Friday, February 13, 2015

Registry #2

There's not much that we need for baby girl number 2, but if you've been reading along for a while then you may remember this post about my "baby registry uh ohs". We are still in need of an infant bath tub, some new swaddles, and a few clothes because we have wintry infant clothes from our late November baby and need a few lighter options for our Spring baby.

On my registry for the little miss is:

Bath: Fisher Price 4 in 1 Sling 'N Seat Tub - this tub has really great reviews and it's versatile. I thought I'd like the collapsible Boon bath tub, but it's pretty expensive and doesn't seem as supportive as this one.
Swaddlers: Aden & Anais Swaddle Plus Blankets  & Ergo Sleep Tight Swaddler - we currently have some Aden and Anais blankets but they are too large for swaddling. We need this smaller version to be able to properly burrito our baby. For nighttime, we used the Woombies with Logan and they seemed to work, but this Ergo swaddler looks like a better option. Even though we kept sizing up, Logan always seemed so squished in the Woombies. I like that this Ergo swaddler is tight up top and more lose around the bottom as the purpose of swaddling really only is to try and keep their fall reflex (aka flailing arms that wake them up) in check!
Feeding: Boon Orb Bottle Warmer - we went through many different bottles with Logan and eventually settled on the Playtex Ventaire which we will use for Wesley if she ends up being bottle fed. There is a plastic seal on the bottom of the bottle which makes the bottle itself not suitable to stick in a warmer, but we used Medela breast milk containers to warm up Logan's formula in a mini crock pot; which eventually got super gross with hard calcium build up where the water level was. The little crock pot was impossible to clean and had a weird smell to it and we actually had to throw it away. We're definitely going to need an actual bottle warmer this time.
Gear: Baby K'Tan Carrier - guys, wraps terrify me. So much fabric! This carrier looks pretty damn genius and looks really convenient and comfortable for those first few months. I did sell my Ergo and bought a Lillebaby in hopes that a forward facing option will help us stick to baby wearing (Logan hated it).
Apparel: Obsessed with this Finn & Emma romperMademoiselle Papillon is one of my favorite random finds on Amazon and I love their little "all in ones". Zutano always has really fun prints like the one on this circus romper.  One thing I didn't have (and needed) for Logan was infant socks.. love these and these. And baby Gap does it again with this floral one piece. I could buy everything at this store, but I'm smitten with this Cheery Day romper at IttiKid.
Boring Necessities: this camera to add to our existing system. This double stroller. These burp cloths.


**all grey text are clickable links for reference if you're interested in researching the products for yourself, friends or family members with babies on the way!**

xo
-Ali

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Snapshots




**My little drummer gal. She's always playing these, her guitar, or her piano book. I hope she'll always hold on tightly to her love for music.
**I have started a little collection of Blendo glassware and this turquoise is my favorite!
**A new to me (and free) mid century hutch for the dining room with all of my kitschy kitchen knick knacks. / I rebuilt the tee pee that Rory and I made for Logan by myself to put in to her new big girl room. It took me two hours! I highly recommend never building one yourself.
**Winston the pig comes everywhere with us.
**I always like a very symmetrical and clean arrangement of magnets and photos on my fridge but ultrasound photos of Wesley have taken over.. I love it! Oh and yes, it does say "Poop" on that word bubble magnet. / Week 23 baby bump.
**I am obsessed with this tree in our neighbors backyard. I think it's a crepe myrtle but am not entirely sure. I always thought it was a young sycamore, but one morning last week I opened my bedroom window in the morning to check the weather and I thought it snowed (I didn't have my glasses on)! The tree exploded with these gorgeous white flowers overnight and I take time every day to admire it.
**String of pearls are my favorite and they're blooming too! / Tiny dancer smelling flowers in the garden.

xo
-Ali

Monday, February 2, 2015

Life Lately

It's been quiet around here so far this year and it's been pretty nice compared to the last few months of 2014 where we were all sick and home-bound. Logan and I have been making it to more play dates and doing more toddler friendly things for her since my life isn't centered around OB/GYN appointments these days!

Logan has always been pretty chatty but lately she is having full on conversations with us and Rory and I are always laughing at the things she has to say. Today I let her run around outside while I unpacked some groceries and when I was finished I said to her, "It's time to come in for lunch" and she told me "Nah, I'm just playin' mom." She's super strong willed (ahem.. like mother like daughter); so much so that she picks out her clothes each morning and let's us know which meals will be suitable for her to eat throughout the day.
Some "Loganisms":

When I showed her her new big girl version of her crib
"Oh mommy! It's wonderful!"

Out of the blue while we were playing she got close to my face
"You're number two!"

"Logan has yellow hair. Mommy has pink hair. Daddy is bald."

I told her to stay back from the fireplace because the fire in it was dangerous
"What!? Dangerous!? What does that mean?"


Me: "I feel sick. I think I ate too many 'Nilla Wafers."
Logan: "You needa see a doctor mommy!"

We've been on a good stretch health and mood wise, though we had a minor bump yesterday and today with two two year molars cutting through and some seasonal allergy issues (nothing Motrin and Benadryl can't help). I've been feeling fairly well.. this little girl that I'm cooking is way more active than Logan ever was and it gives me so much peace to feel her throughout the day (and night! Sleepless pregnant lady nights. Boo.). I feel like a much calmer person this pregnancy; which is surprising considering I have a crazy two year old. When I was pregnant with Logan, we lived in an apartment with smokers next to us and below us so in turn we were trying to move and ended up having to pay four months worth of rent in one month due to new deposits and lease termination fees.. I was on the phone constantly with state assisted insurance.. we moved; I was a ball of stress to say the least. I feel so incredibly lucky and happy to be settled right now; I feel like I can enjoy each day as it comes.

xo
-Ali

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sharing My Heart With Her

Before Rory and I were parents.. before we were even married, we discussed religion and how we'd introduce it (or not introduce it) to our future children. Rory comes from a family of mostly non believers and though Rory went to a Christian camp and was in a youth group, he never opened his heart to God. For Rory, the universe is just too big and too great for it to have been made at the hand of a God. For me, that is the exact reason why I believe there is a God. We live in an endless universe and yet, we're here because of God's love.
We talked about wanting to raise our future children with open hearts and open minds and we still very much want that, but something happened when Logan was born and my heart felt a little different.

I was raised Catholic. I went to a Lutheran preschool, a Catholic Kindergarten, Catholic elementary school, Catholic junior high, and a Catholic high school. There was never anything else but the belief of Jesus and prayers to Saints and God's angels.. my life was Church and faith. When I was 19, I made the choice to leave the Catholic church (because it filled me with fear) and I found myself more in love with God and worship at a non-denominational Church. I pray every day, I am a believer in Christ. I would say that I am not a religious person.. I am a person whose faith is very important to her life.
Talking about God and Jesus every day is not something that is odd to me so I found myself talking to my daughter about it as well. When she was a tiny little bundle, I would pray over her as she drank her nightly bottle.. when she got old enough to see that there was a crucifix in her room, we said "thank you and I love you" to Jesus.. last Christmas when she was more cognitively aware of the season, we talked about all of the pieces in our nativity and she loved that baby Jesus was already recognizable to her. Before she was born, I didn't have any visions of myself praying with her or talking to her about Jesus.. I just figured that her faith would develop naturally (if at all) in whatever she wanted to believe in.

Talking to my daughter about Jesus and His love for us is something that gives me an overwhelming sense of peace and love. My heart is full when she asks to kiss Jesus goodnight and I am cherishing this love that is growing in her heart as well.
There will come a day when she may not want to believe in God anymore and as heartbreaking as that may be, I believe in God's plan and in His path for her, so she may open her heart again one day. She may decide to be Jewish, Agnostic, Buddhist.. whatever it may be, as long as she is a good person and kind to others, I will be proud and happy.

My faith in God has shaped me and saved me.. it's not for everyone. Whatever it is that she wants to put her love and faith in to is her choice; nowhere does it say that you can't be an incredibly caring and kind person if you're not a Christian. I am looking forward to seeing who she grows up to be, no matter what her faith is.

xo
-Ali

Monday, January 5, 2015

I Am Healing

Without a doubt, 2014 was the biggest year of growth for me; bigger than becoming a wife, bigger than becoming a mother. Last year I reflected on why I was who I had become and I made a conscious effort daily to become a better person.

I spent many years very angry at anything and everything; I frequently felt attacked and subconsciously allowed myself to put distance between myself and people that were close to me. For a long time, I didn't think anything of it.. I just felt the way I did and that was that. I had settled for the person I had become; distant and very sad on the inside.

At the beginning of last year, I had secluded myself from family, friends and even Rory; I just held on tight to Logan. Somehow I felt this was everyone else's doing but my own. I believe that all of the sadness I was feeling inside led me back to a place I didn't think I'd be at again. I started to have the same reoccurring nightmares about my horribly abusive relationship that I had suffered from years before; I couldn't sleep, I would wake up and immediately have a panic attack.. every day I felt beaten down from these nightmares about a man who broke me physically and emotionally. It saddened me even more that I was not completely present with my husband and my daughter so I decided to step way out of my comfort zone and I started seeing a therapist. 

I was officially diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder; something I never dared to say because I felt that was reserved for war heroes. My diagnosis was a bit of a relief in that I felt like I wasn't just being dramatic or dwelling or I simply "couldn't get over it".. I was truly mentally and emotionally damaged from the years of abuse.

The label of PTSD empowered me and for once in a long time, my mind felt clear enough to really take a look at myself. Who had I let myself become? I didn't want to be secluded, I didn't want to be quick to anger, I didn't want to be alone. I had become that way because my traumatic experience changed me. Before meeting that man, I was a shy and sweet girl. I loved everyone and I trusted everyone. Spending three years of being hit, dragged, cut, yelled at, cheated on, belittled, and lied to changed how I felt about the world and how I felt about myself.

It's a new year and I feel like I am on my way to being at peace with what happened to me.. which I finally understand is much different than closure. Closure is something I thought I needed and now I know that there is absolutely no closure for a person who has suffered abuse, there is only forgiveness and strength to live the rest of your life without fear. 

Knowing why I became who I was has helped me take the steps to change in to who I want to be and who I was meant to be. Really, I am just allowing myself to be who I was before the abuse.

It feels good to be me. 

"I'm battle scarred, I am workin' oh so hard
To get back to who I used to be.."
-A Fine Frenzy "Near to You"

xo 
-Ali

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Year in Review


This year was full of change. We had two big life changes in particular; we moved and we have a new baby on the way! Each change began with lots of tears and devastation, but we came out on the other side of both and are happy and healthy. Our new home feels more like home than anywhere we've ever been and baby girl is doing well and growing; we're ending this year on a good note.

Last year I wrote down some goals I wanted to keep (you can read them here) and I did pretty well with most of them, but let a few get away from me. I didn't get to make my quilt and with having to move, saving was pretty impossible; every few years, we get a good chunk of savings and then we have to move and come up with rent and a security deposit so it disappears. This year was pretty hard financially with the move, our TV broke, Logan needed a new car seat, I needed new glasses... life happens and it gets harder to keep up with it all. The hardest thing has been all of the medical expenses with this pregnancy but somehow we hang in there and for that I am grateful.

This year I am not going to write down any goals for myself other than to be the best wife and mother I can be. I want to go in to the new year with the goal to live each day the happiest I possibly can.

What I do want to do is take some time to look back at a few of the wonderful memories we made as a family a midst all of the transition, hard times, and months of feeling sick!
Disneyland- February 2014. We had such a great time  watching Logan's reactions to everything.. it was her first time there being able to walk around herself and join in on a dance party! 
Duck Park- March 2014. This was a hot day! It was Logan's first time feeding the ducks and huge geese. We spent a few hours there, just the three of us and it was perfect.
Trips to the Farm- Spring, Summer and Fall 2014. Underwood Farms was our home away from home for most of the year. We had many play dates and lots of mom and Logan dates. We bought gorgeous produce to bring home, rode the cow train a million times, fed animals, pet goats, enjoyed the Harvest Festival, and so much more. I can't wait for them to open up again in a few months so we can go enjoy our farm days!
Road Trip to Monterey, Santa Clara and Gilroy- July 2014. We took a long road trip up to visit my dad for a few days and stopped at the Aquarium on the way. The rest of the weekend was hot hot hot (110 degrees at the garlic festival and we also were soaked in sweat when we visited a little zoo near my dad's). This was our one and only getaway this year and it was just enough to refresh us and I love the memories we made.
Three Year Wedding Anniversary- August 2014. Our one year anniversary was spent moving, our two year was spent at home, and this year we made it out to lunch! We're getting better at celebrating!
See wedding photos here and here.
Big News!- November 2014. Logan talks about baby sister being in mama's tummy and we're so excited to have Wesley join the family! I am antsy to see her in a week at my next ultrasound; I had been going to my OBGYN once or twice a week and saw her each time so I've missed her these last three weeks!

Through the ups and downs, it's been a wonderful year! I met a girl who has become one of my best friends, I rebuilt some old friendships, I believe this year was my year of growth; I feel happy, I feel connected, I feel at ease, I feel so much love for the people in my life, I feel like I have become who I am supposed to be right now.

Happy New Year friends!

xo
-Ali

Friday, December 26, 2014

52/52


A portrait of my child once a week, every week in 2014.

Opening up every one's Christmas presents in the morning sun.


If you've been reading along, then you know that I won't be continuing this portrait series in to the next year; it's really become more of a chore than anything. As much as I love being able to see her grow from week to week, there's just a lot of other things that I'd rather be focusing on. I am going to make it a goal to blog about more meaningful things in the new year and not have my entire blog be all photos of Logan because I haven't written anything else in between portraits.

**You can see all of her portraits by clicking here if you missed any**

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and we'll be seeing you next year!

xo
-Ali