One Thing: Where I share one thing that is making my life better or bringing me joy.
I love our library. Just a few miles from our house (2.1 to be exact), I have dreams of me and Fiona biking down to the library to five into books or story time or star gazing nights.
Just one of the branches of the Suffolk Public Library, Chuckatuck is easily the smallest permanent library I’ve ever seen, just 2,000 sq ft. And the cutest. The building was formerly the cafeteria of Chuckatuck High School (the building that is now Sauders Supply) and in 1989 it was given new life as a library.
It has everything a library needs: books, a librarian, a few computers, WiFi access, and a children’s section where littles like Fiona are invited to stay a while. Mondays (not every Monday, but maybe once or twice a month) are now my library day. The library is generally only open during working hours on weekdays, but it is also open on Monday evenings. Read more →
I watched my girl this weekend as she began grasping new ideas and learning new skills. She is so close to pulling herself up to her knees, given the chance. And she has realized that when she throws something, she just has to look over the arm of the chair to find it again. I love being witness to each new trick, each developmental leap. Ah, object permanence is such a wondrous thing!
But as I watched, I witnessed something that both amused and struck me.
Playing gleefully with her basket of toys, Fiona found a cloth book that unfolds into one long succession of “pages”. It’s a bit unwieldy for a baby when it’s all open, but she loves it anyway. Having pulled it out earlier, she found herself sitting next to the end of the book. She picked it up, but the book wouldn’t budge. She pulled and pulled on it, thinking surely she could lift it to her mouth to chew on (that’s what 7-month-old babies do, after all), but it wouldn’t work. She look plaintively at me to fix the problem, as though it was I who was keeping her from her desires. Or at the very least, I wasn’t helping fulfill them.
Unbeknownst to her, though, she was sitting on the book. Her own weight kept it grounded. I tried not to laugh as I watched her try with all her might, yet fail because she didn’t notice that she herself was the obstacle in her way.
It struck me just then, that perhaps that’s how God feels. Read more →
I have so enjoyed putting together a nursery for this little one, and those who will follow. Knowing I wanted this room to be gender neutral, both because we didn’t know the sex of the baby and because I want to be able to put multiple kids in one room, potentially of differing genders, I selected gray and orange as my colors. My “theme” if you will is woodland animals like foxes and owls — but truth be told, I don’t like any room to look too theme-y. So you’ll find I included a lot of geometric shapes and a variety of textures (I am such a texture person!).
My inspiration board helped me figure out what I liked and what I wanted to strive for as I pieced things together. It actually helped me identify what it is that I like — as opposed to just grabbing every “cute” baby item I could find (which, yeah, as a pregnant woman is sooo easy to do).
It occurred to me recently, while I was reveling in the thought that in 6 months I won’t have to pump breast milk while I work anymore (the bane of my existence some days), that that also means my exclusive breastfeeding journey will be over in 6 months. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been at this long enough for that to be true!
Before Fiona was born, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed, for all the reasons everyone wants to: healthy for baby, healthy for mama, inexpensive! I had read that it’s good to have a “goal” in mind. But when I thought about it, a year (so I wouldn’t have to purchase formula) seemed daunting but 12 weeks seemed so minuscule. So I went in with an overarching desire to exclusively breastfeed, which would mean doing this for a year, without any real date in mind.
Breastfeeding overall has gone very well for me. Fiona latched immediately after birth. I was sore for a bit, but that eventually eased. I started out with some oversupply issues (engorgement, “choking” baby, spraying/leaking, etc.), but that eventually settled down, starting around 6 weeks and finally evening off around 12. Read more →
It’s hard to believe Fiona is 7 months old already! She is officially sitting up on her own, and she’s working so hard on learning to crawl. She is very interested in food and loves to join our family meals (french toast appears to be her favorite so far!). She is happiest outdoors and first thing in the morning. She blows raspberries constantly and absolutely loves her toys!
Six months in I’m often getting ask how I’m doing. The whole mom thing, is it good?
The short answer is, yes. I love being Fiona’s mother. The baby thing comes pretty naturally to me (and I’ve had a lot of practice with 10 nieces and nephews!).
The long answer is, it’s complicated. The mom thing I’m loving. The work thing is great. It’s the combination that’s hard. I’m still figuring out a rhythm to being a working mom. How do I give my all at work and still have enough of me left over for this precious babe and Husband? Left over? What an awful way to word that. My family should be my first priority, Husband and babe come first. But in real life, they come at the end of a long, arduous day.
I managed to get out of the house this morning on time (because I woke up at 5:00), without spit-up on my shirt (this is a miracle), with lunch (yesterday’s because I never had time to eat yesterday), and breakfast already eaten (yay!). I felt like I was on top of it. I dropped Fiona off at her nanny’s and headed into work, where I promptly noticed something white all over my black boots, dust? No, spit-up. Lovely. I’ll clean it off as soon as I get to my office, I thought. But I didn’t. That spit-up went right back home with me at the end of the day. Read more →
O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.
Source: Renascence and Other Poems (Harper & Brothers, 1917)
These washable nursing pads are made of the softest and most absorbent materials, bamboo and hemp. They are so comfortable, I often forget I’m even wearing the the daytime ones. In a pinch I have had to use Lansinoh and Madela disposable nursing pads a few times, and they were FAR from comfortable and I was definitely NOT about to forget I was wearing them.
Overnight Bamboobies are effective even when Fiona sleeps through the night (which is 90% of the time these days), and that’s coming from a stomach sleeper! One time recently I forgot to put them on and, of course, I leaked right through my shirt…
So Bamboobies for the win this week!
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Now 6 months old, Fiona is curious about everything. She loves to watch movement and make sounds. She has 2 teeth, is accomplished at rolling over, and somehow makes her way wherever she wants to go. She has become an accomplished traveler, loves camping, hiking and the great outdoors. I hope she always keeps her sense of wonder about the world around her.
It’s hard to believe five months have already passed since Fiona joined our family, hard and yet easy. Because in some ways it feels like our family couldn’t be complete without her, like she must have always been a part of us.
She turned five months old today and I’m definitely feeling all the feels. Disaster struck the highways today (a bridge stuck open) and it took me twice as long as usual to get home. I only got to see my girl for about 45 minutes before she went down. But that time was so special. She ate and we snuggled. She played on a blanket on the floor while I ate. She showed off new tricks.
Fiona rolled over onto her tummy, something we’ve seen evidence of, but never got to watch her do, then she looked at us and grinned as if to say “Did you see me? Did you really see me?” Read more →