welcome ... enjoy yourself

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

maternity pictures

A couple weeks before Baby T was born, we had a little maternity shoot on my coworker's land.  The idea had been my other coworker's -- who is also pregnant!  Well at the time of these photos she was also pregnant.  She just welcomed her little baby boy yesterday, and he is sooo adorable.  And Baby T is very excited to have a little baby buddy.  Anyway, back to the photos.  

I'm really grateful we have these photos to remember this special time.  At the time it seemed like pregnancy would last forever, and I couldn't even picture the actual labor or having a baby.  Now I look at these pictures and am reminded of how temporary that time was - just like all other times I've experienced that seem like they'll last forever.  It makes me want to take pictures of Baby T every five minutes.  But I won't...probably.  

My two favorite photos: above ^^ and below vv.  

I also love this one.  Valencia has been such a great friend and companion throughout our pregnancy journeys.  It meant so much to have a friend to share all the different stages - the morning sickness, the first kicks, the stretching, the aches, and now the labor stories.  So we took a picture to symbolize all that love -- a heart.  Ha!  Valencia was just amusing me because I thought we should recreate a photo I saw on Pinterest.  Now that's a good friend. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

thoughts on motherhood (week 1)

Today we're celebrating one week since we welcomed Baby T into the world.  Which means (crazily enough) that I've been a mom for a whole week!  Here are some random reflections on the beginnings of my transition to motherhood.

- I had been warned that the first week of motherhood would be a roller coaster ride, and it truly has been.  Between the physical recovery of the c-section, side effects of pain medications, sleep deprivation, and general exhaustion from labor recovery -- my body has been through the ringer.  Hormones have strengthened all the emotional ups and downs of the week.  The downs have been tough, but the ups - oh man, they have been fantastic.  Holding my baby to my chest, breastfeeding, studying his little body, seeing others love on my baby, realizing over and over again that he is mine -- my heart has never felt so full.

- The night we came home from the hospital, I had a minor break down.  Sleep deprivation from five sleepless nights hit me hard.  All the feelings seemed to roll over me at once.  I cried on Paul's shoulder, and the only thing I remember saying was "sometimes I don't even remember what we named him!"  Paul responded "at least we have lots of nicknames for him."  I chuckled through my tears - a theme for that first night at home  So far that's been the lowest low, but I'm sure it won't be the last time I cry on Paul's shoulder about something related to motherhood.

- I love being on this side of labor.  I love that we have our baby, and he's not going anywhere.  I love getting to know him and watching him grow.  

- I've had a few extremely proud mama moments so far.  The first was hearing someone in the operating room announce my baby's weight: 9 pounds 8 ounces!!  Yeah baby!  Another was when my doula called me a warrior following my labor.  Laboring with Baby T was the hardest thing I've ever done and to have it recognized was a huge boost to my spirit (other people in my birth team recognized it too - she was just the first I remember hearing).  A third came when we went to Baby T's first doctor's appointment, and we found out he had almost regained his birth weight and was up seven ounces in three days!  It's the little things :)  And everytime Baby T latches or we have successful nursing time, I feel like the proudest mama in the world.  

- Speaking of being proud, I think the part of my body I'll be most proud of from now on will be my c-section scar.  It sounds strange, and extremely unglamorous, but this scar will be a reminder that  was able to overcome one of my biggest fears to bring my baby safely into the world.  I surrendered and let go when I needed to, and it showed me I could let go of my ego and put my baby before myself.  It helped show me I have what it takes to be a mom.  

Paul took the picture above sometime in between getting my epidural and beginning to push.  Those were a special few hours hanging out and waiting to meet our baby.  

Monday, June 22, 2015

welcome baby t

I am so happy to announce the arrival of our little baby boy -- for the blog's purposes Baby T (like Mr. T except smaller and cuter).  Born June 16th, weighing 9 pounds 8 ounces and measuring 22 inches long.  Mommy and Baby T are both healthy and doing well.  

Labor and delivery took everything I had.  After forty hours of labor and three hours of pushing, my doctor told me that the safest option for delivering Baby T was a c-section.  I was scared and disappointed, so I took a few minutes to talk with my coaching team, and we all decided to trust the doctor and go through with the c-section.  Less than an hour later we met our little boy for the first time.  I loved all of his hair, felt proud that I had grown such a big, strong baby, and was also totally out of it from all my pain medications.  About an hour later I got to hold him for the first time and spent the rest of the night holding him to my chest and figuring out breast feeding.  It was the most surreal, most beautiful night of my life.  

For now we'll be relaxing at home and getting adjusted to life as a family of three.  I'll be spending most of my time feeding, sleeping, and commenting about how Baby T is the most perfect, most beautiful thing I've ever seen.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

i miss blogging

First, no baby yet.  If you're following along still, you might have thought my week long absence was due to having my baby.  Not so.  Baby still seems content to wait a bit longer to greet the world.  I've been really busy at work the past couple of weeks, and work and naps and laying low with Paul and a bit of baby prep were enough to eliminate any extra energy I had for blogging.  And it's made me a little sad.  

I've loved sharing photos and stories on this blog over the past three years, and I hope that doesn't end for a long time (or at least as long as blogs continue to exist).  But whereas I used to have time and energy to post five times a week, from now on I think I'll be lucky to get up one to three posts a week.  And I'm ok with that...errr I'm coming to terms with that. 

I've had big dreams for this blog over the years, but beyond updating my blog format, I never had the time to put into really growing and developing it.  Other things always took precedence.  Especially as I became more passionate about my job, I was spending less of my time in front of the computer and thus spent less time blogging.  I eventually decided that I didn't need my blog to be big or successful for it to still be enjoyable for me to write - and for some people to read.  So as long as it makes me happy, I'll keep it going.  

I don't plan on stopping blogging when the baby comes, but I also haven't figured out what blogging will be like with a baby.  Paul and I have decided not to post full pictures of our baby on the internet - including this blog, Facebook, and Instagram.  I've read enough about baby photo safety on the internet that I thought the risks outweighed the benefits of sharing photos of our beautiful babe online.  I imagine most of the blog will continue as normal, and then the baby related posts will follow the example of bloggers like Rebecca Caridad -- who posts photos of her little boy, but always slightly obscured for privacy.  It seems like that arrangement will work for us.  

And I think that's all my ramblings for today.  Thanks so much for reading and following along.  And I promise to at least post something about the baby when he or she is born.  Probably any day now!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

late spring (part 2)

I love how spring can feel like a well choreographed dance.  Just as the snow is starting to melt, I know I'll be able to find daffodil and tulip leaves poking out of the ground.  Soon after that the first hosta leaves emerge.  The daffodils bloom, the tulips bloom, and soon after that the lilacs take center stage and the alliums and iris follow.  There's a bunch of other flowering plants that I haven't learned the names of yet that I appreciate watching too.  I try to learn to recognize a few new plants every year.  It's a fun game to play while walking the dogs.  

Next up will be the peonies.  Arguably the big spring show stopper.  Unless you're my mom. Then day lilies take the prize, hands down, every year. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

thoughts on pregnancy (37 weeks)

Paul likes to take pictures of me like the one above.  And then I make weird faces and throw off his pictures like in the one below.  This somehow relates to my thoughts on pregnancy...maybe because life is about to be completely different, and is even a little different now, but I don't think somethings (like my weird faces) will change.

Other current thoughts on pregnancy (in no particular order):

- Somehow Paul and I will both continue to be ourselves as parents but also be completely different.  That boggles my mind.  

- We got confirmation this week that baby is head down but is giving no other indication that it's ready to enter the world yet.  That's a-ok baby.  You can stay warm and cozy for a few more weeks.

- Small aches and pains continue.  Swelling also continues.  No cause for concern, just all the regular fun stuff that comes with the third trimester. 

- We took our last baby class this week: caring for baby.  I remembered a lot of the information presented in the class from baby-sitting and taking care of younger siblings and cousins, but there's something different about getting ready to care for your own baby.  I felt a bit of that panic I've heard people feel on the way home from the hospital -- like, wait, I'm qualified to keep this little person alive?  Shouldn't I have gone through some kind of rigorous basic training - with drill sergeants and ropes to climb?    

- I think Paul is having sympathy nesting symptoms.  Which makes me extremely happy because he is getting all the work done that I had hoped to do but never had the time or energy for.  I'm very grateful to be going into this baby adventure with such a great partner. 

- Speaking of Paul, we've been making time for lots of little mini dates the past few weeks.  We arrived early for a dinner with friends so we could have a (non-alcoholic) drink together.  We've been running errands and going grocery shopping together (dorky but it's our thing).  We've been watching some of our favorite tv shows again (we love you Rick Steves!).  And we've been taking the dogs on long walks around the neighborhood.  All the dates are so simple, but they feel special because we know it's all about the change.  Very soon it will be the three of us hanging out and not just the two of us. 

- I've been able to continue with my prenatal yoga class and walking the dogs, but most other exercise has stopped for me.  I miss jogging and skating and just moving quickly in general, but I'm glad I can find some way to keep moving.   

- This week was the first week where I felt ready for the baby to be here.  I still have a lot of work to finish up at my job before maternity leave starts, but otherwise, this baby could get here at any time and I would be totally happy with it.  So much of pregnancy is about faith and patience.  You have faith that the baby will be healthy, that the birth will go as hoped, that you'll be able to figure out how to be a parent, that you won't go crazy from sleep deprivation, that the baby will continue to grow up healthy and happy --- but you really have no idea. You're essentially signing onto a contract that will change the course of the rest of your life, and you don't get to see the contract before you sign it!  You just have faith that it will all work out and that you'll be able to handle whatever parenthood throws at you.  And while you're pregnant, you're just waiting behind the start line with no idea what you're going to face.  I'm ready to not have to have faith in the beginning of parenthood and to just know how it's going to be.  I'm ready to meet this little baby and get the parenthood show on the road! 

Friday, May 22, 2015

this week in the garden

It's that time of year again, when I can share community garden updates!  I planted seeds several weeks ago at our first community garden work day, and they're all starting to pop up!  Saying that "I" planted them is not exactly true.  What really happened was that friends of mine were kind enough to plant all my seeds for me as I directed where I'd like them.  But it was still a surprise to see where all the seedlings popped up.  I still have no idea what and when I'll be able to harvest things with the baby coming, but I still love any chance I have to watch things grow.  

First, several varieties of carrots.  A carnival blend, some yellow ones, some white ones, and some beautiful dark orange ones.  I don't remember any of the actual names of the varieties, but I have the packages to remind myself when it comes time to harvest.  

Second, lots of beets!  Again, several varieties none of which I really remember.  I know there's an early variety, an old French variety, some dark purple ones, and of course, lots of golden beets.  

Third, a section of kale and swiss chard.  These will have to be thinned pretty soon to allow room for growth.  All the sprouts will go on a nice egg salad sandwich.  YUM. 

A view of all my (vegetable) babies.  You can beets in the immediate foreground, my onions, carrots, kale, and lots and lots of lettuce and some radishes in the background.  

This sage is from our community garden herb circle.  I'm always pleasantly surprised when perennials come back after a hard winter.  

And this little strawberry flower is from our strawberry bed.  I'm going to be keeping my eye on this plot a lot in the coming weeks.  Because those strawberries need to be in my belly, not the squirrels'.