Monday, February 29, 2016

anxiety, nutella, and mamma blues. or, happy leap day.

right now i'm eating a cold tortilla with nutella spread on it. being lazy and hungry is such a bad combination for me.

teddy's army crawl (still on his belly) has gotten advanced enough that in the time it takes me to log into my email,  he's made it across the living room, behind the couch, and is on a clear path to the kitchen or bathroom. i think he believes that if he makes it to the tub, i'll be forced to fill it with water and give him a nice long soak. he's always disappointed when i grab him before he reaches his next exciting destination (most likely a cluster of power cords, a sharp door corner, or the air vent that spews up dusty gusts in our loft).

i need to baby proof, but i'm not sure where to start. our apartment is basically three spaces full of dangerous things.

the other morning i had breakfast with a friend and teddy and i happened to be ready early which is bananas. but right after i texted her "we are leaving and it's five minutes early and neither of us have crap on us and we might even get there on time IS THIS REAL LIFE??!" teddy legitimately threw up all over both of us on our way down the stairs. i think being introduced to thicker baby food has his gag reflex all wacky.

i have such anxiety when it comes to politics lately. this election is scary.

the past few days some mamma blues have been showing up and i can't figure out why. any time i have a quiet moment i hear a little voice in my head that tells me that my life is pathetic, and i'm bad at everything i try to do, and i'll never be anything extraordinary despite all my best efforts. it tells me i'm ugly, foolish, and that i'll never be the person or the mother i aspire to be.

albertsons is doing this monopoly thing where you can win all sorts of prizes depending on how many zillions of dollars you spend, and i'm way more into it than i should be. ugh, albertsons, you tricky devil.

ryanair keeps sending me emails about how the flights between european countries are super cheap right now and i'm like, "i know, stop rubbing it in please."

it's teddy's first leap day. i'm determined to get us outside to celebrate it in someway. happy holiday. xo

Thursday, February 25, 2016

papa bear.

dear teddy,

you're a lucky little bear. i was going through some old pictures from christmas, and i found a few pictures and clips of you and your dad playing at grandma's house. i don't know how i got such a handsome husband, and you got such an adoring father, but he's all ours and i'm so glad.

this footage was before you were army crawling everywhere, and drooling at any and every piece of solid food in our house. this was when you still fit into 6-9 month outfits (barely), and were still stingy with giving laughs. you're growing so fast, and are so desperate to discover the world, and as happy as that makes me, (because seriously you're going to love it when i introduce you to things like trampolines and puppies) part of me will always hold onto memories like these, when you were small enough to fit in our arms, and 3 ounces of milk was enough to fill your little tummy. 

keep growing, because that's normal and healthy, and i don't want to be a
mom who isn't happy that her baby is moving forward, instead of staying put. 

but take your time, little guy. consider it? xo

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

at home with by george baby. (discount code inside!)

last weekend gid and i were at a mainstream baby department store, and as i walked through the aisles, i had a flood of emotions wash over me from this time last year when we first started shopping around for teddy.

one thing i specifically remember was wondering why it seemed so hard to find prints that i loved in nursery linens; particularly the boppy cover. am i alone here?! have any of you found a boppy cover you loved at a department store? (i know this is so high maintenance of me, but it drove me crazy how everything seemed to be a print of a zoo animal, or crazy bright colors in fleece.) 

since i was having a summer baby, i wanted a lightweight material with an understated print, but there was none to be found in any of the mainstream stores i'd looked around at. i turned to etsy, where i was introduced to the darling "by george baby boutique."

a shot of teddy napping on our by george baby boppy cover  (that's a mouthful...)

guys, this store became an instant fav. i found lots of prints that were chic and gender neutral (my preference), but also tasteful colorful prints that didn't remind me of a circus clown. by george baby boutique carries not only boppy covers, but also fitted crib sheets, swaddles, teething rings, burp cloths, and more.

i have to brag a second for sarah, owner of this little shop in connecticut. you guys, she makes these products, runs this shop, and has started designing her own prints for new fabrics while she goes to nursing school (working towards becoming a nursing midwife). entrepreneur goals, amiright?!

image by Carrie Waller.

i've had such a good experience with the boppy cover that i purchased from sarah- i get compliments on it on a regular basis, it washes easily, and the zipper and fit have no problems at all. it was a no brainer when the opportunity came up for us to collaborate- this shop (and it's owner) are such gems, and i'm all about promoting small businesses!

sarah is offering 15% off of any item in her shop until march 8th with the code "VERYHAPPYPEAR"

mammas, do yourselves a favor and check it out.

thanks so much for stopping by. 

i hope you have a happy hump day. xo

this post brought to you by: by george baby boutique.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

...and 20 things that i will do again:

1. ask for more pain medication if i really need it. after i ran out of my pain meds, i was scared to ask my obgyn for more, but more afraid of the pain i was experiencing. my doctor was totally understanding, and didn't make me feel like i was entitled, weak, or any of the other things i was worried about coming across as.

2. have a recliner. when i was expecting i kept wondering if i really needed a rocker when i had a perfectly good couch. i'm so glad my coworkers and husband persuaded me to buy one comfortable enough to sleep in. we got our money's worth in teddy's first week.

3. have a big diaper bag- i worried that this weekender bag i ended up getting was too big and i'd look like i was going on a vacation every time i went to target. i've since discovered that no bag is too big for me. and i only have one very small kid.

4. let my baby sleep on my chest when they are tiny. that bonding time in the first few weeks was so much more special than i realized while it was happening. i'd give anything now to have teddy lay on my chest and have his little eyes flutter open with milk drunk smiles. people aren't lying when they say it's unfair how quick babies grow up.

teddy around 1 month old.

5. get as many swaddles as i can find (bamboo and cotton). i can't believe how much use those thin blankets get. can't have too many. (our favorites here and here.)

6. splurge here and there. my pregnancy had some rough days; i was still throwing up at 38 weeks! one particularly hard morning i bought a pair of sweet little swim trunks that were $25 (a bit high for my unborn son's swimsuit budget) but every time i look at them they make me smile, and even though teddy never wore them in water i'm so glad i got them.

7. getting a soft carrier. i've loved having this wrap. it lets me keep my sweetheart close and the perfect temperature. i just need to try not to buy every color they make because seriously.

8. having more peace of mind. i was introduced to the owlet monitor when teddy was 4 months, and i fell in love with it after a few short weeks. i can't wait to use it during the first weeks with my next one. (this post has a promo code for the owlet monitor)

9. have a good stroller that will grow with my family. we got our stroller on discount, but it was still a bit of a splurge for us. that being said, i love it. i love the way it looks, i love how easy it is to maneuver, and i especially love that it converts to a double side by side. if i'd gotten a different stroller, i think i'd regret it.

10. have a monthly girls night. i have cool, hilarious friends who invited me to be part of a mamma's club where we got out to eat once a month. it's been a good thing in my life.

11. introduce my baby to books as early as i can. i read teddy his first book when he was less than 2 weeks, and it makes me so happy to see how his eyes light up when he sees his bookcase.

12. borrow my sister's nice pump. my sister sent me her awesome breast pump this week and it has made all the difference in my pumping experience. i feel like i can make it to the year mark now.

13. sleep train. i have nothing but love and respect for mammas who choose not to do this, but for me it was a good choice.

14. choose my battles. ready for a shocker? teddy, gid and i have never missed a sunday at church. (bananas!!!!) BUT i ate off of paper plates for months after teddy came, wear pajamas 24 hours most days, binge watched a tv show called "elementary" (a modern day sherlock and holmes mystery thriller), and sometimes scrub myself down with honest diaper wipes before getting into bed, and convince myself it's as good as a shower. it's all a balance...

15. trust my instincts. if i don't feel good about handing off my baby to you, i'm not gonna. and if i don't think i'm ready to not be at home full time, i won't.

16.  be okay with losing my identity, and also okay with gaining it back. feeling like you're losing yourself to motherhood is scary and sad, but eventually you catch yourself not wincing when poop gets on your wrist, and not gagging when your baby slobbers into your mouth. and then one day you get a job offer, or you earn a check, and when you start to remember that you have other skills you can really offer other than being a mother, that feels scary and sad. i'm still trying to find the sweet spot for myself right now.

17. savor moments without the camera. i have a background in photography, and it's easy for me to get carried away always having my nikon or iphone at arms reach to catch a charming teddy smile. but some of his sweetest moments have been recorded in my mind without any technology, and i'm just fine with that.

18. prioritize. my house looks like a tornado hit it, but my baby is alive and i managed to exercise.
so guess what, monday? i win.

19.  stick it out with nursing and pumping. it has been the worst, and i can never judge someone for choosing not to do it. but for me, somehow it's been worth it.

20. acknowledge gideon. if i'd have known what an incredible partner, father, and general sweetheart gideon would be as a husband, i would've tackled him the first time our eyes met and begged him to marry me. gideon doesn't only provide for our family financially. he often is also a chef, maid, errand boy, life coach, and emotional therapist in our home. he'll get up with teddy in the middle of the night and at dawn so i can have a full nights rest. he encourages me to go out with my friends. when i tell him that "i'm sorry, but it was a horrible day, and i have nothing prepared for dinner for the 79th day in a row" he grabs my face, kisses my lips and asks me what i'd like him to pick up from chic fil a. he rubs my back until i fall asleep, and he tells me it's okay that i just spent $20 on a toy that teddy feels completely indifferent to. he's the man of my dreams. if i didn't have him as my partner, there's no way i'd ever want another baby again.

what are some of the awesome choices you mammas have made that you'd absolutely do again?
i'm all ears. xo

Saturday, February 20, 2016

10 things i won't do next time.

1. buy mostly high end bamboo outfits. on one hand i loved having a selection of nice outfits to put my new baby into, and on the other hand i cringed anytime they got dirty, and got quietly frustrated watching him grow out of them after a few quick months. i couldn't believe that some of my go to outfits were hand-me-downs from my sister! (go ahead teddy- have a blow out and stain this one. it was free!) next time i'll buy one nice hospital take home outfit, and one 6-12 month outfit that can be a little baggy for the first few months. (and of course i'll also have teddy's old clothes, which for the most part are gender neutral.)

teddy at 2 months. swoon. 
2. not hiring a newborn photographer. this one kills me. when i didn't schedule anyone early enough, i told myself i could take pictures myself and they'd be more intimate. (the first of many bad decisions i made.) after we got home, i was in a haze for months. i took pictures here and there, and i love looking at them, but i didn't let someone else take the load, and i regret that.

*next time i'll also hire someone to take some maternity shots (i'm lucky gid snapped these shots of me 2 days before teddy came- he did so good, but i want him in the shots next time.)

3. not having enough support. three words guys: post. pregnancy. underwear. i didn't realize what a big deal these would be after my c section. these babies saved my life after i had my surgery, and i could've used 10 pairs easily. i tried a lot of other post c-section stuff, but these were hands down the best. (and way the cheapest!!)

4. purchasing outfits other than comfortable pajamas for the first 3 months. i was gifted some darling newborn outfits, but they were scratchy and rough on his little newborn skin so they never left the hanger. next time, i'll know- if it isn't soft, don't buy it in a newborn size. pajamas. all day every day, except maybe when he gets blessed. (and even then, his blessing outfit better be soft and comfy.) buy cute target and gap outfits in size 3-6 months and older, never in newborn. that's just silly.

5. not buying the best pump i could afford. this one keeps me up at night. our insurance offered us a free pump that had pretty good ratings, or an excellent pump for a fraction of its normal price. i thought i'd be a world champion nursing mother (ha!), so i opted for the free one, and i've regretted it ever since. it turns out i'm not an awesome breastfeeder, and sometimes i think if i'd had a better pump, my milk supply might've stayed higher, and i could've had more opportunities to encourage teddy to nurse.

6. not sleeping enough when teddy was tiny. everyone warned me that new mothers need to sleep while the baby naps, but i didn't. you know what i did? i watched mindless television. i packed boxes. i washed dishes, and tidied up the house. i used the bathroom. (a 15 minute process there for a week or so). i think i nurtured a habit of avoiding sleep that developed into the most serious insomnia i've ever experienced. i still struggle with it horribly.

7. buying multiple pairs of newborn shoes. ugh, i know- i keep coming back to items of clothing i bought. when i brought teddy home i had a newborn pair of sandals, tennis shoes, slippers, flip flops, and two pairs of church shoes. you know how many of them he wore? zero. in my defense, newborn shoes are suuuper hard not to buy because the smaller they are, they sweeter they seem. next time, maybe one pair of newborn shoes, if that. teddy is 7 months and barely wears shoes one day a week.

8. not taking it easy after my c-section. when teddy was 3 weeks we moved from utah back to idaho, and i didn't hesitate to lift things that were well over the 8 pound weight limit my doctor gave me. c-sections are supposed to take 6 weeks to heal from, and mine took over 12. i still feel sharp stings of pain every now and then (which is pretty normal), but next time if a have a c section, i'm going to take it as easy as i realistically can. it's so much more worth it than i realized.

9. pushing breastfeeding more. when we were in the hospital, teddy's weight got so low the doctors talked about admitting him and i freaked out. we started using the supplemental nursing system, and when we got home and my milk still hadn't come in, we gave him a bottle. after a week or so my milk had come, and i tried to exclusively nurse but it never caught on fully. at 7 months, teddy only nurses one or two times a day. if i would've pushed harder we could've saved hundreds of dollars on formula.

10. waiting until teddy was 7 months to buy a jumper. holy life saver. this thing lets me take a 15 minute shower during the day without teddy getting even a little sad. it wears him out so he sleeps harder. he pants excitedly when he sees it. gideon had to beg me to buy it. i should've gotten that thing like 4 months ago.

i forgot about the pictures on this post from when teddy was 2 months, and they made me all nostalgic for things i wish i would've done better. but you know, at the end of the day i think mammas are just doing their best. and for me, my best has been good enough. next time though, i'll have a few tricks up my sleeve.

what things would you not do the next time around? i'm always up for advice.
hope you have a good day, guys. thanks so much for stopping by. xo

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

a little valentines video!

sunday was our first valentines with teddy, and i'm going to be super honest- it wasn't our moooost romantic holiday. is it just me or do sundays not scream romance with church and all? am i a bad christian? should i be extra romantic on sundays?
(on sundays i mostly want to eat potatoes and online shop..)

anyway, this valentines day we made chocolate chip cookies and took turns holding teddy and letting him bounce in his new favorite jumper.

in the past, i've taken video footage and then not made anything from it, because it's not what i had in mind, and when i looked at this footage i almost threw it out, because all i could see was the extra baby weight i haven't lost, how messy our apartment was, and how the lighting wasn't very good. but you know what? i still made a short video that's not very good or pretty to look at. (i'm lookin' at you new years resolutions!) because i think 10 years from now i'll be glad that i did. i won't care about my frumpy post church outfit, because i'll be looking at my cute baby and how tiny he used to be and what a good bouncer he was. am i right? i'm right.

 that's all. xo

ps- i should mention that the day before valentines my sweetheart of a husband got me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, chocolates, and dinner (which was extra awesome, because i spent most of the day on a panel of judges for dancers throughout idaho and utah and was exhausted.) what a romantic babe. sigh.

Monday, February 15, 2016

madeline's box.

pre 6 month teddy wasn't huge into pacifiers. we used them for long car rides, and maybe if he was having a hard time falling asleep. the past few weeks, he's been a lot more interested in them, and i'm trying to figure out which ones are best for him at this stage.

we loved using these pacifiers because they're weighted (so teddy couldn't pop them out easily), and hard to lose track of with the stuffed animal attachment. these days teddy gets distracted with them and uses them as more of a toy than a soother, so we needed a change.

i did a little research on cute clips for pacifiers and had a hard time finding one that i liked. i wanted something simple and chic (teddy might not care what it looks like, but i have to stare at it too, so i better like it...) even when i worked at a little baby boutique before i had teddy i remember wondering why simple (good looking) clips were so hard to find.

madeline's box is a company i was introduced to (through the magic of instagram, ha!) and they have darling clips made of braided leather, or vintage fabric patterns. so cute, right?!

i was nervous about the transition from teddy's old pacifiers to one with a clip, but i'm loving it. he doesn't get distracted by the stuffed animal attachment during naptime, and i don't have to keep an eye on it at all times in fear of it dropping or getting lost. i also use these clips for his teethers (he likes to throw them and then is devastated when they don't boomerang back, so these clips come in handy.)

guys! right now you can get 20% off any order of $25 or more with the code veryhappypear.
(you gotta be quick, though! promo code only lasts till wednesday! (CLOSED)

we're loving this store so much right now i'm thinking we might need to do a giveaway in the near future. which color would you choose, friends? visit the madeline's box website and let me know in the comments below! xo
this post brought to you by madeline's box

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

sleep training and valentines.

i took a break from writing this week. social media can be poisonous for me, and i thought stepping away might help with some blues i've been having. is it me, or has the sun not come out at all this month?

we're on day three of a sleep training schedule. why do i feel embarrassed admitting that? whatever, it's miserable. he's doesn't cry long, but sometimes his little voice gets a little hoarse, and i feel like the meanest, worst mamma in the world. maybe it would be easier if he was naughty sometimes, but he's such a sweet, happy little boy. i keep telling myself i can make it till the end of the week. he never cries more than five minutes, so i should be grateful. some mammas have to listen to their babies cry for hours.

i miss my family. and i miss gid. sometimes i wish he could work from home, but i think having him present without his attention would drive me crazy. i think i'm the neediest person i know right now. and i live with a literal baby.

we have a sweet little place. it has big beautiful windows, and a nice loft. but i'm annoyed with our apartment. i'm mad at the tan accent walls, and the crazy expensive heating bill. i'm annoyed at the little yippy dogs that are having a play date right outside the window where teddy is napping. i miss our tiny, cheap apartment in salt lake with the cinderblock walls and doll sized oven. i miss the cute baby boutique i worked at while i was pregnant. i spend a lot of time thinking how much money we put into savings when we lived in those 480 square feet of pure love. it was such a sweet little place.

since we've had teddy, holidays have kind of gone out the window. i half love it (not worrying about christmas presents this year was the shiz, you guys), but part of me feels like we're not celebrating important moments that should be celebrated. i'm determined to do something special for valentines day. it's this weekend, so i better start putting ideas together...

i just realized it's 3 and i've eaten a cheese stick and half of a pink powerade. no wonder my breast milk production is down.

most days i feel like i'm getting better at being home, but some days (like today) i don't want to be a stay at home mom. i want to be sitting in an office wearing nice shoes, or teaching in a university studio. i want someone else to listen to my baby cry with a hoarse little voice staring at the timer on their phone so they can go reassure him that he hasn't been abandoned. i want someone else to keep track of his naps, milk schedule/solid food schedule, and diapers.

but i also don't want to surrender moments where he does his army crawl and smiles at me proudly. i don't want him nuzzling someone else the way he does with me when he's almost fallen asleep. i don't want him flirting and cooing to someone else. i don't want him playing peek a boo sleepily in bed underneath cool, white sheets while the morning light seeps into our bedroom. i want that all to myself. those memories keep me going on days like today.

gid asked me if i wanted to hire someone so i could start working, and my immediate answer was no. not because i think being a working mom is bad, or because i have a deep rooted desire to be a martyr.

i think it's because the sweet moments are worth the hard ones.
at least right now they are.

teddy's up.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

comments from a mockumentary.

guys. three years ago i took a screen dance class in grad school, and for one of the assignments i made a mockumentary. i put it on youtube, it spread a bit, and now the comments are much more entertaining than the video ever was.

the know it all:
not necessarily, but it's kind of true, right jeannie? like, it's sort of close. right?


the outraged (and confusing):
tiavon i feel like you're trying to tell me something, but i'm not sure exactly what it is.


the critic:
there was no film involved with this. it's 2016, eric.
ps- nice profile pic. do you use it for tinder?


the dietician:

wait, do you eat more or less than 5 almonds for breakfast?
i'm confused which side you're fighting for.


the mean one:
i can tell by your tone that you know what dancers are really like, anna.
ps- eat a snickers.


the one who just wasn't quite sure:
the only offense i'm taking is your lack of spelling skills, brooke.


the ones who got into it:
you can tell people are really pissed when they start calling each other "hun".
personally, i'd never fight with someone who used the username brassmonkeyjew.

the peacemaker:
(praise hands emoticon)

the supportive one:
it is so accurate, right maddy?? thank you!!!


the ones who caught onto the little things:

i'm glad someone caught that, nate. the timing was hard.


the urgent fan:

she's not going to respond if you use all caps, balletchic!!!!. 


the patriotic one:
(fist bump emoticon)


the one looking for life advice:
i say move out and keep dancing, lozi. take your cat too- they don't own you. (snap snap snap)


the one hoping for a date:

no, nic. you may not have a piece.

the over thinker:

don't worry about it, kaulana.

people are funny you guys.

to see the video and the full list of comments (brace yourselves) click below:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

seven months.

teddy had shots yesterday and he was a champion. i always have terrible anxiety beforehand and every time it's turned out okay. while we were driving home from the hospital, i thought about some of my friends whose children have had serious surgeries before they're even putting sentences together, and i felt a surge of gratefulness for teddy's health so far. life scares me sometimes.

he's seven months today. he's closer to a year than he is to a newborn.
it makes me so happy and a little sad.

he's in no hurry to crawl, (which i'm grateful for, because our home is far from baby proof) and he's not super interested in sitting unless i'm applauding him enthusiastically. i usually have him play on a blanket, which he uses to pull things closer to him. when he doesn't have his blanket he gets annoyed. ("you mean i have to scoot over to that toy? ugh, forget it.")

i miss sleep so much. i think i'd give up sugar for sleep. i'm getting dangerously close to letting him cry it out, but i worry i'd give in all the time, and the inconsistency would mess with his head. i never thought i'd be such a softie mamma. ugh.

teddy's favorite thing is his dad. he's always grunting, flexing his muscles and arching his back with an important look on his face when gid gets home, and when gid says "wow! you are so strong!" teddy smiles a charming, proud, happy smile every time. sometimes i wonder if he remembers who i am when gid is in the room.

his second favorite thing is bath time. when he sees the tub, his eyes light up and he looks at me hopefully as if to say, "is it true?!" his splashes cover the entire bath floor with water, and last night while i let his little legs soak, he laid back in my lap, sighed and put one of his hands behind his head like he was lounging on a beach chair somewhere in paradise. my heart. (hey- what are good bath toys for babies?)

people comment a lot on him being a serious baby, and i guess it's true sometimes. he loves looking out the window. he's contemplative. sometimes while he's looking out the window and thinking, he pats my leg just to make sure i know he hasn't forgotten about me. or maybe he likes the vibrations from my cellulite, i don't know- he's a baby...

the other day he nursed for 10 minutes. it was so exciting (painful). but later when he saw his bottle, he laughed adoringly and hugged it. sigh. he loves his bottles more than he loves his toys.

he has a hearty laugh, and the sweetest, most sincere cry. and he's not a faker. he cries like his heart has broken into a million pieces, and then when i hold him, he snuggles me and clutches my cheek bones until he feels happy again. when i pretend to cough he immediately smiles.

its a little dumb that i'm writing about this, but i lost my favorite swaddle, and i'm so bummed about it. i turned the apartment inside out looking for it. teddy couldn't care less, so why do i? (throws face into hands weeping)

last week at church he snored during the first meeting, growled at the lady sitting next to us during the second meeting, and screamed happily (and shrilly) during the last meeting. gid seems to think that's not a good enough reason to skip church. hashtag why did i have a kid then.

a few weeks ago i swear teddy said the word "boba." i drank enough of those in slc while i was pregnant with him for that to be his first word, it makes sense. (if not "boba" it would've been "chalupa, amiright?")

happy seven months, teddy bear.

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