About Me

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My name is Kelley and I am a stay at home mom to two kids - my amazing son Jackson Wayne and cutie pie little girl Bailey Louise. I am a working at home mom with a business called baby Jack blankets. I handmake ribbon tab baby blankets and sell them online. I am married to the love of my life Brian and every day looking forward to the ever so rewarding and challenging experiences that my life brings me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getting this off my chest

Many of my posts spew positivity. These posts are my revised draft of my rough. My rough draft of my blogs are simply for me to get all my random thoughts out and wash my hands of them. This post however, will help me vent and get things off my chest, literally.

Have you ever had anxiety? It's my way of being stressed. My muscles tense up and I get this full feeling in my chest as if I can't breathe. I feel anxious, probably because I have a lot of orders to do and updates for my client and I am trying to get them all completed before the busy Halloween weekend.

I couldnt get any sewing done for my orders. I spent the afternoon attempting to get my little Bailey down for a much needed nap. My little missfit was overtired and fighting the z's. Running upstairs to check on Jack and entertain him, then back down to calm Bailey, I was exhausted. After 90 minutes of rocking, swaying, singing, crying it out and feeding, she finally gave in - all for a thirty minute nap. Dinner and a Legler family dance party with me, Brian, Jack and Bailey put a great cap to the kiddo evening. Bath and bed went smooth and it was time to finally create...then my anxiety hit.

I have been focusing a lot of my energy thinking about certain people and sometimes feel as if their priorities are a little jolted. It comes down to me not understanding their actions and always feel as if there is something that I did wrong to create this behavior. I don't know if I will ever understand them, but I know I cannot change them. Either way, I am done ranting and am going to go to my gym and go swimming - my new stress reliever.

Monday, October 24, 2011

They Complete Us

I apologize for getting everyone so excited right along with us after writing about considering for a third child. I love how you were all so supportive and appreciate the blessings. In two days, things have changed and Brian and I went with our gut to continue with the vasectomy appointment in December.

I tend to not sleep on decisions and just go with it. That's why I immediately wrote my blog talking about my excitement about growing our family. Truth is, Brian is the opposite and this is why we work so well together and balance one another out. He reads reviews, he gathers insight and takes time to make decisions. This was certainly a major life changing decision and needed to sleep on it.

We both woke up apprehensive and a lot to discuss. We shared our fears, our concerns, our pros and of course embraced the want to have another. What it came down to was how content and happy were were with our lives. We just recently modeled our kitchen and need to pay it all off and I have a growing at home business along with freelance clients. Time and money would be limited if we added another. I dont need to justify anything to myself or family, we will always have their support.

I think just knowing that the option was on the table was extremely exciting for us, because we never really discussed it with an open mind. Then knowing that it was a possibility really made us think. Brian always said to me, "I love us" and now he has said "They complete us.". It made sense. We have two happy and healthy kids and are happy in our home life and have less stress in our marriage now that Bailey is approaching the six month mark. Life is good.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Party of Five?

This week Brian and I had a consultation with a urologist about scheduling a vasectomy. We decided a few months back that our family was now complete, having one of each gender so we scheduled the appointment and booked the surgery given that we already maxed out our insurace with having Bailey. It made financial sense to do it now.

Since Wednesday, something changed in both of us. We were no longer 100% sure that we were done growing our family. Sure it was a hectic home of always on the go, toys flying everywhere, transtrums flaring and non-stop bottle washing but that's our life. This life of babies is only temporary and it sure flies by and they grow up fast and the after baby/diaper life "appears" to be easier or at least you get into a groove. Well, after careful thought and consideration, we have decided to try for another!

I am elated that we actually agreed on this. There was always a part of me that wanted three kids but we decided on two and done. I remember sitting downstairs crying hysterically while I packed Jack's baby clothes into boxes to donate/sell/toss. I cried when Bailey's first word was Dada (yes, I am shallow) thinking that no baby of mine would say Mama first. I balled after having her, knowing it would be the last time a doctor put a baby into my arms for the first time. I weeped at all the firsts and I will most likely weep again at the next firsts. It's a happy/sad thing to know something is complete.

Part of me knew we should have a third because I believe in all signs. I believe that #3 is missing from our lives. Last year around this time my mother-in-law and I saw a psychic who told me my sole purpose in life was to nurture. I would have three children and the dominant gender would be male. Brian has two brothers and I have one, 2/3 are Godfathers of our kids and I always wanted my brother to be a Godfather; now hopefully he can be with his significant other Kim. Growing up I yearned for three kids, boy/girl/boy or girl/boy/girl. All of them would have a place - oldest, only gender, youngest.  Time will tell if we are destined for a third and if it is in our cards...if we do get pregnant, my guess is a boy (considering I got rid of all the blue clothes!)

I find that each and every year that passes our lives get better and better. If we are lucky enough to have another, that would really make our 30th year of life the best and our family complete.

The next day...
So we slept on it. And thought about it. We were both extremely excited to even have the option on the table. Brian never gave the idea a thought, and had always envisioned having two kids and since we got lucky with a boy and girl he didnt want more. Now that he was open to it we were both very excited.

So the next day after little sleep, we sat down and had an in depth conversation. Our gut is telling us both not to have a third. Time will tell if we change our minds again.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dark Times Lead to Light

I know I have been posting quite a bit lately, but I have had a lot on my mind. Plus that's what happens when I go without writing for almost two months. Being creative is my form of therapy whether it is writing, sewing, scrapbooking, designing websites or just finger painting with the kids. It allows me to express how I feel without judgement.

Personally, I dont think about my audience when I write. It's more of a journal for me and a way to reflect on hard times and count my blessings, not my problems. My friend commented about how uplifting and motivating my blog is to her and I was so happy to hear that since a lot of you don't view my "first draft" versions of my posts...some get pretty dark.

When I am down I write. I never publish it because it is very personal to me and the second draft usually comes out to be a reflection of all things great that are happening in my life; my constant reminder of how blessed I truly am. Perhaps I should start writing about the trials and struggles...perhaps someone besides me could benefit. Honestly, I dont write about it because I choose to not dwell on that dark place. I was in an extremely dark place once - a place out of my control and I found help.

After Jack's first birthday I was diagnosed with post-partum depression, talked to a therapist and went on medication.  I noticed signs earlier in September of 2009 but just thought it was hormones and that it coincided with motherhood. After all, I was new at this gig and tried to tough it out. I was anxious, irritable and emotional all the time. I felt like PMS was taking over 24/7 and that I just wasnt enjoying all the mini milestones as I should have been. Granted I had a lot of fun with Jack in his first year but always felt a bit off and as if I needed to accomplish more and pull my weight since I was staying at home with him. I remember our first family photo shoot and it pains me to look at the picture. I look like I didnt take care of myself, lost my glow and I see a sadness in my eyes. I was at my heaviest and I am sure that weighed on me as well. After seeing myself at my lowest, I vowed to never return to that place ever again.

Mommy and Bailey Lou

For the second time around, Brian and I decided to not breastfeed Bailey and to go directly on my medication once she was born to rid any potential anxiety or depression. I am happy to say that it was the best decision we made together as a couple, as parents and helped the transition from one child to two go more smoothly. Bailey is approaching six months and I am working at weening myself off my medication; an uphill battle but I am confident everything will be fine.

I dont want to sit here and preach about post-partum depression. If you are having similar feelings, I recommend simply talking to someone - anyone - about your feelings and anxiety or read the book Down Came the Rain by Booke Shields. You are the only person who is going to change your unhappiness and it's up to you to figure out how to do so.

Here's a link to my very first (and only other) blog speaking of my depression:

Finding my happy place...

Adjusting to two kids is going great, or at least I have a better outlook on everything in my life this time around. I've learned a lot of lessons about myself, parenting, marriage and people in general since becoming a mom. I have learned how to ask for help when you are feeling no-so-like-yourself. It was the best thing I could have ever done - to say "I need you" and to know that people are there for me fills up my heart.

Everyone needs help when you are a new mom, we are just way too proud to ask for it. I am lucky enough to have people in my life that take the initiative and push me by saying..."You were quiet today, is anything wrong?" or "I know you are going to be busy, do you need help with the kids?" or just those that show up every week/or are there at the drop of a hat to help me when I need them. You know who you are and I have so much gratitude for your support.

It's no easy task running your own business while being at home with kids but somehow I have managed to balance it all out. I prioritize and allow myself enough lead time where it doesnt become too overwhelming and my kids are great while I work. Jack entertains himself or I interact with him while I sew and Bailey is at the stage where she is just happy with a simple smile. I usually save all my workload during naptime or after they are in bed so I can just listen to music and have no distractions and create.

When I am creating, I am so happy and content. I have found something that fills me and doesnt seem like work. I honestly think this hobby turned business is my coping mechanism for the trying times of motherhood and I believe I stumbled upon it right when I needed it. Two years later and after many road blocks, baby Jack blankets is turning into a profit and I have my number one fan and business partner (and Mother in Law) Nancy to thank.

I've found my passion and have worked my butt off to get there. It was an uphill battle but since it was doing something that I love, it eventually worked in my favor. Without the help of my great friends and family (and Facebook) to help me spread the word, baby Jack blankets wouldnt be a success. I thank everyone for your support and encouragement -and purchases- along the way!

To many more years and more stores to come...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Where do I begin?

It's strange how I do not know where this year has gone. Bailey is approaching 6 months and since she arrived, we have been moving at the speed of light. I am already writing my Christmas letter and scheduling our family of four photo shoot for holiday cards (you know me, planning ahead).

I cannot complain about life besides that everything is going so fast. Business is good for both Brian and I - Brian's company Bucyrus was bought out by Catepillar and the remain busy with orders for machinery. Brian has been a huge help with Bailey in the morning but still manages to get a workout at the gym before going to work. My blanket business baby Jack blankets has moved to the next level by adding wholesale orders to our list and we are now being sold in stores (Milwaukee, Minnesota, New York and Missouri). So far, I have managed to keep up with the Etsy and Facebook orders along with everything else on my plate. I continue to do freelance web design projects for a broad range of clients, am working with a business partner of mine to brand our design business and was recently retained by RdR - a web design client for part-time work. I'm excited that consistent income is coming in and it's helping pay off our home updates. 

This month we completed our kitchen remodel and we are back to the norm of enjoying dinners as a family. It's such a calming atmosphere and is motivating me to get more organized throughout the rest of the house but time doesnt allow it. lol The kids are keeping us so busy and growing way too fast before our very eyes. We have been attempting to slow down and enjoy it all before we can no longer get these little moments back. I forgot about all the mini milestones the books do not embrace this time second around. Bailey's little giggle, her emerging personality and my favorite of all...the raspberries. She's been a real treat during dinner time when she non-stop spits her food at us (I gag at the smell of peas) and Jack just encourages her by laughing.

Bailey has said her first word (Dada - like Jack did) and is sitting up. She continues to be the best baby by far and it's been a good transition adding her to our daily routine. Jack is a great big brother and adores her. He's extrmely helpful and gentle with her. The best thing I could say about having two kids is seeing the endless love they have for each other. I really hope that it continues on through the years. It's a treat to watch them play/laugh/admire one another.

Jack is talking up a storm and singing every song you can imagine. Somehow he got some crazy dance moves and I assume it's from Brian (remember our wedding?). He is doing really well at Pre School twice a week and the teacher has nothing but good things to say about him. He's a very polite little boy and always seems to enjoy the friends, teacher, activities and trains there! As an early Christmas/3rd Bday present, we bought him a battery powered John Deere tractor and since then - if the weather cooperated - he has been outside riding it around the house for many hours. After one day he mastered the pedal, steering, reverse and clearing in between the cars and parking. We couldn't be more proud.

This summer flew by but we always had something planned on the calendar. We just recently went up north to the cabin with Randy and Nancy and Jackson caught his first fish - actually two! He reeled them in all by himself and shared the moment with his dad and Papa Randy. I cried knowing how important it was that they could teach him their passion and he enjoyed it so much. Perhaps next time they can take him on the boat!

Halloween is approaching next week and we are gearing up for some fun events as a family and sharing with friends. Jack is going to be Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirate) and Bailey is a Penguin. This Saturday we are taking them to Boo at the Zoo for the first time and next week is Trick or Treat. On to November already...