February 1, 2019

2019: New Year, New Me

It's a little late for a New Year's post but I've been trying to think about what to write for my first post of the year...and first post in over a month.

I've seen so many posts slamming the whole "New Year, New Me" mentality but in my case, it isn't so much a mentality as a reality. This year, I'm a mother and, I've settled into a much different routine with very different priorities. 

I'm also starting a new job this month, moving out of the world of consulting into academia and I'm wildly excited about. In a lot of ways, I feel like this job is the dream job I never knew existed. I know that's saying a lot before I've even started but everything about this just feels right. And I think that's saying a lot considering I wasn't looking for a new job and definitely wasn't planning to leave where I was. I was happy there and comfortable but we grow when we leave our comfort zones so I'm looking forward to it.

I do love the start of the New Year and thinking of what the year will bring. I already know that this year is going to be fun. Aurora will say her first words, take her first steps, and experience so many firsts! And I'll be along for the ride juggling a new job with parenting and running and reading and yoga and all the things I've done before, trying to maintain some semblance of me in this new role. I know it won't be easy and if I've learned anything from parenting, it's to stop putting pressure on myself. The dishes might pile up but if Aurora wants to play, I'm going to play with her. 

That said, I do like goals so here are my (hopefully realistic) goals for the year, and how I've done in January to date!

Read 3 books each month. I crushed this in January, reading a total of 6 books! I always want to make reading a priority, especially now that I have a baby. I want her to see me reading and do the same when she's older. It helps that she's at an age now where she's too distracted to nurse in anything but a quiet room where I can get some reading done!

Run a marathon. I'm not quite running yet but I'm doing a combination of walking with running and plan to be running again in a few weeks. I have my sights set on a fall marathon. As much as I'm still dying to get that sub-4 marathon off my back, I don't have any time goals. I just want to tackle the distance again. It's been way too long.

Keep traveling. I was shocked at how many people asked me how I reconciled giving up travel for a baby. I've never had any intention of giving up travel. We got Aurora her passport for Christmas and, while we haven't used it yet, we will soon. In her 3 and a half months, we've taken her to Virginia, New Jersey, and Florida. Next up is a trip to Texas and then we'll start thinking about an international trip. Traveling with a baby, so far, is easy. I have no expectations that it will stay that way but I don't think that means it has to stop. 

Maintain a regular yoga practice. Every January, I do Yoga with Adriene's 30 Day Yoga Challenge. This year was no different. I'm about a week behind since long travel days and a sinus infection got in my way but I never actually thought I would be able to do the challenge in 30 days with a baby. I gave myself the grace and space to step off the mat when I needed to. Sometimes that meant that a 20-minute video took an hour because she woke up from a short nap or got fussy but I still got it done. I'm carrying the challenge into February and have every intention of completing it by the middle of the month and then, we'll see! I'm lucky to belong to a gym that offers both yoga and childcare but I haven't actually taken any classes yet. Usually, I can get to the gym and get in a 30-35 minute workout before she wakes up and needs to eat but now that she's a little bit older, her naps are getting longer and she can play independently. 

It's strange to look ahead at this year. In a way, everything has changed but in a lot of ways, things are the same. I had a lot of time to think about what life after a baby would look like (more time than I wanted) and even though everyone says you can't prepare for a baby, I think I was pretty well prepared. As for my blog, I'll post in this space when I can but I'm not going tp make ambitious promises like I have in years past. It's taken me close to a month to write this post (because I was reading so much!) but I'm hoping to be back soon!

Happy New Year!

December 13, 2018

Aurora's Travel-Themed Nursery

When I found out I was pregnant, there were two things I knew for certain right away - that I didn't want to know the sex of the baby and that I wanted a travel-themed nursery. We had a travel-themed wedding, why wouldn't we have a travel-themed nursery? It's kind of our thing...The Pilot is, well, a pilot and I've been addicted to traveling for as long as I can remember.

Photo Credit: Urban Row Photography
It started with this wallpaper that I found on Pinterest. It was a map of the world that had to be custom ordered from Portugal, was going to cost something like $500, and that The Pilot was adamant about not putting up after our brick wallpaper project (more on that later!). He was the one who came up with the idea to have a mural painted and we're fortunate to have a friend who graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art come over to paint our mural.

Photo Credit: Urban Row Photography
Eventually, Aurora's name will be painted into the plane's banner! Above the changing table are prints of some of our favorite cities that we hope to take her to one day - London, Sydney, and Dubai! I bought and printed them from Etsy shop, Brooklyn Print Company.

I adore her nursery. Even though she won't be sleeping in it for quite some time, I love spending time with her in there to nurse her, read to her, change her, play with her, or rock her to sleep. It's such a bright, fun space!

When I told people that we weren't finding out the sex of the baby, the first thing almost everyone said was, "Oh I could never do that! I'm such a planner!" Ugh! Anyone who has ever met me knows that I am too! But we planned her nursery just fine without knowing what she was! I think her nursery is perfectly neutral and would have worked just as well for a boy! It's bright, fun, colorful, whimsical, and I adore it! 

If you're interested in some details and links: 
  • Her crib is the Connor 4-in-1 from the Carter's by DaVinci collection.
  • I bought her mobile at TJ Maxx for like $6! It was a total steal! 
  • The hot air balloon sheets are from Target! We also have matching pajamas, a onesie, and a muslin blanket which I love!
  • Our changing pad is the Keekaroo Peanut and I love it. Seriously, this thing is so easy! It's made of a soft, foam-like material that is easy to just wipe down when it gets messy (which happens often!). It gets a little bit cold so we cover it with a muslin blanket but this changing pad is perfect! 
  • I bought my glider from Wayfair and it is so comfortable! I was nervous about buying a Glider online but this one is perfect and very reasonably priced at under $200.
  • The hot air balloon print is another Etsy find from a shop called Dream Paper Company
  • The cloud lamps are from Ikea! These provide the perfect, soft lighting for her nursery!
None of these are affiliate links, I just wanted to share in case anyone else is in the market for baby gear!

October 25, 2018

It's A Girl!!!

Two weeks ago, The Pilot and I welcomed our sweet baby girl, Aurora Olivia, into the world and I couldn't be more in love.

We've been thinking about and planning for these early weeks with a baby for so long and now that we're finally experiencing it, we've jumped right in. We're learning to respond to her cues and what different cries mean, what she needs when, and even getting her on a very loose schedule (eat, play, sleep). For the first week, we didn't have any visitors - I wanted that time for us to figure out our new family and I don't regret that decision for a second. Although, now that my mom is here, I'm so grateful for the extra help!

I thought I'd write this post to share a little bit about how we're doing and answer some of the most common questions I've gotten since bringing Aurora home!

How am I doing? Postpartum recovery has been tough. I thought I managed my expectations well but two weeks postpartum, I still can't go up or down stairs without pain and I still can't get in or out of bed while holding Aurora. I've graduated from being mostly bedridden to being able to get up and about the house. We've left the house quite a bit but it's always a struggle. I didn't expect to still feel like this two weeks postpartum without major complications or a c-section but here we are. I didn't have any complications but it took 27 hours of active labor with almost 5 hours of pushing to bring her into the world and that isn't easy to recover from. I honestly thought I'd be back to walking Peyton within a week of coming home and thought that timeline might even seem generous. I'm listening to my body but I really want to be able to just go outside and take a walk. I talked to my midwife about it and she said that I could still be feeling like this for another week or two which is a little disappointing so I'm just doing what I can to try to heal.

Did we really not know what we were having? Yup! It was a total surprise and the absolute best moment when, right after she was born, The Pilot said, "It's a girl!" I never really had a feeling one way or another through my pregnancy. I wouldn't really let myself have a strong feeling one way or the other. The night before I found out I was pregnant, I had a dream that I had a boy. Right around the start of my third trimester, I had a dream that I was having a girl. We had already picked out names for both a boy and a girl and two weeks before she was born, I was driving and got cut off by a truck with the name Aurora written across the back and then I really started wondering if she might be a girl. 

How did we choose her name? The Pilot and I had a really hard time thinking of baby names. It was really important to me that our baby's name could easily be said by my Spanish speaking family. I didn't feel like the name had to be Spanish but it needed to be easily translatable and that was tough. The Pilot came home one day and asked how I felt about Aurora. He had just heard the name somewhere and liked it but what he didn't know was that Aurora was my great grandmother's name, is my grandmother's middle name, and my aunt's middle name! And that was it! I've always liked the name Olivia so we chose it as her middle name.

How is Peyton handling a baby in the house? Peyton doesn't think she's allowed near Aurora. It's pretty adorable. She gets pretty close to her but won't come too close even when we try to get her to, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Every time The Pilot takes her out, she comes back in and runs to the bassinet to check on Aurora. It's adorable. She definitely doesn't mind having a baby in the house though. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, Peyton runs to her bassinet and lays down underneath it. It's super cute. 

So that's it! We have a baby and I have to say, it's pretty great!
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