12/52


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Week 12: Seeing these two together melts my heart

11/52


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Week 11: Documenting thigh rolls

weekends are precious.

They always have been. But since returning to work after my maternity leave, I have never cherished a weekend more. Each and every second with Lorelai is precious. And with Guinness too. Soaking up our family time by the ounce. This weekend we indulged in so many wonderful things together.

Target runs // giving Lorelai baths // giving Guinness a bath too // chinese takeout // watching Frozen with Lorelai // she loved it and watched it for an entire hour before falling asleep // kicking her legs during all of the songs // opened the windows in the house // so many iced lattes // filling our grocery cart with produce // Brian was Kirby's confirmation sponsor // and Lorelai got dressed up for the event // our favorite ice cream shop opening for the summer // embracing quiet, early mornings // singing (a lot) // cuddling // making cookies from chickpeas // and spaghetti squash chicken marinara // strolls around the block // watching Lorelai kick and play in her new bouncer // reading stories // walking dead finale // dancing to records // washing a lot of clothes // taking naps // tickling // kissing // loving.



Tomorrow is Lorelai's first day of daycare. I am kind of a mess about it. I am glad that I had the smooth transition of returning to work while Brian was able to stay home with her for a couple of weeks and family members helped out. But now it's time for the next step and I don't feel ready. I wish with all of my heart that our situation allowed me to care for her myself, every day. But I know that working is the best way that I can support her. I wish that made my heart hurt less.

I miss her already and I am still with her.

My reminder for the week:
[source unknown]

10/52


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Week 10: She is my favorite birthday present.

confessions of a new mom.

It’s tough out there for mommas. Who knew? I sure didn’t. Until entering this part of my life, I had no idea how harsh and opinionated the mommy world could be. Breastfeeding vs bottlefeeding? Cloth diapering vs disposables? Working mom or SAHM? I believe that as a mother, or parent, only you know what is best for your child and your family. What works for one family may not work for your own. Everyone is different. Every baby is different! Below are my very honest confessions as a new mom.. someone who loves her girl with all of her heart and is just trying to navigate this whole new world.


If Lorelai was a boy, she would have been named Everett Milo. We are still madly in love with the name Everett Milo and pray that we will get to use it someday. (L, did you hear us calling you “Everett” in there sometimes?) The hard part of not finding out the baby’s gender is that you kind of fall in love with both a boy and a girl. More fun facts: if I was a boy I would have been named Dallas.

We had every intention of cloth diapering Lorelai, but once she was here we changed our minds. It's not that we didn’t want to do it, but it was hard enough keeping up with the laundry for her clothes, burp rags, blankets, bedding, etc. We just didn’t see benefiting much from the cloth diapers at that point. Disposables are working for us now, but maybe we will tackle cloth in the future.

Lorelai still sleeps in the Rock n Play and still in our room. We are currently working on transitioning her to a co-sleeper for our room and then eventually to her crib in her room. But she loves her Rock n Play and sleeps so good in it that it is hard move to make.

I use Baby Magic lotion on her every single day and I swore up and down to Timbuktu that I wouldn’t use anything with any chemicals on her baby skin. But seriously, this stuff is MAGIC.

Lorelai is a breastfed baby that also gets formula. This was hard for me at first because I never had any intention of giving her formula. But little did we know of the many, many struggles we would face breastfeeding. I am so thankful that we both worked so hard and are continuing to breastfeed, but my girl needed more and who was I to deny her what she needed? I consider it “medicine” that she needs to grow stronger and continue to work on my supply and we are both very gosh darn happy with that.

I am terrified of crib bumpers.

But she does sometimes get a blanket over her in the Rock n Play. For someone that is obsessive over SIDS this might be surprising, but we keep it very low (nowhere near her face) and only because she can’t move to reach it yet. Her footsies get cold at night, even in the sleepers/swaddle!

I still ride in the backseat with Lorelai while Brian drives.

I’m too terrified to let her sleep in the bed with us although I am so envious of those who bedshare.

I let my dog kiss her as much as he wants.

We play our music for her more than traditional lullabyes. Her favorites are Johnny Cash, The National and Birdy.

Brian changes more diapers than I do.

I have a problem with buying her clothes. I buy them at Target. I buy them at Gap.com. I buy them on Instagram, you guys. It’s a serious problem.

I’m learning that I can’t control her nicknames. Some I love, some are cringe-worthy.

I cried hysterically (I mean, HYSTERICALLY) after she first projectile spit up (or as we call it, “waterfall”).

Once, I told her to “shut up”. I said it nicely and quietly, but it was in the middle of the night and I sort of meant it. Then I felt so terrible that I woke Brian up crying to tell him what I said. Sorry, L. I did still get up with you little love.

I had the baby blues from about 4 days postpartum to 12 days postpartum. And I was embarrassed about it. And they scared the crap out of me. It only affected me around 5-7pm each night, but it was HORRIBLE. I cried and cried and cried and cried. Brian did not know what to do for me. I am so glad that this went away naturally, but I will never forget the nagging, overwhelming feelings that took over my body. Any mother that deals with true postpartum depression is a freaking warrior.

I already want to be pregnant again.

It is not easy. Being a mother is my dream. It is all that I have ever wanted. But it is draining and terrifying and overwhelming. And rewarding. It is the hardest/best thing I have ever done.. will ever do.

I have never let her “cry it out”.

She has already watched episodes of Dexter and The Walking Dead… we should probably stop this soon.

On more than one occasion, Brian has come home from work and takes over for L, while I crawl into the bathtub with a jar of cookie dough and a Coke.

I am irrationally terrified of SIDS. I even have nightmares of me holding her in the water and suddenly the waves become too high and I can’t hold her head up above the water.

Lorelai doesn’t have a schedule. So far, we have been letting her tell us what she needs/wants. I feed her on demand (but never longer than 3 hours during the day) and besides that she naps when she wants, plays when she wants, eats when she wants. Her baths are never at the same time and she doesn’t go to bed at the same time every night. I felt horrible about this for a while because I thought that her schedule was so important, but soon realized that she is doing so wonderful on her own and why not just let her tell us? She sleeps through the night almost every single night and is sooooooo happy, so it’s working for us. After starting daycare I think that more of a routine may develop naturally and I kind of hope that it does (I’m very type A you know) but for now I am enjoying going with her flow.

If there is one thing I have learned about parenthood, it’s that you make your own rules. I know that I cuddle her too much, let her stay up too late, and wake her unnecessarily to make sure she’s breathing… but that’s just being a parent. It’s funny the things that you end up caving in on that you swore you wouldn’t do and the things that you obsess over more than you ever imagined. I wholeheartedly support any mama out there that is doing her best.. whatever that may be.


Thank you for making me a mama, sweet girl.

Xxxxxxooooothismama

newborn must-haves


One of the things that I loved most during pregnancy was researching baby products. I read so many reviews, researched materials/chemicals, sifted through Baby Bargains and talked to moms I knew. I wanted to share all of my findings, but it just didn't seem to make any sense because I didn't know how any of those products would work for us.

We created what we thought was a great list containing everything that we would need and checked items off as the pregnancy went by. Thankfully a lot of our research paid off, but sometimes you just don't know how well something will work for you until you use it. What is right for some babies and parents just didn't work for us, but now with an almost 3 month old (OH MY GOSH!!) I'm happy to report our absolute must have's for newborns. Besides the obvious car seat, stroller, crib etc. these are the items that we wouldn't survive without these days.

newborn


1// Snuza Hero This is without a doubt, my number one favorite baby product on the market. I knew that I had to have this and Lorelai has worn it every night since we came home from the hospital. It is a small attachment that clips to her diaper and monitors her breathing/movement. If she doesn't take a breath for 10 seconds it will vibrate to startle her and if she still doesn't breathe, it will alarm. I could never, ever sleep without this sensor because I am completely terrified of SIDS. It is honestly a God send. We have had a couple of false alarms, but they were user error as we just didn't have her diaper on tight enough and it came loose. But there was one time when I was nursing her that she quit breathing and the Snuza alarmed. I have never been so terrified, but she really wasn't breathing! Somehow she got choked up on milk and when I scooped her up she coughed and milk came out of her nose. We also have an Angelcare baby monitor that we will use when we transition her to her crib. But the Snuza is portable, no matter where she's napping, strolling, laying.. it can monitor her. I can't say enough great things about this product as it helps me sleep.

2// Puj Tub Love this tub! It's portable, flexible, comfortable and dries so quickly. And we just hang it to dry on the back of the bathroom door. Very convenient when you don't want tons of baby gear everywhere.

3// We decided to go with California Baby skincare products for L and have never looked back. They are amazing, completely chemical free, smell great and offer everything you could need. We have also tried some Honest and Burts Bees which are great too, but you really can't beat California Baby. However, I have to say that one day visiting my nephew I needed lotion for L's face and didn't have any in her diaper bag. My sister and mother swear by Baby Magic and offered me some. I insisted I didn't want the chemicals, but after they insisted and I smelled it (hello memories) I tried it for her and it was a miracle worker. So now we use that too! It truly is a learn as you go process, this whole parent thing.

4// Solly Baby Wrap I researched so many wraps and even tried some on to see how they fit because I knew that this would something I would use a lot and wanted to make sure I found one right for me. I wasn't able to test run this one, but the reviews were just too great to overlook so I went for it. And boy, was that the right call. We love our Solly Baby Wrap so much and more importantly, so does Lorelai! She recently went through a growth spurt that left her fussy all of the time and this wrap was a complete lifesaver. It allowed me to brush my teeth and comb my hair without her fussing... PRICELESS. Brian has worn her comfortably with this wrap too. Truly a wonderful product.

5// Dr. Browns Lorelai gets bad gas and we learned after some trial and error that these are the only bottles that don't make her miserable. There are more parts to clean, but it's well worth it for a happy baby tummy. We also have some of the super adorable LifeFactory ones that we will use in a pinch, but sadly they just don't sit well with her tummy quite yet like the Dr. Browns do.

6// Gerber Birdseye Cloth Diapers Not sure what we would do without these. We have tons and tons of them and they are everywhere... in her stroller, car seat, bassinet, on the couch, on the bed.. always near by for wiping up spit ups, cleaning up spills, wiping noses, the works.

7// Aden and Anais muslin blankets I think these babies are on every mama's must have list, but I can't not mention them. We use them for everything around here.. swaddling, car seat covers, nursing cover-ups, burp cloths in a pinch.. they are wonderful, versatile and so pretty too!

8// Wonder Weeks app I was skeptical of this at first, but after Lorelai's first growth spurt matched what the app said... and then the second growth spurt matched what the app said.. I'm a believer. The app is based off the baby's due date/gestational age and charts when baby will experience growth spurts, including what their behavior changes will be and what milestones they may reach after the spurts. Give or take a few days and obviously not every baby is the same, but so far this app has been priceless because you can estimate when the next growth spurt will be, how long a current growth spurt may last and track milestones.

9// The cute outfits are great and all.. truly they are (have you seen Lorelai's closet?) but nothing beats the sleepers. We have tons and have bought even more after realizing how wonderful they are. If we're not leaving the house, she is usually in sleepers and sometimes even when we do leave. They are easy, keep her plenty warm, so practical and are so cute too. And for bedtime, I highly recommend zip-up sleepers. Buttons and snaps are not so fun at 4am.

10// Skip Hop diaper bag For months and months I insisted that I didn't need a diaper bag. I bought a really nice, big leather tote that I thought could be my "mom" bag and could hold everything I needed for both baby and me. At about 8 months pregnant I had a panic attack that I didn't have a "diaper bag" and ordered this one on Amazon (the least diapery bag looking one I could find). Turns out I love it and more importantly need it. You need the compartments, you need the slippery, almost-waterproof fabric, you need the changing pad that comes inside. You just need it. And it's pretty and simple and gender neutral too.

11// Vicks Rectal Thermometer After a lot of trial and error with other thermometers, this one has been the best and most accurate (without taking forever). We had a terrible rectal one from Target that was all over the place and so frustrating! Doctors recommend rectal thermometers for the most accurate reading for infants. And the NoseFrida is a the BEST. That sucker from the hospital is practically useless compared to this thing. Yes, you look crazy while doing it. But Lorelai has already been congested and I would do anything to get that gunk out of her!! Can't praise this product enough.

12// Rock n Play This should be at the top of the list because it is one of the best baby items we have. Lorelai loves sleeping in this more than anywhere (besides being held) and does majority of her sleeping in there. It's so simple and cozy and portable and say-it-together-now machine washable. Best, best, best sleeper/rocker.

13// Wubbanub While we were registering for baby items, Brian added this thing and I thought it was ridiculous. Keep in mind, he pretty much let me go and pick whatever I wanted for the baby, but he had his heart set on this Soothie paci sewed to a stuffed giraffe thingy. Naturally it is Lorelai's favorite thing in the world. Even when she is not sucking on the paci, she hugs that giraffe like there is no tomorrow. Well played, husband.

Honorable mentions: Gripe Water (almost always cures L's hiccups/colic and it's completely natural.. no medicine, just herbs); Munchkin Dishwasher BasketMAM pacifiersSnuggabunny swing.