Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Constantly Learning...

Justin has been gone for 3 weeks now, long enough, I feel, to do some reflecting on our experience thus far. I have learned a whole heckuva lot in these three weeks! About myself, my children, my faith, my marriage... The number one lesson I've come away with, so far, is that Ainsley and I are a lot more resilient than I gave us credit for! I wasn't really sure how I would deal with this, but I haven't been the puddle I was worried I'd become (other than at the airport. And our last phone call. But that's to be expected!). Instead, I have made the decision to be 1000% the best mom I can possibly be to my girls in this stage of our life I've come to know as my "single mom" stage. Not that I would ever want to be anything less than the best I can be, but I'm trying to be more conscious and intentional about it. In doing so, so far I have discovered this:
1) Just being here, holding hands and snuggling and playing with my children, pretty much makes me the best mom. :) So I can cut myself a little slack when I find myself overwhelmed, tired, and cranky. 
2) Everyday, I feel like I meet my children for the first time all over again. They are both at such amazing ages right now, with developing personalities and temperaments. There's something new and different about them everyday! It's a strange juxtaposition: I know these girls, deeply. (One of the lines from Friends that I will never forget, that still resounds deeply every time I watch that episode: When Rachel and Ross are having their baby, and Rachel finally delivers; the doctor hands her the baby and Rachel says to her, "I know you." Exactly how I have felt the first time holding both of my girls.) Yet I am getting to know them right along with the rest of the world. One of my favorite parts of motherhood. :) 
Ainsley is becoming an awesome little girl with a personality to match her name. I've always said she marches to the beat of her own drum. She is silly, sweet, stubborn, a little spacey, smarter than I can believe. She loves to tease, dance and sing. Reading books and coloring soothes her. She enjoys play dates, but over all prefers alone time, my little introvert. She will eat almost anything, but chocolate is king. She is a seamless blend of Justin and I in personality, and she amazes me daily. 
At just 3 months, Emma's personality is starting to show too. She is much more laid back than her big sister. She loves people, and being held and cuddled. She hates being left alone, even for a minute, and I really should just stay within her line of vision at all times! She is becoming very generous with smiles and coos. She is a mama's girl, and I have no complaints about it! She loves her big sister, and keeps an eye on her always. 
3) My faith is nowhere near where it has been in the past, or where it should be. I have sorely neglected spending time in the Word and in prayer, and I have realized that I want my girls to become women of strong faith, and I need to be an example to them, even at their young ages, of what that looks like. So I am reacquainting myself with The Lord. Thank God for grace!
4) I have never doubted the strength of my marriage, and I never doubted we would survive these months apart.  But I am discovering just how strong we are. We have gone from talking to each other all day about everything, to sharing little snippets of our totally separate lives through a couple letters a week. Yet there is no feeling of disconnect. Actually, I feel closer to Justin now than I have in a very long time. Interesting how stressful times can do that in a marriage. Looking back on the last 6 years, I can see that our strongest times were when we were faced with a crisis or great stress. I think that says a lot about a marriage. Go us!

We still have a long way to go on this adventure. But we've survived 3 weeks, so I think we'll be just fine. :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

And the adventure begins...

Well, we put Justin on the plane yesterday morning. He's in Denver for two days, then off to San Antonio until June. Saying goodbye at the airport was absolutely awful. I watched him talk and sing with Ainsley and finally it all hit me, reality sank in, and I cried and cried and cried. Then he held Emma and I cried some more. Thank God my family met us at the airport so I didn't have to be by myself with the girls. Once we left the airport, I was ok, and have been, but tonight we'll be home and that will suck. Big time.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Time For An Adventure

My oh my, how things have changed...

I won't bother trying to totally update since my last post, but I'll give a quick one so we're all on the same page:

We are now living in Fergus Falls. Ainsley Marie is nearly 2 1/2 (!), and we've welcomed sweet Emma Patricia into our family, on February 4, 2013. I work part time as a PCA, and just started back at work this week. I'm so blessed to be able to take Emma with me, while Ainsley hangs out with Grandma and Grandpa. Justin has been working 2 jobs, and is leaving on April 14 for almost 9 months of training with the Colorado Air National Guard. And thus our adventure begins...

I'm so grateful that I have the support and help of my parents while Justin is gone. I know without a doubt that moving to Fergus was the best decision we could have made in this adventure. I miss my friends a lot, and our church, but I knew my family would be what I need. We've found a church we like and I'm hoping to get plugged into, and Ainsley is in ECFE, so we've met lots of moms and "friends".

To say that I'm dreading Justin leaving would be an understatement. It's come so fast and suddenly I'm faced with essentially being a single mom for 9 months. Terrified is probably a more accurate word. Not only am I going to be raising a baby and toddler alone for 9 months, my best friend and partner isn't around. I'm pretty much throwing all of my energy into the girls, so I don't wallow and become a hermit. My coping mechanism when I'm sad is usually to hide out, watch tv, and eat. Thank God I have busy children to keep me equally busy, or I would be a wreck!

So that's our new adventure. We're soaking up every minute we have together as a family before next Sunday. And then we go from there and count down the days to June 13 when we get to see Justin again!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Spring!

Even though it's snowing here today...

As I'm sure you've figured out from my lack of recent posts, I've been busy! My days pretty much consist of going to work, picking up Ainsley and playing with her until she goes to bed by 8:00, then dishes, laundry, cleaning, and going to bed, only to start it all over again the next day. But I love it - I'm a creature of habit, and the only thing I would change about my current routine is that I would love to be able to stay home with Ainsley. We've discussed the possibility of me doing daycare when we move to Colorado so I can be home with her. Unless Justin gets a good enough job that I don't have to! Regardless of how we have to make it happen, I will be home with her!

Ainsley is growing in leaps and bounds - it seems like everyday she can do something new! At her 4 month well-baby check-up, she weighed 13lbs, 15oz and was 22 3/4 inches long. She's pretty much outgrown all of her 0-3 month clothes, and even some of the 6 month clothes are getting snug! She rolls over from back to tummy now; the first time she rolled over was tummy to back, and she hasn't done it since. She's recently discovered her feet and plays with them all the time. Last night she sat up almost straight by herself for a few seconds, before folding in half and getting mad! She talks and laughs all the time, and is all around a very happy girl, unless she's hungry or tired! We've started her on solids, we're doing pears this week. She's doing pretty well with them, she only has a few bites a day and gets bored, but she's learning how to eat! Last night was the first time she seemed to really get excited about it and swallowed the whole spoonful, rather than spitting half of it out! She's very aware of her surroundings and always knows exactly where Mama and Daddy are at all times! She likes people, as long as she can look at them while one of us is holding her. She's a little leery of strangers holding her, which makes me feel good! :) She's still constantly moving, and is usually only still when she's tired or sleeping. Once she's mobile, we're in trouble! She still loves to snuggle when she's tired, although she gets mad most nights around bedtime - she does not like being tired! So she gets worked up and it usually takes a bit of effort to settle her down and get to sleep, if she doesn't fall asleep nursing. She's back to waking up at night to eat, usually 2 times, which is one of the reasons we're starting solids! For awhile we were having a hard time getting her to stay sleeping in her crib, but my mom figured out that she was probably just getting cold, so we started dressing her warmer for bed and now she sleeps great, until she gets hungry, that is. Toys-wise, we're upgrading this weekend to a bouncer, so she can sit up and play and bounce and look around. She still enjoys her playmat, but she much prefers sitting up. She loves hands, and will play with her hands or ours for long stretches. Usually they end up in her mouth, which is fine, until she gets teeth! She also loves faces and will study them closely, and if you're within arm's reach, she'll play with your nose and lips. Just watch out - she pinches! :) Her little personality comes out more everyday, and it's so fun! Basically, she's wonderful and beautiful and I adore her! Be watching our YouTube channel (we3distels) for crazy cute videos!

Justin has 3 weeks left in the semester and then he GRADUATES!!!! Finally!! Graduation is May 7 (Mother's Day weekend) at 10am. We'll have a little open house at our place after, and I'm sure we'll do something for him sometime we're home for a family get-together before we move. Once the semester is over, it's time to send out resumes!

We're very much looking forward to getting out of our tiny, cramped apartment this summer, whether it's in Colorado or here! Most likely it will be Colorado, but that all depends on our job/house hunting trip this summer. We'll be getting rid of some of our furniture and looking to replace it - most of what we have is inexpensive, from-the-box furniture we bought when we first got married, or small, and we're wanting to upgrade slightly and get furniture that's a little bigger in scale to fit in a bigger place. We're hoping to find a house to rent. So if anyone is interested in cheap or free furniture, this is what we're getting rid of: couch and loveseat (with slipcovers), tall black bookshelf, possibly a hightop table and chairs, black TV stand, possibly a large computer desk and chair. We're buying a new couch and loveseat when there's a good sale somewhere, but the rest I'm willing to replace used, if anyone has anything! I want good quality, preferably solid wood. Specifically, I'm looking for at least 2, possibly 3 wooden dressers. 1 smaller for Ainsley, 1 a little larger for us, and 1 that is low, with at least 4, preferably 6 drawers that I can refurbish into a TV stand. Depending on where we end up, we may be in the market for a used washer and dryer.

Ok, this wasn't intended to turn into an ad! All in all, life is good here in the woods. Busy, slightly chaotic, totally centered around a 5 month old, and good!

I will try to get better at updating as Ainsley becomes more independent and doesn't need me constantly when I'm with her!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's been too long...

I've just been so busy! I'm a busy mama with lots going on - working full time, taking care of a pretty little girl, spending time with friends, spending time with my husband, trying to keep the house clean, and making sure to save a little time for me. It's alot, but I'm getting the hang of it!

The biggest aspect of it all is of course little Miss Ainsley Marie! She's so beautiful and fun! She's 3 1/2 months now - when did that happen?! She's discovered her hands and her voice, so she's constantly chewing on and staring at her hands, and chatters all day long! She's also started laughing! We still have to work pretty hard to get those laughs, but they're there! She's thriving at daycare - we have a wonderful daycare provider, and the other kids just adore Ainsley. She's growing like a weed, and the best news of all - she's sleeping through the night!!!! She's down for the night between 7:30 and 8:30 depending on when she eats, and wakes up pretty consistently at 6:30, which works perfect for my morning schedule. We still have to get up once or twice a night just to pop her pacifier back in, but I'm not up for 30-45 minutes every 3 hours, so I can handle it! The challenge we're facing right now is getting her to sleep. She acts tired, but fights it so hard, so now we're in the let-her-cry-it-out phase, and I hate it! I know it won't last long, but it breaks my heart to hear her cry!

I've made it my mission to be super-mom. By super-mom, I mean being the best wife, mother, daughter, friend, employee, and most importantly, believer, that I can be. I believe that I can excel at a full-time job, take excellent care of my beautiful daughter, love and serve my husband, grow in my faith, maintain and grow in my relationships with my family and friends, and keep my house clean too! I have to be very intentional, and I have to say, ever since I made the conscious decision to do this, I've felt much more content and happy. A huge part of it is that my apartment is starting to get neat and clean again - a messy, cluttered home does nothing but stress me out, and now that it's getting better, I've felt my stress level decrease significantly. And, I'm getting a Wii Active 2 next week so I can start working out and get rid of those last 6 baby pounds, and then some! It's hard when I work until 5, have to pick up Ainsley from daycare and don't get home until at least 5:30, find time to eat, play with Ainsley, and have her in bed on time. With Justin working most nights, I'm on my own in the evenings, so I don't have time to go out and work out, and I refuse to get up any earlier! So I need something I can do at home after Ainsley is in bed - enter the Wii! I'm really excited to start using it! Basically, my goal is to be just an overall happier, healthier person and ensure my family is healthy and happy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A long overdue update...

... we've just been so busy!

Ainsley is now 6 weeks, 5 days old! She's talking and playing and smiling a ton, and is just gorgeous. It's been a big week for the Distel family - I went back to work yesterday, so Ainsley started daycare yesterday. She's mostly just going for half days, but it's still a big deal! There were (minimal) tears on my part yesterday! She did great, pretty much just slept and let all the kids fawn over her! I did better than I thought I would, my day went really fast. It helps that I really like my job! I'm very much looking forward to picking her up tomorrow at 5 and having her all to myself all weekend!

Christmas was wonderful - exhausting and a total blur, but wonderful. Ainsley got spoiled rotten, and Mommy and Daddy came out pretty well too! :) We spent 3 days at Mom and Dad's, and they were jam-packed from Christmas Eve through baptism the day after Christmas. Ainsley pretty much just slept through the 3 days, and I can't blame her!

Justin's family flew home on Tuesday after spending 2 weeks with us. Justin had the day off, so we spent it at home, just the 3 of us, before reality started in! And Ainsley has pretty much been sleeping since - I think she's recovering from the chaos of the past several weeks!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How the time flies

What?! It's December 14?! WHAT?! My baby girl is 3 weeks, 3 days old?! When did this happen? Make it stop!

I have been loving every single minute I've had at home with Miss Ainsley and I am positively dreading going back to work in 3 weeks! I wish there was some way to make money while hanging out with your daughter, or for Justin to make money going to school. Then I could stay home!

Justin and I went out on a date, all by ourselves, on Sunday night! We left Ainsley in the very capable hands of 2 friends and went to see Harry Potter. It was wonderful and also so strange! Only a couple hours away from her and I missed her sooo much - how am I going to do 8 hour days when I go back to work?

Friday Ainsley and I are going to Fergus for the weekend - we have a baby shower at Mom and Dad's on Saturday and I'm so excited! I haven't been home since July! The drive should be interesting - hopefully she'll just sleep the whole time. I'm excited to see friends and family that I haven't seen since this summer, and to just be home again.

Next Tuesday Justin's dad and sisters fly in to spend 2 weeks with us, so we're busy getting ready for that, and Justin is sooooo excited! We haven't seen them since last Christmas, so its a long overdue visit.

I'm recovering very well, feeling good and (mostly) getting enough sleep. Naps are a wonderful thing! I've been feeling good enough to putter around the house a little, though I can't get a whole lot done with a newborn! I make sure to allot myself more than enough cuddle time on the couch with my snugglebug! I know how quickly these precious days are going by, so I'm eating up every single minute!