The Love in My Heart

From the moment I laid my eyes on Z I was in love. Never before have I felt the intensity of love that I did the day Z was born and placed in my arms for the first time. It was so overwhelming to think that this tiny, precious baby girl was created by Dave and I...and that our whole world was about to change...forever. I have heard people say that the love for your child is like nothing else you would ever experience, but little did I know that I would keep falling in love more and more every day with this little human. 

Fast forward almost 11 months and my heart has never been so full. Whenever I think it must be at capacity, it grows a little more. It has been amazing to watch Z grow and explore the world around her. She is such an inquisitive baby and now that she is mobile it is fun to watch her discover and learn new things. My heart bursts with pride with each milestone that she reaches and each new skill she develops. I am her biggest cheerleader and I know that like my parents were (and still are) for me, that will never change. 

Sure not everyday is rainbows and butterflies. Being a parent definitely has its share of challenges with lack of sleep, frustrations (on both sides) trying to decipher what might be wrong and countless bumps in the road along the way. Those immediately fade away into the background as soon as Z gives you a big grin, lets out her adorable laugh, or climbs into your lap to give you a snuggle. There are so many precious moments throughout the day where you wish you could just hit pause and enjoy a little longer, especially as you watch your baby girl grow up way too fast. While I would love to stop time and get stuck in a moment, I am excited for what is to come and to continue celebrating and cheering Z on every step of the way.

Take the Pain Away

Z was really sick last week for the first time (more than just a runny nose) and I honestly don't think there is anything worse than a sick baby. She woke up one night with a fever around 40 degrees and her little body and head felt like they were on fire. I was shocked with how hot she felt and of course, as a first time mom, seeing a number that high had me worried. We gave Z a dose of Tylenol as she seemed quite uncomfortable, but unfortunately that only broke the fever temporarily before it spiked back up again. 

We used to co-sleep with Z, but won that battle and she has been sleeping in her crib for a few months now. That night our poor baby girl wanted nothing more than to be with mom and there was no way she was going to sleep in the crib, so I cuddled her close and let her gently drift asleep on me. I was willing to do whatever had to be done to make our little peanut feel better. 

Now usually Z is one of the happiest babies I have ever met and our day starts with smiles and babbles - no better way to start the day! As she gets tired she becomes more snugly, but not after some time playing and enjoying the company of those around her. When she woke up the next morning the fever was back up and someone had replaced our happy, active baby with a baby who didn't understand what was going on and just wanted to be held. I get it, when I am sick I am not in the best of moods and just want to sleep until it goes away, but seeing Z like this broke my heart. I wished for nothing but to trade places with her and to take all her discomfort away. 

The fever persisted for a couple of days and I literally was not able to do anything as my days were filled with snuggles and a baby asleep on me. Outside of a couple walks where Z has fallen asleep in the carrier, she hasn't had a mommy or daddy nap in quite some time and a for a few days there was nothing but (she even fell asleep on dad which hasn't happened since she was a new born!)

It was a trying few days with little sleep for anyone in the house as Z was up at all hours of the night, but as with most viruses it passed and our happy, active baby slowly returned. It warmed my heart to watch our happy baby emerge and take joy in all that is around her once again. I know this won't be the last time that Z is sick and I know that when it happens again I will still wish that I could trade places and take all her pain/discomfort away.

Napping with Daddy

Napping with Daddy


When in doubt

I have always been confident in the decisions that I made (for the most part) and have been able to strategically and creatively tackle anything that I am faced with. While the road I have journeyed down has had its share of bumps, I honestly wouldn't change it for the world as each new experience has shaped who I am and got me to where I am today. I try not to think about the 'what ifs' or doubt the decisions that I have made, but embrace them and look ahead. 

Then I became a mom... and that all went out the window. Never before have I had so much doubt than I do now as a mom. Every day I make decisions that not only affect me, but also Z and I find myself constantly wondering if I made the right choice.

My day is filled with questions and second guessing: Is Z getting enough iron? Are we feeding her the right types of food? Does she get enough variety? How do I get Z to sleep? Is it ok to let her cry it out or rock her to sleep? Is she in pain? Are her teeth bugging her? Am I interacting with Z enough/not enough? Are we doing the right things to help Z learn how to talk? What toys are best for her development? Does she spend enough time socializing with other babies? Am I a good mom...and the list goes on.

For the first time in my life I feel like I am living outside of my element and am constantly wondering if the choices I have made are right and if I am setting Z up for success. With the wealth of information out there (and everyone wanting to give you advice about what you should be doing) it is so easy to doubt every decision that you make. That's a lot of pressure, especially when this little person is relying on you to start them off and heading in the right direction. 

Z is 10 months old this week (where did the time go?!) and while I know I will continue to doubt decisions that I make for many years to come, I am trying to find that confidence from my old life. The confidence to feel good about the decisions that we are making for Z and to second guess just a little less. The confidence to know that we are always doing what we feel is in the best interest of Z and in line with our values as a family. When in doubt I need to listen to my gut a little more and know that deep down no matter what choices we make Z is going to turn out all right because they are rooted in love. If nothing else, we want Z to always know how much she is loved and how lucky we are to have her in our life - that is something that no one can ever doubt.


When I was younger I sported a bob, but ever since I graduated from high school I have had long hair. My hair is stick straight and only holds a curl with the help of a lot of product, so my signature style has been long and straight. While some might find this rather boring, I always joke that I have wash and go hair because I can get away with not blow drying it and my hair will still magically come out straight. As a kid I tried everything to get curls - braids, hot rollers, Velcro type rollers, curlers, rags - you name it and I tried it, all with the same result...temporary curls and then straight again.

My hair dresser likely groans when I come in as I always get the same thing done - trim off the bottom and some frame facing layers, but they have to be long enough for everything to fit up into a ponytail. Pre baby, I joked it was my athlete hair as no matter how my hair started at the beginning of the day, it almost always ended up in a ponytail by the end due to some sort of training. 

Enter Z and the ponytail has become a staple - I now call it my mom hair. At first it was just easy to throw it up when I was bleary eyed and half asleep after being up multiple times in a night and now it is for the safety of my hair as Z loves to pull it. When she is tired she will suck her thumb in my face and grab my hair to make sure that I can't escape and that I know she is tired and would like to sleep. Even when she isn't tired she has some weird fascination with my hair and a desire to pull tufts out so I have hair going in every direction. Dave has come home on more than one occasion to some very 'unique' hair styles. 

I used to love having the option to put my hair into a ponytail, but now I would love nothing more than to wear it down without the fear of it being yanked from my head. Dave jokes that I should just shave my head, but Z yanks on Dave's ears since he has no hair and I am not sure if I would like that any better. I figure Z should eventually outgrow this and one day I will have my hair back again...unless this is her way of telling mom to get a new hairstyle ;)

One of the many wonderful 'Z' styles I get to sport!

One of the many wonderful 'Z' styles I get to sport!

Sleep Envy

Z turned 9 months old this week and by baby standards she has 'slept through the night' (more than 5 hours in a row), but in mommy and daddy terms, she has not successfully slept through the night yet. I have a lot of mommy friends who have babies who are amazing sleepers - some of the little ones even started sleeping through the night when they were only a few months old. When I listen to these mom's talk I am not going to lie...I'm completely jealous! Unfortunately for us, while Z is an awesome baby, sleep has not been her strength (she gets it from her dad) and even at 9 months old she is getting up 1 or 2 times a night. 

Everyone always tells me to enjoy the time while Z is young and don't get me wrong - I love hanging out with her all day long and even don't mind our middle of the night snuggles, but I would also love to sleep for an entire night one day again. I crave a full nights sleep so much that I actually have dreams about sleeping through the night (I know - I am a total nerd, but it sounds so magical!) 

Before we had Z I listened to many friends talk about long nights and sleep deprivation, so I had an idea about what I was getting into, but I don't think that I could have ever imagined what it would be like to be sleep deprived for 9 months straight. For the first couple of months I swear I had mommy super powers and it didn't matter how many times a night we were up, I still managed to function just fine the next day. As Z got older and her night time wakings slowed down, we got into a bit of a rhythm and getting up once or twice wasn't so bad. 

Enter 4 month sleep regression, co-sleeping, night separation anxiety, teething and sleep training - the past 5 months have been a struggle with sleep and surprisingly I have had days where I feel more tired than when Z was a newborn. Just when I feel like we are making progress (and I am feeling more rested again), a new milestone is reached, or a new tooth decides to wreck havoc and we take a step or two back.

We have come along way with Z's sleep - she is now sleeping in her crib at night and for all of her naps (she used to love napping on mom and dad's bed, but with the discovery of rolling multiple times in a row we had to put that to an end). It will likely be a long road ahead, but I am sure that eventually we'll figure this sleep thing out and all of us will be able to enjoy a good nights sleep. One day everything will just click and Z will realize that she doesn't need her mommy any more at night. In the meantime I will continue to enjoy our middle of the night snuggles because I know they won't last forever and one day Z will be 'too cool' to snuggle with her mom.  For those out there who are also suffering from lack of sleep I feel your pain, but from what I hear it does get better :)