Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone is having a great start to their week and not too sleepy from all that turkey tryptophan.
So today I'm taking a break from my normal me-centered rambling to put in a little request. Every year around Christmas I always try to step back and do something positive for the community. Emphasis on the word try and some years I'm more successful than others.
This year I've really been thinking a lot about what the hospital is really like for my patients and their families. I have a completely new perspective on things since becoming a mom. I don't think I ever realized how hard it is for kids in the hospital, particularly babies who already can be the literal worst at sleeping (babies have many good qualities, sleep is not one of them). It's amazing the lengths parents go to at home to get their babies to sleep, everything short of a choreographed song and dance routine. And so when they end up in the hospital, understandably the babies don't sleep that well. And sick babies need their sleep.
I worked a couple of night shifts last week, and took care of some little people, and just kept thinking how nice it would be to at least have some white machines, because hospitals at night are LOUD. There's beeping and mechanical noises from pumps and nurses talking and overhead alarms. There's a lot of sound. And white noise can go a long way to blocking some of that out.
So I touched base with our lovely Child Life and inquired if they could use some sound machines, and they said, why yes, they could. These little machines cost about $20 and I would love to be able to donate some to the hospital this year. So I decided to do one of those fancy online fundraising thingies and try to donate enough money to buy 20 of the sound machines. Here's the link:
I know we're all asked a lot this time of year. There's a lot to do and buy. We have lists upon lists. But I think it's important to give some time and energy to helping, and trust me, these sound machines will help babies and their families in the hospital. So if you are so inclined and want to donate a little toward the goal, that would be absolutely lovely. And if not totally understand too. Just wanted to put it out into the universe of online mamas who read this blog, because I know we all know how essential our little sleep tools are, and how lost we would be without them!
I work for a really great place, and this would just help to make it a little bit greater :)
So as I mentioned in my last post, we were early bird city about Christmas this year, and I may have gotten a little over excited. I just love Christmas, and I think the fact that we couldn't decorate last year built up two years' worth of Christmas spirit in my heart and it kind of exploded all over our house. I bought literal boughs of holly! I didn't even know what a bough of holly really was, but now I know! Especially now that I'm a mom I feel like decorating for holidays has become something I can really go full throttle into. I know Ryland could care less about Christmas this year and would sooner eat her stocking than open it, but I want to start the precedent early that every year her house will be transformed into a magical Christmas wonderland.
Here's a little tour:
This nativity belonged to R's grandfather, and I think it's lovely. I wanted to give it a more formal locale (not that anywhere in our house is "formal") so I put it on our entry table and accented it with some fresh juniper (smells SO good) we got at Strange's nursery (plus some cinnamon pine cones, to really make the entire table smell even yummier).
I tried to go with fresh greenery here but it just didn't work (and I was worried it would shed all over the floor) so I went with artificial greenery and gussied it up with some white lights.
One thing I did this year and never had before is use a lot of fresh greenery (bought at either Strange's or Great Big Greenhouse since we have zero yard and no holly trees to steal from, unless we clip off branches from our neighbors' trees but that might lead to some awkwardness with the HOA). It may all dry up by Christmas but it looks pretty and is so easy.
Grabbed this little rosemary tree at the Great Big Greenhouse. I love it because it's cute, smells incredible, and can be planted in our yard in the spring! The snow globe is from Target, because we all have established that I cannot resist a cute holiday item from Target.
I got this little reindeer a couple of years ago, I think from Michael's or Hobby Lobby and I just think he's so cute. Santa candy dish is from Target (any excuse to have candy in the house I will take).
So R and I both had Christmas villages in our houses growing up and really wanted to carry on that tradition. I remember always wanting to be the one to set up our Christmas village and arrange the little trees and houses just so. We had to start from scratch and after a lot of searching I decided on the St. Nicholas' Square village from Kohl's. I think it's fun to do one that has pieces that come out every year and that can be collected from previous years on Amazon and Ebay. We went with a starter set with a cute little church and house, and I had to get a little santa and reindeer stable, because no Christmas village is complete without Santa. I rally can't want to add to this every year and eventually it may morph into a full fledged Christmas city (or at least respectable sized town).
I needed something to put around the village so it wouldn't look so teeny on the table, so I made these with lanterns I already owned, a bag of cranberries from Whole Foods, and some holly sprigs. Easy and festive!
So I have a love/hate relationship with PB Kids where I think I lot of their stuff is SUPER cute, but I also think it is crazy over priced. I did decide to splurge (although bought on sale!) for these personalized stockings, because I figure a stocking you have for life (my parents still have ours) and it was worth it. And who can resist penguins!?
A poinsettia is just a no brainer for the holidays right? And the tree rings are from past years' Christmas trees. I saw this once on a holiday house tour and I thought it was the cutest tradition. So glad we decided to do it with our first tree! And that R owns a saw and can do this for me :)
And a closer look. I wrote memorable facts about the year on the wood, like "First Married Christmas", "First Christmas in the New House", etc.
Last but not least the Christmas tree and the mantle! We went for a lovely 7-8ft fraser fir that I think is wonderfully chunky and stout (not unlike our daughter). It's amazing how many ornaments we've accumulated in just 3 Christmas' living together, and I know we'll keep adding, especially now that we have a baby. If you take a close look you'll see cute little gold glitter trees on the mantle. Spotted these at Home Goods and couldn't resist! The tree skirt is a PB gift from our wedding registry (thanks again Laura!)
So that's it folks. I hope you've enjoyed our little holiday house tour :) I love our house all the time, but right now it just feels so cozy and merry. Pretty much my favorite place in the world right now is here in the evenings with R and Ryland, a glass of wine, our holiday scented candle going, and a fire on. Pretty darn perfect.
So once again I've been MIA for longer than intended. As the holidays rapidly approach (holy cow Thanksgiving is tomorrow people!), life has gotten busier and busier. Apologies for my lack of posting, and as always I will try my best to do better moving forward! To catch us all up, here's a quick recap.
We finally got our "fall" (it was actually about 85 degrees on that mid October day but we pretended) photo session pictures back (our photographer was our wedding photographer, Meagan Abell, who I think does beautiful, beautiful work, even when photographing people (ahem, me) who aren't exactly the most at ease in front of a camera). I LOVE them all so much. Ryland did not crack a smile the entire time (she is really working on her Victoria Beckham pout) but I still think she looks pretty darn cute even doing her best Zoolander impression. A few of my favorites:
Ryland has also learned a few new tricks since I last touched base. My favorite is she now has the ability to say "mama". Granted I'm pretty sure she has no idea what "mama" means and just thinks it's a fun sound to make, but I still kind of melt inside every time I hear it. I do think it is a biological tool that babies develop, because they realize that shouting "mama" at the human near them makes them come to them much more quickly. Babies are devious.
She also has gotten really good at sitting up and only topples over from time to time. And we have discovered she can be distracted for long (long for a baby, aka like 10 minutes) stretches of time with TV shows. She is a fan of Wonder Pets in particular, and the songs from that show have lodged themselves so deep into the crevices of my brain that I hear them in my sleep.
We've also started to get some colder weather (FINALLY) and I have been way too excited about baby winter wear. I mean it's just the cutest. Add some Christmas themed items in there and I'm done. Thank goodness places like Baby Gap and Old Navy have crazy sales this time of year.
We've also fully boarded the Christmas decorating express train. I know, I know, it's pre Thanksgiving and I used to be one of those people that hated anything Christmas before Thanksgiving. But last year we didn't get to decorate at all because we moved on December 1st, and this year R is working a TON in December, SO we made an exception and decorated the entire inside of the house this past weekend. I want to do a separate post about our decorations, but Ryland did have fun "helping" with the lights :), even if initially she was skeptical.
We were also motivated to decorate early because we hosted our annual Friensgiving at our house. I of course forgot to take a single picture during the actual dinner, but I did manage to get a photo of the table before anyone got there. I was super into tablescaping this year. Like maybe a little too into it if we're being honest. Which makes me feel super old because Friendsgiving used to consist of paper plates and plastic cutlery. Now we're all fancy!
So those are the (brief) highlights of life lately. Will probably not be posting until after Thanksgiving, because unfortunately I'm working night shifts Thursday and Friday (eek, haven't worked a night shift since before Ryland was born so these are going to be a little brutal). But I promise to be back soon to talk about Christmas decor and gift guides for mama and baby :)
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all eat lots of turkey and pie and spend the day surrounded by love and laughter.
My dear Ryland,
So mama is a little late on this one, because technically you turned seven months over a week ago, but forgive me my belatedness. You are SEVEN months old! Holy cow. I feel like you were 7 days old a blip ago, 7 weeks just yesterday.
Every day you get more and more fun, and your personality has grown in leaps and bounds (I hope you don't take offense at the suggestion that your personality was lacking earlier in your life, but let's face it, infants are not exactly fantastic dinner party guests).
To recap the basics:
Your nighttime sleep is usually pretty great, a fact of which I am still amazed, no matter how long it has been. You usually sleep through the night, and if you do wake up it's only for a minute or two (more last week when you were cutting two big teeth, but that's understandable). You go to bed like clockwork right around 6:30 every night, which is less my doing than yours. If we try to keep you up past 6:30 you start to get majorly cranky to the point where the smallest thing makes you wail and shriek to the high heavens (someone may have a flair for the dramatic), plus you almost comically rub your eyes and yawn over and over again, like you are pretty clearly trying to tell your human slaves to put you to bed. You love to sleep with your lamb lovey and clutch it in your arms or chew on it all night long.
As I mentioned you like to go to bed early and mama is grateful for this, because it gives her time to cook or eat or watch TV with a nice glass of wine, but you also are an early riser, for which mama is less grateful (although really I can't complain too much now that you're sleeping through the night, and that would make me one of those moms I got really angry with back when you were still waking up 5-6 times a night not that long ago). Sometimes you even wake up for the day as early as 5:30, which before the time change meant a solid 1.5 hours of darkness after you woke up, which meant your mom needed A LOT of coffee. But you wake up super happy, so I can't get too annoyed. You usually will call our or cry for a minute or two and then stop, tricking us into thinking you have fallen back asleep. But then, and this is one of your favorite tricks, we will hear the sound of loud thumping coming from the nursery and come in to find you kicking your crib rails with gusto. You think this is hilarious and will grin and shimmy when you see us, as if to say "aren't I clever?"
You still nap 3 times a day, and these naps are still unpredictable and less chunky than mom would like, but again, you're sleeping through the night, so I'm not going to complain about it, because the Liz of 2 months ago would travel through time to punch present Liz in the face. And because you also usually wake up pretty happy from naps. The other day I walked into your nursery and laughed at you, and you gave me the longest, silliest, stoner like chuckle while still lying in your crib. It was phenomenal.
You still nurse once a day, but get formula the rest of the time, which you love and adore more than anything. When you see us making you a bottle you start to grunt and flail and pretty much act like a fat kid about to get her own personal cake. You also eat solids usually 1-2 times a day. Your favorite food at the moment are pears, with apples, bananas, and prunes (yes prunes, for your constipation troubles like you are an 85 year old woman, sorry to embarrass you but it's true!) next in line. Mama has tried really hard to get you to like veggie purees, but when I've tried them you typically make a face like I am trying to feed you dog food. In fact the last time I tried to feed you green beans you literally gagged and vomited and I felt like a jerk. Luckily there is a brand of baby food that combines pears with kale, and you have gulped this down eagerly, so I can feel less guilty about only feeding you fruit.
You wear size 6-12 month clothing or 9 months in some brands, and you are a super chunk monster, and it's awesome. I routinely try to gobble your thighs and cannot stop kissing your cheeks. It's a problem.
I realize that I probably don't buy you "girly" enough clothing, because in public strangers still routinely tell me what an adorable little boy you are. To compensate I did buy you a headband and try to incorporate dresses more into our wardrobe mix, not that I really care if strangers think you are a boy, but just because I don't want you to be offended and develop some sort of complex that will require years of therapy down the road.
You can now go into high chairs and into the front seat of shopping carts, and these may not seem like big developments but they make life A LOT easier for mom and dad. It used to take some pretty complex logistical planning to get you in and out of a Kroger (do I put the carseat in the shopping cart? will that leave enough room for groceries? do I put you in a carrier? do I carry the carseat? will that be way too heavy?). Which meant I often gave up and ordered Amazon Now instead. But now I can throw you in the front of a shopping cart, and you love it and act like you are on a roller coaster ride (which because of your lack of core strength you kind of are).
The high chair thing is also pretty neat, especially because if we hold you in our laps, the entire restaurant table becomes a war zone, with forks and napkins and glasses of water flying in the air and mom and dad desperately trying to keep knives out of your mouth or bowls of food flung at the waiter.
Did I mention you are into everything? You are a grabby little mischief maker. Nothing is safe anymore. You will grab at us, at any object no matter the size or level of danger, at the dog, at dirt and grass. If I wear a necklace I am putting my life at risk, because you consistently try to strangle me like you are carrying out a mafia hit. It used to be okay, because your dexterity was...less than. You grabbed at things but usually just kind of lightly smacked them with the side of your hand. Now your fine motor coordination has advanced rapidly, and you can truly grab things, and you wield this skill like a villain in a comic book movie who has just discovered they have super powers. Forget the with great power comes great responsibility thing. You have abilities and you will use them TO DESTROY THE WORLD. Or at least any magazine within arms reach.
You also have an increased level of mobility, which combined with the grabbing means you really can get into everything. You can't crawl yet, but have mastered the art of rolling yourself around a room like a little armadillo. You can also propel yourself backward with your arms, although this tends to get you in jams.
Don't worry, after a brief pause to take a picture, I always rescue you. You also really like to do what I refer to as the "Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible" move, where you kick your arms and legs out at the same time and kind of wiggle on your tummy. It's really cute, but I think it frustrates you, because you expect this move to propel you somewhere. You'll figure it out eventually.
You also now have TWO TEETH. Two whoppers on the center of your bottom gum line. I know this was rough on you, but overall you handled it pretty well other than some increased drooling and middle of the night wakings. And you know what I learned about new baby teeth? They are super sharp, like little razor blades. You have yet to use your teeth during a breastfeeding session (thank GOD), but the first time you do will probably be the last time you nurse. So try not to bite mommy okay?
You do still chew on everything you can get your hands on, and prefer to chew on anything other than all of the teething toys we have bought you. It is a constant effort to find things to give you out in public that you can chew on and not break off a piece of or hurt yourself with.
You're sitting up better and better, but still tend to topple over. It's understandable, because I think your head still accounts for like 50% of your total body weight. We would all be a little wobbly under those conditions. But you are getting stronger and stronger by the day.
I can't tell if it's just a normal baby phase or a sign of your personality, but you are a little on the sensitive side. You have started to really dislike super loud noises or things that move or jump around (this includes toddler aged children) and you often burst into tears whenever anything startling is around you, especially if you're tired. You also frequently don't like when we take things away from you without your permission (like remotes or our phones or the dog's toys) and also now have a very distinct "I didn't get my way" cry. Lord help us, because I know it's just the beginning of this kind of parenting struggle.
But more often than not you LOVE being out and about (minus the car trips involved). You smile and flirt with total strangers, and people eat it up. You cackle and coo in grocery stores. You grin at servers in restaurants. You are fascinated by everything and everyone. There is so much exciting and strange in your world, and I can tell every day you see it more clearly and with more attentiveness.
So your mom's favorite change that has taken place in the last month is kind of a selfish choice, but you have started to legit snuggle with me. I mean eyes wide open, totally awake, your head resting on me snuggle time. Granted you usually only do this either right after you wake up or right before you go to sleep. Sometimes when we're out in public around new people and you're acting "shy."
It still doesn't happen frequently or for very long stretches, but when it does happen, oh my. Total parent crack. Like manna to the soul, little slice of paradise, just absolute heaven. Pure and unfiltered joy. I cannot overstate what these first true snuggles feel like, how glorious they are, how I would go to the ends of the earth to produce more of these snuggles. Last night after we read your books, I held you for a few minutes, and after a few seconds of looking around, you stopped and laid your head down on my chest, and then left it there for this glorious expanse of time (probably like 2 minutes but it felt like time stopped). Your eyes were open. You weren't asleep. You were just resting your head on me, your little hand on my arm, still and peaceful. Oh my sweet girl, I don't know if I will ever be able to tell you what these moments mean to me, how grateful I am for every drop of your love and affection, how much an honor it is to see you start to show me that you know me, that to you I'm not just another human blob in a blur of human blobs, but a distinct person in your life who makes you happy in a way no one else does.
The world has been a little topsy turvy lately. There was an election a couple of days ago that didn't turn out the way that your mom and dad and a lot of people wanted. I was really excited to take you to vote. They even gave you an "I Voted" sticker that I proudly stuck to your clothes for the rest of the day (thank goodness you didn't eat it) and saved. I just knew that one day I would tell you about the time I took you to vote for the first female president of the United States, how proud I was to share that moment with my daughter. After this election, I would always be able to tell you there were no limits for a woman in this world, that on the year of your birth everything changed.
I know you can't read a newspaper yet, so I'll break it to you gently. It didn't turn out that way. I'm sorry we didn't give you the future we had envisioned, the president your mom and dad wanted for you. But as I held you last night, even through my fears and worries, the warmth of your body and your sweet baby smell reminded me that it would be okay. The love I have for you knocks me off my feet, and I realize now how important it is to protect the world we will pass down to you, and to your children, and to your grandchildren and so on. And I know that anyone with a child or niece or nephew or godson feels that same way, no matter which way they voted on Tuesday. It's impossible to love your child and not want the best possible world for them. No one wants to burn things down and hand the future a wasteland, whether your are a Democrat or Republican or Libertarian. We want to give you everything, the best possible world, one that is full of love and promise.
And we will. It might take longer than we planned. There might be bumps. But we will give you a world that is intact and whole and still full of possibility, even if it is a little scarred and broken in places. I promise you my lovely daughter. And I will do everything in my power, today and 4 years from now and 8 years from now and for the rest of my days, to honor that promise and make this a world deserving of you.
I'm sorry your mom got off on a tangent. I know you're not really interested in the world right now, at least not the one outside of your bottles and toys and George and your parents. But one day you will read this and know how much hope we still had, even in our disappointment, and how much a part of that hope you were.
You are seven months old Ryland. The world is starting to come into focus. And it is a beautiful world. Through your little eyes I am reminded every day just how beautiful and full of hope it is.
Happy Election Day everyone! I'll avoid getting too political here today (because let's face it, we're all sick to death of politics right now), but I am super excited to take Ryland with me to vote later. I may or may not get a little misty when I cast a ballot for our (hopefully) first female president with my daughter there to witness it. For all its flaws, it's still a pretty cool world my daughter has been born into.
I think last time I left off I shared the beautiful pictures of the neighborhood we stayed in during our Charleston trip. We settled in Tuesday night and then Wednesday morning set off for breakfast down the street and then a gorgeous stroll around the Old Village.
Later that day we headed into the city and walked, walked, and walked some more. One of the many things I love about Charleston is how immensely walkable the city is. It's geographically pretty tiny and all smooshed onto a peninsula, so you can literally walk from one end of the city to the other without going more than a few miles. We got lunch at Bull St. Gourmet (one of my favorites, then walked around the Battery and up King St. a little ways. After a full afternoon of walking we were tired so we headed back out to Mt. Pleasant and walked down the street to Shem Creek for dinner at Red's.
As I mentioned on my last post, I spent many a college night at Shem Creek bars so it was kind of a mind trip to come back here with my baby, but in a good way. This was taken around 6 which is normally the time Ryland is winding down for bed, so she was not in the best mood during the meal. We hurriedly downed our food and drinks while passing the baby between the stroller and each other's laps. Not the most relaxing meal in the world but still couldn't beat the views. After dinner we strolled around the new Shem Creek boardwalk that extends out onto the marsh. It was gorgeous, but unfortunately by this point the baby was really done with everything and cried for most of the walk.
We all recharged overnight and after a 5:30 wake up (definitely not the time I used to get up on vacations), started day two. After coffee and breakfast we headed out to Sullivan's Island, my favorite Charleston beach and a must stop every time I go back there. We put the baby in the carrier (which I hadn't done in a while, but I forgot how much easier it can be, minus the strain on the back).
It was about 82 degrees and GORGEOUS, and we took a long and lovely barefoot walk on the beach. The baby fell asleep almost immediately (ocean = giant white noise machine and carrier=tricked into thinking she's back in mama's belly, a total recipe for sleep). I love Sullivan's, because the beach is beautiful and the houses are set WAY back from the sand so for long stretches you can't even see them. Plus there are no hotels on the island so you really feel a lot more isolated and secluded than you do at the other beaches.
When Ryland woke up we took her out and let her "play" on a blanket. Her hat is the dorkiest thing ever, because it makes her look like a mini baby fisherman, but I love it. She was much less freaked out by the beach than last time we took her when she was around 3 months. She even hung out with her feet in the water for a few minutes without complaint.
After our beach time we hit Poe's Tavern a few blocks away for my other Charleston Must-Have, their cheeseburger! Even better post-beach walk and washed down with a cold wheat beer.
We rested for a little while after lunch and then headed back into the city for more walking. We strolled around upper king and then swung by the college for some reminiscing, and because in my totally unbiased opinion it's the most beautiful campus in the world. Had to stop at the Cistern of course.
We walked and walked some more, through the Market and to Minero for an early and absolutely delicious dinner (Minero is a Sean Brock restaurant and a lot more baby friendly than his other two fancy schmancy places, Husk and McCrady's)
And then because we needed to soak in as much Charleston as possible we walked down the Battery again and grabbed some gelato on our way back to where we parked near the college.
It was a short but sweet trip, and so nice to be back in my favorite place. But because this is an honest blog and not one of those ones that just make everything look perfect, I will say that traveling with a baby can be super hard and stressful.
I spent almost every restaurant meal we had in a state of tension, despite my efforts to relax. I wish I could give zero you know what's about what other people think when it comes to bringing the baby out in public, because it would make life SO much easier. But I do care unfortunately, so when we bring her to a sit down restaurant, I spend the entire time worried she's going to cry or fuss or throw a fork across the floor. And because we were off her schedule and in a new place, she did cry and fuss and throw forks across the floor every time we went out. She would do okay for the beginning of the meals, but inevitably start to freak out a little by the end, and so instead of relaxing and leisurely vacation meals, I pretty much unhinged my jaw every time we ate out and threw back my drinks like I was still in college.
Vacations pre baby can be spontaneous and fluid. But with a baby, at least when you're a crazy person like me, you feel like ever minute has to be planned carefully. Do you get back to the rental so she can nap in the pack in play or do you hope that she will nap in the stroller/carrier? Is she going to throw off her sleep if she naps in the car on the way home from dinner? Is she going to be able to hang being out and about past 6? Most of our Charleston trip the nap situation worked out just fine, but on our last day I had assumed she would nap when we strolled around the city (and we walked for like 2 hours so she had ample opportunity). But of course babies laugh in the face of your plans and so she didn't nap, which meant by the time we got to Minero for dinner she had been up for over 3 hours, and it was around her usual bedtime, which meant I was a giant stress ball because I kept waiting for a nuclear meltdown.
Oh and I also don't usually feel enormous amounts of guilt on my vacation, but bringing Ryland meant heaps of mom guilt. I felt bad every time we were out "late" (and by late I mean past 6, we were literally home every night by 7:30). I felt guilty on the car rides there and back that she had to be strapped into a carseat for so long. I felt guilty strolling her around in the city for so long, because wouldn't she be happier out of the stroller being able to stretch our her arms and legs and get in some exercise.
None of this is particularly rational, but if you're a mom, it's hard to escape the feelings of guilt whenever you take your baby out of her comfort zone. Which I know is silly, because I do not want to raise a sheltered little Howard Hughes shut-in who can't handle leaving her house. I want Ryland to be comfortable traveling and going to new places and trying new things, because I think that's an important trait to have. I want her to be adventurous and have wander lust in her veins. But even knowing all of that, the guilt was inescapable.
Vacations with a baby also mean a huge restriction on your freedom to do fun stuff that you would have before. We could literally see the Shem Creek bars from our cottage, and R and I wistfully a few times said how much fun it would have been to be able to go out (and "going out" for us would mean being home by 9-10pm tops, but still!) and be able to have a few drinks on the water and not have to worry about driving, listen to live music, relax and feel young again. The last time we went to Charleston (almost 2 years ago) we stayed out until past midnight and danced and drank and went to bars.
Going there with Ryland meant that none of that was going to happen. And I am okay with that for the most part because 1.) I am 90 years old and 2.) I would have missed her terribly if we didn't bring her, but it's still a little bit of a shock the first time you travel with a baby and realize how many restrictions there are on what you can and can't do.
And I haven't even mentioned the logistical challenge of traveling with a baby, all of the things you have to bring like pack and plays and baby baths and enough diapers and wipes and formula (and white noise machine and lovey and stroller and carrier and some toys and on and on and on).
It's not easy. Traveling with a baby is an entirely different beast than a vacation pre-baby, and there's a lot more work involved than normally associated with a vacation.
But, and this is a big but, even with the stress and the guilt and the work, I love to have my baby with me as much as humanly possible, and I'm so glad I was able to take her to my favorite place in the world. I can't wait to travel more with Ryland in the future and show her as much of the world as possible. Because it's a big, wide, beautiful world out there. Seeing it through her eyes makes it seem even bigger and more wonderful.
I'm a thirty-something mom of two, wife, pediatric RN, and writer with a passion for the all the big and little things in life.