August 30, 2016

Preschool Stud

A few more "1st Day of School" Pictures from one of our favorite photographers. 
Take a good look at his T-Shirt, because our dryer shredded it right after...I was so upset, but at least we have these pictures!

He actually took a bite out of this apple. I only realized later, that it was a styrofoam apple and not a real one...oops!

...and he was done with pictures! Haha!

August 27, 2016

Fox's "Back to School" Pictures

These might be my all time favorite pictures. 
With Fox's first day of preschool approaching, I wanted to get some pictures done to remember this stage of his life. I wasn't even planning on going to this photo shoot, because I had already paid for another "Back to School" Photoshoot on the same day, but when the photographer posted a picture of the set up the night before, I quickly changed my mind and I'm so glad I did. 

I've been very nervous about him starting school soon. He is such a shy little guy and I'm worried it will be a nightmare. I'm sure in the first few weeks it will be (just like his swimming classes), but I hope that he will grow to love it quickly and makes friends, has fun and learns a lot.

He will start out going two mornings a week and then five mornings a week starting in January (unless Hannah will stay with us for another year, in that case, he would continue going two mornings a week).

We visited his school once to get him familiar with the environment and play there, but he was not a fan at all and kept asking to go home. Hannah will take him one more time before he officially starts and then we will see... I have anxiety just thinking about it!

But I also know in the end that he will be fine and that this new transition is good and important for his growth. I will keep you posted how it goes! :)

August 24, 2016

Fox, Katie & Nadine in 2016: Week 33

Day 225
My fearless child! He kept yelling: "I'm flying!"

Day 226
Such a sweet boy, I wish I would get these kind of hugs from him! Can anyone guess where we are? :)

Day 227
Katie snapped this picture one morning after we had a rough night with Mr. Fox. He usually doesn't sleep in our bed, but he had a night terror and sometimes, when it's 4am, this is the easiest solution to get everyone in the house back to sleep!

Day 228
When did he become such a big boy?

Day 229
Another day at swim class with Coach Joe. Fox really enjoys going now and he has made such huge improvements in the last couple of weeks. He can float for 20+ seconds and fall into the pool and then swim back to the wall and crawl out. It's amazing (and terrifying) to watch!

Day 230
In Germany, we have a tradition where children receive this "Schultuete" filled with lots of goodies on their first day of school. I really wanted Fox to have one, but couldn't find the time to craft one before our trip and he starts preschool right when we get back. So of course our amazing nanny Hannah came to the rescue (as she always does) and made this for Fox. So grateful for her today and every day! I can't wait for his first day of school now!

Day 231
Fox's buddy Liam was visiting from the UK and it was so sweet to watch these two play together. I don't get to see him play with other kids often, because he prefers to play independently, but he loves bigger kids. In this picture he is showing us his superhero pose.

August 21, 2016

Fox, Katie & Nadine in 2016: Week 32

Day 218
Family Bike Rides are our favorite! Fox always makes sure to cheer us on "You can do it Mama" and "Faster, Faster Mommy!" followed with "I have so fun!"

Day 219
Mom's Night out with Dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and the Movie "Bad Moms". It was a blast!

Day 220
We met my friend Julia and her kids at the train park, but didn't last long in the heat.

Day 221
Another hair cut in the books. Am I the only mom who has pictures of every single hair cut? Ha!

Day 222
"I don't want to take a nap! I'm not tired!" After his hour of "quiet time" in his crib, I took him out to play and then this happened! 

Day 223
Day 532 (or so it seems): Painting in Progress! The walls will go from two shades of grey to another two shades of grey.

Day 224
Hawaiian Bunco Night!

August 17, 2016

Up, Up and Away!

He told me he was flying to "In N Out"...he sure is my kid!

And this one right here...yea, he sure is Katie's kid too! ;)

August 10, 2016

Mom Guilt

Being a mom is hard. If you are a mom, I’m sure you already know that. 

I have been really struggling lately and most days I go to bed feeling like a failure. Thinking I could’ve done better, could’ve done more, could’ve had more patience. I’ll always tell myself that tomorrow, I will do better. 
Tomorrow, I will be the best mom that I can be, the best wife, the best daughter, the best friend, the best employee. But then tomorrow comes, and somewhere between lunch and dinner, I will drop a ball. Or two. Sometimes even all of them. And then I beat myself up for not being able to handle it all. Or not handle it the way I would’ve liked to. Mom Guilt at its finest. 
I thought everyone feels like this every once in a while, so I talked to Katie about my feelings and asked her if she ever felt like a bad mom and she said no, she never feels like that. 

Most days I feel like I have too much on my plate. I start work at 5am, hoping Fox will sleep until at least 6:30am so I can get my work done, take care of him until it is time to leave at 7:30, go to work again, run errands, spend more time with Fox and by the time he goes to bed (which has been later and later these days), it is time for me to work on my Etsy Shop and get my orders out in time, until I collapse into bed and the entire day starts over again. 
There is no “me time” during the week and hardly any on the weekend. Maybe moms don't get "me time" anymore? It's something you just have to hand in when you enter the delivery room. My “me time” consists of working on Etsy Orders, which seems like a hobby, but has (thankfully) developed into a second job that has kept me really busy and will also enable me to stay home part time whenever we have a second child. So cutting back is not an option, as I’m working hard toward my dream of staying home, at least part time. And somewhere in between all of that, I plan parties, try to keep our laundry at bay and the house somewhat organized. Which, in all truth, is the ball I’m most likely to drop first. 
Most nights, my dinner consists of whatever Fox didn’t eat from his plate, if the dog didn’t take it before me.

I feel burned out and overwhelmed and I have no idea how to get better. 
I never feel like I’m doing enough, or even making the right decisions. If Fox watched more than 20 minutes of TV a day, I feel guilty. If he didn’t eat a good meal (which he never does), I feel guilty. If I didn’t rock him long enough before bed and he cries for me, I feel guilty. If I rock him too long and I don’t get my work done because of it, I feel guilty. If he doesn’t care that I leave for work and rather plays with Hannah, I feel guilty. I know that should be a good thing and I’m glad he loves her so much, but it makes me feel like I’m not fun enough, or I’m spending too much time at work. If I take the easy parenting way and “give in” (to whatever he wants that moment…carrying him, helping him get his shoes off when he could be doing that himself, allowing him to eat a snack when dinner is an hour away), I feel guilty. There really is no winning.

I know, I am really fortunate. I have everything I ever wanted in life and more (well, I guess besides that stay at home mom gig I always dreamed about). I have some very close friends who are going through some hard medical diagnosises with their children and I know I’m fortunate. We are happy, healthy, have jobs that we like, a roof over our heads, family that loves us, friends that support us, and so much more. 

I’m not complaining. If anything, maybe this post will help someone who feels the same way to know they are not alone. Because for me, I know that it always makes me feel better when I hear that someone else faces the same struggles and it’s totally normal. 
For now, I will just keep juggling my balls, hoping to not drop any important ones. And if I do, then I’ll hope that I can pick them up right away and start over.
Who cares about a messy house, when I have to make sure that I raise this sweet little boy into a decent and kind human being who hopefully will eat some vegetables one day? 
Motherhood is still the best, guilt and all. I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

August 09, 2016

Fox, Katie & Nadine in 2016: Week 31

Day 211
Best $2 ever spent! I found this little soccer game at Goodwill and knew Fox would love it. He has been playing with it ever since and it's so cute when he tells us "Cheer me" (Cheer for me).

Day 212
Jumping for Joy

Day 213
Katie took Fox to the trampoline park and sent me this picture...look at that crazy hair!

Day 214
Gelato Date with Mama! He kept asking me "Where's Mommy's ice cream?" so we had to bring her some to work!

Day 215
We've had some good monsoons here in Phoenix and Fox loved to watch his first lightning.

Day 216
These two had so much fun teaching me all about Snapchat

Day 217
This tractor made his entire day! Seeing him so happy made mine!