Monday, February 21, 2011

We've got a climber!!

Thankfully, we also have a near-by outlet to put all those climbing skills to work and we can minimize the things she climbs on in the house. She's partial to getting into her highchair on her own, climbing up on stools (big and small), and even getting onto the kitchen chairs (which are stools - we have one of those higher tables).

But at a couple of the local parks, including my favorite one, there's a little "rock" wall to get up to part of the play structure. She wore herself out today climbing up the rocks and going down the big slide over and over again. It was great until she was crying and asking for her "pahce-fy" (pacifier) all the way home!

She found the handle!

This big step is no problem!

Almost to the top!!

I would like to point out that she couldn't even get up the short steps over to the right of where she is in the picture just a month ago. It's amazing to me how quickly she's growing and changing!
(And don't worry, I wasn't just standing back and taking pictures and hoping for the best - Jason was with me today to spot her and make sure she didn't tumble backwards!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Taking a turn in a new direction....

You'll probably notice that I've been especially terrible at keeping up with this blog recently. With posting a picture to my 365 project blog every night, and usually sharing a little story about it, I haven't felt a big push to get over here and keep things updated.

If you haven't checked out my 365 project blog yet, you should! You'll get pretty well caught up with what's been going on around here. And who doesn't like pictures?

Meanwhile, I've decided maybe I can use this space for more than just keeping you all updated on what's going and maybe just get some of my own thoughts and ramblings out. I thought about just starting another blog for that, but then I'd have three to worry about and you've all seen how good I've always been about keeping ONE updated... maybe three would be a bad idea! I'll still post updates here (I seriously need to get some video up!), but I need an outlet, too. Skip the wordy ones if you don't feel like hearing it!!

Since I'm coming up on the 6 month anniversary of my last official day in the Coast Guard, I've been thinking a lot lately about my new role in life as "just" a wife and mom. (And I put the word *just* in quotes like that because it's long been a huge pet-peeve of mine when people in the Coast Guard talked about someone's spouse or child and called them "just a dependent." As if, some how, by being a dependent and not the active duty member, your life is less effected by the craziness that is military life.) In my case I went from being a career woman, wife and, most recently, mother, to being "just" a wife and mother, as if, somehow the last two are less important than my former career life.

I have to be honest, in the last 6 months, there have been MANY times when I've felt like I lost my "real" (there's those quotes again) identity and became defined by who I'm related to, rather than who I really am. Some days are worse than others. Some days, the absolute last thing I want to be is Michaela's mom. (Most of the time I don't mind being Jason's wife, though... I think I'm more used to that one!) It sounds terrible to say that, but any parent out there knows exactly what I mean. Somedays they just make it so HARD to be a parent! But I'm slowly learning that it's not that bad to be identified as wife and mom instead of active duty Coastie, or any other career title for that matter.

I've found myself making excuses for giving up my career (which I haven't really given up, I'm technically on a sabbatical, so I could go back still!) when people ask. Or laughing it off and joking about how I'm still getting used to being at home and how difficult it's been to adjust. I think I really had myself convinced that I shouldn't like being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), that I'd invested so much of my life and time into being a Coastie that I should be devastated or feel like less of a person by giving that up.

And then, one day a few weeks ago, Jason showed up at the park while Michaela and I were there playing and we decided to grab lunch together. We invited a friend along, one I hadn't seen since right before Christmas. As we were walking into Moe's, Matt told me I was looking good (who doesn't like to hear that!), and commented on my suburban mom outfit. Then, a couple days later, when Jason's dad was here, we were at the base and ran into Matt again. This time he told me that what he meant when we were at Moe's was that I looked happy, happier than I'd been in a while, and that it seemed like being out of the Coast Guard was agreeing with me. I felt like I'd been smacked upside the head! I mean, here I'd been trying to convince myself that I didn't really enjoy being out of the Coast Guard, or being a SAHM, and yet my attitude and demeanor were apparently telling a good friend something completely different!

Since that day, I have to admit, I seem to have turned a corner. I don't know if I needed "permission" to admit that I like being out of the CG, that I LOVE being home with my girl (most of the time... then there are those days....), or if I just didn't realize it, but it's true! I am truly enjoying this new phase my life. It's certainly not all sunshine and roses (like, I seriously miss my paycheck. A lot. Especially now that we live in a place where it's a lot easier to spend it!), but we've fallen into a nice little routine and we're having fun. I'm learning to be more patient than I ever thought possible, I'm falling in love with my little girl all over again every single day, and I kind of like being home enough to know what's going on and to make it really a home around here. (Jason might argue that I'm getting a little too controlling of the house and everything in it, but I'm trying to work on easing up on the Type-A-ness a little, too. Really.)

So there ya go. That's a lot to share on the first time out of the gate, huh? I just really had to get that out. Part of me is still trying to believe that I should still be missing the CG so much that I couldn't possibly be happy doing what I'm doing now, so maybe writing it down and being able to come back and re-read this will help me out with that.

But who wouldn't love the chance to catch every moment of this little girl's life? And she's growing up so stinkin' fast that I feel truly blessed to be seeing all of it and not just bits and pieces!