Monday, January 4, 2016

Stable Mable Monday.

Happy Monday!

I mentioned before that I'm contributing over at the always hilarious, insightful, and just totally rad Stable Mable Chicago Now blog. You can check out my word vomit today all about the F word that my kid isn't allowed to say: here.

Have a babetastic day!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016!

Gold glitter-dusted poms that were perfect for ringing in a new year. 

Pre-baby and pregnancy New Year's Eve was always an obvious party night filled with drinks and staying up until 5am. This year with a pregnant belly and house full of sicklings I ushered in 2016 alone on the couch in front of 30 Rock reruns with a tall glass of sparkling grape juice. Know what? After being bummed all day that we no longer had big plans and bummed again when both of my guys went to bed before 10pm, I kind of loved having a bit of alone time and being able to reflect on the last year. Lately I can't help but realize how lucky I am to have the life that I do and be surrounded by the people that I am.
2015 was a year of adventures and learning. We took our first vacation in years and I worked a ton (which is a GREAT thing when you're a freelancer!) and we really settled in to being parents and my baby turned one and we found out that we had another baby on the way and I had some crazy exciting opportunities present themselves and I feel like I really grew as a person. The year wasn't without its share of storm clouds but overall I look back on a really sunny, wonderful 365 days.

Even in a year where the world was in turmoil and the national news was overwhelmingly negative, I feel lucky to be in this place in life and as fortunate as I am. Here's to more of that grateful feeling in 2016...and to a few other things, too.
My resolutions for 2016:

1.) Put more effort into: positive personal relationships, blogging, being eco-friendly, saving the monies, myself. 

2.) Make time for fun and adventures (see you next month, New York City!)

3.) But cut myself a break. Life with a newborn is really hard sometimes (probably way harder with a toddler thrown in too) and it's cool if my house is messy every now and then. It's okay to have a glass of wine in the bath tub and watch Bravo marathons when someone offers to watch the youngins' too.

Also, I'm now contributing to one of my favorite blogs which is super exciting! You can see my mom-centric resolutions over at Stable Mable on Chicago Now here.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy new year!  Do you have any big resolutions for the year?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Happy Announcement.

So I have some news....

We're having another baby! We are over the moon and can't wait to meet our little miss or mister this Spring!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Letter to Rowan, 12 Months.

Dear Rowan,

You're one year old! It's crazy to me how quickly the time flew by, but I also feel like I always knew you. It's hard for me to remember what my life was like without you in it--I think I took more showers and worked a lot? I can't be sure. 

I can remember the day you were born vividly and recalling it brings happy tears to my eyes. After spending nine months basking in pregnancy magic and surprising everyone by not freaking out about childbirth, I was wheeled into the OR and I was terrified. I shook as they hooked me up and gave me medicine. I stared nervously at the ceiling as my body went numb and I waited for your Daddy to walk into the room. Time stood still as the doctor worked to get you out (thanks, by the way, for playing jump rope with your umbilical cord and getting all tangled up, you goofball!). Then it happened. I could hear you. I couldn't see you yet, but I could hear my first baby's very first cry. The doctor said, "Are you ready? You have a beautiful baby boy!" and Daddy rushed to take your picture as they unwrapped you and cleaned you up. Nothing will ever compare and no one will ever know what that moment was like when I held you in my arms for the first time and felt your tiny body against my chest. I kept whispering, "He's here! He's here! You're here!" I waited four very long, sometimes very difficult, years for you. I would have waited a thousand more. You were, and you are, the best thing that has ever happened to me. 

You have a magical personality and you light up the room....and I'm not just saying that because I helped make you. You have the sweetest spirit and can find mischief where ever you may roam. You are a born comedian and you like to make people laugh (your newest routine involves pulling your diaper down a little bit so your butt sticks out). You give big kisses and high fives and you are always quick with a smile or a belly laugh. When you are mad, everyone knows it but luckily it usually doesn't last long. Now that you are a bit more mobile (not walking on your own yet but you are trying constantly) you are able to get into a lot of trouble! You are a curious little soul and like to try everything on your own. Daddy and I will show you how to use a toy or do a new "trick" and you delight in trying it on your own. I taught you how to dip your vegetables in hummus and now it's all you want to do! It's adorable to watch you "dip" your green beans into your pacifier. I also let you sometimes turn the porch light on at night and it is a highlight of your day. You just really like doing cool, big kid things.

You are my best pal and I love going on adventures with you--whether it's to Target to shop in the dollar section and get out of the house for an hour or taking the train into Chicago to see Sue the T-Rex at the museum. You are a great sport and will spend the entire day trekking the globe and soaking in all the sights. I promise to always take you on adventures. I love your adventurous little spirit and hope that I am giving you room to grow and I can't wait to travel ever more with you.

As I watch you get older and change, I am so proud of you. I'm proud of us. The first year of life is no joke for baby or parent. Nursing can be difficult, no one sleeps, everyone is getting used to one another. I feel like we learned everything the hard way, but it was the sweetest and most joyful experience. Those first few weeks were a learning experience but I miss them sometimes. Though, honestly, nothing compares to life with you now because you have this big personality and you make me laugh and you make me want to set great examples for you. 

You love to eat and play and watch Sesame Street and Doc McStuffins. I love learning things you like and seeing your little face light up when I show you something I know you'll love. You color with your baby crayons and love to finger paint. You still love your sign language DVDs and it's so cool to see you picking up different signs. You've learned to point and it's your favorite trick. When you point, we tell you what something is and I think it's the perfect time the teach you things. I was at the grocery store and you kept pointing to a woman so I finally asked what her name was so I could tell you, "That's the floor. That's a red apple. That's Linda, our new friend."

Last night, I rocked you for a little longer while you slept. I watched your little chest go up and down with your breath and I looked through all the photos from your first year and let the tears fall because I feel so happy and so lucky. I hope you feel happy and lucky too. I hope as parents we are teaching you to be kind and to love deeply and to expect wonderful things to happen and to be strong. I hope you always feel loved and that your quick smile is something that stays with you until you are old and gray.  Being your momma has changed me in a way I never thought possible. My heart is bigger, I love more deeply, I'm happier to be here, I appreciate what I have a little more. I mean it, you just make life really sweet.

Happy birthday, my beloved! I'm so looking forward to all the years of love and adventures and laughter and big hugs and hijinks to come. I can't wait to see you continue to grow and change in the coming years, months, weeks, days. You are my favorite favorite and the still point of my moving universe. 



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Thoughts on Thirty.

How gorgeous was my 30th birthday cake?

I turned 30 yesterday. 3-0. It is bananas. I guess I've never really thought of myself as a "real" adult before because I still feel like an awkward teenager so much of the time. But now I'm entering this new decade with somewhat fresh eyes and more determination than ever to make my life what I want it to be. 

For the last month or so, I've really been regretting things I did and didn't do in my twenties. I found myself beating myself down about chances not taken, trips not taken, friends not kept (or kept too long in a couple situations), career paths forgotten, dreams not chased, and everything else. I don't believe in having no regrets, but at the same time I can't focus on the things I would change. I had all these visions of myself at 30: put together, skinny, a perfect mom with a perfect house. I'm not really those things. My house is a disaster, I'm chubby, I often doubt my own parenting, I make mistakes but I'm happy and I'm learning. I'm not beating myself up because I'm not perfect. Every day I'm learning how to be the person I want to be and live the life I want to live. Me and my life aren't perfect, but they are pretty fucking great. 

Some goals I'm bringing with me into this new decade:

Make Space for Good, Not for Blah
This is a constant goal, working toward make my life 95% full of wonderful, positive things and people that I love with only 5% of the obligations that I'm not that into. I'm learning to say no to projects if they don't seem right for me, to carve out time for people who make me a better person, and generally choosing to do the thing I love over the thing I dread whenever humanly possible. 

Get Organized
 I'm trying my best to get things in order with my house, my career, this blog, our finances, and the like. I have to do lists upon to do lists that will help me to organize everything. I used to be so great with keeping everything in check but then, you know, work and new motherhood. When things are in order, I feel more at peace so this is vital. I think once my house isn't so daunting I may actually, *GASP*, love it again.

Keep the Healthy Momentum Going
 I've been doing a lot of research and reading about nutrition in an effort to create the healthiest diet for me. I'm continuing on this track to make sure my family and I are eating the most nutritious diet possible (with treats and indulgences here and there, too). I'm hoping to get back in the habit of making things from scratch and cooking really healthy dinners every night. 
Do All the Things
I have a terrible habit of pushing things off that I really do want to do. I always make an excuse to not plan a trip or buy that really bright dress or make those complicated cookies. I want to stop just "pinning" things and actually start doing them. One of my greatest regrets is that I've made excuses or procrastinated on doing things that I really wanted to, I'm working hard to leave this regret in my twenties.

But Give Myself Some Wiggle Room
I'm done with the "busy wars" where everyone has to shout from the roof tops how TOTALLY CRAZY STRESSFUL AND BUSY LIFE IS. I'm totally guilty but it's not a competition and business is no prize. I'm learning that it's a-okay to take one night a week after the baby is asleep to skip chores and read a book instead. Relaxation is just as important as productivity. 

So here's to my thirties, I'm diving in with big plans and making more and more positive changes. Cheers to 30 years!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Letter to Rowan, 11 Months.

Dear Rowan,

Boy! In one month you will be ONE YEARS OLD. How? How did time fly by so quickly? I will save the teary, mushy look back at the day you are born for November 3 but trust me that I find myself thinking back to it almost daily. My teeny tiny newborn (who still lived in my belly this time last year!) is now a little boy with likes and dislikes and personality for days.

Oh, you are such a personality! You are loud in the best way and you laugh a lot. You still love to say Dada and you blow raspberries and raise your arms for So Big! You give the best high fives and wave your arms when we say "Yoooohooo!" You are still quite an eater and love almost everything we give you. Blueberries, pineapple, bananas, peas, and spaghetti top your list though. You also are showing more of your preferences--you light up for certain things that you love and dislike others. You are a BIG fan of Doc McStuffins (we think you have a crush, which means you have excellent taste and hello? she's a doctor!), Murray Monster on Sesame Street, your Baby Signing Time DVDs, Mommy, Daddy, and Kira the cat. You still bring your little Toothless stuffed animal everywhere and your small Cookie Monster stuffy usually goes to bed with you to snuggle.

You are moving and shaking! You are zooming all over the house and pulling yourself up on everything. I think you're going to be walking very soon because you try so hard and you have such determination.

You started signing! You mostly sign for more and (sometimes) please. You had to sign sorry a couple when you were being naughty (you made Jackie cry by knocking over his Lego tower!). I also pretended your toy remote was a phone one time and now you constantly hold it up to your ear. It's amazing to me what a little sponge you are. I try to remind myself of that and set good examples for you every day. On that thought, you and I did the Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide awareness in honor of some friends and family we've lost over the years. It was a bittersweet event and hurt my heart to see other families who have suffered too, but I was glad to spend that day with you showing you that time and strength heal you.

Bedtime was becoming a very stressful struggle and it pains me to say I had to start letting you "cry it out." I found a gentle way to do this but dang, it breaks my heart. I know it's best for you in the long run but it's so difficult to hear you cry and not run to you immediately and hold you tightly. Bedtime is getting better little by little and I have to remind myself that motherhood is about balance and teaching you to be independent. 

Here's to another month of love and laughter and raspberries and high fives. You are my favorite favorite and the light of every day. I can't believe you'll be ONE next time I write you a letter!

I love you more than anything, Bear.



Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Letter to Rowan, 10 Months.

Dear Rowan, 

Ten crazy, delicious, wonderful, wacky months with you; how can that even be? Sometimes I look at you and think you still are this tiny peanut of a person, other times I realize just how much you've grown and how different you've become. I can't believe I'm going to write one more of these letters before we are celebrating your YEAR on Earth. Time is a beast.

Boy, what don't you do these days? You are constantly on the move and army crawling all over the place. Last night you started propping yourself up on your hands and knees and now you look like a really, little baby crawling around. You try to pull yourself up on everything (you had your first boo boo today after a spill trying to stand up by the couch) and the bathtub is your favorite place to attempt your new standing trick. It worries me that you have no fear. None. 

You are sleeping in your own bed!...most nights...We've started a routine of lavender baths, drawn curtains, and a white noise machine. Most nights you fall asleep quickly and snuggle until the wee hours of the morning. I only go in there like 84 times before I go to bed to check your breathing and let you know that I love you. I'm proud of you for taking the transition with ease. 

You are an EATER! Your favorites include: pureed pumpkin, hummus, waffles, blueberries, and whatever Mom or Dad is trying to eat. You are slowly learning how your sippy cup works and you love water. You get seriously excited at meal times and we laugh at how you dance around when you see us pull out a banana or cut up bread. We've hit a road bump with nursing but that's mostly because you are too busy to sit and nurse. We went to our first Veggie Fest together and you ate all the things! Noodles and bread and sorbet and...oof...all of it. You loved people watching and all the new tastes and sights.

Each day I really look forward to our hour of playtime before your bath. I know life won't always allow us to have one-on-one time every day to just enjoy one another so I'm really soaking it in. I read you book after book while you dig through a bin of toys. I just really love spending no-phone, quality time with you. You can now play peek-a-boo with a cloth or blanket and you put your arms up for So Big! You are stubborn about signing what you want but I have hope.

You. Said. Mama. You called out for me when Daddy was changing your diaper. You refuse to say it again, even though I desperately want you to. You love to say Dada and you babble all the time. I love hearing your tiny voice in the morning, babbling until someone wakes up for you. You are still a morning baby and you have a HUGE smile when we say good morning to you. I love how excited you get when people you love are around. You light up for Grandma and Grandpa every single time. I feel like every day is full of milestones and you are constantly changing. 

You were also sick for the very first time. You were inconsolably crabby all day and then woke up with a 102 fever. Your whole body was hot and we quickly brought you to the doctor. It was the saddest three days ever. You didn't want to play or eat or laugh; you just wanted to cry and cuddle your Mama. One day I resorted to dragging your high chair in front of the TV so you would eat peas while watching Mickey Mouse. If I can make you feel better, no matter what's wrong, I'll always try my best. I promise.

The coolest thing you do now that melts my heart? You give kisses! They are sweet, slobbery, open-mouth baby kisses and I love them. Multiple times a day I'll say, "Can I have a kiss?" and you land a big smooch on me. It melts me and I love it, and you. 

You are becoming more and more of this amazing little personality with likes and dislikes and a sense of humor. I want to both pause time and can't wait for the future because life with you is so magical.

I love you, Bear. To another month of changes, laughter, and lots of baby kisses.