Wowsers! My lack of blogging probably speaks for itself and I wonder how obvious it might be to others when they see my disheveled appearance. Motherhood is obviously kicking me in the butt and thoroughly turning my life upside down. I’m so amazed at how others like Elise and Amy are able to do so much with a little one in their lives. Granted, any kind of help would probably be… duh… helpful!

LIFE IS A ROLLERCOASTER
I’ve certainly been having a lot of trouble nailing down any kind of daily routine. You would think that days are pretty much the same – the stereotypical image of living in a rural small Tuscan town. But life happens and every week there is something that throws me for a loop. I’ve had my share of mom meltdowns for the silliest of things as well. Now that I seem to have gotten myself emotionally stable, there are external factors that are in movement. It doesn’t seem like there is ever a free weekend to just be, you know? Motherhood has definitely taught me to lower my standards a bit and to accept wholeheartedly any help that is offered to me. You cannot imagine how wonderful it is when someone does an errand for you or watches the kiddo for even a little bit. I’m reminded quite often now to cut people some slack in general. I used to scoff at those who seemed totally out of it – I mean – how long do they need to get themselves together, right? Oh, how naive I was. My boy is 9 months old now and I’m still trying to figure it out. Oops. How I would like to slap some sense and compassion into my annoying younger-self, full of attitude. Now, I totally get it. Time has been flying by and although it’s slow moving, I’ve been able to do a little something here and there. I was able to grow my little avocado seed… LTieu-avocado …repaint the wall canvases with some song lyrics…

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I also got a haircut, finally – although while typing this I realize I probably need another haircut again… hah, it never ends!

LTieu-us

WORK
So I’ve been so darn busy with freelance work that my side projects have all been put on hold. Funny thing is that now the requests are flooding in but I find myself with less time. Yet again, I’m realizing that my business goals and needs are changing in order to mesh with my new lifestyle. I want to spend my time with my boy afterall. It’s funny how work-at-home-mom is really two things in one. You need to work but you also have to take care of your child – that’s seriously two jobs people! Why did I think that it would be easy? Or that I would be able to easily get into some comfortable routine? When it comes to kids… there doesn’t seem to be any kind of normal routine. Especially in the beginning months of life, they are changing so quickly.

So it’s been difficult to work in general and I’ve only concentrated on the big things – as they pay the bills. I’ve got so many projects in the backlog and I must admit that my online presence is a bit in shambles. I’ve definitely consolidated though – you might have noticed that I combined my blogs, so this is where I’m at now. No use in separating things out – there’s just one me after all!

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So things are slow moving, but they are moving ahead. I just need to get used to an entirely different pace when it comes to work. When inspiration strikes, it doesn’t mean you can drop everything and run with it. There are so many other responsibilities now… oh pooey!

TIME MANAGEMENT WITH THE BOY

LTieu-Christopher

Every baby is different. My little Christopher happens to be a light sleeper, if he sleeps at all. So not only is it challenging to get him to nap during the day, once he’s finally down you can’t really do much without risking to wake him up. He’s vigilant the little bugger. It’s certainly getting better over time and now when I do find myself with a block of time, I suddenly feel totally fatigued! I guess I was running on adrenaline. My original plan of working late nights… well, I didn’t take into consideration that I might be wiped out by the time midnight rolls around. Another shot of espresso, perhaps?

LTieu-coffee

I have also tried to use the weekend as catch-up time, given that others are home… but it turns out to be quite challenging to get any kind of quiet working time when the house is full of people. Plus, my hubby sometimes needs to be taken care of too (oh, men). Apparently, weekend catch-up is not going to work either.

LTieu-park

I am learning that every single minute needs to be used, if possible. No more waiting for the right time to do xyz… just do it when you can! It’s a hard transition for me, because I’m the kind of person that likes to have a clean desk before I start working or everything organized before I start a project. Now I have to throw away my previous habits and just dive in, because it might be the only chance I get. I find myself running upstairs to do something for 15 minutes before running back downstairs to tend to house duties. It’s a continual battle. I’ve also burned a lot of food. Yikes!

LTieu-Christopher-walker

LIFE IS JUST DIFFERENT
The relief I get is when someone visits and volunteers to take care of the kid. Then I’ve got a few hours to get work done. Whew! Thank goodness for grandma and aunties! Sigh. Ultimately, I really have little to complain about – it’s really all about how my life is changing so much. Even more than I could ever have imagined before. I love my little guy sooooo much and it’s hard to hear him playing downstairs, while I’m trying to get things done upstairs. I miss the little bugger – crazy, huh?

Now that he’s getting better at standing and playing by himself, he’ll stay in the playbox as well. The first time he screamed with protest, but slowly and surely… he’s getting the hang of it. There’s also the walker that he enjoys exploring the house with. Although it requires constant supervision, so he doesn’t get into trouble – at least it’s another activity for him.

Of course, while watching the boy – none of my freelance work can be done. It’s more of the house duties and such. I suppose, my work just takes a different kind of concentration.

LTieu-Christopher-table

THE DOG + THE BOY
I know many folks wonder how Vash and Christopher are together? Well, they get along pretty good. I mean, Christopher wants to pull Vash’s fur… but Vash is amazingly tolerant and just walks away. Our little Westie has always been such a well behaved pet. Now that Christopher is in the walker, Vash has to dodge getting run over as well. When I was pregnant, I was definitely wondering if dog and baby interaction would be okay. But once we were home together, I realized it was going to be fine. They love each other and co-exist without issue. Vash has never growled at Christopher and usually ignores him or wants to lick him. Actually, Vash is way more interested in Christopher’s stuffed toys.

LTieu-home

MOVING FORWARD
I’ve certainly been rambling away about my own little world and I do realize it’s about time I get moving forward a bit more. I have projects in the works and getting my 2014 planning organized as well. I will actually be on vacation for Xmas and New Years, so it’ll be an interesting time, visiting family in the USA for the first time with Christopher. I’m going to use my vacation to really get more clarity on my future plans as well. For now, it’s about getting through the day, as best as I can and slowly working in a bit more routine – if possible.

I will be structuring up a proper blogging schedule here, sharing updates of my Italian life from an American expat perspective, my scrapbooking, DIY projects and my artwork of course. Please do let me know what you would like to see, any questions you have or comments that come to mind. I really appreciate your input!

THANK YOU
I’m typing this on Thanksgiving – Happy Thanksgiving to all my USA’ers – I’m most definitely reminded to be grateful for all that I have. My family and life craziness – all of it is wonderful and worth it. Not to mention, I am immensely grateful for my bloggie friends like you – who cheer me on and support my creative endeavors. Thank you – Grazie! I’m so grateful for all the positivity and possibility that the future holds. Let’s all go for it! I thought it would be nice to share a little turkey day illustration I made below.

TG_ThanksgivingStickersFreebie_3Feel free to click the image and download the hi-resolution turkey graphic for your personal use!

Thank you again and stay tuned… (sign-up for my newsletter here)

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