May 30, 2015

A New Writing Desk!

We have a room in our house that is a disaster. Our master bedroom has a small closet, that is only big enough for Tyler's clothes. My things go in another room. It's the room where my closet is as well as a dresser and my makeup table.  In some ways it's like our old 'Room of Requirement' because it's where all my things go when there's no other place for them (a step above being relegated to the basement).

Anyway... I was working on cleaning it today and decided to move this desk that has been in there since last June. It had been my makeup table for a while until I got a better one. So finally, today we took it to the basement to be set up as an actual writing desk and craft area! Yay!

{  Ames Reclaims  }

May 26, 2015

Our Newborn Schedule

Ha! Yeah right! Newborns don't have schedules.

They just do whatever their little brains tell them to do whenever they tell them to do it. Even if it's crying because all your needs are met and you are neither under or over stimulated. AKA nothing is wrong! Silly babies.

My maternity leave is rapidly approaching its end, and I am trying to wrap my head around getting back to the world of adults. For the past few months we have been going with the flow and rolling with the punches (insert various other cliches here).

Since we have been doing baby led breastfeeding, Hazel's hunger basically dictates our day. She eats approximately every 2-3 hours during the day. In between nursing sessions, we go through diaper changes and play sessions. Sometimes she naps. In the rare time when she's napping and she's not in my arms, I go through mad spurts of productivity like doing dishes and washing baby clothes and diapers (I still ignore my own laundry). Other times when she's napping IN my arms, we have Netflix marathons. We are currently rewatching the whole Gilmore Girls series.

It's a good day when I get my teeth brushed by dinner. I'm really on top of my game if I get them brushed by lunch! Suddenly, my personal hygiene is on the back burner to Hazel's every coo and smile.

Some days we are ambitious and we just pack up and leave the house. We go shopping or go out to lunch with family. Hazel has been great when we're out and about. We are comfortable nursing in the car between stores, and diaper changes on the seat of the car are frequent too. She loves the stimulation from the new environments and I think the white noise of restaurants is like a personal concert for her. She loves it!

Sometimes we're sleep deprived. Sometimes we don't leave the couch. Sometimes poop gets everywhere. Hazel's needs always end up coming before my own needs. We always make it through the day, and usually we are still smiling.

Now we're trying to make a new routine to prepare for my return to work. So far it includes building a stash of frozen breast milk and me thinking about getting out of bed after Hazel's 5 o'clockish feeding in order to practice getting ready for work as well as getting Hazel ready for her day. So far it hasn't happened. And I have no idea how I am going to accomplish nursing Hazel, showering, getting ready for work, pumping, packing Hazel's bag for the day, washing and packing my pump, I should also start packing my lunch since I'll be visiting Hazel on my lunch break... I'm not sure how it's all going to happen.

I'm also not sure about how I will be able to drop her off with almost complete strangers to take care of her all day while I'm a work. I've never been away from Hazel for more than 3 or 4 hours and that has only been once. Yes, I've met her teachers and they're all very nice, and the socialization is going to be great for her, but they're not me and they're not Tyler. They are the ones who are going to get to see her smiles (and her tears) all day long, and I'm going to be missing her terribly!

We've only been coexisting for a couple months, but she shared my body for 9-10 months before that, and she's been a piece of my heart since forever. Leaving her to someone else's care will be hard, BUT I'm still her only Momma and in the words of Carole King...

Wanting you the way I do
I only want to be with you
And I would go to the ends of the earth
'Cause, darling, to me that's what you're worth

Where you lead, I will follow
Anywhere that you tell me to
If you need, you need me to be with you
I will follow where you lead

May 16, 2015

2 Months of Hazel

Dear Hazelbutt,

At two months you are 12.2 lbs and 24 inches (by our approximate measurements) of pure cuteness. You have been growing before our eyes. It seems like you grow out of some of your clothes overnight, with every wake-up stretch you grow just a little bit. I've started putting some of your newborn clothes into storage as you grow out of them. You are still wearing size 0-3 months and a few things that are labeled as 3-6 but run a little small.

You are still eating about 2-3 hours every day during the day, but going much longer stretches at night. We have our breastfeeding routine down pretty well now, and when I need to I can even do things like get up and walk to another room without interrupting your feeding. That's talent! We still have yet to master nursing in public though.

You've started "talking" a lot more, and it is my favorite sound in the whole world. You are most talkative when you are laying on your playmat and looking at your black and white pictures (which you still love), but sometimes you like to talk directly to us. Other times you start babbling in the car or in your swing.

Speaking of the swing, you have definitely warmed up to it and you are content to hang out in there sometimes (generally to sleep). The bouncer has also become a place where you can be happy, especially if I have it next to the window or out in the grass so you can take in the whole wide world. You still love walks too, but now you frequently stay awake for them!

Your best new talent is your smile. You started smiling when your dad began making silly faces and sticking his tongue out at you. Now you smile at all kinds of things. You like to smile at me when you wake up in the mornings, and it is absolutely the best start to our days together! If we blow raspberries or make funny noises and funny faces you are generally pretty entertained. Sometimes you stick your tongue out too! It looks like you have two dimples on the same cheek and I love seeing them when you are happy.

You've also started making the most heartbreaking pouty face in the world (I sadly haven't been able to capture a picture of it yet... I'm probably too busy mothering and trying to make you happy...). I can already tell it's going to work well for you.

Along with the smiles have come more spit-up and drool. You are going through outfits more quickly now, and need frequent neck washings to keep you from smelling like stale milk all the time. That  neck of yours is getting very strong and you are getting much better head control and sometimes hold it up for quite a while all on your own.

I must say, you are becoming a very good sleeper (knock on wood - I really don't want to jinx it). I generally feed you for the last time and put you to bed around nine. For a while, the next time you'd wake up to eat would be around 3 or 4am, although you still wake up around then because of your tooting sometimes (which I find pretty funny), lately you haven't been waking up to eat until sometime between 5 and 6!! That's almost the whole night! And we are very thankful for that.

I am fairly obsessed with you, as I think any mother would be. I miss you when I haven't been holding you, even if I've been in the same room as you. I can't place enough kisses on your chubby little cheeks. I don't even mind the few times you've projectile vomited all your milk down my front. I didn't know your stomach could hold so much (or I guess it can't)!

You also almost got your dad pretty good. One morning, he went to change your diaper and you thought it was the perfect time for your morning poop. I was trying to sleep in, but his yells from the other room prompted me to wake and see what was going on. You were truly making a mess of things and your dad is very cautious of coming into the firing line of your naked bum now.

It is so much fun for both of us to see you interacting with us more and more everyday. You are starting to make sense of your little world, becoming more of your own little person, and we are thankful each and every day that we get to be your parents.

With all my love,

{  "It's bright out!"  }

{  She really wanted these, but we didn't get them for her... She's just trying to be a hip baby, and we're mean parents!  }
{  Spa treatment  }

{  My favorite romper  }
{  And possibly some of my favorite pictures so far  }
{  Being goofy with Dad  }

{  I snap sooo many pictures to try to capture non-blurry cute expressions  }
{  She takes some liberties with her fashion  }

{  buddies!  }

{  My little, elf baby  }
{  Mother's Day outtake - "Dad, we weren't ready!"  }
{  Her rather unenthusiastic reaction to the first time feeling the grass between her toes  }


May 12, 2015

1st Mother's Day

This was my first Mother's Day on the other side of the equation! I'm now a daughter and a mother! I was probably more excited for it than I should have been. I've never been great at these holidays with my parents. I generally get my mom a card and the family spends the day together with grandma sometimes too. And that's exactly what we did this year! It was a beautiful day to spend some time outside at the Picker's Market and then to Grandma's house we went for some chili and conversation.

And did I mention we were matching?! Ha ha! I had planned for Hazel and I to match, but then Erin said the dress she was planning to wear was going to match us too. SO I decided we should probably get mom in on the coral color action so we could all match for a picture! Then Hazel had a bit of a blowout on her romper and had to wear her backup onesie.


My kids (Hazel and Norbert) let me sleep in until 7 and then brought me apple struessel pancakes. I got a card from them signed with their paw/foot prints, and a card from my husband (not signed with his footprint, though that would have been awesome!). They also got me some new gardening tools. Such sweeties!

But this Mother's Day has gotten me thinking more about our parenting. Right now I am a mother, but I think this is going to be the easiest part. I think it just gets harder from here. Birth was tough, and as a reward we get a little snuggly newborn.  At this stage, it's the bare bones of parenting. Making sure all of her needs are met. If she has a clean diaper and a full belly, we're doing a great job! We're looking out for her basic necessities. And sure we DO go above and beyond this (sometimes we actually put clothes on her... Kidding. Kindof). We make her smile as much as possible. Expose her senses to new things... different music, smells, pictures. But it's all pretty simple. Right now the best thing we can do is love her.

I don't think that part of parenting changes at all. The best thing is always unconditional love, but eventually there will be a lot more to it. We really haven't embarked on building her character yet. Teaching her manners. Instilling values and morals. Helping her become her own person.

What kind of rules are we going to set? What will we do when she misbehaves? How will we handle discipline? How will we navigate this crazy world of technology?

I have done zero research on parenting styles. I'm not sure that Tyler has done any either (I'm not counting techniques to get a baby to sleep). And honestly, I probably won't do a lot of research on it. We are pretty laid back people so I think our parenting will be pretty laid back too. Sure, at times I know I'm going to want to look up different ways to handle certain situations like potty training, but for our overall parenting style I'd rather create one of our own. I'm going to wing it!

Eventually, I could change my mind and decide I want to do tons of research, because this is ALL NEW and we really don't know what is in store. We're open minded, and I could totally do a flip flop if needed. But for now, I'm happy to figure out my own set of parenting values and go from there. Sometimes I do come across bits and pieces of parenting advice that speak to me (like the quote below), and in that case I will add them to my philosophy as we go.

All this rambling is me saying that I don't know what kind of parents we're going to be yet. And that is more than okay! We love our daughter and that is the most important thing.

Current status: New Mom.

Parent: for almost 2 months.

1st Mother's Day: Awesome!

Parenting philosophy: Love and new experiences.

{  By William Martin  }

In other news... On Mother's Day our baby robins left the nest and we are now empty nesters. They grew soooo fast, and I can't believe they're gone already! In the morning we were oggling them and saying how we couldn't believe how big they were. Then, later in the evening, we took a peek and they were GONE! I immediately panicked thinking that they had gotten blown out of the nest during the evening storm, because though they were big, they did NOT look ready to fly yet. It made me very sad for such a Mother's Day travesty. But Tyler did a quick google search and learned that robins only stay in the nest for approximately 8 days and then leave, even before they can fly. They start learning their life skills from the ground. It was comforting, but I wasn't totally assured until I actually saw them hopping around in the back garden yesterday. I even watched one "climb" a tree! The mother was still there watching over her babies too, and she was even still bringing them snacks!  Go little robins, fly on!


May 2, 2015

Spring Fever

Spring! The beginning of spring is always an exciting time. The cold and grey of winter seeps away and suddenly the warmth and green of spring starts to emerge. Spring brings so much more than the physical rebirth of the world around us. It brings an energy like no other time of year. The winter weather is no longer keeping us inside, and the bright light of spring starts calling our hearts and taking over our minds.

It's easy to become drunk on spring, and suddenly you want to be head over heels in love... You want to go on an adventure... You want to have fun... To be reckless... To GO someplace new.... To DO something dangerous... You are inspired... You are optimistic...
For many this energy manifests into spring cleaning. But for others it can be unquenchable. The force of spring is powerful!

I know the feeling of spring fever well, but this year is different for me. Just like the the world around me, I too gave birth to a new life! The plants are sprouting, the eggs are hatching, and my baby is growing. We're all growing. Suddenly, the energy of spring is helping me through my transition to a mother and helping our family blossom in completely new ways. My heart is so full I'm not sure there's room for anything else right now. This is quite the springtime adventure!

We have so many springtime blessings this year and have been enjoying the beautiful weather as much as possible.

Hazel and I get outside everyday. We go for long walks around the neighborhood, but we also go for walks around our yard inspecting all the new growth and plants that are coming up. I love to garden and I always enjoy seeing all of our perennials as they poke out of the ground. Last year was so exciting because we had no idea what was planted. This year we have so many new additions to welcome to the yard. I have been most excited about these flowers and have been anxiously checking their progress every day waiting for these gorgeous blooms! They're still not in full bloom, and I want to plant even more so that I have a huge patch of them. Their globes look like they should be in a fairy tale, not real life!

{  My bloom  }
{  What my allium patch aspires to be  }
The other day, we planted a tree for Hazel. An old tree in our yard died and we replaced it with a new dogwood tree in honor of Hazel. I am so sentimental and love trees so much, how could our daughter not have her own special tree?

We have been extremely fortunate to not only have one baby in our nursery, but FOUR! There's Hazel, of course, but it is also home to a family of robins. They made a nest on the window ledge and laid three beautiful, blue eggs. We've been watching this incredibly sweet little family care for their eggs for a couple weeks (trying our hardest not to scare them off), and finally this week they hatched! At this point the babies are basically little blobs of skin with a few feather tufts, but I'm sure we will soon be hearing their little chirps calling out for snacks!

{  Even in real life it's impossible to tell what is what...  }
We went to visit Mimi and Gramps this week too, and Hazel got to pick her first asparagus from Grandpa's patch. I think she got the fattest one I've ever seen! We picked almost a whole Hazel's worth of asparagus (aka 10 lbs). I am excited to see her next year when she'll be toddling around and able to look for the asparagus herself!

I never knew how cute a baby hugging asparagus could be!!

Happy Spring! I hope you find a way to quench whatever it is your heart is yearning for and that it carries you blissfully into summer!