Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NewMama--Women Connect '12

Today, I am linking up with Becky over at From Mrs. to Mama in her project to connect women in the blogging world.  Even though I started blogging to stay in touch with my own friends and family, I've found that one of my favorite parts of blogging is getting to know strangers who are going through the same life experiences as me.  It's amazing how people are sharing some of the same thoughts and experiences around the world.  I'm excited to find even more of these bloggy friends through this link-up.

So? The directions for the link-up? Why, yes, of course...... but, They are SIMPLE!
You write a post that tells us who you are {without you telling us literally who you are}. Tell us more than just the basics. Share with us a story. Open up. Tell us what is meaningful to you. Reel us in. Make us want to stay. Be real. Be raw.  Be you.

So, how do I define myself?  The definition has surely changed over the last year.  A year ago, I would've said...I'm a 2nd grade teacher.  Now, don't get me wrong.  Being a teacher was an incredible life experience, filled with lifelong memories of students who have taught me far more than I could ever teach them.  But since then, a lot has changed.  

In August 2011, my hubby and I made a big life decision to move back to NJ (where I grew up) to start our family.  Shortly after buying a home that we love, we found out that we were expecting our first child.  Life changed in that very instant.  I will NEVER be the same.   And I am so thankful for that.  

During my pregnancy, many of you followed along as I blogged about the changes that happened each week.  I loved seeing the differences in my chalkboard pictures each week.  It still amazes me how your body can change with a pregnancy.  What an amazing thing.  It was great to get words of encouragement from all of ya'll out there, and I'm still surprised at how many followers I accumulated over the year.  

On September 19th, our lives were changed forever when our little Maxwell was born.  (We call him Max, little man, buddy, peanut, and Maxwell Mouse.   Anybody remember the book, Maxwell Mouse?  I loved it as a kid, and still remember my dad reading it to us all of the time.)  From that day on, I no longer defined myself as "a teacher".  Instead, I'm now a mom.  Since he was born I have been pretty absent from the blogging world.  I still find time to read many of your blogs on a daily basis--usually while nursing Max.  When your kid eats 12 times a day, it gives you time to read a lot of blog posts on your phone.  However, it's not so easy to make comments or write posts on my own blog.  But, I'm not going to apologize for that.  Being with Max is my priority, and if that means that laundry, cooking, and blogging have gone to the wayside for a while, well....that's how it is. 

So, I have been trying to navigate this new role of Mommy over the past two months.  There have been trying times of frustration, worry, and anxiety about whether I am "doing it right".  So, here is where I get brutally honest with you.  I always thought that becoming a mom would come naturally "easy" to me.  Being a teacher did.  I'm the oldest of five kids.  I've always been around children.  But, this is different.  This is really hard.  (Don't worry, Mom.  I don't have postpartum depression...just being real here.) 

Having someone depend on you for everything, and not always knowing how to help them is heartbreaking.  Max was diagnosed with colic when he was 3 weeks old.  He would scream for hours each evening and sleep only minutes some nights. He rarely napped during the day.  I would talk to friends who had also recently had babies, and their babies were only awake for a couple of hours a day.  Max would only sleep on top of my chest--and no one but me could calm him down most of the time.  As nice as it is to be "needed" as Mommy, everybody needs a break.  Luckily, we have family nearby and my hubby JB did as much as he could to help.  At 7 weeks old, I knew that something else was wrong.  He was spitting up a lot more and seemed to be gagging when we laid him down after eating.  I called the doctor, and he was diagnosed with reflux.  Since then, he's been taking Zantac, and it really seems to be helping.  He's much happier during the day, sleeping more often and for longer stretches, and he doesn't seem to be in constant pain.  He's still fussy and gassy at night , but he's such a happier baby overall now.  This makes his mama oh so much happier.  So, there you have it.  I admit it.   Motherhood didn't come naturally or easily to me.  Everyday I am challenged by something.  But, the times of excitement and awe of watching Max do something for the first time far outweighs the challenges.  There are so many times a day that I say, "I just love him so much.  I don't remember life before him."  I love being a new mom, and I feel so lucky to be able to stay at home with my little munchkin.  

Reading blogs of other new moms has helped to give me suggestions and encouragement to get through the first rough moments of motherhood.  So, that's who I am.  Now I am ready to take on this new role as a mommy, and I hope you'll follow me on this crazy journey.  Stop by and say hello--I'd love to follow you too!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

One Month Old

Obviously things have been a little crazy, and I haven't written a blog post in forever.  So, I'm really hoping that some of you are still following!  Being a mommy is THE BEST job in the world, and I cannot get enough of our sweet Max.  He changes so much every day.  Looking back at these one month old pictures, I can't get over how different he looks now.  More and more I am seeing features of JB and I in his sweet little face.  I think he is just perfect--although I may be a little biased.  More to come soon on our adventures with Max.  Enjoy!

P.S.  How cute are these Babylegs legwarmers??  Love them!