Happy Friday, Everyone. I am really looking forward to this weekend. I have a girl's night planned to celebrate a few of our birthdays. I feel really lucky because so many of college friends from Arizona live in Colorado, and although we are spread across the state, when we do get together, we have the best time.
Another month passes, and as I get closer and closer to the nine-month mark of trying for baby #2, I can't help but imagine what it would be like to be almost due and nearly 40 weeks pregnant. We have now been trying as long as it would have taken to carry a baby to term.
I spend so many moments imagining my sweet Winter no longer being my only child and at the same time, being fully present. I fear if I spend too much time daydreaming about the future that may or may not be, I am inadvertently wishing her to grow up a little quicker than fate intends, and God knows that I don't want to do that.
Although we have had a mild winter in Colorado so far, there have been a few stretches of days where we haven't seen the sun and it's been too cold to go outside.
Right around the time that February makes its way onto the front page of our calendar, I notice myself forward thinking about and craving spring; and instead of resisting it, I let the excitement set in as we start to plan out our backyard garden.
The first step in the process is to always visit our favorite greenhouse to talk to the employees and owner about design plans and soak in the beautiful sights of greenery.
Happy February, everyone! I can't stop thinking about how I felt in February three years ago as it was the month that we found out that we were pregnant with Winter. It's such a unique memory for us.
I have always loved to celebrate love, and while I don't always get caught up in the commercialism of Valentine's Day, I really love any excuse to decorate with hearts and do things with my family that is all things LOVE related.
Winter is getting to the age where she is enjoying arts and crafts and helping me when I create fun things. Below is a little round-up of the Valentine's Day crafts that we intend to try together as a family.
There is a new technique that I have been trying in the mornings with Winter that I wanted to share with you. It's called 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and it's as simple as the name!
Sometime during the day take two minutes to tap into all five senses and observe what is going on around you. I find the most simple moments for this meditation technique is when I am getting my daughter ready for the day, heating up my morning coffee or when I am doing the laundry. Here's how it works:
Well, due to the recent events that took place with our little one (you can read it about it, here), I am way behind on the blog, including Weekend Links.
Remember that in these Weekend Links posts, there will always be a 'Question of the Week'. If you respond to it in the comments below, you will be in the running to win something from me that I will mail to you as a token of my appreciation for reading the blog. Last week, I sent everyone who commented and gave me their address a small package :)
I don't know if you're like me, but I tend to get so overwhelmed with clutter. There is so much clutter in my house, on my phone and in my mind. Clutter just seems to be the one thing that I can't seem to tackle. This isn't good because I notice that when my external space is less organized, the less regulated I feel on the inside.
It's been awhile since I have written to you. I feel like in the last week, following the accident you had (you can read about it more, here), we have become even closer than I ever thought imaginable.
Winter is really starting to get into pretend play. We spend hours "making" pancakes and sandwiches and feeding our furry friends such as all of her stuffed animals and our dog.
I searched high and low for the best products out there to complete her kitchen set, and I wanted to share them all with you. I love that she can cook alongside us while we make dinner. I hope you all enjoy these products as much as we do. Not only is playing kitchen great for a child's imagination, but it also helps to develop strong eye-hand coordination and fine-motor skills!
Every Friday I will be compiling a list of things that I am loving from interesting mindfulness or parenting articles, fashion and home decor inspiration, songs or movies to watch, toys that Winter is currently enjoying and more.
I really enjoy connecting and learning more about you, so each week I will also choose someone who leaves a comment to the 'Question of the Week' and send them a small gift as a token of my appreciation!
Every time I open my phone, I am either tagged in a pregnancy post or I see someone new on my feed announcing that they are pregnant. My first response is always joy, but then comes the reminder that they are pregnant and I am not.
As Winter gets older we find ourselves adapting, revising and starting new holiday traditions. Last year I wrote a post on our holiday traditions (here). This year I really want to focus on making the magic of the holiday spirit last throughout the year. Below are three meaningful ways to achieve a little extra holiday cheer.
Eek! Tomorrow is December, which means I have put away all the fall books and got out all of the winter ones. I am super choosy when it comes to books. I feel like because I work in an elementary school and have a daughter that lovesssss to read books, I have had my fair share of reading some doozies over and over. Below is a round-up of my most favorite winter/Christmas themed books out there right now. I hope you like it!
Okay, I am going just to come out and say it, I don't want to be a working mother anymore. I realize that my privilege allows me to even have this thought. I understand that the reality for many is that this idea could not, would not be entertained due to certain circumstances and the fact that I CAN think it makes me feel well, privileged.
We want to teach Winter that Kindness is infinite and oh so important. A few weeks ago, Winter and I had the opportunity to participate in a campaign called the #DoGoodWeek. We bought four dozen roses and gave them out to strangers to people walking in the park, coming out of a nursing home and at a local school. At first, WInter was so shy and wanted me to hold her while we passed out the photos, but within 10 minutes of being at our first location, the park, she was so excited and willing to hand them out. She would say, "here" or "more" while smiling and handing them out to people. I found myself stepping back a bit and just watching her interact. The joy I felt that day was indescribable and I want to keep the momentum going and do some more selfless acts for others.
Perry and I will be traveling to Arizona this year to be with my family for Christmas. We plan to pack up our belongings including a 70 pound Husky and drive the whole 13 hours to Phoenix (if you have any travel tips with toddlers. please let me know)!
Because our car is going to pretty full from the get-go, we are opting to either send our gifts to the family via mail and/or be very thoughtful about what we pack in the car. When I discovered, Snapfish, a digital photo printing service that helps you personalize your prints, I knew that this was the route I wanted to go for my family.
You have mellowed out quite a bit in the last few months, yet you are still our mighty Winter. Your independence, language, and empathy have soared to new heights over the past few months. You are our little observer; taking in the world around you, watching others and patiently waiting to engage once you feel like the time is right.
You express so much love for those that care from you. You look sincerely into the eyes of those you love and provide us with the sweetest gestures of affection from holding our cheeks with both hands, saying "te amo" (which means "I love you" in Spanish) and asking for besos (which means "kiss" in Spanish) or to hold our hand.
Well, I wish that my blog and Instagram account would just write themselves. Man, life would be so much easier as a full-time working mother if it did. But because it doesn't, I spent one week tracking how much time I spend on my social media business to give you guys an idea of what it takes to keep things going on a weekly basis.
A few weeks ago, I shared on this post how Perry and I started making "To Be" lists, which are primarily a tiny list of adjectives that you want to embody that day. These lists have helped me wrap set intentions and take the pauses that I need when I find myself become reactive.
One day while I was taking a three-minute pause to reflect on how I was speaking to my husband, It dawned on me that the lists that I was creating also mirrored images of how I now see myself as a mother.
hese past few weeks, I have noticed myself become so intensely in tune with how I spend my time with my daughter. I already get emotional when I think how one day she won't be the only child that has stolen my heart (and I am not even pregnant yet). I want to breathe in as many moments with her before our family size does grow. One of my most favorite times of the day with Winter is before bed---it's my time to practice mindfulness with her, wind down from the day by stretching and to spend uninterrupted time with my girl.
At our baby shower, my sweet friend suggested that we ask the guests to bring a book with a handwritten message to our baby in it. I am so grateful that she suggested it because Winter and I spend a lot of time reading together and when I read those sweet messages from my friends and family, I get a lovely rush of joy.
Since her shower, we have slowly been building up her book library (buying books in both English and Spanish because we are rasing her bi-lingual). I may have overdone it this Halloween, but below is a collage of all the books we are currently reading.
When I envisioned this post, I thought the words that would accompany the video of us from Hawaii were going to be light-hearted, blithesome and effortlessly joyful. I, however, experienced something much deeper after watching this video.
How can three seconds completely transform your entire way of being? I must have watched this video a thousand times, and I can’t stop crying when it hits the 50-53 seconds mark. The way her hands touch both of our faces at the same time, it’s like she knows.
I have really been struggling with being a working mama this year. I am not exactly sure why it seems to be getting worse, but I feel myself clinging onto the moments that I have at home with Winter, counting down the days until summer, and racking my brain with ways that I can become a stay-at-home mother.
We decided in June to go for it. We were finally ready for baby number two! Winter was getting much easier, we were about to embark on a two-week vacation in Hawaii, and my postpartum depression really seemed to be going easy on me. Life was good.
It's all going entirely too quickly. I can't believe that in two months, my sweet Winter will be two-years-old. There are so many moments during the day that I find myself begging for time to pause so that my memory has time to etch every single detail of her into my soul. I want to savor every bit of time that I have with her while she is this little. Gosh, where is that darn pause button??! Slow down, time!!
It's been awhile since I have updated you guys on Winter and her dreaded Breath Holding Spells. If you don't know what they are, you can read about them in our first post describing what they are and what they look like for us HERE.
I have had this lingering feeling that unsettling thoughts and emotions about returning to work are in my near future. I know that I am beyond blessed to get the opportunity to stay home with Winter during the summer, but once I begin to get so used to it, it seems like I am already staring at the end of summer on a calendar. Before I can even blink, I am back to work; 10 weeks is not long enough.
I have written a few blogs on the topic of being a working mother (which I will link below), but this blog feels so much heavier, less optimistic, if you will.
When I wrote this post, my view consisted of the beach, waves, and people enjoying the sunshine and beautiful palm trees. There was absolutely no reason to complain. Except, I keep sitting here thinking what could have been and romanticizing the video clip I had imagined in my mind. You see, about a month ago, I looked over at Winter and something came over me. This emotion that I had never felt before, the longing of another baby. Before, when people would ask, I would cringe at the thought of another child. The idea of it all made me feel sick to my stomach and full of fear. Postpartum depression hit my family like a banshee out of hell and I could not, would not, risk putting myself or my husband through that again. Fear would win in my mind, and for the longest time, I thought our family size of three could be complete.
We are just a few days from our Hawaii trip and couldn't be more excited. Perry has always wanted to go to Hawaii and for his birthday, we decided to take the plunge and book a trip. The timing is perfect because Winter still flies for free. Despite her free flight, it's crazy to think that we are essentially paying the same amount for a two week vacation as we did for a six week one when we went to Cambodia and Thailand back in 2014. It's a tough pill to swallow how much our trip is going to cost, but we know that it will probably be a once in a lifetime trip and we couldn't think of a better time to do it.