two thousand fifteen

goodbye 2015!

cody and i (mostly cody ;)) meticulously store all of our pictures on the computer sorted by year > season > event.  this year i’m so glad because honestly until opened the 2015 folder i had forgotten all of the wonderful things we did and experienced this past year. i’m a bit ashamed looking back – we made some great memories in 2015!

in january we were in full-on hibernation mode but ventured out during one snowy afternoon and captured some pretty remarkable shots.  allie loved the drive and so did i!  it’s one of my favorite things to do: drink coffee, listen to music waaayyy too loud, and drive.

in february we celebrated valentine’s day with brunch and finished the month by working on a couple of home improvement projects: replacing all of the interior the doors (which i would have forgotten about without this picture -they’re now white), laying tile around our fireplace and entry and adding the finishing touches to our dining room table. 

in march we jumped on the bandwagon and cheered on the cyclones to a big 12 championship victory in kansas city.  this month we also found out we were expecting!!! 

in april our fur baby turned two and we traveled to minneapolis for the hot chocolate 15k!  it may not have been a pr run but we didn’t walk and the run allowed us to see unique and beautiful niches of the city. 

in may i was promoted to the senior hr officer position with the city – an accomplishment of which i am very proud – and we traveled to florida where we visited cocoa beach and the magic kingdom.  despite constant nausea we had a good time. 

i continued to grow in june and july while we packed our weekends with boating and baby prep.  in july we took our annual trip north to celebrate the fourth and hosted a gender reveal baby-q with our closest family and friends.  

in august we bought a new boat and had a blast cruising the lake numerous times with our friends…and allie.  later that month we returned to kansas city for an outdoor concert.

september was our busiest month.  between labor day, baby showers, work, and a visit to the apple orchard we finished the nursery, had maternity pictures taken by the very talented allison knox, and made final preparations for the baby.


god’s unseen hand orchestrated the best month of this year!!!  in october cody and his team finished the r1 combine – it has been called ‘the greatest innovation in the company’s history’ by the almaco owners! i turned the big 3-0 and we also welcomed carson taylor into this world! allison again photographed us, now as a family of three, and my friend libby wonderfully captured carson’s first days. 

in november we returned home after nearly 3 weeks in the nicu.  with a nasty flu bug traveling around we voted to stay home for the thanksgiving holiday.  i spent the weekend decorating for christmas and even got out the fine china for a ‘fancy meal’ as cody called it.

december was truly magical!  christmastime with a baby – is there anything better?!

christmastime

without being overly dramatic i can confidently say that this past christmas was the most fulfilling of our lives to date.  with a new baby and the gift of time off i’ve thoroughly enjoyed this december.  for the first time in years i felt like i could truly appreciate the ‘magic’ of the season.  the simplicity of this holiday was quite different from years past and certainly a welcome treat.  

the past several days have been full.  full of activities, family and friends, shopping, baking, laughing, eating and drinking.  it was absolutely wonderful, if not a bit bittersweet with the passing of cody’s great aunt.  

as a twosome each year we did the same things: buy a new ornament for the tree, celebrate our own christmas together a night or two before, exchange gifts, bake sugar cookies, and watch national lampoon’s christmas vacation.  this year we started something new with the addition of our babe. carson will now get his own ornament in addition to a family one, we unwrap in the morning a few days prior to the 25th instead of at night, and we enjoyed a french toast bake.  since i love traditions it’ll be interesting to see how they evolve in the next couple of years as we settle into something that works for our family.  

these pictures from the past week capture the essence of what was our baby’s first christmas. 

carson taylor: two months

dear carson,

in just two short months you have wonderfully and positively transformed our lives.  our once selfish nights, busy days, and carefree easiness are now centered around keeping you content which is a coordinated and shared responsibility, bringing your dad and i closer than we ever imagined.  taking care of a new baby is a nerve-wracking, sometimes stressful, yet beautiful thing – someday i hope you are blessed enough to know.

this month you continue to surprise.  after a night of crying and lots of googling we discovered that you have a mild case of reflux which is being treated and for the most part seems to be under control.  i had no idea how your crying and discontent could be felt so deeply by my being.  i hate listening to you cry! 

you also outgrew your preemie clothes, nearly overnight and even some of your newborn duds are starting to fit a bit snug.  it’s here that i should mention that it likely won’t be long before i have to pack them all away.  you love to eat!  in fact, we have increased your milk intake at each feeding by nearly 40% in just the past two weeks.  you now have a double-chin and chunkier legs.  at your last appointment the doctor confirmed that you are growing, both up and out.  your head is in the 85th percentile and yet you’re head control is strong – a surprise even to the physician.  you now weigh 8 pounds and 8 ounces (33rd percentile) and are just over 20 inches long (22nd percentile).  despite all of the eating you are not keen on sleeping longer than 3 hour stretches. i’ve started you on a routine to see if it will get us more sleep and so far it’s working; you sleep soundly for 4-4.5 hours consistently after your nighttime feeding.  (i NEVER thought i’d be that mom that put their baby on a strict schedule but it’s working for us – hallelujah!)  

you still enjoy being swaddled and have grown used to being carried in a wrap.  this makes mommy happy since i love having that soft downy hair and baby scent near my face.  in the past couple of weeks we have also started laying on your play mat and at just 1 day short of six weeks you rolled over!!  i was so proud….and surprised.  you’ve rolled a few more times since so i no longer think it was a fluke.  you like looking at the lights and listening to the music on your mat and you ‘talk’ when it turns off as if to say ‘hey, what happened?’

finally i’ve nicknamed you ‘grunter baby.’  in addition to sweet coos and smiles you grunt CONSTANTLY.  ask your aunt rachel, she’ll confirm.  you grunt when you eat, sleep, wake, stretch, poo… you grunt all the time.  dad and i have grown accustomed to all the grunting and have slowly been able to decipher which are true indicators of something more than your presence.

having you in our lives has been nothing short of a blessing.  every time i look at you i feel so lucky! 

love you

funny moment of the month:  you played us.  you took advantage of our sleep deprived minds and got your way.   the other night i asked your dad to help with the overnight feedings (this mamma was exhausted!).  around 3 AM i heard you squirm and coo and looked over to find your dad asleep.  with dagger eyes i stared at him waiting for him to get up and warm your bottle, signaling that he’d take the feeding.  he instead gave you your pacifier and rolled over.  without a word i marched out of bed and snatched you up.  dad just looked at me, dazed.  i fed you and fell back asleep.  over breakfast the next morning, with anger seeping from my pores, i asked your dad why he didn’t get up with you.  that’s when you were exposed.  dad explained that he had fed you only minutes before i snatched you up.  he was obviously too tired to question what i might be doing and i was too annoyed to ask.  you drank all the milk and gave us a good laugh!   we are now night-talkers. ;o) 

sometimes you are such a ham!  

finally got my act together and started using these stickers mamaw bought!
first bath without dad and no tears … that didn’t mean you enjoyed it. 
this is your trademark smirk ;o)  
allie was asleep at dad’s feet; my whole world was sleeping on the couch and i was lucky enough to get a picture. 
naturally!  
i just couldn’t help myself you are too cute!  


wild thing

when i was younger my brother and i owned nearly every book ever made (or so it seemed) but the one we didn’t was ‘where the wild things are.’  i’ve always loved the story and knew that if i had boys they would own a copy.
so when i saw this adorable outfit on etsy i knew carson had to have it.  this splurge meant a photo shoot was inevitable.  i’m not a professional photographer by any means but with the help of picmonkey i’m loving how these pictures turned out. 
after we were done we read the story (again) and settled in for a long nap.  

i am sure going to miss these days!

i’ll eat you up, i love you so! 

tuesday

capturing the mundane moments in our life appeals to me; always has.   so i challenged myself to take pictures of a typical day in our life as it is at this moment in time.  it wasn’t an exceptionally eventful day by any means, just another day with our newborn.  
it was a tuesday.

 breakfast!  most days if i get two cups of coffee i’m doing good; eating is overrated yet a necessary evil.  there is no time to eat yet i have to eat to produce milk.  sleep is the same.  uh oh, baby is squirming and grunting.  that only means one thing: i have about 60 seconds to get situated before my peanut explodes.  being hangry was obviously inherited from his mother. 😦  (allie paws at her bowl, she also wants food.) 

this is my favorite time of the day – i refer to it as the sunrise feeding.  it’s roughly 7/7:30 am but i could have easily started this post with bleary-eyed pictures from the 12:30 and 3 am feedings.  those feedings make me cringe – i literally fall asleep while being awake (have a baby, you’ll understand).  he sleeps soundly after he eats at this time so i love to get my snuggles for a good hour or so before starting my day.
after snuggles, pumping, a quick workout, bottle cleaning and milk storing i literally have about 9 minutes before he wakes again to eat…sometimes more, sometimes less.  i start by brushing my teeth and doing my ‘make-up’.  this picture is of my ‘make-up’.  it’s absolutely essential that i use the depuffer and mascara to hide my blood-shot eyes…and feel even remotely put together.  
it’s also during this time that allie wants to play.  she feels starved for attention these days so i do my best to play with her any chance i can while carson sleeps.  she’s a handful and often ends up barking and running into the rock-n-play making carson squirm.  again, i cringe.  i desperately need my last 5 minutes to start some laundry – the little guy has nearly run out of what he can actually wear. 
ahh baby laundry! before having the baby i had nostalgic thoughts about happily folding baby clothes and cheerfully matching outfits  … then reality set in.  with any luck i’ll get this pile folded before cody gets home.  forget about putting it away.
naturally allie needed to go out and come in and go out during the next feeding.  the baby is awake and pissed.  allie’s timing is most impeccable.  this is only her fourth time out in the last two hours!  she’ll continue at this frequency all day until cody gets home and then magically quit.  why am i such a sucker for this dog of ours?!

almost noon and it’s time for a new outfit – this one has elbow patches and the cutest bear butt – swoon!  we’ll need at least one more outfit before the day ends. three is our average.  i’ve lost track of what feeding we’re on but, i know it’s almost time for another.  i would have taken a picture of my lunch but most days it’s either 1) peanut butter  and jelly (boring) or b) whatever leftover can be heated and ate while i pump.  (i hate pumping!) 
we’ve recently started doing tummy time and laying on our play mat.  i had no idea that you could literally sit and watch a baby and do nothing else yet be so completely content.  sometimes i make allie go outside for these times so that it’s quiet…but then when i do he wants none of it.  i swear those two have a sixth sense for when i want to eat, sleep, or sit.
speaking of…i was going to nap at this time.  i always tell myself i’ll nap after his late afternoon feeding.  it has yet to happen.  he was fussy this day so i wrapped him up and got sh*t done!  that laundry pile got folded and put away and i started the dishwasher.  this wrap is a lifesaver but, he’s a little furnace so i decided to change into a t-shirt.  dumb!  he woke and was hungry, allie needed to go out and my phone was ringing…he got a cold bottle.  
well it’s time to start thinking about supper.  i plan meals in advance and if it wasn’t for that we would be eating pizza and pb&j every night.  until cody gets home i bring the rock-n-play into the kitchen and with one foot rocking him, one hand tugging with allie and the other either looking up a recipe or stirring a pot i fumble my way through meal prep.  when cody gets home i nearly have to restrain myself from tossing the baby into his arms before escaping to the gym or taking a shower.  ah a shower!  (my poor husband)  
after we eat it’s time for daddy snuggles before we start the cycle over again with another bottle, assured outfit change, rocking, pumping, bottle washing, storing, and if i’m lucky a two-hour nap.   this is my reprieve but i’m too tired to even scroll or sleep.  allie needs to go out again.
despite the chaos of this phase someday i hope to look back fondly at these photos knowing that some of my best days were spent nurturing my newborn son.  i also hope that we can find humor in the trends and styles that will most definitely change and in my not-so-fine-tuned parenting skills! 

my new mommy must-haves

New Mommy Must-haves

when it came to preparing for baby and having what i needed i relied heavily on the overwhelming abundance of pinterest recommendations and of course, crowdsourcing.  now that my baby is here i’ve discovered what works and what doesn’t.  above are my mommy must-haves.  these items have made my new mom role as easy and chic as possible considering i now operate in a world of uncertain two hour windows … and am lucky if i can get half-showered before my baby wakes, spits, or eats.