Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You put the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLAble

I think I posted a video either on my blog or on facebook of Kayla "talking" a few months ago.  (This having both a blog and a facebook page is really starting to confuse me.  I can't remember where I did and didn't post things and often times I double post, which I know isn't fun for my facebook friends who are also my blog readers...might have to lay off of facebook.)  Ok, I went back and looked...I posted it on my facebook page on July 29th.  However, Kayla has been "talking" much longer than that.  

Up until a couple days ago, her only "word" was "bah."  She's REALLY good at telling you what a sheep says.  In MANY different tones and vocal ranges and with many varied inflections and deflections. (I think these are the right terms.)  And you can bet I've been saying "Ma-Ma" to her for months upon months.  Well about 1.5-2 weeks ago, she started saying "Ba-Ba" after I would say "Ma-Ma" to her.  I thought this was progress.

Side note: I know that she isn't actually saying any words that she understands but it's still fun.

I've been hearing the Mama syllables for a little while now but only when she's crying or upset.  Well, a couple days ago, she started her love of her second syllable...."Ma."  Yes daddy and aunt Megan and everyone else who wanted their name to be the first, you can suck it.  I win!  (Just kidding. :)  Well, she sure loves to practice her new favorite syllable, along with her old syllable.  

She also loves practicing the new trick daddy taught her.  You know when you put your finger parallel to your mouth and move it up and down over your lips while you are making noise??  No?  Watch the video.  She demonstrates all three of these lovely talents. :)


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Monday, September 26, 2011

NMM 9/26/11 - A little belated

Whatever you dream for your baby, be sure to keep dreaming for yourself.  
You will be richer for it.

Ok, honestly, I needed this advice this week.  And I'm not kidding you, I don't pick whichever saying from my book "Eat Your Peas" that I want to put up each week.  I am slowly going through the book one at a time in order.  (And honestly, if you know me at all, skipping around all willy-nilly isn't really my style.  I'm more of a structured, organized, read-a-book-from-front-to-back-no-matter-what-book-it-may-be kinda girl.)  So, if you are one of those people who has some belief in fate and destiny, I'm pretty sure this is it.

I've missed a few Mondays here and there as you probably know, and clearly that was supposed to happen so that I could come to this moment.  I've been struggling since we arrived here in Illinois with blogging for some reason.  And tonight, I just decided that I love blogging and I need to get back on the wagon.  So I forced myself to search through our stuff that isn't quite fully unpacked yet to find my book and write this post.

I've been spending as much time as I can with Kayla because I'm supposed to go back to work this week. (Don't even get me started on all the delays.)  I'm really struggling with this, as I always thought I would be a working mom.  I'd worked so hard for my career and I didn't want to give it up too easily.  Then we got married, and I had a hard time finding a job I liked, and I started thinking more and more about starting a family.  Here we are and Kayla and Justin are my priorities, not my career.  So it's been extremely difficult to wrap my head around leaving her to go to a job that's just that...a job.

But I have to remember that I am more than just Kayla's momma (which she says unknowingly now...I win! :)  I am a strong, independent woman who worked hard for everything she has.  And I have to remember that I don't think I'm ready to give up everything I am.  And I think that being away during the day will make me appreciate my time with Kayla so much more.  And not just that, I have a lot of other dreams and goals that I want to accomplish completely separate from being a mom.

So today, I needed this advice.  And I hope that maybe someone else needed it too. :)

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Things I am going to try to write about this week:
  • Getting back on track with my 101 list.
  • Kayla's belated 8 month birthday post/pictures.
  • My first day(s) back at work.
  • Our little family DC experience.
  • Of course some Friday Favorites.
Also, today marks exactly 1 month until our family trip to the Big Island of Hawaii.  It's ok to be jealous. :)  Maybe I can add a countdown to my blog....hm.

Have a GREAT week! :)


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We are here!

I wanted any loyal blog readers to know that we are here in the Chicagoland area after 2 days of driving with my mom.  Kayla is pretty cranky.  And I'm really starting to struggle with grasping going back to work, so I'm not sure I'll be blogging a lot the next few days.  I want to spend time with my baby.  Thanks for thinking of us, if you did! :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nighttime diapering

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I love cloth diapering.  However, I had been VERY afraid to use cloth at night since Kayla is a heavy wetter and I didn't want to have to get up with her just to change her diaper.

Well, a couple of months ago, when I was finally able to score some RagaBabes (see my cloth diapering tab for reviews), I decided that maybe it was time to give it a try.  (Overnight cloth diapering that is.)  So I bought some extra inserts for their all-in-one diapers.  As a review for everyone, all-in-one diapers have the insert sewn in so all you have to do it put it on the baby and take it off when it's dirty and toss it in the laundry bag.  RagaBabe all-in-ones have a pocket so you can stuff an extra insert in for naptime/bedtime/heavy wetters.  So I shoved another insert into the pocket of a medium.  (In actuality, I tried laying the insert on top to avoid any "roll off" of the pee but this didn't work well since Kayla hates feeling wet.  I actually tired a few ways until we finally settled on an insert stuffed in without a liner to catch any poop.)

This system works wonderfully!  Kayla was getting through the whole night (12+ hours) without any leaks and with some "room to spare" should she pee any more.  We were still waking up 1-2 times a night.  Then that dwindled to just once a night pretty consistently.  Then that became only one wake up after 4 am and she was very easy to get back to sleep.  And THAT progressed to sleeping through the whole night a few times!  F****** FINALLY!!!  (Sorry I'm just so glad this moment is finally close. And I'm crossing my fingers I didn't just jinx myself!)

Now, during this time, we also changed a few other things.  We started using the fan again for white noise.  We weaned her night feeding so she didn't expect to eat if she woke up in the middle of the night.  We changed our bedtime routine slightly.  So since my last diaper laundry load on Friday, I've been trying to avoid using our cloth diapers since we will be driving on Monday/Tuesday and wanted them to be clean for our move.  We also have a bag of "sposies" (cloth diapering community term for disposables) that will probably not fit her for much longer so I figured I'd just use them every other diaper to try to keep most of my cloth clean.  We decided to use a sposie overnight Friday night.  I mentioned to Justin I was kinda worried since she had been doing so great sleeping since we started using cloth at night.  He said, "We changed a lot of things at that time though."  I just shrugged.

She woke up twice.  Once at 11:30 pm and once at 4 am.  I'm totally convinced it's the diaper.  You can bet your bottom dollar that she is in a RagaBabe with an extra insert tonight.  I'll be washing all of our dirty diapers tomorrow and we'll use the dreaded sposie during the day, but I will be using her Rags at night if I can help it.

So any cloth diapering moms out there who are afraid to use cloth overnight, take it from me.  Just try it.  It will probably be even better than using that dang disposable anyways! :)



Friday, September 16, 2011

Funny Faces Fridays

This edition of Friday favorites is dedicated to something I've noticed since becoming a mom.  I drafted part of this post about 5 months ago.  Yeah, I guess I've been busy.

One of my favorite things about having a baby is the looks people give you.  Granted, everyone looks at you now, and it's not because you are looking good.  And I expect those googly baby eyes from older ladies who are probably grandmothers and other moms.  What I love is the funny faces you get from people you least expect them from: punk-y teenagers on their smart phones, manly men who look like they spend a little too much time in the gym, or ladies who wear business suits and look like the type of lady whose priorities lie within her work environment.

When Kayla was around 3.5 months old, I took a trip to Harris Teeter with her one day.  As I was exiting, there was a young girl listening to her iPod sitting on a bench in "the in between" (that's the area between the doors to the outside and the doors to the grocery store, you know, the "foyer" if you will.)  She looked to be maybe late teens/early 20s, and she didn't even glance at me as I walked by with Kayla in her car seat in the cart facing me.  But as I passed by her, I looked out of the corner of my eye and caught her making funny faces at Kayla.  You know the kind I mean.  The kind where it's like the person is saying, "OH MY GOODNESS, YOU ARE JUST SO CUTE, LOOK AT HOW CUTE YOU ARE, HIIIIII BABY!"  You know in that baby voice it seems that EVERYONE has and must bring out around babies.  It made me smile.  Maybe babies just bring out the anti-stereotype in people. :)

*I realize I may have made a few stereotypes in this post, but just wanted to say I don't judge those people at all.  Just based on appearance, sometimes there are people you just assume aren't baby people.  Which may not be true but sometimes that's what it looks like from the outside.


This picture is from back when I first drafted this post.

Other things I love:

Sales at Coach.  We (read I) are always invited to their "private sales" about once every 2 months which usually involve $100 off a $300 purchase.  Which sounds SO awesome, then you realize most of their purses cost $298 or $358 so it's not like you can spend JUST $300, since $298 won't get you the discount and $358 only really gets you $42 less than $300.  Right?!?  Ok I've over analyzed it, but I love you Coach.  Also, I may have too many coach purses....but isn't this one lovely...

Fall.

Fashion.  Did anyone I know actually get a chance to BUY anything from the Missoni for Target collection?  I may trek it to Target today for baby food and to see if there is anything left.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sigh

Sometimes, it feels like nothing ever goes my way, no matter how hard I work.

At least Kayla slept from 7:30 to 7 this morning and I got almost 10 hours of sleep.


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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lottery Luck

I wouldn't consider myself a lucky person when it comes to winning things or other things like that.  Lucky in life, I guess you could say that to a point, but I also worked my butt off for a lot of things.  But I have to tell you...

I think I won the in-law lottery.

I feel like I'm always hearing how people really dislike their in-laws, or how their mother-in-law did something that just really rubbed them the wrong way.  I don't really find this happens to me with my in-laws at all.

They are kind, loving, funny, and really fun to be around.  They would do anything within their power to help their kids and especially their grand kids, and they treat their daughter-in-law and son-in-law like their own.  The have driven up to the DC metro area twice to help us move our stuff, into a pod and to my sister's place.  They have loaned us money when we really need it (and are patiently waiting for us to be able to pay them back.)  We NEVER go hungry when we are around them, that's for sure.  And they love Kayla, obviously, who doesn't.

Thank you, Dave and Jill, for doing everything you can for us and for accepting me into your family!

Also, for what it's worth, I'm pretty sure Justin won the in-law lottery too since my parents are amazing, but I'm biased.

Are you one of the lucky ones who has in-laws that they love?

 

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11/11

I needed this day.

I needed this poignant reminder to never take the people in your life for granted.

I needed the day filled with recaps, documentaries, and stories of the people directly and indirectly affected by that day 10 years ago.

I needed this day to remind myself that I have a choice.  I have a choice to focus on the positive or the negative.  I have a choice on how I live my life and how I react to things that happen.

This year has been the hardest of my life, but instead of dwelling on our seemingly terrible luck, I am going to be thankful I have a husband who has worked his butt off and stood by my side, unwaveringly.  Instead of being really sad I have to leave Kayla while returning to work, I'm going to focus on my identity as a woman, instead of just as a wife and mother.

I am so thankful to go to bed and wake up every morning with a beautiful, happy baby, an adoring husband, a wonderful family and fantastic friends.  That is my new focus.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wishlist

I decided I am posting my anniversary/birthday/Christmas wish list on my blog.  I'm not sure why I didn't think of it first.  I normally don't really care much about gifts (I'd rather DO something special) but there are a few things I can think of that I really want.  So maybe I'm not expecting to get anything, but I can at least keep them here as my own personal wishlist. :)

Kelly Moore Camera Bag- 2 Sues in Grey.  I hate carrying around that hideous, chunky camera bag I have.  I need something more fashionable that I feel good carrying around with all my purse/diaper bag contents as well.


50mm lens for my camera.  This is a relatively inexpensive lens and I really want to try it.  It seems to be a favorite of most photographers.  (I also wouldn't mind a 35mm lens...but beggars can't be choosers.)


An off camera flash for my camera (are you seeing a trend here?  I really want to make progress with my photography. This one is a little more expensive.)  I have a feeling this will take some time to really learn how to use but we'll see.


Adobe Lightroom 3 to help advance my editing skills. :)


That's all I can think of at the moment.  Unless you want to send me to photography school. :)

Other non-photography related items:

The glider we registered for for Kayla's nursery.

A new wardrobe.

This necklace.

A letter "K" necklace.

This awesome heart ring...size large.

More Ragababe diapers for my little one's tush.


Letting Go

I'm pretty sure it's no secret to anyone that I have a hard time letting go.  However, I'm not sure people really know the extent of this issue.  I mentioned how I've learned to let go of control when it comes to Kayla's sleeping habits, but it goes so much further than that.

This move is extremely bittersweet for me.  And I'm having a hard time focusing on the "sweet" parts.  I guess it's because I know those parts are "sweet" and I don't have to worry about them.  Instead, the thoughts of the "bitter" parts are keeping me up at night.
  1. I'm having a ton of anxiety about leaving Kayla at home while I go to work.  It's better that I'm leaving her with her Dad, but it still worries me.  Not that I think anything will happen to her, it's just that I feel like I have invested so much time into getting her to fall asleep without the pacifier and/or much crying.  And we've worked so hard to get on a schedule.  And I've worked my butt off to still be breastfeeding.  I know Justin and Kayla will figure out their own routine until he finds a job and we have to put her into day care (don't even get me started), but it's just hard to grasp the fact that all my hard work might just go right out the window.
  2. I also can't even imagine being happy about only seeing Kayla for a couple hours a day, or not getting to say good night to her.  I can foresee myself waking her up to say "'Night" when I get home from work the late days.  
  3. All of these thoughts about leaving her lead me down the road to the future: first day of day care, first day of Kindergarten, first request to sleep over at a friend's house, 8th grade graduation, first day of high school, first date, first school dance, high school graduation, leaving for college GASP. I'm practically having a heart attack even thinking about it.  I'm in for a really long road considering I had a hard time moving her to her own room, and still do sometimes.
  4. And the anxiety is not just regarding Kayla.  I'm having significant guilty thoughts about leaving my big sister, best friend, Kayla's aunt here in stinky DC by herself.  I know she is old enough to take care of herself.  I know she will probably be following us shortly.  It's still hard to let go.  I have the worth Catholic guilt in the world.
  5. Justin still needs to find a job, because we certainly can't live off my part time salary forever.  Everyone says this will be easier when we live there (so much that I'm kinda tired of hearing it), but I'll believe it when I see it.  (Also, the longer this takes, the longer I we have to put off baby #2 - which much to Justin's chagrin, I've been pushing for.  (Hard to believe after my difficult journey with Kayla.))
  6. Once Justin finds a job, we have to find someplace to live.  Probably another year of renting, which just means moving 2 more times in the next year or so.  *Sigh*
  7. Finding a pediatrician we like and an in home daycare when we have no idea where we will be living.  (I prefer in home for part time care since I may be the one picking her up and it will be later at night.)
There are too many to even list.  And last night, Kayla slept until 6 am, when I fed her quick and put her back down and she slept until 8.  This makes me very happy, but also kinda livid upset at the same time because we are going to yank her crib away from her this weekend for the move.  I kinda just want to have a good cry, and this rainy weather isn't helping.

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Color or Black and White?
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My name is

Melissa, and I have an addiction to carbonation.  That's all.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sleep Update 7.5 Months

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So, we've made some very small strides with sleeping.  Kayla now pretty much takes 2 relatively regular naps, the first one between 9 and 9:30 usually and the second one usually between 1:30 and 2:30.  the naps are usually around an hour 15 and an hour and a half, sometimes shorter sometimes longer, but I'm just glad we sort of have some semblance of a schedule.

As for night time sleeping, I hate you.  We weaned the night feeding last week and now she will usually wake up around 4 am and one of us can usually get her back to sleep, sometimes it takes 45 minutes and sometimes less.  One night over the weekend this one wake up was at 2 am instead of 4 and she was up for quite a bit longer.  I'm attributing this to teething.  I am pretty positive she's getting the middle top 2 teeth and the 2 around the bottom middle ones.  The other nice thing is that once we get her to sleep, she usually stays asleep until morning time.  

We are trying to push her bedtime to 7:30 instead of 7 so that when I head back to work in a few weeks I may be able to get home and feed her most nights.  This slightly later bedtime is a little rough at night, however it's totally paying off in the morning.  She now usually sleeps a little bit later, until around 7 or 7:30, when before it was 6:30.  It's actually pretty amazing how much better it is to see a 7 instead of a 6 in the morning! :)

From all of this sleep, or lack there of, I've learned something...shocker I know.  I've learned patience, but also something more important, how to give up control.  I definitely think that parents can have a big impact on their baby's sleeping habits, but I also know now that there comes a point when you really can't do anything about how your baby sleeps.  Kayla just doesn't need a lot of sleep like most babies.  I have read 4 or 5 sleep books and we have tried literally everything word for word from those books, and she's still not sleeping through the night.  So there is NOT ONE person that will convince me that there is something I haven't tried that will work.  (If you think you are the sleep guru, please give it a try and my likely response will be "Yeah, tried that.")  Plus, now I'm starting to dread the day she will sleep through the night since I kinda like the 5-10 minutes of cuddling time in the middle of the night. 

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day weekend

So we were going to go down to North Carolina this past week like we usually do, but Kayla was finally sleeping better and I wasn't really in the mood to mess up her routine again.  Plus, it didn't help we had to spend $450 bucks on my car to get 2 new tires and the tires realigned.  I guess since I'll be driving to our new temporary home in Illinois in a couple weeks, this may have stunk, but it's the safest option.

Instead, Justin took the day off on Friday and we spent some time walking around the mall with Kayla.  We also had lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Houlihan's.  Kayla was pretty well behaved, except now she likes to scream.  Not like crying screaming, just screaming.  She's just discovering her vocal range I guess.  She actually ate better than normal too.  Friday night, Justin and I took Kayla out late to the GWU/UNC-Wilmington volleyball game to meet some new people, and for me to see some friends.  Kayla was surprisingly well behaved, considering we kept her up about an hour and a half past her bedtime.  She slept a bit on the way there and the entire way home, when I fed her and put her to bed at around 9:30.  She slept straight through to 7:00 am.  Which I guess is about the amount of time she normally sleeps, except normally it's 7:00 pm to around 4 or 5 am.  (Except when she's teething like Sunday night...sigh.)

Saturday we laid around and played and slept.  Nothing exciting, except we Skyped with my family in Ilinois.  We are going to see about getting Kayla's crib to my parents house somehow so she won't have to transition to the pack n play and then back to the crib eventually.  Hopefully this will help with the sleep transitioning.

Sunday was about the same as Saturday.  Kayla took AWESOME naps this weekend too, so that was nice for all of us.

Monday, we had a day filled with friends.  Our friend Dana stopped by for about an hour or so to say hi and see how big Kayla was getting.  Then Megan, Justin, Kayla and I headed to Frederick to see our friends the Claney's.  The Claney's have two little girly girls and their newest addition, Reid.  The girls loved Kayla, except when she tried to steal their toys from them :), and Kayla seemed to have a pretty good time with them.  We also found out she loves corn on the cob.  We are trying to slowly transition her to more "normal" foods.  We aren't really sure how to do it, so it ends up just being bits and pieces of what we are eating.  Reid was adorable, but not to happy he got woken up early from his nap.  He's going to have some thick skin with those 2 big sisters!

It was so great to catch up with some friends before we move to the Midwest.  I brought my camera to take some photos of the girls and Reid, but I made a beginner error and forgot to make sure the battery was charged.  Duh.  So you'll just have to settle for some older pictures of Kayla.

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Kayla loves using the dog bin of toys just like her toy basket...she tries to lift his big heavy rope out of there but isn't quite strong enough yet...she's working on it!

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"What Mom?  I'm not doing anything wrong."  Look at that face...it's hard to say no to those baby blues.

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This picture is pretty blurry but it's the best one I had from the day she was trying to climb up Megan's legs to eat her toes.

Monday, September 5, 2011

NMM Labor Day

Go with the flow will come to have many new meanings.  Enjoy them all!

This is so true.  No two days are ever the same.  And no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to figure out how to get any sort of consistency, because there is none.  Kayla will sleep pretty good (7 pm to 4 or 5 am) for a few nights in a row and then all of the sudden, wake up at 1 or 2 am.  One week it's teething, the next week she's sick, the next week she's learning a new skill (like her new one...standing alone), and the week after that she's back to teething.

Oh and if you ever want to be on time again, you should probably give yourself an extra 45 minutes or so.

And now that we are really into solid foods, you see that one day she'll eat like she is a bottomless pit and the next day she isn't interested at all.

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 I guess if it was predictable it would be boring!

Happy Labor Day!  I'll be spending a portion of my day reminiscing about my labor. :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Friday Favorites on Saturday

I was too busy with my family yesterday to post but here are a few of my favorite things this week:

  • How Kayla has learned to stand on her own for up to around 10 seconds+ by using her extremely flimsy activity center arms to stand up and then proceeding to shake the activity center while standing.
  • The adorable Sperry sandals we bought for Kayla and watching her wear them for the first time last night.  She was so confused, tried to shake them off, and had a little bit of a hard time moving around as much as usual due to the rubber soles sticking to the floor.
  • Moving.  Well, not the actual act of moving (too much work) but more the idea of starting something new, like a blank slate.
Surfer baby


Thursday, September 1, 2011

There's no place like home.

Why is it that your hometown is by far the best place in the world?

It's like the sky is bluer.  The flowers smell sweeter.  The trees are greener.  The birds' songs are lovelier.  The crickets aren't as annoying.  Wait... :)

All photos by Mark A Peterson of the best place in the world.  They are amazing!

There is just something about driving that familiar road, that will always be familiar to you no matter how long you are away.  Something about that little town that has all the little shops, like the candy shop you used to walk to to buy jelly bellies, your favorite candy.  Or that shop on the corner that was an ice cream shop, then a pizza shop, then who knows what else.

It's even more beautiful at Christmas time.


Something was special about the train tracks running right through town.  The trains that could take you to the big city, something special when you are little.  Or out further into the suburbs to your Aunt's house.  And the Prairie path running right alongside, where you could ride your bike, or just take a walk with friends.


The fire station where you used to run as fast as you could across the drive way, just in case the sirens started going off at an inopportune time.


The town that has the BEST Italian restaurant where your grandparents know the owners, who make all the food themselves.  I can't eat fettuccine alfredo anywhere else.


The grade school you walked to and from every day to see all those wonderful friends you met so long ago.


The little movie theater that may never have been the nicest, but you could walk to it.  And it was cheap.  And you had your first ever real date there, a double date where you went to see "The Net" with Sandra Bullock.



The park with all the trees and green areas, with the swing set, the roll-y slide, and glider where you hang on for dear life and propel yourself across, pretending there's fire under your feet; and the monkey bars where you learned how to climb up and flip over the side.  The same park, that's right across from your grandparents' house, where you used to play a little game called "Jungle Ramba" with your cousins during holiday get-togethers.  No?  No one knows this game? :)



Anyways, it's sort of like the heavens open and angels sing when you cross the border into your hometown.  This is what Megan and I reminisced about when we took our trip to IL for the fourth of July.  I've had this post partially written for a while now, since that day actually.  And now, I feel, is the best time to post it.

I've been clicking my heels together whispering, "There's no place like home...There's no place like home...There's no place like home," for 7 months now...

And we (Justin, Kayla and I) are finally moving!  We are moving back to that magical place that was and always will be "home" for me.  Some people know, and a lot of people don't, but here's the long, semi torturous story.

When we got pregnant, and even before, we had always talked about moving back to the Midwest (well back for me).  We loved Virginia, but it is SO expensive.  We decided, maybe another year or so after we had Kayla, and then we would try to move.  Well, when Kayla was born, I wasn't all for waiting anymore.  I wanted to be closer to my family, and I wanted it NOW.  We lived in a one bedroom/den in Arlington which we loved, but we weren't going to be able to afford anymore.  We had looked and looked for 2 bedroom apartments in the area and there was nothing we liked and could pay for.  Megan was wanting to move back as well so she told us we could live with her while we all tried to figure everything out.  We figured we would be with Megan for a month or two and one of us could find a job in Milwaukee (where we were initially looking).  Justin applied and applied and applied and heard nothing.  I applied to a few things and got a couple offers that weren't what we wanted.  I'm not sure if I would have gotten post-partum depression anyways, but I'm sure the instability of our lives and the financial struggles we've gone through the past 7 months haven't help at all.  It really has been horrible for me, and if it weren't for my smiley baby, I don't know what I would do.  (This sounds worse than it is, I promise!)

I finally convinced Justin we could do just as well moving to the Chicago area, and this way I could just transfer my job and stay with the same company, therefore not having to pay back my sign on bonus.  And I was sure it wouldn't be difficult to transfer at all, and I was right.  I talked to my boss here, and I contacted our area VP who put me in contact with a recruiter and the area VP for Chicago.  About a week or two later, I had a discussion with a clinic north of Chicago who needed a part time person, and here we are.  I have put in my application for my Illinois license.  Justin gave his notice today.  Kayla and I are moving in 3 weeks and Justin a week after.

On our way up, we will probably stop in Indiana to see a very good friend and her little family.  For now, we have to live with my parents until Justin gets a job, which will hopefully be sooner than I'm imagining.  I'm really excited to open this new chapter in our lives, but this whole thing has been VERY bittersweet for me.  But I'll get into that in another post soon, for now, I'm going to relish is my wonderful memories of the Chicagoland suburbs...I'll see you soon!