Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Month: January, 2016

Things that Didn’t Happen

   
 I’m afraid of change. Like really afraid of it. Not to a crippling point but to the point where when a change has to occur, I have to basically close my eyes and jump to make it happen. Getting married? Terrifying. Joint bank account? Cue the emotional drama. Making a budget for the first time? Absolute panic. HAVING A BABY? Yeah. Basically, I said to Nick, I know we really want a baby. I’m scared but I think we need to just do it. So we just did it and luckily it worked. And the thing about me is, I’m always afraid of a bunch of things. But once I’m in the situation, I’m ok. I just have to get myself into the situation.  

   
So here, in no particular order, are a Bunch of Things I Was Scared of That Turned Out Fine. Catchy title, right?

1. Having to do with these photos, I was really afraid that I would grow distant from Nick with the added stress of a baby. In contrast though, I feel closer to him than I ever have before. We do more things together. We get even more excited to be home with each other and our baby. I love seeing him as a dad and he thinks I’m a great mommy. If anything, Redmond has made us even more in love.

2. I was TERRIFIED of being house bound all winter. I’m an active, social, busy person. Last year it snowed a million inches and was bitterly cold and even without a baby, I didn’t get outside much. Luckily winter this year has been mild thus far, PLUS we have all the cold weather baby gear. This carrier/car seat/stroller cover from 7 A.M. Enfant has been indispensable. I’m prone to some seasonal depression, but getting fresh air makes a huge difference. The gear is worth the investment. Baby stays warm. Mama gets her fix. Without worrying that baby is getting frostbite.

   
3. I was scared my clothes wouldn’t fit me after I had the baby. I love my wardrobe, and I was so nervous that I’d have to get new jeans and dresses, but the human body is amazing and I’m back in all my regular pieces. It was hard work exercising through my pregnancy, but to me, it was worth it. 

4. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. This fear almost came to fruition…I had a rough go of it (more on that Here) for the first few months but all is well now.

   
  5. I worried that we’d never do anything “fun” again. Granted, it’s harder than it used to be. It takes longer to get out of the house, and we have to bring all the things…but we still do lots of fun stuff. Dinners out, lunch dates, watching sports games at pubs, visiting friends, having people over–we do it all. And we are taking our first vacation in February. Am I nervous about the plane? A little. But we will survive. I made it a priority to do something every day for the most part when Red was a newborn. Even if it was just taking a walk or grabbing a coffee, I wanted Redmond to become accustomed to being on the go. And I wanted to quickly conquer my fear of taking my infant out and about. It worked for both of us. 

6. I was nervous I’d never sleep again. Maybe we just got lucky, maybe the methods we used work, but Redmond has slept 10+ straight hours a night since he was about 10 weeks old. I may write a post on what worked for us eventually. Granted, he always fights his naps but I’m a well rested mom. For which I’m grateful. 

   

And that’s that. Clearly I had more fears but I can’t remember them all. These were the main ones for those long 40 weeks of being pregnant.

What changes have you been afraid of? It doesnt have to have anything to do with motherhood, just in general. And did your misgivings turn out to be unfounded? There are lots of adjustments and fears that come along with parenthood, but hopefully this little list helps some of you out! 

Happy weekend everyone.

Coat: Bergens of Norway

Hat: Similar here

Carrier cover c/o 7 A.M. Enfant but all opinions are mine. It’s a lifesaver. 

Breastfeeding: the journey 

  
I haven’t talked about breastfeeding since This post, when the weather was scorching, Redmond was a newborn, and I was struggling with the difficult (for us) task of nursing. Almost five months later, things are very different. I wanted to write about my experience because during the first nearly THREE months of breastfeeding, it was not easy for me. It hurt. I got mastitis. Twice. I had blisters. It took forever. I spent so much time trying to find examples of proper latches. Or latches that got better. Or nursing that improved. Everything I found included things like multiple specialist visits (which I tried a few times to no avail) surgery for tongue ties, or exclusive pumping. Honestly, I just wanted to find a story of survival even if it didn’t get better. I told myself finally that I could handle the pain. Red was getting plenty of nutrition and growing by leaps and bounds and the discomfort wouldn’t kill me. But I still cried over him when he nursed sometimes and I still wondered if it would ever get better. I stressed about whether I had thrush, whether he had thrush, and whether my blisters would ever go away. I stressed over weaning him off the nipple shield, stressed when he tried to nurse without it and my over-active letdown choked him, and stressed that I was a bad mother for just sticking with the nipple shield.  

   

   But then suddenly (really suddenly) at around three months, the pain went away. The blisters heeled. His latch got deeper. He stayed on without me having to hold my breast for him. It was easy. Almost over night. He started going three hours or more between feedings and finished up in ten minutes when he ate. I could hold him to me with one arm. We still used (and use) the shield, but other than that we nursed like normal people. 

Now we are nearly six months in and at last it truly is easy. And I enjoy it, which I honestly wasn’t sure would ever happen. I still sometimes feel like a failure for using the nipple shield, but it works for us. My supply is high, and my baby is in the 97th percentile for height and the 75th for weight. He’s doing fine. We are doing fine. It just took time. Time for his mouth to get bigger to improve his latch, and for my nipples to get tough enough to handle it all. I truly considered giving up during the second month when it was still frequently excruciating to nurse. I thought it would never change. I was so frustrated hearing people talk about the magic of breastfeeding and how natural it all was because for me, I didn’t experience those things. It wasn’t magical. It sure as hell didn’t come naturally to me. But I’m so glad we stuck with it. 

All this to say, if you’re having a hard time but want to continue, don’t give up. Give it some time. Maybe a lot of time. If, of course, you’re baby is getting the nutrition he needs. Those first 11 weeks or so that I struggled already seem distant and unimportant. All that matters now is seeing Redmonds sweet, milky smile when he looks up at me in the middle of a nurse just to see me. Because he loves me. And my goodness, I love him.

Nursing cover c/o Cover me poncho (it also converts into a car seat cover, a poncho, and a scarf. Plus it’s pretty) 

Mad for Plaid

  If I could swaddle myself in a blanket and then burrow into a warm den surrounded by pillows, coffee, and pancakes I would. Actually that sounds a lot like our bed on the weekend. So not terribly outside my grasp…but since my guilt complex/reality don’t allow me to hibernate through the winter (and oh it is winter out there) I’m trying to make do with very cozy clothing.  

   

This plaid poncho situation from Consign Trilogy fits that description, and I really can’t get enough of plaid. Maybe it’s from living in Maine for three years now where you basically need to flannel up for four months out of the year for basic survival, but if it’s plaid, I want to wear it. 

If you ever find yourself yearning for a vintage treasure, or if you happen to be jaunting through Tarrytown, pop into Heathers shop ( Consign Trilogy) and say hello. She just happens to be my best friend and Redmonds adopted auntie. 

 And she’s pretty darn cute. 

Jeans: Asos

Poncho c/o Consign Trilogy

Boots: Amazon

Hat: forever 21 (similar Here)

Dressing Up

   
  There are so many problems with snow that I don’t even know where to begin! Not to be that classic/steriotypical New Englander that moans on and on about the weather, but unless I’m on a ski slope or its Christmas morning I can pass on it thanks. The italics. Necessary for the level of sarcasm I’m trying to jettison in here. Use of jettison: a byproduct of being wide awake at 5:45 today. I don’t hate the mornings (I willed myself into being a morning person over the years) but I do hate a morning that requires digging out a car in the freezing cold. Which brings me back to snow.

 While an untouched valley of it lends an idyllic quality to a photo, the untouched-ness lasts for exactly one day after a storm. That dirty soot snow up there though? Yeah, we will have that until April or May if this year is anything like last (please god no). But enough.  

   
This dress reminds me of a Russian princess and I feel confident that a Russian princess (back in the princess days) would not deign to complain about the snow. Also, if she saw the five inches outside she would probably throw back her delicate head to laugh and say, “Snow? You call that snow?” while frolicking in high fur boots through several feet of the stuff with her large friendly dogs.  

 I, personally, do not have high furry boots but what I DO have is a furry cat. Who can walk on snow with his snow paws. I’m very serious about that. And you know what I’ll do now that I’ve inundated you with words and weird imaginings? I’m going to go eat something. 

Russian princess out.

Send help.

Or just a large, Russian coffee.

Dress c/o Dainty Jewells

As a side note, I absolutely love the vintage quality of this dress. The fabric is stunning and it fits like a dream. 

A Day of it

     
Last week my dearest friend came to visit me for my birthday. She moved to Tarrytown a few years ago to open her own Vintage shop, and though I’m incredibly proud of her, I miss her daily. We were roommates for years and pretty much always lived within half hour driving distance of each other. We used to be gym buddies and karaoke partners, so whenever she visits we do both. 

  

For my birthday, I wanted to have lunch out, get cake at my favorite French bakery in Portsmouth ( Here ) and stroll around popping into shops. We did all those things, and if Redmond looks exhausted in these photos it’s because he was refusing to shut his eyes in case he missed anything. He finally nodded off in his carrier right before we headed home. Of course. 

I bought a few little goodies at Serendipity as well as flourless chocolate cake, French apple crisp, and a chocolate peanut butter bar for our dessert night. I stuck them in that adorable tote so I’d have hands free to snuggle my boy.
  

 It was a perfect day. Right now, my little  one and I are recovering from a stomach bug that’s been sweeping through schools. I’m feeling a lot better today, though I can tell Redmond is still under the weather. He’s so brave and so sweet and all day yesterday when I was vomiting and miserable, he either played quietly or cuddled me. He could tell I didn’t feel well and I could tell he was worried about it. I don’t know how, but I love him more everyday. Just when I think I couldn’t be crazier about him, he gets even more precious. Bah. I love being a mom. 

Tote bag c/o North Detail

Water bottle c/o North Detail Booties

Baby sling c/o Joho baby
Coat c/o Noize Original (the Kennedy)

Embrace the Noize

     
  

Or perhaps more to the point… Embrace the cold. In a Noize Original parka. 

Sometimes New England does this crafty little thing where it tricks you into believing that maybe winter just won’t come. Christmas Eve was 70 degrees for goodness sake, and I’m always willing to suspend my disbelief and tell myself, maybe we will just cruise through winter–no snow, no ice, just crisp mornings. 

   

As you can see, that totally didn’t happen. Further proof…the fact that I’m writing this with messy-dirty hair, in my milk stained flannel pajamas, while nursing my kiwi-juice stained baby in HIS milk stained flannel pajamas. How is this state of things related to winter you may ask? Well, when it’s cold, I have a hard time getting up before 7, and since Redmond sleeps till 7:30, everything gets a sluggish start. You know what is a lot better than taking an early morning run in the cold? Not taking an early morning run in the cold. Or basically anything else ever. But my dog smells like stink-dog and needs exercise and I know that fresh air (even cold fresh air) is good for the soul. So I’m trying to motivate. I really am. 

   
But when I’m not dreading a frigid 3 mile jog, I’m not quite so down in the mouth about winter time. At least this year. Because I’ve started collecting really warm coats. I used to have a charming assortment of peacoats and faux fur jackets…you know…things to look cute in while freezing my buns off. Now, I try to live by the mantra, “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” I have three coats now that are stuffed with down and keep the chill at bay. This parka is probably the warmest in my collection. It keeps all the wind out, and I love how chic it is. Because I want to be warm but I don’t have a particular desire to look like a marshmallow OR the Michelin tire guy. Redmond has no such qualms however, and is happy to look like both.  

 And with that being said I’m going to pull on my fleece lined running leggings, two fleece running tops, warm socks, sneakers, headband, gloves–then I’m going to bundle my baby in his hat, bear suit, blanket, and if I have any energy left we will get some exercise…

Coat c/o Noize original

Motherhood at almost five months

   
   

Redmond will be five months old tomorrow. I’m turning 29 today. How am I turning 29? Where did my 20’s go? Didn’t I JUST turn 25 and get married? How is my baby almost half a year old? Didn’t I JUST tell my husband, giddy and tearful (at the same time) that I was pregnant? Didn’t I JUST feel those contractions, scream my brains out, and produce our perfect son into this world? 

I know I talk about it all the time, but the speed at which life gallops by is dizzying. And the fact that it keeps getting faster is hard for me to handle. I’ll be thirty in like ten minutes. Red will be crawling, taking steps, and facing this world head on in like twenty minutes. You know?  

    
 Being a mother is more wonderful than I ever imagined. Truly. I had expected it to be difficult…to be utterly exhausted…to be stressed and overwhelmed…And obviously sometimes I am all of those things. Bu in general it is so much easier than I had anticipated. Now that breast feeding is at last pain free   (a post on that to come), I feel at ease with this whole mothering thing. When I was pregnant, my husband and I often talked about how we wanted Redmond to enrich our lives, not control them. We’ve done our best to stick to that, and we work as a team to make parenthood simpler. I feed him, Nick changes his diapers, (when we are all together) we both play with him and snuggle him. I want Redmond to feel just as close to his daddy as he does to me, and so far it seems to be that way. I was truly so scared of the changes that parenthood would bring to our life together–but now that we are in this I wouldn’t trade it. As I write this, Nick is building a tower with Redmonds Kapla blocks, and our son is chatting next to him as he plays with his little forest creatures. I’m a little bit sick and a little bit tired but I’m overwhelmingly happy. 

So. Here’s to 29. Here’s to a new year. Here’s to life in all its crazy, beautiful, painful glory. 

Shirt c/o Favoring the brave