Friday, January 31, 2014

Pee Stick Anniversary

On January 31st, I always pause to remember what this day felt like in 2011.  Three years ago today, I found out I was going to be a mom... though  I had no clue I would get to be her mom.

As I've blogged about before, I will never, ever forget the very vivid details of that cold January morning -- the way my heart was beating so fast while I waited for the lines to pop up, and even faster still when I tiptoed into our bedroom to tell T the news he had dreamed of hearing.  It's crazy to think that at that moment, my three-foot-tall little girl was just a poppyseed-sized ball of cells in my tummy.

Was it the first and last time I'll see two pink lines that promise the opportunity to create a new life?  To snuggle a newborn?  To raise a perfect, innocent little being?  Who knows.  What I do know is that on that day, I had absolutely no clue just how incredible being a mama would be... especially a mama to my life-loving Cameron Kate.  And for that day, for those two pink lines, for her... I will always feel incredibly blessed.

Friday, January 24, 2014

These are the Days

We stayed in our pajamas all day, our bedheads untouched.  She sat on the kitchen counter while I made us peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches for lunch, insisting on helping me "cook."  Our afternoon was filled with games of hide-and-seek, always counting to twenty-two -- her request.  When it's her turn to count, "eleventeen" sneaks its way between fourteen and fifteen, every time.  When it's her turn to hide, she finds a door to slam shut, yelling "I'M IN HERE!" at the top of her lungs.  We finish hide-and-seek so we can have our very first manicures together, sitting on an old red towel on a linoleum bathroom floor that desperately needs tiling.  Hers are pink sparkly, mine gold.  She asks if she can touch them eleventeen times.  We practice writing the letter A with red crayon, then spend our happy hour baking funfetti cookies with pink icing and sprinkles... eating more dough than cookies, of course.

I hope this is how she remembers me... as the mama who didn't worry about schedules or laundry or medical bills or cleaning or whether or not she'd have anymore children.  As the mama who kept her promises, crawled around on the floor pretending to be different animals, let cookie dough be eaten as an appetizer, planned fun post-nap activities, turned cartoons on during breakfast.

These truly are the days.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Right Now I'm...

I'm once again rewriting the post I featured almost a year ago and again in July ... Funny to compare what was going in my world then versus now!

Right now I'm:

Loving - this stay-at-home mom gig.  It's SO refreshing to be able to focus on unpacking, redecorating, being a mom, taking care of my hub, attempting to cook dinner, etc.  I'm incredibly conflicted about what to do this fall in terms of looking for work, though the next few months will probably determine what I have/need to do come August.  For now, though, I don't take a single day of this "job" for granted!

Reading - The Power of Now.  Well, I plan on starting tonight!  I got this book for Christmas after a friend recommended it to me... It's about focusing on appreciating and living in the moment, something I constantly need to work on.

Waiting for - two very special people in my life (my sister-in-law and high school friend) to go into labor!!!  They share the same due date, and every time I get a text/call from one of them, my heart drops!  Also, neither of them know the sex of their baby, which makes it SO much more exciting!!  Come on, babies - we're ready for you!

Excited about - this new life we're building in GA.  I'm sloooowly starting to meet some people who I hope will want to be my friend and it's both invigorating and terrifying to put myself out there.

Trying to - trust my gut about some major life decisions.  And worry less about money.  Both difficult to do.

Working on - redecorating our new home!  About a year ago, T and I decided we were ready to totally redo our decor, but knew a move could be in the near future... so we put it off.  Once we made the decision to relocate, the new house presented the perfect opportunity to start fresh with redoing all of our rooms.  However, I'm TERRIBLE at decorating!  I don't have an eye for that kind of stuff at all.  I've finally decided on the color schemes for our living room, master bedroom and bathroom, and CK's big girl room.  However, (a) we have some major renovations we want to do in the house, which may push back decorating efforts; (b) I can't do CK's big girl room until we get her big girl furniture, and I am not ready to transition her to a bed; and (c) money apparently does not grow on trees in Georgia, either!

Enjoying - cleaning out, purging, donating, etc.!  As I posted about previously, I decided to use unpacking as a time to CLEANSE.  It has been so refreshing.  Not to mention the fact that I discovered the website ThredUP!  They send you a bag to fill with clothes and accessories, you send it back to them (they pay for shipping!), and they BUY YOUR CLOTHES from you.  Whatever they don't buy, they donate.  Once they buy your clothes, you can either use the money to shop from their website, or get it in cash.  And they buy kids' stuff, too.  So awesome!

Using - Ebates!  You guys, if you ever online shop, you HAVE to use Ebates.  You simply sign up (it's free).  Then anytime you shop online, you go to their website first and click on the name of the store you want to visit.  It tracks your shopping and gives you cash back!  I've already gotten over $30 back from using this website... so I can vouch for it's legitimacy and convenience!

Wearing - diamond earrings from my Granny, every single day.  She got them from my Gramps back in 1957 when they were living in Alaska, and now they're mine.  I cannot wait to pass them down to CK one day.  So, so special.

Planning - and scheduling lots and lots of doctor appointments.

Singing - the freaking pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty song,  CK has taken it upon herself to potty-train, with absolutely no urging from me.  Call it lazy, call it unmotivated, call it me trying to ignore the fact that she's growing up.  But I am not in the mood for this using-the-potty business.  It's so inconvenient!  And while I appreciate CK taking some initiative, you may or may not hear me begging her to JUST GO IN HER DIAPER when she tells me she has to go potty for the fifteenth time in as many minutes.

Needing - a girls' night out or heck, even a girls' happy hour, toddler-free.  But in order to do that, I'd need some girls.  Any takers?

Learning - how to stay calm when CK is throwing a full on tantrum - I'm talking screaming, kicking, hitting, and throwing things.  (See: NEED A GIRLS' NIGHT.)

Listening to - the sound of our new fridge running in the kitchen - we finally have a refrigerator!!!!!

Wishing - for healthy, happy babies for all of my friends and family members (15 total!) who are expecting their babies in the next eight months!

Doing - more Pinterest-searching.  I have a love/hate relationship with good ol' Pinterest.

Dreaming of - warm weather and sunny days spent playing in our new neighborhood!

Happy Hump Day!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Say Hello to the New Day!

Somehow, despite the fact that (a) I'm not currently a working mama and (b) I live in a town where I know NO ONE and have ZERO dates on my social calendar, I've managed to feel just as busy as I used to be.  Hence the fact that this, my little corner of the internet, has been a little neglected.

I used to squeeze in blog posts during CK's naps.  Now, though, when she's napping you can find me unpacking a box, trying to rearrange a room for the fourteenth time, or scouring the internet for home decor.  And when that kid is awake, she runs on 60mph nonstop, which accounts for little to no downtime around these parts.

However, while I feel like I'm running on empty by the end of the day, life has definitely slowed down a bit since our big move to GA.  We live in a much smaller town with the aforementioned blank social calendar.

Though I'm hoping to fill up that social calendar eventually.  It's funny, starting your life over in a new place where no one knows you... I'll see a young mom in a toddler gymnastics or Kindermusik class and I wonder if we'll end up as lifelong friends?  And I know the people I see here already have a life set up and are busy, and I worry that no one will have room for me.  It's like, I want to run up to said young mom and say, "Hi-my-name-is-Jessie-and-I-promise-I-can-be-fun-and-a-good-friend-and-I'm-outgoing-and-I'll-laugh-at-your-jokes-and-I-love-to-run-and-watch-bad-reality-tv-and-drink-lots-of-wine-and-eat-cupcakes-and-go-to-church-on-Sundays... Wanna be my friend?"

But, it doesn't really work like that, I guess.

As exciting as it's been to start a brand new chapter of our lives, it's scary, ya know?  Wondering if anyone here will like me, will want to be my friend, will let me call them when I'm ugly crying and offer to bring me a bottle of red and some cookie dough...

Instead of having an "I'm lonely" pity party, I dove headfirst into immediately signing CK up for the previously mentioned toddler gymnastics and Kindermusik classes this week.  We also attended story time at the local library, hit up a cupcake shop (of course), and took a few trips to the neighborhood playground.  And while no one has given me the other half of their best friends necklace yet, I'm hoping that if I keep putting myself out there, I'll find my place in this new town.

In the meantime, CK and I will keep on keeping on.  If you follow me on Instagram (jmpeele) you've seen some snapshots of our adventures thus far.  It goes without saying that I am absolutely loving all of this extra one-on-time time with my girl.  Y'all, she's so awesome.  And so incredibly smart.  It's like I'm seeing her - really seeing her - for the first time in awhile.  The noise of the world is locked away in a closet somewhere (along with boxes I'm neglecting to unpack), and I get to drink in all motherhood has to offer.  Which, don't get me wrong, still includes lots of timeouts, lots of deep breaths, lots of nap strikes, and lots of adult beverages being consumed at 4:59pm.  But with all that being said, this stay-at-home-mom gig is a dream.  And though my hub has told me I don't have to go back to work if I don't want to, our impending medical bills make me feel like I need to contribute financially.

Yep - the medical bills from both the past and the future haunt me in my dreams.  We have finally made a very important decision to fight for this family - our family - and do whatever it takes to try to give CK a sibling.  And while the decision has left me with a few sleepless nights and a lot of overwhelming emotions, I know that if we don't fight this fight, I will look back with regret.

For now, though, I am content to be my little girl's mama.  And as we played yesterday in a big open field, the sun was setting through the trees.  And it hit me that if this is it - if it's just gonna be me, T, and CK - it'll all be okay.  It doesn't change the ache in my bones for the babies we've lost, or the pull in my heart to make my sweet girl a big sister - but I feel so lucky to live the life that I do, and now that I have all this time to focus on the quiet... I'm okay.  Or I will be okay, we'll all be okay, if we only get to be a party of three.

While we make our way toward being okay, I'm gonna enjoy this clean slate, this fresh start... waking up each morning wondering what adventures the day will bring, if I'll meet someone who will change my life.

We've done this for awhile now, but every morning CK and I open all the blinds in the house and exclaim, "Hello to the new day!"  This morning in a drowsy, sinus-infected state, I forgot this little ritual.  It wasn't long before my little three-foot sidekick promptly reminded me, "Mama!  You didn't say hello to the new day!"  And so we did.  We opened the blinds and saw the sun and welcomed the new day and our new town and this new life with open arms.
Hello, Georgia.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I'm Alive!

For all five of my avid blog readers... I'M ALIVE!

We survived the move, but it wasn't without some hiccups [more on that later].  But before I get into some randomness from our world, I need to start with a HUGE THANK YOU to the many friends and family members who helped us get through the past week and a half!! Moving across states is no easy feat - add in a two-year-old and a week of homelessness between closings, and that no easy feat becomes one for the crazies.  However, we survived because of some amazing friends and family who helped watch CK, helped pack, helped load up the truck, helped drive the trucks/cars/trailers, gave us a place to stay between the old house and the new, helped us unload the truck, helped unpack boxes, helped set up the new house -- needless to say, we could not have taken this huge leap of faith without YOU.  You know who you are, all of you... we love you so much, and will not forget how huge of a role you played in helping us start a new chapter of our lives.

Now, on to my randomness, because my life is too crazy right now to compose anything coherent.

~Y'all, the aforementioned hiccups?  Let me summarize... (1) CK ended up getting pretty sick the day of the move, so we made a quick visit to the doctor to find out she had bronchiolitis and needed an inhaler; (2) The movers who loaded the truck did a terrible job, which resulted in us running out of room and T and my brother-in-law having to drive to get an extra trailer at 10:00pm and not finishing the moving out process until almost 2:00am.  Seriously, when we unloaded the truck, there were so many spaces that should've been filled had the movers been more experienced; (3) The old house was supposed to close last Monday, but because the buyers' loan paperwork came through late, we went to bed Monday night without the close being complete.  Luckily late Tuesday morning brought a done deal! (4) The company screwed up on our new refrigerator order, and we still don't have it and aren't supposed to get it until the end of next week! (5) Our new old minivan (I'll explain later) was being worked on during our stay in Charlotte.  Well, the part they needed got delayed... twice.  Long story short, I ended up taking the van without it getting fixed.  (6) And the hiccup that takes the cake?  Our new house ALMOST BURNED DOWN an hour before closing.  As in, the attic furnace was about to go up in flames, the upstairs was filled with smoke, and the fire department had to be called.  Luckily our realtor had stopped by the house on the way to the closing - I don't even want to think how things would've been different had he not...

~But y'all, we are officially in our new house and I-am-in-love.  It is even better than I remembered.  So much more space than we had before, and it already feels like home.  CK, who was a complete disaster last week while we bounced around family members' houses, has been almost giddy since we got here.  I kept worrying she'd say, "I want to go home!"  But I think she totally gets that this is home, and she couldn't be happier.

~And while the new house already feels like home, it is a MESS!!!!  There are still more boxes packed up than unpacked, but I'm trying to be thoughtful in my unpacking strategy.  Since I'm not working right now, I decided to use this time to do a reorganization/purge while I unpack.  I've thrown away countless trash bags full of unnecessary stuff and have three huge boxes ready to take to Goodwill.  I've actually enjoyed the process so far and am trying not to feel rushed or overwhelmed.

~I am, however, overwhelmed with how I want to set up the rooms and decorate!  I'm terrible at having a vision for home decor, no matter how many times I scour Pinterest.

~Andplusalso, we had a contractor come out on Saturday to get a quote for some of the changes we want to make - I can't wait to get things going to put our fingerprint on the house!

~Ok, enough about the house - for now.  Guys, I know everyone is posting pictures on Instagram of their dashboard temperature gauges... because it is ridiculously cold outside!!  This morning when T left for work, it was negative 1.  I don't do cold.  Throw a negative into the mix and I only open the door to let Bailey in and out.  These ridiculous temperatures are making exploring my new town impossible!  CK and I are getting a little stir crazy... but I have to admit that we're loving staying in our pajamas all day.

~Did anyone watch the national championship last night?!  What a game!  I was so excited to see FSU come out on top.

~And speaking of football, did you also watch the Orange Bowl?  GO TIGERS!!!

~Have I ever mentioned how much I wish I liked to cook and was motivated to learn how?

~We had a great New Year's celebration with my sister and her family in Charlotte!  She hosted a fun get together at her house, and we managed to stay awake to see the ball drop.  T and I were more than happy to bid 2013 adieu.

~T and I just started the last season of Dexter!!  I am dying to watch how it all ends, but at the same time, I don't want to finish it - I'll miss watching it every night!

~CK has grown up so much over the past couple weeks.  She amazes me everyday, and I am SO grateful to have the next few months to soak up her little personality!

~We recently got some repeat loss testing results back that were a little unsettling.  I'm anxious to get my new doctor (who is in Atlanta) to translate it all for us and help us make sense of where to go from here.  We have an appointment tomorrow morning to hopefully make a plan to move forward.

~I am so ready for my hair to be long again!

~CK is OBSESSED with bandaids.  I am not exaggerating, y'all.  We use them as bribery for any and everything, and have four different boxes in her bathroom - Hello Kitty, Doc McStuffins, Disney Princesses, and Cars.  At any given time she has at least two bandaids on her body.

~Speaking of my wild little girl, she's awake!  Off to unpack some more boxes!!