Category Archives: Family

Day in the life: after baby

I found an unpublished post that apparently I had all ready to go, so note that this is super outdated now! It looks like I wrote this on November 9, so little C was about three months old. I’m planning to do another one this week to see how things have changed ūüôā Enjoy!

I did one of these day in the life posts before baby and for fun, so here’s one after baby! I think I might do a weekend one soon, too, since our days look a lot different when we’re at home with little C all day!

12:57 a.m. –¬†I hear stirring on the baby monitor. I turn over and hope Calvin will put himself back to sleep.

12:59 a.m. –¬†the stirring has turned into aggressive fussing. I get up.

1:01 a.m. –¬†I turn on his red night light, pick him up and start nursing him in the glider. For the middle of the night feedings, I keep the lights off (with the exception of his red night light) and don’t talk to him or anything. With minimal stimulation, he usually goes back to sleep pretty easily.

1:12 a.m.¬†– I can tell he’s comfort nursing at this point, so I gently put him back down. He stirs, ever so slightly, and I creep out of the nursery. I turn¬†the baby monitor back on and go to the kitchen to get my pump parts. Calvin’s been eating more lately at daycare, so I’m back to pumping once in the middle of the night. While pumping, I hear the little guy making some light fussing noises, but he eventually goes to sleep.

1:40 a.m. Рback to bed

4:58 a.m. –¬†wake up to fussing on the monitor

5:01 a.m. –¬†repeat the process of quietly picking Calvin up and feeding him until I can tell he’s drifting back to sleep

5:15 a.m. –¬†put Calvin back down and crawl into bed

6:21 a.m.¬†– boooooo, baby’s awake again. I realize that this means he’s up for the day at this point.

6:23 a.m. –¬†head into the nursery and turn on one of the (less bright) lamps. Greet Calvin with a bright and cheery “good morning!” He rewards me with a big, gummy smile and I unswaddle him and let him stretch and wake up a bit more before I turn on another lamp.

6:30 a.m.¬†– we do some tummy time with the creepy stuffed dog that sings songs and says things like “I love you!” (in the creepiest voice ever) and practice grabbing onto things. Calvin¬†tells us some stories AKA babbling.

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6:55 a.m.¬†– diaper change and a quick wipe down with a washcloth. He got a bath the night before (and still smells like the Burt’s Bees baby wash and lotion we use!). I nurse him (more like a snack since he ate last only a couple of hours ago) to get him through until his first bottle at daycare.

7:05 a.m.¬†– It’s PJ day at daycare, so we change him out of his nighttime PJs and into another set up fresh PJs for school! Is there anything cuter than a baby in PJs?

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7:20 a.m. –¬†J gets Calvin buckled in his car seat and I kiss them both goodbye before heading into the kitchen for coffee and oatmeal.

7:25 a.m. –¬†I hear J take off and I eat my breakfast while checking work emails.

7:45 a.m. – shower and finish getting ready for the day

8:30 a.m. –¬†I’m working from home today, so I pump while responding to work emails, doing some editing work, etc.

11:00 a.m. –¬†Another pumping session

11:20 a.m. –¬†Put pumping supplies in a Ziploc baggie in the fridge so I don’t have to wash them after each session and label the milk for daycare.

11:25 a.m. –¬†Find something to eat for lunch. Decide on a leftover creamy, key lime chicken enchilada I made for dinner a couple of nights ago.

11:55 a.m.¬†– Put tonight’s dinner in the crockpot. Tonight, it’s Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken!

2:00 p.m.  РPump again. My day is pretty much made up of pumping.

3:32 p.m. – I search for a snack and decide on pretzels and a granola bar. I make a mental note to buy some trail mix or something.

4:00 p.m. РLast pumping session of the day. Thank goodness.

5:00 p.m. Рfinish up a few work-related items, turn the crock pot from low to warm, pour rice and water into the rice cooker, and then leave to pick up the little guy from daycare

5:12 p.m.¬†– arrive at daycare and get the run down from his teachers. It’s the same story every day — he didn’t sleep well. So early bedtime tonight!

5:27 p.m. – arrive back home and Calvin is on the border of losing it. Get him out of the car seat and try to get him in a better mood while I press “start” on the rice cooker.

5:35 p.m. – Calvin is really crabby, so I head to the couch to feed him.

5:42 p.m. –¬†J gets back from his run and finishes up dinner. He steams some broccoli and dishes me up a plate.

5:45 p.m. –¬†I hand off the baby and inhale eat my dinner.¬†J is playing “airplane” with Calvin and I’m waiting for him to spit up all over daddy. Ha.

6:00 p.m. –¬†We switch and J eats dinner while I get sing some songs to little C as I change him¬†into a new pair of PJs. It’s at this point that I realize he’s in the same outfit we sent him to daycare in — score!

6:15 p.m.¬†– J picks out a book to read to Calvin. Tonight it’s one of the books from my childhood — Clifford Gets a Kitten!

6:18 p.m. РI almost die of the cuteness that is J reading to C and C making some cute noises.

6:21 p.m. Рstory time is going so well, J starts on the second book he picked out, C is for Chafing!

6:22 p.m. –¬†C has had enough and story time comes to an abrupt end.

6:30 p.m. РJ says good night to Calvin and we head into the nursery. I turn all of the lights off except for his red night light and nurse him for the (fingers crossed) last time of the day.

6:32 p.m.¬†– I put in my headphones and listen to Sharp Objects on Audible. Man, what a depressing turn from the last book I read, Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me?

7:22 p.m¬†– I’m pretty confident that he’s finally out, so I carefully lay him down and turn off the night light.

7:25 p.m. РSwear at the noises coming from the baby monitor.

7:28 p.m.¬†– Finish up a load of laundry and wash the day’s bottles and pump parts

8:00 p.m. Рstart getting ready for bed. Hang out with J for a bit.

9:00 p.m. Рlights out

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Reflections on the past two months

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I can’t believe that I have a two month old. Well, actually, now that I’m finally getting around to writing this, I have a nine week old!

The past nine weeks have been intense. We’ve made it through getting the hang of breastfeeding, gaining his birth weight back (and then some!) after being born, jaundice, weeks of crying for hours non-stop every evening, three road trips, a wedding and a hotel stay and waking up every two hours during the night — phew!

Drinking milk is SO exhausting.

Drinking milk is SO exhausting. (Also, notice the vacuum cleaner in the background? This was during the non-stop crying marathons and a REAL vacuum is all that’d soothe him.)

But we’ve also gotten to experience the incredible bonding experience that is breastfeeding, my husband and I learning to work together as a team, his first smile, showing him off to friends and family, his first 5K — and so much more.

Calvin's first wedding!

Calvin’s first wedding!

I wouldn’t say that I¬†feel like the past two months have flown by, but at the same time, I can’t believe how much little C has changed already. Parenting, just like life, has it’s ups and downs, but it’s funny how quickly the ups make you forget about the downs ‚̧

Can’t wait to see what the next two months bring!

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He’s Here!

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This sweet boy came into this world on August 2, 2015 at 10:10 a.m. — just two days before my due date. Calvin has stolen our hearts and we still can’t believe he’s here!

I’m working on writing up some form of a birth story to share, but in the meantime, I can say that I’ve never worked so hard in my life as I did during my 32+ hour labor and delivery.

Life with a newborn is exhausting and if I’m being honest, the adjustment hasn’t always felt easy. Breastfeeding has been equal parts the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, but also one of the hardest and sometimes lonely. But it’s so worth it and I feel lucky that things are going so well so far.

Thanks for all of the well wishes and congratulatory notes! More coming soon!

Third Trimester Recap: Weeks 27-28

Ohhh man, a part of me can’t believe we’re in the third trimester already, and the other part of me feels like it’s going to be forever until we meet our rainbow baby. (Rainbow baby. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means a baby born following a loss. I’m not a fan of the term, but sometimes it’s the best¬†term to use.)

Right on cue, fatigue set back in last week, at the beginning of the third trimester. I napped both days of the weekend.

Oh, and remember our kitchen remodel project? Yeah, that’s still going on. Going on six and a half months without a proper kitchen! But it’s SO going to be worth it. It’s just hard not to be able to contribute as much to its progress these days.

Floor is grouted!

Floor is grouted!

I’m feeling pretty nesty these days, and inspired by this book, I’ve been tidying up like crazy. Also, we got some fun baby items handed down to us this past week. One big haul came from the lovely¬†Laura, who I finally got to meet in person!

Mother’s Day was two¬†weekends ago. I’m not going to lie and say that it was any easier of a day¬†for me than it was last year, even with my little guy kicking away all day. Last year, it was especially rough, since it came less than two weeks after we got Charlie’s diagnosis. But this year, I felt caught in the middle of feeling like those who wished me a Happy Mother’s Day were referring to the fact that I’m expecting, and not that I’m already a mom. But some sweet and thoughtful messages from friends who specifically mentioned Charlie turned my day around and then there was this¬†amazing gift from Jen:

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We also had our 28 week appointment. Baby’s heart rate was great and the doctor felt to see how he was positioned. He was head down, curled up with his backside near my belly button. He had us feel where baby’s head and butt were — it was so cool! I also had more blood drawn and scheduled my VBAC consult. Even though I had been going in for appointments every¬†two weeks, we’re officially on that schedule now until 36 weeks, when it’ll change to weekly appointments.

Weeks 27-28 snapshot:

  • New symptoms – waking up in the middle of the night with hip pain.
  • More intense Braxton Hicks contractions.
  • Started Hypnobabies class.
  • Looking forward to: my baby shower in less than one month!
  • I started kick counting. I’m hoping this provides more reassurance than anxiety. So far, it’s a toss up.
  • Most relaxing¬†moment: an amazing prenatal massage. Deborah is a magic-maker.
  • The weirdest moment:¬†feeling what might have been a knee or elbow sticking out of my belly.
  • The most special moment was walking with friends and family in honor of Charlie at the Faith’s Lodge Hope Walks and Rolls 5K.

Even with our kitchen progress, we’re also managing to cross things off of the baby to-do list. Next up: After not even having one name we like at all, we are really close to picking one! Also, we are meeting with our doula next week and then we can get started on (and finish) our birth plan. Lots going on!

Walking for Charlie

This past weekend, 28 humans (including five tiny ones) and two dogs came out¬†as part of Team Charlie to walk the Hope Walks and Rolls 5K to remember¬†Charlie and raise money for Faith’s Lodge.

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It was so special to have so many people there, surrounding us! And of course, it felt extra special to be walking, 28 weeks pregnant with Charlie’s little brother.

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The course was, in fact, not a 5K, but more like 3.7 miles, but we all made it — including my friend who is 38 weeks pregnant (!!!!) and my dad who just had open heart surgery not even three¬†weeks ago. Looking forward to making this an annual event.

After the walk, the parents and J and I went out for lunch and took a quick trip to the Garden of the Sleeping Angels to hang Charlie’s memorial.

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It was a special “Charlie” day I’m sure we’ll always remember.

Day in the Life: Before Baby

I thought it might be kind of fun to do one of those ‘Day in the Life’-type posts, even if just for my own amusement to compare a typical day pre-baby and post-baby. So…here it goes! (PS – my life is not at all interesting. So congrats to you if you make it through this entire post.)

5:48 a.m.¬†– A weird pregnancy dream makes me stir, and my cat (sensing weakness that I might be slightly awake) takes the opportunity to paw at my eyelids and sit on me until I’m fully awake and get out of bed to feed her and the dog.

5:53 a.m. – Turn on the Kuerig and take the dog around the block for a quick walk. This is becoming one of my favorite parts of the day because the neighborhood is quiet and the cool, but pleasant temps help wake me up.

6:00 a.m. – I “brew” a cup of decaf, grab a coconut water from the fridge and split up the overnight oats I made the night before. I made this batch with Hint of Vanilla Honey Almondmilk that Almond Breeze sent me to try¬†(I usually use unsweetened original Almond Breeze Almondmilk). ¬†I pour my portion of the oats out into a bowl and leave J’s in the mason jar for him to bring to work. I go through work and personal emails while I eat. I can definitely notice a nice, subtle additional sweetness to my oats from the honey vanilla almondmilk!

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6:22 a.m.¬†– Shower and start getting ready for the day. Realizing that I need a haircut because it’s taking longer and longer to dry my hair in the mornings #thickhairproblems.

6:50 a.m.¬†– Cut up some strawberries for my infused water, portion out some snacks for the work day and pack a lunch. Today, it’s: one brown rice tortilla, one Trader Joe’s Cowboy Quinoa¬†Veggie¬†Burger, some spinach (will also top with mustard at work), Plentils lentil chips, whole wheat crackers and Babybel cheese, some strawberries and blueberries and almonds.

7 a.m.¬†¬†– Say goodbye to the husband. Cole (the dog) and I head out the door. He’s going to daycare today because J has a 13 mile¬†run in the evening and then we’re going out for our monthly date night.

7:10 a.m. –¬†Drop Cole off at daycare.¬†The other day I realized that I get so sad when I drop him off at daycare and that I’m going to have to get used to it because soon I’ll have to drop off a human baby at daycare and I imagine that’s no walk in the park.

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7:50 a.m. –¬†Starbucks drive-thru. I’m slowly breaking this habit, but achieving gold status has been my downfall. Plus, I’m weak. I order a decaf soy misto with one pump of vanilla. #highmaintenance

8:00 a.m. –¬†Arrive at work — and earlier than usual!

4:40 p.m. –¬†Leave work and head home a little early to grab Cole from daycare. Looking forward to dinner because I know that soon we’re not going to have the luxury of date nights whenever we feel like it.

5:35 p.m. –¬†Traffic was pretty¬†terrible because of the rain.¬†I log back onto my computer for a little while to finish up some work items.

6:05 p.m. –¬†J arrives home from his run and hops in the shower. I feed the animals and then continue with my latest obsession — tidying. I finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up¬†in a day and then got to work. I haven’t had a large chunk of time to do my whole house at once, but I’ve been working my way through categories and I’m LOVING how my house feels.

7:20 p.m. – With¬†dinner,¬†J got his Pub Pass free beer and I had a turkey burger with sweet potato fries. It was super disappointing, so I didn’t even take a photo of it.

9 p.m. –¬†We get home and out of habit, I turn on the radio to finish listening to the Minnesota Twins game, only to remember that they played earlier in the day and lost big time. We cut back our cable package a couple of weeks ago to save a little money and I’m really happy with our decision so far. It’s taken some adjusting to since I don’t watch TV except for sports, and that’s what I feel like has been missing so far. We still have Netflix and a Roku and Apple TV, so we’re going to be just fine. Or at least that’s what I keep telling J.

9:10 p.m.¬†– J¬†touches up a few spots where the paint looked a little thin in the kitchen. (Kitchen remodel update coming soon!) I (of course) do a little more tidying — this time tackling the vanity drawers in the bathroom.

9:30 p.m. –¬†Run through my nightly fitness routine which includes some deep breathing, planks, light weight lifting, hip lifts, spine strengthening and stretching.

9:55 p.m. –¬†Get ready for bed — includes taking my prenatal vitamins.

10:08 p.m. –¬†Let the dog out one last time for the night.

10:10 p.m. – Lights out and in bed with my Snoogle, slightly later than usual. These days, I’m pretty wiped out by the time 8:30 rolls around and usually it’s lights out by 10. I realize I didn’t listen to my Hypnobabies tracks¬†today. I was on a roll, but am too tired to do it now.

*This post was sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. I received one free 32oz of Almond Breeze Almondmilk Hint of Honey Vanilla. All opinions are my own.

Finding the Perfect Gift

This post is sponsored by UncommonGoods. I received free product in exchange for writing a review. All opinions are my own.

One of my favorite things in the entire world is buying and giving people gifts. I love the challenge of finding the “perfect” gift and I love when the recipient is just as stoked to receive it as I am to give it.

One of my favorite things to gift are¬†“experiences,” but sometimes, it’s fun to actually be able to wrap something that someone can enjoy right away. I tend to over think gift giving (let’s be honest — I over think everything) so it’s really hard for me to just go to the store and pick something up off of the shelf. This is especially true when it comes to buying gifts for my mom — I usually start my Christmas shopping for her in October because it takes me forEVER to come up with the perfect gifts for her.

My mom is an “on-the-go” kind of lady, so I was looking for something that could complement that part of her life, as well as something that would encourage her to slow down and relax, too. She’s also pretty healthy and walks 2-5 miles almost everyday. (She walks fast, too.) I bought her a FitBit a couple of Christmases ago, so I was at a loss for what I was going to get her for Mother’s Day. Then, as luck would have it, the awesome people at Uncommon Goods reached out and asked if I’d like to review some products they were featuring for Mother’s Day! I jumped at the chance, as I’ve been super curious about UncommonGoods, but hadn’t yet pulled the trigger and ordered anything from there yet. I’ve mostly been drawn to the company because they feature really¬†unique and hand made items and their motto is that they are “created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people.” (LOVE THAT.) About half¬†of the items they carry are hand made and their lowest-paid seasonal worker starts at 50 percent above the minimum wage. They also support the following non-profits:

‚ÄĘ RAINN¬†– the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN carries out programs to prevent sexual violence,¬†help survivors, and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

‚ÄĘ American Forests¬†– protects and restores forests worldwide, helping to preserve the health of our planet for the benefit¬†of its inhabitants.

‚ÄĘ Women for Women International¬†– provides women survivors of war with the tools and resources to move from crisis¬†and poverty to stability and self-suciency.

‚ÄĘ City Harvest¬†– strives to end hunger in communities throughout New York City through food rescue, distribution,¬†and education.

You can read more about their story and mission here.

So here’s what I picked out for my mom:

Flavor Infuser Water Bottle

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My mom has commented on trying to find ways to make drinking water more exciting, so this really seemed like the perfect gift. I also liked that this bottle is made from glass rather than plastic. It even came with a little booklet with fun recipes!

Luxury Herbal Slippers

My mom goes through slippers like nobody’s business so I thought a new pair would be a nice, practical gift. Then I saw these¬†organic cotton fleece slippers — stuffed with therapeutic flax seed, grains, and fragrant herbs. And you can microwave or freeze them for even more deluxe pampering! They’re super soft and my mom literally said “ahhh” when she put them on.

The cat is very interested, too.

The cat is very interested, too.

I also gifted myself this lovely pregnancy journal:

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The UncommonGoods folks asked me to review the¬†Mother’s Day gift items specifically (click here or here to see their entire collection of gifts for mom), but I came across a TON of great guy gifts as I browsed the site. And guys can be really hard to shop for. I already bookmarked some items to come back to for future gift needs.

My parents live about six hours away, but unfortunately, I was able to give these gifts to my mom in person. Last week, I made an emergency trip to my parents’ house. My dad had a heart attack and needed quadruple bypass surgery. He’s doing really well, but it was incredibly scary — especially since this was his second heart attack. Since I was going to see her in person, I decided to bring her gifts along so I could give them to her early, rather than mail them. She loved them!

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