Friday, February 28, 2014

5 on Friday

ONE.  It's raining, it's pouring . . .  and I love it.  TL and I were supposed to be on our way to LA today to visit some of my girlfriends, but due to the big storms hitting most of the state, we decided it was safest to stay home instead of driving down.  I am extremely bummed out because I miss them so much, but I must admit - this rain is just what we need and we are finally getting some green vegetation by our house.

TWO.  I went and visited my sister earlier this week so Andie and Stella (my niece) could have a little play time.  Stella is 6 months old, and it was so fun to see the girls interact with each other.  It is so much fun to have girls close in age, and I know it's going to keep getting more fun as they get older.
{stella is eating the map}

THREE.  Last Friday we went to visit some of TL's family in the Bay Area for the day.  Andie loves her Uncle Joe and lights up when she sees him. . . and I am pretty sure he is smitten over her, too ;)  It was a beautiful day in Walnut Creek.  We made a drive up to the top of Mt. Diablo, and spent time with his cousins and their two little guys.  We had dinner and watched the kids all play together and it was really nice to be there with them.  How cute is this picture?  We have a similar one from when Andie was 6 weeks old and we went to visit.
{beautiful Mt. Diablo}

FOUR.  Teething - I know I mentioned it last week, but sweet baby Andie grew her first tooth.  Since then, I know she has been in some discomfort because more must be on their way.  I know everyone has lots of ideas of what to do to help.  So far, a little Tylenol and cold toys or food is all we have tried. Any other suggestions?  She's doing pretty well with it, so I can't complain, but I feel so bad that she is in pain.
{poor baby was uncomfortable getting that tooth!}


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Boon High Chair: my review

TL did lots of research on high chairs... we saw a few at BabiesRUs, sat her in a few of them and just couldn't make up our minds.  We ended up ordering the Bjorn High Chair, and as cute as it was, it was much too tiny to last for very long - even our petite baby would not be able to eat in that thing for too much longer.  So we returned it (thank goodness for free shipping both ways on Amazon).

So, we asked around to other mamas, TL checked ratings and reviews, and we decided on The Boon highchair.  It looks sort of like a barber chair, and I will admit, I wasn't majorly sold on it at first.  We ordered ours from Target online (5% off with your red card) and they only had orange, which has turned out to be okay.

Andie immediately liked it.  It's comfortable for her, she has room to grow with the adjustable tray, and oh my gosh this thing is extremely easy to clean.  The material it is made of is so easy to wipe down and takes just a minute or two to clean, which is crazy because of how messy it gets.  The seat is removable, and we ended up taking the straps out of it because she is pretty snug in there with just the tray.  The tray is easy to take apart and clean, and the top (what she eats off of) is dishwasher safe.

I love the way it rolls around the kitchen.  If I am cooking, it's easy to just roll her around while she snacks.  It's also got an adjustable height, so we can roll her up to the kitchen table next to us and she doesn't feel left out.

The only thing that I can see being a slight disadvantage as she gets bigger is: the tray is a little on the smaller size.  It won't fit a standard size plate, but I think the tray itself is just going to be her plate.  It's also a little tight when I have her sippy cup and food on there.  It doesn't matter too much right now, but I could see that being a small issue in the future.

Other than that, this highchair rocks!  I love the convenience of it for cleaning, moving, and it's not extremely ugly to look at.
{they are great for climbing on, too!}
{my messy eater}

Friday, February 21, 2014

5 on Friday

I can't believe it's Friday again - where did this week go?!  Things have been busy - in a good way - and I have really been working on just enjoying each day.

ONE.  I have been into the Olympics - I really enjoy them, and I always do.  I like learning more about each of the sports and watching the competitions.  My favorite moment so far was when Noelle Pikus - Pace won the Silver medal.  Her reaction and response was so genuine and happy, very neat to see.
TWO.  The Bow Jar (I promise I won't mention it in every blog post) has been open for a month exactly today - and I am really excited.  The support from so many bloggers, friends, and family members has meant so much to me.  I can't believe it actually stayed open for a month - it has been so rewarding seeing pictures of babies, girls, and ladies wearing bows, clips, and headbands that I made.  I am hosting a pretty big giveaway (5 bows/headbands of your choice in a jar).  Check out Facebook if you'd like more details :)

THREE.  I mentioned last week that TL and I got each other the Fitbit bands for Valentine's day.  I ended up having to return mine because it was so inaccurate with my daily routine.  It was counting "steps" when I was sitting in a chair rocking Andie, which I do quite often during the day - so the inaccuracy was really misleading me.  I have decided to just use my Garmin more and get my butt into gear at the gym.  I have been going more lately and just need to build my own routine!

FOUR.  Andie got her first tooth this last weekend.  At more than 9 months old... we were surprised!  It was a weird feeling for me... she's really growing up and changing so fast.  This sweet baby of mine is blooming into a tiny human with her own abilities, and I can't figure out how to make it all slow down.  What a blessing she is!
{my little lovebug loves to swing!}

{beautiful quote - source}

Have a beautiful weekend!

Friday, February 14, 2014

5 on Friday & Happy Valentine's Day!

ONE.  Happy Valentine's Day - I hope you are surrounded by LOVE today (& always).

TWO.  I am so excited for my cousin - she's having twins (a boy and a girl) in March.  Last week, we had a baby shower for her and her partner and it was so much fun to celebrate them.  How cute are these invites!?  The shower was sweet, intimate, and a wonderful celebration of two very special people.

THREE.  I have gotten a lot of support for The Bow Jar on Facebook and Instagram (@TheBowJar) - and I am really so appreciative of it.  I am really enjoying making bows and headbands for babies, girls, and ladies - and I have been excited about every order that comes in.  Thanks so much for your support!

FOUR.  TL got me (and I got him) a FitBit for Valentine's Day.  I am not sure yet how it's going to work for me - but I have been wearing it the last few days.  I don't think it's extremely accurate, though.  I think it counts me rocking in a chair as steps.  But - it is really cool to see an idea of how far I walk in a day and how many flights of stairs... etc.  It keeps me aware of being active, and I think that's pretty cool.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dear Andie... You're 9 months old!

Sweet, smiley, blonde, beautiful baby Andie. . .

You are 9 months old.  You've been outside in the world - growing, learning, thriving - for just about the same amount of time as you were inside of me.  Every month that passes just keeps getting better, something unfathomable to me.

You are becoming increasingly active, you've mastered the ability to pull up on everything and anything - including our barstools which you also happened to pull on top of you, adding a nasty bruise to the side of your head.  You have also become very good at going from sitting, to crawling, back to sitting, then standing and gracefully sitting again.  You're crawling on all 4s and occasionally still army crawling - and you are fast!!  One of my favorite things you do a lot of is dancing... anytime you hear music you start shaking your booty, even if it's just someone singing to you.

You're curious, observant, and fearless.  Being tossed into the air has never phased you, and now, it's even used as a cure for the occasional fussies.  When you smile, your entire face lights up, including those baby blue eyes.  I am pretty sure you are going to have one of "those" smiles your whole life... the kind that have the ability to light up a room.  Your smile is bright, and also toothless.  9 months old, and no sign of teeth yet.  But your hair has been coming in thick and blonde for months.

You are wearing size 6, 9, and 6-12 month clothes.  Your 9 month jammies are still quite big, mainly in length because you are very petite.  You are in size 3 diapers and still not a fan of wearing shoes or socks.

You have been doing well with your sleeping habits - going about 10-11 hours through the night.  You have your occasional night where you wake up and want to be held for a few minutes, but I am very grateful for the sleep you've been giving me.

Watching you play with toys has been fascinating.  In the past month, you've grown attached to more toys and you're getting good at turning on music on your stand and play.  You love Peppy the Penguin, your car, your dolly, shape blocks, and pretty much anything else that is colorful.  You also smile, scream and laugh when we put a blanket over your head and say "where's Andie?!".

You went to the gym child care with me for the first time in the last month and did very well.  You started liking "the wheels on the bus" because they sang that to you, and of course, you loved the other kids.  You kick your feet and swing your arms because you get so excited when you see other kids.  You love to steal their toys, look at them, and watch everything they do.  You also are a big fan of your gramz and pops, aunties, and uncle Joe - you immediately know who they are and smile when you see them.

You have several nicknames - demAndie, little butts, baby girl, and missy moo.   I love going in your room in the morning and seeing your little smile and starting my day with a "gooood morning Andie!"  You are such a love bug.  You cuddle and snuggle with everyone (especially with me) and it is the best thing in the whole world.

You're eating very well.  You love bananas, apple sauce, sweet potatoes, black beans and puffs.  You'll eat almost anything though.  I am still breastfeeding you multiple times a day and I love it.  You started giving big open mouth kisses in the last couple days... and we love it!

You are so special to me and the mama/daughter bond is already so strong.  You are such a good little girl and we feel so lucky every single day to have you!

I love you times infinity,

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A few things I have learned as "mama"

In my short stint so far of being a mama (my most favorite thing that has ever happened to me) here are just a few things I have learned.  Articulating my perspective has been challenging.  Nothing and no one can prepare you for the intensity that comes along with the title of "mom" - the love, the worry, the guilt, the joy, the challenges, the excitement, the fun!

ONE. Don't compare yourself to other moms or your baby to other babies.  Ha, the idea of that sounds nice, but it just isn't realistic.  You WILL occasionally compare yourself and your baby to others.  I remember driving home from a play date with 4 other moms after Andie had a particularly fussy afternoon thinking... oh my gosh, I have a fussy baby - especially because she was screaming her head off as I was driving home.  I even called TL and vented "I don't know what's up with her, she is so fussy".  Then I got home and realized she had a huge messy diaper - that probably had nothing to do with it, but then it hit me . . . that "G" word that inevitably comes along with the title of "mom" . . . guilt.  I felt it so strongly that day.  It's OKAY for my baby to be fussy - we all have bad days.  Why oh why did I even question her?  I apologized profusely to her, but felt guilty the rest of the day for thinking anything could be wrong with her.  Comparison is the thief of joy... so I try very hard not to do it.  And when I catch myself... I remember - all babies are different and 10 years from now this fussy day, or the fact that she doesn't have teeth, or hasn't started walking yet will mean nothing.

TWO.  Okay, okay . . . don't compare.  But have allies.  This mom thing can be totally confusing.  Wait, when do I start solid foods? Baby led what?  Is that necklace your kid is wearing for teething?  Other moms are great friends to have.  They just get it.  These mom friends have been so important for me, along with my own mom who has some sort of magical memory back to when we were babies.  It's okay to ask for advice and having other mom friends to talk with really have made a difference for me.  Lets face it, friends who are not moms do not want to hear details about their pooping habits, how much your kid eats, and how much sleep you got last night.  I try very hard to spare them the details.

THREE.  Take it easy on yourself.  My mom has repeated this to me a few times.  I get very hard on myself when laundry piles up, the closet downstairs doesn't organize itself, my unwashed hair hasn't seen my shoulders in a week, and my car is disgusting.  I worry that I haven't taught her how to clap yet, or think "crap, I don't read to her enough".  Here's the thing I have learned... I can't do it all.  Superwoman probably exists somewhere, but not at this house.  I do what I can and try to remember the perspective from my mom - I am her daughter and she doesn't want her daughter to be distraught because I can't do it all - just like someday I may be telling Andie to take it easy on herself. . . I need to take my own advice now.  Hand baby to TL and take a bath.  Sit alone and scroll through my instagram feed for 10 minutes.  Try not to google every detail of her progress.  Just take it easy and not feel guilty about it.  (See, there's that sneaky "G" word again)

FOUR.  Always give yourself extra time.  You need to be at a friends house with dessert at 6pm?  Leave the house at 5:15.  Even if they only live 5 minutes from your house.  Load the car, pack the diaper bag, oh crap, I forgot a paci, unload baby at the store (because you know this dessert is not homemade if it's comin' from me), make sure you have a toy for the cart, she cries in the aisle, take her out and love on her for a minute, make your way to the dessert section, gosh these carts are heavier than I remember, check out - can't find wallet in huge diaper bag - find it, load car back up, forgot bottle at home, speed back home . . . you get the idea.  This isn't always the case, but I swear, Murphy's law - when I give myself more time, I get there early.  Each time I don't give myself extra time - it's a landslide of extra issues that magically appear.

FIVE.  Write it down.  Your head is not a good place to store dates and ages of milestones.  At Andie's 2 month appointment, I swore I would remember her weight and height forever because I was so excited to see it.  Same thing when she smiled for the first time, and waved, and said "mama".  But here's the thing - I don't.  Write everything down.  You'll refer to it often.  Even a week later when someone asks you "how much was Andie at 6 months?".  The baby books is a brilliant idea and I have made it a priority to stay on top of it as much as possible.

SIX.  Try not to worry so much.  If you're anything like me, worry is your middle name.  I worried so much during my pregnancy about things I couldn't control.  I have eased up so much since Andie was born, but worry is such a huge part of being a mom.  But oh my gosh... there is so much to worry about.  Every article you read, the unsolicited advice you hear from strangers in the grocery store, online, and on tv gives you more reason to worry - about the food you are giving them, whether or not you're able to breastfeed, if they're sleeping well, are you spending enough time with them, teaching them the right things, singing with them enough, reading to them enough . . . you can drive yourself crazy.  I have really learned to trust my gut and take a deep breathe and do my best to not worry.  Which leads me to anther thing I have learned . . .

SEVEN.  You're stronger than you think.  You're a better multi-tasker than you think.  You're funny face is really funny.  You're a comfort.  You're a soother.  You have more patience than you ever realized.  Have confidence in your decisions.  Believe in yourself as a mom. You've got this.  Days of doubt are inevitable.  But remember, you are cut out for this mom stuff.

EIGHT.  This too shall pass.  All too quickly.  The crying in the car, the waking up 50 times during the night, the seemingly endless amount of snot and slobber, the exhaustion at the end of a long day, the giggles at your dancing in the kitchen, the coos and babbles, sitting in ducky during bath time, the feeling of little tiny hands grabbing your legs, the big toothless grin that seriously makes you feel mushy inside, the pride you feel when they do something for the first time, the thrill of being thrown in the air by daddy... the good, the bad, the yucky, the hard, the fun.  It all passes.  And I know, someday, when Andie is an adult, I will look back and wish I could have one more day of her being little.  So for the hard things - I think, this too shall pass.  For the wonderful, beautiful, joyful everyday moments - I think, oh no, this will pass too quickly.

And lastly...

PERSPECTIVE.  Ohhh, this word is so heavy and has played such a huge roll in my first 8 months of being a mother.  Things are not always easy.  There are times of exhaustion, frustration, annoyance, arguing with your spouse... Ugh, please feel free to call me anytime to vent.  I understand, and you're right, being a mom can be a huge test of patience.  I am not in anyway trying to minimize that.  But here's the deal: there are millions of women who would absolutely trade their full nights sleep, quiet trips to Target, and occasional tifs with their spouse to have a fussy baby to hold and comfort.  I have several people in my life who have been trying to conceive a baby, adopt a baby, had several miscarriages, are spending thousands of dollars to have a baby, have a baby that is sick and in the hospital - and the second I open my mouth to complain about it, I try to think about them.  One of my close friends adopted a sweet baby girl a while back after years of unsuccessfully trying to conceive.  She wasn't sure if the adoption would go through or if the birth mom would decide to want her back.  For 6 months, she woke up every night to go in and spend time with that baby, to pray that baby wasn't ever taken from her.  Her story was powerful and it has resonated with me and been a staple of my perspective of being a mother.  I am not saying it's an instant cure to frustration or exhaustion... even when I try to put things into perspective, it's not a magic wand to make it all better.  My messy living room full of toys, my missed happy hours and girls nights, my constant pony tail (because someone likes to pull my hair), not having time for things that used to be so important... it's all a privilege - and if I can do my best to remember that it helps.

This is to be continued... I am learning new things every day.

What have you learned about being a mom?  
I am sure things change as these babies grow and develop. 
This is just my humble opinion from my very short time as "mama".