Infant Days: The Epilogue

It was just over two years ago (!!) that we told the world M was going to be a little girl. A few months later that little girl entered the world and completely rocked mine to its core. It was T O U G H and I feel like I was very open and honest and blunt about our struggles with parenthood.

Sometimes I wonder if M will ever find those posts and IG pictures and FB updates, and think I felt regretful. It wasn’t always glamorous and I very rarely painted it as such. And while I hope that was/is helpful to new moms, I sometimes wonder what M will think.

So I thought I’d write a epilogue to the infant days. My 19-month-old is full bore toddler now so we’re in a completely different chapter. (Maybe even book?)

I think every parent has a favorite age. Some will say each stage was their favorite and then the next one happened and it was even better. Kudos to those moms and dads. That is not what I (or K) would tell you.

I loved the newborn snuggles but I struggled during the newborn phase. Even after we cleared the fog, it was hard to find my groove. But then M started rolling. And sitting up. And eating some soft foods.

Then she started smiling and babbling. Pointing and shaking her head. Reaching and rejecting. By the time she was 13 months she could pick out her favorite foods, point to what she wanted, and walk across the room.

And we hit our stride.

I’m sure there are many parents who do not love toddlerhood. Eighteen months is a challenging age. Some parents love newborn age, some like school age (this will be K’s favorite I bet). I am a toddler-lover through and through. M is so much dang fun.

I love that she can communicate- even when I don’t know what she’s saying. Sometimes she’s crying because there’s a thread on her pants- but you know what? I know why she’s crying and that’s such a relief. She’s feisty and inquisitive. She loves doing everything herself… but wants mom or dad close by. She follows the dogs around and expects them to follow her. She can point to and name her body parts. She loves to figure out how something works. She likes to help with everything. She tells us when she’s ready for bed (even if she’s not sold on it when it’s actually time to sleep). She’s down for any adventure. She really is such a fun kid and such a fun age.

SO… for all the struggles and tears and complaining I did 1 year ago, let me just share what a good time we’re having right now. Sure, it’s not always easy. We have tantrums and breakdowns. But dang, it’s rewarding with M. She’s one of my favorite people to hang out with.

I might be singing another tune when we potty train… or transition from crib to bed… or start thinking about preschool. But for now? I am one happy human with my sassy little toddler.

*For those that struggle with toddlerhood, it will change. I would never paint a rosier picture than it really is, but I wanted to share that motherhood isn’t miserable forever and ever with no moments of joy.

An Extraordinarily Normal Weekend

I know the CDC is still making recommendations and states are revising their masks laws, but this past weekend was the most normal I’ve felt in such a long time. It was lovely and revitalizing and had me feeling warm and fuzzy and overwhelmingly grateful by Sunday night.

On Saturday one of my best friends in the whole wide world got married. I was her matron of honor and spent a large part of the weekend with her and her wonderful family. (They’re the kind of people you just enjoy being around; always laughing, always kind.)

My other best friend was the maid of honor and she stayed with us. Having her and her fiancee in the house was icing on the cake to a weekend-long celebration.

I know times are still weird. Honestly, Moo ended last week with a COVID test and if it’d come back positive, our weekend would’ve looked very different. But she was negative and we deduced that a double ear infection was the cause of her sickness. She now feels better and was even able to attend the wedding until grandma took her home for a sleepover.

And don’t get me started on the wedding day. So much love and peacefulness and celebration. I don’t think there was one single moment the bride would’ve changed- it was a perfect day.

We literally danced the night away. K and I were the last ones out of the venue- haha. I had such an incredible time. I think all the guests did.

It was weird to have a day that just felt so NORMAL. I think almost every guest was vaccinated. We wore masks when around the food. People were seated in pods but free to get up and move around. There was dancing and toasts and cake and lots of alcohol. It was such a normal, great day.

My soul didn’t know I was missing all of that until it was over. Sunday night I was folding laundry in our room, thinking about how nice it was to have a normal party with little reservations.

Today I wore my mask to the grocery store. I have not throw all caution to the wind and I know there is a time and place for intimate gatherings… but I hope that you’re able to have a little taste of normalcy soon. It feels so, so good to just relax for a moment and soak in the closeness of others. And that’s coming from an introvert.

Congratulations, Kayla and Connor ♥️ I hope you’re enjoying the hell outta St. Lucia.

Almost There Bumpdate

Hello. It’s just pregnant ol’ me coming at ya- 38 weeks and 4 days into this adventure.

I figure now is the safest time to make an update. As in… I’m still pregnant and my brain still kind of works. Kind of.

I’m going to fashion this post like my 23 week update.

Feeling.
K will tell you that around 30-ish weeks I woke up and was suddenly pregnant. I was groaning and stiff and ouchie and super extra emotional.

These last few weeks I have felt so round and my sleep has been terrible. I blamed it on the dogs but Friday I stayed in a hotel and still slept like crap so it’s not their fault. K actually has recordings of me groaning in my sleep. Flattering.

I also caught a cold a week ago. I went to the doctor on Monday and got an antibiotic so hopefully that’s on its way out. My heartburn and indigestion are still in full force. Yay.

I make K put my shoes on whenever he’s available. I also use the bathroom roughly 4 times per hour. Woo.

Cravings/Aversions/Weight.
I’m still always in the mood for waffles. I also love cereal (sorry, Rebecca Jo) but the milk tends to give me heartburn. Also, cookies and cream ice cream is my one true love. Most of my aversions have gone away. I preferred room temp water before I was pregnant- now my water HAS to have ice in it.

The month we lost Lylee I lost weight & didn’t gain for nearly 4 weeks. My doctors weren’t worried since a) there was a reason (grief) and b) I still measured the right size. Since then everything has been normal. I’m up about 30 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight.

Emotions/Mental Health.
The biggest moment here was grieving through Lylee’s loss. It was sudden and awful and traumatic for all of us. It made me completely forget about pregnancy. I wasn’t excited. I couldn’t fathom loving anyone beyond K and Enzo. I felt like an awful mother-to-be and I told K that I was struggling with identifying grief vs. depression. It was both, but fortunately I/we worked through everything.

I’ve been weepy over work stuff, too. There are some things that are up in the air. There are some exciting things on the horizon. K is juggling lots of stress… It’s just tough for me to want to step back and take maternity leave. I DO want to do that, but I like my career and it’s just been a balance issue.

Baby.
I wish she was a little less content in there, lol. We’re ready to meet her. (I didn’t think I’d feel this way but I do.) She moves around in the mornings while I’m at work and in the evenings when I’m lounging on the couch. K has felt her a few times, but she freezes up when I try to let other family members feel. Lol. Typical.

We’ve been asked a million times if she has a name. She does. We use it at home but we’re keeping it a secret until she arrives. Enzo said he told his close friends at doggie daycare but fortunately he can’t speak English.

Dad.
K is so dang ready for her to be here. Hahaha. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but his paternal instinct is much, much stronger than my maternal one. I’m not even sure he’s nervous. I know he’s excited about the forced-break from work. He finally packed his hospital bag on Tuesday and all the furniture is built so his pre-baby duties are done. (Except for putting my shoes on me…)

Other things to note.
My belly button is still in.

I’ve had so many people tell me I don’t look or act 38 weeks pregnant. I appreciate that and believe them, but I think it’s because I don’t like to show vulnerability/weakness so I put on a smile & participate in as much as I can. (I know that’s dumb.) When I’m at home? I look like this:

Hahahahahahaha.

Now that I’ve shared the unedited pregnant version of me, here are some maternity pictures!

 

Our photographer was Jackie Beachy and holy WOW, Batman. She is amazing. She’ll be doing Baby’s newborn pictures too 😍 I struggled with putting Bristol in these pictures. It felt like a betrayal to Lylee at first. I’m glad we did, though. Pictures capture where you’re at right now in life and we were a family of four with Miss Bristol by then.

And there’s the last baby update until she actually makes her arrival. (Did I freak anyone out by not posting on Tuesday? Lol. This was supposed to go live then. Oops.)

Send us your prayers, spells, wishes, & good vibes for labor and delivery. And fingers crossed it happens soon. I don’t want to waddle through Thanksgiving- lol.

Happy Halloween Party Recap 🎃

Happy Halloween, ghouls & goblins!! 
(Can we pause & freak out about the fact that it’s the END of October?)

In celebration of Halloween I’m sharing details from our annual party! It was pretty low key. We had about 25 guests and some yummy snack foods and drinks.

Our party didn’t have a theme this year so we saw lots of fun costumes!

The Bandit & Frog

The littlest SCUBA diver, her momma jellyfish, & daddy shark

HONDA employee (my dad impersonating my brother) & Ratatouille chef

My devilish sister-in-law and Stewart from Letterkenny

A whole bunch of characters

K and I decided we were going to be G.D. Americans- a spoof on the aggressive, harsh, unrelenting “American.” Truth be told… I didn’t have to buy a single part of my outfit. Mainly because I DO wear these clothes to concerts and stuff. LOL

Any time someone tried to talk politics or tell me something America-related I got in their face and asked if they thought they were a better American than me. Honestly, we probably could’ve topped it off with a certain red hat and confederate flag bandanas, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to spend money on that stuff.

I tried to determine if this costume was offensive before we chose it. We didn’t target a demographic & we are Americans poking fun at the extreme “Americans.” So we went with it. And if we’d have offended any right-wingers I was fully prepared to call them a snowflake 😏

On to the food…

Our last few guests trickled out (or went up to bed) around 1:30am, then K and I c.r.a.s.h.e.d. (And then Bristol had a lovely spell of diarrhea in our room around 4:45am SIGH.)

I say it every year, but the day after our Halloween party is one of my favorite days of the year. We lay around and don’t leave the house and watch NASCAR and relax. At times I wonder if I put myself through the party just to earn the day after.

We had trick-or-treaters Tuesday night & we’ve got another party on Saturday, then our Spooky Season is officially over. What fun things did you do this year?

Things On My Mind

Hello! If you’re reading this you’ve made it to Tuesday. Way to go!

I like how Kristen did a coffee date-brain dump recently. I’ve had a lot going on so I figured I’d do the same and we could all just catch up today. I will be having some hot coffee with a splash of this creamer. So good ❤

Dogs

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve met our little Bristol Baby. I’m going to share her adoption story here soon, but today I’m just introducing our newest addition. We’re the crazy people who added an 8 month old dog with less than 8 weeks until our baby due date. Ha.

We miss our Lylee Bear but rescuing Bristol was the right choice for us. She’s a completely different personality & just the right amount of spunk our home needed. (And I’m even saying that after she busted out of her crate and subjected our house to a puppy hurricane yesterday. SIGH.)

We love our new little handful. We were told she’s a Pomeranian-Husky mix and she’ll likely stay about the size she is now (35 lbs). It doesn’t matter what she is or how big she gets- we’re just so glad she’s ours 😊

Baby

Still pregnant and slowly starting to freak out about labor & delivery. Ha. My mother-in-law and mom threw me a baby shower on Sunday and HOLY COW. It was a beautiful party. I’m still blown away by their planning and the generosity of those who helped and the love of everyone who came. I’m going to post about that, too, but I’m still collecting pictures.

I have 6 weeks and 5 days to go. Yikes. Baby is typically an active little thing in there. I feel rounder and tired- but I’ve been tired since the test said “positive” and I’m sure I’ll be tired until I die. Hahaha.

We have a birthing class on Saturday and maternity pics on Monday… after that it’s just a waiting game. K has a business trip mid-November so we’re begging Baby daily to avoid those 4 days. Haha. (He can race home if need be.)

Organization

There is so much I want to do before baby gets here. Books I want to read. Moments I want to scrapbook. Corners I want to clean out. Photos I want to organize. Dogs I want to train (lol). I know I won’t get everything done and I’m determined not to stress about it, but these things are definitely on my mind.

I know nesting has kicked in. We still have a bunch of kid-related stuff to do: nursery needs painted, things need assembled, even more things need bought… I’d like to get some freezer meals done. I’d like to clean out the garage. Etc.

PLUS the holidays are here. We finally did the ledge for Halloween. We’re having a party this month, too. (I’m not giving that up- even if I am 35 weeks pregnant by then, ha.) Then we have Christmas decorations that I want to get up and gifts that need purchased or wrapped…

I dunno. It’s all trivial and if it doesn’t get done it’s completely ok, but these are the things on my mind right now.

So now it’s your turn. What’s going on in your world? What’s on your mind? What’s your beverage of choice on this blustery fall morning?