My blog has been a little silent recently, but I have a really great 7-pound-11-ounce reason, you guys! On the 4th of July our daughter Joie Flannery made her debut. It took me a long time to write and have the nerve to publish Rowan’s birth story from 2+ years ago, but — as I said then and even know to be truer now -- reading birth stories while pregnant was really helpful for me personally. So sharing this topic is important to me.
Birth is a CRAZY thing, y’all. It’s insane how it can even be possible and how *differently* it happens with each mother and each baby. I expected things to go similarly (or at least partially the same) as Rowan’s birth, so I was really surprised with how unique it was.
And cue the DISCLAIMER: This is a natural birth story that went the way I was hoping… which is not how all births go. I hope this journal is encouraging for anyone fearing birth or wanting a natural birth to know that sometimes it CAN go just as you plan and hope. I also don’t like for people to call me a hero-mom for having a natural birth… All moms are heroes for undergoing the most life-altering experience that exists. Those who endure complications should get way more props than me. I’m a proponent of being patient and trusting God with your birth — and then (when 100% necessary) welcoming the help from modern medicine when it’s needed.
This past weekend, my sisters-in-law threw me a baby "sprinkle" that -- as I mentioned in my last baby sprinkle post -- is pretty hard for people to actually do when a new baby is involved. It was probably more accurate to say we got drenched and showered with baby girl goodies.
They reserved Studio Bham which is such a great spot to have a bridal or baby shower. It's just the right intimate size while also being open and having all the set up items you need. I'm always a big fan of how events turn out there.
The "baby in bloom" theme was right up my alley and perfect for spring .. lots of flowers (wrist corsage by Gold Leaf Floral), greenery, potted succulents for game prizes + herb and flower seeds for favors.
Wow, I’ve seriously been trying to write this post for over a month now and can never seem to finish! Ha! #momlife. I’ve had some friends ask about how the 3-day method went, so I didn’t want to give up on sharing my thoughts.
Before actually getting started, you really must read the entire method created by Lora Jenson. There are so many things I heard about potty training and was doing *mostly* right. Rowan was even interested in it and used the potty at 18 months old! Had I not known this FULL method though, I don’t know if I could’ve sealed the deal for him to be fully trained before he turned 2 1/2… maybe not even by three! He's a strong-willed one.
Here are the 5 things that surprised me the most…
I've been wanting to write this post for a long time. Since this blog serves as a journal for our kids, I thought it would be interesting to share the results of my ancestry testing that my dad got us for Christmas. Has anyone reading this done one of these tests? I'd love to hear your thoughts as well... especially if you did a different kind.
We did the ancestry.com spit-in-a-tube test and mailed it off. I've been into working on my family tree for a whole decade now, and it has been very interesting to me. I've found criminals and queens and that my paternal grandmother is first cousins 8-times-removed with Elvis.
I found the exact town in Ireland where my maternal grandmother's family lived before immigrating. When I took her there, I was able to say, "Well this is it! We are driving through the town!" It was basically just a farming area with not much to see... but it was special to us.
"Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. 'Be still,' they say, 'watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.'"
So to my results...
Happy first day of SPRING! In honor of my birthday month and the official start of spring, I'm really happy to be hosting a $100 gift giveaway to use on the JORD site! One person will win $100, but everyone who enters will receive a consolation code worth $25 once the contest ends! [Scroll down to the bottom of this post for more giveaway details.]
After wanting a wooden watch for a few years, I was really excited when JORD contacted me about reviewing one of their new styles. I've been wearing my watch for a few weeks now, so here are my thoughts...
In 2016 I had a resolution of working harder to lift up others instead of being in my own emotions all of the time. On a day to day basis, we are all just trying to survive adult-life/mom-life that we hardly have time to make grand gestures for our friends beyond big milestones like baby showers or birthdays.
The Leslie-Knope-created "Galentine's Day" holiday is a perfect excuse or reminder to lift up your gal pals. Let's be real... most women being really emotional puts a big hurdle for female friendships. We keep tabs of things like "well they haven't initiated hanging out with me, and I've asked 2 times. Fine I guess they never want to hang out with me."
Well that's not how Leslie Knope thinks, my friends! She will bombard you with friendship and make a binder about all your favorite things. She doesn't take things personally and skulk back into a surface level friendship. It's definitely a lesson in being more intentional and thoughtful with your friends.
Bertha from Chic in Academia ran with this idea and hosted a fun "mom's night in" Galentine party at her house this month, and it turned out so sweet! I was able to do some calligraphy origami place cards for the dinner table, and they turned out exactly like I pictured in my head! whew!
Before I begin this story... I'd like to say that I am not a "ranty" type of person. I hop on soap boxes very minimally and briefly, and I like to keep it that way. I also like to keep it within real life conversations and not in long, annoying facebook statuses. With that said, I just needed to get a parenting dilemma off of my chest.
So you know that baby or toddler who's been so loud in a restaurant, on a plane, or at a coffee shop... the one who caused you to think to yourself "MAN! Why did that mom bring that kid in here? Or why don't they leave or give some discipline?!" Well, today my kid was the one crowing like a rooster in the middle of a quiet, trendy coffee shop, and it just came out of nowhere! His little 1 year old cousin who he hasn't seen in a while was there, and he literally COULD NOT help but show off with all of his (to him) hilarious jokes and animal noises. Also he was super excited about going to the zoo, and was not having much patience as we let the rain pass.
This is where you guys come into play...
We are big fans of snow days over here! They usually only come once or twice a year, so we don't usually have time to get sick of them. Our city also doesn't have enough salt trucks or plows to handle all of the icy roads, so we get to completely shut down for a day or two.
It's even better when no ice has weighed down power lines, and we are still cozy with all the comforts of home (internet, heat and all) like today.
Rowan wanted to sled like the big kids for the first time, so we had to improvise with a plastic storage box. It was a pretty good solution thanks to Zack's ingenuity, and he didn't topple out even once! I'm also proud of myself that I didn't take any pregnant-falls on the ice, even though everything is pretty much like ice skating.
I don't really have anything monumental to share other than our funny storage box idea.. hahaha! But I just wanted to remember this day, because it's been really fun. I also have a recent obsession with Enneagram tri-types and instincts this week, and I just really want ALL my friends to take Enneagram tests so I can know what everyone's dominant type (and wing) is. In between building snowmen, taking naps and playing board games, you should get on that right now and tell me what you are. If you don't, then I'll feel like a big piece of my friendships are missing -- like the type 4 wing 3 that I am. Ha!
Reading my 2015 recap post almost seems like reading another person's life. I'm not really sure how to pinpoint why I'm in such a different place, because honestly this year has been a bit of a blur with not a lot of reflection time.
I do know I've been overall a lot more optimistic (or at least aware of my pessimistic, dramatic responses to things), and I definitely feel like an intense, sassy mama bear more than a broken shell of myself. To the first-time mom of an infant, this might not be your most favorite year, and that's okay. More amazing memories are coming. I've come to realize the tiny baby years are not my favorite. It doesn't mean I don't think they should be savored for what they are. I'm just personally really glad God makes that part go by fast. haha!
The toddler phase is so fun, exciting, and entertaining -- even with all of the daily tantrums and mama vs. toddler stand-offs. Watching him run and jump and explore new places makes traveling even more magical and totally balances out any scenes he may cause along the way. Even with his lack of words he's a great communicator, and I love talking to him!