July is coming to an end. Part of me can’t believe it and part of me is thrilled as we are one more month closer to the end of this wretchedly hot summer! On the plus side, we’ve been having some fun times in Grandma’s pool and playing in the sprinklers or water in our backyard and watching Little C get a little more comfortable in water… though this mama still wants to wait another year before swim lessons. Why does that thought just terrify me? Maybe because I was terrified of water for a very long time in my younger years.

With that, I leave you with my July faves and a reminder to enter my first giveaway before Thursday…

July 2014 Favorites

 

1.  I stumbled upon this SUPER cute app this month called Obaby and have been having so much fun with it. It’s very similar to the cult classic Beautiful Mess app, but tailored more towards mamas/family/kids/etc. This will come in so handy with the new baby coming. The cute “stickers” include not only milestones, but fun moments in the lives of your kids and even through pregnancy, birth and everything that comes after. The app does cost $4.99 but I felt it was worth it for a one-stop-shop to document memories. This is good if you are too lazy to get your “good camera” out but just want to capture quick moments on your phone.

2.  I promise [eventually] to stop commenting on how hot it is outside. One of the things that is making this heat more bearable is this Avene Thermal Spring Water mist. I can be seen spraying this on my face, neck and chest multiple times a day. In fact, when Little C sees me doing it, he will smile and point and say “me, me, me!” and I will give him a spritz too. :) It’s a wonderful way to quickly cool off, even for just a few seconds. I have the big ‘ol huge can but also love the mini cans for my purse, stroller, diaper bag, etc. I know it sounds just like water in a can (and essentially it is) but when it’s 100+ degrees outside, it’s like a mini beach vacation in a bottle.

3.  My biggest guilty pleasure for the last few months has been watching Orange is The New Black on Netflix. This quirky Netflix series is all the rage  right now and the show has earned multiple awards and nominations. I will say, this is my GUILTY pleasure as a LOT of the content is not suitable for young or even old viewers. Frankly, it’s not suitable for my conservative eyes either, BUT I have been drawn in by the characters and the overall concept and story. I really like original writing and what I mean by that is something NEW among all the remakes that are flooding Hollywood right now. I’m trying to stretch the episodes from Season 2 out to last the summer but I’ve been guilty of binge watching it a lot. “Just one more episode…”

4.  One of my many accessories addictions is to sunglasses. I LOVE a good pair of sunglasses. They don’t have to be expensive, and they don’t have to have a particular style. I just LOVE them. And, because the sun is shining like a piercing ball of hot lava lately, I cannot be outside without them. Lately, I’ve been loving and obsessed with aviator style sunglasses. I have a weird hang-up about my face and the way it’s shaped (which is a deep seated psychological problem that I will be plagued with for some time to come… so don’t even mention it to me), but I have found that even I can look at my face objectively and say that the aviator shape is flattering to my face. My favorite pair (until just a few days ago when my son broke them!) was honestly a cheapy pair from Old Navy of all places. I don’t see them online and I bought mine in store so I’m hoping they will still have a selection in store so I can replace them.

5.  I am not much for styling my hair, particularly in the summer, but I do like to keep my hair long and textured. The texture part is hard because I have VERY thick hair and it will usually pull any curl or wave out fairly easily and quickly – or – will turn into a giant ball of frizz in the right wrong conditions. Salt sprays are all the rage for wavy, textured hair, but I could never get over how dirty they made my hair feel (I’m not one for “messy” styles). Then I found Philip B Maui Wowie Beach Mist. It is a bit pricey, I know, but for my particular hair texture, I have found it light and easy to work with to create layers that “pop”, curls that easily define and separate and just a slight hold. Bonus, it also smells wonderful… like the beach, but not like suntan lotion and salt (ewwww).

Cheers to just a few more months of summer.

You Are my Sunshine Giveaway!Last call to enter to You Are my Sunshine sign giveaway! Click the thumbnail to the left before 7/31/14 and leave a comment to enter!

 

It’s always funny to see what topics come up among the company of women. They typically bend towards kids if you are a mom (which I used to find so annoying until I became one and now find it strangely soothing to commiserate with others), but also span through marriage, the upkeep of a home, friendship, fashion, etc. Though I’ve come to love these conversations, I continue to try and be careful about doling out unsolicited advice, especially on parenting. For one, I’m a parent of 1 and he is only 2 years old. I can in no way claim “expertise” on anything. But on the other point, I never want to be THAT PERSON who has an answer for everything or who claims their answer is the only solution.

A subject that has come up recently is the fact that my husband and I still rock our 2+ year old to sleep each night. Now, without getting into the many schools of thought on sleep training, this is apparently very bad as it doesn’t teach your kid to fall asleep on their own and this is apparently the end of the world and they will then spiral into all sorts of other hellish behaviour like thumb sucking and biting. They will then become the social pariahs of the playground, have no friends, end up on drugs and eventually become serial killers. Okay, so I broke off into a bit of exaggeration with that whole last bit, but really, I have been absolutely shocked at the reaction when I share this bit of news with people. You’d think I was committing some kind of abuse!

Sleep training has been fairly smooth for my husband and I. We tried various methods, including the whole cry it out method and frankly, I couldn’t handle it and neither could Little C. The theory that they will stop in 15-20 minutes and eventually surrender to bedtime immediately just did not come true for us, and I was a ball of anxiety and tears listening to that poor little boy scream for FAR LONGER than 20 minutes when all he wanted was daddy or mommy. I’ve heard the various schools of thought and yes, they do make sense to me. I just knew that it was not working for us.

The part that I have found particularly interesting is that no one has ever asked me WHY we rock him to sleep. The answer? BECAUSE WE LIKE TOO. Gasp! Can you believe it? But it’s truth. While daddy is usually on bedtime patrol, occasionally Little C wants mommy and mommy only, and bedtime for us is mostly blissful. There is something super fulfilling about holding his little body in our arms and lap, rocking quietly and watching his body slowly surrender and go limp with blissful sleep. We carefully lay him into his bed, kiss his warm little cheek and whisper “I love you. Night night.” And that’s it. Yes, it takes a good 15 minutes of our time but for us, it is precious and [rare] quiet time with our son.

I’ve been off bedtime patrol for a few months as being very pregnant, I can no longer get out of the chair with him in my arms without possible disaster. But tonight, daddy was out and I got to put that little one to sleep and wow, I loved every single minute of it. 23 minutes to be exact… but it only took that long because I didn’t have the heart to lay him down. I could not stop staring at his beautiful face. That baby soft skin with long, thick eyelashes resting sweetly on his little cheeks. I swear in that moment I saw this:

DSC_0007

As a mom, I think I will always see this when I look at that little boy. He will always be my baby. My precious little weeks-old baby. That’s why these bedtime rocking sessions and all the other little parenting decisions we make are so important to us. Maybe it doesn’t work for everyone and we don’t claim it to be perfect parents (note: those don’t exist) but we have such confidence in this aspect of our daily routine. It’s precious time that we just don’t want to give up. Things may change when baby #2 arrives and we are okay with that. For the time being, man, there is no joy like a sleeping baby on your chest.

I want to start this by saying that pregnancy is amazing. It’s an experience full of ups and downs, seemingly miraculous moments and deep, soul-quenching emotions. It is something I hope that every woman who wants to experience will get the chance to. I do not take my fertility and my healthy pregnancies for granted. Not one single moment. I have been VERY blessed. But being pregnant has it ups (as I mentioned) and DOWNS. Besides the less than feminine symptoms (heartburn, gas, constipation, surprise bathroom needs, hemorrhoids, etc.), roller coasters of emotions/hormones, and daily aches and pains, there is having to deal with the general public.

It seems pregnancy is either glorified (as celebs seem to be becoming pregnant and announcing it in droves nowadays, and the media has become obsessed) or naively discouraged, in the form of rude and unsolicited remarks, shocking boundary-loss (don’t touch my belly!) and the insinuations that all woman who are pregnant are FAT and lazy. Though I haven’t experienced extremes in any of these realms, it has been heartrendingly hard to feel beautiful in this pregnancy. I have let this society we live in convince me that I’m not a beautiful pregnant woman and I’m going to have to endure 9+ months of UGLY. And feeling beautiful, I believe, is a deep need for women. Not a desire, but a need. Since the time of Adam and Eve, women were created to be beautiful and pleasing to men. Eve found favor in the eyes of Adam. How terrible to feel that you aren’t beautiful…

Besides the obvious that I’m bigger this time around, more tired, not “glowing” or cheery, I’ve just felt really out-of-my-element in this pregnancy. I have to laugh at magazine articles or even Pinterest pins touting maternity style or yummy mummies (laugh, and simultaneously feel gross about myself). I don’t really care about having style right now. It’s 100 degrees outside and I can guarantee you are going to see me in a tank top, shorts and flip flops on any given day right now. But beyond that, I’m more concerned about my health and the health of this little fetus. And I realize that I only have a few more months to experience pregnancy. This will be the end of our little family and though I sometimes loathe pregnancy, I’ve come to understand it and sort of settle into it. A tiny tiny tiny part of me will miss the miracle of growing a human being inside my body. That part, IS beautiful to me. That part, I love. Hearing that little heartbeat… feeling kicks and rolls… the first moment of locking eyes after birth… growing something from single cells to a 8 (or 9) pound precious baby. So so beautiful.

So I’m choosing to focus on those moments. I’m choosing to retrain my brain to understand what true beauty is and not be dazzled (or discouraged) by the mirage that the world tries to feed me. It may not be a conventional idea of beauty, but there is beauty in so many precious moments that pass by so very quickly. I’m going to find beauty in my bump these last few months… until I get to see the beauty of my newborn son when he arrives. My heart is full.

Maternity 7 mo

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