Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Coming Home


I've been collecting these boxes since August!

Who knows what it is about Colorado.  When I first moved to Denver it was July 1, 2002.  I was 22 and for the most part moved on a whim.  I would tell people and still tell people that "it's close to home but away from home".  And when you are 22 the last place you want to be is where you grew up.  So I jetted off to Denver, 450 miles away from my parents house.  There was one small moment in time when I thought about leaving Denver the 13 years I lived there.  I knew I didn't want to go back to Albuquerque, but didn't know where to go, so I stayed in Denver.  Leaving Denver 19 months ago was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to do.  But knew it had to be done.  And never did I think that after we left would we be back.
Well we are coming back!  I'm super excited and nervous.  This move has been a long time coming. I've been thinking about moving almost daily since Chris came home and told me that he no longer had his job at the hospital here, which was back in August.  Because I'm such a planner I immediately thought of the next big holiday: Christmas.  And I would ask myself, I wonder where we are going to be for Christmas?  Then when Christmas came and went I focused on the next big deadline: our lease expiration.  Our lease expired at the end of April.  I would wonder what will come first?: Moving or our lease expiring?  With no real job prospect for Chris I soon realized that our lease would be expiring before any big move.  And since the lease was the only thing keeping us here I immediately thought: Lets just move back to Denver.  Which is what we are doing.  It's been a LOT of back and forth for Chris and I, but we finally have things set in stone.  We are buying a house in Thornton that is a very similar layout to our previous house and close on June 30th!
It's all very overwhelming because never did I think we end up where we left.
When we visited Colorado last month driving over the state line and into Colorado I got so emotional.  I felt home.  I felt this is where I'm suppose to be.  We looked at houses while we were there but didn't make an offer.  I left Colorado devastated.  Planning yet another version of my life.  Once Chris and I got on the same page we decided to put an offer an a house that we saw while we were there.  Which in all honesty tells me something was meant to be with this house, because after being on the market for almost 3 weeks it was still available (in the Denver market houses are usually only on the market for about a week).  And that is the house we are buying!
It's crazy that we left Colorado as a family of 3 and are now moving back as a family of 4.  What I'm most looking forward to in all of this is not moving again.  I'm not one to move around, and this unstability has not been good for me.  My mental and emotional self are not good right now, and have been in the worse shape they have ever been in.  I'm looking forward to just feeling settled and getting a routine.  It'll be a welcome change because I haven't really felt settled since August.
For the time being Chris will still be traveling back and forth to Sacramento for work, but we definitely have a goal to get him home and living with us full time!  But at least this way he only has to drive 30 minutes to the airport (compared to 90 minutes to drive to El Paso) and will have a non-stop flight.
I myself will also have to go back to work, and I have some things up and coming in that department too!  For now I'm working on all the logistics of this move.  First is finding a good moving company because I don't want to experience what we experienced last time!  So if you have any recommendations: please share!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Denver Trip

City Park

Alice, Marty, Helena, Mary, and Bennett

Marty, Chris, and Bennett

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The week after Easter we went to Denver.  The trip was multi-purposeful, and we had a great time.  I loved being back in Denver and experiencing it with my kids!  We got family pictures taken, Bennett's smash cake pictures, Bennett baptized, my in-laws came into town for the occasion, Chris and I had a date night out to one of our favorite Denver restaurants, we had play dates with Grayson and Dahlia, and we even shopped for a house!

We drove up the Wednesday after Easter, I found a really nice townhome on HomeAway.com and got everything unloaded, which took forever.  Thankfully the house had a lot of baby proofing items since Bennett started walking the beginning of April.  I had made a menu and grocery list prior to the trip so I went to the store to stalk up on everything.  I also stop by my friend Andrea's house and met her daughter Dahlia for the first time and picked up some toys and books that she graciously let us borrow while we were in town.  We got Tokyo Joe's for dinner and got the kids town for the night.
Thursday morning we went down to City Park for pictures.  There was a breeze that made it a little cool, but we got some great pictures!  We got lunch at Cafe Rio, then got the kids down for a nap while Chris and I did some house shopping.  That evening I planned a special date night for Chris and I to Guard and Grace, probably our most favorite restaurant downtown.  It was amazing.  Friday we met Andrea, Grayson, and Dahlia at Monkey Bizness to play around.  All the kids had a blast!  Grayson and Helena played so well together.  It was so nice to just hangout.  Friday afternoon Chris's Mom, Dad, and sister came into town.  I made dinner at the house and we all just hung out.  Sunday morning we went to church and Bennett got baptized.  It was amazing to be back with my church family.  Seeing Pastor Ken and the whole church was just a feeling of being home.  Seeing Bennett be baptized was such a blessing.  Pastor Ken made mention what we talked about while he was guiding us before he married us.  He remembered me mentioned that if Chris and I had kids I would bring them back here for him to baptize.  I was so impressed that he remembered something that I had mentioned almost 5 years ago!  After church everyone came back to the house where I had an amazing cinnamon french toast cooking in the crockpot.  The house was a very happy chaos with Grayson and Helena running around, and Dahlia and Bennett trying to keep up!  My cousin Cheryl came down from Fort Collins, and our amazing babysitter Chendra was also in attendance for Bennett's big day!  That afternoon Chris and I did some more house shopping.  Early Monday morning I drove Chris to the airport for him to fly back to Northern California.  Monday morning we had another playdate with Grayson and Dahlia at a local park.  Both kids loved the park!  Then we drove back to Albuquerque.
The trip was full!  I wish I had taken more pictures!  It was so great for my in-laws to make the drive to meet us there and I'm so thankful for my mom who did so much!  ...she watched the kids and so much more!

1 year of Bennett




My sweet sweet boy turned 1 on April 25th!  It has been such a crazy year, and through it all I'm so grateful to have this boy.  I'm happy to report that we have both survived!
Weight: 21lbs 10 oz (41%)
Height: 30.5 in (93%)
Head: as the doctor stated nobody is going to accuse him of a small head. :)

When I think about the past year I can't help but feel so blessed.  I've had a small village help me raise my two beautiful kids and I'm forever grateful.  I often ask how in the world I go so lucky to be gifted theses two amazing kids.  Helena set the bar high for ease, and I often prayed that my second child would also be "easy", and He definitely delivered.  Bennett is just easy, unless he is super tired he's just a breeze.  He tolerates his big sister and as of right now is a great listener and eater!
He did a great job on our trip to Denver (I still need to write about that!) and loves being outside.  He still refuses to hold his bottle, which I guess I'm ok with because in another few weeks I'll be taking the bottle away from him.  Lately he loves to give kisses and hugs which just melts my heart.  He falls and bumps his head and destroy of all things!  He has ruined so many books!  He plays well by himself but loves attention.
I love him so much!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bennett at 11 months




My baby boy turned 11 months on Saturday, and I just can't believe it.
He's 20.5 pounds and a big time cruiser.  He crawls and immediately climbs right up to whatever he crawled to and just walks along the furniture.  He has no desire to stand by himself so who knows when his confidence will come along so he can take that first step.
We transitioned him into a convertible carseat a few weeks ago, and he loves to burst out of it when you come to get him.
Lately he loves making raspberries, and grinding his teeth!...ugh how to I get him to stop that?!
His latest phrase is "dad-oh", so cute.
He's definitely all boy as he recently when to Helena's toilet and ate some of the toilet paper that was IN the toilet.  He also found out how to climb up Helena's owl recliner and jump up and down.  So now the chair is in her room so he doesn't climb up it and fall of the back!
His hair has these cute little curls by his ears, and he has an amazing swirl in the back of his head.
He loves to dance and whenever he hears music he starts to move up and down.
He's a great eater, and is eating more and more table food.
He laughs so easily and freely, so it's so much fun to tickle him, or just interacting with him and he'll laugh.
He plays so well independently and loves knocking all of the books off of the bookshelf and "read".
He goes super fast on his walker and maneuvers it really well and gets it to go where he wants it to.
He refuses to hold his bottle.  In that aspect he's super lazy, he'll shake it and play with it.  But he will not put it into his mouth and drink from it.
Lately he'll put his head on the floor while he is crawling and it's so cute.
More and more he plays with Helena and they both love it!
He had his first trip to the ER after a picture feel on his head while I was trying to get a cute St. Patrick's Day picture.  There was so much blood, but thankfully he was completely fine and didn't need stitches.
He's in 12 month clothing and size 3 diapers, and still sleeps great at night...except last night.  Last night I was up with him at 4am, but prior to that I truly can't remember when the last time I was up with him in the middle of the night was.
He's so happy.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bennett at 10 months



My sweet sweet boy turned 10 months old yesterday.  And he is slowly exiting the baby phase, which makes me so sad.
He had his 9 month well on Wednesday so I have some stats!
Weight 19 pounds 10 ounces (41%)
Height 30 inches (93%)
Head 49 cm (99%, still off the charts)

His weight is slowing down, and it's because he's now mobile and all over the house and trying to keep up with his big sister.  He is super tall.  And thankfully his head size is now curving on the chart rather than going vertical.  His appointment was super easy (no shots!) and the doctor is pleased with his development.  He's super lazy and has no desire to hold his bottle (unless he's playing with it), so that's really the one thing to work on.
His vocabulary is amazing and is very repetitive.  He is cruising all along the furniture, and loves to play in this corner of the living room between the couch and entertainment center where there is a window.  It reminds me of Helena loving to play by the fireplace in our old house.  He loves to play with things that aren't toys.  He has a 5th tooth coming in, it's on the bottom.
He loves any attention from Helena, even if it is her pushing him down or hitting him.  He just loves her and wants her attention.  He loves to pull hair, which neither Helena or I appreciate.
My favorite part of the day is his nap time.  I leave Helena alone in the living room and take Bennett into his room, rock him, feed him his bottle, and put him down.  It's really the only time of day when it is just the two of us.  Like normal Momma struggle when I first sit down and start rocking him I want to him finish his bottle quickly so I can put him down and continue on with my day.  But by the time he is done and I'm holding him on my shoulder rubbing his back, and I rock him just a little bit longer, and wish I could just stay in that moment forever because I know that before too long he will no longer need me to rock him to sleep.
He loves to throw the magnets off of the refrigerator, and musical toys, and taking things from him sister.
He's eating more and more table food.
He's officially in 12 month clothing.  Still in size 3 diapers.  Unless I need to scrub the kids, they now take baths together, but Bennett is still in a laundry basket.
Overall he sleeps really good.  Usually going to bed around 8, and up around 7ish?  But he's great at just entertaining himself in his crib, talking and laughing.
A few weeks ago he went through this phase of refusing to nap which was horrible, but thankfully that was short lived, and he's now taking one long afternoon nap.
He currently has a bad cold, horrible coughing, and constant runny nose.  Actually the whole family is sick, hopefully we'll all get better soon.
At the marriage conference Chris and I went to a few weekend ago, he did awesome in childcare!  I was really nervous, because it was for about a day and a half (Friday evening, Saturday morning and afternoon).
I feel so blessed to have another overall happy and healthy baby.  Now that he is sick he's giving me extra cuddles which I love.
When he is super tired or upset he literally yanks his head backwards and throws a full on fit.
He thankfully get distracted easily, which is nice in the moments when I have to put him down, and he starts crying.  But then he'll go find something to play with and calm himself down.
He knows his name, and will respond when you call it out.  He has started to wave and it's so cute.
I'm so happy to be his Mom!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Motherhood and Life



I've been thinking a lot of Motherhood lately.  Especially now that I'm current in a rut.  A really bad, depressive, anxiety-filled rut.  I've been wondering why motherhood is so hard.  Right now Helena is in full on terrible two stage, and I'm mentally preparing because I hear 3 is worse.  But then I feel guilty...why always (ALWAYS) with the mom guilt?!  Because in some aspects Helena is amazing and loving and perfect just how she is.  She's just 2.  I wish I could bring myself to remember that during the moments of frustration, the moments of yelling, the moments of repeating myself over and over and over and over again.  I feel bad when she wants to hang on me, and kiss and cuddle on me when we are eating dinner.  When I ask her for the thousandth time to not play on Bennett's toys.
For me life right now is in limbo.  We have an action plan, and we'll definitely be out of Alamogordo no later than 6/1.  Possibly 5/1.  No confirmation as to where, which is where my anxiety comes in.  Chris and I are trying our best to take control of the "where" but when it comes down to it we'll have to entertain any location where a job is offered.  For now Chris continues to work in Northern California 4 days a week.  He leaves at 3am Monday morning, and arrives back home around 11pm Thursday night.  The cycle is horrible.  Sunday night usually ends with me having a break down and expressing my feelings that I can't continue like this anymore.  As of right now there is no end in sight for this schedule and that also leaves me anxious.  We've been living this way since September.    As grateful I am that Chris as a job, I want our family to be living together full time again.
Then Monday is another hard day.  I usually have another break down around 5pm, just because that's the normal time I would expect Chris home.  Knowing I have 4 nights all by myself just depresses me.  This week as been especially hard because I currently have 2 sick kids.  Helena has been sick with a bad cough and cold since last weekend, and just yesterday Bennett has gotten a runny nose.  And now I have a runny nose.  The good side of the sickness?  Both kids are taking naps.  Which has given me the opportunity to catch up on TV and writing this post.  I've been doing laundry all week because our dryer sucks and is taking 3 hours to dry a load.  Plus we've been out of the house everyday this week, which has helped the time past.  Monday: I can't remember (I think Wal-mart?).  Tuesday: MOPs.  Wednesday: Bennett's 9 month well.  Thursday: Highlander oil change.
It's hard when your days are full but then at the end of your day you can't remember a single thing you did.  As a Mom I feel like the most underappreciated task of each day is the simple ending of keeping you and your kids alive.  Not that the opposite is an option, but I truly feel like I've done something right when at the end of the day my kids are sleeping soundly in their beds.  Plus raising kids is hard.  Not only am I trying to raise human beings, I'm trying to raise human beings that are nice, respectful, sweet, funny, courageous, loving, and opinionated.  That takes the task to a whole other level.
Right now I can't leave Bennett alone.  He's mobile, and he is fast.  So if I want a simple moment to go to the bathroom or forbid take a shower, he's got to be either in the pack 'n play, walker, highchair, or crib.  And Helena.  This girl as an attitude.  She's bossy and I hate that she gets her mad-tone from me.  She doesn't eat, and mealtime is usually the time of day I least look forward to.  She gets into everything.  She takes her step-stool all over the house and gets up to grab anything and everything.  She's exhausting.
I'm in constant state of wondering if I'm doing this right. I think the biggest thing about being a mom is you are immediately emerged in it.  Sure you have 9 months to prepare, but nothing prepares you for being a mom until that baby actually exits your body.  I was thinking about what I could compare it to, and the closest thing that came to mind was getting a new job.  But there are some obvious (and big differences).  When you start a new job.  You get training.  You get help.  You get support.  You get the ask questions.  You get 8 hours of sleep.  You get to go home after 8 hours.  Usually when I start a new job I dream about that job.  In my mind that's my why of processing the day, soaking up what I learned.  I've never dreamed about my mom-job.  And I think that's because becoming a mom is everything all at once.  You don't get training.  You don't get help.  You don't get support.  You don't get to ask questions.  You are sleep deprived while doing this new "job".  Your job is 24/7.   Now, of course you do get some help and some support, but for the most part you are just immersed in caring for a newborn.  The expectation is that everything needs to work.  And it's so hard.  You don't recognized for "working" and you don't get paid!  All I know is that this momma needs a break.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bennett at 9 months



I feel so bad for not writing monthly updates on Bennett!  Such is the life of a second child.
This month has been big: we have a full on mobile baby.  He started crawling right before I went to Napa, but would still take a preference to rolling everywhere.  By the time I left for my trip he was a full on crawler.  His strength and speed do not match his balance and coordination, so he needs constant supervision.  His forehead is already covered with bruises, and I'm so scared he's going to open his head up on the coffee table.  He is always pulling himself up to standing and is starting to cruise the furniture, but his confidence isn't there, and for that I'm honestly grateful.  I'm so not ready for him to not be a baby anymore.  He loves so smack his lips, I think this is a comfort for his 2 new top teeth that have also appeared!  We have these amazing conversations with our eyes...he'll blink for a few seconds and I'll blink back at him, and we just go back and forth like this, and he just loves it!  He also shakes his head back and forth as if he is saying No and it's super cute, along with his growing vocabulary.  He's got bababa, mamama, dadada, and other's down.  He loves to spontaneously scream!  He can clap his hands, and he loves to read.  He'll flip through all the pages in a book, and the best trick when I'm trying to change his diaper is to put a book in his hands.  He can still wear some 9 month clothing, but 12 month is best.  He usually sleeps really good, and twice recently he has slept until 9am!  He's in size 3 diapers.  Helena loves to play with him when I stick him in the pack 'n play because I have stuff I need to do around the house.  As of right now he'll laugh and laugh when Helena pushes on him because she's annoyed with him, thankfully he just thinks she's playing with him, hence the laughing.  He already loves playing with things that aren't toys: the remote control, my phone etch...  He loves seeing Dad on facetime, he immediately lights up.  He loves his bath and the water.  He is slowly transitioning from two naps to one, which is mainly by my doing.  On days when we stay home if he takes two naps, his naps are before and after Helena's nap, which gives me zero time, which I really don't like.  So I'm trying on keeping Bennett up so that he naps closer to Helena's nap time so that I get some peace and quite in my day.  This is much easier to do on days when we have a morning outing.  He stayed at the MOPS daycare for the first time a few weeks ago, and dropping him off was super hard, as he instantly started crying.  He is definitely attached to me.  He does this cute thing when I'm feeding him before nap or bed time where he crosses his hands over his bottle.  I think it is a huge comfort thing for him.  I really want to try and snap a picture of it.  He as also started sleeping on his belly, but I think his favorite position is this side.
I'm not too sure how I got to be so blessed to have two happy babies, but I feel honored that this little boy is mine.