May 13, 2020

Blogging my way through a pandemic

*Blogging while listening to Kyle's virtual shoe consultation (yes, he is buying a new pair of shoes via Zoom)*

Wow, I don't really know where to start. So much has changed, in the world and our lives, since I last wrote. Reading through my last post, I realized how much I took for granted: Hugging friends, family dinners, weekend trips, going to work. It all just seems like a different life. But nonetheless, here we are: in the middle of this pandemic. It's so weird to think that when Rhynder is grown up and telling her kids about this unfathomable time in our history, she can say she was alive through it but had no idea what was going on. 

It's times like these that I turn to gratitude to help calm my fears, nerves, and anxiety. Practicing daily gratitude really puts things in perspective and helps defog the haze of all the scary things going on in the world. Here is what I'm currently grateful for: 
  • Obviously I'm thankful for Rhynder but more specifically, I'm so grateful she is such a good little tabby (no longer a baby but not yet a toddler). She is such a fun, smiley, easy going little girl. She naps great, sleeps through the night, eats like a champ and still lets me put ridiculous bows and sunglasses on her.  I have no idea how we got so lucky.

  • Living with my sister who can cut my hair, do my nails, and tweeze my eyebrows to help keep me from becoming a total gremlin. 
  • Wine and [Keto] cookie dough. Yes, Kyle and I are currently on the Keto bandwagon. It's actually not that hard and I'm really enjoying it. Low carb, high fat. (I like the part that you can have alcohol) 
  • Having friends and family making me feel special on my birthday even during quarantine. 

  • Having a beautiful veranda to sit outside on. 
  • Being able to work from home. With the unemployment numbers sky rocketing, Kyle and I are so so so thankful we both have jobs that allow us to keep working and earn income. On March 11th, Google's office closed and I was able to carve out a "work station" in our condo. On May 11th, I decided to take advantage of Google's "Carer's Leave". Since Juliette is starting school and won't be able to watch Rhy anymore and her daycare is closed until an unknown date, I made the decision to take a break from work and dedicate 100% of my time to this little girl. I think if she was a little older we would be able to balance work + childcare but right now she requires a ton of energy since she gets into EVERYTHING! I'm so thankful Google cares enough about their employees to have this policy and I'm excited to be a full time mom again. 
  • Having nice weather to go on daily walks. Even though we get cold fronts here and there, I'm so thankful we are not in the middle of winter for all this. 
  • Having the last memory of "normalcy" being our annual St. Patty's Day bar crawl. It was the last time we went out socially and probably will be for a while. I miss these people (and many more!)

I hope you are all taking care of yourselves mentally and physically. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. This too shall pass. Sending you all virtual hugs. 



January 13, 2020

New year, same blog

**Blogging while watching the National Championship - couldn't care less about who wins**

Happy New Year everyone!! I can't believe it's 2020. Here are just a few things I'm looking forward to this year: 

-Iowa caucuses 
-Celebrating 1 year of being parents
-My sister turning 21!
-General election
-Our first family vacation as 3
-Using our new adult vacuum (I wonder how long this excitement will last)
-Lucy and Mark's wedding! (Rhynder is their flower girl!)

I love the turning of a new year. I love reflecting back on all what we have done/accomplished and setting new goals and planning new memories. 

We were able to spend Rhynder's first holiday season with both our families. I know she was too little to know what was going on, but it was still special, nonetheless, and I can't wait to shower her pictures and videos of her first Christmas. :)

Hope everyone had a great holiday season! 



August 25, 2019

3 months in

**Blogging while pumping. Pumping SUCKS. I hate it Uggghhh**

As summer comes to an end and I enter my last month of maternity leave (nooooooooo), I realized I haven't blogged as much as I thought I would. To my surprise, I have been EXTREMELY busy this summer with a baby. I thought I would be bored during mat leave, but it has been quite the opposite. 

Some things I have been up to:

Training for a 5k  - Coming up Sept 7th! It was so hard getting back at it but I am feeling stronger with every run. It's amazing how weak you get after having a baby!

Post-Natal Pilates - My neighbor is a post-natal Pilates instructor and she has really helped me realize the importance of taking care of and repairing/strengthening my pelvic floor after giving birth. I didn't even know what a pelvic floor was before she told me! She has been so helpful in teaching me about my post baby body. 

Chicago New Mom's Group - This group has truly been a godsend. We meet once a week and talk about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. The good, the bad, the ugly. Everyone has been open, honest and vulnerable about the hardships of being a mom. Even though the class is over, we all still keep in touch via group chats and meet ups. 

Baby and Mom Dance Class - This is SO.MUCH.FUN! It's a great workout, especially carrying an extra 13 lbs and Rhy loves the movement. 

Growing a healthy, lovable human - all the feeding and the naps and the play time. It's amazing how much she has grown these last 3 months!

Keeping up my marriage - This can easily fall by the wayside after having a kid. Kyle and I made sure to prioritize our marriage by continuing our monthly therapy sessions and date nights sans baby. :)

May 29, 2019

Whoa...we have a kid.

*Blogging while binge watching old seasons of Real Housewives of NYC (so embarrassing)*

Well, it happened. On May 22nd, I did a remarkable thing. I birthed a 7lb 11oz human into this earth. I am so f*cking proud of myself - I honestly can't believe I did it. And now we have the most precious baby girl: Rhynder Austin Schulz! (A little about her name: Rhynder [pronounced Rhine-der] is Kyle's grandpa's surname and Austin is where we got engaged). 

All those cliche things everyone says about having a baby is 100% true. We are so in love. Our lives are forever changed. Nothing can prepare you for parenthood. Time is flying. 

Thing that most surprised Kyle: How much he enjoys changing her diapers - It's their bonding time. 

Favorite thing for Kyle: Being able to soothe her and watching her fall asleep in his arms. 

Thing that most surprised JJ: How draining breastfeeding is and how painful recovery is. 

Favorite thing for JJ: Feeding her while she is awake and having her stare up at me. 

I definitely don't want this blog to become a "mommy blog" where I only talk about motherhood and Rhynder, but I did want to document my labor story so I can remember everything that happened (it was such a blur). Feel free to skip this part and just go straight to the cute pictures of her. :)

I was 2 days passed my due date and getting antsy. The hospital didn't have any open spots to be induced so I just had to wait to go into labor naturally. My doctor recommended trying castor oil to try to get things started. I took caster oil (SO gross) Tuesday night at 8pm and started having contractions at 11pm. They started to get really intense and come faster around 3am so that is when we headed to the hospital. [Side bar: Contractions are a BITCH. I was not prepared for this paralyzing pain]. 

I was admitted right away and already at 4cm. I got my epidural around was a GODSEND! Painful, but totally worth it. After my epidural I felt a little splash but didn't think it was anything and didn't want to call the nurse because I didn't want to bother them. I thought I would just mention it next time they came in to check in on me. Well I was so relaxed, I fell asleep. I woke up around 8 and told the nurse and sure enough, my water had broke and I was at 10 cm was time to push. We thought the nurse was joking because it happened so fast. I pushed through 2 contractions (8 times) and she was here at 9:33am. Luckily it was my doctor that was on-call at the time and delivered Rhy. It all happened so fast, our doula missed the entire thing! 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much of a BADASS Kyle was through this entire experience. One of the nurses asked if they could hire him because he was so good at calming me and getting me through the pain. I am so lucky to have gone through this with him by my side. 

Rhynder - We are so obsessed with you! 

Bran is doing GREAT with his new little sister. At first, he was a little anxious but within a day or so he realized how protective we were of her and he is now giving her kisses and following her around everywhere. 

 Okay, I'm going to go take a nap now. :)