Big Changes:

I know I  have been M-I-A for the last few weeks. There have been a lot of new changes in my life. I started back at work on the 4th of September and Olive started school on the same day.

The first few weeks for very hard for me, a lot harder than I thought they would be. I mean I knew coming back from maternity leave wasn’t going to be easy, but I didn’t realize just how difficult it would be. I don’t know if it’s because I was out for so long and I just needed more time to get back into the swing of things, or it’s just harder now that I have a child when before it was just me but either way it was a rough start and the third week was the worst.  I just felt really overwhelmed, like no matter how hard I tried to make things better, more things would just keep going wrong.

I knew a lot of this was just temporary and it would get better. I just needed to get through the next few weeks. I had to just keep my head up, stay positive, find some humor even in the most  difficult situations, and everything would be okay. Every job is like this. You have ups and downs. You have super easy days and super hard days. Some days go by really smoothly, others not so much, but you make it through. You get stronger and you learn more and more.

The one thing that helps me get through a hard day is visiting Olive in the infant room during my lunch break. It’s my favorite time of the day. I’m very lucky that I have a job where I can see my daughter during the day. I feel bad for the moms that have to drop their babies off and then drive in to work somewhere else.

I’m also grateful that Olive is doing so well in the infant room. Every time I visit her, she’s very happy and smiling. That makes things much easier for me. If she was crying or seemed unhappy, I don’t think I’d ever want to leave her, but thankfully she’s doing great in there! She is enjoying stories, and music class, and buggy rides outside. I even got pictures of her finger painting last week. It makes me happy to see her having a good time in her class room.

The first weekend after my first week back to work, I was so exhausted that I just laid around as much as I could plus I wasn’t feeling that great either.  Thankfully I felt better during the second week. The second weekend, I had a little bit more energy and was able to take Olive to a nearby farm where we just walked around and looked at farm animals. They did have events there that day, but Olive was too young to participate.

The third weekend Kevin and I took Olive to Peddlers Village to see the scarecrows and the spot where we got married almost two years ago. It was such a nice Fall day. It was the first time in a while that I was able to stand outside and not feel uncomfortable in any way.

We have been super busy with school events too. We had our back to school night a few weeks ago, and last week we had picture day. Olive did such a great job, smiling for the camera. I cannot even believe how great her pictures came out! We also have our Halloween party and Parade to look forward to too! As crazy and busy as things are, I must say that it is nice to be involved in a community and to have help and support from other teachers and parents.

And yes, things have gotten much better at work. Just like I knew they would.  I honestly think it’s a struggle every working mom goes through. Wondering if you are doing the right thing, Is it wrong to go back to work after having a baby? Is your child happy? Are you doing enough for them? Are they getting enough attention from you? And even when you do a really good job, you still think it’s not good enough.

So far my daughter seems very happy in her little life. She’s always smiling and in a good mood. She hardly ever seems upset unless she’s hungry or super tired. She lights up when she sees people. So I must be doing something right.

I hope so anyway…

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How to Beat the Heat:

This last week has been brutal! There has been a heat wave outside and as a result, Olive and I have been home bound. I haven’t left my house other than to walk outside to get the mail or take out the trash. The few times I have been outside was extremely uncomfortable! Not only is it unbearably hot out, but the air is so thick and gross that it’s hard to breathe.  Needless to say, Olive hasn’t left our house in over a week.

I usually spend my Summer days on the beach, walking on the boardwalk, swimming in the pool and getting ice cream. I haven’t been able to do any of that this year. I look forward to next Summer, when Olive is older and I can take her to the beach and the pool and get her an ice cream cone to enjoy.

Even though we are stuck inside, I’m still enjoying my time with her and making the best of it.  Everyday we do tummy time and story time. Yesterday I painted her little feet to make an art project with homemade paint. We also did a little science experiment that she was very intrigued with. She takes a few naps throughout the day and while she is sleeping I’ve been cleaning, exercising, and window shopping on Amazon. I probably have at least close to 100 items on my wish list. I also made a first year bucket list of all the places I want to take Olive and all the fun things I want to do with her before her first birthday.

The list includes things like: a hayride to the pumpkin patch, picture with Santa, ride on a carousel, children’s museum, ride on a train etc.

I always look forward to all the upcoming Holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas, but this year I’m REALLY looking forward to them. I know she is still going to be too young to understand what is going on, but I’m really excited about celebrating the Holidays with her.

I feel so lucky to have such a good and easy going baby. She is honestly the most pleasant and happy baby I have ever seen. She smiles all the time and hardly ever cries. She makes everything so much easier for me. I just love her so much! I hope she is always happy for her whole life. That’s my biggest wish for her, that she has a very happy and wonderful life.

Adventures with Olive:

The last six weeks of my life have been very different than how things were before. Becoming a mother is so much more than just changing diapers, making bottles and getting up during the night. Everything is different! Waking up in the morning is different. Getting ready for bed is different, and going out anywhere is VERY different.

Everything takes me twice as long to do. I am still getting used to being a mommy. I learn something new everyday, like how to make things easier for myself. Instead of carrying Olive around in her car seat, bring her stroller along so I don’t end up breaking my back.

Olive and I have had a very eventful week. On Monday we went to a nearby church because I am interested in getting Olive baptized there. I used to go to church with my family when I was little. We didn’t go every week, but when we would go I really did enjoyed Sunday school. My husband and I usually do not go to church. We believe in God, We are just not big church- goers. Now that we have Olive though, I really want to start going again. I think it’s really important for her to learn about God and to have a relationship with him. I’ll be completely honest, we probably won’t go every single week because life happens and some times you just need to sleep in on a Sunday. I would like to go every now and then though.

There is a cute, little church right around the corner from us. We went there Monday morning. I carried Olive in her car seat to the back door of the church. The door was locked but there was a buzzer and an intercom right next to it. I rang the buzzer and an older woman answered through the intercom asking how she could help me. I told her I was interested in having a baptism for my daughter. She buzzed me in and I met her in the down stairs hallway where she told me the pastor wasn’t in that day and to come back on Sunday to talk to him so he can set it all up. I thanked her and then headed off to the library.

We weren’t there very long. We walked around the kids section and I picked out a few books to take home to read to her. I read to Olive every night. Afterwards I signed us up for a free baby music class, that they were having later on in the week.

On Tuesday I had my six week check-up with my doctor. My mom came over and I drove her and Olive to my doctor’s office. My mom stayed in the waiting room with Olive, while I went back to talk to the doctor. Everyone in the office told me how cute and little my daughter was and how good I looked for just having a baby six weeks ago. That made me feel really good.

After the doctor’s, we went through the Chick-Fil-A drive-through to get lunch.

On Wednesday my mom and I were going to take Olive to Grounds for Sculpture for the first time. Grounds for Sculpture is a huge garden place right by my house. They have a ton of different sculpture’s all throughout the gardens where you can walk around and take pictures. I have been there a few times before, but now in a while. Unfortunately the weather was really hot that day, so we decided to walk around the mall instead.

 

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Olive was very intrigued by all the different sights and sounds in the mall. we went into a few stores and looked around. We didn’t buy anything, just did some window shopping then headed home.

On Thursday we went back to the library to attend the free baby music class. There were a few toddlers there and a few other babies, but Olive was the youngest one. She slept pretty much the whole time. It was a cute class. The woman played her guitar and sang for the kids. She gave them scarves, shakers and other musical instruments for them to play with. She even played happy, upbeat music for them to dance around. It was nice, but I think Olive would enjoy it more if she was a little bit older and could participate with the other children.

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Today is Friday. Olive and I went to Walmart to buy birthday gifts for Olive’s two cousins. Their birthday party is this weekend.  After that we decided to just stay at home for the rest of the day. It had been a very busy week for us.

Looking forward to more adventures with my little sidekick. 🙂

The Journey Begins

IMG_4695Hello readers,

Welcome to my new blog all about the many adventures of motherhood.

As some of you may know, for the past five years I had a blog entitled ‘That Girl Justine’. It was all about me and my life at the time from the age of 27 to now 31. Some of the happiest years of my life. During that time I moved in with my boyfriend, got a new job, got engaged (on the beach), had a beautiful Fall wedding, went on a great honeymoon in Mexico, bought a house and got pregnant with my first child.

It was a very eventful five years. I really enjoyed sharing my experiences on my blog and looking back at all the wonderful memories I had made. I knew I wanted to continue writing, but I feel that my life is so different now that I’m a mother. It’s a whole new chapter in my life, so I wanted to start fresh with a blog that was more focused on family life and the ups and downs of parenthood.

Before I was a parent, my life was very easy. It was pretty much all about my job. I am the head teacher in the toddler 2 classroom at a nearby daycare center. My days as a toddler teacher are easy and hard at the same time. There are days that I absolutely love my job and other days where I can’t wait to run out the door and into my car. For the most part, I do really enjoy my job and I like being around the children. I love making up lesson plans, I love planning fun activities and art projects for them to do and I love picking out books to read to them during the day.

When I would come home from work, I would spend my nights laying on the couch with my husband, watching our favorite TV shows and movies. A lot of times I would fall asleep on his chest at around 8:30-9:00 and then wake up around 10:00 and head off to bed.

On the weekends we would pretty much just do some cleaning up and run errands. Some times we would go out to lunch, or shop for something around the house. So yes, my life before was easy, but it was also kind of boring.

I wanted a child so bad! I wanted to have a little family of my own to make memories with and start new traditions with. On September 2nd 2017 I found out I was pregnant and I knew at that moment that my life would never be the same again and I was okay with that. I knew what I would be giving up, but I also knew that what I would get back would be a thousand times better and would bring so much more happiness to my life.

On May 10th 2018 my daughter Olivia May came into the world through a c-section at exactly 8:19 am. I’ll never forget the sound of her first little cries, or how tiny she was, or how warm she felt when they put her on my chest for the first time. She was the most adorable baby that I had ever seen. It was love at first sight. I thought I knew love before, but I have never loved anyone else the way I love my daughter. It’s a completely different love, something that I have never felt before. It broke my heart every time a nurse came in to take her blood and make her cry.  I cried a lot the first few days of her life. Partly because I was very sleep deprived and hormonal but also because I felt very protective of her. She was my little baby, who I carried for nine months. I didn’t want anything to happen to her or upset her in any way.

The first week we brought her home, I don’t think Kevin or I got any sleep. We were both up all night constantly checking on her, making sure she was still alive and still breathing. We tried to take turns being up with her, but I had a hard time not getting up whenever I heard her cry. I had to just make sure that she was okay.

By the third week we did figure out how to get more sleep by keeping her up between 6:30 until 10:00. She usually sleeps from 10:00 until 1:30/2:00 in the morning. That way we can get a good few hours of sleep in.

Kevin went back to work, so I’m home with Olive all day. I started to create a little daily routine for us. We usually wake up for the day around 8:00/8:30. I change her diaper and give her a bottle. By the time she is done drinking her bottle, she’s back asleep. while she is sleeping I hop into the shower and get ready for the day. She will usually sleep for at least an hour some times longer, so when I’m done getting ready I eat breakfast and do things around the house like wash dishes, throw in a load of laundry, take out the trash etc.

Olive usually wakes up around 10:00. When she wakes up I give her a sponge bath in her bassinet. I put a clean outfit on her, comb her hair, put lotion on her and some times file her nails if she needs it. Then I give her another bottle, then she usually sleeps again. When she wakes up I change her diaper, give her another bottle and then as long as the weather is nice, I take her for a walk around our neighborhood usually around noon or 1:00. I continue to change and feed her throughout the day. when she is more awake in the late afternoon, I read books to her and sing to her. I also let her spend some time in her swing, which she seems to really enjoy. We also do tummy time later at night. she is great at picking her head up and she has already rolled from her belly to her back 4 different times! We go to bed around 10:00, then I’m up with her a few times during the night. I have to admit that she is a really good baby and is sleeping longer than she used to.

I know it sounds so boring, but I actually enjoy my little routine with Olive. It’s nice to spend so much time with her because I get to know her better each day. I know I’m going to miss spending all this time with her when I have to go back to work in September, even though she will be in the infant room right across the hall from me I’m still going to miss her.

I’m really looking forward to taking her places and watching her grow up and enjoy life. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us. 🙂

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