Palm Springs Vacation with Baby

Greetings rainbow sprinkles!

And please excuse my lack of posts as of late (I mean I know you are all DYING to hear more about my v exciting life). Working 30-ish hours a week and doing all the things is not easy for me. I realize some people work way more, with more kids and more responsibilities and do it all with perfectly clean homes bedecked in lovely autumnal decor and find the time to NOT look slightly homeless. As I have said many times over, that person I am not. I can barely find the time and energy to go to Goodwill and find my daughter a Halloween costume (because I refuse to spend $20 + on something she will wear for a single photo). * I did find said costume. It was $1.50.

So a few weeks ago, David, Clara and I flew to Palm Springs for our first official vacation together. Let’s get to it.

Our flight departed around 9 am which was good timing for baby’s napping situation. We went through TSA with a pre-made bottle and I got a chuckle when I told the agent, “This bag contains breastmilk.” We took the stroller and her car seat all the way to the gate and pre-boarded the with all our sh*t and a cup of hot water from Starbucks to heat up her bottle. She was a little fussy as we sat there while everyone else boarded and was ready to eat. We wanted to hold off on giving it to her until we were literally taking off to ensure her ears would be ok. It was tough but she ended up drinking it through take off and did not seem to have any trouble. After about 30 minutes in the air, David took her to the back of the plane and rocked her to sleep (he is the best) and I held her for the remainder of the flight which is MY FAVORITE THING EVER.

After landing, we took an Uber to Aunt Sandi’s house (our pad for the week) and…immediately jumped in the pool!

I did a bit of research before we left and decided to try this pool floatie for Clara. It ended up being absolutely wonderful! It was a tad big for her, so we just stuffed a towel down in the seat so she was up a bit higher. She loved the toys attached to it, kicking her feet in the water and splashing around.

The next day was David’s birthday! This year I got him a whiskey of the month club membership because I am running out of Blazers jerseys that he does not already own.

That morning, he hit a bucket of balls at the driving range.

Then an afternoon of swimming.

C is sporting her $4 swimsuit from Kohls.

For dinner that night, David’s parents and Aunt Sandi gave us a gift card to a delicious Italian place in Palm Desert called Castelli’s. Highly suggest if you are in the area!

Our reservation was for 5:30 pm because baby and we had a great time.

I was obviously feelin’ myself on the way there but upon closer inspection the baby hair breakage is abundant in this photo.

Dinner dates!

David’s steak was NO JOKE.

Check out the sky behind us!

The next day I made two astonishing discoveries:

  1. Coachella is not just the name of the music festival but also a town (face slap)
  2. We were about 20 minutes away from it

Curiosity got the cat and we decided to check it out and see what all the “fuss was about” (said in grumpy old lady voice).

Turns out Coachella, the music festival, is actually held at a polo club…and when it isn’t “Coachella” it really is just a polo club. And this one in particular was pretty amazing.

First of all, this is in the middle of the DESERT. Everyone’s lawns are rock gardens and cacti. So to see this giant, expansive grass and palm tree oasis in the middle of BROWN is pretty impressive.

The surrounding gardens were beautiful and nobody cared that we were just pushing our big ass stroller err whurr.

I also wanted to get a James Charles-esque picture before we left, so we explored the grounds and finally found a good spot.

We could have hopped the fence you see in the photo of me on the right to get closer to the rainbow windows building. But I wasn’t feelin’ it. You get the idea.

Then we had lunch at a Tavern on the property where Clara spilled a large glass of ice water directly into my lap and it went allll the way up my backside. However, all was redeemed by the saddle seats they had, especially after snapping this photo:

The next morning we were up bright and early with Clara so we went for a walk and happened upon this little gem: (had to take a pic for Nan)

Then we got the baby ready and drove into Palm Springs for some shopping! BB OOTD: (She dazzles in fruits)

We found her a pair of those Baby Hipster sunglasses but she hated even though they were evvverything.

Then I breastfed her in the back alley of sus lunch spot we tried because there was shade. You can take the girl out of Spokane but apparently you can’t take Spokane out of the girl.

I also had to try on the spandex bike shorts that everyone is wearing these days.

Hahahaaa jk I just wanted to take a pic in them as a joke to send to my immediate family. All I need is a pair of those hideous chunky Filas.

The next day we went to the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert! Baby girl wore her finest jellies.

JK these lasted .002 seconds before being promptly discarded.

The zoo was amazing! Especially…

The giraffes!

The petting zoo portion because GOATS.

And these amazing rainbow chairs that we snapped this adorable pic with:

On one of our last days, we decided to go to J.Tree and the weather was perfection.

Don’t freak, David was holding her in this pic.

And I was holding her in this one…

The flight home also went very well. We did the exact same thing as we did on the way there, except instead of pre-boarding we waited until literally THE LAST second to get on the plane. That way, we did not have to sit for 40 minutes while everyone else found their seat and baby got restless. It worked out way better for us that way and she slept most of the way home once again, in my arms. Bliss.

The whole thing really. Was bliss.

Baby Faves – 9 Month Edition

9 months have gone by since I made a human and successfully expelled her from my body.

She has been out as long as she was in.

Why does life have to suck so hard? Why is time a thing? Clara getting older is basically the pits. I mean, what’s next? Walking? Driving a car? College? Binge watching Fleabag with me?

So far, we are doing pretty good. Exhibit A: Everyone is still alive. Exhibit B: Everyone is pretty darn happy.

Here are the things that have been helpful along the way!

  1. SwaddleDesigns zzZipMe Sack

Clara has always done well in some kind of sleep sack. We used this one during the warmer summer months and it worked perfectly for us. The ones from SwaddleDesigns are great quality, super soft and always feature some kind of zipper cover. This one is in the Bella pattern.

This style from SwaddleDesigns is part of their Cozy collection in the Color Puff Circle style, the color is Very Berry. We used this one on colder days or when we had the AC up really high.

2. Activity Table/Cube

Clara is absolutely gaga (haha get it, she’s a baby) over these little activity centers. At first, I would sit behind her so she was propped up, as she played with the toys on the side. Then, she could sit up on her own and could navigate around it by crawling. Now, she is full-on pulling herself up and playing with the components on the top. As you can see in the pic, homegirl is a fan. We paid $10 for this one on Offer Up, but it is the brand B Toys from Target and can be found here brand new.

Our neighbors gave us this little number recently, which she can easily pull herself up to and whack all the buttons. It has a bunch of different “modes” like learning, music, spanish, etc. Mostly we just love the funny songs it plays and yes, I have them all memorized. Similar versions can be found here.

*Yes she has a bruise on her forehead. She was playing with the door hinge and lost her balance. Subsequently, I cried and debated hitting my own head on the door hinge as self-punishment.

3. Lil Mixins  Egg Powder

I know the words “egg powder” are not the most appetizing, but this stuff is pretty awesome. Around a certain point, (according to our pediatrician) some babies need to start trying foods that they might develop a common allergy to. Usually eggs and nuts. We had previously tried to feed her tiny bits of actual cooked egg and she was NOT having it. Lil Mixins makes it easy to introduce these foods into a babies diet by turning them into a powder. In addition to the egg powder, they also do a peanut and tree nut powder.  We have done both the egg and peanut, by mixing in one scoop with literally anything. We have tried it with oatmeal, rice cereal and peas and Clara has gobbled it all down. She is not the best eater at this point, so I am happy that we are able to get these foods into her without much of a fight.

4. Wooden Blocks and Cardboard Boxes

Yep, she is a typical baby who also just enjoys the simple things. We have a small pile of wooden blocks too and she loves to hold one in each hand and bang them together or on any surface. She also likes it when we make a little block tower so she can knock it over. Mind boggling I know.

5. Mustela Gentle Cleansing Gel

So, right. It’s baby wash. Nothing ground-breaking here but I just LOVE the way it smells.

And that is all! Please leave a comment below if you have recommendations for the following products: baby shoes (like the soft-soled moccasin kind), or LONG baby pants. I have a tall baby.

Summer, Sleep Training and Ruffly Swimsuits

Howdy-doo!

I feel like I have been scarce around these parts as of late. I wish I could say it is due to some big vacation or major home-reno project but truth be told, I’ve just been a lazy SOB. Hats off to anyone (and I do mean ANYONE) who works full-time, has any form of offspring (be it human or other varietal), one or two hobbies, various relationships AND manages to do anything else. Doesn’t matter if it’s a side job, volunteering, or writing about their inner-most thoughts on the internet. Keeping any semblance of a “regular” schedule is tough to do. I do not do it well. I do not do many things well. But I am STELLAR at doing several things at a mediocre level. I win at that.

So in no certain order – here is what has been going on in my life.

CLARA. Clara has been going on. Here we are on the 4th of July.

I bought this outfit for her at Target last year (minus the drool bib) when I was pregnant for like $8. I am a TOTAL sucker for bloomers and I always will be. Poor girl will be wearing them in 8th grade if I have my way.

She is just the best. I am still completely obsessed with her and everything she does and does not do. She could literally kick me in my open eye and I would not care. I would rob a bank if she wanted me to, or clean up a dead body. FIGHT ME.

Also, we did sleep training with her.

*Disclaimer – As I have said from the beginning…I am sharing my experience here guys. Not an expert. Not telling anyone what to do and not looking for criticism. Just your average gal, doin’ her best.

And now we can talk about how SLEEP TRAINING IS THE WORST THING EVERRR. Imagine a hot knife being plunged into your heart. THAT is sleep training my friends. Maybe I am being a taddd dramatic but honestly it was the worst thing I have experienced. And it is worth talking about in case anyone else is going/has gone/will go through it.

My only tip coming out the other side is this: THE ONLY way to get through sleep training is with a partner. There is 100% NO WAY I could have managed it on my own. Here is how it went down:

Girlfriend was a champion sleeper until like 5 months. Then she went through the dreaded sleep regression that everyone warns you about. We could no longer swaddle, because she was rolling over (click here to see what helped us through that) and I was up 4-8 times a night feeding her so she would go back to sleep. Even though they were short little feeds (it was more about soothing than actually eating), it was getting to be a lot. David and I knew we needed to teach her to soothe herself and go back to sleep on her own. The first step was starting to put her to bed while she was still awake and doing “the routine”. We read her books, sing her songs, make a point to show her that we are shutting the curtains, and turn on the white noise. We explain what we are doing, while we are doing it. It is a sight to see. Then we set her down, wide awake.

Then we let her cry.

This is where having a supportive partner comes in. Lucky for me, I have the world’s most supportive partner (seriously, ever). He obviously does not enjoy the sound of her crying, but it does not affect him the way it affects me. I had to go outside, watch YouTube, drink wine and I still SOBBED. I did this every night.

The longest she ever cried for during this period was about 25 minutes. Which, when you are going through it – is a lifetime. And we did not check in on her…we just let her cry. The first couple of nights, I did get up with her when she would cry in the middle of the night, but then quickly decided to stop doing that too. We just felt that it may be confusing to her. So when she cried during the night, I would go to another room (she sleeps in a Pack and Play in our room still).

After about a week or ten days, she FINALLY got the hang of it! She slept through the night, from like 7 pm to 6 am and has been doing that consistently since then. She is WAY happier during the day, still takes 2-3 naps (albeit, sometimes not long ones) and David and I have our evenings back. It really is a win-win for us but I also know it does not work for everyone.

Her tiny eyebrows slaaaay me

At the end of July, David went to Las Vegas to coach basketball for 5 days and my mom, Megan and nephews came to stay. Here is what we did:

We played on the ground a lot with cousin Dean.

We went in the pool with cousin Tornado Tate.

Clara’s swimsuit? Yes it has ruffles on the butt.

We went places.

Like the zoo!

 

Here we are on the little train at the zoo.

Then, Clara got sick for her first official time! I do not know why I am making this sound exciting because it most definitely was not. She caught a little stomach bug and literally emptied her tummy allll over the house while my mom was watching her. I was at my bestie Kelly’s birthday party and had to leave early. It was a whole thing.

I came home to a very pale bb.

It was so sad and so hard. OF COURSE it had to happen when David was out of town. He is really good in situations like this whereas I just cry and panic. She did not have a temp and I called the doctor on call at her pediatrician to figure out what to do. It was quite a night though.

Oh! My let’s give you all an update on the absolute train wreck that is my hair!

Words are not needed here.

Other fun things include our first Thorns game with the baby.

My Grandma’s memorial service (not exactly fun) but it was great to see the fam and Clara wore her Sunday best.

Lots of fun new things have been purchased, such as:

I know the highlighter is shattered but the lip product ALONE is $7 so it is WORTH IT.

Anyone caught up on Season Three? If so, you will love this little tank David found me!

These tiny bb shoes were too irresistible. Had to buy em up.

Lastly, we have gone to the beach and Clara went on her first camping trip. Well, more like glamping (there was a motor home and all) but STILL.

These two ♥

The beach! I love how much David loves wearing her.

And that about wraps it up for today! Thanks for stopping by.

San Juan Islands Vacation

Hydalee-ho there.

A couple of weeks ago my family embarked on a week long vacation up north. We spent a little time visiting family  in Seattle and also went to the San Juan Islands!

We left bright and early Monday morning with the Jeep packed to the brim. Traveling with a 6 month old baby is no joke. I stan for any parents who can successfully pack for a week with a baby and NOT accidentally fill 7 suitcases. I thought I could get away with a small carry on and maybe a backpack for her but OHYEAHthere’s17thousandoutfitsIneedtobringandthatdoesn’tincludematchinghatsandbows.

Then there’s the feeding of the child (bottles, bottle warmer, bibs and baby spoons, etc), the diapering of the child (wipes, diapers, etc.), the sleeping of the child (pack and play, sleep sack, etc.) the transportation of the child (carseat, stroller, baby carrier). OH DEAR GOD. Then of course E wants to bring an entire stuffed animal family, a small library and a wide variety of fruit leathers. How did I ever think I could possibly ever pull off NOT being the hot mess mom!?

We started the trip in Seattle where we stayed with family in Bellevue. The Dowtown Park is amazing. If you’re ever in Bellevue and have kids, check it out. They have everything.

That night, we had a lovely dinner and enjoyed some absolutely gorgeous Seattle weather on the patio.

The next day we drove to Anacortes to board the ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. The last time I took a ferry I was drinking champagne and kid-free so  this time things looked a little bit different.

We did not see any whales but I did polish off the rest of a chicken sandwich from my Dad’s lunch that was darn good.

We stayed in Friday Harbor for the duration of our time on the island and completely fell in love with it. Our hotel was a 2 bdrm with a little kitchenette and it ended up working perfect for the four of us.

And the place my cousin got married, Roche Harbor? Aaaamazing. LITERALLY out of a friggen’ movie.

The day before the wedding we putzed around the area, had fish and chips, ice cream – basically touristed hard.

That night was the rehearsal dinner on the beach.

The happy couple

The next day before the wedding we walked around Friday Harbor and saw some alpacas.

Almost bought this book because duh.

Here’s David in a strapping hat made of alpaca fur!

Then it was wedding time!

Glow stick necklaces FTW

Everything was just gorgeous and the weather was perfect.

The next day we boarded the ferry back to Anacortes and headed to Issaquah to hunker down at my aunt and uncle’s house. That night, we took a lovely walk around the neighborhood. The baby was clearly not excited about this at all:

The next day we saw some friends and went to the Issaquah Farmers Market, which was really fun!

Then we scooted over to Seattle to hang with my sisters and celebrate Seattle Pride! I wore a rainbow ribbon in my hair, trying to mask the crazy amount of baby bangs, breakage and brown hair I am currently sporting!

And of course, Clara had to show the love as well.

All in all, such a beautiful little vacay. I love my family.

 

Baby Faves – 6 Month Edition

Hello and welcome to the first installment of a series I like to call BABY FAVES.

As some of you may or may not remember, before I had  a baby I did a fair amount of fretting over all the godforsaken baby stuff. Read more about that here! Blankets and bouncers and binkies and bottles and boobs and everything else one feels they must acquire before a tiny human enters their life.

Then you have the thing and realize the #1 thing they need most: YOU.

But of course, the odd doohicky can also be a lifesaver. So here are our favorite doohickies, thingamabobs and whosie-whatsits.

  1. The Halo Swaddle Sack

Clara busted out of her swaddle the very first night we spent at home from the hospital. We were swaddling her with a blanket in the hospital for a week (I was in there for awhile due to unforeseen circumstances) but somehow at home she would houdini out. We immediately bought the Halo Swaddle Sack and she literally slept in it until she was 3 months old and started rolling over. We would have kept her in this FOREVER if we could. She slept through the night in this baby for a solid 2-3 months. We are talking 7-8 hours at a time, people.

2. The SwaddleDesigns Transitional Swaddle Sack

This is the garment we’ve been in for over a month now. Once she started rolling around and needed her hands out to push herself back up – we realized we wanted something like this. We also have the Zipadee-Zip but this one from SwaddleDesigns works better for us. The ends of the sleeves can be open or closed (as shown in the picture) so we can also use this if she wants her hands out.

3. Copper Pearl Drool Bibs

Anything by this brand is amazing, but the drool bibs are my favorite. Clara drools a swimming pool’s worth by the minute and as a result had a nice drool rash to boot. I started putting these on her when I noticed she was turning on the ol’ water works and they are perfect. SUPER soft on the side that touches their skin and surprisingly absorbent. Plus the fact that they’re bandannas with really cute patterns? Come on.

4. Desitin Diaper Cream

Clara had some serious diaper rash in the beginning. We tried several different diaper creams, including the bougie organic ones that cost $17 a tube. Desitin won every time and the ingredient list was very similar. We also used this on her drool rash and it cleared it right up.

5. A Bouncy Chair

My Mom purchased Clara this exact bouncy chair from Burlington Coat Factory a few months ago and girlfriend has loved it ever since. This model actually does vibrate but we have never put batteries in it. She loves the subtle bounce of it and playing with little toys (we’ve attached more) along the bar that hangs over. Any of the good ol’ fashioned bouncy chairs would do the trick!

Also good for a little snooze

And those are just a handful of our favorites! Stay tuned for the next installment in a few months.

Roadtrips and Springtime Fun

Who’s ready for some topics?!

David and I have been doing a fair bit of the odd travels lately and to nowhere particularly thrilling. But when you have an infant baby and a sprightly 8 yr old that might be a good thing. Making the schlep anywhere is difficult but so worth it in order to see family and/or partake in the following…

A basketball tournament in Seattle for David! We stayed at a family member’s house which made everything a million times better having the extra room.

While in Seattle, Meg and I pushed our strollers around Bellevue Square! It was also the weekend before Mother’s Day and we happened upon this adorable photo backdrop and of course could not resist taking pics. I was a little excited.

My sister Rachel also got Meg and I these highly coveted pink Starbucks tumblers because she da best.

I walked around proud as a mother effin’ peacock pushing around my hand-me-down Bob while toting this Instagram worthy dazzling goodness. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt “cool” so thanks Rach!

A trip home for a family yard sale!

My grandmother recently passed and my grandpa moved out so our family got together for a nostalgic day of selling all the stuff in their house.

FUN FACT: My grandparents were snowbirds with a house in Yuma, AZ meaning they had lots of items from our friends south of the border. Like these beauts:

yes that is a floral fanny pack

And also some fun vests from my grandpa’s big-band days.

The kids and babies had a blast too.

Our latest trip was to Salem for another basketball tournament.

Could you JUST DIE for her shoes?

In between games, we strolled the downtown and I found a store that is 100% my aesthetic…

sadly it was closed…

I did manage to procure a mini-crown for Clara’s first birthday, however.

David and I also celebrated one year of marriage last month! It was such a great night. I made reservations at Piazza Italia and Clara was a peach the whole time.

And lately the sun has been out! Oh, the glorious sun. Makes everything better, albeit more sticky. This is the first time Clara and I have experience warm temps together and lemmetellya, homegirl and I get OUR SWEAT ON together. We both be bathin’ errr night.

But the nice weather also means a whole new way to dress!

Give me cotton overalls…

BONNETS…

Sleeveless rompers….

And GIANT velvet head bows…

Any day of the mothereffin’ week.

All for now. byeeeeeeeeeeeee

Returning to Work and Postpartum Anxiety

So, ok. This blog post title could not be more Debbie Downer if it tried but dangnamit, I’m writing it!

First things first –

GOING BACK TO WORK AFTER HAVING A KID IS HARD

Sh*t man. Like, how do people do this? Have a baby! They said. You can be a working mom! They said. Before I had Clara, I envisioned myself as one of those women who could easily make the transition. As one of those moms who could go away on fun-filled girls weekends after 4 months, baby-free. As one of those moms who could carry on exactly as before baby came along.

That kind of mom, I am not.

I am the mom who wakes up early, plucks up her still-asleep, warm and delicious (yes, delicious) little baby from her bed, wishing she could spend consecutive hours snoozing and snuggling with this little being that makes her heart LITERALLY sing. I am the mom who feels immense guilt when she gets home and realizes she has not seen her baby for 8 whole hours. I am the mom that cannot fathom leaving the baby overnight, that struggles with leaving for more than 4 hours, that misses the baby constantly, that feels like she is missing an limb when she is not with her.

I am THAT mom.

And mind you, I have no doubt that my baby is being cared for in the best way possible when we are apart. Everyone that watches Clara loves her so much, there are zero qualms about her safety or her needs not being met. It is allllll about me. My feelings. My guilt.

Currently I am working 5 consecutive, 7 hour days. There have been ups and downs. Easy days and hard days. Days where I love my situation, I feel contented in the time I get with my baby, my QT with David and E.  But then there are days where I question IT ALL.

Why am I working? I am a terrible person. She is going to forget about me. Did I read to her at all yesterday? What is she doing right now? Am I talking to her enough? Does she love me?

This is the tape that plays in my head.

So that is where we’re at. Luckily, my job is continually amazing and allows flexibility when and where I need it. I will keep you all posted on the working-mom front but this stuff is no joke. WHO FEELS ME?

And speaking of tapes playing in my head…POSTPARTUM ANXIETY! Let’s talk about it.

This is a fairly new diagnosis in the medical community I recently learned, but to anyone who struggles with generalized anxiety it should be no surprise. Give someone with crippling anxiety a baby, and yeah, there’s a good chance that person will face a whole new set of issues. Namely, me. At my last appointment with my midwife, we chatted about it. She gave me a little survey to take and each question was just SO spot on for how I am feeling rn.

“Do you find yourself in a constant state of worry?” YAS. “Do you find situations you used to enjoy to no longer be fun?” YASSSS.

What am I doing to help myself? LOTS. One thing I learned long ago (esp when it comes to mental health) is that getting off my butt and taking steps to get help is SO worth it. When I am feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed – whatever – the absolute best thing to do is just call the damn doc. So, in the coming weeks I have lined up appointments with my doctor and therapist because I refuse to let PPA, PPD or anything else get the better of me. I’m open to adding a medication to the lineup and also working on things in therapy.

Anyone else experience PPD or PPA? How did you survive?