Grow on Me…

Now that we’ve made it 18 months, I have a confession to make, I didn’t really like my baby when he was first born. Being a “mom” wasn’t what I expected it to be during the first three months. It wasn’t like what I saw on the IG accounts or on FB at all. I told my hubby that I thought we made a mistake having a child and I did not want more children because everything I thought it would be, wasn’t. It took time for me to like him. Now I look back and think that’s how the best relationships start. They must grow. As the months have passed and now are turning into years, the more my love for him grows. However, I wasn’t and still am not the mom that thinks I was born for this or that #momlifeisthebestlife.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my son and he has my heart, but I’m never going to be the mom who thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread, and that’s okay. Sometimes I feel like people put on that façade so you think they’re so great, and it is; for them, if it’s the truth. I’m not ever going to be on that level with them.

When people say, “I can’t remember what I did before kids,” I think to myself, “I do.” I used to sleep until 10am, brunch with friends, ride my bike around, have dinner and drinks with friends, work out when I wanted to and strolled leisurely through Target and the mall. Now, I need to make special arrangements to do any of those things. And, that’s fine. Eventually I’ll get some me time back, just after I’m done making sure this tiny human doesn’t become a drain on society.

I’ve got to keep watering that relationship I have with my tiny human to make sure it continues to grow. The more days I spend with him, the more my heart grows and that’s the feeling I was looking for.

…CHEERS

West > East…

So, you guys in the past six months, like I said, there has been a lot going on. A few major life changes coming our direction, in fact the complete opposite direction. The Horton’s are taking it from the West to East (technically it’s the Midwest, but we are in the Eastern time zone, so I’m calling it East). Yep, that’s right, we are moving. My hubby has accepted a position with his company in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Que the gasps! I know, the winter is going to be rough for this Cali girl, but it’s what you do to support your hubby in his career. This opportunity gives him more time with us. He will now be home every night and will no longer have to travel monthly. We are looking at this as an adventure for our little family.

We will miss our family and friends for sure and it will be an adjustment to be so far away, but to have this hubby of mine home every day is going to be a game changer for me and the little man. We are looking forward to making new friends and memories outside of the only place we’ve ever known. And, hey, I get a whole new winter wardrobe, so double cheers to that. More to come on our adventures in Michigan! Until we head out, we are busy getting our move in order, getting together with family and friends as much as we can. Soaking it all in until we jet off at the end of July.

If you’ve stumbled across this post and you’re from the Ann Arbor area, give me some tips!!

CHEERS…

Guess Who’s Back, Back Again…

Hi Guys and Gals, remember me? MilkandMimosas. I know, I’ve been MIA for like six months. I got lost in the shuffle of everyday life, but it’s my mission to keep it going and touch base with ya’ll.

So, what’s been going on since I’ve last posted you ask? Soooo much! Let me catch ya’ll up real quick…

November ended with my little man turning a whopping ONE years old. We spent Thanksgiving and his birthday in AZ with our parents. We had a Cowboys and Indian’s themed birthday party to celebrate. We all wore bandanas and cowboy gear. Turns out he is like his momma and doesn’t care for cake. We gave him ice cream for the first time the day after he turned one and that’s where he’s also like his momma. He loves himself some ice cream and cookies.

We spent the Holidays with both sides of our family, traveling all over Nor Cal to get all our time in with everyone. We saw our parents, grandparents and for AJ his great-grandparents. It makes the driving around worth it for him to spend so much time with everyone. He didn’t quite grasp the present concept last year, so hopefully since he will be just over two, he’ll be so excited to open presents this Christmas. AJ had his first Santa photo experience, and while we got a laugh out of it, he hated seeing the man in the white beard. The hubby and I rang in the New Year with the baby asleep, watching a marathon of Fuller House with Auntie A and Moscow Mules. Yum! If you don’t like Moscow Mules, we probably aren’t friends. Just kidding, a little.

In January, my hubby set off to the Wharton School in Pennsylvania to take the exam for his CIMA (Certified Investment Management Analyst). Fancy, right? He’s kind of a big deal. He studied for what seemed like two years to get to this point and he did it. What a relief. That was a long trip, but so worth it in the end. As soon as he found out he passed, which also seemed like eternity, we booked a mommy and daddy only trip to Hawaii for April. February and March were uneventful.

The hub’s and I headed to Oahu in April and stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It was my first time away from the little guy for more than 36 hours. I cried on the drive to the airport; big alligator tears. We didn’t realize it was going to be spring break for the littles around the U.S, so it made us miss the little guy that much more because we thought about him every time we saw other kids his age, which was all day long. We kept thinking we were deadbeat parents for not bringing him because other people did it. However, we quickly realized we were on full relaxation mode, while they were not. We enjoyed a snorkel day with the Honu’s (turtles), a hike up to Diamond Head in the early morning and a little tour of the North Shore complete with my favorite activity, SUP (Stand Up Paddle boarding). Aside from that, we spent our days at the beach or pool. We ate a ton, had yummie drinks and caught up on some sleep. The weather didn’t cooperate too much while we were there, but I hate to complain about being by the pool in Hawaii.  Next time we venture to the Hawaiian Islands, it’s going to be Maui or Kauai. I always feel like a brat when I say I don’t care for Oahu much. Maybe next time, we’ll even bring the little one, if he can sit still on a plane.

We celebrated Mother’s Day in the Palm Springs area with some amazing friends and all of our babes. Nick and I celebrated three years of marriage. It seems like yesterday we were in Cancun living it up with our family and friends saying I DO. We are planning a trip to Cancun next year and I cannot wait! My little man turned 18 months old (1.5 years old), like WOAH! Where has the time gone? He’s becoming his own little person and it’s been fun having a front row seat watching his development. He’s so chatty and loves to mimic us. We’ve learned to watch ourselves around him because he picks up everything we do. Sometimes we have potty mouths around here, so we’ve had to rein that in. I can’t wait to see all the progress he’s going to make before he turns two!

Here we are and it’s June! We spent the weekend in Lake Tahoe, which is always a nice get-away. We’ve got family coming into town next week as well and our weekends are literally booked solid for the next two months. Like, seriously can I hit the pause button, because in the blink of an eye it’s going to be Christmas before we know it!

Aside from that, we’ve got a few more exciting things planned that I’ll be sharing soon!

It’s been a crazy six months to say the least.

Check out my Instagram feed for photos of the last six months. See you next time.

…CHEERS

Whooops, I Dropped the Ball

A friend reminded me over the weekend that I haven’t posted lately and I thought I know. To be honest, I don’t like sharing about my personal life, mostly because I think no one cares. I’m not into so many photos of myself or my family either, mainly because I hate how I look half the time and because I’m paranoid by all of the creeps who are On The Line these days. I do remember why I started this though, and it’s because I felt like I had no one to relate to anymore and I wanted someone out there On The Line to find this and find comfort. Hoping to add more about our travels, what’s been going on in our lives and some of my favorite fashion picks, my own and those I’m lusting after. What do you want me to write about? I’d love to have some ideas sent my direction.

Anyhoo, it’s my goal to keep things going on this commitment I’ve made, so soon, I’ll be back up with more content. Until then, cheers!!

First Time for Everything, or Not…

Remember in the post “Delivery, I’m Not Talking Pizza” where I talked about being emotional when we wheeled AJ to our room while the hospital played the delivery lullaby? Here we dive deep into why… It’s a long one, so get cozy and maybe grab some tissue.

We just returned from our 10-day stint in Cancun. We were married there on May 16, 2014 at a beautiful resort with 40 family and friends. We came back just in time for Memorial Weekend and to attend our friend’s wedding in Napa. We were still on a high from celebrating with our family and friends in Mexico. It had not dawned on me that I could be pregnant. I just stopped taking birth control and I was under the impression it would take months to get pregnant. I just assumed that my body was getting back to “normal.”

It was June 2, 2014 when I found out I was pregnant. I remember telling my hubby and we both said, “oh shit.” We both laid in bed and stared at the ceiling for a while. I remember thinking there was no way it was possible. We told our parents almost immediately. It was important to me to wait to tell others. I wanted to wait until after the 3rd month. I often woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I remember calling my mom and telling her this and she would think I was silly. Finally, we let some of our family and friends know. My cousin also informed me she was expecting her second and we were due about a month apart from each other. We were so excited to be on this journey together, even though we were in different states. How fun was it going to be to touch bases on each other even more and talk about our experiences together.Nick and I bought a house in the suburbs, away from all of our friends to raise our baby in. We were well on our way to becoming real grown ups!

The hubby and I opted for the genetics testing and it was turning out just fine, until month five. I received a call after the second round of blood work letting me know my amino fetal protein (AFP) levels were higher than normal. They let me know it wasn’t so high off the chart, but that it was a little high and I needed to come in for a comprehensive ultrasound. Often, AFP results in spinabifida, a hole in the babies spine. The ultrasound found low fluid levels, but nothing else. The baby seemed to be progressing along just fine. Once that came back okay, we felt more comfortable and were so excited.

We were progressing just fine and my bump was growing. November 8, 2014 was my gender reveal baby shower. I was just 7 months into being pregnant. I was finally starting to feel excited about this new blessing we were going to bring into the world. I was excited to see my friends and family and to find out if the little nugget was a boy or girl. We cut the cake and the inside frosting was blue! We were having a boy. I remember feeling so emotional. I really wanted a boy, maybe more so than my hubby. It was a great day! After that my cousin and I had a 3D ultrasound’s. Our families and our grandma were present. It was so exciting to see our little ones on the monitor. I wanted to confirm that we were having a boy. I had heard so many horror stories about bakeries getting it wrong, this was a must to make sure it was correct. How funny would that have been though? The baby was so much more active and it was so fun to watch my belly move. It was Wednesday night, November 19, 2014. My hubby put the crib together. I just finished the Thank you cards for all the gifts from the shower. I just needed stamps before I could send them out.

We went to bed and the next day our world changed in a way we never saw coming. I was in a rush that morning and didn’t have time to do my normal kick counts before getting up, so I planned on doing them when I got to work. I got to work and around 9am I realized I hadn’t felt the baby move. I had this sick feeling in my stomach. I reached out to my hubby and a couple friends who assured me either his sleeping pattern changed or I needed to get in a different position to feel him move. I drank juice, I tried candy and eventually thought going for a walk around the store would definitely wake the baby. It was around 1pm when I decided it was time to walk over to Labor and Delivery and get checked. I was worried I was being super paranoid and going to waste everyone’s time. I left my belongings at my desk and made the short walk over to the next building (I worked at a hospital at the time) because I was convinced I would be right back. I was so nervous during that walk. I was asking the baby why he wasn’t moving and asking God to make him move so I could go back to work and stop being so paranoid.

I was admitted and the nurse came in to complete an ultrasound. She said she could see the baby. I remember hearing a very faint heart beat. The nurse said she wasn’t sure if that was my heart or the babies and that she would get a new machine because it was possible the machine was not working correctly. After the changing of the machines and a doctor coming in to complete the ultrasound, there was still no sound coming from the machine and with the deep sigh from the doctor I knew what they were about to tell me. I remember the sound of the sigh, and then she said, “I’m so sorry, there isn’t a heart beat.” She showed me the baby and where his heart was. They called in another doctor who confirmed, there was no heartbeat. There was an “I’m sorry and do you want to call someone” that followed.

My heart sank. We just had our official 7 month appointment two days before and there was a steady heartbeat. And, he had been moving around the day before. How did this happen? How was I going to tell my husband? I had informed him I was going to get checked and I never thought I would be calling him to tell him our baby’s heart stopped beating. I asked the nurse for the phone and began dialing. I couldn’t see the numbers on the phone through my tears. Once he answered I could only tell him there was no heart beat and that he needed to get to the hospital right away. During that time I also had to inform my co-worker of the outcome because I wouldn’t be returning for my belongings. She was kind enough to bring them to me and sit with me until my husband arrived. When my husband arrived I sobbed and told him how sorry I was. He didn’t understand how this happened either. I was so worried I did something to cause this to happen. I just kept apologizing over and over. I explained that I had to be admitted to deliver the baby because we were so far along. They told me I didn’t have to do it right away and that we could go home and come back. Together we decided there was no need to go home and that I would be admitted right then and there to get the process going.

There was no point delaying the inevitable. And, I didn’t want to spend any more time with a baby inside of me that would never move again. Of course it crossed my mind a million times that they were all wrong and that they made a mistake. After phone calls to our parents to let them know of the news, I was hooked up to machines and had so much blood drawn I wasn’t sure how I was still going to survive. I was filling out death certificates and filling out so much paperwork for the death of a child, my head was spinning. The doctors told me to be prepared to be in the hospital for at least 24-48 hours. Since my body had never been through labor, they told me it was going to be a long process. My parents rushed up from the Bay Area to be with us. My hubby’s parents were so torn whether they should fly in or not from Arizona. In the end, what was the point? It was best they stayed home. They induced my labor and then we began the waiting process for my body to react. Throughout the night we heard lullabies being played throughout the building for the parents who were bringing their babies home; it was heart wrenching. It wasn’t until the nurse had asked me to roll to my side to make sure I didn’t stay in one position too long, that my water broke and the contractions began. It began much quicker than anyone anticipated and my progress continued at a rapid pace as well. I suppose that was God’s way of helping us out of this agony as quick as possible.

The next morning, November 21, 2014 at 7:10am, I delivered our little boy. The room was silent and the tears flowed. The doctor hugged me and told me how brave I was. We never heard a cry, we never saw his eyes open, we never counted toes or fingers. There were going to be a lifetime of never’s for this little guy. Once they had him cleaned up and wrapped in a blanket, we were able to hold him. We took turns holding him. We cried together. My parents and a few close friends came by to check on us and say their good-byes as well. We were asked if we wanted to have photos of him. At first I didn’t want to because I didn’t want to have anything to remember such a painful time, we decided it would be a good idea. After the photos they took of him (which we have still not looked at) and all of the blood work they took from him it was 3pm. It was time to say our final good-bye to the little boy we never got to bring home. Everyone left the room and we picked him up told him how much we loved him, how much we were looking forward to meeting him, how sorry we were that this happened and then said a tearful good-bye to our first born (straight to heaven).

The nurses came in and said I had to be wheeled out in a wheelchair. I was furious. I was physically fine. There was no reason for me to be wheeled out. Mentally I was broken, but there was no physical reason for me to be wheeled out of that hospital. I was wheeled by women in labor, walking around the hospital floor, by family coming to see the newest addition to their families. I was so angry. I was ready to be home.

That first night home after we went to sleep was the hardest. I no longer had a belly to snuggle up to my hubby with. I no longer had any movement. Hearing my hubby break down was the hardest thing for me. He tried so hard to be strong for me, but he said he remembered my phone call and the events that followed so vividly. I couldn’t sleep. I now hated the sound of pure silence. I could only sleep with a TV playing in the background.

Every week for the next 6 weeks we were gathering more and more information about what happened. We also had to make it through Thanksgiving and Christmas. We had to make it through an abundance of pregnancy announcements and births. There was nothing more exciting than to have 2014 come to a close.

In the end, little man had a 1:1 Million genetic defect that was undetectable on any type of test. Our only sign was the AFP levels and the low levels of fluid surrounding the baby. All of our doctors and genetic counselors said it was the biggest fluke they have seen. They were shocked I made it as far as I did and called him a fighter.

My first experience of being pregnant and labor was ripped from me. I would no longer have a first pregnancy or delivery. How would I explain to people that I have had two deliveries, one baby? I felt guilty for saying AJ was my first. As you can imagine, I was not excited during my pregnancy with AJ. I was all nerves, all the time. I would wake up in the middle of the night to drink ice cold water for 7 months to make the baby move. I heard about two stories of late term pregnancy lost while I was six months pregnant and couldn’t contain myself. I wouldn’t let my husband tell most people because I couldn’t go through that again. I did my best to stay in hiding for my entire pregnancy. I didn’t have a baby shower, I didn’t want people talking about me being pregnant. I didn’t want anything to do with it. We left the crib set up and the door remained closed for the year. We didn’t put the finishing touches on the nursery until I was eight months pregnant with AJ. We didn’t buy any clothes until I was about eight months pregnant. This time, we didn’t find out the gender until AJ was born. We wanted to do everything the exact opposite this time. Even though we were told what happened the first time was a fluke, I was still doubtful the entire time. I spent three months being monitored twice a week to make sure things were still progressing just fine. We completed the same tests and when that five month blood work came back just fine, I was able to breathe a little better, but I still was not convinced we were out of the woods. I know if I am able to get pregnant again, I’ll have the same worry, doubt and fear as I did before and I’ll probably still want to keep it hidden. But, that’s our journey now. I still cringe when people are so excited about being pregnant, because you really never know what can happen.

I write this because in one week we celebrate the first birthday of AJ. Those two deliveries are one year and one week apart. We will never forget our first little man and we plan to tell his brother and future siblings, if we are blessed with another, all about him and how he changed the course of our lives.

Now you know why those lullabies really struck a cord with us. We finally got to take our baby home…

Half Way to Seventy…

My birthday recently passed and I’m a whopping 35 years old. Leading up to this day I felt myself becoming sad, almost depressed even. I didn’t want to acknowledge I was turning another year older. Did anyone else feel this way about the big 3-5? I looked at my hubby and said, “I think this is my midlife crisis.” I’m still on the struggle bus and it’s been two weeks. I have so many thoughts running through my head. How did I get here? What have I been doing the last 35 years? What am I going to do over the next five years? What’s next? I’m finding myself constantly questioning everything and worrying so much about the future.

I’m so focused on the number game. All I can think about is how old I’m going to be when my child starts Kindergarten, how old I’ll be when he graduates high school and college. I cringe when I think I’ll be just about 40 for Kindergarten and I can potentially be in my sixties when he graduates from college. I can’t get over it. That’s not how this was all supposed to go. Our parents are now sixty or approaching sixty and they have children in their thirties and a grandchild! I don’t know why this is so important to me or why it ways so heavy on my heart. Perhaps its because I feel like I’m going to miss out on the latter part of AJ’s life, or that I’ll miss out on his wedding or him having babies of his own. It’s like a trickle down effect where I then start to ponder every decision I’ve made that has led me to this part of my life.

In addition to these thoughts, I’ve become overwhelmed with a sense of worry that I won’t be able to have another baby. I fear that my time is up and I’ve already started preparing myself for being a mom of an only child. In reality, that would be okay and I am blessed that I have the chance to be a mom at all. These thoughts make me upset for waiting so long to find my hubby and have children. Silly, I know, but all of these years hearing that being over 35 is so risky and there are more chances for something to be wrong with the baby is slightly terrifying to me. Of course secondary infertility is another thought in my mind now. It’s a thing, for many people out there.

While I sit and worry about being too old to be a first time mom, or that I may only be a first time mom, I’ve come to realize I have a hard time living in the present. I’m always thinking about the future and what is supposed to happen next. I’m always trying to plan for the next thing in our lives. I guess that’s where I realize I’m not as committed to my faith as I thought. When I worry about how old I’ll be when my baby isn’t a baby anymore, I’ll try to remind myself to live in the moment with him because we can’t plan for the future entirely. When I worry I won’t be able to have another baby, I’ll still try to remind myself to live in the moment with the baby I was given.

There are positives to being a little older starting out my family. One, I’m more experienced in life and have learned so much, especially over the last 5 years, that make me more prepared for raising a little boy in our world. Two, I’ve done my partying and it’s out of my system. Don’t get me wrong, there are days I need a night out with our friends or my girls, but my life no longer revolves around that world, and I’m okay with that. I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I’m content with a whole day committed to my little family. And, finally, I’m ready for this. There was a time in my life where I didn’t want kids. Heck, I don’t think I wanted a husband for a period in my life. Now, I’m ready for this life and every time a thought creeps into my mind about how old I am or how far behind I am in this game of life, I’ll do my best to remind myself that this is the path I’m on. Whether I strayed from God’s plan or this is what it’s supposed to be, I’ll never know. What I do know is that this following saying is true: “If you want to make God laugh, try planning your own life.”

It Takes a Village, People

This past week we were fortunate to have Nick’s parents stay with us. Nick’s sister, Allie, joined us for a few days as well. It was Friday when Nick looked and me and said, “this is what it must feel like when you live near family to help you.” Yes honey, it really does take a village.

While GG and Grandpa Slim were visiting, I was able to get to the gym at 4pm every day and had the chance to get a facial one afternoon. I know getting to the gym doesn’t seem so exciting, but for me getting there before 6pm or 7pm was the hi-light of my day! It was nice to get that out of the way early. My normal routine is to wait for Nick to get home and then head to the gym. Once I get home, it’s time for the last bottle of the night for AJ and then it’s bedtime for the babe. After all that, its shower time while the hubs is cooking and then we eat, around 8pm. Now you can see why going at 4pm was so exciting and we were eating dinner at 6:30pm for five days in a row. That was the cherry on top I tell ya. Nick and I had another successful dinner date; that was date night number four in 9.5 months (yes, I’m counting). On several occasions we got to sleep in until after 7am; another hi-light of the week. Diapers, feedings and keeping the baby entertained didn’t always fall on my shoulders during the day. Not that I don’t enjoy it, but it is hard when you’re home all day, every day with the energizer bunny I’ve dubbed CrA-J.

I don’t think it dawned on us how helpful having family close by was until they had come and gone. I don’t think we realized how exhausting it was doing it all, all of the time, just the two of us. We juggle everything between the two of us, all of the time. I don’t know if it seems so hard because AJ is so young, or if this is what our normal is.

I suppose we are partly at fault because we haven’t connected to anyone who we feel comfortable enough to leave AJ with; however, it still wouldn’t be family. Some times I think we did ourselves a disservice by having AJ with just us almost all of the time. Besides us, only our parents have put him to bed, maybe two to three times total.

Any time that our family is in town and can help out we are so grateful. We are grateful for one less diaper change, one less bottle-feeding and most of all, we are grateful for that extra hour or two of sleep. We are grateful because it gives Nick and I a much-needed break and a chance to get out on our own for a few hours. Having help is like a re-set button for us. It’s a re-set button for AJ too. He gets to have new faces to play with, he gets quality time with his grandparents and aunt and uncle.

We know this is just part of the parenting phase and someday it will get easier. Until then we work through it together and enjoy the small breaks our families provide when they can.

Cheers…