I want to go to sleep now, but I want to keep listening to this song. And right now, the song is winning.

Mrs. Potters Lullaby, if you’re wondering. And you’re probably not. But maybe you are. I don’t know.

I miss writing. I miss typing. I miss putting my thoughts and feelings down somewhere. I miss the sensation of being anonymous way out there on the Internet, and I miss the tiny little thrill that came with knowing that someone, somewhere was reading my words and thoughts and feelings.

I’ve been feeling the urge to write more and more frequently. Maybe it’s because I know I’ll be getting a big piece of my life – my independence – back in less than a year when C starts kindergarten.

And writing was a big piece of me before being a mother became an even bigger piece of me.

Being a mother will always be the biggest piece of me – and rightfully so. And I’m completely okay with that. I feel insane amounts of gratitude for that, and for her. For her, for her, for her.

But I’m really excited to get a bit more of myself back.

I’ve been dreaming up nursery ideas for the spare bedroom. Pink and grey for another girl, turquoise yellow and grey for a boy.

We already have the grey paint, you see.

And I have lists of possible names. It’s a longer list for girls, with two at the top I can’t quite decide between.

I’ve been fantasizing about getting a do-over; embracing pregnancy and a newborn knowing that it would be my last such experience. I would savor every minute of it – the difficult and the incredible.

Charlotte would have someone by her side for the rest of her life. They would share a family and a childhood and a special bond that only they fully understood.

My life would finally be able to move forward. I could stop waiting for the last member of our family to come along and complete us.  Unbeknownst to us, our family was likely complete with the arrival of Charlotte. She was likely my only pregnancy and birth experience. My only tiny newborn. My only toddler. My only child.

I used to tease that Charlotte was a miracle baby, and it turns out there was more truth in that than I ever would have imagined.

I’m stunned by all of it, but especially the depth of my heartache. Waves of grief hit me at unexpected moments and I feel like I’m going to crumble.

As my sister-in-law says, we’re not out of the game just yet. But it’s the two minute warning and my defense is on the field and someone just snapped the ball to Peyton Manning.

Imagine you have a job. A challenging, all-consuming job.

Then imagine, without warning, you get additional responsibilities. The kind of responsibilities that require you to work from the minute you wake up in the morning until the minute you go to sleep, without any breaks, even on weekends.

You get no pay increase. In fact, you’re out thousands of dollars because of these new responsibilities.

And imagine you can’t complain about it because these new responsibilities kind of come with the territory. You signed a contract.

That’s my reality right now.

Allan broke his leg. He can’t contribute to anything. He can’t do anything with Charlotte. Nothing around the house. Nothing with the dog. Nothing in the yard. He can’t drive himself to and from work. He can barely even take care of himself.

And while grateful to have health insurance, ours sucks. The state doesn’t have good health insurance AT ALL.

So it’s burden after burden after burden. And I can’t complain. Sickness and health, right?

And I can’t be mad at Allan. He didn’t mean to break his leg. It was an accident. A stupid, stupid accident.

At first, I thought it was funny and kind of exciting in a weird way. Oh! A cast! x-rays! But when the far reaching ramifications of what just happened hit home, I felt ill. I’m still extremely overwhelmed more than a week later.

And I’m bone tired. I have SO MUCH TO DO. My list of responsibilities never ends.

To make things worse – but better – my mom will be here on Friday. While I’m really looking forward to her visit and am genuinely glad she’s coming, she has high standards when it comes to how a house should look, toddler or no.

So, yeah. That’s my life for the next month or so. Wheeeee.

Hello, blog.

It’s been a while, right? I actually have no idea. I feel like if I waste a precious second to open another window and find the last time I wrote in here, my child could wake up and it could be weeks more until you get an update.

Not that you’d care. You’re just a blog.

Anyway. In case it wasn’t obvious from my lack of updates and the overflow of Charlotte pictures on Insagram and the like, I’m now a stay-at-home-mom. I’m not planning to go back to work.

And I’m happy.

Wait, what?

I stay home all day long with my child who, despite her angelic face, has the tasmanian devil for her spirit animal. And I’m happy.

When I lost my job (again) and when Charlotte was asked to leave her daycare, the stars seemed to align to make this a reality. Though it took me a while to realize it.

I feel like the Universe (God, The Supreme Being, Allah, what have you) has been tapping me on the shoulder for a while now.

Tap, tap: you’re not where you’re supposed to be. Insert layoff HERE.

Tap, tap, tap: you’re not where you’re supposed to be. Insert another job loss HERE.

Tap, tap, TAP: lady! you’re not in the right place! Insert yet another devastating job loss right HERE.

Finally, I listened.

Now, I’m not saying that I intend to never return to the working world again, but right now, I think this is where I’m supposed to be.

I’m supposed to be here to teach my girl to brush her teeth and her hair. I’m supposed to rock her and read her books before her nap. I’m supposed to feed her pancakes for breakfast and play patty cakes with her in the afternoon.

This is a hard gig for sure. The hardest I’ve ever had, but the most rewarding I’ve ever had, too. When Charlotte was born, even in the fog of postpartum depression (I was diagnosed. Did I tell you?), I knew I would never do anything better with my life than her. And I am certain that raising her and teaching her and being with her in these formative years is the most important job I will ever have.

Not that you can’t do it while also juggling a full-time job – because you can, though it’s much harder.

I think I’m in a unique position now. I’ve been on both sides. While this is the most challenging job I’ve ever had, my life in general is so much easier.

I have a singular focus. You’re going to think I’m a 50′s housewife, but I assure you, I’ve never felt more like a feminist in my life. My focus is on my home and what goes on inside of it. My focus is my child, my husband, my dog and the two plants I’ve managed to keep alive.

Before, I was more stressed out than I could have ever imagined, and I didn’t even realize it. I was constantly torn in multiple directions. I felt like I never had enough time for anything, least of all me. I was multitasking my entire life.

Right now, if I busted my ass all hours of the day, I could have time for everything. But I don’t want to. I’m reveling in the slower pace of my life, and if that means clean laundry sits in the basket for another day (or six), that’s ok.

So, this is what I plan on doing for a while. At least until Charlotte and Hypothetical Baby Number Two (HBNT) are off to kindergarten. Then I’ll go back to work, walk a completely different path than the one before. Just because I like to write and maybe have slightly more ability than average (though obviously not great) doesn’t mean I have to do it for a living anymore.

But life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, right? We’ll see what happens. As long as we’re financially able to pull this off (there have been budget talks and spending cuts galore, believe me) and we’re all thriving, we’ll keep it up. If not, we’ll figure something else out.

In the meantime, we’re all happy and really looking forward to the summertime.

Fingers crossed for an abnormally long nap today…

I feel like I should write in here if only because I have a minute to myself without my kid saying MAMA, MAMA, MAMA, MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMEEEEE, MOMMEEEEEEEE.

Seriously, that’s what she says about 500,000 times a day. Give or take a few thousand.

I’m complaining, but I’m not.

This is hard, man. This stay-at-home-mom gig isn’t for sissies.

It’s easier in some ways than what I was doing before, though. Now I’m not torn. I’m solely focused on what’s happening under the roof of my house. My life is dedicated laundry, cooking, cleaning, Charlotte, Murphy, Allan and errand running. Before, I had to be focused on all of that, PLUS a demanding job.

While I’m trying my damnedest to do right by Charlotte, I’m also trying not to lose myself. It took me an awful long time to be comfortable in my own skin, and I don’t want to lose it. Everything has changed – so, so much has changed – in the past six months, and I have to figure out how to hold onto who I am and who I was before I had a baby.

Allan is supportive. He bought me a Kindle (more fantastic than I could have imagined) and once a week I disappear to a cozy coffee shop in the evening (tonight, in fact!) where I enjoy peace and quiet and caffeine and beautifully-written words.

When friends ask me out to dinner or drinks or coffee, I say YESSSSSSSS.

Allan and I still try to ditch the kid whenever we can (you want her for a few hours/days?).

One morning a week, I drop Charlotte off at a play center and I have a few hours to myself to do housework or go to Target or go to Target or go to Target.

So, I’m trying to still be me. To be the best possible mother to Charlotte, I have to try.

My dad gave me some unsolicited words of wisdom when I was in Pittsburgh – snowy, freezing, spectacular Pittsburgh – the other week. He said that from now forward, Allan and I were a team whose goal was to give our child(ren) the best start in life as possible. That we are now unified in that charge.

So I need to be good and he needs to be good because we need Charlotte to be good.

And she’s so good, you guys. Watching her learn and grow and blossom is such a damn privilege. She strings words together. She’s a real chatterbox. She tells me she wants a snack or milk. If I put on my socks, she’ll go get my shoes. She pretends to leave the house by grabbing a purse-like-object (lunch boxes, gym bags, etc…), kissing everyone in the room goodbye, and getting into her pink push car.

She dances like a maniac. It’s her very favorite thing. She wears my necklaces and shoes, and she pretends to put on makeup. She plays in mud and climbs playground equipment and goes down slides head first.

I get to be here for all of it. For the new developments and the magic and the meltdowns. What a gift. What an absolute gift.

I don’t think it’s a resolution as much as it’s a goal for the year. Every day I’m going to take a walk. It doesn’t matter how far I go, how long I’m gone, or how many calories I burn. Ideally it’ll be just me. Maybe Murphy. Probably Charlotte for most of them. But every day I want to get out of my house and into the fresh air. I think it’ll be good for every part of me.

If you’re wondering why Charlotte will probably be along for most of my walks, it’s because I have, much to my surprise, become a Temporary Stay at Home Mom (TSAHM). Temporary because I’m still planning to go back to work. I think.

Charlotte’s nanny, who we loved, couldn’t handle three different age groups by herself. Her son was in one of the age groups, her daughter in another, and Charlotte was left out. So Charlotte had to go. Allan and I were incredibly upset, and it served to be the harsh closing act on the pretty miserable year that was 2014.

Here’s to a new year, new adventures and a lot of walks.