I currently live my life in three hour increments. I feed Lyla, we play, she sleeps. Our three activities in those increments vary in length each time. Sometimes we play for an hour and then she sleeps for an hour and a half. Other times we play for two and a half hours and she only closes her eyes for five minutes. But regardless of the length of our activities, our lives still consist of these three hour increments.
Sometimes, I am still amazed when I really think about just how much my life has changed. No longer is my life ruled by a job, but rather a baby. I sometimes miss my old routine and my old ways – the ones that consisted of long runs all by myself, spur of the moment outings, weekend trips, plenty of good wine, date night, lots of cooking and baking, and plenty of “me” time. I miss my regularly scheduled bedtime and wake up time (not to mention the fact that it was uninterrupted, except for on Notre Dame home football weekends, then it was constantly interrupted by the students who lived next door that my father-in-law deemed “crazed!”). But now I live in these three hour increments and they repeat themselves incessantly.
Occasionally, I find myself getting frustrated. I miss my old ways. I keep telling myself that soon enough I will get back to them. Soon enough I will head out for a long solo run and push my body past it’s limits. Soon enough I will get to spend endless hours in the kitchen testing new recipes and trying new techniques. Soon enough I will have that date night that includes dinner and a movie. Soon enough I will wear my heels again! Soon enough I will fit into my size 2 jeans. Soon enough, soon enough.
Today though my baby is no longer considered a “newborn.” She is three months old and I am pretty sure that means I can no longer use the excuse “I just had a baby.” For three months we have been getting to know each other and coming to learn each other’s ways. For example, I have learned that Lyla’s ways include laughing while she falls asleep; they include waking up in the middle of the night (at least for now); they include sucking on her hand whenever her pacifier falls out, they include grabbing onto her ear as she eats; they include giggling when you make “o” sounds; and they include making my heart ache at least four times every day. Her ways also include those three hour increments.
I took three whole months, but I think I have finally realized that I will never get back to my “old ways.” It is time for new ways and I am ok with that. Although different and divided into three hour increments, these new ways are even better than my old ones for they include Lyla and life without her would be no life at all. So I am happy to take on these new ways. Although I will always be fond of those days long gone, I will excitedly look to the future and embrace my new ways with a heart full of love, a slow cooker, morning coffee and a jogging stroller – and hopefully someday soon my new ways will include a brand new pair of size 2 jeans.
Slow Cooker meal of the week: Classic Pot Roast (adapted from Cuisine)
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan. Sear a 4 lb beef roast on all sides.
Move the roast to the slower cooker and set on low. In the saute pan, add 1/4 cup of flour and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Cook for one minute. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of white wine and cook for another minute or so. Add in 1 1/2 cups of beef broth and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
Pour the sauce over the roast and set the slow cooker to low. Cleaning and chopping, combine 1 onion, 6 carrots and a few sticks of celery in a large bowl. Sprinkle with thyme and 3 bay leaves.
Add the vegetable mixture to slow cooker and let cook for 8 hours.
|4 hours in|
During the last thirty minutes of cooking, boil 2 lbs of cleaned and chopped red potatoes. Once tender, drain and add a tablespoon of butter, a splash of milk, and seasoned salt. Mash together and finally add in one bag of defrost peas (because let’s be honest, we all know that on Thanksgiving your mashed potatoes are really only a vehicle for your peas).