Tuesday, March 29, 2016

things i don't want to forget.


his sweet little knees. untouched by the inevitable bruises and scratches that will find him in the upcoming months.

the far off look he gets in his eye when he looks out a window in the morning, like he's carefully contemplating what he wants to do with his life.

 the way he holds his bottle; so specific and intentional.

how his hair has gotten so thick on top, and sometimes looks like it has a reddish hue.

his feet. those sweet little toes.

it's all happening so fast.
xo


 
 



teddy's swaddle
teddy's bottle
teddy's sleep dock


Sunday, March 27, 2016

daylight savings is a big deal, and other things...

i used to secretly wonder if parents who complained about daylight savings throwing off their kids' schedule were just being dramatic. "really, how much of a difference can one hour make?" oh, pre-teddy alyssa; you well rested, ignorant cactus blossom.

daylight savings is the worst, you guys.

i woke up today and for the first time thought to myself, "this is it. this is the day i give up pumping." my mind was absolutely made up. two hours later, i gave in. i don't know why, but my endurance (both emotional and physical) has taken a hard hit recently, and i have zero motivation. i promised myself i'd stick pumping out for a year. how do people do it?

teddy's first tooth is coming in, and i'm already missing his little gummy smile.

the past couple of weeks have been weird. i've been working on a video collaboration with a professional dance company, and even though it hasn't been full time, it's been demanding. my other projects have fallen off schedule (sorry dean and suzie...), and i feel overwhelmed thinking about deadlines that a year ago, i could've handled with a blindfold on. i feel like i'm regressing, and i want so very very badly to be moving forward.

i'm realizing that having a baby makes everything infinitely more complicated. i don't have close family here, so it's not like i can just call my mom and have her watch teddy for an hour while i go do a shoot, or take a ballet class in the middle of the day. a simple trip to the market is a carefully strategized outing. i can't sleep at night because i'm thinking about what he ate, how much he slept during the day, the patch of dry skin on his back that turns red when he takes a bath, and how he's turning nine months soon, and that's how long he lived in me, and how wild is that, and why is this happening so fast. i'm worried about how much fresh air and culture he's getting, and yet also how the world is crazy right now, and i want him protected and safe. all of these things are buzzing in my brain, and then i look at my phone to see what time it is and it's 4:30 in the morning. two hours later, teddy is ready to go. is this parenthood? is this my life now? why didn't i sleep in college when i had the chance???? (i didn't sleep in grad school.)

yesterday when i checked in on teddy during a nap, he fluttered his eyes open, looked up at me, smiled, and said, "ma." i tried to get him to say it again for 3 hours, but he's keeping me guessing whether it was on purpose or a coincidence. sometimes he has a knowing smile that makes me suspicious that he's known how to talk for months, and he's keeping it from us.



i finished parks and rec.
you guys, it was really good.

teddy's been fascinated with our living room bookcase lately. i know i need to baby proof, but it's sort of sweet how he always pulls out the same thick book from the bottom shelf. ("Fiscal Administration; Analysis and Applications for the Public Sector.") i guess chicka chicka boom boom just isn't cutting it anymore.

so happy that spring is here. i need some sun.
xo

Thursday, March 24, 2016

our favorite ways to burn calories with CHOBANI. (video!)

okay, folks. we're going on a beach vacation in a few months, and i'm determined to get myself to a place where i feel good about wearing a swimsuit. i don't like making fitness goals that focus on numbers, so instead i'm looking at creative ways to stay active, and make healthy and realistic eating choices. (because as much as i would lovvvvvvve to hire an organic chef to cook for me, {and jillian michaels to train me} i can't afford it...)

teddy was eyeing my breakfast and i couldn't resist giving him a little taste. he's very proud of himself in this picture...


one of my worst habits is forgetting to eat until the mid to late afternoon. does anyone else do this? (pm me, and we'll cry together.) it's horrible, guys. skipping meals only make you eat more at a later time when your metabolism has slowed, and increase all sorts of scary risks. it's just really bad and i've done it habitually since i was in high school, despite having a mother who taught me nothing but healthy eating habits.

so here are two easy goals for me to strive towards for the next three months:

1- drink water first thing in the morning, and absolutely eat some sort of breakfast before 11:00 am.

2- commit 20 minutes a day to burning at least 100 calories. because goals form habits, and 100 calories seems like a super achievable amount of calories to get taken care of in a day. (rocking teddy alone should cover it, right?!)

one of the easiest breakfast options in our fridge is yogurt, and Chobani has introduced Simply 100 Crunch- made with their trademark greek yogurt and delicious toppings, all for 100 calories!
(ps- that last link has a downloadable coupon, sooooooo that's awesome...)


these are easy enough for even me to commit to for breakfast, ya'll.

and my goal to burn 100 calories a day?
Chobani gave us some easy ideas!


going for a light and easy walk with the stroller?
playing with teddy for 20 minutes??
having a dance party?!!

guys. i can do this. we can do this. who's in?
and bonus: a little video of us testing out some of our favorite ways to burn 100 calories.
please excuse my dance moves... (i'm putting that MFA in modern dance to good use, right??)



have a happy wednesday, guys.
thanks so much for stopping by!
xo


this post brought to you by chobani.

Friday, March 18, 2016

this too, shall pass.

i found pictures from the day teddy was born, and i'm flooded with memories. the exhaustion of the first 48 hours trying to progress. the excitement and anticipation when the doctor told me i was finally at a 9.5 and would probably start pushing within the hour. the fear when the hour passed, and then another hour, and when we realized i'd developed a fever, and the baby had moved into a dangerous position. the helplessness when they told me we absolutely needed to go in for an emergency c section.

the relief of hearing his low, long cry for the first time.
the blur of him being swept away for tests moments after.

i remember telling gideon to stay with him; to not let that little baby out of his sight. 

and as they wheeled me back into my room, i remember seeing a puddle of blood on the floor, realizing it was mine, and that i'd literally been cut open in order to pull a small person out of me. i remember feeling delirious and devastated.



holding him for the first time (below), i marveled how it was possible that he fit so perfectly into my arms. i remember he'd stop crying when gideon or i started talking. he fell asleep immediately after they put him on my chest. i remember his perfect coos and sighs. i remember wondering if/how i'd ever use the bathroom again.



i remember for days my face feeling sticky and tear stained, regretting the decision to not bring make up to the hospital, and wishing i was the kind of mother who looks naturally flawless after delivery. i remember not being able to talk about the c section for weeks without bursting into tears, and feeling like i'd failed at motherhood before i'd even started.

i remember knowing vaguely that my life would never be the same, and yet also feeling like he'd been with us forever.





and just like that-- that same baby, is now my crawling explorer, a lover of strawberries, and a gnawer of noses. he's eight months, and happy and healthy. and so am i. (discounting the special edition oreos, girl scout cookies, and ice cream i ate earlier, obvi...)

 and i just want to write this reminder for myself; to remember for the next time life surprises me and scares me- i can do hard things. i can go through something that makes me feel betrayed, heartbroken and devastated, and make it out thriving. 

and life is more good than it is bad. 
and laughing is better than crying.

and i can do hard things. more than once. xo


"this too shall pass."
for all worldly things shall, indeed, pass.

when i am heavy with heartache
i shall console myself that this, too, shall pass.

when i am puffed with success
i shall warn myself that this, too, shall pass.

when i am strangled in poverty
i shall tell myself that this, too, shall pass.

when i am burdened with wealth
i shall tell myself that this, too, shall pass.

i will enjoy today's happiness today.
it is not grain to be stored in a box.
it is not wine to be saved in a jar.
it cannot be saved for the morrow.
it must be sown and reaped on the same day.

and this i will do, henceforth.

-og mandino 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

teeth coming in, and priorities.

i just want to take a second and pat myself on the back for making it pumping for this long. it has sucked, but i don't regret it. (i'm comin' for you, year mark!)


every time i nurse teddy, i remind myself that it might be the last time and try to cherish it. i also try to remind myself that there are two sides to every story, and as much as i get sad about not exclusively breastfeeding, it would be super hard to not be able to have gideon (or literally anyone else) take a turn feeding teddy, day or night. i'm not saying one way is better than the other. i'm saying that there's always at least two sides to choices in motherhood and both are almost always hard.



last week was international women's day and i was determined to celebrate it in some sort of way, but ended up sadly spending the day eating toaster strudels, online window shopping, and wrestling my over exhausted baby down for naps.

i'm trying to make more of an effort to not let the way i look be the way i value myself. it's so easy to compare myself to beautiful, thin, perfect mothers with multiple gorgeous babies... (just to be clear, i know i've never been a crazy good looking, smokin' hot person, and i've always been cool with that.) how about i not worry about what i look like, so much as i worry about being classy and intelligent? priorities.

teddy has a tooth coming in. i do not love it. it's so rare that he cries, so this is killing me softly. tell me that this doesn't last too long, please.

i'm still debating over the same two jogging strollers. if anyone were to offer me their bob or bugaboo to test drive for 5-7 days, i would not say no.


teddy's favorite story right now (other than come along calf, because that will always be his number one) is chicka chicka boom boom. i used to read it to my kindergarteners when i student taught in high school. annnnnnndd, i just realized those kindergarteners are seniors in high school right now.

i've started laying down with teddy during his early afternoon naps, because i've learned that he sleeps twice as long when he has a warm body next to him, and that translates into a happier baby (and a happier mamma) throughout the rest of the day. today he slept for three hours straight, ya'll.

it's only tuesday, and i'm just kind of really ready for it to be the weekend. xo

Thursday, March 10, 2016

life lately.

you know how when new mammas say, "darn it, i haven't lost all the baby weight," really nice people respond, "it took you nine months to get pregnant. give yourself nine months to lose it."

....i have one more month to do that. sighhhhhh. motherhood is eating humble pie every day.
it's also trying not to eat real pie every day.


gid and i have been house hunting and it's stressful. the area we're in now is beautiful and minutes from gid's downtown office, but it's expensive. if we moved out to meridian or nampa we could save a ton of money and buy a bigger place. i don't know, would it be so bad to live in a cute apartment for the rest of our lives? i like having amenities. and maintenance people. and i really like living walking distance to the best breakfast diner in town...

two days ago i reupholstered teddy's bouncer. you read that correctly. it took me all day, and at one point i started crying in frustration, because it was so much harder than i thought it would be. my life has gotten so weird, you guys. i have a blog, and i reupholster baby seats that hang from doorways. who am i, even?
doesn't it look better with stripes instead of green animal print?

teddy developed a rash on his belly and it's been breaking my heart, even thought it doesn't seem to bother him. i've had three doctors give me opinions and none of them are worried about it. one of the doctors was my dad. if he says it's okay, it's okay. exhale, alyssa.

my sister convinced me to give parks and rec a try. i've been watching it nonstop for the past week and a half, and gid has even watched a few episodes with me. i've never seen him laugh at a tv show like that. i swear three days ago he actually snorted a little. it's fun watching tv with a husband.

the past few days have been hard. i get so frustrated at myself when i don't love being a stay at home mother. i can't get it out of my head that my mom did this times five. i know she had to have days she really didn't want to spend with us; days where we were sucking at napping and driving her crazy, but i don't have any memories of her seeming unhappy to be at home with us. how did she do it? 

i've been thinking about that thing people say about how on your deathbed you won't wish you would've earned that extra million dollars, or lived in a fancier place; you'll wish you spent more time with the people you loved.

my baby just woke up. gotta go.
xo

Monday, March 7, 2016

GIVEAWAY WITH ESTELLA-NYC! (CLOSED)

hey guys, remember this post i wrote a while back about estella-nyc? they're this awesome company based in new york's village,
and they partner with a small community of knitters in peru to make their organic cotton rattles,
security blankets and kids decor items, and guess what?

one of you lucky readers is going to win a darling rattle from their spring 2016 line!!! 
is your monday getting better yet? mine too. 



alright, so these rattles are crazy cute, and a personal fav of mine and teddy's. they're soft
(so when he drops them on his face, or smacks himself with them there's no harm done), machine washable, and the noise they make is gentle and quiet, which is particularly nice for my sanity.



another thing i love about estella-nyc is that they are all about fair trade, and creating a high quality, beautiful hand made product at a price point that is reasonable for you and me, while still compensating the artists fairly. (praise hands emoticon...)


i also know firsthand that this company has excellent customer support, which is just kind of a huge deal to me.



so here's what you need to do to enter, friends:

-visit estella-nyc's shop and tell me which rattle is your favorite in a comment. this is your entry.
-for more entries, complete the form below!

easy peasy, right? the giveaway will close monday the 14th,
and i'll announce the winner within 24 hours, k?
may the luck of the irish be with you!

GIVEAWAY WITH NYC ESTELLA!

CONGRATS TO MEENA H, from the UK!
Send me your email, and we'll get your rattle shipped out to you! Muah!

thanks so much for entering you guys.
i've got some more rad giveaways coming up in the next few weeks.


good luck, guys! thanks for stopping by. xo

Thursday, March 3, 2016

8 months.

i used to think it was a little weird how new moms would get sad to see their baby get older. 
i get it now. i get it so bad.
that hair though, right? it's finally starting to grow over his bald spots in the back...

teddy is 8 months today, you guys. he's big for his age, but i try to remind myself that i'll look back on these pictures and be stunned how small he is. and he's only getting bigger from here on out, so i might as well appreciate how little he is in the moment, right?


sometimes i look at him and catch glimpses of him as a tiny baby, or glimpses of what i imagine he'll look like when he gets older.

his top five favorite things: gid (the clear winner in this category), eating (preferably breastmilk in his bottle), bathtime, exploring dangerous things, and mamma.

you read that right. i came in fifth place. whatever. i'm still honored.


he loves books, and i've started exposing him to music i hope he'll appreciate (hashtag helicopter parenting). he smiles the most when i play louis armstrong and chopin. he's classy, guys. 

he loves laying on the ground while twirling/yanking my hair, and he thinks it's hilarious when he sticks his fingers in small holes like my ears or my nostrils. i'm hoping that doesn't stick. it's a rough way to wake up.

he's my little man, and i'm crazy in love, okay? okay.

thanks for stopping by today, guys.
i hope the weekend is feeling as close to you as it's feeling to me! xo

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

following up with owlet.

things are changing around this place, you guys. teddy is army crawling all over our apartment. his polite chuckle has developed into a rolling laugh. he's starting to eat more solid foods, and praise the heavens he's getting a little better at sleeping through the night!

hey remember this post i wrote giving an introduction to owlet?  since i shared it, i've been sent messages from friends and family asking about our experience with it at this point in teddy's life. we've had it in our home for several months now, so i'm answering some common questions i've gotten, k? take it or leave it.

Q: "i like the idea behind the owlet, but i'm worried that i'll get dependent on it, and will feel anxiety/stress anytime my baby is sleeping and not wearing the sock. did you ever feel like that at all?"
A: i worried about this too, big time. it didn't end up being a real issue for me, but there have been a few times i've gotten annoyed with myself for not putting the sock on teddy so i could take advantage of the app. for example, during the holidays, the door to the room teddy was sleeping in was squeaky, and instead of having to check in on him (and potentially wake him up with the noisy door), i could've used the app on my phone to be sure his levels were all normal. i didn't feel anxious about him so much as frustrated that i didn't have access to the convenience that the app offers.

Q: my baby has a really fat foot, and i'm not sure the sock will fit it. do they make special sizes?
A: this one made me laugh out loud, ha! i love a good chubby baby foot. when you get your owlet package, there are three different sock sizes that you'll receive. teddy's feet are big for his age, and he's only on the second sock right now.

Q: "does the sock really stay on?"A: the sock isn't easy to get out of. it has a snug strap that you can adjust to a comfortable snugness around the baby's ankle. that being said, teddy did manage to get out of his twice. (he's a pretty determined kicker...) our solution? two words: footie. pajamas. (game on, teddybear!)

Q: "did you experience false alarms at all?" (instances where the monitor signals a red alert, when the baby is in fact just fine.) 

A: i have had zero false alarms,
(thank goodness! how scary would that be?!) and just because i was curious, i contacted all of my friends who have owlet, and none of them have had any false alarms either.

if your monitor is doing this, i'd contact owlet the owlet support team asap. for me, they've been super helpful (and quick to respond).
teddy's 8 month foot in the 2nd sock size.
Q: "is there anything you DON'T like about owlet?"
A:  there's this song that the monitor sings to let you know if your baby has kicked off the sock (hush little baby). i don't love it, but can you honestly think of a noise you would like to hear in the middle of the night to let you know that your baby had houdinied his way out of the thing meant to keep him safe? (rascal!!)

all things considered, the song they picked for that alert isn't so much alarming as "ughhh this baby...", and it only happened two times for us. i'd be much more annoyed if it didn't make a noise to let me know that he'd kicked the sock off.

Q: i don't love the idea of a monitor being strapped to my baby. did you ever feel weird about putting the sock on teddy?
A: am i too laid back of a parent if i say "no, not at all??" i didn't hesitate to put the sock on teddy. it's hypoallergenic, and the technology that owlet uses (pulse oximetry) has been used in hospitals since the 80s, and is super non-invasive. it wasn't an issue for me.

Q: i want to buy one, but they're so expensive, and i'm worried i won't like it.
A: i get it. i seriously do. baby stuff can be so pricy. (as if this wasn't already a stressful time in our lives!)here's the thing- owlet has a 100 day peace of mind guarantee, which, i gotta say is super generous of the company. can you imagine if strollers, car seats, or mattresses gave you a free trial for a couple of months? the reason the device costs what it does is because this company has gone out of their way to use the highest quality parts and technology available.

Q: "okay alyssa, i'm expecting. be honest. if you were me, would you really buy the owlet?"
A: first of all, i wouldn't write about this if i didn't like it. and to answer your question, yes- if i were expecting, i'd get it. if i wasn't planning on having more kids, and my youngest was over a year old, i'd be less enthusiastic (ps- did you know you can use owlet up to 18 months?!)

for me, peace of mind is most valuable with a new baby. and since gid and i are definitely going to have a million kids, (ha.) i'm hoping this product is going to get a lot of use from our family.


now obviously i'm not going to say something like, "owlet fixes everything that's hard about motherhood and anyone who doesn't buy it is a bad parent," because that would be super stupid. i will say that 1) the monitor has worked for us, 2) it’s helped me not be as stressed during this tender new mamma phase, and 3) i believe it’s a worthy investment. i don't know your personal situation, or what products would be a good fit for you and your family, but this one has been a good fit for mine.

annnnndd if you guys are interested, owlet was super cool and is 

(this is the most i could swing getting off for my readers, and every little bit helps, right?)

feeling lucky? here's a link to enter for a free giveaway! (CLOSED)
and here's another instagram giveaway competition! (CLOSED)

(remember my promo link and these giveaways are 

time sensitive and won't last long. hurry and enter, mammas!)

and in case you missed the little video we made about a day in the life with our owlet- here you go:




thanks for stopping by, beautiful people.
i'm keeping my fingers crossed that one of you wins a free one!!
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