Tuesday, September 24, 2013

if you don't have anything nice to say...

i lied to brielle's pediatrician last week. she asked if brielle was sleeping through the night. i said yes. she asked if brielle was in her crib. i said yes again. neither are the truth.

i lied because 1. i didn't want to get lectured and 2. it's not really her business. don't get me wrong. i love brielle's pediatrician. i think she is knowledgeable, passionate, and sweet. however, i knew what she was going to say, and i just didn't want to hear it.

i'm having one of those nights where i feel on the edge of a breakdown. brielle is teething and cranky. she woke up every single hour last night, just wanting to chew on something and cuddle. i don't mind too much, because i'm her mom, and it's my job, and it's the best job in the world. but still, i'm tired.

i've also become so frustrated with people these past couple of weeks. i hear and read the things they say to one another, and it makes me sick. i am so so very fortunate to have a close knit group of fellow mamas to confide in and to share support. but still, i come across the occasional know-it-all, the dreaded damn-it-all.

here's the thing. before you're a parent, you have all your rules set out. you'll breastfeed for a year. the baby will sleep in the bassinet for 3 months, then gracefully transition into her crib. you'll cloth diaper. you'll make all your own food. your precious baby's eyes will never watch a minute of television, and all her toys will be eco-friendly. then your baby is born, and your milk supply sucks, your baby has reflux, your laundry room is taken over by dirty diapers waiting to be washed, you can barely find time to make your own food, and speaking of, it's time to make dinner so you set your baby on a blanket to watch mickey mouse club house and gnaw on her plastic toy.

your baby is born, you go into survival mode, and just do the best you possibly can. for me, survival mode has become bed-sharing. it wasn't something i planned on doing, but at three months, brielle stopped sleeping through the night in her rock n play, and bam. just like that, we became co-sleepers. i am well aware that i helped form the habit, but i can't say i regret it. it's worked for us. we've all gotten sleep because of it. and guess what, that's what matters.

jake and i get a say in how we sleep and how we parent. that's all. not a doctor. not a relative. not a friend with plenty of opinions, but no kids. not a friend with plenty of opinions AND kids. nope. just me and jake.

and this crazy rant isn't just about me and jake and how we sleep. i have had far too many conversations with my fellow mom friends recently about this same frustration, about why everybody seems to have an opinion on everybody else's parenting.

guys, this is a tough gig as it is. if you want to know pressure, try being responsible for another human being's LIFE. i am well aware that every single decision i do or don't make will have an affect on my precious, perfect baby. that is stress. it SICKENS me to see other people, particularly women, and particularly other moms criticize someone else's parenting.

every parent and every baby is different. please remember that. some babies sleep great in their cribs, and some score a spot in bed with their mom and dad. some babies are in the 90 percentile, some are in the 3rd. some start solids are 4 months, some wait until 6. i could go on and on, but i hope you get my point. every situation is diverse, but for the most part, every parent is loving and raising their child the best way they know how.

brielle isn't going to be sleeping in bed with us when she is fifteen, and when she is fifteen, i probably wish she would. in the meantime, jake and i are going to transition her using the method and speed that we choose. and also in the meantime, i will do my best to support every other parent struggling to make the best decisions for their babies.

"most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragment, and we will make the goal." robert collier.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


i'm a strong lover of all things social media. i'm sure you have come to realize that about me by now. i just like people. i like to know people's lives. i like to share mine. i like real life, fleshy human life sharing too. it's just that doing it over the internet is easy, convient, and fun when real life isn't an option.  social media has allowed me to keep in contact with family from other states, half of my graduating class, and now complete strangers.

i still remember when the first stranger started following me. it's funny to write the word 'stranger' because, she may technically still be, but i now consider her a close friend. raincitybaby. well, i think she was technically still laurenryk at the time, but whatevs. i was confused when i got the notification that she was following me because 1. i didn't know her and 2. she was some trendy blonde from seattle that was way too cool to be interested in me. but she was also pregnant and seemed normal, so i followed her back. and so it began.

when i began following lauren, i had no idea i would soon be a part of the big, beautiful world of momstagram. through simply liking and commenting on her photos, i began to get more followers, most of which followed her. and as i followed more lovely women, i met more lovely women, and now looking at my profile, half of the people i follow have never met me in real life. creepy? possibly. but i don't care. they're my buddies.

the wonderful thing about instagram and moms is that pretty much every single one of them overshares. which means, i pretty much know each of them like the back of my hand. i trust they aren't actually some creepy 50-year-old man because each of them has spammed my feed with their weekly bump shots and their little one's gnawing on sophie the giraffe. and now instagram has video so i can hear their crazy baby talk voices and hear their precious baby's first giggles and learn how to moan like dying cats. i love it. it's like having little virtual play-dates every single hour day.

and now lauren, who may just be the momstagram president, our 'regina george' if you will (except she isn't a meal girl. actually may be the nicest girl you'll never meet ;)) started @askthemamas, with a couple of her other friends (also who she has never met in real life. so awesome!) anyways, this ig account has helped me beyond belief during these past months of mothering brielle. i am very fortunate to have a few real life friends also in the midst of raising their first child, and they have provided me with limitless advide and support. but it is also so amazing to have a database of questions and advice to and from mamas all over the world, right there on one little instagram account. it's phenomenal.

this morning i got super sappy thinking about how some of these women and i have been following each other for nearly a year now. back when we were posting our bellies, and nurseries, and baby showers, and we were the only ones who cared to know what fruit everybody's baby was the size of that day. then i thought about how they will all most likely virtually attend brielle's first birthday party. and then i got to thinking about how long we will continue to follow each other. it blew my mind. i could very well be in the midst of life-long friendships with these countless women i have never even met.

the thing i love most about the mom community on instagram is how free, true, and unconditional the love there is. becoming a mom is the most exciting and monumental time of your life. from the moment the test is positive, that's all you want to breathe, think, and talk about. unfortunately most of the people i came in contact with on a daily basis, didn't agree. but now it's ok. now i have a gang of mommy friends ready and willing to cry with me thinking about how fast our babies are growing, to laugh with me when i spilt breast milk on my shirt at work, to celebrate with me when brielle begins to crawl, and to join me in loving my sweet baby girl. because i really truly believe that these women love my daughter, which is crazy and surreal and amazing. they are invested in her life, sadly even more than some of my friends in real life.

and the love is mutual. i love ru's unbeatable style and blowouts, and gracelyn's parrot screech. i love ella's fascination with water bottles, and reagan's cheeks! i love thoren's naked butt next to linus and how much ben loves moe. nora's long hair, ruby's ability to fall asleep everywhere, elliot's sweet bond with his mama. There are TONS more (those are just the ones who babyspam me most often), but i truly love and feel connected with all of the mom's and babies that i follow. it's a friendship. some are in san jose, some are in florida (come west jenny), but i honestly can say they are all my friends.

Friday, June 28, 2013

emotional late night ramblings.

brielle is quickly approaching the 4 month mark, and i just can't believe it. it feels like she just became ours, and it feels like she's been ours forever.
i love her so much.
i love her so much it really truly hurts.
sometimes i just cry at the thought of her.
happy tears because she's the purest and most beautiful person i know. sad tears because she's growing too quickly.
i want to share her with everybody and keep her all to myself. i want to see her as a big girl and relive her first days. i want to snuggle and play. i want to kiss kiss kiss.
i desperately want to bottle her up. i want to remember how soft the inside of her hands are. how cool her cheeks feel against my lips. how sweetly she looks at me as she eats. its like she's thanking me for the gift i'm giving her.
sometimes i look back on the day and realize that all i did was watched her and tickled her and kissed her and held her close.
those are the best days of all.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

three months

Weight: doesn't have an appointment this month, so i just weighed at home. 14 lbs 6 oz. holy rolls! she 
Height: again, this is just from home, but i got 23.5 inches. she was really wiggly though, and i suspect she's longer.  
Clothing size: a little bit of everything. she wears some 0-3, a lot of 3-6, and even wore a pair of 9 month leggings the other day.  
Diaper size: size 3!! i can't believe it. but she had like 7 blowouts in a row in the 2's so it was time to say goodbye.
Likes: water, of any kind. Raffi Pandora radio. Gatsby. The TV (ugh). Reading (yay) Her swing (finally)
Dislikes: getting out of the bath. being held like a baby. the heat.   
Feeding: She obviously eats well. still about every 2 hours, sometimes sooner sometimes longer. don't know how much she eats, but on the occasion she is offered a bottle, she takes it. so nice! now if only i could bring myself to pump more...
Sleep: weeelllll, she was sleeping like champ, from 10pm-6am, then a quick feed and sasleep again until 8, but this week she has added in a 3am feeding. i am not pleased. she's lucky she's cute.
Milestones: she is smiling, laughing and cooing all the time now. she tries to scoot a lot but her arms get pinned under that belly. sits up well with the boppy. will imitate faces and sounds. discovered her hands and has them in her mouth 24/7.
Mommy and Daddy's best memories this month: everything! she truly gets more fun every day. we love seeing her laugh and play. its exciting to introduce her to precious friends and family she hasn't met. we are ready for a summer full of adventures with the junebug! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


on june 22, 2004 a sweet and shy 15-year-old boy asked me to his girlfriend as we sat in the grass on my best friend's lawn. he had been pursuing me for nearly a year, as my crushes changed monthly, like many 14-year-old girl's do. i remember my excitement when he asked. he was my first real boyfriend. i was his first girlfriend too. i didn't think i would be with him forever, but i knew i could.

on june 17, 2011 we said 'i do.' i walked down the aisle and promised my life to my sweet and shy boy. we kissed, and danced, and cut the cake. we celebrated the past seven years, the years we spent growing up together. we celebrated the forever before us.

on june 24, 2012 the test was positive. i stood in the bathroom, frozen in awe. we had only been trying for one month. one. i called jake into the bedroom and held out the test with watering eyes and shaking hands. 'pregnant.' he grabbed me and we kissed and cried the happiest tears.

june is the thrill the heat brings. it's night swims and popsicle kisses. it's taking the long way home. june is the possibility of summer. it's driving barefoot and sipping coke from a straw. it's eating breakfast in your bathing suit. it's james taylor with windows down. june is the home of my sweetest memories. june is the love we created. june is brielle.

i pray our junebug's life is like a long sweet summer, with passion and peace, night swims and popsicle kisses.

happy june.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

slow & sweet.

yesterday, during one of brielle's very unpredictable naps, i found myself in the kitchen frantically unloading the dishwasher, putting away groceries and sweeping the floors. it's always a race against time when i want to do something productive. i'm always awaiting my buzzer to go off, for my turn to be over.

tucked away in the corner of our counter, i spotted the thrifted vintage pitcher i got a couple weeks prior. i hastily walked over to put it in it's new home in our cabinet, when i stopped for a moment. it was just too pretty to hide behind a cheese grater and ice cream dishes. so i grabbed a pot, began filling it with water, and went to retrieve the tea bags out of the pantry. then i stopped again. my memory raced back to the summers of my childhood. playing in the front yard, writing with chalk on the sidewalk, all while my mom's pitcher of tea sat brewing in the sun. i loved that tea. i loved the whole process. i can't even really remember why. it's not exciting by any means, but i remember it and i remember loving it. so i poured out the water, put away the pot, loaded up the pitcher and took it out to the backyard. i placed it in the sun and sat there for a moment. i began to feel nostalgic. i allowed myself to venture back to the sweetness and simplicity of letting tea brew in the sun. gatsby trotted over to me, licked my cheek, then plopped on my lap and moaned. i scratched his belly and kissed the top of his head. the quiet felt good and familiar.

after a few more moments in the sun, i lazily walked back into the house to check on brielle. she remained dreaming on the crisp white sheets. her long legs stretched out. i smiled at the rolls in them. my chunky girl. she has acquired so many more rolls since the day she became ours. i suddenly became nostalgic again. not for my childhood, but for brielle's. time is already fleeting fast. our precious babe is blooming quickly. we are rapidly approaching the 3 month mark, and my heart is already mourning her infancy. every day, every milestone is bittersweet. she is such a little person already. so silly, and strong, and soooo independent. i'm loving every moment of it. i love seeing her grow. but i miss yesterday, i miss last month, i miss march 9th. our big girl likes to be held facing the world now. she fusses and squirms when i try to hold her like a baby, in the crook of my arm, where she spent the first weeks of her life. i find myself constantly awaiting her next feeding. that's when we get to slow down time. she finds her old familiar place in that crook, and we are both still. skin to skin. i can sit and enjoy the fact that for now, God has blessed me with the job of being her source of nourishment. no green beans or sweet peas. just mama, helping her grow. and sometimes, when i feel her body soften and her chubby cheek squish on my shoulder, i delay putting her down to nap. the dishes can wait five more minutes. i just want to hoard every sweet moment while they are here.

as much as i am grasping on to her youth, i am excited for her future. i am excited to adventure with her and make memories for her to keep. i am excited to help her create a childhood to be nostalgic for. but for now, i want to do life slowly. i want to let the tea brew in the sun. maybe one day, when life is hectic and brielle has a home and a husband and a baby of her own, she will remember the long hot summer days, writing with chalk on the sidewalk, and waiting for that tea. maybe then, she too will choose to do life slowly.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Last week, one of my favorite blogs, Little Baby Garvin, posted her entire day in pictures. I thought it was the most brilliant idea. It's so much more exciting to see what people are up to, rather than just reading about it. So, I thought I would join in on the fun. I'm going to try to make this a monthly thing. 1. So we can look back and see how Brielle and our daily life develops from month to month and 2. To motivate me to use the fancy camera our parents bought us for Christmas, which I (clearly) still don't know how to use correctly. I obviously didn't take a picture of everything we did, but I tried to get the highlights :) oh... and i was really bad and carrying the big bulky camera around everywhere, so some of these are just with my phone.

rise and shine! on this particular morning Brielle slept until 8:30. praise jesus. 

sometimes after her 5am feeding (the only time she wakes up at night) i am guilty of sneaking her into bed with us. this was one of those mornings. and of course, she had broken out of her swaddle. oh, hey gatsby. 

time to change the diaper that weighs 75lbs and get out of jammies. 

after brie is dressed and ready, she is nice enough to sit and wait for me to do the same. 

we had a starbucks date with the lovely sarah walker, and right when i was heading over, beautiful rhea billingsley asked if we wanted to meet her and the ever so handsome drew cohen for starbucks. so brielle and i got to drink coffee and eat breakfast with two of our most favorite mommies! we're the luckiest. 

such a proud & pretty mama.

sarah's first snuggles with mr. drew

as always, brielle was the life of the party. (she woke up later and got sarah snuggles. i forgot to capture it, obvi) 

then monica joined us on her break! she is going to be a mama in october. so exciting! we can't wait to meet her sweet boy. 

everyone needs drew snuggles. 

once we got home, brielle was ready for some lunch. 

after she refueled, she was happy...

and ready to play. 

as much as I wish playtime could last forever, there was this to deal with. 

brielle was supposed to be taking a nap, but she decided to stay up and help me. sweet girl. 

luckily brie crapped her diaper, and saved me from laundry. of course, gatsby came with us. 

she is always sooo happy, hanging out on her changing pad. oh btw, we aren't ghetto. brielle usually has a changing pad cover on, but she peed all over it, so receiving blanket it is :) 

hey pretty girl, 


then it was time to grocery shop! it was the first trip we had made just the two of us. it was obviously very successful. 

since it was past 2pm at this point, i decided i should eat some lunch. 

after lunch, brielle was still asleep, so i figured i should tackle this. 

after a while I realized that salad was worthless so i made some waffles. 

and gatsby judged me. 

for the next feeding we made our way into the guest room where it's dark and cool. gats brought his toy, just in case. (she obviously eats more than twice a day, but i didn't know how much unique shots i could get without flashing everyone.)

gastby eventually talked us into going outside with him. he asked if he could go swimming. i said no...

he was pissed. 

jake was home sick, so brielle got to snuggle with him as he worked from the couch. 

beige explosion, i know. we are on a mad hunt to purchase an area rug, but have yet to find "the one"....that doesn't cost $500

gatsby always thinks the tummy time blanket is an open invitation to make himself comfy.

eventually he let her do her thing. 

proof that i don't only feed her twice a day. those cheeks! 

then it was time to make dinner. we had burgers with harris ranch patties (bomb.com) corn on the cob and chili beans. 

after dinner, it's bath time. every night, gatsby begs me to let him get in as i fill up brielle's tub. 

jake's job is always to strip her down. this is a very serious job. she is known to spray poop everywhere the moment her diaper is taken off. 

gatsby impatiently waiting. 

the scariest walk known to man. from the nursery to the bathroom with a naked baby. notice the butt cup. nice work, yeager. 

she made it! bathtime is always a whole family affair. 

brielle is so embarrassed everyone gets to see her naked. 

give the girl some privacy, bro! 

after bath time i went into our room to put my jammies on and realized i never finished the laundry. i said screw it, and put it back into the basket. american idol was on. 

american idol night always means homemade popcorn and coke. and we drink from our "fancy" cups. 

brielle was asleep and gatsby was ready to do what he does best. 


see you next month. <3