She’s here! She’s here! I am thrilled, grateful, full of joy and so, so much love. There truly are no words to describe how happy I am to finally have this tiny baby girl in my arms.
between constipation, engorged boobs, sore nipples, painful pumping sessions, lack of sleep, not being able to move around comfortably, swollen feet and hands, stitches, burning sensation in my abdomen, multiple bouts of crying throughout the day, not being able to drive for two weeks, an over active pre-schooler, mounds of laundry, an insatiable thirst and crazy out of whack hormones, postpartum days really suck.
On the other hand, there is a very supportive and helpful husband, an understanding 4-year-old, in-laws to look after Lucas, a sweet and curious dog, friends who visit bearing gifts, meals, sound advice and laughter, doctors and specialists who know better, breast feeding support groups, pain medication, cabbage (if you have ever breast fed, you’ll understand), time and moments like this:
I love new years, fresh starts and having a calendar full of blank pages just aching to be filled with fun activities and new memories.
I also enjoy looking back on the year that was and 2013 was a big one for me and my family. Here are some of our highlights, many of which I have shared here, click on links for posts you may have missed.
I discovered Cardio Barre and became obsessed, attending classes two to three times per week through May.
My first infertility post ran on SheKnows. The column ran for six months and still helps woman today.
I submitted a piece I wrote called We Are Enemies to Listen To Your Mother in Sacramento.
I auditioned for Listen To Your Mother and was selected to be a part of the 2013 cast!
We were kicked out of the house we were renting because of our dog and moved into a two-bedroom apartment.
On St. Patrick’s Day, I had my second egg retrieval.
My girlfriend and I attended a Sweet 16 NCAA basketball game… U of A (our alma mater) vs. Ohio.
In order to detox, I drank a smoothie a day for the entire month and went on a strict no buying program!
I met my sister’s boyfriend for the first time.
Charlie Pasta turned one year old!
I saw Mumford & Sons and Beyonce in concert.
Lucas went to his first baseball game.
After the better part of five years, my sister and I finally sold our parents house in Tucson.
We spent Fourth of July weekend in Santa Barbara.
I made it to 12 weeks!
I saw Justin Timberlake and Jay Z in concert and to date, it was one of the best!!
My husband and I celebrated our sixth anniversary and we found out we were having a girl!
Lucas spent three nights with his grandparents while Todd and I were in Monterrey.
Lucas and I spent a fun beach day with Robin and her family in San Diego.
I graduated from my fertility doctor’s office.
We spent Labor Day weekend in La Jolla.
My dear friend, Nichole flew down from Sacramento for one night to join me at a Dave Matthews Band concert.
I saw Katy Perry & Friends in concert with my sister.
My sister and I took Lucas to visit my aunt and uncle in Dallas.
We moved into our new house!!
I saw Justin Timberlake in concert again!
I made it to the critical 32 week point of my pregnancy.
Lucas started going to preschool four days a week
We hosted Christmas in our new house.
I calculated that I walked 365 miles this year!
I’m looking forward to all that lies ahead and wishing each of you a brilliant 2014!
Admittedly I was aloof about family and friends offering to host a baby shower for us before our baby girl arrived. Their generosity and excitement is much appreciated and definitely shared, but we have waited and worked so long to get (and stay) pregnant that I really wanted to focus on having a healthy pregnancy and our baby getting here before we celebrated.
Now that her due date is fast approaching (ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!!), I’m starting to look at invitations for a Sip & See, a casual type of baby shower that’s held AFTER baby arrives instead of before. Friends and family are invited to drop by “open house style” within a certain time frame to meet the baby (see) and enjoy light food & drinks (sip). Whenever I need invites or announcements of any kind, I always like to check out Minted. Their designs are simple, yet elegant and just perfect. There are tons of themes, colors and styles to choose from and they use only the finest paper stock, richest inks and crisp high quality printing.
Just look at these swoon-worthy invites…. can you help me choose one?!
Each one is more darling than the last, right?
In the New Year, if you are expecting your own little bundle of joy or know someone that is, please consider ordering these gorgeous invitations, the entire Minted baby shower invitation collection can be viewed here.
As soon as I pick ours, I promise to share it with you! Oh, and soon I’ll need to select a birth announcement too.
This post was sponsored by Minted but all opinions expressed are my own. I was not paid to write this post but did receive a Minted gift card in appreciation.
Our first Christmas in our new house was a memorable one and the 75+ degree temperatures have been weird and wonderful. I loved having my in-laws, sister and her boyfriend staying with us and still can’t believe all of my recipes turned out exactly the way they were suppose to. I think spent more time in the kitchen over the last week than I have all year (more on this in another post)! And nothing can compare to a child’s excitement over Santa’s arrival. Lucas was a ball of energy all week!
But now it’s over.
Just like that.
For me the worst part of Christmas is the aftermath: the tree has been taken down, most of the gifts have either been exchanged, returned for the correct size or put away, the last of the pie has been eaten, family and friends have gone home, the mailbox is no longer bursting with greetings and thank you cards have been started.
So much excitement and anticipation goes into prepping for the holidays and then all at once, it’s over and the warm fuzzy feelings disappear.
Here are some ways I like to combat the post-holiday blues:
- Create a scrapbook or fun collage to commemorate holiday memories.
- Begin (or in my case, resume) an exercise program. I went for a walk this morning and it was mind clearing and felt great.
- Daydream about summer and our next family vacation. We’re thinking Mexico and yes, with a new baby!
- Do something productive… as if I haven’t been productive the last few months, making a baby and moving, etc., but I spent some time getting Lucas signed up for swim lessons, soccer and researched karate classes. I also packed a bag for the hospital and renewed my domain name. All of these tasks have been on my To Do list for weeks and I’m glad to have them behind me.
- Treat myself. Like me, chances are you have been cooking and baking for family and friends and buying for others, so now is the time to schedule a massage or hair appointment, or some quiet time alone to curl up with a good book (or my brand new Kindle Paperwhite!!).
- I know I’m not the only one that feels this way, so I reached out to a friend and we had a great phone call recapping the last few days and planning for the upcoming weeks.
How do you avoid the post holiday blues?
Whatever you do to get through this time, know that these feelings will soon pass and more good times are in store!
Like most children, at the mere mention of Disneyland, Lucas’ eyes light up. He LOVES going to the Magic Kingdom and on some level knows what an ordeal it is, from the cost, parking, tram ride, lines, waiting, more waiting, crowds and multiple picture taking, it is a real treat to get to go.
Lucas’ first trip to Disneyland was when he was 18 months old and we had just moved to Orange County. In his short four years and three months on this planet, he has already been a dozen times! I suppose that’s what happens when you are born and raised in Southern California. I never want the enchantment to wear off, so I’m careful about only taking him 4-5 times a year.
While it’s fun to go to DL anytime and with anyone, I wish I could have captured the sparkle in Lucas’ eyes yesterday when we went with our good friends. Having a buddy at his level seemed to only intensify the magic and his experience. Thanks, Jen, Tristan and Samantha! I’m thrilled that together the four of us were able to get him on Pirates of the Caribbean, which he is still talking about.
Wednesdays are our days.
Big floppy hats, sunscreen and sand between our toes.
Watching the sun set, s’mores around a bonfire and patiently waiting for fireworks to light up the night sky.
No extra curricular activities.
Ferris wheel rides, beautiful blue skies and window shopping on the Third Street Promenade.
Practicing froggy kicks, striking a ninja pose and squealing with delight going head first down the water slide.
Feeding carrots and grapes to rabbits and guinea pigs, panning for gold and burying ourselves in corn.
Making silly faces with long time friends and having second helpings of mac and cheese.
Popcorn, fruit chews, garden snails and the Indy 500.
Our only care in the world is to make memories, smile, giggle and occasionally indulge in ice cream.
I wonder where Wednesday will take us today?
We all have that friend that looks like she just walked off the pages of the latest magazine… no matter what the event, she is impeccably put together head to toe, wearing the latest styles, “in” colors and jewelry to match. As much as you want to hate her, you admire her, even envy her and above all wish you could either consult her before leaving your house or raid her closet.
I hate clothes shopping!! It is on my top five list of activities I despise the most. Just thinking about it causes me anxiety. I wander around clothing stores aimlessly, completely overwhelmed, purposely avoiding the overbearing sales staff, fingering through beautiful racks of clothing and getting more and more frustrated that I’m not a size two. I’m actually okay with my body and size, I’ve been every where from a size 6 to a 10 and back again. These days I’m somewhere in between, but shopping for and putting together outfits is not my forte no matter what size I am.
I always admire the flawlessly dressed, coiffed and accessorized mannequins in the windows, but as soon as I foolishly think for one second that I can replicate their look, I fall flat. Or the store is out of my size. Or (and this is more than likely the case) it NEVER looks as good on me as the display.
The other extremely annoying phenomena that occurs upon entering a clothing store is I get closet amnesia and can never seem to remember what I already have at home. Hence the reason I end up with more stripes or black shirts.
I never feel less put together, frumpy, clueless or out of my element than when trying to clothes shop.
And don’t even get me started on three way mirrors! They are seriously a cruel joke and because of them, I hardly ever try anything on in the store and therefore end up returning a lot of items. Last week alone, I’ve bought and returned four things. To four different stores! I ended up with nothing.
Once, I enlisted my fashionista friend (as described above) and owner of Inside Out, Wardrobe Rehab to help me overhaul my closet and I shared my experience here. I think it might be time for another session.
At least I’m not alone, according to a study I found online, only 29% of women actually admit to enjoying going out to buy something to wear.
However, I read another study that said, assuming a woman lives to be 63, she will spend 25,184 hours and 53 minutes of her life buying things. On a yearly basis, this adds up to just shy of 400 hours. 95 of which are dedicated to buying food, which makes sense as I know I’m at the super market at least twice a week! 170 hours are dedicated to buying clothes. 170 hours of clothes shopping?! I’d rather have a root canal every day for a week or have my friend dress me.
Do you like clothes shopping?
Lucas was just 5 weeks old when my wonderful and talented photographer friend, Stephanie came to our home and took these photos.
It’s hard to believe he was ever this tiny.
I mean, his entire body fit inside a basket!
Oh, don’t mind me, I’m feeling nostalgic and ooey gooey this week as my once and not so long ago five week old is about to turn FOUR!!!
We will celebrate with a birthday party next weekend with family and friends. This is the first time Lucas has asked if he can invite all his classmates, along with just about everyone else he meets to his party.
It was almost 5 1/2 years ago and many details of that day remain fuzzy.
I’ll always regret not standing up to say anything. At the time, there were no words, but still I should have thanked everyone for coming and declared my love for my parents publicly.
Sometimes I’ll hear one of the songs my sister and I so painstakingly selected as the soundtrack for that miserable event on the radio and I’ll smile a bittersweet smile.
I know I’ll never forget all the people that were in attendance. We thought maybe a dozen would show up and instead the chapel was full.
When your family and friends are with you during your worst day you tend to look at them a little differently.
Any disagreement you’ve ever had fades away.
Any time that has lapsed since your last visit doesn’t matter.
You realize how much these people love you, how much you mean to them and how far they will travel to be by your side in your darkest hour.
I was so humbled by each and every one of them. Their presence made that day a little easier.
An old boyfriend’s parents, sister, brother-in-law and their children.
My new in-laws, my father-in-law, who less than a month earlier had undergone an eight hour open heart surgery.
High school friends.
My best friends.
It was touching and sweet and I’ll never forget that outpouring of love and joint loss.
Thank God for my people.
1. Looking at photos of my wedding day. Not only were my parents there, but also some of my favorite people in the world plus, it was the day I married my best friend (not to be confused with the best friend I mention in #9).
2. Anytime it’s just me and Lucas in the car. He asks a million questions about what he sees out the window and life in general and I do my best to answer him. Such a curious little buddy.
3. Hearing Lucas sing quietly in his bedroom.
4. A workout that leaves my heart racing and my body super sweaty.
5. Seeing the porch light on upon arriving home.
6. The first sip of a iced Chai tea latte.
7. My sister’s hugs.
8. Starting a new book.
9. Sharing a glass (or bottle) of wine with my BFF, Colleen while we compare parenting notes, commiserate over sick children, family members and too much to do, gossip or crack each other up over the great Dylan McDermott/Dermot Mulroney debate.
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. – Marianne Williamson
I hope your holiday is filled with immense joy, love and laughter!
This post was written for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop and yes, it is my second entry for this week, Prompt #5 List the top 9 things that bring you joy.