Thursday, April 23, 2015

Natalie Claire: 17 Months

I'm not sure how it happened- but suddenly you are a lot closer to be 2 years old...#slowdowntime

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring walks

In the middle of our walks now, Natalie randomly looks up through the little window part of the stroller and says "hi!"

Natalie decided we were going to read books like this today. I was ok with it. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 17-19, 2015

On Friday we met our new friend, Nicole. Nicole and I met through blogging a few years ago when she stumbled upon my wedding blog while she was planning her own wedding. We live near each other and have been blog and Instagram friends for a while now, but finally got to meet up for lunch in person on Friday! It was a really nice time!

We enjoyed a beautiful weekend. I celebrated my friend, Kate's, Bridal Shower/Bachelorette on Saturday and had a great ladies' night out in Brooklyn!

I went to bed at 3:00am Saturday night/Sunday morning. But Natalie was up and at 'em by 7:30am. Bachelorette party recovery day is NOT the same anymore. I was beat yesterday, but it was worth it. We got outside for a little bit and Natalie and I ended up taking a nap together for a change, which was nice.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Moving forward

I have a journal called "one line a day" that I write in every night before bed. (Or every three nights when I forget and fill in the missing days). I have a lot of thoughts in this book, things like:
  • "Do I keep a separate one for my next child?" 
  • "Do I not keep one at all for my next child? Is that fair?" 
  • "If I were to keep two - wouldn't I largely be writing the same thing two times each night?" 
  • "Will Natalie even care to read this one day?" 
  • "When do I give it to her? 16? Her wedding day? When she has her first kid?" 
  • "Is this more for me than for her?" 
  • "If I give it to her- then what do I have to look back on as memories for me? These are things I will be able to recall- not her..."

Yes, these are the things that go through my mind at night...

If I won't have the book to look back on myself, I can at least have this blog. It's just so easy to look back in the archives, pull up a date, and see what was going on at the time. I already regret the months I haven't documented. I sometimes wonder why it's so typical to document everything for the first year when I feel like it's the second year where the real fun things begin- new words each week, new understandings. As my mother-in-law says "It's like a light bulb went on for her in the last 3 weeks." Literally every day she is surprising me with something new: trying to help me vacuum, pouring tea from her toy tea set, responding "no" to me when I ask her something, playing with her toys by herself for longer than ever! Our move took a lot out of me, and it still is. There is still much to do. But this is, for so many reasons, one of the happiest times of my life, and I want to remember it, and I want to continue to document as much as I can from it. If there is anything I learned from the move, going through old notebooks and pictures- nostalgia is a beautiful thing.

do not have time to carefully construct a a post with fully edited photos and long-winded narratives and reflections. But what I do want to do is share one photo a day with a few lines about that day. What we did, what new thing she does, or a thought I'm having. This is basically Instagram- take a picture and slap a few hashtags to it, and that's what I've largely resorted to these past few weeks. But at least here, if I want to add a little bit more than the typical 140 characters, should I feel so inclined, I can. 

Wednesday 4/12/15: went grocery shopping with you. You said "hi!" to every single person we passed, and had that entire store giggling over how cute you are. 

Thursday 4/13/15: you do tricks for treats- like a dog. Daddy had you stomp your feet and then sit down- and then you got a cookie. Now when you see a cookie, you automatically sit!

These are posts I can easily compose on my phone in just a few minutes, from the comfort of my chair while I'm nursing (still going strong- 3 times a day!) and it's not going to stress me out or take up too much time.

So that's my goal starting next week! And hopefully, I can start catching back up on my favorite blogs as well! 

As always- thanks for sticking with me :) 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Natalie's Favorite Toys

Natalie got some great gifts for her Birthday and Christmas at the end of last year, and since then our living room has been overtaken by toys - and Natalie in general. That's even with returning about $250 worth of toys to Toys 'R Us. Here are some of her favorites at the current moment.

Natalie's Favorite Toys

What are your Little One's favorite toys right now?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Joys of Now

Chris and I were among the first of our friends to have a kid. And now as many of our friends are starting to embark on their journey to becoming parents, we're starting to get asked a lot of questions.
I love it. I'm an open book when it comes to this stuff, and I have no problem answering any questions that come my way about pregnancy, child-rearing, nursing, or parenting. I like being the forager, the person who's been through it all and back and lived to tell the tale. I can impart the little wisdom I've gained, share my mistakes, share my triumphs, and give my advice - for whatever it's worth. I don't have all the answers, I don't always have advice for every issue, but I can at least try.
But I've learned that I like the more finite questions from others:

"When did she start sleeping in her crib?" 11 weeks.
"When did she first try a bottle?" 4 weeks.
 "Did she start drinking milk right away when you started weaning?" No, it took her 2 months to drink plain milk.
"When?" "How?" "Why?" Those are questions I can answer. But when two friends who are about to become parents in April were over for dinner last week they asked us "What can we expect?" and that one, is an entirely different question to answer. That's an open ended question that can go as deep or as not-deep as you want it go.
I want to say you can expect to be exhausted, you can expect to cry from joy, sorrow, or sometimes both at the same time, or sometimes just because. You can expect to google every single little thing for the next 6 months straight. You can expect to doubt yourself, and then you can expect your mommy gut to jump in and say "no, this is right". You can expect to fight with your significant other, but also love them so much more at the same time. But I think a lot of that is obvious and I don't really think it's necessary to always point out. I don't need to sugar coat things for anyone's sake. But I also think that we, as parents, should at least make an effort to point out the good things, the positive things, rather than harp on the negative things that "you can expect."
The question I enjoyed answering was: "Are you enjoying/having more fun with Natalie now or was the last year more fun?" and while watching Natalie grow from 7 pounds to 21 pounds in just 12 months was remarkable, my answer to the question was unequivocally "NOW!" "now now now now and now....I am having much more fun now. I am enjoying her much more NOW. I am enjoying this process much more NOW." For one: I have the confidence of a year under my belt. Like starting any new job at all, there's always a year learning curve. At my last few jobs, I never felt fully comfortable with what I was doing until I was there a year, and it was the same way being a mother. I have a routine (somewhat), I have a system, and I know what I'm doing (most of the time).
She's grown to love her daddy, and respond to him in a way she never did before. For most of the last year, Chris and I watched Natalie lay on the ground, or sit and absorb everything around her, but with little to no interaction between us. We were all getting to know each other, we were all learning each other. Now, when I say to her "Can I have a hug?" she walks, sometimes runs, over to me, jumps into my arms, and wraps her arms around me with all of her might.

So am I enjoying this time with Natalie a bit more than the newborn stage? 

100% yes, yes, yes.