My Luck Ran Out. (Kind of)

People go back to work after having a baby for plenty of reasons. For me, it was because I wanted to. I was one of the “lucky ones,” because I basically got to choose my hours, I only worked part time, I had a great job and coworkers that I liked, and I didn’t even have to put my daughter in daycare. My mother in law watched her.

For me, work is a lifeline. It gave me a much needed respite from the early days of “feed, cry, nap, repeat,” that my daughter seemed to be in. I didn’t feel as much like a sleep deprived dairy cow, and more like the person I used to be.

I felt like it made me a better mom. I got just enough time and enough of a break to be able to miss my daughter and appreciate all the time we did have together. And I got to have adult conversations occasionally.

All at the low, low cost of having grandma watch my daughter.

But then my family moved to Texas, and all of a sudden I had some decisions to make.

I needed to choose between putting my daughter in daycare and keeping my job, or being a stay-at-home mom full time.

Practically speaking, to have my daughter in daycare would be very expensive and I would have to start working a lot more for that to make sense. My husband and I also didn’t feel comfortable having our daughter in a daycare. (No judgement on those who do – it’s just not for us.)

So I decided on the stay-at-home mom route.

I realize I’m still incredibly lucky to have this choice at all, and not need to continue working for economic reasons, but was still a really hard choice for me to give up doing something I liked.

I’m going to miss working. And I’m also more than a little concerned about being with a toddler 24/7. Am I going to forget how to form complete sentences? Will I survive on a diet of rejected carrots and sandwich crusts?

Stay tuned to watch my slow descent into child-induced madness.

Or hey, you never know.  I might love it. Right?





We abandoned our daughter to go skiing (don’t worry she was with her grandparents)

For a long time, me and my husband have been planning on taking a weekend to go skiing in Montana with some friends. For just as long, we have been debating whether or not we were going to take our daughter with us.

It was going to be the first time we had been away from her for that long (4 nights), and it just felt wrong to leave her behind. But we also knew that if she did come with us she was not going to have a good time and neither would we. She would have to deal with a ten hour train ride both ways with just two days in between to recover – there was no way.

So we decided to leave her behind. But first we did have to do a “test night” where we left her with her grandparents for the night, just to make sure she would be ok. And of course she did great.

But we left her with her grandparents in the end anyways. She had a great time, being spoiled to the nth degree, and we had a good time (albeit a little guiltily) skiing in Montana, the first time in a year and half we had any real time together without Rowan.

We skied as much as we could, even though there was just barely enough snow to slide down. They only had the backside of the mountain open, and they had the snow machines running the whole time. I had never seen those before, and they were actually pretty impressive. They do not, as I had previously thought for some reason, chip up a giant block of ice and spew it onto the mountain fire-hose style. They spray water into the air and it turns into actual snow.

All in all, it was worth it, although we both missed Rowan so much I don’t think we’ll be doing that again for quite a while!

Now we just can’t wait to go back in January, baby in tow this time!

Once again, we decide to take a toddler on an airplane.

Every year I go back to Washington for Thanksgiving, and this year was no exception. After this, I hibernate for the next six months until the weather goes back up over freezing (not counting skiing, of course.)

Traveling with an almost one and a half year old is not the easiest task in the world, especially with two flights and a two hour drive involved, but we have been flying with our daughter since she was 3 months old.

Over the last couple of trips we have really started to get the hang of flying with a toddler, although it makes me miss the newborn stage a little. A few diapers, wipes, and a couple outfit changes, and that’s all you need.  All they want to do is cuddle with you anyways, they don’t take up that much space, and if you are nursing, you can nurse them taking off and landing to help their ears, and then 300 other times during the flight to keep them calm.

When they get to be a toddler, all of a sudden they need to be entertained with toys, they get antsy sitting in one spot and need to walk up and down the aisle. God help you if you need to change them in that tiny airplane bathroom.

This time, I managed to learn from my previous mistakes. I brought Rowan’s own food so she didn’t have to eat only applesauce all day (a PB&J sandwich, cheerios, crackers and cookies, grapes and bananas were all hits, and they surprisingly made it through security no problem). Lots of small toys and books. Her pacifier and security blanket were a must. The pacy was definitely helpful when it came to her ears when landing and taking off. And we only resorted to watching her favorite videos a couple of times on the flight.

The flight was not without mishaps. On the way over, we had to book it with fifteen minutes in between flights. I was running with Rowan in her stroller and I was glad I wore my sneakers, that’s for sure. We had to rearrange flights on the way back to make sure we had PLENTY of time in between flights. Definitely not going to be doing that again.

But as always,even with the stress of traveling, it’s totally worth it to see all my family. We had a great time with my parents and brother, grandparents and cousins, and even a great great great aunt.

I am very lucky to have all this family that loves us and that loves my daughter, and I’m always grateful that we have the ability to see them often.

Also, this a cheesecake recipe that I made while I was there that was really delicious. I just used a store-bought graham cracker crust and topped it with cherry pie filling. Though next time I would let it chill for several hours. Maybe it says that in the recipe. All I looked at was the ingredients.


The Move

North Dakota was a hot topic for me long before I decided to move here. It was when my boyfriend told me that he was moving to North Dakota that I learned about the oil field and all the job opportunities there. Ever since then I was plagued with the question of whether or not to make the move.

A year later, after I graduated from college, I finally decided to “give it a try for a month.” So I took the plunge and moved to Williston.

I went from living by myself, just a couple of hours drive away from my parents, to living states away in a house with my boyfriend’s family. To say it was an adjustment is an understatement, but by the end of the month I was engaged, and I was actively looking for jobs.

Unbeknownst to me, I was in Williston for the long haul.

We moved out of my in-laws house into an apartment. After a few false starts I landed a job that wasn’t exactly in the realm of my college degree but that I ended up loving, and I ended up with some great coworkers too.

I now have a daughter, who we like to call our souvenir from North Dakota. We frequently fly back to Washington to see my family. Even though getting out of this city is a bit of a pain, it’s worth it to get to spend time with them.

We’ve traveled all around this area now, from Minot to Minneapolis all the way up Canada and down to Rapid City, South Dakota. We’ve had some adventures and picked up a lot of tips and tricks for living in the Bakken (and surviving those infamous North Dakota winters!)

I’ll admit when I first moved here I couldn’t see why anyone would want to live here, but after four years North Dakota won me over. It’s not a life I ever would have imagined for myself, but now I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.