He walked in from the garage carrying the aluminum one I had sent him out for and it looked huge. Like flying saucer huge. He kept saying how ridiculously large the light fixture was for the tiny dining area.
“Wait, but I have two more in the car,” said the hero.
Then I saw it. My jaw dropped and my eyes widened…
When we first moved here to this place in Orange County, I had already decided I wasn’t too fond of it and I was going to do what it took to make it a place I liked. One of the first things I did was buy a cool, retro Ikea light fixture. It’s one of those off-white, matte enamel covered industrial drop lantern/pendant things. Minimal and throwback while matching our kind of farmhouse-ish little round dining set and giving it some life.
Please note, this was to replace Chris’ current existing medieval candelabra. If Dracula trolled craigslist, we’d have a buyer for it.
He HATED the Ikea fixture I brought home. H.A.T.E.D. It was promptly returned. Hmph.
I recently reproached the lighting situation. After a month of showing tons of light fixtures online, I say”I saw a new aluminum Ikea fixture you may like. It comes in 2 sizes and the big one may work but please pick up one in each size (the local Ikea was out so I sent him to one near his office).” He agrees. Remember that thing in psychology that says the more you look at something, the more attractive it becomes? Well.
He came home with it in the large size, a cream version of the smaller size and THEN…the EXACT same off-white fixture I had bought last year!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh boy. I was in “I told you so heaven,” until we tried to attach it to no avail. It was just not put together very well.
Now there is no light. LOL
Pictured: An image from a Maison Du Soir social media shoot a while back-she is so cute.
My body was at the beach but I was in a cloud, chasing after a little waddling baby in the sand. There was no other choice than to be present except it felt like a dream.
There is something magical I’ve found in 5 hours of straight sleep. It was maybe a couple months after Grant was born that I first got that 5 hour stretch and I felt like a superhero. I think I baked a cake from scratch that day, called friends to make plans and cleaned the whole house.
Luckily there have been many 5 and 5+ hour stretches of sleep since then but the last week has given me no more than 4 hour segments and it has made me a mombie.
Oh it must be teething or having dreams or realizing he’s in his big room alone that wakes him often these past nights. Oh, maybe it’s the professional-level fireworks people in my neighborhood like to set off at 3 am and then sometimes at 2 am. Hopefully the gleam of fireworks is wearing off.
That mombie-ness does keep me in the present SO much. Making plans for the future or decisions about anything outside of what Grant has to eat next or how he is feeling or what he wants to do for fun is just not possible. HA!
What a gift amidst that dizzy, funny feeling of exhaustion.
If I had known then what I know now I would have taken the little baby away in a stroller for an hour so his parents could get some sleep.
We had some friends visiting us in Seattle with their one year old a few years ago. We had NO idea what that life was like. If I had known, I would have happily done the easiest little things to make their life SO much better during that visit!
I want to write this down so I can look back on it one day and remember what life was like these days as the mother of a one year old.
This is going to start out like I’m pretty spoiled and that’s probably right.
On the days Chris works from home my day starts with me waking up around 7-8 a.m. I hear Grant downstairs with Chris. Grant’s had breakfast and they are playing. There is often a drive through Starbucks coffee for me and sometimes even a little pastry.
OK, this sounds ridiculous. Do I do anything? Yes. I do.
Now Chris goes to shower while I nurse Grant and make us all breakfast. Chris gets started with work in his office while Grant and I play, go for a bike ride or a walk. Then bath time.
He gets sleepy after a couple of hours (he’s been up since 6:00 a.m.). Getting him to actually fall asleep could mean more nursing or carrying him in an Ergo (baby backpack) while I clean up breakfast.
Once he goes down to sleep, that is time to do laundry (something nearly impossible to do while Grant is awake). I do any little chore that involved up and downstairs etc.
Time for lunch! I make us all something to eat or once a week we go out for lunch-usually a hipster Vietnamese place that is SOOO good and feels healthy.
Go run an errand like diapers at Target or mail something at the post office. Walk IKEA with Grant in the Ergo while we share an ice cream. Meet a mom friend for a play date. Go to a swim lesson. Grocery shopping.
Nap time again. Hopefully I’ve timed this so that we are driving home from our afternoon activity and he falls asleep in the car on the way home. I take the carseat to his room when we get home.
I take a moment to do anything that takes my full attention like scheduling upcoming doctor appointments etc. Then I edit photos for work.
Grant wakes and it’s snack time!
We go to the park and he walks everywhere pointing at everything then scrunching his nose and stopping to dance.
Cook dinner then playtime.
Bedtime routine. We go to Grant’s room, read books, change clothes, brush teeth and then cuddle and nurse until he falls asleep.
He is usually asleep by this time. I clean up dinner while Chris picks up toys. We watch a show while I edit photos, write a blog post (been falling behind) and cruise social media. Chris looks at real estate and plays video games. We chit chat about news, make predictions about The Bachelorette. Then we go to sleep too late.
Adults go to sleep.
Grant wakes up and I go in to sooth and nurse him back to sleep. Hopefully this is the only wake-up. We have had many full nights of sleep but wake ups are pretty common. This process is now down to about 20 minutes. Then I go back to bed.
He has short spurts of self-play/entertainment throughout the day where I kind of check out and peruse Instagram or do some web window shopping. Every once in a while I will do a short phone call with someone to catch up.
I had no idea this is what toddler moms did during the day. There are a few hours in the day where I get to do stuff and I use most of that time to do chores or work.
So far this has been my favorite age for him because his personality is coming through and he is very interactive.
This is what people might have meant when they told me mom-life was isolating. Well, yes, compared to pre-mom life, there is less opportunity to feel connected to the world.
I get some anxiety about it sometimes-do people I love think I do not care about them because I haven’t called to check in on them? I wonder what they are doing? I will put it on my to-do list to call them tomorrow. Grant didn’t take any naps today so I didn’t get around to calling anyone… something came up and I had to to that during nap time instead of checking off my to-do list! HA!
I get to see everything through Grant’s eyes as he enjoys discovering. I also get to spend a lot of time with Chris. On weekends we see family and friends, making the rounds very slowly but surely. I get to work as a photographer at a pace that fits into all of this and it gives me the outlet I need.
Our next step is getting a routine baby sitter and start going on dates!
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