Oct 2, 2015

Della June: 4 months

I've never really liked roller coasters. I actually kind of hate them. But motherhood is one roller coaster that I would gladly ride all day long, everyday for the rest of my life.

For us, the newborn stage was pretty easy. Except for being flat out exhausted and physically uncomfortable from delivery, of course. But we took it pretty easy, lounging on the couch most of the day for the first couple of weeks, watching Netflix, nursing, and recovering from waking up every two hours the night before. And I actually remember saying, "I expected her to cry more."

I had to laugh at myself when we reached the 1-2 month stage (although it wasn't actually funny). That was a tough one for us. We started dreading dinner time every. single. night. No matter what time we started eating dinner, the second I picked up a fork the fussiness would start, and wouldn't stop until she finally went to sleep for the night. I would rush to bed as early as I could just to get some rest, and I felt like I never saw Riley at all.

The roller coaster reached a high point again at the 3 month mark. It's been so much fun to watch Della take in the world, react to us with smiles, learn how to make new sounds, use her little fingers and find her own toes. She started giving us a 6 or 7 hour stretch of nighttime sleep every once in a while, but for the most part waking up just twice a night. 

At 4 months on the dot, we started waking up 3 or 4 times a night again, and man, is it ever hard to go backwards. This week has been a long one, but hopefully it's not indicative of the 4 month stage as a whole. And honestly, when she gives one of those heart melting smiles, it's easy enough to forgive anything. The highs are always so much more wonderful than the lows are terrible. She loves going places and being with people, bath time, diaper changes, and blowing bubbles. She dislikes stoplights or being still in one place for too long. She's perfectly plump in all the right places and is already wearing size 6 month clothes. She has no interest in rolling over yet, but loves using her legs to scoot herself around in a circle and practice standing, and is almost able to sit up by herself. She makes the cutest noises and may very well be a talker like her Daddy.

I always thought that "they grow up so fast" was just a thing that people said, but no, they actually do just grow and change so quickly! Being able to witness it is one of my absolute favorite things in life. Happy 4 months Della June!

Sep 25, 2015

Return to Southport

Last week we got a last minute opportunity to take our first family vacation since Della was born. We stayed at a beach near Southport, the town that we fell in love with during our sailing trip and where that adventure came to an end. Traveling with a dog and a baby certainly isn't the easiest or most relaxing way to vacation, and we were nearly ready to call it quits when we encountered a major flea infestation at the beach house on our first night. But as usual, the highs always outweigh the lows, and taking Della to the beach for the first time and getting to revisit Southport was worth the ongoing battle with fleas.

Della didn't seem all too impressed with the beach, but she indulged me in my picture taking and dipping her toes in the water. I'm not all that big on the beach myself, so my favorite part was showing her, as well as my mother and grandmother, around Southport. We ate a few meals at Provisions, the restaurant where we had docked our boat and eaten along our sailing journey, found some delicious ice cream at both Spike's Dairy Bar and Flava's (not on the same day, I swear.), and wandered down the pier and the streets lined with gorgeous historic homes. Part of me was afraid that I had romanticized the town in my memory since we had been there last, but I'm happy to say that it really is just as beautiful and charming as I remembered. 

Our old sailboat still lives in Southport, and the man who bought her has kept in touch with Riley. I was excited about the prospect of possibly seeing her again and showing her to Della, even though it obviously wouldn't mean anything to her at such a young age. Riley went one afternoon by himself and came back with news that sort of broke my heart. Although she's being taken care of, her name is no longer Winbrandt and she looks completely different. Knowing how much time and care we had put into her, I just didn't think that I had the heart to see her after all. So even though we were right near the marina that is her new home, I decided that I'd rather keep my memories of her as they are. Change can be good, but sometimes memories are just too precious. So although I hope to return to Southport again and again as a family and reminisce about our sailing days, I know now that my last goodbye to Winbrandt was final.

Sep 15, 2015

This is 30

I turned 30 at the beginning of this month. I am generally pretty excited about birthdays, so I wasn't necessarily dreading "the big one." Any excuse for a celebration, especially a themed one, sounds pretty good to me. I did find myself reflecting on my life as it approached, however. What in the world did I do with the first 30 years of my life? I can remember the last two, at least. A lot has happened in those last two, and at 30 I feel like I have already had some interesting life experiences. I have lived in the country, on a sailboat, in the city, and now in the perfectly imperfect fixer upper of my dreams. I am married to my best friend and we have a healthy, beautiful, precious baby girl and a sweet pup. I honestly couldn't ask for anything more in this stage of my life. Growing up, I always wondered when I would finally feel like an adult. It happened like magic the moment that Della was born, and now that I'm 30, it's official. But I have to tell you, for someone that never actually wanted to grow up, it's not all bad after all. In fact, it's pretty darn great. If this is 30, I'll take it.

However, I did request a stop at the ice cream parlor for a scoop of birthday cake ice cream on a sprinkle cone, and have a luau themed party, so it's likely I might actually still be a 5 year old trapped in a 30 year old's body.

Aug 5, 2015


remember that super cute sailor bathing suit I bought while pregnant? she wore it a grand total of 1 time (just for show) before it was too small. still worth it.

creating: I had planned to work on my very first Project Life album, "Expecting Della" during the last few weeks of pregnancy, but the baby arrived the day before the supplies showed up on my doorstep! Now I'm trying to get into it and work on her baby book as well.

wish listing: Lots of home decor and baby clothes. We're still surrounded by mostly blank walls so I've been getting the itch to decorate pretty bad lately. And this little girl of mine is growing so quickly… thank goodness for Baby Gap and cute clothes that make moving up to the next size bracket a little less painful!

hoping: That the weather cools off soon! I'm not trying to wish away the summer, but it's been so hot that I haven't really wanted to spend much time outside with Della. I'm starting to miss the sunshine and fresh air!

eating: A lot of squash and zucchini. Whatever you can hide it in, I'm eating it. Riley's first attempt at a garden might have been overly ambitious, because that thing is producing way faster than we can eat or give away vegetables. It'd be safe to assume we have been eating a ton of this zucchini bread.

watching: Parenthood. Cue all the emotions. I've had this one in my Netflix queue for awhile, but was hesitant to start it while pregnant (cue all the extra emotions). It's such a good show!

What have you been watching lately? Riley and I are looking for a new series to start together. Preferably something feel-good and relaxing! Do you have any suggestions?

linking up with Jenna and Anne today.

Jul 24, 2015

the best adjustments to life lately

I think it goes without saying that having a baby entails some major adjustments to everyday life. And we're all pretty familiar with the tough ones, like functioning on significantly less sleep, and not being able to run out the door at the spur of the moment or even finish eating dinner while it's still warm. But there have been some positive adjustments to life lately, too, and since yesterday wasn't our best of days, I thought it might be a good time to reflect on some of those!

1. First of all, Gidget deserves an award for the way that she's adjusted to having a new baby in the house. I was a little nervous about it, especially considering the notorious temperament of Jack Russells, but she has truly been an angel. Although she keeps an eye on things at all times, especially during nursing and diaper changes, she keeps a respectful distance from Della's personal space, just sniffing her toes on occasion. Naturally, she's not getting as much attention as she used to, but we're trying our best to make sure she knows she hasn't been replaced, and she's taking it like a champ.

2. My exercise routine has all but disappeared, and I can't just run out to a Zumba class like I used to, but we do have great walking paths near our house and I've been able to start putting our jogging stroller to good use. Getting a little bit of fresh air and exercise is good for the both of us, and I've been able to meet up with my sister on her days off, so it's become a pretty good routine all around.

3. I kind of had a reputation for taking my when it comes to any given task, like getting ready in the morning, but I've recently learned how to get things done at turbo speed. It's truly amazing what you can accomplish when the end of nap time is the deadline. I've never cleaned my house faster than I do these days! Even those tough adjustments have their rewards!

What have you been up to? Have you had any major adjustments in your life lately?

Linking up with Jenna for a coffee date today!

Jul 1, 2015

currently… ice cream and grill skills

Why yes, I did get ice cream on the way home from the hospital. It was on the way and, well, I think I earned it.

craving: ice cream and fresh fruit. Nothing feels more like summer!

grilling: lots of hamburgers. We were gifted with some wonderful meals from generous friends and family during those first few weeks of Della's life, and Riley filled in the blanks with his grill skills. Hamburgers are his specialty and he's almost gotten them to the level of those hamburgers he made during our sailing days. Almost. 

listening: We've hit a one month fussy growth spurt with Della, so unfortunately, we're listening to a lot that.

planning: date night! We've started thinking about our first date night sans baby and where we'd like to go. Of course, Della isn't taking too well to a bottle just yet, so we're still in the preliminary planning stages. One way or another, I'm thinking it's going to involve ice cream.

decorating: the front porch. A lot of our renovation plans came to a standstill this past month, but Riley's starting to pick a few up them back up. He's currently working on our front porch and I can't wait to spruce it up with some plants, rocking chairs, and maybe a porch swing, too.

linking up with Jenna and Anne today.

Jun 30, 2015

one month of motherhood

These first days of Della's life have been the absolute happiest of my own. Don't get me wrong, they've also been the most challenging and exhausting. In fact, I'm so tired that even when I am sleeping, I'm having dreams about not sleeping. Honest to goodness, that really happened. But when we brought her home from the hospital that first day, I felt like I had just been given the most precious gift. I  remember looking down at the angel sleeping in my arms and feeling like God had given me the secret to experiencing the greatest joy possible here on earth.

Della is great at nursing and has put on a healthy 2 lbs. since birth. She is laid-back and perfectly content during baths and diaper changes. She has no patience for gas, but really, who can blame her? She has her Daddy's long fingers and her Mama's chubby cheeks, but anything beyond that is still too early to call. She sleeps best when lying on one of our chests, and would prefer to spend most of her day being walked around. Don't try to pull any of that swaying in one place stuff on her, either, it just won't cut it. She has the funniest facial expressions, and her smiles, even though they aren't in response to anything yet, are just the best. Spending my days with her this past month has been the greatest privilege.

Della at 10 days old
Della at one month old

I still have so much to learn and figure out, but I feel like being a mother is exactly what I'm supposed to be and I can't wait to see where this journey takes me. 

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