Getting bigger every.single.day. Everywhere we go people comment on how big he is for a three month old. It seems like we went from comments of “Oh he’s so tiny” to “Wow, he’s so big” overnight. Born at 7 lbs and already 17 and change (exclusively breastfed and I’m kiiinda impressed by that, not gonna lie). I’m constantly reminded that Parker was 6 feet tall by the time he was in 6th grade and that my little guy will only be littler than me for a very short time. It makes me squeeze him a little tighter, hold my gaze a little longer, willing him to stay small in my arms as long as possible. (If only so I don’t have to keep buying him new clothes! His cute Gap pajamas sized 6-12 months that my sister in law gifted us lasted all of three weeks. Oy.)
I’ve read a lot of books and articles on child-rearing and listened to more than a few well-meaning friends/family members/strangers give advice on what I should and shouldn’t do when it comes to caring for a baby and I’ve had such nagging worries in the back of my mind that I’m doing certain things wrong. But then today, the most amazing thing happened. I had an enlightening moment where I fully realized that I don’t have to listen to anyone. I’m the grownup here and I can raise my kid how I want!
I don’t need to stop nursing my baby to sleep, I don’t need to kick him out of my bed for fear that he’ll never leave, and I don’t need to let my baby cry because he “has to learn” that he can’t always get what he wants. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all parenting method and what works for one family might not work for mine – and that’s totally cool! It seems so simple (because it is) but being a first time mom is full of self doubt and answer-seeking. I’m sure I’ll still have plenty of that, but really coming to terms with the fact that Parker and I are the only ones who decide how to care for our child was so empowering and liberating. I’m the grownup. I’m the mom. I make the rules. (I mean, Parker and I make the rules together, but whatevs :)
I read this article yesterday (which I loved) and it contains the single best piece of parenting advice I’ve heard: Read your baby, not the books. Mind. Blown.
We’re so happy, this little family of mine, and doing so great. So for now, I’m going to soak this in and let it be.
Charlie started gripping things on purpose this week, which feels really big and exciting. Also: peek-a-boo is hilarious to him and lots of my day is spent popping out from behind a napkin or my sweater to make him laugh.
Loving this sweet time. Three months is fun. :)
So, over the years I’ve seen several bloggers post 52 week photo projects, usually as a series capturing their children and now that I have child, I see the appeal of capturing little moments of your babes every week to look over at the end of the year. So this is our first image in the series that I hope to maintain in 2015. Baby in a bear suit!
I bought this bear suit when Charlie was about a month old. All they had were 6-month sizes so I bought it, thinking it would be huge on him initially but would last all winter. But our little guy is surprising us every day with how much he’s growing and this just-turned-3-month-old Charlie is just about to outgrow his 6-month-old bear suit. Such a shame since it’s so cuddly warm (not to mention UH-DOR-ABLE). I’ve had stopped buying him those fleece footed jammies that are so warm because he outgrows them so fast and is already almost too big for the 9 month size in those and I refuse to buy any bigger. My big boy won’t stop growing!
Oh hi, I haven’t blogged in forever. How about a recap of the past couple months, now that we are officially at the end of the holiday season and moving right along in to 2015.
Thanksgiving was super low key and just the three of us – exactly as we wanted it. We had planned on watching Thanksgiving-themed movies all day, but only got through Son in Law (a CLASSIC) because we really just wanted to pay attention to Charlie (look at that FACE!) and cook. I didn’t get many pictures of the day at all, but this is our boy getting some morning daddy cuddles on Thanksgiving, right before the cooking began. Such a sweetie.
Did I say it was just the three of us? I meeeeeeean…just because it’s only us three doesn’t mean we should miss out on the Thanksgiving feast! A few weeks before Thanksgiving, Parker and I decided to do the Whole Foods thing and just order some turkey and sides and call it a day. “I don’t want to have to cook,” I said. “With the baby, how could I possibly make a big feast?” I asked myself. Well, two days before, I rallied and decided this was going to be the best meal ever and it totally was. And we had leftovers for days and days and finally got so sick of everything that we had to throw stuff out. But it made the holiday feel real, rather than just another day at home, us three.
Oh and this pie. Pumpkin pie with my secret ingredients (triple the spice amounts and add cream cheese – shh, secret!) and a candied pecan topping. UH-MAZING. And I think Parker fell in love with me all over again that day because of this pie. It was the first time I made it and will be a keeper for sure. Also a keeper? The frozen pie crust at Whole Foods. Homemade is just not worth the effort when you have eleventy other dishes to prepare and WF has got your back. Truth.
This was Charlie’s Thanksgiving outfit. He got dressed to go for a long walk with his dad in the stroller so mama could get the cooking done. No family picture. Probably because we didn’t comb our hair that day. I may or may not have stayed in pajamas all day. I can’t recall; it’s not important. What IS important is that we had a fantastic Thanksgiving and I was feeling awful thankful for my little family and this little guy that has changed my world and made it so much better.
On to Christmas!
This wasn’t on Christmas day, but sometime in December. I mean…can you even stand it? I caught these two making eyes at each other after dinner one night. I managed to snap a picture before melting in to a puddle on the floor.
“Hmm. I’m thinking serious and contemplative should be the mood for these photos.”
“Nah, juuuuuust kidding, I’ll be cute!”
The crochet pants. The paaaaants! Aren’t they sweet?! They are from Etsy (this is them) and all babies need a pair in my opinion.
That face on the left? It’s just before a full on flirty smile (usually accompanied by some sort of coo) and it makes my heart skip every – single – time. Want to see the rest of my Christmas decorations?
This is my Scandinavian Christmas village but really it’s just plaster houses from Michael’s you’re supposed to paint that I left white and call “Scandinavian”. Sounds better that way.
FYI: Amazon sells these lights (here) that are flickering battery powered lights that turn on at the same time every day and turn off 6 hours later. So these little houses just magically lit up every day and made me happy when I noticed. They’re pretty close to the color of a real flame too. I’m picky about that kinda thing.
This was my favorite tree I’ve ever had. It sat in our house for a week undecorated because we couldn’t find the right lights we used to have (the ones we pulled from the basement were like, greenish in color?? No bueno..), so then we overnighted some from Amazon but didn’t order enough, then Parker drove around to three different stores one night and bought every single box he could find and NONE of them were to my liking (I know, so obnoxious) so then we overnighted more of the same lights from Amazon. Drama! But look how pretty it turned out.
(Seriously, Parker walked in with a huge box filled with like, 40 boxes of white Christmas lights or something and I was like, “……no. Those are too white.” HA! I’m glad he loves me. :)Let’s talk Christmas ornaments for a second. What kind of tree decorator are you? Do you have a different theme each year? Do you only allow a certain color palette to adorn your evergreen branches? Me, I’m the sentimental type. I went through a phase in the first years after college where we didn’t have any ornaments so we bought cheap, plastic crap from Target (the day after Christmas at 75% off for the next year’s tree a few times) just to fill the space.
But as the years have gone by, I’ve become more discerning in my holiday decor taste. A couple years ago, I started thinking about the ornaments I would want my children to grow up with. I wanted to start collecting ornaments that inspired that magical feeling of Christmastime, sparked imagination and wonder, and maybe had a story to tell. These above are woodland creatures that I fell in love with and are only sentimental because I love them, but I think they lend themselves nicely to the whole magic of the season part.
These are a sampling of ornaments Parker and I have picked up from our travels over the years. Where ever we go, we always try to get a Christmas ornament. Even if all we can find is something ugly that will inevitably stay packed in the box and not make it on the tree (case in point: our honeymoon ornament from Turks and Caicos – hideous!), we still buy it anyway. It’s a way to jog our memory every year of the places we visited and maybe offer fun stories to tell our kids as we decorate the tree. Sometimes we can’t find Christmas ornaments for sale so we have to get creative. That Seattle one is a piggy bank with a piece of twine strung through it. It’s kind of big and really heavy, but it’s one of my favorites. We have a lot of these, but here are ones I snapped pictures of. Left to right: San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, New York City, and Colorado.
Felt! This year I added felted ornaments and garland to the tree and I’m obsessed. West Elm had all of these adorable felted animals (I went back after Christmas and bought extras to maybe make a mobile out of for Charlie…we’ll see if it gets done) and this garland is from Minted (of all places!). I didn’t know they had a marketplace of items other than paper goods and I am SO in love with their 100% wool felted ball garlands. I have both the small ones and big ones on the tree. They became instant heirlooms the moment I saw them hung.
Wedding keepsakes for the romantic in me. That’s our cake topper I made and one of the cowbells everyone rang as we kissed (we got married in a hay field, which was a cow field when I was growing up, so.) We had a bunch of these left over and they all hang on the tree. I love the way they look, the memories they bring back, and the sound they make when you bump the tree.
Right now I only have these two, but I want to start collecting more ornaments like these – little winter wonderlands encased inside a globe or cloche. I think they are so sweet and enchanting to little minds. They will have to hang out of reach on sturdy branches for several years, but that’s okay.
Oh! And Charlie has an ornament too, but it’s still at the engravers so it didn’t actually make it on the tree this year (mom fail). It’s this brass polaroid frame ornament and it’s being engraved with “Charlie’s 1st Christmas” and the year. He doesn’t have to know it technically didn’t decorate the tree his first year. :)
I had the K and the P from years ago and was scratching my head for what to do for a C (I considered buying a soldering iron and some jingle bells and trying to make one…I’m ridiculous) but then! I had a jingle bell wreath ornament that I just cut to make a C and OMG I’m a genius. Also? I bought two of those stockings from West Elm two Christmases ago and they were still selling them this year so I bought one to match and then I went back after Christmas and bought three more at 70% off for future children so we all will have matching stockings. I hope that’s enough! (Did I just jinx my uterus?)
My grammy hand knitted all of these snow flakes and they are some of my favorite decorations.
The rest of the house was pretty low key, I wish I had garlands to string everywhere, but seriously. Charlie doesn’t give me much time to do these things. He’s a very demanding boss.
(Also, these two pictures were taken during the day, so it’s a bit jarring compared to the others, sorry!)
And a random assortment of holiday cheer by the front door for good measure.
This was our Christmas card this year! Minted printed these and I love how they turned out. I really wanted a nice family portrait (taken with a real camera, not an iPhone) in time to get these made, but it just never happened so we used a selfie from the Christmas tree lot and I kind of love it. It’s real life and it was a fun memory shopping for that tree, the three of us.
Also, I soo wish I had taken a picture of the envelopes. Minted now has an option to print addresses (recipient and return) with a caligraphy font and it turned out so pretty. I should have addressed one to myself to save, it was gorgeous. I wish they had that option when I was getting married, it would have saved SOOO much time (save the dates, invites, thank you cards…).
Of course, Christmas morning we had to get a family photo. Awkward and staged as it may be, it’s just the right thing to do. We took about 400 (not really…but really.) to get this shining gem of awkwardness:
Charlies face! Hahahaha! I love it. Coupled with me not looking at the right place (and the burn on my arm from a mishap with the oven the night before..) this picture just makes me laugh. But mostly it’s because of Charlie’s face that says “Oh gah, MOM hurry up!” Ah, Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
This was Charlie’s big present from us – the Merry Muscles door jumper. He looks thrilled, right?! Ha :) He’s still a little young for it, but he likes to hang out in there and I can’t wait for him to start using those chubby little legs to jump around. And for posterity, Parker totally won best gift giver this year. He gave me a ring (a want), a new camera lens (a need), perfume (a wear), and a book on Charles and Ray Eames (a read). I was not nearly as on top of it for him, but he didn’t seem to mind.
As for New Years Eve, Parker and I made Gordon Ramsey’s beef wellington (which is beyond amazing) and drank our favorite champagne. Of course by the time dinner was ready, it was 9pm and Charlie woke up fussing for milk (right as we were making our plates), so we had to eat dinner in bed, me laying on my side so he could nurse. I literally cut my steak while lying down with a child attached to my breast. And you know what? I’m so used to it, it didn’t even phase me. Or Parker. We just continued our conversation about how good the beef wellington was and how we have to make it every year from now on, except the kids can eat something else because this meal is ‘spensive and we don’t want to waste filet mignon on immature palates. We also debated the merits of staying up till midnight and if it was worth it or not. Ya know, totally exciting stuff. In the end, the clock struck 12 and we were both awake, but he out in the living room and me nursing Charlie in bed (again) and I didn’t even see a countdown on tv. I did hear lots of fireworks though, and imagined the wild parties going on around me but was quite content with my 11 week old babe cuddled up in to me. That’s where I was when 2014 turned in to 2015.
I don’t have any pictures, but it was a fun night. I’m glad Charlie was a part of it. I’m glad he’s a part of our lives. The end of last year was really hard at times, most especially because of losing Frank, our sweet dog (and gosh I missed him so much yesterday, realizing it’s been over three months since he disappeared, and watching everyone on social media reminisce on their year) but Charlie really has brought such a bright light to our lives. Every day is so fun and full of so much joy. I changed my shirt four times before 10am this morning from spit up, then got poop all over my shirt this afternoon from a blowout and I still think this whole mothering thing is the BEST THING EVER.
2014 was spent waiting for Charlie, then losing Frank, then trying to understand how to care for Charlie and care for myself and Parker, and then finally figuring it out and finding a groove sometime in November and sailing through December in a festive haze. I’m ready for 2015. I’m grateful for what I learned in 2014, but it’s time for a new year and all the promise of good things that lie ahead.
Happy new year. :)