I can’t believe this year is over. It has been a full year of Chicago living. Technically we have been here about a year and a half now but we completed one whole year, January to December. So much has happened this year, I don’t even know where to start. While it seems like I do the same thing everyday and there isn’t much variety in fact that’s just the thing, the daily mundane tasks start to slowly shift into different things. It happens so slowly that you don’t put too much thought into it, until you really start to look back from where you started.
So January 1st 2018, ha-ha jk I’m not going to take you through the entire year.
I just am going to talk about some major highlights.
The most major change we have both noticed is the growth of Ximena. Not only physically, but mentally as well. We basically have full on conversations with her and she knows exactly what she wants, with out a doubt. She is 22 months and will be two years old in February. Sometimes she’s so “grown” I forget how she’s still a baby. By baby I mean her wanting the comfort and snuggles, and how separation anxiety is still a real thing for her. Daniel recently went on nightshift for about a month. We always do bedtime routine together; we are so fortunate that his schedule has allowed him to be able to do that so far. However when it was only mom for bath time and reading before bed, Ximena quickly took notice of it. She has been sleeping through the night since I weaned her off of Breast-feeding at about 15 months. So for about 7 months it was like clockwork putting her down, she would sleep from 8:30pm-7:30am. But just after day two of mom only she cried, and cried, and cried. She would sometimes do that and then eventually fall asleep, so I let her cry for a little but when she wasn’t stopping I knew this was diffrent. When I opened her door she very distinctly told me “Quiero dormir con mom” I want to sleep with mom. I knew having her in my bed was not going to work, she is so big and moves so much. So I hopped in her crib and she laid back down. I scratched her hair and sang her some songs that eventually turned into humming because I was getting tired. I was in there for about 40 minutes. I knew this because her ocean waves soundtrack is about 10 minutes long and it re-looped four times. She finally fell asleep and I had to use all my ab strength to pull myself up and out of the crib all the while trying not to step on a noisy floorboard. I knew she was out because I snapped a pic of her, wanting some extra snuggles. How sweet I thought it was. Well that moment of bliss for me turned into a habit for her overnight. She screamed for me the next night, but this time I sat on the floor and scratched and sang with my arm through the rails. I wasn’t mad, I actually used this time to meditate. It was a quiet, dark, room and there were waves in the background. It was a nice week of meditation and extra mama love. Cut to week two, she discovered I was not as near her as I could be, so now she wants to sleep on the rug with me. “Quiero sentar en la alfombra con mom”. I tried to soothe her but there was no convincing her. UGH, it was time, I had to let her cry it out again. The first night it was 40 mins. It kills me. It literally gives me anxiety. I know she is perfectly ok, and she’s not hungry, cold, or hurting, except for her feelings. That’s the worst part, knowing that’s what’s hurting her. Night two it was 15 mins, talk about progress, night three 4 mins. I kid you not. Her ability to self soothe is amazing. That’s why I knew it would be ok, because she’s done it before, but it doesn’t get easier. I literally was shushing her doorknob one night in a low voice, more for my own comfort because she couldn’t hear me. But by week three and four she was back to sleeping on her own, and now Daniel’s back to our regularly scheduled program. She was scared to loose me too, because Dad wasn’t there like he usually is. It makes sense and it’s a logical concern. That was definitely a highlight only because it was so recent and, it made me realize she’s still little. Even though she proves to us she can do so many things, at the end of the day she’s not even two yet. Let them be little.
Personally this year I have felt a lot of growth as well. While I showcase my meals, or cute things my daughter does throughout the day I am always here in the background. The beginning of the year was fun; it was full of 1st birthdays, a trip back home to Phoenix, Memorial Day friendcation visits, and swimming in the play pool. Then some long months started to creep in, and a lot of laziness, and I fell into this blah mode. I slightly touched on this in my previous post. I was starting to come out of hiding by late September and feeling inspired enough to write about it. But honestly I had no motivation to work out, my meals were boring and overused; I was wasting all my time on social media mindlessly scrolling my days away. I knew what I was doing, but I didn’t stop. I even gained weight; I just wasn’t happy and had zero motivation to do anything about it. Until, in one of my scrolling rampages I came across a girlfriend whom did a Facebook Live. I really knew her because we had worked together before so I wanted to see what she had to say so I watched it.
She inspired me.
I DMd her that same day. I realized my “comfortable commitment” was “I can do it tomorrow”.
She said, What do you do daily that is comfortable, that you need to break free from.. Step out of your comfort zone, Grow. I came to the conclusion that I was invested in too many other people and not myself. I no longer have an outside job, or any friends or family to hang out with, so I was always on my phone, looking for some sort of connection. I said right then and there that I wanted to commit to myself, show up for me, and put me first. I started slow, I meditated during nap time, I tried again with my meals to be creative which is fun for me, if I didn’t do what I wanted to get done that day I still thanked myself for what I did do. I ended my nights by saying everything I was grateful for. I started to say things out loud, like I will clean the bathroom today, because it made it more real than only saying it in my head. I will finish these dishes while I listen to my podcast. I started to notice an energy shift, a mood shift. Then I committed to moving 30 minutes a day. YouTube has any kind of activity you could ever want, weights, yoga, Zumba; I chose one and stuck with it. I started using my social media for support, doing challenges together, and unfollowing accounts that I no longer had an interest in. I can now say that my hot lemon water, and 30-minute daily movement are now a part of my daily commitments. I still miss days sure, but I don’t get down on myself, because I know how good I have been feeling I want to continue it. I am planning on taking a month off of Social Media for January, and for 31 days I will be IG free. I will see how it goes after that, but I am excited to really utilize my time. I have a lot to do on my 30 before 30 list and I have about 7 months left before then, so I really want to get focused.
This year has taught me a lot about myself. I have grown. Not only as a wife and mother but as a human. I am focusing on trying to stay present and take advantage of each day, focusing on myself. While I am forever available to anyone who needs me, I want to make sure I make the time for me. The best thing I have learned this year is the importance of self care. Actually doing it, YOURSELF. You are in your head all day long, no matter how many people you surround yourself with. Fill your thoughts positively and with a vibrant energy and it will show in all other aspects.
Thank you 2018, for my year of growth. Thank you to my daughter for teaching me patience this year. Thank you to my husband for continuing to show me unconditional love and support through all my trials. Thank you to my friends and family who I call on when I need support.
I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store.
If it’s anything like how this year is ending I can only anticipate great things!
Happy New Year-
Stephanie + Brittany here! We'll be sharing different topics week to week depending on what life throws at us! Funny moments, frustrating moments, heart to hearts, epiphanies, ideas, thoughts and anything in between.