Friday, December 30, 2016

End of Year Rituals

I haven't really kept up with blogging, but my mom had sent me this link of end of year rituals that looked interesting and I wanted to give it a try. One of the things the blogger suggests is to share these items so here I am sharing them on the blog. I love looking back at the year and reflecting on the joys, challenges and accomplishments and looking forward to the new year with a new perspective. I get so excited about a new year – opportunities to change, grow and learn even more. I can't wait to see what 2017 brings us! Here's the link to the full end of year rituals list: http://simplyrealhealth.com/2016/12/29/end-year-rituals-2016/

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Write down at least 25 things you are proud of having done or accomplished– in your work life, family life, home life, relationship life, community, health, etc. It can be anything. Don’t be modest for one hour of the year while you do this– too often we brush things aside that do mean a lot to us- even if they are smaller seeming things. If you get any spark of joy or a smile from it, write it down.


• Surviving 3 weeks of contractions and getting through being 11 days overdue
• Giving birth naturally to an almost 9 lb baby

• Surviving the first 8 months of having two kids
• Doing things by myself with two kids (especially bedtime)

• Learning to sew bows
• Growing friendships
• Letting go of things that overwhelm my plate
• Breastfeeding

• Reading books...even if most of them are audio books
• Finding my way back to fitness and eating well
• Hitting my pre-baby weight at 6 months postpartum

• Making monthly date night happen
• Hitting our goal amount for the year in retirement and college savings
• Relaxing a bit more with baby #2
• Making special time with Emma
• Enjoying little moments in life







































• Doing a capsule wardrobe
• Feeding my need for creativity by taking classes

• Learning more and more what matters most to me
• Growing as a designer and finding that passion again
• Staying calm while doing baby led weaning with Ruby
• Hanging something on the walls in our house

• Running a 5k
• Starting new holiday traditions

• Growing as a couple and as a family


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Pick a word or phrase that summarized the year, overall. And then a word or phrase of what you’re craving more of in the next year.

2016:
• Grow
2017:
• Minimize
Ironic how the two words are literally opposite.

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Pick a word or phrase (or 2 or 3) about the undeniable biggest lessons/obstacles that got presented to you that year. Do they have a theme? Another way to think about this: what called attention to some places you may have not been paying attention to?

Learning to live as a family of four. We didn't expect how difficult it would be for Emma to grow and learn when Ruby was born. That was a huge struggle that is still being worked out.

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Just a few more things that I'm hoping and aiming for in 2017:

• Organize and declutter: Our home, my brain and our schedule
• Make things less complicated and bring on the minimalism (check out the Netflix documentary The Minimalists: http://www.theminimalists.com/netflix/)
• Once our sleep has some sort of order to it, I'd like to get back to being productive early mornings and nights. Until then, I am going to give myself some grace.
• Practice on my new sewing machine
• Keep taking classes that feed my creativity (I had so much fun doing a hand lettering and wreath making class last year)
• Find a balance that works for me...it won't be perfect, but I want to find something that brings me peace and makes me happy.
• Travel again – starting small this year while the girls are still so young
• Keep going with my fitness goals

Ruby: 7 months


Ruby turned 7 months a few days ago! Despite her lack of sleep lately (she wakes up every time we set her down, ah!), she is the happiest baby! She loves smiling, stroller rides around the neighborhood, playing toys with sister, rolling around and has even started to scoot and pull herself up on her hands and knees. She is taking the food thing slow – not a huge fan of many foods yet, but as of this past week she has stopped gagging on everything. She loves to chew on pieces of meat and drink water out of her cup. We guess she's about 18lbs this month, but the growth is slowing down a bit (she can wear some of the cute winter clothes we have for her, yay!). We're looking forward to celebrating the holidays with both our sweet girls this year – feeling so thankful for our family of four! (November 19)

Ruby: 6 months


Ruby turned six months this week! She is a bit over 17 lbs and is the smiliest, happiest baby! She started solids this week but hasn't actually eaten much of it, just playing and exploring so far. She started sleeping great at night, sleeping through most nights (oh please be here to stay), naps are a bit more all over the place but she's starting to get at least one good one in per day. She rolls all over the place and is starting to sit up a bit, but not completely on her own. Those bottom teeth look like they might start coming in soon, but nothing cutting through quite yet. She absolutely adores her older sister and smiles constantly at everyone. This girl is such a joy! (October 19)

Ruby: 5 months

Ruby turned five months! She is so happy and smiling/giggling all the time, especially with her big sister. She has rolled over a few times, but mommy has yet to see it. ☺️ She is about 17.5 lbs now! She loves being a part of the family and sitting in the high chair with us at dinner, playing with her toys. She moved to her own room last week and has started sleeping better at night (although she'll throw in a rough night here or there just to keep us on our toes). She's starting solids next month, she seems excited to get her hands on our food already. This girl is the happiest baby, we love her so much! Such a perfect completion to our family. (September 19)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Ruby: 4 Months

Date: August 19

Stats: 15lbs 11oz, 25.5 in, head is 16.8 in (95th percentile!)

Sleep: It's been rough these past few weeks. Nights she has been up every 2-3 hours and naps are just starting to turn a corner from waking up every 30 mins. It's been extremely exhausting!

Feeding: Breastfeeding – quick and efficient eater! About every 3 hours.

Clothing size: 3-6 month clothes are super snug now, fits well into 9 month clothes

Likes: Obsessed with being worn in the carrier. Sometimes that is the only way to keep her from crying/squealing all day. Sitting in her bumbo, hearing songs from big sister, alone time with mom and dad when sister is at school, bath time with sister, being outside.

Dislikes: Laying on her playmat, letting mom and dad eat

Biggest changes: She has entered the four month sleep regression and fussy phase. She likes her toys for about five seconds and then throws them to the side and gets frustrated. It's been a tough month for us, but we may be turning a corner here soon it seems. Mama has been working hard this month at eating well and working out and is back in pre-pregnancy jeans, yay! It's been a long month of lack of sleep and busy deadlines at work, but we are surviving!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ruby: 3 Months

Date: July 19 (Grandma & Grandpa's 36th wedding anniversary!)

Stats: We weighed her ourselves and she is now 15 lbs!

Sleep: We've had a few rough nights of sleep and breaking out of the swaddle, but then she'll surprise us with a nice 5-6 hour stretch. We feel blessed that she goes right back to sleep after nursing and has never stayed up longer than 15 minutes in the middle of the night. Hoping this means she will eventually be a great sleeper!

Feeding: Breastfeeding – quick and efficient eater! About every 3 hours.

Clothing size: 3-6 month clothes fit well now, worried they will be too small soon!

Likes: Absolutely loves looking at herself in the mirror! She loves her playmate and swatting at the animals hanging down. Loves just being part of the group and sitting on our lap at dinner.

Dislikes: Being left out ;)

Biggest changes: Ruby is so much more alert now and seems to understand who we are. She smiles at us every time we interact with her, she is such a sweetheart! She is working at getting some leverage with her toes during tummy time so rolling over could be in her future soon! She just fits so well in our family, we all seem to be adjusting well and feel like she has always been here with us. :)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ruby: Two Months

Date: June 19 (Father's Day!)

Stats: Last week at her two week checkup she was 12b 6oz and 23.5in. Her head is holding strong in the 95th percentile!

Sleep: We transitioned from the rock n play to her crib (still in our room). We had about three rough nights of sleep and now she is sleeping 5-6 hours straight and then a few more hours to get us to morning. We are working on getting more consistent naps during the day, but she usually gets one long nap at the same time as sister.

Feeding: Breastfeeding – quick and efficient eater!

Clothing size: 0-3 month is getting a bit snug now

Likes: Smiles from family, talking to us, riding in the Lillebaby carrier (with both mom and dad), watching her sister play, being outside

Dislikes: Not a whole lot, she's a fairly content baby!

Biggest changes: Ruby was baptized May 29! She smiles so much and even coos and makes noises at us. She's still quite the grunter, usually when she wakes up at 4am it's with grunting, not crying. She is getting leg rolls, yay! Her hair is thinning out and lightening up a bit. She no longer falls asleep as easily as before, but is still pretty good about putting herself to sleep with a little help. She's getting so fun and responding to us like a baby now – we love having Ruby as part of our family!

Mama updates: I start work on Monday after 10 weeks of maternity leave. We're feeling much more in sync now and ready to start this new schedule and routine. I started working out this month when I got cleared at almost 6 weeks. I've been trying to go at least 3x/week. I'm feeling really great!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ruby: One Month

I guess I didn't do a post about our baby being born, Ruby Aurora was born on April 19 at 5:51am. She was 8lb 10oz and 21in long. I'm still working on the birth story, but it was incredible! We were able to have the natural birth we hoped for, which all happened super quick (once labor finally started – I was 11 days overdue!). I've been recovering so much better this time, it's a night and day difference. It might be due to having more confidence, being more fit this time around or the placenta encapsulation – it's been really great and has made things so much easier for all of us!

* The quilt she is laying on was made by Mike's late grandma, Aurora (who Ruby is named after)

Date: May 19

Stats: 9 lbs 12 oz, 21.5 in long (this was last week when she was 3 weeks...I wouldn't be surprised if she was 10lbs by now!)

Sleep: Naps are all over the place. It's hard for her to sleep with big sister around, so considering trying to get her some set naps when it seems she is tired (still kind of all the time). Night sleep is going ok, her first stretch is anywhere from 3-5.5 hours long and then after that it's two hour spurts. We're really hoping she turns into a great sleeper and can get that first stretch a bit longer!

Feeding: Exclusively breastfed, she takes a bottle and pacifier like a champ! This helps mom out so much. We started giving probiotics this week. Ruby is super fast at nursing – she only takes one side at a time and is done in about 10 minutes. It's been a world of difference nursing a baby who doesn't have a tongue/lip tie vs one who does!

Clothing size: She really never fit into newborn size, although we tried. She's filling out 0-3 month size well.

Likes: the ceiling fan, cluster feeding, being worn in the Solly Baby wrap, going out to eat (she sleeps the entire time), evening family walks

Dislikes: bath time, poopy diapers

Biggest changes: It feels like our entire family is still transitioning into being a family of four. Emma is doing so much better adjusting to having Ruby around and sharing our time with her. We're getting so much better at getting out the door in less than two hours (not even exaggerating!) and getting things done around the house. Going back to work in a month will be a challenge, but doable. Ruby is so much more alert now and gives us big smiles although we're not sure if they are intentional or not. Mama is soaking in the newborn phase this time and all the snuggles and nursing sessions. Life is really great!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Pregnancy Recap

Does anyone even blog anymore? I've so been slacking on keeping up with things with this pregnancy. With Emma I had a personal pregnancy journal and tracked things pretty regularly on here and I have so loved looking back and reading those posts. I just wanted to post a bit of a recap before we have this baby and forget life before we had two kids. Things have been so different this pregnancy, I want to be sure I document those memories and experiences!








































First, we did a family photoshoot earlier this year with a friend of mine, Jasmine Amber Photography. We skipped doing a fall/winter photoshoot like we usually do for Christmas cards since we knew we wanted to document this pregnancy and our family right before this second baby comes. We love, love, love all the pictures and used a lot of them in the nursery!


Speaking of the nursery, I definitely didn't spend as much time planning it as I did with Emma. We moved Emma to a different room and she is in a big girl bed with all new decor (still working on finishing her room) and we moved the nursery to what used to be the guest room. Emma's nursery was bright, warm and so small so we figured that was best as a guest room/extra room. We took a lot of things from Emma's nursery and used them in this one but added a few new things and kept the walls neutral (BM Revere Pewter like the rest of the house). We learned that this room will change so much as she grows up so we didn't want to put too much into it only to change it around two years later. I'm excited at how it turned out and feel like it'll grow really well with her! One big thing we made sure to get early on this time was a big comfy chair to nurse in. I made that mistake with Emma and got a bentwood rocker that was not the most comfortable thing when nursing multiple times in the middle of the night. I am so excited to have found this beautiful comfy chair at DownEast (it's a PB Kids chair!).

I started this pregnancy in really good shape, the best shape of my life! We were also eating super healthy and minus a hiccup of sickness in the first trimester, I've stuck to eating healthy pretty much this entire pregnancy! My biggest cravings have been guacamole and donuts...I eat guac so much, almost one avocado a day, but have not had one single donut (the only gf donuts I've heard of are at a bakery in Phoenix). I've been doing lots of smoothies and eating a hearty breakfast in the morning full of lots of protein. I was working out for quite a while this pregnancy too – up until I was about 7 months pregnant. I didn't eat the best during my pregnancy with Emma and didn't work out at all (other than some relaxing prenatal yoga), so this was a big change for this pregnancy and I'm so proud of myself for keeping it up. 

Despite all these things, I'm still feeling the puffy swollen feet late in pregnancy and the aches and pains. Keeping up with a two year old has made this pregnancy so much harder on my body. I've had some anxiety and stress with getting things done (with the holidays and then someone in our house constantly being sick for about two months, we got so behind!). We decided to hire a doula a bit late in the game, but couldn't be happier that we did! She has already been such a great resource for us and has given me so much peace of mind for when the big day arrives. I feel more confident that this birth can go more so how I would like it to and avoid a few things that didn't go the way I would have liked them to with Emma's birth. We are also with a group of midwives this time, going to a different hospital that seems like it leans more towards what our goals and wishes for labor are and I am going to try placenta encapsulation this time.

Another huge change is that I have a HUGE support of mom friends who we didn't even know before having Emma. It's been such a blessing to have these moms and their support during this pregnancy and for us once baby is here. I have developed some really great friendships and we are so grateful for these people in our lives!











































We have been spending the past few weeks enjoying our time together as a family of three. It's so emotional thinking this is the last time with just the three of us and our lives will forever be changed! I have been praying Emma adjusts well and talk to her often about the changes that are coming and how much she means to us.

And yes, we do have a name picked out! We won't be sharing on social media until she is born, but it is the sweetest thing ever hearing Emma say her name and refer to her room, diapers and clothes with her name. I am thrilled Emma will have a sister she can have a close bond with through her entire life!

One thing that isn't different is how this early labor is going. Again, I am having real contractions for hours, multiple days in a row with no baby in the end. It's been tiring, frustrating and so emotional but I am so thankful I have the support of my doula, midwives, husband, family and friends to encourage me that it WILL happen and my body will know what to do when the time comes. So now we sit here and wait for this baby girl to join our family. We are so excited and anxious to meet this little girl and already love her so much!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Updates

It's been a while since my last post so just a few updates. My goals this year are a bit different. I went with a few words instead - be present and intentional. January has been a rough month. I started out motivated at work and determined to spend the day with intention but then I got sick (first puking of this pregnancy ugh), then it turned into a major cold and then Emma got croup. All this was in the middle of a huge deadline at work that I was already behind on. Oh and that same week Mike worked every single night. I wasn't sure if we were going to survive that week! We are finally all healthy again and my deadline made it out the door just in time. Since then I've worked much harder at being intentional with my time so I can be more present. Taking Emma to the park has been such a joy, she is loving climbing up the stairs and going down the slide by herself and I enjoy sitting in the sun soaking in some vitamin d and cheering her on. 

The girls' rooms are coming along. We ordered a bed for Emma that should be here soon and I picked out these fun fabrics to make pillows for her reading nook and bed. We have most stuff purchased, it's just a matter of putting it all together. I can't wait to see it all done!

We started potty training this past week and it hasn't been very smooth or enjoyable for any of us! Emma is in a huge phase of independence right now and it's making many of our mornings very unbearable. It's definitely not helping the potty training. She knows what to do, when to go it and where to do it but is not wanting to. Keeping her in undies this week it going to keep it a bit more relaxed and casual and see if that helps. 

Speaking of that unbearable independent phase we're in...Mike and I desperately needed a night away to focus on us and enjoy time together before this baby arrives. We had a mini babymoon staycation at the Phoenician and had a fun and delicious dinner at FnB - my new favorite place!


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hello 2016!

I love setting goals for the new year. It helps me focus after the chaos of the holidays and motivates me throughout the year. Usually I post all the details of things I'd like to do with eating right, fitness, waking up early, etc. Yes those are all still on my list but this year I'm trying something different. I'm focusing on more of a theme that I can go back to and apply to all parts of life. 

This year's theme that I want to live by is be present and intentional. We have a new baby coming in three short months so things are sure to get a little crazy. I've cut out a lot of our activities - MOPS, stroller strides, music class, etc. Our days got so full of needing to go here, do this, don't be late to that and we weren't focusing enough on being present in the moment and doing simple activities at home.

I want to enjoy these moments we're in now and now wish for the future. Emma is at an age where she is so fun but also wants to do everything her way, which she hasn't quite figured out yet and gets super frustrated at. I need to be calm, guide her and be there for her. This new baby will come and most likely will not sleep well. I need to be patient and enjoy those late night nursing sessions because they don't last forever...contrary to what it might feel like in the moment. 

I want to create more. On my own, with Emma, with Mike. I want to make this house feel like a home, our home. Make it feel warm and inviting and totally unique to us.

I want to take care of myself and our marriage. We are in the trenches of toddlerhood and soon babyhood again. It can be so easy to let other things fall to the side.

I want to enjoy my last few months of pregnancy. We don't know for sure yet, but this might be our last. I've really struggled this pregnancy mentally and emotionally. I was so into working out and craved it, but it's gotten much harder to do. I get frustrated that I can't do all the things I could just six months ago and regardless of my efforts to eat well and workout, I'm still gaining more weight than what is "ideal." It makes it difficult emotionally when people tell you how huge you look...just a note, not at all what a pregnant woman or really anyone wants to hear! I'm going to work on enjoying these changes and embracing them. I'll get back to where I was, but for now this baby needs me to grow. I want to slow down, get back on track with loving healthy foods again, drink lots of water and do some prenatal yoga (and do my best at my other workouts when possible).

I want to be intentional about my days. Go to bed on time, wake up early, focus at work so I can have more time with my family and to help around the house. This includes scrolling online less, especially when I'm with my family, in the morning in bed or supposed to be working. Why is that so hard?!

A few of my detailed goals:
- finish Emma's new bedroom
- finish the nursery
- potty train Emma
- gather all baby items and pick up what we still need
- make and print Emma's baby book before April
- one at home date night per week, one date night out per month (minimum)
- follow my eating plan (I wrote it out separately using guidelines I know work for me and what physically makes me feel good and what doesn't)
- keep developing friendships
- take the hand lettering course I've been eyeing for the past few months
- learn to knit
- make homemade cultured foods
- crafts and projects with Emma
- use the dslr camera more often
- find local adventures for our family

Here's to a wonderful 2016!