Wednesday, April 1, 2015

{Tips for Traveling with Baby}

I'm sharing a post on the Mommy Mailbox blog about tips for traveling with your baby (at least what has worked for us) if you're interested! Head over to check it out!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

{Elodie: 11 Months}

Our little lady is going to be one in nine short days. NINE DAYS! Where has the time gone? Ugh… I’ll save all that complaining for later. For now, here’s what Elodie is up to just shy of her first birthday….

She loves to point at anything and everything.. and every time she does I am tempted to just bite that chubby little finger right off!

She took three steps over a week ago and now shows absolutely no interest in doing that ever again

She loves bread and cheese (yup, she’s mine!) but isn’t a fan of avocado (wait, maybe she isn’t mine…?)

She loves playing peek-a-boo

Is still too impatient for books – she bails about four pages in every.single.time.

She hates diaper changes, which makes us hate them perhaps even more 

She’s literally obsessed with daddy. If he walks out of the room, she cries, if he walks into the room she cries unless he is holding her, she gives him the biggest smile and laughs every time she sees him. I mean the girl is just madly in love with him – and I can understand why. Honestly, though, it does make me feel a little left out at times, but I hear these things go back and forth. I’ll just have to wait my turn for all that good love.

She says mama and dada (but not at the right people) and just kinda sorta started saying baby (we think).

She loves to clap her hands and wave hello and bye bye

We’re trying to teach her how to high five

She sleeps 11-12 hours a night straight. Still cries (hard) for 30-60 seconds right as we put her down and walk out of her room, but she calms down pretty quickly and then falls asleep within 10 or so minutes. 

She takes two 1-2 hour naps a day 

She loves Henry, but hates when he barks

She has started refusing her bottles at daycare 

She’s sleeping on a cot at daycare, but definitely still in her crib at home

She has five (almost six!) teeth

She’s wearing some 6-12 month clothes still, but is starting to venture into 12-18

Most of all, I hope I remember how madly we love this girl. Sometimes I wish I could record the conversations Corey and I have so Elodie could hear them later. It saddens me to know she'll never remember this time in her life. We are constantly talking about how much we adore her, couldn't love her more, think she's the most beautiful angel. I mean, we're seriously obsessed. I hope she can feel that love and will continue to feel it forever.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

{Our Babymoon}

I know not everyone is into the whole “babymoon” idea, but let’s be honest, Corey and I will take any excuse to go on a vacation! I, being the obsessive travel planner that I am, thought long and hard about what kind of babymoon I wanted to go on....

Due to work obligations, other travels we had planned, and the fact that I was getting more pregnant by the week, we only had a tiny five day window in December for our trip. I knew right away I didn’t want to go somewhere cold and adventurous (read: ski trip or anything like it). I knew I wanted sun, mostly because by that point in Portland you are really ready to escape the dreary rain and cold. I also wanted the vacation to be no-fuss, easy to get to (direct flight), and incredibly relaxing. 

Usually when we go on vacation we are planning out every day, choosing restaurants, hikes, attractions, etc etc. We wanted the opposite for our babymoon. Pure relaxation. No agenda. Just the huz and me and me and the huz. We knew we wouldn’t be taking a vacation like that as often once Elodie arrived, so that was our plan.

We ended up going back to our honeymoon destination because we knew how great the Hyatt was and were dying to stay there. We loved the food on the hotel grounds (which was great since we didn’t plan to leave). It was in hawaii – so hello, sun! And there are direct flights from Portland to Kauai, so boom – Kauai it was!

Minus one day of torrential thunderstorms and lightning, the trip was a dream. It was exactly what we had envisioned – pure relaxation and good quality one on one time. I couldn’t recommend the Hyatt in Poipu enough for any vacation – but especially a babymoon or honeymoon! A few photos from our trip below!
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

{More Babies?}

I remember when Corey and I were seriously dating, people weren’t shy about asking when we were going to get married, and once married  - when were we going to start a family? Then it seemed only days or weeks after Elodie was born – “So, are you going to have more?” It’s the million dollar question! I have to admit, I ask the same of my friends with little ones. You just can’t help yourself. 

My answer to this question has evolved over time. Before Corey and I were married we’d often have conversations about children – and decided we might not even want them! Maybe they wouldn’t fit into our lifestyle (we love to travel and are passionate about our careers), and when you’re in your mid-twenties the thought of being up all through the night or having your entire day revolve around your baby’s schedule just doesn’t sound appealing (I’m just being honest!). 

Then, after we got married, it was like a switch flipped. Oh yeah, we definitely wanted babies. But not right away. And we wanted two. That sounded like the perfect number.

Then Elodie came along. Those first weeks are rough and sweet and hard and perfect. I would stare at her for hours on end and think to myself that there was no way I could have another baby because it just wouldn’t be fair – I couldn’t love another one the way I love her. Also, I was still in full on recovery mode and the thought of going through the aftermath of delivery all over again sounded awful. So my answer was no, I think it’s just going to be Elodie.

Now, almost eleven months into motherhood, my answer has changed again. Yes, we definitely want more children – the number still unknown/up for debate. Elodie is the light of our lives. She is so much fun and brings us so much joy that I simply can’t imagine not having another baby (or two). I can now look back on pregnancy fondly, and would love to experience the miracle of growing and delivering a child again, now that I have the perspective of starting to raise one outside the womb. Most of all, my own sisters are my best friends and I truly couldn’t and wouldn’t want to imagine life without them, so I want more than anything to give that special bond to Elodie.  

So while we’re not looking to add to our family anytime in the very near future – the answer is yes, someday, God willing, we’d love to expand our family again. And we just can’t wait!

Friday, February 27, 2015

{Going Back To Work}

{Photo from my first day back at work & Elodie's first day at daycare!}

It’s hard to believe I’ve been back at work a touch longer than I was away on maternity leave. The way I feel about being a working mother now versus when I first came back to work is night and day.

Going into maternity leave, I wasn’t really sure how I would feel about being home full-time with my little one. I’m an extremely social person, I love to chat and be around people, but do find that I need my alone time at the end of the day to recharge. Part of me thought that I might not even like being home all day every day as I might go stir crazy, or always intend to get out and do things, but never muster the energy to get out of my PJs and actually do so.

To my surprise, I really thrived on maternity leave. I got into my own little routine, and found myself almost being too social at times (I was really lucky and was on maternity leave at the same time as a lot of great friends. It was one of my absolute favorite summers of my life!). I got into the swing of being a stay-at-home mama, and found true happiness and joy in keeping our home in order, cleaning, cooking and hanging with my bebe. For the record, Corey never expected me to do anything but care for Elodie and would never give me grief if he came home to a disastrous house (which, let’s be honest, happened probably a lot!), it just made me happier to be in a clean house! Anyway, point is, I really liked being on maternity leave.

Fast forward just about five months and it was time for me to go back to work. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, there were lots and lots of tears (most came the night before going back and in the immediate weeks thereafter). It all just felt silly. I had a baby, only to leave her with someone else 8+ hours a day? And I’d hardly get any time to hang out with her at night as we have a pretty yucky commute and she has an early bedtime. I went from spending every waking moment with Elodie to spending mere hours, sometimes minutes, home with her each day. It killed me.

To make matters worse, Elodie did not take to daycare well. I often got reports that she was sad and fussy all day, and cried a lot. This coming from a baby who seriously never cried at home. It broke my heart. She was clearly unhappy.  

There were definitely moments I had irrational thoughts about leaving my job to stay home with Elodie. I thought long and hard about the role I wanted my career to play in my life, and in our children’s lives. I went back and forth. What job could be more important than being a mother? What would Elodie think of me if I didn’t work? Would she respect me? Would she resent me?

There’s no doubt that both options would be rewarding and difficult in their own ways. I have SO much respect for stay-at-home mothers. Honestly, that’s a way harder job than what I do day-to-day! And working mothers have it hard – they spend their days away from their littles. Even if working mothers love their jobs, they can often feel torn between their two roles. There really is no perfect solution for this dilemma, and it is incredibly personal.

Luckily I didn’t make any brash decisions in those early weeks back. I found my groove at work again and as soon as Elodie started crawling at six months, she became a much happier baby at daycare. Now, six months into daycare, Elodie is thriving – she adores her teachers and has so much fun playing with her baby friends and all the awesome toys they have in her classroom. I miss her like crazy all day, but I’m lucky that my company has daycare on-site, so if I’m really having withdrawals (um, every day!) I can pop in and say hello. It’s proven to be a really good balance for us all. 

So if you’re a new mama already dreading going back to work, an expectant woman wondering how she’s going to navigate the waters of being a working mother, or anyone who’s given any thought to how on earth she’ll balance a career, marriage and motherhood, I hope sharing my experience with you has helped. We’re all bound to choose different paths, but just know that with time, you’ll figure it all out and it will all be okay (even when it REALLY feels like it won’t be)! Good luck :)