What I’m Up To

Both kids are in daycare now! Jackson started his new “school” today and Emma is there too. I didn’t get to enjoy my freedom today as Jon and I had two meetings with financial planners and we had a bunch of house stuff today. Our one year walkthrough was recently so the builder came out to take care of any issues we were having.

What We’re Eating This Week
I’m trying to get more into cooking again lately, especially because Emma started daycare this week. We used up one of the freezer meals (chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole) on Saturday night, had tacos Sunday night, Jon is smoking a chicken tonight… I think that’s about it on my menu. I plan to grab some stuff on Wednesday for a paleo pizza spaghetti squash casserole, but we are still working through leftovers right now. I feel like we food waste too much so I’m really trying not to do that anymore!

What I’m Reminiscing About
Traveling. Even though I’ve accepted that we just aren’t traveling this year (minus weekend trips), I have really wanted to go on another trip lately. Hopefully next year. I want to leave the baby with Grandma and take Jackson out of the country.

What I’m Loving
Being back at the gym and feeling stronger and more like myself. I started working out again at 8 weeks postpartum, I think? I’ve been taking it super easy and my workouts are usually 10-15 minutes of incline walking, 20-25 minutes of strength, and 10 minutes of stretching. I can’t work out for longer than an hour while Emma is in childcare since she is under 1 year, but it has been more than enough time to ease back into working out. I did deadlifts with 85lbs and felt really good and it wasn’t heavy at all. My core strength is starting to come back and yeah, I just feel good.

What We’ve Been Up To
I had a bunch of interviews recently to get my new job. I start next week and have 5 days of hospital orientation and then will probably have 6-8 weeks of unit orientation. I’m going to be working in the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) but it’s a low acuity PCU since it’s such a small hospital. I’m hoping to cross train to the ED too to keep up/get back my ED skills. I definitely am missing my old job and wish I was going back to supervising, but now just isn’t the right time to supervise with 2 young kids and Jon’s crazy work schedule.

We’ve been enjoying our last few weekends before I go back to work and start picking up Sunday shifts. I actually took a job at this hospital because I only have to work one weekend shift per six weeks and one minor holiday per year, so I can have a lot more family time on weekends/holidays. However, weekend shifts work out better with Jon’s schedule so I’ll still be working Sundays. BUT, I’ve soaked in beach time with Jackson, coffee dates, the playground… lots of fun things with my boy that I never thought I would have loved so much before I had kids!

What I’m Dreading
The whole new job thing. I just hate orienting and learning new charting systems. I’ve also been out of direct patient care for awhile and honestly, the care in PCU is kind of mundane… but at the same time, also looking forward to getting back to work.

What I’m Working On
Jon and I are working on finding a financial planner! We have been starting to budget and be more responsible with money. We are pretty good with it and don’t buy things we don’t need and our only debt is our house and a small bit left on Jon’s truck, but we also haven’t saved between buying the house last year, furnishing, paying for Jon’s elbow surgery and a whole delivery, my lapse in work… And now we are about to buy my mom’s car- so we just want to build up our savings again. I’m actually enjoying getting more into finances and investments though!

What I’m Excited About
Getting a paycheck again!

My mom and dad are also coming to visit in a few weeks and Jon and I are taking a trip to a cabin in the mountains with my friend’s family.

And of course, Halloween with 2 kids and this will be Jackson’s first time Trick or Treating.

What I’m Watching / Reading
Watching The Handmaid’s Tale and The Office. The Office is what Jon and I watch and I’m binge watching The Handmaid’s Tale. Not reading anything now.

What I’m Listening To
Frozen soundtrack on repeat, all day every day.

What I’m Wearing
Shorts and a t-shirt… All I ever wear.

What We’re Doing This Weekend
Not sure! It’s my last weekend before work so I’ll probably be prepping food on Sunday so I can throw together dinners last minute when I get home from work and daycare! Probably a playground and a coffee shop.

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month
Thanksgiving! We are going to Atlanta and my brothers and sisters will be going to my parent’s house too. I’m planning to go for a week too and Gina will be off work for the week and Kassie lives back in Atlanta, so I get to see all of my friends while I’m there too! I just was there for a week and got in so much friend time and it was so nice!

What Else Is New
Not a whole lot!

Kabrita Goat Milk Formula for Reflux

Hey guys! Long time no post. Life with a newborn has been crazy. This is a total Mom post about breastmilk and formula, so child-free followers, you might as well not even bother!

I’ve been exclusively pumping again for Emma, but she was having a lot of issues with gas and reflux. I started probiotics daily and gas drops in every bottle and noticed some improvement in her discomfort. But then- I ate ice cream every night until the half gallon was gone and I drank coffee. If you know me, my daily cup of coffee is necessary. It’s my relaxing time. My cup of warmth. It takes me back to cafes in Europe and all the things I am no longer doing while I have a newborn. It’s my favorite drink other than water (and the only other thing I drink, really). I had avoided it for the entire month beforehand out of sheer laziness honestly. We have an espresso machine and I was just too tired to make a latte, even though it takes all of a minute to make.

After a few days of drinking coffee and eating ice cream, Emma became inconsolable. She was spitting up huge amounts to the point where I was concerned that she wouldn’t gain weight with how much she was spitting up. I’d lay her down and come back to her drenched in spit up that was a foot in diameter surrounding her head. She became so congested sounding. When she’d eat a bottle, she would act so hungry and suck so hard on the bottle, but then spit it out screaming. Repeat that cycle for about 40 minutes and half the time, she wouldn’t finish the whole bottle. She was also constantly choking on her milk. All of these things are signs of reflux in babies!

I had been eating cheese but was now having milk in my coffee and ice cream… I know coffee and dairy can affect babies and since I want dairy in my coffee, I didn’t know how I’d give it up. I know some moms are really into breastfeeding and will cut out every food group for their baby. That’s great for them. This is my second baby though and I really don’t care enough about breastmilk to do all of that. My driving force for breastfeeding is the cost of formula- not the whole “benefit of breastmilk” thing. I’m pretty sure all kids are the same no matter what. I did do a short experiment and cut out the coffee and ice cream and Emma seemed to be getting much better, but then Jon came home with 3 things of cold Starbuck’s coffee from Publix and that was the end of my coffee hiatus.

Because I am unwilling to make dietary changes for another 10 ½ months, I decided to look into formula. I had heard great things about Holle and always assumed I’d just use Holle. Since dairy could be a culprit here and I really just preferred to stay cow’s milk free, I looked at their goat formula. I’ve known for a long time that goat milk is the closest milk to human milk and is much easier to digest, so it really seemed like a no brainer to go with goat formula anyway. After a few days of not pulling the trigger on buying it, Facebook picked up on my goat formula searches and put an ad for KabritaUSA on my newsfeed. Kabrita offers a free trial of a 14oz can of formula for just the cost of shipping and handling ($8.99). Only the toddler formula is sold in the US but per Kabrita, it does meet the nutritional requirements for infants, the FDA just doesn’t approve it yet to be marketed as an infant formula. So, I decided to go with it and if we didn’t like it, we’d switch.

The formula has made a HUGE difference! We did a few solely goat milk bottles and a few frozen breastmilk and formula bottles. The congestion is gone. She does still spit up, but in much smaller amounts and she is finally not crying all the time! I am still playing with it to see if I can add in my fresh milk after drinking coffee and alternating straight formula bottles with supplement bottles to figure out what we can do to keep her comfortable, but still offer some breastmilk since I’m a milk cow this time around too.

I’m in a lot of mom groups and am seriously shouting out goat milk from the rooftops because it has made such a difference in such a short period of time. There are so many moms who are suffering with refluxy babies and putting their babies on meds. Medication long term seems to possibly have negative outcomes, so it just isn’t something I wanted to go to unless we had to. And my pediatrician seemed mostly unhelpful when I discussed it with her at Emma’s last appointment, so I really wanted to take this into my own hands. Supplementing (or switching entirely) to goat milk seemed like the easiest thing to try.

So moms out there who are struggling with reflux and are breastfeeding and not wanting to cut everything out of their diet, TRY IT! The sheer number of testimonials on goat milk reducing reflux and GI symptoms makes it worth to spend the $8.99 to see if it works for you. The worst you can be is wrong and your baby will just still have the same old issues.

Go to KabritaUSA and you can read all about the benefits of goat milk formula versus cow milk formula.

Nothing Important

I’m doing a really great job at never updating anything anymore. While I feel like I have so many things to say and want to write more about how I feel, I just don’t ever do it. I almost never sit down at my computer during the day, which is when I feel like I have things to say. I’m pretty much on the go or working all the time when I’m in Atlanta, and if I’m in Charleston, then I have a kid with me. Not sure if you’ve ever tried to write about how you feel with a 3 year old sitting in your lap trying to push buttons, but it doesn’t work. I’m really hoping once I go on “maternity leave” /quit my job, I’ll have a little more time to gather my thoughts on screen.

I even said I’d document my feelings this pregnancy a lot more on IG/FB because I think moms don’t share the real side of being moms or being pregnant. But I just don’t feel like typing anything on my phone ever. And I actually plan to put my FB back on hold/delete/whatever it is, as soon as I get my maternity shoot done in 2 weeks. But right now, that’s how I’m connecting with my photographer (and electrician for our fan installation) so I think I’ll just wait.

I’ve been on my computer way more recently because I have been uploading/organizing my photos so I can FINALLY clear up my card on my camera and delete all 4500 photos off my phone. However, I’ve discovered that somehow, even though I’ve deleted photos off my phone and have no “deleted” album, the photos magically reappear when I upload them onto my computer. It’s obnoxious and I have no idea why it’s happening. I think it’s something with the cloud, but that doesn’t make sense either because I’ve been getting notifications for like, 4 years that my iCloud storage is full.

Life is still going about the same. I went to Charleston a few weeks ago and was so overwhelmed by our house. It still doesn’t feel like home yet and I get stressed out when I feel like my environment isn’t organized or complete. We just have so much stuff to do to turn our house into a home, but then I want to save money for a car and to rebuild our savings. So, I’ve picked the few most important things to get and thing after we have those few things done, we’re going on a temporary house hiatus so we can buckle down and budget.

Jon is about to accept a new job, and we initially thought it’d come with a huge (like, HUGE) pay cut. Things are sorted out and it won’t, but it prompted us to take a look at our spending. I know our bills add up to quite a bit because of our mortgage (15 year), but holy moly. We’re going to set a strict budget short term (3ish months) and then go a little looser on it, but it was eye opening to actually pull up our accounts and average out the last 3 months of spending. I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile and we continue to push it off and be appalled by our monthly AMEX, but we have put it off and I think part of it is because Jon and I don’t agree entirely on a budget. But- clearly we need to be on the same page. And clearly, we need to stop the spending until we build up our savings again. Then we can get back to the fun stuff and splurge when we want.

But- the house is overwhelming. I emptied out Jackson’s clothes to figure out what we need for the baby and the mess is still sitting in the room there. I think it was made worse by the fact that we have no lights yet in half of our rooms and then I was irritated that projects in the garage were done, yet lights in our bedrooms were never a priority (MEN!). We still have all the bedroom furniture to do and to decorate and to organize our office and to make our upstairs TV room functional. A TV room seems like it’s not a big deal when we have a living room, but if both kids are napping or in their rooms, I want to be closer. And I want a pumping area at night that’s not downstairs.

I’m heading into my last week of work next week! I’ve actually been looking at jobs online again in hopes of finding a part time work from home job. Sadly, all the jobs I could do are in states that aren’t part of the compact nursing license, so I’m not licensed in those states… I actually am halfway down applying to do evening nursing instruction at a local college, so we’ll see if anything pans out with that. I think it’d be a really neat opportunity and something different than I’m used to.

Anyway, I’ve lost my desire to write any longer today. I’m just waiting on the last 22,000 photos that I uploaded to transfer from one external hard drive to another so I can delete them once they’re backed up twice.

A Whole Lot of Life Updates

Hello again! Long time again with no post, but such is life. It’s been busy around here with going back and forth to Charleston and working. After a few months of mostly staying in Atlanta, I’m back to a lot of back and forth until the official move to Charleston at the end of March! FINALLY!

I’m 24 weeks pregnant now and things are still going really well with pregnancy. I feel pretty good, aside from some back pain, afternoon exhaustion, not sleeping as great some nights (seems to hit me in spurts), and getting reflux-y now. Overall, definitely a good pregnancy. I’ve been able to eat a lot of foods and with Jackson, I had way more food aversions. I still definitely eat more carb heavy than before I was pregnant, but I’m trying to get in my veggies. I’ve started back drinking Shakeology and I feel like it’s making me feel healthier overall too, since I don’t think my fruit/veggie intake has been quite as good as it should be. I’m still working out most days of the week if I’m not at work. We have a new gym in Charleston and I love it, so it was fun getting in some workouts there and today I went to CrossFit (still going 1-2 times a week when I’m in Atlanta).

We don’t have a name picked out. The only thing we’ve bought for this baby is a set of bows. Yup. That’s about how life is with the second child I guess. I did get all my diapers back for the baby so I’m going to try to strip my diapers next time I’m in Charleston, but it’s a big project to do it so not really jumping to do it.

I am definitely not emotional like I was with Jackson since I’m already adjusted to motherhood. But I am truly dreading the newborn days again. I hated pumping. I hated my body. I hated not sleeping at night (and we only did that for 10 weeks, then a few random weeks here and there until 8 months). I hated introducing foods. I hate having a kid who you have to carry all over and can’t tell you what they want and who is on an ever-changing nap schedule… I am totally a toddler mom and just feel like life after that first year just keeps on getting better and better. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hanging out with Jon and it’s like, “In a few months, I’ll be pumping instead of relaxing with you” or “In a few months, I won’t be sleeping in on weekends. I’ll be up at 5 for my morning pump.” I’m hoping the second baby brings a little more relaxed approach. I can imagine that’s really the only option. I will definitely be weaning earlier on this time, or at least drastically cutting pumps earlier on! The whole pump life 24/7 cannot be happening.

Jackson is so insanely fun now! He’s been so happy lately and just seriously so much fun to be around. He talks so well and we can communicate about what he wants or what he needs. He can pick what he wants to eat or what he wants to do for the day. We have coffee dates and lunch dates. We spend a ton of time at playgrounds. (This is all mostly in Charleston. He’s still in daycare 5 days a week in Atlanta.) He is sweet and hugs us randomly and tells us he loves us. He is almost totally day potty trained. We have a few accidents occasionally, but nothing major. He still naps and sleeps at night in a pull up, but I plan to work on that when we move out to Charleston next month. I want him out of all diapers by the time this baby comes. And I’ve read that if you wait too long to night train, they almost lose their ability to hold their pee for so long. So, night training- coming up!

Also, I’m so glad we introduced a wide variety of veggies early on (like, as soon as he could eat) and gave them VERY often. I can’t tell you how many kids I read about being such picky eaters, and surely part of it is temperament, but Jackson can go to town on veggies. We have to get him started a lot (lots of “Show me how a dino eats green beans!”) but he eats so many veggies. Daycare has been making way healthier lunches too, so I let him eat at school five days a week and I like that he gets stuff I’m not typically making (Shepherd’s pie, eggplant parm, veggie soups). He eats just about anything on a quesadilla too… Tuna melts, ham and cheese, black beans and cheese… I actually like watching him eat because I feel like our hard work and ALWAYS preparing foods and switching it up a lot when he was little has really paid off big time. I mean, he would still eat “long noodles” daily if we let him. We almost never do regular pasta- always a lentil, bean, or veggie based pasta noodle. He eats pretty much all of them, but definitely prefers spaghetti noodles or fettuccini noodles. But… he’s definitely not a chicken nugget and mac n’ cheese kid and I worked really hard not to let him fall into that. (Clearly, I think a varied diet full of veggies is super important.)

I’m still working! Still have lots of days to go and tried to jam pack some of the time I’m here with work days. I really want to build up my paid time off and extended illness bank and I also want as much money as I can before leave. While we definitely make a comfortable living, we also haven’t saved since buying our house. We bought couches and a bed for Jackson and still have more furniture to go. We need a new car for me. Jon had some truck work done. I also just opened up my W2 for last year and realized how much I actually made and it’s hard to imagine a year without those paychecks. So, I’m definitely slightly stressing about not having a job, especially with an early start on maternity leave and multiple events during the last few weeks (2 weddings, 2 bachelor parties…) to pay for. And really, I’m not just stressing because of money, but I’ve been working for so long and my job is a pretty big part of me, so I can’t imagine not being employed. It’s hard to leave a hospital that I love so much, and especially my actual job because I absolutely love my job. If I wasn’t moving from here, I don’t think I’d ever leave my hospital system. And besides, after all of our recent raises and a market analysis, I finally am totally satisfied with my pay and know I won’t get that in Charleston!

Jon and I “celebrated” (I used quotation marks because we really just took Jackson to a fun park and then had a mediocre dinner in Charleston- though we did have GREAT service!) our 5 year anniversary. I’d say that this past year, although it might have been one of our hardest years starting out, has ended up as the best year yet. I feel like we’ve fallen into our marriage really nicely now. I was always feeling like I made a mistake marrying Jon (sounds terrible) because we don’t always seem compatible, but I just realized it was a choice I made marrying him and I did it for a reason. So, taking that “mistake” mindset off the table and listening to Love & Respect really sort of shifted my perspective and made me much happier in our marriage, which has totally affected our entire marriage overall. He still drives me crazy sometimes and we still bicker, but I just feel like we’re on the same page. Things are good. They’re steady and we move on from issues much better and communicate better than we were before. It’s just… it’s nice. I feel like a lot of the spark is back in our marriage (and this pregnancy is way different than Jackson with hormones and sex) and we just enjoy each other way more now than we had been before. So, I think year five will be a good year and I’m really looking forward to having our family back together!

Okay, I better hop in the shower. I want to run out for some chicken salad for lunch before my OB appointment. I planned on grocery shopping before my appointment, but I really don’t want to. So… maybe I’ll run after my appointment really quick and grab a few things. Jon and I may go out of town this weekend for a little getaway (with our boy), but the weather isn’t looking great. We’ve been waiting to book anything so we don’t get stuck in a hotel all weekend with a kid if it rains… so maybe I’ll look at some other options Thursday if the forecast doesn’t clear up. This was actually our long weekend for Quebec City and Montreal, but we decided to be financially responsible with a baby coming. And he has a meeting in Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday, so he’ll spend Sunday and Monday night in Atlanta too. It all worked out in the end!

 

Holiday Season 2018

Today was supposed to be 65 and sunny, and then I woke up to cold and rainy. Not sure how that happened, or at least how my weather app is so inaccurate.

We had a fairly busy holiday season. I worked quite a bit in December since I’m in my build up PTO/EIB and build up my savings prior to maternity “leave” (/quitting- my whole job knows I’m leaving soon). Then I headed to Charleston for some time with Jon! We had a few short days before I headed back to work a few days in Atlanta and we had Adam and Jessie in town. We haven’t seen them since South Korea/Japan, so it was so nice to see them and catch up. Jon spent a night out on the town with them, but overall, it was just pretty chill and nothing crazy.

Jon took Jackson to Florida for the holidays and I worked the 23 & 24, then hung out with Laura and her family on Christmas morning since she was in town from Denver. I headed back to Charleston on Christmas day and it was a beautiful day for a drive. I really enjoy my solo drives where I can just do my own thing and not worry about Jackson’s nap time or stopping 100x to pee. The drive is more enjoyable when I can stop places and have coffee or eat, but nothing was open on Christmas except McDonald’s. And the whole world was at McDonald’s.

I took Jackson to the beach one afternoon. It was so nice out and it felt so good to see the ocean! It was freezing though- I was so glad we took winter jackets while all the Charlestonians were freezing in their sweatshirts. It was actually a really nice day, but man, the beach was windy!

I started potty-training Jackson almost right I got back, so then our days were spent at home or just going to the park. It was so boring. My potty training book talks about how you should be okay with spending time at home for a few days with your kid and if you’re not, maybe you need to re-evaluate. I re-evaluated and am still not okay with staying home for days on end with my child! We don’t go a ton of places anyway, but we usually head out once a day or I go to the gym and we run errands before nap time, and afternoons are spent at the playground. I felt like I was going crazy.

Jon’s oldest sister came in town the weekend after Christmas with her two boys and husband. It was also pretty low key, as they actually came in town for a friend’s birthday gathering. And besides, Jon and I couldn’t go far with a potty training toddler.

New Years was uneventful. We did open gifts finally (late Christmas) and go to the park, but not much else.

Lisa and I went to the park with the kids on my last day there and it was nice to get out with her! I feel like I haven’t been there a ton lately and haven’t just had chill time with friends or the kids. We actually were going to go to some free class of walking with kids, but I was way too dressed up (in jeans and Bob’s, but it was a nature walk and I didn’t realize that) and Lisa was late so we just played on the playground instead.

I’ve basically been working since I’ve been back in Atlanta! Jon was in town all day on Sunday, but we lazed around on Sunday morning and then I worked out. I’m having a week of fatigue and my workout sucked, and two workdays in a row just sucked the energy out of me… So it was a bit of a slow workout.

I’m working tomorrow and then off for a few days, thankfully. Jon gets here Thursday night because our anatomy scan is on Friday. Hoping for a healthy baby! We’ll have two full days together and then it’s back to work all week for a busy week before heading BACK to Charleston for a week.

The World of Social Media for Women.

This is going to be a bit of a different post than my usual rambling updates about life.

Today in one of my fitness groups, I mentioned that I think social media has created women who post online for validation, especially those who were teens after Facebook and Instagram became big (and iPhones made it easy to post everything immediately to social media).

Somebody called me mean and jealous because it was on a comment somebody left on a photo of a girl who consistently posts her progress (and she is pretty and fit).

Now- a lot of you who have been long-time readers know this about me, but let me take a trip into the past for a few minutes.

Back when I was 20, my boyfriend that I was so in love with broke up with me. I was emotionally unstable already and quite a disaster mentally, but break ups always threw me for a huge loop. I already had tons of suicidal thoughts in my late teens/very early twenties, but break ups had me convinced that life wasn’t worth living.

So when my ex started dating a girl who loved to party, I decided I needed to love to party. Of course, I knew the new girl loved to party because this was right around the time that Facebook was starting to boom, so this girl had tons of drunken/fun photos of her. So I did that too. But then they fizzled out and my ex found Kristine (yep, that’s really her name- and she actually popped up on my IG news feed and is a fitness pro now). Then I needed to be just like her because that was clearly what men wanted. Long blonde hair, fitness obsessed, partier, lots of make up.

And so that’s what I strived for. To be like Kristine. Again, I saw photos of her so I knew what she looked liked and dressed like.

So everything I bought, I literally thought, “Would Kristine wear this?” I bought hot pink heels and wore them because Kristine had them. I was so annoyed when my friends laughed at me because this was the new me! The girl who loved pink heels! Hello, THAT IS ME NOW! I grew my hair out and started wearing more make up. I kept up with the party photos. I wore revealing clothes like Kristine.

I wasn’t happy with myself at all. I thought I was unloveable, because I had been broken up with twice in a row by people that I loved so much. So I just did everything I could to be like somebody else and tried so hard to convince others that this was just the new me.

Thankfully, I got into fitness (12 years ago now) because Kristine was into fitness. Since guys (/my ex) liked fit girls, then I needed to be fit too. After time away during a deployment and actually getting into fitness, I found myself. And over the years, I have ended up being pretty stable mentally and now I absolutely know my own worth (flat shoes, jeans, v-necks and all!).

But… Here’s the thing… Young women have now grown up with social media and with the instant gratification of posting and receiving likes. I’m sure some can do it seamlessly and remain confident, but most of the women? I don’t think so. I even have friends now, in their 30s, who say that social media is hard for them because they play the comparison game. So can you imagine if you were literally raised playing that comparison game? Teens are pretty emotionally disastrous and extremely easily influenced by peer pressure, so how detrimental is it to be exposed to social media during that time? I literally cannot imagine. I can’t tell you how many teens in the pediatric ER we had come in for suicidal ideation and nearly every one of them mentioned social media. And had social media been as prevalent in my teens as it is now, I don’t know that I would have made it out alive- as dramatic as that sounds.

So when women constantly post photos of themselves doing that butt pose or showing off their boobs or belly or other “sexy” parts, is it really because they are confident? Some, absolutely. I know some women are truly proud of their progress and share! Some are selling products and that is part of their business! Some do it to be motivational. I know there are plenty of reasons to post those photos…

But to act like I’m mean or jealous because I bring this up as a possibility is sad. I’m not mean. I’m not jealous. I mean, not to toot my own horn, but I’ve got a pretty banging body for a 32 year old (and I feel like the sexiest woman ever at 19 weeks pregnant- not even kidding). And I’ve created a pretty awesome life for myself so no… I’m definitely not jealous of women who post their physical progress online.

I mentioned the need for validation via social media because I’ve been there. When I was trying to show the whole world that I was this new woman who wore make up and revealing clothes and hot pink heels, I broadcasted it on social media. I posted my “fun” life all over because I needed everybody to know how much fun I was having and social media was the way to show it! I wasn’t really having fun if I didn’t document it online, was I?! (I’ve since deleted all of those photos because quite frankly, they were embarrassing and I wouldn’t want to portray myself that way anymore.)

I think women need to dig deep and figure out what their motivation is. Is it that you’re insecure? Do you need the validation? Are you finding your worth in the feedback? There have been studies showing that social media can light up the same parts of your brain that cocaine does. Think about that! Maybe you are genuinely just proud of your progress, or maybe you’re proud in the same way that the new me wore hot pink heels (as in, you’re going to cling to the lie that you’re proud because it’s easier than just accepting that you’re actually insecure).

I’ve been there. I’ve needed social media to show me girls I needed to be just like. I needed to be somebody more worthy than the person I was. And plenty of women today are seeking their worth from social media. Just because you were insecure and not fit in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t be insecure and fit now. But nobody is giving the chubby girls validation online- they’re only loving the fitness posts and feeding that need for validation for the original poster.

I know social media is a highlight reel of our lives. If you look at my Instagram, most of it is pretty visually appealing. Yep, I still fight with my husband and some days I lay on the couch because I feel so down. I don’t really post about that because I don’t care to air my dirty laundry, especially because my life is truly good. But I don’t use social media for validation or to prove anything to myself. Somebody else’s highlight reel doesn’t make me feel bad about my life, and I definitely don’t post for likes or to feed my worth. I have felt content with my own life despite social media for years, but it took a long time to get there. I say these things because if you are using social media for validation, it is so worth it to recognize that and move on from that so you can actually be truly happy in your own life.

Rambling. Of course.

I’m feeling so lazy lately! I think because I know next week is going to be so busy. Well, starting tomorrow it’ll be so busy. I need to pay bills and find a quilt for our guest bedroom since we have company coming as soon as I get in town next time. I also have a bunch of food to make and need to run to the gym before I pick up Jackson from school today.

I’ve been binge watching The Haunting of Hill House this week. I’m really not even that into it, but Netflix only gives me 3 seconds before playing the next episode now so I just keep letting the episodes run. I’ve been so sleepy because I’ve been getting in bed at 11 after watching it. Jackson has started climbing into bed with me in the middle of the night too, so I woke up 2 nights in a row when he climbed into my bed. I told him tonight he can’t sleep with me or I’ll put him back in his bed, so we’ll see how it goes. I secretly kind of love that he’s been sleeping with me because he snuggles me and it’s just so sweet, but I also don’t want to start a bad habit that we’ll have to break later on.

I had a donut date with Jackson this morning. Daycare does donut Fridays where they have donut holes on Friday mornings. He’s the first kid to daycare normally when my mom drops him off so he gets his pick of chocolate donut holes, but we’re always so late when I take him on Fridays and then he misses his donuts. So I decided to run to Dunkin’ Donuts this morning on our way to school. We had a little donut date and I got a cappuccino to go. Surprisingly, it was pretty good, but I’m really not into Dunkin’ Donuts anymore. I’ve been craving Caribou lately after seeing it on somebody’s Instagram, but the closest Caribou is closer to downtown. I thought about going to get some today, but that hasn’t happened! They closed our high school hangout one awhile back and I’ve only had it a few times since then.

I’m currently working on Jon’s photo album for Father’s Day (/Christmas, because I missed Father’s Day by a few months) right now. I have to get this thing done this year! Especially since Jon actually got me a Christmas present this year. I really hate making these Shutterfly albums but it really is so fun to look back on them and have the memories all in one place. I would love to make Shutterfly albums for all of my trips, so one of these days I’m going to work on that! I really want to do our wedding too, but last time I started it, I realized I had somehow deleted all of my photos of the girls before the wedding and was so bummed. I’ve kind of not even wanted to look at wedding photos since then, since the ones of us getting ready were some of my favorite photos.

Can you guys believe it’s almost December?! I feel like time has been flying by lately! And December should fly right by too since I have a ton of work and then go out to Charleston for the enter second half of the month.

Jon is in New York right now for work and I’m dying to go on a trip. I have no idea how we’ll make a trip happen but I think we NEED to before this baby comes. Nothing super long, but I have some time in January and February. I really want to go to Quebec City still since Zika is in a lot of the tropical locations, but I just don’t know that we can swing it financially. I mean, we can, but not sure it’s smart when we have so much going on. We’ve been waiting to make sure Jon hits his number this quarter before we pay for any trips, so it’ll be a last minute trip if we go, which is totally fine. I mean, we planned Japan and Iceland 2 weeks before our trips, so I’m sure I can swing Quebec City.

It’s so strange to me that I’m not going to have a job soon! I’m done with my job on March 16th (maybe I can swing another week, but doubtful. I think Jon would kill me.) and this is the first time in so long that I won’t be employed! I’m so bummed about leaving my hospital system. I really love our system and think we have a really amazing leadership team all the way up. The nursing support is beyond what I’ve seen in other places and despite not having mandated ratios in Georgia, we have ratios we abide by in our facility. I really hope I find a job I love as much as I love my job. I’ve also been in my position long enough now that I feel comfortable making decision and influencing the “culture” at work. Staff members come to me with issues now and I like that I can see a lot of the issues in the department. It really does take time to build that trust and I wish I wasn’t leaving right when I feel like we’re really getting into improving the department (it has improved, but my manager started right before me so we got into this thing at the same time) and have a lot of good ideas… I really like my role now and hope to get back into supervising once I find a place that I love in the future. I also hate that I won’t be getting a paycheck. I definitely had time periods in the last few years where I wasn’t contributing a whole lot financially, but I’m fairly consistent now with my paychecks (some are more than others when I work extra) and it definitely makes a difference in not having to think abut money. I know I contribute to the household in other ways when I don’t work, but I also am a person that gets a lot of my own value from my career. So to not have a job or contribute financially just seems so strange to me.

Anyway, I should be off to get a few things done. I’m going into work tomorrow around one and then it’s working ALL week. I’m training somebody to fill in as charge too which is totally fine, but it’s just not as relaxing when I have to teach somebody things. And she has to leave early, so I’m going to be trying to shove in as much of the evening stuff in as I can early in the day. I’m already tired thinking about working so many hours next week!