Nolie’s First Sunday at Church

This past weekend was my sweet girl’s first Sunday that we got to go to church! I won’t lie, I had some extreme anxiety! All I could think was where do I go if I need to feed her, how many germs is she being exposed to, what if she makes a mess on her clothes… However, I am happy to report that it went super smooth and we had a great time! It was so fun showing her off. She was being so adorable and slept basically the whole time. I was still a little anxious about the germs, but it’s good for her in small doses!

The best part was that one of the amazing photographers, Carrie, who participated in our style shoot last year was at church with Brittany! We had our camera and she took a few pictures to commemorate the happy day! I was so thankful.

I am so excited for all of the cute Sunday dresses Nolle has to grow into. Sunday I had her in one of her Lilly Pulitzer dresses, but it was huge. I can’t wait for it to actually fit. I have the matching “mom” dress. I also have three or four of MY baby dresses. It is going to be so special to dress her in them!

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// Nolle & I’s Dresses: Lilly Pulitzer // Nolie’s Bow: Target // Michael’s Shirt: J. Crew // Michael’s Jeans: Lucky // Michael’s Watch: Fossil // My Ring: Tiffany & Co

The Third Annual Peach Festival 

Yesterday Michael and I took little Nolie to her first little festival! The Peach Truck hosted an event with live music, food trucks, face painting, local vendors, and … PEACHES! It was so much fun. We started off rocky when I accidentally gave Michael directions to the wrong farmers market.  However, once we finally got there it was so much fun. 

There were several local vendors.  We saw some companies we love like the Frothy Monkey and Baby & Company. However, we also were introduced to a ton of new finds! It was a great experience.  

I think the highlight of our time though was buying our bag of peaches! Michael had one for breakfast and said it was wonderful. 

 
I’m so happy that we got to take the little one out on such a gorgeous night. Also, I won’t lie.  It was fun having people gush over the baby everywhere we were! She was so good and didn’t fuss once. She just had wide open eyes watching everything! I can’t wait for next year. I think we found a new family tradition. 

Packing Our Birth Go Bag

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Looking back on my pregnancy, packing our birth bag(s) was so exciting!! I had packed baby Enolia’s weeks in advance, but I had put off packing mine for a while.

When I initially started I wasn’t exactly sure what to bring.  So over the months when anyone gave me a suggestion or I thought of something- I added it to my list. I wanted to include the most repeatedly given advice for anyone else who may want some insight! The following list is the final product:



    Mom:

  • Gown for birthing (optional, if you’re in a traditional hospital you will have a gown provided)
  • Coming home outfit (loose pants or dress)
  • Robe
  • Slippers
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Brush
  • Contact case and contact solution
  • Hair ties
  • Shampoo & conditioner (mini)
  • Socks (several people suggested compression socks)
  • Granny panties
  • Pads
  • Distractions (book, music, iPad, etc)
  • Nursing pads
  • Nursing cream
  • Nursing bra
  • Dry shampoo
  • Chapstick
  • Gum
  • Essential oils
  • Massage oil

Baby:

  • Coming home outfit
  • Baby onsie
  • Pacifier
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Blanket/swaddler x 2
  • Burp cloth
  • Car seat
  • Mittens

Dad:

  • Sweatshirt
  • Snacks – Gatorade & food
  • iPad/book (I thought this was a weird recommendation. However, they said afterwards when mom is sleeping and dad can’t he will appreciate it).
  • Toothbrush
  • Pillow (we didn’t need one because they gave us a ton, but some hospital births may)
  • Electronic chargers
  • Extra shirt
  • Deodorant

Miscellaneous:

  • Birth plan
  • Insurance card
  • License
  • Wallets
  • Camera & charger
  • Baby book (footprint)

 

We ended up packing all of the little one’s stuff in her diaper bag- it’s a gorgeous Kate Spade bag (see a similar bag here). Then we packed all of our stuff in a duffel. The only thing I wish I had done differently is that I packed the bags to the brim. So then when we were trying to leave it was impossible to fit all of the gifts and such in the bags! So I would bring an extra bag or leave some space. Let me know if any of you have any other suggestions you think I should add! I hope you have as much fun packing as I ended up having.

 

 

One Month Update

June 18th, 2017. 

     




Wow!!! I can’t believe that my sweet girl is now a month old. It’s so crazy, it feels unreal. Especially since she came three weeks early! 

    
She already has so much personality. She loves taking baths, but hates changing clothes. She also loves to be involved. She uses her arms to push herself up and looks all around! She’s incredibly strong. Nolie is also able to roll onto her stomach! I didn’t know newborns could even do that! (It’s terrifying). One thing I love is that if she is fussy she generally will stop if you sing to her! 

     
This month started out a little rough with the induction (you can read her birth story here) and then her extra night in the hospital (you can read about that here). However, she’s almost back to her birth weight and the jaundice is basically gone!! This month has also seen her first bath, first doctors appointment, first play date with Mia, and first trip to Target. Also, today is her first Father’s Day! So it’s been a pretty busy month. 

   
Little Nolie loves cuddling. I think that’s what I’ll miss the most, how she can just lay on my chest and sleep! It’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever experienced. She hums when she sleeps and it’s heart melting. I can barely stand it! If I had to make a guess, I would say she sleeps probably seventeen hours a day, spends maybe four hours eating, and the last three hours just looking at everything and taking it in. 

    
She is generally a good sleeper, however we’ve definitely had four or five tough nights where she was up every hour! On the flip side- we’ve also had five or six great nights where I’ve gotten about four hours straight. I even had one night where I got a little over five straight hours! It was amazing. She likes to sleep with her hands by her face. Or, if she’s laying on my chest she wraps them up around my neck (well, what she can reach). Before she was born I read so many blogs about how swaddling your baby is super comforting to them. Nolie actually doesn’t like it! You can swaddle her, but if you try to wrap those arms up – almost nothing makes her more mad, or loud!! 

    
The cats are doing really well. Legalos will cuddle with me when I’m holding her, but only if she’s asleep. When she’s awake he keeps his distance. Appa, on the other hand, LOVES her. He’s constantly at her side. He sleeps below her little swing when she’s in it. Almost every day when I sit down to breastfeed after lunch he jumps up and cuddles right up to us. He’s actually cuddled up with the two of us as I write this!! He hates when she cries. He will run up when she starts crying as if to comfort her. It melts my heart. Also, Appa loves all of her things. He loves to sleep in her glider, constantly tries to steal her crib (don’t worry, we won’t let him), and lays on her play mat swinging his paws at the hanging toys. It’s precious. 

     
I love this little munchkin so much. I can’t imagine my life without her!! We have been so incredibly blessed. I can’t wait to see the little person she grows into!! 

Enfamil 

A little while ago I talked about how when I first found out I was pregnant that I made a TON of accounts with companies promising great advice, coupons, and free samples. I already talked about one, Similac, but I also signed up with a company called Enfamil. I found out I was pregnant the first day or two of October, and then I made this account sometime in mid October! I wasted no time.  However, I literally didn’t recieve anything via the mail until April 27th.  (They email me ALL the time though).
 


This sample box included $10 in Enfamil “checks” (two $5 coupons off of any Enfamil purchase over $5.00), a dozen of those coupons where you get something free but have to pay the shipping (I’ll have to do a post on that later, I’ve already tried a few!), a six pack of premade newborn formula bottles, two nipple attachments for previously mentioned prepare formula, a four pack sample of premeasured packages of infant formula, and a 12.4 oz can of their infant formula. Overall, that is a pretty generous gift box! I am excited to try this out for Nolie.  We have decided that occasionally doing formula will be great for us so that when we go out or I am gone someone else can feed her.  I’ve heard great things about Enfamil.


The premade little bottles are actually really nice.  I could see if we were having a day out or something how that could be really convenient! These are all milk and soy based, so that’s one thing I’ll have to watch- neither Michael nor I could do milk. Hopefully sweet Nolie will be able to! Anyways, even though it was months before we received anything, this was definitely a generous, completely free sample gift! Also, it’s actually good theybsont mail this out until closer to yore due date because of shelf life.  

“What Are Your Future Plans?” (a small rant on the reactions of people who’ve asked me that)

Wow.  I can’t believe a month ago I walked across the graduation stage!! It feels so unreal. I can’t believe how much I jammed into 3.5 years of school. (I took a semester off to plan the wedding). I can honestly say I worked my butt off. I’m so thankful for all of the love and support my husband has given me. All of the nights we had to stay in instead of going out with friends so I could study, he never complained. I’m also grateful for my family’s love and encouragement! You guys are the best.

A lot of people have asked what I plan to do now that I’ve graduated.  I excitedly tell them that I am blessed to have a husband who can support us so that I can stay home with the baby. (At least for the first few years).  This has always been my dream. Of course, this is always met with different reactions.

One reaction is absolute happiness.

One reaction is to assume I’m lazy. “Oh I guess it will be nice to just rest after everything.” 

One reaction is disbelief. “What a waste. What was the point of school?” 

One reaction is judgment. “Yeah, but what about your career? Your degree?”

One reaction is to assume I have no ambitions. “That’s all you want to do with your life?” 

Here’s what I have to say to you. 

To the people who look down on me because “that’s all I want to do.”  I don’t judge you for longing for high power careers.  I don’t limit you to one mold. I don’t expect you to fill one role. So don’t you dare suggest to me that because MY dream doesn’t fit your agenda, that I am less of a woman. Please don’t suggest to me that in our search for woman’s rights, my right to raise my children myself has been waived. That is something I can not accept.

To the person who judges me because I want to be home with my child and condescendingly asks what about my degree? What about it.  I’ll still have it in five or six years. I’m assuming women will still be allowed to attain jobs in five or six years. However, my child won’t be a newborn in five or six years. My child won’t be taking her first steps or trying out her first words in five or six years. So why can’t I prioritize her.

To the person who says “what a waste.” Why? I went to a university for me. I didn’t go for you. I went so that if need be I could help support my family. I went because I think education is empowerment.  I went because I think experiencing other people, cultures, and ideas creates more intelligent, understanding people. I went because I have a right to an education. I went to set an example for my children.

To the person who thinks I’m just taking it easy. First off, I wouldn’t consider giving birth to a child and then raising him/her easy. I plan to raise her (and any other child we may have), prepare all our meals, keep the house clean, and keep our financials. (How much do you pay or even value  your day care center, housekeeper, chef, and accountant)? Secondly, I have always known that I wanted to stay home with my kids. Before I even started dating Michael I made sure he knew.  I didn’t want any surprises if we got serious. It is something I was unwilling to compromise on. (Obviously, barring any unforeseen circumstance where it is needed. In which case I will proudly and gladly help support my family). Secondly, starting in middle school I realized I would need scholarships.  I worked my butt off all through high school, graduating with all A’s and one B. I was class president, in leadership positions in several clubs, and had an extracurricular resume longer than any school would allow on applications. I got my first job when I was twelve cleaning a neighbors house and maintaining her lawns. I have held between one to four jobs every day of my life since. (I currently hold one). I learned the value of hard work and savings. Once in school I continued to maintain almost perfect grades (once again, one lousy B). I also continued to work and I purposefully chose a degree that had plenty of options of careers that could be done from home. Last month I walked across that stage debt free– all so I could have the freedom to stay home, with my education and children- without the obligation to go straight into the work force. So please don’t tell me that I’ve taken the easy path. I set a goal almost a decade ago and I never gave up, nor did I ever slack.  

Finally, to the person who warmly congratulates me for my hard work and wishes me luck and happiness. Thank you. Thank you for understanding I have a right to my own dreams.  Thank you for understanding that I am capable of making decisions. Thank you for loving me and supporting me.

I am so proud of everyone that walked across that stage.  I’m so excited for all of your big plans, your secret hopes, and unique dreams. I will pray that all of you find happiness in what you do!

Here’s to the class of 2017!

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The First Moment I Felt Like a Parent

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In every friend group there is the “mom” friend. The friend that has extra snacks, a bandaid, and two bottles of hand sanitizer in her purse at all times. This friend is me. I’m the friend who can’t help but fold your laundry if I see it out. (Not because I don’t think you can, it’s just a reflex). I am the friend who is forever the designated driver, who worries you’ll be kidnapped if you use dating apps, and who feels the need to cook you food if you seem sick.
However, now I am actually a “real” mom!! So many people have asked if I feel any different. If I feel like a parent. In some ways I feel the same! But in a lot of ways I do feel different. Several people have asked when I felt like a parent for the first time, when it hit me.
In my post about Nolie’s birth I mentioned that I was dishcharged a full day before her. This was because when they came in Friday night to run some tests they discovered she was jaundice. I’m not a doctor, and I really didn’t understand everything they said. However, basically her body had too much of something which can cause brain damages if levels get too high. They told us to strip her down to just a diaper and we put her in this plastic crib. She was laying on top of a UV light and there was one above her as well. She had to wear this little headgear to protect her eyes. Let me just tell you- Nolie hated it. Oh she hated it so much! The second you put her down she would begin to scream at the top of her lungs. It was non stop. It was the most heart wrenching sound I had ever heard.
Every three hours we could take her out and feed her, they gave me a max of thirty minutes each time. The second I pulled her to me she immediately stopped crying. She didn’t make a single sound. I could feel her whole body relax and she would immediately fall into a deep sleep, exhausted from the non stop wailing. I couldn’t even get her to stay awake to eat. (I ended up having to pump and Michael syringe fed her. She seriously was so worn out).
After several hours I found myself sitting in the dark in a rolling desk chair. Michael was trying to sleep. I had my head leaned up against the plastic with my hand slid under the light, trying to soothe her. This was the hardest moment. I knew if I just took her out and held her that her screams would silence. No one would know, the nurses wouldn’t be back for hours. However, I knew for her health she needed to be under that light.
I was suddenly reminded of a time I got in trouble with my dad. I don’t remember what for and I don’t remember what the punishment was other than I was devastated. I remember my dad looking at me with sad eyes and telling me that he didn’t want to, but he had to punish me for my own good. I think I had gotten grounded and I desperately wanted it to be lifted for a night for something that at the time felt incredibly important. I couldn’t comprehend why if he didn’t want to punish me and I didn’t want to be punished, why were we still talking about it!
The answer was that he was instilling in me a great understanding of consequences that has served me well every day of my life. He taught me to trust his word – whether he promises to take me to the movies or that if I missed curfew I would be punished. He had to play an un-fun role so that I could grow.
Sometimes being a good parent means you don’t get to be your kid’s friend and that’s okay. Sometimes being a parent means that you have to follow through with something, even if it breaks your heart because the most important thing is the long term physical and moral development of your child.
Listening to my brand new baby scream with such vigor absolutely broke my heart. I just cried and cried because it felt like I could feel her fear and pain. I have never felt more helpless. I knew I could short term fix it in a second, but I couldn’t do that. She was under that light for 23 hours and I’ve never been so emotionally spent. It took everything in me to leave her laying there screaming. I think that is the first time I truly felt like a parent.