challenges of life with a newborn

Dear Diary: The difficult first months of motherhood

The first few months of motherhood were pretty rough for me. Was it all bad? Absolutely not. There was a ton of joy and amazement among the struggles but as I look back, I tend to generalize by describing it as a difficult time for me. Even then, in the middle of it, I don’t think I knew how hard it was because you just DO it, there’s no other option. And I was so in love with my child and would do whatever was necessary to keep her happy and healthy. I of course KNEW that it was going to be hard, I didn’t have any fantasy that it wouldn’t be, but I had never done it before – so yea, some things came as a shock!  Read more

creative ideas monthly baby photos

Monthly Baby Photos: 10 creative ideas!

Monthly Baby Photos: 10 creative ways to document your baby’s first twelve months

FACT: Your newborn baby will grow and change more in their first year of life than any other time.

It’s not as if we needed a fact to give us a reason for documenting our amazing and fast-developing babies. But it’s true – and it’s why the monthly baby photos are so popular and fun. It’s incredible to be able to see how much a baby physically changes in their first year by looking at side-by-side progression photos.

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progression baby photos

Monthly Baby Photos – Documenting the first year

I knew I wanted to document Ellie’s growth and progression in monthly baby photos but I wanted to do something other than the standard number on a onesie. Don’t get me wrong – I think those are super adorable but I wanted to see if we could come up with something a little out of the box. I tend to like to complicate simple things, even when I have a brand new baby apparently…

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post delivery body changes

My Post-pregnancy Body – a month-by-month diary of the physical changes my body went through the year after giving birth

“Motherhood is glamorous,” said no one ever.

I remember reading Jenny McCarthy’s book Belly Laughs” on our babymoon in Cabo and dying of laughter as I related to all the insane things that were happening to her body during her pregnancy. Seriously, The Blue Twinkies and Pig in Pasture chapters had me falling off my beach chair.

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first birthday theme party

Lemonade Stand First Birthday Party

Now that I’ve started planning for Ellie’s second birthday party, I figured it was time to share details from her first birthday party. In other words, procrastinating for 11 months is long enough.

We turned our backyard into a Lemonade Stand and served “elLe-monade” (get it? wink wink) – regular and spiked of course, because aren’t first birthday parties about the adults too!?

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my baby and me

The (unplanned) moments in between

I forget exactly how the quote goes but it’s basically about the moments in life that matter being the ones that happen “in between” or when you’re not expecting or forcing them. Although I’m a planner and am particular about things being the way I like them, I realize more and more that the good stuff comes when plans aren’t being made, when moments just happen on their own. I had a small example of that happen today. I was taking pictures of Ellie quietly eating her snack by the back door (a rare occurrence that must be documented). It was a cute moment that looked like it could make a cute picture. But what happened next was even better.

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mommy and me beach pictures

Motherhood + Confidence

This Mother’s Day will be my second. I remember being surprised last year at how much the holiday meant to me, and how happy it made me. I was in the Mommy-club, and surprisingly I felt like I belonged, like I earned my spot. My baby was almost 9 months old, I was starting to settle into our “new normal” and the first couple months were fortunately just far enough away to start becoming a blur. So on that Mother’s Day, I felt good. I felt PROUD.

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early potty training

“Yay Ellie!” – The third stage in Pre-Potty Training

Ellie is 19 months today (side note: I’m going to be sad to stop counting months soon!) and for the last week or so has been peeing on the potty just about every time we sit her down on it. We do it strategically – like after bath when she always seems to need to pee – or after her milk, right before bedtime. This picture was taken a week or so ago – when she was good about staying seated for awhile. Now she’s in the habit of jumping up mid-stream to celebrate: “Yay Ellie!!!” she says while clapping her hands enthusiastically. She’s usually not done, but is excited to dump the peepee into the big potty (“Ellie do it!” but if she did herself there would be pee everywhere) and then start over. Last night she did this 3 times, and peed each time. The fact that she can cut her peeing into thirds is pretty impressive, haha. She doesn’t go on the potty at daycare but they’ve recommended we start potty training her in the next couple months.

I wrote about previous stages here and here.