Sunday, December 4, 2016

{Where Do You Draw The Line}

I know we've been down this road before, but that time is nearing again. It's the great debate. Where do you draw the line between work and family, cost of daycare vs. income and quantity vs. quality? Luce's due date is approaching, although we have a couple months yet, it will be here before we know it. That's how it goes, right? As I was stressed and worried with Henry, the same goes for Luce. Financially that is, I wasn't stressed about having a baby...although that did prove to be pretty stressful as well (hahaha).
Now last time, I turned out to be way more fortunate. My mom owned a business, I helped run the family business and in turn I was able to bring my son with me. That was all a very last minute decision, but it was the best of both worlds, the cake and the ice cream. I was able to save on daycare(which is extrememly expensive) *while* bringing home a paycheck and helping to provide for my family.

Fast forward. As most of you know, my mom closed her restaurant. I have a new job. To give you a little background, I work crazy hours. I work days, nights, weekends, you name it. I can work 3 pm to 11 pm one day and turn around and open from 7 am to 4 pm the next. Closing shifts turn into opening shifts more often than not and on top of that no week is the same. The schedule is completely different day to day, week to week. Starting a new job meant sending Henry to daycare. Which meant an added expense. And ovbiously Luce will be the next added expene. Sending both will almost demolish my weekly paycheck. Nuts right? I will basically be working to pay someone to watch my children. Once you add in gas(my 35-40 minute drive), there is literally no exaggeration. So at what point do you say hey, it's not worth it? Breastfeeding with a crazy work schedule isn't worh it. Raising a newborn on a crazy schedule isn't worth it. Spending time driving back and forth to work and daycare isn't worth it. Being away from your family at dinnertime, bedtime, and on holidays just to pay for daycare-isn't worth it. Where do you draw the line?

On the flip side...
I gave you a little insight into life these days with my Thanksgiving Day post. After getting a divorce, moving out and taking on all of the credit card debt, it's like starting over. It's like I'm 22 again, straight out of college with no home, just a rental and all of the student loan debt in the world. Only now I have student loan debt, divorce debt and credit card debt. So it's like being a 29 year old divorcee. That's not meant to be a sob story, it never is. I made my decisions, I'm taking care of what I can, the best I can and as quickly as I can, but it doesn't happen over night. So at what point do you say hey, I want to get everything paid off and I don't want to live in a 2 bedroom duplex with 2 kids forever? We want to buy a house, as soon as possible. So the obvious thing would be work for it. Duh, always have, always will, but when you're working to pay for daycare and won't make any progress anyway, what's the point? Where is the line? Where's the happy medium? Where's the forward progress?

Or are you patient and take one step at a time? Take time to raise and love on your babies. Worry about a house and material things later. A house is just that, walls and a roof. The family and the love are what make it a home. Be it big or small, a happy and well-loved family can be raised.

How do you guys make it work? What brings you the most joy? Where do you draw the line? Is it harder with multiple children? Adulting is hard. Parenting is hard. We all just want to do the right thing.
xx,
Melissa Loren

Saturday, December 3, 2016

{Tree Farm Fun}

So I finally got to help my sweet friend out and work with her for the first time. She's an up and coming photographer and we've been meaning to work together for a while now. We originally wanted to do "snow" photos and hopefully we still will, BUT I got a little impatient. I didn't want to wait for the snow and I *really* wanted to take Christmas Tree Farm photos and do one last shoot with just me and bubs. I gathered a bunch of goodies, including Henry's favorite Christmas book and all of the buffalo plaid I could find (obviously), and Amy helped make my vision come to life! Henry had gotten a bunch of fun new plaid jackets(and a cute little blanket!) and snow boots for his birthday and I thought they'd be perfect for our photos. I originally wanted to wear matching Hunter boots, but I only have pink (wahhhh), so that didn't fit my vision. Luckily my bestie and I wear the same size and she let me borrow her awesome snow boots-thanks Carl! :-* I also knew that I had an old red star and just thought it would be adorable to capture Henry picking out a tree and placing a star on one. The farm was adorable, and the sweetest couple ran it with their pup and a few farmhands. They shared hot chocolate with us and even gave Henry some giant pinecones. Fulk Tree Farm in Platte City is where we ended up going, upon a recommendation(thank you Bailey!) and I too would HIGHLY recommend them! I'm so happy with how these photos turned out and I'm so thankful Amy could help me bring my vision to life! They're perfect Amy and something I'll treasure forever!
Go like her page and give her a shot if you're ever needing some photos taken! https://www.facebook.com/amyleigh.kc/ 
xx,
Melissa Loren





















Friday, December 2, 2016

{29 Week Bump}

How far along?: 29 Weeks!
Total weight gain?: 19ish pounds, which is crazy to me since I have 2.5 months left.
Size of baby?: Baby is the size of an acorn squash! She's 15.2 inches and 2.54 pounds, and I feel every bit of her!
Maternity clothes?: You guys basically have yet to see me in anything but maternity leggings, every time I try to switch it up, I go to put on pants and say, "NOPE!" I wear my belly band when I have to, but it's just not as comfortable anymore. I'm getting too big!
Stretch marks?: Not really, but mine from Henry are kinda peeking their way back through. Ugh.
Sleep: We pushed through another croup attack, Henry is working on sleeping in his room all night and when he does I wake up like Anna on Coronation Day. Praise Jesus for good sleep nights.
Best moment this week: All the Christmas festivities and hiccups. <3<3<3 We've been to Christmas in the park, The Magic Tree and a Christmas Tree Farm and we've had a blast. New pics to come. And just like big bro, little sis is consistently having hiccups in utero and it's my absolute favorite way to feel her. It's the best way for someone else to feel her because it usually lasts for several minutes and I enjoy them because they're much softer than her usual antics. 
Miss anything?: Not cramping up in the middle of the night, every.single.night. Woo those charlie horses/leg cramps are intense!!!!
Movement?: This child never sleeps. I know I always say it, but she moves constantly! OR she twitches in her sleep like bubba and me! That just hit me, that could be exactly what it is. Henry had hooorrrrid startle reflexes for months that continually woke him up from naps and sleep! And we both twitch all night long. We're weirdos. :) 
Food cravings: Just all the sweets. Nothing else sounds good, I'll take a few bites and be done with it. 
Anything making you queasy or sick?: Everything? My doc said that typically your second pregnancy is much harder, but delivery is much easier. Here's hoping? After Henry's birth I could totally deal with a miserable pregnancy to enjoy a quick and easy delivery/recovery! Who's the turd that said 6 weeks was enough recovery time for a woman after pushing a human being out of her? In some cases, sure, but definitely not overall. I don't believe you're physically *or* mentally & emotionally prepared after six short weeks. Just my opinion though.
Gender: GIRL <3 <3 <3
Labor signs: I've been having a lot of "period" cramps which they say are a sign of practice labor.
SymptomsOther people have started noticing the waddle. It hurts to walk. I cramp up all night long.  I'm nauseous. Sensitive. I'm getting sharp pains down under lol. The girls are sore, and big. ;) My hair is falling out, my skin is a mess. The list goes on. :-D 
Belly button in or out?: In, but so big and weird lol. It's like you could fall in and get lost. Hahahahaha.
Happy or moody most of the time?: BOTH! And that's totally ok! I'm allowed to be. My body isn't mine-it's hers. My hormones are good kermit versus evil kermit, and that's not my fault lol. I work crazy, inconsistent hours. I'm raising a boy who is in prime toddler range, learning to deal with his emotions and feelings. While always trying to remain patient and understanding, balancing work and home life and putting myself on the back burner. #MOMLIFE, right? No complaints here, just reasoning with myself that it is ok to be happy and moody while growing a human. ;)
xx,
Melissa Loren

Thursday, December 1, 2016

{I Want a Tree Farm}

Listen, I've decided what I'm going to do with my life. First, I have to move. Buy a house on some land...and grow a tree farm. We will have the ULTIMATE Christmas tree farm. Picture Nell Hill's meets Stars Hollow. If you don't know what either of those things are, you probably shouldn't be here. ;) Just kidding, but seriously Nell Hill's is *the* Christmas spot-the BEST decor for the holiday season. And Stars Hollow (where the Gilmore Girls reside, obvi) takes their holidays very seriously. I can picture everything already. A big, red barn, full of beautiful, handmade wreaths, deer on the walls with burlap bows and buffalo plaid scarves, twinkle lights sparkling and making all the kids' eyes light up. Chalkboards, lots of chalkboards with the warmest wishes, hot cocoa in Christmas cups with a full marshmallow and whip cream bar. All I Want for Christmas Is You, plays in the background while people hop from each DIY Christmas station and take pictures with Santa. 
And there would be trees for miles of course. 
My man by my side, trimming trees for excited families and my kiddos playing, hiding between the trees as our dogs keeps watch.

A family operated Christmas Tree Farm that brings joy to ALL, is that too much to ask for?! New life goals are legit. 
xx,
Melissa Loren

Thursday, November 24, 2016

{THANKFUL}

Sometimes I get a little beside myself that I'm a 29 year old, divorcee, who's basically starting over from scratch. Life wasn't supposed to end up here. 
We live in a tiny, two-bedroom shack because, well, divorce is expensive and credit card debt is consuming(hello honesty). We have to grind hard everyday to have the things we want and need.
BUT.
You know what? 
I'm thankful.
 I have this drop dead gorgeous man by my side everyday, pushing on to get us where we want to be. I have loved this man since we were 17 and I will love this man until the day I die. I will live frugal with him until eternity if we have to, because together we're richer than any amount of money would ever make us.  I get another chance at being a momma. We get to experience being parents together and I get to watch him fall in love with his little girl and get wrapped around her finger. My number one dude, the one who made me a momma, is also by my side everyday, anxiously awaiting the arrival of his baby sister and loving me so hard! We have a roof over us, food to eat, jobs and most importantly, each other. Triumphs don't come without struggles and everything that we go through will only make us stronger and more grateful!
I am so thankful for today and this life that God has given me, flaws and all!
A very Happy Thanksgiving to all of my family, friends and readers!
xx,
Melissa Loren

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

{28 Week Bump}


How far along?: 28 WEEKS!!! Seven whole months. What have I even done in the last seven months? There's so much to do!! lol
Total weight gain?: Probably like 40 pounds. Who knows at this point, I just know it's a lot. I go today, so I'll find out this afternoon. 
Size of baby?: Baby is the size of an eggplant! She's 14.8 inches and 2.20 pounds. I feel like she's gotta be bigger in there. Hogging all the room, that girl is. 
Maternity clothes?: Yes/no. Probably should be more than not haha. I do have maternity leggings from Target-they are life. There should be a law that pregnant women can wear them to work. That would be the most!
Stretch marks?: Not really, but mine from Henry are kinda peeking their way back through. Ugh.
Sleep: Still having that toddler problem. H has croup this week, so we've spent nights crowded in bed or even on the couch together. I guess I need the practice for sleepless nights again anyhow!
Best moment this week: We painted the kids' room. It's not a crazy change and it's just my favorite grayish color. I wanted it neutral, but still fresh and different for them. Sean helped me which was the best and helped get it done so much quicker. Anything for our babies. <3 
Miss anything?: Did you guys know that you can have Kani-Kama when you're pregnant? It's just imitation crab, but it's pretty much what all the sushi places use in their rolls with crab. This was a game changer this weekend for me and the sushi world. Did you also know that NON-alcoholic beer does in fact have alcohol? I thought I'd really get crazy and order one, but I had no idea there was even a small percentage. I chickened out and passed. I just didn't know there was though!
Movement?: Y-E-S. This girl is a tough cookie. She we will wake me out of a dead sleep or make my knees buckle. 
Food cravings: Just all the sweets. Nothing else sounds good, I'll take a few bites and be done with it. 
Anything making you queasy or sick?: Pregnancy? lol. I have been nauseous and queasy for the last 7 months off and on. Woof.
Gender: GIRL <3 <3 <3
Labor signs: Just a few cramps and Braxton Hicks!
SymptomsOther people have started noticing the waddle. It hurts to walk. I cramp up all night long.  I'm nauseous. Sensitive. I'm getting sharp pains down under lol. The girls are sore, and big. ;) My hair is falling out, my skin is a mess. The list goes on. :-D
Belly button in or out?: In, but it's looking like it could pop any day haha.
Happy or moody most of the time?: The holidays are upon us. There's no time to be anything but thankful and happy. Am I right? Everything isn't perfect, but damn, it could be so much worse. My babies are HEALTHY, the love of my life is by my side and always here for me. There's a roof over us. Hallelujah! <3
Have a wonderful week, friends!
xx,
Melissa Loren

Monday, November 21, 2016

{Pregnancy #1 vs. Pregnancy #2}

Pregnancy 1 vs. Pregnancy 2
Weight gain. In 7 months I have already gained the same amount of weight that I did in my entire first pregnancy. 
Sickness. I am way more vulnerable this pregnancy. Henry rarely had me feeling queasy and sick. Miss Luce has made me feel miserable the entire time. Talk about high maintenance.
Hair. With Henry I had super healthy and shiny hair. It always did what I wanted it to and I never had any trouble coloring it. I did lose my hair some after he was here, and had those awesome little antler baby hairs. Of course with my Luce my hair is brittle, won't style easily, won't lift color(like at all) and is already falling out and giving me wonderful antlers just in time for the holidays. *eye roll* 
Skin. I had ZERO trouble with my skin with H. Zero. Luce makes me break out like a teenage boy and has my face all sorts of discolored. This girl is wreaking havoc on my beauty lol.
Hormones. Of course I was emotional and had anxiety with Henry, as he was my first, but with Luce...OH with Luce. I am more emotional than ever. My hormones are all over the place, which is clear by my hair, skin and incessant need to cry. 
Panic. At this point with Henry, every little detail was ready. His room, his car seat, clothes were washed and ready, everything. With Luce, there may or may not be a place for her to sleep when she gets here. HA. 
Memory. You guys, I have become such a flake. I cannot remember anything, ever. I don't remember it being like this with Henry, not that I would, because my memory sucks right now. lol
Toddler. This time around I already have another human being to care for, not just myself. And since I've been pregnant, this toddler of mine has been potty trained, started daycare, had croup four times, moved to a big boy bed and found out that he is going to be a big brother! That's a lot for a little boy and his mama! I think we're doing a pretty good job of hanging in there.

To sum it all up, nothing about my pregnancies have been the same, it has been a whole new ball game this time around. Basically I'm a walking example of all the cliche wives tales this pregnancy. Luce has "stolen all my beauty," and has me shoving spoonfuls of mint ice cream in my face while the tears roll on. Be them happy or sad tears! Happy things make me cry too, it isn't all bad! ;) I think I'm ready sooner this time to be done with pregnancy, but I know that both of my babies are blessings  and so worth all the pain and struggles. I can't wait for them to meet each other and to have endless snuggle sessions. <3
xx,
Melissa Loren

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