Monday, July 22, 2013

Closer to 8 Months Than 7

If you can't tell, July has been a whirlwind for us. I know that sweet summertime flies by in a blink, but this month even more so than usual! But, better late than never, right? Here are some pictures of my sweet, wiggle-worm Belle at 7ish months. She is more fun than we could ever imagine. (And apparently, I'm too tired to avoid cliches. Stick with me. <--- Hey look, there's another!)

Princess Annabelle

See this smirk? It's because the baby of Cambridge is a Prince so she can go on being the littlest princess in the world.

Lucky Annabelle

Annabelle is so lucky and blessed to have the most amazing and loving people surrounding her. One of my favorite people is David's cousin, Suzy. Suzy is this creative, beautiful, fun, cousin that I am lucky to be related to through marriage. She designed our wedding invitiations! She is super talented and lives in Chicago doing what she loves. Her blog is the best! Follow her here:

This past week she came for a visit and brought with her this amazing gift for baby Annabelle.

I can't get over how much I love it. And how much Annabelle loves it! I'm already daydreaming about her "big girl" room and what colors I will use from this quilt to decorate with.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Daddy's Girl

It is totally appropriate that my little Daddy’s Girl said her first official word last Thursday (the 18th) – and that word was a definite, clear as day, “Dada!” And she said it with an exclamation point. She has been jabbering non-stop the last week. She says “Bobobobo,” “Mamamama” and “Dadada” but not like this. We were playing and David walked in and she squeled with joy and said “Dada!” It makes my heart so happy to see how she loves her dada and the way he loves her! It is the best thing in the world.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Just a Few Minutes

You know what? Being a mom takes a lot of commitment. Duh, right? Just like any relationship, it takes work and perseverance. What I’m specifically thinking about today is that this nursing stuff has been such a commitment. I feel so blessed to get to do this for Annabelle, don’t get me wrong. However, I have never been one of these women that has seen nursing as something I need for the closeness to my baby and I do believe that formula is great too. Annabelle has been exclusively breastfed, but this is not because I think that formula is wrong in any way

Nursing hasn’t been easy for me, but pumping has been even harder. If it wasn’t for my wonderful husband and my job and boss, I don’t know how I could have lasted this long. I am to the point that I only pump once at work. One other time during the day I use my lunch break to go nurse Annabelle. How amazing is that?  All aspects of nursing have been a little hard for me. (Please don’t judge me for what I’m about to say.)

I’ve had a hard time committing to the time aspect of nursing. It isn’t just sitting down with your little baby and feeding him or her in a few minutes and then going on your merry way. My nursing story is a bit different. Mixed in with those precious moments during the day that I do get to just sit with her and nurse are a lot of things that are less precious: finding a place and time to pump, cleaning those pump parts, sterilizing and washing bottles, stressing over my production (will she have enough for the next day?), stressing over whether she will take a bottle from someone while I’m gone (most of the time the answer is no way, José ), and really, more stresses about my body than I care to share (tell me you’ve looked in the mirror and thought, those aren’t mine!).

I’m getting off track here (like usual). This was intended to be less a post ranting about nursing and more a post about the lack of time I’ve given to myself since beginning this new relationship. I think it is so important, in any relationship, to take time for yourself. I remember that there have always been two things that have helped me center myself and re-energize me, and I’ve been doing very little (okay none) of either of those things. When I’m doing these two things consistently I’m more focused and in turn, much better at my relationships.

I would encourage you, and in doing so hopefully I’m encouraging myself, to take a look at your day to day life right now and get organized enough to work in something you love to do just for yourself each day. I’ve made every excuse to skip this step. I work full time and strive to be the best wife and mother…and if there’s time, hopefully, I get to check in with my friends and sisters. That’s totally messed up. There is plenty of time if you prioritize. If I’m not taking time for myself with God and doing things I love, then there’s no way I’m being a good mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter, anything. It’s cyclical.

So here’s what I’m doing. Last night I picked up the third book in a series it has taken my 5 months to read; this is not a series that would have taken me more than a month total in the past. And I’m going to finish this book in the next week or so, and then I will pick up another one. One of the things I love.  The second, today I texted my dear friend to ask her to be my running partner again. This Thursday, I’m going to not stress that running lowers my milk supply (hence the rant about nursing above) and I’m going to put my baby to bed, pump, put my headphones in blaring some Pink, and hit the streets with Molly. And by this Spring, you better believe I will be running a half-marathon again.

You see, I truly believe I’ve changed since having Annabelle. For the better? You betcha. But there are some minutes in my day that I can take back just for myself. I cherish that time, knowing that by taking some time to read and write and run, I will be better in those minutes I spend playing with Annabelle and talking to David.

I hope you can take some time today just for yourself.

Bulky Bags

I’ve tried so hard to be more fashionable and buy fun, girly purses, but I fail miserably each time. My husband even tries to help. He surprises me with cute things like Coach purses or Vera Bradley wallets, but to no avail. I am too practical. You know what I want? Big bulky bags with tons of zippers that I can throw on the floor of the car, can throw dirty bibs with mushed up peas, and then throw in the washer at the end of the day! I get excited just thinking about that.

Even before Miss Belle was in the picture, I’ve loved big bags to carry all my stuff in. I love having everything with me: snacks so I don’t feel the need to stop and buy gross fast food if I’m out and about, my water bottle, my beloved agenda and journal/notepad, and my one million chapsticks, hand sanitizers, and lotions.

Now having Annabelle attached to me most of the time, I want to be able to keep some wipes and a spare diaper and her toys with me instead of lugging her diaper bag places like the grocery store or church. I rarely take her diaper bag in places. I prefer to just have the necessities (which for her, include a diaper, a Sophie or ring to hold, and my body). So while I’m totally in love with my pink Coach purse (a Mother’s Day gift from my husband), I think I will have to put it away for a while and grab one of these instead.

Which one of these mommy friendly bags do you like?

Joslyn Tote - Kipling
Emmie Tote - Kipling