Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Tag: mom life

BJ’s Comes to Manchester

BJ’s is coming to Manchester!

Grocery shopping is one of my favorite “duties” as a grown up. Redmond loves it, Laurie likes to be in his front pack looking around, and it turns into a fun outing for us. Meal planning is not one of my favorite duties though…even though I love cooking and I LIKE having a plan, it just is always daunting to me. Even with Pinterest. EVEN WITH PINTEREST. I know.

We have a pretty tight food budget, and the more Redmond eats, the harder it is to maintain, and I’ve been looking for some other options than the way I’ve been doing things. BJ’s Wholesale Club is opening a new location in Manchester, NH and I am super excited to visit their new location on their behalf and start saving. As a member of BJs ( and if you don’t already have one you can apply for one, here) families can save up to $500 a year on their groceries, gas, household items–pretty much everything. The membership right now is discounted and costs $25 year (normally $55!)* and we will be able to save 25% on normal grocery store prices which will make a HUGE difference to our budget. There’s also an Add-to-Card coupon feature where we can digitally clip coupons directly to our membership card for added discounts, which is cool since I never can keep track of coupons at the grocery store. I just looked at all the discouunts going on right now and got a little over excited, which I think shows that I am solidly a mom…because $2 off laundry detergent is worth celebrating.

My two little ones and I will be visiting next week, 3/6, to see the new club before the grand opening to the public on March 17th—and I’ll be on the lookout for the Wellsley Farms products specifically since they have a large selection of natural and organic items. I’ll be posting about our experience and some photos from the trip as well! So check out my Instagram next Tuesday for stories of our visit and follow along (@simply_hannah.joy) to see more!

*The $25 membership offer is only for new members

This is a sponsored post on behalf of BJ’s  Club, all opinions are my own

BJs Live Generously LogoScreen Shot 2018-02-02 at 12.23.35 PM[1][1]

Days with Red

11f9333e-00df-4c31-a438-1a5ea5a229a9

e5c69b8e-2239-4a87-92fc-ce7245f2fb44

Last year, I remember thinking that next winter (this winter) would be challenging. The combination of freezing weather, active toddler, and giant dog is not exactly a dream for anyone. Last winter was mild, and it was so easy to just zip Redmond into his snow suit, bundle myself up, and take the whole crew out for a long walk. And that was kind of all he needed for stimulation and excitement…Not so much anymore.

I’m much busier this year with everything than I was last year and am away from Redmond more. We only have three days a week that we are fully together–the rest of the days are partial or half days, so they don’t take as much forethought. But I’ve tried to get creative with my stay-at-home mom days for a few reasons.

Reason one: I actually really, really, really do not like “playing” with kids. I don’t enjoy driving cars around. I don’t like chasing toddlers and having tickle fights and riling them up. I am basically a huge fun sucker, and you pretty much are never going to find me sitting on the ground with my kid while he tells me what to play. Because of that, I make sure to find alternate ways to spend quality time with my son.

Reason two: I’m an extrovert and staying home all day just makes me grumpy, lonely, and sad. Redmond seems to be trending towards extrovert as well, and he likes to be out and about.

Reason three: I want Redmond to be well behaved when in public. If I can rely on him to listen and respond when we are at a restaurant, or in a store, it makes me want to take him to do special things more. My dad always said that he wanted to have children that he could enjoy. And I feel the same way. Practice makes perfect, so I try to give Redmond Public Practice with relative frequency.

cc8f4f48-9184-4f33-9645-fe0f98844b84

All that being said, I have been trying to be creative with our at-home time as well. So I thought I’d compile a little list of things we do out, and things we do at home. I try to imagine filling Redmond’s little bucket while I fill my own. He needs physical touch, ways to get his energy out, unadulterated attention, and learning experiences. And I need some alone time, a daily work out, and the ability to maintain the household tasks that fulfill me (like cooking.) So, with those things in mind, here are some of the ways we fill our day.

  1. Gym time. I talk about this all the time on here and with my mom friends. To me, it is the “me” time that I need. I attend 4-5 classes a week and then I’ll usually run, or do yoga, or just go to the sauna afterwards. There is a fantastic childcare room that Redmond always enjoys, and I love that he is getting those hours of socialization since he doesn’t go to daycare. My passes pay for two hours of childcare, and I usually take advantage of most of that time.
  2. Shopping dates. This one is pretty basic. And Redmond loves shopping. Nowadays, I often will let him walk next to me if we are just going in for a few things. He oohs and aahs at everything, but usually abides by my “only looking” rule and keeps his hands to himself. Its the best place to practice that skill.
  3. Coffee dates. Nick and I used to eat out quite a bit Pre-baby. Now, we are a bit more careful with our income and keep it to just a few times a month. But I still enjoy the luxurious feeling of being out at a coffee shop, or treating myself (and Redmond) to a pastry. Redmond enjoys the individual attention (since I always put my phone away for these things) and I enjoy eating/drinking something I didn’t make.
  4. Greenhouse outings. A lot of these photos were taken at our local greenhouse which is one of my favorite places around. We go there allllll the time. Lots of space for Redmond to run around, plus there is a friendly cat in residence and a whole bunch of birds. Usually we end up buying a little plant or something, but it is basically free entertainment for the family.
  5. Swim days. My gym has an amazing indoor pool and on mornings or afternoons where I want to take up a few hours, we will hit that up.
  6. Library. Obviously. Nothing new there. We actually rarely take books out…I’m horrible about returning them and we have a ton of our own…but I lead a baby story hour once a week, and we will just hang around playing in the kid area afterwards. And sometimes we visit libraries in fancy towns just to use their fancy toys.
  7. Woods walks. When it isn’t freezing/muddy/icy/raining, we will go to our local woods. Redmond walks on his own and collects things, and I try to keep our dog from running into the wilderness. c557b551-84cc-42e9-a2ca-04ec0d9883932799081f-735f-4852-b7c6-b931ee96384d(I know this photo is blurry, but it so fully encompasses Redmond at the greenhouse.)fe08b300-ee52-4c38-8935-d2fa7863b7a9

When we are at home, I’ve been making an effort to spend time being still with Redmond. I have such a tendency to be always multi-tasking (I am currently typing this with Red squirming on my lap and taking everything out my desk drawers) that I sometimes forget to just be with him. Just me and him. With no distractions. When I have two children, this will be even more difficult, so its a muscle I’m learning to flex now. He loves to read stories, so we read together a few times a day. I don’t enjoy playing with children, but I do love reading to them.

When I am cooking dinner, I pull his little stool up (we have this one from Wildkin) and give him a few things to “help” with. Lately, that has been a jar with a spoon and some things to “stir” up (vegetable peels work great), or a cookie sheet of flour with cookie cutters and spatulas to make shapes with. The mess is easy to clean up, and its worth the peace and quiet I get with him standing beside me at the counter and not begging to be picked up. We do the same thing when we bake together for fun. And I always let him lick the spoon. 7f878796-5c0f-444c-91cc-14237c0b0cab

And of course there is nap time. I know that once our family expands I probably will no longer have the blessed two or so hours of quiet. But for now I treasure them. Just as I try to treasure every day with my little one. Because the hard days will fade away, and I will only remember missing the weight of him on my lap, his arms wrapped around my neck, the way he calls me in the morning when he wakes up in that little sing song voice…And I want to know that I didn’t let the hours escape from me. That I didn’t miss out on his little childhood.

I would love to hear what you all do to keep yourselves happy and sane and your babies content and stimulated! Leave ideas in the comments or on my Instagram (@simply_hannah.joy).

photo 1 details: black and white throw c/o modern burlap// distressed jeans c/o// wooden block toy c/o smiling tree  toys//Redmonds romper c/o Shedo Lane (UV protected)// Redmonds moccasins c/o sweet n’ swag//

photo 2: arrow sheets c/o modern burlap// love quilt c/o Addison Belle

photo 3: my overalls c/o// Redmonds joggers c/o Shedo Lane

(thanks to Cupcake Mag for connecting me with so many small businesses. I love being able to help support these companies)

 

The Matter of Weaning

img_3346

This is a bit late in coming. Redmond is almost a year and a half old, and he weaned about three months ago. But part of my goal for this year is to get back into more “lifestyle” type posts, and to be honest, although I love style and try to at least put myself together every day, the thing that really occupies most of my time is mothering. I have worked with children since I was thirteen years old. I have a lot of “theories” about raising them…but until you have your own, all of that is just ideas and words. The past few months have been so exciting for me because I can finally put into real practice some of my ideas.

But when it came to breastfeeding, I knew basically nothing. I wrote about my journey a bit last year, but I just remember so vividly spending hours on the internet trying to find something that would encourage me while I was crying over the fact that I was using a nipple shield and that it hurt and that Redmond took an age to finish nursing when he was little.

So first off. We used the nipple shield until we weaned. I had PLENTY of milk (it took me two months to stop producing) and Red got all that he needed. So. If you can’t get your baby off the nipple shield or just don’t want to undergo the trauma of screaming baby while you attempt to shove your boob into babies mouth without the shield, just stop worrying about it. I spent so much time being afraid that people would judge me or think that I “wasn’t doing it right” because of the shield but…you know what? Who cares.

img_3347

Anyways. On to the actual topic of this post. I was terrified to wean. I was scared it would turn my happy baby into a terror. I had visions of Redmond pulling at my clothes, trying to wrench my boobs out, and me feeling like a milk machine but also like a mean mama. I wanted to wean when he was ready…but I also wanted to wean when I was ready. I had planned on going longer with Red, but I started wanting to begin trying for another baby and my body wasn’t able to nurse and return to a normal cycle. This is different for everyone…but even when we were only nursing for five minutes a day, I wasn’t getting a period and I figured the only way to get back to normal would be weaning. In November, we had a wedding to go to, and I wanted Redmond to be able  to go to sleep without nursing first so he wouldn’t give his grandparents a hard time while they babysat. I was really dragging my heels, but one night I just didn’t nurse him. He had eaten a big dinner, we had read some books, he snuggled my shoulder, I gave him his sippy cup of water, and laid him down. And he didn’t cry. He just went to sleep. And slept his usual twelve hours. And just like that, we were done. He never asked for it again. He never even hinted that he was interested. Now, maybe Redmond just didn’t care about nursing. Or maybe his intense love for solid food just swayed him away. But since he started on solids at around six months, I nudged Redmond towards being a pretty scheduled eater. We always nursed in the same spot (on the daybed in his room) and nowhere else. Because of that, when we were out and about or in any other room ofthe house he never tried to nurse. And for me, that was important. I loved breastfeeding, but I also liked maintaining my independence. I dropped his nursing sessions slowly– for a long time we were doing three a day– once when he woke up,  before his nap, and  before bed. I gently weaned him off of those first two over a matter of months and stuck with the final nurse until he was almost fifteen months old. And that was that. I didn’t replace the nurses with bottles– he never took them well — I just gave him little snacks or meals. img_3345

I really worried that when we were done nursing, I would desperately miss that snuggle time with Red. But now he actually cuddles me…he loves sitting on my lap for stories. He loves lying in bed with me. Before I lay him down for bed at night, I whisper a prayer into his ear while I hold him, and he nuzzles his head into my neck and it is such a sweet closeness that somehow means more to me…because he is cuddling me for me. Which feels so special. I still miss the essence of breastfeeding– knowing that I am building and nourishing a child–but it makes me look forward to a second infant that much more. And that’s pretty much all I’ve got to say I think. I would LOVE to answer any questions if you’re a new mom just starting out nursing. It was a hard journey for me but so deeply worth it. And I’d love to hear about your journeys as well! And I’m going to stop saying journey. Ok. Happy almost weekend!

img_3344

Reds blanket: c/o Audreys Bear

Escape into Vintage

img_6677img_6675

When I was younger (many moons ago…30 is looming large these days…) I wore vintage clothing almost every day. I was less concerned about a level of comfort then, and enjoyed making a statement with my petticoats and my stand-out dresses. I still have a lot of those beautiful pieces in my closet, and I’ll probably keep them forever (because, every year that I get older, they do too, and thus more precious) but I don’t wear them much any more. But every so often, I like to inject a little vintage flair into my look. I love imagining a scene with an outfit…does that make sense? A feeling. Like, this gingham skirt and off the shoulder top that I wore to Portland Maine last week made me imagine Italy. A small, pretty  town like the one I lived in for one magical semester of college. A beautiful Italian summer day. Wine at an outdoor cafe. A stroll down a hot, cobblestoned street. Window shopping in Assisi. Pastries in the Piazza del Duomo. You see? Portland is, of course, a beautiful town, and it has its own magic in the summer. But I would do nearly anything to get myself and my little family to Italy. I want to walk hand in hand with my husband through the tangled, winding streets. I want to sit in a family owned restaurant, up late for dinner, with Redmond and the other Italian families. I want it all, and preferably in an outfit like this one.

img_6669

img_6673img_6671

I paired my look with these lace up sandals that I have been wearing constantly lately, and this classic watch from Daniel Wellington. I don’t wear jewelry very often, and a lot of the time, I will just throw a watch on as my only accessory. This piece has blue hands on the face of the clock, and I love that playful little touch. img_6667

Also, I specifically had to crop my head out of this photo because I had just eaten ice cream and I had a chocolate mustache that my husband failed to inform me about…img_6724

I also love a good thrift store find like this yellow frock here. I found it YEARS ago, before my husband and I were even engaged…I remember wearing it on a day trip to Newburyport. Lupe was just a puppy then, and Nick and I were so young, and so giddy in love. He took a picture of me standing in this dress holding Lupe by her light blue leash. My hair was blonder, her fur was whiter, and the world was a lot simpler then. Or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe I was so wrapped up in trying to pay bills, working constantly, staying up late with my roommates, going to parties, learning how to be in a real relationship, that I didn’t have the time or the interest to listen to the news and know what was going on. There was a sense of carefree then that was very real, but I wouldn’t trade it for our life now. My love for Nick is deeper, wiser, but still giddy. My yearning to protect my child has made it necessary  to know what is going on in the world, and I value the knowledge. That being said, it’s nice to escape into imagination sometimes. Whether its strolling the streets of Italy in a full skirt and an off the shoulder top, or going down memory lane with the help of a little yellow dress. Sometimes, you just have to get away.img_6721img_6722

outfit #1 details: off shoulder top, gingham skirt, both vintage c/o Consign Trilogy/lace up sandals/watch c/o Daniel Wellington

outfit #2 details: Dress, vintage/ clogs c/oshop amara/diaper bag, c/o coco and kiwi– this color is sold out but I LOVE it in this teal colorheadband

**My dear friend sells these headbands at her shop in Tarytown. You can contact her and see some of the things she currently has for sale/what she’s up to by following her on instagram: @consigntrilogy

 

The Edge of One

img_6586So about five minutes ago I was writing Redmond’s birth story and now very suddenly, he is almost a year old. I can vividly remember holding my infant to my cracked and aching nipples and watching my one year old niece happily toddling around the living room. I had mastitis. I was overwhelmed and ill and my husband had started back at work and my sister was there helping me, comforting me, and all I could think was…I can’t imagine my tiny newborn being a year old. I can’t imagine him being independent from me for even a moment. And here we are. My niece will be two, Redmond will be one. How? WHAT IS THIS THING WE CALL TIME? I know. We all rattle on about how fast it goes and holding on  to time and all the rest but…my goodness.img_6583img_6587

I haven’t been diligent about these little updates. I want to start journaling more so that I don’t forget what he was like as he grows older. So here, as we cusp upon the first year, is a little check in.

Redmond likes to please people. He is friendly, and outgoing. He will initially smile a someone, and then hide his face in my shoulder, and then peek out and smile and usually reach for them. He just started crawling, and it is hilarious and adorable to watch him. One knee is still up, and he sort of pulls with his arms and pushes with his other leg and he is so excited to be able to explore on his own. He is continuously trying to get outside to sit on the porch and sample cat food. He just started pulling himself up to standing as well. He is very proud of his abilities and looks around at us for approval and congratulations with his big toothy grin.img_6584img_6581

He has ten teeth now. He just got two top molars, and he was patient and brave while they broke through. He loves to eat. I still nurse him 3-4 times a day, but he is growing less interested in breastfeeding and I know I will miss it desperately. Even if he pulls my hair and sticks his fingers up my nose while he is doing it. His favorite foods so far seem to me Mexican (rice and beans, guacamole, pulled spicy pork, refried beans, ect.), pizza (if it has lots of exciting toppings on it. He isn’t that into plain cheese, and I don’t know why he feels the need to be so pompous about his pizza but he probably gets it from me.), anything with curry or coconut, and any meat he can get his hands on. img_6585img_6582

He loves to perform his “tricks” for us, and he is slowly adding to his repertoire. He waves hello and goodbye, blows kisses (my favorite), gives high fives, nods yes and no, and points at things he wants. He says “dog-dog”, “mama” (only when he needs something…). “ball” and “Dada” every time he gets even a glimpse of Nick. He also is starting to say “that” when he points.

He got his first hair cut last week, and I love it. He looks like a little soccer player, and it fits since his favorite game to play is “catch” with his mini soccer ball. He’s so tall, and so handsome, that he just keeps looking more like a toddler and it breaks my heart but makes me feel so proud.

He is so much fun. He’s social, and friendly, and is generally happy as long as he has people to meet, places to see, and feet that aren’t sweaty. He likes traveling, sleeps like a pro, and loves being around other kids. He is my little side-kick, and his daddy’s boy, and our favorite thing in the world. img_6588

These photos are just a smattering of some of my favorites from a few days with him this past month. A few of them made it to Instagram, but I wanted to put a few more up here– the ones that maybe aren’t the highest quality, but warm my heart so much.

Outfit details: breastfeeding is my cardio T c/o nestleandthyme/stiped dress c/o kimi and kai/chambray dress, old, similar here/ diaper bag c/o Mina Baie/lace up sandals/

Reds outfit details: pirate moccasins c/o Kimi and Kai/playsuit

I found this while I was reading through my journal, and reminding myself of why I like to keep a record of life. I wrote it when I was pregnant, and the sentiments ring so true a year into motherhood. 

1/16

There is a cracked rhythm to this pain I feel.

Each twinge a medallion of honor in a battle that,

having just begun, will not end until my body is

laid to rest inside the deep, warm earth.

A creaking of time, at once these days with you,

imagined one, are long and sweet

and quick and terrifying– my hopes are so high.

They are like a helium balloon, my hands small

like a childs’, tugging on the string–

scared to lose it, to break it, to see any harm come to it.

And yet, my wrists are tied. 

My control is waning.

There is nothing I can do against this wave,

this  terrible, wonderful wave of love for you. 

My little.

Our hearts yearnings all wrapped tight in so tiny a package.

 

The creaking in my ribs, and the upset in my belly

seem too light a price to pay. Such a miracle

should require more. 

Starfish and Lists

img_6189img_6191

First off, (as always) I love the tranquility in these photos. My dad and I stopped at the beach after running some errands when we were down on Cape Cod to snap these photos. It had just rained, and the air was cool, and the beach was almost empty. I love wrap dresses because they are so easy and so flattering on literally every body type. This one that I’m wearing is from All For Color, and pretty much every single thing from their line screams summer weekends at the beach. I paired it with my canvas tote from Sloane Ranger to complete this preppy-inspired look. It was also big enough to double as a beach bag. We stuffed our towels, snacks, and books in it before spending the day on the sand.img_6185img_6193

And now on to my list. We have been going on visits every weekend for the past few weeks to see family and friends. I love staying busy and going to new places, but I also have a fair amount of anxiety when it comes to doing anything that is outside of my normal day-to-day life. Not that it stops me. It really doesn’t. I love to travel. But I am always, always stressed out before we get on our way. So for fun, or therapy, or solidarity, or all three, I’m compiling a list of Things that I am Currently Anxious About.

  1. Our bedroom. I manage to keep the rest of our home fairly clean and organized. But our bedroom always looks like a bomb. I scroll through Instagram and see everyone’s gorgeous, light filled, white, minimalist bedrooms and I’m like….where is the pile of dirty laundry in their room? Where is the explosion of make up and hair products (AND I BARELY EVEN USE make up and hair products) on their vanity? Where is the pile of baby books strewn on their bedside table? NO? JUST ME?
  2. Driving. I used to have severe anxiety when it came to driving, and I’ve gotten a lot better. But my car was giving me issue for a few weeks, and although we have fixed the problem, I still keep having car crash nightmares. And every little sound my car makes causes me to immediately start sweating.
  3. Ice cream. Its summer. I want to eat ice cream on every hot day. But I can’t eat ice cream on every hot day, because my shorts will stop fitting. But I don’t want to waste a hot day and not eat ice cream. But I want my shorts to keep fitting. DO YOU SEE THE QUANDARY?
  4. The beach/pool. If its a hot day and I can’t get to either of these destinations, I feel like I’ve wasted the heat. Its a real thing here in New England, the summer guilt. You think I’m kidding but I’m not. I get actually stressed when I know that its going to be a perfect swim day and we won’t be able to swim. This is absurd, I know. But the fact remains.
  5. My bicycle. I have a really cute bike, and last summer I didn’t get to use it at all because I was very pregnant and my husband was terrified that I would fall off my bike (I don’t usually fall off my bike, just for the record). Since he had to deal with all the anxiety of me running in the woods and the risk of my tripping over roots, I saved him the double anxiety of bicycling. So now it’s this year, and I want to ride my bike, but it’s in the basement and I don’t have a baby seat for it, and so I haven’t ridden it. And I keep WASTING DAYS NOT RIDING IT! Clearly, a lot of my anxiety circles around Living Summer to the Fullest.
  6. BUCKET LIST stuff in general. We haven’t yet been to any concerts in Portsmouth (they have a free series every year) and at this time last year, we had been to tons. Tick tock, tick tock. WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME. The same goes for the lazy river in Ogunquit, the lobster boat in Portland, Portland in general, and the list goes on…
  7. My keys. I lost my keys. I have no idea where they went. They disappeared. Luckily we have several sets of spares, but every time I think about them, I get a little pit of stress in my belly.img_6192
  8. Returning text messages/phone calls/emails. I’m relatively horrible about this. Granted, I have gotten much better about emailing since all of my collaborations for this blog and Instagram are based off of emails. But I still get anxious about them. And that person I need to call back. And that client I need to text. And that post I need to write. And…And…And…you get the idea.
  9. Mailing things out. I have this item that I need to return. I look at it every day and I think about it AT LEAST once a day…but have I returned it? No. I’m the same way about library books (discussed here). It’s an issue folks. A real issue.
  10. General Mess and Stuff. I sometimes feel like I just want to throw everything away. And I do keep throwing stuff away. But there is always more. Just like, I do keep vacuuming/sweeping/cleaning our house. But there is always more dog fur. Always more fur!

And for now, I think that is enough. That was less therapeutic than I had hoped, because now I’m just thinking of more and more things to be anxious about so…I’m going to go finish packing (something else that makes me anxious) and then go get myself a coffee and some lunch.

Just so you know, I’m not a crazy person.

img_6190

What things make you anxious? Anything on my list?

Outfit details: starfish dress from All for Color, c/o/ Varsity Gold Tote c/o/sandals, old

One Hope

img_5720

img_5733

When I was a little girl, even before my mother got sick, I remember being terrified of losing her and my dad. I can vividly remember lying in bed, trying to fall asleep (I’ve always been a terrible sleeper) and imagining her dying, or my daddy not being there anymore. I would get so worked up that I would start crying and, even though I knew I wasn’t supposed to get out of bed, I would go downstairs to find them just to make sure they were still there. Empathy is something that is waning and lacking in our modern day where we know so much about everywhere and everything and we can only care to a certain point. When I was little and we lived in Thailand, I can remember crying (I cried all the time) when I saw beggars and starving people on the streets of Bangkok and Chiangmai. Things are better now, of course, but this was in the 90’s, and the country was not as modern and advanced as it is now. I have always had a lot of feelings which is probably why I like writing so much. But sometimes that excess of feeling can weigh heavy.img_5728

img_5724

img_5716

It seems like we are surrounded, all the time, by darkness. By shootings, hate crimes, terror, racism, pointless cruelty, tragic accidents– the list goes on. Its right there to see- on our phones, every night. On the news shows that I listen to (pompously, which is the only way to listen to NPR obviously.) All around us– constantly. I catch myself worrying about things like how many people are reading my blog, or how many likes I get on a photo on instagram and when I take a step back, I realize how ridiculous this is. How little it matters. img_5727img_5718

img_5732

There are times that I find myself panicking about losing Redmond. I hear about tragedies involving children, and it hits me like it never hit me before. I hear about children getting cancer, and I cannot fathom what it would be like as a parent. It feels wrong, evil, cruel to lose a child. To bury the life you brought into this world. I hear about children starving to death, and I think about how we spend so much time trying to lose weight as Americans, because we have an excess of food. We have too much. And other families have nothing. It’s overwhelming. Just writing this is overwhelming. And I feel like there is so little that I can do.

But when I look into my son’s wide, blue eyes, I feel a sense of hope. My child is the next generation. The world that I have brought him into is broken, fragmented, cracked. But there is so much good in it as well. I want to believe that my generation will make a difference. And that we, as parents, will bring empathy back to our children. That we will teach them to be kind, to love others, to be thoughtful, to be respectful. That I will show Redmond how to have self control, how to be obedient when necessary, and to have a proud independence as well. To put other people before himself. To respect women, and those older than him, and his mother (since I am both, thank you very much).

img_5715

img_5721

img_5726

This past week, my sister and I had a little birthday picnic to celebrate her turning 24. My sister is one of my best friends, and our little ones love each other so much. We celebrated with cake, strawberries, and One Hope Brut.  I love that the company was founded by millennials, and that they began with the goal of having a measurable impact on the world.  We received the Glitter Bottle Giftpack, and its purchase provides 45 meals to children in need. They work with a dozen different charities, and I love feeling like I’m doing something for others while I sip and celebrate.

My floral crown (which I was so excited to have an opportunity to wear) also is from a Hopeful company– Headbands of Hope— and for every headband sold, one is provided to a child with cancer. Which makes me feel all emotional just thinking about it.img_5730

img_5717

My sister and I laughed, talked, and wrangled our children in the backyard over glasses of sparkling wine. Aurelia snuck a piece of lemon cake to Redmond, and I caught him jamming it into his mouth while he squeezed strawberry juice all over himself. We watched our little ones play and interact and love on each other, and I felt like, really, there is hope for our world. And the hope comes from ourselves, and each other, and our children. I pray over Redmond every night when I put him to bed that he will be good and kind and always know how deeply he is loved. He makes me a better person. And I hope I can raise him to make a difference, however small.img_5735

post details:  wine c/o, floral crown, dress sold out but similar here,

Living that Mom Life

img_5210

I am a very social, busy person. I’m not a homebody, and I get pretty stir crazy if I spend a whole day around the house. When I was pregnant with Redmond, I was so worried that having a baby would turn me into a hermit, and I knew if I was living in a hermitage, I would be prone to depression. So as SOON as Red was born, I made every effort to get out. The cons of my immediate leap back into life was that I got mastitis twice (REST the lactation consultant told me. REST.) and I ended up being housebound from illness for almost an entire week within the first month…but the pros out weigh this now. I was taking Redmond on outings within his first few days of life. We brought him to visit friends, people came over to the house, we went on coffee dates, we walked outside every day. By six weeks old, I had him going to the playhut at the gym so I could work out. For me, all of these things were super important. I am prone to bouts of mild depression, and I have learned what I need over the years to stave it off. Exercise and interaction are key.

On another note, I also like clothing (did you know that?) and now that I am ten months into this mothering gig I know from experience that nothing ruins a good outing like the wrong outfit. Something that is easily dirtied, or needs to be adjusted, or is hard to nurse in is just….not gonna work.img_5199

img_5206

This romper has been on MAJOR repeat since it arrived two weeks ago. I have worn it for a family day out and about, an afternoon in Portsmouth, and a graduation party. I’m 5’8 and rompers tend to be short on me, but this one is the perfect length. And with the manic weather in Maine (hot one minute, cold the next) the long sleeves have been key. It’s nursing friendly, and I feel adorable in it. It helps that I have had girls ask me where they can buy it every time I wear it…And gosh, I love a compliment. img_5200

img_5209

Anyway, since Redmond has been ‘on the go’ since he arrived in this world, he loves a busy day. He’s a generally very happy baby, but he will fuss and whine and moan at me if we stick around the house for too long. He takes after his mama. We have a loose routine that we try to stick to, but he’s adaptable because it’s what he’s used to. If you are nosy like I am and want to know what a day looks like for us, here it is!

6:30 Redmond wakes up. I go into his room and nurse him for about 15 minutes, and then he goes back down. While he gets his second sleep, I clean up the kitchen, eat breakfast, have my coffee, and get into my gym clothes.

8:00 Redmond gets up (or I wake him up). I get him ready, and then we either go on a run or head to the gym. After mywork out, we usually head home or do a few errands.

10:00/11:00 Around this time I will get him down for a nap. I always nurse him (he eats solid food for breakfast or a snack either before our run or at the playhut) at this point, and he sleeps for 1-2 hours and I get AS MUCH DONE as I can. I will prep lunch and dinner, write blog posts, answer emails, get dressed, and clean up around the house like a freaking whirlwind while listening to my favorite NPR talk show because I’m pretentious like that (just kidding…)img_5208

img_5201

 

12:30/1:30 Redmond wakes up, and if I don’t have to work, we will head out on our adventure for the day. We go on errands, or meet up with friends, or visit my sister, or explore local towns– now that the weather is warmer, our horizons are so much more open. Because being outside in New England when it is warm is incredible.

4:00/5:30 If we are still out, Redmond will typically cat nap in the car. But usually we will head home around this time and he will take a 45 minute nap after I nurse him.

6:30/7 We try to eat dinner as a family if Nick doesn’t have a game or practice late. If its a bath night, I’ll shower with Redmond after dinner.

7:30/8:00 We have family play time, and then we read books and turn off all the lights in his room. I nurse him for 15-20 minutes, and then he is down for the night and my husband and I get our alone time.img_5204

img_5198

On the weekends, he spends Saturday with Nick since I’m not home. They do WHATEVER THEY FEEL LIKE and Redmond catches naps where he can. Because, Dad is really the fun one, lets be honest. And then on Sundays it tends to be a bit different too since we often take day trips on our one family day. But luckily, since he is a pretty flexible kid, he is fine with the changes as long as he has new things to see. This all works for us. I’m sure when I have a second baby, it will be wildly different and that baby will never nap or sleep or cooperate…I jest. But who knows. Hopefully I’ll still be plugging away at this blog so I can see what ends up working with baby number two…img_5202

If you don’t have a baby, I’m sorry that I just wrote in excess about our daily lives. And I hope you can just appreciate the romper. We are off to Kennebunkport this afternoon, and Redmond is exploring the idea of always standing so…today could be interesting…

Outfit details: romper c/o cuddy studios/similar sandals/bracelet c/o

Redmons outfit: I got these overalls on clearance in store at Old Navy and can’t find them online but these ones are precious/ Robeez shoes, no longer available but similar here