Motherhood

Urban Desert

DSC045.jpg

When your friend who also happens to be an AMAZING photographer offers to take some mommy + me photos at the cactus garden near your house at Capitol Park -- you say yes. Duh.

I legit cried when she sent these to me. Sometimes my heart can't contain all the love I have for this perfect boy of mine so it overflows out of my eyes.

DSC097.jpg
DSC055.jpg
DSC150.jpg
DSC093.jpg
DSC271.jpg
DSC224.jpg
DSC298.jpg
DSC342.jpg
DSC351.jpg
DSC158.jpg
DSC463.jpg
DSC484.jpg
DSC521.jpg

Photos by: Tina Swain Photography (get $50 off when you book your session off my referral!)
Jacket custom calligraphy by: Brooke Averill

Walker / 4 Months

IMG_0725.JPG

Here I am again, getting to his 4-month write-up halfway to his fifth month haha #momoftheyear I feel like this month has been the craziest (will probably say that every month now). He's learning and GROWING SO much. His next checkup is on Monday and I'm lightweight scared to find out how much more he actually weighs. Any guesses?? I say at least 18lbs, not even kidding. It's not even that he is so much "fat" but he's just so...solid?

He is so close to rolling over from his tummy onto his back and I whip my phone out to record every time I think he's finally about to tip all the way over, but no dice. I mean I can't really blame him with his big ol' noggin' that probably takes up half his body weight. He's grabbing at e v e r y t h i n g including my hair (ouch), face (*melts*) and feet. He LOVES to suck on his toes. Joke's on you, kid -- your toe jam struggle is REAL.

It's so fun to see bits and pieces of his own personality shine through now. He definitely likes to let me know when he's had enough of anything -- milk, tummy time, my singing (hahaha). He stops and makes this face where he furrows his brow and stares at me like, "are you serious, mom?"

Every month there's something new that makes me think, "Well I wish someone would have told me that" and this month it's more of -- you guessed it -- sleep-related stuff. Walker is almost 5 months and still takes sometimes five naps a day and sleeps swaddled. He just officially outgrew the Rock n Play and we're moving his crib into our room ASAP and starting to sleep train soon. I'm sure we're in for a few rough weeks but I'm hoping he transitions smoothly (plz pray 4 us).

More things he loves: playtime with dad (its my favorite watching them), the Hungry Caterpillar book we read every night before bed, taking a shower with mom (SO much easier than a sink bath. I just wear a t-shirt so he doesn't slip around), playing patty-cake and listening to Raffi (still).

I love this sweet boy of mine and I look forward to month 5 which everyone says is one of the best of the first year!

Surviving the 4th Trimester

Photo by  Ashlee Gadd

Photo by Ashlee Gadd

There's a reason why the first three months postpartum are referred to as "the 4th trimester." It is the most exhausting, exciting time of your life. You spent almost a whole year creating this little person and now they're finally here. And they're cute af. But also, needy af. I'm talking can't-pee-with-the door-closed, forever-cold-coffee-drinking, barely-sleep-a-wink type of commitment. I wanted to share a few ways I learned how to survive the fourth trimester as a first time mom.

Y O U R  P A R T N E R / Before Walker was even here, I thanked my lucky stars for Joel. I 100% cannot imagine doing life, let alone parenting, without him. From the second those two blue lines appeared on that stick you peed on to the monumental moment your baby is placed on your chest, both of your lives are forever changed so it's important to remember to lean on each other. Communication has never been as important in your relationship as it is now that you're both equally responsible for another human life. As a mom, ask for help when you need it--in other words, don't wait for them to have to ask because by that point you're usually resentful. It's going to be challenging, especially those first few weeks but as long as you talk to each other and work as a team it will get easier! Come up with a schedule that works for you guys. For example, since Joel works most nights I am on solo mama duty through the night and then when Walker wakes up in the morning I feed him, change his diaper and then Joel takes over until the first nap so that I can get some extra Zzz's in. Also, DATE NIGHT. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant but be sure to continue to cultivate your relationship--after all, that's what got you here in the first place :)

G I R L F R I E N D S / Of both the mom and non-mom variety. Fellow mamas are great for obvious reasons. They’re right there in the trenches with you. But don’t forget about your other girlfriends too. They may not feel as relatable as they once were during that season of life when you were out at the bars together until last call but continue to cultivate your relationships with these friends because they will keep you grounded and help you remember your identity outside of being a parent.

G E T  I T  D E L I V E R E D / I did not want to go ANY where after having the baby. Not only was I suddenly terrified of the outside world and convinced the air alone would harm my child, but I was simply too exhausted to go anywhere. With the help of amazing 21st-century advancements such as Postmates, Amazon Prime and Instacart, I didn't end up starving to death or forced to deal with the hassle of taking a newborn to the grocery store (that came later tho).

M E  T I M E / Something I didn't anticipate was just how not myself I'd feel after having a baby. I mean, I knew I was going to feel different but I did (and still do) struggle with my new identity. Something I found helped a lot was getting away--even if just for an hour--to be alone and do something for myself. For me, it was going to get my nails done. For that hour and a half of a mani/pedi I was blissfully pampered and came back relaxed + refreshed which is a win for everyone, really.

M U S T - H A V E S / These are just a few things/products we found really helped us get through the first few intense weeks. In fact, many of them we still use and I know will continue to be a part of our regular rotation for awhile.

Dockatot x White Noise Machine x Gripe Water x Hand + Face Wipes x Silverette Cups x Nose Frida x Rock N' Play x Dry Shampoo x Breast Pump

Walker / 3 Months

IMG_9861.JPG

Okay, I feel like I JUST wrote his 2 month post *insert crying emoji* but here we are--another month along! This is my favorite monthly photo yet -- just look at that baby mohawk! And expression! And Christmas pajamas! I can't with him sometimes.

Reading over my last post, I talked about how sleep was still a problem area and I'm happy to report we've gotten on a much more consistent (for now) schedule with that. Most days he doesn't even make it to the 90-minute mark of awake time before getting sleepy and wanting to nap again (fine by me!) He also goes down for the night around 8 pm and wakes only once -- sometimes twice which is AWESOME. Although, a lot of the time my boobs get super engorged as a result (TMI) which is uncomfortable. But isn't getting up to pump in the middle of the night defeating the purpose? Will they just start regulating themselves? Mamas out there, your input on this is welcome. I'm just afraid of developing mastitis or a clogged duct again so reaaaaally trying to avoid that at all costs. I had mentioned over on Instagram how I was wanting to move him into his own room/crib now that he's getting a little too big for the Rock N Play (hello, 14lb, 24in child) however, after getting some feedback about that I emailed my pediatrician and it was his recommendation that we keep him in our room for the first six months sooo, we put him back in our room. But hey, he did pretty good at sleeping in his crib those couple of days so that's a good sign for when we are ready to make the switch.

Notable milestones this month include giggling (SO CUTE OMG), discovering new sounds with his voice (squeal-crying: NOT so cute), leaning forward to grab his toes, recognizing his name when we call him, holding his head up pretty well now and continuing to grow, grow, grow. His "put away" clothes bin is now more full than this "clothes to put out" one and it makes me sad.

Christmas is next week and I don't know if its the stress of the season or what but I've been experiencing more anxiety than usual, as of late. I just get easily overwhelmed which I'm sure is all par for the course but I'm definitely keeping aware of my emotional health. I know a lot of fellow moms who suffer from PPD/PPA so I know I've got resources and support when I need them. I'm just focusing on making this a special time for my little family (even though Walker will literally remember nothing of his first Christmas ha).

I'm definitely looking forward to the new year and am excited to see what month four brings. I can't believe January marks the one year anniversary of finding out I was pregnant! Time can just go ahead and slow down now, please.

15 Ways to Practice Self-Care as a New Mom

It's no secret being a mom is hard. Like, THEE toughest job out there. In between the feedings, diaper changes + 'shushes' not to mention bill-paying, cooking and finding time for your partner, it's not easy to remember to look out for #1 (that's you). And so I've compiled a little list of relatively simple yet totally satisfying ways to practice self-care as a new mom.

01 : Take a bath (bubbles + bath bombs recommended). These are my favorite from LUSH
02 : Take a nap (when you can)
03 : Do a load of your OWN laundry
04 : Light a candle or diffuse some essential oils. Check out Magickal Babe Brigade for some sweet deals on some
05 : Have someone watch baby for an hour to go get a mani/pedicure
06 : Have your own happy hour after baby goes to bed and drink some wine. This is my go-to red right now
07 : Catch up on your favorite TV shows while you breast (or bottle) feed
08 : Pick up a bouquet of pretty flowers during your next grocery run
09 : Eat some ice cream
10 : Write. In a journal, in your Notes app, on a scrap of paper. Just write. These journals are pretty cute
11 : Stretch for five minutes (or longer if you can)
12 : Meditate. The 10% Happier app is great for guided meditation
13 : Have a date night, even if it's at 11pm lying in bed holding hands + talking about anything other than the perfect human you've created, sleeping in the next room
14 : Listen to a Spotify playlist. Follow @spiritandhaven's Insta-stories for some great song recommendations
15 : Breathe. Smile. You're doing an amazing job.