Fly By Summer

/ /  Realizing just how busy "normal" can be  / /

Well friends, it's been a hot minute hasn't it? I guess in the grand scheme of things a month between blog posts isn't that bad for me, but I'd definitely like to write more often. The thing is, being a new mom is pretty insane, and while I'm loving it just as much as ever, I've quickly learned just how fast the days can fly by. Thankfully, we sort of loosely have a schedule these days, which helps me stay sane almost all the time. This is largely due to Adeline slowly but surely coming out of a HELL of a 4-month sleep regression, which made for a really tough few weeks. Given how well she slept from the get go and the fact that I was on leave when she was a newborn, I can honestly say that July was the hardest month I've had so far as a mom and I do NOT handle sleep deprivation with grace. 

My weekdays have been pretty full of commotion thanks to being busier at work than I think I ever have been in my entire career, and trying to fit in 2 pumping sessions between half a dozen meetings a day means that most days by the time I take a second to breathe it's 3pm already and I have a stack of things piled up on my desk to sign off on before I leave at 5:30. I'm not complaining - I love my job and how it's constantly changing and providing me with new creative opportunities - but I can't say I would mind it if I didn't get an average of 150 emails a day all the time ;).

Outside of work, I try to keep things as stress-free as possible, mostly because we only get a little windows of time with our munchkin during the week and I want to soak in as many minutes with her as I can. I SO look forward to the weekends with her, and we've enjoyed the summer weather with a couple farmer's market trips, lots of BBQs at my parents' house and a few outings for things like the Fourth of July and my birthday. 

Buuuuuut, I don't really know how to just let myself relax, we have lots of excitement coming up over the next few weeks. We're hosting a happy hour for my department this week, friends from out of town for part of the weekend, my extended family for a BBQ in early September following the Lungevity Breathe Deep walk to raise money for lung cancer research, and my father in law's 60th birthday bash the weekend after that. Wish me luck! And given some fun projects we've done around the house lately, I really do hope to blog more in the coming months. Here's to the beautiful weather sticking around for it all! 

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Early Access Spoils

/ /  All the goodies I snagged with Early Access!  / /

It's time for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and truth be told I don't usually really care because designer clothing on sale is still waaaay out of my budget. This year though, I decided to take advantage of my Nordstrom debit card and splurge a teeny bit, and treated myself to a few quality pieces at fantastic price points. Unfortunately, given my fluctuating size lately I have NO idea if the clothing items I ordered will even fit, but I'm excited about the potential for a couple new pieces and am also thrilled with the beauty products I picked up! The big spend here is definitely the fancy pants Donna Karan Cashmere Mist deodorant set - this stuff isn't cheap but I'm a sweaty girl and it gets rave reviews so we'll see if it's worth the price tag. And of course, if all else fails, there's still a set of super cute socks for the munchkin that I absolutely cannot wait to put on her with a little dress in the fall. Shop my finds below!

My Bookshelf: 26 Kisses

I've got a lot of super talented friends - artists, photographers, designers and the like. But the pre-teen book nerd in me has to admit I never really thought I would know an author. Books were always such an escape for me when I was younger, and the people that wrote them were like celebrities to me. You know how when you were a kid if you ran into your teacher out in public it was the weirdest thing because you never really realized that teachers were also just regular old people with regular old lives like the rest of us, grocery shopping, walking their dogs and doing things with their families on the weekends? Maybe that was just me, but that's sort of how I always felt about authors too - they were people in my head who never really escaped their author photo and who clearly were only put on this earth to write stories for me to lose myself in.

Decades later, here I am working in publishing and meeting authors on a regular basis at work events and around the office. Don't get me wrong - I still sort of fangirl a teeny bit sometimes, but I've learned to keep my cool for the most part. And then!!!! Suddenly a good friend of mine (also a colleague) told me she was publishing a book and I got all awkward about authors again. Little old me HANGS OUT with someone who has a real live book that people can buy in stores? In my mind, Anna Michels, you're pretty much famous.

So my pal Anna wrote a book, and I thought it was only right that I blog about it since I devoured it during the last few naps of my maternity leave and absolutely loved it. Anna's debut 26 Kisses chronicles a summer full of kisses - one for every letter of the alphabet - for Veda, who's trying to get over an unexpected breakup. I don't want to spoil too much, but I have to share that Veda has a cat named Fat Snacks and her mom does Prancercise, so obviously the entire story is amazing. It is an absolutely perfect summer read, whether you're lounging on the beach, staying cool inside with a drink, or packing reading material to take on a weekend road trip. 

I can't recommend 26 Kisses enough, and in honor of Anna's book, I thought I'd pull together a little roundup of kiss related goodies - enjoy!

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Stylish Baby Alert

/ /  When you care more about how baby looks than you do about yourself  / /

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Our little munchkin will be 3 whole months old tomorrow, and since she's still a peanut she's just barely maxing out at 10 pounds these days, which means she's still in newborn clothes for the most part. There's a few 0-3 month pieces that have started to fit her, and basic newborn onesies are starting to get a little snug in the length, but in general she's still drowning in anything actually meant for her age. I'm quickly learning how brands run differently for baby clothes, just as they do for adults. Gap and Old Navy outfits tend to run large, which is a REAL bummer for me considering they have so many adorable clothes that I'd love to put on Adeline in this gorgeous weather we've been having. Overall, I've kept her wardrobe pretty basic considering we don't do a whole lot and she is still so tiny so collars and ruffles and things tend to overwhelm her little figure. But there's SO many cute items popping up on my Pinterest feed lately that I just had to do a little roundup! Above - Adeline's spring wardrobe... in my head that is. Enjoy!

The House in My Head: Chalkboard Wall

I'm (sadly) scheduled to go back to work in one measly week, and I am a hot mess of emotions about it. On the one hand, I LOVE my job and am so looking forward to having some structure to my days again. On the other hand, Adeline is obviously the best thing in the whole wide world and if I could continue to spend every day cuddling with her, singing songs, telling stories and watching her little faces, I 100% would. I imagine this is how most every new mom feels when it's about time to head back to work, so if anyone has advice for me on how to help the transition along, I'm all ears!

In other news, now that I'm not pregnant anymore I'm itching to get back to tweaking the house and continuing to inject our personality into it... starting with fun little projects that can be tackled during nap time. Since I am about to head back to work, Dan has a varying schedule, we somehow (sort of) still have a social life, and Adeline will be going to daycare, I'm realizing the need for some kind of "command center" where I can attempt to keep track of the day to day and maybe even go as far as doing some meal planning. Enter the ever-popular and sort-of-cliche-but-I-don't-care chalkboard wall!

There's a whole mess of new chalkboard wall inspiration on Pinterest these days thanks to the growing trend in hand lettering and modern calligraphy. Behold!

With Adeline here to stay, I love thinking about how the house can and will change as she grows, and I love that in the coming years she'll have a wall to color on and tape art projects to. We're going with a small wall that's right outside of the kitchen, and since that area is in the middle of the house and has no natural light, I didn't want to make it too much darker and decided on a deep teal blue rather than black for the chalkboard. 

Glidden's Approaching Storm

Glidden's Approaching Storm

Before and after pictures to come once we paint - hoping for this weekend!

Adult Diapers FOR THE WIN

/ /  The postpartum fun nobody talks about  / /

**Consider yourself warned - this post is probably the biggest dose of TMI you will ever get from me. The subject line doesn't lie... I WILL be talking about adult diapers. Stop reading now if you don't want the down and dirty (get it? ha. ha.)**

Now that I've gotten that little disclaimer out of the way, let's get real for a minute here shall we? Being pregnant, growing a baby (and an organ! What up, placenta!), and eventually giving birth really is a crazy wild kind of miracle, as we all know. And while the whole thing is incredibly beautiful in a way that I can't really describe when I'm sleep deprived, it's also full of so many random and odd side effects that NOBODY tells you about. I imagine this is for several reasons, including but not limited to the fact that a lot of said side effects are embarrassing and awkward to talk about, it's way more fun to just gush about how awesome and amazing babies are, and to an extent, if someone had told me everything I may have strongly considered sterilization before I would have willingly tried to get pregnant. Ok ok, that last one is a little extreme, but really... I wish I would have had a bit more warning.

Thankfully, I had one wonderful girlfriend who gave birth just a couple months before me that DID warn me about some of the not so pretty postpartum stuff, and her little tip was so darned helpful that I thought it would just be wrong to hide it from the 12 people that read this blog. So here it is people - the best advice that was given to me, now being passed on to the world:


Buy adult diapers. No, really.
 

Pack them in your hospital bag and stash them in every bathroom at home. If you're leaving the house stuff a couple extras in your bag. Have enough on hand to change them several times a day for a couple weeks. And most importantly, laugh about the fact that you are wearing adult diapers because hey, you just squeezed a baby out of your hoohah and you deserve a good laugh even if it's at your own expense. 

Here's the deal - the fabulous mesh underwear and pads the size of a twin mattress that they give you in the hospital are fine and all for the first day or so when you're still a little delirious and you look and feel like you've been hit by a semi truck minus that whole new "I'm a mom!!!" glow. But as soon as you decide you want to at least remotely resemble a functioning human again and you don't want to feel, well, like you have a twin size mattress between your legs, I can assure you that adult diapers will be your new best friend.

Now I knew that with giving birth came lots of bleeding afterwards - I can't imagine that's much of a surprise to anyone given the fact that you're essentially pushing something the size of a bowling ball out of a hole that is not the size of a bowling ball. But what I didn't know and was totally unprepared for was a major lack of bladder control after the munchkin was born. Even after my lovely friend warned me about this I STILL thought to myself "pish posh, that won't happen to me." And guess what? IT DID. And it WILL (probably) also happen to you. And if you aren't wearing a literal diaper it could be really really embarrassing if you're, say, in the middle of Old Navy trying to find clothes to fit your new "beautiful" postpartum body and all of a sudden you have to pee and you're nowhere near a bathroom. You will stop dead in your tracks and pray to God that you didn't just pull a 1st grade move and seriously pee your pants, and you might even drop your phone in the toilet when you finally do make it to the bathroom because you're in such a rush to make sure your measly pad held up. And THEN you will wish you were still wearing your adult diapers because man, those bad boys protected you from everything.

But that totally didn't happen to me.

So I wore adult diapers for a couple weeks and let me tell you, they were AWESOME. Since Adeline was in NICU and we were going back and forth to see her I carried extras with me every day and changed them every time I wanted or needed a little freshening up. At night I doused a clean one with lavender witch hazel + aloe vera and let me tell you, when you're healing from giving birth that is just heaven... in a diaper... for minute there. Unfortunately for the hubs, I loved those darned diapers so much that I may or may not have worn them PROUDLY after a couple of days and adopted the habit of walking around the house post-shower wearing very little more (what? None of my clothes fit). I recently told my mom and sister about one evening that first week when Adeline was still not home and I had to pump (which I can assure you is about as glamorous as adult diapers). I plopped myself down on our bed wearing nothing but my shower cap and a diaper and started pumping... and then Dan walked in. Talk about sexy!!! But really ladies, if a man can see you like that and still call you beautiful the next day, you know you got yourself a good one. (If he calls you beautiful right then and there he's a liar, but that's not the point here.)

Don't forget I did warn you that this post would be major TMI.

Bottom line - adult diapers are a godsend postpartum if you ask me and I think that everyone should know that. If you're getting close to d-day, get yourself to Target to buy a pack and embrace it, because I promise it's way better to forget about everything going on down there and embrace your new little bundle of joy instead. And hey, even Chrissy Teigan is doing it, so it can't be that bad.

Six Weeks of Adeline

/ /  When you don't remember life before  / /

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I'm fairly certain anyone who reads this blog is already well aware, but I figured it was only right to make it official here... so, friends, please meet Adeline!

Isn't she just the BEST?? I'm so in love it's pitiful, and thanks to my usual sappiness plus an extra dose of hormones, I find myself so overwhelmed with my feelings for her that I just don't know what to do with myself. Besides saying things like "just look at her" and "I just can't handle that little face!" out loud to no one in particular throughout the day (because it's usually just me and Adeline hanging out...) I've taken to scrolling through the hundreds of photos already saved on my phone almost every night in bed (when I should be sleeping) and tapping Dan every few minutes to point out how absolutely adorable she is in a photo that he's likely already seen a dozen times before. Thankfully, I married a very patient man and he's very good at just smiling and reminding me that he is also over the moon in love with her so he is already well aware of how cute she is. I know very well I'm probably already annoying people with my abundance of Facebook and Instagram photos of her... but I just can't help it! I'm in love I'm in love and I don't care who knows it.

Adeline decided that she wanted to join us a full month early, and arrived early in the morning on March 6th. I can't believe how much she has grown and changed in such a short time! Based on the above rambling about how awesome she is, I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone that I am loving every single second of being a mom. I like to think I've settled in to my new role nicely, but it's definitely not without some struggles. I think the biggest hurdle I'm dealing with is the lack of a schedule in my days, which has been a HUGE adjustment for me. I'm a creature of habit and thrive on structure, and while I knew having a newborn would pretty much be the exact opposite of routine, I was admittedly not prepared for it. I'm slowly learning to just go with the flow, but also realize that my maternity leave is half over already and we'll need to have some level of routine figured out by the time I go back to work... so we'll see how it goes! 

Breastfeeding has been great in the sense that my body has adjusted to what it needs to do and Adeline took to nursing easily despite us not being able to start right away (she was in NICU for 6 days and had a feeding tube for most of that time). The downside is that we haven't figured out any level of modesty with it yet so leaving the house usually involves me worrying the whole time that she's going to want to eat and I won't be able to feed her without locking myself in a bathroom stall somewhere for 20 minutes. I know it will continue to get easier with time, and for now I'm just grateful that it's working out since I wasn't at all optimistic about it during my pregnancy. 

Adeline is thankfully kind of a champ in the sleep department and is already giving us a good 4-5 hour stretch of sleep most nights... one of the positives to having a preemie. Based on what I've heard from others, it sounds like my sleep deprivation is nothing compared to what it could be... but that doesn't mean I'm not exhausted and I have to work verrrrrry hard to not take that out on the hubs :) who as I have mentioned many times before is seriously a saint for dealing with me on a daily basis.

So, life is blissfully full of cuddling, nursing, singing songs, changing diapers, naps, tummy time, trying to memorize every little face Adeline makes and calling her every single nickname I can possibly think of (Munchkin Face is the current favorite). I'll hopefully get back to blogging more regularly at some point, but in the meantime if you think Adeline is as cute as I do, click over to my Instagram feed for the day to day! 

photos by Michele V. Wagner Photography. See more here!

Capturing Moments

I've spent a lot of time lately scouring the web trying to find the perfect newborn photographer for when baby arrives. I went back through my pinterest boards and realized there's a pretty clear style that I prefer for photos - laid back, real, in the moment (and apparently a lot of cuddling in bed). I can't wait to have our own photos taken with baby in just a few weeks from now! Until then, here's a roundup of some of my favorite inspiration photos.

I also signed up for Ashley Ann Photography's new online SnapShop workshop, which I absolutely cannot WAIT to jump into this weekend! Here's hoping I learn enough to be able to capture some of these little types of moments on my own with baby and the hubs!

All the Pretty Baby Things

/ / The unnecessary but absolutely adorable little bitties / /

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I've spent a GREAT deal of time over the last month scouring Pinterest, blogs, Lucie's List and the like trying to get our baby registry in tip-top shape. The hubs has been a huge help in reading review after review of the bigger ticket items to make sure we're picking the best items that are still budget conscious, and I think we're at a point now where the registry is in a pretty good place! I'm certain there other are things we'll learn we need once baby arrives, but the hope is that we'll be decently prepared with the basics and a whole bunch of adorable clothes :). 

I was originally going to register on BabyList because I loved the idea of being able to choose items from anywhere on the web, but quickly realized it's not the most user-friendly system for people who don't shop online. So instead, I've left it just for the "extras"... you know, the things that aren't necessary but are so insanely cute and (thrilling to me) beautifully designed I just can't get over them. Here's a roundup of some of my favorites!

  • Baby's First Year - I honestly kicked around the idea of not getting a baby book because I didn't want the pressure of keeping up with one, but the prompts in this one are simple and thanks to being able to order prints of photos straight from my phone with just a couple clicks I think I can manage!
  • Mom's One Line a Day - I've started reading a short and sweet daily devotional and I'm hoping that I'll be able to keep finding 5 minutes a day for it even when baby arrives. I've got to be able to add in a one line a day journal entry in there, right?! (Go ahead seasoned moms, laugh!)
  • Jelly Cat Bashful Plush Bunny & Lamb - I adore these stuffed animals and love picturing our little one dragging them around with her everywhere she goes. And the soothie security blanket kinda looks like the Buddy Louie which I thought was perfect!
  • Donut Rattle & Pizza Teether - gotta represent mine and hub's favorite foods. And without the carbs or sugar!
  • Modern Burlap Muslin Swaddles - these are just gorgeous, and I love the phrases and Bible verses on them. Thanks to instagram, I am also well aware that these work wonderfully as photo backdrops :).
  • Freshly Picked Moccasins - ok, so I generally don't even spend this much on a pair of shoes for myself and I wish these cost less, but these babies have a cult following and I'm admittedly a little obsessed with them. Metallics match everything as far as I'm concerned and I'm generally not a fan of other baby shoes, so I can see baby wearing these nonstop.
  • Monthly Stickers - for alllllll the photos I know I'll be taking!

Hi, Third Trimester

/ / When the weeks til baby are almost single digits... / /

vorfreude

Well friends, just like that, I'm in my third trimester and this whole baby thing is getting really real!

The hubs and I have been in major nesting mode - registering for baby, putting together the nursery, cleaning and organizing the house, and cherishing the time we have just the two of us before we officially become parents in just a couple of months. I cannot say enough amazing things about Dan and how much he's taken care of me through my pregnancy, and maybe it's the hormones but lately I find myself more and more just thinking about how absolutely lucky I am to be sharing my life with such an incredible guy. I can't wait to see him with our daughter!

And speaking of taking care of me... I somehow managed to pass the gestational diabetes screen that my doctors seemed convinced I would fail, which was HUGE for me and gave me the exact boost of confidence I needed in the midst of a somewhat complicated pregnancy that I can do this. As I'm sure is the case for most anyone, when I really stop and think about it I recognize that this whole thing could be WAY worse and my complications are frustrating but not the end of the world. I have good days and bad days and have learned to let the bad days happen when they need to, but not to let them take over. Thankfully, the last month or so has been full of much more good - I passed the screening, my vision is stabilized so my doctor dropped my medication dosage which so so so amazingly allowed me to start sleeping again, and thanks to a prenatal massage the AWFUL sciatica I had for several weeks that had me in tears daily is gone. I definitely have my fair share of other random pregnancy side effects (acid reflux all the time anyone?) but for the most part, I'm just so amazed by what's happening with my body that they don't bother me too much. 

We're just 11 weeks away from my due date, and the list of things to do is quickly getting longer. While I'm sure I have lots of waddling, middle of the night bathroom trips and swollen ankles ahead of me, my fingers are crossed that the long home stretch remains far less dramatic than the beginning of this pregnancy was!