Pages

Painted & Polished

Mar 31, 2015

motherhood // Navy at 3 months


I remember, especially when I was pregnant, some people telling us that kids change things. With a hint of foreboding, they imparted this …. wisdom, let's call it. And though it is clear they love their children and that their intentions were good, there was no denying the negative subtext to be read from their words. I recognize the struggles they were hinting at are individual most likely, and something I'll never know fully about. But I have to think that on some level they were alluding to some generalities when it comes to kids and so on that tangent….

I tend to ask Ryan often how he feels now that we're parents...now that Navy is here. In a split second he responds with the same sentiments of my heart … he loves it. So then I think back on what those people had to say, about change and such. And I feel this way. Sure. Of course things change. How could they not? This little person is here now, completely dependant on us at all times. That kind of responsibility demands a certain amount of change from how we used to do things. I mean, before, there was no little person ;) But I'll also assert that things haven't changed that much in the ways that truly, deeply matter. We still try to live the life we love, she's just along for the journey. So we nurse here, and we diaper change there. We sneak naps a little more often then we used to. We don't stay out late with friends…. as often ;) But we still adventure. Now as three versus two. And while that reality may now be filled with little diapers and midnight nursings and spit ups when you just changed her into a fresh sleeper…it's also filled with this little mini person who's the most perfect blend of the two of us, who's caused us to smile so much and for so long that our smile lines have reached new depths, permanently etched into the corners of our eyes. It's filled with a joy so deep and so vast that all of a sudden, the sacrifice of some of the more trivial things of our earlier youth is blissfully forgotten in the midst of the embrace of a family hug that is three now, not two. It's filled with loving phrases like 'you're doing an amazing job, mama' and 'Navy girl your smile is calm and truly kind, just like your daddy's' versus 'what movie do you want to go to tonight?'*

So back to those warnings about parenthood… we're trying to think of it this way instead. We want to dive into the adventure of parenthood with the pragmatic understanding that children change things, of course they do! We expect no less. Somedays will be very challenging while others will be deliciously easy, with most falling somewhere in the middle. Our adventure continues on exactly the path it was supposed to. We're doing our best to learn from it and love it. We aim to lift one other up throughout it. We're working hard to be grateful for every single day we get together and to relish in each season of life, dirty laundry, poopy diapers, sleepless nights and all. Because this much is inevitable…mid-season, we can feel overwhelmed by change and challenge. But looking back on the past seasons of our life, most of us would agree we are filled with a nostalgia for the sweetness of that season versus as distaste for the struggles it might have presented. I know I always am. So I'm hoping we relish the sweetness while it's here as well as when we reflect on it many years from now. To do both would be the ultimate in living a joyful, present life. When I keep all this in mind, the 'change' that children bring seems like far less of an inconvenience and a lot more like an essential component of the life I've always wanted. 

NAVY AT 3 MONTHS



Sleeping is still a family affair with your bassinet beside our bed, all cozy in the dark as we settle in for the night, Lincoln snoozing away on the floor. No real regimented schedule has been determined just yet and we like it that way. We all seem to be getting enough sleep and everyone is happy. We're flexible and we're adventuring and you seem to be so happy to be along for the ride. Sometimes you nap in your bed, sometimes in your swing, sometimes on the road and sometimes on me. You're such a happy baby, flexible and easy to have along wherever we go. Sometimes we finish a marathon of a day, where we've been out of the house for 9-10 hours and I'm amazed we did it all with you. We've nursed on the fly, you've caught naps whenever you've felt like it and the rest of the time you're pretty easily entertained. You like your stroller but you also love to be held. And if you're held, you're definitely facing outward. You want to know what's going on at all times. I can see some extroverted tendencies in you and every time I do, I'm like 'I feel ya little lady. I'm the saaaaame way'. 

You're toes get tight in sleepers unreasonably fast because you're the longest, leanest bean :) You wear them as long as you can, and then we snip the toes of the sleeper and cover your little feet with socks because you're too slender to go up another size just yet. So cute. You're easy with your smiles. You flash them for anyone who crosses your path and you seem to make their day when you do. You coo and mimic all the time and it is so sweet. Youv'e started really finding your voice, cooing really loudly and croaking a little at the end with your scratchy little voice. 100% A.DORABLE tell you! We can hear you through the whole house when you do it, which is saying something considering sometimes Ryan and I can't hear each other even when we're trying to yell through the house haha. 

You rolled over for the first time a couple days after you turned 3 months and I was floored. We had a guest over and you surprised us both. Right over into a little push up position :) You've found your hands and you stare at them and sooth with them. You reach out for toys with the greatest concentration and you wrestle them back to your mouth the second you grasp them.

You follow our conversations with great interest and seem to smirk or look perplexed at just the right time. It cracks us up how much you seem to understand whats going on. You are the sweetest little soul and each day with you is better than the last. 


Feb 27, 2015

Vancouver

This past weekend my mom and I snuck away to Vancouver with little Navy to spend some time with my brother Chad and his sweet girlfriend Karly. That's right, a Carli and a Karly in the family…woop woop! Anyway, they moved to Vancouver this past August for Chad to pursue his engineering degree at UBC. Karly is an urban planner so Vancouver THE place to be when it comes to her profession as well. They fit Vancouver like a glove but that doesn't make us miss them any less. 

Fortunately Chad was able to come home for Christmas this year, so he met little Navy when she was only 6 days old! He was home for about a week, but we missed Karly dearly. So our little trip out there was momentous, not only because we got to catch up with some of our favourite people, but because Karly got to meet little Navy for the first time!  

Ryan was away in Washington, DC for work the week leading up to our trip and then our weekend overlapped with his return. Oh man did we ever miss him! He and I both agree that a week away from Navy while she is so little was almost unbearable. It feels like she changes every minute. I've never been more grateful for my iPhone and FaceTime that's for sure! All day, every day, I just spammed Ryan with pictures and videos and updates. It took the sting out of him being away for so long I think. At least a little. And on our end, knowing we had a wonderful weekend to enjoy with two people we love so much made his absence a bit more bearable. 

Anyway, pictures! 

⇡ Coffee shop cruising with these two. They know their java's and we love 'em for it ;) ⇡
⇡ Exploring some of the beautiful viewing platforms and art created for the olympics ⇡
⇡ Overalls!! Cutest gift from Chad & Karly ⇡
⇡ Meeting Karly for the first time!⇡
⇡ This. Smile. !!! ⇡
⇡ And a grumpy face while casually lounging with Uncle Chad for good measure ⇡
⇡ Mama bear voguing it out in gas town ⇡
⇡ Little water taxi over to Granville Island. Navy's second little trek out onto the ocean ⇡
⇡ The guy driving the boat assured me this was safe. He was totally chill about it. I, however, wasn't as cool about it. So I took a picture to remember my stroller, diaper bag and camera bag for posterity sake, in case it fell into the water haha ⇡
⇡ Beautiful Karly overlooking the floating homes in the bay ⇡
⇡ The most beautiful floating homes made up this little floating hamlet of sorts. And of course, we had to take a pic of this pup who has THE coolest life, obviously. I will neither confirm nor deny that we later hatched plans to befriend some of the floating home's residents just to get a glimpse into how they live ;) ⇡
⇡ Exploring Granville Island ⇡
⇡ Water taxi back to Vancouver ⇡
⇡ Sweet little girl, airport lounging and travelling like a pro. Almost breaks my heart how easy she is to travel with. I always think 'you know you are a new little baby, you're entitled to a meltdown every now and then.' In response, she flashes me her signature gummy smile and once again, I am a complete puddle on the floor ⇡

Feb 15, 2015

motherhood // Navy at 2 months


This motherhood thing is something else I tell ya. I mean people try to tell you. They try. They really do. But until you're immersed in it yourself you just can't know, I don't think. I mean I didn't, thats for sure. It's like this heightened awareness I have, every waking minute. An awareness of this little person who is both brand new and familiar all at once. It's a love like I've never known. Gratitude so abundant I almost feel heavy from it. Heavy in a good way, but also heavy in a real, palpable way. To be entrusted with this little person's life, her sweet little life that formed inside me…I mean how do you even begin to comprehend the magnitude of that? I'm not sure I'll ever fully, but I do my best to. To really be present and aware of the exquisite blessing of experiencing life alongside this little person. And already in doing so, though I was so incredibly happy before she arrived, she has introduced me to a new kind of joy and my heart has learned there is an even deeper depth to which it could love.

NAVY AT 2 MONTHS

Navy, you are incredible! This past month it seems like you've truly woken from your much needed newborn slumber. You're so alert and so interactive. You return a smile whenever you're given one. Even mid-cry, you'll stop in your tracks and smile with everything you have. Mom said the other day, that your smile reminded her of that line from Eat Pray Love, when the Balinese healer tells Liz to smile from her liver haha. To feel the smile from deep inside herself, not just on the exterior. Well I have to agree with mom, you totally smile from your liver! You smile with your whole body and your whole heart. And let me tell you, there is no better medicine in the world than being on the receiving end of one of your megawatt smiles. 

When you're not smiling (which is rare, by the way :), you sometimes have this pensive, semi-amused look as you regard certain things…just like you're dad is so known for! It's almost like you know I'm making an absolute fool of myself as I make faces to try to get you to smile. More recently, you've been using that expression as you register my (signature, so I'm told ;) messy top knot teetering on top of my head. I swear you even let out your first little giggle looking at it the other day! So often over our many years together, while you're dad and I have been chatting, I've noticed his gaze float up above my eyes and settle on my gravity defying 'do haha. He always does it with a smirk because he swears he likes my hair that way, but that doesn't stop him from sassing me about it from time to time. And here you are, coming by that same sense of humour genetically. It's too hilarious. You look so much like me as a baby and you act so much like your dad. We can't get over what a wonderful mix you are. 

You're sleeping so well at night these days. About 5 hour intervals. You're also incredibly strong! You always want us to hold you sitting up so you can look straight at us or facing out from our bodies so you can take in everything around you. When people try to hold you like a little newborn, in the crook of their arm with you on your back, you tell them right away you'd rather be upright by doing a little sit up. It is hilarious! Inevitably, they're reaction is always 'she's so strong and sooooo smiley!' Even in the stroller lately, you want to cover off so you can watch me while we stroll about. Sometime's I'll look down and you're just smiling away at me and my knees nearly buckle because I can hardly stand how cute and how joyful you are. 

At around 5 weeks, you started to mimic me and I just about fell off my chair! I was making oooh sounds in front of you and all of a sudden your lips stared to purse and your eyes got all watery and red like you were concentrating harder than you every had before. A couple more ooh's from me and you mustered up your first oooh!! Your sweet little voice was so raspy and warm I burst into tears instantaneously. From that night on, you've mimicked me or your dad for several minutes a night. Your little eyes sparkle as you interact with us and we're just beside ourselves to see you communicating with us! More recently, around 8 weeks you started to sing! At night, your dad and I will turn up the music and sing with you while you lay on your playmat. It takes a couple minutes but sure enough, you start oooooh-ing your little heart out, connecting ooooh's to sound like song. You even throw in a giggle here and there, and of course, I am reduced to tears all over again. So many tears of joy for you, sweet girl :)

You're growing and changing everyday little girl but thankfully you've decided there's one newborn habit you'd like to keep around for a while. Every morning you still take a 2-3 hour nap on my chest and I look forward to it like Christmas morning. There is nothing sweeter than seeing you peaceful and happy, enveloped in my arms. 

Feb 7, 2015

San Francisco

Well we did it! Our first trip with little Navy was to San Francisco and it was incredible! She was six weeks old when we left and even at such a young age, she amazed us with how well she handled everything.  She was so flexible. We nursed anywhere and everywhere: airplanes, restaurants, J.Crew change rooms (haha), a forest, an observatory, the Gold Gate Bridge…you name it, we nursed there :) When we weren't nursing, we were on the move sightseeing and she slept like a champ in her stroller. We'd get back to the hotel around mid-day each day for me to take a snooze (6 weeks out from giving birth, I've realized, is long enough to make you feel like you're back to normal just enough to over do it slightly and realize you're not quite back to normal and you need your rest so sleep a little more, would ya?). While I was napping away, Ryan would get Navy out of her carseat and down to her diaper so she could have a little free time to stretch and cuddle and giggle and do anything else that literally stops us in our tracks as we exclaim to one another "did you see that?! That was the cutest!".


A couple things I realized on this trip. 1. Travel is incredible and I don't regret one minute or one penny I've spent exploring this vast world. 2. I'm married to an angel who is truly the husband of my dreams and the most gracious and loving father to our baby girl. Seeing him out adventuring with our little girl, bursting with pride every time he looks at her blesses me beyond belief. So proud to push her stroller, carry her around or wear her as we walk, he is entirely invested in raising this little girl and I can think of nothing more lovely than this man who cares so much about being a great husband and father. 3. With a little planning and teamwork, travelling with our little girl for the first time was a total joy. 4. What tha heck did we do before we had a stroller?? I mean where did we put all the stuff?! 5. People, strangers really, were overwhelmingly kind to us everywhere we went. Asking how old Navy was, offering up their sincerest enjoy-every-moment-it-goes-by-too-fast's, getting all glassy eyed as they shared how old their children or grandchildren were. I was overwhelmed by their response to this little girl of ours. Their reactions gave me an even deeper appreciation of the significance of family and parenthood, as if I wasn't already emotional enough ;)

This trip was a wonderful start to a lifetime of travel with Navy. It was even better than we hoped it would be and we're feeling pretty grateful about that.