Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sweet Laughter


Last night while Mike was holding Chloe I snuck up behind him, poked my head over his shoulder and while looking at Chloe said "BOO". Chloe immediately burst into laughter! We continued to do this for 5 more minutes or so and each time Chloe laughed harder then the last which was making Mike and crack up. I love moments like this, when were all together just simply laughing! 

Last night I was feeling sorda grumpy but hearing my baby's sweet laughter, and seeing the happiness and excitement in her eyes put me in the best mood. It's amazing to me how something as simple as laughter could bring so much joy and happiness to me, how it can completely make me forget why I was even grumpy in the first place!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Song: Fade Into You


" I want to hold the hand inside you
I want to take a breath that's true
I look to you and I see nothing
I look to you to see the truth
You live your life
You go in shadows
You'll come apart and you'll go blind
Some kind of night into your darkness
Colors your eyes with what's not there. "

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Love This Pin


While I was on Pinterest this morning I came across this amazing pin about attachment parenting. I seriously love this pin and had to share it!

I Am Because...


I have seen this on lot's of other Mommy blogs lately and thought it would be fun to do it too!

I'm weird because...

:: I hate wearing socks and shoes
:: I love having clean clothes and doing laundry but I hate folding it and putting it away
:: I cant remember names for the life of me but I can always remember what someone is wearing
:: Pretty much anything can make me cry
:: Whenever I used to go to the grocery store and it was time to checkout I would have to pay for everything in a certain order. Ex: all dairy had to go together, boxed and can food, frozen etc..

I'm a bad friend because...

:: I'm not good about calling 
:: It might take me days to get back to an email
:: It takes me awhile to let someone into my life
:: Sometimes I cancel at the last minute
:: Sometimes it's hard for me to forgive

I'm a good friend because...

:: I'm a good listener
:: I would drop everything to be there for one of my friends
:: I am pretty good about remembering birthdays and important dates
:: I never take for granted the friendships I have

I'm sad because...

:: My family all lives so far away
:: My daughter is growing up to fast
:: Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to give
:: For all the children out there who are neglected and abused and who deserve to be loved and taken care of

I'm happy because...

:: God always, always takes care of me and my family
:: My sweet daughter Chloe
:: For my husband who has been my best friend since the day I met him over 6 years ago
:: This is the  first Christmas we get to spend as a family of three
:: Of this amazing community of Mom bloggers
:: I have such wonderful friends and family
:: I have a roof over my head and food in my belly
:: It's so fun to watch Chloe grow and learn and reach new milestones

I'm excited for...

:: Chloe's first Christmas
:: To get a Christmas tree and decorate it together as a family
:: To find a church we love and can get involved in
:: For my really good friend Erika and her husband Eli to welcome their first baby in January
:: To be celebrating 2 years of marriage in February
:: Chloe's first word
:: Moving back to Chicago

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Feeling Thankful

I cant believe Thanksgiving is already tomorrow! It's hard to believe that next month is December.....which means Christmas is right around the corner!! I don't normally freak out about the holidays but this is Chloe's first Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it's so important to me that I make the holidays special for our little family!

Last Thanksgiving Mike and I were in Chicago visiting my family. I was 3 months pregnant and so excited to tell the rest of my family and friends the exciting news. We went to my Grandma's house for Thanksgiving dinner and as everyone was eating we went around the table saying what we were thankful for. That's when I was going to tell everyone that we were pregnant! Finally it was my turn to share what I was thankful for, I remember feeling so nervous, and just as I was about to speak everyone started clapping and saying Congratulations!! I couldn't believe it.... my whole family already knew!

I thought it would be a nice idea to write a post about what I am thankful for, even though at times it feels like nothing is going right, I know I still have so much to be thankful for and that God has blessed me greatly!

I am thankful for....

:: God, and His undying love for me, for His forgiveness, and for all that He provides.


:: My husband, who has always been an incredible gift.


:: My beautifully sweet and perfectly made daughter, she has enriched my life in more ways then I can even say.


:: My family, who I love and miss.


:: My friends here in Seattle who have always been there for me and who have become my family.

:: The roof over my head and the food in my belly.

:: Being able to breastfeed Chloe.

:: Spending all day, everyday with my sweet daughter.

::: The way God made me.

:: All the simple things in life.

:: This wonderful community of Mom blogger's.

::Creativity.

:: My Family's health.

What are you thankful for? I'd love to know!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My 100th Post


This post right here will mark the 100th post I have written on this blog! It all started with my first post written over a year ago, How it All Began. I never imagined what a blessing this blog would be to me or how much it would grow and evolve over time. I never imagined how proud I would be of it and the joy I would feel while reading through each previous post, reminiscing over all the sweet memories made. This blog tells the story of how I became a Mother, the most rewarding yet challenging new chapter of my life. This is the story I am most proud of, and the story that I love to share with others. A big Thank You to everyone who has followed along on our journey, here's to 100 more post's!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Good Music: Fleet Foxes



I saw a couple other Mom bloggers doing Music Monday post's on their blog and thought I would join in on this great idea because 1). I am a huge music lover and 2). I feel like you can really learn a lot about someone through the music they listen to! I'm hoping to make Music Monday a regular part of this blog!

Here are the songs Helplessness Blues and Grown Ocean from one of my favorite bands, Fleet Foxes. I would Love, Love, Love to be able to see them live one day! Oh, and did I mention that their also from Seattle!

Friday, November 18, 2011

On My Heart: Co-Sleeping

-- Read article here: Co-sleeping Ad. --

I'm sure most of you have seen this co-sleeping ad which has been all over the internet recently. Basically the ad is stating that co-sleeping or bed sharing is just as dangerous to your baby as if they were to sleep next to a knife. I feel like the people who created this ad are very misinformed on bed sharing and that when done safely can be such a wonderful thing. We share our bed with Chloe and have been doing so since she was about a month old. We as a family love it, Chloe feels safe, we feel safe having her so close to us, and I am able to attend to her needs quickly. Not everyone is going to want to bed share, and that's totally fine but if you are going to bed share it's very important to do it safely.

Here is what I see wrong with the picture above:

:: The baby in the ad above is sleeping on its side rather then its back.

:: The bed looks to be very soft and the sheets and comforter look to be very fluffy and heavy.

:: The baby's head is resting on a pillow.

Here is how we safely bed share:

:: Chloe always sleep on her back

:: Our bed is firm 

:: We use thin bed sheets that are pulled tight across the bed

:: Chloe never uses a pillow

:: We each use our own blanket

:: I never fall asleep with Chloe on me or cuddled up next to me. We each have are own space to sleep in

Bed sharing is not for everyone but if it is something that you are interested in please do your research and practice safe bed sharing. Nothing is more important then the safety and well being of your baby!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

She Sits


Chloe can sit up now! I am so excited and so proud of her! We have been practicing everyday for about a month now and then yesterday out of no where Chloe started sitting up all by herself, without me needing to hold her up! It's so exciting watching her grow and learn new things!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On My Heart: My Marriage

I've written this post about a million times in my head, but every time I sit down to write it the words just wont come out. It's terrifying to be honest and vulnerable, to let people in, to show the world that my life is far from perfect. This blog has been an incredible blessing to me, and I'm so very proud of it, but its much to easy to paint this picture that my life is a fairytale.

I feel that God is calling me to be honest, to share my burdens with the world, no matter how terrifying it may seem.

My husband and I are going through something right now, something deep and scary and all consuming. We have faced many obstacles in our relationship and have made it through each one together, always stronger for it, but this, this thing that we're going through right now seems utterly impossible to get through.

It's so difficult to hear Gods voice in all this mess that we've created.

I'm terrified that we're going to look back on this time period a year from now and think to ourselves that what we we're going through then (now) is nothing compared to what we're going through right now (future).

I feel like God is allowing this crises to happen to wake us up, to bring us back to him and I want so desperately for Mike and I to get back to Him together, but by waiting for Mike I'm falling even further away from God. I need to make my way back to God by myself, and to pray for Mike along the way, to pray that he will join me someday soon. I need to think about myself and my daughter. No matter what happens to Mike and I, I want Chloe to have the best life possible and for her to know how loved she is.

I don't know what this will exactly look like but I know what I need to do.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our Lazy Weekend

This weekend we were lazy. We ate pizza and ice-cream, watched movies, slept in, let the apartment get messy and the laundry pile up, we cuddled, and played, and laughed together as a family. Chloe got to spend lots of time with her Daddy while I got to have a much needed break, and even though we did nothing in particular this weekend we still had a wonderful time together building memories that will last a lifetime! 

Outside it was much to cold and rainy and dark, but inside it was warm, and cozy, and filled with love.

I love lazy weekends!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

5 Months Old


Five months ago tomorrow my sweet Chloe was born. It's hard to believe that five whole months have already passed since that glorious day we met our daughter for the first time. It's incredible how much Chloe has changed since that very first time we held her in our arms. Everyday she is blossoming into her own little person, and I will say this over and over again.... it's the most amazing thing to watch! 

Chloe's stats:
Chloe wont have a doctors appointment until next month at her 6 month checkup so I'm not sure how much she weighs right now, but my guess is around 20-21 lbs and is around 26-27 inches long. Chloe is wearing size 9 months, 6-12 months, and 12 month clothing and is still in a size 3 in diapers.

Life with Chloe: 
It honestly feels like everyday my sweet Chloe is changing and learning so many new and exciting things! She is so fascinated with everything! I often find myself just staring at her in wonder and amazement as she is soaking up the world around her.

:: Chloe is always talking and loves to make lots of interesting noises.

:: She wants to touch and hold everything.

:: Chloe loves playing with all of her toys but her favorite toy is the keyboard for the computer!

:: She loves rolling over onto her belly but hasn't mastered being able to then roll from her belly onto her back.

:: Chloe will turn her head and/or her whole body to reach for something that has caught her eye
She loves being on her tummy now.

:: Chloe is learning how to sit up all on her own and is getting better and better at it everyday
She loves to giggle and smile.

:: Chloe loves music, exceptionally her daddy's music.

:: Chloe has two teeth coming in, one on the bottom center of her mouth, and then another one on the bottom side of her mouth. I cant believe that soon my baby will have her first tooth!

:: I'm the only one that Chloe wants to put her to bed.

:: Chloe hasn't been sleeping the greatest lately which we are almost certain is because she is teething.

:: Chloe's voice is also changing, its a lot louder and stronger sounding.

Food: 
Chloe is still exclusively breastfed and seems to be thriving perfectly fine on just breastmilk alone right now. Somewhere between 6-7 months old is when Mike and I are going to introduce Chloe to solids. We are both pretty excited for Chloe to be able to experience something new and cant wait to see her reaction with each new fruit and veggie we give her! We decided that her first taste of food is going to be a mashed up avocado with a little bit of breastmilk mixed in to make it thinner. I really hope that she will love it!!


Such an incredible five months its been with our sweet Chloe, its amazing how someone so small can have such a huge impact on us!

5 Month Photoshoot

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guest Blogger: Rachel From Our Havenhill

Hey Everyone, I'm very excited to announce that I have a guest blogger posting on my blog today! Meet Rachel, first time Mom and fellow blogger over at Our Havenhill. I feel so honored to have Rachel posting on my blog today, she is such a sweet and beautiful woman who has such a deep love for her family. Rachel's passion to be the best wife and Mother she can be is so inspiring to me! Rachel's guest post is about how Motherhood has changed her in such a profound way. I really enjoyed reading it, her words are beautifully written and I'm not going to lie they made me tear up just a little bit. I love reading stories about the impact Motherhood has on someone! Hope you enjoy, and make sure to stop by Rachel's blog to learn more about her sweet little family!


Hi, I’m Rachel from Our Havenhill. My husband Josh and I have been married 5 years now (together for 9 1/2 years!) and we welcomed our first child Lillian Eve into our hearts and lives on May 28, 2011. We also have a grey kitty Shadow at home who is Lillian’s “big sister”. I am so excited to be here as the guest poster at Jen’s blog today! 


Today I’ll be writing about how motherhood has changed me. Besides the obvious and outside changes, there are some subtle and some profound changes that aren’t visible to the eye.  Anyone can see (well maybe not just anyone since I don’t walk around in a bikini every day!) the physical marks that proudly proclaim to the world that I’m a mother. I have large deep purple stretch marks on my hips, my butt, my breasts, and my inner thighs. I was lucky and escaped having any on my stomach! I know that in time they will fade to a silvery white color, hopefully barely noticeable. They don’t bother me too much though.


Anyone can see my “mummy tummy”. I still have a little pouch of poochiness in my belly that doesn’t seem to want to go away! Granted, my baby has only just turned 5 months old. I know I need to give my body time. Like my Mom tells me: 9 months to grow the baby, give your body 9 months to heal! I try to keep that in mind.


 It is the changes INSIDE me that are the most profound. I am a MOM. I am someone’s mother. And not just any someone – she is the most wonderful, beautiful, sweet daughter that we could have ever dreamed of. She is everything we prayed for! I want to be the best for her. Previously I wanted to be the best wife I could be for Josh (who deserves the best wife in the world!). I STILL want to be the best wife to him, but that’s not my only goal anymore. My goal is to be the best wife and mother possible. They both deserve my best.

I now put another’s needs before my own without even thinking about it. I have always tried to put Josh’s needs before my own, but as a mother it is now second nature, and instinctive. It is second nature to stop what I am doing and breastfeed, even if she just nursed only 10 minutes ago. Now we put her desires and needs before our own.


Josh and I have always had the strongest bond and the most love imaginable for each other. Now that we’ve created a child together our need for each other and our concern for our family’s safety and welfare have increased exponentially! I always worry. But now I worry even MORE. I need my little family to be safe and happy. I worry if Lillian coughs. I worry if she has a rash. (Even if for only two minutes!) I worry if she looks sad. I have an almost crippling fear sometimes of anything happening to my loved ones or even me, now that someone depends on me so completely. I have always had these fears. What would Josh or I do without the other? We know how it would devastate each other and our families. But now it is unimaginable. It is terrifying. We need to always be here for our precious daughter.


My heart is so full of love and protectiveness towards my daughter. I know Josh has changed in the same way. Where previously we could watch movies or tv shows where a child is abducted or hurt in any way, now it physically pains us and brings tears to our eyes and makes us hold Lillian all the tighter and kiss her with all the love we can show. I can’t and won’t watch things like that anymore. I can’t even see commercials of starving children anymore without tearing up and feeling protective. It is so clich├ęd, yet I now know exactly what everyone who became a parent before me has been talking about. Before, it was only stories of abandonment or abuse of animal that had me feeling that way. Now it is the animals and little children of the world that have my sympathy.


My daughter has grown and increased the love and fierce protectiveness of my heart. I have always had the most to live for, and now I have even more to live for. The most! I am so blessed and happy and fulfilled! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

She Finally Likes...


After months of not liking tummy time my daughter finally seems to really enjoy it now, so much so that I never even have to put her on her belly anymore, she does that all by herself! I just spread out a few toys around her and she goes to town trying to reach for them! I just love how excited she gets about everything!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dear Chloe: Oh The Things You Do


Dear Chloe,

       You bring your Daddy and I so much joy! To watch you blossom right before our eyes is one of the greatest treasures we've ever received. You have such a beautiful and sweet personality my little love and you can be so silly at times!

The way you....

:: Always have your cute little feet in your mouth while lying on your back

:: Are constantly rolling over onto your belly even while having your diaper changed 

:: Make high pitch squeals of joy when you are happy 

:: Flash everyone you see your beautiful gummy smile

:: Laugh at Daddy and I when we are being silly

:: Grab my glasses off my face a million times a day

:: Turn your head and entire little body to see or grab something that has caught your eye

:: Sound like a baby bird when you are so very happy and filled with wonder (the only way Daddy and :: I could describe this ridiculously adorable sound that you make) 

:: Look up at me and smile while sitting on my lap ::sigh:: oh those beautiful blue eye's of yours, they make my 
heart swell with such an overwhelming love

:: Fill our hearts with so much love, and joy, and excitement.

In one short week you will be five months old, FIVE MONTHS! and in these five months you my sweet Chloe have taught us so much about the love that Jesus has for us. Its incredible to me that he has shown us a glimpse of the deep love he has for us by giving us you, by becoming parents God has given us the chance to understand just how much he loves and cares for us, his CHILDREN. It's just all so beautiful!  

We will never stop thanking Jesus for the gift that you are to us!

Love you always Chloe,       

Mama

Friday, November 4, 2011

Babywearing 101: All About Carriers and Where to Buy

Finally, here is my overdue post about baby carriers and where to buy them! Searching for the perfect carrier for you and your little one can be an overwhelming task. There are so many choices of styles and brands to choose from. My best advice is to take your time researching the different carriers out there and to connect with other babywearing parents. Hope this list can help you in some way! Good luck in your search!

Pouch - These are tubes of fabric that you fold in half and wear like a sash. Your baby fits into the pocket made by the fold. Pouches need to be correctly sized to work properly and come padded or unpadded. 

          Best for - Can be used for several different carries for an infant and a hip carry for a toddler.
          Pouches are good to use for quick trips.
         
          Not recommend for - Long carries with a heavy baby.

Image Via

Ring Sling (RS) - A carrier that is similar to the pouch but with adjustable rings. Ring slings come padded or unpadded.

          Best for - newborn through toddler, and great for nursing.

          Not recommended for - Some ring slings are not comfortable to use with heavy toddlers.

Image Via

Wrap - A long piece of fabric that you wrap around you and your baby.

           Stretchy - Worn on the front only. Not safe to use for a back carry.
          
           Best for - Newborns and up to about 15-18 lbs (except for the wrapsody which is more 
           supportive).

          Not recommend for - Heavier babies, back carries or hip carries.

Image Via
       
           Woven - A woven piece of fabric that you wrap in various ways around you and your 
                         baby

            Best for - babies of any size.

            Not recommend for - They take a lot of practice and patience to learn how to use them.



Mei Tai - A Large piece of fabric with long straps that you can tie on. Can be used on the front and back. Does not need to be sized since it ties on. XL straps are available on many carriers. Variations include contoured body, hoods, and headrests.

          Best for - babies to toddlers.

          Not recommend for - tiny newborns.

Image Via

Wrap conversions (WC) - MTs made out  of woven wraps.

Image Via

Podaegi (POD) - A carrier similar to a MT that has a blanket instead of bottom straps. Only the top straps are used to secure the carrier.

Image Via

Onbuhimo - Similar to a MT but without the waist straps . This carrier also uses rings on the waist to thread the shoulder straps through.

Image Via

Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) - A similar carrier to the MT but uses buckles instead of ties. These carriers are really comfortable to wear and can be used for both front and back carry. These carriers are perfect to use for a heavy toddler. Can be adjusted for different users and is also very Dad friendly!

          Best For - babies to toddlers.

          Not recommended for - can be difficult to fit depending on body shape and some SSCs can 
          be difficult to use with a newborn.

Boba Classic Carrier, Image Via

Good places to buy used:




:: Ebay stick to known brands!

Good places to buy new





:: Paxbaby
:: Amazon stick to known brands!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Design

All new layout and design is complete! I'm so happy with how everything turned out. Over time I'm sure I will make a few minor changes but for the most part I would say its finally finished!

Here's whats new:

:: Changed template 

:: Colors are now white, black, dark purple, and gray

:: Made a Collage banner for my title

:: Grab my button 

:: Added two new pages, a Contact Me page and the Birth Story: In Pictures page

:: Chloe's Birth Story and the We Fell in Love page will be up soon!

Thanks for stopping by and if you haven't already, become a follower of this blog!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On My Heart: Blogging

I don't want to write about baby food, or babywearing, or products that I love and cant live without or really anything along those lines, I don't want to write about all the research that I've done. That's not me or something that I want my blog to turn into. I honestly don't even know what came over me to think that, that's something that I had to do.

Last night after dinner Mike and I were talking, and I shared with him that lately I have been feeling really frustrated with this blog. I want to write so badly but the words just wont come out and I have no motivation to even try. I said "take yesterday for example, I was trying to right a post about homemade baby food and baby led weaning literally all day long but I couldn't do it. I got maybe a paragraph down before I finally threw my hands up in defeat".  Mike 's answer was profound and yet so incredibly simple...

"well maybe you just don't want to write about baby food"

I said "no I do" 

but then I started to really think about what my husband said and this morning it finally hit me that he's right, I don't really want to write about things like baby food.

I want to write honestly and openly, to share a piece of myself .

To speak freely about:

my imperfect life 

my feelings

challenges of a new Mom and wife

my past

my faith and relationship with Jesus

my intense and deep love for my daughter

my hopes and dreams, and fears

and my passion for love and all things beautiful!

This blog has been such an incredible blessing to me. A home for all my memories, love letters to my daughter, a way to be creative, and a connection to other Mom's. This is why I want to do so much more with this blog because it means so much to me. I know that not every post I write is going to perfect and filled with beautifully written words, and that's ok with me. I simply just want this blog to reflect who I am and the things I love most in life.

*note: I will still be writing informational posts from time to time I just don't want that to be the main focus of my blog. Also I will be finishing the babywearing series that I started, there should be a new post up for that by Friday!