Monday, February 5, 2018

2018: The New Years Card That Never Was (and a Four Months Late Birthday Party!)

So...2018 should have been our EIGHTH YEAR sending out a super cute card to our friends and family to ring in the New Year. Oops! Things were so crazy throughout the fall and holidays that it just never happened. We got my sister to take some very cute photos of us, I mocked up the card, and then, it was just too late. So, I let it go! The photos are keepers though:

I guess we'll revive that tradition next year. In the meantime, I'm happy we have family photos from the end of 2017. 

The other thing that fell by the wayside after our move fell through was Coco's birthday party. You see, in July, when we still thought we were moving, we had a Bon Voyage birthday party for Coco with her dear friends from her Montessori class. She was feeling really sad about not being able to invite those friends to her birthday party once we crossed the pond, so we decided to have a separate party just with them. 

Then when we didn't move...well, that was awkward. And it was not a quick conclusion, either! It took nearly six weeks to wait on the appeal and things were really in flux that whole time. Once we had finally moved into our current house, Coco's birthday was just 10 days away. Because she had only been at her kindergarten for a couple weeks and didn't have an established group of friends yet, it would have normally made sense to have a party with her Montessori friends. But, of course, we had just had a party with them a short while before. Yowza!

So, we waited and then a couple weekends ago, we had the absolute cutest birthday party for Coco. She invited a super sweet group of girls from her kindergarten class and it turns out that the end of January is primo birthday party time! Only ONE girl couldn't make it, due to Ski School and they all had so much fun. Pro tip: If you're looking to conceive, April is a great time. ;)

Not one, but TWO of Coco's very best friends actually have her exact same birthday! Needless to say, they were a little confused about the party happening in January. But, the mom of one of the girls said she thought it was pretty awesome. Her daughter's party had been all preschool friends and she would have loved to have delayed it until her social scene was better established at kindergarten. Winning!

So that is how our 2018 has started out. Now that February is here, maybe things will settle down a bit. Maybe? Possibly? Or maybe I'm just a perpetual hot mess? That's okay, too! 

How has 2018 started off for you? Are you feeling cool and collected, or all over the place? 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Have a darling weekend.

I'm in love with this baby bunny - and with those short black fingernails! I must schedule a gel manicure for this weekend and get mine done the same way toute de suite. What are you up to this weekend? I am absolutely dying for spring. It's been so unseasonably warm and rainy here that it's hard not to think that spring is just around the corner. I'm itching for longer days, more time outside and to feel warm sun on my face. It seems so close. Does it seem close where you are, too?

And here are a few links for your weekend:

I had all but forgotten about this album. So. Many. Memories.

Coco's class had a "stuffy party" (?!) and for her ONE stuffy, she chose to take this one. Heart warmed.

They don't call it beauty sleep for nothing!

Birdseye view.

I'm sorry, but there's just no way I cannot make this.

Still the worst DIY ever.

Emotional courage.

Whoa. I have no words. (But I'll never buy Frankincense again. Shoot!)


They are truly the best sandwiches in the world.

I'm absolutely loving this bag.

Sorry for the light posting this week! Theo has a stomach bug and J and I had a lot on our plates. So, enjoy your weekend and I plan to see you back here Monday! xo

(Photo via Pinterest)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Birth Plans

Let's just talk about birth plans for a minute if we might. I was so determined to have a natural birth with Coco because I thought that it was somehow wrong or weak or a failure to get an epidural during labor. So I hired a doula for our birth and read tons of books by Ina May Gaskin and others, and got really into this school of thought that drug-free birth was actually superior to other births.

These photos of me are three days before Theo's due date. I was enormous. I did not hire a doula. I did not go into it determined to have a drug-free birth. I had had really debilitating lower back labor with Coco and I knew that it was less planning, preparation and will power than it was just sheer luck and genetics and body type that determine how a woman's birth will go.

So when I was searching for something else today and the website for The Bradley Method happened to come up in the Google results, I couldn't help but read the snippet which included a testimony declaring "People told us we shouldn't try to have a natural birth with our first baby -- 'find out what it's like first,' they'd say. But we decided we'd get it right the first time."

Oh man! That last line really made my blood boil. "...we decided we'd get it right the first time," as if there's such a thing as "getting it wrong." Arrrrgh.

I just want to say this loud and clear: If you are pregnant and fretting about getting your birth "right" just stop right now. Have an open mind, do your best to remain calm, surround yourself by supportive people or just have one or two trusted people with you if that sounds better, trust your body, trust yourself, don't approach it as a sport or competition, do what works for you, and place some trust in the professionals caring for you. When Theo was born, he was gigantic! But much to my surprise, never once did anyone mention a cesarean. I really believe that most of the time, if a recommendation is made, it is with the mother and baby's best interest in mind.

But I have to admit that this culture of "getting it right" is so pervasive that a huge part of my desire to have a third baby has come from wanting to finally "get it right" and have a drug-free birth. I still want to do it just so I can say I did. How stupid is that?! Seriously. I am forever grateful that western medicine has provided us with the tools and options not to die in childbirth at the numbers women did in the 19th century. And to suppose that using pain relief or a life-saving surgical option during labor and childbirth is not "getting it right" is incredibly narrow-minded.

Besides, childbirth is merely the rite of passage into being a mother. Just as a wedding is not a marriage, childbirth is not being a mother. Motherhood is a continual commitment. It's about the love and connection we develop with our children. It is the support and unwavering devotion we make to our babies throughout their lives. It's the relationship we cultivate, day-by-day, year-by-year to be meaningful, positive, caring and life-giving forces in their lives. "Getting it right" is to have a trust- and heart-centered relationship with our children. And that is all.

Okay, rant over. I should also add that if you are one of the women out there who managed to go through childbirth without pain relief or a cesarean, that is simply lovely. I do not mean to belittle your ability to withstand the pain and discomfort of childbirth. I admire your strength. Our experiences were not the same, and both were right.

Did you (or do you intend to) have a birth plan?
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