How much is too much?

I had no idea how hard it would be when I became a mom. It probably doesn’t help that when you become a mom, the rest of the world does not suddenly go away. Before having my daughter I was already a wife, step-mom, daughter, sister, full time employee and student, among other things. Having a child meant one more huge commitment. Nothing else went away and more hours didn’t suddenly materialize for each day.

Stressed mom

It's not unusual for me to feel like this during the day

It has been a struggle to find the time to manage everything I have to do. Many days I feel that I do not do very well at any of my obligations. I have little time to cook an actual meal, clean my house, workout or take some good ol’ me time. I end a lot of days feeling like I’m a horrible mom and I’m not doing enough.

I’m blessed in that I have a husband that does more than many for our household. He does such a good time trying to take care of me and the kids. But he has his plate full as well – in addition to having a full time job he’s also a father, a student, and he spends one weekend a month making sure he’s ready to defend our country at moment’s notice, should the need arise. Obviously, he’s stretched pretty thin, too. Utilizing family to help is not much of an option, as both of our families are so far away.

Worst of all, I know I’m not the only mom, or person, in this boat. So many of us have too much on our plates and not enough hours to get it all done. How do you decide what’s most important so you can prioritize? Is there anything you can really let slip through the cracks?

I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I simply cannot do it all. If I keep on the way I’m going, something is going to break, most likely my marriage, my health or my sanity. Some time ago I posted about wanting to be a stay home mom. Unfortunately that wasn’t an option a year ago, and it’s still not. I also don’t think it’s the answer to what I’m going through right now. But I needed to start thinking outside of the box, and luckily I was able to figure out a possible solution. It may not work for everyone, but I sure hope it works for me. I’ll post more on this soon…

April Goals Update

I wanted to give a little update on my progress towards my goals that I posted back in February. Rather than write an individual update on each goal at this time, I’m just going to cover a few key points -

  • Working out – I haven’t made nearly as much progress as I would have liked in this area. I am so out of shape it’s not even funny. The other day I put in the instructional video for Zumba and nearly passed out just from learning the steps! Needless to say I have a lot of work to do in this area.
  • Be a better student and a better wife/mom/step-mom – Something big is in the works that will allow me to make a lot of progress in each of these areas. I will post more about that soon.
  • Learn Spanish (do all 100 Pimsleur lessons by the end of the year) – Spanish got put on hold for a while due to stress and illness, but I’ve completed the first 30 lessons (all of Phase 1), and have moved on to Phase 2. If I continue at this rate I will definitely be done by the end of the year. Yay!
  • Blog > 3x per week – okay, at this point I suck. Nuff said.
  • Create a budget with the hubby and stick to it – The family budget will be implemented as of April 1 (and no it’s not an April Fools Joke!)
  • See my family back home at least 3x per year – Visited last week. One out of three down and the next is already scheduled.
  • Blog more about my family/daughter, milestones, etc – see bullet four.
  • Learn more about blog design – Took several classes over at April Showers.

So not all where I wanted to be, but at least I’m moving!

[seriesposts title="Follow my progress!" order=ASC]

Throwback Thursdays – DeBarge

Corny fact about me, but one of my favorite movies of all time is The Last Dragon. The summer that I turned 16 I think I watched it more times than I could count (and my have subjected my sister to it as well). I love the movie so much that at the end of the movie when DeBarge is on the screens in the club singing “Rhythm of the Night” I always want to get up and dance, too. Luckily my hubby loves this movie, too. So he doesn’t laugh at me too much when I make a fool of myself.

This week’s song from DeBarge takes it down a notch and definitely puts me in the mood for romance. I hope it makes you feel that way, too.

Get more DeBarge here or download on iTunes.

The date that wasn’t a date

Ever had one of those days when you feel like you’re in an alternate universe?  That’s what it was like the first time my (now) hubby and I went on a date.  Actually, it didn’t even start off as a date. We started off as coworkers, but we saw each other through some difficult relationships and became friends. Later, when we were both we would hang out from time to time.  

The plan was to meet up at Roscoe’s House of Chicken Waffles in the LBC. We were going to go next door to check out their little jazz spot, but interestingly enough one of the musicians broke his hand and there was no music that day.  We stopped for a drink though, and one of the people working their mentioned that it was a good date place.  Quickly I said “oh no, we’re not on a date.”  Immediately it was like a big “oops” moment.  I didn’t want to insult B, but I didn’t want him to think I thought it was a date.  Very confusing.

So we went next door, ate, talked about stuff and decided to head to the next spot.  We moved over to this little crappy bar in Long Beach.  That’s where the fun begins.  Seemed like that night I must have taken love potion number nine.  The place was tiny, but every, well almost every, red blooded guy, in the place was giving me attention, and even a chick, too!  

This one woman, obviously drunk as a skunk, kept trying to touch my butt and singing “Baby Got Back.” (Maybe my butt is a tad big.) It was hilarious, but you probably had to be there.  The bouncer, who came up to my chin (I never said they were all studs) kept trying to talk to me and impress me with his martial arts prowess.  An older fellow was trying to teach me how to play pool (I suck), and at least two other guys were openly flirting with me.  

This kind of stuff never happens to me, so it was crazy that it was happening the same night I was hanging out with B. Anyway, from the bar we went to his friend’s house and the three of us stayed up all night talking and listening to music.  At the end of the night when he dropped me off at my car he kissed me goodbye and the rest is of course, history.

Throwback Thursdays – Steely Dan

If I haven’t said it already, I love music. All kinds of music. One of the things I love the most about my husband is that he loves music just as much as I do. I love that he knows pretty much any song I can throw at him. We both have our favorite genres that we listen to most of the time, but we both grew into extremely eclectic musical appetites. Last weekend when we were making our commissary run we were jammin to some oldies in the car and this is one that popped up. I wish they were still making this kind of music.

Maybe you can sip a little Cuervo too, while you listen.

For more Steely Dan click here or download on iTunes.

These are not resolutions!

I have never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions. Which I guess is pretty good because I also probably wouldn’t have been very good at sticking to them. But as a new mom who is also getting a little older, I have been looking at my life more and more and trying to figure out how I can make it better and more fulfilling. So instead of making resolutions, that I think about for one month and forget for the rest of the year, I am making goals – life goals. I know that ultimately in order to really focus on these goals, I will probably have to narrow it down to just a few at a time. And I will eventually need to create SMART goals for most of these. But for now, my main purpose was to start a list of things I want to work on and improve in my life. These are all meant to be tweaked and revisited as the years go by and things become more and less important in my life. By writing it all down here I am hoping to help myself be more accountable for each of these, rather than just pretending like I never made these goals, right? Overall, the theme of my goals is to create healthy habits in my life. So here goes…

Global goals
Create my life plan aka the purpose for my life
Enjoy life more
Make more time for family
Just do it and stop being afraid
Stop procrastinating

Personal
Lose weight – workout and eat better
Be more productive
Be a better student
Volunteer
Learn Spanish (do all 100 Pimsleur lessons by the end of the year)
Take better care of my teeth, skin and hair
Blog > 3x per week

Family
Be a better wife/mom/step-mom
Read to my daughter more
Create a budget with the hubby and stick to it
See my family back home at least 3x per year
Go to more museums and fun places
Take more walks, go to the park and the beach
Continue towards WAHM goal
Blog more about my family/daughter, milestones, etc

Business
Be a better employee in the job I currently have
Continue towards WAHM goal
Create online “empire”
Learn more about blog design
Learn more about graphic deisgn
Blog > 3x per week
Develop home based travel agency
Focus on affiliate marketing

The plan is to occasionally post updates on my status and plans toward reaching each of these goals, weekly, monthly or yearly depending on how I choose to measure each one. Wish me luck!

2010 Year in Review – The year I became a mom

This is slightly overdue, but I still thought it would be fun to take a look back at 2010. It was such a whirlwind year and I’m still trying to figure out how it passes so quickly!

  • B reenlisted – my hubby signed up for three more years in the Air Guard. I am so proud of him for serving our country!
  • The littlest T was born – my newest nephew made his planned, surprise appearance! I was so lucky to be able to travel back home and be there for his arrival. Little did we know he would literally deliver himself!
  • Saints won the super bowl – can’t tell you how exciting this was for a New Orleans native. The Aints picked themselves up and did the darn thing! I couldn’t even contain the thrill when it happened. I still need to frame my newspaper.
  • Gabs entered the world – how can I describe in a few lines the one event that has affected my life more than any other? I still can’t believe that this precious little girl has come into my life and changed it in so many ways… most of them good, ha ha! One of my goals for this coming year is to write more about how much fun I’m having being a mom, and write about all the special little things she does so that I don’t forget.
  • Lots of family visits – normally since we’re so far away from everyone, we’re always the ones who have to travel to see people. In 2010 the baby brought us lots of visits! My mom came the day before Gabs was born and dad came a week later. My aunt and uncle came in July and my mom and sister came in September. How exciting!
  • 1 year anniversary – B and I celebrated our one year anniversary in June. Hard to believe it’s only been one year because so much has changed in such a short amount of time! It was kind of hard to celebrate because the baby was so small, but I did manage to surprise B with an at home dinner from the place we had our first date and a red velvet cake!
  • J started kindergarten – my stepson started the big K! He’s in kindergarten now and doing so well. It’s amazing how quickly they learn once they start “real” school!
  • Holiday trips and four generation pictures – my daughter is so blessed to have four generations of family to draw from on both sides! For Thanksgiving we went to New Orleans (I ate more than my share) and we took a wonderful four generation picture with my grandparents, my mom, aunt, sister, cousins and all our family. It was an incredible experience (word to the wise – always try to avoid photo studios at holiday times, especially with a group that contained 12 adults and seven children, three of which were one and under).
    For Christmas we went to visit B’s family in Vegas. I love his mom and grandparents so much. B’s grandma is from Greece and she made us real Greek food.  I actually ate tiropita. That’s saying a lot since I’m so picky!

Whew, that took longer than I thought!  Next year I hope to have more updates about status / changes in my life… which is why I’m writing my 2011 goals!  Stay tuned…

A work in progress…

These last few months have been hard. Rewarding in so many ways, but just plain hard. I’m still learning how to juggle the demands of being a wife, employee, step-mom, mom, student, etc. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel like something or the other has fallen through the cracks. In the meanwhile my weight is creeping up and I feel so out of focus that some days it’s hard to keep it all together.

My pumpkin is the sweetest girl in the world during the day, but this little monster just can’t get it together during the night. Maybe it’s a byproduct of breastfeeding, or maybe it’s the fact that I work during the day so she tries to get her fill at night, but I will be a much happier mommy when this period passes.

Things change every day and I struggle just to keep up. But one thing always stays the same. I am so blessed to have this precious little girl of mine. They say nothing worth doing in life is easy, and that’s so true for parenthood. I have so much to improve on, but I feel like I get better every day. Although my sappy post-partum days are over, I still shed a tear or two sometimes when I realize how lucky I am. I can’t believe how much love I feel every time I take a glance at her… and when she’s asleep in my arms, all is right with the world.

I haven’t blogged as much as I’d like recently. But I will get better. There have been so many moments that I wanted to capture in words, and I am going to start getting it together now. 2010 was my learning curve, but now I’m ready to do what I set out to do.

Astrological Musings

I don’t normally get into the astrological mumbo jumbo.  I get them in my inbox because hey, who couldn’t use just one more piece of junk mail on a daily basis? Daily astrological reports are so vague and general that they could be applied to anyone that lives on planet Earth – but I have to admit that a couple I have received lately have been right on the money.

On Saturday, June 12 I received the following horoscope – “Go wild tonight — you’ve got the right kind of energy to rip up the town and make them remember your name! It’s a good time for you to go out for a super-fun date or just give your friends a good time.” Interestingly enough that was my first post baby date with my hubby.  Granted we didn’t rip up the town but it was a super-fun date.

Then today I get this – “You should make double-sure what you’re really getting involved with before signing on the dotted line today — though with your potent intuition, you should be able to go far based on your gut.” Vague, I know – but  today it hit home so hard.  Today was the day that we went to meet with the woman that will most likely be watching our daughter when I go back to work next week.  How much more important can you get than a decision like that?  I never thought I’d want to be a stay at home mommy but now nothing could be more important.  Until I’m able to do that it is so important that Gabby is well cared for and safe.  Leaving her with someone else while I go to work will be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I will say though, that this is one  decision that will have to put into the hands of powers way more skillful than intuition.

Do you remember the time?

The other night we spent a little time watching our anniversary video with my aunt, uncle and cousin who were visiting.  I love watching our video and looking at the pictures from our wonderful wedding day.  I love feeling all those feelings again and getting to see what we worked so hard to put together. Amazing that you put all that time and effort (in our case over a year) for one day and then it’s over so quickly!

Looking back there’s a lot that didn’t happen the way I would have liked – but I wouldn’t change a thing.  Our wedding was wonderfully intimate and beautiful in a very simple way.  We incorporated so much of our personalities and backgrounds into the wedding that each moment meant something special to us.  Also, we were so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who love and support us.  And on top of all of this it was too much fun to mention!  One of the most memorable parts of our night was the Second Line which happens at the end of most New Orleans weddings.  Unfortunately our videographer missed that part – but in honor of our last dance I’m posting our second line song here for all to enjoy!

By the way, did you know that looking at photos of happy times is one of the best ways to pick yourself up when you’re feeling down?  It works even better than listening to music or having a drink.  Next time you’re feeling blue give it a try!

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