep?

In somewhat related news, Baby Cakes has been starting to mimic.  It’s actually a hilarious stage, but we have to REALLY start….seriously, I mean it this time, watching what we say.  Apparently I complain a lot about things being messy.  I didn’t know I used that word so much, until one day he approached me with a towel and said, “Messy, messy.  Face? Hands?” and proceeded to wipe me in the proper places.  Enjoy this little clip of Baby C eating his ziti.

and no, the nose picking is not something that he is mimicking, at least not from me!

A Little Blurb about Baby Cakes’ Baby Book!

It has taken me the almost-year-and-a-half of Baby C’s life, but I’ve finally completed his “Baby Book”.  Before I started, I had high hopes that I would begin scrapbooking again, and include all of his little “collector’s items”.  I have a box full of his ultrasounds, footprints and hospital bracelets, cards, “month” stickers from each photo shoot, and much more.  I even got as far as printing pictures from his first 5 months.  Then I went back to work and never had the alone time that I would need to sit down and concentrate on such a task.  Hence, the photo book.  Thank goodness for modern technology!  Maybe I’ll figure out a way to display these important items some day, but for now, at least I have all of the pictures from his first 365 days in one place.

After much research, I decided I wanted something different for Baby C’s first pictures.  I came across a blog post by a mom of little ones over at Little Red Wagon Photography.  This lead me to the fabulous world of Blurb.com, where I had a lot of fun playing around with their layouts and different sizes of photo books.  It was a decent price too, considering I almost went over the photo limit with my hundreds upon hundreds of pictures that I wanted to include.  It came in the mail last week, and I am so thrilled with how it turned out (despite a missing letter that Mr. C was kind enough to point out.  I can never be perfect, can I?)

Here is the ever-adorable cover.  If this doesn’t give you baby-fever, I don’t know what will! 

For more previews of this adorable first-year photo book, check it out here: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/2807016/69d130d37910f700159f8d55df87be2ae984f6cf.

Blurb allows you to share your book with friends, family members, and the world.  You can also set only a few pages to be viewed as a preview, which is what I did.  It took me many evenings, post-baby-bedtime, and several glasses of wine, but it is finished and (almost) perfect.

O-Shun?

Last week, BabyCakes and I were fortunate enough to spend the entire week playing at the seashore.  Mr. C was there from time to time, but since we always have 5 different things going on at once in this house, he was traveling to and from the beach to attend his grad classes.  This left him driving 16 or so hours back and forth in one week, just to spend a few days with his family.  Isn’t he the best?

I’m sure Mr. C was glad that he could witness his now 17-month old’s first meaningful time playing at the beach.  Since he wasn’t there the first day, I had to snap a few shots of Baby Cakes’ reaction

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At times, he would scream with all he had in him, just to be heard above the crashing of the waves.  I fear that he would have run straight across the Atlantic if we let  him.  That being said, Baby C became obsessed with the ocean.  Once we were back at the house (which has an amazing view of the beach) every other word was “o-shun?”.  Sometimes, he would put more than one word together to get his point across to whoever’s leg he could tug on,  “O-shun? try?”  I guess we should start looking for some beach front property!

Here are some of our views from the week.  I had to practice my amateur photography!

O-Shun!

Morning walk on the beach

Mad Dash

Down, Ma!

I think that although Baby C has been to the beach 3 times previous to this trip, none was as exciting and new to him as this experience.  I will always remember snuggling with him that first Sunday morning that we woke up in our home upon returning.  He looked at me and said,

“more?”

                           “more what, bud?” I asked.

“o-shun?”

Yes, little man, I think we all need a little more “o-shun” in our lives.

post-beach blues

 

The beach is one of the most majestic places on this earth.  I will never get over its beauty, and I will always come home with a post-beach depression.  It seems that for the past few years, our vacation has coincided with the end of summer.  I look forward so much to the trip and then, once we’re home, that anxious, sinking, pit-of-the-stomach feeling hits.  Time is running out!  Luckily, we have access to the beach during the off-season too.  It just isn’t the same though…

After a week of not worrying about anything except the safety of Baby Cakes as he bravely dashed into the ocean (more on this later!), I am back to meal planning, grocery shopping, and trying to figure out how to get us back on the healthy train after a week of bingeing.  I’m not sure those bike rides and runs helped, seeing as though they usually resulted in a trip to the market to get beer or donuts!

Healthy suggestions are welcome and very much appreciated as I spend the rest of the morning browsing my pinterest board…which is essentially full of delectable treats and not-so-much the healthy stuff.