Friday, August 4, 2017

Sabbatical plans

I've been asked a dozen times about how I'm going to fill my time during my sabbatical from work and then once Thomas goes back to school every. single. day. instead of just three days a week.

The answer: easily.

Before T goes back to school, we're going to enjoy the heck out of each other. I'm going to play forts and monsters and go swimming and all the things that three-year olds like to do. And I'm going to do them without guilt. I'm going to play and swing and run around without thinking about all that I've left undone and if I'm making my boss mad or if I'm going to bill enough hours to pay the rent this month.  I'm tired of the worry. I'm tired of being distracted. I'm tired of telling Thomas that I can't play yet because I need to work. For the next six weeks, I'm going to be a wife* and mommy and that's all I need to be.

Once he goes back to school and by sabbatical ends, I'm going back to work part-time. It isn't a forever plan, but a 'right now plan.' (My boss and I have a symbiotic relationship - we both do well when we work together. Once it doesn't 'work' we'll end our relationship. It's perfect.) I will do my work before Thomas wakes up and while he's in school. I'm NOT going to work during the day when he's mine. I'm going to focus on him and his daddy (and his big sister, of course). I'm also going to do projects that I've been putting off - Thomas's baby book, organizing my office, unpacking the rest of the boxes, designing the rooms in our house, exercising!, cooking new things, reading (every book ever), writing (blogging more!!), cleaning (I really do enjoy it), grocery shopping alone, drinking a second cup of coffee, soaking in the silence so that I can recharge and reset for the end of the day.

I love my job and I love having the intellectual challenge of being an attorney. I don't love being pulled in a million directions and performing subpar in all of my roles. I've been ready for a new season for awhile now and it is finally here.

It couldn't have come at a better time.

*More mommy than wife until Matt gets home...

Monday, May 8, 2017

My little bear is THREE!

It's been two days and I still can't really believe it - Thomas is THREE!  It seems like just yesterday that he was born and also like he's been here forever.

These days are equal parts fun and frustrating. Thomas is independent yet still such a momma's boy. Today, actually, he told me that he wanted to make popcorn (gasp! I know, letting my three year old eat popcorn) while I held him. I'm not sure he actually wants to be completely independent....

His favorite song for me to sing at sleep time is Jingle Bells. His favorite toy is Buzz Lightyear and his favorite movie is Sing! Though, he's a big fan of Elsa too. He would watch Daniel Tiger and Curious George all day long if I let him. He likes the idea of taking naps in my bed but doesn't actually do it. He loves chip and dip more than anything else in the world. He'll eat three pieces of Johnny's Pizza when he gets the chance. Annie's fruit snacks are the best kind of fruit snack.

He tells me that he 'really misses Daddy very much' at least three times a day, three hundred times on Mondays. He would rather be outside than anywhere else and at the beach more than our house.

He likes to help me cook, but rarely eats what we make. His sweet tooth is proof that he's mine. His favorite book is The Cat in the Hat. He prefers Shake it Off over Old McDonald but he's always up for The Wheels on the Bus.

I love this kid more today than I did yesterday and I don't know how it's possible.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

THIS is what I've been waiting for!

I realized this morning that Thomas has gotten to the stage where he really does say some funny things. Not on purpose, mind you, but things that I relate to Matt at the end of the day and we just look at each other in awe of our adorable-minded child. Granted, those glazy-eyed looks Matt gives me may be exhaustion (that man works A LOT), but I like to think his eyes are twinkling because of mirth.  Now, Thomas is no Alice, but I'm going to try this Judith-style. (Also, how many hyphenated words can I use in this post?)


Here goes:

*I go in to get him up for the morning wearing a tank top (My normal attire, though usually I have a sleeved-shirt or fleece jacket over it).
Thomas: Hi, Mommy! Thomas take good nap! Go get dressed, Mommy!
- He also doesn't like it when I wear sleeveless running shirts and will usually tell me to go put on a shirt.

*Thomas doing something he isn't supposed to be doing
Me: Thomas...
Thomas: Mommy, go work!
- in other words, leave me alone.

*looking outside
Thomas: It's not dark anymore.
Me: Why not?
Thomas: Sun not sleeping. Sun take good nap! Sun so happy!

Thomas: Mommy, run pillows with Thomas!
Me: Not right now, Thomas, Mommy doesn't feel well.
Thomas: *shoves his cup in my mouth - Drink, Mommy, Drink!

I hope you enjoy Thomas's shenanigans as much as we do!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Adventures in Tallahassee - Escaping Hurricane Hermine

The title is misleading. We didn't run from the hurricane. Instead, we ran from the power outage. Y'all, Tallahassee heat and humidity is no joke. We say Louisiana is bad, come to Tallahassee. Actually, don't. Let's all just leave Tallahassee.

But I  digress.

In early September, a little rainstorm named Hurricane Hermine came to town. It didn't have much of an impact on property except for power lines. All of Tallahassee was without power. We dealt with it for 24 hours without a problem. But the heat, oh my heavens the heat. Probably the humidity was the worse of the two, but still. We'd get in the car and drive around to charge our phones (that didn't work) and get some AC. After two nights without air and absolutely no hope of a quick repair (we live about ten minutes away from town in a purely residential area and the city focused on the hospitals and businesses first, after getting the power station back running) (I should also say that Tallahassee owns their own power company full of very efficient and hard-working men and women but because of that and the way that electrical unions work, the city couldn't call in reinforcements to help. In fact, it wasn't until the fifth day without power and LOTS of backlash did the mayor allow other companies from surrounding cities to come in.), we decided to leave. We headed to Jacksonville for a weekend of cool air and the zoo!

Down to diapers....

Jacksonville is a four-hour drive from Tally. The first thing we did, was put Thomas down for a nap. The hotel didn't have any cribs right when we got there so this little man slept on a pallet in the closet. We got a crib after the first nap but it was too big for the room because we also had  Giselle with us and she had to be crated when we weren't in the room, thus, little man slept in the closet the whole weekend.

After a nap for Thomas (and a shower for his mommy), we went to the zoo! The Jacksonville zoo is top-notch. I love the BR zoo but this one was more on par with the Audubon zoo in Nola. We went both days that we were in town!  

On Sunday, we went to the zoo first thing in the morning and then we went shopping! Thomas fell in love with Pottery Barn Kids. I wish that I was kidding. He got very upset when it was time to leave. I almost bought this hundred dollar sheep rocker because of how much he loved it. And because I am a sucker.

While we hadn't planned on going to J-ville when we did, we had a great time and loved getting out of Tallahassee. We went back home on Monday and I started some clean out of the fridge and freezer. We still had no estimation of when power would be turned back on so we decided that since Matt had to be at work early Tuesday morning and look professional and clean-shaven, that we'd find a hotel in town with power for the night. Luckily, about half of the town had power by that point so we were able to find a place. We ended up getting power back about 9 Monday night, but we decided to stay put and enjoy not having to make the bed Tuesday morning.  In the end, it took Tally and the outside companies about a week to get power back to the whole city. I'm pretty sure the mayor still has egg on his front door though....

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Breath of Heaven

Margaret and I have been talking about the song Breath of Heaven for a few days. I realized that I hadn't heard it at all this Christmas season, so I popped open Pandora and in about six songs, on it came. It is a beautiful song and I can appreciate all the thoughts that Mary might have had 'around this time of year' 2,000 years ago. Today, though, what was especially poignant for me was the part that goes:

Breath of Heaven, do You wonder as You watch my face, if a wiser one should have had my place?

Thomas and I ran a million errands today. He decided that during those errands he would ignore every word that I said. Every. Word.  We went to my favorite coffee shop for a 'date', Sam's, Books-A-Million (the ONE in the world that is still open), and Trader Joe's. In every single place, he acted like a madman. I was embarrassed. I was frustrated. I lost my temper. I was ashamed that I  couldn't control my child and that he didn't respond to my commands. In a four-hour period, I doubted my ability to parent my child more times than I can count on all my fingers and toes. I wondered how I could possibly handle adding to our family. Even as I type this, I doubt myself and wonder if I have what it takes. But then I remember my favorite line of Breath of Heaven.

But I offer all that I am, for the mercy of Your plan. Help me be strong. Help me be. Help me.

I went to four places today, all busy with Christmas shoppers and tired employees. Know how many dirty looks I noticed? None. Know how many smiles, sweet comments, and laughs (in a good way) I got? A lot. I'd say at least two at every place. Two at Lucky Goat, but five or six at the other places.

I'm not in this alone and I was not intended to be. I was chosen to be Thomas's mother because it is part of His plan. If I offer all that I am, He'll help me be strong.

Well, God and Xanax.

I'm kidding about the Xanax. I'd have to report that to the Bar Association and that's just too much trouble.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Adventures in Tally - Visit to Apalachicola

Though I didn't blog about the rest of our time in Baton Rouge, I decided that I should skip over those trivial (but fun) happenings and move on to Tallahassee.  Matt and I decided early on that since we had a year to spend IN Florida, we were going to really be IN Florida. Knowing that, when I decided to run a marathon, I picked a run that was in Florida and would be fun to visit. While it wasn't our first Florida road trip (Thanks, Hermine...), it has been the one that required the most amount of preparation so far.  I'll most about our Hermine-getaway soon, but first up, let's talk about Apalachicola. Don't know how to say that word? Try this - apple + latch + ick + cola. Say it fast and pretend that you are playing Mad Gab. Or, you can act like a local and call it Apalach (apple + latch).

We drove down (about two hours) after Thomas woke up from his nap on Friday afternoon and set up camp in a little condo right on the beach. I don't have any pictures of it, but know that it was ideal and most importantly, pet friendly.

Saturday morning, we got up early and took full advantage of having the beach just a short walk out the back door. Giselle got to go too!

After washing off the sand and eating breakfast, we went 'sploring.  We didn't actually stay in Apalachicola but on St. George Island. There is a series of three little towns that all run together. The main area is Apalach, but then there is several mile long bridge that connects Apalach to Eastpoint and then another bridge that connects Eastpoint to St. George.

St. George lighthouse

Playground just outside the lighthouse!

After seeing St. George's sights, we drove into Apalach to see the town. Eastpoint is nice, but is more commercial/industrial. We did stop at the Dollar General to get some nausea medicine. But more about that later. Oh, in the three towns that I mentioned, there are a few stop lights, but not a single Wal-Mart.

The best thing about Apalach? A place called Boss's Oysters. I thought that all oysters were the same. I was wrong. I'll gladly admit it. The chargrilled oysters that we had with lunch were the best I have ever EATEN. Except for the ones that we had for second supper when we went back there later that night. Oh my gracious.

Ice cream! Just a spoonful for Thomas because dairy....

Hoodrat things... 

A sleeping toddler may be the most beautiful sight ever.

These double swings are SO much fun. A little scary for the parent, but so much fun!

Sunday morning came sooner (and yet, later) than I was ready. I had been battling anxiety-nausea for several days and it was certainly no less when I got up on Sunday to prepare for the race. I choked down some Pepto, drank my breakfast shake, and started hydrating.  I did end up tossing my cookies a few times that morning, but it's just part of it. I have a nervous stomach.

The marathon started about 7:00 a.m. eastern. Just like every other major race that I've done, Matt was right there at the starting line. Seriously, in the six years that  I've been "running" he hasn't missed a single major run. That's pretty impressive when you think about how much he dislikes waking before the sun.

There was no course entertainment, but there was this little boy and his sweet daddy who planned and waited and popped up to meet me as often as they could.  I won't tell you about the actual run because it was long and I'm sure you followed me on Instagram. I will tell you about the finish.

You know how people say that there comes a turning point in one's life when that person knows that nothing will ever be the same? Mine came about 2:15 p.m. on October 23, 2016.  After the months of preparation, the back  and forth of anxiety and confidence, the tears and scrapes and burning muscles, I KNEW that my body, my brain, and my heart could handle whatever challenge I faced. When I crossed that finish line after 26.2 miles I was exhausted, sunburnt, and chafed like you wouldn't believe but also I was elated, proud, and secure in my knowledge that there is nothing in this world that I can't overcome.

The past few months have been tough on me and the next few will be tougher still, but I know that I can handle it. And when I start to think I can't, I'll just put on my tennis shoes and go for a run.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Baton Rouge Bucket List - Easter Egg Hunt at the Governor's Mansion

     We had hoped to get to go back for the Louisiana Governor's Annual Easter Egg Hunt for 2016. We first went in 2015 but I don't know that we were invited before then. Apparently having a kid DOES change everything. With a new governor in place and CRAZY budget cuts, I really didn't expect an Easter Egg Hunt, but low-and-behold, on the actual day of the Hunt, we got a text message saying that it was on and we were expected to be there. There was some kind of mix-up at Dr. Frank's office. Since Session had already begun, Dr. Frank was in town, but poor Nana missed out. Matt did too, until near the very end.  This post is mostly pictures because well, what do you say about an Easter Egg Hunt?

    Thomas took a few minutes to warm up but he did eventually - to both the Easter bunny and the train. He wanted to ride the train every time it came back from its loop of the parking lot.

Whitney was a bit concerned about Dr. Frank's ability to get OUT of the train...

No lie, best picture we could get of T and F.

It seems that Daddy can even make the Easter bunny less scary.

Thomas's Easter hunt shirt for church! It was adorable. Also, he can still fit in those shorts. It's kind of  ridiculous.