Baby’s Been…

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This is my eleventh edition of Baby’s Been. Next month we will have run out of months and started counting the years. I’m not certain about how I’ll be handling these updates going forward but I’m fairly sure that they’ll be a lot more casual. What bittersweet emotions are taking over me. Despite the fact that everyone and their mother tells you how quickly it will go (to the point that you desperately want to tear your hair out if you have to hear it one more time) — it really does go that fast, faster even. When I think about it, I feel a heaviness on my chest and it becomes harder to breathe. And so, I try not to think of it and rather to enjoy the moments that are, rather than focusing so much on what has come before.

Roman continues to develop rapidly. Every day brings some new and exciting change. At the beginning of the month, he took his first step. Now he is walking little stretches, up to ten steps at a time, and then he falls down to his knees to finish his journey crawling. He crawls so quickly, it’s still alarming. I have to move fast if he’s headed for trouble. It pains me to think of how it will be when he starts running…

I had written, First word: Mama — 6 months, in his baby book. And then last week, I wrote, First word: Bye-bye while waving. The whole talking thing has got me confused. He started mimicking at six months and I’m beginning to think that those sounds shouldn’t count as words. Now, when he waves goodbye and says, “Bah-bah” I can tell that he actually knows what he is saying. At any rate, he’s talking more and more. Yesterday I asked him, “What does the doggie say, Roman?” And he said, “Woof-woof.” It sounds more like a little whimper, whimper than the word “woof” but I know what he means.

His hugs and kisses are more frequent. He now completely wraps his arms around you & squeezes when he hugs. He’s started opening his mouth for kisses. I’m trying to deter that (ugh, germs) while at the same time, encouraging kisses — because, honestly, they’re the sweetest. Every time he wakes up — whether in the morning or from a nap — I get him from his crib and he is all smiles. I slowly lift him out and am greeted with the biggest bear hug. My heart explodes with love & joy.

I’m not certain if I’ve mentioned this already but since a couple of months ago, he’s had seven teeth — four on top and three on the bottom. We’ve been having some really fussy nap and bedtimes lately and I’m wondering if a new tooth might be on its way through. In general sleeping is fairly regular. He typically gets up once each night to nurse and takes two naps during the day, one in the morning a couple of hours after waking, and one in the late afternoon a few hours before bedtime.

Eating is still one of his favourite pastimes. He eats everything. I still feed him baby food on the rare occasion that he needs something to help with digestion, but most of the time he eats what we eat. His absolute favourite thing is french fries. He also loves pasta. Gratefully he happily eats his vegetables (loves asparagus!) and meat/fish, too. We are still nursing, but I’ve taken some baby steps toward weaning. Right now, I only offer him milk in the morning when he wakes up and at night before bed. I also let him nurse when he requests it. He still does the sign for milk, so adorable. Other than that, I give him a sippy cup with formula and/or almond milk. (We don’t regularly drink cow’s milk at home and neither will he. We eat a fair amount of dairy so I’m not worried about milk allergies.) I’m not certain as to when and how I will make more of a weaning push, but it is imminent. I don’t imagine that I will allow Roman to self-wean, for a lot of reasons, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.

Overall, my little guy is amazing. He is constantly exploring the world in awe & wonder. He has a wonderful temperament, always smiling, laughing, playful and outgoing. We do have some hard times at home though. He is rather sick of hanging out at home lately and while he used to play contently alone for little stretches, he seems to want constant attention these days. Luckily, as soon as we leave the house, he reverts back to his happy, easygoing self. I can’t blame him for being restless after the long winter we’ve endured. The weather is still hit or miss lately, but as soon as the warm weather is here to stay, I know we’ll both be a million times happier. I absolutely can not wait to take him swimming for the first time.

These days are full of so much happiness & magic. I can’t believe that our first year together is winding to a close. I’d better stop here, since I’m not in the mood to weep. Suffice to say, it’s been an incredible almost-year and I can’t wait to share the next one with my sweet boy. My cup runneth over.



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Spring Style Inspiration: Fragments Jewelry

There is something about the change of seasons that always gets me excited about style. When Autumn approaches, I long for warm, thick-knit sweaters with riding boots & earth tones. When spring arrives, I crave bright, jewel-tones & geometric patterns.

No matter what the season, jewelry is one of my favourite style accessories. I’ve traveled around the world, and although I try to avoid souvenirs, I can’t help but to pick out a special piece of jewelry in many of the places that I visit. Since being pregnant, and then having a newborn over the past year or so, I haven’t gotten to do much traveling. One of my favourite places to browse for jewelry online is Fragments. Because their collections are created by designers around the world, browsing their selections is like a trip in itself.

This season, I find myself drawn to greens, blues, & oranges, as well as geometric patterns & shapes — especially triangles. Here are a few of my favourite pieces from the current Fragments collection.

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1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6.



This post was sponsored by Fragments. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help to make my blog possible.

Easter Sunday

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We had the loveliest Easter celebrations over the weekend. On Sunday we went to my mom’s house for an egg hunt & brunch. After that we headed over to M.’s mom’s house for lunch. Roman was just thrilled to spend the entire day with his cousins. There is simply nothing in the world that is better than time spent with loved ones. The older I get, the more I realize how important these memories are. I cherish every precious moment.

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I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Easter holiday. It’s officially Spring, hooray! xo

16/52

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The 52 Week Project – A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for one year.

Last week, we met my client and her family in the park to shoot her son’s one-year portraits. My mother came along to stroll around with Roman because it was such a lovely day. After the session, we introduced Roman & Jaden. It was very sweet to watch them interact.

Happy Easter, friends. xo

To see the other posts in our series, click here.

mama wears // baby wears (sunshine days)

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As I was saying, last week we were blessed with some gorgeous weather. We made the most of it and spent as much time outdoors as possible. On this afternoon, we played out in the yard. I wore a new top from Zulily & my new spring/summer shoes — Walmart special. I also happened to be sporting the world’s messiest French braid. (Forgive me, it was my second attempt ever.) I couldn’t get over how sweet Roman looked in his little shorts & cutoff tee — both bought on clearance from The Children’s Place at the end of last summer.

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Have a beautiful weekend, friends. xo

Vote for Us!

Seedlings

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I decided to start my garden from seed this year, and further, to start the seeds inside. Three or four years ago, we started our garden from seed but we put them directly in the ground. We ended up having a nice garden that year, though somewhat limited. This year, I want my garden to be expansive and varied. In addition to vegetables, I am growing flowers & herbs for the first time. (See the full list of my garden inhabitants here.) It’s a safer bet to start seeds indoors around here because the weather is so erratic. Just a couple of days ago, the temperature was in the high seventies and then last night we got a good dusting of snow. There’s no climactic stability here until mid-to-late May which is rather late to put seeds in the ground.

Anyway, I am enjoying having my little seedlings in the house tremendously. As silly as it may sound, they bring me so much joy. When I saw the first little sprouts popping through the soil, I was overwhelmed with excitement. I’ve heard nightmare stories about gardeners planting from seed. I’ve been told more than once to just buy established plants and put them right into the garden when the weather is right. But I’m having too much fun with this experiment.

I am breaking all of the rules in the planting seeds book, but that’s alright. My seeds are loved. No, really, I tell them that I love them & that they are good, little seeds/seedlings a couple of times each day. Did you ever hear of Dr. Masaru Emoto’s book, Messages from Water. He claims that water molecules literally transform depending on the words and energy that are spoken to them. Do I believe this hocus pocus? Perhaps. Either way, I love my seeds and if they bear healthy food for my family, I will love them all the more.

That said, it’s getting harder to keep them safe from the hands of my wild toddler. He actually picked one of my little pots up yesterday and came THIS CLOSE to dumping it. It was the first time that I ever raised my voice at him. He’d had numerous warnings but decided to go for it anyway. I’ve no intention to be a “yeller,” but he has to learn what no means. Sometimes speaking gently and diverting his attention just doesn’t cut it.

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(Aren’t those little seedlings just the cutest?)

xo

Beech-Nut: Real Food for Babies

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I was excited when Beech-Nut reached out and asked us to try out their new line of real food for babies. Beech-Nut has always been one of my favourite brands to feed Roman. Many of the big name baby brands put extra ingredients & additives in their food. What I’ve always loved about Beech-Nut is that there is none of that. It’s just food.

We love their new line of real food for babies. It’s as close to homemade as you can get. In fact, I couldn’t tell the difference between my own homemade purees and the new Beech-Nut line. (Yes, I taste-test all of Roman’s food of course!) We tried out four jars from the new line and one was better than the next. My favourite was the Spinach, Zucchini and Peas. Roman loved the Beets, Pear & Pomegranate.

The branding, look & feel of the new line is lovely, too. It’s clear that Beech-Nut put a lot of effort and love into this re-launch. I’m excited to be a part of it. The Beech-Nut mission is simple: to provide honest, real great-tasting food that’s closest to homemade as possible. As a mama, that’s something that I can get behind. I invite you to check out their website to learn more about the company and its values.

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I was not compensated to write this post, other than the four jars you see pictured above. As always all opinions are my own (and Roman’s, too!). xo

Rain

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Express yourself completely,
then keep quiet.
Be like the forces of nature:
when it blows, there is only wind;
when it rains, there is only rain;
when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.

These words come from the Tao Te Ching, an ancient Chinese text fundamental to Taoism, and strongly influential to other philosophies, such as Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism. It is one the most translated works of literature of all time.

I read the Tao Te Ching over & over again — each time, learning something new and seeing the world in a new way. The passage at the top of this post comes from the twenty-third verse of the text. When I think about the word — rain — I think about this passage. Throughout the text, there are reminders that we should try to be like nature. I don’t mean this in a hippy, tree-hugger way. Rather, it is truly practical.

The past six months has arguably been one of the hardest times of my life. I have felt sadness, loneliness and desperation in ways that I never thought that I would feel again. I thought that I had come past it — but I was wrong. Sometimes life hands you difficulties when you’re not expecting them. In my case, the greatest joy that I have ever known (the love for my son, Roman James) has been accompanied by some of the greatest pain that I have ever known (in other areas of my life).

The difference between the pain that I am living through now and the pain that I lived through years ago lies in the way that I am handling it. Or to say it in another way, the difference is what I know now that I didn’t know then. And what I know now is that this too shall pass.

I have learned that acceptance is always better than resistance. Whatever pain I am going through — I accept. When it blows, there is only wind. Whatever challenges present themselves — I accept. When it rains, there is only rain. Eventually, the trials will end and peace will come into my life again. When the clouds pass, the sun shines through.

There is no need to dwell on pain. It is best to say what we mean, share what is in our hearts and then move forward. Express yourself completely, then keep quiet. As I always like to say, let go & let God.

This is the way of The Tao. It serves me well. April is often known as a rainy month that nourishes the earth in preparation for the glory of spring. April showers bring May flowers. I hope that this year’s April rains are cleansing and that they bring peace into all of the hearts that need it.



“Rain” is the April writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Katie of Hello, Little Bean. A few words from Katie — Hi! I’m Katie and I write a blog called ‘Hello, Little Bean.’ It’s about life as a new mom to my cute daughter, Lark Story. I’m California born and raised, but currently live in Michigan with my soon-to-be husband, James and my soon-to-be stepson, Brennan, as well as our little Lark and two kitties. I’m a full-time graphic designer who loves all things artistic and creative. I’m overly sensitive and sentimental, sarcastic and foul-mouthed at times, a foodie and a reality tv junkie who’s completely and utterly in love with motherhood. You can also find me on instagram, facebook, pinterest and our little online boutique, Bold Threads.

/// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// Christina, Courteney, Dena, Erica, Erin, Gillian, Katie, Misty, Nicole, and Renée. ///

15/52

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The 52 Week Project – A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for one year.

15/52 — Oh, my little Roman. The accidents have begun. Last weekend we were all sitting in the living room relaxing when you knocked Mama’s glass off of the tray. It’s happened before so we didn’t think much of it… then you started crying. It turned out that a piece of the glass broke off and you reached under the couch to pick it up. Papa said, “He’s bleeding!” Gratefully I kept a cool head, took you to the bathroom, discovered your cut, applied pressure to slow the bleeding, and we got you to the emergency room. The doctor said it wasn’t as bad as it looked. The fingertip (the pad of your right middle-finger) is a very vascular area. It was a clean (straight) cut so the doctor was able to use glue to put it together instead of traditional stitches.

You were such a good boy in the E.R. that the doctor and nurse couldn’t believe it. They kept looking at you waiting for you to squirm or cry, but you just sat there, curious about what they were doing. My little nosy boy. We kept you bandaged up for a few days and even made a “cast” (out of a sock!) because you kept pulling your band-aids off. You’re bandage-free now and almost completely healed. You’ll just have a little scar. The emotional trauma of the event was almost certainly the worst of it.

Needless to say, I’ve been pretty devastated about it all — blaming myself & overcome with guilt. We’ve tried so hard to make the house safe for you — baby-proofing everything, plugging up outlets, cordoning off unsafe areas, and installing a giant baby gate in the living room in case we have to leave the room for even a moment. And still, you got hurt.

I am trying to accept the fact that these things will happen. We won’t be drinking from glasses in here for awhile (as much as I hate plastic). But no matter how safe we try to make things for you, there will be accidents. They are a part of life. Just remember that I will always be there to pick you up, brush you off, and try to make it better.

To see the other posts in our series, click here.

Eleven-Month-Old Roman James

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Oh my sweet, little Roman. The past few weeks I’ve been looking at you and thinking — you are not a baby anymore, you are becoming a little boy. Last week you took your first step and since then you’ve taken a few more. You are smart and so, very happy. Wherever we go people comment on your temperament — calm & smiley. I hope with everything inside of me that the peace & joy that fill you now, stay with you always.

You are feisty. You have taken on a personality all your own. You know what you want and you don’t like be to be told no. If you’ve got something in your hands, we’d better not take it away or you get very upset. Gratefully, you’re easily distracted. Everything fascinates you. So long as there is something to listen to or watch, you are happy. They’ve been paving our road this past week and you are happy to stand up on the edge of the couch and stare out the window, watching the big trucks grumble along and the men hard at work. You are babbling all of the time now. We have the loveliest and silliest conversations. Sometimes you yell in joy. You are picking up on more & more. It is always so exciting when you do something that we do, like throw your hands up over your head or wave or laugh or call to Bella. You give the most incredible hugs imaginable. You squeeze me tight with your little arms and press your sweet face into my body and just stay there. I can feel the love radiating from your body. It makes me cry tears of joy thinking about it. I often think that my heart will surely burst with love & gratitude for you.

You are the brightest light of my life. You are my every hope, dream, and happiness come true. All of my life it was you that I was waiting for. Thank you for being my littlest sunshine boy.



((( Other posts in this series: BABY’S FIRST YEAR )))

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