back home

We're back home again after a wonderful week visiting family. I've been playing catch-up with the groceries and the laundry, and I'm having fun getting back into the daily routines I've made for myself over the last few months since having a house to take care of. As fun as the last week with family was, it's really nice to be back in our little house. We missed our toys and our chewed-on books, our sunny dining room, our highchair in the corner, cooking meals in our tiny kitchen, and our beds.

Oh man, we really missed our beds.


the first weekend of summer


It was decided on Friday night that we were going to pull out our good camera and finally take some real, not-iphone pictures over the weekend. So, as soon as we woke up on Saturday morning and the three of us made our way down into the living room for our usual Saturday morning coffee/playtime/music listening/should we have cereal or eggs or pancakes for breakfast routine, pull out our good camera I did. Just in time for me to capture Ralph practicing his runny-nosed "help me, I'm a poor boy" face. And those flowers up there? They're from my sister-in-law's baby shower three weeks ago. Bravo, cheap grocery store flowers, you're still looking as fresh as ever!

IMG_5748 IMG_5769
Once we had our breakfast (pancakes, we decided,) we went outside to tidy things up a bit. Our front yard was looking slightly overgrown, so Ryan worked on the lawn while I switched between sweeping up a billion of those whirligig helicopter whatever-you-call-ems that fell off our maple trees and onto the driveway, and helping Ralph practice walking. We got really into it, and ended up spending the majority of the day sweeping and raking and pulling weeds and getting blisters. And when we were done, we rewarded ourselves with a family drive to Target to pick up a little table and chairs to keep outside, and a crappy frozen pizza to eat while using it. After a long, happy day working outside, I'll be darned if that crappy pizza didn't taste glorious.
On Sunday we invited our friends Emily and Adam and their sweet baby Abe over to break in that table and those chairs. We grilled burgers and sweet corn, and served watermelon and potato chips and pickles on the side, and ended up having so much fun that I didn't think to take any pictures until after our friends had gone and there were only three lonely cupcakes and some stray ants from those flowers left.
IMG_5808 IMG_5816 IMG_5817
The rest of Sunday was spent doing lazy things like playing in the grass and eating more watermelon. Turns out Ralph is a big fan of summer food, and I couldn't be more pleased. The kid won't touch pureed peas, but had the time of his life chewing on a corn cob and gnawing on a sour pickle. And that night, when we put him to bed all pink and fresh from a bath, his little hands still had a faint scent of pickle on them. Oh man, it's going to be a fun summer.
PS: These photos are my favorite from the whole weekend. Ralphie knows what he wants. And when he wants it, he wants it NOW. That's my boy!

PPS: I made yarn-wrapped twinkle lights for this month's crafty craft on You Are My Fave. Check 'em out HERE.


belly laughs from ralph: a video

This little one is keeping us in stitches lately. He's such a happy baby, and as long as he gets a couple proper naps during the day, is just the sweetest thing to be around. The silliest things make him laugh-- Ryan using a shovel, the broom, the barks of the dog next door-- it all produces serious belly laughs from Ralphie.

I took this video last weekend after a day of graduation parties and visiting with family. All three of us were pretty wiped, and I was running a fever of 103 that came out of nowhere. We sat down to eat, and Ryan started playing peek-a-boo...and then this happened. It was awesome.

Oh Ralph, you're a peach. I love you.


postpartum style and postpartum stuff

I love this boy.
Madeline from Uber Chic for Cheap is doing an awesome series on her blog about Postpartum Style. Not too long ago, she asked me if I'd like to contribute and write a guest post about my postpartum experience. As soon as I opened the email from her I did a fist pump--it was so exciting. I have loads to say about how I felt after having a baby. I've actually been wanting to write about it here for a while, but I was never quite sure how to go about doing it. Writing for Madeline's series was a good way for me to sit down and think about what I wanted to say.

My hormones and I went through the ringer after I had Ralph. I've always thought of myself as a pretty level person, and besides my tendency to cry (I blame it on growing up with 4 other women in the house) I've always been in control of my emotions. I've always been aware of how I'm feeling, and why I'm feeling that way, you know? The first few weeks after giving birth were tough, and I expected all that. So when I felt anxious or moody or upset, it didn't concern me-- I was sure it was all due to lack of sleep. But those feelings continued for months, and I was becoming exhausted with myself. I was overwhelmed by everything. My new little life with Ralphie was so happy, and most days were good, but there was always something lurking, telling me that things were just a bit off. I don't think I was ever depressed, and I didn't have crazy emotional feelings all the time, but I certainly was going through something I had never dealt with before.

The transition between woman and mother is such a big one. My world was turned upside down when I had Ralph. I was learning how to live in an entirely different life, whether I liked it or not. I remember thinking so many times that I just wanted to feel myself again, which is a frustrating feeling when you no longer know who you are anymore. 

The good news is that I'm starting to figure it out again. Things have leveled off, thankfully, and I'm having more and more fun every day getting to know who I am as a mother. I like my life again, and not just the sweet, cute, chubby baby parts of it-- I like the housework and the chores and the errands. I like the quiet nights with Ryan, and the laughing in the kitchen when we make supper together, and the walks in the backyard. I like the days when I have a moment to paint my nails, or work on something I'm proud of, or make a craft, or read a magazine. I wake up in the morning feeling ready to start the day, instead of feeling overwhelmed-- and I like that feeling most of all.

You can read my postpartum style post on Madeline's wonderful blog HERE. If you happen to be an expecting mama, or a new mama, or a seasoned mama struggling through the same things I did, I hope some of my silly style tips help you. And a big fat THANK YOU to sweet Madeline, for asking me to write it, and for posting it-- I wasn't so sure she would after I sent it to her. It's a looooong post, practically a novel. I couldn't stop writing. It felt good.