Dirty 30

As most of my closest friends know, the month of July is my favorite month of the year; it’s my birthday month! Continue reading



I remember it all so well…one year ago today, I was laying in a hospital room bed, listening to my iPod and anxiously awaiting his arrival…I was unsure of how I would deliver, of what to expect, and most of all, how my life would be forever changed…. Continue reading

No End in Sight

I’m starting to worry that there is no end in sight for my husband and his illness. It’s been over a month and he has been out of the hospital for three whole days. He is now in a long-term care facility/hospital and it seems that hope is fading fast.

I know he wants to get better. But rehabilitation seems like such a long, arduous process. I’m no help to him. I can’t be there day in and day out. I have to work, take care of our son, be a student, stay focused on our life out here, etc. But how do I balance the two needs. I know that he needs me to be strong, but I also know that he needs me to be there for him. I just wish I could do all of it.

Our son turned 11 months yesterday. He’s getting so big so fast. I don’t want my husband to miss a minute of it. And I don’t want to miss more than I have to. I want the slow pace of our life back. My husband at home with our son and us having lazy weekends where we never get out of our pjs.

We have one collective goal now: home in time for Gabe’s first birthday. I feel like that is all we can shoot for. Does anyone else care about our goal? Do the doctors and nurses think it matters? I’m sure if it were up to them they would just let this drag on. But we have a life we want to get back to. I miss the way we were….


Wow, 2012….where do I even begin. To say this was a difficult year would be an understatement. To say that I have grown tremendously as a person would hit the nail right on the head. Here’s a short recap of the highlights and low lights of 2012 for me: Continue reading

Lucky Number 17

Wedding Date: October 17, 2010

Wedding Rings – 10/17/2010

Gabriel’s birthday: March 17, 2012

My boys 3/17/2012

I guess the number 17 is becoming a pretty special one for the Graening family.  It didn’t dawn on me until someone asked me how old my son was. I immediately said six months and realized that he is quickly approaching seven months. When I thought about how long it would be until he was seven months, my mind seemed to blank. How did I forget the 17th was his monthly birthday? I realized that in my mind, the 17th of October was my wedding anniversary, not Gabriel’s seventh month. Then I thought how cute it is that they fall on the same day. I had been thinking lately that seven months is pretty bland. No major doctor’s appointments or milestones like six months and not much going on until nine months.  Continue reading

Changes for the Better

My husband and I were talking yesterday and I was telling him how my outlook on tasks, goals, and projects has changed since becoming a mother. What I realized is that because of the permanence of becoming a parent, and more specifically going through pregnancy, I see now how important it is to follow through. Continue reading

Working Mama Guilt

I’m sure many other working mamas feel the same guilt that I do. We don’t get to be here each day to experience each and every precious moment with our little ones. While I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything major, I’m sure it’s bound to happen or that I will start to feel it more as he gets older and starts doing more. Right now we are working on sitting up and I’m glad I got to be here when he sat up on his own. And then pretty much rolled over for the first time the next minute! Too bad my hubby missed it 😛 I’ll take what I can get! Continue reading

Ladies Unite!

Boy, do I wish! I find that the more I take a dip in this motherhood pool, the more I encounter confrontation. Why are we as women so defensive of our choices? Or a better question is, why are we so judgmental of other women’s choices? And better yet, judgmental of things that other women don’t get a choice of.

My favorite is the vaginal birth brigade. I get it. That is the way nature intended you to bring your child into the world. But fertility treatments, adoption, and surrogates are all widely accepted. Why do c-sections have to be the epitome of “unnatural” procedures? Then there are those of us who didn’t get a choice at all. Even if I had, why is that so evil? How does it affect your life exactly? Continue reading

Off-Topic: The Cat’s Meow

My poor cats. They are seriously neglected right now. I know it comes with the territory of having a newborn baby but I feel bad for them. They wake up to the sound of a screaming baby and try to sleep through it. I see Hazel look at him with such disdain sometimes but all I can do is feel bad for her. She feels cheated and pushed aside. They want to sleep in our room at night and I used to not feel bad about keeping them out because we were with them so much during the day.Now because our days and night are consumed by the baby, I feel worse. I know if we let them in they would just play and bother us while we sleep; we’ve tried this numerous times in the past. But the guilt is getting to me. They tolerate the baby but I wonder if that tolerance will run out? They smell him and accept his noisy existence but are they plotting against him, waiting for us to leave him unattended so they can strike? I really hope that as Gabriel gets older they all embrace each other. Really, I need them to. I miss my cats and I’m sure they miss the simpler time when they were the center of our attention.

Teach a man to fish…

20/20 has me thinking…what’s really wrong with paying or incentivizing you kids for good grades? We pay them an allowance for chores. When they become adults, they will receive money in exchange for working. So would we really be teaching them a bad lesson?

Maybe I’m still too new at this but rewards for good grades doesn’t seem so crazy. My prospective could change of course, but I feel like teaching my son that hard work pays off in some form is a good lesson.

I wonder if I would have done better in school with specific incentives for good grades, etc? I feel like I would. My father was actually pretty good about giving goals to work toward. It was never anything major or ongoing, but if I saved a certain amount of money he might offset the cost of a stereo for example. It always worked too. If I wanted a disc man I had to save $50 of my own allowance money and he would match the other $50 to get me to the $100 I needed to purchase. I leaned the value of saving, hard work, and rewards all at the same time.

I can’t wait to instill a good work ethic in my little one(s). Where would any of us be without such important lessons?