Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Month: April, 2016

Things that Make My Day

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You know how sometimes we are like this thing happened and it ruined my WHOLE DAY! And sometimes its along the lines of– spilling your morning coffee? Or being excited for some leftovers for lunch and your roommate or partner has eaten them/taken them to work? Or you were planning on wearing a specific article of clothing and you can’t find it? Not that I relate to any of these….but, you know, just for example? Well, sometimes equally little  things can MAKE my whole day too. img_3079-1

 

This past week was a long,  tiring, sometimes lonely, generally chilly sort of week. The sort of week where you get to Saturday and you’re like, thank goodness. And you have to stop yourself from dwelling on  the fact that Monday is just around the corner because oh my God Hannah, live in the moment, look on the bright side! Nick is a baseball coach and a teacher, and I actually really enjoy baseball season once the weather warms up and I can start going to the  games and basking in the sun. That’s not happening quite yet though, so Redmond and I are eagerly anticipating a turn towards Summer and being able to see the man in our lives in his element. During weeks like this, little pick-me-ups are super important. So here are a few of mine.

  1. Buying a nice coffee. When you live on a budget, coffee money doesn’t grow on trees (oh, if only) and it’s a special splurge when I do get one. Yesterday, my sister treated me to an almond milk Irish cream latte at her cafe. I sipped it while we watched our babies play at the park, and chatted about life. Day Made.
  2. Compliments from strangers. On Thursday, I was feeling particularly exhausted when Nick got home. He sent me on a little solo trip to the market to pick up a fun drink for us. When the woman asked for my ID, and realized that I was almost thirty (oh mah goonness, oh mah goonness) she GASPED and said, “You look like a baby!” Day Made.
  3. Getting a package in the mail. Right? There’s nothing better. I love grocery shopping/general stuff shopping with Redmond, but clothing shopping I prefer to do online. And the anticipation of awaiting the package afterwards makes it that much better. Day Made.
  4. Dessert. Do I even need to elaborate? Making brownies right now.
  5. Lunch dates with girlfriends. I really try to make a concerted effort to see friends (and my sister, who is also my friend) throughout the week. I am an extrovert and I need that grown up social time to fill my tank. A good date with a girlfriend makes my WHOLE day, and sometimes the day after too.img_3083-1
  6. Family time. Even if its just a walk after dinner, or sitting on the porch when Nick gets home from work with Redmond playing on the floor- a good family session makes me so much happier. If it also includes a cocktail, or a stop for iced coffee, then all the better.
  7. Sun, warmth, and white clothing. Which finally has something to do with this post. Last week we had a few gorgeously warm days. I wore this breezy, flowy tunic which is a perfect transition piece for this time of year. I paired it with my favorite ripped denim jeans and a pair of low heels. Later, I switched them out for my birks so I could take a longer walk. We got iced coffee, sat in the grass, and soaked in the sunshine while it lasted. It was a beautiful afternoon. And it made my day. Later I smeared deviled egg all over myself while feeding Redmond…but I didn’t mind. That’s why we have bleach pens. And nothing beats warmth and white.

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Now I want to know– What little things make your day brighter?

my top/similar jeans/birkenstocks/

Redmonds outfit: bear jumper/strawberry booties

Bathing Beauties

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What is it about bathing suit season? Every year, around New Years, all the instructors at my gym start talking about working on our bikini bods. As if the only purpose to exercising or eating well is to somehow incite admiration and envy while strutting around in a bikini at the beach. As if, for the rest of the winter, we all just sort of crawled into a hole and covered ourselves in pie and macaroni and cheese and suddenly realized, Oh my gosh, bikini season is coming!

But there is something to be said for the insecurities that have a tendency to pop up when we stand in a dressing room, with that god awful lighting, and stair at the PILE of bathing suits we have dragged in with us. And at ourselves. The body that I am often (though not always…I struggle…) happy with suddenly seems not good enough. I have stretch marks on my thighs from when I shot up from being a kid to being the height I am now. I have cellulite. I have a little bit of extra skin from carrying my son inside of me for nine months. I have an imperfect body. But the crazy thing is– to be imperfect, one must assume that one could be otherwise perfect. And why in the world do we feel that we ought to be? I’m 29 years old and I enjoy a donut on the weekend. I like to eat pizza now and then and I love pasta. I am not running around drinking protein shakes and fist bumping my personal trainer and getting spray tans on the daily. That’s not my reality. So, the assumption of supposed “perfection” is not my reality either.img_2995-1

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We are always reading about how terrible airbrushing and editing is for our sense of reality and our self esteem. So why doesn’t everyone just stop doing it? Why are we, as women, (or I guess specifically as bloggers/instagrammers/whatever) still smoothing our skin out in photos, or shaving off bits of our body to appear thinner on our computers? Why are we still feeling the overwhelming pressure to be as perfect as we can be?  I don’t have photo shop, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t know how to use it. But I still feel that pressure. Even looking through these photos– a beautiful day, a beautiful bathing suit, and me. I was instantly drawn to all those things that I am insecure about. I am more judgmental, more unkind, more severe towards myself than I am towards anyone else. And I know I am not alone in that. I try hard in my daily life to be kind, and that kindness should extend to myself as well. I am working on it.

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This past week we had some beautiful days. My husband and I had April vacation and we did lots of fun things as a family. We even went to the river,img_3005 which is where we took these photos. I put on This beautiful swim suit and sat on the grass and dipped my feet in the water with my sweet boy and my husband and I felt happy. And beautiful. And strong. Because this time last year, my body was still building the perfect baby that I get to hold in my arms every day now. img_2996-1

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These months ahead are my favorite of the year. Summer dresses, ice cream, long runs outside, days down the Cape, afternoons on the beach, and lots of bathing suits. I have been wanting to get in on the one piece trend, but my big bust and long torso have made it tricky to find anything that works. Which is why I was basically giddy with how perfectly this one from Lime Ricki fit my body. There are tons more gorgeous pieces on the site, and they are having a big old sale right now so if you’re in the market for a well made suit that looks gorgeous and hugs you in all the right places, hop on over. I still love my bikinis, but now that I’m a mom, I want some suits that are suited (see what I did there? God I’m clever) to having a baby crawl all over me/chasing after said baby if he ever decides to become mobile/jumping around in the water with aforementioned offspring. Ok. With that very long sentence, I am finished.

But I want to know: Can you relate to any of these insecurities? And if so, what are some things you do to overcome them?

swimsuit/heart shaped sunnies/similar hat (on sale for 30$)

**Thanks to Carters for Redmonds outfit and Lime Ricki for mine. All thoughts are my own**

Letting the Shoulders Breathe

Wait, did you hear? Have you seen? Off the shoulder dresses are in for spring and summer! Again! 

   I jest. You have obviously heard AND seen because they are everywhere and on everyone. Yours truly included. I have a sizable collection that I’m always eager to add to because when is enough enough? I have no idea.
  

It is still aggressively Spring and not Summer (which should be acceptable but I am impatient) but I’m pulling out some of my dresses and adding a denim jacket or…ok just a denim jacket. I’m not that inventive and I have a narrow collection of light coats. It feels good though, and I painted my toes so that I could wear my open toed heels to dinner this weekend. Also because I went to a Pilates class and was the only person with naked toenails…and I was so humiliated and embarrassed and I curled my toes under the balls of my feet and hid in shame. I’m kidding. I didn’t feel anything except my screaming abdominal muscles. 
  

Anyway. This dress is like 12 dollars and comes in tons of colors. I like it so much that I’m tempted to order another. I probably will. Also, it comes in two days with Amazon prime (because who isn’t a prime member these days?) which is basically like instant gratification. So I definitely will order another. And when my husband asks me if I REALLY needed more off the shoulder dresses I will ask him if he REALLY needs to ask me that question because, come now. The answer is obvious. 
 

I added my favorite heart shaped sunnies and this delicate, beautiful necklace from my fab.fit.fun Box. And then after these photos I went and stuffed pizza into my face. Into my mouth actually. I am very coordinated. 

That’s all I’ve got for today folks. We are on April break here which has been wonderful. Today–a little bit of work and meeting a Dear friends new baby girl. I can’t wait. 

Dress/Sunnies 

Wonderfully Messy

The beautiful Erica of  Honeybee Boutique sent me this tank top from her adorable line of tshirts. And let me be honest… This week it has felt extra appropriate. I can’t put my finger on it, but I have felt extra messy lately. Like our home needs to be purged of stuff. Like I can never get on top of housework, like I’m failing on all social media fronts (more on that another time) like I’m not doing all the things I should be doing as a mom… 

It could be the change of seasons–in spring, I want to lighten my life, and spring cleaning goes with that. It could be my husbands coaching schedule which has him home later at night. It could be that I just haven’t been feeling 100% physically…I’m run down and tired despite Redmonds good sleeping schedule and my own early bedtime. I don’t know what it is. I yearn for heat and sun and feeling humidity on my skin, and being outside all day. This happens to me most years– by April I am finished. In Thailand, where I grew up, April was the zenith of the hot season. We celebrated it with Song Kran, a Buddhist holiday that has morphed (at least in Chiangmai) into a gigantic city wide water fight. I think my bones yearn for that warmth, even after having lived in America for sixteen years.

  I have a tendency to put a lot of pressure on myself– I’m sure you can relate. I have always kept myself busy, and as a mom, it is even more intense. I find myself thinking, “Oh my gosh, should I be teaching Redmond his colors? Should I be singing about his head, shoulders, knees, and toes? Should he be eating more or differently? Am I failing? Am I failing? AM I A FAILURE?” You feel me? Even if I know that I am a good mother, intellectually, it is so easy to spiral down that rabbit hole of self doubt and self loathing, and end up where? At the bottom. In a mess.
 It is an exercise in self control to remind myself that I am enough. I could always be doing more. I could have a cleaner house, I could make more baked goods, fancier meals, have a better blog, start teaching Redmond his alphabet (I kid) and on and on and on–but I am, right now, enough. My son is beloved. By myself and my husband. To Redmond, I am a perfect mommy. He loves me purely and without question. And this life of mine? It is wonderful. A wonderful mess.

details: honeybee boutique, co/similar flannel/sneakers

Also, thanks to mom.me for featuring me in their top 25 fit Instagram moms! Such an honor. See the article here.

Sleeping Like a Baby

Is there anything that takes up more of our brain power as a new mom than sleep? Both our own and our babies. My sister and I joke about this because the two of us talk about our little ones napping and sleeping habits constantly. And nothing takes the cake like sleeping through the night. So. Firstly, I am BY NO MEANS AN EXPERT. I have one baby. I only can speak from my own individual experience, and the things that have worked best for my husband and I. If you cosleep, or don’t feel comfortable leaving your baby to cry a bit, than this probably isn’t for you. At the end of the day, it’s what makes you happy, and thus makes baby happy. For me personally, I am completely unable to function with less than seven hours of sleep. I get nauseous and dizzy, my immune system crashes, and I become prone to depression. So with that in mind, Nick and I were very purposeful about Redmonds sleep from day one.

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First, let me explain what I mean by sleep through the night. If I don’t have to enter Redmond’s room from the time he goes down (8:00) to when he gets up for his morning nurse (between 5:45 and 6:30) then he slept through the night. If he wakes up and is able to self soothe himself back to sleep without me, in my mind that still counts, because I didn’t have to get out of bed. Redmond has never refused to fall back asleep– but if I have to nurse him to get him to that, then that doesn’t count. So now that we have everything on the table, let’s get started.

  1. Clearly establish day and night sleep. Day to night confusion is really common with newborns. For Redmond, from the first day we brought him home, we started differentiating between naps and night time sleep. During the day, we brought his little wicker bassinet downstairs and put it in our sunny living room. We played gentle music whenever he slept so that it was not dark or completely silent. We also didn’t swaddle him during the day. At night, I gave him  his final nurse in the dark, we used a noise machine for constant white  noise, and we swaddled him up.
  2. Load your baby up with milk. I nurse on demand, but when he was tiny and would eat whenever the boob was offered to him, I would start loading him up two hours or so before bed. I would nurse him every half hour or forty five minutes, and then finish with a long, quiet nurse in bed before transferring him into his bassinet. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that the MOST he ever woke up was three times a night to eat. And he started stretching four hours by about three weeks old.
  3. Let your baby fall asleep on his own. This is one of those points that is totally up to each individual. Initially, whenever he nursed at night, I would let him fall asleep on my chest before we reswaddled him and put him back to bed. But eventually, I would nod off as well and wake in a panic because I was so scared of dropping him off the side of the bed or rolling over onto him. My husband encouraged me to start putting Redmond down when he was awake, and the first night, it was hard. He cried for about ten minutes (as did I) until we picked him up, soothed him, and put him back. After that, he fell right asleep, and has been doing it on his own ever since.
  4. Create a bedtime ritual. This is like, a really common one of course. But it is important. We are not SUPER strict about bedtime. If we are home, he is generally asleep by 8:00. But if we are visiting friends or family, he’ll usually stay up later. But at home, around 7:15, we get him into his pajamas, read him a few books, and then I turn off the lights, turn on his sound machine, and nurse him for about twenty minutes. Then, he goes into his crib, I say a little prayer, and he’s down for the night. Usually…
  5. Learn your babies cries. This is a huge one for me. From the beginning, I would listen to Redmond for a minute or two before getting him up to nurse him. I soon learned that he had specific cries– there were noises he’d make that told me he was just angry that he was awake and would fall back asleep on his own. There was the cry that said he was uncomfortable and needed to have his diaper changed or be reswaddled. And there was his FEED ME NOW cry. If he didn’t need me for something, I would let him fuss himself back to sleep.
  6. Nip sleep regressions in the bud if you can. Again, this is a baby to baby thing I am sure. But at all of the sleep regression points, Redmond has made an attempt at one. If he wakes up with an “I Need Something” cry for one night, I will typically go in and nurse him back down. But if he does it two nights in a row (especially if it is at the same general time) I will turn the monitor off, set a timer for twenty-five minutes, and turn it back on again. I would say that probably 75% of the time he falls back asleep. If he is still fussing, I’ll turn it off for another ten or fifteen minutes. If he’s STILL crying after that, I’ll nurse him. If he does it three nights in a row though, he is on his own. I always tell him this when I put him down. I’ll tell him that I love him but that we all need rest, and that I know he doesn’t need to nurse, he needs to sleep. And then, I stay strong for the night. He has never cried for more than forty-five minutes though. So, if you are ok with it, I would venture to say that this is an easier method than launching into a real Cry it Out situation.
  7. Remember that babies need to sleep. I think that it is really easy to feel guilty about wanting to get more sleep and/or resenting our babies for waking up. I’ll be honest, on the occasions that I HAVE to nurse Redmond because he is teething, or he’s trying out a regression, or he’s sick, I feel pretty annoyed.  I think we so commonly put our children’s every need before our own, and if we don’t, than we feel like bad mommies. But as far as sleep goes, I am a better mother, a better wife, and a better human if I am rested. And Redmond is a happier baby after a full nights sleep. Starting off with sleep training from the very beginning was sometimes a lot of work, but it was so completely worth it.img_2130That’s what I’ve got. I am by no means an expert, and I’m sure that in some ways we got lucky. Redmond wasn’t a colicky baby, and he has always been pretty easy going. On the other hand though, I didn’t spend any time training him to nap as a newborn, and that has been a HUGE fight that we are only recently getting under control. So I do think that it must have made a difference. Also, everyone’s lifestyle is different.  And as I always reiterate, if you are happy, that’s all that matters. For my husband and I to be happy, we needed our space as a couple, and that meant transferring Red to his own room and crib at six weeks old. But every family is different, and we should never feel pressured to change because someone else says we should. But if you are like me, these tips might come in handy. And if not, maybe there is a thing or  two that will end up helping you! I hope so.

Thank you so much for reading! I would love to hear your (kind) comments! If you say something mean though, I will crumble and weep myself into a puddle like the Wicked Witch when she is doused with water.

Redmonds blanket c/o

What’s in My Diaper Bag v. 2

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Now that Redmond is eight months old (in case you missed it, I wrote an update on that here) our diaper bag situation is a little different than it was in my original Diaper Bag Post. In some ways it’s a lot easier. Things aren’t as make or break as they were when he was little. I mean, he will survive in a wet diaper until we get home without crying. I don’t need to carry around a medicated nipple balm for after his every nurse. Thank God. In some ways it’s more time consuming. Like, now if we are out and about, he will want a snack at his snack time. He may want a sip of water (or just to splash it all over himself). He will for sure be interested in a chew toy. He might like to look at a book if I’m meeting someone for coffee or lunch. Or, you know, just meeting myself. None of it is ESSENTIAL, but all of it makes life easier. I have some gorgeous diaper bags, but I also have a few big purses that I can turn into diaper bags with magic. Just kidding, I’m not a Hogwarts graduate. I use my totesavvy. The elephant bag that I am sporting in this post is my favorite spring bag. It’s unique (my dad sent it to me from India) and gorgeous… and lined with linen and has no pockets. Not ideal for a baby-mama without this insert. img_1844

This organizer is basically the inside of a super well thought out diaper bag that you can stick into any of your larger totes or bags. Its made of a washable material and has tons of roomy pockets that aren’t overwhelming (Sometimes I feel like I spend all of my time rooting around in pocket-heavy bags. Ok. Not ALL of my  time. But a lot of it). And you can fit so much in it. Here’s what I’m toting. Get it? Toting? Ok…

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So obviously everything is labeled up there. I googled “how to add text to photos” to figure it because…technically savvy, I am not. (see what I did there? Savvy? Totesavvy? Are you annoyed?) But the main things I have to remember now are the diapers (duh) and that little snack corner. Redmond LOVES these lil’ Crunchies since he can hold them in his hands while we are on the go and BITE right off of them. I sort of hate that he eats them, but I can’t make them from scratch, so it is what it is. I bring a few of those in a snack case, and then usually a teething cracker too. I never want him to fill up on a snack, just stretch to his next meal, so I don’t bring “real” food unless we are going out to a restaurant. I have been making lots of granola bars from scratch (one of my recipes here) and I try to remember to bring myself a snack too so that I know what I’m eating, and I’m saving money. Redmond adores his teething beads– I put them around his neck if he is in a shopping cart or something so he can chew on them. And I just got baby sunscreen and bug spray (Babyganics) so that I don’t have to stress like I did last week when it was really warm and we were at the park and I had nothing to keep his little face from getting too much sun. He was fine. We survived. But still. Also, the ubiquitous nipple shield. Because Redmond will never be weaned from it. I have given up. And I don’t even feel mom guilt about it anymore.

And just like that, it’s all organized and stashed away in my totesavvy. It unfolds to easily pack and unpack, and there is a changing pad in the middle. I stash my nursing scarf (which, lets be honest, I usually end up using as a blanket or to wipe up Redmond’s face/spit up/water spills because that baby is INCAPABLE of public nursing.) on top so I can grab it easily.img_1840

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My little family and I took a walk downtown this past Tuesday when it was slightly less cold and the sun was actually out. I wore all black so that my elephant bag would pop. And also because…even though it’s “Spring”, black on black on black seems terribly appropriate with the weather we’ve been having. But. I’m not talking about the weather. Remember? I’m not.

Anyways. What do you have to remember in your diaper bag? I’m just awfully nosey about these sorts of things, so let me know!

product details:

totesavvy/similar wallet/teething necklace/nursing scarf/similar water bottle/sunnies

*Thank you to Life in Play for providing me with this totesavvy to use. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I’m so grateful to the companies that collaborate with me!*

Throw it On

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Even before having Redmond, I never liked  to spend a ton of time on getting ready. Which is probably part of the reason I’ve always loved summer more than winter and fall. It takes more time and effort to put an outfit together that will  keep me warm because I am like a lizard and am ALWAYS COLD and need to be put out on a hot rock to roast myself in the sun. This past week, we had two gloriously warm days. Sunshine and mid 70’s. The day before that FIRST glorious day, This darling white dress arrived in the mail from Shop the Mint. Perfect timing considering as I write this, it is blizzarding out and freezing cold. img_1710

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Anyway, I will not complain (I will not complain) about the weather, or the fact that I am sick AGAIN, or any of it. This post is about getting ready in five minutes. Or, you know, around five minutes. Because, lets be candid, I have not actually timed myself, but I’m quick.

I am always impressed/awed by women who wear full make up and have perfectly curled hair whenever they leave the house. I watch those “make up in five minutes” youtubes, and I’m just like, that would take me an HOUR. So if you are one of those super-women, you don’t need this. But if you are more like me, and tend to veer towards a bit more of an um…simplistic approach (lets go with that)…then welcome!img_1706

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First off, a hat goes a long way. That is hardly breaking fashion news, but I have a good collection of cute baseball caps, wool hats, straw ones– a whole variety. When I don’t feel like attempting to do something with my hair, the hat goes on. And it instantly makes me feel put together and sort of statement-y.

Second off, big old sunglasses (if you will be doing outdoor things. I am not suggesting that you wear them indoors. Lets leave that to Kanye.) Full disclosure– In the summertime, if we are going to an outdoor concert, or eating at a patio restaurant, or spending the afternoon exploring a little local town, I sometimes won’t wear make up at all. And no one knows because I am masked my giant sunglasses.

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Third off. My go-to quick make up is as follows. I put on an oil free moisturizer because I’m prone to breakouts post baby. The one I’ve been using since having him is this one. Then I just rub an almost sheer cover-up on. It’s just enough to even out my skin tone without making me feel like I’m wearing foundation. I fill in my eyebrows a little, swipe on mascara, and if I’m feeling CRAZY I might brush a touch of bronzer on my cheekbones and temples. As for hair, I’m a firm believer in dry shampoo, and I use it religiously. I do shower every day, since I exercise five days a week and I get pretty sweaty…but I only wash my hair once or twice a week, because I hate drying it and I hate having wet hair. But seriously, if for some reason you have not been enlightened to the wonders of dry shampoo, GET ON IT. I’ll link my super affordable favorite below. I am sort of in an awkward between time with my hair. It’s grown out from the lob that I got shortly after Redmond was born, but it’s not quite long enough to do a whole lot more with than buns and ponytails. I also have all kinds of regrowth on my temples (and I already have a widows peak, so double the fun) which sticks up charmingly in all directions and is so blonde that I look bald in certain lights. So all that to say…hats are a good friend of mine.

Anyway. Reason 102 that I can’t wait for summer. The ease of a dress. And if it’s off the shoulder, than even better. I LOVE this one because its not super short, so it can be worn on the shoulder too for a different look AND it’s double lined so it’s not at all sheer. Which is huge. I’ll be wearing it a lot this summer. And once Redmond starts crawling and getting filthy, I’ll be carrying the bleach pen. No one can take my white summer dresses away!img_1703

Dress/similar hat/similar flats/Sunglasses, Karen Walker via Ditto

Not your Mamas Dry Shampoo– the best

 

Eight Months I’ve Kept You Safe


This darling boy. Eight months sounds so grown up for a baby. Far closer to one year than to a newborn. He is turning, daily, into a child. He has an old spirit. You can just tell. People continuously tell us that he seems older than eight months. Even though physically he’s not advanced–he seems engaged–eye contact, his response to laughter, his ability to play with you. Redmond sits wonderfully well, and rolls all over the place, but he has little interest in crawling or walking. He lifts his  arms up for me when he wants to be held. And that’s fine by me.

His eyes are a deep blue like his daddy’s, his hair as flaxen as mine was as a child, and his eyes crinkle at the corners like a true McBride (my side!). He has a sweet disposition. When I get him up in the morning, I call his name as I climb the stairs, and when I go into his room, he is all smiles, cooing and babbling at me. He wraps his little arms around my neck when I lift him from his crib, and he bounces excitedly, always so thrilled to start the day.

  
He loves people. And he LOVES other kids. Babies, toddlers, older children–he immediately stares at them, and then starts clapping and waving, grinning and squealing. He will let anyone hold him–unless they have a big beard and then he’s a little hesitant. He has recently discovered the piano, and he is OBSESSED! He sits on my piano bench and will bounce up and down while playing his (not very good) little tunes and loudly “singing”. As a (sort of/technically) musician, I am simultaneously unimpressed and infatuated.

He has put himself on a strict nursing schedule–four times a day and typically no more than that. It’s crazy now to think of how much time we used to spend nursing. I cherish our long final night nurse before he goes to bed at 8. Even if he does pull my hair, he is snuggly and sweet. He sleeps well–usually straight through the night–and it’s a blessing.

He loves eating solid foods. I typically only give him dinner with the occasional lunch or breakfast depending on our schedule. But his favorites include scrambled eggs with cheese, sweet potato coconut curry, broccoli-kale puree, carrot ginger soup, and tortillas. He also tried ham at Easter and he was over the moon.

img_1618He has seven teeth, babbles at home and is generally quiet and observant in public. He likes to go places, and adores being around company. He loves his babysitters, loves his auntie, loves his cousin– he is generous with his love. My love for him is overwhelming, complete, intense, and beautiful. He is everything to us– his daddy and I. I find myself trying so hard to be my best self– for him, so that he in turn can be his best self. I am chokingly proud of him.

He has gotten so much better with his naps–knockonwoodknockonwood– he’s been graciously going down for a morning nap AND an afternoon nap on a loose schedule (again, depending on our day). I am everyday excited to be with him, and the days that I have to be away from him, I count down the hours until I can hold him close to me again. I don’t want him to grow up. But I am excited to see who he will become. Redmond John Hanlon, you are beloved.

Redmonds outfit c/o Ask.and.Embla