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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Oh Hey!

Remember me? Kind of? Sort of? Maybe at least a little bit? I'm still here and chugging along, enjoying being a Mom to my very high needs baby even though that high needs part can get super tough, hence my not writing here often. We think if we can at least get more of a handle on figuring out her nap needs and catching her at the right times to get enough sleep we'll be golden, so that's the plan right now.  I'm convinced a well-rested baby equals a happy home and while she sleeps pretty well most nights, naps are hard to come by and we are still figuring it all out. No worries though, for I happen to have a Grade A husband that is just as committed to making life with this little girl just as wonderful as can be and who is a perfect partner through this journey. Without him you would probably find me passed out face down in the little bit of snow that is currently gracing our yard while the dogs trampled over my body. His dedication to our family and the well-being of each of us and our home is so comforting. Rather than watching movies or passing out on the couch when he gets home from a full day of work, he sweeps the floors, does the dishes, plays with little miss, and often cooks us supper while I nurse her, whatever he can do to contribute. I really lucked out with that one.

Our time has been very full lately with caring for out little Buggy, but also full of rearranging our home, enjoying the holidays together and with our families, and dreaming up plans and wishes for the new year to come. New Years is in my top two on favorite holidays and I always look forward to the fresh year of endless possibilities. Happy late Christmas and early New Years to you all. I hope these days are filled with so much goodness for each and every one of you.

Sara

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Slice of Life: Take 5





So Very Thankful for Firsts / Diaper Duty / A Stocking For Iz / Gifts From Friends now Decorate Isadora's Letter


This week has been moving more slowly than the last. The days seem longer, but that is probably because of the nights feeling longer as well. For the past week or so I have been having the worst time trying to settle my mind enough to fall asleep. No worries though, E and I have plans to find some kind of book light to use in the evenings, as reading to sleep has always worked well for me in the past. I think part of it has also been my achey body. My knees have been aching a lot in the past month or so. In fact, today I was thinking that I should go ahead and start slowly trying to shed a little of the extra weight to see if that would help a bit on it's own. I thought this while eating chocolate chip cookies, but you know, that's how these things sometimes go. We are all doing okay though. I spent yesterday afternoon working on secret Christmas projects for my love after putting Iz down for a long afternoon nap. Today she is back to only napping on me and seems to be in the thick of a three month growth spurt, but I take the changes as they come. Some days I'm on top of it all, and others the best I can do is keep us both fed and clothed, I think that's all par for the course. 

Sara

Friday, December 14, 2012

Just Thinking You Know

Just wanting to check in and say hello while Iz snoozes a few more minutes. Today she actually wanted a nap out of my arms, she actually insisted upon it, so I was able to finish her knit ball for Christmas. It turned out quite huge, but she will grow into it over time and it was a lot of fun to make. And now, now that I have time to actually type, I'm not quite so sure what to say. There are so many posts in my drafts folder, but there they will remain until I have a bit more time to give them. Iz has definitely calmed down a bit this past week and even fell asleep sitting in her Dad's arms while at my Mom's house last Sunday. That has never happened. Also, at home she has not been all that fussy, but still touch and go on the nap front. Yesterday she snuggled up to me napping for three hours while I read and today she only wanted to swing it seems, whatever works to get her the sleep she needs. 

I'm doing okay myself. Still struggling to find time to take care of myself as I should, but that is getting better here and there. This week I have made sure to stop for an actual lunch each day, made easier by a somewhat calmer baby, and I will try to keep building from there. I think things like showering when E's not home and working on projects will be easier to work on when she has more of a regular napping routine in the future, but for now I'm just going with it. Also, in January I am going to challenge myself to get out and about to attend La Leche League meetings, nursing mom meet-ups, first Fridays with the leader of our birth classes, and so on, just whatever I can do to get little lady and myself out of the house. I think it would be good for both of us. When it's warmer out we'll be spending a lot of time walking and exploring outdoors, but we need to be around other Moms and babies as well, so I think those places are good ones to start with, things that don't cost money, are attended by similarly minded people, and that have a relaxed breastfeeding friendly atmosphere. Making new friends as an adult is hard, and I can be really introverted at first, but I at least want to try. I really think getting out and connecting with others even once a week could make a world of a difference, even if it is hard at first. I wasn't really ready before, but now I am and I really look forward to seeing how it all goes. At least I'll keep convincing myself it's a good idea until it actually happens.

Other than that, we are good. It was wonderful having my sister here for the weekend, challenging with the dogs, but so very worth it. Talking in person rather than over the phone is so different and so much better and I really enjoyed that time together while it lasted. It was also amazing to see my two nieces again. I'm shocked by how much they have grown and changed just in the last few months. My brother and my nephew came up as well and oh man, that nephew, how do kids grow so fast? It all really makes me wonder what Iz will be like as she grows older, not only in looks, but also in personality. What will her voice sound like, what will her favorite activities be, what foods will she most prefer? I am really looking forward to getting to experience every day with her and to continue watching my other favorite little people grow as well. It really does make you feel much older once everyone starts having kids and really gives you a new perspective. And to imagine Iz could one day choose to have children herself...we won't even go there yet. 

Sara

Friday, December 7, 2012

Slice of Life: Take 4




trimmed tree / boots & books / another of Izzy's corners / last of my subscription and other treasures through the mail


So many thoughts need to get out of my mind and onto a page, but I cannot seem to find a spare minute to get them out, not even in my private paper journal. I love my baby girl more than anything in the world, but what I wouldn't give for just thirty minutes a day alone with some empty pages, a cup of tea, and a warm sweater. If we're being honest, which I almost always am, I would probably really end up with my face smashed down upon the pages, drool soaking them to the spine, and a cup of tea rapidly cooling by my side, but I suppose those drool stains would tell their own sort of story. A story of a new mom who is trying to catch a grip, but having a rough go of it this week. Sweetest I has only been taking naps if smashed up against me, preferably boob in mouth. No carriers allowed, no swinging, and don't even think about putting her down for a moment. This is all fine for the most part, and I am sure it's just another thing that will morph into something new before I know it, but I wouldn't be being honest if I didn't note that it has been tough. I soak up the cuddles and enjoy them while they last, yet know that I must take care of myself too and I haven't been doing a great job of that. Oh, and I may have just told the dogs that if they bark I will slaughter them all...I told you we were being honest...and also that I've been having a rough go of it...and we all know that the closest I would come to slaughter is making them go outside for a minute to give me some room to breathe. The baby is finally sleeping, on her own, and I will probably start crying if anyone ruins that.

Yesterday really was the hardest day since my girl has been born, but not for any real reasons beyond my just feeling a bit overwhelmed and also emotional over family matters. Luckily, I woke up on better footing, knowing today would be different, for my sister is coming for the weekend, E is off for the next three days, and my Mom came over this morning for a visit while also running to the grocery store with me and lending a hand. And would you believe it? Little darlin' is asleep right this minute, something I was fearing I would never see again. And that cup of tea? It's right here beside me, still warm. I think we might just be heading for another upswing and I'm going to do my darndest to keep us there. I never go down without a fight.

Sara

Monday, December 3, 2012

Learning Patience


You would think with a nearly ten week old baby at home that a title like "Learning Patience" may have something to do with her and the care-taking that is involved when you are responsible for caring for a little human, but no, you would be mistaken. Take a good long look at those cuties up there, looking so innocent and well-behaved as they lounge together. Cute, right? I myself can even admit they are totally adorable, but on days like today I have to wonder how crazy I really am to think I will come out on top, the equation looks more like 1 cat + 3 dogs + 1 baby = one frazzled mama. Really, it is usually not so bad and we get by, but today, oh today, me and I walked out into the family room after getting her all dry and cozy after a fun time in the bath, she didn't even cry when having to get out of the water. I was feeling like Super Mama and began stacking the pillows just so in preparation for nursing my little lady before what I was sure would be a snuggly nap for her and a little free time for me. In a last step of preparation I fetched myself a large glass of cool water and sat it on a tray near the couch before trying to get to the couch myself. That's when I nearly tripped over a cat who refused to move and when nudging her to the side that sweet swirly dog you see above decided to pounce, as he tends to do, causing a flurry of chaos as I see my water crash to the ground with glass and water flying every which way. I was a patient girl as she waited for her meal and I hurried to grab towels and gather glass out from under four sets of curious paws. I quickly cleaned up and all was well, another cup of water was fetched, in one of our few plastic cups this time, and I was finally able to scoop our girl back up for her meal. A few minutes in and I hear another crash, looking over to see Jasper's bowl broken to pieces, food and slivers of ceramic all over the floor, a cat looking down on her work from a perch above and an always hungry chihuahua trying to get at the food himself. I soon finished nursing I and moved on to sweeping up the latest in the furry path of destruction when what do I hear but an ornament fall to the ground as a cat goes rocketing off across the room. Oh dear.

Those moments, those times of seemingly endless chaos and clean ups are enough to keep a head spinning, but I am doing my best to turn them around. Rather than letting these occurrences send me into a state of stress, I am choosing to look at them as lessons in patience. This will not be the last time a glass will break or my day will be thrown off by something unexpected. So, I calmly clean up the mess, and then the other. I keep moving the ornaments up higher and higher and I hand out a cuddle here and a head scratch there and try my best to let it all go, to do what needs to be done and realize we are all just living our lives, all of us following different agendas, but sharing the same space, and it's better I practice patience with the animals now before our girl is making messes of her own. Really, I am lucky, for glasses to break, for a home for them to be broken inside of, for clean water for drinking and a plentiful stack of towels for cleaning up said water when it is spilled. Patience can be a tricky one to get a handle of, but it seems I will have plenty of chances to practice.

Sara

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Slice of Life: Take 3





swirly bag of bones / lights that warm my heart every time / someone has been working hard / holding on to autumn a bit longer / delicious cold weather foods

I am learning more and more to just let go, to give up any idea of a schedule or strict to-do list and to just tune into I's rhythms and my own, and also ours together. There are still chores to be done and projects to be completed, but I'm finding that they follow a new sort of timeline, one that accounts for sudden bouts of cluster-feeding or an impromptu cuddle session in bed, one that is better suited to keeping me sane. Plus, just when I think there is some sort of routine it changes once again, as is the nature of making home with a little one. Better at this point to have no expectations and just ride the waves as they come because just after a night of very little sleep a night like this last one will come along and give me the much-needed hours my body was craving. You just never really know what's around the next corner and I'm starting to appreciate that as a good thing.

Sara

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Slice of Life: Take 2



Moments on Instant Film

Little miss seems to be having quite the growth spurt as the past couple days she has wanted nothing more than to eat and to stay snuggled against me sleeping all day and night. If I move her for even a moment it seems the instant she realizes our skin is not touching she cries out for me. Obviously this has made for a lazy week of lounging and snuggling, but I decided early into it to give in and enjoy this cozy time with her. Plus, her little nose is kept just close enough that I can reach my lips down to give it a little kiss, and her hair is at just the right angle for my hand to run through it. If she wants her Mama, I'll be here, snuggled around her for the rest of the day, browsing the internet between taking in whiffs of her milky breath and strokes of her squishy little cheeks. I don't think that's a bad way to spend my day.

But later, when E is home, or if I decide to strap her into a carrier, I will escape to the kitchen to whip up a pumpkin cheesecake and to make myself a cup of tea while basking in the happiness that is a much needed four-day weekend with my loves. We may not have much when it comes to money or material things, but we have so much love for each other, and I don't think it gets much better than that.

Sara

Monday, November 19, 2012

Answers and Reflections


A couple of days ago Lauren over at Crumb Bums nominated me for a Liebster Award. I think that basically means she asks the questions and I answer, so here ya go!

Pretty Ladies

1. Favorite band/musician?  There are so many songs that set things right in my soul, but one band that holds a special place in my heart is The Mountain Goats. There is a day I remember with such clarity. I was lying in the yard of the intern house during my stint at a farm animal sanctuary in upstate New York. With a pen in one hand, scribbling thoughts into a journal, cows grazing to my left and hens pecking to my right, sun shining down and warming my skin after a couple of rough winter months of working outdoors, and with The Mountain Goats playing on my portable speaker, I felt more at peace and more happy than I had in years. That moment provided me with so much clarity at the time.

2. What is the household chore you secretly enjoy (or don’t mind) doing? Anything in the kitchen. Although we have a dishwasher in this home and I very rarely wash our dishes by hand I actually really enjoy doing so. Really though, most things in the kitchen are enjoyable to me, cooking dinner, baking, making pickles, dishes, organizing, just about all of it. I really hope for our next home to have a large warm kitchen that can become the hub of our home.

3. If you had to choose one place to live for the rest of your life, where would it be? This question is tough for me. So many places tug at my heartstrings, but the one place I always long for is New York, upstate of course. My months spent there were so wonderful, but not only because of the work I was doing, I really fell in love with the land. With rolling hills, gorges, and abundant lakes all of my needs were fulfilled, the hills and gorges perfect for hiking and the enormous lakes perfect for kayaking. I think I could really be happy there for a long time.

4. In lieu of the upcoming holiday; pies: pumpkin or pecan? I'm going to go hide under a table for protection and then say I'm not really a big fan of pies. I am starting to come around in my older years as I find the good quality ones, but this season I'm sticking to making a vegan pumpkin cheesecake and calling it a day, a very tasty day.

5. What are your favorite things to place atop a burger? First let's talk about the burger. I need a base of a handmade black bean burger and lightly toasted whole wheat bun to wrap it all together. To top that beauty give me a crunchy leaf of romaine lettuce, a few slices of avocado, a few quality bread and butter pickles, and a smidge of organic ketchup, a bit of spicy mustard or some veganaise depending on my mood.

6. Do you believe in ghosts? I really don't know. The whole idea of ghosts is kind of confusing to me, but I'm also afraid to say I don't believe in ghosts and then having something creepy happen to me. I will say that I have memories of waking up in my first memorable home and seeing men and women dressed in victorian-like attire sitting around and atop our living room furniture across the hall. Thinking of this gives me shivers.

7. Have you ever broken a bone? If so, how did it happen? Not yet, hopefully not ever.

8. Wearing socks to bed: do or don’t? Normally it's a huge don't, but lately when our girl is sleeping with me I wear socks to keep warm as I'm unable to roll myself up into my usual cocoon.

9. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment thus far? Giving birth to my daughter. Having her at home and on my own terms and being able to tap into a part of myself that was so strong and capable was so important to me and something that I really needed. I'm sure I'll get around to sharing the entire story one day, when I'm ready.

10. What do you consider the funniest part of parenting? I'm not even two months in, so do not have many experiences to go pull from, but you know when you have spit up running down your body and a baby grunting out a poo while you hold her to your chest? How can you not laugh at that. Oh, and just this morning I let out a deep sigh as I felt liquid gushing down the front of me as I was certain she had a diaper leak and I was covered with pee. E took her to change her diaper and clothes but found her to be dry. What was really happening? Oh, you know, just a strong and steady stream of breast milk flowing down my body. Kind of hilarious really.

11. How do you take your coffee (this is important, you know, so I can buy you the right one when we hopefully meet- or meet again- someday)? Mmm. I like a basic soy latte. I had my first today after over ten months without one and it was delightful.

With an Old Friend

Thanks for the questions Lauren!

Sara

Friday, November 16, 2012

On My Mind, On My Heart

Our Kitchen Window

It is rare these days that I have the time to just sit and write, letting the words just come rather than planning ahead. With our girl keeping me very busy and my hands craving knitting needles and soft yarns rather than computer keys that leaves only a few spare moments here and there for straight from the heart sharing. Do you ever feel like one single rather simple thing would change your life in drastic ways? I am not speaking of happenings such as stumbling upon a large amount of money, but a small thing, for instance, my sister moving home. She is only four hours away right now, but often times four hours does not feel much better than forty, for it still keeps us from seeing one another very often, and now with both of us having newborn daughters at home and her already having another daughter to care for as well, our phone time is also drastically reduced. I hold out hope though because I know she will be coming back, it is just a matter of time. In under two years we will be walking through the Botanical Garden together with our kids in tow, we will be enjoying dinner together in one another's homes, we will be able to see each other on every special occasion rather than having to pick and choose. I dream of those days and while I might some day want to live in another state I don't know if we ever will because I also dream of big family picnics and seeing each others homes decorated for Christmas. I crave bringing the kids to paint pottery together and having my sister there for the birth of our next child. I am lucky that my sister is not only a sister but also a friend, and while we don't always see eye to eye on everything and both have strong personalities, I want to be able to see those eyes in person, even when we both may have a different view. Basically, I just miss her.

Otherwise, life is pleasant, it's pretty good, and yes, I can even expect a visit from my sister in early December. This week has left me feeling inspired to continue working toward living the life I imagine for myself and doing the things I love. Dinners have been prepared each evening, and while they are not always eaten while still warm it's a start. Knitting projects have been worked on a little at a time, with this ball currently in progress for our gal and many more projects being dreamed of. Dog bellies have been rubbed and a husband has been hugged and by golly, I think we are doing okay.

Sara

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Slice of Life: Take 1





I's wall above her dresser/changing station / little elephant legs / baskets of books / another corner of her room...slowly coming together / cotton and wood toys for our sweet girl

These days my moments are filled with all things baby and I love just about every moment of it. My eyes are tired, my back can get sore, and with four pets and a baby our house can get to looking quite scary, but there is no stage of life I would rather be in. I am used to being under-slept, I have plans in place to strengthen my back, and if I don't get around to vacuuming the floor today it can always happen tomorrow.

Sara

Monday, October 29, 2012

Project: A Scarf for Mama

The week before our girl was born E and I traveled to my favorite local yarn shop to stock up on yarn for the hats I knit for him and myself and also two skeins of yarn for a special gift for my Mamba Jamba. Knowing my hands would be full once baby arrived I took full advantage of that week, finishing all three projects and burning through my yarn in about five days flat. Mamba's birthday was last weekend and when I first learned how to knit about a year and a half ago she requested "a big red scarf". So, for this birthday that is exactly what she received. 



As I am still very much a beginner I am slowly adding in new stitches and techniques as a way to challenge myself and to allow my knitting abilities to grow. This time around I found a beautiful pattern that involved cabling and gave it a go. I'm so glad I did as I love the results and had so much fun with it. I was so intimidated by cabling when I first picked up knitting, but I am so glad I added it in this time because I am in love with the technique and am shocked at how simple it is. Just goes to show that slow and steady can pay off and that I should be patient with myself, adding in more when I am ready and taking things stitch by stitch.

Sara

P.S. This pattern is called Irish Hiking Scarf and more information (plus a link) can be found on my Ravelry Page

Monday, October 22, 2012

Family Adventures: Shaw Nature Reserve

With relatively warm weather and a restless Sara this weekend called for an adventure. Since becoming Botanical Garden members early in the year and finding out about Shaw Nature Reserve, we have been itching to take a visit. Now seemed like as good of time as any to start exploring nature with Iz, so we bundled up, packed a lunch, and set off for the Reserve.


 The entire walk was completely filled with wildflowers, changing leaves, and scuttling squirrels. Iz might not be able to really enjoy it yet, but her Daddy and I were sure to take it all in.

All of the paved areas we came across had these wonderful imprints of various trees, foliage  and animal tracks. I thought that was really neat and something kids would really love as well.

Wearing our baby and the hat I knit just for him? Super hunky. 

This sod house was really interesting to explore (yes, you can go inside) and it rekindled my desire to take a visit to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage during one of their visitor periods. 

There was also a Tipi to explore. It will be so fun to come back here with Iz through the years and for her to learn about these different forms of shelter. 

 Inside the Bascom House we saw this rather large arrowhead collection that had been donated by a volunteer. I will always have a soft spot for arrowheads as hunting for and collecting them was one of my Dad's favorite hobbies and I will always remember those days of stopping by an upturned stretch of land and trekking through the dirt in search of these tiny treasures. 

It was wonderful being there with my sweet girl. I hope she will enjoy nature just as much as we do. I think we're off to a good start.





It was a great afternoon of exploring and we already can't wait to go back. We walked around for a couple hours, but only saw such a small slice of what Shaw Nature Reserve has to offer. With so many acres to explore we will be heading back in the Spring with a bigger baby and a bigger picnic basket. 

Have you been on any fun nature adventures lately? What kinds of things do you do with your kids to help in creating an appreciation for nature? I'd love to hear about it.

Sara

Monday, October 15, 2012

Long Days


I haven't had many moments of two-handed freedom to type here lately as I've had a little miss that is very in need of mama at all hours. This has also left mama awfully tired and exhausted so when there is time to type there isn't the energy to do so. She was doing well at night but the past couple she hasn't been going back to sleep so easily and has instead been up with bouts of what seem to be some pretty painful gas-induced discomforts. Poor gal just can't seem to catch a break with all of that, but we keep trying different things to bring her relief. Hopefully everything will work itself out soon because what kills me more than not having any rest is knowing she is uncomfortable and not being able to provide her with any relief. Advice and tips for helping our gassy girl are very much appreciated. We have homeopathic Chamomilla tablets, have been trying massages/positioning/etc, and I am this close to buying a back of The Windi, but I also think a lot of it will just be us continuing to do these things as her system works on figuring it all out. I only hope it happens quickly because our girl could use some relief and Mama could use a bit of sleep.

Sara

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Busted

My computer decided to conk out on me yesterday so the other postpartum update I wanted to post will have to wait. I'm trying this blogging from my phone bit but it is slow going and not nearly as much fun. Luckily, E is a computer technician so he has already ordered parts and will have Goober Machine back in action before too long. For now Iz and myself are snuggled up on the couch while she sleeps and I read The Happiest Baby on the Block and eat chocolate covered pomegranate seeds. I'm loving life lately and the whole being a Mom gig, definitely glad I signed up for that one.

So, until I'm able to write more I do have one question for anyone who wants to chime in: Halloween costume ideas for Iz?

Sara

Monday, October 8, 2012

Giving Myself Time


The past two days have left me feeling a bit overwhelmed and emotional. My roller-coaster had stalled for a bit as we began to find our rhythm, my hormones had some time to gather their heads, and I had gotten used to E being back to work, yet Iz has begun having little spells each day where she is inconsolable and being her mama, well, that has been rough for me. Wanting to comfort her and give her what she needs but not being able to find that magic key is rough, so very rough, so I hold her, rock her, nurse her, bounce her, walk around the house with her and when E is home we take turns doing such. There is nothing I would not do for this sweet little human and I only hope that with time we will continue to learn each others cues. But for now? For now I will give myself time. Rather than putting unrealized pressure on myself to be and do everything I will just focus solely on being Iz's mama, doing what it takes to care for her and myself during the day and not worrying if nothing is completed beyond that. So, today, rather than hoping for a few minutes to pick up the house or pre-make supper, I cuddled her close and read aloud to us between nursing sessions and bouts of minor freak-outs. Focusing on snuggling her close and taking in her squishy little face pressed against my body, I was able to let go of the stresses and pressures I so often place upon myself and just enjoy every little inch of her beauty and love. For now I will look at this as my own maternity leave of sorts and if three months pass and I find myself needing a little kick in the butt, only then will I put on my biggest boots and give that rump a good whack, but for now, for now I'm just Iz's mama, and that is more than enough. 

Sara

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fatherhood Suits Him Well


Deciding to become a parent was easy for me as I always knew I wanted to be a mother. The only questions in my mind were: Would my body allow me to become pregnant? Who would I be creating these children with? Luckily, nearly five years ago I met the man that would be my answer to that second question. E came along and right away I knew we were a wonderful match and also knew I could see myself having a family with him. His compassion and sensitivity are nearly equal to my own and his even-temper and relaxed attitude inspire me constantly. Luckily, through working on my health and focusing on preparing my body, I was able to become pregnant pretty quickly, and at that point had both of my questions answered, we would now become a family. 

What I couldn't anticipate was how E would awe me as a father. Prior to her arrival, E worked tirelessly preparing our girl's room, worked hard each day of the week to pay the bills, and helped care for our home, furry crew, and his pregnant love in a huge way. He would bring me cups of tiny cubed ice from quik trip, prepare meals for us between working on a project and doing loads of laundry, and still find time to spend one-on-one with me, talking, playing games, and just being close. He attended birth classes with interest and helped to prepare for our home birth and I's arrival in every way he could manage. Throughout labor and her birth he was constantly by my side, helping me along with his words of love and encouragement and nurturing me with drinks, snacks, and touch when I would allow for it. But, when I really saw the father he would become is the moment she was placed into his arms for the first time.

E somehow held it together as our girl was born, as I shed tears, laughed, rambled, and was in a state of disbelief. He looked on with such love and support, but after her cord was cut and I was needing to get up for a moment I placed her in his arms for the first time and saw his eyes fill with such raw love and emotion for his tiny daughter. She was immediately comforted by his warm embrace and seemed right at home in his arms while he seemed right at home having her there. From that point forward he has continually impressed me with his dedication to her and I. There is never guilt or pointing fingers in our home, but a constant stream of support and love in both directions, much of what I owe to E and what he has taught me. He brushes away my feelings of guilt for him having to prepare meals, do laundry, and settle into this new role while still going to work each day. Rather than allowing me to feel that guilt he reminds me that I am working hard too by taking care of our daughter with constant feedings and attention. If I need to cry he allows me that time without pressuring me to give an answer of what's wrong or making me feel crazy. And when I see him holding our baby close? My heart swells and my chest relaxes as I know she is right at home in his arms, as it should be. 

I look forward to seeing them grow together, watching him teach her how to use tools and do laundry, watching them play together, hearing her call him Dad or Papa or whatever title they land on. Growing up I did not have a normal father-daughter relationship and while I love my father for who he was and what he gave to me, he did not have a daily presence in my life and I was never really certain what having a "normal" father was like. I look forward to learning that from E and from watching him and our daughter together. I have no doubts that he will blow my mind and continue to inspire me as we take this journey together. I is so lucky to have him as a dad and I as my partner-in-crime. I will do my best to assure we never take him for granted.

Sara

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Me, Myself and I: 1 Week Postpartum

 Just a few days before Izzy's arrival.

In yesterday's letter to I I touched on how she is doing, but how is the lady who pushed her hefty hiney into the world? To answer that, for being just eight days out from the big event, I think I am doing pretty well. While I only tore some surface tid bits (use your imagination) I didn't have any stitches at all and for that I am thankful. That entire area is still a bit tender but getting better every day and I don't anticipate the discomfort lasting all that long. I'm eager to get out and walking, but will ease into that slowly and give my body the time it needs even if it's hard to hold off. 

Otherwise, the first three or four days post-birth my entire body felt like I had been to a devil of a personal trainer who was out to make every muscle scream. My entire upper body was so sore that I could barely lift my heavy mason jar water jug with one hand and my legs were feeling awfully noodley. Thankfully that has all passed and although standing from certain positions can still be a bit tricky due to the aforementioned tender bits, my body has bounced back with relative ease. One area you can imagine hasn't quite bounced back is the belly, but I am actually really surprised by it. I have heard so much talk of having a jelly belly or still looking pretty pregnant post-birth, but I don't think mine is all that bad. Definitely looser and certainly more scar-covered (stretch-mark city) but I think with healthy eating, lots of water, and exercise when I am able I will be able to shape up that area too. Plus, I was working on getting in better shape prior to becoming pregnant so I'll be anxious to get back to that and to making myself even stronger and more physically fit than before. After giving birth to my girl I feel like I can handle so many physical challenges that I would let get me down before. I know I will not give up so easily in the future when it comes to challenging my body and my mind and I am thankful that labor and birth were such powerful things for me and were healing and restorative in so many ways that I needed.  

Other physical things to note: The boobs are large and in charge and making milk like champs. My skin is so much clearer now and that is a blessing all it's own. I had horrible skin while pregnant, so it's amazing to see it clear up so quickly now that she's here. 

But now, on to the emotions. Whoooa buddy am I an ever emotional lady. My blood is of a variety that already lends itself to being super emotional, just ask my brother who has been known to cry at a Hallmark comercial or two in his time, but boy oh boy are the emotions on overdrive now. From being overly tired, hormonally rollercoastering, and handling all of the challenges that come with being a new mom, E going back to work, taking care of a baby and four critters, and just trying to figure it all out, well, there are some tears that come with all of that. Most of the time all is well and I chug along through the day like a champ, changing diapers, slinging milk, and soaking up every inch of my little love, but when E walks in the door and the night starts setting in it gets a bit trickier. By then my energy stores have dwindled, my belly is most likely growling and I am just so glad to see my husband that it all comes flowing out. I don't feel depressed, just exhausted and teary and I know this is normal and should also balance out like everything else. 

All in all I feel like I'm doing pretty well for where we are at and have to remind myself it has only been a week. I am trying to focus on the little victories and to remember that this time will pass so quickly and soon be a distant memory. I try to remind myself to hold my girl close, enjoy these precious moments, and let the not-so-pleasant ones roll away. Just today I successfully drove our girl to her doctor's appointment all on my own and we made it safe and sound and without much stress along the way. That small step is the first of many that will get us out and about exploring the world together, helping me to find my new normal.

Happy to be a mama and emotional as can be.

Sara

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cousins

My sister, her husband and their two daughters hurried to St. Louis from Kansas City this weekend to meet little Iz and to see us all. It's really tough to be apart but so very wonderful to have had this time together and to have our babies side by side. They are so adorable and loved being next to one another.

It was so funny to see them together as Iz is larger than M even though she is five weeks younger. So strange to go from holding my squishy little gal to holding her less-squishy cousin, but also very wonderful to be holding that little sweetie once again. It might way too long before we all see each other again, but so fun to imagine them growing up together and thinking ahead to all of the adventures to be had.


So much love.

Sara

Friday, September 28, 2012

Recovering, Loving & Baby Wearing

Thanks to everyone for the love and congratulations upon announcing our girl's arrival. We are all doing well and recovering slowly but surely. I actually feel pretty great for having given birth just those short few days ago, but am still looking forward to feeling up for walks around the neighborhood as a family and for sitting on non-cushy surfaces. It shouldn't be too long. 


Today I dove in and gave the Moby Wrap a try. E had worn it the other day with much success, but this was my first try. After a little frustration at trying to figure out what to do with this long piece of material I figured it out and am so glad I did. Little gal loves it as she loves to be close and snuggly as much as possible and I love it as I can have my hands free while still continuing to snuggle her. I'm even able to type with two hands so I can actually check in with you all. Perfect!

Plus, we took our first trip out of the house to run to Target for some necessities and little miss did great. AND, when we got home her and I were able to bake the blueberry muffins I have been craving. Granted, I'm not snuggled up on the couch giving my body a break, but this whole baby wearing thing gave me just what I needed today and I am definitely on board.


Well, time to go scarf down some tacos and smoothies and chug a gallon of water. Seriously, I'm even more of a camel than usual these days. Hope everyone is doing well!

Sara

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ten Tid Bits

1. Our animals are super weird, but with the change in the weather our cat is finally acting somewhat sane again which is a huge relief. She still does things like tackling her brother into forced head baths, but that's part of her charm.


2. Last night I thought it might be go-time for having this baby, but that was a false alarm. I'm glad it happened though because it helped a bit more in the mental preparation department

3. My food has been super lame lately and I have the urge to indulge in every delicious food this weekend. I just want to eat every wonderful thing ever to exist. Realistic? Maybe not, but I'm sure I can scrounge up a few things.

4. We have been moving little things into Nugget's room and while I think we'll let the rest of the decorating and such happen a bit more organically as time passes and we gather and arrange things, I'm happy to have a happy little place to call hers.


5. I have been thinking of my post-baby plans a lot lately and right now they consist of caring for her just the best I know how, but also focusing on my creative pursuits (sewing, knitting, writing, drawing) and making sure to do things that stretch my brain. I don't think little one will mind me reading aloud from adult books, so long as I do it with varying inflections and that is definitely something I can manage.

6. I know I don't have any pants that are going to fit me once this baby has arrived and am starting to wonder what I'm going to wear now that the weather's changing, but am craving a warm pair of corduroys and a cozy cardigan for starters. Guess I'll need to figure that out.

7. I have been a knitting fool this week, having already knit a scarf and a hat for myself and making it halfway through a hat for E today. It's nice to be challenging myself with new patterns and to have something to keep me productive and busy. I'm very glad I pushed myself to take that knitting class last year and always find myself amazed at what you can do with some yarn and sticks. I have some trickier projects on the horizon as to challenge myself to learn more...now if only I had an endless knitting supply budget.


8. Things are going pretty okay for us in a way that I feel I can relax and really enjoy this time in our lives. Far from perfection or from a place of totally carefree comfort, but I feel like we will be okay and that everything will work out one way or the other. Plus, we will always have each other and that is the most important and essential thing of all.

9. Unless our baby makes a sudden and speedy appearance in the next seven hours she will officially be born in the fall and that makes this lady super duper happy. I was hoping for that all along.

10. Truths from Ina May


I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. We don't have anything planned other than a midwife appointment and doing whatever strikes our fancy, so it looks like it's going to be a good one. 

Sara

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Focus on the Positive


I challenge myself to start focusing on the good in my life. This isn't always a problem for me as I have worked long and hard at trying to live a life of positivity, but recent worries often have me talking about stresses when in the company of friends rather than focusing on the good things. Our society at large seems to be victim to quite an epidemic of this, with everyone joining together and talking about the struggles, which is helpful and often therapeutic, but less often are we joining together and focusing on all of the good that is in our lives despite the struggles. I wish this would happen more often and will try a bit harder on my end, for there is so much to be thankful for and to find joy in even on the days that it all seems so very overwhelming. What do you think?

Sara