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Aug08 Guest Blogger: Kelly 2014
She’s more than a year old now. In a few days she’ll be 15 months. We’ve moved from rocking chair to rocking horse… from baby carrier to carrying her own baby. Her face seems like it changes daily.
I remember my mom saying things like: I’m gonna put you in a box so you’ll stop growing and now I get it. As much as we dream of the rest of the firsts that await them, we want them to stay just like they are… and they wont. They aren’t supposed to.
My dear friend Whitney of Whitney Darling Photography feels the same way. When she and another girlfriend and I were planning to get together with our babes, she offered to snap a few pics of us so we could remember this time in our journey of motherhood.
As always happens with the three of us, our simple, no frills plan to ‘snap a few pics’ sprouted wings and we found ourselves in a texting spree of ideation which resulted in the three of us trucking strollers, each other’s babies and lord knows what else down a steep hill in what felt like 1,000 degree heat and a surprisingly crowded beach.
But all was worth it, because Whitney somehow used her camera to transport us to the Carribean. Here are a few of Selah and I
We were all so blown away by how they turned out that she has actually launched a b&w beach series with mother and child[ren].. here’s where to reach her if you’re in the So Cal area and are interested.
For more from Kelly look here.
Here’s our friend Kelly with some wonderful nursery and detail photos. Yes Kelly is that cute and so is Selah and so is her nursery.
It started when I was little, my mom checked out this book at the library called ‘Old Clothes’… no joke, I memorized it. The story of all of these hand-me-downs passing from one person to the next was one of my very favorite books she would read me. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that when it came time to decorate Selah Jean’s first little bedchamber, I of course hunted for all kinds of found objects to fill the space. The bargain, the diamond in the rough… the thrill of it all… gets me every time.
Walls- peach. Couldn’t handle that much pink, but I did want something that would glow-glow-glow in the sunlight.
Crib- I got the crib off Craigslist from a sweet young mom who was having her second child and her mother purchased her a new one. Meeting her, seeing her beautiful daughter- it made me so excited to take it home and give it a fresh coat of paint to kick off a brand new chapter. I chose a rich grassy green. No idea why. I just liked how it went with the walls. **Note to anyone designing a nursery: Maybe pick your wall color based on your bedding instead of the other way around. Trying to find sheets to match the crib was for sure a labor of love… no pun intended.
Dresser- again, Craigslist. This time from a woman who has made it her hobby to purchase and rehab furniture, then paint it with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint and wax. It turns out the money she earned from my sale was going towards her Seattle fund to visit her son. I loved everything she did to the piece [even down to the silver polka dot knobs] so I didn’t touch a thing!
The high chair. I shouldn’t even say it anymore… Craigslist. A mom who had moved homes and even though her kids were fully grown, she’d held on to the high chair they grew up in. She told me once they outgrew it for eating, she’d use it for their hair cuts. She also told me she was reluctant to sell it but when she found out it was going to a new little family and would have another life, she sent it away with me for a brand new set of adventures.
Chalkboard. Formerly a painting I thrifted, I taped off the edges and threw on a few coats of chalkboard paint and scrawled out a happy little message to great Selah upon arrival.
The Cradle was something I commissioned my sweet dad to build. He and my mom have an arrangement: He builds and she paints. What I didn’t know was that he would work TIRELESSLY to sand it down to rose petal smoothness and my mom would come up with the genius idea of converting the finials from the chuppa used in our wedding as the four corners of her new little bed.
Rocking horse, a cherished gift from my friend Ingrid. She’s from Sweden and her dad loved woodworking. Just before he passed, he shipped over several new toy horses he made in his workshop- one for his grandson and a few extra for her to pass along to friends with little ones. Every time I see it, I remember a grandfather’s love and look forward to the day I get to tell Selah the story of her rocking horse.
I could go on but long story short, the majority of items in the room… have a story that began long before this nursery every came into being. I want this little girl of mine to grow up that way- appreciating the legacy an object can carry with it and understanding that old is sometimes far, far more delightful and adventurous than new.
Also- my dear, dear and ever-talented friend Whitney of whitney darling photography snapped a few pics around the house just days before Selah was born.. enjoy!
Nov01 Guest Blogger: Kelly- Almost 6 months old 2013
It’s strange to think of life before this. The routine is so completely altered from its previous state.
I used to sleep soundly throughout the night until at least 8am if I didn’t set an alarm and now I feel like a champ if I get to sleep past 5:30am.
I used to wear a top for a whole day and if I didn’t do too much that day, might hang it back in the closet for a second wearing. These days if I make it more than 3 hours without being spit, drooled or pooped on, I see it as the stars aligning in my favor.
I used to think of myself as a highly efficient person who could pack just about anything into just about any increment of time if I willed it. Lately, I believe I deserve a medal if I manage to shower, get dressed and put on my makeup before 1pm.
It’s unfathomable until you’re living it to comprehend how much time a baby takes.
I work in increments of 3-5 minutes now.
And I group any task that can be grouped.
Meaning, if I’m carrying a glass to the kitchen, I’ll maximize that trip to its fullest potential.
Flip the switch to boil water, throw the laundry in the dryer, pull out the watering can to remind myself to water the plants later… pull the chicken out to thaw.
Because there’s no knowing when I’ll get that many seconds in a row in that particular part of the house.
I never thought I’d be so indebted to these objects, but they have given me my hands back.
If Selah could create the perfect day, it would be spending her waking state either strapped to me, facing out to see, taste and feel the whole world from 4 feet off the ground, or hanging from a doorway bouncing her little heart out.
That would be it. Pretty simple.
So how do we spend our days? Pretty much alternating between sleeping, eating, bouncing and strapped to mom’s chest.
Some days I wonder why we aren’t able to remember the bliss of babyhood because seriously… she’s living the good life right now.
I have a love/hate relationship with baby registries.
I love the thought of a roster of dreamy items you hand-pick for your special occasion.
I hate the work of researching every single object to figure out which is best.
And then… when it all comes down to it, you tell people where you registered and maybe 20 percent of them ever even look at it???
I can’t blame ‘em. Who wants to buy someone a humidifier when you have all those miniature clothes and tiny shoes tempting you from the racks?
Humidifiers lose 9 times out of 10.
Still, I did my research and sifted through the many options to declare my faves.
Because even if you don’t get these items at your shower, you WILL get gift cards, and then you’ll be thankful you already did the hard work of selecting among the 40 varieties of thermometers ahead of time instead of standing there in Target trying to make all these decisions.
Here are a just a few of my top picks after reading reviews, posting questions to friends on Facebook, talking with new moms and now, having the opportunity to try it out for myself.
1. City Mini GT stroller
2. Maxi Cosi Prezi car seat
3. SOFT BUMS cloth diapers
4. Summer Infant Swaddles
5. Fischer Price Snugabunny cradle swing
We live in a neighborhood where everyone walks & rides bikes around town, so we knew we needed something sidewalk-worthy. The City Mini GT stroller is by far the best decision we made when registering. It looks great, it’s compact, smooth to push, easy on bumps, ok for short jogs even though it’s not technically a ‘jogger’ and best of all, it LITERALLY folds in half with the pull of a strap. I cannot sing its’ praises highly enough. If you’re on the hunt for a stroller, do yourself a favor and at least check it out. [quick tip: be sure to select a car seat that is compatible with this stroller. It comes with a converter kit that allows you to attach any number of car seats but some of them work better than others. We chose the Maxi Cosi Prezi which attaches to the stroller by just clicking it into these little side clips. Other carriers require an additional strap which can be kinda cumbersome.]
No onto the subject of diapers… I had NO idea what to do when first starting to navigate the abyss of cloth diapering. I mean, the lingo alone is enough to send you over the edge when trying to figure out whether you want an AIO [All In One] for your DD [Darling Daughter]… Not kidding. It’s a little weird. To see what I mean, check out a glossary of terms. Needless to say, I was determined to save money and the planet by attempting to cloth diaper. Fortunately, there’s a great little shop nearby called Granola Babies and the kind woman didn’t even laugh at me when I asked her to explain the differences to me like I was a third grader. No offense to third graders…
Why I love Soft Bums? They’re easy to use and easy to clean. You snap in a cloth liner and put the diaper on almost the same way you would a disposable one. Plus, the outer shell has this elastic/toggle feature that grows with your baby so that you don’t have to purchase additional sizes. Brill [as in, Brilliant- not listed in the glossary of terms above].
What I wish I had registered for:
Summer swaddles. My child doesn’t go to sleep at night without them. I was certain I’d use those beautiful gauzy Aiden & Anais swaddle blankets… and I do! Just not for swaddling… They keep her snuggly in her swing, cover her carrier on bright days, and serve as backdrops for my daily photo shoots, but I just don’t swaddle her in them.
I will be eternally grateful to my friend Drea who gave me one at a shower. It’s basically a little snuggly sleeping bag with Velcro that keeps her arms tucked in.
Why it’s genius? Because you don’t have to flip a sleeping babe over to get it wrapped around her. That reason alone makes it worth it, but they’re also affordable and come in darling prints.
A swing. We chose the Fischer Price Snuggabunny. If you recall, I was going for minimal contraptions in the house so I just didn’t think a swing needed to take up space in my house. Our friends Aaron and Lauren were just a few months behind us on their pregnancy journey and let us try out their brand new swing [how nice are they?!?] to see how it worked on Selah. Let’s just say if it weren’t for this swing, I wouldn’t have been able to eat or shower until about 5pm when CJ got home each day. This swing gives me up to a couple of hours a day to do stuff around the house, plus it plugs in so you don’t need batteries.
Needless to say, we ended up with our own after we gave back their swing.
What I didn’t register for and am glad I didn’t?
A baby bath.
We just fill up our sink with water, lay the inflatable doughnut they gave me to sit on at the hospital and throw a towel over everything so she can sit in a warm little terry cloth pool and this seems to do the trick.
Bottom line, there are SO many incredible baby items out there and none of us need ALL of them. But all of us need SOME of them and figuring out which ones is a full-time job all by itself. If you’re in the midst of registering for your own baby on the way, Godspeed and save your gift receipts.
Well I thought I was excited about the party themes of a Cinco de Mayo birthday for our baby girl, but imagine how much MORE excited I was to discover she was born on the honorary Star Wars holiday?!?
Year one- Princess Selah [where she dons a white tunic & a little headband with buns over the ears]
Year two- R-TWO-D-TWO
Year three- C-THREE-P-O
Year four- May the FOUR be with you
I could go on and on…
OK we’re probably NOT gonna have Star Wars parties every year, but the fact is, we COULD because the options are so freakin’ awesome.
The whole thing happened so fast. My water broke around 3:30am and by 10:08am she was in my arms. My hope going into it was that I would have the ability to deliver her naturally and thanks to a pretty speedy labor, the incredible support of my husband CJ, and the wonderful coaching of our doula Karly, I had the thrill of actually feeling my muscles work together to push her right out of my body and into this world.
It was honestly magical.
Truthfully, more than magical, it felt holy.
I asked God for Selah’s arrival to be a sacred moment and it felt that way.
I hope I never forget how it felt to be SO focused on pushing with all my might with the cheers of everyone in the room telling me it was working…
And then to actually feel her leaving my body… IN. SANE.
Seven short weeks have already softened the memory of the pain, but I hope to hold onto as many thoughts and memories as humanly possible because it’s the most miraculous experience I have ever witnessed.
A little more about our doula. Going into all this, I didn’t know the difference between a doula and a midwife. After some research and a few interviews, I learned that the basic difference between the two is that a doula is more of a birth ‘coach’ where a midwife can take the place of an actual OB. Since it was our first child, I really wanted someone there to walk us through it. We found Karly of www.picklesandicecreamdoula.com and knew we’d met the right fit. Karly was kind, down-to-earth, well-informed, entirely respectful of our doctor and so practical in the way she walked us through what to expect. If you’re in the Los Angeles/Orange County, CA area and in search of a good one, you should definitely meet Karly. Chances are good you’ll love her to pieces!