My First Mother’s Day: Preparing for the Role of a Lifetime

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It’s quiet here. There is a peace that I know will be a fleeting memory in a few weeks. So I’m savoring this moment. I’m on the cusp of becoming a real mommy. Today takes on a whole new meaning – and one that makes me a bit more emotional (I’ve already cried once while folding little newborn onsies fresh from the dryer). I CAN’T WAIT to meet this little one!! And am so incredibly appreciative to have had the mentor and Mother I was blessed with 30 years ago.

baby duds

Yesterday I was awakened (earlier than my weekday alarm) to Little Man’s hiccups. Funny feeling I can only describe as a pulsing vibration – but one that usually makes my stomach move like Jolly Santa. Oh little reminder that I will soon be happy if I can sleep in until 5am :).

So I let the nesting resume.

As our due date nears (we have 11 weeks to go! holy cow!), I can’t help but feel thrown into “prep mode” – well, as prepared as you can be. So yesterday morning I found myself strolling (well more like waddling, it was not a comfy day yesterday – move over Little Man!) the rows of Target as Joe jetted off to work (he’s been working 6 days, 12 hours each day – and looking forward to a bit of paternity leave himself). I couldn’t help but notice that I shared the aisles with PJ clad parents – carting little tikes in baby carriers…..oh hello new life!

On my list – our hospital bag and the key items for those first few days. Diapers were my first stop – we had none. Now we have two brands to test drive for the first two weeks. Who knows how fast this little guy might grow!

Next I stockpiled nursing supplies to take with me – thanks to recommendations from my best friend mommies and their successful (or failed) attempts to use products. I’ve signed up for a breast-feeding class through the Lamaze Family Center in town a few weeks from now that I hope – on top of all the emails, blogs, and books – will help me feel more confident. I have appreciated the real life advice from my coworkers, best friends, and other new moms.

After that, I picked up some comfy gear for myself. A cotton nightgown, sweatpants (yes, something I don’t – nor have I ever – owned), nursing tops, and travel sized toiletries. Final item will be a bathing suit (two piece – which they didn’t really have in my size) for the tub (our hospital has rooms with big tubs that can be used for pain management even if you don’t plan a water birth – YES!).

Home with my loot, I also began washing all his little clothes. I flew home to see family and friends for a Nautical (in honor of his Daddy) themed baby shower. Talk about one loved little boy! We now have a slew of cute newborn outfits – and stellar must-have baby items – ready for his arrival! Thank you to everyone who helped to make that day so special (especially the hostesses with the mostesses Elaine and Erika).

elaine and baby r

nauticalerika and baby r

My final Mother’s Day weekend project will be setting up the little nursery corner for Little Man with Joe. We live in a one-bedroom apartment, and have LOVED living here. Our lease was to end two weeks before our due date – so we extended month to month because there is noooooo way I’m moving 14 days before our due date – or after for that matter. Thankfully, I lived in a studio in DC and Joe’s lived on an aircraft carrier….small spaces don’t scare us. So Little Man has a cute corner of our room just for him decked out in “woodland” themed colors and pictures.

baby r

Ultimately, by the time this weekend is over, we will be “prepared” for his arrival. If he were to come early, we’d be as ready as we will ever be to care for a new life. We’ve talked often about what we expect those first few days to be like – chaos, laughter filled, tear filled, peaceful (as a new life can often make you pause in wonder), and blessed. And we’ve talked about what the next few years will be like – our parenting styles, wishes, hopes, and fears. I’m a Mom now. We are parents. And we are so honored (ugh I’m crying again)!

We love you Little Man!

Momma and Daddy!

 

Confessions of an absent blogger

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My goodness! Has it really been that long since I last posted?! So embarrassed….BUT I promise I have a goooooood reason.

The last time I posted, we were in the final run up to our wedding (almost 6 months ago! Way to go us!). As the BIG Day approached, I realized I needed to practice what I have preached on several occasions – making sure to enjoy the present moments, and make tough priorities with available time. Which meant – the blog got put on pause. It was so important to me to soak in all the moments – happening so quickly. Which meant I guarded my time fiercely – making sure to fit in quality time with Joe, exercise, plenty of rest, and focus on the final to-dos.

I am soooo glad I did! The memories over the past 8 months will be ones I will cherish for a lifetime. Priorities peeps!

The New Mr. & Mrs. Photography by Amy Boeve Photography.

The New Mr. & Mrs. Photography by Amy Boeve Photography.

So then we were Newlyweds (Bliss!)…..so why did it take me until almost 6 months later to post again? Priorities (Duh!).

You know the old saying, “First comes love (CHECK), then comes Marriage (CHECK, CHECK), then comes the ….

Our newest addition! Expected arrival date - July 2013!

Our newest addition! Expected arrival date – July 2013!

Yep. A Baby!

We were overjoyed to find out (what we thought might take awhile due to medical reasons) we were to be parents! However, what helped to tip us off that we might be expecting – morning sickness – also put a damper on returning to a “normal” newlywed life. So again, blog on pause.

The first trimester was  – exhausting, anxiety provoking, filled with constant nausea, bedtime at 7:30pm and required that I make my health (and the baby’s) a priority. THANKFULLY, you have almost 10 months to prepare. It takes that long to adjust, mentally prepare and physically transform for a baby.

As we enter the last trimester, I feel life is adjusting (not settling – NOT at all!) to our new normal. The past 6 months have been like a moving train – that isn’t slowing down or expected to stop anytime soon (hello 18 years of active, full-throttle parenting!). But like many things in life, it’s a matter of learning – and allowing yourself – to adjust. It’s a work in progress, but one I feel we are doing successfully. Thanks to strong teamwork, active emphasis on romance (Joe’s a gem at making a nauseous lady feel loved), and again – prioritizing!

So I do plan to blog more, but with the knowledge that it won’t be as frequent as before.  That come July – I’ll be taking a maternity leave from the blog. And I’ll be adding a new aisle to my life – Itsy Bitsy (Baby)!

Eagerly awaiting meeting our son!

Erin

Wedding Wednesday: You’re Invited

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It is such a perfect night here in Michigan that I just had to pause. The past few weeks have been nothing but craziness! This summer just flew by! So I’m stealing a few moments on our porch to catch up.

First up, we are heading into the final stretch of wedding preparations. Our invites were sent out in early August. I just love coming home to find a mailbox full of RSVPs! We can’t wait to see everyone in November.

The invitations would have NEVER gotten done without the talent and true patience of my friend Bree at Double Bee Design. She has been instrumental in making sure the story of our day flows throughout all the stationery products for our Day!

It started back in April when I started taking study breaks to pin photos of designs and styles I love…..sidenote, seriously! What would I do without Pinterest! (Or Etsy – another stellar online resource – and collection of talent!)…I digress…Bree was a DOLL in capturing exactly what we wanted our guests to expect from our wedding – in paper! She seriously put up with my bazillion emails – and “suggestions” or “tiny requests” – all while also planning her wedding and moving into a new home! I mean – talk about Super Woman! Bree, be honest! I think this might have been my one Bridezilla moment – with about four edits and several “wish” lists. Thanks for putting up with my paper crazy brain!

The final product was better than I could have imagined. It helped to have a friend who not only understood design, but also had great printer recommendations. She even helped me determine if the “Gravel” paper from PaperSource would “work” with our invitation theme (loooove that color!). Our invites came in within our budget – and with all the frills! That equals one happy Bride-to-be!

My Mother lent a hand in addressing each our envelopes in her signature script (Seriously special! Thanks Mommy!). While Joe used his muscles to stuff our invitation pockets with RSVP and Reception cards (without getting a paper cut!)! It was a true team effort!

We finally popped them in the mail – and are hoping to see lots of friends and family in November. Both Joe and I admit that between our families and friends, it was a tough decision on the invite list. Our wishes for an intimate, but rocking day, was a tough one to meet. Who to invite – and how to keep the list within your budget and space constraints was quite a feat! One that we knew wouldn’t be easy. We are thrilled to have so many amazing people in our life and we hope – whether you are able to come or not – you’ll join us in a toast on Nov. 3rd!

Cheers!

Erin and Joe

 

 

Wedding Wednesday: Groom’s Corner – Why Joe is having Nightmare’s Already

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Ok. So I’ve slacked on the whole Groom’s Corner idea. Truth is, I thought I’d have more to say, but I kinda lucked out in finding a pretty awesome Groom. Womp ;).

But now that we are t-minus 3 months, Joe has had his first wedding dream nightmare. And no, it was not about dancing in front of lots of people or passing out at the altar. His nightmare was a fear that he would not have a tux. Silly man.

The first year Joe and I dated, he wore several tuxes – and looked dapper in all of them. Our first New Years together was spent with good friends at a black tie function (the photo above is exhibit A) – a first for me, and I am certain, a first for Joe. While Joe had spent his day in a uniform, the last thing he really wanted to do was wear a tux. But judging by the photos – and the fact that this is the only one of us that night that is kosher to post (hi Mom and Dad!), I think he had a good time too. He did it because I asked him. For that, and the fun memory of that night, I will forever be grateful.

So as the wedding date approaches – and as Joe’s nightmares show – it was time to go get a tux. After the disastrous experience registering without being prepared for the time, effort, and ridiculous 3-page checklist, I decided that for our sanity we should call ahead. I called the Big Box tux store to inquire about the initial meeting for a tux rental. Promptly I was informed that I could make an appointment. GREAT! Let’s do that. Say block off 30 minutes……Um wait. What? Two hours??! What on earth is going to take two hours?

Apparently that is the allotment of time suggested by the Big Box tux store……what man, or for that matter woman, would take TWO HOURS to try on tuxes.  Now, I do realize that it took me 4 stores and two days to find a dress, but Joe is a guy on a mission. Trust me when I say, it will NOT take Joe TWO HOURS. I calmly explained this to the lady at the store. She finally agreed to blocking off an hour……um. OK.

I must admit, one thing I love about Joe is that we share a very focused mind when it comes to shopping. We know what we want, we go in, we get it, we get out….mission accomplished. If this lady thought it would take him two hours to pick a tux, she is going to be surprised.

So off we went, me with my wedding binder in hand, to pick a tux. We were done in a cool 20 minutes flat……Do I know my Groom or what! Nailed it!

He picked out a very modern style that will still look timeless and classic (so our kids won’t be embarrassed). As for his bow tie color, a woven texture of burgundy and plum (don’t worry, I brought my color swatches!). A perfect match!

I can’t wait to see him standing at the end of the aisle. Granted he could have worn a plastic bag and I would still marry him….but don’t tell him that. No more nightmares.

So nightmares/fears/weird worries/panic attacks – 0. Erin and Joe – 1.

Sweet dreaming!

Erin

 

 

Family and Friend Friday (um well I guess Saturday): Why, at 29, I still need my Mommy.

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So I’m re-claiming Sat. mornings for me time – aka blog time. It was such a crazy week I just couldn’t post before now (thanks for all the great feedback on my wine cork table numbers!)

As the dusts settles from the move to Michigan, I am happy to say, it is starting to feel like home around here! It does help that we now have a bed and a couch.

But none – I MEAN NONE – of that could be made possible without my Mommy. I will totally own up to the fact that no matter how old I get – I will still be my Mommy’s little lamby. Yep. That’s what she calls me – or sweet pea.

From the moment that Joe and I started talking about moving to Michigan over a year ago, my Mom and Dad have been supportive (which I know is hard considering how far I am from home now). So the day after graduation, we made the first step – and loaded up my stuff in  Boston. But the reality was that prior to moving to Boston, I lived in Alexandria, VA – in a two bedroom apartment. CLEARLY I had not brought ALLLLL my stuff to Boston. It had been sitting in a storage locker for two years – waiting. For now!

 

Due to my start date at work, I couldn’t take a ton of time off – to go get my stuff out of storage! So I am SO grateful for my Mother – and that she survived the adventure vacation of a lifetime to help me out.

My Mom started the journey to get my stuff out of storage in Alexandria. Watched the movers load up the truck, and start the trek west to pioneer country! However, my Mom wasn’t the only one that made the trek in her car…..she had a stowaway. Kid you not! You’ve heard of a mouse in your house, but have you heard of a mouse in your car. Yes. I said CAR! My poor Mom not only helped move my stuff, but brought a mouse with her. The auto shop, the hardware store clerk, and the trash man all got a good laugh when my Mom went to go see them about getting a mouse out – of her car. However, in true Midwest fashion, after a hearty laugh, they all kindly helped her set traps, check for possible entrance spots, and then dispose of the evidence so my poor Mother could focus on enjoying her time here. Crazy right!

She helped to turn this:

*Um how awesome is this! A laundry room!

Into this:

Ok it looks way worse than it actually was…..maybe. I must admit coming home to this was a bit shocking. My Mom and Joe’s Mom, Karen, spent the day over seeing the movers delivering all my stuff (in the process they had a blast and got to know one another a bit more. I mean they will be family soon!)

I have so much STUFF! We started unpacking and sorting – and loaded up two huge bins for the Salvation Army. The truth is, as I unpacked, I found myself acutely aware that Joe would have to live here too – with his stuff. So it was a matter of keeping my favorite things – and allowing Joe to have room for his as well. My Mom was a huge help in this process. Thinking through furniture placement, kitchen supplies, and where Joe might put his Star Wars collection (just WAIT for this post! I promise that I think you CAN have his stuff on display in a very artsy way!) Surprisingly, I found lots of stuff to just donate. And what a liberating feeling! This will be our first home together! Why wouldn’t I be totally stoked to make room for that!

As we get settled in, I’ll post more. And don’t judge if the pictures and curtains don’t get hung until after Nov. It’s a crazy next three months – but I’m just glad to have an oasis for us to enjoy! Thanks Mom! Best. Home-warming gift. EVER!

Welcome Home!

Erin and Joe