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Autumndaize.

Where it started.

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This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or 

autumn daize part 1. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

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A little about me-I am the author after all. My name is Allyson, but most call me Ally, and this is my very first blog-go easy on me ūüėČ

I bet your all wondering about the blog name, so I’ll explain-which should help give away my reason for starting this blog. Autumn is my favorite season for numerous reasons.  To name a few, leaf peeping, crisp air, pumpkins, Halloween, apple picking, my birthday, and when I conceived my beautiful son Jayden. Basically it’s the best season ever,  but I’m a bit bias.

The daize part, well daze was taken so I added the I, but otherwise daize (or daze for all you grammar police) is the perfect description of what my life has been the last 3 years. Hence the name of this blog. So much has happened that I figured it best to put words to paper-well internet paper to be exact. Hopefully my story, which is still being written,  will inspire, make you laugh, or just keep you from boredom.

Succumbing to the intense need to settle down and be a real adult, almost three years ago I started house hunting. In total the process took four months. Shortly before signing the paperwork, my boyfriend of eight years proposed. Talk about hectic. The next year was a whirlwind between being my best friend of nine years’ maid of honor, settling in our home, and planning my own wedding. If I took away one thing from this time it was to take time to enjoy your surroundings; the planning, relationships you build, the big day, everything.  It went by too fast.

Almost a year after I tied the knot, Jayden came along. I literally am just starting to breathe. Despite a terrible high risk pregnancy and a traumatic delivery,  in addition to bad PPD, three months have passed and I literally couldn’t be happier. Word of advice to expectant mommies-do not commit to a new job/promotion upon leave ending. Luckily I’m finally settling in but coming back from leave is hard enough, coming back from leave to a new job is almost impossible. I literally felt like I was trying to run up hill with 20 pound weights; I was so physically drained from training and so mentally overtired that I crashed hard.

I finally feel like I’m in a good spot with personal and professional life. My takeaway from my experiences of a new working mom are simple; Jayden won’t love me any less for supporting him. If anything he’ll love me more. I’m a badass supermom, and I’m living with no regrets.

Stay tuned.

My weight loss journey; failure is not an option.

Failure is a part of life. You try. You Fail. You try again.

We all have moments where we are unsuccessful.

I have fallen off the wagon, so to speak, many many times during this weight loss journey.

A big reason behind some of my failure has been lack of motivation.

My lack of motivation has been a result of exhaustion and being uncomfortable at gyms in general.

I also became so used to my body the way that it was that I found myself making excuses.

I was too tired. My diastasis would prevent me from optimal success. I was too busy.

These excuses made me consistently fail myself and my body. They made it so that I was convincing myself that there was nothing that could be done. How can a full-time working mother with a medically complex child possibly have the time to focus on weight and health. It seemed impossible to think about progression when all I could think about was what was stopping me from moving forward.

But when it comes to your body failure should never be an option. You’ll definitely struggle, and you may fall off the wagon like I did many times. But your body is your temple, and it needs to be treated as such.

Though I lost weight over the spring and early summer, I still felt like I was stuck in a rut. I felt like I was just maintaining the loss of weight that I had experienced, but I wasn’t getting healthier and I wasn’t losing more.

By midsummer I was down to 215 lb. It felt good to see the numbers on the scale dropping, but I still felt like I wasn’t doing enough.

During this time Rob and I scheduled our first fertility appointment. I was a nervous wreck, thinking that the doctors would tell me that the only thing I could do was lose weight and to come back when I did. It turned out however, that they didn’t even mention it. That made me feel a little bit better but I still had this nagging feeling that losing weight overall would help with our fertility struggles and my diabetes and that I wasn’t doing enough to become healthy.

In July I decided that it was time to start considering pushing myself a little bit harder. I’d had enough of the excuses and wanted a clean slate and my motivation back. I started eating better then I was even though I was eating pretty well, and I noticed that the more consistently I stuck to my diet the less cravings I had. I also noticed that I really wasn’t drinking a lot of water. This is essential for a healthy reproductive system and healthy body in general. I was essentially setting myself up for failure with my bad habits.

In late July I decided that it was time to start exercising. Exercising meaning more than just going for walks, which had been my go-to. I decided that no matter how out of shape I was or how busy I was or how tired I was that I needed to make the effort for myself and my family and friends. I decided that the only way to get my motivation back was to start in a program that I liked and felt comfortable in, and stay consistent with it.

So in early August, I decided to fill out an online questionnaire for Title Boxing Club about my weight loss goals. I had seen the club before in passing and heard about it but I never really thought about joining. Boxing has never really been my thing, although gyms in general have never really been my thing. I almost consider them phases; I’ll go for a while and then I’ll just kind of fall off and lose motivation. But I decided to check it out- it was new and something I had never tried before so what did I have to lose? Besides weight that is ūüėČ

I listed my weight loss goals and my concerns with how uncomfortable I was in gyms in the questionnaire and submitted it. Not even an hour later I got a call from the owner of the franchise.

The owner and employees of this gym were so committed to getting me on board with my goals and making them come to fruition- before I even started going. Over the phone I told them my concerns and how I felt about gyms and they were so kind and understanding. They offered me the opportunity to take a boxing class free of charge, to see how I liked it.

Now, almost 5 weeks later, I’m hooked.

I’m also down in the lbs department.

I am actually excited when thinking about going to a class. And I’m excited after class. These are feelings that I never have felt before, and never even thought I would feel.

It is the first time in my life that I actually feel comfortable going to the gym and working out in front of others. The instructors are so helpful, kind, and there for you for whatever your goals may be.

My personal trainer caters what we do to my needs and is so supportive.

I’m so hooked that getting home at 8 at night isn’t even an issue like it was before; whereas before I felt so overwhelmed getting home any later than 7.

For once in the last year I feel like I am doing something for myself – as opposed to doing something for everyone else around me.

For me, even on my hardest days, failure is no longer an option. I will lose this weight. I will be able to have another little miracle. I will become healthy for my family and friends- but most of all – for myself.

You can do anything you set your mind to. It may take days, weeks, months, or years, but any goal has the ability to be achieved no matter how far away in the distance it seems ‚̧

My weight loss journey-Day 1; know your self worth.

I am worth it.

For child, my husband, my friends and family, and MYSELF.

I have struggled with weight issues pretty much my whole life. Or at least it feels like it.

I look back on pictures from 2005, 2010, and even 2012, and I LOOKED skinny. But I also remember feeling like I was overweight compared to others.

That was one of the main issues I had, comparing myself to others.

In 2008 I started modeling. I did well at it, and even made some money. But I could never shake the feeling of not being skinny enough.

During this time, I was exercising often since I was training to become a police officer. But I was eating like crap. My workouts maintained my weight, but I was never totally healthy.

I stayed in this routine for years, until in 2012, I made the decision to stop testing for LE.

I did not gain too much weight too fast; I was still considered to be in good shape by others. But I knew I was basically just exercising enough to maintain my weight without gaining from my bad eating habits.

Fast forward to 2014. I got engaged. Best time ever right? Well yea, until I realized I needed to slim down for my wedding.

I was #sweatingforthewedding for what seemed like forever. But my eating habits didn’t change. By this time I was around 170 lbs. Sure, I was large chested – so some of the weight was up top. But I could have stood to loose some weight from all over. So I pushed myself. I joined a boxing type gym. But I didn’t really feel “at home” there. I lasted 3 months.

Looking back on wedding photo’s, sure-I was beautiful. But I was definitely not where I needed to be weight wise.

After getting married, Rob and I decided to start trying to conceive (TTC). Three months later, by August, I met with my midwife, who made me feel really crappy about my weight. She basically told me in order to conceive I needed to loose. Deep down, I knew this. But I didn’t like how she spoke to me about it, and moved on to an OB after being with her for 10 years.

Soon after, we conceived. The pregnancy, as most know, was rough to say the least.

By second trimester, I had developed severe gestational diabetes in addition to some other issues. At my heaviest, I was 250 lbs during pregnancy. I didn’t even eat that badly-but I was going into this already over weight, so I really only had myself to blame.

After being on my diabetes pregnancy diet, I was able to drop to 240 lbs by 3rd trimester.

In November of 2017, 7 months PP, I finally decided to make a difference in my life for ME. Not because I was getting married, or for a job, or for anyone.

I started to see a Dr. who deals with diabetes and weight loss. In March 2018, I began Metformin. But I was still struggling. I was not eating as well as I should, and barely exercising. At this time I was around 230 lbs still.

Month after month I struggled to add exercise into my routine and better my eating habits. It was difficult to not make excuses. I was too tired. There was too many doctors appointments that week. I had to work too late. I found myself coming up with excuses that weren’t even reasonable.

Then April came, along with my first miscarriage. We were devastated.

Right then and there I promised myself that I needed to seriously start trying. Once I was healed physically I started the process of emotionally trying to heal. I promised myself that I would try to become healthier to improve my chances of conceiving again. I promised myself I would try to become healthier for myself, so I can be more present in my families lives instead of so tired all of the time.

And I did. For me. Because I’m worth it.

Today I cried.

Today I cried. It wasn’t an ugly cry. More like a silent cry as I was driving to the pharmacy.

I cried because my son would not stop screaming the entire way there.

I cried because every single doctor’s appointment he is out of control.

I cried because he lost a pound in seven whole days, with no known cause.

I cried because it was the third day in a row that he bit another child at daycare.

I cried because I am so sick of doctors appointments, testing, and lack of answers and results.

I cried because this is my baby, and I cannot bear to see him in pain or distress.

I cried because work sucked.

Today I cried because it was a bad day. It is 7 p.m. and I still have not gotten home to feed myself and my family.

I cried at the thought of how much I actually have to do before I feed myself tonight.

Today I cried because I feel like I can never catch a breath or take a break.

I cried because as usual, I was late for multiple Drs appointments. **Hot mess express is my jam lately**.

Today I cried for all of the mamas out there working their best to provide for their family, but feeling like a failure because they can never get everything done.

I cried for myself, and all the moms out there who just feel like giving up.

Today someone told me while I was venting to them about how overwhelmed I am that it’s all part of being a parent.

Sure I get it, I signed up for this. That doesn’t mean I can’t feel sad, frustrated, or like I want to give up.

That doesn’t mean I dont get to cry it out or vent to someone.

Just because I feel weak doesn’t mean I am weak.

To all my mommas out there that can relate, cry it out. Scream it out if you must. Not every day is going to be easy. Hell, most days will likely be hard. You signed up for this but that means nothing. Your human. Let it out. No matter why you cry or scream or get frustrated, it’s ok. I’m here for you – I get it. I am you, sometimes every day of the week. Please don’t feel alone. Today you feel weak but it’ll make you stronger for tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a new day and we will conquer it. We will kick ass and take names. Because not just anybody deserves the title of mom. But we do, and a bad day, or week, or month, won’t change that ‚̧

A Mothers Love.

I carried my baby boy for 8 wonderful, scary, stressful, and amazing months.

The hearty kicks to my ribs constantly reminded me how much I loved him, before I even met him.

The beating of his heart on the Sonoline B was a weekly reminder of that love.

The adorable little outfits and his nursery were a reminder of that love.

It was almost too much to handle at times; that growing and unexplainable love for what started as a little ball of cells inside of my body.

Looking back, everything bad that happened during our time as one has brought us so much closer as two.

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*******

July 30th 2018. I went to work, as I normally do.

I sat in some traffic and pondered my day and what needed to get done after work.

I thought about my upcoming appointments this week.

But then I cried. Silly, I know. But for the first time in a long time, I felt like I did when I first went back to work.

I felt sad because I was missing out on Jayden; watching him play and grow.

I felt sad because I missed HIM. I missed his hugs, his giggle, his evil-I am about to do something naughty-look.

I had only been gone from him for 2 hours. 2 hours is all it took.

My heart hurt.

I arrived at work, and tried to push the sadness that I felt from being so far away from him, aside.

Then I got it. A picture of him sleeping at daycare. I just about lost it. Even describing this makes me tear up.

That moment such a powerful wave of love came over me. I wasn’t sad at this point. I¬†just felt so much love looking at that picture that¬†my heart damn near exploded.

I hear so much about the “right” type of parenting at this stage in a toddlers life.

Weaning them off bottles.

No more binkies.

Cutting back on co-sleeping and starting to sleep train.

My husband said something to me the other night¬†that I never thought I would hear him say. He said “We are raising him our own way. We don’t have to do things that others think are supposed to be done.”

This is so true.

There is no right or wrong in this journey of parenthood. As long as we as parents provide love, safety, and opportunities for growth, we are doing everything we should be.

My love is what makes me a good parent.

A mothers love is such a strong phenomenon. It can be so strong sometimes that we are physically affected by it.

As I watch my son go from a bouncing baby boy, to a smart and handsome toddler, I feel that love grow by the day.

I don’t care that last week I was so effected by my love for him that I wanted to co-sleep and cuddle, which could possibly ruin his new sleep¬†routine.

I don’t care whether he drinks from a bottle once in a while.

I don’t care if one, or maybe two or three,¬†nights a week we stay up too late.

I don’t care about any of that.

What I care about is him as a whole. I care about loving him unconditionally and raising him to have the same love for his own kids one day that I have for him now.

As mothers our love also means sacrifice. Sacrificing our needs for our little ones.

Our love can mean, such as in my case, distance. Being away, as hard as it can be, to support our family so we can have the best chance at living a life free of financial strain.

Our love means devotion to our little ones and their wants and needs when we sometimes cannot even take care of our own wants and needs.

It means breaking the “rules” of parenthood, just because we want to cuddle for an extra 10 minutes after bedtime has passed.

It means skipping “cry it out” some days¬†and instead “hugging it out.”

It means taking a sick day to spend the day with them- sharing in their giggles, playtime, and excitement over building blocks.

It brings us warmth on cold, cold days.

It brings us tears, sometimes of sadness, and other times of happiness.

It hurts. A mothers love is so strong it hurts sometimes.

It protects us and guides us to be the best we can be.

It has certainly brightened the darkest of MY days.

A mothers love knows no boundaries.

It has been what has kept me afloat during this unbelievably sad and stressful year.

I have so many moving pieces in my life-but my one constant is my love for my son.

This week alone I have struggled so much with life’s daily curveballs..but thinking about how much my son means to me – how much I love him –¬†and how excited he will be to see me after work, makes every struggle-every tear-every fear-all worth it.

I hope you all can feel this love I feel, and use it to brighten your dark days and allow you to smile once in a while, even if just for a moment-you sure as hell deserve it!

 

 

 

 

My ugly post-partum body.

It’s a Wednesday.

I am getting ready for work-brushing my teeth, my hair-you know-the normal working “hot mess” mom, running late as usual.

I try to avoid looking in the bathroom mirror. I find myself doing this a lot these days.

I even avoid looking at the car windows, for fear that I will see my reflection.

It’s not that I don’t think I am pretty.

I actually used to be very confident in my looks.

I even modeled for a while and made some decent money.

Those days seem so far off in the distance now.

Now my days are filled with work, caring for my toddler, my home, my hubby, and avoiding any mirror I encounter.

I go downstairs to get my day bag ready. Pack a water, which I likely wont drink. Pack a healthy lunch, which in a weird way makes me feel a tad better-but I will still hate my body regardless.

My drive to work is uneventful. I sometimes, in traffic, find myself looking at my face in the rearview. How did my body get this way? I look away from my rearview in disgust over my fat face. I pledge to start exercising more. A promise I have made myself a thousand times over.

But it isn’t that easy. I make excuses in my head. I am too tired from work, too busy, to focused on other areas of my life right now.

But today is different, I tell myself. I am going to make more of an effort, even if that means sacrificing the little sleep I get.

Work is uneventful. I go about my day, answering emails and calls. Watching my water bottle, still full, telling myself I will drink it soon. Water is important, after all. And I am terrible with drinking enough of it.

I leave work, as I normally do, and sit in about 2 hours of traffic. My daily travel affords me PLENTY of time to think. About my ugly body and how I WILL get back in shape. About how I am tired and will just go for a walk tomorrow. About how it doesn’t even matter if I walk because even though I have lost weight, my diastasis will prevent me from ever becoming confident again until it is gone (as I loose weight it is more noticeable). It’s a lose-lose situation.

I get home, and complete my normal nightly routine; baby fed, dishes and laundry done, dinner, etc etc. It seems like I have no moments to spare, so how can I possibly get rid of what has become a constant reminder of how I failed my post partum body.

My body was and will always be my temple. But I cannot even stand to look at it.

I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband who is still attracted to me when I cannot even look at myself.

But he doesn’t even know how ugly I feel.

How when I do accidentally look in the mirror, all I see is a body that disgusts me.

How I sometimes sit on the bathroom floor, and let the tears flow as I grieve what my body used to be.

Some say its just a body-what really matters is inside. That is 100% true.

But self confidence – or lack thereof – can break a person.

Whether it is Wednesday, or Friday, or Saturday – I hate my ugly post-partum body.

I hate that the diastasis is worse the more weight I loose, and makes me look pregnant – especially after I am no longer carrying baby #2.

I wear baggy cloths to hide my body. I no longer feel beautiful – which is a shame because of how confident I used to be.

I am motivated to exercise, but it isn’t easy for me like it is for others. I literally am so busy I sometimes feel like I am suffocating.

It makes things harder that I see post=partum mom bods in tip top shape. Like, did you even have a baby? How come I cant bounce back like that?

I know some will say “well you need to make time for your health”. Yes, I know this. But it is¬†not that easy. I cant even take the time lately to pluck my eyebrows. I am pretty sure soon I will have a unibrow!

Self care is important to me, and I have written a ton about it – but sometimes I cant take my own advice. Sometimes I just need someone to relate – to listen – to understand my struggles and tell me what I am feeling is ok.

I do have a plan to loose weight. I also have a plan to fix the diastasis. But sometimes, I just want to “let it out” and say what I am feeling, and what I have been feeling for so long.

I hate my ugly post-partum body, and I know that feeling wont last and I can get through this Рbut right now all I can see is a fat blob in the mirror.

I want to love my body so bad – it grew my tiny little miracle, with ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes. But I just cant right now. And I am ok with that.

It’s ok to not feel ok.

Its ok to not be confident about your body.

Its ok to sit on the bathroom floor, tears in your eyes, and wish you looked different.

Its ok to avoid mirrors.

Its ok to have these feelings.

Not enough women express these feelings. Many hide behind closed doors for fear of judgment and ridicule.

I can hear the naysayers now “You can always make time to work on getting healthy”, or “You wouldn’t feel this way if you sacrificed a little and focused on your health”.

Yea, like it is that easy. I literally catch myself dozing almost every week driving home from work. It isn’t THAT easy for someone like me to make time. But I will. I just want to be able to feel how I want to in the meantime.

One day, I – and those that can relate to this – will look back on these struggles and breath a sigh of relief that that time in our lives is over. We will feel pretty again. We will feel good looking in the mirror. We will no longer be embarrassed at family functions or weddings when we have to dress up and we look huge in our dresses and try to hide in the back for pictures so we don’t look so¬†bad.

But until then, I will continue to avoid mirrors. I will let myself feel however I want to in the moment. I will move forward with my plans to loose weight, and however long it takes – it takes.

Don’t stand in the shadows embarrassed by your feelings. Let them out, feel how you feel, and let yourself move on. You cant avoid mirrors forever, but sometimes we need to hit rock bottom to build ourselves back up.

We are all a work in progress – emotionally and physically – after a baby. I will hate my ugly post-partum body for as long as I want, until one day, I love it again.

 

New Beginnings.

WE DID IT! We sold our starter home, and bought our forever home.

These last 6 months have been HELL on earth.

We have experienced loss.

We have experienced a lot of unknowns.

We have dealt with significant stress during the house sale/buying process.

But we did it. We made it through some ridiculously hard times.

I already miss our old house.

We got married in that house. We created a family in that house. But we also had some very sad times in that house between the loss of baby #2, my grandmother, and our family dog.

New beginnings for most mean starting over. It is no different for us.

But for us, we are leaving those sad memories behind, cherishing the good ones made, and creating new-happy-memories in our forever home.

Most wouldn’t understand the amount of weight lifted off our shoulders when we moved into our forever home.

For Rob, it is the excitement of having to do little to no housework (handy man stuff ūüėČ ).

For me, it is a clean slate. A chance to start over and hopefully expand our family. To watch my son enjoy his new backyard, new playroom, and new surroundings. It is a chance for me to make our forever home our own, with decorations, new furniture, and a new-positive-outlook on our future.

We needed this so badly. I needed this more than anything.

After the miscarriage, and losing my grandmother and our dog, I had a hard time picking up the pieces. Our old house, while it held some great memories, was a constant reminder of what we had lost.

I am so grateful to put that all behind us and move on. I needed closure, and I got it.

To anyone struggling right now, I can totally¬†relate.¬†And I wont tell you “it will get better”. I hated hearing that. But what I will say is create your new beginning the best you can. You may not be able to buy a new house, but even the smallest things can help provide closure and a clean slate. Start an exercise routine, paint your bedroom, or even get a new pet. Do whatever it takes to push out the bad and bring in the good. Paint every wall in your house if you have to. Do what makes you feel good-and whatever will help you move on. Its not always going to be easy, and sometimes you may feel like life just keeps kicking you when your down-but one day all of your struggles and tears will be worth it, I promise ‚̧

 

1 year ago.

It should be noted before you read this that I do not think any less of stay-at-home mothers. In fact, if you read my earlier blogs on this topic you will see that I find their jobs to be just as hard. Both staying home and working are completely different in their own ways and one is not harder than the other – they are just different.

Having said that, unlike my earlier blogs, This blog is strictly my experience as a working mom for the first year after having my baby. I hope all of the working moms out there can relate to this and take something away from it that will hopefully make them feel better about their situations if they are still struggling to cope.

1 year ago today I started a new job right after my maternity leave ended, only 3 months post partum.

Im not going to sugarcoat things, it freaking sucked.

Not the job itself, though it’s been tough at times and it took some getting used to (especially the 2am calls and inspections) -but it’s been easier to learn the job itself than I thought.

Being a working mom in general has been tough. I work 45-60 hours a week.

I had to learn a brand new job after having a new baby. On 0 sleep. It was a pretty shitty transition.

But through all that I’ve done well. I somehow manage to wake up at 5am, work, pick up Jayden at 5, do house chores, dinner, doctors apts, etc. Sometimes I go back to work on the overnight just to meet the needs of my son’s appointments. Sometimes weekends I have to go in. Sometimes I dont even sit down or eat until 8. I feel accomplished some times, but mostly im just exhausted.

What really is tough is missing so much while I work and my baby is growing into a little boy.

It’s made me realize how much we need to cherish our time together. I missed his first steps (happened at daycare), his first crawl (again, daycare). I miss him, every goddamn day.

It certainly doesn’t get easier. Many told me “it’ll hurt for a while but definately gets easier”- hell I’ve even said it. But it doesn’t. It just becomes a new way of life and you eventually accept it.

So to all my working mommies out there, whether you’ve hit 1 year or 5- just remember your doing amazing.

It does suck, and it won’t get easier-but you got this. Keep kicking ass at being a working mom. But take the time to really cherish those littles outside of work.

And don’t be sad for the memories you’re missing, you’ll surely make new ones. It definitely sucks missing their “first times”, but when they’re older they will understand the reason behind why you missed them.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about being a working mom it’s that the excitement of seeing our littles at the end of a hard stressful work day never goes away. Hold on to that excitement for as long as you can. Let it drive you to be even more successful in supporting your family. Once grown, your children will certainly appreciate all you’ve done for them and all of the days or nights that you have sacrificed to support your family.

While the pain of dropping them off at the beginning of the day and not seeing them all day will probably never fully go away, try not to think about that. Try to think about what you will do with them when you do see them.

I’ve always found the saying “distance makes the heart grow fonder” to be true, and feel like everytime I pick my little boy up that my heart is going to explode. Give those extra kisses and hugs and cherish any time you do get together. All of the tears and hard work will be worth it ‚̧