Our little lady is over 1 month old now. There is something about the relationship between time and motherhood that is so paradoxical. How is it that nurturing children day in and day out makes time seem to stand still and simultaneously fly right by. I sometimes feel like my life is a series of never-ending diapers, yet our little boy is potty trained and I’m like, when the heck did that happen? Charlotte is one month and I feel like her birth was yesterday and years ago, all at once. I guess time flies by to keep moms nostalgic and time stands still to make us excited about the future with our growing babies. Speaking of growing babies, our pudgy Charlotte is transforming from a newborn into a plump baby! Here is a little progress report:
- Charlotte is starting to smile. When I can get her attention she will first look at me with a face total concern and then the edges of her face will soften into a huge double-chinned, open-mouth grin.
- She only wakes up once in the middle of the night (three cheers), but getting her to bed can be a real bear.
- Our little lady loves to eat and is a really good nurser. Very efficient, as if she has much better things to do then sit around and nurses for hours. I think she gets that from me.
- When she’s mad, she is piiiiiiissed. Like she goes from one peep to full-scale melt down. I can appreciate a woman who goes after what she wants without reservation .
- We are obsessed with her neck fat. Neck fat is really only cute on a baby, so we celebrate it with lots of kisses.
Here is a little peek of our advent calendar! I may have gone a little overboard on Amazon and bought 24 books like a crazy 2nd-grade teacher. Each day we open up a our book for the day and I make Liam sit still while I read it to him. He’s mostly interested in turning every page into a game of I-spy: “There’s a spider!” “There’s a hat!” “That lady’s a weirdo!”
Truth be told I am way more obsessed with growing our children’s book collection, but it’s not total torture for our little toddler. I’m trying to explain that each day we get a gift until the final day of our advent calendar when we open up a Christmas book about the Savior, who is the true gift of Christmas. He may not understand our countdown now, but I hope that some day he will remember our silly traditions and that they point to the miracle that is the Savior and His glorious birth.
And in case you are interested…here is the list of books I bought for our advent calendar!
I’m just so in love with our chubby little Charlotte. She’s so sweet and precious to our family. We are so VERY VERY excited that her amazing newborn and nursery photo session is being featured on Style Me Pretty Living today! This is such a honor because I adore Style Me Pretty and all the lovely work that they produce. Those folks are top notch. Sam, our photographer, did an amazing job. So all around amazing and such. I am teasing you with a few of my favorite pics from of Charlotte and her nursery, but you’ll have to hop on over to Style Me Pretty Living for the full gallery!
Sometimes I get a little out of control with my gift wrapping, and I know this. But I have to argue, if I am most out of control with a roll of wrapping paper under my arm and a bag full of ribbon, I can’t be that crazy right? Okay I’m a little nuts. In fact, I just bought 7 variations of plaid wrapping paper from Tai Pan Trading because I couldn’t pick just one. Looks like it’s a plaid Christmas for us!
Are you getting as into the holiday spirit as I am? Charlotte is 6 weeks old and I can finally lift my head off the pillow before 8:00AM so the holidays are in full swing around here. The Christmas tree is up (I’ll be sure to share some pictures this month) and it is 12 feet tall. I worked hard to buy my dream flocked tree. Clint helped me assemble it and when we got it all put together he said, “This tree is like, 12 feet tall!” And I was like, “It is 12 feet tall!” And he looked at me like I was a lunatic, but I know deep down he was impressed with my determination to take Christmas to the next level.
Now all I need to do is pile some gifts under it and I’ll be wrapping them with fun gift toppers like this flower gift topper I made over on HGTV Design Star. It’s a really easy gift topper and it makes a huge statement nestled under your tree or in tow to a Holiday party. Find out how to make one of your own HERE…
On this lovely (and completely freezing) first day of December I am so excited to be sharing with you one of my favorite blog posts ever. Not to sounds too overzealous or anything, but this little project with Wayfair is a favorite of mine. See Wayfair is hosting a little Holiday “Shelfie” contest on Instagram where the winner will receive a $500.00 gift card to Wayfair.com! (A “Shelfie” is a very technical term for posting an image of your holiday decorated shelf…like a “selfie” sans the duck face.) All you have to do is post a picture of your holiday shelf on Instagram, tag @Wayfair, and use the hashtag #holidayshelfie! The winner will be picked before Christmas! For some holiday shelfie inspiration check out these sexy shelves!
And in case you haven’t checked out Wayfair before, you should know that they are an extremely affordable home decor (and etc.) store. I say this because I was snooping around their site and couldn’t believe how many lovely and wonderful things I could buy for $500.00. Like my white faux deer head (it’s like taxidermy that’s hip!), and mercury jars to swoon over, and candlesticks that make a statement like: “I am a massive candlestick that goes with everything.”
On my shelfie I wanted to go for gift-wrapping-station meets neutral earthy Christmas. I think I got pretty close, right? My two favorite items from Wayfair are the mercury glass ornaments and the white buck deer. They may be up all year long because I can’t bare to part with them come January. Now please excuse me while I go check out everyone “shelfies” on Instagram!
*Content for this post was made possible by Wayfair. As always, all opinions are my own .
*This post does include affiliate links, I may or may not make commission off of these links. All opinions are 100% mine and are 100% honest*
It’s officially gift bow season is it not? What kind of a gift-giver are you? Are you the type that thoughtfully selects sentimental gifts for everyone from your mom to your second-cousin’s landlord’s dog? (Thanks for making us all look like thoughtless b-holes…Wink wink). Maybe you give the practical gift. Yay for toaster ovens! You could be the DIY type where each gift is handmade and heartfelt. I usually fall somewhere between practical and DIY. Like a handmade quilt…practical warmth but all the awkwardness of a handmade blanket. You. Are. Very. Welcome. Handmade can be a great way to cut costs and up the thoughtfulness. I am kinda proud of this handmade DIY gift bow mug I made with my Cricut Explore™. It pairs well with hot chocolate and those 5 pounds we gain every winter (both for warmth of course!). Let’s make a custom DIY gift bow mug together!
What you need:
- Mugs in the color of your choice. This holiday season is all about neutrals and metallic around here this year.
- A vinyl sheet in the color of your choice. I’m all about creative liberty, obviously.
One of my absolute favorite things to do in my non-existent free time is work on house projects. For the record I know that I could re-align my priorities to have free time, but then what would I complain about if I wasn’t busy . But, like I said, I really love working on my house. And for some reason I have to decorate by rooms. What I mean is, I can’t buy a rug for the living room, paint the walls in our master bathroom, and tile a back-splash. My decorating is methodical and I’m pretty sure that’s the OCD in me. I like to start and finish a room completely before I take on the next project. In my house now all I have complete is Liam’s room and Charlotte’s room. I plan to post a tour of both rooms when I’m, you know, not sooooo busy .
Liam’s room is a rich burnt orange with touches of teal. I’m really quite proud of all the DIY projects that made his little room all come together. One that I shared on HGTV Design Happens is this DIY Framed Bulletin Board. As it turns out finding a framed bulletin board that is affordable can be a bit of a challenge. But I did need somewhere to hang Liam’s watercolor/marker/sticker art work (side note, does anyone else have a house covered in stickers. Stickers ev-ry-where). Creating my own frame for a cheap department store bulletin board was actually an easy solution!
I love maternity pictures. I love them especially when they are of realistic pregnancies. I mean the kind of pregnancies that don’t end in a Victory Secret runway show (I’m talking to you Heidi Klum). Looking back on your own maternity photos is the best for someone who is obsessed with recording life’s moments and stages…I’m raising my hand!
One of my favorite things to remember is my pregnancy nose. It’s true. When I am pregnant my nose grows wider, but only during pregnancy and then it somehow finds its way back to its previous width. It is my special “growing a baby” nose and I want to record it. Also…pregnancy knees. I somehow gain weight on my knees when I am pregnant and I can’t say it is my favorite but I appreciate my non-pregnant knees more when I have photo proof that they are indeed lovelier than pregnancy knees.
And growing a human is magic. I am not a huge fan of all the physical, emotional, and mental side-effects of pregnancy. But my heart is completely overwhelmed with the blessing of being able to carry and deliver a little person! That’s something worth documenting.
Most of all I love this photo session because it was the last moment in my life when there was just 3 of us. Just me and my boys. Life with two little people has been a whirlwind of diapers and gratitude. But this moment with my boys was truly a special moment.
Last month I had the rad opportunity to put together a little blogger event at Tai Pan Trading. What’s Tai Pan Trading you ask? Well it’s one of the largest home decor and holiday decor stores in Utah, Idaho, and California but what we bloggers got together to celebrate was their growing fashion department. Tai Pan has been know for it’s mind-blowing Christmas decorations, but soon it will be a regular stop for fashion shoppers too because they bring in some the cutest fashion items I have seen in a while. We are talking name brand lines, purses that are flying off the shelf, and so. many. accessories. What Tai Pan and I wanted to do was introduce our local bloggers and you this growing department, because it’s drool-worthy and all.
To make the event really special I enlisted the help of some of my favorite local shops for flowers, amazing tacos, and the best pastries in Utah (I swear by it). Check it all out…
Fall florals that I could die over were created by Lizy’s Lilies . Flowers at events are always always always one of my very favorite parts of the party and Lizy’s skills in floral arranging are jaw-dropping. She’s also one of my favorite people ever.
Beautiful desserts by none other than One Sweet Slice. Chocolate raspberry cupcake is transcendental and I am not even being dramatic at all.
Fresh and inventive tacos were provided by Masa. And like I said…Amazing tacos! In fact I went out to their restaurant the next night for more!
I put together the sweet botanical photo backdrop and I think it may be my favorite photo backdrop I have ever made. I wish that I had a good reason to use it for another event because it looked even more lovely in daylight.
The goodie boxes I wrapped in Tai Pan Trading wood wrapping paper were a huge hit. To make the flower gift box toppers check out THIS POST.
And let’s all address the massive elephant in the room…I was massively pregnant and like this pink billowing cloud floating around the party. slightly sweating.
Guests were invited to shop and socialize, but perhaps the real star of the show was the metallic foil tattoos. I went ahead and bought a pack of these suckers because they are way hot right now. I’m jumping on this temporary metallic tattoo train and I’m not looking back.
Charlotte’s birth story is real and really special to us. I’ll try to be completely honest because I believe natural childbirth is an incredible journey and story worth telling. I didn’t spare too many details, just so you know , but it’s her story and I hope to tell it with honesty and respect for her journey.
Our little Charlotte was due to arrive on Halloween, but she was ready to come into this world earlier and we were anxious to meet her.
On October 14th I climbed into bed, exhausted and mentally prepared for another restless night. With my Lottie filling up my entire abdomen I was having difficulty breathing regardless of how many pillows I crammed under my back, belly, and limbs. This night, however, started off more restless than others. At about 12:00 AM our little lady started to toss and turn in my belly like I had just washed down four cups of coffee with a 42 oz. Coke (I don’t drink caffeine so I’m suggesting that she was movin’ around…A LOT).
There was a one-woman circus going on in my tummy from 12:00 AM to 4:00 AM when the first hints of labor started to register in my sleepy head. While peeing for the 11th time that night I noticed some bloody show (sorry for the details, but this is a real birth story after all). I have never had any bleeding during pregnancy so I knew that something big was happening and I quietly rustled Clint awake to share the news.
“I think we need to pack for the hospital”, I whispered.
“Where’s the list?” he asked…ready to get the party started. I, like the neurotic organizer I am, had prepared a list of all items we needed for the hospital so that Clint could pack while I labored. He is a really good packer while I am in labor. Very thorough.
Almost immediately after I woke Clint, my Braxon Hicks intensified into real-life contractions spaced several minutes apart. In the dim lamp light we packed our bags and I paused for contractions. We deliver our babies using HypnoBirth techniques so during each contraction I try and relax every muscle in my body to allow the contraction and my body to work together throughout labor. When those contractions hit I would collapse onto the floor and ride it out. Picture me in my PJs on the floor of our closet/bedroom/bathroom every few minutes. It took me much longer to pack than Clint, naturally.
Bags packed I climbed in a warm tub to listen to Rainbow Relaxation (for anyone who does HypnoBirth, does her voice drive you as crazy as it drives me? “And now, it’s time, to relaaaax” ). After 45 minutes of imagining mists of color I could tell the contractions were intensifying in frequency and pressure. Once they became 60 seconds long with only 2.5 minute gaps in between each surge I felt a little bit of urgency to get out and get to the hospital.
I pulled on some clothes and we loaded our groggy little Liam into the car, dropping him off at our neighbor’s house around 6:00 AM. At 6:20 AM we arrived at the hospital, excited and ready to meet our girl. With Liam my water had broke at home so they checked us right into our labor room, however, with Charlotte my water had not yet ruptured so I was guided to triage where I labored from 6:30 to 7:45.
Checking into a hospital while you are laboring is kind of a comical experience. There I lay on a slightly inclined bed and answer dozens of questions about my health history, health habits, blood type, birthing history, and so on. They also monitor my vitals and the baby’s heart rate. But I am also pausing every 60 seconds to relax completely into a contraction. I imagine to the nurses it feels a lot like interviewing someone with severe narcolepsy. I also tend to be really goofy during the early stages of labor, telling lots of jokes that warrant courtesy laughs. I probably seem a little crazy and sleepy.
In triage they told me I was dilated to 5cm and 90% effaced. They also told me that my lab results indicated that I was Strep B positive and needed to receive one dose of antibiotics during labor. I was off to the labor and delivery room for 30 minutes of IV antibiotics. The hep-lock wasn’t my favorite part of labor, it’s kind of creepy and uncomfortable having a needle stuck under your skin for hours on end. While receiving antibiotics I remember complaining several times that I just wanted to get in the tub. Contractions were really starting to intensify and I began to moan through them, which helps a lot with the pain. From my experience with natural delivery, it is a journey in surrendering to your instincts. You have to let go of some social rules and just allow your body to take over the show. It’s a little scary to think about and an empowering accomplishment at the same time. I moan through contractions because that’s what my body tells me to do, even if it seems silly in retrospect.
At 8:30 AM I climbed into a warm bath and continued to labor from 5 cm to 7 cm. Clint sat at the tub side and poured cup after cup of warm water over my contracting belly. It felt good to labor in the tub, but only lasted until 9:00 AM because I began to convulse with something called labor shakes. This was a totally new sensation to me. Labor shakes are when your body kind of freaks out from all the changes that occur during labor. It felt like violent shivering without feeling cold. Then when I got out of the tub I was actually very cold and the nurses and Clint helped pile blankets on me until my shivering slowed. I remember questioning why I was shaking so much and saying something really smart like, “wow…this is trippy how much I am shaking!”
From 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM I labored hard sitting up in the hospital bed. The back of the bed sat straight up to support my back through contractions and they came powerfully for a solid hour. I sat at 7.5 cm for that long hour and then told my midwife to break my water to get things going. I wasn’t going to sit at a 7.5 any longer. She broke my water for me and suggested she “help me dilate” during contractions, which meant she would coax my cervix along when contracting. That, my friends, was in-tense. I went from a 7.5 to an 8 with her help, but I was anxious to get to a 10 and start pushing. At 10:00 AM I climbed on my knees and faced the back of the bed that was positioned straight up. Hugging the back of the bed, my contractions became so intense that I’m pretty sure I started to scream through them rather that moan. My midwife and Clint reminded me to lower my voice, which would help with the intensity. After 5 to 10 minutes of laboring on my knees I had reached 10 cm!
Then I felt the need to push. And when I say I “felt the need”, I mean that my body started to push without any mental permission from me. It was like a convulsion. Nobody and nothing could stop my body from pushing that baby girl out. This, by far, was the craziest part of delivering Charlotte. I pushed for only 5 minutes, and it was probably only 5-10 pushes total, but Charlotte was not a small baby and pushing her out really tested the limits of my mental strength. My body, however, was confident that it could bring her into the world. Good thing my body just took over.
At 10:19 AM Charlotte Paige Adams was born. She was 8 lbs 5 oz and 19.5″ long. She had chubby cheeks and chubby legs. Light brown hair covered her head and she had the longest pretty fingers. She was beautiful and very pink. She was immediately lifted to my chest and before they even cut her umbilical cord she was looking to nurse. Charlotte was just the perfect little delivery to our family.
Recovery for me was good. I required no stitches and I feel like that is one of the biggest blessings ever granted me.
I don’t think I could make it through labor and delivery without Clint. He is my biggest hero and supporter during those intense moments of labor. Something about bringing a new person into this world makes you more capable of loving others and loving them more deeply. I love Clint more and more as I watch him father our children.
We are truly blessed to have Charlotte as a part of our family!