Yesterday my little fam and I drove to La Conner, Wa to see the daffodils in bloom. We normally go a little later in the season to see all of the tulips, but we had the perfect opportunity to get away yesterday, so we took it!
We had a blue-sky drive, our son Leif was chatting in the backseat playing with his toys while Miles and I listed to Trampled by Turtles. We laughed and shared some of our day dreams. While driving on Interstate 5, I was humbled, as I am on every drive through our beautiful home state. The diverse landscape is truly staggering, in a matter of 30 minutes we saw three different mountains (Rainier, Baker, Pilchuck), the Olympic Range, the Puget Sound, and fields of various crops. Spring in the Pacific Northwest is an incredible thing to behold.
My husband is an avid photographer. Some of my favorite shots of his are of the La Conner tulip fields. We try to go every year. Here are a few of Miles’ shots from yesterday.
All photos in 2016 were taken with Nikon D750 and Nikon 80-200MM F\2.8.
Last night after nursing my son I held him in my arms for a few extra minutes. The tension in my shoulders melted as he wrapped his arms around my neck. I breathed in the fresh baby smell that radiated from his warm body after his bath. The scent of banana bread baking wafted through his nursery door. Over the gentle clanging of my husband scrubbing pots and pans, an acoustic version of Disney’s When You Wish Upon a Star played on the radio. I gently began to sway with my son as his body melted into mine and he drifted off to sleep.
In that moment I felt gratitude more profound than at any other juncture in my life. I wished upon a star two years ago for a baby and the universe answered. At that precise moment I felt completely enveloped with the love that surrounded me. My incredible husband was cleaning up the muffin mess that I had made after he worked all day so that I could put our son to bed. One of the many ways he said, I love you throughout the day. My eight month old son told me he cherished me by resting his head on my shoulder; gently giving over to sleep in my trusted arms.
I knew I was experiencing a blessing.
One day when my son leaves the house or he takes a bride of his own, I will resurrect this dance and reflect on that one time I was his whole world. I will remember a time when I wished upon a star and the universe answered. When your dreams really do come true, rejoice.
My son will be 8 months old on March 10th. I can utter, “Hello eight months and goodbye eight months.” in one breath. The time went by in one inhale and one exhale. It’s redundant and cliche to exclaim how quickly time flies when you have a baby, but there is a reason it’s repeated day in and day out by parents on your Facebook feed, it’s true.
I guarantee you will spend a good portion of your day frantically Googling every stage your baby is going through to make sure you and baby are up-to-snuff. Let me save you some time, the odds are strongly in your favor that you will not kill your newborn baby. You will find a wide range of opinion on how you should or should not raise your child. Here are 14 pieces of advice from one new mother to the next:
Kiss your little one often and snuggle them closely, you will hug a slightly different version of them tomorrow. You can’t spoil your baby with affection..
If you fall asleep exhausted in bed with your baby, they will be just fine. You will wake up with the first movement or sound your baby makes. There is much more of a health risk to you, your heart may fall out of your mouth in a panic, but your baby will be fine.
Sleep training is a mean experiment to drive parents crazy! Don’t stress about sleep training and don’t measure your success as a parent by the hours your baby sleeps. (But seriously try to sleep when they do, you deserve it.)
Breastfeeding is one of the most selfless things you will ever do. It’s fucking hard, it’s stressful, it hurts and it’s okay if you swear while your sweet little bundle is ripping your nipple off.
It’s okay if you don’t breastfeed.
The people who judge you for the method you choose to feed YOUR baby are assholes and not worthy of your time or consideration.
You may feel depressed, scared, or like an utter failure at motherhood. From what I hear these “postpartum” feeling will reappear for the rest of your life.
Get ready to feel guilty every day.
Forgive, forgive, forgive. Forgive yourself AND your partner.
Treat yourself: get a pedicure, take a walk alone, go have some girl time. Give your partner alone time as well.
Buy your favorite bottle of wine and stay up late with your partner after baby has gone to bed and watch a sitcom that makes you laugh.
It’s okay if you and your partner don’t have sex for the first six months postpartum, you will again…. one day. Women recover from the PTSD of delivery at different rates and in different ways, start by testing the water.
If your baby doesn’t poop for a week it’s actually okay. Why does nobody tell you this?
Embrace the smiles that you and your baby share. Remember the way they look at you with sleepy adoration when you feed them before bed. Take Polaroids of moments in your mind, you don’t have to capture every moment for social media.
Nobody can prepare you for how fast the time will go by, don’t waste it trying to be the perfect mother, just be their mother, I promise it is enough.
This is a tutorial on how to make a picture wall based off of my expertise.
Step 1: Buy frames from craft store. (I buy all of the discount frames and just go with what I get.) Most of the time the frames just work together and I like more of an eclectic look anyway. Buy other design pieces that you can hang on the wall. I like to to go with rustic and metal frames so I like objects that complement this look. For example: horse shoes, old keys, barbed wire. You can make almost anything “go” on your picture wall, just stick to similar design elements.
Step 2: Print pictures in accordance to frame sizing. Make sure you pick pictures that are taken with a quality camera. Camera phone pictures are awesome for Facebook and Instagram, but when those suckers are blown up you don’t want to see grainy photos on your wall. EVERY FLAW WILL BE EMPHASIZED.
Step 3: Then comes hanging the pictures. Ask husband to do this.
Step 4: Ask him again.
Step 5: Accept the fact that he is not going to do it anytime soon and if you want all of the pictures sitting in their frames collecting dust off of your floor then you are going to do it yourself. They call this step “acceptance”.
In our house DIY stands for do it yourself if you can’t get the hubs to do it for you.
Today was one of those days that my husband Miles had other things to do in the garage (tinker and pound stuff). So I decided to tackle the hanging portion myself.
Step 6: The main tools that I use are a pencil, hammer, and nails. Since I can feel my husband’s judgey eyes when I collect my tools I grab the tape measure and level to save face (even though I probably won’t use them). To be fair, when my husband met me I was hanging everything with thumb tacks so I don’t have the best reputation for “safe” hanging.
Step 7: I don’t make any plans on how all the pictures are going to go on the wall. I just start on one end and work my way down the wall. Technical right? I eyeball the shit out of each picture and make a mark with my pencil for where the nail will go and then I drive the nail home.
Step 8: Repeat step 7 until all of your pictures are on the wall.
Step 9: Drink a beer while my husband corrects every little thing that bugs him about my winging it technique. Hey, you got to have balance in marriage (and apparently your picture wall).
Do all of these steps and you should have a pretty decent place to hang your pics.
Another picture wall that my husband and I did together:
Every day I look at my son and think to myself, he will do great things. I don’t know if every mother feels this way, or if it’s just my ego, but I am pretty sure my son is the best.
Does every mother feel her child is the next Einstein? I don’t know, sometimes I see my son playing with his toys moving beads on a wire from point A to point B and he does it in such a precise and calculated way that I have to wonder if every 7 month old puts that much thought into moving beads. Will he be a brain surgeon? A master engineer? Who can say with those bead moving skills?
Does every mother wonder if her child is going to be the next Mozart? When my son “sings” along to Caspar Babypants and sings lalalala over and over again in such a wide range of pitch I have to wonder if my son is the next musical prodigy. Will he play the piano? Mandolin?
Does every mother wonder if her baby is going to be the next Jesus? I mean who does he get those angel eyes from? Definitely not me but wait, his Dad’s eyes are pretty amazing. And when he gently pats my chest while he is nursing and holds his hand over my heart I know he is better than I ever hope to be and his love and compassion are incomparable.
All I know is that he has already mastered the role of son, to me there is no one better.