Thursday, June 25, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday

Our big summer vacation kicks off tomorrow!  The PNW has been calling for us to come home, so go home we shall.  It obviously goes without saying, someone will be at our house, blah blah blah.  So don't be trying to sneak into our vegetable garden or anything, ha!  Here's my (sometimes) weekly five...   As always, thanks to Karli for hosting.

I haven't been drinking much coffee lately (crazy, I know), so my Keurig has been neglected.  That is, until I strolled through Target the other day and spotted some Tazo Passion Iced Tea K-cups!  Liam's cake pop consumption is going to go drastically down now that I don't have to hit Starbucks for my passion iced tea fix!

A few years ago I spotted some ceramic berry baskets from Sur La Table, but never made the purchase and always regretted it!  So when I discovered this berry box I snatched up a few for myself immediately!  They would also be a perfect summer hostess gift!
One of my new favorite essential oils is Frankincense.  I add a drop to my moisturizer before rubbing it in each morning.  I swear it gives off a nice natural glow for the entire day.  It's especially nice on the days on go sans make-up!
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale kicks off on July 9th, and I am just giddy about it!  My mom & I somehow managed to snag an 8am appointment on the first day of preselect!!!  I don't do a ton of shopping throughout the year, but tend to go big for the whole family at this sale.  Plus, I'm excited to have an itty bitty to shop for again this year!

Liam loves taking pictures on my phone, and I love looking through them even more!  It's fun to see things from his eyes and what he chooses to capture.  This week I gave Liam my phone in the car in an effort to keep him awake, and he snapped pics of both Liam & I from his viewpoint!  They make my heart happy!

TGIF friends!
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Monday, June 22, 2015

The Recovery

If you have been keeping up at all, you've probably noticed that I have had one of thee fastest recoveries from childbirth ever! It has been amazing. I've kept that high from Finn's birth for weeks, and may even still feel that post baby glow. Of course the glow also comes along with plenty of emotions, tired eyes, & a fair amount of spit up stuck in my hair. But that is to be expected! I'm sure there is a small portion of my quick recovery that is due to this being my second baby. However, I mostly believe that it is because of my natural delivery. I was able to receive all those natural, feel good hormones for that emotional stability, & my lack of injury (no repairs) made the physical recovery a breeze! One of the most incredible things was that my milk came in only 19 hours after delivery! With Liam it took nearly 3 days, so you can imagine my surprise when my not-even-day-old baby was nursing and all of sudden milk starting pouring out. Such an amazing moment, especially since I knew what to expect this time! 

Since the delivery went so smoothly, an hour after Finn's birth I was literally asking when we could go home! While my discharge papers were ready to go quite quickly, we had to wait for Finn to pee & poop to make sure all the plumbing was working, and that took forever! Almost 24 hours actually. It was the most frustrating hospital stay ever since we were so anxious to get home to Liam. They poked & prodded Finn far more than we wanted in those extra hours, and it quickly began to feel unnecessary. Both Conor & I were pretty unhappy with our hospital stay towards those last few hours. We really started to challenge and turn down their "schedule" for another heel prick or pulse-ox check for Finn when there really was no real medical reason for concern. When If we have another, we will most likely have a home birth. I love the idea of laboring, birthing and, most importantly, recovering at home! 

I had a very long recovery with Liam that involved lots of assistance from others. Since we were somewhat prepared for that to be the case again, Conor was completely amazed at how quickly I felt just like my old self. He gave me the you're-crazy eyes for practically jumping out of bed and maybe pushing myself a bit more than I should have. He started taking pictures of me doing things that we never would have thought I'd be able to do right after birth. Here he was baffled to catch me crouching on the ground taking pictures of my boys together for the first time at the hospital! I think it took me 1-2 months to be able to move my body like this with Liam, but here I am just hours after birth...!

The quick recovery has especially been a blessing in regards to Liam. I loved that he could crawl right on top of me as soon as he got to the hospital. And I was practically back to all regular activities with him by two weeks after Finn was born. I was climbing up bouncy slides at 3 weeks PP & hiking by 4.5 weeks PP. And since Finn has been an easy, mellow baby, it barely feels like our family slowed down after he arrived. The perfect little addition to our family!
Now, while all this sounds so wonderful, it still hasn't been a complete breeze. There a few things that aren't back to "normal", which make me still feel stuck in the postpartum phase. I only have about 8 lbs left to loose, but I'm pretty sure that my hips & rib cage haven't shrunk back down one bit. Any dresses that zip up the back will not zip at the top, & none of my pre-pregnancy shorts or pants will button. Well actually they do button, but then it's "hello muffin top!" I know that I just had a baby a mere 7 weeks ago, and that this is expected, but it's still incredibly frustrating when I feel so good already! My body was back to its pre-baby size far more quickly after I had Liam. But I'm learning to love & accept it as is right now. 

 Aside from the physical, there's also the emotional. The baby blues hit me a bit later this time, not until around 2 weeks postpartum. With Liam I was an emotional mess about his exhausting & difficult birth, so obviously I didn't have that to deal with this time. Nevertheless, having two kids is an emotional adjustment in and of itself. I find that evenings are my challenging time...when I feel a bit sad. I think it's because I finally have a chance to wind down from our day and that is when my mind can wander. During the day, my boys take every ounce of me, & I am completely focused on them. Nighttime is a time for reflection, and sometimes I find myself feeling a bit sad. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but it's there from time to time on my mind. I don't feel as though I'm struggling with PPD, just the typical case of "baby blues" that can sneak up on any of us while going through this time when all the hormones are finding their new balance. Nevertheless, it can still be hard to process those emotions. Sometimes I know that I'm being ridiculous, but I can't change how I feel. There are days when I feel as though I am completely rocking this mom-of-two thing, but others I feel like I'm just not enough. Not enough of a mother, because I can't parent both boys individually exactly as I would want to. Liam doesn't get all of my attention anymore, & Finn doesn't get the pleasure of all day snuggles & staring into each other's eyes that Liam had as an infant. Some evenings I go from putting one to bed and then the other, only to have one of them wake up again shortly thereafter calling only for mommy. Those nights can be exhausting! There are also days now when I feel like I'm not enough of a wife. The house isn't as clean as I'd like... dinner is rarely planned before Conor is home... and somehow there is a seemingly endless list of chores, such that even our usual time alone in the evenings just can't happen. And other times, I feel like I'm just not enough of a woman. This is more about not having that "me" time or doing things for myself as much as I should. I have books I'd like to read, blog posts to write, fitness goals to reach, etc. But don't think for a minute that all this isn't worth it. I know it is; I feel how important each moment together is for me and my boys and I am overflowing with pride in how well they are both growing and developing. 

While the blues still sneak in ever so often, I always "check in" with Conor, my mom, & friends to let them know what's on my mind. Their support is an incredible thing and always helps me to see all the good & happiness. Because I LOVE being a mom of two! Motherhood is my greatest & most fulfilling accomplishment! Life couldn't be sweeter! I'm almost ready to say goodbye to being "postpartum" and move on with raising my boys!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day 2015

We had quite the relaxing Father's Day, and that's exactly how it should be!  Just like last year, we decided to head out for brunch.  But now that we have a toddler who wakes around 7am, there was no possible way we could hold off until 11:30am, which is when Utah deems it okay to have morning cocktails.  So our brunch was sans adult beverages, but instead included pie!  We tried out a new to us breakfast spot that was famous for their pie.  Key lime pie after breakfast... yes please!
Next we hit the farmer's market for some fresh produce.  Our garden is flourishing, but I still like to hit the market for all the fresh fruit.  It's still early in the season, but the cherries we picked up were so scrumptious they felt like eating a bit of dessert.  The temps were hitting over 100 degrees, so we filled up the kiddie pool, turned on the jambox (as well as the US Open since it was Father's Day and all, & spent the afternoon splashing around.  Conor also picked up some squirt guns for he & Liam.  While I'm pretty against toy guns in general, the squirt guns were too irresistible on such a hot day!

The evening ended with a barbecue & popsicles!  I would call the day a win!  I think I brag on Conor enough on the blog, but he truly is a special man.  I knew the day I married him that I had a lifetime of happiness ahead of me!  While I always suspected he would be an incredible father, I never could have fathomed the dad that he has become to our boys.  He is completely hands on & a true partner with me in parenthood.  I wouldn't want to be on this journey with anyone but him.  And he has given me the greatest gifts of all in my two boys!!!

And if you are wondering where little Finn Ryan was, he pretty much slept the entire afternoon!  Apparently he decided that 3pm was a nice little bedtime.  I was pretty sad not to get a picture of all the boys, but not sad enough to wake him, ha!

Happy belated Father's Day to all the other incredible men out there.
My own father included.  I will be celebrating with him in less than a week!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The One That Made Me Cry

A hike. Yep, a hike. A hike made me cry. Tears of joy. Tears of accomplishment. Tears of relief. 

Last week (when Finn was a mere 5 weeks old), I decided to head our for my first hike with both boys and no Conor. I was meeting up with friends, so although it still seemed a bit daunting, I knew that I was ready! The hike was to Bloods Lake which is 2 miles out & back. I did the hike with Liam last summer, and he barely needed my help then so I knew that this was something he could handle. Since I wear Finn, it's not easy for me to carry Liam as well. But he has proven himself to be quite the little hiker. Each new day that we go into the mountains, I am more & more impressed with his abilities. The drive out to towards the lake is a lengthy one, and since toddlers are all on their own schedules, my friends & I were all going to be arriving at different times. I was feeling particularly brave that day and decided to head out on the hike by myself. I snuggled Finn into my ring sling, threw on a backpack with all the necessities (a decently heavy pack), and grabbed hold of Liam's hand. As we started our hike I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself! Here I was with my brand new baby, young toddler, & we were hiking all by ourselves. Yay me! I may have been a bit cocky... 

We made it to the lake easily & quickly, but our friends were no where to be seen. Eventually I noticed them on the other side of the lake and decided to simply hike around to them. I had heard you could hike around the whole lake (but had not previously done so), so I figured it was no big deal. I was surprised to find a decent amount of snowpack on the far side of the lake, but it was only spotty at first; therefore, I assumed we could just walk around the patches. As we walked further into some deep woods, the trees got thicker, the slope steeper, & the snow deeper. Panic was slowly starting to settle in. I was in way over my head! Turning around seemed impossible, so I kept trudging forward staying as calm as possible, knowing I would catch up to friends soon.

The snow was up to my knees at times, so this was obviously an issue for Liam. By some crazy miracle, Liam happily hiked along & Finn kept sleeping. Liam never complained & never seemed to worry or be scared. He learned to grab onto trees to help pull himself out of the snow as well as balance himself. My forearms were burning as I held his other hand. There was no longer a trail to follow, and we were high above the lake. I finally made it within shouting distance to my friends. They told me the terrain was awful and to turn around, but that thought made my want to cry. I was fairly certain that I was far more than halfway through this sketchy part, so I wanted to continue and simply be done as soon as I possibly could. It was quite a scary moment not knowing how I was going to safely get us off this steep hill! Both of our legs were scratched up & our feet were soaking wet & cold with snow. I could not let me mind wander to all the dangers that could come upon us. Luckily, one of my friends brought their mother along, so she was able to hike up to us and help Liam down so that I could ever so carefully take care of myself & Finn!

When we finally made it to level, dry ground I burst into tears. I could finally let my emotions run wild. I had held it together for over an hour, but now I could look back at what we just conquered & weep! It was a confidence builder to say the least. Four years ago, I never would have believed that I would be where I am right now. As a mother, and as a woman. Never would I have thought that 5 weeks after having my second baby, I would be taking two young boys on an intense hike through the mountains, practically solo. It was an incredible feeling of accomplishment. I could not have been more proud of Liam. Beaming with pride at that one!
This picture was taken on our hike back up to the car.  You can see the backside of the lake that we conquered.  Lots of trees, lots of snow...real steep!  But mostly you can see the exhaustion & adrenaline in both L & I.  We did it!  And we did it together!  So many emotions.  All the feels.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Conversations with My Toddler

Happy Tuesday!  I can think of no better way to start the day other than a video of Liam explaining all the little details of the library.  My book lover could go on & on about this...and he does! 

Conor took this video while I was in the bedroom nursing Finn.  So while I missed it live, I laughed so hard I cried when Conor showed it to me later that evening.  Oh how I love this boy of mine!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tea Time

We had a sick little toddler on our hands this past Saturday.  My poor little boy snuggled up to me as close as possible all Friday night, constantly telling me "I want to be in your arms."  Break my heart! He had a fever & kept complaining about his tummy hurting, so of course we tried to do anything we could to help.  He wasn't eating or drinking much, so I decided to make him a special cup of tea.

He was overly excited about having his own mug and made sure to tell us that the tea would be hot so we would have to cool it down.  Even sick, Liam is always on point!  So I brewed some ginger tea, then added a bit of honey and the extra special ingredient...breastmilk!  Oh the benefits of having a nursing baby again!

Watching him crawl up onto the couch with a huge mug in his tiny hand was one of the cutest moments.  It's incredibly hard to see your child sick, especially when you feel helpless.  So I was excited to see a smile come across his face as he sipped his tea just like a little man.

Unfortunately, he literally only sipped on it.  And only a few sips at that.  While it tasted absolutely delicious, he wasn't that into it.  So instead, we took a bath together in "Mama's big bath"!  This worked out perfectly since I was in desperate need of a shower/bath as was Finn.  So baby brother joined us as well and even had a little snack in the tub.  It was special moment.  Crowded but special.

It's not how I pictured we would be spending our Saturday,
but it was still full of moments that I will cherish.  
Sometimes a lazy day with family is just what everyone needs!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday

There's nothing sweeter than nap time on a Friday.  Well, maybe happy hour on a Friday!  We have no plans other than a little birthday bash on Sunday, so cheers to some relaxing of sorts!  Here's my (sometimes) weekly five...   As always, thanks to Karli for hosting.

After oogling over some Tory Burch sandals forever, I decided that I didn't want to spend that kinda money.  Instead I opted for a pair of these little beauties, and I love them.  They can be casual or dressy and are already getting plenty of wear!

Although I haven't hit the 30 mark yet, I am starting to feel old.  I just can't keep up with the kids anymore, specifically....Snapchat.  I just don't get it.  And I really don't need any more social media!  I'll just keep my Instagram, please & thank you!  And I'm sure I'm going to be behind as a blogger, since I'm not cool enough for snapchat, but I just can't bring myself to use it.  Now hopefully I'm not eating my words in a few months!

After a recent trip to library, I found the cutest new book for Liam's collection: The Winter Train.  We're obviously not in quite the right season for it (it would be perfect around Christmastime), but we still love reading it.  The story is adorable, and the illustrations are beautiful!

I am still loving my essentials oils and am always finding new ways to use them.  Recently I discovered the etsy shop Lava Essentials which has EO diffuser lava bead aromatheraphy jewelry (wow that was a mouthful).  I love the simple designs and really want to buy a little something.  I love the idea of having a particular oil close to me throughout the day!  Plus the lava stones (which are a stone of protection, strength, & fertility) are quite pretty!

Lastly, Dawson's Creek is coming back!  Reruns on ABC Family starting soon!  Oh my little 90s heart is beating like crazy!  Not that I have any time to watch TV, but you can bet I will be catching at least a few episodes.  #teampacey

TGIF friends!
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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rocky Mouth Falls

This past Saturday, we decided to tackle our first hike as a foursome!  Finn has fit right into our usual family activities, so heading into the mountains seemed like no big deal!  However, we didn't get a very early start that morning...  We slept in (8am is the new 10am) & then of course it still manages to take much longer to actually leave the house than I ever anticipate.  So instead of heading up into one of the canyons, we checked out Rocky Mouth Falls which is a mere 15 minutes from home!

I have no idea how we've lived here for almost 2.5 years now and never checked out these falls before!  They were gorgeous!!!  Liam's first thought, " Mama, it's so white"!  Yes, that it is.  The water was frigid, but that didn't stop Liam from dipping his toes in.  He climbed over all the rocks, eventually finding a nice mud hole.  My boy loves mud!

Outings like this are some of our best time spent together.  I've mentioned this before, but we literally spend hardly anytime at home.  It's more a place where we sleep & eat.  The outdoors are endless, & Liam has plenty of exploring to do.  He seems happiest when he has all the freedom in the world.  One thing Liam does not lack is confidence, and I believe that is due to all the adventures we take on a daily basis.  He is always challenged mentally & physically.

It's important to me that Finn gets the same exposure to the outdoors, even if it's only from the sling for now.  Taking a nearly 5 week old up to some waterfalls was just no big deal.  The loud splashing of the water kept Finn lulled to sleep, although he did wake long enough to enjoy staring at some trees & a bit of the water splashing up on his face.

Liam & Conor did some extra climbing and exploring, while I had some alone time with just Finn.  There were no distractions; just me & him.  It was my favorite part of the day.  And I love how Conor snapped this picture of us.  To me, there is nothing more beautiful & natural than a nursing baby!

Monday, June 8, 2015

My Favorite Things: Newborn #2

Since we are practically heading out of the newborn stage (which makes me a bit weepy), I thought I would share some current favorite things.  Some for mama & some for baby.  Although right now we are one in the same.  Yours, mine, & ours little boy.  None of these are the standard necessities; instead, just some fun little things that I'm enjoying.

1. Pink Robe - This was perfect for wearing in the hospital (especially since I forgot to pack any pants!); but I also love it for lounging at home.  Easy access for nursing!  It's amazingly soft & lightweight.  I especially love the length!  I have had a hard time finding a robe that was above the knee but at the same time didn't let my butt hang out the back.  Bonus points:  I think it photographed beautifully for our newborn lifestyle shoot!

2. Cake Lingerie Nursing Bra - This brand makes the absolute best nursing bras & tanks!!!  And having already nursed a baby for 2+ years, I feel like a bit of an expert on nursing apparel.  I'm still wearing the same tank that I bought when Liam was a newborn.  This particular bralette has a razorback, so it's perfect to go under all those summer tanks!

3. NOM Nursing Tank - I don't have this particular tank, but I do have one of this brand's other nursing tops.  With Liam I was pretty opposed to actual nursing clothes, but this time around I've opened up my options.  NOM tops are perfect for around the house and bedtime as well.   The only reason I don't necessarily sport these all over town is due to the side ruching...  Wonderful for that postpartum belly, but I don't still want to look pregnant either!

4.  Bamboo Swaddles - I am fully aware that Aden & Anais swaddle blankets are nothing new to write about; however, their bamboo ones are a complete game changer.  They are far softer than the originals, and frankly, I don't think I'll ever go back.  They are bit lighter which makes them perfect for a summer baby.  The only downside is they don't swaddle quite as tightly, but I'm okay with that!

5.  KicKee Pants Coverall - I'm pretty obsessed with all things bamboo now, so KicKee Pants is my new favorite baby brand.  The material is so soft & stretchy, which is actually what you want to be putting on your newborn.  It's makes dressing them far easier!  Plus they have adorable prints!

6.  Bamboobies - Yep, bamboo again... Oh how I wish I had these when nursing Liam!!!  They have a waterproof side making them far superior to all other reusable nursing pads. I'm a huge leaker (and was for over a year with Liam), so these are a must.  The heart shape helps them cup your breast (yes I just said that), making them far less noticeable under clothes.

Now tell me, what newborn favorites am I missing out on?!

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